Ex CIA directors issue unprecedented Donald Trump condemnation

Recep Erdogan

Recep Erdogan

"So I think it's something that had to be done", he said.

Mr. Trump dismissed claims he was silencing Mr. Brennan, and said his move was about the integrity of security clearances. That is disqualifying for Mueller.

"Mr. Mueller is highly conflicted".

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who oversees Mueller's probe, said that Ohr had no role in Mueller's probe.

"On Wednesday, Trump cited "lying", frenzied commentary", and "erratic conduct" as reasons he'd revoked Brennan's security clearance.

In announcing Comey's firing, the White House initially cited the former Federal Bureau of Investigation director's handling of the probe into Democratic rival Clinton's emails, seizing on the Federal Bureau of Investigation director's decision to divulge details of the probe to the public during her campaign against Trump.

"We all agree that the president's action regarding John Brennan and the threats of similar action against other former officials has nothing to do with who should and should not hold security clearances - and everything to do with an attempt to stifle free speech", said the letter, whose signers include former Central Intelligence Agency directors who served under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

The bipartisan group of U.S. intelligence figures, which included Robert Gates, George Tenet, David Petraeus, James Clapper and Leon Panetta, lashed out at the president in a scathing letter released late on Thursday.

Trump challenged the suggestion that he was trying to silence critics by taking away security clearances.

His comments come just one day after President Trump announced his decision to revoke Brennan's security clearance, marking an unprecedented use of a president's authority over the classification system to strike back at one of his prominent critics. The book contains critical passages about Trump, and Manigault Newman has been releasing audiotapes she surreptitiously recorded of Trump, White House chief of staff John Kelly and other top aides to the President.

The group of 60 said in their statement that they might not all agree with Brennan's political positions, but that it should be a separate issue from his eligibility for a clearance. "If anything, I'm giving him a bigger voice", he said.

While Trump has repeatedly insisted there was "no collusion", Brennan wrote that 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, who served under President Barack Obama and has become a vocal Trump critic, called Trump's claims that he did not collude with Russian Federation "hogwash".

At a summit in Finland last month, Trump drew criticism and outrage when he told reporters he accepted Putin's denial that Russian Federation had intervened in the 2016 presidential election - a stance in direct conflict with the USA intelligence community's position.

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