10:22 AM 10/31/2017 – Mueller’s opening bid is a remarkable show of strength

“[Mueller’s] opening bid is a remarkable show of strength,”

Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes explain on their Lawfare blog. “He has a cooperating witness from inside the campaign’s interactions with the Russians. And he is alleging not mere technical infractions of law but astonishing criminality on the part of Trump’s campaign manager, a man who also attended the Trump Tower meeting. Any hope the White House may have had that the Mueller investigation might be fading away vanished . . . Things are only going to get worse from here.” 

The Daily 202: 10 takeaways from Mueller’s shock-and-awe gambit – The Washington Post

10.31.17

The Daily 202: 10 takeaways from Mueller’s shock-and-awe gambit – The Washington Post
Paul Manafort, Rick Gates charged with conspiracy in connection with special counsel probe – The Washington Post
Paul Manafort, Rick Gates charged with conspiracy in connection with special counsel probe – The Washington Post
Kremlin: Attempts to tie U.S. investigations to Russia ‘baseless’ and ‘ludicrous’ – The Washington Post
The Daily 202: 10 takeaways from Mueller’s shock-and-awe gambit – The Washington Post
The Early Edition: October 31, 2017 | Just Security
Steven L. Hall – Google Search
Papadopoulos professor London – Google Search
groupthink definition – Google Search
groupthink in intelligence analysis – Google Search

Articles – 10.30.17

Washington Waits for Criminal Charges in Probe of Russia Links to US Election
Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Told to Surrender – The New York Times
Manafort surrenders, Gates asked to turn himself in to Mueller, source says – CNNPolitics
Paul Manafort indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller and told to surrender – Business Insider
manafort cnn – YouTube
Paul Manafort, Rick Gates charged with conspiracy in connection with special counsel probe – The Washington Post
The Podesta Group stands at the center of Putin lobbying and Democratic fundraising
4.1.17 – Янукович избил Медведева и дважды ударил Путина по лицу – источник / ГОРДОН
What Did Ex-Trump Aide Paul Manafort Really Do in Ukraine? – NBC News
Robert Mueller’s indictment of Paul Manafort and Robert Gates is a painstaking catalog of alleged crimes.
Former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser Pleaded Guilty in Mueller Probe – Bloomberg
Russian content on Facebook may have reached 126 million users — far more than first disclosed, internal document says – The Washington Post
Russia’s man who connected Trump aide to ‘Putin’s niece’ | Daily Mail Online
Revealed: London professor at centre of Trump/Russia inquiry says: ‘I have clear conscience’
Paul Manafort in court: a not guilty plea, $10m bond – and no sign of repentance | US news | The Guardian
The Kremlin Asset in the Trump Campaign: “If This Isn’t Collusion, I Don’t Know What Collusion Is.” | Vanity Fair
George Papadopoulos confession may have just sent Jeff Sessions to prison – Palmer Report
The Not-So-Brief History Of Paul Manafort And His Relationship With Trump | HuffPost
How Did Manafort, Gates, and Papadopoulos Get Hired? – The Atlantic

 

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10:06 AM 10/31/2017 – The Early Edition: October 31, 2017: “Papadopoulos guilty plea shows that Mueller has the ability to “flip” people without it being leaked.”

The Early Edition: October 31, 2017

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

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Charges against Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign advisers Rick Gates and George Papadopoulos were announced by special counsel Robert Mueller yesterday, the charges were made as part of Muller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Manafort and Gates surrendered to the F.B.I. yesterday and Papadopoulos secretly pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. weeks ago and has been cooperating with investigators for months. Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Michael S. Schmidt and Matthew Rosenberg report at the New York Times.

Papadopoulos’s plea describes extensive efforts to establish links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, in a January 2017 interview with the F.B.I. Papadopoulos said that a London-based professor claimed he had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails.” Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger report at the Washington Post, revealing how much Trump campaign officials knew about Papadopoulos’s attempts to broker relationships.

Papadopoulos’s guilty plea is a “small part” of a “large-scale ongoing investigation,” a spokesperson for Mueller’s office, Aaron Zelinsky, said yesterday, Katelyn Polantz reporting at CNN.

The charges against former Trump campaign officials “has nothing to do with the president,” the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said yesterday in a daily briefing, adding that the indictments do not change the fact there has been no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion and played down Papadopoulos’s role in the campaign. Jordan Fabian reports at the Hill.

The indictments demonstrate the wide scope of the Mueller investigation, the charges against Manafort and Gates relate to tax and money-laundering while they were working in Ukraine, and the Papadopoulos guilty plea shows that Mueller has the ability to “flip” people without it being leaked. Joe Palazzalo and Jacob Gershman report at the Wall Street Journal.

Republican senators said yesterday that legislation protecting Mueller is not necessary because they do not believe Trump would fire the special counsel, Jordain Carney reports at the Hill.

The prominent Washington lobbyist Tony Podesta has stepped down from his lobbying group as Mueller’s team investigate his connections to Manafort, a source familiar with the matter said yesterday. Mark Honseball and Ginger Gibson report at Reuters.

Trump was “seething” when he found out about the indictments, according to a Republican source close to the White House and the President hit out at the Mueller investigation in a series of tweets yesterday. Jeff Zeleny and Kevin Liptak report at CNN.

Republicans have tried to avoid discussing the Mueller indictments and sought to distance themselves when probed, Karoun Demirjian and Sean Sullivan report at the Washington Post.

The indictments could upset the congressional investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, neither of the intelligence committees have met with Papadopoulos and it is unclear whether Manafort and Gates can engage with Congress. Elana Schor, Kyle Cheney and Ali Watkins report at POLITICO.

Who is George Papadopoulos? Alex Johnson explains at NBC News.

The key questions raised by Papadopoulos’s cooperation with the F.B.I. and what we know already are set out by Aaron Blake at the Washington Post.

The campaign officials described in the Papadopoulos plea are explained by Rosalind S. Helderman at the Washington Post.

The unexpected Papadopoulos guilty plea may have significant implications as it relates directly to allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and the plea revealed plenty of new information. Just Security Editors Kate Brennan and Ryan Goodman set out the key takeaways at Just Security.

A timeline of Manafort’s relationship with Trump and the Trump campaign is set out by Joanna Walters at the Guardian.

The charges against Manafort are very likely to relate to Russian intelligence operations through his work for Ukraine’s government and his work with the Russia-friendly Ukrainian Party of Regions. Just Security editor John Reed writes at Just Security.

Gates was a former business associate of Manafort and remained part of the Trump campaign after Manafort was kicked out, taking a central role in Trump’s inaugural committee and a lobbying group created to advance the president’s agenda. Eileen Sullivan provides a background to the campaign adviser at the New York Times.

The views of legal experts on the indictments are set out by Joe Palazzalo and Jacob Gershman at the Wall Street Journal.

What will be the focus of Mueller’s investigation following the indictments? POLITICO Magazine sets out the views of eleven legal experts.

The White House should be concerned about the indictments, Trump’s links to the unscrupulous Manafort and the Papadopoulos plea indicating that more of Trump’s associates should be “afraid of being ensnared in Mr. Mueller’s spreading net.” The New York Times editorial board writes.

Trump should be worried as Mueller has shown he is willing to use his mandate widely, Betsy Woodruff writes at The Daily Beast.

The Manafort indictment does not involve the 2016 election campaign and relates to his work for Ukraine; Mueller has provided no evidence to back up the claims made in Papadopoulos’ plea that the Trump campaign worked with Russian operatives and Congress members should push for the whole story, including the Democrats’ role in the Fusion GPS-commissioned dossier on alleged Trump-Russia connections. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

The real investigation on Russia’s role in the 2016 election is being carried out by the House Intelligence Committee and its chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Calif.), particularly its efforts to uncover the truth behind the dossier alleging Trump-Russia connections, which was compiled by former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele. William McGurn writes at the Wall Street Journal.

Around 126 million people saw Russia-propagated content on Facebook before and after the 2016 U.S. election, according to sources familiar with the matter, prepared testimony ahead of today’s hearing before congressional investigators and a statement by the social media company. Google and Twitter also disclosed further information about Russia propaganda efforts on their platforms, Deepa Seetharaman and Georgia Wells report at the Wall Street Journal.

Russian-backed Facebook accounts organized directly with U.S. activists on divisive issues to sow discord and, according to a review by the Wall Street Journal, this included at least 60 rallies, protests and marches publicized or financed by eight Russia-backed accounts. Deepa Seetharaman reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The Ukraine warned Facebook and U.S. officials in 2015 about Russia’s “aggressive behavior” in spreading disinformation on social media, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential administration said today. Hannah Kuchler and Roman Olearchyk report at the Financial Times.

“Without a single piece of proof, we are as you know being accused of meddling not only in the U.S. election, but also in those in European states,” the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by the Interfax news agency today. Reuters reporting.

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6:53 AM 10/31/2017 – M.N.: Comments to Mr. Hall’s article: “The “Russian clumsiness” in this affair was pushed very much to the front. The good, well designed and executed intelligence operations (please, forgive my amateurish ramblings, I am not a pro at all in these matters) probably are never or very rarely discovered and publicised, unless they are meant so by design.”

Russia’s outreach to George Papadopoulos went just how spies would have done it. I ran the CIA’s Russia operations. Here’s what I make of the Trump aide’s plea deal.

 October 31 at 6:00 AM 

Steven L. Hall retired from the CIA in 2015 after 30 years of running and managing Russian operations.
“Who is George Papadopoulos?
George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in early October to lying to federal officials about his contacts with Russian nationals. He is one of three former Trump campaign officials facing criminal charges. (Elyse Samuels/The Washington Post)

The facts as laid out in the newly unsealed plea agreement between special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to President Trump’s campaign, do not provide a slam-dunk case that the Trump team was colluding with the Russian government. But to a former CIA officer like me, everything Papadopoulos admitted in the plea deal looks consistent with the modus operandi of the Russian intelligence services engaged in an “active measures” covert operation. So what might the Russians have been up to with Papadopoulos?

…and it is still not entirely clear how far the Russians may have gotten into actual voting machines and voter registrations databases at the state level.

…an as-yet-unidentified professor there became interested in Papadopoulos after learning that he had a foreign policy role in Trump’s campaign.”

[“The London professor is not named in the official court documents but the Telegraph can disclose his identity as Professor Joseph Mifsud, honorary director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, which is affiliated to the University of Stirling in Scotland.”

Prof Mifsud confirmed he was the London professor described in the document drawn…” – M.N. ] 

“However, like most good Russian operations, this one built a strong element of deniability into the construct. The Russian government can easily say that it did have contact with some members of candidate Trump’s foreign policy team, but only in support of future foreign policy planning; if their past statements are any guide, they will label any other analysis as American “Russophobia” or Cold War-era thinking. They will simply deny any claim that Russia was trying to pass Clinton “dirt” to the Trump campaign.”

M.N.: There might be another interpretation of this “deniable construct”, as I tried to address many times previously in my posts: the behind the scenes, carefully and pedantically conceived, arranged and staged, the sophisticated manipulations of the German Intelligence. This “deniability” went just that far and no further, it might have been deliberately designed to point to Russians, which does not exclude the genuine Russian activity. The “Russian clumsiness” in this affair was pushed very much to the front. The good, well designed and executed intelligence operations probably are never or very rarely discovered and publicised, unless they are meant so by design.

Please, forgive me these amateurish ramblings, I am not a pro at all in these matters. Whatever is deeply hidden, arises our natural and deep curiosity, and with those trained as psychiatrists, it probably is a professional thing and trait. 

Absolute irreverence is a desirable feature of the medical profession, although not always employed and practiced. It should also be the principle of the high quality, deep intelligence analysis. The various types of politicization and also various types of conventional “groupthink” might obscure the vision. Searching for the truth as we see it, is the guide. The Delphic divings are always a temptation. 

And these are the general thoughts, not related necessarily to this particular article. 

“Russians will of course denounce all of this new information as conspiracy theories.”

M.N.: And it might be a “conspiracy theory”, but this does not exclude the genuine Russian activity at all. The multi-level complexity of this affair has to be appreciated. The fact that some Russians busied themselves with these activities does not exclude the possibility that they were skillfully directed by the others, in this instance, by the more sophisticated and more subtle Germans with their own agenda. 

“Americans should remember that all of that is also part of the Russians’ active measures operation against us, and that there is probably more to come.”

M.N.: The Americans should also remember the historical circumstances around the WW2. 

And all this is not to diminish the extent and the significance of the new Russian threat: it is very, very real, and very much in front of our eyes. This issue was misunderstood and neglected for decades after 1990-s in the self-soothing blinding bliss. The historical issue of the Russian Threat, in all its manifestations, aspects, developments, etc., has to be studied carefully and objectively, it has to be understood, diagnosed correctly, and to be dealt with, the earlier the better, and preferably now, and in a well thought out, methodical and consistent fashion. The illusion of the “end of the Cold War” is shattered. This is a new reality, but it does not have to become the “new normal”. Normal it is not, and will never be. This new reality is very much abnormal, and this historical disease has to treated, as efficiently and as radically as it is possible and feasible. 

