1:45 PM 11/30/2017 – Trump Wants to Install a Reliable Mouthpiece on Russia at the CIA – Mother Jones

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Today’s Headlines and Commentary
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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Trump Wants to Install a Reliable Mouthpiece on Russia at the CIA – Mother Jones
 

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Mother Jones
Trump Wants to Install a Reliable Mouthpiece on Russia at the CIA
Mother Jones
In Cotton, who reportedly wants the CIA job, President Donald Trump would install at the intelligence agency one of the most vocal supporters of his efforts to dismiss the Trump campaign’s suspected collaboration with the Kremlin in an effort to 
Donald Trump’s aides ‘terrified’ over President’s mental health, says Art of the Deal co-authorThe Independentall 226 news articles »

Today’s Headlines and Commentary
 

mikenova shared this story from Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices.

The Trump administration plans to instate Mike Pompeo, the current director of the CIA, as secretary of state within the next few weeks, the New York Times reportsSen. Tom Cotton, a republican from Arkansas, would replace Pompeo as CIA director. The transition would conclude a contentious year for Tillerson, who has come under public scrutiny for the mass departure of State Department officials during his tenure. Cotton has been regarded as a strong supporter for President Donald Trump in the Senate on issues related to national security and immigration. His departure would open up another seat in the 2018 midterm elections.

On Wednesday, the U.N. Security Council convened for an emergency meeting to address North Koreas launch of an intercontinental ballistic missileaccording to the Washington Post. Despite condemnation of Pyongyangs missile launch, permanent members of the Security Council remain divided. Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., called for tougher actions against Pyongyang. China and Russia both suggested less aggressive action against North Korea, with Russia calling for the United States to halt its scheduled military drill next month in an effort to prevent the crisis from escalating.

Trump announced a plan to implement stricter sanctions against the North following a phone conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Post reports. Xinhua, Chinas state media outlet, reported that Xi is committed to denuclearizing Pyongyang and establishing a peaceful settlement, though Chinas cooperation on sanctions remains unclear as the country continues to be a significant economic partner to the isolated North Korean regime.

Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III met with Jared Kushner earlier in November as part of Muellers investigation into possible collusion between the Russian government and the Trump campaign, CNN reports. Sources said Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, was a focus of the conversation between Kushner and Muellers team. Reports suggest Flynn may be discussing a possible plea deal, as grand jury testimony connected to Muellers investigation has been postponed and Flynns lawyers have stopped sharing information with Trumps legal team.

Trumps retweets of anti-Muslim videos that a British nationalist group published have sparked public tension between Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May, the Post reports. Mays office stated that Trumps promotion of the videos was wrong and supported the hateful narrative of a far-right British fringe group. The Dutch government also responded to Trumps series of tweets, stating that one of the videos, which alleged to show a Muslim migrant injuring a Dutch boy on crutches, was a mischaracterization: Facts do matter. The perpetrator of the violent act in this video was born and raised in the Netherlands. He received and completed his sentence under Dutch law. Trump responded to Mays rebuke on Twitter, though he targeted the wrong Twitter account for the British prime minister.

On Thursday, an Israeli settler shot and killed a Palestinian man who the Israeli army says was throwing rocks at a group of hikers in the village of Qusrah in the West Bank, Reuters reports. The incident marks the first fatality in the West Bank in several months. The Israeli military said the shooting was in self-defense; locals said there had been no clash before the shooting.

U.S. special operations fighters will now carry freeze-dried blood plasma in their first-aid kits, according to the Associated Press. Freeze-dried plasma can be quickly used to clot blood following battlefield injuries, potentially reducing the number of casualties. The use of freeze-dried plasma was first seen in World War II, but U.S. forces stopped its use after outbreaks of hepatitis. Special operations forces are temporarily using plasma supplied by the French as Telefex, Inc., an American medical device company partnering with the Army to supply plasma, seeks Food and Drug Administration approval by 2020.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Orin Kerr and Benjamin Wittes hosted a Facebook live with initial reactions following oral argument in Carpenter v. United States.

Paul Rosenzweig defended the mosaic theory in light of Carpenter v. United States oral argument.

Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh reviewed Judge David Barrons Waging War.

