Former CIA director worried about Russia, American contacts


Former CIA Director John Brennan offered testimony before the House Intelligence Committee Tuesday morning on Russia's interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee in an ongoing hearing that he warned Russia's intelligence chief against election meddling in a call on August 4.

Meanwhile, Brennan is also likely to face questions about a split among intelligence leaders last summer over the objective of Russia's meddling in the United States election - whether it was created to support Trump or merely spur chaos and confusion in the election.

Both Trump and numerous Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin, have repeatedly denied claims of alleged Moscow's collusion with the U.S. president's campaign, as well as of the Kremlin's interference in the 2016 USA election. Brennan added he didn't know if "collusion existed" between the Russians and those he identified as involved in the Trump campaign.

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This is a developing story.

The panel will get two cracks at Brennan - the first in public at 10 a.m. ET and the second behind closed doors - nearly two months after his first appearance was dramatically canceled amid the chaos sparked by House intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes' clandestine White House trip. The panel had sought a wide range of information and documents about his and the Trump campaign's contacts with Russians dating back to June 2015.

When asked whether Trump has made any efforts to enlist the support of intelligence officials to push back on Russian Federation collusion issue, Brennan stated, "I am unaware of it".

As Brennan answers House lawmakers' questions in open and closed sessions, the Senate Armed Services Committee will hear from Trump's top intelligence official, Dan Coats, and the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency regarding national security threats.

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House investigators are particularly interested in finding out more about how Russia conducted its election attacks inside the United States and who Russian spies attempted to recruit to their side, said a House intelligence committee source.

The Post, citing current and former officials, said Coats and NSA Director Mike Rogers refused Trump's request.

Brennan could shed light on concerns about the security risk posed by President Donald Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. The FBI is also conducting a counterintelligence investigation into Russian Federation and the Trump campaign.

The former FBI director was appointed last week to serve as special counsel overseeing a counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.

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Flynn's attorney, Robert Kelner, declined to comment on the new assertions by Cummings.