This election keeps getting stranger. The latest news comes out of the intelligence community and could cast a big shadow over Donald Trump. A former spy had told what he learned about the Russia’s engagement with Trump to David Corn of Mother Jones. That magazine is now reporting that:
“A former senior intelligence officer for a Western country who specialized in Russian counterintelligence tells Mother Jones that in recent months he provided the bureau with memos, based on his recent interactions with Russian sources, contending the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump and that the FBI requested more information from him.”
This is an alarming turn of events, as it suggests that Trump has been integrated into the planning of a foreign government’s clandestine operations. While this may sound like the plot of a Hollywood thriller, a senior US government official has vouched for the ex-spy as “a credible source with a proven record” of providing reliable information.
The information in this case is described as a “troubling” connection between Trump and the Russian government. It further asserts that “there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.” According to an account by the ex-spy:
“…conversations with Russian sources noted, ‘Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and divisions in western alliance.’ It maintained that Trump ‘and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.'”
Corn’s reporting did not connect these allegations with the WikiLeaks scandal that found links between Julian Assange and the Russians. However, this is eerily similar to the sort of “intelligence flow” that WikiLeaks has been releasing. Notice that their information was derived from emails stolen from Trump’s Democratic rivals by Russian hackers. Among the victims were the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta.
But perhaps the most chilling disclosure in the ex-spy’s memo was the statement that “Russian intelligence had ‘compromised’ Trump” and could “blackmail him.” While that might seem unlikely, it would explain Trump’s fervent defense of Russia against the hacking allegations. That’s something he actually did on a Russian propaganda TV network. It would also explain Trump’s backing of foreign policies that benefit Russia at the expense of U.S. interests. These include:
- Abandoning the West’s commitment to NATO;
- Retreating from military presences in Japan, Germany;
- Looking the other way when Russia annexes parts of Ukraine or other former Soviet bloc nations.
It is too soon to draw assumptions about the depth of Trump’s involvement with the Russians. The FBI has much of the information, but they refuse to comment on it. They wouldn’t even comment on the charge that Russia is responsible for various hacking efforts after the White House and other agencies did so.
FBI Director James Comey is said to have objected to such disclosures so close to a federal election. And yet he had no such objections about commenting on an ongoing investigation of Clinton’s emails. Never mind that he had no evidence of any wrongdoing and it was even closer to an election.