Guess who knew all about this?
Not only were Russian officials aware of Hillary Clinton’s campaign plan to accuse Donald Trump of being a Russian asset, top U.S. intelligence authorities knew of Russia’s knowledge of Clinton’s plans, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe disclosed to congressional officials on Tuesday. Before they launched an investigation into whether Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia, intelligence agencies learned that Russia knew of Clinton’s plans to tarnish Trump with the collusion smear.
At one point, former Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director John Brennan personally briefed then-President Barack Obama and other top U.S. national security officials that Russia assessed Hillary Clinton had approved a plan on July 26, 2016, “to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services,” according to Brennan’s handwritten notes.
Fired former FBI Director James Comey and fired former FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok were even sent an investigative referral on September 7, 2016, regarding Russia’s alleged knowledge of Clinton’s plans to smear Trump as a treasonous Russian agent, Ratcliffe wrote. Rather than investigate at the time whether Russian intelligence had infiltrated the Clinton operation’s anti-Trump campaign and sowed Russian disinformation within it, the FBI instead used unverified gossip from a suspected Russian agent to obtain federal warrants to spy on the Trump campaign.
There is no evidence the FBI ever investigated the Clinton campaign’s documented use of Russian agents and intelligence assets to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election, raising questions of whether the top federal law enforcement agency may have itself interfered in the election by using its powers to arbitrarily target the campaign of the outgoing administration’s political enemy.
That’s a hell of a thing, eh? Puts the entire Russia Russia Russia “scandal” into context, does it not?
Brennan personally briefed President Barack Obama and other top U.S. national security officials about Clinton’s campaign plan and Russian knowledge of it. Just five days after the date on which the Russians believed Clinton had personally authorized the collusion smear against Trump, the FBI formally opened its anti-Trump collusion investigation, codenamed “Crossfire Hurricane.”
That investigation relied heavily on a dossier of anti-Trump allegations compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence agent. Steele was hired by Fusion GPS, a Democrat opposition research firm that had been hired by the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to manufacture and spread claims that Trump was secretly working on behalf of Putin.
People have wondered “what did Obama know and when did he know it?” along with “if he knew all about Russian interference why didn’t he do anything?” Yes, Russia interfered, just like they’ve done with other nations and just like we’ve done with other countries, including Russia, Israel, and the UK (Brexit) while Obama was president (and we’ve done it with plenty of other presidents). But, Obama took very little action to deal with it. This looks like a darned good reason why.
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