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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Trump urged intel officials, Congress to lie

Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump (Credit: AP/Andrew Harnik/Nati Harnik/Photo montage by Salon)

The administration of Donald Trump, the President who routinely abandons the truth in his quest for self-proclaimed “greatness,” attempted to enlist senior members of the American intelligence community and Congressional representatives and Senators to counter documented news stories about questionable ties by Trump associates to Russia.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and other parts of the Justice Department are investigating of unlawful contacts by senior White House and campaign officials, as well as Trump himself, in growing scandals surrounding the new President.

Some of the officials did call news organizations last week in vain attempts to challenge stories about the reported contacts between Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, some U.S. officials confirmed Friday with The Washington Post and Capitol Hill Blue.

Reported The Post:

The calls were orchestrated by the White House after unsuccessful attempts by the administration to get senior FBI officials to speak with news organizations and dispute the accuracy of stories on the alleged contacts with Russia.

The White House on Friday acknowledged those interactions with the FBI but did not disclose that it then turned to other officials who agreed to do what the FBI would not — participate in White House-arranged calls with news organizations, including The Washington Post.

None of the officials, however, would flatly say the reported contacts with Russia did not occur but suggested they were “infrequent” and “inconsequential.”

The officials who did call, however, would not answer specific questions about the issue.  As such, they were not reported earlier by any news organization that received the calls.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed the attempt to sway reporting on the issue and admitted the calls were encouraged by the White House to “contest” the reporting on questions about Trump’s relationship with Russia.

“When informed by the FBI that the reporting was false, we told reporters who else they should contact to corroborate the FBI’s version of the story,” Spicer, who is often caught openly lying to the media, claimed.

FBI officials themselves, however, stand by earlier published reports of the contacts by Trump’s campaign and White house aides as well as questions about Trump’s own involvement with Russians.

Members of Congress who contacted reporters included Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolina and Rep. Devin Nunes of California, who chair Senate and House intelligence committees.

A spokesman for Nunes contacted reporters “at the request of a High House communications aide and Chairman Nunes then spoke to an additional reporter” to dispute stories about contacts and Burr personally acknowledges calls.

“I’ve had those conversations.  I felt I had something to share that didn’t breach my responsibilities to the committee in an ongoing investigations,” Burr said.

White House Chief of State Reince Priebus, in television interviews, called reporters about contacts with Russia “overstated” and “complete garbage.”

None of the officials, however, would offer specifics about their claims of overstatement or “garbage.”

Sen. Mark Warner, ranking Democrat of the Senate Intelligence Committee told CIA mike pompeo and Burrs that the White House actions raise “grave concerns” about independence of the investigations.

Said Warner:

I am consulting with members of the Intelligence Committee to determine an appropriate course of action so we can ensure that the American people get the thorough, impartial investigation that they deserve, free from White House interference.

Rep. Adam B. Schoff of California, who serves as ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, set out a statement Friday to media organizations, saying the Trump White House “contrived to have intelligence officials contradict unfavorable news reports, this represents a new and even more grave threat to the independence of the intelligence community.”

A number of senior intelligence officials tell Capitol Hill Blue that the President if “lying outright” in his claims that he has not had repeated contacts with Russian leader Vladimir Putin and other senior officials of the country that worked to influence the 2016 Presidential elections.

“Think Bengazi here,” said former CIA director Michael Hayden in an email.  “This is what happens when the intel guys are leaned on for the narrative of the political speakers.  The latter have different rules, words, purposes. Getting invel into that mix always ends unhappily.  it looks like we just did.”

Sen. John McCain, a war hero and prisoner of war in the Vietnam conflict, calls Trump’s questionable relationship with Russia a real cause for worry.

I refuse to accept that our values are morally equivalent to those of our adversaries,” McCain say. “I am a proud, unapologetic believer in the West, and I believe we must always, always stand up for it. For if we do not, who will?

He adds: “This is how dictators get started.


Copyright © 2017 Capitol Hill Blue

3 thoughts on “Trump urged intel officials, Congress to lie”

  1. Also release all of his tax returns, un-edited, un-censored, un-redacted, except for Privacy Information (SSANs, Account Numbers). Including every court case he was or is involved in (Settled, won, lost).

  2. There is an easy way start to prove Trump and his people are innocent of all charges.

    Demand the release the Flynn tapes in all entirety.

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