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‘Pardons, Puppets, and Purges’: CNN Nat Sec Analyst Condemns Trump for Floating Doug Collins as DNI

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CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem condemned President Donald Trump’s latest plans to reorganize his cabinet, calling the president’s consideration of far right Trump loyalist Rep. Doug Collins (GA) to be the new Director of National Intelligence part of a campaign of “pardons, puppets, and purges.”

Speaking on Don Lemon Tonight, Kayyem offered her scathing reaction to breaking news Thursday night that Trump said was considering Collins for the job of the nation’s top intel officer, which would require Senate confirmation. Collins, a fervent Trump defender and partisan bomb-thrower, does not have extenseive intelligence experience and is currently mounting a primary challenge to appointed Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler, a move that has angered party insiders.

“Breaking news tonight on the DNI position,” Lemon announced. “The president told reporters that he is considering Doug Collins for the DNI job. That’s another staunch loyalist, who we got to know during the impeachment hearings. What’s your reaction?”

“Well, slightly better than [Richard] Grenell but not much more so, but we know that Grenell has actually said he’s not taking the position, keeping his ambassadorship in Germany,” Kayyem explained. “What we know about Doug Collins, he’s a former pastor and a lawyer, he ascended to the top of [the House] Judiciary [Committee] with a barking dog attitude and support of Trump. He has been out there, he has a recurring role on Fox where he just berates Democrats. Not someone that you would feel confident would view or interpret intelligence in a way that would be fair or objective for the president.”

“I’m not surprised by that. I think we’re at the stage now where we know what’s going on with the intelligence community,” Kayyem added. “Donald Trump wants his puppets in and he’s going to try to get them in. I think Doug Collins is likely to get confirmed because he was the head of House Judiciary, some intelligence background. And on the politics side, not a pro at, but it does take him out of the running for the Senate run which is contested in Georgia.”

Lemon then turned to former Deputy Assistant Attorney General Harry Litman, asking: “Does it feel like he’s trying to control the intelligence apparatus from the top town, from the president down?”
“Not just the intelligence apparatus. The Department of Justice as well, the judiciary, the jury system, anyone who testifies. But as Juliette indicated it’s especially irresponsible to try to have that same autocratic approach when you’re talking about the intelligence community,” Litman said. “[DNI is] one of the last positions you want an arch partisan. That’s the way we’re going. He seems to since the impeachment be taking a giant step toward a kind of ‘Mad King Donald’ approach to government.””
“So is what we call the Trump doctrine, in the post impeachment era?” Lemon asked.
“Pardons, puppets and purges is what we’re seeing, and we’ll see it until Election Day. Nothing stopping Donald Trump now,” Kayyem said, blasting the president before alluding to the news that Trump was outraged when the acting DNI briefed him that Russia was already interfering on his behalf in the 2020 election. “On what’s happening with the DNI, which is typical ,we focus on who’s going to replace the person purged. But let’s take a step back, why did the purging occur? We now know why it occurred because the truth was stated, legally, and appropriately, to the House Intelligence Committee. And Donald Trump didn’t like that truth.”
Watch the video above, via CNN.

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