tv Inside Politics CNN May 23, 2017 9:00am-10:01am PDT
comprehensive report. this report was produced in just 20 days in december. was there anything about this interagency process that delivered? the timeline, the approving process, the editing or the staffing. >> i think it followed the general model of how you want to do something like this with some notable exceptions. it only involved the fbi, nsa and cia. it wasn't a full interagency community assessments that was coordinated among the 17 agencies and for good reason. the nature and sensitivity of the information, trying to keep that compartmented. but in terms of the rigor and the sourcing and as you i think know in the classified version it's extensively [inaudible] it tried to adhere to the general standards. >> so at no point there was never an individual within the administration outside of the
cia, the fbi, the nsa or dni that reviewed, edited or was part of the staffing process? >> not to my knowledge. but i wasn't overseeing the production process and the review process. >> the dni was overseeing the production process? >> yes. it was a dni processed assessment. >> so it's unclear what the white house was part of the review or approval process from the knowledge you have? >> they naturally would not have been part of any type of review or editing process, no. >> what happened between december 29th, the date of the last information listed in the ica, and january 6 when the report was published? were there any additional eddits or approval process outside of the norm? >> i think those last few days were used to -- for the refined people worked over the holiday period. again, it was trying to make
sure that it could be provided to the former president and the current president in that first week of january. >> as we know from your testimony, the russian rule -- role of hacking was public lily acknowledged in 2016. why wasn't the assessment of these activities ordered until december? >> there were ongoing assessments that were done and as i mentioned in my opening testimony, it was used to brief the senior most government officials as well as to ensure that the fbi and dhs could do what they needed to do to protect the government institutions that were affected. and so again, there were periodic assessments as we're learning more through the process. it was additional detail. it also allowed us to note that we weren't seeing certain things that we were concerned about and so the intelligence community assessment that was done in december, published in january, was the culmination of the work,
the assessment, the collection that had taken place in the months before. >> for the record it's of concern to me that there was a two month lag for the administration to direct the dni to produce a comprehensive report when this was publicly acknowledged as an issue months earlier during the year. i want to touch upon the previous administration's actions on december 29th in response to the russian government's harassment of u.s. officials in cyber operations which declared persona non grata 35 russian intelligence operatives. did you recommend any action to the administration prior to december 29th or prior to the november election? >> i wasn't recommending. we had discussed what different options might be. >> so let me ask, did you
suggest or present different options prior to the election or prior to december 29th to the administration? >> that's something that could be discussed in the closed setting. >> thank you. my time is expired. or is about toch. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director brennan, i'd like to join my colleagues in thanking you for your years of service some of which we overlapped in the cia and i hope you are enjoying not getting late calls at night. you look fresh. my first question, and i apologize in advance for asking some questions about what did you know when at certain times. i have difficulty remembering what happened this morning. but nonetheless, i'll continue. in 2016 was collecting intelligence on foreign entities attempts to influence our election a collection priority?
>> when that was? >> last year, in 2016. >> it was a collection priority, yes. >> it was? so does that fall under the broader counter intelligence collection priorities of the cia? >> yes, counter intelligence as well as russia collection efforts. >> what is ops intel. >> it's operational intelligence that is not maybe formally disseminated as the intelligence community but it is something of operational value to, for example, an investigation. >> so prior to the full accounting that happened in december of 2016 of we're going to do a complete intelligence assessment, was there any ops intel that was used or changed into intelligence actually disseminated to the broader community during that
assessment? >> there was an effort to make sure that all relevant intelligence that needed to be tapped for the drafting of this intelligence assessment was made available to the appropriate individuals, yes. >> so is it your understanding that there was information that was in operational channels that wasn't available to the entire analytical community that was included in that december -- ultimately the report that was dated january 6? >> as the -- again, i would defer to the folks at the agency, that classified intelligence report is exceptionally well documented and sourced and just because something is produced as an intelligence report doesn't mean that it goes to everybody in the community. it is a recipient list and
depending on the sensitivity of the information, it is either broadly disseminated or narrowly disseminated. >> one of the issues that this committee is focused on is figuring out what was the u.s. government's response to these russian active measures, and what do we need to do to protect ourselves in the future. one of my concerns is did we escalate soon enough, quickly enough, did we notify those that were being targeted, do enough, and did we recognize the intelligence or the information that we had access to at the time that it was actually collected? and so my question is, knowing what you know now, would you have directed the cia to do things differently? >> i've asked myself that
question. i feel like we tried to do everything we could to fulfill our responsibilities which was to learn as much as we could about the russian efforts. we didn't know the extent of it. we had to be very careful about what we did so that we could protect certainly kpanlcapables the community as a whole as well as try to -- what was happening. kept the executive branch seniors informed. council informed, the gang of eight informed. and so 2020 hindsight is always, you know, a lot may be clearer to some folks. that's what i think this committee and the other committee and the senate is going to take a look at at. was it perfect? i don't think anything in this world is perfect but we tried to do the best job that we could. >> so are we -- is the intelligence community prepared or ready to counter covert action directed against us or direct measures as the russians like to call that?
