The Kissinger Backchannel to Moscow

Exclusive: Major U.S. media outlets insinuate that President Trump’s advisers are traitors for secretly talking to Russians, but they ignore the history of Henry Kissinger doing the same thing for Richard Nixon, writes Gareth Porter.

By Gareth Porter

Last week’s leak to the Washington Post of an intelligence report about President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner meeting with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in early December to discuss a possible back channel to Moscow appears to represents the climax of the campaign of leaks against the Trump team regarding contacts between Trump associates and Russians.

President Richard Nixon with his then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger in 1972.

The leak about Kushner came shortly after another sensational story broadcast by CNN on May 17 about U.S. intelligence picking up conversations among Russian officials during the presidential campaign in which they bragged about having cultivated a relationship with retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn and expressed the belief they could use him to influence Trump.

Those two leaks sandwiched extraordinary testimony by former CIA Director John Brennan before the House Intelligence Committee on May 23 in which he said he was concerned about “intelligence” regarding Russian efforts to “suborn” certain Americans – meaning to induce them to commit unlawful acts. That may have been a reference to the leaked interception of Russians bragging about their relationship with Flynn that had just been reported.

“It raised questions in my mind about whether the Russian’s efforts were successful,” Brennan said.

Then, Brennan offered an inflammatory comment reminiscent of McCarthyism. “Frequently people who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late,” Brennan said.

Unidentified former Obama national security officials immediately condemned the Kushner proposal to Kislyak for a backchannel – which occurred after Trump’s election but before his inauguration – as “not only highly improper but also possibly even illegal,” as Politico reported.

In an interview with the PBS NewsHour, former Director…

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