British Role Confirmed in Trump Spying Scandal

Accuracy in Media

A Special Report from the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism; Cliff Kincaid, Director.

The British Guardian posted a report on April 13 claiming that its sources now admit that the British spy agency GCHQ was digitally wiretapping Trump associates, going back to late 2015. This was presumably when the December 2015 Moscow meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Lt. General Michael Flynn took place.

This runs contrary to the blanket nature of the denial insinuated in GCHQ’s carefully-crafted statement of March 17 claiming it was all “nonsense” and “utterly ridiculous” that they conducted surveillance of “thenpresident-elect” Donald Trump (emphasis added). The surveillance went back a year before he became “president-elect.”

President Trump’s claim of being “wire tapped” has been vindicated. Indeed, the surveillance is far more extensive than even he suspected at the time.

Based on the new disclosures, we can safely conclude that the world’s most advanced and extensive system of computerized espionage was indeed used against him and people he worked with, for political purposes, with the knowledge and approval of top Obama officials such as CIA Director John Brennan (one major name implicated by the Guardian).

Fox News Senior Judicial Analyst, Judge Andrew Napolitano, who said GCHQ was involved in wiretapping Trump, has also vindicated. Fox News owes Napolitano an apology for yanking him off the air for a week for making that “controversial” and now-verified assertion.

Trump Was Right

President Trump stressed the pervasive “extent” of this Obama political “wiretapping” to Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business in an Oval Office interview on April 11 (aired April 12).  “Me and so many other people” surveilled, Trump said. He explained again that he had picked up the “wire tapped” terminology straight from the headline of The New York Times (of January 20) as he has explained before (on March 15; see AIM report).

Now we’re learning that GCHQ did wiretap Trump for a year before the election. “Trump” is, of course, shorthand for Trump associates and possibly Trump himself directly, depending on context. But GCHQ is trying to put a positive spin on what it admits would be illegal spying on U.S. citizens if done by U.S. agencies.

The Guardian’s sources claim a heroic role for the British GCHQ as a courageous “whistleblower” in warning U.S. agencies to “Watch out” about Trump and Russia—but carefully avoiding mention of the U.S.’s NSA, which must be protected at all costs as part of the NSA-GCHQ spy-on-each-other’s-citizens “wiretap shell game.” (See AIM Special Report of March 18).

These sources virtually admit the mutual “wiretap shell game” by inadvertently mentioning the Trump-Russia data was originally passed on to the U.S. by GCHQ as part of a “routine exchange” of intelligence. The use of this term, “exchange,” suggests what we had previously reported—the shell-game “exchange” between the NSA and GCHQ where they can spy on each other’s citizens and deny it all.

British Wiretapping

Past British Prime Ministers have been implicated in various scandals involving wiretaps.  Some have involved the “Echelon” global surveillance system set up by the NSA with its counterparts in the other “Five Eyes” nations—UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  Any one of these countries is able to circumvent domestic laws against spying on their own citizens by asking another Echelon member country to do it for them. This is precisely the “wiretap shell game” used by the Obama administration to have British GCHQ spy on Trump, as outlined by Judge Napolitano and his sources.

To avoid unraveling the longstanding Five Eyes spying “wiretap shell game,” the GCHQ had to pretend they “routinely” came across this Trump-Russia wiretap data “by chance,” unprompted by requests from U.S. agencies (such as the NSA or CIA) or by Obama officials, working outside normal NSA chain of command on Signals Intelligence or SIGINT (as Judge Napolitano reported on March 14).

So the heroic British GCHQ comes to the rescue with conveniently “accidental” (our word) captures of wiretap communications between Trump people and sinister-sounding “Russian intelligence agents,” with the wiretaps sent here to help out the U.S. agencies. We are supposed to believe the U.S. agencies and the Obama White House just passively received this bombshell wiretap data from GCHQ, no questions asked, for over a year from late 2015 to early 2017. (The Guardian has no end date for the surveillance, such as the November 8 election, and indicates continued surveillance into the Trump transition, with the FBI “throwing more resources” into the investigation then.)

Did Obama officials ever say, “Wait! Stop sending us this material, it may be illegal!” It does not appear so. Hence, the questions that have to be asked by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees are:

  • Were there requests for more wiretap data on Trump and his team?
  • Were there requests for more complete transcripts, or even voice recordings?

This “alerting” of the U.S. on Trump-Russia communications was needed, according to the Guardian and its U.S. and U.K. intelligence sources, because the U.S. agencies were “asleep” or “untrained,” or were legally prohibited from “examining the private communications of American citizens without warrants.” But to the GCHQ, America is a “foreign” nation and evidently they think they are free to spy on Americans “without warrants.”

Obama’s CIA and the Anti-Trump Task Force

Previous reporting has said that an interagency task force of six U.S. intelligence agencies was set up to investigate the alleged Trump-connected names supposedly discovered in “incidental collection” of digital wiretap surveillance of Russian communications. The six agencies are said to consist of the CIA, NSA, FBI, the Justice Department’s National Security Division, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Treasury Department financial crimes unit.

Until now, no one has known who in the Obama administration set up the task force, who directs it, what its operating directives state, what its activities have entailed, and who it is really accountable to.

But the Guardian is now reporting that it was CIA Director John Brennan who initiated, in about August 2016, what clearly seems to be an illegal domestic investigation of the Trump political campaign, which would be prohibited by the CIA charter.

Reportedly “Brennan used [British] GCHQ information and intelligence from other partners to launch a major interagency investigation.” The infamous fake “Trump dossier” is apparently dragged in too.

Brennan then proceeded to give highly classified “urgent” briefings to individual members of the Congressional “Gang of Eight.” Beginning on about August 25, with then-Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) on that date, CIA chief Brennan claimed that the Russian email hackings of the Democratic National Committee were designed to help Trump win the election, according to The New York Times. These partisan briefings represent the politicization of the CIA under Obama, and are of dubious legality.

In September 2016, this anti-Trump intelligence task force changed the previous “incidental” collection to outright direct targeting of Trump people so that their communications with Russia were “actively monitored,” not merely retrieved retroactively in digital archives with names having to be laboriously “unmasked.” (See also New York Times January 19/20, February 14.)

Unmasking is unnecessary if one starts with the specific names of Trump personnel first, and then flags them for future surveillance, going forward in time. In that case, the “actively monitored” and flagged Trump names automatically trigger alerts in the NSA-GCHQ computers whenever the names turn up. These wiretap reports would then have been submitted to Obama officials at the level of national security adviser Susan Rice and CIA director Brennan, and perhaps to Obama himself.

Interestingly, the Guardian’s sources carefully try to avoid implicating or involving the NSA in GCHQ’s allegedly unprompted reporting on intercepted wiretap data on Trump associates. It’s the “shell game” again with the NSA and GCHQ covering for each other.

British GCHQ Director Implicated

Instead, the Guardian’s anonymous intelligence sources say that then-director of GCHQ Robert Hannigan passed on a top secret “director level” report on Trump-Russia in “summer 2016” to CIA Director John Brennan, rather than to the NSA. However, if GCHQ was using NSA’s digital wiretap facilities to “routinely” spy on Trump people, then the NSA would be implicated by the very arrangement used.

As we predicted at AIM, the unexpected sudden resignation of GCHQ director Hannigan, announced on January 23, makes him the potential villain and scapegoat. Hannigan stayed on his job until his replacement took office on April 7.

In an unprecedented BBC interview on April 5, Hannigan fired a parting shot at the Judge Napolitano and White House reports of his GCHQ’s spying on Trump. Hannigan snidely dismissed the reports, saying, “We get crazy conspiracy theories thrown at us every day. We ignore most of them. On this occasion it was so crazy that we felt we should say so and we have said it’s a ridiculous suggestion.”

The Guardian’s report refutes Hannigan, barely a week after he left office, possibly with official connivance or approval. But why is Hannigan getting being thrown under the bus so soon? Is it fear of the impending findings of U.S. Congressional and official investigations exposing GCHQ?

Such reports in the British press on highly sensitive intelligence matters surely must have been quietly cleared by the British government as a first fallback position on GCHQ spying on Trump. Otherwise the Guardian would be in deep trouble under the UK’s Official Secrets Act and its D-Notice procedure to suppress or censor news stories on secret intelligence matters.

Finally, the British also seem to be trying to spread the blame around to a laundry list of other countries allegedly passing on intelligence about Trump-Russia contacts—Germany, Estonia, Poland, Australia, the Dutch and the French DGSE.

Still, no “smoking gun” has ever been found in any of this wiretap material, for it would already have been leaked like Lt. Gen. Flynn’s fairly benign conversations with the Russian ambassador that got him fired.

Despite the sensational news from The Washington Post that the FBI obtained a FISA warrant to wiretap ex-Trump adviser Carter Page, which may even still be in effect, his “Russian contacts” also seem to be completely ordinary and routine. Page is so confident of his innocence that he has been going on various television news programs to talk openly about his work on Russia, supplying Russian contacts with some of his New York University classroom materials.

