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Ex-Trump adviser: Brits hinted they assisted Team Obama on Russia collusion probe

K.T. MacFarland also says she believes James Comey's alert to Trump about Steele dossier was akin to blackmail.

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Trump Tower in Manhattan, NY
Trump Tower in Manhattan, NY
(Spencer Platt / Getty Images)
Updated: March 13, 2020 - 4:54pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

President Trump's former deputy national security adviser says a British intelligence official hinted to her that his country had aided the Obama administration's early Russia collusion probe during the 2016 election.

Former Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland told Just the News that as Trump was preparing to take office in January 2017 she received a call and email from her counterpart in the British national security establishment.

The contact from British Deputy National Security Adviser Patrick “Paddy” McGuinness occurred around the day the sensational but now debunked Christopher Steele dossier leaked in the U.S. news media.

McGuinness stated the British would not be commenting on the leaked document, which was written by the former MI6 operative Steele as an opposition research project for Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic Party, she said.

McGuinness said that the British and American intelligence communities work so closely together that “it’s often difficult to see where one ends and the other begins,” McFarland recalled during a wide-ranging interview with the John Solomon Reports podcast.

At the time McFarland took the comment to be an obvious reassurance of the famously close relationship between U.S. and U.K. intelligence services. But “in retrospect, I think it was a signal that their former agent was working very closely with our intelligence agencies," she now says.

“My conclusion was that they had been working closely with the intelligence officials in the Obama administration,” McFarland said.

Late last month, in an interview with Just the News, Michael Flynn’s current defense attorney, Sidney Powell, confirmed that just a few days after McFarland received these messages from McGuinness, Flynn received a parallel communique from the British National Security Adviser, undermining Steele’s credibility within British intelligence circles.

McFarland's new best-selling book "Revolution: Trump, Washington and We the People" includes several new revelations about the Russia scandal that felled her immediate boss Michael Flynn, Trump's first national security adviser. She talked about some of those during the podcast.

In early January 2017, McFarland recalled, she was at a briefing with Trump, Flynn, FBI Director James Comey, CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and Admiral Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency (NSA). The topic of the meeting was a variety of security issues, “but focusing on Russian interference in the election,” she said.

She described the mood of the room as “extremely frigid and frosty.” Several of the four agency heads, whom McFarland calls “the four amigos, because they were anything but friendly,” understood that Trump had no intention of keeping them on once his term commenced.

According to McFarland, at the end of the meeting Comey held Trump back to alert him to the Steele dossier.

McFarland says Trump left the room looking “pretty angry.”

“In retrospect, I think that was a blackmail attempt," says McFarland. "Comey had information on Trump. It all turned out to be lies, Comey knew it was a lie.”

Comey has acknowledged telling Trump about the dossier that day but said his intentions were not untoward. Comey told Congress back in 2018 he understood that reporters had the most salacious parts of the dossier and he feared it could become public soon, once journalists had a “news hook.”

About the same time, the FBI would interview Steele’s primary source, who would disavow much of what the former MI6 agent had attributed to him in his dossier. But McFarland maintains that it was Comey’s way of saying to Trump that “the FBI knows this information, and it could come out.”