Trumpsecured the Republican nomination
and then the presidency, national security officials under
President Obama have shown themselves to be intense adversaries
in public and behind the scenes.
the latest development, special counselRobert
Mueller’s top-gun prosecutor, Andrew Weissmann, praised
acting Attorney General Sally Yates, aTrumpnemesis,
for refusing a White House order to defend the president’s
travel ban on Muslim-majority countries, according to internal
am so proud,” Mr. Weissmann wrote to Ms. Yates when he was the
head of the Obama Justice Department’s criminal fraud division.
“And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respect.”
U.S. Supreme Court this week approvedMr.
Trump’s travel ban of targeted nations in a 7-2 ruling.
Weissmann, who as a private lawyer donated to Mr. Obama and to
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, another Democrat, now isMr.
Mueller’s right-hand man. He oversaw the investigation of
manager Paul Manafort, including a pre-dawnFBIraid
on his condo and an in-bed frisking of his wife.
Weissmann emails and others from Obama political appointees
praising Ms. Yates were unearthed in a Freedom of Information
Act request by the conservative government watchdog Judicial
Trumpfired Ms. Yates as she became a
hero to Mr. Weissmann and other liberals.
by Obama aides began in July 2016 during his campaign for the
B. Comeybegan a criminal investigation
of the Trump campaign, in whole or part, based on a dossier
financed by theDemocratic
Partywith an aim to destroy the
Republican candidate. Its salacious and sometimes far-fetched
on the Russian hack ofDemocratic
Partycomputers have not been confirmed
at that time was a “neverTrump”
Muellerremoved from his team last
summer, The New York Times reported.
O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s CIA director and former campaign
adviser, pushed the investigation during the campaign. He
Comeywith the names of Russians with
had made any type of contact. Mr. Brennan testified to Congress
that he provided the list of referrals without knowing what was
R. Clapper, Mr. Obama’s director of national intelligence, has
Trumpis on the way out and calls him
unfit for office.
really question his … fitness to be in this office,” Mr. Clapper
told CNN after a fieryTrumpspeech
in August. “And I also am beginning to wonder about his
motivation for it. Maybe he is looking for a way out.”
suspect all this has happened as Obama administration holdovers
and former aides were working to sabotage the Trump
news stories attributed to “former” government officials — read,
Obama — have fallen into the “fake news” category. Journalists
and Democrats are determined to show thatTrumpaides
and Moscow collaborated.
major New York Times story on Feb. 14 based in part on “former
American officials” did much to fuel this narrative.
records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J.
Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and otherTrumpassociates
had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials
in the year before the election, according to four current and
former American officials,” The Times story read.
the entire story was wrong, according toMr.
Comey’s testimony before the Senate Select Committee on
Intelligence four months later. In other words, there were no
such “repeated contacts” with Russian intelligence.
Comeytestified that he was so taken
aback by the story that he immediately notified senior members
of Congress that it was not true.
story that seemed to rise up from Obama holdovers was the
Comeyin May because theFBIdirector
had asked for more resources for aRussia-Trumpinvestigation.
Several senior Justice Department officials said no such request
Comeyhas not made that charge.
experienced a change in administration while at the Pentagon in
2009, it’s not uncommon to see passive-aggressive behavior from
a handful of outgoing folks,” said J.D. Gordon, a former Defense
Department spokesman andTrumpcampaign
national security adviser. “That said, based on the flood of
leaks across the government, what we’re seeing today more
closely resembles a stealth coup. Certainly nothing passive
Brennan has not shied away from depictingMr.
Trumpas an awful president or
disclosing his own role in driving theFBIto
Trumpduring the campaign.
wanted to make sure that every information and bit of
intelligence that we had was shared with the [FBI]
so that they could take it,” Mr. Brennan told the House
Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in May. “It was well
beyond my mandate as director of CIA to follow on any of those
leads that involved U.S. persons. But I made sure that anything
that was involving U.S. persons, including anything involving
the individuals involved in the Trump campaign, was shared with
was aware of intelligence and information about contacts between
Russian officials and U.S. persons that raised concerns in my
mind about whether or not those individuals were cooperating
with the Russians, either in a witting or unwitting fashion, and
it served as the basis for theFBIinvestigation
to determine whether such collusion [or] cooperation occurred,”
the former CIA chief testified.
the presidential transition, Rep. Peter T. King, New York
Republican, became suspicious of Mr. Brennan’s behind-the-scenes
maneuvers. He said on ABC News: “There should be an
investigation of what the Russians did but also an investigation
of John Brennan and the hit job he seems to be orchestrating
against the president-elect.”
date, there has been no public confirmation ofTrump-Russiaelection
doubts that Mr. Obama’s CIA actively opposedMr.
