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Report: CIA Memo Decries Congress' Ignorance of 'Importance, Gravity' of Russia Meddling

Report: CIA Memo Decries Congress' Ignorance of 'Importance, Gravity' of Russia Meddling
Former CIA Director John Brennan (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

By    |   Friday, 25 August 2017 07:16 AM

Then-CIA Director John Brennan reportedly complained last December the members of Congress briefed about Russia's interference in the U.S. election did not "understand and appreciate the importance and gravity of the issue."

BuzzFeed News, which said it obtained the Dec. 16, 2016, memo as part of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the CIA and other intelligence agencies, reported Brennan did not disclose the lawmakers who were skeptical about the CIA's assessment — but cited three unidentified sources saying the rebuke was directed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas.

"In recent days, I have had several conversations with members of Congress, providing an update on the status of the review as well as the considerations that need to be taken into account as we proceed," he wrote in the memo.

"Many — but unfortunately not all — members understand and appreciate the importance and gravity of the issue, and they are very supportive of the process that is underway."

The U.S. intelligence community released a report in January concluding Russian officials sought to operate a hacking and influence campaign to swing the U.S. election in favor of then-candidate Donald Trump.

Four congressional committees are now investigating Russia's role in the presidential election and ties between Trump's campaign and Russian officials.

In a separate memo Brennan sent CIA employees Dec. 13, 2016, after details about the secret CIA assessment leaked to the media, he slammed the "named and anonymous sources" in news reports who dismissed the value of intelligence and "impugn the integrity of intelligence officers," BuzzFeed News reported.

Just five days earlier, President Elect Donald Trump's transition team ridiculed the CIA's conclusions and belittled intelligence officers, BuzzFeed News noted.

Trump himself, in an interview with Fox News, said of the CIA's conclusion: "I think it's ridiculous. I think it's just another excuse. I don't believe it."

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Then-CIA Director John Brennan reportedly complained last December the members of Congress briefed about Russia's interference in the U.S. election didn't "understand and appreciate the importance and gravity of the issue."
memo, cia, collusion, election meddling
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2017-16-25
Friday, 25 August 2017 07:16 AM
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