NYT: Obama Administration Rushed To Spread Information About Russia Intervening In Election Across Government

Posted: Mar 07, 2017 1:00 PM

In the final days of the Obama administration, White House officials scrambled to get raw intelligence analyzed and disseminated to key players in Washington about Russia’s activity before Donald Trump took over in January. They also worked to narrow the number of people who could access it as well, knowing that they couldn’t keep this from the new president. The New York Times  reported on this mad dash on March 1; though it’s almost entirely based on information from anonymous sources, so take this with a grain of salt. The Obama White House found the evidence damning. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ undisclosed meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were also documented, though the AG stated that he met with Kislyak as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. Meeting with foreign officials is not a crime. And on Capitol Hill, members of Congress speaking with these folks are not unusual. Nevertheless, it got the Russophobic tendencies of America’s liberals going again. The other aim to ensure our intelligence agencies have a point of reference to spot possible meddling should this happen again and serve as a blueprint for the Europeans to watch their own electoral integrity.

That’s fine, but there’s zero evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence. The hackers that infiltrated the Democratic National Committee were said to be associated with the Russian government, who then gave the information to Wikileaks, an allegation Julian Assange denies. Assange is adamant that his source isn’t Russian. To keep the Russia questions in perpetuity, the intelligence community issued their reports on the lowest classification level there is to ensure as many people could access the information. It’s obvious that the Obama White House doesn’t want this to go away.

In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.

American allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former American officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence.

Separately, American intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump associates.


As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators — including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.

At intelligence agencies, there was a push to process as much raw intelligence as possible into analyses, and to keep the reports at a relatively low classification level to ensure as wide a readership as possible across the government — and, in some cases, among European allies. This allowed the upload of as much intelligence as possible to Intellipedia, a secret wiki used by American analysts to share information.

So, I guess I can see why the Hillary Clinton’s campaign is reportedly angrier with Obama than FBI Director James Comey or the Russians. Don’t get me wrong; this side still hasn’t accepted that they lost. They still haven’t taken responsibility for nominating a very weak candidate. So, passing blame on to the FBI and Russia is just another way for liberals to avoid admitting they had a sucky 2016 candidate. Would this have made the difference? All this Russia hysteria from the new media (and the Left) has only driven Americans to feel that they're being way too critical of Trump. Love him or hate him, Trump had a message, he painted a picture, and it resonated with the Rust Belt. Clinton wasn't able to do that. On Obama's end, he decided to go on the F-U tour, releasing more Gitmo detainees, banning offshore drilling, and designating almost 2 million acres as national monuments to kill future natural gas and oil exploration. His team also ensured that a cloud of Russia intrigue would hang over 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue during the Trump presidency. And it looks like they've succeeded.