To be sure, a certain large percentage of these kinds of business meetings with Russians will turn out to be with undercover Russian intelligence officers—unbeknownst to the Western business and academic people meeting them. The media portray them as suspicious. But this kind of Russian spy game has always been going on since the Cold War and is nothing new.

The FISA warrant, rather than proving any malfeasance by Carter Page—again no “smoking gun”—only adds to the evidence that what President Trump said from the start was true: that Trump and his associates were under electronic surveillance.

Unasked Questions

What do the wiretaps on Trump actually say? The media don’t want to know if the NSA-GCHQ wiretaps actually exonerate President Trump.

One of the advantages of the adversarial system in the courts is that advocates on the opposing side ideally get a fair chance—unlike the one-sided media with journalists who, at the rate of more than 90 percent, contributed to the Hillary Clinton campaign (see this Columbia Journalism Review study of election records).

Questions not asked of Rice or other sources by the media include whether she or other Obama officials “flagged” the unmasked Trump team names for future NSA (or British GCHQ) automatic unmasking and delivery of transcripts and summary reports.

Did the Obama people regularize the “unmasking” so that routinely a new retroactive search was automatically ordered with automatic unmaskings? That would be another way to turn “incidental collection” into an effectively ongoing wiretap order. Did President Obama or Rice or others request actual sound recordings of Trump and others to review?

Did the Obama team “unmask” other presidential candidates and associates besides Trump, such as Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who visited Moscow in December 2015 and dined with Putin? Fox is reporting that Congressional investigators are now looking into whether other presidential candidates and Members of Congress were surveilled too. In 2014, CIA director Brennan was caught red-handed lying to the Senate about the CIA’s criminal hacking of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s computer system.

We are told that many, if not most, of these wiretaps and unmaskings of Trump people were not even wiretaps about Russia or “incidental collection” on legitimate foreign intelligence subjects, though they may have begun that way.

The evidence now indicates that the information was procured for partisan political purposes—to spy on the Trump opposition to Hillary Clinton using the full weight of the U.S. government’s NSA spying apparatus (or NSA facilities used by British GCHQ).

Pompeo Must Clean Out the CIA

Trump’s CIA Director Mike Pompeo is in a position to get to the bottom of this scandal. Yet, on April 13, 2017, in his first public speech as director, he seemed to indicate that the evidence being developed in connection with the CIA’s role in the illegal surveillance of President Trump was going to be ignored or brushed aside. It was a forceful, even strident, defense of the Agency.

“I inherited an Agency that has a real appreciation for the law and for the Constitution,” he claimed. “Despite fictional depictions meant to sell books or box-office tickets, we are not an untethered or rogue agency. So yes, while we have some truly awesome capabilities at our disposal, our officers do not operate in areas or against targets that are rightfully and legally off-limits to us.”

The evidence suggests the opposite. The CIA under Obama’s CIA Director Brennan was involved in illegal surveillance, using those “truly awesome capabilities,” against political targets that should have been off-limits.

One of those targets was the President who appointed Pompeo as CIA director.

Related AIM Special Reports:

Just Who Was the Russian Agent After All?

on April 11, 2017

Watergate-style Wiretapping Confirmed

on April 4, 2017

A Watergate-style Threat to the Democratic Process

on March 18, 2017

How CNN Recycled Last Year’s Fake News

on February 20, 2017


Trump Takes on the Obama “Climate Change” Agenda

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

The leftist mainstream media are outraged that President Donald Trump appears to be sticking to his campaign promise to “cancel” U.S. participation in the Paris climate accord. The headline in The Washington Post is “Trump’s energy review blocks Group of Seven from consensus.” Politico’s headline is “Trump’s climate demands roil U.S. allies.” This follows Trump’s recent actions to rescind the foundation of Barack Obama’s climate change obsession.

Once again President Trump is being called a radical, when he is, in fact, restoring common sense to government policy. As Forbes reports, Trump’s recent seven-page executive order “lays the groundwork for rescinding” Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which is currently “suspended by the Supreme Court while a Washington appeals court considers its fate.” While Obama was known for his executive overreach (he lost in the Supreme Court more than any other president, including a record number of unanimous defeats), Trump is scaling back government interference in the marketplace that had been justified in the name of battling climate change.

“And so what President Trump did was he instructed the EPA to begin the process, through the regulatory process, of undoing something that should have been done through the legislature but wasn’t,” argues Competitive Enterprise Institute senior fellow Chris Horner in a recent radio appearance. “This is the meta issue for the left,” he added. “It gives them what they have been demanding in the name of so many things, in the name of saving the planet.”

As Horner remarked in a 2010 Accuracy in Media Take AIM interview discussing his book, Power Grab: How Obama’s Green Policies Will Steal Your Freedom and Bankrupt America, climate change is “the latest vehicle to organize society.”

“The left’s objective never changes, that is to ‘organize society’ in that creepy Orwellian rhetoric they’ve mastered,” he said. The threat of climate change, thus, is used to rationalize central planning.

Far-left activist Michael Moore tweeted in response to Trump’s executive order that “Historians in the near future will mark today…as the day the extinction of human life on earth began, thanks 2 Donald Trump.” The reception from The New York Times carries similar vitriol; an editorial describes Trump as “anti-science” and “strip[ping] America of its hard-won role as a global leader on climate issues.” This position as global leader was, of course, earned by former President Obama. The editorial is titled, “President Trump Risks the Planet.”

The media are overwhelmingly convinced of climate change’s veracity—or at least they claim to be—often abandoning objectivity in their reporting in order to defend climate science. The Washington Post defended the Democrats’ choice to testify before the House Science Committee last month, climatologist Michael Mann, as “clear and articulate but outnumbered by foes.” In contrast, the Post reports that at the hearing “political theater upstaged almost all productive discussion of science.”

The media have been complicit with radical climatologists such as Mann, calling anyone who opposes the climate change agenda a “skeptic,” a “denier,”—or worse. And it has become popular to compare energy companies to big tobacco, or hype that each year was warmer than the last. This is shaky science, at best.

“The warming trend is over,” said Horner in 2010. “It could resume, but it’s turned to cooling and is predicted to be cooling for several decades now.”

Horner’s comments hold true today. As Marc Morano points out on his Climate Depot website, satellite data indicates that we are in a temperature pause. “The fact that there has been no warming for the last 18 years is a massive blow to the credibility of climate science,” he writes. Other scientists point out that there is little statistical difference between the allegedly warmest years and other years: Morano quotes Dr. David Whitehouse as calling 2016 temperatures “statistically indistinguishable from 2015.” Claims that we are experiencing the hottest years on record are blatantly bogus, and rely on statistically insignificant temperature changes.

Obama’s own appointed undersecretary for science in the Department of Energy for the first two years of his administration, Steven E. Koonin, said that “The Obama administration relentlessly politicized science and it aggressively pushed a campaign about that politicized science.”

ClimateDepot.com is an indispensable website that keeps track of all relevant global warming news, and provides both sides of the debate. One very useful service it provides is the names and quotes from environmentalists, including former “warmists”—global warming believers—such as physicist Freeman Dyson: “An Obama supporter who describes himself as ‘100 per cent Democrat,’ Dyson says he is disappointed that the President ‘chose the wrong side.’ Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere does more good than harm, he argues, and humanity doesn’t face an existential crisis. Climate change, he tells us, ‘is not a scientific mystery but a human mystery. How does it happen that a whole generation of scientific experts is blind to obvious facts?’”

Then there is Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Dr. Ivar Giaever: “Global warming is a non-problem,” he argues. “I say this to Obama: Excuse me, Mr. President, but you’re wrong. Dead wrong.” He says that “Global warming really has become a new religion,” and that “We have to stop wasting huge, I mean huge amounts of money on global warming.”

Even if the Trump administration kept Obama’s commitments to climate change policy, such measures would have been unlikely to affect global temperatures. Yet the media lauded Obama as keeping the world safe from climate change.

Addressing climate change has been a core goal for the president and netting the Paris climate deal is considered a critical part of his environmental policy legacy,” reported NBC News and Reuters in 2016, in a piece titled, “Obama: Paris Climate Accord Best Possible Shot to ‘Save’ Planet.” This is nonsense. It was just another phony Obama legacy item to check off his list that in reality is far more about the U.S. and other developed nations transferring $100 billion per year to developing countries that make no binding commitments. In addition, it would transfer significant regulatory powers to the UN and other international bodies, none of which would amount to anything measurable or provable in terms of tweaking the global temperature to reach some desired environmental utopian goal.

According to Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), “The Paris agreement also created a United Nations climate slush fund, largely underwritten by American taxpayers. In his final year in office, President Obama contributed $500 million from the State Department to this fund on two separate occasions. He did it without authorization from Congress.”

Also, adds Barrasso, “According to National Economic Research Associates Economic Consulting, if the United States met all of its commitments as part of the Paris climate accord, it would cost the American economy $3 trillion and 6.5 million industrial sector jobs by 2040.”

