Day after day, various media outlets, well really mostly the NYT and WaPo, have delivered Trump-administration-incriminating, Russia-link-related tape bombs sourced via leaks (in the hope of keeping the narrative alive and “resisting.”). It now turns out, according to FXN report, that the US official who “unmasked” the names of multiple private citizens affiliated with the Trump team is someone “very well known, very high up, very senior in the intelligence world.”
As Malia Zimmerman and Adam Housley report, intelligence and House sources with direct knowledge of the disclosure of classified names (yes, yet another “unnamed source”) said that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, now knows who is responsible – and that person is not in the FBI (i.e. it is not James Comey)
Housley said his sources were motivated to come forward by a New York Times report yesterday which reportedly outed two people who helped Nunes access information during a meeting in the Old Executive Office Building. However, Housley’s sources claim the two people who helped Nunes “navigate” to the information were not his sources. In fact, Nunes had been aware of the information since January (long before Trump’s ‘wiretap’ tweet) but had been unable to view the documents themselves because of “stonewalling” by the agencies in question.
For a private citizen to be “unmasked,” or named, in an intelligence report is extremely rare. Typically, the American is a suspect in a crime, is in danger or has to be named to explain the context of the report.
“The main issue in this case, is not only the unmasking of these names of private citizens, but the spreading of these names for political purposes that have nothing to do with national security or an investigation into Russia’s interference in the U.S. election,” a congressional source close to the investigation told Fox News.
The White House, meanwhile, is urging Nunes and his colleagues to keep pursuing what improper surveillance and leaks may have occurred before Trump took office. They’ve been emboldened in the wake of March 2 comments from former Obama administration official Evelyn Farkas, who on MSNBC suggested her former colleagues tried to gather material on Trump team contacts with Russia.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Friday her comments and other reports raise “serious” concerns about whether there was an “organized and widespread effort by the Obama administration to use and leak highly sensitive intelligence information for political purposes.”
“Dr. Farkas’ admissions alone are devastating,” he said.
Clearly this confirms what Evelyn Farakas said, accidentally implicated the Obama White House in the surveillance of Trump’s campaign staff:
The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would not longer have access to that intelligence.
Furthermore, Farkas effectively corroborated a New York Times article from early March which cited “Former American officials” as their anonymous source regarding efforts to leak this surveillance on the Trump team to Democrats across Washington DC.
In addition, citizens affiliated with Trump’s team who were unmasked were not associated with any intelligence about Russia or other foreign intelligence, sources confirmed. The initial unmasking led to other surveillance, which led to other private citizens being wrongly unmasked, sources said.
“Unmasking is not unprecedented, but unmasking for political purposes … specifically of Trump transition team members … is highly suspect and questionable,” according to an intelligence source. “Opposition by some in the intelligence agencies who were very connected to the Obama and Clinton teams was strong. After Trump was elected, they decided they were going to ruin his presidency by picking them off one by one.”
So if the source isn’t Comey, has anyone seen Jim Clapper recently? The answer should emerge soon, meanwhile the ridiculous game with very high stakes of spy vs spy, or in this case source vs source, continues.