Cameron Kerry discussed how the Cyber Diplomacy Act of 2017 could strengthen international cybersecurity efforts.

Yishai Schwartz provided an update on military commission proceedings in United States v. al-Nashiri. 

Shannon Togawa Mercer posted the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments Reauthorization Act of 2017.

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.

Sick Puppy Kim – Google Search
 

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Story image for Sick Puppy Kim from Politico

Trump: North Korea’s Kim a ‘sick puppy

Politico20 hours ago
Trump, after saying the GOP tax proposal would serve as “rocket fuel” for the American economy, took a passing shot at Kim, whom he again derided as “Lil’ Rocket Man.” “He is a sick puppy,” Trump told a cheering crowd of supporters. The remarks come on the heels of Pyongyang’s latest test of an …
Is North Korea’s Nuclear Test a Sign of Hope?
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The Latest: Trump calls North Korea’s Kim ‘a sick puppy
In-Depth<a href=”http://seattlepi.com” rel=”nofollow”>seattlepi.com</a>20 hours ago

Media image for Sick Puppy Kim from The Hill (blog)

The Hill (blog)

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USA TODAY

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Daily Mail

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Washington Examiner

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Breitbart News

Trump raises heat on Pyongyang, calls Kim ‘sick puppy

The Korea Herald9 hours ago
Trump raises heat on Pyongyang, calls Kim ‘sick puppy‘. By Choi He- … At a rally in Missouri, Trump referring to Kim as a “sick puppy,” adding a new insult to those that have been hurled from both sides. Trump has in the past referred to Kim as “Rocket Man,” and implied that he was “short and fat” in a tweet.
White House readies plan to replace Tillerson with Pompeo at State, install Cotton at CIA – The Washington Post
 

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The White House has readied a plan to oust embattled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has become one of the most personally loyal and politically savvy members of President Trump’s national security team, two administration officials confirmed Thursday.

The plan, hatched by White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, is expected to be set in motion over the next few weeks, and has broad support within Trump’s inner circle, the officials said. But it was unclear whether Trump had signed off on the plan yet, and the president has been known to change his mind about personnel and other matters before finalizing decisions with public announcements.

Under the plan, Pompeo would likely be replaced at the CIA by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), one of Trump’s most steadfast defenders and a confidant to some leading members of the foreign policy team, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the White House has not publicly announced the moves.

Why won’t Trump stand up to Putin? – Boulder Weekly
 

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Boulder Weekly
Why won’t Trump stand up to Putin?
Boulder Weekly
Yes like him! Take that strange bromance he’s got going with his presidential counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The two recently had a private tête-á-tête, after which our president said that Russia’s president had vehemently denied U.S. intelligence 
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Susan Collins: ‘No Reason To Be Concerned’ That Trump Is Unhinged
 

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But the Maine GOP senator says it’s not “helpful” that he promotes racist conspiracy theories.

Donald Trump Makes Fun Of Asian Leaders Who Hosted Him
 

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The president did his own imitation as he promoted GOP tax legislation.

Factbox: Five Facts About Tom Cotton, Trump’s Likely Pick for CIA – U.S. News & World Report
 

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U.S. News & World Report
Factbox: Five Facts About Tom Cotton, Trump’s Likely Pick for CIA
U.S. News & World Report
Cotton, 40, is a staunch Trump ally who has vigorously opposed the Iran nuclear deal. He served one term in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate in 2014 as part of a Republican wave. Cotton sits on the Intelligence Committee  

White House readies plan to replace Tillerson with Pompeo at State, install Cotton at CIA
 

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White House readies plan to replace Tillerson with Pompeo at State, install Cotton at CIA

The White House has readied a plan to oust embattled Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who has become one of the most personally loyal and politically savvy members of President Trump’s national security team, two administration officials confirmed Thursday. The plan, hatched by White House Chief of Staff John […]

This Is What Mueller Probably Wanted To Know From Jared Kushner About Mike Flynn
 

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Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s questioning of Jared Kushner earlier this month suggests that he has incriminating evidence implicating Kushner in the ongoing probe into Russian collusion in the 2016 election, experts say.

