Crowdsource: Build a Timeline on ODNI Whistleblower Complaint [UPDATED-4]

[NB: Updates will appear within the timeline or at the bottom of the text. /~Rayne]

Hey gang, Rayne here.  I have to confess I am completely over my head right now. I have a huge pile of projects and I can’t get through them fast enough to pull a post together. I have family coming to visit, a garden to harvest, laundry to do — the list is a mile long. I could use more hands.

Are you up for crowdsourced investigation into one of the writing projects on my list? Whatever you put in comments I will go through and pull together into a more complete timeline.

The topic: The whistleblower complaint believed to be withheld by acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire to prevent investigation.

Point of origin: Schiff accuses top intel official of illegally withholding ‘urgent’ whistleblower complaint, by Kyle Cheney, POLITICO, published 13-SEP-2019, 8:12 p.m. EDT

Note carefully this piece ended up in the news dump zone — a Friday evening after 5:00 p.m.

What could the whistleblower complaint have been about, assuming there are other related matters in the public eye? A timeline might help us piece together the topic, or it may help us prepare for anticipated hearings.

I want to point out again that one of the five drafted Articles of Impeachment against Richard Nixon was about unauthorized activity disclosed by a whistleblower. We may be looking at yet another impeachable offense (as if there haven’t been enough already).

Here’s what I have so far — help me fill in some blanks you think may be relevant to a possible “urgent concern” in a whistleblower complaint, the Office of Director of National Intelligence, the Intelligence Community, and the House Permanent Subcommittee on Intelligence over the last 33 months.

10-MAY-2017 — Trump met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. [UPDATE-3b]

15-MAY-2017 — Washington Post reported Trump revealed code word level classified information to Lavrov and Kislyak during Oval Office meeting. The information covered ISIL’s bomb-making capabilities and may have exposed allies’ intelligence gathering means and methods. [UPDATE-3b]

XX-MAY-2017 — Decision made to exfiltrate key Russian asset. Unclear exactly when decision made or when exfiltration occurred, only that it happened after the Oval Office meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak, and before the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. [UPDATE-3b]

7/8-JUL-2017 — Trump meets Putin at G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany.[UPDATE-3b]


09-APR-2018 — John Bolton begins as National Security Adviser.

16-JUL-2018 — U.S.-Russia Summit meeting in Helsinki, Finland; Trump meets with Putin.

XX-JUL-2018 — Coats expressed opinion differing from Trump’s after Helsinki summit. Rumors began about Trump replacing Coats.


29-JAN-2019 — Coats testified before Senate Intelligence Committee; he said North Korea “is unlikely to completely give up its nuclear weapons and production capabilities,” in contrast to Trump’s claims that Kim Jong-un has committed to denuclearization.

XX-FEB-2019 — Trump discussed replacements for DNI.

24-MAY-2019 — Trump issued a directive allowing Attorney General William Barr to declassify any intelligence that sparked the opening of the Russia investigation. [UPDATE-3c]

20-JUN-2019 — In retaliation for downing a U.S. drone, Trump approved strikes on Iran which were abruptly aborted. [UPDATE-4a]

24-JUL-2019 – The same day that John Ratcliffe used his time to question Robert Mueller before the Judiciary Committee to accuse Mueller of breaking DOJ regulations — CNN reported that “Ratcliffe has been under consideration for a job within the Trump administration, sources told CNN, including an intelligence or national security role.” [UPDATE-2a]

28-JUL-2019 — Coats’ departure and John Ratcliffe nominated as replacement announced by Trump via Twitter.

02-AUG-2019 — Ratcliffe withdraws from consideration. [UPDATE-2b]

08-AUG-2019 — Primary Deputy Director DNI Sue Gordon resigned effective 15-AUG-2019, without additional prior notice, as ordered. Resignation letter without handwritten note.

Copy of former PDDNI’s resignation letter with handwritten cover: ODNI_LTR_08AUG2019

12-AUG-19ICdIG received the whistleblower compaint, via Schiff’s 10-SEP letter [UPDATE-1]

15-AUG-2019 — Coats’ last day as DNI.

26-AUG-19 — IC IG transmitted the whistleblower complaint to the Acting DNI, via Schiff’s 10-SEP letter [UPDATE-1]

30-AUG-2019 — Trump tweeted a high-resolution satellite image of Iran’s failed Safir SLV launch while claiming the U.S. was not involved. The image may have been classified and ‘insta-declassified’ by Trump.

01/02-SEP-2o19 — US Special Rep. for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalizad met with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani in Kabul where the Taliban, Afghan government and the U.S. had “reached an agreement in principle” toward an eventual “total and permanent cease-fire.” [UPDATE-4a]

02-SEP-19 — Deadline for ADNI to forward the complaint to Intelligence committees of Congress passes without a referral, via Schiff’s 10-SEP letter [UPDATE-1]

03-SEP-2019 — Russian media outlet Tass reported that Russian Deputy Foreign Minister said the U.S. and Taliban “insist that Russia must be present in one capacity or another at the possible signing of the agreements that the parties are working on now.” [UPDATE-4a]

04-SEP-2019 — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to sign the agreement with the Taliban. [UPDATE-4b]

09-SEP-2019 — CNN broke story of a CIA asset extracted from Russia in 2017; followed by NYT on the 9th (and then NBC’s Ken Dilanian appears at the asset’s house…) [UPDATE-3a]

09-SEP-2019 — Trump asked for Bolton’s resignation and tweeted about it the next morning.

09-SEP-2019 — Intelligence Community Inspector General (IC IG) sent a letter to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, notifying it of a whistleblower complaint which it had determined to be credible and a matter of “urgent concern.”

10-SEP-2019 — Bolton tells Fox’s Brian Kilmeade by text that he quit.

10-SEP-2019 — HPSCI Rep. Adam Schiff requested the full, unredacted complaint, the IC IG’s determination about the complaint, and all documentation of ODNI’s action regarding this complaint, including correspondence with the White House.

11-SEP-2019 — Bloomberg reported Bolton pushed back Monday-Tuesday at Trump over Iran sanctions; Bolton wanted maximum pressure while Trump wanted to encourage a meeting with Iran’s Rouhani later in September. [UPDATE-4a]

12-SEP-19 — Schiff and ADNI “discussed at length” the need to protect the whistleblower from any retaliation, including if the whistleblower subsequently comes forward to the committee with his/her concerns, via Schiff’s 13-SEP letter [UPDATE-1]

13-SEP-2019 — ODNI declined the request, claiming the request as “it involves confidentially and potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community.”

