John Brennan, the former CIA director and outspoken critic of President Trump, said in an interview Sunday that he is willing to do whatever he can to prevent others from having their security clearances revoked, including taking the president to court.
Brennan, who was on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” said lawyers have approached him on the issue and spoke about obtaining an injunction to prevent more security clearances being revoked.
“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,” Brennan said. “So I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future. And if it means going to court, I will do that.”
Brennan, who served in President Obama’s administration, said it is up to Congress to put aside politics and step in. “This is the time that your country is going to rely on you, not to do what is best for your party but what is best for the country,” he said.
An executive order signed in 1995 by President Bill Clinton lays out the process for approving security clearances and describes a detailed revocation and appeal procedure. The Washington Post reported that four million Americans have some form of security clearances.
Senate Homeland Security Committee chairman Ron Johnson, R-Wis., criticized Brennan’s political comments on “Fox News Sunday,” but suggested an alternative to yanking his clearance.
“John Brennan really did cross the line. He’s one of the leaders of the resistance movement. … I understand President Trump’s frustration,” Johnson said, noting that Brennan began harshly criticizing the president as soon as he took office. “The best way of handling this, in any administration, is: If you don’t want to consult with somebody, you don’t necessarily have to yank their security clearance, just don’t give them access to the classified material.”
Fox News’ Gregg Re and The Associated Press contributed to this report