Saturday, 14 January 2017

Trump's "Sting Operation" Reveals Intel Leaks to Media

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Is the intelligence community responsible for leaking the spurious “dossier” about Trump? To shed light on this question, Trump said he had a “meeting with intelligence” that he told no one about — “and immediately the word got out that I had a meeting.”

 

President-elect Donald Trump has implicitly accused the intelligence community of leaking the unauthenticated “dossier” appended to intel’s report on the alleged Russian scheme to influence the election in his favor. While leaders in the intelligence community deny this and the liberal mainstream media pooh-poohs the idea, Trump took time in his press conference Wednesday to offer his own evidence that the idea has merit.

When the spurious “dossier” was added to the intelligence report, and was subsequently reported as credible by CNN and others, Trump used his first press conference since his upset victory to address the issue, saying of the media outlets who chose not to report what they could not confirm:

I want to thank a lot of the news organizations here today because they looked at that nonsense that was released by maybe the intelligence agencies? Who knows, but maybe the intelligence agencies which would be a tremendous blot on their record if they in fact did that. A tremendous blot, because a thing like that should have never been written, it should never have been ... and it should certainly never [have] been released.

But I want to thank a lot of the news organizations for some of whom have not treated me very well over the years — a couple in particular — and they came out so strongly against that fake news and the fact that it was written about by primarily one group and one television station.

Later in the press conference, while answering questions about his previous statements in regard to the intelligence community — specifically about his dismissal of reports claiming that his electoral victory was the result of Russian interference in U.S. elections — Trump told the assembled press:

Well, I think it's pretty sad when intelligence reports get leaked out to the press. I think it's pretty sad. First of all, it's illegal. You know, these are — these are classified and certified meetings and reports.

I'll tell you what does happen. I have many meetings with intelligence. And every time I meet, people are reading about it. Somebody's leaking it out.

He went on to explain that he considered the possibility that the leaks could be coming from his office, saying he thought, “Maybe in my office because I have a lot of people,” adding, “Maybe it's them.” So, the president-elect hatched a plan to ferret out the leak:

And what I did is I said I won't tell anybody. I'm going to have a meeting and I won't tell anybody about my meeting with intelligence.

And what happened is I had my meeting. Nobody knew, not even Rhona, my executive assistant for years, she didn't know — I didn't tell her. Nobody knew. The meeting was had, the meeting was over, they left.

Well, that’s fairly simple. The only people who knew about that meeting were President-elect Trump and the intelligence community. If word got out that they had met, it would mean that the leak came from intel. If not, Trump would — presumably — bring others into the loop and continue to play elimination. It never had to go that far. Because, as Trump told the press, “And immediately the word got out that I had a meeting.”

Trump went on to say, “So, I don't want that — I don't want that. It's very unfair to the country. It's very unfair to our country; what's happened.” On this point the president-elect could not be more correct: The intelligence community should never be the source of a leak — especially one concerning either classified documents or private briefings with the man to whom some of them will soon be reporting.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper issued a statement later, saying that he had called the president-elect to express his "profound dismay" over the leak of the dossier to the media. He went on to write, “I emphasized that this document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC [intelligence community],” adding, “The IC has not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable, and we did not rely upon it in any way for our conclusions."

The Daily Mail reached out to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) to ask for a comment on Trump’s “sting operation.” Thomas Barrett, chief of media relations for the Director of National Intelligence, would only offer a “no comment,” saying, “I’m sorry, we have nothing to offer on this matter.”

While the intelligence community is charged with the duty of gathering and analyzing intelligence for the purpose of protecting the national security of this country, they are also, as this writer recently wrote, “a dysfunctional group of liars and manipulators.” As such, it comes as no real shock that they would leak information (or fabricate “intelligence”) for their own political purposes. Trump’s comments bring to light just how damnable their actions really are. As he said, “It's very unfair to the country.” It is also, unfortunately, par for the course.

As this writer said in a previous article about Ed Snowden:

As another example of someone who is “well-connected to government” getting a pass for crimes, Snowden cited the case of General James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence. In March 2013, Clapper testified under oath and before Congress that the NSA does not collect any data at all on American citizens. Since it is now known that the NSA does indeed do exactly what Clapper said it does not do, it is a self-evident fact that he perjured himself. As Snowden said:

We had the most senior intelligence official in the United States, General James Clapper, who lied to the American people and all of Congress — on camera and under oath — in the Senate in a famous exchange with [Senator] Ron Wyden. He wasn’t even charged. But giving false testimony to Congress under oath, as he did, is a felony. It’s typically punished by three to five years in prison.

Though many in Congress called for Clapper to be held accountable for his false testimony, Snowden is correct: Clapper was never charged and has been allowed to continue in his position as director of National Intelligence. He resigned in the wake of Trump’s election, effective at the end of President Obama’s term.

So, James Clapper — a perjurer who lied to Congress under oath and who tendered his resignation in response to Trump’s election — now tells the American people that he does “not believe the leaks came from within the” intelligence community and expects that the American people will simply take him at his word. And the intelligence community wonders why the American people have trust issues with government?

Furthermore, as this writer reported in a previous article about the Justice Department’s refusal to indict Hillary Clinton despite a mountain of evidence that she broke the law and risked national security, the intelligence community and Department of Justice routinely look the other way about leaks that benefit the political interests of the Obama administration. In that article, this writer quoted from a Washington Times article dated October 29, 2012, which said:

However, when leaks to the press benefit the administration, prosecutions from the Jusitce Department are absent. For example, AG Holder was not prosecuting anyone over who leaked information about the killing of Osama bin Laden. The Justice Department has yet to charge anyone over leaking information regarding the U.S. involvement in cyberattacks on Iran as well as an al Qaida plan to blow up a U.S. bound airplane. In fact, the Justice Department ended up appointing one of two attorneys to the cyberattacks investigation who was an Obama donor.

So, the intelligence community — which has historically used disinformation campaigns and leaked intelligence to further its own political agenda, and which is currently under the leadership of a man who brazenly perjured himself before Congress — is accused by the president-elect of leaking a fake “dossier” to deligitimize his presidency. And it looks like that is exactly what happened.

 

Related article:

War Declared: the Intelligence Community v Trump

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