Ex-CIA spokesman: Trump could set precedent by revoking security clearances

Former CIA communications director Bill Harlow on Monday warned that President TrumpDonald John TrumpJustice Department preparing for Mueller report as soon as next week: reports Smollett lawyers declare 'Empire' star innocent Pelosi asks members to support resolution against emergency declaration MORE could be setting a precedent for future administrations by taking away security clearances.

The comments come amid the fallout over the president's revocation of former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea Intel agencies' threat assessment matters more than tiff with Trump MORE's security clearance.

Harlow said “rules ought to be followed” and clearances should not be removed on a “whim.”

"If this administration takes away the clearances of people for speaking, the next administration could do the same," Harlow told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising." 

"There are rules and regulations on how you can take away people's clearances if they do something inappropriate. Those rules ought to be followed not just on [a] political whim," he continued. 

Harlow is one of the dozens of former officials from the U.S. intelligence community who signed a letter condemning Trump for revoking Brennan's security clearance last week. 

The White House accused Brennan of using his status as a former government official to make “unfounded and outrageous” charges about the administration. 

Trump is also reviewing access to classified information for several former intelligence officials who have publicly criticized him or have come under attack from the White House.

The former officials include former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyFBI’s top lawyer believed Hillary Clinton should face charges, but was talked out of it Dems seize on Times bombshell to push allegations of Trump obstruction Trump calls Andrew McCabe a 'poor man's J. Edgar Hoover' MORE, former national security adviser Susan Rice and former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe

Brennan said on Sunday that he would be willing to go to court to prevent the president from taking away additional security clearances. 

"I’m going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future and if it means going to court, I will do that," Brennan said on NBC's "Meet the Press." 

— Julia Manchester