On Twitter Thursday, President Trump continued to stoke the Clinton-Russia connection, retweeting a four-day-old tweet from Sean Hannity that drew attention to a Hill newspaper story about Russian spies.
On Sunday night, the Hill had reported that the FBI had been keeping close tabs on a Russian spy network that was trying to get cozy with the Clintons at the dawn of the Obama administration, with one spy – who was eventually arrested and deported – briefly posing as an American accountant and working for a top Democratic donor.
Trump has also harped on a uranium deal approved by Hillary Clinton, among other officials, while she served as secretary of state, telling reporters Wednesday that it was like ‘Watergate modern age.’
The actions of Russian spy Cynthia Murphy and the payments made to Bill Clinton and the Clinton Foundation while the Uranium One deal was going on served as evidence to the FBI that Russia was waging a multi-prong influence campaign to get access to Secretary of State Clinton in 2009 and 2010.
‘There is not one shred of doubt from the evidence that we had that the Russians had set their sights on Hillary Clinton’s circle, because she was the quarterback of the Obama-Russian reset strategy and the assumed successor to Obama as president,’ a source who knew of the FBI’s evidence told the Hill.
Three congressional committees are now probing the uranium deal, with the latest break being that the Department of Justice cleared a key FBI informant to testify before Congress.
President Donald Trump is continuing to stoke the Clinton-Russia connection, highlighting a story about Russian spies and talking to reporters about a Russian uranium deal that Hillary Clinton helped approve
President Trump retweeted a four-day-old tweet from his Fox News buddy Sean Hannity that pointed to a Hill newspaper that discusses how a Russian spy tried getting access to Hillary Clinton
Russian spy Cynthia Murphy (left) was considered a bigger threat to U.S. authorities than model Anna Chapman (right) who was also busted, as Murphy had gained employ from a Democratic donor with ties to Hillary Clinton
When ex-President Bill Clinton (right) received a $500,000 check in 2010 from a Kremlin-linked bank to give a speech, it served as evidence to the FBI that the Russians had unleashed an influence campaign designed to get closer to Hillary Clinton (left), as secretary of state
Three Congressional committees and a special counsel are also probing whether there was any collusion between Trump’s campaign and the Russians during last year’s presidential election.
Trump has used the Clinton uranium story and reports that Clinton’s campaign helped finance an unsubstantiated dossier as a way to deflect from his own Russian investigations.
The Hill’s story pointed out that FBI sources didn’t believe the Clintons had done anything illegal when Bill Clinton took $500,000 from a Kremlin-linked bank to give a speech in Moscow as the deal was being decided on by his wife, though agents were ‘surprised by the timing and size’ the Hill wrote.
The timing was bizarre because it came one day after the Russian spy ring was busted in the United States.
Murphy, the spy in question, was one of a handful of Russian spies unmasked in 2010, alongside model Anna Chapman.
In 2012, ABC News reported that what triggered the FBI to round up and oust the spies was that one had gotten too close to a sitting U.S. cabinet official.
While fingers had originally pointed at Chapman, ABC reported it was Murphy who was the problem, as she had been in contact with a ‘personal friend’ of Hillary Clinton, identified as fundraiser Alan Patricof.
Conversations between Clinton’s deputy chief of staff Huma Abedin and the State Department’s Dennis Cheng show that Patricof wanted to give Clinton a heads up as the story was about to become public, emails released through Citizens United show.
However, when the Russian spy ring story broke in 2010, Clinton’s office issued a statement saying there was ‘no reason to think the secretary was a target of this spy ring.’
Frank Figliuzzi, the former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence, who supervised the declassification records about the spy ring, told the Hill that wasn’t the case.
‘In regards to the woman known as Cynthia Murphy, she was getting close to Alan, and the lobbying job. And we thought this was too close to Hillary Clinton,’ he explained.
‘So when you have the totality of the circumstance, and we were confident we had the whole cell identified, we decided it was time to shut down their operations,’ he said.
A day after the ring of Russian spies was arrested, Clinton accepted the half million dollar check.
Clinton gave a 90-minute speech to Renaissance Capital, a Kremlin connected bank that was promoting the Uranium One Deal’s stock.
Other entities associated with the uranium deal had also given money to the Clinton Foundation.
Since so much of the U.S.’s uranium deposits would go to Russia, agency heads including Hillary Clinton at State and Attorney General Eric Holder at the Justice Department had to sign off on it – which they did.
Bill Clinton’s longtime spokesman Angel Urena told the Hill that the ex-president never discussed the issues pending before the State Department while he was visiting Russia, nor did the financial transactions given to him and his family foundation influence Hillary Clinton’s decision as secretary of state.
Hillary Clinton’s spokesman Nick Merrill declined telling the Hill if the then-secretary of state was briefed on the Russian spies’ efforts.
Focusing on the spy ring, he suggested, was a right-wing distraction from the real question at hand, Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election, which was meant to hurt Hillary Clinton and help President Trump.
‘Nothing has changed since the last time this was addressed, including the right’s transparent attempts to distract from their own Russia problems, which are real and a grave threat to national security,’ Merrill told the Hill.