A former director of Canada’s national intelligence service says that there is a “fairly decent chance” that recorded conversations between President Donald Trump and former FBI Director James Comey exist, according to a report from CTV News.
“It seems to me [Trump] should want this inquiry to come about because if he is telling the truth, Mueller will clear him,” said Richard Fadden, former Director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS). “I don’t think that is necessarily the case,” he added.
According to Fadden, who was serving as Director at the same time as special counsel Robert Mueller, if Trump didn’t have any problematic ties to Russia, he’d be eager to go forward with the investigation – and Fadden is certain that his former counterpart will be the person to either clear or condemn Trump, saying that the former FBI director is well-equipped to handle the investigation.
Mueller was named special counsel earlier this week in the investigation into Russian tampering with the election and possible involvement in the DNC email leaks. He is also tasked with a probe into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.
After firing FBI Director James Comey, Trump took to Twitter to suggest that he actually had tapes of conversations between the two of them. “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” said Trump.
“I would suspect the special counsel will ask for those tapes as one of his first activities,” said Fadden, adding that there was a “fairly decent chance” that those tapes exist.
He went on to note that most intelligence officials, like Comey, typically take notes immediately following any important conversation. He said that recordings are unusual (intelligence officials don’t usually record their own bosses, for fairly obvious reasons) but that a detailed paper trail almost certainly exists, and that he expects the inquiry to make heavy use of it, assuming no recordings of conversations between the two can actually be obtained.
“If it is an important issue, you go to your office, you close your door, and you write a memo for the record. I suspect what [Comey] wrote is probably true.”
Many are barely even aware of Canada’s intelligence service, but CSIS often works closely with their counterparts in the United States. While the FBI’s closest counterpart in Canada is the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and CSIS is more closely comparable to the CIA, the agencies often correspond on cross-border issues. Most recently, both CSIS and the RCMP worked together with the FBI on “Operation Pacifier” – a massive, world-spanning operation against producers and distributors of child porn connected with the dark website Playpen.
And that, Fadden says, is causing a certain amount of “gridlock” as the Russia-Trump investigation progresses. As the White House continues to turn its attention to international issues while leaving vital positions unfilled, Fadden is concerned that the lines of communication between Canada and America will remain severed and impede international investigations.
“I think the real risk for Canada is on the vast number of files with which we have to deal with the U.S.,” said Fadden. With the Directorship of the FBI up in the air, he expressed his concerns that if the President chose to move quickly on cross-border issues in the meantime, “there will be no-one to talk to” for CSIS.
Most recently in the Trump-Comey controversy, the New York Times reported that Trump allegedly told Russian officials that he had “just fired the head of the FBI. He was crazy, a real nut job,” and that “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off. I’m not under investigation.”
[Featured Image by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]