>> how do we develop a strategy to counter covert action against us? and i only have seven seconds, so i know that's difficult. >> that's why it's easy for me to say in closed session. >> i do want to take this opportunity that i misspoke earlier in response to mr. gowdy. i was at ci ahead quarters on the morning of january 20th. i went there to collect some final personal materials as well as to pay my last respects to a memorial wall and i was there for a brief period of time and just to take care of some final things that were important to me. >> yes, sir. thank you. >> mr. brennan, thank you very much. we're at the end of our open hearing. our committee is charged with answering some really important questions. as some of my colleagues have said, the success, the ultimate success of the russian disinformation campaign lies with the american citizens and whether or not they're successful or not is up to us
and up to us as citizens to not let that happen. part of that is how well we inform them of what happened, where, when and all those kind of good things. thank you for being a part of that exercise this morning. we intend to have a close session that will start in about 30 minutes downstairs in the spaces. we've got sandwiches available if you like. with that we are recessed until we get the closed session downstairs. thank you very much. >> welcome to n"inside politics" you've been watching the c conclusion of lengthy house intelligence committee. john brennan testifying for several hours. note worthy testimony about intelligence, about possible collusion between trump associates. he was worried enough about that to pass it on the fbi saying it's the fbi's job to track the evidence to see if there's actual collusion. we're waiting on a number of breaking developments. the president of the united states landing in rome. nieves isreal this morning.
we'll watch the president land in rome. you see air force one right there. big meeting with the pope tomorrow. two men have differences on immigration, climate change and other issues, but the president continues his international trip. we're also waiting for an update in manchester england. concert hall attack by a suicide bomber. police briefing any minute. we'll take you live when that happens. discuss what we just heard. with us jackie kucinich, natalie, david, and laura meckler. listening to director brennan, i want to playoff the top of the republicans were trying to get him to say there was no evidence of collusion, that there might have been smoke, they might have seen some phone calls. repeatedly trey gowdy tried to get director brennan to say there was no solid evidence, but the director said something quite different. >> i encountered and am aware of information intelligence that
revealed contacts and interactions between russian officials and u.s. persons involved in the trump campaign that i was concerned about because of known russian efforts to suborn such individuals and it raised questions in my mind again whether or not the russians were able to gain the cooperation of those individuals. i don't know whether or not such collusion, and that's your term, such collusion existed. i don't know. but i know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not u.s. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with russian officials. >> correct me if i'm wrong, but that is the most detailed public accounting from somebody in a position to have known and seen the intelligence where he was essentially making the case i can't -- that's not my job.
the cia director is not my job to say it's collusion but it is my job to pass it to the fbi and he was making clear repeated contacts, conversations, et cetera, that he passed on, right? >> it's probably the biggest insight we've gotten to how this fbi investigation. it's been known that john brennan was convinced that russia was interfering in the election. here he was saying not that he had definitive proof but that he had some evidence that either americans, u.s. persons, were cooperating, colluding with the russians and he referred that to the fbi. again, the republicans tried to shake him off that but he was pretty consistent. >> that certainly wasn't the answer that gowdy was going for. over and over again. and it seems like brennan's answer to your point kept on getting more solid. and drilling down even more in fact that no, i was concerned about this. this happened. >> but the big question here is witting or unwitting.
