A Wave of Political-Sexual Correctness Sweeping Through Washington – The Costa Rica Star

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The Costa Rica Star
A Wave of Political-Sexual Correctness Sweeping Through Washington
The Costa Rica Star
In the past few weeks Franken has been accused of sexual misconduct that allegedly occurred in the past 15-years by numerous women whose numbers grew day after day, who claimed inappropriate touching, kissing and basically he acted like a jerk. In the 

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12:21 PM 12/10/2017 – The Trump-Russia Probe Is About to Get Uglier – Bloomberg

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The Trump-Russia Probe Is About to Get Uglier – Bloomberg

Data: Republican Party ID drops after Trump election – NBCNews.com
Super Putin: Exhibition Depicting Trump’s Favourite Russian as Superhero Opens in Moscow – Newsweek
James Comey slams weak Donald Trump
Prosecutors say emails prove Manafort heavily edited Ukraine op-ed – 41 NBC News
Trump – Google News: Trump Thinks People Should Be Fired for Misrepresenting the Truth on Twitter – New York Magazine
trump under federal investigation – Google News: Is Trump going to fire Mueller? 6 disturbing signs. – ThinkProgress
US elections and russia – Google News: US may sanction Russian firms that built banned missile – New York Post
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: Russia has MORE sleeper agents in UK now than during the Cold War, expert warns MPs – Express.co.uk
Palmer Report: The maddening part of Michael Flynns plea deal against Donald Trump
Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: We thought the Cold War was over – Santa Fe New Mexican
Palmer Report: Donald Trump just reminded us he truly is a psychopath
Comey resignation – Google News: Trump partisans attack America from within – Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Impeachment hysteria from the left knows no end – New Jersey Herald
trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Impeachment hysteria knows no end – Grand Island Independent
trump as putin’s puppet – Google News: OPINION | Patrick Buchanan: Is Flynn’s defection a death blow? – The Livingston Parish News (press release)
Trump and Russia – Google News: A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia – The Guardian
trump russian money – Google News: A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia – The Guardian
A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia – The Guardian
trump criminal investigation – Google News: A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia – The Guardian
The Public Pulse: Mueller’s aimless investigation – Omaha World-Herald
Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Fake Twitter accounts boost mass hashtag protest as part of Russian backlash against Winter Olympics ban – Firstpost
Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: Russian Analyst Timofeev: Russia Should Lower Its Profile, Accumulate Resources And Only Then Reassert Itself As A … – Middle East Media Research Institute
Putin and American political process – Google News: The FBI Is No Friend of Liberty and Justice – Reason
michael flynn – Google News: FBI Handling of Michael Flynn Case Is Disturbing: New at Reason – Reason (blog)

 

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The Trump-Russia Probe Is About to Get Uglier – Bloomberg


Bloomberg
The Trump-Russia Probe Is About to Get Uglier
Bloomberg
Equally clear is that no matter what is revealed, Trump and his allies won’t go quietly. Already, some congressional Republicans are trying to smear Mueller, the most experienced and respected special counsel in more than 40 years. If cornered, does 
A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and RussiaThe Guardian
Trump escalates ‘rigged system’ rhetoric amid Russia probeCNN
The campaign to delegitimize the Russia probe is well under wayLos Angeles Times
BBC News –NPR –Business Insider –NPR
all 788 news articles »
Data: Republican Party ID drops after Trump election – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
Data: Republican Party ID drops after Trump election
NBCNews.com
Donald Trump’s presidential win was a boon for the Republican Party in Washington, consolidating the GOP’s control of the Oval Office, Senate and House of Representatives. But beyond the Beltway, poll data suggests the election has had the opposite 

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Super Putin: Exhibition Depicting Trump’s Favourite Russian as Superhero Opens in Moscow – Newsweek


Newsweek
Super Putin: Exhibition Depicting Trump’s Favourite Russian as Superhero Opens in Moscow
Newsweek
Critics argue that the absence of an independent media in Russia and any serious rivals to Putin warps opinion polls. A cult of personality has sprung up around the Russian president, whose macho propaganda stunts are regularly broadcast by the Kremlin 

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James Comey slams weak Donald Trump

Former FBI Director James Comey can only sit back and watch as his Trump-Russia investigation is ultimately carried out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Trump fired Comey to try to sabotage the investigation, leaving Comey sidelined even as Mueller picks Trump apart. That hasn’t kept Comey from periodically weighing in, however. Just as Trump was taking the stage for an embarrassingly narcissistic display at a pointless rally on Friday night, Comey took to Twitter to slam him.

Comey has taken to largely speaking in historical quotes, and as the narcissistic Trump was taking the stage to seek applause from his remaining fanatics, Comey settled on a quote from Edmund Burke. Comey tweeted “Applause is the spur of noble minds, the end and aim of weak ones.” There was no question whatsoever that Comey was aiming his quote directly at Trump, and thus calling him “weak.”

James Comey doesn’t tweet often, but when he does, it’s usually a response or veiled warning shot at Trump. For instance, his previous tweet was about a meeting with the publisher of his upcoming book, which is largely an expose into his troubling stretch dealing with Trump: “In NYC to meet with my publisher. Hope leadership book will be useful. Reassuring to see Lady Liberty standing tall even in rough weather.”

Meanwhile Robert Mueller has arrested four of Donald Trump’s people in the Russia scandal, and two of them have already pleaded guilty. The investigation is still ramping up, and it’s a matter of when, not if, Trump is taken down.

The post James Comey slams “weak” Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

Prosecutors say emails prove Manafort heavily edited Ukraine op-ed – 41 NBC News


41 NBC News
Prosecutors say emails prove Manafort heavily edited Ukraine op-ed
41 NBC News
Prosecutors also said Voloshyn was not the principal author of the piece, but that Manafort was working with Konstantin Kilimnik. In their earlier filing, prosecutors had said Manafort was working with an unnamed individual with ties to Russian 
Manafort Denies Defying Gag Order With Op-Ed WorkLaw360 
Mueller has 400000 documents in Manafort, Gates probeGephardt Daily

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Trump – Google News: Trump Thinks People Should Be Fired for Misrepresenting the Truth on Twitter – New York Magazine


New York Magazine
Trump Thinks People Should Be Fired for Misrepresenting the Truth on Twitter
New York Magazine
On Saturday, President Trump demanded an apology from Washington Post reporter Dave Weigel over a tweet that Weigel sent earlier in the day incorrectly calling into question Trump’s boast about the crowd size at his Friday night rally in Florida. After 
President Trump calls for Washington Post reporter who apologized for inaccurate tweet to be firedWashington Post
Trump takes aim at CNN and a Washington Post reporter over erroneous reportingPolitico
Washington Post reporter apologizes to Donald Trump in horrific Twitter nightmareAV Club
The Hill –Slate Magazine
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 Trump – Google News

trump under federal investigation – Google News: Is Trump going to fire Mueller? 6 disturbing signs. – ThinkProgress


ThinkProgress
Is Trump going to fire Mueller? 6 disturbing signs.
ThinkProgress
No one really knows what Donald Trump will do next not even Donald Trump. But with Robert Mueller racking up indictments and 2017 drawing to a close, there are several indications that Trump is considering sacking the special counsel. Firing Mueller 
The Russia Investigations: Knife Fights Over Feds, Trump Jr … – NPRNPR
Pardoning Flynn Is a Very Good Idea: Trump’s Legal Strategy Is Really a PR StrategyVanity Fair
Mueller’s Investigation Just Got Some InsuranceBloomberg
New York Times –The Hill –The Daily Caller
all 2,257 news articles »

 trump under federal investigation – Google News

US elections and russia – Google News: US may sanction Russian firms that built banned missile – New York Post


New York Post
US may sanction Russian firms that built banned missile
New York Post
They are not supported by the technical characteristics of the launch installation, which allegedly does not comply with the treaty, or by flight telemetry data. Nothing. The issue adds further tension to relations between Moscow and Washington 
If US withdraws from INF treaty, Russia will have to respond in kind deputy FMRT
Russia says it is fully committed to nuclear missile pactReuters
US statements on range of new Russian cruise missile contrary to facts diplomatTASS
Sputnik International –The Gazette: Eastern Iowa Breaking News and Headlines
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 US elections and russia – Google News

Russian Intelligence services – Google News: Russia has MORE sleeper agents in UK now than during the Cold War, expert warns MPs – Express.co.uk


Express.co.uk
Russia has MORE sleeper agents in UK now than during the Cold War, expert warns MPs
Express.co.uk
“These hand-picked, deep-cover intelligence officers live abroad under assumed ‘legends’: carefully constructed false foreign identities and life stories (over decades in some cases), allowing ‘illegals’ to blend in. “Nowadays, UK CI and CE 

 Russian Intelligence services – Google News

Palmer Report: The maddening part of Michael Flynns plea deal against Donald Trump

Make no mistake: Michael Flynn’s plea deal against Donald Trump was the best possible outcome for us and Robert Mueller, and it was the worst possible outcome for Trump. If Mueller had been forced to arrest an uncooperative Flynn, it would have been a failure, because the entire point was to get him to flip. There is however, in the short term, a maddening aspect to Flynn’s deal. I suspect you share my pain on this.

Seeing Michael Flynn in handcuffs, after the things he did to this country, would have been cathartic but I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about the short term impact that his arrest would have had in terms of moving the public forward on this scandal. All along, much of the public has been hearing “Trump committed treason with Russia” from one side and “Russia is fake news” from the other side, and they’ve been waiting to see which way things actually went.

The arrest of Trump’s campaign chairman Paul Manafort six weeks ago was a big deal that convinced a lot of people of the “realness” of the Trump-Russia scandal. If Michael Flynn had been arrested on the full boat of charges he was facing, including conspiracy to commit kidnapping and all the other cartoon villain stuff he’s accused of, it would have set off pandemonium among the public. Trump’s National Security Adviser tried to kidnap a guy as part of the Trump-Russia scandal? How many heads would that have turned? Trump-Russia would have become something straight out of the O.J. trial.

Because Michael Flynn cut a deal instead, the general public wasn’t hit with the shock value of what would have been one of the most surreal arrests of all time. Those of us paying attention have figured out that his extraordinarily lenient deal means he turned over proof that Donald Trump and the other big fish are guilty. We know where this is going. Yet for the moment, a whole lot of people are still left wondering just how “real” this scandal is. For that, we’ll have to wait for the arrest of one of the bigger fish Flynn flipped on.

The post The maddening part of Michael Flynn’s plea deal against Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: We thought the Cold War was over – Santa Fe New Mexican


Santa Fe New Mexican
We thought the Cold War was over
Santa Fe New Mexican
Kennan wrote: At the bottom of the Kremlin’s neurotic view of world affairs is the traditional and instinctive Russian sense of insecurity. He went on to say that the Soviet Union was a political force committed fanatically to make certain that 

 Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News

Palmer Report: Donald Trump just reminded us he truly is a psychopath

I’m not a medical professional, but in the time since I began covering Donald Trump, I’ve had to spent a fair amount of time discussing him with medical professionals. I’ve had it explained to me that in layman’s terms, a sociopath is someone who harms others for his own gain without any remorse, while a psychopath is someone who enjoys harming others so thoroughly, he doesn’t care if it harms himself in the process. Tonight, Trump reminded us that he truly is a psychopath.

Donald Trump’s entire foray into politics has consisted of lying every time he opens his mouth, in the most confusing ways possible, forcing the media to spend its time unraveling his lies instead of investigating his criminal scandals, and yelling “fake news” at the media whether they end up being able to accurately get to the bottom of his lies or not. As a self-interested sociopathic strategy, it’s worked surprisingly well.

Trump has told thousands of documented lies, journalists have had to waste millions of collective hours exposing those lies, and yet his idiot supporters choose to believe those lies anyway. But tonight was a reminder that even when Trump’s strategy works, he still finds a way to screw it up for himself. For instance, Trump has constantly and bizarrely lied about crowd size his inauguration and his rallies. The media regularly has to report on those lies. Over the weekend, respected reporter Dave Weigel of the Washington Post swung and missed on crowd size while trying to do his job in good faith.

Trump posted a tweet demanding that Weigel apologize, so Weigel did precisely that. Trump won. He caught a reporter’s inaccuracy about him, and he got that reporter to admit it, too. Trump’s overall “fake news” mantra is garbage, but for once he scored. So what did he do? He responded to Weigel’s apology by suddenly demanding that Weigel be fired.

In so doing, Donald Trump blew his opportunity. Instead of the story being that he caught the media making a mistake in its reporting about him, the story is that Trump went completely berserk even after his initial demands were promptly met. It wasn’t enough for Trump to win at the expense of someone who hadn’t really done anything wrong. He was so desperate to harm this reporter, he ended up harming himself in the process. He’s not just a sociopath. He’s a psychopath. It’ll help bring him down in the end.

The post Donald Trump just reminded us he truly is a psychopath appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Comey resignation – Google News: Trump partisans attack America from within – Lockport Union-Sun & Journal


TIME

Newsweek
Trump partisans attack America from within
Lockport Union-Sun & Journal
Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., called former FBI director James B. Comey an “egomaniac rogue” and speculated that the FBI paid for the “dossier” on Trump’s activities in Russia. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., speculated that anti-Trump bias led the FBI to conclude 
WATCH: Sanders says there is no conflict between Trump and FBI Director WrayPBS NewsHour 
Donald Trump Will Soon Fire Robert Mueller, But Russia Investigation Can Continue Anyway, Experts SayThe Inquisitr
 
What Trump has said about Michael Flynn since firing him550 KTSA

The GOP’s all-out assault on justiceWashington Post 
NPRCNN
all 812 
Brinkwire (press release)
all 2,279
 news articles »

 Comey resignation – Google News

trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Impeachment hysteria from the left knows no end – New Jersey Herald


Washington Examiner
Impeachment hysteria from the left knows no end
New Jersey Herald
Then there are all the Democrats Mueller has surrounded himself with as he investigates the Russian ties of a Republican president. Not the least of the biased hands on deck was an FBI investigator reportedly dismissed because of anti-Trumpmessages 
Press backpedals on Trump collusion charge, focuses on obstructionWashington Examiner
Mueller’s Investigation Just Got Some InsuranceBloomberg
FBI director rebukes Trump, says the FBI’s reputation isn’t ‘in tatters’ and ‘worst in history’Business Insider
The Hill –Slate Magazine
all 2,265 news articles »

 trump as danger to National Security – Google News

trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Impeachment hysteria knows no end – Grand Island Independent


Washington Examiner
Impeachment hysteria knows no end
Grand Island Independent
Then there are all the Democrats Mueller has surrounded himself with as he investigates the Russian ties of a Republican president. Not the least of the biased hands on deck was an FBI investigator reportedly dismissed because of anti-Trumpmessages 
Press backpedals on Trump collusion charge, focuses on obstructionWashington Examiner
Obstruction of justice watch: Trump attacks the FBIThe Hill
Doug Thompson: Cover-up is the bigger dangerNorthwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Slate Magazine
all 1,416 1,402 news articles »

 trump as danger to National Security – Google News

trump as putin’s puppet – Google News: OPINION | Patrick Buchanan: Is Flynn’s defection a death blow? – The Livingston Parish News (press release)


The Livingston Parish News (press release)
OPINION | Patrick Buchanan: Is Flynn’s defection a death blow?
The Livingston Parish News (press release)
After all, Hillary Clinton, who accused Trump of being ‘Putin’s puppet,’ lost. Flynn, it now appears, was not freelancing, but following instructions. His deputy, K. T. McFarland, sent an email to six Trump advisers saying that Obama, by expelling the 
Is Flynn’s Defection a Death Blow?Rasmussen Reports

all 1,406 news articles »

 trump as putin’s puppet – Google News

Trump and Russia – Google News: A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia – The Guardian


The Guardian
A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia
The Guardian
Illegitimate and corrupt. Using the FBI as a political weapon and America’s secret police. Secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment and threats. It’s like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of the night, banging through your 
Trump escalates ‘rigged system’ rhetoric amid Russia probe …CNN
RussiaTrump: FBI chief Wray defends agencyBBC News
TrumpRussia And Beyond: 3 Tough Questions As FBI Director Heads To CongressNPR
Business Insider –RT –CNSNews.com –NPR
all 739 news articles »

 Trump and Russia – Google News

trump russian money – Google News: A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia – The Guardian


The Guardian
A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia
The Guardian
There was little doubting the mood among Trump’s core support at a rally in Pensacola, Florida on Friday night. Mike Newell, dressed in gear proclaiming that he was a marines veteran, dismissed the investigation as a big joke, adding that it was all 
Trump’s impeachment odds might be droppingMetro US
Trump attorney says they ‘remain confident’ despite intensifying Mueller probe: reportThe Hill
The 10 Events You Need To Know To Understand The Michael Flynn StoryNPR
CNN
all 746 news articles »

 trump russian money – Google News

A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia – The Guardian


LifeZette

The Western Journal
A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia
The Guardian
Illegitimate and corrupt. Using the FBI as a political weapon and America’s secret police. Secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment and threats. It’s like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of the night, banging through your  
Is the Mueller Probe Biased Against Trump? FBI Director Says Agents Are Allowed Political OpinionsNewsweek

FBI Director Christopher Wray defends bureau after Trump calls it ‘in tatters’Los Angeles Times
FBI Director Christopher Wray Defends His Agency On Capitol HillNPR 
Mueller Investigation Rocked: Top FBI Agent’s Election Night Whereabouts ExposedThe Western Journal

The Hill Chicago TribuneLifeZetteNPR
all 756 LifeZetteChicago Tribune
all 755
 
news articles »
trump criminal investigation – Google News: A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia – The Guardian


The Guardian
A battle for public opinion: Trump goes to war over Mueller and Russia
The Guardian
Among the examples cited by Stelter were White House press secretary Sarah Sanders’ father, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, who told Monday’s Fox & Friends: There needs to be an investigation of the investigation. Another was Lou Dobbs on Fox 
‘He was thrown to the wolves’: Former FBI agents defend ousted Mueller investigator as Trump attacks ‘rigged’ DOJBusiness Insider
Trump, Russia And Beyond: 3 Tough Questions As FBI Director Heads To CongressNPR
Republicans Raise Specter of Anti-Trump Political Bias at FBIBloomberg
Reuters –Los Angeles Times –Online Athens –NPR
all 782 news articles »

 trump criminal investigation – Google News

The Public Pulse: Mueller’s aimless investigation – Omaha World-Herald


Omaha World-Herald
The Public Pulse: Mueller’s aimless investigation
Omaha World-Herald
Robert Mueller: The former FBI director was appointed to head the special counsel investigating potential involvement of the Trump campaign in efforts made by the Russians to influence the 2016 presidential election. J. SCOTT APPLEWHITE / AP FILE 

and more »

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Fake Twitter accounts boost mass hashtag protest as part of Russian backlash against Winter Olympics ban – Firstpost


Firstpost
Fake Twitter accounts boost mass hashtag protest as part of Russian backlash against Winter Olympics ban
Firstpost
Social media companies, including Twitter, are under intense scrutiny in the United States where lawmakers suspect their platforms were used as part of an alleged Russian effort to sway the 2016 US presidential election in favour of Donald Trump. The 
Russian Bots Manipulate Online Conversation About Olympics, Sexual HarassmentObserver
The Cool War: Putin’s Twitter trolls are fighting to undermine Britain and wreck our economy, warns Defence SecretaryDaily Mail

all 345 322 news articles »

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: Russian Analyst Timofeev: Russia Should Lower Its Profile, Accumulate Resources And Only Then Reassert Itself As A … – Middle East Media Research Institute


Middle East Media Research Institute
Russian Analyst Timofeev: Russia Should Lower Its Profile, Accumulate Resources And Only Then Reassert Itself As A …
Middle East Media Research Institute
Timofeev explained: “China exposed the ideological unity of the international left on the world arena as ephemeral, and this was a much harder blow to the Soviet Union.” Timofeev then added: “On the ideological level, the falling out with China and the

 Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News

Putin and American political process – Google News: The FBI Is No Friend of Liberty and Justice – Reason


Reason
The FBI Is No Friend of Liberty and Justice
Reason
And perhaps more important, Kislyak was not looking for favors from Flynn; on the contrary, Flynn was lobbying the Russians (successfully on the sanctionsVladimir Putin did not retaliateand unsuccessfully on the UN resolution.) Where’s the evidence

and more »

 Putin and American political process – Google News

michael flynn – Google News: FBI Handling of Michael Flynn Case Is Disturbing: New at Reason – Reason (blog)


Reason (blog)
FBI Handling of Michael Flynn Case Is Disturbing: New at Reason
Reason (blog)
But the FBI has never been a friend of liberty and justice, writes Sheldon Richman. And the Michael Flynn case doesn’t seem to be an exception. Flynn, the retired lieutenant general who spent less than a month as Donald Trump’s national-security 

and more »

 michael flynn – Google News


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9:45 AM 12/9/2017 – Dozens of Russian ‘imposter accounts’ run by Kremlin-backed agency posed as US news outlets on Twitter, study finds – The Independent

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Dozens of Russian ‘imposter accounts’ run by Kremlin-backed agency posed as US news outlets on Twitter, study finds – The Independent

Russian propaganda once again seeking to “topple” Angela Merkel – UNIAN
War in 140 Characters by David Patrikarakos from trenches to Twitter – Financial Times
War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the … – Vox
Trumping Democracy: Buying And Selling Your Profile – Malibu Arts Journal
Is Media Driving Americans Apart? – New York Times
Company That Ran Trump’s Campaign Has Arrived in Brazil – Folha de S.Paulo
Rampant social media misuse puts future of popular platforms at risk … – CBC.ca
Trump Campaign’s Data Vendor, Cambridge Analytica, Says It Is Moving Away From US Politics – Forbes
Rep. Jim Jordan Asks FBI Director: Did Peter Strzok Use the Dossier … – Breitbart News
The Justice Department-Trump dossier connection – Fox News
The Daily Vertical: Let The Power Games Begin
Steve Bannon officially discloses source of $2 million in personal debt – Center for Public Integrity
The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West
Michael Flynns Shady Past at DIA and Before Reveals He Was a Fraud
Every Secret Trump / Russia Contact: Chronologically – HuffPost
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s hiring practices under FBI investigation: report
Congress Must Charge Stonewalling DOJ, FBI With Contempt – Newsmax
How Russia Cheats – The New York Times
europe far right – Google Search
neo-fascism – Google Search
CEO of Trump Campaign Data Firm Will Testify to House Panel in Russia Probe – Bloomberg
NPR News Now: NPR News: 12-09-2017 7AM ET
As I See It: The Puerto Rico experiment – The Daily News of Newburyport
Column: Annus Horribilis – SouthFloridaGayNews.com

 

Saved Stories – None
Dozens of Russian ‘imposter accounts’ run by Kremlin-backed agency posed as US news outlets on Twitter, study finds – The Independent


The Independent
Dozens of Russian ‘imposter accounts’ run by Kremlin-backed agency posed as US news outlets on Twitter, study finds
The Independent
He used to check Twitter almost every day to read the news, until he decided to quit last month (though he didn’t delete his account). Twitter recently revealed that more than 36,000 Russian-linked accounts generated about 1.4 million automated 

and more »

Russian propaganda once again seeking to “topple” Angela Merkel – UNIAN


UNIAN
Russian propaganda once again seeking to “topple” Angela Merkel
UNIAN
It is time for Merkel to go that’s about everything Russian propaganda publications offer, while clearly playing into the hands of the Kremlin strategists who have long been seeking to divide Europe by toppling its strongest leader, LB.ua reports 

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War in 140 Characters by David Patrikarakos from trenches to Twitter – Financial Times


Financial Times
War in 140 Characters by David Patrikarakos from trenches to Twitter
Financial Times
War in 140 Characters is a fascinating tour of how social media is being used in conflict the world over, from the propagandaand recruiting frequently covered in the press, to how informal groups are gathering to fact-check claims online. The tale of 

War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the … – Vox


Vox
War in 140 characters: how social media is reshaping conflict in the 
Vox
“There was this utopian idea that the internet would set us free.”

and more » 21st century
Vox
Social media has transformed the way that wars are waged, covered, and consumed. David Patrikarakos, a London-based author and journalist, begins his book War in 140 Characters with this claim. Though wars are still fought on the battlefield, they …
War in 140 Characters by David Patrikarakos from trenches to TwitterFinancial Times

all 2 news articles »

Trumping Democracy: Buying And Selling Your Profile – Malibu Arts Journal


Malibu Arts Journal
Trumping Democracy: Buying And Selling Your Profile
Malibu Arts Journal
This narrow lens highlights the lingering ideological problems left by Trumping Democracy. Mercer backed Brexit and Trump, okay, but why? Why have Facebook, Twitter, and Google been allowed to collect and sell user data? Why do shabbily-dressed

Is Media Driving Americans Apart? – New York Times


New York Times
Is Media Driving Americans Apart?
New York Times
The digital world offers no shortage of potential villains: targeted Russian ads; shadowy purveyors of fake news; political consultants like Cambridge Analytica wielding big data and cutting edge psychology; and formerly fringe media players like 

Company That Ran Trump’s Campaign Has Arrived in Brazil – Folha de S.Paulo


Folha de S.Paulo
Company That Ran Trump’s Campaign Has Arrived in Brazil
Folha de S.Paulo
Of the many controversial aspects surrounding Trump’s presidential campaign, at least one has been exported to Brazil and will most likely be a part of the 2018 election. Cambridge Analytica is a pioneering company that merges behavioral psychology 

Rampant social media misuse puts future of popular platforms at risk … – CBC.ca


CBC.ca
Rampant social media misuse puts future of popular platforms at risk 
CBC.ca
Social media was designed to help us keep up with friends and share photos, to unite diverse people with distinct ideas and democratize the way we discover information. Instead, they’ve fostered the rampant spread of propaganda and untruths, enabled
 

CBC.ca
… post, comment on and share online are then used to sway your sentiment “and have purportedly been responsible for the Brexit vote, led to President Trump’s election victory, led to an increase in the polarization of people’s beliefs to extremes
 

and more »

Trump Campaign’s Data Vendor, Cambridge Analytica, Says It Is Moving Away From US Politics – Forbes


Forbes
Trump Campaign’s Data Vendor, Cambridge Analytica, Says It Is Moving Away From US Politics
Forbes
As investigators continue to probe the 2016 presidential election, one of Donald Trump’s primary partnersdata companyCambridge Analyticasays it has shifted its focus away from U.S. politics. The company, which entered the U.S. political market in 

Rep. Jim Jordan Asks FBI Director: Did Peter Strzok Use the Dossier … – Breitbart News


Breitbart News
The Justice Department-Trump dossier connection – Fox News


Fox News
The Justice Department-Trump dossier connection
Fox News
WALLACE: I want to go back to the other point, though, because a lot of the focus today was on this FBI agent Peter Strzokwho was removed from the campaign in July after Robert Mueller, removed from the investigation in July after Robert Mueller found 

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The Daily Vertical: Let The Power Games Begin

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From: rferlonline
Duration: 01:56

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.
Originally published at – https://www.rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-let-power-games-begin/28905016.html

Steve Bannon officially discloses source of $2 million in personal debt – Center for Public Integrity

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Center for Public Integrity
Steve Bannon officially discloses source of $2 million in personal debt
Center for Public Integrity
Fired Trump lieutenant’s reveal follows investigation by Center for Public Integrity.
We now know who Steve Bannon owes $2 million – Raw StoryRaw Story

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The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West

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At the beginning of 2017, it appeared as if the strained relationship between Russia and the West was about to undergo a substantial shift. U.S. President Donald Trump, who had campaigned on a platform of improving relations with Russia, was about to be inaugurated. Upcoming elections in the core European Union states of France and Germany offered the possibility that Euroskeptic parties would rise to power, leading to a major change in those countries’ positions, including on maintaining sanctions against Russia. Furthermore, it appeared as if solidarity within NATO, as well as support for Western-leaning states like Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, was in danger of weakening substantially.

But as 2018 approaches, it’s clear that instead of waning, Western pressure against Russia has intensified. In the United States, lawmakers wrested the power to withdraw U.S. sanctions against Russia away from the president, partially as a result of the numerous investigations launched into the extent of Russian interference in U.S. elections. Trump essentially was forced to cede his power to unilaterally lift the penalties in July, and Congress subsequently enacted a stronger sanctions regime against Moscow.

In France, the National Front, a Euroskeptic party, and its pro-Russian presidential candidate Marine Le Pen reached the second round of the country’s presidential election, but Le Pen lost to centrist Emmanuel Macron in the decisive vote. Russia certainly had tried to influence the result in favor of Le Pen, but the exposure of the cyberwarfare and information campaigns it had used to try to influence the outcome of U.S. elections and the revelation that the Kremlin was employing the same techniques in Europe, blunted their effectiveness. The same held true during the German general elections in September, where despite Russian efforts, the anti-establishment Alternative for Germany party did not gain substantial traction, even though it did outperform expectations. After the dust of the European elections settled, the European Union maintained its cohesiveness, and its members voted unanimously to extend sanctions against Russia through the end of 2017.

In the meantime, neither the European Union nor NATO has backed away from the countries on the European/Russian borderland. The United States and the European bloc have been steadfast in their support for Ukraine, and NATO has followed through with the deployment of semipermanent battalions to Poland and the Baltic states. On its side of the border, Russia has built up its forces as well, and while there has been no major confrontation between Russia and NATO, their military standoff has maintained the intensity of past years.

What’s Ahead in 2018?

Several key issues will shape the direction of ties between Russia and the West in 2018. One is the conflict between Russian-backed separatist forces and the Ukrainian government in Ukraine’s east, which is entering its fourth year. Following an escalation of violence along the frontlines in the separatist Donbas region shortly after Trump’s inauguration, military activity has decreased in intensity in recent months. The conflict has now taken on the “semi-frozen” nature typical of those in other Russian-backed breakaway territories in the former Soviet space. In the meantime, diplomatic activity between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian separatist conflict picked up after a suggestion by Russian President Vladimir Putin in September that a U.N. peacekeeping force be deployed to Eastern Ukraine.

Putin’s proposal and associated diplomatic efforts have raised the question of whether the end of the Ukrainian conflict could be in sight in 2018. But given the gap between Russia and the West over the nature and parameters of a potential U.N. mission in Donbas, prolonged negotiations are likely before any agreement could be struck. Russia, on one hand, has suggested the deployment of a limited force purely to protect observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on the line of contact between Ukrainian security forces and the separatists. But Ukraine and the United States have both called for a deployment to span all of Donbas, including along the border between the separatist territory and Russia. That option essentially would represent a complete abandonment of Russia’s strategic position in Donbas, given that Moscow is thought to funnel troops and weapons to support the rebels over the border. While Russia can use the peacekeeping proposal to show its willingness to negotiate over the conflict in an effort to stave off additional Western pressure, it does not mean that Russia will capitulate to the Ukrainian-U.S. position. What’s more, Russia could drive an escalation of fighting if it suited its needs.

Depending on what ongoing U.S. investigations over Russian election meddling reveal, the United States could escalate its sanctions regime against Russia. And although Trump does not support it, key members of his administration are openly considering sending lethal weaponry to Ukraine. If the United States decides to take either of those actions, Moscow could choose to respond by escalating the conflict in Eastern Ukraine — or responding elsewhere in an asymmetric fashion.

A longtime driver of tensions between Russia and the West has been the ongoing military buildup by both sides along the European borderlands, which shows no signs of slowing. Russia is expected to permanently deploy Iskander short-range ballistic missile systems to its Kaliningrad enclave on a permanent basis at the beginning of 2018, while NATO will set up new Atlantic and logistics commands, as well as increase coordination efforts on Black Sea patrols and cyberdefense capabilities. The continued buildups could add pressure that would interfere with the resumption of already stalled arms control talks between the United States and Russia.

Michael Flynns Shady Past at DIA and Before Reveals He Was a Fraud

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Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, leaves following his plea hearing at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse December 1, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The fall from grace of retired Lieutenant General Mike Flynn is one of the strangest sagas in the annals of America’s military and intelligence services. Just one year ago, his star could hardly have been more ascendant, named as the National Security Advisor to newly-elected President Donald Trump. However, he flamed out of that job in just 24 days, a record. Then, last week, he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about discussions with top Russians, leaving his reputation is in tatters.

How all this happened will be debated for years as the full saga of the Trump White House’s secret ties to Moscow unfolds and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation moves forward like a steamroller, slowly crushing all in its wake. Flynn, the military intelligence professional turned felon, will feature prominently in that sordid story. Now that he’s cooperating with Mueller against President Trump, copping per his plea deal to a relatively minor charge that he may serve no jail time for, Flynn’s role has changed, but it’s no less important.

Just how deeply enmeshed Flynn was with the Russians is now coming into focus. Public embarrassments like appearing at the 10th anniversary gala for RT, Moscow’s propaganda network—including sitting at the head table with Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president—were just the tip of the iceberg. That Flynn took Kremlin money for that controversial appearance should have hinted at worse misdeeds.

For instance, Flynn was lobbying for Russian interests, including lucrative nuclear power deals around the world. This is hardly a normal retirement job for pensioned U.S. Army generals. It now appears Flynn was involved with this while serving as Trump’s national security consigliere. He’s reported to have texted a business colleague that a big nuclear deal was “good to go,” meaning Flynn could now get sanctions lifted off Russia, in the middle of Trump’s inaugural address last January.

What makes Flynn’s implosion especially shocking is this represents his second major career blow-up in five years. His initial fall from grace came in August 2014, when President Barack Obama cashiered him as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency after two difficult years in that job. Although Flynn, in his usual dissimulating fashion, portrayed his firing as a political act—weak President Obama, unserious about the jihadist threat, was threatened by Flynn’s straight talk about terrorism, the story went—the truth is Flynn was dumped from DIA for incompetence. That seldom happens in Washington, and it is nearly unheard-of at top levels of our Intelligence Community.

His tenure there was a disaster, marred by arrogance, cluelessness, and gross mismanagement. As I’ve previously reported:

DIA has always been an also-ran in our Intelligence Community—a dumping ground where military careers go to die more often than prosper—but Flynn believed he could be the boss who turned DIA around to match CIA and NSA in the Washington spy game. Alas, he was wrong.

The civilian workforce at DIA is uninspired even by Beltway standards, and they objected when Flynn repeatedly threatened them with firing if they didn’t submit to his radical plans for the agency. It turned out Flynn was better at thinking about Big Ideas than actually implementing them, and his reform plans for DIA went essentially nowhere.

After two years under Flynn, DIA employees had enough and were in more-or-less open revolt. The final straw came with a bizarre presentation to the workforce by a staffer which encouraged women to not be “Plain Jane” and wear makeup at work: “No flats…Paint your nails…Brunettes have more leeway with vibrant colors than blondes or redheads.”

Although Flynn apologized to his agency, the damage was done. The White House had no choice but to move him out, along with his deputy—a rare move in the Department of Defense to cashier a whole leadership team.

In the aftermath of Flynn’s epic flameout at DIA, it merits asking why he was ever considered for that job at all. There’s an interesting backstory here that requires a bit of unpacking yet reveals the essential fraudulence of the entire Flynn enterprise.

Commissioned in the Army in 1981, for most of his career Flynn was never a major player in the Army or the IC. He was a tactical intelligence guy, and he fatefully lashed himself to Stanley McChrystal, one of the fastest-rising generals in the Army after 9/11. Flynn’s career rose between 2004 and 2007, when he served as the intelligence boss for the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command, the spooky snake-eaters who at the time were killing terrorists all over Iraq and Afghanistan. In the mid-aughts, under General McChrystal, JSOC was transformed into a highly lethal secret outfit, and Flynn played a major role there.

Specifically, Flynn oversaw the development of timely, multi-source tactical intelligence that aided JSOC in killing terrorists at an unprecedented rate. Intelligence-driven targeting of bad guys was a big hit with the brass inside the Beltway, and Flynn’s name began to get noticed beyond JSOC. There were always whispers, however, that Flynn was claiming credit for important work done by his underlings, which wouldn’t be unusual in our military.

Flynn was still a relative unknown in spy circles, but that changed at the beginning of 2010, when a sensational study appeared that lambasted American intelligence performance in Afghanistan. Titled Fixing Intel, this was a wonky jeremiad that pulled no punches, using words like “marginally relevant,” “ignorant,” “hazy,” and “incurious” to describe U.S. intelligence work in Afghanistan in a scathing fashion.

What made this particularly odd was the study’s author was the intelligence boss of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan at the time: Mike Flynn. He listed himself as the lead author, alongside two junior analysts. It’s not every day that the boss publicly attacks his own organization, recommending its complete overhaul on grounds that it has utterly failed.

Even more noteworthy was that the study was published by a Washington think-tank, the Center for New American Security. Flynn had jumped outside the Pentagon to attack his own organization, something that troubled some policymakers in the nation’s capital. However, as a means of getting publicity, this was a brilliant ploy, and Flynn immediately became the talk of egghead cocktail parties in Washington.

Fixing Intel was released by CNAS with fanfare, including a key plug by Tom Ricks, a CNAS official who had long been the doyen of military reporting inside the Beltway. With Ricks’ endorsement, Flynn was now officially a man with Big Ideas, and his star rose quickly inside the secret bureaucracy. Before long, he was plucked from Afghanistan to take a plum senior IC staff job in Washington, which introduced him to the right people. Only a few months later, in April 2012, Mike Flynn was nominated by the White House to take over DIA. The rest of the story, we know.

Except there was a key piece missing until just a few days ago. Tom Ricks played a pivotal role in Flynn’s rapid rise in Washington. However, he now wonders if he “helped create a monster,” to use Ricks’ own words. In a shocking column he published last week, Ricks admitted he got CNAS to run Flynn’s study in January 2010. Flynn’s harsh critique was important and needed an airing, Ricks explained: “He seemed to be a breath of fresh air, exactly what the military establishment needed.” However, there’s a big problem with that narrative, as Ricks now concedes:

I have reason to suspect Flynn may have had little role in actually writing the paper. On the other hand, he read it, saw that it was good, and agreed to lend his name—and rank—to it. His endorsement gave the paper a major boost. Otherwise it likely would have gone nowhere, and Flynn might now be a name unknown.

It’s not unusual for a top official to lend his name to a wonky study that otherwise might not get read by anyone. However, Flynn listed himself as the study’s lead authorwhich he was not. This was strongly suspected at the time in intelligence circles, something that Ricks seems to have missed—with fateful consequences.

Mike Flynn was never the savvy intelligence intellectual he pretended to be, which explains why his directorship at DIA was such a disaster. While a competent tactical intelligence guy, Flynn had no idea how the big game was played inside the Beltway, so he dropped the ball when he was let on the field. This also explains how Flynn seemed to have no idea that his calls to the Russian embassy might be intercepted by the FBI, an astonishing ignorance for a career intelligence officer. Then again, there’s a lot that Mike Flynn ought to have known but somehow didn’t.

John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor. He’s published four books and is on Twitter at @20committee. 

Mike Flynn Was Always a Fraud

Every Secret Trump / Russia Contact: Chronologically – HuffPost

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Every Secret Trump / Russia Contact: Chronologically
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… about money he was owed by Ukrainian officials. Manafort also instructs Hope Hicks to disregard media questions about his own relationships with Russian oligarchs. On April 3rd, 2016 Papadopoulos emailed seven Trump campaign officials regarding his 

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Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s hiring practices under FBI investigation: report

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Andrew Cuomo’s administration is under FBI investigation for a decades-old practice of spreading governor’s office employee salaries across the payrolls of various other state agencies and authorities, according to the Times Union. Jon Campbell / Albany Bureau

Gov. Andrew Cuomo hasn’t offered an end-of-session agenda for the New York Legislative session, which ends Wednesday.(Photo: AP)

ALBANY – Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration on Friday dismissed an apparent FBI investigation into its hiring practices as a “charade,” pointing to previous New York governors that have used a similar personnel strategy.

The Times Union of Albany reported Friday that federal investigators have interviewed a number of Cuomo employees in recent months who work in the governor’s office but are actually on the payroll of various other state agencies and authorities.

For years, New York governors have used that hiring strategy to inflate their own staff while seemingly keeping the governor’s office budget down on paper.

Cuomo is no exception: Dozens of his staffers are paid by the Dormitory Authority, Department of Transportation and other state entities other than the governor’s office, payroll records show.

An FBI spokesman could not be reached for comment Friday, while a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New York’s Eastern District declined to confirm or deny any investigation.

A spokesman for Cuomo defended his administration’s hiring policies, calling the apparent line of FBI questioning “absurd.”

“In this environment, anyone can ask about anything, but the fact is the longstanding practice of detailing staff from Agencies to work in the Executive Chamber dates back over 50 years to at least the Rockefeller administration and extends to the White House and the federal Department of Justice,” Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi said in a statement.

“Given that the Federal Department of Justice and the White House have a long history of utilizing this practice, perhaps the FBI can investigate them when this is charade is over.”

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The hiring practice has been used by New York governors dating back at least three decades, when then-Gov. Mario Cuomo — Andrew’s father — pledged to cut his personal payroll by 10 percent but actually used other state agencies to add workers to his staff, according to a 1984 article in The New York Times.

The current governor has used the strategy dating back to when he took office in 2011, but has expanded it significantly in recent months.

In March, Cuomo announced the hiring of 27 employees, including several who once worked for Hillary Clinton and President Barack Obama.

More than 20 of those employees work in Cuomo’s office, but only five are actually on the governor’s office’s payroll, according to the Times Union.

That includes Carolyn Pokorny, Cuomo’s chief special counsel for ethics, risk and compliance. She is paid $158,000 a year by Empire State Development, the state’s economic-development branch. Penny Lowy, Cuomo’s appointments secretary, is paid $150,000 a year by the state Office of General Services.

As of November 2016, about of 40 percent of Cuomo’s total staff was paid by other agencies, according to the paper.

It wasn’t clear Friday what laws the FBI is focusing on in its investigation, but the Times Union reported investigators have focused in part on hiring letters and other documentation given to new employees.

In his statement, Azzopardi said investigators should “call George Pataki” if there are questions about the hiring practice. The Republican governor also used the hiring strategy when he was in office from 1995 through 2006.

“‎The agencies are all part of the same executive branch, and this administration follows the exact same lawful hiring process we inherited from previous administrations stretching back decades,” Azzopardi said.

Cuomo’s office has been investigated by the FBI and federal prosecutors before.

In 2014, then-U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara began investigating Cuomo’s abrupt shuttering of the Moreland Commission to Investigate Public Corruption, a corruption-busting panel the governor had set up to probe wrongdoing in Albany.

But in January 2016, Bharara announced there was “insufficient evidence to prove a federal crime.”

Early next year, Cuomo’s former top aide Joseph Percoco will stand trial. He’s accused of accused of accepting $287,000 from a Maryland-based power company and a Syracuse developer, both of whom had substantial business before the state.

Percoco has pleaded not guilty.

<a href=”mailto:JCampbell1@Gannett.com”>JCampbell1@Gannett.com</a>

Jon Campbell is a correspondent with USA TODAY Network’s Albany Bureau. 

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Congress Must Charge Stonewalling DOJ, FBI With Contempt – Newsmax

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Rosenstein had appointed former FBI director Robert Mueller as Special Counsel under a Judicial Order confirmed by then-FBI Director James BComey into any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the 
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How Russia Cheats – The New York Times

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The Kremlin dismissed the details of both schemes as “absurd,” but on Tuesday Russia was barred from the 2018 Winter Games for its state-backed cheating. Some individual Russian athletes may compete independently in neutral uniforms, but the Russian flag will not appear when the Games begin in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

The details of the sports scandal — deconstructed by Russian whistle-blowers who have provided rare insider insights — offer perhaps the purest case study of Russia’s drive to dominate, its brazen methods and, in part, its motivation to influence the American presidency.

In a declassified intelligence report released early this year, United States officials said Russia’s attacks on the election had been, for Mr. Putin, partial payback for the doping scandal, which he repeatedly called an American-led effort to defame Russia. Last month, as new medals were stripped from Russian Olympians, Mr. Putin said the disqualifications were the United States’ attempt to undermine his re-election.

In fact, sports regulators and investigators who conducted the multiple investigations into Russia’s doping are headquartered in Canada, and the Olympic leadership in charge of disqualifying athletes is based in Switzerland. It was the former president of that staunchly neutral country, Samuel Schmid, who conducted the latest investigation for the Olympic committee, resulting in Tuesday’s sanctions.

In scrutinizing Russia, sports and antidoping officials have said they acted on objective forensic and scientific evidence of Russia’s fraud: documents, data, lab analyses and glass bottles of urine with telltale signs of tampering. Just as allies of the special counsel Robert Mueller have done this year in the context of the election inquiry, the officials have defended their impartiality and interest in plain facts.

Three key whistle-blowers helped provide those facts: Grigory Rodchenkov, Russia’s former longtime chief antidoping chemist, as well as Yuliya and Vitaly Stepanov, a former Russian runner and a former employee of the nation’s antidoping agency. All now live in the United States, in undisclosed locations from which they have spoken openly about years of coordinated cheating. The Justice Department, too, has taken interest in their evidence.

Dr. Rodchenkov, whose personal diaries cataloged each day of cheating in Sochi, came to the United States only after Vitaly Mutko — Russia’s deputy prime minister and former sports minister — asked him to resign in light of growing global suspicions about the extent of the nation’s cheating, which the chemist had helped mastermind.

“Today we also have a meeting, how to come from defensive to offensive,” Dr. Rodchenkov wrote to me in an email on Nov. 10, 2015, having initially denied wrongdoing in our early exchanges. At that meeting, Mr. Mutko effectively dismissed him and set off a dramatic chain of events: “Freedom!” he wrote in another email that night.

Dr. Rodchenkov’s tell-all account, reported in The Times in May 2016 and detailed in the documentary “Icarus,” culminated in Russia’s Olympic ban this week. It was instrumental in motivating some Russian officials to temper their rigid denials and acknowledge that an “institutional conspiracy” had existed, though they maintained it had not been state sponsored.

Still, before this week’s final sanctions were announced, global athletes, antidoping advocates and some sponsors had expressed concern about a growing crisis in international sports, pointing to the long delay by both regulators and Olympic officials in responding to evidence of widespread cheating that went even beyond Sochi.

As those critics wondered when or if sports officials would penalize Russia for its systematic transgressions by rescinding Olympic medals and condemning the state-supported schemes, they questioned not just fundamental frailties in drug-testing controls but also the independence of antidoping authorities.

One year later, similar basic questions about separation of power have taken on renewed relevance in American politics as a result of Russia’s breaches. Those questions have followed Mr. Trump’s repeated attacks on the independence of the Justice Department, in defiance of the post-Watergate norms intended to insulate law enforcement from partisan and personal agendas.

In the same way that Mr. Trump has avoided acknowledging evidence of Russia’s interference in the election, Thomas Bach, president of the International Olympic Committee, took more than a year to accept the extensive evidence of Russia’s interference in the Sochi Olympic lab operations.

Other sports officials, such as the president of skiing’s governing body, initially told me that the evidence on Russia was conspiratorial or “too Hollywood,” just as some Republican lawmakers have doubted the legitimacy of Mr. Mueller’s mandate.

In drawing out his decision-making until this week, Mr. Bach called for due process and stressed the importance of giving Russia a fair chance to defend itself.

One defense came just after the early penalties for Russian athletes at the 2016 Olympics: a set of cyberattacks. A group known as Fancy Bear — which American intelligence officials tied to Russia’s main military intelligence unit, the G.R.U. — published the hacked private medical records of top American athletes, as well as the private emails of antidoping officials who had lobbied for a ban on Russia.

The hackers — the same group that stole emails from the Democratic National Committee’s servers and released them ahead of the 2016 election — called the athlete records proof of illegal drug use by stars such as Simone Biles and Serena Williams. All athletes had received necessary clearances to use the substances in question, and none of the information constituted a violation.

In a fiery interview in Moscow last year, Mr. Mutko, the former sports minister and current deputy prime minister, echoed Mr. Putin, arguing that Russia had been disadvantaged globally. In sports as in all things, he said, the decks were stacked against the nation.

This week, he was barred from attending any future Olympics, though he remains at the helm of Russia’s 2018 soccer World Cup.

“Somebody has to take the responsibility,” he said in July 2016, three months before Mr. Putin promoted him. “There must be a master at home.”

Correction: December 8, 2017An earlier version of the photo caption with this article misstated the location of Sochi. It is in Russia, not Japan.

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europe far right – Google Search

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Is Europe’s far right a threat to democracy?

