- Just a week after then-CIA Director John Brennan warned President Barack Obama that Hillary Clinton’s campaign was “stirring up” a Russia scandal to harm Donald Trump, the agency’s former acting chief became one of the first high-profile intelligence community figures to claim that the 2016 Republican nominee was a possible agent of Vladimir Putin.
In an Aug. 5, 2016 op-ed in the New York Times, Michael Morell cited his CIA experience to make the Trump allegation and he also endorsed Clinton for president. “In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” Morell wrote.
The Clinton campaign was synced with the revelation, immediately putting out an attack ad the same day sounding similar themes that Trump was “unfit” to be president and then following with a letter from 50 experts claiming it.
Even months later, Morell’s strike was still being peddled by Democrats like longtime Clinton-Obama strategist Jennifer Palmieri — she called it “jaw dropping” — to further a Russian collusion narrative that ultimately would be rejected by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and multiple congressional probes.
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