1:23 PM 12/31/2017 – 2017: The Age Of Trump

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Trump will stay in check till 2020. He’ll also stay in office – San Francisco Chronicle
Is the current special counsel investigation comparable to Watergate? – Lewiston Sun Journal
Editorial: A momentous year – Carolinacoastonline
Donald Trump aide told Australian diplomat Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton during ‘night of heavy drinking’ – South China Morning Post
Trump’s base holds firm in industrial heartland – Financial Times
Donald Trump aide’s booze-fuelled admission to Alexander Downer ‘helped spark FBI probe into Russian election … – ABC Online
Ivanka Trump may be going to prison after all
For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency – New York Times
Trump will stay in check till 2020. He’ll also stay in office – San Francisco Chronicle
2018: What’s next for Russia and the UK? – CBS News
Old Man Winter is ringing in the New Year with Arctic blast – CBS News
Virginia man arrested, charged with attempting to obstruct terrorism investigation – Washington Post
For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency – New York Times
trump and intelligence community – Google News: Former Watergate prosecutor: ‘Conspiracy,’ not collusion, is main issue in Russia investigation – The Hill (blog)
Palmer Report: Now we know why Donald Trump has been desperately trying to create a distraction
Palmer Report: Ivanka Trump caught up in diamond and money laundering scheme
Palmer Report: Robert Mueller strikes back
Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News: Australian diplomat helped persuade FBI to investigate Russian election meddling: report – Chicago Tribune
russia helping trump – Google News: How a wine with Alexander Downer allegedly sparked the Russia probe consuming US politics – ABC Online
Report: Papadopoulos, Not Dossier, Sparked Russia Investigation – New York Magazine
Former CIA officer blasts Trump over attacks on FBI – The Hill
Emails Investigation Reopening – Google News: Justice watchdog interviewed ‘dozens’ in Comey probe – Kaplan Herald
Trump personality profile – Google News: 14 Bombshell Reports That Showed The Power Of Great Journalism In 2017 – HuffPost
trump money laundering – Google News: We now know the tipping point that prompted the FBI to open its Trump-Russia investigation – Business Insider
Trump: I use social media to ‘fight’ back against media – The Hill

 

Saved Stories – None
Trump will stay in check till 2020. He’ll also stay in office – San Francisco Chronicle


San Francisco Chronicle
Trump will stay in check till 2020. He’ll also stay in office
San Francisco Chronicle
One of the interesting twists of Trump’s first year is that the very system he wanted to tear down coming into office has kept him from going down in flames himself. He can hurl all the insults and threats he wants at North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, but the 
Trump’s 2017, in 17 tweetsCNN

all 1,056 news articles » 

and more »

Is the current special counsel investigation comparable to Watergate? – Lewiston Sun Journal

Is the current special counsel investigation comparable to Watergate?
Lewiston Sun Journal
This was internal politics, not espionage or even influence of a foreign power. The FBI remained largely independent of political influence back in 1972. The Department of Justice, not so much, but it was functionally ethical in the end. Today the 

and more »

Editorial: A momentous year – Carolinacoastonline

Editorial: A momentous year
Carolinacoastonline
We may never know if Trump colluded with the Putin regime to win the 2016 election, says Mr. Graham, but we already know that pro-Hillary/anti-Trump politics corrupted the Obama Justice Department’s response. Partisan FBI agents, one with a wife

and more »

Donald Trump aide told Australian diplomat Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton during ‘night of heavy drinking’ – South China Morning Post


South China Morning Post
Donald Trump aide told Australian diplomat Russia had dirt on Hillary Clinton during ‘night of heavy drinking’
South China Morning Post
The FBI reportedly launched its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 US election after George Papadopoulos, then a foreign policy adviser to Donald Trump, told an Australian diplomat that Moscow had damaging information about Hillary Clinton 
NYT: Former Trump campaign adviser told Australian diplomat Russia had dirt on ClintonCNN
REVEALED: UK and Australia’s role in setting up Donald Trump inquiry into Russia collusionExpress.co.uk
FBI’s Donald Trump Russia probe was ‘sparked by drink in London wine bar’Telegraph.co.uk
The Sun –Mirror.co.uk –ABC Online
all 110 news articles »
Trump’s base holds firm in industrial heartland – Financial Times


Financial Times
Trump’s base holds firm in industrial heartland
Financial Times
Macomb County, Michigan, helped put Donald Trump into the White House and it could help keep him there for a second term local supporters are delighted with the president’s performance despite a chaotic and turbulent first year. Earlier this month 

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Donald Trump aide’s booze-fuelled admission to Alexander Downer ‘helped spark FBI probe into Russian election … – ABC Online


SBS
Ivanka Trump may be going to prison after all

Ivanka Trump may be going to prison after all

Ivanka Trump may be going to prison after all

Ivanka Trump is facing serious legal trouble

For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency – New York Times


New York Times
For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency
New York Times
Mr. Trump is the 45th president of the United States, but he has spent much of his first year in office defying the conventions and norms established by the previous 44, and transforming the presidency in ways that were once unimaginable. Under Mr 
In a 30-minute interview, President Trump made 24 false or misleading claimsWashington Post

The 7 biggest political turning points during Trump’s first year as presidentVox

all 410 343 news articles »

Trump will stay in check till 2020. He’ll also stay in office – San Francisco Chronicle


San Francisco Chronicle
Trump will stay in check till 2020. He’ll also stay in office
San Francisco Chronicle
One of the interesting twists of Trump’s first year is that the very system he wanted to tear down coming into office has kept him from going down in flames himself. He can hurl all the insults and threats he wants at North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, but the

2018: What’s next for Russia and the UK? – CBS News


CBS News
2018: What’s next for Russia and the UK?
CBS News
“Sunday Morning” begins the New Year with a look ahead based on events of the year gone by, reported by CBS News correspondents from around the world, including correspondent Elizabeth Palmer, reporting from Moscow: In the Russiancapital there is an 
Putin urges USRussia cooperation in New Year telegram to TrumpAOL
In surprise, Trump maintains many Obama-era Russia policiesThe Hill
In holiday message to Trump, Putin looks forward to ‘cooperation’ in 2018NBCNews.com
Toronto Star –Fox News
all 274 news articles »
Old Man Winter is ringing in the New Year with Arctic blast – CBS News


CBS News
Old Man Winter is ringing in the New Year with Arctic blast
CBS News
The bone-chilling cold is causing havoc across much of the country, from traffic accidents to some New Year’s Eve celebrations being canceled. And it’s expected to last into next week. The subzero temperatures have left Niagara Falls covered in ice 
Freezing temperatures transform Niagara Falls into a winter wonderlandSacramento Bee
Could Niagara Falls completely freeze?Atlanta Journal Constitution
Ice-covered Niagara Falls, a spectacular winter attractionBuffalo News
Ottawa Citizen –Toronto Sun –CHCH News
all 23 news articles »
Virginia man arrested, charged with attempting to obstruct terrorism investigation – Washington Post


NBCNews.com
Virginia man arrested, charged with attempting to obstruct terrorism investigation
Washington Post
Federal authorities arrested and charged a Sterling, Va., man with attempting to obstruct a terrorism investigation on Friday, accusing him of acting in a manner that was indicative of an individual planning and researching how to conduct an attack 
Virginia man accused of obstructing terrorism investigationFox News
Sterling man arrested in FBI investigation of possible ISIS supporterWTOP
Man who allegedly aspired to join ISIS arrested during FBI raidThe Hill
NBC4 Washington –Newsmax –WJLA –Washington Examiner
all 19 news articles »
For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency – New York Times


New York Times
For Trump, a Year of Reinventing the Presidency
New York Times
WASHINGTON When President Trump meets with aides to discuss policy or prepare for a speech, he may ask about the pros and cons of a new proposal. He may inquire about its possible effect. He may explore the best way to frame his case. But there is 
In a 30-minute interview, President Trump made 24 false or misleading claimsWashington Post
The Memo: Trump’s NYT interview sets 2018 stageThe Hill
President Trump turned cable news into must-see TV in 2017Los Angeles Times
The Atlantic– CNBC Breitbart News HuffPost
all 408 CNBCLas Vegas Review-Journal
all 392
 
news articles »
trump and intelligence community – Google News: Former Watergate prosecutor: ‘Conspiracy,’ not collusion, is main issue in Russia investigation – The Hill (blog)


Washington Post

CBS News

 trump and intelligence community – Google News

Palmer Report: Now we know why Donald Trump has been desperately trying to create a distraction

Donald Trump has a surreal habit of trying so desperately to distract from impending bombshells in his Russia scandal, he ends up unwittingly tipping off that they’re coming. The past few days Trump has been trotting out all his greatest hits, attacking everyone from Hillary Clinton to the media to the FBI, in an over the top manner even by his unhinged standards. Now we know why Trump has been so desperate to create a distraction.

On Saturday evening, the New York Times revealed that Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos drunkenly bragged about the Trump-Russia conspiracy to an Australian diplomat in early 2016, and that’s how the FBI first got wind of the treasonous plot (link). In terms of the investigation, this is a stunning development. It confirms that the probe was not originally based on the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, as Trump’s allies have been insisting in recent weeks, but that it was instead based on a Trump adviser’s own mouth.

Trump appears to be particularly thrown off by this story. Just as it was being posted to the NY Times website, Trump tweeted “I use Social Media not because I like to, but because it is the only way to fight a VERY dishonest and unfair press, now often referred to as Fake News Media. Phony and non-existent sources are being used more often than ever. Many stories & reports a pure fiction!”

In other words, Donald Trump is trying harder than ever to push the notion that the damaging stories being reported about him are baseless. This comes even as we’re now seeing that these bombshells are based on the firmest kind of evidence. One of Trump’s own key people got drunk and bragged about the Trump-Russia plot to a diplomat. Evidence doesn’t get any more legitimate than that. No wonder Trump has been so desperate to distract from this story.

The post Now we know why Donald Trump has been desperately trying to create a distraction appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Palmer Report: Ivanka Trump caught up in diamond and money laundering scheme

Another day, another money laundering scheme that just so happens to be tied to Ivanka Trump. We’ve seen it in New York real estate. We’ve seen it in Panama. Now Ivanka has been caught up in an alleged money laundering scheme involving her diamond business, which she conveniently got rid of recently, which involves everything from subpoenas to international intrigue. Oh, and it also conveniently involves Jared Kushner.

This time around the story is that the Commercial Bank of Dubai has subpoenaed Ivanka’s diamond jewelry line, under the premise that the diamonds were used as part of a nine-figure money laundering scheme, according to a GQ report (link). One of the alleged conspirators also just happens to be the guy who introduced Ivanka to Jared Kushner, whom she went on to marry.

This comes not long after the reporting about Ivanka’s involvement with her father’s businesses in Panama, which just happened to be deeply involved in money laundering. And of course Ivanka spearheaded various shady Trump Organization real estate deals with Felix Sater, who has been convicted for money laundering in relation to the Russian mafia. Every time we turn around, Ivanka Trump just happens to be connected to money laundering. It’s clear that (alleged) criminals worldwide are consistently choosing Trump family businesses for their money laundering needs. Either the Trumps are the most naive people in the world, or they actively seek out money launderers, which would mean they’re all going to prison.

Last week, prominent Democrats in Congress began making a concerted effort to publicly connect the dots between Donald Trump and money laundering. Congressman Adam Schiff went on MSNBC and made a point of mentioning Trump and Russian money laundering in the same sentence. Senator Ron Wyden then took to the Senate floor and took a stand on the Treasury Department’s refusal to cooperate with the Russian money laundering investigation into Donald Trump. The Trump family seems to be as synonymous with money laundering as it is with lying and bankruptcy.

The post Ivanka Trump caught up in diamond and money laundering scheme appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Palmer Report: Robert Mueller strikes back

For weeks, a number of prominent Republicans in Congress have been working overtime to dishonestly smear the reputation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller, in the hope of sabotaging his investigation into Donald Trumps Russia scandal. The GOPs primary talking point has been that the investigation and related warrants and arrests are based on the infamous Trump-Russia dossier, a legitimate piece of research thats also been falsely smeared. Now Mueller is striking back by revealing that the investigation originally emanated from an entirely different source: alcohol.

Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos got drunk early in 2016 and bragged about how he was conspiring with Russia to try to rig the election against Hillary Clinton, according to a New York Times report (link). An Australian diplomat heard it and reported him to the FBI, which set the Trump-Russia investigation in motion. It was later taken over by Mueller after Trump illegally fired FBI Director James Comey in the hope of sabotaging the investigation.

While the New York Times has done extensive reporting here on a number of aspects of the Papadopoulos story, make no mistake: the detail about him mouthing off while drunk had to have come from the FBI itself. Moreover, the FBI wouldnt have leaked this information to the media without Mueller signing off on it. The timing makes fairly clear that Mueller is putting this out there specifically to counter the Republican Partys sudden false claim that the investigation originated from the dossier.

Remarkably, this means Robert Mueller and the FBI have been sitting on this detail about George Papadopoulos from the start. Theyre only letting this particular cat out of the bag at this time for strategic reasons. This comes after they managed to keep the arrest of Papadopoulos secret for four months before strategically revealing that as well. Mueller and the FBI have been several steps ahead all along.

The post Robert Mueller strikes back appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News: Australian diplomat helped persuade FBI to investigate Russian election meddling: report – Chicago Tribune


Chicago Tribune
Australian diplomat helped persuade FBI to investigate Russian election meddling: report
Chicago Tribune
An Australian diplomat’s tip appears to have helped persuade the FBI to investigate Russian meddling in the U.S. electionand possible coordination with the Trump campaign, The New York Times reported Saturday. Trump campaign adviser George
How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political DirtNew York Times
Report: Papadopoulos, Not Dossier, Sparked Russia InvestigationNew York Magazine
NYT: Former Trump campaign adviser told Australian diplomat Russia had dirt on ClintonCNN
The Hill (blog) –CBS News –Reuters
all 67 news articles »

 Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News

russia helping trump – Google News: How a wine with Alexander Downer allegedly sparked the Russia probe consuming US politics – ABC Online


ABC Online
How a wine with Alexander Downer allegedly sparked the Russia probe consuming US politics
ABC Online
The newspaper claims Mr Downer had a night of heavy drinking with former Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos in London in May 2016. According to the Times, it was Mr Downer who held his booze better extracting an admission from Mr Papadopoulos 

and more »

 russia helping trump – Google News

Report: Papadopoulos, Not Dossier, Sparked Russia Investigation – New York Magazine


New York Magazine
Report: Papadopoulos, Not Dossier, Sparked Russia Investigation
New York Magazine
… document put together by ex-British spy Christopher Steele, which alleged that Russia interfered in the election and had possible kompromat on President Trump. Republications claim that the dossier is full of misinformation, and that, since the  
Report: Trump aide’s drunken night kicked off Russia investigationVox
 
NYT: Former Trump campaign adviser told Australian diplomat Russia had dirt on ClintonCNN

How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political DirtNew York Times 
Trump aide told Australian diplomat Russia had dirt on Clinton reportThe Guardian
ReutersBusiness Insider
 
FBI Russia probe helped by Australian diplomat tip-off: NYTReuters
The Guardian
 –The Hill (blog)
 
all 84
 
Chicago Tribune
all 65 news articles »
Former CIA officer blasts Trump over attacks on FBI – The Hill

Former CIA officer blasts Trump over attacks on FBI
The Hill
John Sipher, a former officer in the CIA’s clandestine arm, blasted President Trump · Donald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics 

and more »

Emails Investigation Reopening – Google News: Justice watchdog interviewed ‘dozens’ in Comey probe – Kaplan Herald

Justice watchdog interviewed ‘dozens’ in Comey probe
Kaplan Herald
Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz explained the investigation into whether former FBI Director James Comey violated FBI policy when he publicly announced the bureau reopened an investigation into Democratic presidential nominee 

and more »

 Emails Investigation Reopening – Google News

Trump personality profile – Google News: 14 Bombshell Reports That Showed The Power Of Great Journalism In 2017 – HuffPost


HuffPost
14 Bombshell Reports That Showed The Power Of Great Journalism In 2017
HuffPost
The investigation, known as the Paradise Papers, concluded that such assets allowed the high-profile figures and companies to dodge millions of dollars in taxes. One of the most notable findings for U.S. politics is a report that Trump’s Commerce 

and more »

 Trump personality profile – Google News

trump money laundering – Google News: We now know the tipping point that prompted the FBI to open its Trump-Russia investigation – Business Insider


Business Insider
We now know the tipping point that prompted the FBI to open its Trump-Russia investigation
Business Insider
The FBI decided to investigate whether President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia after early foreign-policy adviser George Papadopoulos told a top Australian diplomat that Russia had compromising information on Hillary Clinton, The New York Times 
No less than 9 folks in Trump’s orbit had contact with Russians throughout marketing campaign, transitionKaplan Herald

all 78 news articles »

 trump money laundering – Google News

Trump: I use social media to ‘fight’ back against media – The Hill


The Hill
Trump: I use social media to ‘fight’ back against media
The Hill
His latest tweet came after The New York Times published a report detailing how the FBI came to launch a counterintelligenceinvestigation into the Trump campaign during the 2016 presidential election. That report cites a number of current and former U 

and more »


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11:41 AM 12/30/2017 – Trump is right about the FBI – CNN

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Trump is right about the FBI – CNN

This week in the Trump-Russia investigation Mueller targets big data, the White House prepares to cast Mike Flynn … – Business Insider
Islamic State claims its men planted bomb at St. Petersburg supermarket – Long War Journal
A look back at 2017 – Register Pajaronian
How to Infuriate Thousands Without Really Trying – seattlepi.com (blog)
Is this Robert Muellers holiday surprise? FBI raids home in Northern Virginia
The fruits of crisis: Alabama’s top political stories of 2017 – Gadsden Times
Guidelines for news-watching and staying sane in 2018 – Kansas City Star (blog)
LARB Radio Hour: Masha Gessen on Russia’s Evolution from Soviet Socialism to Putinism – lareviewofbooks
Army recruits now being trained in counter-terrorism – The Indian Express
Trump still wants to mend ties with Moscow Russian ambassador – TASS
Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump and Russia for rigging Michigan and Wisconsin
MSNBC panel names James Comey’s firing Trump’s biggest mistake of 2017: ‘It set in motion two Russiagate … – Raw Story
Donald Trump warns Iran ‘world is watching’ as he condemns arrest of protesters – Telegraph.co.uk
Universal truths about the media in 2017 – Washington Examiner
Despite threatened crackdown, few leakers caught under Trump and Jeff Sessions – Washington Examiner
Alabama Teaches America a Lesson – Patriot Post
Top stories of 2017: Elections bring change – Salisbury Post
Alma Rutgers: Truth is lie, and lie is truth – Greenwich Time
Why Trump’s Middle East negotiator is beating expectations – The Jerusalem Post
Sarah Huckabee Sanders caught using Donald Trumps Twitter account
TV preview: McMafia – Yorkshire Evening Post
Putin power: Dangers abound in ‘the autumn of the autocracy’ – Irish Times
Top story 3: Opioid problem grows into an epidemic during the year – Marietta Times
Did Russiagate Just Escalate Ukraine’s War? – The Real News Network

 

Saved Stories – None
Trump is right about the FBI – CNN


CNN
Trump is right about the FBI
CNN
Some of Trump’s recent criticisms of the agency relate to the alleged activities of FBI special agent Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page. An investigation by the Justice Department’s inspector general revealed that the two exchanged text messages 
Trump and His Allies Spent Christmas Waging War on Our RepublicEsquire.com
Analysis: The quiet probe into Clinton email investigation could be a landmine for Robert MuellerUSA TODAY
Trump, allow special counsel to see Russia investigation through | LettersSun Sentinel 
Washington Examiner

Waco Tribune-Herald World TribuneNewsBusters (press release) (blog)
all 418 TwitterTwitter
all 413
 
news articles »
This week in the Trump-Russia investigation Mueller targets big data, the White House prepares to cast Mike Flynn … – Business Insider


Business Insider
This week in the Trump-Russia investigation Mueller targets big data, the White House prepares to cast Mike Flynn …
Business Insider
Ahead of the New Year, the investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016presidential election remained relatively quiet, as it has since former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s dramatic indictment at  
Mueller Investigation: Did Trump, Kushner and RNC Help Russia Use Big Data to Target US Voters?Newsweek
Mueller is reportedly investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated voter outreach with Russian trollsThe Week Magazine
Letters: Full investigation into election interference will take timeBuffalo News
USA TODAY
 
The 47 most outrageous lines in Donald Trump’s
 New York Times  interviewCNN
Trump: ‘I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department’USA TODAY
Trump: The Media ‘Have to Let Me Win’ in 2020 or ‘Their Ratings Are Going Down the Tubes’Newsweek
 Montana StandardNew York Times
all 384 The Week MagazineABC NewsYahoo
all 313
 
news articles »
Islamic State claims its men planted bomb at St. Petersburg supermarket – Long War Journal


Long War Journal
Islamic State claims its men planted bomb at St. Petersburg supermarket
Long War Journal
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Dec. 27 bombing that wounded 13 people in St. Petersburg, Russia. The explosion was quickly labeled an act of terrorism by Russian officials. Russian President Vladimir Putin described it as 

and more »

A look back at 2017 – Register Pajaronian


Register Pajaronian
A look back at 2017
Register Pajaronian
Anxiety over the results of the November 2016 election, when Donald Trump, a candidate who had a markedly rigid stance on immigration, emerged victorious in the presidential race. Fear in Watsonville’s large undocumented population that their families 

and more »

How to Infuriate Thousands Without Really Trying – seattlepi.com (blog)


seattlepi.com (blog)
How to Infuriate Thousands Without Really Trying
seattlepi.com (blog)
Or maybe it’s because I recently published a book called I am So Sick of White Guys, with a cover illustration of President Trump depicted as a puppet of Russian president Putin. Yeah, that just might be what stirred the hornet’s nest. In fact 

Is this Robert Muellers holiday surprise? FBI raids home in Northern Virginia

Its been famously said that Special Counsel Robert Mueller loves surprises. He likes to catch his suspects and subjects off guard by taking actions they never saw coming. Thats led many to ask if Mueller might be planning a holiday surprise in the Trump-Russia scandal, while everyone involved is distracted. So its notable that the FBI just raided a home in Northern Virginia this evening.

Thus far we only know a handful of details: the FBI raid definitely happened, and it took place in Sterling, Virginia. Donald Trump does own a golf course in that town, but the local TV affiliate is reporting that it took place in a residential area, which rules out the golf course (link). The FBI has previously raided Paul Manaforts home in Northern Virginia, but thats in Alexandria, not in Sterling. Michael Flynn also has a home in Northern Virginia, but its also in Alexandria, and its unlikely his home would be raided after he cut a plea deal. So whats going on?

To be clear, this could be entirely coincidental, and it may have nothing to do with the Trump-Russia scandal. The FBI certainly has plenty of other business to conduct beyond exposing the crimes of Donald Trump and his associates. But it is worth noting that Mueller has run a portion of his investigation out of the federal court district in Virginia which has jurisdiction over this area. In addition, a number of political figures in Washington DC have homes in northern Virginia.

