Report: CIA’s Brennan asked ‘Five Eyes’ allied intelligence to spy on Trump as early as 2015

by WorldTribune Staff, February 14, 2024

U.S. intelligence chiefs, including anti-Trump CIA Director John Brennan, enlisted the help of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance to surveil Donald Trump’s associates and “share the intelligence they acquired with U.S. agencies,” sources told three independent journalists who broke the story on Feb. 13.

Along with the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK make up the Five Eyes alliance.

Obama CIA Director John Brennan had identified 26 Trump associates for the Five Eyes to target, the Feb. 13 report said.

In “CIA Had Foreign Allies Spy on Trump Team, Triggering Russia Collusion Hoax, Sources Say,” journalists Michael Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag reported that “multiple credible sources,” said that “the United States Intelligence Community (IC), including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), illegally mobilized foreign intelligence agencies to target Trump advisors long before the summer of 2016.”

Unknown details about the FBI’s investigation of the Trump campaign and raw intelligence related to the U.S. IC’s surveillance of the Trump campaign are contained in a 10-inch binder that Trump ordered to be declassified at the very end of his term, sources told the three journalists.

Investigators had “created a binder that blew up the assessment but couldn’t get it out because the CIA controlled it,” the report cited a source as saying. The FBI had targeted the binder in its Aug. 8, 2022 raid on Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, sources say.

Documents contained in the binder are “potentially proof that multiple U.S. intelligence officials broke laws against spying and election interference,” the report said.

The Federalist’s Margot Cleveland noted: “It seems unlikely there will be anything in writing to establish John Brennan or another member of the U.S. Intelligence Community solicited assistance from the other members of Five Eyes. Nonetheless, Americans deserve to know what was in that 10-inch binder and which foreign intelligence services interfered in our 2016 election by ‘bumping’ members of the Trump campaign to craft the Russia hoax.”

“Until now, the official story has been that the FBI’s investigation began after Australian intelligence officials told U.S. officials that a Trump aide had boasted to an Australian diplomat that Russia had damning material about Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton,” according to the article which was published on Shellenberger’s Substack.

Brennan had identified 26 Trump associates for the Five Eyes to target. A source confirmed that the IC had “identified [them] as people to ‘bump,’ or make contact with or manipulate. They were targets of our own IC and law enforcement — targets for collection and misinformation,” the report noted.

A source said that “[t]hey were making contacts and bumping Trump people going back to March 2016,” and “sending people around the UK, Australia, Italy — the Mossad in Italy. The MI6 was working at an intelligence school they had set up.”

British intelligence sources began targeting Trump on behalf of American intelligence agencies possibly as early as 2015, the report said.

Several media outlets had previously reported that the British Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ, had discovered “alleged ties between Trump and the Russian government.”

UK outlet The Guardian, however, claimed that “GCHQ was at no point carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team or proactively seeking information. The alleged conversations were picked up by chance as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets. Over several months, different agencies targeting the same people began to see a pattern of connections that were flagged to intelligence officials in the U.S.”

The Guardian’s claim in wrong, according to the Feb. 13 report. Shellenberger, Taibbi, and Gutentag’s sources, who were familiar with the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence’s investigation (HPSCI), said “In truth, the U.S. IC asked the ‘Five Eyes’ intelligence alliance to surveil Trump’s associates and share the intelligence they acquired with U.S. agencies.”

Related: Brennan briefed Obama, moved quickly to protect Clinton’s Russia strategy, May 23, 2023

One of the Trump associates who was targeted was foreign policy advisor Carter Page, for whom the FBI admitted that it should not have sought a FISA warrant to wiretap.

A source said IC officials targeted Page because they viewed him as inexperienced.

“You look at some of the people who were there,” the person said. “They weren’t sophisticated or experienced at disinformation or at [dealing with] IC people planting ideas or befriending you.”

The first of the targets by the IC appeared to be former Defense Intelligence Agency head Michael Flynn, who would go on to be Trump’s National Security Advisor.

Stefan Halper, a Cambridge academic and a “confidential human source,” approached Flynn in March of 2016. He approached at least four Trump targets, and was paid $411,575.

“The Stefan Halper story is ridiculous,” a source said. “He was the consultant to write papers that really weren’t papers and paid inflated sums like $400,000… He was conducting bumps and intel contacts.”

Trump aide George Papadopoulos was approached by Maltese professor Josef Mifsud, who House Democrats on the Intelligence Committee claimed was “Kremlin-linked.” A source said that Mifsud was instead “a professor who really worked for MI6.”

HPSCI investigators attempted to get their report declassified before Trump left office, but the CIA was reportedly not cooperative, and “rebuffed” them “at every turn,” a source told the three journalists.

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