Obama admin official after Spicer comments: Russia benefits from ‘fake news’
A former Obama administration official is pushing back against the Trump White House after press secretary Sean Spicer misquoted her while attempting to promote unproven claims about wiretapping.
“Amen, Brother. Who benefits from this fake news? R-U – S – S – I –A,” Evelyn Farkas, who served as the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, wrote on Twitter.
— EvelynFarkas (@EvelynNFarkas) March 31, 2017
Farkas was quoting a tweet that said her comments should not be used to push the unfounded wiretapping claims.
Spicer misquoted Farkas during a White House press briefing on Friday, arguing that her previous comments “raised serious concerns on whether or not there was an organized and widespread effort by the Obama administration to use and leak highly sensitive intelligence information for political purposes.”
“She admitted this on television by saying: ‘I was urging my former colleagues, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill; I was telling people on the Hill, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can. I had a fear that they were essentially watching the Trump staff, and he was worried about the Trump administration.’”
During a March 2 appearance on MSNBC, Farkas said she had encouraged her former colleagues to gather as much intelligence as possible, fearing it would be “hidden away in the bureaucracy.”
“I was urging my former colleagues, and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill — it was more, actually, aimed at telling the Hill people: Get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration, because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior people that left. So it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy,” she said, as noted by The New York Times.
She continued, according to the Times, “That the Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about their, the staff, the Trump staff’s dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would no longer have access to that intelligence. So I became very worried, because not enough was coming out into the open, and I knew that there was more.”
The issue of wiretapping has been a main focus of White House press briefings since Trump last month claimed without providing evidence that former President Barack Obama ordered wiretapping of Trump Tower just before the November election.
FBI Director James Comey said during his testimony in front of the House Intelligence Committee that he had “no information” to support Trump’s claim.
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