O’Brien Denies Russian Meddling Reports After Saying He Hasn’t Seen Intel

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: White House National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien participates in an event to mark the first anniversary of President Donald Trump's daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump's Women's Global... WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 12: White House National Security Advisor Robert O'Brien participates in an event to mark the first anniversary of President Donald Trump's daughter and advisor Ivanka Trump's Women's Global Development Prosperity Initiative in the Franklin Room at the State Department February 12, 2020 in Washington, DC. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) are proposing legislation that would make the economic empowerment of women a priority of U.S. foreign policy, establish an Office of Women’s Empowerment at the State Department and ensure that Ivanka Trump's initiative would continue beyond the Trump administration. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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February 23, 2020 11:41 a.m.

National security adviser Robert O’Brien denied reports that Russia was interfering in the 2020 presidential election in an effort to help President Trump’s re-election, during Sunday TV news appearances.

When pressed by ABC News’ George Stephanopolous on whether he has seen analysis from the intelligence community showing that Russia aimed to help Trump, O’Brien replied that he has “not seen that” despite getting “pretty good access.”

“The national security adviser gets pretty good access to our intelligence. I haven’t seen any intelligence that Russia is doing anything to attempt to get President Trump reelected,” O’Brien said. “I think this is the same old story that we’ve heard before.”

O’Brien added that although he’s seen reports of intelligence officials warning House lawmakers of Russian interference during a classified briefing earlier this month, he said that he wasn’t there and that he’s “seen no intelligence that suggests that.”

“I’ve also heard that from the briefers that that’s not what they intended the story to be,” O’Brien said. “So, look, who knows what happened over at the House and the Intelligence Committee, but I haven’t seen any evidence that Russia is doing anything to attempt to get President Trump reelected.”

After calling reports of the briefing a “non-story,” Stephanopolous asked O’Brien whether he’s seen any analysis that one of Russia’s aims is to favor Trump.

“No, I haven’t seen any intelligence on that, George,” O’Brien said. “And I haven’t seen any analysis on that. The only thing I’ve seen were the press reports on this House intel briefing, which are secondhand. I don’t know if they were leaked out or how the papers got those. So, so that’s the only thing I’ve seen.”

When Stephanopoulos pointed out at the end of the interview that O’Brien has a responsibility to find out as the national security adviser, O’Brien insisted that the reports are just “leaks, ” before being asked if he sought out analysis from the intelligence community.

“Look, I want to get whatever analysis they’ve got and I want to make sure that the analysis is solid,” O’Brien said. “From what I’ve heard, again, this is only what I’ve seen in the press, it doesn’t make any sense.”

Watch O’Brien’s remarks on ABC News below:

O’Brien also repeated the same points on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday morning, saying that he hasn’t “seen any intelligence to support the reports that were leaked out of the House.”

Watch O’Brien’s remarks on CBS below:

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