March 24, 2017 12 Comments
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.