Brennan said Sunday that he was considering legal action, saying on NBC's "Meet the Press" that he was prepared to fight back against what he called "yet another example" of Trump's "egregious abuse of power and authority".
His comments came two days after he yanked the security clearance of former CIA Director John Brennan, saying he had to do "something" about the "rigged" USA federal probe of Russian election interference.
A potential lawsuit might open Trump up to further legal exposure just in time for the midterm elections.
"If my clearances - and my reputation as I'm being pulled through the mud now - if this is the price we're going to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this to other people, to me it's a small price to pay", Brennan said. The opposition research firm hired former British spy Christopher Steele during the 2016 USA presidential campaign to compile the dossier on Trump and his Russian Federation ties.
And while he said he wants current Central Intelligence Agency 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.
'I don't know McRaven, ' Trump said Friday, declaring that 'I've gotten tremendous response from having done that because security clearances are very important to me. Former FBI Director James B. Corey, former FBI agent Peter Strzok and former acting Attorney General Sally Yates are also on the list.
Patrick Cotter, a former assistant US attorney in the Eastern District of NY and a longtime white-collar defence attorney, said that while a prosecutor could argue that Trump's targeting of clearances was intended as a warning that "if you contribute to, participate in, support the Russian Federation probe and I find out about it, I'm going to punish you", it is likely not obstruction in itself.
The president's action against Brennan has drawn a strong rebuke from former officials across the intelligence community, including a statement from 15 former high-ranking intelligence officials, another statement from over 60 former CIA officers, and yet another statement from a group of 175 former national security officials.
"Security clearances are critical to our national security and decisions regarding security clearances ought to be based on national security issues", Panetta told CBS' "Face the Nation" moderator Margaret Brennan in an interview that aired Sunday.
They said they did not necessarily concur with all the opinions expressed by Brennan, or the way in which he expressed them.
Those criticisms of the president were cited in the White House's reasons for revoking Brennan's clearance.
"Our concern now is that security clearances are going to be used as a political tool to go after people that the president doesn't agree with or issues that the president may not agree with and we think that undermines the importance of security clearances particularly when it comes to national security".