So will this turn out to be something or nothing? We may not know for some time. In addition to loving surprises, Robert Mueller also loves secrecy. So if this is about Trump-Russia, its entirely possible the FBI could leak a cover story to try to distract from it. After all, we didnt learn about the raid of Manaforts house, or the arrest of George Papadopoulos, until long after they took place.

The post Is this Robert Muellers holiday surprise? FBI raids home in Northern Virginia appeared first on Palmer Report.

The fruits of crisis: Alabama’s top political stories of 2017 – Gadsden Times

The fruits of crisis: Alabama’s top political stories of 2017
Gadsden Times
If 2016 proved a year of crisis in state government, 2017 was when the fruits of those crises finally blossomed. The state saw a governor fall and a new senator elected to the U.S. Senate. But there were a host of other matters that will likely 

and more »

Guidelines for news-watching and staying sane in 2018 – Kansas City Star (blog)


Kansas City Star (blog)
Guidelines for news-watching and staying sane in 2018
Kansas City Star (blog)
For political-watchers, news media, political operatives, candidates and officials, 2017 was let’s be honest exhausting. The constant churn of news, the unending assaults on our sense of decency and expectations for government officials, the 

and more »

LARB Radio Hour: Masha Gessen on Russia’s Evolution from Soviet Socialism to Putinism – lareviewofbooks

LARB Radio Hour: Masha Gessen on Russia’s Evolution from Soviet Socialism to Putinism
lareviewofbooks
Wasn’t the collapse of the Soviet Union supposed to herald the dawn of a new era of unfettered freedom, liberal democracy, and the end of history? Instead Russia moved rapidly from Autocratic Socialism to Autocratic Oligarchy. Masha Gessen talks with 

Army recruits now being trained in counter-terrorism – The Indian Express


The Indian Express
Army recruits now being trained in counter-terrorism
The Indian Express
WHILE the basic tenets of military training for the recruits remain the same, the training has now evolved to meet the challenges of sub-conventional warfare, including counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and if necessary anti-naxalite operations 

Trump still wants to mend ties with Moscow Russian ambassador – TASS


TASS
Trump still wants to mend ties with Moscow Russian ambassador
TASS
WASHINGTON, December 30. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump still has plans to mend ties with RussiaRussia’sambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said in an interview with an international Russian-language channel, RTVi. “Judging by the  
Moscow ready to repair ties with US despite ‘regrettable’ security strategy Ambassador to USRT

all 7 news articles » 

and more »

Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump and Russia for rigging Michigan and Wisconsin

For weeks, prominent Republicans in Congress have begun trying to smear Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Now we know why. Earlier this week we learned that Mueller has been investigating the Republican Party’s role in the Trump-Russia scandal. Now we’re learning that Mueller is specifically investigating Trump, the Republican Party, and Russia for their roles in conspiring to rig multiple key swing states in the 2016 election.

Russian trolls micro-targeted voters in Wisconsin and Michigan, feeding them fake political news in order to trick them into voting under false pretenses, thus rigging the outcome of the election in those two states. The trolls in question had the kind of sophisticated knowledge and profiling of specific voters in these states that they almost certainly couldn’t have come up with on their own. Now, according to New York Magazine (link), Mueller is seeking to prove that the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee provided this voter data to the Russians.

This is the most specific confirmation to date that Mueller is indeed seeking to prove that Trump and his Republican allies did in fact rig the outcome of the election by illegally conspiring with Russia to alter the outcome. This will prove that Donald Trump was not legitimately elected President of the United States, and that Hillary Clinton was the rightful winner. It will also be enough to send a swath of people involved, including anyone at the RNC who signed off on this, to prison.

By his own admission, Jared Kushner was deeply involved in the Trump campaign’s voter data analysis effort, which was largely handled by a company called Cambridge Analytica. Steve Bannon ran that company just before he took over the Trump campaign. Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort called Trump just before election day and told him to go to Michigan. Any of these people can provide evidence that Donald Trump was in on the treasonous plot, which is why Robert Mueller is targeting them all.

The post Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump and Russia for rigging Michigan and Wisconsinappeared first on Palmer Report.

MSNBC panel names James Comey’s firing Trump’s biggest mistake of 2017: ‘It set in motion two Russiagate … – Raw Story


Raw Story
MSNBC panel names James Comey’s firing Trump’s biggest mistake of 2017: ‘It set in motion two Russiagate …
Raw Story
According to MSNBC’s Joy Reid and Jonathan Capehart, Trump’s world began to unravel with the single decision to get rid ofComey, because there was a paper-trail revealing why the decision was made. However, Trump tied his own noose, stepped off the 

Donald Trump warns Iran ‘world is watching’ as he condemns arrest of protesters – Telegraph.co.uk


Telegraph.co.uk
Donald Trump warns Iran ‘world is watching’ as he condemns arrest of protesters
Telegraph.co.uk
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly taken aim at Iran, denouncing its government as a “fanatical regime” and accusing it of violating an international agreement aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, refusing to certify its compliance with the 
Donald Trump warns Iran over protest arrestsThe Australian
Donald Trump tells Iran ‘the world is watching’ as thousands take to streets in protestThe Times

all 242 news articles »

Universal truths about the media in 2017 – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
Universal truths about the media in 2017
Washington Examiner
The Washington Post, New York Times, and USA Today still refuse to employ a single columnist that won’t begin each piece with anything less than Mr. Trump, you are a liar! CNN this year had to retract one story and significantly modify a second one

and more »

Despite threatened crackdown, few leakers caught under Trump and Jeff Sessions – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
Despite threatened crackdown, few leakers caught under Trump and Jeff Sessions
Washington Examiner
The Justice Department “has more than tripled the number of active leak investigations compared to the number pending at the end of the last administration, Sessions said at the press conference. But since then, no high-profile case has been brought

Alabama Teaches America a Lesson – Patriot Post


Patriot Post
Alabama Teaches America a Lesson
Patriot Post
Mr. Trump’s political malpractice has been to fail, since his election, to increase his popularity and thus his power. He has a core but it remains a core. He could have broadened his position with a personal air of stability and moderation, and with 

and more »

Top stories of 2017: Elections bring change – Salisbury Post


Salisbury Post
Top stories of 2017: Elections bring change
Salisbury Post
Some 30 people died of opioid overdoses in Rowan in 2016. Totals for 2017 are yet to be reported, but with more addicts using fentanyl, a highly powerful synthetic opioid, the toll likely will be much higher. Fatal overdoses reached 19 in one five 

Alma Rutgers: Truth is lie, and lie is truth – Greenwich Time


PRI
Alma Rutgers: Truth is lie, and lie is truth
Greenwich Time
But here’s the big one, PolitiFact’s choice for Lie of the Year: Russian election interference is a hoax. Trump continually asserts that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election is fake news, a hoax or a made-up story, even though there is widespread 
What do we really know about Russia and the 2016 election?PRI
10 Falsehoods From Trump’s Interview With The TimesNew York Times
In a 30-minute interview, President Trump made 24 false or misleading claimsWashington Post
NPRNew York TimesNew York TimesYahoo
all 411 news articles »
 

and more »

Why Trump’s Middle East negotiator is beating expectations – The Jerusalem Post


The Jerusalem Post
Why Trump’s Middle East negotiator is beating expectations
The Jerusalem Post
Still, despite Greenblatt’s efforts, there remains considerable frustration if not anxiety at the Trump administration’s reluctance to outline a deal. At the same August briefing with reporters, Zomlot wondered where the hell they are going 

and more »

Sarah Huckabee Sanders caught using Donald Trumps Twitter account

Weeks ago, after Donald Trump accidentally confessed to felony obstruction of justice with a particularly stupid tweet, he claimed that his attorney had somehow written the tweet. While he was probably lying about this, it did help to confirm what Palmer Report has been documenting for several months: Trump handlers have been periodically tweeting from his account, trying to impersonate him, and failing to various degrees. Now they’ve become rather brazenly sloppy about it.

On Friday evening, Sarah Huckabee Sanders posted this to the @PressSec account on Twitter: “Reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with the regimes corruption and its squandering of the nations wealth to fund terrorism abroad. The Iranian government should respect their peoples rights including their right to express themselves. The world is watching.” Roughly two hours later, this tweet appeared on the @RealDonaldTrump account: “”Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regimes corruption & its squandering of the nations wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their peoples rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests”

To be clear, this was not a retweet or quoted tweet. This was an instance of Huckabee Sanders tweeting something to the Press Secretary account, and then later copy-pasting it to Donald Trump’s account, making only a handful of minor changes while leaving nearly all of the verbiage intact. How do we know Trump didn’t merely copycat Huckabee Sanders’ tweet? Some will claim that there’s some other theoretically possible explanation for how this happened, but those explanations will be nonsense. It’s clear what happened here.

This comes just two days after Donald Trump inexplicably retweeted a tweet from his social media director, Dan Scavino, which congratulated an Iowa football team for winning a college bowl game. Trump never does this with any team. This occurred within moments of Trump’s account retweeting tweets from Eric and Ivanka Trump. It’s fairly clear what happened here: Scavino used Trump’s account to retweet two of Trump’s children, and in the process, accidentally retweeted his own tweet about football. Why are Trump’s handlers resorting to impersonating him on Twitter? Has his senility become just that severe?

The post Sarah Huckabee Sanders caught using Donald Trump’s Twitter account appeared first on Palmer Report.

TV preview: McMafia – Yorkshire Evening Post


Yorkshire Evening Post
TV preview: McMafia
Yorkshire Evening Post
James Norton stars in a new eight-part series set in the international world of organised crime. Created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins, McMafia is inspired by the bestselling non-fiction book by Misha Glenny. Featuring a distinguished  
War & Peace prince, McMafia heartthrob could James Norton be James Bond too?The Times

all 26 news articles »

Putin power: Dangers abound in ‘the autumn of the autocracy’ – Irish Times


Irish Times
Putin power: Dangers abound in ‘the autumn of the autocracy’
Irish Times
US and European Union sanctions to punish the Kremlin for destabilising Ukraine have prompted Putin finally to abandon plans for Russian-European integration and instead to pivot east and bolster a strategic alliance with China, which shares his
Russia Warns America: Don’t Meddle in Our ElectionsIndependent Journal Review

all 44 news articles »

Top story 3: Opioid problem grows into an epidemic during the year – Marietta Times


Marietta Times
Top story 3: Opioid problem grows into an epidemic during the year
Marietta Times
In November, county voters passed a Behavioral Health Levy after five attempts. Organizers speculated that the local drug crisis probably helped to garner the needed votes. I just think the issue with drugs and mental health is one of the more 

Did Russiagate Just Escalate Ukraine’s War? – The Real News Network


The Real News Network
Did Russiagate Just Escalate Ukraine’s War?
The Real News Network
And Trump has been giving these hawks, who are feeding off Russiagate, bits of what they want. The last bit are these weapons to Ukraine. It’s the only reason for it. It makes no sense. It’s detrimental to our national interests in every other regard

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9:55 AM 12/30/2017 – Mueller targets big data

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This week in the Trump-Russia investigation Mueller targets big data, the White House prepares to cast Mike Flynn … – Business Insider

Islamic State claims its men planted bomb at St. Petersburg supermarket – Long War Journal
A look back at 2017 – Register Pajaronian
How to Infuriate Thousands Without Really Trying – seattlepi.com (blog)
Is this Robert Muellers holiday surprise? FBI raids home in Northern Virginia
The fruits of crisis: Alabama’s top political stories of 2017 – Gadsden Times
Guidelines for news-watching and staying sane in 2018 – Kansas City Star (blog)
LARB Radio Hour: Masha Gessen on Russia’s Evolution from Soviet Socialism to Putinism – lareviewofbooks
Army recruits now being trained in counter-terrorism – The Indian Express
Trump still wants to mend ties with Moscow Russian ambassador – TASS

Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump and Russia for rigging Michigan and Wisconsin

MSNBC panel names James Comey’s firing Trump’s biggest mistake of 2017: ‘It set in motion two Russiagate … – Raw Story

Donald Trump warns Iran ‘world is watching’ as he condemns arrest of protesters – Telegraph.co.uk
Universal truths about the media in 2017 – Washington Examiner
Despite threatened crackdown, few leakers caught under Trump and Jeff Sessions – Washington Examiner
Alabama Teaches America a Lesson – Patriot Post
Top stories of 2017: Elections bring change – Salisbury Post
Alma Rutgers: Truth is lie, and lie is truth – Greenwich Time
Why Trump’s Middle East negotiator is beating expectations – The Jerusalem Post
Sarah Huckabee Sanders caught using Donald Trumps Twitter account
TV preview: McMafia – Yorkshire Evening Post
Did Russiagate Just Escalate Ukraine’s War? – The Real News Network

 

Saved Stories – None
This week in the Trump-Russia investigation Mueller targets big data, the White House prepares to cast Mike Flynn … – Business Insider
 


Business Insider
This week in the Trump-Russia investigation Mueller targets big data, the White House prepares to cast Mike Flynn …
Business Insider
Ahead of the New Year, the investigation into the Trump campaign’s potential collusion with Russia during the 2016presidential election remained relatively quiet, as it has since former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s dramatic indictment at  
Mueller Investigation: Did Trump, Kushner and RNC Help Russia Use Big Data to Target US Voters?Newsweek
Mueller is reportedly investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated voter outreach with Russian trollsThe Week Magazine
Letters: Full investigation into election interference will take timeBuffalo News
USA TODAY
 
The 47 most outrageous lines in Donald Trump’s
 New York Times  interviewCNN
Trump: ‘I have absolute right to do what I want to do with the Justice Department’USA TODAY
Trump: The Media ‘Have to Let Me Win’ in 2020 or ‘Their Ratings Are Going Down the Tubes’Newsweek
 Montana StandardNew York Times
all 384 The Week MagazineABC NewsYahoo
all 313
 
news articles »
Islamic State claims its men planted bomb at St. Petersburg supermarket – Long War Journal
 


Long War Journal
Islamic State claims its men planted bomb at St. Petersburg supermarket
Long War Journal
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the Dec. 27 bombing that wounded 13 people in St. Petersburg, Russia. The explosion was quickly labeled an act of terrorism by Russian officials. Russian President Vladimir Putin described it as and more »

A look back at 2017 – Register Pajaronian
 


Register Pajaronian
A look back at 2017
Register Pajaronian
Anxiety over the results of the November 2016 election, when Donald Trump, a candidate who had a markedly rigid stance on immigration, emerged victorious in the presidential race. Fear in Watsonville’s large undocumented population that their families and more »

How to Infuriate Thousands Without Really Trying – seattlepi.com (blog)
 


seattlepi.com (blog)
How to Infuriate Thousands Without Really Trying
seattlepi.com (blog)
Or maybe it’s because I recently published a book called I am So Sick of White Guys, with a cover illustration of President Trump depicted as a puppet of Russian president Putin. Yeah, that just might be what stirred the hornet’s nest. In fact  

Is this Robert Muellers holiday surprise? FBI raids home in Northern Virginia

Its been famously said that Special Counsel Robert Mueller loves surprises. He likes to catch his suspects and subjects off guard by taking actions they never saw coming. Thats led many to ask if Mueller might be planning a holiday surprise in the Trump-Russia scandal, while everyone involved is distracted. So its notable that the FBI just raided a home in Northern Virginia this evening.Thus far we only know a handful of details: the FBI raid definitely happened, and it took place in Sterling, Virginia. Donald Trump does own a golf course in that town, but the local TV affiliate is reporting that it took place in a residential area, which rules out the golf course (link). The FBI has previously raided Paul Manaforts home in Northern Virginia, but thats in Alexandria, not in Sterling. Michael Flynn also has a home in Northern Virginia, but its also in Alexandria, and its unlikely his home would be raided after he cut a plea deal. So whats going on?

To be clear, this could be entirely coincidental, and it may have nothing to do with the Trump-Russia scandal. The FBI certainly has plenty of other business to conduct beyond exposing the crimes of Donald Trump and his associates. But it is worth noting that Mueller has run a portion of his investigation out of the federal court district in Virginia which has jurisdiction over this area. In addition, a number of political figures in Washington DC have homes in northern Virginia.

So will this turn out to be something or nothing? We may not know for some time. In addition to loving surprises, Robert Mueller also loves secrecy. So if this is about Trump-Russia, its entirely possible the FBI could leak a cover story to try to distract from it. After all, we didnt learn about the raid of Manaforts house, or the arrest of George Papadopoulos, until long after they took place.

The post Is this Robert Muellers holiday surprise? FBI raids home in Northern Virginia appeared first on Palmer Report.

The fruits of crisis: Alabama’s top political stories of 2017 – Gadsden Times
 

The fruits of crisis: Alabama’s top political stories of 2017
Gadsden Times
If 2016 proved a year of crisis in state government, 2017 was when the fruits of those crises finally blossomed. The state saw a governor fall and a new senator elected to the U.S. Senate. But there were a host of other matters that will likely and more »

Guidelines for news-watching and staying sane in 2018 – Kansas City Star (blog)
 


Kansas City Star (blog)
Guidelines for news-watching and staying sane in 2018
Kansas City Star (blog)
For political-watchers, news media, political operatives, candidates and officials, 2017 was let’s be honest exhausting. The constant churn of news, the unending assaults on our sense of decency and expectations for government officials, the and more »

LARB Radio Hour: Masha Gessen on Russia’s Evolution from Soviet Socialism to Putinism – lareviewofbooks
 

LARB Radio Hour: Masha Gessen on Russia’s Evolution from Soviet Socialism to Putinism
lareviewofbooks
Wasn’t the collapse of the Soviet Union supposed to herald the dawn of a new era of unfettered freedom, liberal democracy, and the end of history? Instead Russia moved rapidly from Autocratic Socialism to Autocratic Oligarchy. Masha Gessen talks with  

Army recruits now being trained in counter-terrorism – The Indian Express
 


The Indian Express
Army recruits now being trained in counter-terrorism
The Indian Express
WHILE the basic tenets of military training for the recruits remain the same, the training has now evolved to meet the challenges of sub-conventional warfare, including counter-terrorism, counter-insurgency and if necessary anti-naxalite operations  

Trump still wants to mend ties with Moscow Russian ambassador – TASS
 


TASS
Trump still wants to mend ties with Moscow Russian ambassador
TASS
WASHINGTON, December 30. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump still has plans to mend ties with RussiaRussia’sambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, said in an interview with an international Russian-language channel, RTVi. “Judging by the  
Moscow ready to repair ties with US despite ‘regrettable’ security strategy Ambassador to USRTall 7 news articles »

 and more »

Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump and Russia for rigging Michigan and Wisconsin

For weeks, prominent Republicans in Congress have begun trying to smear Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Now we know why. Earlier this week we learned that Mueller has been investigating the Republican Party’s role in the Trump-Russia scandal. Now we’re learning that Mueller is specifically investigating Trump, the Republican Party, and Russia for their roles in conspiring to rig multiple key swing states in the 2016 election.Russian trolls micro-targeted voters in Wisconsin and Michigan, feeding them fake political news in order to trick them into voting under false pretenses, thus rigging the outcome of the election in those two states. The trolls in question had the kind of sophisticated knowledge and profiling of specific voters in these states that they almost certainly couldn’t have come up with on their own. Now, according to New York Magazine (link), Mueller is seeking to prove that the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee provided this voter data to the Russians.

This is the most specific confirmation to date that Mueller is indeed seeking to prove that Trump and his Republican allies did in fact rig the outcome of the election by illegally conspiring with Russia to alter the outcome. This will prove that Donald Trump was not legitimately elected President of the United States, and that Hillary Clinton was the rightful winner. It will also be enough to send a swath of people involved, including anyone at the RNC who signed off on this, to prison.

By his own admission, Jared Kushner was deeply involved in the Trump campaign’s voter data analysis effort, which was largely handled by a company called Cambridge Analytica. Steve Bannon ran that company just before he took over the Trump campaign. Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort called Trump just before election day and told him to go to Michigan. Any of these people can provide evidence that Donald Trump was in on the treasonous plot, which is why Robert Mueller is targeting them all.

The post Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump and Russia for rigging Michigan and Wisconsinappeared first on Palmer Report.

MSNBC panel names James Comey’s firing Trump’s biggest mistake of 2017: ‘It set in motion two Russiagate … – Raw Story
 


Raw Story
MSNBC panel names James Comey’s firing Trump’s biggest mistake of 2017: ‘It set in motion two Russiagate …
Raw Story
According to MSNBC’s Joy Reid and Jonathan Capehart, Trump’s world began to unravel with the single decision to get rid ofComey, because there was a paper-trail revealing why the decision was made. However, Trump tied his own noose, stepped off the  

Donald Trump warns Iran ‘world is watching’ as he condemns arrest of protesters – Telegraph.co.uk
 


Telegraph.co.uk
Donald Trump warns Iran ‘world is watching’ as he condemns arrest of protesters
Telegraph.co.uk
US President Donald Trump has repeatedly taken aim at Iran, denouncing its government as a “fanatical regime” and accusing it of violating an international agreement aimed at curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, refusing to certify its compliance with the 
Donald Trump warns Iran over protest arrestsThe Australian
Donald Trump tells Iran ‘the world is watching’ as thousands take to streets in protestThe Timesall 242 news articles »

Universal truths about the media in 2017 – Washington Examiner
 


Washington Examiner
Universal truths about the media in 2017
Washington Examiner
The Washington Post, New York Times, and USA Today still refuse to employ a single columnist that won’t begin each piece with anything less than Mr. Trump, you are a liar! CNN this year had to retract one story and significantly modify a second oneand more »

Despite threatened crackdown, few leakers caught under Trump and Jeff Sessions – Washington Examiner
 


Washington Examiner
Despite threatened crackdown, few leakers caught under Trump and Jeff Sessions
Washington Examiner
The Justice Department “has more than tripled the number of active leak investigations compared to the number pending at the end of the last administration, Sessions said at the press conference. But since then, no high-profile case has been brought 

Alabama Teaches America a Lesson – Patriot Post
 


Patriot Post
Alabama Teaches America a Lesson
Patriot Post
Mr. Trump’s political malpractice has been to fail, since his election, to increase his popularity and thus his power. He has a core but it remains a core. He could have broadened his position with a personal air of stability and moderation, and with and more »

Top stories of 2017: Elections bring change – Salisbury Post
 


Salisbury Post
Top stories of 2017: Elections bring change
Salisbury Post
Some 30 people died of opioid overdoses in Rowan in 2016. Totals for 2017 are yet to be reported, but with more addicts using fentanyl, a highly powerful synthetic opioid, the toll likely will be much higher. Fatal overdoses reached 19 in one five  

Alma Rutgers: Truth is lie, and lie is truth – Greenwich Time
 


PRI
Alma Rutgers: Truth is lie, and lie is truth
Greenwich Time
But here’s the big one, PolitiFact’s choice for Lie of the Year: Russian election interference is a hoax. Trump continually asserts that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election is fake news, a hoax or a made-up story, even though there is widespread 
What do we really know about Russia and the 2016 election?PRI
10 Falsehoods From Trump’s Interview With The TimesNew York Times
In a 30-minute interview, President Trump made 24 false or misleading claimsWashington Post
NPRNew York TimesNew York TimesYahoo
all 411 news articles »
 and more »

Why Trump’s Middle East negotiator is beating expectations – The Jerusalem Post
 


The Jerusalem Post
Why Trump’s Middle East negotiator is beating expectations
The Jerusalem Post
Still, despite Greenblatt’s efforts, there remains considerable frustration if not anxiety at the Trump administration’s reluctance to outline a deal. At the same August briefing with reporters, Zomlot wondered where the hell they are going and more »

Sarah Huckabee Sanders caught using Donald Trumps Twitter account

Weeks ago, after Donald Trump accidentally confessed to felony obstruction of justice with a particularly stupid tweet, he claimed that his attorney had somehow written the tweet. While he was probably lying about this, it did help to confirm what Palmer Report has been documenting for several months: Trump handlers have been periodically tweeting from his account, trying to impersonate him, and failing to various degrees. Now they’ve become rather brazenly sloppy about it.On Friday evening, Sarah Huckabee Sanders posted this to the @PressSec account on Twitter: “Reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with the regimes corruption and its squandering of the nations wealth to fund terrorism abroad. The Iranian government should respect their peoples rights including their right to express themselves. The world is watching.” Roughly two hours later, this tweet appeared on the @RealDonaldTrump account: “”Many reports of peaceful protests by Iranian citizens fed up with regimes corruption & its squandering of the nations wealth to fund terrorism abroad. Iranian govt should respect their peoples rights, including right to express themselves. The world is watching! #IranProtests”

To be clear, this was not a retweet or quoted tweet. This was an instance of Huckabee Sanders tweeting something to the Press Secretary account, and then later copy-pasting it to Donald Trump’s account, making only a handful of minor changes while leaving nearly all of the verbiage intact. How do we know Trump didn’t merely copycat Huckabee Sanders’ tweet? Some will claim that there’s some other theoretically possible explanation for how this happened, but those explanations will be nonsense. It’s clear what happened here.

