Monday, October 31, 2016

More Trump and Russia

Trump has repeatedly praised Putin and backed Russian positions in Ukraine, the Middle East, and the Baltics, but is there evidence of long term ties between him and Russian intelligence? Josh Marshall reports allegations of a long time US intelligence operative:

According to David Corn, who is an experienced national security and intelligence reporter, a retired spy from a western country who now works for an American security contractor has provided the FBI with evidence suggesting that "the Russian government has for years tried to co-opt and assist Trump." Corn further reports that this retired spy found "troubling information indicating connections between Trump and the Russian government. According to his sources, he says, 'there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.'"

The retired spy, who remains anonymous, says he's provided his evidence to the FBI and they have requested additional information from him about his sources, findings, etc. Corn knows how to do this kind of reporting. He has spoken to a US intelligence official who says this retired spy has provided credible and valuable intelligence to the US government in the past. He is considered reliable. Corn's reporting gives me a high level of confidence this retired spy is not a crank. That doesn't mean he's right or even that he's not pursuing some unknown agenda.

Of course there is a world of difference between an allegation and proof - almost as vast as the difference between emails that exist and those with actual evidence of communication of confidential matters.