Get ready for a spit-take moment from an interview with former Hillary Clinton spokesperson Brian Fallon on CNN. In attempting to set the context for the discussion of funding Fusion GPS and the “dossier” effort, host Poppy Harlow assumes that Fallon will confirm that Hillary herself knew nothing about the effort. Instead, Fallon says he has no idea whether that’s true, and that “she may have known” about the efforts to get Christopher Steele to use his foreign-intelligence contacts to dig up dirt on Donald Trump.
— Zeke Miller (@ZekeJMiller) October 25, 2017
Perhaps Fallon decided to go easy on the assumptions after getting burned last night on Twitter. Politico’s Josh Dawsey pointed out that the Washington Post story on funding Fusion GPS’ connection to Steele and the dossier meant that a few Democrats had been lying for some time. That put paid to the idea that it was just normal “oppo research,” right? Wrong, Fallon argued, and chalked it up to being “coy,” which didn’t exactly calm the waters:
Ok, people saying DNC/dossier news isn’t a big deal: Why did Clinton lawyer Marc Elias and others deny it for months?
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) October 25, 2017
Keep in mind Steele was ex-spy who basically took life in his hands to mine Russian sources. Im not insulted it was considered need-to-know
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) October 25, 2017
Feel free to follow the responses at Twitchy, but a “good lawyer honoring confidentiality” would have refused to answer at all. Offering a false response, especially when the lawyer was the conduit for the relationship as Elias was, is called lying, not lawyering. Furthermore, by the time Elias was asked about it, Steele’s role was public knowledge and had been for some time. Elias was not protecting a “need to know” operation, which by the way doesn’t exist in the private sector anyway.
Washington Post analyst Callum Borchers isn’t impressed with the argument, either. He notes that Hillary specifically relied on the dossier in her What Happened memoir to argue that Russian interference cost her the election, without ever revealing that her campaign had a hand in its creation. Not only that, but Hillary also argues that the dossier was linked to the FBI decision to seek the FISA warrant, a topic of great interest in Congress now that the connections to her campaign have been exposed:
In the summer of 2016, according to The Washington Post, the FBI convinced a special Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that there was probably cause to believe that Trump adviser Carter Page was acting as a Russian agent, and the received a warrant to monitor his communications. The FBI also began investigating a dossier prepared by a well-respected former British spy that contained explosive and salacious allegations about compromising information the Russians had on Trump. The intelligence community took the dossier seriously enough that it briefed both President Obama and President-elect Trump on its contents before the inauguration. ….
Sources within the FBI also convinced the New York Times to run a story saying they saw “no clear link to Russia,” countering Franklin Foer’s scoop in Slate about unusual computer traffic between Trump Tower and a Russian bank.
Borchers points out her deception about leaving out what happened:
Note that Clinton described the dossier only as having been “prepared by a well-respected former British spy” — as if the spy, Christopher Steele, had acted on his own. Clinton certainly gave no indication that her campaign helped finance his work.
There is a fundamental contradiction here: Clinton wanted the dossier to be viewed as credible yet she did not want to be connected to it. She hoped the media, before Election Day, would publish claims about Trump to which she was unwilling to attach her own name.
And the media rushed to do so. Perhaps the media should meditate on that for a while, especially when it comes to claims of innocence on this and other issues from Hillary Clinton. Once again, she has proven herself fundamentally deceptive, if not corrupt.