1:54 PM 12/4/2017 – Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations – CNN

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US elections and russia – Google News: Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations – CNN
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Former US Rep. Corrine Brown sentenced to five years in prison – Florida Times-Union
The four people charged in Mueller’s investigation – CNN
Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary
Recent Searches December 2017
3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…
3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…
4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris …
5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations…
5:52 AM 12/4/2017 – Trump: FBI’s reputation in tatters – The Hill
The U.S. and Global Security Review: Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…
M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation…
Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned…
8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…
04.12.2017 15:47
9:42 AM 12/4/2017 – K.T. McFarland discussed how sanctions imposed by the Obama administration would…
10:47 AM 12/4/2017 – The Season For Impeachment
10:55 AM 12/4/2017 – Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette
10:55 AM 12/4/2017 Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI LifeZette
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say – StopFake.org
Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated Unfairly – Voice of America
Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations – CNN
Donald Trump says he feels ‘very badly’ for Michael Flynn – video
SNL Warns Trump With ‘Christmas Carol’ Sketch: Ghosts Of Mike Flynn, Billy Bush, And Vladimir Putin Will Haunt You – RealClearPolitics

 

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US elections and russia – Google News: Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations – CNN


CNN
Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations
CNN
The calls were about two distinct events: a controversial vote at the United Nations and President Barack Obama’s decision to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 US election. The Obama administration announced new sanctions against Russia as

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 US elections and russia – Google News

Russia denies ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn influenced Vladimir Putin – Sky News


Sky News
Russia denies ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn influenced Vladimir Putin
Sky News
Russia denies ex-Trump adviser Michael Flynn influenced Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin says Vladimir Putin took a decision not to immediately respond to new US sanctions last year independently. 16:25, UK, Monday 04 December 2017. US President Donald 
Kremlin says Putin not influenced by ex-Trump official FlynnAOL
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?Toronto Star
SNL Warns Trump With ‘Christmas Carol’ Sketch: Ghosts Of Mike Flynn, Billy Bush, And Vladimir Putin Will Haunt YouRealClearPolitics
KWCH –The Times
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Former US Rep. Corrine Brown sentenced to five years in prison – Florida Times-Union


Florida Times-Union
Former US Rep. Corrine Brown sentenced to five years in prison
Florida Times-Union
Simmons also hand-delivered some cash to Brown, prosecutors pointed out. Simmons was indicted with Brown last year but took a plea deal and testified against his old boss of a quarter century. Wiley pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy before the 

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The four people charged in Mueller’s investigation – CNN


CNN
The four people charged in Mueller’s investigation
CNN
Manafort called the allegation “100% not true” and said he didn’t “remember talking to any Russian officials, ever.” The charges against Manafort and Gates are unrelated to the Trump campaign, though it’s possible Mueller could add additional charges 

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Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Today’s Headlines and Commentary

Clashes in Yemens capital between rival rebel factions left hundreds dead, including former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, the New York Times reported. Houthi rebels said a bomb at his residence killed Saleh, the countrys former ruler who joined with Iranian-backed rebel groups after his ouster in 2011. Online videos appeared to show Salehs body outside his home. Violence between factions of the rebel movement threatened to undermine chances for a peace agreement with Yemens Saudi-backed government. On Saturday, Saleh extended an offer to the Saudi-led coalition to resolve Yemens conflict. Separately, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) denied that a Houthi missile had hit a nuclear power plant being built in Abu Dhabi, according to the Times. The Saudi-led coalitionwhich includes the UAEhas accused Iran of supplying cruise missiles to the Houthi rebels that it is supporting in Yemen.

An Israel-Palestine peace plan that Saudi crown prince Mohamed bin Salman has presented to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas has sparked outrage across the Middle East, according to the Times. Bin Salman pushed a plan that heavily favors Israel, giving a proposed state of Palestine only limited sovereignty and allowing most Israeli settlements in the West Bank to remain. Both the Saudi government and the White House denied responsibility for the plan. Separately, Arab states warned the U.S. against recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital, the Washington Post reported. The foreign ministers from Egypt and Jordan told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that such a move could trigger political protests across the Middle East and disrupt stability. The Trump administration is considering not issuing waiver that would allow the U.S. to keep its embassy in Tel Aviv. The Arab League will hold an emergency meeting on Tuesday to discuss the matter.

