“The Cold War between Russia and the USA that lasted for decades in Soviet times has never ended” — Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov
But now, “Russia is growing more powerful in its own concept of multipolar world, defending its sovereign spiritual power, while the U.S. suffers from ideological crises,” said Reshetnikov.
|Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks|
|Russian General Denies He’s Behind the US Election Plot – Daily Beast|
|Russian General Denies He’s Behind the U.S. Election Plot|
MOSCOW—The Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS) is the Kremlin’s think tank. Managed by former officials of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), it draws up guidelines for President Vladimir Putin’s foreign policy, and last year it was watching the American elections very closely.
Indeed, according to a Reuters report in April, during the 2016 campaign that took Donald Trump to the White House the RISS produced and distributed around the Russian government two documents: one a framework advising Putin how to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential vote in Trump’s favor, and the other a strategy to discredit the elections if Trump failed.
This week in an exclusive interview The Daily Beast spoke with Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov, who was in charge of RISS until January 2017—which is to say during the entire period in question last year. He denied the allegations in the Reuters report and gave his own interpretation of what led Russia and the United States to their current state of conflict.
“The American intelligence services are a machine that is always working, constantly making up anti-Russian cases,” Reshetnikov told The Daily Beast.
The general perception is that Moscow is defending itself against U.S. aggression, a view strengthened after brief encounters between Putin and Trump at an Asian economic summit in Vietnam. Those produced an accord about fighting the so-called Islamic State in Syria by largely accepting Russia’s strategy and dominance there, but there was no relief from past sanctions against Russia and against Putin’s inner circle, or new ones that are due to kick in.
In August, Trump reluctantly signed a bill that was passed overwhelmingly by Congress imposing heavy sanctions on Iran and North Korea as well as Russia. It effectively ties Trump’s hands, preventing him from waiving any of the measures against Putin without Congressional approval.
“The American intelligence services are a machine that is always working, constantly making up anti-Russian cases”
— Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov
Some in Moscow argue that Putin’s advisers in the secret services and the ministry of foreign affairs have grown too “old-fashioned,” perhaps too genteel. (One thinks of suave Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister.) Others see the failure of Russia’s diplomatic push as simply one more example of the U.S. demonizing Russia for all kinds of ulterior motives.
RISS expert Anna Glazova says that relations between the two countries are worse than during the Cold War between the Soviets and the United States. The RISS expert says that U.S. accusations leveled against Russia are cover for economic competition, which is the real reason to implement sanctions “against our country,” as Glazova put it on the RISS website this week.
In 2014, after Russia annexed Crimea, a strategic peninsula that had been part of Ukraine, the Group of 7 economic powers, led by the United States, decided to implement three stages of economic sanctions. The goal was to stop Russia from funding, arming, and supplying weapons to Ukrainian rebels in the east of the country. The first stage limited cooperation with Russia, the second was meant to stop any help with technologies for Russia, and the third, the worst part, was to limit the development of certain sectors of the Russian economy.
Then additional sanctions were imposed by the Obama administration last year to punish Russia for its interference in the American elections. Previously, in 2012, the U.S. imposed sanctions targeting members of Putin’s inner circle believed responsible for massive corruption and, specifically, the death in prison of whistleblowing accountant Sergei Magnitsky.
The RISS analyst, Glazova, did not mention any of the reasons behind the U.S. economic sanctions. Instead, she insisted they are “an attempt to push our energy companies off the world’s market.” And since Russia’s greatest source of income is the sale of oil and natural gas, that would be disastrous, but low energy prices already have been at least as hurtful to Russian prosperity as the sanctions.
It is important to understand this line of defensive thinking at RISS, one of the key institutions advising the Kremlin.
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“It is a very influential center,” Sergei Markov, a member of the Public Chamber of Russia’s parliament and an adviser to the presidential administration, told The Daily Beast. “I once passed a recommendation on an important issue to the country’s leadership through RISS and all my suggestions were heard and implemented.”
The Reuters report in April said the RISS gave recommendations to the Kremlin—a game plan—on how to affect the U.S. presidential elections. If true, those policy papers could be a key element for the investigations related to Russian meddling in the U.S. elections that are being conducted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team and committees of the U.S. Congress.
“Curiously, President Trump has been the main voice in the United States casting doubt.”
It should be noted that those investigations are focused on the question of Trump campaign team complicity or conspiracy with Russian operatives, not the question of whether there was Russian interference. Of that there seems to be little doubt. The U.S. intelligence community concluded last year that Russians carried out a massive effort to affect the outcome and credibility of the American elections, and that this was done on Putin’s orders. Those findings were made public in January.
Curiously, President Trump has been the main voice in the United States casting doubt on these conclusions, although it is often difficult to determine what he actually means. As the New York Timesreported Saturday, after Trump’s brief meetings with Putin he called accusations of Russian meddling a politically motivated “hit job” that interfered with important cooperation between Moscow and Washington on life-or-death issues.
“Every time [Putin] sees me he says, ‘I didn’t do that,’ and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said. “I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country.”
The leaders of the intelligence agencies that came to the conclusions about Russian meddling published in January were “political hacks,” he said.
But, as much as Trump might want the core conclusions about Russian efforts to subvert American democracy to have changed, they have not. This, even as evidence mounts that some of his campaign advisors and his relatives, including son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner, were in direct contact with Russian agents or proxies.
On Sunday, pressed for a clarification, Trump said he backed the conclusions of the U.S. intelligence agencies “as currently led, by fine people.” As to whether he believed Putin’s claim there was no Russian interference in the elections, Trump said, “What he believes, he believes.”
The Reuters report in April about the RISS policy papers was not based on the documents themselves, but on interviews with “three current and four former U.S. officials.”
According to the report, the U.S. intelligence services had obtained two documents prepared by the RISS. One of them was “a strategy paper written last June  that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals,” according to the report. It advised the Russian leadership to launch a massive propaganda campaign on social media and in the Kremlin-controlled mass media to encourage Americans to vote for Trump, considered a candidate who would be friendlier to Russia than Barack Obama had been or Hillary Clinton would be.
“As President Putin said, is ‘the dog’s barking but the caravan’s walking.’”
— Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov
The second document drafted in October 2016 warned that Hillary Clinton was most likely going to win the election, so the focus should shift to discrediting Clinton’s legitimacy, raising questions of voter fraud that would undermine her presidency.
Lt. Gen. Reshetnikov, the former head of RISS, dismissed the Reuters report when he talked to The Daily Beast on Monday of this week.
“I was the RISS director until January, and I definitely never signed any of the described papers,” he said. “All documents passed to the very top of the country’s leadership are marked, ‘classified as secret,’ they could not be circulating in public.” Washington was just listening “to some information passed to them by their Moscow spooks,” Reshetnikov said.
He denied having anything to do with the army of trolls agitating for Trump on social media last year.
“It could be that some one or two former RISS employees, freelancers, had written some recommendations to the leadership, which, if they were circulating in public were not very serious,” Reshetnikov said. “Besides, somebody in the U.S. said the recommendations were 30 pages long. I do not remember anything as long as that. We tried to write short notes, since we realized that the management did not have enough time to read what we wrote.”
Before President Putin appointed Reshetnikov as the director of RISS in 2009, the general was the head of the information-analytical department of the SVR and the number one Kremlin adviser on foreign policy. He had been part of the foreign intelligence service since 1976.
Reshetnikov and his colleagues worked on themes for Putin’s key speeches at international events, including the memorable speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007, when the Russian president criticized Washington’s behavior as the only center of global authority and suggested the world develop a multi-polar system that would allow other centers of economic and political influence to grow stronger.
It was also in 2007 that Putin decided to oblige all independent and foreign-funded NGOs to register as “foreign agents.”
Reshetnikov blamed the current tensions between Russia and United States on Washington. “The Cold War between Russia and the USA that lasted for decades in Soviet times has never ended,” Reshetnikov said. “The main problem is that the USA proclaims itself responsible for the New World Order while, as President Putin said in his speech in Munich, Russia rejects that concept.”
This is fundamental, according to Reshetnikov. “Especially under Obama, Washington wanted to downgrade Russia to the level of a second-rate regional power.”