This comes just two days after Donald Trump inexplicably retweeted a tweet from his social media director, Dan Scavino, which congratulated an Iowa football team for winning a college bowl game. Trump never does this with any team. This occurred within moments of Trump’s account retweeting tweets from Eric and Ivanka Trump. It’s fairly clear what happened here: Scavino used Trump’s account to retweet two of Trump’s children, and in the process, accidentally retweeted his own tweet about football. Why are Trump’s handlers resorting to impersonating him on Twitter? Has his senility become just that severe?

The post Sarah Huckabee Sanders caught using Donald Trump’s Twitter account appeared first on Palmer Report.

TV preview: McMafia – Yorkshire Evening Post
 


Yorkshire Evening Post
TV preview: McMafia
Yorkshire Evening Post
James Norton stars in a new eight-part series set in the international world of organised crime. Created by Hossein Amini and James Watkins, McMafia is inspired by the bestselling non-fiction book by Misha Glenny. Featuring a distinguished  
War & Peace prince, McMafia heartthrob could James Norton be James Bond too?The Timesall 26 news articles »

Putin power: Dangers abound in ‘the autumn of the autocracy’ – Irish Times
 


Irish Times
Putin power: Dangers abound in ‘the autumn of the autocracy’
Irish Times
US and European Union sanctions to punish the Kremlin for destabilising Ukraine have prompted Putin finally to abandon plans for Russian-European integration and instead to pivot east and bolster a strategic alliance with China, which shares his
Russia Warns America: Don’t Meddle in Our ElectionsIndependent Journal Reviewall 44 news articles »

Top story 3: Opioid problem grows into an epidemic during the year – Marietta Times
 


Marietta Times
Top story 3: Opioid problem grows into an epidemic during the year
Marietta Times
In November, county voters passed a Behavioral Health Levy after five attempts. Organizers speculated that the local drug crisis probably helped to garner the needed votes. I just think the issue with drugs and mental health is one of the more  

Did Russiagate Just Escalate Ukraine’s War? – The Real News Network
 


The Real News Network
Did Russiagate Just Escalate Ukraine’s War?
The Real News Network
And Trump has been giving these hawks, who are feeding off Russiagate, bits of what they want. The last bit are these weapons to Ukraine. It’s the only reason for it. It makes no sense. It’s detrimental to our national interests in every other regard and more »

Colorful Trump associate Sater will cooperate with Feinstein request – Observer
 

Colorful Trump associate Sater will cooperate with Feinstein request
Observer
Russian émigré and one-time Trump associate Felix Sater will cooperate with a request by the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee to turn over documents and meet with the committee as part of its investigation into Russian interference in 

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9:47 AM 12/27/2017 – Foreign leaders say US is losing stature – The Recorder

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Foreign leaders say US is losing stature – The Recorder

U.S. Lawmakers Question Businessman At 2016 Trump Tower Meeting
Goldberg: Donald Trump owes ’17 wins to GOP, generals – Boston Herald
US Lawmakers Question Businessman At 2016 Trump Tower Meeting – HuffPost
What It’s Like to Betray Antifa to the Copsand Get Caught – Willamette Week
Other Views: Congress sends clear message to world’s thugs – Yakima Herald-Republic
For Trump and Republicans, these red flags are hard to miss – NBCNews.com
Brian Klaas: Trump’s behaviour is scarily similar to these 3 modern dictators – Business Insider
Dizzying GOP turnarounds amid one constant: Trump keeps being Trump – USA TODAY
[EWB Interview] Lindley-French: NATO mission to stabilise Europe and the Western Balkans – European Western Balkans (press release)
When Picking Apples on a Farm With 5000 Rules, Watch Out for the Ladders – New York Times
Trump isolating the US, from Asia to the Mideast – Las Vegas Sun
The KGB Papers: How Putin Learned His Spycraft, Part 1 – Daily Beast
Conservative Policy, Populist Attitude – National Review
Who’s Winning Trump’s War With the Press? – Politico
Barack Obama tells Prince Harry: leaders must stop corroding civil discourse
US Is Meddling in Election Says Russia, Days After Moscow Bans Anti-Putin Candidate – Newsweek
‘We have tapped into something.’ Impeachment drive builds digital army to take on Trump – Politico
Trump’s challenges in 2018 – CBS News
European banks warn of multibillion-dollar hit from Trump tax reform – Financial Times
Barack Obama avoids naming Donald Trump in Prince Harry interview – New York Post
How to crush Trump – The Week Magazine
‘Never Trump’ Will Be the Only Faction Still Standing When He’s Gone – The Atlantic
Russian Cyberattacks On US Continuing – Hartford Courant
A clear message to the thugs of the world – The Bakersfield Californian

 

Saved Stories – None
Foreign leaders say US is losing stature – The Recorder


HeraldScotland
Foreign leaders say US is losing stature
The Recorder
The reality on the ground in the Middle East is that the American administration has failed to form an efficient coalition against its self-proclaimed enemies, said Nader Karimi Juni, an independent Iranian analyst who writes for reformist dailies 
NSS outlines a vision for ‘renewal’ of American leadershipChina.org.cn
10 ways Donald Trump upended the world order in 2017HeraldScotland

all 69 news articles »

U.S. Lawmakers Question Businessman At 2016 Trump Tower Meeting

Trump’s eldest son met with a Russian lawyer promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton.

Goldberg: Donald Trump owes ’17 wins to GOP, generals – Boston Herald


Boston Herald
Goldberg: Donald Trump owes ’17 wins to GOP, generals
Boston Herald
Trump is the most unpopular first-year president in American history, for reasons far beyond mere bad press. Still, among conservatives, the tally of wins has sparked some intramural debates. The most prominent one is how Trump skeptics and avowed 

and more »

US Lawmakers Question Businessman At 2016 Trump Tower Meeting – HuffPost


HuffPost
US Lawmakers Question Businessman At 2016 Trump Tower Meeting
HuffPost
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Georgian-American businessman who met then-Miss Universe pageant owner Donald Trump in 2013, has been questioned by congressional investigators about whether he helped organize a meeting between Russians and Trump’s eldest son 

and more »

What It’s Like to Betray Antifa to the Copsand Get Caught – Willamette Week


Willamette Week
What It’s Like to Betray Antifa to the Copsand Get Caught
Willamette Week
An exuberant 20-year-old with short, dyed-blue hair, Tan, whose legal name is June Davies and who identifies as gender non-binary, felt a magnetic pull to the left-wing protests in Portland that followed Donald Trump’s election. Two days after the 2016

Other Views: Congress sends clear message to world’s thugs – Yakima Herald-Republic

Other Views: Congress sends clear message to world’s thugs
Yakima Herald-Republic
She headed a powerful organized crime syndicate that leveraged state actors to expropriate businesses, monopolize markets, solicit bribes, and administer extortion rackets. There should be more to come. In passing sanctions against Russiafor 

and more »

For Trump and Republicans, these red flags are hard to miss – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
For Trump and Republicans, these red flags are hard to miss
NBCNews.com
If a Democratic wave ends up washing over Republicans in 2018, history will record that 2017 was full of warning signs for theGOP. It started in Kansas back in April, in a Wichita-area House district that Donald Trump carried by 27 points over Hillary 
Are White Women Finally Turning Against Republicans? Poll Shows Educated Voters Don’t Want GOP in CongressNewsweek 
The Year in Party PoliticsThe Atlantic

Five tough lessons Congress learned in President Trump’s first yearBangor Daily News 
Seymour Tribune
 
Trump-induced disaster builds for the GOPSeymour Tribune
Elite Daily
 –Mother JonesFox News

all 921 974 news articles »
Brian Klaas: Trump’s behaviour is scarily similar to these 3 modern dictators – Business Insider


Business Insider
Brian Klaas: Trump’s behaviour is scarily similar to these 3 modern dictators
Business Insider 
With the nepotism and various aspects of this I use the example of Uzbekistan’s dictator who hired his own daughter for a variety of different roles to be the soft face of the regime and you see this with Ivanka Trump who’s deployed to be this softer
 
Brian Klaas: Trump is not a despot but I call him a despot’s apprentice because he’s borrowing and mimicking tactics that you normally find in authoritarian states. In each of the chapters I highlight one of the despots that he is behaving like, some
 

and more »

Dizzying GOP turnarounds amid one constant: Trump keeps being Trump – USA TODAY


USA TODAY
Dizzying GOP turnarounds amid one constant: Trump keeps being Trump
USA TODAY 
But for nearly a full year, GOP members have gritted their teeth and stroked the president’s ego, fantasizing that the tax bill celebration at the White House would one day happen. They know full well the damage Trump has done to the Republican Party 
For Trump and Republicans, these red flags are hard to missNBCNews.com
Are White Women Finally Turning Against Republicans? Poll Shows Educated Voters Don’t Want GOP in CongressNewsweek
The Year in Party PoliticsThe Atlantic
Bangor Daily NewsSeymour TribuneMother Jones
all 942 news articles »
 
In Robert Bresson’s classic 1966 film Au Hasard Balthazar, the life of a donkey is told through a series of story lines that contrast the wildly divergent scope of human emotions with the predictability of a simple farm animal. As the donkey ages, the

and more »

[EWB Interview] Lindley-French: NATO mission to stabilise Europe and the Western Balkans – European Western Balkans (press release)


European Western Balkans (press release)
[EWB Interview] Lindley-French: NATO mission to stabilise Europe and the Western Balkans
European Western Balkans (press release)
Julian Lindley-French: I believe in the words of President George W. Bush that refers to Europe as whole and free and a Europe of peace. The mission of the Alliance has not changed, its keys elements are stabilization and defence of Europe. The Western 

When Picking Apples on a Farm With 5000 Rules, Watch Out for the Ladders – New York Times


New York Times
When Picking Apples on a Farm With 5000 Rules, Watch Out for the Ladders
New York Times
Mr. Trump’s regulatory rollback extends well beyond small business, and many of the moves affecting big business have been met with stiff resistance, particularly among environmentalists and public health advocates who say the administration is hastily

Trump isolating the US, from Asia to the Mideast – Las Vegas Sun

Trump isolating the US, from Asia to the Mideast
Las Vegas Sun
It’s hard to know where Trump is in worse trouble, but he’s definitely getting on the wrong side of China’s President Xi Jinping with a lengthy foreign policy declaration castigating China for just about everything from unfair trade practices to 

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The KGB Papers: How Putin Learned His Spycraft, Part 1 – Daily Beast


Daily Beast
The KGB Papers: How Putin Learned His Spycraft, Part 1
Daily Beast
This is the first of a three-part series based on never-before-published training manuals for the KGB, the Soviet intelligence organization that Vladimir Putin served as an operative, and that shaped his view of the world. Its veterans still make up an 

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Conservative Policy, Populist Attitude – National Review


National Review
Conservative Policy, Populist Attitude
National Review
A new governing philosophy had made itself manifest: nationalist populism. Or, as Trump’s advocates put it, Trumpism. This philosophy would mash up protectionism with a quasi-isolationist foreign policy focused on placating dictatorships such as Russia 

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Who’s Winning Trump’s War With the Press? – Politico


Politico
Who’s Winning Trump’s War With the Press?
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In May 1973, Walter Cronkite opened the CBS Evening News with an item erroneously implicating a Bethesda bank run by Pat Buchanan’s brother in Watergate moneylaundering. The AP falsely reported that [John] Ehrlichman was present at a key cover-up 

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Barack Obama tells Prince Harry: leaders must stop corroding civil discourse

Former US president also talks about life after leaving office in rare interview conducted by prince for BBC Radio 4s Today programme

Boxers or briefs? Prince Harrys quickfire questions for Obama

Politicians, and others in positions of power, should stop corroding civil discourse and seek to unify society, the former US president Barack Obama said in a rare interview conducted by Prince Harry for BBC Radio 4s Today programme.

Related: Prince Harry guest-edits BBC Radio 4 Today programme

Related: Obama’s post-presidential life: what does his second act have in store?

Continue reading…

US Is Meddling in Election Says Russia, Days After Moscow Bans Anti-Putin Candidate – Newsweek


Newsweek
US Is Meddling in Election Says Russia, Days After Moscow Bans Anti-Putin Candidate
Newsweek
While the U.S. is investigating the extent of Russia’s interference in last year’s election, Moscow has accused Washington of starting a meddling campaign in its own upcoming presidential vote. The new twist in the election feud centers around the most  
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‘We have tapped into something.’ Impeachment drive builds digital army to take on Trump – Politico


Politico
‘We have tapped into something.’ Impeachment drive builds digital army to take on Trump
Politico
SAN FRANCISCO When billionaire Democratic donor Tom Steyer launched a digital petition drive to impeach President Donald Trump two months ago, some Democratic Party leaders dismissed it as an unhelpful vanity project and even Steyer thought he’d 

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Trump’s challenges in 2018 – CBS News


Salon

CBS News
Trump’s challenges in 2018
CBS News
Toward the end of 2017, Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election was just heating up. Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. The president’s former  
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European banks warn of multibillion-dollar hit from Trump tax reform – Financial Times


Financial Times
European banks warn of multibillion-dollar hit from Trump tax reform
Financial Times
This will also affect several of the biggest US financial institutions that endured huge losses in the financial crisis, five of which Bank of America, Citigroup and AIG, as well as mortgage groups Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be forced to  

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Barack Obama avoids naming Donald Trump in Prince Harry interview – New York Post


New York Post
How to crush Trump – The Week Magazine


The Week Magazine
How to crush Trump
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The only reliable way to stop Trump and the Republican Party that has stood firmly behind him for his entire presidency is through strategic political defeat. In 2018, the GOP must be crushed at the ballot box, their congressional majorities taken, and
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‘Never Trump’ Will Be the Only Faction Still Standing When He’s Gone – The Atlantic


The Atlantic
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Yet Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, and many more besides stand with Trump no matter how nakedly he engages in character assassination or how often he openly stokes ethnic tensions. At best, they are blind to the role Trump 

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Russian Cyberattacks On US Continuing – Hartford Courant


Hartford Courant
Russian Cyberattacks On US Continuing
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Russia’s use of social media as a political weapon will continue, and more countries will follow suit until deterrence is established. The sanctions that the Obama administration and Congress put in place in the aftermath of the 2016 election are

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A clear message to the thugs of the world – The Bakersfield Californian

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The Bakersfield Californian
Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian tax lawyer, died beaten and alone in a Moscow prison cell eight years ago. He was ill and neglected. He had exposed the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars by a corrupt cabal, and he paid for it with his life. Now, in a 

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9:33 AM 12/27/2017 – Will President Trump be charged with collusion in 2018? Not a chance.

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

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Will President Trump be charged with collusion in 2018? Not a chance.

Will President Trump be charged with collusion in 2018? Not a chance. – NBCNews.com
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Will President Trump be charged with collusion in 2018? Not a chance.

mikenova shared this story .

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President Donald Trump is right about one thing — he may never be charged with “collusion.” Despite its current use as a sort of catchall term for the Trump administration’s alleged ties to Russian meddling, “collusion” is only a federal crime in the area of antitrust law. In this legal context, collusion occurs when two or more people or entities decide to gain an unfair market advantage and/or secretly limit open competition.

One of the quintessential examples of collusion is an agreement to engage in price-fixing. Or put another way, collusion has nothing to do with the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

So if you’ve been talking about whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government in the 2016 presidential election, you’ve been saying it wrong. But you’re also in good company. The vast majority of the public and the press routinely, and erroneously, use the word collusion to refer to a host of potential federal crimes. This does not mean the investigation is fake news, but it does mean we have been using the wrong term to describe it.

And while we are discussing inapplicable crimes, it is worth noting that Trump and his campaign staff and administration will almost certainly not be charged with treason, either. Under the U.S. Constitution, “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” Here the word “enemies” means nations with which we are at war. We are not currently at war with Russia, and therefore one cannot commit treason by aiding Russia, even if the aid meant swaying the 2016 presidential election.

Now that we know which charges we will not see, we must ask which charges we might see as a result of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into potential coordination between the Trump campaign and administration and the Russian government.

Let us begin at the beginning. Before Donald Trump became President Trump, the FBI was looking into connections between the Russian government and the Trump campaign. In May of 2017, Trump famously fired the director of the FBI, James Comey, who was ultimately in charge of that investigation.

That firing in and of itself may be illegal if it amounts to obstruction of justice. The question boils down to whether Trump fired Comey to try to slow or halt that investigation and/or because Comey wouldn’t pump the brakes on the investigation.

Following Comey’s firing, it became clear to many outside observers that a special counsel needed to be appointed to pick up where Comey left off. Due to Attorney General Jeffrey Sessions recusing himself from matters involving the Russia investigation, the job of picking the counsel fell to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein’s subsequent pick of former FBI director Robert Mueller was —at the time at least — heralded by politicians on both sides of the aisle as proof that there were some adults left in the federal government.

But Mueller’s investigation is much more specific than just seeing if Trump or his affiliates “did something wrong.” He needs evidence that a specific Constitutional provision or statute was violated.

Will President Trump be charged with collusion in 2018? Not a chance. – NBCNews.com

mikenova shared this story from trump under federal investigation – Google News.


NBCNews.com
Will President Trump be charged with collusion in 2018? Not a chance.
NBCNews.com
Or put another way, collusion has nothing to do with the Trump campaign and the Russian government. So if you’ve been talking about whether or not the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government in the 2016 presidential election, you’ve been 
Even If The President Does It, It’s Illegal: How Trump May Have Obstructed JusticeWBUR
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4 people dead in home; police say deaths appear suspicious – Houston Chronicle

mikenova shared this story from Top Stories – Google News.


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4 people dead in home; police say deaths appear suspicious
Houston Chronicle
Troy police investigate multiple deaths at 158 Second Ave. on Tuesday, Dec. 26, 2017, in Troy, N.Y. Police say four people have been found dead and may have been killed in an apartment in New York’s capital … more. Photo: Lori Van Buren, AP. Image 2 

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Four found dead in possible homicide in Troy basement apartment: reports

mikenova shared this story from Upstate NY Trending News.

TROY, N.Y. — Four people  – possibly all homicide victims – were found dead in a basement apartment in Troy on Tuesday, according to news reports.

The building’s manager found the deceased, Troy police told reporters. Police have not released any details about the victims, including their ages or names.

Troy police were called to 158 Second Ave. in Troy around 12:52 p.m., the Albany Times Union reported. The victims were found in the basement apartment.

Troy Police asked for the assistance of New York State Police, which has released few details as of 3:20 p.m.

Officers have cordoned off the area surrounding 158 Second Ave. and closed the street in both directions from 102nd to 103rd street, the Times Union reported.

4 Dead in Potential Homicide in Troy, N.Y., Basement

mikenova shared this story .

Police are investigating a possible quadruple homicide in the Upstate New York city of Troy after four bodies were found in the basement of a home there.

The four bodies were found inside a home at 158 Second Ave. on Tuesday, Troy Police Sgt. Mark Maloy confirmed to TIME. Maloy said all four deaths are being treated as suspicious, but declined to offer further details on the investigation.

Troy Police Capt. Daniel DeWolf told the Albany Times Union that the building’s property manager was the first to discover the bodies in the residence, but no other details about the victims have been released.

“It’s horrible. Terrible. Sad — sad especially at this time of year,” DeWolf said. “We’re going to do everything we can to look into this and get to the bottom of what happened here.”

A block of Second Avenue has reportedly been shut down while police investigate.

Weapons sale to Ukraine – Google Search

mikenova shared this story from Weapons sale to Ukraine – Google News.

Story image for Weapons sale to Ukraine from Washington Post

Trump administration approves lethal arms sales to Ukraine

Washington PostDec 20, 2017
Correction: A previous version of this blog post incorrectly reported that the Trump administration had approved the first-ever commercial sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine. It stated that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had publicly supported arms sales to Ukraine; Mattis did not explicitly do so. This post has …
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Trump Sends Tank-Killing Missile To Fight Russia in Ukraine, But …

Newsweek12 hours ago
The decision to sell the Javelin missiles also comes not long after the Trump administration approved a limited weapons sale between American manufacturers and Ukraine of Model M107A1 sniper systems, ammunition and associated equipment. “The United States has decided to provide Ukraine …
House Probe Looks Into Corruption, Criminal Behavior at FBI, DOJ – The New American

mikenova shared this story from trump criminal investigation – Google News.

House Probe Looks Into Corruption, Criminal Behavior at FBI, DOJ
The New American
The ongoing witch hunt of Trump/Russia collusion just took an interesting turn. A group of Republicans in the House of Representatives frustrated with the Justice Department’s refusal to explain its use of the now-discredited Trump dossier has 

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Moscow bus – Google Search

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At Least Four Dead As Bus Crashes Into Moscow Underpass

RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty8 hours ago
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At least five dead after Moscow bus ploughs into underground …

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A passenger bus swerved off course and drove into a busy pedestrian underpass in Moscow on Monday, killing at least four people, Russian news agencies reported. Video from the scene posted on social media showed a bus veering off the road and plunging down the steps of a pedestrian underpass, …
Story image for Moscow bus from Daily Star

BREAKING: At least 5 killed as bus drives down underground station …

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15 people were also injured in the crash, police told local media. Cops are at the scene and the driver has reportedly been detained. Horrifying footage shows the bus driving down the passage as helpless pedestrians are crushed underneath. Moscow bus crash INSTAGRAM. AT THE SCENE: It occurred at …
Andrew McCabe, F.B.I.s Embattled Deputy, Is Expected to Retire

mikenova shared this story .

He dealt with the F.B.I. investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information when she used a private email server. Republicans, including Mr. Trump, have relentlessly criticized the F.B.I. for the way it handled that investigation. Mrs. Clinton was not charged, nor were any of her aides. Mr. McCabe has also been deeply involved in the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the potential involvement of the Trump campaign.

