12:10 PM 1/10/2018 – U.S. media infiltration by Russian Intelligence | Trump dossier

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Russian trolls went on attack during key election moments

<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>Dec 20, 2017
Thousands of Russian trolls targeted national events during the 2016 U.S. presidential election to infiltrate the online conversations of millions of Americans, …. but we knew there were underground networks to spread content that would undermine Hillary,” said Emmy Bengtson, former deputy social media …

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Bess: From Russia with love … sort of

Bolivar Herald-Free Press42 minutes ago
Putin and his disciples have infiltrated numerous public and private institutions and made off with information sensitive to both our government and its citizens. They have exploited our free press, spread disinformation through social media, and have created online propaganda networks and websites.

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What does Trump think Mueller will find?

Washington PostJan 4, 2018
Trump and his top advisers were distributors of the Russian social media propaganda, retweeting and distributing it widely. And much of this happened after Trump was briefed in July by top U.S. professional counterintelligence officers who warned him of a Russian effort to infiltrate the 2016 campaign.

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American Elections Remain Unprotected

The AtlanticDec 28, 2017
Two weeks before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the U.S. intelligence community released a declassified version of its report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. It detailed the activities of a network of hackers who infiltrated voting systems and stole documents from the Democrati
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Twitter misses Senate deadline on Russian meddling

CNNMoney15 hours ago
Twitter missed a Senate Intelligence Committee deadline to answer questions about Russian meddling in the 2016 election and its platform, Senator Mark … testified before the committee in November on how a Russian troll army had set up accounts posing as American in an effort to influence U.S. politics.

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Russian trolls went on attack during key election moments

<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>Dec 20, 2017
Thousands of Russian trolls targeted national events during the 2016 U.S. presidential election to infiltratethe online conversations of millions of …. we knew there were underground networks to spread content that would undermine Hillary,” said Emmy Bengtson, former deputy social media director for the …

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American Elections Remain Unprotected

The AtlanticDec 28, 2017
Two weeks before the inauguration of President Donald Trump, the U.S. intelligence community released a declassified version of its report on Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. It detailed the activities of a network of hackers who infiltrated voting systems and stole documents from the Democratic …
Grim dossier claim spurs speculation about possible Russian rubout
 

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A bombshell revelation made public Tuesday that “somebody’s already been killed” as a result of the publication of an unconfirmed anti-Trump dossier has sparked speculation that it was a reference to an ex-KGB agent mysteriously found dead in his car a year ago in Moscow.

The attorney for Fusion GPS founder Glenn Simpson told Senate investigators in a 300-page deposition released Tuesday that a murder had been carried out as a result of the publication of an unverified and salacious dossier about Donald Trump.

“Somebody’s already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier and no harm should come to anybody related to this honest work,” said Joshua Levy in the deposition, which was taken Aug. 22, but released by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“Somebody’s already been killed as a result of the publication of this dossier and no harm should come to anybody related to this honest work.”

– Joshua Levy, attorney for Glenn Simpson

The cryptic reference spurred a guessing game about who the unlucky person was. The best guess, at least for now, seems to be former KGB general, Oleg Erovinkin, who was found dead in the back of his car on a Moscow street in December 2016.

Oleg Erovinkin1

According to a January 2017 report in British newspaper The Telegraph, Erovinkin was a top aide to Igor Sechin, a former deputy prime minister who was named repeatedly throughout the dossier. The KGB chief was also suspected at the time of helping former MI6 spy Christopher Steele compile info on Trump for the dossier.

Erovinkin and details of his death were published in the book, “Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump win.” It alleges that the street his body was found on in Moscow was desolate with no cafes or other businesses and not much pedestrian traffic, making it an ideal spot to carry out an assassination.

“The vehicle had halted in Kitaigorodsky Proyezd – a street devoid of pedestrians and home to government buildings and an unfinished office block,” reads a line from the book detailing where Erovinkin’s body and the car were found. “It was three weeks after [Center for Information Security head Sergei] Mikhailov’s arrest, Monday, December 26. At number 9 there is a military academy named after Peter the Great. Guards turn back any errant drivers who try to enter the courtyard.”

Local media reports suggested at the time of his death that foul play was involved, but it was later claimed that his death was a result of a heart attack.

FILE - In this Nov. 14, 2017, file photo, Glenn R. Simpson, co-founder of the research firm Fusion GPS, arrives for a scheduled appearance before a closed House Intelligence Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has released a transcript from an interview with Simpson, the firm that commissioned a dossier of allegations about President Donald Trump's ties to Russia. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

Glenn Simpson, the founder of Fusion, which commissioned the dossier, was deposed in August  (Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

In the aftermath of his death, media reports speculated that Erovinkin was an unnamed informant for the dossier and Christo Grozev of Risk Management Lab, a think-tank based in Bulgaria claimed in a January 2017 Haaretz article eluded to the former KGB general being the main source of information for the dossier.

“Insiders have described Erovinkin to me alternately as ‘Sechin’s treasurer’ and ‘the go-between between Putin and Sechin,’” Grozev said to the newspaper. “One thing that everyone seems to agree – both in public and private sources – is that Erovinkin was Sechin’s closest associate.”

“I have no doubt that at the time Erovinkin died, Mr. Putin had Mr. Steele’s Trump dossier on his desk. He would – arguably – have known whether the alleged… story is based on fact or fiction,” Grozev also said. “Whichever is true, he would have had a motive to seek and find the mole… He would have had to conclude that Erovinkin was at least a person of interest.”

Levy did not immediately return messages requesting information about who he was referring to.

Perry Chiaramonte is a reporter for <a href=”http://FoxNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>FoxNews.com</a>. Follow him on Twitter at @perrych

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BuzzFeed editor ‘proud’ to have published Trump dossier

ABC News3 hours ago
BuzzFeed’s top editor says he’s “proud” that the organization published an uncorroborated dossierabout Donald Trump and his presidential campaign. Ben Smith writes in an opinion column in The New York Times that it’s clear “the dossier is unquestionably real news.” Smith argues that the investigation …
I’m Proud We Published the Trump-Russia Dossier
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Trump Russia Dossier: Fusion GPS Transcript, Glenn Simpson …
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Bitcoin, other cryptocurrencies suffer big declines

USA TODAYJan 8, 2018
The unpredictable cryptocurrency market continued its wild ride to start the week, with all of the 10 most-valuable digital currencies, including Bitcoin, suffering steep declines. None of the largest digital currencies ranked by market value were spared, according to data from <a href=”http://coinmarketcap.com” rel=”nofollow”>coinmarketcap.com</a>. Bitcoin …

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Five predictions for digital currencies in 2018 — including stomach …

CNBCJan 5, 2018
One reason some analysts say bitcoin will ultimately rise further is that investors will bet on a payout from more splits in the digital currency. When some bitcoin developers decide to implement their own upgrade of the bitcoin network, bitcoin investors at the time of the split receive equal amounts of the …
The Early Edition: January 10, 2018
 

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

TRUMP-RUSSIA

The transcript of the Glenn R. Simpsons interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee was unilaterally made public by the top Democrat on the panel, Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Simpson is the co-founder of the opposition research firm Fusion G.P.S. and the transcript provides details about the commissioning of a dossier which alleged ties between the Trump campaign and Russia compiled by former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele. In an op-ed for the New York Times last week, Simpson and his co-founder Peter Fritsch called on the Judiciary Committee to release the transcript, but this was met with a pushback from Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa). Nicholas Fandos, Matthew Rosenberg and Sharon LaFraniere report at the New York Times.

The transcript of Simpsons testimony is available at Just Security.

Steele sat down for a full debriefing with the F.B.I. in September 2016 over his concerns about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and that Trump could have been blackmailed over an alleged sexual escapade at a hotel in Moscow in 2013. Ken Dilanian and Mike Memoli report at NBC News.

An internal Trump campaign source reported his or her concerns about Trump-Russia connections to the F.B.I., Simpson said in the testimony, also saying that Steele severed his relationship with the F.B.I. as he was concerned based on an article that was published by the New York Times in October 2016 that agents were being manipulated by Trump insiders. Alan Yuhas, Julian Borger and Stephanie Kirchgaessner report at the Guardian.

Its political rhetoric to call the dossier phony. We can argue about whats prudent and whats not, but its not a fabrication, Simpson said in the interview, adding that Fusion G.P.S. were mostly concerned with Trumps business dealings until Steele brought back something very different. Katie Bo Williams and KJonathan Easley report at the Hill.

Somebodys already been killed as a result of the publication of the Steele dossier, Simpsons testimony claimed, declining to reveal further details because, Simpsons lawyer claimed, he wanted to be very careful to protect his sources. Brandon Carter reports at the Hill.

Feinstein said that she decided to release the transcript because the American people deserve the opportunity to see what he [Simpson] said and judge for themselves, a spokesperson for Grassley said that Feinstein made the transcript public with no agreement from committee Republicans and accused her of undermining the integrity of the committees oversight work. Kyle Cheney reports at POLITICO.

Speculation over the New York Times article published in October 2016 has increased following the release of Simpsons testimony, Erik Wemple explains at the Washington Post.

The key points from Simpsons interview are provided by Amber Phillips at the Washington Post.

Trumps personal lawyer Michael Cohen has filed a defamation lawsuit against BuzzFeed for publishing the Steele dossier, Cohen said that allegations against him in the dossier are provably false, including claims that Cohens wife is Russian and that her father is a leading property developer in Russia. Alex Johnson reports at NBC News.

The editor in chief of BuzzFeed News has defended his websites decision to publish the Steele dossier in an op-ed at the Washington Post, saying that a year of government inquiries and blockbuster journalism has made clear the dossier is unquestionably real news.

Twitter has failed to meet a deadline to provide lawmakers with further information on Russian interference in the 2016 election, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner (Va.) yesterday expressed disappointment with the social media company. Ali Breland reports at the Hill.

U.S.-Russia relations would be done if Russia attempts to interfere in the 2018 midterm elections, the U.S. ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman said yesterday in a closed-door session with members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Andrew Desiderio reports at The Daily Beast.

NORTH KOREA

North Korea has agreed to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea next month but the issue of North Koreas nuclear weapons program was not mentioned in the joint statement released after yesterdays inter-Korean talks, which were the first official face-to-face talks in over two years, with North Koreas chief delegate saying that the nuclear weapons were strictly aimed at the U.S. and it would be ridiculous to discuss the program. Andrew Jeong reports at the Wall Street Journal.

I am giving a lot of credit to President Trump, the South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a press conference today, recognizing Trumps contribution to forcing North Korea to engage in discussions, but adding that relations between the two Koreas were ultimately dependent on Pyongyangs willingness to dismantle its nuclear weapons program. Choe Sang-Hun reports at the New York Times.

While Moon praised Trump, he also warned that pressure on North Korea could raise tensions and bring about unintentional clashes, James Griffiths reports at CNN.

South Korea presented North Koreas agreement to send athletes to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as a significant breakthrough in bilateral relations, however it is unclear whether North Korea would engage sincerely with South Korea to further improve relations. Anna Fifield reports at the Washington Post.

The talks between North and South Korea were a good first step in the process to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula, a spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, Steve Goldstein, said yesterday in response to the North and South Korea joint statement. Christine Kim and David Brunnstrom report at Reuters.

President Moon said today that he was willing to meet with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un under certain conditions, saying that a summit must be committed to resolving the nuclear issue and not just for the sake of holding a summit. Bryan Harris and Katrina Manson report at the Financial Times.

The U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres welcomed the progress made at the inter-Korean talks and welcomed North Koreas decision to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics. The U.N. News Centrereports.

North Korea stepped up its criticism of the U.S. and Trump as the talks with South Korea took place, putting forward a message that calls on the U.S. to steer clear of the crisis and let Koreans solve the issue, however such a message would be hard for South Koreans to accept due to Seouls close relationship with Washington. Eric Talmadge provides an analysis at the AP.

The State Department has proposed a military sale of more than $133m worth of missiles and equipment to Japan to counter the North Korean threat, the State Department told Congress yesterday. Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

A profile of President Moon, and a discussion of whether he has the ability to resolve the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, is provided by Paula Hancocks and James Griffiths at CNN.

The inter-Korean talks offered Kim a propaganda victory and drove a wedge between the U.S. and South Korea, President Moon faces huge obstacles in achieving reconciliation and the presence of the a U.S. military aircraft off the coast of Korea during the Olympics offers a more reliable guarantor of peace than the gestures of a young dictator who pretends to want peace even as he threatens war. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

Moon and Kim are well-placed to resolve the crisis due to their respective abilities to leverage political capital, they must now use this political capital to promote the possibility for peace. S. Nathan Park writes at Foreign Policy.

IRAN

[Trump] must realize that these extreme and psychotic episodes wont be left without a response, the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said yesterday, blaming the U.S. for fomenting the recent unrest in Iran. Thomas Erdbrink reports at the New York Times.

Iran foiled the U.S., Britain and others in their attempts to overthrow the Islamic Republic, Khamenei also said, making the comments as the protests in Iran have started to wind down. Babak Dehghanpisheh reports at Reuters.

Around 3,700 people have been arrested during the demonstrations in Iran, according to an Iranian member of parliament. Al Jazeera reports.

Withdrawing from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal could make it difficult to make an agreement with North Korea in the future, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) warned yesterday, making the comments ahead of a series of deadlines that Trump faces regarding the deal and whether to continue to waive sanctions on Iran. Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

The decision to whether to waive or re-impose sanctions on Iran is expected to be made Friday, the State Department said yesterday, Reuters reporting.

Trump should waive sanctions on Iran and play the long game, with the aim of fixing the nuclear deal. Michael Doran writes at the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley faces a difficult task when it comes to Iran and the nuclear deal, if she aspires to be president, she would be wise to avoid trouble with Iran that could easily backfire. Richard Gowan writes at POLITICO Magazine.

SYRIA

The Syrian army has started to advance on the rebel-held Idlib province, leading to around 70,000 civilians to flee the area. Kareem Shaheen reports at the Guardian.

Turkey today urged Russia and Iran to pressure Syria to respect the de-escalation zone in Idlib and to stop the Syrian military advance. Tuvan Gumrukcu reports at Reuters.

A spate of attacks on the Russian Hmeimim air base in Syria has raised numerous questions, it is unclear who is responsible and it appears to be part of a concerted assault. Liz Sly reports at the Washington Post.

Russia appeared to suggest that the U.S. were behind the attacks in a statement yesterday, the APreports.

Russias ambassador to the U.N. yesterday expressed hope that a new round of U.N.-led peace talks in Geneva would be more fruitful and contribute to the peace initiative being held in the Russian city of Sochi. The AP reports.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 58 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between December 29, 2017 and January 4, 2018. [Central Command]

CUBA EMBASSY INCIDENTS

The U.S. are exploring a range of theories in relation to the symptoms experienced by employees at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba in 2016, the State Department said yesterday, 24 U.S. personnel and family members experienced mysterious illnesses in Havana and there have been speculation that they were subjected to some sort of acoustic or sonic attack. Matt Spetalnick reports at Reuters.

The State Department did not follow the law in failing to set up a review board months ago to establish what happened in Havana, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said at a hearing yesterday. Gardiner Harris reports at the New York Times.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE

An Israeli man was killed by a suspected Palestinian gunman yesterday, according to Israeli military and medical officials, the man was a resident of a West Bank settlement near the Palestinian city of Nablus. Reuters reports.

The Israeli military has conducted raids near Nablus following the shooting, Al Jazeera reports.

The Swedish ambassador to the U.N. yesterday expressed concern about the Trump administrations plan to review funding for the U.N.R.W.A. aid agency for Palestinian refugees, saying that such action would have negative humanitarian implications and would be destabilizing for the region. Reutersreports.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The Trump administrations nuclear posture review plans to loosen constraints on the use of nuclear weapons, according to what is believed to be the final draft of the review. Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.

Ecuador has been exploring ways for the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to leave its embassy in London, the Ecuadorean foreign relations minister said, who was quoted as saying that it was unsustainable for Assange to remain at the embassy indefinitely and that the solution would require international cooperation and the cooperation of the U.K., Ryan Dube reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Trump has signed a memorandum calling on the Director of National Intelligence to establish a new policy on unmasking Americans in intelligence reports, Morgan Chalfant reports at the Hill.

Senior National Security Council official Kevin Harrington proposed withdrawing some U.S. troops from Eastern Europe to please the Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to two former administration officials. Spencer Ackerman reveals at The Daily Beast.

Trump and the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are playing the same game, both are embroiled in domestic issues that involve their sons and both are pursuing illiberal agendas. Ishaan Tharoor writes at the Washington Post.

Foreign spies are watching and probably targeting Fox News Channel
 

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Doctor Charged With Having Wife Killed to Protect Drug Ring – U.S. News & World Report
 

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U.S. News & World Report
Doctor Charged With Having Wife Killed to Protect Drug Ring
U.S. News & World Report
Authorities say a New Jersey doctor running an illegal prescription drug ring with a motorcycle gang hired one of the members to kill his wife after she threatened to expose the scheme. Jan. 9, 2018, at 7:32 p.m.. Doctor Charged With Having Wife Killedand more »

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NSA and GCHQ activities appear illegal, says EU parliamentary …

The GuardianJan 9, 2014
The inquiry by the European parliament’s civil liberties committee says the activities of America’s National Security Agency (NSA) and its British counterpart, GCHQ, appear to be illegal … The former allows the NSA to conduct mass surveillance on EU citizens through the servers of US internet companies.

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NSA created ‘European bazaar’ to spy on EU citizens, Snowden tells …

PCWorldMar 7, 2014
The European Parliament had invited Snowden to provide testimony for an inquiry into the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens. That surveillance, often instigated by the NSA but carried out with help of EU member states, is quite extensive, he wrote. The NSA has been pressuring EU member states …

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‘Extreme surveillance‘ becomes UK law with barely a whimper

The GuardianNov 19, 2016
Even in Germany, with East Germany’s history of mass surveillance by the Stasi and where Snowden’s revelations produced the most outcry, the Bundestag recently passed legislation giving the intelligence agencies more surveillance powers. The US passed a modest bill last year curtailing bulk phone …

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EU counter-terrorism laws “stripping rights”, says Amnesty

EUobserverJan 17, 2017
Executive power grabs and counter-terrorism laws are rolling back freedoms across the EU, according to a report by Amnesty International. … Germany, Poland, and the UK, among others, have recently passed laws described by London-based Privacy International as “a new era of mass surveillance” in …
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The Boston Globe

Europe’s Courts Decide: Does US Spying Violate Europe’s Privacy?

EFFOct 3, 2017
The decision confirms the suspicion of Ireland’s privacy regulators (and EFF) that Facebook’s business practices are not the only matters under the microscope in Europe: the EU courts also care about the American mass surveillance of ordinary innocent Europeans. The judge in the matter, Justice Caroline …
High Court asks ECJ to examine Facebook case
InternationalIrish TimesOct 3, 2017
High Court asks European Court of Justice to examine Facebook …
InternationalIndependent.ieOct 3, 2017
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Devin Nunes Messed With NSA’s Most Cherished Surveillance Power

Daily BeastJan 9, 2018
It’s the NSA’s most cherished masssurveillance law, albeit one civil libertarians consider dubiously constitutional. … include in the bill an unrelated a provision on so-called unmasking, the process that intelligence agencies use to reveal the names of U.S. persons who may be involved in crimes like spying.

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Snowden hosts Reddit AMA over Congress’ mass surveillance plan

RTDec 20, 2017
As early as tonight, Congress plans to sneak an expansion of mass surveillance into law. Only your call, right now, can stop them. The @ACLU and I are here to help, doing a live Q&A on @reddit in a half hour (<a href=”https://t.co/qlo4REMoFl” rel=”nofollow”>https://t.co/qlo4REMoFl</a> @ 2PM EST). Ask usanything! (SuddenlySnowden) pic.twitter.com/ …

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Federal Agencies May Be Regularly Hiding Surveillance Methods in …

Reason (blog)22 hours ago
A DEA training slide on parallel constructionAlthough mass surveillance is usually identified with the war on terror and the National Security Agency, a subsequent USA Today investigation found the DEA and Justice Department had been collecting logs of billions of phone calls originating from the U.S. in a …

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Welcome to Law Enforcement’s “Dark Side”: Secret Evidence, Illegal …

The Intercept20 hours ago
Federal agents at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration speak in veiled terms about the secret DEA unit that shares intelligence from the National Security … The Special Operations Division receives raw intelligence from the NSA’s surveillance programs, including from the mass surveillance programs …

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The tech generation should reject mass surveillance

Washington ExaminerDec 20, 2017
Last week, the two gave a joint talk at George Washington University about the implication of mass surveillance and the eroding of the Fourth … This lessens their confidence in the U.S. economy and can lead to fewer jobs for millennials, who will be shouldering the brunt of expenses when it comes to …
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Congress Is Debating Warrantless Surveillance in the Dark

WIREDDec 23, 2017
For the first time, the American people learned that the NSA was collecting millions of their phone calls and electronic communications—emails, Facebook … Hanging in the balance is the legal framework the government largely relies on to conduct mass surveillance of foreigners, and Americans who …

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Urgent: We Only Have Hours Left to Stop the NSA Expansion Bill

EFFDec 19, 2017
According to reports published Tuesday evening by Politico, a group of surveillance hawks in the House of Representatives is trying to ram through a bill that would extend mass surveillance by the National Security Agency. We expect a vote to happen on the House floor as early as tomorrow, which means …

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Court Challenges to NSA Surveillance: 2017 in Review

EFFDec 28, 2017
“[T]he volume of documents and electronic data that the government defendants must review for potentially responsive information is massive,” the … “We have long advocated for reining in NSA mass surveillance, and the ‘incidental’ collection of Americans’ private communications under Section 702 …

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America No Safer Under Mass Surveillance

NewsmaxDec 12, 2017
Just in time for Christmas, the deep state wants to give America the gift that keeps on giving — never-ending mass surveillance. … second of every day, the American people are being spied on by the U.S. government’s vast network of digital peeping Toms, electronic eavesdroppers and robotic snoops.
How the Government Hides Secret Surveillance Programs
 

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In 2013, 18-year-old Tadrae McKenzie robbed a marijuana dealer for $130 worth of pot at a local Taco Bell in Tallahassee, Florida. He and two friends had used BB guns to carry out the crime, which under Florida law constituted robbery with a deadly weapon. McKenzie braced himself to serve the minimum four years in prison.

But in the end, a state judge offered McKenzie a startlingly lenient plea deal: He was ordered to serve only six months’ probation, after pleading guilty to a second-degree misdemeanor. The remarkable deal was related to evidence McKenzie’s defense team uncovered before the trial: Law enforcement had used a secret surveillance tool often called Stingray to investigate his case.

Stingrays are devices that behave like fake cellphone towers, tricking phones into believing they’re pinging genuine towers nearby. By using the device, cops can determine a suspect’s precise location, outgoing and incoming calls, and even listen-in on a call or see the content of a text message.

Many people may have been convicted using techniques that violated their rights.

McKenzie’s lawyers suspected cops had used a Stingray because they knew exactly where his house was, and knew he left his home at 6 a.m. the day he was arrested. The cops had obtained a court order from a judge to authorize Verizon to hand over data about the location of Mckenzie’s phone. But cell tower data isn’t precise enough to place a device at a specific house.

The cops also said they used a database that lets law enforcement agencies locate individuals by linking them with their phone numbers. But the phone McKenzie was using was a burner, and not associated with his name. Law enforcement couldn’t adequately explain their extraordinary knowledge of his whereabouts.

The state judge in the case ordered police to show the Stingray and its data to McKenzie’s attorneys. They refused, because of a non-disclosure agreement with the FBI. The state then offered McKenzie, as well as the two other defendants, plea deals designed to make the case go away.

The cops in McKenzie’s case had ultimately failed to successfully carry out a troubling technique called “parallel construction.”

First described in government documents obtained by Reuters in 2013, parallel construction is when law enforcement originally obtains evidence through a secret surveillance program, then tries to seek it out again, via normal procedure. In essence, law enforcement creates a parallel, alternative story for how it found information. That way, it can hide surveillance techniques from public scrutiny and would-be criminals.

A new report released by Human Rights Watch Tuesday, based in part on 95 relevant cases, indicates that law enforcement is using parallel construction regularly, though it’s impossible to calculate exactly how often. It’s extremely difficult for defendants to discern when evidence has been obtained via the practice, according to the report.

“When attorneys try to find out if there’s some kind of undisclosed method that’s been used, the prosecution will basically stonewall and try not to provide a definitive yes or no answer,” says Sarah St. Vincent, the author of the report and a national security and surveillance researcher at Human Rights Watch.

In investigation reports, law enforcement will describe evidence obtained via secret surveillance programs in inscrutable terms. “We’ve seen plenty of examples where the police officers in those reports write ‘we located the suspect based on information from a confidential source;’ they use intentionally vague language,” says Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney at the ACLU’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology project. “It sounds like a human informant or something else, not like a sophisticated surveillance device.”

Sometimes, when a savvy defense attorney pushes, an unbelievable plea deal is offered, or the the case is dropped entirely. If a powerful, secret surveillance program is at stake, a single case is often deemed unimportant to the government.

“Parallel construction means you never know that a case could actually be the result of some constitutionally problematic practice,” says St. Vincent. For example, the constitutionality of using a Stingray device without a warrant is still up for debate, according to the Human Rights Watch report. Some courts have ruled that the devices do violate the Fourth Amendment.

Hemisphere, a massive telephone-call gathering operation revealed by The New York Times in 2013, is one of the most well-documented surveillance programs that government officials attempt to hide when they use parallel construction. The largely secret program provides police with access to a vast database containing call records going back to 1987. Billions of calls are added daily.

In order to create the program, the government forged a lucrative partnership with AT&T, which owns three-quarters of the US’s landline switches and much of its wireless infrastructure. Even if you change your number, Hemisphere’s sophisticated algorithms can connect you to your new line by examining calling patterns. The program also allows law enforcement to have temporary access to the location where you placed or received a call.

The Justice Department billed Hemisphere as a counter-narcotics tool, but the program has been used for everything from Medicaid fraud to murder investigations, according to documentation obtained in 2016 by The Daily Beast.

“What Hemisphere’s capabilities allow it to do is to identify relationships and associations, and to build people’s social webs,” says Aaron Mackey, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). “It’s highly likely that innocent people who are doing completely innocent things are getting swept up into this database.”

The EFF filed Freedom of Information Act and Public Records Act requests in 2014 seeking info about Hemisphere, but the government only provided heavily redacted files. So the EFF filed a lawsuit in 2015. It’s currently waiting for a California judge to decide whether more information can be made public without impeding law enforcement’s work.

“[The government] is obscuring what we believe to be warrantless or otherwise unconstitutional surveillance techniques, and they’re also jeopardizing a defendant’s ability to obtain all the evidence that’s relevant,” says Mackey.

Parallel construction can also involve a simple event like a traffic stop. In these instances, local law enforcement follows a suspect and then pulls them over for a mundane reason, like failing to use a turn signal. While the stop is meant to look random, cops are often working on a tip they received from a federal agency like the DEA.

“Sometimes when tips come through, the federal authorities don’t even tell the local authorities what they’re looking for,” says St. Vincent. The tip could be as simple as to watch out for a car at a specific place and time.

These stops are referred to as “wall off” or “whisper” stops, according to the Human Rights Watch report. In these instances, local law enforcement has to find probable cause for pulling the suspect over to avoid disclosing the tip. The tip is then never mentioned in court, and instead the beginning of the investigation is said to be the “random” stop.

The Human Rights Watch report concludes that Congress should pass legislation forbidding the use of parallel construction because it impedes on the right to a fair trial. Some representatives, like Republican Senator Rand Paul, have also called for banning the practice.

Opponents of parallel construction believe it should be outlawed because it prevents judges from doing their jobs. “It really gives a lot of power to the executive branch,” says St. Vincent. “It cuts judges out of the role of deciding whether something was legally obtained.”

One of the most concerning aspects of the practice is it shields government surveillance technology from public scrutiny. Stingrays, the cellphone-tracking device used in the Florida robbery case, have existed for years, but they’ve only recently been disclosed to the public. Lawyers and legal scholars haven’t yet conclusively decided whether their use without a warrant violates the Fourth Amendment, in part because so little is known about them. That means many people may have been convicted using techniques that violated their rights.

In the future, if the government hides new surveillance technology like facial recognition, the public will be unable to discern if it’s biased or faulty. Unless judges and citizens understand how surveillance techniques are used, we also can’t evaluate their constitutionality.

The public needs to determine if hiding surveillance programs is something it’s comfortable with at all. On one hand, keeping certain techniques secret likely helps authorities apprehend criminals. But if we don’t know how at least the basic contours of how a program works, it’s hard to have any discussion at all.

How the Government Hides Secret Surveillance Programs – WIRED
 

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How the Government Hides Secret Surveillance Programs
WIRED
In investigation reports, law enforcement will describe evidence obtained via secret surveillance programs in inscrutable terms. We’ve seen plenty of examples where the police officers in those reports write ‘we located the suspect based on  

9:16 PM 1/9/2018 FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people, Simpson said FBI knew of possible Trump-Russia collusion, according to Glenn Simpsons Senate testimony Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks
 

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“Steele broke off contact with the FBI sometime between Oct. 31, 2016, and the election on Nov. 8, Simpson said, because Steele concluded that the information he had given to the FBI was not elevated to the highest levels of the bureau and was not being vigorously pursued. A front-page New York Times article on Oct. 31 … Continue reading“9:16 PM 1/9/2018 – “FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people”, Simpson said” – FBI knew of possible Trump-Russia collusion, according to Glenn Simpson’s Senate testimony – Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks”

Pakistan halts intelligence cooperation with US, but US embassy denies knowledge
 

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Pakistan said on Tuesday that it had suspended military and intelligence cooperation with the United States in the wake of Washingtons decision to stop security assistance to Pakistan. But the US embassy in Islamabad said it had no information about Khans announcement.

Democratic Senator Releases Transcript of Interview with Dossier Firm
 

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“The American people deserve the opportunity to see what he said and judge for themselves,” she said. “The innuendo and misinformation circulating about the transcript are part of a deeply troubling effort to undermine the investigation into potential collusion and obstruction of justice. The only way to set the record straight is to make the transcript public.”

For Ms. Feinstein and Mr. Grassley, two senior senators who worked closely last summer to initiate a joint Russia investigation, the breach was striking. But it reflects the growing divide between the two parties.

Republicans have repeatedly and vocally raised concerns that the dossier — a set of reports paid for by Democrats — could have been mishandled by the F.B.I. as it was opening its own investigation into the Russian effort and the Trump campaign. Democrats say scrutiny of the dossier’s provenance is a distraction from the central question: Did the Trump campaign knowingly seek aid from Russia?

The Fusion GPS founder appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee in Aug. 2017 to answer questions about the dossier on President Trump that the research company compiled with the assistance of Christopher Steele, a former British spy.

OPEN Document

Democrats were still seething on Tuesday at the decision by Mr. Grassley and another Republican on the panel, Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, to issue a criminal referral last week for Mr. Steele. The senators said they had reason to believe Mr. Steele had lied to federal authorities about his contacts with the media and urged the Justice Department to investigate.

A spokesman for Mr. Grassley said Ms. Feinstein’s decision was “totally confounding.”

“Her action undermines the integrity of the committee’s oversight work and jeopardizes its ability to secure candid voluntary testimony,” the spokesman, Taylor Foy, said.

Mr. Simpson said he hired Mr. Steele in the late spring of 2016, and the former spy grew alarmed soon after getting to work. With Mr. Simpson’s blessing, he reached out to an old contact at the F.B.I. in early July.

“To me, it was like, you know, you’re driving to work and you see something happen, and you call 911,” Mr. Simpson said.

Current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the investigation say that the federal inquiry did not start with Mr. Steele’s dossier, early parts of which did not reach counterintelligence investigators at the F.B.I. until August, after the bureau’s inquiry had already begun. But the officials have said that the dossier added material and buttressed what American law enforcement and spy agencies were gleaning from other sources.

According to Mr. Simpson, it was not until late September, nearly two months after the F.B.I. investigation had begun, that the F.B.I. reached out to Mr. Steele. He then met with agents in Rome to brief them on his work.

At that meeting, Mr. Steele learned that his information was considered credible by the F.B.I. “because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing and one of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization,” Mr. Simpson testified.

Mr. Simpson did not disclose the identity of the human source in his August testimony. But people familiar with the matter said that Mr. Steele, after being questioned by the F.B.I., came to believe that the bureau’s human source was George Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign foreign adviser.

In fact, the source was an Australian diplomat who had spent a night drinking in London with Mr. Papadopoulos in the spring, and then shared with American officials what he had learned from the Trump aide.

Mr. Simpson said Fusion played no role in deciding what to include in the memos that would eventually be compiled into the dossier.

But Mr. Simpson said that Mr. Steele “broke off” his connections with the F.B.I. after The New York Times ran an article on Oct. 31 that said the bureau had found no conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government.

Citing law enforcement officials, the Times article said that “none of the investigations so far have found any conclusive or direct link between Mr. Trump and the Russian government.”

Since then, investigators and journalists have developed extensive evidence linking Mr. Trump’s associates to Russian government and intelligence operatives, but as yet there is still no public evidence of a direct link between President Trump himself and the Kremlin.

At the time, many in the F.B.I. did not believe Russia was aiming to explicitly help Mr. Trump. That consensus did not emerge fully until January 2017 when American intelligence agencies released a report saying that the Kremlin’s intentions were twofold: to “undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process” and to “help President-elect Trump’s election chances.”

Mr. Simpson, in his testimony, called the Times article “a real Halloween special.”

“There was a concern that the F.B.I. was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people and that we didn’t really understand what was going on,” Mr. Simpson said. “So he stopped dealing with them.”

The concerns prompted Mr. Steele to share his work with a former British diplomat, who passed the information to Senator John McCain after the election.

Mr. McCain is believed to have then met with James B. Comey, then the F.B.I. director, to discuss the dossier. In January, weeks before the inauguration, the dossier became public after news broke that Mr. Comey had briefed President Barack Obama and Mr. Trump on Mr. Steele’s work.

The release of the transcript broke what had more or less been a prevailing rule of secrecy around Congress’s various investigations into Russia’s efforts and the Trump campaign. Though pieces of information from witness interviews in the House and the Senate have leaked to the news media, only two complete transcripts — from House Intelligence Committee interviews with Carter Page and Erik Prince — had been publicly released among hundreds.

In a brief interview, Ms. Feinstein left open the possibility of releasing other transcripts from the committee’s investigation.

Continue reading the main story

FBI knew of possible Trump-Russia collusion, according to Glenn Simpson’s Senate testimony
 

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WASHINGTON — By the time the FBI sat down in September 2016 for a full interview with the ex-British spy who had been researching Donald Trump’s Russia connections, the bureau had already received information raising concerns about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, according to a transcript made public Tuesday.

Glenn Simpson, a former newspaper reporter and the founder of a research firm called Fusion GPS, spoke to the Senate Judiciary Committee for more than 10 hours in August about his research into Trump, and on Tuesday more than 300 pages of his testimony were released by the committee’s ranking Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California.

Feinstein releases Fusion GPS testimony on Trump dossier 3:14

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Simpson told the committee that his associate, the former British intelligence operative Christopher Steele, sat down for a “full debriefing” with an FBI contact in Rome in September 2016. During the debriefing, Steele shared information from his Russian sources, who said Trump had been coordinating with the Russian election-interference campaign of hacking and leaking.

For the FBI, it wasn’t entirely new information, Simpson testified.

“They believed Chris might be credible because they had other intelligence that indicated the same thing,” Simpson said. “One of those pieces of intelligence was a human source from inside the Trump organization.” He added that the FBI had a “walk-in” whistleblower who was someone in Trump’s orbit.

