by Jack Kelly
May 17, 2017
There was a time, not so long ago, when Democrats and journalists denounced guilt by association.
Here’s an example from the 1950s: Screenwriter A is a Communist. Screenwriter B is a friend of Screenwriter A. Therefore, Screenwriter B is a Communist too.
There’s literally “no evidence” Donald Trump colluded with the Russians, as James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence during the Obama administration, has said repeatedly.
FBI Director James Comey told him three times he’s not being investigated, President Trump claims. Nothing Comey told him and ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein in secret contradicts this, said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-IA.
They’ve seen no evidence of collusion by Trump, says every Member of Congress who’s gotten classified briefings on the investigation.
Which is why those pushing the narrative Trump is under Vladimir Putin’s thumb focus on “Trump associates.”
Who is a “Trump associate?” A business partner? A subordinate? A contributor? The barista at the Starbucks closest to Trump Tower?
*The FBI is investigating former campaign manager Paul Manafort for lobbying in 2013 for then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich, a Russian stooge, according to this report.
That was well before he went to work for Trump, who fired Manafort shortly after that news report was published.
Manafort is not being investigated for anything he did while working for Trump. Trump had nothing to do with what Manafort is being investigated for.
*Energy consultant Carter Page was an unpaid foreign policy advisor. He was dismissed after making a speech in Moscow praising Putin. He and Trump never met.
When leftie journalist Julia Ioffe asked Western businessmen in Moscow if Page was as big a player as he claims, most responded: Carter who?
She asked Trump campaign officials the same question, got the same response.
Only in the Steele dossier — which intelligence experts say is “garbage,” a “fabrication,” a “complete fraud”—is Page described as influential.
The FBI reportedly used portions of the Steele dossier to obtain a FISA warrant to surveil him.
Victor Podobnyy, a Russian spy, tried to recruit Page in 2013, but Page turned him down.
On an FBI recording, “the Russians were heard laughing, saying Page had no idea they were government agents.”
Carter Page may be what Lenin called a “useful idiot.” But he never worked for the Russians, had no influence on Trump.
*National Security Adviser Michael Flynn came under fire after Washington Post columnist David Ignatius reported he telephoned Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak Dec. 29.
In an interview with the Washington Post Feb. 8, Flynn categorically denied having discussed economic sanctions with Kislyak.
President Trump fired Flynn Feb. 13, ostensibly because he’d lied to Vice President Mike Pence about his call to the Russian ambassador.
Subsequently, we learned Flynn failed to promptly register as a Foreign Agent after his consulting firm got a $530,000 contract last September to lobby on behalf of Turkey’s Islamist dictator, Recep Erdogan.
A financial disclosure form Flynn signed in February didn’t list the $45,000 he was paid for a speech in Moscow in 2015.
Flynn reported an income in 2016 of between $1.37 million and $1.47 million, of which $827,055 came from the Flynn Intel Group, the firm he founded after President Obama fired him as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014.
There is less to innuendo about Flynn than rumor mongers imply.
As a lifelong spook, Flynn had to know we were tapping Kislyak’s phone. The odds he would say anything improper are vanishingly small.
After listening to the tapes, the FBI said Flynn did “nothing illicit.”
It’s distasteful Flynn would accept speaking fees from RT (Russia Today), or lobby for a schmuck like Erdogan. But it isn’t illegal to do either.
Dana Boente, the U.S. Attorney in Alexandria, Virginia, has issued subpoenas for the financial records of Flynn’s former partners in the Flynn Intel Group, CNN reported May 9.
Boente heads up the investigation of Russian meddling. If Flynn was involved, presumably Boente will find out. But there’s no evidence of it yet.
President Trump may have vetted Flynn poorly, but he had nothing to do with his private business dealings.
To imply Boente’s subpoenas implicate Trump is to allege guilt by association with associates of an associate – who have yet to be charged with any wrongdoing.
There were Communists in the State Department, Sen. Joseph McCarthy charged, changing the number from speech to speech. He offered no evidence to support his innuendo.
The great irony, of course, is that in McCarthy’s day, the State Department was riddled with traitors. Yet McCarthy was destroyed politically for his evidence-free accusations.
McCarthyites were thus laughed at for seeing Commies under their beds. Democrats are modern-day McCarthyites who see Russians under their’s. The great irony here is that while, however incompetently, McCarthyites of the 50s were trying to expose treason, Democrat McCarthyites of today are committing it..
The “senior U.S. government official” who told Ignatius about Flynn’s phone call with Kislyak committed a felony.
What Flynn said in that phone call made him vulnerable to blackmail, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates told White House Counsel Don McGahn Jan. 26.
This was nonsense. Any leverage the Russians might have had over Flynn evaporated the moment Yates told McGahn about the phone conversation.
Ms. Yates evidently believed Flynn said something incriminating. She didn’t have access to the SIGINT intercept. Her opinion was based on a report of what he (supposedly) said.
The stories about the Kislyak call in the Post and the Times Feb. 9 differed in details, which suggests more than one leaker – and something else.
The typical counterintelligence technique for plugging a leak is to make up a story you think will be leaked, tell it to everyone you think may be leaking.
Each time you tell the story, change a significant detail. If the story leaks, and that detail is in it, you’ve identified the leaker.
A “stunning” amount of classified information is being leaked against the Trump administration,” said CBS National Security analyst Fran Townsend Feb. 15.
Since February, the flood of leaks of classified info has slowed to a trickle. The “leaks” we hear about now are gossip about dysfunction in the White House.
Did Flynn willingly trash his career and reputation to be the bait in a Canary Trap?
It’s hard to believe anyone in Washington would do that. But the brave soldier Flynn was for 33 years might have. Is a master spook spooking again?
Trapped canaries can be exposed – perhaps prosecuted – whenever President Trump thinks the time is right.
If I were, say, Sally Yates, I’d be very, very afraid.
— Jack Kelly is a former Marine and Green Beret and a former deputy assistant secretary of the Air Force in the Reagan administration. He is national security writer for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Democrat McCarthyites originally appeared at To The Point News.