As Scott noted earlier today, Andy McCarthy has written a definitive summary of what we know now about the collusion among the Hillary Clinton campaign, the DNC, Fusion GPS, Steele and the Putin regime to 1) prevent Donald Trump from winning the presidential election, and 2) undermine his administration post-election. I can’t urge you strongly enough to read Andy’s NRO article.
I want to add this footnote: the politicized leaders of the CIA and NSA are part of the story, too. Recall that in two reports released at the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017–post-election and pre-inauguration–the CIA, NSA and FBI collectively alleged that Russia “meddled” in the 2016 election by placing propaganda on Russia Today and by spearfishing the DNC’s and John Podesta’s email accounts and transmitting the emails to Wikileaks. I wrote about the agencies’ second report here, and you can read the report itself here. Both of the FBI/CIA/NSA reports were promptly released to the press.
As I wrote at the time, these reports are unimpressive. It may be that Russians penetrated the DNC/Podesta email accounts, but the reports don’t prove that fact. More important, they contain nothing beyond bare assertion to support the implausible claim that Putin wanted Trump, rather than Hillary “Reset Button” Clinton, to win the election. Washington insiders say that the intelligence agencies have provided some evidence that Russia was behind the spearfishing of both the DNC and RNC accounts, but no evidence that Russia’s goal was to try to secure the election for Trump. On the contrary, there is little doubt that Russia’s agents in the U.S., relying on the Washington Post, the New York Times, 538, etc., were reporting that Clinton had the election in the bag.
The FBI/CIA/NSA reports supplied an important link in the Democrats’ anti-Trump strategy. They implied that Trump’s alleged collusion with the Putin regime bore fruit: the Russians wanted Trump to win, they “meddled” in the election to achieve that purpose, and sure enough, he won the election. The intelligence community’s reports went a long way toward delegitimizing the Trump administration before it even came into being.
It now appears clear that this entire story was a fraud. There was no collusion; not by Trump, anyway. The collusion was all on the other side, and it looks to me as though the CIA’s and NSA’s politicized leaders were part of it. Who was the Director of the CIA when these reports were prepared and handed to the press? John Brennan, who now tweets partisan nonsense like this:
Trump Admin threat to retaliate against nations that exercise sovereign right in UN to oppose US position on Jerusalem is beyond outrageous. Shows @realDonaldTrump expects blind loyalty and subservience from everyone—qualities usually found in narcissistic, vengeful autocrats.
— John O. Brennan (@JohnBrennan) December 21, 2017
Who was the Director of National Intelligence? The clueless and virulently anti-Trump James Clapper, who just a few days ago called President Trump an “asset” of Russia:
SCIUTTO: You heard the president’s speech today. He calls out Russia and China, describes them as rival powers, rival powers to the U.S., but also says he wants to build a great partnership with them and had all of these friendly stuff to say about his phone calls with Vladimir Putin this week.
Is that a contradictory message?
CLAPPER: Well, it is to me. I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with the president.
SCIUTTO: You’re saying that Russia is handling President Trump as an asset?
CLAPPER: That seems to be — that’s the appearance to me.
You could say these people are crazy, but a few short months ago they were in charge of the U.S. intelligence community. It seems clear that by the end of 2016 they were collaborating in the DNC/Clinton campaign/Steele/Fusion GPS/FBI/Russia effort to undermine the incoming Trump administration. An obvious question is, how far back did cooperation by CIA and NSA go? Did those agencies corruptly collaborate with Obama’s DOJ in spying on Trump and his associates during the campaign?
Based on what we already know, the DNC/Clinton campaign/Steele/Fusion GPS/Russia/FBI collusion looks like the biggest scandal in American political history. To the extent that the CIA and NSA were also involved, it can only get worse.