Who Is Lying? John Brennan or James Comey? by Publius Tacitus


Sorry to belabor the point of the Deep State conspiracy, but the tenacious insistence of TTG in clinging to Democrat talking points and refusing to step back and objectively look at the facts demands an answer.

He is upset because I refused to post his comments to my last posting. He does a masterful job of seizing on an issue, such as John Brennan's briefing to key members of Congress sometime in August 2016, and insisting that this proves that Brennan was on the up and up. What I did not put on paper was the fact that I have spoken to one of the members of Congress briefed by Brennan and the content was not as advertised. Everyone did not get the same brief.

But let's go back and look at what Brennan was leaking to the press about this supposedly damning intelligence. If it really was as clear cut and damning, as TTG and others seem willing to believe, then we are faced with having to conclude that the Obama Administration, including Obama himself, endangered America's security or that the info was based on innuendo and conjecture. 

Let's keep the timeline straight:

  1. The FBI learns from Christopher Steele in early July that the Russians reportedly are in cahoots with Donald Trump, who also happens to have a golden shower fetish. The FBI opens a counter intelligence case.
  2. John Brennan supposedly receives intelligence from a different source that Vladimir Putin is not only meddling in the US election in order to sow chaos but to get Donald Trump elected.
  3. Brennan then, at the urging for Barack Obama, supposedly briefs this incredible material to members of Congress.

Okay, so TTG wants us to believe that all members of the Congressional leadership got the same briefing and that it had nothing to do with the Steele memo. This is total bullshit. Let's go to the record.

We know that Harry Reid was briefed by John Brennan on 25 August 2016, according to a 6 April 2017 NY Times piece by Eric Lichtblau.

What did John Brennan tell Reid? Well, we only have to look at the letter that Reid sent to Comey two days later (27 August 2016) to understand the content of what Brennan briefed. Reid states:

  • The evidence of a direct connection between the Russian government and Donald Trump's presidential campaign continues to mount . . .
  • questions have been raised about whether a Trump advisor who has been highly critical of U.S. and European economic sanctions on Russia, and who has conflicts of interest due to investments in Russian energy conglomerate Gazprom, met with high-ranking sanctioned individuals while in Moscow in July of 2016, well after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee.

This last point comes directly from the Steele dossier. There is no other source for it. Yet, Reid was not briefed by Comey or anyone from the FBI on the matter. He was only briefed by John Brennan.

I can hear TTG howling now. "Oh no," he'll insist, "Brennan surely had an independent source from the Steele dossier." Really?

Then how do you square the circle that James Comey, in his testimony before Congress in June of 2017, said that the dossier was "UNVERIFIED and salacious?" If the CIA actually had info corroborating the claim in the Steele dossier that Carter Page was acting as an agent of Trump and conspiring with the Russians then Comey would have had access to such information. In fact, if there actually were at least two sources confirming that Page was in Russia and collaborating with Putin on behalf of Trump, then Comey would have at least been able to say that part of the dossier was VERIFIED. He did not.

Do I think James Comey is a liar? Not on this point. I believe that if he had one shred of evidence corroborating one part of the dossier then he would have testified to that fact. He would not have said, "unverified and salacious." He would have said, "yes, some key parts but I cannot discuss that in open session."

But I do not have to rely on mere inference. I know from a source well placed in the intelligence community that Brennan was peddling the Steele memo and had no independent alternative source for such information. In fact, the intel backing up the audacious claims of Brennan and DNI Chief James Clapper was so weak that only a hand picked group of analysts were allowed to review and write up their analysis of that material.

Here again, I do not need to rely on inference. The only document supposedly coordinated in the intelligence community was the one published in January 2017 at DNI Jim Clapper's direction. TTG should know better, given his experience in the intel community, what charade and fraud this document is because only three agencies cleared on it (note, the term "clearance" refers to the process of relevant personnel from each of the named agencies certifying the language and content of the analysis).

It was a cooked, pre-determined document. Rather than let the analysts who were the actual substantive experts on the issues work on the document, DNI's Jimmy Clapper testified:

before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee on May 8 that “the two dozen or so analysts for this task were hand-picked, seasoned experts from each of the contributing agencies.”