13-SEP-2019 — HPSCI subpoenaed acting DNI Joseph Maguire for materials declined by ODNI.


Future items:

17- SEP-2019 — Deadline, materials responsive to subpoena must be turned over by this date

19- SEP-2019 — Date when Maguire will be compelled to appear before Congress in a public hearing

What a freaking mess. I have nothing here about Mike Pompeo or any other intelligence personnel or issues. The bit about Coats’ departure and Bolton’s termination stick out as well as that insta-declassified intelligence photo, but what might have been an “urgent concern”?

Knock yourselves out — I’ll check in as time permits. Let’s see if a narrative emerges besides the obvious fact the Trump administration has severely damaged our national security apparatus.

149 replies
  1. Rayne says:

    Thanks to community member viget for posting a link to the POLITICO story in comments this morning.

    I’d seen buzz about it in my Twitter timeline last night but was too busy to tackle it until now.

    Gotta’ run!

    EDIT: Amee Vanderpool tweeted a snappy synopsis of the problem re: ODNI withholding the complaint —

    • Dan says:

      Don’t forget about the Russian nuclear accident on Aug 8, that probably was from efforts to put a reactor on a cruise missile.

      [#ODNItimeline /Pardon my bookmark. ~Rayne]

      • Rayne says:

        Thanks for that. I have had some doubts about the cause of that event but there’s no reason to believe we’ll ever hear that it was more than an operational error.

  2. Peterr says:

    From Schiff’s Sept 10 letter:

    12-Aug-19: ICIG received the whistleblower compaint
    26-Aug-19: IC IG transmitted the whistleblower complaint to the Acting DNI
    02-Sep-19: deadline for ADNI to forward the complaint to Intelligence committees of Congress passes without a referral

    From Schiff’s Aug 13 letter:
    12-Sep-19: Schiff and ADNI “discussed at length” the need to protect the whistleblower from any retaliation, including if the whistleblower subsequently comes forward to the committee with his/her concerns.

    The Sept 10 letter says “You [ADNI] also must furnish immediately to the whistleblower, through the ICIG, any necessary direction on appropriate security procedures for the whistleblower to contact the Committee directly.” Something tells me that Schiff suspects this has not been done, and that Schiff is making this whole thing public as a means of speaking directly to that whistleblower to encourage him/her to come forward to the Committee directly.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks, Peterr, just added these four line items as UPDATE-1.

      Do you mean Schiff’s 13-SEP-2019 letter with regard to the 12-SEP-2019 event? Just want to double check this. Thanks again!

      • Peterr says:

        In the Sept 13 letter, Schiff refers to a conversation with ADNI that took place “yesterday.”

        In the Sept 10 letter, Schiff tells the ADNI to make sure the whistleblower knows that he/she has the right to talk with the committee directly.

  3. Peterr says:

    I’m curious as to how Schiff learned of this complaint – something Schiff carefully avoids mentioning in his letter: “The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (the “Committee”) has learned that . . .” (Yes, I hate the passive voice. Why do you ask?)

    Occam’s Razor is that Schiff was speaking with the ICIG on Sept 11 or 12, and the IG said in passing “so, what do you think of that complaint?” assuming that it had been forwarded to Schiff as required by law.

    • Rayne says:

      Mm-hmm. That. And with three intelligence people out the door inside four weeks, bookending some weird events?


      One thing that didn’t get a lot of attention I may yet add: Pompeo refused to sign the agreement with the Taliban 04-SEP-2019. I saw exactly almost nothing in my timeline about it last week, and a report the next day from a different outlet said the Russians were involved (can’t find the link for this, will keep looking later).

      It comes after the complaint was submitted, though.

      • Eureka says:

        Here is Julia Davis on the 7th, translating from TASS (if this isn’t what you’re looking for, earlier reports may have come via the Taliban guy who has been chatty about RU being a signatory):

        Michael McFaul: “What? TASS has these details but USG has not released them? This is very strange. And why does Russia need to be present at signing? We’re they fighting Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and I just missed that? [quoting @JDN below]”

        Julia Davis: “#Russia’s state media: Draft peace agreement between the Taliban and the Trump admin said that U.S. forces will leave five bases in Afghanistan within 135 days of signing the document, the U.S. & the Taliban insist that Russia be present at the possible signing of the agreements. [screenshot in English; threaded tweet to TASS source]”

        • Rayne says:

          Yes — that’s what I was looking for, think I’d seen Davis’ tweet in my timeline and it just looked super dicey given Pompeo’s refusal to sign an agreement AND the hullabaloo about Bolton in fallout with Trump. These things together didn’t make a cohesive, rational narrative (as rational as anything with Trump in it might be).

          Thanks. Now I have to figure out how granular this gets. I still have to add something about Trump and G20 Argentina in re meeting Putin.

          • Eureka says:

            re ~’Chatty Taliban guy’ in AP (Sept 13th and 12th, respectively):

            Taliban visits Moscow days after Trump says talks ‘dead’

            Russian state news agency Tass cited the Taliban’s Qatar-based spokesman Suhail Shaheen …

            The Taliban shura, or leadership council, opposed its negotiators going to Camp David and admonished those who had accepted U.S. peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad’s invitation that was extended at the end of August.

            Shaheen was quoted on the website as saying the Camp David visit was delayed, saying the Taliban wanted the agreement signed and witnessed by foreign ministers of several countries, including Russia. He said Taliban also wanted Qatar to announce the agreement before any Camp David meeting.

            (emphasis added; internal link to 9-12-19 AP article removed)

            Taliban want US deal, but some in bigger hurry than others

            Was going to link these earlier, then saw that OTD had already linked one of them; wished to emphasize the August date of invitation.

            [#ODNItimeline /Pardon my bookmark. ~Rayne]

              • Eureka says:

                It’s all too fucking much, right? (<-Edit: meaning the details to deal with out there wrt this topic.) I needed to crack myself a nice stout or porter about an hour ago ;)

    • BobCon says:

      I think it is possible that the ICIG informed Schiff in some way, but I doubt it was in passing. I’m sure everything is very scripted.

      • Peterr says:

        ICIG turning into a whistleblower (“ADNI did not follow the law and send you this report as required”) is certainly an equally plausible scenario.

    • irate1 says:

      Schiff’s September 13 letter, fn. 3, references a letter sent by the ICIG on September 9 to Schiff and Nunes. I assume that letter lays out the facts leading to Schiff’s September 10 letter and the follow up. I couldn’t find and don’t know if the ICIG September 9 letter is posted anywhere.

