Delusional Wack Jobs at TOL

THall

New member
Back when Trump entered the race for POTUS, the delusional wack jobs came out of the woodwork:

"He will never finish the primary"

"He is just in it for the attention"

"Trump could never win"

"Trump has no chance against Hillary"

"the polls show Trump down 12 percent"

"He will destroy the country"

"Trump will destroy the economy, he has 4 bankruptcies"


These were the cries of the insane, the immature, the dishonest, those that did not, and do not live in reality.

Now that Trump is President and the truth has come out about the FBI, the Justice Department, and other intel agencies being weaponized to try and defeat his run for POTUS, and frame Trump for collusion, the wack jobs continue their insanity.

Here is what is real:

1. The former director of the FBI Comey was a cereal leaker of sensitive intel, and signed off on fake evidence being presented to a FISA court judge.

2. Comey's number 2 (McCabe) has been removed from his position

3. Assistant Attorney General in DOJ (Orr) has been removed from his position

4. Peter Strok of the FBI has been caught red handed trying to manipulate a national election and has been quarantined.

5. Rod Rosenstein is about to be removed from power for signing off on the act of lying to a FISA court judge and presenting false evidence to justify multiple warrants.

6. Both DOJ and FBI top officials have been exposed for faux investigations, destruction of evidence, and deprivation of rights under the color of law.

7. The OIG report comes out in less than two weeks, stand by.
 

patrick jane

BANNED
Banned
Back when Trump entered the race for POTUS, the delusional wack jobs came out of the woodwork:

"He will never finish the primary"

"He is just in it for the attention"

"Trump could never win"

"Trump has no chance against Hillary"

"the polls show Trump down 12 percent"

"He will destroy the country"

"Trump will destroy the economy, he has 4 bankruptcies"


These were the cries of the insane, the immature, the dishonest, those that did not, and do not live in reality.

Now that Trump is President and the truth has come out about the FBI, the Justice Department, and other intel agencies being weaponized to try and defeat his run for POTUS, and frame Trump for collusion, the wack jobs continue their insanity.

Here is what is real:

1. The former director of the FBI Comey was a cereal leaker of sensitive intel, and signed off on fake evidence being presented to a FISA court judge.

2. Comey's number 2 (McCabe) has been removed from his position

3. Assistant Attorney General in DOJ (Orr) has been removed from his position

4. Peter Strok of the FBI has been caught red handed trying to manipulate a national election and has been quarantined.

5. Rod Rosenstein is about to be removed from power for signing off on the act of lying to a FISA court judge and presenting false evidence to justify multiple warrants.

6. Both DOJ and FBI top officials have been exposed for faux investigations, destruction of evidence, and deprivation of rights under the color of law.

7. The OIG report comes out in less than two weeks, stand by.
Media mind control. Good post.
 

THall

New member
Here are 16 things the media do not want you to know about the Nunes memo:

The so-called Russian Dossier, the creation of Fusion GPS and former British spy Christopher Steele, is a political document — namely, opposition research, created for the Democrat National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign.
Using what it knew was opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign, in October of 2016, the FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant from the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to install a wiretap to spy on Hillary Clinton’s opponent — the Trump campaign, specifically Carter Page. This spying would last for a year.

It should be noted that the FISA court was set up to stop foreign terrorists. The fact that the FBI and DOJ would use this court to not only wiretap an American but to wiretap a presidential campaign belies belief. Why Obama’s FBI and DOJ used this court as opposed to a normal court is obvious. As you will see below, a normal court probably would have denied the wiretap.
Worse still, in the summer of 2016, Obama’s DOJ had already opened a counter-intelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. The fact that nothing from that months-old partisan investigation was used to obtain the Page wiretap is revealing.

According to the Nunes memo, an “essential” part of the FISA wiretap application was the Steele dossier, which again is a partisan political document created for the Clinton campaign.
So essential was this partisan dossier, Andrew McCabe, the disgraced former-Deputy Director of the FBI, admitted in December that “no surveillance warrant would have been sought” without the dossier.
Not only did the FBI knowingly use a document from a partisan campaign to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the competing campaign, the FBI knew the dossier was mostly “salacious and unverified.” We know this because disgraced former-FBI Director James Comey told us so in June of 2017.

