CNN counterterrorism analyst Phil Mudd ripped Rep. Trey Gowdy (R—SC) over his questioning of former CIA Director John Brennan during a Tuesday House Intelligence Committee hearing.
On Wednesday's airing of "New Day," Mudd excoriated Gowdy for apparently pretending to not know what Brennan was talking about regarding intelligence, evidence and the possibility of Russian-U.S. collusion.
When Gowdy asked Brennan whether he'd seen evidence of collusion, Brennan admitted during the meeting that he had seen intelligence that showed contact between Russia and the Trump campaign.
“Trey Gowdy ought to have his ass kicked,” Mudd told co-hosts Alisyn Camerota and Chris Cuomo after they asked if he felt that Brennan's answer to Gowdy's question was frustrating.
“[Gowdy] knows the difference between intelligence and evidence," Mudd added.
Mudd detailed how the CIA can intercept communications that can later be deemed evidence, but only after investigation. Cuomo noted that Brennan didn't even confirm whether or not that there was proof of collusion.
Gowdy and Brennan went head to head during Tuesday's House Intelligence Committee hearing over the difference between evidence and intelligence.
“When you learned of Russian efforts, did you have evidence of a connection between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors?” Gowdy asked Brennan during the hearing.
Brennan answered, “I don’t do evidence, and we were uncovering information intelligence about interactions and contacts between U.S. persons and the Russians. And as we came upon that, we would share it with the bureau.”
Gowdy apparently did not find Brennan's answer to be satisfactory, and he proceeded to point out the importance of evidence.
He said, "I appreciate that you don’t do evidence, Director Brennan. Unfortunately, that’s what I do. That’s the word we use, you use the word assessment, you use the word tradecraft. I use the word evidence. And the good news for me is lots of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle use the word evidence, too. One of my colleagues said there is more than circumstantial evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign."
Gowdy pressed Brennan harder. “We’re not getting into whether or not you corroborated, contradicted, examined, cross-examined. We’re not getting into how you tested and probed the reliability of that evidence; it’s a really simple question. Did evidence exist of collusion, coordination, conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russian state actors at the time you learned of 2016 efforts?”
Brennan replied and said that he did not know if there was any evidence.
“I don’t know whether or not such collusion — and that’s your term — such collusion existed. I don’t know,” Brennan answered. “But I know that there was a sufficient basis of information and intelligence that required further investigation by the bureau to determine whether or not U.S. persons were actively conspiring, colluding with Russian officials.”
See Mudd's CNN outburst in the video below.