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 John TrumpGraham to introduce resolution condemning House impeachment inquiry Support for impeachment inches up in poll Fox News's Bret Baier calls Trump's attacks on media 'a problem' MORE's revocation of former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanBrennan's CIA a subject of Barr's review of Russia investigation: report Federal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review: report Trump denies knowledge of Barr meeting in Italy, says it would be appropriate 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 ComeyCNN's Jeffrey Toobin says he regrets role in playing up Clinton email story Federal prosecutors interviewed multiple FBI officials for Russia probe review: report State cites 38 people for violations in Clinton email review 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