“The Cold War between Russia and the USA that lasted for decades in Soviet times has never ended”
— Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov
But now, “Russia is growing more powerful in its own concept of multipolar world, defending its sovereign spiritual power, while the U.S. suffers from ideological crises,” said Reshetnikov.
He said that the RISS was a powerful institution with at least 200 employees working under his management, focusing on both closed and open sources to analyze the current Cold War situation.
Reshetnikov blamed Washington for constantly offending Russia, for NATO expansion into countries neighboring Russia, for bringing anti-missile systems to Europe, for not cooperating in Syria.
“The American intelligence services are a machine that is always working, constantly making up anti-Russian cases such as the Magnitsky case or some reason to ban Russian Olympic athletes, but they will not have enough power to keep pressing Russia all over the perimeter,” said the intelligence veteran. In his view, Russia has plenty of reason to look for revenge.
“The war is obvious: the U.S. implemented sanctions against Russia, and put pressure on Europe to back up the neo-Nazi regime in Ukraine, but our response, as President Putin said, is ‘the dog’s barking but the caravan’s walking.’ We’ll proceed with our strategy and that will be our way to give them a blow in their teeth.”
“Russia is growing more powerful … while the U.S. suffers from ideological crises”
— Lt. Gen. Leonid Reshetnikov
The economic sanctions against Russia would be lifted if the Kremlin decided to withdraw military advisers and equipment from Eastern Ukraine, but there is no sign that’s going to happen.
As Kremlin advisor Markov put it, “I am convinced, that the sanctions will be lifted, as soon as we liberate Odessa and Kharkov from the neo-Nazi Ukrainian regime.”
The former RISS head Reshetnikov says that he has never had any illusions about Donald Trump.
“I always knew that he was not free, that he was very limited in his actions, bound hand and foot,” Reshetnikov told The Daily Beast. The Russians had hoped for a very upbeat encounter at the economic summit, but, “Trump has to avoid positive meetings like the one planned in Vietnam because he is half of a president,” said Reshetnikov. “So we need to wait for two to six month and see how this difficult situation develops.”
On that score there is little doubt what at least half of Trump would like to do. Over the weekend he blamed “haters and fools” for thwarting the good relationship he wants to have with Putin, and he didn’t mean Russian haters and fools.
Meanwhile, the Kremlin is contemplating retaliation after the U.S. Department of Justice proclaimed the Kremlin-backed TV network RT, formerly Russia Today “a foreign agent.” Moscow wants to punish the U.S. media working in Russia for turning the U.S. public against it.
|An excerpt from ‘Collusion’ – MSNBC|
|An excerpt from ‘Collusion’ | MSNBC|
The End of History Not
The greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century.
—Vladimir Putin, on the breakup of the USSR
Moscow, summer 1991. Mikhail Gorbachev was in power. Official relations with the West may have softened, but the KGB still assumed all Western embassy workers were spooks.
The KGB goons assigned to them were easy to spot. They had a method. Sometimes they pursued targets on foot, sometime in cars. The officers charged with keeping tabs on Western diplomats were never subtle.
One of their specialities was breaking into Moscow apartments. The owners were away, of course. The KGB team would leave a series of clues—stolen shoes, women’s tights knotted together, cigarette butts stomped out and left demonstratively on the floor. Or a surprise turd in the toilet, waiting in grim ambush.
The message, crudely put, was this: We are the masters here! We can do what the fuck we please!
The KGB kept watch on all foreigners, especially American and British ones. The UK mission in Moscow was under close observation. The embassy was in a magnificent mansion built in the 1890s by a rich sugar merchant, on the south bank of the Moskva River. It looks directly across to the Soviet Kremlin. The view was dreamy: a grand palace, gold church domes, and medieval spires topped with revolutionary red stars.
One of those whom it routinely surveilled was a twenty-seven-year-old diplomat, newly married to his wife, Laura, on his first foreign posting, and working as a second secretary in the chancery division.
In this case, the KGB’s suspicions were right.
The “diplomat” was a British intelligence officer. His workplace was a grand affair: chandeliers, reception rooms with mahogany paneling, gilt-framed portraits of the Queen and other royals hanging on the walls. His desk was in the embassy library, surrounded by ancient books. Three colleagues were neighbors. The officer’s actual employer was an invisible entity back in London—SIS, the Secret Intelligence Service.
The officer was Christopher Steele. Steele arrived in Moscow via the usual establishment route for upwardly mobile British spies: the University of Cambridge. Cambridge had produced some of MI6’s most talented Cold War officers. A few of them—it turned out to great embarrassment—had secret second jobs with the KGB. The joke inside M16 was that only those who had never visited the Soviet Union would wish to defect.
Steele studied social and political sciences at Girton College. His views were center-left; he and his elder sister were the first generation of his family to go to university. Steele’s paternal grandfather was a miner from Pontypridd, in south Wales; his great-uncle died in a pit accident. These were the years of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, whose implacable opposition to the striking coal workers killed the industry. Steele wrote for the student newspaper, Varsity. He became president of the Cambridge Union, a debating society dominated by well-heeled and well-connected young men and women.
It’s unclear who recruited Steele. Traditionally, certain Cambridge tutors were rumored to identify promising SIS candidates. Whatever the route, Steele’s timing was good. After three years at MI6, Steele was sent to the Soviet Union in April 1990, soon after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of the communist bloc across Eastern Europe.
It was a tumultuous time. Steele had a front-row seat to history. Seventy years after the Bolshevik revolution, the red empire was crumbling. The Baltic states had revolted against Soviet power; their own national authorities were governing in parallel with Moscow. The Soviet Russian republic had elected a democratic president—Boris Yeltsin. There were lines; food was scarce.
There was still much to enjoy. Like other expatriates, the Steeles visited the Izmailovsky craft market, next to an imperial park where Peter the Great’s father, Tsar Alexei, had established a model farm. Here you could buy lacquered boxes, patchwork quilts, fur hats, and Soviet kitsch. Steele acquired samovars, carpets from central Asia, a papier-mâché Stalin mask, and the Tolstoy doll set—price $150—that adorned his later office.
Much of the Soviet Union was off-limits to diplomats. Steele was the embassy’s “internal traveler” and visited newly accessible cities. One of them was Samara, a wartime Soviet capital. There, he became the first foreigner to see Stalin’s underground bunker. Instead of Lenin, he found dusty portraits of Peter the Great and the imperial commander Mikhail Kutuzov—proof, seemingly, that Stalin was more nationalist than Marxist.
On the weekends, Steele took part in soccer matches with a group of expats in a Russian league. In one game, he played against the legendary Soviet Union striker Oleh Blokhin, who scored from the halfway mark.
The atmosphere was optimistic. It appeared to Steele that the country was shifting markedly in the right direction. Citizens once terrified of interacting with outsiders were ready to talk. The KGB, however, found nothing to celebrate in the USSR’s tilt toward freedom and reform. That August, seven apparatchiks staged a coup while Gorbachev was vacationing in Crimea.
Most of the British embassy was away. Steele was home and in his second-floor apartment in Gruzinsky Pereulok. He left the apartment block, turned right, and walked ten minutes into town. Crowds had gathered outside the White House, the seat of government; thus far the army hadn’t moved against them.
From fifty yards away, Steele watched as a snowy-haired man in a suit climbed on a tank and—reading from notes brushed by the wind—denounced the coup as cynical and illegal. This was a defiant Yeltsin. Steele listened as Yeltsin urged a general strike. And, fist clenched, told his supporters to remain strong.
The coup failed, and a weakened Gorbachev survived. The putschists—the leading group in all the main Soviet state and party institutions—were arrested. In the West, and in the United States in particular, many concluded that Washington had won the Cold War. And that, after decades of ideological struggle, liberal democracy had triumphed.
Steele knew better. Three days after the coup, surveillance on him resumed. Steele’s colleagues in Hungary and Czechoslovakia reported that after revolutions there the secret police vanished, never to come back. But here were the same KGB guys, with the same familiar faces. They went back to their old routines of bugging, apartment break-ins, and harassing.
