US mess gets murkier

Claims have surfaced that Donald Trump has potentially been compromised by Russians. These are unverified, and not surprisingly Trump  tweeted “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”

CNN broke this story: Intel chiefs presented Trump with claims of Russian efforts to compromise him

Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.

The allegations were presented in a two-page synopsis that was appended to a report on Russian interference in the 2016 election.

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 Mr. Trump.

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.

These senior intelligence officials also included the synopsis to demonstrate that Russia had compiled information potentially harmful to both political parties, but 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.

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.

The raw memos on which the synopsis is based were prepared by the former MI6 agent, who was posted in Russia in the 1990s and now runs a private intelligence gathering firm.

His investigations related to Mr. Trump were initially funded by groups and donors supporting Republican opponents of Mr. Trump during the GOP primaries, multiple sources confirmed to CNN. Those sources also said that once Mr. Trump became the nominee, further investigation was funded by groups and donors supporting Hillary Clinton.

Spokespeople for the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. Officials who spoke to CNN declined to do so on the record given the classified nature of the material.

Some of the allegations were first reported publicly in Mother Jones one week before the election.

New York Times: Trump Received Unsubstantiated Report That Russia Had Damaging Information About Him

The memos suggest that for many years, the Russian government of Mr. Putin has looked for ways to influence Mr. Trump, who has traveled repeatedly to Moscow to investigate real estate deals or to oversee the Miss Universe competition, which he owned for several years. Mr. Trump never completed any major deals in Russia, though he discussed them for years.

The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Mr. Trump in a 2013 visit to a Moscow hotel. The videos were supposedly prepared as “kompromat,” or compromising material, with the possible goal of blackmailing Mr. Trump in the future.

The memos also suggest that Russian officials proposed various lucrative deals, essentially as disguised bribes in order to win influence over Mr. Trump.

The memos describe several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta.

This is all unverified.

The former British intelligence officer who gathered the material about Mr. Trump is considered a competent and reliable operative with extensive experience in Russia, American officials said. But he passed on what he heard from Russian informants and others, and what they told him has not yet been vetted by American intelligence.

Whatever the Russians have done deliberately or inadvertently, they appear to have played a significant role in the election, and what is emerging is highly embarrassing to the United States.

It has become a murky mess, and it’s quite likely to get worse.

35 Comments

  1. David Farrar has posted:

    I feel slightly sorry for Trump over this, but hey he is the one who pushed fake stories for years against Obama such as the birth certificate nonsense so live by the sword and die by the sword.

    But these allegations against Trump are potentially far more serious than the birth certificate nonsense.

  2. lucher1948

     /  January 11, 2017

    [Deleted a presumably false accusation. PG]

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 11, 2017

    Several people supposedly implicated in this story have already flatly denied its truth:

    Buzzfeed editor wrote an email saying they published their story despite noting in it that there were serious reasons to doubt its accuracy:
    http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/313679-trump-blasts-fake-news-after-report-that-russia-tried-to

  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 11, 2017

    Meanwhile Democrat Senators challenging the nominated Secretary of State for his past employment by Exxon have themselves received $9M from environmental groups:

    http://dailycaller.com/2017/01/09/senate-dems-questioning-rex-tillerson-got-9-million-from-anti-exxon-activists/

  5. Klik Bate

     /  January 11, 2017

    My niece in the US retweets relevant extracts from the report…..

    • David

       /  January 12, 2017

      Isn’t the important revelation here the fact that Obama, while President, stayed at a hotel that was known to be under FSB control with mircophones and cameras?!

  6. Pete Kane

     /  January 11, 2017

    Meanwhile this most of this interview really relates to Trump in the coming daysRep.
    “Chaffetz vows to continue Clinton email probe”
    http://www.msnbc.com/for-the-record-with-greta/watch/rep-chaffetz-vows-to-continue-clinton-email-probe-851949123591

  7. Freddie

     /  January 11, 2017

    What a complete idiot. The whole story is a scam originating from 4chan. Now you’ve fallen for it too, what a chump you are.

    Quite the mistake on your part Pete.

    • Perhaps you’re the idiot. What mistake have I made? It’s a story that’s out there which is clearly shown as unsubstantiated.

      And this makes the whole US election and Trump presidency murkier, wherever the truth lies – and why do you think Reddit is the truth against everything else?

      This shows how much of a mess fake news is making of everything about the US election – it’s impossible to know with any certainty what is fact and what is fiction much of the time.

      Trump has used this, and he’s being bitten by it. I think this is worthy of discussion.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 11, 2017

        It shows the level of filth the Left is prepared to wallow in.

        • Anonymous Coward

           /  January 11, 2017

          The 4chan guys that fabricated this place themselves firmly on the right Alan.

          • PDB

             /  January 11, 2017

            I could be wrong but I think Alan is referring to the way the left-wing jumped on the sordid story without fact checking?

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  January 11, 2017

              Certainly, but since the 4chan posts are anonymous how would you know their politics aside from their content?

            • Anonymous Coward

               /  January 11, 2017

              Because it came from /pol/, it’s a bigger right wing echo chamber than Whaleoil. And the guy that sent the document has identified himself. https://archive.fo/pR262 …sort of.

              @PDB, I believe it was only sent to one person, not the ‘left wing’.

        • Klik Bate

           /  January 11, 2017

          LOL ❗

        • Jeeves

           /  January 12, 2017

          Lol

  8. Zedd

     /  January 11, 2017

    said it before.. & here it is again; “Would you REALLY buy a used car from this man ?” (ie Hair DrumpF)