The intelligence community has launched an insurrection against Donald Trump.
Leakers have been planting stories in anti-Trump media outlets in order to discredit the new administration.
But who is pulling the strings behind the scenes?
The New York Times recently published a story claiming members of Trump’s campaign and senior Trump associates had contact with individuals known to be Russian intelligence agents in the year before the election.
The story landed like a bombshell with excited reporters spreading it far and wide over social media.
But what does the story actually say, and who is behind it?
The Times story offers much in the way of allegations and innuendo.
However, there is little in the way of evidence to substantiate any claims.
In fact, there are many caveats in the story which indicates there could be even less here than meets the eye.
After an explosive introduction, the Times reports that investigators had no evidence of cooperation between Trump officials and the Russians regarding the election:
“The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.”
But the Times also noted it is routine for businessmen to come into contact with other businessmen and government officials who are actually foreign intelligence operatives.
The story also included the caveat that reporters don’t actually have any information as to whether the conversations involved Trump as a topic of discussion.
“Several of Mr. Trump’s associates, like Mr. Manafort, have done business in Russia, and it is not unusual for American businessmen to come in contact with foreign intelligence officials, sometimes unwittingly, in countries like Russia and Ukraine, where the spy services are deeply embedded in society. Law enforcement officials did not say to what extent the contacts may have been about business.
Officials would not disclose many details, including what was discussed on the calls, which Russian intelligence officials were on the calls, and how many of Mr. Trump’s advisers were talking to the Russians. It is also unclear whether the conversations had anything to do with Mr. Trump himself.”
This story lands on the heels of leaked communications between National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and the Russian Ambassador.
No reporting surfaced indicating Flynn broke the law or offered a deal on lifting Russian sanctions, but the leaks –which may be a felony – created a critical mass forcing Flynn to resign.
So just who is behind this plot?
The Washington Free Beacon reports the operation is being run by former Obama officials, including former Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes:
“The effort, said to include former Obama administration adviser Ben Rhodes—the architect of a separate White House effort to create what he described as a pro-Iran echo chamber—included a small task force of Obama loyalists who deluged media outlets with stories aimed at eroding Flynn’s credibility, multiple sources revealed.
The operation primarily focused on discrediting Flynn, an opponent of the Iran nuclear deal, in order to handicap the Trump administration’s efforts to disclose secret details of the nuclear deal with Iran that had been long hidden by the Obama administration.
Insiders familiar with the anti-Flynn campaign told the Free Beacon that these Obama loyalists plotted in the months before Trump’s inauguration to establish a set of roadblocks before Trump’s national security team, which includes several prominent opponents of diplomacy with Iran. The Free Beacon first reported on this effort in January.”
Are the Obama operatives who took down Flynn behind the leaks to the Times?
And are they operating with Obama’s blessing?
Reports have surfaced that Obama is creating a shadow government in Washington to take down Trump.
And these leaks appear to be another prong in Obama’s plans to wreck the Trump Presidency.