Ex-CIA chief was concerned about Trump, Russia

On another intelligence matter, Brennan said that while he was CIA director he shared classified information with Russian Federation and other nations about threats related to terrorism.

Here are the top five things we learned.

"I saw interaction that in my mind raised questions of whether it was collusion", Brennan told Rep. Trey Gowdy, saying that he supported the Federal Bureau of Investigation digging further. He refused to name names, but that statement alone was enough.

Former US CIA director John Brennan said today that he personally warned the head of Russia's intelligence service past year that Moscow's interference in the US election would backfire and damage the country's relationship with the United States.

Under questioning from Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., Brennan said the Russians have been trying to disrupt Western elections since the 1960s, and that they've quickly adapted to the times.

Later, Gowdy followed up, asking, "Did evidence exist of collusion, coordination, conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors?"

He said he raised published media reports of Russian attempts to meddle in the election with the Russian official, who denied any involvement by Moscow.

At a separate hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday, Coats, who was appointed by Trump, sidestepped questions about the Post report.

"Mr. chairman, as the president's principal intelligence adviser, I'm fortunate to spend a significant amount of time with the president discussing national security interests and intelligence as it relates to those interests".

Coats did open up in one exchange, too, when he was asked to talk about the situation hypothetically. He said any information that is shared also needs to be cleared by the agency where the intelligence information originated.

Al Jazeera's Kimberly Halkett, reporting from Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, quoted Brennan as saying there was sufficient evidence to warrant the many investigations taking place right now.

"Any political shaping of that content would not be appropriate", he testified. But he said if reports are true that Trump shared information with Russia's Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at a White House meeting on May 10, it would have violated two protocols.

At that same hearing, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said that Moscow's leaders "must be congratulating themselves for having exceeded their wildest expectations with a minimal expenditure of resource", a reference not only to the outcome of the 2016 race, but the chaos that has characterized the early months of the Trump administration. Burr says the committee is "very specific" about what it's asking in an attempt to pressure Flynn to turn over documents.

Asked repeatedly whether he had seen evidence of collusion, he stressed that the CIA's business was intelligence rather than evidence and he could not make that judgment.

Yes, but I don't want to take this out of context.

"The experts provided regular updates and assessments through the summer and fall, which we used to inform senior USA officials, including President Obama", he said. It is when it's in the context that there's something else going on.

A victim of Russian interference?

Brennan did not single out anyone, but his comments were an apparent reference to the Trump campaign.

"Having been involved in many counterintelligence cases in the past, I know what the Russians try to do".

Trump's public approval ratings dropped to a new low in Reuters/Ipsos poll data released on Tuesday, with 37 percent of USA adults surveyed approving of the president while 57 percent disapproving.

"I know what the Russians try to do". Russian Federation has since repeatedly denied any interference in the election. "There is a process that we go through, to my understanding we have not initiated that".

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