“You had to have blinders and earmuffs on not to know that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian intelligence official,” Edward Price said on Wednesday.
Edward Price, a former CIA employee who served as a top spokesman and a senior director for President Obama’s National Security Council, accused the media of colluding with Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 presidential election while taking part in a panel discussion at the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday.
The panel discussion titled “The Kremlin Plan to Beat the West without Firing a Shot,” dealt with Russian’s involvement in the 2016 election and was moderated by CNN’s Jim Sciutto.
During the discussion, Price took exception with how the media covered Russia’s involvement in the election citing October 7, 2016, as the most vivid example of the media’s poor coverage of Russia’s role.
On October 7, Price noted when the United States government formally attributed the meddling in the election to the most senior levels of the Russian government, the Donald Trump “Access Hollywood” tape was released, and John Podesta’s emails started getting released.
“From October 7th to November 8th, there was a media frenzy on John Podesta’s emails focused on the substance and the content but not the origins,” Price remarked.
Former Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Evelyn Farkas interjected that on October 7th she had dinner with a member of Hillary Clinton’s campaign and all that person could talk about was the “Access Hollywood” tape.
“The Clinton campaign really emphasized not the October 7th statement but the Access Hollywood tape,” Farkas commented.
“It wasn’t just the statement… and this term is a loaded but the collusion on the part of certain elements in the media and Guccifer 2.0, the Russian cyber persona, who would send scoops to individual reporters and say, ‘hey you should take a look at this,'” Price responded. “And then lo and behold, major media outlets would write on the scoops provided by this Russian intelligence officer.”
CNN’s Sciutto took objection to Price’s accusation that the media colluded with Russia and asked Price to explain what he meant.
Price stood by his claim telling Sciutto to call it, “cooperation, collusion, whatever you want.”
Sciutto pointed out that collusion implies willing corporation.
“At a certain point, you had to have blinders and earmuffs on not to know that Guccifer 2.0 was a Russian intelligence official,” Price responded.
Price left the CIA earlier this year writing in a widely criticized op-ed in which he said he could not “in good faith serve this administration as an intelligence professional.” Price was a donor to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, but said that his decision was not politically motivated.
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