The US Intelligence Community asked foreign spy agencies to surveil 26 associates of Donald Trump in the run-up to the 2016 election, which triggered the allegations that the former president’s campaign had been colluding with Russia, according to a report. 

Former CIA Director John Brennan identified and presented the targets to the US’s intelligence-sharing partners in the so-called “Five Eyes” agencies – the intelligence-gathering organizations in the US, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand – according to a report published Monday on Michael Shellenberger’s Public Substack. 

The report by independent journalists Shellenberger, Matt Taibbi and Alex Gutentag has not been confirmed by The Post.

They cite multiple unnamed sources, including ones close to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, led by Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio). 

Turner’s office did not respond to The Post’s request for comment. 

The US intelligence community had “identified” the 26 Trump associates “as people to ‘bump,’ or make contact with or manipulate,” one source told the outlet. 

In spy-speak, “bumping” is when a reason is manufactured to meet with a target of interest in order to develop a relationship that could lead to intelligence.

“They were targets of our own IC and law enforcement — targets for collection and misinformation,” the source said. 

Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters intelligence apparatus, or GCHQ, was making contacts with Trump’s associates as early as March 2016, according to the report.

“They were making contacts and bumping Trump people going back to March 2016,” a source told the outlet. “They were sending people around the UK, Australia, Italy — the Mossad in Italy. The MI6 was working at an intelligence school they had set up.”

A GCHQ spokesperson told the outlet that claims it was “asked to conduct ‘wire tapping’ against the then president-elect are nonsense.”

Intelligence related to the alleged surveillance effort is housed in a “10-inch binder,” according to the outlet, which Trump, 77, ordered to be declassified at the end of his presidency and could contain evidence that “multiple US intelligence officials broke laws against spying and election interference.”

The whereabouts of the alleged thick binder are unknown. 

The Trump campaign and the CIA did not respond to The Post’s requests for comment. 

Warrantless surveillance of US persons is specifically prohibited by US law. 

Former FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith was sentenced to probation in 2021 after admitting that he falsified an e-mail to renew a wiretap against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. 

​​Page had been wiretapped after intelligence sources suspected he might have been targeted by Russian spies. The wiretap, which was approved by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, was renewed several times after it was first granted.

Last March, Special Counsel John Durham concluded that the FBI investigation of Trump’s alleged collusion with Russia was “seriously flawed” and had no basis in evidence, after a four-year review of the probe.  

In response, the FBI said it had “implemented dozens of corrective actions” since the improper Trump probe and that “the missteps identified in the report could have been prevented” had the reforms been in place in 2016. 

In 2022, Taibbi and Shellenberger were involved in the publishing of the Twitter Files expose, which detailed how the social media giant’s previous management team sought to silence controversial voices and suppress news items such as The Post’s reporting on Hunter Biden’s laptop.

Share.
2024 © Network Today. All Rights Reserved.