Russia Wins When Sean Spicer Repeats Wiretapping Claims, Obama Diplomat Says

There's just one problem - Spicer didn't cite Farkas' words in their proper context. "S - I -A", Evelyn Farkas, who served as the deputy assistant secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia, wrote on Twitter.

According to Heine's transcript of the program, Evelyn Farkas, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense under Obama, openly admitted that her colleagues had gathered intelligence on the Trump campaign's alleged ties to Russian Federation before Donald Trump took office, tried to spread it around and then tried to hide the sources of that intelligence from the incoming administration.

Former U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense Evelyn Farkas is seen during a panel discussion during the Wroclaw Global Forum in Wroclaw, Poland, on June 2, 2016.

"I was urging my former colleagues, and frankly speaking the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration", Farkas said on MSNBC, explaining that she and other Obama administration officials were "very worried" that Trump would bury intelligence gathered on his advisers as president.

Missing from numerous "Farkas spilled the beans" reports is the context of what she was talking about, officials trying to preserve intelligence rather than a concerted push to gather it in the waning days of Obama's presidency for the current investigations.

The New York Times, however, has different ideas about how devastating those claims are.

Farkas adds that her former colleagues were "trying to get information to the Hill" - meaning left-wing politicians who want to impeach Trump - and she says, "And that's why you have the leaking". "They are doing damage because President Trump would like to, I expect, I haven't talked to him about this obviously, he would like to meet with [Russian] President Vladimir Putin at some point in the near future".

Seizing on this appearance, conservative sites and commentators argued that it supported Donald Trump's claim that Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower last fall.

Evelyn Farkas was once considered the most senior policy officer for Russian Federation within the Pentagon; she is now an MSNBC analyst and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

The Fox News headline read, "Former Obama official discloses rush to get intelligence on Trump team". "You haven't!" Spicer continued as Keith replied that she had not asked Farkas anything. "If you are inclined not to, you may have a different interpretation".

  • Larry Hoffman