The regime changed. The system didn’t.
By the time Steele left Moscow in April 1993, the Soviet Union had gone. A new country led by Yeltsin had replaced it: the Russian Federation. The KGB had been dissolved.
But its officers hadn’t exactly disappeared. They loathed the United States still. And were merely biding their time.
One midranking former KGB spy unhappy about this state of affairs was Vladimir Putin. Putin had missed perestroika and glasnost, Gorbachev’s reformist ideas, and had returned from provincial East Germany and Dresden. Putin was now carving out a political career in the new St. Petersburg. He mourned the lost USSR. Its disappearance was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the twentieth century.”
A post-communist spy agency, the Federal Security Service, or FSB, had taken over the KGB’s main functions. Back home, Steele would soon move into MI6’s new purpose-built office— a large, striking postmodern pile of a building overlooking the River Thames. This gaudy Babylonian temple was hard to miss; in 1994, the government acknowledged MI6’s existence. Staff called it Vauxhall Cross. The FSB would become its bitter adversary.
From London Steele continued to work on the new Russia. He was ambitious, keen to succeed, and keen to be seen to succeed. He was part of an SIS team.
And perhaps less posh than some of his upper-class peers. Steele’s family was blue-collar. His father, Perris, and mother, Janet, from London, met when they worked at the UK Meteorological Office. Dad was forecaster to the military and Royal Air Force. The family lived on army bases in Aden, where Steele was born, on the Shetland Islands, and—twice—on Cyprus.
Steele now moved in a small world of Kremlin specialists. There were conferences and seminars in university towns like Oxford; contacts to be made; émigrés to be met, lunched, charmed. In 1998 he got another posting—to the British embassy in Paris. He had a family: two sons and then a daughter, born in France, where Steele was officially “First Secretary Financial.”
At this point his career hit a bump. In 1999 a list of MI6 officers was leaked online. Steele was one of them. He appeared next to Andrew Stafford and Geoffrey Tantum as “Christopher David Steele, 90 Moscow; dob 1964.” His future business partner, Christopher Burrows, was blown, too. Burrows’s entry reads: “82 East Berlin, 87 Bonn, 93 Athens, dob 1958.”
The breach wasn’t Steele’s fault, but it had unfortunate consequences. As an exposed British officer he couldn’t go back to Russia.
In Moscow the spies were staging a comeback. In 1998 Putin became FSB chief, followed by prime minister and, in 2000, president. By 2002, when Steele left Paris, Putin had consolidated his grip. Most of Russia’s genuine political opposition had been wiped out, from parliament, public life, and the evening news.
The idea that Russia might slowly turn into a democracy or that history, as Francis Fukuyama put it, might be ending had proved a late-century fantasy. Rather, the United States’ traditional nuclear-armed adversary was moving in an authoritarian direction.
At first George W. Bush and Tony Blair viewed Putin as a respectable ally in the war against terror. Russia’s leader remained an enigma. As Steele knew better than most, obtaining information from inside the presidential administration was hard.
One former member of the U.S. National Security Council described Putin as a “black box.” “The Brits had slightly better assets than us. We had nothing. No human intelligence,” the source said. And, with the focus on fighting Islamists, Russia was downgraded on the list of U.S.-UK intelligence priorities.
By 2006 Steele held a senior post at MI6’s Russia desk in London. There were ominous signs that Putin was taking Russia in an aggressive direction. The number of hostile Russian agents in the United Kingdom grew, surpassing Cold War levels. Steele tracked a new campaign of subversion and covert influence.
And then the two FSB assassins put a mini-nuclear poison in Litvinenko’s teapot. It was an audacious operation, and a sign of things to come. One reason MI6 picked Steele to investigate was that—unlike colleagues who had known the victim—he wasn’t emotionally involved. Steele’s gloomy view of Russia—that under Putin it was not only domestically repressive but also internationally reckless and revisionist—looked about right. Steele briefed government ministers. Some got it. Others couldn’t believe Russian spies would carry out murder and mayhem on the streets of London.
All told, Steele spent twenty-two years as a British intelligence officer. There were some high points—he saw his years in Moscow as formative—and some low ones. Two of the diplomats with whom he shared a Moscow office, Tim Barrow and David Manning, went on to become ambassadors to the EU and the United States. But Steele didn’t quite rise to the top, in what was a highly competitive service. Espionage might sound exciting, but the civil servant salary was ordinary. And in 2009 there was personal tragedy, when his wife died at age forty-three after a period of illness.
That same year Steele left MI6 and set up Orbis. Making the transition from government to the private sector wasn’t easy. Steele and Burrows were now pursuing the same intelligence matters as before but without any of the support and peer review they had in their previous jobs. MI6’s security branch would often ask an officer to go back to a source, or redraft a report, or remark, “We think it’s interesting. We’d like to have more on this.” This kept up quality and objectivity.
Steele and Burrows, by contrast, were out on their own, where success depended more on one’s own wits. There was no more internal challenge. The people they had to please were corporate clients. The pay was considerably better.
The shabby environs of Victoria were a long way away from Washington and its bitterly contested U.S. presidential election. So how did Steele come to be commissioned in the first place to research Trump and produce his devastating dossier?
At the same moment Steele said good-bye to official spying, another figure was embarking on a new career in the crowded field of private business intelligence. His name was Glenn Simpson. He was a former journalist.
Simpson was an alluring figure: a large, tall, angular, bearlike person, who slotted himself easily onto a bar stool and enjoyed a beer or two. He was a good-humored social companion who spoke in a nasal drawl. Behind small oval glasses was a twinkling intelligence. He excelled at what he did.
Simpson had been an illustrious Wall Street Journal correspondent. Based in Washington and Brussels, he had specialized in post-Soviet murk. He didn’t speak Russian or visit the Russian Federation. This was deemed too dangerous. Instead, from out of country, he examined the dark intersection between organized crime and the Russian state. Very often that meant the same thing.
One of Simpson’s subjects was Semion Mogilevich, a Ukrainian-Russian mafia don and one of the FBI’s ten most wanted individuals. Mogilevich, it was alleged, was behind a mysterious intermediary company, RosUkrEnergo (RUE), that imported Siberian natural gas into Ukraine. The profits were measured in billions of dollars.
Mogilevich wasn’t someone a reporter might meet; he was more myth than man. He lived in Moscow—or was it Budapest? Seemingly, the Russian state and FSB harbored him. Simpson talked to U.S. investigators. Over years, he built up a portfolio of contacts in Hungary, Israel, Cyprus. At home he knew individuals inside the Department of Justice—in particular its Organized Crime and Racketeering Section—the U.S. Treasury, and elsewhere.
By 2009 Simpson decided to quit journalism, at a time when the media industry was in all sorts of financial trouble. He cofounded his own commercial research and political intelligence firm, based in Washington, D.C. Its name was Fusion GPS. Its website gave little away. It didn’t even list an address or the downtown loft from where a team of analysts worked.
Fusion’s research would be similar to what he had done before. That meant investigating difficult corruption cases or the business activities of post-Soviet figures. There would still be a public interest dimension, only this time private clients would pay. Fusion was very good at what it did and—Simpson admitted—expensive.
In 2009 Simpson met Steele. They knew some of the same FBI people and shared expertise on Russia. Fusion and Orbis began a professional partnership. The Washington- and London-based firms worked for oligarchs litigating against other oligarchs. This might involve asset tracing—identifying large sums concealed behind layers of offshore companies.
Later that year Steele embarked on a separate and sensitive new assignment that drew on his knowledge of covert Russian techniques. And of soccer: in Moscow he had played defense as a fullback. The client was the English Football Association, the FA. England was bidding to host the 2018 soccer World Cup. England’s main rival was Russia. There were joint bids, too, from Spain and Portugal, and the Netherlands and Belgium. His brief was to investigate the eight other bidding nations, with a particular focus on Russia.
It was rumored that the FSB had carried out a major influence operation, ahead of a vote in Zurich by the executive committee of FIFA, soccer’s international governing body. A second vote was to take place at the same time for the 2022 World Cup. One of the countries bidding was the desert emirate of Qatar.
