by WorldTribune Staff, December 6, 2017
Donald Trump was in the cross-hairs of the Obama administration’s top intelligence chiefs long before he took the oath of office. From candidate to president-elect and then president, Trump was targeted in an unprecedented smear campaign by openly partisan former Obama intelligence officials who have continued to wield out-sized influence in the Trump administration, a report said.
National security officials under Obama have “shown themselves to be intense adversaries” of President Trump “in public and behind the scenes,” Rowan Scarborough wrote in a Dec. 5 report for The Washington Times.
J.D. Gordon, a former Defense Department spokesman and Trump campaign national security adviser, told Scarborough:
“Having experienced a change in administration while at the Pentagon in 2009, it’s not uncommon to see passive-aggressive behavior from a handful of outgoing folks. That said, based on the flood of leaks across the government, what we’re seeing today more closely resembles a stealth coup. Certainly nothing passive about it.”
Related: Payback: Why Gen. Mike Flynn was targeted by Obama administration’s ‘deep state’, Geostrategy-Direct.com
Active measures taken by top security officials in the politicized assault on Donald Trump include:
- Then-FBI Director James Comey, who succeeded his mentor Robert Mueller, began a criminal investigation of the Trump campaign, in whole or part, based on a discredited dossier financed by the Democratic Party with an aim to destroy the Republican candidate. The dossier’s salacious and sometimes far-fetched scenarios of Russia-Trump collusion on the Russian hack of Democratic Party computers have not been confirmed publicly.
- James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, suggested that Trump is on the way out and calls him unfit for office. “I really question his … fitness to be in this office,” Clapper told CNN after a fiery Trump speech in August. “And I also am beginning to wonder about his motivation for it. Maybe he is looking for a way out.”
- Former CIA Director John Brennan disclosed his own role in driving the FBI to investigate Trump during the campaign. “I wanted to make sure that every information and bit of intelligence that we had was shared with the [FBI] so that they could take it,” Brennan told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in May. “I was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and it served as the basis for the FBI investigation to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred.”
During the presidential transition, Rep. Peter King, New York Republican, became suspicious of Brennan’s behind-the-scenes maneuvers. He said on ABC News: “There should be an investigation of what the Russians did but also an investigation of John Brennan and the hit job he seems to be orchestrating against the president-elect.”
To date, there has been no public confirmation of Trump-Russia election collusion charges.
“Conservatives suspect all this has happened as Obama administration holdovers and former aides were working to sabotage the Trump administration,” Scarborough wrote.
A major New York Times story on Feb. 14 based in part on “former American officials” did much to fuel the Trump-Russia collusion narrative.
“Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials,” The Times story read.
But Comey, in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that almost the entire New York Times story was wrong and that he notified members of Congress that it was not true. In other words, there were no such “repeated contacts” with Russian intelligence.
Scarborough noted that another story “that seemed to rise up from Obama holdovers” was the narrative that Trump fired Comey in May because the FBI director had asked for more resources for a Russia-Trump investigation. Several senior Justice Department officials said no such request was made. Comey has not made that charge.
Scarborough noted other assaults on Trump:
- Comey elevated the dossier’s importance by briefing the president-elect at Trump Tower in New York City. Shortly thereafter, the briefing was leaked to CNN.
- Comey wrote contemporaneous memos about his meetings with Trump and then leaked them to The New York Times via a middleman.
- Obama national security aides requested the unmasking of an undetermined number of Trump associates during the campaign, suggesting to Republicans that they were spying.
- Obama people also have floated the talking point that the Trump campaign team violated the 1799 Logan Act by talking policy with Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak during the transition.
When The Washington Post wrote, based on top-secret intercepts, in February that retired Mike Flynn had spoken about sanctions against Moscow with Kislyak, the story brought up the obscure Logan Act as a possible violation.
“Rarely if ever enforced, the Logan Act bars private citizens from urging foreign countries to oppose U.S. policies,” Scarborough wrote. “The Trump transition, however, was not a private group but a government-funded agency.”
That transition conversation with Kislyak proved to be Flynn’s undoing. He pleaded guilty last week to providing false statements to the FBI when he denied discussing sanctions.
Meanwhile, if the Obama national security state declared war on Trump, “it seems the FBI waged peace” with Hillary Clinton during the probe into her alleged mishandling of classified material on her home email server during her tenure as secretary of state, Scarborough wrote.
Comey, the Senate Judiciary Committee discovered, wrote an exoneration statement months before the investigation was concluded, even before interviewing Clinton.
CNN reported that Peter Strzok, the anti-Trump counterintelligence agent kicked off the Mueller probe, had a hand in changing the statement to Clinton’s culpability.
The draft wording was changed from “grossly negligent” – which is the legal definition of mishandling classified information – to “extremely careless,” the words Comey used at the exoneration press conference.