John Dowd, President Donald Trumps personal lawyer for matters related to the Russia investigation, said the president knew last January that Michael Flynn had given the same misleading account to FBI investigators about his interactions with the Russian ambassador that he gave to Vice President Mike Pence, the Post reported. Dowd said White House Counsel Don McGahn relayed information to Trump from then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates that Flynn had given FBI agents the same story he gave the vice president, about his contacts with Russian officials. Two weeks later, Trump asked FBI Director James Comey to be lenient with Flynn, according to memos that Comey kept of the conversation. Yates testified before the Senate in May that she had not disclosed any details of the FBI investigation to McGahn.

An operative connected to the National Rifle Association (NRA) offered to arrange a back-channel meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the presidential campaign, the Times reported. The conservative operative reached out to Rick Dearborn, a Trump campaign adviser, for advice in how to connect the two leaders. Other conservative operatives also proffered similar requests, all related to the NRAs annual convention and the 2016 election campaign.

Israel threatened to attack Syria if Damascus allows Iran to set up military bases in the country, the Wall Street Journal reported. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Syria against permitting an Iranian military presence shortly before what Syrian officials described as an Israeli missile struck a Syrian military base that supports Iranian activity. Israel has remained mostly uninvolved civil war but has launched about 100 strikes against transports of Iranian weapons to Hezbollah.

The U.S. and South Korea began large-scale joint air force exercises that will carry out simulated strikes on North Korean nuclear and missile sites, the Times reported. Coming one week after North Korea tested a missile capable of reaching all of the continental United States, the drills will include advanced fighter jets and stealth bombers in the over 230 aircraft participating. Pyongyang warned the exercises made nuclear war in the Korean peninsula much more likely.

The U.S. left United Nations talks about a global agreement on migrants and refugees, the Times reported. The Trump administration announced it would quit the U.N. Global Compact on Migration, saying the proposed agreement would have undermined U.S. sovereignty. The Obama administration endorsed a commitment to protecting the rights of migrants and refugees last year. Migrant-rights advocates condemned the Trump administrations decision to withdraw.

Defense Secretary James Mattis called for Pakistan to increase its efforts to fight militants, Reuters reported. Speaking during a one-day visit to Islamabad, Mattis expressed American frustrations that Pakistan has not done more against a resurgent Taliban. Pakistans prime minister affirmed his commitment to achieving peace in Afghanistan during a joint press conference with Mattis.

Maltese authorities arrested ten suspects in connection with the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, an investigative journalist who exposed corruption in Maltas government, the Times reported. Galizias killing in October shocked human rights observers who said that Malta should be condemned for failing to respect the rule of law. A European Parliament delegation said Malta had a culture of impunity after visiting the island country.

 

ICYMI: Last Weekend on Lawfare

David Bosco outlined a strategy for the U.S. to navigate the legal and political complexities of the International Criminal Court case that is investigating U.S. activity in Afghanistan.

 

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3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…

3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat – Business Insider | “We’re going to be growing everything, Mr. Trump said. – M.N.: Sounds sexy…
3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…

3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat – Business Insider | “We’re going to be growing everything, Mr. Trump said. – M.N.: Sounds sexy…
4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris …

4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris Wray “needs to clean house.”
5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations…

5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations – New York Times
5:52 AM 12/4/2017 – Trump: FBI’s reputation in tatters – The Hill

5:52 AM 12/4/2017 – Trump: FBI’s reputation in tatters – The Hill
The U.S. and Global Security Review: Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…

Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…: We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI M.N. In my humble opinion, w…

 The U.S. and Global Security Review

M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation…

M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI. The FBIs darling special, professional, and VIP informants made the nice careers for themselves in Psychiatry, including the leadership positions in the American Psychiatric Association, not because of their intellectual or other abilities, but because of their special affiliation with the FBI, and informing on the researchers who have these abilities. Some psychiatric Mata Haries apparently would not even stop at using their sexual connections for these purposes.
Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned…

Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned about the FBIs interference in Science, and in Psychiatry. For example, the FBIs interference in Anthropology is the well known and the well-established fact.
8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…

8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…
04.12.2017 15:47

9:42 AM 12/4/2017 – K.T. McFarland discussed how sanctions imposed by the Obama administration would…

9:42 AM 12/4/2017 – K.T. McFarland discussed how sanctions imposed by the Obama administration would make it harder for Trump to reach out to Moscow
10:47 AM 12/4/2017 – The Season For Impeachment

10:47 AM 12/4/2017 – The Season For Impeachment
10:55 AM 12/4/2017 – Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette

10:55 AM 12/4/2017 – Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette
10:55 AM 12/4/2017 Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI LifeZette

Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette Your DNA kit begins a journey of discovery but are results in safe hands? Women Line Up to Run for Office, Harnessing Their Outrage at Trump – New York Times Is Trump About to Blow Up Jared Kushner’s … Continue reading“10:55 AM 12/4/2017 – Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette”
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say – StopFake.org


