A CIA veteran has stated that “The Russians found a group of people who were not intelligence savvy”, and the Trump Campaign didn’t take proper precautions to listen to what US intel officials were trying to tell them.
Left Wide Open to Russian Influence
By now the heavy influence that Russians had over the Trump campaign is well known. The Mueller report documents the many secret meetings that took place between Russian operatives and members of Donald Trump’s campaign team.
No criminal conspiracy was found, but the report did show that after being told by the intelligence community that Russia was interfering with the presidential election, Trump associates still chose to meet with them. This was even after post-election sanctions were put in place to punish Russia by the Obama administration.
Russians Aggressively Took Advantage of this Weakness
Thanks to the 448-page report from Mueller, former CIA, and FBI officials describe the Russian interference as a counterintelligence minefield. The fact that senior members of a presidential campaign were holding secret talks with a foreign adversary while disregarding intelligence community counsel may have put US national security at risk.
Luis Rueda, who spent 27 years as a CIA operations officer had this to say about the matter:
“The Russians came up against a group of people who were not intelligence savvy and who were predisposed not to listen to the intelligence and counterintelligence community. The Russians made a very bold and aggressive attempt to take advantage of that. To try to compromise people, to try to leverage their access.”
Rueda isn’t the only one who noticed this weakness. John Sipher, who helped run CIA spying operations against Russia, said, “It’s clear that the Russians had a pretty extensive full court press on this administration. The full extent of how successful it was may never be known.”