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Trumps Selling A Russia Story, But Most Americans Arent Buying It 

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Elton John – I’m Still Standing https://t.co/QrJ2Ha0fDa via @YouTube — Mike Nova (@mikenov) July 18, 2017 Trumps Selling A Russia Story, But Most Americans Arent Buying It Six months of near daily falsehoods are making it tough for the White House to get people to believe what it says.

6:57 PM 7/18/2017 – Trump Jr., ex-campaign head given nod to testify in Congress: Senator – Reuters 

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Saved Stories – None Trump Jr., ex-campaign head given nod to testify in Congress: Senator – Reuters After Low-Key Lobbying Effort, Trump Says He Was ‘Let Down’ By Senators – NPR Eighth Participant In Meeting With Trump Jr. Once Linked to Russian Money Laundering – Mother Jones In Michigan: Who wins, who loses if GOP … Continue reading “6:57 PM 7/18/2017 – Trump Jr., ex-campaign head given nod to testify in Congress: Senator – Reuters”

» Trump set out to uproot Obama’s legacy; so far, that’s failed – Los Angeles Times 18/07/17 18:47 from Saved Stories – None Los Angeles Times Trump set out to uproot Obama’s legacy; so far, that’s failed Los Angeles Times Rarely has a president taken office so focused on undoing his predecessor’s works as Donald Trump . Six months in, he has little to show. M…

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» Trump set out to uproot Obama’s legacy; so far, that’s failed – Los Angeles Times 18/07/17 18:47 from Saved Stories – None Los Angeles Times Trump set out to uproot Obama’s legacy; so far, that’s failed Los Angeles Times Rarely has a president taken office so focused on undoing his predecessor’s works as Donald Trump . … Continue reading “» Trump set out to uproot Obama’s legacy; so far, that’s failed – Los Angeles Times 18/07/17 18:47 from Saved Stories – None Los Angeles Times Trump set out to uproot Obama’s legacy; so far, that’s failed Los Angeles Times Rarely has a president taken office so focused on undoing his predecessor’s works as Donald Trump . Six months in, he has little to show. M…”

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION The Early Edition: July 18, 2017 by Zoë Chapman 

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TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION The Early Edition: July 18, 2017 by Zoë Chapman Tuesday July 18th, 2017 at 7:05 PM An unnamed eight person was at the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya last June, according to Trump Jr.’s attorney Alan Futerfas, who told CNN’s Pamela Brown that the individual, an American citizen who was not employed by … Continue reading “TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION The Early Edition: July 18, 2017 by Zoë Chapman”

Ike Kaveladze, an employee of Russian developers Emin and Aras Agalarov, attended as the Agalarov’s representative the June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, The Washington Post reports. – Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices 

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Today’s Headlines and Commentary by Alex Potcovaru Tuesday July 18th, 2017 at 7:12 PM Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices 1 Share Ike Kaveladze, an employee of Russian developers Emin and Aras Agalarov, attended as the Agalarov’s representative the June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, The Washington Post reports. That revelation brings the known number … Continue reading “Ike Kaveladze, an employee of Russian developers Emin and Aras Agalarov, attended as the Agalarov’s representative the June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, The Washington Post reports. – Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices”

7:21 PM 7/18/2017 – Trump News Daily 

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Trump News Daily 7.18.17 If Bannon and Trump are “honey badgers”, what is “honey”: the American people? Wake up, Honey!  – Michael Novakhov – In My Opinion 6:57 PM 7/18/2017 – Trump Jr., ex-campaign head given nod to testify in Congress: Senator – Reuters – Trump Investigations How Steve Bannon and Donald Trump Rode the … Continue reading “7:21 PM 7/18/2017 – Trump News Daily”
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary 

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Ike Kaveladze, an employee of Russian developers Emin and Aras Agalarov, attended as the Agalarov’s representative the June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr. and Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya, The Washington Post reports. That revelation brings the known number of individuals at the meeting to eight. Scott Balber, an attorney for the Agalarovs, said that Kaveladze is a U.S. citizen and a vice president with the Agalarov’s Crocus Group. Balber said Kaveladze thought he would serve as a translator, but it was unnecessary when Veselnitskaya brought her own. Kaveladze agreed to an interview with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team in the first public indication that Mueller’s is looking into the meeting as a part of its inquiry into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) says that Mueller has “no problem” with Trump Jr. or former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who also attended the June 2016 meeting, being called to testify publicly before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The growing cast of high-profile, high-price private lawyers representing clients in Russia-investigation matters misalign their goals and interests, the AP reports. Given the interconnected nature of the investigation and attorneys’ goal to protect their client, jostling and conflict are expected that may leave lower-level aides exposed and struggling to afford growing legal fees.

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine declared the creation of a new state called Malorossiya that they say will eventually encompass all Ukrainian territory, the AP reports. The announcement, just a day before another round of peace talks was scheduled to begin, risks scuttling the negotiations. Separatists took control of territory in the eastern region of the country that borders Russia in April 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea. A 2015 ceasefire agreement helped reduce violence but has yet to resolve to the broader conflict.

U.S. officials report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will close the Office of Global Criminal Justice, the division responsible for coordinating the U.S. response to war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide, Foreign Policy reports. The Office’s special coordinator allegedly received word that he would be reassigned to a different office. Critics have said the move would send the wrong signals to the world and would damage the U.S.’s ability to hold war criminals accountable. Beth Van Shaack atJust Security broke the story, writing that it is part of a reorganization of the Under-Secretariat for Civilian Security, Democracy & Human Rights. This development is not the first time the status of the office has been in limbo—the Obama administration also considered downgrading the office and folding it into a different division. The State Department has not confirmed the closure, and one official said that it was “pure speculation.”

Tillerson has hired consultants at Deloitte and Insigniam to help restructure the State Department, The New York Times reports. Five committees will evaluate the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development and provide recommendations for improvement. A survey of employees conducted by Insigniam found frustration with the structure of the State Department, a lack of accountability, and poor employee treatment. Improvements in the department’s information technology is also under consideration.

A leaked memo attributed to Britain’s National Cybersecurity Centre says that nation-state hackers targeted and likely compromised the U.K. energy sector, The Guardian reports. The memo implied direct connections originating at the hackers’ control centers to computers related to the energy sector. Concerns over infrastructure vulnerabilities continue to grow: Russia-backed hackers attacked Ireland’s power grid just several days ago.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the FBI can secretly issue surveillance orders to communications companies for customer data, Reuters reports. The three-judge panel said that the gag orders that accompany the FBI national security letters (NSLs) do not violate the First Amendment rights of the companies that receive the request. Two companies sued the government to be able to notify their customers of five NSLs they received between 2011 and 2013. The Ninth Circuit ruling upheld the lower court’s decision.

The Trump administration is entrenching anti-Muslim immigration policies through bureaucratic means that have largely gone under the radar, Farhana Khera and Jonathan J. Smith argue in a Times op-ed. The authors detail increasing administrative hurdles and the strengthening of restrictions that are not subject to court review. They say these barriers will firmly establish a bias against Muslims in the immigration process.

Trump threatened Venezuela with “strong and swift economic actions” if controversial president Nicolas Maduro installs his new “Constituent Assembly” that will have the power to rewrite the constitution, CNN reports. The National Assembly is the current legislative body and is controlled by Maduro’s opponents. About 7.2 million people cast their votes in a nonbinding referendum on Sunday, with 98% voting against the new Constituent Assembly, calling for new elections before Maduro’s term expires in early 2019, and voting for the armed forces to defend the current constitution. Venezuela finds itself in the midst of an economic crisis and popular protests against the Maduro administration.

ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare

Jimmy Chalk and Sarah Grant reviewed the Arbitral Tribunal ruling one year later in this week’s Water Wars.

Robert Litt argued against an expansion of the FBI Director’s independence.

John Villasenor discussed the mathematical impossibility of the Australian Parliament’s planned legislation that will require companies to break into end-to-end encrypted messages.

Herb Lin argued that it’s not always a bad idea to cooperate with bad actors in cyberspace, countering Paul Rosenzweig’s piece from last week.

Rosenzweig urged members of the Intelligence Community to stop leaking.

Bob Bauer questioned which ethical standard Donald Trump was defending when he argued that most politicians would have taken the Russian attorney meeting at Trump Tower.

Matthew Kahn posted The Week That Will Be.

Wyatt Hoffman and Ariel E. Levite examined the benefits and drawbacks to corporate active cyber defense.

Benjamin Wittes predicted that a civil suit filed against the Trump campaign and Roger Stone will produce a trove of information if it reaches the discovery phase.

Stewart Baker posted the Steptoe Cyberlaw Podcast, in which the group discusses federal IT procurement, NotPetya, the Chinese cyber crackdown, and much more.

Bobby Chesney and Steve Vladeck published the National Security Law Podcast, in which they did a deep dive on the 2001 AUMF.

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

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The Early Edition: July 18, 2017 

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

IRAN

Iran is complying with the nuclear deal, the Trump administration certified to Congress last night, following reports from international monitors and other signatories to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (J.C.P.O.A.) that Iran is meeting the terms of the agreement. Karen De Young reports at the Washington Post.

“Iran is unquestionably in default of the spirit of the J.C.P.O.A.,” a senior administration official stated yesterday after the re-certification, which was grudgingly given, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif saying before the certification that the Trump administration’s contradictory messages were difficult for Iran to interpret. Felicia Schwartz reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The Trump administration plans additional sanctions to combat Iran’s other “malign activities,” a senior administration official stated yesterday, adding that the administration would take measures against Tehran for its support for terrorism, abuse of human rights, backing of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and its anti-Israel stance. Mallory Shelbourne reports at the Hill.

Trump administration officials also cited Iran’s development of intercontinental ballistic missiles as a reason for further sanctions, Al Jazeera reports.

European allies want to work with the U.S. to “interpret” the J.C.P.O.A. “more strictly,” three senior U.S. administration officials said in a call with reporters yesterday, Jeremy Diamond reporting at CNN.

Putting the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (I.R.G.C.) on the U.S. terrorist list “can be very costly to the United States and its military bases and forces in the region.” The Chief of Staff of Iran’s Armed Services Maj. Gen. Mohammad Bagheri threatened to target American bases and forces in the region if the U.S. went ahead with classifying the I.R.G.C. as terrorists yesterday, Saleh Hamid reporting at Al Arabiya.

Two Iranian nationals have been charged by U.S. authorities in an alleged scheme to steal and re-sell software to Iran, which included hacking into a Vermont technology firm, Joe Uchill at the Hill reporting that a third member of the criminal enterprise has already pleaded guilty to the charges.

The third member of the alleged scheme to re-sell computer software will not be punished, despite admitting guilt, due to a pardon granted by President Obama last year as part of the nuclear deal, Josh Gerstein reports at POLITICO.

Chinese-American student Xiyue Wang detained in Iran is “innocent” of all charges against him, his professor at Princeton has said, the student having been charged for “infiltrating” Iran and passing confidential information about Iran to the U.S. State Department. Adam Schreck reports at the AP.

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

An unnamed eight person was at the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya last June, according to Trump Jr.’s attorney Alan Futerfas, who told CNN’s Pamela Brown that the individual, an American citizen who was not employed by the Russian government, was there on behalf of the Agalarovs who had requested the meeting be set up.

“That’s politics!” President Trump described the Trump Jr.-Veselnitskaya meeting last year as routine via Twitter yesterday, an assertion subsequently repeated by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, Maggie Haberman reports at the New York Times.

There was nothing that would lead anyone to believe that there was anything except for “a discussion about adoption and the Magnitsky Act” during the meeting last year, Spicer insisted yesterday, Matthew Nussbaum reports at POLITICO.

The lawyer hired by the White House to handle the Russia probe did not sign off on Trump’s tweetdefending the meeting his son held during his campaign, Spicer confirmed yesterday, Jordan Fabian reports at the Hill.

“Don’t you get it, guys?” The Trumps need to realize that anything potentially damaging to them will come out in the Trump-Russia investigations being conducted by special counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate intelligence committees and denouncing leaks as “fake news” will not succeed as a counter-strategy. The Wall Street Journal editorial board urges the president to change tactics to a strategy of “radical transparency.”

The master of “kompromat” – the Russian tactic of spreading damaging information to discredit a rival or an enemy – Yuri Y. Chaika is widely considered to have been the source of the incriminating information on Hillary Clinton that Donald Trump Jr. was offered at the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya last year, which makes it strange that – by the accounts of those present at that meeting – the information fell flat, writes Andrew E. Kramer at the New York Times.

