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Hullabaloo


Saturday, May 19, 2018

 

Laying on the "deep state" thick

by Tom Sullivan


Champagne at 7 a.m. EDT (2018 Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida Conference)

Sean Hannity's show popped up on the car radio in the red counties along the Flordia/Georgia border. They are still trying to make something of the "spy" story circulating in the fever swamps, evidence the "deep state" is conspiring against Donald Trump.

In August 2017, Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson told the Senate Intelligence Committee something he had heard from the "dossier" author Christopher Steele:

Essentially what [Steele] told me was [the FBI] had other intelligence about this matter from an internal Trump campaign source and that — that they — my understanding was that they believed Chris at this point — that they believed Chris' information might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization. [Glenn Simpson, page 175]
Revealed when the testimony transcript became public back in January, that "source" this week morphed into an "FBI spy" at the hands of National Review's Andrew McCarthy. In the fever swamps, outrage ensued. Fainting couches filled. Pearls are in full clutch. Rudy Giuliani is in full Rudy.

CNN political analyst John Avalon told Chris Cuomo yesterday:
JOHN AVLON, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: It's the attempt to create an "aha, truth" moment for people who are already part of the pro-Trump choir, looking for something to hang their hat on. The classic move for this crew is deflect and distract.

Andrew McCarthy is a former prosecutor, worked for Giuliani in the U.S. attorney's office, been a writer for "National Review" for a while, conservative but often credible. That said, you've got to parse language carefully. Something tells me that's not a case you make in a court of law. Now, if someone, and he's got a source and he's covering it up, that may be a different story. But this is based on testimony that Glenn Simpson gave that was released earlier, based on what he says Chris Steele told him. And as you know, as Mr. Zeldin just pointed out, there is a fundamental difference between an informant and a spy.

[06:10:03] CUOMO: That's not a semantic difference?

AVLON: It is a semantic difference but an important one. It's trying to cast an investigation as a conspiracy.

CUOMO: OK. So now we have another layer on this for you, Michael Zeldin. CNN had some reporting on this, which said that, OK, what Simpson is talking seems to be referring, according to CNN reporting and sources, to the ambassador from Australia who came forward about what he had heard from George Papadopoulos, who was on the satellite level of the Trump universe. And he had concerns. He went to the FBI.

What is your reckoning? Is this that Simpson revealed early on that there was a spy in the house, or that it is more akin to what CNN's reporting was?

ZELDIN: Well, the "New York Times" reporting on this is that the informant is a U.S. citizen. So I don't know if that can be the ambassador from Australia.

I expect that what we have here is a live counterintelligence investigation where the FBI and the intelligence agencies are receiving information from sources that they credit. Maybe the ambassador from Australia is one. This live informant seems to be another. The dossier from Steele is the third.

And so they are gathering information, as they are wont to do in these investigations, collating it and trying to form a, you know, response to it. All of this is normal.

What is abnormal is for the likes of Rudy Julie -- Ruly -- Rudy Giuliani -- he's confusing me. Rudy Giuliani, Mark Meadows, Jim Jordan, Devin Nunes to somehow make this into something that it is not, which is a spy in the Trump Organization, a deep-state effort to undermine the Trump campaign, all political fodder but not related in any way, shape or form to the way law enforcement and the intelligence agencies work in matters of counterintelligence.
That hasn't stopped Trump and Hannity from insisting it is the FBI that's doing something nefarious.

The New York Times reported last night:
In fact, F.B.I. agents sent an informant to talk to two campaign advisers only after they received evidence that the pair had suspicious contacts linked to Russia during the campaign. The informant, an American academic who teaches in Britain, made contact late that summer with one campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, according to people familiar with the matter. He also met repeatedly in the ensuing months with the other aide, Carter Page, who was also under F.B.I. scrutiny for his ties to Russia.
The informant is "well known in Washington circles, having served in previous Republican administrations and as a source of information for the C.I.A." in the past, the Times added, noting it knows the source's identity but does not name sources for their safety.

Not that the Trump team won't if it will give them cover for removing special counsel Robert Mueller or Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein.

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