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Fox News Lead Points to Clapper or Brennan on Illegal ‘Unmasking’

April 1, 2017 (EIRNS)—Fox News posted a lead story today indicating very strongly that either then-CIA head John Brennan or then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper began improperly "unmasking" and leaking the names of Donald Trump associates captured by communications intercepts, as long ago as the Spring of 2016. Because Fox reporters Malia Zimmerman and Adam Housley identified their sources as in "the intelligence community and the House Intelligence Committee," an offensive may be in the works by its Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), on the issue of illegal leaking of foreign-intelligence intercepts for domestic political advantage.

One of Fox’s sources described the "unmasker" of Trump associates and the intercepts on which they were captured, as "someone very well known, very high up, very senior in the intelligence community, not with the FBI." This points almost exclusively to Clapper or Brennan. Zimmerman and Housley report that Nunes now knows who did the unmasking, having been trying to determine this since early January, when he first learned of the existence of the intercept reports which he was only shown one week ago. Nunes apparently chose the ultimate path of meeting an intelligence whistleblower in the Old Executive Office Building, with National Security Council (NSC) staff arranging secure computers, only because the CIA and FBI were unresponsive for two months to his requests to learn about these intercepts.

These sources told Fox, as Nunes has also reported, that the foreign intercepts whose American participants were unmasked in 2016, were unrelated to Russia. The purpose of the unmasking, nonetheless, appeared to be to injure the Trump team politically.

They also challenge the March 31 New York Times story claiming that White House/NSC aides showed Nunes the intercept documents. Both Nunes himself, and these Fox sources, say White House/NSC were involved only in making arrangements as to where Nunes could go to see them, and were not the source making them available to him. EIR has been told that source was in the office of the Director of National Intelligence, currently Sen. Dan Coats.

Intelligence Committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) Twitter messages Saturday, after going to the White House Friday to view the intercepts Nunes saw, are rather defensive. Schiff says the White House/NSC [sic] should have just released these documents to the whole committee "in the course of routine business." The whole world can see that nothing has been routine in this matter.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer commented on March 30 on the March 28 bragging by former Obama Deputy Assistant Defense Secretary Dr. Evelyn Farkas to MSNBC, about the extraordinary actions by her and other Obama loyalists to leak such anti-Trump intercepts as far throughout the Hill and the press as possible in the final weeks of Obama’s Presidency. "Dr. Farkas’ admissions alone are devastating," Spicer said. Farkas, by her own account, urged Congressional staffers who lacked security clearances even to know about the intercepts’ existence, to find ways to get them. Farkas was not even in government any longer during her self-described mobilization to leak secret intercepts, but was a senior fellow at the NATO-funded Atlantic Council.

Anti-Trump press became even more high-pitched on Saturday. The Washington Post’s lead story bragged that it and the New York Times were so dominating media cycles with anti-Trump scandal propaganda, that Trump was stalled in pursuing his governing agenda. The U.K. Guardian aired a new story about Gen. Michael Flynn (ret.) and an alleged Russian academic temptress, not even qualified for a Tony Blair dodgy dossier.