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On Trump-Russia Ties, There Is ‘Smoke But No Fire,’ Says Former Acting CIA Director

March 17, 2017 (EIRNS)—In statements reported by NBC News yesterday, former Acting CIA Director Mike Morell said he has seen no evidence that associates of President Trump had colluded with Russia.

Morrel is not a nice guy; he had backed Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and was expected to be named CIA Director had she been elected. Last August, Morell had accused then-candidate Trump of being an "unwitting agent of the Russian Federation," and maintains today that Russia and President Putin should be punished for their "unprecedented" interference in last November’s election.

But, for whatever reason, at a March 15 event sponsored by the Cipher Brief intelligence website, Morell was adamant that,

"on the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians here, there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark. And there’s a lot of people looking for it."

Nor did he have kind words for the dodgy dossier produced

by former MI6 operative Christophere Steele to smear Trump. "Unless you know the sources, and unless you know how a particular source acquired a particular piece of information, you can’t judge the information you just can’t."

The dossier "doesn’t take you anywhere, I don’t think," he said.

Answering his own question about Steele talked to these sources, Morell said he had subsequently learned that Steele used intermediaries.

"And then I asked myself, why did these guys provide this information, what was their motivation? And I subsequently learned that he paid them. That the intermediaries paid the sources and the intermediaries got the money from Chris. And that kind of worries me a little bit because if you’re paying somebody, particularly former FSB officers, they are going to tell you truth and innuendo and rumor, and they’re going to call you up and say, ‘hey, let’s have another meeting, I have more information for you,’ because they want to get paid some more. I think you’ve got to take all that into consideration when you consider the dossier."

Another former CIA officer in the room pointed out that the CIA also pays its sources, to which Morell replied that, "but we know who the source us and we know how they got the information."