Jonah Bennett, DCNF
Retired Army intelligence officer Tony Shaffer alleged Monday that CIA Director John Brennan is playing political games via a secret CIA assessment stating Russia interfered with the election to support GOP President-elect Donald Trump.
Speaking to WMAL radio Monday, Shaffer claimed that the secret CIA assessment, obtained by The Washington Post and described in an article last Friday, is a product of Brennan’s loyalty to President Barack Obama, The Washington Examiner reports.
“This is purely political, and I believe that John Brennan is a political animal,” Shaffer said. He added he has been talking with former CIA officials about the report. “Everything they are telling me is Brennan is doing this out of loyalty to President Obama.”
“It’s about undermining Trump, that’s what it is,” Shaffer said. “It’s called information operations, information warfare, and that’s what I believe is going on.”
In an interview Sunday, former CIA Director Michael Morell also backed the secret CIA assessment of Kremlin-backed interference in the election, claiming the Russian plot was the “political equivalent to 9/11.” The Russians weren’t just involved in the Democratic National Committee hack and the breach of former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, but have been much more broadly involved in trying to influence the outcome of the election, according to Morell.
In August, Morell endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for president and stated that “Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security.”
While the FBI has stated the CIA’s assessment could be true, there isn’t enough evidence — at least to satisfy the FBI, which generally has stricter standards, as it’s often involved in gathering evidence later leading to criminal prosecution. A U.S. official told USA Today, however, that there have been some differences in ascribing weight to various motives.
Some sources told NPR that the CIA may not want to share sources or methods used in coming to the conclusions it has, which may be another reason for the disagreements.
Since the picture is still murky, three Senate committees have been tasked with getting to the bottom of foreign meddling claims in a bipartisan manner.
The Obama administration, too, has requested a review of influence attempts. This review must be completed by Jan. 20, before Trump takes over the White House.
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