At the core of everything is the fact that the Russia investigation is an FBI counterintelligence operation. It's a spy hunt. And another piece of the puzzle just dropped into place. We found out today that the Trump campaign was warned about Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 election, and here's why this is important:
In the weeks after he became the Republican nominee on July 19, 2016, Donald Trump was warned that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign, according to multiple government officials familiar with the matter.
The warning came in the form of a high-level counterintelligence briefing by senior FBI officials, the officials said. A similar briefing was given to Hillary Clinton, they added. They said the briefings, which are commonly provided to presidential nominees, were designed to educate the candidates and their top aides about potential threats from foreign spies.
The candidates were urged to alert the FBI about any suspicious overtures to their campaigns, the officials said.
The FBI is after spies! That's what they're doing--they're telling everyone, we're looking for spies! And almost one month later, Trump gets his first intelligence briefing. Pay attention to this key piece of information:
Former Defense Intelligence Agency director and retired general Mike Flynn reportedly peppered the briefers with questions during the Aug. 17 meeting, according to three sources.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, another Trump adviser, touched Flynn’s arm to get him to stop interrupting the briefing.
Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, said during an NBC candidate forum Wednesday night that he could tell, based on their body language, that the briefing officials did not like President Obama’s handling of foreign policy.
Michael Morell, a former acting director of the CIA who supports Hillary Clinton's presidential bid, blasted Trump for discussing the classified briefing in public.
"This is first time that I can remember a candidate for president doing a readout from an intelligence briefing, and it's the first time a candidate has politicized their intelligence briefing. Both of those are highly inappropriate and crossed a long-standing red line respected by both parties," Morell told NBC.
Classified material! That's what spies want! The reason why Flynn is cooperating with the Russians is probably because of his presence at that meeting. By the time August, 2016 rolls around, Trump is a laughingstock. No one thinks he's going to win. He's surrounded by clowns who give him terrible advice. But, there's already an FBI counterintelligence operation in full swing. How do we know this?
Manafort became Trump’s campaign manager in June 2016 but was forced to resign two months later amid reports of his business relationship with the Kremlin-backed former Ukrainian leader, Viktor Yanukovich.
Manafort’s attorney and the White House did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment on the stories.
The secret court that oversees warrant requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act initially authorized monitoring of Manafort but discontinued it at some point in 2016 for lack of evidence, CNN said, citing one of its sources.
The FBI resumed surveillance under a new FISA warrant at some point last year and continued to monitor him into 2017, CNN said. The second warrant was obtained as part of the FBI’s investigation into ties between Trump campaign associates and Russian operatives, it said.
If you're going to hunt for spies, you need a FISA warrant. Who'd they go after? The guy at the top of the campaign organization. Paul Manafort was campaign chairman from May until August. He was in charge from May 19 until August 19--two days after Trump received his national security briefing. He was there through the June, 2016 meeting with the Russians, the July warning from the FBI, and up until Trump is first exposed to classified material. The FISA warrant drops off at one point, but is reinstated. Why?
We know that Manafort didn't flip when approached by Mueller's team. He had to be indicted, along with his business associate. But Flynn did flip, and Flynn likely knows everything that Manafort was exposed to. He knows where the bodies are buried, in other words, and all of this has me wondering.
Did Michael Flynn or Paul Manafort pass classified information to the Russians after receiving the August 17 briefing? Is that at the heart of this massive spy hunt? Was this enough to justify the FISA warrant? We know Flynn blundered and lied to the FBI. We know that he had no clue that the Russian Ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, was being monitored by the FBI.
How much of a stretch is it to surmise that Flynn and Manafort were stupid enough to share classified information with a foreign government or governments (don't forget the Turks!) and that's what Mueller has on them?
This is just my speculation, but I think a lot of people know this and they're just waiting for events to unfold. I can't stress this enough--anyone who says they know doesn't know, unless they're working for Mueller. Far too many irresponsible people are spinning these massive theories. It's a simple tale of incompetence and stupidity and greed, in my opinion. The Mueller team has everything they need and they're letting Trump and his people obstruct justice and blunder their way into a massive trap. They have a massive surveillance operation well underway and they're watching what Trump and his team do. They're reading every E-mail and listening in on every call (assuming they have the proper warrants) and they're days or weeks away from laying this all at the feet of the American people.
Is this what happened? Will buy it? I have no idea.