Monday, September 16, 2019

Trump Mishandling of Intelligence Burned CIA’s Top Kremlin Spy

Warning, set down whatever is in your hand so as not to drop it. Have no doubt, the United States’ Intelligence community fully appreciates the danger Trump’s behavior represents with respect to Russia. Indeed, the CIA had cause to fear that Trump’s Russian antics might get an asset killed. From an explosive new CNN report: In a previously undisclosed secret mission in 2017, the United States successfully extracted from Russia one of its highest-level covert sources inside the Russian government, multiple Trump administration officials with direct knowledge told CNN…. ….The decision to carry out the extraction occurred soon after a May 2017 meeting in the Oval Office in which Trump discussed highly classified intelligence with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and then-Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak. The intelligence, concerning ISIS in Syria, had been provided by Israel. We have known for some time that Trump handed over sensitive intelligence to Kislyak during the Oval Office meeting. That meeting has long been the subject of serious questions. American presidents generally do not invite top Russian “diplomats” (spies) INSIIDE the Oval Office. Moreover, Trump summoned the Russians to the White House just a day after firing James Comey, telling staff and the Russians that the investigation was “over.” Last, we Americans might not have even known about the meeting had a photograph of the men not been issued by a Russian news agency and photographer. Evidently, the meeting’s extraordinary circumstances and the mishandling of intelligence sent fear coursing through the intelligence community. Of course, the CIA denies the CNN story: “CNN’s narrative that the Central Intelligence Agency makes life-or-death decisions based on anything other than objective analysis and sound collection is simply false. Misguided speculation that the President’s handling of our nation’s most sensitive intelligence—which he has access to each and every day—drove an alleged exfiltration operation is inaccurate.” Note that the spokesperson did not say that the extraction never took place, only that Trump’s mishandling of “our nation’s most sensitive intelligence” did not “drive” the decision. And, of course, this denial comes from the same executive branch that slapped the Birmingham NWS, while ordering NOAA silenced. That order involved a fcking weather forecast, not treason with classified intelligence. Under no circumstances would we expect the CIA to officially confirm the story. Mike Pompeo’s office  – the man who was CIA director at the time – had no comment on the story, which is not a denial. Of course, Trump’s ongoing bizarre behavior toward Russia would only validate the CIA’s fears: Those concerns continued to grow in the period after Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Kislyak and Lavrov. Weeks after the decision to extract the spy, in July 2017, Trump met privately with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 summit in Hamburg and took the unusual step of confiscating the interpreter’s notes. Afterward, intelligence officials again expressed concern that the President may have improperly discussed classified intelligence with Russia, according to an intelligence source with knowledge of the intelligence community’s response to the Trump-Putin meeting. Recall it was Trump who insisted upon meeting with Putin privately, without a single American diplomat present. Trump could have given Putin the nuclear codes and we would not know. After all, Trump himself confiscated the translator’s notes. Trump’s confiscation of the notes ought to cause […]

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