CNN's Brian Stelter appeared to think he had brought on a perfect guest to debunk the idea -- first reported on Fox News by Andrew Napolitano -- that British intelligence conducted surveillance of Trump communications and supplied it to the Obama Administration.
Instead, Stelter's guest, the former CIA analyst Larry Johnson, confirmed the story.
Stelter laughed as he asked Johnson about the accusation, presumably thinking he'd quickly swat it down. Instead Johnson reported in specific detail how John Brennan and James Clapper knowingly let British intelligence transmit Trump's communications back to the Obama Administration.
Here's a rush transcript of the exchange:
STELTER: [laughing] “Let me ask you about this thing.”
STELTER: “So, my sense is that on Monday, Napolitano says this on TV, he says he has Intel sources who believe this is true. You’re saying you were one of those sources, but you didn’t know Napolitano was going to use you like that?”
JOHNSON: “Well, apparently what happened was I communicated, when Donald Trump tweeted what he did on Saturday two weeks ago, the next day I was interviewed on Russia Today. I had known about the fact that the British, through GHCQ were information back channel. This was not at the direction of Barack Obama, let’s be clear about that. But it was being done with the full knowledge of people like John Brennan and Jim Clapper. I have been told this by two different people I know within the intelligence community in January. They were very concerned about this because they saw it as an unfair meddling in the politics, but it was a way to get around the issue of American intelligence agencies not collecting.”
STELTER: “To be clear, you have this secondhand? So, you didn’t get this information directly, you’re hearing from others.”
JOHNSON: “I’m hearing it from people who are in a position to know, that’s correct.”