Washington. American scouts last summer gathered information that senior officials of the intelligence and political departments discussed the question of how to influence Donald trump via his advisers. This was told by three current and former U.S. officials who received the intelligence.
Some Russian boasted that know very well Flynn. Others talked about how to use bonds with the deposed President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych, who now lives in Russia and at one time worked closely with Manufactum.
These reconnaissance data, as well as information about direct contact between trump’s advisers and Russian representatives, the Americans got last year, when we started to investigate the Russian attempts to disrupt the elections and wanted to know does anyone of assistants trump in this matter, Moscow. The details of these conversations, which were not previously reported, allow to better understand the concern that arose last year in the American government about the Russian campaign of influence.
The collected information last summer, the scouts were considered sufficiently credible to pass it on to the FBI, which at that time beginning a counterintelligence investigation is still ongoing. However, it is unclear, did in fact, Russian officials directly to influence Manafort and Flynn. Both deny that during the campaign there was a conspiracy with the Russian authorities with the aim of undermining the election.
Former CIA Director John Brennan (John O. Brennan) on Tuesday testified, describing a tense period last year, when he came to the conclusion that Russian President Vladimir Putin is trying to influence the outcome of elections. According to him, he saw intelligence indicating that Russia wanted to use members of the electoral headquarters of the trump, both with their knowledge and without them to help in these efforts. He very vaguely told about the contact assistants trump with Russian officials, without naming any names and saying only that he “has raised questions as to whether Russia is able to enlist the assistance of these people.”
The question of whether the Russian was working directly with someone from trump’s advisors, became one of the Central in a Federal investigation, which is now headed by the newly appointed special Prosecutor Robert Muller (Robert S. Mueller). President trump, for his part, shrugs off talk of Russian interference in the elections, calling it “fake news” and insisting that any contacts between his staff and the Russian was not.
“If the Russians tried to influence me, I do not know. In any case, they would not have achieved success — said in a statement Manafort. — I have not conspired with the Russians to influence elections.”
The white house, FBI and CIA declined to comment. Attorney Flynn has not responded to an email request for comment.
Former and current officials agreed to discuss the issue of intelligence only on condition of anonymity because much of it remains classified as “secret” and its disclosure, they can go to court.
Last week CNN reported on intercepted telephone conversations in which Russian officials have boasted of their ties with Flynn and discussed the ways to influence it.
Testifying before Congress, Brennan talked about intelligence in General, and his story confirms the testimony on this information, the data of former and current officials.
“That summer I was convinced that the Russian attempt to interfere in elections. They were very aggressive,” said Brennan. However, the former head of the CIA noted that even at the end of President Obama’s term in his mind “there were a lot of unresolved questions about whether it was possible to achieve from the Russian American election campaign participants, the consent to operate in their interests, and could they work unintentionally.”
The testimony of Brennan became the most complete public information on how American intelligence agencies began to fear that the headquarters trump helps Russia to attack elections.
By early summer, us intelligence officers were already quite sure that Russian hackers stole tens of thousands of e-mail messages from the headquarters of the Democratic party and Hillary Clinton. The Americans did not see in it anything extraordinary, because foreign spies and used to carry out hacker attacks during the election campaign, and the United States are doing this around the world. In the intelligence community believed that the collection of information, even through a hacker break-ins, this is something and must deal with spies.
But concern began to grow when he began to receive information about the discussions in the Russian leadership, which discussed whether or not to publish stolen emails and other information to influence American public opinion. In fact, it was that stolen by hackers content has become a powerful weapon.
In January, the American intelligence Agency published an unclassified report, which said that Putin is “in 2016, ordered to carry out an operation to influence the presidential elections in the United States.”
Before getting to the helm of the headquarters of the trump in may last year, Manafort more than ten years working in the Pro-Russian political organizations and people in Ukraine, among whom was ex-President Yanukovych. Yanukovich was a close ally of Putin.
Because of its ties with Ukraine Manafort in August left the headquarters of the trump, because the secret books his name came up. These materials showed that the political party of Yanukovych has made millions in payments for unspecified locations.
Russia considers Ukraine a buffer, protecting it from NATO expansion to the East, and has supported the separatists for several years warring with the fragile democratic government in Kiev.
At Flynn’s connection with Russian officials appeared at a time when he headed the Intelligence Department of the Ministry of defence. It was in the 2012-2014 year. At that time he began to insist that Russia should become an ally of the US in the fight against Islamic militants. In 2013, he even visited the headquarters of the Russian military intelligence GRU.
Flynn continued to insist that Russia could become an ally, even after the capture by Russian troops of Crimea in 2014. Officials from the Obama administration claim that because of this it was decided to remove Flynn from the DIA.
But after the resignation of Flynn has established stronger ties with Russia. In 2015 he earned more than 65 thousand dollars in companies related to Russia. Among them was the airline involved in the corruption scheme, which has been implicated UN officials from Russia and the U.S. office of cyber security, which is suspected of having links with the Russian special services.
But the big money paid to Flynn of Kremlin-funded television network RT. He received 45 thousand dollars for a speech in Moscow. There he attended a luxurious dinner in honor of the anniversary RT. Have a picture where Flynn sits next to Putin.
One senior legislator said on Monday that Flynn had misled investigators from the Pentagon about how he paid for the trip to Moscow. He also did not disclose that source of income in the application for admission, which he had to fill out in connection with transition to work in the White house. This was stated by the investigators from Congress.
U.S. officials also noted that on December 29 Flynn and the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak said many times to each other on the phone. These conversations began shortly after Kislyak was summoned to the state Department and was informed that in response to Russian intervention in the elections, the United States deported 35 of Russians suspected of espionage activities, and impose other sanctions.
American intelligence agencies routinely tapped the phones of Russian diplomats, and transcripts of these conversations show that Flynn asked the Russians not to retaliate, promising that with the advent of the trump in White house relations will improve.
But when Flynn was misled by Vice-President Mike Pence about the nature of these calls, he was fired from the post of national security adviser, which he held for 25 stormy days.