Brennan: Trump And Russia Raise 'Unresolved Questions'

May 25, 2017, 07:54

Mr Bortnikov twice denied Russia had interfered with the election but said he would carry Mr Brennan's message to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump vehemently denies any collusion and says he is the victim of an unprecedented witch hunt.

According to the Times, some Russians boasted about how well they knew Flynn, who was subsequently named Trump's national security adviser before being dismissed less than a month after the Republican took office.

Because Russia uses intermediaries and other measures to disguise its hand, "many times, (US individuals) do not know that the person they are interacting with is a Russian", Mr Brennan said. It wasn't clear if Mr Manafort or Mr Flynn were directly influenced by Russians, or if Russians attempted to do so.

"What struck me...is that the US government was concerned enough last summer about Russian interference in the election that they had the Central Intelligence Agency director make contact with his Russian counterpart and tell them to stop", Morell said Wednesday. He said this was cause for concern "because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals, and it raised questions in my mind, again, whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals". Even now, he added, Russian Federation is watching Washington closely in order to exploit the situation and further partisan animosity. The Russians were also confident that Mr Manafort's past business ties to Viktor Yanukovych, the former pro-Moscow president of Ukraine, could be used to shape Mr Trump's thinking.

The former acting attorney general, Sally Yates, previously told Congress that the Justice Department was concerned that Mr Flynn was compromised by the Russians and could be vulnerable to blackmail as Mr Trump's national security adviser because of misleading statements he made to vice president Mike Pence about his communications with the Russian ambassador to the US.

The leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday they would subpoena two of Flynn's businesses after he declined to hand over documents in its separate Russian Federation probe.

White House national security adviser, and Carter Page, who served briefly in the Trump campaign as a foreign policy adviser had also received similar letters.

In testimony, Mr. Brennan explained the basis for the Federal Bureau of Investigation counterintelligence investigation that was opened after the election, which is looking at potential collusion between the campaign and Russian Federation.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats told a Senate panel on Tuesday he would not comment on the reports.

Brennan told the House intelligence committee on Tuesday that Russian Federation has used intermediaries to work with the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy group. Brennan's comments raise the possibility that the FBI is investigating whether Trump campaign officials were essentially tricked by Russian Federation into helping them, which is safe to assume is not a possibility Trump wants out there.

"I believe it hurts our country terribly, because it shows we're a divided, mixed-up, not-unified country", Trump said at a luncheon with a group of television news anchors.

In his congressional testimony, Brennan discussed the broad outlines of the intelligence, and his disclosures backed up the accounts of the information provided by the current and former officials.

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