Former CIA Director Michael Hayden on Tuesday called former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell “an a–hole” for promoting a release of documents concerning a claim that Hillary Clinton strategically smeared President Trump as a Russian colluder in 2016.
Grenell, who led the intelligence community for three months this year, wrote on Twitter, “Proof. @BarackObama @JoeBiden directed their administration to use the powers of government to attack @realDonaldTrump campaign and then transition.”
He added, “The Susan Rice email to herself after the Oval Office meeting was part of a coverup,” referring to the former White House national security adviser emailing herself to say then-President Obama wanted Russian investigations done “by the book.”
“You’re an a–hole. Really,” wrote Hayden.
Hayden is a supporter of Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. He led the CIA during Republican President George W. Bush’s second term.
Current Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe on Tuesday released heavily redacted notes from former CIA Director John Brennan that indicate he briefed Obama on the allegation against the 2016 Democratic presidential candidate.
The notes 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 also released a heavily redacted investigative referral from the CIA to the FBI that said Clinton’s alleged plan was “a means of distracting the public from her use of a private mail server.”
Ratcliffe publicly disclosed the allegation last week but said the claim against Clinton was unproven and could be an “exaggeration or fabrication.” Clinton allies say it’s potential Russian disinformation.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said last week the claim was “baseless bulls–t.”
The allegation against Clinton already is fitting prominently in Trump’s claim that he was subjected to a corrupt “witch hunt” by “dirty cops” in the FBI working with Democrats.
“So I had to constantly fight off all of this Scum, achieve more than any other President in First Term, and then they talk Chaos. They created crimes against me and this administration!” Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday night.
Trump wrote that “[a]ll Russia Hoax Scandal information was Declassified by me long ago. Unfortunately for our Country, people have acted very slowly, especially since it is perhaps the biggest political crime in the history of our Country. Act!!!”
In another tweet, the president wrote, “No redactions!” after Ratcliffe made many redactions.
At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last week, former FBI Director James Comey said he could not recall the allegations that Clinton decided to falsely allege Trump was in cahoots with Russia.
The initials “JC” are on the Brennan briefing notes released Tuesday, implying that Comey attended the meeting where Brennan discussed the theory with Obama.
Trump mocked Comey’s memory and accused him at a Minnesota rally last week of being among the “crooks” who he said tried “for a coup” against his presidency. Special counsel Robert Mueller last year found no evidence of a criminal conspiracy between Trump and Russia.
“I watched Comey, he couldn’t remember anything, but he’s writing all these books. They’re guilty as hell,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity in a Thursday interview.
Trump often notes that the FBI used a discredited dossier financed by Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee to secure surveillance warrants against Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.
The Justice Department inspector general last year found “significant inaccuracies and omissions” in documents submitted by the FBI to the FISA court and a former FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, pleaded guilty in August to falsifying records to the court.
Trump has sought to tie Biden to allegations of investigative abuse against his campaign and pre-inauguration transition.
Grenell alleged in a speech at the Republican National Convention in August that Biden “asked intelligence officials to uncover the hidden information on President Trump’s incoming National Security Advisor [Michael Flynn] three weeks before the inauguration,” in reference to a Jan. 4, 2017, note attributed to disgraced FBI operative Peter Strzok that implicates Biden in selecting the never-used Logan Act of 1799 as a rationale to keep open an investigation of Flynn that the FBI was ready to close.
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