Alexander Downer — the Australian diplomat whose tip to the FBI about a London pub conversation led to the massive probe of allegations of collusions between the 2016 Trump campaign and Russia — is himself closely tied to a Chinese firm experts say is deeply involved in espionage against America.
Just last month, all six top U.S. intelligence bosses warned Americans against using digital telecommunications equipment produced by Chinese smartphone producer Huawei. … Huawei was also the subject of cybersecurity warnings issued in a 2012 report by the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Downer is an especially odd choice as an FBI source, given [FBI Director Chris Wray’s] warnings about the Chinese firm, because Downer joined the board of directors of Huawei’s Australian subsidiary in June 2011, according to The Australian newspaper.
Not long after joining the board, Downer was a visible advocate on behalf of the Chinese firm in the Australian press, warning, for example, in April 2012 that his country should be wary about “transmitting a message that somehow we are paranoid about Chinese investment.”
In a separate interview at the time, Downer said, “This sort of whole concept of Huawei being involved in cyberwarfare, presumably that would just be based on the fact that the company comes from China. This is just completely absurd.” …
The Huawei Australia website no longer lists Downer as a member of the board, but his appointment reportedly was renewed at least once. … Downer left the Huawei Australia board four years ago. …
LifeZette detailed Downer’s connection to the Clinton Foundation in posts published January 16 and January 19. He was a key factor in the Australian government’s $25 million grant to the Clinton Foundation for anti-HIV/AIDs activities, which a subsequent audit could not document as having been completed.