Brennan warned Russian against election meddling

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 USA election - whether it was created to support Trump or merely spur chaos and confusion in the election.

Former CIA Director John Brennan testified before a House intelligence panel that he called the head of Russia's federal intelligence service to warn about Russian interference in the 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. Brennan told senior lawmakers as early as last summer that the Russian operation was squarely created to support Trump.

Brennan said encountered evidence of contacts between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign, but would not say whether there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign or who those USA individuals involved in the Trump campaign were. 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.

Since that hearing, the chairman of the committee, Representative Devin Nunes, recused himself from the Russian Federation investigation after the House Committee on Ethics said it was investigating whether he made unauthorized disclosures of classified information.

USA intelligence agencies concluded in January that Moscow tried to tilt the November presidential election campaign in Republican Donald Trump's favor, including by hacking into and leaking the emails of senior Democrats.

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.

Also in that time, Trump fired Comey; the Department of Justice has appointed a special counsel to oversee the FBI's Russian Federation investigation; and a series of news reports have indicated that the president allegedly tried to rebuff the FBI's investigation, which some lawmakers have characterized as a potential obstruction of justice.

Dan Coats is testifying Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee.

On Monday, Mark Warner, the ranking Democratic member of the Senate intelligence committee left open the threat of holding former national security adviser Michael Flynn in contempt if he continues to withhold documents in response to a congressional subpoena.

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

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