Brennan notes show Obama, Comey knew about alleged Clinton-Russia plan before election
The Director of National Intelligence, John Ratcliffe, has declassified notes from then-CIA director John Brennan that shows that in 2016, Brennan briefed President Barack Obama regarding the Clinton campaign’s attempts to try to paint then-candidate Donald Trump as a Russian agent.
“Top U.S. intelligence officials were so concerned heading into the 2016 election that the Russians were aware of and potentially manipulating Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s plans to smear Donald Trump as a Russian agent that they personally briefed President Barack Obama on the matter,” says the Federalist.
The CIA then requested that the FBI investigate the allegations in a memo to the head of the FBI and his counterintelligence chief.
When asked last week by the Senate Judiciary Committee if he was briefed on the matter, the FBI Director at the time, James Comey, said he didn’t remember.
“You don’t remember getting an investigatory lead from the intelligence community? Sept. 7, 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral to James Comey and Strzok regarding Clinton’s approval of a plan [about] Trump…as a means of distraction?” Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked Comey.
“That doesn’t ring any bells with me,” Comey said.
Brennan made the notes after briefing President Obama regarding “an exchange discussing U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s approval of a plan concerning U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections as a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server.”
Indeed, the Clinton campaign paid a foreign intelligence agent to compile a report — mostly made up from Russian sources — that contained allegations of Trump collusion with Russia, and other salacious gossip. The Steele Dossier, produced by former MI6 agent Christopher Steele, who previously ran the UK’s Russia desk, was then used by the FBI as the reason to begin a counterintelligence investigation of the Trump campaign.
“The dossier was later used in applications to surveil Trump associate Carter Page. The Justice Department’s inspector general has since concluded that the FBI did not inform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the dossier was unreliable,” says Yahoo News.
At the time, intelligence sources warned that the report was likely a Russian disinformation campaign to destabilize the U.S. elections.
The release of the Brennan notes is the first acknowledgment that the Obama administration, including President Obama, knew about a Clinton plan to upend the results of the election. Indeed, the notes show that the intelligence community was so worried that they referred the matter to the FBI for investigation.
“John Brennan’s own notes confirm what common sense has told us all along: the only candidate — and only campaign — to use foreign disinformation in 2016 was Hillary Clinton,” said Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR).
Last week, Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said that he was disappointed in Comey, who continues to claim a tie between Russia and Trump, even though he denied knowledge of much of the Russian investigation.
“How can you, now, as a private citizen and former FBI Director, show up and then speculate freely regarding any alleged ties between President Putin and President Trump… You don’t seem to know anything about this investigation that you ran,” Lee asked Comey.
Comey was fired by Trump in May of 2017, which triggered the appointment of Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
PHOTO: JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images
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