‘People are entitled to know’: Sen. Feinstein responds to releasing transcripts on possible Trump-Russia collusion 1:14

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However, two sources close to Fusion GPS told NBC News that Simpson’s testimony inaccurately conflated what he had been told, and that the human source was actually George Papadopoulos, the Trump campaign aide who has pleaded guilty and is cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller.

By the time Steele sat down with the FBI in September, an Australian diplomat had passed to U.S. officials details of his conversation with Papadopoulos, who seemed to know that the Russians possessed hacked Democratic emails.

Steele first reached out to the FBI in early July 2016, because he was alarmed by the information he collected in June and felt obligated to step forward, Simpson said.

“He said he was professionally obligated to do it,” Simpson testified. “Like if you’re a lawyer and, you know, you find out about a crime, in a lot of countries you must report that.”

Steele was concerned that Trump could be blackmailed by the Russians over an alleged 2013 sexual escapade Steele believed had been recorded at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Moscow, Simpson testified.

The FBI responded to Steele “by September,” Simpson said, and Steele then met in mid- or late September with an FBI legal attaché in Rome.

Steele broke off contact with the FBI sometime between Oct. 31, 2016, and the election on Nov. 8, Simpson said, because Steele concluded that the information he had given to the FBI was not elevated to the highest levels of the bureau and was not being vigorously pursued.

front-page New York Times article on Oct. 31 about the Trump-Russia investigation said the FBI had found no conclusive link between Trump and Russia.

After the article was published, Simpson said, Steele severed his relationship with the FBI. “There was a concern that the FBI was being manipulated for political ends by the Trump people and that we didn’t really understand what was going on,” Simpson said.

It has since emerged that there was an active FBI counterintelligence investigation, which began in July 2016 but which the bureau kept secret.

Simpson said a dossier, which contained unverified allegations that Russia had been cultivating Trump for years and had gathered compromising information on Trump, contained all the memos Steele had produced for Fusion GPS, and that neither Fusion nor Simpson selected the content or edited the memos. The dossier was published by Buzzfeed.

Simpson said when he began his research into Trump, he was struck by Trump’s many connections to people linked to Russian organized crime, including Felix Sater, who pleaded guilty in 1998 to a mafia stock swindle and later helped Trump develop the Trump Soho hotel.

Simpson said he found Steele’s reports that the Russians were coordinating with the Trump campaign credible.

During the Senate hearing, he was asked to respond to a comment from a White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, that his was a “Democrat-linked firm” that “took money from the Russian government” and “created the phony dossier that’s been the basis for all of the Russia scandal fake news.”

“It’s a false allegation,” he said. “It’s political rhetoric to call the dossier phony. The memos are field reports of real interviews that Chris’s network conducted and there’s nothing phony about it. We can argue about what’s prudent and what’s not, but it’s not a fabrication.”

Simpson acknowledged that at the time he was working with Steele he was also working with a law firm that was defending a Russian oligarch in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Attorney in New York. But he testified that the two cases were entirely separate, and did not influence one another.

Two of the people working on the New York case with Simpson were Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin, both of whom attended a now-notorious June 2016 Trump Tower meeting that had been billed as an attempt by Russian officials to give negative information about Hillary Clinton to the Trump campaign. Simpson said he was unaware of that meeting at the time it occurred.

Simpson said he concluded from his research that Trump was not as rich as he has claimed, and that he had a lot of questionable business entanglements that bear further scrutiny.

“There were various allegations of fraudulent business practices or dishonest business practices or connections with organized crime figures,” Simpson said. “It was a long history of associations with people accused of involvement in criminal activity.”

Democratic Senator Releases Transcript of Interview with Dossier Firm – New York Times
 

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New York Times
Democratic Senator Releases Transcript of Interview with Dossier Firm
New York Times
In his testimony, Mr. Simpson sought to portray himself as an astute researcher well versed in the Russian government and that country’s organized crime. And he said Mr. Steele, the former British spy he hired to investigate the campaign’s ties to 
Senate Democrats just released full testimony on the Trump dossierCNBC
Top Dem releases testimony from Steele employerCBS News
FBI knew of possible Trump-Russia collusion, according to Glenn Simpson’s Senate testimonyNBCNews.com
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Trump-Russia dossier transcripts expose Donald Trumps ties to organized crime
 

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The worst kept secret in the entire Trump-Russia scandal is that Donald Trump has decades of business relationships with organized crime figures, and those deals are likely a big part of how the Russian government took control of Trump financially ahead of his entry into politics. Today’s release of Trump-Russia transcripts reveals that organized crime is indeed at the heart of the Trump-Russia scandal.

Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, the company behind the Trump-Russia dossier, testified privately before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the summer of 2017. Democratic ranking member Dianne Feinstein released the transcripts of that testimony today over the objections of Trump’s Republican apologists on the committee. The transcripts reveal what was behind the effort to assemble the dossier: “It was, broadly speaking, a kind of holistic examination of Donald Trump’s business record and his associations, his bankruptcies, his suppliers, you know, offshore or third-world suppliers of products that he was selling. You know, it evolved somewhat quickly into issues of his relationships to organized crime figures but, you know, really the gamut of Donald Trump.”

In fact the three hundred-plus page transcript references “organized crime” fourteen different times. While the testimony does not give away the specifics of how Trump is tied to organized crime, it’s a given that Fusion GPS has already provided these details to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Some of Trump’s ties to organized crime, and more specifically Russian organized crime, have already been publicly documented.

For instance, the Trump Organization has done several major real estate deals in New York City with a guy named Felix Sater, who has done prison time in relation to laundering money for the Russian mafia. In addition, the U.S. Treasury Department hit the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City with a hefty fine for years of facilitating money launderers, which included the period of time in which Donald Trump still owned a commanding stake in the property.

The post Trump-Russia dossier transcripts expose Donald Trump’s ties to organized crime appeared first on Palmer Report.

trump kazakhstan – Google Search
 

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Trump will meet with Kazakhstan’s Nazarbayev at White House on …

Reuters33 minutes ago
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the White House on Jan. … They will also talk about several international challenges, including Afghanistan, that Kazakhstan will face during its tenure as president of the U.N. Security …

Story image for trump kazakhstan from Raw Story

Explosive Fusion GPS testimony details Trump’s alleged ties to …

Raw Story6 hours ago
During his testimony, Simpson detailed ways that money had been stolen from a bank in Kazakhstan, then laundered throughout multiple countries — before possibly being funneled in part to the TrumpSoho hotel project. At the center of the ordeal appears to be Felix Sater, a Trump-linked Russian-born …

Story image for trump kazakhstan from Bloomberg

Was Trump SoHo Used to Hide Part of a Kazakh Bank’s Missing …

BloombergDec 10, 2017
The cases could shed light on how cash flowed between Kazakhstan and the U.S. in the past decade, a time when Trump and his partners were soliciting investments in the East. It’s a period that Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to interfere …

Story image for trump kazakhstan from New York Daily News

Bannon predicts Kushner investigators will ‘get down deep in his s–t …

New York Daily NewsJan 4, 2018
Numerous wealthy Russians have bought into Trump apartments, and Kushner’s meeting with the head of a sanctioned Russian bank in December 2016 had raised questions about whether he was trying to receive financing for his family’s projects. Kazakhstan has also featured in the Russia probe, with …
Trump Kazakh connection – Google Search
 

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Was Trump SoHo Used to Hide Part of a Kazakh Bank’s Missing …

BloombergDec 10, 2017
The Trump Organization hasn’t been accused of any wrongdoing in connection with the BTA Bank litigation. The company’s chief legal officer, Alan Garten, said it “had nothing to do with the sale of units in Trump SoHo,” which were handled by Bayrock, and had never done any business in Kazakhstan or …

Letter: We must face that Trump is a crook

Times RecordDec 23, 2017
They would use shell companies in all sorts of countries to move and launder the money so the Russian mafia connection was hidden. Trump and family turned a blind … More details in “Was Trump SoHo Used To Hide Part Of Kazakh Bank’s Missing Billions” (Forbes Magazine, Dec. 10, 2017). The Kazakh …

Story image for Trump Kazakh connection from The Diplomat

Felix Sater and Trump’s Strange Kazakh Connections

The DiplomatJul 11, 2017
As previously reported, Khrapunov’s family allegedly used multiple shell companies to purchase a trio of Trump SoHo properties. The total expenditures on these properties ran $3.1 million. Continued FT, “It is unclear how much money has flowed from the alleged Kazakh laundering scheme to Mr. Trump.”.
Trump – Russia Affair – Google Search
 

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NYT: Fusion GPS Still Investigating TrumpRussia Ties, But No One …

Townhall1 hour ago
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GRU Russian Military Intelligence – Google Search
 

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WikiLeaks tweeted, deleted, and then reposted a link to the full text …

Business InsiderJan 8, 2018
The CIA, the FBI, and the NSA concluded in in January of last year that WikiLeaks had “actively collaborated” with Russia’s “principal international propaganda outlet RT” as it published the DNC emails. CIA Director Mike Pompeo also said last April that the GRURussia’s military intelligence arm, had used …
Politics: WikiLeaks deleted a tweet linking to the full text of the …
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Badawi was a less-than-inconspicuous asset of Soviet intelligence, the GRU or military branch of it to be exact, and, perhaps hoping to entice his former pupil into betraying their country, he took it upon himself sweeten the pot for heisting one of the most sophisticated warplanes then in use by NATO …

Story image for GRU Russian Military Intelligence from bellingcat

Details on Newly Uncovered GRU Online Personas

bellingcatDec 26, 2017
On Christmas, Ellen Nakashima of the Washington Post published two widely shared reports on GRU(Russian military intelligence) activities in creating fake profiles on social networks, along with “astroturfed” political activist groups. The first, longer article, entitled “Kremlin trolls burned across the Internet …
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6:44 AM 1/10/2018 – Transcript of Fusion GPS founder’s testimony intensifies feud over FBI, Trump dossier – Chicago Tribune – Saved Stories

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Saved Stories – None
Transcript of Fusion GPS founder’s testimony intensifies feud over FBI, Trump dossier – Chicago Tribune
 


Chicago Tribune
Transcript of Fusion GPS founder’s testimony intensifies feud over FBI, Trump dossier
Chicago Tribune
Conservatives have accused the bureau’s senior leaders of being biased or corrupt in their handling of investigations involving Clinton and Trump, attacking the reputation of an institution that has long held itself to a standard of being nonpartisan 
‘A real Halloween special’: Fusion GPS co-founder questions New York Times report on Trump-RussiaWashington Post
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Former British spy turned to FBI after dossier revealed Russia might blackmail Trump – New York Daily News
 


New York Daily News
Czechs head to the polls amid Russian meddling concerns – The National
 


The National
Czechs head to the polls amid Russian meddling concerns
The National
However, liberal critics fear that if Mr Zeman is re-elected, he will use his influence over Mr Babiš to encourage stronger ties toRussia at a time when Moscow is trying to exert its power over EuropeRussia has already been accused of meddling in a and more »

‘Somebody’s already been killed’ because of Trump dossier, Fusion GPS rep revealed

An attorney for the co-founder of opposition research firm Fusion GPS revealed during a closed-door interview this summer with congressional investigators that somebody’s already been killed as a result of the publication of the anti-Trump dossier.
What happened when the Big Three tried to tame Trump – Detroit Metro Times
 


Detroit Metro Times
What happened when the Big Three tried to tame Trump
Detroit Metro Times
federal investigation into whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia is ongoing, as is an obstruction of justiceinvestigation into his firing of former FBI director James Comey over the Russia probe. Despite the president’s attempt at a cease  

David Brooks: The decline of anti-Trumpism – Santa Cruz Sentinel
 

David Brooks: The decline of anti-Trumpism
Santa Cruz Sentinel
First, people who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Donald Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find that Trump is not the raving madman they expected from his tweetstorms or the media coverage. They generally say that  

Czechs to elect new president amid Russian meddling concerns – The National
 


The National
Czechs to elect new president amid Russian meddling concerns
The National
However, liberal critics fear that if Mr Zeman is re-elected, he will use his influence over Mr Babis to encourage stronger ties toRussia at a time when Moscow is trying to exert its power over EuropeRussia has already been accused of meddling in a and more »

Dem senators’ report warns of Russian meddling across Europe – Fox News
 


Fox News
Dem senators’ report warns of Russian meddling across Europe
Fox News
It also calls on the government to increase the amount of aid it provides to promote democracy in Europe and publicly to expose any organized crime and corruption links to Putin. It adds that social media companies should be required to publicize the and more »

A Trump-Mueller sitdown: Could the endless Russia probe soon be over? – Fox News
 


Fox News
A Trump-Mueller sitdown: Could the endless Russia probe soon be over?
Fox News
The news, first reported by NBC, was quickly confirmed elsewhere. The New York Times says that “Robert S. Mueller III told President Trump’s lawyers last month that he will probably seek to interview the president, setting off discussions among Mr and more »

The Mystery of the Exiled Billionaire Whistleblower – New York Times
 


New York Times
The Mystery of the Exiled Billionaire Whistleblower
New York Times
In October, the Communist Party of China (C.P.C.) convened its 19th National Congress, a twice-a-decade event that sets the contours of political power for the next five years. The country is in the throes of a far-reaching anti-corruption campaign and more »

Trump’s mental health issues and fitness for office can no longer be avoided – Salon
 


Salon
Trump’s mental health issues and fitness for office can no longer be avoided
Salon
Trump’s election and administration have already done fundamental damage to the country, which may be impossible to undo. Trump is a symptom of a larger crisis of faith among the American people regarding the country’s democratic institutions and and more »

Deutsche Bank Ties May Spur Recusals by New US Attorneys – Bloomberg
 


Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank Ties May Spur Recusals by New US Attorneys
Bloomberg
Deutsche Bank has settled with the U.K., New York’s Department of Financial Services and the U.S. Federal Reserve, admitting that anti-money-laundering lapses allowed wealthy Russians to covertly move some $10 billion out of the country from 2011  and more »

Pakistani mob angered by rape, murder of girl attacks police – Fox News
 


Fox News
Pakistani mob angered by rape, murder of girl attacks police
Fox News
LAHORE, Pakistan Pakistani police say a mob angered over the recent rape and murder of an 8-year-old girl has attacked a police station in eastern Punjab province, triggering clashes that left several people injured. Wednesday’s violence erupted inand more »

Where is the Republican outrage as Trump turns America into a banana republic? – WBIR-TV
 


WBIR-TV
Where is the Republican outrage as Trump turns America into a banana republic?
WBIR-TV
In the years that remain in Trump’s presidency, will they succumb to the pressure and crack apart? The most alarming case is perhaps the most critical: the Justice Department, which oversees the FBI and is charged with ensuring the fair and impartial and more »

Erasing Obama’s Iran Success – Middle East Online
 


Middle East Online
Erasing Obama’s Iran Success
Middle East Online
For example, former counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco is said to have expressed concerns about using RICO [RacketeerInfluenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] laws against top Hezbollah leaders and about the possibility of reprisals. As thePost’s and more »

Dems: Trump doing almost nothing to curb growing Russian meddling – CBS News
 


CBS News
Dems: Trump doing almost nothing to curb growing Russian meddling
CBS News
It also calls on the government to increase the amount of aid it provides to promote democracy in Europe and publicly to expose any organized crime and corruption links to Putin. It adds that social media companies should be required to publicize the and more »

Trump’s inner circle escapes televised grillings on Russia – Politico
 


Politico
Trump’s inner circle escapes televised grillings on Russia
Politico
Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell of California, also said Republicans have blocked their requests for financial documents from key players like Trump Jr., Kushner, former national security adviser Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul  

Democrats warn US remains unprepared for Russian election interference – NBCNews.com
 


NBCNews.com
Democrats warn US remains unprepared for Russian election interference
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON One year after U.S. intelligence agencies detailed the scale and scope of Russian efforts to undermine the 2016 presidential elections, the United States still lacks a coherent, comprehensive and coordinated approach to countering and more »

Senate Dem: Trump ignoring Russian cyberattack threat – Washington Examiner
 


Washington Examiner
Senate Dem: Trump ignoring Russian cyberattack threat
Washington Examiner
This threat existed long before President Trump took office, and unless he takes action now, it will continue long after his administration, Sen. Ben Cardin, the ranking member on the Foreign Relations Committee, said in a Wednesday statement. The 
Dems: Trump doing almost nothing to curb growing Russian meddlingCBS News
Senate Democrats: Future Elections May Be Threatened By Russian AttacksHuffPost
Russia’s Election Meddling Fits a Global Pattern, Senate Report SaysNew York Times
Minneapolis Star Tribune –Baltimore Sun –NBCNews.com
all 27 news articles »
Russia’s Election Meddling Fits a Global Pattern, Senate Report Says – New York Times
 


New York Times
Russia’s Election Meddling Fits a Global Pattern, Senate Report Says
New York Times
… and President Vladimir V. Putin. It tracks Russian efforts in 19 countries, chronicling misinformation campaigns, the funding of far-right political causes and the manipulation of energy supplies long before 2016 in an attempt to glean lessons for and more »

Senate Democrats: Future Elections May Be Threatened By Russian Attacks

“It is imperative that the American people better understand the true scope and scale of Putins pattern of undermining democracy.
European Countries Have Battled Russian Interference for Years. Here’s What the US Can Learn From Them. – Mother Jones
 


Mother Jones
European Countries Have Battled Russian Interference for Years. Here’s What the US Can Learn From Them.
Mother Jones
Spain has worked aggressively to prosecute Russia-based organized crime groups that use the country for money laundering and other crimes, the report notes. And Spanish money laundering operations have specifically targeted officials close to Putin. In  

Democrats target Russia, Trump in report on election interference – Reuters
 


Reuters
Democrats target Russia, Trump in report on election interference
Reuters
The document consists of eight chapters and several appendices detailing tools the Senate investigators said Russia used to influence elections in Europe and making more than 30 recommendations for how to prevent further interference in elections in
New congressional report blasts Trump for ignoring Russian interference around the worldABC Newsall 28 news articles »

