Former CIA director says 'Russia brazenly interfered' in election

Brennan seemed to lend credence to that theory when he testified before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Did anyone from the Donald Trump campaign actively collude with Russian agents?

"I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and USA persons involved in the Trump campaign", former CIA chief John Brennan told lawmakers on Tuesday during a House Intelligence Committee hearing.

"I don't know whether or not such collusion-and that's your term-such collusion existed, I don't know", he said.

The nation's intelligence director says he won't comment on a news report that President Donald Trump asked him to publicly deny any collusion between his campaign and Russian Federation.

"I know there was a basis to have individuals to pull those threads" for further investigation, said Mr Brennan, adding that he would not identify anyone by name because the hearing was a public session. He told committee members there had not been a good relationship between Putin and the Clintons over the years. When asked to provide evidence for his observations, Brennan shot back, "I don't do evidence".

Brennan's appearance comes as the Russian Federation probes have escalated greatly since Trump fired former FBI Director James Comey and subsequently the appointment of a special counsel to investigate Trump and Russian Federation.

Brennan told the House intelligence committee on Tuesday that Russian Federation has used intermediaries to work with the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group. The FSB chief denied the allegations but said he would pass on the warning to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Brennan recounted.

The former acting attorney general, Sally Yates, previously told Congress that the Justice Department was concerned that Flynn was compromised by the Russians and could be vulnerable to blackmail as Trump's national security adviser because of misleading statements he made to the vice president about his communications with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Trump in February fired Flynn over the misleading statements, but he has since defended Flynn and his integrity.

Yes, that's what makes intelligence operatives effective.

The relevant paragraph, which was attributed to three anonymous Trump administration officials, said they wondered if Trump "simply did not possess the interest or the knowledge of the granular details of intelligence gathering to leak specific sources and methods of intelligence gathering that would harm American allies".

The former Central Intelligence Agency chief said his meeting with Bortnikov was primarily focused on Syria, but that he also told the Russian official that Moscow's continued mistreatment of US diplomats there was "irresponsible, reckless, intolerable, and needed to stop".

Those are the two big questions in this issue. Did any contact amount to deliberate collusion, and did it make any difference? The president reportedly shared intelligence information from Israel about ISIS to the Russians.

BRENNAN: I am not aware.

But Brennan told the House intelligence committee on Tuesday that President Donald Trump would have violated protocol if he shared such information with Russian officials in the Oval Office spontaneously. At worst, with what's known so far, the Trump campaign might be criticized for sloppy security and a näiveté about business and campaign contacts. His description also illustrates that the intelligence community knows what to look for and why red flags were raised based on what they may have seen coming from some people in the Trump campaign.

Mr Brennan explained several times that "it's not CIA's job" to investigate or assess the legality of actions of U.S. persons. If he can't get any more specific than this by now, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation can't come up with more than James Comey's representation on May 3rd, then Robert Mueller's job might be shorter than we think.

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