The New York Times broke wide-open a story that reveals President Obama and his administration worked feverishly to spread out evidences of Russian election tampering, and collusion between Trump and Putin, all across government agencies in an attempt to preserve damning information that might have otherwise been lost. According to officials, this was done to both prevent the destruction of evidence before investigations could begin, and ensure that this kind of breach would never happen again.
According to the Times, this information came largely from two kinds of sources: 1) Government officials of American allies (at least three) that describe meetings between Putin and Trump associates, and 2) communications between Russian government officials discussing interactions with Trump associates, intercepted directly by American intelligence officials.
The Times explains Obama’s fears:
At the Obama White House, Mr. Trump’s statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed — or its sources exposed — once power changed hands. What followed was a push to preserve the intelligence that underscored the deep anxiety with which the White House and American intelligence agencies had come to view the threat from Moscow.
Information was spread among a number of national and international organizations in an attempt to immediately being analysis. In an attempt to keep this information as transparent and available as possible, it receive relatively low levels of classification. Some of this information also made it to members of Congress before Trump’s inauguration.
This information is revealed at a relatively poor time for Trump – just this week his Attorney General, Jeff Session, has been caught in a firestorm surrounding his contact with at least two Russian officials before the election. When pressed about any contact during his confirmation hearing, he vehemently denied any.
Watch NBC News’s take on the New York Times’s story here: