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The war between Trump and the CIA

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  • #91
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

    Again with the "my" side. Now it's "my" victory" too. Damn dude, could you be a little more bitter?

    Which side is that, I'm genuinely curious to hear about what kind of binary world that you think I share with you.
    Yes, your side.
    Bitter, no. Pragmatic, yes.
    We now share absolutely nothing in common except, now, mutual contempt.

    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post
    I mean, between you wanting this thread trashed and now this prediction of utter doom for Trump, you sound like a toddler throwing a temper tantrum, taking all your toys and going home.
    Fuck yourself troll. And I mean that most sincerely. :-)
    In the realm of spirit, seek clarity; in the material world, seek utility.



    • #92
      Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
      We now share absolutely nothing in common except, now, mutual contempt.
      Wow...that's truly a shame that you feel that way. And I mean that most sincerely.

      Originally posted by Parihaka View Post
      Fuck yourself troll. And I mean that most sincerely. :-)
      We sure have come a long way haven't we.

      Wasn't trolling so much as "taking the piss", as you would say. I guess you don't much care for it, so I'll desist poking you in the eye.

      I'm still genuinely curious as to why you sound so utterly defeated.

      You call it pragmatism but it sounds much more like defeatism. Where did this come from all of the sudden? What changed? If the election was held today, I'd put real money on Trump winning quite easily.
      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


      • #93
        Trump can win with the Secret Service on his side although agents often switch agencies. He is of course on top of all of them, literally. They hid a lot of their deeds against him somewhere in a file cabinet in the pentagon and he will never know the extent of their pre-2016 spying on him. Its safe to say that all billionaires have a thick file on them in a CIA bunker somewhere.
        Hit the grape lethally.


        • #94
          Originally posted by Wonderful Plans View Post
          Trump can win with the Secret Service on his side although agents often switch agencies. He is of course on top of all of them, literally. They hid a lot of their deeds against him somewhere in a file cabinet in the pentagon and he will never know the extent of their pre-2016 spying on him. Its safe to say that all billionaires have a thick file on them in a CIA bunker somewhere.
          If you fold the edges of that tin hat jusssst so, it actually will reflect the bad thought waves back at the Men In Black.
          Trust me?
          I'm an economist!


          • #95
            Originally posted by Wonderful Plans View Post
            Trump can win with the Secret Service on his side although agents often switch agencies. He is of course on top of all of them, literally. They hid a lot of their deeds against him somewhere in a file cabinet in the pentagon and he will never know the extent of their pre-2016 spying on him. Its safe to say that all billionaires have a thick file on them in a CIA bunker somewhere.
            It's not the CIA file you should worry about; it's the SVR file.


            • #96
              Originally posted by snapper View Post
              It's not the CIA file you should worry about; it's the SVR file.
              I search "SVR file" and here is what I found
              Description: SVR file is a Superscape VRT Compressed World. Superscape VRT (Virtual Reality Toolkit) was a virtual reality system from Superscape Ltd.
              Hit the grape lethally.


              • #97
                Originally posted by Wonderful Plans View Post
                I search "SVR file" and here is what I found
                SVR RF -
                Sluzhba Vneshney Razvedki Rossiyskoy Federatsii

                Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation

                Last edited by JRT; 18 Feb 20,, 14:24.


                • #98
                  CIA clamps down on flow of Russia intelligence to White House
                  Critics of the shift in approach say it seems designed to appease the president.

                  The CIA has made it harder for intelligence about Russia to reach the White House, stoking fears among current and former officials that information is being suppressed to please a president known to erupt in anger whenever he is confronted with bad news about Moscow.

                  Nine current and former officials said in interviews that CIA Director Gina Haspel has become extremely cautious about which, if any, Russia-related intelligence products make their way to President Donald Trump’s desk. Haspel also has been keeping a close eye on the agency’s fabled “Russia House,” whose analysts she often disagrees with and sometimes accuses of purposefully misleading her.

                  Last year, three of the people said, Haspel tasked the CIA’s general counsel, Courtney Elwood, with reviewing virtually every product that comes out of Russia House, which is home to analysts and targeters who are experts in Russia and the post-Soviet space, before it “goes downtown” to the White House. One former CIA lawyer called it “unprecedented that a general counsel would be involved to this extent.”
                  Four of the people said the change has resulted in less intelligence on Russia making its way to the White House, but the exact reason for that — whether Elwood has been blocking it, or whether Russia officers have become disillusioned and are producing less, or even self-censoring for fear of being reprimanded — is less clear.