Russia’s outreach to George Papadopoulos went just how spies would have done it – The Washington Post

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9:14 PM 10/30/2017

Articles – 10.30.17

Washington Waits for Criminal Charges in Probe of Russia Links to US Election
Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Told to Surrender – The New York Times
Manafort surrenders, Gates asked to turn himself in to Mueller, source says – CNNPolitics
Paul Manafort indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller and told to surrender – Business Insider
manafort cnn – YouTube
Paul Manafort, Rick Gates charged with conspiracy in connection with special counsel probe – The Washington Post
The Podesta Group stands at the center of Putin lobbying and Democratic fundraising
4.1.17 – Янукович избил Медведева и дважды ударил Путина по лицу – источник / ГОРДОН
What Did Ex-Trump Aide Paul Manafort Really Do in Ukraine? – NBC News
Robert Mueller’s indictment of Paul Manafort and Robert Gates is a painstaking catalog of alleged crimes.
Former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser Pleaded Guilty in Mueller Probe – Bloomberg
Russian content on Facebook may have reached 126 million users — far more than first disclosed, internal document says – The Washington Post
Russia’s man who connected Trump aide to ‘Putin’s niece’ | Daily Mail Online
Revealed: London professor at centre of Trump/Russia inquiry says: ‘I have clear conscience’
Paul Manafort in court: a not guilty plea, $10m bond – and no sign of repentance | US news | The Guardian
The Kremlin Asset in the Trump Campaign: “If This Isn’t Collusion, I Don’t Know What Collusion Is.” | Vanity Fair
George Papadopoulos confession may have just sent Jeff Sessions to prison – Palmer Report
The Not-So-Brief History Of Paul Manafort And His Relationship With Trump | HuffPost
How Did Manafort, Gates, and Papadopoulos Get Hired? – The Atlantic

10.30.17 – Searches

manafort – Google Search
manafort – Google Search
Conspiracy Against US – Google Search
News – Conspiracy Against US – Google Search
george papadopoulos trump – Google Search
News – george papadopoulos trump – Google Search
Germany, Yanukovich, Manafort – Google Search
Germany, Yanukovych, Manafort – Google Search
News – Putin, Yanukovych, Manafort – Google Search
News – Putin Yanukovych fight – Google Search
News – Putin Yanukovych fight Sochi – Google Search
путин янукович – Google Search
Putin, Yanukovych, Manafort – Google Search

Suggestibility and Intelligence – 10.29.17

suggestibility – Google Search
interrogative suggestibility memory and intellectual disability – Google Search
suggestibility and intelligence – Google Search
suggestibility and intelligence correlation – Google Search
The relationship between intelligence, memory and interrogative suggestibility in young offenders: Psychology, Crime & Law: Vol 1, No 4
IQ population distribution – Google Search
Google Image Result for https://qph.ec.quoracdn.net/main-qimg-a5fb218eb8d8419ba58d9f0b1daa2bfd
IQ population distribution – Google Search

10.29.17

10.29.17 – trump investigations – YouTube
trump investigations – Google Search
According to University of Utah study, the Trump campaign viewed Facebook and Twitter teams as quasi-advisers in 2016 – The Salt Lake Tribune
Сергей Собянин: нам удалось изменить идеологию развития города и защитить москвичей – Россия 24 – YouTube
‘Reich Citizens Movement’: Germany may face real threat to national security – YouTube
Mueller set to file first charges in Russia probe, CNN reports – VICE News
SOVIET ACTIVE MEASURES IN THE UNITED STATES-AN UPDATED REPORT BY THE FBI
Foreign Interference Has Bedeviled D.C. For Decades, With No Easy Reponse | Peoria Public Radio
robert gates – Google Search
The biggest predictor of Trump’s election was racist Google searches
Dmytro Shymkiv – Google Search
russian cyber weapons – Google Search
Alexander Nix – Google Search
Assange – Google Search
Russia Field-Tested Hybrid Warfare in Ukraine. Why That Matters for US.
blunder – Google Search
What Did Cambridge Analytica Really Do for Trump’s Campaign? | WIRED
Matt Oczkowski – Google Search
matt oczkowski trump – Google Search
10.24.17 – U.K. Lawmakers Ask Facebook About Russian Influence in Brexit Vote – The New York Times
How Yahdon Israel, of #LiterarySwag, Spends His Sundays – The New York Times
Trump, Assange, Bannon, Farage… bound together in an unholy alliance | Carole Cadwalladr | Opinion | The Guardian
Russia inquiry: Trump sends barrage of angry tweets as charges reported | US news | The Guardian
Trump Tries to Shift Focus as First Charges Reportedly Loom in Russia Case – The New York Times

10.28.17

Grand Jury Approves First Charges in Mueller’s Russia Probe, Report Says – NBC News
trump investigations indictments 2017 – YouTube
trump investigations – YouTube
trump – YouTube
Exclusive: First charges filed in Mueller investigation – CNNPolitics
Facebook’s opaque algorithms, not Russian ads, are the real problem
Former CIA Director James Woolsey – Google Search
Former CIA Director James Woolsey – Google Search
Ex-CIA Director Spoke to Mueller About Flynn’s Alleged Turkish Scheme – NBC News
trump is under house arrest – Google Search
trump is under house arrest – Google Search
Talking Points Brought to Trump Tower Meeting Were Shared With Kremlin – The New York Times
The FBI and the IACP: Bound Together by Partnership, Friendship, and Commitment — FBI
Robert Mueller Russia inquiry: first charges have been filed – reports | US news | The Guardian
Новые антироссийские санкции «урановое дело» Клинтон – YouTube
trump investigations indictments 2017 – YouTube
trump investigations indictments 2017 – Google Search
trump investigations indictments 2017 – Google Search
News – Trump Investigations – Google Search
Former CIA Director James Woolsey – Google Search
James Woolsey and Mike Flynn – Google Search
R. James Woolsey Jr. – Wikipedia
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7:35 PM 10/30/2017 – The “Papa-Who” defense”… If this isn’t collusion, I don’t know what collusion is.”

Team Trump is now trying to marginalize Papadopoulos as a mere volunteer—the “Papa-Who” defense. 

Sam Buell worked the Enron case as a federal prosecutor, and now teaches at Duke University law school. “The Papadopoulos plea is very significant,” he says. “Mueller has a witness, a cooperating witness, who has pled guilty and is prepared to testify about pretty extensive contacts between himself in his capacity as a campaign official and individuals purporting to represent the Russian government. And in those discussions there’s talk about an exchange of information, in the form of e-mails, for help fostering a relationship with Donald Trump. If this isn’t collusion, I don’t know what collusion is.”

Today’s moves show that Mueller intends to unveil indictments serially, as he conducts a rolling investigation. Which makes sense—as long as Trump doesn’t try to roll Mueller out the door. 

» trump as danger to National Security – Google News: The Kremlin Asset in the Trump Campaign: “If This Isn’t Collusion, I Don’t Know What Collusion Is.” – Vanity Fair
30/10/17 17:56 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites)
Vanity Fair The Kremlin Asset in the Trump Campaign: “If This Isn’t Collusion, I Don’t Know What Collusion Is.” Vanity Fair Instead Papadopoulos, in the ensuing weeks, sent out e-mails to Trump’s national security team pursuing the idea,…

Trump – Current News Articles In Brief 

» Putin Trump – Google News: Revealed: Russia’s middle-man who introduced Trump campaign official to ‘Putin’s niece’ and offered dirt on Hillary … – Daily Mail
30/10/17 18:31 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites)
Daily Mail Revealed: Russia’s middle-man who introduced Trump campaign official to ‘ Putin’s niece’ and offered dirt on Hillary … Daily Mail On March 24, 2016, Papadopoulos met with the professor in London to discuss setting up a meeti…

» trump russian candidate – Google News: Revealed: London professor at centre of Trump/Russia inquiry says: ‘I have clear conscience’ – Telegraph.co.uk
30/10/17 18:30 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites)
Telegraph.co.uk Revealed: London professor at centre of Trump / Russia inquiry says: ‘I have clear conscience’ Telegraph.co.uk A London professor was last night dragged into a special inquiry into Russian interference in the US president…

» Elections 2016 Investigation videos – Google News: Facebook, Google and Twitter will tell Congress that Russia’s election meddling was wider than they first reported – Recode
30/10/17 18:24 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites)
Recode Facebook, Google and Twitter will tell Congress that Russia’s election meddling was wider than they first reported Recode Facebook, Google and Twitter plan to tell congressional investigators this week that the scope of Russia’s c…

» Donald Trump: Here’s What ‘Fox & Friends’ Covered On Manafort Indictment Day
30/10/17 18:22 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites)
A tale of Trump tweets, Dean Cain and an emoji cheeseburger. Donald Trump

» Trump Investigations Report: 6:11 PM 10/30/2017 – These are the important issues for the digital age: the effects of “psychographic” targeting and the specially designed, individually tailored advertising
30/10/17 18:21 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites)
The absolute numbers and the “tiny fraction of total content served” do not matter much. What matters is the numbers and the impact on voting preferences on the part of the most vulnerable, and possibly not very intelligent i…

» russian organized crime in us – Google News: Russian fake accounts showed posts to 126 million Facebook users – USA TODAY
30/10/17 18:19 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites)
USA TODAY Russian fake accounts showed posts to 126 million Facebook users USA TODAY … general counsel for a hearing on Tuesday obtained by USA TODAY. Executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google will all be appearing before the Senate…

» Donald Trump | The Guardian: Paul Manafort in court: a not guilty plea, $10m bond – and no sign of repentance
30/10/17 18:15 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites)
On Monday afternoon, Trump’s ex-campaign chair walked into a Washington courtroom – and the ensuing hour made it clear how steeply he has fallen Paul Manafort walked into the modern wood-panelled courtroom, accompanied by a US marshall, …

» Donald Trump: Lobbyist Podesta to resign in fallout from Mueller action
30/10/17 18:10 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites)
Brother of Clinton campaign manager to step down as election inquiry gathers pace Donald Trump

» Donald Trump: Mueller Investigation Bombshell
30/10/17 18:04 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites)
Recently unsealed documents reveal a secret cooperation with the FBI. Donald Trump

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6:11 PM 10/30/2017 – These are the important issues for the digital age: the effects of the “psychographic” targeting and the specially designed, individually tailored advertising

The absolute numbers and the “tiny fraction of total content served” do not matter much. What matters is the numbers of the most vulnerable, and possibly not very intelligent individuals, who are the most suggestible and susceptible to the effects of “psychographic” targeting and the specially designed, individually tailored advertising, and the impact on their voting preferences. The small numbers and the “tiny fractions” can produce the crucial swing votes in the key states and localities and can determine the outcome of the elections, as, apparently, was the case in 2016.

These are the important issues for the digital age.

Michael Novakhov

10.30.17

__________________________

“For Facebook, which places roughly 220 posts each day in the news feeds of US users, the amount of content equals about tiny fraction of total content served. Americans in total were served over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds between 2015 and 2017.”

Russian content on Facebook may have reached 126 million users — far more than first disclosed, internal document says

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trump and russia – Google News: The vital questions on Trump and Russia – The Guardian

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The Guardian
The vital questions on Trump and Russia
The Guardian
Whatever else it may be, the story of Donald Trump and Russia comes down to this: a sitting president or his campaign is suspected of having coordinated with a foreign country to manipulate a US election. He strongly denies all wrongdoing and calls the …
Trump tweets ‘NO COLLUSION’ after arrests of top aides in Russian probeChicago Tribune
Trump says any Manafort misdeeds occurred ‘years ago’ABC News
Trump rages on Twitter at Clinton and Russia inquiry ‘witch hunt’BBC News
Washington Post –FRANCE 24 –Telegraph.co.uk –CNN
all 346 news articles »

 trump and russia – Google News

emails investigation is Russia-Trump set-up – Google News: The Painstaking Detail of the Manafort-Gates Indictment Shows What a Solid Job Robert Mueller Has Done – Slate Magazine (blog)

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Slate Magazine (blog)
The Painstaking Detail of the Manafort-Gates Indictment Shows What a Solid Job Robert Mueller Has Done
Slate Magazine (blog)
Before that hack, Donald Trump Jr. arranged for Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to meet with an attorney who was offering help directly from Russia. (Trump Jr. famously responded to the offer of dirt on Clinton by saying, “[I]f it’s what and more »

 emails investigation is Russia-Trump set-up – Google News

Robert Mueller’s indictment of Paul Manafort and Robert Gates is a painstaking catalog of alleged crimes.

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Persistent Unrepentant Speeder

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Palmer Report: Paul Manafort has been arrested, and it sounds like Michael Flynn has cut a deal against Donald Trump

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Here’s the thing about Donald Trump: he’ll throw anyone under the bus. Moments after his campaign chairman Paul Manafort was arrested this morning, Trump dismissively tweeted that Manafort was arrested for crimes that took place before he joined the campaign. When Trump announced last month that he would be helping his associates with Trump-Russia legal fees, he made clear that none of the money would be going to his loyal former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Now we may know why.

Manafort was arrested this morning on a dozen different charges. One of them is “Conspiracy against the United States” – which is every bit as ugly as it sounds. He was also charged with failure to register as a foreign agent. That’s the exact same crime Michael Flynn admitted to when he retroactively registered as a foreign agent after he’d gotten caught. We know Special Counsel Robert Mueller has had a grand jury against Flynn for some time in Virginia. Mueller is intentionally making an example of Manafort, making sure his arrest is plastered all over the TV news in the most humiliating way possible. So where is Flynn’s big spectacle of an arrest? Why isn’t he being made an example of as well?

It’s entirely possible that Michael Flynn will be arrested before the day is over, as the dual arrests of Manafort and Rick Gates – along with today’s reveal of the George Papadopoulos plea deal – have made clear that Mueller is going all-in today. But even if Flynn does quietly get arrested today, he’ll have been spared the humiliation of having been the prominent first arrest out of the gate. There’s really only one reason for Mueller to give Flynn that kind of courtesy.

If Michael Flynn has cut a deal to flip on Donald Trump, he’ll still be indicted, charged, arrested, and required to plead guilty, as part of the carrying out of that deal. It’s notable that on this day, one of Donald Trump’s two key foreign agents got popped before the cameras for all to see, while the other one seems to be getting the kid gloves. Throw in Trump’s decision not to help Flynn with his legal fees, and it sounds like even the ever-oblivious Trump knows Flynn has cut a deal against him. Why would the ever-defiant Flynn cut a deal? Simple: to keep his son Michael Flynn Jr out of prison.

Keep in mind that Robert Mueller arrested Trump adviser George Papadopoulos months ago, and formally cut a deal with him weeks ago, and none of us are learning about it until today (link). So it’s entirely possible that Michael Flynn has already secretly cut a deal as well. For that matter it’s possible Flynn already surrendered himself awhile ago – which would also explain why he wasn’t popped this morning. Stay tuned.

The post Paul Manafort has been arrested, and it sounds like Michael Flynn has cut a deal against Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

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1:57 PM 10/30/2017 – Trump and Russia – Google News: The vital questions on Trump and Russia – The Guardian

The story could not be bigger, and the stakes for Trump – and the country – could not be higher.

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trump and russia – Google News: The vital questions on Trump and Russia – The Guardian

Today, October 30th 1:46pm

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“It’s bigger than Watergate.” “It’s a transparent sham.” “It’s a constitutional crisis.” “It’s a legal cliffhanger.”

Whatever else it may be, the story of Donald Trump and Russia comes down to this: a sitting president or his campaign is suspected of having coordinated with a foreign country to manipulate a US election. He strongly denies all wrongdoing and calls the inquiry a “witch hunt”. But prosecutors see red flags everywhere.

The story could not be bigger, and the stakes for Trump – and the country – could not be higher.

Investigators are asking two basic questions: did Trump’s presidential campaign collude at any level with Russian operatives to sway the 2016 US presidential election? And did Trump or others break the law to throw investigators off the trail?

The gravity of the case was highlighted early on Monday as the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort turned himself in to federal authorities to face charges including conspiracy against the United States, tax evasion and money laundering. Beginning in 2005, Manafort worked as a political consultant and business partner with Russian oligarchs and Kremlin-linked politicians in Ukraine, as did his colleague, Richard Gates III, who was also indicted on Monday.

Manafort entered the FBI field office in Washington at 8.15am, accompanied by his lawyer.
Manafort entered the FBI field office in Washington at 8.15am, accompanied by his lawyer. Photograph: Guardian Video

Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016 and resigned in August after his ties to Kremlin-linked figures came under increasing scrutiny.

The charges against Manafort are separate from but related to the allegations of “collusion” between the Trump campaign writ large and Russian operatives. The presence at the top of the campaign of a suspect accused of working in secret for a foreign government, and of hiding money in offshore accounts to avoid tax payments, places the campaign uncomfortably close to Kremlin interests.

But the charges against Manafort and Gates do not mention any attempted manipulation of the 2016 election. Though Manafort personally offered “private briefings” on the election to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in July 2016, Trump has denied any knowledge of Manafort’s dealings in the former Soviet bloc and has defendedManafort as a “very decent man”.

While a majority of the American public now believes that Russia tried to disrupt the US election, opinions about Trump campaign involvement tend to split along partisan lines: 73% of Republicans, but only 13% of Democrats, believe Trump did “nothing wrong” in his dealings with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.

The affair has the potential to eject Trump from office. Experienced legal observers believe that prosecutors are investigating whether Trump committed an obstruction of justice. Both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton – the only presidents to face impeachment proceedings in the last century – were accused of obstruction of justice.

Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, shown here on 8 June 2017 as he testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, could be an obstruction of justice.
Trump’s firing of FBI director James Comey, shown here on 8 June 2017 as he testified before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, could be an obstruction of justice. Photograph: J. Scott Applewhite/AP

But Trump’s fate is probably up to the voters. Even if strong evidence of wrongdoing by him or his cohort emerged, a Republican congressional majority would probably block any action to remove him from office. (Such an action would be a historical rarity.)

Deepening negative perceptions attached to the Russia affair could, however, be the force that levels Trump, dooming a 2020 re-election bid. Or the president may yet be fully vindicated, re-elected and elevated in the eyes of the people.

None of the three congressional committees investigating the matter, nor the special counsel, Robert Mueller, has yet announced any evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian operatives. The investigations have an open timeline.

Here’s what you need to know:

What are the most serious allegations?

It appears that prosecutors are weighing serious charges, including obstruction of justice, against Trump. (Weighing a charge does not mean bringing a charge.) Current and former Trump aides are likewise under intense pressure, a point underscored by the arrest of Paul Manafort on 30 October.

Collusion. Did Trump or his campaign “collude” with Russia to tip the 2016 election? Such collusion could take many conceivable forms. Investigators might be looking into whether members of Trump’s digital team traded information with Russia-linked hackers about which voters the campaign was most interested in. Or they might be looking for evidence of conversations about the timing of the release of certain hacked materials. Or about potential hacking targets. (No evidence has yet emerged of any of the above; Trump and his aides have denied all wrongdoing.)

Obstruction of justice. Has Trump gotten in the way of law enforcement efforts to figure out what happened? Investigators might be looking into whether Trump intended, by firing the FBI director James Comey on 9 May 2017, to pull the plug on the Russia investigation. Trump seems to have admitted as much. “I just fired the head of the FBI,” Trump reportedly told Russians in the Oval Office the next day. “He was crazy, a real nutjob. I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.”

Trump jokes with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak during a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, a day after firing FBI director Comey.
Trump jokes with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (L) and Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergei Kislyak during a meeting at the White House in Washington, DC, a day after firing FBI director Comey. Photograph: HO/AFP/Getty Images

But Trump’s frame of mind is crucial in weighing a potential obstruction charge, and he has offered alternative explanations for the firing of Comey, including that Comey was mismanaging the FBI. To discern Trump’s intent, investigators are probably focusing on an initial letter to fire Comey drafted by Trump but rejected by the White House counsel. That letter has not yet been made public.

Abuse of power. Trump may have committed offenses that relate specifically to the office of the presidency, such as a violation of the oath of office (to uphold the constitution), or an abuse of power, which might for example involve firing Comey out of personal pique at Comey’s refusal publicly to say that Trump was not personally a target of the Russia investigation.

We don’t for the moment know, however, what exactly the investigators – three congressional committees plus the special counsel – are investigating. The official order appointing Robert Mueller authorizes him to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” and related matters. Mueller is authorized to prosecute federal crimes.

Current and former aides. Trump aides are thought to face potential charges including money laundering, making false statements, failure to register as a foreign agent, campaign finance violations and more. In May, the former national security adviser Michael Flynn invoked constitutional protections against self-incrimination to avoid testifying before a Senate committee. Paul Manafort was arrested on 30 October on money laundering, tax evasion and conspiracy charges. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner stood outside the White House that month and said: “I did not collude.” Former aides Carter Page and Roger Stone have both been questioned by investigators and asked to turn over documents and records. The attorney general, Jeff Sessions, has defended himself against accusations of making misleading statements to Congress. All these men – Flynn, Manafort, Kushner, Page, Stone and Sessions – have denied wrongdoing.

How much trouble is Trump in?

Who controls Congress? The short answer to this question is another question: who controls Congress? As long as Republicans are in charge, Trump is not likely to face impeachment proceedings or to be removed from office. A two-thirds majority in the Senate is required to remove a president from office through impeachment. Before such action, a simple House majority would be required to pass articles of impeachment.

Public opinion. If public opinion swings precipitously against the president, however, his grip on power could slip. At some point, Republicans in Congress may, if their constituents will it, turn on Trump.

Criminal charges. Apart from impeachment, Trump could, perhaps, face criminal charges, which would (theoretically) play out in the court system as opposed to Congress. Special counsel Robert Mueller has the power to file criminal charges against Trump, but it’s a matter of debate among scholars and prosecutors whether Trump, as a sitting president, may be prosecuted. It’s never been tried before.

Losing re-election. The most likely price Trump would pay, if he were perceived as guilty of wrongdoing, would be a 2020 re-election loss. Every president to win re-election since the second world war did so with an approval rating in the 49% or 50% range or better. Trump’s average approval rating is in the mid-to-upper 30s. The number could slide even further if, for example, one of his former aides or cabinet members is indicted on money laundering charges.

Is this a ‘witch hunt’ as Trump claims?

“You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA” Trump tweeted in June. Elsewhere, Trump has decried what he says are the wasteful costs of investigating the case.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump)

You are witnessing the single greatest WITCH HUNT in American political history – led by some very bad and conflicted people! #MAGA

June 15, 2017

Those assertions would seem to be undercut by developments such as the arrest of Manafort. But the question is seen through different lenses.

Partisan split. Are the president and his team the victims of a witch hunt? Your answer to the question probably depends on your political affiliation.

Seventy-three percent of registered Republicans think Trump did “nothing wrong” in his dealings with Russia and Putin, according to a Marist poll in July. But only a 36% minority of US adults overall think Trump did “nothing wrong”, the poll found. Forty-one percent of Democrats said they thought Trump had done “something illegal” and 59% said Trump’s campaign associates had broken the law.

Record of conduct. Apart from public opinion, what do we have to go on? A record of conduct by Trump and his aides going back decades, which is defined by secrecy and denials.

Trump has denied his past links to Russian investors and partners and a long history of attempted business deals in Russia, while praising President Putin. Trump aides denied meetings and conversations with Russian operatives that came to light anyway. When a June 2016 Trump Tower meeting was revealed, Trump misled the public as to its purpose. His tax returns, which could reveal previously undisclosed financial relationships, remain sealed to the public.

Faith in the rule of law. Is this a “witch hunt”? A negative reply relies on a faith in the rule of law in the United States.

Have investigators proceeded logically, in response to a reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing, and in accordance with congressional and justice department guidelines?

Republicans in Congress have given the allegations against the Trump campaign sufficient credence to advance investigations in three committees. Trump’s own justice department saw fit to take the step of appointing the special counsel, Robert Mueller.

Robert Mueller took over the high-stakes Russia probe in May after US President Donald Trump fired James Comey as FBI director.
Robert Mueller took over the high-stakes Russia probe in May after US President Donald Trump fired James Comey as FBI director. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Mueller, who was named FBI director by George W Bush and held over by Barack Obama, enjoys a reputation for integrity from both sides of the aisle. Trump has said Mueller “is very very good friends with [James] Comey, which is very bothersome” but also said, “Robert Mueller is an honorable man.” Mueller’s critics have accused his operation of having a partisan tilt based on past campaign donations to Clinton and Obama made by at least five legal team members. But others have argued the donations are neither unusual nor evidence of anti-Trump bias.

A pattern of attacks. Trump’s “witch hunt” accusation is not his first attack on the rule of law. He branded Comeya liar and said the FBI was a “mess”. He has attacked judges and courts after rulings he did not like on immigration policy or his proposed travel ban. He publicly criticized the attorney general for a decision he did not agree with. As president, Trump has displayed a unique tendency to make baseless attacks on the justice department. But also as president, he also has unique ability to amplify those attacks and to make them devastatingly effective, eroding faith in the process.

A pattern of obstruction? Trump’s tendency to attack the process may ultimately backfire on him. Legal scholars have warned that Trump’s attacks on the special counsel investigation and justice department could amount to obstruction of justice by the president.

If Trump’s lawyers have warned him to stop tampering with the process, however, he has not heeded that advice. On 27 October, Trump tweeted: “It is now commonly agreed, after many months of COSTLY looking, that there was NO collusion between Russia and Trump.”

That wasn’t true, and it could be seen as an attempt to influence the outcome of the case. Later the same day, reports emerged that the first charges in the case had been filed. And just three weeks earlier, the Republican chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Richard Burr, said: “The issue of collusion is still open.”

trump and russia – Google News: The vital questions on Trump and Russia – The Guardian

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The Guardian
The vital questions on Trump and Russia
The Guardian
Whatever else it may be, the story of Donald Trump and Russia comes down to this: a sitting president or his campaign is suspected of having coordinated with a foreign country to manipulate a US election. He strongly denies all wrongdoing and calls the …
Trump tweets ‘NO COLLUSION’ after arrests of top aides in Russian probeChicago Tribune
Trump says any Manafort misdeeds occurred ‘years ago’ABC News
Trump rages on Twitter at Clinton and Russia inquiry ‘witch hunt’BBC News
Washington Post –FRANCE 24 –Telegraph.co.uk –CNN
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emails investigation is Russia-Trump set-up – Google News: The Painstaking Detail of the Manafort-Gates Indictment Shows What a Solid Job Robert Mueller Has Done – Slate Magazine (blog)

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Slate Magazine (blog)
The Painstaking Detail of the Manafort-Gates Indictment Shows What a Solid Job Robert Mueller Has Done
Slate Magazine (blog)
Before that hack, Donald Trump Jr. arranged for Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to meet with an attorney who was offering help directly from Russia. (Trump Jr. famously responded to the offer of dirt on Clinton by saying, “[I]f it’s what and more »

 emails investigation is Russia-Trump set-up – Google News

Robert Mueller’s indictment of Paul Manafort and Robert Gates is a painstaking catalog of alleged crimes.

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Palmer Report: Paul Manafort has been arrested, and it sounds like Michael Flynn has cut a deal against Donald Trump

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Here’s the thing about Donald Trump: he’ll throw anyone under the bus. Moments after his campaign chairman Paul Manafort was arrested this morning, Trump dismissively tweeted that Manafort was arrested for crimes that took place before he joined the campaign. When Trump announced last month that he would be helping his associates with Trump-Russia legal fees, he made clear that none of the money would be going to his loyal former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Now we may know why.

Manafort was arrested this morning on a dozen different charges. One of them is “Conspiracy against the United States” – which is every bit as ugly as it sounds. He was also charged with failure to register as a foreign agent. That’s the exact same crime Michael Flynn admitted to when he retroactively registered as a foreign agent after he’d gotten caught. We know Special Counsel Robert Mueller has had a grand jury against Flynn for some time in Virginia. Mueller is intentionally making an example of Manafort, making sure his arrest is plastered all over the TV news in the most humiliating way possible. So where is Flynn’s big spectacle of an arrest? Why isn’t he being made an example of as well?

It’s entirely possible that Michael Flynn will be arrested before the day is over, as the dual arrests of Manafort and Rick Gates – along with today’s reveal of the George Papadopoulos plea deal – have made clear that Mueller is going all-in today. But even if Flynn does quietly get arrested today, he’ll have been spared the humiliation of having been the prominent first arrest out of the gate. There’s really only one reason for Mueller to give Flynn that kind of courtesy.

If Michael Flynn has cut a deal to flip on Donald Trump, he’ll still be indicted, charged, arrested, and required to plead guilty, as part of the carrying out of that deal. It’s notable that on this day, one of Donald Trump’s two key foreign agents got popped before the cameras for all to see, while the other one seems to be getting the kid gloves. Throw in Trump’s decision not to help Flynn with his legal fees, and it sounds like even the ever-oblivious Trump knows Flynn has cut a deal against him. Why would the ever-defiant Flynn cut a deal? Simple: to keep his son Michael Flynn Jr out of prison.

Keep in mind that Robert Mueller arrested Trump adviser George Papadopoulos months ago, and formally cut a deal with him weeks ago, and none of us are learning about it until today (link). So it’s entirely possible that Michael Flynn has already secretly cut a deal as well. For that matter it’s possible Flynn already surrendered himself awhile ago – which would also explain why he wasn’t popped this morning. Stay tuned.

The post Paul Manafort has been arrested, and it sounds like Michael Flynn has cut a deal against Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

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Russian Intelligence, organized crime and mass shootings – Google News: Trump aides arrested – Castanet.net

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between his campaign and the Russian government. Responding to news that two … Trump’s tweets followed news reports late Friday that a federal grand jury in Washington has approved the first charges in a criminal investigation into Russia ties led by and more »

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Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indictment: The full text – ABC News

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Paul Manafort and Rick Gates indictment: The full text
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A federal grand jury issued an indictment Friday against President Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, and Manafort’s longtime associate Rick Gates. Interested in Russia Investigation? Add Russia Investigation as an interest to stay  

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Manafort lived the high life off millions allegedly hidden in offshore accounts – New York Post

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Manafort lived the high life off millions allegedly hidden in offshore accounts
New York Post
Paul Manafort raked in tens of millions of dollars by secretly working for the Ukrainian government — and blew more than $12 million on shopping sprees, antiques, Range Rovers and housekeeping, according to court documents. 

What Did Ex-Trump Aide Paul Manafort Really Do in Ukraine?

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A former Trump aide now under federal investigation as part of the Russia probe earned millions working for a corrupt pro-Russian political party that repeatedly disparaged America’s most important military alliance.

Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chief from May to August 2016, spent nearly a decade as a consultant to Ukraine’s Party of Regions and its standardbearer, Viktor Yanukovych.

Backed by Russian-leaning oligarchs, the party opposed NATO membership and spouted anti-Western rhetoric that once helped fuel violence against American marines. Its reign ended when Yanukovych fled to Russia after bloody street protests against his personal corruption and pro-Moscow actions.

Image: Paul Manafort speaks during a primary night eventManafort has always said he tried to Westernize the party and steer it towards a democratic model, and denies any part in anti-NATO messaging, but Ukrainian critics and U.S. diplomats who served in Kiev aren’t so sure.

Related: Donald Trump Aide Paul Manafort Scrutinized for Russian Business Ties

Manafort also earned millions doing private business deals with some of the oligarchs who backed the party.

As NBC News previously reported, federal officials say that the money Manafort earned from both the party and the oligarchs — and what he did with it — are part of what has drawn the attention of investigators. New details keep emerging as U.S. and Ukrainian officials piece together Manafort’s contacts and payments in Ukraine from 2004 to 2014.

Manafort Goes to Ukraine

Manafort, the son of a wealthy Connecticut builder, had worked as a lobbyist and as an aide for Republican presidents before his stint in Ukraine. He had built a reputation for repackaging controversial foreign leaders for U.S. consumption. Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Angolan guerilla leader Jonas Savimbi, and Zairian strongman Mobutu Sese Seko were among his clients.

In 2004, Manafort was hired by clients in Ukraine who needed a similar image overhaul.

Image: Viktor Yanukovych in Feb. 2014Viktor Yanukovych had been governor of Donetsk, a Russian-speaking region close to the Russian border, and then the prime minister of Ukraine. He and his faction, the Party of Regions, were thought by many Western observers to have links to organized crime. As a young man, Yanukovych had been convicted of robbery and assault.

John Herbst, who was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2004 to 2006, said the motivations of the oligarchs who ran the party seemed uncomplicated. “My impression of Yanukovych and the others — and I knew most of the senior folks — it was all about getting rich or richer, and maintaining power.”

Aided by high-priced Russian political consultants, Yanukovych ran for president of Ukraine in 2004, and seemed to have won.