Obama designed his climate agenda in a way that touched each facet of the bureaucracy. “There is no single list of those programs or their cost, because President Barack Obama sought to integrate climate programs into everything the federal government did,” writes Christopher Flavelle for Bloomberg. “The goal was to get all agencies to take climate into account, and also make those programs hard to disentangle, according to former members of the administration.” Obama, Flavelle writes, tried to make “climate programs hard for Republicans in Congress to even find.” To that end, an estimated $77 billion was spent from 2008 through 2013, spread over 18 federal agencies.

With this recent executive order, Trump is dismantling another of Obama’s key legacy items, a policy that the media desire to protect from the new Republican president. As with Obamacare and the unsigned Iran deal, the test will be to see whether Trump continues Obama’s disastrous policies or undercuts them. But you can expect that the media will fight every effort to roll back Obama’s legacy.

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.


Just Who Was the Russian Agent After All?

Accuracy in Media

A Special Report from the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism; Cliff Kincaid, Director.

Ever since President Trump’s missile strike on Syria on April 6, which angered Russia’s Vladimir Putin, The Washington Post has ever-so-subtly backed away from its robotic “Russian interference to help elect Trump” claims, asserted with absolute certainty. The Post now, on April 7, calls it the “alleged” Russian efforts to “interfere in the 2016 presidential race.” The Post no longer sounds so sure of itself and its anonymous anti-Trump intelligence agency sources.

The U.S. strike on a Syrian air base not only demonstrates that Trump will take decisive action against a Russian client state, but that his predecessor, President Barack Obama, is the real Russian dupe, for making an admittedly flawed agreement with Russia that allowed Syria to keep (and use) some of its chemical weapons.

With the narrative that Trump is/was a Russian agent fading fast, perhaps the media will now get serious about exploring the abundant evidence that the real scandal is the political surveillance of Trump and his associates by the outgoing Obama administration. What’s more, the direct evidence points to Obama’s personal role. The motive? Covering up Obama’s own deals with the Russians on Syria and Iran.

In Syria, Obama had armed one side of the Syrian civil war, through CIA arms shipments to the “rebels,” and had then struck a deal with Russia that gave the appearance of having removed all of the chemical weapons from the arsenal of the other side. The resulting civil war has cost 500,000 lives and left President Trump with a series of bad options. He decided to strike the Shayrat Syrian airbase when he was informed that aircraft from that base conducted the chemical weapons attack on April 4.

On top of this, Trump is also facing the prospect of Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, supposedly limiting Iran’s nuclear weapons development, coming completely apart. In this case, Obama once again joined with the Russians in actually safeguarding a Russian client’s weapons arsenal through an agreement claiming to achieve the opposite.

As we noted in July 2015, Obama actually thanked Putin for bringing about the Iran deal. We said at the time, “This demonstrates something worse than the deal itself and the real nature of the Iranian threat. Putin should thank Obama because the U.S. is helping Iran, Russia’s client state, get tens of billions of dollars in international financial aid. Down the line, Russia gets U.S. approval to supply more weapons to the anti-American regime.”

The Smoking Gun

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) says that what he calls the “smoking gun” revelations about Obama National Security Adviser Susan Rice unmasking Trump team names from NSA wiretap databases are “actually eerily similar to what President Trump accused them of” in tweets on March 4. (MSNBC, April 4.)

They point directly to President Obama. Rice surely must have informed her boss during the more than one year period of her “unmasking” Trump campaign and transition team names in NSA wiretap reports on numerous occasions.

Obama’s right-hand adviser Rice herself points to Obama. In the middle of a long MSNBC interview on April 4 discussing Rice’s “unmasking” of names in reports of intercepted Trump team-Russia communications and those communications with no connection to Russia, Rice was evasive but kept dragging Obama into the mix. She never says, for example, that she did unmasking on her own without ever informing Obama, or that she kept it all to herself.  She never says that.

Instead, Rice kept implicating Obama whenever she could, while minimizing her own role as somehow a passive one. Rice said that Obama ordered the compilation of intelligence reports on Russian hacking and election interference, which implied that the reports included the unmasked name of Trump adviser Gen. Michael Flynn in wiretap intercept reports of phone calls with Russian Ambassador Kislyak. This is what MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell had been asking Rice about.

MSNBC kept pressing Rice about the NSA-intercepted Flynn conversations with the Russian ambassador in December 2016, which Rice kept trying to dodge until Andrea Mitchell brought up the intercepted Flynn/Russian ambassador “conversations” (plural) one last time, noting that it was after the Obama sanctions and expulsion of Russian spy-diplomats.

Rice finally replied by taking it back to August 2016, and confirming Obama knew about it and was “concerned,” saying:

“Well, Andrea, from basically August [2016] through the end of the [Obama] administration [in January 2017] we were hearing more and more—getting more and more information about Russian interference in our electoral process. It was of grave concern to all of us in the national security team of the President [Obama] and the President himself….

“So YES there was a pace of reporting that accelerated as the Intelligence Community got more and more information on that and shared it with U.S. [Obama] officials…I can say that from when this first came to light in intelligence channels to when the administration ended we got more and more information” (emphasis added except “YES” was Rice’s voice emphasis; bracketed [ ] clarifications added).

The Nature of the Spying

Senator Paul explained that today’s “wiretapping” mainly means “reverse targeting” of existing digital taps that already massively eavesdrop on everyone’s communications, then searching the databases of transcripts, not physically tapping wires to phones. (AIM made the same points in its Special Reports on March 18 and April 4.)

These were not wiretaps about Russia or “incidental collection” on legitimate foreign intelligence subjects, though they may have begun that way. It was clearly procured for partisan political purposes to spy on the Trump opposition using the full weight of the U.S. government’s NSA spying apparatus (or NSA facilities used by the British GCHQ.)

According to Rep. Peter King (R-NY) of the House Intelligence Committee—who was briefed on the contents of the wiretap reports on the Trump campaign and his associates obtained by Rice and other Obama officials—they were like a private investigator’s file, with nothing on Russia-type intelligence:

“This [NSA wiretap] is information about their everyday lives. Who they were talking with, who they were meeting, where they were going to eat… just trying to lay out a dossier on somebody. Sort of like in a divorce case where lawyers are hired, investigators are hired to just find out what a person is doing from morning until night and then you try to piece it together later on” (bracketed [ ] clarification added).

The former Obama defense official and Hillary campaign adviser, Evelyn Farkas, proudly admitted during an MSNBC interview on March 2 that she had urged her “former colleagues” to collect and spread the NSA wiretap intelligence on Russia and Trump and “that’s why you have the leaking!” She had been “getting winks and nods from inside” the Obama administration since last summer, she said in an earlier interview.

MSNBC queried Farkas in response to the just-breaking New York Times March 1 story on Obama officials spreading around the government all the wiretap surveillance data on Trump and associates such as Gen. Flynn, and MSNBC had the Times article up on the video screen.  President Trump then tweeted on March 4 that Obama had his “‘wires tapped’” (two words).

The fake news media have ridiculed Trump for claiming anyone “wiretapped” him, insinuating he had said Obama physically tapped his phone wires—when he said no such thing. He merely used simplified terminology in quotes for a short tweet, rather than a book-length definition. FISA law as it stands today talks about “wire” taps or interception, even though it is understood to apply to digital communications (50 U.S. Code 1801 et seq.).

Putin Had No Motive 

In an unnoticed piece in Politico on December 12, 2016, Evelyn Farkas, a Russia expert, inadvertently tripped up the entire leftist narrative on the (bogus) Trump-Russia plot, and in effect admitted that Putin had no motive to hack DNC emails and help Trump get elected to be a Russian ally.

This was just a month after the election, so it is fresh in terms of application to the campaign leading up to it. Farkas wrote in Politico:

“For domestic political reasons, Putin needs the United States as its public enemy, given Russia’s current and foreseeable economic situation, and Russian presidential elections are coming up in 2018” (emphasis added).

Farkas explained that any positive “reset” of U.S.-Russia relations by President Trump as a result of purported Putin blackmail of Trump, making Trump his “puppet,” would be “very temporary” because Putin needs the U.S. as his “public enemy,” domestically and internationally (Trump and U.S. make it “international”). Putin doesn’t want good relations with the U.S. even with Trump as its President, according to Farkas.

Farkas apparently still believes Trump may be Putin’s “puppet” but her Russia analysis contradicts her narrative and that of the Democrat/media/intelligence juggernaut against Trump, that it is all a plot to get a pro-Russian president into the Oval Office. President Trump’s missile strike against Russia’s ally, Syria, contradicts that narrative.

Other observers have also noticed a complete lack of any evidence that Putin wanted to interfere in the U.S. election to help Trump win. The New York Review of Books on January 9 published this analysis of the report of the U.S. Intelligence Community (actually only 3 to 5 out of 17 agencies that make up the IC) on Russian interference that had claimed without a shred of evidence that Putin “ordered” the intervention to help Trump get elected.

The author is a Russian-American journalist, Masha Gessen, a hostile anti-Trump ideologue. Yet she candidly admits (in January 9 and March 6 articles):

“…the entirety of the evidence the [U.S. Intelligence Community] report offers to support its estimation of Putin’s motives for allegedly working to elect Trump: [is] conjecture based on other politicians in other periods, on other continents—and also on misreported or mistranslated public statements.”

