Friday, May 8, 2020

Mary McCord: Leak To David Ignatius Could Have Come From Obama WH

Among the more intriguing bits of information to come from the newly declassified but by far not fully digested transcripts of House testimony on the Russia Hoax can be found in Mary McCord's testimony. Julie Kelly, to my knowledge, was the first to pick up on this.

The information comes up when Adam Schiff is questioning McCord. Comically, Schiff leads McCord on to commit to the notion that the leak to David Ignatius (WaPo) re Flynn's perfectly appropriate conversation with Russian ambassador Kislyak could have come from the White House. Schiff doesn't get it that McCord is talking about the Obama White House.

The way this works--and I'll provide portions of the transcript below--is like this. McCord, who worked under Sally Yates, learned of the Flynn/Kislyak conversation from Andy McCabe, the disgraced former FBI Deputy Director. McCord learned of the conversation before Yates but didn't have the opportunity to share this knowledge with Yates before Yates went to the famous January 5, 2017, Oval Office meeting. Thus, when Obama, after the larger meeting, pulled Yates and disgraced former FBI Director Comey aside and started talking to them about Flynn, Yates didn't have a clue what was going on. However, when Yates got back to DoJ McCord briefed her on it, and Yates stated that it was clear to her that Comey and Obama were both in on it--they both had prior knowledge, that is, prior to this small meeting.

Here's the not-much-more-than 25 words version of how the information on the Flynn/Kislyak conversation flowed, without Yates being in on it:

Undercover Huber
The reason Obama knew about the Flynn call with Kislyak and even Sally Yates at DOJ didn’t, is that McCabe told Comey, who told Clapper, who told Obama
All that briefing took place orally.
And then POTUS himself raised the Flynn issue in the “by the book” meeting on Jan 5, 2017.
11:13 AM · May 8, 2020
With regard to Obama raising the "Flynn issue", it's helpful to think of it in terms of the following tweet by liberal law prof Jonathan Turley. Bear in mind that Obama would have been fully briefed on transition procedures, so Flynn's conversations with foreign leaders would have been no surprise to Obama--and there would have been no reasons execept nefarious reasons for Obama to raise the issue with Comey and Yates. Beyond that, not Turley's characterization of the McCabe interview as "bizarre". McCabe is clearly a very bizarre individual, just as is Comey:

Jonathan Turley
The claim that this was "surreptitious" is bizarre. Flynn told the transition team about the call. It is not "surreptitious" because McCabe did not know about it and did not ask Trump official about a legal call with the Russians by the incoming National Security Adviser. 
7:16 AM · May 8, 2020

In other words, Obama was totally up to date about the entirely legal activities of the incoming NSA, Flynn. He knew aobut the Flynn/Kislyak conversation possibly weeks before the leak to David Ignatius. Why? Obama's Intel directors knew Obama wanted to know all fo that stuff. The bottom line is that Obama and his Intel directors were actively looking for a way to screw Flynn, and thus 'hobble' the incoming President (K. T. McFarland's apposite term). Remember Susan Rice's "by the book" email to self? That was a CYA email for Obama's sake, in which Rice omitted the substance of the Yates/Comey/Obama discussion of Flynn's conversation with Kislyak.

So, here we have Mary McCord and Schiff. McCord is describing the January 5, 2017, meeting in which the top Obama holdovers plotted how to 'hobble' Trump's fledgeling administration. Goofball Schiff gets McCord to agree that the Obama White House might have committed the felony of leaking to David Ignatius--which is, indeed, entirely possible:

MS. MCCORD: So the way I took it from Ms. Yates is that Director Comey
had already informed the President about it. And the President and Director Comey were then referring to it, which is why she was a little bit in the dark 
because she hadn't been informed of it yet. So she was gleaning from the conversation what may have happened, and then I was able to fill it in for her. 
MR. SCHIFF: And do you know what date that was? 
MS. MCCORD: l don't have the date. [IT WAS JANUARY 5TH]
MR. SCHIFF: Do you know whether that took place before the lgnatius

