Former CIA officer and National Security Council Chief of Staff Fred Fleitz said Wednesday, April 22, that former CIA Director John Brennan dismissed intelligence that Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win the 2016 presidential election.
In an op-ed published on Fox News, Fleitz addressed a report released Tuesday from the Senate Intelligence Committee that supports the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to help then-candidate Donald Trump defeat Hillary Clinton.
Fleitz argued the Senate committee reports ignored that the intelligence community assessment violated protocols. He said the assessment was done by only three close associates of Brennan who he called “the most politicized intelligence chief in American history,” adding that Brennan’s team did not allow dissenting views or annex reviews by outside experts.
“The Senate Intelligence Committee report falsely claims that ‘all analytical lines are supported with all-source intelligence’ and that analysts who wrote the intelligence community assessment consistently said they ‘were under no politically motivated pressure to reach specific conclusions,’” he wrote.
Fleitz noted that the Senate report contradicts March 2018 findings of the House Intelligence Committee led by then-Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), who he found “credible, aggressively researched, and soundly analyzed.”
Fleitz said House Intelligence Committee staff members told him that there is ample evidence that Russia may have interfered in the 2016 election, but not necessarily in favor of Trump.
“More gravely, they said that [then-] CIA Director John 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,” Fleitz said.
The Senate committee released the document in a highly edited form that does not include any revelations recently declassified files released by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) inspector general that point to a possible Russian disinformation campaign that attempted to tarnish Trump.
In April 2019, Nunes sent a notification about eight criminal referrals regarding the Trump-Russia investigation to the Justice Department. He revealed on Fox News this week that one of the several criminal referrals had to do with the intelligence community assessment. He added that it focuses on “whether or not intelligence was manipulated for political purposes.”
Nunes said he plans to send more criminal referrals following the DOJ declassification related to FBI’s reliance on British ex-spy Christopher Steele’s unverified anti-Trump dossier, adding that there is still more “critical information” hiding from public view.