"Bruce Ohr is a disgrace, with his wife Nelly, doing what he did", he said, hinting that he was ready to take away Ohr's security clearance too.
Ohr works in the Justice Department's criminal division.
In the statement, the officials call the move "unprecedented" and caution against using security clearances as a political tool.
"We know John to be an enormously talented, capable, and patriotic individual who devoted his adult life to the service of this nation", said tonight's statement, signed by former Central Intelligence Agency directors William Webster, George Tenet, Porter Goss, Leon Panetta, David Petraeus, and Hayden, along with Clapper and former deputy Central Intelligence Agency directors John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes, Mike Morell, Avirl Haines, and David Cohen.
According to reports Thursday, Bruce Ohr stands to lose his job at the department if the president revokes his security clearance.More news: Producer's daughter, pregnant Stanford alum, found dead following birthday celebration in NYC
"I've never respected him", Trump said.
While ignoring McRaven's criticism, Trump said he had been buoyed by support for his action against Brennan, a persistent critic who said Trump's behavior was "treasonous" in his Helsinki meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin last month.
Trump repeatedly has called the probe a "witch hunt" and sought to discredit those involved in it.
Besides Gates, those signing the letter included former CIA directors William H. Webster, George J. Tenet, Porter Goss, Michael V. Hayden, Leon E. Panetta and David H. Petraeus; former director of national intelligence James R. Clapper Jr.; and former deputy CIA directors John McLaughlin, Stephen Kappes, Avril Haines, David Cohen and Michael Morell.
"There's no silence. If anything, I'm giving them a bigger voice", Trump said. And, per an analysis at the Washington Post, he also knows former British spy Christopher Steele, who compiled the infamous dossier alleging ties between Trump and Russian Federation. But they noted the power play also could be used to reinforce a case alleging obstruction of justice, following the president's firing of former FBI Director James Comey and his repeated tweets calling for the investigation to end.
"So I think it's something that had to be done", he said.
Brennan on Twitter described Trump's action on Wednesday as part of a broader effort "to suppress freedom of speech and punish critics", adding that it "should gravely worry all Americans, including intelligence professionals, about the cost of speaking out".