U.S. Senator Rand Paul posts a text today that has caught attention. The issue surrounds the Clinton/Steele Dossier and the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) from January 2017.
While the public statement from Rand Paul is new, the backstory is one we have discussed before. Yes, John Brennan put the Steele Dossier into the ICA, and he enlisted FBI Agent Peter Strzok as the author to facilitate the narrative.
In May 2018 there was some major reporting from Paul Sperry that included interesting details about how President Obama’s intelligence community structured their Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) about Russian interference in the 2016 election – SEE HERE –
In essence by following-up with various people involved in the construct of the ICA, journalist Paul Sperry outlined how CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, subverted their own intelligence guidelines in assembling the intelligence report.
While much of the background paralleled our prior research, there are two very interesting aspects outlined by those with direct knowledge of the construct. First, Brennan positioned FBI Agent Peter Strzok as the contact between the CIA analysis and the information flow to FBI Director James Comey:
[…] A source close to the House investigation said Brennan himself selected the CIA and FBI analysts who worked on the ICA, and that they included former FBI counterespionage chief Peter Strzok.
“Strzok was the intermediary between Brennan and [former FBI Director James] Comey, and he was one of the authors of the ICA,” according to the source. (link)
The structure of the information flow is interesting because it highlights the obvious intention of the group to control the content of intelligence. There are several instances which highlight the level of a strategic effort undertaken to keep James Comey out of the loop on details within the 2016 operation(s).
Their collaborative approach creates the “I don’t know” and “that was not my understanding” defense as deployed heavily by James Comey during his book tour and media interviews. The plausible deniability approach also created an unusual set of contradictions.
Former FBI Director James Comey repeatedly said the work on the Clinton and Trump investigations was kept inside a very “tight group” of DOJ and FBI people; yet Comey repeatedly claims to have no knowledge of their activity when questioned about specific events.
Deputy Director Andrew McCabe keeping Director Comey in the dark on the Huma Abedin laptop issues for four weeks (Sept. 28th through October 26th, 2016) is a clear example of Comey’s ‘willful blindness‘.
There are also numerous examples in the Page/Strzok text messaging or working around Comey within the FBI small group (Andrew McCabe, James Baker, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and Michael Kortan), as Andrew McCarthy finally realized when he sat down to read the content during Memorial Day 2018: “I am bleary-eyed from a weekend of reading about half of them. Even in their heavily redacted form, they are a goldmine of insight” he wrote.
[…] “Brennan put some of the dossier material into the PDB [presidential daily briefing] for Obama and described it as coming from a ‘credible source,’ which is how they viewed Steele,” said the source familiar with the House investigation. “But they never corroborated his sources.” (read more)
So with another confirmation that Brennan was putting FBI Counterintelligence Investigation findings into President Obama’s PDB, let’s revisit the statements in April 2017 from President Obama’s National Security Advisor, Susan Rice. As relayed in an interview with MSNBC’s Andrew Mitchell:
Susan Rice @00:51 – …”Let me explain how this works. I was a National Security Adviser, my job is to protect the American people and the security of our country. That’s the same as the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and CIA Director.; and every morning, to enable us to do that, we receive – from the intelligence community – a compilation of intelligence reports that the IC, the intelligence community, has selected for us –on a daily basis– to give us the best information as to what’s going on around the world.”
[Note, Susan Rice is describing the PDB]
“I received those reports, as did other officials, and there were occasions when I would receive a report in which, uh, a ‘U.S Person’ was referred to. Name, uh, not provided, just ‘U.S. Person’.
And sometimes in that context, in order to understand the importance in the report – and assess it’s significance, it was necessary to find out or request, who that U.S. official was.”
The interview goes much further. There was a lot of news in that interview. There is also a tremendous amount of double-speak and self-contradiction; in some cases between sentences that follow each other.
Notice how Susan Rice contradicts herself about what the intelligence community puts into the PDB. Remember, Rice considers the PDB intel community to be very specific: James Clapper (DNI), John Brennan (CIA) and Defense Department (which would be the Pentagon and NSA Mike Rogers). And she states they would never send the President innocuous things unworthy of review.
However, right there Susan Rice is confirming the “unmasking” request(s) which can be pinned upon her, are directly related to her need to understand -on behalf of President Obama- intelligence for the President’s Daily Briefing (the PDB). This was a previous question now answered.
This is EXPLOSIVE, and here’s why.
First, before becoming Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice was U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Remember, shortly after the unmasking issue surfaced over 600 unmasking requests were outlined as coming from Rice’s replacement, Samantha Power.
