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Sat Oct 5, 2019, 06:33 PM

Revealed: Trump's attorney general met Priti Patel as he sought UK help to investigate Russia probe

Donald Trump's attorney general met Priti Patel this summer as he sought British help in an investigation casting doubt over the Russian 2016 election meddling probe, The Daily Telegraph can disclose.

William Barr met Ms Patel, the Home Secretary, in London shortly after she got the role while both attended a conference for the Five Eyes intelligence-sharing alliance.

They met on July 29 - just days after Mr Trump had reportedly urged Boris Johnson to help with the investigation, which is looking at how the probe into Mr Trump's Kremlin links had begun.

Multiple Home Office spokesmen and aides declined to rule out on-the-record that Ms Patel and Mr Barr discussed the investigation.


I'm not sure how long this story's legs will be yet, and so far only the Telegraph (where you need to register or subscribe to read beyond what I've quoted above) and Mail are covering it.

FWIW, here's some of the Mail's version:

Donald Trump's Attorney General 'met Priti Patel as he sought British help investigating inquiry into Russian meddling in 2016 US election five days after she became Home Secretary'
Their meeting came days after Mr Trump reportedly asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson to assist him as he tried to discredit the Mueller investigation into possible connections between Russia and his election campaign.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told the Commons on Wednesday that no British government member, including the prime minister, would collude with Trump to discredit intelligence agencies looking into Russian interference of the 2016 election campaign.
Mr Johnson's Attorney General Geoffrey Cox also met Mr Barr at the Five Eyes conference and said had the investigation been raised he would have declined to talk about it.


The journalistic formula "X happened as Y ..." can sometimes be misleadingly used to link two events that may be unrelated except in occurring around the same time. But the last sentence quoted from the Telegraph piece - "Multiple Home Office spokesmen and aides declined to rule out on-the-record that Ms Patel and Mr Barr discussed the investigation." - is bound to fuel speculation, especially given Patel's disastrous past record as a loose cannon in foreign affairs.

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Reply Revealed: Trump's attorney general met Priti Patel as he sought UK help to investigate Russia probe (Original post)
Denzil_DC Oct 2019 OP
OnDoutside Oct 2019 #1
Denzil_DC Oct 2019 #2

Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Sat Oct 5, 2019, 07:35 PM

1. Patel is a nasty piece of work, so anything is possible.

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Response to Denzil_DC (Original post)

Sun Oct 6, 2019, 12:06 AM

2. Some more detail from the Telegraph's Ben Riley-Smith

(Comments quoted under the main tweet can be viewed by clicking through to view the whole thread.)

Ben Riley-Smith


Trump’s attorney general met Priti Patel as he sought UK help over investigation into Russia probe.

They met in London on July 29 - 3 days after Boris+Trump talked. Home Office hasn’t denied on-record they discussed investigation.


Have been putting in calls to a dozen+ UK and US officials past and present to understand how we are helping out with the investigation and what pressure is being applied.

Priti Patel is Barr’s opposite number. They met at a conference for the Five Eyes alliance in London this summer. (The network of US, UK, Aus, NZ, Canada that shares intel.) Here’s a pic of the meeting.

Asked multiple Home Office spokesmen / aides if Patel and Barr discussed the investigation. They declined to deny on-record.

Instead a UK government spokesman said: "Investigations in the US are a matter for the US authorities. We won’t comment on the ongoing investigations."

US Justice Department spokesman also did not comment specifically on the meeting and what was said.

Source in department said more broadly on the investigation: “All countries have been very helpful.”

Patel is not the only Johnson cabinet member to have met Barr this summer. Geoffrey Cox, the UK attorney general, also met Barr at the five eyes conference. See pic below. (Credit: PA Wire)

But Cox told me he didn’t recall discussing the probe with Barr. "I certainly cannot confirm that he brought that up. I can't recall it.” Fuller quote below.

Dominic Raab, Foreign Sec, met both Trump and Pence when he was out in Washington in early August. But a source familiar with meetings says no US requests over probe made during that visit.

The timing of the Patel-Barr chat is interesting as it comes just after a July 26 call between Trump + Boris. Trump urged Boris to help with probe according to @scribblercat, who broke that story. CNN confirmed. ...

No 10 source pushed back on the characterisation of the chat to @Telegraph. But did not deny categorically that the investigation came up.
British government is clearly v keen not to be talking about this. All relevant departments reluctant to go beyond the ‘we wont comment on investigations’ line being issued universally across Whitehall.

CNN reported that Trump thought Boris / Aussie PM more amendable to working with Barr than their predecessors. Two ex-Theresa May aides tell me Trump didn’t mention probe in the June state visit despite threatening to do that.

Has also been widely reported that Barr met British intelligence officials in the summer to discuss investigation. Extra nugget of info - @Telegraph understands MI5 officials did not meet him.

So what? Why is this relevant?

In short - UK is being bounced into investigating itself, caught between desire to push back on Trump’s claims and need to keep him on side.

The degree to which Johnson government is playing ball is telling.

Final point - this isn’t going away. Here was Trump today. “I was investigated and they think it could have been by UK, they think it could have been by Australia, they think it could have been by Italy.” He sounds quite convinced. (Ends)

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