MSNBC's John Heilemann questioned how former CIA director John Brennan was being political by warning Americans that President Donald Trump was a danger to national security.
The Trump administration stripped the retired intelligence official of his security clearance, which the president suggested was punishment for Brennan's criticism, and the "Morning Joe" analyst said those warnings rose above partisan jabs.
"How (is it) impure in some way for a CIA director who has served Republicans and Democrats as a director of the CIA and also served the intelligence community of three presidents of different parties, has (had) a lifetime of public service in Republican and Democratic administrations, to reach the conclusion that he, that the current president, whoever that person might be -- again, just using the hypothetical here -- is a danger to the country would speak out," Heilemann said.
"That may be political but not impure," he added.
Heilemann agreed that Brennan had become a political figure by calling out the president as objectively bad, but he said the former intelligence official appeared motivated by patriotism -- and not partisanship.
"Brennan has become a political figure, clearly, but ... in some ways his motives may be purer than anybody's, in the sense that he is terrified of the country and thinks that the president is a dangerous figure," Heilemann said.