StopFake.org
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say
StopFake.org
The deputies of the European Parliament who form Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at a meeting in Amsterdam say that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Donald Trump along with the Islamic state are the 

Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated Unfairly – Voice of America


Newsweek
Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated Unfairly
Voice of America
President Donald Trump has expressed sympathy for his former National security adviser Michael Flynn, saying Flynn had been treated unfairly by investigators looking into Russia’s influence on the 2016 presidential election. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday 
The Early Edition: December 4, 2017Just Security
Byron York: In Trump-Russia probe, was it all about the Logan Act?Washington Examiner
‘Closer to the bullseye’: How damning is Michael Flynn’s guilty plea for Trump?SBS
Mic –Haaretz –Politico
all 2,385 news articles »
Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations – CNN


CNN
Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations
CNN
The lies were about a series of calls Flynn had with Kislyak. The calls were about two distinct events: a controversial vote at the United Nations and President Barack Obama’s decision to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 US election. The Obama

and more »

Donald Trump says he feels ‘very badly’ for Michael Flynn – video

The US president addresses the media about his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who last week pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Trump had already fired Flynn for lying to the vice-president, Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russia in February. Trump said it was very unfair how Flynn was being treated compared to Hillary Clinton, who Trump claimed had lied to the FBI many times without sanction

Continue reading…

SNL Warns Trump With ‘Christmas Carol’ Sketch: Ghosts Of Mike Flynn, Billy Bush, And Vladimir Putin Will Haunt You – RealClearPolitics


RealClearPolitics
SNL Warns Trump With ‘Christmas Carol’ Sketch: Ghosts Of Mike Flynn, Billy Bush, And Vladimir Putin Will Haunt You
RealClearPolitics
Via Saturday Night Live: President Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) is visited by the spirits of Michael Flynn (Mikey Day), Billy Bush (Alex Moffatt), Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) and Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) in this ‘Christmas Carol’ parody warning 
Trump is Haunted by Xmas Ghosts Billy Bush, Vladimir Putin and Hillary Clinton in SNL Cold Open: WATCHTowleroad

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10:47 AM 12/4/2017 – The Season For Impeachment

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White House paranoid: ‘Everyone thinks they’re being recorded’ – Politico
If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on – USA TODAY
Former White House Insider Explains Why Trump Is Uniquely Able to Challenge the Left and Media – Daily Signal
The Note: Reality check? Trump’s contradictions on full display – ABC News
Trump backs Alabama Republican Senate candidate Moore – Reuters
Happening Today: Russia Probe, Billy Bush, Flu Season, CVS, Met Opera – NBC New York
Until Mueller Is Done, Trump Should Be Blocked From Stacking the Courts – Advocate.com
Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBI – BBC News
Flynns Plea and the Significance of the Lying in the Russia Investigation
Former Trump Aide Flynn’s Legal Woes May Have Devastating Effects on Turkey – Haaretz
Trump fully endorses Roy Moore – CNN
Donald Trump Endorses Roy Moore For Senate
The media today: ABC hands Trump a press-bashing weapon – Columbia Journalism Review
Kremlin says Putin not influenced by ex-Trump official Flynn – Reuters
Monday’s Morning Email: Trump Attacks The FBI Following Flynn Plea
Mike Flynn – Google News: Levin: Mueller Destroyed Mike Flynn’s Life Like the Mob Would Do – RealClearPolitics
Corey Lewandowski: Michael Flynn won’t take down Trump – Washington Examiner
Did creepy journalists cost Hillary Clinton the election? | Opinion – NOLA.com
Trump obscene remarks were real – TV host Billy Bush – BBC News
Donald Trump’s Lawyer Says POTUS Cannot Be Guilty Of Obstructing Justice – Deadline
Kremlin says Flynn didn’t influence Putin’s decision to not retaliate against US sanctions – NBCNews.com
The Early Edition: December 4, 2017 – Just Security
Trump’s Lawyer: President Knew Michael Flynn Lied To FBI Before Firing James Comey
Russian politician says Donald Trump extremely dangerous for Russia – Pravda

 

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“Tis The Season For Impeachment In Chipmunks Christmas Parody

“Please Mueller don’t be late.”

