TFW You're Trying To Buy Back Your Shit And They Hand You A Pee Tape
NO RUSSIA! NO RUSSIA! UNLESS ... Okay, maybe there is Russia.
The CIA is insisting the whole thing is bullshit.
And the president is shouting about proof of a DEEP STATE CONSPIRACY against "Trump".
So, what the hell happened?
NSA Hackers Get Hacked
In a nutshell, the NSA built a hacking monster, and it got out. Either through leaks or theft, a group of Russian hackers known as Shadow Brokers gained access to a hacking "toolkit" developed by the US government. And they sold it to some very bad people, who used the NSA's code to launch massive attacks on hundreds of thousands of computers in 2017. The NSA was in full panic mode, not knowing what else was stolen and desperate to get it all back. After abortive efforts to get their data from a German hacker with legitimate connections to Shadow Brokers, the US intelligence agencies decided to take a market solution to the problem.
Russian Hacker, Russian Bureaucrat, Russian Spy -- Same Diff!
During 2017, an "American businessman," working on behalf of the CIA and NSA, and a "Russian intermediary," working on behalf of God knows who, conducted extensive negotiations to broker a deal. The Russian said he had the NSA's precious code, but wouldn't they also like to buy some delicious sexxxxxy dirts on Donald Trump and all the help he got during the 2016 election. To which the CIA responded, GAAHHHH! NOOOOOO! Mike Pompeo is not here to prove Republicans stole an election, thankyouverymuch. And the NSA guys were not about to commit career suicide by being the ones to prove the pee tape was real.
Wait, NSA has a Twitter account?
Apparently so! Since they authenticated their intermediary by having him say to the Russians, "The NSA's gonna tweet some random stuff about telegrams," and then doing it.
NO TRUMP STUFF, PLZ!
Negotiations dragged on through summer of 2017, with the CIA saying, "Give us back our data!" And the Russians responding, "Oh, yes. Of course we have your code. But look at these interesting documents on Trump's business!" Via NYT,
Late [in September], the American businessman delivered the $100,000 payment. Some officials said it was United States government money but routed through an indirect channel.
A few weeks later, the Russian began handing over data. But in multiple deliveries in October and December, almost all of what he delivered was related to the 2016 election and alleged ties between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russia, not the N.S.A. or C.I.A. hacking tools.
Note that the CIA's denial that it wasn't bilked out of the funds does not contradict this account.
Russian Dangle, HAR HAR
Was this a classic dangle operation, where the Russians offered to sell what the Americans wanted, only to substitute something designed to manipulate the buyer?
Well, YEAH. But were they feeding us fake information to discredit the American intelligence agency, or was it real kompromat designed to discredit Trump?
The Intercept suggests that it was likely real information.
In December 2017, the Russian turned over documents and files, some of them in Russian. The documents appeared to include FBI investigative reports, financial records, and other materials related to Trump officials and the 2016 campaign.
“The information was vetted and ultimately determined that while a significant part of it was accurate and verifiable, other parts of the data were impossible to verify and could be controversial,” the documents obtained by The Intercept state. It is not clear who vetted the material.
And the NYT says PEE TAPE PEE TAPE PEE TAPE. (We are reading between the lines there.)
Then, a few months later, he showed the American businessman a 15-second clip of a video showing a man in a room talking to two women.
No audio could be heard on the video, and there was no way to verify if the man was Mr. Trump, as the Russian claimed. But the choice of venue for showing the clip heightened American suspicions of a Russian operation: The viewing took place at the Russian Embassy in Berlin, the businessman said.
So, now what?
The deal appears to be dead, with the pissed off American officers telling the Russian to GTFO of Western Europe. But now the NSA and CIA have a bag of flaming dogshit on their hands. What are they supposed to do with all the nasty secrets they have on the Commander in Chief? Looks like they plan to keep as far away from it as possible -- according to the NYT, "The Trump material was left with the American [intermediary], who has secured it in Europe." Sounds legit!
So now Devin Nunes and the goon squad will probably go on Fox and scream bloody murder about the Hillary DOJ trying to murderize Donald Trump with Russian hookers. He'll write another bullshit memo calling to purge all Democrats from the executive branch. Either that, or Mike Pompeo will whisper in Devin's ear to STFU because the pee tape is real. In which case, we'll never hear another word about it.
AND IT'S ONLY MONDAY!
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.