News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: The Media Shares Classified Info, Comey Kept a Slam Book, and Much, Much More

FBI Director James Comey (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Happy Wednesday Morning!

Here is what is on President Trump’s agenda today:

  • In the morning, President Trump will depart the White House for Joint Base Andrews en route to Groton, Connecticut.
  • The President will then give remarks at the United States Coast Guard Academy Commencement Ceremony.
  • In the afternoon, the President will depart Groton, Connecticut, for Washington, D.C., en route to the White House.

Media reveals classified information and that’s cool

After spending more than 24 hours going completely bonkers about the alleged content of a meeting between the White House and Russian officials, the media — ever obsessed with itself and its importance — chose to up the ante, insert itself into the story and release classified information to the world.

In case you haven’t been paying attention, President Trump, along with NSC Advisor H.R. McMaster, Deputy NSC Advisor Dina Powell and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, met with Sergey V. Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, last week.  “Someone” leaked out part of the discussion that concerned intelligence the U.S. had about an ISIS terror threat involving laptops and airplanes. The leaker went to the Washington Post and the Washington Post reported that Trump shared classified information with the Russians — and the media and left went wild.  There was much concern.

We do not know what was said in the meeting and at least initially, we did not know where the intelligence came from or what exactly that intelligence was. The media and the left were shrieking like banshees about how sharing this information was a breach of classified information and how our allies would not share intelligence with us any longer because Trump can’t keep a secret. Impeachment was mentioned, but it’s always mentioned so that’s nothing new. Also of little concern: leaking classified information to the media.

All three of the U.S. officials at the meeting denied confidences were breached or that inappropriate information was shared with the Russians, and McMaster told the media Trump did not even know the origin of this intelligence — but that did not stop the spiral of hysteria.

And then all of a sudden…those concerns went away when the New York Times revealed that the country that shared that information with the U.S. is Israel.

The classified intelligence that President Trump disclosed in a meeting last week with Russian officials at the White House was provided by Israel, according to a current and a former American official familiar with how the United States obtained the information. The revelation adds a potential diplomatic complication to an episode that has renewed questions about how the White House handles sensitive intelligence.

Israel is one of the United States’ most important allies and runs one of the most active espionage networks in the Middle East. Mr. Trump’s boasting about some of Israel’s most sensitive information to the Russians could damage the relationship between the two countries and raises the possibility that the information could be passed to Iran, Russia’s close ally and Israel’s main threat in the region.

Israeli officials would not confirm that they were the source of the information that Mr. Trump shared, which was about an Islamic State plot. In a statement emailed to The New York Times, Ron Dermer, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, reaffirmed that the two countries would maintain a close counterterrorism relationship.

The public went from knowing Trump told the Russians the U.S. has knowledge of a terror plot involving laptops and airplanes, something we already know since there was a very public ban against flying into the U.S. with carry-on laptops from certain countries, to knowing who provided this information to us, precisely the issue the media and the left was so concerned about.

The NYT writes:

It was not clear whether the president or the other Americans in the meeting were aware of the sensitivity of what was shared. Only afterward, when notes on the discussion were circulated among National Security Council officials, was the information flagged as too sensitive to be shared, even among many American officials, the officials said.

Intelligence officials worried that Mr. Trump provided enough details to effectively expose the source of the information and the manner in which it had been collected.

Well, if he didn’t do it in the meeting, the media sure has. I repeat, the damaging information that was leaked to the world came from the Washington Post and the New York Times, not President Trump. Our relations with other countries and the trust we have with our intelligence sources were soured because the media published agenda-driven leaks from anti-Trump foes in the administration.

I will go further and say it is no accident that the country revealed was Israel because the left hates Israel and the Obama administration officials, along with the bad actors Trump has installed in his administration under bad advice, also hate Israel. The Obama administration stooges in the Trump administration still have anti-Israel business to accomplish.

“The Russians have the widest intelligence collection mechanism in the world outside of our own,” said John Sipher, a 28-year veteran of the C.I.A.who served in Moscow in the 1990s and later ran the agency’s Russia program for three years. “They can put together a good picture with just a few details. They can marry President Trump’s comments with their own intelligence, and intelligence from their allies. They can also deploy additional resources to find out details.”

They don’t have to do anything now, as the media has done it for them. If we clear away the grandstanding and the hysteria, we have no evidence there was any classified information revealed in that meeting and the media is not the judge and jury of what is or is not appropriate to reveal in a diplomatic meeting. That’s really what this is about: that the president makes these decisions and they don’t like the president. Unless Trump gets his house in order and gets rid of these bad actors, situations like this will only get worse.

Comey kept a Trump slam book

I have whiplash just writing about this topic, but former media/left enemy and current media/left darling-hero Jim Comey was keeping notes on his conversations with President Trump.

Former FBI Director James Comey wrote in a memo that President Donald Trump asked him to end the investigation of national security adviser Michael Flynn, according to a source familiar with the matter.

Comey was so appalled by the request that he wanted to document it, the source said. Comey shared it with FBI senior officials, according to the source.

Why didn’t Comey do something about this “obstruction of justice” when it happened? It seems really serious based on the reactions from the Democrats and the media.

“You realize something momentous has happened and memories fade so he wanted to memorialize it at the earliest time,” the source said. The source said it was not common practice for Comey to document conversations with senior officials unless he thought it was significant. Conversations Comey had with Trump were documented by the former FBI director.

In one memo, Comey included a description of Trump talking to him about crowd size at the inauguration.

The source said Comey did not do this with President Barack Obama, in part, because he had fewer one-on-one conversations with him.