According to the Nunes memo, “Steele told [former FBI official Bruce] Ohr, he ‘was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected and was passionate about him not being president.'”
Ohr, who was part of the FBI’s anti-Trump Russian investigation, was not only friendly with Steele, Ohr’s own wife worked with Steele at Fusion GPS doing opposition research (the dossier) against Trump for the Clinton campaign.

Despite a) knowing the dossier was opposition research paid for by the Clinton campaign b) knowing the dossier was “salacious and unverified” c) knowing Steele was desperate to destroy Trump d) the breathtaking conflict of interest in having an investigator’s own wife working on the dossier, the FBI still went to the FISA court to obtain permission to spy on Hillary Clinton’s opponent.

In order to obtain a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign, all of the conflicts of interest above were withheld from the FISA court — an indefensible (and possibly illegal) lie of omission.
Even worse, in order to legitimize a warrant request based on a piece of partisan opposition research they knew was “salacious and unverified,” the FBI and DOJ used a media report to bolster the findings in the phony dossier. The FBI and DOJ told the court that the media report was independent verification of the dossier. But this was not true, and, according to the Nunes memo, the FBI and DOJ knew this was not true. The truth is that the phony dossier was the source of this media report.

Also hidden from the FISA court was the fact that the FBI obtained Steele as a source but had to fire him in October of 2016 when, in a bid to use his phony dossier to derail the Trump campaign, he leaked his information to the far-left Mother Jones.

Although the FBI and DOJ were willing participants in pushing a “salacious and unverified” narrative against a presidential candidate (primarily through media leaks), this was all hidden from congressional investigators. To begin with, for months, while under oath, Comey said he did not know where the dossier came from — meaning from the Clinton campaign. The Wall Street Journal explains:

We also know the FBI wasn’t straight with Congress, as it hid most of these facts from investigators in a briefing on the dossier in January 2017. The FBI did not tell Congress about Mr. Steele’s connection to the Clinton campaign, and the House had to issue subpoenas for Fusion bank records to discover the truth. Nor did the FBI tell investigators that it continued receiving information from Mr. Steele and Fusion even after it had terminated him. The memo says the bureau’s intermediary was Justice Department official Bruce Ohr, whose wife, incredibly, worked for Fusion.

All of this dishonesty occurred under Comey, the man our media now hold up as a living saint, a man so desperate to destroy Trump, he not only oversaw those committing the above abuses, he leaked classified information to the news media in order to see a Special Prosecutor appointed against Trump, which his pal, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, immediately did.

And finally…

16. Much of the “salacious and unverified” material in the dossier came from the Russians. In other words, those disgusting dossier lies about Trump’s personal behavior came from Russian operatives. So there is no question that it was the Clinton campaign, Democrats, Steele, the FBI, and DOJ who colluded with the Russians to rig a presidential election.
 

jgarden

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jgarden

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Delusional Wack Jobs at TOL

Speaking of "Delusional Wack Jobs," whatever happened to

1. 8 years devoted to the "bitther" message that Barrack Obama does not have an American birth certificate ad therefore not permitted by the Constitution to serve as President

2. Barrack Obama personally ordered the telephones taped at Trump Towers

3. Ted Cruz's father was part of the conspiracy to assassinate JFK

4 2 to 3 million "illegal" ballots were cast during the 2016 Election - all of them for Hillary Clinton

5. Donald Trump received the most Electoral College ballots of any President

I could go on but you get the general idea - even this President's own Secretary of State refers to him as a "MORON!"
 
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The Barbarian

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Banned
We’ve already detailed why the much-hyped Devin Nunes memo is bunk, and how it actually makes assertions that undercut its overall argument that the infamous Steele dossier (that isn’t a dossier) was the basis for the FISA warrant approved on Carter Page. However, there was one portion that if true, would back up its overall assertion that the Steele dossier was vitally important to the FISA warrant. We didn’t include it in our summary because there was absolutely no corroboration to this portion of the Nunes memo, and we had been warned all week that the entire memo was horribly misleading due to the omission of vital information. Per the Nunes memo:

Furthermore, Deputy Director McCabe testified before the Committee in December 2017 that no surveillance warrant would have been sought from the FISC without the Steele dossier information.

