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8:02 PM 10/14/2017 – Government lawyers ask judge to reject CNN’s efforts to make Comey memos public – CNN

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2016 Presidential Election Investigation – GS 

2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News
2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts – CNN
Government lawyers ask judge to reject CNN’s efforts to make Comey memos public – CNN
House lawmakers hope to release Facebook ads bought by Russian agents during the 2016 presidential election – Recode
Google has found a small number of 2016 election ads tied to Russian government forces – Recode
Facebook and Twitter will testify to the US Congress on Russia and the 2016 presidential election – Recode
What Will Loretta Lynch Tell Russia Investigators? Former Attorney General Could Talk Comey, Clinton – Newsweek
Report: Twitter deleted tweets related to the Russian investigation – Mashable
Silicon Valley’s Russian ads problem, explained – Recode
Exclusive: Even Pokémon Go used by extensive Russian-linked … – CNNMoney
Russia probe: Congressional investigators to question Lynch, Power – USA TODAY
2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google News
2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts – CNN
Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:36:00 GMT


CNN
2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts
CNN
The investigation was sparked by a declassified report from the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) that described a multifaceted effort led by Russian President Vladimir Putin to interfere with the election by releasing damaging information about 
Trump’s Lawyers May Offer Him to Mueller for InterviewU.S. News & World Report
President’s lawyers weighing interview between Trump, Mueller: reportThe Hill
President’s lawyers may offer Mueller a meeting with Trump – PoliticoPolitico
Sputnik International
all 32 news articles »
Government lawyers ask judge to reject CNN’s efforts to make Comey memos public – CNN
Sat, 14 Oct 2017 21:52:36 GMT


CNN
Government lawyers ask judge to reject CNN’s efforts to make Comey memos public
CNN
The friend told CNN that the document contained no classification markings. Comey had just been fired by Trump as FBI director, imperiling the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election that Comey had been leading. Comey 

and more »

House lawmakers hope to release Facebook ads bought by Russian agents during the 2016 presidential election – Recode
Wed, 11 Oct 2017 19:55:48 GMT


Fox News
House lawmakers hope to release Facebook ads bought by Russian agents during the 2016 presidential election
Recode
House Intelligence Committee ranking member Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) (L) and Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX), who is heading the committee’s investigation into the Russian interference in the 2016 presidential elections. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images.
Facebook, Google, Twitter: How tech giants are involved in the Russia investigationFox News
Sheryl Sandberg Blitzes Washington in PR Push for FacebookNew York Times
Sheryl Sandberg meets with lawmakers investigating Russia-linked Facebook adsABC News
NBCNews.com –CNBC –CNN –Facebook Newsroom
all 409 news articles »
Google has found a small number of 2016 election ads tied to Russian government forces – Recode
Mon, 09 Oct 2017 17:51:00 GMT


Recode
Google has found a small number of 2016 election ads tied to Russian government forces
Recode
Russian agents appeared to purchase search and display ads on Google valued at about $4,700 in a bid to spread disinformation during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, sources confirmed to Recode on Monday. As part of a broad internal inquiry 
Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other …Washington Post
Microsoft Investigates ‘Inappropriate’ Pro-Trump Russian Ads on Bing Search EngineNewsweek
Google finds Russian agents spent on ads to meddle in 2016 election, report saysCBS News
Bloomberg –New York Daily News –Daily Beast
all 219 news articles »
Facebook and Twitter will testify to the US Congress on Russia and the 2016 presidential election – Recode
Wed, 04 Oct 2017 18:17:14 GMT


HuffPost
Facebook and Twitter will testify to the US Congress on Russia and the 2016 presidential election
Recode
Facebook and Twitter have each agreed to appear before U.S. lawmakers and testify publicly as part of a congressional probe into Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. Google has also been invited to testify at that hearing 
Powerful Senate Committee Concludes Russia Tried To Sow Chaos In 2016 ElectionsHuffPost
Senate Intelligence Heads Warn That Russian Election Meddling ContinuesNew York Times
Trump-Russia Senate Investigation Has ‘Hit a Wall’ With Comey Memos and Steele DossierNewsweek
Washington Post –Politico –USA TODAY
all 586 news articles »
What Will Loretta Lynch Tell Russia Investigators? Former Attorney General Could Talk Comey, Clinton – Newsweek
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 16:04:03 GMT


Newsweek
What Will Loretta Lynch Tell Russia Investigators? Former Attorney General Could Talk Comey, Clinton
Newsweek
When Loretta Lynch meets with congressional investigators who are looking into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, as she is reportedly expected to do, the former attorney general could also face questions about her own conduct at the 

and more »

Report: Twitter deleted tweets related to the Russian investigation – Mashable
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 20:01:00 GMT


Mashable
Report: Twitter deleted tweets related to the Russian investigation
Mashable
Twitter has deleted tweets that could be helpful to investigators currently examining Russia’s suspected manipulation of the social network during the 2016 presidential election, U.S. government cybersecurity officials told Politico. According to the 
Twitter provided Senate investigators the names of 201 Russia-linked accountsThe Verge
The Russia investigation could be in serious trouble because of Twitter’s uncompromising privacy policiesThe Week Magazine
Twitter deleted data potentially important to Russia probe: reportThe Hill
CNN –Newsweek –The Drum –Politico
all 43 news articles »
Silicon Valley’s Russian ads problem, explained – Recode
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 10:05:45 GMT


Recode
Silicon Valley’s Russian ads problem, explained
Recode
U.S. lawmakers investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election have focused their attention on some of the world’s most influential internet companies, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, where Kremlin-backed agents sought to …
The Latest: Twitter to testify to Congress in Russia probeSeymour Tribune
The Latest: Facebook to testify to Congress in Russia probeChattanooga Times Free Press
Exclusive: Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Michigan and WisconsinCNN
NBCNews.com –Wall Street Journal –Tableau Public – Tableau Software
all 220 news articles »
Exclusive: Even Pokémon Go used by extensive Russian-linked … – CNNMoney
Thu, 12 Oct 2017 19:17:14 GMT


Syracuse.com
Exclusive: Even Pokémon Go used by extensive Russian-linked …
CNNMoney
Russian efforts to meddle in U.S. politics didn’t end at Facebook and Twitter. The tentacles of one campaign extended to YouTube, Tumblr and even Pokémon …
Pokemon Go also used by Russians to meddle in 2016 election (report)Syracuse.com
Russia Tried to Use Pokemon Go to Destabilize US Election (Report)Variety
Russia attempted to use Pokemon Go to stoke racial tensions in the USNEWS.com.au
AndroidGuys
all 129 news articles »
Russia probe: Congressional investigators to question Lynch, Power – USA TODAY
Thu, 12 Oct 2017 20:15:46 GMT


Politico
Russia probe: Congressional investigators to question Lynch, Power
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON Two high-ranking Obama administration officials former attorney general Loretta Lynch and former U.N. ambassador Samantha Power …
Lynch expected to appear next week in congressional Russia …Politico
Former AG Lynch to meet with House, Senate Russia investigatorsThe Hill

all 7 news articles »

5:44 AM 10/14/2017 – 2016 Presidential Election Investigation News Review – Blog Post

Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/…/Russian_interference_in_the_2016_United_States_election…

Jump to Investigation into possible obstruction of justice – … investigation to examine whetherPresident Trump … into Russian connections to the election

2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google Search

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Story image for 2016 Presidential Election Investigation from CNN

2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts

CNNOct 12, 2017
(CNN) Here’s a look at investigations into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s Lawyers May Offer Him to Mueller for Interview
U.S. News & World ReportOct 12, 2017
Robert Mueller Can’t Save Us
Common DreamsOct 12, 2017

2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts

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Special counsel Robert Mueller and multiple congressional committees are looking into allegations that there was collusion between Russian operatives and Trump associates during the presidential campaign and transition.

Special Counsel 

 On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead an investigation into Russian interference and related matters that could result in criminal prosecutions.

March 29, 2016 – Paul Manafort, a veteran GOP consultant, joins the Trump campaign as a strategist to help prepare for the Republican National Convention.

June 3, 2016 –

 Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

receives an email

 from

Rob Goldstone,

 a music publicist whose clients include Azerbaijani-Russian singer Emin Agalarov. Goldstone tells Trump Jr. that a Russian lawyer, working on behalf of the Kremlin, wants to pass along incriminating information about Clinton. He explains that Russia and its government want to support Trump by providing opposition research on Clinton. Trump Jr. indicates he is interested in seeing the information and suggests arranging a call.

June 7-8, 2016 – Goldstone sends Trump Jr. another email about setting up an in-person meeting with a “Russian government attorney” who will be flying from Moscow to New York on June 9, to talk to representatives from the Trump campaign at Trump Tower in New York. Trump loops in campaign manager, Paul Manafort and campaign adviser, Jared Kushner.

June 12, 2016 –

 During an interview on British television,

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange 

says that the website has obtained and will publish a batch of Clinton emails.

August 14, 2016 –The New York Times publishes a report

 that $12.7 million in illegal cash payments to Manafort were listed in a secret ledger linked to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who resigned amid street protests. Manafort had worked as an adviser to Yanukovych and his associates dating back at least a decade.

October 6, 2016 – DCLeaks, a self-described collective of “hacktivists” seeking to expose the influence of special interests on elected officials, publishes a batch of documents stolen from Clinton ally Capricia Marshall. DCLeaks is later identified as a front for Russian military intelligence.

December 1, 2016 –Kushner and Flynn meet with Kislyak at Trump Tower.

 Kushner later describes the encounter as a quick introduction, pushing back on a Washington Post report that the three talked about establishing backchannel communication with the Russians.

January 6, 2017 – 

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases a

declassified version of its classified report 

on Russian meddling.

According to the report,

 hackers did not breach voting machines or computers that tallied election results but Russians meddled in other ways. Putin ordered a multifaceted influence campaign that included spreading pro-Trump propaganda online and hacking the DNC and Podesta. Bracing for a possible Clinton win, Russian bloggers were prepared to promote a hashtag #DemocracyRIP on election night. Paid social media users, aka “trolls,” shared stories about Clinton controversies to create a cloud of scandal around her campaign.

June 8, 2017- 

Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee, describing his interactions with Trump dating back to a security briefing with Trump on January 6, 2017.

In a statement that Comey released before the hearing, 

he says Trump asked him to affirm his loyalty during a private dinner. Comey also describes a private conversation with Trump during which the president told him “I hope you can let this go,” referring to the FBI’s investigation into Flynn.

July 8-July 11, 2017 – The New York Times publishes a series of stories detailing the June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort, Veselnitskaya and other associates.

 The meeting first came to light when Kushner filed a revised version of his security clearance application in June 2017. He omitted the meeting on previous versions of the form. When news of the meeting first breaks, Trump Jr. issues a statement explaining that the primary topic of discussion was resuming an adoption program for Russian children. Trump Jr. also says that he did not know the name of the individual he was slated to meet. Further New York Times reporting reveals, however, a chain of emails in which Trump Jr. is promised damaging information about Clinton from Russian government sources, a revelation that contradicts his initial statement. Minutes before the New York Times publishes its story about the misleading statement,

Trump Jr. tweets images of the email exchange obtained by the newspaper.

 The tweets are coupled with a statement in which Trump Jr. says the meeting was short and uneventful, as Veselnitskaya failed to deliver opposition research as promised.

September 18, 2017 – CNN reports that the FBI has previously monitored Manafort’s communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

 The surveillance started during an FBI investigation into Manafort’s work in Ukraine and was discontinued for lack of evidence at some point in 2016. After the FBI began looking into election interference, investigators resumed collecting Manafort’s communications and continued through the early days of the Trump administration. Both rounds of surveillance receive approval from the secret court that oversees FISA warrants. After taking office, the president spoke to Manafort repeatedly until lawyers for both men told them to stop, according to CNN.

September 20, 2017 –The New York Times reports

 that Mueller’s team is seeking White House documents divided into 13 categories covering such areas of interest as Comey’s firing, an Oval Office meeting between Trump and Russian officials, and the crafting of Trump Jr.’s initial statement pertaining to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

Read the whole story
· · ·
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Manafort Had $60 Million Relationship With a Russian Oligarch

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LONDON — Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, has much stronger financial ties to a Russian oligarch than have been previously reported.

An NBC News investigation reveals that $26 million changed hands in the form of a loan between a company linked to Manafort and the oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin.

The loan brings the total of their known business dealings to around $60 million over the past decade, according to financial documents filed in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.

Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign in August 2016, following allegations of improper financial dealings, charges he has strenuously denied. He is now a central figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Investigators have said they are looking into Manafort’s financial ties to prominent figures in Russia.

According to company documents obtained by NBC News in Cyprus, funds were sent from a company owned by Deripaska to entities linked to Manafort, registered in Cyprus.

Image: -Deripaska’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, declined to give specific answers about the loans, but released a statement to NBC News saying, in part, “Mr. Manafort is not indebted to former clients today, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.”

He later revised the statement, removing that sentence entirely. It now reads: “Recent news reports indicate Mr. Manafort was under surveillance before he joined the campaign and after he left the campaign. He has called for the U.S. Government to release any intercepts involving him and non-Americans in hopes of finally putting an end to these wild conspiracy theories. Mr. Manafort did not collude with the Russian government.”

Manafort and Maloni have received subpoenas from Mueller to supply documents and testimony in the case.

Deripaska was described in a 2006 U.S. diplomatic cable as “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis.”

NBC News reported in June that the business relationship between Deripaska and Manafort began in 2007. According to The Wall Street Journal, they worked together to further Russian interests in Georgia.

Manafort then went on to spend nearly a decade working as a consultant for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

The NBC News investigation shows that $26 million was transferred from Oguster Management Ltd. — which is wholly owned by Deripaska, according to a disclosure filed at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange — to Yiakora Ventures Ltd. Yiakora, according to Cyprus financial documents, is a “related party” to Manafort’s many interests on the island, a financial term meaning that Manafort’s interests have significant influence over Yiakora.

Image: Paul Manafort Resigns As Trump Campaign ChairThe investigation also confirms a smaller loan of just $7 million from Oguster to another Manafort-linked company, LOAV Advisers Ltd., a figure first reported by The New York Times. Company documents reviewed by NBC News reveal the entire amount was unsecured, not backed by any collateral.

The $7 million loan to LOAV had no specified repayment date, while the $26 million loan to Yiakora was repayable on demand. It’s not known if either sum has ever been repaid.

Lawyers specializing in money laundering said the loans appeared unusual and merited further investigation.

“Money launderers frequently will disguise payments as loans,” said Stefan Cassella, a former federal prosecutor. “You can call it a loan, you can call it Mary Jane. If there’s no intent to repay it, then it’s not really a loan. It’s just a payment.”

The documents go on to reveal loans of more than $27 million from the two Cyprus entities to a third company connected to Manafort, a limited-liability corporation registered in Delaware.

This company, Jesand LLC, bears a strong resemblance to the names of Manafort’s daughters, Jessica and Andrea.

Jesand was used to buy a $2.5 million condo in New York in 2007, according to a New York City public document. In August 2017, according to another document, Jesand then obtained a loan of more than $1 million dollars against that property.

Using LLCs to purchase real estate is not necessarily illegal but is considered by money-laundering experts to be a potential red flag.

The $33 million uncovered by NBC News wasn’t the only set of transactions between the two men to pass through Cyprus. According to a related court case, Deripaska invested another $26 million in a private equity fund earmarked for a Ukrainian telecommunications company.

The legal filing states Deripaska transferred the money through yet another Cypriot company, and claims that Manafort wanted the investments structured as loans “so as to avoid the unnecessary occasioning of Cyprus taxation.”

Highly placed government sources in Cyprus said that the island’s police — following an official request by U.S. authorities this past summer — are still gathering evidence in this case and have yet to hand it over to American investigators.

Read the whole story
· · · · · ·

US government agencies are buying ads on Facebook—in Russia — Quartz

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In the midst of the frenzy of trying to determine how Russia influenced the US elections through buying ads on Facebook, The San Diego Union Tribune reminds us that basically everyone—including the US government—can buy ads on the platform to push their agenda.

Carl Prine, an investigative reporter at the paper, writes that in two campaigns between 2011 and 2016, US agencies spent nearly $60,000 on ads intended for Russian-language speakers, according to government spending records. The bulk of that amount was promotion for Voice of America (VOA), the country’s government-run news outlet whose primary audience is overseas. The rest went toward publicizing the American consulate in the city of Yekaterinburg—both very different efforts than the Russian ads that were reportedly designed to stoke tensions in election swing states.

In the last eight years, the US government, including the State Department and aid agency USAID, bought more Facebook ads in Russia than in only four other countries: Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.

VOA, launched during World War II as a response to Nazi propaganda, has struggled over its identityas a news outlet in recent years. When the Trump administration took the reins, staffers voiced concern over becoming a mouthpiece for the president’s agenda.

Earlier this year, VOA, along with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty launched Current News, a 24/7 news network in Russian, as America’s answer to the widely-consumed Russian government-run network RT and online platform Sputnik. Comparatively, the American efforts have a much smaller reach. VOA, long criticized for being ineffectual at countering Russian propaganda, can’t place its content in Russian news outlets, so it operates on a “digital first strategy,” according to its website. Current News is not carried by Russian cable providers, and is only available by satellite, The Economist reported when the channel first launched.

It’s unclear how well Facebook ads can drive traffic to VOA’s content. Facebook is dominated in Russia by its domestic copy-cat VKontakte, which according to some counts has twice the number of users, and is controlled by Russia’s richest man and Kremlin ally. What’s more, the Russian media regulator threatened recently it would shut down Facebook if it didn’t start storing Russian user data on domestic servers.

elections 2016 russian ads on social media – Google Search

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Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from U.S. News & World Report

Facebook Removed Data Related to Russian Ads That Ran During …

U.S. News & World Report1 hour ago
Social media analyst Jonathan Albright from Columbia University used the social … into Russianinterference in the 2016 presidential election.
Even smart people are shockingly bad at analyzing sources online …
Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard4 hours ago
Facebook scrubbed potentially damning Russia data before …
Highly CitedBusiness Insider19 hours ago

Media image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from Business Insider

Business Insider

Media image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from News18

News18

Media image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard

Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from New York Times

Google Finds Accounts Connected to Russia Bought Election Ads

New York TimesOct 9, 2017
Google’s role in the coordinated Russian campaign during the 2016 … Google further into the growing investigation of how social networks and …

Media image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from New York Daily News

New York Daily News

Media image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from Newsweek

Newsweek

Media image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from New York Post

New York Post

Media image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from CNBC

CNBC

Media image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from Bloomberg

Bloomberg

Media image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from BBC News

BBC News

Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from CBS News

Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg discusses Russia ad controversy

CBS NewsOct 12, 2017
“Things happened on our platform in this election that should not … into Russian-backed groups purchasing ads on the social media platform came to light. … media platform in that country’s effort to influence the 2016 election, …
Exclusive interview with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg
Highly CitedAxiosOct 12, 2017
What Facebook Did to American Democracy
FeaturedThe AtlanticOct 12, 2017
What Was Russia Up To?
In-DepthSlate MagazineOct 12, 2017

Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from The San Diego Union-Tribune

It’s not just Moscow: American agencies use Facebook to woo …

The San Diego Union-Tribune5 hours ago
… America, others splurge on social media ads to reach audiences online. … The Russian ad buys may have been a small portion, but that nation was one … insist that Russian attempts to alter the 2016presidential elections …
Russia Has Invented Social Media Blitzkrieg
Foreign Policy (blog)4 hours ago

Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from Recode

Silicon Valley’s Russian ads problem, explained

RecodeOct 6, 2017
Leading the company’s efforts to study Russian election meddling is Alex Stamos, … content that proliferated on social media in advance of the election. … But the 2016 presidential election proved that foreign malefactors can …
Facebook’s dirty dance with Russians demands regulation
BlogBaltimore Sun (blog)Oct 6, 2017

Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from WIRED

Russia’s Facebook Ads Will Remain Secret, for Now

WIREDOct 4, 2017
Russia’s Facebook Ads Will Remain Secret, for Now … to see Russian-linked socialmedia ads that were used to influence the 2016 election.
4 key updates from Senate’s Russian election interference …
OpinionThe San Diego Union-TribuneOct 4, 2017
Senate Intelligence Committee leaders: Russia did interfere in 2016 …
Blog<a href=”http://Tampabay.com” rel=”nofollow”>Tampabay.com</a> (blog)Oct 4, 2017

Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from Syracuse.com

Pokemon Go also used by Russians to meddle in 2016 election …

<a href=”http://Syracuse.com” rel=”nofollow”>Syracuse.com</a>5 hours ago
n this July 12, 2016, file photo, Doduo, a Pokemon, is found by a group of … to meddle in the 2016presidential election went beyond social media. … probably run from Russia, spent about $100,000 on ads aimed at stirring up …

Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from Politico

Twitter deleted data potentially crucial to Russia probes

Politico8 hours ago
Twitter deleted data potentially crucial to Russia probes … manipulation of the social media platform during the 2016 election, according to … bots, fake users, catchy hashtags and bogus ad campaigns, unidentified operatives …

Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from WBEZ

WBEZ

Kremlin-Backed TV To Remove US Ads Making Light Of Election …

NPROct 12, 2017
Kremlin-Backed TV To Remove U.S. Ads Making Light Of Election Meddling … to poke fun at Russianmeddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. … The stories were widely shared on social media, both by Russian bots …

Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from Reuters

US Congress tangles with Facebook, other social media firms over …

Reuters1 hour ago
… Facebook and other social media companies, congressional investigators are … on Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. … now shared with congressional investigators the ads, information on how …
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· · · · · · · ·

Russia-linked accounts’ non-paid content had reached tens of millions of Americans – Google Search

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Why a moron could successfully run Trump’s game plan

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The inside track on Washington politics.

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How North Korean hackers stole 235 gigabytes of classified US and South Korean military plans

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In September 2016, North Korean intelligence services stole a huge batch of classified US and South Korean military plans — including a plan to assassinate North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong Un and other top government officials.

Yet this was not the stuff of an old-school John Le Carré spy novel, with shady figures in trenchcoats exchanging documents at a dark rendezvous spot in the woods. North Korea’s data theft was done entirely through computer systems.

According to a South Korean politician, last fall North Korean hackers gained access to South Korea’s Defense Integrated Data Center and stole 235 gigabytes of classified military plans. Two plans in particular stand out: One was a plan for how to respond to an attack on South Korea by North Korean commandos. The other was the plan for what’s called a “decapitation strike,” or an operation that would specifically target Kim and other key government officials loyal to the regime. But the full depth of what was stolen is still unknown.

The fact that we’re only just now learning of the extent of the burglary, more than a year after it happened, is a testament to North Korea’s immense cyber capabilities.

But wait a second — how did an impoverished country like North Korea end up with such impressive hacking abilities? And are they really that impressive? Or is our information just really easy to steal?

It turns out that while we’ve been (understandably) focused on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, the country has been quietly developing another powerful tool — a selection of malware and malicious code, a veritable cyberweapon cache.

How did North Korea pull it off?

North Korea is one of seven nations generally regarded as “cyberpowers” — countries with the ability to mess around in the information systems of other countries. (Besides North Korea, the major cyberpowers are the United States, Russia, China, the United Kingdom, Iran, and France.)

In 2014, North Korean hackers conducted a major operation against Sony in the United States in retaliation for the Sony Pictures film The Interview, a Seth Rogen and James Franco comedy depicting a fictional assassination of Kim Jong Un — a cyberattack that some political commentators labeled an act of war.

This latest hack of the military documents worked through human error. As the Wall Street Journal reports, the North Korean hackers first gained access to a South Korean company that makes the antivirus software used by the South Korean military. That compromised antivirus software provided a path for North Korean hackers into South Korean military computers.

Normally, the military database they hacked, working on a secured intranet, would be safe from compromise — but a contractor working at the data center left a cable in place that connected the military intranet to the internet, allowing the North Korean hackers to access the database of sensitive documents.

That connection remained in place for more than a year, and wasn’t detected until September 2016. North Korean state media has denied involvement in the attack, claiming instead that South Korea made up the whole thing.

How did a country like North Korea develop such impressive cyber capabilities?

Computer scientists are the key to creating and maintaining new cyberweapons, but there’s also a great deal of reverse-engineering that goes on. For instance, in 2012, Iran used cyber tools to wipe and render useless 35,000 computers at Saudi Aramco, one of the world’s biggest oil companies. The tools Iran used in the Saudi Aramco attack were largely modifications of tools that had attacked Iran, now redesigned for different targets.

“[For] everybody, once your code gets out on the internet, it’s possible that someone else can intercept copy and modify for their own use,” says Bob Gourley, co-founder of the security consultancy firm Cognitio and veteran of the intelligence community.

“North Koreans might be borrowing code they saw in a Russian attack,” Gourley says, but that “doesn’t mean Russians and North Koreans are collaborating. [It] just means they saw that code and modified it or they may be modifying code of some hacker or some criminal groups.”

“Everyone starts to build upon other people’s exploits,” he adds.

But North Korea has the smallest economy of all the cyberpowers, with a GDP estimated at somewhere between that of Vermont and Wyoming. How, then, can it so effectively fund the kinds of computer scientists needed to maintain such a potent cyber capability?

Part of the answer has to do with the nature of the North Korean economy itself. The North has what’s known as a “command economy,” which means that the central government basically controls every single aspect of the economy, including the production and distribution of goods and services.

As a result, the regime is able to direct as many resources as it wants to military programs within the country, like its nuclear project and its cyber program, even in the face of strict foreign sanctions.

The other reason is that North Korea’s cyber division actually makes a lot of money on its own, thanks to the country’s willingness to have its military programmers engage in straight-up crime.

“There are remarkable similarities between North Korea and an organized crime group,” says William Carter, deputy director of the Technology Policy program at the Center for Strategic and International Security, a Washington think tank.

For instance, Carter says, North Korea’s cyber division “used a pretty sophisticated scheme to send false payment orders through the Swiss [banking] network and got hundreds of millions of dollars transferred out of the banks of Bangladesh, the Philippines, Vietnam, Ecuador, and others and into accounts controlled by North Korean government.”

When your hackers are bringing in that kind of cash, paying their salaries becomes a whole lot easier.

Why would North Korea launch cyberattacks?

While North Korean attacks and intrusions make headlines, it’s safe to assume that all countries with the capability to do so are actively watching and tracking and spying on the cyber capabilities of other countries. So it’s not the use of cyber itself that sets North Korea apart from other nations.

“The challenge is that North Korea’s objectives are a lot about being able to lash out,” says Michael Sulmeyer, director of the Cyber Security Project at Harvard’s Belfer Center, “and they’re also limited in other ways they could insert themselves, cut off from so much of the global economy.”

With an army focused on the South, a navy that is limited in reach, and an air force oriented towards defense, North Korea’s main ways to threaten countries beyond its immediate borders are with missiles or with cyber intrusions.

Having a robust hacking capability means that Pyongyang can attack those who make both fictional depictions of Kim Jong Un’s assassination and actual military plans for such an event. Kim inherited not just his father’s nuclear program but his grandfather’s intense paranoia, and the whole orientation of the regime is built around ensuring his survival.

Kelsey Atherton is a defense technology journalist based in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He can be found on Twitter at @athertonkd.

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The Power of Trump’s Positive Thinking

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Donald Trump is a self-help apostle. He always has tried to create his own reality by saying what he wants to be true. Where many see failure, Trump sees only success, and expresses it out loud, again and again.

“We have the votes” to pass a new health care bill, he said last month even though he and Republicans didn’t then and still don’t.

Story Continued Below

“We get an A-plus,” he said last week of his and his administration’s response to the devastating recent hurricanes as others doled out withering reviews.

“I’ve had just about the most legislation passed of any president, in a nine-month period, that’s ever served,” he said this week in an interview with Forbes, contradicting objective metrics and repeating his frequent and dubious assertion of unprecedented success throughout the first year of his first term as president.

The reality is that Trump is in a rut. His legislative agenda is floundering. His approval ratings are historically low. He’s raging privately while engaging in noisy, internecine squabbles. He’s increasingly isolated. And yet his fact-flouting declarations of positivity continue unabated. For Trump, though, these statements are not issues of right or wrong or true or false. They are something much more elemental. They are a direct result of the closest thing the stubborn, ideologically malleable celebrity businessman turned most powerful person on the planet has ever had to a devout religious faith. This is not his mother’s flinty Scottish Presbyterianism but Norman Vincent Peale’s “power of positive thinking,” the utterly American belief in self above all else and the conviction that thoughts can be causative, that basic assertion can lead to actual achievement.

Trump and his father were Peale acolytes—the minister married Trump at the first of his three weddings—and Peale’s overarching philosophy has been a lodestar for Trump over the course of his decades of triumphs as well as the crises and chaos. “Stamp indelibly on your mind a mental picture of yourself as succeeding,” Peale urged his millions of followers. “Hold this picture tenaciously. Never permit it to fade.” It was a mindset perfectly tailored for an ambitious builder determined to change the skyline of one of the globe’s great cities. Trump, who used this self-confidence to blow right past a series of seemingly fatal gaffes and controversies to win an election last fall that polls said he couldn’t and wouldn’t, in this respect has been a prize Peale pupil—arguably the most successful Peale disciple ever.

“I don’t even think it’s an argument,” his biographer Gwenda Blair told me recently. “It’s a fact.” The power of positive thinking? “He weaponized it.”

But now, in the political realm, where the space between spin and truth is parsed constantly—and with consequences—it is Trump’s very success that has opened him up to questions that simply didn’t matter as much when he was a television star, or opening golf courses, or licensing his last name to steaks, bottled water or far-flung condominium projects. Is Trump’s relentlessly optimistic insistence of his own version of reality an asset, a sign of admirable grit for a politician desperate to score some legislative victories? Or is it a sort of self-delusion that risks embarrassment, or worse, in the highest-stakes geopolitical arena?

Science, it turns out, has something to say about this.

Self-help is a multibillion-dollar business. Airport shelves groan under the weight of how-to and pick-me-up books churned out by writers who all are essentially Peale progeny. The industry is prevalent in American culture to the point that it has spawned its own sub-group of critics who dismiss it as silly at best and dangerous at worst. “If you are simple enough to buy a self-help book, you may be congenitally programmed to fail,” Tom Tiede wrote in 2001 in his own book, Self-Help Nation: The Long Overdue, Entirely Justified, Delightfully Hostile Guide to the Snake-Oil Peddlers Who Are Sapping Our Nation’s Soul. “Positive thinking” has garnered such social currency that it also has become a subject of academic inquiry. And though it certainly was not conceived with this in mind, the science of self-help—of happiness and well-being, of specific phenomena called “unrealistic optimism” and “positive illusions”—is now in some respects the study of the way Trump thinks and what it could mean for the country and beyond.

How can Trump say the things that he does?

Read the research.

In 1988, in a seminal paper within the subject area, psychologists from UCLA and Southern Methodist University wrote that “considerable research evidence suggests that overly positive self-evaluations, exaggerated perceptions of control or mastery, and unrealistic optimism are characteristic of normal human thought.” They added that “positive illusions may be especially useful when an individual receives negative feedback or is otherwise threatened.” They warned, though, of inherent risks and limitations: “For example, a falsely positive sense of accomplishment may lead people to pursue careers and interests for which they are ill-suited.”

Two years ago, English researchers published an update. People with “unrealistic optimism,” they wrote, “believe that they are more virtuous, more talented and more compassionate than others, and less prone to error.” They “believe that they can control events that are not under their control.” They “believe that they are less likely to experience future negative outcomes.” They “have overly flattering conceptions of themselves that are also resistant to negative feedback.” Sometimes, they said, all of that can help people like this perform well. “In conditions of uncertainty and risk,” the researchers explained, “some instances of optimism lead people to make better decisions by helping avoid more costly mistakes and contribute to survival and flourishing.” Even so, it’s true only to a point. “Excessive optimism,” they concluded, “can become problematic and lead to poor strategic planning, disillusionment and disappointment, and risky behaviors.”

Where precisely the benefits of “unrealistic optimism” and “positive illusions” end and the drawbacks and dangers begin is nearly impossible to identify, researchers told me. There are just too many variables. A person’s web of characteristics. That person’s wider environment. The complexity of a situation. There’s almost no way to know for sure when a line is crossed between helpful self-assurance and disastrous self-delusion.

“If there is, I don’t know it,” said retired professor Neil Weinstein, who wrote a paper in 1982 when he was at Rutgers University titled “Egocentrism as a Source of Unrealistic Optimism.”

“The world isn’t that predictable,” he said.

Donald Trump, after all, is the president.

***

He was born into a house that Norman Vincent Peale helped build.

Peale’s cheery, simple tips allowed Trump’s father to alleviate his anxieties and mitigate the effects of his innately awkward, dour disposition. Emboldened Fred Trump banked hundreds of millions of dollars building single-family houses and then immense apartment buildings in New York’s outer boroughs. Peale appealed to the elder Trump, too, because both men embraced conservative, right-wing, us-versus-them politics—an important but often forgotten portion of Peale’s M.O.

A generation down, Peale appealed to Donald Trump because Trump idolized his father, and because what Fred Trump drilled into his most eager, most ambitious, most like-minded son—be a killer; be a king; be a winner, not a loser—is what made that son so receptive to the teachings of Peale. Born in 1946, Donald Trump’s childhood was spent in a house with white columns and nine bathrooms and a live-in maid and chauffeur in Jamaica Estates, Queens. Sometimes, when it rained or snowed, he did his paper route from the back of his father’s limousine.

Peale, known as “God’s salesman,” reached the peak of his influence in the heart of Trump’s childhood, preaching in the 1950s to millions of people on Sundays at Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan as well as through a syndicated newspaper column, radio and television shows, his Guideposts magazine and a spate of books that were self-help trailblazers—first and foremost, of course, The Power of Positive Thinking, his defining work and wild bestseller that came out in 1952. It offered chapters such as “Believe in Yourself,” “Expect the Best and Get It” and “I Don’t Believe in Defeat.” “Whenever a negative thought concerning your personal powers comes to mind, deliberately voice a positive thought,” he wrote. “Actually,” Peale once said, “it is an affront to God when you have a low opinion of yourself.”

