Former CIA director James Woolsey who had been advising President-elect Donald Trump on national security said he would no longer be involved with the transition team.

A spokesperson for Woolsey, Jonathan Franks, said in a statement on Thursday (5 January), "Effective immediately, Ambassador Woolsey is no longer a Senior Adviser to President-elect Trump or the transition. He wishes the President-elect and his Administration great success in their time in office."

In an interview to CNN he said, "I've been an adviser and felt that I was making a contribution..... But I'm not really functioning as an adviser anymore. When I'm on the [television] screen, everybody announces that I'm a former CIA director and that I'm a Trump adviser and I'm really not anymore."

He added that he had only been an informal adviser to Trump and he "didn't want to fly under false colours."

"My background in defense and national security and intelligence I think is probably not relevant to more decisions that need to be made in the next couple of weeks. The world starts over again when the candidate now or president-elect becomes president [and] is sworn in on January 20."

Sources close to Woolsey told Washington Post said that he had been excluded out of discussions regarding intelligence with Trump and retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, who is the incoming national security adviser. Woolsey was also reportedly taken aback by reports that Trump is planning to overhaul the intelligence framework of the country, according to people close to Woolsey.

Woolsey said that Trump's criticism of intelligence agencies was not a factor in his decision to leave the transition team but he added that he agreed with the intelligence community's assessment that Moscow was behind the hacks.

Former CIA director
Former director of the US Central Intelligence Agency James Woolsey takes part in a panel discussion on Sharia law at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Washington in this file photoREUTERS/Jonathan Ernst