Related: Flynn, Manafort Are Key Figures in Russia Probe Mueller Will Lead

But the election was tainted by charges of fraud and corruption — most against Yanukovych and the Party of Regions — and an attempted assassination. A month prior to balloting, someone poisoned Yanukovych’s main rival, pro-Western candidate Viktor Yushchenko, and nearly killed him. On Election Day, Yanukovych, who had trailed in polls by double digits, won by three points, sparking accusations of voter fraud.

The government voided the election results and scheduled a do-over.

Richard Engel: Yanukovych is in Russia 0:49

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Weeks before the December 2004 presidential “re”-election, a pro-Russian Ukrainian billionaire and major Party of Regions donor named Rinat Akhmetov asked Manafort to help with Yanukovych’s troubled campaign.

Yanukovych lost the do-over election to Yushchenko, but Manafort won a job he would keep for a decade.

Manafort was hired to prepare the Party of Regions for the parliamentary elections of 2006, in which Yanukovych would try to reclaim the office of prime minister.

By 2006, Manafort and his team were “the principal political consultants in the Party of Regions,” said Taras Chornovil, a former Ukrainian Parliament deputy who was a member of the party from 2004 to 2007.

A leaked U.S. State Department cable from 2006 said that Manafort’s job was to give the Party of Regions an “extreme makeover” and “change its image from … a haven for mobsters into that of a legitimate political party.”

Related: FBI Making Inquiries Into Ex-Trump Campaign Manager’s Foreign Ties

Manafort allegedly came up with the POR’s slogan for the 2006 election, “A Better Life Today.” Though Manafort couldn’t speak Russian or Ukrainian, he taught Yankovych how to give a speech and how to stay on message.

Image: Taras ChornovilAccording to Chornovil, Manafort’s campaign tactics that year also included mandating that Yanukovych surrogates wear make-up and Hugo Boss suits during TV interviews. After their TV appearances, they had to return the rented suits to party headquarters, Chornovil said.

When Chornovil complained about Manafort to a close associate of Yanukovych, Chornovil said the man told him Manafort was untouchable — “a big cheese here, in charge of everything.”

Manafort was also trying to help Yanukovych expand his base of support.

Ukraine has a sharp political and geographic divide between its pro-Western, Ukrainian-speaking majority and a large Russian minority that looks East.

While other American consultants, both Democratic and Republican, were working on the campaigns of Ukraine’s pro-Western “Orange” parties, Manafort was working for a party whose base was in Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine. Manafort’s new bosses were oligarchs friendly to Moscow, and hostile to America’s principal military alliance, NATO.

Image: Taras BerezovetsSaid Herbst, “They were pro-Russian because that’s where their voters were politically and culturally. So they would not have gotten them if they were arguing for NATO — let’s join NATO — policies.”

Skepticism about NATO had the virtue of appealing to many Ukrainian speakers as well. Nationwide, more than half of the public opposed joining the military alliance.

He could attract pro-Western Ukrainians, meanwhile, by broadcasting his support for European Union membership. Some oligarchs behind the party were eager to do business with Europe anyway.

Bill Taylor, who was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009, said Manafort would contact the U.S. embassy and tell them he was urging his client to look West. “[He said] he’d tell Yanukovych, ‘You’ll do better in Western Ukraine if you orient more toward Europe,” recalled Taylor. “‘To broaden your base, you should orient toward the EU.'”

For the next eight years, Yanukovych would adjust his positions on NATO and the EU as needed, tacking East or West depending on the electoral winds and his audience.

Sometimes his party’s public actions and Yanukovych’s private assurances to Western officials were at odds.

“[Yanukovych] was willing to allow all kinds of cooperation with NATO,” which the Russians did not like, said Amb. Herbst, “but it’s true that [Yanukovych] was organizing rallies against NATO exercises.”

Ukrainian parliament votes to have president tried 0:28

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State Department cables show that soon after the Party of Regions helped stoke anti-NATO proteststhat spurred an attack on U.S. marines in Crimea, Yanukovych told the U.S. ambassador he wanted Ukraine to join the military alliance.

Through a spokesman, Manafort says his role with Yanukovych and the POR was “strategist and consultant.” Manafort recommended “strategy and messaging,” he said, “especially as it related to the campaign and fulfillment of campaign promises.” The party’s political campaigns, said the spokesman, were “built on a foundation of economic recovery and building a relationship with the West that supported and focused on Ukraine being a part of the European Union.”

Critics of Manafort, however, insist his gameplan for the 2006 election was to drive a wedge into the electorate. Chornovil, Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker and former investigative journalist, and Taras Berezovets, who advised one of Yanukovych’s main political foes, all say Manafort’s strategy was based on polarizing the voting public. They say he wanted to set Russian speakers against Ukrainian speakers, and supporters of Moscow against supporters of NATO.

According to Berezovets, “His idea was to [use] the matter of language to divide the electorate. The whole idea, it really worked.”

Image: Inna BohoslovskaAlong with advocacy of making Russian the second, official state language, Manafort pushed “anti-NATO propaganda,” said Chornovil.

Berezovets called anti-NATO rhetoric “one of the key ideas of Paul Manafort.”

A former U.S. diplomat in the region said he doubted using wedge issues like NATO was Manafort’s idea, but said, “Manafort was not above telling Yanukovych to exploit wedge issues.” He also acknowledged it could seem odd for a U.S. citizen to be advising an anti-NATO candidate: “I think he probably distinguishes his personal values from his political advice.”

Through his spokesman, Manafort said he never had anything to do with any anti-NATO rhetoric. “Mr. Manafort encouraged the POR to move towards the West and NATO.”

The Party of Regions won the parliamentary elections in 2006, making Yanukovych prime minister again.

‘I Am Trying to Play a Constructive Role’

Yanukovych had to run for prime minister again in 2007. Accusations of corruption and links to the Putin regime were damaging his client’s prospects, so Manafort went back to work grooming his image.

Responding to criticism that he was simply repackaging a flawed candidate, Manafort told the New York Times at the time, “I am not here just for the election…I am trying to play a constructive role in developing a democracy. I am helping to build a political party.”

Manafort hired the American public relations firm Edelman to boost Yanukovych’s public image in Europe and the U.S. for a monthly retainer of $35,000.

Yanukovych, meanwhile, traveled to Germany as part of a bid for European Union membership. “In public and private statements both at home and abroad,” said another leaked cable, “Yanukovych consistently reiterates his government’s commitment to Europe.”

Yanukovych lost the 2007 race. After the loss, both he and his party tacked East with overt anti-NATO rhetoric, a response to Yushchenko’s push for Ukraine to join NATO.

Image: Ukrainian Parliament speaker Arseniy YatFrom January through April 2008, the Party of Regions mounted a slick, well-coordinated campaign against Ukraine’s NATO membership. The “NATO No” slogan appeared on giant television screens and mass-produced blue signs at rallies where Yanukovych spoke. The same slogan was emblazoned on blue and yellow signs carried by the party’s members of Parliament onto the floor of the Parliament in February.

Provided with examples of the messaging, Manafort’s spokesman declined to comment.

In 2010, Yanukovych ran for president again, and Manafort again worked for him. This time, Yanukovych pledged to end Ukraine’s NATO bid. Ukraine should not be a member of any military bloc, he said, because “this is the view of the Ukrainian people.” During a meeting with the U.S. ambassador, he said he wanted to “improve cooperation with the U.S. and NATO, but was also interested in “restoring” relations with Russia.

He was elected president, and this time turned East for good.

“Either Manafort was wrong about his guy, or he just didn’t care,” said Dan Fried, a former assistant secretary of state for the region under George W. Bush and Obama. “I think Manafort would’ve preferred his guy be the guy he said he was, but he was okay if he wasn’t. He was doing a job for a client. That’s it.”

A year into Yanukovych’s presidency, his administration prosecuted his chief political rival, former “Orange” Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, for allegedly abusing her position during her time in office. She was sentenced to seven years in prison. Many international observers condemned the prosecution as politically motivated.

Image: Yulia TymoshenkoManafort again looked to the U.S. to burnish his client’s image, and dispel charges that Yanukovych was a corrupt, pro-Putin autocrat. He arranged for Yanukovych’s administration to hire the law firm Skadden Arps to do a legal review of the prosecution. The resulting brief pointed out some serious procedural flaws, but was largely approving of the Ukrainian court.

Around the same time, however, the Yanukovych administration began to strengthen its ties to the Putin regime and to further Russify the Party of Regions.

According to Inna Bohoslovska, who was a Party of Regions-aligned member of parliament at the time, starting in 2012, “[Ethnically] Russian candidates were placed in all the strong positions. Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Security Service.”

Yanukovych then reversed his position on integrating Ukraine with Europe. Ukraine was about to sign an EU association agreement, making its turn away from Russia and towards the West official, when Yanukovych backed out a week before an official signing ceremony.

Image: TOPSHOTS 2014-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-EU-UNREST-POLITICSSaid Fried, “[Yanukovych] broke more than a campaign promise, he broke his compact with the Ukrainian people.”

Yanukovych’s popularity plummeted. His EU decision ignited massive demonstrations in the streets of Kiev, with some crowds as big as 1 million. Ukrainian police cracked down on protestors, and both police and protestors were killed in street violence that took at least 100 lives.

After three months of demonstrations, Yanukovych was ousted as president in February 2014. He fled to Russia. Activists broke into Mezhyhirya, his ornate presidential palace, and were outraged by its gold-plated opulence. “[Manafort] knew that the president’s salary was not enough for the luxury of the Mezhyhirya, so he should have been aware that it was anything but legal money,” said a top Ukrainian anti-corruption investigator.

Russian troops invaded Crimea shortly afterwards, citing Ukrainian unrest and Yanukovych’s ouster as justifications. Russia has now annexed Crimea.

Manafort’s allies have said that Yanukovych stopped listening to Manafort after he became president in 2010, and that Manafort warned him of the consequences of actions like prosecuting Tymoshenko. Manafort’s spokesman said Manafort “was not involved in any of the actions taken in the street riots and opposed the use of force.”

Image: People walk on the territory of Ukrainian President Yanukovych's countryside-residence“If you’re going to work for someone like Yanukovych,” said Fried, “there’s a time to jump ship, and that’s when he starts shooting people.”

Manafort returned to Ukraine after Yanukovych fled the country. He tried, with limited success, to help remnants of the Party of Regions regain power in the October 2014 parliamentary elections.

Yanukovych remains in Russia. He has been sanctioned by the EU and the U.S. for the Crimea invasion, and is wanted by Ukraine for a long list of charges that have included corruption and murder.

“Yanukovych was so awful,” said Fried. “That’s not Manafort’s fault, but the fact that Manafort helped Yanukovych win an election didn’t do Ukraine any good.”

Who Paid The Bills?

Manafort says the 2014 election was his last in Ukraine, and he is done with Ukrainian politics.

But he is now facing questions from Congress and federal investigators about how he was paid for his political work, what he did with the money he earned, and what other business relationships he developed while in Ukraine.

A Party of Regions accounting book, dubbed the “black ledger” and obtained in August by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), allegedly shows that Manafort was paid $12.7 million in cash by the party between Nov. 2007 and Oct. 2012.

The ledger records what Ukrainian investigators say were off-the-books payments by the Party of Regions to election officials, party functionaries, and members of parliament. Manafort appears as an intended recipient in the ledger 22 times from 2007 until 2012, according to the NABU. The Bureau notes that the entries are not themselves proof that the payments were made.

In March, journalist Serhiy Leshchenko made waves when he said he had obtained an invoice on Manafort company letterhead detailing how Manafort received money from a shell company in Belize for the alleged sale of 500 computers.

UKRAINE-US-VOTE-CORRUPTIONThe date on the invoice and the amount of money match an entry in the black ledger marked “Manafort.” Manafort’s spokesman dismissed the invoice and letterhead as fabricated. The shell company, Neocom Systems Ltd., was registered with Belize’s International Business Company Registry, but the principal of the firm that registered the shell company told NBC News he had only dealt with its lawyers, and couldn’t provide any information about its owners. It was struck from the registry in 2011 and dissolved in 2014, according to the Belizean registry.

Manafort has described the ledger as a forgery. He says any payments he received from Ukraine were legitimate compensation for his work as a consultant, and the payments were lawfully wired to him.

Manafort’s spokesman told NBC News that Manafort “has no knowledge of any payment ledger. Mr. Manafort was only paid via wire — not cash — through U.S. institutions, typically using clients’ preferred financial institutions and instructions.”

The spokesman said Manafort declined to answer whether he had reported to the U.S. government all money and income received from Ukraine.

Ukrainian investigators told NBC News they are now looking into Manafort’s role in the Skadden deal, but say Manafort is not a suspect in any of their investigations.

Manafort also did business with several Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs.

In 2008, Manafort and his real estate partners courted a Ukrainian oligarch named Dmytro Firtash, a major Party of Regions backer, in an $850 million plan to redevelop a famous New York hotel, the Drake. The plan never bore fruit.

Fugitive Ukrainian president vows to fight 6:08

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Firtash, who acknowledged to the U.S. ambassador that he got his start in business with the permission of a Russian crime lord, according to a leaked cable, is under federal indictment in the Northern District of Illinois for bribery. He is under arrest in Austria pending his extradition to the U.S.

In 2007, Manafort went into business with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to invest in Ukrainian and European assets. Manafort’s partner Rick Gates “regularly visited” the Moscow offices of Deripaska’s representatives to discuss the investments, according to a later lawsuit.

In 2007 and 2008, companies controlled by Deripaska paid $26.25 million in investment capital and management fees to Manafort and his partners for a deal to buy a cable television company in Ukraine, according to a U.S. court filing. According to Manafort’s spokesman, all the capital was paid to the seller of the company, but Deripaska’s legal representatives alleged the investment was never actually made.

By 2014, Manafort and Deripaska had fallen out over the cable deal, which never materialized.

What did Manafort do with his Ukrainian millions?

He was associated with at least 15 bank accounts and 10 companies on Cyprus, dating back to 2007, according to two banking sources with direct knowledge.

Related: Manafort-Linked Accounts on Cyprus Raised Red Flags

The sources told NBC News’ Richard Engel that after certain transactions raised concern, the bank began investigating the accounts for possible money-laundering. Manafort closed some of the accounts in 2012.

A spokesman for Manafort told NBC News that all the accounts were set up at the direction of clients in Cyprus, a common banking center for Russians and Ukrainians, “for a legitimate business purpose.”

As NBC News and others previously reported, Manafort also bought four properties in New York City between 2006 and 2013, apparently for cash, and then took out more than $15 million in loans on them between 2015 and 2017.

Related: Ex-Trump Aide Manafort Bought New York Homes With Cash

A source familiar with the matter said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is taking “a preliminary look” at Manafort’s real estate transactions.

Putin on Ukraine: ‘This is an Unconstitutional Coup’ 2:39

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Manafort said his transactions were “executed in a transparent fashion and my identity was disclosed — in fact my name is right there on the documents.”

In September 2016, NBC News has reported Manafort took out a mortgage on his home in Bridgehampton, New York, but no mortgage notice was ever filed and no mortgage tax paid, according to Suffolk County records. His name did not appear on any publicly available documents.

Related: Feds Subpoena Records for $3.5 Million Mystery Mortgage on Manafort Home

A spokesperson for Manafort said the mortgage was a bridge loan and was paid off by December. Manafort’s lawyer said the mortgage paperwork was rejected because of an error and was never refiled.

Federal investigators have now subpoenaed records related to that loan.

Read the whole story
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Янукович избил Медведева и дважды ударил Путина по лицу

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12:26 PM 10/30/2017 – The geopolitical aspect of the Manafort’s Ukraine involvement

The geopolitical aspect of the Manafort’s Ukraine involvement and Trump campaign involvement: Germany achieved her old plans and dreams: the control of Ukraine, the most appetizing “morsel” left in the Eastern Europe, after the Russian bear withdrew; grudgingly, fighting, yelling, screaming, appropriating Crimea, and destabilizing the Eastern Ukraine. This control would be incomplete without the sidelining of the US, Germany’s major competitor in the region after the Russian influence had waned. 

It is conceivable that the “Manafort affair” was engineered by the German Intelligence, as a part of the larger “Trump affair”, to further discredit Yanukovych, and to solidify the Germany’s control over Ukraine during and by Poroshenko’s rule. 

Apparently, Manafort was recommended and introduced to Yanukovych camp by Putin and Deripaska, as the convenient Western and American tool, at the elections time. When things went sour, and Yanukovich fled, the role of the Manafort & Co started to unravel, further discrediting Yanukovich and his “American team”, thus helping to sideline the “wild greedy Americans” who manufacture the elections according to their secret politico-technological recipes, in contrast to the “noble Germans”, the “real protectors” of the “free elections” and the “democratic values”.

The recent, unconfirmed, and somewhat strange and puzzling,  press reports about the fistfight between Putin and Yanukovych in Sochi, on April 1, 2017, during which Yanukovich was shot in a leg by Putin’s bodyguard, may help to clarify the emotional dynamics between them. 

Yanukovych probably felt deceived and betrayed by Putin’s recommendation of Manafort to him, and this may explain his intense anger if this fight indeed took place, which I think, it did: the reports read like a lot of mysterious, confused, and the disinformational smoke behind the very real fire, which was hard to conceal, especially if Yanukovych was indeed shot in a leg during this exchange. 

Germany’s gain in these games is evident, and this once again opens the question about her role and planning of the “Trump affair” and the Manafort “sub-affair”, or a subplot. 

It would also be very hard to believe that, given the degree of the German interest and involvement, they did not know about Paul Manafort and his shenanigans. I think they were involved quite actively. 

Michael Novakhov

10.30.17 

What Did Ex-Trump Aide Paul Manafort Really Do in Ukraine?

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A former Trump aide now under federal investigation as part of the Russia probe earned millions working for a corrupt pro-Russian political party that repeatedly disparaged America’s most important military alliance.

Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chief from May to August 2016, spent nearly a decade as a consultant to Ukraine’s Party of Regions and its standardbearer, Viktor Yanukovych.

Backed by Russian-leaning oligarchs, the party opposed NATO membership and spouted anti-Western rhetoric that once helped fuel violence against American marines. Its reign ended when Yanukovych fled to Russia after bloody street protests against his personal corruption and pro-Moscow actions.

Image: Paul Manafort speaks during a primary night eventManafort has always said he tried to Westernize the party and steer it towards a democratic model, and denies any part in anti-NATO messaging, but Ukrainian critics and U.S. diplomats who served in Kiev aren’t so sure.

Related: Donald Trump Aide Paul Manafort Scrutinized for Russian Business Ties

Manafort also earned millions doing private business deals with some of the oligarchs who backed the party.

As NBC News previously reported, federal officials say that the money Manafort earned from both the party and the oligarchs — and what he did with it — are part of what has drawn the attention of investigators. New details keep emerging as U.S. and Ukrainian officials piece together Manafort’s contacts and payments in Ukraine from 2004 to 2014.

Manafort Goes to Ukraine

Manafort, the son of a wealthy Connecticut builder, had worked as a lobbyist and as an aide for Republican presidents before his stint in Ukraine. He had built a reputation for repackaging controversial foreign leaders for U.S. consumption. Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Angolan guerilla leader Jonas Savimbi, and Zairian strongman Mobutu Sese Seko were among his clients.

In 2004, Manafort was hired by clients in Ukraine who needed a similar image overhaul.

Image: Viktor Yanukovych in Feb. 2014Viktor Yanukovych had been governor of Donetsk, a Russian-speaking region close to the Russian border, and then the prime minister of Ukraine. He and his faction, the Party of Regions, were thought by many Western observers to have links to organized crime. As a young man, Yanukovych had been convicted of robbery and assault.

John Herbst, who was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2004 to 2006, said the motivations of the oligarchs who ran the party seemed uncomplicated. “My impression of Yanukovych and the others — and I knew most of the senior folks — it was all about getting rich or richer, and maintaining power.”

Aided by high-priced Russian political consultants, Yanukovych ran for president of Ukraine in 2004, and seemed to have won.

Related: Flynn, Manafort Are Key Figures in Russia Probe Mueller Will Lead

But the election was tainted by charges of fraud and corruption — most against Yanukovych and the Party of Regions — and an attempted assassination. A month prior to balloting, someone poisoned Yanukovych’s main rival, pro-Western candidate Viktor Yushchenko, and nearly killed him. On Election Day, Yanukovych, who had trailed in polls by double digits, won by three points, sparking accusations of voter fraud.

The government voided the election results and scheduled a do-over.

Richard Engel: Yanukovych is in Russia 0:49

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Weeks before the December 2004 presidential “re”-election, a pro-Russian Ukrainian billionaire and major Party of Regions donor named Rinat Akhmetov asked Manafort to help with Yanukovych’s troubled campaign.

Yanukovych lost the do-over election to Yushchenko, but Manafort won a job he would keep for a decade.

Manafort was hired to prepare the Party of Regions for the parliamentary elections of 2006, in which Yanukovych would try to reclaim the office of prime minister.

By 2006, Manafort and his team were “the principal political consultants in the Party of Regions,” said Taras Chornovil, a former Ukrainian Parliament deputy who was a member of the party from 2004 to 2007.

A leaked U.S. State Department cable from 2006 said that Manafort’s job was to give the Party of Regions an “extreme makeover” and “change its image from … a haven for mobsters into that of a legitimate political party.”

Related: FBI Making Inquiries Into Ex-Trump Campaign Manager’s Foreign Ties

Manafort allegedly came up with the POR’s slogan for the 2006 election, “A Better Life Today.” Though Manafort couldn’t speak Russian or Ukrainian, he taught Yankovych how to give a speech and how to stay on message.

Image:  Taras ChornovilAccording to Chornovil, Manafort’s campaign tactics that year also included mandating that Yanukovych surrogates wear make-up and Hugo Boss suits during TV interviews. After their TV appearances, they had to return the rented suits to party headquarters, Chornovil said.

When Chornovil complained about Manafort to a close associate of Yanukovych, Chornovil said the man told him Manafort was untouchable — “a big cheese here, in charge of everything.”

Manafort was also trying to help Yanukovych expand his base of support.

Ukraine has a sharp political and geographic divide between its pro-Western, Ukrainian-speaking majority and a large Russian minority that looks East.

While other American consultants, both Democratic and Republican, were working on the campaigns of Ukraine’s pro-Western “Orange” parties, Manafort was working for a party whose base was in Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine. Manafort’s new bosses were oligarchs friendly to Moscow, and hostile to America’s principal military alliance, NATO.

Image: Taras BerezovetsSaid Herbst, “They were pro-Russian because that’s where their voters were politically and culturally. So they would not have gotten them if they were arguing for NATO — let’s join NATO — policies.”

Skepticism about NATO had the virtue of appealing to many Ukrainian speakers as well. Nationwide, more than half of the public opposed joining the military alliance.

He could attract pro-Western Ukrainians, meanwhile, by broadcasting his support for European Union membership. Some oligarchs behind the party were eager to do business with Europe anyway.

Bill Taylor, who was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009, said Manafort would contact the U.S. embassy and tell them he was urging his client to look West. “[He said] he’d tell Yanukovych, ‘You’ll do better in Western Ukraine if you orient more toward Europe,” recalled Taylor. “‘To broaden your base, you should orient toward the EU.'”

For the next eight years, Yanukovych would adjust his positions on NATO and the EU as needed, tacking East or West depending on the electoral winds and his audience.

Sometimes his party’s public actions and Yanukovych’s private assurances to Western officials were at odds.

“[Yanukovych] was willing to allow all kinds of cooperation with NATO,” which the Russians did not like, said Amb. Herbst, “but it’s true that [Yanukovych] was organizing rallies against NATO exercises.”

Ukrainian parliament votes to have president tried 0:28

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State Department cables show that soon after the Party of Regions helped stoke anti-NATO proteststhat spurred an attack on U.S. marines in Crimea, Yanukovych told the U.S. ambassador he wanted Ukraine to join the military alliance.

Through a spokesman, Manafort says his role with Yanukovych and the POR was “strategist and consultant.” Manafort recommended “strategy and messaging,” he said, “especially as it related to the campaign and fulfillment of campaign promises.” The party’s political campaigns, said the spokesman, were “built on a foundation of economic recovery and building a relationship with the West that supported and focused on Ukraine being a part of the European Union.”

Critics of Manafort, however, insist his gameplan for the 2006 election was to drive a wedge into the electorate. Chornovil, Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker and former investigative journalist, and Taras Berezovets, who advised one of Yanukovych’s main political foes, all say Manafort’s strategy was based on polarizing the voting public. They say he wanted to set Russian speakers against Ukrainian speakers, and supporters of Moscow against supporters of NATO.

According to Berezovets, “His idea was to [use] the matter of language to divide the electorate. The whole idea, it really worked.”

Image: Inna BohoslovskaAlong with advocacy of making Russian the second, official state language, Manafort pushed “anti-NATO propaganda,” said Chornovil.

Berezovets called anti-NATO rhetoric “one of the key ideas of Paul Manafort.”

A former U.S. diplomat in the region said he doubted using wedge issues like NATO was Manafort’s idea, but said, “Manafort was not above telling Yanukovych to exploit wedge issues.” He also acknowledged it could seem odd for a U.S. citizen to be advising an anti-NATO candidate: “I think he probably distinguishes his personal values from his political advice.”

Through his spokesman, Manafort said he never had anything to do with any anti-NATO rhetoric. “Mr. Manafort encouraged the POR to move towards the West and NATO.”

The Party of Regions won the parliamentary elections in 2006, making Yanukovych prime minister again.

‘I Am Trying to Play a Constructive Role’

Yanukovych had to run for prime minister again in 2007. Accusations of corruption and links to the Putin regime were damaging his client’s prospects, so Manafort went back to work grooming his image.

Responding to criticism that he was simply repackaging a flawed candidate, Manafort told the New York Times at the time, “I am not here just for the election…I am trying to play a constructive role in developing a democracy. I am helping to build a political party.”

Manafort hired the American public relations firm Edelman to boost Yanukovych’s public image in Europe and the U.S. for a monthly retainer of $35,000.

Yanukovych, meanwhile, traveled to Germany as part of a bid for European Union membership. “In public and private statements both at home and abroad,” said another leaked cable, “Yanukovych consistently reiterates his government’s commitment to Europe.”

Yanukovych lost the 2007 race. After the loss, both he and his party tacked East with overt anti-NATO rhetoric, a response to Yushchenko’s push for Ukraine to join NATO.

Image: Ukrainian Parliament speaker Arseniy YatFrom January through April 2008, the Party of Regions mounted a slick, well-coordinated campaign against Ukraine’s NATO membership. The “NATO No” slogan appeared on giant television screens and mass-produced blue signs at rallies where Yanukovych spoke. The same slogan was emblazoned on blue and yellow signs carried by the party’s members of Parliament onto the floor of the Parliament in February.

Provided with examples of the messaging, Manafort’s spokesman declined to comment.

In 2010, Yanukovych ran for president again, and Manafort again worked for him. This time, Yanukovych pledged to end Ukraine’s NATO bid. Ukraine should not be a member of any military bloc, he said, because “this is the view of the Ukrainian people.” During a meeting with the U.S. ambassador, he said he wanted to “improve cooperation with the U.S. and NATO, but was also interested in “restoring” relations with Russia.

He was elected president, and this time turned East for good.

“Either Manafort was wrong about his guy, or he just didn’t care,” said Dan Fried, a former assistant secretary of state for the region under George W. Bush and Obama. “I think Manafort would’ve preferred his guy be the guy he said he was, but he was okay if he wasn’t. He was doing a job for a client. That’s it.”

A year into Yanukovych’s presidency, his administration prosecuted his chief political rival, former “Orange” Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, for allegedly abusing her position during her time in office. She was sentenced to seven years in prison. Many international observers condemned the prosecution as politically motivated.

Image: Yulia TymoshenkoManafort again looked to the U.S. to burnish his client’s image, and dispel charges that Yanukovych was a corrupt, pro-Putin autocrat. He arranged for Yanukovych’s administration to hire the law firm Skadden Arps to do a legal review of the prosecution. The resulting brief pointed out some serious procedural flaws, but was largely approving of the Ukrainian court.

Around the same time, however, the Yanukovych administration began to strengthen its ties to the Putin regime and to further Russify the Party of Regions.

According to Inna Bohoslovska, who was a Party of Regions-aligned member of parliament at the time, starting in 2012, “[Ethnically] Russian candidates were placed in all the strong positions. Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Security Service.”

Yanukovych then reversed his position on integrating Ukraine with Europe. Ukraine was about to sign an EU association agreement, making its turn away from Russia and towards the West official, when Yanukovych backed out a week before an official signing ceremony.

Image: TOPSHOTS 2014-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-EU-UNREST-POLITICSSaid Fried, “[Yanukovych] broke more than a campaign promise, he broke his compact with the Ukrainian people.”

Yanukovych’s popularity plummeted. His EU decision ignited massive demonstrations in the streets of Kiev, with some crowds as big as 1 million. Ukrainian police cracked down on protestors, and both police and protestors were killed in street violence that took at least 100 lives.

After three months of demonstrations, Yanukovych was ousted as president in February 2014. He fled to Russia. Activists broke into Mezhyhirya, his ornate presidential palace, and were outraged by its gold-plated opulence. “[Manafort] knew that the president’s salary was not enough for the luxury of the Mezhyhirya, so he should have been aware that it was anything but legal money,” said a top Ukrainian anti-corruption investigator.

Russian troops invaded Crimea shortly afterwards, citing Ukrainian unrest and Yanukovych’s ouster as justifications. Russia has now annexed Crimea.

Manafort’s allies have said that Yanukovych stopped listening to Manafort after he became president in 2010, and that Manafort warned him of the consequences of actions like prosecuting Tymoshenko. Manafort’s spokesman said Manafort “was not involved in any of the actions taken in the street riots and opposed the use of force.”

Image: People walk on the territory of Ukrainian President Yanukovych's countryside-residence“If you’re going to work for someone like Yanukovych,” said Fried, “there’s a time to jump ship, and that’s when he starts shooting people.”

Manafort returned to Ukraine after Yanukovych fled the country. He tried, with limited success, to help remnants of the Party of Regions regain power in the October 2014 parliamentary elections.

Yanukovych remains in Russia. He has been sanctioned by the EU and the U.S. for the Crimea invasion, and is wanted by Ukraine for a long list of charges that have included corruption and murder.