                  One administration official explained the reduced Russia-related intelligence flow from CIA to the National Security Council as a matter of “quality over quantity.” Another administration official said that while the CIA is not the only agency that provides intelligence to the NSC, this official’s perception was that the CIA was “certainly” exhibiting an “abundance of caution” about the Russia intelligence it was sending to the NSC, beginning around the time of Trump’s impeachment proceedings. A whistleblower complaint about Trump from a CIA analyst, which Elwood relayed to NSC lawyer John Eisenberg at the time, is what sparked Trump’s impeachment — feeding the mistrust toward Russia-related intelligence inside the White House and among the agency’s top ranks.

                  The heightened scrutiny within the CIA comes as the Justice Department, through prosecutor John Durham, continues to investigate the intelligence community’s findings about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election — and particularly the conclusion drawn by Russia analysts that Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered specifically to boost Trump’s candidacy rather than just sow chaos.

                  Trump, who has publicly railed against the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in 2016 to bolster his candidacy, has also been working to bring the intelligence community further under his control since his impeachment acquittal in February. He has installed loyalists in top positions like director of national intelligence and the senior-most intelligence post on the NSC staff.

                  Current and former officials have said that in private, the president remains extraordinarily sensitive around the subject of Russian meddling — to the point where they hesitate to raise the topic. As recently as last Thursday, the president blasted his own FBI director on Twitter for testifying that Moscow was seeking to “sow divisiveness and discord” and “denigrate Vice President Biden” in a bid to influence the 2020 campaign.

                  “Scrutinizing intelligence product and process is exactly what is expected of Director Haspel not only because it’s her job, it’s her life’s work — developing sources, vetting information, and checking assumptions — it’s in her blood,” said CIA press secretary Timothy Barrett. “She rightfully asks difficult questions and ensures intelligence is corroborated, double-checked, and then run through the wringer once more. Any suggestion of a political motive for how she leads this agency is misguided.”

                  After this story was published, Barrett added: “The notion that the General Counsel or anyone else in senior leadership impedes analysis is laughable. Everyone who works here knows that analytic objectivity is beyond reproach.”

                  Haspel’s scrutiny of intelligence coming out of the CIA’s Russia House has led to some recent dust-ups. The head of Russia House, whom officials declined to identify by name because they work undercover, was fired earlier this year, according to four of the current and former officials familiar with the matter, but remains at the agency in another mission center. It’s not clear why he was ousted, but Haspel’s personal dislike of him was clear. “Gina was not a fan,” said one of the people familiar with the matter.

                  Another Russia House analyst quit earlier this year after Haspel accused him of lying about intelligence — an accusation that happens fairly often, several former officials said. “She calls analysts liars all the time,” said one former CIA official. The head of the mission center itself is still in place.

                  More recently, Haspel “completely dismissed” Russia House analysts who brought her intelligence showing a correlation between Russia and the curious phenomenon of diplomats experiencing brain trauma, according to one current U.S. official with knowledge of the episode. The brain trauma issue first came to light in 2017 when American and Canadian embassy staff in Cuba complained of mysterious health problems that have never been definitively explained.

                  “She had a very defensive reaction, reacted very poorly and made some comments about needing to clean out Russia House,” the official said.

                  Intelligence is a two-way process: Officials at the NSC and other “consumers” in the government regularly send questions and requests to the intelligence community in what is known as a “tasking,” while “producers” in America’s spy agencies then try to provide answers.

                  But the Russia portfolio at the NSC has faced constant churn over the past few years: Ryan Tully is the fifth person to hold the senior director role, which previously had been held by Fiona Hill and Tim Morrison, both of whom testified in the impeachment inquiry. Joe Wang, who was deputy senior director for Europe and Russia at the NSC under Tully, left for the State Department over the summer. All that turnover “has been hard on [Russia policy],” another administration official said, “because you need someone driving it who has a consistent view — and it doesn’t seem like working on [Russia] has been a top priority.”

                  Critics of national security adviser Robert O’Brien say he has been prone to highlighting national security information and intelligence “that he knows the president will respond well to,” as one former White House official put it. “O’Brien doesn’t want anyone to touch things Russia-related because of the reaction,” a second former White House official said. “He just doesn’t want to rock the boat with Trump.”

