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Oliver North urging White House to build private spy army overseen by Betsy DeVos’ brother: reports

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The Trump administration is considering a scheme by a cast of shady characters to build a private network of spies to bypass U.S. intelligence services.

Blackwater founder Erik Prince and retired CIA officer John Maguire developed the plan, which was pitched to the administration by Iran-Contra figure Oliver North, reported The Intercept.

Sources told the website the plan would give the White House a way to counter “deep state” political enemies in the intelligence community and give the CIA director an army of spies with no official cover in countries such as North Korea and Iran, which are considered “denied areas” for American covert operations.

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The Intercept report builds on reporting last week by Buzzfeed News.

The White House has also considered setting up a global rendition force to capture terrorist suspects around the world, and also establishing propaganda campaigns in the Middle East and Europe to combat Islamic extremism and Iran.

“(CIA Director Mike) Pompeo can’t trust the CIA bureaucracy, so we need to create this thing that reports just directly to him,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official with firsthand knowledge of the proposals told The Intercept. “It is a direct-action arm, totally off the books. The whole point is this is supposed to report to the president and Pompeo directly.”

Prince, the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, won hundreds of millions of dollars in contracts for his private security company Blackwater in Afghanistan and Iraq, where his guards were convicted in a massacre at Baghdad’s Nisour Square.

He testified behind closed doors before the House Intelligence Committee about his January trip to the Seychelles to meet with Mohammad bin Zayed, the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, and a Russian fund manager close to Vladimir Putin, while serving as an unofficial envoy to the Trump transition team.

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Maguire, a former CIA case officer and intelligence contractor for the Amyntor Group, reportedly led a U.S. effort to provoke Saddam Hussein into war before the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and he worked alongside the late Iran-Contra figure Duane “Dewey” Clarridge.

They enlisted North, a key figure in the Iran-Contra scandal and a frequent Fox News guest, to pitch the plan to Trump and other White House officials.

A spokesman for the National Security Council said there’s no evidence that the scheme was presented to the NSC or White House, but a current U.S. intelligence official told The Intercept the proposal was presented to White House officials and delivered to the CIA.

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Sources told the website that several senior administration officials, including Vice President Mike Pence, had been briefed on the plan — although his spokesperson denied it.

Two former senior intelligence officials said Pompeo, who is rumored to be moved over to Secretary of State and replaced by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR), embraced the plan and lobbied the White House to approve the contract.

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But a CIA spokesperson said The Intercept had been “provided wildly inaccurate information by people peddling an agenda.”


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
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Ukraine begged Trump to raise issue of their captive sailors with Putin — he didn’t and Russia state TV gloated

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The ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump is being painted by Congress and the press against the backdrop of the ongoing war between Russia and the Ukraine.

As more and more sworn deposition transcripts are released, researchers are able to link up the testimony of events with real-time reactions, giving us a remarkable insight into the implications of foreign policy decisions.

Investigative journalist Julia Davis flagged one key part of testimony in the transcript released of the deposition by Ukraine embassy political officer David Holmes.

The transcript reveals Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the former federal prosecutor who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, interviewing Holmes about Ukraine's desperation to set up a meeting with Trump.

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‘Something nefarious going on’: Obama deputy chief of staff doesn’t buy White House claims on Trump’s health

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The deputy chief of staff for operations in the Obama administration broke down on Monday why the White House claims on President Donald Trump's surprise Saturday visit to Walter Reed Hospital.

Jim Messina, who also was the campaign manager for Barack Obama's 2012 re-election campaign, was interviewed Monday on MSNBC's "The Last Word" by anchor Lawrence O'Donnell.

O'Donnell noted the note the White House physician sent to White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham:

[caption id="attachment_1563602" align="aligncenter" width="800"] Memorandum from Dr. Sean Conley to Stephanie Grisham.[/caption]

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Trump doctor denies the president underwent any ‘neurologic evaluations’ at Walter Reed Hospital

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The physician to the president claimed that President Donald Trump did not undergo "neurologic" evaluations during a surprise visit to Walter Reed Hospital.

White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham released a picture of a memorandum from Dr. Sean Conley, which was printed on "Office of the Press Secretary" letterhead.

The memo was sent to Grisham.

On Saturday, Grisham had claimed the purpose of the visit was to conduct a "partial" physical. Dr. Conley referred to the visit as an "interim check up."

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