A new report from Circa senior correspondent Sara Carter revealed that, as part of a probe into alleged Russian efforts to influence the 2016 presidential campaign, FBI counterintelligence officials briefly investigated a computer server "tied" to President Donald Trump's businesses. Leaks about the server investigation have led to increased accusations from opponents of the administration alleging inappropriate ties between Trump and the Russian government.
During an interview on "Pure Opelka" Wednesday night, Carter discussed how damaging leaks from the intelligence community can be.
Reading from Carter's report, host Mike Opelka said, "Several interesting things here. The server was not in Trump Tower but registered to a Trump business, but no evidence that would warrant criminal charges against the president or any of his associates."
Of course, Opelka and Carter noted, this has not stopped anti-Trump voices from implying that the president himself is being investigated by the FBI.
These accusations have caused consternation within the U.S. intelligence community, Opelka said, citing a passage from Carter's report:
U.S. officials, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the information, said there is widespread frustration among intelligence professionals who have watched in horror as a normally secretive process has been distorted by media leaks and politicians uneducated about how counterintelligence operations actually work.
“We have people spouting off who don’t know the difference between FISA surveillance and a wiretap or a counterintelligence probe versus a special prosecutor, and it has hurts our ability to get to the truth and has wrongly created the impression that intelligence officials have a political agenda,” said one source directly familiar with the drama.
These leaks, Carter explained, not only result in damaging, misleading news reports, they also compromise U.S. intelligence sources.
Carter used as an example the controversy surrounding former National Security adviser Michael Flynn's multiple phone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December. The revelation of the calls led to Flynn's resignation after serving in the Trump administration for only a few weeks.
The Russians now know which phones are tapped, Carter explained, and have possibly reversed some great work done by our government intelligence.
"That leak compromised a source that we had and no longer can probably use that source," Opelka said. "I think that's really important to notice that we probably undone some great work that was done by the intelligence community and basically we've castrated a source."