The Observer reports this week that the Director of the NSA, Admiral Mike Rogers, has admitted in a private town-hall-style meeting of NSA staffing that Donald Trump did, in fact, collude with the Russians.
The story really begins when President Trump attempted to sway several top intelligence and security officials into joining his cause of derailing then FBI Director, James Comey. According to The Observer, these officials included, but were not limited to, Rogers and Dan Coats, the Director of National Intelligence.
Trump was dealt a huge setback, however, when both of these men made it clear to the Trump that their loyalties lied with their oaths to defend the United States Constitution, not with the President’s political agendas.
In a testimony last week before the Senate Armed Forces Committee, Coats declined to answer questions about Trump’s attempt to undermine the FBI’s investigation into possible collusion between Trump and Russia. He intimated the public setting would be inappropriate, and that he might be more forthcoming in a classified setting.
John Schindler, a highly-experience expert in U.S. intelligence and security, and writer for The Observer, makes it clear how Rogers feels.
This week’s town hall event, which was broadcast to agency facilities worldwide, was therefore met with surprise and anticipation by the NSA workforce, and Rogers did not disappoint. I have spoken with several NSA officials who witnessed the director’s talk and I’m reporting their firsthand accounts, which corroborate each other, on condition of anonymity.
In his town hall talk, Rogers reportedly admitted that President Trump asked him to discredit the FBI and James Comey, which the admiral flatly refused to do. As Rogers explained, he informed the commander in chief, “I know you won’t like it, but I have to tell what I have seen”—a probable reference to specific intelligence establishing collusion between the Kremlin and Team Trump.
Rogers then added that such SIGINT exists, and it is damning. He stated, “There is no question that we [meaning NSA] have evidence of election involvement and questionable contacts with the Russians.” Although Rogers did not cite the specific intelligence he was referring to, agency officials with direct knowledge have informed me that DIRNSA was obviously referring to a series of SIGINT reports from 2016 based on intercepts of communications between known Russian intelligence officials and key members of Trump’s campaign, in which they discussed methods of damaging Hillary Clinton.
NSA employees walked out of the town hall impressed by the director’s forthright discussion of his interactions with the Trump administration, particularly with how Rogers insisted that he had no desire to “politicize” the situation beyond what the president has already done. America’s spies are unaccustomed to playing partisan politics as Trump has apparently asked them to do, and it appears that the White House’s ham-fisted effort to get NSA to attack the FBI and its credibility was a serious mistake.
It’s therefore high time for the House and Senate intelligence committees to invite Admiral Rogers to talk to them about what transpired with the White House. It’s evident that DIRNSA has something important to say. Since Mike Rogers is said to have kept notes of the president’s effort to enlist him in Trump’s personal war with the FBI, as any seasoned Beltway bureaucrat would do, his account ought to be impressively detailed.