aside White House Caught Interfering In The Russian Investigation With Congress

Image result for photos of white houseIf there was any doubt that there is meat to the story about the republican President Donald Trump’s campaign personnel having had regular contact with Russian officials, these thoughts have been totally dispelled by the White House’s recent actions  designed to impede this story. This includes, its attempts to have US congressional representatives contact the news media to downplay this story.Image result for photos of president trump in the white house

Here is the rest of the story...

On 2/24/17 Greg Miller and Adam Entous of the NY Times, penned the following report, “Trump administration sought to enlist intelligence officials, key lawmakers to counter Russia stories.”

Excerpts:

“The Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia, a politically charged issue that has been under investigation by the FBI as well as lawmakers now defending the White House.”

“Acting at the behest of the White House, the officials made calls to news organizations last week in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, U.S. officials said.”

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Reince Priebus at podium

“The calls were orchestrated by the White House after unsuccessful attempts by the administration to get senior FBI officials to speak with news organizations and dispute the accuracy of stories on the alleged contacts with Russia.”

“The White House on Friday (2/24/17) acknowledged those interactions with the FBI but did not disclose that it then turned to other officials who agreed to do what the FBI would not — participate in White House-arranged calls with news organizations, including The Washington Post.”

“Two of those officials spoke on the condition of anonymity — a practice President Trump has condemned.”Image result for photos of president trump in the white house

“The officials broadly dismissed Trump associates’ contacts with Russia as infrequent and inconsequential. But the officials would not answer substantive questions about the issue, and their comments were not published by The Post and do not appear to have been reported elsewhere.”

“White House spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed that the White House communicated with officials with the aim of contesting reporting on Russia, but maintained that the administration did nothing improper. “When informed by the FBI that (the Russia-related reporting) was false we told reporters who else they should contact to corroborate the FBI’s version of the story.”

“The decision to involve those officials could be perceived as threatening the independence of U.S. spy agencies that are supposed to remain insulated from partisan issues, as well as undercutting the credibility of ongoing congressional probes. Those officials saw their involvement as an attempt to correct coverage they believed to be erroneous.”Image result for photos of us congressional intelligence committees

“The effort also involved senior lawmakers with access to classified intelligence about Russia, including Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees. A spokesman for Nunes said that he had already begun speaking to reporters to challenge the story and then “at the request of a White House communications aide, Chairman Nunes then spoke to an additional reporter and delivered the same message.”

“Unlike the others, Nunes spoke on the record and was subsequently quoted in the Wall Street Journal.”

“In an interview, Burr acknowledged that he “had conversations about” Russia-related news reports with the White House and engaged with news organizations to dispute articles by the New York Times and CNN that alleged “repeated” or “constant” contact between Trump campaign members and Russian intelligence operatives.”Image result for photos of us congressional intelligence committees

“I’ve had those conversations,” Burr said, adding that he regarded the contacts as appropriate provided that “I felt I had something to share that didn’t breach my responsibilities to the committee in an ongoing investigation.”

“The administration’s push against the Russia coverage intensified Sunday when White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said in television interviews that he had been authorized “by the top levels of the intelligence community” to denounce reports on Trump campaign contacts with Russia as false.”

“Priebus’s denunciations ranged from calling the articles “overstated” to saying they were “complete garbage.”

“Administration officials said that Priebus’s comments had been cleared by FBI Director James B. Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. In doing so, the FBI’s leadership would appear to have been drawing a distinction between authorizing comments by a White House official and addressing the matter themselves.”Related image

“Former intelligence officials expressed concern over the blurring of lines between intelligence and politics, with some recalling Republican accusations that the Obama administration had twisted intelligence in its accounts of the 2012 attacks on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya.”

“I doubt that there was any enthusiasm from the intelligence leadership to get involved in this in the first place,” former CIA director Michael Hayden said, noting that it seemed unlikely that Priebus’s bluntly worded denials were consistent with the “precise language” favored by intelligence analysts.”

