The mess that surrounds the Trump administration, FBI Director James Comey, and the Obama administration keeps getting deeper and deeper.
The American people have a right to feel betrayed, really. It was known by officials as early as July 2016 that Russia was attempting to influence the 2016 presidential election. However, nothing was announced until October 7, only a month from election day.
However, two sources are telling Newsweek that Director Comey was prepared to go public, via an op-ed, written “as early as the summer of 2016.” What stopped him? The sources allege that the Obama administration halted any type of announcement. Sources told Newsweek:
‘He had a draft of it or an outline. He held up a piece of paper in a meeting and said, “I want to go forward, what do people think of this?”‘
The previous administration didn’t think highly of it, as the source revealed that the administration felt it needed to be backed up by other agencies.
‘An op-ed doesn’t have the same stature, it comes from one person.’
The other source, however, denied the information Comey was ready to reveal included anything about the possibility of any Trump collusion. The source also shared that the op-ed would have basically been the same as the intelligence report released back in January of this year. That report had revealed the Russian campaign to influence the 2016 election was a large-scale operation that had been going on for over a year. That same report revealed Putin’s preference for a Trump America.
‘We assess with high confidence that (Putin) ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election, the consistent goals of which were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.’
So, what happened? If the information was there, why did it take so long to come out especially since it came out too late? Furthermore, why was it OK for Comey to release details about Hillary Clinton’s emails, (which many blame Comey for, as part of the reason for her loss to Trump) yet not tell the American people the Russians were trying to get inside their brains?
Jarad Geldner, the senior adviser for the Democratic Coalition Against Trump, asked that question.
‘That raises the questions of why Comey or [the Department of Justice] or the White House felt that it was OK to hold that [July] press conference on Hillary Clinton’s emails but not to go public with this.’
In that July 5 press conference, Comey revealed Clinton and/or her team had been “extremely careless” with “very sensitive, highly classified information.” He also revealed that respect for security in the Clinton State Department was “lacking.” Despite those revelations (which were particularly damning), he suggested no criminal charges be brought against Clinton.
However, the news that she was “extremely careless” was damaging enough. That’s also not taking into consideration the fact that Comey announced new emails had been found on Anthony Weiner’s laptop (the husband of Clinton confidante Huma Abedin). That letter read:
‘…the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation. I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails…’
That was 11 days before voters decided they preferred a Trump America over a Clinton America. We will never know if Clinton would have won, if not for that announcement on Comey’s part. Just like we will never know if Trump would have lost the election if the information that Comey was ready to go public with had been released earlier, when he wanted it to be.
The sources that came to Newsweek told them, however, that it was the White House’s fault.
‘The White House shut it down. They did their usual — nothing.’
This revelation is mind boggling. Why would the Obama-led White House not want to release information as quickly as possible to prevent a Trump presidency? Why would they be OK with such unprecedented announcements about Clinton’s email scandal? What were they thinking? We’ll never know, and we’ll never know, had things been done in a manner that actually made sense, if America would have a different person in charge and a different future ahead of us.
Featured image via Getty Images/Drew Angerer.