Glenn Greenwald highlighted why that passage would be significant, if true.

However, the “if” statement depends on Congress’ least credible member having credibility. Given that the White House Counsel distanced themselves from this memo in their cover letter (saying the “Memorandum reflects the judgements of its congressional authors”), there was little reason to take any assertion at face value. Now, a new report from The Daily Beast throws water on that passage. Per Spencer Ackerman’s piece:

Asked if that was a true representation, a source familiar with McCabe’s testimony responded: “100% not.”

A senior Democratic House intelligence committee official agreed.

“The Majority purposefully mischaracterizes both what is actually contained in the FISA applications and the testimony of former FBI Deputy McCabe before our committee in December 2017 — the Minority’s memo lays out the full facts,” the official said.

This he-said, she-said back and forth doesn’t prove anything. The only way we will know is if the transcript of the testimony is released, but this new report confirms the common sense underlying this entire mess: nothing that Devin Nunes says can be trusted unless he provides evidence for it. Given that there is no other corroboration of McCabe’s testimony in this four-page memo, it seems obvious that this was one section that suffered from omitting necessary facts to provide proper context.

https://www.pastemagazine.com/artic...-blasts-a-gigantic-hole-in-the-already-f.html

Anybody want to put odds on Nunes coming clean about this? It would be easy enough to release the relevant testimony. Since Nunes has already claimed to have released the gist of the testimony, it wouldn't be a problem releasing the transcript.

Assuming Nunes isn't lying again.
 

Jerry Shugart

Well-known member
Not only did the FBI knowingly use a document from a partisan campaign to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the competing campaign, the FBI knew the dossier was mostly “salacious and unverified.” We know this because disgraced former-FBI Director James Comey told us so in June of 2017.​

I don't think Comey is playing with a full deck!
 

Jerry Shugart

Well-known member
Speaking of "Delusional Wack Jobs," whatever happened to

1. Hillary Clinton responded to a question on whether she tried to wipe her server with "What, like with a cloth or something?"
 

jgarden

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Not only did the FBI knowingly use a document from a partisan campaign to obtain a FISA warrant to spy on the competing campaign, the FBI knew the dossier was mostly “salacious and unverified.” We know this because disgraced former-FBI Director James Comey told us so in June of 2017.​

I don't think Comey is playing with a full deck!

"The Donald" and his surrogates were more than willing to make full use of the WikiLeaks emails that everyone knew had been stolen from DNC servers ("I love WikiLeaks"), but now they take exception when someone has the audacity to use sources against them that they consider to be "partisan, salacious and/or unverified!"
 
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THall

New member
JGarden.... are you a retard? The emails were real and given up by a DNC campaign whistle blower, who they murdered. The dossier is fake....total lies.
 

jgarden

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JGarden.... are you a retard? The emails were real and given up by a DNC campaign whistle blower, who they murdered. The dossier is fake....total lies.

Well, if "THall" repeats something enough times followed by a "temper tantrum," then it must be true - who can argue with that kind of logic!
 

fool

New member
Hall of Fame




Well, if "THall" repeats something enough times followed by a "temper tantrum," then it must be true - who can argue with that kind of logic!

Jgarden, you're not helping your self here.

Thall says;
JGarden.... are you a retard? The emails were real and given up by a DNC campaign whistle blower, who they murdered. The dossier is fake....total lies.

And you respond;
Well, if "THall" repeats something enough times followed by a "temper tantrum," then it must be true - who can argue with that kind of logic!

The Dems have never contested the authenticity of the e-mails.
Address that.
 

fool

New member
Hall of Fame
I'm confused on the time line here. When did the surveillance of Carter Page begin and when did it end?
 

The Barbarian

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I'm confused on the time line here. When did the surveillance of Carter Page begin and when did it end?

To answer that question meaningfully it is necessary to go back—to 2013, and to a group of jaded Putin spies working deep undercover in downtown Manhattan. One of them was Viktor Podobnyy. Moscow had dispatched Podobnyy to the United States under his own name. He worked in New York under official “cover”: attaché to Russia’s delegation to the United Nations.

