The former CIA director, John Brennan, has said there were enough contacts between members of the Trump campaign and Moscow by last summer to justify further investigation by the FBI. In testimony to the House intelligence committee, Brennan gave the fullest account to date of the scale of the effort to combat Russian operations to affect the outcome of the 2016 elections. He confirmed that the CIA had set up a special group with the NSA and FBI in late July to investigate the extent of Russian intervention in the presidential election. He briefed congressional leaders on the threat and on 4 August he warned Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Russian intelligence agency, FSB, in a telephone call to stop the meddling, telling him it would backfire. Bortnikov told Brennan he would pass on the message to Vladmir Putin.
Asked about Trump’s reported sharing of top-secret intelligence with Russian officials in the Oval Office, Brennan replied that, if true, Trump’s actions would have violated two intelligence protocols. One of those protocols dictated that such secrets should be shared through intelligence channels and not through ministers and diplomats. Secondly, the language shared with the Russians should have been cleared by the agency that first provided the intelligence.
Brennan confirmed that by last summer, the intelligence showing Russian intervention in the election included striking contacts with members of the Trump circle.