Trump's Russian Federation denial 'hogwash', blasts Brennan

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Sanders, however, denied during the briefing that the revocation of Brennan's security clearance was tied to the former Obama administration official's frequent criticism of the president and his administration.

Brennan, now a commentator for NBC and MSNBC, has been a persistent Trump critic and defender of the USA intelligence community's conclusion that Russian Federation attempted to influence the 2016 presidential election to favor him.

While Mr Trump has repeatedly insisted there was "no collusion", Mr 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".

In a statement on Wednesday, Trump said he revoked Brennan's authorization for making what he called "unfounded and outrageous allegations" about his administration and was evaluating whether to strip clearances from other former top officials. "I call it the rigged witch hunt", Mr Trump said of the Russian Federation probe.

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry accused Mr Trump of "putting personal petty politics ahead of patriotism and national security". "And these people led it!"

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Following the president's summit last month with Russia's Vladimir Putin, Mr Brennan - who headed the Central Intelligence Agency under Mr Obama - described Mr Trump's behaviour as "nothing short of treasonous".

In a statement, Mr Trump stated he was also considering whether to stop access to classified information for fired Federal Bureau of Investigation director James Comey, former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden, former intelligence director James Clapper and former attorney general Sally Yates.

Also on the list: fired FBI special agent Peter Strzok, who was removed from the Russian Federation investigation over anti-Trump text messages; former FBI lawyer Lisa Page, with whom Strzok exchanged messages; fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates; and senior Justice Department official Bruce Ohr.

"I don't trust many of those people on that list", Trump told the Journal.

Before he left office, Brennan was open about how he felt about the current US President and said: "'I don't think he has a full appreciation of Russian capabilities, Russia's intentions and actions that they are undertaking in many parts of the world".

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McRaven also praised Brennan as "a man of unparalleled integrity, whose honesty and character have never been in question, except by those who don't know him". McRaven's name was not on Trump's list.

Later Thursday, the retired Navy admiral who oversaw the raid that killed Osama bin Laden called Trump's moves "McCarthy-era tactics".

Brennan is not facing any formal charges of violating any regulations or laws. His criticisms provoked Trump to tweet this week, quoting a former Secret Service agent, calling Brennan a "stain" on our country.

Reactions from Republican lawmakers were mixed, with some critical of Mr Trump while others blamed Mr Brennan for acting inappropriately.

Democratic lawmakers blasted the president's move as unsafe.

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"It's an abuse of power because he's not doing it for a legitimate reason", Castro told CNN.

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