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Sunday, August 9, 2020

The Steven Schrage Interview

Below I've transcribed Steven Schrage's interview this morning with Maria Bartiromo, and I've also linked to a video of the interview. As I commented earlier, this is mostly stuff we already knew. What it does, to my way of thinking, is to reinforce the conviction that there really was what I refer to as a "big picture conspiracy" to stop Trump. That's particularly clear when you consider the FBI and the CIA sharing the same source (Halper) who is being paid enormous sums of money through what appears to be a CIA money laundering front agency (Office of Net Assessment - ONA), and the connection to MI6. To me, when all the other details are added in, the evidence that there was a conspiracy in place long before Crossfire Hurricane was ever opened is very strong.

Here are a few takeaways:

Note that Schrage believes, based on his contacts with Durham, that this investigation will be continuing.

Note also that Schrage is coming forward to support Flynn "before the hearing," and that he appears to have Durham's blessing in doing so.

Finally, regarding the MI6 connection, while Dearlove and Steele are "retired," that doesn't mean that Dearlove might not have served as a high level--but deniable--connection among Five Eyes intel agencies. Note, for example, the way in which Dearlove's presence seemingly energized and directed Halper, in Schrage's telling of the events. That appears to be the truly main point that Shrage is trying to make--the influence of Richard Dearlove on what transpired and developed into the Russia Hoax. And we know that Christopher Steele consulted with Dearlove on this, as well.

Finally, in his companion article--The Spies Who Hijacked America--Schrage maintains that Halper's FBI handler was Stephen Somma. That's something I'll need to look into. Somma--the case agent for the Carter Page NYO investigation--is said to be in hot water over critical omissions from the Carter Page FISA.

All this maintains my belief that Barr and Durham are determined to get to the bottom of what looks increasingly complex.

Here's a link to a previous post in which I discuss Schrage--and quote extensively from a delicious Mark Steyn article that goes into detail regarding the Cambridge meeting that Schrage is now talking to the world about.

Here's the inteview:


========================


Maria Bartiromo

Steven Schrage

Maria: It was the spark that ignited one of the worst abuses of political power in our country's history. In July of 2016, Carter Page attended an overseas conference in Cambridge, where he first met informant Stefan Halper. Three months later the FBI secured the first of four FISA warrants to unlawfully spy on Carter Page. My next guest is the man who first introduced Page to Halper while he [Shrage] was working as a PhD candidate at Cambridge. Steven Shrage is with us. He's joining me for the first ever television interview for him. Good morning, Steven. Thank you so much for being here.

Schrage: Good morning. Glad to be here.

Maria: You worked for Stefan Halper and we wanna ask you, really, the background of 2016. So let's start there. What is your background, in terms of working with Stefan Halper--and why did you invite Carter Page to a conference that you were planning?

Schrage: Right. I had had a long background working on crime and terrorism at the White House and Congress and went to Cambridge to finish a PhD I had started years earlier at Harvard. And my intent had always been to have a conference that looked at presidential campaigns and national security risk. I had no idea that it would blow up into this. Halper was *not that engaged*, up until the point that he crossed paths with Page and Christopher Steele's ex-MI6 boss--Sir Richard Dearlove. At that point he seemed to really focus on Page and really try to isolate him and kind of ingratiate himself with the Trump campaign in ways that seemed like a real turning point. But how Page wound up there with Halper is really a comedy of errors, and it was something where we were looking for someone from the Trump campaign to make sure the Trump campaign was represented, and it just kind of happened to fall in his lap, that Page landed there.

Maria: Well, why did you want someone from the Trump campaign? Here you have, you wrote about these guys--and you called the 'The Cambridge Four'--that they were 'washed up spies.' Why are 'washed up spies' wanting to get in with the Trump campaign?

Schrage: Well, for the *conference* they were not involved in that decision at all. The *conference* was because I came from a Republican background and wanted an unbiased conference. I wanted to make sure if we had Madeline Albright on one side we had *a* Trump representative on the other side. I don't believe Stefan Halper even knew Carter Page was gonna *be* at the conference until I emailed him [Halper]. Y'know, we had talked about people. But what happened was, *before* the conference, if you look at it, a few weeks ago, Christopher Steele had been hired by a Clinton campaign contractor. And then the spark that I think really set this off was when Stefan Halper, Christopher Steele's old boss Richard Dearlove, and Page were all together. And Trump was portrayed, to my surprise, as this national security threat, and that's when the interest really started to bubble, in terms of where this took off.

