Newly surfaced text messages between Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and his counterpart at MI-5, the UK’s domestic security service, have cast new light on Britain’s role in the FBI’s 2016 ‘Russiagate’ investigation, according to The Guardian.
Two of the most senior intelligence officials in the US and UK privately shared concerns about “our strange situation” as the FBI launched its 2016 investigation into whether Donald Trump’s campaign was colluding with Russia, the Guardian has learned.
Text messages between Andrew McCabe, the deputy director of the FBI at the time, and Jeremy Fleming, his then counterpart at MI5, now the head of GCHQ, also reveal their mutual surprise at the result of the EU referendum, which some US officials regarded as a “wake-up call”, according to a person familiar with the matter. –The Guardian
McCabe and Flemming’s texts were “infrequent and cryptic,” but “occurred with some regularity” after the June 2016 Brexit referendum.
In his text message about the August 2016 meeting, Fleming appeared to be making a reference to Peter Strzok, a senior FBI official who travelled to London that month to meet the Australian diplomat Alexander Downer. Downer had agreed to speak with the FBI about a Trump campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, who had told him that Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee in the race. –The Guardian
In 2017, The Guardian reported that Britain’s spy agencies had played a key role in alerting their American counterparts of communications between members of the Trump campaign and “suspected Russian agents,” which was passed along to the US in what was characterized as a “routine exchange of information.”
UK begged Trump not to declassify
In May, President Trump issued a sweeping declassification order on materials related to the DOJ/FBI Russia investigation – leaving it in the hands of Attorney General William Barr to determine exactly what happened to Trump and his campaign before and after the 2016 US election.
“For over a year, people have asked me to declassify. What I’ve done is declassified everything,” said Trump, adding “He can look and I hope he looks at the UK and I hope he looks at Australia and I hope he looks at Ukraine.”