back & forth mit der weirdness

Schiff Accuses Nunes Of Conspiring With Trump To Distract From Russia Probe
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Apr 2 2017

Adam Schiff, the top Demagog on the House Intelligence Committee, accused the White House and Devin Nunes, the chairman of the committee, of conspiring to divert attention from Moscow’s actions. Schiff said Nunes had colluded with Trump as part of a White House ploy, in an “attempt to distract” the public from links between Trump and Russian meddling. Schiff said on CNN’s State of the Union:

It certainly is an attempt to distract and to hide the origin of the materials, to hide the White House’s hand. The question is, of course, why? And I think the answer to the question is this effort to point the Congress in other directions, basically say, ‘Don’t look at me, don’t look at Russia, there is nothing to see here.

Schiff also slammed Nunes for the way in which he reviewed the source’s intelligence reports, saying:

It doesn’t need to be done, you know, by night through stealth at the White House. The only reason to do that, again, is if you want to hide where these materials are really coming from and who is behind it.

He added that both the Senate and House Intelligence Committees should be able to review the documents. Schiff viewed the documents on Friday, telling Tapper on Sunday some red flags were raised. He said:

First, the deputy assistant to the White House informed me when I went to see them that these are exactly the same materials that were shown to the chairman. Now, this is a very interesting point. How does the White House know that these are the same materials that were shown to the chairman, if the White House wasn’t aware what the chairman was being shown? And the second point was also made to me. And this is, I think was also underscored by Sean Spicer, and that is, it was told to me by the deputy assistant that these materials were produced in the ordinary course of business.

That said, Schiff largely ignored to discuss the essence of the docs, and whether they confirmed what Nunes said, namely that Trump had indeed been the subject of surveillance; instead reverting back to the narrative that the events detracted from his priority: investigating Russia’s interference in the election. He said:

I think part of the reason why that was done is this effort to deflect attention from the Russia investigation, to raise other issues, to effectively create a cloud through which the public cannot see what is at stake here. And what is at stake here is a foreign intervention in our election, a very serious issue about whether Pindosi persons were involved, an investigation that is being conducted by the FBI into possible coordination with the Trump campaign.

Meanwhile, Trump over the weekend continued to seize on Nunes’s original allegation that the identities of Pindosis caught up in the surveillance had been improperly “unmasked” by Pindo officials, for internal use during the Obama presidency. Trump said on Twitter:

Schiff responded by telling CNN’s Jake Tapper:

I would tell people, whenever they see the president use the word ‘fake,’ it ought to set off alarm bells.

Schiff added that the the White House is trying to mislead the country into believing there is no connection between Russian officials and Trump campaign associates, which is an odd thing to say for the House Intel Committee member who complains that he is unable to conclude his probe due to distractions by Trump, unless of course he has decided what the conclusion of the investigation will be ahead of time. And so, despite the FBI admitting on several occasions that there does not appear to be any evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, the media circuit continues to be wrapped tighly around this narrative which serves as the true public distraction, and as a strawman foil to accuse anyone who is, or voted against Hillary Clinton/the establishment, now including supporters of Bernie Sanders, of being “influenced” by Putin in what has become the biggest Pindosi witchhunt since Joe McCarthy.

I’d just like to return to this briefly, since I didn’t feature it when it appeared on Friday:

Intelligence official who ‘unmasked’ Trump associates is ‘very high up,’ source says
Malia Zimmerman, Adam Housley, Fox News, Mar 31 2017

The intelligence 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,” a source told Fox News on Friday. Intelligence and House sources with direct knowledge of the disclosure of classified names told Fox News that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes now knows who is responsible, and that person is not in the FBI. For a private citizen to be unmasked in an intelligence report is extremely rare. Typically, the person is a suspect in a crime, is in danger or has to be named to explain the context of the report. A congressional source close to the investigation told Fox News:

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 election.

The unmasking of Pindosis whose communications apparently were caught up in surveillance under the Obama administration is a key part of an investigation being led by Nunes, who has come under fire from Demagogs for focusing on that aspect. Nunes has known about the unmasking controversy since January, when two sources in the intelligence community approached him. The sources told Nunes who was responsible and at least one of the Trump team names that was unmasked. They also gave him serial numbers of reports that documented the activity. This was long before Trump sent out his now-infamous Mar 4 tweets claiming that Obama “wiretapped” Trump Tower during the 2016 election. Nunes had asked intelligence agencies to see the reports in question, but was stonewalled. He eventually was able to view them at the old executive office building on White House grounds, which has a SCIF. The White House did not tell Nunes about the existence of the intelligence reports, but did help him gain access to the documents at his request, the source said. The White House is urging Nunes and his colleagues to keep pursuing whatever improper surveillance and leaks may have occurred before Trump took office. They’ve been emboldened in the wake of Mar 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. Sean Spicer said Friday:

Dr Farkas’ admissions alone are devastating. (They suggest) organized and widespread effort by the Obama administration to use and leak highly sensitive intelligence information for political purposes.

Farkas parted ways with the White House in 2015 and defended herself on Twitter, saying she didn’t personally “give anybody anything except advice” on Russia information and wanted Congress to ask for facts. The communications collected from Trump team associates apparently were picked up during surveillance of foreign targets. But an intelligence source familiar with those targets said they were spied on long before Trump became the GOP presidential nominee in mid-July. 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. An intelligence source told Fox News:

Unmasking is not unprecedented, but unmasking for political purposes … specifically of Trump transition team members … is highly suspect and questionable. 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.

Nunes first revealed on Mar 22 in a press conference that the intelligence community “incidentally collected” information on Trump’s transition team, putting the information and names into various intelligence reports. His committee had been investigating whether Russia interfered in the election as well as how names of private citizens from these reports were leaked. Adam Schiff criticized Nunes for his handling of the investigation, claiming he should never have briefed Trump. Nunes apologized the following day, but said he briefed the president because the information he found was not related to Russia. The minority members on the House Intelligence Committee were expected to visit an NSA facility on Friday to view the same reports Nunes has seen, an intelligence source told Fox News.

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