In reality, Podobnyy was employed by Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR. Putin was the former head of the SVR's domestic counterpart, the FSB. Podobnyy's mission was to recruit Americans and to collect economic intelligence. One of his SVR colleagues was Igor Sporyshev, who was working covertly as a “trade representative.” Neither man was aware that the FBI had a bug inside their SVR office. The Bureau was secretly listening to their conversations.

One of their tasks was to liaise with another SVR officer, Evgeny Buryakov. Buryakov's position was somewhat precarious. He didn’t have diplomatic immunity, which meant if he was caught he could go to jail. His official day job was at a branch of a Russian state bank in Manhattan, VEB.

Sporyshev’s biggest headache was finding Americans willing to become intelligence sources for Russia. This was tough. He had approached two young women working in financial consultancy who had recently graduated from a New York university. Sporyshev told Podobnyy he was skeptical anything would come of it.
...
The Russian spies, however, had one promising lead. This was a guy—an energy consultant based in New York City. Unlike the women, he was eager to help. And, it appeared, keen to make money in Moscow. There was a drawback: The source—whom the FBI called “Male-1”—was something of a dimwit.

The FBI intercepts record:

PODOBNYY: [Male-1] wrote that he is sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back. I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am. Plus he writes to me in Russian [to] practise the language. He flies to Moscow more often than I do. He got hooked on [the Russian state energy company] Gazprom, thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up. Maybe he can. I don’t know, but it’s obvious he wants to earn loads of money.

SPORYSHEV: Without a doubt.

Podobnyy explained he intended to string Male-1 along. That meant feeding him “empty promises.” Podobnyy would play up his connections to Russia’s trade delegation, to Sporyshev, and pretend his SVR colleague might “push contracts” the American’s way.
...
Podobnyy approached the consultant at an energy symposium in New York. According to FBI court documents, the two swapped contacts. They emailed for several months. Male-1 co-operated, although he says he did not know the Russian was a spy. He even handed him documents about the energy world.

This was a strange business—Kremlin officers careening around Manhattan, spycraft involving fake umbrellas, and an American intelligence source who spent more time in Moscow than his Russian handlers. Plus espionage professionals who turned out to be suffering from ennui.

The American willing to provide information to Putin’s foreign intelligence officers rented a working space at 590 Madison Avenue. The building was linked by a glass atrium to a well-known New York landmark, Trump Tower. The atrium had a pleasant courtyard, with bamboo trees, where you could sit and drink coffee. Next door was a franchise of Niketown.

From the atrium you could take the elevator up to the Trump Tower public garden on the fourth floor, with its sparrows and maple trees. The din from West 57th Street meant the garden wasn’t exactly tranquil. Or you could queue up with Japanese and German tourists at the Trump Tower basement restaurant and salad bar. Failing that, there was Starbucks on the first floor.

Male-1 had a name. At this point few had heard of him. He was Carter Page.

...

Page’s British academic supervisors failed his doctoral thesis twice, an unusual move. In a report they described his work as “verbose” and “vague”. Page responded by angrily accusing his examiners of “anti-Russian bias”.

Page’s apparent Russian sympathies were evident from much earlier. In 1998 Page spent three months working for the Eurasia Group, a strategy consulting firm. Its founder, Ian Bremmer, later described Page as his “most wackadoodle alumnus.” Page’s vehemently pro-Kremlin views meant that “he wasn’t a good fit,” Bremmer said.

...

According to Politico, few people in Moscow’s foreign business community knew of him. Those who did were underwhelmed. “He wasn’t great and he wasn’t terrible,” his former boss, Sergei Aleksashenko, said, adding that Page was “without any special talents or accomplishments,” “in no way exceptional,” and “a gray spot.”

...

In the worsening dispute between Putin and the Obama administration, Page sided with Moscow. He was against US sanctions imposed by Obama on Russia in the wake of Crimea. In a blog post for Global Policy, an online journal, he wrote that Putin wasn’t to blame for the 2014 Ukraine conflict. The White House’s superior “smack-down” approach had “started the crisis in the first place,” he wrote.

