Ex-CIA Chief John Brennan Says Trump is 'Drunk on Power'

Former CIA Director John Brennan is an outspoken critic of President Trump. Getty Images

Former CIA Director John Brennan said in an interview Friday that Donald Trump is "drunk on power" after the president revoked his security clearance.

"I think right now, this country is in a crisis in terms of what Mr. Trump has done and is liable to do," Brennan told MSNBC's Rachel Maddow.

"The fact that he's using a security clearance of a former CIA director as a pawn in his public relations strategy I think is just so reflective of somebody who, quite frankly, I don't want to use this term maybe, but he's drunk on power. He really is, and I think he's abusing the powers of that office."

Brennan continued: "And so, are the Republicans on the Hill — who have given him a pass — going to wait for a disaster to happen before they actually find their backbones and spines, to speak up against somebody who clearly, clearly is not carrying out his responsibilities with any sense of purpose and common sense from the standpoint of national security."

Brennan is an outspoken critic of Trump, and on Wednesday the president stripped him of his security clearance and accused him of lying.

More than a dozen former intelligence officials, including several former directors of the CIA, have criticised the move and accused the president of attempting to stifle free speech with the order.

Brennan in the interview was responding to an article in the Washington Post, which claimed Trump's decision to revoke Brennan's security clearance was made to change the news cycle after the release of Omarosa Manigault Newman's expose about working in the White House.

A former contestant on Trump's reality show The Apprentice, Newman has released recordings she secretly made of herself in conversation with Trump, and White House officials including chief of staff John Kelly.

The White House denied Brennan's security clearance was revoked in retaliation for his criticism of Trump, and said it was done in response to Brennan's "lying" and "increasingly frenzied commentary."

The President also said that it was in connection with the Russia investigation.