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Christopher Steele: Russians cultivating Tories and Boris Johnson for . . . five years.
[The Guardian via Rolling Stone] Fresh evidence has also emerged of attempts by the Kremlin to infiltrate the Conservatives by a senior Russian diplomat suspected of espionage, who spent five years in London cultivating leading Tories including Johnson himself....

The committee’s report is based on analysis from Britain’s intelligence agencies, as well as third-party experts such as the former MI6 officer Christopher Steele....

Christopher Steele became famous in the United States as the author of a "dossier" that claimed Russians had been "cultivating, supporting, and assisting" Donald Trump "for at least 5 years."

Now Steele is back, claiming that the Russians have been cultivating the Tories and Boris Johnson for . . . five years.

You can’t make this stuff up. The only thing comparable would be Iraqi defector Ahmed Chalabi lobbying for a sequel invasion after the WMD hunt came up empty, and having the same humiliated media figures and politicians reach for pompoms all over again.

Steele first appeared in connection with the Trump story as a "well-placed Western intelligence source" in a 2016 Yahoo News article by Michael Isikoff. The piece claimed a Trump aide named Carter Page was discussing the lifting of sanctions with Igor Sechin, chief of the major Russian oil company Rosneft.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
Steele-ing an Election
[American Thinker] The infamous "Steele Dossier" seems to have assumed a permanent place in American presidential politics. Just this week the Dossier was cited by numerous pundits in the mainstream media as proof of Trump-Russia collusion. In the remote event you missed it, the Dossier is a compilation of salacious allegations against President Trump made by unnamed Russian sources and compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British spy and one-time FBI informant. For unknown reasons, Steele was reportedly desperate to prevent Trump’s election. He was not alone in his angst.

Erstwhile Russian involvement is critical to the Resistance claim that the 2016 election was illegitimate. Too bad for the claim, none of the Steele allegations have been verified despite two years of heroic media effort. Yahoo News pundit Michael Isikoff, one of the first to break the story in 2016, has admitted Steele’s allegations are "likely false." Former FBI Director James Comey has testified that FBI had been unable to verify any of the allegations. Steele himself testified under oath to British authorities that he too is unable to verify any of the Dossier’s claims. Yet the media still uses the Dossier to make its "case" for collusion.

This is not to say the Russians didn’t try to interfere in the U.S. elections, only that the Steele Dossier provides no proof of Trump-Russia collusion. Neither do the reported findings to date of the Mueller probe. The DoJ indictment of Russian agents for attempted interference explicitly rules out witting involvement of any Americans. The indictments also disavow that any votes were corrupted by Russian efforts.

-Land of the Free
Reporter Who Met with Christopher Steele Now Doubts The Infamous Dossier
[Daily Caller] The investigative reporter who broke the first story based on allegations from Christopher Steele offered a surprising assessment of the former British spy’s infamous dossier, which alleges a vast conspiracy of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian government.

“Would you agree that a lot of what’s in the Steele dossier has been somewhat vindicated?” Mediaite columnist John Ziegler asked Michael Isikoff, a co-author of the book “Russian Roulette: The Inside Story on Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump.”

“No,” Isikoff responded in an interview released Saturday.

“You would not?” asked Ziegler.

“No,” Isikoff repeated.

Isikoff’s views about the dossier are significant because of his central role in advancing the narrative that the Russian government conspired with Trump associates.

Isikoff is the journalist who wrote the Sept. 23, 2016 article at Yahoo! News laying out Steele’s allegations that Trump campaign adviser Carter Page met secretly in Moscow with two Kremlin insiders. Isikoff’s co-author, David Corn, is the only other reporter to have written about Steele’s claims prior to the 2016 election.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
Obama's Cyber Chief: Susan Rice Gave 'Stand Down' order in response to Russian Meddling
[Daily Caller] Former President Barack Obama’s cybersecurity czar confirmed Wednesday that former national security adviser Susan Rice told him to "stand down" in response to Russian cyber attacks during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Michael Daniel, whose official title was "cybersecurity coordinator," confirmed the stand-down order during a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence hearing held to review the Obama and President Donald Trump’s administrations’ policy response to Russian election interference.

Rice’s order to Daniel was first reported in "Russian Roulette," a book published in March that details Russia’s meddling in the election.

In the book, authors Michael Isikoff and David Corn reported that Daniel was developing strategies to respond to Russian cyber attacks on U.S. companies and political campaigns. He proposed using what’s known as denial of service attacks to take down Russian propaganda news sites and to attack Russian intelligence agencies.