“…the joint intelligence report on Russian interference in the campaign…is, plainly, laughable…the protracted national game of connecting the Trump-Putin dots is an exercise in conspiracy thinking.”

“Both of these appointments [Gen. McMaster and Russia expert Fiona Hill]—and the fact that sanctions [against Russia] remain in place six weeks into Trump’s fast-moving presidency—contradict the ‘Putin’s puppet’ narrative (as does the fact that Russian domestic propaganda has already turned against Trump). But such is the nature of conspiracy thinking that facts can do nothing to change it.”

“If…[Trump is impeached], it will have resulted largely from a media campaign orchestrated by members of the [U.S.] intelligence community—setting a dangerous political precedent that will have corrupted the public sphere and promoted paranoia” (emphasis added; bracketed [ ] clarifications added).

To sum up: No evidence, and no motive, is known for Russia hacking the DNC/Podesta emails to elect Trump or interfere with the election to defeat Hillary and support Trump. No smoking gun evidence, not even a whiff of smoke.

Surely such a “smoking gun” would have leaked by now—since Lt. General Flynn’s trivial conversation with Russian ambassador Kislyak on December 29, intercepted by NSA digital wiretap, leaked within weeks to David Ignatius of The Washington Post—and got Flynn fired. That was just a few words saying that the Trump administration will deal with Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian “diplomats” (spies) later, with not a hint of any promises or relief, and no mention even of the word “sanctions” (evidently leading Flynn to forget the conversation).

The fact that no “smoking gun” has leaked or even been hinted at makes us suspect that in fact the unmasked NSA wiretap transcripts actually prove the opposite of the leftist Democrat Party narrative—that they record positive evidence that Trump and his associates were not colluding with Russia, that they had nothing to do with the hacking or leaking of the DNC or the Podesta/Hillary emails or any Russian interference in the election.

Obama’s Motive

It seems that the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory was designed to cover or excuse the illegal surveillance of Trump and his associates by the Obama administration. One of the motives may have been that Obama was fearful that the deals he struck with Putin on Syria and Iran would come unraveled. He had to know that he and his associates, including Susan Rice and former Secretary of State John Kerry, would look like dupes of the Russians for making such flawed agreements.

In order to brace for these developments, the idea was hatched to accuse Trump and his associates of being the Russian dupes, using their innocent contacts with Russian officials or businessmen as the excuse for surveillance. This made Trump look like the Russian dupe and Obama as the tough guy with Putin.

But the conversations captured in NSA digital wiretaps are turning out to be the opposite of the Democrat/media narrative. The remarks between Trump associates and Russian officials make it clear that no real relationship existed, that no insidious conspiracy was in play, that public events such as the WikiLeaks email releases were annoyances, that the “Trump dossier” was known to be fake, etc.

In fact, The New York Times has been forced to admit that the only thing anyone has turned up even in “intercepted calls” and “phone records” are benign “multiple contacts between Trump associates and Russians who serve in or are close to Mr. Putin’s government.”

Note in The New York Times quotes how the phony “Trump dossier” is always dragged in because the leaked NSA wiretaps show nothing, even on their face, that is incriminating or damaging to Trump, and only the “dossier” can (purportedly) supply that.

This was in The New York Times on March 3, the day before President Trump tweeted about the Obama “‘wire tapping’” against him, when it was still heroic in the left-wing narrative to admit to leaking highly classified NSA intelligence to try to destroy the President:

“Current and former American officials have said that phone records and [NSA-type] intercepted calls show that members of Mr. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.”

“There have been courtesy calls, policy discussions and business contacts [in the intercepted phone calls of Trump campaign and associates], though nothing has emerged publicly indicating anything more sinister. A dossier of allegations on Trump-Russia contacts, compiled by a former British intelligence agent for Mr. Trump’s political opponents, includes unproven claims that his aides collaborated in Russia’s hacking of Democratic targets” (emphasis added; paras. reordered; bracketed [ ] clarification added).

“Former diplomats and Russia specialists say it would have been absurd and contrary to American interests for the Trump team to avoid meetings with Russians, either during or since the campaign.”

Intelligence agency officials have consistently denied finding any evidence for such Trump collusion with the Russians despite furious efforts to prove it in order to take down President Trump. The best anyone has come up with is the stupid claim that some internet “IP addresses” of attempted hackings trace back to Russian IP domains, when anyone with the slightest tech savvy knows that expert hackers cover their tracks to prevent such easy tracing, and even plant false trails (such as those pointing to, for example, Russian IP internet addresses).

No one has traced any specific hacking attempt to specifically attempt to capture the DNC emails, only alleged hacking attempts against the main DNC computer system. DNC emails are separated from the DNC computer system by the usual email client firewalls.

Trump himself pointed that out last year when these falsehoods first surfaced, that the supposed “Russian hackers” could be someone in New Jersey, etc., and that sophisticated hackers would not get caught digitally. Recently, the CIA’s hacker tools for planting false trails and the concealment of cybertraces were themselves leaked or hacked to WikiLeaks, causing worldwide consternation.

The pernicious misuse of the fake “Trump dossier” as an investigative “roadmap” by the FBI has been reported by The New York Times for months (with less dramatic prose than the BBC’s). (New York Times, January 20, February 14.) Instead, the Times should be investigating and exposing the “dossier’s” glaringly obvious fraudulent nature and the political motives behind its compilation and release. The NSA’s (and/or British GCHQ’s) “actively monitored” surveillance of Trump communications reportedly has been justified on the basis of this fake sex tape “dossier.”

Thus, the Obama digital Watergate burglary even invades the bedroom, albeit in the fictional narrative of the “dossier.”


Fact Checking Obama’s Phony Legacy

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

The Washington Post’s fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, recently gave Susan Rice four Pinocchios for a false and misleading statement regarding Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. But what is notable about this story is not that Rice lied. She has done that many times. Rather, the remarkable part of this story is that the Post took so long to wake up to this Obama administration falsehood.

After all, Kessler’s evidence that Syria still had a chemical weapons capability reaches back two years, to a period during President Obama’s tenure. Why not, then, issue a fact check sooner? In 2016, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper assessed that “Syria has not declared all the elements of its chemical weapons program.” In addition, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reported in 2015 and 2016 that it was “finding traces of sarin and VX nerve agent at Syrian facilities that had not been declared to inspectors or previously visited.”

“The reality is that there were continued chemical-weapons attacks by Syria—and that U.S. and international officials had good evidence that Syria had not been completely forthcoming in its declaration and possibly retained sarin and VX nerve agent,” writes Kessler.

AIM’s Cliff Kincaid recently exposed how the left-wing, mainstream media are currently covering for Obama administration officials’ lies about Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile by noting that these officials had referred to “declared” stockpiles. This was sold as nuance. However, as Kincaid notes, then Secretary of State John Kerry said, “We struck a deal where we got 100 percent of the chemical weapons out.”

But The New York Times carried an article on April 9 by Peter Baker, which quoted Antony Blinken, former deputy secretary of state under then-President Barack Obama, as acknowledging that regarding chemical weapons, “We always knew we had not gotten everything, that the Syrians had not been fully forthcoming in their declaration.” In other words, this is further evidence that the Obama administration was lying about the success of their negotiations.

These are not complicated lies, and not based in nuance. The Obama administration misled the American people, and Bashar Assad’s apparent recent sarin gas attack has made this impossible to ignore. Arguably, the Post is not willingly covering Obama’s tarnished legacy. Rather, it has been backed into a corner by world events.

I say “apparent” because we have learned not to accept all reports from U.S. intelligence agencies as factually accurate. Whether we are talking about the fall of the Soviet Union, the existence of certain WMD in Iraq, the Islamic State as the Junior Varsity, or Russia “hacking” our presidential election with the goal of helping to elect Donald Trump as president, we know that intelligence can easily be politicized, or just plain wrong. In this case, there are analysts and talk-show personalities on the left and right who question why Bashar al-Assad would drop chemical weapons on civilians at this juncture in Syria’s civil war, and who want to see the evidence before accepting it as fact. Perhaps it was the jihadis, e.g., al Qaeda, ISIS or the Al-Nusra Front, who stood to gain if much of the world were to condemn Assad for this attack. Others argue that it was a “wag the dog” scenario, suggesting perhaps collusion between Trump and Putin. The Times rejects all of these theories.

Congressmen from both sides of the aisle praised the cruise missile attack on Syria, and other congressmen from both sides condemned the attacks as playing into the hands of al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. Peter Hitchens, writing for England’s Sunday Mail, argued that “Our ‘noble’ cause” was “Dropping bombs on behalf of Al Qaeda.” There are people on both sides of this argument who I respect, including some who argue that whoever was behind the use of chemical weapons, it was an important and useful message sent by the new American president.

For the purpose of this column, we’ll go with the conventional wisdom, i.e., that it was Assad who used chemical weapons against his own civilian population. We know that somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million people have died in this war since it began in 2011.