President Donald Trump’s son in law met behind closed doors with the investigative team to discuss former national security adviser Michael Flynn, sources familiar with the meeting told multiple mediaoutlets.

But the real target may be Kushner himself because Flynn has likely given up some important information about Kushner’s involvement with Russians. Flynn has likely accepted a plea deal and is cooperating with Mueller, experts say.

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“I’m sure Flynn gave them information about Kushner and they wanted to test that information before it became apparent that Flynn was cooperating, because it was less likely [Kushner] would cooperate after it became clear that Flynn was probably accepting a plea deal,” Nick Akerman, an assistant special prosecutor during the Watergate investigation, told Newsweek.

“Flynn probably gave them very specific information about Kushner’s activities. If you get information about Kushner that is incriminating the first thing you do is call his lawyer and say ‘I want to speak with your client,’” Akerman continued.

One source told CNN that Mueller’s team spoke to Kushner to see if he had information that could exonerate Flynn.

But Akerman says it’s likely the special counsel is investigating Kushner’s involvement in helping the Russians use data analytics to target voters via social media during the 2016 election. Kushner’s handling of emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, which may have been presented to Kushner and the President’s son Donald Trump Jr during a meeting with a Russian lawyer in the Trump tower in June last year, could also be an issue of special interest.

Meanwhile, others suggest that the Mueller investigation might want to know why and how Flynn became involved in the Trump transition team.

“Kushner apparently had a role in bringing Flynn onto the transition after [New Jersey Governor Chris] Christie was pushed out,” Andy Wright, a former associate counsel to President Barack Obama and a professor at Savannah Law School, told Newsweek. “Part of that could be tracing Flynn’s inclusion into the inner circle and know what Flynn represented in terms of his business contacts and contacts with Russia and Turkey.”

Kushner also failed to mention meetings with foreign representatives when being screened for a security clearance, which alone is a reason to launch an investigation, Wright added.

Kushner has been a person of interest in the special counsel’s investigation into Russian meddling, and in the Senate Judiciary Committee’s separate investigation into the same matter. Even before Mueller took over the Russia investigation, the FBI was looking into Kushner’s roles on the Trump campaign and the Trump transition team.

Still, experts say the focus on Flynn mimics the Special Counsel’s focus on former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort before Manafort’s indictment.

And it all comes as Flynn’s legal team recently informed the president’s lawyers that they could no longer talk strategy during the investigation, an indication that Flynn is cooperating or taking a deal that could affect Trump or other officials.

Trump calls Chinese envoy to North Korea ineffectual
 

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Trump calls Chinese envoy to North Korea ineffectual

President Trump in a tweet Thursday morning said that North Korea’s recent missile launch showed that the Chinese envoy who just returned from the country seems to have had no impact on Little Rocket Man. On Wednesday, North Korea launched its third and most advanced intercontinental ballistic missile, which experts now believe could reach the […]

Donald Trump Attacks China For Having ‘No Impact On Little Rocket Man’
 

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While offering no details of his own plan for North Korea, Trump has pinned much of the responsibility on China, which experts say will do little to solve the crisis.

Israel & the South Caucasus
 

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To ordinary observers, the South Caucasus region might not appear high in Israel’s foreign policy agenda. First, the geographic distance matters as none of the three states, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and Georgia, border on Israel itself. Moreover, the region is also a hotbed of ethnic fighting with three ongoing separatist conflicts in South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh further complicating political stability. However, the South Caucasus’ strategic location, which lies between Central Asia and eastern Europe, and connects Russia with the Middle East, has drawn a number of regional players to seek larger influence on the territory. Those regional players are usually Turkey, Russia and the European Union and this, by virtue of logic, would negate any potential influence Israel could have in the region.

Over the past year, Israel has intensified its foreign policy moves towards each of the South Caucasian states. Each country is interesting to Israel for specific reasons. For example, with Georgia, Israel had had extensive military contacts when the Georgian army was largely supplied with specific Israeli military technologies before 2008. However, the Russo-Georgian war in August 2008 stopped Israeli exports as Russia was particularly angry at having a small neighbor with much-advanced military capabilities.

