President Trump has directly linked his decision to strip former CIA Director John Brennan of his security clearance with his own frustrations over the Russia investigation. Hours after the White House announced the unprecedented move and said a similar measure may be applied to other Trump critics, the president told The Wall Street Journal he blamed Brennan and other former officials whose clearances are now under review for special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between his campaign and the Kremlin. “I call it the rigged witch hunt, [it] is a sham,” Trump was quoted as saying. “And these people led it! So I think it’s something that had to be done.” Trump’s comments came after several former CIA chiefs blasted the move against Brennan, saying clearances are only meant to be revoked if an individual’s access to classified material poses a security risk. National-security lawyers say Brennan could challenge Trump in court if he can prove the president abused his own constitutional powers to suppress critical political expression.