This was bound to be a flash in the pan story. There’s nothing to it. And the fact that Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), one of the biggest anti-Trump Democrats on the Hill who has a reputation of leaking everything under the sun, was involved didn’t help matters either. You all know the story: somebody leaked details of a classified intelligence briefing to The New York Times that the—wait for it—Russians were trying to help Trump get re-elected. Schiff was in the room for this briefing. It was then leaked to a major news publication. It’s a mystery wrapped in a riddle as to who spilled the beans:
This here is peak Schiff.— Chuck Ross (@ChuckRossDC) February 21, 2020
Wow, look at this story randomly coming across the transom. It's very troubling, if true. pic.twitter.com/A04HriRLWV
And now, the Russians are helping Sen. Bernie Sanders as well. They’re helping him, according to a story in The Washington Post. Sanders was briefed on this matter…a month ago. If everyone is a Russian agent, then no one is a Russian agent. This game has gone long enough. It was a clown show from the beginning. There is zero evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, which was finally given the kill shot with the report filed by ex-Special Counsel Robert Mueller. This report and the one filed by the Department of Justice Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who investigated the FISA abuses under Obama, also torched the infamous and unverified Trump dossier, which was the basis for this whole myth. This piece of political opposition research that was funded by the Hillary Clinton campaign was also cited as credible evidence in securing a FISA spy warrant against Carter Page, who was a former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign. It was all a hoax, with shoddy information from some trash document used to execute a partisan witch-hunt that evolved into an absurd impeachment push. Luckily, the Democrats failed. They have yet to learn that you cannot polish a turd. If the argument and its so-called evidence is garbage, that’s exactly how it will be seen, no matter how many disgruntled anti-Trump bureaucrats you drag onto the Hill for testimony.
Russiagate and its many toxic offshoots has been a toxic stew of propaganda, misdirection, lies from the very beginning. It’s like an infectious disease that is constantly spreading into new body parts. I have zero patience for anyone who still validates this garbage— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) February 22, 2020
Space aliens are "said to be" invading Earth at any moment. This was "said" by someone, somewhere -- doesn't matter who -- and so we are reporting it with a hysterical headline pic.twitter.com/O1zouaF2ut— Michael Tracey (@mtracey) February 21, 2020
Oh, and even CNN’s Jake Tapper took these new allegations to the woodshed. As Streiffnoted on RedState, we don’t know what the evidence is, what agencies are involved, or the confidence of this assessment. Tapper took to Twitter to go on a lengthy thread about how intelligence officials he knows pushed back on what was being peddled by his colleagues in the media. In all, the intelligence gathered bears no fruit in confirming the ‘Russia is helping Trump’ allegation that was supposedly tossed out there by Shelby Pierson, the man in charge with our election security:
A national security official I know and trust pushes back on the way the briefing/ODNI story is being told, and others with firsthand knowledge agree with his assessment.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 21, 2020
2/ "What's been articulated in the news is that the intelligence community has concluded that the Russians are trying to help Trump again. But the intelligence doesn't say that,” the official says...— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 21, 2020
3/ “The problem is Shelby" -- Pierson, the elections threats executive in the intelligence community -- "said they developed a preference for Trump. A more reasonable interpretation of the intelligence is not that they have a preference, it's a step short of that....— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 21, 2020
4/ “It's more that they understand the president is someone they can work with, he's a dealmaker. But not that they prefer him over Sanders or Buttigieg or anyone else. So it may have been mischaracterized by Shelby" at the House Intel briefing last week...— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 21, 2020
5/ "And by the way,” the official says, “both Democrats and Republicans were challenging this at the briefing."— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 21, 2020
Then there’s the matter of the tense meeting between President Trump and erstwhile Acting Director of National Intelligence Admiral Maguire...
6/ “The President was upset that he had to hear about an intelligence conclusion from a Member of the House Republicans rather than from the intelligence community. So he was out of joint with Maguire on that process."— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 21, 2020
7/ None of this disputes that Trump desires to replace those who have Intel expertise with partisan loyalists, or dismisses the larger issues and concerns about Russia and how the president seeks help from abroad.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 21, 2020
Just that there seems to be more to this particular story.
8/ ALSO none of this disputes that the Russians (and others) are attempting to interfere in the US election again.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) February 21, 2020
And even CBS News’ Catherine Herridge said there is no evidence to back up the claim. Her source told her when pressed for examples, like phone intercepts, the briefers didn’t have any. So, there’s no evidence. This sounds very, very familiar, huh?
Source familiar w/house briefing @CBSNews says briefers pressed for evidence to back up claims Russia “trying to help POTUS in 2020.” Asked if there was signals intelligence - such as phone intercepts or “SIGINT” - to back up claims, source said briefers had none to offer #DNI— Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) February 21, 2020
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