I wanted to talk just a little more about the Barack Obama “private call” and why that leaked now, and why that’s so revelatory of how Obama Administration leaks used the media along the way to help undermine Donald Trump before, during, and after the transition.
His call that was “leaked” to Michael Isikoff is a prime example of use of media, leaking to the same guy to whom the initial Carter Page information was leaked to make him look like a Russian agent.
Obama staged a call, then handed the tape to Isikoff, who pretends it was a private chat. Isikoff acts as if he’s a reporter, not the palace stenographer. He took dictation from Fusion GPS regarding Steele & Carter Page. He’s taking dictation now. https://t.co/tlZBUYir1Z
— Mike (@Doranimated) May 9, 2020
How clumsy that is at this point to highlight that same pathway that was used in the past. And you can even hear the papers that he’s likely reading from rustling on the video. Does anyone really think that he’d be saying he thinks the “rule of law” is at risk to Obama acolytes? This is aimed at any member of the public they think they can still buffalo and justify Obama’s position and his involvement while not having him actually have to answer any questions personally about it.
But use of media, like this, was a critical part of the operations against the Trump team, as Mollie Hemingway wrote in a great story at The Federalist.
As she notes, the January 5 meeting was critical to everything that followed.
In the meeting, after Obama dismissed the appointees who were no longer going to be there, he kept back Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates and FBI Director James Comey who would be staying on into the Trump administration and spoke about the Flynn call. But he hadn’t been briefed by them on the call, yet still knew the details of the call, asking if he should treat Flynn any differently and mentioning the Logan Act. According to Susan Rice in her CYA memo, she and Biden sat in on that part. Hemingway postulates that it may have been Rice who told Obama.
As Hemingway reports, information was leaked to paint Carter Page as a Kremlin asset, to help in the operation against Gen. Michael Flynn over his phone call with the Russian Ambassador, to cast suspicion on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to recuse himself, and to smear Trump himself as a Russian asset. This, when there was nothing wrong with any of their actions, as the facts later proved, but as they had good reason to know at the time.
Comey briefs Trump on the dossier on Jan. 6, ostensibly to warn him. But he never tells him it was paid for by the DNC/Clinton team. But then that briefing was used as the pretext for media to run a story on the dossier which previously they had shied away from. This was leaked to CNN, and they ran a story on it on Jan. 10, thus putting the ridiculous unverified allegations out into the firmament.
Then came the criminal leak to David Ignatius of The Washington Post of Flynn’s phone call to the Russian Ambassador. Now, there was nothing wrong with him speaking with the Sergei Kislyak, as AG Bill Barr has said, it’s a normal thing for a transition National Security Adviser to do. He didn’t say or do anything inappropriate at all. Yet, that isn’t the way Ignatius painted it in a story on Jan. 12, talking about the Logan Act (funny how Obama mentioned that in the Jan. 5 meeting) and suggesting that Flynn had done something improper.
On Jan. 23, with apparently another leak about the phone call, again what would appear to be a criminal leak, the WaPo runs another story saying that the FBI found nothing illicit in the call with Flynn. So why did they interview him if that were true? Hemingway believes that was to lull Flynn into a sense of security for the interview on Jan. 24. Why interview him at all if you know what was in the call already? The only answer is what the new documents reveal, the effort was to ambush him.
Then came Jan. 24 and the interview, which Comey himself admitted he set up, specifically trying to get Flynn and going around normal procedures that might inhibit what they were trying to do. He was later induced to plead guilty to lying as Hemingway notes. Hemingway says that Yates went to the White House the next day to suggest that Flynn should be fired, but didn’t quite achieve the purpose at that point.
That didn’t work, so here came another criminal leak to the WaPo, with an article on February 9 that Flynn had talked about “sanctions” as though he were trying to compromise sanctions when he did no such thing.
That finally did the trick and Flynn was fired on Feb. 13. That took care of the National Security Adviser.
But there was still the problem of Jeff Sessions. He also would likely start to see all that had gone on. So suddenly, voila, Sessions, a long time well-known Senator, was cast as having Russian connections, too, in a March 1 article.
Comey admitted that early in Sessions’ tenure, he deliberately hid Russia-related information from Sessions because, “it made little sense to report it to Attorney General Sessions, who we expected would likely recuse himself from involvement in Russia-related investigations.” To secure that recusal, yet another leak was deployed to the Washington Post’s Adam Entous, Ellen Nakashima and Greg Miller. The leak was intended to tar Sessions as a secret Russian agent and was dramatically spun as “Sessions Spoke Twice To Russian Envoy: Revelation contradicts his testimony at confirmation hearing.” One meeting was in passing and the other was in his function as a United States Senator, but the hysteria was such that the Post authors could get away with suggesting Sessions was too compromised to oversee the Department of Justice’s counterintelligence operations involving Russia. It is perhaps worth noting that the Special Counsel idea was pushed in this article.
Sessions, not suspecting anything, likely didn’t think that his recusal would pose any problem, not realizing to what it would open the door. On March 2, he recused himself, thus removing another major obstacle that may have uncovered what was going on.
Then, after Comey was fired on May 9, Comey himself precipitated leaks to the New York Times with the specific purpose, he admitted, of getting a Special Counsel, which then held us hostage with the collusion hoax for years, dividing the country, with the media pounding it every day for years.
It’s hard to imagine anything in our history that even comes close to what was done here.
And it’s long since time that people be made to answer for it. Barr sounds like he’s planning to take it there and that’s why Obama, Brennan, and Schiff are all nervous.