Ex-CIA directors issue unprecedented Trump condemnation

Panelists also discuss the president's battle with former White House aide Omaroa Manigault Newman over claims in her new tell-all book.

Trump on Wednesday revoked Brennan's security clearance and defended the move by saying he believes Brennan is responsible for special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation.

The group of 60 said in their statement that they might not all agree with Brennan's political positions, but that it should be a separate issue from his eligibility for a clearance.

The signees included seven former CIA directors, five former CIA deputy directors and former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

In another development, the former U.S. Navy admiral who led the operation to kill terrorist leader Osama bin Laden is challenging Trump to revoke his security clearance.

Therefore, I would consider it an honor if you would revoke my security clearance as well, so I can add my name to the list of men and women who have spoken up against your presidency.

Putin told reporters in Helsinki, while standing next to Trump, that he had wanted the former NY businessman to win the White House. "But I can tell you, having worked in the national security and intelligence community for many, many years - these are not the type of people who are bullied or intimidated by the likes of someone of Mr. Trump".

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These file photos, top row from left are former CIA Director Michael Hayden, former FBI Director James Comey, former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe and former national security adviser Susan Rice.

Less than 24 hours after Sanders' statement, Trump told a reporter that Brennan was sacked over ties to Robert Mueller's probe into Russian election meddling. The president may have connected the dots for Robert Mueller, showing that he had started a security clearance-revoking rampage, not because he wants to protect classified information, but because he wants to silence, and punish his critics, those tied to the Russian Federation investigation in particular.

He went on to say, "Are the Republicans on the Hill who have given him a pass - are they going to wait for a disaster to happen before they actually find their backbones and spines to speak up against somebody who clearly, clearly, is not carrying out his responsibilities with any sense of goal and common sense from the standpoint of national security?"

After the White House said that Brennan - a notable Trump critic - had been stripped of clearance due to his "erratic" behaviour, Trump acknowledged that it was actually because of Brennan's criticism and comments about the 2016 Trump campaign's ties to Russian Federation.

Former CIA directors and other top national security officials are typically allowed to keep their clearances, at least for some period. And that's OK with me, because I like taking on voices like that. "I've never respected him".

In an opinion piece in The New York Times, Brennan said Trump's decision to deny him access to classified information was a desperate attempt to end Mueller's investigation.

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