                  An NSC spokesperson didn’t respond to a request for comment but an administration official pushed back and said: “Anyone who’s watched the NSC policy process over the last year knows how seriously the NSC has been working to counter Russian malign activities.”

                  Like other specialized units, Russia House — which remained highly compartmented even after it was integrated into the CIA’s Mission Center for Europe and Eurasia as part of a reorganization under former CIA Director John Brennan — is extremely protective of its intelligence. But some within the agency, including Haspel, have described it as too isolated and in need of an overhaul, according to several of the current and former U.S. officials.

                  Others describe that characterization as unfair, and say a level of secrecy and limits on collaboration with other units is necessary to protect the information from being too widely shared or manipulated. “We thought her feeling that Russia House was cliquey or insular was grossly unfair,” said a former senior CIA official. “She had preconceived notions about it, from her own time at the agency.” Haspel joined the CIA in 1985 and spent nearly her entire career working undercover as a clandestine officer, serving as chief of station in Europe and Central Eurasia and focusing at times on Russian operations, according to a CIA-issued timeline.

                  Some still fear, however, that Haspel’s negative perception of CIA’s Russia analysts is the result of ongoing political pressure by the Trump administration to frame them as biased and myopic because of a conclusion they drew in 2016 that has enraged the president: that Putin ordered an interference campaign specifically to bolster Trump’s candidacy. That analysis was based at least in part on information from a highly sensitive CIA asset in the Kremlin, and is now at the center of Durham’s probe.

                  “When I was there, Russia House was the most sensitive, most secretive organization in the building,” said Larry Pfeiffer, who served as former CIA Director Michael Hayden’s chief of staff. “They’re very protective of the information, and rightfully so. Given Russian counterintelligence efforts, and the incredible sensitivity of any sources they might have, if something were to get out it could result in the loss of the life of an asset. And given what we know of Russian security efforts, I can only surmise that those assets are few and far between.”

                  Some people familiar with Haspel’s enhanced scrutiny of the Russia material say it isn’t necessarily nefarious, or the result of her working to stay in Trump’s good graces. One U.S. official acknowledged that while Haspel “has been very demanding of anything Russia-related,” it’s possible that she just feels “protective” of the agency she came up in. “She knows that they’re under a microscope,” this person said. “So she feels like they need to be more precise, and airtight.” At least one CIA assessment likely to anger Trump was reportedly included in the CIA’s classified World Intelligence Review, which is disseminated to a wide array of policymakers and other stakeholders, on Aug. 31: that Putin was probably personally directing an ongoing operation to undermine Joe Biden’s candidacy.

                  Trump’s firing of former acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire, who made the career-ending decision to allow a deputy to brief lawmakers on Russia’s ongoing election interference, is still top of mind for many in the intelligence community who fear they could land in Trump’s crosshairs if they challenge him in any official setting.

                  Those fears played out on Thursday night, when Trump went on a Twitter rampage against FBI Director Christopher Wray. Wray had testified during a public congressional hearing about Russia’s ongoing attempts to undermine Biden — China is “a FAR greater threat than Russia, Russia, Russia,” Trump replied on Twitter — and the threat of white supremacist violence in the U.S. “I look at them as a bunch of well funded ANARCHISTS & THUGS who are protected because the Comey/Mueller inspired FBI is simply unable, or unwilling, to find their funding source, and allows them to get away with “murder,’” Trump tweeted in response.

                  Wray and other national security leaders, including Haspel, had specifically sought to avoid Trump’s wrath earlier this year by requesting that the annual Worldwide Threats hearing before Congress be held behind closed doors and out of his sight.

                  Haspel’s detractors say that approach has warped the agency’s mandate to deliver its unvarnished assessments of world affairs, heedless of political considerations. “The director has abdicated her responsibility to tell the president what he needs to be told, and that is in part enabled by Elwood,” said another former senior CIA official. This person said Elwood is “in virtually every meeting, making decisions and getting involved in things that are not legal issues” — including her role in reviewing all of the Russia-related material before it’s sent out to the consumer, a job usually done, if necessary, by a unit’s in-house lawyer.

