To American Spectator readers:
As it happens in the world of coincidence, Evelyn Farkas, who served President Obama as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia and is now in the news on the Trump-Russia issue, turns out to be a fellow graduate of Franklin and Marshall College. Currently she is an MSNBC analyst and senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. I did not know until yesterday either Ms. Farkas or that, like me, she was an F&M graduate. She contacted me after I mentioned her name in my role as a CNN contributor on Anderson Cooper360. We have since spoken on the phone, and I invited her to write her view of this issue for The American Spectator unedited. The same arrangement was made with Carter Page, another name in this news whose views were similarly published unedited for readers to judge for themselves.
So forthwith, the verbatim statement of Ms. Farkas:
“Unfortunately, a few days ago a strange video of unknown provenance popped up on the internet with a wild misinterpretation of comments I made on the air in March. The topic of the particular segment — the video was selectively cut to include only my comments out of context — was the Russia election hack/information operation and a NYT story that described Obama administration members trying to get intelligence information on the Russian hack to Congress. I explained, in my role as an analyst, that I knew there were concerns in Washington about what the Russians did and whether the American public would find out what happened. I stated that I was worried that Congress wasn’t being briefed — according to normal procedures, which I know well from my 8 years as a Professional Staff Member with the Senate Armed Services Committee. I shared my concerns with both sides of the aisle about the need to get all the information the Obama administration had with regard to the Russian hacking of our elections and any potential complicity by Americans. I was out of government, I didn’t have any classified information, or any knowledge of ‘tapping’ or leaking or the NYT article before it came out. But I knew well from my time in government how the Russians operated and I could sense from media reports that the administration was concerned. I wanted to make sure that the standard procedure of White House briefing the Congress was taking place so that Congress knew everything the White House knew about what the Russians had done. At the end of the interview I did start a new thought ‘that’s why they leaked,’ but got cut off. If I’d had time I would have explained that leaking is illegal and I would never condone it, but it seems that the people who were leaking to the New York Times might have also been concerned that the legislative branch was being left in the dark.”