WATCH: Obama’s CIA Director Just Torched Trump Campaign’s ‘Contacts’ with Russia (VIDEO)
Former CIA Director John Brennan, who served under President Barack Obama, testified to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, Tuesday. During his testimony, he was questioned by Republican Trey Gowdy, who was on Donald Trump’s transition team. Newsweek described their exchange as a “tense” “back-and-forth.” At moments, it seemed that Gowdy was trying to pin Brennan down on something that was not provable, or to provide classified information publicly. Brennan appeared to choose his words very carefully throughout the discussion.
At one point in the inquiry, though, Brennan got a point across during Gowdy’s questioning that Gowdy likely did not intend to give Brennan the room to say. It was the most definitive statement that the former CIA director has made that he was “concerned” about “contacts” between Russia and the Trump campaign, although he stopped short of describing it as “collusion.”
Gowdy asked Brennan,
“Did evidence exist of collusion, coordination, conspiracy, between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors at the time you learned of 2016 efforts?”
“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US 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 whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals. I don’t know whether or not such ‘collusion’–that’s your term–such ‘collusion’ existed. I don’t know. But I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the Bureau to determine whether or not US persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials.”
Gowdy then pressed Brennan for more detail, asking, “What was the nature of the evidence?”
“That is something that is appropriately classified,” Brennan replied.
Gowdy repeatedly pressed Brennan for more details on this, especially asking him who the American individuals were that Brennan was concerned about, and what their relationship to the Trump campaign was. Brennan repeatedly refused to give Gowdy more information publicly. But the former CIA Director told Gowdy that the Committee has been provided documents detailing that information, and it has further access to more information by current CIA staff if necessary.
Watch CIA Director Brennan’s Exchange With Gowdy:
[brid video=”141825″ player=”5260″ title=”Brennan discusses interactions between Trump campaign and Russia”]
Featured image via MSNBC video; TP Clips/YouTube screencap