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Brennan mulls legal action after security clearance revoked

The former CIA director says senior officials "need to speak out" against Trump action.

WASHINGTON — Former CIA director John Brennan said Sunday that he is strongly considering legal action after his security clearance was revoked by President Donald Trump last week.

Appearing on "Meet the Press," Brennan blasted the move as an example of Trump's "egregious abuse of power and authority." And he said that he's considering legal options to possibly get an injunction to stop Trump from pulling clearances from critics in the future.

"If my clearances and my reputation — as I'm being pulled through the mud right now — if that's the price I have to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this to other people, to me, that's a small price to pay," said Brennan, who is also a senior national security analyst for NBC News and MSNBC.

"If it means going to court, I will do that."

Brennan, who has not shied away from criticizing Trump in the past, defended his accusation that Trump acted "treasonous" during his press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"I've seen the lights blinking red in terms of what Mr. Trump done and is doing, and is bringing the country down on the global stage," he said.

"He's fueling and feeding divisiveness in our country. He continually lies to the American people and the types of things he's doing. I think I need to speak out."

And while he said he wants current CIA director Gina Haspel to remain at her post regardless of the controversy, he said others would need to decide whether they want to stand behind the administration's decision.

"People like John Kelly, his chief of staff, who I know and respect and like so much, John and I worked very close together. I'm sure he's trying to keep Mr. Trump from doing awful, terrible things," he said.

"But at some point," he said, "these senior officials have to ask themselves, are they enabling this continued abusive and reckless behavior or not? And if they feel as though they’re enabling it, and they're not having that type of governing influence on it, I think they have to show their displeasure and their unhappiness and leave."