Government sources familiar with the investigation by the FBI into Donald Trump’s involvement with Russia and coordination in defeating Hillary Clinton and not only are they saying no such connection was found but that they are angry at the media and leakers for spreading false information.
“I’ve never seen a case so misrepresented and leaks so damaging to a process that was meant to be conducted in secret.”
The months-long FBI counterintelligence investigation into Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential campaign briefly investigated a computer server tied to Donald Trump’s businesses near the end of the election but has not gathered evidence of election tampering to date that would warrant criminal charges against any of the president’s associates, Circa has learned.
U.S. officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said there is widespread frustration among intelligence professionals who have watched in horror as a normally secretive process has been distorted by media leaks and politicians uneducated about how counterintelligence operations actually work.
“We have people spouting off who don’t know the difference between FISA surveillance and a wiretap or a counterintelligence probe versus a special prosecutor, and it has hurts our ability to get to the truth and has wrongly created the impression that intelligence officials have a political agenda,” said one source directly familiar with the drama.
It’s about Russia more than Trump
Many of the leaks have surfaced since former President Barack Obama in his waning days in office had his intelligence leadership brief a wider than normal audience about the sensitive Russia surveillance. Those leaks have created a false narrative that the FBI has been predominantly focused on Trump ties to Russia, officials said.
In fact, any FBI activity involving the president’s associates or advisers was mostly ancillary to a wider counterintelligence probe into Russian efforts to influence the election or curry favor with U.S. figures, the sources said.
“The (Trump-Russia) narrative in the media hasn’t been our primary focus and mostly involves pieces of information that came in incidentally. We check them out and we move on,” one official said, adding most of the work has involved old-fashioned investigative tactics and not surveillance.
But don’t look for the media to change their ways. They’ve fallen in love with fake news because the truth always seems to get in the way of their narrative.