Clinton advisors are now confirming what Donald Trump has said all along: There is no evidence his campaign cooperated with Russians during the 2016 election.
Michael Morell, a former two-time acting CIA director for President Obama, who was expected to be Clinton’s pick to head the agency, told the intelligence web site Cipher Brief there’s no evidence Trump and associates colluded with Russians during the election, and denounced a dossier written by a former British intelligence officer who claimed there is, NBC News reports.
Morell said former British officer Christopher Steele paid Russian sources he interviewed through intermediaries to compile the dossier, which makes what’s contained in the document highly suspect.
“On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all,” Morell said.
“There’s no little campfire, there’s no candle, there’s no spark,” he continued. “And there’s a lot of people looking for it.”
Morell’s remarks stand in stark contrast to other Clinton comrades and Democratic leaders who have continued their unsuccessful campaign to link Trump to the Russians.
— Maxine Waters (@MaxineWaters) March 16, 2017
As Morell exposed the truth, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters of California posted to Twitter: “Meet @realDonaldTrump’s #KremLINKlan.”
The post included an image of “Trump’s Kremlin Klan” that featured headshots of Trump, Russian president Vladimir Putin, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Michael Flynn, Rex Tillerson, Michael Cohen, Paul Manafort, Jeff Sessions, Jared Kushner, Roger Stone, and Wilber Ross alongside Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, and other Russian officials like Viktor Yanukovych, Viktor Vekselberg, Boris Epshteyn, and Andrii Artemenko.
The Twitter meme included the caption “prepared by Rep. Maxine Waters.”
But Morell points out that not even outgoing Director of National Intelligence James Clapper found any evidence of the supposed conspiracy between Trump and the Russians.
“That’s a pretty strong statement by General Clapper,” Morell said.
Morrell contends a dossier distributed by Steele that alleges a Trump connection to Russia can’t be taken seriously.
“Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can’t judge the information – you just can’t,” he said.
Steele’s methods of acquiring the information in the dossier raises serious questions, Morrell said.
“I had two questions when I first read it. One was, How did Chris talk to these sources? I have subsequently learned that he used intermediaries.
“And then I ask myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that he paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris,” Morrell said.
“And that kind of worries me a little bit because if you’re paying somebody, particularly former FSB officers, they are going to tell you truth and innuendo and rumor, and they’re going to call you up and say, ‘hey, let’s have another meeting, I have more information for you,’ because they want to get paid some more,” he said.
“I think you’ve got to take all that into consideration when you consider the dossier.”