This is coming from Newsweek which is claiming it is a “scoop” or whatever.
FBI Director James Comey attempted to go public as early as the summer of 2016 with information on Russia’s campaign to influence the U.S. presidential election, but Obama administration officials blocked him from doing so, two sources with knowledge of the matter tell Newsweek.
Well before the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence accused the Russian government of tampering with the U.S. election in an October 7 statement, Comey pitched the idea of writing an op-ed about the Russian campaign during a meeting in the White House’s situation room in June or July.
“He had a draft of it or an outline. He held up a piece of paper in a meeting and said, ‘I want to go forward, what do people think of this?’” says a source with knowledge of the meeting, which included Secretary of State John Kerry, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Department of Homeland Security secretary Jeh Johnson and the national security adviser Susan Rice.
The article goes on to reveal that nothing ever happened with Comey’s suggestion:
But the source with knowledge of Comey’s request says that the FBI director wanted the Russian interference made public earlier and that it was a sluggish White House that denied Comey and delayed the announcement. “The White House shut it down,” that source says. “They did their usual—nothing.” Both sources spoke to Newsweek on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak to the press.
I really have no idea what I’m supposed to make of this but a couple of thoughts come to mind. First, Comey is as slippery as your average greased pig. The offer to run an op-ed seems disingenuous to the extent that it even happened. If Comey were truly concerned he didn’t need an op-ed. He or one of his minions could have called any number of reporters and given then an on-background exclusive about the Russian Threat and what the brave men and women of the FBI were doing to keep America safe. Given the context of the DNC hacking, it would have been on the front page of either the WaPo or New York Times. Secondly, we really have no reason to believe this story is true. It could be true, other than killing Americans to further their own policy goals, the Obama administration was pretty supine when it came to our internal security. Keep in mind, it isn’t Comey making the claim. It is an anonymous source.
Even if Comey had raised the alarm, the article said the op-ed did not mention any connection to the Trump campaign so it would have been a null set in terms of politics. In terms of policy and resource allocation, the op-ed is a nothingburger. The refusal of this group to run the op-ed did not prevent Comey from directing additional resources to countering the perceived threat.
The best it shows is a complacent and lackadaisical FBI going through the motions of being concerned about the Russians. A worst it is a total fabrication. Either way, it is meaningless.