<a href=”http://Aljazeera.com” rel=”nofollow”>Aljazeera.com</a>2 hours ago
So, are Europe’s liberal values under assault, at risk from the far right, or is that an exaggeration? Are some on the left guilty of crying wolf? “There is absolutely no threat to liberal democracy in Europe,” says David Goodhart, author of The Road to Somewhere: The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics.
Story image for europe far right from Bloomberg

Europe’s Far Right Won’t Keep Winning If It Can’t Govern

BloombergDec 5, 2017
From Liechtenstein and Bulgaria to Norway and the Czech Republic, it was a good year for farrightparties in Europe. 1 While none of the strong election results were sufficient for a full takeover, it was enough to allow most of them to become a full-fledged part of government. 2 So are they leaping at this …
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Europe’s new farright should admit Muslim migrants can benefit the …

EURACTIVDec 6, 2017
Europe’s far-right are lying to their own populations: study after study across a range of countries has shown that the far-right’s claims about the impacts of immigration are false. Studies of the effect of increased immigration in Europe in the 1990s found that it increased the efficiency and flexibility of labour markets, allowing …
Story image for europe far right from Washington Post

How Poland became a breeding ground for Europe’s far right

Washington PostNov 13, 2017
BERLIN — Few countries suffered as much under the Nazis as Poland did during World War II. And yet, more than 70 years later, it has become a center on the continent for the far right — and liberal critics say the government isn’t doing anything about it. In fact, they say, the Polish far right feels …
neo-fascism – Google Search

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Italy’s neo-fascism is what happens when you normalize extremism

QuartzDec 1, 2017
“Scrap nostalgias, acquire moderates who are no longer scared of neofascism.” With time, AN’s sanitized version of fascism earned a place in the democratic debate. A reliable ally of Silvio Berlusconi’s rightwing party Forza Italia, AN joined all of the governmental coalitions that had Berlusconi as prime …
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The media is normalising neo-fascism for clicks

iNewsDec 4, 2017
The media is normalising neo-fascism for clicks. Nigel Farage appeared on The Andrew Marr Show to defend Trump’s tweets featuring anti-Muslim videos. (Image: BBC). Yasmin Alibhai-Brown 4 days Monday December 4th 2017. What stunning gladiatorial spectacle can we next expect on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show?
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Why neo-fascists are making a shocking surge in Poland

Washington PostNov 13, 2017
Nowadays, neo-fascism and open racism are no longer the province of national parties. In part as a consequence of the borderless Europe they claim to hate, these are now international movements. Large contingents of Hungarian, Slovak and Italian neo-fascist groups came to Warsaw to join the march; …
60000 Join Far-Right March on Poland’s Independence Day
<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>Nov 12, 2017

CEO of Trump Campaign Data Firm Will Testify to House Panel in Russia Probe – Bloomberg


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CEO of Trump Campaign Data Firm Will Testify to House Panel in Russia Probe
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Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix. Photographer: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP. The chief executive officer of a data firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign is set to testify in private before the House Intelligence Committee as 

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NPR News Now: NPR News: 12-09-2017 7AM ET

NPR News: 12-09-2017 7AM ET

Download audio: https://play.podtrac.com/npr-500005/npr.mc.tritondigital.com/NPR_500005/media/anon.npr-mp3/npr/newscasts/2017/12/09/newscast070625.mp3?orgId=1&d=300&p=500005&story=569604362&t=podcast&e=569604362&ft=pod&f=500005

 NPR News Now

As I See It: The Puerto Rico experiment – The Daily News of Newburyport

As I See It: The Puerto Rico experiment
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On Oct. 20, George Page, titular head of Google’s Project Loon, sent hundreds of helium-filled balloons from their launching site in Nevada to Puerto Rico. The balloons were controlled by inflating and deflating the balloons so they could catch winds
 
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Column: Annus Horribilis – SouthFloridaGayNews.com


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Column: Annus Horribilis
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I’ve endured a full year of The Donald as President, endless sexual harassment scandals, continued attacks by Republican lawmakers on the Middle Class, tax breaks for the wealthy, my brother’s diagnosis of two separate cancers, stagnant wages for

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8:53 AM 12/9/2017 – CEO of Trump Campaign Data Firm Will Testify to House Panel in Russia Probe – Bloomberg | M.N.: Ban the “Cambridge Analytica” worldwide: it is the direct and imminent danger to the democracy and the free elections systems, especially in the developing countries. Explore their connections with Russia! 

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M.N.: Ban the “Cambridge Analytica” worldwide: it is the direct and imminent danger to the democracy and the free elections systems, especially in the developing countries. Explore their connections with Russia!

Trump Campaign’s Data Vendor, Cambridge Analytica, Says It Is Moving Away From U.S. Politics

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Cambridge Analytica’s chief executive officer Alexander Nix. (PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP/Getty Images)

As investigators continue to probe the 2016 presidential election, one of Donald Trump’s primary partners—data company Cambridge Analytica—says it has shifted its focus away from U.S. politics. The company, which entered the U.S. political market in 2014, mining and analyzing data to target voters, says it is expanding its work in international elections, while boosting its business with American corporations.

“The company will grow significantly this year, even in the absence of chasing any U.S. political business,” says CEO Alexander Nix, who claims it always planned to move away from U.S. politics. As for the current questions surrounding the 2016 election, he has this to say: “There is an investigation into Russian interference in the election. That’s not to imply that Cambridge Analytica is under investigation. We will help with all of these investigations as much as we can. We have no involvement with Russians. We don’t have any Russian clients. I don’t think we have any Russian employees. We certainly haven’t spoken or engaged with any Russians in terms of U.S. political elections, and nor would we.”

Cambridge Analytica was hired by the Trump’s campaign digital director Brad Parscale in June 2016, after an initial suggestion by Jared Kushner. The company helped the campaign collect data, target voters, and mostly place ads, according to a Trump campaign official. Cambridge got paid $5.9 million in 2016 by the Trump campaign, according to public filings. It got about another $1.8 million from a different campaign vendor. An offshoot of the British data company SCL Group, Cambridge began working in U.S. politics in 2014 and was funded by Republican mega donors Robert Mercer and his daughter Rebekah. A company spokesman declines to comment on whether Cambridge’s involvement in U.S. politics was ever encouraged by the Mercer family.

For his part, Nix says the decision to pull back from U.S. politics was in anticipation of the lull in activity in the field in an off-election year. “There’s going to be literally dozens and dozens of political firms [in the 2018 midterm elections], and we thought, that’s a lot of mouths to feed and very little food on the table,” says Nix. In 2017, there have been no filings on the Federal Election Commission’s website that showed Cambridge Analytica working as a vendor. Forbes reached out to 16 campaigns and super PACs that have worked with the data company since 2014 or received donations from the Mercer family in 2017. None said they are currently working with Cambridge.

But there are new opportunities overseas. Nix says the company has worked on four political campaigns in Europe and one in South America in 2017. He also says it is currently working on an election in the Middle East after having wrapped up the Kenyan general election in August. “We’ve also supported a general election campaign for [a centrist party] with branding, marketing, and communications,” says a spokesperson for the company, declining to name the client. “And we’ve been doing some research on parties and branding ahead of some important elections next year.”

There may also be additional opportunities with U.S. companies, which Cambridge began targeting in the summer of 2016, while it was still working on the Trump campaign. Most of its political staff has left since the election, but Nix claims Cambridge has since increased its headcount by 60 people to 107 full-time employees globally, a quarter of which are now solely working in its commercial division. A company spokesman declines to name clients but says the firm has a diversified list, including a womenswear brand carried by major retailers like Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue, and a retail bank. It also did work in the past for the Financial Times.

Nix says that company revenues are up 50% this year, but he declines to provide any additional financial information or documents to verify his figures. “We still think that the political division will only contribute maybe 25% to revenue for the group, with another 25% coming from the government and defense sector, and the bulk of 50% or so coming from the brand and commercial sector,” Nix tells Forbes.

“We’re not a political agency, we’ve never been a political agency. We’re a tech company, and we want our technologies to help companies to grow and develop,” the CEO says less than 14 months after working on a winning presidential campaign in the U.S.. “We’re absolutely convinced that the truth will set us free, and that in due course, everyone will realize that we’ve really done nothing except support a candidate who for some is quite polarizing.”

_______________________________

Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix. Photographer: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP

The chief executive officer of a data firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign is set to testify in private before the House Intelligence Committee as part of its probe into Russian election interference on Dec. 14, according to a person familiar with the panel’s schedule.

Lawmakers likely will ask Alexander Nix, CEO of the data and analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, whether he sought material from WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that was stolen from computers of the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, who managed Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

Nix said at a November technology conference in Lisbon that in “early June 2016,” he contacted WikiLeaks after Assange publicly claimed he had Clinton emails and planned to publish them. Assange previously told the Associated Press that WikiLeaks had rejected a “request for information” from Cambridge Analytica.

The House Intelligence panel didn’t say what it plans to ask Nix. But an October letter to his company from Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, provides a possible road map. She asked for a description of any communication with Russian government officials, or their representatives, to identify potential voters for “targeted advertising, marketing or social media contact” in support of the Trump campaign.

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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations
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WALLACE: I want to go back to the other point, though, because a lot of the focus today was on this FBI agent Peter Strzokwho was removed from the campaign in July after Robert Mueller, removed from the investigation in July after Robert Mueller found and more »
Steve Bannon officially discloses source of $2 million in personal debt – Center for Public Integrity
 

mikenova shared this story from Cambridge Analytica – Google News.


Center for Public Integrity
Steve Bannon officially discloses source of $2 million in personal debt
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Fired Trump lieutenant’s reveal follows investigation by Center for Public Integrity.
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Michael Flynns Shady Past at DIA and Before Reveals He Was a Fraud
 

mikenova shared this story from Observer.

Michael Flynn, former national security advisor to President Donald Trump, leaves following his plea hearing at the Prettyman Federal Courthouse December 1, 2017 in Washington, D.C. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The fall from grace of retired Lieutenant General Mike Flynn is one of the strangest sagas in the annals of America’s military and intelligence services. Just one year ago, his star could hardly have been more ascendant, named as the National Security Advisor to newly-elected President Donald Trump. However, he flamed out of that job in just 24 days, a record. Then, last week, he pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about discussions with top Russians, leaving his reputation is in tatters.

How all this happened will be debated for years as the full saga of the Trump White House’s secret ties to Moscow unfolds and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation moves forward like a steamroller, slowly crushing all in its wake. Flynn, the military intelligence professional turned felon, will feature prominently in that sordid story. Now that he’s cooperating with Mueller against President Trump, copping per his plea deal to a relatively minor charge that he may serve no jail time for, Flynn’s role has changed, but it’s no less important.

Just how deeply enmeshed Flynn was with the Russians is now coming into focus. Public embarrassments like appearing at the 10th anniversary gala for RT, Moscow’s propaganda network—including sitting at the head table with Vladimir Putin, Russia’s president—were just the tip of the iceberg. That Flynn took Kremlin money for that controversial appearance should have hinted at worse misdeeds.

For instance, Flynn was lobbying for Russian interests, including lucrative nuclear power deals around the world. This is hardly a normal retirement job for pensioned U.S. Army generals. It now appears Flynn was involved with this while serving as Trump’s national security consigliere. He’s reported to have texted a business colleague that a big nuclear deal was “good to go,” meaning Flynn could now get sanctions lifted off Russia, in the middle of Trump’s inaugural address last January.

What makes Flynn’s implosion especially shocking is this represents his second major career blow-up in five years. His initial fall from grace came in August 2014, when President Barack Obama cashiered him as the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency after two difficult years in that job. Although Flynn, in his usual dissimulating fashion, portrayed his firing as a political act—weak President Obama, unserious about the jihadist threat, was threatened by Flynn’s straight talk about terrorism, the story went—the truth is Flynn was dumped from DIA for incompetence. That seldom happens in Washington, and it is nearly unheard-of at top levels of our Intelligence Community.

His tenure there was a disaster, marred by arrogance, cluelessness, and gross mismanagement. As I’ve previously reported:

DIA has always been an also-ran in our Intelligence Community—a dumping ground where military careers go to die more often than prosper—but Flynn believed he could be the boss who turned DIA around to match CIA and NSA in the Washington spy game. Alas, he was wrong.

The civilian workforce at DIA is uninspired even by Beltway standards, and they objected when Flynn repeatedly threatened them with firing if they didn’t submit to his radical plans for the agency. It turned out Flynn was better at thinking about Big Ideas than actually implementing them, and his reform plans for DIA went essentially nowhere.

After two years under Flynn, DIA employees had enough and were in more-or-less open revolt. The final straw came with a bizarre presentation to the workforce by a staffer which encouraged women to not be “Plain Jane” and wear makeup at work: “No flats…Paint your nails…Brunettes have more leeway with vibrant colors than blondes or redheads.”

Although Flynn apologized to his agency, the damage was done. The White House had no choice but to move him out, along with his deputy—a rare move in the Department of Defense to cashier a whole leadership team.

In the aftermath of Flynn’s epic flameout at DIA, it merits asking why he was ever considered for that job at all. There’s an interesting backstory here that requires a bit of unpacking yet reveals the essential fraudulence of the entire Flynn enterprise.

Commissioned in the Army in 1981, for most of his career Flynn was never a major player in the Army or the IC. He was a tactical intelligence guy, and he fatefully lashed himself to Stanley McChrystal, one of the fastest-rising generals in the Army after 9/11. Flynn’s career rose between 2004 and 2007, when he served as the intelligence boss for the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command, the spooky snake-eaters who at the time were killing terrorists all over Iraq and Afghanistan. In the mid-aughts, under General McChrystal, JSOC was transformed into a highly lethal secret outfit, and Flynn played a major role there.

Specifically, Flynn oversaw the development of timely, multi-source tactical intelligence that aided JSOC in killing terrorists at an unprecedented rate. Intelligence-driven targeting of bad guys was a big hit with the brass inside the Beltway, and Flynn’s name began to get noticed beyond JSOC. There were always whispers, however, that Flynn was claiming credit for important work done by his underlings, which wouldn’t be unusual in our military.

Flynn was still a relative unknown in spy circles, but that changed at the beginning of 2010, when a sensational study appeared that lambasted American intelligence performance in Afghanistan. Titled Fixing Intel, this was a wonky jeremiad that pulled no punches, using words like “marginally relevant,” “ignorant,” “hazy,” and “incurious” to describe U.S. intelligence work in Afghanistan in a scathing fashion.

What made this particularly odd was the study’s author was the intelligence boss of U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan at the time: Mike Flynn. He listed himself as the lead author, alongside two junior analysts. It’s not every day that the boss publicly attacks his own organization, recommending its complete overhaul on grounds that it has utterly failed.

Even more noteworthy was that the study was published by a Washington think-tank, the Center for New American Security. Flynn had jumped outside the Pentagon to attack his own organization, something that troubled some policymakers in the nation’s capital. However, as a means of getting publicity, this was a brilliant ploy, and Flynn immediately became the talk of egghead cocktail parties in Washington.

Fixing Intel was released by CNAS with fanfare, including a key plug by Tom Ricks, a CNAS official who had long been the doyen of military reporting inside the Beltway. With Ricks’ endorsement, Flynn was now officially a man with Big Ideas, and his star rose quickly inside the secret bureaucracy. Before long, he was plucked from Afghanistan to take a plum senior IC staff job in Washington, which introduced him to the right people. Only a few months later, in April 2012, Mike Flynn was nominated by the White House to take over DIA. The rest of the story, we know.

Except there was a key piece missing until just a few days ago. Tom Ricks played a pivotal role in Flynn’s rapid rise in Washington. However, he now wonders if he “helped create a monster,” to use Ricks’ own words. In a shocking column he published last week, Ricks admitted he got CNAS to run Flynn’s study in January 2010. Flynn’s harsh critique was important and needed an airing, Ricks explained: “He seemed to be a breath of fresh air, exactly what the military establishment needed.” However, there’s a big problem with that narrative, as Ricks now concedes:

I have reason to suspect Flynn may have had little role in actually writing the paper. On the other hand, he read it, saw that it was good, and agreed to lend his name—and rank—to it. His endorsement gave the paper a major boost. Otherwise it likely would have gone nowhere, and Flynn might now be a name unknown.

It’s not unusual for a top official to lend his name to a wonky study that otherwise might not get read by anyone. However, Flynn listed himself as the study’s lead authorwhich he was not. This was strongly suspected at the time in intelligence circles, something that Ricks seems to have missed—with fateful consequences.

Mike Flynn was never the savvy intelligence intellectual he pretended to be, which explains why his directorship at DIA was such a disaster. While a competent tactical intelligence guy, Flynn had no idea how the big game was played inside the Beltway, so he dropped the ball when he was let on the field. This also explains how Flynn seemed to have no idea that his calls to the Russian embassy might be intercepted by the FBI, an astonishing ignorance for a career intelligence officer. Then again, there’s a lot that Mike Flynn ought to have known but somehow didn’t.

John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor. He’s published four books and is on Twitter at @20committee. 

Mike Flynn Was Always a Fraud

CEO of Trump Campaign Data Firm Will Testify to House Panel in Russia Probe – Bloomberg
 


Bloomberg
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Bloomberg
Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix. Photographer: PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA/AFP. The chief executive officer of a data firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign is set to testify in private before the House Intelligence Committee as and more »
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Daily Mail
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Report: DOJ Reviewing More Than 10000 Text Messages Between Anti-Trump Mueller Investigators – The Daily Caller
 


Washington Post
Report: DOJ Reviewing More Than 10000 Text Messages Between Anti-Trump Mueller Investigators
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The Justice Department is sifting through 10,000 text messages involving the FBI agent who was kicked off of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation for making anti-Trump comments. Fox News reports that the bureau is reviewing several
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Earn The Necklace
Rep. Gowdy: Why Was Anti-Trump FBI Agent Interviewing Hillary? [VIDEO]
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Ron Johnson demands FBI turn over anti-Trump messages Peter Strzok sent FBI lawyer
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Trump and the Russia investigation: What to know

Questions about Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election have plagued the Trump administration.

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10:25 AM 12/8/2017 – Trump and the Russia investigation: What to know

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Trump and the Russia investigation: What to know

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Questions about Russia’s involvement in the U.S. election have plagued the Trump administration.

Jerusalem has been the home of the Jews for 3,000 years to deny it is Israel’s capital is Fake History

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Fake news is a problem, but fake history is worse.

I study liars. Ive never seen one like President Trump.

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Bitcoin soars above $17,000, boosting worries and a worldwide frenzy

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This Frosty The Snowman Wears A Donald Trump Hat And Hates Snowflakes

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“The Late Show” version is not a jolly, happy soul.

The Early Edition: December 8, 2017

mikenova shared this story from Just Security.

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE

Clashes broke out between Palestinian protestors and Israeli soldiers yesterday in a number of West Bank cities and near the Gaza Strip following President Trumps decision to announce that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and that the U.S. would begin moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, over 100 people were injured and larger demonstrations are expected today after Friday prayers, Loveday Morris and Ruth Eglash report at the Washington Post.

The Palestinian Hamas militant group have called for a Day of Rage today in protest of Trumps decision, Friday prayers at the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem could be a flashpoint and there have also been concerns that Trumps decision could disrupt the reconciliation efforts between the Palestinian Fatah Party, who control the West Bank, and Hamas, who control the Gaza Strip. Dan Williams and Nidal al-Mughrabi report at Reuters.

The State Department have ordered tight security restrictions for U.S. diplomatic staff and their families in preparation for violent protests at U.S. missions across the Middle East, confrontations took place yesterday in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and at the border between Israel and Gaza, and there were demonstrations across the region. Peter Beaumont reports at the Guardian.

We support the call for a new Palestinian intifada (uprising) and escalating the resistance, the leader of the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah militant group, Hassan Nasrallah, said in a speech yesterday. Reutersreports.

A senior Palestinian official said that Vice President Mike Pence would not be welcome in the Palestinian territories during his visit to Israel later this month the trip is expected to include a stop at the Palestinian city of Bethlehem, Al Jazeera reports.

Pence still intends to meet with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian leaders and any decision to pull out of the meeting would be counterproductive, a White House official said in response to comments by the senior Palestinian official. The BBC reports.

Trump and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have managed to destroy hope in the two-state solution, the secretary general of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (P.L.O.) Saed Erekat said yesterdayadding that Palestinians have no option but to focus on equal rights rather than the pursuit of a Palestinian state. Erekats comments may not translate into a change in Palestinian policy, however he has said he planned to push for a shift in strategy within the Palestinian National Council, Mark Landler, David M. Halbfinger and Isabel Kershner report at the New York Times.

The Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (A.Q.A.P.) called on militants to close ranks to be ready to support Palestinians and appealed to Muslims to help with money and weapons, Reutersreports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed serious concerns over Trumps announcement on recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital and to move the U.S. Embassy, the Kremlin said in a statement yesterday following a phone call between the two leaders. Reuters reports.

Netanyahu is headed to Brussels as part of an effort to rally European cooperation for curbing Irans influence in Lebanon and Syria and along the Israeli-Syrian border, according to Israels Minister of Public Security and Strategic Affairs. While Netanyahu may have been bolstered by Trumps announcement on Jerusalem, it may also have made it harder to enlist European support because of their objection to the move, Laurence Norman observes at the Wall Street Journal.

Muslims in Asia have protested against Trumps decision, including in Indonesia and Malaysia, Kanupriya Kapoor and Joseph Sipalan report at Reuters.

Any changes to the status of the city without the consent of the Palestinians jeopardizes any prospect for peace, former President Jimmy Carter said yesterday in a statement, warning that Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital exacerbates tensions. Rebecca Savransky reports at the Hill.

Almost all former U.S. ambassadors to Israel disagree with Trumps change in policy, a typical view among the diplomats being that the presidents announcement has isolated the U.S. and undermined its position as a broker in the peace process. Sewell Chan reports at the New York Times.

President Trumps decision was symbolic, but has very real, negative consequences for the Israel-Palestine peace process, for the region, and has implications for the U.S.s relationships with key Arab and Muslim allies; it raises the possibility of an enhanced Israeli military occupation and increased settlement in occupied Palestinian territories. Warhad Khalid writes at CNN.

Palestinians, Arabs and the rest of the world will interpret Trumps decision as a major provocation and the president should reconsider this decision immediately as he has undermined international law, conventions and norms, given Israel the green light to continue expanding its settlements, and has potentially emboldened messianic Jewish extremists that could easily ignite a major religious conflagration in the Middle East and beyond. P.L.O. executive member and Palestinian lawmaker, Hanan Ashrawi, writes at the New York Times.

The recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital is not a disaster if the president and the White House are able to keep message discipline, crucially by maintaining the distinction between acknowledging Jerusalem as Israels capital and recognition that the boundaries of the city are yet to be resolved through negotiations. Dennis Ross and David Makovsky write at Foreign Policy.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

The British publicist Rob Goldstone sent emails to a Russian participant after the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower between Donald Trump Jr. and Russian individuals, with one of the emails saying that a story about Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee (D.N.C.) server was eerily weird considering what they had discussed at Trump Tower. Jim Sciutto, Manu Raju and Jeremy Herb report at CNN.

The executive of the Russian equivalent to Facebook emailed Donald Trump Jr. and Trump campaign social media director Dan Scavino during the 2016 presidential campaign offering help to promote the Trump campaign among Russian Americans and Russians, the revelations demonstrate a new point of direct contact between influential Russian individuals and Trump campaign officials. Rosalind S. Helderman, Anton Troianovski and Tom Hamburger report at the Washington Post.

An op-ed by the former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort on his work in Ukraine was not intended for a U.S. audience or to influence the forthcoming case against Manafort, his lawyer, Kevin Downing said yesterday, making the comments after special counsel Robert Muellers team which is investigating ties between the Trump campaign and Russia accused Manafort of violating a court gag order by ghost-writing the article with a long-time Russian colleague of Manaforts. Darren Samuelsohn reports at POLITICO and the article published about Manaforts consulting activities in Ukraine, published under the name of Oleg Voloshin, is available at the Kyiv Post.

Voloshin confirmed that the longtime Manafort colleague referred to by prosecutors was Konstantin Kilimnik, he said that allegations by Muellers team that Kilimnik had ties to Russian intelligence were shocking. Spencer S. Hsu reports at the Washington Post.

The F.B.I. Director Christopher A. Wray defended his agency during questioning by Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee yesterday, following revelations of alleged bias from top F.B.I. agent Peter Strzok, who was a senior member of Muellers team but removed in July from the investigation. Devlin Barrett and Ellen Nakashima report at the Washington Post.

Wray seemingly confirmed that the F.B.I. had applied for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (F.I.S.A.) as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign. Ken Dilanian reports at NBC News.

The judge presiding over the case of Trumps former national security adviser Michael Flynn has recused himself, it remains unclear why Judge Rudolph Contreras took the decision not to hear the case which concerns a guilty plea by Flynn that he made a false statement to F.B.I. agents about his communications with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition. Josh Gerstein reports at POLITICO.

RUSSIA

We will never accept Russias occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday in a meeting with the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, adding that Russia was arming and supporting antigovernment forces in Eastern Ukraine. Gardiner Harris reports at the New York Times.

Tillerson said that U.S. would find it hard to look past or to reconcile Russias invasion of Ukraine, saying that the issue stands as the single most difficult obstacle to us re-normalizing a relationship with Russia. Carol Morello reports at the Washington Post.

Russia is prepared to discuss the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (I.N.F.) treaty with the U.S., a statement by Russias foreign ministry said today, the treaty helped end the Cold War and banned all Soviet Union and American short and intermediate-range land-based nuclear and conventional missiles. Reuters reports.

NORTH KOREA

North Korea is open to direct talks with the U.S., the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said, who added that he had conveyed the message to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when they met in Vienna yesterday. Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.

Lavrov accused the U.S. of escalating tensions on the Korean Peninsula and said the U.S. military maneuvers and aggressive rhetoric were unacceptable, according to a statement by the Russian foreign ministry describing the meeting with Tillerson. Reuters reports.

YEMEN

Intense conflict over six days in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa killed 230 people and injured over 400, according to the U.N. humanitarian coordinator, who noted that an intense calm had returned to Sanaa in the last day or so. Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.

The White House stated that it believed Saudi Arabia were taking actions to open a port in Yemen after Trump called on the blockade to be lifted, Reuters reports.

SYRIA

The U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Syria yesterday reproached Russia and Iran for failing to support civilians seeking to evacuate from the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area near the Syrian capital of Damascus, the BBC reports.

The U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that he would assess the behavior of President Bashar al-Assads delegation and the opposition to see if they have tried to sabotage the peace process being held in Geneva. Tom Miles reports at Reuters.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition coalition forces carried out 33 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between December 1 and December 3. [Central Command]

LEBANON

Lebanons Prime Minister Saad Hariri called for international support for Lebanon at a summit in France today, following a political crisis that was triggered by Hariris unexpected resignation on Nov. 4, which was later rescinded, before the summit, the Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expressed the U.S. backing for Lebanons sovereignty, stability and independence. Josh Lederman and Philip Issa reports at the AP.

The summit in France is expected to send a message to Saudi Arabia and Iran to stop interfering in Lebanon, John Irish reports at Reuters, explaining the significance of Lebanon to the Saudi-Iran rivalry and the bizarre circumstances since Hariris Nov. 4 announcement.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

An Argentine federal judge is seeking to arrest the former Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchener, accusing her of covering-up the alleged involvement of senior Iranian officials in a 1994 bomb against a Jewish center in Beunos Aires. The BBC reports.

