For years, the Obama administration has claimed that they were completely hands off regarding the Trump-Russia investigation. They’ve worked hard to build a wall of deniability based on nonsensical assertions the they didn’t even know about it.
Ben Rhodes, the former President’s foremost Obama bro, tried this line out a few weeks ago.
“No, no, I cannot be clear enough about this. We didn’t even know there was an FBI investigation of Trump. I didn’t. President Obama didn’t, like, we actually abided by the firewalls between – if there were any investigations that took place, those decisions were made in the Justice Department, in the FBI, not in the White House,”
This was obviously a lie because a revealed text from Peter Strzok, the disgraced former FBI agent who was leading Crossfire Hurricane, admitted that the entire investigation was being running out of the White House. That would obviously make sense as there’s just little possibility that Clapper, Brennan, and Comey all just didn’t bother to brief Obama on what they were doing.
Aside from that text, we’ve got another piece of evidence that comes from an unlikely place. It involves a 2017 Washington Post article, which was full of anonymous sources that were obviously former Obama officials, trying to spin a narrative that Obama took Russia seriously in 2016. Details of a second, even more secret investigation into Trump and Russia form the basis of the article. This was all occurring in the context of trying to protect the former President from criticism he was receiving regarding Russian efforts to interfere in the election.
The Washington Post was of course happy to play along, as they are routinely used as stenographers for the Obama administration and FBI officials trying to protect themselves.
American Greatness dove into this issue earlier this week and pulled out several revelations which have somehow escaped the public eye to this point.
Details of the second, less-discussed investigation were leaked by senior Obama Administration officials for a June 2017 Washington Post story, “Obama’s secret struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault.” That story hasn’t received anywhere near the attention it deserves…
…The article reads more like an Obama Administration press release than journalism. We’re informed that “Obama’s approach to national security challenges was deliberate and cautious,” and “often seemed reducible to a single imperative: Don’t make things worse” and of his “determination to avoid politicizing the Russia issue.”
Meantime, CIA Director John Brennan “moved swiftly to schedule private briefings with congressional leaders,” but “getting appointments with certain Republicans proved difficult.” The White House was “[s]tung by the reaction” of Republicans, having “hoped that a bipartisan appeal to states would be more effective.”
You may recall this excuse from several years back. It basically sought to blame Republican obstructionism for Obama’s impotency in dealing with Russia. Given that Congress has no law enforcement power, such charges never made any sense but the media were happy to run with them.
The important thing to note here though is that Brennan was going around briefing Senators on a second, secret investigation he was conducting directly out of the White House, which the White House would then claim was vindication of their toughness toward Russia.
The Post notes that Brennan received a “report” derived from “sourcing deep inside the Russian government” that formed the basis of his new, second investigation.
a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.
But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives—defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.
Hmm, I wonder what that “report” made up of Russian sources could be? Any guesses?
If you read the entirety of the Post article, the timeline starts to give the game away. Crossfire Hurricane began on July 31st. Barack Obama was briefed on the “intelligence bombshell” in early August, meaning days later. We also know that Comey and Strzok were working directly with John Brennan on his second investigation.
But the Washington Post story also reports Rogers was “reluctant to view” the intelligence that Brennan used to justify his investigation “with high confidence” because it came from another country…
…According to a November 15, 2017 story in the Guardian, Brennan received the report used to justify his investigation from none other than British intelligence agency GCHQ’s then head, Robert Hannigan, who “flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan.”
You’ve probably figured it out by now. The “bombshell intelligence” that Brennan was using, in direct coordination with the White House, was obviously the Steele dossier. This is all but confirmed by the fact that the Steele dossier ultimately weighed heavily in the production of the 2017 ICA report on Russian interference that Brennan put out.
Paul Sperry also reported that Obama’s National Security Agency chief, Admiral Michael Rogers, “stated in a classified letter to Congress” that the Steele Dossier played a role in producing the January 2017 ICA. Indeed, according to Sperry, Rogers told congress “a two-page summary of the dossier” appears as an appendix to the classified version of the ICA.
That report was bandied about for years by anti-Trump forces as a “just the facts” assessment. In reality, as many of us pointed out at the time, it was a vague, nearly evidence free document simply meant to push the assertion that Russia helped get Trump elected.
Once again, even in regards to that ICA report, all roads lead to the garbage Steele dossier.
Was the dossier the initial genesis of the Trump-Russia investigation? I actually think it wasn’t if we are talking about early 2016 in regards to running of informants against Trump campaign members (i.e. Papadopoulos). The FBI, DOJ, and likely Obama himself had already decided to start sniffing around before they had the first piece of evidence in hand.
BUT, what’s fairly obvious is that the Steele dossier was used as the hook in the summer of 2016 to escalate the investigation and eventually build it into the monstrosity that we are trying to make sense of today.
What you see in the original Post article is Obama wanting to have it both ways. On the one hand, we are told that Obama knew nothing so as to protect him from charges of political motivation. On the other hand we are told he took Russia extremely seriously because he commissioned a second investigation run by Brennan, which we know involved the Steele dossier. He can’t have it both ways and it appears that Obama was briefed on the Steele dossier as early as August of 2016.
Given the revelations of interwork among the FBI, CIA, Brennan, Comey, etc. on the Trump-Russia issue, it belabors belief to think the former President was briefed on the Steele dossier but then knew nothing else about any of the investigations. Regardless, Obama and his officials have continued to lie about what they knew and when they knew it, claiming to be completely in the dark.
In the end, partisan actors, including Obama and his closest officials, were so desperate to go after Trump and prevent his election (and damage him after his election) that they happily fell for a Russian disinformation campaign in the process. The Steele dossier continues to appear at every juncture of this travesty of justice. It’s a testament to just how corrupt and stupid the people running our government were during the Obama years.
Enjoying the read? Please visit my archive and check out some of my latest articles.
I’ve got a new twitter! Please help by following @bonchieredstate.