we had a good sense from a lot of leaks so far that there were some kind of contacts. the question is were these trump people who were being approached, groomed, sort of figuratively speaking seduced, or were these people who were in on a conspiracy. and they were working with the kremlin. there is a huge difference between those two things. we didn't get a lot more clarity on that. >> if you think about how far our knowledge of this investigation has come in just such a short period of time where not that long ago we were talking about is there actual evidence? we know the russians wanted to influence the election, but were the trump people really involved, were they -- do we really have solid evidence of them talking with the russians. now we do. so it's advancing further and further. that's obviously a problem. so yes, we don't know the answers to these questions yet. and he was not super forthcoming about the details of what he -- the agencies had picked up. but i do think it's a big, big problem for the white house. >> you just heard the acting chairman. devin nunez is the chairman of
the committee, but stepped in on the part that relates to the russian investigation. nunez had to recuse himself. they're saying they'll tiake 30 minutes and go into a closed briefing. you have people like carter page associated with the trump campaign. hey, this guy talks to trump people, let's pay him money for a speech, let's find out what he knows, or were people like general flynn or someone else actively coordinating with the russians and say you have what on hillary clinton? you hacked what? could you release that here, here, here? were you working on the timing of the release and when it was done or what of those materials should be put out to the public. listen director brennan talked a bit about the key question, witting or unwitting. >> i was worried by a number of contacts that the russians had with u.s. persons and so therefore by the time i left office on january 20th, i had as to whether or not the y mind- russians had been successful in
getting u.s. persons involved in the campaign or not. to work on their behalf. again, either in a witting or unwitting fashion. >> so he's careful about the language there. but that is a key question of whether a couple of people either loosely or closely associated with trump was having business dealings through which they were having conversations or were they involved in the mechanics of how it worked out. >> i know how the russians work. i've seen this before. they try to get close to people. sometimes they use the third party. based on that knowledge i was worried about what was going on. it's true there's a key difference between witting or unwitting. it's not going to look great if members of the campaign was being unwitting used by the russians. not as bad as intentionally but not a great outcome. >> we don't know where it ends up going but we do know it was part of the president's frustration when he fired the fbi director because he didn't
like the way the investigation was going. there's been report and this will be the subject of director comey's testimony about whether the president asked him to shut down the mike flynn part of the investigation. the notes say he did. the white house says that conversation, the president himself said that conversation never happened. fascinating reporting, cnn has confirmed that the president doesn't like talk of this collusion. there's reporting that he went to mike rogers who heads the national security agency see and dan coats a pointed by trump to become the new director of national intelligence and asked them can you guys publicly say there was no collusion? you just heard from director brennan, former director, that he at least saw -- he said it's not his job to say that but he saw enough signs to refer to the fbi. listen to director coats today. he's up on capitol hill to discuss global threats but of course he was asked did the president pressure you to go public and say there's no smoke? >> i have always believed that given the nature of my position
and the information which we shared, it's not appropriate for me to comment publicly. >> not a denial. >> let me play a little csi in how washington works for those of you watching. he has every right to say i talked to the president of the united states about the most sensitive things in the world. therefore, i cannot start the process of discussing my conversations with the president of the united states. because if i answer on this question, you're going to ask me on that question. i get that completely. the president should be able to have private conversations on the most sensitive subject with his advisers. but if the conversation had never happened, he would not be discussing a conversation with the president. if he could have said that never happened, he wouldn't be violating an executive privilege. >> here's another reason why that story was so important. it makes this no longer president trump's word against james comey's word. this is -- it's not a he said, he said, he said. it's he said, he said the president said. the there were officials that
