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    Fox News senior strategic analyst Gen. Jack Keane joined "Fox & Friends" Friday to explain what led to U.S. intelligence backpedaling on last summer's reports of Russia placing bounties on the heads of U.S. soldiers.  US INTEL OFFICIALS BACKPEDAL ON RUSSIA BOUNTY STORY CALLED 'HOAX' BY TRUMP JACK KEANE: The media took this story, leaked I think to one of the major newspapers, and accepted it as the truth. But at the same time, our commanders in Afghanistan and our Central Command commander who oversees the entire Middle East, General Mackenzie, and the Pentagon, all said they do have a report to that effect but they rate that report as low to moderate in terms of its validity. Now, why is that? What does that gobbledygook really mean? It means that they only have likely a single report, which they have not been able to verify. Then it turns out it was leaked and I'm assuming this may be right, and that it was a single detainee, plus a lot of money that had been found and he connected...
    Fox News Channel’s anchor Chris Wallace commented on a New York Post article that purports to show emails from Hunter Biden linking his father, former Vice President Joe Biden, to his Ukraine business dealings, Friday on “America Newsroom.” Wallace said, “I can understand the concern about this story. It is completely unverified, and frankly, Rudy Giuliani is not the most reliable source anymore. I hate to say that, but it’s just true.” He continued, “There is a story in the Washington Post in The New York Times today saying that the National Security Adviser Robert O’Brien had to tell the president in December of last year that the intelligence agencies thought that Giuliani was being worked by Russian agents and was being used to spread Russian disinformation. Until we’re able to independently verify the story, I’m suspicious of it. It is worth checking out, but I’m suspicious.” Twitter and Facebook limiting users from even posting a link to the story, Wallace said, “Having said that, when it’s on the front page of the papers, when the president of the United States is talking about it, I think they cut off people from being able to even...
    By Marshall Cohen, Oliver Darcy and Zachary Cohen | CNN While most of the nation was largely fixated over the past week on President Donald Trump’s coronavirus diagnosis, the President and his allies in right-wing media have been engrossed with something else entirely. Trump, with the help of outlets like Fox News, has been pushing a dishonest narrative in touting intelligence documents that his administration declassified last month on the eve of the first presidential debate. They claimed the information was a supposed smoking gun proving that Hillary Clinton and the Obama administration sought to frame Trump with a Russian collusion scandal. But when examined closely the documents indicate no such thing. In fact, by the Trump administration’s own admission, they are based on unverified Russian intelligence that could be totally bogus. Which is to say that the President and Fox News personalities such as Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson are hyping and disseminating information that originates from a foreign adversary to bludgeon top Democratic officials. Trump and his allies have even gone so far as to demand or suggest...
    Democratic vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris claimed during Wednesday night’s the vice presidential debate that President Donald Trump ignored alleged Russian bounties on American troops, despite several generals and intelligence officials saying there is no evidence corroborating the claim. “[There was] Public reporting that Russia had bounties on the heads of American soldiers,” Harris said. “And you know what a bounty is? Somebody puts a price on your head and they will pay it if you are killed. And Donald Trump had talked at least 6 times to Vladimir Putin and never brought up the subject. Joe Biden would never do that.” Trump said in July he didn’t discuss the alleged intelligence, which was first reported by The New York Times, with Putin because evidence to support the claims was lacking. “I have never discussed it with Putin. I would, I have no problem with it,” Trump said, according to CNN. Trump said he would “respond appropriately” to the issue if intelligence corroborated the report, per CNN. (RELATED: Kamala Harris Avoids Outlining Biden, Harris COVID Strategy) Top generals have...
    Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified Russia investigation documents on Tuesday, including handwritten notes from former CIA Director John Brennan showing he briefed President Barack Obama in 2016 on an unverified Russian intelligence report claiming former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton planned on tying then-candidate Donald Trump to Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee to distract from her use of a private email server. “At the direction of the President of the United States, I have declassified the enclosed documents, inclusive of redactions. These documents are responsive to ongoing congressional oversight and investigation requests.” President Trump's intelligence chief said in a one-page letter to the Republican and Democratic leaders on the House and Senate Intelligence Committees accompanied by two heavily-redacted documents obtained by the Washington Examiner. The first was a September 2016 investigative referral from the CIA to former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Assistant Director for Counterintelligence Operations Peter Strzok and the second was Brennan’s notes on the purported July 2016 plan approved by Clinton. This follows a letter from Ratcliffe, who oversees the...
    Two top House Republicans issued a rallying call on Sunday to combat resistance from intelligence agencies to disclose classified information that they argue will blow wide open a controversy surrounding Russia's role in disrupting the 2016 election. Rep. Devin Nunes, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, went so far as to raise the possibility of an overhaul of the U.S. intelligence community if leaders are not more forthcoming with their findings, even as national security experts warn of sources and methods being put at risk and Democrats charge Republicans with pushing Russian disinformation to boost President Trump ahead of the 2020 election. "We want every damn bit of evidence that every intelligence agency has, or it's maybe time to shut those agencies down," the California Republican said on the Fox News show Sunday Morning Futures. "Because, at the end of the day ... our liberties are more important than anything else we have in this country. And they have been stampeded over by these dirty cops." Nunes and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, another California Republican who also...
    Washington (CNN)Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified unverified Russian intelligence despite concerns being raised by the CIA and National Security Agency, according to people briefed on the matter.Career officials in the intelligence agencies were concerned about declassifying the information because it was unverified and they believed it could reveal sources and methods. Ratcliffe overrode those concerns and sent the document to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham on Tuesday, the people said. The declassified document, which includes a Russian intelligence assessment from 2016 that Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to "stir up a scandal" against then-candidate Donald Trump by tying him to Russia and the hack of the Democratic National Committee, has sparked charges from Democrats that Ratcliffe was politicizing intelligence and sharing Russian disinformation. Trumps intel chief declassifies unverified Russian intelligence about Clinton campaignIt was the latest in a string of declassified documents Ratcliffe and Attorney General William Barr have provided to Senate Republicans and others targeting the FBI's Russia investigation ahead of the November election.Ratcliffe noted in the summary he provided to Graham that the intelligence...
    Former FBI Director James Comey declined to talk about Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe's letter revealing an unverified Russian intelligence analysis that claimed Hillary Clinton approved a campaign plan to create a scandal during the 2016 election to tie then-candidate Donald Trump to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee. Under questioning by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham during a hearing on Wednesday, Comey said he read the letter but could not answer the question posed to him because he had "trouble understanding" it. This report is breaking and will be updated. News James Comey John Ratcliffe
    By DEB RIECHMANN, Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration's top intelligence official said Tuesday that he has declassified Russian intelligence alleging damaging information about Democrats during the 2016 election even though he acknowledged it might not be true. The announcement, just hours before the first presidential debate of this November's election, drew harsh criticism from lawmakers who accused National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe of politicizing intelligence. In a letter Tuesday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Ratcliffe said that in late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained “insight” into Russian spycraft alleging that Hillary Clinton, who was running for president, had “approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against” Trump. But Ratcliffe added that American intelligence agencies do “not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.” The announcement was a startling break from convention given that the nation's intelligence chiefs are generally loath to publicly discuss sensitive government intelligence, particularly when that information is unconfirmed — as Ratcliffe himself admits is...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration’s top intelligence official said Tuesday that he has declassified Russian intelligence alleging damaging information about Democrats during the 2016 election even though he acknowledged it might not be true. The announcement, just hours before the first presidential debate of this November’s election, drew harsh criticism from lawmakers who accused National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe of politicizing intelligence. In a letter Tuesday to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Ratcliffe said that in late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained “insight” into Russian spycraft alleging that Hillary Clinton, who was running for president, had “approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against” Trump. But Ratcliffe added that American intelligence agencies do “not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.” The announcement was a startling break from convention given that the nation’s intelligence chiefs are generally loath to publicly discuss sensitive government intelligence, particularly when that information is unconfirmed — as Ratcliffe himself admits is the case here....
    Washington (CNN)The top US intelligence official released information Tuesday about unverified Russian intelligence about Hillary Clinton that will likely fuel President Donald Trump's attacks on the Russia investigation and Clinton's 2016 campaign.Democrats charged that Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe was pushing Russian disinformation about Clinton, which Ratcliffe denied.Ratcliffe declassified the summary of a Russian intelligence assessment of Clinton on Tuesday, writing that US intelligence in 2016 obtained a Russian intelligence analysis that alleged Clinton had approved a campaign plan to "stir up a scandal" against Trump by tying him to Russia and the hack of the Democratic National Committee. Ratcliffe wrote to Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham, who released the summary, that the intelligence community "does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication." Ratcliffe's letter to Graham was the latest in a string of declassified documents Ratcliffe and Attorney General William Barr have provided to Senate Republicans and others targeting the FBI's Russia investigation ahead of the November election.Revelations on Trumps tax returns stoke long-held...
    President Barack Obama was briefed in the summer of 2016 about an unverified Russian intelligence analysis which claimed that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who was then the Democratic presidential nominee, approved an effort to tie candidate Donald Trump to Russia’s hack of the Democratic National Committee, the nation's top spy chief revealed on Tuesday. A one-page letter Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe sent to and released by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham said U.S. intelligence agencies obtained in late July 2016 "insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Russians' hacking of the Democratic National Committee." But, Ratcliffe, stressed, the intelligence community "does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.” The release of this information, just hours before the first debate between Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden and...
    Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe.Tom Williams/Congressional Quarterly via ZUMA Press For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.Just hours before President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are set to square off in their first debate, John Ratcliffe, Trump’s Director of National Intelligence, has declassified documentation of a theory floated by Russian intelligence. While Ratcliffe explicitly warned that US intelligence could not vouch for the theory’s accuracy, writing that it may “reflect exaggeration or fabrication,” Trump backers, including the president’s son, have already seized upon the Trump-ally’s selective disclosure to spread claims that Hillary Clinton somehow masterminded a plot to pin a “Russia hoax” on her 2016 opponent.  The intelligence had previously been rejected as unreliable. The claim, contained in a letter from the director of national intelligence to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and described by Ratcliffe as deriving from US insight into a “Russian intelligence analysis,” alleges that Clinton “approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal” against Trump in relation to his links to...
    The Trump administration and Michigan officials cast doubt on claims about Russians hacking voter databases from the Wolverine State that were published in Russian media and amplified on social media by U.S. journalists and other left-leaning accounts with large followings. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, an arm of the Homeland Security Department, and the FBI released a joint statement on Tuesday that said they “have not seen cyber attacks this year on voter registration databases," and, separately, the Michigan Department of State asserted that “our system has not been hacked." With roughly two months until Election Day, U.S. officials also urged people to be more careful when sharing unverified stories. “CISA and the FBI have not seen cyber attacks this year on voter registration databases or on any systems involving voting. We closely coordinate with our federal, state, and local election partners to safeguard our voting processes. We and our partners continually monitor the risks related to all methods of voting during our elections. And we regularly provide this information to the state and local election...
    Senate and House Republicans are backing President Trump against allegations in anonymously sourced reports that a Russian military intelligence unit offered bounties to the Taliban for U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan and that the president was briefed on it. The White House has said Trump was never briefed on the intelligence, which remains unverified by the intelligence community. After receiving a briefing from the director of national intelligence and the national security adviser on Monday and Tuesday, Republicans agreed. Sen. Todd Young (R-IN), who served as a Marine Corps intelligence officer, said he had questions about the reports, but that he was able to review intelligence material and said media outlets reported on “unverified” and “inconclusive” intelligence. I’ve concluded the following: Number one, this Administration, and this President, has drawn on all available intelligence to keep our men and women in uniform safe … Number two, those major national newspapers I mentioned, including the New York Times and Washington Post, reported on unverified and inconclusive intelligence as though it had been conclusively determined that Russia paid bounties on US troops....
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