I know for a fact that a senior CIA analyst with special expertise on the GRU and Russia, who normally would be part of such a drafting process, was excluded. And it was not because the analyst lacked the appropriate clearance.

Another compelling fact is that the NSA only signed on as having "moderate confidence" in the conclusions and analysis presented in the document. That's a weasel word for "not sure." If there actually existed solid intel from reliable sources do you think that the NSA would insist that it only had "moderate confidence." Given my experience on working such issues the answer is a resounding, "hell no!"

Finally, there is the dog that did not bark. It was a canard to claim, as Clapper did in October 2016, that "17 intelligence agencies" agreed there was Russian meddling. That was a lie. No document had been circulated and cleared on by all "17 agencies." The reality is that one would never have all 17 clear on such a document because not all have expertise or even access to the intel that such a judgment would be based on. However, two agencies with direct and important expertise were excluded from coordinating on the DNI fraud–DIA and State's INR. Both agencies have experienced analysts with substantive knowledge. Don't believe for a minute that the "intel" (which only inspired moderate confidence in the NSA) was so sensitive that analysts with TS SCI clearances at DIA and INR could not see nor comment on such material.

Here is the bottom line. John Brennan is a proven liar and this whole charade about having some sensitive, well placed source giving us the inside dope on Putin is a new fraud and raises further questions about his credibility.

So, if TTG wants to rely on Brennan as a solid source, that is his right as a free citizen. But buyer beware. Brennan's story does not add up.

UPDATE–More mindless idiocy courtesy of Robert Mueller. His indictment of Russians for meddling in the US election is a goddamn joke. Seriously? This kind of activity has been going on between Russia and the US for 60 plus years. Anyone remember Radio Free Europe? Voice of America? (And I can't disclose what we were doing covertly to meddle in Soviet/Russia politics, but we were). And here is Mueller's conclusion:

anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have "unwittingly" been a collaborator of the 13 Russian "specialists" who cost Hillary the election.

God help America. We've lost our damn minds.

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39 Responses to Who Is Lying? John Brennan or James Comey? by Publius Tacitus

  1. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    re”God help America. We’ve lost our damn minds.”
    I am of the opinion that the parasites infesting the US body politic have now infected the nerve centers and the brain.
    God help the World. Things are reaching a breaking point all over.
    Ishmael Zechariah

  2. eakens says:

    The problem is not whether the meddling did or did not happen, it’s that the general populace here has no curiosity, and thus have lost their ability to think for themselves, and decide between what seems right, let alone the difference between right and wrong. We have institutional disregard for critical thinking here, and the fallout is that you have people who can be easily swayed by soundbites, 140 character twitter posts, and the onion type rags.
    If they want to have a congressional hearing on something, it should be why a sitting member of congress thinks the Island of Guam might tip over if the Military continues to build on it.
    We have lost our minds, but that is the question that needs answering. Maybe then you can find evidence of foreign interference.

  3. Fred says:

    In the Mueller indictment it also notes (page 23) that “Trump is Not my President” NYC, Novermber 12 2016, was a Russian idea. So by Meuller logic the Resistance is a Russian idea. How many members of congress should get expelled over being Putin’s puppets?
    Is this all he has to show for millions of dollars and how many damned months of investigation? How about all the NGOs that get foreign donations? When the hell are they going to get investigated for “defrauding” the United States? Better not ask, that would violate the narrative. God help us.