Peale was far from universally popular. One psychiatrist dubbed The Power of Positive Thinking“saccharine terrorism.” And during the 1952 presidential campaign, the Democratic nominee made his feelings plain. “Speaking as a Christian,” the brainy Adlai Stevenson said at a Baptist convention in Texas, “I would like to say that I find the Apostle Paul appealing and the Apostle Peale appalling.” But Peale permanently altered the way many Americans worship. His was a precursor to the prosperity gospel espoused today by, say, the toothy Joel Osteen. “By repeatedly equating business acumen with piety, uncertainty with religious doubt, and personal and cultural failure with godlessness, Peale and his admirers helped to redefine religious Americans as socially superior winners,” Northwestern University English professor Christopher Lane wrote in his 2016 book, Surge of Piety: Norman Vincent Peale and the Remaking of American Religious Life.

What Peale peddled was “a certain positive, feel-good religiosity that demands nothing of you and rewards you with worldly riches and success,” said Princeton University historian Kevin Kruse, the author of One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America. “It’s a self-help gospel … the name-it-and-claim-it gospel.”

And for Donald Trump, the attraction to Peale did not diminish with time. Even as more traditional theologians derided Peale as more huckster than holy man and intellectuals mocked him as a lightweight, Trump in his 30s remained a staunch Peale adherent.

Peale, then nearly 80 years old, officiated Trump’s wedding in 1977. In 1983, shortly after the opening of Trump Tower, Trump credited Peale for instilling in him a can-do ethos. “The mind can overcome any obstacle,” he told the New York Times. “I never think of the negative.” The feeling was mutual. In the Times, Peale called Trump “kindly and courteous” and commented on “a profound streak of honesty and humility” he thought Trump possessed. Trump at the time was newly ascendant, and the influence of Peale coursed through his aspirations and interactions. “If you’re going to be thinking anyway,” he wrote in 1987 in The Art of the Deal, “you might as well think big.”

That year, Jack O’Donnell saw it firsthand. He started work for Trump as a marketing executive at one of his casinos in Atlantic City.

“This is the best place in the world to work, and I’m the best guy in the world to work for,” Trump toldO’Donnell in their first meeting, according to O’Donnell’s 1991 book, Trumped! The onslaught of Peale-preached superlatives kept coming. “I’m America’s most successful businessman,” Trump said. “I’m a winner. I’ve always been a winner.”

O’Donnell, though, soon was worried about the pitfalls of such optimism. By 1988, a manic, temperamental Trump was overwhelmed, in O’Donnell’s estimation, by the world that he had created for himself. He had piled up accomplishments, acquisitions and debts. It was too much. “He was at the point where image superseded reality,” O’Donnell would write in his book. “In the same way that he believed a man could retain his hair by willing not to go bald, he thought he could redress the operational shortcoming of a multimillion-dollar company and make it successful by stating and restating that it was.”

It caught up with him.

The early 1990s were a low point in Trump’s life. As his casinos careened toward corporate bankruptcy and he suffocated under billions of dollars of debt—not to mention the hyper-public break-up of his marriage to the mother of his first three children—Trump’s credibility and viability as a businessman were in jeopardy. Drawing on Peale, Trump was unswayed, leaning extra-heavy on the principal tenet of the power of positive thinking—think it, say it, and say it and say it and say it, in an all-out effort to make it so. “It’s all going to work out,” he said to a reporter from the Wall Street Journal. Trump, all but dead? “Hotter than ever,” he told New York magazine.

“I would have been looking for the nearest building to jump off of, and he just remained upbeat all of the time,” Steve Bollenbach, the lender-mandated financial-fixer who helped Trump avoid personal bankruptcy and lasting business humiliation, once told biographer Tim O’Brien. “I never suspected that he lost a moment’s sleep.”

Trump tapped into Peale, he would say. “I refused to give in to the negative circumstances,” he said in a 2009 interview with Psychology Today that is littered with the particular language of Peale. “I never lost faith in myself. … Being tenacious is part of my personality. … Defeat is not in my vocabulary.” He mentioned Peale and his most famous book. He was, Trump said, “a firm believer in the power of being positive.”

“Someone asked me if I thought I was a genius,” he wrote in 2009 in Think Like a Champion. “I decided to say yes. Why not? Try it out. Tell yourself that you are a genius.” He practiced this tactic even as the scorecard of his business dealings recorded something other than genius. After three more corporate bankruptcies for his casinos, as well as a variety of other business failures, from Trump Mortgage to Trump University to name-branded condo projects stalled and killed by the Great Recession, Trump kept proclaiming success. “I’ve done an incredible job,” he said in 2013.

It was time to run for president.

“Norman Vincent Peale, the great Norman Vincent Peale, was my pastor,” Trump told the audience at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, in July of 2015, barely more than a month into his run. “The power of positive thinking,” he said. He said this in between having consultant and pollster Frank Luntz ask him the same question twice: “Have you ever asked God for forgiveness?” His answer: “I’m not sure I have.” For Trump, thanks to Peale, that’s not primarily what religion was for.

“Affirm it, visualize it, believe it, and it will actualize itself,” Peale had written—and last year around this time, in the roiling wake of the tape of Trump bragging about his ability to grope women with impunity, with pundits saying he would lose and lose badly, and with more and more women accusing him of sexual harassment and members of his own party and even the man who would become his chief of staff suggesting he should drop out, Trump did not do what almost anybody else would have done. Everybody else? There’s literally not another politician in history who was facing what he was facing and didn’t not only stop running the race in question but recede from public life altogether. But that’s not what Trump did. Trump did what he’s always done. He doubled down on Peale 101.

Polls said he was not going to win.

“We’re going to win,” he told Sean Hannity three weeks before the election.

“We’re going to win the great state of Michigan,” he said at a boisterous rally at 1 in the morning in Grand Rapids on Election Day, “and we are going to win back the White House.”

***

Trump does not often share the spotlight, but it seems likely, based on his decades of testimonials, that he might give Peale at least some credit for the astonishing, highly improbable arc of his life. Trump’s current job is in some ways a confirmation of Peale’s core principles. He visualized. It actualized.

From a scientific perspective, though, Trump is an incomplete experiment. For decades, researchers have attempted to quantify the range of outcomes of positive thinking, looking for objective ways to correlate internal belief and external reality.

“There are really strong benefits in terms of undertaking activities that are difficult and for which the true odds would be daunting if you paid attention to them,” Jonathon Brown told me. He was the SMU psychologist who was one-half of the research team behind the 1988 paper on “illusion” and “well-being.” He’s now at the University of Washington. He gave examples of starting a business or getting married. Other researchers I talked to brought up health outcomes. In situations of, for instance, dire cancer diagnoses, the prospect of survivability can get a boost from optimism that’s statistically unjustified.

“Positive thinking can motivate an individual,” Wellesley College psychology professor Julie Norem said. Also: “Other people at least initially often respond positively to it. If I present myself to you as somebody who’s upbeat and really confident … chances are pretty good that initially you’re going to believe me. You’re going to say, ‘Wow, that person’s really got it together. That person’s really going to go someplace.’ And that’s a huge advantage in life.”

Then there’s the but.

“For most people,” said Norem, who specializes in optimism, pessimism and personality psychology, “there’s a point at which, if that’s all they bring to the table, it breaks down.”

The question is where that point is for Trump. He is so clearly not most people. In the words of Mitch Horowitz: “He is a kind of Frankenstein monster of the philosophy” of positive thought.

“Trump,” said Horowitz, a self-help expert and the author of One Simple Idea: How the Lessons of Positive Thinking Can Transform Your Life, “seems to be an example of at least the short-term, destructive gains that you can attain through self-help, through self-assertion, and people’s willingness to believe what they think that they see.”

Short-term. Trump’s version of his own reality, some insist, ultimately will crash against something more real. “In the end, I think reality is like gravity. It exerts its own force,” said Peter Wehner, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and a consistent conservative critic of Trump. “The power of positive thinking can only carry you so far.”

He offered an example. “I could use the power of positive thinking and convince myself that I’m going to be the starting center for the Golden State Warriors,” Wehner said, “but it’s not going to happen.”

To carry this metaphor a small step forward, though, Trump is actually currently the starting center for the Golden State Warriors. (He’s definitely not Stephen Curry.) Wehner granted that. “And his supporters,” he said, “probably think he’s scoring 25 points and a game and averaging 11 rebounds.”

This, though, is just it: Nobody, ever, has had more success convincing himself, and others, that he is a success even when he is not—and thus turning that stated sentiment into actual, tangible, considerable accomplishment. And if he could do that, it seems fair to ask whether gravity or accepted laws of politics apply to him at all. What, exactly, is “unrealistic” about Trump’s optimism? “It’s gotten him this far,” said Blair, the biographer. “He has a lot of reason to believe that something like the power of gravity doesn’t apply to him.”

The science here hits a ceiling. Researchers do their work in controlled settings to obtain empirical results. America under Trump, meanwhile, is far from a controlled setting. And if it’s difficult to determine the location of that line between self-assurance and self-delusion in the former, it’s impossible in the latter. Scientifically speaking, the Trump presidency is uncharted territory.

“The degree of positive thinking that we talk about in the paper bears no resemblance to what President Trump is exhibiting on a daily basis, which would be an extreme form of what we talked about,” said Brown from the University of Washington. “What we were really looking at was sort of … should you know what you are really like? Is a person best served by knowing what they are really like? And I think the answer to that is no. You’re better served believing you are a little bit better than you are—but not wildly …”

Brown citied the opening salvo of the Trump administration: the fight over the size of the turnout at the inauguration. He somehow saw a crowd that was larger than it factually was, and said so. That, Brown said, isn’t self-confidence or self-assertion. “That’s bizarre. That isn’t within the normal range of human behavior,” he said. “No psychologist would say that’s adaptive.”

“There is a lot to like in the idea of power of positive thinking,” Ed Diener, one of the country’s leading researchers of happiness, told me, “but of course it must be grounded in a degree of realism.”

And where’s that dividing line?

The dividing line, Diener said, “is when the delusions become dysfunctional.”

And where is that?

“Where the distortions become strong enough that they make one act irrationally, impulsively,” he said.

“The biggest problem with the Norman Vincent Peale version of positive thinking,” said Wellesley’s Norem, “is that you can’t know when you’ve crossed the line—because if you’re accepting that as a philosophy, you’re already defining out of the picture any negative thoughts. And one of the ways in which Trump is so extreme is the extent to which he does that for himself. So he’s at the center of this positive world, and anything negative that impinges on it is evil, bad and forbidden.”

He won’t see the line if and when it arrives.

As for the rest of us?

“I mean, if we’re all blown up, in a nuclear war,” Norem said, “then that’s going to be a pretty clear line.”

Michael Kruse is a senior staff writer for Politico.

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Trump Weathering Turbulent Times at Home and Abroad – Voice of America

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Trump Weathering Turbulent Times at Home and Abroad
Voice of America
“With 38 percent of the electorate, 80-plus percent of the Republican Party strongly behind him, it is unlikely that we are going to see a lot of Republicans break from him and really challenge him in meaningful ways,” George Washington University and more »

Condoleezza Rice: Russia’s story of democracy is bigger than Putin | Commentary

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Condoleezza Rice’s latest book, Democracy: Stories from the Long Road to Freedom, explains the thrill of seeing democracies take shape and the hard work that goes into creating and sustaining them. The former secretary of state elaborates in a conversation with Catalyst Editor William McKenzie on both points, while commenting on the health of democracy at home and abroad.

You write that “there is no more thrilling moment than when people finally seize their rights and their liberty. That moment is necessary, right, and inevitable. It is also terrifying and disruptive and chaotic. And what follows is hard — really, really hard.” What makes the birth of a democracy so thrilling as well as so necessary and inevitable?

The excitement and thrill comes from seeing those moments in the streets when people are trying to express that they, too, want to say what they think and worship as they please and be free from the arbitrary power of the state. Most importantly, the thrill comes from seeing they are determined that those who are going to govern them have to ask for their consent. That’s what is thrilling: the confirmation of these universal values.

What makes the birthing of a democracy so terrifying, and why is the aftermath so hard?

It’s terrifying because you unleash all of these passions that have been pent up for such a long time, and sometimes it can go bad. We saw after the French Revolution that it was so violent, chaotic and out of control that it produces a counter-reaction.

That moment is terrifying because the institutions aren’t there yet to channel those passions. If you read the American Declaration of Independence, you think, “Who were these people?”

It starts with high-minded rhetoric, but pretty quickly deteriorates into name calling of King George and what we will do if he doesn’t give our rights.

When human beings are freed, it isn’t the moment when they are at their most rational necessarily about what lies ahead. The freeing of those passions is terrifying.

You write about institutions like political parties, the courts, parliaments, and the press being so key to stabilizing a democracy. Could you elaborate upon that?

If those passions just remain unleashed without something to channel them, you’re going to get a backlash and the revolution is going to fade. The task is to quickly channel those passions so that people begin to believe they can exercise their rights through these abstractions that we call institutions, such as the Constitution and the rule of law.

People then begin to trust the Constitution or the courts to carry out their desires and rights. If their rights are violated, they no longer rely on their clan, their family, their religious group, or violence in the streets. That’s the moment when democratic institutions start to take hold. People test the process and it works.

I read about an Afghan woman who was raped by a cleric, and she took her case to court. Imagine that in Afghanistan. And she won. He got 20 years in prison. The human rights advocates were saying, oh, only 20 years in prison. But I’m thinking, she took him to court and she won. Afghan women will now say, OK, maybe the courts work; I don’t have to go to my male family members and ask them to engage in an honor killing.

What is your assessment of Russia’s failed, or at least aborted, attempts at glasnost and perestroika? Are those concepts now merely ones that scholars will study in the future?

Russia had four revolutions, and only the third failed. The first one, the [Mikhail] Gorbachev revolution, was kind of a reform of the communist system. At least, that’s how we thought about it. But toward the end, it was starting to create some institutions that might have been the backbone for a democratic transition. But it was too much and was overrun.

The second revolution was when [Boris] Yeltsin comes to power and the democratic institutions get set up. They don’t last because they get set up amidst so much chaos in the economy and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The third revolution is when Yeltsin starts to rule out of decree, creates an extremely strong presidency, and the other institutions are sort of shoved to the side. A strong presidency in the hands of Gorbachev was one thing, a strong presidency in the hands of Vladimir Putin is quite another. Step by step, Putin subsequently destroys all of the independent institutions.

So, the Russian story is a longer story than just what happened with Gorbachev or what happened with Yeltsin. It’s important to say that because some of the seeds are possibly still there. In the clearly fraudulent election of 2016, for example, Putin didn’t win Moscow. In local elections, his party lost 11 or 12 seats.

Also, people are different in Russia today than they were in the Soviet Union. They travel more widely and they study abroad. The situation looks pretty bleak right now, but it doesn’t make sense to give up on the Russians. You have to isolate Putinism without isolating Russia.

China is growing a modern economy without true democratic institutions such as a free press and competing parties. What are we to make of this case study?

When you have the low cost of labor, the heavy export policy, their kind of government investment in the economy, all of that accords with a top-down political system. But being top-down doesn’t work so well when you start wanting a more innovative economy and free-market forces.

China is now neither fish nor fowl. Reforms keep getting rolled back because they’re afraid of the political implications of those reforms. I’ll give you one example: A couple of years ago, China had 186,000 riots, as reported by the Chinese. Most of them were because a peasant’s land was expropriated by a party leader and a developer.

What you need is a court that person can go to rather than rioting with his friends. But when you start to get independent courts, you start to get an independent judiciary. Before long, you’ve got one of the institutions that liberalizes a political system.

The jury is still out on where China will end up on this spectrum.

You write about two upheavals occurring simultaneously in the Mideast. What are those and how could they affect democracy taking hold there?

The whole state is under challenge. The map at the beginning of 2000 basically looked like it did when the Ottoman Empire collapsed and states like Iraq, Syria, and even many of the Gulf States were sort of drawn on the back of an envelope.

Those borders are now beginning to shift. Nobody knows whether there’s ever again going to be a single Syria. And the Kurds are pressing for independence from Iraq. The borders and the state system are under a lot of pressure.

There are two ways this could go. One is you continue to have revolutions like they did in Syria, or in Iraq, where we helped to set off a revolution. Or you could have reform.

You’re going to have a clash of cultures, so perhaps reform is still possible for the Middle East. No one is suggesting these places have to look like Jeffersonian democracy. I am suggesting they have to come to terms with basic rights, such as people want to say what they think. The form it takes will look different from place to place.

Democracy is only as good as its ability to deliver, as the saying goes. What does our own democracy need to deliver both for us as citizens and for our own democracy’s strengthening?

First, the good news. The institutions the Founders set up have weathered many storms well. Checks on executive power are still weathering the storm well. For example, courts are responding, and I don’t just mean to President Trump. They responded when they felt like there was an overreach from President Bush on the war on terror. And they responded to President Obama.

Federalism is continuing to work in the United States. States are getting far more done than the federal government could ever get done because states are closer to the people. That was always the design of federalism.

We are starting to have some challenges with the underlying societal strength that comes with the pursuit of happiness. People want to make their lives better and to make the lives of their children better. The failing K-12 education system for the poorest of our kids is right at the heart of that. The mismatch between job skills and available jobs are another big piece of this.

Unless we can find a way that people again believe that it doesn’t matter where you came from, that it matters where you’re going, then we’ll have a lot of unrest. The United States is unique in that we are not bound together by ethnicity, blood, nationality or religion. We are bound together by this aspiration that you can come from humble circumstances and you can do great things.

That’s mostly been true in America for a long time, and it’s been truer for group after group after group. If you were black, it wasn’t so true in segregated Birmingham in 1960. But, if you look at where we’ve come, it’s become truer. We’re going to lose that aspiration if large portions of the population are not able to access it.

This Q&A was conducted and condensed by William McKenzie, editor of The Catalyst. The full interview appears in the fall edition of The Catalyst: A Journal of Ideas from the Bush InstituteEmail:wmckenzie@bushcenter.org

Condoleezza Rice served as secretary of state and national security adviser under President George W. Bush. She now teaches at Stanford University and is a Hoover Institution senior fellow.

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Forum to plumb Trump’s stability, mental health and fitness for office

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Tennessee U.S. Sen. Bob Corker’s view that the Trump White House is effectively an “adult day care” is no laughing matter to a UNC-Chapel Hill psychiatrist who’s put together a Saturday forum focusing on the president’s mental state.

Edwin Fisher will speak at the 1 p.m. event in Chapel Hill along with two colleagues from Asheville, psychiatrist Steven Buser and psychologist Richard Smoot. All three are part of a group of mental-health professionals who believe President Donald Trump is dangerously unstable.

Coming at the issue from different perspectives, they’ve converged on the view that the president’s “judgment and his motives are putting us all at risk of catastrophic events,” Fisher said, alluding to a possible nuclear war with North Korea.

The situation, he added, should inspire Congress to place new limits on Trump’s war-making powers or Vice President Mike Pence and the Cabinet to consider invoking the 25th Amendment’s fitness-for-office provisions to begin the process to remove him.

Saturday’s forum will take place at the Chapel Hill Public Library, an off-campus forum chosen because UNC-CH’s football team has a home game against the University of Virginia later in the afternoon.

The timing’s not the best for an event in Chapel Hill, but Fisher said it was out of his hands because the Baltimore-based group he’s part of asked him to schedule it to coincide with similar events across the country the same day.

High-office hazard

Fisher contributed a chapter to a controversial new book, “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump,” that argues the president is so “mentally compromised” that his presence in high office is a hazard.

The controversy comes because the American Psychiatric Association has twice this year urged practitioners to avoid offering public opinions about the mental health of someone they haven’t personally examined.

Its invocation of the so-called “Goldwater Rule” – named for Barry Goldwater, the late Arizona U.S. senator who ran unsuccessfully for president in 1964 – has drawn return fire from leaders of the “Duty to Warn” group Fisher’s involved with.

One, Yale University psychiatrist Bandy Lee, argued in the book that the association had issued a “radical expansion” of the doctrine “barely two months into the very presidency that has made it controversial.”

Lee and Harvard-affiliated psychiatrist Judith Lewis Herman also argued that the group’s move shows even a prestigious professional organization “is not immune to … politically pressured acquiescence.”

Fisher, a professor in UNC-CH’s Gillings School of Global Public Health since 2005, said the book essentially argues there are signs Trump suffers both from narcissism and sociopathy. He said the the combination’s a volatile one in high-stakes situations, particularly if supporters and aides begin to abandon the president.

Legally, “if the president decides to launch a nuclear war, there’s nobody who can stop him,” Fisher said, adding that he believes what the group is doing is “educating the public about what those behavior patterns can mean.”

Fisher stressed that in speaking up on the issue, he’s speaking for himself, not for UNC-CH.

Fitness for office

Trump’s fundamental fitness for office, regardless of his views on the political issues of the day, has been questioned since he first sought the presidency, and not just by Democrats.

Locally, Duke political science professor Peter Feaver, in the mid-2000s a national security aide to former President George W. Bush, signed a statement last year that labeled Trump “a distinct threat to civil liberty the United States.”

Feaver at the time said that danger came from the possibility of putting “the power of the presidency in the hands of someone so focused on attacking his critics.”

Corker, a Republican, former mayor of Chattanooga and chairman of the Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee, told the New York Times on Oct. 8 that Trump’s threats to other countries may “put the nation on the path to World War III.”

He saw the major check on that as being aides “around him who are able to talk him down when he gets spun up, you know, calm him down and continue to work with him before a decision gets made.”

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4:55 PM 10/14/2017 – Reince Priebus may have been spying on Donald Trump for Robert Mueller – Trump Investigations

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Trump Investigations from mikenova (7 sites)
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Palmer Report: Reince Priebus may have been spying on Donald Trump for Robert Mueller last week
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News: Authorities in southern Mexico find bodies in secret graves – WTHR
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Palmer Report: Senile Donald Trump incoherently brags about hurting the stock market
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Donald Trump – Google News: Is Donald Trump ‘Obsessed’ With Barack Obama? – Newsweek
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump Investigations Report: 3:21 PM 10/14/2017 The Cyberwars and The Showboats By Michael Novakhov
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Palmer Report: Donald Trumps allies in Congress make desperate panic move as Robert Mueller closes in on him
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump Investigations Report: 3:14 PM 10/14/2017 How Russia used social media to divide Americans The Guardian
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump Investigations Report: 3:07 PM 10/14/2017 Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers | Editorials | The Showboats By Michael Novakhov The World-Wide Times
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): 1. Trump Investigation – Mike Flynn from mikenova (9 sites): Mike Flynn – Google News: TMHS Sports Round-Up: Boys get crossed up against Methuen in MVC Meet – Woburn Daily Times
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): trump authoritarianism – Google News: Opposition authoritarianism’ newest threat to democracy – Daily Nation
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump – Google News: Trump governs by disruption and overloads all the circuits – Washington Post
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Trump governs by disruption and overloads all the circuits – Washington Post
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump Investigations Report: 2:47 PM 10/14/2017 » Donald Trump | The Guardian: Et tu, brute? Steve Bannon seeks removal of Senate Caesar McConnell
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump – Google News: Promise the Moon? Easy for Trump. But Now Comes the Reckoning. – New York Times
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Sebastian Gorka – Google News: Sebastian Gorka, Steve Bannon Recruit Religious Right To Their ‘War’ On GOP Establishment At Values Voter Summit – Right Wing Watch (blog)
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Donald Trump | The Guardian: Et tu, brute? Steve Bannon seeks removal of Senate ‘Caesar’ McConnell
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Sebastian Gorka – Google News: Gorka tells audience to donate to his super PAC to ‘drain the swamp’ – The Hill (blog)
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Trump’s North Korea Delusions – Consortium News
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Palmer Report: Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: The Lawfare Podcast: Shadi Hamid and William McCants on Rethinking Political Islam
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump – Google News: Corker Blasts Trump Again: You Cannot Publicly Castrate Your Own Secretary of State – Slate Magazine (blog)

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Trump Investigations from mikenova (7 sites)
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Palmer Report: Reince Priebus may have been spying on Donald Trump for Robert Mueller last week
It’s being widely reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller spent all day on Friday interviewing Donald Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus. Mueller would have had no reason to skip straight t0 Priebus in the interview hierarchy, unless Priebus was looking to cut a deal. Now an overlooked detail from last week suddenly has an entirely new context and one that could explain everything that’s going on.

Nine days ago on October 5th, Kaitlan Collins of CNN tweeted “The president had lunch with Reince Priebus at the White House today.” (link). This stood out as unusual at the time, as Trump forced Priebus to resign back in July, and the two never liked each other to begin with. Now that we know Priebus spent October 13th with Mueller, it explains a lot. Trump, as per his usual habit, was trying to butter up Priebus and convince him not to cooperate with Mueller. What stands out here is that Priebus was actually willing to take the lunch meeting with Trump.

Whatever you think of Reince Priebus overall, he’s a politically savvy survivor. He would know better than to take a lunch with Donald Trump just before he sat down with the Special Counsel who’s investigating them both. That lunch would have exposed Priebus even more thoroughly to potential conspiracy to obstruct justice charges. It’s almost impossible to imagine Priebus having taken up Trump on the lunch invite ahead of his testimony, unless it was with Mueller’s approval.

Donald Trump’s biggest liability is his narcissism. He believes he can glad-hand anyone into doing his bidding. But in reality, anyone can manipulate Trump just by playing into his narcissism. It’s entirely realistic to believe that, after Trump invited Reince Priebus to lunch last week, Priebus told Mueller about it in order to cover himself legally, and Mueller advised him to go ahead with the lunch for the purpose of spying on Trump. In fact that’s probably what happened.

The post Reince Priebus may have been spying on Donald Trump for Robert Mueller last weekappeared first on Palmer Report.

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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News: Authorities in southern Mexico find bodies in secret graves – WTHR
Authorities in southern Mexico find bodies in secret graves
WTHR
The discoveries were made during a two-day operation in Chilapa, a town about 35 miles (56 kilometers) east of the state capital of Chilpancingo that has suffered heavy organized crime violence. Chilapa is a mountain town where two … The Syrian 

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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Palmer Report: Senile Donald Trump incoherently brags about hurting the stock market
Donald Trump’s worsening senility is increasingly on display with each passing day. He repeatedly gets confused and blankly wanders away in the middle of his own events. He can’t complete a coherent sentence without a teleprompter. His own aides are leaking to the media that he’s losing it, because they’re now scared enough to want him ousted. Trump added another piece of evidence to the senility pile this morning with one of his most bizarre tweets yet.

On Thursday night, Trump signed an executive order aimed at taking health insurance away from as many Americans as possible, in what can only be seen as a spiteful attempt at sabotaging Obamacare in order to undo President Obama’s legacy. Trump’s order was illegal, and he’s already been promptly sued by more than a dozen states. Then this morning he went and admitted just how gleefully deranged his motives truly are.

Trump tweeted “Health Insurance stocks, which have gone through the roof during the ObamaCare years, plunged yesterday after I ended their Dems windfall!” Wait a minute here. Whenever the stock market goes up, Trump loudly brags about it and tries to take credit. Whenever other indicators such as the latest job report suggest that the economy is in a tailspin and that the stock market is living on borrowed time, Trump ignores it. But here, Trump is outright bragging about having harmed the stock market, as the Dow Jones Industrial closed lower overall on Friday, thanks to the sinking health care stocks.

What Donald Trump doesn’t seem to get is that health care stocks went down yesterday because his idiotic executive order serves to drive a wedge between customers and health care providers; both sides will end up greatly suffering. Yet Trump doesn’t seem to get that. Nor does he get the irony of bragging one day that the stock market went up, only to brag the next day that he directly caused the stock market to go down.

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Newsweek
Is Donald Trump ‘Obsessed’ With Barack Obama?
Newsweek
President Donald Trump is obsessed with his predecessor, according to a number of pundits who believe many of the Republicans policies are all about blowing the former president’s legacy. Speaking on his CNN show on Saturday, following Trump’s …
Fact check: Trump on Iran’s ‘multiple violations’USA TODAY
Donald Trump Takes a HostageNew York Times
The Risk of Failure Is Enormous for Donald Trump’s Iran StrategyBloomberg
Aljazeera.com –The Nation. –Foreign Policy (blog)
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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump Investigations Report: 3:21 PM 10/14/2017 The Cyberwars and The Showboats By Michael Novakhov
1. My News Blogs from mikenova (3 sites) Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hacker Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 14.10.2017 20:56 Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS … Continue reading”3:21 PM 10/14/2017 – The Cyberwars and The Showboats – By Michael Novakhov”

Trump Investigations Report

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Palmer Report: Donald Trumps allies in Congress make desperate panic move as Robert Mueller closes in on him
If you’re looking for a sign of just how thoroughly Special Counsel Robert Mueller is closing in on Donald Trump, you can start with the fact that Mueller spent all day interviewing Trump’s former White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus on Friday. But if you really want confirmation of how close Mueller is getting, take a look at the manner in which Trump’s Republican allies in Congress are suddenly hitting the panic button in pronounced fashion.

Nineteen Republicans in the House and Senate have signed onto legislation which would force Mueller to essentially conduct his Trump-Russia investigation in public (link). This is, of course, a completely insane notion. As prosecutors are building a complex case involving dozens of subjects, witnesses and potential targets, various aspects of the case are kept secret for good reason. In fact Mueller has been keeping certain details hidden from Republicans in Congress so they can’t sabotage him by publicly leaking those details.

This legislation has virtually no chance of succeeding, as it would require 51 votes in the Senate and 218 votes in the House, yet it only appears to have 19 votes between them. Nonetheless, it’s a clear attempt on the part of Trump’s Republican allies notorious charlatans Bob Goodlatte and Steve King among them at taking one last desperate shot at preventing Mueller from being able to take down Trump. Moreover, these Republicans are giving away a lot by hitting the panic button at this particular time.

This is the clearest signal yet that Donald Trump’s allies now fear the Trump-Russia investigation is rapidly reaching the point at which there’s no turning back, and Trump’s eventual ouster will be all but guaranteed. It’s not a coincidence that these nineteen Republicans have signed onto this desperate legislation just as Priebus has begun meeting with Robert Mueller in a manner which suggests Priebus has flipped on Trump.

The post Donald Trump’s allies in Congress make desperate panic move as Robert Mueller closes in on him appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump Investigations Report: 3:14 PM 10/14/2017 How Russia used social media to divide Americans The Guardian
elections 2016 russian ads on social media – Google News How Russia used social media to divide Americans – The Guardian Pokemon Go also used by Russians to meddle in 2016 election (report) – Syracuse.com Google Finds Accounts Connected to Russia Bought Election Ads – New York Times Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg discusses Russia ad controversy … Continue reading”3:14 PM 10/14/2017 – How Russia used social media to divide Americans – The Guardian”

Trump Investigations Report

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump Investigations Report: 3:07 PM 10/14/2017 Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers | Editorials | The Showboats By Michael Novakhov The World-Wide Times
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers Editorials | The Showboats By Michael Novakhov The World-Wide Times The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal Mother Jones fbi long-standing hostile efforts at infiltration and penetration – Google Search fbi long-standing hostile efforts at infiltration … Continue reading”3:07 PM 10/14/2017 – Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers | Editorials | The Showboats By Michael Novakhov The World-Wide Times”

Trump Investigations Report

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): 1. Trump Investigation – Mike Flynn from mikenova (9 sites): Mike Flynn – Google News: TMHS Sports Round-Up: Boys get crossed up against Methuen in MVC Meet – Woburn Daily Times

Woburn Daily Times
TMHS Sports Round-Up: Boys get crossed up against Methuen in MVC Meet
Woburn Daily Times
Mike has been improving every single race and I am excited to see what the rest of the season has in store for him, said Fortunato. Following Flynn included: Jonathan Cabral (14th, 17:08), Steven Wilson (15th, 17:29), Jack Sutherland (19th, 17:58

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Mike Flynn – Google News

1. Trump Investigation – Mike Flynn from mikenova (9 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): trump authoritarianism – Google News: Opposition authoritarianism’ newest threat to democracy – Daily Nation

Daily Nation
Opposition authoritarianism’ newest threat to democracy
Daily Nation
Nasa supporters protesting along University Way on October 11, 2017. Nasa is pushing for reforms within the IEBC before the repeat presidential election set for October 26. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NATION MEDIA GROUP …

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trump authoritarianism – Google News

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump – Google News: Trump governs by disruption and overloads all the circuits – Washington Post

Washington Post
Trump governs by disruption and overloads all the circuits
Washington Post
Nine months into his first term, President Trump is perfecting a style of leadership commensurate with his campaign promise to disrupt business as usual in Washington. Call it governing by cattle prod. It is a tactic born of frustration and 
Promise the Moon? Easy for Trump. But Now Comes the Reckoning.New York Times
Fact check: Trump on Iran’s ‘multiple violations’USA TODAY
Trump is not only ditching the Iran deal, but Iraq tooAljazeera.com
CNN –CBS News –The Hill (blog)
all 2,494 news articles »

Trump – Google News

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Trump governs by disruption and overloads all the circuits – Washington Post

Washington Post
Trump governs by disruption and overloads all the circuits
Washington Post
That is a far more dangerous situation at the moment and one that requires constant attention from the president’s national security team. Foreign policy experts worry that, by opening up a new confrontation with Iran, the administration may be 
Four Underappreciated Dangers from Trump’s Iran Deal DecisionLobeLog
US allies in Europe vow to stand by Iran nuclear dealCNN
European Leaders Criticize Trump’s Disavowal of Iran DealNew York Times
Voice of America –Daily Beast –The National Interest Online
all 2,497 news articles »

trump as danger to National Security – Google News

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump Investigations Report: 2:47 PM 10/14/2017 » Donald Trump | The Guardian: Et tu, brute? Steve Bannon seeks removal of Senate Caesar McConnell
Trump from Huffington Post Trump – from Huffington Post from mikenova (2 sites) Donald Trump: Michele Bachmann Offers Her Thoughts On Donald Trump Being A ‘Man Of Faith’ And one supporter at the Values Voters Summit says Jesus would have tweeted like Trump. Donald Trump Feed Integration by RSS Dog. Trump Current News … Continue reading”2:47 PM 10/14/2017 » Donald Trump | The Guardian: Et tu, brute? Steve Bannon seeks removal of Senate ‘Caesar’ McConnell”

Trump Investigations Report

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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump – Google News: Promise the Moon? Easy for Trump. But Now Comes the Reckoning. – New York Times

New York Times
Promise the Moon? Easy for Trump. But Now Comes the Reckoning.
New York Times
WASHINGTON President Trump leaves little doubt about what he thinks of his predecessor’s top domestic and international legacies. The health care program enacted by President Barack Obama is outrageous and absolutely destroying everything in its …
Pro-Trump states most affected by his health care decisionABC News
Trump brags that health insurer stocks ‘plunged’ after his Obamacare orderCNBC
Trump touts ObamaCare executive order as boon to millions, end of Dems’ ‘windfall’Fox News
The Hill –Los Angeles Times –The New Yorker
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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Sebastian Gorka – Google News: Sebastian Gorka, Steve Bannon Recruit Religious Right To Their ‘War’ On GOP Establishment At Values Voter Summit – Right Wing Watch (blog)

Right Wing Watch (blog)
Sebastian Gorka, Steve Bannon Recruit Religious Right To Their ‘War’ On GOP Establishment At Values Voter Summit
Right Wing Watch (blog)
Former White House staffers Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon spoke at the Family Research Council’s annual Values Voter Summit (VVS) today, where they delivered speeches intended to galvanize the Religious Right against the establishment …

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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Donald Trump | The Guardian: Et tu, brute? Steve Bannon seeks removal of Senate ‘Caesar’ McConnell
Ex-Trump White House strategist refers to Shakespearean assassination in call for conservative voters to back his rebellion against Republican establishment

Former White House strategist Steve Bannon declared war on the Republican establishment on Saturday, comparing Mitch McConnell to Julius Caesar and asking whos going to be Brutus in the political assassination of the Senate majority leader.

