It is becoming readily apparent that the Intelligence Community or the FBI, at some level, has declared war on Donald Trump.
Two things have happened this week that have made it abundantly clear. In a news report on Wednesday, Jake Tapper of CNN claimed to have been told that Trump received a briefing on the claim that the Russians hold compromising material on him. That material was allegedly presented to him at a meeting that included the DNI James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, and FBI Director James Comey. Tapper clearly identifies his source(s) as being from within one of those agencies.
Yesterday, David Ignatius of the Washington Post broke a story that on the day Obama announced sanctions, his National Security Adviser-designate Mike Flynn made several phone calls to the Russian Embassy in Washington:
According to a senior U.S. government official, Flynn phoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak several times on Dec. 29, the day the Obama administration announced the expulsion of 35 Russian officials as well as other measures in retaliation for the hacking. What did Flynn say, and did it undercut the U.S. sanctions? The Logan Act (though never enforced) bars U.S. citizens from correspondence intending to influence a foreign government about “disputes” with the United States. Was its spirit violated? The Trump campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
If the Trump team’s contacts helped discourage the Russians from a counter-retaliation, maybe that’s a good thing. But we ought to know the facts.
Contrary to Ignatius, Flynn is not a private citizen. He’s actually a government employee. Congress appropriates money, in Trump’s case $7 million, to pay salaries for people who are designated to fill slots in the Executive Office of the President before he is sworn in. And he’s more than a rogue government employee. Right now he has access to everything going on in the National Security Council that he will lead starting next week. Plus, it is not unusual for members of a new administration to contact governments where they will have a responsibility. For instance:
— Seth Mandel (@SethAMandel) August 24, 2016
As former intelligence officer John Schindler notes
Biggest deal about last night's Flynn story is that as career MI he surely knows calls to the RUEMBDC are intercepted. He didn't care.
— John Schindler (@20committee) January 13, 2017
True. It has been that way for decades. But the lede here is buried. The official Ignatius quotes leaked the fact that Flynn called the Russian Embassy. How does he know? Because the call was monitored. By whom? The FBI. That official also knows what Flynn talked about for the same reason… just like he knows the name of the guy Flynn talked to. And if Flynn knows he was being monitored, odds are he didn’t say anything he was concerned about the Intelligence Community overhearing. (For the record, Obama’s sanctions are a joke and were put in place solely to block in Trump’s courses of action in regards to Russia. Obama essentially boasted about that.)
But why then, you have to ask, does this information, and in both cases the information is highly classified, get into the media.
The answer is easy.
The Intelligence Community is deliberately trying to undercut Trump. Admittedly, he has made it child’s play by choices in personal staff, but we are looking at the conscious sabotage and discrediting of a president. Just like the CIA did to George Bush during the 2004 election. This should scare the living hell out of anyone who believes the federal bureaucracy has a duty to support and defend the Constitution.