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Brennan Pushes ‘National Security Crisis’ as New Reports Undermine Narrative

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A claim by former CIA Director John Brennan that Russia is working to engineer President Donald Trump’s re-election has been torn to pieces by multiple reports.

“We are now in a full-blown national security crisis. By trying to prevent the flow of intelligence to Congress, Trump is abetting a Russian covert operation to keep him in office for Moscow’s interests, not America’s,” Brennan wrote in a Twitter post on Thursday in connection with a story in The New York Times that Russia is meddling in the 2020 presidential campaign on behalf of Trump.

The Times article reported that members of Congress were told Russia was working to support Trump and that Trump was irate with Adm. Joseph Maguire, who has now been replaced as director of national intelligence, for briefing Congress about the allegations.

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Jake Tapper of CNN pushed back against the narratives of Brennan and the Times in a series of tweets.

“A national security official I know and trust pushes back on the way the briefing/ODNI story is being told, and others with firsthand knowledge agree with his assessment,” Tapper wrote.

Tapper’s tweets quoted the source as saying, “What’s been articulated in the news is that the intelligence community has concluded that the Russians are trying to help Trump again. But the intelligence doesn’t say that.”

Instead, the House briefing by Shelby Pierson, the top intelligence official in charge of elections oversight, said Russia “developed a preference for Trump. A more reasonable interpretation of the intelligence is not that they have a preference, it’s a step short of that. It’s more that they understand the president is someone they can work with, he’s a dealmaker. But not that they prefer him over Sanders or Buttigieg or anyone else. So it may have been mischaracterized by Shelby,” Tapper wrote that he was told.

Tapper’s tweet said that his source told him “both Democrats and Republicans were challenging this at the briefing.”

Tapper also said Trump was irritated not that Maguire briefed members of Congress, but that Trump got the news second-hand.

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“The President was upset that he had to hear about an intelligence conclusion from a Member of the House Republicans rather than from the intelligence community. So he was out of joint with Maguire on that process,” Tapper quoted his source as saying.

Former Fox News and current CBS journalist Catherine Herridge wrote on Twitter that there was no evidence of any actions by Russia to support Trump.

“Source familiar w/house briefing @CBSNews says briefers pressed for evidence to back up claims Russia “trying to help POTUS in 2020.” Asked if there was signals intelligence – such as phone intercepts or “SIGINT” – to back up claims, source said briefers had none to offer #DNI,” she tweeted.

Are you tired of pundits trying to say the president is working for Russia?

The allegation came as a report in The Washington Post claimed that the campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont has been told by federal officials that “Russia is attempting to help his presidential campaign as part of an effort to interfere with the Democratic contest.”

The Post said the real interest of Russia is “in sowing division in the United States and uncertainty about the validity of American elections.”

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