Reminder: The Trump-Russia Collusion Hoax Was a Political Dirty Tricks Operation

April 22, 2021 Updated: April 22, 2021


The Spygate scandal has been in the national news again recently, chiefly due to a sarcastic public statement by former President of the United States Donald J. Trump.

On March 26, Trump said, “Where’s Durham? Is he a living, breathing human being? Will there ever be a Durham report?”

Trump publicly mentioning Durham has apparently resulted in mainstream media journalists suddenly deciding that the Durham special counsel’s office is worth reporting on, even if only so they can spin the usual false narratives about it.

CNN went first, followed just a few days ago by the New York Times, which published a fascinating article about how Durham’s investigation of the origins of Christopher Steele’s fake Trump dossier has led him to the Brookings Institution, an influential Washington, D.C. think tank, and a Russian researcher who used to be employed there named Igor Danchenko.

These days when much of the mainstream news media bothers to mention the Spygate scandal, they refer to the investigation that the FBI began in late July 2016, code-named “Crossfire Hurricane,” as a “counterintelligence” probe.

Well, it wasn’t. Not really. You may notice I put quotation marks around the words “counterintelligence.”

The reason I do that whenever I’m writing about the FBI’s probe of the Trump 2016 presidential campaign is because there was no real intelligence basis for that investigation. Documentary evidence has proven this.

Real counterintelligence operations are based on valid intelligence from legitimate sources. Crossfire Hurricane was not. There were no valid intelligence sources since the people who supplied the fake Trump/Russia evidence to the federal agencies turned out to be political operatives working for Hillary Clinton.

Far from being a valid counterintelligence investigation, Crossfire Hurricane was a political opposition operation making use of federal investigative and surveillance powers to attempt to find crimes while they spied on Hillary Clinton’s political opponent in the 2016 election.

That’s what I believe prosecutor John Durham is going to establish once he’s finished with his special counsel’s investigation.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) has been saying for going on four years now that the FBI’s spying on the Trump presidential campaign—and then on the Trump administration itself—had no valid intelligence predicate. Nunes has been vindicated on that claim by declassified evidence.

And then last October the further declassification of former CIA Director John Brennan’s notes from his briefing of then-President Barack Obama in July 2016 confirmed, yet again, that Nunes is correct. None of the U.S. or foreign intelligence services provided any real intelligence evidence for starting up Crossfire Hurricane.

Epoch Times Photo
A screenshot of the declassified Brennan notes.

Turns out it wasn’t any substantive intelligence regarding mysterious trips or meetings had in Russia by former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, or mysterious machinations in Ukraine by former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, or Michael Cohen traipsing around Prague paying off hackers, or some supposed affair that former Trump National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn was having with a Russian academic named Svetlana Lokhova at Cambridge University that led to the Obama FBI spying on Trump and his associates via a federal surveillance warrant.

Brennan’s presidential briefing notes revealed the likely true origin of the hoax. And the origin was exactly what many Spygate researchers had long suspected.

Not only did Brennan’s briefing notes reveal the CIA had intelligence about Clinton’s campaign staff allegedly presenting her with a plan to launch a fake narrative accusing the Trump campaign of working for Russia, the intelligence also narrowed down the progenitor of the plan to one of Clinton’s foreign policy advisers. Further, the explosive notes also gave the exact date that Clinton approved going forward with this plan: July 26, 2016.

But wait! There was more: The intelligence garnered by the CIA also disclosed the alleged reason for launching the Trump-Russia Collusion Hoax: to provide a distraction that would pull the public’s attention away from Clinton’s growing email server scandal.

Brennan’s damning briefing notes—and the memo sent to both James Comey and Peter Strzok in September 2016—proves that before the FBI went ahead and got its surveillance warrant of Carter Page in late October 2o16, then-President Barack Obama had been fully briefed by Brennan that the Clinton campaign was allegedly launching a fake Russia scandal with Trump and his close associates as the targets. Associates like Carter Page. Gen. Michael Flynn. Michael Cohen. Paul Manafort.

Obama knew this. Brennan knew. Comey. Strzok. How much did Vice President Joe Biden know?

Long before the election was held on Nov. 3, 2016, we can now see that many of the major Spygate players inside the Obama administration knew the Clinton campaign was sending out well-funded political operatives to launch a fake Russian scandal targeting Trump and his campaign associates.

These operatives approached politicized federal officials with fake stories that were then used to place the selected targets under suspicion. Then both the federal officials and the well-paid political operatives seeded the news media with strategic leaks about the targets.

It’s not a conspiracy theory to say top Obama administration people played along with this when there’s documentary evidence to support the charge.

Instead of ignoring the Clinton operatives being sent to them to push these fake Trump-Russia stories to them, Comey and others seemingly decided to play along with the hoax.

After all, Trump was a maniac, a lunatic, he was going to blow up the entire world, starting with North Korea. (It helps to remember the atmosphere of hysteria that gripped the Washington political class at the prospect of a Trump victory back before the election was held.)

And by the time Trump won the 2016 presidential election, the die was cast. It was far too late to take any of this fake evidence back. They were forced to press onward as if the Clinton-approved Trump-Russia collusion hoax was real.

When Durham finishes his investigation and shows what he and his investigators have found, I don’t believe he’ll do anything to contradict all the already publicly available evidence on Spygate.

The evidence shows what it shows. The only question at this point—and Trump was right to ask about it—is what Durham will do with it.

Brian Cates is a writer based in South Texas and author of “Nobody Asked For My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!” He can be reached on Telegram at

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Brian Cates
Brian Cates is a former contributor. He is based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked for My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!”