White House paranoid: ‘Everyone thinks they’re being recorded’ – Politico


MyAJC
White House paranoid: ‘Everyone thinks they’re being recorded’
Politico
But recording conversations without consent from all the parties involved carries serious risks for Mueller, who is being closely watched by experienced defense lawyers and an army of Trump allies eager for any opportunity to show the special counsel 
Analysis: Trump’s best and worst day as presidentMyAJC

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If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on – USA TODAY


USA TODAY
If Michael Flynn’s ‘crime’ is all Robert Mueller has, it is time to move on
USA TODAY
On Friday, President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about a perfectly legal conversation he had during the presidential transition with then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak 
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Trump’s Lawyer: President Knew Michael Flynn Lied To FBI Before Firing James ComeyHuffPost
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CNN –Los Angeles Times
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Daily Signal
Former White House Insider Explains Why Trump Is Uniquely Able to Challenge the Left and Media
Daily Signal
Sebastian Gorka, former deputy assistant to President Donald Trump and counterterrorism adviser, is delivering a series of lectures for The Heritage Foundation about national security issues. His next speech will take place at Heritage on Dec. 15 

The Note: Reality check? Trump’s contradictions on full display – ABC News

The Note: Reality check? Trump’s contradictions on full display
ABC News
Asked directly by moderator Bret Baier whether he has “had talks about another job” with President Trump, Pompeo said he’s “very focused” on his current job. “Very focused on doing what I’m doing, Bret. It is in spite of former [Director of Central 

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Trump backs Alabama Republican Senate candidate Moore – Reuters


Reuters
Trump backs Alabama Republican Senate candidate Moore
Reuters
The president has repeatedly slammed Moore’s Democratic opponent, former U.S. attorney Doug Jones, but had previously backed Moore’s former Republican rival Luther Strange in line with Senate Republicans. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal 

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Happening Today: Russia Probe, Billy Bush, Flu Season, CVS, Met Opera – NBC New York


NBC New York
Happening Today: Russia Probe, Billy Bush, Flu Season, CVS, Met Opera
NBC New York
Former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush confirmed again that it was Donald Trump’s voice on the famous 2005 video that recorded Trump bragging about crude and degrading behavior toward women. The New York Times reported that Trump has told at least 

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Until Mueller Is Done, Trump Should Be Blocked From Stacking the Courts – Advocate.com


Advocate.com
Until Mueller Is Done, Trump Should Be Blocked From Stacking the Courts
Advocate.com
Trump is likely to be found guilty of obstruction of justice for his firing of FBI director James B. Comey in order to stop the Russian investigation. Should Trump be making lifetime judicial appointments that will have far-reaching implications for 

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Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBI – BBC News


BBC News
Flynns Plea and the Significance of the Lying in the Russia Investigation

The interpretation of the Flynn plea is subject to the usual risks that someoneRobert Muellerknows far more than anyone else, and with what is available on the public record, it may be impossible to appreciate how this piece fits into the mosaic of the special counsels investigation. So some may believe it is safest to give the event the narrowest possible reading. Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, lied to the FBI to cover up Trump transition team activities that he thought it best not to acknowledge. On this account, Flynn may have been concerned about the propriety of contacts with Russia before the inauguration to shift U.S. policy on sanctions and the U.N. Security Council vote on Israeli settlements. So much, then, for this phase of the case: Now we wait to see what else Flynn may disclose to the special counsel as part of their cooperation agreement.

This is not a wholly mistaken view of the Flynn plea, but it is a limited one. It fails to connect Flynns lies about the calls with the Russian ambassador to the others just like them told repeatedly by the president and his associates. Indeed, the president has led the charge in denying any contacts between Russia and his campaigns, denouncing as a hoax the suggestion of collusion, and he has had a hand in directing others to dissemble about Russia-related communications. For example, we have the extraordinary revelation that the president dictated a press release falsely stating the purpose and substance of the meeting in Trump Tower between his son and other members of the campaign staff, and a traveling party from Moscow offering campaign support and derogatory information about Hillary Clinton. The Flynn lies are just the latest in the series.

Why all the lying? It is easy to understand certain of the individual instances. Telling the truth about the Trump Tower meeting must have seemed unimaginable. It would have required the campaign to admit that it welcomed help from the Kremlin and met in private to accept what the emissaries from Moscow came to offer. And the campaign would never have been persuaded of the wisdom of coming clean about Trumps sons correspondence with WikiLeaks.

It is less clear why Flynn would have lied to the FBI about his phone calls with Ambassador Kislyak in December 2016. True, it might have been uncomfortable to tell the truth. While an incoming administration will often have every intention, some of it openly expressed, of reversing the policies of the previous one, the Flynn-Kislyak understandings go well beyond the norms governing the conduct of a policy transition from one administration to the next. This is especially the case where, as reported by The New York Times, the Obama administration had specifically requested that the Trump transition desist from sending conflicting signals to foreign officials before the inauguration and to include State Department personnel when contacting them.