White House senior adviser Jared Kushner has filed three updates to his national security questionnaire since he submitted it in mid-January – significant because submitting false information is a federal crime and, through the lens of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of potential Trump-Russia collusion, could be viewed as attempts to cover up meetings with Russian officials, explains Matt Zapotosky at the Washington Post.

RUSSIA

Russia reserves the right to retaliate against the U.S. for its “illegal seizure” of two Russian diplomatic compounds last year, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement today after a meeting in Washington yesterday ended without resolution on the issue, NBC News reports.

“We think that the diplomatic property must be returned without any conditions and talks,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov told CNN’s Mary Ilyushina and Hilary Clarke yesterday, while White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer referred reporters to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who he claimed had been “having discussions” when asked to comment on yesterday’s meeting.

President Putin seems never to miss an opportunity to expand Russia’s presence in the Middle East,and President Trump is handing him opportunity after opportunity, from taking to Twitter to help Saudi Arabia split a Sunni Muslim alliance that was supposed to fight the Islamic State, prompting Qatar and Turkey to move closer together and become open to cooperation with Russia and Iran, to agreeing to a cease-fire in Syria that assumed the lasting presence of Russian influence in the Syrian war during his meeting with Putin in Germany two weeks back, writes Vali R. Nasr at the New York Times.

SYRIA

The U.S.-led coalition conducted airstrikes on western Raqqa yesterday, supporting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) advancing on the Islamic State’s de facto capital in Syria where approximately 50,000 civilians remain trapped, Al Jazeera reports.

The battle for Raqqa has intensified as the S.D.F. combat militants in the center of the city, the S.D.F. claiming that they have taken positions near Raqqa’s Old Mosque, the AP reports.

A suicide bomb killed four people at a Kurdish-controlled checkpoint in northeastern Syria today, approximately 19 miles from the Syria-Turkish border, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Reuters reports.

There is “no information one way or the other about Baghdadi’s whereabouts or his status,” Pentagon spokesperson Jeff Davis told reporters yesterday, responding to comments from a top Kurdish counterterrorism official that Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is not dead. Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 22 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on July 16. Separately, partner forces conducted nine strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

GULF-ARAB DISPUTE

The U.A.E.’s hacking of Qatar’s government news site was “unfortunate” and represented a “clear violation and breach of international law,” the head of Qatar’s government communications office Sheikh Saif bin Ahmad Al Thani said yesterday, responding to Sunday’s Washington Post story that the U.A.E. orchestrated the hack, the AP reports.

The Saudi and Emirati-led blockade of Qatar is failing, forcing Qatar closer to Turkey and Iran rather than succeeding in bringing Qatar to heel, and the four Arab nations neglected to consider what would happen if Qatar refused to acquiesce to their demands, Ishaan Tharoor writes at the Washington Post.

Egypt insisted that it would maintain measures against Qatar until the demands made by four Arab nations have been met, Egypt’s Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry said yesterday in a meeting with his Kuwaiti counterpart Sheikh Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah, Al Jazeera reports.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is expected to visit Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Qatar next weekto discuss the ongoing crisis, according to Erdoğan’s office. Al Jazeera reports in rolling coverage.

Egypt announced the end of visa-free entry for Qatari citizens yesterday, Egypt’s foreign ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid stating that “[it] does not make sense to keep making exceptions for Qatar and giving it privileges in light of its current positions,” Al Jazeera reports.

AFGHANISTAN

The Trump administration’s forthcoming Afghanistan strategy will include a Pakistan angle, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters yesterday, adding that the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) has a key role to play in formulating the strategy, Anwar Iqbal reporting at DAWN.

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan’s capital Kabul are almost twice as high as in the war-torn Helmand province due to a rise in large-scale militant attacks, according to the U.N. Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (U.N.A.M.A.), Jessica Donati reporting at the Wall Street Journal.

The KOREAN PENINSULA

Now is the time for increased pressure on North Korea, not dialogue with it, in response to the “new level” of threat it presents following its launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4, Japan said yesterday, Edith M. Lederer reporting at the AP.

Russia is not very worried about North Korean missiles despite U.S. efforts to involve Russia in the search for a solution to the North Korea crisis, one reason for this being self-interest – there are a “surprising” number of economic ties between Russian and North Korea –  another being that Moscow’s view of North Korea is far more sanguine than the U.S.’, and another being the fact that the Kremlin – like Beijing – has no interest in seeing the North Korean government replaced by a unified Korea allied with America, writes Chris Miller at Foreign Policy.

There is no deal to strike with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Daniel Blumenthal and Derek Scissors writing at the Wall Street Journal argue that the only solution to the North Korea crisis is to remove Kim, the only question being how: war would be costly, and the best approach would be to put serious pressure on China to cut off its trade with North Korea.

The STATE DEPARTMENT

The U.S. campaign against mass atrocities is being downgraded by Secretary of State Rex Tillersonwho is shuttering the Foggy Bottom office that has worked for the past two decades to hold war criminals accountable, several former U.S. officials have disclosed, a State Department spokesperson neither confirming nor denying the office was being shuttered, but a senior State Department official claiming that it was “pure speculation” that the war crimes office was closing, reports Colum Lynch at Foreign Policy.

Tillerson’s plans to restructure his department involve five committees that will analyze different aspects of the department, including one committee dedicated to ensuring that foreign assistance programs are aligned with national priorities, with Tillerson enlisting the help of two consulting groups, according to a cable issued to embassies around the world, Gardiner Harris reports at the New York Times.

A letter urging Tillerson not to eliminate the State Department office that deals with refugees, arguing that a decision to transfer responsibility to other agencies would undercut U.S. diplomatic leverage in dealing with foreign crises was sent to the secretary of state by former U.S. diplomats and national security officials yesterday, Reuters reports.

The MUSLIM BAN

Grandparents of U.S. citizens are now eligible to receive U.S. visas under the Trump administration’s revised travel ban restricting entry to the U.S. by citizens of six Muslim-majority countries, according to a State Department memo reflecting the latest court ruling on the executive order seen by Reuters’ Arshad Mohammed and Yeganeh Torbati.

The Trump administration has already begun imposing its travel ban through deceptively boring alternative means that have been obscured amid the furore over the ban and the impending showdown at the U.S. Supreme Court: increasing administrative hurdles and cementing or expanding existing travel restrictions that are not currently being reviewed by the courts, the collective impact of which will be that “a permanent Muslim ban is enshrined into American immigration policy,” write Farhana Khera and Johnathan J. Smith, president and executive director and legal director respectively of civil rights legal organization Muslim Advocates writing at the New York Times.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

President Trump joined other world leaders in calling for Venezuela’s President Nicolás Maduro to discard plans for a “constituent assembly” that could dissolve parliament, rewrite the country’s constitution and cement Maduro’s grip on power yesterday, Trump issuing his strongest statement yet on the issue in which he said that if Mauro pressed ahead the U.S. would “take strong and swift economic sanctions,” Gideon Long reports at the Financial Times.

Turkey’s relationship with the U.S. “requires” U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gülen to be “immediately arrested,” Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said yesterday, stating that Güllen, who is accused of being behind last year’s failed coup in Turkey, continues to pose a threat. Hürriyet Daily News reports.

Jordanian soldier First Sgt. Ma-arik al-Tawayha was convicted of the murder of three U.S. soldiers,whom he shot at an air base in November, and sentenced to live in prison yesterday following a trial which lasted over a month and which failed to establish a motive for the killings. Rana F. Sweis reports at the New York Times.

Gag order issues with warrant-like national security letters do not violate the First Amendment, the Federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday, Joe Uchill reports at the Hill.

A new state was announced by separatists in the rebel stronghold of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine today,casting further doubt on the 2015 cease-fire deal that was intended to stop fighting and bring the areas concerns back into Kiev’s fold, Nataliya Vasilyeva reports at the AP.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte asked the Philippine Congress to extend martial law on the southern island of Mindanao until the end of next year to give him time to subdue an Islamic State-inspired rebel movement today, Reuters’ Martin Perry reports.

The U.N. expressed concerns that people taken prisoner by members of the Libyan National Army (L.N.A.) after recent fighting in Benghazi may be “at imminent risk of torture and even summary execution” and called for the L.N.A., which is fighting for control of central and southern Libya with forces linked to the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli and others, to investigate. Reuters reports.

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Guest List at Trump Jr.’s Meeting With Russian Expands Again – New York Times

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Washington Post
Guest List at Trump Jr.’s Meeting With Russian Expands Again
New York Times
… real estate company, was contacted last weekend by a representative of special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller. He will cooperate fully with the ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the election and possible obstruction of justice, Mr 
Today’s big takeaway: Robert Mueller is now investigating Donald Trump Jr.’s Russia meetingWashington Post
The Latest: Senate Panel Investigating Trump Tower MeetingU.S. News & World Report
After Trump Jr. Emails, Republicans Still Don’t Think Russia Interfered in ElectionNewsweek
NPR –Bloomberg –New York Times –NBCNews.com
all 4,443 news articles »

Trump, Putin Had Second, Previously Undisclosed Meeting At G-20 Summit – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com
Trump, Putin Had Second, Previously Undisclosed Meeting At G-20 Summit
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump met with Russian President Vladimir Putin a second time during the G-20 summit earlier this month, a White House official confirmed to NBC News Tuesday. Trump spoke to Putin at the end of a couples-only social …
Trump reportedly had second talk with Putin at G-20WCVB Boston

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Donald Trump Had A Second Meeting With Vladimir Putin At G-20 Summit

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The meeting was previously undisclosed.

Robert Mueller Confirmed to Be Investigating Donald Jr.’s Russia Meeting: Report – Newsweek

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Newsweek
Robert Mueller Confirmed to Be Investigating Donald Jr.’s Russia Meeting: Report
Newsweek
The scope and range of former FBI Director Robert Mueller’s investigation into allegations of collusion between the Donald Trump presidential campaign and Russia had been mostly unknown to those outside of his team since he was appointed special …
Robert Mueller is now investigating the Donald Trump Jr. Russia meetingMic
What to expect — and not — in Russia investigations this weekCNN
Guest List at Trump Jr.’s Meeting With Russian Expands AgainNew York Times
Voice of America –Vox –Daily Signal
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Putin Trump – Google News: Putin Is Helping Trump Because He Wants to Protect His Secret Stash of Money, Businessman Claims – Newsweek

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Newsweek
Putin Is Helping Trump Because He Wants to Protect His Secret Stash of Money, Businessman Claims
Newsweek
An investor who claims his life has been threatened by the Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin has a clear motive for backing a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Moscow lawyer. And that motive is millions of dollars of Putin’s personal cash.
“Set aside Putin and follow the money”: a Russia expert’s theory of the Trump scandalVox
How the GOP Became the Party of PutinPOLITICO Magazine
Reverence for Putin on the Right Buys Trump CoverNew York Times
The Conversation UK –New York Magazine
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 Putin Trump – Google News

Donald Trump Jr. Met Russian Accused of Laundering $1.4 Billion – Daily Beast

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Daily Beast
Donald Trump Jr. Met Russian Accused of Laundering $1.4 Billion
Daily Beast
“He also told us that Euro-American is currently being liquidated due in part to concerns about money-laundering issues that were raised in 1999 when the media reported allegations thatRussian organized crime had laundered billions of dollars through 
Russian lawyer at Trump Tower meeting drew US scrutinyABC News
Trump Jr.’s Russian “Translator” Allegedly Laundered Billions Through US BanksVanity Fair
Mysterious 8th person at Trump Jr. meeting allegedly ran massive Russian money-laundering schemeThinkProgress

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The Agalarovs, Who Set Up the Trump-Russia Meeting, Are Selling Their Jersey Mansions – Mother Jones

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Aras Agalarov’s Alpine, N.J. home was listed in June for $6,988,000.Zillow

The billionaire Russian real estate magnate and his pop singer son who helped arrange the June 2016 meeting where Trump campaign officials hoped to receive dirt on Hillary Clinton from the Kremlin are looking to get out of the United States—or, at least, out of New Jersey.

Aras Agalarov, who in 2013 received an Order of Honor award from Vladimir Putin for his construction work in Russia, last month listed a seven-bedroom, 10 bathroom, French-manor style home he owns in Alpine, New Jersey, fully-furnished. People involved in the sale said a buyer signed a contract to purchase the home last week, for just under the $6,900,000 asking price, though the sale is still pending. That’s a whopping discount from the $9.3 million Agalarov paid in 2005 for what Sotheby’s touted as a “stunning private oasis.”

