• The director of national intelligence, John Ratcliffe, released a number of declassified intelligence documents on Tuesday that national security veterans warned could be part of a Russian disinformation campaign.
  • The documents included handwritten notes from former CIA director John Brennan in 2016, shortly after he briefed then-President Barack Obama on US intelligence reporting on what Russian security services were saying.
  • Specifically, according to Brennan’s notes, Russian intelligence operatives were claiming Hillary Clinton concocted a plan “to vilify Donald Trump by stirring up a scandal claiming interference” by Russia during the 2016 election.
  • The president and his allies immediately latched onto the declassified notes as evidence of an Obama-era plot to undermine Trump’s campaign.
  • But former US officials said Ratcliffe compromised national security and US sources and methods by selectively declassifying the documents to boost Trump’s narratives about the Russia probe.
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