media manipulation

March 27, 2019 – Opinion: Stephen Cohen – The Real Costs of Russiagate

Rachel Maddow (Credit: The Nation)

(…) “Contrary to a number of major media outlets, from Bloomberg to The Wall Street Journal, nor does Mueller’s exculpatory finding actually mean that “Russiagate . . . is dead” and indeed that “it expired in an instant.” Such conclusions reveal a lack of historical and political understanding. Nearly three years of Russiagate’s toxic allegations have entered the American political-media elite bloodstream and they almost certainly will reappear again and again in one form of another.

This is an exceedingly grave danger because the real costs of Russiagate are not the estimated $25 to $40 million spent on the Mueller investigation but the corrosive damage it has already done to the institutions of American democracy—damage done not by an alleged “Trump-Putin axis” but by Russsigate’s perpetrators themselves. Having examined this collateral damage in my recently published book War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russiagate, I will only note them here.

— Clamorous allegations that the Kremlin “attacked our elections” and thereby put Trump in the White House, despite the lack of any evidence, cast doubt on the legitimacy of American elections everywhere—national, state, and local. If true, or even suspected, how can voters have confidence in the electoral foundations of American democracy? Persistent demands to “secure our elections from hostile powers”— a politically and financially profitable mania, it seems—can only further abet and perpetuate declining confidence in the entire electoral process. Still more, if some crude Russian social media outputs could so dupe voters, what does this tell us about what US elites, which originated these allegations, really think of those voters, of the American people?

— Defamatory Russsiagate allegations that Trump was a “Kremlin puppet” and thus “illegitimate” were aimed at the president but hit the presidency itself, degrading the institution, bringing it under suspicion, casting doubt on its legitimacy. And if an “agent of a hostile foreign power” could occupy the White House once, a “Manchurian candidate,” why not again? Will Republicans be able to resist making such allegations against a future Democratic president? In any event, Hillary Clinton’s failed campaign manager, Robby Mook, has already told us that there will be a “next time.” (Read more: The Nation, 3/27/2019)

Tales of the New Cold War: 1 of 2: The Russiagate damage comes home to America. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com

Tales of the New Cold War: 2 of 2: The Russiagate damage comes home to America. Stephen F. Cohen @NYU @Princeton EastWestAccord.com

March 19, 2019 – 50 major news stories that have been retracted or corrected since Russiagate began in 2016

1. On July 27, 2016 the AP falsely reported that RT (formerly Russia Today) is part of the Russian state media complex. While it receives funding from the Russian government, it is a stand alone entity. On August 2, AP issued a correction on top of an accordingly updated story.

The AP has since deleted the story altogether, but it is still visible (uncorrected) in places like this: (Business Insider)

Here is the link to the original story, since deleted: (BigStoryAP)

2. From July through October, 2016 MSNBC personalities Malcolm Nance and Joy Reid falsely and persistently pushed the line that Clinton related emails from WikiLeaks were or would be faked by Russians. (The Intercept)

3. Newsweek eventually completely took down the wild Kurt Eichenwald story about Wikileaks, Russia, and Kurt: (Newsweek) (Archived Link found)

4. The Trump Server/Alfa Bank Russia story was debunked
Why Trump’s Russian server connection is less suspicious than it sounds What if a major presidential candidate were in secret communication with Russia, through a secret internet channel kept hidden from the rest of the web? That’s the scenario laid out last night in a..… (The Verge)

5. CNN falsely reported that Russia was closing an Anglo-American school in response to Obama’s Russia/Election Hacking sanctions.
Wrong Again: Russia’s Anglo-American School Not Closing To Spite Obama CNN Politics reported on Thursday citing “official sources” that a school for foreign diplomats and rich Russians was being shut down in retaliation for President Obama kicking out dozens of diplomat… (Forbes)

6. A long editor’s note to this WaPo PropOrNot article essentially makes the whole thing out to be hooey.

Editor’s Note: The Washington Post on Nov. 24 published a story on the work of four sets of researchers who have examined what they say are Russian propaganda efforts to undermine American democracy and interests. One of them was PropOrNot, a group that insists on public anonymity, which issued a report identifying more than 200 websites that, in its view, wittingly or unwittingly published or echoed Russian propaganda... (The Washington Post)

