Trump leaves door open to firing Rosenstein
Brennan: We know Americans colluded with Russia
Former CIA Director John Brennan said Thursday that President Trump's claims that no one from his campaign team colluded with Russians are "hogwash," adding that he knows American citizens were affiliated with Russian spies.
Brennan wrote in The New York Times that he is aware of many "highly suspicious dalliances of some American citizens with people affiliated with the Russian intelligence services."
"The only questions that remain are whether the collusion that took place constituted criminally liable conspiracy, whether obstruction of justice occurred to cover up any collusion or conspiracy, and how many members of 'Trump Incorporated' attempted to defraud the government by laundering and concealing the movement of money into their pockets," Brennan wrote.
He noted that Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, is currently on trial for bank and tax fraud charges.
Brennan said Manafort had "deep insight" into Russian activities during Trump's presidential campaign and thanked the reporting of an "open and free press" for bringing more collusion allegations to light.
It is critical for special counsel Robert Mueller to be allowed to continue their investigation into Trump's campaign potentially colluding with Russians and the foreign power's attempts to influence the election, Brennan wrote.
Trump frequently attacks the Mueller probe as a "witch hunt" and has called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to end the investigation.
"Mr. Trump clearly has become more desperate to protect himself and those close to him, which is why he made the politically motivated decision to revoke my security clearance in an attempt to scare into silence others who might dare to challenge him," Brennan wrote in the Times.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday denied that the move was intended to silence a Trump critic.
The White House listed Brennan's "lying" and "frenzied commentary" on the Russia investigation and the administration in revoking of his security clearance.
Trump, however, told The Wall Street Journal late Wednesday that he drew a direct connection between the Mueller probe and his decision to revoke Brennan's security clearance and is considering pulling the clearances of other former intelligence officials.
The administration has said it is reviewing access to classified information for several former intelligence officials, according to a statement.
They include former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, former National Security Agency Director Michael Hayden, former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, former national security adviser Susan Rice, former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, former FBI agent Peter Strzok, former FBI lawyer Lisa Page and Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.