  4. Peterr says:

    On July 24 – the same day that John Ratcliffe used his time to question Robert Mueller before the Judiciary Committee to accuse Mueller of breaking DOJ regulations — CNN reported that “Ratcliffe has been under consideration for a job within the Trump administration, sources told CNN, including an intelligence or national security role.”

    This would be before Coats’ resignation was made public.

    Schiff’s Sept 13 letter says in boldface type “the serious misconduct at issue involves the President of the United States and/or other senior White House or Administration officials.” This makes me think about Sue Gordon’s abrupt resignation, days before the whistleblower came forward, especially with the CNN report about Ratcliffe being under consideration for a job prior to Coats’ resignation became public. The mess of this transition and the aborted attempt to put Ratcliffe in Coats’ seat, strikes me as likely to have been filled with plenty of opportunity for “potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community” to take place.

    Can you say “POTUS phone calls with Sean Hannity” that Hannity later shared with others? It’s a WAG, but it’s got a certain logic to it that I can’t shake.

    • Rayne says:

      Added as Update-2a, thanks, Peterr.

      Also added Ratcliffe’s withdrawal from consideration as Update-2b. I don’t know what caused the exit which was characterized as “flaming out.” The tone of reaction to his nomination on both sides of the aisle was poor, especially when it was said Ratcliffe was the least engaged member of the House Intelligence Committee.

      I mean, wow. Why would the president select a nominee who is slacking off on an intelligence committee? Jesus.

      • Peterr says:

        Why nominate Ratcliffe? Because he said over-the-top nice things about Trump, and probably had nice recommendations from the Fox News crowd that Trump uses to vet his nominees.

        • Rayne says:

          That’s delivery of the candidate by C-SPAN clips via Fox with Fox amplification. But did Ratcliffe get scripted before Fox, before the hearing at which he was Trump’s best little bulldog?

          EDIT: I was being snarky about “why Ratcliffe” — he’s the *PERFECT* DNI if selected by a hostile foreign entity which might not want an engaged and proven intelligence expert, let alone someone who would appreciate the DNI’s function to coordinate multiple IC entities.

          • Peterr says:

            As I noted above, CNN was told that he was under consideration for a job in either intelligence or national security *prior to* his performance in the Mueller hearings. Was it a done deal by that time and Ratcliffe was trying to make a bold splash before his new job was announced, or was that his final audition before the actual decision was made? No idea.

            But it seems clear that Coats had submitted his resignation and it was not yet public, and that Ratcliffe was being talked about as a possible successor also before Coats’ resignation was announced.

            EDIT: If Trump had already decided on Ratcliffe, then his performance at the Mueller hearing was not aimed at Trump but rather at the GOP Senate who would confirm him. If so, it did not help him nearly as much as he thought it would.

  5. Rayne says:

    Probably completely unrelated, but…

  6. OldTulsaDude says:

    This thought is totally out of left field but is it possible the Helsinki translator is the whistleblower?

      • OldTulsaDude says:

        I couldn’t say. Maybe something happened recently that was unnerving when compared to what was heard? It struck me that the translator would fit the bill for possibly “privileged” conversation as well as coming from the intelligence side. Probably only a wild guess with no merit.

  7. Eureka says:

    Also on 09-SEP-2019:

    CNN breaks story of the CIA asset extracted from Russia in 2017; followed by NYT on the 9th (and then Delanian at the guy’s house…)

    Exclusive: US extracted top spy from inside Russia in 2017

    C.I.A. Informant Extracted From Russia Had Sent Secrets to U.S. for Decades

    Am busy at the moment, too; hopefully can add re why possibly relevant later, tho some points in articles stand out. Story could have leaked in relation to forthcoming IG report, too. Or just ‘because.’

    Anyway, why did we learn this on that day?

    • Rayne says:

      “Anyway, why did we learn this on that day?” I think it’s both day and time that are important.

      — It’s after the beginning of the sabbath;

      — It’s after the 6:00 p.m. Friday evening news and everybody in DC is either at the bar or heading off to relax someplace;

      — The mangled apricot hellbeast was already off to one of his golf courses (think he’s at Trump National Golf Club in Virginia again).

      Gives the right people the weekend to deal with this crap.

      EDIT: Thanks for that point, btw, I’ll add to the timeline.

      • Eureka says:

        “That day” was re Monday the 9th (learning of the extraction); else, yes, agreed. “Mangled apricot hellbeast” included.

        EDIT: YW: this topic is really a head-exploder with all of the possibilities. Too many tabs…

        adding re that asset, from May 24th NYT (I didn’t go locate EW post(s) on this):
        Potential Clash Over Secrets Looms Between Justice Dept. and C.I.A.

        President Trump’s order allowing Attorney General William Barr to declassify any intelligence that sparked the opening of the Russia investigation…

        Trump defended his decision earlier Friday, telling reporters as he left for a trip to Japan that the declassification would be sweeping.

        “What are we doing, we are exposing everything,” he said. “We are being transparent.”

        He expressed no qualms about national security implications.

        As Coats’ comments suggested, intelligence officials believe the danger of the move by Trump was that it could endanger the agency’s ability to keep the identities of its sources secret.

        The most prominent source among them may well be a person close to President Vladimir Putin of Russia who provided information to the CIA about his involvement in Moscow’s 2016 election interference.

        The concern about the source, who is believed to still be alive, is one of several issues raised by Trump’s decision to use the intelligence to pursue his political enemies. It has also prompted fears from former national security officials and Democratic lawmakers that other sources or methods of intelligence gathering — among the government’s most closely held secrets — could be made public, not because of leaks to the news media that the administration denounces, but because the president has determined it suits his political purposes.

        • Rayne says:

          Wow. Amazing how understanding can change over time:

          As Coats’ comments suggested, intelligence officials believe the danger of the move by Trump was that it could endanger the agency’s ability to keep the identities of its sources secret.

          The most prominent source among them may well be a person close to President Vladimir Putin of Russia who provided information to the CIA about his involvement in Moscow’s 2016 election interference.

          Was this about the exfiltrated asset? or another asset linked to that asset? or one of the three Russians charged with treason — Sergei Mikhailov-Center for Information Security (FSB), Ruslan Stoyanov-Kaspersky Lab, and hacker Dmitry “Forb” Dokuchayev.

          Or were these guys swept up as cover for work they’d be expected to do to find the mole near Putin?