7. Russia didn’t hack the Vermont power grid

Washington Post: Breaking News, World, US, DC News & Analysis Breaking news and analysis on politics, business, world national news, entertainment more. In-depth DC, Virginia, Maryland news coverage including traffic, weather, crime, education, restaurant revie…(The Washington Post)

8. Again the AP had to correct a story, picked up by ABC among others, that said a Russian commander had told a counterpart in the Philippines “You can choose … to cooperate with United States of America or to cooperate with Russia.” NOW DELETED (ABC News)

9. The NYT’s mangled a story about Abby Martin and breaking the set on RT and doesn’t get it right even in the corrected version.
Russia’s RT: The Network Implicated in U.S. Election Meddling Created by Russia’s government to offer “the Russian view on global news,” RT acted like a Kremlin propaganda operation, an American intelligence report suggests. (The New York Times)

10. A CNN Russia/Trump story based on a single anonymous source had to be retracted and led to the resignation of three CNN journalists.
Three journalists leaving CNN after retracted article Three CNN journalists, including the executive editor in charge of a new investigative unit, have resigned after the publication of a Russia-related article that was retracted. (CNN)

(Read more: Doug Johnson Hatlem @djjohnso) (Archived Twitter Thread)

January 18, 2019 – Opinion: Buzzfeed, like Lawfare, has a role to play in Resistance operation

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

“While the media banter relentlessly about their latest resistance angle du jour; it is perhaps a more beneficial discussion to remind and outline the larger strategy at play. Honing the political skills.

The baseline here is that everything the institutional-left does, is sequential and planned. This is what they do.  This is all they do.  None of the characters within the institutions of professional leftism create anything; build anything; have a life purpose for anything, other than organizing their efforts to exploit control of others via politics.  This is all they know how to do.  When you develop your skills to see their patterns you can then see the predictability behind it.

Prior Example: Former FBI Director James Comey briefs president-elect Trump on the two-page salacious dossier aspect; Former DNI James Clapper, knowing the briefing, then discusses the dossier briefing with CNN… this opens the door for the media who are waiting. Once the narrative door is opened, Buzzfeed enters and transmits the story of the unfounded and uncorroborated Steele Dossier. The key point to understand is that everything from the briefing, to Clapper, to CNN, to Buzzfeed, was scripted and planned. This is the pattern. As we have mentioned the pattern becomes predictable.

This predictability is how CTH was able to state in December 2018 that Michael Cohen would most likely be the centerpiece of the first ‘impeachment’ block; and from knowing how the script rolls, CTH was able to predict the exact timing (Thursday after Superbowl, 2/7/19); and the exact committee (Cummings, House Oversight); for the first hearing that will exploit Michael Cohen.

(Credit: Conservative Treehouse)

The current Buzzfeed claims being widely promoted today are all part of that pre-scheduled ‘impeachment’ process.  When we approach the term “impeachment” we are not discussing it as the technical and legal approach for removal of a President; but rather the political use of the process to damage President Donald Trump.

Professional political Democrats would not be using “impeachment” in the constitutional sense of the process; but rather weaponizing the process –as a tool itself– to: •target the executive office; •diminish the presidency (“isolate”/”marginalize”, Alinsky rules); •and position themselves for 2020.

Optics and innuendo are key elements, tools per se’, in the Alinsky narrative engineering process.  That’s why Pelosi, Schumer and the democrat machine are going bananas about getting a raw Mueller report and not a version from AG Barr {explained here}.

From Pelosi’s rules, we now know Elijah Cummings will deliver the schedule for impeachment hearings before his deadline on April 15th. We also know from the outline of the process they are following, the next likely witness to be subpoenaed, and to grab the media headlines will be Donald Trump Jr.

That’s where Adam Schiff (HPSCI) and Jerry Nadler (Judiciary) come in with the technical hearings to begin the ‘impeachment’ specifics.  However, they need a predicate to get from Michael Cohen to Donald Trump Jr.

So, knowing they need a baseline predicate…. How do you get from Michael Cohen to Donald Trump Jr?  A = You use the Trump Tower Moscow narrative….  See the map?

Elijah Cummings needs a reference point to take Cohen toward DT-Jr, that’s where Buzzfeed comes in.  Is there any factual basis for the claims within the Buzzfeed report?  No, but that’s not what they need… they need “innuendo” to investigate.

“President Donald Trump directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.” (link)

The article is fraught with flawed assumptions and flat-out nonsense; even claiming emails and documents (unseen by the authors) to support the foundation of the article.  Note that no-one else in media is validating this claim. However, that doesn’t matter…. what matters is the ‘claim that needs to be investigated’.  Did President Trump direct Michael Cohen to lie to congress; no, that’s silly.

