A senior Republican congressman called for an investigation into whether the head of the CIA leaked to the media while withholding from Congress the agency’s findings that Russians used hacking in an attempt to help Donald Trump win the presidency.
“We have supposedly [CIA Director] John Brennan leaking information to The Washington Post, to a biased newspaper like The New York Times — findings and conclusions that he’s not telling the [House] Intelligence Committee,” said Rep. Peter King of New York in an interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week.”
King, a former chairman and current member of the House Intelligence Committee, was referring to news stories on Dec. 9 that cited either unnamed officials or intelligence sources and did not name Brennan as a source.
“There should be an investigation of what the Russians did, but also John Brennan and the hit job he seems to be orchestrating against the president-elect,” Donald Trump, King said.
“I’m not saying it didn’t happen,” that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump. “I’m just saying we’ve been given no evidence on it, when we have these stories mysteriously appearing in the newspaper,” King said.
A Democratic congressman, California Rep. Adam Schiff, his party’s senior member on the House Intelligence Committee, pushed back against the criticism of Brennan over the information about the Russian hacking.
“He has done a remarkable job at the agency,” Schiff said on “This Week.” “I don’t think he’s trying to politicize this in any way.”
Schiff continued, “I do think there’s a consensus among the top leadership in the intelligence community, not only of who was responsible [for the hacking], but why. And I think when the review is released by the administration within the next two or three weeks, I think the American people will see that.”
The California Democrat also cautioned that it is “deeply damaging” to the country for Trump to continue casting doubt on the capabilities of the intelligence community over Russia’s election-related hacking.
“For the president-elect to continue to give the Russians deniability is deeply damaging to the country,” Schiff said. “He is doing damage to himself and to his ability to lead the country when he becomes president. We are going to have a national security crisis at some point. It may be very early in the administration or it may be later but it’s going to come and he is going to need to rely on the intelligence community.”