  4. Anna says:

    Russian meddling — Finally some “evidence” for the gullible: https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-16/special-counsel-robert-mueller-indicts-13-russians-hacking-during-us-election
    “Defendant ORGANIZATION had a strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Defendants posted derogatory information about a number of candidates, and by early to mid-2016, Defendants’ operations included supporting the presidential campaign of then-candidate Donald J. Trump (“Trump Campaign”) and disparaging Hillary Clinton.”
    — Really? Somehow the righteous Mueller and Rosenstein have missed very important Intel:
    Comment section: “Sixteen thousand Facebook users said that they planned to attend a Trump protest on Nov. 12, 2016, organized by the Facebook page for BlackMattersUS, a Russian-linked group [?!!] that sought to capitalize on racial tensions between black and white Americans. The event was shared with 61,000 users. As many as 5,000 to 10,000 protesters actually convened at Manhattan’s Union Square. They then marched to Trump Tower, according to media reports at the time. … The group’s protest was the fourth [4th!] consecutive anti-Trump rally in New York following election night, and one of many across the country.” http://thehill.com/policy/technology/358025-thousands-attended-protest-organized-by-russians-on-facebook
    — And then there was a pink-pussy D.C. riot and the DisruptJ20 protest group riot against Trump. Have Mueller and Rosenstein had a sudden onset of dementia and forgotten the mass protests? Who was financing and organizing the logistics for the anti-Trump protests? Was there any investigation of the organizers of the protests against the elected POTUS? http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/what-i-saw-at-the-anti-trump-riot-in-dc/article/2612548

  5. BillWade says:

    It sounds like the indictment makes 13 Russian trolls into felons. How many trolls do we have? Where do they work, will other governments decide they are felons as well? This isn’t a “nothingburger”, it’s a “veginothingburger”. Hasn’t President Trump now been exonerated as well, “unwittings” versus “colluders”?

  6. Keith Harbaugh says:

    Okay, let me try again.
    I tried to post what appears below the line
    to PT’s post http://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2018/02/pieces-of-the-coup-puzzle-fall-into-place-by-publius-tacitus.html
    but it was not accepted.
    Given PT’s reference to RFE/VoA in the post above,
    let me repeat the question:
    I have read numerous accounts of how the U.S. has attempted to influence political developments in:
    Western Europe
    the old Soviet Union, and its successor Russia
    various other parts of the world.
    Sometimes through kinetic means (Afg., Iraq, Libya, Syria, et al.)
    but also through what seems to me like propaganda:
    Voice of America,
    Radio Free Europe.
    Back during the Cold War we were told that the USSR would try to block or jam
    VoA/RFE broadcasts from reaching their citizens.
    So, my very sincere question is:
    Just how did U.S. efforts to influence the population of the USSR via the broadcasts of VoA/RFE
    differ from the alleged efforts of Russia to support
    what the media calls far-right parties and policies in the U.S. and Europe?

  7. A Pols says:

    So these 13 Russians are accused of trolling and planting rumors?
    Since the same thing is being done by Americans and, yes, Israelis, it seems ludicrous to suggest this is really “meddling” in the election. More like “feeding red meat to grey dogs” in the sense of stoking the fires of internecine culture wars already ongoing in this country.
    If we actually end up arresting any of these individuals there will be tit for tat since there are still American financed NGOs operating in Russia whose personnel can be easily arrested on similar charges of promoting chaos and discord. Maybe the Germans can rent us that famous Berlin Bridge where “spies” were exchanged in various cold war movies.

  8. turcopolier says:

    Keith Harbaugh
    Don’t be stupid. I did not block your comment. pl

  9. See my comment in TTG’s thread about who these “Internet Research Agency” people actually are. Scott Humor over at The Saker dug deep into these people and determined that they are actually anti-Russian Russians who were allegedly proven in court to be CIA spies!
    I link to Scott’s piece in the TTG thread. Hell, might as well link it here, too:
    A Brief History of the “Kremlin Trolls”
    This is a clever move on Mueller’s part – indict a bunch of Russians who (some) already have been arrested by the Russians and therefore are in no position to defend themselves against a US indictment.
    I suppose Brennan doesn’t care that a bunch of Russians recruited as CIA assets get dumped on their own resources. Good luck recruiting any more Russians to help you!
    It’s a measure of Mueller’s desperation, nothing more.

  10. Keith Harbaugh says:

    PT, if I understand you correctly you think the 2017 IC “assessment” that Russia meddled does not really reflect an IC consensus.
    If that is your view, how do you reconcile it with these statements:
    (By the way, I am not hostile to you or your view,
    but simply interested in the truth.)