According to Steele, Putin was a reluctant backer of Russia’s World Cup bid and only became engaged from mid-2010, when it appeared Moscow might lose. Putin then summoned a group of oligarchs. He instructed them to do whatever was necessary to achieve victory, including striking personal deals with FIFA voters.
Putin’s method, Steele said, was unseen. “Nothing was writ-ten down. Don’t expect me or anyone to produce a piece of paper saying please X bribe Y with this amount in this way. He’s not going to do this.” He added: “Putin is an ex- intelligence officer. Everything he does has to be deniable.” The oligarchs were brought in to disguise the Kremlin’s controlling role, Steele said, according to The Sunday Times.
Steele “lit the fuse” of something bigger, as one friend put it.
Steele discovered that FIFA corruption was global. It was a stunning conspiracy. He took the unusual step of briefing an American contact in Rome, the head of the FBI’s Eurasia and Serious Crime Division. This led to a probe by U.S. federal prosecutors. And to the arrest in 2015 of seven FIFA officials, allegedly connected to $150 million in kickbacks, paid on TV deals stretching from Latin America to the Caribbean. The United States indicted fourteen individuals.
By this point, of course, Russia had won its bid to host the World Cup. England—the country that invented soccer—scraped just two votes.
The episode burnished Steele’s reputation inside the U.S. intelligence community and the FBI. Here was a pro, a well-connected Brit, who understood Russian espionage and its subterranean tricks. Steele was regarded as credible.
Between 2014 and 2016, Steele authored more than a hundred reports on Russia and Ukraine. These were written for a private client but shared widely within the State Department and sent up to Secretary of State John Kerry and to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who was in charge of the U.S. response to the Ukraine crisis. Many of Steele’s secret sources were the same sources who would supply information on Trump.
One former State Department envoy during the Obama administration said he read dozens of Steele’s reports on Russia. The envoy said that on Russia, Steele was “as good as the CIA or anyone.”
Steele’s professional reputation inside U.S. agencies would prove important the next time he discovered alarming material, and lit the fuse again.
Excerpted from Collusion by Luke Harding. Copyright © 2017 by Luke Harding. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
|New details reveal Donald Trump Jr is even more of a Russian puppet than his father|
Earlier this week it was revealed that Donald Trump Jr spent the general election coordinating with Russian puppet cyberterrorist outfit WikiLeaks. It may be the most damning revelation in the Trump-Russia scandal to date, as it reveals that Junior’s in-person meeting with Kremlin representatives was just the start of the collaboration, not the end. New evidence today reveals that WikiLeaks and Trump Jr did indeed coordinate their strategic efforts during the election.
Donald Trump Jr and WikiLeaks conspired to try to sabotage an anti-Trump website called PutinTrump.org. during the election. The coordination went as far as WikiLeaks asking Junior what he knew about the site, and giving him the password to the site, according to a new Mother Jones report (link). This took place in September of 2016, which was months after Trump Jr’s only known in-person meeting with Kremlin representatives.
Based on the timeframe that’s been established this week for the communications between WikiLeaks and Trump Jr, it’s highly unlikely that their coordinated attack on PutinTrump.org was the only incident of its kind. Now that investigators and journalists know what they’re looking for, it could be fairly easy to continue fleshing out the full timeline.
It’s worth keeping in mind that this is merely what the media has publicly uncovered to date. We still don’t know what other information or evidence Special Counsel Robert Mueller and his team may have privately uncovered when it comes to Donald Trump Jr’s communications and coordination with Russia, aimed at altering the outcome of the election.
The post New details reveal Donald Trump Jr is even more of a Russian puppet than his father appeared first on Palmer Report.
|Russia Mother Jones|
|Today’s Headlines and Commentary|
Zimbabwes military put President Robert Mugabe under house arrest as soldiers occupied government and media offices, Reuters reported. A military spokesperson said the dramatic seizure of power is aimed at stopping criminals close to the president. The takeover appears to be in response to the 93-year old Mugabes attempts to position his wife as his successor. Reporting from the New York Times suggests that former Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwawho Mugabe fired earlier this weekis the militarys preferred replacement for Mugabe.
The prime ministers of Britain and Spain said Russian groups had interfered in their electoral systems, the Washington Post reported. Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy accused Russia of sponsoring an army of fake accounts to spread misinformation during the Catalan independence referendum. Britains leader Theresa May said Russia used state-run media to undermine free societies. Separately, Britains top cybersecurity official said Russia carried out a coordinated campaign to hack British telecommunications, energy and media firms in the last year, according to the Times.
China will send a high-level envoy to North Korea in a move that will likely put pressure on Pyongyang to limit its nuclear program, the Times reported. Chinese state-run media said the envoy would probably deliver a message to Kim Jong-Un that urges nuclear talks. The announcement of the envoy came days after President Donald Trump discussed North Korea with Chinese President Xi Jinping at a meeting in Beijing.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson pushed Myanmars leaders to investigate and end violence against Rohingya Muslims, according to the Times. Speaking from Naypyidaw, Myanmars capital, Tillerson said there were the credible reports of widespread atrocities that the countrys security forces had committed against the Rohingya. Tillerson suggested that targeted economic sanctions may be an appropriate response to what the UN has called a textbook case of ethnic cleansing.
The House of Representatives passed the joint congressional version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2018, Politico reported. Representatives voted 365-70 for the $700 billion spending bill. The NDAAs fiscal allocation exceeds the Budget Control Acts $549 billion cap on defense expenditures. The Senate is expected to take up and pass the measure after Thanksgiving.
Lebanons president accused Saudi Arabia of holding Saad Hariri, the former Lebanese prime minister who resigned last week, as a hostage, Reuters reported. President Michel Aoun said it was not acceptable for Saudi Arabia to hold Hariri against his will for unknown reasons. Aoun has previously said he would not formally recognize Hariris resignation unless the latter returns to Lebanon. On Wednesday, Hariri promised to return within two days.
The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security shared technical information about a North Korean cyber intrusion campaign targeting the aerospace, telecommunications and financial industries, Reuters reported. In an alert, the agencies said North Korean hackers used a type of malware that granted them access to protected systems and shared files. The agencies report also included IP addresses linked to the hackers.
ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare
Robert Chesney summarized the 2018 NDAAs provisions on cybersecurity.
Sarah Grant summarized the military commission proceedings at the Nov. 7 hearing in U.S. v. al-Nashiri.
Shannon Togawa Mercer live blogged Attorney General Jeff Sessions testimony before the House Judiciary Committee.
J. Dana Stuster discussed the connections of Saudi Arabias Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salmans power play to conflicts across the Middle East.
Garrett Hinck posted the video and testimony from the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s hearing on the president’s authority to order the use of nuclear weapons.
Alan Rozenshtein analyzed how a bill making tech companies liable for sex trafficking on their platforms could signal a change in online platforms legal responsibility for user content.
Stewart Baker shared the Cyberlaw Podcast, featuring discussions with Nicholas Weaver about the re-emerging encryption debate and with Michael Sulmeyer about the NDAA.
Evelyn Douek overviewed the European Unions efforts to fight fake news.
Vincent Vitkowsky reviewed Jeremy Rabkin and John Yoos book on emerging weapons and the law of war.
Vanessa Sauter shared the Lawfare Podcast, featuring an interview between Benjamin Wittes and Cass Sunstein on Sunsteins book Impeachment: A Citizens Guide.
Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.
|theresa may on putin and russia – Google Search|
BBC News–Nov 13, 2017
Theresa May has launched her strongest attack on Russia yet, accusing Moscow of meddling in elections and carrying out cyber espionage.
May Says UK to Retaliate Against Russian Election Meddling
Bloomberg–Nov 14, 2017
Theresa May accuses Russia’s President Putin of ‘planting fake …
International–Telegraph.co.uk–Nov 13, 2017
The Guardian view on Theresa May and Russia: keep pouring the …
Opinion–The Guardian–21 hours ago
Russian politicians dismiss PM’s ‘election meddling’ claims
In-Depth–BBC News–22 hours ago
Theresa May warns Russia over election meddling and vows to …
International–The Independent–Nov 13, 2017
New York Times–16 hours ago
Prime Minister Theresa May on Monday warning that Russia is threatening “the international … He is not going to raise human rights with Putin.