The agreement with Syria to ship out its chemical weapons was unenforceable and unverifiable. So, too, with the unsigned Iran deal, another Obama legacy item. “It will be very hard to verify the agreement since military sites—where Iran is likely to conduct covert nuclear-weapons work—are off limits to inspectors,” wrote Fred Fleitz for the Center for Security Policy in 2016. Fleitz previously worked for the CIA, the DIA, the State Department and the House Intelligence Committee. “The deal dumbed down the IAEA’s quarterly Iran reports,” wrote Fleitz, “making it difficult for the world to know the true extent of Iran’s compliance.”

In other words, the loopholes of the unsigned Iran deal are large enough to walk through. According to Newsweek, Germany’s “domestic security agency,” the BfV, reported in 2016 that Iran tried the year before to acquire illegal nuclear technologies, and boost its missile technology, “which could among other things potentially serve to deliver nuclear weapons.”

In December of 2015, we were told by The New York Times and other news organizations that Iran shipped “almost all of [its] stockpile of low-enriched uranium” to Russia, and that “For President Obama, the peaceful removal of the fuel from Iran is one of the biggest achievements in his foreign policy record.” Sound familiar?

And after Iran exported its heavy water to Oman, the U.S., and Russia, it received 130 tons of natural uranium from Russia this past January. David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, told the Associated Press that this uranium could be enriched to create as many as 10 nuclear bombs.

This is the dangerous pattern that emerged from Obama’s flawed, and often disastrous, leadership. First, the Obama administration would guarantee or approve of a political agreement with a bad state actor who had little incentive to adhere to the stated terms, and then that country ultimately cheated on the deal. In the meantime, Obama and his staff attempted to sell the agreement in glowing terms to the American public and Congress, and Obama’s adoring media were always eager to advance his narrative, regardless of the national security implications.

So, too, with the Paris climate accord. “The Paris climate-change agreement was deliberately negotiated to make it binding on the United States without Senate ratification and difficult for a future U.S. president to cancel,” wrote Fleitz. According to Coral Davenport of The New York Times, “Under the Paris agreement, every nation has formally submitted plans detailing how it expects to lower its planet-warming pollution.” However, she writes, “under the Paris deal, those numerical targets are not legally binding, and there are no sanctions for failing to meet them.” In other words, the Paris climate accord is a meaningless document for countries that are not committed to reducing emissions—but it sets a dangerous precedent here in America.

In Obama’s world, or if Hillary Clinton would have become president, we would have stuck to the draconian limits it placed on the U.S., while unilaterally surrendering more of our sovereignty to a UN bureaucracy, all in the name of saving the world from climate change. Obama claimed to have ratified the Paris accords with his signature alone, calling it an executive agreement rather than a treaty, because he knew the Senate would never approve.

China, in particular, claims, as part of the accord, that it will reduce its emissions intensity by 60 to 65 percent by 2030—when, by 2030, its carbon emissions would already be declining. Yet here at home, Obama was intent on strangling businesses such as coal plants to achieve a more ambitious and immediate climate goal, which in reality was a political goal.

The media have had, and will continue to have, a vested interest in preserving Obama’s foreign policy legacy. Yet Obama’s foreign policy failures could become more and more apparent over time, exposing how Obama diminished United States power into that of a paper tiger. Another stunning example was the administration’s response to the 2012 Benghazi attacks, where the military did not send military assets to combat the attack, but left the insufficiently protected personnel on the ground to deal with the terrorists. The administration claimed that they didn’t have time, or enough intelligence, to send in the armed forces. This is a preposterous lie. When will the mainstream media investigate these other scandals and flawed agreements? The Post should issue a fact check on these other pressing issues. Ample evidence already exists.

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.


Latest Obama-Rice Scandal Comes into Focus

By: Roger Aronoff | Accuracy in Media

What started out last year as an investigation by the Obama administration into Russian interference in our presidential elections has turned into the latest scandal involving both former President Barack Obama and his national security adviser, Susan Rice. The media are in full panic mode, attempting to keep the focus of the investigation on President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans, while trying to shield Obama and Rice from the consequences of their actions.

What has become clear during the past week is that the focus of the investigation should clearly be shifting from alleged collusion between President Trump’s associates and the Russian government, in order to influence the election—for which no evidence has emerged—to the role of the Obama administration in surveilling, incidental or otherwise, unmasking and leaking information about the Trump campaign and transition teams, for which all sorts of evidence has emerged.

The question for the Republicans, who control every congressional committee as well as the executive branch, is whether or not they have the fortitude and integrity to ignore the pressure from the corrupt, liberal media and to expand or re-direct the investigation wherever the new evidence compels them to go.

The latest development is the unmasking of former national security adviser Susan Rice. Rice was outed this week as someone who requested the unmasking of people associated with Trump’s campaign and transition team.

As Accuracy in Media reported in a recent special report, “Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice has now been implicated in illegally unmasking Trump campaign and post-election Trump transition officials in monitored conversations, according to Bloomberg News and Fox News. The story was originally broken by Mike Cernovich, who has more of the details including the cover-up of Rice’s role by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who was trying to protect Rice and Obama.”

In fact, Cernovich later revealed that his sources were people inside both Bloomberg and The New York Times “who revealed that both Eli Lake (Bloomberg) and Maggie Haberman (NYT) were sitting on the Susan Rice story in order to protect the Obama administration.”

The media went into full protection mode. A panel on CNN’s 360 With Anderson Cooper was confident that Rice had done nothing “improper.” Why? Jim Sciutto, CNN’s chief national security correspondent, who worked at the Obama State Department when Susan Rice was UN Ambassador, defended Rice, saying that this story was “largely ginned up, partly as a distraction.” CNN’s Don Lemon and Chris Cuomo also dismissed the story, with Lemon saying that the Susan Rice story is a “fake scandal ginned up by right-wing media and Trump,” and that he wasn’t going to be baited into covering it. What little coverage it received on the three broadcast networks’ evening news shows was focused on Rice’s claim that she had done nothing “improper.”

Comments made in February and March by former Obama administration official Evelyn Farkas, but only noticed and highlighted last week, did a lot to shift the narrative. But the establishment media refuse to acknowledge that shift, and are determined to keep Trump, House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-CA) and Russia as the villains of what everyone agrees is an enormous scandal, if only they could agree on what that scandal is.

“It was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can before President Obama leaves the administration,” said Farkas on MSNBC on March 2. She also said that “The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump’s staff’s dealings with Russians that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence” (emphasis added).

Farkas’ comments appear to serve as confirmation that the Obama administration was spying on Trump’s staff during the 2016 election. That was reinforced through the reporting of Fox News’ Adam Housley, who wrote that “Susan Rice, former national security adviser under then-President Barack Obama, requested to unmask the names of Trump transition officials caught up in surveillance.” He added that “The unmasked names, of people associated with Donald Trump, were then sent to all those at the National Security Council, some at the Defense Department, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-CIA Director John Brennan—essentially, the officials at the top, including former Rice deputy Ben Rhodes.” According to Housley, “The names were part of incidental electronic surveillance of candidate and President-elect Trump and people close to him, including family members, for up to a year before he took office.”

Note that Farkas said “we” when referring to intelligence issues, and the Trump staff’s Russian contacts. As the former deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, she left the Obama administration in 2015, yet she was boldly talking about intelligence matters and informing the Hill while out of office.

As for leaks, she told MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski, “That’s why you have the leaking: people are worried.”

As that story was swirling, accusations that Rice had been requesting the names of intelligence officials listed in an intelligence report began to emerge, including a Wall Street Journal report that said Ms. Rice “examined dozens of other intelligence summaries that technically masked Trump official identities but were written in such a way as to make obvious who those officials were,” making the masking essentially meaningless. “Unmasking does occur, but it is typically done by intelligence or law-enforcement officials engaged in antiterror or espionage investigations. Ms. Rice would have had no obvious need to unmask Trump campaign officials other than political curiosity.”

Former prosecutor and National Review contributor Andy McCarthy wrote that “the reported involvement of former national-security adviser Susan Rice in the unmasking of Trump officials appears to be a major scandal—it suggests that the Obama White House, of which she was a high-ranking staffer, abused the power to collect intelligence on foreign targets, by using it to spy on the opposition party and its presidential candidate.”

He said that while it may not have broken the law, “The issue is not technical legality, it is monumental abuse of power.”

Before Rice was outed for her involvement in the unmasking and possible distribution of the information obtained from the intelligence community, she had denied having any knowledge of “the intelligence community’s alleged incidental surveillance of Trump’s transition team” when she appeared with Judy Woodruff on the PBS Newshour on March 22.

After the articles appeared this week citing Rice’s role, she went to the friendly confines of an interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell. Rice acknowledged her role in requesting the unmasking of certain people picked up in the incidental surveillance, but claimed it was normal, and nothing improper or illegal was done. “Imagine if we saw something of grave significance that involved Russia or China or anybody else interfering in our political process and we needed to understand the significance of that, for us not to try to understand it would be dereliction of duty.”