Aras Agalarov’s Alpine, New Jersey-home comes fully furnished. Drapes included.

The “one of kind French manor estate” sits on 2.5 acres of land and includes a fountain.

Agalarov’s son Emin, meanwhile, has spent two-plus years attempting to unload a slightly more modest six bed, eight bath “stunning brick colonial” he owns in nearby Demarest. Emin, who was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, attended high school for two years in Tenafly, New Jersey.

After putting the property on the market in April 2015 for $3.3 million, the younger Agalarov is now offering the manse for $2.9 million, just shy of the $3 million his family spent on the home in 2008.

Emin Agalarov’s multi-million-dollar home.

The home features a “spectacular great room” with French doors.

According to emails released by Trump Jr.—after he learned the New York Times was on this story—the Agalorovs helped set up the Trump Tower meeting where Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, and then-Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort, expected to receive negative material on Clinton from a Kremlin-connected attorney.

Aras Agalarov’s home went on the market on June 15—about three weeks before the Times, in a series of reports, broke the news of the meeting. Sometime in June, the Trump camp learned that the Agalarov-brokered meeting would probably become public as a result of Kushner filing an amended security clearance form that listed the meeting. (Probably that same month, Trump Jr. hired a lawyer. A lawyer for Trump Jr. received an initial payment from the Trump campaign on June 27.)

Aras Agalarov’s home boasts a double bridal staircase.

The wet bar includes a built-in aquarium.

The buyer will find out where a spiral staircase from the master bedroom goes.

The Trump and Agalarov families formed a relationship in 2013, when they partnered to hold the 2013 Miss Universe contest at a Moscow-area concert pavilion, Crocus City Hall, which Aras Agalarov owns. Emin Agalarov performed at the event. Trump Sr. later appeared in one of the singer’s videos. Aras Agalarov made his fortune building shopping malls in Russia, but won Putin’s favor by building important national projects, such as two stadiums for the 2018 World Cup.

Like many before them, the Agalarovs, say they moved to New Jersey for the schools. Emin told <a href=”http://NJ.com” rel=”nofollow”>NJ.com</a> in 2014 that his father, while living in Manhattan, bought the Alpine home so that Emin could attend Tenafly High School for his junior and senior years. Emin then went to college in the United States at Marymount Manhattan before returning to Russia in 2001. The singer kept his home and still “considers himself something of a Jersey guy,” <a href=”http://NJ.com” rel=”nofollow”>NJ.com</a> reported.

The listing agent on both the Agalarov homes is Sheila Agalarova, who is Aras Agalarov’s daughter and Emin’s sister.

The front hall of Emin Agalarov’s home.

The fully furnished basement includes a home theater.

Emin Agalarov’s home is just a few blocks from a property owned by senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway and her husband George. They paid $6 million for the property in 2007. In 2011, Forbes ranked the 07620 zip code belonging to Alpine as the most expensive in the country, with a median home value of about $4.3 million.

While it might seem odd that a family that made billions in Russian real estate is posed to take a drubbing in the New York suburbs, James Collins, who represented the sellers of the Demarest property in 2008, said the performer’s difficulty finding a buyer reflects the state of “the whole Tri-State market,” where high-priced homes are often remaining on the market for long stretches, even years.

But the agent involved in the sale said that Aras Agalarov had offered his home for a low enough price to unload it fast. “At a more realistic price they sell quicker,” the agent said.

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There is more evidence Russia interfered in the election. Fewer Trump supporters believe it.

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The evidence that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election has only grown since Donald Trump took office. Yet a whopping 72 percent of Trump voters believe the whole story is “fake news.” A mere 14 percent believe there’s anything to the Russia story.

That’s according to an astonishing new survey from the left-leaning Public Policy Polling. Here some additional highlights:

  • Fewer than half of Trump voters (45 percent) believe Donald Trump Jr. met with Russians about information that might be harmful to Hillary Clinton; 32 percent don’t believe the meeting even took place; 24 percent are unsure.
  • 13 percent of Trump voters think there was knowing collusion — as in, that Trump’s team actively worked with the Russians — to gain an advantage in the election, whereas 81 percent say it didn’t happen at all.

A July 15 ABC/Washington Post poll found a similarly disturbing trend: Only 9 percent of Republicans polled said they believe Russia tried to influence the election, which was down — yes, down — from 18 percent in April.

This is all despite the fact that:

  • The US intelligence community has unanimously stated that Russia tried to influence the election to help Trump win.
  • Donald Trump Jr. personally tweeted out a series of emails in which he explicitly states that he would “love” to set up the meeting as long as the Russian lawyer had incriminating information on Clinton.
  • He has since admitted that he did, in fact, attend said meeting.
  • The president himself basically admitted that the meeting happened.

This is staggering. It means that even when Trump and his team openly admit to doing something — regardless of whether they believe that thing is bad or illegal — some Trump supporters will still refuse to believe it.

Trump supporters just don’t want to believe the Russia story

A quick look at the crosstabs of the poll show there is a clear partisan split when it comes to what people think about Russia’s involvement in the election. Those who voted for Trump are a lot less likely to believe the story than those who voted for Hillary Clinton, Gary Johnson, or Jill Stein.

Public Policy PollingAnecdotal evidence also seems to support this finding. When my colleague Lindsay Maizland traveled to her home state of Michigan — a state Trump won in the election — in July, she found that people there overwhelmingly believe the whole Russia story is “fake news.”

People told her that they feel ignored by the Washington establishment, hate the “liberal media,” and couldn’t care less about the Russia investigation. They saw it as a distraction from what America should be focusing on: the return of jobs to areas that have been neglected by Washington for years.

Still, that real, verifiable facts that come directly from the Trump family themselves don’t seem to be able to change opinions about the veracity of at least some aspects of the Russia story is troubling. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that people don’t like learning information they are predisposed to disagree with, as my colleague Brian Resnick discovered. Clearly the Russia story is something Trump supporters just don’t want to face.

That’s going to be a problem, though, as the evidence piles up that Russia did a lot more to influence the election than the president wants to admit. Worse, it may mean that some Americans might not even care that Russia orchestrated one of the greatest attacks on US democracy in our country’s history.

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Senate intel panel wants to interview everyone at Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting

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July 18, 2017 / 5:26 PM / an hour ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The leaders of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee said on Tuesday that wanted to interview President Donald Trump’s son, campaign chairman and everyone else who was at a meeting last year with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.

“Sure, sure,” the committee’s Republican chairman, Senator Richard Burr, told reporters when asked if he wanted the committee to call in the attendees.

Senator Mark Warner, the panel’s Democratic vice chairman, also said the committee wanted to see everyone who had been at the meeting.

Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Eric Beech

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Ty Cobb, Donald Trump’s newest Russia lawyer, adds legal muscle as investigations widen

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Paul Pierce signed a contract with the Boston Celtics on Monday so he can retire as a member of the organization, the team announced.Time_Sports

Ty Cobb, a partner in the investigations practice of the law firm Hogan Lovells, was appointed as White House special counsel by President Donald Trump on July 15, 2017.(Photo: Hogan Lovells)

WASHINGTON — President Trump has for months decried the investigations into his campaign’s ties to Russia as the greatest “witch hunt” in American political history. But Trump’s quiet appointment of prominent Washington criminal attorney Ty Cobb as White House special counsel shows just how seriously he’s taking them.

Trump’s outside legal team is already sprawling. Marc Kasowitz, his longtime corporate lawyer, is leading a team of four attorneys to shield him from potential peril of three congressional committees and a special Justice Department counsel investigating possible collusion with Russians who sought to influence the election by hacking Democrats.

Yet by tapping former federal prosecutor Cobb as White House point man for the Russia probes, Trump is sending a clear signal that an internal legal bulwark is equally necessary to keep the administration from being consumed by the growing storm of questions about his campaign’s ties to Russian-linked operatives.

“He brings to the White House a lot of experience the president has not had,’’ said John Dowd, a prominent member of Trump’s outside legal team who recommended Cobb for the job.

Cobb will come to the White House at a particularly tense time, after revelations the president’s son, son-in-law, and former campaign chief took a highly controversial meeting in June 2016 in the hopes of obtaining damaging information about Hillary Clinton from the Russian government. And it’s increasingly clear the current White House staff lacks the bandwidth to defend a president facing a criminal investigation.

Related: 

“Ty’s easily one of the best lawyers in Washington, if not the country,’’ Dowd said. “Given the load they have (at the White House), they need someone like him.’’

Cobb, who has built a formidable reputation as a criminal lawyer and crisis manager, is meant to be a counterpoint to White House Counsel Donald McGahn, an expert in election law and former chairman of the Federal Elections Commission.

The addition of Cobb to the White House post also equips Trump with a seasoned criminal lawyer available to advise at any time.

He will also serve as a conduit to Trump’s hard-charging chief outside legal counsel Kasowitz, who does not possess Cobb’s criminal law expertise. Kasowitz, who has also been under scrutiny lately for firing off profanity-laden emails to a stranger, also must commute from his New York offices for occasional meetings with his client.

A former federal prosecutor in Baltimore, Cobb headed the office’s criminal division and organized crime task force. In private practice, he represented a far-flung roster of clients in bribery and corruption cases in 44 states and 35 countries, according to his firm Hogan Lovells.

Among his clients: former Democratic Party fundraiser John Huang, who emerged as a target of the Justice Department’s Campaign Finance Task Force during the Clinton administration. Huang pleaded guilty in 1999 for violating federal election law. The same year, Cobb successfully defended Hudson Foods related to a Justice investigation into a massive recall of beef contaminated by E. coli.

As a special White House counsel, Cobb will serve as the primary White House contact with the congressional investigating committees (the Senate and House Intelligence panels and the Senate Judiciary Committee), and special counsel Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is conducting the Justice Department’s wide-ranging criminal inquiry into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Cobb’s appointment also is expected to help relieve mounting pressure on chief White House counsel McGahn, who has been helping to direct both the White House response on Russia matters in addition to providing legal guidance on myriad policy issues confronting the administration.

“Within the counsel’s office, there are various attorneys that have different portfolios,” White House spokesman Sean Spicer said. “And while we have outside counsel (handling Russia-related matters), a lot of times the requests that we get…require us to go to counsel and say, ‘Can we answer that question? What can we say or can’t we say?”

In fact, the White House is seeking to model its Russia legal response effort in part off the one that President Clinton put together in the midst of the various Whitewater investigations during the 1990s into the real estate investments of the Clintons and their associates.

One difference: The Clintons assembled a unit of lawyers and other professionals within the administration; so far, Cobb is the only lawyer to be brought onto the White House staff with the specific portfolio to handle investigations.

Lanny Davis, among those who served as a special White House counsel during the Clinton administration, said lawyers recruited for such jobs need to come with an understanding of the complex intersection of the law, media and politics.

“Working in a White House under attack is like working in the midst of a political campaign,” Davis said. “The first rule is to get the bad news out. There can’t be any B.S. Building a support group for what (Cobb) will have to do is not going to be easy.”

Even with Cobb’s broad experience and formidable reputation, Davis said he will need something more than his own acumen: the support of the president.

“You can’t do the job without the backing of the president,” said Davis, cofounder of the crisis management firm Trident DMG.

Cobb’s friends and former associates said colorful lawyer, who bears the name of a distant relative and baseball great known for his relentless competitiveness on the field, is up for the challenges of the task – and Trump.

“He is not a fixer, he is not a political operative,” said Robert Weber, a longtime friend and former general counsel at IBM. “He is a pure lawyer. He understands the client. He knows there are no shortcuts, and that success depends on on hard work. He’s fearless.”

James Ulwick, a fellow former prosecutor in the Baltimore, described Cobb as “the guy on everybody’s short list when you need help.”

“He likes being the center of attention, he revels in that role,” Ulwick said. “Some people would shrink from that, not him.”

Ulwick said Cobb is a natural storyteller – a lover of literature and history – who possesses a keen sense of humor that have all worked in his favor countless times both in court and out. “He is used to the challenge of persuading large groups of people,” Ulwick said.

Cobb also brings another potentially valuable commodity to the job: a long-standing friendship with Mueller.

“He’s known (Mueller) for years,’’ Dowd said. “They are both professional acquaintances and good friends. They have great respect for one another.’’

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8th Person Identified at Trump Son’s Russia Meeting – Voice of America

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Voice of America
8th Person Identified at Trump Son’s Russia Meeting
Voice of America
Special Counsel Robert Mueller, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is now heading a criminal investigation. He is probing contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russian interests and whether Trump obstructed justice by firing 

and more »

Eighth person at Trump Jr meeting was accused of money laundering 

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Irakly ‘Ike’ Kaveladze, who once accused of laundering more than $1.4bn, was a participant in the notorious get-together at Trump Tower in June 2016

A Russian American businessman once accused of laundering more than $1.4bn into the US from eastern Europe attended the meeting where Donald Trump’s son expected to receive secret information from Moscow.

Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze was the eighth participant in the notorious get-together at Trump Tower in Manhattan on 9 June 2016, his attorney Scott Balber confirmed to the Guardian on Tuesday. Kaveladze’s attendance was first reported by CNN.

Related: Trials of Donald Jr turn Russia scandal into another Trump family affair

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If Bannon and Trump are “honey badgers”, what is “honey”: the American people? Wake up, Honey! 

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If Bannon and Trump are “honey badgers”, what is “honey”: the American people? Wake up, Honey! 

 

Trump Investigation: What did the FBI know, when did they know it, and what did they do about it, including with the use of this information? 

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Trump Investigation: What did the FBI know, when did they know it, and what did they do about it, including with the use of this information?

 

How Steve Bannon and Donald Trump Rode the Honey Badger Into the White House

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Green reminds us that it wasn’t long ago that both men were looked at as political jokes, and not even bad ones. When Ivanka Trump told Rupert Murdoch over lunch that her father intended to run for president, the media baron replied, without even looking up from his soup: “He’s not running for president.”

As for Bannon, when Green first met him in 2011 he came across as a “political grifter seeking to profit from the latest trend.” Later, as Bannon took the reins of the Trump campaign, he was seen by Beltway Republicans as “an Internet-era update of the Slim Pickens character in ‘Dr. Strangelove’ who rides the bomb like a rodeo bull, whoopin’ and hollerin’ all the way to nuclear annihilation.”

But whatever the pair lacked in conventional political experience, they made up for with other gifts. Both understood showmanship: slogans, narrative, put-downs and especially conflict. They knew the value of rage and outrage alike — the first as fuel for a movement; the second as the indispensable foil for that movement.

They also grasped that much that was supposed to matter in politics no longer did — detailed policy papers, for instance, or personal decorum. Trump, Green writes, “figured out that the norms forbidding such behavior were not inviolable rules that carried a harsh penalty but rather sentiments of a nobler, bygone era, gossamer-thin and needlessly adhered to by politicians who lacked his willingness to defy them.”

That’s why Trump’s birtherism — the support he gave to the lie that Barack Obama was born abroad — never disqualified his candidacy, even as it helped him “forge a powerful connection with party activists.” It’s a tactic he would repeat straight through the end of the campaign, when he took to denouncing “international banks” in terms that shaded into anti-Semitism.

“Darkness is good,” was Bannon’s advice for dealing with criticism from groups such as the Anti-Defamation League. “Don’t let up.” At another moment, when the campaign feared House Speaker Paul Ryan would try to steal the G.O.P. nomination from Trump, Bannon threatened to rally Breitbart’s army. “Pepe’s gonna stomp their ass,” he said — “Pepe the Frog” being the alt-right’s white-supremacist cartoon mascot on Twitter.

Green is consistently interesting on the subject of Trump. But the real value of “Devil’s Bargain” is the story it tells about Bannon, some of which has been previously reported (not least by Green himself) but never so well synthesized or explained as it is here. The product of a working-class family and a Catholic military high school in Richmond, Va., he was taught from an early age that the defining moment in Western civilization occurred in 1492 — not with Columbus’s discovery of the New World, mind, but with Ferdinand and Isabella’s Reconquista from the Moors of the Iberian Peninsula.

“The lesson was, here’s where Muslims could have taken over the world,” recalled one of Bannon’s classmates. “And here was the great stand where they were stopped.”

If that was an early hint of Bannon’s political vision (and now a staple of Trump’s foreign policy speeches), other lessons suggested the means he would employ to achieve that vision. On Wall Street in the mid-1980s, he came to admire Michael Milken, the so-called junk bond king, who showed how a “band of outsiders” could set about “laying siege to a comfortable, fattened and vulnerable establishment.”

Later, while running an Internet business in Hong Kong, Bannon discovered the underworld of online gamers; “intense young men” who “disappeared for days or even weeks at a time in alternate realities.” One of those alternate realities was “World of Warcraft,” in which millions of people were digitally transformed into secret soldiers waging titanic battles in unseen worlds against mythical enemies.

Bannon seemed to intuit that this digital world could be recreated for his political purposes, by designing an apocalyptic narrative of righteous warriors waging an end-of-days battle by all necessary means against assorted enemies: jihadists, progressives, Acela-corridor Republicans, the Clintons. Republican political operatives had spent the Obama years wondering about the “missing” white voters who had failed to show up for John McCain and Mitt Romney. Turns out, they (or others like them) were online, and Bannon — whose own fantasies were suggested by a portrait he had of himself in his office, dressed as Napoleon — was proposing to supply this army with the necessary ammunition.

Much of it would come from the bile factory at Breitbart News. Another part would be supplied by the Government Accountability Institute, a Tallahassee, Fla.-based nonprofit that mined the “deep Web” and dug up the dirt on the Clinton Foundation for Peter Schweizer’s 2015 blockbuster “Clinton Cash.” There was also a data-analytics firm, Cambridge Analytica, an offshoot of a British company “that advised foreign governments and militaries on influencing elections and public opinion using the tools of psychological warfare.”

What all of this added up to was a kind of alt-G.O.P. — agile and indifferent to norms and boundaries — that could supply the Trump campaign with everything it needed to win. Bannon has described himself as a “Leninist” for wanting to “destroy the state.” Whether he will achieve that is doubtful, but he seems to share Lenin’s genius for building a secret party with radical designs, ready to pounce at the historically opportune time.

Now it has succeeded. To what end? As an electoral gambit, the honey badger approach was a good bet: Trump is president not in spite of the wretched things he said about Mexicans, women, John McCain, Megyn Kelly and so on, but because he said them. He sold his shamelessness as fearlessness and his charlatanism as charisma, and people believed. Lord save us when Democrats alight on a similar candidate.

As a governing principle, however, honeybadgerism has been less of a success. As an article in Mental Floss noted, honey badgers may be smart, resilient and incredibly tough, but they’re also “lazy about housekeeping,” “mean” and “skunk-like,” meaning they possess an anal gland that releases a suffocating smell when in distress.

Readers can draw their own parallels, but that’s usually not a formula for political success. Bannon and his acolytes should beware: Sooner or later, they’ll outstay their welcome.

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The Real Crimes of Russiagate, by Patrick Buchanan

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For a year, the big question of Russiagate has boiled down to this: Did Donald Trump’s campaign collude with the Russians in hacking the DNC?

And until last week, the answer was “no.”

As ex-CIA director Mike Morell said in March, “On the question of the Trump campaign conspiring with the Russians … there is smoke, but there is no fire, at all. … There’s no little campfire, there’s no little candle, there’s no spark.”

Well, last week, it appeared there had been a fire in Trump Tower. On June 9, 2016, Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met with Russians — in anticipation of promised dirt on Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

While not a crime, this was a blunder. For Donald Jr. had long insisted there had been no collusion with the Russians. Caught in flagrante, he went full Pinocchio for four days.

And as the details of that June 9 meeting spilled out, Trump defenders were left with egg on their faces, while anti-Trump media were able to keep the spotlight laser-focused on where they want it — Russiagate.

This reality underscores a truth of our time. In the 19th century, power meant control of the means of production; today, power lies in control of the means of communication.

Who controls the media spotlight controls what people talk about and think about. And mainstream media are determined to keep that spotlight on Trump-Russia, and as far away as possible from their agenda — breaking the Trump presidency and bringing him down.

Almost daily, there are leaks from the investigative and security arms of the U.S. government designed to damage this president.

Just days into Trump’s presidency, a rifle-shot intel community leak of a December meeting between Trump national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn and Russia’s ambassador forced the firing of Flynn.

An Oval Office meeting with the Russian foreign minister in which Trump disclosed that Israeli intelligence had ferreted out evidence that ISIS was developing computer bombs to explode on airliners was leaked. This alerted ISIS, damaged the president, and imperiled Israeli intelligence sources and methods.

Some of the leaks from national security and investigative agencies are felonies, not only violations of the leaker’s solemn oath to protect secrets, but of federal law.

Yet the press is happy to collude with these leakers and to pay them in the coin they seek. First, by publishing the secrets the leakers want revealed. Second, by protecting them from exposure to arrest and prosecution for the crimes they are committing.

The mutual agendas of the deep-state leakers and the mainstream media mesh perfectly.

Consider the original Russiagate offense.

Confidential emails of the DNC and John Podesta were hacked, i.e., stolen by Russian intelligence and given to WikiLeaks. And who was the third and indispensable party in this “Tinker to Evers to Chance” double-play combination?

The media itself. While deploring Russian hacking as an “act of war” against “our democracy,” the media published the fruits of the hacking. It was the media that revealed what Podesta wrote and how the DNC tilted the tables against Bernie Sanders.

If the media believed Russian hacking was a crime against our democracy, why did they publish the fruits of that crime?

Is it not monumental hypocrisy to denounce Russia’s hacking of the computers of Democratic political leaders and institutions, while splashing the contents of the theft all over Page 1?

Not only do our Beltway media traffic in stolen secrets and stolen goods, but the knowledge that they will publish secrets and protect those who leak them is an incentive for bureaucratic disloyalty and criminality.

Our mainstream media are like the fellow who avoids the risk of stealing cars, but wants to fence them once stolen and repainted.

Some journalists know exactly who is leaking against Trump, but they are as protective of their colleagues’ “sources” as of their own. Thus, the public is left in the dark as to what the real agenda is here, and who is sabotaging a president in whom they placed so much hope.

And thus does democracy die in darkness.

Do the American people not have a “right to know” who are the leakers within the government who are daily spilling secrets to destroy their president? Are the identities of the saboteurs not a legitimate subject of investigation? Ought they not be exposed and rooted out?

Where is the special prosecutor to investigate the collusion between bureaucrats and members of the press who traffic in the stolen secrets of the republic?

Bottom line: Trump is facing a stacked deck.

People inside the executive branch are daily providing fresh meat to feed the scandal. Anti-Trump media are transfixed by it. It is the Watergate of their generation. They can smell the blood in the water. The Pulitzers are calling. And they love it, for they loathe Donald Trump both for who he is and what he stands for.

It is hard to see when this ends, or how it ends well for the country.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.” To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators website at <a href=”http://www.creators.com” rel=”nofollow”>www.creators.com</a>.

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Juan Williams: Trump’s war on U.S. intelligence | TheHill

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OPINION: The president’s crude criticisms of U.S. intelligence findings are unfair and unprecedented.

Source: Juan Williams: Trump’s war on U.S. intelligence | TheHill

Just Security: The Early Edition: July 17, 2017 

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

The Secret Service would have put a stop to it if there had been anything nefarious about the meeting between Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, his then-campaign manager Paul Manafort and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Russian lobbyist and possible former Soviet intelligence agent last year, President Trump’s lawyer Jay Sekulow said yesterday, a claim a Secret Service spokesperson subsequently cast doubt on by pointing out that Trump Jr. “was not under Secret Service protection in June 2016.”Greg Jaffe reports at the Washington Post.

“Donald Trump, Jr. was not a protectee of the U.S.S.S. in June, 2016. Thus we would not have screened anyone he was meeting with at the time.” Secret Service spokesperson Mason Brayman reiterated that Trump Jr. was not under Secret service protection at the time of his meeting in a statement issued yesterday following Sekulow’s assertions, Reuters’ Arshad Mohammed and Howard Schneider report.

“Nothing in that meeting” was “illegal or a violation of the law,” Sekulow said in a separate interview on “Fox News Sunday,” one of five interviews on major Sunday news shows in which he made a “full-court defense” of his client President Trump, whom he said was unaware of the meeting, writes Rebecca Savransky at the Hill.

Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Veselnitskaya “clearly brings the [Trump-Russia] investigation to a new level and makes our effort all the more important,” the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee Sen. Mark Warner said yesterday, NBC News’ Kailani Koenig reports.

“Donald Junior made a mistake,” former Trump adviser Michael Caputo said in an interview yesterday, adding that while the meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya “should have raised a red flag” for an experienced campaign operative, for a “family member, for a first-time candidate for president of the United States in a whirlwind like we were in” it was unsurprising and understandable. The Hill’s Cyra Master reports.

