While Trump is always accusing reporters of fake news, anyone who watches him for long sees that he always tries to disarm opponents IN ADVANCE by accusing them of something he does. For example, calling Secretary Clinton “Lying Hillary” for one misstatement (or lie) while Candidate and now President Trump lies blatantly on a daily basis and has even admitted he is a “great whiner” and a liar.
Today he followed up on his repeated statement that Candidate Clinton couldn’t be trusted to keep classified information secret by tweeting that he told the Russian Ambassador and various TASS press people not just Top Secret information but codeword-classified information.
But Trump Is the Main Purveyor of “Fake” News or Alternative Facts (Lies)
First, there is the often repeated claim by President Trump that there is absolutely nothing to the question of whether Russia had contacts with his campaign and he always bases this on a simple quote from James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence and former Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
(Reporter’s note: the DIA is the agency which investigated me and my wife when she joined the CIA – the CIA is barred from any activity in the United States – something often ignored in conspiracy theories and movies.)
Clapper Denial, True but Meaningless!
Before the FBI disclosed that there was an investigation, Clapper made the statement that he knew of no evidence of connections between those in Trump’s orbit and any Russians.
That was true. But it misses the point that there was no reason for or way he would know of such connections. In other words, President Trump’s reliance on Clapper’s denial is like your child’s doctor saying he/she doesn’t know what your child is reading.
There is simply no evidentiary value to Clapper’s denial as he has repeatedly emphasized as lately as Sunday on CNN.
Trump Dismissing Known Russian Contacts
In fact, it has been widely reported that both his son-in-law and Donald Trump, Jr. told people that they weren’t concerned with the banking crisis interfering with funding for new golf courses or skyscrapers. Why not? Simple, they both told people they could get all the backing they needed from Russia.
People in the Trump campaign or administration have had contacts with Russians, some have taken large payments from Russian agencies. It is certainly worth investigating, especially when Trump himself keeps praising Putin and now is sharing most classified information with Russian government officials.
That is all known, although not because it was willingly admitted. In most instances, it only came to light when some investigator found evidence.
Trump Blames Obama for Flynn
Trump blames Obama for Trump ever hiring Michael Flynn whom Trump appointed to the most sensitive intelligence position in The White House.
Whenever the subject of Flynn’s many payments from Russian government entities comes up, President Trump keeps pointing out that Flynn renewed his security clearance during the Obama Administration. Again, that’s true but totally meaningless. The White House would have nothing to do with the millions of security clearances by government agencies unless the person were going to work in The White House.
Flynn never worked for the Obama White House.
Flynn wasn’t about to work for Obama because what Trump never mentions is that Obama fired Flynn from his position at the head of the DIA because he was abusive of staff and didn’t follow policy. Obama had appointed him two years earlier. Obama also says he personally warned Trump against hiring Flynn for such a sensitive position.
So Trump blaming Obama for Flynn tends to ignore that Obama fired Flynn for cause. Trump hired him as National Security Advisor, possibly on the strength of all those rallies where Flynn led the “Lock her up” chants. Ironic since Flynn himself may be headed for prison.
How Clearances Work
It is important to remember that when people are investigated for potential security clearances the investigators rely greatly on their work history and interviews with friends and neighbors. When renewing a clearance, particularly for someone who repeatedly passed earlier security investigations, one of the main things the investigators do is ask the applicant for any information they should disclose, such as contacts with foreign governments.
Flynn simply lied about his contacts and was eventually caught in his web of lies.
Another thing many people don’t realize about people holding security clearances, especially for those in the intelligence community such as the DIA, CIA and so forth, is that they are required to immediately report any contact at all with certain people – that would include the top Russian spy in the US who happens to the Ambassador.
Contact in this context doesn’t just mean significant discussions or exchange of monies, I mean something as innocent as meeting someone at a party and making pleasantries for a few seconds. A CIA employee would be required to make such a contact report in writing the next work day.
Flynn ignored all the basic security rules as did Trump when he waited weeks after learning Flynn was compromised by the Russians because he lied about extensive phone contacts with Ambassador Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak (Сергей Иванович Кисляк.)
Trump insistence that such contacts by Flynn and Atty. General Jeff Sessions’ phone calls with the ambassador were perfectly normal. They weren’t as we know because people in previous campaigns and transition teams from both parties have repeatedly stated that they never did any such thing. But even if the contacts might have been made for legitimate reasons, Trump supporters apparently failed to file contact reports.
Anyone with even a peripheral knowledge of how security works knows that any contact with the Russians during or after the election would be a matter of very grave concern.
(Reporter’s Note: I want to emphasize that I have insider knowledge of the rules involving contact reporting and how strict they are. While I was working for Post-Newsweek and other news organizations on a freelance basis In Washington, I was living with a CIA employee – that led to attending parties where I was the only person with a last name. I also informed everyone I spoke with that I was a reporter. That was for their protection so that if they needed to file a contact report they were warned in advance by me. I wasn’t actually reporting on any political or security beats at the time so I didn’t care what they knew or said. I even met a real “spy” who came to Thanksgiving dinner in my home, but I never knew her name.)