US must act now to ward off more Russian election meddling, report says – CNN
 


CNN
US must act now to ward off more Russian election meddling, report says
CNN
The UK has made a point of publicly chastising the Russian government for its meddling in democracies, and it has moved to strengthen cybersecurity and electoral processes, the report notes. Germany “pre-empted Kremlin interference in its national
Russia’s pattern of meddling abroad exposes threat to 2018 US elections: ReportKING5.com
European Countries Have Battled Russian Interference for Years. Here’s What the US Can Learn From Them.Mother Jones
Democrats’ report details Russian meddling in European elections and threats to US campaignsLos Angeles Times
ABC News –Fox News
all 30 news articles »
Trump faces presidential fitness test on Friday amid raised mental health concerns – NBCNews.com
 


NBCNews.com
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6:35 AM 1/10/2018 – Saved Stories: European Countries Have Battled Russian Interference for Years. Here’s What the US Can Learn From Them. – Mother Jones

Saved Stories – None
Democrats target Russia, Trump in report on election interference – Reuters
US must act now to ward off more Russian election meddling, report says – CNN
Trump faces presidential fitness test on Friday amid raised mental health concerns – NBCNews.com
Dems roil probe with release of Fusion GPS transcript – The Hill
A glimpse of a different Trump in action
Feinstein releases Senate testimony from co-founder of research firm behind notorious Trump dossier – Los Angeles Times
White House Official Floated Withdrawing US Forces to Please Putin – Daily Beast
Donald Trump – Google News: How Oprah Could Out-Nate Silver Donald Trump – Vanity Fair
Robert Mueller just backed Donald Trump into a no-win corner
Trumpism: A recipe for disaster – The Nation
How infamous Trump dossier was created – NEWS.com.au
I’m Proud We Published the Trump-Russia Dossier – New York Times
Bannon To Step Down From Breitbart News
Donald Trump 1, Steve Bannon 0 – CNN
Trump orders intelligence agencies to develop rules for naming US citizens in classified reports – PBS NewsHour
What testimony on the Trump dossier adds to the Russia probe – PBS NewsHour
Thank you, Steve Bannon – Washington Post
Several key Donald Trump White House advisers are about to resign
Top Takeaways From Senate Interview Of Man Whose Firm Probed Trumps Russia Ties
Sen. Dianne Feinstein releases testimony on Trump-Russia dossier – ABC News
Judge rules against Trump administration on rescinding DACA
Transcript of Fusion GPS founder’s testimony intensifies feud over FBI, Trump dossier
Donald Trumps own Ambassador to Russia sells him out
Indian National First to Lose US Citizenship Under ‘Operation Janus’ – Voice of America

 

Saved Stories – None
European Countries Have Battled Russian Interference for Years. Here’s What the US Can Learn From Them. – Mother Jones
 


Mother Jones
European Countries Have Battled Russian Interference for Years. Here’s What the US Can Learn From Them.
Mother Jones
Spain has worked aggressively to prosecute Russia-based organized crime groups that use the country for money laundering and other crimes, the report notes. And Spanish money laundering operations have specifically targeted officials close to Putin. In  

Democrats target Russia, Trump in report on election interference – Reuters
 


Reuters
Democrats target Russia, Trump in report on election interference
Reuters
The document consists of eight chapters and several appendices detailing tools the Senate investigators said Russia used to influence elections in Europe and making more than 30 recommendations for how to prevent further interference in elections in
New congressional report blasts Trump for ignoring Russian interference around the worldABC Newsall 28 news articles »

US must act now to ward off more Russian election meddling, report says – CNN
 


CNN
US must act now to ward off more Russian election meddling, report says
CNN
The UK has made a point of publicly chastising the Russian government for its meddling in democracies, and it has moved to strengthen cybersecurity and electoral processes, the report notes. Germany “pre-empted Kremlin interference in its national
Russia’s pattern of meddling abroad exposes threat to 2018 US elections: ReportKING5.com
European Countries Have Battled Russian Interference for Years. Here’s What the US Can Learn From Them.Mother Jones
Democrats’ report details Russian meddling in European elections and threats to US campaignsLos Angeles Times
ABC News –Fox News
all 30 news articles »
Trump faces presidential fitness test on Friday amid raised mental health concerns – NBCNews.com
 


NBCNews.com
Dems roil probe with release of Fusion GPS transcript – The Hill
 


The Hill
Dems roil probe with release of Fusion GPS transcript
The Hill
They have suggested the FBI used the dossier, described by then-FBI Director James Comey · James Brien ComeyTrump: Dershowitz interview on ‘witch hunt’ a ‘must watch’ Comey after Trump tweet: FBI is honest, strong, independent Former ethics director and more »

A glimpse of a different Trump in action

There’s an old saying attributed to Otto von Bismark that laws and sausage are two things people should never watch being made. For nearly an hour on Tuesday, however, the public was given a window into the ongoing Washington negotiations over immigration …
Feinstein releases Senate testimony from co-founder of research firm behind notorious Trump dossier – Los Angeles Times
 


Washington Post

CNN
Feinstein releases Senate testimony from co-founder of research firm behind notorious Trumpdossier
Los Angeles Times
Feinstein, who is running for reelection and facing a primary challenge fueled by concern from some liberals that she has not been aggressive enough in opposing Trump, in November, has issued a flurry of news releases to announce her requests to current and former 
Feud over Trump dossier intensifies with release of interview transcriptWashington Post
Trump lawyer: I’m suing ‘BuzzFeed’ over dossier claimsUSA TODAY
I’m Proud We Published the Trump-Russia DossierNew York Times
 members of Trump’s campaign team for interviews and documents. More dramatically, Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham 
Fusion co-founder: Dossier author feared Trump was being blackmailedCNN
Fusion GPS founder claimed FBI had Trump source during campaignWashington Post
Dossier author was told FBI had a source inside Trump OrganizationUSA TODAY

BBC News PoliticoNBCNews.com
all 310 Roll CallNBCNews.comSenator Dianne Feinstein
all 241
 
news articles »
White House Official Floated Withdrawing US Forces to Please Putin – Daily Beast
 


Daily Beast
White House Official Floated Withdrawing US Forces to Please Putin
Daily Beast
A senior National Security Council official proposed withdrawing some U.S. military forces from Eastern Europe as an overture to Vladimir Putin during the early days of the Trump presidency, according to two former administration officials. While the and more »

 administration, according to a former administration official in the room  

Donald Trump – Google News: How Oprah Could Out-Nate Silver Donald Trump – Vanity Fair
 


Vanity Fair
How Oprah Could Out-Nate Silver Donald Trump
Vanity Fair
The case for an Oprah Winfrey presidency is nearly identical to the knock against her. She’s a celebrity, not a lawmaker; a billionaire businessperson with no political experience; a champagne-swilling member of the coastal elite. She is, in other  
‘I’ll Beat Oprah.’ Trump Says He’d Win Against Winfrey in a Presidential RaceTIME
Trump says he would beat Oprah in 2020CNN
 
Oprah Winfrey and Donald Trump Promote the Same Populist TheologyTIME

Donald Trump Declares He’ll Beat Oprah; Doubts Presidential BidDeadline 
TMZ.comSlate Magazine
 
Trump says he would beat Oprah in 2020CNN
FortuneTMZ.com
 –Billboard

all 1,089 3,911 news articles »

 Donald Trump – Google News

Robert Mueller just backed Donald Trump into a no-win corner

Yesterday, we received the stunning news that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just a few weeks away from being ready to interview Donald Trump about his role in the Trump-Russia scandal. This means that, at least with regard to the obstruction of justice aspect of the investigation, Mueller is near the finish line. It also means Mueller has backed Trump into a no-win corner with no viable options.All indications from Trump’s camp are that he’s now willing to sit down with Mueller for the interview. If he goes through with it, his consistent penchant for pathological lying will instantly do him in, as lying to federal investigators is a felony. If he decides not to go through with it, he would likely have to invoke the Fifth Amendment in the hope of avoiding being forced to testify. This led Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe to lay out that Trump can’t win either way.

Actor and activist John Cusack posed this question for Tribe: “Serious question – Trump is a fascist – why would he sit down with Mueller at all – [I’m] sure hell say basically fuck you – hoax – how can he be compelled? If he had any care for the office or future he would comply – but we know he cares about absolutely nothing but himself.” Tribe provided this explanation: “Trump could try to defy a judicially approved grand jury subpoena, but thats one of the few moves that could really put irresistible political pressure on craven GOP members of Congress to grow a pair and initiate serious impeachment efforts.”

In other words, Donald Trump can’t win either way. If he shows up and testifies for Robert Mueller, he’ll incriminate himself and risk going to prison. If he invokes the Fifth Amendment, it’ll be so politically crippling, his presidency will be over anyway. Trump is in a no-win corner.

The post Robert Mueller just backed Donald Trump into a no-win corner appeared first on Palmer Report.

Trumpism: A recipe for disaster – The Nation
 

Trumpism: A recipe for disaster
The Nation
The political ideas and policies of President Donald Trump are generally referred to as ‘Trumpism‘. Trumpism has widely been perceived as a political philosophy which is closely related to the concepts like White Supremacism, Racism, Nativism  

and more »

How infamous Trump dossier was created – NEWS.com.au
 


NEWS.com.au
How infamous Trump dossier was created
NEWS.com.au
Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein defied her Republican adversaries on Tuesday when she published the full transcript of Glenn Simpson’s secret testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee investigating whether the President colluded withRussia 
Ex-British spy referred in TrumpRussia probeKaplan Heraldall 63 news articles »

I’m Proud We Published the Trump-Russia Dossier – New York Times
 


New York Times
I’m Proud We Published the Trump-Russia Dossier
New York Times
As the seriousness of the Russia investigation has become clearer, the pro-Trump line has shifted from dismissing the dossier to stressing its role in the investigation: The dossier, some of Mr. Trump’s defenders now say, played too big a part, given 
Trump lawyer: I’m suing ‘BuzzFeed’ over dossier claimsUSA TODAY
“Enough is enough”: Trump lawyer files lawsuit against BuzzFeed over Russia dossierCBS Newsall 74 news articles »

Bannon To Step Down From Breitbart News

Steve Bannon has stepped down as Editor-in-Chief at Breitbart News amid growing discord with his former boss President Trump.
Donald Trump 1, Steve Bannon 0 – CNN
 


CNN
Donald Trump 1, Steve Bannon 0
CNN
Bannon, who served as Trump’s senior White House strategist until he was fired in August 2017, left as the head of Breitbart News — roughly one week after quotes critical of Trump and his family went public in Michael Wolff’s blockbuster book, “Fire 
Bannon steps down from Breitbart News after drawing fire from TrumpReuters
Bannon loses Breitbart job amid Trump feud in setback for GOP nativismLos Angeles Times
Former top Trump advisor Steve Bannon to leave Breitbart NewsCNBC
NBCNews.com –CBS News –New York Times
all 3,983 news articles »
Trump orders intelligence agencies to develop rules for naming US citizens in classified reports – PBS NewsHour
 


PBS NewsHour
Trump orders intelligence agencies to develop rules for naming US citizens in classified reports
PBS NewsHour
Devin Nunes, R-Calif., the chairman of the House intelligence committee, wrote a letter to Coats in July saying that senior government officials in the Obama administration had easy access to the names of Americans omitted from intelligence reports
Trump orders new guidance on ‘unmasking’ requests | TheHillThe Hill
Trump orders limits on ‘unmasking’ of US citizens snagged in surveillanceRT The Hill
Trump Restricts ‘Unmasking’ of Citizens Caught in Surveillance Bloombergall 6

 Bloomberg
Trump orders rules for revealing US citizens in spy reportsMinneapolis Star Tribuneall 5

 news articles »

What testimony on the Trump dossier adds to the Russia probe – PBS NewsHour
 


PBS NewsHour
What testimony on the Trump dossier adds to the Russia probe
PBS NewsHour
What does Glenn Simpson’s newly released testimony about the TrumpRussia dossier reveal? In a unilateral move, Sen. Dianne Feinstein publicly shared the nearly 11-hour exchange. Judy Woodruff talks with Mark Mazzetti of The New York Times to recap why  
Fusion GPS founder testified Trump associate went to FBI over Russia concernsReuters
Former British spy turned to FBI after dossier revealed Russia might blackmail Trump
 
Source in Trump’s orbit allegedly corroborated parts of Steele dossier to FBI: Fusion GPS co-founder
 New York Daily News

Trump dossier author went to FBI over blackmail fearsThe National 
CBS Local
all 286 
Fusion co-founder: Dossier author feared Trump was being blackmailedABC17News.comall 245

 news articles »

Thank you, Steve Bannon – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Thank you, Steve Bannon
Washington Post
Among the most widely quoted is Bannon’s speculation that Trump’s son introduced his father to the Russian visitors he hosted at Trump Tower in June 2016. The chance that Don Jr. did not walk these jumos up to his father’s office on the 26th floor is and more »

Several key Donald Trump White House advisers are about to resign

Donald Trump has lost so many of his top advisers during his first year in the White House, it’s almost easier to compile a list of the few senior advisers that are left. The departures have been the result of resignations, power struggles, firings, criminal scandals, and other embarrassing incidents. Now it turns out a slew of Trump’s top remaining people, including some household names, are preparing to exit the building as well.Three of Trump’s top advisers have one foot out the door, according to a new CNN report. White House Counsel Don McGahn, who is now directly in the line of fire in the Trump-Russia scandal, is on the verge of resigning (link). As Palmer Report pointed out earlier this week, McGahn’s wife just abruptly resigned from her own Trump administration job, a sign that his split from Trump is likely to be acrimonious. There is strong circumstantial evidence that McGahn has already flipped on Trump and cut a deal. Two other recognizable names are also reportedly on their way out.

Trump economic adviser Gary Cohn, who has publicly condemned Trump’s racism in the past, and who is quoted as saying horrible things about Trump in Michael Wolff’s new insider book, is also on his way out, according to CNN. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, who took over the job after Michael Flynn was fired for illegally conspiring with the Russians, is also considering an imminent departure.

In the past several weeks alone, Donald Trump has lost Deputy White House Chief of Staff Rick Dearborn and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell to resignations, and he’s fired former Apprentice contestant Omarosa from her poorly defined White House job. Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, Anthony Scaramucci, KT McFarland, Katie Walsh, and countless other hand-picked Trump White House advisers have also bailed in the first year.

The post Several key Donald Trump White House advisers are about to resign appeared first on Palmer Report.

Top Takeaways From Senate Interview Of Man Whose Firm Probed Trumps Russia Ties

Fusion GPSs Glenn Simpson said the author of the Steele dossier feared the FBI was being manipulated” by the Trump team.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein releases testimony on Trump-Russia dossier – ABC News
 


ABC News
Sen. Dianne Feinstein releases testimony on Trump-Russia dossier
ABC News
All right, Pierre Thomas with us live tonight from Washington. And Pierre, some Republican senators have called for a criminal investigation now of that former British spy who fusion gps now says sounded the alarm to the FBI. They’re targeting him now
Feinstein releases Senate testimony from co-founder of research firm behind notorious Trump dossierLos Angeles Times
Feud over Trump dossier intensifies with release of interview transcriptWashington Post
Trump lawyer: I’m suing ‘BuzzFeed’ over dossier claimsUSA TODAY
New York Times –BBC News –Politico –New York Times
all 274 news articles »
Judge rules against Trump administration on rescinding DACA

A federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday barred the Trump administration from turning back the Obama-era DACA program, which shielded more than 700,000 people from deportation, Reuters reported. U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled that the program …
Transcript of Fusion GPS founder’s testimony intensifies feud over FBI, Trump dossier

The political battle over the FBI and its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election intensified Tuesday with the release of an interview with the head of the firm behind a dossier of allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump. The …
Donald Trumps own Ambassador to Russia sells him out

Throughout his worsening Trump-Russia scandal, no matter how damning the evidence has become that Russia rigged the election and that his own campaign and family were in on it, Donald Trump has steadfastly insisted that it never happened. Few outside Trump’s shrinking base actually believe this nonsense, as it’s already been proven ten times over that Russia meddled in the election in every way it could think of, but Trump has stuck with the lie. Now Trump’s own Ambassador to Russia is selling him out on this.It’s still far from clear why Utah businessman and politician Jon Huntsman accepted Donald Trump’s offer to become the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, particularly considering the ugly nature of the Trump-Russia scandal. What is clear, however, is that Huntsman is not willing to stick to Trump’s party line. He’s flat out admitting that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, and he’s making threats against Russia if it tries to meddle in future U.S. elections (link). So what is Huntsman doing here?

Huntsman probably has little if any ability to stifle Russia in his role as Ambassador. But his mere willingness to voice this kind of rhetoric means that he’s very publicly selling Donald Trump out. This pokes severe holes in Trump’s already non-credible claim that Russian involvement in the 2016 election is “fake news.” As has been the case with so many of his handpicked people, Trump appears to have read Huntsman wrong altogether. Huntsman is clearly more interested in preserving his own public credibility than in trying to prop up Trump’s most cherished rhetoric.

As Palmer Report has previously documented, Jon Huntsman and his family business have long been doing huge amounts of business with Russia (link. Huntsman is set to inherit the business from his elderly father. Did he take the Ambassador job in the hope of establishing new business ties in Russia that he can use down the road? In any case, Huntsman is clearly unwilling to do Trump’s bidding.

The post Donald Trump’s own Ambassador to Russia sells him out appeared first on Palmer Report.