The Libyan Foreign Ministry has sought to remove Libya from Trumps travel ban, the ministry said in a statement yesterday, Reuters reporting.

The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West

mikenova shared this story .

At the beginning of 2017, it appeared as if the strained relationship between Russia and the West was about to undergo a substantial shift. U.S. President Donald Trump, who had campaigned on a platform of improving relations with Russia, was about to be inaugurated. Upcoming elections in the core European Union states of France and Germany offered the possibility that Euroskeptic parties would rise to power, leading to a major change in those countries’ positions, including on maintaining sanctions against Russia. Furthermore, it appeared as if solidarity within NATO, as well as support for Western-leaning states like Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia, was in danger of weakening substantially.

But as 2018 approaches, it’s clear that instead of waning, Western pressure against Russia has intensified. In the United States, lawmakers wrested the power to withdraw U.S. sanctions against Russia away from the president, partially as a result of the numerous investigations launched into the extent of Russian interference in U.S. elections. Trump essentially was forced to cede his power to unilaterally lift the penalties in July, and Congress subsequently enacted a stronger sanctions regime against Moscow.

In France, the National Front, a Euroskeptic party, and its pro-Russian presidential candidate Marine Le Pen reached the second round of the country’s presidential election, but Le Pen lost to centrist Emmanuel Macron in the decisive vote. Russia certainly had tried to influence the result in favor of Le Pen, but the exposure of the cyberwarfare and information campaigns it had used to try to influence the outcome of U.S. elections and the revelation that the Kremlin was employing the same techniques in Europe, blunted their effectiveness. The same held true during the German general elections in September, where despite Russian efforts, the anti-establishment Alternative for Germany party did not gain substantial traction, even though it did outperform expectations. After the dust of the European elections settled, the European Union maintained its cohesiveness, and its members voted unanimously to extend sanctions against Russia through the end of 2017.

In the meantime, neither the European Union nor NATO has backed away from the countries on the European/Russian borderland. The United States and the European bloc have been steadfast in their support for Ukraine, and NATO has followed through with the deployment of semipermanent battalions to Poland and the Baltic states. On its side of the border, Russia has built up its forces as well, and while there has been no major confrontation between Russia and NATO, their military standoff has maintained the intensity of past years.

What’s Ahead in 2018?

Several key issues will shape the direction of ties between Russia and the West in 2018. One is the conflict between Russian-backed separatist forces and the Ukrainian government in Ukraine’s east, which is entering its fourth year. Following an escalation of violence along the frontlines in the separatist Donbas region shortly after Trump’s inauguration, military activity has decreased in intensity in recent months. The conflict has now taken on the “semi-frozen” nature typical of those in other Russian-backed breakaway territories in the former Soviet space. In the meantime, diplomatic activity between Russia and the West over the Ukrainian separatist conflict picked up after a suggestion by Russian President Vladimir Putin in September that a U.N. peacekeeping force be deployed to Eastern Ukraine.

Putin’s proposal and associated diplomatic efforts have raised the question of whether the end of the Ukrainian conflict could be in sight in 2018. But given the gap between Russia and the West over the nature and parameters of a potential U.N. mission in Donbas, prolonged negotiations are likely before any agreement could be struck. Russia, on one hand, has suggested the deployment of a limited force purely to protect observers from the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on the line of contact between Ukrainian security forces and the separatists. But Ukraine and the United States have both called for a deployment to span all of Donbas, including along the border between the separatist territory and Russia. That option essentially would represent a complete abandonment of Russia’s strategic position in Donbas, given that Moscow is thought to funnel troops and weapons to support the rebels over the border. While Russia can use the peacekeeping proposal to show its willingness to negotiate over the conflict in an effort to stave off additional Western pressure, it does not mean that Russia will capitulate to the Ukrainian-U.S. position. What’s more, Russia could drive an escalation of fighting if it suited its needs.

Depending on what ongoing U.S. investigations over Russian election meddling reveal, the United States could escalate its sanctions regime against Russia. And although Trump does not support it, key members of his administration are openly considering sending lethal weaponry to Ukraine. If the United States decides to take either of those actions, Moscow could choose to respond by escalating the conflict in Eastern Ukraine — or responding elsewhere in an asymmetric fashion.

A longtime driver of tensions between Russia and the West has been the ongoing military buildup by both sides along the European borderlands, which shows no signs of slowing. Russia is expected to permanently deploy Iskander short-range ballistic missile systems to its Kaliningrad enclave on a permanent basis at the beginning of 2018, while NATO will set up new Atlantic and logistics commands, as well as increase coordination efforts on Black Sea patrols and cyberdefense capabilities. The continued buildups could add pressure that would interfere with the resumption of already stalled arms control talks between the United States and Russia.

Steve Bannon officially discloses source of $2 million in personal debt – Center for Public Integrity

mikenova shared this story from Cambridge Analytica – Google News.


Center for Public Integrity
Steve Bannon officially discloses source of $2 million in personal debt
Center for Public Integrity
Fired Trump lieutenant’s reveal follows investigation by Center for Public Integrity.
We now know who Steve Bannon owes $2 million – Raw StoryRaw Story

all 2 news articles »

Steve Bannon Failed to Disclose That He’s $2 Million in Debt: Report – AlterNet

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AlterNet
Steve Bannon Failed to Disclose That He’s $2 Million in Debt: Report
AlterNet
In a revised filing on Tuesday, former White House adviser and current Breitbart executive Steve Bannon admitted to owing $2 million that he failed to disclose on his government employee financial filings. As the Center for Public Integrity reports 

The Daily Vertical: Let The Power Games Begin

mikenova shared this story from rferlonline’s YouTube Videos.

From: rferlonline
Duration: 01:56

The views expressed in this commentary do not necessarily reflect the views of RFE/RL.
Originally published at – https://www.rferl.org/a/daily-vertical-let-power-games-begin/28905016.html

Rachel Maddow Explains Mystery Around Arrests of High-Level Russian Intelligence Officers

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Over the summer, MSNBC reporter Richard Engle went to Russia to investigate a number of 2016 arrests by the government, including one high-ranking intelligence colonel for the FBS. Engle spoke with an attorney representing one person and was threatened live on camera that even asking the questions he was broaching were dangerous.

Rachel Maddow said that her research staff has been monitoring those arrested. The internal department within Russia’s spy agency, the FSB, called it’s cyber-terrorism division the Information Security Department. She recalled that the United States intelligence agencies described the Russian hack involving two different hacker groups: fancy bear and cozy bear. The Information Security Department was the “cozy bear” in the intelligence information.

At the meeting last year with high-ranking FSB officers, men rushed in and put a black bag over the head of the deputy chief of the Information Security Department.

“And he hasn’t been seen since,” Maddow said. His deputy was also arrested that day along with a senior person with Kaspersky Labs, who was charged with treason. She noted that The New York Times described these arrests as the “highest profile arrests of the FSB since the breakup of the Soviet Union.”

“As we’re all watching from the United States, the progress of this American investigation into what Russia did and whether they had help from the [Donald] Trump campaign,” Maddow continued. “We’re watching that investigation indict the Trump campaign chairman and get a guilty plea from the national security advisor. We’re watching the incredibly dramatic investigations, those arrests at that FSB meeting a year ago, those are the closest things we’ve seen to any kind of parallel action happening on the Russian side. Right?”

She noted that the Russians are not likely to be investigating the hack on the United States or any possibly collusion or conspiracy with the Trump campaign. However, they might want to cover it up.

A new outlet in Russia called “The Bell,” published a report that the reason for the black bag being thrown over the man’s head was that he knew Karate and they were concerned he would resist arrest.

“As Americans, the thing we’re most interested in is whether or not those arrests tell us something or prove to us anything about what Russia did in our election,” Maddow said. “In January, The New York Times reported it was possible Russia might have made those arrests to try to stop the flow of information out of Russia about what the Russian government did to hack the U.S. election.”

They cited two U.S. officials saying, “human sources in Russia did play a crucial role in proving to U.S. investigators who was responsible for the DNC hacking.”

“Well now, from the Russia side, ‘The Bell’ is reporting, based on conversations with acquaintances of the men arrested, that the reason they were arrested is because they were the Russian sources who helped U.S. intelligence services get evidence last year,” Maddow said.

Maddow’s research team hired a Russian translator to review the article and explain that “The Bell” reported, “confirmed that the arrest of Sergey Mikhailov and his comrades is connected with the U.S. elections.”

She explained that this website is a new site that has sprung up out of the blue and that her team is trying to seek out confirmation for the story.

“But if, in fact, the news reports are correct and [Russian President Vladimir] Putin has locked up his own people who he believes told U.S. investigators about what Russia did in the election last year, including a colonel at the FSB, one of the top cyber spies, if this reporting from Russia bears out, it would prove one important thing for us and raise an important question for us,” she continued.

She explained that it would prove the Russian government is “full of bull-pucky” when they told President Donald Trump that they had nothing to do with the attacks.

“If they hadn’t actually attacked the election they wouldn’t have to lock up people who told the U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia had attacked our election,” Maddow explained. “You only lock somebody up if they gave out real information, right?”

She went on to wonder why Russia would be allowing this information to surface now.

“That FSB colonel and those arrested with him have been in jail for a year this week,” she said. “Why would the Russian government allow us to know now the reason they have been in jail all this year, because they helped America figure out Russia hacked our election? Why would it be to Russia’s advantage for us to allowed to know this now?”

Unfortunately, only the intelligence community can answer those questions.

Watch the full commentary below:

Sarah K. Burris writes about politics and technology for Raw Story. 

Rachel Maddow Explains Mystery Around Arrests of High-Level Russian Intelligence Officers – AlterNet

mikenova shared this story from Russian Intelligence services – Google News.

Rachel Maddow Explains Mystery Around Arrests of High-Level Russian Intelligence Officers
AlterNet
Well now, from the Russia side, ‘The Bell’ is reporting, based on conversations with acquaintances of the men arrested, that the reason they were arrested is because they were the Russian sources who helped U.S. intelligence services get evidence last 

Bitcoins – Google Search

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Bitcoins – Google Search

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Story image for Bitcoins from CNNMoney

More than $70 million stolen in bitcoin hack

CNNMoney4 hours ago
Hackers have carried out a heist on a leading digital currency platform, making off with bitcoins worth more than $70 million. “Yesterday morning at about 1 a.m. a hacker or a group of hackers was able to infiltrate our systems through a compromised company computer,” NiceHash CEO Marko Kobal said in …
Hackers Steal $70 Million in Bitcoin
Money Magazine21 hours ago
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Story image for Bitcoins from New York Times

Why Has Bitcoin’s Price Gone Up So Fast?

New York Times11 hours ago
SAN FRANCISCO — Bitcoin has been in a bull market like few the world has ever seen. At the beginning of the year, the price of a Bitcoin was below $1,000. It hit $5,000 in October, then doubled by late November. And on Thursday, less than two weeks later, the price of a single Bitcoin rose above $20,000 …
Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on the Dark Web

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All Tech

A Sun investigation has now proved that Bitcoin is linked to a range of serious crimes on the Dark Web

Exclusive

By Miles Goslett and Nick Pritchard

8th December 2017, 2:03 am

Updated: 8th December 2017, 4:22 am

THE smartly dressed young woman barely attracted a glance as she swept into the second-hand electronics store and approached the Bitcoin machine.

Standing there for half an hour, she peeled off £50 notes from a fat roll and fed them into the slot — until £10,000 in sterling had been converted into the electronic currency that only exists online.

When she came back the next day to do the same, store manager Simao Arinto became suspicious.

“It was £50 after £50 after £50,” said the boss of the CeX store in central London’s Tottenham Court Road.

“She told us she got some kind of insurance that paid out for some kind of disease. What was the truth? Who knows?”

The police, however, believe they do know the truth, warning this week that this fast-growing digital cryptocurrency is being exploited by organised criminals who use Bitcoin cashpoints to launder dirty cash.

Bitcoins were being traded for around $20,000 each yesterday as speculators created the biggest buying rush the world markets have ever seen.

Some exchanges saw the value of the digital currency 52 percent rise at its peak yesterday – with the past seven days seeing a 72 per cent rise.

The astronomical price increases–driven by demand for the coins the numbers of which are limited–are the biggest in the history of modern financial markets, even beating ‘Tulip Mania’, a 17th century financial crash that became known as the first financial ‘bubble’.

Bitcoin’s price has gone up faster in past three years than the price of tulip bulbs did before that bubble burst, according to figures from the New York firm Convoy Investments.

Now a Sun investigation has proved that Bitcoin is also linked to a range of serious crimes thanks to the anonymity it offers.

Within minutes of logging on to the Dark Web — an encrypted corner of the internet that can only be accessed by special browsers — we found organised criminals offering a chilling array of services.

For payment in Bitcoin, we could get a computer hacker to “destroy a business or a person’s life”, buy drugs, passports, cloned credit cards and counterfeit money or even order acid attacks, rape and murder.

Bitcoins only exist as lines of computer code and are created and stored online–and the surge in value means that criminals who had previously been paid in Bitcoin are seeing their wealth rise astronomically.

They can be ‘mined’ by computer users using software that both verifies other people’s transactions and generates a new ‘block’ of code by solving increasingly complex mathematical problems.

They were created in 2009 by Satoshi Nakamoto — an unknown person or group — but have surged in value by more than 1,400 per cent this year alone.

They hit a peak this week when one unit went from being worth £8,750 on Tuesday to £12,500 Thursday at the time of writing. The value has probably risen again since.

Bitcoin’s rapid rise is fuelled by the fact there is a limited supply — only 21million will ever exist — and that it is completely unregulated by banks and governments, making it attractive for criminals or those who want to keep their transactions secret.

One of the first sites we come across on the Dark Web is Dream Market, where a gram of super-strength cocaine costs 0.00344 of a Bitcoin, the equivalent of £43.

The vendor, called Drugkingz, promises to ship it anywhere in the UK or Ireland.

Another site, called Clone Card Crew, offers cloned credit cards, and boasts: “All cards are skimmed and cloned. They are legal to receive. Using them is a different thing.”

One truly disturbing site is Slayers Hitmen. The online agency claims to have 48 operatives worldwide who will inflict all sorts of physical attacks in return for Bitcoin.

An assassination by shooting costs the Bitcoin equivalent of £11,185. An acid attack is £3,000, rape £1,500 while a “scare” comes in at £750.

The site asks for 50 per cent of the fee to be deposited upfront in an online Bitcoin wallet.

At the UK Guns and Ammo site, you can buy a new 9mm Glock 19 pistol for 0.04 Bitcoins, worth £500. A new 9mm Walther P99 handgun goes for £650.

Yet another site offers “high quality” fake euros that will apparently pass UV and pen tests and work in vending machines.

Thirty bills, worth 600 euros, cost the Bitcoin equivalent of 315 euros.

Cryptocurrency specialist detective inspector Timothy Court, of the Met’s Organised Crime Group, said this week: “We are seeing criminals using Bitcoin to buy drugs and firearms on the Dark Web and also laundering money with it.

“Cash is hard to move for criminals but cryptocurrency is an easy way to move assets across borders.”

He added that it was an “emerging issue” which is being closely monitored by law enforcement agencies.

Julian Dixon, CEO of anti-money laundering and big data specialists Fortytwo Data, said: “I warmly welcome The Sun’s investigation.

“I hope the authorities sit up and take notice of this report, which suggests highly dangerous individuals and criminal organisations are using a cloak of anonymity surrounding Bitcoin to finance crime.

“Regulation of crypto-currencies is long overdue so the funding of these activities by worldwide criminals, in even the darkest region of the web, ceases.”

The Met’s Serious and Organised Crime Command is carrying out a cryptocurrencies training programme to help sharpen its officers’ awareness of the problem.

But they face an uphill battle combatting it, as detective superintendent Nick Stevens explains.

He said: “Cryptocurrencies are not illegal, but they are unregulated, decentralised currencies that can be quickly transferred across borders then converted into the currency of the country where the funds are received.”

He added that his team is currently investigating several major criminals who use Bitcoin and the Dark Web for “the supply of drugs, firearms, modern slavery and child exploitation”.

The CeX store in Tottenham Court Road is more used to customers buying and selling unwanted DVDs than arriving with large sums of cash.

But that could change now it is one of only 98 UK High Street shops to host a Bitcoin terminal.

Boss Mr Arinto told The Sun that the Bitcoin users he sees are a mixed bunch, but one trait unites them: A desire for privacy. This is not surprising.

The terminals offer an easy way for drug dealers and other criminals to launder cash without having to go through any bank checks.

After notes have been converted into Bitcoins, they can be moved anywhere in the world electronically then withdrawn as clean cash.

They are stored in a virtual wallet on a PC or mobile phone app and can then be withdrawn from another Bitcoin machine in the local currency.

This system makes the cash almost impossible to trace. Mr Arinto said: “I see people from all types of backgrounds. Some try to cover their faces and will look around to see if anyone is looking.

“Some of them come in and make the whole shop stink of weed.

“There is a £400 limit on deposits, but there is no limit on how many deposits you can make and no identity checks.

“You want to ask questions but it’s their personal life.”

That might be so, but it is a problem that has the potential to affect us all.

There are more than 1,300 cryptocurrencies in use, with new ones emerging all the time.

Bitcoin’s extraordinary growth has sparked alarm among police and intelligence agencies across the globe, with the Russian mafia in particular known to be capitalising on the phenomenon.

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The Way It Works

BITCOIN is a form of digital currency, created and held electronically. It is produced by people running powerful computer programs to solve complex mathematical problems. Here we answer the main questions about it.

What makes it different from a normal currency? There are no physical notes or coins, so no single institution controls it. It exists only as lines of computer code. The value of Bitcoin is highly volatile, which has led people to buy it as a risky speculative investment.

Who created it? An anonymous software developer, or possibly developers, known as Satoshi Nakamoto.

Who prints it? No one. Bitcoin is created digitally by a community of people that anyone can join. Bitcoins are “mined” using computing power to solve puzzles and unlock currency units.
is there a limit on how many Bitcoins can be mined? Only 21million Bitcoins can ever be created by miners. However, these coins

can be divided into smaller parts. The smallest divisible amount is one hundred-millionth of a Bitcoin and is called a Satoshi, after the founder.

Is its use truly anonymous? You can set up a Bitcoin address in seconds – and it does not have to be linked to any name or address. But Bitcoin stores details of every single transaction that has ever happened in a huge version of a ledger, called the blockchain. This blockchain tells all about each purchase by each address linked to each Bitcoin.

Detective chief superintendent Mick Gallagher, head of the Met’s Organised Crime Command, says police have been aware of the threat for around 18 months but “at the moment it feels like there is significant growth”.

This week, the Treasury said that money-laundering regulations should be updated to include virtual currencies.

But while we wait for that to happen, law agencies have their work cut out to stop Bitcoin and its rivals allowing requests for serious crimes to be just a few clicks away.

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Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List

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The first lady asked for peace, health, love and kindness, but apparently not irony.

Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on … – The Sun

mikenova shared this story from organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News.


The Sun
Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on …
The Sun
I hope the authorities sit up and take notice of this report, which suggests highly dangerous individuals and criminal organisations are using a cloak of anonymity surrounding Bitcoin to finance crime. Regulation of crypto-currencies is long overdue 

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Hannity: Trump-Russia Probe ‘A House Of Cards Beginning to Crash Down’ – Fox News Insider

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Fox News Insider
Hannity: Trump-Russia Probe ‘A House Of Cards Beginning to Crash Down’
Fox News Insider
Sean Hannity said in his Opening Monologue that the federal investigation into President Trump is becoming a “house of cards [that is] beginning to crash down.” Hannity said that the increasing tally of probe-related officials to be shown to have 

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Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened

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Comey had “guts” when the FBI was investigating Clinton, Trump said, months before he fired the director.

Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home – ABC Online

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ABC Online
Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home
ABC Online
It’s a move that the President had promised to deliver from way back when he was just candidate Trump. It’s also something that many Presidents have said they’d do but haven’t and it’s largely supported by the Washington Establishment. The White 
Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement faces further backlash: Russia, Canada, Pakistan condemn US decisionFirstpost
Forget Russia, Israel Actual Foreign Power Collaborating With Team TrumpSputnik International

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Poll Shows Trump’s Support Dropping Among White Evangelicals

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The president’s approval rating continues to fall in his first year in office.

Why the Kremlin is suddenly admitting that it rigged the election in Donald Trumps favor

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

After a year of largely denying it, even while throwing in the occasional wink, the Russian government is now finally admitting that it rigged the United States presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor. It’s not saying so in exact words. Instead it’s acknowledging through a state-controlled media outlet that it arrested one of its own intel officers for admitting to the U.S. that Russia rigged the election. Rachel Maddow broke this news on her show, but left it an open question as to why Russia is choosing now. I have some thoughts on that.

Keep in mind that just yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he’s “running” for reelection in early 2018 after all. I’m putting “running” in quotes because he’ll rig this election like he always does, and he’ll win automatically. But this announcement is something of a surprise, because just a week ago, someone planted a series of stories in major European newspapers which claimed Putin was considering retiring. These stories had to have been planted by the Russian oligarchs as a warning to Putin: get your act together on this nonsense with Trump and sanctions, or we will put you out of business.

To be clear, even though Putin has total control over his puppet Trump, there is nothing that Putin can do to get Trump to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia. Both political parties are intent on increasing those sanctions, in retaliation for Putin’s decision to rig the election for Trump. There is only one possible way Putin can get those sanctions lifted, even though it may be a long shot, and he’s savvy enough to know it.

The United States will continue to take a defensive and punitive position toward Russia as long as Donald Trump illegitimately remains in power. If Trump is gone, and Russia begins to atone for its sins, then maybe those sanctions get incrementally walked back as a way of encouraging future good behavior. I’m not saying Putin is preparing to oust Trump in the hope of keeping his oligarchs happy. I’m just saying I think he’s testing the waters for ousting Trump by admitting today that he rigged the election. Watch Putin’s next move carefully.

The post Why the Kremlin is suddenly admitting that it rigged the election in Donald Trump’s favorappeared first on Palmer Report.

Colbert Brings Down The House By Using Trumps Words Against Don Jr.

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“Late Show” host slams the latest claims from the president’s son.

Russian Colonel General Identified as Key MH17 Figure – bellingcat

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bellingcat
Russian Colonel General Identified as Key MH17 Figure
bellingcat
The investigation has identified, to a high degree of certainty, Delfin as Colonel General Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev, currently serving as the Chief Inspector of the Central Military District of the Russian Federation. Photographs, videos, and audio 

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Can the president obstruct justice?

mikenova shared this story from Post Politics.

Can the president obstruct justice?

One of President Trumps private lawyers, John Dowd, made a bold claim Monday that a president cannot be found guilty of obstruction of justice. The statement raised a lot of questions for legal experts when it comes to laws applying to the American presidency: Can a president obstruct justice? Or is he immune from this as […]


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Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List

Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on … – The Sun

Hannity: Trump-Russia Probe ‘A House Of Cards Beginning to Crash Down’ – Fox News Insider
Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened
Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home – ABC Online
Poll Shows Trump’s Support Dropping Among White Evangelicals
Why the Kremlin is suddenly admitting that it rigged the election in Donald Trumps favor
Colbert Brings Down The House By Using Trumps Words Against Don Jr.
Russian Colonel General Identified as Key MH17 Figure – bellingcat
Can the president obstruct justice?
The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West – STRATFOR
The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok – The Atlantic
Bitcoins soar to heavens in value, but leave a staggering toll on earthly environment
Mikhail Lesin’s death swung attention to Russia after Obama’s intelligence fiasco – Washington Times
FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as critics question handling of Trump, Clinton probes – Washington Post
FBI must identify origin of Trump-Russia collusion idea: Rep. DeSantis
Tillerson Says the US Will Never Accept Crimea Annexation – New York Times
Trump to release medical records – Jamaica Observer
Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt?
Live Stream: Wray Testifies Before House Judiciary on FBI Oversight
Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era
Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era – Bloomberg
Russian Military Wants To Help Trump Destroy ISIS in Iraq – Newsweek
Putin and Russia’s 2018 Election – STRATFOR
WATCH: FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before House committee – New York Daily News

 

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Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The first lady asked for peace, health, love and kindness, but apparently not irony.

Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on … – The Sun

mikenova shared this story from organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News.


The Sun
Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on …
The Sun
I hope the authorities sit up and take notice of this report, which suggests highly dangerous individuals and criminal organisations are using a cloak of anonymity surrounding Bitcoin to finance crime. Regulation of crypto-currencies is long overdue 

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Hannity: Trump-Russia Probe ‘A House Of Cards Beginning to Crash Down’ – Fox News Insider

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Fox News Insider
Hannity: Trump-Russia Probe ‘A House Of Cards Beginning to Crash Down’
Fox News Insider
Sean Hannity said in his Opening Monologue that the federal investigation into President Trump is becoming a “house of cards [that is] beginning to crash down.” Hannity said that the increasing tally of probe-related officials to be shown to have 

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Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

Comey had “guts” when the FBI was investigating Clinton, Trump said, months before he fired the director.

Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home – ABC Online

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ABC Online
Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home
ABC Online
It’s a move that the President had promised to deliver from way back when he was just candidate Trump. It’s also something that many Presidents have said they’d do but haven’t and it’s largely supported by the Washington Establishment. The White 
Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement faces further backlash: Russia, Canada, Pakistan condemn US decisionFirstpost
Forget Russia, Israel Actual Foreign Power Collaborating With Team TrumpSputnik International

all 8,029 news articles »

Poll Shows Trump’s Support Dropping Among White Evangelicals

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The president’s approval rating continues to fall in his first year in office.

