CNN counterterrorism analyst and former CIA agent Philip Mudd said on air "the government's gonna kill" Donald Trump because he disrespected the deep state.
Mudd subsequently clarified that he meant the phrase metaphorically, but the comments have caused alarm amongst Trump supporters.
"Let me give you one bottom line – as a former government official, the government's gonna kill this guy," said Mudd.
"He defends Vladimir Putin, there are State Department and CIA officers coming home and at Langley and in Foggy Bottom CIA are saying, this is how you defend us?'" Mudd added.
CNN host Jake Tapper subsequently gave Mudd a chance to clarify his comments, remarking, "Obviously when you're talking about killing you're using that as a metaphor."
"Well obviously yeah," responded Mudd, before going on to say, "People talk about the deep state, when you disrespect government officials who've done 20 or 30 years, they're gonna say 'really – Vladimir Putin sends officers home and you support him before you support us?'"