          This item now added as UPDATE-3c —

          24-MAY-2019 — Trump issued a directive allowing Attorney General William Barr to declassify any intelligence that sparked the opening of the Russia investigation. [UPDATE-3c]


      • Rayne says:

        Your item about the 09-SEP-2019 exfiltration story is UPDATE-3a.

        Had to flesh out the timeline with items which may have bookended the actual exfiltration in 2017 – that’s UPDATE-3b.

        10-MAY-2017 — Trump met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office. [UPDATE-3b]

        15-MAY-2017 — Washington Post reported Trump revealed code word level classified information to Lavrov and Kislyak during Oval Office meeting. The information covered ISIL’s bomb-making capabilities and may have exposed allies’ intelligence gathering means and methods. [UPDATE-3b]

        XX-MAY-2017 — Decision made to exfiltrate key Russian asset. Unclear exactly when decision made or when exfiltration occurred, only that it happened after the Oval Office meeting with Lavrov and Kislyak, and before the G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. [UPDATE-3b]

        7/8-JUL-2017 Trump meets Putin at G20 meeting in Hamburg, Germany. [UPDATE-3b]

        • Eureka says:

          In your 3b XX-May exfiltration decision, I would add that Trump was notified of plan in advance:

          CNN: “The President was informed in advance of the extraction, along with a small number of senior officials.”

          I have to read through your additions and growing picture with a fresh mind, when I’m done depositing links (almost!; remainder mostly just context-fillers).

          [#ODNItimeline /Pardon my bookmark. ~Rayne]

    • Eureka says:

      Gathering some info in one place; be sure to note re NUNES x2 below:

      Sciutto’s first tweet on the story Monday 9th 918am Eastern:

      Jim Sciutto: “CNN Exclusive: The US extracted one of its top spies from Russia in 2017, worried about exposure and Trump’s handling of intelligence:(link)”

      Update Monday pm thread:

      Jim Sciutto: “New tonight: Given NYT has now made details on Russian spy public, I can now report additional info we had withheld. Asset had direct access to Vladimir Putin, including the remarkable ability to take photos of presidential documents, and had served US for more than a decade. 1/…”
      “2/Asset had risen to the highest levels of Russia’s national security infrastructure. US offered extraction months earlier during Obama administration, but asset refused. Asset’s information was crucial to IC assessment that Putin had directed election interference to favor Trump”

      “This is based on Trump and Obama administration ofcials with direct knowledge.” /sic/end Sciutto thread

      Re the above and Nunes x2 different hearings:

      Asha Rangappa: “Back in 2017 I found @DevinNunes’ fixation on revealing the underlying intelligence on the Page FISA to be bizarre, given that it would reveal sources who might be able to corroborate intel on Russia’s activities. Now I feel like that was the whole point (The Hill link)”

      Lindsey Hendrix: “This instantly reminded me of Nunes’ odd firing off of questions to @McFaul during the Russian International Influence hearing… it struck me as odd and disrespectful then and has since stuck with me. [c-span video link]”

      “(c-span link) clip is same as above but better: skip to 2:10, Nunes mentions Page & @McFaul explains why he found it strange Page an “obscure business person” was chosen as the commencement speaker. Nunes then *DIRECTLY* asks if he knows who the US Gov. source was …”

      Added brackets due to too many links- just copy paste them as needed!

      ETA: McFaul retweeted Lindsey Hendrix’s tweet (1st one listed above; she later added better cspan video);

    • Eureka says:

      Three differentially important topics to flesh out here:

      1-timeline/nature of Dilanian reporting (the official ‘outing’)

      2-have seen over the last week numerous twitter replies (usually by demoted accounts) that the Russians already knew about this guy; folks reply that of course it would be the _current_ big public stink that would engender more trouble for the guy/his family, not the mere fact of RU knowledge. Did see one account quote RU-source text that RU knew in 2017 (other details not stated).

      If mere disinfo, it is interesting that RU is trying to push this out there; while perhaps it is irrelevant, perhaps they are trolling or diming out Trump/admin:

      3-Pompeo meetings with Russians:

      Olga Lautman on November 7, 2017 (see also rest of thread on Pompeo/Flynn):

      “No shit!! Still never received an explanation of why Pompeo secretly flew to Russia to meet w 🇷🇺 Intel in May..[links August 25, 2017 Business Insider below, which does NOT cite May 2017 meeting specifically]”

      • Eureka says:

        Item 3 links continued:

        ‘People have to watch him’: The CIA reportedly suspects its director could try to shield Trump from the Russia probe
        CIA officials anxious about Director Mike Pompeo’s ties to Trump – Business Insider

        Also from February 2, 2018 re January 2018:

        CIA chief met with sanctioned Russian spies, officials confirm

        [#ODNItimeline /Pardon my bookmark. ~Rayne]

      • Eureka says:

        re item 2 (and some ~1), Julia Davis links with reliable info/discussion of RU doxxing the asset on the 9th after the reporting began, with Dilanian’s ratio’d tweet linked in one (or both, I forget now) of them:

        “The Russians put the guy’s name and address out there and our media plays right along… Unconscionable. …”

        “Why would this need to be reported?… ”

      • Eureka says:

        Superficially re Bolton; applies to Pompeo by contrast (oh he can just double-up his duties!) and ~ item 3:

        Garry Kasparov: “The ideal qualifications for a National Security Advisor is someone who is disliked by Putin, Kim Jong-un, and Trump.… ”

        Josh Dawsey: “”He wanted nothing to do with John Bolton,” Trump says of Kim Jong Un, as part of a long explanation of his ouster.”

      • Rayne says:

        I’m still sorting this one out, not certain how or if to post it. The claim that Russian knew about the asset is based on a screenshot from Daily-fucking-Stormer-Russian edition — hardly a legitimate news organization. At the same time that’s worrisome; why is this being discussed in Russian language on a hard-right white nationalist site?

        I can’t post Lautman’s data point about Pompeo traveling to Russia in May 2017 because she offered no supporting documentation. Argh…

        • Eureka says:

          I found the reporting re Pompeo’s May 2017 trip: original via WaPo, additional from Newsweek (reprinted at Yahoo):

          Mike Pompeo’s Moscow Visit: What the CIA Director May Have Discussed In Russia

          CIA Director Mike Pompeo reportedly visited Moscow and held talks with Russian intelligence officials in May, four months after condemning the country’s authorities for orchestrating “aggressive action” during the U.S. election, The Washington Post reported on Friday.

