Ex-CIA director accuses Trump's spy chief of 'appalling' abuse of power to help president
NBC News national security analyst John Brennan (screengrab)

On Tuesday, former CIA Director John Brennan tore into President Donald Trump's Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper, alleging that he is abusing his declassification power to selectively leak documents to support President Donald Trump's "Deep State" narratives.

"John Ratcliffe is anything but an intelligence professional," said Brennan. "It is appalling his selective declassification of information. It is designed to advance the political interests of Donald Trump and Republicans who are aligned with him."

Brennan especially took offense at Ratcliffe's decision to declassify notes from Brennan himself, that suggested Hillary Clinton's team's aim was "stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service" — a question that is beside the point given that former special counsel Robert Mueller conclusively showed the Russians did attempt to interfere in the election in favor of the president.

"These were my notes from the 2016 period when I briefed president Obama and the rest of the national security council team about what the Russians were up to and I was giving examples of the type of access that the US intelligence community had to Russian information and what the Russians were talking about and alleging," said Brennan. "If, in fact, what the Russians were alleging that Hillary was trying to highlight the reported connections between Trump and the Russians, if that was accurate and a big if, there is nothing at all illegal about that."

Last week, Ratcliffe also declassified documents suggesting that American intelligence received claims that Clinton fabricated Trump ties to the Kremlin, but the officials behind this report were never able to determine whether this wasn't itself Russian disinformation.