Brennan defends criticism of Trump: ‘I don’t believe I’m being political at all’
Former CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday defended his fierce criticisms of President Trump — including calling his actions “treasonous” — saying he doesn’t believe he’s being political.
Brennan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he has “seen the lights blinking red.”
“I think I need to speak out,” Brennan said.
“I don’t believe I’m being political at all,” he continued. “I’m not a Republican, I’m not a Democrat, and many members of the Congress over the years who have security clearances have spoken out rather forcefully against whoever was in the Oval Office if they weren’t from the same political party.”
“So now as a private citizen they’re telling me that I shouldn’t do that?” he added. “I’m sorry, I just fundamentally disagree with that.”
Trump announced last week that he was revoking Brennan’s security clearance, and is considering revoking the clearances of several other former intelligence officials.
Nearly all of the officials Trump named have publicly criticized the president and his administration, prompting speculation that the move was retaliatory.
The White House justified revoking Brennan’s clearance by saying he has made unfounded allegations against the current administration, and claimed he has lied during congressional testimony in the past.
Skeptics have noted that Brennan is among the most outspoken critics of the Trump administration, frequently lashing out at the president on Twitter.
Several prominent ex-intelligence officials have expressed support for Brennan in recent days and condemned Trump’s decision to revoke his clearance.
Brennan notably called Trump “treasonous” after he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin and cast doubt on the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election.
He stood by that characterization on Sunday.
“These are abnormal times,” he said. “And I think a lot of people have spoken out against what Mr. Trump has done.”
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