Rep Nunes, Trump, and Russia

I think that’s the full version of the press conference, which is what I wanted because I don’t really trust anyone’s editing anymore.

This is my comment yesterday on a Brit blog whose author said they are seeing very little on it. I think it’s fairly close.

My best guess, from my reading (which I’m informed I do too much of, since I managed to cross names on Twitter) is that NSA and/or GCHQ slurp up nearly every electronic communication in the US. That was the point of that hugely expensive new installation in the west. What happened here, I think, is that somebody in the former administration ran one (or more) data searches specifically on Trump and/or his close supporters. The next stage was that Obama quietly authorized wide distribution of that information, and some/most/all of it was leaked, by what we’re currently calling the deep state, and the most supposedly damaging (to Trump) published to damage his administration.

Or something like that. Will we ever know? Maybe, maybe not. The Russians? Why would they favor Trump over a proven non-leader when he was fairly obviously going to revive American business, especially oil exploration and export to their detriment as well as reinvigorating the American military. Putin is simply another fall guy, I think. At least, that’s how I see it, after reading some of Nunes testimony. There are some really wild conjectures floating around, and while I don’t give them a lot of credence, in this “Alice in Wonderland” world, I won’t say they’re impossible either.

I have found Mollie Hemingway to be a pretty reliable source, here’s her take from The Federalist yesterday.

In the last three months of the Obama presidency, significant personal information from and about the Trump transition was collected and widely disseminated at intelligence agencies, according to House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes.

Dozens of intelligence reports provided to Nunes by an unnamed whistleblower were floating around during the sensitive transition period following the election, he said. The information collection itself may have technically been legal, but the failure to properly mask the information “alarmed” the California congressman, who notified the White House of the surveillance and dissemination of information on Wednesday afternoon.

Many of the reporters present didn’t seem to grasp the significance of what Nunes revealed. You can — and should — watch that press conference here.

Nunes began his remarks by reiterating his Monday request that anyone with information on surveillance of Trump or his team come forward. “I also said while there was not a physical wiretap of Trump Tower, I was concerned that other surveillance activities were used against President Trump and his associates.” While Nunes’ earlier refutation of Trump’s wiretap claim received outsize attention by the media, his concern about other surveillance did not.

He then dropped the bombshell: “First, I recently confirmed that on numerous occasions, the intelligence community incidentally collected information about U.S. citizens involved in the Trump transition. Second, details about U.S. persons associated with the incoming administration, details with little or no apparent foreign intelligence value, were widely disseminated in intelligence community reporting. Third, I have confirmed that additional names of Trump transition team members were unmasked. Fourth and finally, I want to be clear, none of this surveillance was related to Russia or the investigation of Russian activities or of the Trump team.” Again:

Ace did the bullet points for us.

1. “I briefed the president on the concerns I had concerning the incidental collection of data.”

2. The reports I was able to see did not have anything to do with the Russian ties investigation.

3. Reporter gets huffy and demands to know why he is briefing the president about this matter, as the reporter thinks Trump is a criminal and should not be told about the Legal Noose tightening around his gangster neck.

4. He answers that the reason is that from what he saw, the surveillance had nothing to do with the Russian investigation.

5. “Brings up a lot of concerns about whether things were properly minimized or not” (minimized = masking/redacting names of US citizens before disseminating)

6. “What I’ve read bothers me, and it should bother the President himself and his team, because some of it seems inappropiate.”

7. “It definitely goes beyond General Flynn.” “We don’t know how [that name] was picked up [collected, intercepted].”…

More at both links. Well, that what I think, and why I think it. I could easily be wrong, of course. We’ll just have to see. But if I am anywhere right, we have a major problem in the government, and we’d best start thinking how to fix it.

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12 Responses to Rep Nunes, Trump, and Russia

  1. the unit says:

    Incidental collection? Sorta like a incidental apology. I apologize if I offended you, but I’m not sorry. Or a little white lies on little things vs the big fat ones.

    Liked by 2 people

    • NEO says:

      No, not quite. It’s a valid term. It’s what happens if your surveilling, say, a Russian diplomat, which is fine, but you also get what the American is saying, and who he is, which is not so good, but pretty much unavoidable, so the American’s names are blacked out, only in this case they got restored. There’s about a dozen (I think) people, all political appointees who can so order, it shouldn’t be overly difficult to figure out who did. By the way, Tahiti doesn’t have an extradition treaty with the US.

      Liked by 1 person

      • the unit says:

        No treaty huh. Ok…calling ‘Big Jake.’ 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          That’s a plan, Pilgrim. 🙂

          Like

      • the unit says:

        This probably goes without posting, but…
        Of course your explanation is correct…well, if you take any of them at their word. Intention/result situation maybe though. Add inadvertently. Was it a incidental collection made inadvertently? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Good question, that! 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, very interesting, lots of drama…but Mollie Hemingway is usually reliable, and Nunes is I think a loyal American and an honest conservative Republican. The whole weight seems to come from the disseminated so-called intelligence, which is who knows what? But surely this has become a left/right affair, and very ideological, so choose your side! I know I have chosen mine, of course conservative, but I hope with a better face therein? But again I think Nunes was valid and honest, as honest as one can be in this whole political mess. But again, I am just an outsider looking in, but I hope one that does care always about the conservative model, for both the Americans and the British!

    Liked by 1 person

    • NEO says:

      Yep, I was very glad to see Mollie’s article, as you say usually reliable. Hell of a mess, maybe as bad as Watergate, although not a sitting president.

      Like

      • The whole of the idea of disseminated intelligence has run amuck! We simply know too much of nothing, and not enough of simple but guarded truth.

        Liked by 1 person

        • NEO says:

          Yup, exactly.

          Like

  3. Mike says:

    All of this hilarity, as confusing to most of us as it is, is due to the fact the pols do not want to come out and say “We collect EVERYTHING.” The renewal vote (Section 702 of the Patriot Act I believe) is coming up and the last time we found out about it, it occupied weeks of news cycles because Snowden made it clear that ALL of EVERYONE’s communications were being “Swept Up”… Incidentally.
    The too cute by half strategery of having our friends across the pond do the meta data searches so we can claim plausible deniability is sophomoric… but seems to pass as legitimate to our non-curious press.
    Additionally, our pols do not want to revisit the fact our intelligence agencies “Self-Report” infractions. For those NSA folks who search their prospective love interests, or are simply looking for dirt on people they dislike, they will remain anonymous. That’s assuming they are ever caught. For us masses… it will remain Unknown internal recourse… and absolutely no recourse for those whose lives and privacy have been invaded. Not only will they know everything about you, they’ll never let you know it happened… whether they had a warrant or not. You don’t get to sue… you don’t get compensated… But rest assured those employees illegally invading your privacy were punished, maybe, somehow, possibly. Unless they were Brits.

    Liked by 2 people

    • NEO says:

      Yep, and the reverse, we do the same for GCHQ. The only saving grace, maybe, is that there’s just so much information, that unless you come to somebody’s attention it goes unremarked. But it’s still there, more or less forever. And even before, when supposedly they were only collecting metadata, well that yields a hell of a lot of information, as well. Don’t believe it? Watch your Google ads.

      Liked by 2 people

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