The Russia investigation is being led by a special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who has already charged four people associated with Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. One of them, a foreign policy adviser, has pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with the Russians, while another pleaded guilty to lying about his conversation with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Mueller’s inquiry has infuriated the president, who has called the investigation a witch hunt and has pressed repeatedly for a shake-up at the F.B.I. Mr. McCabe was deputy director when the F.B.I. opened the investigation in July 2016.

The president crowed on Saturday that James A. Baker, the F.B.I. general counsel, who was seen as an ally of Mr. Comey’s, would soon step down from that post, although he will remain at the bureau.

Mr. McCabe became a political piñata after his wife decided to run as a Democrat for a Virginia State Senate seat. As part of her campaign, she accepted nearly $500,000 in contributions from the political organization of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Pressure on Mr. McCabe and Mr. Wray intensified this month after The New York Times reported that a top F.B.I. lawyer and counterintelligence agent traded disparaging text messages about the president. Both the agency and the lawyer had worked closely on the Clinton and Russia investigations. However, Mr. Mueller decided to pull the agent off the Russia investigation. The lawyer, who was close to Mr. McCabe, had already left Mr. Mueller’s team by the time the texts were discovered.

Republicans seized on the texts to claim that the F.B.I.’s leadership was politically slanted. Agents have rejected that assertion, calling it insulting and untrue.

Mr. McCabe, who is seen as highly intelligent, rose quickly through the ranks of the F.B.I., eventually running national security, then the bureau’s second-largest field office, before moving back to headquarters, where he was put on track to be deputy director. He has many supporters in the F.B.I. who consider him beyond reproach.

His defenders say he has done his job admirably in the face of intense partisan attacks while navigating crisis after crisis.

“The political hit job on McCabe — his supposed ideological bias, the fact his wife ran for office as a Democrat, the attacks on his competence — are way out of line,” said Frank Montoya Jr., a former senior F.B.I. official who retired in 2016 and worked closely with Mr. McCabe. “The people who are making these baseless accusations don’t know McCabe. I do. The guy’s a total pro. His only motivation is to support and defend the Constitution.”

His detractors see Mr. McCabe as an ambitious creature of Washington who did not spend enough time as an agent working with informants and making cases. Those critical of Mr. McCabe believe he lacked the operational experience to become director and needed to spend more time in the field.

But even among some of those who dislike Mr. McCabe, he earned their grudging respect when he stood up to Mr. Trump and defended the F.B.I. and Mr. Comey’s tenure during a heated congressional hearing in May while he was acting director.

Mr. McCabe’s plan to retire at some point after he was eligible to retire was first reported by The Washington Post. Mr. McCabe will most likely follow the path of other highly qualified F.B.I. senior officials eligible to retire who leave after securing a lucrative job in the private sector.

Officials say that Mr. Wray is considering David L. Bowdich, currently the third-ranking official in the bureau, to replace Mr. McCabe. Mr. Bowdich ran the F.B.I.’s Los Angeles field office before coming to Washington. He is best known for being the public face of the F.B.I. in California after the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack.

Continue reading the main story

Using Billions in Government Cash, Mexico Controls News Media

mikenova shared this story .

Mr. Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, also known as the PRI, pioneered this system during its 70 years in power. Former President José López Portillo explicitly laid out the government’s expectations decades ago — he was even quoted as saying that he did not pay the media to attack him — and the practice continued when the opposition claimed the presidency in 2000, then again in 2006.

But the government’s influence over the media goes well beyond the advertising spigot, with officials sometimes resorting to outright bribery. In Chihuahua, the former governor spent more than $50 million on publicity, officials say, in a state saddled with huge public debts. Yet that was just the official figure.

Prosecutors have also collected signed receipts for bribes to local journalists — payoffs so common that some reporters were even listed as government contractors, documents show. With so much government money circling around, entire news websites sprang up with a single purpose, prosecutors contend: to support the former governor’s agenda.

“The relation between the media and power is one of the gravest problems in Mexico,” said Javier Corral, the new governor of Chihuahua. “There is collusion, an arrangement, in terms of how the public resources are managed to reward or punish the media. It’s carrot and stick: ‘Behave well, and I’ll give you lots of money and advertising. Act bad and I’ll get rid of it.’”

RELIANCE ON PUBLIC ADVERTISING

Pick up a newspaper, tune into a radio station or flip on the television in Mexico and you are greeted with a barrage of government advertising. In some papers, nearly every other page is claimed by an ad promoting one government agency or another. At times, as much airtime is dedicated to venerating the government’s work as it is to covering the news.

The extraordinary spending comes at a time when the Mexican government is cutting budgets across the board, including for health, education and social services. The federal government spent as much on advertising last year, about $500 million, as it did to support students in its main scholarship program for public universities.

The co-opting of the news media is more fundamental than any one administration’s spending on self-promotion, historians say. It reflects the absence of the basic pact that a free press has with its readers in a democracy, where holding the powerful accountable is part of its mission.

“It’s a common problem in the developing world, but the problem is much, much graver in Mexico,” said David Kaye, the United Nations special representative for freedom of expression. “It’s remarkable what the government spends.”

Most news outlets have relied on public advertising for so long that they would not survive without the government, giving officials tremendous leverage to push for certain stories and prevent others, analysts, reporters and media owners say.

“This is an economic problem,” said Carlos Puig, a columnist at the newspaper Milenio, which receives substantial government funding. “The classic American model does not exist here.”

Last year, a public outcry erupted after a top official in the Peña Nieto administration went to Milenio’s offices to complain about a story. The article, criticizing a national anti-hunger initiative, was taken down from the newspaper’s website right after the visit.

The piece later went back up, with a far less damning headline. The newspaper says the reason was simple: The article was “deplorable,” an inaccurate and “vulgar” attempt to smear an official, requiring an apology to readers. But journalists and democracy advocates, citing the power of government advertising, cried foul and the reporter resigned in protest, claiming to have been censored. Eventually, the original headline was restored.

Overt government interference is often unnecessary. Sixty-eight percent of journalists in Mexico said they censored themselves, not only to avoid being killed, but also because of pressure from advertisers and the impact on the company’s bottom line, according to a three-year study by Mexican and American academics.

Francisco Pazos did. He worked for years at one of the largest papers in Mexico, Excélsior. One of his most frustrating moments came in late 2013, he said, when the government was in the throes of a fight with commuters over a transit fare increase.

Mr. Pazos said he tried to explore the commuters’ anger in detail, until an editor stopped him, telling him the paper was no longer going to cover the controversy.

“I came to understand there were issues I simply couldn’t cover,” Mr. Pazos said. “And eventually, I stopped looking for those kinds of stories. Eventually, you become a part of the censorship yourself.”

Many media owners and directors say they have so few independent sources of income outside the government that they face a stark choice: wither from a lack of resources, or survive as accomplices to their own manipulation.

“Of course, the use of public money limits freedom of expression, but without this public money there would be no media in Mexico at all,” said Marco Levario, the director of the magazine Etcétera. “We are all complicit in this.”

The model means that some media outlets in Mexico can scarcely afford their own principles. Twenty years ago, the newspaper La Jornada was one of the most beloved in the nation, a critical voice and a must-read for intellectuals and activists who carried the tabloid around town, tucked under their arms.

But the years have not been kind to the paper. A few years ago, it was on the cusp of financial ruin. Then the government intervened, rescuing the publication with more than $1 million in official advertising and, critics say, claiming its editorial independence in the process.

“Now they own them,” Mr. Levario said. “The paper has been like a spokesman for the president.”

Other business ties link news outlets to the government. Many media companies are part of larger conglomerates that build roads or other public projects. The same person who owns Grupo Imagen, which includes radio, television and print media, also owns a major construction firm, Prodemex. It has earned more than $200 million in the past five years building government facilities, and will play a role in the construction of the new Mexico City airport.

La Jornada, Excélsior and Excélsior’s parent company, Grupo Imagen, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The nation’s Supreme Court recently took up the issue of official advertising, ruling in November that the government must act on the president’s promise to regulate the flow of public money in an unbiased way.

“The absence of regulation in official publicity allows for the arbitrary use of communications budgets, which restricts indirectly freedom of expression,” said Arturo Zaldívar, a Supreme Court justice.

In a statement, the president’s office referred to its official advertising as a form of constitutionally backed publicity that enables it to inform and educate the public about its work. But it rejects the assertion that such spending skews the media’s coverage of important issues or stifles free speech in any way.

“Every day journalists in Mexico question, with absolute freedom, the government’s actions and those of our representatives, including the president,” it said. “There is a permanent criticism from Mexican journalists toward the government. Just by opening any newspaper, turning on the television and going to social media, you can verify this.”

When he came to office in 2012, the president vowed to more fairly distribute the government’s advertising dollars. Shortly after his election, Mr. Peña Nieto’s team came up with a plan to regulate media spending, according to three people familiar with the proposal.

But Aurelio Nuño, the president’s former chief of staff, said the effort never got far enough to produce a draft of any legislation that could yield action. The effort was subsumed by other campaign promises and left behind, he said.

‘HEATING THEM UP’

As the editor for recruiting at the newspaper Reforma, Diana Alvarez has grown accustomed to the flexible definition of journalism in Mexico.

A few years back, she said, she interviewed one young woman from a large paper in Mexico City. The woman, who had a master’s degree in journalism, said her job at the paper consisted of creating files of negative press clippings on governors across the country.

Those files were turned over to the paper’s sales department, which then approached the governors to sell them “coverage plans” to improve their public image, the young woman explained.

Mrs. Alvarez rattled off more examples. One applicant, an editing candidate, boasted that he knew how to work his relationships with politicians to score more advertising money.

He called it “heating them up,” which involved showing the target a critical story that his newspaper was planning to publish. Then, as he explained to Mrs. Alvarez, an advertising contract with his paper would help “put out the fire.”

Yet another applicant, a former state government employee, said he knew how to “deal with the press,” Mrs. Alvarez recalled. He told her how he had been in charge of distributing envelopes filled with cash for reporters as bribes.

“I wish I could say these are isolated cases, or just a few, but it isn’t the case,” Mrs. Alvarez said. “There have been many like these, where they come and speak about these practices in a way that makes you realize they have normalized them.”

Daniel Moreno, the director of the digital publication Animal Político, says he receives almost nothing from the federal government, and relatively small amounts from state governors.

It’s not because he doesn’t want the money, Mr. Moreno says. It’s just that the kind of critical coverage his news team does is not rewarded with government contracts, he contends.

Recently, Mr. Moreno said he received a call from officials in the state of Morelos, which spends about $3,000 a month with him on advertising. The governor’s wife was going through a rough period over claims that she was politicizing aid for earthquake victims — an accusation she rejected — so a state official suggested that Animal Político do a few positive stories on her.

Mr. Moreno politely declined.

“They were pretty offended,” he said with a shrug. “And I’m pretty sure that money is gone.”

Still, that was better than it is with most states, Mr. Moreno said. As a policy, Animal Político publishes a banner on pieces that are paid advertising, so readers know the work is not independent journalism, he said.

But officials in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Sonora have refused to pay for content unless it is published without the banner, he said. Mr. Moreno refused.

“I’ve lost more money than I’ve earned that way,” he said with a laugh.

This month, news organizations came together to denounce the violence against the press in Mexico, where the murders of journalists hit a record this year. Thirty-nine media groups signed on.

But a few, including Animal Político, were missing — on purpose. They had insisted on some extra lines in the announcement about the damage that official publicity does to free speech.

A small uproar ensued, they said. Some large newspapers that rely heavily on government money objected.

Ultimately, the letter was sent without the lines — and without the signature of Mr. Moreno and his compatriots. The news media, it appeared, would not challenge its livelihood.

AN EXPOSÉ RAISES QUESTIONS

On Aug. 23, Ricardo Anaya, the president of the opposition National Action Party and now a candidate for president in next year’s election, woke up to find his name and family splashed across the front page of El Universal, a major newspaper.

The story went into details about his father-in-law’s real estate empire and, more pointedly, the ways in which Mr. Anaya’s political career had helped propel that fortune.

The narrative was a familiar one in Mexico: A political leader had used his influence to enrich himself and his family. El Universal laid out the addresses and values of the various properties, and even published head shots of his entire extended family, 14 people in all. News outlets across the country carried the story.

The only thing missing, a court ultimately decided, was accuracy. Mr. Anaya managed to show that much of the information was flawed, skewed or simply wrong. While his in-laws clearly owned a number of properties, many had been in their possession before his political career began, public deeds showed.

Even more puzzling, Mr. Anaya said, were the photographs of his family. They had not been public before, as far as the family knew. In fact, they looked an awful lot like passport pictures.

Given that such photos were held by the foreign ministry, which issues passports, Mr. Anaya suspected that his rivals in the government had leaked the pictures to the newspaper.

“They are trying to destroy my political career with this campaign,” he contended. “You can’t compete with a government that pays $500 million a year to the media.”

For the next two months, the newspaper dedicated more than 20 front pages to Mr. Anaya, accusing him of misusing public funds, benefiting financially from his position and fracturing his party.

Mr. Anaya filed suit. In October, the court found that El Universal had misrepresented his in-laws’ wealth and wrongly accused Mr. Anaya of using his office to benefit them.

El Universal claimed that it was entitled to publish the story under the right to freedom of expression, an argument the judge questioned because the paper “had not based its investigation in facts.” The newspaper has appealed the court’s decision.

The case raises national questions of trust in a country where the news media receives so much money in government advertising.

El Universal receives more government advertising than any other newspaper in the nation, about $10 million last year, Fundar found. Critics argue that the newspaper has become something of an attack dog for the government ahead of presidential elections next year.

The suggestion is “false and offensive,” the newspaper says. Government advertising “does not affect in any way the editorial line of the newspaper,” it says, adding that “thinkers of all political parties” are represented in its pages.

Not all its journalists agree. In July, a half-dozen columnists announced their resignations in protest over what they called biased coverage, saying the owners had destroyed the institution’s credibility.

Salvador Frausto, an investigative editor who earned the paper many awards, also left. Colleagues said he was clearly uncomfortable with how close the paper was becoming to the PRI and its new presidential candidate, José Antonio Meade.

The person who replaced Mr. Frausto as the new investigative editor was most recently a press officer at the foreign affairs ministry, according to his LinkedIn profile.

And the news director of El Universal had close ties with the new candidate: His wife was Mr. Meade’s international press chief at the finance ministry.

The paper says that there is no conflict of interest, and that it does not tolerate biased coverage of any kind.

But it isn’t the first time the paper’s journalists have challenged its independence. Writers said that in 2012, when Mr. Peña Nieto was running for office, editors and news directors began changing columns critical of the candidate, sometimes at the last minute, without warning them.

“The reason I resigned is because I no longer felt like I was guaranteed a free space,” Andrés Lajous, now a doctoral student at Princeton University, wrote in an article recounting the events.

‘IT WAS THE FEDS’

Witnesses were calling it an execution.

In January 2015, Laura Castellanos, an award-winning reporter, was sent by editors at El Universal to cover a pair of shootouts involving the federal police.

At the time, self-defense groups had taken up arms to fight against organized crime, and Ms. Castellanos, who had written extensively on the subject, was considered an expert.

She spent 10 days reporting the story, tapping old sources and interviewing witnesses in the state of Michoacán, where 16 had been killed and dozens wounded.

The issue was especially delicate because a close ally of the president, Alfredo Castillo, who had been appointed to oversee the security situation in Michoacán, claimed that the deaths came from a shootout with armed assailants.

Ms. Castellanos said she recorded interviews with 39 people — victims, bystanders, hospital workers — and came to a different conclusion. The federal police had summarily executed unarmed suspects, including some as they surrendered on their knees with their arms in the air, she said her reporting showed.

After days of editing and fact-checking, she said the story was ready to run. Only it didn’t.

Ms. Castellanos and her editors were not surprised. Mr. Peña Nieto was already under heavy public pressure for his handling of the disappearance of 43 college students, as well as his wife’s purchase of a multimillion-dollar home from a major government contractor.

But after two and a half months — during which time one of her sources was tortured and killed, she said — Ms. Castellanos worried her story would never run.

Working with lawyers, she said she discovered a loophole in her contract — one that allowed her to publish the material elsewhere.

One of the few publications willing to take the story was a new website founded by Carmen Aristegui, another award-winning reporter, who had lost her radio station job after breaking the story about the president’s wife.

But the morning the Michoacán story was scheduled to publish, under the headline “It Was the Feds,” Ms. Aristegui’s website went dark.

Eventually, they figured out what happened: The website had been hacked.

The two eventually published the story, but the case again raised questions about independence in a country awash in government advertising.

Neither the killings, nor the hacking, have been fully resolved. El Universal said it had not published Ms. Castellanos’s story because it did not meet the newspaper’s standards.

The next year, Ms. Castellano’s article was awarded Mexico’s most coveted journalistic prize: the national award for investigative reporting.

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FBI searches for evidence of Russia’s meddling in US election in liquidated Cyprian bank

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American intelligence has requested information about the bank FBME. According to the documents of the Cyprus Central Bank, about half of its clients were Russians.

The FBI requested data on the previously closed FBME bank, which the US Treasury had previously accused of money laundering, from the Cypriot authorities. Intelligence suspects the bank of servicing influential customers from Russia, according to The Guardian, citing its sources.

The Guardian‘s interlocutors suggest that the inquiry may be related to the investigation into a matter of possible interference of Russia in the election of the US President in 2016. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller subordinates this case. Previously, the US Central Bank requested information on FBME from the Central Bank of Cyprus.

In the documents of the Central Bank of the republic, which were at the disposal of the newspaper, it appears that about half of FBME clients were Russians. In particular, these are member of the Federation Council of Russia Alexander Shishkin and businessman Vladimir Smirnov. It was also reported that the bank housed 23 accounts of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

FBME bank was liquidated in 2017. A year earlier, it was under Washington’s sanctions, and in 2014 the US Treasury had accused the organization of money laundering.

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Buckley Kuhn-Fricker recently discovered private tweets on her daughter’s phone that concerned her. The tweets, which she believed were connected to the boyfriend, included one that responded to a photo of a candy shop featuring a Jewish dreidel with the comment “ima run in there with my swastika …
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Scott Fricker and Buckley Kuhn Fricker grew upset with their daughter’s teenage boyfriend because of his alleged neo-Nazi views and tried to block the budding relationship, and now he’s accused of murdering them both. The 17-year-old suspect in the double slayings of the Reston, Virginia couple has not …
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Scott Fricker, 48, and Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43, had forbidden their daughter to see the teen after family and friends said the couple discovered a Twitter account they believed was linked to the teen. It retweeted tweets praising Hitler, made derogatory comments about Jews, called for “white revolution,” and …
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Pilot in deadly Bartow plane crash had advanced training

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BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) – Federal Aviation Administration records show that the pilot of the plane that crashed in Bartow had the necessary training to take off in foggy conditions that Christmas Eve morning. Officials say 70-year-old John Shannon was flying his two daughters, 24-year-old Olivia Shannon …
Community grieves loss of five after Bartow plane crash
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Homeland Security says chain migration let terrorism-related suspects into U.S.

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A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said Saturday that two recent terror suspects made their way into the U.S. via chain migration.  (Reuters)

The Department of Homeland Security said chain migration is the common element in two cases allegedly tied to terrorism activities, according to a statement released Saturday.

In the statement on Twitter, Acting Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said DHS “can confirm the suspect involved in a terror attack in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and another suspect arrested on terror-related money laundering charges were both beneficiaries of extended family chain migration.”

Chain migration is when an immigrant gains legal entry into the U.S. via sponsorship by a family member who’s already a legal resident or citizen. The Trump administration launched a campaign against the immigration system, in favor of a more merit-based structure, favoring education and job potential as factors.

WHITE HOUSE TO PUSH MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION IN NEW CAMPAIGN

The memo referred to Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty, 51, who it said was a naturalized U.S. citizen admitted to the U.S. from Egypt on a family-based visa. El-Mofty went on a shooting spree Friday in Harrisburg and was reportedly targeting police officers.

The gunman, carrying two rifles and a shotgun, fired at officers in multiple locations.

“He fired several shots at a Capitol police officer and at a Pennsylvania state police trooper in marked vehicles,” Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said. The state trooper was injured but is “doing well,” he said.

El-Mofty pursued the trooper to a residential neighborhood and encountered law enforcement officers, who ultimately killed him after he fired “many shots” at them.

The statement also mentioned Zoobia Shahnaz, who DHS said was a naturalized U.S. citizen who entered from Pakistan, also on a family-based visa. Shahnaz was indicted on Dec. 14 after she allegedly laundered more than $85,000 through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies overseas to the Islamic State.

END CHAIN MIGRATION, AS TRUMP WANTS, AND SWITCH TO MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION

Acquiring the money through fraudulently obtained credit cards and a bank loan, Shahnaz laundered the funds to people in Pakistan, China and Turkey and “planned to travel to Syria and join ISIS,” federal officials said.

Shahnaz was charged in federal court with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In the DHS statement Saturday, Houlton said, “These incidents highlight the Trump administration’s concerns with extended chain migration.”

“Both chain migration and the diversity visa lottery program have been exploited by terrorists to attack our country,” Houlton said. “Not only are the programs less effective at driving economic growth than merit-based immigration systems used by nearly all other countries, the programs make it more difficult to keep dangerous people out of the United States and to protect the safety of every American.”

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Weapons sale to Ukraine – Google Search
House Probe Looks Into Corruption, Criminal Behavior at FBI, DOJ – The New American
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Andrew McCabe, F.B.I.s Embattled Deputy, Is Expected to Retire
Using Billions in Government Cash, Mexico Controls News Media
FBI searches for evidence of Russia’s meddling in US election in liquidated Cyprian bank
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Scott Fricker and Buckley Kuhn-Fricker – Google Search
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Bernie Facebook Russian Propaganda – Google Search
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‘Anyone can be attacked for partisan gain’: Comey issues rare statement in defense of top FBI lawyer – Business Insider
Propaganda – Google Search
FOIA Researchers Are Targeting a Shadowy FBI Program Called ‘Gravestone’ – Gizmodo
Jeanine Pirro of Fox News Helps an Old Friend: President Trump – New York Times
Trump-Russia Steele Dossier: FBIs Insurance Policy for Clinton Campaign?

 

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Trump administration approves lethal arms sales to Ukraine

Washington PostDec 20, 2017
Correction: A previous version of this blog post incorrectly reported that the Trump administration had approved the first-ever commercial sale of lethal weapons to Ukraine. It stated that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had publicly supported arms sales to Ukraine; Mattis did not explicitly do so. This post has …
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Trump Sends Tank-Killing Missile To Fight Russia in Ukraine, But …

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The decision to sell the Javelin missiles also comes not long after the Trump administration approved a limited weapons sale between American manufacturers and Ukraine of Model M107A1 sniper systems, ammunition and associated equipment. “The United States has decided to provide Ukraine …
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The ongoing witch hunt of Trump/Russia collusion just took an interesting turn. A group of Republicans in the House of Representatives frustrated with the Justice Department’s refusal to explain its use of the now-discredited Trump dossier has 

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At least four people have been killed and 13 others injured after a bus careered off a road and onto steps leading into an underground passageway in the Russian capital, Moscow, police said. Authorities said that passengers and pedestrians were among the victims of the December 25 incident. Footage …
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Andrew McCabe, F.B.I.s Embattled Deputy, Is Expected to Retire

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He dealt with the F.B.I. investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information when she used a private email server. Republicans, including Mr. Trump, have relentlessly criticized the F.B.I. for the way it handled that investigation. Mrs. Clinton was not charged, nor were any of her aides. Mr. McCabe has also been deeply involved in the F.B.I.’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election and the potential involvement of the Trump campaign.