                  Another former CIA official said Elwood showed “a lot more interest” in the agency’s counterintelligence unit than previous general counsels, and had that unit’s attorney begin reporting to her deputy. “No one is willing to challenge” Elwood or Haspel, said the former senior CIA official. He added that Haspel’s changes have “been framed by some as an effort to ‘protect the building’ — well, her job is not to protect the building, it’s to protect the country.”
                  My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                  • #99
                    John Brennan on briefing Donald Trump: I had serious doubts that Trump would protect our nation’s most vital secrets.

                    I had decided beforehand that I would share the full substance of CIA intelligence and analysis on Russian interference in the election without providing any specific details on the provenance of our knowledge. The sensitive sources and methods related to counterintelligence and Russia are among the nation’s most prized jewels, and I lacked confidence that all the individuals in that conference room had the requisite understanding of classification procedures and controls—not to mention the personal discipline and integrity—to avoid devastating disclosures, either inadvertent or willful. Moreover, given his public praise of WikiLeaks, strange obsequiousness toward Vladimir Putin, and disdain toward the U.S. intelligence community, I had serious doubts that Trump would protect our nation’s most vital secrets.

                    His alertness never faded during the briefing, but his demeanor as well as his questions strongly revealed that he was uninterested in finding out what the Russians had done or holding them to account. Rather, Trump seemed most focused on challenging the intelligence and analysis underlying the judgment among the CIA, FBI, NSA, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that Russia interfered in the election and that the interference was intended to enhance his election prospects. It also was my clear impression—based on the thousands of such briefings I have conducted over more than three decades—that he was seeking most to learn what we knew and how we knew it. This deeply troubled me, as I worried about what he might do with the information he was being given.

                    During the briefing, Trump posited his own theories about election interference and voiced his skepticism that the culprit was Russia, articulating what would become a well-honed attack strategy of seeking to discredit any suggestion that his election was fraudulent or in any way influenced by Russian interference. “It could have been the Chinese,” he interjected several times during the briefing, seeking to deflect focus away from the unanimous assessment that the Russians were responsible. We each took turns debunking his counterclaims, as there was not a scintilla of doubt in any of our minds that what we witnessed in the run-up to the election was an intense, determined, and broad-based effort by the Russians to interfere in the election.

                    As the briefing was beginning to wrap up, Trump looked at me and made unsolicited disparaging remarks about human sources. “Anyone will say anything if you pay them enough. I know that, and you know that,” he said. At that moment, my thoughts went to the many foreign nationals who had worked with the CIA throughout its history and had courageously risked and even given their lives because they believed in America and what it stands for. I also thought of how every president I had briefed during my career was deeply appreciative of the CIA’s human sources, even if not all of the intelligence they provided was accurate.

                    I stared at Trump, shook my head in disgusted disagreement, and bit my tongue nearly hard enough to draw blood. I knew that he saw me at the time not as John Brennan the person but as the director of the CIA, and I did not want to irredeemably spoil the CIA’s relationship with the incoming president before it even got started. It was one of the few times in my professional career that I successfully suppressed my Irish temper when dealing with a politician. I wish I hadn’t.

                    No wonder there was a "war" between Trump and the CIA. One of them was, and is, clearly in bed with the Russians and the other damn well knew it.

                    I wonder who else knows that....
                    My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                    • Trump’s ex-national security adviser says president is ‘aiding and abetting’ Putin

                      Former national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Thursday that President Donald Trump is “aiding and abetting” Russian President Vladimir Putin’s efforts to sow doubt about the American electoral system.

                      The stern warning from McMaster, who Trump handpicked to lead the White House National Security Council in 2017, came in an interview on MSNBC, after he was asked whether he agreed that the president posed the greatest threat to U.S. election integrity.

                      “I agree that he is aiding and abetting Putin’s efforts by not being direct about this, right? By not just calling out Putin for what he’s doing,” McMaster said.
                      “You know, Putin gets away with, I mean, literally murder or attempted murder … because people don’t call him out on it,” he added. “And so they are able to continue with this kind of fire hose of falsehood, to sow these conspiracy theories. And we just can’t be our own worst enemies.”

                      McMaster was referring to the president’s complaints about mail-in balloting and claims of widespread voter fraud in the closing months of the general election campaign. Trump has repeatedly said Democrats are sending millions of “unsolicited” ballots to Americans and that the outcome of the election may not be known for months, if it is ever determined.

                      But only nine states are automatically mailing all voters ballots this year amid the coronavirus pandemic, and five of those states regularly mail every voter a ballot. Experts acknowledge there are some slightly higher fraud risks associated with mail-in voting compared with in-person voting, but only when proper security measures are not in place.

