US Intel Chief: Collusion unclear but Russia, Trump contact alarming

The FBI investigation is now being overseen by a special counsel, Robert Mueller III, after Mr. Trump's firing of James Comey as FBI director raised questions about whether the president was trying to quash the probe into whether his associates had contacts with Russians.

While President Donald Trump is overseas, his presence looms large back in Washington, D.C.

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer). U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz waves after addressing the Utah GOP Convention Saturday, May 20, 2017, in Sandy, Utah.

Former CIA Director John Brennan is set to testify publicly about the intelligence underpinning the Obama administration's conclusion that Russian Federation interfered in the 2016 election and could shed light on concerns about the security risk posed by President Donald Trump's first national security adviser, Michael Flynn. Still, he stopped short of accusing the Trump campaign of collusion.

Both the Senate and the House intelligence committees are investigating Flynn and other Trump campaign associates as part of probes into Russia's election meddling. Tuesday's letter narrowed the scope of the documents the panel is seeking. Flynn had rejected the earlier subpoena for records as being so broad that providing them could make him vulnerable.

Brennan said it wasn't clear at the time if the Trump aides were acting as Russian agents or if the "contacts and interactions" were routine and unconnected to a larger effort by Russian intelligence agencies to influence the outcome of the 2016 election.

Despite the ongoing probe and reports this week that Trump urged intelligence officials to publicly deny the FBI was investigating him, the president remains focused on his trip and his domestic agenda, according to a senior White House official.

"By the time I left office on January 20, I had unresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the Russians had been successful in getting United States persons involved in the campaign or not to work on their behalf", he said.

Brennan said that he can not say definitively there was actual collusion.

KELLY: This phone exchange is significant because it demonstrates how alarmed officials inside the Obama administration were last summer two months before US intelligence put out a formal statement about Russian interference and five months before USA intelligence weighed in with the view that Russia had tried to tip the vote to Trump.

A statement from the White House said the hearing and Brennan's testimony "back up what we've been saying all along: that despite a year of investigation, there is still no evidence of any Russia-Trump campaign collusion, that the President never jeopardized intelligence sources or sharing, and that even Obama's CIA Director believes the leaks of classified information are "appalling" and the culprits must be 'tracked down'".

Coats told senators at a Senate hearing that it would be inappropriate to discuss private conversations he'd had with the president.

Dan Coats is testifying Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee. On Monday, in response to the Senate committee's earlier requests, Flynn invoked his constitutional right not to incriminate himself in regard to details about interactions between himself and the Russians.

Brennan called the appearance "despicable" and said that Trump should be "ashamed".

Mr Cummings asked the committee's chairman, Jason Chaffetz, to subpoena the White House for documents related to Mr Flynn.

Burr said the committee could recommend Flynn be charged with contempt of Congress for his refusal to comply with the original subpoena.

"Everything is on the table", Burr said. He also discussed his concerns about contacts between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation.

Mr. Brennan said he was concerned because of "known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals".

Brennan said he told FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov that "American voters would be outraged by any Russian attempt to interfere in the election" and that such activity "would destroy any near-term prospect of improvement" in relations with the United States.

Mr. Brennan, the former CIA chief, said in his testimony that the intelligence community determined by last August that there was a "very aggressive" effort by Russian Federation to intervene in the 2016 election.

He also says that before sharing such classified intelligence with foreign partners, the US would go back to the intelligence partner that provided the information to make sure what was shared would not compromise operatives.

Brennan said that while he was Central Intelligence Agency director he shared classified information with Russian Federation and other nations about threats related to terrorism.

"What I was very concerned the subsequent releases of what appears to be classified information purporting to point to the originator of the information, liaison partners", he added of the media reports that Trump allegedly shared classified intelligence he received from Israel. This type of information is typically shared in intelligence channels and not between the US president and foreign diplomats, Brennan said.

Recommended News

  • The Worst Tech Gadgets

    Take a look at some of them below. 2016 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 During the month of August 2016, Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was released. It was said to be capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D graphics, promising players they could enjoy their own private universe.
    Trump Doesn't Rule Out Trip to Western Wall With Netanyahu

    Trump Doesn't Rule Out Trip to Western Wall With Netanyahu

    He was expected to comment on the bomb blast at a concert in the British city of Manchester on Monday night that killed 22 people. What do the Israelis hope will come out of this visit? Trump realizes that, and so he's not coming here to start peace talks.

    Kevin Durant expects Kawhi Leonard to play in Game 3

    You can't sugarcoat it or say, 'If we had just made a couple shots, we'd have been right there.' That's pretty lame. Friday was the first time Leonard had spoken to the media since he re-injured his ankle in Game 1 .
  • Mid Transfer Window in IPL

    This move is hailed as a major boost to the IPL and will add value to the tournament helping the franchise model evolve. The transfer of a particular player will only take place if there is a demand from another franchise for the player.

    Trump to Russians, Comey a real nut job

    Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein told Congress on Friday he stands by a memo he wrote bluntly criticizing Comey. On May 10, the day after he fired Comey , Trump met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V.

    Israel in rare overture to Palestinians 'at Trump request'

    And it leaves open a slew of questions that Trump may be pressed to address while he is in Israel and in the West Bank. President Donald Trump has cast the elusive pursuit of peace between Israelis and Palestinians as the "ultimate deal".
  • Trump insists he 'never mentioned' Israel to Russians as source of intelligence

    Security was extremely tight for the Israeli leg of the visit, with police deploying some 10,000 officers. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

    Cloudcall Group PLC (CALL) Insider Purchases £10004.42 in Stock

    Aviva plc (LON:AV) has been assigned a consensus rating of "Hold" from the nineteen brokerages that are now covering the firm. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company.
    Justice Department orders tougher criminal punishments

    Justice Department orders tougher criminal punishments

    DOJ officials call it a "false narrative" and say unless a gun is involved, most of those cases aren't charged period. Now the MSM has gone into a tizzy and concentrated on drug offenses, but the memo does not mention drugs at all.
  • Lowe's results disappoint in contrast to rival Home Depot

    Lowe's results disappoint in contrast to rival Home Depot

    Year-to-date, LOW had gained 16.83% prior to today's report, versus a 7.86% rise in the benchmark S&P 500 index during the same period.

    American Medical Association: Millions could lose coverage in GOP health plan

    Ron Johnson, a Republican from Wisconsin, said. "The biggest most notable damage is these skyrocketing premiums". According to New Jersey Policy Perspective, MacArthur's district would be hit hardest by the Republican bill.

    GAME THREAD: Game 7

    The Ducks exorcised their home-ice Game 7 demons by beating Edmonton Wednesday; now it's time to deal with their Preds issues. Much like with the Ottawa Senators in the Eastern Conference, I've been wrong on Nashville in both playoff series so far.

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.