But Flynn could have framed a response more honest and far less hazardous than outright lies. After all, Trump had publicly objected to the sanctions and had aggressively opposed the U.N. Security Council Resolution condemning Israel. Flynn could have taken the position that he merely affirmed to the Russians what they would have understood in any case about the campaigns policy positions. Awkward, yes. But he could have better weathered the questions about the propriety of these contacts, or their legality under the Logan Act, than the risks of lying to the FBI.

Why, then, the lies? It is certainly possible that Flynn was directed or encouraged to lie, with the president somehow believing that, in the worst case, he could work it out with Comey and that the FBI would let it go. Philip Bobbitt raised this possibility in May of this year, and the facts that have since come to light add support to his conjecture.

It would be remarkableand highly unlikelythat Flynn would fail to alert superiors that the FBI sought to interview him about the Kislyak phone calls. Flynn is a military man with rigorous training in following the chain of command. However inconsistent his performance on this score may have been over the years, the calls with senior transition officials in December in which he sought direction on the sanctions and U.N. matters, do not suggest that he had somehow gone rogue in his new national security advisory roleand not on this particular issue. A request from the FBI for an interview would have surely triggered a report up the chain. Was he counseledand if so, by whomon what he would say? Yet if Flynn somehow did not consult with his superiors prior to the interviews, it is well nigh inconceivable that he would not have done so afterward.

In any event, on Jan. 26, two days after Flynns FBI interview, Acting Attorney General Sally Yates informed the White House that Flynn had misrepresented his conversations within the administration. And if he lied to the vice president, among others, it would have been reasonable for the president and the senior staff to be concerned that he had not been truthful with the F.B.I. The White House counsel asked Yates specifically how Flynn did in the interview. Yates declined to respond, which should not have been reassuring.

It would not have been too late for the White House to look into the matter and direct Flynn to clean up the interview record. Instead, Flynn stuck to his story, only acknowledging weeks later on Feb. 9, through a spokesperson, that he could not recall such a discussion but couldnt be certain that the topic never came up. As late as Feb. 8, in a comment to the Washington Post, Flynn continued to deny that his conversation with Kislyak included an exchange about sanctions.

It is perhaps a striking coincidence, but the day after the Yates disclosure to the White House, Trump called the FBI director, invited him to dinner the same evening, and asked him for a pledge of loyalty. Then, on Feb. 14the day after Flynn resignedthe president asked Comey whether he might consider letting Flynn go. It is critical to bear in mind that the context for this specific request was Flynns misrepresentations about the Kislyak conversations, but in the administrations stated reasons for the resignation, the lies requiring Flynns departure were those told to the vice president. Had the president concluded that lying to the vice president was somehow a crimea suggestion that his White House counsel discounted in conversations with the acting attorney general?  Or did Trumps concern with Flynns legal exposure arise from knowledge that the former national security adviser had lied to the FBI?

The day after the plea deal, the president tweeted out the statement, for the first time, that he fired Flynn not only because he had lied to the vice president, but to the FBI too. Commentators responded immediately that this admission weakened his defense against an obstruction claim. It is not clear how much this tweet really adds to Trumps exposure: He was already amply exposed because whatever liability the president imagined that Flynn faced, he asked the FBI director to abandon a criminal investigation. The more pressing question is when the president knew that Flynn had liedor would lie. (In a curious turn in the tale, one of his lawyers, John Dowd, has taken responsibility for composing the tweet. Something new every day: Now the lawyers are writing tweets for the president about a criminal investigation.)

Another new statement from the White House gives still more reason to question what the president knew and when he knew itor perhaps more to the point, what the president did and when he did it. The White House is now insisting that the president was not aware that Flynn had discussed sanctions with Kislyak and that Mr. Flynn denied it to him. But why would the president not have known that Flynn had such a conversation, and why would Flynn have denied it? The Trump transition opposed the sanctions, and the president and his legal team have insisted that there was nothing at all illegal, much less improper, about including the topic in the transition contacts with the Russian government. There is now documented evidence that Flynn was not a rogue official but kept in close contact with senior transition officials on this very issue. And on the day of the Dec. 29 Flynn-Kislyak conversation, the president was scheduled to speak with his national security team at 5 p.m. Why, then, this surprising denial of the presidents knowledge of the contacts with the Russians about sanctions?

