by WorldTribune Staff, May 24, 2017
Former CIA Director John Brennan said he was “aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions” between the Trump campaign and Russia but said he did not know whether there was any collusion between the two.
The ex-CIA chief, who served under former President Barack Obama, told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on May 23 that the CIA first asked the FBI last summer to investigate alleged contacts between Russian intelligence officials and Trump campaign officials.
Brennan is known to be an apologist for the Islamic faith and was an open supporter of Hillary Clinton’s campaign even in the conduct of his official duties at the CIA, according to reports in the British press and American Spectator.
Though pressed on several occasions in his testimony Tuesday, Brennan provided few details on the intelligence related to alleged Russian recruitment attempts against Trump aides, who he described as “U.S. persons.”
Related: ‘Brennan of Arabia’: Emerging truth on the Russia-Trump narrative stranger than fiction, April 20, 2017
“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 whether or not the Russians were able gain the cooperation of those individuals, ” Brennan said.
“I don’t know whether or not such ‘collusion’ existed. I don’t know,” he added. “But there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation to determine whether U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials.”[According to a report by the Washington Free Beacon, Brennan, a career CIA analyst, was considered among the CIA’s more liberal directors. As a student he voted for a Communist Party USA candidate for president, Gus Hall, during the height of the Cold War. He voiced worries the vote for a communist president would disqualify him from a job in the CIA when he joined in 1980.]
Brennan testified that he knew the names of the “U.S. persons” but declined to provide them during the public hearing. He also did not describe the nature of the intelligence on the Americans.
“I felt as though the FBI investigation was certainly well-founded and needed to look into those issues,” Brennan said.