Ex-CIA Chief Endorsed Steele Dossier to Set Russia Probe in Motion - Woodward

© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteCIA Director nominee John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. File photo
CIA Director nominee John Brennan testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. File photo - Sputnik International
Former Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan reportedly endorsed the dossier claiming Donald Trump engaged in urination orgies at the Ritz Carlton in Moscow despite the fact that Washington Post, Politico and others in the media refused to publish anything about the dossier for want of corroboration.

Brennan put his stamp of approval on the dossier in December 2016, Watergate reporter Bob Woodward writes in his new book, "Fear." Brennan claimed it lined up with his own analysis, according to the author, that then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with Moscow to steal the election from Hillary Clinton, whose campaign considered "Because it's her turn" as a campaign motto.

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Brennan wrote an op-ed carried by the New York Times last month saying that Trump's assertions of "no collusion" with Moscow are "hogwash." Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, found it remarkable to hear that Brennan was sure there was "collusion," Sputnik News reported.

"Director Brennan's recent statements purport to know as fact that the Trump campaign colluded with a foreign power. If Director Brennan's statement is based on intelligence he received while still leading the CIA, why didn't he include it in the Intelligence Community Assessment released in 2017? If his statement is based on intelligence he has seen since leaving office, it constitutes an intelligence breach," Burr said.

Brennan doesn't know if Trump-Russia collusion happened

If Brennan did have "the goods" showing that Trump and Moscow colluded, he refused to tell lawmakers while under oath during testimony before the House of Representatives.

Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) asked the former spy chief whether the CIA had evidence of Trump-Russia collusion or not in a May 2017 House Intelligence Committee hearing. "Did evidence exist of collusion, coordination, conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors?" Gowdy asked.

"I don't know, whether or not, such collusion — and that's your term — such collusion existed. I don't know," Brennan fumbled.

BuzzFeed News published the golden showers dossier in January 2017 and acknowledged that the dossier was not only unsubstantiated but contained several factual errors, Sputnik reported. Other media outlets knew of the document but declined to publish such serious allegations that could not be verified.

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It's not clear that Brennan was not instrumental in the domestic political consequences of the document, which earned its authors millions from the Clinton campaign. The attorney defending US President Donald Trump in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe called Brennan the "quarterback" in the dossier scandal, primarily because he gave the unverified document to then-Senator and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). That transfer set in motion the entire mechanism of the "phony" Russia probe, Rudy Giuliani said August 14.

"Unless he's the biggest idiot intelligence agent that ever existed — although he never really did much intelligence work — it's false. You could look at it [the dossier] and laugh at it," the former mayor of New York City.

Former CIA director was Russiagate ‘ringmaster'

"The CIA director couldn't himself go public with his Clinton spin — he lacked the support of the intelligence community and had to be careful not to be seen interfering in US politics. So what to do? He called Harry Reid," Kimberly Strassel wrote in a July 19 column for the Wall Street Journal.

According to Strassel, Brennan is an instrumental "ringmaster" in the Russiagate circus.

Woodward's new book hit shelves Tuesday. A spokesman for Brennan disputed Woodward's assertion in comments to the Washington Times Wednesday, saying that Brennan dismissed the document and worked to keep it from being included in the US assessment of alleged Russian interference in the election, as it "wasn't corroborated intel."

Woodward's woes

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Brennan is not the only US official to challenge his depiction in the book — US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly have both denied statements attributed to them by Woodward. And Woodward himself has faced claims that he made inaccurate or downright false statements in nonfiction works. Among other controversies, the characterization of "Deep Throat" has been challenged, his book about the life of actor and comedian John Belushi was slammed by many of the star's confidants, and his description of the deathbed confession of a former CIA director was called impossible by the director's daughter.

Trump reiterated his consistent denial of collusion on Wednesday by citing a statement from Sen. Burr.

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