Why the Kremlin is suddenly admitting that it rigged the election in Donald Trumps favor

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

After a year of largely denying it, even while throwing in the occasional wink, the Russian government is now finally admitting that it rigged the United States presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor. It’s not saying so in exact words. Instead it’s acknowledging through a state-controlled media outlet that it arrested one of its own intel officers for admitting to the U.S. that Russia rigged the election. Rachel Maddow broke this news on her show, but left it an open question as to why Russia is choosing now. I have some thoughts on that.

Keep in mind that just yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he’s “running” for reelection in early 2018 after all. I’m putting “running” in quotes because he’ll rig this election like he always does, and he’ll win automatically. But this announcement is something of a surprise, because just a week ago, someone planted a series of stories in major European newspapers which claimed Putin was considering retiring. These stories had to have been planted by the Russian oligarchs as a warning to Putin: get your act together on this nonsense with Trump and sanctions, or we will put you out of business.

To be clear, even though Putin has total control over his puppet Trump, there is nothing that Putin can do to get Trump to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia. Both political parties are intent on increasing those sanctions, in retaliation for Putin’s decision to rig the election for Trump. There is only one possible way Putin can get those sanctions lifted, even though it may be a long shot, and he’s savvy enough to know it.

The United States will continue to take a defensive and punitive position toward Russia as long as Donald Trump illegitimately remains in power. If Trump is gone, and Russia begins to atone for its sins, then maybe those sanctions get incrementally walked back as a way of encouraging future good behavior. I’m not saying Putin is preparing to oust Trump in the hope of keeping his oligarchs happy. I’m just saying I think he’s testing the waters for ousting Trump by admitting today that he rigged the election. Watch Putin’s next move carefully.

The post Why the Kremlin is suddenly admitting that it rigged the election in Donald Trump’s favorappeared first on Palmer Report.

Colbert Brings Down The House By Using Trumps Words Against Don Jr.

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

“Late Show” host slams the latest claims from the president’s son.

Russian Colonel General Identified as Key MH17 Figure – bellingcat

mikenova shared this story from Russian Intelligence services and organized crime – Google News.


bellingcat
Russian Colonel General Identified as Key MH17 Figure
bellingcat
The investigation has identified, to a high degree of certainty, Delfin as Colonel General Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev, currently serving as the Chief Inspector of the Central Military District of the Russian Federation. Photographs, videos, and audio 

and more »

Can the president obstruct justice?

mikenova shared this story from Post Politics.

Can the president obstruct justice?

One of President Trumps private lawyers, John Dowd, made a bold claim Monday that a president cannot be found guilty of obstruction of justice. The statement raised a lot of questions for legal experts when it comes to laws applying to the American presidency: Can a president obstruct justice? Or is he immune from this as […]

The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West – STRATFOR

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STRATFOR
The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West
STRATFOR
Those efforts have substantially boosted Russian influence in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific, and it has followed by deepening its ties in other strategic theaters such as Afghanistan, Venezuela and Libya. Initially, Russia appeared to be 
Tillerson says Ukraine key sticking point in US-Russia tiesABC News
Is Rapprochement with Russia Still Possible?The American Conservative

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The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok – The Atlantic

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The Atlantic
The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok
The Atlantic
Nationwide, law enforcement tends to lean right, and during the campaign, Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani acknowledged receiving secrets from FBI insiders. While the Justice Department has a clear code of ethics, it does not preclude employees from holding 

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Bitcoins soar to heavens in value, but leave a staggering toll on earthly environment

mikenova shared this story from National News |.

The jump in value of bitcoins has been nothing short of precipitous: A bitcoin that started 2017 worth $1,023 was trading at $16,999 at 2 p.m. Thursday. The currency has … Click to Continue »

Mikhail Lesin’s death swung attention to Russia after Obama’s intelligence fiasco – Washington Times

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Mikhail Lesin’s death swung attention to Russia after Obama’s intelligence fiasco
Washington Times
How exactly did the corpse of Mikhail Lesin, Moscow’s most influential media magnate and the founder of the Kremlin-backed global satellite TV network Russia Today, or RT, wind up in a Washington hotel room just a mile from the White House almost

FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as critics question handling of Trump, Clinton probes – Washington Post

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Washington Post
FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as critics question handling of Trump, Clinton probes
Washington Post
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray defended the agency’s integrity Thursday, telling skeptical Republican lawmakers that its agents are decent people committed to the highest principles of integrity and respect.” Wray was asked at the House Judiciary
FBI Director Christopher Wray defends agency after Trump’s attacksCNN
FBI Director Wray grilled by Republicans over ‘bias’ concerns in Russia, Clinton email casesFox News
FBI Director Christopher Wray defends bureau amid turbulence over Russia investigationLos Angeles Times
USA TODAY –CBS News –U.S. News & World Report –Business Insider
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FBI must identify origin of Trump-Russia collusion idea: Rep. DeSantis

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Tillerson Says the US Will Never Accept Crimea Annexation – New York Times

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New York Times
Tillerson Says the US Will Never Accept Crimea Annexation
New York Times
After his talks with Mr. Putin in November on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit meeting in Danang, Vietnam, Mr. Trump emphasized that he believed Mr. Putin was sincere in his denials of interference in the 2016 United States 
Tillerson says Ukraine key sticking point in US-Russia tiesWCAX
Is Rapprochement with Russia Still Possible?The American Conservative

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Trump to release medical records – Jamaica Observer

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Jamaica Observer
Trump to release medical records
Jamaica Observer
… Center) and those records will be released by the doctor following that taking place.” It is the first time the White House has committed to releasing records about the president’s health, something his predecessors did regularly. Wednesday’s 

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Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt?

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According to the whistle-blower, Copson said, “This is the start of something I have been working on for years. Mike has been putting everything in place for us.” Copson allegedly turned his phone around when he received the text, displaying the message from Flynn that the project was “good to go.” This would mean that Flynn’s first action for the new president was to let his former business partners know that their plan to build nuclear reactors with Russian partners was on.

Think about this for a moment. By this time, Flynn and everyone else in the country was aware that Russia had interfered in the election and that there was serious suspicion surrounding the Trump campaign’s and transition team’s dealings with Russian actors. They knew about the “Steele dossier” because it had been written up in Mother Jones before the election, and Trump himself had been briefed on it by FBI Director James Comey. If what this whistle-blower says is true, Flynn was even more reckless than we knew.

This news is especially damning since we already know that Flynn failed to disclose trips to the Middle East on behalf of ACU when he filed his security clearance renewal application in 2016. It means that his memory was sharp enough to call his friend even before Trump had finished his speech, but not good enough to remember to put his dubious business activities on his disclosure forms. And Robert Mueller knew all about it.

Flynn has made the case in public that it’s important to engage in business deals with Russian interests because the United States needs the Russian government to help fight ISIS. It’s even possible that’s what he thought he was doing — along with lining up a fat payday. According to The Washington Post, Flynn pushed this plan relentlessly during his brief tenure in the White House as national security adviser and his staff kept pushing it even after he left, without really understanding why they were doing it, just knowing that Flynn insisted it was a high priority.

Live Stream: Wray Testifies Before House Judiciary on FBI Oversight

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

FBI Director Christopher Wray is testifying this morning at 10 a.m. before the House Judiciary Committee. Read his prepared testimony, and watch the live stream below.

Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era

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Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that he would run for a fourth term as president was long predicted, though it seemed to some Russian observers (incorrectly) that he waited unusually long to make it. Less predictable is how the system Putin built will plan its perpetuation after his term ends in 2024, when he’s constitutionally barred from running again.

Putin’s third term has been his most important one, more momentous even than his first, in 2000-2004, which was marked by U.S. Republican-style economic reforms, a flat income tax, the harsh taming of the 1990s oligarchs and the recentralization of power. In 2012-2018, Putin abandoned any pretense of playing along with the U.S. and its European allies and sought to make it clear to the rest of the world that Pax Americana was ending. In that, he has been largely successful. He has, however, neglected the base on which his geopolitical achievements rest — his own Russia, the vast, still poor, increasingly cynical and potentially very angry nation that Putin may not quite represent, or even run, anymore.

Putin claims his biggest successes outside of Russia. He has held on to illegally annexed Crimea, and the Kremlin retained operational control over the mob-run, separatist “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine, most recently through what looked like an engineered coup in one of them. Putin was held back from further territorial gains by cost considerations — it appears important to him to keep regular military casualties low while making proxies shoulder most of the burden — but his minimum goals, including instability in Ukraine, have been achieved. It’s obvious even to the most biased observers that, despite massive Western support, modern Ukraine is a corrupt mess that is hardly more European than when its people decided to break away from the Russian orbit at the beginning of Putin’s third term.

Despite U.S. resistance, Putin helped his Syrian ally, President Bashar al-Assad, win his civil war. At the end of 2017, it’s clear that if Assad is leaving at all, he’s not being toppled, the way the U.S. and its allies toppled Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi. Putin’s successful, resource-light intervention has redrawn the Middle Eastern relationship map, helping effectively rip Turkey out of the Western alliance and forcing even Saudi Arabia to seek a good working relationship with Moscow, which was solidified by an oil policy alliance.

Putin has also given hope to illiberal forces throughout Europe, which failed to win critical elections this year but which will remain useful allies. And, deservedly or not, Russia has been established in the Western elite’s mind as a hacking superpower, a different kind of tech force than the U.S. with its commercial internet behemoths. It’s a reputation Putin is looking to strengthen by embracing cryptocurrency technology as an alternative to the Western-dominated financial system.

All of this has cost Russia its place in the G-8 and its vague aspirations to membership in a greater Europe, stretching from Lisbon to Vladivostok. But it hasn’t made Russia a pariah to the rest of the world, most notably to China, which has benignly allowed Putin to shake the foundations of the Western-led global order. Putin’s third term will likely be remembered as the four years that made a multi-polar world if not a reality, then a possibility.

But as Putin’s skill was applied to geopolitics, he was an increasingly absent feudal lord at home. Gleb Pavlovsky, a Kremlin political operator during Putin’s early years in power, captured this feeling best in an interview with Echo Moskvy radio on Wednesday:

For the world, it’s Putin’s Russia. But inside, it’s no longer Putin’s, it’s already post-Putin, and all the main players in it try, so to say, to make their own moves, set up their own chessmen, build up a potential for the moment Putin is no longer there. Putin is just walking around trying to get in on this process. I don’t think it’s possible for him to own it anymore.

Indeed, if first- and second-term Putin was a competent micromanager, making all the important decisions and mediating every significant conflict, Putin now appears to have lost that ability.

One high-profile example is the ongoing trial of former economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev, against whom a close Putin associate, Igor Sechin, the head of state-owned oil giant Rosneft, organized a sting operation to accuse him of extorting a $2 million bribe. The trial has been open to the press, and the secretive Rosneft chief has suffered the indignity of being repeatedly summoned to appear and inventing excuses not to. This is the kind of conflict that, in earlier days, Putin wouldn’t have allowed to play out in the open — at least not for long.

Another example is the defiant independence of Ramzan Kadyrov, the Putin-installed head of Chechnya. His conspicuous wealth, violent suppression of opponents and insistence on conservative Islamic values in a secular state are an ongoing challenge to Moscow’s authority — but Kadyrov’s warlord reputation seems to keep the federal law enforcement apparatus at bay. Again, Putin hasn’t intervened.

Even the banishment of Russian officials from next year’s winter Olympics is indicative of Putin’s weakening leadership. Russian state propaganda outlets discuss it in terms of geopolitical retribution — but Putin could have staged a domestic clean-up and kicked out officials who had, at best, failed to out a doping conspiracy in Russian sports and at worst, participated in it. He could then have appealed to his old friend International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach for support. Yet no such clean-up has taken place, indicating Putin’s remoteness and relative indifference.

Throughout the third term, Putin also drifted on economic policy. Little was done to prepare Russia for an era of low oil prices. A modest agricultural boom which has turned the country into a top grain exporter is no substitute for the lost hydrocarbon revenues, and snail-paced economic growth based on a borrowing-fueled consumption surge isn’t enough to generate economic optimism. Putin has repeatedly shown a reluctance to promote any bold change that would show Russians a more hopeful future.

Though Putin remains by far Russia’s most popular politician, Russians have been apathetic about the March election. According to Levada Center’s latest poll, only 58 percent of voters intend to cast ballots. In 2012, 65.3 percent turned out, and polls at the same time in the electoral cycle indicated that more than two-thirds would cast votes. Alexei Navalny, the anti-corruption activist and Putin’s only serious opponent, won’t be allowed to run against him despite months of campaigning and mustering visible support in the Russian hinterland, especially among the young. He has promised to campaign actively for a boycott of the election.

The Soviet-style campaign announcement on Wednesday — during a visit to a truck factory in Nizhny Novgorod, where a worker asked him a “spontaneous” question about the election — is evidence of the Kremlin’s lack of ideas, characteristic of its domestic policy during Putin’s third term. Putin’s legitimacy after his inevitable win will be the lowest of his reign, spurring an ever more active battle for succession, in which new players are likely to start emerging as soon as Putin is re-enthroned.

Putin has cast Russia in the role of the world’s biggest geopolitical disruptor. But its current performance is unsustainable without coherent, successful domestic policies. Putin has presided over, indeed enabled, a corrupt, inefficiently run country where people — including those in the top echelons of business and power — just fend for themselves as best they can. The question of what kind of future Russia might have will arise after Putin’s re-election, and Putin won’t necessarily have much say in it.

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.

To contact the author of this story:
Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Therese Raphael at traphael4@bloomberg.net

Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era – Bloomberg

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Bloomberg
Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era
Bloomberg
He has held on to illegally annexed Crimea, and the Kremlin retained operational control over the mob-run, separatist “people’s republics” in eastern Ukraine, most recently through what looked like an engineered coup in one of them. Putin was held back 
Top Vladimir Putin Critic Pays Visit To SCFITSNews
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Russian Military Wants To Help Trump Destroy ISIS in Iraq – Newsweek

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Newsweek
Russian Military Wants To Help Trump Destroy ISIS in Iraq
Newsweek
Russia has offered to assist the U.S. in the final stages of the fight against the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Iraq after Moscow declared total victory against the jihadis in neighboring Syria. Russia has long questioned the effectiveness 
ISIS defeat in Syria ‘significant step, but remnants may regroup elsewhere’RT

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Putin and Russia’s 2018 Election – STRATFOR

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STRATFOR
Putin and Russia’s 2018 Election
STRATFOR
As the world continues to focus on the 2016 U.S. presidential election and claims of Russian involvement more than a year later, Russia is preparing for its own presidential election season in 2018. In this episode of the Stratfor Podcast, Vice 

WATCH: FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before House committee – New York Daily News

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New York Daily News
WATCH: FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before House committee
New York Daily News
The FBI that I see is people decent people committed to professionalism and respect. The FBI that I see is respected and appreciated by our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement, in the intelligence community, by our foreign 
A tale of 3 Trump-Russia ‘smoking guns’ in 36 hoursWashington Post
The 10 Events You Need To Know To Understand The Michael Flynn StoryNPR
Anti-Trump bias exposed in Mueller probeFox News
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5:54 AM 12/8/2017 – The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West – STRATFOR

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Poll Shows Trump’s Support Dropping Among White Evangelicals
Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement faces further backlash: Russia, Canada, Pakistan condemn US decision – Firstpost
Emails show effort in Russia to help elect Trump – The Mercury News
Mark Caserta: DOJ should consider some factual Russian collusion – Huntington Herald Dispatch
Colbert Brings Down The House By Using Trumps Words Against Don Jr.
Can the president obstruct justice?
Seven weeks in winter: Flynn, Trump and Comey – Washington Post
Watergate, Rebooted – Inside Higher Ed
Yale psychiatrist calls for Trump’s formal assessment – New Europe
Is Donald Trump’s mental health becoming dangerous? Medical experts weigh in. – NBCNews.com
DOJ: Releasing James Comey memos would ‘impair’ Russia probe – WBIR-TV
The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok – The Atlantic
Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘Deeply Concerned’ At US Jerusalem Move – NDTV
Bitcoins soar to heavens in value, but leave a staggering toll on earthly environment
Most Americans say senior Trump officials probably had ‘improper’ contact with Russia – CNBC
Paul Manafort’s Lawyer Says A Ban On Ghostwriting Op-Eds With Russians Would Be Unconstitutional – HuffPost
Wray: FBI could reopen Clinton investigation after independent review – WJLA
How Trump Has Flip-Flopped on Intelligence Agencies – New York Times
The FBI just gave Donald Trump and his advisers a whole new reason to be paranoid toward each other
Mikhail Lesin’s death swung attention to Russia after Obama’s intelligence fiasco – Washington Times
FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as critics question handling of Trump, Clinton probes – Washington Post
White House: ‘There’s Nothing’ to Trump’s Speech – U.S. News & World Report

 

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Poll Shows Trump’s Support Dropping Among White Evangelicals

The president’s approval rating continues to fall in his first year in office. 

Why the Kremlin is suddenly admitting that it rigged the election in Donald Trumps favor

After a year of largely denying it, even while throwing in the occasional wink, the Russian government is now finally admitting that it rigged the United States presidential election in Donald Trump’s favor. It’s not saying so in exact words. Instead it’s acknowledging through a state-controlled media outlet that it arrested one of its own intel officers for admitting to the U.S. that Russia rigged the election. Rachel Maddow broke this news on her show, but left it an open question as to why Russia is choosing now. I have some thoughts on that.

Keep in mind that just yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he’s “running” for reelection in early 2018 after all. I’m putting “running” in quotes because he’ll rig this election like he always does, and he’ll win automatically. But this announcement is something of a surprise, because just a week ago, someone planted a series of stories in major European newspapers which claimed Putin was considering retiring. These stories had to have been planted by the Russian oligarchs as a warning to Putin: get your act together on this nonsense with Trump and sanctions, or we will put you out of business.

To be clear, even though Putin has total control over his puppet Trump, there is nothing that Putin can do to get Trump to lift U.S. sanctions on Russia. Both political parties are intent on increasing those sanctions, in retaliation for Putin’s decision to rig the election for Trump. There is only one possible way Putin can get those sanctions lifted, even though it may be a long shot, and he’s savvy enough to know it.

The United States will continue to take a defensive and punitive position toward Russia as long as Donald Trump illegitimately remains in power. If Trump is gone, and Russia begins to atone for its sins, then maybe those sanctions get incrementally walked back as a way of encouraging future good behavior. I’m not saying Putin is preparing to oust Trump in the hope of keeping his oligarchs happy. I’m just saying I think he’s testing the waters for ousting Trump by admitting today that he rigged the election. Watch Putin’s next move carefully.

The post Why the Kremlin is suddenly admitting that it rigged the election in Donald Trump’s favorappeared first on Palmer Report.

Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement faces further backlash: Russia, Canada, Pakistan condemn US decision – Firstpost


Firstpost
Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement faces further backlash: Russia, Canada, Pakistan condemn US decision
Firstpost
US president Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on Wednesday sparked worldwide condemnation from world leaders even as Palestinian militant group Hamas called for a new armed uprising on Thursday. Trump shattered decades of 
All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next?The Guardian
Forget Russia, Israel Actual Foreign Power Collaborating With Team TrumpSputnik International

all 8,750 news articles »

Emails show effort in Russia to help elect Trump – The Mercury News


The Mercury News
Emails show effort in Russia to help elect Trump
The Mercury News
The executive at Vkontakte, or VK, Russia’s equivalent to Facebook, emailed Donald Trump Jr. and social media director Dan Scavino in January and again in November of last year, offering to help promote Trump’s campaign to its nearly 100 million users 
Exclusive: Previously undisclosed emails show follow-up after Trump Tower meetingCNN
Uncovered emails show Trump campaign follow-up after controversial Trump Tower meeting with RussiansNew York Daily News
Donald Trump Jr. is clamming up on Russia. Republicans may help him get away with it.Washington Post
MSNBC –The Guardian –NBCNews.com
all 329 news articles »
Mark Caserta: DOJ should consider some factual Russian collusion – Huntington Herald Dispatch

Mark Caserta: DOJ should consider some factual Russian collusion
Huntington Herald Dispatch
And supplemental to the deal, the FBI gathered evidence that Russian nuclear industry officials were engaging in bribery, kickbacks, extortion and money laundering inside the U.S. as reported by The New York Times. And suppose, germane to the Uranium 

Colbert Brings Down The House By Using Trumps Words Against Don Jr.

“Late Show” host slams the latest claims from the president’s son.

Russian Colonel General Identified as Key MH17 Figure – bellingcat


bellingcat
Russian Colonel General Identified as Key MH17 Figure
bellingcat
The investigation has identified, to a high degree of certainty, Delfin as Colonel General Nikolai Fedorovich Tkachev, currently serving as the Chief Inspector of the Central Military District of the Russian Federation. Photographs, videos, and audio 

and more »

Can the president obstruct justice?

Can the president obstruct justice?

One of President Trumps private lawyers, John Dowd, made a bold claim Monday that a president cannot be found guilty of obstruction of justice. The statement raised a lot of questions for legal experts when it comes to laws applying to the American presidency: Can a president obstruct justice? Or is he immune from this as […]

Seven weeks in winter: Flynn, Trump and Comey – Washington Post


Washington Post
Seven weeks in winter: Flynn, Trump and Comey
Washington Post
Only seven weeks in the winter of 2016-2017. That’s how much time elapsed between fateful phone calls made by incoming national security adviser Michael Flynn and his firing by President Trump. On Dec. 1, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about 
DOJ: Releasing James Comey memos would ‘impair’ Russia probeUSA TODAY
Kelly: Will America finally recognize Jim Comey as a hero?NorthJersey.com
FBI agents and James Comey fire back after Trump called their integrity into questionBusiness Insider
Washington Free Beacon –World Tribune
all 1,320 news articles »
Watergate, Rebooted – Inside Higher Ed


Inside Higher Ed
Watergate, Rebooted
Inside Higher Ed
And it seemed endless. At this distance, I find it hard to believe just 16 months passed between the start of the hearings in May 1973 and Richard Nixon’s resignation in August 1974. As with a building remembered from childhood, it felt a lot bigger 

The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West – STRATFOR


STRATFOR
The Evolving Stalemate Between Russia and the West
STRATFOR
Those efforts have substantially boosted Russian influence in the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific, and it has followed by deepening its ties in other strategic theaters such as Afghanistan, Venezuela and Libya. Initially, Russia appeared to be 
Tillerson says Ukraine key sticking point in US-Russia tiesABC News
Is Rapprochement with Russia Still Possible?The American Conservative

all 136 195 news articles »

Yale psychiatrist calls for Trump’s formal assessment – New Europe

Yale psychiatrist calls for Trump’s formal assessment
New Europe
While it is politically incorrect to reduce criticism to a psychological evaluation, a Yale psychiatrist is daring to articulate a concern over the mental stability of the US President, Donald Trump. In a letter to the New York Times on Friday, Dr 

Is Donald Trump’s mental health becoming dangerous? Medical experts weigh in. – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
Is Donald Trump’s mental health becoming dangerous? Medical experts weigh in.
NBCNews.com
This is not because he is an unusual person his presentation is almost typical for a forensic psychiatrist like myself whose patients are mostly violence offenders but it is highly unusual to find such a person in the office of presidency. For 

DOJ: Releasing James Comey memos would ‘impair’ Russia probe – WBIR-TV


Washington Post
DOJ: Releasing James Comey memos would ‘impair’ Russia probe
WBIR-TV
Several media organizations, including USA TODAY’s parent company Gannett, are suing the government for release of the documents, including Trump’s alleged requests for Comey’s personal “loyalty” and to drop his investigation into former national 
James Comey, Sally Yates and Eric Holder defend FBI after Trump’s Twitter attackWashington Post
FBI agents and James Comey fire back after Trump called their integrity into questionBusiness Insider
Hillary Clinton Received ‘Break After Break From the FBI,’ Say House RepublicansNewsweek
Washington Free Beacon –The Hill –Twitter –Axios
all 920 news articles »
The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok – The Atlantic


The Atlantic
The Strange Tale of Peter Strzok
The Atlantic
Nationwide, law enforcement tends to lean right, and during the campaign, Trump adviser Rudy Giuliani acknowledged receiving secrets from FBI insiders. While the Justice Department has a clear code of ethics, it does not preclude employees from holding 

and more »

Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘Deeply Concerned’ At US Jerusalem Move – NDTV


NDTV
Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘Deeply Concerned’ At US Jerusalem Move
NDTV
Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘Deeply Concerned’ At US Jerusalem Move. V;adimir Putin has called for the Palestinians and Israel to “hold back” and renew negotiations (File). Moscow: Russian president Vladimir Putin is “deeply concerned” by Donald 
Erdogan, Putin say US decision on Jerusalem will have negative impact on region – sourcesReuters UK

all 467 news articles »

Bitcoins soar to heavens in value, but leave a staggering toll on earthly environment

The jump in value of bitcoins has been nothing short of precipitous: A bitcoin that started 2017 worth $1,023 was trading at $16,999 at 2 p.m. Thursday. The currency has … Click to Continue »
Most Americans say senior Trump officials probably had ‘improper’ contact with Russia – CNBC


CNBC
Most Americans say senior Trump officials probably had ‘improper’ contact with Russia
CNBC
… believe that senior Trump officials probably had improper contact with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, according to a new poll conducted by the Pew Research Center. The results are skewed along partisan lines. About a quarter of 

and more »

Paul Manafort’s Lawyer Says A Ban On Ghostwriting Op-Eds With Russians Would Be Unconstitutional – HuffPost


Law.com
Paul Manafort’s Lawyer Says A Ban On Ghostwriting Op-Eds With Russians Would Be Unconstitutional
HuffPost
… argued Thursday that ghostwriting an op-ed with a business partner linked to Russian intelligence doesn’t violate a court order, and that in fact, a ban on such activity would be unconstitutional. Prosecutors working for Special Counsel Robert 
The Op-Ed Paul Manafort Allegedly Tried to Have Planted Is Comically Worshipful of Paul ManafortSlate Magazine
Paul Manafort’s draft op-ed is what collusion with Russia might look likeWashington Post
Paul Manafort: I Did Not Violate Gag Order By Weighing In On Op-Ed About MeTPM
BuzzFeed News –WGRZ-TV –Law.com
all 70 news articles »
Wray: FBI could reopen Clinton investigation after independent review – WJLA


WJLA
Wray: FBI could reopen Clinton investigation after independent review
WJLA
WASHINGTON (Sinclair Broadcast Group) FBI Director Christopher Wray appeared for the first time in front of the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday where the FBI’s handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation was still fresh in the minds of 

and more »

How Trump Has Flip-Flopped on Intelligence Agencies – New York Times


TPM
How Trump Has Flip-Flopped on Intelligence Agencies
New York Times
WASHINGTON President Trump’s harsh criticism of the F.B.I. elicited a rare and impassioned defense on Thursday from its director, Christopher A. Wray, even as he noted no shortage of opinions out there about the bureau. Mr. Wray’s comments to the 
FBI Director Faces LawmakersNPR
GOP Lawmakers Endorse Trump’s Claim Of FBI’s Reputation Being ‘In Tatters’TPM

all 247 news articles »

The FBI just gave Donald Trump and his advisers a whole new reason to be paranoid toward each other

Since the first arrests began in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal, we’ve seen scattered reports in the media about Trump’s various advisers becoming increasingly paranoid toward each other. Who’s already cut a deal? Who’s wearing a wire? Who can they still trust? This kind of chaos leads to dysfunction, and it may drive some of them to cut plea deals all the more quickly. Now the FBI has just given Trump’s people a whole new reason to be paranoid.

