|This article appears in the February 9, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
DEFYING THE BRITISH COUP
Trump Negotiates with Russia
This last point came as a shock to many Americans. It was announced first by Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov on Jan. 30, who said that the director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service, Sergey Naryshkin, had been in Washington the previous week for meetings with unnamed U.S. intelligence chiefs. The same day, that meeting was confirmed by U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman, indicating that CIA Director Michael Pompeo was one of the people who met with Naryshkin. Huntsman, speaking to the Echo Moskvy radio station in Moscow, called the meetings “probably the most important meetings on counterterrorism that we’ve had in a very, very long time, at the senior levels.”
Also on the same day, Jan. 30, CIA Director Pompeo gave an interview to BBC. He was asked about Russian interference in U.S. and European elections, and he gave the official response, “I haven’t seen a significant decrease in their activity. I have every expectation that they will continue to try and do that, but I’m confident that America will be able to have a free and fair election [and] that we will push back in a way that is sufficiently robust, that the impact they have on our election won’t be great.” This was reported around the world as a warning of retaliation against supposed Russian meddling.
In that BBC interview, Pompeo also said: “We are going to go out there and do our damnedest to steal secrets on behalf of the American people!” So, we know that Pompeo wanted to make clear that the Trump Administration takes seriously its responsibility to counter any adverse Russian intelligence efforts.
The more significant news, however, is that Pompeo was in fact holding intense discussions with the leading Russian intelligence professionals, to cooperate in solving problems—real problems, that threaten the future of mankind, including terrorism, drugs, and conflicts that could spark global war, rather than the absurd claims of Russian meddling and collusion.
In fact, as confirmed by both the CIA and the State Department on Feb. 2, not only was Foreign Intelligence Director Naryshkin in Washington, but also Alexander Bortnikov, Director of the Federal Security Service (FSB, the successor of the KGB), and Igor Korobov, Chief of the Russian General Staff’s Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU). They held meetings with Pompeo as well as Dan Coats, Trump’s Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and other U.S. intelligence officials. A Moscow-based senior U.S. intelligence official was also called back to Washington to participate in the meetings, according to the Washington Post.
The Russiagate mob went wild, frantic that their coup attempt against the U.S. government is falling to pieces. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), in a Jan. 29 press conference, ranted: “We sanctioned the head of their foreign intelligence, and then the Trump administration invites him to waltz through our front door. This is an extreme dereliction of duty by President Trump.” He said the meetings were likely to have had something to do with President Trump’s decision not to impose the new sanctions mandated by the Congress on Russia.
Pompeo, in a letter responding to Schumer, calmly, but sharply, put the hysterical Schumer in his place, referencing the latter’s suggestion that “there was something untoward in officials from Russian intelligence services meeting their U.S. counterparts.” On the contrary, Pompeo wrote, “we periodically meet with our Russian counterparts for the same reason our predecessors did—to keep Americans safe. While Russia remains an adversary, we would put American lives at greater risk if we ignored opportunities to work with the Russian services in the fight against terrorism.” He went on to state he was very proud of that counterterror cooperation, “including CIA’s role with its Russian counterparts in the recent disruption of a terrorist plot targeting St. Petersburg, Russia—a plot that could have killed Americans. . . .”
Pompeo also made clear that the discussions included efforts to resolve other areas of tension between the two superpowers, not just cooperation on counter- terrorism. “You and the American people,” he wrote, “should rest assured that we cover very difficult subjects in which American and Russian interests do not align. Neither side is bashful about raising concerns relating to our intelligence relationships and the interests of our respective nations.” Security cooperation between the U.S. and Russian intelligence agencies, Pompeo concluded, “has occurred under multiple administrations. I am confident that you would support CIA continuing these engagements that are aimed at protecting the American people.”
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert made the same point in her Feb. 2 press briefing: “I can tell you in a general matter, if something is considered to be in the national security interest of the United States, just like other countries, we have the ability to waive [the sanctions], so that people can come in to the United States. It is no secret that despite our many, many differences . . . with the Russian government, we also have areas where we have to work together, and one of those is combatting terrorism and ISIS.”
Russia’s Sputnik, in reporting on the intelligence cooperation, made the point that the visit could be seen in the context of statements made by Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov last month, when he said Russia is interested in increasing U.S.-Russian cooperation in the context of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s initiative to establish an international counter-terrorism coalition. Antonov added that “the U.S. and Russia have no obstacles for such cooperation against terrorism, and drafting the necessary regulatory framework for agreements would ensure national security of both states.”
It should also be noted that one of the most dangerous points of conflict between Washington and Moscow, that of Ukraine, has also taken a significant turn in the past weeks. President Putin’s aide, Vladislav Surkov and U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker met in Dubai on Jan. 26 to discuss a so-called “Dubai Package,” in which the U.S. and Russia would work with the UN to deploy a UN mission in Ukraine’s Donbas region, to facilitate a ceasefire and measures to implement the Minsk agreements, this time with U.S. support. Under Obama, the U.S. was not part of the Minsk process and undermined any positive efforts by supporting the blatant sabotage by the Kiev government and the neo-nazi militias on the front lines.
Surkov was quoted by TASS: “The talks’ key topic was once again a discussion of the Russian initiative to deploy in Ukraine’s southeast a UN mission. This time, the U.S. has brought more constructive suggestions. The U.S. Dubai Package, unlike the ‘Belgrade’ suggestions, seems quite doable, at least at first glance. We shall study it closely and will give a response in due course. After that, we shall invite Kurt [Volker] and his colleagues to a new meeting.”
President Trump has also initiated frequent exchanges between the U.S. and Russian Chiefs of Staff, which were totally shut down by Obama.