But Rice has a history of making provably false statements to protect Obama. Her comment about a “dereliction of duty” reminded me of her role in the Obama administration’s cover-up following the terrorist attacks in Benghazi. Yes, she lied on five Sunday talk shows about what led to the attacks on September 11 and 12, 2012. But in addition, our Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi identified another dereliction of duty: the Obama administration’s failure to send in the military to attempt to rescue the Americans who were under attack at the CIA Annex near the Special Mission Compound. Four Americans died in the attacks, others were wounded.

Rice also lied for the Obama administration when she said that Bowe Bergdahl, a deserter in Afghanistan who the Obama administration traded for five high-ranking Taliban terrorists, had served in the military “with honor and distinction.” This latest controversy further highlights why I recently questioned Susan Rice as an appropriate person to criticize President Trump’s credibility, which she did in an op-ed in The Washington Post. Rice must be put under oath to explain what she did with the names that were unmasked, who she was communicating with about it, and what Obama knew and when he knew it.

Roger Aronoff is the Editor of Accuracy in Media, and a member of the Citizens’ Commission on Benghazi. He can be contacted at [email protected]. View the complete archives from Roger Aronoff.


Rand Paul Calls For Susan Rice To Testify Under Oath Over Surveillance… Levin Says Bigger Than Anyone Thought [AUDIO]

By: Terresa Monroe-Hamilton | Right Wing News

Rand Paul is stepping up and demanding that Susan Rice testify under oath in front of Congress on her unmasking of Trump’s associates and her leaks concerning incidental surveillance they were caught up in. She brazenly lied to NPR last month that she had not done this and now it has been exposed that she did indeed do all of what she is being accused of. In her position as National Security Adviser, asking to unmask certain individuals as a matter of national security is not a crime. However, widely disseminating that information is a felony. It is obvious that Rice did this for political reasons and I suspect, at the direction of Barack Obama and/or Valerie Jarrett.

Paul stated that the reports that Rice made dozens of requests to learn more about the identities of anonymous people thought to be close to the Trump transition team, inadvertently caught on tape during investigations into foreign persons of intelligence interest, was “enormous news.” Yes, it is. The implications are far more criminal and bigger than the Watergate scandal. When this all started, I said that is where this would lead and that is exactly what is occurring here. Rand Paul is asking the same questions I am, “She needs to be asked, ‘did President Obama ask her to do this?’ I think she ought to testify under oath on this.”

From the Daily Mail:

As fingers point to President Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice as the individual who requested the ‘unmasking’ of Trumpworld names on raw intelligence reports, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., today demanded that she testify before Congress.

‘I believe Susan Rice abused this system and she did it for political purposes,’ Paul said today on Morning Joe. ‘She needs to be brought in and questioned under oath.’

Bloomberg View columnist Eli Lake wrote that from her position as chief of the National Security Council, Rice asked government agencies to identify names that had been withheld from raw intelligence reports linked with Trump campaign and transition figures.

Monday evening, the Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group piggybacked on this reporting, writing that Rice had asked U.S. spy agencies for ‘detailed spreadsheets,’ of legal phone calls involving Trump and his aides during the presidential campaign, U.S. Attorney Joseph diGenova told the news site.

‘What was produced by the intelligence community at the request of Ms. Rice were detailed spreadsheets of intercepted phone calls with unmasked Trump associates in perfectly legal conversations with individuals,’ diGenova said.

Paul also tied Monday’s revelations about Rice to the slew of leaks on the topic around the time of the handover of the White House. “I think she should be asked under oath, did she reveal it to the Washington Post?” he asked. Again, he’s correct. Trump and his team were under surveillance for a year before his inauguration. We want to know why and what transpired. Heads are going to roll over this one. It’s beyond explosive.

“I don’t think you should be allowed to listen to Americans’ conversations without a warrant,” Paul said. “They are targeting a foreigner, and because they are targeting a foreigner they are gathering all of this information on Americans. A million Americans are apparently caught up in these incidental conversations,” Paul continued. “Everybody in the Trump Administration transition, they could basically look at those conversations.”

Those ‘detailed spreadsheets’ that were passed around are of great concern and need to be reviewed as well. “This is a big deal,” Paul reiterated. “If the outgoing administration was actually, literally sifting through things and part of the administration already said we were going to scatter, we were going to get as much information, we were going to scatter it out there publicly to try and harm the Trump administration. This was a witch hunt that began with the Obama administration,” Paul charged. “Sour grapes on the way out the door. They were going to use the intelligence apparatus to attack Trump and I think they did,” the senator added. I believe that Rand Paul and Mark Levin are right here… this is a smoking gun and their crimes are just beginning to come out. Buckle up… this is way bigger than any of us thought.


Watergate-style Wiretapping Confirmed

Accuracy in Media

A Special Report from the Accuracy in Media Center for Investigative Journalism; Cliff Kincaid, Director.

A very disturbing report has come out from Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Fox News that Hillary Clinton and six top staffers kept their Top Secret and/or Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) clearances after she left her Secretary of State position in 2013.  And they also kept their physical access to TS/SCI facilities and databases, which required those TS/SCI clearances, possibly up through the 2016 election and beyond.

The facilities are called SCIFs, Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities, pronounced “skiffs,” which are vault-like secure buildings or rooms for protecting the most sensitive intelligence and defense data.

Hillary and her cronies may still have their SCIF clearances and access even today in 2017.  The State Department has stonewalled Senator Grassley, Fox News and Judicial Watch for months, refusing to answer questions about such outrageous continued access to the most highly sensitive secrets by the most reckless and irresponsible official in all of history.

The Hillary staffers with continued SCIF access for bogus “memoir research” and book writing for their boss include Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills and Jake Sullivan.

This raises the ominous possibility that the Obama administration deliberately spread raw wiretap intercepts of Donald Trump phone calls and communications throughout the government in Obama’s twilight days so that Hillary’s people could do the leaking of the intercepts, thus giving Obama officials “plausible deniability.” The Obama people could deny that “they” leaked anything, if it was Hillary people with illegal and potentially criminal SCIF access who may have done the leaking.

Intelligence sources tell Fox News that there was unprecedented “surveillance of Trump and people close to Donald Trump including some supporters for up to a year before inauguration,” disseminated through NSA channels with names “unmasked,” and circulated to the highest officials in the Obama administration—the National Security Council, Defense Department, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan, and others.

Obama’s national security adviser Susan Rice has now been implicated in illegally unmasking Trump campaign and post-election Trump transition officials in monitored conversations, according to Bloomberg News and Fox News. The story was originally broken by Mike Cernovich, who has more of the details including the cover-up of Rice’s role by New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman, who was trying to protect Rice and Obama.

The wiretap surveillance summaries obtained by Rice “contained valuable political information on the Trump transition such as who the Trump team was meeting, the views of Trump associates on foreign policy matters and plans for the incoming administration.”

Thus they were illegal, Watergate-style wiretapping of political opponents, contrary to Bloomberg News’ pro-Obama spin.

This needs to be a high-priority matter of investigation.

The Farkas Farce

Obama and Hillary officials, recently out of government, retain contacts and access to remaining colleagues still in place within intelligence agencies and national security positions. These are holdovers who have yet to be removed by the Trump administration.

Former Obama defense official Evelyn Farkas was caught redhanded and flatfooted over her March 2 revelation to MSNBC that she had known about and encouraged the leaks (“that’s why you have the leaking!” she said) and the spread of raw NSA-type intercepts of unmasked names of “Trump folks” that The New York Times had just headlined (NYT: “intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates”).

Fox News caught Farkas dead to rights and then caught her lying when exposed, trying to deny what she said on videotape, which had been broadcast to the world. She said (twice) that she had encouraged “former colleagues” to leak secret intelligence on Russia and Trump “folks;” and then when caught she deleted the words “former colleagues” in her new narrative and substituted “the Hill” (Congress).

Farkas even dragged out the phony Obama-Hillary claim that “17 intelligence agencies unanimously” agreed that Russia interfered with the U.S. elections, omitting the fact that the 17 agencies never actually signed off on the words put in their mouths by the DNI and Obama’s strong-arm political hacks, but instead stayed silent.

She also neglected to mention that very few of the 17 alphabet-soup miscellaneous agencies have any special expertise in cybersecurity and broad governmental responsibility—basically it’s only the NSA and Homeland Security. The rest of the 17 use cybersecurity merely to protect their own agencies, not U.S. elections, for example. Coast Guard intelligence can hardly be an expert at cybersecurity or Russian hacking of U.S. elections.

State Department intelligence—one of Farkas’ 17—is the same agency that failed to protect the United States from Hillary’s unsecured private email server.

Farkas fell prey to the ever-changing leftist media narrative. On March 2, the narrative (in The New York Times article shown on the MSNBC Morning Joe screen) was that courageous Obama intelligence officials sought to thwart the evil cover-up of this Trump-Russia wiretap intelligence by the incoming Trump administration—which had not done anything at all, not even taken office yet in December/early January.

Republican Counterattack

But then on March 4, the White House and Republicans pushed back on the criminal illegality of this massive leak factory of the most highly classified intelligence possessed by the U.S. The left then changed the narrative to bury their previous proud admissions of felony leaking of wiretap intercept intelligence of Trump for political purposes.

