Former Intel Officials Try To Downplay Ratcliffe’s Russiagate Releases, by David DeCamp

It’s hard to downplay a smoking gun. From David DeCamp at antiwar.com:

US Intelligence officials were quick to speak through their stenographers in the media to downplay the contents of a memo released last week by Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe about the origins of Russiagate. The memo made an explosive claim: Russian intelligence assessed that Hillary Clinton approved a campaign in July 2016 to link Donald Trump to Russia’s alleged hacking of the DNC to distract from Clinton’s email scandal.

After a week of sanctimonious statements from former intelligence officials, who according to Politico, were “aghast” with Ratcliffe’s decision to declassify the intelligence, the DNI declassified documents that showed the claim was not as “unverified” as these spooks would like the American people to believe.

In the memo released last week, Ratcliffe said handwritten notes from former CIA director John Brennan indicated that Brennan briefed President Obama on Clinton’s alleged plot. On Tuesday, Ratcliffe declassified those notes.

“We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED],” Brennan’s notes read. “CITE [summarizing] alleged approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service,”

Speaking with CNN after his notes were released, Brennan confirmed that he briefed Obama on this allegation.

“These were my notes from the 2016 period when I briefed President Obama and the rest of the national security council team about what the Russians were up to and I was giving examples of the type of access that the US intelligence community had to Russian information and what the Russians were talking about and alleging,” Brennan said.

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