VIDEO: Ex-Obama Staffer Who Advocated Spying On Trump Urged Fight Against Nationalism, Populism
Speaking at a conference last October, Evelyn Farkas, a former top Obama administration official, warned that more must be done to counter the forces of nationalism and populism that have been entering the mainstream with the rise of Donald Trump and nationalist movements across Europe, Breitbart News has found.
Farkas also noted the U.S. population is “becoming increasingly less European American” while advocating for a continued “strong shared commitment” to European values.
Farkas served as deputy assistant secretary of defense under the Obama administration. She has been in the spotlight since the news media last week highlighted comments she made on television that seemed to acknowledge efforts by members of the Obama administration to collect intelligence on Trump and members of his campaign.
Farkas made the remarks about fighting nationalism as a panelist at the October 26, 2016 Warsaw Security Forum during a discussion about what to expect following the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.
Following a lengthy panel talk about domestic politics and Trump, one unnamed questioner asked how political forces on the “margins” of politics in the U.S. and Europe were able to enter the “mainstream.”
Farkas replied (her remarks start at 31:54 in the above video):
What the first questioner asked was what happened. And I think what happened is that you have always in every domestic political landscape this nationalism, this populism, even fascism in almost every country in the world. But if you have strong liberal democratic leadership, if you have voices to speak out against those forces or to counter them effectively than they don’t come to the fore.
And what I said earlier in the beginning when I spoke about the vacuum of leadership – that’s the problem that we have right now. And I believe very strongly that regardless of what kind of ethnic composition that we have in the United States, because it is becoming increasingly less European American, we still have very strong shared commitment to values with our European colleagues and with our Israeli colleagues. And together we need to work on the international front to counter the forces that are pushing against our values and interests.
Farkas may have referenced “Israeli colleagues” because one of the panelists on stage with her was Eytan Gilboa, chairman of the left-leaning Israel Public Diplomacy Forum, which features articles in its newsletters complaining about the Israeli “far-right” and “right.”
Yesterday, Breitbart News first reported that at the same conference, held two weeks before the presidential election, Farkas predicted that if Trump won the presidency he would “be impeached pretty quickly or somebody else would have to take over government.”
Farkas has also been in the news after remarks she made as a contributor to MSNBC on March 2 resurfaced last week. In the comments, she said that she told former Obama administration colleagues to collect intelligence on Trump and campaign officials.
“I was urging my former colleagues and, frankly speaking, the people on the Hill, it was more actually aimed at telling the Hill people, get as much information as you can, get as much intelligence as you can, before President Obama leaves the administration,” stated Farkas.
Because I had a fear that somehow that information would disappear with the senior [Obama] people who left, so it would be hidden away in the bureaucracy … that the Trump folks – if they found out how we knew what we knew about their … the Trump staff dealing with Russians – that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we no longer have access to that intelligence.
The White House has utilized Farkas’s statements to bolster the charge that Trump was being illicitly surveilled during the campaign.
White House Spokesman Sean Spicer last week stated:
[I]f you look at 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. …
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 in making sure that that information gets out.
Farkas, a former adviser to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia until she resigned in 2015.
She told the Daily Caller last week that she had no access to any intelligence. “I had no intelligence whatsoever, I wasn’t in government anymore and didn’t have access to any,” she said.
Speaking to the Washington Post, Farkas denied being a source of any leaks.
The Post reported:
Farkas, in an interview with The Post, said she “didn’t give anybody anything except advice,” was not a source for any stories and had nothing to leak. Noting that she left government in October 2015, she said, “I was just watching like anybody else, like a regular spectator” as initial reports of Russia contacts began to surface after the election.
Farkas currently serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which takes a hawkish approach toward Russia and has released numerous reports and briefs about Russian aggression.
The Council is funded by the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Inc., the U.S. State Department, and NATO ACT. Another Council funder is the Ploughshares Fund, which in turn has received financing from billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
Farkas serves on the Atlantic Council alongside Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder of CrowdStrike, the third-party company utilized by the FBI to make its assessment about alleged Russian hacking into the Democratic National Committee (DNC). Alperovitch is a nonresident senior fellow of the Cyber Statecraft Initiative at the Atlantic Council.
Last month, FBI Director James Comey confirmed that his agency never had direct access to the DNC’s servers to confirm the hacking. “Well, we never got direct access to the machines themselves,” he stated. “The DNC in the spring of 2016 hired a firm that ultimately shared with us their forensics from their review of the system.”
National Security Agency Director Michael Rogers also stated the NSA never asked for access to the DNC hardware: “The NSA didn’t ask for access. That’s not in our job.”
Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him onTwitter @AaronKleinShow.Follow him onFacebook.
With additional research by Joshua Klein and Brenda J. Elliott.