The ultimately-executive decision whether White House senior adviser Jared Kushner loses his security clearance over his actions including failing to disclose meetings with senior Russian officials could ultimately rest with President Trump, his father-in-law, explain Austin Wright and Josh Dawsey at POLITICO.

Was Russian developer Aras Agalarov, named in emails arranging a meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who claimed to have dirt on Hillary Clinton, a Kremlin conduit to President Trump? Neil MacFarquhar considers this question at the New York Times.

RUSSIA

The hope that the U.S. would find the “political wisdom” to return two Russian diplomatic compounds that were seized under the Obama administration based on Russia’s alleged involvement in the hacking of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election was expressed by the Kremlin today, Reuters reports.

Unless the Russia sanctions bill currently awaiting a vote in the House undergoes serious revision it would compromise European energy security and damage U.S.-European relations, with Russia as the ultimate beneficiary. The former German ambassador to the U.S. Wolfgang Ischinger explains why Europeans oppose the U.S. Russia sanctions bill at the Wall Street Journal.

IRAN

American Princeton University researcher Xiyue Wang was sentenced to 10 years prison on charges of spying for the U.S. by an Iranian court, an Iranian judiciary official confirmed yesterday, Rick Gladstone reporting at the New York Times.

The immediate release of American citizens detained in Iran on “fabricated” national security chargeswas called for by the U.S. Department of State yesterday, Al Jazeera reports.

President Trump’s “arbitrary and conflicting policies” as well as those of his “arrogant, aggressive and occupying allies” were to blame for global instability, Iran said over the weekend, after Trump called Iran a “rogue regime” during his press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron last week, Reuters reports.

The KOREAN PENINSULA

South Korea has requested talks with North Korea in an effort to ease tensions along their shared border and resume the reunification of families separated since the Korean War in the 1950s, South Korea’s vice defense minister Suh Choo-suk said today, Al Jazeera reporting.

If Pyongyang agrees to the military talks they will be held Friday in the truce village of Panmunjom in the supposedly demilitarized zone between the North and the South, with experts anticipating that Kim Jong-un will likely agree to the military talks but reject returning to the Red Cross talks aimed at reunifying families, writes Bryan Harris at the Financial Times.

Myanmar has no military ties with North Korea, a Myanmar official said today as U.S. diplomat Ambassador Joseph Yun who is responsible for North Korea arrived in Myanmar for talks during which he is likely to seek assurances that it will comply with U.S. efforts to isolate the Pyongyang regime, Simon Lewis reports at Reuters.

Yun’s trip to Myanmar is symbolic of a key Trump administration tactic, cutting of North Korean revenue no matter how “small or obscure” the source, suggests Joshua Berlinger at CNN.

SYRIA

Two shells were fired at the Russian embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus yesterday, according to Syrian state news agency S.A.N.A., the attack coming amid a Syrian government forces offensive against rebel-held areas in Damascus, the AP reports.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed opposition to the U.S.-Russia brokered ceasefire in southern Syria during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron yesterday, stating that the ceasefire perpetuates Iran’s presence in Syria and poses a threat to Israel’s security. Barak Ravid reports at Haaretz.

The E.U. is set to impose sanctions against 16 Syrian scientists and military officers responsible for chemical weapons attacks against civilians, adding to the broad range of E.U. sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime instituted since the conflict began, Lauren Norman reports at the Wall Street Journal.

“Baghdadi is definitely alive. … We believe 99 percent he is alive,” a top Kurdish counterterrorism official Lahur Talabany said today, warning that Islamic State leader al-Baghdadi “knows what he is doing,” Reuters reports.

The seventh round of U.N. Syria peace talks produced “no breakthrough, no breakdown,” U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said Friday, stating that representatives of Assad’s government refused to discuss political transition, Al Jazeera reports.

IRAQ

The lack of long-term plans for reconstruction in Iraq and Syria will lead the Trump administration to repeat mistakes of previous administrations, neglecting humanitarian needs perpetuates the conditions for extremism to thrive, Josh Rogin writes at the Washington Post.

Iran’s success in making Iraq a client state – entrenching its influence in Iraq’s military, politics and economy, playing on sectarian divides, and using Iraq as a springboard for expansionism in the region – represents a failure in U.S. foreign policy, Tim Arango writes at the New York Times.

The international community should not underestimate the Islamic State’s ability to exploit vacuums of power and, although militants have faced setbacks in Mosul and Raqqa, the U.S. and its allies should draw a clear political roadmap for Iraq and Syria to help neutralize the Islamic State’s ability to exploit local grievances. Hassan Hassan writes at the Guardian.

The fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is far from over and tough battles are yet to be fought despite the defeat of militants in the Iraqi city of Mosul and the impending defeat of militants in the Syrian city of Raqqa. Liz Sly outlines six of those battles at the Washington Post.

The Trump administration’s relaxation of protections for civilians in Iraq and Syria, as well as the brutality of the final stages of the battles in Mosul and Raqqa, is demonstrated by research which shows that approximately 12 civilians have been killed every day in Iraq and Syria since President Trump’s inauguration, Samuel Oakford writes at The Daily Beast.

GULF-ARAB DISPUTE

The U.A.E. orchestrated the hacking of Qatari government news and social media sites on May 23, attributing false quotes to Qatar’s emir which were then cited by Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain as a reason for banning all Qatari media and diplomatically isolating Qatar, according to U.S. intelligence officials. Karen De Young and Ellen Nakashima report at the Washington Post.

The allegation that U.A.E. was involved in hacking is “false,” the U.A.E. Ambassador to the U.S. Yousef al-Otaiba said in a statement yesterday, adding that “[what] is true is Qatar’s behavior. Funding, supporting, and enabling extremists,” Al Jazeera reports.

“You cannot be both our friend and the friend of al-Qaeda,” U.A.E. Foreign Minister Anwar Gargash will warn Qatar today, Patrick Wintour at the Guardian citing it as the strongest indication yet that Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain plan to expel Qatar from the Gulf Cooperation Council (G.C.C.).

“We need a regional solution and international monitoring” to address the ongoing Gulf-Arab dispute, Gargash will also say today in prepared remarks, adding that the pressure from the four Arab nations is “working,” with the memorandum of understanding between U.S. and Qatar signed last week on financing terrorism providing evidence of this, Al Jazeera reports in rolling coverage.

Qatar’s policy of welcoming unwanted individuals has angered its Gulf neighbors and its image as a place of refuge for dissidents, extremists, members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Taliban officials and others underlies the current Gulf-Arab dispute. Declan Walsh explains at the New York Times.

AFGHANISTAN

The death of Islamic State’s leader in Afghanistan was announced by the Pentagon Friday, confirming that U.S. forces killed Abu Sayed in an airstrike on the group’s eastern headquarters in a statement, Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

At least 1,662 Afghan civilians have been killed in the first half of this year and 3,581 wounded, according to a statement released by U.N. investigators today, the head of the U.N. Assistance Mission to Afghanistan Tadamichi Yamamoto stating that the figures represent the “human cost of this ugly war,” Josh Smith reporting at Reuters.

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to award a reported C$10.5m to former Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr undermines Canadian values and limits the legal options of the family of Sgt. First Class Christopher Speer who was killed by a grenade thrown by Khadr, Conservative Member of the Canadian Parliament and official opposition critic for foreign affairs Peter Kent writes at the Wall Street Journal.

ISRAEL and PALESTINE

The resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks was called for by French President Emmanuel Macron following talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris yesterday, adding that France was prepared to apply diplomatic levers toward renewed negotiations without being specific, Al Jazeera reports.

Controversial new security measures including check points were introduced at Jerusalem’s sacred al-Aqsa Mosque compound yesterday two days after three Palestinians with Israeli citizenship killed two police officers in an attack there before being shot dead themselves, Ruth Eglash reports at the Washington Post.

PAKISTAN

A major offensive against the Islamic State has been launched in the north-western region of Pakistanalong its border with Afghanistan, Pakistan’s military said, adding that militants had gained ground inside Afghanistan and had to be prevented from spreading their influence. The BBC reports.

India targeted a Pakistani military vehicle and killed four Pakistani soldiers in unprovoked cross-border fire in the Kashmir region yesterday, according to Pakistani military officials. Al Jazeera reports.

A new approach toward Pakistan that could involve an end to U.S. assistance and increased security cooperation with India will be discussed by President Trump when he meets with his national security team this week, when they will also discuss the U.S. strategy for Afghanistan, CNN’s Barbara Starr reports.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

A provision forcing Congress to vote on a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (A.U.M.F.) may be stripped out of the House Appropriations defense spending bill which hit a roadblock this week, Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), who introduced the provision, offering an amendment to revoke a 2001 A.U.M.F. in eight months, Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

A Turkish military vehicle was blown up as it passed through the Yuksekova district of Turkey’s Hakkari province which borders Iran and Iraq today, wounding 17 soldiers, in an attack the Turkish military attributed to the Kurdistan Workers Party (P.K.K.), Reuters reports.

Indonesia renamed waters in its exclusive economic zone that overlap with China’s claims in the South China Sea as the North Natuna Sea in an assertion of sovereignty announced Friday that has angered Beijing, the AP’s Christopher Bodeen reports.

The U.N. banned nuclear weapons this month, the world’s nine nuclear powers boycotting the vote, the U.S., Britain and France jointly denouncing the treaty in a statement asserting that it “clearly disregards the realities of the international security environment” that “continue to make nuclear deterrence necessary,” while North Korea has not declared where it stands, but Iran has signed up. The Wall Street Journal editorial board expresses its reservations in a brief overview.

Read on Just Security »

 Just Security

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· · · · · · · · · ·

Juan Williams: Trump’s war on U.S. intelligence

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By Juan Williams – 07/17/17 06:00 AM EDT
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putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Juan Williams: Trump’s war on US intelligence – The Hill

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Juan Williams: Trump’s war on US intelligence
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Last week, President Trump said it is just blather — not a fact — that Russian President VladimirPutin wanted him to win the presidency. … Once again, his goal was to diminish the value of their finding that Russia wanted him to win the 2016 

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A Russian Developer Helps Out the Kremlin on Occasion. Was He a Conduit to Trump? – The New York Times 

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Russia Isn’t Delivering for Donald Trump – The New York Times

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Web World Times – wwtimes.com: “Russia isn’t delivering for Trump”, and “Trump isn’t delivering for Russia”. So, what is the deal, and who are the dealers?! 

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“Russia isn’t delivering for Trump”, and “Trump isn’t delivering for Russia”. So, what’s the deal, and who are the dealers?! Ask the Germans, they know but won’t tell… 

Russia Isn’t Delivering for Donald Trump – The New York Times

How Has Supporting Trump Worked Out for Russia? – New York Magazine

 Web World Times – wwtimes.com

“Russia isn’t delivering for Trump”, and “Trump isn’t delivering for Russia”. So, what is the deal, and who are the dealers?!

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Russia Isn’t Delivering for Donald Trump – The New York Times

How Has Supporting Trump Worked Out for Russia? – New York Magazine

How German Condoms Funded the Russian Revolution

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The French suggested that they might have proof. Encouraged by that hope, a Russian colonel named Boris Nikitin was put in charge of the investigation. He dispatched a spy to monitor the Bolsheviks’ use of the telegraph and paid informers for all gossip, true or false. Nikitin’s was a full-time job, but the only office space available was in a building partly occupied by yet more suspect Bolsheviks. Not only did the colonel feel like the one being watched, but all his windows opened onto fluttering red flags.

Meanwhile, the provisional government continued to prosecute the war. In late June, it launched an offensive on the Galician front. Though vaunted as a campaign by the crack troops of a free new state, it collapsed within three days. Large-scale disturbances ensued in Petrograd, complete with street battles between right- and left-wing gangs, black flags and socialist banners, panic, shooting and civilian deaths. There were new rumors of a coup.

In desperation, Pavel Pereverzev, the justice minister, tried scapegoating the Bolsheviks for Russia’s dismal plight. His evidence was flimsy (he was promptly ordered to resign), but the idea that Lenin had been working for the Germans prompted a manhunt. As Petrograd descended into chaos, government thugs ransacked the office that produced the Bolshevik newspaper, Pravda. Several leading revolutionaries were imprisoned, among them Leon Trotsky. Beardless and disguised beneath a wig, Lenin fled the Russian capital in fear for his life. In August, after collecting more testimony, the provisional government condemned him in absentia.

The case against Lenin was always thin. Pereverzev’s evidence, which involved a contract Lenin was alleged to have signed in Berlin at some time in the previous year, turned out to be the raving of a fugitive prisoner of war. The press proffered more fairy tales — Lenin’s sister was a spy based in Salonica, Lenin had been murdered, Lenin’s real name was Mytenbladm or Zederbluhm. Years later, Trotsky remembered July 1917 as “the month of the most gigantic slander in world history.”

