02:40 GMT +313 November 2019
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    John McLaughlin, the CIA's deputy director, answers questions during a news conference at CIA headquarters, Friday, July 9, 2004, in Langley, Va.

    Ex-Acting CIA Chief Says ‘Thank God for Deep State’ Involvement in Impeachment Inquiry

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    Former Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin said on Wednesday that he was grateful for the "deep state's" role in prompting the impeachment inquiry into President Trump, noting that his colleagues are continuing to “do their work irrespective of what [Trump’s] going to do or say.”

    CBS reporter Margaret Brennan pointed out in her interview with McLaughlin that the origin of the impeachment inquiry likely furthered Trump's concerns about the "deep state."

    “There is something unique you have to agree that now that the impeachment inquiry is underway, sparked by a complaint from someone within the intelligence community, it feeds the president’s concern, an often-used term about a ‘deep state’ being there to take him out,” she said.
    "Well, you know, thank God for the 'deep state'," McLaughlin responded, provoking laughter and applause.

    McLaughlin spoke out at an event hosted by George Mason University, joined by former Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and former CIA Director John Brennan - both known critics of President Trump.

    “With all of the people who knew what was going on here, it took an intelligence officer to step forward and say something about it, which was the trigger that then unleashed everything else,” McLaughlin said, referring to the whistleblower complaint about President Trump's July call with Ukraine.

    Afterwards, he continued praising the intelligence community, which he said “with all of its flaws, and it makes mistakes -- is institutionally committed to objectivity and telling the truth."

    "It is one of the few institutions in Washington that is not in a chain of command that makes or implements policy. Its whole job is to speak the truth - it's engraved in marble in the lobby."

    On 24 September, House Democrats launched an impeachment inquiry over a whistleblower complaint that claimed Trump might have abused his power by allegedly pressuring Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky during a 25 July phone call to investigate potential corruption by former Vice President Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

    Trump released the transcript of the call and slammed the impeachment inquiry as a “hoax” and another political witch hunt aimed at reversing the result of the 2016 US presidential election.


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