In the aftermath of the SSCI (Mark Warner) drum-beating a false story about Trump Tower Moscow as evidence of ‘possible’ influence over Trump….. Did Cohen participate in writing a brief set of talking points for the Trump organization to clear up this false and malicious political narrative?  Probably.  Most large organizations do that to share with top executives so everyone has the same set of facts to deal with.

Is that document the electronic evidence (emails) inferred, skewed, and manipulated within the Buzzfeed report?…  I’d wager B.I.N.G.O.

All of it is a nothing-burger, but that doesn’t technically matter for the needs of the ‘resistance’; what they need is a tenuously valid innuendo trail they can exploit with Michael Cohen on February 7th, that will allow Elijah Cummings to pass that specific aspect to Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler.

See how that works?

(Conservative Treehouse, 1/18/2019) (Republished with permission)

September 21, 2018 – Records show a DOJ effort to craft response to reports on Rosenstein wearing wire and invoking 25th Amendment

(Credit: Judicial Watch)

“Judicial Watch today released 14 pages of records from the Department of Justice showing officials’ efforts in responding to media inquiries centering on talks within the DOJ/FBI allegedly invoking the 25th Amendment to “remove” President Donald Trump from office and former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein offering to wear a “wire” to record his conversations with the president.

The records show that, following a September 21, 2018report on Rosenstein suggesting he would wear a wire to secretly record Trump and his discussions on using the 25th Amendment, Rosenstein sought to ensure the media would have “difficulty” finding anyone in the DOJ to comment and a concerted effort within the DOJ to frame the reporting as “inaccurate” and “factually incorrect.”

The records show DOJ officials had also discussed characterizing Rosenstein’s reported offer of wearing a wire to record Trump as merely “sarcastic.”

Additionally, the records show DOJ Public Affairs officer Sarah Isgur Flores, after conferring with other top DOJ officials and Rosenstein’s office about her email exchange with New York Times reporter Adam Goldman, waited 12 hours to forward the email exchange to DOJ Chief of Staff Matthew Whitaker. Former White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had referred to Whitaker as the president’s “eyes and ears” in the DOJ.

Justice Department public affairs officer, Sarah Isgur Flores (r), is hired by CNN as a political editor in early 2019. (Credit: YouTube/CNN)

The records obtained by Judicial Watch include a September 21, 2018email from Assistant U.S. Attorney (DOJ/NSD) Harvey Eisenberg to Rosenstein informing the DAG that Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima had called inquiring about a New York Times report on the 25th Amendment/wire discussion, Rosenstein responds:

“Thanks! Hopefully, we are being successful, and the reporters are having difficulty finding anybody to comment about things. [Remainder of email redacted.]” Apparently in response to the redacted portion of Rosenstein’s reply, Eisenberg responds, “I’m aware. Besides letting you know, [redacted]. My best to you and the family.” Rosenstein replies, “I don’t mean about me. [Redacted.]”

(Read more: Judicial Watch, 9/11/2019)

 

October 1, 2017 – Former top FBI lawyer, James Baker, has been under federal investigation for media leaks, beginning under the Obama administration

“The former top lawyer at the FBI has been under federal investigation for leaking to the media, a letter from House Republicans revealed Tuesday.

The letter from GOP Reps. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows cited the transcript of a congressional interview with former General Counsel James Baker and his lawyer last fall, where the probe conducted by seasoned U.S. Attorney John Durham was confirmed.

(Snippet from Jordan and Meadows letter)

“You may or may not know, [Baker has] been the subject of a leak investigation … a criminal leak investigation that’s still active at the Justice Department,” lawyer Daniel Levin told lawmakers, as he pushed back on questions about his client’s conversations with reporters.

Jordan and Meadows’ letter was sent to Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, and requested additional information about the probe later this month.

“As we continue our oversight and investigative work, we felt it prudent to write to you seeking an update. Without being apprised of the contours of your leak investigation and Baker’s role, we run the risk of inadvertently interfering with your prosecutorial plans,” they wrote.

A source familiar with the U.S. Attorney investigation told Fox News they believe the investigation of Baker remains open, adding they understand it began during the Obama administration and not in the course of the Russia investigation.

