Last night, Rachel Maddow devoted a lot of time to Jane Mayer’s stunning article about Christopher Steele in this week’s New Yorker.
Although I was supposed to be doing something else, I read it in its entirety yesterday. Spellbound and shivering.
Like many of us, I’m sure, I thought I had a fair grasp of the events at the center of which is Steele. I hadn’t. Or rather, I had, but my head does not tell the story the way Jane Mayer does, deeply and chronologically.
A few new facts did attract my attention.
One, which especially infuriated me, was that in Steele’s persistent and courageous efforts to get the facts of Russian interference to our massive and sluggish intelligence services — particularly, in this instance, the FBI, where James Comey rejected letting us voters know about his investigation of the Russian involvement even while he was making announcements about his Hillary investigations, causing me to scream (yet again) at Comey’s name on my computer screen — Steele traveled several times out of Britain to meet with FBI and other contacts. At his own expense. (Despite the GOP’s and Fox’s frantic attempts to destroy Steele’s character and career, he did not get paid by the FBI for his efforts to warn us all.)
One of his last trips was to Rome and afterward he sent a request to the FBI to be reimbursed for those travel costs. They never reimbursed him.
What so particularly infuriated me was while the FBI didn’t pay the travel expenses for a Brit whose actions to protect us and our democratic elections were heroic…
You know where I’m going with this, right? Right to the Trump scandals involving high-falutin’ travel by his brilliant agency administrators. We don’t seem to have a choice about which of their travel expenses we pay for.
Of course, the major piece of news coming from Jane Mayer was the allegation that Putin killed Mitt Romney’s selection to be Trump’s Secretary of State, because Romney had warned explicitly, during his presidential campaign, of the danger the Kremlin presented to our security. Putin didn’t like that. So, it is alleged (credibly), that he nixed the Romney selection.
In favor, presumably, of Rex Tillerson, who had far too many intimate connections with the Kremlin.
Later that evening, just before watching Rachel, I was reading the full New York Times in hard copy, and saw this, a smallish article on an inner page.
Wow, and I wondered whether Rachel would pick up the connection.
Today, 538 Significant Digits also picked it up:
Despite being allocated $120 million since 2015 to oppose foreign efforts to interfere in American elections, the State Department has spent $0 of that. At the current time, zero of the 23 analysts in the Global Engagement Center assigned to counter Russian misinformation campaigns speak Russian. [The New York Times]