Home Front: Politix
Ex-top CIA official: Brennan is doing Putin's 'bidding' by speculating about Trump blackmail
[Michael Isikoff at Yahoo] A former top CIA official who served as the agency’s station chief in Moscow is sharply criticizing his former boss, John Brennan, accusing him of doing Vladimir Putin’s "bidding" through his harsh attacks on President Trump.

In an interview on the Yahoo News podcast "Skullduggery," CIA veteran Daniel Hoffman charged that Brennan’s public comments and tweets in recent weeks have played into Putin’s hands, helping the Russian leader stoke political divisions within the country and thereby undermine U.S. national security.

"I don’t think we’ve ever seen something like this," said Hoffman about Brennan’s public comments about the president. "Gosh, I can’t remember ever seeing an instance of this in our history where a retired director of the CIA went as far as he did."

In an interview on the Yahoo News podcast "Skullduggery," CIA veteran Daniel Hoffman charged that Brennan’s public comments and tweets in recent weeks have played into Putin’s hands, helping the Russian leader stoke political divisions within the country and thereby undermine U.S. national security.

"I don’t think we’ve ever seen something like this," said Hoffman about Brennan’s public comments about the president. "Gosh, I can’t remember ever seeing an instance of this in our history where a retired director of the CIA went as far as he did."

Hoffman was reacting to a series of tweets and public statements the former CIA director has made in recent weeks after signing a contract to be a commentator for NBC News.

In one tweet on March 17, Brennan reacted to Trump’s apparent gloating about the firing of FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe (the president called it a "a great day for Democracy") by writing about the president: "When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history."

Then, in a March 21 appearance on MSNBC’s "Morning Joe," Brennan said of Trump: "I think he is afraid of the president of Russia. One could speculate as to why. The Russians may have something on him personally that they could always roll out and make his life more difficult."

Brennan declined to comment for this story. But shortly after his "Morning Joe" comments, he emphasized to the New York Times that he had no hard evidence that the Russians had blackmail material on Trump, notwithstanding the contents of a still-uncorroborated dossier prepared by former British spy Christopher Steele making similar allegations. "I do not know if the Russians have something on Donald Trump that they could use as blackmail," he told the Times.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
Congressional Investigators ‘Trying To Get To The Bottom' Of Brennan's Role In Russia Investigation
[Daily Caller] A book published in March offered a startling but little-noticed revelation about former CIA Director John Brennan. According to "Russian Roulette," Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid believed Brennan was using him as a conduit to publicize possible links between Trump campaign associates and the Russian government.

Brennan’s contacts with Reid ‐ and other activities during the 2016 presidential campaign ‐ are of "significant" interest to congressional investigators trying to figure out the ex-spy’s early role in the Russia investigation, The Daily Caller News Foundation is told.

"By his own account, Brennan played a prominent role in starting the investigation of Trump’s team," a congressional source with direct knowledge of the House of Representatives’ Russia investigations tells TheDCNF.
"Investigators in Congress suspect there are important details about his role that he hasn’t revealed, and we’re trying to get to the bottom of it."

According to "Russian Roulette," by Yahoo! News chief investigative correspondent Michael Isikoff and David Corn, the Washington bureau chief of the left-wing Mother Jones magazine, Brennan contacted Reid on Aug. 25, 2016 to brief him on the state of Russia’s interference in the presidential campaign. Brennan briefed other members of the so-called Gang of Eight, but Reid is the only who took direct action.


Home Front: Politix
Fusion GPS May Have Used Unwitting Reporters to Fuel FBI Dossier Probe
[Breitbart] NEW YORK ‐ Glenn R. Simpson, the co-founder of the controversial opposition research firm Fusion GPS, may have used unwitting reporters to help get the FBI to take more seriously the largely discredited 35-page anti-Trump dossier produced by his group, according to a recently released book.
Yes, most will 'say' they were unwitting, or say nothing at all.
Christopher Steele, the author of the dossier, reportedly provided the anti-Trump dossier claims to the FBI on July 5, 2016. Fusion GPS firm hired Steele to do the anti-Trump work that resulted in the compilation of the dossier. Fusion GPS was paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee via the Perkins Coie law firm.

The book, Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, is authored by reporters Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

In their work, Isikoff and Corn relate Simpson and Fusion GPS set up a series of off-the-record briefings with reporters at the Tabard Inn in Washington, DC. At these briefings, Steele informed the individual reporters of the claims inside the dossier.

