Proposal to ‘vilify’ Republican candidate by ‘stirring up a scandal’
Documents declassified Tuesday show that then-CIA Director John Brennan briefed President Obama on Hillary Clinton’s purported plan to tie Donald Trump to Russia as “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private email server,” Fox News reported.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified Brennan’s handwritten notes of the meeting along with a CIA memo revealing officials referred the matter to the FBI for a possible investigation.
Ratcliffe said he has sent the documents to the House and Senate Intelligence committees.
“We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED],” the Brennan notes said. “CITE [summarizing] alleged approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”
A large part of the note page remains redacted, but there are references to “JC,” “Denis” and “Susan” in the margins, which could reference FBI Director James Comey, National Security Adviser Susan Rice and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough.
Last week, Ratcliffe cleared the release of documents showing that in September 2016, U.S. intelligence officials forwarded an investigative referral on Russian intelligence indicating Hillary Clinton approved “a plan concerning U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and Russian hackers hampering U.S. elections” in order to distract the public from her email scandal.
A Fox source said the claims were not “disinformation.”
“Even Brennan knew, or he wouldn’t be briefing the president of the United States on it. There is a high threshold to orally brief the president of the United States, and he clearly felt this met that threshold,” the source said.
The Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee hired Fusion GPS and former British agent Christopher Steele to create a dossier of opposition research on Trump.
The dossier was used by the FBI as primary evidene to obtain warrants to spy on the Trump campaign. However, special counsel Robert Mueller and a team of largely anti-Trump operatives concluded there was insufficient evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.
Paul Sperry of Real Clear Investigations reported Brennan personally edited a key part of an intelligence report promoting the Trump-Russia link after his own analysts disputed the claim.