Page’s rampant pro-Moscow views were at odds with the US State Department under Clinton and with almost all American scholars of Russia. After all, it was Putin who had smuggled tanks across the border into eastern Ukraine. Not that Page’s opinions counted for much. Global Policy had a small circulation. It was edited out of Durham University in the north of England.

His relationship with the journal fizzled out when he wrote an opinion piece lavishly praising a pro-Russian candidate ahead of the U.S. presidential election—Trump.

And then something odd happened.

In March 2016 candidate Trump met with the Washington Post’s editorial board. At this point it seemed likely that Trump would clinch the Republican nomination. Foreign affairs came up. Who were the candidate’s foreign policy advisers? Trump read five names. The second was “Carter Page, PhD.” Given Trump’s obvious lack of experience of world affairs, this was a pivotal job.

Podobnyy and Sporyshev approached their duties with a certain cynicism laced with boredom and a shot of homesickness, the FBI tapes revealed. Page, by contrast, was the rarest of things: an American who apparently believed that Putin was wise and virtuous and kind.

By this point, the Russian spies had been spirited out of the United States. In 2015 their ring was broken up. As accredited diplomats, they were entitled to fly home. Buryakov was less fortunate. At the time that Page joined Trump’s campaign, Buryakov pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent. He got two and a half years in a US jail.

In July 2016 Page went back to Russia, in a trip approved by the Trump campaign. There was keen interest. Page was someone who might give sharper definition to the candidate’s views on future US–Russian relations. Moscow sources suggest that certain people in the Russian government arranged Page’s visit. “We were told: ‘Can you bring this guy over?’” one source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

...

Page was Trump’s leading Russia expert. And yet in the question-and-answer session it emerged that Page couldn’t really understand or speak Russian. Those seeking answers on Trump’s view of sanctions were disappointed. “I’m not here at all talking about my work outside of my academic endeavor,” Page said. At the end, Walker said, Page was “spirited off.”

Clearly, Page was reluctant to give any clues about a Trump administration’s Russia policy or how Trump might succeed in strengthening ties where Obama and George W. Bush had both failed.

So what was he doing in Moscow?

...

By this point Sechin had been at Putin’s side for more than three decades. He had begun his career in the KGB and served as a military translator in Mozambique. In the 1990s he worked with Putin in the mayor’s offce in St Petersburg. Sechin functioned as Putin’s scowling gatekeeper. He carried the boss’s briefcase and lurked outside Putin’s ground-floor office in St Petersburg’s city hall.

...

However, in testimony to Nunes’ House Intelligence committee last November Page admitted meeting Andrey Baranov, Rosneft’s head of investor relations. Did sanctions come up? “Not directly,” Page replied. Did Baranov talk about privatization? He “may briefly have mentioned it,” Page admitted. Was Baranov relaying Sechin's wishes? Almost certainly.

Page’s problem, then, was that he had an unfortunate habit of seeking out Russian spies—ones in their twenties like Podobnyy and older ones like Sechin, either directly or via underlings. And Russian ambassadors like Sergei Kislyak, whom Page met in summer 2016 at the Republican national convention.

...

Page’s multiple interactions with senior Russians were a matter of growing concern to US intelligence. In the coming months, the FBI seemed to grow suspicious that Page might be a Russian agent. That summer the bureau decided it was going to bug Page’s phone calls. This was no easy matter. To do this lawfully, federal agents had to obtain a warrant. Any application of this kind was voluminous—as then FBI Director James Comey put it, these were often thicker than his wrists.

The application included Page’s earlier testimony to the FBI. In June 2013 counter-intelligence agent Gregory Monaghan interviewed Page in connection with the Podobnyy–SVR spy ring. Page said he’d done nothing wrong. Since then, Page had held further meetings with Russian operatives that had not been publicly disclosed, the application said.

...

The FBI presented its evidence before a secret tribunal— the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, or FISA, court, which handles sensitive national security cases. The bureau argued that there were strong grounds to believe that Page was acting as a Russian agent. The judge agreed. From this point on, the FBI was able to access Page’s electronic communications. An initial ninety-day warrant was later renewed.

