Increasing evidence that the FBI planted an informant inside Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the 2016 election is also beginning to point toward the possibility that it did so with the assistance of British intelligence.
In August 2017, Glen Simpson, the co-founder of Fusion GPS, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that the former British intelligence officer Michael Steele, told him that the FBI had a spy in the Trump campaign. Steele had good FBI contacts from his MI-6 days, and Simpson assented to his sharing the dossier information with the Bureau. Steele met with FBI agents in London in July 2016, and again in Rome three months later. According to Simpson, Steele told him that one of the reasons the FBI believed his allegations was that the Bureau had an informant inside the Trump campaign leading Steele (and thus Simpson) to infer that his reports were being verified. Simpson’s July 2017 Senate interview did not become public until January 9, 2018.
When his claim about the FBI’s spy in the Trump campaign proved too explosive, Simpson appeared to back-peddle. A spokesperson for Fusion in an attempt to defuse the situation said that Simpson may have “mis-characterized” the FBI’s source — suggesting that Simpson was actually referring to George Papadopoulos, not an informant but a Trump-campaign adviser. Papadopoulos had heard from a British-based professor, who claimed Kremlin contacts, that the Russians had thousands of emails that could embarrass Hillary Clinton; he had then passed that information to an Australian diplomat over drinks in a London bar. The information was later passed to the FBI, and therein lies the mystery.
Just who was it that passed that information?
When the House Intelligence and Oversight committees subpoenaed information about this report, the Justice Department declined to comply, saying that to do so would compromise an “ongoing investigation” and might risk the lives of its sources.
According to Dick Morris; The Justice Department’s stated reasons for not complying with the Nunes subpoena was its worry that to do so might damage international relationships. This suggests the ‘source’ may be overseas, have ties to foreign intelligence, or both. That’s notable, given the highly suspicious role foreigners have played in this escapade. It was an Australian diplomat who reported the Papadopoulos conversation. Dossier author Christopher Steele is British, used to work for MI6, and retains ties to that spy agency as well as to a network of former spooks. It was a former British diplomat who tipped off Sen. John McCain to the dossier. How this ‘top secret’ source fits into this puzzle could matter deeply.”
Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in October to one count of making false statements to investigators about his contacts with Russia-linked individuals. The emails that were described to The Post are in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s possession.
Papadopoulos is known to have been in contact via email with several key campaign officials, including former chairman Paul Manafort, former co-chairman Sam Clovis, former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and an unidentified “high-ranking” campaign official.
Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser in March 2016 but Investigative reporter Sara Carter said last night on Fox News that she knows who the informant is, and that she wanted to make it 100% clear it is not George Papadopoulos — but that it has everything to do with him and London.
Consider what Dick Morris had to say in a recent op-ed piece for the National Review:
A meeting in a British pub between former Australian Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and George Papadopoulos, who was a volunteer in the Trump campaign at the time, after consuming a large amount of alcohol, boasted of his pivotal role in Trump-Kremlin coordination. Was this a chance meeting? What was a former foreign minister doing talking to the likes of Papadopoulos?
It was this conversation that the FBI cited as the basis for issuing a FISA warrant to surveil Trump campaign officials and possibly the candidate himself.
If this meeting was an “intelligence trap” by the U.K. spy agency, it casts new doubt on the entire basis for the scandal, the warrants, the surveillance and the Mueller probe.
The entire allegation of collusion with Russia may have been dreamed up by MI6. Consider (reprinted from “Rogue Spooks”):
1: It was Government Communications Headquarters — Britain’s NSA — that first warned the U.S. that the Russians had hacked the Democratic Party’s computers. Back in September 2015, long before the FBI and CIA knew anything about it or showed any interest in it, GCHQ was waving warning flags about Russian hacking. For a long time, the U.S. did nothing about it.
3: It was Christopher Steele, an ex-MI6 spy, who says he wrote the dossier that contained all the unsubstantiated and unreliable but nevertheless explosive material about Donald Trump. Was Steele only a former MI6 agent? Bear in mind what the Russian embassy said: “MI6 officers are never ex.”
4: It was Steele who went to the FBI, without telling his American client, in July 2016, to tell them about his dossier and urge them to investigate Trump and his associates.
5: It was former U.K. Ambassador to Russia Sir Andrew Wood — a secret business associate of Steele’s — who first approached Sen. John McCain to alert him about the dossier and warn him about the danger that Trump might be vulnerable to Russian blackmail if the dossier was actually true. Wood tried to throw the press off his trail by saying that he “had never worked professionally” with Steele, but that claim was contradicted by sworn statements filed in court.
6: It was to London that an associate of McCain’s traveled for a prearranged meeting under clandestine circumstances to obtain the dossier.
8: It was former colleagues of Steele and Wood who, along with Wood, offered a virtual echo chamber of comments to the press about Steele’s credibility. None of them had seen or verified the document.
9: The director of MI6, Alex Younger, used notes from Steele’s dossier in his first public speech. Younger and Steele — and Wood — had all been colleagues in British intelligence.
10: As noted, two weeks after the dossier containing all the negative information about Trump was published — and three days after the inauguration — Robert Hannigan, the popular director of GCHQ, abruptly resigned, citing family illnesses, giving only six hours’ notice. The Guardian reported that “his sudden resignation prompted speculation that it might be related to British concerns over shared intelligence with the U.S. in the wake of Donald Trump becoming president.”
11: MI6 issued a DA notice when the dossier was published and Steele’s identity was revealed. This government directive requested that all media refrain from reporting anything at all about Steele for nine hours — enough time for him to escape from London.
All roads may lead to London.