Inception: James Comey Gave CNN Its ‘Pee Tape’ News Hook — by Briefing Trump on Their Search for a News Hook

In newly-released personal memos, ex-FBI Director James Comey wrote that he briefed President Donald Trump on unverified claims about an alleged escapade with prostitutes in Moscow in 2013 because “media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook.”

In actuality, Comey’s very briefing, which was subsequently leaked to CNN, provided the network with the hook to publish a story on the controversial dossier containing the infamous “Russian prostitute” claims as well as unsubstantiated charges of collusion between Russia and members of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.  CNN’s report resulted in worldwide coverage of the dossier charges.

In its report, CNN noted that the dossier claims were circulating for months among the news media, and that the inclusion of the dossier claims in the briefing with Trump and another with President Obama gave the charges some credibility.

Last night, the redacted and declassified sections of Comey’s 15 pages of memos were released after the documents were sent to Congress by the Justice Department.

Comey recounts a January 6, 2017 briefing with President-Elect Trump at Trump Tower at which he informed Trump about the dossier allegations after other officials left the room and the two of them were alone.

Comey says he told Trump that he was briefing him in part because CNN was looking to run with the story:

I said I wasn’t saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material or [REDACTED] and that we were keeping it very close-hold. He said he couldn’t believe they hadn’t gone with it. I said it was inflammatory stuff that they would get killed for reporting straight up from the source reports.

In his memoir, published earlier this week, Comey also claims that CNN was a factor in his decision to include the dossier claims in the classified briefing to Trump and another briefing to President Obama.

He wrote:

Still, I could see no way out of it. The FBI was aware of the material. Two United States senators separately contacted me to alert me to its existence and the fact that many in Washington either had it or knew of it. CNN had informed the FBI press office that they were going to run with it as soon as the next day.

The news hook that CNN in part used to report on the dossier claims was actually the briefing on the matter by Comey, and a similar briefing to President Obama by administration officials.

On January 10, CNN was first to report the leaked information that the controversial contents of the dossier were presented during classified briefings inside classified documents presented one week earlier to Obama and Trump.

The news network cited “multiple U.S. officials with direct knowledge of the briefings” – in other words, officials leaking information about classified briefings – revealing the dossier contents were included in a two-page synopsis that served as an addendum to a larger report on Russia’s alleged attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election.

The documents were given to the politicians during the briefings delivered by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers, the officials told CNN.

The network reported the documents state that “Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump” and contain “allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government.”

CNN reported how the briefings provided credibility to the dossier charges that were circulating among the news media for months but remained largely unreported:

Some of the memos were circulating as far back as last summer. What has changed since then is that US intelligence agencies have now checked out the former British intelligence operative and his vast network throughout Europe and find him and his sources to be credible enough to include some of the information in the presentations to the President and President-elect a few days ago.

It would later emerge that the dossier had been paid for by Trump’s primary political opponents, namely Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC). It was produced by the controversial Fusion GPS firm.

Just after CNN’s January 10 report on the classified briefings about the dossier, BuzzFeed infamously published the dossier’s full unverified contents.

The New York Times used CNN’s story to report some contents of the dossier the same day as CNN’s January 10 report on the briefings.

After citing the CNN story, the Times reported:

The memos describe sex videos involving prostitutes with Mr. Trump in a 2013 visit to a Moscow hotel. The videos were supposedly prepared as “kompromat,” or compromising material, with the possible goal of blackmailing Mr. Trump in the future.

The memos also suggest that Russian officials proposed various lucrative deals, essentially as disguised bribes in order to win influence over Mr. Trump.

The memos describe several purported meetings during the 2016 presidential campaign between Trump representatives and Russian officials to discuss matters of mutual interest, including the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee and Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta.

Immediately following CNN’s article, National Intelligence Director Clapper added fuel to the media fire about the dossier by releasing a statementthat he spoke to Trump to express “my profound dismay at the leaks that have been appearing in the press” – referring to the leaks to CNN about the classified briefing. He called the leaks “extremely corrosive and damaging to our national security.”

Clapper’s statement generated fresh media coverage of the dossier briefing.

Prior to CNN’s report, which was picked up by news agencies worldwide, the contents of the dossier had been circulating among news media outlets, but the sensational claims were largely considered too risky to publish.

All that changed when the dossier contents were presented to Obama and Trump during the classified briefings. In other words, the briefings themselves and the subsequent leak to CNN about those briefings by “multiple US officials with direct knowledge,” seem to have given the news media the opening to report on the dossier’s existence as well as allude to some of the document’s unproven claims.

In an updated version of CNN’s report, the network revealed that it had reviewed the 35-page dossier and would not report “on details of the memos, as it has not independently corroborated the specific allegations.”

