WATCH | FBI Director James Comey and NSA chief Michael Rogers testified in public about what usually is reserved for secret briefings.
Anonymous sources can be misused in journalism and often can create mistrust between the public and the news media. But sometimes, anonymous sources can also be an essential and accurate pipeline for information, especially when it comes to professional intelligence circles where most workers can’t speak on the record.
Circa’s John Solomon and Sara Carter relied heavily on anonymous sources for their recent series of stories about the FBI’s investigation into Russian influence on the 2016 American election.
Here is how their source reporting compared to the facts publicly disclosed Monday by FBI Director James Comey and National Security Agency chief Michael Rogers during their testimony before the House Intelligence Committee Monday.
Circa reported that the FBI was focused predominantly on Russia’s efforts to influence the election but has investigated incidental contacts between associates of Donald Trump and Russian figures to see if there was any collusion between the two. And to date, Circa reported, the nature of the investigation has been counterintelligence.
Comey, for the first time, confirmed that in public.
“The FBI, as part of our counter intelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government's intention to interfere with the election. That includes whether there were any links or coordination between Trump campaign and Russia and if crimes were committed,” he told lawmakers.
Circa reported that to date the FBI has not found any evidence of criminal collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia to meddle in the election.
Comey declined to say exactly what was found or not found to date. However, the House Intelligence Committee Chairman said his briefings from the FBI last week confirmed there was no evidence of criminal collusion.
“Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said publicly he’s seen no evidence of collusion between the Russians and the Trump campaign, and I can say that the committee, too, has seen no evidence to date that officials from any campaign conspired with Russian agents. However, we will continue to investigate this question,” Nunes said.
Likewise, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, who also got a classified briefing from Comey last week, tweeted out the exact same message on Monday.
“After Comey briefing + doc review I can say @POTUS and Clapper R both right about this No evidence of Trump collusion w Russia,” Grassley tweeted.
Circa also reported more than a week ago the FBI did not wiretap President Trump’s phones or email during the campaign as the president has claimed. Comey confirmed that as well on Monday.
“I have no information that supports those tweets,’’ the director answered under questioning. “We have looked carefully inside the FBI,’’ and agents found nothing to support those claims.”