05:01 GMT19 February 2020
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    Former FBI chief James Comey’s congressional testimony underscored how the US intelligence community has been leaking stories repeatedly to embarrass President Donald Trump and sabotage his bid to improve relations with Russia, former CIA analyst and political activist Ray McGovern told Sputnik.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Comey admitted in his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday that "the main" point of a February New York Times article alleging Trump aides were in cahoots with Russian spies was just plain wrong.

    "We now know that the CIA, the NSA and the FBI — the three main institutions in what I call the ‘deep state’ — were leaking like a sieve," McGovern said when asked about Comey’s testimony on Thursday. "They were making sure Trump was disabled in his policy on Russia."

    McGovern, who formerly briefed sitting US presidents in the White House on a daily basis on intelligence issues, said the real purpose of the hearings was to criticize and undermine Trump and prevent him from fulfilling his goal of improving relations with Russia.

    The hearing was held "at least to encumber the incumbent president so he can’t have a decent relationship with Russia," he said.

    McGovern explained that the idea Trump obstructing justice could serve as a basis for impeachment "falls flat" after Comey’s testimony.

    He also said the argument that the accusations claiming Russia had hacked the Democratic National Committee (DMC) to ensure Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election to Trump was a false claim.

    McGovern said it was made to cover up the fact that the DNC files that had been leaked to WikiLeaks documented how Clinton’s allies in the DNC had deliberately prevented Senator Bernie Sanders from winning the party’s presidential nomination.

    "The leak of those documents — it was not a hack — revealed clearly that Hillary Clinton had stolen the Democratic nomination from Senator Bernie Sanders, McGovern said.

    The Democrats launched a two-pronged effort to blame the Russians and the mainstream media fell right into the line, McGovern explained.

    "The story worked like a charm. Hillary Clinton’s PR person Jennifer Palmieri wrote in the Washington Post that she was ordered to go around the [media] tents and tell them the DNC material came from the Russians," he recalled.

    The Clinton plan was that the content of the DNC leaked material was not read, that the focus was kept on the Russians, McGovern noted.

    The second purpose of the congressional investigations into Trump was to prevent him from reaching out to the Russians, McGovern observed.

    "The play here is for the tensions in Central Europe [to get] high so the European nations will spend huge sums with the defense contractors. All the senators know on which side their bread is buttered," he said.

    Although Comey’s testimony might embarrass Trump it provided no solid evidence at all to justify impeaching him, McGovern noted.

    Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations it interfered in the US election, characterizing them as absurd and intended to distract public opinion from revealed instances of election fraud and corruption as well as from other pressing domestic concerns.


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