“Yanukovych was so awful,” said Fried. “That’s not Manafort’s fault, but the fact that Manafort helped Yanukovych win an election didn’t do Ukraine any good.”

Who Paid The Bills?

Manafort says the 2014 election was his last in Ukraine, and he is done with Ukrainian politics.

But he is now facing questions from Congress and federal investigators about how he was paid for his political work, what he did with the money he earned, and what other business relationships he developed while in Ukraine.

A Party of Regions accounting book, dubbed the “black ledger” and obtained in August by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), allegedly shows that Manafort was paid $12.7 million in cash by the party between Nov. 2007 and Oct. 2012.

The ledger records what Ukrainian investigators say were off-the-books payments by the Party of Regions to election officials, party functionaries, and members of parliament. Manafort appears as an intended recipient in the ledger 22 times from 2007 until 2012, according to the NABU. The Bureau notes that the entries are not themselves proof that the payments were made.

In March, journalist Serhiy Leshchenko made waves when he said he had obtained an invoice on Manafort company letterhead detailing how Manafort received money from a shell company in Belize for the alleged sale of 500 computers.

UKRAINE-US-VOTE-CORRUPTIONThe date on the invoice and the amount of money match an entry in the black ledger marked “Manafort.” Manafort’s spokesman dismissed the invoice and letterhead as fabricated. The shell company, Neocom Systems Ltd., was registered with Belize’s International Business Company Registry, but the principal of the firm that registered the shell company told NBC News he had only dealt with its lawyers, and couldn’t provide any information about its owners. It was struck from the registry in 2011 and dissolved in 2014, according to the Belizean registry.

Manafort has described the ledger as a forgery. He says any payments he received from Ukraine were legitimate compensation for his work as a consultant, and the payments were lawfully wired to him.

Manafort’s spokesman told NBC News that Manafort “has no knowledge of any payment ledger. Mr. Manafort was only paid via wire — not cash — through U.S. institutions, typically using clients’ preferred financial institutions and instructions.”

The spokesman said Manafort declined to answer whether he had reported to the U.S. government all money and income received from Ukraine.

Ukrainian investigators told NBC News they are now looking into Manafort’s role in the Skadden deal, but say Manafort is not a suspect in any of their investigations.

Manafort also did business with several Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs.

In 2008, Manafort and his real estate partners courted a Ukrainian oligarch named Dmytro Firtash, a major Party of Regions backer, in an $850 million plan to redevelop a famous New York hotel, the Drake. The plan never bore fruit.

Fugitive Ukrainian president vows to fight 6:08

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Firtash, who acknowledged to the U.S. ambassador that he got his start in business with the permission of a Russian crime lord, according to a leaked cable, is under federal indictment in the Northern District of Illinois for bribery. He is under arrest in Austria pending his extradition to the U.S.

In 2007, Manafort went into business with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to invest in Ukrainian and European assets. Manafort’s partner Rick Gates “regularly visited” the Moscow offices of Deripaska’s representatives to discuss the investments, according to a later lawsuit.

In 2007 and 2008, companies controlled by Deripaska paid $26.25 million in investment capital and management fees to Manafort and his partners for a deal to buy a cable television company in Ukraine, according to a U.S. court filing. According to Manafort’s spokesman, all the capital was paid to the seller of the company, but Deripaska’s legal representatives alleged the investment was never actually made.

By 2014, Manafort and Deripaska had fallen out over the cable deal, which never materialized.

What did Manafort do with his Ukrainian millions?

He was associated with at least 15 bank accounts and 10 companies on Cyprus, dating back to 2007, according to two banking sources with direct knowledge.

Related: Manafort-Linked Accounts on Cyprus Raised Red Flags

The sources told NBC News’ Richard Engel that after certain transactions raised concern, the bank began investigating the accounts for possible money-laundering. Manafort closed some of the accounts in 2012.

A spokesman for Manafort told NBC News that all the accounts were set up at the direction of clients in Cyprus, a common banking center for Russians and Ukrainians, “for a legitimate business purpose.”

As NBC News and others previously reported, Manafort also bought four properties in New York City between 2006 and 2013, apparently for cash, and then took out more than $15 million in loans on them between 2015 and 2017.

Related: Ex-Trump Aide Manafort Bought New York Homes With Cash

A source familiar with the matter said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is taking “a preliminary look” at Manafort’s real estate transactions.

Putin on Ukraine: ‘This is an Unconstitutional Coup’ 2:39

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Manafort said his transactions were “executed in a transparent fashion and my identity was disclosed — in fact my name is right there on the documents.”

In September 2016, NBC News has reported Manafort took out a mortgage on his home in Bridgehampton, New York, but no mortgage notice was ever filed and no mortgage tax paid, according to Suffolk County records. His name did not appear on any publicly available documents.

Related: Feds Subpoena Records for $3.5 Million Mystery Mortgage on Manafort Home

A spokesperson for Manafort said the mortgage was a bridge loan and was paid off by December. Manafort’s lawyer said the mortgage paperwork was rejected because of an error and was never refiled.

Federal investigators have now subpoenaed records related to that loan.

Read the whole story
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Янукович избил Медведева и дважды ударил Путина по лицу

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Сегодня ночью в Сочи во время встречи экс-президента Украины Виктора Януковича с президентом России Владимиром Путиным и премьер-министром РФ Дмитрием Медведевым произошла ссора.

Об этом изданию “ГОРДОН” сообщил собственный источник.

В результате ссоры Янукович “избил Медведева и дважды ударил по лицу Путина”. После этого подоспевшие охранники ранили экс-президента Украины в ноги.

Причина ссоры неизвестна. По данным источника, во время встречи в Сочи Янукович был “сильно выпивший”.

Янукович был избран президентом Украины в 2010 году. 22 февраля 2014 года, после трех месяцев протестов на Майдане, Верховная Рада признала его самоустранившимся от должности и не выполняющим свои обязанности, после чего были объявлены новые президентские выборы. В том же месяце Янукович покинул Украину, сейчас с семьей проживает в России.

В Украине против него открыто несколько уголовных производств. Его обвиняют в массовых убийствах граждан, завладении государственным имуществом, захвате власти неконституционным путем, действиях, направленных на свержение конституционного строя. В отношении экс-президента применяется процедура заочного осуждения.

Дорогие читатели! Любые совпадения с фамилиями реальных людей случайны. С 1 апреля:)!

The Podesta Group stands at the center of Putin lobbying and Democratic fundraising

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Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group, his powerful Washington firm, are now caught up in a federal criminal investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. They may have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by failing to properly disclose work completed on behalf of a pro-Vladimir Putin Ukrainian think tank to the Justice Department.

By filing a retroactive FARA disclosure this April, the firm admitted those lobbying efforts, which took place between 2012 and 2014 on behalf of the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, may have principally benefitted that country’s government. The investigation of Podesta grew out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Paul Manafort, according to NBC News, which broke the story on Monday. Manafort and associate Rick Gates introduced the Podesta Group and another lobbying firm, Mercury LLC, to the ECMU, per Gates’ account.

The Podesta Group’s involvement with the ECMU was first reported in an Associated Press story on Manafort, then-Trump campaign chairman, in August of 2016. The firm maintained it did not have reason to believe its work on behalf of the ECMU warranted a FARA disclosure in 2012, but nevertheless filed a belated disclosure this spring after exposure in the press.

Speaking to news outlets over the past 14 months, several sources have cast doubt on the Podesta Group’s insistence that it was unaware the nature of its work warranted disclosure to the DOJ.

In the AP’s initial report, a former Podesta employee “said Gates described the nonprofit’s role in an April 2012 meeting as supplying a source of money that could not be traced to the Ukrainian politicians who were paying him and Manafort.” Three other current and former Podesta employees told the AP disagreements broke out between staff over its decision to take on the work, which one of those sources considered to be “obviously illegal.”

After the Podesta Group filed retroactively in April, CNN spoke to people who had been lobbied by the firm over the course of its work for the ECMU. Dan Harsha, who was lobbied in 2013 while serving as communications director for Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN “It seemed pretty clear [the center] was just a front” for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. A former State Department employee who met with the Podesta group around the time of Ukraine’s “bellwether” parliamentary elections in 2012 said, “They were pretty open about their purpose being to give a positive perspective on the upcoming election.”

CNN reported that seven sources said the Podesta Group “left a clear impression that they were representing Ukraine’s government” as lobbyists held meetings around Washington.

In that case, the firm’s decision not to file with the DOJ until after its work for the ECMU leaked into the press, and then after the 2016 presidential election, looks highly suspect. As the AP put it, “Lobbyists in general prefer not to register under the foreign agents law because its requirements are so much more demanding, making their activities more open to public scrutiny.”

In addition to his brother John Podesta’s position at the helm of the campaign, it’s well worth noting, as most outlets have failed to do, that Tony Podesta was a prominent fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 bid for the White House.

The Podesta Group’s efforts on behalf of the ECMU, per its belated disclosures, show the firm made contact with Clinton’s State Department, the National Security Council, and the office of former Vice President Joe Biden over the course of its lobbying campaign to soften the Obama administration’s position towards Ukraine’s then-pro-Russian government.

In his investigation, Mueller will likely probe what Podesta and his firm knew about the ECMU’s connections to the Ukrainian government when deciding how to disclose its lobbying efforts on their behalf.

Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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Germany, Yanukovych, Manafort – Google Search

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Schooled in Scandal: What Makes Ukraine a Hotbed of Intrigue

New York TimesOct 7, 2017
POLTAVA, Ukraine — After four years of investigation by the German police, the F.B.I. … Mr. Manafort’sactivities in Ukraine predate Ukraine’s 2014 … and former Manafort client — Viktor F. Yanukovych, who fled to Russia in …

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Mueller Now Investigating Democratic Lobbyist Tony Podesta

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What Did Ex-Trump Aide Paul Manafort Really Do in Ukraine?

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Paul Manafort faces fresh accusations in Ukraine after document find

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Paul Manafort’s Lucrative Ukraine Years Are Central to the Russia …

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Manafort, 68, had claimed Yanukovych was the one Ukrainian who could …. picturing him beside Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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The Ukraine Payments That Link Manafort to Putin

NewsweekMar 28, 2017
Paul Manafort, a former senior adviser and campaign manager to Donald Trump, at Trump … The report said, “Yanukovych assured Putin that there was no … pertaining to his daughter’s education at the German school Salem.
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Former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser Pleaded Guilty in Mueller Probe

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

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Former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser Pleaded Guilty in Mueller Probe

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Paul Manafort, Rick Gates charged with conspiracy in connection with special counsel probe

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Breaking News: Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making a false statement to federal investigators.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates have been charged in a 12-count indictment with conspiracy to launder money, making false statements and other charges stemming from probes into possible Russian influence in U.S. political affairs.

The indictment, unsealed Monday, marked the first criminal allegations to come from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election. The two men are expected to make their first court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson at 1:30 p.m.

The charges did not reference the Trump campaign. Instead, they focused on Manafort’s and Gates’s work advising a Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine.

[Read the Manafort and Gates indictment]

Watch Paul Manafort, Trump’s ex-campaign manager, enter the FBI field office

Former campaign manager for President Trump, Paul Manafort, entered an FBI field office in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 30, following reports that he plans to turn himself in for charges stemming from an investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Former campaign manager for President Trump, Paul Manafort, entered an FBI field office in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 30, following reports that he plans to turn (Reuters)

Former campaign manager for President Trump, Paul Manafort, entered an FBI field office in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 30, following reports that he plans to turn himself in for charges stemming from an investigation into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Reuters)

The special counsel alleged that for nearly a decade, the two men laundered money through scores of U.S. and foreign corporations, partnerships and bank accounts, and gave false statements to the Justice Department and others when asked about their work on behalf of a foreign entity.

All told, more than $75 million flowed through offshore accounts, the special counsel alleged. Manafort, the special counsel said, laundered more than $18 million, using his wealth acquired overseas to “enjoy a lavish lifestyle” in the United States, purchasing multi-million dollar properties and paying for home renovation.

Gates did not respond to a request for comment, nor did Jason Maloni, a spokesman for Manafort. Manafort was spotted walking into the FBI’s Washington Field Office Monday morning.

In back-to-back tweets, Trump tried to distance his campaign from the charges.

“Sorry, but this is years ago, before Paul Manafort was part of the Trump campaign. But why aren’t Crooked Hillary & the Dems the focus?????” he wrote.

“….Also, there is NO COLLUSION!” he said in a follow-up tweet.

Washington — especially those in political and media circles — had been anxiously anticipating the charges since CNN reported Friday night that a grand jury had approved the first charges in Mueller’s investigation.

Spokespeople for Mueller and the Justice Department declined to comment over the weekend. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment Monday, and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office did not return messages seeking comment.

According to the indictment, Manafort and Gates arranged to hire two Washington-based lobbying firms to work on behalf of their Ukrainian clients, arranging meetings with U.S. officials and boosting their public image in the United States.

Prosecutors say, however, that Manafort and Gates arranged for a Brussels-based nonprofit to nominally hire the companies to hide the fact that their work was for Ukrainian government officials and would otherwise require registration under the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

In fact, prosecutors allege, Manafort was communicating directly with then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych about the effort, promising in 2012 to provide him weekly updates about the effort.

To further obscure Ukrainian involvement in the lobbying effort, prosecutors say payments to the Washington firms were routed through obscure offshore companies. Prosecutors say that when the Department of Justice approached Manafort and Gates in 2016 and 2017 about whether they should have registered as foreign agents for the work, they responded with false and misleading letters, indicating they had not directed the lobbying effort and asserting they did not hold records reflecting their work, even though later searches showed they did, according to the indictment.

Manafort and Gates also were accused of willfully and intentionally trying to hide monies kept in foreign bank accounts — Manafort from 2011 to 2014 and Gates from 2012 to 2014 . And Manafort was accused of filing fraudulent tax returns — stating on tax forms he filed from 2008 to 2014 that he controlled no foreign bank accounts.

The men made tens of millions of dollars for themselves, the special counsel alleged. From 2008 to 2014, according to the indictment, Manafort arranged to wire $12 million from offshore accounts to pay for personal expenses – including $5 million to a home renovation contractor in the Hamptons, more than $1.3 million to a home entertainment and lighting vendor based in Florida, $934,000 to an antique rug dealer in Alexandria, and $849,000 to a men’s clothier in New York.

While the men were set to first appear before a magistrate judge — as is normal — the case was assigned to U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, 63, a 2011 Barack Obama appointee.

Jackson worked as federal prosecutor in the District after graduating from Harvard Law School and specialized in complex criminal and civil trials and appeals at Trout Cacheris. While at the firm, she represented former Democratic congressman William J. Jefferson at his corruption trial, made famous by the $90,000 in bribe money stuffed into his freezer and a legal battle over the raid of his Washington office.

Jackson contributed $1,000 to Bill Clinton’s 1992 Democratic campaign.

Mueller was appointed in May to oversee the probe of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia, taking over work that the FBI had begun in July 2016. Their interest in Manafort, though, dates back to at least 2014 — long before Mueller was appointed or Manafort was connected to the Trump campaign.

While Mueller’s probe has focused on Manafort and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, investigators have shown interest in a broad array of other topics.

Those include meetings the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had with the Russian ambassador and a banker from Moscow in December, and a June 2016 meeting at Trump tower involving the president’s son, Donald Jr., and a Russian lawyer. Mueller’s team has requested extensive records from the White House, covering areas including the president’s private discussions about firing James B. Comey as FBI director and his response to news that Flynn was under investigation, according to two people briefed on the requests.

