A new report reveals that the U.S. intelligence community warned the White House that Rudy Giuliani is being used by the Russians to feed misinformation to Donald Trump.
According to The Washington Post, “U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that President Trump’s personal lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani was the target of an influence operation by Russian intelligence, according to four former officials familiar with the matter.”
The report notes that Trump national security adviser Robert O’Brien even told the president in a private conversation that “any information Giuliani brought back from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia.”
Trump’s response to the warnings was reportedly a shrug of the shoulders.
More from The Washington Post report:
The warnings were based on multiple sources, including intercepted communications, that showed Giuliani was interacting with people tied to Russian intelligence during a December 2019 trip to Ukraine, where he was gathering information that he thought would expose corrupt acts by former vice president Joe Biden and his son Hunter.
The intelligence raised concerns that Giuliani was being used to feed Russian misinformation to the president, the former officials said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information and conversations.
The warnings to the White House, which have not been previously reported, led national security adviser Robert O’Brien to caution Trump in a private conversation that any information Giuliani brought back from Ukraine should be considered contaminated by Russia, one of the former officials said.
The message was, “Do what you want to do, but your friend Rudy has been worked by Russian assets in Ukraine,” this person said. Officials wanted “to protect the president from coming out and saying something stupid,” particularly since he was facing impeachment over his own efforts to strong-arm Ukraine’s president into investigating the Bidens.
But O’Brien emerged from the meeting uncertain whether he had gotten through to the president. Trump had “shrugged his shoulders” at O’Brien’s warning, the former official said, and dismissed concern about his lawyer’s activities by saying, “That’s Rudy.”
Trump refuses to put national security first – especially when it comes to Russia
In a normal time, it would be shocking for a president of the United States to dismiss warnings about Russia using his personal lawyer as part of an influence operation.
But this is Donald Trump’s White House, and there has never been a time when he put America’s national security interests above his own personal and political interests.
At the end of the day, the president recognizes that the Kremlin is again working overtime to make sure he, not Joe Biden, is president for the next four years. So long as that’s the case, Donald Trump will never lift a finger to defend the United States against Russia.
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Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.
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