November 4, 2019

Cockburn is the anonymous political diarist who writes for the U.S. edition of The Spectator, a conservative British publication, and he occasionally gets some real scoops. Is this one of them? Either it's the true explanation for Trump throwing the Kurds to the wolves, or it's a rather brilliant piece of anti-Trump propaganda that just might explode what's left of his Republican support.

It seems plausible, at least. After all, the Trump inner circle is famously careless about security and is known to use unsecured lines and personal cell phones. If nothing else, it's a fascinating tidbit to ponder on a Monday morning. Via The Spectator:

That’s three whistleblowers. What about the other four? Cockburn’s source says that at least one is nothing to do with Ukraine but instead was reporting a call between Trump and the Saudi ruler, Mohammed bin Salman. Specifically, the whistleblower is said to have ‘concerns’ about what was said on the call about the president’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner. Kushner himself is known to have a very close relationship with MBS. Cockburn has previously written that Kushner may have been what Cosmo would call an ‘oversharer’ when it came to MBS. Unfortunately, it’s claimed that what he was sharing was American secrets: information Kushner had requested from the CIA would (allegedly) be echoed back in US intercepts of calls between members of the Saudi royal family. One source said this was why Kushner lost his intelligence clearances for a while.

According to Cockburn’s source about the seven whistleblowers, there’s more. It is that Kushner (allegedly) gave the green light to MBS to arrest the dissident journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, who was later murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A second source tells Cockburn that this is true and adds a crucial twist to the story. This source claims that Turkish intelligence obtained an intercept of the call between Kushner and MBS. And President Erdogan used it to get Trump to roll over and pull American troops out of northern Syria before the Turks invaded. Cockburn hears that investigators for the House Intelligence Committee know this whole tale and the identities of some of the people telling it. Whether any of is true is another matter but Adam Schiff certainly seems to be smiling a lot these days.

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