Beyond military ties, Georgia is also interesting for Israel from the economic point of view: Israeli investments play an important role in Georgia’s economy. Moreover, due to its geopolitically important location, Georgia has several large ports on its Black Sea shore which could easily be used for commercial and military purposes.

With Armenia, Israeli’s relations have been somewhat distant over the past decade or so. This largely conditioned Israel’s rather intensive ties with Yerevan’s two biggest geopolitical rivals, Azerbaijan and Turkey. However, recently, there was a certain shift in the bilateral relations when a senior Israeli official visited Yerevan. Tsachi Hanegbi, Israel’s Minister for Regional Cooperation, visited Armenia on July 25-26 for talks with senior Armenian officials. Hanegbi has been a key figure in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ruling Likud party and has held various ministerial positions for the past two decades. Hanegbi said that his visit was intended as a step forward in relations to make Armenia-Israeli “friendship mutually beneficial in many fields.” What is more important it was the first visit by a senior Israeli official to Armenia since 2012.

One of the major bones of contention between Armenia and Israel has been Israeli-supplied arms to Azerbaijan. The supplies played an important role in last year’s “April war” between Armenia and Azerbaijan. After Azerbaijan took several frontline posts in a surprise attack on April 2, 2016, Armenian forces undertook a counteroffensive. But Israeli-supplied Harop suicide drones and Spike anti-tank missiles helped Azerbaijani forces thwart that counterattack.

This brings us to Israel-Azerbaijani relations. In late 2016, reports were circulated that Baku was planning to buy Israeli “Iron Dom” capabilities to better counter potential Armenian attacks. Beyond those military ties, Azerbaijan has also been important to Israel for its large natural resources and how the country could potentially, in case of need, become Israel’s major oil-supplier.

Thus, Israel’s relations with each of the three South Caucasian states depends on specific economic and military interests. Each of the states has different relations with larger neighbors such as Russia or Turkey, and the Israeli diplomacy has to navigate in this difficult political arena, where a misstep could deteriorate Israel’s ties with Turkey or Russia.

However, beyond that there could also be another incentive as to why Israel’s diplomacy has become more active over the past year or so in regards to the South Caucasus. And the reason for this is Iran.

Historically, from Achaemenids to the Sasanians and the 17th-18th centuries, Iran, under various dynasties, aspired to achieve a major role in the South Caucasus. When, after the Cold War, sanctions were placed against Tehran’s nuclear program, Iran was constrained in expanding its role in the above-mentioned region.

One might think that Iran’s recent economic and diplomatic successes with regards to Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armenia could have driven Israel’s quite diversified foreign policy towards each of the South Caucasus states.

Emil Avdaliani

30 November 2017 18:14

mike pompeo – Google Search
 

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Story image for mike pompeo from Vanity Fair

It’s “All but a Done Deal”: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo …

Vanity Fair1 hour ago
The who’s-next-at-State soap opera appears to be moving to a denouement, with Mike Pompeoeclipsing Nikki Haley as Rex Tillerson’s likely successor, multiple current and former State Department staffers tell me. Diplomats are bracing themselves for the rumored shakeup that would see the current C.I.A. …

Story image for mike pompeo from Business Insider

The White House has a plan to replace Rex Tillerson with CIA …

Business Insider1 hour ago
The Trump administration has devised a plan that would replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, The New York Times reported on Thursday. Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton, a Republican and staunch Trump ally, would reportedly replace Pompeo at the CIA. White House Chief …

White House to replace Rex Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, officials say

Spectrum News14 minutes ago
WASHINGTON — The White House is discussing a plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with CIA director Mike Pompeo. That’s according to two administration officials. They were not authorized to publicly discuss internal thinking and spoke on condition of anonymity. U.S. officials and …

Story image for mike pompeo from Politico

Pompeo emerges as favorite to succeed Tillerson

PoliticoNov 15, 2017
President Donald Trump has turned his daily intelligence briefing — a routine that in previous administrations has been a dry, formal affair — into a free-flowing conversation during which he peppers his CIA director, former House member Mike Pompeo, with questions about everything from national …
mike pompeo – Google Search
 

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Its All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department
 

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Left, Mike Pompeo testifies on Capitol Hill in May; Right, Rex Tillerson during an event at the White House in October.

