Donald Trump and President Barack Obama received briefing from the top officials of the country’s intelligence agencies last week suggesting that Russia might have obtained sensitive personal information about Mr. Trump that can be damaging. The news was confirmed by two officials who have knowledge about the briefing.
The report was based on memos that were developed by operatives who were looking out for ways to jeopardize Mr. Trump’s candidacy. The reports began to circulate in the fall and politicians and journalists from Washington had knowledge about them.
CNN presented a brief two-page summary of the report that was an appendix to a more detailed document from the intelligence addressing issues linked to the alleged hacking executed by the Russian operatives during the US presidential election. Although the details of the report could not be verified, the sensitive nature of the information forced investigators to inform President Obama, Donald Trump as well as the congressional leaders. Officials from the intelligence agencies were concerned about the possibility of the information getting out before they could warn Donald Trump about it.
Mr. Trump’s spokeswoman Kellyanne Conway stated during an interview that was recorded for NBC that Donald Trump was not aware of such memos. Mr. Trump’s team has claimed that the opposition is trying to undermine their victory by spreading such updates including the recent controversies that suggest Russian President’s involvement with the hacking that leaked sensitive Democrat e-mails to hurt Hillary Clinton.
A retired UK-based operative was in charge of preparing the research memos which was done for a research firm based in Washington. At first, Mr. Trump’s Republican rivals hired the firm for gathering sensitive information about the president-elect and later they were hired by Mrs. Clinton’s supporters for the same purpose.
According to the memos, the Putin administration has kept their eyes on Mr. Trump for a long time and tried to influence the high profile businessman who regularly traveled to Moscow for business purposes and to the Miss Universe Competition that he owned for quite a few years. Although Mr. Trump never made any major agreements in Russia, he did hold dialogues about them.
The ex-intelligence officer from Britain who gathered all the materials about the president-elect is a competent operative with vast experience about Russia, according to the US officials. However, he has gathered the information from Russian sources and the data is yet to be examined by the US intelligence.