As the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, Steele’s research formed only part of the application. Four separate federal judges approved these renewals. All were appointed by Republican presidents.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/03/carter-page-nunes-memo-216934

About this time, Trump became aware that Page was a liability:

When Senate minority leader Harry Reid wrote to Comey in early autumn, he cited “disturbing” contacts between a Trump adviser and “high-ranking sanctioned individuals.” That was Page. And Sechin.

These embarrassing details surfaced in a report by Yahoo! News. Within hours, the Trump campaign had disavowed Page—casting him out as a nobody who had exaggerated his links to Trump. All of which made his subsequent rehabilitation by Nunes more bizarre.

...

Whatever Page’s motives were for helping Russian intelligence—greed, naivety, stupidity—his actions surely justified the FBI’s interest in him. There was a simple way of avoiding U.S. surveillance and a FISA court warrant. It could be summed up like this: Don’t hang out with Russian spies.

ibid

More at the link. Warning; some foul language, quoting Russian agents.
 

Jerry Shugart

Well-known member
"The Donald" and his surrogates were more than willing to make full use of the WikiLeaks emails that everyone knew had been stolen from DNC servers ("I love WikiLeaks"), but now they take exception when someone has the audacity to use sources against them that they consider to be "partisan, salacious and/or unverified!"

Are you really this dumb!

It was Comey himself who said those things. Are you now going to call him a liar? Are you now going to turn on him and the FBI again like you did previously?

And then accuse the Republicans of attacking the FBI even though the Dems did it before them?

Talking about being two-faced!
 

Grosnick Marowbe

New member
Hall of Fame
I remember the good old days when TOL's leftist drones hated Comey for "costing Clinton the election."

I cannot fathom how a "Real Christian" can call themselves a "Child of God" while being a far-left zealot? I believe such a person needs to re-think their position, in Christ.
 

fool

New member
Hall of Fame
To answer that question meaningfully it is necessary to go back—to 2013, and to a group of jaded Putin spies working deep undercover in downtown Manhattan. One of them was Viktor Podobnyy. Moscow had dispatched Podobnyy to the United States under his own name. He worked in New York under official “cover”: attaché to Russia’s delegation to the United Nations.

In reality, Podobnyy was employed by Russia’s foreign intelligence service, the SVR. Putin was the former head of the SVR's domestic counterpart, the FSB. Podobnyy's mission was to recruit Americans and to collect economic intelligence. One of his SVR colleagues was Igor Sporyshev, who was working covertly as a “trade representative.” Neither man was aware that the FBI had a bug inside their SVR office. The Bureau was secretly listening to their conversations.

One of their tasks was to liaise with another SVR officer, Evgeny Buryakov. Buryakov's position was somewhat precarious. He didn’t have diplomatic immunity, which meant if he was caught he could go to jail. His official day job was at a branch of a Russian state bank in Manhattan, VEB.

Sporyshev’s biggest headache was finding Americans willing to become intelligence sources for Russia. This was tough. He had approached two young women working in financial consultancy who had recently graduated from a New York university. Sporyshev told Podobnyy he was skeptical anything would come of it.
...
The Russian spies, however, had one promising lead. This was a guy—an energy consultant based in New York City. Unlike the women, he was eager to help. And, it appeared, keen to make money in Moscow. There was a drawback: The source—whom the FBI called “Male-1”—was something of a dimwit.

The FBI intercepts record:

PODOBNYY: [Male-1] wrote that he is sorry, he went to Moscow and forgot to check his inbox, but he wants to meet when he gets back. I think he is an idiot and forgot who I am. Plus he writes to me in Russian [to] practise the language. He flies to Moscow more often than I do. He got hooked on [the Russian state energy company] Gazprom, thinking that if they have a project, he could rise up. Maybe he can. I don’t know, but it’s obvious he wants to earn loads of money.

SPORYSHEV: Without a doubt.

Podobnyy explained he intended to string Male-1 along. That meant feeding him “empty promises.” Podobnyy would play up his connections to Russia’s trade delegation, to Sporyshev, and pretend his SVR colleague might “push contracts” the American’s way.
...
Podobnyy approached the consultant at an energy symposium in New York. According to FBI court documents, the two swapped contacts. They emailed for several months. Male-1 co-operated, although he says he did not know the Russian was a spy. He even handed him documents about the energy world.

