Former CIA Director Brennan: Russia May Have Successfully Recruited Trump Campaign Aides
Despite attempts from Trump apologists to hand wave this way ‘noting to see here’-and the false claim that Brennan says there wasn’t collusion his testimony made it pretty clear this was not what he said.
True he didn’t see smoking gun direct evidence but:
1. He’s in the CIA which doesn’t talk about evidence but intelligence
2. He was gone post January 20.
No matter what his testimony certainly didn’t tap down concerns-quite the opposite.
“Brennan: Russia may have successfully recruited Trump campaign aides.”
“The former CIA director also says the FBI probe into whether Russia meddled in the election is ‘well founded.’
“Former CIA Director John Brennan said on Tuesday that he had concerns that Russian officials may have successfully recruited aides from Donald Trump’s campaign to help in the Kremlin’s efforts to influence last year’s presidential election.”
“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,” he told lawmakers. “And it raised questions in my mind again whether or not the Russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”
A key distinction that Brennan makes is that someone can be an unwitting recruit of Russia. Like Carter Page for instance, clearly is.
Indeed, I’ve remarked a few times in the past that Page’s somewhat euphoric looking expression is reminiscent of Brody in the TV show Homeland-about the CIA’s part in the war on terror.
Brody was not a Russian recruit he was a recruit of Al Qaeda after being held as a POW by them for four years. When he came home he consciously believed himself the same dedicated Marine who loved his country he always had been. But in time you’d see that he was an unconscious recruit who later engaged in a shocking act of terrorism.
Trump too sort of acts as if he could be an unwitting recruit. The constant praise of Trump, the unwillingness to criticize, his latest handing over of Israeli intelligence in the Oval Office, ‘Russia if you’re listening’, etc.
Back to Brennan:
“His remarks, before the House Intelligence Committee, are the most direct acknowledgment yet by a current or former U.S. official that Russia sought to recruit Americans to help in its effort to affect the 2016 contest. The remarks also further complicate matters for President Donald Trump, who has dismissed the investigations into Russia’s election meddling as a “witch hunt.”
“Brennan said that by the time he stepped down as CIA director on Jan. 20, “I had unresolved questions in my mind about whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting U.S. persons, involved in the campaign or not, to work on their behalf, again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion.”
“He said he believed the FBI’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow is “certainly well founded and needed to look into these issues.”
Well founded and there needs to be a look into these issues.
Regarding the point about being an unwitting Russian agent, Josh Marshall pointed to this quote by Brennan.
“As a young analyst, I wouldn’t have had direct interaction with Andropov. But I have studied Russian intelligence activities over the years and I’ve seen it manifest in many different of our counterintelligence cases and how they have been able to get people, including inside the CIA, to become treasonous. And frequently, individuals who go along a treasonous path do not even realize they’re along that path until it gets to be a bit too late. And that’s why, again, my radar goes up early when I see certain things that I know what the Russians are trying to do, and I don’t know whether or not the targets of their efforts are as mindful of the Russian intentions as they need to be. ”
There’s a lot interesting about this paragraph, for starters, it mentions what we were discussing above-that a recruit can be unwitting. But Brennan also uses the T word-treason.
When Democrats and Trump haters have used it the Trump apologists, the anti anti Trump, and the MSM have tended to dismiss it. But now you have Brennan, formerly Director of the CIA saying it.
House Democrat-the ranking minority member on the House Intelligence Committee:
Today, former CIA Director Brennan testified he was aware of interactions between Russians & Trump campaign that warranted referral to FBI: pic.twitter.com/8n6y29NvlU
— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 23, 2017
None dare call it treason. Until now.
P.S. As we saw in my poll out last week, the long awaited poll results are in, and right now I’m just 11 points down vs. Peter King (GOP-NY-District 2). And the voters don’t even know who I am yet.
There is nothing more important in getting answers to Trump-Russia collusion than a Democratic House in 2019. Please donate to help me in my part of the effort to fight for a Dem House.
Thank you. We must have a Dem House. And so, we will.