Everything you know is wrong.
That’s what I'd say to all compulsive consumers of mainstream media, especially CNN, MSNBC and the New York Times, and also those who use social media to “curate” the news that comes to them. For me, knowing what I know after many months of following all the details of the “Trump/Russia” investigation, this “news” is virtually unwatchable, as even a few minutes’ exposure is enough to make me physically recoil, like a health nut being pressured into trying to smoke his first –- and last –- cigarette. Get me away from this. Never again.
Unfortunately, lots of people get through that first puff and become addicted right away. How do I know so many Americans are “in the bubble,” brainwashed and wildly misinformed? Well, incredibly, a new Rasmussen poll reveals that even now, 57 percent of Democrats believe that President Trump is guilty of treason. TREASON. Only 14 percent think he is not; 29 percent aren’t sure. This is no doubt because the anti-Trump media are still prattling on, nonstop, that Trump “colluded” with good buddy Vladimir Putin. It doesn’t even matter that the special counsel investigated for almost two years with the most viciously anti-Trump team he could possibly assemble and still could not make a case for that. Here are the details of the poll:
When Trump first said Trump Tower was “wiretapped,” he was relentlessly ridiculed in the media and called a liar. The people who said those things are no doubt still in that 57 percent of ignorant Dems, unable to accept the truth that his campaign, and later, his transition team, absolutely were spied on. (Use the word “surveillance” if you prefer; it’s exactly the same thing.)
Some opinion journalists at FOX News and a handful of investigative reporters --- and, of course, the Huckabee team --- have been on this from the beginning, trying to get the facts, and we’ve been right all along. (Just as Trump says “no collusion, no obstruction,” we can say “no misinformation, no retraction.”) Most everyone else owes Trump a tremendous apology for all the “fake news” stories and outright lies about him, but he knows better than to hold his breath.
That said, here’s the latest real news that we know at least 57 percent of Democrats won’t pay attention to: John Solomon has yet another breaking story about the political nature of the Steele “dossier,” and he says it’s the most direct evidence yet that the government was well aware before it submitted the FISA application that the author of the “dossier” was on a political mission, as opposed to an intelligence mission. We already knew Christopher Steele was fervently anti-Trump and desperate to keep him out of the White House, and we also knew that Bruce Ohr had warned his colleagues at the FBI and DOJ about Steele’s bias. Now, because of a meeting he and his colleague Tatyana Duran had with Kathleen Kavalec, the deputy assistant secretary of state, we learn that on October 11, 2016, ten days before the FISA application was made, Steele made it clear that the objective of his client (by inference, the DNC) was to air the dirt in his “dossier” in time to damage Trump before the election.
Kavalec memorialized that conversation in typewritten notes, which according to Devin Nunes were never provided to him and other members of the House committees looking into the FISA warrant. They were finally unearthed through an open-records lawsuit by the conservative group Citizens United. Steele’s client “is keen to see this information come to light prior to November 8,” the notes say.
It seems to me that the whole Steele/State Department connection was inappropriate and, indeed, smells to high heaven. What was Steele even doing there? According to Solomon, the State Department is working to to keep more of Kavalec’s information secret by retroactively claiming it is classified.
But Solomon promises more documents later this week to support the fact that the FBI knew they were using unverified political slime to get their okay to spy on Trump.
One thing in this story troubles me: The memo was heavily and very recently redacted; it’s one of those pieces being retroactively classified. The notation says “Classified by FBI on 4/25/19 --- Class: SECRET.” So this material was classified just days ago, not by James Comey’s FBI or Rod Rosenstein’s FBI but by Christopher Wray’s FBI. Until I learn differently, this doesn’t give me much confidence in the current leadership of the FBI, especially considering the material is marked for declassification 12/31/2041 –- 25 years after the 2016 election.
Also, former FBI Assistant Director Kevin Brock appeared with Tucker Carlson Tuesday night to explain how strange it was for Jamey Comey and others at the FBI to lead a counterintelligence investigation out of the director’s office on the seventh floor. Brock says this was “unprecedented,” that such investigations are normally carried out by field personnel. But in this case, the seventh floor wangled an electronic surveillance warrant from the FISA court to spy on Carter Page and was also running confidential human sources (translation: SPIES) against members of Trump’s campaign.
Why should there be such opposition to the use of the term “spying”? Brock says it’s actually a euphemism when compared to the vast power of “electronic surveillance,” which he calls “the nuclear option of intelligence collection.” It’s more than just listening in on phone calls, he says, much more invasive than simply eavesdropping. “The court orders you to monitor everything about that person,” Brock explains. Microphones, cameras, “whatever it takes.” That’s what they did to Carter Page, and they still never found any evidence against him even though he was accused in the FISA warrant application of being a Russian agent.
Brock also says that “the key, key question” is the one we’ve all been asking: why didn’t the FBI warn Trump that they suspected Russians of trying to infiltrate his campaign. “Veteran counterintelligence agents are puzzled about this as well.”
“There’s no doubt that the FBI should and could investigate Russian activities in this country targeting our citizens and targeting our government, but normally, when Russia intersects with a U.S. person or a U.S. citizen, the FBI goes to that person and warns them about what Russia is up to and asks for their cooperation so that we can obtain more intelligence about what the Russians are up to. So why they decided at the outset to make members of the Trump campaign a TARGET of a counterintelligence investigation is still a puzzle, because the predication to do so is literally not there, according to the Mueller report.”
“This is not the normal way a counterintelligence investigation is pursued,” he says. So the question for AG Bill Barr is, how did this very odd investigation get started? For a look at how Barr might proceed, with a special focus on Comey’s strangely unorthodox handling of this case, here’s Brock’s excellent piece in THE HILL.