Isikoff and Corn write that Simpson had hoped the briefings would prompt reporters to call the FBI about the dossier charges so that the bureau would take the claims more seriously.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
Kerry State Dept. Official Victoria Nuland Greenlighted Trump Hoax Dossier Author's Initial Meeting with the FBI
[Breitbart] Victoria Nuland, a senior official in John Kerry’s State Department, gave the green light for the FBI to first meet with former British spy Christopher Steele regarding his infamous, largely discredited dossier alleging wild claims about Donald Trump and Russia, according to a book released this week.

It was at that meeting that Steele initially reported his dossier charges to the FBI, the book relates.

The dossier was reportedly utilized by the FBI to launch its probe into Trump. According to House Republicans, the questionable document was used by Obama administration officials to obtain a FISA warrant to conduct surveillance on Carter Page, who briefly served as a volunteer foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign.

The book, "Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump," is authored by reporters by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.

The controversial Fusion GPS firm hired Steele to do the anti-Trump work that resulted in the compilation of the dossier. Fusion GPS was paid for its anti-Trump work by Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign and the Democratic National Committee via the Perkins Coie law firm.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
Soetoro aide started Christopher Steele-FBI alliance - Brennan worked media
[Wash Times] A senior Obama State Department official gave the green light to an FBI agent in 2016 to meet with dossier writer Christopher Steele, a new book says.

The two met at Mr. Steele’s London office, touching off a relationship that would fuel the ongoing investigation into possible Donald Trump-Russia election collusion that shows no sign of ending.

Mr. Steele’s sensational charge that prompted an FBI wiretap on Trump volunteer Carter Page was sourced to the girlfriend of an unidentified Kremlin figure, according to the book. Republicans have roundly criticized the bureau for relying on the unverified, Democratic Party-financed dossier to ask a judge to approve a year of surveillance in 2016 and 2017.

John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s CIA director, worked behind the scenes before the election to get his suspicions about Trump and Russia into the news media.

These disclosures, including that Victoria Nuland, then at State, started the FBI-Steele marriage is contained in "Russian Roulette." The book, which was released Tuesday, was authored by two longtime Washington media figures: Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff and Mother Jones magazine’s David Corn.

Home Front: Politix
Here's who gave the ‘Stand Down' order on countering Putin's election hacking
[Right Scoop] So according to a new book coming out soon, the Obama administration knew that there was Putin hacking on our election in 2018, but when our sooper-smart counter-hackers mounted an attack against their Siberian krokodil-addicted doping keyboard-jockeys, they were told to STAND DOWN.

Skipping the Susan Rice "Stand Down' order insert which we've already read.

Now the book is Russian Roulette: The Inside Story of Putin’s War on America and the Election of Donald Trump, by Michael Isikoff and David Corn, who is a foul wretched liberal. So I think we should take it with a grain of salt. But on the other hand I could totally see it being accurate ‐ as a conservative, my best known principle is that government is utterly incompetent. And if that’s the case, then I could definitely see them backing down because they honestly thought Hillary had it in the bag and they didn’t need to push back against Putin. Just another perfect storm ending in a s-storm...

Home Front: Politix
Roger Simon: Democrats Are Headed for a World of (Deserved) Hurt
[PJ] After years of non-stop virtue signaling as the party of "truth, justice and equality," the Democrats are slowly, inexorably being revealed to be the reverse. They are being hoisted on the petard of their own moral narcissism. It has made them blind.

So convinced of their own righteousness were they that it allowed them to participate in, even instigate, the subversion of our justice system to the extent of lying to and deceiving a FISA court in the name of what they assumed was "good." They did this in concert with people who claimed to be Republicans or "independents" working for that system in the supposedly noble cause of upending Donald Trump, before and after his election, but ended up being the deluded agents of government corruption the likes of which we have never seen in this country.

It comes down to something as crude as this: Trump's a bad guy, therefore I'm a good guy and can do or say anything I wish to destroy Trump. This is moral narcissism taken to a pathological extreme.

Practically with each passing day, as more and more largely arbitrary redactions are pried away from documents that were deliberately hidden from public view in the first place by endless stonewalling, the venality of their true motivations -- and of their cohort's actions -- becomes more evident.

The ramifications of that unmasking (note the word) will be more extensive than expected and will reach into every aspect of our culture, even to the last lines of liberal/progressive defense -- the media, entertainment and education. The results won't go in a straight line -- they rarely do. And many will remain true believers, no matter what. That's what true believers do. Their defenders will also become increasingly shrill as the wagons continue to circle. But the Democrats -- and I strongly suspect many of them are starting to realize it (hence that shrillness) -- are headed for a world of hurt.

