Then-President Barack Obama knew about an alleged plot by Hillary Clinton to distract from her email scandal by smearing Donald Trump as a Russian agent, newly declassified documents show.
President Trump’s top spy, John Ratcliffe, has released a CIA memo to Fox News showing that the former president was briefed about the alleged plan.
Bombshell CIA notes released
On Tuesday, Fox News said it obtained former CIA Director John Brennan’s handwritten briefing notes and a heavily redacted CIA memo that was directed to James Comey and Peter Strzok, both formerly of the FBI, about a potential investigation into Clinton.
“Today, at the direction of President Trump, I declassified additional documents relevant to ongoing Congressional oversight and investigative activities,” Ratcliffe said in a statement to Fox News.
The notes were reportedly taken down by Brennan in July 2016 after he briefed Obama about a “proposal from one of [Clinton’s] foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service,” presumably to create a distraction from her email scandal.
While cryptic, the notes show that Obama was briefed about the claims, which originated with Russian intelligence in the July of 2016 — right around when the FBI opened its Crossfire Hurricane probe into the Trump campaign.
“We’re getting additional insight into Russian activities from [REDACTED],” the notes read, according to Fox. “CITE [summarizing] alleged approved by Hillary Clinton a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security service.”
More documents coming
President Trump has long claimed that the FBI’s investigation of his campaign started as a conspiracy involving his foes, including Clinton, Obama, and Brennan, to falsify a narrative that he colluded with Russia in the 2016 campaign. The CIA notes do suggest that some of those key figures were either involved in, or aware of, an unverified plot by Clinton to do something to that effect.
Clinton, for her part, has dismissed the news as Russian misinformation, and Brennan slammed the disclosure by Ratcliffe as politically motivated.
“John Ratcliffe is anything but an intelligence professional. It is appalling his selective declassification of information. It is designed to advance the political interests of Donald Trump and Republicans who are aligned with him,” Brennan told CNN, according to RealClearPolitics.
“Obama, [Joe] Biden, Crooked Hillary and many others got caught in a Treasonous Act of Spying and Government Overthrow, a Criminal Act. How is Biden now allowed to run for President?” Trump tweeted Wednesday evening.