Indian National First to Lose US Citizenship Under ‘Operation Janus’ – Voice of America
 


Voice of America
Indian National First to Lose US Citizenship Under ‘Operation Janus’
Voice of America
federal judge last week stripped an Indian national of his U.S. citizenship in what officials described as the first case to grow out of an Obama-era federal investigation that exposed rampant fraud among citizenship applicants. Federal prosecutors and more »

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5:41 AM 1/10/2018 – Saved Stories: Feud over Trump dossier intensifies with release of interview transcript – Washington Post

Saved Stories – None
Inside the Drug-Dealing Empire That Ruled West Philly – OZY
It Is Time for Progressives to Support the Trump-Putin Efforts at Rapprochement – Antiwar.com
Letter: Support the FBI – Roanoke Times
Michael Cohen, Trump’s Personal Attorney, Sues BuzzFeed Over Explosive Dossier
How Hillary’s FBI Allies Undermined Trump Before the Election – FrontPage Magazine
Tucker Carlson Turns On Trump: ‘What Was The Point Of Running For President?’
The most bizarre Trump-Russia twist yet
Trump’s checkup comes as chatter about his health lingers – ABC News
Trump and Netanyahu are playing the same game – Washington Post
Face facts. The west that won the cold war no longer exists | Rafael Behr
Murder in Malta: How Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death exposed corruption and shady Russian connections on the … – Telegraph.co.uk
Seth Meyers Has The Best Response To Trump Reportedly Starting His Day At 11 A.M.
Author of Trump Dossier Referred to FBI for Criminal Investigation – The Jewish Voice (press release) (blog)
China Vies for Influence in Russia’s Backyard – Global Trade Magazine (blog)
Dem senators’ report warns of Russian meddling across Europe – Las Vegas Sun
Robert De Niro Gives Trump An X-Rated New Nickname In Awards-Show Rant
Democratic Senator Releases Transcript of Interview with Dossier Firm – New York Times
The media should not settle for truthiness on Trump | Jeff Sparrow
‘A real Halloween special’: Fusion GPS co-founder questions New York Times report on Trump-Russia – Washington Post
Trump-Russia dossier transcripts expose Donald Trumps ties to organized crime
US probing if ‘viral’ attack sickened diplomats in Cuba: official – Reuters
Popular New Jersey radio host killed in alleged murder-for-hire plot, husband among those charged – ABC News
The White House struggles to silence talk of Trump’s mental fitness – Washington Post
Trump probably could not refuse Mueller subpoena to answer questions – NBCNews.com

 

Saved Stories – None
Feud over Trump dossier intensifies with release of interview transcript – Washington Post


Washington Post
Feud over Trump dossier intensifies with release of interview transcript
Washington Post
The political battle over the FBI and its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election intensified Tuesday with the release of an interview with the head of the firm behind a dossier of allegations against then-candidate Donald Trump. The 
Transcript of Fusion GPS founder’s testimony intensifies feud over FBITrump dossierChicago Tribune 
New dossier testimony reveals how badly NYT screwed up in Trump’s favorShareblue Media

Dems roil probe with release of Fusion GPS transcriptThe Hill 
National ReviewSenator Dianne Feinstein
all 507 
8 Important Details From Fusion GPS’ Secret Testimony (Yes, Pee Tape Included)Law & Crime

all 305 news articles »

Inside the Drug-Dealing Empire That Ruled West Philly – OZY


OZY
Inside the Drug-Dealing Empire That Ruled West Philly
OZY
He attended Temple University, but he became a prominent figure in one of the city’s most notorious organized crime groups a violent enterprise that made tens of millions of dollars from the sale of drugs from 1985 to 1991. The JBM sold 200 to 300 

It Is Time for Progressives to Support the Trump-Putin Efforts at Rapprochement – Antiwar.com

It Is Time for Progressives to Support the Trump-Putin Efforts at Rapprochement
Antiwar.com
The crumbling narrative of “collusion” between Putin and Trump in the 2016 election is the major obstacle to the US-Russia rapprochement. Indeed some progressives have done yeoman’s work in exposing the lies of the media, the Intel agencies and the 

and more »

Letter: Support the FBI – Roanoke Times

Letter: Support the FBI
Roanoke Times
… Goldwater’s guys; short haired suit wearing bashers of long haired hippie anti-war protesters have, according to Fox News, become puppets of the leftist liberal Democrats intent on overthrowing the great, great, trust me, greatest president of the 

Michael Cohen, Trump’s Personal Attorney, Sues BuzzFeed Over Explosive Dossier

He’s suing the news site along with Fusion GPS, the intelligence firm that compiled the Christopher Steele report.

How Hillary’s FBI Allies Undermined Trump Before the Election – FrontPage Magazine


FrontPage Magazine
How Hillary’s FBI Allies Undermined Trump Before the Election
FrontPage Magazine
Strzok and Page weren’t supposed to be planting hit pieces in the media, but the politicization of the FBI and the DOJ had corrupted them. Instead of searching for the truth, they were working for Hillary Clinton. And their texts, nasty and media 

and more »

Tucker Carlson Turns On Trump: ‘What Was The Point Of Running For President?’

Fox News host slams the president over immigration.

The most bizarre Trump-Russia twist yet

I’ve finished reading all three hundred pages of the newly released testimony from the company behind the Trump-Russia dossier, and remarkably, I didn’t learn anything new. Trump is being blackmailed by Russia. Trump has ties to organized crime. People have been murdered in the name of covering up the Trump-Russia scandal. These are all things that Palmer Report and others have been reporting for the past year. Yet these new transcripts have somehow managed to blow the Trump-Russia scandal wide open anyway.

All you have to do is turn on the television and watch how the scandal is now being covered, to see that these transcripts have indeed changed everything. I’ve spent all day trying to put my finger on why. Sure, respected Senator Dianne Feinstein threw her considerable weight behind the assertions made in the transcript, but it’s not as if this was her own testimony or research. She only published this because she felt the public deserved to know what the Trump-Russia dossier company had told Congress behind closed doors. But this is still the same Trump-Russia dossier we’ve all had for a year. This testimony doesn’t even add anything new to it. Yet still, something has changed.

Of all the strange aspects of the Trump-Russia scandal to date, by far the strangest has been the mainstream media’s personal hatred for the Trump-Russia dossier. Major news outlets initially refused to touch the dossier at all, then only reluctantly covered it once it leaked, but even then it was only with the constant qualifier that it was “unverified” or worse. Meanwhile, those same news outlets have routinely and often gleefully reported aspects of the Trump-Russia scandal that were far less credible, with no disclaimers of any kind.

Maybe the media has just been throwing a tantrum for the past year because it felt embarrassed after initially considering the dossier to have been unimportant, only to be proven wrong. But whatever the reason, today’s transcripts while giving us no new information, and frankly not doing anything to further “verify” what’s already been independently verified have managed to change the entire framing of the scandal.

Perhaps the transcripts have simply given the mainstream media an excuse to hit the reset button on its approach to the Trump-Russia dossier. In any case, the dossier is now considered the gold standard by the media, which means mainstream America will quickly come to see it the same way. Everything changed today about how the Trump-Russia scandal is perceived, even though we didn’t learn anything new. That’s the strangest development in the scandal yet.

The post The most bizarre Trump-Russia twist yet appeared first on Palmer Report.

Trump’s checkup comes as chatter about his health lingers – ABC News


New York Times
Trump’s checkup comes as chatter about his health lingers
ABC News
Trump took the unusual step of threatening legal action to try to suppress publication of “Fire and Fury: Inside the TrumpWhite House,” by Michael Wolff. He then drew even more attention to the book and the debate about his fitness with weekend tweets 
Trump’s First Full Physical Is Approaching. What He Discloses Is Up to Him.New York Times

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Trump and Netanyahu are playing the same game – Washington Post


Washington Post
Trump and Netanyahu are playing the same game
Washington Post
This week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a prominent Trump ally, found himself doing the same. A recording aired Tuesday by Channel 2, an Israeli broadcaster, featured the voice of Yair Netayahu during a drunken romp around Tel Aviv’s 

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Face facts. The west that won the cold war no longer exists | Rafael Behr

Capitalism conquered the eastern bloc. Thats why liberal politics alone wont defeat todays populism

Finnish TV and toilet paper did as much to undermine the USSR as the nuclear deterrent, an Estonian friend once explained to me. He grew up in Tallinn, under Kremlin rule but within antenna range of American soaps broadcast from Helsinki. What Dallas did for eyes that craved glamour, a smuggled supply of soft tissue did for bums rubbed raw by Soviet-issue bog roll. The Balts had too much exposure to what they were missing to be reconciled to the privations of communism.

Related: The fall of the Berlin Wall: what it meant to be there | Timothy Garton Ash

As illiberal forces arise in democracys heartlands, liberals find themselves frighteningly short of rhetorical tools

Continue reading…

Murder in Malta: How Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death exposed corruption and shady Russian connections on the … – Telegraph.co.uk


Telegraph.co.uk
Murder in Malta: How Daphne Caruana Galizia’s death exposed corruption and shady Russian connections on the …
Telegraph.co.uk
He has been in Moscow’s bad books since 2016, when he refused to let Russian warships refuel in Malta en route to Syria. When Muscat then failed to lose the snap election sparked by the Egrant story, the theory goes, the Kremlin went one step further  

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Seth Meyers Has The Best Response To Trump Reportedly Starting His Day At 11 A.M.

A recent report says Trump’s daily schedule is getting shorter.

Author of Trump Dossier Referred to FBI for Criminal Investigation – The Jewish Voice (press release) (blog)

Author of Trump Dossier Referred to FBI for Criminal Investigation
The Jewish Voice (press release) (blog)
Two top Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee are asking the Justice Department and FBI to open up a criminal investigation into dossier author Christopher Steele. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham alleged in a 

China Vies for Influence in Russia’s Backyard – Global Trade Magazine (blog)

China Vies for Influence in Russia’s Backyard
Global Trade Magazine (blog)
Our recent visit to Kazakhstan and the Khorgos Eastern Gate area starkly revealed the dilemma that Kazakhstan faces. Here, we argue that for Kazakhstan to become a high-income country, it will be important that the United States, the EuropeanUnion 

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Dem senators’ report warns of Russian meddling across Europe – Las Vegas Sun

Dem senators’ report warns of Russian meddling across Europe
Las Vegas Sun
But even without GOP backing, the report’s recounting of Russian operations in 19 European nations foreshadows the still-unpublished Senate intelligence committee’s bipartisan inquiry into Russia’s role during the 2016 U.S. presidential election 

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Robert De Niro Gives Trump An X-Rated New Nickname In Awards-Show Rant

Screen legend tears into the president at the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala.

Democratic Senator Releases Transcript of Interview with Dossier Firm – New York Times


New York Times
Democratic Senator Releases Transcript of Interview with Dossier Firm
New York Times
In his testimony, Mr. Simpson sought to portray himself as an astute researcher well versed in the Russian government and that country’s organized crime. And he said Mr. Steele, the former British spy he hired to investigate the campaign’s ties to 
Senate Democrats just released full testimony on the Trump dossierCNBC
Top Dem releases testimony from Steele employerCBS News
FBI knew of possible Trump-Russia collusion, according to Glenn Simpson’s Senate testimonyNBCNews.com
New York Daily News –USA TODAY –New York Times –New York Times
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The media should not settle for truthiness on Trump | Jeff Sparrow

Journalists should be more, not less, suspicious of claims about Trump that confirm their prejudices. Michael Wolffs Fire and Fury shows why

Were not talking about the truth; were talking about something that seems like truth the truth we want to exist.

That was how comedian Stephen Colbert explained truthiness, the term he coined in 2005 to refer to truth that comes from the gut, not books.

Related: Michael Wolff’s explosive book on Trump: the key revelations

One suspects, though, that many readers will forgive any such errors. The book confirms their worst fears about the Trump presidency: it feels truthful, if not always factual.

On some days hell watch the gorilla channel for 17 hours straight, an insider told me. He kneels in front of the TV, with his face about four inches from the screen, and says encouraging things to the gorillas, like the way you hit that other gorilla was good. I think he thinks the gorillas can hear him.

Related: Fire and Fury? Maybe Donald Trump is only just getting started | Matthew dAncona

Continue reading…

‘A real Halloween special’: Fusion GPS co-founder questions New York Times report on Trump-Russia – Washington Post


Washington Post
‘A real Halloween special’: Fusion GPS co-founder questions New York Times report on Trump-Russia
Washington Post
That New York Times article from Oct. 31, 2016, on the FBI investigation into the links between Russia and the Trumpcampaign won’t stop wiggling around in the newspaper’s archives. Investigating Donald TrumpF.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia 
Dems roil probe with release of Fusion GPS transcriptThe Hill
Politicizing Steele’s Raw, Unverified ‘Intelligence’National Review
Russiagate Turns On Its OriginatorsForeign Policy Journal (blog)
Law & Crime –UPI.com
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Trump-Russia dossier transcripts expose Donald Trumps ties to organized crime

The worst kept secret in the entire Trump-Russia scandal is that Donald Trump has decades of business relationships with organized crime figures, and those deals are likely a big part of how the Russian government took control of Trump financially ahead of his entry into politics. Today’s release of Trump-Russia transcripts reveals that organized crime is indeed at the heart of the Trump-Russia scandal.

Glenn Simpson of Fusion GPS, the company behind the Trump-Russia dossier, testified privately before the Senate Judiciary Committee in the summer of 2017. Democratic ranking member Dianne Feinstein released the transcripts of that testimony today over the objections of Trump’s Republican apologists on the committee. The transcripts reveal what was behind the effort to assemble the dossier: “It was, broadly speaking, a kind of holistic examination of Donald Trump’s business record and his associations, his bankruptcies, his suppliers, you know, offshore or third-world suppliers of products that he was selling. You know, it evolved somewhat quickly into issues of his relationships to organized crime figures but, you know, really the gamut of Donald Trump.”

In fact the three hundred-plus page transcript references “organized crime” fourteen different times. While the testimony does not give away the specifics of how Trump is tied to organized crime, it’s a given that Fusion GPS has already provided these details to Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Some of Trump’s ties to organized crime, and more specifically Russian organized crime, have already been publicly documented.

For instance, the Trump Organization has done several major real estate deals in New York City with a guy named Felix Sater, who has done prison time in relation to laundering money for the Russian mafia. In addition, the U.S. Treasury Department hit the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City with a hefty fine for years of facilitating money launderers, which included the period of time in which Donald Trump still owned a commanding stake in the property.

The post Trump-Russia dossier transcripts expose Donald Trump’s ties to organized crime appeared first on Palmer Report.

US probing if ‘viral’ attack sickened diplomats in Cuba: official – Reuters


Reuters
US probing if ‘viral’ attack sickened diplomats in Cuba: official
Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. investigators are looking at a range of theories, including the possibility of a viral attack, to explain what sickened American diplomats last year who were stationed in Havana, the State Department said on Tuesday. FILE 
Experts still confounded by source of attacks against US embassy staffers in HavanaMiami Herald
Tillerson to launch new review of Havana ‘attacks’The Hill
US Havana embassy: New inquiry into Cuba staff sicknessBBC News
BuzzFeed News –Washington Free Beacon –UPI.com –CBC.ca
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Popular New Jersey radio host killed in alleged murder-for-hire plot, husband among those charged – ABC News


ABC News
Popular New Jersey radio host killed in alleged murder-for-hire plot, husband among those charged
ABC News
A prominent southern New Jersey doctor is among those charged in what prosecutors are calling an alleged murder-for-hire plot that resulted in the death of his wife, a popular talk show host, nearly six years ago. Atlantic County prosecutor Damon Tyner 
Shore doctor James Kauffman charged in 2012 murder of his wife April KauffmanPhilly.com
Husband of slain radio host paid man to kill his wife 5 years ago, authorities sayNJ.com
Dr. James Kauffman charged in murder of his wife, April, and drug conspiracy with PagansPress of Atlantic City
Cherry Hill Courier Post– New Jersey radio host hired hitman, dealt drugs to motorcycle gangNew York Daily News
Doctor Charged With Having Wife Killed to Protect Drug RingU.S. News & World Report
 
FOX 29 News Philadelphia6abc.com
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The White House struggles to silence talk of Trump’s mental fitness – Washington Post


Washington Post
The White House struggles to silence talk of Trump’s mental fitness
Washington Post
The White House is struggling to contain the national discussion about President Trump’s mental acuity and fitness for the job, which has overshadowed the administration’s agenda for the past week. Trump publicly waded into the debate spawned by a new 
With nuclear codes in hands, why doesn’t the president get a thorough mental check?CNN
Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell youPolitico
The Debate About Trump’s Mental State, Long Whispered, Blows Wide OpenHuffPost
BBC News –The Hill –BuzzFeed News –Mic
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Trump probably could not refuse Mueller subpoena to answer questions – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
Trump probably could not refuse Mueller subpoena to answer questions
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON If Robert Mueller seeks to question President Donald Trump, could the White House successfully refuse to make him available? Like anyone whose testimony is sought by grand jury subpoena in a criminal case, the president could cite his 
Mueller Positions for Trump Interview, as Lawyers Assess Risk of InvestigationNew York Times
A Trump Interview With Robert Mueller Would Follow Presidential TraditionNPR
‘I don’t think he fully appreciates the legal jeopardy he faces’: Mueller’s team is gearing up to interview TrumpBusiness Insider
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5:33 PM 1/9/2018 – How to help the family of the fallen Pierce County sheriff’s deputy – Seattle Times – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks 

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фсб зарубежные операции – Google Search
5 reasons to worry Trump is undermining the Justice Department’s independence – Vox
The Decline of Anti-Trumpism – The New York Times – New York Times
Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell you – Politico
Everything hits the fan
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex … – Telegraph.co.uk
“Fire and Fury” sparks talk about Trump’s mental fitness
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Mueller Conveys Interest in Questioning Trump: Source
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The Biggest Question on the Trump/Russia Story – TPM (blog)
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“The drip, drip, drip Effect

 

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How to help the family of the fallen Pierce County sheriff’s deputy – Seattle Times

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How to help the family of the fallen Pierce County sheriff’s deputy
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During a light rain, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor greets people who gathered at the South Hill precinct to honor slain deputy Daniel McCartney on Monday. (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times). All donations will go directly to the deputy’s wife and 

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Александр Бортников: Разрушение России для некоторых до …

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Разговор Директора ФСБ России А. Бортникова с главным редактором “Российской газеты” В. Фрониным состоялся накануне Дня работников …. В середине 1920-х годов в результате длившихся несколько лет операций “Синдикат-2” и “Трест” чекисты пресекли подрывную деятельность …
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Washington Post: Связь Лаборатории Касперского с ФСБ …

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Несмотря на то, что американские фирмы в области кибербезопасности иногда оказывают техническую помощь ФБР в уголовных расследованиях, связь между «Лабораторией Касперского» и ФСБ удивляет многих зарубежных экспертов. Сообщается, что ФСБ использовала информацию, …
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Путин отметил профессионализм ФСБ, которая «переигрывает …

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По словам главы государства, на сегодняшний день ФСБ «переигрывает» многие зарубежныеспецслужбы. «Знаю, какую … Именно такие качества, как утверждает Путин, демонстрировали российские спецслужбы, обеспечивая проведение антитеррористической операции в Сирии.
Работники ФСБ переигрывают зарубежные спецслужбы — Путин
International<a href=”http://KrasNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>KrasNews.com</a> – Красноярские новостиDec 20, 2017

5 reasons to worry Trump is undermining the Justice Department’s independence – Vox

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5 reasons to worry Trump is undermining the Justice Department’s independence
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The Trump administration installed its own appointees to several important US attorney posts without getting the Senate’s approval, and has recently sidelined several career officials in the FBI or DOJ who Trump dislikes. On top of that, two Republican 
Russian are tiresome fallback when attention turns to ClintonSTLtoday.com

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The Decline of Anti-Trumpism – The New York Times
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Let me start with three inconvenient observations, based on dozens of conversations around Washington over the past year: First, people who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find 

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Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell you – Politico

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Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell you
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If President Donald Trump were any other 71-year-old covered by Medicare and having his annual wellness visit he’d be checked on his cognitive functions and possible safety risks. But when the president goes for his physical exam Friday, the 
Donald Trump is addicted to cable TV! Which is fine!CNN
How does Trump’s schedule compare with other presidents?BBC News
Donald Trump poised for medical check amid allegations over his fitness for officeCNBC
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Everything hits the fan

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

Right now Donald Trump is missing the good old days of last week, when it was only Steve Bannon who had gone rogue against him. It’s difficult to figure out how much of this is a snowball effect and how much of it may be happenstance, but at this rate Trump’s entire world is caving in on him from within. Now everyone from Ivanka Trump to Brad Parscale to Sebastian Gorka on down is suddenly finding ways to play for the other team, whether because they’re trying to distance themselves or because they’re all simply very rapidly losing what they barely ever had to begin with.

