John Brennan, former Director of the CIA, testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday stating that he had some worry that Russia did indeed bring on aides from Donald Trump’s campaign team. During testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Brennan also stated that he believed Russia’s alleged recruitment helped influence the presidential election last year.
Brennan told lawmakers the following:
“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. And it raised questions in my mind again whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”
Referring to the time he stepped down from his post on January 22nd, he continued:
“I had unresolved questions in my mind about 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.”
On top of his information from the CIA, Brennan also stated that the FBI’s investigation also pointed to the fact that the Trump – Russia connection is “certainly well founded and needed to look into these issues.” However, he also made it clear that he was not in a position to say that the interactions he saw were connected to collusion because the FBI handles the investigation:
“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 and colluding with Russian officials.”
Brennan also looked down on the claims that classified intel was leaked as the media has been stating recently. This also covers the recent Oval Office meeting Trump had with the Russian Foreign minister. “These continue to be very, very damaging leaks, and I find them appalling, and they need to be tracked down,” said Brennan in the testimony.
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