This was a strange business—Kremlin officers careening around Manhattan, spycraft involving fake umbrellas, and an American intelligence source who spent more time in Moscow than his Russian handlers. Plus espionage professionals who turned out to be suffering from ennui.

The American willing to provide information to Putin’s foreign intelligence officers rented a working space at 590 Madison Avenue. The building was linked by a glass atrium to a well-known New York landmark, Trump Tower. The atrium had a pleasant courtyard, with bamboo trees, where you could sit and drink coffee. Next door was a franchise of Niketown.

From the atrium you could take the elevator up to the Trump Tower public garden on the fourth floor, with its sparrows and maple trees. The din from West 57th Street meant the garden wasn’t exactly tranquil. Or you could queue up with Japanese and German tourists at the Trump Tower basement restaurant and salad bar. Failing that, there was Starbucks on the first floor.

Male-1 had a name. At this point few had heard of him. He was Carter Page.

...

Page’s British academic supervisors failed his doctoral thesis twice, an unusual move. In a report they described his work as “verbose” and “vague”. Page responded by angrily accusing his examiners of “anti-Russian bias”.

Page’s apparent Russian sympathies were evident from much earlier. In 1998 Page spent three months working for the Eurasia Group, a strategy consulting firm. Its founder, Ian Bremmer, later described Page as his “most wackadoodle alumnus.” Page’s vehemently pro-Kremlin views meant that “he wasn’t a good fit,” Bremmer said.

...

According to Politico, few people in Moscow’s foreign business community knew of him. Those who did were underwhelmed. “He wasn’t great and he wasn’t terrible,” his former boss, Sergei Aleksashenko, said, adding that Page was “without any special talents or accomplishments,” “in no way exceptional,” and “a gray spot.”

...

In the worsening dispute between Putin and the Obama administration, Page sided with Moscow. He was against US sanctions imposed by Obama on Russia in the wake of Crimea. In a blog post for Global Policy, an online journal, he wrote that Putin wasn’t to blame for the 2014 Ukraine conflict. The White House’s superior “smack-down” approach had “started the crisis in the first place,” he wrote.

Page’s rampant pro-Moscow views were at odds with the US State Department under Clinton and with almost all American scholars of Russia. After all, it was Putin who had smuggled tanks across the border into eastern Ukraine. Not that Page’s opinions counted for much. Global Policy had a small circulation. It was edited out of Durham University in the north of England.

His relationship with the journal fizzled out when he wrote an opinion piece lavishly praising a pro-Russian candidate ahead of the U.S. presidential election—Trump.

And then something odd happened.

In March 2016 candidate Trump met with the Washington Post’s editorial board. At this point it seemed likely that Trump would clinch the Republican nomination. Foreign affairs came up. Who were the candidate’s foreign policy advisers? Trump read five names. The second was “Carter Page, PhD.” Given Trump’s obvious lack of experience of world affairs, this was a pivotal job.

Podobnyy and Sporyshev approached their duties with a certain cynicism laced with boredom and a shot of homesickness, the FBI tapes revealed. Page, by contrast, was the rarest of things: an American who apparently believed that Putin was wise and virtuous and kind.

By this point, the Russian spies had been spirited out of the United States. In 2015 their ring was broken up. As accredited diplomats, they were entitled to fly home. Buryakov was less fortunate. At the time that Page joined Trump’s campaign, Buryakov pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent. He got two and a half years in a US jail.

In July 2016 Page went back to Russia, in a trip approved by the Trump campaign. There was keen interest. Page was someone who might give sharper definition to the candidate’s views on future US–Russian relations. Moscow sources suggest that certain people in the Russian government arranged Page’s visit. “We were told: ‘Can you bring this guy over?’” one source said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

...

Page was Trump’s leading Russia expert. And yet in the question-and-answer session it emerged that Page couldn’t really understand or speak Russian. Those seeking answers on Trump’s view of sanctions were disappointed. “I’m not here at all talking about my work outside of my academic endeavor,” Page said. At the end, Walker said, Page was “spirited off.”

Clearly, Page was reluctant to give any clues about a Trump administration’s Russia policy or how Trump might succeed in strengthening ties where Obama and George W. Bush had both failed.