the president went to and asked to bury this and asked to clear the deck. that gives credence to whatever comey is going to say assuming that he does in fact testify. >> there was something neelse i that stair that has gotten less attention. "the washington post" reports that white house officials also contacted intelligence officials and asked them to lean on comey to drop the investigation into flynn. there is a plausible interpretation of trump's actions. clapper said something in a hearing a few months ago to the effect of i don't know of any investigation into donald trump. so he wants more people to say it. that sounds like obstruction of justice if the house is saying lean on comey. >> we'll come back to this conversation in minutes. now briefing outside the greater manchester police headquarters. >> there has been much speculation on the media and on social media as to the names of
some of the victims. i accept that some of this is an inevitable, i would ask people let us work with the coroner and with the families and make sure they are properly reported before we release the names of those that have suddenly lost their lives. as you would expect the police response across greater manchester has been significant as we help people continue to go about their daily business and lead their lives here in greater manchester. part of this response has seen us arrest a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack and we've also carried out two warrants, one in wally range and one in fal low field. the one in fallyfield did see us take a controlled to gain entry. that is something we were doing to obtain safe access and not to be concerned about. we understand feelings are very raw that and people are looking
for answers. however, more than ever it is vital that our diverse communities that make greater manchester such a strong place actually stand together and support each other as we will be doing in the vigil at 6:00 p.m. we will not tolerate hate towards any part of our community. should communities be suffering from hate crimes i would urge them to report it to us. this afternoon as you saw we were visited by the home secretary theresa may and the home secretary amber rud, both of whom were given a briefing about our ongoing operations and the investigation over today and the next few days. i can confirm that the man suspected of carrying outlast night's atrocity is 22-year-old salman abedi. however, he has not yet been formally named by the coroner and i wouldn't wish to therefore
comment any further about him at this stage. our priority along with the police and terrorist network and our security partners, is to continue to establish whether he was acting alone or working as part of a wider network. thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. >> chief constable walking away. let me bring to our conversation paul cruickshank. paul, let me start with you. not very much details. identifying the suicide bomber but saying until they get more from the coroner they're not going to say much about it. did you hear anything that helped you add any clues or point you in any direction? >> well, they're trying to figure out whether there was a wider network here and a key data point there is the fact there has been this one arrest
of a 23-year-old man in the area in connection with the attack. but after attacks we see numerous arrests, numerous raids and sometimes they don't end up in charges in connection with an attack. so we'll have to wait and see whether this individual that is in custody had any kind of relation. we'll have to see what they found at these various addresses that they have searched since the attack. this is a fast ongoing investigation. there's been a lot of forensic work done at the scene of the attack in terms of trying to figure out just how sophisticated the device was, just how powerful it was, what kind of bomb making chemicals were inside. and all of that provides clues about whether this was likely that individual acting alone or whether he might have been part of some wider network. the more sophisticated the device, the more powerful the
device, then the more likely it is that there would be overseas terror connections, training, and all that kind of stuff. because it's pretty tricky to make these kind of explosive devices from chemicals you can go and buy in your drugstore and your local hardware story. we've heard nothing yet from british officials to suggest that they have found any corroborating evidence whatsoever to isis's claim that this individual was a quote, unquote, soldier. they'll be looking at that careful ne the hours ahead. >> it's graduation season here. when we see this it's become all too common. showing up at a public place in a western democracy where things are relatively open, security can be good inside the a reapre.
