Former CIA Director John Brennan, right, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, May 23, 2017, before the House Intelligence Committee Russia Investigation Task Force.
Former CIA Director John Brennan, who testified before Congress on Russian interference in the US election Tuesday, said that intelligence revealed contact between Russian officials and people involved with the Trump campaign.
Flynn's attorneys had argued the request was too broad, saying if he complied, he would effectively be providing testimony that could be used against him.
Brennan was testifying Tuesday before the House intelligence committee about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
Former CIA director John Brennan told lawmakers Tuesday Russia had "brazenly interfered" in the 2016 presidential election and that he became concerned a year ago that the Russian government had attempted to influence people involved in President Donald Trump's campaign to act on Russia's behalf.
Brennan said that he can not say definitively there was actual collusion. Only that, again in his words, "I saw interaction that in my mind raised questions of whether it was collusion.It was necessary to pull threads".
Brennan also addressed news reports that Trump, in an Oval Office meeting this month with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador, shared highly classified information provided by a U.S. ally about an Islamic State group plot to bring down civilian airliners with bombs hidden in laptop computers.
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.
Attorneys for Michael Flynn say that a daily "escalating public frenzy against him" and the Justice Department's appointment of a special counsel have created a legally unsafe environment for him to cooperate with a Senate investigation.
The former FBI director was appointed last week to serve as special counsel overseeing a counterintelligence investigation into Russian interference in last year's presidential election.
Brennan said, however, that he has not seen direct evidence to support that there was any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, whether wittingly or unwittingly.
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In a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday, Sen.
A day earlier, Flynn had invoked his constitutional right not to incriminate himself in response to the Senate committee's request for details about interactions between him and the Russians.
He left his position at the WilmerHale law firm, whose clients include former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, Trump's daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Cummings' letter came the same day Flynn declined to provide documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, citing his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination.
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein said Flynn's move was "unfortunate but not unexpected" and the committee would gain information in other ways. Everything but immunity, he added.
"I was anxious by a number of the contacts that the Russians had with USA persons", he said.
"It should be clear to everyone that Russian Federation interfered in our 2016 presidential election process", Brennan said in testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, which is investigating possible collusion between Russian Federation and President Donald Trump's campaign.
Reuters reported last week that Trump's fired former national security adviser Michael Flynn and other advisers to Trump's campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the presidential race. He said he told Bortnikov that Russian interference "would destroy any near-term prospect of improvement" in the relationship between the USA and Russia.
Brennan said Russia was motivated to back Donald Trump in the presidential election because of a "traditional animus" between Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin. The president reportedly shared intelligence information from Israel about ISIS to the Russians.
But Coats did say he has made clear to Trump's administration that "any political shaping" of intelligence would be inappropriate.
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.
I know there was sufficient basis in intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether US persons were actively conspiring and colluding with Russian officials.