John Brennan, while serving as CIA director under former President Barack Obama, dismissed intelligence that Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win the U.S. presidential election in 2016, an ex-intelligence officer argued in an op-ed published on Wednesday.
Ignoring objections from CIA analysts, John Brennan, the CIA director turned NBC and MSNBC contributor, “suppressed” intelligence that Russian President Vladimir Putin favored Clinton, Fred Fleitz, who served as the White House National Security Council chief of staff in 2018, wrote in the editorial carried by Fox News.
Nevertheless, a bipartisan report issued by the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday backs the U.S. intelligence community’s assertion that Russia meddled in the 2016 election to help then-candidate Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton. American intelligence officials reached that conclusion during the Obama administration.
The Senate report ignored revelations recently declassified by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Inspector General (IG) that a Russian disinformation campaign attempted to tarnish Trump, the same man that intelligence officials and the Senate panel claim to be favored by Putin.
Fleitz, who has also worked for the CIA, the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Department of State, and the House Intelligence Committee, revealed in the editorial:
House Intelligence Committee staff members … told me there was conflicting intelligence evidence on Russian motivations for meddling in the 2016 election.
More gravely, they said that CIA Director Brennan suppressed facts or analysis that showed why it was not in Russia’s interests to support Trump and why Putin stood to benefit from Hillary Clinton’s election. They also told me that Brennan suppressed that intelligence over the objections of CIA analysts.
House Intelligence Committee staff told me that after an exhaustive investigation reviewing intelligence and interviewing intelligence officers, they found that Brennan suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election.
Instead, the Brennan team included low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards to support the political claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed. They said that CIA analysts also objected to including that flawed, substandard information in the assessment.
The DOJ has tapped Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham to conduct a review into the origins of the Russia collusion probe. Durham is reportedly looking into Brennan’s role in the collusion hoax.
Fleitz, currently serving as the president of the Center for Security Policy think tank, addressed the heavily redacted bipartisan Senate panel report in his op-ed.
The Senate report directly contradicted the 2018 findings of the investigation by House Intelligence Committee Republicans, who determined that the anti-Trump forces tainted the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia meddled in the elections to help Trump, Fleitz acknowledged.
According to the information declassified by the DOJ IG on April 15, Russian disinformation infected the infamous Democrat-funded dossier by former British spy Christopher Steele that fueled the collusion probe that attempted to render Trump’s election to the U.S. presidency illegitimate.
Nevertheless, the intelligence community insists that Russia, the same country that the DOJ IG found wanted to disparage the Trump presidency, also promoted his victory in 2016.
In January 2017, a U.S. intelligence community assessment concluded that Russia had interfered in the 2016 presidential election to help Trump win, a claim now backed by the Senate panel report.
However, Fleitz pointed out “that assessment supported the basic premise of the widely discredited Steele Dossier that, according to recently declassified FBI documents, contained Russian disinformation.”
President Trump’s Acting Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Rick Grenell is currently trying to determine the basis for the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia wanted to help Trump win the 2018 presidential election, he added.