The Russia investigation is being led by a special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who has already charged four people associated with Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. One of them, a foreign policy adviser, has pleaded guilty to lying about his contacts with the Russians, while another pleaded guilty to lying about his conversation with the Russian ambassador to the United States.

Mr. Mueller’s inquiry has infuriated the president, who has called the investigation a witch hunt and has pressed repeatedly for a shake-up at the F.B.I. Mr. McCabe was deputy director when the F.B.I. opened the investigation in July 2016.

The president crowed on Saturday that James A. Baker, the F.B.I. general counsel, who was seen as an ally of Mr. Comey’s, would soon step down from that post, although he will remain at the bureau.

Mr. McCabe became a political piñata after his wife decided to run as a Democrat for a Virginia State Senate seat. As part of her campaign, she accepted nearly $500,000 in contributions from the political organization of Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a longtime friend of Mrs. Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Pressure on Mr. McCabe and Mr. Wray intensified this month after The New York Times reported that a top F.B.I. lawyer and counterintelligence agent traded disparaging text messages about the president. Both the agency and the lawyer had worked closely on the Clinton and Russia investigations. However, Mr. Mueller decided to pull the agent off the Russia investigation. The lawyer, who was close to Mr. McCabe, had already left Mr. Mueller’s team by the time the texts were discovered.

Republicans seized on the texts to claim that the F.B.I.’s leadership was politically slanted. Agents have rejected that assertion, calling it insulting and untrue.

Mr. McCabe, who is seen as highly intelligent, rose quickly through the ranks of the F.B.I., eventually running national security, then the bureau’s second-largest field office, before moving back to headquarters, where he was put on track to be deputy director. He has many supporters in the F.B.I. who consider him beyond reproach.

His defenders say he has done his job admirably in the face of intense partisan attacks while navigating crisis after crisis.

“The political hit job on McCabe — his supposed ideological bias, the fact his wife ran for office as a Democrat, the attacks on his competence — are way out of line,” said Frank Montoya Jr., a former senior F.B.I. official who retired in 2016 and worked closely with Mr. McCabe. “The people who are making these baseless accusations don’t know McCabe. I do. The guy’s a total pro. His only motivation is to support and defend the Constitution.”

His detractors see Mr. McCabe as an ambitious creature of Washington who did not spend enough time as an agent working with informants and making cases. Those critical of Mr. McCabe believe he lacked the operational experience to become director and needed to spend more time in the field.

But even among some of those who dislike Mr. McCabe, he earned their grudging respect when he stood up to Mr. Trump and defended the F.B.I. and Mr. Comey’s tenure during a heated congressional hearing in May while he was acting director.

Mr. McCabe’s plan to retire at some point after he was eligible to retire was first reported by The Washington Post. Mr. McCabe will most likely follow the path of other highly qualified F.B.I. senior officials eligible to retire who leave after securing a lucrative job in the private sector.

Officials say that Mr. Wray is considering David L. Bowdich, currently the third-ranking official in the bureau, to replace Mr. McCabe. Mr. Bowdich ran the F.B.I.’s Los Angeles field office before coming to Washington. He is best known for being the public face of the F.B.I. in California after the 2015 San Bernardino terrorist attack.

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Using Billions in Government Cash, Mexico Controls News Media

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Mr. Peña Nieto’s Institutional Revolutionary Party, also known as the PRI, pioneered this system during its 70 years in power. Former President José López Portillo explicitly laid out the government’s expectations decades ago — he was even quoted as saying that he did not pay the media to attack him — and the practice continued when the opposition claimed the presidency in 2000, then again in 2006.

But the government’s influence over the media goes well beyond the advertising spigot, with officials sometimes resorting to outright bribery. In Chihuahua, the former governor spent more than $50 million on publicity, officials say, in a state saddled with huge public debts. Yet that was just the official figure.

Prosecutors have also collected signed receipts for bribes to local journalists — payoffs so common that some reporters were even listed as government contractors, documents show. With so much government money circling around, entire news websites sprang up with a single purpose, prosecutors contend: to support the former governor’s agenda.

“The relation between the media and power is one of the gravest problems in Mexico,” said Javier Corral, the new governor of Chihuahua. “There is collusion, an arrangement, in terms of how the public resources are managed to reward or punish the media. It’s carrot and stick: ‘Behave well, and I’ll give you lots of money and advertising. Act bad and I’ll get rid of it.’”

RELIANCE ON PUBLIC ADVERTISING

Pick up a newspaper, tune into a radio station or flip on the television in Mexico and you are greeted with a barrage of government advertising. In some papers, nearly every other page is claimed by an ad promoting one government agency or another. At times, as much airtime is dedicated to venerating the government’s work as it is to covering the news.

The extraordinary spending comes at a time when the Mexican government is cutting budgets across the board, including for health, education and social services. The federal government spent as much on advertising last year, about $500 million, as it did to support students in its main scholarship program for public universities.

The co-opting of the news media is more fundamental than any one administration’s spending on self-promotion, historians say. It reflects the absence of the basic pact that a free press has with its readers in a democracy, where holding the powerful accountable is part of its mission.

“It’s a common problem in the developing world, but the problem is much, much graver in Mexico,” said David Kaye, the United Nations special representative for freedom of expression. “It’s remarkable what the government spends.”

Most news outlets have relied on public advertising for so long that they would not survive without the government, giving officials tremendous leverage to push for certain stories and prevent others, analysts, reporters and media owners say.

“This is an economic problem,” said Carlos Puig, a columnist at the newspaper Milenio, which receives substantial government funding. “The classic American model does not exist here.”

Last year, a public outcry erupted after a top official in the Peña Nieto administration went to Milenio’s offices to complain about a story. The article, criticizing a national anti-hunger initiative, was taken down from the newspaper’s website right after the visit.

The piece later went back up, with a far less damning headline. The newspaper says the reason was simple: The article was “deplorable,” an inaccurate and “vulgar” attempt to smear an official, requiring an apology to readers. But journalists and democracy advocates, citing the power of government advertising, cried foul and the reporter resigned in protest, claiming to have been censored. Eventually, the original headline was restored.

Overt government interference is often unnecessary. Sixty-eight percent of journalists in Mexico said they censored themselves, not only to avoid being killed, but also because of pressure from advertisers and the impact on the company’s bottom line, according to a three-year study by Mexican and American academics.

Francisco Pazos did. He worked for years at one of the largest papers in Mexico, Excélsior. One of his most frustrating moments came in late 2013, he said, when the government was in the throes of a fight with commuters over a transit fare increase.

Mr. Pazos said he tried to explore the commuters’ anger in detail, until an editor stopped him, telling him the paper was no longer going to cover the controversy.

“I came to understand there were issues I simply couldn’t cover,” Mr. Pazos said. “And eventually, I stopped looking for those kinds of stories. Eventually, you become a part of the censorship yourself.”

Many media owners and directors say they have so few independent sources of income outside the government that they face a stark choice: wither from a lack of resources, or survive as accomplices to their own manipulation.

“Of course, the use of public money limits freedom of expression, but without this public money there would be no media in Mexico at all,” said Marco Levario, the director of the magazine Etcétera. “We are all complicit in this.”

The model means that some media outlets in Mexico can scarcely afford their own principles. Twenty years ago, the newspaper La Jornada was one of the most beloved in the nation, a critical voice and a must-read for intellectuals and activists who carried the tabloid around town, tucked under their arms.

But the years have not been kind to the paper. A few years ago, it was on the cusp of financial ruin. Then the government intervened, rescuing the publication with more than $1 million in official advertising and, critics say, claiming its editorial independence in the process.

“Now they own them,” Mr. Levario said. “The paper has been like a spokesman for the president.”

Other business ties link news outlets to the government. Many media companies are part of larger conglomerates that build roads or other public projects. The same person who owns Grupo Imagen, which includes radio, television and print media, also owns a major construction firm, Prodemex. It has earned more than $200 million in the past five years building government facilities, and will play a role in the construction of the new Mexico City airport.

La Jornada, Excélsior and Excélsior’s parent company, Grupo Imagen, did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

The nation’s Supreme Court recently took up the issue of official advertising, ruling in November that the government must act on the president’s promise to regulate the flow of public money in an unbiased way.

“The absence of regulation in official publicity allows for the arbitrary use of communications budgets, which restricts indirectly freedom of expression,” said Arturo Zaldívar, a Supreme Court justice.

In a statement, the president’s office referred to its official advertising as a form of constitutionally backed publicity that enables it to inform and educate the public about its work. But it rejects the assertion that such spending skews the media’s coverage of important issues or stifles free speech in any way.

“Every day journalists in Mexico question, with absolute freedom, the government’s actions and those of our representatives, including the president,” it said. “There is a permanent criticism from Mexican journalists toward the government. Just by opening any newspaper, turning on the television and going to social media, you can verify this.”

When he came to office in 2012, the president vowed to more fairly distribute the government’s advertising dollars. Shortly after his election, Mr. Peña Nieto’s team came up with a plan to regulate media spending, according to three people familiar with the proposal.

But Aurelio Nuño, the president’s former chief of staff, said the effort never got far enough to produce a draft of any legislation that could yield action. The effort was subsumed by other campaign promises and left behind, he said.

‘HEATING THEM UP’

As the editor for recruiting at the newspaper Reforma, Diana Alvarez has grown accustomed to the flexible definition of journalism in Mexico.

A few years back, she said, she interviewed one young woman from a large paper in Mexico City. The woman, who had a master’s degree in journalism, said her job at the paper consisted of creating files of negative press clippings on governors across the country.

Those files were turned over to the paper’s sales department, which then approached the governors to sell them “coverage plans” to improve their public image, the young woman explained.

Mrs. Alvarez rattled off more examples. One applicant, an editing candidate, boasted that he knew how to work his relationships with politicians to score more advertising money.

He called it “heating them up,” which involved showing the target a critical story that his newspaper was planning to publish. Then, as he explained to Mrs. Alvarez, an advertising contract with his paper would help “put out the fire.”

Yet another applicant, a former state government employee, said he knew how to “deal with the press,” Mrs. Alvarez recalled. He told her how he had been in charge of distributing envelopes filled with cash for reporters as bribes.

“I wish I could say these are isolated cases, or just a few, but it isn’t the case,” Mrs. Alvarez said. “There have been many like these, where they come and speak about these practices in a way that makes you realize they have normalized them.”

Daniel Moreno, the director of the digital publication Animal Político, says he receives almost nothing from the federal government, and relatively small amounts from state governors.

It’s not because he doesn’t want the money, Mr. Moreno says. It’s just that the kind of critical coverage his news team does is not rewarded with government contracts, he contends.

Recently, Mr. Moreno said he received a call from officials in the state of Morelos, which spends about $3,000 a month with him on advertising. The governor’s wife was going through a rough period over claims that she was politicizing aid for earthquake victims — an accusation she rejected — so a state official suggested that Animal Político do a few positive stories on her.

Mr. Moreno politely declined.

“They were pretty offended,” he said with a shrug. “And I’m pretty sure that money is gone.”

Still, that was better than it is with most states, Mr. Moreno said. As a policy, Animal Político publishes a banner on pieces that are paid advertising, so readers know the work is not independent journalism, he said.

But officials in the states of Chiapas, Oaxaca and Sonora have refused to pay for content unless it is published without the banner, he said. Mr. Moreno refused.

“I’ve lost more money than I’ve earned that way,” he said with a laugh.

This month, news organizations came together to denounce the violence against the press in Mexico, where the murders of journalists hit a record this year. Thirty-nine media groups signed on.

But a few, including Animal Político, were missing — on purpose. They had insisted on some extra lines in the announcement about the damage that official publicity does to free speech.

A small uproar ensued, they said. Some large newspapers that rely heavily on government money objected.

Ultimately, the letter was sent without the lines — and without the signature of Mr. Moreno and his compatriots. The news media, it appeared, would not challenge its livelihood.

AN EXPOSÉ RAISES QUESTIONS

On Aug. 23, Ricardo Anaya, the president of the opposition National Action Party and now a candidate for president in next year’s election, woke up to find his name and family splashed across the front page of El Universal, a major newspaper.

The story went into details about his father-in-law’s real estate empire and, more pointedly, the ways in which Mr. Anaya’s political career had helped propel that fortune.

The narrative was a familiar one in Mexico: A political leader had used his influence to enrich himself and his family. El Universal laid out the addresses and values of the various properties, and even published head shots of his entire extended family, 14 people in all. News outlets across the country carried the story.

The only thing missing, a court ultimately decided, was accuracy. Mr. Anaya managed to show that much of the information was flawed, skewed or simply wrong. While his in-laws clearly owned a number of properties, many had been in their possession before his political career began, public deeds showed.

Even more puzzling, Mr. Anaya said, were the photographs of his family. They had not been public before, as far as the family knew. In fact, they looked an awful lot like passport pictures.

Given that such photos were held by the foreign ministry, which issues passports, Mr. Anaya suspected that his rivals in the government had leaked the pictures to the newspaper.

“They are trying to destroy my political career with this campaign,” he contended. “You can’t compete with a government that pays $500 million a year to the media.”

For the next two months, the newspaper dedicated more than 20 front pages to Mr. Anaya, accusing him of misusing public funds, benefiting financially from his position and fracturing his party.

Mr. Anaya filed suit. In October, the court found that El Universal had misrepresented his in-laws’ wealth and wrongly accused Mr. Anaya of using his office to benefit them.

El Universal claimed that it was entitled to publish the story under the right to freedom of expression, an argument the judge questioned because the paper “had not based its investigation in facts.” The newspaper has appealed the court’s decision.

The case raises national questions of trust in a country where the news media receives so much money in government advertising.

El Universal receives more government advertising than any other newspaper in the nation, about $10 million last year, Fundar found. Critics argue that the newspaper has become something of an attack dog for the government ahead of presidential elections next year.

The suggestion is “false and offensive,” the newspaper says. Government advertising “does not affect in any way the editorial line of the newspaper,” it says, adding that “thinkers of all political parties” are represented in its pages.

Not all its journalists agree. In July, a half-dozen columnists announced their resignations in protest over what they called biased coverage, saying the owners had destroyed the institution’s credibility.

Salvador Frausto, an investigative editor who earned the paper many awards, also left. Colleagues said he was clearly uncomfortable with how close the paper was becoming to the PRI and its new presidential candidate, José Antonio Meade.

The person who replaced Mr. Frausto as the new investigative editor was most recently a press officer at the foreign affairs ministry, according to his LinkedIn profile.

And the news director of El Universal had close ties with the new candidate: His wife was Mr. Meade’s international press chief at the finance ministry.

The paper says that there is no conflict of interest, and that it does not tolerate biased coverage of any kind.

But it isn’t the first time the paper’s journalists have challenged its independence. Writers said that in 2012, when Mr. Peña Nieto was running for office, editors and news directors began changing columns critical of the candidate, sometimes at the last minute, without warning them.

“The reason I resigned is because I no longer felt like I was guaranteed a free space,” Andrés Lajous, now a doctoral student at Princeton University, wrote in an article recounting the events.

‘IT WAS THE FEDS’

Witnesses were calling it an execution.

In January 2015, Laura Castellanos, an award-winning reporter, was sent by editors at El Universal to cover a pair of shootouts involving the federal police.

At the time, self-defense groups had taken up arms to fight against organized crime, and Ms. Castellanos, who had written extensively on the subject, was considered an expert.

She spent 10 days reporting the story, tapping old sources and interviewing witnesses in the state of Michoacán, where 16 had been killed and dozens wounded.

The issue was especially delicate because a close ally of the president, Alfredo Castillo, who had been appointed to oversee the security situation in Michoacán, claimed that the deaths came from a shootout with armed assailants.

Ms. Castellanos said she recorded interviews with 39 people — victims, bystanders, hospital workers — and came to a different conclusion. The federal police had summarily executed unarmed suspects, including some as they surrendered on their knees with their arms in the air, she said her reporting showed.

After days of editing and fact-checking, she said the story was ready to run. Only it didn’t.

Ms. Castellanos and her editors were not surprised. Mr. Peña Nieto was already under heavy public pressure for his handling of the disappearance of 43 college students, as well as his wife’s purchase of a multimillion-dollar home from a major government contractor.

But after two and a half months — during which time one of her sources was tortured and killed, she said — Ms. Castellanos worried her story would never run.

Working with lawyers, she said she discovered a loophole in her contract — one that allowed her to publish the material elsewhere.

One of the few publications willing to take the story was a new website founded by Carmen Aristegui, another award-winning reporter, who had lost her radio station job after breaking the story about the president’s wife.

But the morning the Michoacán story was scheduled to publish, under the headline “It Was the Feds,” Ms. Aristegui’s website went dark.

Eventually, they figured out what happened: The website had been hacked.

The two eventually published the story, but the case again raised questions about independence in a country awash in government advertising.

Neither the killings, nor the hacking, have been fully resolved. El Universal said it had not published Ms. Castellanos’s story because it did not meet the newspaper’s standards.

The next year, Ms. Castellano’s article was awarded Mexico’s most coveted journalistic prize: the national award for investigative reporting.

Continue reading the main story

FBI searches for evidence of Russia’s meddling in US election in liquidated Cyprian bank

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American intelligence has requested information about the bank FBME. According to the documents of the Cyprus Central Bank, about half of its clients were Russians.

The FBI requested data on the previously closed FBME bank, which the US Treasury had previously accused of money laundering, from the Cypriot authorities. Intelligence suspects the bank of servicing influential customers from Russia, according to The Guardian, citing its sources.

The Guardian‘s interlocutors suggest that the inquiry may be related to the investigation into a matter of possible interference of Russia in the election of the US President in 2016. Special prosecutor Robert Mueller subordinates this case. Previously, the US Central Bank requested information on FBME from the Central Bank of Cyprus.

In the documents of the Central Bank of the republic, which were at the disposal of the newspaper, it appears that about half of FBME clients were Russians. In particular, these are member of the Federation Council of Russia Alexander Shishkin and businessman Vladimir Smirnov. It was also reported that the bank housed 23 accounts of Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov.

FBME bank was liquidated in 2017. A year earlier, it was under Washington’s sanctions, and in 2014 the US Treasury had accused the organization of money laundering.

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Couple killed after warning daughter of boyfriend’s suspected neo …

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Buckley Kuhn-Fricker recently discovered private tweets on her daughter’s phone that concerned her. The tweets, which she believed were connected to the boyfriend, included one that responded to a photo of a candy shop featuring a Jewish dreidel with the comment “ima run in there with my swastika …
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A husband and wife were shot dead in their Virginia home three days before Christmas by a 17-year-old boy they had warned their daughter not to date because of his racist views, according to officials and news accounts. The teenager shot Scott Fricker, 48, and his wife, Buckley Kuhn-Fricker, 43, around 5 …
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BARTOW, Fla. – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Polk County Fire Rescue investigators are on the scene of a fatal, twin-engine plane crash at the Bartow Airbase. The crash occurred at the end of a runway near Ben Durrance Road in Bartow in heavy fog, a Polk County sheriff’s release said. Irving Smith …
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Homeland Security says chain migration let terrorism-related suspects into U.S.

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A spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security said Saturday that two recent terror suspects made their way into the U.S. via chain migration.  (Reuters)

The Department of Homeland Security said chain migration is the common element in two cases allegedly tied to terrorism activities, according to a statement released Saturday.

In the statement on Twitter, Acting Press Secretary Tyler Houlton said DHS “can confirm the suspect involved in a terror attack in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and another suspect arrested on terror-related money laundering charges were both beneficiaries of extended family chain migration.”

Chain migration is when an immigrant gains legal entry into the U.S. via sponsorship by a family member who’s already a legal resident or citizen. The Trump administration launched a campaign against the immigration system, in favor of a more merit-based structure, favoring education and job potential as factors.

WHITE HOUSE TO PUSH MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION IN NEW CAMPAIGN

The memo referred to Ahmed Aminamin El-Mofty, 51, who it said was a naturalized U.S. citizen admitted to the U.S. from Egypt on a family-based visa. El-Mofty went on a shooting spree Friday in Harrisburg and was reportedly targeting police officers.

The gunman, carrying two rifles and a shotgun, fired at officers in multiple locations.

“He fired several shots at a Capitol police officer and at a Pennsylvania state police trooper in marked vehicles,” Dauphin County District Attorney Ed Marsico said. The state trooper was injured but is “doing well,” he said.

El-Mofty pursued the trooper to a residential neighborhood and encountered law enforcement officers, who ultimately killed him after he fired “many shots” at them.

The statement also mentioned Zoobia Shahnaz, who DHS said was a naturalized U.S. citizen who entered from Pakistan, also on a family-based visa. Shahnaz was indicted on Dec. 14 after she allegedly laundered more than $85,000 through Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies overseas to the Islamic State.

END CHAIN MIGRATION, AS TRUMP WANTS, AND SWITCH TO MERIT-BASED IMMIGRATION

Acquiring the money through fraudulently obtained credit cards and a bank loan, Shahnaz laundered the funds to people in Pakistan, China and Turkey and “planned to travel to Syria and join ISIS,” federal officials said.

Shahnaz was charged in federal court with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and three counts of money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In the DHS statement Saturday, Houlton said, “These incidents highlight the Trump administration’s concerns with extended chain migration.”

“Both chain migration and the diversity visa lottery program have been exploited by terrorists to attack our country,” Houlton said. “Not only are the programs less effective at driving economic growth than merit-based immigration systems used by nearly all other countries, the programs make it more difficult to keep dangerous people out of the United States and to protect the safety of every American.”

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‘Anyone can be attacked for partisan gain’: Comey issues rare statement in defense of top FBI lawyer – Business Insider

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‘Anyone can be attacked for partisan gain’: Comey issues rare statement in defense of top FBI lawyer
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“James Baker, who is stepping down as FBI General Counsel, served our country incredibly well for 25 years & deserves better. He is what we should all want our public servants to be.” Since making his Twitter presence publicly known in recent months 

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FOIA Researchers Are Targeting a Shadowy FBI Program Called ‘Gravestone’
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The problem, of course, is that the FBI’s mission and the tools it uses to accomplish it often collide with the privacy protections guaranteed to Americans by the Fourth Amendment. We know, for instance, that the FBI has engaged in questionable, if not 

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A few years ago, not long after Jeanine Pirro paid a visit to Donald J. Trump at his Trump Tower office, a box arrived at her home in Rye, N.Y.. Inside was a gift: a selection of shoes from the latest Ivanka Trump footwear collection. Ms. Pirro, the 

Trump-Russia Steele Dossier: FBIs Insurance Policy for Clinton Campaign?

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The FBI’s deputy director Andrew McCabe testified Tuesday at a marathon seven-hour closed-door hearing of the House Intelligence Committee. According to the now-infamous text message sent by FBI agent Peter Strzok to his paramour, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, it was in McCabe’s office that top FBI counterintelligence officials discussed what they saw as the frightening possibility of a Trump presidency.

