According to a new report from CNN, former FBI director James Comey acted on Russian intelligence he knew to be fake in the Hillary Clinton email probe.
The news comes days after a Washington Postreport made public the existence of a piece of Russian intelligence which claimed there was an email citing a private agreement between former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the Clinton campaign in that Lynch would not probe too deeply in the Clinton email investigation.
The Post report said that there were questions about the authenticity of the document, and yet Comey acted on it anyway.
Now, CNN is reporting that Comey knew that the document was a fake. He reportedly acted on it anyway, by announcing the conclusion of the investigation himself, rather than going through proper Department of Justice channels. Comey’s reasoning, according to the CNN report, was that he feared if the document became public, it would undermine the investigation.
According to sources identified by CNN as being close to Comey, the FBI Director felt “there would be no way for law enforcement and intelligence officials to discredit it without burning intelligence sources and methods.”
This story is currently breaking and will be updated as soon as more information becomes available.
In light of the aggressive leaking and media collusion to embarrass and cripple the Trump Administration, the President is gearing his team and adding players to aggressively push back on the un-American attacks against both our country and our President.
West Wing officials are prepping for a years-long war with investigators and the bureaucracy, with plans to beef up legal, surrogate, communications and rapid-response teams as part of a "new normal" for President Trump — besieged.
"The White House is embracing the fight, which is going to last as long as Donald Trump is president," said a Trump ally familiar with the preparations. "We're getting street fighters ready to go."
A West Wing official said Trump has been frustrated by the ferocity of the incoming, and has demanded a more visible response.
Trump aides recognize that besides being in the crosshairs of investigators on Russia, they will be the continuing target of leaks from the bureaucracy. The Trump ally referred to this second enemy as "nameless, faceless, deep-state types" who have been inflamed and are punching back through the media.
What's next: Proposed war-room org charts have been prepared, and final decisions on the structure will be made after Trump returns this weekend.
Jonathan Swan hears that comms/rapid response structures are being considered for both inside the White House and on the outside.
The moving parts: Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon broke off from the trip and returned early, in part to quarterback planning. Numerous officials are involved. There was extra urgency because fired FBI Director Jim Comey had been expected to testify on the Hill next week. But that has been postponed so he can first meet privately with special counsel Robert Mueller.
The backstory: Aides recognize they should have built more push-back capacity from the beginning. But the weakness reflects the minimalist transition planning and thin staffing that have beset the whole Trump machine.
Be smart: The new machinery is an effort to compartmentalize the scandals, so that some officials can focus on probes and revelations while others do their day jobs. But the success of that plan depends partly on President Trump's willingness to compartmentalize. Close aides have trouble imagining that.