In fact, Lenin was far from dead. He used the months in Finland to lay new, ambitious plans. By mid-September, he felt bold enough to slip back into Russia and take up the fight again, this time preparing his lieutenants for a Bolshevik seizure of power. The operation took place on Nov. 7, and that same day the streets of Petrograd were littered with leaflets announcing the triumph of Lenin’s new Soviet regime.

But questions about finance have a way of haunting history’s great men. Lenin relied on secrecy; the Germans let him down. At the end of 1917, Germany’s foreign minister, Richard von Kühlmann, gloated about his country’s role in November’s Bolshevik coup. Berlin, he said, had long schemed to subvert Russia. The challenge had been to find a person who could do the job. The Germans had backed a range of hopefuls, from Finnish nationalists to Central Asian jihadists. “It was not until the Bolsheviks had received from us a steady flow of funds through various channels,” Kuhlmann explained in a frank memorandum, “that they were in a position to build up their main organ, Pravda, to conduct energetic propaganda and to extend the originally narrow basis of their party.”

Lenin’s bank records were scrupulous enough. He protested that he had snubbed every agent the Germans sent him. He insisted (rightly) that his party had triumphed by giving voice and shape to real passions and despairs. Still, cash had been essential. In the summer of 1917, the British estimated that it would cost them 2 million pounds a month to match Lenin’s propaganda effort. The high price had to take account of Bolshevism’s genuine appeal, but even Lenin knew that newspapers and posters did not print and distribute themselves.

That’s where the condoms and lead pencils come in. Lenin could not risk accepting direct bribes, but it was easy for Berlin to supply his agents with commodities and then forget to send the bill. Goods were exported to Denmark (which was legal), the packaging was changed (illegal), and then they were resold to countries where imports from Germany were banned. Part of the profit found its way into the Bolsheviks’ coffers via businesses in Stockholm. A key part here was played by Yakov Fürstenberg, the manager of a Scandinavian-based import-export company whose directors, Alexander Helphand and Georg Sklarz, were known agents of Germany. Though Lenin publicly disdained Helphand, Fürstenberg was one of his closest contacts, his north European fixer.

“Lenin’s entry into Russia successful,” the German spy chief in Stockholm reported to his masters in April 1917. “He is working exactly as we would wish.” But it was Lenin who would win the high-stakes gamble in the end. The kaiser and his ministers were swept away, but Lenin’s empire went from strength to strength. As he had put it years before: “Sometimes a scoundrel is useful to our party precisely because he is a scoundrel.”

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“Russia isn’t delivering for Trump”, and “Trump isn’t delivering for Russia”. So, what’s the deal, and who are the dealers?! Ask the Germans, they know… 

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“Russia isn’t delivering for Trump”, and “Trump isn’t delivering for Russia”. So, what’s the deal, and who are the dealers?! Ask the Germans, they know but won’t tell… 

Russia Isn’t Delivering for Donald Trump – The New York Times

How Has Supporting Trump Worked Out for Russia? – New York Magazine

“Russia isn’t delivering for Trump”, and “Trump isn’t delivering for Russia”. So, what’s the deal?! http://webworldtimes.com 

Russia Isn’t Delivering for Donald Trump https://nyti.ms/2voLZjH 

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Opinion | Russia Isn’t Delivering for Donald Trump

His bromance with Vladimir Putin hasn’t resulted in diplomatic gains.

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How Has Supporting Trump Worked Out for Russia?

A scorecard on how far Trump has advanced Russian interests (whether knowingly or unknowingly), from easing sanctions to Syria.

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How Has Supporting Trump Worked Out for Russia?

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We now know with more certainty than we did a couple weeks ago that the Russian government tried to tip the scales in last year’s presidential election toward Donald Trump, and central figures in the Trump campaign were apparently only too happy to accept the assistance. But just what did Russian President Vladimir Putin get for his efforts? Has he received a decent return on his investment, or is Trump backfiring on him?

Here’s a look at some of the policy areas in which Putin likely hoped a Trump victory would advance Russian interests, and how well Trump has delivered (whether knowingly or unknowingly). Remember, it’s Putin giving the grades here, so high marks don’t necessarily mean a job well done.

Sanctions

In backing Trump, perhaps no objective was a bigger motivator for Putin and his oligarchic comrades than the easing of U.S. sanctions on Russia. While the impact of the sanctions on Russia’s ruling class has not been as sharp as it’s been for the underclass, a lot of wealthy Russians (including people who are personally friendly with Putin and Trump) would like to be able to travel, spend money, and do business in the U.S. and Europe more freely again. Trump’s people were signaling to Russia that he was willing to give ground on sanctions before he took office — and possibly before he was elected.

So far, no such luck. The Senate imposed new sanctions on Russia in June to punish the Kremlin for its election interference and, being well aware of Trump’s excessive coziness with Putin, took steps to limit his ability to lift them. Trump has since put pressure on Congress to give him more flexibility in this regard, and his administration is doing what it can to ease the sanctions regime in order to “give collaboration and cooperation a chance,” as his advisor Sebastian Gorka put it on CNN on Thursday. On the other hand, the administration slapped new sanctions on 38 Russian individuals and entities last month over Russia’s incursion in Ukraine.

Grade: B-

Cybersecurity

If Putin has his way, 2016 won’t be the last U.S. election marred by interference by Russian intelligence. It would be a shame if the president he helped us elect turned around and made it harder for him to “participate” in the future. Fortunately, Trump can’t admit that our elections are vulnerable to foreign interference without admitting that it helped him win, which his ego won’t allow, so he’s doing nothing to prevent Russia or other hostile actors from taking further cracks at our political parties’ communications or our election infrastructure. Instead, he’s channeling his energies into hunting downthe millions of fraudulent U.S. voters that exist only in the fevered minds of some on the right. He and Putin even agreed to set up a joint cybersecurity unit at their G20 meeting, which would be kind of like partnering with Imperial Japan to establish a joint early warning system for aerial bombardments in the Pacific in 1942. Even Trump himself admits this won’t work.

Grade: A+

NATO

Trump’s campaign-trail diatribes against our NATO allies for not paying their fair share of defense costs was music to Putin’s ears, as a NATO weakened by wavering American support would give him a freer hand to re-assert Russia’s sphere of influence in Eastern Europe and particularly the Baltic countries. Trump alarmed allies, blindsided his own national security team, and surely set Putin’s heart aflutter when he declined to commit to the Article 5 mutual-defense provision in a speech at NATO headquarters in May — only to backtrack and say he would indeed uphold it in a press conference in Romania early last month. Clearly, his military and national security staff set him straight in the interim. Meanwhile, other NATO countries are boosting their defense spending this year, for which Trump is taking too much credit. This is looking more and more like one campaign pledge the president won’t be able to fulfill.

Grade: F

Europe

If Putin can’t have a weaker NATO, a fractured European Union might be the next best thing — hence Russia’s (unsuccessful) efforts to help the Euroskeptical rightist Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election in the same way he helped Trump in ours. On the whole, Trump does not instill much confidence in European leaders: Alienating Europe appears to be among his policy goals, and he now has Germany worried that he will start a trade war. On the other hand, Trump’s hostility to trans-Atlantic cooperation has Europe seeking other partners, such as Japan, and it may be unwittingly making Europe stronger by helping Europeans appreciate the value of their union and the need for self-reliance. He’s also not abandoning the U.S. commitment to European security vis-à-vis Russia, as evinced by his agreement to sell Patriot air defense missiles to Poland earlier this month.

Grade: C

Syria

Russia’s objectives in Syria remain as they have always been: to keep Bashar Al-Assad in power, Islamists out of power, and the Russian naval facility in Tartus open. Trump’s frustration with the Syrian stalemate and hesitation to oust Assad suited Putin much better than Clinton’s plans for more direct engagement.

After their G20 meeting, Trump and Putin announced that the U.S., Russia, Israel, and Jordan had brokered a ceasefire in southwest Syria, which took effect last Sunday. While Secretary of State Rex Tillerson maintains that the U.S.’s long-term goal for Syria is for Assad to step down, the new Syria strategy that emerged from the meeting would leave him in power, at least for the time being. The U.S. will limit its efforts in Syria to counterterrorism operations and defeating ISIS, de-emphasizing its assistance to moderate Syrian rebel groups. The ceasefire involves establishing four “de-escalation zones” designated by Russia in coordination with Turkey and Iran, which the Syrian opposition sees as a ploy to freeze front lines and give Assad’s forces an advantage. Critics have called the ceasefire plan unenforceable, said it ignores Iran’s role in the conflict, and entails a capitulation to Russia’s agenda from which Iran will emerge the winner. In short, it looks like the shots in Syria are now being called from Moscow, not Washington.

Grade: A

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Democrats say Trump Jr.’s meeting takes Russia probe to a ‘new level’ – Los Angeles Times | Germany’s Not Such a Great Candidate to Lead the Free World Either – Daily Beast | Trump’s ties to Russia are deep – Foster’s Daily Democrat | Leonard Pitts Jr.: What is wrong with Trump? – Manhattan Mercury

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Psychiatry professors call on Congress to impeach Trump – American Thinker (blog)

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Psychiatry professors call on Congress to impeach Trump
American Thinker (blog)
Psychiatry professors call on Congress to impeach Trump. By Rick Moran … Ever since then, the American Psychiatric Association has had a policy known as “The Goldwater Rule” that ethically forbids mental health professionals from commenting on the 

Warner: ‘Unbelievable’ Trump wasn’t told about meeting – CNN

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Warner: ‘Unbelievable’ Trump wasn’t told about meeting
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“Frankly, it’s a little bit unbelievable that neither the son or the son-in-law ever shared that information with their dad, the candidate,” Warner said. Warner said several times that there was reason to doubt the credibility of senior members of the 
Trump Lawyer Blames Secret Service For Not Preemptively Stopping Jr.’s MeetingTPM
Trump administration denials were ‘clearly false,’ says top Democrat on Senate Intelligence CommitteeThinkProgress

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How the Trump Jr. meeting fits into the larger Putin game plan – CNN International

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How the Trump Jr. meeting fits into the larger Putin game plan
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Ryan Goodman is professor of law at New York University and co-editor-in-chief of Just Security, an online forum on national security law and policy. He served as special counsel to the general counsel of the Department of Defense from 2015 to 2016.

How the Don Jr. meeting fits into the larger Putin game plan (opinion)

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But what the media, the public and investigators should really focus on now is what happened after the meeting. The key is to think more broadly, including asking two questions.

First, assuming this was an overture by Russian intelligence agencies, despite the

Kremlin’s denials

, what would the Russian government most likely have done next?

Second, how should we then interpret subsequent actions of the Trump circle in light of the actions the Kremlin would have pursued? The answers to those questions suggest that the alleged collusion between the Trump circle and Putin’s team could well have continued far beyond June 9.

Instead, the media coverage seems geared toward making the meeting explicable in terms of an ill-advised, short, perhaps even forgettable meeting for which Donald Trump Jr. takes the heat. That narrative often

also includes

 the idea that this may have been an independent, ill-conceived attempt on the part of a Russian lobbying group to provide what was ultimately fairly useless information about Hillary Clinton.

We have

focused 

on how the meeting bears all the hallmarks of a Russian intelligence operation and, in particular, a test to gauge whether the Trump campaign would be open to assistance from the Russian government.

In that event, Moscow got a green light. The only problem with the Russian attempt, according to Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer, was that the quality of the information on Clinton

was poor

. Trump Jr. and his team apparently wanted more.

So why would the Kremlin provide nothing of value to the Trump principals and disappoint them, especially when we know that by May, according to the

US intelligence report

, Putin had in his possession what he needed from the DNC server?

Different takes on Trump's meeting with Putin
Different takes on Trump's meeting with Putin

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The logical explanation is because their intention was to establish interest in the Trump campaign’s receiving compromising material, not in satisfying their appetite for it. The information that was reportedly passed at this meeting has the feel of representing intelligence “feed material” to establish interest in more, higher quality information in the future.

Coincidentally, perhaps, it was only

after the meeting

 that the DNC emails began to leak as part of a large scale influence operation to affect the presidential election.

Putin would need to keep a close eye on Donald Trump himself to see if his mercurial and contradictory positions on various issues during the campaign were ever reflected in his approach to Russia. Presumably, it would also be in the Russian interest to seek a direct signal from Trump himself that he was on board with the operation.

