Washington, July 24: US President Donald Trump is said to be mulling revoking the security clearance of former CIA chief John Brennan and other critics of him belonging to the Barack Obama era.
The Trump administration named six former top officials, including those from intelligence, law enforcement and national security in the list.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders Huckabee said the said individuals had "politicised and in some cases monetised their public service" to bring "baseless" charges against the US president.
Besides Brennan, the other individuals named are former FBI director James Comey with whom Trump is having a serious tussle; former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe; former National Intelligence director James Clapper; former National Security Agency director Michael Hayden and former National Security Adviser Susan Rice.
The development earned scathing reaction from various quarters with Clapper even saying that it made even the Watergate scandal of Richard Nixon era looked pale in comparison.
Hayden tweeted after the announcement that even if his clearance was revoked, it would not change anything he believes or pens.
Meanwhile, Sanders Huckabee rubbished allegations by the media that Trump targeted former officials for exercising their freedom of speech and said it was more because Trump didn't like people politicising agencies and departments that are meant to be non-political.
She also said by providing security clearance, one was only paving way for "inappropriate legitimacy to accusations with zero evidence".
As per BBC's analysis, the threat to revoke security against a few government officials for criticising the president showed that Trump's friction with the members of intelligence community continued despite the ruckus at the Helsinki summit held recently.
"...never mind that even if the White House goes through with its threat, it will do little to silence their various condemnations of the president. Former top intelligence officers like Michael Hayden and John Brennan are sought-after as public speakers and television talking heads because of their experience and expertise, not their current access levels," analysis said.