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Ex-CIA spokesman: Brennan has a right to be publicly critical of Trump

Former CIA communications director Bill Harlow on Monday said that former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanBrennan: Saudi denials of involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance 'ring hollow' Clinton's security clearance withdrawn at her request Mr. President, tear down the wall hiding those FISA abuses MORE has a right to publicly speak out against President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Guardian slams Trump over comments about assault on reporter Five takeaways from the first North Dakota Senate debate Watchdog org: Tillerson used million in taxpayer funds to fly throughout US MORE, amid the fallout over Trump's revocation of Brennan's security clearance. 

"It's certainly not common for former CIA officials to do that, but it's his right to do that," Harlow told Hill.TV's Buck Sexton and Krystal Ball on "Rising."

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

"As the letters that have been put out several times have said, a number of people who signed those letters don't agree with what John has said. [They] certainly don't agree in some cases with the language he's used, but they all agree with his right to say it, and taking away his clearances as punishment for saying something, seems to us, the wrong way to go," he said.

The White House said last week that Brennan leveraged his status as a former intelligence official to make “unfounded and outrageous” charges about the administration.

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

Harlow said that while Trump has the authority to revoke security clearances, the move would be viewed as inappropriate under any administration.

"The commander in chief has that authority, but two years ago in 2016, when Gen. [Michael] Flynn stood up at the Republican National Convention and said lock her up, if President Obama had taken away his clearances, which he could have done, that would have been inappropriate, and I would have said so," he said. 

— Julia Manchester