Maria: So, let me go back to Stefan Halper for a bit. This is your PhD supervisor. The Office of Net Assessment [ONA] awarded him four contracts between May of 2012 and September of 2016. In September of '15 he was awarded a contract valued at $245,000 dollars to study Russia and China. Characterize that. Do you, are these the kind of paychecks you get for doing a study on Russia and China? And isn't it interesting that, just months later, after he was awarded *another* contract of $411,000 dollars, then the wiretapping of Carter Page started.

Schrage: Yes. I have never heard of that in an academic setting--providing that much compensation for these types of reports. One thing I will say that was quite unusual was, even after Carter Page had been kind of smeared improperly as a quote unquote "Russian Spy," um, Stefan Halper would profusely thanks me for introducing him [Page] to him [Halper]. And I never really understood that, but once I saw these massive payments kind of corresponding to when he was, y'know, surveilling Page and Papadopoulos, which I learned about in 2018, y'know, there was obviously--could it be a connection there?--y'know, there's a theory about how that played out. The key part and, I think, the real smoking gun in all this, is, y'know,  all these tentacles lead back to the small group, including Stefan Halper at the center of Spygate, Christopher Steele at the center of Russiagate, Stefan Halper's FBI handler. None of the Senate has subpoenaed or called these people to talk in four years. I think that's the real smoking gun: How are these people being protected, and how are we at a point so close to the election, and with Flynn's hearing coming up, that no one has called these people and gotten to the bottom of all this. And, y'know, the information that *I* gave provides a lot of troubling aspects of this.

Maria: So, let's talk about that because you actually recorded stuff on Halper. He was *aware* that you recorded him, because you used to do recordings, but this was on January 10th, 2017, two days before there was a leak in the Washington Post that General Flynn was gonna be investigated about the Logan Act, and you recorded Stefan Halper talking about Flynn. Let's roll that recording right now:

Halper: If you go to the NSC, you have to consider very carefully if you feel it's appropriate for you to work for Flynn. I don't think Flynn's going to be around long. I mean that's just my guess. The way these things work, you inevitably find yourself at odds with *someone*, I mean you always do. Probably lots of people. And when your opponents, so called enemies, when people who oppose you are looking for ways of exerting pressure, they go to people that they know you're at odds with. And that's how it builds and eventually you get squeezed pretty hard. ... But Flynn's reaction to that is to blow up and get angry, He's really f****d. I mean I don't where he goes from there. But that is his reaction. That's why he's so unsuitable.

Maria: So, what do you think was going on here, Steven? Do you think Halper was working for the FBI or the CIA and getting paid by the Office of Net Assessment to dirty up Flynn and dirty up Trump campaign officials? How did he know Flynn was about to blow up, two days before it was in the Washington Post?

Schrage: Right, and some of this is things that I believe based on interacting with him for a long time, but they are *beliefs*. It was very odd, because I had told him extensively that, y'know, Flynn was incredibly close with President Trump. At the time, as it's been reported, the FBI was about ready to pull its investigation [of Flynn] on January 4th [2017], before the Oval Office meeting met where the Logan Act and Flynn was discussed. So I don't think he had any independent reason to expect that this would happen to Flynn. He had also bragged to me and talked to others that David Ignatius was one of his big press-media contacts. So, again, it seems like something that really needs to be investigated. One of his students was *also* working with Ignatius at the Post--Bob, Robert Costa--so the fact that this has not been investigated, that no one has called him [Halper] to testify and looked at this, I think is *as shocking* as what's happened.

Maria: Well what about you? I mean, you told me you spoke with John Durham. Somebody else told me that they thought *you* were disseminating the dossier. Were *you* involved in all this?

Schrage: No. I had no idea at all. I mean, this has really upended my life. I was actually about to fly out for my wedding when the stories broke, that my PhD supervisor for a long time was this FBI spy known as 'The Walrus'. And since that time I've tried to uncover that. I've worked, y'know, with investigators to try to do that, but with this Flynn information I discovered a few weeks ago and the fact that these investigations have *not* moved so far, I felt I needed to come forward before the Flynn hearing. And, frankly, the fact that some people have been spreading rumors about other people leaking it, I think there were quite a few *Republicans* involved in leaking this, that I found out through these different processes that have *not* been revealed, so I think there's a lot of people trying to cover the tracks of what happened to start this thing, and I think that's why it's so critical that we get to the bottom of it.

Maria: And you did talk to John Durham, correct?

Schrage: I did. And I did tell him a couple of weeks ago, I said, y'know, happy to continue to help, but I need to go public, because I'm concerned about how long this is taking, this shouldn't be political about Democrats or Republicans, this is about officials undermining our democracy, and it needs to be known long before the election.




34 comments:

  1. MW wrote:

    >> Finally, it would be very helpful to know who Halper's FBI handler was. <<

    Steve Somma.