So what was he doing in Moscow?

...

By this point Sechin had been at Putin’s side for more than three decades. He had begun his career in the KGB and served as a military translator in Mozambique. In the 1990s he worked with Putin in the mayor’s offce in St Petersburg. Sechin functioned as Putin’s scowling gatekeeper. He carried the boss’s briefcase and lurked outside Putin’s ground-floor office in St Petersburg’s city hall.

...

However, in testimony to Nunes’ House Intelligence committee last November Page admitted meeting Andrey Baranov, Rosneft’s head of investor relations. Did sanctions come up? “Not directly,” Page replied. Did Baranov talk about privatization? He “may briefly have mentioned it,” Page admitted. Was Baranov relaying Sechin's wishes? Almost certainly.

Page’s problem, then, was that he had an unfortunate habit of seeking out Russian spies—ones in their twenties like Podobnyy and older ones like Sechin, either directly or via underlings. And Russian ambassadors like Sergei Kislyak, whom Page met in summer 2016 at the Republican national convention.

...

Page’s multiple interactions with senior Russians were a matter of growing concern to US intelligence. In the coming months, the FBI seemed to grow suspicious that Page might be a Russian agent. That summer the bureau decided it was going to bug Page’s phone calls. This was no easy matter. To do this lawfully, federal agents had to obtain a warrant. Any application of this kind was voluminous—as then FBI Director James Comey put it, these were often thicker than his wrists.

The application included Page’s earlier testimony to the FBI. In June 2013 counter-intelligence agent Gregory Monaghan interviewed Page in connection with the Podobnyy–SVR spy ring. Page said he’d done nothing wrong. Since then, Page had held further meetings with Russian operatives that had not been publicly disclosed, the application said.

...

The FBI presented its evidence before a secret tribunal— the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, or FISA, court, which handles sensitive national security cases. The bureau argued that there were strong grounds to believe that Page was acting as a Russian agent. The judge agreed. From this point on, the FBI was able to access Page’s electronic communications. An initial ninety-day warrant was later renewed.

As the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, Steele’s research formed only part of the application. Four separate federal judges approved these renewals. All were appointed by Republican presidents.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/02/03/carter-page-nunes-memo-216934

About this time, Trump became aware that Page was a liability:

When Senate minority leader Harry Reid wrote to Comey in early autumn, he cited “disturbing” contacts between a Trump adviser and “high-ranking sanctioned individuals.” That was Page. And Sechin.

These embarrassing details surfaced in a report by Yahoo! News. Within hours, the Trump campaign had disavowed Page—casting him out as a nobody who had exaggerated his links to Trump. All of which made his subsequent rehabilitation by Nunes more bizarre.

...

Whatever Page’s motives were for helping Russian intelligence—greed, naivety, stupidity—his actions surely justified the FBI’s interest in him. There was a simple way of avoiding U.S. surveillance and a FISA court warrant. It could be summed up like this: Don’t hang out with Russian spies.

ibid

More at the link. Warning; some foul language, quoting Russian agents.

So that's some good background but a little vague.
Its says
"That summer the bureau decided it was going to bug Page’s phone calls."
Summer is kind of a long period of time.
And then;
When Senate minority leader Harry Reid wrote to Comey in early autumn, he cited “disturbing” contacts between a Trump adviser and “high-ranking sanctioned individuals.” That was Page. And Sechin.

These embarrassing details surfaced in a report by Yahoo! News. Within hours, the Trump campaign had disavowed Page—
Trump received his first Top Secret Briefing August 17th 2016.
https://news.vice.com/article/trump-is-getting-his-first-top-secret-intelligence-briefing

The Yahoo News article that led to Page's removal was Sept 23rd 2016.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-s-inte...ween-trump-adviser-and-kremlin-175046002.html

"Early Autumn".

OK, so tell me if I have this straight. They bug Pages phone in the Summer, Trump starts getting Top Secret Briefings in August......
BUT THEY FORGOT TO TELL HIM ONE OF HIS ADVISERS IS UNDER SURVEILENCE FOR BING A SPIE!?!?!

He does get to find out however. FROM YAHOO NEWS!

Does that sum it up?
Do I have all that right?
 
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