4:27 PM 12/2/2017 – Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – The Washington Post

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Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – The Washington Post

Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – Washington Post
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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
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The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putins agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. M.N.  12.2.17

 

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Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – The Washington Post

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Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has already interviewed two dozen current and former Trump aides, according to people familiar with the investigation. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

A white sedan whisked a man into the loading dock of a glass and concrete building in a drab office district in Southwest Washington. Security guards quickly waved the vehicle inside, then pushed a button that closed the garage door and shielded the guest’s arrival from public view.

With his stealth morning arrival Thursday, White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II became the latest in a string of high-level witnesses to enter the secretive nerve center of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Twenty hours later, Mueller and his team emerged into public view to rattle Washington with the dramatic announcement that former national security adviser Michael Flynn would plead guilty to lying to the FBI.

The ensnaring of Flynn, the second former aide to President Trump to cooperate with the inquiry, serves as the latest indication that Mueller’s operation is rapidly pursuing an expansive mission, drilling deeper into Trump’s inner circle.

In the past two months, Mueller and his deputies have received private debriefs from two dozen current and former Trump advisers, each of whom has made the trek to the special counsel’s secure office suite.

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The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips discusses what likely caused Michael Flynn to flip on his old boss.

The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips talks about what likely caused President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, to flip on his old boss and cooperate with the Mueller investigation. (Jason Aldag, Amber Phillips/The Washington Post)

Once inside, most witnesses are seated in a windowless conference room where two- and three-person teams of FBI agents and prosecutors rotate in and out, pressing them for answers.

Among the topics that have been of keen interest to investigators: how foreign government officials and their emissaries contacted Trump officials, as well as the actions and interplay of Flynn and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.

Often listening in is the special counsel himself, a sphinx-like presence who sits quietly along the wall for portions of key interviews.

This picture of Mueller’s operation — drawn from descriptions of witnesses, lawyers and others briefed on the interviews — provides a rare look inside the high-stakes investigation that could implicate Trump’s circle and determine the future of his presidency.

The locked-down nature of the probe has left both the witnesses and the public scrutinizing every move of the special counsel for meaning, without any certainty about the full scope of his investigation.

Trump and his lawyers have expressed confidence that Mueller will swiftly conclude his examination of the White House, perhaps even by the year’s end. Trump’s Democratic opponents hope the investigation will uncover more crimes and ultimately force the president’s removal from office.

Meanwhile, some witnesses who have been interviewed came away with the impression that the probe is unfolding and far from over.

“When they were questioning me, it seemed like they were still trying to get a feel of the basic landscape of the place,” said one witness who was questioned in late October for several hours and, like others, requested anonymity to describe the confidential sessions. “I didn’t get the sense they had anything incriminating on the president. Nor were they anywhere close to done.”

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment, citing the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb said he believes the probe’s focus on Trump’s White House is wrapping up, noting that all White House staffer interviews will be completed by the end of next week.

“At the end of the interviews, it would be reasonable to expect that it would not take long to bring this to conclusion,” Cobb said. “I commend the Office of Special Counsel for their acknowledged hard work on behalf of the country, to undertake this serious responsibility, and to perform it in an expedited but deliberate, thorough way.”

At least two dozen people who traveled in Trump’s orbit in 2016 and 2017 — on the campaign trail, in his transition operation and then in the White House — have been questioned in the past 10 weeks, according to people familiar with the interviews.

The most high profile is Kushner, who met with Mueller’s team in November, as well as former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer. Former foreign policy adviser J.D. Gordon has also been interviewed.

White House communications director Hope Hicks was scheduled to sit down with Mueller’s team a few days before Thanksgiving. Mueller’s team has also indicated plans to interview senior associate White House counsel James Burnham and policy adviser Stephen Miller.

McGahn, who was interviewed by Mueller’s prosecutors for a full day Thursday, was scheduled to return Friday to complete his interview. However, the special counsel postponed the session as a courtesy to allow McGahn to help the White House manage the response to Flynn’s plea, a person familiar with the interview said.

Cobb declined to say which White House aides remain to be interviewed.

Several people who worked shoulder to shoulder with Flynn have also been interviewed by Mueller’s operation. That includes retired Gen. Keith Kellogg, the chief of staff to the National Security Council, as well as several people who worked with Flynn Intel Group, a now-shuttered private consulting firm.

Mueller’s group has also inquired whether Flynn recommended specific foreign meetings to senior aides, including Kushner. Investigators were particularly interested in how certain foreign officials got on Kushner’s calendar and the discussions that Flynn and Kushner had about those encounters, according to people familiar with the questions.

During the transition, Kushner and Flynn met with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. At the early December meeting, Kushner suggested establishing a secure communications line between Trump officials and the Kremlin at a Russian diplomatic facility, according to U.S. officials who reviewed intelligence reports describing Kislyak’s account.

Kushner has said that Kislyak sought the secure line as a way for Russian generals to communicate to the incoming administration about U.S. policy on Syria.

Trump’s son-in-law has also been identified by people familiar with his role as the “very senior member” of the transition team who directed Flynn in December to reach out to Kislyak and lobby him about a U.N. resolution on Israeli settlements, according to new court filings.

The volume of questions about Kushner in their interviews surprised some witnesses.

“I remember specifically being asked about Jared a number of times,” said one witness.

Another witness said agents and prosecutors repeatedly asked him about Trump’s decision-making during the May weekend he decided to fire FBI Director James B. Comey. Prosecutors inquired whether Kushner had pushed the president to jettison Comey, according to two people familiar with the interview.

Kushner attorney Abbe Lowell declined to comment on what the president’s son-in-law discussed at his November session with Mueller. “Mr. Kushner has voluntarily cooperated with all relevant inquiries and will continue to do so,” he said.

Two administration officials said that it would be natural for investigators to ask a lot of questions about Kushner, whom Trump put in charge of communicating with foreign officials, adding that such inquiries do not indicate he is a target.

The special counsel has continued to make ongoing requests for records from associates of the Trump campaign, according to two people familiar with the requests. The campaign associates aren’t expected to finish producing these documents by the end of the year. Mueller’s team is also newly scrutinizing an Alexandria-based office and advisers who worked there on foreign policy for the campaign.

In the past several weeks, Mueller’s operation has reached out to new witnesses in Trump’s circle, telling them they may be asked to come in for an interview. One person who was recently contacted said it is hard to find a lawyer available for advice on how to interact with the special counsel because so many Trump aides have already hired attorneys.

“It was kind of a pain,” the person said. “It’s hard to find a lawyer who wasn’t already conflicted out.”

People who have gone before Mueller’s team describe polite but detailed and intense grillings that at times have lasted all day and involved more than a dozen investigators. Spicer, for example, was in the office from about 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. for his fall session. Mueller’s team has recommended nearby lunch spots, but many witnesses have food brought in for fear of being spotted if they go outside.

Mueller has attended some interviews, introducing himself to witnesses when he enters and then sitting along the wall. Sometimes he is joined by his deputy, longtime friend and law partner James Quarles, a former Watergate prosecutor who is the main point of contact for the White House.

Investigators bring large binders filled with emails and documents into the interview room. One witness described the ricochet of questions that followed each time an agent passed them a copy of an email they had been copied on: “Do you remember this email? How does the White House work? How does the transition work? Who was taking the lead on foreign contacts? How did that work? Who was involved in this decision? Who was there that weekend?”

Some witnesses were introduced to so many federal agents and lawyers that they later lamented that they had largely forgotten many of their names by the time one team left the room and a new team entered.

“They say, ‘Hey, we’re not trying to be rude, but people are going to come in and out a lot,’ ” one witness explained about the teams. “They kind of cycle in and out of the room.”

One contingent of investigators is focused on whether Trump tried to obstruct justice and head off the investigation into Russian meddling by firing Comey in May. Prosecutors Brandon Van Grack and Jeannie Rhee have been involved in matters related to Flynn.

Yet another team is led by the former head of the Justice Department’s fraud prosecutions, Andrew Weissman, and foreign bribery expert Greg Andres. Those investigators queried lobbyists from some of the most powerful lobby shops in town about their interactions with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign adviser Rick Gates.

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Mueller’s team charged Manafort and Gates last month with engaging in a conspiracy to hide millions of dollars in hidden foreign accounts and secretly creating an elaborate cover story to conceal their lobbying work for a former Ukrainian president and his pro-Russia political party. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Lawyers familiar with prosecutors’ questions about Manafort said they expect several more charges to come from this portion of the case.

People familiar with the Mueller team said they convey a sense of calm that is unsettling.

“These guys are confident, impressive, pretty friendly — joking a little, even,” one lawyer said. When prosecutors strike that kind of tone, he said, defense lawyers tend to think: “Uh oh, my guy is in a heap of trouble.”

Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.

Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – Washington Post

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Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation
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Trump Says ‘Absolutely No Collusion’ With Russia After Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty

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The former national security adviser may testify that a senior member of Trump’s transition team told him to contact Russia about an upcoming United Nations vote.

Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts – New York Times

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Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts
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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post

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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts
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The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged 
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FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages – The Daily Freeman

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FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages
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FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages. In this file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill in Washington. As Congress returns from its 

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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have …

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Special counsel attorney departs for FBI

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Lisa Page, an attorney who was part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, has left, the special … Peter Strzok, who was chief of the FBI counterespionage unit that was involved in overseeing the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private …
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Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.
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Top FBI official assigned to Muellers Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – The Washington Post

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The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged politically charged texts disparaging President Trump and supportive of Hillary Clinton, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.

During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The extramarital affair was problematic, these people said, but of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messages the two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season, in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.

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President Trump drew criticism for his apparent acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling. 

President Trump drew criticism for his apparent acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling. (Patrick Martin/The Washington post)

The people discussing the matter did not further describe the political messages between Strzok and Page, except to say the two would sometime react to campaign news of the moment.

The Justice Department inspector general’s office said in a statement Saturday that its investigators are “reviewing allegations involving communications between certain individuals, and will report its findings regarding those allegations promptly upon completion of the review of them.’’

A spokesman for Mueller’s office said Strzok was removed “immediately upon learning of the allegations,’’ and added that Page left the Mueller team two weeks before they became aware of the allegations.

The FBI declined to comment.

The Post has repeatedly sought comment from Strzok and Page, but got no response.

Defenders of Page and Strzok insisted the issue is “overblown’’ and that there was no misconduct between the two.

A friend of Page said there was no professional misconduct at issue in the matter, and she said Page left the Mueller team in July before any of the issues came to light.

When the issue arose, Strzok was taken off the Mueller team in August and he was given a job in the human resources division of the FBI — widely viewed as a demotion internally, according to people familiar with the matter. Page no longer works much with McCabe, these people said.

At the time they left Mueller’s group, no one publicly linked the two departures. For months, officials have refused to explain why Strzok was reassigned, but people familiar with the matter said it was ultimately Mueller’s decision.

Among federal law enforcement officials, there is great concern that exposure of the texts they exchanged may be used by the president and his defenders to attack the credibility of the Mueller probe, and the FBI more broadly, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Defenders of Strzok and Page inside the FBI said that because there was no direct supervisory role between Page and Strzok in the workplace, there wasn’t anything professionally wrong about having an affair, but added they understood why Mueller would not want anyone engaged in such conduct on his team. For one thing, if a foreign intelligence agency learned of such an affair, they could try to use it as a means of blackmail, though there’s no evidence anyone outside the FBI was aware of the relationship.

The president’s most vociferous defenders in Congress have called for a special counsel to investigate how the FBI handled the Clinton probe, and other Clinton-connected matters. Word of the texts could give new fuel to those demands.

The Clinton investigation formally ended in July 2016, when then-FBI Director James B. Comey announced he would recommend Clinton face no charges for her use of a private email server as secretary of state. But the issue was resurrected in late October, when Comey informed congressional leaders that the FBI had discovered new Clinton emails on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner, then the subject of a separate FBI investigation. Days later, Comey announced the emails on the laptop did not change the FBI’s view of the case.

Clinton and her supporters say Comey’s moves in October cost her the 2016 election, and Trump and his Republican allies have used it to justify Comey’s firing — the event that ultimately led to Mueller being appointed as special counsel.

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Mueller has so far charged four people in his investigation of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, most recently former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Of the four, two have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI — Flynn and a former Trump campaign adviser.

During the Clinton email investigation, Page was a regular participant when Comey would hold “skinny group’’ meetings on the case — a small collection of advisers that gathered to address sensitive cases, according to people familiar with the case.

Current and former FBI officials say the Strzok matter points to a larger, unresolved issue facing the agency as it tries to investigate the president and make a fresh start with a new director, Christopher A. Wray. Much of the agency’s senior leadership jobs are currently filled by people who were put in those positions by Comey and Wray has yet to make many significant changes at the top. But a major housecleaning by the new director is widely anticipated inside the bureau.

McCabe, the deputy director, has faced repeated questions from the White House and Republican lawmakers about whether he should have been involved in the Clinton case at all — given the hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations made to his wife, a candidate for political office in Virginia, by a key Clinton ally in 2015.

Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post

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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts
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Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted – The Guardian

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Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted
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The FBI failed to notify scores of US officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year, an investigation found. The Associated Press dedicated two months and a small team 

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James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse Post

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“‘But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,’ Amos 5:24,” Comey posted Friday on Instagram below the picture of gently cascading water.

“Anyone with a brain knows what he meant,” James Kallstrom told Breitbart News. “He thinks he was unjustly brought down, and now justice is going to prevail and show him as some sort of a martyr. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The post from the man fired by President Donald Trump earlier this year came within minutes after news hit that Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and that Trump’s former national security advisor planned to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s probe of possible collusion between the Republican nominee’s campaign and the Russian government.

“My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country,” Flynn explained in a statement. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

And shortly after the guilty plea and an acknowledgement of cooperation with Mueller became public, Comey posted the Bible verse on Instagram.

“He’s a guy who either knows the Bible or thought it would be cool to give that response back, when he is the emperor with no clothes,” Kallstrom explained. “He carried water for the Clinton Foundation and Obama administration, and demoralized the FBI, making a fool of himself in my view—he conducted himself in a way that was not in keeping with the rule of law—and here he is quoting the Bible. Hopefully, justice will roll down on him and his sycophants who threw the bureau under the bus.”

Kallstrom noted Comey’s lack of effective action on investigations involving Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious, and Hillary Clinton’s email scandal as examples of the former director’s failures in office that led to concerns that the director played favorites.

The 27-year veteran of the FBI believes that Comey’s social-media post buttresses criticism that he politicized the FBI when he served as director.

“He just showed himself as the hypocrite that he is,” Kallstrom offered. “He lacks the common sense to realize he’s digging his hole deeper.”

Review of FBI’s action during election coming next year

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Washington (CNN)A watchdog review of how the FBI handled its investigation into then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is on track for release next March or April, Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz said Wednesday.

The inspector general gave no clues in Wednesday’s appearance before the House oversight committee hinting at what the report would conclude. But he said the review is “moving along quite expeditiously.”

Horowitz

opened the probe

 in mid-January — prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration — when James Comey was still FBI director and when questions were still fresh about Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

Horowitz indicated at the time it would be a wide-ranging look at multiple ways the Justice Department and FBI may have impacted the election, including potentially improper disclosures of information and the bureau’s decision, days before the election, to release documents on a controversial pardon issued nearly 16 years earlier by Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton.

But no doubt central to the probe will be Comey’s multiple announcements about Clinton’s emails. In July 2016, he announced he would not recommend charges against Clinton. In late October — less than two weeks before the election — he notified Congress that the FBI obtained emails it previously did not have and would re-open the investigation.

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Two days before the election, he said the FBI had reviewed the emails and would not recommend charges.

Then-candidate Trump made the private server a key criticism of his campaign, and Clinton struggled to put the issue behind her.

Horowitz said Wednesday his office has “interviewed dozens of people” and reviewed 1.2 million records.

The report has taken time because some former Justice Department and FBI employees and their attorneys needed to have security clearances authorized, he added.

Horowitz noted the report could be delayed “because, as we’ve seen, events can arise, issues can arise that requires us to do additional interviews or get additional records.”

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FBI Sets Up ‘Foreign Influence‘ Task Force To Protect Election System

TPMNov 30, 2017
FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress Thursday that the FBI has a “foreign influence” task force to deal with election interference by outside actors. “I take any effort to interfere with out election system by Russia or any other nation state or non-nation state seriously, because it strikes right at the heart …
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to …
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FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks

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FBI Director Christopher WrayFBI Director Christopher Wray / Getty Images

BY: Natalie Johnson

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that adversarial governments are more often collaborating with criminals to carryout cyber attacks against the United States.

Wray said the indictment of a Canadian national who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to helping Russian spies hack into Yahoo email accounts reflect “one of the more dangerous, emerging threats” facing the United States today, known in the intelligence community as a “blended threat.”

“We are seeing an emergence of that kind of collaboration,” Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee, noting that until recently governments and criminals worked separately. “Now there’s this collusion, if you will, that’s occurring on a number of instances … like mercenaries being used to commit cyber attacks.”

The Justice Department announced charges in March against Karim Baratov, a 22-year-old Canadian citizen, and three other men, including two officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, for their involvement in the 2014 hack into Yahoo that affected 500 million accounts.

U.S. law enforcement officials said Baratov, who they dubbed a “hacker-for-hire,” acknowledged breaking into email accounts and selling the passwords to an agent of the FSB, a Russian intelligence agency.

The individuals targeted included Russian officials, a European diplomat, a former economic minister from a neighboring country, and a prominent banker.

The case confirmed longstanding suspicions that Russia’s government hires non-government hackers and uses its spy services to facilitate criminal activity in addition to conducting espionage.

Wray, who President Donald Trump handpicked to replace ousted FBI Director James Comey in June, said Russia is attempting to assert its dominance in the world by relying on asymmetric warfare to “damage and weaken” the United States

To combat the threat, Wray said he has set up a “foreign influence task force” within the bureau made up of different divisions, including counterintelligence, cyber, and criminal investigation. He said the agency would also coordinate closely with the Department of Homeland Security, which is charged with overseeing critical election infrastructure, to prevent against cyberattacks.

FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to … – Washington Free Beacon

mikenova shared this story from Christopher Wray – Google News.


Washington Free Beacon
Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea – Washington Post

mikenova shared this story from mueller – Google News.


Washington Post
Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea
Washington Post
Mueller’s decision to actually charge Flynn, then, is clearly a significant escalation of an investigation that has already led to charges against Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, and a similar guilty plea for making false statements by 
Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting StartedNew York Magazine
What Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Means in Mueller’s Russia InquiryNew York Times
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Shows That Robert Mueller Is Closing InWIRED
The Hill –Fox News
all 2,303 news articles »
Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting Started – New York Magazine

mikenova shared this story from mueller – Google News.


New York Magazine
Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting Started
New York Magazine
Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to investigate crimes associated with Russia’s role in the 2016 election, speaks softly but carries a big stick. On Friday, he quietly charged one of the biggest players in the saga, Donald Trump’s former 
Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty pleaWashington Post
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Shows That Robert Mueller Is Closing InWIRED
Flynn enters guilty plea, will cooperate with MuellerThe Hill
New York Times –NPR –New York Times
all 1,292 news articles »
3:31 PM 12/1/2017 Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data FiveThirtyEight

mikenova shared this story from FBI News Review.

Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data … – FiveThirtyEight Flynn is front and center – and that’s bad news for Trump and his relatives – SFGate Keeping America Secure in the New Age of Terror – Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog) Air Force … Continue reading“3:31 PM 12/1/2017 – Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data … – FiveThirtyEight”

Robert Mueller is a bloodhound on the trail: Donald Trump should be very worried after Michael Flynn’s guilty plea – New York Daily News

mikenova shared this story from mueller – Google News.


New York Daily News
Robert Mueller is a bloodhound on the trail: Donald Trump should be very worried after Michael Flynn’s guilty plea
New York Daily News
It seems we now know the reason the President has been unhinged these past few days. In his insecure and troubled mind, his worst fears have come to pass. Mike Flynn has turned state’s evidence. It should come as no surprise. The warning signs have 

and more »

Mueller’s swift moves signal mounting legal peril for the White House – Washington Post

mikenova shared this story from mueller – Google News.


Washington Post
Mueller’s swift moves signal mounting legal peril for the White House
Washington Post
After six months of work, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has indicted two advisers to President Trump and accepted guilty pleas from two others in exchange for their cooperation with his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election a sign
Trump keeps playing nice with Mueller, for nowPolitico
The Russia Investigations: After Flynn Plea Deal, Where Does Mueller Aim Next?NPR
Is It Too Late for Robert Mueller to Save Us?Slate Magazine
National Review –Newsweek
all 2,647 news articles »
Grassley suggests deputy FBI director may have violated Hatch Act – The Hill

mikenova shared this story from Andrew McCabe – Google News.


The Hill
Grassley suggests deputy FBI director may have violated Hatch Act
The Hill
“However, the e-mail communications released by the FBI show that Mr. McCabe did precisely that during his wife’s Virginia Senate campaign,” Grassley wrote. “For instance, in an August 19, 2015, e-mail from his FBI e-mail account to an undisclosed

Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us? – Townhall

mikenova shared this story from fbi – Google News.


Townhall
Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us?
Townhall
While the liberal media is celebrating the announcement that former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, a bigger scandal was practically ignored. On Thursday, Judicial Watch released 29 pages ofFBI 
Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting report triggered FBI hunt for leaker …Fox News
Loretta Lynch Meeting With Clinton Sparked FB | The Daily CallerThe Daily Caller

all 11 news articles »

The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putins agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. M.N.  12.2.17

mikenova shared this story from FBI News Review.

The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putin’s agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed.  The KGB (which always had a strong “zhidovskiy” element in it, and it always showed) extended their ugly stinking tentacles in the form and … Continue reading


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3:27 PM 12/2/2017 – Trump Says ‘Absolutely No Collusion’ With Russia After Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty

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Trump Says ‘Absolutely No Collusion’ With Russia After Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty

North Korea: Trump is ‘begging for nuclear war’ – CNN
‘No collusion’ between presidential campaign and Russia, says Trump video – The Guardian
“No collusion between presidential campaign and Russia, says Trump video
Trump on Michael Flynns guilty plea: Theres been absolutely no collusion
Donald Trump – Google News: Trump on Flynn deal: ‘There has been absolutely no collusion’ – CNN
Trump is finally fixing this economy-killing agency – New York Post
Key players in the Michael Flynn investigation – The Spokesman-Review
‘Absolutely no collusion’ Trump DENIES links between election campaign and Russia – Express.co.uk
Trump faces Watergate-era question: What did he know, when did he know it? – WBIR-TV
James Comey Quotes Bible Verse After Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI – Christian Post
Trump lawyer: Collusion is not a crime – The Hill
Trump faces Watergate-era question: What did he know, when did he know it? – WXIA-TV
Trump on Flynn deal: ‘There has been absolutely no collusion’ – CNN
Let’s Take a Look at Some Anti-Trump Fake News – VICE
Are media overstating the importance of Flynn’s guilty plea? – Fox News
Donald Trump Would Make a Terrible Navajo – New York Times
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts – New York Times
A Wary Response, So Far, on Trump’s Expected Declaration on Jerusalem – New York Times
Donald Trump insists no collusion shown in Flynn case – Deutsche Welle
Two senior FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged texts disparaging Trump – Richmond.com
Democrats are united against Trump, but they’re stuck in a leadership vacuum – Business Insider
Two FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged texts disparaging Trump: sources – Chicago Tribune
Donald Trump’s best and worst day as president: An analysis – NOLA.com
Trump: Democrats will lose seats for voting against the Senate tax bill

 

Saved Stories – None
Trump Says ‘Absolutely No Collusion’ With Russia After Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty

The former national security adviser may testify that a senior member of Trump’s transition team told him to contact Russia about an upcoming United Nations vote.
North Korea: Trump is ‘begging for nuclear war’ – CNN
 


CNN
North Korea: Trump is ‘begging for nuclear war’
CNN
By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Breaking News. World+. AfricaAmericasAsiaEuropeMiddle East. North Korea: Trump is ‘begging for nuclear war’. U.S 
North Korea Fires a Ballistic Missile, in a Further Challenge to TrumpNew York Timesall 6,629 news articles »

‘No collusion’ between presidential campaign and Russia, says Trump video – The Guardian
 


The Guardian
‘No collusion’ between presidential campaign and Russia, says Trump video
The Guardian
US president Donald Trump tells reporters there was ‘absolutely no collusion’ between his presidential campaign and Russia, just hours after his former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his  

“No collusion between presidential campaign and Russia, says Trump video

US president Donald Trump tells reporters there was ‘absolutely no collusion’ absolutely no collusionbetween his presidential campaign and Russia, just hours after his former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with the Kremlin. Trump also told reporters that it had been a ‘fantastic evening’ fantastic evening on Friday, which saw the US Senate pass the ‘largest largest tax cuts in the history of our country’ country

Continue reading…

Trump on Michael Flynns guilty plea: Theres been absolutely no collusion

In his first public comments about Michael Flynn pleading guilty Friday since Michael Flynn pleaded guilty  to lying to the FBI about his interactions with a Russian official, President Trump reiterated Saturday that his campaign did not collude with Russia during last year’s presidential election. When asked by reporters before departing for New York if he was worried about what Flynn might say, [] What has been shown is no collusion. No collusion. Theres been absolutely theres been absolutely no collusion, []
Donald Trump – Google News: Trump on Flynn deal: ‘There has been absolutely no collusion’ – CNN
 


CNN
Trump on Flynn deal: ‘There has been absolutely no collusion’
CNN
When asked by reporters if he was worried about what Flynn might say, Trump said, “No, I’m not. And what has been shown is no collusion, no collusion. There has been absolutely no collusion. So we’re very happy.” Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to
Donald Trump insists no collusion shown in Flynn caseDeutsche Welle
President Donald Trump says he fired Michael Flynn because he lied to vice president, FBIWDIV ClickOnDetroit
Donald Trump’s best and worst day as president: An analysisNOLA.com
The Sun
all 243 news articles »

 Donald Trump – Google News

Trump is finally fixing this economy-killing agency – New York Post
 


New York Post
Trump is finally fixing this economy-killing agency
New York Post
President Trump’s executive orders slashing onerous Obama-era regulations on industry have been credited with kick-starting the sluggish economy and rocket-boosting the stock market. But there’s one mountain of red tape that’s eluded his machete the and more »

Key players in the Michael Flynn investigation – The Spokesman-Review
 


The Spokesman-Review
Key players in the Michael Flynn investigation
The Spokesman-Review
As Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Kislyak attended the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, where Trump was nominated as the party’s presidential candidate. During the campaign, Kislyak met several Trump aides, including then-Sen. Jeff and more »

‘Absolutely no collusion’ Trump DENIES links between election campaign and Russia – Express.co.uk
 


Express.co.uk
‘Absolutely no collusion’ Trump DENIES links between election campaign and Russia
Express.co.uk
In his first comment on a guilty plea by his first national security adviser Michael Flynn about lying to the FBI, the US President told reporters there was no Russian meddling in his campaign which resulted in his victory. Speaking to reporters as he and more »

Trump faces Watergate-era question: What did he know, when did he know it? – WBIR-TV
 


WBIR-TV
Trump faces Watergate-era question: What did he know, when did he know it?
WBIR-TV
Flynn’s guilty plea for lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak mirror the lies for whichTrump dismissed Flynn as national security adviser, said White House attorney Ty Cobb. “Nothing about the guilty plea or theand more »

James Comey Quotes Bible Verse After Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI – Christian Post
 


Christian Post
James Comey Quotes Bible Verse After Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI
Christian Post
(Photo: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo)Former FBI Director James Comey seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. on July 14, 2016. Former FBI Director James Comey tweeted a verse from the Bible about justice and righteousness Friday after the former and more »

