Latest US Intelligence Leaks Corroborates Information in the Steele Dossier
Today’s revelations in the New York Times takes the speculation of collusion between the Trump campaign and Putin to a new level. Multiple US intelligence sources claim there were regular contact between members of the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, while the Russians were actively interfering in US elections. While it is an elevation from Flynn communicating with the Russian Ambassador, it is not new. These latest US intelligence leaks corroborates information in the Steele dossier.
The Steel memos claimed the Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least 5 years. Steele said Trump, and his inner circle, had accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals. I also claimed the FSB had compromised Trump through his activities in Moscow, sufficiently to be able to blackmail him.
Carter Page’s Meeting’s with Rosneft’s Sechin
A week ago US intelligence sources confirmed that they have now corroborated that conversations detailed in the Christopher Steele memos did take place on the dates specified, with the people specified, and in the places specified, in the Steele memos. Although they did not say which meetings, there are only two meetings in the dossier with specific dates; a meeting on August 15, 2016 between President Putin and ex-President Yanukovych of Ukraine; and an alleged meeting on July 7 or 8, 2016 between Sechin and Page where 19% stake in Rosneft was discussed in exchange for lifting sanctions.
This secret meeting in Moscow between Trump’s foreign policy advisor Carter Page and Rosneft President Igor Sechin is particularly interesting because of what has happened since. On December 8th, Rosneft sold a 19.5% stake to a consortium consisting of the British-Swiss commodities trading firm Glencore and the Qatari Sovereign Wealth Fund. Then on December 26th, the Moscow Times reported that Sechin’s chief of staff, Oleg Erovinkin, who Carter Page met with while in Moscow, was found dead in the back seat of a company car in central Moscow. He was taken to a Federal Security Service (FSB) morgue where the FSB coroner ruled the cause of death was a heart attack.
Carter Page was introduced as a foreign policy advisor to the Trump campaign at a press conference, and on the Trump campaign website last spring. In September, the results of a Yahoo News investigation were published which showed that U.S. intelligence were aware that Page met with Igor Diveykin, a former Russian security official in Russia. Diveykin now serves as Deputy Chief for Internal Policy, but Intelligence officials believe he had responsibility for intelligence collected by Russian agencies about the U.S. election. Then he showed up again in the Steele dossier. The question of Carter Page’s role was made even more intriguing when Sean Spicer denied that Donald Trump even knew Carter Page. Trump seems very determined to distance himself from Page, at the same time he and Pence struggle to deflect from questions about direct ties from people on his campaign and Russia.
Other Allegations Made in the Steele Memos
A Senior Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian intelligence officer, both still active inside the Kremlin, had been supporting and cultivating the Republican presidential candidate, an operation supported directly and indirectly by Vladimir Putin.
That the Trump campaign team and the Kremlin agreed to exchange intelligence information. Trump’s team used moles within DNC and US hackers and supplied Putin with information on Russian oligarchs and their families in the US. In exchange, Putin supplied intelligence on Clinton. Source close to the Trump campaign suggested that the Republican campaign was happy to have Russia as a bogeyman to mask more serious corrupt business ties to China and other emerging countries. That source said that on the US side the collaboration was managed by Paul Manifort, using Carter Page and others as intermediaries.
The Russians used WikiLeaks for plausible deniability with the full knowledge of Trump and senior members of his campaign team. In return Trump agreed to ignore Russian intervention in Ukraine. Discussions also took place with Sechin on future energy co-operation projects and lifting of sanctions.
Kremlin engaged with Stein, Page and Flynn, funding their visits to Moscow.
DNC mail leaks were aimed at switching Sanders voters from Clinton to Trump, a tactic first suggested by Carter Page.