Note: This article is a follow up to the undernoted link.
Boris Johnson – Trump – The Tory party
Three senior past and present Foreign Office ministers, including the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson, were targeted by individuals identified by the FBI as central to their investigation into Trump-Russia collusion.
Alok Sharma MP said: “I did not introduce Mifsud to Boris Johnson and I don’t think anyone else did either.”
But indications of Russian efforts to make contacts with British officials could prove embarrassing for Johnson, who was asked about possible foreign interference in Britain last week and replied: “I haven’t seen a sausage.”
But there were meetings and encounters between British ministers and two individuals named in FBI indictments unsealed last week – George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser for Donald Trump’s campaign, and a “London professor” with high-level connections to the Russian state, subsequently identified as a Maltese academic, Joseph Mifsud.
Alok Sharma, a Foreign Office minister until June this year and MP for Reading West, confirmed he had met Mifsud “a couple of times” and he had attended a fundraising dinner in his constituency on 19 October this year, where he had “briefly greeted” him.
An email from Mifsud to a colleague, uncovered by Byline, the crowdfunded independent journalism site, revealed Mifsud had told a colleague he would be “meeting Boris Johnson for dinner re Brexit” on that date. Sharma confirmed Johnson was the guest speaker at the event.
The revelation comes as an investigation into foreign influence places him in a web of relationships between a known Russian spy, Sergey Nalobin, expelled from Britain in 2015, and Matthew Elliott, the chief executive of Vote Leave, the official Leave campaign headed by Johnson.
A witness said: “We’re starting to have a much clearer picture from America of how the Russian state sought to influence the US election and I think there are multiple questions to be asked about how and in what ways the Russian state may have been exerting influence in British politics.
Given the gravity of the allegations against Mr Papadopoulos, the government should make public any meetings these two individuals had with British officials and what was discussed.”
Even more questions are raised by a meeting between Papadopoulos and Tobias Ellwood, then a senior minister in the Foreign Office, at the UN general assembly in New York in September 2016.
This was when Papadopoulos was still working for the Trump campaign and, according to the FBI’s documents, had made multiple contacts through his intermediary – the “London professor” – with “high-level Russian officials”.
Ellwood’s meeting occurred after Papadopoulos had discovered in April that the Russians had “dirt on Hillary Clinton” in the form of “thousands of emails” but before WikiLeaks started publishing her emails in October.
Ben Bradshaw, the MP who has been one of the few voices asking questions about possible Russian interference in British democracy, said the Foreign Office’s explanation that such a meeting was “routine” was implausible.
“In my experience, it is not normal for a minister to meet party campaign operatives while on official government business.”
He added: “If Mr Papadopoulos’s role was as junior as Trump has been claiming, I would be surprised that a minister as senior and experienced as Mr Ellwood would agree to meet him.”
September 2015: Senior Republican Opposed to Trump Nomination – Commissioned a Damaging Dossier From Fushion GPS
In September 2015, a wealthy Republican donor who strongly opposed Trump put up the money to hire a Washington research firm run by former journalists, Fusion GPS, to compile a dossier about the real estate magnate’s past scandals and weaknesses.
Fusion GPS, headed by a former Wall Street Journal journalist known for his dogged reporting, Glenn Simpson, most often works for business clients.
But in presidential elections, the firm is sometimes hired by candidates, party organizations or donors to do political “oppo” work — shorthand for opposition research — on the side.
It is routine work and ordinarily involves creating a big, searchable database of public information: past news reports, documents from lawsuits and other relevant data.
For months, Fusion GPS gathered the documents and put together the files from Trump’s past in business and entertainment, a rich target.
After Mr. Trump emerged as the presumptive nominee in the spring, the Republican interest in financing the effort ended.
But Democratic supporters of Hillary Clinton were very interested, and Fusion GPS kept doing the same deep dives, but on behalf of new clients.
Simpson then hired Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence officer with whom he had worked before.
Steele, in his early 50s, had served undercover in Moscow in the early 1990s and later was the top expert on Russia at the London headquarters of Britain’s spy service, MI6.
When he stepped down in 2009, he started his own commercial intelligence firm, Orbis Business Intelligence.
As a former spy who had carried out espionage inside Russia, Steele was in no position to travel to Moscow to study Trump’s connections there.
But instead he hired native Russian speakers to call informants inside Russia and made surreptitious contact with his own connections in the country as well.
Steele wrote up his findings in a series of memos, each a few pages long, that he began to deliver to Fusion GPS in June and continued at least until December.
By then, the presidential election was over, and neither Steele nor Simpson was being paid by a client, but they did not stop what they believed to be very important work.
The memos described two different Russian operations. The first was a year long effort to find a way to influence Mr. Trump, perhaps because he had contacts with Russian oligarchs whom Mr. Putin wanted to keep track of.
According to Steele’s memos, he used an array of familiar tactics: the gathering of “kompromat,” compromising material such as alleged tapes of Mr. Trump with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel, and proposals for business deals attractive to Mr. Trump.
Word of the dossier reached Capitol Hill and Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, obtained a copy from David J. Kramer, a former top State Department official who works for the McCain Institute at Arizona State University.
McCain then passed the information to James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director. who decided to sit on it until after the Presidential election.
September 2016: Unverified Dossier Creates a Crisis For Trump
Recently retired British spy, Christopher Steele, was tasked to build a file on Donald J Trump’s ties to Russia.