Left, from REX/Shutterstock; Right, by T.J. Kirkpatrick/Bloomberg/Getty Images.

The who’s-next-at-State soap opera appears to be moving to a denouement, with Mike Pompeoeclipsing Nikki Haley as Rex Tillerson’s likely successor, multiple current and former State Department staffers tell me. Diplomats are bracing themselves for the rumored shakeup that would see the current C.I.A. director supplant the former ExxonMobil executive as early as January. According to one source, there is already a candidate chosen to assume the helm of the spy agency in Pompeo’s stead.

While Tillerson has dismissed the narrative that he has considered resigning, his controversial 10-month tenure appears to have accelerated looming changes in Foggy Bottom. Several diplomats I spoke to believe that the cake is largely baked. “The working knowledge here is that Tillerson will be leaving in late January and Pompeo will be coming in as quickly as he can following that,” a current State Department staffer told me. Diplomats believe that the C.I.A. chief is more than open to the move. “I will call it all but a done deal,” one former diplomat said, adding that according to a source familiar with the conversations involving Pompeo, the C.I.A. chief’s replacement has already been selected. Though they declined to identify them by name, this person noted the expected nominee to lead the intelligence agency is a retired military officer who has not previously worked at the C.I.A.

A State Department spokesperson referred me to previous comments dismissing widespread rumors that the secretary has imminent plans to leave. The C.I.A. did not respond to a request for comment.

Pompeo’s own tenure has not been without controversy. The former Kansas congressman has faced accusations of politicizing the traditionally nonpartisan intelligence agency and prioritizing his loyalty to Donald Trump over the findings of the intelligence community. Notably, Pompeo came under fire for comments he made about Russian interference in the 2016 election and found himself publicly at odds with his predecessor John Brennan. (Pompeo did publicly break with the president on this issue, stating that he agrees with the conclusion of the U.S. intelligence community that the Kremlin sought to derail Hillary Clinton’s candidacy, but he has also entertained alternate conspiracy theories promoted by the president.)

Still, Pompeo could prove an improvement at the State Department, which Tillerson has been busy dismantling. Morale within the agency is at an all-time low: more than 100 senior diplomatic officershave left since January, and applications to the Foreign Service have fallen by more than 50 percent. Part of the hollowing-out has been at the direction of the White House, which has called for massive cuts to the State Department budget. But much of the agency’s listlessness is the result of Tillerson’s strained relationship with Trump. (Sources cited the decision not to send senior State Department officials to accompany the U.S. delegation to the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in India this week, led by First Daughter Ivanka Trump, as evidence of further tensions between Tillerson and the White House.) Pompeo, who is well-known on Capitol Hill and is friendly with Trump, Secretary of Defense James Mattis, and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, might prove a more effective interlocutor and advocate.

Pompeo has also chafed at the restrictions inherent in running the C.I.A., where he has been expected to be neither seen nor heard. “I think part of it is he has signaled his frustrations with his current job, which would make the transition much easier,” the second State Department staffer said. “He is already a willing participant to move over to state, which he sees as a much easier, much better job for him in terms of what he wants to do.”

Appointing a retired military officer to serve as Pompeo’s successor at the spy agency also fits with a broader pattern of Trump tapping battle-tested officers to serve as his top advisers. As his administration has evolved, Trump has demonstrated an impulse to name individuals to his Cabinet with the appearance of being straight out of “central casting”—most notably in regards to his national security team. Kelly and Mattis are both retired four-star generals; Trump’s National Security Adviser, H.R. McMaster, is an active duty officer who boasts three stars; Mike Flynn, McMaster’s short-lived predecessor, was a retired three-star general, and Pompeo graduated first in his class at West Point before serving as an officer in the United States Army.

Of course, as with all rumblings of Trump administration shake-ups, this one should be taken with a grain of salt. Mere weeks ago, ambassador Haley was widely viewed as waiting in the wings to take over State. Only after a deluge of denials from Haley that she had her sights set on Tillerson’s post did Pompeo emerge as the reported front-runner for the job. And another senior State Department staffer is not yet putting too much stock in the Pompeo rumors. “The succession thing to me is just chatter at the moment,” they told me. But the source conceded that arguably any replacement would be an improvement. “I hate to say it, but I think almost anything would be better than what we have,” they added. “It is just where the bar is.”

