Panetta: GOP should denounce lawmaker's words

Former CIA Director Leon Panetta defended special counsel Robert Mueller after Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) told Judicial Watch that Mueller has "protected radical Islamists for his whole career."

Posted: Aug 5, 2018 8:14 PM
Updated: Aug 5, 2018 8:38 PM

Leon Panetta, who was CIA director under President Barack Obama, criticized the Trump administration's response to Russia's election interference, saying in a CNN interview Friday, "I have never in my lifetime seen an administration that is presenting such a confused message when it comes to a national security threat."

Panetta told CNN's Anderson Cooper on "Anderson Cooper 360" that the administration is "sending a very mixed message to both our enemies and our allies" on Moscow's interference, and said "the United States does not have a clear policy when it comes to Russia."

The Trump administration's varied messages were on display Thursday when President Donald Trump decried what he referred to as the "Russian hoax" during a speech at a rally, just hours after his top national security officials warned the American public of the threat posed by continuing Russian attempts to influence US elections.

Panetta said it looks like the President is trying to "send two messages" with respect to Russia.

"One is a message to the Russians and to his base. The message to the Russians is 'keep doing what you're doing,' and the message to his base is 'regardless of the facts, please stick with me and listen to me,' " Panetta said.

"The other message is one to the majority of the American people, which is that US policy remains the same, that it remains firm with regards to Russia and that we're taking steps to try to protect our country," the ex-CIA director said.

Panetta said that together the two messages lead to "tremendous confusion about just exactly what the United States of America really stands for."

Last month, the President stunned observers and prompted a rebuke from top Republicans in Congress when, at a news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin, he declined to endorse the assessment of the US intelligence community that Russia had interfered in the 2016 US election.

Facing a backlash, Trump later said he had misspoken and then said he holds Putin personally responsible for Russian interference.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 91935

Reported Deaths: 2780
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hinds6884152
DeSoto527653
Harrison366071
Jackson332666
Madison316485
Rankin312173
Lee251566
Jones234077
Forrest229468
Washington214771
Lafayette199339
Lauderdale1977122
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Oktibbeha172549
Lamar154833
Neshoba1513103
Panola140326
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Sunflower136943
Warren136249
Leflore133279
Pike119848
Pontotoc119616
Monroe116665
Scott114925
Copiah114533
Coahoma108926
Holmes107658
Marshall105914
Grenada102634
Lincoln102652
Yazoo102527
Simpson99841
Union96223
Tate94337
Leake93235
Adams88133
Wayne86421
Pearl River83349
Marion82832
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Newton74222
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Tallahatchie72517
Winston71819
Tishomingo64035
Attala63325
Chickasaw63124
Tippah62016
Walthall58525
Clay55916
Hancock54420
Noxubee53915
Jasper53214
Clarke51937
Smith51514
Calhoun50612
Tunica47013
Claiborne44716
Montgomery44420
Lawrence42112
Yalobusha41014
Perry38216
Humphreys36815
Quitman3595
Stone34511
Greene33316
Webster32613
Jefferson Davis31711
Carroll30612
Amite30310
Wilkinson29917
Kemper28415
Sharkey25811
Jefferson2349
Benton2081
Franklin1833
Choctaw1775
Issaquena1023
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Confirmed Cases: 128097

Reported Deaths: 2264
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Jefferson18531332
Mobile12931288
Montgomery8546170
Madison730373
Tuscaloosa6984109
Lee557059
Shelby544649
Baldwin500347
Marshall375942
Etowah324744
Calhoun316538
Morgan311825
Houston258621
Elmore246847
DeKalb229319
St. Clair217434
Walker217480
Talladega199125
Limestone190819
Cullman179717
Dallas172526
Franklin170328
Russell16852
Autauga161924
Lauderdale159031
Colbert156024
Escambia153824
Blount148713
Jackson144210
Chilton142824
Dale127442
Covington127227
Coffee12357
Pike11289
Tallapoosa112483
Chambers110742
Clarke104316
Marion90328
Butler90138
Barbour8097
Marengo69419
Winston68012
Lowndes64327
Pickens61514
Bibb6129
Hale60928
Bullock58314
Randolph58112
Lawrence57320
Monroe5708
Washington54213
Geneva5364
Perry5366
Wilcox52911
Cherokee52615
Conecuh51611
Crenshaw50731
Clay5057
Macon46619
Henry4474
Sumter41419
Fayette4088
Choctaw34212
Lamar3272
Cleburne3056
Greene29715
Coosa1573
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