On Friday, Trump said he would likely remove the security clearance of Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, who has been targeted by Trump supporters, in part because his wife worked for a company that produced a dossier alleging Russian Federation had incriminating evidence against the now president.
McRaven tells Trump that he would consider it an honor if the president would revoke his security clearance as well so he can add his name to the list of individuals who have spoken out against Trump's presidency. He said the only question now is whether the collusion that took place "constituted criminally liable conspiracy". They should be looking at Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie for dealing with, by the way, indirectly, Russians.
Trump said that in addition to Brennan, the security clearances of nine other former officials are under review. Ohr had a role in the investigation into Russia's attacks on the 2016 USA elections, which Trump has called a 'rigged witch hunt, ' and Trump has threatened revoking security clearances for numerous highly-positioned officials involved in that investigation.
Of those on the list, only Ohr is still employed in government service, but maintaining a security clearance is useful for finding documents if any of them are called to testify before special counsel Robert Mueller investigation.
"Through your actions, you have embarrassed us in the eyes of our children, humiliated us on the world stage and, worst of all, divided us as a nation", he said.
"As former senior intelligence officials, we feel compelled to respond in the wake of the ill-considered and unprecedented remarks and actions by the White House regarding the removal of John Brennan's security clearances", they wrote.
In revoking Brennan's clearance, Trump on Wednesday accused the former Central Intelligence Agency director, one of his most outspoken critics, of making "a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations - wild outbursts on the internet and television - about this Administration".
Trump later said that he stripped Brennan's clearance because of his role in investigating Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election. President Trump said today at the White House he's actually doing the opposite.
"I don't think it advances the criminal obstruction case, but I think it's factually relevant", said Mark Zaid, a national security attorney.
The statement criticizing the White House's move is signed by top former officials who served under both Republican and Democratic administrations.
Former CIA directors and other top national security officials are typically allowed to keep their clearances, at least for some period.
Speaking to reporters Friday, Trump fired back.