The answer lies in Trumps sensitivityand the reason for that sensitivityto any suggestion that he was paying off the Russians for their help in the campaign. That this was a concern during the transition is clear from the deputy national national security adviser K.T. McFarlands December 29 emails, which reflect a preoccupation the Democrats use of sanctions policy in discrediting Trumps victory. The fear was an assault on election legitimacy, as another adviser on the email chain wrote. So Trump was then, and remains today, stuck between both defending and seeking to disavow the Flynn-Kislyak discussion. But if Trump is worried about it now, he would have been just as concerned about it at the time, and he would have had a clear motive to keep it under wraps.

Whether this resulted eventually in Flynns telling an otherwise inexplicable lie to the FBI is an entirely reasonable question. It is just as, if not more, reasonable than believing that Flynn, who observed discipline on this issue in other respects, struck out on his own in an interview with the FBI and lied to the president about a discussion about sanctions with a foreign ambassador that clearly reflected transition policy (and that therefore, he had no reason to lie about).

This history, as far as it is known, does not clearly establish that the president or someone acting at his orders directed Flynn to lie to the FBI. But Trumps well-established instinct to exaggerate, conceal or fabricateand to expect others to do so on his behalfdoes not allow this possibility to be ruled out. It is a point on which the special counsel is sure to press those with knowledge of the events.

Regardless of how the evidence develops on what Trump knew before the Flynn conversation with the Russian Ambassador, his behavior thereafter is exceedingly unhelpful to him. He knew there were major problems with Flynns account of the FBI interview, and for two weeks, he acted only to protect his national security adviser, going so far as to attempt to call off an ongoing criminal investigation.

His solicitude for Flynn continued in the period after the investigation, and his private exhortation to Flynn that he stay strong now assumes fresh significance. Perhaps, as associates of the president have suggested, the president was applying a human touch, expressing concern for a well-liked supporter and associate experiencing dark days. A less benign explanation is that Flynn was paying a high price for entering into a conversation with the Russians that was consistent with the presidents wishes and directions, including Trumps the expectation that he not admit to this specific discussion.

The question remains: Why the lying? It seems that the Flynn lies make sense if connected to the others told by Trump and others with Trumps knowledge about the Russian relationship over the course of his campaign and presidency. Trump has boasted periodically about the transformative potential of an improved diplomatic and strategic relationship with Russia. But at the same time, he has categorically rejected suggestions that the relationship was personally or politically beneficial to him. Trump denied extensive business or financial ties to Russia and any political alliance built on mutual interest, which during the campaign included a shared animus toward Clinton and the objective of electing him. In numerous instances, Trumps claims have foundered on the known facts. He and those acting under this direction have engaged in an extensive pattern of misleading and flatly false statements about the Russia relationship.

Of course, one could conclude that Trump has misread his exposure on the Russia relationship and has lied to no purpose in the end except to cause avoidable problems for himself. In other words, as some defenders of the president may argue, it all looks worse than it is, and the president cannot help making it look worse. He goes overboard and heaps falsehood on top of falsehood, even where the truth would be less harmful than the lies.

Or one could just as plausibly conclude that once Trump had for all intents and purposes made another of his dealsthis time with a foreign government and for a benefit that was political, personal, or bothhe felt compelled to embark on a program of lies and to enlist the full cooperation of is aides and associates. This is a deal he could not admit to have made. And the lying, especially the lying under his direction, may be the best evidence so far on the public record that he thought he had a deal that had to remain deniedwhatever the risk of lying.

What very plausibly motivated the specific lies in the Flynn case was a need to deny specific, private commitments to Russia that tend to support the appearance of, and substantiate the affirmative case for, what might be termed a special understanding with the Putin regime. Perhaps any such indication would have seemed especially dangerous in the immediate aftermath of the campaign, when the Russians had been identified as aggressively intervening on his behalfand with his encouragementin the election. Trump may have felt extremely uneasy about the appearance of an American quo for the Russian quid.

The McFarland and other transition team emails in late December 2016 may lead some to argue that Trump was worried only about political perceptions and political attacks. But we now know that he may have been worried about more than that. His campaign had hosted a delegation from Moscow with an offer to help with the campaign; one of his foreign policy advisers had heard prior to their release about the thousands of emails secured by the Russian government; and his son had communicated with WikiLeaks about the most fruitful exploitation of the hacked material. And this is only what has surfaced publicly.

David French, writing about the Flynn plea agreement for the National Review, prefers to separate the lying from allegations of collusion and finds plenty of the former and no evidence for the latter. He concludes that the Flynn agreement is a body blow to the collusion theory. This judgment requires a certain confined perspective on the lies and their purpose, and the presidents role in the fabrications. It is also understandably the one that the president embraced the Saturday morning after the Flynn plea deal became public. He is confident that, as he told members of the press, what has been shown is no collusion, no collusion. There has been absolutely no collusion. He added: So we’re very happy.