This week, explosive details — unsubstantiated accounts of frolics with prostitutes, real estate deals that were intended as bribes and coordination with Russian intelligence of the hacking of Democrats — were summarized in a top secret intelligence report.
Trump denounced the unproven claims as a fabrication, a Nazi-style smear concocted by “sick people.”
It further undermined his relationship with the intelligence agencies and cast a shadow over the new administration.
James R. Clapper Jr., director of national intelligence, issued a statement decrying leaks about the matter and saying of the Steele dossier that the intelligence agencies had “not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.”
Much of the report remained out of reach — most critically the basic question of how much, if anything, in the dossier was true.
But the debacle offered a glimpse of the hidden side of US presidential campaigns, involving private sleuths-for-hire and secret agents of foreign countries looking for the worst they can find about the next American leader.
Early April 2016: Dirty Tricks Campaign Orchestrated by the Clinton Team, Hakluyt & Co (UK), Papadopoulos, Mifsud and UK security services – Discrediting Trump in Favour of Clinton
Categorised as a nonentity by Trump’s campaign team yet Papadopoulis wielded a powerful fist in London as Trump’s foreign policy advisor.
Undoubtably the “Daniel Defoe” of the Trump presidential campaign he nearly succeeded in getting Hilary Clinton into office.
Claire Smith & Joseph Mifsud
4 May 2016: Prime Minister Cameron told by George Papadopoulos to Say Sorry to Trump or the Risk Special Relationship
Early May 2016: Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK- Alexander Downer Provides Key Information to the FBI & Clinton Team
Russiagate was triggered by slipshod conversations in a swanky bar in London, between Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK, Alexander Downer, who was based in London, and a drunk junior Trump foreign policy adviser George Papodopoulous.
The pair reportedly discussed the alleged Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton while they were drinking in a bar in London.
Downer is closely tied with The Clinton Foundation via his role in securing $25 million in aid from his country to help the Clinton Foundation fight AIDS.
But he is also a member of the advisory board of the secretive London Based Hakluyt & Co., an intelligence firm set up in 1995 by three former UK intelligence officials and described as “a retirement home for ex-MI6 (British foreign Service Intelligence) officers.”
And whereas research group Fusion GPS received all the media attention Hakluyt is “a more powerful and mysterious opposition research and intelligence firm… with significant political and financial links to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her 2016 campaign”.
When the information Papadopoulos had disclosed to the Australian diplomat was passed by himself to Clinton and the FBI, the bureau opened an investigation that soon became one of its most closely guarded secrets.
It had not been prompted by the dossier compiled by former British spy’s, but by Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos boasting to a top Australian diplomat about Russia’s dirt on then Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
Claire Smith – Head of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee
Trump and Russiagate – All Roads Lead to London and MI6
1. Boris Johnson met with Misfud on 19 Oct 2017.
2. Misfud worked in Riyadh for a “think tank” run by the former head of Saudi intelligence, Prince Turki al Faisal.
3. Misfud and Claire Smith of the UK Joint Intelligence Committee and eight year member of the UK Security Vetting panel both trained Italian security services at the Link university in Rome.
4. Alexander Downer in London, closely associated with Hakluyt (now Holdingham Group Ltd) a private MI6 outfit, met with Papadopulos. The FBI used AD’s statement about Misfud to open the FISA interception warrants against the Trump camp.
5. It was former UK MI6 officer Christopher Steele who compiled the smear filled “Steel Dossier” funded by Hillary Clinton.
6. The UK government approved the giving of the Steele dossier to President Obama and the FBI.
7. It was the UK government that issued a press suppression notice (DA Notice) about Steele.
Downing Street defends move to protect identity of ex-MI6 agent behind Trump dossier.
Tory MPs urge Theresa May to distance the UK government from report by Christopher Steele.
8. Steele used former UK ambassador Sir Andrew Wood to funnel the dossier to the Trump hating Senator John McCain.
Sir Andrew Wood, McCain’s ‘go-between’ confirm’s he acted as a “go-between” informing Sen. John McCain about the controversial “dossier” containing salacious allegations about then-candidate Donald Trump.
9. Paul Wood, a reporter routinely operating within UK military and intelligence covert operation zones verifies key claims alleged in the content of the Christopher Steele compiled Trump dossier.
10. Executives with London-based Hakluyt & Co. contributed thousands of dollars to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee’s campaign.
11. Robert Hannigan, former head of British intelligence agency GCHQ, is another personality of note in the formation of the Russiagate narrative and its deep links to the UK.
Hannigan announced he would step down from his leadership position with the agency just three days after the inauguration of President Trump, on 23 January 2017.
His career profile noted that Hannigan had flown to Washington D.C. to personally brief the then-CIA Director John Brennan on alleged communications between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
What is so curious about this briefing “deemed so sensitive it was handled at director-level” is why Hannigan was talking director-to-director to the CIA and not Mike Rogers at the NSA, GCHQ’s Five Eyes intelligence-sharing partner.
It is clear, in concentrating on Russia those having an interest in US affairs have been looking in the wrong place – and at the wrong country – to unearth the so-called ‘foreign meddling’ in the 2016 US election.
All roads lead to London and MI6.
My next post will provide information linking ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal to MI6 and Anthony Steels’s report on Trump.
https://archive.fo/6jtGe (Trump Dossier)