Former CIA Director John Brennan testified before the House Oversight Committee. He faced two main lines of questioning (neither of which was how the CIA’s agent network in Communist China was thoroughly rolled up while he was CIA director because accountability is subjective these days): was there collusion between members of the Trump campaign and Russia and if, to his knowledge, Trump had tried to stop any inquiries.
First up is Trey Gowdy.
Transcript via Daily Caller:
Gowdy asked Brennan if he had seen any evidence of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between Donald Trump and Russian actors.
Brennan responded that he had seen information about contacts between Russian and US actors that led him to believe the matter should be investigated further by the FBI, but declined to say whether or not he saw direct links between Trump and Russia.
“I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and US persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians…that served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion, cooperation occurred,” Brennan explained.
Gowdy, still unsatisfied, responded, “well, there are a bunch of words that start with ‘C’ floating around.”
“I asked you about collusion, coordination, and conspiracy, and you used the word ‘contact,’” Gowdy said. “…Contact could be benign or not benign. So was it contact you saw…what was the nature of what you saw?”
“I saw interaction,” Brennan said. “But I don’t know. I don’t have sufficient information to make a determination whether or not there was cooperation or complicity or collusion.”
This hand-off to the FBI took place around July 2016. If there hasn’t been a determination at this point over collusion there will never be one.
An equally interesting exchange was between Adam Schiff and Brennan.
SCHIFF: In respect to a number of allegations made recently that the president of his aides may have sought to enlist the help of members the IC [intelligence community] or Director Comey himself to drop the Flynn investigation. Have any members of the IC shared their concerns that the president was attempting to enlist the help of people within the intelligence community to drop the Flynn investigation?
BRENNAN: I am not aware.
So no one in the NSA or DNI told Brennan–the guy who has been leading the charge against Trump since early November–that Trump had asked Mike Rogers and Dan Coats for public assurances there was no collusion with Russia but they did tell one or more “former officials” who leaked the story to the press.