Last month, PJ Media’s David Steinberg noticed that media had been covering the nothingburger about Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s phone calls with Russia’s Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak like it was the story of the century. Meanwhile, media was ignoring truly explosive revelations about secret meetings between Obama administration officials and Iranian operatives concerning the Iranian nuclear deal.
It almost looked like Obama adviser Ben Rhodes’ media echo chamber was still operational even after his boss had left office.
A U.S. intelligence official told NBC News that the FBI had found nothing improper in the eavesdropped telephone calls:
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said late Monday that there was never a formal “investigation” of the calls in December between retired Army Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn and Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador in Washington.
According to the source, who was confirming a Washington Post report earlier Monday, intelligence officials merely listened in as part of routine eavesdropping on Kislyak.
These same “often-clueless” reporters the Obama administration was “ventriloquizing” were just utilized as gleeful political pawns yet again. Mike Flynn’s brief calls and texts with the Russian ambassador should have immediately been dismissed as common diplomatic activity; they weren’t, in service of a cynical political end sought by not just the Democratic Party, but by the media outlets themselves.
While Flynn allegedly misled officials, including Vice President Mike Pence about what he said to Russia’s ambassador, the real story here is about who leaked classified information about his phone calls to the media.
According to a report in the Washington Free Beacon, deep state loyalists are working diligently behind the scenes to undermine the Trump White House, while Ben Rhodes’ gang of media toadies are indeed still “ventriloquizing” on the former president’s behalf:
The abrupt resignation Monday evening of White House national security adviser Michael Flynn is the culmination of a secret, months-long campaign by former Obama administration confidantes to handicap President Donald Trump’s national security apparatus and preserve the nuclear deal with Iran, according to multiple sources in and out of the White House who described to the Washington Free Beacon a behind-the-scenes effort by these officials to plant a series of damaging stories about Flynn in the national media.
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.
According to Free Beacon’s multiple sources, “top members of the Obama administration’s national security team launched a communications infrastructure after they left the White House,” and even told reporters that they were “using that infrastructure to undermine Trump’s foreign policy”:
“It’s actually Ben Rhodes, NIAC, and the Iranian mullahs who are celebrating today,” said one veteran foreign policy insider who is close to Flynn and the White House. “They know that the number one target is Iran … [and] they all knew their little sacred agreement with Iran was going to go off the books. So they got rid of Flynn before any of the [secret] agreements even surfaced.”
Flynn had been preparing to publicize many of the details about the nuclear deal that had been intentionally hidden by the Obama administration as part of its effort to garner support for the deal, these sources said.
Flynn is now “gone before anybody can see what happened” with these secret agreements, said the second insider close to Flynn and the White House.
Sources in and out of the White House are concerned that the campaign against Flynn will be extended to other prominent figures in the Trump administration.
One senior White House official told the Free Beacon that leaks targeting the former official were “not the result of a series of random events.”
“The drumbeat of leaks of sensitive material related to General Flynn has been building since he was named to his position,” said the official, who is a member of the White House’s National Security Council. “Last night was not the result of a series of random events. The president has lost a valuable adviser and we need to make sure this sort of thing does not happen again.”
Another well-placed source who was involved in the 2015 fight over the Iran deal told the Free Beacon that the Obama administration was afraid that Flynn would expose the secret agreements with Iran:
“The Obama administration knew that Flynn was going to release the secret documents around the Iran deal, which would blow up their myth that it was a good deal that rolled back Iran,” the source said. “So in December the Obama NSC started going to work with their favorite reporters, selectively leaking damaging and incomplete information about Flynn.”
“After Trump was inaugurated some of those people stayed in and some began working from the outside, and they cooperated to keep undermining Trump,” the source said, detailing a series of leaks from within the White House in the past weeks targeting Flynn. “Last night’s resignation was their first major win, but unless the Trump people get serious about cleaning house, it won’t be the last.”
“I put this right at the feet of John Brennen, and James Clapper,” said former CIA analyst and retired U.S. Army Reserve Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer on Fox Business Network. He added, “I would even go so far as to say the [Obama] White House was directly involved before they left — Ben Rhodes and those folks.”
Shaffer pointed out that the information from the phone call was “beyond top secret,” so whoever leaked it is criminally liable.
Shaffer said that he fully supported an independent probe into the phone calls because “the fingers they are going to be finding are going to be pointing back at the former White House and some Democrats.” He noted that even some Republicans may be implicated in some of the leaks.
“Bring it on,” he said.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Tuesday that the Intelligence Committee will investigate who leaked the story and probe why Trump’s national security adviser was being recorded.