I mentioned during the elections that Putin would do this to Trump. Much more than wanting Trump in office as president, Putin wants to completely destroy all democracies in any way that he can on earth. He is doing this now in America and Europe and elsewhere on earth.
Begin quote from CNN with Wolf Blitzer interviewing Clint Watts who was just interviewed by the Senate Intelligence committee today(Friday March 30th 2017).
Wolf: "joining us now is Clint Watts of the Foreign Policy Research Institute for cyber and homeland security at George Washington University. He's also a former FBI agent. He testified today before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Russian Meddling in the U.S. presidential election.
Wolf:Thank you Cliff for joining us. What was Putin's objective in all of this?
Clint Watts: The ultimate objective is to destroy democracies from the inside out. What he wants to do is to erode trust and to sow divisions in the U.S. electorate. That way when we are fighting amongst ourselves it actually discredits those people who were elected and those institutions that they represent.
Wolf: So when he sees the fighting that's going on right now he sits back and says---
Clint Watts: --this is exactly what I wanted to happen. If I"m Putin he's seeing dissention between Republicans and Democrats and now between the Congress and executive branch. This is a dream come true for him regarding sowing chaos such that we can't really focus on his active measures or his foreign policy.
Wolf: You've done a lot of research on this. You're an expert. Did the then candidate Donal Trump or any of his associates were any of them aware of or involved with any of these Russians in any of these cyber attacks.
Clint Watts: What we can't tell is whether Trump knew he was actually citing Russian propaganda at times which did happen. But what did happen is his campaign manger cited Russian Propaganda 7 days after it had been debunked in August 2016. We see lots of lines that are pushed by the Kremlin that are fed into information briefings. The other part is the co-ordination. We see hacks we see leaks and those are very synchronized that came out into the campaign in August, September, October. And so that that tends to lead to the belief that Yeah there was co-ordination
Wolf: You think that Trump, the associates even the candidate himself were citing fake news spread out by these Russian STate organizations?
Clint Watts: It goes both ways. Sometimes they would cite fake news sometimes put out by Russian STate propaganda whether they did this wittingly or unwittingly you can't tell. And other times the Trump organization would put out falsehoods and those falsehoods would be used as talking points for the Russians. So, the circle plays back upon itself in a reverse direction.
Wolf: Is the Trump administration that the president has been in office more than 60 days handling this appropriately from your vantage point?
Clint: NO!Of great concern to me the report you just had at the top of the hour which is two people in the White House might have cherry picked intelligence that could have been part of active investigations. And then gave it to somebody outside the normal process.
Wolf: You're talking about the New York Times Report?
Clint: Yes. the new york times report.
Wolf: Someone in the White House invited Nunes over to the White House to look at an intelligence report.
Clint: Yes. And that would be circumventing normal investigative processes.
When that breaks down when we see that cherry picking it even further confuses fact from fiction. And what we need from our chief executive is fact over fiction. And we need to have confidence what the process is and that we are getting all the information.
Wolf: What are the consequences of all of this?
Clint:political partisanship on both sides. You're going to have an executive branch and a legislative branch that don't work together.You can't pass budgets you can't come to an agreement around a foreign policy in particular to counter Russia.
Wolf: I watched your testimony before the Senate intelligence committee and it was fascinating. One thing you said was to trace Russian influence in the election here in the United States is to follow the trail of dead Russians.
Clint: Ever since the election there has been a series of 7 to 8 Russians either people within the
Russian Government. You have ambassadors who turned up dead under suspicious circumstances.
You've had people at different cyber security companies arrested unexpectedly. If you follow that trail that's where most of those leaks are that are allegedly coming from the ex- MI6 dossier. That's what I believe those to be.
Wolf: Do you think the FBI is equiped to do a great investigation into all of this because you heard James Comey, the FBI director say a week ago that they are engaged right now in a very serious criminal investigation.
Clint: I think the FBI has the ability to do it but also of this but all of this political bargaining, this cherry picking of intelligence inside the government using it for political purposes with these congressional committees, that just derails investigations. How on earth could the FBI do a good investigation when intelligence is being possibly leaked from inside the government in a different location? Very hard to run down leads and come to any decisive conclusions.
Wolf: There were a few chilling moments during testimony before the Senate INtelligence Committee. Where you even expressed concern about your own security. Tell us about that.
Clint: Right. I know that I've been targeted by trolling attacks. I've been notified by the FBI through the think tank foreign policy institute that they had been notified that I have been a target of malware.
And I know I'm on that list. I speak today and my bank accounts could very well be compromised, I could be discredited by compromising materials some true some false. But I think my biggest concern is that I'm not confident that the U.S. government would actually come to bat for me.
Wolf: You're not confident?
Clint: NO. I've seen president Trump call for Russia to leak emails against a political opponent. I've seen him discredit the U.S. intelligence committee to cite conspiracies he's seen on his twitter feed.
So, if I say things that the Trump administration doesn't like or that are counter to Putin. I'm not sure if it's not Trump first, Putin 2nd and the rest of America 3rd.
Wolf: What you seem to be suggesting is that there's still some coordination between Trump and Putin?
Clint: NO. I think it's in terms of the political bartering that's going on right now it's opportunism ---
end partial quote from the interview
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