but you can get close enough outside to do something like this. from a police practice, from a security standpoint, if there's somebody washing this show from california, do we do things differently here than they would in manchester england? >> not very differently. england has sort of counter terrorism and response capacity. you actually saw that last night in the works. they knew how to respond. you see that through most of these european countries that have had terrorist attack. but you just raised the ultimate point which is how do we make these areas safer? and i think safer is the right word. this notion that you can make these open targets safe, we just have to get out of our heads that part of the benefit of living in society like our system a certain amount of vulnerability. i don't say that cruelly. i'm a mother of three. so how to think about it is demand of government, you know, sort of layer defenses, layered security so that you can go to a concert, go to an open area with
some level of confidence. but also prepare ourselves and our children for what should happen on the other end. the cruelty of this for millions of reasons, but it certainly that after the attack, these are children that haven't cultivated response and resiliency skills and you have i may have had being a little bit older. so the traumatic impact of that moment let alone trying to get out, they will have for a long time. and so we need to prepare our children in terms of communication, active shooter protocols, all the stuff that we hate thinking about. but have to in a world in which you are never going to get the vulnerability to zero. >> former fbi supervision or, special agent also joins the conversation. to the point paul was discussing earlier, this happened last night. they've identified the suicide bomber. take us through what's happening in terms of now that they've identified the bomber, try to find out who his friends are, but sort of the intelligence gathering or the evidence
gathering i assume involves everything from friends, family, jobs, internet connections, member of any groups. take us through all that. >> absolutely. now i think the intelligence services in the uk and in europe and even in the united states are digging into what they have about salman abedi, about his connections, the fact that he's libyan. is there a connection in libya and with whom? is there connection with isis or is it section with islamist groups like the libyan fighting groups who operate under al qaeda. they look into his social media presence, his cyber footprint. they collect dna evidence, cctv camera inputs. they look into friends and family. i am sure that they already probably conducted a search into his apartment. they talked to family and friends. they see what inspired him to conduct that attack.
was he connected officially to a terrorist organization or elsewhere or was he inspired by family and friends, maybe by friends who already went to conflict zones in libya or in syria or in iraq or in yemen. i think they will be looking into all these kind of pieces of evidence and putting the puzzle together in order to get a better idea, in order to get a more factual reasons behind the attack and to determine if it was really a lone wolf or he is connected with others. as we know from many of the lone wolf attacks we've seen in europe, they were not really alone in a way that they were connected to people either in their own neighborhoods or in their own country or through cyber connections with people in raqqa or mosul who inspired them or instigated them or who
requested them to conduct the specific terrorist attacks. >> and paul, as we get more details, an 8-year-old girl among the familiars, an 18-year-old woman. sadly when we look at the age the suicide bomb ner in his 20s i'll ask if it surprises you. as we learn about people who went to camps to train and part of an army. now more and more when you have these horrific incidents and you get to who's the perpetrator, 22, 23 is not a surprise, is it? >> it's not a surprise that they're very young people getting involved in isis, terrorism isis inspired terrorism. we've also seen people who are older get involved as well. that westmister attack on the bridge with the car back in march was in his 50s. and so what we see really are a
whole range of ages of people getting involved in this. unfortunately to some degree this has become a social movement. there's a radicalized community out of that. who reinforced each other when they interact in person or online. isis is calling on them to stay home. they're saying don't come to syria. don't come to iraq. don't come to libya. stay right there and carry out attacks there. we'll reach out to you through smartphones, through encrypted apps on smartphones. those have revolutionized terrorist attack plotting, john, because they have allowed terrorist groups to communicate in real time with sympathizers, with operatives back in the west, back in europe providing them with bomb making instructions, with encouragement. it's like an umbilical cord. unfortunately for all the money
the united states spends on the nsa, for all the money britain spends on gchq, these services we're trying to intercept all these communications and to e end -- means these groups could community in a large degree in secret with sympathizers and operatives back in the west. west intelligence services, they need to know who they're dealing with, if they're going to try to target some of these phones and extract some messages after they've been decrypted by the devices in question. so much more challenging now for security services to intercept these plots. >> senior international correspondent nic robertson is at 10 downing street. a challenge for theresa may in the metsiddle of an election campaign. is she expected to attend a vigil we were expecting at the top of the hour? >> yes, she is expecting to attend the vigil campaigning for the election which is about