It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department – Vanity Fair
 

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Vanity Fair
It’s All but a Done Deal: Insiders Expect CIA Director Mike Pompeo to Take Over the State Department
Vanity Fair
A State Department spokesperson referred me to previous comments dismissing widespread rumors that the secretary has imminent plans to leave. The C.I.A. did not respond to a request for comment. Pompeo’s own tenure has not been without controversy. The and more »

Kushner Reportedly Met With Mueller’s Team (VIDEO)
 

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Jared Kushner reportedly met with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team at some point in November.

Mueller is leading an investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Sources told CNN that Mueller’s team spent the majority of the meeting asking Kushner questions about former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn resigned in February after he misled Vice President Mike Pence about communications he had with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. before President Donald Trump took office.

Flynn appears to be a key part of Mueller’s investigation. The New York Times reports Mueller’s team questioned Kushner about a December 2016 meeting between him, Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

Related StoryRobert Mueller's Team Has Requested Documents From The DOJRobert Mueller’s Team Has Requested Documents From The DOJ

It’s unknown how much of Mueller’s investigation — if any — is centering on Kushner. But he’s already been somewhat of a focus in other Russia investigations taking place on Capitol Hill.

He’s spoken with both the Senate and House intelligence committees, and he turned over documents from the campaign and the transition to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Kushner reportedly handed over similar documents to Mueller’s team.

Mueller’s office did not comment to media on the meeting. Kushner’s lawyer said in a statement that his client “has voluntarily cooperated with all relevant inquiries and will continue to do so.”

Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn – Newsy
 

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Newsy
Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn
Newsy
Share Video. 00:00. 00:00. Kushner’s Meeting With Mueller’s Team Reportedly Focused On Flynn. By Katherine Biek November 30, 2017. ShareTweetEmail · SMS. By Katherine Biek November 30, 2017. Jared Kushner reportedly met with special counsel Robert 
Jared Kushner interviewed by special counsel’s officeCBS News
Special counsel delays grand jury testimony amid signs of Flynn deal talksCNNall 114 news articles »

Trump Completely Botches New York Times Attack Over Tax Bill Tweets
 

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“The president is mistaken,” tweeted Clifford Levy, the paper’s deputy managing editor.

All-time rifle : See the iconic Kalashnikov 1948 prototype
 

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Just Security
 

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

NORTH KOREA

The U.S. called for the international community to suspend diplomatic ties with North Korea and further isolate the regime at an emergency U.N. Security Council session yesterday, following North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (I.C.B.M.) on Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley also said that the council could revoke Pyongyang’s U.N. privileges and voting rights, demand that countries expel North Korean laborers and impose sanctions on its crude oil imports. Farnaz Fassihi reports at the Wall Street Journal.

“We have never sought war with North Korea, and still today we do not seek it,” Haley said yesterday, adding that if a war comes “make no mistake – the North Korean regime will be utterly destroyed.” Zachary Cohen reports at CNN.

Trump spoke to Chinese President Xi Jinping by phone yesterday and urged Xi to apply more pressure on Pyongyang, Trump saying in a tweet after their conversation that “additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea today. This situation will be handled!” China’s state Xinhua news agency reported that Xi told Trump that China is committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Simon Denyer reports at the Washington Post.

“Little Rocket Man, he is a sick puppy,” Trump said yesterday at a public event in Missouri, referring derogatorily to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.

Russia’s ambassador to the U.N. Vassily Nebenzia urged the U.S. and South Korea to refrain from holding military drills next month, saying at the Security Council session yesterday that all concerned parties should “stop this spiral of tension.” Reuters reports.

The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called on North Korea to “desist from taking any further destabilizing steps,” in a statement issued on Tuesday by Guterres’ spokesperson, separately the top U.N. political affairs official urged all Security Council members yesterday to unite “to prevent an escalation.” The UN News Centre reports.

North Korea fired a “Hwasong-15” I.C.B.M. and its capabilities have caused alarm among missile experts, Anna Fifield explains at the Washington Post.

