Brennan: Trump worked with Russians and now he's desperate

John Brennan

Brennan has not only denounced Trump's tone and temperament but also his policy decisions, such as the president's decisions to withdraw from the Paris climate accord and Iran nuclear deal.

The Russia probe is being led by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. domestic intelligence service.

McLaughlin said it is critical for intelligence professional, especially those still in their jobs, to be able to deliver unpleasant news to a president, and he expressed hope that Trump's action does not have a chilling effect on those who brief the president.

Mr Clapper said on CNN that Mr Trump's action is unprecedented and the White House is "making up the criterion as they go" for withdrawing clearances.

Paul told reporters this week that Russian officials refused to acknowledge interfering in the 2016 presidential campaign and he said the USA should stop expecting the country to confess.

"I call it the rigged witch hunt; [it] is a sham", Trump told the Journal's Peter Nicholas and Michael C. Bender.

Mr Trump said that while former intelligence heads continued to have security access so they could advise their successors, "neither of these justifications supports Mr Brennan's continued access to classified information".

In his statement, Trump suggested the ex-spy chief had tossed around "unfounded and outrageous allegations - wild outbursts on the internet and television - about this administration" and engaged in "increasingly frenzied commentary".

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But while well-established critics of the American national security state refused to shed a single tear for Brennan-or, for that matter, any of the other former intelligence officials on Trump's so-called enemies list-the very fact that Trump has such a list and is using the power of the presidency to punish the individuals on it sparked alarm among journalists and civil libertarians.

What has the reaction been?

It took Brennan himself a little bit longer to issue a response, which came via Twitter and was about as scathing an attack on the President that we have seen by a former government official to date. "Brennan's outspoken criticism of this administration has been noteworthy, I would say". Brennan's mentor, ex-CIA Director George Tenet, for example, had powerful Rabbis in President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, as well as a bizarrely empathetic Establishment media, when Tenet quit in disgrace 2004.

Mr. Trump's claims of no collusion are, in a word, hogwash.

Some Republicans praised the move, including Senator Rand Paul who said he "urged the president to do this".

"Two things, in my view, are true at the same time", former CIA deputy director of intelligence Carmen Medina told VOA. So, for example, I go into Central Intelligence Agency regularly and I help them think through issues, I talk to people, I'm there to assist in any variety of ways.

He called Donald Trump treasonous over his meeting with the Russian leader in Helsinki, he has also called him imbecilic and a danger to the US.

They include Comey; James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence; former CIA Director Michael Hayden; former national security adviser Susan Rice; and Andrew McCabe, who served as Trump's deputy Federal Bureau of Investigation director until he was sacked in March.

The CIA referred questions to the White House.

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