MS. MCCORD: Yes, it did take place before the lgnatius column 
MR. SCHIFF: So the President was informed that General Flynn had talked with Kislyak about sanctions before it appeared in the press?
MS. MCCORD: That's right. 
MR. SCHIFF: So at least in theory, the leak of that information could have
come from the White House? 
MS. MCCORD: At least in theory. 
MR. SCHIFF: Go further, if you would. After you did discuss it with Sally
Yates then what was the next step in terms of notifying the White House more
MS. MCCORD: So when we then began -- so at this point in time, this is
still President Obama in the White House.
And so we then began discussing - it was not until after incoming Vice President-elect Pence went on Face the Nation that we discussed advising the incoming White House. And - 
MR. SCHIFF: Oh, okay. Thank you, that's a helpful clarification. So the
President you're talking about is President Obama at this point? 
MS. MCCORD: Yes. Yes. 
MR. SCHIFF: Okay. Thank you. 
MS. MCCORD: The David lgnatius article was on the 13th. That pull-aside was before that, right after I learned the information. And it was clear that from -- I shouldn't say clear because l wasn't in the room, but based on what I heard from Deputy Attorney General Yates, it seemed like Director Comey had advised President Obama of something. I don't know the extent because she didn't fully understand what they were

referring to because I hadn't briefed her yet. And when I briefed her on what I had learned from Deputy Director McCabe, then it made sense to her that that must have been what they were referring to.
But I don't know - I can't tell you the extent of what Director Comey briefed
to the President, because I wasn't there and also because Deputy Attorney
General Yates also didn't know exactly what had been briefed, if that makes

And here, once again, is Yates' account of that "pull-aside" meeting, taken from her interview with Team Mueller:

Note that--Obama purports to be wondering whether to share information fully with Flynn based on Flynn's entirely appropriate conversations with foreign leaders. As if Obama's own first NSA hadn't done exactly the same thing during the Bush - Obama transition.

The release of this information must put Obama in a very uncomfortable place.


  1. I greatly enjoy that every time of late you have mentioned "that guy" it is presented as: "disgraced former FBI Director Comey". Please continue! -MR

    1. LOL! I'm glad you like that. I feel like that's something that can't be emphasized often enough.

    2. Disgraced should be the least of his descriptions.

      - TexasDude

  2. Barry n Jimmy have some splainin to do. Sally singin?

  3. Regarding singing, I had a random thought today...

    It seemed so bizarre when Page sued DoJ over privacy. Could that have been a backdoor way to get in the door and offer cooperation, since she must have known the jeopardy she's in?

  4. That transcript is wrong. This is the actual unedited exchange:

    MR. SCHIFF: Oh, okay. Thank you, that's a helpful clarification. So the President you're talking about is President Obama at this point?

    MS. MCCORD: Yes. Yes.

    MR. SCHIFF: Okay. Thank you.

    MS. MCCORD: The David lgnatius article was—

    MR. SCHIFF: Yes, thank you. That's—

    MS. MCCORD: —on the 13th. That pull-aside was—

    MR. SCHIFF: —Okay, thank you. I have no further—

    MS. MCCORD: —before that.


    1. I wish we could have seen his face when he realized what he'd done. A commenter at Kelly's site put it like this: Can't unring that bell.

  5. Adam Schiff, the gift that keeps on giving.

    Rob S

  6. Wish there was transparency on the period from when Flynn was first nominated (or even, joined the campaign) on conversations of Obama, Rice, Yates, Lynch, Comey etc. Must be some way to get a warrant for something like that..

    1. Yes, there are ways to do that--multiple ways, some easier than others. You would start by looking at official government phone records for government owned accounts and devices--those records don't go away. Then you would, when necessary, correlate those records--even bare to/from records--with events and timelines. And proceed from there. Durham has subpoena power. There's nothing I'm saying here that Durham and Barr don't know as well or most likely bettter than I.

  7. I agree that Yates might be cooperating. It is one of the reasons that I think that there will be prosecutions.

    CTH has an audio of an Obama phone call under the heading "Obama Panics – President Obama Gives Political Operatives and Media Talking Points to Protect Him…" I have to agree with Sundance that Obama sounds very nervous. (As he should be.)

    Speaking of Sundance, he takes another shot at Barr. I think that Sundance is a bizarre man, as well. At this point, considering his positives and negatives, he is marginally a net positive. He is one strange dude.

    1. Don't forget Bruce Ohr. He's still there. There are people cooperating. James Baker, according to diGenova. I agree: prosecutions.

    2. Almost certainly. I believe she can be jammed up for perjury in her House testimony. The difference is that as a private citizen the conspiracy case against here isn't as straightforward as against Bruce and others who were government employees abusing their authority. But there may be other factors in her situation. Notice what low profiles both are keeping.

  8. She could be used as leverage on Bruce.

    Seems clear just from sheer pride that Obama had to be the QB. What if it comes down to a courtroom scene where he can't hold it back any longer and blurts out, "I ordered the Code Red!".

    1. I'm sure Nellie is of great interest to Durham, despite the fact you're not hearing about it. She's a possible link between CIA (she was a contractor) and DoJ (through Bruce) and the Clinton campaign (through Simpson and Sussman). It's all complicated.

  9. And then schiff-for-brain’s eyes, both of them, exploded from his head...