The Washington Post published an amazing, in-depth piece on the handling of Trump during the transition period by American intelligence agencies called:
“Doubting the intelligence, Trump pursues Putin and leaves a Russian threat unchecked”
The entire piece is worth a thorough reading but it contains an amazing bombshell revelation that I haven’t seen picked up anywhere except The Daily Beast of all places.
The jaw-dropping lede is somewhat buried here:
The officials were escorted into a spacious conference room on the 14th floor of Trump Tower. Trump took a seat at one end of a large table, with Vice President-elect Mike Pence at the other. Among the others present were Priebus, Pompeo and designated national security adviser Michael Flynn.
Following a rehearsed plan, Clapper functioned as moderator, yielding to Brennan and others on key points in the briefing, which covered the most highly classified information U.S. spy agencies had assembled, including an extraordinary CIA stream of intelligence that had captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation.
I say again for emphasis: the CIA … captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation.
Trump was briefed on the collection of the actual instructions. Not just the “strong belief” or the “bulk of the evidence” or other intelligence hedging but the actual instructions. That means every time since January 6th that Trump has expressed doubt about Russian interference in the election he has been outright lying. And he knows it.
When Trump met with Putin during his Asia tour he said:
“He said he didn’t meddle. He said he didn’t meddle. I asked him again. You can only ask so many times,” Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew from Da Nang to Hanoi in Vietnam.
The only explanations for this statement are that he is so compromised with Russia that he is willing to outright lie for Putin because he is bought and paid for or he is completely disconnected from any sense of reality. Either he believes a someone he knows to be lying ignoring facts for “gut feeling” or is so dead set against admitting any influence in his election win that doesn’t involve his greatness he isn’t willing to acknowledge the truth.
I don’t know which prospect is worse.
I really don’t.
There is way more to say about the fact the CIA is willing to admit this publicly but I’ll save that for another diary in an attempt to keep the focus here.