The Trump team’s actions in the days following that fateful meeting are incriminating, and bear a

stunning consistency

 with what is reported in the Christopher Steele dossier.

Rather than notify authorities about the Russian overture, they kept it mum and

denied any Russian contacts

 when asked. In early July, according to Politico, Carter Page was

dispatched

 to Moscow. The Trump team would have had to know, at the very least, that Page would be approached by Russian intelligence agents. The campaign and Page long refused to say whether he was authorized to travel to Moscow, until the news media

discovered

 that the campaign did indeed authorize the trip.

During the summer months, American intelligence, reported by the New York Times,

began picking up conversations

 in which Russian officials were discussing contacts with Trump associates, and European allies were starting to pass along information” that described “meetings in European cities between Russian officials –and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir V. Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump.” Trump has denied that his campaign had any contact with Russian officials. .

The Washington Post

reports

 that Michael Flynn’s undisclosed communications with the Russian ambassador involved a “series of contacts … that began before the Nov. 8 election.” In late July, within a few days of officially securing the GOP nomination at the Republican convention, candidate Trump

openly invited

 Russian assistance and election interference.

And in December, Jared Kushner, in an undisclosed short meeting with the Russian ambassador, proposed establishing a channel of communications with Moscow inside a Russian embassy or consul.

Was that also just another ill-advised idea of a neophyte? The former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency and a Russia hand, Flynn was the

other member

 of the Trump transition team who actively participated in the meeting. He knew better, just as Paul Manafort did during the June 9 meeting. The list goes on.

Two other pieces of information that stand out: First, Trump has

 always denied

 Russian election interference, which is bizarre given the consensus of opinion among US and foreign intelligence communities.

Why does he do this? Here’s a theory: Because it takes two to collude, and if one party doesn’t know what the other is doing, that’s a way out politically and legally. Second, it is

not uncommon

 for foreign governments and their diplomats to communicate with a presidential campaign and the major party candidates. Why then completely deny it ever happened?

Based on recent reporting, we know now that the June 9 meeting included, on the Russian side,

two active supporters

 of one of Putin’s top priorities:

getting rid

 of the Magnitsky Act. What was offered in the room that day — remarkably in accord with what

Trump Jr.

 and

Rinat Akhmetshin

, one of the Russian-American lobbyists in attendance, have themselves both said on the record — boils down to a quid pro quo for incriminating information on Hillary Clinton in exchange for sanctions relief.

Understanding the context for each drip of information associated with the Trump campaign and Russia is crucial for properly interpreting the significance of each event, and how each fits into a greater whole. Through this process, America will finally have the truth that is being sought.

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trump and intelligence community – Google News: Trump’s approval rating the lowest since 1975: poll – New York Post

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Trump’s approval rating the lowest since 1975: poll
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Sixty-six percent of those surveyed said they don’t trust him to negotiate with world leaders or with Putin, who the US intelligence community said directed the hacking into the 2016 presidential election. On that matter, 60 percent of Americans think 

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Trump lawyer says president believes Mueller investigation is part of ‘witch hunt’
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A member of Donald Trump’s legal team says he does not believe the president will have to testify under oath to special counsel Robert Mueller, whose Russia investigation the president believes is part of a “witch hunt.” ABC News Chief White House …
A witch hunt?Power Line (blog)

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mueller – Google News: Trump’s Lawyer Sekulow: Mueller Investigation Result of Comey ‘Leaks’ – Newsmax

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Trump’s Lawyer Sekulow: Mueller Investigation Result of Comey ‘Leaks’
Newsmax
President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer said Sunday he agrees that special counsel RobertMueller’s Russia probe is a “witch hunt,” citing fired FBI Director James Comey’s “potential conflicts of interest.” In an interview on ABC News’ “This Week 
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What Trump Supporters Think of Russia Probes Doesn’t Matter
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… every time you read an article about how supporters of President Donald J. Trump “don’t care” about the several investigations into his campaign’s collusion with Russia, or his potential obstruction of justice in the firing of FBI director James B 
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Links Review – 7.16.17 

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7.16.17

Milbank: ‘Rookie mistakes’ maturing into gross incompetence | The Columbian

Posts – 7.16.17

Agent Smith and his misadventures: The problems with the FBI and how to fix them (in pics and key words) – Michael Novakhov: My Opinions
The Adventures Of Agent Smith – Google Search – Sunday July 16th, 2017 at 7:55 AM – Shared Articles
Saved and Shared Articles – 10:39 AM 7/16/2017: Andrew McCabe – Google News: Vox Sentences: How many Russians does it take to attend a meeting with Trump Jr.? – Vox – Shared Articles

7.15.17

No matter how bad it gets for him, here’s why Trump isn’t getting impeached this year – The Washington Post
Trump set to bring in new attorney to manage response to Russia investigation – The Washington Post
Germany and Trump-Russia scandal – Google Search
German intelligence committee head calls Donald Trump ‘a security risk to the Western world’ | The Independent
US Finalizing Plans to Revamp Cyber Command
Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting sure sounds like a Russian intelligence operation – The Washington Post

Posts – 7.15.17

Laughter as FBI Cointelpro Weapon: was that woman an FBI informant or the FBI secret agent on assignment? Does FBI use laughter as a psychological weapon? Investigate the the investigators! – Michael Novakhov: My Opinions
» Russian-American at Trump Jr. meeting is ex-military officer – News 12 Long Island 15/07/17 09:47 from Saved Stories – None News 12 Long Island Russian -American at Trump Jr. meeting is ex-military officer News 12 Long Island In an interview, Akh
No matter how bad it gets for him, here’s why Trump isn’t getting impeached this year – The Washington Post – Web World Times – wwtimes.com
Agent Smith evil laugh from The Matrix Revolutions – Videos and Sound
Videos and Sound: Agent Smith evil laugh from The Matrix Revolutions – Web World Times – wwtimes.com
Saved and shared articles: Videos and Sound: Agent Smith evil laugh from The Matrix Revolutions – Shared Articles
“Agent Smith’s evil laugh” and misadventures, or what are the problems with the FBI and how to fix them – Michael Novakhov: My Opinions

Current Events and Topics – July 2017

Agent Smith and his misadventures – 7.16.17

FBI’s ‘G-Man’ Image: From Comic Books To ‘The X-Files’ And ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ | KUNC
FBI – Google Search
What are problems with FBI? – Google Search
FBI suffers from the lack of intelligence – Google Search
FBI is unable to fight terrorism, subversion, organized crime – Google Search
FBI is a show-off – Google Search
Informants manipulate and exploit the FBI – Google Search
Agent Smith – Google Search
The Adventures Of Agent Smith – Google Search
The Adventures Of Agent Smith – Google Search

Laughter as FBI Cointelpro Weapon – 7.15.17

Jeff Sessions: Judge Tosses Conviction of Laughing Protester | Time.com
The Department of Justice Is Really Prosecuting a Woman for Laughing at Jeff Sessions | Alternet
laughter as fbi weapon – Google Search
laughter as fbi cointelpro weapon – Google Search
sessions laughter conviction – Google Search
Desiree Fairooz – Google Search

The role of Germany in “Trump-Russia scandal” – 7.14.17

Germany appears to be the only real-time political beneficiary of “Trump-Russia scandal”, not Russia or Israel – My Opinions – By Michael Novakhov – The Web World Times – webworldtimes.com
trump and germany – Google Search
Trump’s America Is ‘No Friend’ Says Germany’s Angela Merkel Ahead of ‘Thorny’ G20 Summit
In Shadow of Trump Visit, Franco-German United Front Flourishes – Bloomberg
Merkel In Paris Ahead Of Trump Visit Talks Of Europe Self-Reliance, U.S. Cooperation
Full coverage – Google News
France, Germany Plan Development of New European Fighter Jet
trump, germany and russia – Google Search
The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Foreign Interference In The Elections Of 2016 – The Web World Times – wwtimes.com
usa, germany and russia – Google Search
deutsche bank – Google Search
Democrats Push Probe Into Trump, Deutsche Bank and Russia – TheStreet
trump and merkel – Google Search
kushner and israel – Google Search
Jared Kushner’s Road Map to Nowhere
deutsche bank and trump – Google Search
deutsche bank and money laundering – Google Search
deutsche bank russia money laundering trump – Google Search
National security figures launch project to counter Russian mischief | Wire Commentary | heraldandnews.com
Alliance for Securing Democracy – Google Search
The German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF) – Google Search
German Marshall Fund – Wikipedia
British spies were first to spot Trump team’s links with Russia | UK news | The Guardian
Trump’s favorite former intelligence official now says Russia scandal is worse than Watergate
House Democrats ask German bank for info on Trump’s relationship with Russia – CBS News
German Intel Clears Russia on Interference – Consortiumnews
The role of Germany in “Trump-Russia scandal” – Google Search
Who Is Alexander Dugin, the Man Linking Putin, Erdogan and Trump? – Bloomberg
Germany and Russia: Berlin’s Deadly Self-delusions
Russia and EU to unite against Donald Trump? – PravdaReport

Jared Kushner – 7.13.17

All Roads Now Lead to Kushner – The New York Times
Jared Kushner under fire for Donald Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer – Business Insider
Investigators look for links between Trump, Russia cyber operations | McClatchy Washington Bureau
Trump-Russia investigators probe Jared Kushner-run digital operation – Chicago Tribune
The Inside Story of the Kushner-Bannon Civil War | Vanity Fair
Steve Bannon, Jared Kushner factions clash in White House – Business Insider
Jared Kushner – Google Search
Jared Kushner and digital operations – Google Search
News – Rep. Adam Schiff – Google Search
Kushner Bannon wars – Google Search
Kushner Bannon war – Google Search
kushner and bannon fight – Google Search
Brad Parscale – Google Search
brad parscale trump – Google Search
Trump digital operations – Google Search
Trump digital operations – Google Search
Trump campaign digital operations – Google Search
Trump campaign digital operations – Google Search
Trump campaign business model – Google Search

Russian mafia, Trump, and Mueller investigation – 7.4.17

Jul 5, 3:32 AM EDT Mueller probe could draw focus to Russian crime operations By ERIC TUCKER Associated Press
AP – Mueller probe could draw focus to Russian crime operations
Amazing report shows Putin gave orders to help elect Trump
Stolen Russian mob money linked to Syria’s chemical weapons – CNNPolitics.com
russian mafia – Google Search
News – russian mafia – Google Search
Russian mafia and Trump – Google Search
News – Russian mafia and Trump – Google Search
Russian mafia and Trump and Mueller investigation – Google Search
News – Trump Investigation and Russian mafia – Google Search
Discretion Advised: Trump’s mob and Russia ties – Google Search
Image – Discretion Advised: Trump’s mob and Russia ties – Google Search
Russian Mafia – Google Search
Mueller’s investigation – Google Search
recent arrests of russian mafia – Google Search
News – recent arrests of russian mafia – Google Search
Red Mafia – Google Search

Miosotis Familia – 7.5.17

Officer Miosotis Familia’s murder is the Russian Mafia’s response to the Mueller’s investigation and its focus of interest: “Here are my mouth and my ears for you. The Family (“Bratva”).” – Web World Times – wwtimes.com
Police Officer Is Shot and Killed in ‘Unprovoked Attack’ in the Bronx – The New York Times
NYPD officer shot in ‘unprovoked direct attack’ in the Bronx dies; suspect killed: officials | New York’s PIX11 / WPIX-TV
NYPD Officer Dies After Being Shot in Vehicle | WNEP.com
NYPD officer ‘murdered in a cowardly, unprovoked attack,’ Jeff Sessions says – The Washington Post
Most American voters support limited travel ban: poll | Reuters
NYPD officer ‘murdered in a cowardly, unprovoked attack,’ Jeff Sessions says – The Washington Post
Jul 5, 12:43 PM EDT NYC officer shot to death in command post RV; gunman killed By COLLEEN LONG Associated Press
Miosotis Familia – Google Search
Miosótis – Online Portuguese Dictionary
Miosotis Familia – Google Search
os latin – Google Search
oto latin – Google Search
Officer Miosotis Familia – Google Search
News – Officer Miosotis Familia – Google Search
Image – Miosotis Familia – Google Search
Alexander Bortnikov – Wikipedia
Alexander (Bortnikov?) Bonds – Google Search
Alexander Bonds – Google Search
News – Alexander Bonds – Google Search
otis latin – Google Search
to bond – Google Search
signature – Google Search

