Evelyn Farkas, a former top Obama administration Defense Department official, has advocated for the intelligence community to consider compromising sources and methods when it comes to “saving American democracy.”
“And I know that we have to preserve our sources and methods,” Farkas said, speaking about the U.S. intelligence community. “But at some point you know, sometimes maybe you have to actually compromise some kind of source or method if it comes down to saving American democracy.”
Farkas was speaking last Thursday at a panel discussion on alleged Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election, and was talking specifically about the intelligence community’s work regarding alleged Russian meddling in U.S. affairs. The discussion, titled, “Active Measures: The Kremlin Plan to Beat the West without Firing a Shot,” took place at the Aspen Institute’s Security Forum.
Farkas served under the Obama administration as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia until 2015.
Speaking at the Aspen Forum, she stated (emphasis added; remarks start at the 50:10 mark in the above video):
The intelligence community needs to get better at sharing information with the public and with our partners and allies. Declassifying things that we need urgently. Because I think part of the problem was that that report that came out, I mean, I was asked to comment on it on TV.
And a lot of reporters called me and said, “This is weird. Why is this RT thing attached to it?” And there was a lot of scoffing at the report too, which I thought was missing the point. Because it’s not how the report looks and what was in it. I mean it is the message. It is what the Russians are trying to do. And so, I think the Intelligence Community needs to do a better job providing more information and declassifying.
And I know that we have to preserve our sources and methods, but at some point you know, sometimes maybe you have to actually compromise some kind of source or method if it comes down to saving American democracy.
The report referenced by Farkas was the January 6, 2017 U.S. Intelligence Community report alleging Russian interference in the presidential race.
Farkas previously made headlines for comments she made in March as a contributor to MSNBC, where she said that she told former Obama administration colleagues to collect intelligence on President Donald 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.
In response to the media attention surrounding her quotes, Farkas told the Daily Caller 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 the 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.
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 on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.
This article was written with research by Joshua Klein.