The transcript of the closed-door interview and the letter do not include details explaining why the investigation is being led out of the Connecticut office. The status of the investigation is not publicly known.

But the disclosure marks the latest confirmation of a leak investigation involving FBI figures who have since left the bureau. (Read more: Fox News, 1/15/2019)

March 17, 2017 – The Senate Intel Cmte. security director, James Wolfe, leaks the Carter Page FISA application to Buzzfeed reporter, Ali Watkins, DoD and FBI coverup

“In the first part of this research into the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) we outlined how the committee was engaged in the 2017 effort –with specific evidence of communication– to support Robert Mueller and the ‘soft coup‘ team. [See Here] When you understand what the group was doing in early 2017, you understand why the FBI had to use DOJ official Bruce Ohr as a go-between to contact with Chris Steele.

Now we move on to overlay several data-points that happened throughout 2018 that are connected to a much more troubling part of the overall issues.  In 2018 the DOJ and FBI covered-up the corruption evident during the 2017 pre-Mueller effort.

The problem for Attorney General Bill Barr is not only investigating what we don’t know, but rather navigating through what ‘We The People’ are already aware of…. A branch of the United States government (Legislative) was attempting a coup against the leader of another branch of government (Executive); by using the Senate Intelligence Committee and designated corrupt agents within the executive branch cabinet.

This 2017 and 2018 time period covers Robert Mueller as Special Counsel, Jeff Sessions as AG, Rod Rosenstein as Deputy, Chris Wray as FBI Director, David Bowditch as Deputy and Dana Boente as FBI legal counsel.  I’ll lay out the evidence, you can then determine who was powerful enough to have made these decisions.

As a result of a FOIA release in mid-December 2018, Judicial Watch revealed how the State Department was feeding “classified information” to multiple U.S. Senators on the Senate Intelligence Committee by the Obama administration immediately prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration:

The documents reveal that among those receiving the classified documents were Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), and Sen. Robert Corker (R-TN).

Judicial Watch obtained the documents through a June 2018 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit filed against the State Department after it failed to respond to a February 2018 request seeking records of the Obama State Department’s last-minute efforts to share classified information about Russia election interference issues with Democratic Senator Ben Cardin (Judicial Watch v. U.S. Department of State (No. 1:18-cv-01381)).

The documents reveal the Obama State Department urgently gathering classified Russia investigation information and disseminating it to members of Congress within hours of Donald Trump taking office.  (read more)

The impeachment program was a plan, an insurance policy of sorts; a coordinated effort between corrupt politicians in the Senate and hold-over allies in the executive; however, because she didn’t want to participate in this – Senator Dianne Feinstein abdicated her vice-chair position to Senator Mark Warner.  [Background Here]

This is the pre-cursor to utilizing Robert Mueller.  A plan that was developed soon after the  election.  The appointment of a special counsel was always the way they were going to hand-off and continue the investigation into Trump; but they needed a reason for it.

The continued exploitation of the Steele Dossier was critical; thus they needed Chris Steele to be solid.  And the continued manipulation of the media was also critical; thus they needed Fusion-GPS to continue.  [Dan Jones paid both]

While Mark Warner was communicating with Adam Waldman and Dan Jones as a conduit to Chris Steele, the FBI/DOJ team was communicating through Bruce Ohr to Chris Steele (and by extension to Nellie Ohr and Fusion GPS).

Part of Warner’s role was to weaponize the Legislative branch to advance the ‘Muh Russia conspiracy’, a fundamental necessity if a special counsel was going to have justification.

The SSCI, and the security protocols within it, were structurally part of the plan; hence the rapid information from Obama’s State Dept. to the SSCI and Senate participants in the last moments prior to departing.

♦ On March 17th, 2017, the Senate Intelligence Committee took custody of the FISA application used against Carter Page.   We know the FISA court delivered the read and return Top-Secret Classified application due to the clerk stamp of March 17, 2017.

(Page FISA Application, Link)

The FISA application (original and first renewal) was delivered to Senate Security Director James Wolfe.  Senator Mark Warner entered the basement SCIF shortly after 4:00pm on March 17, 2017, the day it was delivered (texts between Warner and Waldman):

Now, when SSCI Security Officer James Wolfe was indicted (unsealed June ’18), we could see the importance of the March 17th date again:

(Wolfe Indictment Link)

We can tell from the description within the indictment FBI investigators are describing the FISA application.  Additionally Wolfe exchanged 82 text messages with his reporter/girlfriend Ali Watkins.  The FISA application is 83 pages with one blank page.

