East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, January 11, 2017, Page Page 7A, Image 7

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017
East Oregonian
Page 7A
Official: Trump briefed on potentially compromising report
intelligence officials last week
told President-elect Donald Trump
about an unsubstantiated report that
Russia had compromising personal
and financial information about
him, a U.S. official said Tuesday.
The official spoke on the
condition of anonymity because the
official was not allowed to publicly
discuss the matter.
The briefing about the docu-
ment was first reported by CNN.
A summary of the allegations
was separate from a classified
assessment of Russia’s attempts
to meddle in the U.S. presidential
election. Trump and President
Barack Obama were briefed on the
intelligence community’s findings
last week.
Shortly after news reports were
published about the briefing, Trump
tweeted: “FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL
Trump was expected to hold a
previously scheduled news confer-
ence Wednesday to discuss his
future plans regarding his role with
the Trump Organization.
The unsubstantiated dossier on
Trump was compiled by a former
Western intelligence operative
as part of an opposition research
project originally financed by a
Republican client who opposed
Trump, and later funded by
Democrats, according to Mother
Jones, which published an article
about the report in October and
said the operative had turned over
the report to the FBI. The New
York Times reported the operative
had previously worked for British
intelligence. The Associated Press
has not been able to substantiate the
information in the dossier, which
misspelled the name of Russia’s
largest bank.
It’s unclear why the intelli-
gence officials decided to brief
the president and Trump on the
uncorroborated information at this
time, but lawmakers and others
have repeatedly noted that Russia
collects intelligence on both Demo-
crats and Republicans.
“The Russians also hacked
systems associated with the
Republicans. They just chose not to
release that material yet,” Sen. Mark
Warner of Virginia, the ranking
Democrat on the Senate intelligence
committee, said Tuesday. “There’s
nothing that prevents them from
doing so at a time of their choosing
in the future.”
Conway said in an interview
Tuesday on NBC that “nobody has
sourced it. They’re all unnamed,
unspoken sources in the story.” She
said it may have originated with a
Russian investigator or groups that
wanted Hillary Clinton to win the
White House.
The report had been circulating
in Washington for months. In
October, former Senate Minority
Leader Harry Reid wrote the FBI
asking the bureau to publicly
disclose what it knew about the
Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.
Reid was aware of the dossier
before he wrote the letter, according
to a person knowledgeable about
the subject.
FBI Director James Comey
refused earlier Tuesday to say
whether the FBI was investigating
any possible ties between Russia
and Trump’s presidential campaign,
citing policy not to comment on
what the FBI might or might not be
Comey was pressed by Demo-
crats on the committee about
whether the FBI was conducting
an investigation. There was no
mention during the hearing about
the summary of the dossier, which
was attached to the classified
hacking assessment.
“I would never comment on
investigations — whether we have
one or not — in an open forum
like this so I can’t answer one way
or another,” Comey told the panel
during his first public appearance
before Congress since the election.
In late October, Comey angered
Democrats when he announced 11
days before the election that the
FBI was looking at more emails as
part of its investigation of Hillary
Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron
Wyden said the American people
had a right to know about whether
there is an FBI investigation into the
Trump campaign’s ties with Russia.
An active FBI investigation of
the next president for ties between
his campaign and a nation accused
of meddling in the presidential
election could further stoke mistrust
in the legitimacy of the democratic
process. It could also put Trump’s
own FBI in the awkward position
of examining the conduct of those
closest to the commander-in-chief.
The FBI was among three
U.S. intelligence agencies that
collaborated on last week’s report
on Russia’s election activity. It tied
Russian President Vladimir Putin to
the hacking of email accounts of the
Democratic National Committee
and individual Democrats like
Clinton’s campaign chairman,
John Podesta. It said there was no
evidence the Russians tampered
with vote tallies; the agencies
said they couldn’t assess if Russia
succeeded in influencing Ameri-
cans to vote for Trump.
“I’m not sure I can think of an
issue of more serious public interest
than this one,” said Democratic
Sen. Kamala Harris of California.
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while operating in a dynamic, challenging economic environment.
Greg Smith - State of Oregon Representative district 57
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or info@boardmanchamber.org
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Owner: Kimberly Trott
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