Trumpwere perhaps dispelled by former
acting Director Michael Morell. He endorsed Hillary Clinton in
stark language in response toMr.
Trump’s comments as a candidate applauding Russian
President Vladimir Putin.
the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had
Trumpas an unwitting agent of theRussian
Federation,” Mr. Morell said.
many Republicans expressed dismay atMr.
Trump’s praise of Mr. Putin, who has invaded eastern
Ukraine, annexed the Crimean Peninsula and viewed NATO as an
existential threat as he tries to destabilize Western
also cringe at the president’s habitual Twitter feeds that often
veer from policy and toward personal disputes with people in the
media, Hollywood and sports.
the machinations of Mr. Obama’s national security team seem to
be unprecedented against a candidate, president-elect and
the discredited dossier at least once to obtain a warrant to bug
volunteer Carter Page. Mr. Page said the collusion and bribery
charges made by dossier writer Christopher Steele, a former
British spy, are fiction. They ruined his investment business,
he told the House intelligence committee.
over a year of false rhetoric and propaganda, it’s now
refreshing that the real truth about what actually happened last
year is starting to come to light,” Mr. Page told The Washington
Comeyelevated the dossier’s importance
by briefing the president-elect at Trump Tower in New York City.
Shortly thereafter, the briefing was leaked to CNN.
Comeywrote contemporaneous memos about
his meetings withMr.
Trumpand then leaked them to The New
York Times via a middleman.
there is “unmasking,” the procedure in which senior national
security figures may ask the intelligence community to disclose
the names of Americans caught up in the eavesdropping of foreign
national security aides requested the unmasking of an
undetermined number ofTrumpassociates
during the campaign, suggesting to Republicans that they were
people also have floated the talking point that the Trump
campaign team violated the 1799 Logan Act by talking policy with
Russian Ambassador Sergey I. Kislyak during the transition.
The Washington Post wrote, based on top-secret intercepts, in
February that retired Army Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn had spoken
about sanctions against Moscow with Mr. Kislyak, the story
brought up the obscure Logan Act as a possible violation.
if ever enforced, the Logan Act bars private citizens from
urging foreign countries to oppose U.S. policies. The Trump
transition, however, was not a private group but a
transition conversation with Mr. Kislyak proved fatal. Flynn
pleaded guilty last week to providing false statements to theFBIwhen
he denied discussing sanctions.
Republicans, one of the most curious decisions byMr.
Comeywas not to seize theDemocratic
Partycomputer servers hacked by two
Russian cybercells. Instead, in one of the most important
criminal investigations ever,Mr.
Comeyleft it up to the private firm
CrowdStrike to conduct a cybersecurity investigation and report
and is funded in part by Google, a strongDemocratic
the Obama national security state declared war onMr.
Trump, it seems theFBIwaged
peace with Mrs. Clinton during the probe into her handling of
classified material on her home email server during her tenure
as secretary of state.
Comey, the Senate Judiciary Committee discovered, wrote an
exoneration statement months before the investigation was
concluded, even before interviewing the Democratic candidate.
reported that Peter Strzok, the anti-Trumpcounterintelligence
agent kicked off the Mueller probe, had a hand in changing the
statement to lessen her culpability.
draft wording was changed from “grossly negligent” — which is
the legal definition of mishandling classified information — to
“extremely careless,” the wordsMr.
Comeyuttered at the exoneration press
Comeydownplayed the significance of
Mrs. Clinton having her attorneys destroy about 30,000 emails
with the app BleachBit. TheFBIwas
able to reconstruct some those deleted emails, which showed
they, too, contained classified information.
Muellerfired Mr. Strzok after the
discovery of text messages between him and his lover, Lisa Page,
a lawyer and aide toFBIDeputy
Director Andrew McCabe, The Washington Post reported.
McCabe has come under criticism from Republicans for his own
possible conflict of interest.
the Clinton email investigation, his wife ran a losing campaign
for the Virginia state Senate in 2015. She took a $467,000
donation from the political action committee of Virginia Gov.
Terry McAuliffe, a Clinton family confidant.