The logical conclusion was that Wolfe text Ali Watkins 82 pictures of the application.

FBI Investigators applied for, and received a search warrant for the phone records of journalist Ali Watkins.  Ms. Watkins was notified in February 2018, three months after Wolfe was questioned by FBI investigators in December 2017.

However, despite the overwhelming (public) circumstantial evidence that Wolfe leaked the FISA application, he was never charged with leaking classified information.  Wolfe was only charged with lying three times to federal authorities, and he pled down to one count of lying to the FBI.

CTH made the case in mid 2018 that someone at the DOJ had influenced a decision not to charge Wolfe with the leaking of the FISA application; despite the FBI and DOJ having direct evidence of Wolfe leaking classified information.

The logical reason for the DOJ not to charge Wolfe with the FISA leak was because that charge could ensnare a Senator on the powerful committee, likely Mark Warner.

Remember, the SSCI has intelligence oversight of the DOJ, DOJ-NSD, FBI and all associated counterintelligence operations. Additionally, when the FBI was investigating Wolfe for leaking classified documents, according to their court filings they had to inform the committee of the risk Wolfe represented.  Who did they have to inform?.. Chairman Burr and Vice-Chair Warner.

D’oh. Think about it.  A gang-of-eight member (Warner), who happened -as a consequence of the jaw dropping implications- to be one of only two SSCI members who was warned by the FBI that Wolfe was compromised…. and he’s the co-conspirator.  The ramifications cannot be overstated.  Such a criminal charge would be a hot mess.

Thus, the perfect alignment of interests for a dropped charge and DC cover-up.

Then, in an act of serendipity, James Wolfe himself bolstered that suspicion when he threatened to subpoena members of the SSCI as part of his defense. [See Here]

(…) Attorneys for James A. Wolfe sent letters to all 15 senators on the committee, notifying them that their testimony may be sought as part of Mr. Wolfe’s defense, according to two people familiar with the matter.

(…) Mr. Wolfe’s defense lawyers are considering calling the senators as part of the proceedings for a variety of reasons, including as potential character witnesses and to rebut some of the allegations made by the government in the criminal complaint, these people say.  (link)

Immediately after threatening to subpoena the SSCI (July 27, 2018), the DOJ cut a deal with Wolfe and dropped the charges down to a single charge of lying to investigators.  However, someone doing the investigative legwork wasn’t happy with that decision.

Our overwhelming CTH circumstantial evidence that Wolfe leaked the FISA application went from a strong suspicion, to damn certain (after the plea deal) when the DOJ included a sentencing motion in mid-December 2018.

On December 15th, 2018 the DOJ filed a response to the Wolfe defense teams’ own sentencing memo (full pdf), and within the DOJ response they included an exhibit (#13) written by the FBI [redacted] special agent in charge, which specifically says: “because of the known disclosure of classified information, the FISA application”… Thereby admitting, albeit post-plea agreement, that Wolfe did indeed leak the damn FISA:

(link to document)

Right there, in that FBI Special Agent description is the bombshell admission that James Wolfe leaked the Carter Page FISA application to his concubine Ali Watkins at Buzzfeed.

We know the special agent who wrote exhibit #13 in the December filing was Special Agent Brian Dugan, Asst. Special Agent in Charge, Washington Field Office.  The same investigator who originally signed the affidavit in the original indictment.

So with hindsight there was absolutely no doubt that James Wolfe leaked the 83-page Carter Page FISA application on March 17, 2017.  Period.  It’s all documented with circumstantial and direct evidence; including the admissions from the FBI agent in charge.

So, why was James Wolfe allowed to plea to a single count of lying to investigators?” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 8/11/2019)

December 12, 2016 – CIA director Brennan selects FBI Peter Strzok to work on the Joint Analysis Report (JAR) and help write the Intel Community Assessment (ICA)

March 26, 2019 – “Last week Fox News journalist Catherine Herridge announced she had received 40 pages of text messages between former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and his FBI Lawyer Lisa Page. [See Here]  These text communications have not been seen by congress, and were not released during prior requests for documents.  Herridge, released and wrote about two of the pages. [See Here]

Today, Herridge releases two more pages….  She’s awesome, and likely slow in the overall release to absorb the import; and for good reason.  Herridge’s release today highlights an important meeting as discussed within the texts:

In a Dec. 12, 2016, text reviewed by Fox News, Page wrote to McCabe: “Btw, [Director of National Intelligence James] Clapper told Pete that he was meeting with [CIA Director John] Brennan and Cohen for dinner tonight. Just FYSA [for your situational awareness].”

