Ex-CIA chief on Trump stripping critics of their security clearances: 'You just can't let that stand'

Former CIA Director Michael Hayden in an interview that aired Friday pushed back on President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE's revocation of former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanThe CIA's next mission: Strategic competition with China and Russia Clinton lawyer's indictment reveals 'bag of tricks' Still in the game: Will Durham's report throw a slow curveball at key political players? MORE's security clearances.

"The issue here is not whether John Brennan, or Mike Hayden, or Jim Clapper kind of goes over the edge in personalizing criticism of the president," Hayden, who has criticized Trump in the past, told Hill.TV's Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on "Rising."

"The issue here is, is it a good idea to allow the president of the United States to take from an American something he or she would otherwise have, and to do it because the president disagrees with their political speech," he continued. 

"When you put it that way, I think the question answers itself. You just can't let that stand," he said. 

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced last week that the president was taking away Brennan's security clearance while accusing the former Obama administration official of using his status as a former CIA chief to make “unfounded and outrageous” comments about the administration.

Trump is also reviewing the security clearances of Hayden, as well as former FBI Director James ComeyJames Brien ComeyTrump defends indicted GOP congressman Andrew McCabe's settlement with the Department of Justice is a signal to John Durham Giuliani told investigators it was OK to 'throw a fake' during campaign MORE and Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr.

Other critics have said the move poses a threat to free speech and those who publicly disagree with the president. 

Comey said the move sends "a message that he will punish people who disagree with him and reward those who praise him.”

— Julia Manchester