That was during the stretch run of the 2016 campaign, no more than a couple of weeks after they started receiving the Steele dossier — the Clinton campaign’s opposition-research reports, written by former British spy Christopher Steele, about Trump’s purportedly conspiratorial relationship with Vladimir Putin’s regime in Russia.

Was it the Steele dossier that so frightened the FBI?

I think so.

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There is a great deal of information to follow. But let’s cut to the chase: The Obama-era FBI and Justice Department had great faith in Steele because he had previously collaborated with the bureau on a big case. Plus, Steele was working on the Trump-Russia project with the wife of a top Obama Justice Department official, who was personally briefed by Steele. The upper ranks of the FBI and DOJ strongly preferred Trump’s opponent, Hillary Clinton, to the point of overlooking significant evidence of her felony misconduct, even as they turned up the heat on Trump. In sum, the FBI and DOJ were predisposed to believe the allegations in Steele’s dossier. Because of their confidence in Steele, because they were predisposed to believe his scandalous claims about Donald Trump, they made grossly inadequate efforts to verify his claims. Contrary to what I hoped would be the case, I’ve come to believe Steele’s claims were used to obtain FISA surveillance authority for an investigation of Trump.

There were layers of insulation between the Clinton campaign and Steele — the campaign and the Democratic party retained a law firm, which contracted with Fusion GPS, which in turn hired the former spy. At some point, though, perhaps early on, the FBI and DOJ learned that the dossier was actually a partisan opposition-research product. By then, they were dug in. No one, after all, would be any the wiser: Hillary would coast to victory, so Democrats would continue running the government; FISA materials are highly classified, so they’d be kept under wraps. Just as it had been with the Obama-era’s Fast and Furious and IRS scandals, any malfeasance would remain hidden.

The best laid schemes . . . gang aft agley.

Why It Matters
Strzok’s text about the meeting in McCabe’s office is dated August 16, 2016. As we’ll see, the date is important. According to Agent Strzok, with Election Day less than three months away, Page, the bureau lawyer, weighed in on Trump’s bid: “There’s no way he gets elected.” Strzok, however, believed that even if a Trump victory was the longest of long shots, the FBI “can’t take that risk.” He insisted that the bureau had no choice but to proceed with a plan to undermine Trump’s candidacy: “It’s like an insurance policy in the unlikely event you die before you’re 40.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that, “according to people familiar with his account,” Strzok meant that it was imperative that the FBI “aggressively investigate allegations of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.” In laughable strawman fashion, the “people familiar with his account” assure the Journal that Strzok “didn’t intend to suggest a secret plan to harm the candidate.” Of course, no sensible person suspects that the FBI was plotting Trump’s assassination; the suspicion is that, motivated by partisanship and spurred by shoddy information that it failed to verify, the FBI exploited its counterintelligence powers in hopes of derailing Trump’s presidential run.

But what were these “allegations of collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia” that the FBI decided to “aggressively investigate”? The Journal doesn’t say. Were they the allegations in the Steele dossier? That is a question I asked in last weekend’s column. It is a question that was pressed by Chairman Devin Nunes (R., Calif.) and Republican members of the House Intelligence Committee at Tuesday’s sealed hearing. As I explained in the column, the question is critical for three reasons:

(1) The Steele dossier was a Clinton campaign product. If it was used by the FBI and the Obama Justice Department to obtain a FISA warrant, that would mean law-enforcement agencies controlled by a Democratic president fed the FISA court political campaign material produced by the Democratic candidate whom the president had endorsed to succeed him. Partisan claims of egregious scheming with an adversarial foreign power would have been presented to the court with the FBI’s imprimatur, as if they were drawn from refined U.S. intelligence reporting. The objective would have been to spy on the opposition Republican campaign.

(2) In June of this year, former FBI director James Comey testified that the dossier was “salacious and unverified.” While still director, Comey had described the dossier the same way when he briefed President-elect Trump on it in January 2017. If the dossier was still unverified as late as mid 2017, its allegations could not possibly have been verified months earlier, in the late summer or early autumn of 2016, when it appears that the FBI and DOJ used them in an application to the FISA court.

(3) The dossier appears to contain misinformation. Knowing he was a spy-for-hire trusted by Americans, Steele’s Russian-regime sources had reason to believe that misinformation could be passed into the stream of U.S. intelligence and that it would be acted on — and leaked — as if it were true, to America’s detriment. This would sow discord in our political system. If the FBI and DOJ relied on the dossier, it likely means they were played by the Putin regime.

How Could Something Like This Happen?
We do not have public confirmation that the dossier was, in fact, used by the bureau and the Justice Department to obtain the FISA warrant. Publicly, FBI and DOJ officials have thwarted the Congress with twaddle about protecting both intelligence sources and an internal inspector-general probe. Of course, Congress, which established and funds the DOJ and FBI, has the necessary security clearances to review classified information, has jurisdiction over the secret FISA court, and has independent constitutional authority to examine the activities of legislatively created executive agencies.

It appears that the FBI corroborated few of Steele’s claims, and at an absurdly high level of generality.


In any event, important reporting by Fox News’ James Rosen regarding Tuesday’s hearing indicates that the FBI did, in fact, credit the contents of the dossier. It appears, however, that the bureau corroborated few of Steele’s claims, and at an absurdly high level of generality — along the lines of: You tell me person A went to place X and committed a crime; I corroborate only that A went to X and blithely assume that because you were right about the travel, you must be right about the crime.

Here, the FBI was able to verify Steele’s claim that Carter Page, a very loosely connected Trump-campaign adviser, had gone to Russia. This was not exactly meticulous gumshoe corroboration: Page told many people he was going to Russia, saw many people while there, and gave a speech at a prominent Moscow venue. Having verified only the travel information, the FBI appears to have credited the claims of Steele’s anonymous Russian sources that Page carried out nigh-treasonous activities while in Russia.

How could something like this happen? Well, the FBI and DOJ liked and trusted Steele, for what seem to be good reasons. As the Washington Post has reported, the former MI-6 agent’s private intelligence firm, Orbis, was retained by England’s main soccer federation to investigate corruption at FIFA, the international soccer organization that had snubbed British bids to host the World Cup. In 2010, Steele delivered key information to the FBI’s organized-crime liaison in Europe. This helped the bureau build the Obama Justice Department’s most celebrated racketeering prosecution: the indictment of numerous FIFA officials and other corporate executives. Announcing the first wave of charges in May 2015, Attorney General Loretta Lynch made a point of thanking the investigators’ “international partners” for their “outstanding assistance.”

At the time, Bruce Ohr was the Obama Justice Department’s point man for “Transnational Organized Crime and International Affairs,” having been DOJ’s long-serving chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section. He also wore a second, top-echelon DOJ hat: associate deputy attorney general. That made him a key adviser to the deputy attorney general, Sally Yates (who later, as acting attorney general, was fired for insubordinately refusing to enforce President Trump’s so-called travel ban). In the chain of command, the FBI reports to the DAG’s office.

To do the Trump-Russia research, Steele had been retained by the research firm Fusion GPS (which, to repeat, had been hired by lawyers for the Clinton campaign and the DNC). Fusion GPS was run by its founder, former Wall Street Journal investigative journalist Glenn Simpson. Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie, a Russia scholar, worked for Simpson at Fusion. The Ohrs and Simpson appear to be longtime acquaintances, dating back to when Simpson was a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center. In 2010, all three participated in a two-day conference on international organized crime, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (see conference schedule and participant list, pp. 27–30). In connection with the Clinton campaign’s Trump-Russia project, Fusion’s Nellie Ohr collaborated with Steele and Simpson, and DOJ’s Bruce Ohr met personally with Steele and Simpson.

The Department of Justice and FBI were favorably disposed toward Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS.


Manifestly, the DOJ and FBI were favorably disposed toward Steele and Fusion GPS. I suspect that these good, productive prior relationships with the dossier’s source led the investigators to be less exacting about corroborating the dossier’s claims.

But that is just the beginning of the bias story.

At a high level, the DOJ and FBI were in the tank for Hillary Clinton. In July 2016, shortly before Steele’s reports started floating in, the FBI and DOJ announced that no charges would be brought against Mrs. Clinton despite damning evidence that she mishandled classified information, destroyed government files, obstructed congressional investigations, and lied to investigators. The irregularities in the Clinton-emails investigation are legion: President Obama making it clear in public statements that he did not want Clinton charged; the FBI, shortly afterwards, drafting an exoneration of Clinton months before the investigation ended and central witnesses, including Clinton herself, were interviewed; investigators failing to use the grand jury to compel the production of key evidence; the DOJ restricting FBI agents in their lines of inquiry and examination of evidence; the granting of immunity to suspects who in any other case would be pressured to plead guilty and cooperate against more-culpable suspects; the distorting of criminal statutes to avoid applying them to Clinton; the sulfurous tarmac meeting between Attorney General Lynch and former President Clinton shortly before Mrs. Clinton was given a peremptory interview — right before then–FBI director Comey announced that she would not be charged.

The blatant preference for Clinton over Trump smacked of politics and self-interest. Deputy FBI director McCabe’s wife had run for the Virginia state legislature as a Democrat, and her (unsuccessful) campaign was lavishly funded by groups tied to Clinton insider Terry McAuliffe. Agent Strzok told FBI lawyer Page that Trump was an “idiot” and that “Hillary should win 100 million to 0.” Page agreed that Trump was “a loathsome human.” A Clinton win would likely mean Lynch — originally raised to prominence when President Bill Clinton appointed her to a coveted U.S. attorney slot — would remain attorney general. Yates would be waiting in the wings.

The prior relationships of trust with the source; the investment in Clinton; the certitude that Clinton would win and deserved to win, signified by the mulish determination that she not be charged in the emails investigation; the sheer contempt for Trump. This concatenation led the FBI and DOJ to believe Steele — to want to believe his melodramatic account of Trump-Russia corruption. For the faithful, it was a story too good to check.

The DOJ and FBI, having dropped a criminal investigation that undeniably established Hillary Clinton’s national-security recklessness, managed simultaneously to convince themselves that Donald Trump was too much of a national-security risk to be president.

The Timeline
As I noted in last weekend’s column, reports are that the FBI and DOJ obtained a FISA warrant targeting Carter Page (no relation to Lisa Page). For a time, Page was tangentially tied to the Trump campaign as a foreign-policy adviser — he barely knew Trump. The warrant was reportedly obtained after the Trump campaign and Page had largely severed ties in early August 2016. We do not know exactly when the FISA warrant was granted, but the New York Times and the Washington Post have reported, citing U.S. government sources, that this occurred in September 2016 (see herehere, and here). Further, the DOJ and FBI reportedly persuaded the FISA court to extend the surveillance after the first warrant’s 90-day period lapsed — meaning the spying continued into Trump’s presidency.

The FBI and DOJ would have submitted the FISA application to the court shortly before the warrant was issued. In the days-to-weeks prior to petitioning the court, the FISA application would have been subjected to internal review at the FBI — raising the possibility that FBI lawyer Page was in the loop reviewing the investigative work of Agent Strzok, with whom she was having an extramarital affair. There would also have been review at the Justice Department — federal law requires that the attorney general approve every application to the FISA court.

Presumably, these internal reviews would have occurred in mid-to-late August — around the time of the meeting in McCabe’s office referred to in Strzok’s text. Thus, we need to understand the relevant events before and after mid-to-late August. Here is a timeline.

June 2016
In June 2016, Steele began to generate the reports that collectively are known as the “dossier.”

In the initial report, dated June 20, 2016, Steele alleged that Putin’s regime had been “cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for at least 5 years.” (Steele’s reports conform to the FBI and intelligence-agency reporting practice of rendering names of interest in capital letters.) The Kremlin was said to have significant blackmail material that could be used against Trump.

In mid-to-late June 2016, according to Politico, Carter Page asked J. D. Gordon, his supervisor on the Trump campaign’s National Security Advisory Committee, for permission to go on a trip to Russia in early July. Gordon advised against it. Page then sent an email to Corey Lewandowski, who was Trump’s campaign manager until June 20, and Hope Hicks, the Trump campaign spokeswoman, seeking permission to go on the trip. Word came back to Page by email that he could go, but only in his private capacity, not as a representative of the Trump campaign. Lewandowski says he has never met Carter Page.

July 2016
Page, a top-of-the-class graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy with various other academic distinctions, traveled to Moscow for a three-day trip, the centerpiece of which was a July 7 commencement address at the New Economic School (the same institution at which President Obama gave a commencement address on July 7, 2009). The New York Times has reported, based on leaks from “current and former law enforcement and intelligence officials,” that Page’s July trip to Moscow “was a catalyst for the F.B.I. investigation into connections between Russia and President Trump’s campaign.” The Times does not say what information the FBI had received that made the Moscow trip such a “catalyst.”

At a meeting in deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe’s office, it was discussed that the bureau needed something akin to an “insurance policy” even though Trump’s election was thought highly unlikely.


Was it the Steele dossier?

Well, on July 19, Steele reported that, while in Moscow, Page had held secret meetings with two top Putin confederates, Igor Sechin and Ivan Diveykin. Steele claimed to have been informed by “a Russian source close to” Sechin, the president of Russia’s energy conglomerate Rosneft, that Sechin had floated to Page the possibility of “US-Russia energy co-operation” in exchange for the “lifting of western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.” Page was said to have reacted “positively” but in a manner that was “non-committal.”

Another source, apparently Russian, told Steele that “an official close to” Putin chief of staff Sergei Ivanov had confided to “a compatriot” that Igor Diveykin (of the “Internal Political Department” of Putin’s Presidential Administration) had also met with Page in Moscow. (Note the dizzying multiple-hearsay basis of this information.) Diveykin is said to have told Page that the regime had “a dossier of ‘kompromat’” — compromising information — on Hillary Clinton that it would consider releasing to Trump’s “campaign team.” Diveykin further “hinted (or indicated more strongly) that the Russian leadership also had ‘kompromat’ on TRUMP which the latter should bear in mind in his dealings with them.”

The hacked DNC emails were first released on July 22, shortly before the Democratic National Convention, which ran from July 25 through 28.

In “late July 2016,” Steele claimed to have been told by an “ethnic Russian close associate of . . . TRUMP” that there was a “well-developed conspiracy of co-operation” between “them” (apparently meaning Trump’s inner circle) and “the Russian leadership.” The conspiracy was said to be “managed on the TRUMP side by the Republican candidate’s campaign manager, Paul MANAFORT, who was using foreign policy adviser, Carter PAGE, and others as intermediaries.”

The same source claimed that the Russian regime had been behind the leak of DNC emails “to the WikiLeaks platform,” an operation the source maintained “had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team.” As a quid pro quo, “the TRUMP team” was said to have agreed (a) “to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue,” and (b) to raise the failure of NATO nations to meet their defense commitments as a distraction from Russia aggression in Ukraine, “a priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject.”

Late July to Early August 2016
The Washington Post has reported that Steele’s reports were first transmitted “by an intermediary” to the FBI and other U.S. intelligence officials after the Democratic National Convention (which, to repeat, ended on July 28). The intermediary is not identified. We do not know if it was Fusion, though that seems likely given that Fusion shared its work with government and non-government entities. Steele himself is also said to have contacted “a friend in the FBI” about his research after the Democratic convention. As we’ve seen, Steele made bureau friends during the FIFA investigation.

August 2016
On August 11, as recounted in the aforementioned Wall Street Journal report, FBI agent Strzok texted the following message to FBI lawyer Page: “OMG I CANNOT BELIEVE WE ARE SERIOUSLY LOOKING AT THESE ALLEGATIONS AND THE PERVASIVE CONNECTIONS.” The Journal does not elaborate on what “allegations” Strzok was referring to, or the source of those allegations.

On August 15, Strzok texted Page about the meeting in deputy FBI director McCabe’s office at which it was discussed that the bureau “can’t take that risk” of a Trump presidency and needed something akin to an “insurance policy” even though Trump’s election was thought highly unlikely.

September 2016
Reporting indicates that sometime in September 2016, the DOJ and FBI applied to the FISA court for a warrant to surveil Carter Page, and that the warrant was granted.

Interestingly, on September 23, 2016, Yahoo’s Michael Isikoff reported on leaks he had received that the U.S. government was conducting an intelligence investigation to determine whether Carter Page, as a Trump adviser, had opened up a private communications channel with such “senior Russian officials” as Igor Sechin and Igor Diveykin to discuss lifting economic sanctions if Trump became president.

It is now known that Isikoff’s main source for the story was Fusion’s Glenn Simpson. Isikoff’s report is rife with allegations found in the dossier, although the dossier is not referred to as such; it is described as “intelligence reports” that “U.S. officials” were actively investigating — i.e., Steele’s reports were described in a way that would lead readers to assume they were official U.S. intelligence reports. But there clearly was official American government involvement: Isikoff’s story asserts that U.S. officials were briefing members of Congress about these allegations that Page was meeting with Kremlin officials on Trump’s behalf. The story elaborated that “questions about Page come amid mounting concerns within the U.S. intelligence community about Russian cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee.” Those would be the cyberattacks alleged — in the dossier on which Congress was being briefed — to be the result of a Trump-Russia conspiracy in which Page was complicit.

Isikoff obviously checked with his government sources to verify what Simpson had told him about the ongoing investigation that was based on these “intelligence reports.” His story recounts that “a senior U.S. law enforcement official” confirmed that Page’s alleged contacts with Russian officials were “on our radar screen. . . . It’s being looked at.”

Final Points to Consider
After his naval career, Page worked in investing, including several years at Merrill Lynch in Moscow. As my column last weekend detailed, he has been an apologist for the Russian regime, championing appeasement for the sake of better U.S.–Russia relations. Page has acknowledged that, during his brief trip to Moscow in July 2016, he ran into some Russian government officials, among many old Russian friends and acquaintances. Yet he vehemently denies meeting with Sechin and Diveykin. (While Sechin’s name is well known to investors in the Russian energy sector, Page says that he has never met him and that he had never even heard Diveykin’s name until the Steele dossier was publicized in early 2017.) Furthermore, Page denies even knowing Paul Manafort, much less being used by Manafort as an intermediary between the Trump campaign and Russia. Page has filed a federal defamation lawsuitagainst the press outlets that published the dossier, has denied the dossier allegations in FBI interviews, and has reportedly testified before the grand jury in Robert Mueller’s special-counsel investigation.

Even though the FISA warrant targeting Page is classified and the FBI and DOJ have resisted informing Congress about it, some of its contents were illegally and selectively leaked to the Washington Post in April 2017 by sources described as “law enforcement and other U.S. officials.” According to the Post:

The government’s application for the surveillance order targeting Page included a lengthy declaration that laid out investigators’ basis for believing that Page was an agent of the Russian government and knowingly engaged in clandestine intelligence activities on behalf of Moscow, officials said.

Among other things, the application cited contacts that he had with a Russian intelligence operative in New York City in 2013, officials said. Those contacts had earlier surfaced in a federal espionage case brought by the Justice Department against the intelligence operative and two other Russian agents. In addition, the application said Page had other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed, officials said.

I’ve emphasized that last portion because it strongly implies that the FISA application included information from the Steele dossier. That is, when the Post speaks of Page’s purported “other contacts with Russian operatives that have not been publicly disclosed,” this is very likely a reference to the meetings with Sechin and Diveykin that Page denies having had — the meetings described in the dossier. Do not be confused by the fact that, by the time of this Post report, the Steele-dossier allegations had already been disclosed to the public by BuzzFeed (in January 2017). The Post story is talking about what the DOJ and FBI put in the FISA application back in September 2016. At that time, the meetings alleged in the dossier had not been publicly disclosed.

Two final points.

First: The FISA application’s reliance on 2013 events as a basis for suspicion in 2016 that Page was a foreign agent of Russia is curious. The 2013 investigation involved Russian intelligence operatives who were trying to recruit business people, such as Page, as sources — i.e., Page was being approached by Russia, not acting on Russia’s behalf. In the 2013 investigation, Page met with a Russian agent, whom he apparently did not realize was an agent. They met at an energy symposium in New York and Page did networking-type things: exchanging contact information and providing his jejune assessment of the energy sector’s prospects. The Russian agent described Page as an “idiot” in a recorded conversation. According to Page, he cooperated with the FBI and helped prosecutors in the case against one of the suspects — claims that the government could easily disprove if he is lying.

Second: In reporting on the FISA warrant that targeted Page, the Washington Post asserted that “an application for electronic surveillance under [FISA] need not show evidence of a crime.” That is not accurate.

Under federal surveillance law (sec. 1801 of Title 50, U.S. Code), the probable-cause showing the government must make to prove that a person is an agent of a foreign power is different for Americans than for aliens. If the alleged agent is an alien, section 1801(b)(1) applies, and this means that no crime need be established; the government need only show that the target is acting on behalf of a foreign power in the sense of abetting its clandestine anti-American activities.

By contrast, if the alleged agent is an American citizen, such as Page, section 1801(b)(2) applies: The government must show not only that the person is engaged in clandestine activities on behalf of a foreign power but also that these activities (1) “involve or may involve a violation of the criminal statutes of the United States”; (2) involve the preparation for or commission of sabotage or international terrorism; (3) involve using a false identity to enter or operate in the United States on behalf of a foreign power; or (4) involve conspiring with or aiding and abetting another person in the commission of these criminal activities.All of these involve evidence of a crime.

The only known suspicions about Page that have potential criminal implications are the allegations in the dossier, which potentially include hacking, bribery, fraud, and racketeering — if Russia were formally considered an enemy of the United States, they would include treason.

The FBI always has information we do not know about. But given that Page has not been accused of a crime, and that the DOJ and FBI would have to have alleged some potential criminal activity to justify a FISA warrant targeting the former U.S. naval intelligence officer, it certainly seems likely that the Steele dossier was the source of this allegation.

In conclusion, while there is a dearth of evidence to date that the Trump campaign colluded in Russia’s cyberespionage attack on the 2016 election, there is abundant evidence that the Obama administration colluded with the Clinton campaign to use the Steele dossier as a vehicle for court-authorized monitoring of the Trump campaign — and to fuel a pre-election media narrative that U.S. intelligence agencies believed Trump was scheming with Russia to lift sanctions if he were elected president. Congress should continue pressing for answers, and President Trump should order the Justice Department and FBI to cooperate rather than — what’s the word? — resist.

— Andrew C. McCarthy is a senior fellow at the National Review Institute and a contributing editor of National Review.


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5:18 AM 12/27/2017 – House Probe Looks Into Corruption, Criminal Behavior at FBI, DOJ – The New American

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House Probe Looks Into Corruption, Criminal Behavior at FBI, DOJ

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House Probe Looks Into Corruption, Criminal Behavior at FBI, DOJ – The New American

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Michael Flynn Jr and Michael Flynns brother both go berserk
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House Probe Looks Into Corruption, Criminal Behavior at FBI, DOJ – The New American
 

House Probe Looks Into Corruption, Criminal Behavior at FBI, DOJ
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The ongoing witch hunt of Trump/Russia collusion just took an interesting turn. A group of Republicans in the House of Representatives frustrated with the Justice Department’s refusal to explain its use of the now-discredited Trump dossier has and more »

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Robert Mueller just scored a big victory toward taking down Donald Trump

When it comes to the investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal and his other assorted crimes, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has the upper hand in nearly every way. He has the leeway to do essentially whatever he sees fit with the probe. He has the evidence on his side. He has multiple key cooperating witnesses. There is only one thing that Mueller doesn’t necessarily have on his side but he just scored a key victory in that regard.Trump has been sitting back and letting Mueller pick him apart because Trump is under the delusion that Mueller is ultimately going to exonerate him. This is in large part thanks to Trump’s own attorneys, who for reasons known only to them have convinced Trump that Mueller will clear him soon. The trouble: the imaginary deadlines made up by Trump’s attorneys have come and gone, and Trump has gotten antsy, on the verge of figuring out that he’s in real trouble, and perhaps deciding to fight back accordingly. Yet now we’re learning that time is once again on Mueller’s side.