Related: ‘He is failing’: Trump strikes out solo as friends worry and enemies circle

Related: Trump responds to critics of healthcare order with claim ‘millions’ will benefit

Continue reading…

Donald Trump | The Guardian

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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Sebastian Gorka – Google News: Gorka tells audience to donate to his super PAC to ‘drain the swamp’ – The Hill (blog)

The Hill (blog)
Gorka tells audience to donate to his super PAC to ‘drain the swamp’
The Hill (blog)
Former White House aide Sebastian Gorka encouraged a gathering of religious conservatives on Saturday to donate to his super PAC in order to “drain the swamp” in the nation’s capital. “If you want to help, if you want to drain the swamp, if you want to 

Sebastian Gorka – Google News

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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Trump’s North Korea Delusions – Consortium News

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Trump’s North Korea Delusions
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Exclusive: A combination of ignorance and rashness is making President Trump a particularly dangerous leader as he crashes ahead with a possible preemptive war on North Korea, writes Jonathan Marshall. By Jonathan Marshall … This false sense of 

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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Palmer Report: Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers
As investigators and the media continue to try to pinpoint how the Donald Trump campaign and the Russian government were conspiring to use voter data to rig the 2016 election, much of the focus has been on data analysis company Cambridge Analytica. Now a data scientist has uncovered what could have been a backchannel for the Trump campaign to use the company to steer Russian hackers in the right direction.

Professor Jonathan Albright has discovered that a Cambridge Analytica intern posted the company’s voter targeting algorithms to an online personal account just after Super Tuesday, and then bizarrely left them there for the entirety of the election. The intern listed them as “work samples” but it’s difficult to believe that any intern would have been publicly posting his company’s secret algorithms just to show off his skills. It raises the question of whether this was how the company was clandestinely making its secret algorithms available to Russian hackers in plain sight.

Cambridge Analytica has largely been funded by the Mercer family, which also heavily funded the Donald Trump campaign. Furthermore, Steve Bannon was running Cambridge Analytica at the time he was hired to run the Trump campaign. It has long been widely suspected, but never proven, that the company was working with U.S. voter data that had been supplied by the Russian hackers who tried to get into the voter registration databases of dozens of states during the election. Proving this suspicion would require uncovering potential communication channels between the company and the Russians.

If it turns out the Cambridge Analytica intern’s posting was indeed an intentional method of backdoor communication between the company and Russian hackers, it may open the door to exposing the full extent of the collusion that’s suspected to have taken place. You can read Professor Albright’s full research findings link).

The post Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers appeared first on Palmer Report.

Palmer Report

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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: The Lawfare Podcast: Shadi Hamid and William McCants on Rethinking Political Islam
Political Islam has been radically shifting in the past four years since the Egyptian coup and the emergence of ISIS, consequently challenging how we understand Islamist movements and their impact. To evaluate the evolution of mainstream Islamist groups and the obstacles they face in governance, Brookings Senior Fellows Shadi Hamid and Will McCants led an initiative to assess these movements across 12 countries, compiling field research from a group of leading specialists in their recently released book Rethinking Political Islam. Benjamin Wittes interviewed Shadi and Will on their book, discussing the scope of the volume, the common themes across the major movements, and the nuances of movements in countries like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Syria.

 

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump – Google News: Corker Blasts Trump Again: You Cannot Publicly Castrate Your Own Secretary of State – Slate Magazine (blog)

Slate Magazine (blog)
Corker Blasts Trump Again: You Cannot Publicly Castrate Your Own Secretary of State
Slate Magazine (blog)
Republican Sen. Bob Corker has shown no signs of easing up on President Trump after he called the White House an adult day care center and warned the commander in chief could start World War III. Corker has added that one of his biggest concerns is …
Corker hits Trump for his ‘castration’ of Secretary of State TillersonFox News
Top Republican senator: Trump is ‘castrating’ Secretary of State Rex TillersonBusiness Insider
Corker blasts Trump for publicly ‘castrating’ TillersonNew York Post

all 20 news articles »

Trump – Google News

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

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I DO NOT LIKE YOU, FACEBOOK! 

You are cheap, pretentious, primitive, and mediocre, just like the majority of your customers. Like “faces”, like “books”, like “posts”, like the uniform mentality of your everywhere-nowhere “friends”. Somewhere between the kindergarten and the institution for the mentally challenged. 

Not only its current CEO, but the Facebook itself is an insult to the potentials of the human intelligence, interactions, and communications. And all this for the little shiny penny, rolling into the billions of dollars. And sometimes, the nefarious penny, too. 

Several years ago, Google, Facebook, and many other services and sites restricted their use of RSS interoperability and turned themselves into the separate Internet fiefdoms to protect their “proprietary” devices and outlets, and therefore, profits. This contradicts the whole big idea. The broad RSS interoperability should be legislatively mandated across all platforms. 

Michael Novakhov 

10.14.17

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Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers
 

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

As investigators and the media continue to try to pinpoint how the Donald Trump campaign and the Russian government were conspiring to use voter data to rig the 2016 election, much of the focus has been on data analysis company Cambridge Analytica. Now a data scientist has uncovered what could have been a backchannel for the Trump campaign to use the company to steer Russian hackers in the right direction.

Professor Jonathan Albright has discovered that a Cambridge Analytica intern posted the company’s voter targeting algorithms to an online personal account just after Super Tuesday, and then bizarrely left them there for the entirety of the election. The intern listed them as “work samples” but it’s difficult to believe that any intern would have been publicly posting his company’s secret algorithms just to show off his skills. It raises the question of whether this was how the company was clandestinely making its secret algorithms available to Russian hackers in plain sight.

Cambridge Analytica has largely been funded by the Mercer family, which also heavily funded the Donald Trump campaign. Furthermore, Steve Bannon was running Cambridge Analytica at the time he was hired to run the Trump campaign. It has long been widely suspected, but never proven, that the company was working with U.S. voter data that had been supplied by the Russian hackers who tried to get into the voter registration databases of dozens of states during the election. Proving this suspicion would require uncovering potential communication channels between the company and the Russians.

If it turns out the Cambridge Analytica intern’s posting was indeed an intentional method of backdoor communication between the company and Russian hackers, it may open the door to exposing the full extent of the collusion that’s suspected to have taken place. You can read Professor Albright’s full research findings link).

The post Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers appeared first on Palmer Report.

Editorials | The Showboats By Michael Novakhov The World-Wide Times
 

mikenova shared this story from The World-Wide Times.

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The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal Mother Jones
 

mikenova shared this story from Mother Jones.

Carlo Allegri; Klimentyev Mikhail; Carlos Barria; Kevin Lamarque; Monterey Herald; Sergei Karpukhin; Jim Loscalzo (via ZUMA)

The Trump-Russia scandal—with all its bizarre and troubling twists and turns—has become a controversy that is defining the Trump presidency. The FBI recently disclosed that since July it has been conducting a counterintelligence investigation into possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia, as part of its probe of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election. Citing “US officials,” CNN reported that the bureau has gathered information suggesting coordination between Trump campaign officials and suspected Russian operatives. Each day seems to bring a new revelation—and a new Trump administration denial or deflection. It’s tough to keep track of all the relevant events, pertinent ties, key statements, and unraveling claims. So we’ve compiled what we know so far into the timeline below, which covers Trump’s 30-year history with Russia.  We will continue to update the timeline regularly as events unfold. (Click here to go directly to the most recent entry.) If you have a tip or we’ve left anything out, please email us at trumprussia@motherjones.com.

1986: Donald Trump is seated next to Russian Ambassador Yuri Dubinin at a lunch organized by Leonard Lauder, the son of cosmetics scion Estée Lauder, who at the time is running her cosmetics business. “One thing led to another, and now I’m talking about building a large luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin” in partnership with the Soviet government, Trump later writes in his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal. Also present at the event is Russian diplomat Vitaly Churkin, later the Russian ambassador to the United Nations. (Churkin died in February 2017 at 64.)

January 1987: Intourist, the Soviet agency for international tourism, expresses interest in meeting with Trump.

“Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” Trump said of his 2013 visit to Moscow for his Miss Universe contest.

July 1987: Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, fly to Moscow to tour potential hotel sites. Trump spokesman Dan Klores later tells the Washington Post that during the trip, Trump “met with a lot of the economic and financial advisers in the Politburo” but did not see Mikhail Gorbachev, then the USSR’s leader.

December 1, 1988: The Soviet Mission to the United Nations announces that Gorbachev is tentatively scheduled to tour Trump Tower while the Soviet leader is visiting New York and that Trump plans to show him a swimming pool inside a $19 million apartment.

December 7, 1988: Trump welcomes the wrong Gorbachev to New York—shaking hands with a renowned Gorbachev impersonator outside his hotel.

December 8, 1988: President Ronald Reagan invites Donald and Ivana Trump to a state dinner, where Trump meets the real Gorbachev. According to Trump’s spokesman, the real estate mogul had a lengthy discussion with the Soviet president about economics and hotels.

January 1989: For $200,000, Trump signs a group of Soviet cyclists for the Albany-to-Atlantic City road race, dubbed the Tour de Trump, that will take place that May.

November 5, 1996: Media reports note that Trump is trying to partner with US tobacco company Brooke Group to build a hotel in Moscow.

January 23, 1997: Trump meets with Alexander Lebed, a retired Soviet general then running to be president of Russia, at Trump Tower. Trump says they discussed his plans to build “something major” in Moscow. Lebed reportedly expressed his support, joking that his only objection would be that “the highest skyscraper in the world cannot be built next to the Kremlin. We cannot allow anyone spitting from the roof of the skyscraper on the Kremlin.”

2000: Michael Caputo, who later runs Trump’s primary campaign in New York during the 2016 race, secures a PR contract with the Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media to burnish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s image in the United States.

2005

Date unknown: Trump reportedly signs a development deal with Bayrock Group, a real estate firm founded by a former Soviet official from Kazakhstan, to develop a hotel in Moscow and agrees to partner on a hotel tower in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Trump works on the projects with Bayrock managing partner Felix Sater, a Russian American businessman. The New York Times will later publish a story revealing Sater’s criminal record, which includes charges of racketeering and assault.

June: Paul Manafort, later Trump’s campaign chairman, pens a strategy memo to Russia oligarch and Putin confidant Oleg Deripaska, with whom he would sign a $10 million lobbying contract the following year. “We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort writes, noting that the effort “will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.” (Manafort later denies working to advance Russian interests as part of this contract, first reported by the Associates Press. Deripaska later calls the AP story a “malicious…lie” and says, “I have never made any commitments or contacts with the obligation or purpose to covertly promote or advance ‘Putin’s Government’ interests anywhere in the world.”

2007

September 19: Sater and the former Soviet official who founded Bayrock, Tevfik Arif, stand next to Trump at the launch party for Trump SoHo, a hotel-condominium project co-financed by Bayrock.

November 22:  Trump Vodka debuts in Russia, at the Moscow Millionaire’s Fair. As part of its new marketing campaign, Trump Vodka also unveils an ad featuring Trump, tigers, the Kremlin, and Vladimir Lenin.

At the Millionaires’ Fair, Trump meets Sergey Millian, an American citizen from Belarus who is the president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in the USA (RACC). Subsequently, Millian later recounted, “We met at his office in New York, where he introduced me to his right-hand man—Michael Cohen. He is Trump’s main lawyer, all contracts go through him. Subsequently, a contract was signed with me to promote one of their real estate projects in Russia and the CIS. You can say I was their exclusive broker.” According to Millian, he helped Trump “study the Moscow market” for potential real estate investments.

December 17: The New York Times publishes a story about Felix Sater’s controversial past, which includes prison time for stabbing a man with a margarita glass stem during a bar fight and a guilty plea in a Mafia-linked racketeering case. The article characterizes Sater as a Trump business associate who is promoting several potential projects in partnership with Trump.

December 19: In a deposition, Trump is asked about his plans to build a hotel in Moscow. He says, “It was a Trump International Hotel and Tower. It would be a nonexclusive deal, so it would not have precluded me from doing other deals in Moscow, which was very important to me.”

2008

April: Trump announces he is partnering with Russian oligarch Pavel Fuks to license his name for luxury high-rises in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. But Fuks ultimately balks at Trump’s price, which the Russian business newspaper Kommersant estimated could have been $200 million or more.

July: Billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch, buys a Palm Beach mansion owned by Trump for $95 million, despite Florida’s crashing real estate market and an appraisal on the house for much less. Trump bought the property for $41.35 million four years earlier. Rybolovlev goes on to give conflicting explanations for why he bought the property.

September 15: Donald Trump Jr. speaks at a real estate conference in Manhattan, where he says “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets…We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Date unknown: Trump’s team reportedly invites Sergei Millian to meet Trump at a horse race in Florida, where, according to Millian, they sit in Trump’s private suite at the Gulfstream race track in Miami. “Trump team, they realized that we have a lot of connection with Russian investors. And they noticed that we bring a lot of investors from Russia,” Millian told ABC News in a 2016 interview. “And they needed my assistance, yes, to sell properties and sell some of the assets to Russian investors.” Millian says that following this meeting with Trump, he works as a broker for the Trump Hollywood condominium project in Miami, selling a “nice percentage” of the building’s 200 units to Russian investors.

2010

May 10: Jody Kriss, a former finance director at Bayrock, files a lawsuit against the company. The suit alleges that Bayrock financed Trump SoHo with mysterious cash from Kazhakstan and Russia and calls the building “a Russian mob project.” (The complaint notes that “there is no evidence that Trump took any part in” Bayrock’s interactions with questionable Russian financing sources.)

Date unknown: Bayrock’s Sater becomes a senior adviser to Trump, according to his LinkedIn profile. Though Trump later claims he would not recognize Sater, Sater has a Trump Organization email address, phone number, and business cards.

2013

January (date unknown): At an energy conference in New York, energy consultant Carter Page meets Victor Podobnyy, a Russian intelligence operative who in 2015 will be charged with being an unregistered agent of a foreign government, along with two other Russians. Until June 2013, Page will continue to meet, email, and provide documents to Podobnyy about the energy business, thinking that he is an attaché at the Russian mission to the UN who can help broker deals in Russia. Meanwhile, Podobnyy and one of his colleagues discuss efforts to recruit Page as an asset.

May 29: Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star and the son of billionaire real estate developer Aras Agalarov, releases a music video for his song “Amor.” In the video, he pursues Miss Universe 2012, Olivia Culpo, through dark, empty alleys with a flashlight. Following the video’s release, representatives of Miss Universe, which Trump at the time owns, discuss with the Agalarovs holding the next pageant in Moscow. The Agalarovs persuade them to host Miss Universe at a concert hall they own on the outskirts of Moscow.

June 18: Following the Miss USA contest in Las Vegas, Trump announces that he will bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow.

He also wonders if Putin will attend the pageant, and if Putin might “become my new best friend?”

June (date unknown): Defense Intelligence Agency head Michael Flynn visits Moscow at the invitation of Igor Sergun, the chief of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency. During his visit, Flynn gives an hour-long lecture on leadership and intelligence to a group of GRU officers at the agency’s headquarters. He is reportedly the first US intelligence officer ever allowed inside the headquarters.

June 21: Vladimir Putin awards Rex Tillerson, now Trump’s secretary of state, with Russia’s Order of Friendship. As the CEO of Exxon Mobil, Tillerson had developed a long-standing relationship with the head of Russia’s state-owned oil company, Rosneft, dating back to 1998.

October 17: In an interview with David Letterman, Trump says, “I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians,” noting that he once met Putin.

November 5: In a deposition, Trump is asked about a 2007 New York Times story outlining the controversial past of Felix Sater. Trump replies that he barely knows Sater and would have trouble recognizing him if they were in the same room.

“Putin even sent me a present, a beautiful present,” Trump boasted.

November 8: Trump, in Russia for the Miss Universe pageant, meets with more than a dozen of Russia’s top businessmen at Nobu, a restaurant 15 minutes from the Kremlin. The group includes Herman Gref, the CEO of the state-controlled Sberbank PJSC, Russia’s biggest bank. The meeting at Nobu is organized by Gref—who regularly meets with Putin—and Aras Agalarov, who owns the Nobu franchise in Moscow.

– According to a source connected to the Agalarovs, Putin asks his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, to call Trump in advance of the Miss Universe show to set up an in-person meeting for the Russian president and Trump. Peskov reportedly passes on the message and expresses Putin’s admiration for Trump. Their plans to meet never come to fruition because of scheduling changes for both Trump and Putin.

November 9: Trump spends the morning shooting a music video with Emin Agalarov.

-The Miss Universe pageant takes place near Moscow. A notorious Russian mobster, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, attends the event as a VIP, strolling down the event’s red carpet within minutes of Trump. At the time, Tokhtakhounov was under federal indictment in the United States for his alleged participation in an illegal gambling ring once run out of Trump Tower. Emin Agalarov performs two songs at the pageant.

– MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts asks Trump if he has a relationship with Putin. Trump replies, “I do have a relationship and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today.”

November 11: Trump tweets his appreciation to Aras Agalarov, the Russian billionaire with whom he partnered to host Miss Universe, also complimenting Emin’s performance at the pageant and declaring plans for a Trump tower in Moscow.

November 12: Trump tells Real Estate Weekly that Miss Universe Russia provided a networking opportunity: “Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” he says. The same day, two developers who helped build the luxury Trump SoHo hotel meet with the Agalarovs to discuss replicating the hotel in Moscow. Aras Agalarov, whose real estate company secured multiple contracts from the Kremlin and who once received a medal of honor from Putin, later claims he and Trump signed a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow following the pageant. (The deal never moved past preliminary discussions.)

November 20: Emin Agalarov releases a new music video featuring Trump and the 2013 Miss Universe contestants.

2014

March 6: Trump gives a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference and boasts of getting a gift from Putin when he was in Russia for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. “You know, I was in Moscow a couple months ago, I own the Miss Universe pageant, and they treated me so great,” Trump said. “Putin even sent me a present, beautiful present, with a beautiful note.”

May 27: At a National Press Club luncheon, Trump says, “I was in Moscow recently and I spoke, indirectly and directly, with President Putin, who could not have been nicer.”

October 8: The counsel’s office of the Defense Intelligence Agency responds to an inquiry from Michael Flynn about ethics restrictions that will apply to him after his Army retirement. The office explains in a letter that he can not receive foreign government payments without prior approval, due to the constitution’s emoluments clause. “If you are ever in a position where you would receive an emolument from a foreign government or from an entity that might be controlled by a foreign government, be sure to obtain advance approval from the Army prior to acceptance,” the letter states.

2015

September: FBI special agent Adrian Hawkins contacts the Democratic National Committee, saying that one of its computer systems has been compromised by a cyberespionage group linked to the Russian government. He speaks to a help desk technician who does a quick check of the DNC systems for evidence of a cyber intrusion. In the next several weeks, Hawkins calls the DNC back repeatedly, but his calls are not returned, in part because the tech support contractor who took Hawkins’ call does not know whether he is a real agent. The FBI does not dispatch an agent to visit the DNC in person and does not make efforts to contact more senior DNC officials.

September 21: On a conservative radio show, Trump says, “I was in Moscow not so long ago for an event that we had, a big event, and many of [Putin’s] people were there…I was with the top-level people, both oligarchs and generals, and top-of-the-government people. I can’t go further than that, but I will tell you that I met the top people, and the relationship was extraordinary.”

September 29: Trump praises Putin during an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly: “I will tell you, in terms of leadership he is getting an ‘A,’ and our president is not doing so well.”

November 10: At a Republican presidential primary debate, Trump says of Putin that he “got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates.”

November 11: The Associated PressTime, and other media outlets report that Trump and Putin were never in the same studio. Trump was interviewed in New York, and Putin was interviewed in Moscow.

December 10: Retired General Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency who was reportedly forced out in 2014, attends and is paid more than $30,000 to speak at Russia Today’s 10th anniversary dinner in Moscow, where he is seated next to Putin.

December 16: Then-CIA Director John Brennan writes in an internal memo that some members of Congress don’t “understand and appreciate the importance and gravity” of Russian interference in the Presidential election. The criticism is reportedly directed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), according to a BuzzFeed article published in August 2017. Brennan’s memo also says that then-FBI director James Comey and then-national intelligence director James Clapper agree on the scope of Russian involvement.

December 17: Putin praises Trump in his year-end press conference, saying that he is “very talented” and that “he is an absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level relations, a deeper level of relations with Russia…How can we not welcome that? Of course, we welcome it.” Trump calls the praise “a great honor” from “a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” He adds, “I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other toward defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”

2016

February 17: At a rally in South Carolina, Trump says of Putin, “I have no relationship with him, other than that he called me a genius.”

March 21: In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump identifies Carter Page as one of his foreign policy advisers.

March 30: Bloomberg Businessweek reports on Page’s past advising of Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas company. Page tells Bloomberg Businessweek that after Trump named him as an adviser, positive notes from his Russian contacts filled his inbox. “There’s a lot of excitement in terms of the possibilities for creating a better situation” in terms of easing US sanctions on Russia, Page explained.

April 26: The Washington Post reports that Paul Manafort, then Trump’s convention manager (who would later be promoted to campaign chairman), has long-standing ties to pro-Putin Ukrainian officials. Between 2007 and 2012, Manafort worked as a political consultant to Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russia part. He helped Yanukovych remake his image following the Orange Revolution and mount a successful bid for the Ukrainian presidency.

April 27: Trump gives his first foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. During the speech, he calls for an “easing of tensions” and “improved relations” with Russia. The Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak is in attendance, as well as Sen. Jeff Sessions. According to the Wall Street Journal, before Trump’s remarks, he “met at a VIP reception with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak. Mr. Trump warmly greeted Mr. Kislyak and three other foreign ambassadors who came to the reception.”

April and May: The DNC’s IT department contacts the FBI about unusual computer activity and hires cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to investigate. In May, Crowdstrike determines that hackers affiliated with Russian intelligence infiltrated the DNC’s network.

June: The Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), a government think tank run by retired foreign intelligence officials appointed by Vladimir Putin, drafts and circulates a strategy paper among top Russian government officials. According to Reuters, it recommends that the Kremlin help spur a propaganda campaign—via social media and state-controlled news outlets—that would help elect a more pro-Russia US president. This is based on information provided to Reuters by seven current or former US officials in April 2017.

June 3: Rob Goldstone, publicist for Emin Agalarov, emails Donald Trump Jr. to say that Russia’s crown prosecutor met with Aras Agalarov—Emin’s dad and a Russian oligarch—and told him that he possessed “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary” that could be shared with the Trump campaign. Goldstone adds that the information: “is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. responds by asking to speak to Emin about the material described in Goldstone’s email, and he adds, “If it’s what you say I love it.”

June 6: Goldstone tries to coordinate a phone call between Trump Jr. and Emin over email.

June 7: Goldstone emails Trump Jr. to say that Emin asked that Trump Jr. meet with a “Russian government attorney” in New York. They set a time over email for June 9, and Trump Jr. responds that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will also likely sit in on the meeting.

June 8: Trump Jr. forwards the email with the updated meeting time to Kushner and Manafort.

June 9: Promised damaging information on Clinton, Trump Jr., Manafort, and Kushner meet with a Kremlin-tied Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. She says she has evidence that individuals linked to Russia are funding the DNC. Trump Jr. will later characterize her statements on this topic as “vague” and “ambiguous” and will claim that the discussion turned to the Magnitsky Act and Russia’s policy on US adoptions of Russian children.

June 14: The Washington Post reports that Russian hackers penetrated the Democratic National Committee and stole opposition research on Donald Trump.

June 15:  Guccifer 2.0, an online persona that US intelligence officials link to Russia’s military intelligence service, takes credit for the DNC hack and posts hacked DNC documents. Guccifer will go on to post additional hacked documents—from the DNC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and purportedly from the Clinton Foundation—at least nine more times in the months leading up to the election. (Some reports contest that the documents came from the Clinton Foundation itself.)

– During a private meeting, Republican leaders discuss the DNC hack. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy remarks, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” (Rorhbacher is California Republican Dana Rohrbacher, a steadfast defender of Putin and Russia.) When his colleagues laugh, McCarthy adds, “Swear go god.” (McCarthy later says he was joking.)

July 7: Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page criticizes US sanctions against Russia during a speech at the New Economic School in MoscowPolitico later reports that Page asked for and received permission from Trump’s then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to speak at the Moscow event. Page’s trip spurs the FBI—which has had an interest in the investor since discovering in 2013 that a Russian operative had tried to recruit him—to begin investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

July 18: The Washington Post reports that the Trump campaign worked with members of the Republican Party platform committee in advance of the Republican National Convention to soften the platform’s position related to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The platform reportedly included a provision that promised to provide arms to Ukraine in its fight against Russia, but Trump campaign staffers encouraged the committee to jettison this language.

– Trump surrogate Sen. Jeff Sessions meets with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, on the sidelines of a Republican National Convention event put on by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

July 20: New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza asks Sam Clovis, Trump’s top policy adviser, about allegations that the Trump team worked with the Republican party to soften the party platform’s position on Russia in advance of the RNC. Clovis responds with “I can’t talk about” and walks away.

July 18-21: Trump campaign staffers Carter Page and J.D. Gordon, the campaign’s director of national security, also meet with the Russian ambassador during the convention.

July 22: WikiLeaks publishes nearly 20,000 hacked DNC emails, in advance of the Democratic National Convention. Some of the emails indicate that DNC officials favored Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders.

July 24: Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, appears on ABC’s This Week, where he is asked whether there are connections between the Trump campaign and the Putin regime. Manafort says, “No, there are not. And you know, there’s no basis to it.”

July 25: Trump tweets about the hacked DNC emails:

July 26: US intelligence agencies tell the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the DNC hack. This is reported by media outlets but not publicly confirmed by intelligence agencies.

– In an interview with NBC News, Obama says hacks are being investigated by the FBI, but that “experts have attributed this to the Russians.” He notes, “What we do know is that the Russians hack our systems. Not just government systems, but private systems. But you know, what the motives were in terms of the leaks, all that—I can’t say directly. What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin.”

-Trump tweets, calling the Russia allegations “crazy”:

July 27: Trump encourages Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, saying during a news conference, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you’ll probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” At the same event, he declares, “I never met Putin. I don’t know who Putin is.”

July 31: On ABC’s This Week, Trump again denies knowing Putin, saying, “I have no relationship with him.” Trump also denies that his campaign played any role in getting the Republican Party to soften its platform on arming Ukraine.

– On Meet the Press, Manafort denies that he or anyone within the Trump campaign worked to change the platform.

– Sen. Jeff Sessions defends Trump’s efforts to cultivate a friendship with Russia during an appearance on CNN: “Donald Trump is right. We need to figure out a way to end this cycle of hostility that’s putting this country at risk, costing us billions of dollars in defense, and creating hostilities.”

Late July: The FBI launches a counterintelligence investigation into contacts between Trump associates and Russia. There is no public confirmation of this investigation at the time, but FBI Director James Comey later confirms the investigation in a March 2017 hearing before the House intelligence committee.

August 4: In a phone call with Alexander Bornikov, the head of Russia’s FSB, CIA Director John Brennan puts his counterpart on notice about further interference in the US election. Bornikov denies efforts targeting the election.

August 5: Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, asked by the Washington Post about Carter Page’s July speech in Moscow, downplays his role as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, saying he “does not speak for Mr. Trump or the campaign.”

– Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone writes an article for Breitbart in which he denies that Russia was behind the DNC hack. He argues that Guccifer 2.0 has no ties to Russia.

August 6: NPR confirms the Trump campaign’s involvement in encouraging the Republican Party to soften its platform’s pro-Ukraine position on Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

August 14: The New York Times reports that Ukraine’s anti-corruption bureau has discovered Manafort’s name on a list of “black accounts” compiled by ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a Putin ally. The tallies show undisclosed payments designated for Manafort totaling $12.7 million between 2007 and 2012, the years that Manafort worked for Yanukovych as a political consultant. (Manafort denies receiving any illicit payments.)

August 17: Trump receives his first classified intelligence briefing as the GOP nominee for president. He brings Michael Flynn with him to the meeting, which includes discussion of the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia was interfering in the US election.

August 19: Manafort resigns from the Trump campaign.

August 21: Roger Stone tweets:

August 29: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pens a letter to the FBI, asking the bureau to investigate the possibility of election-tampering by Russia in the upcoming presidential election. “I have recently become concerned that the threat of the Russian government tampering in our presidential election is more extensive than widely known,” Reid writes. “The prospect of a hostile government actively seeking to undermine our free and fair elections represents one of the gravest threats to our democracy since the Cold War and it is critical for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use every resource available to investigate this matter thoroughly.”

August 29: Yahoo News reports that the FBI has found evidence that the state voter systems in Arizona and Illinois were breached by hackers possibly linked to the Russian government.

August 30: House Democrats send a letter to FBI Director James Comey calling on the bureau to investigate ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials and any impact these ties may have had on the hacking of the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

September 5: The Washington Post reports that US intelligence agencies, including the FBI, are investigating possible plans by Russia to disrupt the presidential election.

– Putin and Obama have a tense meeting at the G20 summit in China, where they discuss Syria, Ukraine, and cybersecurity. In December, Obama will tell reporters that he confronted Putin about Russia’s alleged interference in the election and told him to “cut it out.”

September 7: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggests publicly for the first time that Russia may be responsible for the DNC hack, pointing to Obama’s July statement that “experts have attributed this to the Russians.” Clapper adds that “the Russians hack our systems all the time.”

September 8: Trump responds to Clapper’s comments in an interview with RT, the English language arm of a Russian state-controlled media conglomerate, casting doubt on whether Russian hackers were responsible for the DNC hack. “I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out,” Trump says. “Who knows, but I think it’s pretty unlikely.”

– Jeff Sessions meets with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in his Senate office. He is the only oneof the Senate armed services committee’s 26 members to meet with the ambassador in 2016. The meeting occurs days after Putin and Obama’s tense G20 meeting.

September 22: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, release a statement about Russia’s interference in the US election. “Based on briefings we have received, we have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election,” they said. “We believe that orders for the Russian intelligence agencies to conduct such actions could come only from the very senior levels of the Russian government.”

September 23: Yahoo News reports that US intelligence officials are investigating whether Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page discussed the possible lifting of US sanctions on Russia and other topics during private communications with top Russian officials, including a Putin aide and the current executive chairman of Rosneft, who is on the Treasury Department’s US sanctions list. Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller claims that Page “has no role” in the Trump campaign and says that “we are not aware of any of his activities, past or present.”

September 25: In a CNN interview, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway denies that Page is affiliated with the Trump campaign. “He’s certainly not part of the campaign that I’m running,” she said.

In response to a question about Page’s possible connections to Russian officials, Conway says, “If he’s doing that, he’s certainly not doing it with the permission or knowledge of the campaign,” She adds, “He is certainly not authorized to do that.”

September 26: Page takes a leave from the campaign.

– During the first presidential debate, Clinton brings up the allegations that Russia orchestrated the DNC hack. Trump responds: “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?”

October 1: Roger Stone tweets:

October 3: Roger Stone tweets:

October 7: US intelligence agencies issue a joint release saying they are “confident” the Russian government interfered in the US election, in part by directing the leaking of hacked emails belonging to political institutions like the DNC. This is the first official government confirmation that Russia orchestrated the hacking and leaks during the election.

-Late on Friday afternoon, a leaked video of Trump boasting of groping and kissing women without their consent is published by the Washington PostHalf an hour later, WikiLeaks begins to release several thousand hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

October 9: During the second presidential debate, Clinton accuses Trump of benefiting from Russian hacking and other interference in the election. Trump responds, “I don’t know Putin. I think it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together, as an example. But I don’t know Putin.”

Referring to Trump campaign staffers Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said the day after the election: “A number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives. There were contacts. We continue to do this and have been doing this work during the election campaign.”

October 11: The Obama White House promises a “proportional” response following the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia was responsible for hacking the DNC and other groups.

October 12: Sources briefed on the FBI examination of Russian hacking say the agency suspects that Russian intelligence agencies are behind the hacking of the emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and a Florida election systems vendor.

– Roger Stone says he has “back-channel communications” with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, through a mutual friend.

