Lunes, 19 Noviembre, 2018

Here's why people should care about the Russian Federation controversy — Former CIA director

Irune Rengel | 24 May, 2017, 12:46

JOHN BRENNAN: I don't know whether or not such collusion - and that's your term - such collusion existed.

Tuesday's public hearing represented an effort by the House Intelligence Committee to get its Russian Federation investigation back on track after political squabbling and concerns about information-sharing between its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and White House aides sidelined the committee's work.

When asked directly by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) if he saw "evidence of collusion" between Trump and Russian officials, Brennan repeated that he saw evidence that was worth investigating.

Trump in recent days has adamantly denied any claim of "collusion" with Russian Federation, particularly in the wake of a special counsel being named to oversee the federal Russian Federation probe.

At the hearing, Brennan stated he did not know nor could he confirm if any collusion existed between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation. Brennan said the CIA focuses on intelligence, not "evidence", and he was not able to answer that question.

"I saw interaction that in my mind raised questions of whether it was collusion", Brennan told Rep. Trey Gowdy, saying that he supported the Federal Bureau of Investigation digging further.

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"Many times (Americans) do not know that the individual they are interacting with is a Russian", Brennan said.

He said the animosity between Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Clintons went back years.

"The Russians are watching very carefully what is going on in Washington right now, and they will try to use if for their purposes", he said. He said they are trying to actively exploit it "to their benefit and our detriment".

Trump, now on a nine-day global trip, has had his own conversations with the Russians questioned in light of reports that he shared extremely classified intelligence with Russian diplomats in the Oval Office on May 10. Both intelligence chiefs, the report said, refused to comply with Trump's request, which they both deemed inappropriate.

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the committee, recused himself from the panel's Russian Federation investigations after the House Committee on Ethics announced it was investigating Nunes for disclosing classified information.

Also Tuesday, Daniel Coats, director of national intelligence, appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee about budget issues. He said any information that is shared also needs to be cleared by the agency where the intelligence information originated.

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Brennan, who left as Central Intelligence Agency chief when Trump took office in January, said it became clear last summer Russian Federation was trying to interfere in the election, and that he warned the head of Russia's FSB security service that such interference would hurt US ties.

Brennan, while testifying at a hearing of the US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, said it became clear last summer that Russian Federation was attempting to interfere in the election.

He further testified that on August 4, 2016, he warned the head of Russia's intelligence service that any continued interference would destroy near-term prospects for improvement of relations between Washington and Moscow and would undermine the chance of their working together on matters of mutual interest.

"I was anxious by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with US persons", he said. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

Brennan later was to testify behind closed doors.

The panel, along a number of other congressional committees, the FBI, and a newly appointed special counsel, are conducting investigations into Russian meddling that include any potential links between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

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Former CIA director John Brennan testifies before the House Intelligence Committee on Russian "active measures" during the 2016 USA election campaign, in Washington, May 23. Had she won, Brennan said, Russian Federation would have continued to attempt to "denigrate her and hurt her" during her presidency.


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