By Aaron Klein
Evelyn Farkas, a former top Obama administration official, has denied that she had access to inside information when she made remarks as a contributor to MSNBC last month that seemed to acknowledge efforts by members of the Obama administration to collect intelligence on Donald Trump and members of his 2016 presidential campaign.
However, the news media has largely failed to note that on February 16, about two weeks prior to her statements on MSNBC, Farkas revealed in an interview that she was “getting winks and hints from inside that there was something really wrong here” – referring to Trump officials’ alleged ties to Russia. She stated that she was “first made aware of all this stuff” during the summer.
On March 2, Farkas stated on MSNBC that she told former Obama administration colleagues to collect intelligence on Trump and campaign officials.
“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,” stated Farkas.
Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy … that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their … the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.
After her remarks resurfaced and were subsequently used by the White House to bolster the charge that Trump was under illicit surveillance during the campaign, Farkas gave interviews denying that she had any inside information when she made those comments to MSNBC.
She told the Daily Caller last week that she had no access to any intelligence. “I had no intelligence whatsoever, I wasn’t in government anymore and didn’t have access to any,” she said.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Farkas denied being a source of any leaks.
The Post reported:
Farkas, in an interview with The Post, said she “didn’t give anybody anything except advice,” was not a source for any stories and had nothing to leak. Noting that she left government in October 2015, she said, “I was just watching like anybody else, like a regular spectator” as initial reports of Russia contacts began to surface after the election.
Farkas was asked by Klein about her “level of alarm after the resignation of Michael Flynn,” who stepped down in February as Trump’s national security adviser.
Regarding her “level of alarm,” Farkas replied:
It’s lower than it’s been since the summer, when I was first made aware of all this stuff. I’m like, finally, everybody else sees it! Seriously.
The reason I was so upset last summer was that I was getting winks and hints from inside that there was something really wrong here. I was agitated because I knew the Clinton campaign and the world didn’t know. But I didn’t think it would happen this fast. I didn’t think Flynn would survive a year, but I thought it would be most of the year.
The fact that Flynn is gone is constructive from the perspective of US foreign policy. He was getting it wrong on combating terrorism and Russia. So I feel relieved that he will not be whispering his policy prescriptions in the president’s ear.
On the bigger issue, the intelligence community, the bureaucracy, patriotic Americans, and some members of Congress are making it impossible for the White House to sweep whatever they are trying to hide under the rug. And the White House is clearly trying to hide something, or the president would have said, on day one, that he would support the investigations that began under his predecessor.
This past week, Breitbart News first reported that at a conference last October, held two weeks before the presidential election, Farkas predicted that if Trump won the presidency he would “be impeached pretty quickly or somebody else would have to take over government.”
Breitbart News also first reported that at the same conference, Farkas warned that more must be done to counter the forces of nationalism and populism that have been entering the mainstream with the rise of Trump and nationalist movements across Europe.
Farkas currently serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which takes a hawkish approach toward Russia and has released numerous reports and briefs about Russian aggression.
The Council is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc., the U.S. State Department and NATO ACT. Another Council funder is the Ploughshares Fund, which in turn has received financing from billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
Farkas serves on the Atlantic Council alongside Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of CrowdStrike, the third-party company utilized by the FBI to make its assessment about alleged Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council.
Last month, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency never had direct access to the DNC’s servers to confirm the hacking. “Well, we never got direct access to the machines themselves,” he stated. “The DNC in the spring of 2016 hired a firm that ultimately shared with us their forensics from their review of the system.”
National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers also stated the NSA never asked for access to the DNC hardware: “The NSA didn’t ask for access. That’s not in our job.”