Three prominent journalists closely associated with the Russiagate story have been axed at CNN, which has imposed tighter new rules about stories linking Americans with the Uber Scandal.

CNNMoney executive editor Rich Barbieri sent out an email Saturday regarding the network’s new rules after CNN a day earlier issued a retraction on one of its stories.

“No one should publish any content involving Russia without coming to me and Jason [Farkas].”

This occurred after a powerful Wall Street fund owner who played a role in the Trump campaign, Anthony Saramucci, was implicated in a now scrubbed CNN report as being the focus of a Senate probe of meetings he had regarding the investment fund he ran with assets in Russia:

A “massive, massive f-ckup, and people will be disciplined.”

A CNN source was quoted as remarking,  this is a”massive, massive f-ckup, and people will be disciplined.”

Like Joe McCarthy pointed his finger at the wrong guy at the Army-McCarthy hearings, CNN has stepped over a line.

The new restrictions come after CNN on Friday retracted a story that connected Anthony Scaramucci, a prominent ally of President Trump, to a Russian investment fund managed by a Kremlin-controlled bank.

“On June 22, 2017, published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund,” the news organization said in a statement.

“That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scaramucci.”

The retracted story had claimed that Senate investigators were looking at the activities of the $10 billion Russian investment fund in connection to Scaramucci, who served on the executive committee of Trump’s transition team.

A source close to CNN told BuzzFeed the incident was a “massive, massive f– up and people will be disciplined.”

The CNN story, citing an anonymous source, said Senate investigators were examining a meeting between Scaramucci and an executive for the Russian Direct Investment Fund. The $10-billion fund makes direct investments in Russian companies.  Democrats on the committee reportedly wanted to question him whether he had discussed the effects of sanctions on the fund’s investment.

Scaramucci was the wrong guy to fuck with.

Who is Anthony Scaramucci?:  Wiki:


After graduating from law school, Scaramucci began his career at Goldman Sachs, where he worked from 1989 to 1996 and held positions in its Investment Banking, Equities, and Private Wealth Management divisions.[14][15] After being hired, fired, and rehired in a single year, Scaramucci left Goldman in 1996[16] to launch Oscar Capital Management with his colleague Andrew Boszhardt.[17] In 2001, Oscar Capital was sold to Neuberger Berman and, upon Neuberger Berman’s sale to Lehman Brothers in 2003, Scaramucci served as a managing director in the firm’s Investment Management division.[14][18]
In 2005, Scaramucci founded SkyBridge Capital, a global alternative investment firm.[19]
Scaramucci was the chairman of the SkyBridge Alternatives “SALT” Conference, launched in 2009 and held in Las Vegas every spring.[20] In May 2014, SkyBridge licensed the rights to Wall Street Week, a financial television news program formerly hosted by Louis Rukeyser on PBS, installing Scaramucci as host. Broadcast rights were transferred to Fox Broadcasting Company in 2016.[21]
In 2011, Scaramucci received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award New York Award in the Financial Services category and[22] in 2016 was ranked #85 in Worth magazine’s “Power 100: The 100 Most Powerful People in Global Finance.”[23]
On January 17, 2017, SkyBridge announced a majority stake sale to RON Transatlantic EG and HNA Capital (U.S.) Holding, a Chinese conglomerate with close ties to China’s Communist Party.[24][25]

The one-two public humiliations of Eric Lichtblau.

Among the casualties of the sudden shutdown of the CNN Russia unit was former NYT Washington Editor, Eric Lichtblau.  This Pulitzer Prize winner suddenly left the Times to join CNN’s Russiagate investigative unit after he served more than a decade as one of the Grey Lady’s most prominent investigative editors.

Lichtblau went from being publicly singled-out for the Times “too timid coverage” of Trump before the election to being its most aggressive reporter developing the Russiagate narrative. He was the target of a January 20th Times Public Editor column that blaimed him in particular as Trump was being nominated. If not fired, he resigned from The Times having been publicly humiliated by the paper where he had worked for 15 years.

This appears to have been the last article in the NYT which featured Lichtblau’s by-line.  https:/

Comey Tried to Shield the F.B.I. From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.

