HuffPo reports Trump leaked classified info from briefings that haven't even started yet

Two partisans of Hillary Clinton writing at Huffington Post strongly suggested that Donald Trump leaked information about a classified video during a rally in Daytona, FL yesterday.

They claimed that Trump saw the video as part of the classified briefings he and Clinton will receive as major party candidates. There's only one problem; according to Paul Manafort, Trump campaign chief, Trump has not yet received any classified briefings.

Trump's description of the video that he characterized as "top secret" was vivid:

“I’ll never forget the scene this morning,” Trump told the crowd in Daytona Beach, Florida, of what he said he had watched. “Iran ― I don’t think you’ve heard this anywhere but here ― Iran provided all of that footage, the tape, of taking that money off that airplane.

“Over there, where that plane landed, top secret, they don’t have a lot of paparazzi, you know,” Trump said. “The paparazzi doesn’t do so well over there.” But “they have a perfect tape, obviously done by a government camera, and the tape is of the people taking the money off the plane. It’s a military tape. It’s a tape that was a perfect angle, nice and steady.” 

The two reporters - Christina Wilkie and Jessica Schulberg - then crafted the accusation that Trump revealed information from the classified briefing:

No publicly available video matches what Trump described. This raises the possibility that Trump was either fabricating the contents of a non-existent video, or he was disclosing information to which he has newly been granted access. 

Trump’s description of the “top secret” tape came just days after the Republican presidential nominee became eligible to receive classified intelligence briefings ― a privilege afforded to the nominees of the two major political parties in order to prepare them, should they win the White House.

A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign declined to say how Trump acquired the video.

A spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the group that handles classified national security briefings for presidential candidates, did not immediately respond to a question about whether Trump has been briefed by the agency.

But both Trump and Clinton are eligible for classified briefings now that they have secured their parties’ nominations, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said late last month after the presidential conventions. The Atlantic’s Russell Berman reported Wednesday that Trump and Clinton could begin receiving briefings “as soon as the coming days.” 

The vividness of Trump’s description of the video makes it difficult to imagine a scenario in which he made it up. He described how the video was shot by a steady hand. “Nobody getting nervous they’re going to be shot because they’re taking a picture of money pouring off a plane.”

Trump continued: “Iran released that tape, which is of quality like these guys have,” he said, pointing to the media in the back of the room. “Iran released that tape so that we will be embarrassed.” 

Since Trump has yet to receive any classified videos, what is it he actually viewed? Washington Post has the answer:

Several senior U.S. officials involved in the Iran negotiations told the Associated Presson Wednesday they weren't aware of any such footage. There was speculation that perhaps Trump saw the footage during one of the classified security briefings provided to presidential nominees, but Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort said in aninterview on Fox News earlier in the day that those briefings have not yet begun.

The Washington Post asked Trump's spokespeople to explain what Trump was talking about and emailed a link to a Fox News clip that showed the January footage from Geneva, asking if that was the video the nominee saw.

"Yes," spokeswoman Hope Hicks responded in an email. "Merely the b-roll footage included in every broadcast."

Hicks has yet to respond to a follow-up email asking why Trump thought the footage showed a money transfer and not the widely watched hostage swap, and why Trump said it was recorded by the Iranian government.

So, we can all relax. Trump did not release classified information. He just lied about what he saw - which is hardly unusal for Trump.

More to the point, the sloppy, biased, smear job by the HuffPo writers (I will not call them journalists) should be taken down. Especially since they didn't even try to hide their antipathy toward Trump. This "Note" was stuck in at the end of the smear job:

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.

Not much bias there, right Arianna?

 

 

Two partisans of Hillary Clinton writing at Huffington Post strongly suggested that Donald Trump leaked information about a classified video during a rally in Daytona, FL yesterday.

They claimed that Trump saw the video as part of the classified briefings he and Clinton will receive as major party candidates. There's only one problem; according to Paul Manafort, Trump campaign chief, Trump has not yet received any classified briefings.

Trump's description of the video that he characterized as "top secret" was vivid:

“I’ll never forget the scene this morning,” Trump told the crowd in Daytona Beach, Florida, of what he said he had watched. “Iran ― I don’t think you’ve heard this anywhere but here ― Iran provided all of that footage, the tape, of taking that money off that airplane.

“Over there, where that plane landed, top secret, they don’t have a lot of paparazzi, you know,” Trump said. “The paparazzi doesn’t do so well over there.” But “they have a perfect tape, obviously done by a government camera, and the tape is of the people taking the money off the plane. It’s a military tape. It’s a tape that was a perfect angle, nice and steady.” 

The two reporters - Christina Wilkie and Jessica Schulberg - then crafted the accusation that Trump revealed information from the classified briefing:

No publicly available video matches what Trump described. This raises the possibility that Trump was either fabricating the contents of a non-existent video, or he was disclosing information to which he has newly been granted access. 

Trump’s description of the “top secret” tape came just days after the Republican presidential nominee became eligible to receive classified intelligence briefings ― a privilege afforded to the nominees of the two major political parties in order to prepare them, should they win the White House.

A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign declined to say how Trump acquired the video.

A spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the group that handles classified national security briefings for presidential candidates, did not immediately respond to a question about whether Trump has been briefed by the agency.

But both Trump and Clinton are eligible for classified briefings now that they have secured their parties’ nominations, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said late last month after the presidential conventions. The Atlantic’s Russell Berman reported Wednesday that Trump and Clinton could begin receiving briefings “as soon as the coming days.” 

The vividness of Trump’s description of the video makes it difficult to imagine a scenario in which he made it up. He described how the video was shot by a steady hand. “Nobody getting nervous they’re going to be shot because they’re taking a picture of money pouring off a plane.”

Trump continued: “Iran released that tape, which is of quality like these guys have,” he said, pointing to the media in the back of the room. “Iran released that tape so that we will be embarrassed.” 

Since Trump has yet to receive any classified videos, what is it he actually viewed? Washington Post has the answer:

Several senior U.S. officials involved in the Iran negotiations told the Associated Presson Wednesday they weren't aware of any such footage. There was speculation that perhaps Trump saw the footage during one of the classified security briefings provided to presidential nominees, but Trump's campaign chairman Paul Manafort said in aninterview on Fox News earlier in the day that those briefings have not yet begun.

The Washington Post asked Trump's spokespeople to explain what Trump was talking about and emailed a link to a Fox News clip that showed the January footage from Geneva, asking if that was the video the nominee saw.

"Yes," spokeswoman Hope Hicks responded in an email. "Merely the b-roll footage included in every broadcast."

Hicks has yet to respond to a follow-up email asking why Trump thought the footage showed a money transfer and not the widely watched hostage swap, and why Trump said it was recorded by the Iranian government.

So, we can all relax. Trump did not release classified information. He just lied about what he saw - which is hardly unusal for Trump.

More to the point, the sloppy, biased, smear job by the HuffPo writers (I will not call them journalists) should be taken down. Especially since they didn't even try to hide their antipathy toward Trump. This "Note" was stuck in at the end of the smear job:

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liarrampant xenophoberacistmisogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims ― 1.6 billion members of an entire religion ― from entering the U.S.

Not much bias there, right Arianna?