"Senate report gives cover to Obama White House targeting Trump (Video)"
The Duran Quick Take: Episode 470 (February 15, 2020)
Alex Christoforou: [shows screenshot and reads]
Russia’s attack on the 2016 presidential election caught then-President Barack Obama off guard, and he and advisers were partly paralyzed with indecision over how to respond, a new Senate report concludes.
The Study by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence found that the government was “not well-postured” at the time Obama’s administration began to detect and assess the wave of active measures launched by Russia against the presidential race.
Moreover, the highly partisan environment, unanswered questions about the extent of Russian capabilities, official dithering and more constrained the Obama response, the report said.
“Frozen by ‘paralysis of analysis,’ hamstrung by constraints both real and perceived, Obama officials debated courses of action without truly taking one,” said Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr, R-N.C.
[1:13] “So, Alexander, it looks like the couple of thousand dollars spent by the Russians on Facebook really stumped the Obama administration, didn’t it?”
Alexander Mercouris: “Well, indeed, absolutely, if you want to believe these fairy tales, then you can read the Senate intelligence report. What I will simply say is this, the first thing I will say about this report, which is almost an exact transcription of a long article which appeared in the Washington Post back in June, 2017. It barely goes beyond any of the things that were said there. That was a massive article which outlined the Obama administration’s alleged response to the alleged Russian interference in the election. And it made all the same points, and indeed went into much more detail than this report does. And one of the weird things about this report is that the public version of it is full of redactions. And in fact you can actually fill most of the gaps from the report by going back to the earlier Washington Post article and you will find that many of the things that have been redacted are actually set out there in black and white.
But can I say again, this is a fairy tale story. The idea that the Obama administration were sitting passively; that they were completely taken by surprise; that they never expected that the Russians would do all the wicked things that the Russians were supposedly doing at this time; that they were paralyzed and indecisive, is a complete fairy tale.
The whole story starts with, supposedly, Brennan the CIA Director in August 2016 waking up to the fact that there is supposedly Russian meddling in the election, contacting Obama and allegedly trying to get the Obama administration to respond to all of this. Now, this is the version that we got from the Washington Post article, and in this article but not in the Senate Intelligence report, the argument was that they were getting all this information from this medium-level spy that the US CIA was running in the Russian presidential administration who was supposedly reporting to them about Putin’s direct instructions and supposedly Brennan sent all this information directly to Obama in a sealed envelope and this got the whole thing rolling.
[4:06] We've already discussed this and we've pointed out in our videos that we know now exactly who he is, thanks to the Russians. We know exactly the position he had in the executive office, the department of the Russian government he was working for; that he was a foreign policy adviser, or one of Putin's foreign policy advisers, a man called Ushakov; that it is inconveivable that he had access to Putin's direct instructions to his intelligence officials in the way that has been alleged; and that that story in itself doesn't make any sense. [shows screen shot]
Kremlin says alleged U.S. spy did not have access to Putin. -- Reuters
[4:46] We also pointed out that this mysterious individual who isn't mysterious at all is now living perfectly openly in the United States where he bought an expensive house in a way that suggests that there are no real concerns about keeping his identity or whereabouts secret from the Russians. [shows screen shot of house with news artcle title]:
Virginia Residents Question Whether Their Neighbor Was A Russian Informant. -- Reuters
[shows screen shot of article headline]
Oleg Smolenkov, Who Allegedly Spied on Vladimir Putin for United States, lived in $925,000 Virginia Mansion -- Inquisitr.
[5:05] So that fails already, but August 2016 anyway cannot have been the time when all this started. We know that the FBI starts the Crossfire Hurricane investigation that leads to all of the surveillance of Donald Trump's campaign team on the 31st of July 2016. That is at least a week. Probably more than a week before Brennan is supposed to have done any of the things in this report. And before the 31st of July 2016, we have all the various things that were going on already. We had Christopher Steele working on his report. We had Joseph Mifsud baiting George Papadapolis in London. We had Sefan Halper also trying to bait George Papadopolis in London like Mistook, if she really is a real person. All of those people active and involved. And all kinds of surveillance going on. Clearly there was surveillance. And all of this far precedes August 2016.
