CIA confirms contractor in damning footage was employed by agency but denies his claims about the agency’s approach to Trump

News & Politics

James O’Keefe released hidden camera footage Wednesday of an undercover journalist’s troubling conversations with a Central Intelligence Agency contractor. The unsuspecting interviewee, Amjad Fseisi, claimed that while former President Donald Trump was in office, the CIA leadership “kept information from him because we knew he’d f***ing disclose it,” thereby leaving the democratically elected leader in the dark.

A CIA spokeswoman confirmed to O’Keefe that Fseisi, listed on his
now-scrubbed LinkedIn page as a Virginia-based manager at Deloitte, formerly worked for the agency but called his allegations “ridiculous.”

The interviewee

O’Keefe introduced Fseisi as “a senior intelligence officer with a
top-secret / sensitive compartmentalized information clearance,” suggesting he “has worked at the CIA for over a decade, and his knowledge and his position and access show he has a high-level awareness about the agency, its current culture, and how it has been corrupted by bureaucratic politics and how it has over the years and continues to use its powers to weaponize the CIA to spy on President Trump.”

While O’Keefe initially indicated the CIA contractor served as a project manager in cyber operations, the investigative journalist has since issued a correction noting that Fseisi was, as he identified himself in the video, a program manager at the agency with its
China Mission Center.

“I work for the CIA,” Fseisi tells the unnamed citizen journalist on camera, indicating he has done so since 2008. “I do cyber operations. I’ve been doing it for a long time.”

At one point he brags about being “fully vetted” and having received TS SCI.

“I help the mission center,” continued the contractor. “Across the entire enterprise.”

Fseisi explained that he presently works for Deloitte “but based out of the CIA” and that he previously worked for Lockheed Martin, for Northrop Grumman, and for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

After showing the undercover journalist what appears to be his green badge with a photo he indicates was taken in 2013, Fseisi says, “Okay, I’m getting a little nervous now.”

Chelsea Robinson, a spokeswoman for the agency,
told the O’Keefe Media Group that the “individual making these allegations is a former contractor who does not represent CIA.”

O’Keefe has since seized upon the agency’s indication that Fseisi no longer works for the CIA, noting that in the video taken last week, Fseisi “waves his intelligence community green badge.”

The investigative journalist intimated that if Fseisi is a former contractor, then his termination must hake taken place in the past several days, quoting the former deputy director of national intelligence as saying, “An individual possessing a contractor Green badge is only allowed to lawfully possess it while official [sic] employed as a contractor to the intelligence community. Upon any termination, credentials are returned to the home agency and destroyed immediately.”

The interview

The journalist says to Fseisi, “You’ve said that Mike Pompeo was working with the heads of the other intel agencies.”

Fseisi interrupts, “That’s correct.”

“To withhold information from Trump,” continues the journalist.

Following a video edit, Fseisi appears to answer, “His predecessor, Gina Haspel, did.”

When asked whether former CIA Director Gina Haspel withheld information from Trump, Fseisi responds, “And I believe Mike Pompeo did the same thing too.”

The ex-CIA contractor alleged that Trump would routinely call Russian President Vladimir Putin and provide him with intelligence. When asked why he would allegedly do so, Fseisi said, “He’s a f***ing moron.”

In a video ostensibly taken on another occasion, the journalist presses the issue, asking Fseisi, “So the agencies all kind of, like, all got together and said, we’re not going to tell Trump.”

“The higher-ups,” answered Fseisi. “Put it this way: the executive staff. We’re talking about the director and his subordinates.”

“We kept information from him because we knew he would f***ing disclose it,” says Fseisi. “There are certain people that would give him a high-level overview but never give him any details. Do you know why? Because he’d leak those details.”

This is not the first time that a person with insider knowledge of the CIA has indicated the agency kept secrets from the nation’s lawfully and democratically elected leader.

Douglas London, who served as a top CIA conterterrorism official during the Trump administration,
told the New York Times in 2022, “We certainly took into account ‘what damage could he do if he blurts this out?'”

The Times
suggested that in one instance early in his presidency, Trump informed Russian officials of an Islamic State terror plot brought to Washington’s attention by Israel. This transparency greatly angered the intelligence community.

Former CIA Director John Brennan
suggested in March that upon Trump securing the Republican nomination, the CIA and other intelligence agencies would likely go back to keeping him in the dark.

“Now, I’m pretty certain that my former intelligence colleagues will provide briefings that are not going to do any type of damage to sources and methods in terms of providing information to Donald Trump that he could misuse,” Brennan told MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace. “I think it’s going to be analysis that will be devoid of the sources and methods, the sensitive things that we are most concerned about, the types of things that were in all those documents that he had in the bathroom and all those areas in Mar-a-Lago.”

Brennan was among the intel alumni that signed the misleading Hunter Biden “intel”
letter that impacted the 2020 election. The letter, which appears to have been the product of an initiative driven by then-senior Biden campaign adviser Antony Blinken, suggested the Hunter Biden laptop story had “all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

Fseisi not only suggested that high-ranking CIA officials would keep the president in the dark but that they keep him under constant surveillance.

“We have human intelligence and we also have people that monitor [Trump’s] ex-wife,” said Fseisi. “He likes to use burner phones.”

When asked whether the intelligence community was still spying on Trump, Fseisi answered, “We monitor everything. … Nothing goes by without somebody watching.”

Although Fseisi suggested the intelligence community largely despised Trump and thought he was the “biggest f***ing idiot,” he noted there were a few holdouts who “really do love him inside.” Fseisi suggested those few company men who liked their president were “rednecks who live out in the middle of nowhere, in the sticks.”

Extra to intimating that the intelligence agencies don’t trust Trump over fears he may exercise more of the powers granted him by the American people, Fseisi suggested the intelligence agencies don’t trust each other.

When asked whether the CIA works with the NSA, he said, “No, because they’re very territorial. … They don’t like sharing information.”

Fseisi clams up

O’Keefe followed up with Fseisi, noting, “Michael Shellenberger and Matt Taibbi did some reporting on the information that was withheld from Trump. It’s actually a crime for the director of the CIA to withhold information from Trump.”

“It’s not — I have no idea,” said Fseisi. “Everything I said is unbeknownst to me. I don’t know. I have no intel. I have no knowledge.”

Confronted with a series of his own quotes, Fseisi can be seen in the video throwing up his hands, then stating, “I can have an opinion, but I don’t know.”

O’Keefe later noted that Fseisi’s sudden caution may have been the result of his realization that “he could be held liable for violating internal agency provisions and federal laws like the Executive Agency ethics provisions, which restrict what he may share with others outside of his contracted-to agency.”

CIA spokeswoman Chelsea Robinson said, “These claims about CIA are absolutely false and ridiculous. CIA is a resolutely apolitical institution that provides intelligence support to policymakers including the president of the United States, irrespective of who occupies the office.”

“We are a foreign intelligence-focused agency and do not monitor the former president,” added Robinson.

Citing “multiple credible sources” close to a House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence investigation, Shellenberger, Taibbi, and Alex Gutentag
reported in February that the CIA illegally mobilized foreign intelligence agencies to spy on Trump advisors prior to the 2016 election.

According to the sources, then-President Barack Obama’s CIA Director John Brennan identified 26 of Trump’s associates as targets for members of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance to “‘bump,’ or make contact with or manipulate. They were targets of our own IC and law enforcement — targets for collection and misinformation.”

In response to O’Keefe’s video, Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.)
requested that the House Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government open a formal investigation into the “concerning actions allegedly perpetrated by the intelligence community against President Trump.”

Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn.)
similarly indicated he would be requesting an investigation.

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