Spy chief releases docs on claim Hillary Clinton cooked up Russia scandal
National Intelligence Director John Ratcliffe on Tuesday declassified documents that claim Hillary Clinton ordered “a campaign plan to stir up a scandal” by linking President Trump to Russia in 2016 — and that then-President Barack Obama knew about her possible role.
Ratcliffe provided to Fox News an undated set of notes from then-CIA director John Brennan about a briefing for Obama that touched on the allegation, and an investigative referral from the CIA to the FBI describing the claim.
“Today, at the direction of President Trump, I declassified additional documents relevant to ongoing Congressional oversight and investigative activities,” Ratcliffe told Fox News Tuesday.
Most of the unredacted content in the documents was released by Ratcliffe last week, though minor new details cast doubt on former FBI Director James Comey’s declaration last week that he could not recall the claim, which Clinton allies deny as baseless potential Russian disinformation.
The newly released notes from Brennan, who now is a fiery anti-Trump commentator, indicate that Brennan briefed Obama on “alleged approval by Hillary Clinton on July 28 of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisors to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by Russian security services.”
Ratcliffe’s initial disclosure said that, according to Brennan’s notes, Clinton allegedly approved the scheme on July 26. The minor inaccuracy shortens the window of time between Clinton’s alleged approval of the plot and the FBI opening its investigation of possible Trump-Russia collusion on July 31, 2016.
A previously undisclosed annotation in Brennan’s notes appears to attribute to Obama an interest in “any evidence of collaboration between Trump campaign + Russia.”
The initials “JC” also are on the briefing notes, implying that that then-FBI Director James Comey attended the meeting where Brennan discussed the theory with Obama.
In the margins are also references to “Denis” and “Susan,” which could refer to former National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough.
Most of the document was redacted by Ratcliffe’s office, making it impossible to understand the full context of the meeting or when exactly it occurred.
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