Ex-CIA chief: Steele dossier played no role in intelligence assessment on Russia's election interference

Former CIA Director John BrennanJohn Owen BrennanTrump threatens ex-intel official's clearance, citing comments on CNN Overnight Defense: Pentagon says Trump canceled parade before cost briefing | Erik Prince renews push for contractors to run Afghan war | More officials join outcry over security clearances Trump faces mounting legal pressure on three fronts MORE said Sunday that the so-called Steele dossier containing allegations about President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump threatens ex-intel official's clearance, citing comments on CNN Protesters topple Confederate monument on UNC campus Man wanted for threatening to shoot Trump spotted in Maryland MORE’s ties to Russia was not a factor in the intelligence community's assessment that Moscow interfered in the 2016 election. 

“I was unaware of the provenance of it as well as what was in it. And it did not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community’s assessment that was done, that was presented to then-President Obama and then-President-elect Trump,” Brennan said on NBC's “Meet The Press.”

The dossier, compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, was funded in part by the Democratic National Committee and Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton to headline trio of DNC fundraisers: report Allegations of ‘Trump TV’ distract from real issues at Broadcasting Board of Governors Chelsea Clinton: Politics a 'definite maybe' in the future MORE’s presidential campaign.

ADVERTISEMENT
Brennan, who led the CIA from 2013-2017, said it was up to the FBI to see if it could verify the information in the dossier.

"If the Russians were involved in something like that, directed against individuals who are aspiring to the highest office in this land, there was an obligation on the part of the FBI to seek out the truth on it," he said.

“There were things in that dossier that made me wonder whether they were, in fact, accurate and true,” Brennan said. "Just because it was unverified doesn’t mean it wasn’t true."

The dossier was at the center of a Republican-crafted memo that was released Friday alleging the Justice Department used information from it to obtain surveillance warrants on Carter Page, a member of the Trump transition team and a former Trump campaign adviser.

Republicans have used the memo to accuse the Justice Department of bias against Trump, while Democrats have said a memo of their own will show the dossier was just one piece of the warrant application.