Ex-CIA Chief Brennan Russians Had Contact with Trump Campaign

Former CIA Chief Brennan Testifies Before House Intel Committee

Former Obama CIA Chief, John O. Brennan testified before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday, about the role Russia played in the 2016 Presidential Election. Brennan told the House panel that he saw that Russia had “brazenly interfered” in U.S elections and that Russia actively contacted members of the Donald Trump’s campaign but would not go as far as calling it collusion. “Did you see evidence of collusion, coordination, conspiracy between Donald Trump and Russian state actors?” Representative Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., asked. Brennan answered that “I saw information and intelligence that was worthy of investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not such cooperation or collusion was taking place,” he said. When asked about the nature of the information, he said all other details were classified. Brennan did say that, “I encountered and I’m aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign.”

Brennan, who was CIA chief under President Obama, answered questions as whether there was evidence that Russia had meddled in the U.S elections. Brennan testified that “I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials.” Brennan was also asked how Russia recruits sources who are “wittingly and unwittingly.” Brennan’s answer, “frequently, people who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late.”

In another round of questioning, Representative Adam Schiff (D-CA) Brennan was asked if the President had broken protocol when, according to news reports, the President released intel information gathered by another country, to Russians who were visiting in the Oval Office the morning after FBI Director James Comey was fired. Brennan stated “I don’t know what was shared or said in the Oval Office, but if the reports in the press are true that Mr. Trump decided to spontaneously some intelligence with the Russians, I think he would have basically violated two protocols, and those protocols are one is that such intelligence, classified intelligence is not shared with visiting foreign ministers or local ambassadors.

Brennan continued his reasoning saying that “secondly, before sharing classified intelligence with foreign partners, it needs to go back to the originating agency to make sure that the language in it is even just providing the substance going to reveal sources and methods and compromise the future collection capability.” Continuing Brennan also stated that he “was worried by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with U.S. persons, and so therefore by the time I left office… I had unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion.”

The hearing Tuesday comes on the heels of the latest Russia Trump bombshell to drop. Monday evening, the Washington Post reported that President Trump asked to the Director of National Intelligence, Daniel Coats, and to Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency, to publicly deny that there was evidence of collusion between the President’s campaign. Both directors denied the request stating that what Trump was asking for was inappropriate. Representative Adam B. Schiff said the news report is “yet another disturbing allegation that the President was interfering in the FBI probe.” Schiff also stated that Congress “will need to bring the relevant officials back to testify on these matters, and obtain any memoranda that reflect such conversations.”

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