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It shouldn’t come as a surprise that former CIA Director Mike Morell would liken Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. election to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

After all, sounding the alarm on the Kremlin’s supposed meddling in the presidential election was Morell’s pet issue when he campaigned for Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election.

The former CIA director weighed in on the matter again this weekend following a Washington Post report claiming a “secret CIA assessment” had found the Kremlin worked to tip the scales in Trump’s favor.

Suzanne Kelly of the Cipher Brief asked Morell, “Tell me about the significance of these allegations if they are true, what’s the overall significance to national security if Russia was successful in doing something like this?” she asked.



Morell responded:

What was new in The Washington Post story, if it’s right — we still don’t know whether its right … but that the CIA believes the intent of the meddling was to help Mr. Trump and hurt Mrs. Clinton’s chances. That meddling went way beyond just stealing the DNC and [Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta] information and giving it to WikiLeaks, that’s what’s new.
But what’s important to me is, it’s less important that they had picked the winner and loser, which I thought all along they had done. What’s most important is that they did indeed meddle…
[W]e need to see this for what it is. It is an attack on our very democracy. It’s an attack on who we are as a people. A foreign government messing around in our elections is, I think, an existential threat to our way of life. To me, and this is to me not an overstatement, this is the political equivalent of 9/11. It is huge and the fact that it hasn’t gotten more attention from the Obama Administration, Congress, and the mainstream media, is just shocking to me.

This is not the first time that Morell has discussed the issue in terms as serious as this. That was pretty much all he did on Clinton’s behalf during the election.

When Morell endorsed Clinton in August, he did so by penning an op-ed for the New York Times in which he wrote, “Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.”

“In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” he added.

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Later, in a call with reporters in September, Morell again suggested Trump’s candidacy posed a serious national security threat. In October, Morell said it was telling that Trump refused to connect Moscow to WikiLeaks’ hacking of the DNC and its alleged hacking of Podesta.

“He simply refuses to acknowledge the role,” Morell said on another call with reporters, “it even gets worse than him simply not acknowledging it. In my mind, he’s actually cheering it on. He’s reading from WikiLeaks material at his rally to the point of parroting now-debunked disinformation.”

Worse than leaning on the WikiLeaks hacks, Morell added, is the fact the GOP nominee seems to be doing Putin’s bidding.

“[I]t’s … terrifying to me that Trump doesn’t get what Putin is trying to do here,” he said, adding that “Putin’s found an unwitting agent in Donald Trump. Everything that I’ve seen since then simply reinforces that idea in my mind. Trump continues to play to Putin’s hand almost every single day in the support that he gives for what Putin’s doing around the world and at home.”

“I think that Trump’s motivation here to play into Putin’s hands is driven by one thing for sure and one thing that I’m deeply concerned about,” Morell said. “The thing that I’m sure about is that Trump is cozying up to Putin because Putin has played him like a fiddle. Putin has figured out what makes Donald Trump tick and he’s playing to it. And Donald Trump is responding. I am absolutely certain of that.”

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Basically, Morell’s comments this weekend in the Cipher Briefing interview are in line with what he has said in the past. He simply updated them to include a comparison to 9/11.

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