House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes conducts a press conference following his debrief with President Trump discussing the surveillance of the Trump transition team by former President Obama’s intelligence community.
[Alternate Video Backup HERE]
[…] I briefed the president on the concerns that I had about incidental collection and how it relates to President-Elect Trump and his transition team; and the concerns that I have. As I said earlier, there will be more information hopefully by Friday. The NSA is cooperating very very well; and lastly, I’ll say that the reports that I was able to see did not have anything to do with Russia or the Russian investigation or any tie to the Trump team.
Question: Why is it appropriate for you to brief President Trump?
“Because what I saw had nothing to do with Russia or the Russian investigation, it has everything to do with possible surveillance activities and the President needs to know these intelligence reports are out there and I have a duty to tell him that.”
Question: Was it political surveillance?
“What I have read – bothers me – and I think it should bother the president himself and his team, – because some of it seems to be inappropriate. but like I said until we get everything to the committee it’s hard to really say until we see everything in its totality.”
Question: Does this go beyond General Flynn type surveillance?
“Well, it definitely goes beyond what happened to General Flynn” … “I’ll tell you NSA has been cooperative, but so far the FBI has not told us if they will respond to the March 15th request.” … “What I’ve read, seems to me to be some level of surveillance activity, perhaps legal, but I don’t know that it’s right – and I don’t know that the American people would be comfortable with what I have read.”
Question: Was the President [Trump] correct with what he tweeted?
“It is possible.”
From the beginning of the intel issues, well before the actual election itself, CTH stood on the position that DNI Director James Clapper, CIA Director John Brennan were absolute political operatives within the intelligence community. Years of their activity reflected their politicization of both departments. Both were easily identified as black hat operatives.
FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Michael Rogers were more unknown commodities. However, Comey’s increasingly visible and specific activity throughout the 2016 election cycle seemed to indicate he was leveraged, or at least leaning, more toward the black hat side of the FBI self-preservation model.
One of the lesser discussed reasons the essential character of Comey was always sketchy revolves around his comments after the Orlando Pulse nightclub attack. Comey stated the FBI did have some prior knowledge of the attacker. However, Comey deferred the ‘slipping through the system excuse’, by stating the origin of the individual report of Omar Mateen (to the FBI) was of a generalized nature.
A week after Comey made that announcement, we discovered it was actually the Palm Beach County Sheriffs’ office that contacted the FBI – not some happenstance ordinary concerned citizen. The person who told the FBI that Mateen was specifically dangerous was the actual Sheriff of Palm Beach County Florida. The sheriff, not an individual officer – the actual sheriff himself, notified the FBI three times (twice in writing) of the risk/danger that Mateen seemed to be exhibiting.
Director Comey’s obfuscation of that alert indicated he was more concerned about image and position than the accurate dispensation of law-and-order. It was a tip-off into his self preservation mindset.
Comey’s evasive non-answer in the Monday Intelligence Committee hearing, yet again exemplified this inherent sense and behavior –SEE HERE-. That was the final issue which highlighted and solidified Comey as a career/professional black hat operative.
Obviously in the eight months since the FBI investigation began in July 2016, Comey had briefed his supervisor, DNI James Clapper, the DOJ and the White House. However, Director Comey never informed the congressional oversight “gang of eight” of the counter-intelligence investigation until March 2017.
Everything about what Chairman Nunes is now stating about the FBI delaying and potentially refusing to provide information backs up our earlier reference points on Comey.
Director Comey’s specific lack of transparency within his role and responsibility, shows he too has made the decision to politicize his own office. Having done that Comey has painted himself into a corner where genuine sunlight is now a risk to the public discovering the politicization of his department.
Comey may not have set out to engage in that political outcome; but his willful blindness and quiet acquiescence to the political demands of the Obama White House, combined with his decision to go-along-to-get-along with the investigations to nowhere, have created that outcome.
His pride, just like with the Omar Mateen example, is now trying to protect a career and avoid the embarrassment of discovery. Hence, he wears a black hat.