Trump lawyer: Collusion is not a crime – The Hill
 


The Hill
Trump lawyer: Collusion is not a crime
The Hill 
Mueller’s investigation has the authority to investigate any matters that come up in the course of investigating possible collusion between the campaign and Russia.
 That includes possible obstruction of justice, which would be a crimeTrumpcould be 
Trump laments Flynn’s lies to FBI about Russia contacts: ‘There was nothing to hide!’Fox News
Analysis: Flynn plea clouds Trump’s tax victoryWashington Post
Flynn pleads guilty, is cooperating in Trump-Russia investigationButler Eagleall 328 news articles »

 investigated for obstructing justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey earlier this year. At that time, he told reporters that the Russia investigation was and more »

Trump faces Watergate-era question: What did he know, when did he know it? – WXIA-TV
 


WXIA-TV
Trump faces Watergate-era question: What did he know, when did he know it?
WXIA-TV
While four former Trump aides have faced legal charges _ including former campaign officials Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and George Papadopoulos _ none of those charges touch on a key issue: Collusion with Russia as it sought to influence the election and more »

Trump on Flynn deal: ‘There has been absolutely no collusion’ – CNN
 


CNN
Trump on Flynn deal: ‘There has been absolutely no collusion’
CNN
When asked by reporters if he was worried about what Flynn might say, Trump said, “No, I’m not. And what has been shown is no collusion, no collusion. There has been absolutely no collusion. So we’re very happy.” Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
Two senior FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged politically charged texts disparaging TrumpWashington Postall 127 news articles »

Let’s Take a Look at Some Anti-Trump Fake News – VICE
 


VICE
Let’s Take a Look at Some Anti-Trump Fake News
VICE
The good news for the anti-Trump camp came Friday, when it was announced that former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was being formally charged with lying to the FBI as part of a deal to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s investigation. It quickly and more »

Are media overstating the importance of Flynn’s guilty plea? – Fox News
 


Fox News
Are media overstating the importance of Flynn’s guilty plea?
Fox News
He said, “For all the furor, we have a small-potatoes plea in Flynn’s case just as we did in Papadopoulos’ case despite extensive collusion evidence.” And of course, joining us now with reaction, former federal prosecutor, Joe Digenova, and Solomon and more »

Donald Trump Would Make a Terrible Navajo – New York Times
 


New York Times
Donald Trump Would Make a Terrible Navajo
New York Times
I am Navajo, born into the Edgewater clan and for the Mexican clan. My maternal grandfather is Water Flowing Together clan and my paternal grandfather is Mexican clan. Traditionally, Navajos introduce themselves by first saying their clans. It lets youand more »

Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts – New York Times
 


New York Times
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts
New York Times
He helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email account, and then played a major role in the investigation into links between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. But Mr. Strzok was 
NYT: Mueller Pulled Top FBI Agent After Anti-Trump Texts SurfaceNewsmaxall 311 244 news articles »

A Wary Response, So Far, on Trump’s Expected Declaration on Jerusalem – New York Times
 


New York Times
A Wary Response, So Far, on Trump’s Expected Declaration on Jerusalem
New York Times
Yet on the whole, the responses in the region to reports that President Trump will declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel something no president has done in the nearly 70 years since Israel’s founding remained hedged, if not entirely restrained 
Inside the Trump administration debate over declaring Jerusalem to be Israel’s capitalWashington Post
White House is expected to announce US recognition of Jerusalem as soon as TuesdayCNN
Palestinians warn Trump against Jerusalem embassy moveAljazeera.com
The Week Magazine Politico
all 291 

all 271
 news articles »
Donald Trump insists no collusion shown in Flynn case – Deutsche Welle
 


Deutsche Welle
Donald Trump insists no collusion shown in Flynn case
Deutsche Welle
… President Donald Trump insisted there was “absolutely no collusion” between his election campaign and Russia, in comments to media on Saturday. “What has been shown is no collusion, no collusion,” Trump told reporters as he departed the White House 
‘No collusion’ between presidential campaign and Russia, says Trump videoThe Guardian
Trump says Flynn’s Russia dealings lawfulBBC News
Pricetag for Robert Mueller’s Investigation Tops $5 MillionObserver
Newsmax
all 212 news articles »
Two senior FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged texts disparaging Trump – Richmond.com
 


Richmond.com
Two senior FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged texts disparaging Trump
Richmond.com
WASHINGTON The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had 
Flynn plea raises questions on how Trump could reactCNN
The Memo: Team Trump in shock as Flynn flipsThe Hill
Veteran FBI agent removed from Russia investigation over anti-Trump textsToronto Star
CBC.ca
all 311 
Trump says he fired Flynn because he lied to Pence, FBI, insists there’s “nothing to hide”CBS News
With latest plea deal, Mueller’s investigation closing in on TrumpCNNall 245

 news articles »

Democrats are united against Trump, but they’re stuck in a leadership vacuum – Business Insider
 


Business Insider
Democrats are united against Trump, but they’re stuck in a leadership vacuum
Business Insider
12 in deep-red Alabama, following allegations of sexual misconduct by Republican candidate Roy Moore. But Democrats are hardly resting easy. The Clintons have roared back into the headlines, with some in the party now reevaluating former President Bill and more »

Two FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged texts disparaging Trump: sources – Chicago Tribune
 


Chicago Tribune
Two FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged texts disparaging Trump: sources
Chicago Tribune
The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 electionwas taken off that job this summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged politically and more »

Donald Trump’s best and worst day as president: An analysis – NOLA.com
 


NOLA.com
Donald Trump’s best and worst day as president: An analysis
NOLA.com
Flynn lasted less than a month as national security adviser, resigning in February after revelations that he had had potentially illegal contact with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. But Trump continued to defend him, saying at a news conference the
Who Is Jared Kushner: Trump loyalist or Kissinger protege?RT
Key players in the Michael Flynn investigationThe Spokesman-Reviewall 222 news articles »

Trump: Democrats will lose seats for voting against the Senate tax bill
 

Trump: Democrats will lose seats for voting against the Senate tax bill
Trump: Democrats will lose seats for voting against the Senate tax bill

NEW YORK President Trump predicted Saturday that Democrats who voted against the Republican tax plan in the Senate would pay a price at the polls, as he touted what could soon become his first major legislative achievement. Trumps remarks came at a fundraiser in Manhattan benefiting his reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, []


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2:58 PM 12/2/2017 – Donald Trump’s best and worst day as president

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Trump: Democrats will lose seats for voting against the Senate tax bill

Saved Stories – None
Trump: Democrats will lose seats for voting against the Senate tax bill
Trump defends Flynn’s actions during transition: ‘There was nothing to hide!’ – The Hill
Mike Flynn – Google News: Trump says Michael Flynn’s actions during transition were ‘lawful’ and ‘there was nothing to hide’ – CNBC
Fox News’ Shepard Smith Says ‘It’s A Lie’ To Call Trump-Russia Probe ‘Fake News’ – HuffPost
Fox News’ Shepard Smith Says ‘It’s A Lie’ To Call Trump-Russia Probe ‘Fake News’
Trump on Michael Flynn’s guilty plea: It’s a ‘shame’ because he had ‘nothing to hide’ – Washington Post
How Trump uses Twitter storms to make the political weather
Trump says he fired Flynn because he lied to Pence, FBI, insists there’s “nothing to hide” – CBS News
Flynn’s Russia dealings were lawful, says Trump – BBC News
Trump explains why he ‘fired’ Flynn – New York Post
At This Point, Trump Is Gaslighting Himself About the Russia Probe – Splinter (blog)
Donald Trump defends decision to fire ‘liar’ Michael Flynn and insists there was ‘no collusion’ with Russia – The Sun
Trump says he had to fire Flynn, but calls ex-adviser’s actions ‘lawful’ – Politico
Donald Trump: Michael Flynn’s actions during transition were lawful
Ex-Obama DOJ official: Trump ‘just admitted to obstruction of justice’ – The Hill (blog)
‘Just unreal’: Trump’s latest tweet indicates he’s ‘utterly clueless about his own jeopardy,’ experts say – Business Insider
FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages – The Daily Freeman
Trump brushes off Russia collusion probe
Mueller fired top FBI investigator for exchanging politically charged texts about Trump: report – Raw Story
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
FBI agent assigned to Russia investigation removed after anti-Trump texts – WXIA-TV
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
UW law professor named winner of Stockholm Prize in Criminology … – Madison.com
James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse Post – Breitbart News

 

Saved Stories – None
Donald Trump’s best and worst day as president: An analysis – NOLA.com
 


NOLA.com
Donald Trump’s best and worst day as president: An analysis
NOLA.com
Flynn lasted less than a month as national security adviser, resigning in February after revelations that he had had potentially illegal contact with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. But Trump continued to defend him, saying at a news conference the
Who Is Jared Kushner: Trump loyalist or Kissinger protege?RT
Key players in the Michael Flynn investigationThe Spokesman-Reviewall 222 news articles »
Trump: Democrats will lose seats for voting against the Senate tax bill
Trump: Democrats will lose seats for voting against the Senate tax bill

NEW YORK President Trump predicted Saturday that Democrats who voted against the Republican tax plan in the Senate would pay a price at the polls, as he touted what could soon become his first major legislative achievement. Trumps remarks came at a fundraiser in Manhattan benefiting his reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee, []

Trump defends Flynn’s actions during transition: ‘There was nothing to hide!’ – The Hill
 


The Hill
Trump defends Flynn’s actions during transition: ‘There was nothing to hide!’
The Hill
Flynn’s guilty plea represents a major milestone in Mueller’s probe into alleged collusions between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 campaign. The retired general is the first person to have held a Trump administration positions 
President Trump: I’m Not Worried About Michael Flynn’s Guilty PleaOne America News Network (press release)
Ex-Trump Aide Flynn Pleads Guilty To Lying About Russia LinksIndependent Newspapers Limitedall 331 news articles »
Mike Flynn – Google News: Trump says Michael Flynn’s actions during transition were ‘lawful’ and ‘there was nothing to hide’ – CNBC
 


CNBC
Trump says Michael Flynn’s actions during transition were ‘lawful’ and ‘there was nothing to hide’
CNBC 
Earlier, Trump told reporters that there was “no collusion” with Russia, in spite of Flynn entering a guilty plea on Friday. The former White House official confessed to lying to the FBI about discussions he held with a Russian ambassador. However
 
U.S. President Donald Trump defended his disgraced former national security adviser Michael Flynn on Saturday, saying that the basis of a special prosecutor’s actions against the former general were “lawful” and above board even as he acknowledged

Trump was reportedly told to stay away from Twitter after Mike Flynn’s plea deal was revealedAOL 
Donald Trump Says He ‘Had to Fire’ Michael Flynn Because He LiedTIME
Trump finally responds to the Mike Flynn bombshell and his comments couldn’t be more clearTheBlaze.com
Washington ExaminerFox News
all 311 
Key players in the Michael Flynn investigationWPXI Pittsburghall 247 

 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Fox News’ Shepard Smith Says ‘It’s A Lie’ To Call Trump-Russia Probe ‘Fake News’ – HuffPost
 


HuffPost
Fox News’ Shepard Smith Says ‘It’s A Lie’ To Call Trump-Russia Probe ‘Fake News’
HuffPost
President Donald Trump may invoke fake news to push back on special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into his presidential campaign, but Fox News’ Shepard Smith has cast doubt on that claim. In a Friday afternoon segment with the Wall Street 
Fox News’ Shepard Smith Says ‘It’s A Lie’ To Call Trump-Russia Probe ‘Fake News’

“That this is a ruse, that this is fake news, is a lie.
Trump on Michael Flynn’s guilty plea: It’s a ‘shame’ because he had ‘nothing to hide’ – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
How Trump uses Twitter storms to make the political weather

Causing a rupture with a close ally, endorsing a hate group, undermining a cabinet member its all in a mornings work for the presidents restless thumbsOmarosa Manigault, reality TV star turned political aide, snapped photos of the buffet and greeted staff serving eggnog. Sean Hannity, talkshow host, held court with multiple colleagues from conservative Fox News. John Kelly, chief of staff, chatted to journalists and military veterans in the East Room. A 200lb gingerbread White House, with 20lb of icing, stood beneath a portrait of Abraham Lincoln. A copy of Charles Dickenss A Christmas Carol, read by President Franklin Roosevelt to his family, was displayed in the library.At first glance, Fridays White House Christmas reception was not so different from years past. But something was missing: the host. Instead of greeting guests and posing for souvenir photos like his predecessors, Donald Trump was upstairs in the White House residence tweeting. The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon, he posted at 3.12pm, referring to reports that his secretary of state would soon be axed. FAKE NEWS!

Related: Trump calls Tillerson exit reports ‘fake news’ but was it a misfired plot?

Continue reading…

Trump says he fired Flynn because he lied to Pence, FBI, insists there’s “nothing to hide” – CBS News
 


CBS News
Trump says he fired Flynn because he lied to Pence, FBI, insists there’s “nothing to hide”
CBS News
President Trump spoke publicly Saturday morning for the first time since his former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI on Friday, saying he “had to fire” Flynn because he lied to Vice President Mike Pence and the
Who Is Michael Flynn? The Former Top Trump Aide Just Pleaded Guilty to Lying to the FBITIME
Ex-Trump adviser Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBIAljazeera.com
Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI in Mueller probeNBCNews.com
Politico –FRANCE 24 –Herald-Mail Media
all 2,720 news articles »
Flynn’s Russia dealings were lawful, says Trump – BBC News
 


BBC News
Flynn’s Russia dealings were lawful, says Trump
BBC News
President Donald Trump has responded to the indictment of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying Mr Flynn’s actions as a member of his transition team were “lawful”. Mr Flynn has entered into a plea deal with Special Counsel Robert 
‘No collusion’ between presidential campaign and Russia, says Trump videoThe Guardian
FBI Agent Who Supervised TrumpRussia Probe Reportedly Sent Anti-Trump Text MessagesThe Daily Callerall 242 news articles »
Trump explains why he ‘fired’ Flynn – New York Post
 


New York Post
Trump explains why he ‘fired’ fired Flynn
New York Post 
We’ll see what happens, Trump added to shouted questions about Flynn’s guilty plea. There’s been absolutely no collusion, so we’re very happy, Trump continued.
 At a protest Saturday morning across from Cipriani on East 42nd Street in Manhattanwhere Trump appeared at a breakfast fundraiser one sign with a picture of the president read Putin’s Puppet. Some protesters also chanted, New York hates you and more »
At This Point, Trump Is Gaslighting Himself About the Russia Probe – Splinter (blog)
 


Splinter (blog)
At This Point, Trump Is Gaslighting Himself About the Russia Probe
Splinter (blog)
But Trump’s Twitter fingers didn’t hold out all day, as the president tweeted shortly after midday that he had fired Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI. Trump also claimed that the repeated discussions Flynn had before taking
Trump: ‘It’s a shame’ Michael Flynn lied because ‘there was nothing to hide’Washington Examiner 
President may use North Korea as his Trump card if Flynn’s flip threatens his precious well-beingNew York Daily News
all 328 
Dem senator: Mueller must be protected from ‘another Saturday Night Massacre’The Hill
Dem Sen Blumenthal: ‘There’s a Real Danger of Another Saturday Night Massacre’Breitbart News
all 273 news articles »

Donald Trump defends decision to fire ‘liar’ Michael Flynn and insists there was ‘no collusion’ with Russia – The Sun
 


The Sun
Donald Trump defends decision to fire ‘liar’ Michael Flynn and insists there was ‘no collusion’ with Russia
The Sun
The retired lieutenant general admitted in a Washington court that he lied to FBI investigators about his discussions last December with Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States, Sergei Kislyak. According to prosecutors, the pair discussed 
Trump stresses ‘no collusion’ after Flynn’s guilty pleaCBC.caall 211 news articles »
Trump says he had to fire Flynn, but calls ex-adviser’s actions ‘lawful’ – Politico
 


Politico
Trump says he had to fire Flynn, but calls ex-adviser’s actions ‘lawful’
Politico
Prosecutors said in court on Friday that Flynn had been in touch with a “very senior official” inside the president’s transition team before he reached out to Kislyak. Multiple news organizations have since reported that the official in question is Trump 
Trump faces Watergate-era question: What did he know, when did he know it?USA TODAY

What Flynn’s guilty plea means for Trump and the GOPNBCNews.com
Trump insists there was ‘no collusion’ with Russia as Michael Flynn guilty plea fails to show a smoking gunCNBC 
Trump: I’m not worried about Flynn’s guilty pleaThe Hill

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Donald Trump: Michael Flynn’s actions during transition were lawful
 

Donald Trump has tweeted his defiance over the guilty plea made by his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, writing that the generals actions during the transition were lawful.

Related: Flynn plea deal increases exposure of senior Trump transition team members

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Ex-Obama DOJ official: Trump ‘just admitted to obstruction of justice’ – The Hill (blog)
 


Mirror.co.uk
Ex-Obama DOJ official: Trump ‘just admitted to obstruction of justice’
The Hill (blog)
In his resignation, Flynn apologized for giving an inaccurate assessment of his conversation with Kislyak to Pence when the latter was still vice president-elect. After the conversation, Pence gave a February television interview in which he said Flynn 
Sacked FBI director James Comey sends cryptic tweet after former Trump aide admits lying over RussiaMirror.co.uk
James Comey Quotes Bible Verse After Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBIChristian Postall 281 news articles »
‘Just unreal’: Trump’s latest tweet indicates he’s ‘utterly clueless about his own jeopardy,’ experts say – Business Insider
 


Business Insider
‘Just unreal’: Trump’s latest tweet indicates he’s ‘utterly clueless about his own jeopardy,’ experts say
Business Insider
President Donald Trump tweeted on Saturday that he “had to fire” former national security adviser Michael Flynn because Flynn “lied” to Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI. The statement indicates that Trump was aware, when Flynn was forced to resign 
Donald Trump’s best and worst day as president: An analysisNOLA.com
Key players in the Michael Flynn investigationThe Spokesman-Reviewall 309 news articles »
FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages – The Daily Freeman
 

FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages
The Daily Freeman
FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages. In this file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill in Washington. As Congress returns from its and more »
Trump brushes off Russia collusion probe

US president says he has nothing to hide and Flynns actions during transition were lawful
Mueller fired top FBI investigator for exchanging politically charged texts about Trump: report – Raw Story
 


Raw Story
Mueller fired top FBI investigator for exchanging politically charged texts about Trump: report
Raw Story
An FBI official assigned to Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election wasremoved this summer after his bosses discovered texts shared with another official attacking President Donald Trump. ADVERTISING and more »
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
 


New York Times
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts
Washington Post
The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged 
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
Top investigator removed from Mueller team after discovery of texts that might look anti-Trump: ReportWashington Examiner
Mueller reportedly ousted an investigator on his team over possible anti-Trump textsBusiness Insider
The Hill –San Francisco Chronicle
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FBI agent assigned to Russia investigation removed after anti-Trump texts – WXIA-TV
 

FBI agent assigned to Russia investigation removed after anti-Trump texts
WXIA-TV
Peter Strzok, a top counter-intelligence agent who also helped run the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server, was abruptly reassigned this summer to the bureau’s human resources office after Justice’s inspector discovered and more »
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts
Washington Post
The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged 
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
ABC’s Brian Ross again under fire for explosive error on Trump, FlynnFox News
Flynn’s Russia dealings were lawful, says TrumpBBC News
CBS News –NOLA.com –New York Post –Minneapolis Star Tribune
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UW law professor named winner of Stockholm Prize in Criminology … – Madison.com
 


Madison.com
UW law professor named winner of Stockholm Prize in Criminology …
Madison.com
Herman Goldstein, who pioneered policing strategies such as ‘focused deterrance,” given most prestigious honor in the field of criminology.and more »
James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse Post – Breitbart News
 


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James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse Post
Breitbart News
Kallstrom noted Comey’s lack of effective action on investigations involving Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious, and Hillary Clinton’s email scandal as examples of the former director’s failures in office that led to concerns that the director played 
Is this cryptic tweet from ex-FBI boss James Comey a ‘subtweet’ aimed at Michael Flynn?Globalnews.caall 106 news articles »

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1:34 PM 12/2/2017 – Peter Strzok “removed after sending anti-Trump texts” – WP

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Lisa Page and Peter Strzok

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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have …

Washington Post1 hour ago
Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do … During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, …
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Special counsel attorney departs for FBI

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Lisa Page, an attorney who was part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, has left, the special … Peter Strzok, who was chief of the FBI counterespionage unit that was involved in overseeing the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private …
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Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts
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“Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel’s Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, confirmed to Fox News. Strzok also worked on the FBI investigation last year into whether then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton …
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Mueller fired top FBI investigator for exchanging politically charged …

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According to the Washington Post, Peter Strzok, who was a key participant into the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server was asked to step aside, according to sources. Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew …
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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – The Washington Post

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The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged politically charged texts disparaging President Trump and supportive of Hillary Clinton, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.

During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The extramarital affair was problematic, these people said, but of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messages the two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season, in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.

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President Trump drew criticism for his apparent acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling. 

President Trump drew criticism for his apparent acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling. (Patrick Martin/The Washington post)

The people discussing the matter did not further describe the political messages between Strzok and Page, except to say the two would sometime react to campaign news of the moment.

The Justice Department inspector general’s office said in a statement Saturday that its investigators are “reviewing allegations involving communications between certain individuals, and will report its findings regarding those allegations promptly upon completion of the review of them.’’

A spokesman for Mueller’s office said Strzok was removed “immediately upon learning of the allegations,’’ and added that Page left the Mueller team two weeks before they became aware of the allegations.

The FBI declined to comment.

The Post has repeatedly sought comment from Strzok and Page, but got no response.

Defenders of Page and Strzok insisted the issue is “overblown’’ and that there was no misconduct between the two.

A friend of Page said there was no professional misconduct at issue in the matter, and she said Page left the Mueller team in July before any of the issues came to light.

When the issue arose, Strzok was taken off the Mueller team in August and he was given a job in the human resources division of the FBI — widely viewed as a demotion internally, according to people familiar with the matter. Page no longer works much with McCabe, these people said.

At the time they left Mueller’s group, no one publicly linked the two departures. For months, officials have refused to explain why Strzok was reassigned, but people familiar with the matter said it was ultimately Mueller’s decision.

Among federal law enforcement officials, there is great concern that exposure of the texts they exchanged may be used by the president and his defenders to attack the credibility of the Mueller probe, and the FBI more broadly, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Defenders of Strzok and Page inside the FBI said that because there was no direct supervisory role between Page and Strzok in the workplace, there wasn’t anything professionally wrong about having an affair, but added they understood why Mueller would not want anyone engaged in such conduct on his team. For one thing, if a foreign intelligence agency learned of such an affair, they could try to use it as a means of blackmail, though there’s no evidence anyone outside the FBI was aware of the relationship.

The president’s most vociferous defenders in Congress have called for a special counsel to investigate how the FBI handled the Clinton probe, and other Clinton-connected matters. Word of the texts could give new fuel to those demands.

The Clinton investigation formally ended in July 2016, when then-FBI Director James B. Comey announced he would recommend Clinton face no charges for her use of a private email server as secretary of state. But the issue was resurrected in late October, when Comey informed congressional leaders that the FBI had discovered new Clinton emails on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner, then the subject of a separate FBI investigation. Days later, Comey announced the emails on the laptop did not change the FBI’s view of the case.

Clinton and her supporters say Comey’s moves in October cost her the 2016 election, and Trump and his Republican allies have used it to justify Comey’s firing — the event that ultimately led to Mueller being appointed as special counsel.

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Mueller has so far charged four people in his investigation of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, most recently former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Of the four, two have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI — Flynn and a former Trump campaign adviser.

During the Clinton email investigation, Page was a regular participant when Comey would hold “skinny group’’ meetings on the case — a small collection of advisers that gathered to address sensitive cases, according to people familiar with the case.

Current and former FBI officials say the Strzok matter points to a larger, unresolved issue facing the agency as it tries to investigate the president and make a fresh start with a new director, Christopher A. Wray. Much of the agency’s senior leadership jobs are currently filled by people who were put in those positions by Comey and Wray has yet to make many significant changes at the top. But a major housecleaning by the new director is widely anticipated inside the bureau.

McCabe, the deputy director, has faced repeated questions from the White House and Republican lawmakers about whether he should have been involved in the Clinton case at all — given the hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations made to his wife, a candidate for political office in Virginia, by a key Clinton ally in 2015.

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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post

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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts
Washington Post
The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged 
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
ABC’s Brian Ross again under fire for explosive error on Trump, FlynnFox News
Flynn’s Russia dealings were lawful, says TrumpBBC News
CBS News –NOLA.com –New York Post –Minneapolis Star Tribune
all 243 news articles »

Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted – The Guardian

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Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted
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The FBI failed to notify scores of US officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year, an investigation found. The Associated Press dedicated two months and a small team 

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James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse Post

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“‘But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,’ Amos 5:24,” Comey posted Friday on Instagram below the picture of gently cascading water.

“Anyone with a brain knows what he meant,” James Kallstrom told Breitbart News. “He thinks he was unjustly brought down, and now justice is going to prevail and show him as some sort of a martyr. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The post from the man fired by President Donald Trump earlier this year came within minutes after news hit that Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and that Trump’s former national security advisor planned to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s probe of possible collusion between the Republican nominee’s campaign and the Russian government.

“My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country,” Flynn explained in a statement. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

And shortly after the guilty plea and an acknowledgement of cooperation with Mueller became public, Comey posted the Bible verse on Instagram.

“He’s a guy who either knows the Bible or thought it would be cool to give that response back, when he is the emperor with no clothes,” Kallstrom explained. “He carried water for the Clinton Foundation and Obama administration, and demoralized the FBI, making a fool of himself in my view—he conducted himself in a way that was not in keeping with the rule of law—and here he is quoting the Bible. Hopefully, justice will roll down on him and his sycophants who threw the bureau under the bus.”

Kallstrom noted Comey’s lack of effective action on investigations involving Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious, and Hillary Clinton’s email scandal as examples of the former director’s failures in office that led to concerns that the director played favorites.

The 27-year veteran of the FBI believes that Comey’s social-media post buttresses criticism that he politicized the FBI when he served as director.

“He just showed himself as the hypocrite that he is,” Kallstrom offered. “He lacks the common sense to realize he’s digging his hole deeper.”

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Review of FBI’s action during election coming next year

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Washington (CNN)A watchdog review of how the FBI handled its investigation into then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is on track for release next March or April, Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz said Wednesday.

The inspector general gave no clues in Wednesday’s appearance before the House oversight committee hinting at what the report would conclude. But he said the review is “moving along quite expeditiously.”

Horowitz

opened the probe

 in mid-January — prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration — when James Comey was still FBI director and when questions were still fresh about Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

Horowitz indicated at the time it would be a wide-ranging look at multiple ways the Justice Department and FBI may have impacted the election, including potentially improper disclosures of information and the bureau’s decision, days before the election, to release documents on a controversial pardon issued nearly 16 years earlier by Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton.

But no doubt central to the probe will be Comey’s multiple announcements about Clinton’s emails. In July 2016, he announced he would not recommend charges against Clinton. In late October — less than two weeks before the election — he notified Congress that the FBI obtained emails it previously did not have and would re-open the investigation.

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Two days before the election, he said the FBI had reviewed the emails and would not recommend charges.

Then-candidate Trump made the private server a key criticism of his campaign, and Clinton struggled to put the issue behind her.

Horowitz said Wednesday his office has “interviewed dozens of people” and reviewed 1.2 million records.

The report has taken time because some former Justice Department and FBI employees and their attorneys needed to have security clearances authorized, he added.

Horowitz noted the report could be delayed “because, as we’ve seen, events can arise, issues can arise that requires us to do additional interviews or get additional records.”

