‘They were doing the Kremlin’s work’: Ex-FBI agent Clint Watts lays out how ‘Trump was touched by the Russians’
Former FBI special agent Clint Watts on Tuesday told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews “every point of contact around president [Donald] Trump has been touched by the Russians,” arguing “these people were doing the Kremlin’s work.”
Watts was reacting to testimony from former CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, who spoke at separate Congressional hearings on Tuesday. Referring to Coats’ refusal to answer whether Trump asked him to push back against an ongoing FBI investigation into the campaign’s, Watts laid out the president’s efforts to stymie the investigation.
“Who hasn’t [Trump] pressured to try and get rid of this Russia investigation?” Watts asked. “He went directly to Comey, he sent his envoys over to both the FBI and throughout the intel community, telling them to investigate leaks over the Russia story.”
Watts noted that the testimony today revealed “physical contact between Trump campaign members and the Russian government.”
“The more you see Trump deny this and then try and squash it, the more you have to think there’s something there,” Watts said.
The former FBI agent said the confluence of tactics the Kremlin used are “full-spectrum Russian active measures.”
“Every point of contact around president Trump has been touched by the Russians,” Watts said, calling it the “classic way to do influence.”
“These people were doing the Kremlin’s work,” Watts added.
Watts said the Kremlin’s goal was to “sow divisions in our ranks,” adding “f they can make it such that we’re fomenting chaos inside our own political system, we can’t then focus on those foreign policy objectives overseas.” In the U.S., Watts said, “they’ve achieved their goal.”
“They find all fissures and all cracks,’ Watts said of Russia’s tactics. “Whichever ones listen the most and seem most exploitable, they double down in that direction. And they’re going to keep doing that in the U.S. from now until we actually come up with a counter measure.”
Watch the video below, via MSNBC: