During a radio interview last week, Moby stated that “active and former CIA agents” who were “truly concerned” about Trump’s “collusion” with Russia had asked him to express alarm about that on social media, as reported here by Pitchfork. “They were like, ‘This is the Manchurian Candidate, like [Putin] has a Russian agent as the President of the United States,’” he was quoted as saying. “So they passed on some information to me and they said, like, ‘Look, you have more of a social media following than any of us do, can you please post some of these things just in a way that … sort of put it out there.’”
This is consistent with what Moby said last February in an Instagram post, when he claimed “friends in DC” had told him the famous Trump dossier was “100% real” and that Putin’s government was “blackmailing” the president. “He’s being blackmailed by the russian government, not just for being peed on by russian hookers, but for much more nefarious things,” he wrote. “the trump administration is in collusion with the russian government, and has been since day one.”
The story has been treated as an innocuous form of entertainment, like much political coverage these days, but if Moby really spread such information — true or not — at the behest of CIA officials, the officials may have broken the law. Under its rules, the agency is forbidden from seeking to get journalists or journalism outlets to spread information inside the continental United States that’s intended to influence public opinion.
OK, the agency has obviously repeatedly broken its charter over the years, including when it comes to working with journalists and seeking to influence domestic opinion. But if Moby is telling the truth, it raises a few obvious questions that someone should be asking the CIA:
1/ Who were the officers who passed this information to Moby?
2/ Did they do so at the request of acting CIA officials as part of a planned effort to influence public opinion, or did they merely share the information in casual conversation over drinks? (Either way, it doesn’t seem proper for CIA officers, especially active ones, to be using celebrities to spread partisan political information.)
3/ Has the CIA filed a crimes report with the FBI and Justice Department to get answers to the questions above?
Given how many leaks to journalists we’ve seen from the intelligence community, this may seem like a small matter, but if it’s true imagine the consequences and possibilities. Do we really want the CIA passing information to Ted Nugent about Barack Obama and having him spread it on his demented Twitter feed and Fox News?