A former Donald Trump marketing campaign employee is attacking Yahoo News investigative chief Michael Isikoff for his dossier-fed pre-election-day tale that wound up within the FBI’s most sensible secret software to wiretap a Trump volunteer.
The Isikoff critic is Michael Caputo, a marketing campaign PR adviser who, like different Trump other folks, has been put during the inquiry wringer on Capitol Hill however with out evidence they did anything else incorrect.
For that they blame the Democratic Party-financed file that made sweeping and unconfirmed allegations of a big conspiracy between the Trump marketing campaign and the Russians. And they blame Mr. Isikoff for selling it.
The first mainstream media reporter to submit file data was once Mr. Isikoff in a September 2016 tale. It repeated file writer Christopher Steele’s fee that marketing campaign volunteer Carter Page met with two sanctioned Kremlin figures. Mr. Isikoff cited a “well-placed Western intelligence source,” now not Mr. Steele by way of title.
The tale furthered the Hillary Clinton marketing campaign theme that Mr. Trump was once in mattress with the Russians — which means the Kremlin data the marketing campaign had funded in the end became up within the press.
The Clinton operatives instantly pumped the tale in TV appearances and on social media.
Other newshounds had been briefed that September by way of Mr. Steele by means of Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson, who paid the ex-British undercover agent with Democratic Party cash. No different reporter wrote a tale.
“Every single reporter to whom Glenn Simpson tried to sell the Clinton dossier took a pass on the bogus info,” Mr. Caputo tweeted on Monday. “I know because I spoke to a few trying to verify it. Then along came @isikoff, Simpson’s old and dear friend — and everything changed.”
On Friday, Mr. Isikoff and the remainder of the arena realized this: To buttress Mr. Steele, the FBI in reality cited the Yahoo News tale in its Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) request to a pass judgement on to worm Mr. Page. Its use by way of the FBI was once peculiar because the tale and file relied at the identical data and supply — Mr. Steele.
That reality was once integrated in a publicly launched memo from Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican and chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
“This memo really astonished me because I had no idea that our story . would be used in the FISA application by the FBI,” Mr. Isikoff mentioned on his podcast “Skullduggery.” “One reason that kind of stuns me is obviously the information I got from Christopher Steele . was information the FBI already had .[Steele] had briefed the FBI on this information.”
Mr. Isikoff defended his tale, pronouncing it was once the primary to notice Mr. Page was once below investigation.
Mr. Nunes has been investigating the file as a result of its fees in opposition to the president and his other folks stay unfounded and but Democrats — and the FBI — proceed to make use of them.
First, he realized who paid for it — Democrats. Then on Friday he reported to the general public what he regarded as an abuse of energy by way of the FBI for the use of the partisan file prior to a federal pass judgement on with out disclosing who particularly paid for it.
Mr. Caputo took to Twitter.
“[Isikoff] is a linchpin in the FISA abuse scandal,” he mentioned. “Without his intentionally misleading story in @YahooNews, where he was the first reporter to lie about the Clinton dossier, there would be no FISA warrant. This is how abuse of the 1st Amendment kills the 4th.”
In some other, Mr. Caputo tweeted:
“@Isikoff Inquiring minds want to know (&soon, investigators): 1) Did your dear old friend Glenn Simpson tell you Hillary paid for the info he gave you, and 2) if so, why did you label the political campaign materials ‘intelligence’ — did your lifelong pal ask you to?”
The Isikoff tale ran September 23, 2016, with the headline, “U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin.”
It reported on Mr. Page’s travel in early July to offer a public speech at a Moscow college.
A key paragraph mentioned, “U.S. officials have since received intelligence reports that during that same three-day trip, Page met with Igor Sechin, a longtime Putin associate and former Russian deputy prime minister who is now the executive chairman of Rosneft, Russian’s leading oil company, a well-placed Western intelligence source tells Yahoo News. That meeting, if confirmed, is viewed as especially problematic by U.S. officials because the Treasury Department in August 2014 named Sechin to a list of Russian officials and businessmen sanctioned over Russia’s “illegitimate and unlawful actions in the Ukraine.”
The tale added, “U.S. intelligence agencies have also received reports that Page met with another top Putin aide while in Moscow — Igor Diveykin.”
Those names and narration got here instantly out of the Steele file.
Under oath, Mr. Page has time and again denied assembly with the ones two males and says he has executed not anything incorrect. He has now not been charged. He filed a libel swimsuit in opposition to Yahoo News in U.S. District Court in New York.
Yahoo and Mr. Isikoff say the thrust of the tale is right: the FBI was once undertaking a counter-intelligence investigation into whether or not the Trump marketing campaign colluded with Moscow to hack Democratic Party Computers.
Asked about Mr. Caputo’s fees, Mr. Isikoff referred a reporter to his newest podcast.
On his display, he mentioned he didn’t know the DNC and Mrs. Clinton paid Mr. Steele. He mentioned he suspected he was once funded by way of a Democratic backer.
He mentioned he talked to a legislation enforcement supply who showed an investigation.
“For me the key piece, the fact that made this a story, was the fact that the FBI was investigating,” he mentioned.