It would have been devastating enough if the story was simply that Bannon was accusing Trump and his son of a “treasonous” plot with the Russians. That’s profoundly ugly, and unprecedented in the modern presidency. Since when does a former White House Chief Strategist fire back with accusations of literal treason? But then came Brad Parscale’s bizarre tweet in which he repeatedly insisted that nothing happened in the campaign without the approval of Jared Kushner and Eric Trump (wait, a minute, Eric?). Was Parscale trying to help these two by making them look powerful, or trying to throw them under the bus by assigning the Russia plot decision-making to them? It quickly got worse.

Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s former resident White House white supremacist and goatee model, seemed to try to defend Trump against Michael Wolff’s book, but instead ended up confirming that Trump was lying about Wolff being given insider access. Stephen Miller went on CNN and offered up such a demented defense of Trump complete with getting kicked off the air and kicked out of the building that he had to have known he was hurting Trump in the process. Then Lindsey Graham, Trump’s inexplicable new puppet, went on The View and wandered totally off script by defending Robert Mueller.

After everything else had hit the fan from within for Donald Trump, last night Ivanka Trump jumped on Twitter and appeared to endorse Oprah for President. Why on earth would she endorse her own father’s potential 2020 competitor? Then again, at this point we all know Donald Trump won’t still be in office by 2020 to run for reelection anyway.

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David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex … – Telegraph.co.uk

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David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex …
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The man who served as David Cameron’s director of strategy said the former prime minister thought Barack Obama was one of the most narcissistic, self-absorbed people with whom he had ever dealt. Steve Hilton, who was once one of Mr Cameron’s most 
Cameron didn’t have ‘bromance’ with Obama and thought he was a …The Independent
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a self-absorbed narcissist, former strategist claimsRT

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“Fire and Fury” sparks talk about Trump’s mental fitness

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January 8, 2018, 6:33 PM | “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff says members of the president’s inner circle are concerned about his unpredictablity and temper. But as CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports, this isn’t the first …

Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe – ANI News

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Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe
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The intelligence community believes that the Russian government was engaged in electoral interference during the 2016 US presidential election. A January 2017 assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated that Russian 

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The Decline of Anti-Trumpism – The New York Times

mikenova shared this story .

I sometimes wonder if the Invisible White House has learned to use the Potemkin White House to deke us while it changes the country.

I mention these inconvenient observations because the anti-Trump movement, of which I’m a proud member, seems to be getting dumber. It seems to be settling into a smug, fairy tale version of reality that filters out discordant information. More anti-Trumpers seem to be telling themselves a “Madness of King George” narrative: Trump is a semiliterate madman surrounded by sycophants who are morally, intellectually and psychologically inferior to people like us.

I’d like to think it’s possible to be fervently anti-Trump while also not reducing everything to a fairy tale.

The anti-Trump movement suffers from insularity. Most of the people who detest Trump don’t know anybody who works with him or supports him. And if they do have friends and family members who admire Trump, they’ve learned not to talk about this subject. So they get most of their information about Trumpism from others who also detest Trumpism, which is always a recipe for epistemic closure.

The movement also suffers from lowbrowism. Fox News pioneered modern lowbrowism. The modern lowbrow (think Sean Hannity or Dinesh D’Souza) ignores normal journalistic or intellectual standards. He creates a style of communication that doesn’t make you think more; it makes you think and notice less. He offers a steady diet of affirmation, focuses on simple topics that require little background information, and gets viewers addicted to daily doses of righteous contempt and delicious vindication.

We anti-Trumpers have our lowbrowism, too, mostly on late-night TV. But anti-Trump lowbrowism burst into full bloom with the Wolff book.

Wolff doesn’t pretend to adhere to normal journalistic standards. He happily admits that he’s just tossing out rumors that are too good to check. As Charlie Warzel wrote on BuzzFeed, “For Wolff’s book, the truth seems almost a secondary concern to what really matters: engagement.”

The ultimate test of the lowbrow is not whether it challenges you, teaches you or captures the contours of reality; it’s whether you feel an urge to share it on social media.

In every war, nations come to resemble their enemies, so I suppose it’s normal that the anti-Trump movement would come to resemble the pro-Trump movement. But it’s not good. I’ve noticed a lot of young people look at the monotonous daily hysteria of we anti-Trumpers and they find it silly.

This isn’t just a struggle over a president. It’s a struggle over what rules we’re going to play by after Trump. Are we all going to descend permanently into the Trump standard of acceptable behavior?

Or, are we going to restore the distinction between excellence and mediocrity, truth and a lie? Are we going to insist on the difference between a genuine expert and an ill-informed blow hard? Are we going to restore the distinction between those institutions like the Congressional Budget Office that operate by professional standards and speak with legitimate authority, and the propaganda mills that don’t?

There’s a hierarchy of excellence in every sphere. There’s a huge difference between William F. Buckley and Sean Hannity, between the reporters at this newspaper and a rumor-spreader. Part of this struggle is to maintain those distinctions, not to contribute to their evisceration.

Continue reading the main story

Mueller Conveys Interest in Questioning Trump: Source

mikenova shared this story .

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators has expressed interest in speaking with President Donald Trump as part of a probe into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.

The prospect of an interview with the president has come up in recent discussions between Mueller’s team and Trump lawyers, but no details have been worked out, including the scope of questions that the president would agree to answer if an interview were to actually take place, according to the person. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

When or even if an interview would occur was not immediately clear, nor were the terms for the interview or whether Trump’s lawyers would seek to narrow the range of questions or topics that prosecutors would cover. Trump’s lawyers have previously stated their determination to cooperate with Mueller’s requests.

It’s not surprising that investigators would ultimately seek to interview the president given his role in several episodes under scrutiny by Mueller. Any interview of Trump would be a likely indication that the investigation was in its final stages — investigators typically look to interview main subjects in their inquiries near the end of a probe.

Flynn Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements to FBI

[NATL] Flynn Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements to FBI

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to a count of making false statements to the FBI. He is the fourth person charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

(Published Friday, Dec. 1, 2017)

Mueller for months has led a team of prosecutors and agents investigating whether Russia and Trump’s Republican campaign coordinated to sway the 2016 election, and whether Trump has worked to obstruct an FBI investigation into his aides, including by firing the FBI director, James Comey.

Comey has said that several months before he was dismissed, Trump told him he hoped he would end an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Mueller’s team recently concluded a series of interviews with many current and former White House aides, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Four people have been charged so far, including Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted on charges tied to foreign lobbying work.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment, as did Trump lawyers John Dowd and Jay Sekulow.

Trump did not rule out the possibility of being questioned by Mueller when asked about it at a news conference Saturday. He said there had been “no collusion” and “no crime.”

‘Late Night’: O’Donnell Says She’s Getting a Mueller Tattoo

[NATL] 'Late Night': Rosie O'Donnell Says She's Getting a Bob Mueller Tattoo

After the recent indictments in the Russia investigation, Rosie O’Donnell tells special counsel Robert Mueller to “keep doing what you’re doing” and jokes that she’ll be getting a Mueller tattoo right above her heart.

(Published Friday, Nov. 3, 2017)

“But we have been very open,” Trump said. “We could have done it two ways. We could have been very closed and it would have taken years. But you know, it’s sort of like, when you’ve done nothing wrong, let’s be open and get it over with.”

A White House spokesman pointed to a statement from White House lawyer Ty Cobb saying the White House doesn’t publicly discuss its conversations with Mueller but was continuing to cooperate “in order to facilitate the earliest possible resolution.”

Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report.

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Mueller indicates he will likely seek interview with Trump

Chicago Tribune2 hours ago
Special counsel Robert Mueller has raised the likelihood with President Donald Trump’s legal team that his office will seek an interview with the president, triggering a discussion among his attorneys about how to avoid a sit-down encounter or set limits on such a session, according to two people familiar …
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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Over the past week, the White House aggressively responded to concerns about President Donald Trumps mental competency raised by the book Fire and Fury, prompting former chief strategist Stephen Bannon to walk back comments attributed to him in the book, the New York Times . Quotes in the controversial tell-all raised questions about Trumps ability to execute the functions of his office and the applicability of the 25th Amendment, which, among other things, allows for the transfer of the presidents power to the vice president if the vice president and a majority of the presidents cabinet or a congressionally created body determine he is unable to perform his duties. Officials such as CIA Director Mike Pompeo expressed full faith in the president over the weekend. Politico  on the 25th Amendment and its unlikely application.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller may seek to interview Trump, spurring discussions among Trumps lawyers about how a sit-down interview could be avoided or kept within strict limits, the Washington Post . Muellers team could conduct the interview quite soon, possibly within the next several weeks. Trumps legal team is said to be reluctant to allow their client to sit for such an interview and has explored alternatives, such as providing written replies to questions

For the first time in two years, North and South Korea are set to have an official face-to-face meeting and will discuss a potential North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics, the Wall Street Journal . The Olympics are slated to begin in South Korea next month. At the talks, set for Tuesday morning KST, several issues including family reunification may be discussed. However, South Korean officials said that they cannot predict the conversations direction. North Korea has not given a statement about the talks. A spokesperson for the State Department said the U.S. does not expect the South Korean government to go off freelancing in the meeting. The Trump administration suspects that Pyongyang may try to use the talks to drive a wedge between the United States and South Korea.

Trump must decide this week if he will continue to extend sanctions relief to Iran or risk placing the United States in breach of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, the Journal . Recent protests in Iran, in addition to Trumps noted position against the 2015 deal, have introduced further uncertainty to his next move. Some advisers have said it appears Trump will continue sanctions relief, but they also acknowledged his final decision remains unclear. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Trump will introduce more sanctions, unrelated to the nuclear deal, in the near future.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster claimed that the Russian government is pursuing a sophisticated influence campaign to meddle in the Mexican presidential election,  Reuters. The statement came from a previously unreported video clip of a speech at the Jamestown Foundation. Some analysts believe Russia supports the current frontrunner, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the left-wing former mayor of Mexico City, while some Mexican commentators noted that there has been no proof of Russian involvement.

Over 200,000 Salvadorans have been told they must leave the United States or face deportation, following a decision by the Trump administration to end the Temporary Protected Status that made it legal for them to live and work in the United States, the Times . The administration said that the improved conditions in El Salvador meant that the individuals no longer fit into the framework of the program.

The supreme allied commander of NATO and Russias top general plan to meet later this month in Azerbaijan as the United States pursues a variety of high-level Russian contact early in 2018, BuzzFeed News . Other planned conversations between top officials will cover the Ukraine crisis, the U.S.-Russia relationship, and the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The Obama administration forbade meetings between the top commanders of NATO and Russia in an effort to diplomatically isolate Moscow following the annexation of Crimea. Some officials now say more can be gained through increased engagement.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps claims it has quelled the anti-government protests that recently spread throughout Iran, but some signs of resistance, such as the burning of government documents, have continued on social media, the Journal . These documents include bills from state-owned companies and identification cards for Basij, the IRGCs volunteer militia. Although some have continued to call for protests, the intensity has recently fallen and the level of unrest has been hard to measure. Iranian officials say that the leaders of the protests remain in custody.

China is rapidly expanding its facial recognition capability and integrating the technology to monitor the activitiesboth criminal and socialof its citizens, the Post . The Chinese government hopes to make the system, broad in its scope and goals, omnipresent, fully networked, always working and fully controllable by 2020.

The first pretrial hearing by a military commissions judge outside of Guantánamo is set to take place at the military commissions headquarters in Alexandria, VA, the Miami Herald . It will be a closed national security hearing in the case against alleged Al Qaeda commander Abd al Hadi al Iraqi. Neither the public nor the captive is permitted to attend or view the session. Hadi is in poor health and has recently undergone emergency spinal surgeries. It is unclear whether he will be able to attend the next public hearing in Guantánamo, scheduled to begin Jan. 29.

 

ICYMI: Last weekend on Lawfare

Benjamin Wittes  the Lawfare Podcast, the second of his conversation with Middle East policy expert and vocal Trump supporter Michael Doran.

Dan Geer  on what the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities force technologists and policy makers to evaluate what they choose to prioritize.

Charlie Winter and Jade Parker  how the Islamic States cyber and propaganda tactics have shifted as the group has lost control of territory.

Paul Rosenzweig  that elections are a cybersecurity issue.

 

 the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and  for additional commentary on these issues.  to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our  to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our .

 

The Biggest Question on the Trump/Russia Story – TPM (blog)

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TPM (blog)
The Biggest Question on the Trump/Russia Story
TPM (blog)
A week ago I said we were at the end of the beginning of the Trump/Russia story. The big question of whether there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign has been answered for anyone who has their eyes open. They did. The question is how 

and more »

The Biggest Question on the Trump/Russia Story Talking Points Memo

mikenova shared this story from TPM News.

A week ago I said we were at the end of the beginning of the Trump/Russia story. The big question of whether there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign has been answered for anyone who has their eyes open. They did. The question is how far it went and what was involved. But there’s another question, related but distinct, which is in my mind perhaps the biggest question or mystery about the whole story.

We know that for years before the 2016 presidential campaign Donald Trump had extensive and deep financial ties to Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. This basic point isn’t even disputed. As far back as 2008, Trump’s son notoriously boasted to an investor conference that “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” But of course it’s more specific than that. Russians, Russian emigres and people from other countries of the former Soviet Union made up a wildly disproportionate number of the buyers of units in Trump’s luxury apartment buildings. Russian or Ukrainian or emigre money were major funders of his major building projects. Trump Soho is the most notorious example. But it’s far from the only one.

Then there are the various business partners: Felix Sater, Russian immigrant, convicted felon and mob associate who was one of the Trump’s top partners in the decade and a half before his presidential run; Michael Cohen, Trump’s American born ‘lawyer’ with deep family ties to Ukraine who was also a conduit for millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars out of the countries of the former Soviet Union. You probably known him better as Trump’s bully lawyer on TV. That’s not why he works in the Trump Organization, or did.

My aim for now is not to be exhaustive. We’ve already discussed Trump’s money ties to Russia extensively here in the Editors’ Blog going back more than 18 months. Suffice it to say that we know Trump’s operations were heavily dependent on Russian money and that he had close connections to the Russian and Ukrainian criminal underworld. Whether his operations met the specific legal qualifications of money laundering there’s no question that a major part of Trump’s business model was allowing wealthy Russians and oligarchs to get money out of Russia, either to protect it from capricious authoritarian governments at home or to cleanse it of its origins in criminal activity.

All this and more we know.

The question is how does this relate and connect to what happened during the 2016 campaign – Russia’s interference campaign, Trump’s extreme policy friendliness to Russia and whatever level of collusion bound the two together.

One answer to this is straightforward: Trump was already in business with Russia and Vladimir Putin and that was the basis of the 2016 alliance and the conspiracy to work together to subvert the 2016 election. Perhaps it was even the reason Trump ran for President. Or maybe Russia essentially owned Trump because of compromising information they had on him. In other words, in either case, Trump and Putin or others in Russia had an understanding going in about how it would all go down.

Only it can’t be quite that simple. To me the sheer ubiquity of approaches to the Trump campaign – the significance of which the Trumpers constantly deny – actually tells us this. (I’m actually surprised the smarter ones haven’t made this point. It’s not exonerating. But it is complicating.) If Trump and Putin had an understanding going in – you do this and I’ll do that in return – do you really need operatives courting Trump’s doofus foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos in London. Or having Trump’s oligarch friend’s publicist setting up a meeting with Don Jr. and a lawyer most known for working to overturn the sanctions tied to the Magnitskey Act? These are clearly overtures, dangles as intelligence professionals call them – almost all of which got a positive response. If the plan is set, you shouldn’t need so many of what amount to cold approaches like this.

On the other hand, Trump’s connections to Russia, Russian money and the machinations of Putin-aligned oligarchs runs so deep, it is simply not credible to imagine that these pre-existing relationships with Russia and Russian money is unrelated to what happened in 2016. Not remotely credible.

