June 11, 2019 in News by RBN

Unproofed draft of an article for this week’s Strategic Alert:

by: Harley Schlanger
With the growing demands from President Trump that investigators get to the bottom of what was behind the coup attempt against him, there has been an increasing focus on the role of the British in launching Russiagate.  So it is not surprising that a major public relations effort was undertaken, starting from the Queen herself, to convince him that the so-called “Special Relationship” between the U.S. and the U.K. is as strong, and as important, as ever.  That is what was behind the pageantry, the “pomp and circumstance”, which characterized last week’s visit of the U.S. President to London.
But don’t be fooled by comments from Trump himself, extolling the “unique bond” between the U.S. and Britain.  At the same time he expressed admiration for the Queen, and responded mildly to a lengthy lecture from Prince Charles on “global warming”, Trump has been focused on the British role in the coup attempt, and this is causing great nervousness in London.
This became evident with his May 8 tweet, in which he wrote about the former British MI6 agent who compiled the anti-Trump dossier, “This British spy, Christopher Steele tried so hard to get this (the Fake Dossier) out before the election.  Why?”  The tweet referred to a recently declassified memo from a top State Department official, Kathleen Kevelac, which discredited Steele and his dossier.  The memo was delivered to top FBI officials ten days before they relied on it to obtain a FISA surveillance warrant against the Trump campaign.  This not only demonstrated criminal action by FBI Director Comey, but placed Steele at the center of the criminal conspiracy to overturn Trump’s election.
The Steele story popped up, in a significant way, during Trump’s visit, in a June 5 article in the {London Times}, “Christopher Steele: MI6 Agent to Face Questions on Trump Russia Dossier”.  The news story was that Steele finally agreed to testify, within certain conditions, on his relationship with the FBI.  Most important, the story states that the British government is disavowing any relationship with Steele, quoting a “senior official” who said that the government was not involved in this decision, “as this relates to issues arising many years after he left government employment.”
Such sophistry is unlikely to divert Attorney General Barr’s team from looking at other leads while questioning Steele, such as looking into coordination between Britain’s GCHQ, the equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency, and former CIA Director John Brennan, in launching Russiagate months prior to the release of the Steele dossier; the role of “Five Eyes” spying; and the coordination between the MI6 and FBI in using shared operatives, such as Josef Mifsud, Stephan Halper and Alexander Downer, to set in motion the lie of “Russian hacking” in the 2016 election.
It is not known if Trump followed through on a request made by Republican Congressman Nunes to ask Prime Minister May whether the British government was aware of, or took part in surveillance efforts against the Trump campaign.  But one indication that he may not be so committed to the special relationship as it emerged, after being first described as such by Winston Churchill — one which would not be missed by leading British intel officials — was his quoting the prayer from President Franklin Roosevelt, as U.S. troops stormed the French beaches on D-Day.  It is well-known that FDR had been at odds with Churchill when they were allied in World War II, with FDR repeatedly telling Churchill that the U.S. would not support the restoration of the British Empire after the war.