07:10 GMT05 December 2020
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    Former Spy Chief and long-time foe of Donald Trump John Brennan told CNN's Chris Cuomo he feared the president could declassify sensitive information or give military orders that would undermine US "national security interests" - and urged Vice-President Mike Pence to seize power.

    US ex-spy chief John Brennan has urged a palace coup against President Donald Trump before presumed election winner Joe Biden takes office in January.

    The former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director told CNN News' Chris Cuomo - brother of Democrat New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo - that Vice-President Mike Pence and Trump's cabinet should invoke the 25th constitutional amendment to oust him as a risk to "national security."

    "I’m very concerned what he might do in his remaining 70 days in office," said Brennan on Monday's edition of Cuomo Prime Time. "Is he going to take some type of military action? Is he going to release some type of information that could, in fact, threaten our national security interests?"

    ​​Trump embarrassed both Brennan and the opposition Democratic Party in October when he declassified a memo written by the ex-CIA director revealing that 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton planned the since-debunked 'Russiagate' allegations against Trump..

    "If Vice President Pence and the cabinet had an ounce of fortitude and spine and patriotism, I think they would seriously consider invoking the 25th Amendment and pushing Donald Trump out because he is just very unpredictable now," Brennan added.

    And the former spy chief claimed Trump had fired outgoing Defence Secretary Mark Esper on Monday for refusing to carry out his orders.

    "If Mark Esper has been pushed aside because he is not listening to Donald Trump, carrying out these orders, who knows what his successor, this acting secretary Chris Miller's going to do if Donald Trump does give some type of order that really is counter to what I think our national security interests need to be," Brennan said.

    Esper's predecessor General Jim Mattis dissuaded Trump from his first bid in 2017 to end the 19-year war in Afghanistan, instead sending more troops to the Asian nation. But it was under Esper that Trump's order to withdraw troops illegally occupying northern Syria was reversed.

    Brennan also echoed Cuomo's speculation that Trump would pursue "vendettas" against current FBI Director Christopher Wray and CIA Director Gina Haspel - who oversaw torture of prisoners at an agency 'black site' in Thailand in 2002 - although he did not say what for. 

    Brennan was given the top job at the CIA by then-president Barack Obama, serving from March 2013 to January 2017, when Trump took office. US-supported regime change efforts during his tenure included the 2014 Maidan Square colour revolution in Ukraine, the Guarimba riots against Venezuelan socialist president Nicolas Maduro the same year and the long-term CIA programme of training and arming anti-government militants in Syria.

    In 2016 collaborated with then-FBI director James Comey to set up the 'Crossfire Hurricane' investigations into unfounded Democrat allegations of Russian collusion in Trump's election campaign - a probe that involved intelligence surveillance of Trump aide carter Paige.

    Since leaving the agency, Brennan has been harshly critical of Trump, labelling his government a "kakocracy" following Brennan's firing. Trump eventually revoked Brennan's security clearance in August 2018.

    Brennan opposed the 2016 Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, passed by Congress over Obama's veto, which allowed US citizens to sue the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia over its alleged role in the 2001 World Trade Centre attacks.

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    Tags:
    regime change, coup d'etat, Christopher Wray, James Comey, Gina Haspel, Mark Esper, Jim Mattis, Andrew Cuomo, Chris Cuomo, Joe Biden, Donald Trump, John Brennan, US Election 2020
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