[6:30] And we also know from John Durham who has been looking into all of this on behalf of the Justice Department that he doesn't accept that it all began in the way that is being alleged on the 31st of July 2016, let alone August 2016). So this whole Washington Post Senate Intelligence Committee report, you have to suspend a huge amount of disbelief to believe in it. It doesn't add up. I don't buy it or take it at all seriously. It looks to me like an attempt by certain Obama officials, including Brennan, by the way, to put more life into the Russia-gate theory and also to try and blame the Republicans for some of the things that went wrong. However, there are three points that I would take away from this report which are interesting.
[7:38] Firstly, we have the confirmation of Brennan's central role in this whole business. ...
[8:18] The second, which I found very bizarre is that this whole catalogue of events which supposedly lead to the alleged Russian meddling in the U.S. election is supposed to have started with the Russian grant of asylum to Edward Snowden. This is the event that is supposed to have started the deterioration of relations between the US and Russia which supposedly culminated in all of this. This is very interesting. I'm sure the Russians don't see it like that at all. They could point to lots of other things. But it does show how important for the US intelligence community Edward Snowden is to this story. And I can't get away from this feeling also that it explains so much about the anger and desire for revenge against the Russians that is connected to the fact that they granted asylum to Snowden.
[9:23] The third thing is that the Obama administration, deciding to do all sorts of things supposedly in response to what the Russians were doing, kept this information within a very small tight circle of officials. And they didn't keep notes of all the things that happened when these officials met. These officials, by the way, include but clearly Obama at some level, butMike Bloomberg is paying & paving the way for Hillary Clinton (Video) also Susan Rice, Samantha Power at some level also. Brennan and Comey, and, of course, Loretta Lynch must have been involved at some level. So these people were meeting and talking to each other and trying to influence various senior people in Congress. But there is no paper trail. And I find that very remarkable. If you know anything about how bureaucracies work, you will know that when people do not keep written records of meetings, that is an infallible sign that they are concealing something. There is no other explanation for it.
And, in fact, you have two senators, both Democrats and they both add appendices to this report in which they both complain about the fact that there is a lack of a paper trail. And we have discussed many times in our programs on the Duran that Barack Obama, himself, has managed to keep his own role in much that went on a secret. And here we have evidence of meetings going on within the White House where Obama was present at least in some of them, or some of his officials were. And no record of any instructions is kept and no record of any discussions are kept. And I want to know why? I would like to see all of these people properly questione, not by sympathetic and gullible senators intent on reconstructing and validating the Russiagate conspiracy theory in some form. I would really want to know why there were no written records of these meeting. And that requires proper questioning by proper trained investigators. And I hope that John Durham eventually gets around to doing that.
Alex Christoforou: "... [shows screen shot]
Obama and advisers feared that revealing Russia's active measures might undermine Americans' confidence in the election or open Democrats up to accusations that Obama might be trying to help Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump.
Russia launched a wave of active measures aimed at helping Trump and hurting Clinton. Eventually the administration did publicly announce that assessment, one later strengthened by subsequent reports from the intelligence community, the Senate Intelligence Committee and special counsel Robert Mueller.
[13:23] "I'm laughing a little bit there because of that 'Mueller testimony,' and 'strengthened by.' OK. I think it was definitely not strengthened by Mueller or the Intelligence Community.
Alexander Mercouris: "... absolute baloney. A complete rewriting of history.
... [16:14] "They tried incredibly hard to make it the big issue in the election. The reason it didn't work was because enough Americans either saw through it and didn't believe it or cared about other, more important, things. So, we musn't let ourselves get swept along by all of this.
There are a few other points I would make by the way ...
[18:14] "It takes extraordinary manipulation of thought and language to take a denial and make it into some kind of proof of something, which is what this report does. We mustn't let this rewriting of history, which is what this report is all about, carried out for very clear partisan purposes and influences, make us believe things which are obviously not true."
[18:41] Alex Cristoforou: "All right. Let me get to Susan Rice's part. ...
[20:10] "Once Trump shocked the world, that's when they put everything into play." ...
[30:42] Alexander Mercouris: "Where have we seen any case that comes anywhere near being foolproof? Waiting for a foolproof case. We didn't want to interfere and give an appearance of pariality. You have the intelligence community publishing statements in October of 2016 which are not intended to help Hillary Clinton? Don't spread these absurd stories. You have officials in the State Department coming up with other statements during the election clearly intending to support Hillary Clinton. But I know that you want a strong person in the presidency. There were massive attempts to help Hillary Clinton. Obama was involved. The State Department was involved. the intelligence community was involved. James Comey and Loretta Lynch were involved. They were working overtime on this. And as I said about this, they're meeting all this time and they're not taking notes."