  11. Valissa says:

    “Russians Did Not Alter The Outcome Of The Elections”: Highlights From Rosenstein’s Press Conference https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-02-16/russians-did-not-alter-outcome-elections-highlights-rosensteins-press-conference
    To summarize: in 2014, 13 Russians launched a campaign to interfere with the US political system by “disparaging” candidates. This continued until ultimately Trump was elected, meanwhile, “there is no allegation in this indictment that any American was a knowing participant in this illegal activity. There is no allegation in the indictment that the [Russians’] conduct altered the outcome of the 2016 election.”
    How nice and simple and tidy. ’13 Russians’… has nice ring to it… will make a great propaganda movie.
    Seriously though, will this face saving result in any way encourage the Dems to pick a new strategy for “success” the Republicans? Or will they simply triple down on dumb?

  12. Harry says:

    Im rather curious what TTG thinks of the 13 Russian announcement. Seems a stretch to me.

  13. The only “consensus” is those who signed their names. Not my opinion. An objective fact

  14. BillWade says:

    Aren’t the economic sanctions imposed upon Russia due to Russian meddling in our elections? Might it not be prudent for Putin to round the 13 yokels up and put them on the next flight to NY (with lots of publicity)?

  15. iowa steve says:

    During the campaign any voter using social media could come across literally hundreds of posts effectively proclaiming “Hillary is trash” and “Trump is trash”.
    Or for that matter the voters could see much the same by reading the campaign literature in their mailboxes, or listening to speeches on television.
    Yet, somehow, a few Russian trolls posting online claims that were indistinguishable from most of the “normal” election rhetoric is a threat to our democracy.
    Imho, a far bigger threat to our elections is the massive amounts of money involved, and the funding of candidates by oligarchs. But the msm seems confortable with that.
    And it goes without saying that one of the most immediate threats to our democracy generated by Russiagate are the ongoing attempts to silence alternative dissent to the status-quo and label it as coming from Russianbots.

  16. bluetonga says:

    “anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have “unwittingly” been a collaborator of the 13 Russian “specialists” who cost Hillary the election”
    Sounds even more desperate than simply dumb to me. Comey and his kins seem so pressed by (the lack of) facts and the overall incoherence of their ludicrous tale that they finally see no other choice than resorting to the ultimate weapon in store : direct scolding and shaming of ordinary citizen bold enough to object HRC’s wrongdoings, past, present and future.
    I this vein, I also read in earlier comment threads speculations regarding a new, very cunning objective of the putative Russian attackers : getting willfully spotted in order to spread chaos within the US politics and doubt within the heart of citizen. Frankly this sounds a wee bit far-fetched, like machiavelous 2.3 with Putin and the Kremlin gang upgrading to 4-D chess politics. Wouldn’t it have been bold enough for them to bet on the universally predicted loser Trump? What sense does it make to interfere ostenteously when precisely their vowed nemesis is bound to win? How would that have tarnished her victory if she had won despite their meddling? Doesn’t hold any water to me, but desperation stimulates imagination, and truly, confusion. Contenders of this view seem well engaged in a perillous intellectual twister game.
    Besides, such an account shows very little appreciation for the intelligence and critical thinking of American voters. I bet that if many came to distrust their institutions, it is out of their own experience and reflexion rather than out of foreign engineering.
    Delusion, desperation, confusion, stupidity, whatever. But for sure the seams are creaking.

  17. Alves says:

    The funny thing is that it looks like the Russian government jailed several people from IRA last year. It would be prudent to look into it and try to figure out what is going on for real.

  18. plantman says:

    One comment on the Timeline…
    You say: “Harry Reid was briefed by John Brennan on 25 August 2016, according to a 6 April 2017 NY Times piece by Eric Lichtblau.
    Well, now that’s pretty convenient timing, don’t you think? After all, Trump didn’t become the GOP candidate for prez until the GOP convention on July 16, 2016. That gave the scheming Brennan a month to make up this dumb story and start passing it around Capitol Hill.

  19. Yeah, Right says:

    “anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have “unwittingly” been a collaborator of the 13 Russian “specialists” who cost Hillary the election.”
    So the US-side-of-things isn’t even a “conspiracy” any more, it has become a “collaboration” of dupes?
    What next?
    Is Mueller going to accuse Trump-followers of the heinous sin of “not being with the program”? Or of “bucking the system”?
    Goddammit! Hillary was meant to be the winner. All the scales were tipped in her favour. How dare there be any other result! Heads. Must. Roll!!!

  20. GeneO says:

    Publius Tacitus –
    Regarding your claim that Mueller concluded “unwittingly collaborated”:
    According to the text of the indictment that our host, Pat Lang, posted Mueller made no such conclusion. I note you did not put it within quotation marks.
    Is there a separate indictment floating around out there with those conclusions?

  21. Fred says:

    You mean Robby Mook is going to blow through $3 Billion next time out and still lose?

  22. You need to do a better job of reading
    “Some defendants, posing as U.S. persons and without revealing their Russian association, communicated with unwitting individuals associated with the Trump Campaign and with other political activists to seek to coordinate political activities,” the indictment said.

  23. GeneO says:

    Publius –
    You are reading into that something I do not see.
    Unwitting? I am sure there were unwitting Clinton fans also pushing TDS memes that were not true.
    So call me blind if you want, but where does it say “collaborated”?

  24. To PT: still no collaboration.

  25. Valissa says:

    Haha… https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2017/04/whos-blame-clinton-campaign-aides-throw-robby-mook-bus/ According to this article Mook is to blame for Clinton’s loss. Nary a mention of any Russians.

  26. Dabbler says:

    With all due respect (and I read you assiduously), GeneO raises a valid point. Mueller’s text, paraphrased accurately, says that some of the Russians contacted Trump campaigners with the intent to seek a collaboration. That’s all it says. Nothing is said about a collaboration having been achieved with anyone or any organization
    At the conclusion of your original essay, you augment Mueller with your own interpretations and words: “anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have”; “been a collaborator with the 13 Russian”; and “who cost Hillary the election”. You wrap your added words around two words that Mueller did use, “unwittingly” and “specialists”. By doing this, you concoct a statement that summarizes what you read into the indictment, likely what you regard as Mueller’s unspoken message.
    Having done this, you present the blend of your several words and Mueller’s two words as Mueller’s conclusion. In this, you stretch a bit too far. ”Anyone who was disparaging Clinton, may have ‘unwittingly’ been a collaborator with the 13 Russian ‘specialists’ who cost Hillary the election” is your conclusion, not Mueller’s. To have prefaced the conclusion with something like “Here is what I think Mueller really means” would have been acceptable, and the supposition very likely might have been accurate. To say “And here is Mueller’s conclusion” is disingenuous.

  27. GeneO, It is not “MY CLAIM.” I’m quoting from Politico. Please learn to read and comprehend. I don’t suffer fools well.
    Here is the specific quote:
    “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators found those Russians communicated with “unwitting” Trump campaign officials and other political activists before and after the 2016 election.”

  28. LondonBob says:

    Well it is an organisation that has received a lot of publicity in the West for awhile so it is an odd choice, I would have thought they would want a less public organisation for any IO.
    Comey was telling the truth, he was still in the delusional belief he could weasel out of it and continue on as FBI chief.

  29. Peter AU says:

    PT, in the latest, US indictment against a number of Russians, as its only example, cites a US placard holder on the birthday of JFK as evidence of “Russian interference”. Jeez, JFK was a Russian?
    what a friggin shambles the empire has become.

  30. Bill H says:

    Yes indeed. As I said before in another thread. If the election is “disrupted” by voters altering their votes due to Russians posting on Facebook, then the problem is not that Russians are posting on Facebook, the problem is that voters are altering their votes based on posts they read on Facebook. There is little point in correcting the former problem without correcting the latter and vastly more serious problem.
    The indictment accuses Russia of attempting to “diminish the public’s faith in democracy,” or some such thing. I really don’t think our own voting public needs Russia’s help in doing that.

  31. J says:

    Nope, our crooked Politicians AND Intelligence/Law Enforcement entities are doing a good job of diminishing the public’s faith. I don’t know how many of my fellow Americans I have talked to have said to round them all the crooked politicians/intelligence/law enforcement and eradicate them from the earth permanently. That is why we see more and more the crooked politicians/intelligence/law enforcement understanding well their simmering public anger, and because of their fear of the angry public that they have created the surveillance grids (has nothing to do with misnomer terrorism), their legislation/laws that further restrict the public’s ability to fight back against their crooked ways.
    Diminished public faith, that’s putting it mildly.