The Guardian–Nov 13, 2017
Theresa May says on Monday the government would maintain its commitment to protecting Europe after Brexit as she accused Russia of …
Business Insider–7 hours ago
Theresa May told Russian President Vladimir Putin that Britain “knows” … LONDON — Twitter accounts based in Russia posted 45,000 tweets …
Russia used Twitter bots and trolls ‘to disrupt’ Brexit vote
Highly Cited–The Times–17 hours ago
The Guardian–2 hours ago
Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump talk at a summit in Da Nang, Vietnam, … Theresa May’s speech at London’s Guildhall this Monday included a …
MediaPost Communications–Nov 14, 2017
Theresa May Shows Trump How To Call Out Putin On Fake News … The Russians are trying to interfere in our politics and infrastructure to …
|Russia is meddling in western politics as it has nothing to lose – The Guardian|
|The Early Edition: November 15, 2017|
Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions appeared before the House Judiciary Committee yesterday and maintained that he had always told the truth about connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, saying that he had no recollection of a campaign round-table at which the aide George Papadopoulos was present until he saw the news reports and added that he had pushed back against the aides suggestion of a meeting between Trump and the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Matt Apuzzo and Nicholas Fandos report at the New York Times.
Sessions addressed the apparent discrepancies between his recent recollections and his previous testimonies about Trump-Russia connections. Democrats on the committee questioned Sessions on his interactions with Papadopoulos and the former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser Carter Page, who had testified before the House Intelligence Committee over a week ago and said that he had told Sessions of his plan to travel to Moscow in 2016. Matt Zapotosky and Sari Horowitz report at the Washington Post.
The four key points from Sessions hearing are provided by Amber Phillips at the Washington Post.
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) asked Sessions about the dossier alleging connections between the Trump campaign and Russia, Jordan drawing attention to the Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee (D.N.C.) partially funding the dossier, the F.B.I.s apparent payment of the author of the document the former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele and the apparent cooperation between the Democratic Party and the federal government to secure a warrant to spy on Trump campaign officials; Sessions responded that the apparent connections were not enough basis to appoint a special counsel. Aaron Blake explains at the Washington Post, saying that the Attorney Generals comments would probably irk the president.
The F.B.I. is scrutinizing more than 60 money transfers the Russian foreign ministry sent to embassies around the world to finance election campaign of 2016, it is not clear how the funds were used by the embassies and the Russian embassy and foreign ministry have denounced the story. Jason Leopold, Anthony Cormier and Jessica Garrison reveal at BuzzFeed News.
The co-founder of opposition research firm Fusion G.P.S., Glenn Simpson, appeared before the House Intelligence Committee yesterday in a closed session, the firm was behind the controversial Steele dossier and a lawyer for Simpson criticized the Trump administration for its attempts to discredit Fusion G.P.S., Olivia Beavers reports at the Hill.
Russias lower house unanimously voted in favor of legislation allowing the government to designate international media outlets as foreign agents today, making the move after the Russian state-funded R.T. television channel complied with a request from the U.S. Justice Department to register as a foreign agent. Vladimir Isachenkov reports at the AP.
Did Sessions changing testimony amount to perjury? Jan Wolfe provides an analysis at Reuters.
Republicans on the Judiciary committee attempted to deflect from the Russia investigations and Sessions hearing was dominated by his inability to recall events that one would think most people would, the New York Times editorial board writes, asking what else are you forgetting, Mr. Attorney General?
Its hard to overstate the mind-blowing stupidity of Donald Trump Jr.s posts on Twitter about his communications with WikiLeaks, an organization that was affiliated with the Russians during the 2016 presidential election, Jill Filipovic writes at CNN.
The Attorney General Jeff Sessions confirmed that he had directed Justice Department prosecutors to evaluate the concerns raised by Republicans about Clinton, an Obama-era uranium deal with Russia and other issues in his testimony to the House Judiciary Committee yesterday. Katie Bo Williams reports at the Hill.
A decision to appoint a special counsel to investigate former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Clinton-related issues would shatter post-Watergate norms and would suggest that the Justice Department has been further politicized and weaponized by the Trump administration. To date, Sessions has largely resisted Republican pressure to appoint a special counsel, but he has been put in a difficult position, Peter Baker explains at the New York Times.
The demands for Clintons prosecution are profoundly inappropriate and degrading to democracy, the Justice Department must commit to the rule of law in the face of the political pressure from the president and his allies, the Washington Post editorial board writes.
CYBERSECURITY, PRIVACY AND TECHNOLOGY
Around one-sixth of U.S. government computers have been using software produced by the Russia-based Kaspersky Lab, the assistant secretary for cyber-security and communications at the Department for Homeland Security (D.H.S.) Jeannette Manfra said yesterday, adding that federal agencies have until Dec. 12 to remove the software which has been connected to Russian intelligence operations. Paul Sonne reports at the Wall Street Journal.
The Trump administration is expected to publicly release revised rules on disclosing cyber security flaws today, according to an anonymous officials, the rules intend to aid agencies in weighing the balance between maintaining secrecy and the need to warn manufacturers about possible breaches. Dustin Volz reports at Reuters.
The British Prime Minister Theresa May and the Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy separately claimed that Russian operatives had intervened in European elections, May accused Russia of attempting to sow discord through online and media campaigns, and Rajoy said that Russian bots spread fake news about Spain during Catalonias independence referendum last month. William Booth and Michael Birnbaum report at the Washington Post.
The chief of Britains National Cyber Security Center warned yesterday that Russian hackers have tried to carry out cyber-attacks in the U.K. in a summary of a speech to be delivered today, making the comments following a speech by Theresa May targeting Russia for its interference. David D. Kirkpatrick reports at the New York Times.
Theresa May offered the appropriate response to Putin and Russias interference in western democracies, an approach that sharply contrasts with President Trump. Andrew Rosenthal writes at the New York Times.
China will send a special envoy to North Korea and reopen a channel of dialogue with Pyongyang, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced today, a week after Trump visited China and urged President Xi Jinping to exert more pressure on North Korea; however it is unclear how much Pyongyangs nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program will feature in discussions. Simon Denyer reports at the Washington Post.
He should know that he is just a hideous criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people, North Koreas state Rodong Sinmun newspaper said today about President Trump, responding the insults Trump leveled at the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The AFP reports.
A war with North Korea would end in a nuclear holocaust, the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte warned yesterday, making the comments at the last day of the A.S.E.A.N. summit and following Trumps 12-day tour of Asia. Al Jazeera reports.
The U.N. General Assemblys Human Rights Committee approved a resolution condemning North Korea for serious human rights violations yesterday and its decision to divert resources from civilians to developing its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles program. Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.
The Trump administration unfroze Yemens central bank funds yesterday, allowing the Saudi-backed Yemeni administration to service its debt and resume salary payments, the measure forms part of U.S. efforts to counter Irans influence in Yemen and the region. Katrina Manson reports at the Financial Times.
The Saudi-led coalition bombed an airport in Yemens capital of Sanaa yesterday, according to Yemeni officials, the capital is held by the Houthi rebels and the U.N. stated that most of the airport remained intact and would not impact humanitarian operations. Ahmed Al-Haj reports at the AP.
Houthi officials claimed that the attack on the airport was intended to disrupt humanitarian efforts and said that the air strike destroyed a radio navigation system crucial for coordinating aid shipments. Al Jazeera reports.
The Lebanese President Michel Aoun said today that Saudi Arabia have detained the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, adding that the action was in violation of the Vienna agreements and human rights law. Hariri unexpectedly resigned on Nov. 4 from the Saudi capital of Riyadh in a televised announcement, Reuters reports.
Saudi Arabia is set to be the second country to acquire a T.H.A.A.D. anti-missile defense system from the U.S. defense company Lockheed Martin, a senior executive of the company said yesterday, the announcement coming amid increased Saudi-Iran tensions and a ballistic missile that was launched at the capital of Riyadh by Yemens Houthi rebels on Nov. 4. Aya Batrawy reports at the AP.
