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Former CIA chief Brennan ‘knows of no collusion’ between Trump campaign and Russia

Director of the Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan makes a point while he holds a rare news conference at the CIA Headquarters in Virginia December 11, 2014. Brennan said on Thursday some agency officers used "abhorrent" methods on detainees captured following the September 11 attacks and said it was "unknowable" whether so-called enhanced interrogation techniques yielded useful intelligence. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS) - RTR4HOR7

It is now becoming boringly predictable, but Obama’s CIA’s chief John Brennan is just the latest in a seemingly unending series of US officials who is unable to cite any evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

In evidence to the Senate Intelligence Committee Brennan said “I don’t know that such collusion existed”.

This admission is important since by general agreement Brennan and the CIA were the branch of the US intelligence community who were most aggressive in arguing the case for Russian meddling in the US election.

The media’s response to this comment of Brennan’s is fascinating, and says everything that needs to be said about the whole Russiagate scandal.

CNN may serve as a good example. Here is what it has to say about Brennan’s evidence

Former CIA chief John Brennan offered a frank assessment of Russia’s aggressive approach to meddling in the 2016 election and, in the process, complicated President Donald Trump’s attempts to cast the whole thing as fake news.

This Brennan quote, in particular, is damning:
“I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals. It raised questions in my mind about whether Russia was able to gain the cooperation of those individuals.”
Now, as Republicans on the committee were quick to note, Brennan wasn’t saying that he believed that the Trump campaign actively colluded with Russia. 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.”
No one — or very, very few people — are alleging that there is any evidence at this point that proves collusion between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian intelligence operatives. What most people — including the vast majority of Democrats — are saying is that there is enough smoke here that a serious investigation needs to be launched into whether there is a fire somewhere.
(bold italics added)
This is actually quite extraordinary.  Brennan – the former Director of the CIA – admits that he “knows nothing” of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.  However this is treated as less important than Brennan’s “concerns” about “contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign”, even though there is no reason to think these “contacts and interactions” were anything other than innocent and innocuous.  Note that Brennan does not say they were not, and his “concerns” are based on no evidence of wrongdoing, something which we know Brennan doesn’t have because on his own admission he has none.
As for CNN, it admits that “no one – or very, very few people – are alleging that there is any evidence at this point that proves collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia.
In other words the entire investigation is based not on evidence – even that a crime was committed – but purely on speculation and gossip, following the long discredited principle that there can be “no smoke without fire”.
What makes this even more preposterous is that it is the media and Donald Trump’s enemies in the intelligence services who in the absence of evidence are generating all the “smoke”.
On the strength of this speculation and gossip – of all this “smoke”, which is all there is – five investigations are underway, four by various committees of Congress and one by the FBI, US citizens have been placed under surveillance and their reputations have been publicly trashed, a Special Counsel has been appointed, the President’s National Security Adviser and the chair of the House Intelligence Committee have been forced to resign, the Attorney General has recused himself, the FBI Director has been sacked, and the media has been writing about little else for months.
I have never in my life come across an investigation launched purely on the strength of speculation and gossip, and which continues to be pursued so relentlessly and so publicly and with such ruinous consequences despite the fact that 9 months after the investigation was launched there continues to be a complete absence of evidence to justify it.
All I can say is that the US must be a very rich country if it can afford to fritter away its time and resources in this senseless way.

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