Mueller is also investigating whether Trump obstructed justice leading up to Comey’s firing. His team has been actively presenting records and bringing witnesses before the grand jury in D.C. for the last three months.

[Special Counsel Mueller using grand jury in federal court in Washington as part of Russia investigation]

Manafort joined the Trump campaign in March 2016, and Trump tapped him to serve as campaign chairman in May of that year. He left in August 2016, but Gates, his business partner and protege, continued to play an important role with the campaign even after Manafort’s departure. After the election Gates directed the inauguration plans, including fundraising, under Tom Barrack, Trump’s close friend and adviser.

FBI agents working for Mueller raided Manafort’s home in Alexandria in late July, armed with a search warrant that allowed them to enter at dawn without warning the occupants. Such an invasive search is only allowed after prosecutors have persuaded a federal judge that they have evidence of a crime and they have reasonable concern that key evidence could be destroyed or withheld.

Prosecutors also warned Manafort they planned to indict him, according to two people familiar with the exchange. People close to Manafort and Gates, though, said the indictment came as a surprise to both.

Though both men knew Mueller had been closely scrutinizing their behavior, they had expected some kind of alert when an indictment was imminent. Even over the weekend, they were telling people close to them that they had received no such notification and did not believe they were the subject of the seal charges.

The tactic might suggest Mueller hoped to use the element of surprise against the two men to potentially stun them into a desire to cooperate against other members of Trump’s team.

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Flynn’s lawyer, Robert Kelner, said late Friday, “we are not commenting tonight.” A person familiar with Flynn’s defense said he, too, had received no notice of pending indictment.

Wayne Holland, a McEnearney Associates real estate agent who helped Manafort buy the condo in Alexandria, Va., that was raided by the FBI this summer, testified Oct. 20 before the grand jury in Mueller’s probe after he and his firm were unsuccessful in an effort to quash subpoenas, Holland said Friday.

Holland declined to discuss his testimony, first reported by Politico, but confirmed that an opinion unsealed Friday denied his and his firm’s motion to quash a subpoena by claiming real estate broker records are confidential under Virginia and District laws.

Devlin Barrett, Carol D. Leonnig, Sari Horwitz, Spencer S. Hsu, Ellen Nakashima, Greg Miller and Adam Entous contributed to this report.

Read more:

Paul Manafort: A FAQ about Trump’s indicted former campaign chairman

With money laundering charges against Paul Manafort, Trump’s ‘fake news’ claim is harder to defend

As Russia case unfolds, Trump and Republicans go to battle with Clinton and Democrats

Who’s who in the government’s investigation into Russia ties

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Conspiracy Against US – Google Search

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BREAKING: Paul Manafort Charged with “Conspiracy Against the …

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… turned themselves over to authorities Monday morning after being indicted on 12 counts: conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to …
Manafort, Gates charged with conspiracy against US
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Manafort, Gates indicted on conspiracy against US

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Manafort and Gates have been indicted on 12 counts, including conspiracy against the U.S., conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent …

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Paul Manafort faces conspiracy against US, money laundering …

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WASHINGTON – Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, have been indicted by a federal …

The Latest: Manafort faces charges of conspiracy against US

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Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate, Rick Gates, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on …
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Read the indictment against Paul Manafort – The Boston Globe

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Read the indictment against Paul Manafort
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Document. Pages. Notes. Text. Zoom. CLOSE. Previous for “” Next. p. 1. Loading Loading. p. 2. Loading Loading. p. 3. Loading Loading. Manafort Gates Indictment Filed and Redacted. Contents. Original Document (PDF) ». Related Article ». Contributed by: …

Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Indicted on Money Laundering and Tax Charges – New York Times

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New York Times
Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Indicted on Money Laundering and Tax Charges
New York Times
WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort and his former business associate were indicted on Monday on money laundering, tax and foreign lobbying charges, a significant escalation in a special counsel investigation that has cast a shadow over President Trump’s …
Manafort and former business partner charged with conspiracy in connection with special counsel probeWashington Post
Manafort, Gates charged with conspiracy against USCNN
Manafort Surrenders To FBI; Indicted In New Phase Of Mueller InquiryNPR
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READ: Federal grand jury indictment against Manafort, Gates – CNN

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READ: Federal grand jury indictment against Manafort, Gates
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(CNN) Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Trump campaign official Rick Gates surrendered Monday to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter. Read the unsealed …

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Manafort surrenders, Gates asked to turn himself in to Mueller, source says

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close dialog

The charges against two top officials from President Donald Trump’s campaign signals a dramatic new phase of Mueller’s wide-ranging investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and members of Trump’s team as well as potential obstruction of justice and financial crimes.

A White House spokesman told CNN the Trump administration “may not have a response at all” regarding the charges.

Manafort, whose work for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has attracted scrutiny from federal investigators, has previously denied financial wrongdoing regarding his Ukraine-related payments, his bank accounts in offshore tax shelters and his various real-estate transactions over the years. Gates, who has also denied wrongdoing, was Manafort’s longtime business associate in his lobbying firm before being tapped as his deputy on the Trump campaign.

They are the first two officials in Trump’s orbit charged in connection with the special counsel investigation, which is exploring whether Trump’s actions surrounding the firing of former FBI Director James Comey amount to obstruction of justice. Mueller has taken a broad approach to his mandate that includes a focus on the financial dealings of Trump’s team.

Manafort's journey to center of Mueller investigation
Manafort's journey to center of Mueller investigation

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Before the indictment, the FBI in July executed a

so-called no-knock search warrant

 with guns drawn at Manafort’s home in Alexandria, Virginia, seizing financial and tax documents, including some that had already been provided to congressional investigators.

This story is breaking and will be updated.

CNN’s Joe Johns contributed to this report.

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Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Told to Surrender

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manafort – Google Search

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Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Told to Surrender

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Paul Manafort, the former chairman of the Trump campaign, leaving his … WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort and his former business associate …

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WSJ.com: World News: Russian-Backed Facebook Accounts Organized Events on All Sides of Polarizing Issues

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Workers behind Russian-linked Facebook accounts helped organize or finance real-life events, often working directly with U.S. activists and playing both sides of the same hot-button issues.

 WSJ.com: World News

Jared Kushner traveled unannounced to Saudi Arabia – CNN

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Jared Kushner traveled unannounced to Saudi Arabia
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Washington (CNN) Jared Kushner and other senior White House advisers traveled to Saudi Arabia last week to continue discussions on Middle East peace, a White House official told CNN. Deputy national security adviser Dina Powell and Jason Greenblatt, …
Jared Kushner made unannounced trip to Saudi ArabiaABC News
Ivanka Trump, Amid West Wing Conflagration, Celebrates Her Birthday with Surprise DinnerVanity Fair
Maryland AG investigating Kushner real estate business: reportThe Hill (blog)
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7:49 PM 10/29/2017 – Suggestibility, intelligence, voting behaviors, and the Cambridge Analytica’s targeted “psychographic” advertising 

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Suggestibility, intelligence, voting behaviors, and the Cambridge Analytica’s targeted “psychographic” advertising Suggestibility is correlated with intelligence negatively, meaning that less intelligent people are more suggestible. There always be the sufficient number of the suggestible subjects whose voting preferences can be influenced by the specially designed, still very much mysterious and unclear in all its aspects and effects, … Continue reading “7:49 PM 10/29/2017 – Suggestibility, intelligence, voting behaviors, and the Cambridge Analytica’s targeted “psychographic” advertising”
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How Russia’s fake social media accounts propelled Donald Trump – ThinkProgress

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How Russia’s fake social media accounts propelled Donald Trump
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ThinkProgress, however, analyzed previous reporting to match those eyewitness stories with the specific social media accounts and pages in question, many of them available through caches, to examine the substance of the allegations — to watch the fake 
Key senator wants to see social media companies make 3 changes to election adsCNBC
Russiagate Is More Fiction Than FactThe Nation.
Combating fake news may force big changes at Facebook, TwitterChristian Science Monitor
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Trump digital director, originally paid $1500 for Trump website, earned $94 million – Metro US

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Trump digital director, originally paid $1500 for Trump website, earned $94 million
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Parscale, who had done small freelance design projects for Trump’s company since 2011, became the campaign’s digital director, in charge of creating Facebook ads and other socialmedia advertising. Soon he was overseeing data collection and much of …
Trump’s digital campaign director was paid $1500 to set up his election website. Then he raked in $94 million when …CNBC
’60 Minutes’ profiles the genius who won Trump’s campaign: FacebookWashington Post
Facebook “embeds,” Russia and the Trump campaign’s secret weaponCBS News
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How Digital Inexperience Paid Off in the Trump Campaign – Civicist

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How Digital Inexperience Paid Off in the Trump Campaign
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How the hell did team Trump leapfrog team Clinton in the use of social media for campaigning? The answer, I think, dates back to a digital experiment from the 2014 election, and the broader trend toward experimentally-informed campaigns. Facebook was …

How Russian Propaganda Spreads On Social Media : All Tech … – NPR

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Facebook, Google and Twitter head to Washington this week for their first public congressional hearings on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential …
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How Facebook and Twitter Quietly Helped Trump Win

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If you made a list of the factors that landed Donald Trump in the White House, Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale would put Facebook near the top. “Facebook now lets you get to places—and places possibly that you would never go with TV ads,” Parscale told CBS earlier this month. “Now, I can find, you know, 15 people in the Florida Panhandle that I would never buy a TV commercial for. And, we took opportunities that I think the other side didn’t.” The relationship with Silicon Valley wasn’t one sided: as major tech companies face mounting criticism for allowing political disinformation to proliferate on their platforms, a new study suggests that employees at Facebook, Google, and Twitter also took on crucial roles within the Trump campaign, acting more like political strategists than on-site salespeople.

The collaboration allowed Team Trump to shore up its digital operations in a way that would have been difficult to accomplish on its own, according to Politico, which got an early look at the study. Embedded tech employees took on responsibilities such as targeting hard-to-reach voters and coming up with responses to probable lines of attack during debates. “Facebook, Twitter, and Google [went] beyond promoting their services and facilitating digital advertising buys,” the peer-reviewed paper concludes. The companies “actively [shaped] campaign communications through their close collaboration with political staffers.”

The Clinton campaign turned down the assistance, which Facebook, Google, and Twitter all offered to 2016 candidates free of charge. (One tech company employee in the study said her campaign “viewed us as vendors rather than consultants.”) The Trump campaign, on the other hand, used the “embeds” extensively during the general election. Ultimately, the work each company did for Trump—Google recommending geographically targeted ads, Twitter analyzing the success of tweet-based fundraising efforts, and Facebook identifying which pictures performed best on Instagram, for instance—helped close the gap between him and Clinton, experts cited in the study conclude.

The collaboration likely proved lucrative for all three companies. Online political-ad spending during the 2016 election totaled $1.4 billion—the Trump campaign spent $70 million on Facebook alone, making client services a valuable extension of Facebook’s ad product. The collaboration also conferred additional benefits, as Politico points out: national exposure, a testing ground for new features and products, and the chance to build a relationship with a candidate who might end up holding the regulatory reins once in office.

In the wake of Trump’s victory, Silicon Valley is facing difficult questions about that symbiotic relationship, and a potential regulatory reckoning. It also underscores a nearly universal truth about how the tech and media industries treated the 2016 presidential race: employees at Facebook and Twitter, among other companies in the overwhelmingly liberal Bay Area, never really expected Trump to win.

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The key to Mueller’s investigation of Trump – Salon

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The key to Mueller’s investigation of Trump
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The Trump campaign’s digital operations were overseen by Kushner. Now corroborating details are emerging. Facebook disclosed that Russian entitites had bought more than 3,000 politically charged ads estimated at $150,000 on its platform during key …
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Parscale tells “60 Minutes” Facebook employees ’embedded’ in … – San Antonio Express-News

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Parscale tells “60 Minutes” Facebook employees ’embedded’ in …
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President Donald Trump’s digital director Brad Parscale, seen speaking in Kansas in September, will discuss his work for Trump’s campaign on “60 Minutes” on …and more »

House Intel investigation expands to Trump campaign data firm – The Hill

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House Intel investigation expands to Trump campaign data firm
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[Cambridge Analytica] is not under investigation, and there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the company,” he said. Cambridge Analytica is a U.S. offshoot of its British parent company SCL Group that helped with Trump’s digital operation ahead of 
Carter Page says he will plead the Fifth to Senate Russia investigatorsCNN
Russia Probe Now Investigating Cambridge Analytica, Trump’s ‘Psychographic’ Data GurusDaily Beastall 55 news articles »

How Facebook and Twitter Quietly Helped Trump Win – Vanity Fair

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Vanity Fair
How Facebook and Twitter Quietly Helped Trump Win
Vanity Fair
The collaboration allowed Team Trump to shore up its digital operations in a way that would have been difficult to accomplish on its own, according to Politico, which got an early look at the study. Embedded tech employees took on responsibilities such 
How Facebook, Google and Twitter ’embeds’ helped Trump in 2016Politico
Facebook, Google, Twitter staff aided both US presidential candidates – studyRT
Announcement: RT and Sputnik Advertising – Twitter BlogTwitter Blog
Office of the Director of National Intelligence –Twitter Blog –RT
all 402 news articles »

Scrutiny mounts for Trump digital operation – The Hill

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The Hill
Scrutiny mounts for Trump digital operation
The Hill
Scrutiny on the digital side of President Trump’s 2016 campaign is mounting after revelations that the head of Cambridge Analytica, a data mining and analysis firm that worked for the campaign, contacted WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange about Democratic …
Trump campaign analytics company contacted WikiLeaks about Clinton emailsCNN
Democrats Believe an American Company Aided Russian Meddling in the ElectionNewsweek
What Did Cambridge Analytica Really Do for Trump’s Campaign?WIRED
Daily Beast –Daily Beast –CNN
all 149 news articles »

Trump digital operations – Google Search

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Story image for Trump digital operations from The Hill

Scrutiny mounts for Trump digital operation

The HillOct 27, 2017
Scrutiny on the digital side of President Trump’s 2016 campaign is mounting after revelations that the head of Cambridge Analytica, a data …

Story image for Trump digital operations from Vanity Fair

How Facebook and Twitter Quietly Helped Trump Win

Vanity FairOct 26, 2017
The collaboration allowed Team Trump to shore up its digital operations in a way that would have been difficult to accomplish on its own, …

Story image for Trump digital operations from San Antonio Express-News

Parscale tells “60 Minutes” Facebook employees ’embedded’ in …

San Antonio Express-NewsOct 6, 2017
Parscale ran the digital operation out of San Antonio widely credited with helping Trump win last year and that’s now under scrutiny as part of a …
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Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Hits New Low, Poll Finds

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The latest NBC News/WSJ poll shows 58% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s performance as president.

