5:00 PM 9/13/2017 – Hillary Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ When Comey Reopened Email Probe

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Hillary Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ When Comey Reopened Email Probe – NBCNews.com

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Business Insider
Hillary Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ When Comey Reopened Email Probe
NBCNews.com
Hillary Clinton was stunned when then-FBI Director James Comey reopened the agency’sinvestigation into her private email server just days before the 2016 election, she told TODAY on Wednesday in her first live interview since the race. “I was just …
Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ By Comey’s Intervention (VIDEO)TPM
Hillary Clinton: Without the Comey letter, ‘the evidence shows I would have won’CNBC
‘This man is going to be the death of me’: Huma Abedin broke down in tears after learning of her estranged husband’s …Business Insider
Newsmax –NBC New York
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Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ By Comey’s Intervention (VIDEO) – TPM

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TPM
Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ By Comey’s Intervention (VIDEO)
TPM
Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she was “stunned” and “dumbfounded” by then-FBI Director James Comey’s letter regarding her emails late in the 2016 election. Comey, who had led theinvestigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server as 

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Outgoing US Ambassador to Russia Has Mixed Feelings, Hopes for Better Relations – Voice of America

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Voice of America
Outgoing US Ambassador to Russia Has Mixed Feelings, Hopes for Better Relations
Voice of America
The U.S. ambassador said he regrets the suffering caused to families in the conflict that erupted with Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and ongoing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. “I feel, personally, very very bad. … The Ukraine crisis 
As Germans prepare to vote, a mystery grows: Where are the Russians?New Zealand Herald

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Alec Baldwin Is Bringing Back His Trump Impression For The ‘SNL’ Premiere

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He’s baaaaack.

Hillary Clinton: Without the Comey letter, ‘the evidence shows I would have won’ – CNBC

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Fox News
Hillary Clinton: Without the Comey letter, ‘the evidence shows I would have won’
CNBC
Hillary Clinton opened up on Wednesday about President Donald Trump’s firing of James Comey, saying she would have won the election had it not been for the former FBI director’s letter about his investigation of her private email account. “Absent that 
Clinton jumps gun on special counsel probe, ‘convinced’ Trump team helped Russia meddleFox News
‘This man is going to be the death of me’: Huma Abedin broke down in tears after learning of her estranged husband’s …Business Insider
Clinton calls Trump Jr.’s explanation of Russia meeting ‘an absurd lie’Politico
Washington Examiner –The Federalist –Washington Post
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Flynn again under spotlight for unreported foreign business deals – Sacramento Bee

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NPR
Flynn again under spotlight for unreported foreign business deals
Sacramento Bee
… during his background check. Both could be criminal violations. Flynn resigned his White House post after only a month because he misled administration officials about a telephone callhe held during the transition with then-Russian Ambassador 
Flynn could face new pressure in Russia probe as Dems allege he concealed contactsABC News

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Armenia and Azerbaijan are Stuck with Russia and the US – International Policy Digest

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International Policy Digest
Armenia and Azerbaijan are Stuck with Russia and the US
International Policy Digest
Over the years, Russia has served as the main arbitrator for the territorial dispute between Armenians and Azerbaijanis over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The most vivid explanation lies in the past relationship of Russia with these two countries both 

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Trump is privately raging about Robert Mueller. But all of this is his own fault. – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Trump is privately raging about Robert Mueller. But all of this is his own fault.
Washington Post
THE MORNING PLUM: Is President Trump even capable of grasping the basic outlines of the story line that led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his intensifying investigation, which is now targeting Trump himself? This is 
Trump Staffers’ Loyalty Tested as Mueller Closes InVanity Fair
Trump’s closed-door rants on Comey and MuellerAxios

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The empty shell of America’s two-party system

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Both the Democrats and the Republicans are riven by internal schisms

Obama Is Now Campaigning for Germany’s Angela Merkel—Or His Face Is, Anyway – Newsweek

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Newsweek
Obama Is Now Campaigning for Germany’s Angela Merkel—Or His Face Is, Anyway
Newsweek
Barack Obama as good as admitted, back in December, that he missed the campaign trail, when he told his formed aide David Axelrod in an interview that he would have won the 2016 electionagainst Donald Trump. Sadly for him, that pesky constitution 
You Snooze, She WinsSlate Magazine