When it published the full dossier, BuzzFeed reported that the contents had circulated “for months” and were known to journalists.

The website reported, “The documents have circulated for months and acquired a kind of legendary status among journalists, lawmakers, and intelligence officials who have seen them. Mother Jones writer David Corn referred to the documents in a late October column.”

In his statement following the leaks to CNN about the dossier briefings to Obama and Trump, Clapper also said the dossier contents had been “widely circulated in recent months among the media, members of Congress and Congressional staff even before the IC became aware of it.”

It seems the news media waited for the leak about the dossier briefings first reported by CNN before publicizing on the dossier’s existence and some of its contents.

Yet Comey continues to claim the opposite was the case – that he conducted the briefings because of the possibility of news media coverage.

In his June 2016 prepared remarks before the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in June, Comey also made that claim when he detailedwhy the Intelligence Community briefed Obama and Trump on the “salacious material” – a clear reference to the dossier.

Comey wrote:

The IC leadership thought it important, for a variety of reasons, to alert the incoming President to the existence of this material, even though it was salacious and unverified. Among those reasons were: (1) we knew the media was about to publicly report the material and we believed the IC should not keep knowledge of the material and its imminent release from the President-Elect; and (2) to the extent there was some effort to compromise an incoming President, we could blunt any such effort with a defensive briefing.

Comey is clearly painting a picture that he needed to brief Trump and Obama on the dossier claims because of supposedly imminent news media reports.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

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Here we go: DNC sues Trump campaign, Russia, Wikileaks for conspiracy

“Suing the president for winning is a great look for the Defenders of Democracy™,” sniffs Seth Mandel. When Tocqueville wrote that most political questions in America eventually turn into judicial ones, he didn’t know the half of it.

The best part of this is the many half-baked tweets and Facebook posts it’ll inspire among dumber members of the Resistance who think victory in court will mean that Hillary gets to become president. Don’t laugh. Stranger ideas have been floated by those who haven’t made peace with Trump’s victory.

In the meantime, though, a question. Why now? Why didn’t the DNC or Hillary file suit last January, once the suspicions underlying the Russiagate inquiry became clearer?

Suing a foreign country may present legal challenges for the Democrats, in part because other nations have immunity from most U.S. lawsuits. The DNC’s complaint argues Russia is not entitled to the protection because the hack constituted a trespass on the party’s private property…

The suit filed Friday seeks millions of dollars in compensation to offset damage it claims the party suffered from the hacks. The DNC argues that the cyberattack undermined its ability to communicate with voters, collect donations and operate effectively as its employees faced personal harassment and, in some cases, death threats.

The suit also seeks an acknowledgment from the defendants that they conspired to infiltrate the Democrats’ computers, steal information and disseminate it to influence the election.

The most interesting detail in the complaint has to do with when the DNC’s servers were hacked. It first happened in July 2015 and then again in April 2016 — just four days before George Papadopoulos was told by Russia-connected professor Joseph Mifsud that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary, including “thousands of emails.” Hmmmm.

But back to the question. Why now? Mueller’s still in the thick of his collusion probe and has already indicted 13 Russians. By suing, the DNC makes it even easier for Trump to howl that the Russiagate probe is part of a partisan effort to delegitimize him. Democrats could have hung back and waited for Mueller to finish in order to deny Trump that argument. (Although maybe the statute of limitations wouldn’t allow that?) As it is, I can think of three reasons:

1. The DNC thinks this’ll be a morale booster for the midterms and will earn it some much-needed goodwill from the Democratic rank-and-file. Their fundraising numbers are garbage nowadays, remember, due to the backlash from their favoritism towards Hillary over Bernie Sanders in the last primary. They’re scrambling for ways to be relevant again and to unite the party behind them. Pulling the pin on a Russiagate grenade and lobbing it at Trump and Putin is one way to do that.

2. They’re watching Stormy Daniels and Michael Avenatti run rings around TrumpWorld and its lawyers and figure, “How hard can it be?” Interestingly, Trump himself isn’t a defendant in the DNC suit. But they could seek discovery from those who are and, as the case progresses, could seek to depose them or POTUS himself as a witness. A legal showdown with Trump to force him to testify would be nothing but upside for the DNC. If Trump resists, it looks like he’s hiding something. If he pleads the Fifth to avoid testifying, it *really* looks like he’s hiding something. And if he actually agrees to testify, hoo boy.

