In an exclusive report by The Guardian, the paper cites anonymous sources within the British government that claim that Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) first discovered links between Trump associates and suspected Russian agents as early as 2015. The British intelligence agency proceeded to share this information with US officials as a part of regular intel sharing with the United States.
Throughout 2016, a number of other intelligence agencies – including those of Germany, Estonia, and Poland – passed on intel to their US counterparts that corroborated these connections. The revelations in The Guardian show that US officials were aware of potential Trump-Russia connections even earlier than thought. According to British sources, US authorities were not proactive in pursuing the case. One individual remarked that US agencies were “very late to the game.”
By summer 2016, the information in Britain’s possession was considered such a massive bombshell that Robert Hannigan – GCHQ’s director at the time – personally passed on the growing body of intelligence to the CIA chief, John Brennan.
The Guardian report ends with an eye-popping quote from one of the unnamed intelligence officials who contributed to the story: “They [US intelligence] now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion. This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”
Stay tuned for more.