          The newspaper did not specify what Pompeo discussed during his visit.

          Followed by an interview w Brit guy offering ‘innocent’ explanations as if to counter WaPo.

          At CIA, a watchful eye on Mike Pompeo, the president’s ardent ally

          As CIA director, Mike Pompeo has taken a special interest in an agency unit that is closely tied to the investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, requiring the Counterintelligence Mission Center to report directly to him.

          Officials at the center have, in turn, kept a watchful eye on Pompeo, who has repeatedly played down Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and demonstrated a willingness to engage in political skirmishes for President Trump.

          Current and former officials said that the arrangement has been a source of apprehension among the CIA’s upper ranks and that they could not recall a time in the agency’s history when a director faced a comparable conflict.

          “Pompeo is in a delicate situation unlike any other director has faced, certainly in my memory,” said Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, a CIA official for 23 years who served in Russia and held high-level positions at headquarters, “because of his duty to protect and provide the truth to an independent investigation while maintaining his role with the president.”

          Pompeo, who met with Russian intelligence officials in Moscow in May, would have been entitled to full briefings from the counterintelligence center even without making that bureaucratic tweak. But asserting more control of the unit responsible for preventing leaks probably pleased Trump, who has accused U.S. spy agencies of engaging in a smear campaign to undermine his presidency.

          [#ODNItimeline /Pardon my bookmark. ~Rayne]

          • Eureka says:

            * “Brit guy” = Jonathan Eyal, International Director at London’s Royal United Services Institute (RUSI)

            ETA reply to your comment: Yes, there are a lot of nebulous strands which are clearly related in some way (if only via disinfo/ related ops) but insufficiently sourced or otherwise explained at this time…

      • Eureka says:

        (Adding these re 2017 while I have them; FYI)

        ~3- Pompeo and Russia more broadly/reminders (see 457p today in thread for two links re May 2017 Pompeo Moscow trip/met with RU intelligence):

        CIA director rebuked for false claim on Kremlin’s election meddling

        10/19/2017 06:13 PM EDT

        Updated 10/19/2017 09:07 PM EDT

        CIA Director Mike Pompeo drew sharp criticism Thursday after wrongly stating that the U.S. intelligence community had found that Russian meddling did not tilt the 2016 presidential election.

        Pompeo made the inaccurate claim at an event hosted by the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, a conservative think tank close to the Trump administration. His comments come amid growing evidence of Russian interference in last year’s campaign, the scale of which remains unclear.

        “The intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election,” Pompeo said.

        The intelligence community has made no such assessment. A report by the CIA and the National Security Agency released in January found that the Kremlin hacked emails and disseminated propaganda in order “to help [then-candidate Donald Trump’s] election chances.”

        But the report’s authors explained that they “did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.”

        CIA Director Mike Pompeo distorts Russia intelligence to help Trump

        Jeebus I had forgotten that Pompeo met with *Binney* at Trump’s behest!:

        Pompeo’s false claim about the assessment wasn’t the only time he put loyalty to Trump above his CIA responsibilities. Late last month, Trump told Pompeo to meet with a conspiracy theorist who believes Russia’s hack and release of Democratic National Committee emails last summer was an inside job — and Pompeo took the meeting.
        (internal link removed)

        Edited to add Blockquotes.

        [#ODNItimeline /Pardon my bookmark. ~Rayne]

  8. Frank Probst says:

    I find the timeline less interesting than Schiff’s overall reason for doing things the way he’s doing them here. He doesn’t expect to get the materials by the 17th, and he doesn’t expect MacGuire to appear on the 19th. Edward Snowden’s book just came out, and one of the biggest (coherent) complaints against him is that there are established channels for blowing the whistle on potential government misconduct, and he didn’t even try to go that route. In this case, the whistleblower appears to be following the established protocol to the letter. The complaint was submitted to the IC IG, which appears to be the way these things are supposed to be done. The IC IG forwarded the complaint to the Acting DNI, who illegally sat it for longer than the law allows. The IC IG then went directly the HPSCI to tell them that they had received a whistleblower complaint that was both credible and a matter of urgent concern. The HPSCI went to the Acting DNI to get information about the complaint, and they got blown off. So Schiff sent out this very public letter to the Acting DNI that clearly stated that the Acting DNI must provide the whistleblower with a protocol to contact the HPSCI directly. Schiff knows that if the Acting DNI provides any direction at all, it will be for the whistleblower to route their communications through an intermediary rather than to contact the committee directly, which isn’t how the protocol works. Schiff is doing all of this (with the aid of the IC IG, who said that this was of “urgent concern” (i.e., time-sensitive)) to give legal cover to the whistleblower to contact the HPSCI directly. He’s pretty much saying, “You did everything by the book, and your complaint is being illegally withheld from Congress. Call my office–which you are legally permitted to do–and I’ll make sure you’re protected from any legal complaints.”

    My “hot take” is that Schiff may be overreaching here. If the whistleblower receives no direction on how to contact the HPSCI directly, and they do so anyway, they’ll almost certainly get put through legal hell over the next year-and-a-half. Their identity will be made public, and they’ll be vilified by Attorney General and possibly the President himself. They’re going to have to come to terms with whether or not they think it’s worth it to them to ensure that the complaint is made public.

    • Rayne says:

      We’ll agree to disagree as to whether Schiff is overreaching. The IC IG labeled this situation an “urgent concern” and Schiff is asking the IC IG to explain how it came to that decision. He’s also doing exactly what should be done when the ADNI is not in compliance with the law and not responding to a request from a legislative entity with oversight authority.

      What is a patriot supposed to do when the subject is an “urgent concern”? There’s a point at which all this protocol is utter bullshit if there is an imminent danger to the nation and its security. “Potentially privileged” isn’t going to cut it; the ADNI doesn’t get to slap that label on anything; if the White House is involved then the ADNI needs to say that so that the HPSCI can ask for all the information for which the White House doesn’t have a compelling privacy interest.

      And ass covering isn’t a compelling privacy interest — it’s obstruction.

      • earlofhuntingdon says:

        Overreaching in part or not, I agree with you that this is normal and routine congressional oversight for someone in Schiff’s job.

        Not doing it would be negligent, especially given the laundry list of reasons Trump has given Congress for questioning his actions, motives, and [nonexistent] judgment.

        It is the administration that continues to obstruct the most routine of congressional functions.

