"The positive side is, I think President Trump did go out to CIA headquarters on the first day, and I think that's very good ... y'know, and he said he's going to back the CIA ... Time will tell, and certainly when the first crisis hits, we'll see how he handles that ... But speaking to some of my colleagues, they were very reassured by that. And ... they think it was very poorly covered by the media, and very slanted. He spoke in front of the wall of stars, which commemorates people who have died ... and people who crowed the loudest are from my vantage point usually the people who are least likely to get their star up on the wall."
Since the CIA has literally deployed John to an active war zone, he's probably allowed to say stuff like that.
Now, John's opinion is certainly not universal. Former CIA director Brennan gave 45 hell for the speech. But the CIA depends on the president's good graces, and many care less about what the president says, and more about whether or not he's even paying attention to them.
Of course, the fact that the CIA has been reduced to the same criteria as a golden retriever's happiness is a problem in itself.
"The CIA's been treated like a pinata the last 15 years. So for him to come out and say, 'I'm going to back you,' that's pretty good."
What The President Needs To Hear Right Now
After John's disastrous second briefing with George W. Bush, he returned to the CIA feeling "radioactive." He felt like everyone was a little scared to be around him. But he also received missives from Mike Morell, the president's CIA briefer, basically saying, "That was tough, but you did the right thing by telling the president how you felt. Kudos."
I asked John what he'd do if he were briefing 45, particularly in those first 30 seconds before the questions started or he became distracted by today's Twitter feud.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
Besides including a lot of hashtags and ending sentences with the word "SAD!"
"I would tell him that Iraq is representative of a number of Middle Eastern countries that are on the edge of failing, and it represents a broader trend in the region ... if you want to solve Iraq, you're going to have to solve Iran as well. You need to come up with a policy on Iran. You decide what policy is, the CIA doesn't, but our country has not really had a policy on Iran since 1978, and we've just been in this position of opposition, every now and then with bouts of cooperation ... You have to come to some sort of realization that either you want to work with these people, that ignoring these people is not based on reality, or that you are going to go the other way, and you need to come up with some very creative methods to contain their influence, knowing that doing so is going to create some frictions."
Majid Saeedi/Getty Images
No matter what a candidate's speech promises, there are no easy answers to this little problem.
John would want to stress to the president that, while the military's a real good way to solve certain problems, it can only be part of any solution we have in Iraq and Iran. "Those solutions are political in nature. They have a military component, but you have to have a political solution as well. One of the things I think is so very important, and I would say this to the president immediately, is that just using your military to solve problems ... look where it has gotten us."
What kind of tragic fucking idiot wouldn't listen to advice like that?
John Nixon wrote a book, Debriefing The President, about his interrogation of Saddam Hussein. It's really good, y'all.
Robert Evans has a completely non-political book about how prostitution, drugs and general debauchery built human civilization. You can buy A Brief History Of Vice now!
Also check out 8 Things I Learned As An American Governor In Occupied Iraq and Here's What Soldiers Fighting ISIS Asked Us To Tell You.
Have a story to share with Cracked? Email us here.
Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and check out 4 U.S. Presidents Whose Lives Put Action Movies To Shame, and other videos you won't see on the site!
Follow us on Facebook, and let's be best friends forever.