Now, you might be saying, these are two extreme, strawman-ish scenarios you’re outlining. Well, I agree. That’s my point. I’m setting forth the maximal theories on either side to make the point that I don’t think we know quite where on this spectrum this all fits or how we reconcile what seems like a deep and close relationship with what seem like introductions. We know a fair amount about what happened before the campaign. We know a decent amount about what happened during the campaign. But it’s not as easy or clear as many assume how you fit them together.

The most important question is what happened during the campaign – in legal terms, in democratic terms, in national security terms. But in many ways the biggest question, the most fascinating and hardest to figure is this one I just laid out: how does Trump’s heavy dependence on Russian money and employees with deep ties to Russia and Ukraine and the criminal underworlds in those countries connect to the very pro-Russia line he took during the campaign and his campaign’s willingness to work with and conspire with the Russian disruption campaign in 2016? Sure they must be related. But how? I don’t think we really know that yet.

My best guess is that people around Putin knew Trump was crooked and dependent on Russian money and that he was likely to be friendly and up for … well, up for anything. So they went to work trying to make friends and found willing partners. He was up for anything. But that isn’t so much an explanation based on specific facts as it is the simplest explanation, the cleanest theory that accounts for all the facts we know.

This requires a lot more sleuthing and explanation.

EXCLUSIVE: Huma Abedin backed up her emails to Anthony Weiner’s laptop after leaving the State Department even … – Daily Mail

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EXCLUSIVE: Huma Abedin backed up her emails to Anthony Weiner’s laptop after leaving the State Department even …
Daily Mail
Huma Abedin backed up copies of her emails with Hillary Clinton to her pervert husband Anthony Weiner’s laptop, DailyMail.com can disclose – conflicting with her account to the FBI and in court that she did not preserve the conversations. An 

Trump Administration Tells 200,000 Salvadorans To Leave Or Get Deported: Reports

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The move hurts U.S. interests to further an anti-immigration ideology, advocates say.

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Putin and elections 2016 – Google Search

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Putin Happy With Return on Investment for Hacking 2016 Election …

NewsweekDec 14, 2017
For less than a half-million dollars, Russian President Vladimir Putin got what he most wanted out of the Kremlin’s campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election: a destabilized American democracy and Hillary Clinton out of his hair, U.S. officials say. The Kremlin views its influence campaign, …
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5:07 PM 1/9/2018 – Saved Stories: The White House struggles to silence talk of Trump’s mental fitness – Washington Post

Saved Stories – None
Trump probably could not refuse Mueller subpoena to answer questions – NBCNews.com
How to help the family of the fallen Pierce County sheriff’s deputy – Seattle Times
Many conservatives think Jeff Sessions’s anti-pot memo is a step in precisely the wrong direction – Vox
Exclusive: behind the scenes of Intel’s huge CES keynote – The Verge
Netanyahu defends son after strip club recording airs on Israeli TV – CNN
Thousands of flying foxes are ‘boiled alive,’ freaking people out as they fall from the sky – Fox News
Brooklyn Assemblywoman Indicted on Fraud Charges – New York Times
White House confirms Trump to attend Davos gathering, synonymous with wealth and power – Washington Post
FBI director says Twitter is ‘on my radar’ after Trump criticism – ABC News
Fusion GPS Founder’s Senate Judiciary Testimony Released – NPR
Senator Releases Interview With Co-Founder of Firm That Commissioned Trump Dossier – TIME
Fusion GPS founder told Senate investigators the FBI had a source in Trump’s network – Washington Post
Ahmad Taibi: No deal for Palestine under Donald Trump – Aljazeera.com
The Orange Menaceand the Even More Dangerous Party That Stands With Him – The Nation.
White House: Jared And Ivanka Are Sacrificing Their Personal Lives For America
5 reasons to worry Trump is undermining the Justice Department’s independence – Vox
Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell you – Politico
The Decline of Anti-Trumpism – New York Times
Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe – ANI News
“Fire and Fury” sparks talk about Trump’s mental fitness
Trump tells farming convention the American dream is roaring back to life
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex … – Telegraph.co.uk
Sebastian Gorka: Michael Wolff is “an oily creep” – The Rebel
Everything hits the fan

 

Saved Stories – None
The White House struggles to silence talk of Trump’s mental fitness – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
The White House struggles to silence talk of Trump’s mental fitness
Washington Post
The White House is struggling to contain the national discussion about President Trump’s mental acuity and fitness for the job, which has overshadowed the administration’s agenda for the past week. Trump publicly waded into the debate spawned by a new 
With nuclear codes in hands, why doesn’t the president get a thorough mental check?CNN
Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell youPolitico
The Debate About Trump’s Mental State, Long Whispered, Blows Wide OpenHuffPost
BBC News –The Hill –BuzzFeed News –Mic
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Trump probably could not refuse Mueller subpoena to answer questions – NBCNews.com
 


NBCNews.com
Trump probably could not refuse Mueller subpoena to answer questions
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON If Robert Mueller seeks to question President Donald Trump, could the White House successfully refuse to make him available? Like anyone whose testimony is sought by grand jury subpoena in a criminal case, the president could cite his 
Mueller Positions for Trump Interview, as Lawyers Assess Risk of InvestigationNew York Times
A Trump Interview With Robert Mueller Would Follow Presidential TraditionNPR
‘I don’t think he fully appreciates the legal jeopardy he faces’: Mueller’s team is gearing up to interview TrumpBusiness Insider
BBC News –Charlotte Observer –Bloomberg –NBCNews.com
all 511 news articles »
How to help the family of the fallen Pierce County sheriff’s deputy – Seattle Times
 


Seattle Times
How to help the family of the fallen Pierce County sheriff’s deputy
Seattle Times
During a light rain, Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor greets people who gathered at the South Hill precinct to honor slain deputy Daniel McCartney on Monday. (Dean Rutz / The Seattle Times). All donations will go directly to the deputy’s wife and and more »

Many conservatives think Jeff Sessions’s anti-pot memo is a step in precisely the wrong direction – Vox
 


Vox
Many conservatives think Jeff Sessions’s anti-pot memo is a step in precisely the wrong direction
Vox
Libertarians and conservatives are pushing back against Sessions’s anti-marijuana guidance, and for legalization through legislation. By Jane Coastonjane.coaston@vox.com Jan 9, 2018, 9:10am EST. tweet · share. The small-business proceedings of a local 
Jeff Sessions in the wrong and out of step on weedThe Hill
Jeff Sessions Needs to Talk to a Cancer Patient about Medical CannabisNational Review
Attorney General Jeff Sessions Signals Greater Willingness to Use Death PenaltyWall Street Journal
U.S. News & World Report –Department of Justice –Department of Justice
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Exclusive: behind the scenes of Intel’s huge CES keynote – The Verge
 


The Verge
Exclusive: behind the scenes of Intel’s huge CES keynote
The Verge
The revelation of the Meltdown and Spectre security flaws put the company at the epicenter of a vulnerability story, then a processor slowdown story, and even a CEO stock malfeasance story. It’s not the lead up to the the main keynote of the Consumer 
Intel CEO Promises Fix for Serious Chip Security FlawTIME
Apple releases iOS 11.2.2 security update with Spectre mitigations for Safari9to5Mac
CES 2018: Intel announces ‘major breakthrough’ in quantum computing chipZDNet
ExtremeTech –Forbes –WIRED –Network World
all 413 news articles »
Netanyahu defends son after strip club recording airs on Israeli TV – CNN
 


CNN
Netanyahu defends son after strip club recording airs on Israeli TV
CNN
Jerusalem (CNN) Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been forced to defend his elder son, Yair, and his own reputation, after a 2015 secret recording from outside a strip club featuring a conversation between Yair and two friends aired on 
Netanyahu’s Son Toured Strip Clubs in Government Armored Car, Report SaysBloomberg 
Netanyahu defends son taped illicitly outside strip clubReuters

Secret Tape Reveals Netanyahu’s Son Drunk Outside a Strip Club Bragging About Help for $20 Billion Gas DealNewsweek 
Netanyahu’s son caught drunk and bragging at strip club
 New York Post 
Forward
 –Fortune CBS NewsFox News
all 119 Fox NewsCBS News
all 114
 
news articles »
Thousands of flying foxes are ‘boiled alive,’ freaking people out as they fall from the sky – Fox News
 


Fox News
Thousands of flying foxes are ‘boiled alive,’ freaking people out as they fall from the sky
Fox News
Picture of bats lying on the ground in Australia. (Credit: Help Save the Wildlife and Bushlands in Campbelltown, Facebook). As the Northern Hemisphere starts to thaw from a record-breaking cold, the Southern Hemisphere is experiencing an exceptional
It’s so hot in Australia that bats’ brains are fryingWashington Post
Flying foxes fall from sky after being ‘boiled alive’ in heat waveNew York Post
Hundreds of flying foxes die in searing Australian heatThe Guardian
Aljazeera.com –Daily Telegraph –The Australian –Sky News
all 44 news articles »
Brooklyn Assemblywoman Indicted on Fraud Charges – New York Times
 


New York Times
Brooklyn Assemblywoman Indicted on Fraud Charges
New York Times
ALBANY Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn announced an 11-count indictment against a Brooklyn assemblywoman on Tuesday, alleging a raft of fraud, witness tampering and other charges, just the latest allegation of corruption and bad behavior among 
New York Dem charged with stealing Sandy money from FEMAFox News
Brooklyn pol Pamela Harris charged with spending federal, state money on lavish trips and lingerieNew York Daily News
Brooklyn assemblywoman indicted on fraud, witness-tampering chargesNew York Post
WABC-TV –Washington Free Beacon –NBC New York –CBS New York
all 22 news articles »
White House confirms Trump to attend Davos gathering, synonymous with wealth and power – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
White House confirms Trump to attend Davos gathering, synonymous with wealth and power
Washington Post
President Trump will address the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, later this month, the White House said Tuesday. The surprise engagement, first reported by the New York Times, will place Trump among many of the world’s richest and most 
Trump Plans to Attend the World Economic Forum in DavosNew York Times
Trump to attend elite annual gathering in Davos, SwitzerlandPolitico
Trump to attend Davos economic forumThe Hill
USA TODAY –CBS News –Wall Street Journal –Reuters
all 36 news articles »
FBI director says Twitter is ‘on my radar’ after Trump criticism – ABC News
 


NBCNews.com
FBI director says Twitter is ‘on my radar’ after Trump criticism
ABC News
A month after President Donald Trump called the FBI dishonest and in tatters, director Christopher Wray said Tuesday he is honored to be representing the agents and employees of the bureau but he conceded he pays more attention to Twitter these
Blocked by passwords, FBI can’t unlock over half of devices seized as evidenceNBCNews.com
FBI chief calls unbreakable encryption ‘urgent public safety issue’Reuters
FBI locked out of 7775 encrypted devices in 2017, says directorZDNet
Financial Times
all 14 news articles »
Fusion GPS Founder’s Senate Judiciary Testimony Released – NPR
 


NPR
Fusion GPS Founder’s Senate Judiciary Testimony Released
NPR
Updated at 2:19 p.m. ET. The former British intelligence officer who authored the infamous Russia dossier wanted to show it to the FBI because he was concerned that then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was being “blackmailed.” Christopher Steele 
Democratic Senator Releases Transcript of Interview with Dossier FirmNew York Times
Senate Democrats just released full testimony on the Trump-Russia dossier. Here’s what’s in itCNBC
Feinstein releases transcript of interview with Fusion GPS co-founderPolitico
The Hill –CBS News –Los Angeles Times –Slate Magazine
all 47 news articles »
Senator Releases Interview With Co-Founder of Firm That Commissioned Trump Dossier – TIME
 


TIME
Senator Releases Interview With Co-Founder of Firm That Commissioned Trump Dossier
TIME
Ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) arrives for a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing concerning firearm accessory regulation and enforcing federal and state reporting to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) on Capitol and more »

Fusion GPS founder told Senate investigators the FBI had a source in Trump’s network – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Fusion GPS founder told Senate investigators the FBI had a source in Trump’s network
Washington Post
The British ex-spy who authored a dossier of allegations against then-presidential candidate Donald Trump was told the FBI had someone inside Trump’s network providing agents with information, according to a newly released transcript of a congressional 
Fusion GPS Founder’s Senate Judiciary Testimony ReleasedNPR
Democratic Senator Releases Transcript of Interview with Dossier FirmNew York Times
Feinstein releases transcript of interview with Fusion GPS co-founderPolitico
Fox News –The Hill –CNBC –Bloomberg
all 93 news articles »
Ahmad Taibi: No deal for Palestine under Donald Trump – Aljazeera.com
 


Aljazeera.com
Ahmad Taibi: No deal for Palestine under Donald Trump
Aljazeera.com
Jerusalem – Ahmad Taibi, a prominent Arab member of Israel’s Parliament, said a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under US President Donald Trump would be impossible. Speaking to Al Jazeera from his office in the Knesset, Taibi said there is and more »

The Orange Menaceand the Even More Dangerous Party That Stands With Him – The Nation.
 


The Nation.
The Orange Menaceand the Even More Dangerous Party That Stands With Him
The Nation.
As he marks the end of his first year in office, Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed very stable genius, stands astride thepolitical world like a cartoon dybbuk, an orange menace of terrifying impulsiveness. With his tweet-spasms spewing venom onand more »

White House: Jared And Ivanka Are Sacrificing Their Personal Lives For America

“Its ridiculous for anyone to try and attack what they do for this nation.
5 reasons to worry Trump is undermining the Justice Department’s independence – Vox
 


Vox
5 reasons to worry Trump is undermining the Justice Department’s independence
Vox
The Trump administration installed its own appointees to several important US attorney posts without getting the Senate’s approval, and has recently sidelined several career officials in the FBI or DOJ who Trump dislikes. On top of that, two Republican 
Russian are tiresome fallback when attention turns to ClintonSTLtoday.comall 56 news articles »

Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell you – Politico
 


Politico
Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell you
Politico
If President Donald Trump were any other 71-year-old covered by Medicare and having his annual wellness visit he’d be checked on his cognitive functions and possible safety risks. But when the president goes for his physical exam Friday, the  
The White House struggles to silence talk of Trump’s mental fitnessWashington Post

Donald Trump is addicted to cable TV! Which is fine!CNN 
How does Trump’s schedule compare with other presidents?BBC News
Donald Trump poised for medical check amid allegations over his fitness for officeCNBC
Bloomberg
all 112 
President Trump has called himself smart six times beforeABC News
BBC NewsCNBCCNNMoneyNew York Magazine
all 2,394
 news articles »
The Decline of Anti-Trumpism – New York Times
 


New York Times
The Decline of Anti-Trumpism
New York Times
Let me start with three inconvenient observations, based on dozens of conversations around Washington over the past year: First, people who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find 
Trumpism Will Survive Without BannonThe Daily Caller
Now Bannon stumps for Trumpism and the patriotism of Donald JrBusiness Day
Steve Bannon apologizes to Trump in statement, touts effort to preach ‘TrumpismGlobalnews.ca
CNNWND.comHuffPostNew York Magazine
all 2,839 2,398 news articles »
Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe – ANI News
 


ANI News
Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe
ANI News
The intelligence community believes that the Russian government was engaged in electoral interference during the 2016 US presidential election. A January 2017 assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated that Russian and more »

“Fire and Fury” sparks talk about Trump’s mental fitness

January 8, 2018, 6:33 PM | “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff says members of the president’s inner circle are concerned about his unpredictablity and temper. But as CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports, this isn’t the first …
Trump tells farming convention the American dream is roaring back to life

President Trump on Monday declared that the American dream is roaring back to life, arguing during a speech at a farming convention in Tennessee that the recent tax bill he signed into law will yield great benefits for the countrys farmers.
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex … – Telegraph.co.uk
 


Telegraph.co.uk
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex … narcissist, says ex-aide Steve Hilton 
Telegraph.co.uk
The man who served as David Cameron’s director of strategy said the former prime minister thought Barack Obama was one of the most narcissistic, narcissistic, self-absorbed people with whom he had ever dealt. Steve Hilton, who was once one of Mr Cameron’s most 
Cameron didn’t have ‘bromance’ with Obama and thought he was a The Independent
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a self-absorbed narcissist, former strategist claimsRT
all 7 narcissist, claims former adviserThe Independent

all 5

news articles »

Sebastian Gorka: Michael Wolff is “an oily creep” – The Rebel
 


The Rebel
Sebastian Gorka: Michael Wolff is “an oily creep”
The Rebel
We take on Fake News, internet doctors, and the contentious Jake Tapper/Stephen Miller CNN interview. Sebastian Gorkajoins me from Stockholm to discuss Michael Wolff’s book, and why Dr. Gorka refused to speak to him. I go deep into Judicial Watch  and more »

Everything hits the fan

Right now Donald Trump is missing the good old days of last week, when it was only Steve Bannon who had gone rogue against him. It’s difficult to figure out how much of this is a snowball effect and how much of it may be happenstance, but at this rate Trump’s entire world is caving in on him from within. Now everyone from Ivanka Trump to Brad Parscale to Sebastian Gorka on down is suddenly finding ways to play for the other team, whether because they’re trying to distance themselves or because they’re all simply very rapidly losing what they barely ever had to begin with.It would have been devastating enough if the story was simply that Bannon was accusing Trump and his son of a “treasonous” plot with the Russians. That’s profoundly ugly, and unprecedented in the modern presidency. Since when does a former White House Chief Strategist fire back with accusations of literal treason? But then came Brad Parscale’s bizarre tweet in which he repeatedly insisted that nothing happened in the campaign without the approval of Jared Kushner and Eric Trump (wait, a minute, Eric?). Was Parscale trying to help these two by making them look powerful, or trying to throw them under the bus by assigning the Russia plot decision-making to them? It quickly got worse.

Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s former resident White House white supremacist and goatee model, seemed to try to defend Trump against Michael Wolff’s book, but instead ended up confirming that Trump was lying about Wolff being given insider access. Stephen Miller went on CNN and offered up such a demented defense of Trump complete with getting kicked off the air and kicked out of the building that he had to have known he was hurting Trump in the process. Then Lindsey Graham, Trump’s inexplicable new puppet, went on The View and wandered totally off script by defending Robert Mueller.

