In yet another lengthy hit-piece constructed around accusations from unnamed sources, innuendo, and repetition of previous unconfirmed allegations, the New York Times details (and celebrates) the Obama administration deliberately trying to sabotage the incoming president by disseminating intelligence information throughout the federal government, as well as to foreign governments.
In laudatory terms, the Times describes the way in which the outgoing administration "scrambled to spread" potentially damaging information related to possible nefarious contact between Trump and his associates and the Russians, despite having no concrete evidence about the content of any of the alleged contact. Here's how the piece begins:
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.
The Times explains that the Obama operatives deliberately attempted to keep the information at "relatively low classification level[s]" by processing the raw intelligence into analyses designed to have "as wide a readership as possible." Some of those analyses, the Times notes, were even sent to European allies, apparently with the intent of poisoning the waters for Trump internationally before he took office:
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.
But as the Times admits — though buried deep in the piece — the reality is that all of the information obtained so far shows no evidence of any wrongdoing on anyone from Team Trump. What exactly is in the classified documents, as the Times acknowledges, is "impossible" to know at this point. Citing "more than a half-dozen current and former officials," who, of course, chose to remain anonymous since they were discussing classified information, the Times states that nearly all of the information "remains secret, making an independent public assessment of the competing Obama and Trump administration claims impossible."
As the Daily Wire noted before in our review of another much-circulated Trump-Russia hit-piece, the Times' unnamed intelligence and law enforcement sources admitted to having found "no evidence" that Trump and/or his associates colluded with the Russians to influence the election — the key premise of the allegation.
"The nature of the contacts remains unknown," the Times admits about two-thirds of the way into its 2,500+ word report on the Obama administration's attempt to undermine Trump. "Several of Mr. Trump’s associates have done business in Russia, and it is unclear if any of the contacts were related to business dealings."
The Times goes on to focus on new allegations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions twice had contact with Russian ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak last year, despite having said he "did not have communications with the Russians." Department of Justice officials said that Sessions did have two interactions with Kislyak, once when he was "among a group of ambassadors who approached him at a Heritage Foundation event." The other meeting occurred Sept. 8, as reported by The Washington Post.
Again, the implied allegation by the Times and its establishment media colleagues is that Sessions was somehow secretly colluding with the Russians on behalf of the Trump campaign — and, again, they have "no evidence" of such collusion. The big reveal is simply that Sessions had two interactions with Kislyak, but, as the Times admits, what exactly they discussed is "not clear."
The disclosures about the contacts came as new questions were raised about Attorney General Jeff Sessions’s ties to the Russians. According to a former senior American official, he met with the Russian ambassador, Sergey I. Kislyak, twice in the past year. The details of the meetings were not clear, but the contact appeared to contradict testimony Mr. Sessions provided Congress during his confirmation hearing in January when he said he “did not have communications with the Russians.”
Sessions responded to the allegations in a statement Wednesday underscoring that he "never met with any Russian officials to discuss issues of the campaign," adding, "I have no idea what this allegation is about. It is false."
Sessions' spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores noted that "there was absolutely nothing misleading about his answer" because he did not speak with Kislyak about the campaign.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer also dismissed the new "evidence" presented in the Times report, noting that what we've really learned is that the Obama administration worked feverishly to "create a false narrative" about Trump.
"The only new piece of information that has come to light is that political appointees in the Obama administration have sought to create a false narrative to make an excuse for their own defeat in the election," said Spicer. "There continues to be no there, there."
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