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Harvard Psychiatrist: Trump Is a ‘Sociopath’ and a ‘Very Sick Individual’ – AlterNet

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Harvard Psychiatrist: Trump Is a ‘Sociopath’ and a ‘Very Sick Individual’
AlterNet
… Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Dodes is a signatory to the much-discussed February 2017 open letter to the New York Times that sought to warn the public about the dangers posed by Donald Trump’s mental health. He is also a 

DNI Dan Coats: ‘Troubling’ former intel officials criticize Trump, intelligence community – Washington Examiner

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Washington Examiner
DNI Dan Coats: ‘Troubling’ former intel officials criticize Trump, intelligence community
Washington Examiner
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Wednesday it’s “troubling” many former intelligence officials have been critical of the intelligence community and its “capabilities with the president.” “I find it troubling that many outside the 
Intelligence director criticizes former officials for speaking out against TrumpThe Hill
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Top US Official: Russia ‘Ever More Aggressive’ in CyberspaceVoice of America

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Trump’s Moscow Tower and Back-Channel Ukraine Dossier: Both Began During the Election, Evidence Suggests

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Congressional investigators are reportedly exploring any connections between two deals brokered by Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and Felix Sater which directly raised Russian interests. The timeline for one of these arrangements is potentially very different than what has been reported widely in the news media. Discussions of the two deals appear to have occurred closer together in time and discussion on both began during the presidential race. The timing is sure to raise the interest of investigators looking into possible links between Trump associates and Russian election interference.

The first arrangement involving Cohen and Sater was a proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow on terms that would be highly lucrative for Donald Trump. Those discussions reportedly began in September 2015 and led to Trump signing a 17-page letter of intent in late October 2015. Cohen saidhe discussed the project with Trump three times. The project went so far as to include soliciting building designs from architects and preliminary discussions about possible financing. According to Cohen, he personally decided to end the deal in late January 2016.

The second dealing with Cohen and Slater involved a back channel plan for handling Ukraine and Russia. Most all news outlets and analysis start the timeline for this plan in January 2017, but there is reason to believe it began much earlier.

The Ukrainian proposal has been called a “peace plan” by some, but that is a misnomer. The proposal involved unwinding Russian sanctions on favorable terms to Moscow, and the use of derogatory information against the current Ukrainian leadership. The idea was hatched by Ukrainian politician Andrii Artemenko, who told the Times that he received encouragement for his plans from Putin’s top aides. Discussing the terms of the proposal, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Valeriy Chaly said, “Such ideas can be pitched or pushed through only by those openly or covertly representing Russian interests.” Cohen reportedly hand delivered the Ukraine dossier to then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the White House in the week before Flynn’s resignation.

The question is even if Cohen delivered the dossier in early 2017, when did the discussions of the Ukraine plan involving Cohen, Sater, and Artemenko begin?

The New York Times reported, “it was late January when the three men associated with the proposed plan converged on the Loews Regency, a luxury hotel on Park Avenue in Manhattan” to discuss Artemenko’s ideas. Cohen later acknowledged to Business insider that he met with Artemenko in New York to discuss the plan but said it was only “under 10 minutes.”

(Cohen has told many different and conflicting stories about the Ukraine dossier.)

The discussions between Artemenko, Sater, and Cohen began long before January 2017, according to Artemenko. In an interview with a Ukrainian news outlet, Artemenko said that he began discussions with Cohen and Sater “at the time of the primaries, when no one believed that Trump would even be nominated.” Talking Point Memo reported on this interview in February 2017 (see also Josh Marshall’s assessment that the Ukrainian news outlet is a legitimate publication).

It would surely be significant for the special counsel and congressional investigations if Cohen’s discussions involving the Ukraine plan began during the presidential election season. It is even more significant if, indeed, the plan came with Russian backing, as Artemenko and Ambassador Chaly both suggest. Even Cohen, in explaining the reason he met with Artemenko in January said Artemenko told him the proposal “was acknowledged by Russian authorities would create world peace.”

