Obama Official Who Hinted at Intel Leaks Now Says She’s Victim of ‘Fake News’

Appearing in MSNBC’s 3 p.m. ET hour on Thursday, Evelyn Farkas, the former Obama administration official who admitted on national television earlier this month that the Democratic administration was trying to “get as much information” as possible about Donald Trump and his associates, claimed she was actually the victim of a “dark campaign of fake news.”

Farkas, President Obama’s former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense and now an NBC News National Security Analyst, whined to anchor Kate Snow: “And on the dark campaign of fake news, you know, that's still ongoing. We see even someone like myself get swept up in all of this. You know, when people like me are speaking on behalf of process, people spin to it suit their needs. And I think it may be that the Russians are behind even such fake news today.”

Snow teed up a clip of White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer citing Farkas during the earlier press briefing: “Sean Spicer did bring you up and your name up in the press briefing. He talked about something you said on Morning Joe. I want to play that sound and get your reaction.”

A clip ran of Spicer telling reporters:

Obama’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense that is out there, Evelyn Farkas, she made it clear that it was their goal to spread this information around, that they went around and did this. And she said, quote, “That's why there are so many leaks.” They have admitted on the record that this was their goal, to leak stuff. And they – literally she said on the record, “Trump's team.” There are serious questions out there about what happened and why and who did it.

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In reply, Farkas denied her own words:

So there’s a total distortion of what I said and what I was talking about. I was talking about the fact that I was – I was outside of government, I no access to intelligence on this whatsoever – but I was concerned because I knew how the Russians operate and I was reading these reports about them hacking into the elections and then giving information to Wikipedia [sic] and that Trump people, Trump team people, were going to Moscow. And you know, there was a lot of reporting on this.

Here is a transcript of the March 30 exchange:

3:08 PM ET

(...)

KATE SNOW: Yeah, and let me pick up on that with Evelyn Farkas. When you look at these two congressional investigations and the FBI investigation, and the Senate, as Kasie [Hunt] says, seeming to move ahead more quickly and in a more orderly way, I think you could say, more bipartisan way, are you confident that the Senate is going get somewhere before anyone else?

EVELYN FARKAS: Yeah. So I think one important thing, Kate, you know, we heard – we've been using the word “process.” And process is really important because process can help keep the politics down to minimum. And so, what the Senate’s doing, by laying out the facts publicly so that we can all understand what’s the base understanding that they have with regard to Russia and Russia's intentions towards the United States and our elections. I think that’s a very professional, sober way to approach this. The House has committed too many process fouls. So I think they’re done, in effect. It’s all up to the Senate. But I would argue that we may still need to have an independent bipartisan investigation. We’ll have to just see what happens with the Senate.

And on the dark campaign of fake news, you know, that's still ongoing. We see even someone like myself get swept up in all of this. You know, when people like me are speaking on behalf of process, people spin to it suit their needs. And I think it may be that the Russians are behind even such fake news today.

SNOW: Evelyn, let me jump in on that because Sean Spicer did bring you up and your name up in the press briefing. He talked about something you said on Morning Joe. I want to play that sound and get your reaction.

SEAN SPICER: We are not going to engage actively in that kind of leaking that has been a problem. In fact, if you look at the – Obama’s Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense that is out there, Evelyn Farkas, she made it clear that it was their goal to spread this information around, that they went around and did this. And she said, quote, “That's why there are so many leaks.” They have admitted on the record that this was their goal, to leak stuff. And they – literally she said on the record, “Trump's team.” There are serious questions out there about what happened and why and who did it. And I think that’s really where our focus is and making sure that that information gets out.

SNOW: Evelyn, your reaction?

FARKAS: So there’s a total distortion of what I said and what I was talking about. I was talking about the fact that I was – I was outside of government, I no access to intelligence on this whatsoever – but I was concerned because I knew how the Russians operate and I was reading these reports about them hacking into the elections and then giving information to Wikipedia [sic] and that Trump people, Trump team people, were going to Moscow. And you know, there was a lot of reporting on this. And so, I got worried that the process wasn't being followed with regard to Capitol Hill, with regard to Congress, because it wasn't clear to me that the White House was keeping them in the loop. And that was really important, especially since we were about to have a transition in the government.

(...)

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