three weeks away. has been suspended. that's been agreed across the political parties. the police chief has now named the attacker, salman abedi. 22 years old. the coroner had not done a formal identification but theresa may gsaid the attacker was known to the police and intelligence services. now we have a name. that should provide certainly through open sources a degree more information about who this man was. of course the police will have used that information already. what she has learned, what the prime minister has learned while she's been in manchester from her briefings with the police, from her visit to the hospitals there, the children's hospital included, we don't know all of that yet. she'll be back here in london in a few hours behind the doors of number 10 chairing another of her security cobra cabinet briefing sessions where she'll
have her intelligence chiefs, police chiefs, defense chiefs, other senior cabinet members to bring together all those pieces of information. of course this british brprime minister was the home secretary here. that is the person responsibility for security within the country. she will be very well acquainted. perhaps more than any other member of her cabinet. more so than perhaps any other mp. best acquainted with how intelligence services and police operate in these situations. she is a detail oriented prime minister and she will undoubtedly want to stay across the detail on the nuances and have a very clear and strong hand in directing where things go and what's done from here on out, john. >> nic robertson, stand by. you've seen the
. they're reminding him of what they've done in the past and determining that will be part and perhaps a shifting part of their focus in the future. nevertheless the threat from russia on the of is another clear and present danger. that will be on the table. in nato it will on the table as well at the g7. >> nic robertson at 10 downing -- the police in man chess identifying the suicide
bomber. we're going to take a quick break. we'll be back in just a moment. did you know 90% of couples disagree on mattress firmness? enter sleep number... she likes the bed soft. he's more hardcore. you can both adjust the bed for the best sleep of your life. save $700 on the temperature balancing i8 bed. go to sleepnumber.com for a store near you. and it's also a story mail aabout people and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you dearthere's no other way to say this. it's over. i've found a permanent escape from monotony. together, we are perfectly balanced, our senses awake, our hearts racing as one. i know this is sudden,
welcome back. if you're watching with us, president trump just landed in rome moments ago. a vatican meeting with pope francis is the main event tomorrow. those two leaders, big difference of climate change. the israeli palestinian conflict was earlier. the president traveled to bethlehem earlier today. his public remarks touchdown on an issue that was raised more pointedly in their private talks. >> peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated. funded and even rewarded. we must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single unified voice. >> before flying to rome the president concluded his trip to isreal and the palestinian territories with a stop back in
isreal at the holocaust memorial. >> and i had a meeting this morning with president abbas and can tell you that the palestinians are ready to reach for peace. i know you've heard it before. i am telling you that's what i do. they are ready to reach for peace. and my meeting with my very good friend benjamin, i can tell you also that he is reaching for peace. >> god bless him. i mean that genuinely that he's trying. but is there -- do we see any substance behind this optimism? he is friends with mr. netanyahu. when president obama was not. so if you're asking for a personal favor or a little extra personal space, perhaps this president has it in a way the prior president didn't. but whether it's the issue of the palestinians stopping these payments, having the political courage and the space to come to
the table or the prime minister stopping settlement construction, dealing with his very tight coalition within isreal, having the political courage and the political space to come to the table, is that there beneath the president's effort which is to be applauded? >> i don't think we're getting any indication that it is. there's a little bit of a pattern of the administration coming in and talking optimist cally, having high hopes, getting credit for their big aspiration and then they hit against the reality of the middle east. mr. abbas raised both of those in his talks. it's great people are speaking positively but ultimately there's no real sign that any of these things have changed. there's another point to be made which is that even if somehow mr. abbas and mr. netanyahu were to agree they have followers who would not necessarily agree. the issue of terrorism and the settlements have gotten harder. you can't criticize them for getting positive statements. whether it really means that this is different and that we're
on the cussp of peace is something we're on the -- >> trump could approach this in a different way. nothing here so fore has worked so maybe he could. i do think that whether -- if and when there is peace between the israelis and palestinians have more to do with them than us. they can both come there and say they're reaching for peace and he's off to rome. the ones who live there have to live with the decision. i don't think i've seen either side is willing to make the tough decisions, to sell the tough decisions to their people that need to be done in order to bring them together. i think that this is -- >> frankly we haven't seen any evidence that the president's skill set in business have transferred to politics in any way, shape or form. he barely helped get health care through congress.
