War between intelligence agencies’ deep state and Trump surfaces over DNC server

In his customary extemporaneous broad-brush fashion, President Trump took on the purported consensus of 17 intelligence agencies that Russia hacked the DNC server.  Speaking to reporters while flying from DaNang to Hanoi, the president said that Vladimir Putin had denied interfering in our elections, and:  

TRUMP: I think that he is very, very strong in the fact that he didn’t do it. And then you look, and you look at what’s going on with Podesta, and you look at what’s going on with the server from the D.N.C. and why didn’t the F.B.I. take it, why did they leave it, why did a third party look at the server and not the FBI — if you look at all of this stuff, and you say, what’s going on here?

And then you hear it’s 17 agencies. Well, it’s three. And one is Brennan and one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They’re political hacks.

So you look at it — I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he’s proven to be a leaker.

So you look at that, and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that. Now, you’re not going to get into an argument. You’re going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.

As he and faithful readers of AT know, that “conclusion” was based on analysis supplied by a private investigator working for the DNC, CrowdStrike. No intelligence or police agency ever examined the server. And according to the analysis of Conservative Treehouse, the FBI report itself (read it here) has been exaggerated and distorted by the media:

The “Russian Malicious Cyber Activity – Joint Analysis Report” is pure nonsense. It outlines nothing more than vague and disingenuous typical hacking activity that is no more substantive than any other hacking report on any other foreign actor.

This report might as well be blaming Nigerian fraud phone solicitors for targeting U.S. phone numbers.  Just because your grandma didn’t actually win that Nigerian national lottery doesn’t mean the Nigerian government, or representative of the Nigerian government were targeting grandma.

This FBI report is, well, quite simply, pure nonsense, that’s why NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers refused to endorse it.

But back in Langley, Virginia, at CIA Headquarters, this overt challenge from the commander in chief did not go down well. The name of Trump’s own appointee as CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, was invoked, as Mallory Osbourne reported in The Hill:

The CIA on Saturday said its director, Mike Pompeo, "stands by" the intelligence community’s declassified report that concluded Russia ran an influence campaign aimed at helping President Trump win the White House in 2016.

"The director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 intelligence community assessment entitled: 'Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections.' The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed,” a spokesperson for the agency said when contacted by The Hill.

So far, Pompeo has not faced any cameras and said anything. As Director, failing to “stand by” the work output of his agency would require formal proceedings, I suspect, a move that would be highly premature. And Pompeo has to deal with professionals who control the information flow to his desk.  

I don’t think this battle is over, mainly because it defies common sense to have allowed the DNC server to go unexamined. But taking on that conclusion requires a lot more spadework.

Remember that the deep state plays for keeps.

In his customary extemporaneous broad-brush fashion, President Trump took on the purported consensus of 17 intelligence agencies that Russia hacked the DNC server.  Speaking to reporters while flying from DaNang to Hanoi, the president said that Vladimir Putin had denied interfering in our elections, and:  

TRUMP: I think that he is very, very strong in the fact that he didn’t do it. And then you look, and you look at what’s going on with Podesta, and you look at what’s going on with the server from the D.N.C. and why didn’t the F.B.I. take it, why did they leave it, why did a third party look at the server and not the FBI — if you look at all of this stuff, and you say, what’s going on here?

And then you hear it’s 17 agencies. Well, it’s three. And one is Brennan and one is whatever. I mean, give me a break. They’re political hacks.

So you look at it — I mean, you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have Comey. Comey is proven now to be a liar and he’s proven to be a leaker.

So you look at that, and you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do with that. Now, you’re not going to get into an argument. You’re going to start talking about Syria and the Ukraine.

As he and faithful readers of AT know, that “conclusion” was based on analysis supplied by a private investigator working for the DNC, CrowdStrike. No intelligence or police agency ever examined the server. And according to the analysis of Conservative Treehouse, the FBI report itself (read it here) has been exaggerated and distorted by the media:

The “Russian Malicious Cyber Activity – Joint Analysis Report” is pure nonsense. It outlines nothing more than vague and disingenuous typical hacking activity that is no more substantive than any other hacking report on any other foreign actor.

This report might as well be blaming Nigerian fraud phone solicitors for targeting U.S. phone numbers.  Just because your grandma didn’t actually win that Nigerian national lottery doesn’t mean the Nigerian government, or representative of the Nigerian government were targeting grandma.

This FBI report is, well, quite simply, pure nonsense, that’s why NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers refused to endorse it.

But back in Langley, Virginia, at CIA Headquarters, this overt challenge from the commander in chief did not go down well. The name of Trump’s own appointee as CIA Director, Mike Pompeo, was invoked, as Mallory Osbourne reported in The Hill:

The CIA on Saturday said its director, Mike Pompeo, "stands by" the intelligence community’s declassified report that concluded Russia ran an influence campaign aimed at helping President Trump win the White House in 2016.

"The director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 intelligence community assessment entitled: 'Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections.' The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed,” a spokesperson for the agency said when contacted by The Hill.

So far, Pompeo has not faced any cameras and said anything. As Director, failing to “stand by” the work output of his agency would require formal proceedings, I suspect, a move that would be highly premature. And Pompeo has to deal with professionals who control the information flow to his desk.  

I don’t think this battle is over, mainly because it defies common sense to have allowed the DNC server to go unexamined. But taking on that conclusion requires a lot more spadework.

Remember that the deep state plays for keeps.

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