President Donald Trump tweeted about reports that a Russian with ties to the Kremlin sold purported dirt on Trump to US officials seeking to recover stolen cyberweapons.
He also alluded to the abrupt exits of two former White House aides following reports detailing domestic abuse allegations against them.
“I hope people are now seeing & understanding what is going on,” he tweeted in response to the reports of US officials paying the Russian to recover hacking tools.
In reference to the aides’ exits, he tweeted that lives were “being shattered and destroyed by a mere allegation.”
President Donald Trump went off on Saturday about recent developments that have shaken the White House and the US national security apparatus.
First, he tweeted about a New York Times report which found that a Russian with questionable ties to Russian intelligence attempted to sell unverified “kompromat” on Trump to American spies last year.
“According to the @nytimes, a Russian sold phony secrets on ‘Trump’ to the U.S. Asking price was $10 million, brought down to $1 million to be paid over time,” Trump tweeted. “I hope people are now seeing & understanding what is going on here. It is all now starting to come out – DRAIN THE SWAMP!”
The Russian got in touch with US intelligence officials in early 2017, after they offered to pay for top-secret cyberweapons that the Shadow Brokers, a hacking group said to be aligned with the Russian government, stole from the National Security Agency in the summer of 2016, the Times reported.
According to the report, the Russian initially demanded a $10 million payment in exchange for the cyberweapons in addition to kompromat on Trump. The price was later whittled down to $1 million, to be paid in separate installments.
US officials made it clear they were only interested in the hacking tools, and that they did not want the purported dirt on Trump. They suspected that the offer of kompromat was part of a disinformation campaign to sow political discord within the US — a tactic the Kremlin had already employed when it interfered in the 2016 presidential race. Officials also suspected that the deal was an attempt to pit the US intelligence community against the president.
After several meetings towards the end of 2017 during which the Russian repeatedly showed up with the purported dirt but without the stolen cyberweapons, American officials cut off the deal and warned the man to go back to Russia and stay there, the report said.
It’s unclear what Trump meant on Saturday when he tweeted he hoped “people are now seeing & understanding what is going on here.”
Trump has often accused senior officials at the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the intelligence community of working to undermine his presidency. Most recently, the president latched onto a memo released by the House Intelligence Committee last week — which purports to show surveillance abuses by the FBI and DOJ — as evidence of that theory.
Trump alludes to West Wing turmoil amid aides’ abrupt …read more
Source:: Business Insider