                      Cases of election fraud in the U.S. are exceedingly rare, and there is no proof of the type of mass fraud that the president has alleged. Trump’s own FBI director, Christopher Wray, testified before Congress last month that bureau officials “have not seen, historically, any kind of coordinated national voter fraud effort in a major election, whether it’s by mail or otherwise.”

                      Trump declined last month to say whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power after the election, citing his concerns over mail-in voting. And at the presidential debate Tuesday, he spread more baseless allegations, including that postal workers were selling ballots.

                      Trump also declined to pledge that he would not declare victory until the vote count had been independently certified, and he did not urge his supporters to refrain from engaging in civil unrest in the aftermath of the election.

                      Instead, Trump told them “to go into the polls and watch very carefully,” provoking alarm from local election administrators tasked with protecting voters from intimidation tactics.

                      Should disputes over the election’s results arise, Trump said he was “counting on” the Supreme Court to “look at the ballots.” The White House and Senate Republicans are working feverishly to confirm Amy Coney Barrett, Trump’s nominee to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, before the election.

                      In the hours before the debate Tuesday, Trump’s director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, declassified a Russian intelligence assessment alleging that then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton personally approved an effort “to stir up a scandal against” Trump “by tying him to Putin and the Russians’ hacking of the Democratic National Committee.”

                      But the assessment was previously rejected by Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Intelligence Committee as having no factual basis, and Ratcliffe himself acknowledged that the U.S. intelligence community “does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication.”

                      U.S. intelligence officials announced in August that they had concluded Russia “is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate” Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden ahead of Election Day. Wray testified before Congress last month that Russia is involved in “very active efforts” to interfere in the 2020 election.

                      Russia previously “interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion,” former special counsel Robert Mueller reported last March. Asked during congressional testimony last July about potential future meddling by Russia, he responded: “It wasn’t a single attempt. They’re doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign.”

                      McMaster’s remarks Thursday represent perhaps his harshest public criticism of the president since he was ousted from the White House in 2018. The Army lieutenant general frequently clashed with Trump on matters of foreign policy and was branded by detractors as not sufficiently conservative.

                      McMaster was Trump’s second national security adviser, replacing Michael Flynn — who became ensnared by Mueller’s probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election and potential coordination with the Trump campaign.

                      Flynn served in the role for just 24 days before he was dismissed in 2017 for a lack of candor about conversations he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition period before Trump’s inauguration. He reportedly misled Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about the details of those talks.

                      Flynn pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian diplomat, but sought to withdraw his plea earlier this year. Although Trump’s Justice Department abandoned its prosecution of Flynn in May, the federal judge presiding over the case appointed an outside adviser who has urged him to reject the case’s dismissal.

                      My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.


                      • Trump Said to Be Warned That Giuliani Was Conveying Russian Disinformation

                        WASHINGTON — The intelligence agencies warned the White House late last year that Russian intelligence officers were using President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani as a conduit for disinformation aimed at undermining Joe Biden’s presidential run, according to four current and former U.S. officials.

                        The agencies imparted the warning months before disclosing publicly in August that Moscow was trying to interfere in the election by taking aim at Biden’s campaign, officials said. Trump and Giuliani have promoted unsubstantiated claims about Biden that have aligned with Russian disinformation efforts, and Giuliani has met with a Ukrainian lawmaker who U.S. officials believe is a Russian agent.

                        Robert O’Brien, the national security adviser, presented the warning about Giuliani to Trump in December. Two former officials gave conflicting accounts about its nature. One said the report was presented to Trump as unverified and vague, but another said the intelligence agencies had developed solid and credible information that Giuliani was being “worked over” by Russian operatives.

                        Trump shrugged it off, officials said, but the first former official cautioned that his reaction could have been colored in part by other information given to him not long before that appeared to back some of Giuliani’s claims about Ukraine. The specifics of that material were unclear.

                        Giuliani did not return requests for comment. The Washington Post reported the intelligence agencies’ warning to the White House earlier Thursday.

                        The warning, the second former official said, was prompted by a meeting Dec. 5 between Giuliani and Andriy Derkach, a Ukrainian member of Parliament who takes pro-Kremlin positions. The Treasury Department recently labeled him “an active Russian agent for over a decade,” disclosing that he maintained ties to Moscow’s intelligence services as it imposed sanctions on him in September.

