Partisan dialogue and stigmatization aside, GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) has discovered possible relations with Trump’s campaign team and Russia back in 2015.
Contextually, GCHQ is the central organ for British signal intelligence activities (namesake wise, the interception of communications such as phone calls in order to gather intelligence).
This effectively changes the tone of which the FBI investigation between Trump and Russia is conducted, indicating a more substantial and timely relationship between the two.
However, there is no clear evidence that has been publicly released in order to concretely discern the true nature of the relations Donald Trump and Russia may have had.
Right now, all is speculation.
Except for two things: the 35 page dossier (collection of documents about people and/or events) written by former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele and GCHQ’s communications with American and other European intelligence agencies.
However, the content of the dossier specifically contains errors and its claims that the FSB (Federal Security Service, or Federal’naya sluzhba bezopasnosti Rossiyskoy Federatsii) has a kompromat on Trump, which means that the dossier alleges that Russia has compromising as well as embarrassing information on Trump that could be used a means of blackmail.
On the contrary, however, what seems more concrete now is the recent developments regarding Trump’s Twitter accusations of Obama wiretapping him at the Trump Tower as well as accusing that Susan Rice – Barack Obama’s national security adviser and the former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations – was the one who orchestrated the alleged wiretapping. More recently, on March 17, 2017, Sean Spicer alleged – based on a report that Fox News even distanced itself from – that GCHQ not only orchestrated the wiretapping, but also carried the wiretapping out.
It is also noted that when the reports of the dossier came out back in January, Trump tweeted
Trump, to a very very very weak extent, may be right. Internal emails from the Democratic National Convention recently published by Wikileaks suggests awareness of a possible Trump-Russia link. However, likewise, it is not right on one’s reckoning to suggest that these were done on the lines of partisan muckraking, and such claims would be unfounded unless a true investigation proves otherwise.
To exemplify on the Republican side, Trump’s open accusations that the previous administration had purportedly wiretapped him on the grounds of partisan muckraking is equally blasphemous and unfounded. Donald Trump’s tweet is quoted below.
To put it into perspective, James Comey, director of the FBI, stated decorously and objectively at a Congressional hearing on March 20, 2017 that, quote:
“With respect to the President’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior Administration, I have no information that supports those tweets, and we have looked carefully inside the F.B.I.,” Comey said. “The Department of Justice has asked me to share with you that the answer is the same for the Department of Justice and all its components. The department has no information that supports those tweets.”
Source: The New Yorker
But here is where things go completely conjectural (a bit shady too). In seeing a concrete development in terms of “the powder-keg” relationships the Democratic and Republican party has had both in the 2016 election and in Congress anywhere from calling Hillary a “crook,” to the “grilling” that Senator Al Franken has done in the Neil Gorsuch hearing, there may be an ulterior purpose of why Donald Trump is making so much noise in Washington. While some good changes are occurring, (for example Trump signed S.442 on Tuesday in which would allow further funding for NASA) it does not hide the fact that much of Donald Trump’s attitudes towards reconciling with Russia may be influenced by Russia itself.
Returning back to the dossier’s alleged claims above that Russia has a kompromat on Donald Trump, Trump may have been forced to become a puppet for the Putin Administration. From the first three pages of the dossier, it becomes apparent of the possible quid pro quo that Russia has forcibly pushed Trump to engage in. The dossier apportions a few reasons as to how Trump and Russia linked together.
- Russia supposedly had evidence that Trump may have hired prostitutes to do a golden shower show (urination) on the bed of which Barack and Michelle Obama have purportedly slept in during their stay in the presidential suite of the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow, which was then exploitable to the Russians to use against Trump as a form of kompromat.
- Russia has given Trump some lucrative deals in terms of real estate opportunities in the 2018 World Cup Soccer Tournament.
- Russia, in exchange for such opportunities (like the above deal), wants the political climate unstable in America, as well as the Transatlantic alliance (may be referring to NATO) America has with other European powers, namely Britain.
In consequence, this would make Trump wildly insecure both on a personal and political level.
In sum, while most of the media and government do not stand by such unverified claims – ultimately – the investigation done by the GCHQ is concrete as the recent developments regarding Trump’s tweets both on the dossier and Obama’s supposed wiretapping. According to the Guardian, European countries have been engaging with routine exchanges of intelligence with the U.S. since 2015, with the most notable being GCHQ.
During summer 2016, then head of the GCHQ Robert Hannigan passed information to CIA director John Brennan. Furthermore, Hannigan also gave classified briefings to the “Gang of Eight” (term used to refer to the top Democratic and Republican figures in Congress) on possible links with Trump and Russia in late August and September of 2016, according to the Guardian.
In all, according to one source that the Guardian cited, GCHQ’s role in bringing such link into light of the FBI was that of a “principal whistle-blower.”
Finally, with the FISA court green-lighting a secret surveillance of Carter Page after the 2016 elections, a foreign policy adviser appointed by Trump, it seems that the ones that are insecure have spoken out louder in the recent months.
That is, not only is Carter Page noisily insecure with his statements that this was “unjustified, politically motivated government surveillance,” but also Donald Trump himself, trying to tweet away his possible links with Russia by scapegoating Obama.
But as aforementioned above, these are all speculations. No declassified evidence has struck a true damning link between Trump and Russia in the end, although it is favorable that there is truly a link between the two given this new light that a foreign intelligence agency also picked up on Trump-Russia links.