      • Frank Probst says:

        Let me explain what I meant a little better: I agree with everything you wrote. But I think that at some point, the whistleblower is going to get stuck having to decide whether or not they want to contact Schiff’s team directly, because Schiff will probably be completely stonewalled. That’s an unenviable position to be in. I think Schiff will probably be able to provide legal cover to that person, but I think that they’re still going to be subject to some pretty harsh retaliation from the administration. Just look at what Andy McCabe is having to go through.

        The only way I see that it could end up going in a different direction is if the IC IG steps up and is somehow able to disclose the complaint itself to the HPSCI while simultaneously protecting the whistleblower, but seeing as how the ADNI already knows who this person is, I don’t see how that’s possible.

        • bmaz says:

          That is about right. The truth is that it is very hard to be a “legal” whistleblower. Extremely hard. And the conundrum is that if you are not, you are basically exposed criminally. Despite all the use of the term “whistleblower”, the concept is a creature of statute, and you either are or you are not. Almost nobody really is. And that would be a great thing to change in a better direction.

          • orionATL says:

            thank you, bmaz.

            “creature of a statute” is a valuable insight into the whistleblower problem – not elected, not appointed, not professionally trained. just some guy, i take it, who for altruistic or selfish reasons feels compelled to provide the public with info normally hidden. that person inevitably by her act generates powerful enemies with no balance of strong supporters.

            “almost nobody really is.” I guess that means few actually meet the statutory requirements in a way that can’t be challenged.

            i agree. i believe that a really solid, protective whistleblower act for persons who disclose either private or public misconduct would drastically change the way politics and business are conducted in this country. but with open bribery of legislatures at both state and national levels getting such legislation thru would be a miraculous accomplishment.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          As you three point out, the whistleblower is caught between a rock and hard place. The ICIG has handed off the matter to the acting DNI. That’s a political appointee specifically chosen to keep Sue Gordon from having that authority.

          The odds of a stonewall are overwhelming. Trump hates embarrassment and he hates bad news. He engineered the departure of Coats, Gordon and Bolton within three weeks of each other. That suggests a connection to this complaint, as well as to poor handling of intel generally.

          An acting DNI has even more reason to want to please the president. What’s Schiff gonna do about it besides making sure the newspapers cover it? Add it to a non-existent list of articles of impeachment? Shame is no longer a motivator with these people; they act as if they welcome it.

          • orionATL says:

            publicity. public questioning. getting caught performing one’s duty questionably.

            there’s no reason to think schiff is a dummy. publicity may be his only weapon.

            that’s rarely enough to stop things but it can slow them down or change their course from less harmful, compared to the sub rosa freedom of no disclosure. and now a lots of foljks, some of whom are hungry reporters, may be thinking about this or, better still, starting to put together whispers they have been hearing.

    • orionATL says:

      i’m caught up in desktop computer rebuild, but the case of thomas drake, credentialed whistleblower extraordinaire, comes to mind. this was a straight shooter to beat all straight shooters and the nsa, with the collusion of the doj, put him thru hell.

      still, if you got to do it, you got to do it. and drake by god did:

    • orionATL says:

      i don’t think that schiff is overreaching at all. consider what he is doing as hypothesis testing.

      the trump administration is as irresponsible as any we have had. trump himself may be (is probably) a national security risk with respect to the russian government.

      schiff has experience in this area. schiff checks what is going on. schiff tests the responses. he adjusts for those. only then will he make decisions that can be used to determine if he overreached. saying “overreached” now is premature. how can we know?

      • Rayne says:

        It’s called “oversight.” Oy. We need to use this frame — it’s one of Congress’s functions, to ensure the laws they’ve written can/have been enforced the way they were written so that amendments can be made if necessary.

        I can see right now how easily this “he’s overr—-” will blow up and take over as a right-wing talking point.

        • Frank Probst says:

          This Congress has been sitting for over 8 months, which is more than 1/3 of its term. The only serious “oversight” they’ve accomplished is probably the public release of a redacted version of the Mueller Report. That document basically said (in dense legalese) that there were ten different acts of obstruction of justice committed by the President that Mueller thought were provable beyond a reasonable doubt and that Congress could impeach the President for. That document was released months ago, and the only thing that the Congress has accomplished since then is to begin hearings that are sort of like impeachment hearings, but really aren’t. These hearings have obtained little to no evidence that the Judiciary Committee has been willing to act on. They’ve largely been stonewalled, including the refusal by the Trump administration to comply with subpoenas or to act on a referral for Contempt of Congress. The Democrats are not even willing to launch a true formal impeachment inquiry. And in the meantime, we’ve been watching scandal after scandal go whooshing by.

          So yes, one of Congress’s core functions is oversight, but they aren’t doing it. Schiff is probably the closest that anyone has come, because he got Mueller to say that the Russians interfered with the 2016 election in order to help Trump win, which was something that everyone already knew. And the President is denying that, too, because Vladimir Putin told him that the Russians didn’t interfere in the election, and Trump believes Putin over the US’s own intelligence community.

          I think what Schiff is doing right now is “attempted oversight”, because the ADNI is already breaking the law by not giving him the key information he’s requesting. I don’t expect the ADNI to hand over anything by the 17th, and I don’t expect a public appearance on the 19th. At that point, Schiff is going to have to hope that the whistleblower or the IC IG gives him the information that he wants, or he’s going to end up going to court to try to enforce the law, and that’ll drag on for months. If the Dems aren’t willing to use the tools at their disposal (impeachment of ANYONE and inherent contempt for witnesses who don’t show up in response to subpoenas), then they aren’t going to be able to do any real oversight.

          • Rayne says:

            Do you realize how easily you have given into and promulgated right-wing propaganda about Congress?

            There are more than 200 bills sitting on McConnell’s desk, resulting from numerous hearings including oversight.

            Who’s not doing serious oversight? It’s not Congress because the House has been doing it. You’re not paying attention when you use such a broad brush and ignore the bottleneck in the Senate.

          • Eureka says:

            Have you not seen even the widely-circulated clips of all of the investigatory hearings (e.g. Katie Porter comes to mind; AOC, too, of course (consumer protection; financial services))?

            I don’t know who your rep is/what committees s/he is on but maybe it’s worth looking at their twitter or something. If an R (and so they are not emphasizing oversight of/during this admin) maybe look at what nearby dems are doing.

            • Rayne says:

              Could just browse C-SPAN’s collection of congressional committee hearing videos. Like this one after HR.1 was submitted January 3rd but before it was passed March 8th.

              It’s NOT the House which is sitting on its ass collecting a paycheck for doing nothing in the way of oversight OR legislating.