“There is no need to document the conversations with people who are truthful or situations that are routine. It’s when you have situations that are not routine and people who are not truthful, you would write a memo to file,” the source said. “There have been other occasions where he has done this but not everyday.”

So yet another anonymous source. Does Comey have notes on his conversations with Loretta Lynch about the “accidental” meeting on the tarmac with the husband of a presidential candidate under investigation for sharing the highest level of State Department business with an insecure computer network? Why didn’t that memo leak?

And here the source reveals their agenda: “There is no need to document the conversations with people who are truthful or situations that are routine. It’s when you have situations that are not routine and people who are not truthful, you would write a memo to file,” the source said. “There have been other occasions where he has done this but not everyday.”

Rep. Jason Chaffetz has said he wants to subpoena’s Comey’s slam book.

[email protected] is going to get the Comey memo, if it exists. I need to see it sooner rather than later. I have my subpoena pen ready,” Chaffetz tweeted.

Chaffetz later sent a letter to Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, asking for all FBI notes and information on Comey’s communications with President Donald Trump.

Trump asked Comey to end his investigation of Michael Flynn one day after he fired him, according to a memo written by Comey detailing their discussion. The New York Times first reported the memo Tuesday and a source familiar with the matter confirmed the contents of the memo to CNN.

“If these reports are true, the President’s brazen attempt to shut down the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn is an assault on the rule of law that is fundamental to our democracy,” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement. “At best, President Trump has committed a grave abuse of executive power. At worst, he has obstructed justice.”

We’ll see where this ends up.

Is the Seth Rich story “dead”?

There was news on the Seth Rich murder yesterday but most of the media didn’t cover it. CNN decided to cover that the story it wasn’t concerned with was “dead.”

It took only hours for one of the biggest stories in conservative media this week, which some outlets had chosen to focus on over news that President Trump disclosed classified information to senior Russian officials, to fall apart.

By the way, it’s merely alleged Trump disclosed classified information to the Russians. It was denied by all parties present at the meeting, but nothing will get in the way of a good narrative for CNN — even the truth.

Now why wouldn’t CNN cover this story? They’ve been breathlessly reporting how the Russians “hacked” the election. I would think they would be relieved that it appears Rich was the one leaking DNC emails to Wikileaks and not the Russians. I guess not.

Is the story really dead? The CNN piece is far from conclusive. It includes statements from the family complaining that hired gun Ron Wheeler had spoken to the media. And Wheeler did qualify what he said to Fox News.

Wheeler instead said he only learned about the possible existence of such evidence through the reporter he spoke to for the FoxNews.com story. He explained that the comments he made to WTTG-TV were intended to simply preview Fox News’ Tuesday story. The WTTG-TV news director did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

“I only got that [information] from the reporter at Fox News,” Wheeler told CNN.

Democrat operative Brad Bauman, who is the family spokesperson, also responded to Wheeler’s statements, saying the family had “seen no evidence” of communication between Rich and WikiLeaks.

Bauman told CNN the outlets that had run with the story “have shown over and over again that they are willing to lie and manipulate the facts” to further “their own political end.”

“I think it’s important for everyone at Fox News to be careful with this information and how this story breaks because using the legacy of a murder victim in such an overtly political way is morally reprehensible,” he said.

This is wild. CNN loves running anonymously sourced “journalism” without regard for whether or not it’s leaked to further “their own political end.”

But Wheeler told Fox News’ Sean Hannity last night that a “federal investigator that was involved on the inside of the case” saw Rich’s computer files. And according to Fox News (from an unnamed source much like the kind CNN has no problem running with all the time),:

An FBI forensic report of Rich’s computer — generated within 96 hours after Rich’s murder — showed he made contact with WikiLeaks through Gavin MacFadyen, a now-deceased American investigative reporter, documentary filmmaker, and director of WikiLeaks who was living in London at the time, the federal source told Fox News.

“I have seen and read the emails between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” the federal investigator told Fox News, confirming the MacFadyen connection. He said the emails are in possession of the FBI, while the stalled case is in the hands of the Washington Police Department.

The revelation is consistent with the findings of Wheeler, whose private investigation firm was hired by a third party on behalf of Rich’s family to probe the case.

And it goes on to say:

“My investigation up to this point shows there was some degree of email exchange between Seth Rich and WikiLeaks,” Wheeler said. “I do believe that the answers to who murdered Seth Rich sits on his computer on a shelf at the DC police or FBI headquarters.”

The federal investigator, who requested anonymity, said 44,053 emails and 17,761 attachments between Democratic National Committee leaders, spanning from January 2015 through late May 2016, were transferred from Rich to MacFadyen before May 21.

NBC has their own anonymous sources:

Meanwhile, a current FBI official and a former one completely discount the Fox News claim that an FBI analysis of a computer belonging to Rich contained thousands of e-mails to and from WikiLeaks.

Local police in Washington, D.C., never even gave the FBI Rich’s laptop to analyze after his murder, according to the current FBI official.

And a former law enforcement official with first-hand knowledge of Rich’s laptop said the claim was incorrect. “It never contained any e-mails related to WikiLeaks, and the FBI never had it,” the person said.

Confused yet?

Final morsels:

A Girl Scout leader is on the run after stealing $15,000 worth of cookies

Chanel under fire for $1500 boomerang

Number of uninsured American at all-time low — tell me more about pre-existing conditions?

Liar Dan Rather continues to get media time

Muslim Brotherhood lobbies Congress

Newt wants to shut down the WH press room

That’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!