OBAMA DNI CLAPPER IS THE LEAKER LAUNCHING TRUMP-RUSSIA
According to government sources, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper leaked classified information to CNN early last year, prior to Donald Trump’s Inauguration.
He disclosed to CNN the classified briefings given to then President-Elect Donald Trump and President Barrack Obama on the salacious dossier claiming the Russians had compromising information on the president-elect. He was one of four senior Obama administration officials present. The evidence of Mr. Clapper’s leak was collected during the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation.
Yet immediately after CNN ran with the story based on his leaks, Clapper issued an official statement denouncing the leak (January 11, 2017). He stated his “profound dismay at the leaks,” warned that the leaks were “extremely corrosive and damaging” to national security, and denied any US intelligence agency involvement.
Yesterday (3/12), Congressman Mike Conaway (R-TX) announced that the committee found no evidence of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign. The Republican members released only a portion of the committee’s findings in the late afternoon.
The full report will undergo a review to ensure that it does not reveal or damage national security before its public release, congressional sources added. The committee interviewed its final witness, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, last week and had accessed all documents related to its probe, a congressional source told this reporter.
“We’ve interviewed all the folks we needed too,” Conaway told Fox News (3/12). “We could find no evidence of collusion between either campaign and the Russians.”
Conaway said the committee did, however, find evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election. His assessment of the findings stated that the “draft report will be provided to the Committee minority on March 13 for review and comment. After adoption it will be submitted for a declassification review, and a declassified version will be made public.”
Since the start of the House Intelligence Committee investigation, “the Committee majority and minority agreed to four parameters for this investigation, covering Russian active measures directed against the 2016 election and against our European allies, the U.S. Government’s response to those attacks, links between Russians and the Trump and Clinton campaigns, and leaks of classified information.”
“After conducting 73 witness interviews, holding nine hearings and briefings, and reviewing over 300,000 documents, we are confident that we have thoroughly investigated the agreed-upon parameters, and developed reliable initial findings and recommendations,” Conaway said. “We will now be moving into the next phase of this investigation, working with the minority on a report to give the American people answers to the questions they’ve been asking for over a year.”
Conaway said that with the2018 primary elections already underway, “just 238 days until the mid-term elections in November, it’s important that we give the American people the information they need to arm themselves against Russian attempts to influence our elections.”
But according to government sources, Clapper, who is not mentioned in the Intel Committee report released yesterday, had spoken to CNN at roughly the same time Jake Tapper broke the first story regarding the briefings conducted by senior intelligence officials with Trump and Obama on the dossier.
Tapper’s story on January 10, 2017, created a snowball effect of allegations in the media that Trump’s campaign had allegedly colluded with the Russians in the 2016 election and that Russia had compromising material on Trump.
Neither Clapper nor Tapper could be immediately reached for comment today.
The dossier, which was compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele, at the behest of embattled research firm Fusion GPS, was already being shopped around by Steele to journalists in Washington as early as the summer of 2016, according to reports. At the time, journalists who had heard of the dossier were reluctant to publish the findings because of its unverified content.
But it was when CNN published the first report that Trump and Obama had been briefed the dossier’s findings that other news agencies began to report on it.
The Intel Committee found evidence that Clapper, who is now a contributor at CNN, contacted CNN shortly before the story was published by Tapper, Evan Perez, and Jim Sciutto. CNN’s detailing the briefings given to Trump by the senior officials on the contents of the dossier “gave the dossier legs and news agencies began to publish its contents because it had now become official news,” one congressional source told this reporter.
The very next day on Jan. 11, Clapper issued a press release as noted above, stating:
“I expressed my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press, and we both agreed that they are extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security…We also discussed the private security company document, which was widely circulated in recent months among the media, members of Congress and Congressional staff even before the IC became aware of it.
I emphasized that this document is not a U.S. Intelligence Community product and that I do not believe the leaks came from within the IC.”
CNN was the first to report that the Russians allegedly had “compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump.”
CNN also reported that the findings were compiled by a credible former British spy and that the FBI was investigating the allegations.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has battled both Democrats and the Department of Justice over the past year in an effort to obtain documents for the Russia phase of the investigation. As expected, Mr. Nunes’ Democrat minority counterpart Adam Schiff bitterly denounced the committee’s findings last night (3/12).
One wonders what Mr. Schiff will say when he learns in the full draft report to be released, eyes only, to the committee soon, that Obama’s National Intelligence Director is the leaker that launched the entire Trump-Russia Collusion story.
Sara A. Carter is a nationally known investigative reporter and Fox News Contributor. Her favorite hobby besides exposing deceit in journalism, is practicing foreign accents in order to embarrass her family in public settings.