Former CIA Director John Brennan told "Fox News Sunday" that he does not see anything wrong with Connecticut U.S. Attorney John Durham continuing his investigation of the Russia probe into 2021, while insisting that he never improperly relied on the unverified dossier compiled by ex-British spy Christopher Steele.
Attorney General William Barr recently named Durham as special counsel in an effort to ensure the investigation continues into President-elect Joe Biden's administration.
"I think that is fine, I have no problems with it,” Brennan said, adding that he has already sat down with Durham's team for eight hours. "I do believe that John Durham is going to carry out his responsibilities ably and hopefully not with any political influence."
Brennan went on to acknowledge that there were mistakes in the FBI's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) during the early stages of the Russia investigation, but he insisted "that doesn't mean that there was criminal intent, and there was no spying on Donald Trump's campaign."
One FBI attorney, Kevin Clinesmith, has already pleaded guilty to a crime after being accused of doctoring an email that was submitted as part of a warrant application to monitor former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
A Justice Department Inspector General's report revealed that there were significant errors and omissions in the FBI's warrant applications and that they relied on Steele's dossier to give them enough evidence to apply in the first place. Republicans have railed against the FBI for this, as Steele's sub-source had told the bureau that the information in the dossier was unreliable.
Brennan dismissed the idea that the Russia investigation itself was tainted by the use of the dossier.
"There was so much other evidence and intelligence to support those judgments," he said, "so I am very comfortable with how the intelligence community came out on the 2016 election."
Earlier in the interview, Brennan discussed the need for Biden to enter into a new agreement with Iran over the Islamic nation's pursuit of nuclear weapons, after President Trump backed out of the nuclear deal entered into by the Obama administration. Trump believed that the previous deal did not go far enough to keep Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
"No one thought that the Iranian nuclear deal was a perfect deal," Brennan admitted, adding that it was meant to be "a foundation upon which to build." In his upcoming book, however, Brennan called the deal one of the crown jewels of the Obama administration.
“There needs to be a return to discussions,” Brennan said, pointing to a need to offer Iran economic incentives.
After the death of a top Iranian nuclear scientist, Brennan said that if Israel was behind it -- as has been suggested by an Iranian official -- it would be a case of state-sponsored terrorism. He defended this position on Sunday.
“If China were to assassinate a Taiwanese nuclear scientist or if Russia were to assassinate a Ukrainian nuclear scientist it would be roundly condemned and rightly so,” he said. “Just because it may have been Israel behind the assassination does not make it right.”
Host Chris Wallace pointed out that Taiwan and Ukraine are not bad actors like Iran. Iran has been known to support terror in the Middle East and its leaders have openly called for the destruction of Israel. Nevertheless, Brennan warned that assassinating leaders of a sovereign nation would lead to a “chaotic” international environment.