It appears, then, that there is emerging a defense that a number of people told foolish lies, but nothing of more global significance. The president promoted this view specifically in another post-plea statement, by tweet: It was a shame that Flynn had lied to the FBI, because his actions during the transition were lawful. He ended the tweet: There was nothing to hide!

But perhaps there was. On a more comprehensive view, when examining the Flynn lies within the overall context of the stream of misrepresentations and known facts about the Russia relationship with Trump and his 2016 campaign, the Flynn episode is a good reason to expect intense, continuing investigative focus on the Russia connection. That is a more plausible ground for the lying, and the presidents involvement in it, than anxiety about the propriety, legality or political fallout from conversations with the Russians only weeks before taking officeand about issues on which his position was well known. The question of what has been generically called collusion is what has most concerned the president, what he has most vehemently challenged, and what would most motivate him to enlist others like Flynn in a program of concealments or falsehoods. It is useful in considering this possibility to once more recall the presidents dictation of the fallacious account of the Trump Tower campaign meeting with the Russian emissaries.

All of this activity to mislead or conceal may in the end prove futile. It is now Flynns turn to talk. Meanwhile, the presidents lawyers are quietly preparing for the worst, by arguing that even if there was collusion, it would not be a crime. The Flynn plea may move the case much closer to the moment when the president and his legal team will be required to test that theory in the real world conditions of a grand-jury room and then a court.

Former Trump Aide Flynn’s Legal Woes May Have Devastating Effects on Turkey – Haaretz


Haaretz
Former Trump Aide Flynn’s Legal Woes May Have Devastating Effects on Turkey
Haaretz
It seems that Zarrab and his pricey attorneys, including former New York mayor and Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani, and Michael Mukasey, a former attorney general in the President George W. Bush administration, decided to go for a plea bargain. In exchange 
Reza Zarrab, the star witness unnerving AnkaraDigital Journal

all 110 104 news articles »

Trump fully endorses Roy Moore – CNN


CNN
Trump fully endorses Roy Moore
CNN
In the initial aftermath of the report, Trump remained mum in public and his staff suggested the President did not support Moore because he was not campaigning in Alabama. But last week, the White House announced that Trump will hold an event in 
Trump: ‘We need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama’Washington Post
Trump endorses Roy Moore for Alabama Senate seat despite sex assault allegationsUSA TODAY
Trump: ‘We need Republican Roy Moore to win’Politico
ABC News –The Hill –CBS News
all 112 news articles »
Donald Trump Endorses Roy Moore For Senate

Moore is accused of sexually harassing or assaulting several women, including some who were teenagers at the time.

The media today: ABC hands Trump a press-bashing weapon – Columbia Journalism Review


Washington Post
The media today: ABC hands Trump a press-bashing weapon
Columbia Journalism Review
For journalists covering the administration, few stories have higher stakes than the investigation into ties between the Trumpcampaign and Russian officials. So when ABC News’s Brian Ross was forced to correct his report that former National Security 
ABC News apologizes for ‘serious error’ in Trump report and suspends Brian Ross for four weeksWashington Post
RussiaTrump: President hits out at FBI over Russia inquiryBBC News
‘I never asked Comey to stop investigating Flynn’: Trump goes on tweetstorm about the FBIChicago Tribune
Newsweek –EW.com
all 2,108 news articles »
Kremlin says Putin not influenced by ex-Trump official Flynn – Reuters


Reuters
Kremlin says Putin not influenced by ex-Trump official Flynn
Reuters
… at the time expelled 35 Russian diplomats and the U.S. authorities seized two Russian diplomatic compounds in the United States. But Putin said he would wait to see how relations developed with the new Trump administration before responding. Russia 
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?Toronto Star
Kremlin says Putin not influenced by ex-US Trump official FlynnWHTC
Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions LabelBloomberg
ABC Online –Sputnik International
all 24 news articles »
Monday’s Morning Email: Trump Attacks The FBI Following Flynn Plea

And urged his followers to sue ABC News.

Mike Flynn – Google News: Levin: Mueller Destroyed Mike Flynn’s Life Like the Mob Would Do – RealClearPolitics


RealClearPolitics
Levin: Mueller Destroyed Mike Flynn’s Life Like the Mob Would Do
RealClearPolitics
On Friday’s edition of the nationally syndicated Mark Levin Show, Mark argued that the guilty plea from Mike Flynn proves one thing: There are no charges of collusion with the Russians. MARK LEVIN: So to recap, today’s news: There is no collusion with 
Trump Says He Fired Michael Flynn ‘Because He Lied’ to FBINew York Times

Trump’s lawyer offered a dubious explanation for Trump’s bombshell tweet about Michael FlynnBusiness Insider 
Trump’s Lawyer: President Knew Michael Flynn Lied To FBI Before Firing James ComeyHuffPost
 
Trump Says He Fired Michael Flynn ‘Because He Lied’ to FBINew York Times
If he did nothing wrong, why did Michael Flynn lie?

