A growing body of evidence appearing in major news outlets suggests a campaign to undermine President Trump and his administration from within the government through illegal leaks of classified information and fake news to the media. The DOJ/FBI have taken great efforts to obstruct congressional investigators probing the disclosures.
On Monday, emails between Peter Stzok and Lisa Page discussing a “media leak strategy” were released. Strzok’s lawyer tried to say they were trying to stop the leaks which, based on the actual emails, seems fantastical. Texts out since then make it look like an even more absurd scenario.
Leaks were used as a “pretext” to interview American citizens.
THE ECHO CHAMBER
U.S. officials say the template for the leak campaign can be traced back to the Obama administration’s efforts to sell the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which made the press reliant on background conversations and favorable leaks from government officials. Obama adviser Ben Rhodes told the New York Times in 2016 that “we created an echo chamber” that “helped retail the administration’s narrative,” Sara Carter reported.
The media leak strategy had two phases. The first phase was an offensive strategy to disrupt Trump’s agenda and the second phase is to obstruct.
A newly-released text message further clarifies how the unverified Russia dossier was used to expand what looks more and more like a concocted investigation into the Trump campaign. The message shows that Peter Strzok used the release of the dossier as a reason to question Trump campaign officials.
What came first
Then-FBI Director James Comey briefed then-President-Elect Trump on Jan. 6, 2017 about some of the salacious allegations in the dossier, but not all, just enough. The dossier was compiled by anti-Trumper and former British spy Christopher Steele. It was funded by the Hillary campaign and the DNC she controlled [as Donna Brazile has stated].
Comey wrote in a Jan. 7, 2017, email to FBI leadership that he told Trump he briefed him about the dossier because “media like CNN had [the dossier] and were looking for a news hook.”
“I said it was inflammatory stuff that they would get killed for reporting straight up from the source reports,” Comey continued.
On Jan. 8, 2017, then-FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe wrote to senior FBI leadership that “CNN is close to going forward with the sensitive story … The trigger for them [CNN] is they know the material was discussed in the brief [the President’s brief] and presented in an attachment.”
McCabe was Lisa Page’s boss. He also emailed then-deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and then-principal deputy Attorney General Matthew Axelrod: “Just an FYI, and as expected, it seems CNN is close to running a story about the sensitive reporting.”
James Clapper told a CNN journalist about the dossier in early January 2017.
The Jan. 10, 2017, CNN report had bylines from Jake Tapper, Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto and Carl Bernstein. Hours later, BuzzFeed News published the garbage dossier in full.
The new texts to hunt down Trump officials using the fake, unverified dossier
Fake news stories, supported by Clinton opposition research [dossier] and leaked by the U.S. government served as a pretext for our government to interview American citizens, citizens who were so frightened, they appeared to have lied. The citizens appear to be those tied to the Trump campaign.
Just think of what it must be like to have the perfectly awful Peter Strzok interview you.
The newly released text shows former FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok wanted to use the dossier as a “pretext” to interview people in connection to the dossier.
“Sitting with Bill watching CNN. A TON more out,” Strzok texted to his lover FBI lawyer Lisa Page on Jan. 10, 2017.
“Hey let me know when you can talk. We’re discussing whether, now that this is out, we use it as a pretext to go interview some people,” continued Strzok, according to a CNN report.
The interviews that followed
After this text, Strzok did take part in some interviews about the dossier, including one with then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn on January 24, 2017. Flynn eventually copped a plea to lying about his contacts with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Reports say Sally Yates prompted Strzok to do the interview.
On January 27, 2017, the FBI asked George Papadopoulos, a short-term unpaid foreign policy advisor for an interview to discuss Belarus-born businessman Sergei Millian who had just been identified days earlier as a major source for the dossier.
Papadopoulos had met with Millian several times.
Papadopoulos asked for confirmation the interview would be about Millian and they reassured him. However, within twenty minutes, they were questioning him about policy advisors and any connection they might have to Russians.
Papadopoulos’s lawyers asserted that one of the agents who interviewed Papadopoulos confirmed that the questions about Millian were “just a ruse” to “get [Papadopoulos] in a room.”
He had to cop a plea to lying to agents about his contacts with sketchy Professor Joseph Mifsud. On September 7, he was sentenced to 14 days in prison.
Reports in May of 2017
“I said media like CNN had [the dossier] and were looking for a news hook,” Comey wrote to Andrew McCabe of his interaction with Trump.
The relationship between the DOJ/FBI and the media was intense, ongoing, and corrupt. It was illicit and aimed at entrapping and spying on the Trump team. There were no clear boundaries between the agencies and the media.