At last count, Trump’s attorneys had convinced him that Mueller would wrap the investigation and exonerate him by Christmas. They’ve slid that date back on Trump before, and he’s bought into it. But the holidays and the end of the year are a difficult deadline to get past. Yet nonetheless, the Wall Street Journal (link) is reporting that Trump’s lawyers have now convinced him that Mueller may need through the end of January. This is fundamentally huge, and it finally tells us how that fabled meeting between Mueller and Trump’s attorneys went.

In the short term, Robert Mueller is at a crucial point in his investigation. He’s had the Michael Flynn plea deal in place for weeks, and he’s presumably been using that evidence to set up a move on Jared Kushner. If Trump can be convinced to keep waiting, it gives Mueller the time he needs to take Kushner down. In the longer term, if Trump’s attorneys were able to convince him to give Mueller into 2018, it means they can keep pushing him back, because he’ll swallow anything.

The post Robert Mueller just scored a big victory toward taking down Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

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AOL
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The real reason Robert Mueller hasnt arrested Jared Kushner (yet)

It’s been more than three weeks since Special Counsel Robert Mueller cut a plea deal with Michael Flynn. That deal was so lenient, with all but the lowest charge set aside, it’s clear that Flynn demonstrated to Mueller that he has evidence sufficient to use against bigger fish. We don’t know for sure who that fish is, but various circumstances suggest that Mueller is using the Flynn deal to target Kushner. So why doesn’t Mueller just handcuff Kushner, or whoever the current target is, and get it over with?The short answer: such an arrest would mean failure. Mueller’s probe isn’t an investigation into what Jared Kushner, or Michael Flynn, or Paul Manafort did. Sure, their activities are part of it. But this is an investigation into the role that Donald Trump played in the Russian election conspiracy. If Mueller has to arrest Kushner, it’ll be because Kushner has dug in his heels and decided to fight whatever charges might end up being brought against him. If that’s the case, then Mueller won’t get anything useful out of Kushner until at least after it goes to trial in six months or more. Even then, Mueller may never get anything out of him.

Mueller began by arresting Paul Manafort because he knew that Manafort would try to use his limitless cash and fancy lawyers to fight the charges in court. There was no chance of getting Manafort to agree to a deal anyway, so Mueller popped him in order to scare others into cutting deals. Sure enough, Flynn took a look at his own empty bank account and realized he could’t afford the kind of lawyers that get people off on technicalities and such, so he cut a deal.

Now Robert Mueller has enough from Michael Flynn to make the kind of bulletproof case against Jared Kushner (or whoever the current big-fish target is, if not Kushner) that even fancy lawyers can’t succeed in fighting. Mueller is surely trying to pressure that person into cutting a deal as we speak, and if it takes time so be it, because a deal will move things along much further than an arrest and trial. And if you think Kushner will never cut a deal against his own father-in-law, consider that most people thought Flynn would never cut a deal against his beloved Trump either.

The post The real reason Robert Mueller hasn’t arrested Jared Kushner (yet) appeared first on Palmer Report.

US congressional intel committees questioned a person who attended the infamous 2016 Trump Tower meeting with … – Business Insider
 


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The Mercury News
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Even Donald Trumps new handpicked FBI Director has had enough of his crap

Donald Trump has spent the better part of the year at war with the FBI, because he knows the bureau is in a position to expose his Russian treason and his lifetime of crimes. He’s publicly harassed, berated and threatened various FBI leaders. He infamously and illegally fired FBI Director James Comey. He’s still trying to get rid of Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. But the one person in the FBI who’s on his side is his own handpicked new Director, right? As it turns out, not so much.This summer, Trump nominated Christopher Wray as his new FBI Director. Based on his pattern of choosing his people, Trump clearly believed that Wray would throw the investigation in his favor, or at least be heavily biased in his favor. It appears that Wray has been playing along with this, at least to some extent. For instance Wray reassigned the FBI’s top lawyer Jim Baker for no valid reason, and it’s clear the move was only made because Baker is a witness in the obstruction case against Trump. Up to now it hasn’t been clear if Wray was eagerly helping Trump out, or simply doing enough to keep Trump satisfied. But now Wray is letting leak that he’s had enough.

Trump’s vicious public attacks this weekend on McCabe appear to have been enough to push Wray over the edge. Take this sentence from a new Wall Street Journal report (link): “Associates of Mr. Wray said the director has confidence in Mr. McCabe and admired how he ran the bureau after Mr. Comeys firing. Mr. Wray doesnt want to appear to have buckled under pressure from Mr. Trump or Republicans, the associates said.” Remarks like this don’t find their way into major newspapers by accident.

The only way that Christopher Wray’s “associates” would be sharing Wray’s views with the Wall Street Journal is if Wray himself told them to. This is his way of publicly pushing back against Trump’s antics. Trump may not take the hint, and Andrew McCabe may or may not survive this. But either way, it’s clear that Wray has already had enough of Trump’s crap. Yet again, Trump has misjudged his man.

The post Even Donald Trump’s new handpicked FBI Director has had enough of his crap appeared first on Palmer Report.

Germany Accuses Chinese Intelligence Services Of Using Fake LinkedIn Profiles To Recruit Informants And Extract … – Techdirt
 

Germany Accuses Chinese Intelligence Services Of Using Fake LinkedIn Profiles To Recruit Informants And Extract …
Techdirt
Over the last year, the scale of Russia’s disinformation activities has become clearer. Its Internet Research Agency has deployed an astonishing range of sophisticated techniques, included accounts on Twitter and Facebook, and hiring activists within  

Michael Flynn Jr and Michael Flynns brother both go berserk

Something very strange is going on within Michael Flynn’s family this week, and it raises questions about what’s going on behind the scenes with regard to Flynn and Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Flynn cut a plea deal with Mueller three weeks ago, and by now has surely turned over enough evidence to take down Donald Trump and/or another big fish. But what happened over the holidays that caused Flynn’s son and Flynn’s brother to suddenly go berserk on Twitter?By all accounts, Michael Flynn cut a plea deal in order to protect his son, who was also exposed to criminal culpability in the Trump-Russia scandal. Based on his Twitter posts in the weeks since, Michael Flynn Jr is far from happy about that arrangement. But during the course of December 25th and 26th, Junior has gone completely off the deep end. He suddenly decided that Donald Trump’s nonstop golfing is somehow a good thing for conducting the nation’s business.

In the process, Michael Flynn Jr lashed out at Business Insider for being “idiots” and he slammed Raw Story for being a “POS left wing rag.” He also posted a barely describable video of CNN throwing a Christmas tree while Trump watched. Somewhere in there he also attacked the U.S. Navy based on a ridiculous conspiracy theory. But the simultaneous meltdown by Flynn’s brother may have been more telling.

Joseph Flynn took to Twitter on December 26th to lash out at Donald Trump, posting this rather hostile tweet: “About time you pardoned General Flynn who has taken the biggest fall for all of you given the illegitimacy of this confessed crime in the wake of all this corruption.” (link). He then deleted the tweet, but he acknowledges he posted it. So what’s going on here? Michael Flynn’s son and brother surely discussed aspects of his plea deal during Christmas. Perhaps Flynn told them he’s fully given Trump up, and neither is taking the news well. But something is certainly odd here.

The post Michael Flynn Jr and Michael Flynn’s brother both go berserk appeared first on Palmer Report.

Global Pulse: Putin may be in trouble, and there is fear over a Chinese economic takeover of Pakistan – ThePrint
 


ThePrint
Global Pulse: Putin may be in trouble, and there is fear over a Chinese economic takeover of Pakistan
ThePrint
American political leaders have long explained their country’s foreign policies as a form of enlightened self-interest. Their German counterparts have gone out of their way to portray themselves as guided by enlightened selflessness, writes Kirchickand more »

Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated options – Brinkwire (press release)
 


Brinkwire (press release)
Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated options
Brinkwire (press release)
One of the covert options that officials discussed called for U.S. spy agencies to create fake websites and personas on social media to fight back against the Kremlin’s trolls in Europe. Proponents wanted to spread anti-Kremlin messages, drawing on U.S 
Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet as Washington debated optionsWashington Postall 9 news articles »

Michael Morell and Mike Rogers: Russian cyber-threat remains – Omaha World-Herald
 


Omaha World-Herald
Michael Morell and Mike Rogers: Russian cyber-threat remains
Omaha World-Herald
In a single week this month, Moscow used Kremlin-oriented accounts to discredit the FBI after it was revealed that an agent had been demoted for sending anti- Donald Trump texts; to attack ABC News for an erroneous report involving President Donald and more »


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M.N.: The $100B Question is: Is this the truth or the show, and to what degrees, and also, staged by whom, and for what purposes? | Rolling Stones – “Under my thumb!” or: “If I only knew then, what I know now!” – 4:11 AM 12/19/2017 – James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian ‘asset’

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M.N.: The $100B Question is: Is this the truth or the show, and to what degrees, and also, staged by whom, and for what purposes?

rolling stones – under my thumb, or: 

If I only knew then, what I know now!

____________________________

James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian ‘asset’

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james clapperJames Clapper. AP

  • Former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is handling President Donald Trump as an intelligence “asset.”
  • Trump has frequently praised the Russian leader and expressed the desire to foster closer ties with Russia. The two also share similar views on a number of topics, like the media and the ongoing Russia investigation.
  • Clapper said Putin appears to b e using his past experience and training as a KGB officer in “managing a pretty important account,” referring to Trump.

In his sharpest critique yet, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper characterized President Donald Trump as an “asset” to Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday.

Clapper appeared on CNN after Trump announced his new national-security strategy, which categorizes China and Russia as rivals whose interests are “antithetical” to the US.’ The White House additionally accused Russia of “using information tools in an attempt to undermine the legitimacy of democracies.”

During the press conference, Trump also brought up the phone call he had with Putin over the weekend, during which the Russian leader called Trump to thank him for sharing critical CIA intelligence that thwarted a planned terror attack in St. Petersburg.

“Yesterday I received a call from President Putin of Russia thanking our country for the intelligence that our CIA was able to provide them concerning a major terrorist attack,” Trump said. “That’s a great thing, and the way it’s supposed to work. That is the way it’s supposed to work.”

During Monday’s interview on CNN, Clapper said that the US and Russia have shared intelligence of that nature for quite a while, and that Putin’s phone call to Trump seemed “theatric” and was “illustrative of what a great case officer” he is. Clapper added that Putin, a former KGB operative, “knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with the president.”

Trump has long expressed both admiration for Putin, as well as a desire to foster closer ties with Russia. He has also frequently echoed Putin’s own talking points. Experts say the most prominent example is Trump’s initial reluctance to accept the US intelligence community’s findings that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to sway the race in his favor.

He repeatedly cast doubt on the assessment, at times suggesting that there was no way to be sure that Russia meddled, that it could have been private hackers who weren’t affiliated with the Russian government, that it could have been other countries, or rejecting the intelligence community’s findingsaltogether.

He has also dismissed congressional and FBI investigations into Russia’s election interference as politically-motivated “witch hunts” aimed at crippling his governing capacity, while disparaging the FBI’s reputation as the “worst in history.”

Clapper, former CIA director John Brennan, and former FBI director James Comey — all of whom Trump called “political hacks” — have repeatedly warned of Putin’s tactics, and Clapper said Monday that he appears to be playing to Trump’s characteristics. The Russian leader is reportedly briefed on all of Trump’s tweets — his preferred method of communicating with the public — and he has made remarks over the last few months that mirror Trump’s own beliefs.

Like Trump, Putin often denounces the independent press, and he recently criticized the Russia investigation as being “invented by the people who stand in opposition to Mr Trump to present his work as illegitimate.”

“You have to remember Putin’s background,” Clapper said Monday. “He’s a KGB officer. That’s what they do. They recruit assets.”

He added that Putin appears to be using his past experience and instincts now to manage “a pretty important account for him, if I could use that term, with our president.”

Read the whole story
· · · ·

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian ‘asset’ – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian ‘asset’
Business Insider
Former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is handling President Donald Trump as an intelligence “asset.” Trump has frequently praised the Russian leader and expressed the desire to 
Former Intel chief: Putin is handling Trump like ‘an asset’The Hill
Putin thanks Trump for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in RussiaWashington Post
Putin thanks Trump for CIA’s help in stopping terror attacksCNN
New York Daily News –CBS News
all 559 news articles »

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Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian ‘asset’ – Business Insider
Donald Trump | The Guardian: How Donald Trump has blown the White House drama out of the water
putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Trump’s tough talk can’t hide the incoherence of his foreign policy – Washington Post
Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: As Trump Is Distracted, the Chinese are Moving In On Ukraine – Newsweek
US elections and russia – Google News: Russian tweets on Brexit were minimal, study shows – Financial Times
FBI politicization – Google News: The FBI and CIA need more political management, not less – The Hill
trump and putin – Google News: Trump’s National Security Plan Warns of ‘Great Power Competition’ With Russia and China – New York Times
trump under federal investigation – Google News: ‘Multiple’ fatalities as Amtrak train derails, dangles over highway in Washington state – USA TODAY
Russians Tried to Recruit Black Students to Bash Hillary Clinton – Daily Beast
Facebook And Twitter Say There Was Practically Zero Russian Influence Upon Brexit. They’re Being Told To Look Again. – BuzzFeed News
Kremlin’s new cyber weapons spark fears and fantasies – Times LIVE
Déjà Vu All Over Again Russian Active Measures – Security Boulevard
Study: Russia-linked fake Twitter accounts sought to spread terrorist-related social division in the UK – TechCrunch
Thanks for the help, Putin tells Trump on the phone – American Military News
A ‘coup in America?’ Fox News escalates anti-Mueller rhetoric. – Washington Post
These flirty, Trump-hating texts between FBI agents are kind of adorable – VICE News
Fox News’s FBI coup conspiracy theory, explained – Vox
Lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained emails from Trump team – WCAX
FEMA defends Puerto Rico hurricane response amid criticism
Amtrak train derails, dangles over interstate in Washington
Mother, 3 Young Children Die in NYC House Fire
Derailed Amtrak train dangles over highway in Washington
Video Shows Amtrak Train Off Washington Bridge
High-speed Amtrak train derails in DuPont, Washington
Amtrak train derails on newly opened route

 

Saved Stories – None
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian ‘asset’ – Business Insider
 


Business Insider
Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper: Putin is handling Trump like a Russian ‘asset’
Business Insider
Former US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said Monday that Russian President Vladimir Putin is handling President Donald Trump as an intelligence “asset.” Trump has frequently praised the Russian leader and expressed the desire to 
Former Intelligence Chief James Clapper: Putin Is Handling Trump Like A Russian ‘Asset’HuffPost
Putin Handling Trump Like An ‘Asset,’ Former Intelligence Chief SaysNewsweek
Former Intel chief: Putin is handling Trump like ‘an asset’The Hill 
Putin thanks Trump for CIA intel that foiled a planned terrorist attack in RussiaWashington Post
Putin thanks Trump for CIA’s help in stopping terror attacksCNN
New York Daily NewsCBS News
all 559 
Washington PostCNN
all 515
 news articles »
Donald Trump | The Guardian: How Donald Trump has blown the White House drama out of the water

The US TV industry has always been fascinated by the presidency. But the shenanigans of the current Oval Office incumbent are so far-fetched that programme-makers cant compete

TV drama in the US has long been fascinated with the White House. Starting with The West Wing, there has been a glut in recent years: from House of Cards, Madam Secretary and Scandal to Homeland, in which the Oval Office is very much part of the action.

Not only do these series offer a sense of intrigue at the highest level but they serve as an assurance about the high-functioning nature of those in the upper echelons of power. The West Wing was particularly reverential, pandering to the patriotic, quasi-monarchical veneration in which the presidency is held by both liberals and conservatives. Martin Sheens Jed Bartlet was quick-witted, fluent in Latin and decent to the core. He offered a fictional reproach to the dim wattage of the actual White House incumbent of the time, George W Bush.

Related: When good TV goes bad: how The West Wing went south

Related: Veep resigns after season seven but leaves a peerless comedy legacy

Continue reading…

 Donald Trump | The Guardian

putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Trump’s tough talk can’t hide the incoherence of his foreign policy – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Trump’s tough talk can’t hide the incoherence of his foreign policy
Washington Post
Noah Rothman, a conservative commentator, described the address as “a slightly downbeat stump speech from the 2016campaign trail.” The speech also came on the same day the White House released its National Security Strategy, a lengthy document that is and more »

 putin won US 2016 election – Google News

Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: As Trump Is Distracted, the Chinese are Moving In On Ukraine – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
As Trump Is Distracted, the Chinese are Moving In On Ukraine
Newsweek
An acceptable end state for both countries would likely be a Ukraine that is under Russian political and military influence, is being rebuilt with Chinese funds, and serves as a conduit for Chinese influence to Europe, where Western influence is 
Too much is at stake to give up on UkraineFinancial Timesall 4 news articles »

 Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News

US elections and russia – Google News: Russian tweets on Brexit were minimal, study shows – Financial Times
 


Financial Times
Russian tweets on Brexit were minimal, study shows
Financial Times
Vidya Narayanan, a researcher at the Oxford Internet Institute’s computational propaganda project, said that its report showed there was no significant Russian activity. She suggested one reason might be that, unlike the US presidential election and more »

 US elections and russia – Google News

FBI politicization – Google News: The FBI and CIA need more political management, not less – The Hill
 


The Hill
The FBI and CIA need more political management, not less
The Hill
The most severe option would be to require senior career CIA and FBI officials to retire and to obtain reappointment from the president and confirmation from the Senate. What about the potential for it to politicize intelligence and policing? We 

 FBI politicization – Google News

trump and putin – Google News: Trump’s National Security Plan Warns of ‘Great Power Competition’ With Russia and China – New York Times
 


New York Times
Trump’s National Security Plan Warns of ‘Great Power Competition’ With Russia and China
New York Times
But Mr. Trump, in presenting a new national security strategy that carried distinct echoes of the Cold War, said nothing about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, even though the official strategy document itself warns briefly of and more »

 trump and putin – Google News

trump under federal investigation – Google News: ‘Multiple’ fatalities as Amtrak train derails, dangles over highway in Washington state – USA TODAY
 


USA TODAY
‘Multiple’ fatalities as Amtrak train derails, dangles over highway in Washington state
USA TODAY
DUPONT, Wash. An Amtrak train on its inaugural run derailed south of Seattle on Monday, causing multiple deaths and injuries as rail cars plunged off a bridge over a traffic-clogged interstate, authorities said. AT least five vehicles on I-5 were and more »

 trump under federal investigation – Google News

Russians Tried to Recruit Black Students to Bash Hillary Clinton – Daily Beast
 


Daily Beast
Russians Tried to Recruit Black Students to Bash Hillary Clinton
Daily Beast
IN OCTOBER 2016, a month before the U.S. presidential elections, two men who claimed to be independent political and public affairs journalists with programs they said aired on RT, a Russian Television network funded by the Kremlin, met three Nigerian 
Facebook And Twitter Say There Was Practically Zero Russian Influence Upon Brexit. They’re Being Told To Look Again. – BuzzFeed News
 


BuzzFeed News
Facebook And Twitter Say There Was Practically Zero Russian Influence Upon Brexit. They’re Being Told To Look Again.
BuzzFeed News
The digital, culture, media and sport select committee (DCMS) inquiry is one of two UK probes looking at Russiandisinformation around recent elections, with the other being taken up by the independent UK watchdog, the Electoral Commission. While a 
Kremlin’s new cyber weapons spark fears and fantasies – Times LIVE
 


Times LIVE
Kremlin’s new cyber weapons spark fears and fantasies
Times LIVE
Fears initially centred on mysterious Russian hackers who supposedly worked for Moscow’s security services as part of a cyber war but then shifted to a flood of online articles and social media posts aiming to explain Moscow’s position and play up the and more »
Déjà Vu All Over Again Russian Active Measures – Security Boulevard
 

Déjà Vu All Over Again Russian Active Measures
Security Boulevard
Reviewing the current discourse surrounding the use of social networks by Russia, one cannot help but have a sense of déjà vu, as the tried and true Cold War tactics of the Soviet Union percolate to the forefront. Specifically, how the Russian 
Study: Russia-linked fake Twitter accounts sought to spread terrorist-related social division in the UK – TechCrunch
 


Digital Journal
Study: Russia-linked fake Twitter accounts sought to spread terrorist-related social division in the UK
TechCrunch
A study by UK academics looking at how fake social media accounts were used to spread socially divisive messages in the wake of a spate of domestic terrorists attacks this year has warned that the problem of hostile interference in public debate is
Russia trolls try to sow UK discord amid attacks: reportDigital Journalall 10 6 news articles »
Thanks for the help, Putin tells Trump on the phone – American Military News
 


American Military News
Thanks for the help, Putin tells Trump on the phone
American Military News
In reporting Putin’s call to Trump Sunday, the official Russian news agency Tass said Putin thanked his American counterpart for information shared by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency that had helped break up a plot to set off explosives in St and more »
A ‘coup in America?’ Fox News escalates anti-Mueller rhetoric. – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
A ‘coup in America?’ Fox News escalates anti-Mueller rhetoric.
Washington Post
President Trump and his supporters at Fox News have used many words to describe the investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into the possible collusion between his campaign and Russian operatives to influence the 2016 presidential  
Fox News’s FBI coup conspiracy theory, explainedVox
Fox News under fire for reporter’s claims of White House ‘coup’ (VIDEO)RT
As multiple Fox News figures suggest the FBI is corrupt, Chris Wallace says that no one is attacking the FBI as an …Media Matters for Americaall 25 news articles » 

 and more » 

These flirty, Trump-hating texts between FBI agents are kind of adorable – VICE News
 


VICE News
These flirty, Trump-hating texts between FBI agents are kind of adorable
VICE News
The text messages between FBI agents Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, sent over the course of the 2016 campaign and published by Fox News on Tuesday evening, are the best early Christmas present to right-wingers who think the Russia investigation is a sham 
FBI and Justice Department Officials Might be Probed for Alleged Anti-Trump BiasNewsweek
GOP rep says he has assurance FBI, DOJ officials will be subpoenaedThe Hill
Top congressional Republican announces House committee to subpoena top officials at FBI here’s whyTheBlaze.com
Denton Record Chronicle –FrontPage Magazine –WND.com
all 35 news articles »
Fox News’s FBI coup conspiracy theory, explained – Vox
 


Vox
Fox News’s FBI coup conspiracy theory, explained
Vox
Some on the right are really ratcheting things up on the secret government conspiracy theory front. The latest suggestion: The FBI is orchestrating a coup. Fox News host Jesse Watters criticized Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation at the FBI 
Fox News Host Suggests We Have a Coup on Our Hands in AmericaSlate Magazine
Kellyanne Conway Says “Fix Was In” Against Trump In Fox News Interview That Alleged FBI Texts Evidence Of CoupNewsweek
Fox News under fire for reporter’s claims of White House ‘coup’ (VIDEO)RT
Media Matters for America –The Hill –Globalnews.ca
all 24 news articles »
Lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained emails from Trump team – WCAX
 


Washington Examiner
Lawyer: Mueller improperly obtained emails from Trump team
WCAX
Capitol Hill Republicans do say they will subpoena two former members of Mueller’s team. FBI Counterintelligence Agent Peter Strzok was taken off the investigation after Mueller learned he had texted with senior FBI lawyer Lisa Page criticizing then 
Trump claims he won’t fire special counsel over emailsSTLtoday.com
GOP senator: FBI agent’s political text messages don’t taint all of Robert Mueller’s investigationWashington Examiner
A ‘Daily Battle’ To Stop Trump From Firing MuellerWBUR
FOX43.com –CNN –Axios
all 833 news articles »
FEMA defends Puerto Rico hurricane response amid criticism

The U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency is rejecting a report by Refugees International criticizing local and federal hurricane response in Puerto Rico.
Amtrak train derails, dangles over interstate in Washington
 

From: CBSNewsOnline
Duration: 01:28

An Amtrak train has derailed on an overpass in Washington. At this time, all lanes of traffic remain blocked on Interstate 5. CBS News affiliate KIRO-TV reports first responders are treating the derailment as a mass casualty incident.

