Former CIA director John Brennan testified in front of the House Intelligence Committee this morning, during which Benghazi inquisitor turned Russia apologist Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) tried his damnedest to get the sound byte that embattled President Trump wants so very badly – an on the record declaration of his innocence.
Perhaps looking to score some brownie points with a President who was just busted begging senior intelligence officials to lie for him and clear his name, Gowdy threw all his cards on the table and tried to win big.
Needless to say, it did not go as planned.
Gowdy couldn’t have fished harder if he was standing waist-deep in a swamp with his hand in a bucket of worms:
“Did evidence exist of collusion, coordination, or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors at the time you learned of 2016 efforts to meddle with the election?”
CIA Director Brennan proceeded to take the bait and then dragged the Republican down under the proverbial waters with him:
“I encountered and was aware of information and 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 … 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.”
Far from refusing to exonerate Trump, Brennan confirmed what we’ve all known for months – that there is enough evidence of communication and possible collusion between Trump campaign officials and agents of the Russian Federation to warrant further investigation.
look on Gowdy's face when he realizes he wishes he hadn't asked Brennan if there was Trump/Russia collusion pic.twitter.com/gDjbBZNfsQ
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) May 23, 2017
It is also the first time a U.S. official has publicly acknowledged the connections between Trump’s team and the Russian Federation on the record and under oath – which will undoubtedly be of great interest to Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, whose investigation is just getting underway.
Instead of delivering the vindicating clip for Trump to blast out on Twitter and for FOX News to play on repeat for the next three months, Gowdy just helped dig Trump’s political grave even deeper.
Watch it here:
Transcript courtesy of the fine folks @ Wonkette, who honestly have a much better headline for this article
Opinion columnist and former editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.