James Clapper, the director of national intelligence under former President Barack Obama, took a swipe at former CIA Director John Brennan on Sunday, saying that his former colleague’s anti-Trump rhetoric has become “an issue in and of itself.”
“Do you think that John Brennan’s hyperbole is an issue here, is one of the reasons we’re having this crisis?” CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Clapper during a panel discussion about President Donald Trump’s decision to revoke Brennan’s security clearance.
“I think it is,” said Clapper, a CNN analyst. “John is sort of like a freight train and he’s gonna say what’s on his mind.”
“John and his rhetoric have become an issue in and of itself,” he added.
Trump revoked Brennan’s security clearance on Wednesday.
“Historically, former heads of intelligence and law enforcement agencies have been allowed to retain access to classified information after their government service so that they can consult with their successors regarding matters about which they may have special insight and as a professional courtesy,” Trump said in a statement. (RELATED: Brennan Accuses Trump Of Treason Following Helsinki Summit)
“Neither of these justifications supports Mr. Brennan’s continued access to classified information,” he said.
Brennan has been among the most vocal Obama administration critics of Trump. He has accused the Republican of being “treasonous.”
The administration is also considering revoking security clearances for Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, Michael Hayden, Sally Yates, Susan Rice, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page and Bruce Ohr.
Despite his criticism on Sunday, Clapper was among 12 former intelligence community officials who issued a letter on Thursday in support of Brennan.
“You don’t have to agree with what John Brennan says (and, again, not all of us do) to agree with his right to say it, subject to his obligation to protect classified information,” the retired officials wrote.
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