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Russia Uses Its Oil Giant, Rosneft, as a Foreign Policy Tool – New York Times

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New York Times
Russia Uses Its Oil Giant, Rosneft, as a Foreign Policy Tool
New York Times
The company, which Russia has long relied on to finance its government and social programs, has been pushing deeply into politically sensitive countries like Cuba, China, Egypt and Vietnam, as well as tumultuous places where American interests are at …
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8:25 AM 10/30/2017 – Video: Manafort walks to the FBI field office with his lawyer | Mueller’s first charges: Manafort and his man Gates

Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Told to Surrender

Story image for manafort from New York Times

manafort – Google Search

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Paul Manafort, Who Once Ran Trump Campaign, Told to Surrender

New York Times6 minutes ago
Paul Manafort, the former chairman of the Trump campaign, leaving his … WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort and his former business associate …

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CNN

Media image for manafort from Business Insider

Business Insider

Media image for manafort from HuffPost

HuffPost

Media image for manafort from New York Post

New York Post

Media image for manafort from ABC News

ABC News

Media image for manafort from CNBC

CNBC
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WSJ.com: World News: Russian-Backed Facebook Accounts Organized Events on All Sides of Polarizing Issues

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Workers behind Russian-linked Facebook accounts helped organize or finance real-life events, often working directly with U.S. activists and playing both sides of the same hot-button issues.

 WSJ.com: World News

Jared Kushner traveled unannounced to Saudi Arabia – CNN

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CNN
Jared Kushner traveled unannounced to Saudi Arabia
CNN
Washington (CNN) Jared Kushner and other senior White House advisers traveled to Saudi Arabia last week to continue discussions on Middle East peace, a White House official told CNN. Deputy national security adviser Dina Powell and Jason Greenblatt, …
Jared Kushner made unannounced trip to Saudi ArabiaABC News
Ivanka Trump, Amid West Wing Conflagration, Celebrates Her Birthday with Surprise DinnerVanity Fair
Maryland AG investigating Kushner real estate business: reportThe Hill (blog)
CNNMoney –Raw Story –Politico –The Times of Israel
all 25 news articles »

7:49 PM 10/29/2017 – Suggestibility, intelligence, voting behaviors, and the Cambridge Analytica’s targeted “psychographic” advertising 

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Suggestibility, intelligence, voting behaviors, and the Cambridge Analytica’s targeted “psychographic” advertising Suggestibility is correlated with intelligence negatively, meaning that less intelligent people are more suggestible. There always be the sufficient number of the suggestible subjects whose voting preferences can be influenced by the specially designed, still very much mysterious and unclear in all its aspects and effects, … Continue reading “7:49 PM 10/29/2017 – Suggestibility, intelligence, voting behaviors, and the Cambridge Analytica’s targeted “psychographic” advertising”

How Russia’s fake social media accounts propelled Donald Trump – ThinkProgress

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ThinkProgress
How Russia’s fake social media accounts propelled Donald Trump
ThinkProgress
ThinkProgress, however, analyzed previous reporting to match those eyewitness stories with the specific social media accounts and pages in question, many of them available through caches, to examine the substance of the allegations — to watch the fake 
Key senator wants to see social media companies make 3 changes to election adsCNBC
Russiagate Is More Fiction Than FactThe Nation.
Combating fake news may force big changes at Facebook, TwitterChristian Science Monitor
Bloomberg –Daily Beast –CNN –NBCNews.com
all 220 news articles »

Trump digital director, originally paid $1500 for Trump website, earned $94 million – Metro US

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Metro US
Trump digital director, originally paid $1500 for Trump website, earned $94 million
Metro US
Parscale, who had done small freelance design projects for Trump’s company since 2011, became the campaign’s digital director, in charge of creating Facebook ads and other socialmedia advertising. Soon he was overseeing data collection and much of …
Trump’s digital campaign director was paid $1500 to set up his election website. Then he raked in $94 million when …CNBC
’60 Minutes’ profiles the genius who won Trump’s campaign: FacebookWashington Post
Facebook “embeds,” Russia and the Trump campaign’s secret weaponCBS News
New York Post –Inc.com –TheStreet.com
all 51 news articles »
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How Digital Inexperience Paid Off in the Trump Campaign – Civicist

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Civicist
How Digital Inexperience Paid Off in the Trump Campaign
Civicist
How the hell did team Trump leapfrog team Clinton in the use of social media for campaigning? The answer, I think, dates back to a digital experiment from the 2014 election, and the broader trend toward experimentally-informed campaigns. Facebook was …

How Russian Propaganda Spreads On Social Media : All Tech … – NPR

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NPR
How Russian Propaganda Spreads On Social Media : All Tech …
NPR
Facebook, Google and Twitter head to Washington this week for their first public congressional hearings on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential …
The great Russia meddling storyline collision has arrivedAxiosall 12 news articles »

How Facebook and Twitter Quietly Helped Trump Win

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8:00 AM 10/30/2017 – How Russia’s fake social media accounts propelled Donald Trump

7:49 PM 10/29/2017 – Suggestibility, intelligence, voting behaviors, and the Cambridge Analytica’s targeted “psychographic” advertising 

1 Share
Suggestibility, intelligence, voting behaviors, and the Cambridge Analytica’s targeted “psychographic” advertising Suggestibility is correlated with intelligence negatively, meaning that less intelligent people are more suggestible. There always be the sufficient number of the suggestible subjects whose voting preferences can be influenced by the specially designed, still very much mysterious and unclear in all its aspects and effects, … Continue reading “7:49 PM 10/29/2017 – Suggestibility, intelligence, voting behaviors, and the Cambridge Analytica’s targeted “psychographic” advertising”

How Russia’s fake social media accounts propelled Donald Trump – ThinkProgress

1 Share

ThinkProgress
How Russia’s fake social media accounts propelled Donald Trump
ThinkProgress
ThinkProgress, however, analyzed previous reporting to match those eyewitness stories with the specific social media accounts and pages in question, many of them available through caches, to examine the substance of the allegations — to watch the fake 
Key senator wants to see social media companies make 3 changes to election adsCNBC
Russiagate Is More Fiction Than FactThe Nation.
Combating fake news may force big changes at Facebook, TwitterChristian Science Monitor
Bloomberg –Daily Beast –CNN –NBCNews.com
all 220 news articles »

Trump digital director, originally paid $1500 for Trump website, earned $94 million – Metro US

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Metro US
Trump digital director, originally paid $1500 for Trump website, earned $94 million
Metro US
Parscale, who had done small freelance design projects for Trump’s company since 2011, became the campaign’s digital director, in charge of creating Facebook ads and other socialmedia advertising. Soon he was overseeing data collection and much of …
Trump’s digital campaign director was paid $1500 to set up his election website. Then he raked in $94 million when …CNBC
’60 Minutes’ profiles the genius who won Trump’s campaign: FacebookWashington Post
Facebook “embeds,” Russia and the Trump campaign’s secret weaponCBS News
New York Post –Inc.com –TheStreet.com
all 51 news articles »

How Digital Inexperience Paid Off in the Trump Campaign – Civicist

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Civicist
How Digital Inexperience Paid Off in the Trump Campaign
Civicist
How the hell did team Trump leapfrog team Clinton in the use of social media for campaigning? The answer, I think, dates back to a digital experiment from the 2014 election, and the broader trend toward experimentally-informed campaigns. Facebook was …

How Russian Propaganda Spreads On Social Media : All Tech … – NPR

1 Share

NPR
How Russian Propaganda Spreads On Social Media : All Tech …
NPR
Facebook, Google and Twitter head to Washington this week for their first public congressional hearings on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential …
The great Russia meddling storyline collision has arrivedAxios

all 12 news articles »

How Facebook and Twitter Quietly Helped Trump Win

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If you made a list of the factors that landed Donald Trump in the White House, Trump campaign digital director Brad Parscale would put Facebook near the top. “Facebook now lets you get to places—and places possibly that you would never go with TV ads,” Parscale told CBS earlier this month. “Now, I can find, you know, 15 people in the Florida Panhandle that I would never buy a TV commercial for. And, we took opportunities that I think the other side didn’t.” The relationship with Silicon Valley wasn’t one sided: as major tech companies face mounting criticism for allowing political disinformation to proliferate on their platforms, a new study suggests that employees at Facebook, Google, and Twitter also took on crucial roles within the Trump campaign, acting more like political strategists than on-site salespeople.

The collaboration allowed Team Trump to shore up its digital operations in a way that would have been difficult to accomplish on its own, according to Politico, which got an early look at the study. Embedded tech employees took on responsibilities such as targeting hard-to-reach voters and coming up with responses to probable lines of attack during debates. “Facebook, Twitter, and Google [went] beyond promoting their services and facilitating digital advertising buys,” the peer-reviewed paper concludes. The companies “actively [shaped] campaign communications through their close collaboration with political staffers.”

The Clinton campaign turned down the assistance, which Facebook, Google, and Twitter all offered to 2016 candidates free of charge. (One tech company employee in the study said her campaign “viewed us as vendors rather than consultants.”) The Trump campaign, on the other hand, used the “embeds” extensively during the general election. Ultimately, the work each company did for Trump—Google recommending geographically targeted ads, Twitter analyzing the success of tweet-based fundraising efforts, and Facebook identifying which pictures performed best on Instagram, for instance—helped close the gap between him and Clinton, experts cited in the study conclude.

The collaboration likely proved lucrative for all three companies. Online political-ad spending during the 2016 election totaled $1.4 billion—the Trump campaign spent $70 million on Facebook alone, making client services a valuable extension of Facebook’s ad product. The collaboration also conferred additional benefits, as Politico points out: national exposure, a testing ground for new features and products, and the chance to build a relationship with a candidate who might end up holding the regulatory reins once in office.

In the wake of Trump’s victory, Silicon Valley is facing difficult questions about that symbiotic relationship, and a potential regulatory reckoning. It also underscores a nearly universal truth about how the tech and media industries treated the 2016 presidential race: employees at Facebook and Twitter, among other companies in the overwhelmingly liberal Bay Area, never really expected Trump to win.

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The key to Mueller’s investigation of Trump – Salon

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Salon
The key to Mueller’s investigation of Trump
Salon
The Trump campaign’s digital operations were overseen by Kushner. Now corroborating details are emerging. Facebook disclosed that Russian entitites had bought more than 3,000 politically charged ads estimated at $150,000 on its platform during key …

Parscale tells “60 Minutes” Facebook employees ’embedded’ in … – San Antonio Express-News

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San Antonio Express-News
Parscale tells “60 Minutes” Facebook employees ’embedded’ in …
San Antonio Express-News
President Donald Trump’s digital director Brad Parscale, seen speaking in Kansas in September, will discuss his work for Trump’s campaign on “60 Minutes” on …

and more »

House Intel investigation expands to Trump campaign data firm – The Hill

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The Hill
House Intel investigation expands to Trump campaign data firm
The Hill
[Cambridge Analytica] is not under investigation, and there is no suggestion of any wrongdoing by the company,” he said. Cambridge Analytica is a U.S. offshoot of its British parent company SCL Group that helped with Trump’s digital operation ahead of 
Carter Page says he will plead the Fifth to Senate Russia investigatorsCNN
Russia Probe Now Investigating Cambridge Analytica, Trump’s ‘Psychographic’ Data GurusDaily Beast

all 55 news articles »

How Facebook and Twitter Quietly Helped Trump Win – Vanity Fair

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Vanity Fair
How Facebook and Twitter Quietly Helped Trump Win
Vanity Fair
The collaboration allowed Team Trump to shore up its digital operations in a way that would have been difficult to accomplish on its own, according to Politico, which got an early look at the study. Embedded tech employees took on responsibilities such 
How Facebook, Google and Twitter ’embeds’ helped Trump in 2016Politico
Facebook, Google, Twitter staff aided both US presidential candidates – studyRT
Announcement: RT and Sputnik Advertising – Twitter BlogTwitter Blog
Office of the Director of National Intelligence –Twitter Blog –RT
all 402 news articles »

Scrutiny mounts for Trump digital operation – The Hill

1 Share

The Hill
Scrutiny mounts for Trump digital operation
The Hill
Scrutiny on the digital side of President Trump’s 2016 campaign is mounting after revelations that the head of Cambridge Analytica, a data mining and analysis firm that worked for the campaign, contacted WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange about Democratic …
Trump campaign analytics company contacted WikiLeaks about Clinton emailsCNN
Democrats Believe an American Company Aided Russian Meddling in the ElectionNewsweek
What Did Cambridge Analytica Really Do for Trump’s Campaign?WIRED
Daily Beast –Daily Beast –CNN
all 149 news articles »

Trump digital operations – Google Search

1 Share
Story image for Trump digital operations from The Hill

Scrutiny mounts for Trump digital operation

The HillOct 27, 2017
Scrutiny on the digital side of President Trump’s 2016 campaign is mounting after revelations that the head of Cambridge Analytica, a data …
Story image for Trump digital operations from Vanity Fair

How Facebook and Twitter Quietly Helped Trump Win

Vanity FairOct 26, 2017
The collaboration allowed Team Trump to shore up its digital operations in a way that would have been difficult to accomplish on its own, …
Story image for Trump digital operations from San Antonio Express-News

Parscale tells “60 Minutes” Facebook employees ’embedded’ in …

San Antonio Express-NewsOct 6, 2017
Parscale ran the digital operation out of San Antonio widely credited with helping Trump win last year and that’s now under scrutiny as part of a …
Read the whole story
· ·
Next Page of Stories
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Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Hits New Low, Poll Finds

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The latest NBC News/WSJ poll shows 58% of Americans disapprove of Trump’s performance as president.

Russia Uses Its Oil Giant, Rosneft, as a Foreign Policy Tool – New York Times

1 Share

New York Times
Russia Uses Its Oil Giant, Rosneft, as a Foreign Policy Tool
New York Times
The company, which Russia has long relied on to finance its government and social programs, has been pushing deeply into politically sensitive countries like Cuba, China, Egypt and Vietnam, as well as tumultuous places where American interests are at …

Here come those state-level charges against Jared Kushner that Donald Trump can’t pardon 

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Jared Kushner is facing enough legal trouble on the federal level that various pundits have mentioned his name as being among those who could be arrested tomorrow in relation to Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. That in turn has led to the question of whether Trump would try to pardon his son-in-law Kushner, in order to keep Kushner from cutting a deal against him. However, if that is Donald’s plan, a big monkey wrench has just been thrown into it.

Let’s hypothetically say that Jared Kushner is arrested tomorrow – or in a later round of Trump Russia arrests – on federal charges related to his secret meetings with the Russians during the campaign and transition period, and his subsequent failure to disclose those meetings on his White House security clearance forms. Let’s further say that Kushner then decides not to cut a deal, on the premise that Trump will pardon him anyway. The trouble: Kushner is suddenly facing the possibility of state level charges as well.

The Attorney General of Maryland is now investigating Jared Kushner’s family business for a number of serious alleged violations in the real estate field (link). That doesn’t mean that Kushner or anyone in his family is guilty. Nor does it mean that charges will be brought. But these investigations tend to lead to charges more often than not. If Kushner is hypothetically charged with state level crimes, Donald Trump can’t pardon those.

This could result in a situation where even if Donald Trump pardons Jared Kushner on all Russia-related federal charges, Kushner could still be facing potential jail time in Maryland – and Trump wouldn’t be able to get him off the hook for that. In the interest of the greater good, Maryland could offer to let Kushner off the hook if he flips on Trump on the federal level. It’s unclear if Special Counsel Robert Mueller is involved in the Maryland probe into Kushner.

The post Here come those state-level charges against Jared Kushner that Donald Trump can’t pardonappeared first on Palmer Report.

IQ population distribution – Google Search

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Puerto Rico’s governor seeks to cancel $300M Whitefish contract

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