Sunday, October 28, 2018

UPDATES: The Spy In The Trump Campaign

Sundance at Conservative Tree House has a fascinating blog up tonight. He begins from a tweet by George Papadopoulos:

While I cannot disclose the information publicly, it’s a fact that both me and congress know who the SPY within the campaign was. Congress will likely include it in a report later on. Eyes were everywhere during 2016.

Sundance posits that the source was the former US Representative from Michigan, Mike Rogers--not to be confused, as we'll see, with former NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers. Rogers, the former US Rep., was a Special Agent for the FBI in Chicago from 1989 - 1994 (I didn't know him, but recall hearing the office buzz when Rogers resigned to go into politics). More to the point, after leaving the House in 2014, having served as Chairman of the Permanent Select Committe on Intelligence, Rogers joined the Trump campaign in 2016 as national security adviser. Sundance points out Rogers' dodgy role in the Benghazi whitewash and then asks: "So how did Decepticon Rogers come to be an advisor to the Trump campaign?" Unfortunately, he offers no views on that.

Rogers was abruptly terminated within days after the election--much to the dismay of the Washington DC establishment. For example, in the Washington Post David Ignatius reported the dismissal in telling terms:

Just how far the new administration may depart from long-standing U.S. national-security policies was demonstrated by Rogers’s own departure.
You could imagine the jaws dropping Tuesday across the intelligence community when people heard the news of Rogers’s ouster. ... the intelligence agencies literally don’t know what to expect next.

Sundance himself ties Rogers' dismissal to the well known visit of Admiral Mike Rogers to Trump Tower a few days after the election, which led to the move of the Trump transition team headquarters from Trump Tower to a Trump golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey. However, once again, sundance offers no further details.

The question, then, becomes: What would the NSA Director have to do with a human source inside the Trump campaign? Wouldn't that be the purview of the FBI? Would the NSA Director even know of the existence, much less the identity, of such a source? And even supposing that Admiral Rogers disclosed the existence and identity of a human source inside the Trump campaign, why would that necessitate a removal of the Trump transition team from Manhattan to rural New Jersey? Wouldn't removal of the source from the transition team solve the problem, without the need for a disruptive move?

I can only offer speculation. My speculation is that the paperwork flow for FISA orders includes a copy being sent to NSA, since in the modern FISA regime NSA plays a central role even on domestic FISA coverage. If that were the case--if, I repeat--and if the human source in the Trump campaign was used to support the predication for the Carter Page FISA, which was approved in late October, 2016, then Admiral Rogers could have become aware of the existence of that human source and may even have been able to determine the identity of the source from the characterization of the source in the FISA application. That information, of course, would be in the redacted portions of the FISA application which we have yet to see. At this point, all we can do is wait. Interestingly, Mike Rogers (the former Rep.) was one of the persons interviewed for the position of FBI Director after James Comey was fired. However, that interview was conducted at DoJ, so presumably the White House put the kibosh on that move.

Supposing all the above to be the case, that still leaves us with the question of why the move from Manhattan to New Jersey was necessary. I come back to my favorite theory, which is that Admiral Rogers also disclosed to President Elect Trump that the British GCHQ was participating in an electronic surveillance scheme, which involved rerouting GCHQ's collection from Trump Tower to England and then--as part of supposed intelligence cooperation of a friendly allied power--routed back to the US. Here's a sketch of my reasoning in that regard.

There have been numerous reports that GCHQ--the British counterpart to our NSA--is supposed to have alerted the US to the now debunked Alfa Bank traffic.

Bear in mind--GCHQ is supposed to be THE biggest surveillance collector, even bigger than NSA, if you can imagine that. They share pretty much everything with US. There is no reason to suppose that GCHQ doesn't collect within the US, nor that they wouldn't target individuals/organizations as requested by US and pass their take back to US as friendly intel cooperation--avoiding the FISA rules that bind only US intel agencies. US intel agencies can accept foreign intel. All contrived?

GCHQ's head, Robert Hannigan, visited CIA's John Brennan in summer 2016 (NB, the visit was NOT to his NSA counterpart, Admiral Rogers).

Within days of the election Admiral Rogers traveled SECRETLY--i.e., without telling James Clapper or Brennan--to Trump Tower to speak directly to Trump. Why--if not to tell Trump something HUGELY important?

Trump's reaction? That same afternoon he announced that his Transition HQ would move to Bedminster, NJ. Why? Coincidence? Was it to distance the Transition HQ from NYC, which is one of only a few major communication hubs in the world, making surveillance collection by GCHQ, for example, child's play if the target is in NYC?

If Admiral Rogers delivered a warning about "hostile" foreign surveillance to Trump, that would have been no big deal--in which case why would he not have told Clapper and Brennan of his trip, or even announce his purpose publicly or via leak? There would've been no harm in that, it seems to me. Unless Rogers' warning had to do with US intel and--since Comey says FBI wasn't "wiretapping"--another intel actor. GCHQ in concert with the US?

What was the reaction of Brennan and Clapper? Fury. They urged Obama to fire Rogers.

Three days after Trump's inauguration GCHQ's Hannigan abruptly resigned--or so the news reports said. The reasons given--family reasons--are simply non-credible for a guy who was relatively new at the top. More than likely his dismissal by Theresa May was forced by President Trump. And this, perhaps, explains why Trump notably humiliated May repeatedly in public over a period of months.