                        Giuliani’s campaign to undermine Biden has focused on his anti-corruption efforts in Ukraine while he was vice president and his son Hunter Biden’s work there on the board of a gas company owned by an oligarch widely seen as corrupt.

                        Derkach has been releasing tapes of the former vice president’s conversations with Ukrainian officials. U.S. officials said those tapes had been edited in misleading ways.

                        Giuliani has made multiple trips to Ukraine to gather material that is damaging to the Biden campaign, and his December visit came as he tried to shift the political conversation from impeachment proceedings against Trump to unsubstantiated claims about Biden’s wrongdoing.

                        He later hosted Derkach on his podcast and has repeatedly highlighted the Ukrainian’s claims against the Biden family.

                        Giuliani has accused the Bidens of protecting Burisma, the energy company where Hunter Biden was a board member. Those allegations are mostly baseless. While vice president, Biden took actions to fight corruption that Burisma would not have welcomed, Democrats have said.

                        Intelligence officials delivered a classified report to top Trump advisers late last year that included information related to Giuliani and disinformation efforts, according to a former administration official. Another official said Trump was involved in at least a casual discussion about those efforts.

                        But at the time, advisers were urging Trump to keep his distance from Giuliani amid the House impeachment inquiry. Giuliani had helped prompt the inquiry because of his push to undermine Biden and became a key figure in it. He expressed anger that he was tarnished during the impeachment inquiry, people briefed on conversations with him said, and has been seeking ever since to prove he was right about Biden.

                        Giuliani’s work seized attention in the presidential race again this week when the New York Post published articles about Biden and his son based on material Giuliani provided. The Biden campaign rejected the reports, and Facebook and Twitter deemed them so dubious that they limited access to them.

                        The New York Times has not been able to verify the information that Giuliani furnished to the Post, which he said came from a laptop left at a Delaware repair shop. The owner of the shop has given conflicting accounts to reporters, and Giuliani’s acquisition of the laptop has raised questions about the material on it.

                        Some former officials who have not reviewed the material suspect it could be Russian disinformation and noted Giuliani’s work with Derkach.

                        The intelligence warning to Trump in December had nothing to do with the laptop, a former official said.

                        Intelligence officials have issued a series of warnings about Derkach and other Ukrainians they believe are being used to spread disinformation, either directly by Russian intelligence or by oligarchs friendly to Moscow.

                        It has been known for months that Russian intelligence was using allies in Ukraine to spread disinformation and purported damaging material about Biden. Intelligence officials have warned Republicans in Congress that some of the people they were seeking information from were conduits for Russian disinformation.

                        But raising any issue related to Russian interference with the president is a challenge for the intelligence community. Trump, who views such intelligence as an attempt to undermine his legitimacy, has questioned it, and raising the issue will often derail his regular intelligence briefings by an analyst, so it has fallen to O’Brien to brief him on such matters, current and former officials have said.

                        Still, despite Trump’s skepticism, intelligence officials have repeatedly warned about Derkach.

                        In August, the Office of the Director of National intelligence said in a statement that Derkach was spreading disinformation about Biden. The CIA later issued a more detailed classified warning in its Worldwide Intelligence Review, a secret document read by members of Congress and the administration.

                        Giuliani was dealing with people widely believed to be at worst Russian operatives and at best conduits for Kremlin disinformation efforts, said current and former officials.

                        “Giuliani has made no secret he has met with people the intelligence community has identified as Russian operatives,” said Amos Hochstein, a former aide to Biden who served on the board of Ukraine’s gas company, Naftogaz. “It is widely known throughout Ukraine if you want to peddle any kind of information damaging to Vice President Biden, there is a receptive audience in Giuliani.”

                        Intelligence officials have asserted that Russia favors Trump’s reelection, and the Kremlin has allies among Ukraine’s own oligarchs, who believe Biden will fight corruption there more aggressively than the Trump administration has.

                        “There is a meeting of interests between what Giuliani wants to do and the notorious corrupt oligarchs in Ukraine,” Hochstein said. “The Ukrainian oligarchs are afraid the Joe Biden presidency returns the anti-corruption focus and the focus on good governance. They don’t want that. They know there is a market with Rudy Giuliani for information, real or fake, that is damaging to the vice president.”
                        My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.