Puerto Rico Marijuana – 7.14.17

Nevada Rushes to Address Shortage of Newly Legalized Marijuana – The New York Times
Puerto Rico Governor Signs Medicinal Marijuana Bill | Leafly
Puerto Rico Marijuana Prices, Laws, Buying & Information For Weed In Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico Medical Marijuana Law – NORML.org – Working to Reform Marijuana Laws
Cannabis in Puerto Rico – Wikipedia
marijuana puerto rico – Google Search

7.14.17

Trump Russia scandal: What now? | The Sacramento Bee
Marine plane had emergency at high altitude, general says | Tampa Bay Times
Marine KC-130T Experienced Problems at Cruising Altitude, Broke Into At Least 2 Pieces – USNI News
Former Soviet Counter Intelligence Officer at Meeting With Donald Trump Jr. and Russian Lawyer – NBC News
Donald Trump’s deep connections to dirty Russian money: The trail leads back more than 30 years – Salon.com
Christopher Wray Signifies America’s Thirst for Normalcy
Moral Vacuum in the House of Trump – The New York Times
Eels from overturned truck slime cars on Oregon highway – The Washington Post
Trump’s legal team faces tensions — and a client who often takes his own counsel – The Washington Post

Posts – 7.14.17

» Trump dodges on whether he accepted Putin’s hacking denial – The Hill 14/07/17 03:37 from Saved Stories – None The Hill Trump dodges on whether he accepted Putin’s hacking denial The Hill President Trump on Wednesday evening dodged a question on whether he accepted Vladimir Putin’s denial of Russia’s involvement in the interference campaign direc… – Shared Articles
» GOP Congressman: Donald Trump Should Remove His Kids From The White House 14/07/17 08:40 from Saved Stories – None “I wish that he would get them out of the way so that we could have a professional staff at the White House on policy issues,” said Rep. Bill Flores. – Shared Articles
9:23 AM 7/14/2017 – News and Posts – Shared Articles
The role of Germany in “Trump-Russia scandal” – 7.14.17 | Jared Kushner – 7.13.17 | Russian mafia, Trump, and Mueller investigation – 7.4.17 | Daily News: 3.14 – 12.17 | LINKS – Links
The U.S. and Global Security Review: The role of Germany in “Trump-Russia scandal” – 7.14.17 | Jared Kushner – 7.13.17 | Russian mafia, Trump, and Mueller investigation – 7.4.17 | Daily News: 3.14 – 12.17 | LINKS

7.13.17

Black Is The New Red: Containing Jihad – Analysis – Eurasia Review
This isn’t Watergate. This isn’t treason. And there’s still no smoking gun.
Trump’s Russian Laundromat | New Republic
We Now Have Proof of Donald Trump’s Russian Collusion | Observer
The Latest: Trump wishes he’d asked Putin who he supported | Boston Herald
The Senate Judiciary Committee Plans How To Coordinate Investigations With Mueller
Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism – Google Search
Turkey Chooses Russia Over NATO for Missile Defense – Bloomberg
(42) WATCH LIVE: President Trump and French President Macron hold joint news conference – YouTube
(43) Trump: Most ‘Would Have Taken That Meeting’ – YouTube

Posts – 7.13.17

Reading List – 7:26 AM 7/13/2017: Trump, Putin and organized crime – Google News: Trump’s Russian Laundromat – New Republic  Eurasia Review: Black Is The New Red: Containing Jihad Analysis  National security figures launch project to counter Russian mischief | Wire Commentary We Now Have Proof of Donald Trumps Russian Collusion  trump russia treason – Google News: This isn’t Watergate. This isn’t treason. And there’s still no smoking gun. – The Week Magazine – Shared Articles
Daily News and Posts – 7:52 AM 7/13/2017 – Links
All Roads Now Lead to Kushner – New York Times-5 hours ago – Shared Articles

7.12.17

Military Plane Crashes With 16 on Board in Mississippi; ‘Most’ Bodies Recovered, Official Says – NBC News
leflore mississippi military plane crash mid-air – Google Search
Military plane believed to have exploded-mid air, emergency officials say
The Mafia-ISIS connection: Partners in crime or perfect strangers? – Al Arabiya English
Christopher Way Pledges Strict Independence FBI Helm, Jul 12 2017 | C-SPAN.org
FBI as “showboat” – Google Search
Investigators look for links between Trump, Russia cyber operations | News & Observer
Trump’s FBI pick vows independence, says Russia probe no ‘witch hunt’
Rancor at White House as Russia Story Refuses to Let the Page Turn – The New York Times

Posts – 7.12.17

America is closed for renovations… – News In Photos
A sea of police officers stood outside the church in the Bronx where the funeral for Officer Miosotis Familia was held on Tuesday (7.11.17). – News In Photos
The Mafia-ISIS connection: Partners in crime or perfect strangers? – Al Arabiya English – The Web World Times – wwtimes.com
All of the FBI is one huge “showboat”! – The Web World Times – wwtimes.com
sater missiles – Google Search
Felix Sater: The Crook Behind the Trump-Russia ‘Peace’ Plan
alliance between the Mafia and ISIS – Google Search
FBI is “showboat” – Google Search
FBI as “showboat” cartoons – Google Search
showboat meaning – Google Search
fbi has 12% public approval rating – Google Search
Poll: By 2 to 1 margin, registered voters reject Comey | TheHill
public opinion of the fbi – Google Search
fbi approval rating 2017 – Google Search
NBC/WSJ Poll: Just 29 Percent Approve of Trump’s Firing of James Comey – NBC News
nincompoops – Google Search
Posts – 7.12.17: America is closed for renovations… – News In Photos A sea of police officers stood outside the church in the Bronx where the funeral for Officer Miosotis Familia was held on Tuesday (7.11.17). – News In Photos The Mafia-ISIS conne
Voice of America: US Customs Agents Find Cobras Inside Mail at JFK Airport – Shared Articles
» Investigators look for links between Trump, Russia cyber operations 12/07/17 13:25 from Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks mikenova shared this story . Investigators at the House and Senate Intelligence committees and the Justice Department are examining whether the Trump campaign’s digital operation – overseen by Jared Kushner – helped gui… – Shared Articles
“Kushner’s role including his niche overseeing the digital operations will be closely looked at…” – Shared Articles
The Web World Times wwtimes.com: Posts: Wed, 12 Jul – Sat, 01 Jul 2017 – The Web World Times – wwtimes.com

The Web – My Main News Sites

Michael Novakhov: In My Opinion – The Web World Times – webworldtimes.com: News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions
Web World Times – wwtimes.com – The Web World Times: News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions
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News In Photos – The World Web Times – worldwebtimes.com
Security News Review – The Web World Times – webwt.com
World and Politics – The World Web News – world-webnews.com
Videos and Sound – The World Web News – world-web-news.com
Links – Daily News and Links Review – The Web World News – webwn.com
Reviews – The World Web News – worldwn.com

The World Web Times-2 (NY T&N)

The New York Web Times – newyorkwebtimes.com – The Web Times from New York
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My Opinions

Trump As Obama’s Legacy: It looks like the American people will be ready to fire Trump after he completes his mission of de-Obamafication, and their rage subsides | Special counsel submits his proposed budget, but won’t make it public Sunday July 9th, 2017 at 7: – The Web -WebWorldTimes.com
Comey The High Priest and Trump The Meddlesome King – The World Web Times – Home Page – wwtimes.com
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News Reviews and Opinions: My opinion
RUSSIA and THE WEST – РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Oh, Yeah, Put Some Lipstick On That Pig! Or: The Lessons Of Meddling – by Michael Novakhov
Who stole the 2016 US Presidential Elections? The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah – The Web World Times – wwtimes.com

Blogs

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Mike Nova (@mikenov) | Twitter
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Subscriptions – YouTube
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Current News
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PUERTO RICO NEWS

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New York Web News – nywebn.com – News, Analysis, Opinions
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Local: Brooklyn Sites

The Brooklyn Radio – bklynradio.com – News and Music
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I! Brooklyn – ibklyn.com – Internet guide to Brooklyn
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Broklyn Food

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Kitchen 21 – Coney Island – Restaurants

Daily News and Posts – July 2017

7.11.17

Nash Point, The Vale, Wales – Google Search
russian mafia and mueller investigation – Google Search
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FBI’s ‘G-Man’ Image: From Comic Books To ‘The X-Files’ And ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’

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There’s an image that probably comes to mind anytime there are big headlines about the FBI: A lawman in a dark suit, crisp white shirt, sensible shoes and a sharp crew cut. Basically, the exact look James Cagney sported in the 1935 classic film G-Men — except his included a fedora because … the 1930s.

That archetype of the clean-cut, indefatigable and incorruptible agent was largely the invention of J. Edgar Hoover, who led the FBI for 48 years, from May 1924 to May 1972. In addition to his position leading the Department of Justice’s top law enforcement unit, Hoover also championed it as a pseudo-Hollywood producer.

The early years of the FBI coincided with the start of the comic book era, which inspired Hoover to take advantage of the new medium. According to Ronald Kessler, author of The Secrets of the FBI, Hoover correctly perceived this was a direct channel to shaping the hearts and minds of young Americans, and that led him to take an active role in creating characters that depicted FBI agents as modern-day knights.

“He realized that he could create these images of the G-Men as superheroes like Superman,” said Kessler. They had a brand of their own: “G-Man” stands for “Government Man.”

And it worked, Kessler argued — Hoover’s foresight, use of comics, radio and movies helped to instill a deep trust in the agency and its mission among a whole new generation.

“That helped him stay in office and also helped the FBI do its work, because if people trust the FBI they’re going to be more likely to cooperate and give tips,” said Kessler.

Luckily for Hoover, said Kessler, the truth about the infamous FBI director’s illegal investigations, instances of possible blackmail and improper espionage against Americans didn’t come to light until after his death.

More recently, and without Hoover’s guiding hand, Hollywood has suggested that there are special agents devoted to the paranormal — as in an “X-Files” division.

But when pressed if that kind of department exists today or ever did, Kessler delivered an unequivocal and emphatic, “No!”

A second source, however, wasn’t so definitive.

Annie Jacobsen, a journalist who covers national security and author of Phenomena: The Secret History of the U.S. Government’s Investigations Into Extrasensory Perception and Psychokinesis, believes the FBI must have had a department like the one for which TV’s Special Agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully worked. And it still could.

“My reasoning is that we know there is that department inside the CIA and also inside the Pentagon. And history tells us that this department existed in [the FBI] in the 50s,” she said.

Her book is a deep dive into the CIA and Pentagon programs that sought to train people in the arts of mind-reading and moving objects with their minds.

“The FBI always likes to keep up with what’s going on in the intelligence community and their partners over at the Pentagon,” said Jacobsen. “To imagine that the department went away is sort of less believable.”

Then there are the fictionalized representations of the Bureau’s profilers, whom audiences love — and network executives love that audiences love them. Perhaps the most famous of these was, technically, a trainee — Clarice Starling, a dogged naif pulled from the FBI Academy and assigned with trying to track down a skin-suit-making serial killer in The Silence of the Lambs.

Funny-not-funny side-note: Clarice, in all of her padded-shoulder glory, would not have been able to go after Buffalo Bill under Hoover’s leadership of the FBI. Women were not allowed to become special agents until 1972, after Hoover died and L. Patrick Gray took over. Until then, women at the FBI were relegated to secretarial positions, which, we’ve learned from Martha on The Americans, could be a difficult workplace for women.

(Martha, if you’re reading this, send us a postcard from Russia!)

Obviously, neither Starling nor Scully and Mulder nor even surfer/undercover Agent Johnny Utah will be reporting to Christopher Wray, the man on track to be confirmed by the Senate to take over the FBI after former Director James Comey was fired two months ago. But one man who could be is acting Director Andrew McCabe — who looks like he’s straight out of central casting, complete with those horn-rimmed glasses.

In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in May, just days after Comey was sacked by President Trump, McCabe had this to say about the agency: “You cannot stop the men and women of the FBI from doing the right thing, protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”

Now that’s a line worthy of the movies.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit <a href=”http://www.npr.org/” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.npr.org/</a>.

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Andrew McCabe – Google News: FBI’s ‘G-Man’ Image: From Comic Books To ‘The X-Files’ And ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’ – KUNC

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KUNC
FBI’s ‘G-Man’ Image: From Comic Books To ‘The X-Files’ And ‘The Silence Of The Lambs’
KUNC
But one man who could be is acting Director Andrew McCabe — who looks like he’s straight out of central casting, complete with those horn-rimmed glasses. In testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee in May, just days after Comey was sacked by …

and more »

 Andrew McCabe – Google News

The Adventures Of Agent Smith – Google Search

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