October 19: During the final presidential debate, Trump casts doubt on the US intelligence community’s conclusion that the Russian government interfered in the election. He also denies having ever met or spoken to Putin, despite his previous statements to the contrary. “I never met Putin,” Trump says. ” I have nothing to do with Putin. I’ve never spoken to him.”

October 30: The plane belonging to Dmitri Rybolovlev, the Russian oligarch who purchased Trump’s Florida mansion in 2008, is in Las Vegas the same day Trump holds a rally there.

– Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sends a letter to FBI Director James Comey calling on him to release what Reid calls “explosive” information about Trump’s Russia ties. “In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government,” Reid writes. “The public has a right to know this information.”

October 31: Mother Jones reports that a veteran of a Western intelligence service has given the FBI memos saying that Russia had mounted a yearslong operation to co-opt or cultivate Trump and that the Kremlin had gathered compromising information on Trump during his visits to Moscow that could be used for blackmail. The story notes that the FBI has requested more information from this source.

October: Russian government think tank RISS drafts and circulates a document among top Russian officials warning that Hillary Clinton is likely to win the US presidential election. According to Reuters, the memo advises the Kremlin to revise its strategy for influencing the election: Instead of focusing on pro-Trump propaganda, it should instead seek to undermine Clinton’s reputation and the legitimacy of the US electoral system by stoking fears about voter fraud.

Date unknown: Prior to Election Day, Flynn contacts Kislyak. It’s unknown how often the pair communicated or what they talked about.

November 1: NBC News reports that the FBI is conducting a preliminary inquiry into Paul Manafort’s business ties to Russia and Ukraine. Manafort tells NBC, “None of it is true.” He denies having dealings with Putin or the Russian government and says any allegations to the contrary are “Democratic propaganda.”

November 3: Dmitri Rybolovlev’s plane lands in Charlotte, North Carolina, about 90 minutes before Trump’s plane lands at the same airport in advance of a Trump rally to be held that day in nearby Concord.

November 9: Trump wins the presidential election.

November 10: Interfax news agency reports that the Russian government had contact with the Trump campaign during the campaign. Referring to Trump campaign staffers, Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, says, “A number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives” in the Russian Foreign Ministry. And he adds, “There were contacts. We continue to do this and have been doing this work during the election campaign.”

– Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells the Associated Press that Russian foreign policy experts have been in contact with the Trump campaign. “And our experts, our specialists on the U.S., on international affairs…Of course they are constantly speaking to their counterparts here, including those from Mr. Trump’s group,” Peskov said.

November 11: Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks tells the Associated Press that the allegations of contact between the Trump campaign and Russian officials are false. “It never happened,” she says. “There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”

November 16: The director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, implies that he believes Russia interfered in the US election. In response to a question about WikiLeaks hacks during the election, Rogers says, “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”

November 17: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House oversight committee, sends a letter to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the committee’s top Republican, calling for an investigation into Russia’s interference in the election.

November 23: The Wall Street Journal reports that in October 2016, Donald Trump Jr. spoke at a meeting of a French think tank run by a couple, Fabien Baussart and Randa Kassis, who have “worked closely with Russia to try to end the conflict” in Syria. Kassis is the leader of a Syrian group endorsed by the Kremlin that seeks to cooperate with Moscow ally President Bashar al-Assad.

November 29: Seven members of the Senate intelligence committee write a letter to Obama asking him to declassify relevant intelligence on Russia’s role in the election.

Early December: Two Russian intelligence officers who worked on cyber operations and a Russian computer security expert are arrested in Moscow and charged with treason for providing information to the United States. (There is no indication of whether the arrests are related to the Russian hacking of the 2016 campaign.)

December 8: Carter Page, no longer a foreign policy adviser to Trump, visits Moscow, where he tells a state-run news agency that he plans to meet with “business leaders and thought leaders.”

December 9: The Washington Post reports that a secret CIA assessment concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win the presidency. In response, the Trump transition team issues a statement attempting to discredit the CIA’s conclusion: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago…It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”

December 11: In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Trump again casts doubt on the US intelligence community’s findings on Russia’s interference in the election. “They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody,” Trump says of the CIA’s findings. “It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea.”

December 13: Trump names Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, as his secretary of state nominee. Tillerson has long-standing ties to Russia and Putin. Tillerson helped Exxon cut several oil-drilling deals with Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, and in 2013 Putin awarded Tillerson the Russian Order of Friendship.

December (date unknown): Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner meet with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower. Kislyak was not caught on tape entering the building, suggesting that he may have been brought in through a back entrance.

December (date unknown): Kislyak requests another meeting with Kushner. Kushner sends a deputy, Avrahm Berkowitz, to meet with the Russian ambassador in his stead. At that meeting, Kislyak requests that Kushner meet with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, Russia’s state-owned development bank. Kushner meets with Gorkov later that month.

December 29: Obama announces sanctions against Russia for the country’s alleged interference in the presidential election. The measure includes the ejection of 35 Russian diplomats from the United States; the closure of Cold War-era Russian compounds in Long Island, New York, and in Maryland; and sanctions against the GRU and the FSB (Russian intelligence agencies), four employees of those agencies, and three companies that worked with the GRU.

– Michael Flynn holds five phone calls with Kislyak, during which they at some point discuss US sanctions on Russia. (White House press secretary Sean Spicer later claims falsely that they held just one call, in which they merely discussed “logistical information.”)

2017

January 4: According to the New York TimesFlynn tells Don McGahn, who at the time was the transition team’s top lawyer, that he is under investigation for failing to disclose his work as a lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign.

January 6: Flynn’s attorney and transition team lawyers hold another discussion about the investigation involving Flynn.

-The Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases a report saying that the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA believe there is evidence that Russia actively tried to help Trump win the election. They also conclude with “high confidence” that Russian military intelligence used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and a website called <a href=”http://DCLeaks.com” rel=”nofollow”>DCLeaks.com</a> to release the hacked documents and that Russia’s military intelligence branch channeled hacked material to WikiLeaks.

Early January: Concerned that classified material relating to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election might disappear once the Trump administration took office, Obama administration officials create a list containing the serial numbers of key documents. An administration official hand-delivers this list to senior members of the Senate intelligence committee.

January 10: CNN reports that Obama and Trump received classified briefings that covered allegations contained in the Russia-Trump memos authored by the Western intelligence official that Russian intelligence possessed compromising material on Trump.

– BuzzFeed publishes the Trump-Russia memos in full.

– Trump calls the Russia memos story “#fakenews” on Twitter.

– During his Senate confirmation hearing, Jeff Sessions responds to questions about alleged contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia by saying, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

– FBI Director James Comey testifies at a Senate intelligence committee hearing. He is asked whether the FBI is investigating Trump campaign staffers’ ties to Russia. Comey declines to answer the question.

– According to McClatchy‘s reporting in May 2017, Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, informs Michael Flynn of the Pentagon’s plan to use Syrian Kurdish forces to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital, Raqqa. Flynn asks Rice to delay the operation, a position that “conformed to the wishes of Turkey.”

January 11: Trump again denies the allegations in the Russia memos in a series of tweets. Also in reference to the Russia allegations, he asks, “Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

– At his first news conference since being elected, Trump acknowledges that Russia was behind the hacks, saying, “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”

Around January 11: A secret meeting takes place in the Seychelles between Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a major Trump campaign donor and brother of education secretary Betsy DeVos, and a Russian close to Vladimir Putin in an effort to establish an unofficial back channel between Moscow and Donald Trump. According to sources who would later speak to the Washington Post, the meeting was allegedly coordinated by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and his brother. It occurred shortly after a December visit to the US by Zayed, which the UAE did not disclose to the Obama administration.

January 13: Trump again calls claims about his Russian connections “fake news.” His tweet refers to a comment by a Kremlin spokesman earlier in the month that called the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the US election “absolutely unfounded.”

January 15: In an appearance on Face the Nation, Vice President-elect Mike Pence says Michael Flynn told him that he did not discuss US sanctions during his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

January 19: The New York Times reports that the FBI, the NSA, the CIA, and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit are investigating Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Roger Stone for their possible contacts with Russia during the campaign. As part of their investigation, the Times reports, these agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions.

January 20: Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

January 23: White House press secretary Sean Spicer holds his first White House press briefing. He insists that national security adviser Michael Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador included no discussion of US sanctions.

January 24: The FBI interviews Flynn about his phone conversations with the Russian ambassador. Flynn reportedly denies having discussed US sanctions on Russia.

January 26: Sally Yates, the acting attorney general, informs White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn had discussed US sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador, despite Flynn’s claims to the contrary in his FBI interview.

– McGahn informs Trump of Yates’ report that Flynn had a conversation with the Russian ambassador in December that included a discussion about US sanctions. This reveals that Flynn misled Pence when he said he had not had substantive conversations with the Russian ambassador.

January 27: In a one-on-one dinner at the White House, Trump reportedly asks FBI director James Comey whether he is personally under investigation by the FBI for possible Russia ties, according to a May 2017 NBC interview with Trump. Trump claims that Comey reassures him that he is not under investigation. Two of Comey’s associates who speak to the New York Times in May 2017 have a different account of the dinner: They say that Trump asked Comey for loyalty. Comey reportedly declined, but offered “honesty.”

January (date unknown): Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, meets at a Manhattan hotel with Felix Sater and a pro-Putin Ukrainian lawmaker to discuss a potential peace plan for Ukraine and Russia. The New York Times reports that Cohen delivered this plan to Flynn. Cohen confirms he met with Sater and the Ukrainian lawmaker, but denies that they discussed a Ukraine-Russia peace plan or that he delivered such a plan to Flynn or the White House.

February 7: Trump tweets:

February 8: In an interview with the Washington PostFlynn denies discussing US sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

February 9: A spokesman for Flynn softens the national security adviser’s denial, telling the Washington Post that “while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”

February 10: Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump says he is not aware of reports that Flynn has discussed US sanctions with the Russian ambassador. He has in fact been aware of Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak since late January.

– Dmitri Rybolovlev’s plane lands in Miami, the day before Trump is set to arrive at Mar-a-Lago for the weekend.

February 13: Flynn resigns following reports that the Justice Department warned the White House that Flynn had misled senior members of the administration, including Pence, about whether he discussed US sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

February 14: The New York Times reports that American intelligence and law enforcement agencies have intercepted repeated communications between Trump campaign officials and other Trump associates and senior Russian intelligence and government officials.

– Spicer denies that Trump or his campaign had any contacts with Russia during the election.

February 15: During a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump does not answer a question about potential connections between his campaign and Russia during the election. He blames Flynn’s ouster on leaks. This is a different position than the one taken by the White House previously: that Flynn was asked to resign because he misled Pence about his communication with the Russian ambassador.

– Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, asks the FBI to publicly knock-down media reports that the US intelligence community was investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged contacts with Russia intelligence operatives during the election. The FBI refuses to do so. The administration then enlists the help of the intelligence community and several members of Congress, including Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)—the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees, both of which are conducting investigations into Trump’s Russia connections—to call media outlets to counter stories about contacts between Trump staffers and Russians.

– In an appearance on PBS Newshour, Carter Page denies that he had any meetings with Russian officials in 2016.

February 16: At a news conference, Trump is asked whether anyone in his campaign had been in contact with Russia. He replies, “Nobody that I know of.” He also denies having any contact with Russia, saying, “Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia.”

February 17: FBI Director James Comey meets with members of the Senate intelligence committee. That same day, the committee sends letters to more than a dozen agencies, groups, and individuals, asking them to preserve all communications related to the committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

February 19: During an interview on Fox News, Priebus denies that the Trump camp had any contact with Russia.

February 28: Republicans on the House judiciary committee vote down a Democrat-sponsored resolution that would have required the Trump administration to disclose information about Trump’s ties to Russia (and his possible financial conflicts of interest).

– White House lawyers ask Trump staffers to preserve any materials related to possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.

March 1: The Washington Post reports that Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general, did not disclose in his January confirmation hearings that he twice met with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. Sessions had said during a confirmation hearing that “I did not have communications with the Russians.” Sessions’ Justice Department spokeswoman says Sessions met with Kislyak in his capacity as a senator on the armed services committee, and that the question during the confirmation hearing was about the Trump campaign’s Russian connections.

March 2: Facing criticism over the revelations that he withheld information regarding his meetings with the Russian ambassador during his confirmation hearings, Sessions announces that he will recuse himself from any investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

 On NBC, Sessions denies that he ever discussed the Trump campaign with Russians. “I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign and those remarks are unbelievable to me and are false,” he said. “And I don’t have anything else to say about that.”

 Alex Oronov, a Ukrainian billionaire businessman who was connected by marriage to Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and associate, dies unexpectedly. Oronov’s daughter was married to Cohen’s brother. Oronov reportedly set up a January 2017 meeting between Cohen and Russian officials to discuss a possible “peace plan” between Russia and Ukraine that would have formalized Putin’s control over Crimea. The New York Times reported that this peace proposal was hand-delivered to Michael Flynn prior to his forced resignation.

– The White House acknowledges that Jared Kushner and Flynn met with Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower in December. The meeting was first reported by The New Yorker.

– The Wall Street Journal reports that Donald Trump Jr. was paid at least $50,000 for his October 2016 appearance before a French think tank run by a couple allied with Russia on ending Syrian conflict.

– USA Today reports that two other Trump advisers, Carter Page and J.D. Gordon, met with Sergey Kislyak during the Republican National Convention.

– In an MSNBC appearance, Page says he doesn’t deny that this meeting took place.

– J.D. Gordon tells CNN that during the Republican National Convention, he did in fact push to alter the Republican platform’s draft policy on Ukraine to align it with Trump’s views on Russia.

March 3: Trump dresses down senior staffers in a meeting in the Oval Office over Jeff Sessions’ recusal and over news reports connecting the Trump administration to Russia.

March 4: Without providing any proof, Trump alleges that President Obama wiretapped his phones during the election.

March 5: Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the White House is requesting that the congressional intelligence committees examine Trump’s allegations that Obama wiretapped Trump during the campaign as part of their investigation into Russia’s election activity. Spicer also says the White House will not comment further on the wiretapping allegation until the completion of this investigation.

March 10: Trump adviser Roger Stone acknowledges that during the 2016 campaign he exchanged direct messages on Twitter with Guccifer 2.0, the online persona that US intelligence agencies believe was a front for Russian intelligence. Stone claims the conversations were so “perfunctory” and “banal” that he had forgotten about them.

– The yacht belonging to Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev anchors in a cove in the British Virgin Islands. Another yacht anchors next to Rybolovlev’s—the Sea Owl, owned by Robert Mercer, one of Trump’s biggest donors during the 2016 election and an investor in the conservative Breitbart News.

March 15: Asked about his decision to accuse Obama of wiretapping him without evidence, Trump hints that information will soon emerge to back up his claims. “I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.”

March 20: Shortly before the House intelligence committee holds its first public hearing on its investigation into Russia’s interference in the US election, a senior White House official tells the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, “You’ll see the setting of the predicate. That’s the thing to watch today.” Lizza later reports:

He suggested that I read a piece in The Hill about incidental collection. The article posited that if “Trump or his advisors were speaking directly to foreign individuals who were the target of U.S. spying during the election campaign, and the intelligence agencies recorded Trump by accident, it’s plausible that those communications would have been collected and shared amongst intelligence agencies.”

The White House clearly indicated to me that it knew Nunes would highlight this issue. “It’s backdoor surveillance where it’s not just incidental, it’s systematic,” the White House official said. “Watch Nunes today.”

– In his opening statement at the hearing, Nunes asks, “Were the communications of officials or associates of any campaign subject to any kind of improper surveillance?” The day’s biggest news, however, comes from FBI Director James Comey who testifies the hearing that the bureau has since July been “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” Both Comey and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers dismiss Trump’s claim that Obama wiretapped him during the election.

– In response to questions from Mother Jones‘ David Corn, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chair of the House intelligence committee, tells reporters he has never heard of key figures connected to the Trump-Russia scandal, including Carter Page and Roger Stone.

– Spicer tells reporters that Paul Manafort, who ran Trump’s campaign from April 2016 to August 2016, “played a limited role” on the campaign “for a very limited amount of time.”

March 22: The Associated Press reports that, starting in the mid-2000s, Manafort worked on behalf of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to “influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government.” The news service quotes a 2005 strategy memo authored by Manafort, who writes, “We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success.” Manafort denies working on behalf of Russian interests.

– Mother Jones reports that Manafort tried to help Deripaska secure a visa to the United States. The aluminum magnate had been denied entry to the United States at various points because of suspected ties to the Russian mafia.

– Rep. Devin Nunes, without briefing Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), his Democratic counterpart on the intelligence committee, or other members of the panel, calls a surprise press conference, announcingthat he has seen evidence that the intelligence community “incidentally” picked up communications by Trump transition officials in the course of lawful surveillance on foreign parties. He claims that the names of Trump officials were “unmasked” and that “none of this surveillance was related to Russia.”

– In a remarkable departure from intelligence committee norms, Nunes visits the White House to brief Trump on his findings. The president later says he feels “somewhat” vindicated by the information Nunes shared.

– Schiff releases a statement expressing “grave concerns” about Nunes’ actions and casting doubt about whether a “credible investigation” can be conducted under these circumstances.

– Schiff tells MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that there is “more than circumstantial evidence now” of potential collusion between Trump officials and Russian operatives.

– CNN, citing “US officials,” reports that the “FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

March 23: The Associated Press reports that US Treasury Department agents have obtained records of “offshore financial transactions” by Paul Manafort, in conjunction into an ongoing anti-corruption investigation into his work in Eastern Europe. According to the new service, “As part of their investigation, U.S. officials were expected to look into millions of dollars’ worth of wire transfers to Manafort. In one case, the AP found that a Manafort-linked company received a $1 million payment in October 2009 from a mysterious firm through the Bank of Cyprus. The $1 million payment left the account the same day—split in two, roughly $500,000 disbursements to accounts with no obvious owner.”

– Trump tweets:

– Rep. Nunes apologizes to Democratic members of the intelligence committee for failing to brief them on the new information he obtained and instead taking it straight to the White House, but he won’t explain why he took this unusual action.

March 24: Rep. Devin Nunes holds a press conference, where he announces that Paul Manafort has volunteered to testify before the House intelligence committee. He also announces that the committee will be delaying its next open hearing, which had been planned for March 28.

March 27: The New York Times reports that in early December 2016, Jared Kushner met with Sergey Gorkov, the chief of Russia’s state-owned development bank at the request of Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The paper also reports that the Senate intelligence committee has informed the White House that it will seek to question Kushner about this meeting and his interactions with the Kislyak.

– The New York Times reports that on the evening of March 21, Rep. Nunes met with a source on the grounds of the White House grounds. The source reportedly showed Nunes “dozens” of classified intelligence reports. The next day, Nunes announced he had viewed evidence that showed that US intelligence agencies had “incidentally” collected communications among Trump transition team members while surveilling other parties.

– House Democrats, including minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff, call on Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the House intelligence committee investigation into Russia’s election interference.

– Trump tweets:

March 28: The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration has tried to prevent former acting Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying before the House intelligence committee. Yates—who was fired by Trump in January after she instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the administration’s executive order temporarily blocking immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries—was scheduled to testify before the committee in a public hearing that was canceled by Nunes. The White House denied that it had tried to block Yates from testifying, calling the Post‘s story “entirely false.”

– NBC reports:

A bank in Cyprus investigated accounts associated with President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, for possible money-laundering, two banking sources with direct knowledge of his businesses here told NBC News.

Manafort — whose ties to a Russian oligarch close to President Vladimir Putin are under scrutiny—was associated with at least 15 bank accounts and 10 companies on Cyprus, dating back to 2007, the sources said. At least one of those companies was used to receive millions of dollars from a billionaire Putin ally, according to court documents.

Banking sources said some transactions on Manafort-associated accounts raised sufficient concern to trigger an internal investigation at a Cypriot bank into potential money laundering activities. After questions were raised, Manafort closed the accounts, the banking sources said.

According to a Manafort spokesman, “All were legitimate entities and established for lawful ends.”

March 29: Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), respectively the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, hold a press conference. They vow a tough, bipartisan investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. “This investigation’s scope will go wherever the intelligence leads,” Burr says. According to Burr, seven committee staffers have been assigned to the probe and the committee has begun to schedule the first of 20 interviews.

March 30: The Senate intelligence committee convenes its first hearing into Russian interference in the presidential election.

– The New York Times reports that two White House officials, Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis, “played a role in providing” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) access to intelligence reports showing that “President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.” Cohen-Watnick was brought on to the National Security Council by Michael Flynn, for whom he had worked at the National Security Council. After Flynn’s ouster, his replacement, national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, attempted to “sideline” Cohen-Watkins, according to Politico. Jared Kushner and White House strategist Stephen Bannon intervened on the NSC staffer’s behalf, taking the matter all the way to Trump. Ellis worked for Nunes before taking a job in the White House as a lawyer working on national security matters.

-The Wall Street Journal reports that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has told the FBI and the congressional committees investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that he will agree to be interviewed in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Flynn’s attorney says in a subsequent statement that the retired general “certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.”

March 31: NBC reports that the Senate intelligence committee has denied Flynn’s request for immunity, telling Flynn’s lawyer the request was “wildly preliminary” and currently “not on the table.”

March (date unknown): Weeks after its former CEO, Rex Tillerson, becomes Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil files an application with the Treasury department for a waiver from US sanctions on Russia. Exxon seeks the waiver in order to resume an exploration and drilling project with Russian-state oil giant Rosneft. Tillerson has said that he will recuse himself from State Department decisions that could benefit Exxon for one year.

April 4: The Pentagon launches an investigation into Michael Flynn for accepting payments from a foreign government without prior approval, in potential violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

April 6: The House ethics committee announces that it is investigating Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, due to allegations that he made “unauthorized disclosures of classified information.” In a statement, Nunes says that he will temporarily remove himself from the House intelligence committee’s Russia investigation into Russian interference while the House ethics committee investigates, “despite the baselessness of the charges” against him.

April 11: In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Eric Trump says that the Trump administration’s decision to launch missiles at a Syrian military target shows that there is no connection between President Trump and the Russian government, which backs the Assad regime.

-The Washington Post reports that in the summer of 2016, the FBI and DOJ obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant to monitor the communications of Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. “This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents,” notes the Post.

April 12: The Associated Press confirms that at least $1.2 million in payments listed next to Paul Manafort’s name on a “black accounts” ledger in Ukraine that was uncovered in August 2016 were in fact received by Manafort’s consulting firm. Manafort had initially denied receiving illicit payments, and told the AP that “any wire transactions received by my company are legitimate payments for political consulting work that was provided. I invoiced my clients and they paid via wire transfer, which I received through a U.S. bank.”

CNN reports that both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have reviewed documents related to allegations that Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice had improperly requested the “unmasking” of Trump transition team members in intelligence reports. The lawmakers who reviewed these reports “have so far found no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything unusual or illegal,” CNN reported, though Trump had previously called the allegations a “massive story.”

-In an interview on the Fox Business Network, Trump says that it is “not too late” to fire FBI director James Comey, but also says that he still has confidence in him.

April 13: House Democrats send a letter to FBI Director James Comey and the head of the National Background Investigations Bureau, calling for the suspension of Jared Kushner’s security clearance. Kushner, they write “failed to disclose key meetings with foreign government officials during his application process,” including Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and Sergei Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank, a Russian state-owned development bank. “Knowingly falsifying or concealing information on a SF-86 questionnaire is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison,” the lawmakers write.

April 14: Legistorm reports that Andrii Artemenko, the pro-Putin Ukrainian lawmaker that in January met with two Trump associates to discuss a possible peace plan for Ukraine and Russia, is paying $30,000 a month to a pro-Trump preacher in Pennsylvania who has ties to Russia and Ukraine. According to Legistorm, the funds were for “strategic counseling and representation to advance US-Ukraine relations, including engagement with public officials, legislators and government agencies” and a filing from Armstrong’s LLC notes the payments were not financed by a foreign government. The preacher, Dale Armstrong, helps run two groups focused on bringing biblical values to Ukraine and other former Soviet republics.

April 19: Reuters reports that Russian government think tank RISS, described by officials as the Kremlin’s in-house foreign policy think tank and staffed by Putin-appointees, had developed plans to interfere with the US election. Seven current or former US officials describe documents produced and circulated by RISS in June and October 2016, first calling on the Kremlin to mount a propaganda campaign to help elect a pro-Russia president and later to stoke concerns about Hillary Clinton and voter fraud.

-The Justice Department confirms that Mary McCord, the acting assistant attorney general in the department’s national security division, will leave the department in May 2017. McCord heads the department’s investigation into Russia interference in the presidential election.

April 21: CNN reports that in the summer of 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, US and European intelligence found that Russian intelligence operatives were attempting to infiltrate the Trump campaign through Trump advisers, including Carter Page. Citing US officials, the network reports that Page and several other Trump advisers were repeatedly in contact with Russian officials and other Russians on the radar of intelligence agencies.

April 23: The Daily Beast reports that the committee’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia is floundering. More than three months after the probe was launched, none of the seven staffers assigned to the investigation are working on it full-time, none have investigative or legal experience, and most have no Russia expertise.

April 25: Leaders of the House Oversight Committee tell reporters that Michael Flynn may have broken the law by failing to disclose a $34,000 payment from RT, a Russian state-owned media outlet, on his 2016 application to renew his security clearance. Flynn received the fee for speaking at 2015 gala hosted by RT, where he was seated beside Vladimir Putin.

“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else,” Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said. “And it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate. And there are repercussions for the violation of law.”

The revelation comes after Chaffetz, the committee’s chairman, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), its ranking member, asked the White House and other federal agencies to provide documents related to Flynn’s foreign communications and payments, including his security clearance application. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided documents to the committee, according to Chaffetz and Cummings, but the White House has declined to comply with the document request.

-Flynn’s attorney issues a statement implying that Flynn obtained all necessary permissions related to his appearance at the RT event: “General Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of the Department of Defense, extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posed by DIA concerning the trip during those briefings.”

April 27: The Department of Defense confirms that Michael Flynn has been under investigation by the Pentagon since April 4, for accepting payments from a foreign government, allegedly without informing the appropriate Defense officials.

-Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, releases documents showing that in October 2014, Flynn was warned by the Defense Intelligence Agency about accepting payments from foreign governments. The documents released by Cummings show that the DIA counsel’s office responded to an inquiry from Flynn with a letter explaining that he could not receive foreign government payments without prior approval, due to the constitution’s emoluments clause.

-The DIA documents released by House oversight also state that, contrary to the implication of Flynn’s attorney on April 25, the DIA has no record of Flynn seeking permission to receive payments from a foreign source.

May 1: During an Oval Office interview with CBS’ John Dickerson, Trump says “I don’t stand by anything” when asked about his claims that President Obama tapped his phones during the 2016 election. Trump then proceeds to double down on the wiretapping accusation: “I think our side’s been proven very strongly and everybody’s talking about it and frankly, it should be discussed.” Trump cuts the interview short when Dickerson presses him on his claims.

May 2: During a Q&A, Hillary Clinton blames her election defeat on Russian hacking and FBI director James Comey’s October 28 letter to Congress stating that the bureau was examining newly discovered emails possibly related to its investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server. “I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off—and the evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling [and] persuasive,” she said.

– Donald Trump tweets:

May 3: FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate judiciary committee, saying, “It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election. But honestly, it wouldn’t change the decision.”

May 5:

In an interview with Boston radio station WBUR, golf journalist James Dodson says Eric Trump told him that funding for Trump golf courses came from Russia.

“So when I got in the cart with Eric,” Dodson says, “as we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks—because of the recession, the Great Recession—have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting.”

Eric Trump later denies saying this.

May 8: Donald Trump issues a pair of tweets ahead of a hearing where former acting attorney general Sally Yates is expected to testify that she warned the Trump administration that Michael Flynn had lied about his interactions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak weeks before Trump ultimately fired his national security adviser.

– Hours after Trump took to Twitter to imply that his hiring of Flynn was Obama’s fault, NBC Newsreported that Obama had warned Trump against hiring Flynn during their meeting in the Oval Office on November 10—two days after Trump was elected and months before Trump appointed Flynn as his national security adviser.

May 9: Donald Trump fires FBI director James Comey, following recommendations to do so from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein’s memo recommending Comey’s firing explains that his recommendation is the result of Comey’s mishandling of the Clinton email investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign. Read Trump’s letter firing Comey, along with Sessions and Rosenstein’s memos recommending Comey’s termination, below:

 

-Following Comey’s firing, CNN reports that the US attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia has issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of Michael Flynn’s, marking an escalation of the FBI’s investigation into Russia.

-Within hours of Comey’s firing, more than 100 lawmakers, including several Republicans, have called for an independent investigator or special prosecutor to be assigned to the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia, particularly now that the new FBI head will be chosen by Trump himself. “It is critical that the FBI can continue all of its pending work with independence and integrity – especially the investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to influence our last election and undermine American democracy,” said Republican congressman from Florida Rep. Curbelo.

May 10: Early in the morning, Trump takes to Twitter to defend his firing of James Comey. “Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!” he writes.

-CNN reports that a source claims that Roger Stone urged Trump to fire Comey. Within minutes, Trump responds to the report on Twitter, calling out CNN and saying the report is “fake news.”

Stone says on Twitter that he “never made such a claim” but supports Trump’s decision “100%.”

-As controversy swirls surrounding Trump’s firing of Comey, the White House announces the Press Secretary Sean Spicer will be gone for the rest of the week fulfilling his US navy reserve duty and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the principal deputy press secretary, will cover for him, including running the first press briefing since Trump’s firing of the FBI director.

-Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives in Washington for meetings with top officials, including Trump himself. At a press conference with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson welcoming the Russian Foreign Minister, a reporter asked a question about the Comey firing. Lavrov responded, ironically “Was he fired? You are kidding, you are kidding!” before walking away. On May 15, the Washington Post will report that while meeting with Lavrov at the White House, Trump shares highly classified information with him and the Russian ambassador.

-In remarks on the Senate floor, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell rejects calls for a special prosecutor to take over the Russia probe. “Today we’ll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation, which could only serve to impede the current work being done,” he said.

May 11: Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testifies in a Senate hearing that the White House has misled the public about the FBI’s Russia investigation and regard for Comey at the agency. He says the Russia probe is “highly significant” and that “Comey enjoyed broad support within the FBI and still does to this day.”

-The New York Times and CNN each report via sources close to James Comey that part of President Trump’s motivation for firing Comey was the FBI director’s refusal to swear political loyalty to the president. The Times details a conversation between Trump and Comey during a one-on-one dinner that took place at the White House on January 27—just one day after former acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the Trump White House that then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail by the Kremlin. Three days before the dinner, on Jan. 24, Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. In the conversation with Yates the day before the Comey dinner, White House Counsel Don McGahn asked Yates how Flynn did in the FBI interview, and Yates declined to answer.

-Trump says in an NBC interview that he asked Comey three times whether he is personally under investigation by the FBI for possible Russia ties—twice on the phone, and once at the January 27 dinner. Trump claims that Comey reassured him that he is not under investigation. (Sources close to Comey say this never happened.)

May 15: The Washington Post reports that Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador Sergey Kislyak in their White House meeting on May 10. A US official tells the Post that the information had one of the highest available classification levels. “This is code-word information,” the official tells the Post, adding that Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”

-White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster reads a statement to the press denying the Washington Post’s report, while mischaracterizing the substance of it. He says: “The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false. The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation. At no time—at no time—were intelligence sources or methods discussed.” The Post didn’t report that sources and methods were disclosed; the paper reported that the information discussed could be used to discern intelligence sources or methods. After reading his statement, McMaster refuses to take questions.

May 16: Donald Trump defends himself on Twitter, without denying that he shared highly classified material with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador.

– A senior European intelligence official tells the Associated Press that his country may stop sharing intelligence with the United States if it is confirmed that Trump shared classified information with Russian officials.

-In a press briefing, H.R. McMaster clarifies that in calling the Washington Post‘s reporting “false,” he was disputing the “premise” of the article: that Trump had done “anything inappropriate” or that had compromised national security by revealing information to Russian officials. In response to multiple questions, McMaster refuses to confirm whether or not the information the president revealed was classified. McMaster also refuses to clarify why White House officials called the NSA and CIA after Trump’s conversation with Lavrov and Kislyak. McMaster says it was “wholly appropriate” for Trump to discuss the material.

-The New York Times reports that during an Oval Office meeting in February, Donald Trump asked then FBI director James Comey to drop the agency’s investigation into Michael Flynn, who had resigned the day before amid controversy over his discussions of US sanctions with the Russian ambassador. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said to Comey, according to a two-page memo Comey drafted after the meeting. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” The Washington Post and Politico subsequently confirmed the Times’ account. According to the paper, Comey kept detailed records of all of his conversations with the president.

-The Washington Post reports that Comey shared his memos with a small number of people at the Justice Department. (It’s unclear whether those officials include Rod Rosenstein or Jeff Sessions, who were involved in Comey’s firing.)

– At the International Republican Institute’s Freedom Awards, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) likens Trump’s mounting Russia scandal to Watergate: “I think we’ve seen this movie before. I think it’s reaching a point where it’s of Watergate size and scale, and a couple of other scandals that you and I have seen. It’s a centipede that the shoe continues to drop.”

– ABC reports that “Federal investigators have subpoenaed records related to a $3.5 million mortgage that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort took out on his Hamptons home just after leaving the campaign, according to a source familiar with the matter.”

May 17: House Democratic leaders hold a press conference in which they announce that they are circulating a discharge petition among their congressional colleagues to try to force a vote on legislation that would create a 12-person independent commission to investigate Russia’s interference in the US election.

 Eleven Democratic senators send a letter to the Justice Department Inspector General asking him to investigate whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions violated his pledge to recuse himself from any investigations connected to the 2016 election when he took part in the firing of FBI Director James Comey.

– During a press conference in Sochi, Russia, Putin calls the allegations that Trump had revealed classified information to Lavrov and Kislyak “political schizophrenia.” He also offers to provide the US with a transcript of Lavrov’s oval office meeting with Trump.

– Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appoints former FBI director Robert Mueller to serve as a special counsel to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election.

– The Washington Post reports that during a private June 2016 meeting with Republican leaders, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he believed Trump was on Vladimir Putin’s payroll. “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,’ McCarthy said, referring to Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.), a steadfast defender of Putin and Russia. When his colleagues laughed, McCarthy added, “Swear to god.” (McCarthy says he was joking.)

– The New York Times reports that Michael Flynn told the Trump transition team’s chief lawyer in early January—before the inauguration—that Flynn was under investigation for failing to disclose more than $500,000 of work as a paid lobbyist for Turkey.

– McClatchy reports that 10 days before Trump’s inauguration, Flynn asked to delay an Obama administration plan to fight ISIS that Turkey opposed.

May 18: Reuters reports that Michael Flynn and other members of Trump’s campaign had at least 18 previously undisclosed calls and emails with Russian officials in the last seven months of the 2016 presidential campaign.

-Trump tweets:

– During a White House news conference with the Colombian president Trump denies any collusion with Russia and again calls the investigation a “witch hunt.” “I respect the move,” Trump said of the DOJ’s appointment of special prosecutor Robert Mueller III to oversee the Russia investigation, “But the entire thing has been a witch hunt. And there is no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign—but I can always speak for myself—and the Russians. Zero.”

-Two sources close to Michael Flynn tell Yahoo News that at a dinner on April 25, more than two months after leaving his post as national security adviser, Flynn told a group of close friends that he was still in regular communication with the president. “I just got a message from the president to stay strong,” he reportedly told the group, on the heels of a day when two congressmen announced that Flynn may have broken the law by failing to disclose a $34,000 payment from RT, a Russian state-owned media outlet, on his 2016 application to renew his security clearance.

May 19: The Washington Post reports that people familiar with the investigation into Trump’s Russia ties have identified a senior White House adviser as a “significant person of interest.”

– The New York Times reports that in Trump’s May 10 Oval Office meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Trump called former FBI director Comey a “nut job” and expressed relief at his ouster. “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said, according to a document summarizing the meeting, which an American official read to The New York Times. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

– McClatchy reports that the investigation into Russia’s interference into the 2016 election has been expanded to include the possibility of a cover-up by the White House, according to members of Congress who were briefed on Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.

– CNN reports that White House lawyers have begun researching impeachment procedures, despite public assurances by many Republicans and Democrats that impeachment is still a distant option.

– Citing “multiple government officials,” CNN reports that during the presidential campaign Russian officials bragged about their strong ties to Michael Flynn and believed they could use him to influence Trump.

May 22: The Associated Press reports that Michael Flynn will refuse to comply with a subpoena from the Senate Intelligence Committee that is investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, invoking the 5th Amendment protection against self-incrimination. Below is the letter sent to the committee by Flynn’s lawyer and obtained by AP:

– Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Donald Trump denies mentioning “Israel” in his May 10 conversation with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in the Oval Office. In making this statement, Trump tacitly implies that he did in fact discuss classified information with these Russian officials and also appears to confirm that the classified information originated with Israel—a statement that no US official has made publicly.

– NBC reports that Paul Manafort and Roger Stone have turned over documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

May 23: Testifying before the House intelligence committee former CIA director John Brennan says he grew alarmed during the election that the Russian government was trying to influence members of the Trump campaign to act on its behalf: “I encountered and am aware of information and intelligence that revealed contacts and interactions between Russian officials and US persons involved in the Trump campaign that I was concerned about because of known Russian efforts to suborn such individuals.” He notes, “I saw interaction that in my mind raised questions of whether it was collusion,” but says that at the time he left his post in January it was unclear “whether such collusion existed.”

-During his House Intelligence Committee testimony, Brennan also describes calling Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the FSB, Russia’s intelligence agency, on August 4, 2016, to caution him against further interference in the election. According to Brennan, Bortnikov denied any meddling by Russia.

May 24: The Justice Department tells CNN that Jeff Sessions did not disclose his meetings with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and other foreign dignitaries when applying for security clearance.

– House Democrats send a letter to Deutsche Bank’s CEO requesting information on “whether loans Deutsche Bank made to President Trump were guaranteed by the Russian Government, or were in any way connected to Russia.”

May 25: The New York Times reports that conversations intercepted by American intelligence in the summer of 2016 showed that senior Russian officials discussed how to influence Trump’s presidential campaign, zeroing in on Michael Flynn and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.

-The Washington Post reports that Jared Kushner has been identified as a focus of the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the election and possible ties between Trump’s team and Russian officials, according to people familiar with the investigation. This makes him the first White House official revealed to be central in the FBI’s probe.

May 26: The Washington Post reports that Jared Kushner and the Russian ambassador discussed setting up a secure and secret back-channel between the Trump team and Russian officials during the transition. According to intercepted communications reviewed by US officials, Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak told his superiors in Moscow that during a December meeting at Trump Tower, Kushner proposed the back-channel idea and suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the US to avoid detection. Trump’s incoming National Security Adviser, Michael Flynn, was also at the meeting. (Sources close to Kushner tell the New York Times that the purpose of the secret channel was to facilitate discussions on Syria strategy and other security issues between Russian military officials and Flynn.)

-The New York Times reports that Oleg Deripaska, the Russian aluminum magnate with ties to Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, offered to cooperate with congressional committees investigating Russian meddling in the election in exchange for full immunity. The committees reportedly turned down Deripaska’s offer.

May 27: Reuters reports that, according to seven US officials, Jared Kushner had at least three previously undisclosed discussions with the Russian ambassador during and after the 2016 campaign, including two phone calls in April and November 2016.

May 28: The top Democrat on the House intelligence committee, Rep. Adam Schiff, says in an appearance on ABC News that Jared Kushner’s security clearance should be reviewed in light of revelations that he discussed setting up a secret back channel of communication with Russian officials. “There’s another question about his security clearance and whether he was forthcoming about his contacts on that,” Schiff says. “If these allegations are true and he had discussions with the Russians about establishing a back channel and didn’t reveal that, that would be a real problem in terms of whether he should maintain that kind of security clearance.”

May 29: The New York Times reports that the federal and congressional investigations into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia are looking into Jared Kushner’s December 2016 meeting with Sergei Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, Russia’s state-owned development bank currently under US sanctions due to Russia’s annexation of Crimea. Former and current US officials tell the Times that the meeting has piqued investigative interest because it may have been part of Kushner’s efforts to create a secret communication backchannel with Russian officials.

May 30: CNN reports that conversations intercepted by the US during the 2016 election picked up Russian officials saying that they have “derogatory” information about Donald Trump and some of his top aides. One source told CNN that these discussions suggested that the Russian officials believed “they had the ability to influence the administration through the derogatory information.”

– ABC News reports that the congressional investigation into possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia has been expanded to include Michael Cohen, Trump’s long-time personal attorney. The committees asked Cohen for his voluntary cooperation in providing testimony about contacts he’d had with Russian officials, but Cohen declined.

May 31: CNN reports that congressional investigators are looking into whether Jeff Sessions may have had another private meeting with the Russian ambassador on April 27, 2016—when both attended Donald Trump’s first foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC.

– As part of its probe into Russian interference in the US election, the House Intelligence Committee issues its first seven subpoenas, asking for testimony and documents from Michael Flynn and Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen. Three of the subpoenas were sent to the NSA, FBI, and CIA requesting information about requests made by Obama administration officials to “unmask” the names of Trump staffers in intelligence reports which were later leaked to the press. Committee aides claimed that Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) issued the subpoenas unilaterally, without consulting Democrats on the committee, in spite of the fact that he recused himself in April from leading the Russia investigation following outrage at a secret visit to the White House and the start of an ethics investigation into whether he mishandled classified documents.

June 1: The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration is considering returning two diplomatic compounds—one in New York and one in Maryland—to Russia. In December 2016, the Obama administration—which said the compounds were being used by Russia for intelligence activities—required Russian officials to vacate the premises as part of sanctions for their interference in the election.

– The Guardian reports that British politician and Brexit movement leader Nigel Farage is a “person of interest” in the FBI’s investigation of possible ties between the Kremlin and the Trump campaign.

– Speaking to reporters in St. Petersburg, Russia, Putin shifts away from the Kremlin’s many blanket denials of Russian meddling in the US election, saying instead that it’s possible that “patriotically minded” individuals may have instigated hacking related to the US election. “Hackers are free people, just like artists, who wake up in the morning in a good mood and start painting,” Putin said.

Putin also calls Trump a “direct and genuine person” with “a fresh view of things.”
June 2: Stories from the Associated Press and Reuters report that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has expanded the investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia to include additional allegations about Michael Flynn and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort; Mueller will assume control of a federal grand jury investigation in Virginia looking into Flynn’s work as a paid lobbyist for Turkish businessman Ekim Alptekin. Mueller is also reportedly taking over a separate criminal probe, initiated by the Justice Department in July 2016, into Manafort and his possible ties to corrupt dealings by the pro-Putin president of Ukraine. Separately, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein tells the AP that Mueller may also expand his investigation to include the roles of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Rosenstein in the firing of FBI director James Comey.

– At the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russia, NBC News reporter Keir Simmons repeatedly asks Sergey Gorkov, the chief of US-sanctioned Vnesheconombank, about his December meeting with Jared Kushner. Gorkov refuses to answer the question.

June 5: The Intercept publishes a classified National Security Agency document reporting that Russia’s military intelligence service “executed a cyberattack on at least one U.S. voting software supplier and sent spear-phishing emails to more than 100 local election officials just days before last November’s presidential election.” (Russia’s attempts to hack into voter registration systems have previously been reported, but the NSA intelligence report provides details of how one such operation occurred.) Shortly after the story goes live, an NSA contractor named Reality Winner is charged with leaking classified information.

– The White House says that Donald Trump will not assert executive privilege to block former FBI director James Comey from testifying before the Senate intelligence committee later that week.

June 6: Mother Jones reports that Roger Stone says he brokered a meeting between British politician Nigel Farage—who the Guardian reported is a “person of interest” in the FBI’s Russia investigation—and Donald Trump sometime after the 2016 Republican National Convention.

– Yahoo! News reports that lawyers with at least four top law firms declined to represent Trump in connection with the various ongoing Russia investigations.

– The Washington Post reports that on March 22, Trump asked Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and CIA director Mike Pompeo whether he could ask then-FBI director James Comey for the bureau “to back off its focus” on Michael Flynn. Coats reportedly discussed the meeting with some of his associates, deciding that this sort of intervention would not be appropriate. “The events involving Coats show the president went further than just asking intelligence officials to deny publicly the existence of any evidence showing collusion during the 2016 election,” the Post reports. “The interaction with Coats indicates that Trump aimed to enlist top officials to have Comey curtail the bureau’s probe.”

– The New York Times reports that the day after a February Oval Office meeting in which Trump asked James Comey to drop the bureau’s investigation of Michael Flynn, Comey asked Attorney General Jeff Sessions to ensure that Comey was never left alone with the president. According to several law enforcement officials, Comey did not reveal what was said during his meeting with the Trump but told Sessions it was inappropriate for the FBI director to speak privately with the president.

– ABC reports that the relationship between Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump has grown so tense that the attorney general recently suggested to Trump that he could resign. The conflict between them stems, the network notes, from Sessions’ decision in March to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, after it came to light that he had undisclosed conversations with the Russian ambassador. According to ABC, “two sources close to the president say he has lashed out repeatedly at the attorney general in private meetings, blaming the recusal for the expansion of the Russia investigation.”

June 7: Four military officials tell the Daily Beast that, before his firing as national security adviser, Michael Flynn pushed to expand the “deconfliction channel” between Russia and the US in Syria—a move that, had it happened, would have likely run afoul of the law. The channel, established in 2015, has the narrow purpose of helping the US and Russia—which are backing different sides in Syria’s civil war—coordinate their planes in Syria’s crowded airspace, avoiding collisions. Flynn repeatedly suggested that the Pentagon expand the channel, using it to discuss the possibility of teaming up with Russia to fight ISIS. “If put into effect, such a proposal would clearly violate the NDAA [National Defense Authorization Act] prohibition on cooperation with Russia,” the Daily Beast reported. Ultimately, the proposal never took affect due to Pentagon opposition and Flynn’s ouster.

– During an event at Australia’s National Press Club, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper says the Trump-Russia scandal “pales” in comparison to Watergate. “I lived through Watergate, I was on active duty then in the Air Force, I was a young officer, it was a scary time,” Clapper said. “I have to say though, I think if you compare the two, Watergate pales really in my view compared to what we’re confronting now.”

– Testifying before the Senate intelligence committee, Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers refuse to answer questions about whether Donald Trump had asked them to intervene in the FBI’s Russia investigation.

– The Senate Intelligence Committee releases the opening statement James Comey will deliver on June 8 at a hearing before the committee. The statement confirms that Trump asked then FBI-director Comey to drop the investigation of Michael Flynn that has become a focus of the FBI’s Russia probe.

June 8: James Comey testifies before the Senate intelligence committee. He notes that he started keeping detailed memos of all of his interactions with Trump because during their first conversation “I was honestly concerned he might lie about the nature of our meeting.” Comey also said the president lied about his reasons for firing him. “The administration then chose to defame me—and, more importantly, the FBI—by saying the organization was in disarray and that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader,” Comey said. “Those were lies, plain and simple.”

June 9: During a Rose Garden press conference, Trump is asked whether he would be wiling to testify under oath about conversations he had with former FBI director James Comey in advance of his firing. Trump answers: “100 percent.”

June 10: In an interview with Fox News, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son, appears to confirm James Comey’s version of his conversation with Trump in which Trump said “I hope you can let this go,” in reference to the FBI’s investigation into Michael Flynn. In his June 8 testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, said he perceived this statement to be a directive to drop the Flynn investigation. Trump’s lawyer released a statement saying that Trump “never, in form or substance, directed or suggested that Mr. Comey stop investigating anyone.” In his Fox News interview, Donald Trump Jr. appeared to confirm Comey’s account: “When he tells you to do something, guess what? There’s no ambiguity in it, there’s no, ‘Hey, I’m hoping. You and I are friends: Hey, I hope this happens, but you’ve got to do your job.’ That’s what he told Comey. And for this guy, as a politician, to then go back and write a memo: ‘Oh, I felt threatened.’ He felt so threatened — but he didn’t do anything.”

June 11: Preet Bharara, the former US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, tells ABC Newsthat before being fired by Trump in March, he received a series of phone calls from the president that made him uncomfortable because it appeared that Trump was trying to “cultivate some kind of relationship.” Bharara reported one of these calls to the Department of Justice. Bharara says that listening to Comey’s June 8 testimony about his own conversations with Trump, in which he perceived efforts by Trump to influence the Russia investigation, “felt a little bit like déjà vu.”

-Trump attorney Jay Sekulow says on ABC that he would not rule out the possibility that Trump will fire Robert Mueller, the special counsel who took over the Russia investigations following James Comey’s firing.

June 12: The New York Times reports details of the intelligence that Trump allegedly revealed to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak during their May Oval Office meeting. Trump allegedly told the Russians that Israel had penetrated ISIS’ computer network, uncovering an elaborate plot to detonate bombs on planes, using explosives in laptops made to fool airport security. “His disclosure infuriated Israeli officials,” the Times reported.

– During a White House press briefing, press secretary Sean Spicer appears to deny that Trump offered to testify under oath about his conversations with James Comey before the FBI director’s firing. Spicer says that in his Rose Garden comments, Trump was actually expressing his willingness to speak to special counsel Robert Mueller. When asked whether Trump would be willing to give sworn testimony before Congress, Spicer responds: “I don’t know, I have not had a further discussion with that.”

– A close friend of Trump’s, Chris Ruddy, the CEO of Newsmax, tells PBS that he believes Trump is considering firing Robert Mueller. The White House releases a statement saying that Ruddy “never spoke to the President regarding this issue. With respect to this subject, only the President or his attorneys are authorized to comment.”

June 13: Three people familiar with the investigation into Russia’s cyber intrusions into US voting systems tell Bloomberg News that these incursions were much broader than had previously been reported. According to one of these sources, Russia gained access to voter databases and software systems in 39 states. The activity concerned the Obama administration so much, sources tell Bloomberg, that the White House contacted the Kremlin “to offer detailed documents of what it said was Russia’s role in election meddling and to warn that the attacks risked setting off a broader conflict.”

– Jeff Sessions testifies before the Senate intelligence committee, where he repeatedly refuses to discuss his conversations with President Trump and calls the notion that he colluded with the Russians as they interfered in the 2016 election “an appalling and detestable lie.” Throughout his testimony, the attorney general frequently answers with “I don’t remember” or “I don’t recall.”

June 14: Special counsel Robert Mueller meets with members of the Senate intelligence committee.

– The Washington Post reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Trump for obstruction of justice.

June 15: In a tweetstorm, Trump decries the Russia investigation as a “witch hunt”:

– The Washington Post and other outlets report that Vice President Mike Pence has retained a personal attorney to represent him in connection with the various Russia probes.

June 16: Trump appears to confirm that he is under investigation for obstruction of justice and seems to lash out at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

– NBC reports that Trump’s private attorney, Michael Cohen, has retained his own legal counsel.

June 18: ABC News reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein privately told his colleague, Associate Attorney General Rachel Brand, the Justice Department’s new third-in-command, that he may have to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation, since it is possible he will have to serve as a witness, given his role in Trump’s firing of former FBI director James Comey. Such a recusal would prompt Brand to take over the investigation. (While Rosenstein appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee the investigation, he is still in charge of allocating resources to it and ultimately deciding if prosecutions will be necessary.)

June 21: During testimony before the Senate intelligence committee, the Department of Homeland Security’s acting director of the Office of Intelligence and Analysis Cyber Division, Samuel Liles, says that hackers connected to the Russian government attempted to penetrate election-related computer systems in 21 states before the November 2016 election. Liles says that they successfully got into a “small number” of networks.

June 22: Trump tweets that he doesn’t know if there are recordings of his conversations with former FBI director James Comey, contradicting earlier tweets in which he implied such “tapes” existed.

– CNN reports that Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and Director of National Security Agency Adm. Mike Rogers each separately told Senate investigators and special counsel Robert Mueller’s team that Trump suggested that they publicly deny that there was any collusion between his campaign and Russian officials. Both intelligence officials said they were surprised by the suggestion and found it uncomfortable, but did not perceive these statements as orders from the president.
June 23: The New York Times reports that the FBI is investigating a series of real estate deals and other financial transactions involving former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his son-in-law Jeffery Yohai. The Times says it is not clear if the FBI’s interest is tied to Manafort’s role in the Trump-Russia investigation.

June 25: The Washington Post reports that Jared Kushner’s real estate company received a $285-million loan from Deutsche Bank one month before the November 2016 election.That October, Kushner was advising his father-in-law’s presidential campaign, and Deutsche Bank was facing several legal actions in New York, including charges from state regulators that the bank had aided an alleged Russian money-laundering scheme.

June 27: Paul Manafort’s consulting firm retroactively files foreign lobbying disclosures showing that the firm received $17.1 million from a pro-Russia political party in Ukraine between 2012 and 2014. The payments were for work aimed at influencing US policy on Ukraine. Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, tells the Washington Post that Manafort began preparing his filing in September “before the outcome of the election and well before any formal investigation of election interference began.”

July 8: The New York Times reports that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Kremlin-tied Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, in June 2016, shortly after his father clinched the Republican presidential nomination. Also attending the meeting were Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner. Trump Jr. tells the Times: “It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.” And he noted: “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”

July 9: The New York Times reports that, prior to meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Donald Trump Jr. had been promised damaging information on Hillary Clinton. Trump Jr. offers the paper a different account of the meeting from his statement the previous day: “After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton. Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.”

July 10: Donald Trump tweets:

-Donald Trump Jr. responds to the New York Times‘ reporting:

-The New York Times reports that prior to meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, Donald Trump Jr. was informed in an email that the damaging information about Hillary Clinton was part of a Russian government effort to aid his father’s candidacy. That email came from Rob Goldstone, the publicist for Russian popstar Emin Agalarov, who asked Goldstone to set up this meeting between Veselnitskaya and Trump Jr.

July 11: Donald Trump Jr. corroborates the New York Times‘ story in a statement posted on Twitter. In tweets, he also publishes his email exchange with Goldstone in full. The emails show that Goldstone wrote to Trump Jr. in June 2016, stating that Russia’s crown prosecutor had told Aras Agalarov—the father of Goldstone’s client, Emin—and that he possessed “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary” that could be shared with the Trump campaign. Goldstone also added that the information “is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. responded by asking to speak to Emin about the material described in Goldstone’s email, and added: “If it’s what you say I love it.”

– Donald Trump Jr. appears on Sean Hannity’s Fox show, where he says of his meeting with a Kremlin-tied lawyer, “In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently.” He also says “I wanted to hear them out and play it out.”

– ProPublica reports that Mark Kasowitz, the lawyer representing Donald Trump in the Russia inquiries, does not possess a security clearance and does not plan to seek one, a curious decision in a case involving some of the government’s most closely guarded secrets. The news outlet notes his decision might stem from the lawyer’s alleged struggles with alcohol, which could make it difficult to obtain a clearance. (A spokesman for Kasowitz subsequently released a statement saying, “Marc Kasowitz has not struggled with alcoholism.”)

– In an interview with NBC, Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya describes her June 9, 2016 meeting with Trump Jr., Kushner, and Manafort at Trump tower. She says that she never had any damaging information on Hillary Clinton and, contrary to emails sent by Goldstone to Trump Jr., never promised such information in order to procure the meeting.

July 12: McClatchy reports that “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 guide Russia’s sophisticated voter targeting and fake news attacks on Hillary Clinton in 2016.”
– Donald Trump defends his eldest son in a tweet, saying he’s “innocent”

-The Senate Judiciary Committee holds a confirmation hearing for Christopher Wray, Donald Trump’s pick for FBI director. During the hearing, Sen. Lindsey Graham asks Wray about whether he’s heard about “the email problems we’ve had with Donald Trump Jr. the last few days.” When Wray says he isn’t caught up on the controversy because he’s been in meetings with senators, Graham reads part of the email chain aloud and then asks Wray if Trump Jr. should have taken the meeting or alerted the FBI. Wray first avoids directly answering the question, but, after a heated exchange with Graham, concludes that “any threat or effort to interfere with our elections, from any nation-state, or any non-state actor, is the kind of thing the FBI would want to know.” Here’s the full exchange:

– The Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee write to Attorney General Jeff Sessions requesting information about the Justice Department’s decision to settle United States v. Prevezon Holdings, a money laundering case targeting a Cyprus-based entity owned by a Russian businessman. Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-linked lawyer who met with Donald Trump Jr. and other members of the elder Trump’s inner circle, represented Prevezon, remarking after the settlement that the penalty was so small it seemed like “almost an apology from the government.”

July 18: The Washington Post reports that the 8th person at the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was Irakly “Ike” Kaveladze, a Georgia-born businessman who is a Vice President of Crocus Group International, a division of Crocus Group, the construction and development company owned by Aras Agalarov. Kaveladze, who says he has worked for Crocus Group since the late 1980s, was once at the center of a US government investigation into Russian money laundering.

– Mother Jones reports that Sen. Chuck Grassley, who heads the Senate Judiciary Committee’s probe of Trump’s firing of Comey and possible collusion between the Trump camp and Russia, is “conducting a series of alternative investigations into tangential subjects,” in a way that seems to be designed “to minimize the culpability of Trump and his aides and to deflect attention from the core issues of the controversy.”

July 19: The White House confirms that Trump and Russian president Vladimir Putin had a second, previously undisclosed, meeting at the G-20 Summit on July 7, and it lasted “nearly an hour.”
-The New York Times reports that Paul Manafort was in debt to pro-Russia interests by as much as $17 million before joining Donald Trump’s campaign as chairman in March 2016. This is reflected in financial records filed in Cyprus, which show that Manafort may owe up to $9.9 million to a Cyprus shell company connected to Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions, and $7.8 million to a company in the British Virgin Islands connected to Russian aluminum magnate and Putin ally Oleg Deripaska. A spokesman for Manafort told the Times that the Cyprus records are “stale and do not purport to reflect any current financial arrangements,” and did not address whether the debts shown in the records may have existed previously.

-The New York Times reports that Trump quietly ended a secret American program to provide arms to Syrian rebels fighting Assad’s government in Syria’s Civil War. The move aligns with Russian interests; Russia has backed Assad’s government and attacked the rebel forces.

-The New York Times reports that banking regulators are reviewing Donald Trump’s massive loan portfolio with Deutsche bank to see if Trump’s debt “might expose the bank to heightened risks.” The paper notes that Deutsche bank has already been in contact with federal investigators about Trump’s accounts. The Guardian separately reports that executives at the bank are expecting to soon receive subpoenas or other requests for information from special counsel Robert Mueller.

-Trump sits down for an Oval Office interview with three New York Times reporters. In their conversation, Trump says that if he had known Jeff Sessions would recuse himself from the Russia investigation, he would not have nominated him to be Attorney General. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else,” Trump says. Trump also says that if Special Counsel Robert Mueller were to start delving into his finances or his family’s, that would be a “violation,” but refuses to answer whether or not he would fire Mueller over it.

– Twenty-two Democratic members of Congress send a letter to the FBI expressing concerns over possible discrepancies in Ivanka Trump’s application for a security clearance. As part of the application, Trump had to disclose foreign contacts. Her husband Jared Kushner has updated his own clearance multiple times with more than 100 meetings and phone calls—a number of them with Russian officials—that he failed to disclose initially. “We are concerned that Ivanka Trump may have engaged in similar deception,” reads the letter.

July 20: Bloomberg reports that Robert Mueller has expanded the Trump-Russia probe to include a range of transactions with Trump businesses; these include apartment purchases by Russians in Trump buildings, the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, and Trump’s 2008 sale of a Florida mansion to Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev.

-The Treasury Department fines ExxonMobil $2 million for violating Russian sanctions by signing contracts with Igor Sechin, the head of Russia’s state-owned oil company Rosneft, while Rex Tillerson, now the Secretary of State, was Exxon’s CEO.

CNN reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has sent a notice to the White House requiring them to preserve all documents related to Donald Trump Jr.’s June 9, 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

July 24: Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner spends two hours behind closed-doors with the Senate intelligence committee answering questions related to the Trump-Russia investigation. In a statement to the committee and at a press conference following the closed-door session, he denies any collusion with Russia. “Let me be very clear: I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so,” he says.

July 25: Mother Jones reports that Carl Levin, a onetime chairman of the Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations who left Congress in 2015, sent a letter the previous day to special counsel Robert Mueller and the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee highlighting a 2000 investigation of possible money-laundering by the company run by Ike Kaveladze—the 8th person in the June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Russian Lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

During that probe, an official at Citibank, where Kaveladze established dozens of bank accounts on behalf of Delaware-Based shell companies, noted that Kaveladze’s main client at the time was Crocus International, a company headed by Aras Agalarov, who in 2013 partnered with Donald Trump to bring the Miss Universe contest to Moscow.

– The Senate judiciary committee issues a subpoena compelling former Trump campaign Chairman Paul Manafort to appear at a open hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee the following day. Hours later, the committee withdraws its subpoena, reportedly because Manafort has begun to produce documents and voluntarily agreed to negotiate an interview time.

– By a margin of 419-3, the House passes a bill levying new sanctions against Russia and inhibiting the president’s ability to weaken them.

– Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, provides Senate investigators with notes he took during the June 2016 meeting that Donald Trump Jr. arranged with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. The notes, which could confirm or refute Trump Jr.‘s claim that he did not receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton, have not been released to the public.

July 26: FBI agents raid Paul Manafort’s Virginia home and seize documents related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation after obtaining a search warrant from a federal judge. The raid signals a new, aggressive, approach by Mueller.

July 27: Bill Browder, founder of the hedge fund Hermitage Capital Management, testifies before the Senate judiciary committee. Browder is a longtime investor in Russia who spearheaded the passage of the Magnitsky Act, the package of Russia sanctions allegedly discussed by Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer, during her June 2016 meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort. During the hearing, Browder discusses how Veselnitskaya and several other political operatives lobbied to repeal the Magnitsky Act without registering as foreign agents, a possible violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Browder says “there’s no doubt” Veselnitskaya was acting on behalf of the Russian government when she met with members of Trump’s inner circle.

– By at vote of 98-2, the Senate approves the House’s sanctions bill, sending it to the president’s desk.

July 28: The White House says that Trump will sign the sanctions legislation.

– Russia retaliates against the new sanctions by seizing two properties used by American diplomats and ordering the reduction of US embassy staff by September.

July 30: Vladimir Putin says Russia will expel 755 US diplomats and support staff in retaliation for the new sanctions.
July 31: Buzzfeed reports that the Republican National Committee has instructed its employees to preserve all documents covering the 2016 presidential campaign. Citing RNC lawyers, Buzzfeed reports this a “precautionary” measure “as investigations continue into Russia’s meddling in the election.”
– The Washington Post reports that while flying back from the G20 summit in Germany in early July, Donald Trump dictated his son Donald Trump Jr.’s response to revelations that he’d met with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer. The statement, given to the New York Times as they prepared a story about the meeting for publication, said that Trump Jr. and the Russian lawyer “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children,” and that the meeting was not about “a campaign issue.” Over the next few days, it became clear this statement was misleading, as Trump Jr. acknowledged that he met with the lawyer after being promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. The revelation that Trump crafted the misleading statement, the Post notes, could lead to additional scrutiny from investigators and eventually place Trump and his inner circle in “legal jeopardy.”

August 1: A lawsuit (first reported by NPR) is filed alleging that Fox News and a Texas Republican donor who backs Donald Trump worked with the White House to gin up a conspiratorial story concerning the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich, in an effort to deflect attention from the Russia scandal. The lawsuit is brought by former Washington, DC detective (and longtime Fox contributor) Rod Wheeler, who has been investigating Rich’s murder on behalf of Ed Butowsky, a wealthy Dallas investor and frequent Fox commentator. Wheeler claims a Fox reporter fabricated quotations appearing in a retracted May 2017 article reporting that Rich had been in contact with Wikileaks prior to his death, implying that he—not Russian hackers—had provided the site with DNC documents and emails. The complaint includes a text message from Butowsky in which the investor says that Trump had read the story prior to its publication and wanted it to come out “immediately.”

August 2: Donald Trump signs into law new sanctions against Russia but issues a statement calling the measure “seriously flawed.” He notes: “By limiting the Executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people, and will drive China, Russia, and North Korea much closer together. The Framers of our Constitution put foreign affairs in the hands of the President.”

August 3: Two bipartisan Senate bills are introduced by members of the judiciary committee that would restrict President Trump’s ability to fire special counsel Bob Mueller. One, by Sen. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Md.), would allow Mueller to challenge his dismissal before a panel of three federal judges. The others, by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.), would require this judicial panel to review the Justice Department’s reasoning for his dismissal before Mueller could be fired.
– The Wall Street Journal reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has convened a grand jury to probe Russian interference in the 2016 election.

– Michael Flynn files an amended version of his federal disclosure form that includes new details about his contracts and income. The updated disclosure shows that that Flynn was hired as an adviser to SCL Group, which at the time was the parent company of the data firm, Cambridge Analytica, that worked on behalf of Trump’s campaign. One of Cambridge Analytica’s biggest financial backers is hedge fund mogul and Trump backer Robert Mercer, and White House strategist Stephen Bannon was a Cambridge Analytica vice president before joining the Trump campaign. The disclosure of Flynn’s ties to the SCL Group are significant because Trump’s campaign data operation has come under scrutiny as one source of possible collusion with Russians seeking to influence the 2016 election.

August 4NBC reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has tapped multiple grand juries in Washington, DC and Virginia as part of the Trump-Russia investigation, a sign that the investigation is gearing up.

-The New York Times reports that Robert Mueller’s investigative team has asked the White House for records related to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. This is the first known instance of Mueller’s team asking the White House for documents as part of their investigation into possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Politico reports that two Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee traveled to London earlier this summer to track down Christopher Steele, the former British intelligence operative who compiled the Trump-Russia memo published by BuzzFeed in January. The previously unreported trip increases tensions with the House Intelligence Committee’s Democratic staff, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and special counsel Robert Mueller’s office. The staffers didn’t end up talking with Steele during the trip.

August 6: In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein says that Robert Mueller can investigate any crimes uncovered as part of the Trump-Russia probe.

August 10: Bloomberg reports that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has sent subpoenas to global banks requesting transaction records and account information tied to Paul Manafort and several of his companies. A source tells Bloomberg that Mueller has reached out to Manafort’s son-in-law and a Ukrainian oligarch, hoping to convince Manafort to be more cooperative.
-Taking a break from a vacation at his New Jersey golf club, Trump holds a brief press conference. The president tells reporters that he is grateful that Putin has expelled hundreds of US diplomats from Russia in response to US sanctions. “I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll,” Trump says. Following outrage over Trump’s comments, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tells the New York Times that the president’s remarks were meant to be funny and “sarcastic.”August 11: Rinat Akhmetshin, the Russian lobbyist who attended the Trump tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr. in June 2016, testifies before a grand jury impaneled by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to a report from the Financial Times.

August 14: The Washington Post reports on a set of Trump campaign emails showing persistent efforts by campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to coordinate a meeting about US-Russia ties between Trump and Russian leaders “including Putin” according to one email subject line. The exchanges—which were read to or confirmed to the Post by three sources with access to the emails—were sent between March and September 2016, as the presidential race heated up. The emails were included in more than 20,000 pages of documents the Trump campaign turned over to congressional committees investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.

August 16: The New York Times reports that a Ukrainian hacker known as Profexer—who American intelligence agencies have identified as the creator of a program used in Russian hacks targeting the US election—has turned himself over to the Ukrainian police and has become a witness for the FBI. “It is the first known instance of a living witness emerging from the arid mass of technical detail that has so far shaped the investigation into the election hacking and the heated debate it has stirred,” notes the Times.

-The Daily Caller reports that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) met with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. According to Rohrabacher, who openly admires Putin, Assange can prove that hacked Democratic party emails did not come from Russia.

