In a report that will likely set much of the liberal media on fire in the coming days, CNN reports, citing "multiple US officials", that top intelligence officials last week briefed President-elect Donald Trump about Russian operatives' claims that they have compromised Trump's personal and financial information. The two-page document which was presented to Trump as an appendix to last week's briefing on alleged Russian interference in the presidential election, also noted allegations that there was an exchange of information between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government during the campaign.
Supposedly the information is far more damaging than audio recording of Trump talking about "grabbing women by the pussy", and yet one wonders how nobody in the Clinton campaign, with all its extensive connections, was able to get to it.
According to CNN, the allegations have emerged from memos compiled by a former British intelligence operative, "whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible." The FBI is investigating the credibility and accuracy of these allegations, which are based primarily on information from Russian sources, but has not confirmed many essential details in the memos about Trump.
In other words, just like the report about Russian interference has yet to provide any evidence, so this latest accusation is mostly based on the analytical work of a source some "officials consider credible." Still, even without proof, the implied allegation in the CNN report, namely that Trump is a puppet of the Kremlin, will promptly become a fact, and will be used to escalate the anti-Russian sentiment in the US. That this report comes just ten days before Trump's inauguration is probably not coincidental.
Why was the 2-page synopsis included?
"One reason the nation's intelligence chiefs took the extraordinary step of including the synopsis in the briefing documents was to make the President-elect aware that such allegations involving him are circulating among intelligence agencies, senior members of Congress and other government officials in Washington, multiple sources tell CNN."
Furthermore, CNN's angle with this release is to further showcase that while Russia had compiled information potentially harmful to both political parties, it "only released information damaging to Hillary Clinton and Democrats. This synopsis was not an official part of the report from the intelligence community case about Russian hacks, but some officials said it augmented the evidence that Moscow intended to harm Clinton's candidacy and help Trump's, several officials with knowledge of the briefings tell CNN."
Further discrediting the Trump team, "the two-page synopsis also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials."
Sources tell CNN that these same allegations about communications between the Trump campaign and the Russians, mentioned in classified briefings for congressional leaders last year, prompted then-Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to send a letter to FBI Director Comey in October, in which he wrote, "It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government -- a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States."
A question emerges: how did CNN obtain this high confidential information? While we don't know, we are confident Trump, who last week demanded a probe into why NBC got a leaked version of the intelligence report, will be curious.
CNN notes that is has reviewed a 35-page compilation of the memos, from which the two-page synopsis was drawn. It then admits that "the memos originated as opposition research, first commissioned by anti-Trump Republicans, and later by Democrats", or said otherwise, a hit piece. Furthermore, CNN adds that it has "not reporting on details of the memos, as it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations. But, in preparing this story, CNN has spoken to multiple high ranking intelligence, administration, congressional and law enforcement officials, as well as foreign officials and others in the private sector with direct knowledge of the memos."
Well, if it's a story which can not be substantiated either way, CNN may as well run with it, especially if it further delegitimizes Trump.
A video summary of the CNN report is below:
Meanwhile, in related but contradictory news, Reuters reports that Russia hacked into Republican state political campaigns and old email domains of the Republican National Committee but there is no evidence it successfully penetrated President-elect Donald Trump's campaign, FBI Director James Comey said on Tuesday.
Still, even without hacking Trump, something which dilutes the CNN story as Russia would likely not have been able to obtain said "compromising materials" otherwise, the narrative once again returns to Trump being a pawn of the Kremlin, because "Comey also told lawmakers Russia did not release information obtained from the state campaigns or the old RNC email domains, comments that may buttress the U.S. intelligence view that Moscow tried to help Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 campaign."
Comey declined to comment on whether or not the FBI might be investigating links between Russia and associates of Trump, who frequently called during the campaign for improved relations between Washington and Moscow.
While Trump has disputed the accusations of Russian cyber attacks during the election, his incoming chief of staff said on Sunday that the New York businessman accepts the U.S. intelligence community's conclusions that Russia was responsible, and that further action may be taken against Moscow.
We are confident that following the CNN report, which dramatically escalates the narrative of the illegitimacy of the Trump presidency, that the president-elect will have some very harshly tweeted responses in the coming hours. However, we are certain that no matter Trump's response, the political atmosphere in the US over the next ten days, until the president-elect officially moves into the White House, will reach a level of toxicity never before seen.