Former Obama official Evelyn Farkas was trapped. She had embraced the old narrative too quickly and too enthusiastically, and was left out on a limb that was cut off. The new narrative deep-sixed the “heroic wiretap leakers” narrative, and they pretended that the wiretapping never happened and that The New York Times had never said it happened.

The new media narrative was that Trump was lying about Obama wiretapping him, always with the reductio ad absurdum caricature lurking in the background of images of Obama personally shimmying up the telephone pole to physically wiretap Trump’s phones and no one else’s.

The new fake narrative is designed to evade the actual legal meaning (under FISA law, etc.) of “wiretapping” as mainly the interception of digital data streams of voice (phone calls), emails, texts, etc., or “broad surveillance.” “Wire communication” is the statutory language of FISA, contrary to the lying media’s acid attacks on President Trump who used “wire tapped” in quotes. It is still called “wires” under the FISA law.

Suddenly the lying media can no longer remember the technical details of “warrantless wiretapping” in NSA spying on Americans that they obsessed over, in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations, and their outrage over this NSA intrusion into our privacy.

The Media Flip-Flop

Orwell described this process in 1949 in his classic novel of totalitarian government, 1984. The previous history is regularly put down the “memory hole” by the lying Ministry of “Truth,” to be destroyed so that a new contradictory history, a new narrative, is published as if nothing was amiss. The lying leftist media today is Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth.”

We are watching this happen right in front of our eyes, and we see the flip-flop literally from one day to the next. On March 2 and 3, the narrative was the heroic Obama wiretappers of Trump spreading and leaking the classified wiretap data. On March 4, President Trump tweets his protest of this Obama wiretapping of political opponents that targeted him, and the fake media’s new narrative flipped, feigning ignorance of what it said literally the day before.

The fake “Trump dossier” of bogus intelligence that was fabricated by a supposedly “ex” British agent Christopher Steele—alleging Trump collusion with Russia and nasty sex acts—lurks behind all of the political theater staged by the lying fake media and the Democrat deceivers. The FBI is now reported to have been using the (fake) “Trump dossier” as its investigative “roadmap.”

Devious Half-Denials

Britain’s GCHQ, the counterpart of our NSA wiretap surveillance agency, issued a devious partial denial laced with insult designed to distract: “Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct ‘wiretapping’ against the then president-elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.” (emphasis added)

GCHQ only denies “wiretapping” (within their scare quotes) of “the then president-elect” Trump—thus from the November 8 election to the January 20 inauguration.

They do not deny they “wiretapped” candidate Trump prior to November 8 or President Trump after January 20. Judge Napolitano specifically reported that the GCHQ spying was against “candidate” Trump as well as “president-elect” Trump, and GCHQ chose to deny only the latter, not the former.

They do not deny spying on Trump’s associates, who are not mentioned.

How slick. The GCHQ “denial” is priceless, deceptive and evasive.

Even more troubling is the fact that GCHQ director Robert Hannigan suddenly and unexpectedly resigned on January 23 after only two years on the job. Was he sacked in advance of a possible emerging scandal over the wiretapping surveillance of Trump? A GCHQ (partial) denial of wiretapping Trump coming from the new director’s spokesman on March 17 might be positioned to enable them to say later that they were not fully apprised of the former GCHQ director’s actions. A no-firing, no-disciplinary resignation can be suddenly changed into a was-fired, was-disciplined sacking if ever needed. How convenient.

Keep in mind that the GCHQ traces its history back to its wartime origins at Bletchley Park, where codebreakers parsed every word of meaning in order to crack the German Enigma codes. They know that words have meanings.

Codebreaking often turns on subtle nuances of wording. Nautical language in a partially deciphered message, for example, is a clue that the rest of message deals with ships and navies, thus helping codebreakers to decrypt the rest of the intercepted message. GCHQ knows how to exploit those word tricks to their advantage. They made no mistake in their weasel-worded half-denial of wiretapping Trump. It was no careless slip of the tongue verbiage.

NSA Doubletalk

Equally devious was NSA Director Mike Rogers in his testimony on March 20 to the House Intelligence Committee that he and the NSA did not ask the British to “wiretap” Trump. But that is not what Judge Napolitano said (see quote below). This “wiretap” wording leaves it ambiguous as to whether he means the ridiculous climbing-the-telephone-pole physical “wiretap,” or what President Trump and sane people mean—the digital tapping of voice and data streams at an NSA computer console.

Like GCHQ, NSA chief Rogers dropped Trump’s associates from his narrative so his answer was solely about Trump personally being “wiretapped.” And Rogers says he has seen “no evidence” that Obama officials asked the British to wiretap Trump, without explaining how he could possibly know about all the activities of all of Obama’s officials.

In any case, that’s not what Judge Napolitano said on March 14:  His three sources said very plainly that Obama officials went directly to the British, bypassing the NSA, bypassing the “chain of command” of the NSA and NSA Director Rogers, etc. This bypassing of the NSA was apparently illegal and a felony. It was a convenient setup for NSA director Rogers to deny that he had anything to do with it or even to “know” about it. And did he ever suspect it without directly “knowing” it was being done?

Judge Napolitano said all that legal NSA procedure was bypassed:

“Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command. He didn’t use the NSA. He didn’t use the CIA. He didn’t use the FBI, and he didn’t use Department of Justice. He used GCHQ.

“What the heck is GCHQ? That’s the initials for the British spying agency. They have 24/7 access to the NSA database.

“So by simply having two people go to them saying, ‘President Obama needs transcripts of conversations involving candidate Trump, conversations involving president-elect Trump,’ he’s able to get it, and there’s no American fingerprints on this.” (emphasis added)

AIM has confirmed Judge Napolitano’s account from one of his three sources and found other confirmation of the likely procedure used, from a former NSA/CIA contractor. Judge Napolitano was suspended by Fox News for a week for revealing the GCHQ spying on Trump, but returned saying he and his sources stood by what he had reported.

FBI Director James Comey likewise made a devious half-denial to the House Intelligence Committee on March 20: He testified that the FBI internally has no information about wiretapping of Trump, nothing “inside the FBI.” What about “outside the FBI?” He did not say the NSA or CIA or DNI, etc., had no information, only his own agency.

But it is standard operating procedure within the U.S. Intelligence Community, or “IC,” that when highly sensitive intelligence is shared with other agencies within the IC, “sources and methods” are normally concealed or masked. If the FBI received such wiretap surveillance data on Trump from the NSA, CIA or British GCHQ they would not necessarily know it came from wiretap surveillance because that fact itself is a sensitive “source and method” and would be redacted, disguised or masked.

As we have pointed out at AIM, it has been long-standing procedure pursuant to “UKUSA” intelligence agreements that British GCHQ staff physically stationed at NSA headquarters in Maryland use NSA computer terminals and other equipment to spy on U.S. citizens designated by the NSA—or now, it appears, designated through the direct intervention of high-level Obama officials, thus bypassing the NSA itself.

Former DIA intelligence officer Mike Pregent has explained how a process of “reverse targeting” is used to turn “incidental collection” of NSA-type wiretap surveillance into direct targeting, as in the case of Trump. This ruse bypasses the need for new FISA warrants by repurposing old existing blanket FISA warrants for essentially global surveillance. The intercepted raw data on Russians are scrutinized for Trump data, which is then unmasked, spread and leaked.

It is Watergate by digital burglary.


A Fake Bill to Promote Fake News

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

One of the more newsworthy aspects of the Democratic Party’s turnabout on Russia has been the introduction by Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) of a bill to investigate Russian propaganda outlet RT (Russia Today) as a foreign agent. In fact, broadcaster Jerry Kenney had filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice back in 2011 alleging that RT and Al Jazeera were both violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA) by not disclosing in their propaganda broadcasts that they are agents of foreign powers.

However, former President Barack Obama’s Department of Justice, which supervises FARA, took no action.

Kenney told us, “Shaheen’s sudden concern about foreign influence operations rings a little hollow to me. Her bill seems more like a political prop to keep alive the fake news story of a Russia-Trump unholy alliance. It is a fake bill to perpetuate fake news.” He added, “As far as I know, the Department of Justice has all the tools it needs to enforce FARA. What it hasn’t had, at least under Obama, was the will to enforce it.”

Accuracy in Media has noted that RT hosts Thom Hartmann and Ed Schultz are not Trump supporters or conservatives, but in fact are progressives connected to the Democratic Party. Schultz used to work for MSNBC.

In a brief interview I had with Hartmann, he refused to say how much the Kremlin paid him for his show on RT, “The Big Picture.” He then grabbed my camera.

In a January 19 article, we noted that AIM has published literally dozens of stories over the years about RT’s service to the Moscow regime. We asked, “So why didn’t the Obama Justice Department act on TV producer Jerry Kenney’s complaint that RT should register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act and be labeled as foreign propaganda? That’s what the law requires.”

The answer is that RT didn’t become a problem for the liberals and the Democrats until they perceived that Moscow’s agents had deserted their cause, and that the Russian angle could be used for partisan political purposes against Republicans.