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FBI foreign influence task force – Google Search

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FBI Sets Up ‘Foreign Influence‘ Task Force To Protect Election System

TPMNov 30, 2017
FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress Thursday that the FBI has a “foreign influence” task forceto deal with election interference by outside actors. “I take any effort to interfere with out election system by Russia or any other nation state or non-nation state seriously, because it strikes right at the heart …
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to …
Highly CitedWashington Free BeaconDec 1, 2017
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FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks

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FBI Director Christopher WrayFBI Director Christopher Wray / Getty Images

BY: Natalie Johnson

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that adversarial governments are more often collaborating with criminals to carryout cyber attacks against the United States.

Wray said the indictment of a Canadian national who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to helping Russian spies hack into Yahoo email accounts reflect “one of the more dangerous, emerging threats” facing the United States today, known in the intelligence community as a “blended threat.”

“We are seeing an emergence of that kind of collaboration,” Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee, noting that until recently governments and criminals worked separately. “Now there’s this collusion, if you will, that’s occurring on a number of instances … like mercenaries being used to commit cyber attacks.”

The Justice Department announced charges in March against Karim Baratov, a 22-year-old Canadian citizen, and three other men, including two officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, for their involvement in the 2014 hack into Yahoo that affected 500 million accounts.

U.S. law enforcement officials said Baratov, who they dubbed a “hacker-for-hire,” acknowledged breaking into email accounts and selling the passwords to an agent of the FSB, a Russian intelligence agency.

The individuals targeted included Russian officials, a European diplomat, a former economic minister from a neighboring country, and a prominent banker.

The case confirmed longstanding suspicions that Russia’s government hires non-government hackers and uses its spy services to facilitate criminal activity in addition to conducting espionage.

Wray, who President Donald Trump handpicked to replace ousted FBI Director James Comey in June, said Russia is attempting to assert its dominance in the world by relying on asymmetric warfare to “damage and weaken” the United States

To combat the threat, Wray said he has set up a “foreign influence task force” within the bureau made up of different divisions, including counterintelligence, cyber, and criminal investigation. He said the agency would also coordinate closely with the Department of Homeland Security, which is charged with overseeing critical election infrastructure, to prevent against cyberattacks.

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FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to … – Washington Free Beacon

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Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea – Washington Post

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Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea
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Mueller’s decision to actually charge Flynn, then, is clearly a significant escalation of an investigation that has already led to charges against Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, and a similar guilty plea for making false statements by 
Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting StartedNew York Magazine
What Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Means in Mueller’s Russia InquiryNew York Times
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Shows That Robert Mueller Is Closing InWIRED
The Hill –Fox News
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Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting Started – New York Magazine

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Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting Started
New York Magazine
Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to investigate crimes associated with Russia’s role in the 2016 election, speaks softly but carries a big stick. On Friday, he quietly charged one of the biggest players in the saga, Donald Trump’s former 
Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty pleaWashington Post
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Shows That Robert Mueller Is Closing InWIRED
Flynn enters guilty plea, will cooperate with MuellerThe Hill
New York Times –NPR –New York Times
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Top FBI official assigned to Muellers Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – The Washington Post

Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post

Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted – The Guardian

James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse Post

Review of FBI’s action during election coming next year
FBI foreign influence task force – Google Search
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to … – Washington Free Beacon
Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea – Washington Post
Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting Started – New York Magazine
3:31 PM 12/1/2017 Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data FiveThirtyEight
Robert Mueller is a bloodhound on the trail: Donald Trump should be very worried after Michael Flynn’s guilty plea – New York Daily News
Mueller’s swift moves signal mounting legal peril for the White House – Washington Post
Grassley suggests deputy FBI director may have violated Hatch Act – The Hill
Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us? – Townhall
The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putins agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. M.N.  12.2.17
Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us?
8:57 AM 12/2/2017
Trump attacks media in his first post-Thanksgiving tweet
Trump touts benefits of tax cuts for the people that like me best
Is Trump reshaping an entire branch of government the judiciary?
Will Obama Be Questioned About Trump and Michael Flynn in the Russia Investigation? – Newsweek
Flynn’s plea is bad for Trump. But he may never face any consequences.
Flynn’s plea is bad for Trump. But he may never face any consequences. – NBCNews.com

 

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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have …

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Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts
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Mueller dismisses top FBI agent in Russia probe over possible anti …

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“Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel’s Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, confirmed to Fox News. Strzok also worked on the FBI investigation last year into whether then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton …

Story image for Peter Strzok from Raw Story

Mueller fired top FBI investigator for exchanging politically charged …

Raw Story1 hour ago
According to the Washington Post, Peter Strzok, who was a key participant into the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server was asked to step aside, according to sources. Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew …
Top FBI official assigned to Muellers Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – The Washington Post
 

mikenova shared this story .

The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged politically charged texts disparaging President Trump and supportive of Hillary Clinton, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.

During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The extramarital affair was problematic, these people said, but of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messages the two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season, in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.

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President Trump drew criticism for his apparent acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling. 

President Trump drew criticism for his apparent acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling. (Patrick Martin/The Washington post)

The people discussing the matter did not further describe the political messages between Strzok and Page, except to say the two would sometime react to campaign news of the moment.

The Justice Department inspector general’s office said in a statement Saturday that its investigators are “reviewing allegations involving communications between certain individuals, and will report its findings regarding those allegations promptly upon completion of the review of them.’’

A spokesman for Mueller’s office said Strzok was removed “immediately upon learning of the allegations,’’ and added that Page left the Mueller team two weeks before they became aware of the allegations.

The FBI declined to comment.

The Post has repeatedly sought comment from Strzok and Page, but got no response.

Defenders of Page and Strzok insisted the issue is “overblown’’ and that there was no misconduct between the two.

A friend of Page said there was no professional misconduct at issue in the matter, and she said Page left the Mueller team in July before any of the issues came to light.

When the issue arose, Strzok was taken off the Mueller team in August and he was given a job in the human resources division of the FBI — widely viewed as a demotion internally, according to people familiar with the matter. Page no longer works much with McCabe, these people said.

At the time they left Mueller’s group, no one publicly linked the two departures. For months, officials have refused to explain why Strzok was reassigned, but people familiar with the matter said it was ultimately Mueller’s decision.

Among federal law enforcement officials, there is great concern that exposure of the texts they exchanged may be used by the president and his defenders to attack the credibility of the Mueller probe, and the FBI more broadly, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Defenders of Strzok and Page inside the FBI said that because there was no direct supervisory role between Page and Strzok in the workplace, there wasn’t anything professionally wrong about having an affair, but added they understood why Mueller would not want anyone engaged in such conduct on his team. For one thing, if a foreign intelligence agency learned of such an affair, they could try to use it as a means of blackmail, though there’s no evidence anyone outside the FBI was aware of the relationship.

The president’s most vociferous defenders in Congress have called for a special counsel to investigate how the FBI handled the Clinton probe, and other Clinton-connected matters. Word of the texts could give new fuel to those demands.

The Clinton investigation formally ended in July 2016, when then-FBI Director James B. Comey announced he would recommend Clinton face no charges for her use of a private email server as secretary of state. But the issue was resurrected in late October, when Comey informed congressional leaders that the FBI had discovered new Clinton emails on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner, then the subject of a separate FBI investigation. Days later, Comey announced the emails on the laptop did not change the FBI’s view of the case.

Clinton and her supporters say Comey’s moves in October cost her the 2016 election, and Trump and his Republican allies have used it to justify Comey’s firing — the event that ultimately led to Mueller being appointed as special counsel.

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Mueller has so far charged four people in his investigation of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, most recently former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Of the four, two have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI — Flynn and a former Trump campaign adviser.

During the Clinton email investigation, Page was a regular participant when Comey would hold “skinny group’’ meetings on the case — a small collection of advisers that gathered to address sensitive cases, according to people familiar with the case.

Current and former FBI officials say the Strzok matter points to a larger, unresolved issue facing the agency as it tries to investigate the president and make a fresh start with a new director, Christopher A. Wray. Much of the agency’s senior leadership jobs are currently filled by people who were put in those positions by Comey and Wray has yet to make many significant changes at the top. But a major housecleaning by the new director is widely anticipated inside the bureau.

McCabe, the deputy director, has faced repeated questions from the White House and Republican lawmakers about whether he should have been involved in the Clinton case at all — given the hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations made to his wife, a candidate for political office in Virginia, by a key Clinton ally in 2015.

Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
 

mikenova shared this story from Top Stories – Google News.


Washington Post
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts
Washington Post
The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged 
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
ABC’s Brian Ross again under fire for explosive error on Trump, FlynnFox News
Flynn’s Russia dealings were lawful, says TrumpBBC News
CBS News –NOLA.com –New York Post –Minneapolis Star Tribune
all 243 news articles »
Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted – The Guardian
 

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The Guardian
Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted
The Guardian
The FBI failed to notify scores of US officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year, an investigation found. The Associated Press dedicated two months and a small team and more »
James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse Post
 

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“‘But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,’ Amos 5:24,” Comey posted Friday on Instagram below the picture of gently cascading water.

“Anyone with a brain knows what he meant,” James Kallstrom told Breitbart News. “He thinks he was unjustly brought down, and now justice is going to prevail and show him as some sort of a martyr. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The post from the man fired by President Donald Trump earlier this year came within minutes after news hit that Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and that Trump’s former national security advisor planned to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s probe of possible collusion between the Republican nominee’s campaign and the Russian government.

“My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country,” Flynn explained in a statement. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

And shortly after the guilty plea and an acknowledgement of cooperation with Mueller became public, Comey posted the Bible verse on Instagram.

“He’s a guy who either knows the Bible or thought it would be cool to give that response back, when he is the emperor with no clothes,” Kallstrom explained. “He carried water for the Clinton Foundation and Obama administration, and demoralized the FBI, making a fool of himself in my view—he conducted himself in a way that was not in keeping with the rule of law—and here he is quoting the Bible. Hopefully, justice will roll down on him and his sycophants who threw the bureau under the bus.”

Kallstrom noted Comey’s lack of effective action on investigations involving Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious, and Hillary Clinton’s email scandal as examples of the former director’s failures in office that led to concerns that the director played favorites.

The 27-year veteran of the FBI believes that Comey’s social-media post buttresses criticism that he politicized the FBI when he served as director.

“He just showed himself as the hypocrite that he is,” Kallstrom offered. “He lacks the common sense to realize he’s digging his hole deeper.”

Review of FBI’s action during election coming next year
 

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Washington (CNN)A watchdog review of how the FBI handled its investigation into then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is on track for release next March or April, Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz said Wednesday.

The inspector general gave no clues in Wednesday’s appearance before the House oversight committee hinting at what the report would conclude. But he said the review is “moving along quite expeditiously.”

Horowitz

opened the probe

 in mid-January — prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration — when James Comey was still FBI director and when questions were still fresh about Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

Horowitz indicated at the time it would be a wide-ranging look at multiple ways the Justice Department and FBI may have impacted the election, including potentially improper disclosures of information and the bureau’s decision, days before the election, to release documents on a controversial pardon issued nearly 16 years earlier by Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton.

But no doubt central to the probe will be Comey’s multiple announcements about Clinton’s emails. In July 2016, he announced he would not recommend charges against Clinton. In late October — less than two weeks before the election — he notified Congress that the FBI obtained emails it previously did not have and would re-open the investigation.

close dialog

Two days before the election, he said the FBI had reviewed the emails and would not recommend charges.

Then-candidate Trump made the private server a key criticism of his campaign, and Clinton struggled to put the issue behind her.

Horowitz said Wednesday his office has “interviewed dozens of people” and reviewed 1.2 million records.

The report has taken time because some former Justice Department and FBI employees and their attorneys needed to have security clearances authorized, he added.

Horowitz noted the report could be delayed “because, as we’ve seen, events can arise, issues can arise that requires us to do additional interviews or get additional records.”

FBI foreign influence task force – Google Search
 

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Story image for FBI foreign influence task force from TPM

FBI Sets Up ‘Foreign Influence‘ Task Force To Protect Election System

TPMNov 30, 2017
FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress Thursday that the FBI has a “foreign influence” task force to deal with election interference by outside actors. “I take any effort to interfere with out election system by Russia or any other nation state or non-nation state seriously, because it strikes right at the heart …
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to …
Highly CitedWashington Free BeaconDec 1, 2017

Media image for FBI foreign influence task force from The Hill

The Hill

Media image for FBI foreign influence task force from Washington Free Beacon

Washington Free Beacon

Media image for FBI foreign influence task force from Newsmax

Newsmax
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks
 

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FBI Director Christopher WrayFBI Director Christopher Wray / Getty Images

BY: Natalie Johnson

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that adversarial governments are more often collaborating with criminals to carryout cyber attacks against the United States.

Wray said the indictment of a Canadian national who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to helping Russian spies hack into Yahoo email accounts reflect “one of the more dangerous, emerging threats” facing the United States today, known in the intelligence community as a “blended threat.”

“We are seeing an emergence of that kind of collaboration,” Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee, noting that until recently governments and criminals worked separately. “Now there’s this collusion, if you will, that’s occurring on a number of instances … like mercenaries being used to commit cyber attacks.”

The Justice Department announced charges in March against Karim Baratov, a 22-year-old Canadian citizen, and three other men, including two officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, for their involvement in the 2014 hack into Yahoo that affected 500 million accounts.

U.S. law enforcement officials said Baratov, who they dubbed a “hacker-for-hire,” acknowledged breaking into email accounts and selling the passwords to an agent of the FSB, a Russian intelligence agency.

The individuals targeted included Russian officials, a European diplomat, a former economic minister from a neighboring country, and a prominent banker.

The case confirmed longstanding suspicions that Russia’s government hires non-government hackers and uses its spy services to facilitate criminal activity in addition to conducting espionage.

Wray, who President Donald Trump handpicked to replace ousted FBI Director James Comey in June, said Russia is attempting to assert its dominance in the world by relying on asymmetric warfare to “damage and weaken” the United States

To combat the threat, Wray said he has set up a “foreign influence task force” within the bureau made up of different divisions, including counterintelligence, cyber, and criminal investigation. He said the agency would also coordinate closely with the Department of Homeland Security, which is charged with overseeing critical election infrastructure, to prevent against cyberattacks.

FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to … – Washington Free Beacon
 

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Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea – Washington Post
 

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Washington Post
Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea
Washington Post
Mueller’s decision to actually charge Flynn, then, is clearly a significant escalation of an investigation that has already led to charges against Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, and a similar guilty plea for making false statements by 
Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting StartedNew York Magazine
What Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Means in Mueller’s Russia InquiryNew York Times
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Shows That Robert Mueller Is Closing InWIRED
The Hill –Fox News
all 2,303 news articles »
Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting Started – New York Magazine
 

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New York Magazine
Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting Started
New York Magazine
Robert Mueller, the special counsel appointed to investigate crimes associated with Russia’s role in the 2016 election, speaks softly but carries a big stick. On Friday, he quietly charged one of the biggest players in the saga, Donald Trump’s former 
Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty pleaWashington Post
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Shows That Robert Mueller Is Closing InWIRED
Flynn enters guilty plea, will cooperate with MuellerThe Hill
New York Times –NPR –New York Times
all 1,292 news articles »
3:31 PM 12/1/2017 Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data FiveThirtyEight
 

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Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data … – FiveThirtyEight Flynn is front and center – and that’s bad news for Trump and his relatives – SFGate Keeping America Secure in the New Age of Terror – Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog) Air Force … Continue reading“3:31 PM 12/1/2017 – Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data … – FiveThirtyEight”

Robert Mueller is a bloodhound on the trail: Donald Trump should be very worried after Michael Flynn’s guilty plea – New York Daily News
 

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New York Daily News
Robert Mueller is a bloodhound on the trail: Donald Trump should be very worried after Michael Flynn’s guilty plea
New York Daily News
It seems we now know the reason the President has been unhinged these past few days. In his insecure and troubled mind, his worst fears have come to pass. Mike Flynn has turned state’s evidence. It should come as no surprise. The warning signs have and more »
Mueller’s swift moves signal mounting legal peril for the White House – Washington Post
 

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Washington Post
Mueller’s swift moves signal mounting legal peril for the White House
Washington Post
After six months of work, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has indicted two advisers to President Trump and accepted guilty pleas from two others in exchange for their cooperation with his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election a sign
Trump keeps playing nice with Mueller, for nowPolitico
The Russia Investigations: After Flynn Plea Deal, Where Does Mueller Aim Next?NPR
Is It Too Late for Robert Mueller to Save Us?Slate Magazine
National Review –Newsweek
all 2,647 news articles »
Grassley suggests deputy FBI director may have violated Hatch Act – The Hill
 

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The Hill
Grassley suggests deputy FBI director may have violated Hatch Act
The Hill
“However, the e-mail communications released by the FBI show that Mr. McCabe did precisely that during his wife’s Virginia Senate campaign,” Grassley wrote. “For instance, in an August 19, 2015, e-mail from his FBI e-mail account to an undisclosed
Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us? – Townhall
 

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Townhall
Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us?
Townhall
While the liberal media is celebrating the announcement that former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, a bigger scandal was practically ignored. On Thursday, Judicial Watch released 29 pages ofFBI 
Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting report triggered FBI hunt for leaker …Fox News
Loretta Lynch Meeting With Clinton Sparked FB | The Daily CallerThe Daily Callerall 11 news articles »
The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putins agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. M.N.  12.2.17
 

mikenova shared this story from FBI News Review.

The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putin’s agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed.  The KGB (which always had a strong “zhidovskiy” element in it, and it always showed) extended their ugly stinking tentacles in the form and … Continue reading“The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putin’s agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. – M.N. – 12.2.17 “

Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us?
 

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Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us? GUEST EDITORIAL: Rise in hate crimes is disturbing | Editorial Whats behind the Russian presidents close relationship with an Orthodox Jewish sect? The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin ABC Corrects Explosive Flynn … Continue reading“Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us?”

8:57 AM 12/2/2017
 

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FBI from mikenova (4 sites) FBI News Review: The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putins agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. M.N.  12.2.17 1. FBI from mikenova (15 sites): james b. comey – Google News: GUEST EDITORIAL: … Continue reading“8:57 AM 12/2/2017”

Trump attacks media in his first post-Thanksgiving tweet
 

mikenova shared this story from Post Politics.

Trump attacks media in his first post-Thanksgiving tweet

President Trump returned from the Thanksgiving holiday with another attack on one of his favorite targets the news media suggesting Monday morning on Twitter a contest to determine which television network deserves a fake news trophy. Taking special aim at CNN, and carving out an exception for Fox News, which often provides flattering […]

Trump touts benefits of tax cuts for the people that like me best
 

mikenova shared this story from Post Politics.

Trump touts benefits of tax cuts for 'the people that like me best'

ST. CHARLES, Mo. With a critical Senate vote looming, President Trump on Wednesday pitched the Republican tax plan as a boon to his working-class supporters, even as independent analyses have indicated that the wealthy and corporations would be the biggest beneficiaries. Our focus is on helping the folks who work in the mail rooms […]

Is Trump reshaping an entire branch of government the judiciary?
 

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Is Trump reshaping an entire branch of government the judiciary?

Heres a story you likely heard a bit about this week: The director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Richard Cordray, stepped down. To replace him, Cordray himself promoted his chief of staff, Leandra English, to become deputy director and serve as acting director until the Senate confirmed a replacement. Meanwhile, President Trump proposed his […]

Will Obama Be Questioned About Trump and Michael Flynn in the Russia Investigation? – Newsweek
 

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Newsweek
Will Obama Be Questioned About Trump and Michael Flynn in the Russia Investigation?
Newsweek
Why is Trump trying to protect Flynn, saying ‘he’s a good guy,’ after all these peoplethe former president, Sally Yateswarned him? Others doubt Obama will be asked to speak up in the Mueller investigation. Once Trump became the Republican 
Mueller has arrested 4 ex-Trump advisers in 6 months, signaling peril ahead for White HouseChicago Tribune
Trump’s favorite general: Michael Flynn’s rise and fallThe News Tribune
Michael Flynn is now cooperating with Mueller and could fuel the obstruction case against TrumpBusiness Insider
The Nation. –Los Angeles Times –Bloomberg
all 2,667 news articles »
Flynn’s plea is bad for Trump. But he may never face any consequences.
 

mikenova shared this story .

Former National Security Adviser Lt. General Michael Flynn’s Friday guilty plea to making false statements to the FBI about his conversations before President Donald Trump’s inauguration— reportedly a deal in exchange for his cooperation with the investigation of retired FBI director Robert Mueller — is bad news for Trump.

It shouldn’t be surprisingly bad news: After all, Trump didn’t allegedly pressure former FBI director James Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn, nor then fire Comey when he refused because he thought that Flynn hadn’t done anything that would implicate Trump and/or his close associates.

But it shows that Mueller is leading a serious, meticulous investigation that is carefully being built from the ground up, like an organized crime investigation, which won’t be easy for Trump to derail. Flynn would not have been offered a plea on a relatively minor charge if Mueller didn’t think he had information that was valuable to his investigation.

The facts to which Flynn agreed in his plea are in themselves very damning to Trump: Most critically, Flynn has acknowledged that at least one his conversations with Kislyak took place at the direction of a “very senior” official on Trump’s transition team — reportedly,Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — who asked Flynn to ask Kislyak to oppose or delay a United Nations Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.

So not only is Kushner also now in substantial legal jeopardy, but this latest revelation brings the personal ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government not only into Trump’s closest political circles, but into his family.

Worse yet is, according to a report from ABC News, that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump asked him to speak with representatives of the Russian government during the campaign. That would suggest significant ties between the campaign and a state that was almost certainly intervening in the election in favor of Trump.

Flynn would not have been offered a plea on a relatively minor charge if Mueller didn’t think he had information that was valuable.

Still, it’s impossible to know at this point precisely where Mueller’s investigation will lead. Flynn may well have information that is seriously damaging for senior advisers besides Kushner — like Donald Trump Jr. who, during the campaign, met with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have information from the Russian government that was damaging to Hillary Clinton.

But everyone implicated by Flynn would become someone else with incentives to provide further information. It’s entirely possible that this chain of testimony could lead all the way to the president himself; at a minimum, some of his closest advisers are very likely to be implicated

This doesn’t guarantee, of course, that Flynn or any other Trump associate will end up in jail or that Mueller’s investigation will fully play out. Trump has two formidable weapons he can still use. The first is a plenary power to pardon people for federal offenses, including preemptively. If the investigation gets too close, Trump could simply pardon Flynn, Kushner, his sons and anyone else Mueller’s investigation might implicate.

Because of the care Mueller is evidently taking with his investigation, however, Trump might not be able to escape trouble so easily.

And, should Mueller’s investigation continue to accumulate damning information, Trump could also have it shut down. If Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — who is ultimately in charge of the Mueller investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself over his own meetings with Russian officials — refused to shut down Mueller’s investigation, Trump could fire him and find someone in the Justice Department who would.

Because of the care Mueller is evidently taking with his investigation, however, Trump might not be able to escape trouble so easily. Trump’s pardon power doesn’t extend to state crimes, and Mueller’s investigation may well uncover illegal activity (including money laundering) that is illegal under New York as well as federal law. Were Trump to shut down Mueller’s federal investigation, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would likely be particularly inclined to be aggressive in investigating violations of state law by Trump and his associates — and Mueller is certainly aware of this.

Still, if Trump issues blanket pardons or terminates Mueller’s investigation, the short-term remedies at the federal level might be limited. It is clear that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will not seriously investigate Trump, let alone impeach and convict him, as long as he will advance their agenda.

Ultimately, payback for Trump’s actions may have to be at the ballot box next November, and then in 2020.

Scott Lemieux is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. He is the co-author of Judicial Review and Democratic Theory and contributes regularly to The Week, Reuters and the New Republic.

Flynn’s plea is bad for Trump. But he may never face any consequences. – NBCNews.com
 

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NBCNews.com
Flynn’s plea is bad for Trump. But he may never face any consequences.
NBCNews.com
Because of the care Mueller is evidently taking with his investigation, however, Trump might not be able to escape trouble so easily. Trump’s pardon power doesn’t extend to state crimes, and Mueller’s investigation may well uncover illegal activity 
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers ScramblingThe New Yorker
The four people charged so far in Russia investigationUSA TODAY
Did Trump team plan to reward Russians for election meddling?CNN
Chicago Tribune –Washington Post –Slate Magazine
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Flynn’s plea is bad for Trump. But he may never face any consequences.
Flynn’s plea is bad for Trump. But he may never face any consequences. – NBCNews.com
What Flynn’s guilty plea means for Trump and the GOP – NBCNews.com
Michael Flynn Knew the FBI Had Heard His Calls with Russians. So Why Did He Lie About Them? – Daily Beast
Mike Flynn – Google News: ‘Something was desperately wrong with this guy’: US Army lieutenant general who served with Mike Flynn weighs in on … – Business Insider
The details of Michael Flynns plea deal with Robert Mueller are nothing short of brutal
Michael Flynn may have just incriminated Tom Cotton, Donald Trumps new CIA Director pick, in Russia scandal
Tracking Trump: Flynn pleads guilty as cracks form in the ‘special relationship’
The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putin’s agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. M.N.  12.2.17  | FBI News Review
Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us? | FBI News Review
8:57 AM 12/2/2017 | FBI News Review
Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us?
GUEST EDITORIAL: Rise in hate crimes is disturbing | Editorial
Whats behind the Russian presidents close relationship with an Orthodox Jewish sect?
The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin
ABC Corrects Explosive Flynn Report That Drove Down Stocks
» Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With Israel? IMEMC News
James Comey Waxes Biblical About Mike Flynn’s Guilty Plea – Forward
James Comey Tweets Biblical Verse About Mike Flynn The Forward
Congressmen say Jared Kushners arrest is coming and Donald Trump will be ousted from office
Michael Flynn Will Keep Military Rank And Pension Despite Guilty Plea
Psychiatrists warn Trump becoming more mentally unstable
Psychiatrists warn Trump becoming more mentally unstable, putting US, world at ‘extreme risk’ – CNBC
Mike Flynn – Google News: Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI, is cooperating with Mueller – WLS-TV
Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – Lincoln Journal Star

 

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Flynn’s plea is bad for Trump. But he may never face any consequences.

mikenova shared this story .

Former National Security Adviser Lt. General Michael Flynn’s Friday guilty plea to making false statements to the FBI about his conversations before President Donald Trump’s inauguration— reportedly a deal in exchange for his cooperation with the investigation of retired FBI director Robert Mueller — is bad news for Trump.

It shouldn’t be surprisingly bad news: After all, Trump didn’t allegedly pressure former FBI director James Comey to drop the investigation into Flynn, nor then fire Comey when he refused because he thought that Flynn hadn’t done anything that would implicate Trump and/or his close associates.

But it shows that Mueller is leading a serious, meticulous investigation that is carefully being built from the ground up, like an organized crime investigation, which won’t be easy for Trump to derail. Flynn would not have been offered a plea on a relatively minor charge if Mueller didn’t think he had information that was valuable to his investigation.

The facts to which Flynn agreed in his plea are in themselves very damning to Trump: Most critically, Flynn has acknowledged that at least one his conversations with Kislyak took place at the direction of a “very senior” official on Trump’s transition team — reportedly,Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner — who asked Flynn to ask Kislyak to oppose or delay a United Nations Security Council resolution declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank illegal.

So not only is Kushner also now in substantial legal jeopardy, but this latest revelation brings the personal ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government not only into Trump’s closest political circles, but into his family.

Worse yet is, according to a report from ABC News, that Flynn is prepared to testify that Trump asked him to speak with representatives of the Russian government during the campaign. That would suggest significant ties between the campaign and a state that was almost certainly intervening in the election in favor of Trump.

Flynn would not have been offered a plea on a relatively minor charge if Mueller didn’t think he had information that was valuable.

