Former acting DNI Richard Grenell gave a wide-ranging interview on Glenn Beck’s weekly podcast. They covered everything from China to technology to Grenell’s assessment of the Biden administration’s initial weeks. There was even a discussion of UFOs. While there were some topics he could not offer complete candor on due to classified information, Grenell provided a candid assessment of our intelligence agencies, the Russian collusion hoax, and Spygate.
The conversation about Russian Collusion began with Beck asking Grenell about the intelligence agencies generally. Grenell talked about his own experience as a consumer of intelligence products while working at the State Department and United Nations to drive public policy. He feels this experience gave him a unique perspective in assessing the agencies despite the Washington, D.C., naysayers who criticized his appointment to the acting role.
Beck said that declassifying the documents related to Russia collusion and Spygate was a bold move and asked why he decided to do it. It was clear from Grenell’s answer that the situation bothered him, and even though he knew he would be in the position for a short time, he wanted to understand what had happened. When he came in, he requested all the files related to the Russian collusion narrative.
He spent that weekend reading everything from testimony given to the Intelligence Committee in the bunker to public interviews given by those who testified:
I would watch the interview publicly and then I would read the transcript. And it made me very sad for our country because what was said under oath in the basement of the House, with a lawyer sitting next to them, was fundamentally different than what they said on CNN. And that’s outrageous to me. That’s so swampy. So Washington, D.C.
It means they think that they can lie to the public. And make no mistake, these were lies. They can lie to the public and get away with it. And so, I was morally outraged that this was happening in our government.
Grenell began having meetings to prepare to declassify the documents. He pushed back on classifications that had no link to sources and methods and dismissed concerns that declassification would embarrass the agencies and government. Grenell was more concerned about the credibility crisis the Russia collusion narrative had created with the public. He felt the only way to begin to fix it was transparency.
When his due diligence was complete, he sent a letter to Intelligence Committee Chair Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and gave him a deadline to release the testimony, or Grenell would post it on the DNI website. Schiff released them the day of the deadline.
Beck pointed out the actions of former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith, who altered an e-mail to say the opposite of what it initially said. After using the document to get a FISA warrant, Clinesmith received a slap on the wrist. Beck asked why no one has been held accountable in a significant way. He said he does not believe this was series of mistakes. Instead, Beck sees it as an intentional takedown of the president. Grenell responded:
There’s no question it was. There’s just no question. And this was developed with participation from some at the state department. Remember this whole dossier, London embassy. I’m going to try not to get in trouble here….You can look at the timeline and look and see who was in charge and you can look and see what their jobs were later, and you can put all this together.
Grenell agreed that he had concerns that some of the players involved in the Russian collusion hoax are now back in the Biden administration. He added that there is no question that the team knew the dossier was suspicious because sources had warned them. They classified the comments away, but from the very beginning, they were warned that the Russians knew about the Steele dossier and were putting disinformation into the process. Democrats and career employees spun opposition research into an intelligence product.
Grenell said that because the Durham investigation is ongoing, he is not convinced the players will get away with it. He has to believe that it will come out and, at this point, trusts the assurances he was given about Durham’s impartiality and credibility. Additionally, Grenell is aware of the document requests from Durham’s office. He did admit to getting impatient for the conclusions.
Grenell said he knew the investigation was not going to be concluded before the election but believes it will be thorough and people will understand who lied about President Trump. Beck asked him at what point he would say time’s up. Grenell said after the Durham report comes out and he reads it. It is not clear if that means Grenell will comment if it is incomplete or inaccurate, but we can only hope that would be the case.
Right now, it is difficult for many Americans, especially supporters of President Trump, to take our intelligence and federal law enforcement agencies at their word. With leaders in the military publicly attacking Tucker Carlson for his opinion on military priorities, it is getting even harder to point to an institution that members of the political right feel invested in or prone to defending. A thorough accounting of what happened during Russiagate and who was responsible may be a start. We should all hope Grenell’s assessment that the Durham investigation will conclude and be made public is correct.
WATCH the full interview: