Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Trump Says He's Angry about U.S. Intelligence Leak of Report that Didn't Come from Intelligence. Lying or Stupid?

Buzzfeed gets a report that didn't come from U.S. intelligence but from a British operative hired for opposition research by his Republican opponents. So he condemns an intelligence leak. Oh, I get it...

Most of the press conference, Trump was spreading misinformation.
Oh, sorry, I mean all of it.

Yes, Donald Trump recently was given, during an intelligence briefing, a summary of a report claiming that, among other things, the Russians have the goods on him that they may later use to blackmail him. Trump loudly accused both NBC and the intelligence community for "leaking" the document.

But that's horseshit. From the New York Times:
• Last year, a Washington political research firm, paid by Mr. Trump’s Republican rivals, hired a retired British intelligence officer to investigate the candidate’s ties to Russia.
• The Washington firm and the former British spy, not identified here because of a confidential source agreement with The New York Times, gave the memos first to their clients but later to the F.B.I. and multiple journalists at The Times and elsewhere. The memos, totaling about 35 pages, also reached a number of members of Congress.
• Last week, when the F.B.I., C.I.A. and National Security Agency gave a classified report on the Russian hacking and leaking and efforts to influence the presidential election to Mr. Obama, Mr. Trump and congressional leaders, they attached a two-page summary of the unverified allegations in the memos.
See what Trump did there? He makes a false claim so he can blame journalists for reporting and the intelligence services for making sure he was aware of the reports circulating. The information wasn't produced by either journalists or intelligence operatives. It was reported on by Buzzfeed, which later released the full document.

Misdirection, misinformation, if not at its finest, at least as its usual place coming from Trump's mouth, or Twitter, or both, and repeated in full force during Trump's long-awaited "press conference."

Holy crap, and I do mean crap.

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