F A N T A S T I C
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How The 0bama Administration Set In Motion Democrats’ Coup Against Trump
Rep. Devin Nunes realized the purpose of 0bama’s dossier. 'Devin figured out in December what was going on,' says Langer. 'It was an operation to bring down Trump.'
By Lee Smith
OCTOBER 28, 2019
The following is an excerpt from Lee Smith’s book out October 29, “The Plot Against the President: The True Story of How Congressman Devin Nunes Uncovered the Biggest Political Scandal in U.S. History.”
AFTER DONALD TRUMP was elected forty-fifth president of the United States, the operation designed to undermine his campaign transformed. It became an instrument to bring down the commander in chief. The coup started almost immediately after the polls closed.
Hillary Clinton’s communications team decided within twenty-four hours of her concession speech to message that the election was illegitimate, that Russia had interfered to help Trump.
0bama was working against Trump until the hour he left office. His national security advisor, Susan Rice, commemorated it with an email to herself on January 20, moments before Trump’s inauguration. She wrote to memorialize a meeting in the White House two weeks before.
On January 5, following a briefing by IC leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election, President 0bama had a brief follow-on conversation with FBI Director Jim Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates in the Oval Office. Vice President Biden and I were also present.
President 0bama began the conversation by stressing his continued commitment to ensuring that every aspect of this issue is handled by the Intelligence and law enforcement communities “by the book.” The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.
From a national security perspective, however, President 0bama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia. . . .
The President asked Comey to inform him if anything changes in the next few weeks that should affect how we share classified information with the incoming team. Comey said he would.
The repetition of “by the book” gave away the game—for there was nothing normal about any of it.
Rice wrote an email to herself. It commemorated a conversation from two weeks before. The conversation was about the FBI’s investigation of the man who was about to move into the White House—an investigation from which 0bama was careful to distance himself. During the conversation, the outgoing president instructed his top aides to collect information (“ascertain”) regarding the incoming administration’s relationship with Russia.
“To any rational person,” says Nunes, “it looks like they were scheming to produce a get-out-of-jail-free card—for the president and anyone else in the White House. They were playing Monopoly while the others were playing with fire. Now the 0bama White House was in the clear—sure, they had no idea what Comey and Brennan and McCabe and Strzok and the rest were up to.”
Boxing Trump in on Russia
Meanwhile, 0bama added his voice to the Trump-Russia echo chamber as news stories alleging Trump’s illicit relationship with the Kremlin multiplied in the transition period. He said he hoped “that the president-elect also is willing to stand up to Russia.”
The outgoing president was in Germany with Chancellor Angela Merkel to discuss everything from NATO to Vladimir Putin. 0bama said that he’d “delivered a clear and forceful message” to the Russian president about “meddling with elections . . . and we will respond appropriately if and when we see this happening.”
After refusing to act while the Russian election meddling was actually occurring, 0bama responded in December. He ordered the closing of Russian diplomatic facilities and the expulsion of thirty- five Russian diplomats. The response was tepid. The Russians had hacked the State Department in 2014 and the Joint Chiefs of Staff in 2015. And now Obama was responding only on his way out.
Even 0bama partisans thought it was weak. “The punishment did not fit the crime,” said Michael McFaul, 0bama’s former ambassador to Russia. “The Kremlin should have paid a much higher price for that attack.”
But the administration wasn’t retaliating against Russia for interfering in a US election; the action was directed at Trump. 0bama was leaving the president-elect with a minor foreign policy crisis in order to box him in. Any criticism of 0bama’s response, never mind an attempt to reverse it, would only further fuel press reports that Trump was collaborating with the Russians.
Spreading Intelligence to Spring Leaks
In the administration’s last days, it disseminated intelligence throughout the government, including the White House, Capitol Hill, and the intelligence community (IC). Intelligence was classified at the lowest possible levels to ensure a wide readership. The White House was paving the way for a campaign of leaks to disorient the incoming Trump team.
The effort, including the intended result of leaks, was publicly acknowledged in March 2017 by Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense in the Obama administration.
0bama’s biggest move against Trump was to order CIA director John Brennan to conduct a full review of all intelligence relating to Russia and the 2016 elections. He requested it on December 6 and wanted it ready by the time he left office on January 20. But the sitting president already knew what the intelligence community assessment (ICA) was going to say, because Brennan had told him months before.
Brennan’s handpicked team of CIA, FBI, and NSA analysts had started analyzing Russian election interference in late July. In August, Brennan had briefed Harry Reid on the dossier and may have briefed 0bama on it, too. Earlier in August, Brennan sent a “bombshell” report to Obama’s desk.
When Brennan reassembled his select team in December, it was to have them reproduce their August findings: Putin, according to Brennan, was boosting the GOP candidate. And that’s why only three days after 0bama ordered the assessment in December, the Washington Post could already reveal what the intelligence community had found.