Saudi Arabias Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans approach to domestic and foreign affairs has led to debate around the region about his motivations, with some analysts believing that his bold actions including the ongoing Yemen war, an escalating in tension with Iran, and an intervention in Lebanese politics reflect his conviction that he has the support of President Trump. Ben Hubbard and David D. Kirkpatrick provide an analysis at the New York Times.
The Syrian Kurdish P.Y.D. political party today welcomed Defense Secretary Jim Mattis comments earlier this week saying that the U.S. forces should play a longer-term role in Syria, even after the Islamic State group has been defeated. Reuters reports.
The Turkish foreign ministry said yesterday that the U.S. Defense Departments approach to an agreement between the Syrian Kurdish Y.P.G. militia and Islamic State militants was appalling, saying that the agreement for the Islamic State militants to withdraw from the city of Raqqa, which was reported by the BBC at the weekend, was extremely troubling. Reuters reports.
The bombing of a Syrian market in the rebel-held town of Atareb earlier this week shows that Turkey, Russia and Iran are not effective guarantors of de-escalation zones, at least 61 people were killed by a series of airstrikes according to Syrian Civil Defense search-and-rescue volunteers. Philip Issa reports at the AP.
The Russian defense ministry appeared to rely on photographs from a video game to provide irrefutable evidence that the U.S. cooperated with Islamic State militants in a series of tweets yesterday, the ministry deleted the tweets once the origins of the evidence were thrown into question and blamed the incident on a civilian employee. Shaun Walker reports at the Guardian.
U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 10 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on November 12. Separately, partner forces conducted one strike against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]
The Zimbabwean military have deployed tanks on the streets of the capital Harare in an apparent coup against President Robert Mugabe, the military have denied that they are staging a military takeover and claimed that Mugabe was safe. The CNN provide rolling coverage of the situation.
Debate over President Trumps ability to authorize an unprovoked nuclear attack has caused division among senators, a session on authorization was held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee yesterday, Karoun Demirjian explains at the Washington Post.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Myanmars leader Aung San Suu Kyi today and said that the U.S. would consider evidence based sanctions against individuals responsible for violence against the Rohingya Muslim minority. Esther Htusan reports at the AP.
The House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly in favor of a nearly $700bn defense policy bill, Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (I.C.T.Y.) is set to give its verdict on the former Bosnian Serb general Ratko Mladic who has been accused of war crimes, Daria Sito-Sucic reports at Reuters.
A U.S.-funded media outlet has been started a campaign to counter the Islamic State groups recruitment in Central Asia, Jessica Donati and Nathan Hodge report at the Wall Street Journal.
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee confirmed Trumps nominee to head the Department of Homeland Security (D.H.S.) yesterday, Kirstjen Nielsen is a cybersecurity expert and served under White House Chief of Staff John Kelly when he led the D.H.S., Morgan Chalfant reports at the Hill.
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) issued a blistering attack on Trumps nominee to be the general counsel of the Department of Transportation, saying yesterday that Steven Bradburys attempts to justify torture during the Bush administration should disbar him from consideration. Andrew Desiderio reports at The Daily Beast.
The Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte praised China today for its critical role in the campaign against Islamic State-affiliated militants in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, comments that may not be well-received by the U.S. and Australia who support the operation from its early stages. Karen Lema and Martin Perry report at Reuters.
Trumps 12-day adulation tour of Asia was closer to a pilgrimage than a projection of power, David Ignatius writes at the Washington Post, saying that the president failed to articulate U.S. policy, failed to stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin, and gave space for China to expand its influence in the region and the world.
|Donald Trump: We will be reciprocal – Google Search|
U.S. News & World Report–17 hours ago
… any Indo-Pacific nation that wants to be our partner and that will abide by the principles of fair and reciprocal trade,” Trump said. “What we will …
Trump’s APEC Speech Holds Few Answers For Regional Allies
In-Depth–TIME–Nov 10, 2017
Trump, Xi Offer Asia Business Leaders Divergent Paths
In-Depth–Voice of America–Nov 10, 2017
Bloomberg–Nov 14, 2017
President Donald Trump ended his swing through Asia, hailing progress … “The United States has to be treated fairly and in a reciprocal fashion. … “We can‘t have trade deficits of $30, $40, $50 billion; $300 billion in the case …
Trump abruptly concludes Asia tour: ‘We‘ve accomplished a lot’
ABC News–Nov 14, 2017
Trump hails ‘fantastic job’ on Asia tour, but ends it abruptly
International–GMA News–11 hours ago
Analysis: Trump’s trip to Asia is over. Now what?
Opinion–USA TODAY–16 hours ago
Trump returns home from Asia with few clear wins
In-Depth–Politico–18 hours ago
Trump leaves PH, skips East Asia leaders summit
International–ABS-CBN News–Nov 14, 2017
|Mike Flynn – Google News: Ex-Trump aide Mike Flynn says Gulen kidnap allegations ‘false’ – BBC News|
Mike Flynn – Google News
|This is How Grown-Ups Deal With Putin|
As a candidate, Trump blamed President Barack Obama for the annexation of Crimea and even hinted he might recognize the seizure. “I’m going to take a look at it,” Trump said on ABC in August 2016. “But, you know, the people of Crimea, from what I’ve heard, would rather be with Russia than where they were. And you have to look at that, also.”
The Kremlin, you may recall, also said the people of Hungary and Czechoslovakia wanted Soviet tanks to crush their democracy movements a half-century ago and that it was invited into Afghanistan.
Far from denouncing Putin’s continuous assaults on human rights and free speech in Russia, Trump has praised him as being a better leader than Obama.
And he gave a pass to the world’s autocrats in his United Nations speech this fall, telling them “you should always put your countries first.”
“The nation-state remains the best vehicle for elevating the human condition,” Trump said, just the sort of message that dictators like Putin have been wanting to hear from the United States for decades.
So much for being the leader of the free world.
Contrast Trump’s behavior not just with May’s, but also that of Ronald Reagan, who was viscerally opposed to Communism and entered office determined to bring down the Soviet empire.
Reagan came to believe that Mikhail Gorbachev was trying to contract, not expand, Soviet power. But he never lost sight of the Russian threat to the West and kept up the pressure even as he developed a relationship with Gorbachev aimed at keeping the world safe from Russia, not at keeping Russia safe from the world.
Reagan and Gorbachev came tantalizing close in 1986 to agreeing on nuclear disarmament. Trump wants to have more nuclear weapons and has threatened to use them.
Trump studiously avoids talking about human rights in Russia (and Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines, among others).
In February, when Bill O’Reilly pointed out to Trump that Putin is “a killer,” the president replied: “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What, do you think our country’s so innocent?”
(Note to Trump: Look up the phrase “false equivalence” during a commercial break on “Fox & Friends.”)
In October, Trump’s administration waived human rights requirements and approved the sale of $5 billion sale of fighter planes to Bahrain.
Asked about this disturbing trend on Nov. 2, Trump’s national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said: ““How much does it help to yell about these problems?”
A lot, actually, like when Reagan went to Berlin and yelled: “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.”
|** Is the FBI capable of handling the counterintelligence matters , in its present structure, and as…|
Is the FBI capable of handling the counterintelligence matters , in its present structure, and as a matter of personnel selection, their education, training, and the FBIs institutional culture? The record does not look impressive. Is there something struc…
|Gunman Kills Four, Wounds Child at School in California Shootings|
RED BLUFF, Calif. — A gunman killed four people and wounded a number of others at random Tuesday at multiple locations in rural Northern California, including an elementary school, before police shot him dead, authorities said.
Two hospitals said they were treating seven people, including at least three children.
No children were killed, Tehama County Assistant Sheriff Phil Johnston said. The shooter, who has not been identified, was fatally shot by police after engaging two officers who returned fire at an intersection in the community of Rancho Tehama Reserve, about 130 miles north of Sacramento, Johnston said.
“We really don’t have any idea what his motive was at this time,” Johnston said. The first calls of a shooting came in at around 7:52 a.m. and it was all over in around 45 minutes, he said. During the rampage the gunman fired into an elementary school, he said.
