WASHINGTON – The entire Russia collusion story was a fiction made up by intelligence heads who lied about President Donald Trump, and lied to President Obama and the media, according to a person on a just-released audio recording who is almost certainly legendary Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh.
Further, the person who recorded the audio is almost certainly financier Ed Butowsky, who hired private investigator Rod Wheeler to investigate the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich last July.
Wheeler filed a defamation lawsuit against Butowsky and Fox News on Tuesday over a story the network retracted about the investigation.
The text of Wheeler’s lawsuit described a conversation between Hersh and Butowsky in which the reporter said: “I have somebody on the inside who will go and read a file for me. And I know this person is unbelievably accurate and careful. He’s a very high level guy.”
Those identical words appear on the audio recording, apparently verifying they were spoken by Hersh and taped by Butowsky. Judging by a report in the
Washington Post, the conversation happened in February.
The audio was first posted late Tuesday afternoon on a site called Big League Politics then went viral after it was linked on Twitter by WikiLeaks.
Hersh, himself, acknowledged speaking with Butkowsy, during an NPR interview Monday in which he referred to the Seth Rich angle as gossip and said Butowsky “took two and two and made 45 out of it.”
But Hersh did not disavow what he said about the Russia collusion narrative.
On the recording, Hersh said his information came from a source “on the inside,” a “very high level guy” who is “unbelievably accurate and careful.”
The reporter called the entire story that the Trump presidential campaign and transition team colluded with Russia “a Brennan operation.”
Hersh accused former CIA Director John Brennan, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and current NSA Director Michael Rogers of peddling “disinformation” and misleading Obama and the press
And he added, “Trump’s not wrong to think they all f—ing lied about him.”
He suggested Rogers falsely told the press that American intelligence agencies even knew who in the Russian military intelligence service “leaked it,” in apparent reference to the hacked Democratic emails that embarrassed the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign.
He also dismissively called Brennan an “a—hole,” Rogers a “f—ing moron” and Clapper “sort of a better guy but not a rocket scientist.”
Hersh ascribed a simple motive to the subterfuge by the top spies: They wanted to keep their jobs by assuring Clinton won the presidential election.
“With Trump they’re gone. You know, they’re done – they’re going to live on their pensions, they’re not going to make it.”
Hersh also explained why the story came to dominate the news cycle, portraying his colleagues in the establishment media as, essentially, too gullible.
“I worked at the New York Times for years and they have smart guys but they are totally beholden on sources. If the president or the head of the (unintelligible) tells them something they actually believe it,” he said.
And, speaking of those highly placed sources, he said, “These guys run the f—ing Times.”
Hersh won the Pulitzer Prize in 1970 for exposing the My Lai massacre and has since gone on to become one of the nation’s best-known investigative reporters.