    I think it' in Shrage's print article today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I corrected that and linked to previous posts re Somma. The fact that Somma apppears to be in trouble over the Carter Page FISA--he would have been the one misrepresenting Page's Russian contacts in New York--SHOULD mean that he's cooperating with Durham.

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  2. Long, detailed article by Steven Schrage, Halper, Carter Page, etc., that coincides with his appearance today with Bartiromo:

    The Spies Who Hijacked America

    https://taibbi.substack.com/p/the-spies-who-hijacked-america

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. But it doesn't actually add much to the interview. He's mostly puffing himself up in anticipation of further articles. Which I look forward to.

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  3. I commented earlier, and am re-commenting here, that Taibbi has been working with Schrage for some weeks now and also published his own work this morning on the meaning of Schrage's insights.

    Its here, unfortunately behind Taibbi's new paywall: https://taibbi.substack.com/p/our-man-in-cambridge-93f

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just updated this post--again. This time, in addition to links re Somma, I have a link to a post re Schrage. As I say it contains a lot of Mark Steyn material on that Cambridge conference. Steyn is what could be called a Schrage skeptic.

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  4. I wonder whether Lokhova will have anything to say about this.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. As it turns out, she has a LOT to say about Schrage. Surprise!

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    2. >> Svetlana
      @RealSLokhova
      I am really sorry to inform you that this sorry saga has no whistleblowers.
      Just a lot of people trying to save their asses.
      Quote Tweet
      Eli Lake
      @EliLake
      · 3h
      Taibbi’s latest on a former student of Stefan Halper turned whistleblower https://taibbi.substack.com/p/our-man-in-cambridge-93f
      12:24 PM · Aug 9, 2020·Twitter for iPhone <<

      She seems to echo a gut feeling I had reading the Shrage piece; likely lots of accurate material, but to what extent is he covering his own ass or those of others?

      The whole thing about the Cambridge Conference in July 2016 being a innocent project of his own conception, and in which Dearlove and Halper had no interest until Carter Page showed up "completely by chance," seems too cute by half.

      I always suspected the conference was genned up at the last minute as bait to lure CP into Halper (and Dearlove's and Steele's) crosshairs.

      Shrage may be generally truthful, but could be bending the truth here and there to make himself look better. A more sinister take is that he doing that to protect a deeper conspiracy and higher-up conspirators.

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    3. Nevertheless, I'll stand by my takeaways from the interview. What he's saying doesn't really have much relevance for Flynn--I think that's partly just to boost readership: I can tell you my posts re Flynn get a lot of readers compared to some other topics. OTOH, it certainly does support the big picture conspiracy. As I said to Cassander, perhaps he smells money in this.

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    4. Watching Schrage this morning, I was struck by his aura of self-interest. I didn’t compare the article at Tlaibbi’s site with the interview. The most interesting thing to come out of the interview was Halper’s remark about Flynn in January 2017 that he (Flynn) wouldn’t be around long.

      Delete
    5. Actually, Bebe, the stuff about Flynn is probably the least interesting. The other stuff is a good reminder, but is already known. However, I like the emphasis on Richard Dearlove's role.

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  5. Let's not forget that Taibbi's audience is substantially "left"...it can't hurt that his readers are being exposed to more of the truth. Where else will they see it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Quite so on his Left audience, esp. in the MSM.
      O/T, but Taibbi had an interview with Weinstein (of Evergreen State) weeks ago, about cancel culture, see
      https://bernays.substack.com/p/cancel-culture .

      Delete
  6. For me, this is perhaps the biggest revelation from Shrage that I had not heard previously:

    >> "48 hours before the leak was published, my former supervisor Halper eerily laid out what was about to happen to Flynn, something he had no independent reason to know. " <<

    Halper, in the audio recording goes on to refer to Flynn's "so-called enemies" were looking for ways to bring pressure on him.

    "So called enemies" sure sounds like a euphemism for "McCabe.

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    Replies
    1. Meaningless. Nobody was keeping Halper in the loop on meetings in the Oval Office or on the 7th floor of FBIHQ.

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    2. Do you think that Halper reasoned that the Flynn/Lokhova lie he'd concocted and peddled to FBI was going to "behead" Flynn?

