In the past 24 hours, we’ve witnessed CNN push out a story involving President Trump and the facts surrounding why CIA extracted a supposedly high level intelligence asset from Russia. As their story went, they were deeply concerned about Trump exposing classified information, therefore they decided at that moment that they had to get the agent out.
As so often turns out, this was complete, partisan spun nonsense. My colleague streiff reported on the new revelations this morning.
But the government had indicated that the source existed long before Mr. Trump took office, first in formally accusing Russia of interference in October 2016 and then when intelligence officials declassified parts of their assessment about the interference campaign for public release in January 2017. News agencies, including NBC, began reporting around that time about Mr. Putin’s involvement in the election sabotage and on the C.I.A.’s possible sources for the assessment.
The following month, The Washington Post reported that the C.I.A.’s conclusions relied on “sourcing deep inside the Russian government.” And The New York Times later published articles disclosing details about the source.
The news reporting in the spring and summer of 2017 convinced United States government officials that they had to update and revive their extraction plan, according to people familiar the matter.
The extraction had nothing to do with Trump. It was not only planned months before, in a hilarious turn, it was actually the media’s reckless and political behavior that caused the CIA to have to pull the plug. Will they take responsibility for it?
Of course not.
CNN's Jim Sciutto on The New York Times debunking his report: "Now the New York Times has confirmed our story" pic.twitter.com/RZiWrGZfwd
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) September 10, 2019
That’s Jim Sciutto (who first pushed out this likely Fusion GPS laced garbage) claiming that reports that debunked his original assertions “confirmed” his story. These people live on another planet and CNN has reached levels of delusion that MSNBC would be envious of.
The real question is, just who was this intel agent and what exactly was he sharing with the U.S. government in 2016.
Before we answer that, we first have ask ourselves why this story is coming out now. None of these anonymous leaks happen by coincidence. There’s always a reason for them and history says it’s typically to get out ahead of stories that may damage these bureaucracies. For example, when it became clear that the FBI could no longer lie about the Trump campaign being spied on, unnamed officials ran to The New York Times to spin the ordeal and paint the FBI’s intentions as pure.
We’ve seen this play out time and time again and there’s plenty of reason to think it’s happening again. The chief suspicion here is that this intel agent was actually feeding disinformation back to the FBI (intentionally or unintentionally), which helped feed the Russia collusion hysteria that’s now blown up in orbit.
Sean Davis over at The Federalist lays this out.
Notice the reporters who’ve pushed this story. Jim Sciutto at CNN, a former Obama operative. Ken Dilinian over at NBC, who actually outed the agent’s location last night, has been a mouth piece for Fusion GPS since the beginning of this saga. The fact that these same people are the ones behind this latest botched hit piece tell us a lot.
Something is coming and there’s a need for certain officials to get ahead of the story and plant their own narrative. By blaming Donald Trump, they were hoping to pin all of this on the undisciplined nature of the President instead of what really caused it — their own leaks to the press.
Bill Barr is quietly working behind the scenes on this. As Sean says, it’s likely he knows who the players were at this point and they have every reason to start putting their finger on the scale to cover their tails. The pillars that once formed the basis for the Trump-Russia investigation continue to crumble and a lot of people are going to be caught in the rubble. The go to play for them in the past has been to run to sympathetic, anti-Trump media sources and paint their actions as being duty bound instead of corrupt. That’s exactly what this latest story was. They want to paint this intel agent as more than he was, heroically saving the nation from Russian interference. Was he providing verifiable intelligence or disinformation being fed to him by the Russians he thought he was spying on?
Right now, most signs point to the latter. Especially given the latest reporting that he’s now living in public, under his real name, in the Washington D.C. area with no apparent fear for his life. Does that sound like a super important intelligence asset to you or the FBI/CIA trying to cover up their flub? I’ll let you decide.
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