Trump’s CIA director retains doing controversial — and suspiciously pro-Trump — issues –

Trump’s CIA director retains doing controversial — and suspiciously pro-Trump — issues


The Intercept simply broke a fairly large story: CIA Director Mike Pompeo reportedly met with the purveyor of a disputed principle about the inner Democratic National Committee emails that have been launched final yr — a principle that runs counter to the intelligence group’s personal long-standing conclusions concerning the matter.

It’s not the primary instance of Pompeo doing one thing that has been put below microscope. But there’s a frequent thread operating by nearly each instance: Pompeo doing and saying questionable issues involving Russia — and people questionable issues are inclined to lean in a pro-Trump path.

The most up-to-date instance is Pompeo’s badembly with William Binney, a former intelligence official who argues that the DNC hack wasn’t a hack in any respect, however quite a leak from inside.

Binney, in fact, is not the one one who has solid doubt on the intelligence group’s conclusions; so too has Trump, who has at instances instructed the very concept that Russia interfered within the 2016 election was “fake news.”

And the kicker within the Intercept’s story is that Trump, in accordance with Binney and one other supply, simply so occurs to be the one who instructed the badembly:

In an interview with The Intercept, Binney mentioned Pompeo instructed him that President Donald Trump had urged the CIA director to satisfy with Binney to debate his evaluation that the DNC knowledge theft was an inside job. During their hour-long badembly at CIA headquarters, Pompeo mentioned Trump instructed him that if Pompeo “want[ed] to know the facts, he should talk to me,” Binney mentioned.

The badembly was confirmed by two different sources, whereas the CIA declined to touch upon Pompeo’s schedule, because it usually does.

The implications listed below are fairly huge: A U.S. president telling his personal CIA director to satisfy with somebody pitching what the intelligence group principally regards as a conspiracy principle. The intelligence group’s report on Russian interference, from approach again in January, is evident that it believes this was a hack:

In July 2015, Russian intelligence gained entry to Democratic National Committee (DNC) networks and maintained that entry till not less than June 2016.

The [Russian foreign intelligence service, or GRU] most likely started cyber operations aimed on the US election by March 2016. We badess that the GRU operations resulted within the compromise of the non-public e-mail accounts of Democratic Party officers and political figures. By May, the GRU had exfiltrated mbadive volumes of knowledge from the DNC.

Binney is a former official on the National Security Agency (NSA) who later turned a whistleblower and now belongs to Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity, a gaggle of former intelligence officers who’re skeptical of the intelligence group’s conclusions. He has sometimes been a visitor on Fox News, the place it appears Trump might have seen him, and the place host Sean Hannity as soon as seized upon the inside-job principle and tied it — dubiously — to the homicide of DNC staffer Seth Rich. The enchantment of Binney’s principle to Trump is evident: It suggests Russia’s interference wasn’t almost so broad or influential because the intelligence group contends.

And that is the place it ties in properly with Pompeo’s different current controversies.

At an occasion three weeks in the past, Pompeo made a extremely curious comment, saying that “the intelligence community’s badessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election.” This mirrored a speaking level beforehand provided by Trump and the White House, however that speaking level is categorically false. The intelligence report mentioned clearly that it would not weigh in on how a lot impression Russia might have had, not that it did not have an effect.

That may be a slip of the tongue from an beginner. But how the CIA director, of all individuals, may get one thing of such significance — one thing that for him needs to be utterly fundamental data — so mistaken positive appeared odd.

Separately, Pompeo has additionally drawn scrutiny for making an company unit deeply concerned in investigating potential Trump marketing campaign collusion with Russia — the Counterintelligence Mission Center — report on to him. (The Post’s Greg Miller has far more on this right here.)

Even when that took place in August, intelligence officers have been expressing concern concerning the potential politicization of Pompeo’s job. Pompeo’s use of a Trump speaking level final month, and now his badembly with a high-profile skeptic of these conclusions at Trump’s personal request, positive will not tamp down these issues.

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