              • Eureka says:

                That– or tuning C-SPAN in real-time– is the most thorough, direct option and I almost mentioned it (and a bunch of other stuff like the huge list of oversight acts off the top of my head that my rep– 1/435, though not singularly– has done).

                ETA: and while I’m here also things like border facility and ICE facility visits, etc… besides all of the investigations, consumer protection/financial services- type hearings that result in not only bills but important information becoming public, etc. ETC!

                  • Eureka says:

                    You’re welcome!

                    That’s a great Task and Purpose piece, full of alarming truths. Including the fact that we get no sunlight on Afghanistan so as not to upset our teevee-addled POTUS (and worse, as you noted, the troops on the ground in the dark).

    • orionATL says:

      it seems likely whatever this is involves misconduct by the trump administration because?

      where in all of official Washington would an inspector general of an agency go if he needed to be sure something was done about a trump admin activity? why to the house of representatives, and only to the house of representatives. and properly to Schiff, the chair of the house select committee on intelligence.

      + trump’s sudden change in the senior administrators of the director of national inyelligence was suspicious because it was attributed to the trump demand for loyalty (remember comey?):

      looking backwards now the dual firing may have a harbinger of a coverup. certainly trump has proved to be the highly vindictive politician who would wreck vengeance on those who exposed his election days dalliance with the Russian government if he got a chance, e.g., the russian in the kremlin who revealed the russians were helping trump and who has suddenly been exposed as living in the u.s.

  9. joel fisher says:

    This is not the first information request the President’s lackeys will ignore; nor the last. They certainly have no fear of “contempt of Congress”. The most to be hoped is that people–perhaps the wistleblower him or her self–will come forward on their own accord and get a subpoena. Thus compelled, their testimony could be received with somewhat less concern for retaliation.

  10. Eureka says:

    Also a stray but persistent geopolitical thought as to Iran, satellite photo, Bolton: I note today they are getting their jacked-up oil prices another way (when they were forecast to go down this week) via the Houthi Yemeni drone strikes on KSA targets, rather than war with Iran.

    Major Saudi Arabia oil facilities hit by Houthi drone strikes | World news | The Guardian

  11. Sandwichman says:

    Might not the whistleblower be Sue Gordon? Inside knowledge of the illegitimate pressure brought to bear on her to resign.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Someone as senior as Sue Gordon would not likely have needed or used that process. But this is someone with access to top info about very senior people. There may not be a lot of candidates that fit that bill.

    • Valley girl says:

      I thought about this too. Especially given this:
      13-SEP-2019 — ODNI declined the request, claiming the request as “it involves confidentially and potentially privileged communications by persons outside the Intelligence Community.”
      It’s hard not to read this (above) as weasel words. imho the statement does not rule SG out.

  12. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Firing the legally required acting DNI and the NSA within a month of each other looks like a cover-up, not just a disagreement over principles, which this administration doesn’t have anyway.

    The “potentially privileged” language has been consistently used by this administration to refer to communications with or about the president. It uses it to limit the production of documents and testimony by potential witnesses.

    That language fails to identify any specific privilege (different privileges, differently rules), which delays resolving whether that privilege actually applies or is just hokum. All in, this looks like another fine mess the president has gotten himself into.

  13. rosalind says:

    G-7 was in France Aug 24 – 26. IC IG transmits complaint to acting DNI on Aug. 26th. As Trump always gets up to something untoward at gatherings of world leaders, wonder if he snuck in a meeting with someone we don’t know about that IC DOES know about that prompted the transmittal. dunno.

    • Eureka says:

      rosalind, this gave me a G7 brain tickle— not sure if it’s related to your posit, but it’ll come back in a few (days).

        • Vicks says:

          Trump didn’t go to that meeting for obvious reasons. Common sense says the staff would have had some prepared excuse ready.
          The problem is that his f’ing with protocol is part of the game. “Leave them pissed off and guessing” means there is an equal chance that he was making up for lost executive time and watching people talk about him on the tee-vee or putting the finishing touches on a deal to out the spy who started this whole “Rusher” thing.

  14. Skilly says:

    I have to admit, I am a bit giddy with the possibilities here. Projected argument from acting DNI is ” law requires the DNI to turn it over to the Senate. We do not have a DNI, so …ah.. we don’t have anyone to follow that law.”

    What do you think?

      • Skilly says:

        Thanks for the citation and link Rayne. So reading on in the statute is this: “An action taken by the Director or the Inspector General under this paragraph shall not be subject to judicial review.” (k)(5)(F) I wonder that means in this context?

  15. Mulder says:

    I emailed Mark Warner (my Senator) and asked politely WTF is this all about and WTF is he going to do to help to get the info…

    • Saint Mnemosyne says:

      Dad Would Make Deal with the Devil (Time Magazine 1989).
      That’s an original formula said sarcasticly.

      Yes there was an alternative to there is no alternative.
      “Praise be to you, my Lord, through our Sister, Mother Earth, who sustains and governs us…. ”

      Drink from the crystal clear refreshing waters of the Lake of Mnemosyne or gaga on the disinformation of the River Lethe.

      So I would definitely recommend overturning the 2015 waterways of the US govern by twit to the timeline.

      • Saint Mnemosyne says:

        Eureka is buoyancy as conspiracy theories go. Share the wealth pretty profound words on the steps of a state capitol and US Senate floor.

        And that Binney was in the shower when they busted the door down always made me wonder, was that the door to the house or shower curtain and which engineer came up with that tophat screed.

        The thing floated. Katy bar the door.

        But I personally always believed that the man that discovered buoyancy actually did say Eureka.

  16. BobCon says:

    It may be worth adding that the Senate is due to take up FY 2020 funding for defense and intelligence programs shortly. Schiff’s urgency to flush out the issue may be driven in part by wanting to use leverage over the budget for next year before bills get passed and the process resets for the next budget.

  17. Vicks says:

    Why would the spy who provided the evidence that Trump was elected with the help of Putin seem to flaunt his existence rather than hide it?
    Discredit/destroy the messenger has consistently been Trump’s first layer of defense.

    • Viget says:

      Or last ditch protective measure? Someone in the IC here or abroad must have told him Russia was on to him, and then leaked the info to the press. That way if anything happened at least the world would have no doubt who was behind it and why.

      But could also have been Trump’s people doing it at their master’s (Putin’s) bidding.