Still, it’s impossible to know at this point precisely where Mueller’s investigation will lead. Flynn may well have information that is seriously damaging for senior advisers besides Kushner — like Donald Trump Jr. who, during the campaign, met with a Russian lawyer who claimed to have information from the Russian government that was damaging to Hillary Clinton.

But everyone implicated by Flynn would become someone else with incentives to provide further information. It’s entirely possible that this chain of testimony could lead all the way to the president himself; at a minimum, some of his closest advisers are very likely to be implicated

This doesn’t guarantee, of course, that Flynn or any other Trump associate will end up in jail or that Mueller’s investigation will fully play out. Trump has two formidable weapons he can still use. The first is a plenary power to pardon people for federal offenses, including preemptively. If the investigation gets too close, Trump could simply pardon Flynn, Kushner, his sons and anyone else Mueller’s investigation might implicate.

Because of the care Mueller is evidently taking with his investigation, however, Trump might not be able to escape trouble so easily.

And, should Mueller’s investigation continue to accumulate damning information, Trump could also have it shut down. If Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein — who is ultimately in charge of the Mueller investigation because Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself over his own meetings with Russian officials — refused to shut down Mueller’s investigation, Trump could fire him and find someone in the Justice Department who would.

Because of the care Mueller is evidently taking with his investigation, however, Trump might not be able to escape trouble so easily. Trump’s pardon power doesn’t extend to state crimes, and Mueller’s investigation may well uncover illegal activity (including money laundering) that is illegal under New York as well as federal law. Were Trump to shut down Mueller’s federal investigation, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman would likely be particularly inclined to be aggressive in investigating violations of state law by Trump and his associates — and Mueller is certainly aware of this.

Still, if Trump issues blanket pardons or terminates Mueller’s investigation, the short-term remedies at the federal level might be limited. It is clear that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan will not seriously investigate Trump, let alone impeach and convict him, as long as he will advance their agenda.

Ultimately, payback for Trump’s actions may have to be at the ballot box next November, and then in 2020.

Scott Lemieux is a lecturer in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington. He is the co-author of Judicial Review and Democratic Theory and contributes regularly to The Week, Reuters and the New Republic.

Flynn’s plea is bad for Trump. But he may never face any consequences. – NBCNews.com

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Flynn’s plea is bad for Trump. But he may never face any consequences.
NBCNews.com
Because of the care Mueller is evidently taking with his investigation, however, Trump might not be able to escape trouble so easily. Trump’s pardon power doesn’t extend to state crimes, and Mueller’s investigation may well uncover illegal activity 
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers ScramblingThe New Yorker
The four people charged so far in Russia investigationUSA TODAY
Did Trump team plan to reward Russians for election meddling?CNN
Chicago Tribune –Washington Post –Slate Magazine
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What Flynn’s guilty plea means for Trump and the GOP – NBCNews.com

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What Flynn’s guilty plea means for Trump and the GOP
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WASHINGTON It’s going to get harder for President Donald Trump to distance himself politically from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe after Michael Flynn’s guilty plea and that could be bad news for his fellow Republicans at the polls 
GOP races to pass tax plan as Russia probe threatens to take down Trump administrationCNBC

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Michael Flynn Knew the FBI Had Heard His Calls with Russians. So Why Did He Lie About Them? – Daily Beast

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Michael Flynn Knew the FBI Had Heard His Calls with Russians. So Why Did He Lie About Them?
Daily Beast
For example, the FBI has conducted extensive physical and electronic surveillance of the defendants including the covert placement of microphone-type listening devices in certain locations; the covert placement of video cameras in public locations
Here’s what Mike Flynn lied to the FBI aboutVICE News
Mike Flynn, Trump and Mar-a-Lago: A timeline on path to guilty pleaPalm Beach Post
Russian investigation reaches White Housetheday.com
Slate Magazine (blog) –NBC Montana
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Mike Flynn – Google News: ‘Something was desperately wrong with this guy’: US Army lieutenant general who served with Mike Flynn weighs in on … – Business Insider

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‘Something was desperately wrong with this guy’: US Army lieutenant general who served with Mike Flynnweighs in on …
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A retired US Army lieutenant general weighed in on Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in the ongoing Russia investigation. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who served with Flynn in the US Army, said he believes the former national security adviser’s downfall was the

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 Mike Flynn – Google News

The details of Michael Flynns plea deal with Robert Mueller are nothing short of brutal

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

Just how hard of a bargain does Robert Mueller drive? He handed what initially appeared to be a sweetheart deal to Michael Flynn, and in exchange Flynn agreed to provide evidence to incriminate Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, and other key players in the Trump-Russia scandal. But the details of that plea deal are now surfacing, and what’s stunning is just how little Mueller ended up giving Flynn when it comes down to it. This is nothing short of brutal.

Legal experts dissected the Flynn plea deal during Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show on Friday night, and I’ll spare you the legalese and boil it down to three points for you. First: Flynn’s deal only grants him leniency on the charge of lying to the FBI. If Mueller doesn’t end up liking what he sees going forward, he can still charge Flynn with other crimes. Second: Mueller now officially owns Flynn. He can make him wear a wire, or dress up like a chicken. The third bullet point is the most astounding one.

There is nothing in the plea deal which formally protects Michael Flynn Jr. By now we all know that Michael Flynn cut the deal in order to protect his son. But even that’s not guaranteed. If Mueller doesn’t like how things are going, he can go back and charge Junior with various crimes at any point. This motivates Flynn to work as hard as he possibly can to help take down the likes of Trump and Kushner, because his son is still far from officially being in the clear.

This deal offers the clearest insight yet into just how brutally effective Robert Mueller can be with his wheeling and dealing. It’s not that he’s trying to torture Michael Flynn. It’s that he wants to keep Flynn motivated to continue cooperating as emphatically as possible. It also means no one else in the Trump-Russia scandal is getting free lunch if they seek a plea deal of their own.

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Michael Flynn may have just incriminated Tom Cotton, Donald Trumps new CIA Director pick, in Russia scandal

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Earlier this week, just as it was becoming clear that Michael Flynn was about to cut a devastating plea deal against Donald Trump and other big fish in the Russia scandal, Trump began pushing a weird sideshow story. He suddenly wants to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after months of hemming and hawing about it, as part of a series of moves that would elevate Senator Tom Cotton to CIA Director. Now that Flynn’s deal is official, it reveals that Cotton may have been part of the Trump-Russia conspiracy all along.

Let’s emphasize the word “may” here. Perhaps this is all one massive coincidence. Perhaps Trump really does just happen to be looking to give Cotton a coveted promotion, just as Michael Flynn seems to be pointing the finger at Cotton. But if this is a coincidence, it’s a remarkable one. Flynn is confessing that while he was conspiring with the Russian Ambassador to sabotage President Obama’s Russian sanctions, he was relaying that conversation to the Trump national security transition team. Guess who was on that team? Tom Cotton.

We may have to wait a bit to see whether Flynn is referring to everyone on the Trump national security transition team, or just some of its members. But if Flynn is referring to the entire team, then he’s accusing Tom Cotton of having known about the Trump-Russia conspiracy since at least December. If Cotton knew about that felony conspiracy and failed to report it, he would be guilty of a felony himself, and Trump could be offering him a promotion in the hope of buying his continued silence.

Again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. We can’t assume Tom Cotton is guilty of anything. But if Michael Flynn really did just implicate Cotton in the Trump-Russa conspiracy, it would very conveniently explain why Donald Trump is trying to buy Cotton’s silence by giving him a promotion, However, if Cotton was looking to disappear into the recesses of the CIA before he could become a suspect in the Trump-Russia scandal, Trump may have blown it by taking this step far too late in the game. Trump should have made the move months ago. Now it may be too late.

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Tracking Trump: Flynn pleads guilty as cracks form in the ‘special relationship’

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In another alarmingly eventful week, the president calls out Pocahontas and retweets a far-right group all before a major development in the Russia case

It was a week in which Donald Trump dived back into the gutter over Islamophobia, alienating one of Americas key international allies, and which ended with the Russia investigation coming one crucial step closer to the president, with his former national security adviser Michael Flynn confirming he had flipped and was now working with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Continue reading…

The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putin’s agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. M.N.  12.2.17  | FBI News Review

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The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putin’s agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. 

The KGB (which always had a strong “zhidovskiy” element in it, and it always showed) extended their ugly stinking tentacles in the form and the way of the Russian Jewish emigration of the most recent waves, staring in 1990-s, to the U.S. and Israel. That was their Trojan Horse, and their revenge for the defeat, economic and ideological, in the Cold War. And they did that by latching on to the existing Jewish communities in the U.S., apparently mostly the Orthodox ones, using the religion as the pretense and the very convenient cover. The Russian Jews used to go the Communist Party meetings, and now, in America, they started to attend their synagogues dutifully and without any scruples, maybe even as the needed substitute for those Party meetings. It looks like they, the KGB,  developed the functional, mafia-like network of their agents, and, in fact, grew in and together, integrated with the Russian-Jewish (“Red”) Mafia. The Darwinian pragmatism and the survival skills honed in the USSR were their guiding lights and the only “ideology”. And the “religion – crime connection” (apparently the ancient and the deep one), worked out for the Russian Jews no worse than the  Catholicism for the Italian Cosa Nostra. 

Today we are dealing with the complications and the sick sequelae of this invisible (or unseen, or largely neglected and ignored) invasion. 

M.N. 

12.2.17 

Links 

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What’s behind the Russian president’s close relationship with an Orthodox Jewish sect?

Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us? | FBI News Review

mikenova shared this story from FBI News Review.

Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us?

GUEST EDITORIAL: Rise in hate crimes is disturbing | Editorial
Whats behind the Russian presidents close relationship with an Orthodox Jewish sect?
The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin
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8:57 AM 12/2/2017 | FBI News Review

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FBI News Review: The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putins agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. M.N.  12.2.17
The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putin’s agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed.  The KGB (which always had a strong “zhidovskiy” element in it, and it always showed) extended their ugly stinking tentacles in the form and … Continue reading“The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putin’s agents. These matters are serious, and they have to be properly investigated and addressed. – M.N. – 12.2.17 “FBI News Review
1. FBI from mikenova (15 sites): james b. comey – Google News: GUEST EDITORIAL: Rise in hate crimes is disturbing – Glens Falls Post-Star
Lying to FBI Is Illegal; How About the FBI Lying to Us?

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While the liberal media is celebrating the announcement that former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, a bigger scandal was practically ignored.

On Thursday, Judicial Watch released 29 pages of FBI emails regarding the inexcusable June 27, 2016 meeting between former President Bill Clinton and then Attorney General Loretta Lynch on the tarmac of the Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix, AZ. This meeting was not accidental, as Clinton purposely delayed the takeoff of his aircraft to arrange the supposedly impromptu encounter with the Attorney General.

According to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton, “These new FBI documents show the FBI was more concerned about a whistle-blower who told the truth about the infamous Clinton-Lynch tarmac meeting than the scandalous meeting itself.”

In the midst of a FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s “extremely careless” handling of top secret email communications, Lynch held a secretive meeting with her husband. This bombshell information would have never been made public if not for the investigative work of Phoenix television anchor Christopher Sign, who received a tip about the meeting from a “trusted source.”

With an ongoing Justice Department investigation into the improper handling of email communications, it was highly improper for Lynch to agree to the meeting with Bill Clinton just days before FBI agents would interview his wife. Once confronted about the tarmac meeting, Lynch claimed they only discussed golf and grandchildren, which is a completely ludicrous explanation for the 30-minute meeting.

If the meeting was so innocent, why did the Justice Department withhold key documents for so long? After an initial July 7, 2016 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by Judicial Watch for documents pertaining to the meeting, the Justice Department claimed that nothing could be located. Only after an official FOIA lawsuit did the department provide the various FBI email exchanges.

As noted by Fitton, the real focus of the emails was to try to locate the leaker who exposed the meeting. One unidentified FBI agent lamented that the meeting was disclosed to the press and claimed that “We need to find that guy” in order to get him fired or sanctioned by his supervisors. The emails show that the FBI believed the source was a Phoenix police officer and one agent expressed a desire to ban the officer from being involved in future security details.

This anger is very indicative of what is wrong with the FBI today. The source who leaked news of the meeting to the local media did a real public service and should be commended. Americans had a right to know that the Attorney General was involved in a questionable meeting while an investigation was purportedly ongoing.  Unfortunately, instead of congratulating the source, the FBI wanted to punish this individual, obviously because they wanted to protect the reputation of the Attorney General and the presidential aspirations of Hillary Clinton.

The FBI should be impartial, not be taking sides in political campaigns. The bureau was obviously politically comprised, much like the IRS during their unfair harassment of Tea Party groups.

In any vigorous and honest FBI investigation, agents should be outraged if the Attorney General held a secret meeting with the spouse of the subject being examined for wrongdoing. Instead agents showed only concern about identifying the police officer who caused the embarrassment. This nonchalant attitude was not shared by Lynch who admitted that the ill-advised meeting “cast a cloud” on the Justice Department’s investigation into Hillary Clinton.

These disclosures lead to the distressing conclusion that the Hillary Clinton investigation was a sham from the very beginning. In fact, when Clinton was finally interviewed by the FBI on July 2, 2016, she was not under oath and there was no recording of the meeting. Several weeks earlier, before the FBI had interviewed Clinton or 17 key witnesses in the investigation, then FBI Director James Comey had already begun drafting her exoneration statement.

These unusual procedures were denounced by U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and U.S. Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) in a joint statement. According to the Senators, “Conclusion first, fact-gathering second—that’s no way to run an investigation.  The FBI should be held to a higher standard than that, especially in a matter of such great public interest and controversy.”

Of course, the Senators are right as the FBI’s handling of this matter was atrocious. A mere three days after the inadequate interview of Clinton, Comey announced that she would not be indicted despite what many legal analysts believe were her clear violations of federal law.

Evidently, the FBI, under the direction of James Comey, had no intention of ever truly investigating Hillary Clinton and bringing charges against her. If there was ever an issue that needed a Special Counsel investigation, it is not “Russian collusion,” but the Justice Department’s collusion with Hillary Clinton.

GUEST EDITORIAL: Rise in hate crimes is disturbing | Editorial

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A new FBI report on hate crimes tells a sobering story. For the second year in a row, police departments across the country reported a rise in the number of crimes motivated by bias.

In 2016, the FBI counted 6,121 reported incidents nationwide — an increase of 4.6 percent from 2015, during which 5,850 cases were reported. That number, in turn, marked a 6.8 percent increase in reported hate crimes over 2014. Roughly 58 percent of such attacks last year were motivated by racial bias, of which about half targeted African Americans. Of the 21 percent of crimes fueled by animosity toward the victim’s religion, more than half the attacks were aimed at Jews, a quarter at Muslims.

The sharp rise in crimes against Muslims and people of Arab descent is particularly troubling. Racially motivated attacks on Arabs jumped 38 percent from 2015, the first year in which the FBI requested data on such crimes. And attacks on Muslims, which spiked 67 percent in 2015, rose an additional 19 percent last year to more than 300 reported incidents. That makes 2016 the year with the highest number of hate crimes against Muslims since 2001, following the 9/11 attacks.

Meanwhile, crimes against Latinos and against white people rose 15 percent and 17 percent, respectively, from 2015. Crimes against transgender people went up 44 percent.

The FBI’s report doesn’t draw conclusions as to what might be behind this disturbing rise in hate. But it’s noteworthy that many of the groups against whom crimes rose by double digits were the focus of inflammatory rhetoric by Donald Trump over the course of his presidential campaign. Likewise, the FBI data show a sharp rise in bias-motivated incidents in the months around the 2016 election — confirming reports by the Anti-Defamation League and others of a surge of attacks on Muslims and Jews in the wake of Mr. Trump’s election.

“Hate crimes are different from other crimes,” FBI Director James B. Comey said in a 2014 speech. “They strike at the heart of one’s identity.” For this reason, it’s important that the United States be able to tackle this growing problem with the best data it can gather. The FBI’s statistics on hate crimes, while the best we have, are also incomplete — partly because it’s up to state and local police departments to decide whether to provide the federal government with their data. What’s more, a study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics suggests that many hate-crime victims never report the offense.

Police departments should work to provide the federal government with more complete data. But taking this rise in hate seriously also requires that law enforcement officials cultivate trust with the communities they serve. Victims need to know they will be treated with respect if they come forward — especially in the current political environment, where many may be particularly fearful.

This editorial appeared in the Nov. 26 edition of The Washington Post.

Whats behind the Russian presidents close relationship with an Orthodox Jewish sect?

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Photo by Alexei Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images

Moscow’s Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center is an impressive place. Original artifacts, film clips, and interactive displays take visitors on a tour through centuries of Judaism’s rich but tragic history in Russia, from the Middle Ages to the czarist-era pogroms to the Holocaust to the repression of the Stalin era to the mass emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union in the 1980s. Then it just sort of ends.

There’s a panel featuring photos of Vladimir Putin with Jewish leaders, a small display on the Russian Jewish diaspora featuring Little Failure author Gary Shteyngart as an example of a “successful, integrated Russian Jew,” and that’s about it. An exhibit on post-perestroika Jewish life is planned for some time in the future, but for now, the museum gives the impression that Judaism in Russia is a subject of historical interest rather than an ongoing story.

Technically speaking, there are four “official” religions in Russia: Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Judaism. But given that almost 70 percent of Russians identify as adherents to the Russian Orthodox Church, it’s pretty apparent that one religion is more “official” than others.

The smallest of the four is Judaism. There are fewer than 200,000 self-identified Jews in Russia today—less than the number of pagans—though the number of Russians from Jewish backgrounds who no longer identify with the religion is likely much higher. They are what remains after a mass exodus that saw more than 2 million Jews leave the countries of the former Soviet Union shortly before and after its collapse, mainly for the United States and Israel. Given that most Russians with Jewish backgrounds range from casual observers to entirely indifferent to their religion, it’s a bit unexpected that their official representatives hail from one of the more doctrinaire sects of Orthodox Judaism. You may be surprised to learn, too, that those representatives are quite close with President Vladimir Putin.

Chabad members—a small fraction of a small religious community—have become the dominant force in Russian Jewish life.

Regardless, it’s quite clear that we are not at a high point of Russian Jewish culture. You could argue, though, that for the Jews who are left, things aren’t that bad. Recent years have seen a great deal of government-supported synagogue construction, and a small but growing number of Jews are attending services.

And while there were fears after the fall of the Soviet Union that rising Russian nationalism would lead to an upsurge in anti-Semitism, that never really materialized. “After the collapse of the USSR, the number of cases of anti-Semitism have been steadily dropping on an annual basis over the last 10 years,” says Yury Kanner, head of the country’s largest secular Jewish organization, the Russian Jewish Congress.

There is certainly anti-Jewish sentiment in Russia, but the country is far from an outlier in that regard. Anti-Semitic incidents have been on the rise in a number of European countries, including France, Germany, and Italy. Much of this is related to tension between Jewish and Muslim communities and criticism of Israel, which isn’t a particularly salient issue in Russia. Anti-Semitic far-right parties have also made troubling election gains in countries like Greece and Hungary. Ultra-nationalism is an issue in Russia as well—a controversial far-right rally was held in Moscow on Nov. 4—but when this manifests itself as racism or xenophobia, it’s more typically directed against the predominantly Muslim migrants from the Caucasus and Central Asia, perhaps because they’re far more numerous than Jews.

Whatever his many other sins, even Vladimir Putin’s harshest critics concede that he’s not an anti-Semite. As the New Republic’s Julia Ioffe notes, a number of his closest confidants, as well as the Judo teacher who served as a mentor and surrogate father, are Jews. He has personally intervened in cases of state anti-Semitism, such as an incident last year in which a teacher was charged with corruption and the prosecution used his Jewish last name as evidence. Putin labeled that “egregious,” and the conviction was overturned soon after.

Putin’s has also generally been supportive of Jewish institutions—one Jewish institution in particular. One of the more intriguing aspects of contemporary Russian Jewish life is the close relationship between the Kremlin and Chabad, also known as Lubavitch, the Hasidic sect known in the United States for its street-corner proselytizing to fellow Jews and reverence for the late Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson. Founded in Western Russia in the 18th century, the Lubavitchers decamped to the United States in 1940, setting up their new headquarters in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood. The Orthodox Jewish movement has dispatched hundreds of emissaries throughout the world to promote the faith. Just after the fall of Communism and just prior to his own death, Schneerson sent Rabbi Berel Lazar to represent Chabad in Russia.

Today, Lazar, who was born in Italy and educated in the United States, is Russia’s chief rabbi. He appears frequently at Putin’s side at public events, and is the leader of the Federation of Jewish Communities (known by its Russian acronym FEOR), the country’s most important Jewish organization. But the title of Russia’s most important rabbi is not an uncontested one.

Adolf Shayevech, a prominent figure in the community since the late Soviet period, was considered chief rabbi until 2000, and still claims the title. Kanner’s group, the Russian Jewish Congress, also recognizes Shayevech. But since Putin came to power in 2000, he has preferred to work with FEOR. Lazar, who is sometimes referred to as “Putin’s Rabbi,” now sits on the country’s public chamber, a government-appointed oversight committee. Lazar has been nothing but appreciative, praising Putin publicly as a friend of the Jews and calling Russia “one of the safest places for Jews in Europe.”

In a story that seemed tailor-made to demonstrate the rabbi’s devotion to both his faith and his patron in the Kremlin, it was reported in June 2013 that Lazar had agreed, at Putin’s request, to attend a World War II memorial event hours away from Moscow on a Friday afternoon. When his plane was delayed and arrived back in Moscow just 10 minutes before sundown, Lazar made an eight-hour, 19-mile walk home rather than break the Sabbath. Sources close to the rabbi told the Israeli newspaper Arutz Sheva that his willingness to make the difficult journey was an “example of the special connection between Rabbi Lazar and Russia’s president.”

Government support has been good for FEOR, which has restored dozens of synagogues and built Jewish community centers throughout the country. It has also gotten funding to develop the Jewish Museum, which opened in 2012 just around the corner from the organization’s Moscow headquarters.

Chabad members—a small fraction of a small religious community—have become the dominant force in Russian Jewish life. “Eighty percent of all synagogues, the rabbis are Chabad,” Rabbi Alexander Boroda, the organization’s chief spokesman, told me in an interview. “But the people who come, many are just young people who want to come and learn something about Judaism.”

Boroda dismissed the notion that there was anything improper about his organization’s close relationship with the Kremlin. “The chief rabbi is the representative of the Jewish tradition,” he says. “It’s the Russian tradition, it’s not like America.” Indeed, a number of other Eastern European countries have chief rabbis, and in Ukraine, as in Russia, it’s a disputed position.

How exactly has Chabad reached its position of influence? For one thing, it has some influential backers. The Uzbek–Israeli billionaire diamond magnate Lev Leviev was an early and enthusiastic backer of FEOR. Roman Abramovich, the billionaire investor, governor, and owner of the Chelsea soccer team, has also been a backer, donating $5 million to build the Marina Roscha Synagogue.

Chabad, which unlike many other Jewish groups is a centrally organized hierarchical organization, also likely looks familiar to the Kremlin. Chabad “replicates in a way the structure of the Orthodox Church,” says Kanner. “There is a center that sends its ambassadors into the communities.”

David Shneer, a professor of Jewish history at the University of Denver who was studied the Lubavitchers’ role in Russia, says it also helps that Chabad is a “movement that cultivates ties with political leadership as part of a broader strategy to make a home wherever they happen to be.” He compares this to the medieval practice of shtadlanut, in which European Jews lobbied local rulers for rights.

Even though most Russian Jews aren’t Orthodox, Shneer says it shouldn’t be surprising that the Orthodox Chabad has taken on a leadership role in Russian Jewish life. “Chabad is evangelical Judaism,” he says. “They bring Judaism to people at whatever level they’re at. If they want to light candles, they’ll show them how to light candles. If they want to keep kosher, they’ll show them how to keep kosher. They know that 95 percent of people who attend Chabad events are not at all religiously observant. But their point is to bring a certain kind of Judaism to as many Jews as possible.”

FEOR’s Boroda argues that the approach has brought results. “More people have started going to synagogue,” he says. “We’re seeing a renaissance in Jewish life.”

Of course, with nationalist sentiment running high right now, there are always fears that this could once against manifest itself in hostility to Jews.

recent report from Kanner’s organization, which often works with the government to combat cases of discrimination, also noted an uptick in anti-Semitic statements from politicians and on state-run media outlets. A recent Russian television documentary about Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told viewers that “one must take into consideration his Jewish origin.” Other media hatchet jobs of foreign leaders or opposition figures have also noted their Jewish roots. There have also been a number of instances in the past year of vandalism of synagogues and cemeteries. Blatantly anti-Semitic comments from low-level politicians are fairly common. A legislator from the ruling United Russia party, for instance, remarked during a debate at the regional parliament in Kaliningrad that Jews “destroyed our country in 1917 and … destroyed our country in 1991.”

Even so, a spokesman for the Russian Jewish Congress told the news agency Interfax that “the role of anti-Semitism in modern Russia has obviously become less noticeable than in the 1990s and 2000s, when it was the principal essence of nationalistic propaganda.”

But even if life is relatively comfortable for Jews, in contrast to other minorities, that doesn’t mean the community is due for a resurgence. Right now the biggest threat to Russian Judaism may be apathy, not bigotry.

Shneer feels that Chabad’s dominance, and the lack of reform or progressive alternatives, is “terrible for the future of pluralistic Judaism in Russia.” Russia is full of people with Jewish or partially Jewish family roots, but after decades of repression and immigration, many have little connection to the religion. On one level it seems unlikely that a branch of Judaism based in part on a rejection of modern society will be the one to bring doubters back into the fold.

Kanner, though, says the relative lack of interest in reform or liberal branches of Judaism shouldn’t be surprising, and is rooted in the community’s troubled history. “In Soviet times, we were Jews based on our blood. It was a nationality not a religion,” he says. “The main principle of reformism is that you can be a Jew while also being French or German or whatever. That’s why there was no basis for reformism. In Russia, you are first a Jew, then you are anything else.”

Times may have changed and the situation may have improved, but the idea that you can at once be a Jew and a Russian will still take time to take hold.

The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin

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Chabad of Port Washington, a Jewish community center on Long Island’s Manhasset Bay, sits in a squat brick edifice across from a Shell gas station and a strip mall. The center is an unexceptional building on an unexceptional street, save for one thing: Some of the shortest routes between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin run straight through it.

Two decades ago, as the Russian president set about consolidating power on one side of the world, he embarked on a project to supplant his country’s existing Jewish civil society and replace it with a parallel structure loyal to him. On the other side of the world, the brash Manhattan developer was working to get a piece of the massive flows of capital that were fleeing the former Soviet Union in search of stable assets in the West, especially real estate, and seeking partners in New York with ties to the region.

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Their respective ambitions led the two men—along with Trump’s future son-in-law, Jared Kushner—to build a set of close, overlapping relationships in a small world that intersects on Chabad, an international Hasidic movement most people have never heard of.

Starting in 1999, Putin enlisted two of his closest confidants, the oligarchs Lev Leviev and Roman Abramovich, who would go on to become Chabad’s biggest patrons worldwide, to create the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia under the leadership of Chabad rabbi Berel Lazar, who would come to be known as “Putin’s rabbi.”

A few years later, Trump would seek out Russian projects and capital by joining forces with a partnership called Bayrock-Sapir, led by Soviet emigres Tevfik Arif, Felix Sater and Tamir Sapir—who maintain close ties to Chabad. The company’s ventures would lead to multiple lawsuits alleging fraud and a criminal investigation of a condo project in Manhattan.

