The New York Times on Wednesday published what would have been a major story on White House National Security Council (NSC) aide Kash Patel—if only it had been true.
(Article by Matthew Boyle republished from Breitbart.com)
The story, which relies on leaks from Democrats conducting the “impeachment inquiry” into President Donald Trump of testimony by one witness who had no firsthand knowledge of the allegations she was making, claims Patel had provided President Trump with documents on Ukraine and met with the president about them.
Citing as its sources “people briefed on the matter,” the Times’ Julian Barnes, Adam Goldman, and Nicholas Fandos wrote that Patel was referred to by President Trump as “one of his top Ukraine policy specialists” and that President Trump “wanted to discuss related documents with him.” The Times reporters claimed that Patel’s NSC and White House colleagues “grew alarmed” over all this.
Later in the Times piece, it became clear where exactly this allegation came from—Fiona Hill, a former Trump administration Russia hand, whom the Democrats have been relying on for testimony in the impeachment inquiry. Hill testified earlier this month in the secret room in the basement of the Capitol building from which Democrats have been running their private impeachment proceedings.
Barnes, Goldman, and Fandos wrote:
Fiona Hill, the National Security Council’s former senior director for Eurasian and Russian affairs, testified to House investigators last week that she believed Mr. Patel was improperly becoming involved in Ukraine policy and was sending information to Mr. Trump, some of the people said. Ms. Hill grew alarmed earlier this year when an aide from the White House executive secretary’s office told her that Mr. Trump wanted to talk to Mr. Patel and identified him as the National Security Council’s ‘Ukraine director,’ a position held by one of Ms. Hill’s deputies. The aide said Mr. Trump wanted to meet with Mr. Patel about documents he had received on Ukraine. Ms. Hill responded by asking who Mr. Patel was. While the aide from the executive secretary’s office did not state explicitly that Mr. Patel sent the Ukraine documents to Mr. Trump, Ms. Hill understood that to be the implication, according to a person familiar with her testimony.
As the Times notes, if true, this would mean there were multiple backchannels for Trump on Ukraine matters—the other being through his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani and Giuliani’s associates—and it would make it appear as though Trump was up to something by circumventing established channels for such policy, even though the president as the nation’s chief executive officer is well within his rights to do that.
But the problem with the Times story, and its sources that appear to be leaks from Democrats of Hill’s testimony, is that the entire premise is untrue, sources familiar with Patel’s meetings with the president told Breitbart News. Since the Times published its story, Breitbart News has spoken with a dozen sources including current White House officials, then-current-now-former White House officials, congressional officials familiar with the investigation and the meetings Patel had with President Trump, and others in the know about what actually happened and discovered that Patel’s meetings with President Trump had “absolutely nothing,” in the words of one source, to do with Ukraine whatsoever.
One now-former White House official confirmed that President Trump did in fact meet with Patel on a number of occasions, though it’s unclear if these were one-on-one meetings or there were others present.
A source close to House GOP leadership told Breitbart News that Patel’s meetings with the president were focused on domestic national security matters, and that Ukraine did not come up at all.
That source said of the Times story:
This story is complete nonsense. The meeting was arranged at the suggestion of multiple GOP congressmen and senators to discuss domestic national security issues that Kash has specific knowledge and unique expertise in. This meeting had absolutely nothing to do with Ukraine.
A second well-placed source familiar with Patel’s interactions with the president told Breitbart News that the Times story that relies on Hill’s testimony—leaked by Democrats—is “100 percent false.”
“The New York Times story is 100 percent false,” this source familiar with Patel’s interactions with Trump told Breitbart News. “Kash did not discuss Ukraine with Trump in any meeting, nor did he discuss any Ukraine-related documents with him. The Democrats involved in the impeachment interviews were obviously tipped off that Fiona Hill would invent some story like this if asked about Kash, and that’s why they brought up his name to her, then they leaked the exchange to their lackeys at the Times.”
Read more at: Breitbart.com