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Sharyl Attkisson writing at Just in the News shares information on two documents released by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsay Graham about government surveillance of now President Donald Trump in 2016.
First, there is a summary of the 57-page, three-day interview transcript with Steele’s primary source for his notorious dossier originally assembled for hire for the Clinton campaign.
According to the analysis by Sen. Graham’s office:
- The document reveals that the primary “source” of Steele’s election reporting was not some well-connected current or former Russian official, but a non-Russian-based contract employee of Christopher Steele’s firm. Moreover, it demonstrates that the information that Steele’s primary source provided him was second and third hand information and rumor at best.
- Critically, the document shows that Steele’s “primary sub-source” disagreed with and was surprised by how information he gave Steele was then conveyed by Steele in the Steele dossier.
Then there is a memo from then FBI Agent Peter Strzok on the accuracy of a New York Times article “Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contact With Russian Intelligence” from Michael Schmidt, Mark Mazzetti, and Matt Apuzzo published Valentine’s Day 2017 (behind the paywall). Strzok’s points include the following:
Claim in NYT article: “Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.”
Note by Strzok: “This statement is misleading and inaccurate as written. We have not seen evidence of any individuals in contact with Russians (both Governmental and non-Governmental)” and “There is no known intel affiliation, and little if any [government of Russia] affiliation[.] FBI investigation has shown past contact between [Trump campaign volunteer Carter] Page and the SVR [Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation], but not during his association with the Trump campaign.”
Claim in NYT article: “Officials would not disclose many details, including what was discussed on the calls, and how many of Trump’s advisers were talking to the Russians.”
Note by Strzok: “Again, we are unaware of ANY Trump advisers engaging in conversations with Russian intel officials” and “Our coverage has not revealed contact between Russian intelligence officers and the Trump team.”
Claim in NYT article: “The FBI asked the NSA to collect as much information as possible about the Russian operatives on the phone calls …”
Note by Strzok: “If they did we are not aware of those communications.”
Claim by NYT: “Senior FBI officials believe … Christopher Steele … has a credible track record.”
Note by Strzok: “Recent interviews and investigation, however, reveal Steele may not be in a position to judge the reliability of subsource network.”
Attkisson concludes: There is as yet no explanation in the documents or from the New York Times as to the identities of the four “American officials” who apparently provided the misleading and false information; or what their motivation was.
Do Times publisher A.G. Sulzberger and Editor-in-Chief Dean Baquet have the journalistic integrity to reveal who was pumping Schmidt false and misleading information to impugn the President of the United States?Published in