“The CIA,” reported the December 9 edition of the Post, “has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system.”
The story was the first of many apparently sourced to leaks of classified information that were given to the Post team of Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima, and Greg Miller. The reporters’ sources weren’t whistle-blowers shedding light on government corruption— rather, they were senior US officials abusing government resources to prosecute a campaign against the newly elected commander in chief. The article was the earliest public evidence that the coup was under way. The floodgates were open, as the IC pushed more stories through the press to delegitimize the president-elect.
A Wave of Leak-Sourced Stories All Saying the Same Thing
The same day, a New York Times article by David E. Sanger and Scott Shane echoed the Post’s piece. According to senior administration officials, “American intelligence agencies have concluded with ‘high confidence’ that Russia acted covertly in the latter stages of the presidential campaign to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances and promote Donald J. Trump.”
A December 14 NBC News story by William M. Arkin, Ken Dilanian, and Cynthia McFadden reported that “Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in the covert Russian campaign to interfere in the U.S. presidential election, senior U.S. intelligence officials told NBC News.”
The ICA that 0bama ordered gave political operatives, the press, and his intelligence chiefs a second shot at Trump. They’d used the Steele Dossier to feed the echo chamber and obtain surveillance powers to spy on the Trump campaign. The dossier, however, had come up short. Trump had won.
But now, on his way out of the White House, 0bama instructed Brennan to stamp the CIA’s imprimatur on the anti-Trump operation. As Fusion GPS’s smear campaign had been the source of the preelection press campaign, the ICA was the basis of the postelection media frenzy. It was tailored to disrupt the peaceful transition of power and throw the United States into chaos.
Because Trump hadn’t been elected by the US public, according to the ICA, but had been tapped by Putin, he was illegitimate. Therefore, the extraconstitutional and illegal tactics employed by anti-Trump officials were legitimate. The ultimate goal was to remove Trump from office.
“If it weren’t for President 0bama,” said James Clapper, “we might not have done the intelligence community assessment . . . that set off a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today.”
Nunes agrees. “The ICA,” he says, “was 0bama’s dossier.”
Changing the Intelligence Assessment
Nunes is sitting in his office in the Longworth House Office Building along with his communications director, Jack Langer, a forty-six-year-old former book editor and historian with a PhD from Duke University.
“The social media attacks on Devin began shortly after the election,” Langer remembers. “They’re all hinting at some vast conspiracy involving Russia that the chairman of the Intelligence Committee is part of. And we have no idea what they’re talking about.”
Nunes points out that his warnings about Russia fell on deaf ears for years. “And all of a sudden I’m a Russian agent,” says the congressman.
Now Langer and Nunes see that the attacks were first launched because the congressman had been named to Trump’s transition team. “I put forward [Mike] Pompeo for CIA director,” says Nunes. “He came from our committee.”
The attacks on Nunes picked up after the December 9 Washington Post article. The assessment provided there was not what the HPSCI chairman had been told. The assessment had been altered, and Nunes asked for an explanation. “We got briefed about the election around Thanksgiving,” he says. “And it’s just the usual stuff, nothing abnormal. They told us what everyone already knew: ‘Hey, the Russians are bad actors, and they’re always playing games, and here’s what they did.’”
By providing that briefing, the IC had made a mistake. When it later changed the assessment, the November briefing was evidence that 0bama’s spy chiefs were up to no good. “I bet they’d like to have that back,” says Nunes. “They briefed us before they could get their new story straight.”
‘They Kept Everyone Else Away from It’
Nunes acknowledges that he was caught off guard by many things back then. “We still thought these guys were on the up and up,” he says. “But if we knew, we’d have nailed them by mid-December, when they changed their assessment. ‘Wait, you guys are saying this now, but you said something else just a few weeks ago. What’s going on?’”
After the Post story, Nunes wanted an explanation. “We expressed deep concern, both publicly and privately,” says Langer. “We demanded our own briefing to try to determine whether that Post story was true or false. They refused to brief us. They said, ‘We’re not going to be doing that until we finish the ICA.’”
Nunes says the fact that the IC conducted an assessment like that was itself unusual. “I don’t know how many times they’d done that in the past, if ever,” he says. “But if the IC is operating properly, when someone says what can you tell me on X or Y or Z, they have it ready to pull up quickly. The tradecraft is reliable, and the intelligence products are reliable.” That was not the case with the ICA. There were problems with how the assessment had been put together.
“If you really were going to do something like an assessment from the intelligence community, then you’d get input from all our seventeen agencies,” says Nunes. “They did the opposite. It was only FBI, CIA, NSA, and DNI. They siloed it, just like they had with Crossfire Hurricane. They kept everyone else away from it so they didn’t have to read them in.”
That was HALF of this amazing expose.
Please read the other half here:
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