3. They may be nervous that, in the end, Mueller simply won’t have the goods. Mueller might clear Trump or, even if he finds probable cause that a crime occurred, might forgo an indictment by referring the matter to the House for impeachment instead. The Republican-controlled majority might then bury the matter, claiming that they disagree with the finding of probable cause. Democrats could and would run on that decision this fall, of course, but that’s dicey: If Trump fans believe that he’ll be impeached if Dems retake the House, that’s powerful incentive for them to turn out. The whole thing may backfire on Pelosi’s party. In which case, why not go into civil court, where the standard of proof is “preponderance of the evidence” instead of “beyond a reasonable doubt,” and try to get a judgment there? Even if the whole Russiagate probe collapses or everyone gets pardoned, a finding of conspiracy in civil court would be highly useful politically as a way to delegitimize Trump in 2020.

Just as I’m writing that, I see that the DNC’s complaint is now online. There are 12 counts, including — ugh — RICO. Interestingly, at first blush, it looks like the DNC isn’t claiming that the hackings affected the outcome of the election, just its own ability to fundraise successfully and communicate confidentially with others. It’s strange that, since this complaint was prepared for nakedly political reasons, it wouldn’t also toss in the political argument that Russia’s active measures might have handed Trump the presidency.

The post Here we go: DNC sues Trump campaign, Russia, Wikileaks for conspiracy appeared first on Hot Air.

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DESPERATION: DNC Files Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Against Russia, Trump Campaign for Collusion

DESPERATION: DNC Files Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit Against Russia, Trump Campaign for Collusion



The Democratic National Committee is suing the Russian government, the Trump campaign, and WikiLeaks for allegedly disrupting the 2016 campaign, in what appears to be a desperate attempt to keep a collusion narrative going ahead of November mid-term elections.

The multi-million dollar lawsuit comes just one week after Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein reportedly told President Trump he is not the target of either the special counsel’s Russian meddling and collusion probe, or the target of the investigation into his personal attorney Michael D. Cohen.

According to the Washington Post, who first reported the DNC’s lawsuit, it does not name Trump as a defendant, but alleges that various Russian contacts with the campaign amounted to collusion — a theory pushed by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) for months.

In addition, former FBI Director James Comey’s new book — which was highly anticipated in light of allegations of obstruction of justice — has not yielded the smoking gun Trump critics had hoped for.

“I have one perspective on the behavior I saw, which while disturbing and violating basic norms of ethical leadership, may fall short of being illegal,” Comey wrote in his book.

However, the DNC could be hoping that the lawsuit will invigorate the Russian collusion theory, helping to raise funds ahead of the election. Democrats for months have been soliciting donations based off of the Mueller probe.

The DNC is alleging, in a complaint filed in federal district court in Manhattan, that top Trump campaign officials “conspired” with the Russian government and its military spy agency to hurt Hillary Clinton and help Trump, but hacking the email servers of the Democratic National Committee and disseminating them, according to the Post.

DNC Chairman Tom Perez said in a statement: “During the 2016 presidential campaign, Russia launched an all-out assault on our democracy, and it found a willing and active partner in Donald Trump’s campaign.”

“This constituted an act of unprecedented treachery: the campaign of a nominee for President of the United States in league with a hostile foreign power to bolster its own chance to win the presidency,” he said.

The DNC argues that the cyberattack undermined its ability to communicate with voters, collect donations and operate effectively as its employees faced personal harassment and death threats.

The Post noted that suing Russia presents legal challenges, since other nations have immunity from most U.S. lawsuits. The suit reportedly seeks an acknowledgment from the defendants that they conspired to infiltrate Democrats’ computers, steal information, and disseminate it to influence the 2016 election — essentially, the Democrats’ core collusion claims.

The lawsuit is targeting president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., son-in-law Jared Kushner, his campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Manafort’s deputy, Rick Gates, Trump confidant Roger Stone, former Trump campaign volunteer George Papadopoulos.

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Gunman Dead After Ambushing, Killing Two Sheriff’s Deputies in Restaurant

Gunman Dead After Ambushing, Killing Two Sheriff’s Deputies in Restaurant



Two Gilchrist County sheriff’s deputies were ambushed and killed Thursday by a gunman who may have taken his own life.

The deputies, 29-year-old Sgt. Noel Ramirez and 25-year-old Taylor Lindsey, were eating at Ace China restaurant around 3 pm when the gunman opened fire on them through a window. Both deputies were killed.

The Washington Post quoted Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office saying, “Both our heroes had simply sat down to eat while on duty. There was no crime in progress, no disturbance. The suspect appears to have walked to the front of the business and shot both men without warning. Two holes in the window are visible tonight.”

Gilchrist County Sheriff Robert Schultz addressed the incident, saying, “I don’t have answers to why this happened.

Responding deputies found the gunman dead outside the restaurant, he was identified as 59-year-old John Highnote.

NPR reports Sheriff Schultz refused to confirm whether Highnote killed himself. Rather, Schultz said, “I want this to be about those deputy sheriffs, I think that you can respect that. The world’s full of cowards, and the world’s full of heroes. We need to highlight those heroes, and what they gave.”