As the F.B.I. investigated Hillary Clinton and the Trump campaign, James B. Comey tried to keep the bureau out of politics but plunged it into the center of a bitter election.
April 22, 2017
C.I.A. Had Evidence of Russian Effort to Help Trump Earlier Than Believed
Former government officials said the agency told senior lawmakers last summer that it had information indicating that Russia was working to help get President Trump elected.
April 6, 2017
March 17, 2017
Russian Agents Were Behind Yahoo Hack, U.S. Says
Four men, including two Russian intelligence agents, were charged for their roles in the theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014.
March 15, 2017
Is Trump Being Investigated? `No Comment,’ Justice Dept. Says
Officials said the White House had not relied on any information from the Justice Department when it denied the existence of an investigation targeting President Trump.
March 9, 2017
Democrats Seek Special Counsel to Investigate Russian Election Interference
Senator Dianne Feinstein said the move was necessary to shield the inquiry from the appearance of political interference by the Trump administration.
March 7, 2017

These articles added immensely to the Russiagate narrative, Lichtblau and his co-authors at The New York Times relying on the now familiar “anonymous sources.”  His last, in particular, deserves close attention.   In that article he relied on the leaks of unnamed Bureau agents and lawyers to conclude — in the opening sentence — that Director Comey had “upended the 2016 election.” :

Comey Tried to
Shield the F.B.I. From
Politics. Then He
Shaped an Election.

As the F.B.I. investigated Hillary Clinton and the Trump
campaign, James B. Comey tried to keep the bureau out
of politics but plunged it into the center of a bitter election.

WASHINGTON — The day before he upended the 2016 election, James B. Comey, the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, summoned agents and lawyers to his conference room. They had been debating all day, and it was time for a decision. Mr. Comey’s plan was to tell Congress that the F.B.I. had received new evidence and was reopening its investigation into Hillary Clinton, the presidential front-runner. The move would violate the policies of an agency that does not reveal its investigations or do anything that may influence an election. But Mr. Comey had declared the case closed, and he believed he was obligated to tell Congress that had changed. “Should you consider what you’re about to do may help elect Donald Trump president?” an adviser asked him, Mr. Comey recalled recently at a closed meeting with F.B.I. agents.

He could not let politics affect his decision, he replied. “If we ever start considering who might be affected, and in what way, by what we do, we’re done,” he told the agents.

But with polls showing Mrs. Clinton holding a comfortable lead, Mr. Comey ended up plunging the F.B.I. into the molten center of a bitter election. Fearing the backlash that would come if it were revealed after the election that the F.B.I. had been investigating the next president and had kept it a secret, Mr. Comey sent a letter informing Congress that the case was reopened. What he did not say was that the F.B.I. was also investigating the campaign of Donald J. Trump. Just weeks before, Mr. Comey had declined to answer a question from Congress about whether there was such an investigation. Only in March, long after the election, did Mr. Comey confirm that there was one.

Questionable surveillance and the unraveling of the Russiagate narrative

Why did Comey not reveal the FBI’s investigation of the Trump until March?  One takeaway on all this is this is that there is something about the Russiagate investigation the Director and others did not, and still do not, want revealed.

Here may be a key piece of that puzzle: Russiagate has its most direct origins in the fact that the FBI was running Carter Page, a figure who emerged suddenly in the Trump campaign last summer, as an FBI informant/agent provocateur in operations against the Russians several years earlier.  Court documents show he first played that role for the FBI in the investigation and prosecution of a Russian SVR espionage ring at the UN in 2013.

According to the Washington Post, Page is the only figure in Russiagate for whom a FISA warrant was ever obtained, and issuance of that warrant was delayed until late summer 2016.  That means that until the later warrant was issued, any legal surveillance involving Carter Page of other Americans abroad would have been in reliance upon a warrant issued for the limited purpose of surveiling a Russian intelligence operation that had been rolled up years earlier.  Or, else, there was no FISA warrant until 2016, and the surveillance of Americans implicated in Russiagate before then was conducted without a warrant.  Either way, Russiagate surveillance of Americans prior to late summer 2016  appears on its face to be without a proper warrant and clearly illegal.

We do know  the FBI would have been legally required to obtain a FISA warrant three years earlier for electronic evesdropping in NY in the same operation it used Page as a conduit to deliver bugs to the SVR compound.   It would make sense for the Bureau to later rely on that warrant to obtain another in 2016 so that Page could surveil other Americans in Russia during his frequent subsequent trips there.  Under FISA law, it would have been mandatory for the FBI to reveal that Page had previously been involved in a matter resulting in issuance of an earlier FISA warrant.  Beyond that,  we do not know the specifics of what the legal basis was for any authorized Russiagate surveillance that may have been obtained because that remains a secret that no one involved and in the media seems to have expressed much interest in.

