Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at The National Review stating that during the 2016 presidential campaign, the Trump campaign was never given a briefing to warn them about the possibility of Russian interference in their campaign. There are a number of reasons why that is important.
The article reports:
My column over the weekend was about the Obama-Biden administration’s exploitation of the government’s intelligence and law-enforcement apparatus to investigate Donald Trump, who was then the opposition Republican Party’s presidential candidate. The essence of this investigation is palpable from an August 2016 incident: The FBI covertly surveilled Trump by capitalizing on the U.S. intelligence community’s practice of providing a counterintelligence and security briefing to the nominees of the two major political parties.
The exploitation of executive power to monitor the opposition party’s presidential candidate is a Watergate-level abuse of power. That is why Obama and FBI apologists have steadfastly refused to cop to it.
A major element of their story is that the faux briefing given to Trump was actually a defensive briefing. We are to believe its purpose was to warn Trump that his campaign could be infiltrated by covert agents working for Russia.
The significance of the “defensive briefing” canard, and the importance of refuting it, still seems lost on many of Trump’s Russiagate defenders.
Political spying is an impeachable offense. Democrats have countered with the ridiculous “defensive briefing” yarn because they understand this. As I demonstrate in Ball of Collusion, the decision not to give Trump a defensive briefing is ironclad proof that he was the target of the investigation, and therefore that the Obama-Biden administration was guilty of political spying.
That “defensive briefing” lie should now be put to rest, thanks to the recently declassified FBI report about the session. Yes, one big takeaway is that the FBI used the “briefing” as an investigative operation. But don’t miss the forest for the trees. Even on its own deceptive terms, the faux briefing was neither portrayed nor conducted by the FBI as defensive to warn the Trump campaign; it was a standard counterintelligence and security briefing for presidential candidates.
The article concludes:
Subsequently, the AG explicitly distinguished a “defensive briefing” from the August briefing Pientka gave to Trump: “I have been told . . . that a lesser kind of briefing, a security briefing that generally discusses, you know, general threats apparently was given to the campaign in August.” That is different, Barr explained, from a “defensive briefing . . . where you are told . . . you are a specific target” of a foreign intelligence service.
Donald Trump and his campaign were never given a defensive briefing to warn of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 election. Clearly, that is because the Obama-Biden administration and the FBI baselessly theorized that Trump was the one conspiring with Russia. In the Russiagate narrative, as a candidate and then as the president, Trump was the perp, not the victim. They weren’t looking to warn him. They were looking to nail him — or, at least, to persuade the country that he just might be a Russian mole.
So where are we now? Because of irresponsible reporting by the American media, half of the country believes that President Trump is a Russian agent. Half of the country has no idea of the abuses of the intelligence community that went on during the Obama administration. Unfortunately it is likely that none of the people responsible for the abuse will be held accountable–holding them accountable would further divide an already divided country. Therefore, we can expect that the next time a Democrat is in the White House, this behavior will be repeated. There are some in power who are trying to prevent that from happening by holding the guilty parties accountable, but I doubt their chances of success. The principle that is responsible for where we are now is that in a representative republic, the people are responsible for the government they have. Until more people pay attention, we will have massive corruption in both liberal politics and the media. Hopefully more people will begin to pay attention before it is too late.