‘Greatest Fear’ About Trump Documents Is Who Had Access: Ex CIA Chief Brennan

Trump was an obvious target for "counterintelligence activities from our adversaries," eager to get their hands on national secrets, said John Brennan.


Former CIA chief John Brennan warned on Thursday that the most chilling worry about the classified documents Donald Trump has had in his possession is who had access to them.

The "greatest fear" concerning national security is "not just" that Trump concealed the sensitive documents at Mar-a-Lago after they were removed from the White House — but who else saw them.

Former Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) John Brennan testifies before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Capitol Hill, May 23, 2017 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

In such a case, "I think we would frequently go to: What was the worst case scenario? What is it that could be most damaging to our national security?" Brennan told Nicole Wallace on MSNBC's Deadline.

"It's clear there was very sloppy handling, and mishandling, of this information," he warned.

Brennan discussed the issue in the wake of a Washington Post report Thursday about the documents that noted that prosecutors have "gathered evidence that Trump at times kept classified documents in his office" at Mar-a-Lago "in a place where they were visible and sometimes showed them to others," according to sources.

Nicolle Wallace, John Brennan/Screen Shot MSNBC Deadline

The damage is "not just concealing these classified documents from the authorities, but also what might be done with them, whom they might be shown to. Who might have access to them — irrespective of whether or not the person who had possession of those documents granted that access," Brennan noted.

Trump would have been a "very high target of counterintelligence activities on the part of our adversaries given his penchant for being rather careless and sloppy" with classified information," he said.

"There are still a lot of questions that the intelligence community has about the damage that was done" to our national security while these documents were "out of appropriate controls," Brennan noted.

Peter Strzok, former deputy assistant director of the FBI's Counterintelligence Division, told Wallace that there are indications that Trump already shared classified documents with an author and with political donors.

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