Report: FBI Disagreed with Russian Intent to Help Trump


by Sharon Rondeau

(Sep. 21, 2018) — Investigative journalist Sara A. Carter reported Thursday that FBI emails she has reviewed show a difference of opinion with the CIA’s finding in January 2017 of Russian “meddling” in the 2016 U.S. election with the purpose of securing a Trump victory over Hillary Clinton.

The FBI’s probe into Russian interference in the U.S. election was turned over to Special Counsel Robert Mueller in May 2017 along with an open investigation into allegations that the Trump campaign “colluded” with Russian operatives in order to win.

As Carter noted, NPR and other mainstream media outlets reported that the FBI and CIA were in agreement that Russia made an effort to tilt the election in Trump’s favor.

Carter additionally reported that former FBI counterintelligence deputy chief Peter Strzok, who was fired in July, had doubts about the Russian effort to help Trump but nevertheless indicated in text messages that “he was still intent on proving that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow.”

Mueller has not yet made any proof of collusion between Trump and the Kremlin public, if it in fact exists.  Trump has denied on dozens of occasions that any collusion took place between anyone in his campaign and Russian operatives.

According to the documents Carter reviewed, then-FBI Director James Comey joined Strzok in doubting that Russia intended to influence the election to see a Trump victory.  However, Carter reported, Comey wanted to include the now-infamous Trump-Russia “dossier,” compiled by former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele, in an early January 2017 report titled “Background to Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”: The Analytic Process and Cyber Incident Attribution,” also known as the “Intelligence Community Assessment.”

“We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election,” reads a statement on page 6 of the report.  However, on page 7, it states, “We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency.  We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.”

Clinton has included alleged Russian election interference in a long list of grievances decrying her loss of the election.

Other texts Carter viewed indicate that Strzok and his then-FBI colleague, Counsel to the Deputy Director Lisa Page, discussed their sharing of FBI information with the media.  Texts released over the last several months indicate that both harbored an animus toward a Trump presidency and appeared to follow politics, and the election, very closely.

In early July, Strzok told the House Judiciary and Intelligence Committees under oath that his “political” views did not affect the quality or outcome of his work.

Lisa Page resigned in May and was reported by a number of Republican lawmakers to have been more credible, in their view, than Strzok.

Carter will be a guest on FNC’s “Hannity” on Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. EDT.

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