Britain’s spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.
GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious “interactions” between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.
Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.
The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence – known as sigint – included Germany, Estonia and Poland. Australia, a member of the “Five Eyes” spying alliance that also includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also relayed material, one source said.
Actually even after being spoon fed the information it STILL took the American Intelligence agencies an ungodly amount of time to respond:
The Guardian has been told the FBI and the CIA were slow to appreciate the extensive nature of contacts between Trump’s team and Moscow ahead of the US election. This was in part due to US law that prohibits US agencies from examining the private communications of American citizens without warrants. “They are trained not to do this,” the source stressed.
“It looks like the [US] agencies were asleep,” the source added. “They [the European agencies] were saying: ‘There are contacts going on between people close to Mr Trump and people we believe are Russian intelligence agents. You should be wary of this.’
The message was: ‘Watch out. There’s something not right here.’”
"It looks like the US agencies were asleep." Well there's an understatement for you.
Apparently the information was considered so sensitive that it was handled at the :director level" which meant that it was delivered to CIA chief, John Brennan by the director of British Intelligence.
As reported earlier the CIA really cannot investigate American citizens, so the information was then passed on to members of Congress, and from them to the FBI.
I then took the FBI even longer to respond effectively because they were focused on the Russian hackers trying to damage Hillary Clinton, and NOT to help Donald Trump.
Just imagine if the FBI had not had their heads so far up their asses, they could have started to investigate this as early as late 2015. How might THAT might have affected the outcome of the 2016 election?
I swear the more we learn about who knew what and when, the more upsetting it is that things worked out the way that they did.
Update: Oops I almost missed this bit buried in the last paragraph:
One source suggested the official investigation was making progress. “They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion,” the source said. “This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”
Well now, THAT is certainly some good news to start off your Friday.