“When spies get angry, they call reporters and arrange discreet chats in parking garages. The last president who entered the Oval Office with this much dislike and distrust of the IC was Richard Nixon—and we know how that worked out for him.”
John R. Schindler — Former NSA and professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College
Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump. Follow us on Twitter: Intel_News
RELATED POST: Intel Report Suspiciously Anachronistic
Who is the source of these ‘Memos’?
The memos were provided by a former British intelligence officer — MI6 — who is rumored to have spent years of his career in Russia during the 90’s.
The former British intelligence officer is believed to be Mr Christopher Steele, the co-founder of London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd, located in Grosvenor Gardens, close to London’s upmarket Belgravia area .
Mr Steele founded Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd with his business partner Christopher Burrows in 2009.
Mr Steele left his home earlier this week, before he was publicly named, and is now “in hiding”.
What does the Memos claim to ‘reveal’?
Trump aides were involved with the alleged Russian hack of the Democratic Party of his rival Hillary Clinton.
Moscow has damaging information about the president-elect’s business interests
The RIS have taped a salacious video of trump’s private life.
Why were these Memos written?
An independent organisation — located in Washington DC and opposed to Mr Trump — contracted the Private Investigator to collect dirt in order to derail Mr Trump’s candidacy.
Some media allege that Jeb Bush requested the investigation regarding Trump’s interests in Russia.
After Trump’s nomination, Steele offered its services to Democrats.
No Presidential campaign has reported payments to Orbis. I guess someone forgot?
When did the US IC become aware of these documents?
Several Media saw the documents in October 2016. It seems that the IC and top US officials were aware of it already during the summer 2016.
FBI agents are reported to have met with Steele in August 2016 and again in mid-October 2016, after Clapper had released a public statement accusing Russia of interfering in the election.
Although most of the sources are Russian living in Moscow, a key meeting between Trump’s team and the ‘RIS’ is alleged to have occurred in Prague during the end of the Summer 2016.
In FY2016, the NIP budget was 53.0 billion USD, and the MIP budget 17.7 billion USD, amounting to a total of 70.7 billion USD. [United States intelligence budget]
One of the Memo alleges that Michael Cohen — a lawyer to Mr Trump — went to Prague in August or September 2016 to meet Kremlin representatives to talk about the DNC hacking. Cohen has this to say about the allegation:
“I’ve never been to Prague in my life. #fakenews,” he tweeted.
The first question is this: How long would it take for the US IC to figure out whether or not Michael Cohen was in Prague in August or September 2016 where he allegedly discussed the DNC hacking?
Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer has already addressed the issue:
“Michael Cohen, who was said to have visited Prague in August and September, did not leave or enter the United States during this time.
We asked him to produce his passport to confirm his whereabouts on the dates in question and there is no doubt that he was not in Prague. In fact, Mr Cohen has never been in Prague.”
I understand that the FBI found no evidence that Michael Cohen visited Prague in August or September 2016. In fact, none of the content of these Memos has been substantiated by US intelligence.
Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. said in a statement issued late Wednesday that he told Trump that:
The allegations had come from a “private security company,” that U.S. spy agencies had “not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.”
“However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security.”
A second question is: How could Steele have access to all these high level sources evolving in Putin’s inner circle? And why would they talk to him? [Steele – of course – is unwilling to divulge his sources.]
“How did this former British intelligence officer talk to all these Russian officials and not get arrested for espionage?”
Are we really willing to believe that a single private investigator could uncover all these extraordinary findings that the US IC – with a 70 billion budget — could not discover and can not even confirm. When a story is too good to be true, it usually is.
Finally, ask yourself why is the CIA even talking about such a document? For once, Mike Morell — a former acting Director of the CIA — is saying — accidentally — something intelligent:
“It would be extraordinary if not unprecedented to bring to the attention of a president and president-elect a private document for which you had no reason to believe the allegations made in it.”
Intel chiefs inform Trump of Russian claims — CNN
Donald Trump’s Soft Spot for Russia Could Be His Political Undoing — The XX Committee