Los Angeles Times CNN
all 2,199 

CNNGizmodo
all 2,075
 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Corey Lewandowski: Michael Flynn won’t take down Trump – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
Corey Lewandowski: Michael Flynn won’t take down Trump
Washington Examiner
“If Mike Flynn was not honest with the FBI … that’s a crime that Mike is responsible for and had nothing to do with the president,” he added. In the same interview, deputy campaign manager David Bossie defended any relationship Flynn had tried to 
Corey Lewandowski: Michael Flynn charges ‘have nothing to do’ with TrumpToday.com

all 84 80 news articles »

Did creepy journalists cost Hillary Clinton the election? | Opinion – NOLA.com


NOLA.com
Did creepy journalists cost Hillary Clinton the election? | Opinion
NOLA.com
To her credit, Filipovic concedes that a lot of different factors played into Clinton’s defeat. “The 2016 presidential race was so close that any of a half-dozen factors surely influenced the outcome: James Comey, racial politics, Clinton family 

and more »

Trump obscene remarks were real – TV host Billy Bush – BBC News


BBC News
Trump obscene remarks were real – TV host Billy Bush
BBC News
Former NBC TV host Billy Bush has confirmed that he heard Donald Trump boasting about grabbing women by the genitals in a 2005 recording. In the New York Times, he said the US president was “indulging in revisionist history”, amid reports MrTrump now 
Billy Bush: ‘Of Course’ It’s Trump’s Voice On ‘Access Hollywood’ TapeNPR
Billy Bush begins comeback tour with ‘Trump said it’ op-ed, Stephen Colbert visitUSA TODAY
‘Of Course He Said It.’ Billy Bush Hits Back at Trump’s Access Hollywood Tape ClaimTIME
CBS News –Fox News –Reuters
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Donald Trump’s Lawyer Says POTUS Cannot Be Guilty Of Obstructing Justice – Deadline


Deadline
Donald Trump’s Lawyer Says POTUS Cannot Be Guilty Of Obstructing Justice
Deadline
John Dowd’s still doing damage control after Trump’s Twitter account announced on Saturday that POTUS knew Flynn had lied to the FBI when he was fired. I had to fire General Flynn because he lied to the Vice President and the FBI, @realDonaldTrump 
Donald Trump is totally not worried about Michael Flynn’s guilty pleaCNN
Hounded by Bob Mueller, Donald Trump Is Still Profoundly Reshaping the CountryDaily Beast
Trump’s uncontrollable tweeting triggers deeper anxiety among advisersPolitico
WPXI Pittsburgh –ABC News –Deutsche Welle
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Kremlin says Flynn didn’t influence Putin’s decision to not retaliate against US sanctions – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
Kremlin says Flynn didn’t influence Putin’s decision to not retaliate against US sanctions
NBCNews.com
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decision to not retaliate against the U.S. after Washington levied a new round of sanctions last year was not influenced by Michael Flynn, the Kremlin said Monday. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin himself
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?Toronto Star
US govt could ‘lose perspective’ & move towards war – Oliver StoneRT

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The Early Edition: December 4, 2017 – Just Security


USA TODAY
The Early Edition: December 4, 2017
Just Security
Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn pled guilty to lying to the F.B.I. on Friday and said that a senior Trump transition official told him to make contact with Russia. A brief by special counsel Robert Mueller alleged that Flynn 
Byron York: In Trump-Russia probe, was it all about the Logan Act?Washington Examiner
‘Closer to the bullseye’: How damning is Michael Flynn’s guilty plea for Trump?SBS
Kushner said to have ordered Flynn to contact RussiaThe Edge Markets MY
Mic –Haaretz –Politico
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Trump’s Lawyer: President Knew Michael Flynn Lied To FBI Before Firing James Comey

But attorney John Dowd has also said the president can’t obstruct justice.

Russian politician says Donald Trump extremely dangerous for Russia – Pravda

Russian politician says Donald Trump extremely dangerous for Russia
Pravda
The control of all types of strategic offensive weapons is Russia’s national interest,” he added. Grigory Yavlinsky, the founder of Yabloko party, believes that US President Donald Trump is “extremely unpleasant and even dangerous for us.” “He does not 

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