President Trump said Monday that he hoped John O. Brennan sues him and accused the former CIA director of being in cahoots with the Mueller investigation.
The president said Mr. Brennan won’t follow through on the threat because of how easy it would be to “show not only the poor job he did, but how he was involved with the Mueller Rigged Witch Hunt.”
Mr. Trump brushed aside the support former national security officials have expressed for Mr. Brennan over the past few days. He accused those speaking out of wanting to preserve their own security clearances, not to defend the former CIA director.
Mr. Brennan confirmed on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that he met with legal counsel about possibly filing a lawsuit against the president.
“If my clearances and my reputation as I’m being pulled through the mud now, if that’s the price we’re going to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this against other people, to me, it’s a small price to pay,” Mr. Brennan said.
Mr. Trump revoked Mr. Brennan’s security clearance on Aug. 15 and announced that several other former Obama-era officials who have crossed the president may be stripped of their clearances. Former FBI Director James B. Corey, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates are also on the list.
Following the president’s announcement last week, nearly 200 former officials stood in solidarity to denounce the president’s revocation of security clearances.
Friday, a dozen top members of the intelligence community accused Mr. Trump of using this strategy to snuff out dissent.
The signatories included former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden, former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper and former CIA Director David Petraeus.
“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 with an attempt to stifle free speech,” the joint statement read.
By Monday, more than 175 officials accused Mr. Trump of creating a “political litmus test.”
The Trump administration argues that some former officials should lose their clearances after using them for political and personal gains.