It would also be significant that both deals involved Cohen and Slater in this time period. If the discussions on the Ukraine plan occurred during “the primaries, when no one believed that Trump would even be nominated,” that would be much closer in time to the emails between Cohen and Sater on Trump Tower in Moscow. Those emails include Sater telling Cohen, “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected. … Buddy our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

If the Ukraine discussions began in early 2016, other parts of the timeline also become significant. Those include bringing Paul Manafort onto the campaign in March 2016, with his ties to Ukraine including his work on the behalf of  the same pro-Kremlin political groups to which Artemenko belongs. The Trump team then changed the Republican party platform on Ukraine in July 2016, which they later denied. On July 30, Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he was open to recognizing Russia’s control of Crimea.

Finally, it is worth considering why exactly the deal involving Trump Tower in Moscow discontinued.

Cohen has insisted that the reasons for pursuing the deal and for abandoning it were unrelated to the campaign and involved purely business determinations. In a two-page statement to the House Intelligence Committee on August 28, 2017, Cohen said:

“The Trump Tower Moscow proposal was not related in any way to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.” “The decision to pursue the proposal initially, and later to abandon it, was unrelated to the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. Both I and the Trump Organization were evaluating this proposal and many others from solely a business standpoint, and rejected going forward on that basis.”

Sater tells a different story. According to the New York Times: Sater “said he had been working on a plan for a Trump Tower in Moscow … one that he said had come to a halt because of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. Sater also told Talking Points Memo: “Once the campaign was really going-going, it was obvious there were going to be no deals internationally.” Sater said, “It didn’t go through because obviously he became President.” Sater’s statements suggest the plan may have only been temporarily suspended due to the campaign and would have potentially proceeded if Trump had not been elected.

The Ukraine project was different. The Trump team was able to shift the Republican party in the direction of the Kremlin’s interests on Ukraine during the campaign itself. Almost as soon as they came into office, Trump’s team then began unusual efforts to unwind Russian sanctions.

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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House Dems: Michael Flynn May Have Lobbied For Nuclear Deal Inside White House – NPR

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NPR

Shuttered Facebook group linked to Russia organized anti-immigrant rallies across Texas – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Shuttered Facebook group linked to Russia organized anti-immigrant rallies across Texas
Business Insider
Casey Michel, a journalist who has spent years tracing US secession movements to Russia, tracked the group’s activity throughout the election and determined it was more than just a platform for far-right Texas secessionists. Several signs pointed to 

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Mike Flynn’s Son Is Subject of Federal Russia Probe – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com
Mike Flynn’s Son Is Subject of Federal Russia Probe
NBCNews.com
Flynn’s status as a subject of the Russia investigation widens the publicly known scope of the probe. NBC News has reported that those under investigation have included the elder Flynn and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Others under …
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Trump’s White House Turns Up the Heat on James Comey – Vanity Fair

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Vanity Fair
Trump’s White House Turns Up the Heat on James Comey
Vanity Fair
Despite his inexplicable habit of wearing two collared shirts simultaneously, Steve Bannon demonstrated a semblance of acuity during Sunday’s revealing interview on 60 Minutes when he dubbed the president’s dismissal of F.B.I. director James Comey a …
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Putin spokesman: US has ‘serious problems’ with press freedom as Justice Department probes Russia-funded news – Washington Examiner

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RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Putin spokesman: US has ‘serious problems’ with press freedom as Justice Department probes Russia-funded news
Washington Examiner
Critics of the Russia-funded news outlets see them as propaganda, and a January U.S.intelligence community report claimed RT and Sputnik were part of a Kremlin propaganda effort during the 2016 election that cast President Trump in a sympathetic light.
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Donald Trump Is Still ‘Ranting, Brooding’ About Comey and Russia Investigations – Newsweek

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Donald Trump Is Still ‘Ranting, Brooding’ About Comey and Russia Investigations
Newsweek
President Donald Trump continues to “rant and brood” over former FBI director James Comey and the Trump-Russia investigation that has plagued his administration, even as he has curtailed his public and Twitter comments on the subject, according to a …

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Q&A with Andy Wright on Flynn, Subpoenas and “Privileged Information” 


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