FBI Director Christopher Wray testified before Congress today, as he does from time to time. Very little useful information came out of it. The Democrats on the committee don’t want to taint the FBI’s Trump-Russia investigation, now that it’s in the hands of Robert Mueller. The Republicans on the committee tried to use today’s hearings to spin yet more imaginary controversies about Hillary Clinton. But there was one useful moment in which Wray acknowledged the FBI is using FISA eavesdropping warrants in the Trump-Russia investigation.

This is not necessarily news. It’s long been known that there were multiple FISA warrants against Paul Manafort for a prolonged stretch of time before his arrest. Wray is probably just referring to that. Even if there are new FISA warrants in place against other Trump-Russia players, the FBI wouldn’t be admitting to it. But that doesn’t change the fact that today’s headlines will read something along the lines of “FBI Director confirms FISA warrants are being used in Trump-Russia scandal.”

That’s going to cause Donald Trump’s White House advisers to stop and ask themselves just what other FISA warrants might be underway. Has their colleague’s phone been tapped? Has their own phone been tapped? This is how paranoia sets in. Even though the FBI was probably just talking about Manafort today, Trump’s people have no way of knowing that for sure. If anything they’ll begin acting even more paranoid toward each other, as the walls cave in on them all.

The post The FBI just gave Donald Trump and his advisers a whole new reason to be paranoid toward each other appeared first on Palmer Report.

Mikhail Lesin’s death swung attention to Russia after Obama’s intelligence fiasco – Washington Times

Mikhail Lesin’s death swung attention to Russia after Obama’s intelligence fiasco
Washington Times
How exactly did the corpse of Mikhail Lesin, Moscow’s most influential media magnate and the founder of the Kremlin-backed global satellite TV network Russia Today, or RT, wind up in a Washington hotel room just a mile from the White House almost

FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as critics question handling of Trump, Clinton probes – Washington Post


Washington Post
FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as critics question handling of Trump, Clinton probes
Washington Post
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray defended the agency’s integrity Thursday, telling skeptical Republican lawmakers that its agents are decent people committed to the highest principles of integrity and respect.” Wray was asked at the House Judiciary
FBI Director Christopher Wray defends agency after Trump’s attacksCNN
FBI Director Wray grilled by Republicans over ‘bias’ concerns in Russia, Clinton email casesFox News
FBI Director Christopher Wray defends bureau amid turbulence over Russia investigationLos Angeles Times
USA TODAY –CBS News –U.S. News & World Report –Business Insider
all 86 news articles »
White House: ‘There’s Nothing’ to Trump’s Speech – U.S. News & World Report


U.S. News & World Report
White House: ‘There’s Nothing’ to Trump’s Speech
U.S. News & World Report
The White House is putting to bed claims that the president suffered from a medical issue. By Megan Trimble, Associate Editor, Social Media |Dec. 7, 2017, at 10:37 a.m.. White House: ‘There’s Nothing’ to Trump’s Speech. Share. ×. Share on Facebook 
Trevor Noah goes after Trump for slurred speech, launches #DentureDonaldMashable

all 82 news articles »


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2:30 PM 12/7/2017 – This Church Banner Perfectly Captures How Progressive Christians Feel Right Now

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This Church Banner Perfectly Captures How Progressive Christians Feel Right Now

Al Franken Resigns
FBI Chief Defends Bureau Against Trump’s Attacks – Mother Jones
FBI director rebukes Trump, says the FBI’s reputation isn’t ‘in tatters’ and ‘worst in history’ – Business Insider
Russia China alliance: Putin meets Chinese military muscle amid war drills show of force – Express.co.uk
Why the FBI director walked a tightrope on the Steele dossier – Washington Examiner
The Guardian view on Trump and Jerusalem: undiplomatic diplomacy | Editorial
Center for America Progress Report: Trump and Associates Could Be Prosecuted Under Racketeering Laws – eNews Park Forest
The Latest: FBI director defends agency amid Trump criticism – KUTV 2News
WATCH: FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before House committee – New York Daily News
Lawmakers press FBI on alleged bias in Clinton, Trump cases – Reuters
FBI Director Defends Bureau’s ‘Brave Men And Women’ After Trump Twitter Attack
‘Worst password offenders’ of 2017 include Trump, Republican Party – Metro US
FBI director counters Trump’s attacks on his agency – WTOP
Late-night hosts on Trump’s Israel decision: ‘Peace talks roasting on an open fire’
Russia-NATO Cold War Leads Finland to Build Military 100 Years After Independence – Newsweek
President Trump’s Mental Health Is Deteriorating Amid Mueller Investigation, ‘Morning Joe’ Claims – Newsweek
The 7 facts (and 27 footnotes) that prove the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow – Macleans.ca
Trump Jr ‘had amnesia during testimony’ says US lawmaker – BBC News
The Latest: Director refutes Trump on FBI’s reputation – Bryan-College Station Eagle
FBI director defends agency amid Trump criticism – ABC News
Russia-Trump: FBI chief Wray defends agency – BBC News
Donald Trump Jr sold out Donald Trump yesterday, and it wasnt by accident
Lavrov: US pressure on Russian diplomats and media is unacceptable – Reuters
Argentine judge issues arrest warrant for Cristina Kirchner over terror attack cover-up – Telegraph.co.uk

 

Saved Stories – None
This Church Banner Perfectly Captures How Progressive Christians Feel Right Now

“Jesus reached out to those on the margins of society. He did not build walls.”
Al Franken Resigns

The Minnesota senator has faced multiple accusations of sexual harassment.
FBI Chief Defends Bureau Against Trump’s Attacks – Mother Jones
 


Mother Jones
FBI Chief Defends Bureau Against Trump’s Attacks
Mother Jones
FBI Director Christopher Wray defended the bureau on Thursday against President Donald Trump’s recent attacks, saying that its agents are working hard to stop child predators and spies from Russia, among other wrongdoers. Those references perhaps 
Full of decent people: Trump’s FBI director strikes back against the president’s attacksVox
Director refutes Trump on FBI’s reputationWRBL
The FBI Director Is Pushing Back Against Trump’s Claim That Its Reputation Is “In Tatters”BuzzFeed News
TPM –New York Daily News –Independent Journal Review
all 117 news articles »
FBI director rebukes Trump, says the FBI’s reputation isn’t ‘in tatters’ and ‘worst in history’ – Business Insider
 


Business Insider
FBI director rebukes Trump, says the FBI’s reputation isn’t ‘in tatters’ and ‘worst in history’
Business Insider
“Hard-charging, high integrity people. People like the hostage rescue team and SWAT teams that we send out into all sorts ofdanger with almost no notice.” He added that he sees an agency that is “respected and appreciated” by their foreign and 
FBI director warns Trump: Agency is fighting spies from Russia while you tear us downShareblue Mediaall 117 news articles »

Russia China alliance: Putin meets Chinese military muscle amid war drills show of force – Express.co.uk
 


Express.co.uk
Russia China alliance: Putin meets Chinese military muscle amid war drills show of force
Express.co.uk
The operation has been condemned by Kim Jong-un’s North Korean regime, which claims the huge US military presence is pushing the region towards the brink of war. A statement from Kim’s state media service said: “What matters is the fact that the drill 
Russia and China order MASSIVE war drills near North Korea for SHOWDOWN with USDaily Starall 2,367 news articles »

Why the FBI director walked a tightrope on the Steele dossier – Washington Examiner
 


Washington Examiner
Why the FBI director walked a tightrope on the Steele dossier
Washington Examiner
Testifying on Capitol Hill on Thursday, FBI Director Christopher Wray walked a tightrope on the so-called “Steele dossier.” Compiled by Christopher Steele, a highly respected former member of Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service (the SIS is Britain’s and more »

The Guardian view on Trump and Jerusalem: undiplomatic diplomacy | Editorial

Donald Trump used to brag that he would bring his dealmaking skills to the worlds most intractable problems. Instead he has folded without a card being dealtThirty years ago this weekend the first intifada began in a Gaza refugee camp, when an Israeli army lorry collided with a civilian car, killing four Palestinians. The uprising spread like wildfire and burned for six years. It was a popular expression of frustration over 20 years of occupation that took both the Israelis and the Palestinian leadership, at the time in exile in Tunisia, by complete surprise. This week Donald Trump drove a truck into the most sensitive of Palestinian grievances: the status of Jerusalem. Days of rage have been called. Years of fury may follow.Continue reading…
Center for America Progress Report: Trump and Associates Could Be Prosecuted Under Racketeering Laws – eNews Park Forest
 

Center for America Progress Report: Trump and Associates Could Be Prosecuted Under Racketeering Laws
eNews Park Forest
Few issues in Washington have generated more heat and less light than the idea that the actions of President Donald Trump, his campaign associates, and his businesses could be prosecuted as part of an ongoing criminal conspiracy under theRacketeer  

The Latest: FBI director defends agency amid Trump criticism – KUTV 2News
 


KUTV 2News
The Latest: FBI director defends agency amid Trump criticism
KUTV 2News
Christopher Wray faces a tough test four months into his leadership of the FBI: He must defend America’s top law enforcement agency against blistering attacks from President Donald Trump without putting his own job at risk. The competing pressures Wray and more »

WATCH: FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before House committee – New York Daily News
 


New York Daily News
WATCH: FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before House committee
New York Daily News
The FBI that I see is people decent people committed to professionalism and respect. The FBI that I see is respected and appreciated by our partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement, in the intelligence community, by our foreign 
A tale of 3 Trump-Russia ‘smoking guns’ in 36 hoursWashington Post
The 10 Events You Need To Know To Understand The Michael Flynn StoryNPR
Anti-Trump bias exposed in Mueller probeFox News
PoliticusUSA
all 995 news articles »
Lawmakers press FBI on alleged bias in Clinton, Trump cases – Reuters
 


Los Angeles Times
Lawmakers press FBI on alleged bias in Clinton, Trump cases
Reuters
Their criticism comes as Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged four people from Trump’s inner circle since October as part of an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Republicans had been frustrated with Comey 
FBI Director Christopher Wray defends bureau amid turbulence over Russia investigationLos Angeles Times
FBI chief Chris Wray defends bureau after Trump says its reputation is ‘in tatters’KSDK
FBI director defends FBI after Trump’s attacks on agencyNewton Kansanall 83 news articles »

FBI Director Defends Bureau’s ‘Brave Men And Women’ After Trump Twitter Attack

“There is no finer institution than the FBI, Director Chris Wray told Congress.
‘Worst password offenders’ of 2017 include Trump, Republican Party – Metro US
 


Metro US
‘Worst password offenders’ of 2017 include Trump, Republican Party
Metro US
For starters, a January investigation by UK outlet Channel 4 News exposed that many of the top staff members Trump handpicked, including multiple cabinet secretaries, senior policy directors even cybersecurity advisor Rudy Giuliani were reusing 
Donald Trump, Equifax Top Dashlane’s “Worst Password Offenders” of 2017Markets Insiderall 2 news articles »

FBI director counters Trump’s attacks on his agency – WTOP
 


WTOP
FBI director counters Trump’s attacks on his agency
WTOP
Jerrold Nadler of New York, top Democrat on the House Judiciary panel, predicted Trump’s attacks on the FBI will only grow louder as Mueller continues investigating. Your responsibility is not only to defend the bureau but to push back against the 
FBI director defends FBI after Trump’s attacks on agencyBoston Herald
Goodlatte Raises ‘Questions Regarding the FBI’s Impartiality’; Wants Documents on FISA Warrants, TrumpDossierCNSNews.comall 100 news articles »

Late-night hosts on Trump’s Israel decision: ‘Peace talks roasting on an open fire’

Comics, including Stephen Colbert and Samantha Bee, discussed Trumps Middle East meddling and the journalists outed as alleged sexual predatorsLate-night hosts discussed Donald Trumps controversial decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as well as the increasing number of journalists being accused of sexual misconduct.

Related: Late-night hosts on Trump’s ‘morally degenerate’ support of Roy Moore

Trump announces that the U.S. will recognize Jerusalem as Israels capital and all hell breaks loose between his tongue and teeth. #DentureDonald
Full episode: https://t.co/DJZoI9j8Yo pic.twitter.com/nCciSWuJJ1

Continue reading…

Russia-NATO Cold War Leads Finland to Build Military 100 Years After Independence – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
Russia-NATO Cold War Leads Finland to Build Military 100 Years After Independence
Newsweek
Throughout the Cold War, Finland attempted to balance the interests of both Western and Eastern factions, and renewed tensions across Europe have once again put the Nordic nation in the middle of a geopolitical struggle for influence. While Lindberg and more »

President Trump’s Mental Health Is Deteriorating Amid Mueller Investigation, ‘Morning Joe’ Claims – Newsweek
 


Newsweek
President Trump’s Mental Health Is Deteriorating Amid Mueller Investigation, ‘Morning Joe’ Claims
Newsweek
On Wednesday, the president appeared to slur words during a speech announcing his decision to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The show’s contributors now question his physical fitness, saying they partly attributed Trump’s condition to and more »

The 7 facts (and 27 footnotes) that prove the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow – Macleans.ca
 


Macleans.ca
The 7 facts (and 27 footnotes) that prove the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow
Macleans.ca
There is now no question Moscow offered to help the Trump campaign multiple times. Campaign advisor George Papadopoulos has testified high-level Russian officials offered him dirt on Clinton.[1] Someone who Donald Trump Jr believed was a Crown and more »

Trump Jr ‘had amnesia during testimony’ says US lawmaker – BBC News
 


BBC News
Trump Jr ‘had amnesia during testimony’ says US lawmaker
BBC News
Donald Trump Jr appeared to have “a very serious case of amnesia” during testimony to a congressional committee, a Democratic lawmaker has said. The US president’s eldest son testified before the US House Intelligence committee about Russia’s alleged 
Donald Trump Jr. is clamming up on Russia. Republicans may help him get away with it.Washington Post
Trump Jr. Won’t Provide Details of a Call With His FatherNew York Times
Trump Jr. Won’t Disclose Russia Talks with President Because Attorney-Client Privilege. Neither Trump Is a Lawyer.Slate Magazine
CBS News –CNN –HuffPost –NBCNews.com
all 183 news articles »
The Latest: Director refutes Trump on FBI’s reputation – Bryan-College Station Eagle
 


Bryan-College Station Eagle
The Latest: Director refutes Trump on FBI’s reputation
Bryan-College Station Eagle
… defending the nation’s top law enforcement agency against Trump’s attacks. He’s testifying before the House Judiciary Committee, where Democrats and Republicans are pushing him to respond to the president’s criticism. Wray said FBI employees “are and more »

FBI director defends agency amid Trump criticism – ABC News
 


Washington Post

U.S. News & World Report
FBI director defends agency amid Trump criticism
ABC News
FBI Director Chris Wray says President Donald Trump has never gone outside the chain of command to communicate with him directly, and has never asked him to pledge his loyalty to him. Wray also says Trump has not spoken to him about special counsel 
The Latest: FBI chief says hacker targets can be hard to ID defending key surveillance program Minneapolis Star Tribuneall 1 news articles »

Russia-Trump: FBI chief Wray defends agency – BBC News
 


BBC News
Russia-Trump: FBI chief Wray defends agency
BBC News
In particular, the Republicans honed in on a former member of Mr Mueller’s team, Peter Strzok, a top FBI counterintelligence officer removed from the investigation this summer after the agency discovered he had written negative text messages aboutand more »

Donald Trump Jr sold out Donald Trump yesterday, and it wasnt by accident

Despite the contrasting manner in which they’re portrayed on Saturday Night Live, any real world measure of Donald Trump Jr and Eric Trump reveals them to be equally stupid. The only difference is that Eric has been raised to believe he’s dumb, so he largely lays low, while Junior has been raised to believe he’s the smart one, so he arrogantly trips himself up on a regular basis. So when Junior sold out his own father during his congressional testimony yesterday, I initially assumed it was through sheer stupidity. Now I’m coming to believe otherwise.I can see Donald Trump Jr being arrogantly stupid enough to try to invoke attorney-client privilege with regard to his conversations with his father, simply because one of them had an attorney in room at the time. He had no other possible excuse for refusing to reveal a conversation that could have incriminated himself and his father, so he went with whatever weak idea his attorneys came up for him. It’ll actually work in terms of buying him time, because the Republican-controlled House Intelligence Committee won’t hold him in contempt, even though Robert Mueller will eventually laugh him out of the building for it.

But here’s what I can’t get past. Donald Trump Jr voluntarily told the House Intel Committee that he informed Hope Hicks of his Russia meeting at Trump Tower. Even if Junior’s attorneys are as incompetent as those working for his father, they still would have explained to him beforehand that by incriminating Hicks, he was creating a direct path to incriminating his father. Mueller now knows that Junior told Hicks, and that Hicks told Senior. Mueller simply has to threaten Hicks with prison time, and she’ll flip on Senior. Then, voila, Mueller has proven that Donald Trump was in on the Russia conspiracy during the campaign.

I just can’t wrap my head around this having been a dumb mistake on Donald Trump Jr’s part. His attorneys had to have pointed out to him that he only had two choices. He could omit the part where he informed Hicks, and it would lead to him eventually being arrested for lying to investigators. Or he could tell the truth about having informed Hicks in order to protect himself legally, and give up his father in the process. Donald Trump Jr just sold out Donald Trump, and based on the logic involved, I don’t think it was by accident.

The post Donald Trump Jr sold out Donald Trump yesterday, and it wasn’t by accident appeared first on Palmer Report.

Lavrov: US pressure on Russian diplomats and media is unacceptable – Reuters
 

Lavrov: US pressure on Russian diplomats and media is unacceptable
Reuters
MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told his U.S. counterpart Rex Tillerson that U.S. pressure onRussian diplomats and media was unacceptable, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. This includes recruitment attempts by  

Argentine judge issues arrest warrant for Cristina Kirchner over terror attack cover-up – Telegraph.co.uk
 


Telegraph.co.uk
Argentine judge issues arrest warrant for Cristina Kirchner over terror attack cover-up
Telegraph.co.uk
A crusading Argentine judge has ordered the arrest of the country’s former president Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner on charges of treason against the fatherland, accusing her of covering up Iranian involvement in the country’s worst-ever terrorist
Argentina judge orders arrest of ex-president Kirchner over Iran terror cover-upThe Times of Israelall 33 23 news articles »


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5:19 AM 12/6/2017 – How Robert Mueller is using Deutsche Bank to prove Russia bought off Donald Trump:  “…Russia bought Trump with cold hard cash before installing him as a puppet in the White House.”

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

“…Russia bought Trump with cold hard cash before installing him as a puppet in the White House.”

Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI – FrontPage Magazine
Mike Pompeo just proved why America needs him at the CIA
Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI
US to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Trump Says, Alarming Middle East Leaders – New York Times
Deportations Of Noncriminals Rise As ICE Casts Wider Net
Donald Trumps attorneys go off the deep end after Robert Mueller seizes Trumps bank records
Special Counsel Investigation Has Cost at Least $6.7 million
The Trump Team Definitely Colluded With a Foreign PowerJust Not the One You Think
UK terror attacks: Review reveals what MI5 knew about Manchester, London Bridge and Westminster attackers
Donald Trump Tells Palestinian President He Plans to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem Despite Opposition – TIME
Deutsche Bank sends Trump financial details to Mueller investigation – Financial Times
Mueller investigation cost $6.7 million within first five months – Washington Post
Deutsche Bank receives subpoena from Mueller on Trump accounts: Source
Trump-Russia probe: Mueller ‘demands Deutsche Bank data’
Trump Said Probing His Finances Would Be A ‘Red Line.’ That’s Exactly What Robert Mueller Is Now Doing.
Mueller Subpoenas Deutsche Bank, Friendly to the Trumps, Mercers, and Russians – Daily Beast
Investigative Committee asks for Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov
Russian Senator Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France
Twitter Search / engcrimerussia: French Prosecutor: Russian Senator Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France https://en.crimerussia.com/financialcrimes/french-prosecutor-s-office-russian-senator-kerimov-smuggles-suitcases-with-money-into-france/ pic.twitter.com/EyMsg8Ozgq
Trump versus the FBI – Greensboro News & Record (blog)
Trump Is Bigger Threat Than Kim Jong-Un And Vladimir Putin, Germans Believe – Newsweek
Trump’s personal banking information handed over to Robert Mueller – The Guardian
Trump’s personal banking information handed over to Robert Mueller
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump? – TheSpec.com

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
How Robert Mueller is using Deutsche Bank to prove Russia bought off Donald Trump
 

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

Many Americans were surprised to learn today that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is working with a bank in Germany to try to connect the dots between Donald Trump and the Russian government. If you’ve been reading Palmer Report since January, you’re not surprised to see this story at all. All year long it’s been inevitable that Mueller would target Deutsche Bank in the Trump-Russia scandal. We know exactly what he’s looking for, because the biggest clues have long been hiding in plain sight.

For years, Deutsche Bank has been loaning unreasonably large sums of money to Donald Trump. Even after most banks worldwide concluded that Trump had become too unlikely to repay his loans and had thus stopped lending to him, Deutsche Bank continued floating Trump almost single handedly. Even after Deutsche Bank hit hard times of its own and should’t have been making risky loans of any kind, it continued to keep Trump afloat for no apparent reason. Then in January of 2017, we learned what appeared to be the reason.

Regulators in the United States and Europe busted Deutsche Bank for having laundered billions of dollars in Russian money into the hands of clients in places like New York City. The story was widely reported in the British press at the time, but it barely got a mention in the American press. Nonetheless it wasn’t difficult to put the pieces together: the Russian government appeared to be sending money to Deutsche Bank, which the bank then turned around and “loaned” to Donald Trump, as a way of funneling money to him.

We’ve never been able to definitively prove this, but Robert Mueller can. It’s why he sent a subpoena to Deutsche Bank months ago in order to get his hands on financial records in relation to the Trump-Russia scandal. We don’t yet know why Deutsche Bank has chosen now to finally cooperate. But we do know what Mueller is looking for: the money trail that proves Russia bought Trump with cold hard cash before installing him as a puppet in the White House.

The post How Robert Mueller is using Deutsche Bank to prove Russia bought off Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI – FrontPage Magazine
 

mikenova shared this story from Abedin – Google News.


FrontPage Magazine
Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI
FrontPage Magazine
Hillary Clinton, Mills and Huma Abedin made what appear to be false statements to the FBI. Had Mills been working for Trump, the same number would have been run on Mills as on Flynn and Papadopoulos. But the men interviewing Mills didn’t want her to and more »

Mike Pompeo just proved why America needs him at the CIA
 

mikenova shared this story .

Mike Pompeo is being lined up to replace Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State, but I believe he should remain in his present position as CIA director.

Don’t get me wrong, I believe Pompeo could serve effectively as America’s chief diplomat. He has the knowledge and intellectual curiosity to manage the team at Foggy Bottom and the temperament to negotiate with championship BSers like the Russian and Iranian foreign ministers. It’s also clear that Tillerson’s tenure needs to come to an end.

