Declassified Documents Reveal Key New York Times Russiagate Piece Was Complete Lies

Saturday, July 18, 2020
By Paul Martin

On 14th February 2017, The New York Times published a bombshell exclusive based on the word of a quartet of anonymous intelligence officials – Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence.

To say the least, the article caused something of a stir, its sensational claims breathlessly and endlessly repeated by journalists and pundits the world over for months afterwards. While former FBI Director James Comey disputed the article’s veracity under oath in June that year, telling the Senate Intelligence Committee “in the main, it was not true”, The Times defended its reporting, and refused to retract the piece.

Now, a previously classified internal Bureau assessment of the article written by Peter Strzok released at the order of Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham has exposed the degree to which the article was a crudely woven patchwork of misrepresentation, exaggeration and outright lies.

Misleading and Inaccurate

The file consists of a facsimile of the article, with accompanying commentary and observations from the now-notorious then-FBI special agent – it seems to have been produced due to internal bewilderment at many key claims made by The Times, certain comments making clear the Bureau was keen to identify how and why the disinformation made it into the paper.

Strzok’s objections begin at the very start of the report, which states “phone records and intercepted calls” showed members of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign “and other Trump associates” had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election.

“This statement is misleading and inaccurate…we have not seen evidence of any individuals affiliated with the Trump team in contact with intelligence officials. The FBI has information on the following individuals in contact with Russians (both governmental and non-governmental): [redacted]. There is no known intel affiliation and little if any government affiliation,” Strzok writes.

A few paragraphs on, the article states the anonymous officials alleged the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and “0n the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside the intelligence services”.

“We do not know nor can we figure out what this means or where it might be coming from (ie something we can identify as a source of misunderstanding),” Strzok notes.

In the very next paragraph, it’s claimed one of the Trump advisers who’d been speaking with Russians was Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chair March – August 2016.

“We are unaware of any calls with any Russian government official in which Manafort was a party. If this material is held by the US Intelligence Community, we aren’t aware of it. Both CIA and NSA are aware of our subjects, and throughout the summer we provided them names and selectors for queries of their holdings as well as prospective collection,” a flustered Strzok responds.

Fittingly, later on in the article, it’s specifically claimed the NSA captured the phantom calls between Trump’s associates and Russian individuals “as part of routine foreign surveillance” – “if they did, we aren’t aware of it”, Strzok bluntly retorts.

The Rest…HERE

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