Why Trump was briefed on his vulnerability to getting blackmailed

The Daily Beast reports: “For the moment, the most significant story is not the allegations themselves, but the fact they were briefed to the president and president-elect,” Susan Hennessey, a former National Security Agency official, told The Daily Beast. “The intelligence community does not take mere innuendo to the president, so it means that intelligence professionals and law enforcement are at least taking the claims seriously. But that is absolutely not the same as these allegations being verified. There are very specific facts in the document which law enforcement should be able to prove or disprove. So the smart course is not to dismiss this as fake news or assume it is not credible, but to wait for more information to emerge.”

The document is mostly composed of memos prepared by a former British intelligence operative who was hired to do research on Trump, first by his Republican opponents and then by Democrats. USA Today reports that his work on Trump had traveled so widely in Washington that America’s top spies felt a summary of the information needed to be presented to Obama, Trump, and to the eight senators and congressmen who oversee the intelligence community.

“I can picture how difficult a decision this must have been,” former CIA Director Michael Hayden told The Wall Street Journal of the decision to inform Trump. “But if we had this data, others may have had this data too. And regardless of truth or falsity, I can see why they thought the president-elect should know.” [Continue reading…]

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