The declassified version of the intelligence report issued last week was enough to show that the Russians intervened in the election with the intention of helping Donald Trump. But that report was only half as long as the full, classified version.
What was in those additional pages? The classified version includes at least two bombshells.
Classified documents presented last week to President Obama and President-elect Trump included allegations that Russian operatives claim to have compromising personal and financial information about Mr. Trump, multiple US officials with direct knowledge of the briefings tell CNN.
That’s one. Here’s two.
The two-page synopsis also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials.
Anyone watching the Senate testimony of James Comey on Tuesday afternoon may have been caught between laughing and crying when the FBI director declared “I would never comment on investigations … in an open forum." However, it was clear that both Senator Ron Wyden and Senator Angus King were pressing Comey very hard to reveal something the FBI is hiding from the public. It was extremely reminiscent of Harry Reid’s attempt to get Comey to spill the beans before the election, and Reid’s accusations that Comey was covering up information that was critical to the public.
Reid was right all along.
Sources tell CNN that these same allegations about communications between the Trump campaign and the Russians, mentioned in classified briefings for congressional leaders last year, prompted then-Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid to send a letter to FBI Director Comey in October, in which he wrote, "It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government -- a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States."
At the moment James Comey was being told that there were some emails on a laptop that might possibly relate to Hillary Clinton’s email server, he was privy to information that Donald Trump was being blackmailed by Russian intelligence and that his campaign was in regular contact with Moscow. Comey decided that one of these stories was important enough to break to the public.
Spokespeople for the FBI and the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment. Officials who spoke to CNN declined to do so on the record given the classified nature of the material.