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'Saw everything': Alleged ‘whistleblower’ Eric Ciaramella had extensive access in Trump White House (via @KerryPicket) washex.am/2Q4n4PX
Eric Ciaramella, the alleged Ukraine whistleblower, was long suspected of deliberately attempting to damage President Trump's foreign policy from the inside and had access to policy information far beyond his regional expertise, according to former NSC officials.
Ciaramella, 33, a career CIA analyst, was Ukraine director on the NSC toward the end of the Obama administration and stayed there during the first few months of the Trump administration.
He was acting senior director for European and Russian affairs and then special assistant to Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, who was Trump's national security adviser, until he left the White House in summer 2017.
“The person that I always felt extremely uncomfortable around was Eric Ciaramella. He was one of the few guys around who seemed to know where the filing cabinets were, so to speak,” one former official told the Washington Examiner.
The former official added that Ciaramella was antagonistic at an early Trump administration gathering when it was said that the goal was to turn Trump’s campaign promises and platform into policy.
When the issue of Ukraine was brought up at a policy meeting, Ciaramella mentioned aid to Ukraine. He became visibly upset, the official recounted, when he was told that Trump would review Ukraine policy and that it would likely not be the same as Barack Obama’s.
“He kind of rolled his eyes and went, 'Hmph!' He didn't leave the room, but it was pretty clear that he thought that we were wrong and he was right. ... I never trusted him with anything after that."
"Body language to me was all that this guy was about, you know. He was not happy about the Trump administration. He wasn't on board with the Trump policy. So, I always assumed that he was leaker number one and not to be trusted."
Although much of Ciaramella's access as Ukraine director was limited by officials who were suspicious of him, he then managed to become close enough to McMaster to become his special assistant in May 2017.
Another former NSC official told the Washington Examiner: "He was a principal suspect in the leak of the first transcripts that came out on Mexico in Australia [in August 2017]. We couldn't get McMaster to run the tapes and find out who it was."
The first former official said: "I was stunned to find out that McMaster got him to be his special assistant, where he saw everything."
Ciaramella’s desk in the NSC suite in the White House’s West Wing gave him access to all types of NSC paperwork and a view of who walked in and out. “He would have seen all of the paperwork that went in from McMaster — all the paperwork that went into the president.
He just would have seen everything,” that official added.

When asked about why Ciaramella was there, another official said he was “just temporarily filling in.” Ciaramella stayed on as McMaster's aide until he left the NSC.
McMaster, who was criticized for not preventing leaks from the NSC, left his post in April 2018.
McMaster defended Obama administration NSC officials who stayed on into Trump’s first term, arguing that they would follow policy. “He was very angry that [Steve] Bannon and various other people were saying, ‘We don't want holdovers.'
And when he had his first all-hands meeting, he said, ‘There is no such thing as holdovers,’” said the first official.

“His whole thing was professionals are perfectly capable of taking orders from the top, and they change when a president changes.
I always thought that was exceedingly naive, given the open hostility and the open pledges of resistance … everything leaked. I mean, the president would have a phone call. It leaked the next day.”
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