Ambassador Power told congress in 2018 she did not do those unmasking requests; however, they were done ‘under her name’. In other words: someone used her office access to the State Department system to unmask names.
Question: Did Susan Rice do the unmasking via her knowledge of how to access the State Department portal? It looks very suspicious.
Secondly, the President’s Daily Brief under President Obama went to almost everyone at top levels in his administration. Regarding the Obama PDB:
[…] But while through most of its history the document has been marked “For the President’s Eyes Only,” the PDB has never gone to the president alone. The most restricted dissemination was in the early 1970s, when the book went only to President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger, who was dual-hatted as national security adviser and secretary of state.
In other administrations, the circle of readers has also included the vice president, the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, along with additional White House staffers.
By 2013, Obama’s PDB was making its way to more than 30 recipients, including the president’s top strategic communications aide and speechwriter, and deputy secretaries of national security departments. (link)
Pay attention to that last part. According to the Washington Post outline Obama’s PDB’s were going to: “Deputy Secretaries of national security departments”, and his speechwriter, Ben Rhodes.
Susan Rice defined the Obama national security departments to include: “State” – “Defense” (Pentagon includes NSA) and “CIA”….
So under Obama’s watch Deputy Asst. Secretaries of Defense, via their connection to their immediate supervisor, likely had some daily access to the content within the PDB. And who was an Obama Deputy Asst. Secretary of Defense?
“I was urging my former colleagues, and, and frankly speaking the people on the Hill [Democrat politicians], it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can – get as much intelligence as you can – before President Obama leaves the administration.”
Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left; so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy, um, that the Trump folks – if they found out HOW we knew what we knew about their, the Trump staff, dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods; meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.
So I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open and I knew that there was more. We have very good intelligence on Russia; so then I had talked to some of my former colleagues and I knew that they were also trying to help get information to the Hill. … That’s why you had the leaking”.
Funny how that happens…
Hindsight is 20/20, but many people were tracking close to the bulls-eye back in 2016 and early 2017 when this sordid affair initially became visible. The War Economy is one of those researchers along with CTH who was tracking in real time what was happening:
On December 9, 2016, President Obama ordered a review to be carried out by American intelligence agencies to research Russian interference in United States elections going back to 2008. The same day, Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller — with assistance from Julie Tate — published the article “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House” in The Washington Post, while David E. Sanger and Scott Shane published “Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says” in The New York Times.
As part of the development of the Intelligence Community Assessment, Director Brennan hand-picked a number of agents from both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, one of whom was Special Agent Peter Strzok, whom worked as an intermediary between Director Comey and Director Brennan.
The next day, on December 10, 2016, Nakashima and Entous — again with Tate’s assistance — published the article “FBI and CIA give differing accounts to lawmakers on Russia’s motives in 2016 hacks” in The Washington Post. A reporter, meanwhile, sent an inquiry to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, where they asked whether they agreed with the conclusion that Russia assisted President-elect Trump with his election victorr, which was responded to by Special Agent Strzok.
Three days later, on December 13, 2016, Eric Lipton, Sanger and Shane, with contributions from Kitty Bennett, published the article “The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.” in The New York Times. On the same day, Mark Hosenball and Jonathan Lindsay published the article “Exclusive: Top U.S. spy agency has not embraced CIA assessment on Russia hacking — sources” in Reuters, which was about the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
This resulted in Director Clapper, Director Brennan, Director Comey and Director Vincent Stewart all collectively declining to brief the House Intelligence Committee on the issues surrounding their conflicting assessments on the Russian cyber attacks. At the same time, Strzok and Page’s texts allegedly stopped being stored internally, as the initial batch of texts messages end on December 13.
Two days later, on December 15, Strzok and Page texted each other about a sister organisation leaking to the mainstream media. The next day, December 16, Strzok texted Page again, this time to discuss an article in The Washington Post: “FBI in agreement with CIA that Russia aimed to help Trump win White House”, where Strzok argued that the Central Intelligence Agency is more capable of manipulating the press and that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had the initial position, not the Central Intelligence Agency.
Two days later again, on December 18, 2016, Strzok and Page discussed his intelligence submissions to the Intelligence Community Assessment on Russian interference.
Strzok expressed concern that the White House would scapegoat the Federal Bureau of Investigation using the classified portion of the report. One day later, on December 19, Page texted Strzok about the number of mainstream media stories where they actively played a personal role in, as Strzok questioned whether he should have done anything differently to prevent the rise of Donald Trump. (source)
Yes, Senator Rand Paul, John Brennan most certainly put the Steele Dossier into the intelligence community assessment. The trail is transparent; it does not take a “high level source” to prove it.