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Mother, 3 Young Children Die in NYC House Fire
 

From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:24

New York’s fire commissioner says at least four people from one family died in an early morning fire in a house in Brooklyn, New York on Monday morning. Three more people were critically injured. (Dec. 18)

Subscribe for more Breaking News: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress
Get updates and more Breaking News here: http://smarturl.it/APBreakingNews

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats.
APs commitment to independent, comprehensive journalism has deep roots. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings. AP is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information.
Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content – we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. Subscribe: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress

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Derailed Amtrak train dangles over highway in Washington
 

From: CNN
Duration: 12:55

An Amtrak passenger train derailed Monday morning, spilling multiple cars off an Interstate 5 overpass in Pierce County, Washington, according to the Washington state Department of Transportation’s Twitter account.

Injuries and casualties have been reported, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office and Amtrak said.
All southbound lanes of the interstate are closed due to the derailment and the sight stunned motorists heading to work.

Video Shows Amtrak Train Off Washington Bridge
 

From: AssociatedPress
Duration: 01:24

An Amtrak train derailed south of Seattle, and authorities say “injuries and casualties” were reported. The train derailed about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Seattle before 8 a.m. Monday. (Dec. 18)

Subscribe for more Breaking News: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress
Get updates and more Breaking News here: http://smarturl.it/APBreakingNews

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats.
APs commitment to independent, comprehensive journalism has deep roots. Founded in 1846, AP has covered all the major news events of the past 165 years, providing high-quality, informed reporting of everything from wars and elections to championship games and royal weddings. AP is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information.
Today, AP employs the latest technology to collect and distribute content – we have daily uploads covering the latest and breaking news in the world of politics, sport and entertainment. Join us in a conversation about world events, the newsgathering process or whatever aspect of the news universe you find interesting or important. Subscribe: http://smarturl.it/AssociatedPress

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High-speed Amtrak train derails in DuPont, Washington
 

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 00:58

Incident involved Amtrak train 501; authorities advise drivers to avoid the area.

Amtrak train derails on newly opened route
 

From: FoxNewsChannel
Duration: 08:49

Authorities say ‘injuries and casualties reported’ in Amtrak trai


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1:39 PM 12/18/2017 – Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin desperately plot their endgame

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A Familiar Chill Returns Inside Russia – U.S. News & World Report
The US was right to help Russia prevent an ISIS attack on St. Petersburg – Washington Examiner
FBI warned Trump in 2016 Russians would try to infiltrate his campaign – NBCNews.com
House Russia Probe Picks Up Pace – Bloomberg
Trump strategy document singles out Russia as bad actor globally – Reuters
Trump received FBI warning that Russians would try to infiltrate campaign: report – The Hill
Obama administration ‘downplayed’ federal Hizbollah probe – The National
Pences Middle East trip will now focus heavily on smoothing things over with Egypt
Obama administration undermined anti-Hezbollah task force to help secure Iran nuke deal, report says – Fox News
Mother and Three Children Killed in Brooklyn Fire – New York Times
Puerto Rico’s governor orders review of deaths possibly tied to Maria – CNN
‘Security incident’ at RAF base in Suffolk – BBC News
Federal appeals judge announces immediate retirement amid probe of sexual misconduct allegations – Washington Post
Amtrak train derails over highway in Washington; injuries reported – CNN
RT @bpolitics: Democrats hit justice department for release of anti-Trump texts bloom.bg/2B0BOZH pic.twitter.com/V9Ezqy0WT7
RT @politico: NOW LIVE: The secret backstory of how the Obama administration let Hezbollah off the hook politico.com/project-cassan https://t.c
RT @USNavy: Sleep tight, America! Your #USNavy Sailors are forged by the sea and have the watch. pic.twitter.com/RrZzo0I1Qc
RT @realDonaldTrump: As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive TAX CUT for the everyday working American families who are the back
RT @Politicsinsider: A new poll shows ominous signs for Republicans in 2018 read.bi/2CriO2F pic.twitter.com/ZQF6faxyTU
RT @20committee: It’s almost like there are consequences to letting America’s critical infrastructure decline to 3rd World levels. https:/
RT @politico: The Obama administrations derailment of a DEA task force campaign against Hezbollah has undermined global drug trafficking e
RT @MSNBC: JUST IN: White House confirms phone call between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin https://t.co/J9Vnv0yrIH
RT @SASsoftware: Authorities use data analysis to expose hidden relationships in illegal organizations. Learn more. cards.twitter.com/cards/18ce53z8
RT @NBCNews: Returning from Camp David, Trump is asked if he’s considering firing Special Counsel Mueller. “No, I’m not,” the president sa

 

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Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin desperately plot their endgame

Even as Donald Trump desperately tries to sell the American public on the idea that he hasn’t actually been conspiring with Russian President Vladimir Putin all this time, Trump just keeps inventing new ways to conspire with Putin. As the Russia scandal exploded, he staged a two week trip to Asia as an excuse to meet with Putin in Vietnam. Now Trump has found an even more transparent way to conspire with Putin so they can presumably plot their endgame.

Trump and Putin have spoken by phone twice in four days. It’s not unusual for the leaders of the United States and Russia to remain in contact on various important issues. But in this instance, both phone calls were for no good reason. After the first phone call, Trump claimed that Putin had essentially called him to congratulate him on the rising U.S. stock market. Once you’re done laughing at that excuse, we’ll tell you that the second phone call was supposedly so that Putin could thank Trump for doing such a great job with the CIA. Nevermind that Trump hates the entire U.S. intel community.

So we know these two jokers are trying to cover up whatever they’ve really been discussing. Based on what’s going on around them, it’s pretty clear they’ve been trying to figure out what to do about the Trump-Russia scandal. Four of Trump’s own people have already been arrested in the scandal, and it’s expected that his son-in-law could be arrested as soon as next week. Putin has his own problems, as the powerful Russian oligarchs continue to be unhappy about the financial sanctions that the U.S. has slapped on Russia as a result of Putin’s antics.

The thing is, there’s no easy fix for either one of them. Donald Trump is the most unpopular first-year U.S. President in the history of polling, and the only one in danger of going to prison for crimes along the lines of treason. Vladimir Putin will never get U.S. sanctions lifted until Trump is long gone and Putin has done a whole lot to make things right. Neither man can win, and even survival is becoming more difficult. So what endgame are they plotting?

The post Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin desperately plot their endgame appeared first on Palmer Report.

A Familiar Chill Returns Inside Russia – U.S. News & World Report


U.S. News & World Report
A Familiar Chill Returns Inside Russia
U.S. News & World Report
The move came in response to U.S. authorities forcing the Russian state-funded propaganda TV channel RT to register under the U.S. Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA. U.S. officials have accused the Kremlin of using Russian media it sponsors to 

and more »

The US was right to help Russia prevent an ISIS attack on St. Petersburg – Washington Examiner


TASS
The US was right to help Russia prevent an ISIS attack on St. Petersburg
Washington Examiner
Trump was right to provide any intelligence that helped save innocent lives. Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that Russia is a determined foreign adversary of the United States. And in the dark world of covert intelligence and its polonium-irradiated  
Putin thanks Trump for CIA’s help in stopping terror attacksCNN

Kremlin points to CIA terror plot tipoff as shining example of cooperationTASS 
Putin thanks Trump for CIA’s help in stopping terror attacksCNN

CIA Helped Thwart Terrorist Attack in Russia, Kremlin SaysNew York Times
Financial TimesSlate MagazineThe Australian 
all 309
 
Daily Express
all 283 news articles »
FBI warned Trump in 2016 Russians would try to infiltrate his campaign – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
FBI warned Trump in 2016 Russians would try to infiltrate his campaign
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON In the weeks after he became the Republican nominee on July 19, 2016, Donald Trump was warned that foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate his campaign, according to multiple government officials 
National security strategy plan paints China, Russia as US competitorsWashington Post
Trump to Declare China ‘Strategic Competitor’ in Security SpeechBloomberg
Trump foreign policy plan stresses home frontPolitico

all 171 news articles »

House Russia Probe Picks Up Pace – Bloomberg


Bloomberg
House Russia Probe Picks Up Pace
Bloomberg
… 2016, meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Clinton. Trump Jr. has said turned out to be a bogus promise and no such information was provided. Later this week, panel members and staff will travel to New York
Republicans Refuse to Continue Trump Investigation, Won’t Name New Witnesses in ProbeNewsweek
Rep. Adam Schiff Warns Republicans Are Moving to Shut Down House Russia Probe, Target MuellerMother Jones
House Republicans Want Trump Russia Probe Over, Won’t Schedule New WitnessesThe Inquisitr
Carbonated.tv (blog) –ClickLancashire –Twitter –The Guardian
all 42 news articles »
Trump strategy document singles out Russia as bad actor globally – Reuters


Reuters
Trump strategy document singles out Russia as bad actor globally
Reuters
A U.S. federal investigation is also looking into whether Trump campaign aides colluded with Russia, something the Moscow and Trump deny. Trump has frequently spoken of his desire for an improved relationship with Putin, even though Russia has
Putin-Trump call: leaders hail US-Russian efforts to foil Isis bomb plotThe Guardian

all 301 news articles »

Trump received FBI warning that Russians would try to infiltrate campaign: report – The Hill


The Hill
Trump received FBI warning that Russians would try to infiltrate campaign: report
The Hill
Four people have been indicted so far in Mueller’s probe, including former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former campaign aide George Papadopoulos, who both pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about their contacts with Russians. The first

and more »

Obama administration ‘downplayed’ federal Hizbollah probe – The National


The National
Obama administration ‘downplayed’ federal Hizbollah probe
The National
Over its nearly decade-long course, however, Project Cassandra did lead to US federal court indictments and sanctions against alleged Hizbollah affiliates and shut down the privately-owned Lebanese Canadian Bank over money laundering allegations in 
The secret backstory of how Obama let Hezbollah off the hookPolitico

all 37 news articles »

Pences Middle East trip will now focus heavily on smoothing things over with Egypt

Pences Middle East trip will now focus heavily on smoothing things over with Egypt

When Vice President Pence travels to the Middle East next week, there is one message that the Trump administration wants to convey loud and clear: Egypt continues to be an incredibly important partner in the region. In a Friday morning phone call with reporters who will travel with Pence next week, senior administration officials kept []

Obama administration undermined anti-Hezbollah task force to help secure Iran nuke deal, report says – Fox News


Fox News
Obama administration undermined anti-Hezbollah task force to help secure Iran nuke deal, report says
Fox News
The Obama administration gave a free pass to Hezbollah’s drug-trafficking and money-laundering operations some of which were unfolding inside the U.S. to help ensure the Iran nuclear deal would stay on track, according to a bombshell exposé in 
Report: Obama administration derailed anti-Hezbollah project to secure Iran dealYnetnews

all 9 
Obama derailed campaign targeting Hezbollah to secure nuclear deal with Iran: ReportWashington Examiner

all 8 news articles »

Mother and Three Children Killed in Brooklyn Fire – New York Times


New York Post
Mother and Three Children Killed in Brooklyn Fire
New York Times
A mother and three children were killed and other members of their family were badly injured when a fire tore through a three-story home in Brooklyn in the early hours of Monday. After the flames were put out, the mother, 40, was found dead on the 
Mother, three children killed in massive Brooklyn fireNew York Post
Mother and 3 children killed in Brooklyn house fire: FDNYNew York’s PIX11 / WPIX-TV
3 children, mother die in Brooklyn house fireWCVB Boston
amNY –NBC New York –CBS New York –Fox5NY
all 23 news articles »
Puerto Rico’s governor orders review of deaths possibly tied to Maria – CNN


CNN
Puerto Rico’s governor orders review of deaths possibly tied to Maria
CNN
(CNN) Puerto Rico’s Gov. Ricardo A. Rosselló has ordered a review of deaths that might be related to Hurricane Maria, according to Yennifer Alvarez, a spokeswoman for Rosselló. The official death toll currently stands at 64, but an in-depth 
Puerto Rico Orders Review and Recount of Hurricane DeathsNew York Times
Broken bonds: The role Wall Street played in wiping out Puerto Ricans’ savingsCNBC
Hurricane Maria killed 64 Puerto Ricans. Another 1000 died because the disaster response was inadequate.Washington Post
Newsweek –The Hill –WABC-TV
all 100 news articles »
‘Security incident’ at RAF base in Suffolk – BBC News


Sky News
‘Security incident’ at RAF base in Suffolk
BBC News
A man has been arrested after apparently trying to drive through a checkpoint at a base used by the US air force in Suffolk. RAF Mildenhall was put into lockdown as police responded to reports of what they called a “significant incident”. A person was
US airforce base in Suffolk on lockdown after ‘car rams gate’Sky News
BREAKING: RAF base on LOCKDOWN after car ‘forces way through gates’Daily Star
UK police respond to ‘significant incident’ at RAF baseIrish Times
Metro
all 43 news articles »
Federal appeals judge announces immediate retirement amid probe of sexual misconduct allegations – Washington Post


Washington Post
Federal appeals judge announces immediate retirement amid probe of sexual misconduct allegations
Washington Post
Alex Kozinski, the powerful judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit who was facing a judicial investigation over allegations that he subjected 15 women to inappropriate sexual behavior, announced Monday that he would retire effective  
9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski steps down after accusations of sexual misconductLos Angeles Times
US judge steps down after accusations of sexual misconductFox News
 
Judge Alex Kozinski, accused of sexual misconduct, resignsCNN

Federal Judge Alex Kozinski Retires Abruptly After Sexual Harassment AllegationsNew York Times 
USA TODAY
 
Judge Alex Kozinski steps down after allegations of sexual misconductCBS News
SFGate
 –U.S. News & World Report SFGateSlate Magazine
all 77 Above the LawHuffPost
all 56
 
news articles »
Amtrak train derails over highway in Washington; injuries reported – CNN


CNN
Amtrak train derails over highway in Washington; injuries reported
CNN
(CNN) An Amtrak passenger train derailed Monday morning, spilling multiple cars off an Interstate 5 overpass in Pierce County, Washington, according to the Washington state Department of Transportation’s Twitter account. Injuries and casualties have 
Amtrak train derails, dangles over interstate in WashingtonCBS News
Amtrak derailment: Train crashes near Tacoma, Washington, fatalities reportedNBCNews.com
Amtrak train derails, dangles over interstate in Washington stateUSA TODAY
New York Daily News –BBC News –Seattle Times –New York Post
all 203 news articles »
RT @bpolitics: Democrats hit justice department for release of anti-Trump texts bloom.bg/2B0BOZH pic.twitter.com/V9Ezqy0WT7

Democrats hit justice department for release of anti-Trump texts bloom.bg/2B0BOZHpic.twitter.com/V9Ezqy0WT7



Posted by bpolitics on Monday, December 18th, 2017 1:00am
Retweeted by mikenov on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:01pm

4 likes, 6 retweets

RT @politico: NOW LIVE: The secret backstory of how the Obama administration let Hezbollah off the hook politico.com/project-cassan https://t.c

NOW LIVE: The secret backstory of how the Obama administration let Hezbollah off the hook politico.com/project-cassan https://t.co/wrBkSXVpjA


Posted by politico on Sunday, December 17th, 2017 10:17pm
Retweeted by mikenov on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:01pm

793 likes, 790 retweets

RT @USNavy: Sleep tight, America! Your #USNavy Sailors are forged by the sea and have the watch. pic.twitter.com/RrZzo0I1Qc

Sleep tight, America!
Your #USNavy Sailors are forged by the sea and have the watch. pic.twitter.com/RrZzo0I1Qc



Posted by USNavy on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:17am
Retweeted by mikenov on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:01pm

2674 likes, 832 retweets

RT @realDonaldTrump: As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive TAX CUT for the everyday working American families who are the back

As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive TAX CUT for the everyday working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country. Now, we are just days away… https://t.co/MADTGUMktX


Posted by realDonaldTrump on Sunday, December 17th, 2017 5:01pm
Retweeted by mikenov on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:02pm

73317 

73313 likes, 16273 retweets

RT @Politicsinsider: A new poll shows ominous signs for Republicans in 2018 read.bi/2CriO2F pic.twitter.com/ZQF6faxyTU

A new poll shows ominous signs for Republicans in 2018 read.bi/2CriO2F pic.twitter.com/ZQF6faxyTU



Posted by Politicsinsider on Sunday, December 17th, 2017 5:12pm
Retweeted by mikenov on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:02pm

10 likes, 9 retweets

RT @20committee: It’s almost like there are consequences to letting America’s critical infrastructure decline to 3rd World levels. https:/

It’s almost like there are consequences to letting America’s critical infrastructure decline to 3rd World levels.

reuters.com/article/us-atl


Posted by 20committee on Monday, December 18th, 2017 12:45am
Retweeted by mikenov on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:02pm

1999 

1998 likes, 943 retweets

RT @politico: The Obama administrations derailment of a DEA task force campaign against Hezbollah has undermined global drug trafficking e

The Obama administrations derailment of a DEA task force campaign against Hezbollah has undermined global drug trafficking efforts politi.co/2B26gms via @JoshMeyerDC pic.twitter.com/jaObevFkcL



Posted by politico on Monday, December 18th, 2017 1:30am
Retweeted by mikenov on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:03pm

609 likes, 653 retweets

RT @MSNBC: JUST IN: White House confirms phone call between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin https://t.co/J9Vnv0yrIH

JUST IN: White House confirms phone call between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin https://t.co/J9Vnv0yrIH


Posted by MSNBC on Sunday, December 17th, 2017 5:42pm
Retweeted by mikenov on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:03pm

1002 likes, 882 retweets

RT @SASsoftware: Authorities use data analysis to expose hidden relationships in illegal organizations. Learn more. cards.twitter.com/cards/18ce53z8

Authorities use data analysis to expose hidden relationships in illegal organizations. Learn more. cards.twitter.com/cards/18ce53z8


Posted by SASsoftware on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017 8:37pm
Retweeted by mikenov on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:03pm

336 likes, 133 retweets

RT @NBCNews: Returning from Camp David, Trump is asked if he’s considering firing Special Counsel Mueller. “No, I’m not,” the president sa

Returning from Camp David, Trump is asked if he’s considering firing Special Counsel Mueller.
“No, I’m not,” the president says. https://t.co/U3fCCHupOg


Posted by NBCNews on Sunday, December 17th, 2017 10:11pm
Retweeted by mikenov on Monday, December 18th, 2017 3:04pm

1610 likes, 705 retweets


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10:27 AM 12/18/2017 –  Michael Novakhov Retweeted: @DefenseOne: Allies Are Key, Says Trump’s National Security Strategy

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Tweets 

  1. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Allies Are Key, Says Trump’s National Security Strategy https://buff.ly/2BC8k3T  | @carolinehouck

    View image on Twitter
  2. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    As new National Security Strategy takes harder line against

    Important analysis by ex-NSC official (@bridgewriter) today.

    Topic: lack of legal basis for taking war to Iran in Syria—proposals for mil. escalation reported by @WSJ @DionNissenbaumhttps://www.justsecurity.org/49727/us-confronting-iran-syria-spoiling-unlawful-fight/ 

    U.S. “Confronting” Iran inside Syria: Spoiling for an Unlawful Fight?

    Former NSC Deputy Legal Advisor raises serious concerns about the legal justification for recent reports that the US military may try to confront Iran on the fields of Syria.

    justsecurity.org

  3. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Analysis: The White House’s odd statement about giving U.S. intelligence to Putin http://wapo.st/2CzlThk 

    Analysis | The White House’s odd statement about giving U.S. intelligence to Putin

    The White House’s statement sounds a lot like it was drafted by the exclamation-pointer in chief.

    washingtonpost.com

  4. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Russia notches a win in the Arctic after the U.S. fails to kill a giant gas project https://bloom.bg/2yT6PsB 

    View image on Twitter
  5. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Leading up to the Iran deal, a top intelligence official blocked the inclusion of a memo on the Hezbollah drug threat from Obama’s daily threat briefing, task force agents say http://politi.co/2CLJFaN 

    View image on Twitter
  6. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Returning from Camp David, Trump is asked if he’s considering firing Special Counsel Mueller.
    “No, I’m not,” the president says.

  7. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Authorities use data analysis to expose hidden relationships in illegal organizations. Learn more. https://cards.twitter.com/cards/18ce53z89w7/539×7 

    How can analytics change the world of ‘Narcos’?

    go.sas.com

  8. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    JUST IN: White House confirms phone call between President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin

  9. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    The Obama administration’s derailment of a DEA task force campaign against Hezbollah has undermined global drug trafficking efforts http://politi.co/2B26gms  via @JoshMeyerDC

    View image on Twitter
  10. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    It’s almost like there are consequences to letting America’s critical infrastructure decline to 3rd World levels.https://www.reuters.com/article/us-atlanta-airport/power-outage-leads-to-partial-shutdown-of-atlanta-airport-idUSKBN1EB0RT 

    Power outage leads to partial shutdown of Atlanta airport

    Hundreds of flights were delayed or canceled at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on Sunday as a power outage left passengers at the world’s busiest airport stranded in darkened…

    reuters.com

  11. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    A new poll shows ominous signs for Republicans in 2018 http://read.bi/2CriO2F 

    View image on Twitter
  12. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    As a candidate, I promised we would pass a massive TAX CUT for the everyday working American families who are the backbone and the heartbeat of our country. Now, we are just days away…

  13. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Sleep tight, America! 🇺🇸
    Your Sailors are forged by the sea and have the watch. ⚓

    View image on Twitter
  14. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    NOW LIVE: The secret backstory of how the Obama administration let Hezbollah off the hook http://politico.com/project-cassandra 

  15. Michael Novakhov Retweeted

    Democrats hit justice department for release of anti-Trump texts https://bloom.bg/2B0BOZH 

    View image on Twitter
  16. Michael Novakhov Retweeted