The problem, however, is that assuming Jeff Bezos can’t be persuaded to take on the CIA job, Pompeo is not easily replaceable.

After all, it’s increasingly clear that Pompeo is thriving in his current position.

We gained proof of this last week, when Pompeo and former CIA Director Leon Panetta, were interviewed by Bret Baier in California.

Put simply, Pompeo evidenced an abundance of the two qualities that the CIA most depends on for its success: comfort with risk taking and intellectual rigor.

On Iran, Pompeo (rightly) confirmed that he recently warned the head of the Islamic Republic’s covert action force not to threaten U.S. interests in Iraq. But if he was aggressive in this regard, Pompeo also showed cognizance of the complexity of Iranian politics. Describing various power blocks in Tehran, Pompeo referenced Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, President Hassan Rouhani, and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and explained that “one not ought to think of Iran as a unitary actor here.”

This distinction is important in that it suggests Pompeo is focused on countering Iranian aggression while also mitigating actions that would destabilize more-moderate elements in the regime. This is necessary for any long-term U.S. policy success against Iran.

The California event also showed that Pompeo has the trust of President Trump. That’s a big deal.

Earning Trump’s trust, as we know, is a rare quality and one that Panetta rightly praised Pompeo for his success in establishing. Consider that if Trump doesn’t trust his CIA director, American policymaking will suffer in a vacuum of ignorance.

Instead, it is based on Trump’s appreciation for Pompeo’s product. Some criticize the director for being “too political” in this regard, but I believe the opposite is true. By engaging with Trump at a personal level, Pompeo ensures the weighted influence of his agency in Trump’s deliberations.

For one example as to why this is important, consider how Pompeo responded when Baier asked him whether the U.S. would continue supporting the Kurds of northern Syria. This is relevant in light of the apparent pledge by President Trump to Turkey to cease U.S. support for Kurdish groups. While Pompeo wouldn’t be drawn to an exact answer, he noted that “throwing allies under the bus is bad form.”

I smiled at those words. As I’ve explained, the U.S. has a keen strategic interest in ensuring that Iran is not able to displace Kurdish influence along the Iraq-Syrian border.

Pompeo also evidenced success at the broader strategic level. He argued that “in each and every case” he has asked Trump for more authority to take risks, the president has assented. Again, as I‘ve outlined, while Pompeo’s pro-risk approach to leading the CIA is important (albeit complex), it requires political support from the top. That he has won that support means Pompeo can lead his agency to deliver more security for America and better understandings to our policymakers.

Still, the event also showed why Trump trusts Pompeo: The CIA director has a penchant for rising to the fight!

For a few minutes during the discussion, Pompeo and Panetta were at each other’s necks as they disagreed over the merits (or otherwise) of President Trump’s tweets. With Panetta criticizing Trump, Pompeo pointed out that many of the foreign policy issues Trump is now addressing were left to metastasize under President Obama’s watch.

Yet, Pompeo also exemplified an intellectual independence that is an absolute necessity for any effective CIA director.

Praising Panetta for his work on counterterrorism operations while at the CIA, Pompeo stated that he frequently asks the Obama-era director “how to think about things.” This might seem simple, but it shows a bipartisan intellectual introspection — something that defines the CIA at its best.

Finally, Pompeo also showed that he’s willing to listen and learn from his foreign counterparts. He specifically referenced ongoing U.S. efforts to support European counterintelligence operations against Russian intelligence services. Intelligence relations are instrumental in the U.S.-European alliance.

Ultimately, the work of the CIA is too important to be left to just anybody. Pompeo is clearly exceeding expectations, both in his relationship with Trump and in his leadership of a complex but crucially important agency. For the sake of the nation, he should remain in Langley, Va.

Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI
 

mikenova shared this story from Frontpage Mag.

Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is an investigative journalist and writer focusing on the radical left and Islamic terrorism.

“There’s always conflicting recollections of facts,” FBI Director Comey said.

It was a year ago and Comey was explaining why Hillary’s close aide, Cheryl Mills, not only received an immunity agreement in exchange for turning over her laptop, but a pass on lying to the FBI.

The FBI Director claimed that Mills had to receive immunity because the laptop might be protected by attorney-client privilege. Mills, like Hillary Clinton, had worked as a lawyer. But they were both government officials working for the State Department. Hillary wasn’t Mills’ client. The government was.

Comey and his people knew the law. They chose to ignore it to protect a key Hillary aide from rolling over. Mills was the woman Hillary would send in to clean up her dirty laundry. Mills had taken point on the email server cover-up. If anyone knew where the bodies were buried, she did. Instead not only did she get an immunity agreement, but the FBI also agreed to destroy the computers after the search.

Mills had told the FBI that she didn’t know about Hillary’s email server. But the FBI had notes and emails proving that Mills was lying. And when Comey was asked about it, he came out with, “There’s always conflicting recollections of facts.”

No doubt.

That is what the lawyer of the woman who had been caught lying to the FBI might have been expected to argue. But there were no charges, instead the FBI Director was presenting her defense.

George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn were charged with lying to investigators. But lying to investigators isn’t a crime when you’re Hillary Clinton.

Or one of her associates.

Hillary Clinton had told the FBI that she had no idea that the “C” stood for confidential. Instead of laughing in her face or arresting her, the FBI boss testified personally to her truthfulness.

Hillary Clinton, Mills and Huma Abedin made what appear to be false statements to the FBI.

Had Mills been working for Trump, the same number would have been run on Mills as on Flynn and Papadopoulos. But the men interviewing Mills didn’t want her to sing. They wanted her to keep quiet.

Mills and Abedin were interviewed by the FBI’s Peter Strzok and the DOJ’s David Laufman. Strzok was exchanging pro-Hillary and anti-Trump messages in an extramarital affair with a woman working for FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe. McCabe’s wife had received a sizable amount of money from a Clinton ally. Laufman, whose counterintelligence section was heading the investigation, is an Obama donor.

Mills’ lie made it more urgent to hand her an immunity agreement on any pretext. The immunity agreement wasn’t leverage for her testimony. It was leverage to keep her from testifying. The obstruction of justice was coming from the inside.

Strzok received input on the Comey letter exonerating Clinton. The Mills interview killed two birds with one stone. A key Hillary aide got immunity and the evidence would be destroyed.

This wasn’t an interview. It was a cover-up.

It’s why Comey sounded like Mills’ lawyer. And why so many Clinton associates got immunity agreements. Why the FBI agreed to destroy evidence. Why there were no recordings of Hillary’s testimony. And why lying to the FBI wasn’t a crime when it came to Hillary and her aides.

But the double standard kicked in when the Clinton cover-up crew went after Trump.

While Mills received an immunity agreement based on an imaginary attorney-client privilege that didn’t exist, Manafort was denied attorney-client privilege with his actual attorney.

The double standard isn’t surprising when you look at who was doing the interviewing.

Strzok and Laufman had also interviewed Hillary. No recordings were made of the session. But Comey testified that it’s a “crime to lie to us”.

Not for the Clintons and their associates.

Hillary had told her interviewers that she hadn’t received training on handling classified information, but she signed a document testifying that she had. Hillary claimed that she hadn’t carried a second phone, but an aide, Justin Cooper, who made the server possible, testified that indeed she did.

Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills told the same lie.

These are the kinds of misstep that Team Mueller would have used to hang a Trump associate. But Comey testified that Hillary Clinton did not lie.

And that meant he was lying.

Not only did Clinton’s people lie to the FBI. But the head of the FBI had lied for them.

The fix had been in all along.

Comey had drafted his letter exonerating Clinton before the interviews even took place. Strzok had been copied on the next email. His contribution had included changing the description of Clinton’s actions from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”  Strzok is now in the spotlight because Team Mueller’s stonewalling of the reasons for his removal have been exposed.

Strzok, a Hillary partisan, had given his favorite politician a pass and signed the document opening the Russia investigation. The Steele dossier, provided by a Russian intelligence operative and paid for by the Clinton campaign, was funneled through to Strzok’s team. And Strzok had interviewed Flynn.

Team Mueller resisted discussing Strzok. Alongside the constant leaks to favored media outlets like the Washington Post, Mueller’s people have worked to maintain a monopoly on information.

Judge Beryl Howell, an Obama appointee, a friend of Loretta Lynch, Obama’s DOJ boss, and of Andrew Weissmann, Mueller’s deputy, decided to seal the Papadopolous case. Howell also decided that Manafort isn’t entitled to attorney-client privilege. These actions took place at the behest of Weissmann. The latter had sent an email praising Sally Yates, the disgraced former acting Attorney General, for refusing to stand by the law on the Trump travel ban.

Weissmann, like the rest of Team Mueller, wasn’t there to get at the truth, but to stop President Trump. The Mueller deputy is one of two Obama donors on the team. There are also five Clinton donors. One of whom had represented the Clinton Foundation. Another had represented Justin Cooper, the Clinton adviser, who helped run Hillary’s email server and claimed to have destroyed some of Hillary’s devices.

It’s hard to imagine how this investigation could have been any more partisan or tainted.

The endgame for this is to go after President Trump on obstruction of justice. But you can’t obstruct a justice that was already obstructed. Both the Clinton and Trump investigations were tainted by blatant partisanship. While the Clinton investigation did everything possible to protect her and her aides, regardless of the evidence, the Trump investigation did everything possible to destroy him and his associates without producing a single charge relevant to the actual investigation.

The Clintons and their allies have obstructed justice. And it’s time for a real investigation.

US to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Trump Says, Alarming Middle East Leaders – New York Times
 

mikenova shared this story from Trump – Google News.


Washington Post
US to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Trump Says, Alarming Middle East Leaders
New York Times
President Trump told Israeli and Arab leaders on Tuesday that he plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a symbolically fraught move that would upend decades of American policy and upset efforts to broker peace between Israel and the 
Trump tells Palestinians, Jordanians and Egyptians he intends to move the US Embassy in Israel to JerusalemWashington Post
Turkey joins US allies in warning Trump not to recognize JerusalemCNN
Trump tells Abbas he will move US embassy to JerusalemAljazeera.com
NBCNews.com –Wall Street Journal –The Intercept
all 1,797 news articles »
Deportations Of Noncriminals Rise As ICE Casts Wider Net
 

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The number of undocumented immigrants without criminal convictions deported from the U.S. interior rose dramatically in Trump’s first year in office.

Donald Trumps attorneys go off the deep end after Robert Mueller seizes Trumps bank records
 

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

Earlier today several major news outlets reported that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has seized Donald Trump’s financial records from Deutsche Bank, which should uncover the money pipeline from Russia to Trump. This prompted Trump’s attorneys to frantically insist that the story is fake news. Various news outlets have responded by re-confirming the story. It appears Trump’s attorneys are trying to snow their own client, in the desperate hope of keeping him from lashing out.

Unless Reuters and several other respected news outlets have all simultaneously published the same fake story, which is nearly inconceivable, the story is true. This means Mueller really is going after Trump’s finances. Moreover, he’s boldly doing it at a time when the media is pushing the notion that Trump is about to fire Mueller. This means Mueller knows something we don’t about his job security, and he’s concluded he can’t be fired, so he’s going for the jugular. But what are Trump’s attorneys up to?

It appears Trump’s legal team is publicly shooting down this story in the hope of getting a message across to Trump himself that there’s nothing to worry about. Trump’s attorneys don’t want him hitting the panic button and firing Mueller, which would probably lead to his swift ouster. You can debate whether you think Trump’s attorneys are simply trying to protect him by keeping him from firing Mueller, or they just don’t want their paychecks to stop coming in yet.

But regardless of their motivation, Donald Trump’s lawyers are publicly going off the deep end by yelling “fake news” at a story that they cannot possibly know is fake news. They’re reacting just like Trump typically does. It all seems to be nothing more than a show in order to keep their client calm. After all, they’ve been trying to convince him all along that Robert Mueller isn’t targeting him, and that the Russia probe will be over soon. If he’s buying that nonsense, he’ll buy anything his attorneys tell him.

The post Donald Trump’s attorneys go off the deep end after Robert Mueller seizes Trump’s bank records appeared first on Palmer Report.

Special Counsel Investigation Has Cost at Least $6.7 million
 

mikenova shared this story .

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The Trump Team Definitely Colluded With a Foreign PowerJust Not the One You Think
 

mikenova shared this story from The Nation.

Former US national-security adviser Michael Flynn departs US District Court in Washington on December 1, 2017. (Reuters / Jonathan Ernst)

Friday’s indictment of former national-security adviser Michael Flynn has confirmed that Donald Trump’s inner circle colluded with a foreign power before entering the White House—just not the foreign power that has been the subject of our national fixation for the past year. To be sure, the jury is still out on Russia, though there are new grounds for questioning the case for a plot tying the Kremlin to Trump Tower. But with Flynn’s plea, we can now say for certain that the Trump team did collude—with Israel.

To recap, Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his conversations with then–Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the period after Trump’s November 2016 victory. As Foreign Policy previously reported, Flynn reached out to Kislyak as part of “a vigorous diplomatic bid,” to undermine President Obama’s decision to allow a December 2016 Security Council resolution condemning illegal Israeli settlement building in the Occupied Territories. The indictment fills in some details.

According to the charge sheet, Flynn first made contact with Kislyak to discuss the Israel vote. We found out this weekend his reason for doing so. “[Special counsel Robert] Mueller’s investigators have learned through witnesses and documents that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asked the Trump transition team to lobby other countries to help Israel,” The New York Times reported after Flynn’s court appearance on Friday. “Investigators have learned that Mr. Flynn and [Trump son-in-law Jared] Kushner took the lead in those efforts”—efforts which failed to change a single vote, including Russia’s, which backed the measure in defiance of the Trump-Netanyahu subversion attempt.

In short, the first known contact between the Trump campaign and Russia after the election occurred in the service of a different foreign power, Israel, and was ultimately fruitless.

The next contact between Flynn and Kislyak was more productive. In late December, Obama imposed new sanctions on Russia for its alleged meddling in the 2016 election. A day later, Flynn called the Russian ambassador to request that the Kremlin, according to the plea document, “only respond to the U.S. Sanctions in a reciprocal manner.” Flynn’s overture came after a Trump transition colleague told him that the incoming administration “did not want Russia to escalate the situation.” By all accounts, Russia complied.

Whatever one thinks about this covert attempt to reduce tensions with a nuclear-armed power, it demonstrates an effort by the Trump transition, as with the Israel vote, to undermine the outgoing administration’s policy. Trump critics have seized on that as a violation of the Logan Act, which bars citizens from having unauthorized negotiations with foreign governments in a dispute with the United States. But the Logan Act has seldom been used except as a partisan talking point, not a prosecutable offense. More importantly, there’s the question as to whether Flynn’s overture on sanctions prove a quid pro quo.

Notwithstanding the post-election contact with Flynn, not only has Russia failed to gain a reduction in sanctions, but its relations with Washington have deteriorated. In early August, Trump signed new sanctions on Russia overwhelmingly approved by Congress. The administration recently presented lawmakers with a list of targets that “reads like a who’s who of the Russian defense and intelligence sectors,” The New York Times noted. In September, Trump shut down the Russian consulate in San Francisco and two annexes in New York City and Washington, DC. Just last week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denounced Russia’s “malicious tactics” against the West and vowed that sanctions imposed over Russian’s role in Ukraine “will remain in place until Russia reverses the actions that triggered them.” Meanwhile, Trump has enlarged NATO over Russia’s objections, carried out the “biggest military exercise in Eastern Europe since the Cold War” on Russia’s border, appointed several anti-Russia hawks to key posts, and continues to deliberate over whether to supply Ukraine with a weapons package that Obama himself rejected out of fear it would worsen the country’s civil war. In the latest flare-up, Russia has ordered international media outlets to register as foreign agents in retaliation for the Justice Department first doing so to Washington-based RT America.

It is, of course, possible that all of this is an elaborate ruse to mask the secret, as yet unproven, conspiracy that many insist will lead to Trump’s downfall. The fact that Flynn is now a cooperating witness has refueled hopes that this day is finally approaching. After all, why would Flynn lie about his contacts with Russia if he did not have something to hide? And why would Mueller offer him a plea deal if Flynn wasn’t offering him a bigger fish to fry? (One plausible motive, as Buzzfeed notes, is that Flynn may have lied to hide his potential Logan Act violation.)

Only time will tell whether Flynn has something to offer Mueller, or whether Mueller has gotten from him what he can. In the meantime, more than a year after the election, we still have exactly zero evidence of any cooperation between the Trump campaign and the Russian government—nor, it must be repeated, any evidence to back up US intelligence officials’ claims that the Russian government meddled in the election. We do have instances of Trump campaign figures’—namely, Donald Trump Jr. and low-level adviser George Papadopoulos—making contact with people that they thought were Russian government intermediaries. But whatever they were told or believed, there is still no proof that their contacts led to an actual Kremlin connection.

What we do have is evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Israel to subvert the US government’s official position at the United Nations Security Council. Yet reaction to that news has been quite a departure from the standards of Russiagate when it comes to foreign meddling.

The contrast was put on stark display on Sunday, when Jared Kushner appeared with billionaire Israeli-American media tycoon Haim Saban at the latter’s annual forum on US-Israel relations. Saban took a moment to thank Kushner for his role in the subversion effort that Flynn admitted to have undertaken on Israel’s behalf. “To be honest with you, as far as I know there’s nothing illegal there,” Saban told his stage companion. “But I think that this crowd and myself want to thank you for making that effort, so thank you very much.”

For all of the fears of Russian oligarchs’ having influence over Trump, the comment from this American oligarch reveals a great deal about who really influences practically everyone in Washington, Republican or Democrat. Saban was not a Trump donor. He is, in fact, Bill and Hillary Clinton’s top all-time financial supporter, to the tune of more than $25 million; a benefactor whose generosity has helped build not just the Clinton Library but also the Democratic National Committee’s headquarters.

But there has been no outrage from democracy-defending #Resistance stalwarts over Saban’s comments (and the Israeli subversion effort he endorsed). The same for news of Kushner’s failure to disclose his leadership of a group that funded the illegal Israeli settlements that he tried to protect at the United Nations. And now we await to see how those who agonize over foreign influence on Trump will respond to his reported plans to move the American embassy to Jerusalem—”a decision that would break with decades of U.S. policy and could fuel violence in the Middle East,” as Haaretz notes.

It is unlikely that Trump will be challenged on Israel, because his approach is harmonic with a bipartisan consensus cemented in large part by the financial contributions of billionaires like Saban and his Republican pro-Israeli government counterpart, Sheldon Adelson. Hence, there are no editorials or opinion pieces denouncing Israel’s “Plot Against America,” or “War on America,” or warnings that “Odds Are, Israel Owns Trump,” or explorations of “What Israel Did to Control the American Mind.” Likewise, there will be no new groups forming dubbed the “Committee to Investigate Israel” or the “Tel Aviv Project.” In fact it is more than likely that, going forward, the media will give Israelgate the same treatment as cable’s top Russiagate sleuth, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, gave during her exhaustive Flynn coverage so far, which is to not even mention it.

This weekend furnished us with another important contrast. Flynn’s indictment was followed hours later by the passage of the Senate Republican tax bill, which stands to be one of the largest upward transfers of wealth in US history. If protecting democracy is our goal, we may want to tune out the Russia-obsessed pundits and look closer to home.

UK terror attacks: Review reveals what MI5 knew about Manchester, London Bridge and Westminster attackers
 

mikenova shared this story .

Security services missed opportunities to intercept the Manchester and London Bridge attackers, a report has found.

David Anderson QC, the former Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, made a total of 126 recommendations to MI5, police and the Government following the deaths of 36 victims this year.

His report provided new detail on the run-up to the atrocities in Westminster, Manchester and London Bridge. The following information has been declassified from internal reviews by MI5 and police.

Westminster

Date: 22 March 2017

Victims: Five killed, 49 injured

Loaded: 0%

Progress: 0%

0:00

undefined

PerpetratorKhalid Masood, British, 52 (died at scene)

Masood was known to police after seven convictions for violent crime leading up to 2003, and to MI5 for associating with extremists, in particular between 2010 and 2012.

Summary“No intelligence was being gathered on him and neither MI5 nor the police had any reason the anticipate the attack … you’re looking at someone who is such a long way from the top of anyone’s grid that frankly, it’s a bit difficult to see how they would have been easily stopped, whatever agencies had done.”

Met Police announce that terror perpetrator Khalid Masood was born Adrian Russell

Timeline:

  • 2004: Masood appears for the first time on MI5 records after his number appeared on the contacts list of a member of a terrorist network, that was aiming to launch bomb attacks in the UK.
  • 2009: Masood appears on the edge of investigation into jihadis attempting to join an al-Qaeda training camp in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Investigators wrongly believe Masood is an individual in Saudi Arabia facilitating travel.
  • 2010: He is discovered not to be the same person, but an active investigation is launched identifying Masood as a subject of interest (SOI) assessed to be a national security threat. Weeks later, he was downgraded to a potential security threat.
  • 2012: Masood formally closed as an SOI following recommendation in internal review, joining 20,000 other former subjects.
  • 2012-2016: Masood appears intermittently as a contact of a number of SOIs, including some linked to Anjem Choudary’s banned al-Muhajiroun network in Luton and Crawley.
  • 2013: Masood “expresses contentment that violent actions such as the World Trade Centre attacks attracted people to Islam”. Neither his contacts nor those comments were considered to reach the threshold for re-opening an investigation.
  • April 2016: (Discovered after his attack) Masood researches violent attacks, knives, Isis and vehicle types.
  • December 2016 – March 2017: Masood informs family he is considering working overseas, but his job and visa applications fail. He sells his car and makes efforts to say goodbye to relatives.
  • 9 March 2017: Masood buys two carving knives from Tesco in Birmingham, and on the same day sends himself an email with the subject line “Retaliation”.
  • 15 March: He had created a document entitled “Jihad in the Quran and Sunnah”, with his photograph on the front page and multiple extracts from the Quran that could be seen as supportive of jihad and martyrdom.
  • 16 March: He collects the Hyundai Tucson used in the attack.
  • 19 March: Masood conducts reconnaissance of Westminster Bridge in person and online, and browses YouTube for videos relating to terrorism and suicide attacks.
  • 22 March: Minutes before launching the attack, Masood shares his document with numerous WhatsApp contacts, which was soon sent onwards via iMessage and SMS.

In pictures: Westminster attack

In pictures: Westminster attack

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    An air ambulance lands after gunfire sounds were heard close to the Palace of Westminster in London

    PA wire

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    MPs wait until the situation is under control in Westminster. ‘The alleged assailant was shot by armed police,’ David Lidington, leader of the House of Commons, told the house.

    BBC News

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    Crowds gather in Westminster after shooting incident, which police are treating as terror attack

    BBC News

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    Police were also called to an incident on Westminster Bridge nearby

    AP

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    Early reports indicate the car, which mounted the pavement on Westminster Bridge and mowed into around a dozen people, was the same vehicle which then rammed into the railings of the Palace of Westminster, just around the corner

    Reuters

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    Security sources described the suspected assailant as a middle-aged Asian man, who is understood to have left the car before attacking a police officer with a seven-to-eight inch knife

    PA wire

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    Police have asked people to avoid the immediate area to allow emergency services to deal with the ongoing incident

    AP

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    One woman has died and a number of others, including the police officer, have been hurt, according to a junior doctor at St Thomas’ Hospital

    Reuters

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    At least three gun shots were heard by those inside Westminster, and proceedings in the House of Commons have been suspended

    AP

Manchester

Date: 22 May 2017

Victims: 22 killed, 500 injured

PerpetratorSalman Abedi, British, 23 (died at scene)

Abedi was known to police for links with the Rusholme Crips gang, but his criminal record was limited to reprimands for theft and receiving stolen goods in 2012, and an assault on a girl at college which was dealt with by “restorative justice”. He was known to MI5 from 2014, but the investigation was closed and he was deemed low-risk.

Summary“Although Abedi had not given police or MI5 any reason to be highly suspicious of him, they still got very close … information came their way which was assessed from which – with the benefit of hindsight – the wrong conclusions were drawn. Had people understood it in a different way, I think an investigation would have been opened into Abedi, and who knows what it would have found.”

Manchester bomber Salman Abedi’s cousins speak out

Timeline:

  • 2011 onwards: Abedi makes numerous trips to Libya with his family, after his parents returned to live there during the civil war that saw Muammar Gaddafi toppled and killed.
  • 2014: MI5 starts active investigation in the belief Abedi could be individual seen acting suspiciously with another SOI. Although he knew the SOI in question, he turned out not to have been the individual seen with him, and his record was closed in July 2014. Abedi was classed as low residual risk.
  • 2015: Another investigation opened over supposed contact with an Isis figure in Libya, “but he was closed as an SOI on the same day when it transpired that any contact was not direct”.
  • 2015-2017: Although he remained a closed SOI until the day of the attack, Abedi continued to be referenced from time to time in intelligence gathered for other purposes. On two separate occasions in the months prior to the attack, intelligence was received and assessed not to relate to terrorism, but “to possible non-nefarious activity or to criminality”. In retrospect, the intelligence can be seen to have been highly relevant to the planned attack.
  • April 2017: Abedi and his brother Hashem leave Manchester for Libya. Abedi returns to the UK four days before his attack, with subsequent investigations showing he made the “core purchases” for his suicide bomb and manufactured it at various properties around Manchester during the period.
  • May 2017: Abedi was among a small number of the 20,000 SOIs that data analysis showed merited further examination. A meeting assessing him was due to take place on 31 May, but he attacked nine days before.