Now, with announcement of Trump's declass order, foreign "allies" "beg" Trump not to declass. Everyone seems to know that's a ref to UK/AU, but we already know about Mifsud/Halper/Downer so what's the big deal? Could it be that there would be refs to surveillance somewhere in the docs--which include not only the FISA app but Comey/McCabe emails and texts and the Ohr 302s--indiscrete refs?

GCHQ denies all of the above, but they would, wouldn't they?

Well, it's a theory.

UPDATE: This morning at American Thinker Thomas Lifson has a blog, Brit spooks leak story that UK knew of assassination plot on Kashoggi, that may seem to be unrelated, but which adds to one of my points. That point is that no one should underestimate the extent of Brit "technical" collection through GCHQ. The related point is that that collection is shared with the US. Lifson writes:

The UK Daily Express, a tabloid newspaper that has favored Brexit and generally is conservative, has published an article based on leaks from the UK’s spy agency equivalent of our NSA, the British GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters). The leakers purport to know that, thanks to communications intercepts (that is, electronic spying on the Saudis), the British government was well aware of a plot to kidnap and return to Saudi Arabia Jamal Kashoggi, a political operative of the Muslim Brotherhood in opposition to the reformist Prince Mohammed bin Salman, sporting a cover story of being a contributing columnist at the Washington Post.


I don’t trust the motives of anyone associated with GCHQ any more than I trust our own Deep State operatives in the vast intelligence apparatus. But it is worth noting that if this story is true, under the “Five Eyes” intelligence sharing arrangement, our own Deep staters were made aware of the plot, and did not obstruct it. Was President Trump informed in his Presidential Daily Briefing?
If so, he has some questions to answer. If not, the intelligence agencies that are supposed to work for him have some ‘splainin’ to do.
With multiple intelligence agencies at work, this entire situation is a hall of mirrors. I don’t trust any reports.

UPDATE: H/T Gateway Pundit. GP points out this morning that Jeff Sessions was chairman of candidate Trump's National Security Advisory Committee (NSAC). Does that answer sundance's question: "So how did Decepticon [former US Representative, Mike] Rogers come to be an advisor to the Trump campaign?" If so, this certainly helps to explain the depths of Trump's obvious feelings of aggrievement against Sessions, the roots of which include other factors than Sessions' recusal. The recusal may, in fact, have been in Trump's view the straw that broke the camel's back--following on from the hiring of Rogers.


  1. Perhaps I can help with some insight into the EC intelligence gathering functionality. Most people have a misconception that electronic communications are selectively collected based upon legal or ethical limits imposed by governments; but that is not the case at all. Electronic information moves along communication paths (mostly fiber optic these days) in "bit streams" that are unintelligible to humans and require computers to decode into something that a human can understand. These bit streams are copied and archived in real time in their entirety by hardware systems (it's the only way to do this). Later, these archives can be selectively searched and examined (in theory based upon legally constrained criteria), but all the underlying data is permanently stored and available. This activity is being conducted by numerous entities around the planet (both governmental and private) with lots of overlap and duplication. EC privacy became extinct nearly two decades ago.

  2. Thanks, Unknown. I've been rather frustrated with myself for some time in this regard. Somewhere out there on the internet there's a document, a pdf I believe, that explains all these technical matters specifically as regards EC intel gathering and even more specifically with regard to New York City, as a crucial node in the structure you describe. I thought I had saved this either as a bookmark or as a downloaded file, but I can't for the life of me find it now.

    Of course you're quite correct that EC privacy is a thing of the past. However, there still remain legal restrictions--at least in the US under FISA--and those restrictions and the means that were taken to circumvent legal restrictions are at the heart of the Russia Hoax. The use of GCHQ, which doesn't operate under such legal restrictions, was I believe more critical than the Establishment wants US citizens to understand.

  3. The big reveal in the FISA case is that institutional controls were deliberately (and illegally) violated in the US by allowing non-governmental personnel to mine political opposition research data from the NSA archives. This occurred over several years during the Obama Administration, and was authorized and enabled at the highest levels of our government. There is a huge ongoing push within DOJ right now to cover this up because (they believe) full exposure of these crimes could fatally undermine the future credibility of these core institutions. A similar debacle is playing out in Great Britain as well, and if it should be revealed that they were a key player in the coup plot, they fear that could seriously damage our relationship. At the root of this issue, all of the culprits are powerful men and women, and they really, really don't want to do any prison time.

  4. Bingo. Or, as Jeeves might say, Rem acu tetigisti.

  5. We have to know the truth regardless of the damage to the FBI, DOJ or any agency of the government. The future of our nation as a constitutional republic is at stake. Some of these institutions have become corrupt at the top, despite the many good men and women in the rank and file. The very idea that the DOJ can tell the President that he cannot declassify information because of the ongoing Mueller probe is ludicrous. The Constitution delegates powers to the President, Congress and the courts, not to an unelected 4th branch of government known as the administrative branch of government. Since 9/11, the government has grown too powerful (well even before that). In order to stay safe, men have given up some of their liberty and privacy rights. Donald Trump is a real threat to the status quo. I am thankful to the LORD for Donald's election. This immoral nation really didn't merit His kindness after years of turning our back upon Him. Before the election, I wasn't a huge fan of DJT but I am now. He is a wrecking ball to the corrupt establishment. I am thankful for Mr. Wauck, Sundance, Jeff Carlson, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and others in the conservative media.

  6. Agreed, Anon. My great hope is that the GOP holds Senate and House so that the next two years can be devoted to a thorough house cleaning in the Deep State agencies with the transparency the American people deserve.