“It was very clear at the onset that we had an individual that was randomly picking targets,” Johnston said.
“Essentially, with this individual after the initial shooting, he is reportedly took a vehicle and went on a shooting rampage throughout the community,” Johnston said at an afternoon press conference. At one point the gunman crashed the first vehicle, robbed another person of his vehicle before he was shot by police.
Brian Flint told the Record Searchlight newspaper in the city of Redding that his neighbor, whom he knows only as Kevin, was the gunman and that his roommate was among the victims. He said the shooter also stole his truck.
“The crazy thing is that the neighbor has been shooting a lot of bullets lately, hundreds of rounds, large magazines,” Flint said. “We made it aware that this guy is crazy and he’s been threatening us.”
Authorities have recovered a semi-automatic rifle and two handguns after the shootings in the rural subdivision described on its website as a “quiet private country community” where “the people are friendly and the pace is relaxed.”
Jeanine Quist, an administrative assistant with the Corning Union Elementary School District, said no one was killed at the school with kindergarten through fifth grades.
The gunman shot the child in the vehicle as the child was being driven to school, Johnston said. Their vehicle passed the gunman’s and “he opened fire on them without provocation or warning,” Johnston said. The child, who was in the back seat, did not suffer life-threatening injuries but the child’s mother suffered life-threatening injures, he said.
At the school, “the shooter targeted the school from outside the school and shot into the school, multiple rounds,” Johnston said.
Three people were being treated at a hospital in Redding, about 50 miles north of the shootings, Mercy Medical Center spokeswoman Marcy Miracle said. She declined to provide other details about the victims or their injuries.
Four others, including three children, were being treated at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, about 50 miles southeast of the shootings, hospital spokeswoman Nicole Johansson said.
The gunman has a history with law enforcement, and Johnston said authorities are aware of a report that he was involved in a domestic violence incident on Monday.
California Gov. Jerry Brown said he and his wife, Anne, are saddened by the shooting that “shockingly involved schoolchildren.”
Brown offered their condolences to the families who lost loved ones and said they are united with all Californians in grief.
|California shooting: At least 4 people dead in Tehama County|
Police fatally shot the attacker after reports of at least seven shooting scenes, including an elementary school, Johnston said.
The violence started with an apparent domestic dispute, according to neighbors, and spread out with the suspect “randomly picking targets,” Johnston said.
The Corning Union Elementary School District said part of the shooting spree occurred at Rancho Tehama Elementary School.
“This is a sad day for us here in Tehama County,” Johnston said.
“Anne and I are saddened to hear about today’s violence in Tehama County, which shockingly involved schoolchildren,” Gov. Jerry Brown said in a statement. “We offer our condolences to the families who lost loved ones and unite with all Californians in grief.”
Some students were transported to hospitals by helicopter, and others were moved to safe locations, the assistant sheriff’s said.
At least one student was shot at the elementary school, and another child was shot in a truck along with an adult female, Johnston said.
Three children and an adult are being treated at Enloe Medical Center in Chico, officials said. Their conditions were not available.
Police were still trying to get an accurate count of the injured, Johnston said.
A semi-automatic rifle and two handguns believed to be used by the gunman, who engaged police in a shootout, have been recovered, according to Johnston.
The school district was cooperating with local law enforcement, according to its statement. No other details were available.
The shooting apparently did not start at the school.
The sheriff’s office said it has requested Department of Justice evidence investigation teams. The California Highway Patrol and FBI also were assisting.
|california shootings – Google Search|
CNN–1 hour ago
(CNN) At least five people are dead, including the gunman, after a shooting Tuesday in Northern California’s Tehama County, Assistant Sheriff …
At least 4 dead after gunman ‘randomly picking targets’ shoots at …
Washington Post–22 minutes ago
At least 5 dead in apparent random shootings near California …
ABC News–2 hours ago
Multiple People Killed in Northern California Mass Shooting
<a href=”http://Snopes.com” rel=”nofollow”>Snopes.com</a>–41 minutes ago
5 dead at multiple shooting locations in N. California county …
Highly Cited–Los Angeles Times–2 hours ago
UPDATE: No children among five killed in Rancho Tehama shooting
Highly Cited–Redding Record Searchlight–1 hour ago
<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>–1 hour ago
RED BLUFF, Calif. — A gunman killed four people and wounded a number of others at random Tuesday at multiple locations in rural Northern …
|The World Web News | World-web-news.com – News and Information Service – Video and Sound|
|1:12 PM 11/13/2017 Is the FBI capable of handling the counterintelligence matters? by Michael Novakhov|
Is the FBI capable of handling the counterintelligence matters, in its present structure, and as a matter of personnel selection, their education, training, and the FBI’s institutional culture? The record does not look impressive. Is there something structurally wrong? Would the new forms of the workforce organization be helpful? Should the Counterintelligence Services and Forces be grouped directly … Continue reading“1:12 PM 11/13/2017 – Is the FBI capable of handling the counterintelligence matters? – by Michael Novakhov “
|The Secret Correspondence Between Donald Trump Jr. and WikiLeaks – The Atlantic|
|The Early Edition: November 14, 2017|
Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.
Donald Trump Jr. communicated with WikiLeaks during the 2016 presidential campaign via direct messages on Twitter, the messages advised Trump Jr. of the launch of a Political Action Committee (P.A.C.) run website that would draw attention to connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. Trump Jr. responded to the message saying that he was unaware of the P.A.C. or the website but offered to ask around and emailed top Trump campaign officials that WikiLeaks had made contact, Julia Ioffe reveals at the Atlantic.
WikiLeaks was behind the leak of damaging Democratic Party emails during the 2016 campaign, the U.S. intelligence community concluded that WikiLeaks was acting as a conduit for Russian operatives when it published the hacked emails. Trump Jr. published screenshots of a selection of his conversations with WikiLeaks on Twitter last night and the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Twitter that he could not confirm whether his group had corresponded with Trump Jr. Michael S. Schmidt and Nicholas Fandos report at the New York Times.
Strongly suggest your dad tweets this link if he mentions us, the WikiLeaks account wrote to Trump Jr. and included a link to hacked documents from the Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta; although Trump Jr. did not answer, shortly after the message, Trump senior tweeted about WikiLeaks and the information it had revealed about the Democratic Party. Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman report at the Washington Post.
The communication had been handed over to congressional investigators by Trump Jr.s lawyers and the presidents son sought to play down his contact with WikiLeaks, referring to his whopping 3 responses which one of the congressional committees has chosen to selectively leak. Sophie Tatum reports at CNN.
The Vice President Mike Pence was never aware of anyone associated with the campaign being in contact with WikiLeaks, Pences press secretary said in a statement yesterday, marking another instance where the Vice President has sought to distance himself from the investigations into Russian interference during the election campaign. Matthew Nussbaum reports at POLITICO.
The C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeos remarks about Russian interference in the election have sought to silence former C.I.A. officers, however former officers must have the space to speak out about threats to national security. Three former C.I.A. officers Cindy Otis, Ned Price and John Sipher write at the New York Times.
The Russian-backed R.T. television station registered as a foreign agent in the U.S. with the Department of Justice yesterday, the channel was described as Russias state-run propaganda machine by the U.S. intelligence agencies in a report published in January 2017. Jack Stubbs and Ginger Gibson report at Reuters.
TRUMP ASIA TRIP
Human rights issues were largely ignored during Trumps tour of Asia, the president has not yet mentioned the situation in Myanmar, he did not challenge Chinese President Xi Jinpings authoritarianism or the Philippine President Rodrigo Dutertes extrajudicial war on drugs, and his neglect of human rights reflected the approach he took when visiting leaders in the Middle East in May. David Nakamura and Emily Rauhala explain at the Washington Post.
Trump stayed largely on message during the 12-day trip, which many were concerned would take its toll on the president. Jonathan Lemire and Jill Colvin provide an overview of the visit at the AP.
While the trip went better than expected, and Trumps speech in South Korea was particularly well-received, expectations were low and confusion remains over the Trump administrations strategy in the region. Julian Borger explains at the Guardian.