August 18: BuzzFeed reports that special counsel Robert Mueller’s office is investigating Donald Trump Jr. A source tells BuzzFeed that prosecutors are particularly interested in discovering what information Trump Jr. received at the June 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer.

Bloomberg reports on the friendship between Ivanka Trump and Dasha Zhukova, the wife of Russian billionaire and Putin ally Roman Abramovich. Bloomberg notes that Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner has met three or four times with Abramovich, and that Trump and Kushner disclosed their ongoing social relationship with the couple—which included a four day trip to Russia in 2014 at Zhukova’s initiation—on their security clearance forms.

August 21: The New York Times reports that Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian immigrant who attended the July 2016 Trump Tower meeting, has much deeper ties to the Russian government and Kremlin-supported oligarchs than was previously known. The Times also reports that Akhmetshin, who is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller, has worked for Russian oligarchs whose opponents faced sophisticated hacks. Akhmetshin’s sister, father and godfather joined Russian intelligence services, but Akhmetshin has denied allegations that he is a Russian spy.

August 22: Glenn Simpson, the founder of opposition research firm Fusion GPS, which hired Christopher Steele to compile the Trump-Russia dossier, meets with the Senate Judiciary Committee in a nearly 10-hour closed door session to answer questions about the financing and sourcing for the dossier. ABC News reports that Steele has already met with FBI investigators and provided them with the names of his sources for the dossier’s allegations.

August 27: Citing emails that will soon be turned over to congressional investigators, the Washington Post reports that President Trump’s company was pursuing a plan in late 2015 and early 2016 to build a “massive” Trump Tower in Moscow, well after he announced his presidential run in June 2015. Felix Sater, a Russian-born real estate developer, told Trump he could get Russian President Vladimir Putin to say “great things” about Trump, according to the emails, which the Post reports suggest additional connections between Trump’s associates and Russia-connected individuals.

August 28: The Washington Post reports that Michael Cohen, a top Trump organization executive and lawyer for the President, emailed Vladimir Putin’s personal spokesman during the presidential campaign to push for the Trump Tower deal in Moscow. According to the Post, Trump cut a letter of intent with I.C. Expert Investment Co., a Moscow-based developer, in October 2015, and began to solicit designs and discuss funding.
– NBC News reports that special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is “keenly focused” on what President Trump himself may have known about the infamous June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower between Russian operatives and Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort—and whether the president may have tried to help conceal that meeting’s purpose once it was uncovered by the media.

August 29: CNN reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has subpoenaed Paul Manafort’s former lawyer and current spokesman.

August 30Politico reports that special counsel Robert Mueller is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman as part of his investigation into former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort’s financial transactions. Unlike possible federal crimes resulting from Mueller’s investigation, the president does not have the power to pardon state crimes.

August 31NBC News reports on notes that Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, took during a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that Donald Trump Jr. arranged with a Russian lawyer promising dirt on Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Manafort’s contemporaneous notes included the word “donations” in possible relation to the Republican National Committee. According to NBC News, congressional investigators are trying to determine if participants discussed the possibility of Russian sources making illegal campaign contributions.
September 1: CNN reports that House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes is threatening to hold Attorney General Jeff Sessions and FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of court, a jailable offense, if they don’t provide documents related to Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier. According to CNN, Nunes has continued to look into Trump-Russia matters, despite recusing himself from the committee’s investigation in April 2017.
September 8: The Washington Post reports that special counsel Robert Mueller has told the White House that he will seek to interview six high-ranking current and former advisers to President Trump including communications aide Hope Hicks, former press secretary Sean Spicer, and former chief of staff Reince Priebus.
CNN reports on additional details from the letter of intent that Donald Trump signed to build a Trump Tower in Moscow during the presidential campaign. According to CNN, the deal would have provided his company a $4 million upfront fee, a percentage of sales, and a spa named after his daughter Ivanka.
September 13: NBC News reports that Michael Flynn Jr., the son of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller. According to three former and current government officials interviewed by NBC News, federal investigators are focused in part on the work he did for Flynn Intel Group, his father’s lobbying firm.
-The Wall Street Journal reports that Michael Flynn, while he was working as Trump’s national security advisor, promoted an idea to build nuclear power plants across the Middle East—a deal that would have benefited both Flynn’s former private sector employer and Russian companies. The project, valued at hundreds of billions of dollars, had previously proposed that Russian companies could provide fuel and manage the plants’ waste. According to former National Security Council staffers who spoke with the Journal, Flynn continued to meet with a group of military officers tasked with promoting the power plan on behalf of US firms even after NSC ethics advisers asked Flynn to cease communications—actions that the former staffers called “highly abnormal.”

The House Oversight Committee also released documents confirming that Flynn had traveled to the Middle East in June 2015 to promote this nuclear power plan to foreign officials. Flynn omitted this trip from the list of foreign contacts he submitted when applying for his Trump administration security clearance.

September 15: The Wall Street Journal reports that Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) proposed a deal to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly that would involve pardoning WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in exchange for evidence that Rohrabacher said would show Russia was not the source of hacked Democratic party emails.
September 17: The New York Times reports that White House counsel Don McGahn is clashing sharply with Ty Cobb, a lawyer brought in to help coordinate the White House’s response to the Russia investigation, over how much the White House should cooperate with Robert Mueller’s team. The Times was tipped off to the conflict after overhearing Cobb badmouthing McGahn at a Washington, DC steakhouse, claiming that the attorney is withholding certain documents.

September 18: The New York Times reports that when federal agents searched Manafort’s home in July 2017 as part of the Trump-Russia probe, they told him that he should expect to be indicted.

– CNN reports that, according to multiple sources, investigators wiretapped Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, both before and after the election. The wiretap reportedly continued early this year, after Trump took office and during a period when he was known to have had communications with Manafort.

September 19: Reuters reports that President Donald Trump is using donations to his re-election campaign and the Republican National Committee to pay for his legal defense against special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

– CNN reports that the Republican National Committee spent over $230,000 in August to cover some of Trump’s legal fees in the Russia investigation.
September 20: The Daily Beast reports that the Facebook and Twitter accounts of the group “Being Patriotic,” a suspected Russian propaganda front, helped organize more than a dozen pro-Trump rallies in Florida in August 2016. The rallies “brought dozens of supporters together in real life,” notes the Daily Beast. “They appear to be the first case of Russian provocateurs successfully mobilizing Americans over Facebook in direct support of Donald Trump.”
– The Washington Post reports that, less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican nomination, Paul Manafort offered to provide campaign briefings to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin. The email making the offer is among tens of thousands of documents turned over to special counsel Robert Mueller and congressional investigators.

September 25: Roger Stone is grilled by the House Intelligence Committee for three hours behind closed doors. He refuses to disclose the identity of the claimed go-between that facilitated his communication with Wikileaks. Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the top Democrat on the panel, threatened to subpoena Stone over the omission, saying that Stone refused to address a “seminal area of importance to the committee.”

September 26: Sen. Richard Blumenthal says that he is “99 percent sure” that there will be criminal charges against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

CNN reports that the criminal division of the Internal Revenue Service has begun sharing information with Robert Mueller’s investigative team.

September 28: CNN reports that, according to two sources familiar with the matter, a social media campaign calling itself “Blacktivist” that is linked to the Russian government used Facebook and Twitter to stoke racial tensions in the US during the 2016 election.

Additional updates by Daniel Schulman and Noah Lanard

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Story image for fbi long-standing hostile efforts at infiltration and penetration from The New Yorker

Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War

The New YorkerFeb 24, 2017
Putin neither denied nor confirmed the hacking efforts, but replied that the … including the C.I.A., the F.B.I., the N.S.A., and the financial-crimes unit of the ….. to a posture of pretty active hostility toward the United States and the West. …. in Russia had achieved the first state-directed penetration of America’s …

Story image for fbi long-standing hostile efforts at infiltration and penetration from The Hill (blog)

Our focus on Russian hacking obscures the real problem

The Hill (blog)Jan 18, 2017
If I didn’t deal daily with the mechanics of cybersecurity, I might be captivated by Washington’s focus on whether the Russians penetrated the …

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The Russians have come

Washington TimesMay 16, 2017
… Democratic friends and certainly with the John Birch Society, does not mean that Mr. Trump should not have fired FBI Director James Comey.

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Washington Post

Congressional Oversight in the Trump Era: Strategic Choices

Just SecurityJan 3, 2017
… as Trump administration conflicts of interest or foreign infiltration into executive branch … For example, the long-standing inaction on any congressional … chairs will use their investigative powers to amplify that kind of effort. … and penetrating oversight of the Executive Branch during the Trump era.
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Donald Trump, Jeff Sessions and the NEW COINTELPRO

Black Star NewsOct 11, 2017
It seems the notorious Counter Intelligence Program (COINTELPRO) is being resurrected if it ever was disbanded. The FBI under Trump and …

Story image for COINTELPRO from The Root

FBI Launches COINTELPRO 2.0, Targeting ‘Black Identity Extremists …

The RootOct 6, 2017
Police in riot gear stand by as protesters demonstrate following a not-guilty verdict in Police Officer Jason Stockley’s trial over shooting death of …

Story image for COINTELPRO from CityLab

There’s Something Familiar About the Russian ‘Blacktivist’ Campaign

CityLabSep 29, 2017
The program was called COINTELPRO, and while it set its sights on groups like the New Left and the Puerto Rican Independence Movement, …
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Story image for fbi is American KGB from TwinCities.com-Pioneer Press

Why Trump firing FBI Director Comey isn’t such a big surprise

TwinCities.com-Pioneer PressMay 10, 2017
In this July 7, 2016, photo, FBI Director James Comey testifies before the House Oversight Committee about Hillary Clinton’s email investigation …

Story image for fbi is American KGB from Reason (blog)

Rejecting Sessions’ Plea, Senate Panel Votes to Protect Medical …

Reason (blog)Jul 27, 2017
The Senate Appropriations Committee approved renewal of the Rohrabacher-Farr amendment by a voice vote. Jacob Sullum| Jul. 27, 2017 …

Story image for fbi is American KGB from Vulture

The Americans Recap: The Heart Has Many Rooms

VultureFeb 14, 2013
… an African-American KGB recruit who, unbeknownst to Phillip, was … that FBI agent Stan Beeman (Noah Emmerich) declares him “a genius.

Story image for fbi is American KGB from FrontPage Magazine

Junius Irving Scales, An American Communist

FrontPage MagazineDec 10, 2013
Scales’ underground activities ended abruptly in 1954, when FBI agents, pistols drawn, confronted him and commanded, “We’ve got you …
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Deep State and Fake News

The New AmericanApr 25, 2017
… forces — a “state within the state,” the Deep State — are at work to deceive us. …. have become mere adjuncts of the CIA, NSA, DNI, FBI, etc.

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Donald Trump vs. the intelligence community

The Hill (blog)Jan 11, 2017
They thought he liked FBI Director James Comey, if only because he helped to … a secret state within the state—the security industrial complex.

Story image for fbi is a state within the state from The Nation.

Trump Fires Comey, Putting the Country ‘On the Verge of a …

The Nation.May 10, 2017
FBI Director James Comey pauses as he testifies before a House Intelligence Committee hearing on March 20, 2017. (AP Photo / J. Scott …
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Google Finds Accounts Connected to Russia Bought Election Ads

New York TimesOct 9, 2017
Google’s role in the coordinated Russian campaign during the 2016 … Google further into the growing investigation of how social networks and …

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Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg discusses Russia ad controversy

CBS NewsOct 12, 2017
“Things happened on our platform in this election that should not … into Russian-backed groups purchasing ads on the social media platform came to light. … media platform in that country’s effort to influence the 2016 election, …
Exclusive interview with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg
Highly CitedAxiosOct 12, 2017
What Facebook Did to American Democracy
FeaturedThe AtlanticOct 12, 2017
What Was Russia Up To?
In-DepthSlate MagazineOct 12, 2017

Story image for elections 2016 russian ads on social media from Recode

Silicon Valley’s Russian ads problem, explained

RecodeOct 6, 2017
Leading the company’s efforts to study Russian election meddling is Alex Stamos, … content that proliferated on social media in advance of the election. … But the 2016 presidential election proved that foreign malefactors can …
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The War of Ideas is a clash of opposing ideals, ideologies, or concepts through which nations or groups use strategic influence to promote their interests abroad. The “battle space” of this conflict is the target population’s “hearts and minds“, while the “weapons” can include, inter alia, think tanks, TV programs, newspaper articles, the internet, blogs, official government policy papers, traditional as well as public diplomacy, or radio broadcasts.

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The Bad War

The Weekly StandardOct 12, 2017
It was also one of the most politically divisive wars in U.S. history. …. parts of a totalitarian ideologicalmovement against the West and its allies. … local intelligence networks that could gather informationon the Japanese and …

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The Insidious Ideology of Ken Burns’s The Vietnam War

New RepublicSep 19, 2017
“Coming home from Vietnam was close to as traumatic as the war itself,” says the Matterhorn author and Vietnam veteran. “For years, nobody …

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While the US Talks of War, South Korea Shudders

New York TimesOct 7, 2017
Since the Korean War broke out in 1950, war would have been the enduring …. they have a different nationality, ethnicity, religion, ideology.
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2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts

CNNOct 12, 2017
(CNN) Here’s a look at investigations into Russian meddling during the 2016 presidential race between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.
Trump’s Lawyers May Offer Him to Mueller for Interview
U.S. News & World ReportOct 12, 2017
Robert Mueller Can’t Save Us
Common DreamsOct 12, 2017
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Turmoil at Voice of America Is Seen as Hurting U.S. Ability to Counter Propaganda
 

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But shrinking budgets, questions about the agency’s mission and a lack of oversight by the part-time Broadcasting Board of Governors limited Mr. Ensor’s ability to overhaul the agency, according to interviews with current and former officials and to numerous government audits. In addition, much of the agency’s programming is duplicated by other government broadcasters, like Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, wasting money that the Voice of America could use.

As a result, critics say, the agency has been slow to cover major breaking news and even slower to respond to propaganda from other countries, particularly Russia. On Wednesday, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on Russian propaganda and the American government’s difficulty in responding effectively.

Some public policy experts and Voice of America officials say the overarching problem is that Congress and the White House have not clearly defined the role of the agency in America’s public diplomacy.

“U.S. international broadcasting is not taken into account at any level of the government when strategy dealing with the national interest and foreign policy is being put together,” said S. Enders Wimbush, a former member of the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

“They give lip service to international broadcasting, but it’s an afterthought.”

report Mr. Wimbush helped write, based on interviews with more than 30 public diplomacy experts, said government international broadcasting should be “rebuilt from the ground up” so that it is fully aligned with foreign policy objectives. The report was financed by the Smith Richardson Foundation, a Connecticut-based group that provides grants to conservative causes but also to centrist and liberal organizations like the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute.

Founded in 1942 as a part of the Office of War Information, the Voice of America started with a goal of countering Nazi and Japanese propaganda. It was widely credited with helping to end the Cold War by providing unfiltered news to dissidents and countering communist propaganda in the Soviet Union and Soviet-backed countries.

But the agency has been in decline since that time, pulled between providing credible news and supporting American policy. In 2013, Hillary Rodham Clinton, then the secretary of state, said that the Broadcasting Board of Governors was “practically defunct in terms of its capacity to be able to tell a message around the world.”

And in the Facebook and Twitter era, some have even asked if the Voice of America, whose budget is about $200 million a year, is still relevant.

Mr. Ensor pointed to a string of successes during his time at the agency. It has expanded its reach through social media and mobile and has created new television programming in Russian, Ukrainian, Persian, Mandarin, Burmese and Creole, among other languages. According to survey data prepared for the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the Voice of America’s international radio, television and online audience has reached 172 million people a week, an increase of 49 million during his tenure.

“The V.O.A. is keeping itself renewed and refreshed to face the challenges of today’s fast-changing media environment,” said Mr. Ensor, who added that his resignation was not related to uncertainties on the board.

Obama administration officials said the Voice of America and its sister agencies were vital to the nation’s diplomatic efforts.

“Given the challenges we have on a number of different fronts, from ISIS to Boko Haram, broadcasters like the V.O.A. are an important piece of what we are trying to do across the government,” said Richard A. Stengel, the under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, who represents Secretary of State John Kerry on the board of governors. “We need to have as much as we can out there trying to blunt the messages of these groups.”

Despite the criticism and resignations, board officials said they were forging ahead with plans to move the Voice of America more aggressively into digital media and to step up its efforts to counter propaganda.

“There is a narrative out there that this agency is broken,” said Robert Bole, the director of global strategy for the board of governors. “I can assure you that it is not.”

Still, many lawmakers remain unconvinced. The House Budget Committee recommended reducing funding to the board and its networks until “significant reforms” were made.

And House lawmakers plan to reintroduce legislation that would revise the Voice of America’s charter to state explicitly that the agency has a role in supporting American “public diplomacy” and countering propaganda from other countries. The bill, which is opposed by journalists within the agency, passed the House last year, but the Senate did not take it up.

“Let’s fix the agency and create opportunities with the existing budget to get more resources to the field,” said Representative Ed Royce, Republican of California and chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which has legislative oversight of the Voice of America.

“We don’t need to keep throwing more money at a bloated, ineffective bureaucracy.”

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US launching Current Time via RFU/RL to counter Russian propaganda, misinformation like RT
 

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WASHINGTON — Two U.S. government-funded news outlets are launching a global Russian-language TV network aimed at providing an alternative to slick, Kremlin-controlled media that critics say spread propaganda and misinformation.

Current Time, run by Prague-based Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty with help from Washington-based Voice of America, is targeting Russian speakers across the globe with round-the-clock programming intended to offer the type of fact-based news that its leaders say is sorely missing in the Russian market. The network formally launched this week after quietly starting operations last year.

“In a complicated world, it can be difficult to tell what’s real. But Current Time tells it like it is,” a narrator says in a flashy promotional video for the network. “Current Time serves as a reality check, with no ‘fake news’ or spin.”

The network, beamed into Europe via cable, satellite and online, reflects an American attempt to diminish the dominance of what the U.S. government has long warned is a growing Russian propaganda machine, epitomized by state-run outlets like Sputnik and RT, formerly known as Russia Today. The U.S. and others have raised concerns that such outlets distort Russians’ perceptions about their government while drowning out the limited sources of independent news available to Russian audiences.

The U.S. intelligence report on Russian hacking called RT part of “a Kremlin-directed campaign to undermine faith in the U.S. Government and fuel political protest.”

Speaking to CBS News’ Elizabeth Palmer last month, RT Editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan dismissed the intelligence report and doubled down on her criticism of America.

“In your own words: ‘The U.S. lacks democracy and has no right to teach the world.’ What was that all about?” Palmer asked her.

“The U.S. has made a lot of mistakes all over the world. Look at Iraq,” Simonyan said. “The country that makes such mistakes do not have the moral right to teach the world.”

Alexey Kovalev used to work for Russia’s state news service, but is now with the independent paper the Moscow Times. He told Palmer the Kremlin’s goal is clear:

“To bring down the West to same level as Russia, and to show that your institutions are as sham as ours and your press isn’t free,” Kovalev said. “Your politicians are all liars and crooks like ours are.”

If the propaganda works, said Palmer, Russians, especially young Russians, will lose their faith in democracy and stop agitating for political change, and young Americans will lose faith in their country and its institutions media, too.

The Russian Embassy in Washington did not respond to a request for comment on the launch of Current Time.

Current Time’s executives say that despite the network origins within a wing of the U.S. government, offering balanced, accurate information is a far different mission than what Kremlin-run news outlets seek to do.

“This is not designed as propaganda or counter-propaganda,” said Tom Kent, president of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. “We do not intend to be involved in reacting to an agenda set by anyone, in Russia or elsewhere.”

Still, the undertaking unavoidably plays into the roiling debate in the U.S. about President Donald Trump’s flirtations with a more conciliatory approach to Russia. Trump has emphasized the advantages of a more cooperative U.S.-Russia relationship while leaving open the possibility the U.S. could roll back penalties imposed on Russia for its actions in Ukraine.

AP

Current Time, on the other hand, broadcasts a weekly show called “Crimea Realities” and another called “Donbass Realities.” The Obama administration’s sanctions were enacted after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine, and the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine remains at the heart of the conflict between Kiev and Russia-backed rebels.

Those two shows join an eclectic mix of documentaries, human interest programming and traditional news shows that fill the network’s 24-hour schedule. There’s also a fact-check show, “See Both Sides,” that occasionally challenges Kremlin-fueled messaging more directly.

Roughly six hours per day are live news broadcasts, including an hour-long show broadcast from Washington and another from Prague. The network’s leaders said showing news events such as the U.S. inauguration live, rather than on tape delay, had proven a particularly effective way to assure audiences that what they are watching is truthful and undistorted.

The two outlets behind Current Time, RFE/RL and VOA, are U.S.-funded broadcasters whose mission is to support free speech and democracy around the world. They broadcast in dozens of languages but have their roots in Cold War efforts by the U.S. to present alternative viewpoints to audiences in the Soviet Union and its satellite states.

Both RFE/RL and VOA have long had Russian-language programming targeting viewers in specific countries, but Current Time marks a new attempt to market broadly to Russian speakers wherever they live.

In much of Europe – including former Soviet states with large Russian-speaking populations – Current Time has negotiated contracts with local cable providers that allow viewers to tune in from their home TVs. In Russia, distribution is more difficult, forcing perspective viewers to watch via satellite, web-TV apps or a live-feed on the network’s website.

2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts
 

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Special counsel Robert Mueller and multiple congressional committees are looking into allegations that there was collusion between Russian operatives and Trump associates during the presidential campaign and transition.

Special Counsel 

 On May 17, 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to lead an investigation into Russian interference and related matters that could result in criminal prosecutions.

March 29, 2016 – Paul Manafort, a veteran GOP consultant, joins the Trump campaign as a strategist to help prepare for the Republican National Convention.

June 3, 2016 –

 Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr.

receives an email

 from

Rob Goldstone,

 a music publicist whose clients include Azerbaijani-Russian singer Emin Agalarov. Goldstone tells Trump Jr. that a Russian lawyer, working on behalf of the Kremlin, wants to pass along incriminating information about Clinton. He explains that Russia and its government want to support Trump by providing opposition research on Clinton. Trump Jr. indicates he is interested in seeing the information and suggests arranging a call.

June 7-8, 2016 – Goldstone sends Trump Jr. another email about setting up an in-person meeting with a “Russian government attorney” who will be flying from Moscow to New York on June 9, to talk to representatives from the Trump campaign at Trump Tower in New York. Trump loops in campaign manager, Paul Manafort and campaign adviser, Jared Kushner.

June 12, 2016 –

 During an interview on British television,

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange 

says that the website has obtained and will publish a batch of Clinton emails.

August 14, 2016 –The New York Times publishes a report

 that $12.7 million in illegal cash payments to Manafort were listed in a secret ledger linked to former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who resigned amid street protests. Manafort had worked as an adviser to Yanukovych and his associates dating back at least a decade.

October 6, 2016 – DCLeaks, a self-described collective of “hacktivists” seeking to expose the influence of special interests on elected officials, publishes a batch of documents stolen from Clinton ally Capricia Marshall. DCLeaks is later identified as a front for Russian military intelligence.

December 1, 2016 –Kushner and Flynn meet with Kislyak at Trump Tower.

 Kushner later describes the encounter as a quick introduction, pushing back on a Washington Post report that the three talked about establishing backchannel communication with the Russians.

January 6, 2017 – 

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases a

declassified version of its classified report 

on Russian meddling.

According to the report,

 hackers did not breach voting machines or computers that tallied election results but Russians meddled in other ways. Putin ordered a multifaceted influence campaign that included spreading pro-Trump propaganda online and hacking the DNC and Podesta. Bracing for a possible Clinton win, Russian bloggers were prepared to promote a hashtag #DemocracyRIP on election night. Paid social media users, aka “trolls,” shared stories about Clinton controversies to create a cloud of scandal around her campaign.

June 8, 2017- 

Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee, describing his interactions with Trump dating back to a security briefing with Trump on January 6, 2017.

In a statement that Comey released before the hearing, 

he says Trump asked him to affirm his loyalty during a private dinner. Comey also describes a private conversation with Trump during which the president told him “I hope you can let this go,” referring to the FBI’s investigation into Flynn.

July 8-July 11, 2017 – The New York Times publishes a series of stories detailing the June 2016 meeting between Trump Jr., Kushner, Manafort, Veselnitskaya and other associates.

 The meeting first came to light when Kushner filed a revised version of his security clearance application in June 2017. He omitted the meeting on previous versions of the form. When news of the meeting first breaks, Trump Jr. issues a statement explaining that the primary topic of discussion was resuming an adoption program for Russian children. Trump Jr. also says that he did not know the name of the individual he was slated to meet. Further New York Times reporting reveals, however, a chain of emails in which Trump Jr. is promised damaging information about Clinton from Russian government sources, a revelation that contradicts his initial statement. Minutes before the New York Times publishes its story about the misleading statement,

Trump Jr. tweets images of the email exchange obtained by the newspaper.

 The tweets are coupled with a statement in which Trump Jr. says the meeting was short and uneventful, as Veselnitskaya failed to deliver opposition research as promised.

September 18, 2017 – CNN reports that the FBI has previously monitored Manafort’s communications under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

 The surveillance started during an FBI investigation into Manafort’s work in Ukraine and was discontinued for lack of evidence at some point in 2016. After the FBI began looking into election interference, investigators resumed collecting Manafort’s communications and continued through the early days of the Trump administration. Both rounds of surveillance receive approval from the secret court that oversees FISA warrants. After taking office, the president spoke to Manafort repeatedly until lawyers for both men told them to stop, according to CNN.

September 20, 2017 – The New York Times reports

 that Mueller’s team is seeking White House documents divided into 13 categories covering such areas of interest as Comey’s firing, an Oval Office meeting between Trump and Russian officials, and the crafting of Trump Jr.’s initial statement pertaining to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting.

Manafort Had $60 Million Relationship With a Russian Oligarch
 

mikenova shared this story .

LONDON — Paul Manafort, a former campaign manager for President Donald Trump, has much stronger financial ties to a Russian oligarch than have been previously reported.

An NBC News investigation reveals that $26 million changed hands in the form of a loan between a company linked to Manafort and the oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, a billionaire with close ties to the Kremlin.

The loan brings the total of their known business dealings to around $60 million over the past decade, according to financial documents filed in Cyprus and the Cayman Islands.

Manafort was forced to resign from the Trump campaign in August 2016, following allegations of improper financial dealings, charges he has strenuously denied. He is now a central figure in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Investigators have said they are looking into Manafort’s financial ties to prominent figures in Russia.

According to company documents obtained by NBC News in Cyprus, funds were sent from a company owned by Deripaska to entities linked to Manafort, registered in Cyprus.

Image: -Deripaska’s office did not respond to requests for comment.

Manafort’s spokesman, Jason Maloni, declined to give specific answers about the loans, but released a statement to NBC News saying, in part, “Mr. Manafort is not indebted to former clients today, nor was he at the time he began working for the Trump campaign.”

He later revised the statement, removing that sentence entirely. It now reads: “Recent news reports indicate Mr. Manafort was under surveillance before he joined the campaign and after he left the campaign. He has called for the U.S. Government to release any intercepts involving him and non-Americans in hopes of finally putting an end to these wild conspiracy theories. Mr. Manafort did not collude with the Russian government.”

Manafort and Maloni have received subpoenas from Mueller to supply documents and testimony in the case.

Deripaska was described in a 2006 U.S. diplomatic cable as “among the 2-3 oligarchs Putin turns to on a regular basis.”

NBC News reported in June that the business relationship between Deripaska and Manafort began in 2007. According to The Wall Street Journal, they worked together to further Russian interests in Georgia.

Manafort then went on to spend nearly a decade working as a consultant for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine.

The NBC News investigation shows that $26 million was transferred from Oguster Management Ltd. — which is wholly owned by Deripaska, according to a disclosure filed at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange — to Yiakora Ventures Ltd. Yiakora, according to Cyprus financial documents, is a “related party” to Manafort’s many interests on the island, a financial term meaning that Manafort’s interests have significant influence over Yiakora.

Image: Paul Manafort Resigns As Trump Campaign ChairThe investigation also confirms a smaller loan of just $7 million from Oguster to another Manafort-linked company, LOAV Advisers Ltd., a figure first reported by The New York Times. Company documents reviewed by NBC News reveal the entire amount was unsecured, not backed by any collateral.

The $7 million loan to LOAV had no specified repayment date, while the $26 million loan to Yiakora was repayable on demand. It’s not known if either sum has ever been repaid.

Lawyers specializing in money laundering said the loans appeared unusual and merited further investigation.

“Money launderers frequently will disguise payments as loans,” said Stefan Cassella, a former federal prosecutor. “You can call it a loan, you can call it Mary Jane. If there’s no intent to repay it, then it’s not really a loan. It’s just a payment.”

The documents go on to reveal loans of more than $27 million from the two Cyprus entities to a third company connected to Manafort, a limited-liability corporation registered in Delaware.

This company, Jesand LLC, bears a strong resemblance to the names of Manafort’s daughters, Jessica and Andrea.

Jesand was used to buy a $2.5 million condo in New York in 2007, according to a New York City public document. In August 2017, according to another document, Jesand then obtained a loan of more than $1 million dollars against that property.

Using LLCs to purchase real estate is not necessarily illegal but is considered by money-laundering experts to be a potential red flag.

The $33 million uncovered by NBC News wasn’t the only set of transactions between the two men to pass through Cyprus. According to a related court case, Deripaska invested another $26 million in a private equity fund earmarked for a Ukrainian telecommunications company.

The legal filing states Deripaska transferred the money through yet another Cypriot company, and claims that Manafort wanted the investments structured as loans “so as to avoid the unnecessary occasioning of Cyprus taxation.”

Highly placed government sources in Cyprus said that the island’s police — following an official request by U.S. authorities this past summer — are still gathering evidence in this case and have yet to hand it over to American investigators.

US government agencies are buying ads on Facebookin Russia Quartz
 

mikenova shared this story .

In the midst of the frenzy of trying to determine how Russia influenced the US elections through buying ads on Facebook, The San Diego Union Tribune reminds us that basically everyone—including the US government—can buy ads on the platform to push their agenda.

Carl Prine, an investigative reporter at the paper, writes that in two campaigns between 2011 and 2016, US agencies spent nearly $60,000 on ads intended for Russian-language speakers, according to government spending records. The bulk of that amount was promotion for Voice of America (VOA), the country’s government-run news outlet whose primary audience is overseas. The rest went toward publicizing the American consulate in the city of Yekaterinburg—both very different efforts than the Russian ads that were reportedly designed to stoke tensions in election swing states.

In the last eight years, the US government, including the State Department and aid agency USAID, bought more Facebook ads in Russia than in only four other countries: Indonesia, Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.

VOA, launched during World War II as a response to Nazi propaganda, has struggled over its identityas a news outlet in recent years. When the Trump administration took the reins, staffers voiced concern over becoming a mouthpiece for the president’s agenda.

Earlier this year, VOA, along with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty launched Current News, a 24/7 news network in Russian, as America’s answer to the widely-consumed Russian government-run network RT and online platform Sputnik. Comparatively, the American efforts have a much smaller reach. VOA, long criticized for being ineffectual at countering Russian propaganda, can’t place its content in Russian news outlets, so it operates on a “digital first strategy,” according to its website. Current News is not carried by Russian cable providers, and is only available by satellite, The Economist reported when the channel first launched.

It’s unclear how well Facebook ads can drive traffic to VOA’s content. Facebook is dominated in Russia by its domestic copy-cat VKontakte, which according to some counts has twice the number of users, and is controlled by Russia’s richest man and Kremlin ally. What’s more, the Russian media regulator threatened recently it would shut down Facebook if it didn’t start storing Russian user data on domestic servers.


