Former CIA Director John Brennan testifies Tuesday — on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and Russia's use of "active measures" — before the House Intelligence Committee. Brennan is also expected to be questioned about the many leaks regarding national security issues since President Trump took office.
Watch the livestream here from PBS NewsHour:
In his opening statement, Brennan recounted how he had briefed congressional leaders in August of last year, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees about the "full details" of what he knew of Russia's interference in the 2016 election. Brennan said he became convinced last summer that Russia was trying to interfere in the campaign, saying "they were very aggressive."
Brennan said encountered evidence of contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons involved in the Trump campaign, but would not say whether there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign or who those U.S. individuals involved in the Trump campaign were.
On another question, Brennan criticized President Trump's reported sharing of classified intelligence with Russia officials. Brennan said if reports were accurate, Trump violated "protocols" by sharing the information with Russia's foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S.
Brennan led the CIA during the Obama administration from 2013-2017. Prior to that, Brennan was a top counterterrorism and homeland security adviser to President Barack Obama.
Tuesday's public hearing represents an effort by the House Intelligence Committee to get its Russia investigation back on track after political squabbling and concerns about information-sharing between its chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., and White House aides sidelined the committee's work. After pressure from Democrats, Nunes has turned over leading the committee's Russia investigation to Rep. Mike Conaway, R-Texas, who is also a CPA.
Following Brennan's public testimony Tuesday morning, he will testify in a closed-door session. His testimony comes a day after former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn refused to hand over documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating Russian interference in the election, in response to a congressional subpoena from that committee. Flynn cited his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.