Photo: NBC News' Meet the Press

Former leaders of the U.S. intelligence community took to the Sunday shows this morning to express their concerns over President Trump's revocation of former CIA director John Brennan's security clearance.

Driving the news: Brennan told NBC's Chuck Todd on "Meet the Press" that he would consider suing Trump to prevent him from revoking the clearances of other top officials — and added that he's already been contacted by multiple lawyers who had offered their advice.

Former CIA Director John Brennan
  • On possibly taking Trump to court: "If my clearances and my reputation — as I'm being pulled through the mud now — if that's the price we're going to pay to prevent Donald Trump from doing this against other people, to me, it's a small price to pay. So I am going to do whatever I can personally to try to prevent these abuses in the future."
Former CIA and NSA Director Michael Hayden
  • "Our complaint is not just about this. It's about the whole tone, tenor and behavior of the administration."
  • Hayden also told CNN's Jake Tapper that the relationship between Trump and the national security community is "dangerously close to being permanently broken."
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper
  • Clapper admitted to Tapper that Brennan's hyperbole is one of the reasons for this situation, but that his statements reflect "genuine concern about the jeopardy or threats to our institutions and values."
National Security Adviser John Bolton
  • President Trump's National Security Adviser John Bolton was not able to point to any specific examples of Brennan using classified information to Martha Raddatz on ABC's "This Week."
  • Bolton stated that he'd be open to a policy of reviewing security clearances for former top intelligence officials.

Go deeper

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 12,859,834 — Total deaths: 567,123 — Total recoveries — 7,062,085Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 3,297,501— Total deaths: 135,155 — Total recoveries: 1,006,326 — Total tested: 40,282,176Map.
  3. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000 — NYC reports zero coronavirus deaths for first time since pandemic hit.
  4. Public health: Ex-FDA chief projects "apex" of South's coronavirus curve in 2-3 weeks — Coronavirus testing czar: Lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table"
  5. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Scoop: How the White House is trying to trap leakers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

President Trump's chief of staff, Mark Meadows, has told several White House staffers he's fed specific nuggets of information to suspected leakers to see if they pass them on to reporters — a trap that would confirm his suspicions. "Meadows told me he was doing that," said one former White House official. "I don't know if it ever worked."

Why it matters: This hunt for leakers has put some White House staffers on edge, with multiple officials telling Axios that Meadows has been unusually vocal about his tactics. So far, he's caught only one person, for a minor leak.

11 GOP congressional nominees support QAnon conspiracy

Lauren Boebert posing in her restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, on April 24. Photo: Emily Kask/AFP

At least 11 Republican congressional nominees have publicly supported or defended the QAnon conspiracy theory movement or some of its tenets — and more aligned with the movement may still find a way onto ballots this year.

Why it matters: Their progress shows how a fringe online forum built on unsubstantiated claims and flagged as a threat by the FBI is seeking a foothold in the U.S. political mainstream.