  32. Sid_finster says:

    Mueller had a year and an unlimited budget, and all he has to show is an episode of “MTV’s Catfish”.
    But that’s not the point. The point is to distract from Deep State malfeasance, and use russiagate on domestic dissent.
    Do you know whether that meme you are sharing didn’t originate from.. RUSSIA!

  33. different clue says:

    The Democrats remember how well the Republicans ( with help from Truman and others)
    made Loyalty Oathism and HUACism and McCarthyism work for them. So the Democrats have decided to try making their own 2.0 version of Loyalty Oathism and HUACism and McCarthyism work for them. They will spend the next several-to-many years running their Reverse McCarthyism 2.0 operation.
    They will accuse any Bitter Berners rejectful of yet-one-more-Clintonite of witless dupe-ness. If that doesn’t win us over, they will accuse us of Russian subversive Fellow-Traveller-ism. If that doesn’t win us over, they will accuse us of being Russian agents.
    Of course they will try doing this to Republicans as well. If the Republicans complain, the Democrats will say such complaints are proof of Republican secret-Russian-agent subversionism; while quietly thinking to themselves ” payback time for
    McCarthy and HUAC”).

  34. DianaLC says:

    Thanks,PT, as usual.
    I have no connection to intelligence agencies. I’m a mere citizen. I’ve been spending the last few days making cold calls to registered party members here in CO, trying to get them interested in the caucuses that are coming up. Remember how the caucuses became an issue when Trump was running?
    Almost no one responded that they were going to attend. Several said they were so sick of politics they would definitely not attend. I’m beginning to believe that I and our precinct captain and her husband will be the only ones there.
    What a sad state our country is in. Your last line is true, to a great extent, but I have to add to it. Yes, we need God to help American. And, yes, many Americans seem to have lost their mind. But what makes me sadder is that most of us who have not lost our minds are losing our belief that we could ever make a difference, to make things better.

  35. fanto says:

    I hate the ´legalese´ passionately, and the Mueller´ document is just that – written by lawyers for lawyers – and only the translations of it into common English and interpretations are important for the common folks. That is what the mass media are doing, and why independent sources like this blog are so important – I am quite sure that lawyers in the media and in the Muellers team and in the government are reading here as well, or I hope they do, because here they can follow the logical discussion of all aspects. IMO – the case is clear that there is collusion in the highest levels of US `nomenklatura´.

  36. J says:

    PT, Colonel, TTG,
    One of the vultures is trying to create more carrion, Clinton’s NECON DCI Woolsey is flapping his beak

  37. Greco says:

    Hi Diane, could you go into more detail about the caucuses Trump had trouble with? I know for instance in Colorado the delegates picked Cruz without allowing a public vote. And from Fox News to CNN, they tried to pass it off as if it was totally acceptable and normal. Maybe in Communist China or the Jim Crow era that kind of thing would have been tolerated, but they didn’t fool many people in the end and sort of backed off after that in the remaining primaries. As I understood it, they were trying to use Cruz as a Trojan Horse to get enough votes to deny Trump from clinching the nomination so that at the convention they could contest it and then eventually nominate someone else, namely Paul Ryan. Perhaps you’re referring to other troubles, but in any case please go into detail.
    PT, I hope your patience isn’t running out on us. As I’ve said before, you’re work on this subject is very much appreciated. To return to a point I made in the previous comment section, Senator Harry Reid said back in July 2016 that Trump should be given “fake briefings.” And he elaborated by saying “don’t tell [Trump] anything you don’t want to get out.” Now in the other comment section I mistakenly thought Nunes and others weren’t given the briefings, but based on what you said above it appears they were given what Harry Reid had dubbed “fake briefings.” That is to say, they weren’t given all the facts, at least not the same facts Reid and their other allies, like Adam Schiff, were given. Am I correct to conclude as much?

  38. Thomas says:

    “But what makes me sadder is that most of us who have not lost our minds are losing our belief that we could ever make a difference, to make things better.”
    Patience and stand for your belief through the thick and thin of dark times. The dam is going to break.

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