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Tag: John Brennan

Ex-CIA Boss Brennan: Russia May Have Compromising Information on Trump

Former CIA Director John Brennan on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Former CIA Director John Brennan said Wednesday that he suspects Russian may have compromising information on Trump, a claim that set of a storm of speculation about whether Brennan was acting on a hunch or inside information.

Brennan, who led the CIA from 2013 to 2017, said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that Russians “may have something on him personally” when asked if he believed Trump was afraid of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“The Russians, I think, have had long experience with Mr. Trump, and may have things that they could expose,” he said.

Brennan was still running the CIA when a salacious dossier suggested the president may be vulnerable to blackmail because of compromising information Russians had on Trump.

Brennan’s interview came a day after the president ignored his advisers and congratulated Putin on his election victory.

Trump also has refused to criticize Russia for meddling in the presidential election, even after the president finally acknowledged the Kremlin’s involvement in a smear campaign against Hillary Clinton.   

Why Jared Kushner May Become Key Focus of Trump-Russia Investigation

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

Jared Kushner. Photo by Lori Berkowitz Photography, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

When the CIA director began to notice in the spring of last year that the Russians were trying to influence the presidential election, Donald Trump’s son-in-law and top advisor Jared Kushner met with senior Russians.

Now the FBI is focusing on a series of those meetings held by Kushner, who investigators believe may be key to helping them understand if the campaign was colluding with the Kremlin, The Washington Post reports. 

In a hearing on Russia on Tuesday, former CIA Director John Brennan explained why he was worried about collusion.

“Having been involved in many counterintelligence cases in the past, I know what the Russians try to do,” Brenna said. “They try to suborn individuals, and they try to get individuals, including U.S. persons, to try to act on their behalf, either wittingly or unwittingly. And I was worried by a number of contacts that the Russians had with U.S. persons.”

As Brennan kept watch, he was alarmed by the number of people tied to Trump meeting with the Russians. They were Michael Flynn, now-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, former campaign manager Paul Manafort and Kushner, among others.

Since April 2016, Kushner met at least twice with the Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak.

And that is why Kushner has caught the attention of investigators.

Ex-CIA Director: Russia May Have Recruited Trump Aides to Influence Election

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies during Tuesday's congressional hearing. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies during Tuesday’s congressional hearing. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former CIA Director John Brennan said publicly for the first time that he suspected the Russian government may have successfully recruited aides from Donald Trump’s campaign to help influence the 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,” Brennan told members of the House Intelligence Committee. “It raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”

But Brennan said he left office in January before having enough evidence to determine “whether such collusion existed.”

Members of the House Intelligence Committee during the Brennan testimony. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

Members of the House Intelligence Committee during the Brennan testimony. Photo via U.S. Capitol.

Brennan, who served as CIA chief during the Obama administration from 2013-2017, said he briefed congressional leaders in August about the “full details” of his suspicions that Russia was trying to influence the presidential election.

“They were very aggressive,” Brennan told lawmakers.

Brennan also criticized Trump for recently sharing classified information with Russian officials, describing the leaks as “very, very damaging … and I find them appalling and they need to be tracked down.”

The hearing, which was ongoing when this story was published, is intended to dig up information about the investigation into possible collusion between Trump’s team and Russia.

After the hearing, Brennan will meet with lawmakers behind closed doors to provide information he couldn’t in the open session.

Watch the testimony here.

CIA Director: I Was a Supporter of Communist Party in Mid-1970s

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA Director John Brennan revealed that he was once a communist sympathizer in the mid-1970s because he was disgusted by Watergate and the political landscape that helped produce it.

Brennan was in college at the time and voted for Communist Party nominee Gus Hall, New York Magazine reports. 

By 1980, Brennan said he was no longer a Communist sympathizer and realized that capitalism was a far better system.

Brennan said he “froze” when he was taking a polygraph test when entering the CIA.

“This was back in 1980, and I thought back to a previous election where I voted, and I voted for the Communist Party candidate.”

Brennan added, “I said I was neither Democratic or Republican, but it was my way, as I was going to college, of signaling my unhappiness with the system, and the need for change. I said I’m not a member of the Communist Party, so the polygrapher looked at me and said, ‘OK,’ and when I was finished with the polygraph and I left and said, ‘Well, I’m screwed.’”

Despite his past, he received national security clearance.

Other Stories of Interest

CIA Director: No Evidence Saudi Arabia Officials Helped 9/11 Terrorists

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA Director John Brennan said there’s no proof to support claims that the Saudi government or officials supported the Sept. 11 attacks.

In an interview with al-Arabiya, Brennan was addressing the yet-to-be-released 28 pages of a congressional investigation into the 2011 attacks, the New York Post reports. 

President Obama said all or most of the report will be released as early as this month.

Brennan said the 9/11 Commission found there was no evidence to point to Saudi complicity.

“Subsequently the Sept. 11 commission looked very thoroughly at these allegations of Saudi involvement, Saudi government involvement and their finding, their conclusion was that there was no evidence to indicate that the Saudi government as an institution or Saudi senior officials individually had supported the Sep. 11 attacks,” Brennan told al-Arabiya, the Saudi-owned broadcaster, on Saturday.

“Indeed, subsequently the assessments that have been done have shown it was very unfortunate that these attacks took place but this was the work of al-Qaida, (al-Qaida leader Ayman) al-Zawahri, and others of that ilk,” said Brennan, who called Riyadh a strong U.S. partner in fighting terrorism.

Other Stories of Interest

CIA Director: Missing 9/11 Report Pages Contain ‘Inaccurate’ Information

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA Director John Brennan said Sunday it would be a mistake to release 28 classified pages from the 9/11 Commission report because they contain unveiled, inaccurate information.

“This chapter was kept out because of concerns about sensitive methods, investigative actions, and the investigation of 9/11 was still underway in 2002,” Brennan said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Releasing the information also would help unfairly characterize Saudi Arabia as being involved in the terror attacks, Brennan said.

“I think there’s a combination of things that are accurate and inaccurate [in the report],” Brennan said. “I think the 9/11 Commission took that joint inquiry and those 28 pages or so and followed through on the investigation and then came out with a very clear judgment that there was no evidence that … Saudi government as an institution or Saudi officials or individuals had provided financial support to al Qaeda.”

The 28 pages were removed from the report in 2003 because of national security concerns raised by the George W. Bush administration.

Other Stories of Interest

CIA Director Says His Agency Would Not Resume Torture, Despite GOP Rhetoric

CIA Director John Brennan

CIA Director John Brennan

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA Director John Brennan said on Sunday that his agency would not resort to torturing terrorism suspects despite rhetoric from GOP presidential hopefuls Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

“I will not agree to carry out some of these tactics and techniques I’ve heard bandied about because this institution needs to endure,”Brennan told NBC News.

Trump and Cruz have advocated using waterboarding and other torture techniques against terrorism suspects.

“If they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding. You have to get the information from people,” Trump said after the Brussels terrorist attacks.

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders said they would not resort to torture.

When asked about waterboarding Sunday, Brennan responded, “I would not agree to having any CIA officer carrying out waterboarding again.”

CIA Director: ISIS Has Become Bigger Threat Than Al-Qaeda

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

CIA Director John Brennan told NPR that ISIS is a bigger threat than al-Qaeda.

In the interview, Brennan also said may stay with the agency if a new presidential administration supports him at the helm.

Listen to the interview above.

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