Meanwhile, the links between Trump and Chabad kept piling up. In 2007, Trump hosted the wedding of Sapir’s daughter and Leviev’s right-hand man at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach resort. A few months after the ceremony, Leviev met Trump to discuss potential deals in Moscow and then hosted a bris for the new couple’s first son at the holiest site in Chabad Judaism. Trump attended the bris along with Kushner, who would go on to buy a $300 million building from Leviev and marry Ivanka Trump, who would form a close relationship with Abramovich’s wife, Dasha Zhukova. Zhukova would host the power couple in Russia in 2014 and reportedly attend Trump’s inauguration as their guest.

With the help of this trans-Atlantic diaspora and some globetrotting real estate moguls, Trump Tower and Moscow’s Red Square can feel at times like part of the same tight-knit neighborhood. Now, with Trump in the Oval Office having proclaimed his desire to reorient the global order around improved U.S. relations with Putin’s government—and as the FBI probes the possibility of improper coordination between Trump associates and the Kremlin—that small world has suddenly taken on outsize importance.

Trump’s kind of Jews

Founded in Lithuania in 1775, the Chabad-Lubavitch movement today has adherents numbering in the five, or perhaps six, figures. What the movement lacks in numbers it makes up for in enthusiasm, as it is known for practicing a particularly joyous form of Judaism.

Mort Klein, president of the Zionist Organization of America, recalled having this trait impressed upon him during one family wedding at which the two tables occupied by his first cousins, Chabad rabbis, put the rest of the celebrants to shame. “They were dancing up a storm, these guys. I thought they were black. Instead they’re just black-hat,” Klein said, referring to their traditional Hasidic garb.

Despite its small size, Chabad has grown to become the most sprawling Jewish institution in the world, with a presence in over 1,000 far-flung cities, including locales like Kathmandu and Hanoi with few full-time Jewish residents. The movement is known for these outposts, called Chabad houses, which function as community centers and are open to all Jews. “Take any forsaken city in the world, you have a McDonald’s and a Chabad house,” explained Ronn Torossian, a Jewish public relations executive in New York.

Chabad adherents differ from other Hasidic Jews on numerous small points of custom, including the tendency of Chabad men to wear fedoras instead of fur hats. Many adherents believe that the movement’s last living leader, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, who died in 1994, is the messiah, and some believe he is still alive. Chabad followers are also, according to Klein, “remarkable” fundraisers.

As the closest thing the Jewish world has to evangelism—much of its work is dedicated to making Jews around the world more involved in Judaism—Chabad serves many more Jews who are not full-on adherents.

According to Schmuley Boteach, a prominent rabbi in New Jersey and a longtime friend of Democratic Sen. Cory Booker, Chabad offers Jews a third way of relating to their religious identity. “You have three choices as a Jew,” he explained. “You can assimilate and not be very affiliated. You can be religious and Orthodox, or there’s sort of a third possibility that Chabad offers for people who don’t want to go the full Orthodox route but do want to stay on the traditional spectrum.”

This third way may explain the affinity Trump has found with a number of Chabad enthusiasts—Jews who shun liberal reform Judaism in favor of traditionalism but are not strictly devout.

“It’s not a surprise that Trump-minded people are involved with Chabad,” said Torossian. “Chabad is a place that tough, strong Jews feel comfortable. Chabad is a nonjudgmental place where people that are not traditional and not by-the-book feel comfortable.”

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He summarized the Chabad attitude, which is less strict than the Orthodox one, as, “If you can’t keep all of the commandments, keep as many as you can.”

Torossian, who coincidentally said he is Sater’s friend and PR rep, also explained that this balance is particularly appealing to Jews from the former Soviet Union, who appreciate its combination of traditional trappings with a lenient attitude toward observance. “All Russian Jews go to Chabad,” he said. “Russian Jews are not comfortable in a reform synagogue.”

Putin’s kind of Jews

The Russian state’s embrace of Chabad happened, like many things in Putin’s Russia, as the result of a factional power struggle.

In 1999, soon after he became prime minister, Putin enlisted Abramovich and Leviev to create the Federation of Russian Jewish Communities. Its purpose was to undermine the existing umbrella for Russia’s Jewish civil society, the Russian Jewish Congress, led by oligarch Vladimir Gusinsky, a potential threat to Putin and President Boris Yeltsin. A year later, Gusinsky was arrested by Putin’s government and forced into exile.

At the time, Russia already had a chief rabbi as recognized by the Russian Jewish Congress, Adolf Shayevich. But Abramovich and Leviev installed Chabad rabbi Lazar at the head of their rival organization. The Kremlin removed Shayevich from its religious affairs council, and ever since it has instead recognized Lazar as Russia’s chief rabbi, leaving the country with two rival claimants to the title.

The Putin-Chabad alliance has reaped benefits for both sides. Under Putin, anti-Semitism has been officially discouraged, a break from centuries of discrimination and pogroms, and the government has come to embrace a state-sanctioned version of Jewish identity as a welcome part of the nation.

As Putin has consolidated his control of Russia, Lazar has come to be known derisively as “Putin’s rabbi.” He has escorted the Russian leader to Jerusalem’s Western Wall and attended the opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics, Putin’s pet project, on the Jewish Sabbath. Putin returned that favor by arranging for Lazar to enter the stadium without submitting to security checks that would have broken the rules for observing Shabbat.

In 2013, a $50 million Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center opened in Moscow under the auspices of Chabad and with funding from Abramovich. Putin donated a month of his salary to the project, while the Federal Security Service, the successor to the KGB, pitched in by offering relevant documents from its archives.

In 2014, Lazar was the only Jewish leader present at Putin’s triumphal announcement of the annexation of Crimea.

But the rabbi has paid a price for his loyalty to Putin. Since the annexation, his continued support for the Russian autocrat has caused a rift with Chabad leaders in Ukraine. And for years, the Russian government has defied an American court order to turn over a trove of Chabad texts called the “Schneerson Library” to the Chabad Lubavitch headquarters in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Shortly after the opening of the tolerance museum, Putin ordered the collection transferred there instead. The move made Lazar the custodian of a prized collection that his Brooklyn comrades believe is rightfully theirs.

If Lazar has any qualms about his role in all the intra-Chabad drama, he hasn’t let on publicly. “Challenging the government is not the Jewish way,” the rabbi said in 2015.

Trump, Bayrock, Sapir

Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, as Trump looked for business and investors in the former Soviet Union during the first years of this century, he struck up an enduring relationship with a firm called Bayrock-Sapir.

Bayrock was co-led by Felix Sater, a convicted mob associate.

Sater and another Bayrock employee, Daniel Ridloff, who like Sater later went on to work directly for the Trump Organization, belong to the Port Washington Chabad house. Sater told POLITICO Magazine that in addition to serving on the board of the Port Washington Chabad house, he sits on the boards of numerous Chabad entities in the U.S. and abroad, though none in Russia.

The extent of Sater’s ties to Trump is a matter of some dispute. Working out of Trump Tower, Sater partnered with the celebrity developer on numerous Trump-branded developments and scouted deals for him in the former Soviet Union. In 2006, Sater escorted Trump’s children Ivanka and Don Jr. around Moscow to scour the city for potential projects, and he worked especially closely with Ivanka on the development of Trump SoHo, a hotel and condominium building in Manhattan whose construction was announced on “The Apprentice” in 2006.

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In 2007, Sater’s stock fraud conviction became public. The revelation did not deter Trump, who brought him on as “a senior advisor to the Trump Organization” in 2010. In 2011, a number of purchasers of Trump SoHo units sued Trump and his partners for fraud and the New York attorney general’s office opened a criminal inquiry into the building’s marketing. But the purchasers settled and agreed not to cooperate with the criminal investigation, which was subsequently scuttled, according to the New York Times. Two former executives are suing Bayrock alleging tax evasion, money laundering, racketeering, bribery, extortion and fraud.

Under oath, Sater has described a close relationship with the Trumps, while Trump has testified under oath that he barely knew Sater and would not be able to pick his face out in a crowd. Several people who worked closely with Sater during this period and who agreed to speak on condition of anonymity, citing fear of retaliation from both men, scoffed at Trump’s testimony, describing frequent meetings and near-constant phone calls between the two. One person recalled numerous occasions on which Trump and Sater dined together, including at the now-defunct Kiss & Fly in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District.

“Trump called Felix like every other day to his office. So the fact that he’s saying he doesn’t know him, that’s a lot of crap,” said a former Sater colleague. “They were definitely in contact always. They spoke on the phone all the time.”

In 2014, the Port Washington Chabad house named Sater its “man of the year.” At the ceremony honoring Sater, the chabad’s founder, Shalom Paltiel, recounted how Sater would spill his guts to him about his adventures working as a government cooperator on sensitive matters of national security.

“I only recently told Felix I really didn’t believe most of it. I thought perhaps he watched too many James Bond movies, read one too many Tom Clancy novels,” said Paltiel at the ceremony. “Anyone who knows Felix knows he can tell a good story. I simply did not put too much credence to them.”

But Paltiel went on to recount receiving special clearance years later to accompany Sater to a ceremony at the federal building in Manhattan. There, said Paltiel, officials from every American intelligence agency applauded Sater’s secret work and divulged “stuff that was more fantastic, and more unbelievable, than anything he had been telling me.” A video of the event honoring Sater has been removed from the Port Washington Chabad house’s website but is still available on YouTube.

When I contacted Paltiel for this article, he hung up the phone as soon as I introduced myself. I wanted to ask him about some of the connections I’d come across in the course of my reporting. In addition to his relationship with Sater, Paltiel is also close to “Putin’s rabbi” Lazar, calling Lazar “my dear friend and mentor” in a short note about running into him at Schneerson’s gravesite in Queens.

According to Boteach, this is unsurprising, because Chabad is the sort of community where everybody knows everybody else. “In the world of Chabad, we all went to Yeshiva together, we were all ordained together,” Boteach explained. “I knew Berel Lazar from yeshiva.”

The Port Washington Chabad house has another Bayrock tie. Among its top 13 benefactors, its “Chai Circle,” as listed on its website, is Sater’s partner, Bayrock founder Tevfik Arif.

Arif, a former Soviet bureaucrat turned wealthy real estate developer, owns a mansion in Port Washington, an upscale suburb, but he makes a curious patron for the town’s Chabad. A Kazakh-born citizen of Turkey with a Muslim name, Arif is not Jewish, according to people who have worked with him. In 2010, he was arrested in a raid on a yacht in Turkey that once belonged to the founder of the modern Turkish state, Mustafa Kamal Ataturk, and charged with running an international underage prostitution ring. Arif was later cleared of the charges.

Before the scandal on Ataturk’s yacht, Arif partnered closely with Trump, Ivanka Trump and Sater in the development of Trump SoHo along with the Sapir family, a New York real estate dynasty and the other half of Bayrock-Sapir.

Its patriarch, the late billionaire Tamir Sapir, was born in the Soviet state of Georgia and arrived in 1976 in New York, where he opened an electronics store in the Flatiron district that, according to the New York Timescatered largely to KGB agents.

Trump has called Sapir “a great friend.” In December 2007, he hosted the wedding of Sapir’s daughter, Zina, at Mar-a-Lago. The event featured performances by Lionel Ritchie and the Pussycat Dolls. The groom, Rotem Rosen, was the CEO of the American branch of Africa Israel, the Putin oligarch Leviev’s holding company.

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Five months later, in early June 2008, Zina Sapir and Rosen held a bris for their newborn son. Invitations to the bris described Rosen as Leviev’s “right-hand man.” By then, Leviev had become the single largest funder of Chabad worldwide, and he personally arranged for the bris to take place at Schneerson’s grave, Chabad’s most holy site.

Trump attended the bris. A month earlier, in May 2008, he and Leviev had met to discuss possible real estate projects in Moscow, according to a contemporaneous Russian news report. An undated photograph on a Pinterest account called LLD Diamond USA, the name of a firm registered to Leviev, shows Trump and Leviev shaking hands and smiling. (The photograph was first pointed out by Pacific Standard.)

That same year, Sapir, an active Chabad donor in his own right, joined Leviev in Berlin to tour Chabad institutions in the city.

Jared, Ivanka, Roman, Dasha

Also present at the Sapir-Rosen bris was Kushner, who along with his now-wife Ivanka Trump has forged his own set of ties to Putin’s Chabad allies. Kushner’s family, which is Modern Orthodox, has long been highly engaged in philanthropy across the Jewish world, including to Chabad entities, and during his undergraduate years at Harvard, Kushner was active in the university’s Chabad house. Three days before the presidential election, the couple visited Schneerson’s grave and prayed for Trump. In January, the couple purchased a home in Washington’s Kalorama neighborhood and settled on the city’s nearby Chabad synagogue, known as TheSHUL of the Nation’s Capital, as their house of worship.

In May 2015, a month before Trump officially entered the Republican presidential primary, Kushner bought a majority stake in the old New York Times building on West 43rd Street from Leviev for $295 million.

Kushner and Ivanka Trump are also close with Abramovich’s wife, Dasha Zhukova. Abramovich, an industrialist worth more than $7 billion and the owner of the British soccer club Chelsea FC, is the former governor of the Russian province of Chukotka, where he is still revered as a hero. He owes his fortune to his triumphant emergence from Russia’s post-Soviet “aluminum wars,” in which more than 100 people are estimated to have died in fighting over control of aluminum refineries. Abramovich admitted in 2008 that he amassed his assets by paying billions of dollars in bribes. In 2011, his former business partner, the late Boris Berezovsky—an oligarch who had fallen out with Putin and gone on to live in exile at the Trump International on Central Park West—accused him of threats, blackmail and intimidation in a lawsuit in the United Kingdom, which Abramovich won.

Abramovich was reportedly the first person to recommend to Yeltsin that he choose Putin as his successor. In their 2004 biography of Abramovich, the British journalists Chris Hutchins and Dominic Midgely write, “When Putin needed a shadowy force to act against his enemies behind the scenes, it was Abramovich whom he could rely on to prove a willing co-conspirator.” The biographers compare the two men’s relationship to that between a father and a son and report that Abramovich personally interviewed candidates for Putin’s first cabinet. He has reportedly gifted Putin a $30 million yacht, though Putin denies it.

Abramovich’s vast business holdings and his personal life overlap with Trump’s world in multiple ways.

According to a 2012 report from researchers at Cornell University, Evraz, a firm partly owned by Abramovich, has contracts to provide 40 percent of the steel for the Keystone XL pipeline, a project whose completion was approved by Trump in March after years of delay. And in 2006, Abramovich purchased a large stake in the Russian oil giant Rosneft, a company now being scrutinized for its possible role in alleged collusion between Trump and Russia. Both Trump and the Kremlin have dismissed as “fake news” a dossier that alleges that a recent sale of Rosneft shares was part of a scheme to ease U.S. sanctions on Russia.

Meanwhile, his wife, Zhukova, has long traveled in the same social circles as Kushner and Ivanka Trump: She is a friend and business partner of Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife Wendi Deng, one of Ivanka’s closest friends, and a friend of Karlie Kloss, the longtime girlfriend of Kushner’s brother, Josh.

Over the years, Zhukova has grown close to Jared and Ivanka themselves. In February 2014, a month before Putin illegally annexed Crimea from Ukraine, Ivanka Trump posted a photo to Instagram of herself with Zhukova, Wendi Deng, a bottle of wine, and the caption, “Thank you [Zhukova] for an unforgettable four days in Russia!” Deng was recently rumored to be dating Putin, though she denied it. Other photos from the trip show Kushner was also present in Russia at the time.

Last summer, Kushner and Ivanka Trump shared a box at the U.S. Open with Zhukova and Deng. In January, Zhukova reportedly attended Trump’s inauguration as Ivanka Trump’s guest.

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On March 14, The Daily Mail spotted Josh Kushner dining with Zhukova in New York. According to the outlet, Josh Kushner “hid his face as he exited the eatery with Dasha.”

A week later, at the same time Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were vacationing in Aspen with her two brothers and their families, Abramovich’s plane flew from Moscow to Denver, according to a flight tracking service. Abramovich owns two properties in the Aspen area.

A spokesman for Abramovich declined to comment on the record about the Colorado overlap. The White House referred queries about the couples to a personal spokeswoman for Ivanka Trump. The spokeswoman, Risa Heller, initially indicated she would provide answers to questions about the Colorado overlap and recent contacts between the couples, but did not do so.

President Trump has reportedly sought security clearances for Kushner and Ivanka, who have taken on growing roles in his White House. For anyone else, a close personal relationship with the family of a top Putin confidant would present significant hurdles to obtaining security clearances, former high-ranking intelligence officials said, but political pressure to grant clearances to the president’s children would be likely to override any security concerns.

“Yes, such connections to Russia should matter for a clearance,” said Steve Hall, a former CIA Moscow station chief. “Question is, will they?”

“I don’t think the Trump family camp will have any trouble with security clearances, as long as there’s no polygraph involved,” said Milt Bearden, former chief of the CIA’s Eastern European division. “It’s absolutely crazy, but not going to be an issue.”

***

With Washington abuzz about the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation of Trump world’s relationship with Putin’s Kremlin, their overlapping networks remain the object of much scrutiny and fascination.

In March, the New York Times reported that Lazar had met last summer with the Trump administration’s special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt, then a lawyer for the Trump Organization. The men characterized the meeting as a normal part of Greenblatt’s campaign outreach to Jewish leaders and said it included general discussion of Russian society and anti-Semitism. The meeting was brokered by New York PR rep Joshua Nass, and Lazar has said he did not discuss that meeting with the Russian government.

In late January, Sater met with Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, to discuss a proposed Ukraine peace deal that would end U.S. sanctions on Russia, which Cohen then delivered to Trump’s then-national security adviser Michael Flynn at the White House, according to the Times. Cohen has given varying accounts of the episode.

According to one Jewish Republican who said he sees Cohen “all the time” there, Cohen himself is a regular presence at the Midtown Chabad on Fifth Avenue, a dozen blocks south of Trump Tower and a half-dozen blocks south of his current office at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Cohen disputed this, saying, “I’ve never been to a Chabad and I’ve never been to one in New York City either.” Cohen then said he last stepped foot in a Chabad over 15 years ago to attend a bris. He said the last Chabad-related event he attended was on March 16 at a hotel in Newark when he spoke at a dinner honoring Trump’s secretary of veterans affairs, David Shulkin. The dinner was hosted by the Rabbinical College of America, a Chabad organization.

To those unfamiliar with Russian politics, Trump’s world and Hasidic Judaism, all these Chabad links can appear confounding. Others simply greet them with a shrug.

“The interconnectedness of the Jewish world through Chabad is not surprising insofar as it’s one of the main Jewish players,” said Boteach. “I would assume that the world of New York real estate isn’t that huge either.”

Ben Schreckinger is a reporter for Politico.

ABC Corrects Explosive Flynn Report That Drove Down Stocks

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

Flynn was asked to reach out to Russian officials during the Trump transition, not the campaign, according to a source, the network noted.

» Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With Israel? IMEMC News

mikenova shared this story from IMEMC News.

Michael Flynn’s guilty plea to lying to the FBI falls short on Russia “collusion” but points to the Trump administration acting on Israel’s behalf, says author and journalist Max Blumenthal.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post, <a href=”http://Salon.com” rel=”nofollow”>Salon.com</a>, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. His most recent book is Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. His other book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller. Max is co-host of the podcast Modern Rebel.

Aaron Mate: It’s the Real News. I’m Aaron Mate. Michael Flynn, the National Security Advisor to Donald Trump until his ouster just a few months into his administration, has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators looking into alleged Trump Russia ties. Flynn is the most high level member of the White House inner circle to be indicted and he is said to be cooperating with investigators. And the news has been greeted across liberal media much like it was today on the TV program The View.

Speaker 2: Breaking news.

Joy Behar: Oh my God. Oh, breaking news. ABC news Brian Ross is reporting. Michael Flynn promised full cooperation to the Mueller team and is prepared to testify that, as a candidate, Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians. Yes.

Aaron Mate: But for opponents of Donald Trump, is Flynn’s indictment really something to celebrate? Well, joining me to discuss is Max Blumenthal, Senior Editor of Alternet’s Grayzone Project. Max, your reaction to Flynn’s indictment today.

Max Blumenthal: You know, my reaction is slightly different than The View panelists, who are really expressing the sensibility, or the mentality, of the id lib, or the idiot liberal, who has been kind of indoctrinated over the past 11 months to believe that Trump had colluded with Russia and that this will lead to his impeachment. We actually saw outside the courthouse where Flynn appeared, the people not only chanting “lock him up”, which is hilarious considering that Flynn, at the Republican National Convention led the “lock her up” chants about Hillary Clinton, but there was also a sign being held by one protestor or heckler, reading “People Power versus Putin Power”, as if Putin kind of controlled Michael Flynn.I mean let’s first acknowledge that this is a confirmation, this indictment of Michael Flynn’s dishonesty, his hypocrisy and his sheer idiocy. I mean, he lied to the FBI and ordinary people who lie to the FBI go to jail. He not only did that, but he did not register as a foreign agent when he took something like half a million dollars from Erdoğan’s government, the government of Turkey, in order to stage some kind of operation to possibly kidnap the person that, the exiled cleric that Erdoğan considers to be his arch nemeses. Fethullah Gülen in Pennsylvania so you can imagine like Flynn and his buddies driving around Pennsylvania trying to kidnap some cleric. It’s like the guy who couldn’t shoot straight. It’s like something out of a Woody Allen movie.Just the level of absurdity of Flynn’s activities has reached a sublime level then you have Flynn testifying before Congress that the U.S. needed to be in the driver’s seat back in 2015 to prevent Russia from setting up nuclear facilities in Egypt and elsewhere and then two weeks later he goes to Egypt and Israel on a trip paid for by a company, one of the companies that had been possibly working with the Russian government to set up, you know, nuclear plants, Flynn did not disclose that at the time when he had a security clearance.So there’s this pattern of failing to disclose activities that he’s been involved in and, you know, he has been pretty much lying ever since 2015. So that’s real, that’s corruption. There’s no way to defend Flynn on that level. The question is, is there any evidence here of collusion with Russia? Trump’s collusion with Russia. And when you actually look at the indictment, you’ve got another dud, it’s just another dud, and these duds arrive every two to three weeks and they send the id libs into a frenzy of ecstasy about having their shambolic narrative of Russia controlling the United States and colluding with Trump to subvert our otherwise shining democracy confirmed.And this confirms nothing. What it does show is that the Israeli government, through Jared Kushner, pressured Michael Flynn to approach the Russian government through Sergey Kislyak, who was the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. at the time, to use it’s position on the U.N. Security Council to stop a resolution condemning Israeli Settlement activity, which the Obama administration was going to abstain on. Something the U.S. government hasn’t done before.Jared Kushner and his family through the Kushner Family Foundation have an extensive relationship not only with the Israeli government, but with Benjamin Netanyahu himself. Netanyahu when he’s in New York would stay with the Kushner family. He would sleep in a bedroom at their house and was almost literally in bed with Jared Kushner. Kushner Family Foundation has donated extensively to the Israeli Settlement Enterprise, to very pro-Israel groups. And so you’re looking actually at Israeli collusion. The real center of influence in Washington emanates from Israel and Kushner has basically been an agent of Israeli influence. An unregistered agent of pro-Israel influence in Washington. This element of the story, which is central, has been completely ignored. And there is another point.Flynn is accused of approaching Sergey Kislyak to discuss how the U.S. and Russia, which was one of the main parties engaged in Syria, would bring the Syrian conflict to an end and take on al Qaeda and ISIS. So that U.S. and Russia are discussing deescalating a conflict that has killed somewhere around 250,000 people. At least around 100,000 on the Syrian government side, by the way. And they have successfully done so, it’s been Russian intervention in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government that has led to the destruction of ISIS, the defeat of al Qaeda, and the end of this conflict. And refugees are now coming back, so once, just to restate that, Flynn approached Kislyak, not the other way around, to discuss deescalating a conflict. And that’s considered a major transgression now in Washington and then there’s the third point in the indictment.Flynn approached Kislyak, not the other way around, to beg Russia not to retaliate against sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed on Russia for unproven allegations that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee’s email servers and released it to WikiLeaks. Unproven. Totally unproven, even the intelligence agencies that everyone, every Democrat worships as if they’re some kind of oracle, have just stated with high confidence that these servers were hacked by Russian intelligence agencies and none of them, not the FBI, not the NSA, none of them have examined the DNC’s email servers, none of them have demanded them. So these sanctions were imposed based on an allegation and then you have Michael Flynn, while a member of the Trump campaign, approaching the Russian Ambassador to beseech him not to retaliate.And Putin himself was actually put under pressure by the Russian Foreign Ministry at the same time to retaliate because the U.S. had kicked Russian Diplomatic personnel out of Washington, and imposed them unprecedented sanctions, Putin did not retaliate. I would say it was a fairly elegant, diplomatic move. He was gonna give a new administration a chance.In any case, Flynn lied about these communications he had with Sergey Kislyak, the communications were picked up by the NSA because Michael Flynn was in the Cayman Islands at the time and so he was abroad where the NSA has surveillance latitude and Flynn, you know, he may have been sitting on a beach after having one too many, you know, pina coladas and he engaged in really stupid activity to make this kind of call. But the nature of the call, and the content of the indictment, does not prove that there was collusion with the Russian government. It certainly doesn’t demonstrate that Russia was attempting to subvert American democracy. It does demonstrate that the Israeli government through it’s point man, Jared Kushner, was engaged in collusion, was engaged in foreign meddling, and subversion. And this, for some reason, is not the story and we know why.

Aaron Mate: Right. In terms of what it says about the actual election, which is purportedly the reason why we’re supposed to be caring about Russia and Trump. The first conversation between Flynn and Kislyak happens in December, so well after the election has happened. Let me ask you Max, it’s interesting to see that the outrage today has been over, as you mentioned, Flynn trying to negotiate or make overtures to Russia over matters that could actually deescalate tensions, which, when not viewed through a partisan lens, could be seen as positive because it’s deescalating tensions with a nuclear power, and as you said, trying to find an end to the horrific Syrian War. But, in effect, both those things were known about before. What was not known, at least to my knowledge, was the extent to which Flynn was working to subvert the U.N. Security Council vote about Israel. And it’s surprising, as you alluded to, that that’s the issue that is both new but yet has not elicited very much outrage or attention.

