Robert OBrien says he has not seen manifestation Russia is boosting Trump but seizes on report Moscow is backing Bernie Sanders
Donald Trump’s national defence adviser has said he has not” seen any intelligence that Russia is doing anything” to get the president re-elected, but also seemed to accept reports that Russia is backing Bernie Sanders in the Democratic primary.
In response, one senior Democrat threw the” politicisation of intelligence” by the Trump administration and said Robert O’Brien should “stay out of politics”.
O’Brien’s claim, in an interview with ABC’s This Week, came at the end of a week in which it was reported that US officials briefed the House intelligence committee that Russia was again trying to help get Trump elected.
Reports of Trump’s fierce action were followed by the departure of Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national ability, and his permutation by Richard Grenell, formerly ambassador to Germany and a Trump loyalist. The chairman has tweeted extensively on the subject, accusing Democrats and the media for” disinformation hoax number 7 “.
It was also reported this week that Trump, congressional chairmen and Sanders himself were briefed that Moscow was reproducing another tactic from 2016 and backing the Vermont senator.
Sanders told Russia to stay out of US referendums, then won convincingly in Nevada.
O’Brien said Russian endorse for Sanders would be” no bombshell. He honeymooned in Moscow .”
Sanders has described a 10 -day visit to the then Soviet uppercase in 1988 as” a very strange honeymoon “. O’Brien was reproducing a line used by Trump at expedition events.
Speaking to CNN’s State of the Union, Chris Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat on the Senate foreign relations committee, said O’Brien had made a ” political declaration” and as national protection adviser should “stay out of politics”.
Asked if he had seen analysis showing a Russian aim in its referendum intervention tries was to help the president, O’Brien said:” I have not seen that, and … the national security adviser get pretty good access to our ability. I haven’t seen any knowledge that Russia is doing anything to attempt to get President Trump reelected .”
O’Brien said he was not making a distinction between receiving actual knowledge textile and understanding analysis of it.
” No, I haven’t seen any intellect on that ,” he said.” And I haven’t seen any analysis on that .”
He also said Grenell and CIA director Gina Haspel had not seen such textile and bickered:” President Trump has rebuilt the American armed to an extent we haven’t seen since Ronald Reagan. So I don’t think it’s any astonish that Russia or China or Iran wanted to go mortal other than President Trump .”
Murphy countered that it” would be able to intellect” that Russia” craves Trump elected because he has been a gift to Russia. He has essentially relinquished the Countries of the middle east to Russian interests, he has accomplished more in weaken Nato than Russia has in the last 20 years and he continues to effectively deny that they have an ongoing political functioning here in the United Nation that by and large is an attempt to support Donald Trump .”
US intelligence concluded that Russia ran interference exertions through the 2016 election, aiming to boost Trump against Hillary Clinton and fuel disagreements in US society.
Trump has scorned such conclusions, including reputation with the Russian governor in Helsinki in July 2018 and saying:” I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia. I will say this. I don’t see any reason why it would be .”
O’Brien, Trump’s fourth national security consultant, is a lawyer and former hostage delegate who according to a New York Times report flows National Security Council rallies that include printouts of presidential tweets. Like the president, he said reports about the House briefing were based on discloses. Speaking to reporters on Sunday as he left Washington for a see to India, Trump alleged House intelligence chair Adam Schiff of divulging the information about Russia and Sanders. He also said he had not been briefed about the Sanders link.
O’Brien said he had” seen the reports from that instruct at the intel committee[ and] likewise heard that from the briefers that that’s not what they planned the narrative to be. So, search … I haven’t seen any evidence that Russia is doing anything to attempt to get President Trump reelected. And our meaning to the Russians is stay out of the US referendums. We’ve been very tough on Russia and we’ve been great on election security .”
Senate Republicans this month blocked three greenbacks meant to strengthen election security, shortly after being told by intelligence agencies the US was not doing enough to guard against a repetition of 2016. O’Brien said the White House was ” working very difficult with the states “.
” We’re going to paper referendums in many cases to harden our referendum infrastructure ,” he said,” to make sure that not only is there not poll influence through trolls and Twitter and that sort of thing, but to make sure that countries can’t hack into our secretaries of state in our 50 states and change election results or justification mischief on referendum date .”
Reports of Trump’s fury at Maguire were incorrect, O’Brien added, saying the acting director’s time in the capacity is as simple as expired.
” We needed a Senate-confirmed official to come in and supplant him ,” O’Brien said.” And we are therefore moved with a highly qualified person, Ambassador Grenell .”
Most spectators visualize Grenell is not characterized and would not be confirmed by the Senate. Filling the persona in an acting capacity- as numerous Trump aides do- lets him avoid that hurdle.
O’Brien said Trump would “move quickly” to make a permanent appointment but Murphy said Grenell’s move prepare him” worried about the politicisation of intelligence by this administration “.
” The new behave head of intelligence has no background in intel ,” he said.” He is a Trump loyalist. And I think we all worry about this administration restricting massive amounts of ability, massive amounts of classified information, and leaking it out to the press when it advantages them .”