Adm. McRaven: Revoke My Security Clearance Too

Brennan arrives for a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington

Retired Adm. William McRaven, the man who oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, issued a stunning rebuke of President Donald Trump's decision to revoke the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan on Thursday, defending the former spy chief as "one of the finest public servants I have ever known".

Burr also asked that if Brennan had had direct knowledge of collusion during his CIA tenure, he should have included it in the intelligence community's 2017 assessment of Russian interference, released just before Brennan resigned. Ben Wizner of the ACLU said in response to Brennan's loss of clearance, "We have been unsparing in our criticism of [John Brennan's] defense of the Central Intelligence Agency torture program and his role in unlawful lethal strikes overseas".

Former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, another critic whose clearance Trump said he might target, cautioned that Brennan was expressing "an informed opinion".

Upon announcing the decision, which sees the president following through on his recent threat, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders cited Mr Brennan's "erratic conduct and behaviour" and accused him of "lying" and "wild outbursts".

Trump on Wednesday openly tied his decision to strip Brennan of his clearance - and threaten almost a dozen other former and current officials - to the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and possible collusion with his campaign.

But Trump said Wednesday he is reviewing the clearances of several other former top intelligence and law enforcement officials, including former FBI Director Comey and current senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr. "John (Brennan) already has been". "I think that they're very duplicitous".

On Thursday's episode of CNN's the Lead, anchor Jake Tapper observed that despite President Donald Trump's antipathy toward what he calls a "rigged witch hunt", the president is inadvertently aiding the Russian Federation probe.

Sanders says the security clearances of other current and formers officials are also "under review".

Brennan has been vocal in his attacks on Trump, at one point saying that Trump's performance at a joint news conference last month with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki was "nothing short of treasonous".

In response to the White House's move, Brennan tweeted that he "will not relent".

Sen. Susan Collins, Republican from Maine, said she saw no grounds for revoking Brennan's security clearance, "unless there is disclosure of classified information, of which I'm unaware".

John Kennedy of Louisiana was more explicit in describing Brennan: "I think I called him a butthead and I meant it".

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