Former CIA Director John Brennan says President Donald Trump is right to try and improve the United States’ relationship with Russia. But, speaking from experience, he is sceptical Trump will be able to pull it off.
Business Insider’s US Editor-in-Chief Alyson Shontell sat down with Brennan at an Intersport Leadership Summit at The Masters on April 6.
During the 45-minute discussion, Brennan said he “tried like heck” to improve the relationship between Russia and the United States, but after a number of meetings and phone calls, he “lost faith” in the country’s “willingness and interest to do the right thing.”
“The Russians feign sincerity better than anyone I know,” he said.
Here are Brennan’s comments on Trump and Russia from the interview, which you can watch in the clip above:
“Some of the things he wants to do are right from a strategic standpoint in terms of improving relations with Russia. I tried like heck when I was in the CIA and White House, to have better relations with the Russians. And I travelled out there a number of times, and I had fairly regular phone interactions with my Russian counterparts. And I wanted to believe that they wanted a better relationship with us as well.
“I must say, the Russians fain sincerity better than anyone I know. And it was really quite frustrating, and I dealt with them a lot on Syria. And they would promise they would work with us, try to restrain the Syrian government and military from carrying out these atrocious attacks, and they wouldn’t. So I lost faith in their willingness and interest to do the right thing.
“But it’s very important for global stability for the United States and Russia to have a much better relationship.”
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