August 18, 2018

Rachel Maddow asked former CIA director John Brennan, "As far as you know and as far as you can tell us, is there a financial component to that that may be helpful in terms of understanding the scale of the crime?"

"We know the Russians have used financial transactions in previous efforts overseas to influence the outcome of elections, and I talked about this with Jim Comey quite a bit to make sure that our radar and antenna were up in terms of what types of monies might be moving as part of this Russian effort." Brennan said.

"Maybe they were not at all, in fact, connected with the campaign. but, you know, the term 'follow the money' is very, very important one whether you're pursuing some type of counterintelligence operation. So, I wouldn't be surprised at all if the special counsel has uncovered a number of those or some financial transactions that do speak to Russia's efforts."

"One last very specific thing to ask you," Maddow said. "You were CIA director through the election and through the transition your last day and ended at noon on Inauguration Day. "There have been published reports that some of the Russian influence from the Russia campaign were campaigned for a new purpose during the transition, once Trump was elected and serving president-elect and standing up to the new administration.

"Published reports that during the transition, Russian efforts were redirected to try to sway the selection of some of the president-elect's cabinets. Specifically, basically, the Russians repurposed to Mitt Romney and cheer lead for the eventual choice Rex Tillerson. You were CIA director at the time those things were allegedly happening. Can you comment on that at all?"

"Influence American politics in the aftermath of the inauguration on January 20th of 2017 did not stop with election day in November. They continued throughout the course of those months between election day, Inauguration Day. In order to do whatever they could to ensure that whatever happened in American politics in 2017, 2018 and beyond was going to be as favorable to them as possible," Brennan said.

"Director Brennan, I just want to underscore one point that you made in our initial segment which is you said you are considering the possibility of legal action?" Maddow asked.

"It would be with the eye towards preventing this type of abuse by Donald Trump in the future, not to reclaim mine," Brennan responded.

"This is the first time in 38 years I haven't had a security clearance. I am very concerned about the future day to be a part of this community that kept this country, this wonderful country strong and safe and i don't want to ever allow a politician or someone in the Oval Office to just so cavalierly toss around security clearances. I will fight on behalf of those who still have their clearances."

"Director Brennan, I have disagreed with you publicly and privately on a number of serious policies, I look forward to talk about this, too. For all my disagreements, I have profound respect for your service. Thanks," Maddow said.

Can you help us out?

For nearly 20 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit, but now Facebook is drowning us in an ocean of right wing lies. Please give a one-time or recurring donation, or buy a year's subscription for an ad-free experience. Thank you.


We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service for information on our posting policy.