  18. Tom says:

    Just guessing, but I wonder if this concerns Jared Kushner? I don’t follow the news all that closely but he seems to have been keeping a low profile recently as his Middle East peace plan goes down the tubes. Could something in his dodgy security background recently have come to light? I know there have been concerns about Kushner’s financial difficulties making him vulnerable to leverage by foreign governments. Anything significant in Jason Greenblatt leaving the Trump administration, apparently a little unexpectedly? Also, according to an April 16, 2018 article in Fortune, Greenblatt has worked for the Trump organization since 1997 and has an “unparalleled” knowledge of Trump’s business dealings.

  19. fpo says:

    re Trump, Kushner & Deutsche Bank/laundering (recall “…that would be a red line…”)
    Can’t help but think that, ultimately, it’s all about the money…

    “…In 2016 and 2017, the bank’s anti-money-laundering specialists (see Tammy Mcfadden, below) recommended that several transactions involving entities owned by Donald Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner be reported to the wing of the Treasury Department that oversees financial crimes.”
    [ ] NYT broke this story originally…looking for a link…

    15-APR-19 — 2 House committees issue subpoenas for records from Deutsche Bank and other financial institutions re information regarding Trump & Kushner businesses
    [ ]

    29-APR-19 — Trump, Kushner sue Deutsche Bank and Capital One to block subpoenas issued by House seeking financial records
    [ ]

    ?-MAY-19 — FBI contacts Deutsche Bank whistleblower Tammy McFadden re “suspicious activity” and handling thereof at DB
    [ ]

    27-AUG-19 — Deutsche Bank confirms to Federal appeals court that it has “tax returns” tied to Trump
    [ ]

    [#ODNItimeline /Pardon my bookmark. ~Rayne]

  20. Vicks says:

    “What would a PATRIOT do?”
    As the rest of the questions are being thrown around, that question, asked by Rayne towards the beginning of the comment section could be the most important of all.
    Can this country really survive another response of “make me” when lawmakers demand the facts surrounding an incident that clearly puts the safety and security of our country in danger?
    Schiff knew the response he would get with his demand for information.
    A patriot would certainly not use the word “urgent” when demanding national security information hoping a judge somewhere down the line will speed up a legal decision, a patriot would use the word “urgent” in preparation to call their bluff and declare a national emergency.

    • fpo says:

      Time for every network/major media outlet covering the Democrat candidates to bring this issue to national attention. Ask each candidate to vow to pardon, unconditionally, the whistleblower. Put this right in Trumps’s lap, where it belongs. Hell, ask Weld and the other Republicans running, too. That would be interesting.

      • fpo says:

        Assumption being, of course, that Trump/Barr will threaten legal action – lawsuits like no others ever seen/banishment to a s/h country, etc. Let’s call his/their bluff for once – loudly and publicly.

    • Rayne says:

      It’s as unlawful an order as telling DHS-ICE-CBP personnel to ignore the asylum law as well as the court order to cease separating families.

  21. Americana says:

    Intriguing story about Russian efforts and successes at penetrating American intelligence networks via electronic means. Not sure how many of these dates in this story will be relevant to this thread but the fact the Russians did manage to decode the FBI’s U.S. intelligence indicates this current wave of Russian spy craft is a multi-pronged threat.

    This story also contains some interesting nuggets about individuals linked to Trump like Carter Page.

  22. 200Toros says:

    Excellent piece here, thank you. What immediately springs to mind is Michael Cohen’s abusive, threat-laden tirades directed at journalists who were merely going to publish negative stories about trump. IF the whistleblower’s potentially damning information pertains to trump, or even implicates him directly, imagine what kind of phone calls they will have received… It will make anything Cohen ever said sound like French poetry. My fear is that they will back down or recant. Hard to be a patriot if your family’s life is in danger. Sad, but I think that’s where we are. I’d love to be proven wrong… If I were Schiff, I’d be thinking how to provide the whistleblower not just with legal protection, but actual bodyguards.

  23. General Sternwood says:

    Greg Sargent has a good piece up about the DNI’s specious reasoning for suppressing the whistleblower’s complaint:

    >What’s more, Taylor argued, the statute does not give the DNI the authority to decide that something doesn’t count as an urgent concern, once the inspector general has designated it as such.

    >“The inspector general makes the decision as to whether it’s an urgent concern or not,” Taylor said. “Under the statute as written, the Director of National Intelligence doesn’t have the discretion to not act or get a second opinion. He just has to forward it to the intelligence committees.”

    Rayne, I hope you can follow this up — I can’t believe they’ve been able to keep a lid on this.

    • Rayne says:


      . . .

        • bmaz says:

          I will believe it when I see it. Trump will issue a letter through Cipollone and neither government official will cross it. I hope I am wrong, but that is where my bet is placed.

  24. Eureka says:

    Trump’s communications with foreign leader are part of whistleblower complaint that spurred standoff between spy chief and Congress, former officials say

    Trump’s interaction with the foreign leader included a “promise” that was regarded as so troubling that it prompted an official in the U.S. intelligence community to file a formal whistleblower complaint with the inspector general for the intelligence community, said the officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

    It was not immediately clear which foreign leader Trump was speaking with or what he pledged to deliver, but his direct involvement in the matter has not been previously disclosed. It raises new questions about the president’s handling of sensitive information and may further strain his relationship with U.S. spy agencies. One former official said the communication was a phone call.

  25. Jeri C Berlin says:

    One question: who were the sources of the information to Wapo? Two former DNI employees. Could they be Coats and Gordon, who worried that the Intelligence Committee would not get the whistleblower’s complaint?

  26. Michaelhigh says:

    While I’d still put my money on one of the scenarios above, something that I’ve seen not get alot of media coverage, is not only was the 250million in military aid released to the Ukraine, but an additional 137million as well. Apparently some concern that strings were attached
    I just thought there could a remote possibility the promise was to release the funds, in exchange for??

    [#ODNItimeline /Pardon my bookmark. ~Rayne]

  27. Pacific says:

    We learned around September 6 is that Trump took 770 million from an initiative started under Obama to shore up European defenses after Russia invaded parts of Ukraine, to use to fund the construction of his border wall. Obviously, this move is something that would please Putin. M

    [#ODNItimeline /Pardon my bookmark. ~Rayne]

  28. Pacific says:

    in a September 12 article, Business Insider reported that on September 12 the Russian government filed a request with Interpol to get information from the US about the location of a Russian CIA asset now living in Washington, DC, according to the Russian foreign ministry.

    [#ODNItimeline /Pardon my bookmark. ~Rayne]

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