Manchester explosion in pictures

Manchester explosion in pictures

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    People running down stairs as they attempt to exit the Manchester Arena after a blast, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester

    Twitter/@ZACH_BRUCE/ via REUTERS

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    Helpers attend to people inside the Manchester Arena after a suspected suicide bomber detonated an explosive device at the end of an Ariana Grande concert, killing 22 people

    PA wire

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    Armed officers guard outside a hotel near the Manchester Arena following reports of an explosion, in Manchester, Britain

    EPA

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    Police officers are seen outside the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester, northern England

    Reuters

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    AFP/Getty Images

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    Police and fans close to the Manchester Arena, after reports of an explosion

    Getty Images

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    There have been reports of explosions at Manchester Arena where Ariana Grande had performed

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    Police deploy at scene of explosion in Manchester, England, at a concert in Manchester Arena

    AFP/Getty Images

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    Police stand by a cordoned off street close to the Manchester Arena

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    Police deploy at scene of explosion in Manchester, England

    AFP/Getty Images

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    Police deploy at scene of a reported explosion during a concert in Manchester, England, on May 23, 2017. British police said early May 23 there were “a number of confirmed fatalities” after reports of at least one explosion during a pop concert by US singer Ariana Grande. Ambulances were seen rushing to the Manchester Arena venue and police added in a statement that people should avoid the area

    AFP/Getty Images

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    An ambulance drives away from the Manchester Arena, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester

    Reuters

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    Police escort members of the public from the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England.

    Getty Images

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    A woman sits in the street in a blanket near the Manchester Arena as police guard the area following reports of an explosion, in Manchester, Britain

    EPA

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    Two women wrapped in thermal blankets stand near the Manchester Arena, where US singer Ariana Grande had been performing, in Manchester

    Reuters

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    A Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) bomb disposal robot is unloaded outside the Manchester Arena following reports of an explosion, in Manchester. At least 19 people have been confirmed dead and others 50 were injured, authorities said. It is being treated as a terrorist incident until police know otherwise

    EPA

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    A Royal Logistic Corps (RLC) bomb disposal robot is unloaded outside the Manchester Arena following reports of an explosion, in Manchester

    EPA

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    Members of the public receive treatment from emergency service staff at Victoria Railway Station close to the Manchester Arena on May 23, 2017 in Manchester, England. There have been reports of explosions at Manchester Arena where Ariana Grande had performed this evening. Greater Manchester Police have have confirmed there are fatalities and warned people to stay away from the area

    Getty Images

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    Armed police after a suspected terrorist attack at the Manchester Arena at the end of a concert by US star Ariana Grande left 19 dead

    PA wire

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    Emergency services arrive close to the Manchester Arena in Manchester

    Getty Images

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    An amoured police vehicle patrols near Manchester Arena in Manchester

    Getty Images

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    A man carries a young girl on his shoulders near Victoria station in Manchester

    AFP/Getty Images

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    Police officers stand at the Miller Street and Corporation Street Crossroads, in front of the Manchester Arena in Manchester, England

    Getty Images

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    Police block a road near to the Manchester Arena in central Manchester, England

    AP

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    Armed police patrol near Victoria station in Manchester, northwest England. Twenty two people have been killed and dozens injured after a suspected suicide bomber targeted fans leaving a concert of US singer Ariana Grande in Manchester

    Getty Images

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    Police forensic officers leave the Manchester Arena as they investigate the scene of an explosion in Manchester

    Getty Images

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    A forensic officer collects evidence on a walkway between Victoria station and Manchester Arena following a deadly terror attack in Manchester,

    Getty Images

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    A woman and a young girl wearing a t-shirt of US singer Ariana Grande talks to police near Manchester Arena following a deadly terror attack in Manchester,

    Getty Images

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    EPA

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    Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham and Manchester City Council Leader Sir Richard Leese speak to the media outside Manchester Town Hall after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester

    Dave Higgens/PA Wire

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    The media gather behind a police cordon in Manchester

    Getty Images

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    Flowers left close to the Manchester Arena, the morning after a suicide bomber killed 22 people, including children, as an explosion tore through fans leaving a pop concert in Manchester

    Danny Lawson/PA Wire

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    Ariana Grande concert attendees Karen Moore and her daughter Molly Steed, aged 14, from Derby, leave the Park Inn where they were given refuge after last night’s explosion at Manchester Arena

    Getty

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    Signs saying ‘We love Manchester’ are displayed in a window in Manchester, England

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London Bridge

Date: 3 June 2017

Victims: Eight killed, 48 injured

PerpetratorsKhuram Butt, British, 27; Youssef Zaghba, Moroccan-Italian, 22; Rachid Redouane, Moroccan, 30 (all died at scene)

Butt was under live investigation as the principal subject of an MI5 operation opened in mid-2015, following information suggesting he wanted to commit a terror attack in the UK. Redouane was known for immigration offences but had no police or terror record. Zaghba had no criminal record but was known to European authorities after telling Italian police he wanted to be a terrorist. He was not investigated by MI5.

Summary“With Butt what you had was a man who was under active investigation from MI5, who did probably around the end of 2016 team up with his two co-conspirators, and yet MI5 and the police between them were not able to identify what they were actually planning.

“Butt displayed strong operational security and much remains unknown, even today, about the mindset of the three conspirators and the planning of the attack.”

London Bridge attack ringleader ‘tried to hire 7.5 tonne lorry’

Timeline:

  • 2005: Butt is granted British citizenship after moving to the UK from Pakistan as a child with his parents, who were granted asylum.
  • 2008-2010: Butt receives cautions for criminal offences.
  • 2009: Redouane seeks asylum in the UK under the false identity of a Libyan national and is refused, which sees him reported to immigration officials.
  • June 2012: Redouane is stopped and arrested in Scotland under his false Libyan name while trying to travel to Northern Ireland by boat. Because removals to Libya had been suspended on humanitarian grounds, he was released from detention in Larne with conditions to reside in Dagenham and report to immigration authorities. He absconded and was not traced.
  • 2012-2015: After going to school and college in London, he works as an office manager with a subsidiary of KFC, marrying a friend’s sister in 2013. The couple had a son in October 2014 and a daughter in May 2017, born less than a month before the London Bridge attack.
  • 2015: Butt makes a pilgrimage to Mecca and “expresses frequent aspirations to travel from late in the year, including to Syria, but never again left England”. MI5’s Operation Hawthorn starts, seeing Butt put under surveillance over suspected attack planning.
  • 2015: Redouane moves in with his Irish wife in Dublin and successfully applies for an EEA Family Permit and EEA residence card, sponsored by his wife. At the time of the attack, Redouane was living legally in the UK under his Moroccan identity.
  • June 2015: Zaghba starts working legally in the UK.
  • September 2015: A potential lone actor triage assessment concluded that Butt represented a medium risk “due to his strong intent but weak capability”. Over the coming months, there was no further indication of attack planning, and Butt appeared to be disengaging from al-Muhajiroun. MI5 believed his focus was moving towards overseas travel, including potentially to Syria to fight with Isis or to another Arabic-speaking country to learn the language.
  • January 2016: Butt is shown among a group of Islamists linked to al-Muhajiroun praying towards an Isis flag in Channel 4 television documentary The Jihadis Next Door. The police and prosecutors deemed that no criminal offences had been committed.
  • February-April 2016: Operation Hawthorn is suspended “because of resourcing constraints” following Isis’s Paris attacks.
  • March 2016: During a stop at Bologna Airport in Italy, Zaghba tells officials he is travelling to Turkey as a “terrorist”, but quickly changes the word to “tourist”. Further investigation in Italy reveals he had expressed an interest in travelling to Syria to join Isis and practice the “Real Islam”. On 23 March 2016, Italian authorities place Zaghba on the EU-wide SIS II warning list, potentially bringing him to the attention of the UK at the border – but under a marker identifying him as subject to checks for serious crime, not a national security risk.
  • Spring 2016: Butt shows further aspirations travel to the Middle East and / or Africa and raises money for it, but there was “no longer any indication that travel would be for extremist purposes”. MI5 decides not to prevent him leaving the country.
  • July 2016: Butt assaults a moderate imam and member of the counter-extremism group Quilliam, but the victim did not press charges in time for the case to be taken forward. Butt re-engages with al-Muhajiroun and increases operational security to evade security forces.
  • September 2016: Operation Hawthorn downgraded to a lower threat category.
  • October 2016: Butt arrested for fraud and granted bail. He was never told the decision was taken not to prosecute.
  • December 2016: Relationships between between Redouane, Butt and Zaghba and Butt start at the Ummah Fitness Centre in Ilford.
  • January 2017: Zaghba enters the UK for the final time.
  • Early 2017: Butt works at the Ummah Fitness Centre and develops links with extremist associates, including Redouane. He teachers Quran class to young members alongside Zaghba.
  • MI5 and police attempt to disrupt the teaching over radicalisation concerns.
  • 7 March 2017: Butt and Redouane meet at the Ummah Fitness Centre, possibly as part of an attempt by Butt to acquire a firearm.
  • MI5 receives strands of intelligence regarding a Moroccan male named “Rashid”, believed to be a peripheral and social associate of Butt, but the figure was not identified as Redouane until after the attack.
  • 21 March 2017: A day before the Westminster attack, the investigation into Butt is suspended for a second time “due to resourcing constraints brought on by a large number of higher-priority investigations”.
  • April 2017: With Operation Hawthorn still suspended, MI5 downgrades Butt’s holding code from one that indicated he was likely to pose a threat to national security, to one that indicated it was merely “likely”. “MI5 noted his continued extremist rhetoric but also uncertainty about whether he posed a threat to national security.”
  • May 2017: Operation Hawthorn is re-opened to consider whether the threat needed continued investigation, or could be closed to put resources elsewhere. A second lone actor triage assessment concluded that the risk posed by Butt had moved from “medium to unresolved” and further investigation was needed. It remained an active investigation until the attack.
  • MI5 surveillance never identified Zaghba as Butt or threats, or revealed their attack planning.
  • 3 June 2017: CCTV footage from Butt’s home address on the evening of the attack shows him getting into a white van hired earlier in the day with a large red holdall. Two males accompanied him, with one carrying chairs – perhaps to support a cover story that they were moving furniture.

London Bridge Terror Attack

London Bridge Terror Attack

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    Armed police on Borough High Street as police are dealing with a “major incident” at London Bridge

    PA

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    Armed Police talk to members of the public outside London Bridge Hospital as police are dealing with a “major incident” at London Bridge

    PA

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    Police Officers outside the Barrowboy and Banker Public House on Borough High Street as police are dealing with a “major incident” at London Bridge

    PA

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    Armed police on Borough High Street as police deal with a ‘major incident’ at London Bridge

    PA

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    Emergency services near the scene of the incident

    Screengrab

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    People run down Borough High Street as police are dealing with a “major incident” at London Bridge

    Reuters

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    Emergency services arrive at the scene near Borough market at London Bridge

    Carl Court/Getty Images

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    Emergency personnel on London Bridge as police are dealing with a “major incident” at London Bridge

    PA

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    Police sniffer dogs on London Bridge as police are dealing with a “major incident” at London Bridge

    PA

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    A second helicopter lands on London Bridge as police are responding to three incidents in the capital, amid reports that a vehicle collided with pedestrians on London Bridge, Scotland Yard said. Officers are dealing with reports of stabbings in Borough Market, where armed officers attended and shots were fired. They are also at an incident in the Vauxhall area

    PA

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    Police attend to an incident on London Bridge in London

    REUTERS

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    Police attend to an incident on London Bridge in London, Britain

    Reuters

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    A police officer escorts members of the public to safety at London Bridge

    Getty Images

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    Police attend to an incident on London Bridge in London, Britain

    REUTERS

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    Police attend to an incident near London Bridge in London, Britain

    Reuters

Finsbury Park

Date: 19 June 2017

Victims: One killed, 10 injured

Alleged perpetratorDarren Osborne, British, 47

Osborne has been arrested and charged with murder. His trial is due to start in January, meaning no indepth findings could be released in the Anderson report because they could prejudice the case.

He is alleged to have acted alone and he was not known to MI5. Police had no intelligence to suggest that he was going to commit the alleged attack.

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Donald Trump Tells Palestinian President He Plans to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem Despite Opposition – TIME
 

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Donald Trump Tells Palestinian President He Plans to Move US Embassy to Jerusalem Despite Opposition
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(JERUSALEM) Vociferous Arab and Muslim opposition was building Tuesday to any possible U.S. recognition of contested Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as European leaders expressed concern about harm to fragile Mideast peace efforts. PresidentDonald 
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Deutsche Bank sends Trump financial details to Mueller investigation – Financial Times
 

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Deutsche Bank sends Trump financial details to Mueller investigation
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A person with direct knowledge of the German bank’s actions told the Financial Times that the production of Trump-related documents had begun several weeks ago. Deutsche could not hand over client information without a subpoena, said a second person 
Mueller Demands Trump’s Deutsche Bank Account Details, Where President Owes Millions: ReportNewsweek
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Subpoena For Deutsche Bank May Put Mueller On Collision Course With TrumpNPR
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Mueller investigation cost $6.7 million within first five months – Washington Post
 

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Mueller investigation cost $6.7 million within first five months
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Mueller was appointed special counsel in May, after President Trump fired FBI director James B. Comey. The Justice Department’s report covered the period from May 17 to Sept. 30. Though Mueller’s investigation is not yet a year old, his team of 
Mueller Subpoenas Trump Deutsche Bank RecordsBloomberg
Mueller’s Trump-Russia Probe Cost Nearly $7M So FarNewsmaxall 132 news articles »

Deutsche Bank receives subpoena from Mueller on Trump accounts: Source
 

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Deutsche Bank reportedly receives subpoena from Mueller on Trump accounts

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has asked Deutsche Bank to share data on accounts held by U.S. President Donald Trump and his family, Reuters reports.

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Trump-Russia probe: Mueller ‘demands Deutsche Bank data’
 

mikenova shared this story from BBC News – Home.

US special counsel Robert Mueller has ordered Germany’s Deutsche Bank to provide records of accounts held by Donald Trump, according to reports.

The revelation is being seen as an indication the former FBI chief’s investigation is directly focusing on the US president.

Mr Mueller is investigating alleged collusion between the Trump presidential campaign and Russia.

Deutsche Bank has previously rejected similar requests from Democrats.

Mr Mueller issued a subpoena to Germany’s largest bank several weeks ago demanding data on transactions linked to the US president, Reuters news agency and a German newspaper say.

US investigators are said to be demanding information on dealings linked to Mr Trump as part of an investigation into alleged Russian influence in the US presidential election, according to Handelsblatt and Reuters.

Deutsche Bank, which is one of the Trump Organisation’s major lenders on its real estate projects, said it would not comment on any of its individual clients.

However in a statement to NBC News, it said: “[Our bank] takes its legal obligations seriously and remains committed to co-operating with authorised investigations into this matter.”

In June, the German bank rejected requests for account records by Democrats in the US House of Representatives to provide details of the president’s finances, citing privacy laws.


Mueller paves way for possible showdown

Analysis by Anthony Zurcher, BBC News North America Reporter

Until now, Robert Mueller has appeared to be operating on the periphery of President Trump – focusing on former campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s previous foreign lobbying efforts, the Russian contacts of George Papadopoulos, a relatively minor foreign policy advisor, and the post-election actions of Mr Trump’s confidant Michael Flynn.

While the charges are serious, the president himself has been removed from the most heated prosecutorial action.

That all changes if the Deutsche Bank reports are true. The German institution, which also has ties to Russian oligarchs, was a lifeline for the Trump Organisation’s businesses in the early 2000s, when US lenders turned their backs on the then-struggling business tycoon.

How closely did Mr Trump and his associates follow the letter of the law at a time before he was a serious political candidate?

The president’s defenders will argue that his past business dealings are not relevant to the special counsel inquiry, tasked with probing possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

A high-stakes showdown over whether Mr Mueller is exceeding his mandate could be brewing.


What power does Mueller have?

As special counsel Mr Mueller, who headed the FBI for more than a decade, has the powers to subpoena records and bring criminal charges.

He can also prosecute anyone who interferes in his investigation through crimes including perjury, obstruction of justice, destruction of evidence and intimidation of witnesses.

Mr Mueller’s office has so far spent about $3.2m (£2.4m) on attorneys, special agents and other expenses as part of its investigation, the US Department of Justice revealed in a report on Tuesday.

US intelligence agencies have concluded that Moscow tried to sway the presidential election in favour of Mr Trump.

It is alleged that Russian hackers stole information linked to the campaign of his rival Hillary Clinton and passed it to Wikileaks so it could be released to undermine her.

Mr Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia, calling the allegations a “witch hunt”.

Who has been charged?

Four people have so far been charged by Mr Mueller over alleged links between Moscow and the Trump team.

  • October 2017: Mr Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate Rick Gates are charged with 12 counts of money laundering, undisclosed foreign lobbying, and lying to government investigators over alleged links to pro-Russian groups in Ukraine (both deny the charges)
  • October 2017: George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to FBI investigators about his contacts with Russian nationals and connected individuals while he was serving as a foreign policy advisor with the Trump campaign
  • December 2017: Michael Flynn, the Former general who later became the shortest-serving member of Mr Trump’s cabinet, resigns after pleading guilty to making “false, fictitious and fraudulent statements” to the FBI about his contact with a Russian official

Read more: Who’s who in the drama to end all dramas?

Trump Said Probing His Finances Would Be A ‘Red Line.’ That’s Exactly What Robert Mueller Is Now Doing.
 

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Mueller has asked Deutsche Bank for data on Trump’s finances for his Russia investigation.

Mueller Subpoenas Deutsche Bank, Friendly to the Trumps, Mercers, and Russians – Daily Beast
 

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Mueller Subpoenas Deutsche Bank, Friendly to the Trumps, Mercers, and Russians
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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team has reportedly taken an interest in the massive bank responsible for helping Robert Mercer Trumpism’s most generous billionaire backer allegedly dodge paying billions in taxes. Reuters confirmed on Tuesday a
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Robert Mueller’s investigation has cost over $3 million in its first four and a half monthsBusiness Insiderall 114 news articles »

Investigative Committee asks for Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov
 

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The former owner of the Moscow Cherkizovsky market is accused in absentia of arranging two murders.

The Central Directorate of the Investigative Committee for Major Investigations has issued a decree charging Telman Ismailov with arrangement of murders. The Prosecutor General’s Office of the Russian Federation is to get all the materials needed to issue an Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov.

The former owner of Cherkizon is charged with two murders and illegal arms trafficking.

“According to the investigation, Telman Ismailov orchestrated the murders of two businessmen: Vladimir Savkin and Yuri Brylev,” the Investigative Committee reported.

The investigators also noted that Telman Ismailov developed the contract killings scheme together with his brothers Rafik and Vagif Ismailov.

Mehman Karimov is believed to have perpetrated the contract killings and he is already in custody. According to investigators, on May 15, 2016, Karimov committed a double murder on the Novorizhskoe Highway in the Moscow region. His victims were the owner of a few malls Vladimir Savkin and the founder of Lublino Motors Yuri Brylev. After that, Rafik Ismailov, following their plan, picked the killer up and took him away. Rafik Ismailov was subsequently detained, too, and is now in custody.

Telman Ismailov and his other brother Vagif Ismailov are on the run. They were convicted to custody in absentia in late October, and Telman Ismailov was put on the international wanted list on November 13. Telman is going to be put on the Interpol wanted list as soon as the papers are ready.

Earlier Telman Ismailov reportedly asked for political asylum in France. The runaway oligarch backed his request saying he had some compromising materials about all the acting chiefs of all the law enforcement agencies of the Russian Federation. So if France grants him asylum after all, Ismailov promises to disclose all the dirt he allegedly has to the foreign country.

According to CrimeRussia sources, Ismailov had moved from Turkey to France as the Turkish law enforcement agencies also questioned his credibility. The sources said that Ismailov could have been involved in the murder of thief in law Rovshan Lenkoransky in Istanbul.

Russian Senator Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France
 

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The total amount of cash imported by the Senator varies from 500 million to 750 million euros.

Public prosecutor of Nice Jean-Michel Pretre, seeking the arrest of Russian Senator Suleyman Kerimov, said that he smuggled cash in suitcases (20 million euros in each). In addition, part of the funds was transferred to bank accounts. All the money, according to the Prosecutor’s Office, was in store for laundering by buying real estate and registering it for formal owners. At the same time, in order to avoid large taxes, the purchased villas were declared at a lower cost. For example, one of the villas was purchased for 37 million euros, whereas its former owners put it for sale for 150 million euros. As a result, the Prosecutor’s Office believes, tens of millions of euros in cash and up to 5 million euros of commissions were added to the cost of the villa.

Previously, France 3 reported that Kerimov was accused of underpayment of taxes amounting to 400 million euros. And the total amount of illegally imported money varies, according to preliminary data, between 500 million and 750 million euros.

Recall, Russian oligarch and Senator from Dagestan Suleyman Kerimov was detained on suspicion of laundering money received as a result of tax fraud in France on November 20. Two days later, the oligarch was released on bail of 5 million euros. At the same time Kerimov has been banned from leaving the Maritime Alps until the investigation is completed. In addition, he had to pass a Russian passport and appear in the police dept every Friday. The Russian billionaire is suspected of buying expensive villas on the French Riviera, registered with a frontman, at a reduced price.

Earlier, Russian businessmen and artists signed a letter in support of Suleyman Kerimov. A letter addressed to French President Emmanuel Macron was sent to the French embassy in Moscow. 13 Russian knights of the Legion of Honor, the highest award of France, signed it. Businessman Mikhail Prokhorov, his sister, publisher Irina Prokhorova, Head of Sberbank German Gref, directors Pavel Lungin and Andrey Konchalovsky, former General Director of the Bolshoi Theater Anatoly Iksanov, former President of the Russian Academy of Sciences Yury Osipov, sculptor Zurab Tsereteli, conductor Valery Gergiev, conductor Yury Bashmet, art critic Olga Sviblova, writer Victor Erofeev and deputy, polar explorer Artur Chilingarov subscribed their names to it.

The signatories hope that the French side will treat the member of the Federation Council with “humanity and humanism, so that his life is not endangered, so that he is allowed to return to the medical help necessary to maintain his life.” They remind that Kerimov suffered in a car accident in 2006 and now “his life is supported by a team of doctors, who provide him with a permanent complex treatment.” Knights ask the French President to release Kerimov for the sake of friendship between countries and for humanitarian reasons.

Twitter Search / engcrimerussia: French Prosecutor: Russian Senator Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France https://en.crimerussia.com/financialcrimes/french-prosecutor-s-office-russian-senator-kerimov-smuggles-suitcases-with-money-into-france/ pic.twitter.com/EyMsg8Ozgq
 

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French Prosecutor: Russian Senator Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into Francehttps://en.crimerussia.com/financialcrimes/french-prosecutor-s-office-russian-senator-kerimov-smuggles-suitcases-with-money-into-france/ … 

 Twitter Search / engcrimerussia

Trump versus the FBI – Greensboro News & Record (blog)
 

mikenova shared this story from Christopher Wray – Google News.


Greensboro News & Record (blog)
Trump versus the FBI
Greensboro News & Record (blog)
FBI Director Christopher Wray offered reassurances to employees after the agency was maligned by President Donald Trump, The New York Times reported last night. I hope Wray will lodge a strong complaint directly with Trump. “After years of Comey, with and more »

Trump Is Bigger Threat Than Kim Jong-Un And Vladimir Putin, Germans Believe – Newsweek
 

mikenova shared this story from Putin Trump – Google News.


Newsweek
Trump Is Bigger Threat Than Kim Jong-Un And Vladimir Putin, Germans Believe
Newsweek
Germans view President Donald Trump as a greater threat to their country’s foreign policy than either the North Korean regime or Vladimir Putin’s Russia, according to a new poll. The poll conducted by the Koerber Foundation, a German non-profit and more »

Trump’s personal banking information handed over to Robert Mueller – The Guardian
 

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The Guardian
Trump’s personal banking information handed over to Robert Mueller
The Guardian
Donald Trump’s banking information has formally been turned over to Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who isinvestigating whether the president’s campaign conspired with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election. Deutsche Bank, the German 
Report: Special counsel subpoenas Deutsche Bank for Trump account dataCBS News
Donald Trump’s Deutsche Bank records said to be subpoenaed by Robert MuellerThe Sydney Morning Heraldall 60 news articles »

Trump’s personal banking information handed over to Robert Mueller
 

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump | The Guardian.

Deutsche Bank, Donald Trumps biggest lender, is forced to submit documents after special prosecutor issues subpoena

Donald Trumps banking information has formally been turned over to Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor who is investigating whether the presidents campaign conspired with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential election.

Deutsche Bank, the German bank that serves as Trumps biggest lender, was forced to submit documents about its client relationship with the president and some of his family members, who are also Deutsche clients, after Mueller issued the bank with a subpoena for information, according to multiple media reports. The news was first reported by Handelsblatt, the German newspaper.

Related: Deutsche Bank examined Trump’s account for Russia links

How serious are the allegations?

Continue reading…

Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump? – TheSpec.com
 

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TheSpec.com
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?
TheSpec.com
Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the West became accustomed to a diminished Russia. To see it reasserting itself today in its traditional spheres of influence Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Baltic states, Central Asia is and more »


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