Former CIA Director John Brennan suggested “fear” played into President Donald Trump’s behavior toward the Russians on Sunday in a blistering interview on CNN, calling him intimidated by Vladimir Putin.

Brennan and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper savaged Trump’s rhetoric about the U.S. intelligence community, the Russian election interference campaign, and his belief in Putin’s denials during a joint interview with Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

“[Putin] said he didn’t meddle. He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump said Saturday aboard Air Force One. “Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I believe, I really believe, that when he tells me that, he means it.”

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