90 Miles From Tyranny : DNI Declassifies Handwritten Notes From John Brennan, 2016 CIA Referral On Clinton Campaign’s Collusion Operation

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

DNI Declassifies Handwritten Notes From John Brennan, 2016 CIA Referral On Clinton Campaign’s Collusion Operation















On Tuesday, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe declassified and released to Congress handwritten notes from former CIA Director John Brennan as well as a CIA investigative referral to James Comey and Peter Strzok requesting that they investigate Russian knowledge of Hillary Clinton's anti-Trump collusion smear operation.

Top U.S. intelligence officials were so concerned heading into the 2016 election that the Russians were aware of and potentially manipulating Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s plans to smear Donald Trump as a Russian agent that they personally briefed President Barack Obama on the matter, newly declassified Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents show. CIA officials also requested that the FBI investigate Russian knowledge of the Clinton campaign’s collusion smear operation.

Newly declassified handwritten notes from former CIA Director John Brennan show that the U.S. intelligence community knew in 2016 that Russian intelligence was actively monitoring, and potentially injecting disinformation into, Clinton’s anti-Trump collusion narrative. The intelligence concerning Russia’s knowledge of Clinton’s campaign plans was so concerning to Brennan and other national security officials that they personally informed Obama of the matter in the Oval Office in the summer of 2016. The handwritten notes from Brennan were declassified by Director of National Intelligence (DNI) John Ratcliffe and provided to Congress on Tuesday afternoon.


According to the declassified notes, Brennan and the U.S. intelligence community knew months prior to the 2016 election that the collusion smear was the result of a campaign operation hatched by the campaign of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

“We’re getting additional insight into Russian activites from [REDACTED],” Brennan’s handwritten notes state. “Cite alleged approval by Hillary Clinton–on 26 July–of a proposal from one of her foreign policy advisers to villify [sic] Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference by the Russian security services.”

The notes appear to have been prepared by Brennan to memorialize a meeting held at the White House with the president and his top national security advisers. Included in Brennan’s notes are the responses of other participants in the briefing — including those of former White House National Security Adviser Susan Rice, former White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, and former DNI James Clapper, but those responses are redacted.

At one point, Obama asked whether there was any evidence of collaboration between the Trump campaign and Russia, but any response that may have been recorded in Brennan’s notes is redacted.


Moreover, the CIA and other intelligence agencies also suspected early on that many of the key claims underpinning the collusion narrative could themselves be the product of deliberate Russian disinformation. Last week, Ratcliffe released a declassified memo, based in part on Brennan’s notes, noting that Russian intelligence was aware of the Clinton campaign’s plan, increasing the likelihood that it would be tainted by Russian disinformation.

While the Clinton campaign hired Christopher Steele, a foreign agent in the pocket of a sanctioned Russian oligarch, to concoct a dossier of...




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