Senate Intel chairman slams former Central Intelligence Agency director for Trump-Russia claims

Brennan blasts Trump's no collusion claims as 'hogwash'

Trump pulled Brennan's security clearance on Wednesday because of his "lying", "frenzied commentary" and "wild outbursts on the Internet and television", according to a statement read during Wednesday's White House news briefing by press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Democratic lawmakers blasted the president's move as unsafe.

Trump, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal, said he believes Brennan is one of the people responsible for special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing 15-month probe into links between Trump's campaign and Russian Federation and whether Trump, as president, obstructed justice by trying to thwart the investigation. "So I think it's something that had to be done".

Brennan wrote that Trump's claims of no collusion with Russian Federation are "hogwash" and that the only question remaining is whether the collusion amounts to a "constituted criminally liable conspiracy".

But before the day was over, Trump had admitted what everyone already knew: that this was all about Brennan's piercing criticism and his role in launching the investigation into his campaign's possible involvement with the Russians in the 2016 election.

The president is also the reviewing the security clearances of other former government officials, including ex-national intelligence director James Clapper, former FBI Director James Comey, ex-Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden and former deputy Attorney General Sally Yates.

And it underscores why the president's lawyers are fearful of allowing Trump to sit down for an interview with Mueller's team, as Trump has repeatedly said he is interested in doing.

Former high-ranking officials typically retain their security clearance when they leave office so their successors can consult with them on sensitive issues. Brennan and the others have been critical of the president. "I really don't. And I don't think he's qualified to have one", Kennedy said, calling Brennan a "butthead". "I think they're not good people".

That directly contradicted a July 2017 statement from Trump Jr. - written with the consultation of the White House - that claimed the meeting had been primarily about adoption. And California's Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, tweeted, "An enemies list is ugly, undemocratic and un-American".

"It feels very much like a banana republic kind of thing", Corker said.

But at least two other Republicans were in favour of Trump's action.

The White House announced Wednesday it will be cutting off Brennan's access to classified information.

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