The former president posted on his Truth Social platform Monday criticizing U.S. intelligence officials as “misfits” and “lowlifes” while sharing an article about Chris McGonigal, who led the FBI’s New York counterintelligence division before his 2018 retirement. McGonigal was arrested earlier this month over his alleged ties to a Russian oligarch and other charges, including money laundering.
In the post, Trump recalled the 2018 Helsinki summit where he infamously sided with Putin over U.S. intelligence when asked about Russian interference in the 2016 election.
In Monday’s post, Trump reminded followers he stands by what he said.
Donald Trump's post on Truth Social.
“Remember in Helsinki when a 3rd rate reporter asked me, essentially, who I trusted more, President Putin of Russia, or our ‘Intelligence’ lowlifes,” Trump wrote.
“My instinct at the time was that we had really bad people,” he added, rallying off the names of several former top FBI officials he routinely targets. “Now add McGonigal & other slime to the list. Who would you choose, Putin or these Misfits?”
It’s not the first time Trump has reiterated the controversial comment. In 2021, he said “it should be obvious” who he trusts between Russia and American intelligence. In fact, throughout his presidency and beyond, the former president repeatedly stunned U.S. officials by aligning himself with the Russian dictator.
Last year, after Russia invaded Ukraine, Trump attracted fierce backlash after he said Putin’s strategy was “genius” and declined prompts to call the dictator evil, though he did eventually say the invasion was a mistake.