Sunday, February 26, 2017

Trump Sought Intelligence Officials and Lawmakers to Slam Russia Stories

While Der Trumpenführer has attacked news outlets and newspapers for being "enemies of the people" and discriminators of "fake news" the real liar and purveyor of fake news in Trump himself and his sycophants at the White House.  Worse yet, as the Washington Post reports efforts were made to pressure intelligence officials and certain lawmakers into lying and making statements to discredit reports on the communication between Trump campaign operatives and Russian intelligence officers during the period Russian hackers were attacking the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign.  I am sorry, but Trump has nothing to hide, why is he acting as if he is trying to push a cover up?    Here highlights from the Post article:
The Trump administration has enlisted senior members of the intelligence community and Congress in efforts to counter news stories about Trump associates’ ties to Russia, a politically charged issue that has been under investigation by the FBI as well as lawmakers now defending the White House.
Acting at the behest of the White House, the officials made calls to news organizations last week in attempts to challenge stories about alleged contacts between members of President Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, U.S. officials said.
The calls were orchestrated by the White House after unsuccessful attempts by the administration to get senior FBI officials to speak with news organizations and dispute the accuracy of stories on the alleged contacts with Russia.
The White House on Friday acknowledged those interactions with the FBI but did not disclose that it then turned to other officials who agreed to do what the FBI would not — participate in White House-arranged calls with news organizations, including The Washington Post.
Two of those officials spoke on the condition of anonymity — a practice President Trump has condemned [except when he cites unspecified sources].
White House spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed that the White House communicated with officials with the aim of contesting reporting on Russia, but maintained that the administration did nothing improper. “
The decision to involve those officials could be perceived as threatening the independence of U.S. spy agencies that are supposed to remain insulated from partisan issues, as well as undercutting the credibility of ongoing congressional probes. 
The effort also involved senior lawmakers with access to classified intelligence about Russia, including Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees. A spokesman for Nunes said that he had already begun speaking to reporters to challenge the story and that, “at the request of a White House communications aide, Chairman Nunes then spoke to an additional reporter and delivered the same message.”  Unlike the others, Nunes spoke on the record . . . . Rep. Adam B. Schiff (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, issued a statement Friday evening saying that if the White House “contrived to have intelligence officials contradict unfavorable news reports, this represents a new and even more grave threat to the independence of the intelligence community.”

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