They have much to fear. They have to deal with ongoing congressional investigations from Messrs. Johnson, Grassley, Goodlatte and Nunes, among others, that continue to reveal information highly damaging to the Democrats, the FBI and the DOJ. Unlike the missteps and hypocrisy from the Democratic side of these investigations, in not a single instance has the information revealed by these Republicans been factually disputed with success, despite endless spin. This is because the Democrats are relying almost exclusively on dubious leaks augmented by slavish regurgitation from media ideologues (see Michael Isikoff and David Corn). The Republicans are relying on those actual documents, most of which have to be extracted from the DOJ/FBI with legal crowbars, but eventually surface. More are on the way, slowly but surely, probably through summer and into the fall elections. The timing couldn't be worse for Democrats.

Meanwhile, the only substantive collusion between the Russians and the U.S. is clearly on the Democratic side. The Uranium One whistleblower spent three hours Thursday speaking with staff of three congressional committees. This scandal is under investigation again and much of it, we already know, is founded on facts -- real money, millions, that exchanged hands while American uranium went into Russian hands. More details should be emerging soon.

-Lurid Crime Tales-
Kim Strassel - Did Christopher Steele Really Snooker the FBI?
[WSJ] The House Intelligence Committee memo about 2016 surveillance abuses, released Friday, lays out grave evidence that the FBI wasn’t fully forthcoming with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court as it sought an order to wiretap former Trump adviser Carter Page. It’s possible the FBI’s lack of candor was even worse than the memo describes.

Democrats are disputing the memo on lots of grounds, but they’ve said little about the FBI’s failure to inform the court that the bureau had itself decided one of its main sources, dossier author Christopher Steele, was unreliable. Mr. Steele in October 2016 gave Mother Jones an unauthorized interview about the dossier. As a former British intelligence officer, Mr. Steele would have known that sources are not supposed to blab to the press. The interview appeared but a few days before the election, was at the direction of his paymaster, the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS, and was clearly designed to help the ultimate client: the Hillary Clinton campaign.

Stuck with a source now brazenly using the FBI for political purposes, the bureau suspended and then terminated Mr. Steele. Only nine days before the Mother Jones interview, the bureau had filed its application for the Page wiretap order, which rested on the Steele dossier. Yet the FBI did not immediately go back to tell the court it no longer trusted Mr. Steele, the author of a crucial piece of evidence.

And the Mother Jones interview wasn’t the first time Mr. Steele went to the press. A month earlier he had sat down with an array of media outlets to brief them on the dossier that he’d given the FBI in July. Out of this came a Sept. 23, 2016, article by Michael Isikoff in Yahoo News, published under the headline "U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin." The story was a bombshell, blowing the FBI investigation into the public sphere.

The FBI and Justice Department intimately knew this article, as they relied on it as part of their wiretap application. And while Mr. Isikoff did not name Mr. Steele as his source, the FBI should have been able to figure out his identity. The Isikoff article relates specific dossier details, though the dossier wasn’t public at the time. It explains that the "intelligence reports" the FBI was reviewing‐the dossier‐came from a "well-placed Western intelligence source." Sen. Chuck Grassley last month referred Mr. Steele to the Justice Department for a criminal investigation of whether he lied to the feds about his contacts with the press. From this we can assume that the FBI’s FISA court application claimed Mr. Steele had not worked with the press.

The House memo gives the FBI the benefit of the doubt, stating that Mr. Steele "improperly concealed from and lied to the FBI about those contacts." Then again, what was the date of this claim? If Mr. Steele told the FBI when he first met with them in July that he’d not briefed media, that would have been accurate as far as we know. Did the FBI ask him again after the Isikoff article?

Even if it did and if he denied talking to reporters, the FBI would have had every reason to believe he was lying. The provenance of the Isikoff article is exceptionally clear. And the FBI could easily have checked Mr. Steele’s recent whereabouts (Britain or the U.S.) or even asked Mr. Isikoff, though he might not have answered. While Mr. Steele might have proved unreliable, there’s reason to wonder if he’d lie outright to the FBI.

The Grassley referral needs be fully declassified, just as the House memo was. The FBI needs to answer straightforward questions about Mr. Steele’s claims, and he needs to provide his version.

The FBI got fooled by a source, or it knew its source was lying, or it didn’t bother to check, or it was too incompetent to see the obvious. Take your pick. None of the possibilities look good, especially if you’re a FISA judge.

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