During private briefings to Congress in December 2016, it was the CIA that aggressively pushed the belief that Putin had ordered a secret campaign to elect Trump, while FBI officials said that the intelligence was not conclusive. An unnamed official told the Washington Post that “a secret, new CIA assessment” made “direct and bald and unqualified” statements that the Russian government sought to elect Trump. But days later, “a senior FBI counterintelligence official” appearing before the committee gave “fuzzy and “ambiguous” remarks on the same issue. “It was shocking to hold these [CIA] statements made about Russian intentions and activities, and to hear this guy basically saying nothing with certainty and allowing that all was possible,” an official who attended the briefing told the Post.
The Barr-Durham probe is set to determine, among other things, whether Brennan’s actions and faulty information amounted to incompetence or something considerably worse.