Max Blumenthal: Yeah, I mean, that’s just absolutely shocking that, I mean, and this has also come out through Mueller’s investigation is that Jared Kushner may have violated the Logan Act by conducting freelance diplomacy to work with the Israeli government to attempt to convince other governments to vote against the U.N. Resolution. Other governments on the Security Council. That’s how we know that Kushner was the one who was encouraging Flynn to make this call. And it’s just completely overlooked in Washington, it’s overlooked by mainstream media, not only because of the fear of that very government and it’s cut outs in Washington attacking figures in the media and attacking public figures for daring to point to Israeli influence as a nefarious and nefarious force that contravenes American interests, but because it’s a matter of American policy to allow Israel to dictate our policy with respect to the Middle East.Including in Syria and so you have elements that are deeply embedded in the national security state that have been hostile to deescalating the Syrian Civil War. These elements, you know, you could point to John Brennan from the CIA, one of his babies was the arm and equip operation to train and arm Syrian rebels who were substantially operating under the umbrella of al Qaeda, referred to as the Free Syrian Army, something that we now know was basically a mythical conglomeration of Salafi and Salafi jihadi rebels. And in 2015, when al Qaeda Syrian affiliate, Jabhat Al Nusra, took the city and the province of Idlib, in northeastern Syria, which was just a few hundred kilometers … actually I would just say, you know, a few scores of kilometers away from the Alawite Heartland. An area which al Qaeda and it’s affiliates have pledged to cleanse of non-sitting Muslims. To kill or convert the minority population of Syria.Where Christians were forced to convert or die in Idlib. Where the Jewish population in Idlib was forced to dig up their own shrines. Christians were slaughtered across Idlib. And the Syrian government panicked. You know, what Obama should have done at that point is gone to the city allies, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and said, “Stop arming these jihadist rebels who have taken Idlib, let’s put a stop to this, this is crazy, they wanna march on Lattakia, they wanna move to Damascus and this would destroy a core country in the Middle East. It’s gone too far.” He didn’t do that. The arms continued to flow.This should have been a signal moment and that is when, in fact the arms continued to flow in the form of something like 20,000 Tow Missiles produced by Raytheon which allowed al Qaeda and it’s allies to destroy entire Syrian Army Tank Divisions. This is when the Syrian government called on Russia to intervene. And it was that Russian intervention that prevented Syria from becoming what we see today in Libya, where there are open air slave markets, where there have been the slaughter of the black population of Libya and now we see sub-Saharan African migrants being sold in open air slave markets. Refugee crisis like you’ve never seen before. This is what Russia prevented in Syria. And the U.S. by 2016, after the fall of Aleppo, or the liberation of Aleppo with Russian help, the liberation from al Qaeda and it’s allies, kind of started to get wise and decided it’s time to deescalate.John Brennan was very unhappy with this scenario, his operation was being discredited. His legacy was on the line. A lot of other figures coming out of the state department were upset at this scenario but the Trump administration was determined to do this and that’s what Flynn’s phone call with Kislyak partially dealt with and it has happened. We’ve seen deescalation zones set up around the Golan Heights, all across the [crosstalk 00:15:26]

Aaron Mate: I think we gotta, Max-

Max Blumenthal: These are coming [crosstalk 00:15:29]

Aaron Mate: Max, let me cut in there because we have to wrap, but I wanna say actually, that it’s quite possible that what Trump and Flynn are being faulted for now, in terms of Syria, is exactly what the Obama administration, despite people like John Brennan, would have done anyway. Because, as you say, the war was going so bad for them that it was obvious that they were not gonna win the outcome that they pursued. But let me ask you, Max, because we only have one minute, so getting back to Flynn and this indictment, people are saying, “Well look, why would Mueller make a plea deal with Flynn unless Flynn had something to offer him that was gonna flip and point to someone higher above him like Kushner, or even Trump, that’s possible. It’s also possible that maybe this is all Flynn has and so now they’re gonna get him on lying to the FBI so I’m wondering, where you think this is gonna go and what kind of punishment you think someone like Flynn will face? I mean lying to the FBI is a serious offense but it’s nowhere near the kind of offense of treason that many people have floated throughout this whole Russia-gate “scandal”.

Max Blumenthal: Yeah. Even though the indictment contradicts the narrative of collusion in Russian subversion of our shining democracy, the narrative will continue and this gives more fumes to the narrative in the way the mainstream media, corporate media’s gonna report this will be slightly distorted. It will obfuscate the details of the indictment. I can only go based on what’s in the indictment and it seems to show that Flynn lied to the FBI, he probably pled out on part to protect his son Michael Flynn Jr. from being, you know, indicted, or called in. And to the extent that he is going to say that Trump ordered him to make this phone call, well, the question is how does that demonstrate any illicit behavior by Trump if Trump himself was urging Flynn, who was his future National Security Council Advisor, to conduct diplomacy with Russia?I mean Flynn’s mistake was to make the phone call in the Cayman Islands where the NSA could pick up the cables and listen to the phone call and his other mistake was to lie to the FBI time and time again. Just being a serial liar. So that’s it from what I can see and from the standpoint of someone trying to prove Trump Russia collusion, or the overall narrative of Russia-gate, this one is another dud.

Aaron Mate: Leave it there. Max Blumenthal is Senior Editor of Alternet’s Grayzone Project, also the current host of the podcast, Moderate Rebels. Max, thank you.

Max Blumenthal: Thanks for having me.

Aaron Mate: And thank you for joining us on the Real News.

11/27/17 The ‘Deal of the Century’ Struck between Reckless Leaders

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James Comey Waxes Biblical About Mike Flynn’s Guilty Plea – Forward

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Forward
James Comey Waxes Biblical About Mike Flynn’s Guilty Plea
Forward
Quoting the prophet Amos, Comey tweeted a link to a picture of the Great Falls of the Potomac River. It was his 28th tweet since debuting his handle @Comey in March. But justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream Amos 

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James Comey Tweets Biblical Verse About Mike Flynn The Forward

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Congressmen say Jared Kushners arrest is coming and Donald Trump will be ousted from office

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

So what now? Special Counsel Robert Mueller has cut a plea deal with Michael Flynn, who is testifying that Donald Trump and Jared Kushner ordered him to be the point man for communicating and conspiring with the Russian government during the election. If Flynn has the evidence to back up those assertions, things will never be the same. Two U.S. Congressmen are weighing in on the matter, and they’re painting a particularly dire picture for Kushner and Trump both.

After the news broke that Michael Flynn was implicating Jared Kushner, and that Kushner had met with Robert Mueller just before it was revealed that Flynn had cut a deal, Congressman Ted Lieu posted this on Twitter: “My prediction? The next time agents & prosecutors for Special Counsel Mueller interview #Kushner, they will read him his Miranda rights.” Lieu is a Democrat, and he’s been publicly rooting for the demise of Kushner and Trump all year. But it needs to be pointed out that Lieu has a history as a military prosecutor in the Air Force, and he currently sits on the House Judiciary Committee (where the impeachment process begins), so this isn’t arbitrary cheerleading. Congressman Lieu knows what he’s talking about from a legal perspective.

Then there’s Congressman Jared Huffman, who saw the news about Flynn implicating Trump in the Russia conspiracy, and responded in this manner: “Let me be the first to congratulate President Pence.” Huffman is a Democrat, and the last thing he wants is to see a far-right extremist like Mike Pence in the Oval Office. However, he understands the urgency of ousting Trump, a mentally unstable traitor. He also knows that Pence is guilty as sin in the Russia scandal, and can then be ousted as well.

So there you have it. According to the Democrats in Congress, Jared Kushner is about to be arrested, and Donald Trump is going to be ousted from office. Plenty of contrarian political pundits are still insisting that neither of those things will ever happen, but those are the same pundits who told us that Paul Manafort would never be arrested and Michael Flynn would never cut a deal.

The post Congressmen say Jared Kushners arrest is coming and Donald Trump will be ousted from officeappeared first on Palmer Report.

Michael Flynn Will Keep Military Rank And Pension Despite Guilty Plea

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

Flynn could commit murder today, and be convicted … and still retain his retired general status with pension, one expert said.

Psychiatrists warn Trump becoming more mentally unstable

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Psychiatrists warn Trump becoming more mentally unstable, putting US, world at ‘extreme risk’ – CNBC

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Psychiatrists warn Trump becoming more mentally unstable, putting US, world at ‘extreme risk’
CNBC
… instability in fact, a pattern of decompensation: increasing loss of touch with reality, marked signs of volatility and unpredictable behavior, and an attraction to violence as a means of coping.” “These characteristics place our country and the

Mike Flynn – Google News: Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI, is cooperating with Mueller – WLS-TV

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Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI, is cooperating with Mueller
WLS-TV
And, given the direct involvement of the transition team in Flynn’s calls with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the plea also raises questions about the accuracy of repeated assertions by the administration that Flynn had misled Mike Pence and other 
Former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBIWABC-TV

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 Mike Flynn – Google News

Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – Lincoln Journal Star

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Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin
Lincoln Journal Star
“I think that Russia investigation is wearing on all of us, the President most of all,” said a source close to Trump. “But I think he is more concerned about the state of his accomplishments and this presidency.” Flynn’s plea is closest special counsel 
Donald Trump Suspected for Weeks That Mike Flynn Would FlipDaily Beast
Trump’s best and worst day as presidentWashington Post
Does Donald Trump Fear Impeachment After Flynn Plea? President Was Terrified Flynn ‘Turned On Me,’ Report SaysThe Inquisitr

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Flynns indictment tightens the noose on Trumps White House
Flynn’s indictment tightens the noose on Trump’s White House – Financial Times
Trump keeps playing nice with Mueller, for now – Politico
Trump calls Tillerson exit reports ‘fake news’ but was it a misfired plot?
Rex Tillerson Isn’t the Problem. It’s Trump. – POLITICO Magazine
The Russia Investigations: After Flynn Plea Deal, Where Does Mueller Aim Next? – North Country Public Radio
Mueller has arrested 4 ex-Trump advisers in 6 months, signaling peril ahead for White House – Chicago Tribune
The Scalp-Taking of Gen. Flynn – Center for Research on Globalization
Russian Security Council head to visit Brazil, Argentina – TASS
The Kathryn Steinle murder trial: Why the jury and Trump saw two different cases – Los Angeles Times
What Flynn’s guilty plea means for Trump and the GOP – NBCNews.com
Flynn plea deal increases exposure of senior Trump transition team members
Who Is Jared Kushner: Trump loyalist or Kissinger protege? – RT
Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – Q13 FOX
Friday Talking Points Lock Him Up! – HuffPost
Michael Flynn Knew the FBI Had Heard His Calls with Russians. So Why Did He Lie About Them? – Daily Beast
Mike Flynn – Google News: ‘Something was desperately wrong with this guy’: US Army lieutenant general who served with Mike Flynn weighs in on … – Business Insider
The details of Michael Flynns plea deal with Robert Mueller are nothing short of brutal
Michael Flynn may have just incriminated Tom Cotton, Donald Trumps new CIA Director pick, in Russia scandal
Dacha in reserve and real estate in Miami. How retired police General obtained ownership of paradise – https://en.crimerussia.com/
Letter from the US: Behind the ‘Russia Did it!’ frenzy – Green Left Weekly
Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – WGNO
Don’t use antivirus firms linked to Russia, cyber security chief tells Whitehall – The Guardian
Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With… Israel? – The Real News Network
This is the worst day of Donald Trumps life and its about to get far worse for him

 

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Flynns indictment tightens the noose on Trumps White House

Indictment on a relatively minor count suggests retired general has juicy information to share, writes Edward Luce
Flynn’s indictment tightens the noose on Trump’s White House – Financial Times


Financial Times
Flynn’s indictment tightens the noose on Trump’s White House
Financial Times
The last time Mr Trump contemplated sacking the special counsel was in July when the FBI raided the home of Paul Manafort, Mr Trump’s former campaign chairman, who was indicted on several counts in October. As the investigative noose tightens, that 
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers ScramblingThe New Yorker 
Who Is Michael Flynn? The Former Top Trump Aide Just Pleaded Guilty to Lying to the FBITIME

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Trump keeps playing nice with Mueller, for now – Politico


Politico
Trump keeps playing nice with Mueller, for now
Politico
Trump, who has specifically been advised to avoid targeting Mueller on Twitter, kept quiet about the special counsel Friday even as his former White House national security adviser, Michael Flynn, entered a guilty plea for lying to FBI agents about his
Russia investigation zeroes in on Trump inner circleCNN International 
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers ScramblingThe New Yorker

Flynn’s plea deal puts Mueller inside Trump’s inner circle with a message: ‘We’re coming for you’USA TODAY 
The Russia Investigations: After Flynn Plea Deal, Where Does Mueller Aim Next?NPR

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Trump calls Tillerson exit reports ‘fake news’ but was it a misfired plot?

Multiple reports said the secretary of state would be replaced. Were those sources wrong or did a move against Tillerson fall victim to the Mike Flynn drama?

Donald Trump insisted on Friday that Rex Tillerson was not leaving the US state department, denouncing as fake news multiple reports quoting White House officials as saying the secretary of state was about to be ousted.

Earlier in the day, Tillerson also rejected the reports of his imminent departure as laughable.

Related: ‘Guilty, your honor’: Michael Flynn, who led the ‘lock her up’ chants, enters his plea

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Rex Tillerson Isn’t the Problem. It’s Trump. – POLITICO Magazine


POLITICO Magazine
Rex Tillerson Isn’t the Problem. It’s Trump.
POLITICO Magazine
It appears that those who have been calling for Rex Tillerson’s headwhich includes most of the foreign policy know-it-alls inside the Beltwaymay have finally gotten their wish. The Trump administration’s public shaming of Tillerson this week 
Trump: Tillerson is ‘not leaving,’ but ‘I call the final shots’CNBC
Trump Rejects Reports That His Top Diplomat is DepartingNew York Times
Trump calls Tillerson exit reports ‘fake news’ but was it a misfired plot?The Guardian
CNN –Bloomberg –Financial Times
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The Russia Investigations: After Flynn Plea Deal, Where Does Mueller Aim Next? – North Country Public Radio

The Russia Investigations: After Flynn Plea Deal, Where Does Mueller Aim Next?
North Country Public Radio
That was the question raised by Flynn’s guilty plea on Friday, in which he admitted to lying to the FBI about his conversations with Russia’s ambassador in late December 2016. Flynn conferred with the Trump transition team to ask then-Ambassador Sergey 

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Mueller has arrested 4 ex-Trump advisers in 6 months, signaling peril ahead for White House – Chicago Tribune


Chicago Tribune
Mueller has arrested 4 ex-Trump advisers in 6 months, signaling peril ahead for White House
Chicago Tribune
After six months of work, special counsel Robert Mueller III has indicted two top advisers to President Donald Trump and accepted guilty pleas from two others in exchange for their cooperation with his probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election 
Trump’s favorite general: Michael Flynn’s rise and fallThe News Tribune
Michael Flynn is now cooperating with Mueller and could fuel the obstruction case against TrumpBusiness Insider
Flynn Pleads Guilty: Is He Singing on Trump-Russia?The Nation.
Newsweek –Los Angeles Times –Bloomberg
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The Scalp-Taking of Gen. Flynn – Center for Research on Globalization


Center for Research on Globalization
The Scalp-Taking of Gen. Flynn
Center for Research on Globalization
Russia-gate enthusiasts are thrilled over the guilty plea of President Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn for lying to the FBI about pre-inauguration conversations with the Russian ambassador, but the case should alarm true civil 
Friday Talking Points Lock Him Up!HuffPost
The fallen military hero who could bring down a president: How Mike Flynn marched into Trump’s inner circle and …Daily Mail

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Russian Security Council head to visit Brazil, Argentina – TASS

Russian Security Council head to visit Brazil, Argentina
TASS
MOSCOW, December 2. /TASS/. Secretary of the Russian Security Council Nikolai Patrushev on December 4-6 will visit Brazil and Argentina, the authority’s press service said on Saturday. “In Brasilia and in Buenos Aires, Nikolai Patrushev will have 

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The Kathryn Steinle murder trial: Why the jury and Trump saw two different cases – Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles Times
The Kathryn Steinle murder trial: Why the jury and Trump saw two different cases
Los Angeles Times
At the time of the shooting, Trump called Garcia Zarate an animal, the embodiment of the bad hombres and rapists he’d been railing against. This senseless and totally preventable act of violence committed by an illegal immigrant is yet another 

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What Flynn’s guilty plea means for Trump and the GOP – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
What Flynn’s guilty plea means for Trump and the GOP
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON It’s going to get harder for President Donald Trump to distance himself politically from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe after Michael Flynn’s guilty plea and that could be bad news for his fellow Republicans at the polls 
GOP races to pass tax plan as Russia probe threatens to take down Trump administrationCNBC

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Flynn plea deal increases exposure of senior Trump transition team members

By agreeing to cooperate with federal prosecutors in a deal announced on Friday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn won for himself protection from further prosecution. That protection could conceivably extend to his son, Michael Flynn Jr, who once worked for his father.

Related: ‘Guilty, your honor’: Michael Flynn, who led the ‘lock her up’ chants, enters his plea

Related: Michael Flynn’s wrongdoing is just the tip of the iceberg | Richard Wolffe

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Who Is Jared Kushner: Trump loyalist or Kissinger protege? – RT


RT
Who Is Jared Kushner: Trump loyalist or Kissinger protege?
RT
The second even more mysterious ‘mistake’ involved the firing of James Comey, the FBI Director who was in the process of investigating claims of collusion between Trump and Russia in the course of the 2016 presidential election. It did not take a 

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Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – Q13 FOX


Washington Post
Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin
Q13 FOX
I think that Russia investigation is wearing on all of us, the President most of all, said a source close to Trump. But I think he is more concerned about the state of his accomplishments and this presidency. Flynn’s plea is the closest that 
Donald Trump Suspected for Weeks That Mike Flynn Would FlipDaily Beast 
Flynn’s plea deal puts Mueller inside Trump’s inner circle with a message: ‘We’re coming for you’WXIA-TV

Trump’s best and worst day as presidentWashington Post 
Does Donald Trump Fear Impeachment After Flynn Plea? President Was Terrified Flynn ‘Turned On Me,’ Report Says

The Inquisitr
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Friday Talking Points Lock Him Up! – HuffPost


Fortune
Friday Talking Points Lock Him Up!
HuffPost
<p>This morning, Donald Trump’s first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to charges of lying to the F.B.I. He is now the highest-ranking Trump aide to be targeted by Robert Mueller, and also the highest-ranking person to have flipped 
The Scalp-Taking of Gen. FlynnConsortium News
The fallen military hero who could bring down a president: How Mike Flynn marched into Trump’s inner circle and …Daily Mail

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Michael Flynn Knew the FBI Had Heard His Calls with Russians. So Why Did He Lie About Them? – Daily Beast


Daily Beast
Michael Flynn Knew the FBI Had Heard His Calls with Russians. So Why Did He Lie About Them?
Daily Beast
For example, the FBI has conducted extensive physical and electronic surveillance of the defendants including the covert placement of microphone-type listening devices in certain locations; the covert placement of video cameras in public locations
Here’s what Mike Flynn lied to the FBI aboutVICE News 
Breaking down Flynn’s lies about his Russia callsCNN

Mike Flynn, Trump and Mar-a-Lago: A timeline on path to guilty pleaPalm Beach Post 
Russian investigation reaches White Housetheday.com
 
theday.com

Slate Magazine (blog) NBC Montana
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Mike Flynn – Google News: ‘Something was desperately wrong with this guy’: US Army lieutenant general who served with Mike Flynn weighs in on … – Business Insider


Business Insider
‘Something was desperately wrong with this guy’: US Army lieutenant general who served with Mike Flynnweighs in on …
Business Insider
A retired US Army lieutenant general weighed in on Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in the ongoing Russia investigation. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who served with Flynn in the US Army, said he believes the former national security adviser’s downfall was the

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 Mike Flynn – Google News

The details of Michael Flynns plea deal with Robert Mueller are nothing short of brutal

Just how hard of a bargain does Robert Mueller drive? He handed what initially appeared to be a sweetheart deal to Michael Flynn, and in exchange Flynn agreed to provide evidence to incriminate Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, and other key players in the Trump-Russia scandal. But the details of that plea deal are now surfacing, and what’s stunning is just how little Mueller ended up giving Flynn when it comes down to it. This is nothing short of brutal.

Legal experts dissected the Flynn plea deal during Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show on Friday night, and I’ll spare you the legalese and boil it down to three points for you. First: Flynn’s deal only grants him leniency on the charge of lying to the FBI. If Mueller doesn’t end up liking what he sees going forward, he can still charge Flynn with other crimes. Second: Mueller now officially owns Flynn. He can make him wear a wire, or dress up like a chicken. The third bullet point is the most astounding one.

There is nothing in the plea deal which formally protects Michael Flynn Jr. By now we all know that Michael Flynn cut the deal in order to protect his son. But even that’s not guaranteed. If Mueller doesn’t like how things are going, he can go back and charge Junior with various crimes at any point. This motivates Flynn to work as hard as he possibly can to help take down the likes of Trump and Kushner, because his son is still far from officially being in the clear.

This deal offers the clearest insight yet into just how brutally effective Robert Mueller can be with his wheeling and dealing. It’s not that he’s trying to torture Michael Flynn. It’s that he wants to keep Flynn motivated to continue cooperating as emphatically as possible. It also means no one else in the Trump-Russia scandal is getting free lunch if they seek a plea deal of their own.

The post The details of Michael Flynn’s plea deal with Robert Mueller are nothing short of brutalappeared first on Palmer Report.

Michael Flynn may have just incriminated Tom Cotton, Donald Trumps new CIA Director pick, in Russia scandal

Earlier this week, just as it was becoming clear that Michael Flynn was about to cut a devastating plea deal against Donald Trump and other big fish in the Russia scandal, Trump began pushing a weird sideshow story. He suddenly wants to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after months of hemming and hawing about it, as part of a series of moves that would elevate Senator Tom Cotton to CIA Director. Now that Flynn’s deal is official, it reveals that Cotton may have been part of the Trump-Russia conspiracy all along.

Let’s emphasize the word “may” here. Perhaps this is all one massive coincidence. Perhaps Trump really does just happen to be looking to give Cotton a coveted promotion, just as Michael Flynn seems to be pointing the finger at Cotton. But if this is a coincidence, it’s a remarkable one. Flynn is confessing that while he was conspiring with the Russian Ambassador to sabotage President Obama’s Russian sanctions, he was relaying that conversation to the Trump national security transition team. Guess who was on that team? Tom Cotton.

We may have to wait a bit to see whether Flynn is referring to everyone on the Trump national security transition team, or just some of its members. But if Flynn is referring to the entire team, then he’s accusing Tom Cotton of having known about the Trump-Russia conspiracy since at least December. If Cotton knew about that felony conspiracy and failed to report it, he would be guilty of a felony himself, and Trump could be offering him a promotion in the hope of buying his continued silence.

Again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. We can’t assume Tom Cotton is guilty of anything. But if Michael Flynn really did just implicate Cotton in the Trump-Russa conspiracy, it would very conveniently explain why Donald Trump is trying to buy Cotton’s silence by giving him a promotion, However, if Cotton was looking to disappear into the recesses of the CIA before he could become a suspect in the Trump-Russia scandal, Trump may have blown it by taking this step far too late in the game. Trump should have made the move months ago. Now it may be too late.

The post Michael Flynn may have just incriminated Tom Cotton, Donald Trump’s new CIA Director pick, in Russia scandal appeared first on Palmer Report.

Dacha in reserve and real estate in Miami. How retired police General obtained ownership of paradise – https://en.crimerussia.com/

Dacha in reserve and real estate in Miami. How retired police General obtained ownership of paradise
https://en.crimerussia.com/
… fight against organized crime turns out to be a profitable occupation. Is there any other explanation of the Petukhov’s possession of real estate in Miami for almost $40 million? The General himself claims that he bought Florida property on 

Letter from the US: Behind the ‘Russia Did it!’ frenzy – Green Left Weekly


Green Left Weekly
Letter from the US: Behind the ‘Russia Did it!’ frenzy
Green Left Weekly
By this narrative, Clinton didn’t lose the election, Russia won it. Was the Trump campaign contacting Russian officials to see if business deals could be made for a quid-pro-quo of relaxing some US sanctions? Probably. But US sanctions on other 

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Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – WGNO


Washington Post
Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin
WGNO
I think that Russia investigation is wearing on all of us, the President most of all, said a source close to Trump. But I think he is more concerned about the state of his accomplishments and this presidency. Flynn’s plea is the closest that 
Donald Trump Suspected for Weeks That Mike Flynn Would FlipDaily Beast
Trump’s best and worst day as presidentWashington Post
Does Donald Trump Fear Impeachment After Flynn Plea? President Was Terrified Flynn ‘Turned On Me,’ Report SaysThe Inquisitr

all 2,542 2,463 news articles »

Don’t use antivirus firms linked to Russia, cyber security chief tells Whitehall – The Guardian


The Guardian
Don’t use antivirus firms linked to Russia, cyber security chief tells Whitehall
The Guardian
Russia stands accused of meddling in the 2016 US election, while MPs have questioned if Moscow has sought to interfere in UK elections and the Brexit referendum. Theresa May used a November speech to tell Russian president Vladimir Putin that the 

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Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With… Israel? – The Real News Network

Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With… Israel?
The Real News Network
Just the level of absurdity of Flynn’s activities has reached a sublime level then you have Flynn testifying before Congress that the U.S. needed to be in the driver’s seat back in 2015 to prevent Russia from setting up nuclear facilities in Egypt and 

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This is the worst day of Donald Trumps life and its about to get far worse for him

You’re Donald Trump. You only care about a handful of things in life. Money. Power. Cheating people. The perverse thrill of scamming society while proudly providing nothing in return. You’ve been getting away with it for seven decades. Except this time you took it a little too far, or at least you did it in the wrong arena. Now your own evil tactics are being used against you, by the very monsters you created. This has been the worst day of your life and it’s about to get far uglier, because you made it that way.

Donald, you took a disgraced and down on his luck former military hero name Michael Flynn, and you helped turn him into a traitor. You encouraged him to sell out everything he ever stood for, in the name of personal ambition. You taught him how to not care about anything or anyone. You taught him the art of cold hard ruthless revenge. And so when it all went wrong and Flynn’s back was against the wall, he took the lessons you taught him and sold you out to save himself. He destroyed you today. Your presidency is a ticking timebomb. Your family is about to be in ruins. Oh, and he’s not the only one.

You also helped turn Paul Manafort into a financial fraudster over the years, a traitor willing to take any money, no matter how bloody. Manafort has begun selling you out as well. Oh, or did you think prosecutors have suddenly moved to release him on bail for no reason? Manafort wants to get out of prison in time to spend up his blood money, and the only way he can do it is to sell you out as callously as you’ve spent your life selling others out.

Just wait, Donald Trump, until this mess lurches even closer to you. You taught your daughter to seek out and marry the exact same kind of piece of crap that you are. His back is now against the wall as well. Do you really think for one second that Jared Kushner won’t sell you out in order to save himself? This is just getting started, Donald. You’ve surrounded yourself with bad people and you’ve taught them how to be even worse people. Of course they were going to betray you when it inevitably came down to it. Everything gets worse for you, Donald, from here.

The post This is the worst day of Donald Trump’s life and it’s about to get far worse for him appeared first on Palmer Report.


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9:31 AM 12/2/2017 – Michael Flynn may have just incriminated Tom Cotton, Donald Trumps new CIA Director pick, in Russia scandal

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What Flynn’s guilty plea means for Trump and the GOP – NBCNews.com
Flynn plea deal increases exposure of senior Trump transition team members
Who Is Jared Kushner: Trump loyalist or Kissinger protege? – RT
Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – Q13 FOX
Friday Talking Points Lock Him Up! – HuffPost
Michael Flynn Knew the FBI Had Heard His Calls with Russians. So Why Did He Lie About Them? – Daily Beast
Mike Flynn – Google News: ‘Something was desperately wrong with this guy’: US Army lieutenant general who served with Mike Flynn weighs in on … – Business Insider
The details of Michael Flynns plea deal with Robert Mueller are nothing short of brutal
Dacha in reserve and real estate in Miami. How retired police General obtained ownership of paradise – https://en.crimerussia.com/
Letter from the US: Behind the ‘Russia Did it!’ frenzy – Green Left Weekly
Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – WGNO
Don’t use antivirus firms linked to Russia, cyber security chief tells Whitehall – The Guardian
Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With… Israel? – The Real News Network
This is the worst day of Donald Trumps life and its about to get far worse for him
Is the Russia investigation still ‘fake news?” – WWL First News
Tracking Trump: Flynn pleads guilty as cracks form in the ‘special relationship’
ABC Corrects Explosive Flynn Report That Drove Down Stocks
Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With Israel? – International Middle East Media Center
Senate Passes Tax Cuts For The Rich
Trump’s favorite general: Michael Flynn’s rise and fall – WTOP
5 Things To Know: Who is ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn? – Washington Post
Budapest Summit: The Silk Road Comes to Europe – Sputnik International
Jimmy Kimmel Breaks Down Michael Flynn News With Perfect ‘Star Wars’ Analogy
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers Scrambling – The New Yorker

 

Saved Stories – None
What Flynn’s guilty plea means for Trump and the GOP – NBCNews.com
 


NBCNews.com
What Flynn’s guilty plea means for Trump and the GOP
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON It’s going to get harder for President Donald Trump to distance himself politically from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe after Michael Flynn’s guilty plea and that could be bad news for his fellow Republicans at the polls 
GOP races to pass tax plan as Russia probe threatens to take down Trump administrationCNBCall 2,633 news articles »

Flynn plea deal increases exposure of senior Trump transition team members
 

By agreeing to cooperate with federal prosecutors in a deal announced on Friday, former national security adviser Michael Flynn won for himself protection from further prosecution. That protection could conceivably extend to his son, Michael Flynn Jr, who once worked for his father.