In that AIM article, I also noted that the Federal Election Commission (FEC) dismissed my well-documented 2012 complaint about RT’s open support for libertarian Ron Paul in the 2012 Republican presidential primary. We cited evidence that RT was funded by the Kremlin and prohibited under law from intervening in U.S. elections. The FEC dismissed the complaint, saying RT was a legitimate press entity and a U.S. corporation with First Amendment rights.

Where was the outrage over that ruling?

The stated purpose of the Shaheen bill, the Foreign Agents Registration Modernization and Enforcement Act (S.625), is “to preserve the integrity of American elections by providing the Attorney General with investigative tools” to crack down on foreign agents who unlawfully influence our political process.

“We have good reason to believe that RT News is coordinating with the Russian government to spread misinformation and undermine our democratic process,” said Shaheen. “The American public has a right to know if this is the case.”

The American public who have been reading AIM already know. Plus, RT once aired its own video showing Vladimir Putin reviewing its broadcast operations in Moscow.

It’s no secret that RT is Moscow-financed and run.

Kenney commented, “Now that the Democrats have lost the White House, Shaheen is shocked to see that foreign influence operations are going on here. Where has she been for the last few years as Obama’s DOJ refused to investigate Vladimir Putin’s Russia Today, Qatar’s Al Jazeera and Communist China’s CCTV (China Central Television)?”

Kenney notes that these foreign propaganda operations are packaged as “news” and have been airing on 30 taxpayer-supported public educational TV stations via the MHz Network Worldview, a network offering “international news and entertainment” in English. “To my knowledge, these ‘news’ channels still have not registered or published disclosures as required by FARA, even though there is ample evidence in the public domain that they are actually foreign government propaganda operations,” he says.

If Shaheen is so concerned about foreign influence, he went on to say, “why didn’t she do something to stop the FCC’s recent rule change that fast tracks 100 percent foreign ownership of America’s radio and TV broadcasters? In all fairness to Senator Shaheen, the Republicans didn’t oppose it, either.”

Kenney said that if the politicians in Washington are really serious about foreign influence operations in the U.S., they could veto the new FCC rule by using the Congressional Review Act.

The Shaheen bill has only three co-sponsors, with one, Senator Todd Young of Indiana, a Republican. Young’s involvement as a Republican fellow-traveler makes it a piece of “bipartisan legislation.”

If Shaheen is serious about exposing RT’s ties to Russia, perhaps she could ask fellow progressive Thom Hartmann to provide testimony about RT, including the facts and figures about his Moscow funding that he won’t talk about publicly.

It would be easy enough for him to show up at a Senate hearing. His “Big Picture” program is filmed live and broadcast from the RT America studios in Washington, D.C.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.



By: Kent Engelke | Capitol Securities

President Obama was elected on “Hope and Change.” He left the office with relatively high approval ratings even though “His Hope and Change” did not materialize into confidence.

Donald Trump is referred to as many things, has low approval ratings, but invokes incredibly high consumer optimism. A rough analogy is that Trump is the inverse of Obama.

Consumer Confidence surged last month, greatly exceeding all estimates, and is now at the highest level since December 2000. The “Present conditions gauge” is the greatest since August 2001 and the “measure of consumer expectations” for the next six month is at the highest since September 2000.

Wow! Talk about great expectations and “Hope and Change!!”

President Trump has uncaged the proverbial animal spirits; animal spirits that have been caged for the last eight years, the result of regulatory and tax over reach of the administrative state.

I am not dismayed by the defeat of the repeal of Obamacare. The “Establishment” has declared Trump dead 2,914 times and he has come back.

I think the Republicans will coalesce around tax and regulatory reform, for this is what the electorate — as evidenced by the confidence data — is demanding.

Against this backdrop, I believe the surprising aspect of 2017 will be growth over 3%, the first such year of annual growth of over 3% in 10 years, a record that eclipsed the previous record of 4 years from 1930-1934. Radical thought? No, if the animal spirits have been uncaged as the data suggest.

The advance in the market was led by energy and the financials, two sectors that were beaten down in recent sessions. Both sectors represent considerable value and will be a direct beneficiary if growth exceeds 3%.

Oil was also aided by a disruption in deliveries from a major Libyan pipeline; daily deliveries for the beleaguered nation are now under 550,000 versus 750,000-800,000. It is not known how long this pipeline with be off line.

What will happen today?

Last night the foreign markets were mixed. London was down 0.37%, Paris was up 0.09% and Frankfurt was up 0.46%. China was down 0.36%, Japan was up 0.08% and Hang Sang was up 0.19%.

The Dow should open little changed. The 10-year is up 4/32 to yield 2.41%.


Trump Continues Obama Policies

By: Cliff Kincaid | Accuracy in Media

The Heritage Foundation article, “We Don’t Have to Choose Between Putin and George Soros,” is a very effective rebuttal to claims in the media that conservatives who oppose the influence of billionaire George Soros in foreign affairs are therefore siding with another billionaire, Russian ruler Vladimir Putin. The author, Mike Gonzalez, looks into the global struggle playing out on the international stage between these two major figures, and how conservatives are smeared as members of the Putin camp by liberal media outlets like Politico.

Gonzalez focuses on the small country of Macedonia, where “Soros and the U.S. Embassy have thrown their support behind parties contending against the conservative party VMRO—imperfect as many political parties around the world no doubt are, but very much pro-U.S. and pro-NATO.” Gonzalez examines Soros’s far-left agenda of open borders, abortion on demand and homosexual/transgender rights, and comments, “If for lack of a conservative alternative, VMRO turns to Putin to counter this far-left agenda coming from outside the country, that is our fault—and Soros.”

It is “our fault,” he says, because the State Department continues to facilitate Soros operations to transform the culture and politics of foreign countries.

Of course, President Trump and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson can change this, but they have been resistant to putting conservatives in place to change the course of U.S. foreign policy.

Gonzalez had previously examined how Soros money was corrupting the political process in Macedonia, with the assistance of the U.S. State Department. He noted that the Obama-appointed U.S. ambassador in the capital of Skopje, Jess Baily, has shown a political bias against the Macedonian conservative party, VMRO, and was promoting a left-wing coalition.

Republican members of the U.S. House and Senate had asked Baily to explain reports that his embassy had selected Soros’ Open Society Foundations as the main implementer of U.S. Agency for International Development projects in Macedonia. The State Department’s response “was thin on details regarding funding for Soros’ foundation and groups it controls,” Gonzalez reports.

Gonzalez has put his finger on a dialectical maneuver that plays into Putin’s hands. In response to official U.S. support for “liberal progressive policies around the world,” conservatives and moderates in foreign countries believe they have nowhere else to go except Putin, the former KGB officer now operating undercover as a religious conservative touting traditional values and national identity.

The U.S., not Putin, should be promoting Western values. But Obama’s State Department promoted a form of cultural imperialism that reflected the “fundamental transformation” of the United States. That is, multiculturalism, gay rights, abortion rights and even the rights of prostitutes!

Then there is Soros’ long-standing pro-drug legalization agenda, as we documented 12 years ago in our special report, “The Hidden Soros Agenda: Drugs, Money, the Media, and Political Power.” The leftist billionaire is accelerating his activities in Latin America on behalf of pro-drug interests.

In Costa Rica, for example, conservatives are alarmed by the push to legalize marijuana under the cover that the drug supposedly has “medical benefits.” One of them told me, “What we fear is that drug traffickers will shield themselves under regulations included in the medical marijuana bill if it passes, making it easier for them to send illegal substances to other countries, including the U.S.” He said the U.S. embassy in Costa Rica has been alerted to how Soros-backed organizations are putting pressure on the country’s Congress to pass a so-called medical marijuana bill. “We hoped for a change of mentality from the U.S. Embassy since President Trump was elected,” this source added, “but these officials are from the Obama administration and they stopped communicating with us after we mentioned Soros.”

In his column, “Vetting Trump’s Foreign Policy Team,” my colleague Roger Aronoff examined some of Trump’s high-profile picks and concluded that “…Trump needs to do a better job of filling key positions and vetting the people who are making and carrying out his policies. Otherwise, his administration could turn out to be a disaster.”

Looking at various selections in the foreign policy and national security fields, Aronoff asks, “Are these rookie mistakes or does Trump not care if his campaign promises regarding Israel, combating the Islamic jihadis, and ripping up the Iran deal go unfulfilled?”

Incredibly, as Aronoff notes, Trump himself “has signaled his unwillingness to fill many of his political appointee posts” with committed conservatives.

By continuing Obama’s policies and keeping Obama personnel in place, as Mike Gonzalez of the Heritage Foundation demonstrates, Trump is actually furthering the foreign policy goals of Putin. If this continues, it will constitute a form of collusion between the Trump and Obama administrations.

Perhaps that was the goal of the so-called “silent coup” all along—to keep in place the Soros policies financed by the Obama administration. If so, it appears that Trump has lost another big battle that will make his health care defeat seem like small potatoes.

Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected] View the complete archives from Cliff Kincaid.