those are a group of people in theory that should listen to him. when he says this is what i do, oh, that's what you did. we haven't seen evidence you do this now. >> are we going to see jared kushner shuffle diplomacy. bill clinton tried for years and years and thought he was right and it collapsed at the last minute. it takes a lot of work. >> it aches a lot of work and even donald trump after coming into the office said things this isn't so hard, i think i can do it. now more recently is saying things of who knew that this was so hard. and complicated. and when he first came in office we saw a lot of talk, heard a lot of talk about jared kushner being the peace maker, the outsider who will come in as part of his portfolio with five world projects, hearing a little less about jarred's role. reality is settling on them. for someone like donald trump who is not an expert on the region, they always say we want
peace. the concern that this is a naive reaction. boy, they both told me they want peace. they've been saying that for years. the gap is still really wide. >> this is one of those things that again applaud the effort and check back in three months, six months, nine months, see if there's about any process. there's no process at the moment. when we come back, more on the former cia director john brennan pressed on whether this collusion between the trump campaign and the kremlin. more on the very interesting answer next. no, not that. straight talk wireless let's you keep your phone, number and 4g lte network for a lot less, with the bring your own phone activation kit. it's time to ask yourself... why haven't i switched? unlimited talk, text and data for forty-five dollars a month, no contract. straight talk wireless. only at walmart.
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both get what you want every night. enter sleep number and the semi-annual sale going on now. sleepiq technology tells you how well you slept and what adjustments you can make. she likes the bed soft. he's more hardcore. so your sleep goes from good to great to wow! only at a sleep number store. oh, and right now it's our lowest price ever on our temperature balancing i8 bed. save $700. go to sleepnumber.com for a store near you. by a number of contacts that the russians had with u.s. persons. and so therefore, by the time i left office on january 20th, i had upresolved questions in my mind as to whether or not the russians had been successful in getting u.s. persons involved in the campaign or not. to work on their behalf either in a witting or unwitting
fashion. >> important testimony earlier today from the former director of the central intelligence agency john brennan. he's now a private citizen but he was there at the end of the obama administration when they started investigating. first the idea of the issue of russian meddling and then came across what director brennan says. not my job, that's the fbi's job. why is that testimony so important as we now move into the, a, continuing congressional investigation but also special counsel? >> i mean, i think we understand now, you know, what the meat is bloo behind this investigation. there's two things happening at the same time. there's the actual substance of the russian meddling, did campaign officials get involved and this is essentially gives us the -- some understanding of why the fbi started to investigate in the first place. at the same time you have a separate investigation going on about or inquiries going on about did trump try to shut it down. those two things are happening at the same time. today has been more evidence about trump's interference and
more at least known to the public but this is the substance of it all. >> there's also this point going forward, which is going to be this complex dance that's about to start happening between the congressional investigation and the special counsel investigation. we see that more and more as they want to talk to the same witnesses, get the same documents. bob mueller is not going to want congress to look at the same thing. witnesses are saying i'm already talking to special congress, i'm not talking to congress. that will be a complexity. >> to that .1 of the people whose contacts with the russians they want more information is michael flynn. who yesterday told the senate intelligence committee no. they had asked for a bunch of documents, subpoenaed a bunch of documents. which is not done anything wrong. we're told the committee later today will announce its next step as that investigation continues. the thing i took away from brennan is republicans, especially those in the trump white house have tried to say yeah, we had a bunch of meetings. they were about building relationships. they might have been about
somebody's business deal, but it wasn't about the campaign. brennan seemed to give as much as he could in public weighed to the idea that these contacts, no, i saw the intelligence and i was worried. it's more than that. the tied keeps rising. even donald trump's own rhetoric, he set the bar pretty high. rush is fake news. i have nothing to do with russia. treats the whole thing like there's nothing there. and through leaks and now increasingly through very credible public testimony from the highest levels of government, these allegations are getting more and more substantiated and it's really doing a lot of damage to the donald trump team. >> it's going to be with us for some time. dealing with the breaking news. wolf blitzer up in the chair after a quick break. to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you
i'm wolf blitzer. thafrp thanks for joining us. we're watching two developing stories in manchester england. right now people are gathering in the heart of the city to honor the victims of the terror attack. children are among the 22 people who died in an explosion just outside the crowded area, an ariana grande concert. dozens others are injured, many of them in very serious condition. now police have just released the name of the man they believe carried out the attack.