In an interview with CNN's Brooke Baldwin, former director of national intelligence James Clapper called President Donald Trump "petty" for considering revoking his and other former law enforcement official's security clearances.
During Monday's press briefing, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: "Not only is the president looking to take away [Former CIA Director John] Brennan's security clearance, he's also looking into the clearances of Comey, Clapper, Hayden, Rice and McCabe."
Clapper said the President Trump was abusing his presidential powers.
"Well, it's interesting news," Clapper said. "I'm reading it and learning about it just as you are. I think it's off the top of my head a sad commentary. For political reasons this is a petty way of retribution. I suppose for speaking out against the president, which I think about the part of all of us, are borne out of genuine concerns about President Trump."
He continued: "The security clearance has nothing to do with how I or any of us feel about the president. I don't get the briefing. I don't have access to classified information. It's frankly more of a courtesy that former senior officials get the security clearance. Haven't had a case of using it. Has no bearing on my regard or lack thereof for President Trump or what he's doing," Clapper said.
He said that President Trump also did not use a formal process to revoke security clearances.
"Typically, there would be a formal notification, not by this means, that clearance is being suspended, for example: you're under investigation because of allegations because of something that would merit revocation or at least a suspension. There is a formal process for doing this, but I guess legally the president has that prerogative. He can suspend or revoke clearances as he sees fit, and if he chooses to do it for political reasons, well, I think that's a terrible precedent and a sad commentary, and it's an abuse of the system," Clapper concluded.