(National Sentinel) Et tu, Brutus? President Donald J. Trump took to Twitter on Thursday to lambast U.S. Sen Mark Warner, D-Va., vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, for clandestinely working through a Russian oligarch to set up a meeting with “Russian dossier” author Christopher Steele.
As reported by Fox News:
Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee who has been leading a congressional investigation into President Trump’s alleged ties to Russia, had extensive contact last year with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch who was offering Warner access to former British spy and dossier author Christopher Steele, according to text messages obtained exclusively by Fox News.
“We have so much to discuss u need to be careful but we can help our country,” Warner texted the lobbyist, Adam Waldman, on March 22, 2017.
“I’m in,” Waldman, whose firm has ties to Hillary Clinton, texted back to Warner.
Steele famously put together the anti-Trump dossier of unverified information that was used by FBI and Justice Department officials in October 2016 to get a warrant to conduct surveillance of former Trump adviser Carter Page. Despite the efforts, Steele has not agreed to an interview with the committee.
As the conservation heated up on March 29, secrecy appeared to be very important to Warner after the lobbyist revealed that Steele was seeking to publish a bipartisan letter from Warner and the committee’s chairman, Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., that invited him to address the intel panel, Fox News‘ Ed Henry reported.
“Throughout the text exchanges, Warner seemed particularly intent on connecting directly with Steele without anyone else on the Senate Intelligence Committee being in the loop — at least initially,” Henry wrote. “In one text to the lobbyist, Warner wrote that he would ‘rather not have a paper trail’ of his messages.”
The messages were given to Fox News by a Republican source. They were marked “Confidential” but were not classified.
Henry further noted:
Waldman, who did not return calls seeking comments, runs the Endeavor Group in Washington.
Waldman is best known for signing a $40,000 monthly retainer in 2009 and 2010 to lobby the U.S. government on behalf of controversial Russian billionaire Oleg V. Deripaska. Deripraska had his visa revoked by the State Department in 2006 because of charges, which he has denied, that he has organized crime ties.
The revelations stirred President Trump to address Warner’s back-channel dealing on Twitter.
“Wow! -Senator Mark Warner got caught having extensive contact with a lobbyist for a Russian oligarch. Warner did not want a ‘paper trail’ on a ‘private’ meeting (in London) he requested with Steele of fraudulent Dossier fame. All tied into Crooked Hillary,” said the president.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., defended Warner, claiming he disclosed this information to the committee months ago.
Henry noted during an interview with Fox News‘ Martha McCallum that Republican operatives tied to the committee released the texts to make the point that some Demorats who have been hammering Trump for a year about his campaign team’s alleged ties to Russian officials have themselves had back-channel dealings with Russians.
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