Related: ‘Guilty, your honor’: Michael Flynn, who led the ‘lock her up’ chants, enters his plea

Related: Michael Flynn’s wrongdoing is just the tip of the iceberg | Richard Wolffe

Continue reading…

Who Is Jared Kushner: Trump loyalist or Kissinger protege? – RT
 


RT
Who Is Jared Kushner: Trump loyalist or Kissinger protege?
RT
The second even more mysterious ‘mistake’ involved the firing of James Comey, the FBI Director who was in the process of investigating claims of collusion between Trump and Russia in the course of the 2016 presidential election. It did not take a and more »

Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – Q13 FOX
 


Washington Post
Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin
Q13 FOX
I think that Russia investigation is wearing on all of us, the President most of all, said a source close to Trump. But I think he is more concerned about the state of his accomplishments and this presidency. Flynn’s plea is the closest that 
Donald Trump Suspected for Weeks That Mike Flynn Would FlipDaily Beast 
Flynn’s plea deal puts Mueller inside Trump’s inner circle with a message: ‘We’re coming for you’WXIA-TV

Trump’s best and worst day as presidentWashington Post 
Does Donald Trump Fear Impeachment After Flynn Plea? President Was Terrified Flynn ‘Turned On Me,’ Report Says

The Inquisitr
all 2,593 2,457 news articles »
Friday Talking Points Lock Him Up! – HuffPost
 


Fortune
Friday Talking Points Lock Him Up!
HuffPost
<p>This morning, Donald Trump’s first National Security Advisor, Michael Flynn, pled guilty to charges of lying to the F.B.I. He is now the highest-ranking Trump aide to be targeted by Robert Mueller, and also the highest-ranking person to have flipped 
The Scalp-Taking of Gen. FlynnConsortium News
The fallen military hero who could bring down a president: How Mike Flynn marched into Trump’s inner circle and …Daily Mailall 2,399 news articles »

Michael Flynn Knew the FBI Had Heard His Calls with Russians. So Why Did He Lie About Them? – Daily Beast
 


Daily Beast
Michael Flynn Knew the FBI Had Heard His Calls with Russians. So Why Did He Lie About Them?
Daily Beast
For example, the FBI has conducted extensive physical and electronic surveillance of the defendants including the covert placement of microphone-type listening devices in certain locations; the covert placement of video cameras in public locations
Here’s what Mike Flynn lied to the FBI aboutVICE News 
Breaking down Flynn’s lies about his Russia callsCNN

Mike Flynn, Trump and Mar-a-Lago: A timeline on path to guilty pleaPalm Beach Post 
Russian investigation reaches White Housetheday.com
 
theday.com

Slate Magazine (blog) NBC Montana
all 2,518 

all 2,463
 news articles »
Mike Flynn – Google News: ‘Something was desperately wrong with this guy’: US Army lieutenant general who served with Mike Flynn weighs in on … – Business Insider
 


Business Insider
‘Something was desperately wrong with this guy’: US Army lieutenant general who served with Mike Flynnweighs in on …
Business Insider
A retired US Army lieutenant general weighed in on Michael Flynn’s guilty plea in the ongoing Russia investigation. Lt. Gen. Mark Hertling, who served with Flynn in the US Army, said he believes the former national security adviser’s downfall was theand more »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

The details of Michael Flynns plea deal with Robert Mueller are nothing short of brutal

Just how hard of a bargain does Robert Mueller drive? He handed what initially appeared to be a sweetheart deal to Michael Flynn, and in exchange Flynn agreed to provide evidence to incriminate Donald Trump, Jared Kushner, and other key players in the Trump-Russia scandal. But the details of that plea deal are now surfacing, and what’s stunning is just how little Mueller ended up giving Flynn when it comes down to it. This is nothing short of brutal.Legal experts dissected the Flynn plea deal during Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC show on Friday night, and I’ll spare you the legalese and boil it down to three points for you. First: Flynn’s deal only grants him leniency on the charge of lying to the FBI. If Mueller doesn’t end up liking what he sees going forward, he can still charge Flynn with other crimes. Second: Mueller now officially owns Flynn. He can make him wear a wire, or dress up like a chicken. The third bullet point is the most astounding one.

There is nothing in the plea deal which formally protects Michael Flynn Jr. By now we all know that Michael Flynn cut the deal in order to protect his son. But even that’s not guaranteed. If Mueller doesn’t like how things are going, he can go back and charge Junior with various crimes at any point. This motivates Flynn to work as hard as he possibly can to help take down the likes of Trump and Kushner, because his son is still far from officially being in the clear.

This deal offers the clearest insight yet into just how brutally effective Robert Mueller can be with his wheeling and dealing. It’s not that he’s trying to torture Michael Flynn. It’s that he wants to keep Flynn motivated to continue cooperating as emphatically as possible. It also means no one else in the Trump-Russia scandal is getting free lunch if they seek a plea deal of their own.

The post The details of Michael Flynn’s plea deal with Robert Mueller are nothing short of brutalappeared first on Palmer Report.

Michael Flynn may have just incriminated Tom Cotton, Donald Trumps new CIA Director pick, in Russia scandal

Earlier this week, just as it was becoming clear that Michael Flynn was about to cut a devastating plea deal against Donald Trump and other big fish in the Russia scandal, Trump began pushing a weird sideshow story. He suddenly wants to oust Secretary of State Rex Tillerson after months of hemming and hawing about it, as part of a series of moves that would elevate Senator Tom Cotton to CIA Director. Now that Flynn’s deal is official, it reveals that Cotton may have been part of the Trump-Russia conspiracy all along.Let’s emphasize the word “may” here. Perhaps this is all one massive coincidence. Perhaps Trump really does just happen to be looking to give Cotton a coveted promotion, just as Michael Flynn seems to be pointing the finger at Cotton. But if this is a coincidence, it’s a remarkable one. Flynn is confessing that while he was conspiring with the Russian Ambassador to sabotage President Obama’s Russian sanctions, he was relaying that conversation to the Trump national security transition team. Guess who was on that team? Tom Cotton.

We may have to wait a bit to see whether Flynn is referring to everyone on the Trump national security transition team, or just some of its members. But if Flynn is referring to the entire team, then he’s accusing Tom Cotton of having known about the Trump-Russia conspiracy since at least December. If Cotton knew about that felony conspiracy and failed to report it, he would be guilty of a felony himself, and Trump could be offering him a promotion in the hope of buying his continued silence.

Again, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here. We can’t assume Tom Cotton is guilty of anything. But if Michael Flynn really did just implicate Cotton in the Trump-Russa conspiracy, it would very conveniently explain why Donald Trump is trying to buy Cotton’s silence by giving him a promotion, However, if Cotton was looking to disappear into the recesses of the CIA before he could become a suspect in the Trump-Russia scandal, Trump may have blown it by taking this step far too late in the game. Trump should have made the move months ago. Now it may be too late.

The post Michael Flynn may have just incriminated Tom Cotton, Donald Trump’s new CIA Director pick, in Russia scandal appeared first on Palmer Report.

Dacha in reserve and real estate in Miami. How retired police General obtained ownership of paradise – https://en.crimerussia.com/
 

Dacha in reserve and real estate in Miami. How retired police General obtained ownership of paradise
https://en.crimerussia.com/
… fight against organized crime turns out to be a profitable occupation. Is there any other explanation of the Petukhov’s possession of real estate in Miami for almost $40 million? The General himself claims that he bought Florida property on  

Letter from the US: Behind the ‘Russia Did it!’ frenzy – Green Left Weekly
 


Green Left Weekly
Letter from the US: Behind the ‘Russia Did it!’ frenzy
Green Left Weekly
By this narrative, Clinton didn’t lose the election, Russia won it. Was the Trump campaign contacting Russian officials to see if business deals could be made for a quid-pro-quo of relaxing some US sanctions? Probably. But US sanctions on other and more »

Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – WGNO
 


Washington Post
Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin
WGNO
I think that Russia investigation is wearing on all of us, the President most of all, said a source close to Trump. But I think he is more concerned about the state of his accomplishments and this presidency. Flynn’s plea is the closest that 
Donald Trump Suspected for Weeks That Mike Flynn Would FlipDaily Beast
Trump’s best and worst day as presidentWashington Post
Does Donald Trump Fear Impeachment After Flynn Plea? President Was Terrified Flynn ‘Turned On Me,’ Report SaysThe Inquisitrall 2,542 2,463 news articles »

Don’t use antivirus firms linked to Russia, cyber security chief tells Whitehall – The Guardian
 


The Guardian
Don’t use antivirus firms linked to Russia, cyber security chief tells Whitehall
The Guardian
Russia stands accused of meddling in the 2016 US election, while MPs have questioned if Moscow has sought to interfere in UK elections and the Brexit referendum. Theresa May used a November speech to tell Russian president Vladimir Putin that the and more »

Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With… Israel? – The Real News Network
 

Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With… Israel?
The Real News Network
Just the level of absurdity of Flynn’s activities has reached a sublime level then you have Flynn testifying before Congress that the U.S. needed to be in the driver’s seat back in 2015 to prevent Russia from setting up nuclear facilities in Egypt and and more »

This is the worst day of Donald Trumps life and its about to get far worse for him

You’re Donald Trump. You only care about a handful of things in life. Money. Power. Cheating people. The perverse thrill of scamming society while proudly providing nothing in return. You’ve been getting away with it for seven decades. Except this time you took it a little too far, or at least you did it in the wrong arena. Now your own evil tactics are being used against you, by the very monsters you created. This has been the worst day of your life and it’s about to get far uglier, because you made it that way.Donald, you took a disgraced and down on his luck former military hero name Michael Flynn, and you helped turn him into a traitor. You encouraged him to sell out everything he ever stood for, in the name of personal ambition. You taught him how to not care about anything or anyone. You taught him the art of cold hard ruthless revenge. And so when it all went wrong and Flynn’s back was against the wall, he took the lessons you taught him and sold you out to save himself. He destroyed you today. Your presidency is a ticking timebomb. Your family is about to be in ruins. Oh, and he’s not the only one.

You also helped turn Paul Manafort into a financial fraudster over the years, a traitor willing to take any money, no matter how bloody. Manafort has begun selling you out as well. Oh, or did you think prosecutors have suddenly moved to release him on bail for no reason? Manafort wants to get out of prison in time to spend up his blood money, and the only way he can do it is to sell you out as callously as you’ve spent your life selling others out.

Just wait, Donald Trump, until this mess lurches even closer to you. You taught your daughter to seek out and marry the exact same kind of piece of crap that you are. His back is now against the wall as well. Do you really think for one second that Jared Kushner won’t sell you out in order to save himself? This is just getting started, Donald. You’ve surrounded yourself with bad people and you’ve taught them how to be even worse people. Of course they were going to betray you when it inevitably came down to it. Everything gets worse for you, Donald, from here.

The post This is the worst day of Donald Trump’s life and it’s about to get far worse for him appeared first on Palmer Report.

Is the Russia investigation still ‘fake news?” – WWL First News
 

Is the Russia investigation still ‘fake news?”
WWL First News
To lying to the FBI and admits. That senior trump transition officials. Directed him. To contact the Russians. Does this mean that. All of the talk about this Russian investigation. Is straight nears. Is over. You know I’ve said all along that I don’t  and more »

Tracking Trump: Flynn pleads guilty as cracks form in the ‘special relationship’

In another alarmingly eventful week, the president calls out Pocahontas and retweets a far-right group all before a major development in the Russia caseIt was a week in which Donald Trump dived back into the gutter over Islamophobia, alienating one of Americas key international allies, and which ended with the Russia investigation coming one crucial step closer to the president, with his former national security adviser Michael Flynn confirming he had flipped and was now working with special counsel Robert Mueller.

Continue reading…

ABC Corrects Explosive Flynn Report That Drove Down Stocks

Flynn was asked to reach out to Russian officials during the Trump transition, not the campaign, according to a source, the network noted.
Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With Israel? – International Middle East Media Center
 


International Middle East Media Center
Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With Israel?
International Middle East Media Center
… Russian government to set up, you know, nuclear plants, Flynn did not disclose that at the time when he had a security clearance.So there’s this pattern of failing to disclose activities that he’s been involved in and, you know, he has been pretty and more »

Senate Passes Tax Cuts For The Rich

Wasn’t this supposed to be for the middle class?
Trump’s favorite general: Michael Flynn’s rise and fall – WTOP
 


WTOP
Trump’s favorite general: Michael Flynn’s rise and fall
WTOP
Flynn was a familiar presence on the Trump campaign trail, his appearance intended to lend national security gravitas to an election effort short on established names. At campaign events, and at the Republican convention, Flynn led cheers of Lock her  

5 Things To Know: Who is ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn? – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
5 Things To Know: Who is ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn?
Washington Post
He earned acclaim in military circles for his service in Afghanistan, where he ran military intelligence operations. In July 2012 the Obama administration made him director of the Army’s spy organization, the Defense Intelligence Agency. Flynn was 
Trump and Russia: A timeline of the investigationUSA TODAY
Trump’s favorite general: Michael Flynn’s rise and fallSan Francisco Chronicle
Michael Flynn’s Rise Was Rapid, His Fall Even FasterU.S. News & World Reportall 2,490 2,466 news articles »

Budapest Summit: The Silk Road Comes to Europe – Sputnik International
 


Sputnik International
Budapest Summit: The Silk Road Comes to Europe
Sputnik International
Serbia is therefore indispensable to China, while the Central and Eastern European powerhouse of Poland holds crucial importance because of its dual north-south and even east-west connectivity potential, though the latter vector will only be fullyand more »

Jimmy Kimmel Breaks Down Michael Flynn News With Perfect ‘Star Wars’ Analogy

But who is Darth Vader in the comparison?
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers Scrambling – The New Yorker
 


The New Yorker
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Sends Donald Trump’s Lawyers Scrambling
The New Yorker
For months, Trump has insisted that the investigations into Russian meddlinginvestigations being conducted by the special counsel Robert Mueller and by both the Senate and House Intelligence Committeesamount to nothing more than fake news. But, as 
5 Things To Know: Who is ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn?Washington Post
Trump and Russia: A timeline of the investigationUSA TODAY
Michael Flynn’s rise was rapid, his fall even fasterReading Eagleall 2,524 news articles »


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6:16 AM 12/2/2017 – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: “Does Flynn Plea Show Collusion With Israel?”

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
» Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With Israel? IMEMC News
James Comey Waxes Biblical About Mike Flynn’s Guilty Plea – Forward
James Comey Tweets Biblical Verse About Mike Flynn The Forward
Congressmen say Jared Kushners arrest is coming and Donald Trump will be ousted from office
Michael Flynn Will Keep Military Rank And Pension Despite Guilty Plea
Psychiatrists warn Trump becoming more mentally unstable
Psychiatrists warn Trump becoming more mentally unstable, putting US, world at ‘extreme risk’ – CNBC
Mike Flynn – Google News: Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI, is cooperating with Mueller – WLS-TV
Russia investigation ‘wearing’ on White House, despite spin – Lincoln Journal Star
Recent Posts – 6:01 PM 12/1/2017
Recent Posts 6:01 PM 12/1/2017
Michael Flynn’s Russia Timeline – FactCheck.org
Flynn guilty plea boosts impeachment talk but it’s premature. We need facts on Russia. – USA TODAY
A Timeline Of Michael Flynn’s Questionable Interactions With Russia
Breaking down Flynn’s lies about his Russia calls – CNN
Is Tom Cotton the Future of Trumpism?
10 Horrifying Facts About GOP Senator Tom Cotton
Mike Flynn Wasn’t Robert Mueller’s ‘Big Fish.’ Why The Trump Team Should Be Worried.
Obama issues a warning in India: ‘Think before you tweet’ – Washington Post
Hey, birds: do you think before you tweet? – Google Search
Hey, birds: do you think before you tweet? – Google Search
Flynn enters guilty plea, will cooperate with Mueller – The Hill
White House work orders show infiltration of mice, roaches – Fox News
11:52 AM 12/1/2017 – The Operation Silk Road – The World News and Times
11:52 AM 12/1/2017 – The Operation Silk Road – The World News and Times

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
» Flynn Plea Shows Collusion With Israel? IMEMC News
 

mikenova shared this story from IMEMC News.

Michael Flynn’s guilty plea to lying to the FBI falls short on Russia “collusion” but points to the Trump administration acting on Israel’s behalf, says author and journalist Max Blumenthal.

Max Blumenthal is an award-winning journalist and bestselling author whose articles and video documentaries have appeared in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Daily Beast, The Nation, The Guardian, The Independent Film Channel, The Huffington Post, <a href=”http://Salon.com” rel=”nofollow”>Salon.com</a>, Al Jazeera English and many other publications. His most recent book is Goliath: Life and Loathing in Greater Israel. His other book, Republican Gomorrah: Inside The Movement That Shattered The Party, is a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller. Max is co-host of the podcast Modern Rebel.

Aaron Mate: It’s the Real News. I’m Aaron Mate. Michael Flynn, the National Security Advisor to Donald Trump until his ouster just a few months into his administration, has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators looking into alleged Trump Russia ties. Flynn is the most high level member of the White House inner circle to be indicted and he is said to be cooperating with investigators. And the news has been greeted across liberal media much like it was today on the TV program The View.

Speaker 2: Breaking news.

Joy Behar: Oh my God. Oh, breaking news. ABC news Brian Ross is reporting. Michael Flynn promised full cooperation to the Mueller team and is prepared to testify that, as a candidate, Donald Trump directed him to make contact with the Russians. Yes.

Aaron Mate: But for opponents of Donald Trump, is Flynn’s indictment really something to celebrate? Well, joining me to discuss is Max Blumenthal, Senior Editor of Alternet’s Grayzone Project. Max, your reaction to Flynn’s indictment today.

Max Blumenthal: You know, my reaction is slightly different than The View panelists, who are really expressing the sensibility, or the mentality, of the id lib, or the idiot liberal, who has been kind of indoctrinated over the past 11 months to believe that Trump had colluded with Russia and that this will lead to his impeachment. We actually saw outside the courthouse where Flynn appeared, the people not only chanting “lock him up”, which is hilarious considering that Flynn, at the Republican National Convention led the “lock her up” chants about Hillary Clinton, but there was also a sign being held by one protestor or heckler, reading “People Power versus Putin Power”, as if Putin kind of controlled Michael Flynn.I mean let’s first acknowledge that this is a confirmation, this indictment of Michael Flynn’s dishonesty, his hypocrisy and his sheer idiocy. I mean, he lied to the FBI and ordinary people who lie to the FBI go to jail. He not only did that, but he did not register as a foreign agent when he took something like half a million dollars from Erdoğan’s government, the government of Turkey, in order to stage some kind of operation to possibly kidnap the person that, the exiled cleric that Erdoğan considers to be his arch nemeses. Fethullah Gülen in Pennsylvania so you can imagine like Flynn and his buddies driving around Pennsylvania trying to kidnap some cleric. It’s like the guy who couldn’t shoot straight. It’s like something out of a Woody Allen movie.Just the level of absurdity of Flynn’s activities has reached a sublime level then you have Flynn testifying before Congress that the U.S. needed to be in the driver’s seat back in 2015 to prevent Russia from setting up nuclear facilities in Egypt and elsewhere and then two weeks later he goes to Egypt and Israel on a trip paid for by a company, one of the companies that had been possibly working with the Russian government to set up, you know, nuclear plants, Flynn did not disclose that at the time when he had a security clearance.So there’s this pattern of failing to disclose activities that he’s been involved in and, you know, he has been pretty much lying ever since 2015. So that’s real, that’s corruption. There’s no way to defend Flynn on that level. The question is, is there any evidence here of collusion with Russia? Trump’s collusion with Russia. And when you actually look at the indictment, you’ve got another dud, it’s just another dud, and these duds arrive every two to three weeks and they send the id libs into a frenzy of ecstasy about having their shambolic narrative of Russia controlling the United States and colluding with Trump to subvert our otherwise shining democracy confirmed.And this confirms nothing. What it does show is that the Israeli government, through Jared Kushner, pressured Michael Flynn to approach the Russian government through Sergey Kislyak, who was the Russian Ambassador to the U.S. at the time, to use it’s position on the U.N. Security Council to stop a resolution condemning Israeli Settlement activity, which the Obama administration was going to abstain on. Something the U.S. government hasn’t done before.Jared Kushner and his family through the Kushner Family Foundation have an extensive relationship not only with the Israeli government, but with Benjamin Netanyahu himself. Netanyahu when he’s in New York would stay with the Kushner family. He would sleep in a bedroom at their house and was almost literally in bed with Jared Kushner. Kushner Family Foundation has donated extensively to the Israeli Settlement Enterprise, to very pro-Israel groups. And so you’re looking actually at Israeli collusion. The real center of influence in Washington emanates from Israel and Kushner has basically been an agent of Israeli influence. An unregistered agent of pro-Israel influence in Washington. This element of the story, which is central, has been completely ignored. And there is another point.Flynn is accused of approaching Sergey Kislyak to discuss how the U.S. and Russia, which was one of the main parties engaged in Syria, would bring the Syrian conflict to an end and take on al Qaeda and ISIS. So that U.S. and Russia are discussing deescalating a conflict that has killed somewhere around 250,000 people. At least around 100,000 on the Syrian government side, by the way. And they have successfully done so, it’s been Russian intervention in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government that has led to the destruction of ISIS, the defeat of al Qaeda, and the end of this conflict. And refugees are now coming back, so once, just to restate that, Flynn approached Kislyak, not the other way around, to discuss deescalating a conflict. And that’s considered a major transgression now in Washington and then there’s the third point in the indictment.Flynn approached Kislyak, not the other way around, to beg Russia not to retaliate against sanctions that the Obama administration had imposed on Russia for unproven allegations that Russia hacked the Democratic National Committee’s email servers and released it to WikiLeaks. Unproven. Totally unproven, even the intelligence agencies that everyone, every Democrat worships as if they’re some kind of oracle, have just stated with high confidence that these servers were hacked by Russian intelligence agencies and none of them, not the FBI, not the NSA, none of them have examined the DNC’s email servers, none of them have demanded them. So these sanctions were imposed based on an allegation and then you have Michael Flynn, while a member of the Trump campaign, approaching the Russian Ambassador to beseech him not to retaliate.And Putin himself was actually put under pressure by the Russian Foreign Ministry at the same time to retaliate because the U.S. had kicked Russian Diplomatic personnel out of Washington, and imposed them unprecedented sanctions, Putin did not retaliate. I would say it was a fairly elegant, diplomatic move. He was gonna give a new administration a chance.In any case, Flynn lied about these communications he had with Sergey Kislyak, the communications were picked up by the NSA because Michael Flynn was in the Cayman Islands at the time and so he was abroad where the NSA has surveillance latitude and Flynn, you know, he may have been sitting on a beach after having one too many, you know, pina coladas and he engaged in really stupid activity to make this kind of call. But the nature of the call, and the content of the indictment, does not prove that there was collusion with the Russian government. It certainly doesn’t demonstrate that Russia was attempting to subvert American democracy. It does demonstrate that the Israeli government through it’s point man, Jared Kushner, was engaged in collusion, was engaged in foreign meddling, and subversion. And this, for some reason, is not the story and we know why.

Aaron Mate: Right. In terms of what it says about the actual election, which is purportedly the reason why we’re supposed to be caring about Russia and Trump. The first conversation between Flynn and Kislyak happens in December, so well after the election has happened. Let me ask you Max, it’s interesting to see that the outrage today has been over, as you mentioned, Flynn trying to negotiate or make overtures to Russia over matters that could actually deescalate tensions, which, when not viewed through a partisan lens, could be seen as positive because it’s deescalating tensions with a nuclear power, and as you said, trying to find an end to the horrific Syrian War. But, in effect, both those things were known about before. What was not known, at least to my knowledge, was the extent to which Flynn was working to subvert the U.N. Security Council vote about Israel. And it’s surprising, as you alluded to, that that’s the issue that is both new but yet has not elicited very much outrage or attention.

Max Blumenthal: Yeah, I mean, that’s just absolutely shocking that, I mean, and this has also come out through Mueller’s investigation is that Jared Kushner may have violated the Logan Act by conducting freelance diplomacy to work with the Israeli government to attempt to convince other governments to vote against the U.N. Resolution. Other governments on the Security Council. That’s how we know that Kushner was the one who was encouraging Flynn to make this call. And it’s just completely overlooked in Washington, it’s overlooked by mainstream media, not only because of the fear of that very government and it’s cut outs in Washington attacking figures in the media and attacking public figures for daring to point to Israeli influence as a nefarious and nefarious force that contravenes American interests, but because it’s a matter of American policy to allow Israel to dictate our policy with respect to the Middle East.Including in Syria and so you have elements that are deeply embedded in the national security state that have been hostile to deescalating the Syrian Civil War. These elements, you know, you could point to John Brennan from the CIA, one of his babies was the arm and equip operation to train and arm Syrian rebels who were substantially operating under the umbrella of al Qaeda, referred to as the Free Syrian Army, something that we now know was basically a mythical conglomeration of Salafi and Salafi jihadi rebels. And in 2015, when al Qaeda Syrian affiliate, Jabhat Al Nusra, took the city and the province of Idlib, in northeastern Syria, which was just a few hundred kilometers … actually I would just say, you know, a few scores of kilometers away from the Alawite Heartland. An area which al Qaeda and it’s affiliates have pledged to cleanse of non-sitting Muslims. To kill or convert the minority population of Syria.Where Christians were forced to convert or die in Idlib. Where the Jewish population in Idlib was forced to dig up their own shrines. Christians were slaughtered across Idlib. And the Syrian government panicked. You know, what Obama should have done at that point is gone to the city allies, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and said, “Stop arming these jihadist rebels who have taken Idlib, let’s put a stop to this, this is crazy, they wanna march on Lattakia, they wanna move to Damascus and this would destroy a core country in the Middle East. It’s gone too far.” He didn’t do that. The arms continued to flow.This should have been a signal moment and that is when, in fact the arms continued to flow in the form of something like 20,000 Tow Missiles produced by Raytheon which allowed al Qaeda and it’s allies to destroy entire Syrian Army Tank Divisions. This is when the Syrian government called on Russia to intervene. And it was that Russian intervention that prevented Syria from becoming what we see today in Libya, where there are open air slave markets, where there have been the slaughter of the black population of Libya and now we see sub-Saharan African migrants being sold in open air slave markets. Refugee crisis like you’ve never seen before. This is what Russia prevented in Syria. And the U.S. by 2016, after the fall of Aleppo, or the liberation of Aleppo with Russian help, the liberation from al Qaeda and it’s allies, kind of started to get wise and decided it’s time to deescalate.John Brennan was very unhappy with this scenario, his operation was being discredited. His legacy was on the line. A lot of other figures coming out of the state department were upset at this scenario but the Trump administration was determined to do this and that’s what Flynn’s phone call with Kislyak partially dealt with and it has happened. We’ve seen deescalation zones set up around the Golan Heights, all across the [crosstalk 00:15:26]

Aaron Mate: I think we gotta, Max-

Max Blumenthal: These are coming [crosstalk 00:15:29]

Aaron Mate: Max, let me cut in there because we have to wrap, but I wanna say actually, that it’s quite possible that what Trump and Flynn are being faulted for now, in terms of Syria, is exactly what the Obama administration, despite people like John Brennan, would have done anyway. Because, as you say, the war was going so bad for them that it was obvious that they were not gonna win the outcome that they pursued. But let me ask you, Max, because we only have one minute, so getting back to Flynn and this indictment, people are saying, “Well look, why would Mueller make a plea deal with Flynn unless Flynn had something to offer him that was gonna flip and point to someone higher above him like Kushner, or even Trump, that’s possible. It’s also possible that maybe this is all Flynn has and so now they’re gonna get him on lying to the FBI so I’m wondering, where you think this is gonna go and what kind of punishment you think someone like Flynn will face? I mean lying to the FBI is a serious offense but it’s nowhere near the kind of offense of treason that many people have floated throughout this whole Russia-gate “scandal”.

