Former DCIA Brennan, he who voted Communist in 1976, has been testifying about "Russian influence" in the House today.
At about 31:00 here, Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) starts to build his question, mentioning the "Russian playbook," how Russians try to build relationships, especially with influential Americans, and how that's one of the things the CIA is looking out for.
Wenstrup continued: "So I'm just trying to understand process here a little bit, what sets up a red flag, what type of conversation do you hear that says, hmm, maybe we need to take a little bit further look into this, or refer it on.
Wenstrup then harkened back to the previous election when a hot mic picked up That Exchange between President Obama and President Medvedev. The congressman related the two famous lines.
Obama: "This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility."
Medvedev: "I understand. I'll transit this information to Vladimir, and I stand with you.*
In fact, the full script was far more patently collaborative:
Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defence, this, this can be solved but it's important for him to give me space.
Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you …
Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.
Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir [Putin]...
Wenstrup: "Now you talk about the playbook, sounds like "I stand with you" -- that's pretty strong relationship -- this is certainly an influentional American, and we're talking openly about elections. So again, I'm just -- I'm not trying to launch another investigation here, but I am concerned about the process. So you weren't sitting as the director at that time, but ... that's a pretty disturbing image, I think, to a lot of Americans. ... So would you question this interaction, or that type of conversations taking place? And again, I'm just trying to understand process, of how it moves from CIA to FBI to DOJ.
Brennan: "That was a direct conversation between the heads of government and state between two countries. I'm, I'm not going to respond to your --"
Wenstrup: OK, but I think that's what we're [talking about]. Im just again trying to get some understanding of what sets off a red flag, you know, and when do you refer to law enforcement -- I know you weren't the director at that time, um, but, boy, that just hits all the things you were talking about in the playbook: elections, influentual American, and building a relationship ... That's interesting you can't respond to a personal conversation, but this what what we're talking about.
Brennan: I try to avoid getting involved in political issues, partisan issues, and so with respect, Mr. Wenstrup, I just will not recognize that question.