Herridge’s angle is questioning why Peter “Pete” Strzok would be told about a meeting between CIA Director John Brennan, ODNI James Clapper and Deputy CIA Director David Cohen.  Current officials cannot explain the context of this December 12th, 2016 meeting and why “Pete” would know about it.

However, there’s an aspect to the background of this time-frame that Catherine Herridge is overlooking…. bear with me.

This meeting takes place on December 12th, 2016.  This is in the epicenter of the time when the Obama intelligence officials, specifically Clapper and Brennan – along with DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, were hastily putting together something called the JAR “Joint Analysis Report”, on Russian activity in the 2016 election.

The Joint Analysis Report: aka GRIZZLY STEPPE – Russian Malicious Cyber Activity”  was released on December 29th, 2016, to coincide with President Obama kicking out Russian diplomats as punishment for the content therein which outlined malicious Russian activity in the 2016 election.

We’ve been talking about the JAR from the day it was initially released.  This specific report is total garbage. [Read it Here]  The “Russian Malicious Cyber Activity – Joint Analysis Report” is pure nonsense. This is the report that generated the “17 intelligence agencies” narrative and talking points.  The JAR outlines nothing more than vague and disingenuous typical hacking activity that is no more substantive than any other hacking report on any other foreign actor.  But the “17 Intel Agencies” narrative stuck like glue.

(…)  There’s no doubt the intended outcome was to create confusion and begin selling a narrative to undermine the incoming President-elect Trump administration. No-one expected him to win; Trump’s victory sent a shock-wave through the DC system the professional political class were reacting to it.  The emotional crisis inside DC made manipulating them, and much of the the electorate, that much easier.

Understanding the JAR was used to validate the Russian sanctions and expulsion of the 35 Russian diplomats; and understanding that some coordination and planning was needed for the report therein; and understanding that Brennan and Clapper would need someone to author the material; that’s where Peter “Pete” Strzok comes in.

Remember, CIA Director John Brennan enlisted FBI Agent Peter Strzok to write much of the follow-up within the ICA report, another sketchy construct.  Paul Sperry wrote a great article about it (emphasis mine):

(…) In another departure from custom, the report is missing any dissenting views or an annex with evaluations of the conclusions from outside reviewers. “Traditionally, controversial intelligence community assessments like this include dissenting views and the views of an outside review group,” said Fred Fleitz, who worked as a CIA analyst for 19 years and helped draft national intelligence estimates at Langley. “It also should have been thoroughly vetted with all relevant IC agencies,” he added. “Why were DHS and DIA excluded?”

Fleitz suggests that the Obama administration limited the number of players involved in the analysis to skew the results. He believes the process was “manipulated” to reach a “predetermined political conclusion” that the incoming Republican president was compromised by the Russians.

“I’ve never viewed the ICA as credible,” the CIA veteran added.

A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.

Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA,” according to the source.  (read more)

Now does the picture from within Catherine Herridge’s story make more sense?

Peter “Pete” Strzok knew about the December 12th meeting between Brennan, Clapper and Cohen, because Clapper told Strzok of the meeting.  Likely this discussion surrounded the need for Pete’s help in constructing the JAR; which would be the underlying evidence President Obama would use to expel the Russians….  Which is to say, give increased validity to the manufactured premise there was Russian interference.  There wasn’t. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, March 26, 2019)

Fast forward two months: “Trey Gowdy appears on Fox News to discuss the current ‘investigative’ status and reports of Brennan -vs- Comey on the use of the Steele Dossier within the 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment or ICA.

Gowdy is one of the few people, along with John Ratcliffe, who has seen the full and unredacted FISA application used against Carter Page.

Regarding the use of the Steele Dossier within the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment; as Gowdy notes there is a likelihood both Brennan and Comey are both correct. (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 5/14/2019)

October 31, 2016 – Clinton and Podesta tweets suggest foreknowledge of a Slate article, stating Trump is covertly communicating with Russia, just days before the election

Within days of the 2016 election, Clinton campaign manager, John Podesta, posts a tweet on October 31st, 2016 at 4:44 PM, and includes a link to an article by Slate:

However, the article wasn’t published at the time of Podesta’s tweet. The Slate article is published at 5:36 PM on October 31, 2016, an hour after Podesta’s tweet.

