Well, who didn't see this one coming? It appears that Russia has a blackmail war chest on Donald Trump and the intel community included that information in their briefing last Friday.
How will Donnie spin this? No, Russia didn't hack anyone. No, they don't have anything on me. Putin is my friend!
In the bombshell report CNN breaks down how in last weeks briefings both President Obama and The Orange Menace were told that Russian operatives have "compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump."
Like, blackmail type information? Taxes? Sex tapes? Tax evasion? REALLLYYYYY?
This information was presented in a 2 page addendum to the initial report. It was created from intel received from numerous sources, including a former British intelligence operative, whose past work US intelligence officials consider credible.
This is a shocking and extremely dangerous development. Yes, countries collect intel on all sorts of leaders and politicians, but the intel on Trump must be sufficiently damaging for the heads of the IC to include it in their report.
Furthermore, the report outlined that there is evidence of a "continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials." This would raise concerns of actual treason. TREASON. There is no other charge that can be levied if there is concrete proof of communication between Russia and the Trump campaign. Period. Hard stop.
The Trump team refuses to confirm that they saw the pages or that Trump even read it. He only attends one or two of the daily IC meetings per week because who needs to attend a daily briefing?
Just a reminder, David Corn of Mother Jones wrote a stunning piece back in October outlining how the "Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years" and "had compromised Trump during his visits to Moscow and could blackmail him."
It appears David's intel was 100% on point, as expected.
Even going back to the summer, there were whispers about what Russia had on the RNC and Trump in particular. The difference is that now the intelligence agencies have checked out the rumors and have found the sources to be credible.
The details of the blackmail material are so incredibly sensitive that they could not even be included in the actual intelligence report. This is shocking and terrifying for a litany of reasons. It appears we have a President-elect who is so easily blackmailed that there is no way to expect him to put Americas interests above his own. Think about this...he is beholden for more reasons than any of us could have imagined.
Even worse, Comey knew about this way back in early December and has never mentioned it. But emails, yes. He calls hearings and press conferences for that. THIS IS NOT OK.
Is there enough time for Obama to do anything, though? Will the GOP take this seriously?
Update: Buzzfeed has the entire report from the British operative published here.