Max Blumenthal: Yeah. Even though the indictment contradicts the narrative of collusion in Russian subversion of our shining democracy, the narrative will continue and this gives more fumes to the narrative in the way the mainstream media, corporate media’s gonna report this will be slightly distorted. It will obfuscate the details of the indictment. I can only go based on what’s in the indictment and it seems to show that Flynn lied to the FBI, he probably pled out on part to protect his son Michael Flynn Jr. from being, you know, indicted, or called in. And to the extent that he is going to say that Trump ordered him to make this phone call, well, the question is how does that demonstrate any illicit behavior by Trump if Trump himself was urging Flynn, who was his future National Security Council Advisor, to conduct diplomacy with Russia?I mean Flynn’s mistake was to make the phone call in the Cayman Islands where the NSA could pick up the cables and listen to the phone call and his other mistake was to lie to the FBI time and time again. Just being a serial liar. So that’s it from what I can see and from the standpoint of someone trying to prove Trump Russia collusion, or the overall narrative of Russia-gate, this one is another dud.

Aaron Mate: Leave it there. Max Blumenthal is Senior Editor of Alternet’s Grayzone Project, also the current host of the podcast, Moderate Rebels. Max, thank you.

Max Blumenthal: Thanks for having me.

Aaron Mate: And thank you for joining us on the Real News.

11/27/17 The ‘Deal of the Century’ Struck between Reckless Leaders

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James Comey Waxes Biblical About Mike Flynn’s Guilty Plea – Forward
 

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James Comey Waxes Biblical About Mike Flynn’s Guilty Plea
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Quoting the prophet Amos, Comey tweeted a link to a picture of the Great Falls of the Potomac River. It was his 28th tweet since debuting his handle @Comey in March. But justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream Amos and more »

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Congressmen say Jared Kushners arrest is coming and Donald Trump will be ousted from office
 

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So what now? Special Counsel Robert Mueller has cut a plea deal with Michael Flynn, who is testifying that Donald Trump and Jared Kushner ordered him to be the point man for communicating and conspiring with the Russian government during the election. If Flynn has the evidence to back up those assertions, things will never be the same. Two U.S. Congressmen are weighing in on the matter, and they’re painting a particularly dire picture for Kushner and Trump both.

After the news broke that Michael Flynn was implicating Jared Kushner, and that Kushner had met with Robert Mueller just before it was revealed that Flynn had cut a deal, Congressman Ted Lieu posted this on Twitter: “My prediction? The next time agents & prosecutors for Special Counsel Mueller interview #Kushner, they will read him his Miranda rights.” Lieu is a Democrat, and he’s been publicly rooting for the demise of Kushner and Trump all year. But it needs to be pointed out that Lieu has a history as a military prosecutor in the Air Force, and he currently sits on the House Judiciary Committee (where the impeachment process begins), so this isn’t arbitrary cheerleading. Congressman Lieu knows what he’s talking about from a legal perspective.

Then there’s Congressman Jared Huffman, who saw the news about Flynn implicating Trump in the Russia conspiracy, and responded in this manner: “Let me be the first to congratulate President Pence.” Huffman is a Democrat, and the last thing he wants is to see a far-right extremist like Mike Pence in the Oval Office. However, he understands the urgency of ousting Trump, a mentally unstable traitor. He also knows that Pence is guilty as sin in the Russia scandal, and can then be ousted as well.

So there you have it. According to the Democrats in Congress, Jared Kushner is about to be arrested, and Donald Trump is going to be ousted from office. Plenty of contrarian political pundits are still insisting that neither of those things will ever happen, but those are the same pundits who told us that Paul Manafort would never be arrested and Michael Flynn would never cut a deal.

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Michael Flynn Will Keep Military Rank And Pension Despite Guilty Plea
 

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Flynn could commit murder today, and be convicted … and still retain his retired general status with pension, one expert said.

Psychiatrists warn Trump becoming more mentally unstable
 

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Psychiatrists warn Trump becoming more mentally unstable, putting US, world at ‘extreme risk’ – CNBC
 

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… instability in fact, a pattern of decompensation: increasing loss of touch with reality, marked signs of volatility and unpredictable behavior, and an attraction to violence as a means of coping.” “These characteristics place our country and the 

Mike Flynn – Google News: Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI, is cooperating with Mueller – WLS-TV
 

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And, given the direct involvement of the transition team in Flynn’s calls with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, the plea also raises questions about the accuracy of repeated assertions by the administration that Flynn had misled Mike Pence and other 
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“I think that Russia investigation is wearing on all of us, the President most of all,” said a source close to Trump. “But I think he is more concerned about the state of his accomplishments and this presidency.” Flynn’s plea is closest special counsel 
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Michael Flynn’s Russia Timeline – FactCheck.org
 

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Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser, pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI, the U.S. Special Counsel’s Office announced on Dec. 1.

In his plea agreement, Flynn admitted he lied to FBI agents about two discussions he had with Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, in December 2016 when Flynn was still a private citizen and before Trump took office.

In the first instance, Flynn — who was interviewed by FBI agents on Jan. 24 — admitted he lied to FBI agents about a conversation he had with Kislyak on Dec. 22, 2016, about an upcoming U.N. Security Council resolution. Although he initially denied it to FBI agents, Flynn now admits that he asked Russia to delay or defeat a U.N. Security Council resolution, approved Dec. 23, 2016, that would have condemned Israel’s building of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Obama administration had agreed to allow the resolution to come up for a vote over the objection of Israel.

The incoming Trump administration opposed the U.N. resolution, and Flynn was directed by a “very senior member of the Presidential Transition Team” to contact foreign governments, including Russia … to influence those governments to delay the vote or defeat the resolution,” according to the plea agreement. The “very senior member” of the transition team was not identified.

A day later, the U.N. resolution would pass, with Russia voting in favor and the U.S. abstaining from voting.

Flynn also admitted that he lied to investigators about a Dec. 29 conversation that he had with Kislyak. On the day of the conversation, the Obama administration announced sanctions against Russia in response to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Flynn called to discuss the new sanctions with “a senior official” of the Trump transition team “who was with other senior members of the Presidential Transition Team at the Mar-a-Lago resort” that Trump owns in Florida.

Immediately after the call to Mar-a-Lago, Flynn called Kislyak and “requested that Russia not escalate the situation and only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner,” the plea agreement said. Kislyak agreed that Russia would “moderate its response to those sanctions” as a result of his request, according to the U.S. special prosecutor’s office.

But, when interviewed by the FBI on Jan. 24, Flynn denied making such a request and could not recall if Kislyak agreed to his request.

The former White House aide also acknowledged that he made “false statements and omissions” on documents filed with the Justice Department regarding payments that his company, the Flynn Intel Group Inc., received for lobbying work that principally benefited the government of Turkey, according to the plea agreement. Flynn retroactively filed foreign lobbying reports on March 7 for work that he did during the presidential campaign in 2016.

Flynn is now cooperating with the special prosecutor’s investigation into Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential campaign and whether there was any coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Below are some key events in the Russia investigation involving Flynn from our larger story, “Timeline of Russia Investigation.”

2015

Dec. 10 — Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn speaks at RT’s anniversary conference in Moscow. RT is a Russian government-funded TV station once known as Russia Today. Flynn, who would become a foreign policy adviser to Trump during the campaign and national security adviser in the Trump administration, sits next to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the event.

In remarks at the event, Flynn is critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy and supportive of working with Russia to battle ISIS. (It is later learned that he was paid $45,000 for his appearance, and failed to report the income on his government financial disclosure forms.)

2016

Feb. 26 — Reuters reports that Flynn “has been informally advising Trump” on foreign policy during the presidential campaign.

Aug. 17 — Trump receives his first intelligence briefing at FBI headquarters in New York City. He is joined by Flynn and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Nov. 8 — Trump is elected 45th president of the United States.

Nov. 10 — Trump meets with President Barack Obama at the White House. Obama reportedly warns Trump against hiring Flynn.

Nov. 18 — The president-elect selects Flynn as his national security adviser.

Dec. 1 — Flynn and Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, meet with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, at Trump Tower. (The White House did not acknowledge the meeting occurred until it was disclosed in March 2017. In a statement to congressional investigators on July 24, 2017, Kushner described the contents of the meeting. He said Kislyak “wanted to convey information from what he called his ‘generals’” about “U.S. policy in Syria.” Kushner said the exchange of information did not occur at that time because neither party could arrange a secure line of communication. “I asked if they had an existing communications channel at his embassy we could use where they would be comfortable transmitting the information they wanted to relay to General Flynn. The Ambassador said that would not be possible and so we all agreed that we would receive this information after the Inauguration,” Kushner’s statement reads.)

Dec. 22 — Flynn calls Kislyak and asks if Russia would delay or defeat an upcoming U.N. Security Council resolution vote that sought to condemn Israel’s building of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The Obama administration agreed to allow the resolution to come up for a vote — angering Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (A day later, the U.N. resolution would pass, with Russia voting in favor and the U.S. abstaining from voting.)

Dec. 29 — With less than a month remaining in office, Obama announces “a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016.”

In a phone call with Kislyak, Flynn asks that Russia refrain from retaliating to the U.S. sanctions. Kislyak agrees that Russia would “moderate its response to those sanctions” as a result of his request, according to charges later filed against Flynn by the U.S. special prosecutor’s office. (Flynn’s conversation with the Russian ambassador would not become public until next year.)

Dec. 30 — Russian President Putin issues a statement saying that Russia would not retaliate for the U.S. sanctions. Putin says he hoped to improve relations with the United States “based on the policies of the Trump Administration.”

Trump tweets, “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!”

2017

Jan. 12 — The Washington Post reports that Flynn and Kislyak spoke on Dec. 29, the day that the U.S. announced new sanctions on Russia in response to the cyberattacks during the 2016 presidential election. Incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer denies that the call was about U.S. sanctions. “The call centered on the logistics of setting up a call with the president of Russia and the president-elect after he was sworn in,” Spicer said. “And they exchanged logistical information on how to initiate and schedule that call. That was it, plain and simple.”

Jan. 15 — Vice President-elect Mike Pence says Flynn and Kislyak did not discuss U.S. sanctions on Russia. “They did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia,” Pence says.

Jan. 20 — Trump is inaugurated as the 45th president of the United States.

Jan. 22 — On the same day that Flynn is sworn in as the national security adviser, the Wall Street Journal reports that U.S. counterintelligence agents have investigated Flynn’s communications with Russian officials.

Jan. 24 — Two days after he takes office as national security adviser, Flynn is interviewed by FBI agents. He is asked about two conversations that he had with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, in December 2016 when Flynn was still a private citizen and before Trump took office.

Flynn tells the FBI agents that he did not ask Kislyak, in a Dec. 29, 2016, conversation, for Russia to refrain from retaliating after the Obama administration announced sanctions that day against Russia for interfering in the 2016 elections. He also says that he did not ask Kislyak, in a Dec. 22, 2016, conversation for Russia to delay or defeat a U.N. Security Council resolution, approved Dec. 23, 2016, that would have condemned Israel’s building of settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Flynn would later plead guilty to lying to the FBI about both of those conversations with Kislyak.

Jan. 25 — The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence announces that it will investigate Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election and “any intelligence regarding links between Russia and individuals associated with political campaigns.”

Jan. 26 — Acting Attorney General Sally Yates meets with White House counsel Donald McGahn in his office. She tells McGahn that high-ranking administration officials, including Vice President Pence, had made statements “about General Flynn’s conduct that we knew to be untrue.” She was referring to administration statements that Flynn did not discuss U.S. sanctions against Russia with the Russian ambassador. (Her meeting with McGahn would not be disclosed until Yates testified before Congress on May 8.)

Jan. 28 — Trump receives a congratulatory phone call from Putin.

Feb. 9 — The Washington Post reports that Flynn “privately discussed U.S. sanctions against Russia with that country’s ambassador to the United States during the month before President Trump took office, contrary to public assertions by Trump officials,” citing unnamed current and former officials.

Feb. 13 – Flynn resigns. He acknowledges that he misled Pence and others in the administration about his conversations with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. “I inadvertently briefed the Vice President Elect and others with incomplete information regarding my phone calls with the Russian Ambassador,” Flynn says.

Feb. 14 — Trump privately meets with FBI Director James Comey in the Oval Office. Comey says that the president brought up the FBI investigation of Flynn. “He then said, ‘I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.’ I replied only that ‘he is a good guy.’ … I did not say I would ‘let this go,’” Comey would later recall. (Comey gave this account of his meeting with Trump in written testimony for his June 8 hearing before the Senate intelligence committee. The account was first reported May 16 by the New York Times. The White House issued a statement at that time saying the Times story is “not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.”)

Feb. 15 — A day after Trump reportedly asked Comey to drop the investigation of Flynn, the FBI director tells U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions that “he did not want to be left alone again with the president,” according to a New York Times story published June 6. (Comey also confirms the Times account in his June 8 Senate testimony.)

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asks FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe if the agency would help the White House knock down news stories about contacts between Trump aides and Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.

Feb. 16 — Trump is asked at a press conference, “Did you direct Mike Flynn to discuss the sanctions with the Russian ambassador?” He responds, “No, I didn’t. No, I didn’t.”

March 7 — Flynn retroactively registers as a foreign lobbyist for work that he and his company, the Flynn Intel Group, did for a Turkish company during the presidential campaign that primarily benefited the Republic of Turkey. Flynn reports his consulting firm being paid $530,000. According to USA Today‘s report of Flynn’s lobbying work, “the Flynn Intel Group hired researchers to examine Fethullah Gulen, a reclusive Islamic cleric who lives in exile in rural Pennsylvania. [Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan has blamed Gulen’s opposition group for an attempted 2016 coup and has sought his extradition. On Election Day, The Hill newspaper published a Flynn op-ed that called Gulen ‘radical cleric’ and said the U.S. government should ‘not provide him a safe haven.’”

March 30 — Flynn’s attorney, Robert Kelner, says in a statement that his client is willing to testify before Congress if Flynn receives immunity. “General Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit,” Kelner’s statement says.

March 31 — Trump tweets: “Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!”

The White House releases a revised financial disclosure form for Flynn that shows he received speaking fees from RT TV, the Russian television network, and two other Russian firms. Flynn failed to report that income when he initially filed his disclosure form in February.

April 28 – The Senate intelligence committee requests that Flynn turn over any documents relevant to its investigation into the Russian interference with the election. (Flynn declined, and the committee would later subpoena the documents, which Flynn turned over on June 6.)

May 8 — Yates testifies at a Senate hearing that she had two in-person meetings and one phone call with McGahn, the White House counsel, to discuss Flynn’s meetings with Kislyak, the Russian ambassador. Her first meeting with McGahn was on Jan. 26, as mentioned above.

May 9 – Trump fires Comey. A White House statement said that Trump acted “based on the clear recommendations” of Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. In a two-and-a-half-page memo, Rosenstein cited Comey’s handling of the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server for official government business while she was the secretary of state under Obama. Rosenstein criticized Comey for holding a press conference on July 5, 2016, to publicly announce his recommendation to not charge Clinton, and for disclosing on Oct. 28, 2016, that the FBI had reopened its investigation of Clinton.

May 10 — The Senate intelligence committee subpoenas Flynn seeking “documents relevant to the Committee’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 election.”

May 11 – Trump says in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt that he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he decided to fire Comey. The president says he would have fired Comey with or without Rosenstein’s recommendation. “He made a recommendation, but regardless of recommendation I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And, in fact, when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said, ‘You know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won.’”

May 16 — The New York Times reports that Trump asked Comey at a Feb. 14 dinner meeting to shut down the FBI investigation of Flynn. (See the Feb. 14 entry.)

May 17 — Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, appoints former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III as special counsel to investigate any possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election. Rosenstein makes the appointment instead of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who had recused himself from any federal investigations involving the 2016 election.

May 18 — At a press conference with the president of Colombia, Trump denies that he asked Comey to close down the FBI’s investigation of Flynn. “No. No. Next question,” Trump said.

May 31 — The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence issues subpoenas for testimony, documents and business records from Flynn and Michael Cohen, a personal attorney to the president.

June 6 — Flynn provides more than 600 pages of documents to the Senate intelligence committee, CNN reports. The committee subpoenaed the documents on May 10.

The Washington Post reports that Trump asked Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats in a March 22 meeting “if he could intervene with then-FBI Director James B. Comey to get the bureau to back off its focus on former national security adviser Michael Flynn in its Russia probe.” The report was based on “officials who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal matters.” Brian Hale, a spokesman for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, issues a statement that said Coats “never felt pressured by the President or anyone else in the Administration to influence any intelligence matters or ongoing investigations.”

June 8 – Comey testifies under oath before the Senate intelligence committee. As his written testimony detailed, Comey says the president asked him for his loyalty at a Jan. 27 dinner and asked him to drop the Flynn investigation at a Feb. 14 meeting. He also says Trump asked that the FBI “lift the cloud” over his administration and publicly announce that the president is personally not under investigation on March 30 and April 11.

Comey also discloses that he gave a copy of his memo about his meeting with the president on Feb. 14 to a friend with instructions that he share the contents of the memo with a reporter. He says he did so “because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel.”

Asked if the president’s request to drop the Flynn investigation amounts to obstruction of justice, Comey says: “I don’t know. That — that’s [special counsel] Bob Mueller’s job to sort that out.”

June 9 – At a joint press conference with Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Trump denies that he told Comey to drop the Flynn investigation. “I didn’t say that,” Trump says. He also says that he never asked Comey to pledge loyalty to him. “I hardly know the man,” Trump says. “I’m not going to say I want you to pledge allegiance.”

June 15 — The Washington Post reports that the FBI and federal prosecutors have been “examining the financial dealings” of Kushner, Flynn, former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former foreign policy adviser Carter Page.

Dec. 1 — Flynn pleads guilty to making false statements to the FBI and agrees to cooperate with the FBI investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. “My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country,” Flynn says in a statement.

Flynn guilty plea boosts impeachment talk but it’s premature. We need facts on Russia. – USA TODAY
 

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Flynn guilty plea boosts impeachment talk but it’s premature. We need facts on Russia.
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Talk of impeaching President Trump surged after Michael Flynn, his former national security adviser and transition aide, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. But what is the real meaning of the Constitution’s mysterious provision authorizing removal ofand more »

A Timeline Of Michael Flynn’s Questionable Interactions With Russia
 

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Michael Flynn has been charged with making false statements to the FBI. Here’s how he got to this point.

Breaking down Flynn’s lies about his Russia calls – CNN
 

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Breaking down Flynn’s lies about his Russia calls
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The sanctions targeted Russia’s intelligence services and Russian agencies that were involved in cyberactivities. Flynn and Kislyak had phone conversations on December 29, 2016, the day that Obama announced the new sanctions and also expelled 35 
Here’s what Mike Flynn lied to the FBI aboutVICE News
Mike Flynn, Trump and Mar-a-Lago: A timeline on path to guilty pleaPalm Beach Post
Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty to Lying to FBI About Russia, Appears to Be Cooperating With MuellerSlate Magazine (blog)
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Is Tom Cotton the Future of Trumpism?
 

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If you believed the national media, the week of the annual Republican Party fund-raising dinner, in Fort Smith, Arkansas, in late August, was one of the worst of Donald Trump’s Presidency. The President had just responded to the unrest in Charlottesville with statements that appeared sympathetic to neo-Nazi demonstrators, and even some members of his own party were denouncing him. The White House staff was in turmoil, following the departure of Reince Priebus as chief of staff, and the Senate had failed to pass a replacement for the Affordable Care Act. The featured speaker for the evening was the state’s junior senator, Tom Cotton, who seized the chance to address the disquiet in the nation’s capital.

At forty years old, Cotton is the youngest member of the Senate, and he retains the erect posture and solemn bearing that he displayed as a member of the Army’s Old Guard, which presides at military ceremonies, including funerals, in Washington. He’s let his hair grow, a little, since his Army days. When he first ran for office, in 2012—he served a single term in the House of Representatives before winning his Senate seat, in 2014—Cotton was often described as robotic on the stump, but he’s improved somewhat as a speaker, even if he still projects more intelligence than warmth. In this manner, he gave an assignment to the two hundred or so guests in the hotel ballroom.

“Go home tonight and turn on one of the nighttime comedy shows. Tomorrow morning, turn on one of the cable morning-news shows. This Saturday, watch ‘Saturday Night Live,’ ” he said. “All the high wardens of popular culture in this country, they love to make fun of Donald Trump, to mock him, to ridicule him. They make fun of his hair, they make fun of the color of his skin, they make fun of the way he talks—he’s from Queens, not from Manhattan. They make fun of that long tie he wears, they make fun of his taste for McDonald’s.” He went on, “What I don’t think they realize is that out here in Arkansas and the heartland and the places that made a difference in that election, like Michigan and Wisconsin, when we hear that kind of ridicule, we hear them making fun of the way we look, and the way we talk, and the way we think.”

It was, on one level, a breathtaking leap—to equate mockery of a louche New York billionaire with attacks on the citizens of this small, conservative city, which lies across the Arkansas River from Oklahoma. But Cotton’s appeal to his audience for solidarity with Trump, which was greeted with strong applause, represented just one part of his enthusiastic embrace of the President. Stephen Bannon, Trump’s former top strategist and the chairman of the right-wing Web site Breitbart News, told me, “Next to Trump, he’s the elected official who gets it the most—the economic nationalism. Cotton was the one most supportive of us, up front and behind the scenes, from the beginning. He understands that the Washington élite—this permanent political class of both parties, between the K Street consultants and politicians—needs to be shattered.” At the same time, Cotton has maintained strong ties with the establishment wing of the G.O.P. Karl Rove, President George W. Bush’s chief political adviser, told me, “Cotton is not like a Steve Bannon, who wants to blow up the existing structure, uproot the ideology of the Republican Party and replace it with something new. He’s a rising star. He’s capable of building bridges within the Party. He wants to get things done.”

In recent weeks, several Republican Senators have denounced Trump for his intemperance and his dishonesty. Jeff Flake, of Arizona, and Bob Corker, of Tennessee, condemned Trump and announced that they would not seek reëlection in 2018. Ben Sasse, of Nebraska, whose term is not up until 2020, said that, by threatening journalists, Trump was violating his oath to defend the Constitution. Cotton has made a different bet, offering only the gentlest of criticisms of the President. When, in the course of several weeks of conversations, I asked Cotton about one or another of Trump’s controversial statements or tweets, he always responded in the same manner. “The President puts things sometimes in a way that I would not,” he said in early October. “But he was still nominated by our voters and elected by the American people to be our President, and if we want him to accomplish our agenda we need to set him up for success.”

Even Trump’s latest political traumas have not shaken Cotton’s faith in him. Following the indictment of Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and former campaign adviser Rick Gates, last week, Cotton urged a prompt resolution of the investigation into the Trump campaign, but he did not call for the removal of Robert Mueller, the special counsel. “What’s in the best interest of everyone is for these inquiries to move forward, and to follow them to their proper conclusion as quickly as possible,” Cotton said.

Roby Brock, who hosts the leading public-affairs television program in Arkansas, told me, “From the beginning, Tom could play to both the establishment and the Tea Party. Everyone recognizes he’s got a firm set of conservative principles, but that makes him a polarizing figure. There are a lot of people here, too, who hate him and think he’s the Antichrist. The only thing everyone agrees on is that he wants to be President someday.” To make that next leap, Cotton expresses the militarism, bellicosity, intolerance, and xenophobia of Donald Trump, but without the childish tweets. For those who see Trump’s Presidency as an aberration, or as a singular phenomenon, Cotton offers a useful corrective. He and his supporters see Trump and Trumpism as the future of the Republican Party.

In the early days of the Trump Administration, Cotton exercised influence from behind the scenes. Bannon told me, “He spent a lot of time in my little war room, and he gave us a lot of good advice. He was the one who told us about John Kelly,” the former Marine Corps general who is now Trump’s chief of staff. (The Senator and Kelly had met at a security conference when Cotton was in the House.) In recent months, however, Cotton’s influence has become more apparent, as Trump has embraced some of his most high-profile positions.

In September, President Trump repealed the Obama-era executive order known as DACA, which protected the so-called Dreamers from deportation, but he said that he also wanted Congress to pass a law that would allow them to remain in the United States, even making a preliminary deal with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic congressional leaders. But, after Cotton spoke out against a quick deal to protect the Dreamers, Trump made a formal proposal to Congress that attached many strings Cotton had demanded. “I had dinner with the President and General Kelly on October 2nd, and we talked about DACA,” Cotton told me. “They said that Chuck and Nancy had done some post-dinner spin, to go along with the post-dinner dessert, about what the President actually agreed to on DACA. I think the fix that the President announced is a better step in the right direction.”

The following month, Trump gave Cotton a victory on the touchstone issue of his Senate career by decertifying Iran’s compliance with the nuclear-arms deal that the Obama Administration had negotiated. “I told the President in July that he shouldn’t certify that Iran was complying with the agreement,” Cotton told me. “Putting aside the issue of technical compliance or noncompliance, it’s clear that the agreement is not in our national interest.” Following Trump’s action, Cotton joined forces with Senator Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, on a proposal that, if passed, would likely lead to the termination of the Iran nuclear deal and the reimposition of American sanctions.

“Let there be no doubt about this point,” Cotton said, in a recent speech to the Council on Foreign Relations. “If we are forced to take action, the United States has the ability to totally destroy Iran’s nuclear infrastructure. And, if they choose to rebuild it, we could destroy it again, until they get the picture. Nor should we hesitate if compelled to take military action.” In describing his preferred approach to negotiations with Iran, Cotton said, “One thing I learned in the Army is that when your opponent is on his knees you drive him to the ground and choke him out.” In response, a questioner pointed out that killing a prisoner of war is not “American practice.” (It is, in fact, a war crime.)

Similarly, in North Korea, Cotton supports Trump’s brinkmanship with Kim Jong Un, and excoriates China for its failure to rein in its ally. “Time and time again, Beijing shows that it is not up to being the great power it aspires to be,” Cotton said. (His hostility toward China endears him to the Bannon wing of the Republican Party, which views the U.S.-China relationship as the defining conflict of the modern world.)

Cotton has emerged as such a close ally of the Trump White House that one recent report suggested that the President would name him director of the C.I.A. if Mike Pompeo, the current director, were to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State. (Trump is widely believed to be dissatisfied with Tillerson.) In a conversation in mid-October, Cotton did not dismiss the possibility of taking the C.I.A. job. “I am pleased to be a senator,” he told me. “But, of course, I will always take a call from the President, and he has called me many times.” As a member of Trump’s Administration, Cotton would ratify the President’s instincts. He offers Trump a certainty that matches his own, especially about the threats the nation faces and the best ways to address them.

In August, I visited Cotton in the house where he grew up, in Yell County, Arkansas. When I arrived, Cotton’s father was also walking in the door. Len Cotton did not offer to shake hands right away, because he had just welcomed two newborn calves to the family farm, and he thought it prudent to wash up first.

The Cottons have been in Arkansas for six generations, and Tom’s parents make their living running what’s known as a cow-calf operation, on several plots of land in the Arkansas River Valley. In the specialized world of beef-and-dairy production, the Cottons’ business is the first stage—the production of the cows, which are sold to ranchers. The Cottons have always done some farming, but when Tom wa