Although no motive for the shooting was reported, Schultz did address the energy many protesters expend in criticizing law enforcement. He said, “What do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent that it’s been demonized? The only thing these men were guilty of was wanting to protect you and me. They just wanted to go get something to eat. And they just wanted to do their job.”

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at awrhawkins@breitbart.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.

 

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Gunman kills 2 deputies as they eat: ‘What do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement?’

Two Gilchrist County, Florida deputies were gunned down on Thursday while they ate lunch at a local Chinese restaurant, according to WOGX-TV.

What are the details?

Sgt. Noel Ramirez, 30, and Deputy Taylor Lindsey, 25, were eating lunch at a Trenton, Florida Chinese restaurant when a man — later identified as 59-year-old John Hubert Highnote — reportedly walked up to the eatery’s exterior and fired shots at the two officers through the window.

The gunman’s bullets struck both Ramirez and Lindsey and the two officers died at the scene.

CNN reported that Highnote simply “shot both men without warning.” He was purportedly discovered dead outside the business.

“Both our heroes had simply sat down to eat while on duty,” Gilchrist County Sheriff Bobby Schultz said. “There was no crime in progress, no disturbance.”

“Two holes in the window are visible tonight,” Schultz added.

Schultz spoke reverently of the deputies, calling them the “best of the best,” according to WOGX.

“They were men of integrity,” Schultz described. “They were men of loyalty. They’re God-fearing, and they loved what they did and were very proud of it.”

“I [can] sit here in front of all of you and say that I loved them,” Schultz admitted. “And they were loved by all.”

Ramirez served as an officer for approximately seven years at the time of his death. Lindsey served for three years.

Was there a motive?

The Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office shared an update on Facebook specifying that there is “no apparent motive” at the time of their posting.

“At this point, it remains an active criminal investigation with no apparent motive or indications as to why this tragedy occurred,” the office wrote on Facebook.

Schultz also noted that there were many things he wanted to say that he shouldn’t.

“I will say this,” Schultz revealed, according to CNN. “We’re not going to make this … a political issue. Other than the fact, what do you expect happens when you demonize law enforcement to the extent that it’s been demonized? Every type of hate, every type of putdown that you can think of.”

“The only thing these men were guilty of was wanting to protect you and me,” he added.

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House Intel Report: James Clapper Was In Contact With CNN Around Time When Dossier Briefing First Reported

Details from the newly-released memos written by former FBI director James Comey suggest that CNN prompted Comey’s briefing of Donald Trump on the Democrat-funded Steele dossier that the network then used as a rationale to report on some of the unverified and salacious allegations in the document.

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New York Times Reporter: ‘I Cried’ After Writing Story About How Clinton Lost the Election

New York Times reporter Amy Chozick writes in her new memoir that she cried after finishing her article on how Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election to Donald Trump.

Chozick covered Clinton for a decade during stints at the Wall Street Journal and now at the New York Times, which meant covering her ultimately doomed presidential bids in 2008 and 2016. Her experiences and insights make up her new book Chasing Hillary: Ten Years, Two Presidential Campaigns, and One Intact Glass Ceiling.

According to the Washington Post review of her book, "the day after the 2016 election, Chozick sat in her cubicle and wrote the "how she lost" story. "Then I finally cried," she writes."

That article was entitled, "Hillary Clinton’s Expectations, and Her Ultimate Campaign Missteps." Chozick wrote in the postmortem:

Her campaign had built-in contradictions and challenges. She wanted to make history as the first female president, but she did not want to play it up so much so that she would turn off men. She vowed to help the little guy, but she accepted millions of dollars for speeches to Wall Street. She wanted to bring the country together, but she suffered from a stubbornly high number of voters who did not trust or like her.

Chozick acknowledged standing and applauding when Clinton walked into a town hall she covered in 2008, leading to an admonishment from a fellow reporter: "What the hell are you doing?"

Chozick frets in the book about her relationship with Clinton, mourning at one point to her husband that, "she really, really hates me." She also viewed herself as a symbol of Clinton’s distrust of the press.

"Ours was destined to be an impossible, tortured, and unrelentingly tense relationship weighed down by old grudges and fresh grievances," Chozick writes. "To Hillary, I was a big ego with no brain and no amount of cordial small talk could make up for the bad blood between her world and mine."

She also writes critically, as others have, of Clinton’s lack of a clear message in her White House bid, according to the Washington Post:

If there was a single unifying force behind her candidacy, it was her obvious desire to get the whole thing over with." On Clinton’s ambition: "Her only clear vision of the presidency seemed to be herself in it." On how Trump threw Clinton off message: "Hillary had berated our pea-size political brains for being uninterested in policy. Now, Trump had made her as devoid of substance as he was."

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