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3:21 PM 10/14/2017 – The Cyberwars and The Showboats – By Michael Novakhov

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1. My News Blogs from mikenova (3 sites)
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hacker
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mikenov on Twitter: 5:44 AM 10/14/2017 – 2016 Presidential Election Investigation News-Review and Fast Facts Reviewed by CNN trumpinvestigations.org
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Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 14.10.2017 11:21
mikenov on Twitter: 5:18 AM 10/14/2017 » Republican senator blasts Donald Trump for ‘castrating’ Rex Tillerson 14/10/17 05:12 trumpinvestigations.org/blog/2017/10/1
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FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Elections 2016 Russian ads on social media – News Review
mikenov on Twitter: Elections 2016 Russian ads on social media – News Review trumpinvestigations.org/trump-news-rev
FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Elections 2016 Russian ads on social media News Review- You apparently do not …
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 14.10.2017 00:07

 

1. My News Blogs from mikenova (3 sites)
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hacker
 

Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hacker

Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com

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Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com

Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: The Showboats
 

The Showboats

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mikenov on Twitter: Editorials | The Showboats – By Michael Novakhov wwtimes.com/editorials/
 

Editorials | The Showboats – By Michael Novakhov wwtimes.com/editorials/


Posted by mikenov on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 5:12pm

mikenov on Twitter

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America, having been deceived, unilaterally disarmed on information ideology front

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America, having been deceived, unilaterally disarmed on information ideology front

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mikenov on Twitter: America, having been deceived, unilaterally disarmed on information ideology front theworldnewsandtimes.com/2017/10/14/105
 

America, having been deceived, unilaterally disarmed on information ideology fronttheworldnewsandtimes.com/2017/10/14/105


Posted by mikenov on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 3:04pm

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mikenov on Twitter: 5:44 AM 10/14/2017 – 2016 Presidential Election Investigation News-Review and Fast Facts Reviewed by CNN trumpinvestigations.org
 

5:44 AM 10/14/2017 – 2016 Presidential Election Investigation News-Review and Fast Facts Reviewed by CNN trumpinvestigations.org


Posted by mikenov on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 12:40pm

1 retweet

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mikenov on Twitter: 5:44 AM 10/14/2017 – 2016 Presidential Election Investigation News Review and Fast Facts Reviewed by CNN trumpinvestigations.org
 

5:44 AM 10/14/2017 – 2016 Presidential Election Investigation News Review and Fast Facts Reviewed by CNN trumpinvestigations.org


Posted by mikenov on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 12:26pm

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mikenov on Twitter: 5:18 AM 10/14/2017 » Republican senator blasts Donald Trump for ‘castrating’ Rex Tillerson 14/10/17 05:12 trumpinvestigations.org/blog/2017/10/1
 

5:18 AM 10/14/2017 » Republican senator blasts Donald Trump for ‘castrating’ Rex Tillerson 14/10/17 05:12 trumpinvestigations.org/blog/2017/10/1


Posted by mikenov on Saturday, October 14th, 2017 9:21am

mikenov on Twitter

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FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova: Elections 2016 Russian ads on social media – News Review

Elections 2016 Russian ads on social media – News Review

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3:14 PM 10/14/2017 – How Russia used social media to divide Americans – The Guardian

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elections 2016 russian ads on social media – Google News
How Russia used social media to divide Americans – The Guardian
Pokemon Go also used by Russians to meddle in 2016 election (report) – Syracuse.com
Google Finds Accounts Connected to Russia Bought Election Ads – New York Times
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg discusses Russia ad controversy – CBS News
Week 21: Hunting Trump Like He’s Pokemon – Politico
Twitter deleted data potentially crucial to Russia probes – POLITICO – Politico
Silicon Valley’s Russian ads problem, explained – Recode
Russia’s Facebook Ads Will Remain Secret, for Now – WIRED
It’s not just Moscow: American agencies use Facebook to woo Russians, too – The San Diego Union-Tribune
At the Intersection of Russia Probe and Social Media: Donald Trump’s Digital Chief – Wall Street Journal

 

elections 2016 russian ads on social media – Google News
How Russia used social media to divide Americans – The Guardian
Sat, 14 Oct 2017 11:00:20 GMT


The Guardian
How Russia used social media to divide Americans
The Guardian
For the past year, the world has reeled over escalating reports of how Russia hacked the 2016 US presidential election, by stealing emails from Democrats, attacking voter registration lists and voting machines and running a social media shell game
Facebook Removed Data Related to Russian Ads That Ran During 2016 ElectionU.S. News & World Report
Facebook and Twitter Deleted Data Tied to Russian Accounts That Targeted 2016 Election VotersGizmodo
Russia Has Invented Social Media BlitzkriegForeign Policy (blog)
News18 –Business Insider –Wccftech –Washington Post
all 43 news articles »
Pokemon Go also used by Russians to meddle in 2016 election (report) – Syracuse.com
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 12:01:19 GMT


Syracuse.com
Pokemon Go also used by Russians to meddle in 2016 election (report)
Syracuse.com
A new report says Russian attempts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election went beyond social media. A source familiar with the … This ‘contest’ required people to take screen shots from their phone and share over other social networks, not 
Russian-linked campaign used Pokémon Go to meddle in electionThe Hill
Exclusive: Even Pokémon Go used by extensive Russian-linked meddling effortCNNMoney
Report: Russia Tried To Shape The Election Through Pokémon Go, TooCo.Design (blog)
Slate Magazine (blog) –Hollywood Reporter –eWeek –AndroidGuys
all 129 news articles »
Google Finds Accounts Connected to Russia Bought Election Ads – New York Times
Mon, 09 Oct 2017 19:36:27 GMT


New York Times
Google Finds Accounts Connected to Russia Bought Election Ads
New York Times
The findings from an internal inquiry draw Google further into the growing investigation of how social networks and technology services were manipulated by the Russian government to spread misinformation and sow division during the 2016 election.
Microsoft Investigates ‘Inappropriate’ Pro-Trump Russian Ads on Bing Search EngineNewsweek
Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platformsWashington Post
Google uncovers trove of ads bought by Russians during US electionNew York Post
New York Daily News –Bloomberg –BBC News –Daily Beast
all 219 news articles »
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg discusses Russia ad controversy – CBS News
Thu, 12 Oct 2017 13:41:12 GMT


CBS News
Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg discusses Russia ad controversy
CBS News
Facebook had agreed to disclose ads to Congress that were purchased by Russians on the social media platform in that country’s effort to influence the 2016 election, the company announced last month. CEO Mark Zuckerberg had said about the company’s …
House lawmakers hope to release Facebook ads bought by Russian agents during the 2016 presidential electionRecode
House intel committee to release Russia-linked Facebook adsCNN
Lawmakers Say They Plan to Release Facebook Ads Linked to RussiaNew York Times
Engadget –Politico –Reuters –Facebook Newsroom
all 409 news articles »
Week 21: Hunting Trump Like He’s Pokemon – Politico
Sat, 14 Oct 2017 15:46:27 GMT


Politico
Week 21: Hunting Trump Like He’s Pokemon
Politico
Upon invading the United States to unsettle the already nuts 2016 presidential electionRussian forces attacked on multiplesocialmedia fronts. At Facebook, their landing bought thousands of politically charged ads, some of which targeted swing 

and more »

Twitter deleted data potentially crucial to Russia probes – Politico
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 09:14:11 GMT


Politico
Twitter deleted data potentially crucial to Russia probes
Politico
Twitter has deleted tweets and other user data of potentially irreplaceable value to investigators probing Russia’s suspected manipulation of the social media platform during the 2016 election, according to current and former government cybersecurity
Twitter gives profile names of Russian-linked accounts to Senate investigatorsCNN
Twitter & Facebook Deleted Crucial Russian Posts Before Investigators Could See ThemIR.net
Thousands Wished Putin Happy Birthday, But Most of Them Were BotsNewsweek
Bloomberg –The Sun –Slate Magazine (blog)
all 39 news articles »
Silicon Valley’s Russian ads problem, explained – Recode
Fri, 06 Oct 2017 10:05:45 GMT


Recode
Silicon Valley’s Russian ads problem, explained
Recode
Mueller’s mandate is broad: It focuses on determining to what extent, if any, Russia interfered in the 2016 election, from the Kremlin’s contacts with key Trump officials to the ways in which Russian forces may have spread misinformation on social media.
Key senator wants to see social media companies make 3 changes to election adsCNBC
We’re learning more about how Russia weaponized Facebook, Twitter, and Google and it was remarkably easyBusiness Insider
Report: Russian-linked Facebook ads targeted Wisconsin in the 2016 campaignMadison.com
Daily Beast –ThinkProgress –USA TODAY –CNN
all 220 news articles »
Russia’s Facebook Ads Will Remain Secret, for Now – WIRED
Wed, 04 Oct 2017 19:01:48 GMT


WIRED
Russia’s Facebook Ads Will Remain Secret, for Now
WIRED
… to see Russian-linked socialmedia ads that were used to influence the 2016 election. During a press conference on Wednesday, Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, said it is important that that the American public sees the adssubmitted 
Facebook, Twitter, And Google Face New Push In Congress Over Election AdsBuzzFeed News
Powerful Senate Committee Concludes Russia Tried To Sow Chaos In 2016 ElectionsHuffPost
Hill investigators to tell public what they’ve learned about Russia’s interference and what happens nextCNN
Los Angeles Times –The Verge –Miami Herald
all 586 news articles »
It’s not just Moscow: American agencies use Facebook to woo Russians, too – The San Diego Union-Tribune
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 12:00:39 GMT


Government Technology
It’s not just Moscow: American agencies use Facebook to woo Russians, too
The San Diego Union-Tribune
Sure, America’s top spies are convinced the Kremlin unleashed legions of fake Facebook accounts and booked $100,000 inads on the social media giant to tamper with the 2016 presidential election, but likes cut both ways. American agencies have turned …
Black Caucus Presses Facebook on Russia, DiversityGovernment Technology
US Congress tangles with Facebook, other social media firms over Russia probeReuters
Russia’s Facebook ads show how Internet microtargeting can be weaponizedHouston Chronicle
Politico –KOAA.com Colorado Springs and Pueblo News –Economic Times –Axios
all 116 news articles »
At the Intersection of Russia Probe and Social Media: Donald Trump’s Digital Chief – Wall Street Journal
Fri, 13 Oct 2017 23:39:14 GMT


Wall Street Journal
At the Intersection of Russia Probe and Social Media: Donald Trump’s Digital Chief
Wall Street Journal
Congressional investigators are homing in on the connections between the 2016 presidential election and socialmediagiants Facebook and Twitter , a nexus that put Brad Parscale in charge of millions. Brad Parscale was the Trump campaign’s digital …

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3:07 PM 10/14/2017 – Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers | Editorials | The Showboats By Michael Novakhov The World-Wide Times

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers
Editorials | The Showboats By Michael Novakhov The World-Wide Times
The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal Mother Jones
fbi long-standing hostile efforts at infiltration and penetration – Google Search
fbi long-standing hostile efforts at infiltration and penetration – Google Search
COINTELPRO – Google Search
COINTELPRO – Google Search
fbi is American KGB – Google Search
fbi is American KGB – Google Search
fbi is a state within the state – Google Search
fbi is a state within the state – Google Search
elections 2016 russian ads on social media – Google Search
information – ideology wars – Google Search
War of ideas – Wikipedia
information – ideology wars – Google Search
2016 Presidential Election Investigation – Google Search
Current News, a 24/7 news network in Russian – Google Search
Turmoil at Voice of America Is Seen as Hurting U.S. Ability to Counter Propaganda
US launching Current Time via RFU/RL to counter Russian propaganda, misinformation like RT
2016 Presidential Election Investigation Fast Facts
Manafort Had $60 Million Relationship With a Russian Oligarch
US government agencies are buying ads on Facebookin Russia Quartz
elections 2016 russian ads on social media – Google Search
Russia-linked accounts non-paid content had reached tens of millions of Americans – Google Search
Russia-linked accounts non-paid content had reached tens of millions of Americans – Google Search

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Potential voter data backchannel uncovered between Donald Trump campaign and Russian hackers

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

As investigators and the media continue to try to pinpoint how the Donald Trump campaign and the Russian government were conspiring to use voter data to rig the 2016 election, much of the focus has been on data analysis company Cambridge Analytica. Now a data scientist has uncovered what could have been a backchannel for the Trump campaign to use the company to steer Russian hackers in the right direction.

Professor Jonathan Albright has discovered that a Cambridge Analytica intern posted the company’s voter targeting algorithms to an online personal account just after Super Tuesday, and then bizarrely left them there for the entirety of the election. The intern listed them as “work samples” but it’s difficult to believe that any intern would have been publicly posting his company’s secret algorithms just to show off his skills. It raises the question of whether this was how the company was clandestinely making its secret algorithms available to Russian hackers in plain sight.

Cambridge Analytica has largely been funded by the Mercer family, which also heavily funded the Donald Trump campaign. Furthermore, Steve Bannon was running Cambridge Analytica at the time he was hired to run the Trump campaign. It has long been widely suspected, but never proven, that the company was working with U.S. voter data that had been supplied by the Russian hackers who tried to get into the voter registration databases of dozens of states during the election. Proving this suspicion would require uncovering potential communication channels between the company and the Russians.

If it turns out the Cambridge Analytica intern’s posting was indeed an intentional method of backdoor communication between the company and Russian hackers, it may open the door to exposing the full extent of the collusion that’s suspected to have taken place. You can read Professor Albright’s full research findings link).

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Editorials | The Showboats By Michael Novakhov The World-Wide Times

mikenova shared this story from The World-Wide Times.

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The Long, Twisted, and Bizarre History of the Trump-Russia Scandal Mother Jones

mikenova shared this story from Mother Jones.

Carlo Allegri; Klimentyev Mikhail; Carlos Barria; Kevin Lamarque; Monterey Herald; Sergei Karpukhin; Jim Loscalzo (via ZUMA)

The Trump-Russia scandal—with all its bizarre and troubling twists and turns—has become a controversy that is defining the Trump presidency. The FBI recently disclosed that since July it has been conducting a counterintelligence investigation into possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia, as part of its probe of Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election. Citing “US officials,” CNN reported that the bureau has gathered information suggesting coordination between Trump campaign officials and suspected Russian operatives. Each day seems to bring a new revelation—and a new Trump administration denial or deflection. It’s tough to keep track of all the relevant events, pertinent ties, key statements, and unraveling claims. So we’ve compiled what we know so far into the timeline below, which covers Trump’s 30-year history with Russia.  We will continue to update the timeline regularly as events unfold. (Click here to go directly to the most recent entry.) If you have a tip or we’ve left anything out, please email us at trumprussia@motherjones.com.

1986: Donald Trump is seated next to Russian Ambassador Yuri Dubinin at a lunch organized by Leonard Lauder, the son of cosmetics scion Estée Lauder, who at the time is running her cosmetics business. “One thing led to another, and now I’m talking about building a large luxury hotel across the street from the Kremlin” in partnership with the Soviet government, Trump later writes in his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal. Also present at the event is Russian diplomat Vitaly Churkin, later the Russian ambassador to the United Nations. (Churkin died in February 2017 at 64.)

January 1987: Intourist, the Soviet agency for international tourism, expresses interest in meeting with Trump.

“Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” Trump said of his 2013 visit to Moscow for his Miss Universe contest.

July 1987: Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, fly to Moscow to tour potential hotel sites. Trump spokesman Dan Klores later tells the Washington Post that during the trip, Trump “met with a lot of the economic and financial advisers in the Politburo” but did not see Mikhail Gorbachev, then the USSR’s leader.

December 1, 1988: The Soviet Mission to the United Nations announces that Gorbachev is tentatively scheduled to tour Trump Tower while the Soviet leader is visiting New York and that Trump plans to show him a swimming pool inside a $19 million apartment.

December 7, 1988: Trump welcomes the wrong Gorbachev to New York—shaking hands with a renowned Gorbachev impersonator outside his hotel.

December 8, 1988: President Ronald Reagan invites Donald and Ivana Trump to a state dinner, where Trump meets the real Gorbachev. According to Trump’s spokesman, the real estate mogul had a lengthy discussion with the Soviet president about economics and hotels.

January 1989: For $200,000, Trump signs a group of Soviet cyclists for the Albany-to-Atlantic City road race, dubbed the Tour de Trump, that will take place that May.

November 5, 1996: Media reports note that Trump is trying to partner with US tobacco company Brooke Group to build a hotel in Moscow.

January 23, 1997: Trump meets with Alexander Lebed, a retired Soviet general then running to be president of Russia, at Trump Tower. Trump says they discussed his plans to build “something major” in Moscow. Lebed reportedly expressed his support, joking that his only objection would be that “the highest skyscraper in the world cannot be built next to the Kremlin. We cannot allow anyone spitting from the roof of the skyscraper on the Kremlin.”

2000: Michael Caputo, who later runs Trump’s primary campaign in New York during the 2016 race, secures a PR contract with the Russian conglomerate Gazprom Media to burnish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s image in the United States.

2005

Date unknown: Trump reportedly signs a development deal with Bayrock Group, a real estate firm founded by a former Soviet official from Kazakhstan, to develop a hotel in Moscow and agrees to partner on a hotel tower in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Trump works on the projects with Bayrock managing partner Felix Sater, a Russian American businessman. The New York Times will later publish a story revealing Sater’s criminal record, which includes charges of racketeering and assault.

June: Paul Manafort, later Trump’s campaign chairman, pens a strategy memo to Russia oligarch and Putin confidant Oleg Deripaska, with whom he would sign a $10 million lobbying contract the following year. “We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin Government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success,” Manafort writes, noting that the effort “will be offering a great service that can re-focus, both internally and externally, the policies of the Putin government.” (Manafort later denies working to advance Russian interests as part of this contract, first reported by the Associates Press. Deripaska later calls the AP story a “malicious…lie” and says, “I have never made any commitments or contacts with the obligation or purpose to covertly promote or advance ‘Putin’s Government’ interests anywhere in the world.”

2007

September 19: Sater and the former Soviet official who founded Bayrock, Tevfik Arif, stand next to Trump at the launch party for Trump SoHo, a hotel-condominium project co-financed by Bayrock.

November 22:  Trump Vodka debuts in Russia, at the Moscow Millionaire’s Fair. As part of its new marketing campaign, Trump Vodka also unveils an ad featuring Trump, tigers, the Kremlin, and Vladimir Lenin.

At the Millionaires’ Fair, Trump meets Sergey Millian, an American citizen from Belarus who is the president of the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce in the USA (RACC). Subsequently, Millian later recounted, “We met at his office in New York, where he introduced me to his right-hand man—Michael Cohen. He is Trump’s main lawyer, all contracts go through him. Subsequently, a contract was signed with me to promote one of their real estate projects in Russia and the CIS. You can say I was their exclusive broker.” According to Millian, he helped Trump “study the Moscow market” for potential real estate investments.

December 17: The New York Times publishes a story about Felix Sater’s controversial past, which includes prison time for stabbing a man with a margarita glass stem during a bar fight and a guilty plea in a Mafia-linked racketeering case. The article characterizes Sater as a Trump business associate who is promoting several potential projects in partnership with Trump.

December 19: In a deposition, Trump is asked about his plans to build a hotel in Moscow. He says, “It was a Trump International Hotel and Tower. It would be a nonexclusive deal, so it would not have precluded me from doing other deals in Moscow, which was very important to me.”

2008

April: Trump announces he is partnering with Russian oligarch Pavel Fuks to license his name for luxury high-rises in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics. But Fuks ultimately balks at Trump’s price, which the Russian business newspaper Kommersant estimated could have been $200 million or more.

July: Billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev, a Russian oligarch, buys a Palm Beach mansion owned by Trump for $95 million, despite Florida’s crashing real estate market and an appraisal on the house for much less. Trump bought the property for $41.35 million four years earlier. Rybolovlev goes on to give conflicting explanations for why he bought the property.

September 15: Donald Trump Jr. speaks at a real estate conference in Manhattan, where he says “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets…We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.”

Date unknown: Trump’s team reportedly invites Sergei Millian to meet Trump at a horse race in Florida, where, according to Millian, they sit in Trump’s private suite at the Gulfstream race track in Miami. “Trump team, they realized that we have a lot of connection with Russian investors. And they noticed that we bring a lot of investors from Russia,” Millian told ABC News in a 2016 interview. “And they needed my assistance, yes, to sell properties and sell some of the assets to Russian investors.” Millian says that following this meeting with Trump, he works as a broker for the Trump Hollywood condominium project in Miami, selling a “nice percentage” of the building’s 200 units to Russian investors.

2010

May 10: Jody Kriss, a former finance director at Bayrock, files a lawsuit against the company. The suit alleges that Bayrock financed Trump SoHo with mysterious cash from Kazhakstan and Russia and calls the building “a Russian mob project.” (The complaint notes that “there is no evidence that Trump took any part in” Bayrock’s interactions with questionable Russian financing sources.)

Date unknown: Bayrock’s Sater becomes a senior adviser to Trump, according to his LinkedIn profile. Though Trump later claims he would not recognize Sater, Sater has a Trump Organization email address, phone number, and business cards.

2013

January (date unknown): At an energy conference in New York, energy consultant Carter Page meets Victor Podobnyy, a Russian intelligence operative who in 2015 will be charged with being an unregistered agent of a foreign government, along with two other Russians. Until June 2013, Page will continue to meet, email, and provide documents to Podobnyy about the energy business, thinking that he is an attaché at the Russian mission to the UN who can help broker deals in Russia. Meanwhile, Podobnyy and one of his colleagues discuss efforts to recruit Page as an asset.

May 29: Emin Agalarov, a Russian pop star and the son of billionaire real estate developer Aras Agalarov, releases a music video for his song “Amor.” In the video, he pursues Miss Universe 2012, Olivia Culpo, through dark, empty alleys with a flashlight. Following the video’s release, representatives of Miss Universe, which Trump at the time owns, discuss with the Agalarovs holding the next pageant in Moscow. The Agalarovs persuade them to host Miss Universe at a concert hall they own on the outskirts of Moscow.

June 18: Following the Miss USA contest in Las Vegas, Trump announces that he will bring the Miss Universe pageant to Moscow.

He also wonders if Putin will attend the pageant, and if Putin might “become my new best friend?”

June (date unknown): Defense Intelligence Agency head Michael Flynn visits Moscow at the invitation of Igor Sergun, the chief of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency. During his visit, Flynn gives an hour-long lecture on leadership and intelligence to a group of GRU officers at the agency’s headquarters. He is reportedly the first US intelligence officer ever allowed inside the headquarters.

June 21: Vladimir Putin awards Rex Tillerson, now Trump’s secretary of state, with Russia’s Order of Friendship. As the CEO of Exxon Mobil, Tillerson had developed a long-standing relationship with the head of Russia’s state-owned oil company, Rosneft, dating back to 1998.

October 17: In an interview with David Letterman, Trump says, “I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians,” noting that he once met Putin.

November 5: In a deposition, Trump is asked about a 2007 New York Times story outlining the controversial past of Felix Sater. Trump replies that he barely knows Sater and would have trouble recognizing him if they were in the same room.

“Putin even sent me a present, a beautiful present,” Trump boasted.

November 8: Trump, in Russia for the Miss Universe pageant, meets with more than a dozen of Russia’s top businessmen at Nobu, a restaurant 15 minutes from the Kremlin. The group includes Herman Gref, the CEO of the state-controlled Sberbank PJSC, Russia’s biggest bank. The meeting at Nobu is organized by Gref—who regularly meets with Putin—and Aras Agalarov, who owns the Nobu franchise in Moscow.

– According to a source connected to the Agalarovs, Putin asks his spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, to call Trump in advance of the Miss Universe show to set up an in-person meeting for the Russian president and Trump. Peskov reportedly passes on the message and expresses Putin’s admiration for Trump. Their plans to meet never come to fruition because of scheduling changes for both Trump and Putin.

November 9: Trump spends the morning shooting a music video with Emin Agalarov.

-The Miss Universe pageant takes place near Moscow. A notorious Russian mobster, Alimzhan Tokhtakhounov, attends the event as a VIP, strolling down the event’s red carpet within minutes of Trump. At the time, Tokhtakhounov was under federal indictment in the United States for his alleged participation in an illegal gambling ring once run out of Trump Tower. Emin Agalarov performs two songs at the pageant.

– MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts asks Trump if he has a relationship with Putin. Trump replies, “I do have a relationship and I can tell you that he’s very interested in what we’re doing here today.”

November 11: Trump tweets his appreciation to Aras Agalarov, the Russian billionaire with whom he partnered to host Miss Universe, also complimenting Emin’s performance at the pageant and declaring plans for a Trump tower in Moscow.

November 12: Trump tells Real Estate Weekly that Miss Universe Russia provided a networking opportunity: “Almost all of the oligarchs were in the room,” he says. The same day, two developers who helped build the luxury Trump SoHo hotel meet with the Agalarovs to discuss replicating the hotel in Moscow. Aras Agalarov, whose real estate company secured multiple contracts from the Kremlin and who once received a medal of honor from Putin, later claims he and Trump signed a deal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow following the pageant. (The deal never moved past preliminary discussions.)

November 20: Emin Agalarov releases a new music video featuring Trump and the 2013 Miss Universe contestants.

2014

March 6: Trump gives a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference and boasts of getting a gift from Putin when he was in Russia for the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. “You know, I was in Moscow a couple months ago, I own the Miss Universe pageant, and they treated me so great,” Trump said. “Putin even sent me a present, beautiful present, with a beautiful note.”

May 27: At a National Press Club luncheon, Trump says, “I was in Moscow recently and I spoke, indirectly and directly, with President Putin, who could not have been nicer.”

October 8: The counsel’s office of the Defense Intelligence Agency responds to an inquiry from Michael Flynn about ethics restrictions that will apply to him after his Army retirement. The office explains in a letter that he can not receive foreign government payments without prior approval, due to the constitution’s emoluments clause. “If you are ever in a position where you would receive an emolument from a foreign government or from an entity that might be controlled by a foreign government, be sure to obtain advance approval from the Army prior to acceptance,” the letter states.

2015

September: FBI special agent Adrian Hawkins contacts the Democratic National Committee, saying that one of its computer systems has been compromised by a cyberespionage group linked to the Russian government. He speaks to a help desk technician who does a quick check of the DNC systems for evidence of a cyber intrusion. In the next several weeks, Hawkins calls the DNC back repeatedly, but his calls are not returned, in part because the tech support contractor who took Hawkins’ call does not know whether he is a real agent. The FBI does not dispatch an agent to visit the DNC in person and does not make efforts to contact more senior DNC officials.

September 21: On a conservative radio show, Trump says, “I was in Moscow not so long ago for an event that we had, a big event, and many of [Putin’s] people were there…I was with the top-level people, both oligarchs and generals, and top-of-the-government people. I can’t go further than that, but I will tell you that I met the top people, and the relationship was extraordinary.”

September 29: Trump praises Putin during an interview with Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly: “I will tell you, in terms of leadership he is getting an ‘A,’ and our president is not doing so well.”

November 10: At a Republican presidential primary debate, Trump says of Putin that he “got to know him very well because we were both on 60 Minutes, we were stablemates.”

November 11: The Associated PressTime, and other media outlets report that Trump and Putin were never in the same studio. Trump was interviewed in New York, and Putin was interviewed in Moscow.

December 10: Retired General Michael Flynn, the former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency who was reportedly forced out in 2014, attends and is paid more than $30,000 to speak at Russia Today’s 10th anniversary dinner in Moscow, where he is seated next to Putin.

December 16: Then-CIA Director John Brennan writes in an internal memo that some members of Congress don’t “understand and appreciate the importance and gravity” of Russian interference in the Presidential election. The criticism is reportedly directed at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas), according to a BuzzFeed article published in August 2017. Brennan’s memo also says that then-FBI director James Comey and then-national intelligence director James Clapper agree on the scope of Russian involvement.

December 17: Putin praises Trump in his year-end press conference, saying that he is “very talented” and that “he is an absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level relations, a deeper level of relations with Russia…How can we not welcome that? Of course, we welcome it.” Trump calls the praise “a great honor” from “a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.” He adds, “I have always felt that Russia and the United States should be able to work well with each other toward defeating terrorism and restoring world peace, not to mention trade and all of the other benefits derived from mutual respect.”

2016

February 17: At a rally in South Carolina, Trump says of Putin, “I have no relationship with him, other than that he called me a genius.”

March 21: In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump identifies Carter Page as one of his foreign policy advisers.

March 30: Bloomberg Businessweek reports on Page’s past advising of Gazprom, Russia’s state-owned gas company. Page tells Bloomberg Businessweek that after Trump named him as an adviser, positive notes from his Russian contacts filled his inbox. “There’s a lot of excitement in terms of the possibilities for creating a better situation” in terms of easing US sanctions on Russia, Page explained.

April 26: The Washington Post reports that Paul Manafort, then Trump’s convention manager (who would later be promoted to campaign chairman), has long-standing ties to pro-Putin Ukrainian officials. Between 2007 and 2012, Manafort worked as a political consultant to Putin ally Viktor Yanukovych and his pro-Russia part. He helped Yanukovych remake his image following the Orange Revolution and mount a successful bid for the Ukrainian presidency.

April 27: Trump gives his first foreign policy speech at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC. During the speech, he calls for an “easing of tensions” and “improved relations” with Russia. The Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak is in attendance, as well as Sen. Jeff Sessions. According to the Wall Street Journal, before Trump’s remarks, he “met at a VIP reception with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak. Mr. Trump warmly greeted Mr. Kislyak and three other foreign ambassadors who came to the reception.”

April and May: The DNC’s IT department contacts the FBI about unusual computer activity and hires cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike to investigate. In May, Crowdstrike determines that hackers affiliated with Russian intelligence infiltrated the DNC’s network.

June: The Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS), a government think tank run by retired foreign intelligence officials appointed by Vladimir Putin, drafts and circulates a strategy paper among top Russian government officials. According to Reuters, it recommends that the Kremlin help spur a propaganda campaign—via social media and state-controlled news outlets—that would help elect a more pro-Russia US president. This is based on information provided to Reuters by seven current or former US officials in April 2017.

June 3: Rob Goldstone, publicist for Emin Agalarov, emails Donald Trump Jr. to say that Russia’s crown prosecutor met with Aras Agalarov—Emin’s dad and a Russian oligarch—and told him that he possessed “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary” that could be shared with the Trump campaign. Goldstone adds that the information: “is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. responds by asking to speak to Emin about the material described in Goldstone’s email, and he adds, “If it’s what you say I love it.”

June 6: Goldstone tries to coordinate a phone call between Trump Jr. and Emin over email.

June 7: Goldstone emails Trump Jr. to say that Emin asked that Trump Jr. meet with a “Russian government attorney” in New York. They set a time over email for June 9, and Trump Jr. responds that Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, will also likely sit in on the meeting.

June 8: Trump Jr. forwards the email with the updated meeting time to Kushner and Manafort.

June 9: Promised damaging information on Clinton, Trump Jr., Manafort, and Kushner meet with a Kremlin-tied Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya. She says she has evidence that individuals linked to Russia are funding the DNC. Trump Jr. will later characterize her statements on this topic as “vague” and “ambiguous” and will claim that the discussion turned to the Magnitsky Act and Russia’s policy on US adoptions of Russian children.

June 14: The Washington Post reports that Russian hackers penetrated the Democratic National Committee and stole opposition research on Donald Trump.

June 15:  Guccifer 2.0, an online persona that US intelligence officials link to Russia’s military intelligence service, takes credit for the DNC hack and posts hacked DNC documents. Guccifer will go on to post additional hacked documents—from the DNC, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and purportedly from the Clinton Foundation—at least nine more times in the months leading up to the election. (Some reports contest that the documents came from the Clinton Foundation itself.)

– During a private meeting, Republican leaders discuss the DNC hack. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy remarks, “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.” (Rorhbacher is California Republican Dana Rohrbacher, a steadfast defender of Putin and Russia.) When his colleagues laugh, McCarthy adds, “Swear go god.” (McCarthy later says he was joking.)

July 7: Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page criticizes US sanctions against Russia during a speech at the New Economic School in MoscowPolitico later reports that Page asked for and received permission from Trump’s then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski to speak at the Moscow event. Page’s trip spurs the FBI—which has had an interest in the investor since discovering in 2013 that a Russian operative had tried to recruit him—to begin investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia.

July 18: The Washington Post reports that the Trump campaign worked with members of the Republican Party platform committee in advance of the Republican National Convention to soften the platform’s position related to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine. The platform reportedly included a provision that promised to provide arms to Ukraine in its fight against Russia, but Trump campaign staffers encouraged the committee to jettison this language.

– Trump surrogate Sen. Jeff Sessions meets with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, on the sidelines of a Republican National Convention event put on by the conservative Heritage Foundation.

July 20: New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza asks Sam Clovis, Trump’s top policy adviser, about allegations that the Trump team worked with the Republican party to soften the party platform’s position on Russia in advance of the RNC. Clovis responds with “I can’t talk about” and walks away.

July 18-21: Trump campaign staffers Carter Page and J.D. Gordon, the campaign’s director of national security, also meet with the Russian ambassador during the convention.

July 22: WikiLeaks publishes nearly 20,000 hacked DNC emails, in advance of the Democratic National Convention. Some of the emails indicate that DNC officials favored Clinton over Sen. Bernie Sanders.

July 24: Paul Manafort, Trump’s campaign chairman, appears on ABC’s This Week, where he is asked whether there are connections between the Trump campaign and the Putin regime. Manafort says, “No, there are not. And you know, there’s no basis to it.”

July 25: Trump tweets about the hacked DNC emails:

July 26: US intelligence agencies tell the White House they now have “high confidence” that the Russian government was behind the DNC hack. This is reported by media outlets but not publicly confirmed by intelligence agencies.

– In an interview with NBC News, Obama says hacks are being investigated by the FBI, but that “experts have attributed this to the Russians.” He notes, “What we do know is that the Russians hack our systems. Not just government systems, but private systems. But you know, what the motives were in terms of the leaks, all that—I can’t say directly. What I do know is that Donald Trump has repeatedly expressed admiration for Vladimir Putin.”

-Trump tweets, calling the Russia allegations “crazy”:

July 27: Trump encourages Russia to hack Clinton’s emails, saying during a news conference, “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you’ll probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” At the same event, he declares, “I never met Putin. I don’t know who Putin is.”

July 31: On ABC’s This Week, Trump again denies knowing Putin, saying, “I have no relationship with him.” Trump also denies that his campaign played any role in getting the Republican Party to soften its platform on arming Ukraine.

– On Meet the Press, Manafort denies that he or anyone within the Trump campaign worked to change the platform.

– Sen. Jeff Sessions defends Trump’s efforts to cultivate a friendship with Russia during an appearance on CNN: “Donald Trump is right. We need to figure out a way to end this cycle of hostility that’s putting this country at risk, costing us billions of dollars in defense, and creating hostilities.”

Late July: The FBI launches a counterintelligence investigation into contacts between Trump associates and Russia. There is no public confirmation of this investigation at the time, but FBI Director James Comey later confirms the investigation in a March 2017 hearing before the House intelligence committee.

August 4: In a phone call with Alexander Bornikov, the head of Russia’s FSB, CIA Director John Brennan puts his counterpart on notice about further interference in the US election. Bornikov denies efforts targeting the election.

August 5: Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks, asked by the Washington Post about Carter Page’s July speech in Moscow, downplays his role as a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, saying he “does not speak for Mr. Trump or the campaign.”

– Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone writes an article for Breitbart in which he denies that Russia was behind the DNC hack. He argues that Guccifer 2.0 has no ties to Russia.

August 6: NPR confirms the Trump campaign’s involvement in encouraging the Republican Party to soften its platform’s pro-Ukraine position on Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

August 14: The New York Times reports that Ukraine’s anti-corruption bureau has discovered Manafort’s name on a list of “black accounts” compiled by ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, a Putin ally. The tallies show undisclosed payments designated for Manafort totaling $12.7 million between 2007 and 2012, the years that Manafort worked for Yanukovych as a political consultant. (Manafort denies receiving any illicit payments.)

August 17: Trump receives his first classified intelligence briefing as the GOP nominee for president. He brings Michael Flynn with him to the meeting, which includes discussion of the intelligence community’s assessment that Russia was interfering in the US election.