The six key takeaways from Trumps trip, which ended today, are provided by Dan Merica at CNN.
Trumps Asia trip has been at times a disaster, at times a farce, his cozy relationship with autocratic leaders and his unbelievable comments about Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian interference in the 2016 election reveals what happens when a very big nation is led by a very small man. Eugene Robinson writes at the Washington Post.
The U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises currently taking place are creating the worst ever situation prevailing in and around the Korean Peninsula, North Koreas ambassador to the U.N. Ja Song Nam said in a letter the Secretary-General yesterday, stating that the three U.S. aircraft carriers present were taking up a strike posture. The naval exercises began on Sunday and lasted for four days. Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.
It will be realistically difficult for North Korea to completely destroy its nuclear capabilities when their nuclear and missile arsenal are at a developed stage, the South Korean President Moon Jae-in said today, saying that negotiations could be held with all options open. Christine Kim reports at Reuters.
The U.S.s top North Korea negotiator Joseph Yun arrived in South Korea today to help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, Josh Smith reports at Reuters.
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a hearing today on the Presidents sole authority to launch nuclear weapons, the hearing coming amid concerns about the presidents bellicose approach to North Korea. Jim Acosta and Barbara Starr report at CNN.
The U.S. will fight the Islamic State group in Syria as long as they want to fight, the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday, saying that the U.S. militarys longer-term objective was the prevention of the Islamic State group returning and added that it was important to support a diplomatic solution to the civil war in Syria. Phil Stewart reports at Reuters.
At least 53 people were killed by three airstrikes on the rebel-held town of Atareb in northern Syriayesterday according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, it is not clear whether the Syrian government or Russia were responsible for the strikes, and the town was meant to be protected by a de-escalation zone. The BBC reports.
Russia has not promised to ensure the withdrawal of pro-Iranian forces in Syria, the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was quoted as saying by the R.I.A. news agency today, Reuters reporting.
The Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdogan discussed the future of Syria in talks yesterday in the Russian city of Sochi, the two countries have supported opposite sides in the conflict but the two leaders hailed their cooperation in Syria and their joint support for de-escalation zones. Vladimir Isachenkov reports at the AP.
Before meeting with Putin, Erdogan criticized the U.S. and Russia for their approach to Syria, saying that if the two countries agreed that a military solution was not the answer, then they should withdraw their troops from Syria. Al Jazeera reports.
Islamic State militants and their families were able to escape from the city of Raqqa in a secret deal that neither the U.S.-led coalition nor the Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) want to admit any involvement in, the BBC reveals.
Russia said today that it has been talking to the U.S. about the U.N. Security Council renewing the mandate of the inquiry looking into chemical weapons attacks in Syria, however the U.S. has said that Russia has refused to engage on its draft resolution. Michelle Nichols reports at Reuters.
U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 10 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on November 12. Separately, partner forces conducted one strike against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]
The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution stating that military assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen was not authorized by the 2001 or the 2003 Authorizations for Use of Military Force (A.U.M.F.s), the vote was largely symbolic but signals frustration with the lack of scrutiny of U.S. military engagements abroad. Gregory Hellman reports at POLITICO.
Saudi Arabias ambassador to the U.N. denied that there has been an embargo on Yemen, saying yesterday that there are many sources of supply to Yemen and that the restrictions were a temporary procedure that lasted a few days in response to the launch of a ballistic missile by Yemeni Houthi rebels at the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Nov. 4. The AP reports.
A suicide bomb in Yemens southern port city of Aden killed at least six people yesterday, according to residents, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack. Mohammed Mukhashaf reports at Reuters.
Kuwait today expressed support for Lebanons sovereignty and efforts to overcome the delicate situation that was triggered when Lebanons Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigned on Nov. 4 in televised comments broadcast from Saudi Arabias capital of Riyadh; Hariri cited the destructive role of Iran and its Hezbollah allies in Lebanon as the reason behind his decision. Reuters reports.
Iran hopes that Hariri would return to Lebanon and continue as prime minister if Lebanese laws allow, the top adviser to Irans Supreme Leader Ali Akbar Velayati said today, also denying that Hariri had resigned after a tense meeting with him in Beirut. Reuters reports.
An overview of the role the Iran-backed Lebanese militant Hezbollah group plays in Lebanon and the region, and Saudi Arabias desire to restrict its activities, is provided by Erika Solomon at the Financial Times.
Saad Hariris announcement that he would return to Lebanon soon and Saudi Arabias announcement that it would reopen ports in Yemen suggest that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been trying to walk back the escalations in the two countries. Zeina Karam explains at the AP.
Hariris resignation and the ensuing crisis in Lebanon has set the stage for future confrontations in the Middle East, Ishaan Tharoor provides an analysis at the Washington Post, referring to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, the Saudi-Iran rivalry, the complex relationships in the region and the war in Yemen.
The U.N.s International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) certified that Iran has not been violating the provisions of the 2015 nuclear agreement in a report issued yesterday, strongly suggesting that Iran has been honoring its commitments. George Jahn reports at the AP.
The European Union has no plans to discuss new sanctions on Iran, the E.U. foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said yesterday, adding that the issue was not on the agenda when she discussed the Iran nuclear deal at a series of meetings in Washington last week. Laurence Norman reports at the Wall Street Journal.
The Justice Department said yesterday that prosecutors are considering whether to appoint a special counsel to investigate the Clinton Foundation, an Obama-era uranium deal with Russia and other Clinton-related issues. An investigation would raise questions about the impartiality of federal investigations and the role of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has come under repeated criticism from the president, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman report at the New York Times.
A new defense pact was agreed by 23 European Union countries yesterday in an effort to boost defense cooperation, the E.U. foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said that it was a historic day that meant the E.U. could develop its military capabilities to reinforce its strategic autonomy. Julian E. Barnes and Robert Wall report at the Wall Street Journal.
Venezuela is an increasingly violent narco-state, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said yesterday at an informal session that was boycotted by Russia, China, Egypt and Bolivia and denounced by Venezuelas U.N. ambassador. Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.
The U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May accused Russia of meddling in elections and spreading disinformation in a speech yesterday, saying that Russia has attempted to undermine western democracies and that the U.K. would do what is necessary to protect ourselves, and work with our allies to do likewise. Rowena Mason reports at the Guardian.
At least 22 police officers were killed in a Taliban attack in Afghanistans southern province of Kandahar, officials said today, Reuters reporting.
Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain show no signs that they want to reach a solution to the Gulf crisis, Qatars Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said today, referring to the Saudi-led blocs isolation of Qatar on June 5 due to its alleged support for terrorism and ties to Iran. Reuters reports.
Palestinian officials rejected a report by an Israeli new outlet that claimed that Saudi Arabia had ordered the Palestinian Authority leader President Mahmoud Abbas to accept U.S. peace efforts or resign, a spokesperson for the Fatah party saying that the Palestinian position and the Saudi position are aligned. Al Jazeera reports.
Trumps latest travel ban partially went into effect yesterday after a ruling by the U.S. appeals court in California, Lawrence Hurley reports at Reuters.
|Spain sees Russian interference in Catalonia separatist vote – Reuters|
|Taking Putin’s Word For It|
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|8:47 AM 11/13/2017 Russias Election Meddling Is Another American Intelligence Failure The New Yorker: Members of Congress should pay special attention to the F.B.I., which conducts counterintelligence in the United States but which, according to most insiders I interviewed recently, is not up to the job of detecting and countering Russian disinformation.|
The Cabal against Clinton: Giuliani, Bannon and the FBI New York bureau (part 2 of 2) 4:33 PM 5/7/2017 – Recent Posts: WATCH: Comey admits FBI investigating leaks to Giuliani and Trump team To add some comments to this very good and straightforward article, in my humble opinion. The situation is further complicated by the … Continue reading“8:47 AM 11/13/2017 Russias Election Meddling Is Another American Intelligence Failure The New Yorker: “Members of Congress should pay special attention to the F.B.I., which conducts counterintelligence in the United States but which, according to most insiders I interviewed recently, is not up to the job of detecting and countering Russian disinformation.””
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