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In its ongoing war against Donald Trump, US intelligence community revives ‘Trump Dossier’

President-elect Donald J. Trump leaves a meeting at One World Trade Center in New York, Jan. 6, 2017. Trump said in an interview Friday morning that the storm surrounding Russian hacking during the presidential campaign is a political witch hunt being carried out by his adversaries, who he said were embarrassed by their loss to him in the election last year. (Sam Hodgson/The New York Times)

With rumours that a first meeting between US Secretary of State Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov is under preparation, the US intelligence community is doubling down on its war against Donald Trump.

First have been attempts to revive allegations that General Michael Flynn, Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser, held secret talks before the inauguration in December with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak in which he is supposed to have urged the Russians not to overreact to the sanctions US President Obama had imposed on Russia in connection with the DNC/Podesta hacking scandal.

Flynn is being accused of jeopardising US security by talking about the subject of sanctions with Kislyak.  Flynn denies doing so, but since – if he did- he is supposed to have urged the Russians to show restraint, it is not obvious why this was the case even if the accusation against him is true.

Secondly there has been the mischief making over claims that the Russians might be considering handing over Snowden to the US in order to please Trump.  As I have just written, those claims are definitely untrue.

Thirdly – and far more insidiously – a report has now appeared in CNN that appears to be an attempt to put life into the discredited “Trump Dossier” compiled by the former British spy Christopher Steele, which was published just a week before the inauguration.  Specifically, it is now claimed that US intelligence – months after the “Trump Dossier” first appeared, and weeks since it was published – has successfully corroborated some of its contents, it is hinted through radio or telephone intercepts.

The report reads in part as follows

For the first time, US investigators say they have corroborated some of the communications detailed in a 35-page dossier compiled by a former British intelligence agent, multiple current and former US law enforcement and intelligence officials tell CNN. As CNN first reported, then-President-elect Donald Trump and President Barack Obama were briefed on the existence of the dossier prior to Trump’s inauguration.

None of the newly learned information relates to the salacious allegations in the dossier. Rather it relates to conversations between foreign nationals. The dossier details about a dozen conversations between senior Russian officials and other Russian individuals. Sources would not confirm which specific conversations were intercepted or the content of those discussions due to the classified nature of US intelligence collection programs.
But the intercepts do confirm that some of the conversations described in the dossier took place between the same individuals on the same days and from the same locations as detailed in the dossier, according to the officials. CNN has not confirmed whether any content relates to then-candidate Trump.

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