President Barack Obama and President-elect Donald Trump were made aware last week of unconfirmed allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising financial and personal information on Trump, according to a CNN report on Tuesday.
According to CNN, Obama and Trump were made aware by of the allegations in classified briefings by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, and NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers.
The allegations, contained in a two-page synopsis to the report on Russian election meddling, are based in part off information from a former British MI6 operative, who US intelligence officials say has been credible in the past, according to CNN. The synopsis was drawn from a 35-page compilation of memos put together by the former MI6 agent.
BuzzFeed published all 35 pages of the memos shortly after CNN’s report. It’s worth emphasizing that no media outlet has corroborated the details contained in the memos. CNN declined to report any details of the memos because the network was unable to corroborate any of its details.
BuzzFeed said it published the documents “so that Americans can make up their own minds about allegations about the president-elect that have circulated at the highest levels of the US government.”
The memos include unconfirmed allegations of information exchanges between Trump surrogates and go-betweens for the Russian government, as well as unconfirmed details of compromising information Russia could allegedly have on Trump.
The allegations, which come primarily from Russian sources, are currently under investigation by the FBI but remain largely unconfirmed by intelligence agencies, according to CNN’s sources. (RELATED: Schumer: Intelligence Agencies May ‘Get Back At’ Trump For Tweet)
According to CNN, the memos originally started as opposition research commissioned by Republicans opposing Trump’s candidacy, before being continued by Democrats seeking to dig up dirt on Trump. CNN is also reporting that Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain gave a copy of the memos to FBI Director James Comey.
The CNN report includes some similarities to an October report from the left-wing publication Mother Jones, which ran a story a week before the election quoting a veteran spy operative as saying that “there was an established exchange of information between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin of mutual benefit.”
Our report just now: https://t.co/S8UDLSCU0Z
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) January 10, 2017