Former CIA chief says he warned Moscow over election hacking

The Senate committee asked Flynn and three other Trump campaign associates for documents, including lists of meetings he had with the Russians during the campaign.

Information for this article was contributed by Matthew Rosenberg, Adam Goldman and Matt Apuzzo of The New York Times; by Chad Day, Stephen Braun and Eric Tucker of The Associated Press; and by Karoun Demirjian of The Washington Post. Brennan says he told the head of the FSB that if Russian Federation continued to interfere, it would backfire and prevent any warming of relations.

Brennan's August 2016 brief included House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees.

The Justice Department says Robert Mueller's work at a law firm that represented relatives and associates of President Donald Trump does not disqualify him from overseeing an FBI investigation into possible ties between Trump's presidential campaign and Russian Federation. Now that Trump has been widely rebuked for firing Comey and for other actions relating to the Russian Federation investigation, if the president crosses a line, he knows what he's doing. Ultimately, it led the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to oversee the agency's probes into the Trump administration. Bortnikov, Brennan said, denied any active efforts in the election.

Meanwhile, a Senate committee issued two additional subpoenas to businesses of ousted Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, one of several key figures in the Russia-Trump campaign probe, and sent a letter to his lawyer questioning his basis for claiming a Fifth Amendment right not to provide documents. Russian intelligence operatives won't identify themselves as Russians or as members of the Russian government; they will try to develop personal relationships with individuals and then over time, they will try to get those people to do things on their behalf, said Brennan.

"I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and USA persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals", Brennan testified before the House Intelligence Committee.

"I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and USA 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.

Dan Coats, the current US director of national intelligence, declined to comment Tuesday on a Washington Post report that said the president had asked him to publicly deny any collusion between Russian Federation and Trump's campaign. Trump has defended his disclosure, saying he had the right to share the information.

Federal inquiries have focused for some time on Page, who was the subject of a secret warrant previous year issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, based on suspicion he may have been acting as an agent of the Russian government.

"I believe I was the first USA official to brace the Russians on this matter", he told the committee. Such classified intelligence is not shared with visiting diplomats, but can sometimes be shared through intelligence channels, he said.

"It should be clear to everyone Russian Federation brazenly interfered in our 2016 presidential election process and that they undertook these activities despite our strong protests and explicit warning that they do not do so", Brennan said.

"Trey Gowdy tried hard to separate Trump from two other categories of "persons" w/contact with Russian intelligence".

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.

Several months after that meeting, in January of this year, a declassified USA intelligence report was released which found that Putin "ordered" a campaign to influence the election in an attempt by Russian Federation to "undermine public faith in the US democratic process". "They continue to be very, very damaging leaks and I find them appalling and they need to be tracked down".

  • Zachary Reyes