'Fox & Friends' Host Says Donald Trump Made 'Payback' Revoking John Brennan's Security Clearance

Fox & Friends hosts praised President Donald Trump's decision to revoke the security clearance for former CIA Director John Brennan, calling it "payback."

Trump cited Brennan's "lying" and "erratic conduct and behavior" in a statement read by White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Wednesday.

"As the head of the executive branch and the commander in chief, I have a unique constitutional responsibility to protect the nation's classified information, including by controlling access to it," Trump said in his statement delivered by Sanders.

Brennan, an outspoken Trump critic, tweeted after the president's joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin that it "rises to & exceeds the threshold of 'high crimes & misdemeanors'" and "was nothing short of treasonous."

Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy said Thursday that Brennan as CIA director in summer 2016 was behind the Trump-Russia investigation by showing a dossier to then–Democratic Senator Harry Reid.

"Harry Reid then wrote a letter to [former FBI Director] James Comey saying, hey, the FBI's got to investigate this, and then the FBI did. So, in other words, it started with Brennan, then Harry Reid, and then James Comey," Doocy claimed.

Brian Kilmeade, Doocy's co-host on the Fox News show, said, "It's not so much what he said, it's the way he said it, the way he delivered it, and what he knows that had this administration extremely concerned."

White House revokes security clearance for former CIA Director John Brennan pic.twitter.com/YpSU9vFVbk

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Kilmeade continued, "Is this really an example of freedom of speech? Or is it the president tired of hearing this CIA director sound off knowing that he has access to things at the highest level of intelligence."

"Oh, it's payback. It's payback," Doocy said. "I think because the president thinks that John Brennan launched the whole investigation, and now he's got a chance to do something. Boom, he did."

Brennan earlier this month quoted a tweet by Trump denouncing Mueller's "Rigged Witch Hunt" and wrote: "Individuals of conscience who believe in rule of law should denounce this blatant effort to obstruct justice. As Mr. Trump's desperation to protect himself grows, he could turn words into actions, prompting a Constitutional crisis."

After his security clearance was revoked, Brennan on Wednesday tweeted it "is part of a broader effort by Mr. Trump to suppress freedom of speech & punish critics."

"It should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out," Brennan wrote. "My principles are worth far more than clearances. I will not relent."