ICYMI|On page 109 of the report compiled by special counsel Robert Mueller is an explosive claim: The Russians intercepted a phone call of then-President Bill Clinton having phone sex with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
The claim is redacted, but “sources told the Washington Examiner that the context makes clear what was blacked out,” the Washington, D.C.-based website says.
“Clinton allegedly was recorded by Russia in the 1990s, allowing Russia to learn of the affair before American officials. A reference to the Clinton intercept was redacted from the Mueller report to protect ‘personal privacy,’ ” the Examiner wrote.
The claim comes up in a section of the report recounting contacts between President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and Dmitri Simes, the CEO of the Center for the National Interest, which the Mueller team says has “connections to the Russian government.”
“During the August 17 meeting, Simes provided Kushner the Clinton-related information that he had promised. Simes told Kushner that, [redacted],” the Mueller report says.
The reason for the redaction is noted as “personal privacy.” The section picks up after the redaction, saying, “Simes claimed that he had received this information from former CIA and Reagan White House official Fritz Ermarth, who claimed to have learned it from U.S. intelligence sources, not from Russians.”
Ermarth said he thinks he told Simes that “the Clinton-Lewinsky phone call was intercepted while the president was traveling on Air Force One, but that detail is believed to not have been conveyed to Kushner or included in the report,” the Examiner wrote.
Ermarth, 78, a 25-year CIA veteran and chairman of the National Intelligence Council from 1988 to 1993, said he was concerned with the wording in the report. He said the report inaccurately suggests he mishandled classified information, when in fact he used public sourcing.
“The line in the Mueller report that says any of this was based on intelligence information is the product either of faulty remembering by Dimitri or a flawed inference … or a hostile fabrication by the Mueller people,” Ermarth said. “[The report wording] implies my misuse of intelligence or use of intelligence that is classified in this context. And that is completely false.”
The Mueller report says, “In a cover email transmitting that memo and a phone call to set up the meeting, Simes mentioned ‘a well-documented story of highly questionable connections between Bill Clinton’ and the Russian government, ‘parts of [which]’ (according to Simes) had even been ‘discussed with the CIA and the FBI in the late 1990s and shared with the [Independent Counsel] at the end of the Clinton presidency.’
The report also says: “Kushner forwarded the email to senior Trump Campaign officials Stephen Miller, Paul Manafort, and Rick Gates, with the note ‘suggestion only.’ “
The claim that Russia taped Clinton and Lewinsky was first reported in a book, “Clinton Inc.,” by Daniel Halper, who wrote that the Russians, Israelis, and British “scooped up” evidence of an affair long before it was revealed by the Drudge Report.
While the Clinton claim was redacted, the Mueller report included an unverified story of President Trump with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel room in 2013.
A footnote in the report refers to the allegation, which was also contained in the now-debunked “dossier” compiled by former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele.
The report refers to former FBI Director James Comey’s briefing of Trump before he took office, that “included the Steele reporting’s unverified allegation that the Russians had compromising tapes of the President involving conduct when he was a private citizen during a 2013 trip to Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant.”
According to the report, “During the 2016 presidential campaign, a similar claim may have reached candidate Trump. On October 30, 2016, [longtime Trump lawyer] Michael Cohen received a text from Russian businessman Giorgi Rtskhiladze that said, ‘Stopped flow of tapes from Russia but not sure if there’s anything else. Just so you know …. ‘ “