Here’s what we know, or have been told.  We know that surveillance involving Page in Russia has been identified as a primary source of the so-call Steele “Pee Pee” memo that set off the Russiagate imbroglio last summer.  It is unknown whether pre-summer 2016 US surveillance that resulted in spying on Trump and other Americans in Russia was ever supported by a warrant.  Large parts of the Steele memo were never substantiated, and the major media now appears to be backpeddling from the core of Russiagate — allegations that major figures around Trump colluded with the Russians in releasing Hillary’s campaign email and in other alleged improprieties, such as foreign influence on the outcome of the election — but, that now appears to the factor behind the firings of several reporters leading the story.

What’s notable is the credibility of the official Russiagate narrative hinges on Carter Page, and whether he was indeed a Russian agent.  But, that now appears to have been a cover story fed to a gullible press intent on supporting political allies of Hillary Clinton.  The WaPo report that first confirmed the June, 2016 FISA warrant states the warrant was granted because the FBI suspected Page of being a Russian agent.  In reality, Page was turned as an FBI informant in 2013 when he was recruited to help wiretap the Russian diplomatic compound in NY, and later testified against one of the Russians arrested.   That fact which has been overlooked casts the WaPo story into doubt.  

Carter Page indeed appears to have been an operative in an intelligence operation, but he was an operative for U.S. not a Russian intelligence.   See the June 22 Daily Radical article for more details on that.

A new element of this story not previously reported is that a FISA warrant was apparently obtained  to carry out the FBI bugging of the SVR compound out of which Russian agents were operating.  Page went on to assist the FBI in passing bugged materials to the Russians, and testified as “Male-1” in the 2015 trial of one of the SVR agents.   His contacts with Russians and Americans doing business with them became the target of surveillance conducted pursuant to representations made to the FISA Court to obtain the 2016 FISA warrant.  It appears that a lot of powerful people were picked up in the FBI surveillance using Carter Page as an agent provocateur.

The Steele Dossier and Carter Page Intel Likely Based in Russian Disinformation

Whatever intelligence was gained from Carter Page after his involvement as an informant and witness for the prosecution in the 2015 trial of the Russian UN case was disinformation.  That would include much of the Christopher Steele Dossier.  Russian intelligence obviously knew that he had been turned and was acting as an FBI informant.  Whatever was said to and around him during his various trips to Russia after that was only what the SVR wanted him to hear.

The fact that his scheduled public testimony was recently cancelled by the Senate Committee only confirms that there has been a massive re-evaluation and backing away from US intelligence surveillance of Page’s conversations, the cornerstone of the case against Trump associates alleging collusion with the Russians.  Much of this now appears to have been disinformation fed to the FBI and CIA and allied agencies through Page.

The biggest question is, why wasn’t this obvious to everyone on the inside of US intelligence before they started leaking last summer and with a gusto in January?

Russiagate is Iraq WMD.  We were played again by an element of US intelligence who embraced it for political purposes.  It will reflect badly on the NYT and everyone else who has again trumpeted the siren call.

The identities of several prominent figures, such as Mr. Scaramucci have been illegally leaked in creating the “Russiagate” narrative, and since no real espionage has been proven, there is now blowback and people involved in promoting Russiagate at various levels are being fired.

CNN, which has been aggressively leading the Russiagate narrative, has reached its Army-McCarthy moment.
The New McCarthy Movement Meets Iraq WMD
The media, like the Dems, are acting opportunistically, and they have overstepped a line. This goes back to the Intelligence Community (IC) and the utter lack of discipline and “too big to discipline” attitude taken toward ranking people at CIA and the Bureau.  There’s very little accountability for program and individual failures, lies told to Congress and the public, leaks  of classified materials and other violation of law at the top of those organizations, which now quite openly flaunt their domestic political role.

Hillary Clinton being let off after her massive mishandling of classified materials was the signal to the rest that anything goes in pursuit of political power.  That followed the partial lack of accountability for the policy failure in Libya and Syria, operations that exceeded limits imposed by Presidential authorizations.   In the MENA serial regime change operations, the CIA and State Department led operations that resulted in massive arms transfers out of Libya to feed Jihadi forces funneled into Syria.  I say partial because CIA Director Petraeus paid a price by his prosecution for revealing classified materials, but even he was later allowed to come back into the fold of Cold War and necon advisors running U.S. policy in the Mideast.

Of course, 9/11 and the Iraq WMD deception were the mother of IC policy failures, and the wagons were circled so closely after the former that the agencies involved learned no lessons about the consequences of blowback from illegal, off-the-books operations.
For those in the corporate media who have embraced it with a reckless enthusiasm, Russiagate is turning into the Army-McCarthy hearings meets Iraq WMD.

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