At the exact same time Slate’s article is published, Clinton tweets with an attached statement about the Slate article by Jake Sullivan who writes, “in response to a new report from Slate showing that the Trump organization has a secret server registered to Trump Tower that has been covertly communicating with Russia.”

How is it possible that Podesta and Clinton’s tweets and an attached written statement by Jake Sullivan, could quote the Slate article that was not yet public?

Ironically, on the same day, the New York Times publishes a story that debunks the Alfa Bank/Trump/covert Russia communications conspiracy.

(…) “F.B.I. officials spent weeks examining computer data showing an odd stream of activity to a Trump Organization server and Alfa Bank. Computer logs obtained by The New York Times show that two servers at Alfa Bank sent more than 2,700 “look-up” messages — a first step for one system’s computers to talk to another — to a Trump-connected server beginning in the spring. But the F.B.I. ultimately concluded that there could be an innocuous explanation, like a marketing email or spam, for the computer contacts.” (The New York Times, 10/31/2016)

October 2016 – The DOJ IG report reveals dozens of FBI officials taking bribes from media for information

The IG report on how the FBI handled the Clinton investigation revealed that dozens of FBI officials were actually taking bribes from the media for information:

IG REPORT – We identified numerous FBI employees, at all levels of the organization and with no official reason to be in contact with the media, who were nevertheless in frequent contact with reporters. Attached to this report as Attachments E and F are two link charts that reflect the volume of communications that we identified between FBI employees and media representatives in April/May and October 2016. We have profound concerns about the volume and extent of unauthorized media contacts by FBI personnel that we have uncovered during our review.

DOJ IG Horowitz testifies before the House Judiciary Committee on June 14, 2018. (Credit: public domain)

(…) We do not believe the problem is with the FBI’s policy, which we found to be clear and unambiguous. Rather, we concluded that these leaks highlight the need to change what appears to be a cultural attitude among many in the organization. (link to pdf – page Xii of executive summary)

Perspective:

Later it was revealed that Andrew Weissmann, Robert Mueller’s #1 special counsel prosecutor, was coordinating investigative efforts with the full support of four AP reporters who were giving Weissmann tips. That is information from journalists, provided to Weissmann, for use in his court filings and submitted search warrants.

Make sure you grasp this: The AP journalists were feeding information to their ideological allies within the special counsel.” (Read more: Conservative Treehouse, 1/27/2019)

September 6, 2016 – Clinton responds to question of whether she thinks Putin is helping Trump: He “has generally parroted what is a Putin/Kremlin line.”

Clinton is accompanied by traveling press secretary Nick Merrill (l) and director of communications Jennifer Palmieri (r), and listens to a question from a member of the media, Sept. 6, 2016. (Credit: The Associated Press)

“When a reporter aboard Clinton’s campaign plane asked if Putin is using cyberwarfare to help elect Trump, Clinton said “I’m not going to jump to conclusions.” She then proceeded to jump away.

She said recent events aren’t mere coincidence. “I often quote a great saying that I learned from living in Arkansas for many years: ‘If you find a turtle on a fence post, it didn’t get there by itself.’ ” She then added, in case anyone didn’t get her point, that “I think it’s quite intriguing that this activity has happened around the time Trump became the nominee.”

She said that Trump “has generally parroted what is a Putin/Kremlin line.” Etc., etc.

(…) But a casual glance at the timeline shows how fanciful such speculation is. Russians reportedly breached the DNC’s servers back in June 2015. [The DNC lawsuit and Crowdstrike report the servers were breached in July, 2016.] That was long before anyone took Trump’s campaign seriously.

Also, the fact that the DNC had been hacked was publicly announced in June 2016 — more than a month before Trump had said anything about Russia and Hillary’s emails. And the first item released from that hack was the DNC’s opposition research file on Trump.

At the time, nobody claimed Russia was trying to elect Trump, since the first release wasn’t exactly flattering to him. In fact, the Washington Post reported that the DNC hack was part of a broader effort by Russians to target both political parties.

“The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some Republican political action committees, U.S. officials said,” the Post article stated.

The claim that Russia was trying to help Trump win an election only came about after WikiLeaks posted embarrassing DNC emails.”  (Read more: Investor’s Business Daily, 9/06/2016)