      Delete
  7. Posted by Shipwreckedcrew about an hour ago, in re: the Shrage article:

    >> shipwreckedcrew
    @shipwreckedcrew

    Saw the article yesterday but didn't have a chance to read it Am doing so now. Will likely write about it -- maybe later today if time permits. I have strong suspicions/speculation about Halper based on his past. I don't think he is what everyone thinks he is -- he's more. <<

    >> https://twitter.com/shipwreckedcrew/status/1292545939039641600 <<

    ReplyDelete
  8. From the Shrage article:

    >> "Recently, I had discovered and flagged for Durham disturbing recordings. One involved one of the Cambridge Four, Halper, and raised serious questions about the origins of what has been called the “kill shot” against Trump’s first national security advisor, General Michael Flynn." <<

    IOW, Shrage has MORE than one disturbing recording he flagged for Durham; the Halper recording 2 days before the leak of Flynn's phone calls is just ONE of them.

    I do believe somebody is whetting our appetite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. whetting our appetite, and maybe, pitching in for Flynn, see this Taibbi quote:
      "Schrage believes the “really fucked” exchange he has on tape might have implications for a hearing this Tuesday, August 11th of the full Circuit Court...."
      .

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  9. Schrage says he was desperate to find someone associated with the Trump Campaign for his conference. He says he needed to balance out the attendance since Madelein Albright would be an attendee...presumably representing Mrs Clinton. Schrage says he came up with Carter Page all by himself. This is quite a coincidence (!) since Page was a prime subject of Christopher Steele's dossier.

    Is Schrage telling the truth? Margot Cleveland writes in the Federalist today that "According to the Washington Post, Page’s presence at that conference came at the behest of Halper, whose grad student called and emailed Page an invitation to the seminar." I ca't read the paywall-protected Wapo article but somebody's got the story wrong here.

    Here's a link to Cleveland's piece, which includes some additional interesting speculation about Halper's true role in 2016:

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/03/13/did-spygate-source-stefan-halper-work-for-the-hillary-clinton-campaign/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Lokhova, CTH, others are pretty scathing. Follow my link for the Mark Steyn article. It's a classic, but captures it perfectly. The idea that Carter Page was going to balance out Madeline Albright? Really?

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  10. Shrage’s timing is suspect. My question is what’s in it for him coming forward right now? Just like the Latest Senator Graham interview... I see this as trying to save the eGOP that were involved reputation...

    I think she is right...

    >> Svetlana
    @RealSLokhova
    I am really sorry to inform you that this sorry saga has no whistleblowers.
    Just a lot of people trying to save their asses.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's his question too, I think: What's in it for me? Or, Where's mine?

      Delete
  11. If I knew that Halper had been arrested for possession of crack cocaine in 1994, I had forgotten.

    https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2018/06/omg-anti-trump-deep-state-spy-stefan-halper-was-busted-on-crack-cocaine-charges/

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  12. "Ask yourself why no one has called Stefan Halper to testify."

    https://twitter.com/ProfMJCleveland/status/1292534956024045568

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    1. It's possible he was interviewed in England? And he wasn't called by Congress to avoid interfering with Durham.

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  13. AG Barr guested on Mark Levin’s program tonight. A broad-reaching session in which AG Barr was permitted to talk, something that sets Levin apart from many interviewers. The interview is beginning to show up on YouTube in segments.

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  14. Conspiracies harness and build a lot of power when they function in the dark, but when the light shines and they unravel, that same energy blows it apart. Most of the people are in them to be near who they perceive as powerful, and that switches at a certain tipping point. Shrage's article is one of the first kind of 'bragging' he's Durham's friend now...

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    1. Yep. Lots of 'so I said to John' type stuff.

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  15. After reading the article, I got the sense that Shrage was trying to build the perception that they're all incompetents, rather than that they deliberately planned all these "coincidental" meetings.

    That would be one way of protecting his long-time mentor.

    Just like Yates' hearing and even the IG report - rather be seen as incompetent than nefarious.

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    Replies
    1. The fact that it was coordinated does not exclude them being incompetent. They are not mutually exclusive.

      Shrage argues that it strains credulity to think these 4 people who all new each other and were in the same zip code did these things that fit together so well by pure chance; that they were also incompetent at what they tried to do doesn't go to the question of coordination by someone.

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  16. I am not sure who he is protecting.

    >That would be one way of protecting his long-time mentor.

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  17. O/T

    Here is Ron Johnson's 'letter' released today announcing that he has subpoenaed docs from certain agencies and individuals relating to Crossfire Hurricane, the
    “unmasking” of U.S. persons affiliated with the Trump campaign, and allegations of the political corruption of US officials and agencies.

    https://www.scribd.com/document/471979590/Johnson-letter#fullscreen&from_embed

    If I were a betting man I might put my money on Johnson (and Grassley) as opposed to Lindsay Graham.

    In particular, Johnson is seeking information about Biden's "conflicts" in Ukraine and elsewhere. I highly recommend taking a look at pages 4-6 of the letter. I would think/hope it will be very hard for Biden to make these questions disappear.

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