Republican Congressman Trey Gowdy was just trying to help. But as they have for weeks, attempts to defend President Trump against the accelerating investigation into possible collusion between his campaign and Russia just seem to make things worse. At a May 23 House Intelligence Committee hearing into the Russian operation against the 2016 presidential election, Gowdy asked former CIA chief John Brennan, who stepped down on Jan. 20, whether he had seen any “evidence of collusion, coordination [or] conspiracy between Donald Trump and Russian state actors.”
If Gowdy thought Brennan was going to distance the President from the spreading scandal, his move backfired. “I saw information and intelligence that was worthy of investigation by the [FBI] to determine whether or not such cooperation or [collusion] was taking place,” Brennan said. When pressed by the retreating Gowdy on whether he meant Trump in particular, Brennan said he wasn’t referring to “any individuals” but wouldn’t rule Trump out, either. The damage was done.