Trump–Russia Collusion Narrative Continues to Collapse

Trump–Russia Collusion Narrative Continues to Collapse
Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos (C) arrives at a closed door hearing before the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee Oct. 25, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Brian Cates

You can almost smell how desperate the left is getting about trying to save the dying narrative that former Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos are going to be handcuffed and shipped off to prison by special counsel Robert Mueller for “colluding with the Russians.”

As evidence mounts that partisan operatives inside a politically weaponized Department of Justice/FBI sought to entrap the Trump campaign in a counterintelligence operation—by sending confidential intel assets posing as Russian agents to meet with low-level advisers—the desperation is growing palpable.

The newest development occurred on Oct. 23, when The Hill published a story by reporter John Solomon titled “A Convenient Omission? Trump Campaign Adviser Denied Collusion to FBI Source Early On.” That report contained the bombshell that Papadopoulos had strongly denied to the FBI informant seeking to entrap him that the campaign was colluding with any Russians. In addition, the FBI hid this exculpatory evidence from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) when it later applied for a warrant to spy on the Trump campaign team.
That night, Solomon appeared with Papadopoulos and his wife, Simona Mangiante, on the Sean Hannity show on the Fox News Network to discuss the development.
Not only is Papadopoulos going increasingly public with his story, Page is also stepping up his campaign to tell his. Two weeks ago, Page filed a lawsuit in an Oklahoma federal court against both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the law firm of Perkins Coie for their roles in funding, creating, and spreading the allegations against him contained in the Steele dossier.
As I discussed in an earlier column, they don’t have anything on Page and they never did. All of the supposedly “verified” evidence the FBI claimed to have that proved Page was a foreign agent of the Russians—in order to get that warrant from the FISC to spy on the Trump campaign/transition teams—turned out to be the Steele dossier and media clippings based on the Steele dossier.
And what is the Steele dossier? It’s second- and third-hand stories told to former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele by anonymous Russians who supposedly live in Russia; even at this late date, nobody seems to know who these people are or what efforts were made to verify the stories they related. (Although I have written about who I suspect one of the sources for the Steele dossier is—and he doesn’t live in Russia!)

‘Russian Agents’ I suspect that FISA warrant on Page does contain something in addition to the Steele dossier information and news stories that also came from Steele. My hunch is that the heavily redacted sections of the warrant contain claims that “Russian agents” were found to be reaching out to Page and Papadopoulos, offering to help fix or influence the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Trump.

But those “Russian agents” weren’t really Russian agents—they were the FBI’s own intelligence assets being sent by their handlers to Page and Papadopoulos to entrap them by lying to them.

Joseph Mifsud, Stefan Halper, and Alexander Downer were approaching their targets and attempting to entrap them by July 2016, long before the plotters approached the FISC in October for the warrant they wanted.

The DOJ/FBI agents running the Crossfire Hurricane probe not only tried to fool Page and Papadopoulos into believing they were being contacted by Russian agents, but I also suspect they presented at least one of their own confidential FBI informants to the FISC that way, as well.

My hunch is that Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, and others who were involved deliberately neglected to tell the court that Mifsud was their own guy. In other words, they lied to the FISC and told the judge their own intelligence asset was a real, honest-to-God Russian spy so they could get the warrant they wanted.

That’s why Mifsud has been in hiding for almost a year. He’s likely the guy that was passed off to Papadopoulos and the FISC as being the real, live Russian spy in this affair.

Recall that when Mifsud introduced himself to Papadopoulos, the Maltese academic then introduced the former Trump campaign adviser to Olga Vinogradova, telling Papadopoulos that the woman was “Putin’s niece,” which was a lie. Politico posted a story about this last year, titled “Mysterious Putin ‘Niece’ Has A Name.”

Mifsud and the-woman-who-really-wasn’t-Putin’s-niece then attempted to persuade Papadopoulos they could get him access to key Russian government officials—including Putin himself.

This was followed by Halper making his own contact with Papadopoulos and attempting to get him to own up to the Trump campaign, having been approached by Russians who offered their help with the election.

This is the classic “push/pull” intelligence sting, where you send one person to the target to “push” or plant information with them, then send another person to “pull” the planted information from the target so you can “prove” it. Radio personality Dan Bongino, who has a new book out titled “Spygate,” has been advancing this theory for some time; I now think he’s right.

Halper, Mifsud, and Downer were working with the CIA/FBI as intel assets sent to entrap the Trump campaign by pretending to offer Russian information to low-level Trump campaign staff members such as Page. And, right now, it looks as if to make that operation work, the FBI might very well have presented one of its own agents to the court as being a Russian spy.

Whichever is the case, it’s all going to be coming out soon. When that happens, the fake narrative that any of these men were real Russian foreign agents working for Putin’s government, reaching out to collude with the Trump campaign to steal the 2016 election, is going to be ended at last.

Enjoy watching the last few days that the True Believers have left, as they watch their Trump–Russia election-collusion narrative take its last struggling breaths.

Brian Cates is a political pundit and writer based in South Texas and the author of “Nobody Asked for My Opinion … But Here It Is Anyway!”
Views expressed in this article are opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
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!”
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