The national security assessment that concluded Russia interfered in the U.S. election to help Trump was dishonest and the conclusions were based on “logic” not fact according to testimony by James Clapper and James Comey.
The report was the subjective judgment of a “hand-picked” group of intelligence analysts in only three agencies.
That’s not what we were told.
The news media and Trump opponents said that this assessment “ended the debate on this issue because it was the unanimous and objective conclusion of ‘all 17’ U.S. Intelligence Agencies” even though this was untrue.
The report that determined Russia interfered in the election to help Trump was the conclusion of hand-selected analysts in three agencies, selected by a partisan chief who oversaw it from beginning to end.
The evidence came during the May 8 testimony by James Clapper before the Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing. He confirmed that the report only reflected the views of three intelligence agencies – the CIA, NSA, FBI – and not 17 agencies. This, Mr. Fleitz warns is very unusual since it should reflect the collective judgment of all U.S. intelligence agencies or all relevant ones, Mr. Fleitz writes.
“Clapper did not explain why the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department’s intelligence bureau did not participate, Mr. Fleitz wrote.
Clapper explained in his testimony that two dozen or so “seasoned experts” were “handpicked” from the contributing agencies” and drafted the ICA “under the aegis of his former office” (the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.)
Clapper also claimed these analysts were given “complete independence” to reach their findings, he added that their conclusions “were thoroughly vetted and then approved by the directors of the three agencies and me.”
According to Mr. Fleitz, this process drastically differed from the Intelligence Community’s normal procedures.
The report was also suspect because it reached unusually clear judgments on a politically explosive issue with no dissenting views.
Fleitz continued, “the idea of using hand-picked intelligence analysts selected through some unknown process to write an assessment on such a politically sensitive topic carries a strong stench of politicization.”
FBI Director James Comey said in testimony to the House Intelligence Committee the conclusion that Russia tried to affect the outcome of the election to help Trump win was based on logic, not evidence.
This was a SUBJECTIVE JUDGEMENT.
This gave “hyper-partisan”, anti-Trump CIA chief John Brennan enormous influence over the formulation of the ICA. He undoubtedly selected the drafters and had final approval.
The ICA’s conclusions assumed Trump had a reasonable chance of winning which no poll or prognosticator believed at the time. The report flies in the face of logic.
This is blockbuster information not shared with the public by the media in a way equal to the prior misinformation.
Even Fox has relegated this report to the opinion pages and Mr. Fleitz only had a brief appearance early Sunday on Fox & Friends to explain it, but this is crucial and relevant information. The article on FoxNews.com includes a video of a left-wing man (policy reporter for the AP) on Shep Smith’s left-wing show talking about General Flynn refusal to turn over certain documents. He said Flynn might end up in prison. The reporter concludes there is a there there.
Fred Fleitz is senior vice president for policy and programs with the Center for Security Policy, a national security think tank. Mr. Fleitz served in U.S. national security positions for 25 years at the CIA, DIA, Department of State and the House Intelligence Committee staff. During the administration of President George W. Bush, Mr. Fleitz was chief of staff to John Bolton, then Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security.