Trump’s CIA director met with frequent Fox guest to discuss his claim the DNC hack was an inside job

Trump’s CIA director met with frequent Fox guest to discuss his claim the DNC hack was an inside job

William Binney’s conspiracy theory also appeared on Alex Jones’ Infowars

Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

On November 7, The Intercept reported that, at President Donald Trump’s urging, “CIA Director Mike Pompeo met late last month with a former U.S. intelligence official,” William Binney, who pushed a conspiracy theory that “the theft of the Democratic National Committee’s [(DNC)] emails during the 2016 presidential campaign was an inside job, rather than a hack by Russian intelligence.”

Binney has previously pushed his claim during his appearances on pro-Trump media, including on Infowars, Sean Hannity’s Fox News and radio shows, and Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight. On the March 8 edition of Fox’s Hannity, Binney said he agreed with a story from WikiLeaks that the “CIA uses stolen malware to attribute cyber-attacks to nations like Russia.” And when Hannity asked Binney about the likelihood that Russia hacked the DNC on the August 25 edition of his radio program, Binney replied, “I figure it’s probably one chance in 100 that is was them.” And on the August 14 edition of Fox’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, Binney said that he “started opposing” the idea that Russia hacked the DNC originally “simply because of the way the intelligence community was talking” and that “it appears that many people are emotionally tied to this agenda to tie the Russians with President Trump.”

From the November 7 article in The Intercept:

CIA Director Mike Pompeo met late last month with a former U.S. intelligence official who has become an advocate for a disputed theory that the theft of the Democratic National Committee’s emails during the 2016 presidential campaign was an inside job, rather than a hack by Russian intelligence.

Pompeo met on October 24 with William Binney, a former National Security Agency official-turned-whistleblower who co-authored an analysis published by a group of former intelligence officials that challenges the U.S. intelligence community’s official assessment that Russian intelligence was behind last year’s theft of data from DNC computers. Binney and the other former officials argue that the DNC data was “leaked,” not hacked, “by a person with physical access” to the DNC’s computer system.

In an interview with The Intercept, Binney said Pompeo told him that President Donald Trump had urged the CIA director to meet with Binney to discuss his assessment that the DNC data theft was an inside job. During their hour-long meeting at CIA headquarters, Pompeo said Trump told him that if Pompeo “want[ed] to know the facts, he should talk to me,” Binney said.

[...]

It is possible Trump learned about Binney and his analysis by watching Fox News, where Binney has been a frequent guest, appearing at least 10 times since September 2016. In August, Binney appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox show to discuss his assessment that the narrative of Russia hacking the DNC during the 2016 campaign is untrue, stating that “many people are emotionally tied to this agenda, to tie the Russians to President Trump.” Binney said he is not sure how Trump found out about his analysis.

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