North Korea’s test of the Hwasong-15 I.C.B.M. appeared calibrated to avoid provoking a U.S. military response and was a demonstration of Pyongyang’s status as a nuclear armed state, analysts have said. Andrew Jeong and Jonathan Cheng explain at the Wall Street Journal.

The fact that North Korea fired the I.C.B.M. late at night suggests a broader strategy, demonstrating that it could launch a missile at any time and from anywhere with little warning, Adam Taylor observers at the Washington Post.

A U.S.-Canada hosted international meeting in January on North Korea would try to “come up with some better ideas” to deal with the threat, Canadian officials said yesterday, David Ljunggren reporting at Reuters.

President Trump is the “first president who’s been able to get the attention of the Chinese who are actually squeezing the North Koreans as we speak,” the Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said in an interview broadcast yesterday, praising the president for his handling of the situation and expressing hope that the U.S. could avoid a war in the region. Mallory Shelbourne reports at the Hill.

“Is it time to accept that North Korea will never give up its nuclear arms, and try to reach a deal to stop its arsenal growing further?” Mark Landler and Choe Sang-Hun explain at the New York Times that this is the question that must be addressed “sooner or later” by the U.S. and its allies following the latest missile test.

The toughest sanctions on North Korea have not yet been imposed and the latest U.N. sanctions are being slowly implemented, there is still more economic pressure that the U.S. can put on Pyongyang and China can do much more to rein in the regime. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

The latest missile test could “signal a chance for a new diplomatic opening,” many have considered that North Korea would not enter into serious negotiations until the regime has achieved its nuclear ambitions, therefore now may be the chance to pursue dialogue. The New York Times editorial boardwrites.

A Cold War strategy of “mutually assured destruction” has a different dynamic when it comes to North Korea depending on what the U.S. seeks to achieve and what it prioritizes, nevertheless it has been made clear that Kim Jong-un has not been deterred by the increased pressure over the past few months and the direction of travel seems to be in favor of the U.S. accepting that North Korea would have nuclear capability. David E. Sanger writes at the New York Times.

The missile test has reiterated seven critical truths, including the fact that North Korea is a nuclear power now and probably has the ability to strike Washington D.C. and New York, Max Fisher explains at the New York Times.

The prospect of a new Korean war should be taken seriously, it is unlikely that more economic pressure would drastically change their behavior, it would be better to “try talking” to avoid a precarious situation. Nicholas Kristof writes at the New York Times.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner met with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team earlier this month as part of Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to two sources familiar with the matter, and Mueller’s team questioned Kushner about the former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Gloria Borger, Pamela Brown, Evan Perez and Kara Scannell report at CNN.   Continue Reading »

Trump-Russia: Jared Kushner ‘questioned about Michael Flynn’ – BBC News
 

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BBC News
Trump-Russia: Jared Kushner ‘questioned about Michael Flynn’
BBC News
President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been questioned by special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators about former top White House aide Michael Flynn, US media reports say. The investigators reportedly wanted to know if Mr Kushner had 
Mueller’s Prosecutors Are Said to Have Interviewed Jared Kushner on Russia MeetingNew York Times
The latest TrumpRussia investigation news, explainedVox
Jared Kushner: Donald Trump’s son-in-law reportedly meets with Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation teamThe Independent
USA TODAY –The Guardian –CNN –Wall Street Journal
all 102 news articles »
Lavrov: Trump’s Russia policy similar to Obama’s – The Times of Israel
 

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The Times of Israel
Lavrov: Trump’s Russia policy similar to Obama’s
The Times of Israel
But after the US Congress approved new economic sanctions against Moscow over its alleged meddling in the 2016 USpresidential electionPutin in July ordered drastic cuts in US staff in retaliation. In August, Trump grudgingly signed what he called a and more »

US financial intelligence collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite – https://en.crimerussia.com/
 

mikenova shared this story from Putin and the Russian Mafia – Google News.

US financial intelligence collects data on foreign assets of Russian elite
https://en.crimerussia.com/
As The CrimeRussia previously reported, the Ministry of Finance, in consultation with the Director of National Intelligence and the US Secretary of State, shoult provide an open report on the oligarchs and parastatal organizations of the Russian 

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