REPORT: Sean Spicer Enlisted CIA Director To Push Back Against Explosive Russia Story
Sean Spicer Attempts To Clean Up Russian Mess
In a desperate attempt to push back against yet another report linking the Trump campaign to Russia, White House Press Secretery Sean Spicer enlisted the help of CIA director Mike Pompeo. In addition, Spicer also recruited Republican Senate Select Intelligence Committee Chair Richard Burr. Together, the three tried to discredit a New York Times report about ongoing contact between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence during the election.
Reportedly, Sean Spicer himself picked up the phone and personally connected both Pompeo and Burr to reporters. Spicer also stayed on the line. But no one could offer any detail or proof that the New York Times was incorrect. Instead, the three simply insisted that the story should be discredited. The lack of detail reportedly frustrated the reporters that took the calls.
Furthermore, that CIA director Mike Pompeo was willing to be a part of those calls seems unusual. Axios reports that, according to Obama administration intelligence officials, it’s “rare for the CIA director to talk directly to a single journalist.” Instead, the director usually speaks to a publisher or executive editor in cases when a media organization considers publishing something potentially harmful to national security.
But Mike Pompeo is not just any CIA director. He is, of course, a Trump nominee. He was confirmed in the Senate in January. Democrats, however, objected to the confirmation, citing concerns “that Rep. Mike Pompeo has been less than transparent about his positions on torture, surveillance and Russia’s meddling in the U.S. election,” Forbes reported. And, according to this latest story, it seems as though Democrats had plenty of reason to be concerned.
Spicer’s Calls Were Actually Round Two
These White House-orchestrated phone calls occurred after chief of staff Reince Preibus was unsuccessful in his own attempts to get FBI Director James Comey to push back against the accuracy of the report made on the ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. The report in question appeared on the front page of the New York Times on February 14. The headline itself was simple and damning: Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence. In part, the report read:
“Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.”
Spicer Has Nothing To Discredit The Stories
Considering the long-simmering story of numerous connections and ties to Russia, the reason why the Trump White House wants this story discredited is obvious. However, it seems as though they have nothing to push back with. Even with the enlistment of a CIA director, Sean Spicer has been unable to discredit the story, which relied on information obtained from U.S. officials. According to the report, intelligence officers began to intercept communications between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence at the same time they began to receive reports that Russia was actively seeking to impact the U.S. election.
“[…]The intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. At one point last summer, Mr. Trump said at a campaign event that he hoped Russian intelligence services had stolen Hillary Clinton’s emails and would make them public.”
Unfortunately for the Trump White House, the Russian connection is simply not going away, no matter how many smokescreens the Trump administration tries to throw up, or how many early morning tweets Trump makes. And certainly repeating that the New York Times is failing when it so obviously not won’t make the stories go away, either.
The need for an open, transparent, independent investigation between Donald Trump and Russia grows more apparent daily.