August 19: Manafort resigns from the Trump campaign.

August 21: Roger Stone tweets:

August 29: Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pens a letter to the FBI, asking the bureau to investigate the possibility of election-tampering by Russia in the upcoming presidential election. “I have recently become concerned that the threat of the Russian government tampering in our presidential election is more extensive than widely known,” Reid writes. “The prospect of a hostile government actively seeking to undermine our free and fair elections represents one of the gravest threats to our democracy since the Cold War and it is critical for the Federal Bureau of Investigation to use every resource available to investigate this matter thoroughly.”

August 29: Yahoo News reports that the FBI has found evidence that the state voter systems in Arizona and Illinois were breached by hackers possibly linked to the Russian government.

August 30: House Democrats send a letter to FBI Director James Comey calling on the bureau to investigate ties between the Trump campaign and Russian officials and any impact these ties may have had on the hacking of the DNC and Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

September 5: The Washington Post reports that US intelligence agencies, including the FBI, are investigating possible plans by Russia to disrupt the presidential election.

– Putin and Obama have a tense meeting at the G20 summit in China, where they discuss Syria, Ukraine, and cybersecurity. In December, Obama will tell reporters that he confronted Putin about Russia’s alleged interference in the election and told him to “cut it out.”

September 7: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper suggests publicly for the first time that Russia may be responsible for the DNC hack, pointing to Obama’s July statement that “experts have attributed this to the Russians.” Clapper adds that “the Russians hack our systems all the time.”

September 8: Trump responds to Clapper’s comments in an interview with RT, the English language arm of a Russian state-controlled media conglomerate, casting doubt on whether Russian hackers were responsible for the DNC hack. “I think maybe the Democrats are putting that out,” Trump says. “Who knows, but I think it’s pretty unlikely.”

– Jeff Sessions meets with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in his Senate office. He is the only oneof the Senate armed services committee’s 26 members to meet with the ambassador in 2016. The meeting occurs days after Putin and Obama’s tense G20 meeting.

September 22: Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, and Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, release a statement about Russia’s interference in the US election. “Based on briefings we have received, we have concluded that the Russian intelligence agencies are making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election,” they said. “We believe that orders for the Russian intelligence agencies to conduct such actions could come only from the very senior levels of the Russian government.”

September 23: Yahoo News reports that US intelligence officials are investigating whether Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page discussed the possible lifting of US sanctions on Russia and other topics during private communications with top Russian officials, including a Putin aide and the current executive chairman of Rosneft, who is on the Treasury Department’s US sanctions list. Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller claims that Page “has no role” in the Trump campaign and says that “we are not aware of any of his activities, past or present.”

September 25: In a CNN interview, Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway denies that Page is affiliated with the Trump campaign. “He’s certainly not part of the campaign that I’m running,” she said.

In response to a question about Page’s possible connections to Russian officials, Conway says, “If he’s doing that, he’s certainly not doing it with the permission or knowledge of the campaign,” She adds, “He is certainly not authorized to do that.”

September 26: Page takes a leave from the campaign.

– During the first presidential debate, Clinton brings up the allegations that Russia orchestrated the DNC hack. Trump responds: “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. She’s saying Russia, Russia, Russia. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?”

October 1: Roger Stone tweets:

October 3: Roger Stone tweets:

October 7: US intelligence agencies issue a joint release saying they are “confident” the Russian government interfered in the US election, in part by directing the leaking of hacked emails belonging to political institutions like the DNC. This is the first official government confirmation that Russia orchestrated the hacking and leaks during the election.

-Late on Friday afternoon, a leaked video of Trump boasting of groping and kissing women without their consent is published by the Washington PostHalf an hour later, WikiLeaks begins to release several thousand hacked emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

October 9: During the second presidential debate, Clinton accuses Trump of benefiting from Russian hacking and other interference in the election. Trump responds, “I don’t know Putin. I think it would be great if we got along with Russia because we could fight ISIS together, as an example. But I don’t know Putin.”

Referring to Trump campaign staffers Russia’s deputy foreign minister, said the day after the election: “A number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives. There were contacts. We continue to do this and have been doing this work during the election campaign.”

October 11: The Obama White House promises a “proportional” response following the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia was responsible for hacking the DNC and other groups.

October 12: Sources briefed on the FBI examination of Russian hacking say the agency suspects that Russian intelligence agencies are behind the hacking of the emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and a Florida election systems vendor.

– Roger Stone says he has “back-channel communications” with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, through a mutual friend.

October 19: During the final presidential debate, Trump casts doubt on the US intelligence community’s conclusion that the Russian government interfered in the election. He also denies having ever met or spoken to Putin, despite his previous statements to the contrary. “I never met Putin,” Trump says. ” I have nothing to do with Putin. I’ve never spoken to him.”

October 30: The plane belonging to Dmitri Rybolovlev, the Russian oligarch who purchased Trump’s Florida mansion in 2008, is in Las Vegas the same day Trump holds a rally there.

– Outgoing Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) sends a letter to FBI Director James Comey calling on him to release what Reid calls “explosive” information about Trump’s Russia ties. “In my communications with you and other top officials in the national security community, it has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisors, and the Russian government,” Reid writes. “The public has a right to know this information.”

October 31: Mother Jones reports that a veteran of a Western intelligence service has given the FBI memos saying that Russia had mounted a yearslong operation to co-opt or cultivate Trump and that the Kremlin had gathered compromising information on Trump during his visits to Moscow that could be used for blackmail. The story notes that the FBI has requested more information from this source.

October: Russian government think tank RISS drafts and circulates a document among top Russian officials warning that Hillary Clinton is likely to win the US presidential election. According to Reuters, the memo advises the Kremlin to revise its strategy for influencing the election: Instead of focusing on pro-Trump propaganda, it should instead seek to undermine Clinton’s reputation and the legitimacy of the US electoral system by stoking fears about voter fraud.

Date unknown: Prior to Election Day, Flynn contacts Kislyak. It’s unknown how often the pair communicated or what they talked about.

November 1: NBC News reports that the FBI is conducting a preliminary inquiry into Paul Manafort’s business ties to Russia and Ukraine. Manafort tells NBC, “None of it is true.” He denies having dealings with Putin or the Russian government and says any allegations to the contrary are “Democratic propaganda.”

November 3: Dmitri Rybolovlev’s plane lands in Charlotte, North Carolina, about 90 minutes before Trump’s plane lands at the same airport in advance of a Trump rally to be held that day in nearby Concord.

November 9: Trump wins the presidential election.

November 10: Interfax news agency reports that the Russian government had contact with the Trump campaign during the campaign. Referring to Trump campaign staffers, Sergei Ryabkov, Russia’s deputy foreign minister, says, “A number of them maintained contacts with Russian representatives” in the Russian Foreign Ministry. And he adds, “There were contacts. We continue to do this and have been doing this work during the election campaign.”

– Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells the Associated Press that Russian foreign policy experts have been in contact with the Trump campaign. “And our experts, our specialists on the U.S., on international affairs…Of course they are constantly speaking to their counterparts here, including those from Mr. Trump’s group,” Peskov said.

November 11: Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks tells the Associated Press that the allegations of contact between the Trump campaign and Russian officials are false. “It never happened,” she says. “There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign.”

November 16: The director of the National Security Agency, Admiral Michael Rogers, implies that he believes Russia interfered in the US election. In response to a question about WikiLeaks hacks during the election, Rogers says, “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”

November 17: Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the top Democrat on the House oversight committee, sends a letter to Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), the committee’s top Republican, calling for an investigation into Russia’s interference in the election.

November 23: The Wall Street Journal reports that in October 2016, Donald Trump Jr. spoke at a meeting of a French think tank run by a couple, Fabien Baussart and Randa Kassis, who have “worked closely with Russia to try to end the conflict” in Syria. Kassis is the leader of a Syrian group endorsed by the Kremlin that seeks to cooperate with Moscow ally President Bashar al-Assad.

November 29: Seven members of the Senate intelligence committee write a letter to Obama asking him to declassify relevant intelligence on Russia’s role in the election.

Early December: Two Russian intelligence officers who worked on cyber operations and a Russian computer security expert are arrested in Moscow and charged with treason for providing information to the United States. (There is no indication of whether the arrests are related to the Russian hacking of the 2016 campaign.)

December 8: Carter Page, no longer a foreign policy adviser to Trump, visits Moscow, where he tells a state-run news agency that he plans to meet with “business leaders and thought leaders.”

December 9: The Washington Post reports that a secret CIA assessment concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win the presidency. In response, the Trump transition team issues a statement attempting to discredit the CIA’s conclusion: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago…It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”

December 11: In an appearance on Fox News Sunday, Trump again casts doubt on the US intelligence community’s findings on Russia’s interference in the election. “They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody,” Trump says of the CIA’s findings. “It could be somebody sitting in a bed some place. I mean, they have no idea.”

December 13: Trump names Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of Exxon Mobil, as his secretary of state nominee. Tillerson has long-standing ties to Russia and Putin. Tillerson helped Exxon cut several oil-drilling deals with Rosneft, Russia’s state-owned oil company, and in 2013 Putin awarded Tillerson the Russian Order of Friendship.

December (date unknown): Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner meet with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower. Kislyak was not caught on tape entering the building, suggesting that he may have been brought in through a back entrance.

December (date unknown): Kislyak requests another meeting with Kushner. Kushner sends a deputy, Avrahm Berkowitz, to meet with the Russian ambassador in his stead. At that meeting, Kislyak requests that Kushner meet with Sergey N. Gorkov, the chief of Vnesheconombank, Russia’s state-owned development bank. Kushner meets with Gorkov later that month.

December 29: Obama announces sanctions against Russia for the country’s alleged interference in the presidential election. The measure includes the ejection of 35 Russian diplomats from the United States; the closure of Cold War-era Russian compounds in Long Island, New York, and in Maryland; and sanctions against the GRU and the FSB (Russian intelligence agencies), four employees of those agencies, and three companies that worked with the GRU.

– Michael Flynn holds five phone calls with Kislyak, during which they at some point discuss US sanctions on Russia. (White House press secretary Sean Spicer later claims falsely that they held just one call, in which they merely discussed “logistical information.”)

2017

January 4: According to the New York TimesFlynn tells Don McGahn, who at the time was the transition team’s top lawyer, that he is under investigation for failing to disclose his work as a lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign.

January 6: Flynn’s attorney and transition team lawyers hold another discussion about the investigation involving Flynn.

-The Office of the Director of National Intelligence releases a report saying that the CIA, the FBI, and the NSA believe there is evidence that Russia actively tried to help Trump win the election. They also conclude with “high confidence” that Russian military intelligence used the Guccifer 2.0 persona and a website called <a href=”http://DCLeaks.com” rel=”nofollow”>DCLeaks.com</a> to release the hacked documents and that Russia’s military intelligence branch channeled hacked material to WikiLeaks.

Early January: Concerned that classified material relating to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election might disappear once the Trump administration took office, Obama administration officials create a list containing the serial numbers of key documents. An administration official hand-delivers this list to senior members of the Senate intelligence committee.

January 10: CNN reports that Obama and Trump received classified briefings that covered allegations contained in the Russia-Trump memos authored by the Western intelligence official that Russian intelligence possessed compromising material on Trump.

– BuzzFeed publishes the Trump-Russia memos in full.

– Trump calls the Russia memos story “#fakenews” on Twitter.

– During his Senate confirmation hearing, Jeff Sessions responds to questions about alleged contacts between the Trump campaign and Russia by saying, “I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians.”

– FBI Director James Comey testifies at a Senate intelligence committee hearing. He is asked whether the FBI is investigating Trump campaign staffers’ ties to Russia. Comey declines to answer the question.

– According to McClatchy‘s reporting in May 2017, Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, informs Michael Flynn of the Pentagon’s plan to use Syrian Kurdish forces to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital, Raqqa. Flynn asks Rice to delay the operation, a position that “conformed to the wishes of Turkey.”

January 11: Trump again denies the allegations in the Russia memos in a series of tweets. Also in reference to the Russia allegations, he asks, “Are we living in Nazi Germany?”

– At his first news conference since being elected, Trump acknowledges that Russia was behind the hacks, saying, “As far as hacking, I think it was Russia. But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people.”

Around January 11: A secret meeting takes place in the Seychelles between Blackwater founder Erik Prince, a major Trump campaign donor and brother of education secretary Betsy DeVos, and a Russian close to Vladimir Putin in an effort to establish an unofficial back channel between Moscow and Donald Trump. According to sources who would later speak to the Washington Post, the meeting was allegedly coordinated by the crown prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, and his brother. It occurred shortly after a December visit to the US by Zayed, which the UAE did not disclose to the Obama administration.

January 13: Trump again calls claims about his Russian connections “fake news.” His tweet refers to a comment by a Kremlin spokesman earlier in the month that called the US intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia interfered in the US election “absolutely unfounded.”

January 15: In an appearance on Face the Nation, Vice President-elect Mike Pence says Michael Flynn told him that he did not discuss US sanctions during his conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

January 19: The New York Times reports that the FBI, the NSA, the CIA, and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit are investigating Paul Manafort, Carter Page, and Roger Stone for their possible contacts with Russia during the campaign. As part of their investigation, the Times reports, these agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions.

January 20: Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

January 23: White House press secretary Sean Spicer holds his first White House press briefing. He insists that national security adviser Michael Flynn’s conversations with the Russian ambassador included no discussion of US sanctions.

January 24: The FBI interviews Flynn about his phone conversations with the Russian ambassador. Flynn reportedly denies having discussed US sanctions on Russia.

January 26: Sally Yates, the acting attorney general, informs White House counsel Don McGahn that Flynn had discussed US sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador, despite Flynn’s claims to the contrary in his FBI interview.

– McGahn informs Trump of Yates’ report that Flynn had a conversation with the Russian ambassador in December that included a discussion about US sanctions. This reveals that Flynn misled Pence when he said he had not had substantive conversations with the Russian ambassador.

January 27: In a one-on-one dinner at the White House, Trump reportedly asks FBI director James Comey whether he is personally under investigation by the FBI for possible Russia ties, according to a May 2017 NBC interview with Trump. Trump claims that Comey reassures him that he is not under investigation. Two of Comey’s associates who speak to the New York Times in May 2017 have a different account of the dinner: They say that Trump asked Comey for loyalty. Comey reportedly declined, but offered “honesty.”

January (date unknown): Michael Cohen, Trump’s personal attorney, meets at a Manhattan hotel with Felix Sater and a pro-Putin Ukrainian lawmaker to discuss a potential peace plan for Ukraine and Russia. The New York Times reports that Cohen delivered this plan to Flynn. Cohen confirms he met with Sater and the Ukrainian lawmaker, but denies that they discussed a Ukraine-Russia peace plan or that he delivered such a plan to Flynn or the White House.

February 7: Trump tweets:

February 8: In an interview with the Washington PostFlynn denies discussing US sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

February 9: A spokesman for Flynn softens the national security adviser’s denial, telling the Washington Post that “while he had no recollection of discussing sanctions, he couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”

February 10: Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One, Trump says he is not aware of reports that Flynn has discussed US sanctions with the Russian ambassador. He has in fact been aware of Flynn’s contacts with Kislyak since late January.

– Dmitri Rybolovlev’s plane lands in Miami, the day before Trump is set to arrive at Mar-a-Lago for the weekend.

February 13: Flynn resigns following reports that the Justice Department warned the White House that Flynn had misled senior members of the administration, including Pence, about whether he discussed US sanctions with the Russian ambassador.

February 14: The New York Times reports that American intelligence and law enforcement agencies have intercepted repeated communications between Trump campaign officials and other Trump associates and senior Russian intelligence and government officials.

– Spicer denies that Trump or his campaign had any contacts with Russia during the election.

February 15: During a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump does not answer a question about potential connections between his campaign and Russia during the election. He blames Flynn’s ouster on leaks. This is a different position than the one taken by the White House previously: that Flynn was asked to resign because he misled Pence about his communication with the Russian ambassador.

– Reince Priebus, Trump’s chief of staff, asks the FBI to publicly knock-down media reports that the US intelligence community was investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged contacts with Russia intelligence operatives during the election. The FBI refuses to do so. The administration then enlists the help of the intelligence community and several members of Congress, including Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.)—the chairmen of the Senate and House intelligence committees, both of which are conducting investigations into Trump’s Russia connections—to call media outlets to counter stories about contacts between Trump staffers and Russians.

– In an appearance on PBS Newshour, Carter Page denies that he had any meetings with Russian officials in 2016.

February 16: At a news conference, Trump is asked whether anyone in his campaign had been in contact with Russia. He replies, “Nobody that I know of.” He also denies having any contact with Russia, saying, “Russia is a ruse. I have nothing to do with Russia.”

February 17: FBI Director James Comey meets with members of the Senate intelligence committee. That same day, the committee sends letters to more than a dozen agencies, groups, and individuals, asking them to preserve all communications related to the committee’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

February 19: During an interview on Fox News, Priebus denies that the Trump camp had any contact with Russia.

February 28: Republicans on the House judiciary committee vote down a Democrat-sponsored resolution that would have required the Trump administration to disclose information about Trump’s ties to Russia (and his possible financial conflicts of interest).

– White House lawyers ask Trump staffers to preserve any materials related to possible Russian interference in the 2016 election.

March 1: The Washington Post reports that Jeff Sessions, Trump’s attorney general, did not disclose in his January confirmation hearings that he twice met with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. Sessions had said during a confirmation hearing that “I did not have communications with the Russians.” Sessions’ Justice Department spokeswoman says Sessions met with Kislyak in his capacity as a senator on the armed services committee, and that the question during the confirmation hearing was about the Trump campaign’s Russian connections.

March 2: Facing criticism over the revelations that he withheld information regarding his meetings with the Russian ambassador during his confirmation hearings, Sessions announces that he will recuse himself from any investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

 On NBC, Sessions denies that he ever discussed the Trump campaign with Russians. “I have not met with any Russians at any time to discuss any political campaign and those remarks are unbelievable to me and are false,” he said. “And I don’t have anything else to say about that.”

 Alex Oronov, a Ukrainian billionaire businessman who was connected by marriage to Michael Cohen, Trump’s longtime lawyer and associate, dies unexpectedly. Oronov’s daughter was married to Cohen’s brother. Oronov reportedly set up a January 2017 meeting between Cohen and Russian officials to discuss a possible “peace plan” between Russia and Ukraine that would have formalized Putin’s control over Crimea. The New York Times reported that this peace proposal was hand-delivered to Michael Flynn prior to his forced resignation.

– The White House acknowledges that Jared Kushner and Flynn met with Sergey Kislyak at Trump Tower in December. The meeting was first reported by The New Yorker.

– The Wall Street Journal reports that Donald Trump Jr. was paid at least $50,000 for his October 2016 appearance before a French think tank run by a couple allied with Russia on ending Syrian conflict.

– USA Today reports that two other Trump advisers, Carter Page and J.D. Gordon, met with Sergey Kislyak during the Republican National Convention.

– In an MSNBC appearance, Page says he doesn’t deny that this meeting took place.

– J.D. Gordon tells CNN that during the Republican National Convention, he did in fact push to alter the Republican platform’s draft policy on Ukraine to align it with Trump’s views on Russia.

March 3: Trump dresses down senior staffers in a meeting in the Oval Office over Jeff Sessions’ recusal and over news reports connecting the Trump administration to Russia.

March 4: Without providing any proof, Trump alleges that President Obama wiretapped his phones during the election.

March 5: Press Secretary Sean Spicer says the White House is requesting that the congressional intelligence committees examine Trump’s allegations that Obama wiretapped Trump during the campaign as part of their investigation into Russia’s election activity. Spicer also says the White House will not comment further on the wiretapping allegation until the completion of this investigation.

March 10: Trump adviser Roger Stone acknowledges that during the 2016 campaign he exchanged direct messages on Twitter with Guccifer 2.0, the online persona that US intelligence agencies believe was a front for Russian intelligence. Stone claims the conversations were so “perfunctory” and “banal” that he had forgotten about them.

– The yacht belonging to Russian billionaire Dmitri Rybolovlev anchors in a cove in the British Virgin Islands. Another yacht anchors next to Rybolovlev’s—the Sea Owl, owned by Robert Mercer, one of Trump’s biggest donors during the 2016 election and an investor in the conservative Breitbart News.

March 15: Asked about his decision to accuse Obama of wiretapping him without evidence, Trump hints that information will soon emerge to back up his claims. “I think you’re going to find some very interesting items coming to the forefront over the next two weeks.”

March 20: Shortly before the House intelligence committee holds its first public hearing on its investigation into Russia’s interference in the US election, a senior White House official tells the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, “You’ll see the setting of the predicate. That’s the thing to watch today.” Lizza later reports:

He suggested that I read a piece in The Hill about incidental collection. The article posited that if “Trump or his advisors were speaking directly to foreign individuals who were the target of U.S. spying during the election campaign, and the intelligence agencies recorded Trump by accident, it’s plausible that those communications would have been collected and shared amongst intelligence agencies.”

The White House clearly indicated to me that it knew Nunes would highlight this issue. “It’s backdoor surveillance where it’s not just incidental, it’s systematic,” the White House official said. “Watch Nunes today.”

– In his opening statement at the hearing, Nunes asks, “Were the communications of officials or associates of any campaign subject to any kind of improper surveillance?” The day’s biggest news, however, comes from FBI Director James Comey who testifies the hearing that the bureau has since July been “investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government, and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts.” Both Comey and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers dismiss Trump’s claim that Obama wiretapped him during the election.

– In response to questions from Mother Jones‘ David Corn, Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), chair of the House intelligence committee, tells reporters he has never heard of key figures connected to the Trump-Russia scandal, including Carter Page and Roger Stone.

– Spicer tells reporters that Paul Manafort, who ran Trump’s campaign from April 2016 to August 2016, “played a limited role” on the campaign “for a very limited amount of time.”

March 22: The Associated Press reports that, starting in the mid-2000s, Manafort worked on behalf of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska to “influence politics, business dealings and news coverage inside the United States, Europe and the former Soviet republics to benefit the Putin government.” The news service quotes a 2005 strategy memo authored by Manafort, who writes, “We are now of the belief that this model can greatly benefit the Putin government if employed at the correct levels with the appropriate commitment to success.” Manafort denies working on behalf of Russian interests.

– Mother Jones reports that Manafort tried to help Deripaska secure a visa to the United States. The aluminum magnate had been denied entry to the United States at various points because of suspected ties to the Russian mafia.

– Rep. Devin Nunes, without briefing Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), his Democratic counterpart on the intelligence committee, or other members of the panel, calls a surprise press conference, announcingthat he has seen evidence that the intelligence community “incidentally” picked up communications by Trump transition officials in the course of lawful surveillance on foreign parties. He claims that the names of Trump officials were “unmasked” and that “none of this surveillance was related to Russia.”

– In a remarkable departure from intelligence committee norms, Nunes visits the White House to brief Trump on his findings. The president later says he feels “somewhat” vindicated by the information Nunes shared.

– Schiff releases a statement expressing “grave concerns” about Nunes’ actions and casting doubt about whether a “credible investigation” can be conducted under these circumstances.

– Schiff tells MSNBC’s Chuck Todd that there is “more than circumstantial evidence now” of potential collusion between Trump officials and Russian operatives.

– CNN, citing “US officials,” reports that the “FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”

March 23: The Associated Press reports that US Treasury Department agents have obtained records of “offshore financial transactions” by Paul Manafort, in conjunction into an ongoing anti-corruption investigation into his work in Eastern Europe. According to the new service, “As part of their investigation, U.S. officials were expected to look into millions of dollars’ worth of wire transfers to Manafort. In one case, the AP found that a Manafort-linked company received a $1 million payment in October 2009 from a mysterious firm through the Bank of Cyprus. The $1 million payment left the account the same day—split in two, roughly $500,000 disbursements to accounts with no obvious owner.”

– Trump tweets:

– Rep. Nunes apologizes to Democratic members of the intelligence committee for failing to brief them on the new information he obtained and instead taking it straight to the White House, but he won’t explain why he took this unusual action.

March 24: Rep. Devin Nunes holds a press conference, where he announces that Paul Manafort has volunteered to testify before the House intelligence committee. He also announces that the committee will be delaying its next open hearing, which had been planned for March 28.

March 27: The New York Times reports that in early December 2016, Jared Kushner met with Sergey Gorkov, the chief of Russia’s state-owned development bank at the request of Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. The paper also reports that the Senate intelligence committee has informed the White House that it will seek to question Kushner about this meeting and his interactions with the Kislyak.

– The New York Times reports that on the evening of March 21, Rep. Nunes met with a source on the grounds of the White House grounds. The source reportedly showed Nunes “dozens” of classified intelligence reports. The next day, Nunes announced he had viewed evidence that showed that US intelligence agencies had “incidentally” collected communications among Trump transition team members while surveilling other parties.

– House Democrats, including minority leader Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff, call on Devin Nunes to recuse himself from the House intelligence committee investigation into Russia’s election interference.

– Trump tweets:

March 28: The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration has tried to prevent former acting Attorney General Sally Yates from testifying before the House intelligence committee. Yates—who was fired by Trump in January after she instructed Justice Department lawyers not to defend the administration’s executive order temporarily blocking immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries—was scheduled to testify before the committee in a public hearing that was canceled by Nunes. The White House denied that it had tried to block Yates from testifying, calling the Post‘s story “entirely false.”

– NBC reports:

A bank in Cyprus investigated accounts associated with President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, for possible money-laundering, two banking sources with direct knowledge of his businesses here told NBC News.

Manafort — whose ties to a Russian oligarch close to President Vladimir Putin are under scrutiny—was associated with at least 15 bank accounts and 10 companies on Cyprus, dating back to 2007, the sources said. At least one of those companies was used to receive millions of dollars from a billionaire Putin ally, according to court documents.

Banking sources said some transactions on Manafort-associated accounts raised sufficient concern to trigger an internal investigation at a Cypriot bank into potential money laundering activities. After questions were raised, Manafort closed the accounts, the banking sources said.

According to a Manafort spokesman, “All were legitimate entities and established for lawful ends.”

March 29: Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), respectively the chairman and vice chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, hold a press conference. They vow a tough, bipartisan investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. “This investigation’s scope will go wherever the intelligence leads,” Burr says. According to Burr, seven committee staffers have been assigned to the probe and the committee has begun to schedule the first of 20 interviews.

March 30: The Senate intelligence committee convenes its first hearing into Russian interference in the presidential election.

– The New York Times reports that two White House officials, Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis, “played a role in providing” Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) access to intelligence reports showing that “President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.” Cohen-Watnick was brought on to the National Security Council by Michael Flynn, for whom he had worked at the National Security Council. After Flynn’s ouster, his replacement, national security adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster, attempted to “sideline” Cohen-Watkins, according to Politico. Jared Kushner and White House strategist Stephen Bannon intervened on the NSC staffer’s behalf, taking the matter all the way to Trump. Ellis worked for Nunes before taking a job in the White House as a lawyer working on national security matters.

-The Wall Street Journal reports that former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has told the FBI and the congressional committees investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia that he will agree to be interviewed in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Flynn’s attorney says in a subsequent statement that the retired general “certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.”

March 31: NBC reports that the Senate intelligence committee has denied Flynn’s request for immunity, telling Flynn’s lawyer the request was “wildly preliminary” and currently “not on the table.”

March (date unknown): Weeks after its former CEO, Rex Tillerson, becomes Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil files an application with the Treasury department for a waiver from US sanctions on Russia. Exxon seeks the waiver in order to resume an exploration and drilling project with Russian-state oil giant Rosneft. Tillerson has said that he will recuse himself from State Department decisions that could benefit Exxon for one year.

April 4: The Pentagon launches an investigation into Michael Flynn for accepting payments from a foreign government without prior approval, in potential violation of the Constitution’s emoluments clause.

April 6: The House ethics committee announces that it is investigating Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), the chairman of the House intelligence committee investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election, due to allegations that he made “unauthorized disclosures of classified information.” In a statement, Nunes says that he will temporarily remove himself from the House intelligence committee’s Russia investigation into Russian interference while the House ethics committee investigates, “despite the baselessness of the charges” against him.

April 11: In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Eric Trump says that the Trump administration’s decision to launch missiles at a Syrian military target shows that there is no connection between President Trump and the Russian government, which backs the Assad regime.

-The Washington Post reports that in the summer of 2016, the FBI and DOJ obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court warrant to monitor the communications of Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page. “This is the clearest evidence so far that the FBI had reason to believe during the 2016 presidential campaign that a Trump campaign adviser was in touch with Russian agents,” notes the Post.

April 12: The Associated Press confirms that at least $1.2 million in payments listed next to Paul Manafort’s name on a “black accounts” ledger in Ukraine that was uncovered in August 2016 were in fact received by Manafort’s consulting firm. Manafort had initially denied receiving illicit payments, and told the AP that “any wire transactions received by my company are legitimate payments for political consulting work that was provided. I invoiced my clients and they paid via wire transfer, which I received through a U.S. bank.”

CNN reports that both Republican and Democratic lawmakers have reviewed documents related to allegations that Obama administration national security adviser Susan Rice had improperly requested the “unmasking” of Trump transition team members in intelligence reports. The lawmakers who reviewed these reports “have so far found no evidence that Obama administration officials did anything unusual or illegal,” CNN reported, though Trump had previously called the allegations a “massive story.”

-In an interview on the Fox Business Network, Trump says that it is “not too late” to fire FBI director James Comey, but also says that he still has confidence in him.

April 13: House Democrats send a letter to FBI Director James Comey and the head of the National Background Investigations Bureau, calling for the suspension of Jared Kushner’s security clearance. Kushner, they write “failed to disclose key meetings with foreign government officials during his application process,” including Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak and Sergei Gorkov, the head of Vnesheconombank, a Russian state-owned development bank. “Knowingly falsifying or concealing information on a SF-86 questionnaire is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison,” the lawmakers write.

April 14: Legistorm reports that Andrii Artemenko, the pro-Putin Ukrainian lawmaker that in January met with two Trump associates to discuss a possible peace plan for Ukraine and Russia, is paying $30,000 a month to a pro-Trump preacher in Pennsylvania who has ties to Russia and Ukraine. According to Legistorm, the funds were for “strategic counseling and representation to advance US-Ukraine relations, including engagement with public officials, legislators and government agencies” and a filing from Armstrong’s LLC notes the payments were not financed by a foreign government. The preacher, Dale Armstrong, helps run two groups focused on bringing biblical values to Ukraine and other former Soviet republics.

April 19: Reuters reports that Russian government think tank RISS, described by officials as the Kremlin’s in-house foreign policy think tank and staffed by Putin-appointees, had developed plans to interfere with the US election. Seven current or former US officials describe documents produced and circulated by RISS in June and October 2016, first calling on the Kremlin to mount a propaganda campaign to help elect a pro-Russia president and later to stoke concerns about Hillary Clinton and voter fraud.

-The Justice Department confirms that Mary McCord, the acting assistant attorney general in the department’s national security division, will leave the department in May 2017. McCord heads the department’s investigation into Russia interference in the presidential election.

April 21: CNN reports that in the summer of 2016, at the height of the presidential campaign, US and European intelligence found that Russian intelligence operatives were attempting to infiltrate the Trump campaign through Trump advisers, including Carter Page. Citing US officials, the network reports that Page and several other Trump advisers were repeatedly in contact with Russian officials and other Russians on the radar of intelligence agencies.

April 23: The Daily Beast reports that the committee’s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia is floundering. More than three months after the probe was launched, none of the seven staffers assigned to the investigation are working on it full-time, none have investigative or legal experience, and most have no Russia expertise.

April 25: Leaders of the House Oversight Committee tell reporters that Michael Flynn may have broken the law by failing to disclose a $34,000 payment from RT, a Russian state-owned media outlet, on his 2016 application to renew his security clearance. Flynn received the fee for speaking at 2015 gala hosted by RT, where he was seated beside Vladimir Putin.

“As a former military officer, you simply cannot take money from Russia, Turkey or anybody else,” Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said. “And it appears as if he did take that money. It was inappropriate. And there are repercussions for the violation of law.”

The revelation comes after Chaffetz, the committee’s chairman, and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), its ranking member, asked the White House and other federal agencies to provide documents related to Flynn’s foreign communications and payments, including his security clearance application. The Defense Intelligence Agency provided documents to the committee, according to Chaffetz and Cummings, but the White House has declined to comply with the document request.

-Flynn’s attorney issues a statement implying that Flynn obtained all necessary permissions related to his appearance at the RT event: “General Flynn briefed the Defense Intelligence Agency, a component agency of the Department of Defense, extensively regarding the RT speaking event trip both before and after the trip, and he answered any questions that were posed by DIA concerning the trip during those briefings.”

April 27: The Department of Defense confirms that Michael Flynn has been under investigation by the Pentagon since April 4, for accepting payments from a foreign government, allegedly without informing the appropriate Defense officials.

-Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) the ranking Democrat on the House oversight committee, releases documents showing that in October 2014, Flynn was warned by the Defense Intelligence Agency about accepting payments from foreign governments. The documents released by Cummings show that the DIA counsel’s office responded to an inquiry from Flynn with a letter explaining that he could not receive foreign government payments without prior approval, due to the constitution’s emoluments clause.

-The DIA documents released by House oversight also state that, contrary to the implication of Flynn’s attorney on April 25, the DIA has no record of Flynn seeking permission to receive payments from a foreign source.

May 1: During an Oval Office interview with CBS’ John Dickerson, Trump says “I don’t stand by anything” when asked about his claims that President Obama tapped his phones during the 2016 election. Trump then proceeds to double down on the wiretapping accusation: “I think our side’s been proven very strongly and everybody’s talking about it and frankly, it should be discussed.” Trump cuts the interview short when Dickerson presses him on his claims.

May 2: During a Q&A, Hillary Clinton blames her election defeat on Russian hacking and FBI director James Comey’s October 28 letter to Congress stating that the bureau was examining newly discovered emails possibly related to its investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server. “I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off—and the evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling [and] persuasive,” she said.

– Donald Trump tweets:

May 3: FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate judiciary committee, saying, “I