“The Trump administration’s actions reflect its level of concern about coverage of its relationship with Russia. Trump has continued to praise Russian President Vladimir Putin, even after U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia had interfered in the U.S. presidential race to help Trump win.”Image result for photos of us congressional intelligence committees

“Trump has also repeatedly disparaged the intelligence agencies that his administration last week turned to for support. Shortly before taking office, Trump accused U.S. spy agencies of a Nazi-style leaks campaign to smear him.”

“The White House statements on the issue Friday came after CNN reported that the FBI had refused administration requests to publicly “knock down” media reports about ties between Trump associates and Russian intelligence.”

“Administration officials disputed the account, saying that rather than soliciting FBI feedback, Priebus had been pulled aside by McCabe on the morning of Feb. 15 and told, “I want you to know” that the New York Times story “is BS.”

“The FBI declined to discuss the matter.”cabinet-fbi-download

“White House officials declined to comment on the administration’s subsequent effort to enlist other government officials and would not agree to allow the identification of the intelligence officials who had spoken to The Post last week. In separate calls, those individuals insisted on being identified only as “a senior intelligence official in the Trump administration” and “a senior member of the intelligence community.”

“In an interview on the night of Feb. 15, the senior intelligence official said that the suggestion that there was frequent contact between Russians and Trump associates was false, describing any conversations as sporadic, limited and based on Russia’s interest in building a relationship with the future Trump administration rather than shaping the 2016 presidential race.”

“The senior intelligence official appeared to be referring to contacts between Trump’s designated national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak before Trump was sworn in as president. Flynn was forced out of his job earlier this month after The Post reported that Flynn had discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with Kislyak and then misled Trump administration officials about the nature of his contacts.”clinton-james-comey-1024x576

“Officials at the CIA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment on whether senior officials at those agencies had discussed Russia coverage with the White House or been involved in efforts to refute stories on that subject.”

“CIA Director Mike Pompeo is the senior-most intelligence official in the administration, with former senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.) still awaiting confirmation as director of national intelligence.”

“As a Republican member of Congress, Pompeo was among the most fiercely partisan figures in the House investigation of Benghazi, which centered on accusations that the Obama administration had twisted intelligence about the attacks for political purposes.”

“Whether there were such contacts remains a major point of contention. Beyond Flynn, the investigation has focused on other figures including Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, who had previously served as a paid political adviser to the Putin-backed president of Ukraine.”Image result for photo of mike pompeo

“U.S. intelligence reports cite multiple contacts between members of Trump’s team and Russians with links to the Kremlin, during the campaign and afterward, according to officials who have seen them. Such reports were based on intercepted Russian communications and other sources, the officials said.”

“Nunes, who served as a member of Trump’s transition team, has resisted calls for his House committee to investigate alleged contacts between Trump associates and Russia. He said in an interview that after months of investigations, U.S. authorities have turned up no evidence of such contacts.”

“They’ve looked, and it’s all a dead trail that leads me to believe no contact, not even pizza-delivery-guy contact,” Nunes said, appearing to rule out even unwitting contact between Trump officials and Russian agents. Investigators, Nunes said, “don’t even have a lead.”

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6 comments

  1. I imagine it won’t take much for the Intelligence Agencies to denounce Trump after his attacks on them. Maybe they will be the ones to call for impeachment and supply the evidence of his connivance with foreign powers at America’s expense.I hope they can implicate others including Pence though.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    • Dear David Prosser,

      Welcome!

      It wasn’t very brilliant for President Trump to attack both the intelligence community and the press. Both will eventually do him in.

      As for his Vice President Mike Pence, I don’t know. He is doing his best to act independently but hopefully, he will be tainted by association.

      These are crazy times for us in the USA.

      Thanks for stopping by and Ciao, Gronda

  2. There seems to be a lot of scrambling going on. My strong suggestion to Congress is set aside your party signet ring and get to the bottom of this. If I were a senator, my first allegiance is to the constitution. If you lie down with wolves….

    • Dear Keith,

      Those who are enabling DT as a matter of convenience and opportunity to legislate the conservative’s wish list, will eventually get their due, their just desserts.The wolves will be looking for blood.

      Ciao, Gronda

  3. Another outstanding piece. Thankyou, I keep telling aussies to read your work if they want to get a good and factual piece, nobody listens to me though…

Comments are closed.