After everything else had hit the fan from within for Donald Trump, last night Ivanka Trump jumped on Twitter and appeared to endorse Oprah for President. Why on earth would she endorse her own father’s potential 2020 competitor? Then again, at this point we all know Donald Trump won’t still be in office by 2020 to run for reelection anyway.

The post Everything hits the fan appeared first on Palmer Report.

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9:34 AM 1/9/2018 – Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: “Fire and Fury” sparks talk about Trump’s mental fitness

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Everything hits the fan
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex … – Telegraph.co.uk
Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe – ANI News
The Decline of Anti-Trumpism – The New York Times
Mueller Conveys Interest in Questioning Trump: Source
mueller – Google Search
Today’s Headlines and Commentary
The Biggest Question on the Trump/Russia Story – TPM (blog)
The Biggest Question on the Trump/Russia Story Talking Points Memo
EXCLUSIVE: Huma Abedin backed up her emails to Anthony Weiner’s laptop after leaving the State Department even … – Daily Mail
Trump Administration Tells 200,000 Salvadorans To Leave Or Get Deported: Reports
LABRAT KNATS! – Google Search
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LABRAT KNATS! – Google Search
Putin and elections 2016 – Google Search
Elton John- Daniel – YouTube
mccartney Ram On lyrics – YouTube
“The drip, drip, drip Effect
“The drip, drip, drip” Effect | Global Security News
Trump Tower fire: FDNY says fire on roof of Manhattan building ‘under control’
Paul McCartney – Ram On – Lyrics – YouTube
Paul McCartney – RAM (Full Album / DM Remastered 2016) – YouTube
Daniel McCartney – Wikipedia

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Everything hits the fan
 

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

Right now Donald Trump is missing the good old days of last week, when it was only Steve Bannon who had gone rogue against him. It’s difficult to figure out how much of this is a snowball effect and how much of it may be happenstance, but at this rate Trump’s entire world is caving in on him from within. Now everyone from Ivanka Trump to Brad Parscale to Sebastian Gorka on down is suddenly finding ways to play for the other team, whether because they’re trying to distance themselves or because they’re all simply very rapidly losing what they barely ever had to begin with.

It would have been devastating enough if the story was simply that Bannon was accusing Trump and his son of a “treasonous” plot with the Russians. That’s profoundly ugly, and unprecedented in the modern presidency. Since when does a former White House Chief Strategist fire back with accusations of literal treason? But then came Brad Parscale’s bizarre tweet in which he repeatedly insisted that nothing happened in the campaign without the approval of Jared Kushner and Eric Trump (wait, a minute, Eric?). Was Parscale trying to help these two by making them look powerful, or trying to throw them under the bus by assigning the Russia plot decision-making to them? It quickly got worse.

Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s former resident White House white supremacist and goatee model, seemed to try to defend Trump against Michael Wolff’s book, but instead ended up confirming that Trump was lying about Wolff being given insider access. Stephen Miller went on CNN and offered up such a demented defense of Trump complete with getting kicked off the air and kicked out of the building that he had to have known he was hurting Trump in the process. Then Lindsey Graham, Trump’s inexplicable new puppet, went on The View and wandered totally off script by defending Robert Mueller.

After everything else had hit the fan from within for Donald Trump, last night Ivanka Trump jumped on Twitter and appeared to endorse Oprah for President. Why on earth would she endorse her own father’s potential 2020 competitor? Then again, at this point we all know Donald Trump won’t still be in office by 2020 to run for reelection anyway.

The post Everything hits the fan appeared first on Palmer Report.

David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex … – Telegraph.co.uk
 

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Telegraph.co.uk
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex …
Telegraph.co.uk
The man who served as David Cameron’s director of strategy said the former prime minister thought Barack Obama was one of the most narcissistic, self-absorbed people with whom he had ever dealt. Steve Hilton, who was once one of Mr Cameron’s most 
Cameron didn’t have ‘bromance’ with Obama and thought he was a …The Independent
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a self-absorbed narcissist, former strategist claimsRTall 7 news articles »

“Fire and Fury” sparks talk about Trump’s mental fitness
 

mikenova shared this story from trump – BingNews.

January 8, 2018, 6:33 PM | “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff says members of the president’s inner circle are concerned about his unpredictablity and temper. But as CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports, this isn’t the first …

Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe – ANI News
 

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ANI News
Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe
ANI News
The intelligence community believes that the Russian government was engaged in electoral interference during the 2016 US presidential election. A January 2017 assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated that Russian and more »

The Decline of Anti-Trumpism – The New York Times
 

mikenova shared this story .

I sometimes wonder if the Invisible White House has learned to use the Potemkin White House to deke us while it changes the country.

I mention these inconvenient observations because the anti-Trump movement, of which I’m a proud member, seems to be getting dumber. It seems to be settling into a smug, fairy tale version of reality that filters out discordant information. More anti-Trumpers seem to be telling themselves a “Madness of King George” narrative: Trump is a semiliterate madman surrounded by sycophants who are morally, intellectually and psychologically inferior to people like us.

I’d like to think it’s possible to be fervently anti-Trump while also not reducing everything to a fairy tale.

The anti-Trump movement suffers from insularity. Most of the people who detest Trump don’t know anybody who works with him or supports him. And if they do have friends and family members who admire Trump, they’ve learned not to talk about this subject. So they get most of their information about Trumpism from others who also detest Trumpism, which is always a recipe for epistemic closure.

The movement also suffers from lowbrowism. Fox News pioneered modern lowbrowism. The modern lowbrow (think Sean Hannity or Dinesh D’Souza) ignores normal journalistic or intellectual standards. He creates a style of communication that doesn’t make you think more; it makes you think and notice less. He offers a steady diet of affirmation, focuses on simple topics that require little background information, and gets viewers addicted to daily doses of righteous contempt and delicious vindication.

We anti-Trumpers have our lowbrowism, too, mostly on late-night TV. But anti-Trump lowbrowism burst into full bloom with the Wolff book.

Wolff doesn’t pretend to adhere to normal journalistic standards. He happily admits that he’s just tossing out rumors that are too good to check. As Charlie Warzel wrote on BuzzFeed, “For Wolff’s book, the truth seems almost a secondary concern to what really matters: engagement.”

The ultimate test of the lowbrow is not whether it challenges you, teaches you or captures the contours of reality; it’s whether you feel an urge to share it on social media.

In every war, nations come to resemble their enemies, so I suppose it’s normal that the anti-Trump movement would come to resemble the pro-Trump movement. But it’s not good. I’ve noticed a lot of young people look at the monotonous daily hysteria of we anti-Trumpers and they find it silly.

This isn’t just a struggle over a president. It’s a struggle over what rules we’re going to play by after Trump. Are we all going to descend permanently into the Trump standard of acceptable behavior?

Or, are we going to restore the distinction between excellence and mediocrity, truth and a lie? Are we going to insist on the difference between a genuine expert and an ill-informed blow hard? Are we going to restore the distinction between those institutions like the Congressional Budget Office that operate by professional standards and speak with legitimate authority, and the propaganda mills that don’t?

There’s a hierarchy of excellence in every sphere. There’s a huge difference between William F. Buckley and Sean Hannity, between the reporters at this newspaper and a rumor-spreader. Part of this struggle is to maintain those distinctions, not to contribute to their evisceration.

Continue reading the main story

Mueller Conveys Interest in Questioning Trump: Source
 

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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators has expressed interest in speaking with President Donald Trump as part of a probe into potential coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.

The prospect of an interview with the president has come up in recent discussions between Mueller’s team and Trump lawyers, but no details have been worked out, including the scope of questions that the president would agree to answer if an interview were to actually take place, according to the person. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

When or even if an interview would occur was not immediately clear, nor were the terms for the interview or whether Trump’s lawyers would seek to narrow the range of questions or topics that prosecutors would cover. Trump’s lawyers have previously stated their determination to cooperate with Mueller’s requests.

It’s not surprising that investigators would ultimately seek to interview the president given his role in several episodes under scrutiny by Mueller. Any interview of Trump would be a likely indication that the investigation was in its final stages — investigators typically look to interview main subjects in their inquiries near the end of a probe.

Flynn Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements to FBI

[NATL] Flynn Pleads Guilty to Making False Statements to FBI

Former national security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to a count of making false statements to the FBI. He is the fourth person charged in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s involvement in the 2016 presidential election.

(Published Friday, Dec. 1, 2017)

Mueller for months has led a team of prosecutors and agents investigating whether Russia and Trump’s Republican campaign coordinated to sway the 2016 election, and whether Trump has worked to obstruct an FBI investigation into his aides, including by firing the FBI director, James Comey.

Comey has said that several months before he was dismissed, Trump told him he hoped he would end an investigation into his former national security adviser, Michael Flynn.

Mueller’s team recently concluded a series of interviews with many current and former White House aides, including former chief of staff Reince Priebus and the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Four people have been charged so far, including Flynn, who pleaded guilty in December to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. Former campaign chairman Paul Manafort was indicted on charges tied to foreign lobbying work.

Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment, as did Trump lawyers John Dowd and Jay Sekulow.

Trump did not rule out the possibility of being questioned by Mueller when asked about it at a news conference Saturday. He said there had been “no collusion” and “no crime.”

‘Late Night’: O’Donnell Says She’s Getting a Mueller Tattoo

[NATL] 'Late Night': Rosie O'Donnell Says She's Getting a Bob Mueller Tattoo

After the recent indictments in the Russia investigation, Rosie O’Donnell tells special counsel Robert Mueller to “keep doing what you’re doing” and jokes that she’ll be getting a Mueller tattoo right above her heart.

(Published Friday, Nov. 3, 2017)

“But we have been very open,” Trump said. “We could have done it two ways. We could have been very closed and it would have taken years. But you know, it’s sort of like, when you’ve done nothing wrong, let’s be open and get it over with.”

A White House spokesman pointed to a statement from White House lawyer Ty Cobb saying the White House doesn’t publicly discuss its conversations with Mueller but was continuing to cooperate “in order to facilitate the earliest possible resolution.”

Associated Press writer Chad Day contributed to this report.

Copyright Associated Press
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Mueller indicates he will likely seek interview with Trump

Chicago Tribune2 hours ago
Special counsel Robert Mueller has raised the likelihood with President Donald Trump’s legal team that his office will seek an interview with the president, triggering a discussion among his attorneys about how to avoid a sit-down encounter or set limits on such a session, according to two people familiar …
In Defense of Robert Mueller
OpinionBloomberg10 hours ago
Initial talks underway about Trump interview in Mueller Russia probe
Highly Cited<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>10 hours ago
Possible Trump interview in Mueller probe
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Today’s Headlines and Commentary
 

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

Over the past week, the White House aggressively responded to concerns about President Donald Trumps mental competency raised by the book Fire and Fury, prompting former chief strategist Stephen Bannon to walk back comments attributed to him in the book, the New York Times . Quotes in the controversial tell-all raised questions about Trumps ability to execute the functions of his office and the applicability of the 25th Amendment, which, among other things, allows for the transfer of the presidents power to the vice president if the vice president and a majority of the presidents cabinet or a congressionally created body determine he is unable to perform his duties. Officials such as CIA Director Mike Pompeo expressed full faith in the president over the weekend. Politico  on the 25th Amendment and its unlikely application.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller may seek to interview Trump, spurring discussions among Trumps lawyers about how a sit-down interview could be avoided or kept within strict limits, the Washington Post . Muellers team could conduct the interview quite soon, possibly within the next several weeks. Trumps legal team is said to be reluctant to allow their client to sit for such an interview and has explored alternatives, such as providing written replies to questions

For the first time in two years, North and South Korea are set to have an official face-to-face meeting and will discuss a potential North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics, the Wall Street Journal . The Olympics are slated to begin in South Korea next month. At the talks, set for Tuesday morning KST, several issues including family reunification may be discussed. However, South Korean officials said that they cannot predict the conversations direction. North Korea has not given a statement about the talks. A spokesperson for the State Department said the U.S. does not expect the South Korean government to go off freelancing in the meeting. The Trump administration suspects that Pyongyang may try to use the talks to drive a wedge between the United States and South Korea.

Trump must decide this week if he will continue to extend sanctions relief to Iran or risk placing the United States in breach of the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, the Journal . Recent protests in Iran, in addition to Trumps noted position against the 2015 deal, have introduced further uncertainty to his next move. Some advisers have said it appears Trump will continue sanctions relief, but they also acknowledged his final decision remains unclear. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Trump will introduce more sanctions, unrelated to the nuclear deal, in the near future.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster claimed that the Russian government is pursuing a sophisticated influence campaign to meddle in the Mexican presidential election,  Reuters. The statement came from a previously unreported video clip of a speech at the Jamestown Foundation. Some analysts believe Russia supports the current frontrunner, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the left-wing former mayor of Mexico City, while some Mexican commentators noted that there has been no proof of Russian involvement.

Over 200,000 Salvadorans have been told they must leave the United States or face deportation, following a decision by the Trump administration to end the Temporary Protected Status that made it legal for them to live and work in the United States, the Times . The administration said that the improved conditions in El Salvador meant that the individuals no longer fit into the framework of the program.

The supreme allied commander of NATO and Russias top general plan to meet later this month in Azerbaijan as the United States pursues a variety of high-level Russian contact early in 2018, BuzzFeed News . Other planned conversations between top officials will cover the Ukraine crisis, the U.S.-Russia relationship, and the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty. The Obama administration forbade meetings between the top commanders of NATO and Russia in an effort to diplomatically isolate Moscow following the annexation of Crimea. Some officials now say more can be gained through increased engagement.

The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps claims it has quelled the anti-government protests that recently spread throughout Iran, but some signs of resistance, such as the burning of government documents, have continued on social media, the Journal . These documents include bills from state-owned companies and identification cards for Basij, the IRGCs volunteer militia. Although some have continued to call for protests, the intensity has recently fallen and the level of unrest has been hard to measure. Iranian officials say that the leaders of the protests remain in custody.

China is rapidly expanding its facial recognition capability and integrating the technology to monitor the activitiesboth criminal and socialof its citizens, the Post . The Chinese government hopes to make the system, broad in its scope and goals, omnipresent, fully networked, always working and fully controllable by 2020.

The first pretrial hearing by a military commissions judge outside of Guantánamo is set to take place at the military commissions headquarters in Alexandria, VA, the Miami Herald . It will be a closed national security hearing in the case against alleged Al Qaeda commander Abd al Hadi al Iraqi. Neither the public nor the captive is permitted to attend or view the session. Hadi is in poor health and has recently undergone emergency spinal surgeries. It is unclear whether he will be able to attend the next public hearing in Guantánamo, scheduled to begin Jan. 29.

 

ICYMI: Last weekend on Lawfare

Benjamin Wittes  the Lawfare Podcast, the second of his conversation with Middle East policy expert and vocal Trump supporter Michael Doran.

Dan Geer  on what the Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities force technologists and policy makers to evaluate what they choose to prioritize.

Charlie Winter and Jade Parker  how the Islamic States cyber and propaganda tactics have shifted as the group has lost control of territory.

Paul Rosenzweig  that elections are a cybersecurity issue.

 

 the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and  for additional commentary on these issues.  to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our  to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our .

 

The Biggest Question on the Trump/Russia Story – TPM (blog)
 

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TPM (blog)
The Biggest Question on the Trump/Russia Story
TPM (blog)
A week ago I said we were at the end of the beginning of the Trump/Russia story. The big question of whether there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign has been answered for anyone who has their eyes open. They did. The question is how and more »

The Biggest Question on the Trump/Russia Story Talking Points Memo
 

mikenova shared this story from TPM News.

A week ago I said we were at the end of the beginning of the Trump/Russia story. The big question of whether there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign has been answered for anyone who has their eyes open. They did. The question is how far it went and what was involved. But there’s another question, related but distinct, which is in my mind perhaps the biggest question or mystery about the whole story.

We know that for years before the 2016 presidential campaign Donald Trump had extensive and deep financial ties to Russia and other countries of the former Soviet Union. This basic point isn’t even disputed. As far back as 2008, Trump’s son notoriously boasted to an investor conference that “we see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” But of course it’s more specific than that. Russians, Russian emigres and people from other countries of the former Soviet Union made up a wildly disproportionate number of the buyers of units in Trump’s luxury apartment buildings. Russian or Ukrainian or emigre money were major funders of his major building projects. Trump Soho is the most notorious example. But it’s far from the only one.

Then there are the various business partners: Felix Sater, Russian immigrant, convicted felon and mob associate who was one of the Trump’s top partners in the decade and a half before his presidential run; Michael Cohen, Trump’s American born ‘lawyer’ with deep family ties to Ukraine who was also a conduit for millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars out of the countries of the former Soviet Union. You probably known him better as Trump’s bully lawyer on TV. That’s not why he works in the Trump Organization, or did.

My aim for now is not to be exhaustive. We’ve already discussed Trump’s money ties to Russia extensively here in the Editors’ Blog going back more than 18 months. Suffice it to say that we know Trump’s operations were heavily dependent on Russian money and that he had close connections to the Russian and Ukrainian criminal underworld. Whether his operations met the specific legal qualifications of money laundering there’s no question that a major part of Trump’s business model was allowing wealthy Russians and oligarchs to get money out of Russia, either to protect it from capricious authoritarian governments at home or to cleanse it of its origins in criminal activity.

All this and more we know.

The question is how does this relate and connect to what happened during the 2016 campaign – Russia’s interference campaign, Trump’s extreme policy friendliness to Russia and whatever level of collusion bound the two together.

One answer to this is straightforward: Trump was already in business with Russia and Vladimir Putin and that was the basis of the 2016 alliance and the conspiracy to work together to subvert the 2016 election. Perhaps it was even the reason Trump ran for President. Or maybe Russia essentially owned Trump because of compromising information they had on him. In other words, in either case, Trump and Putin or others in Russia had an understanding going in about how it would all go down.

Only it can’t be quite that simple. To me the sheer ubiquity of approaches to the Trump campaign – the significance of which the Trumpers constantly deny – actually tells us this. (I’m actually surprised the smarter ones haven’t made this point. It’s not exonerating. But it is complicating.) If Trump and Putin had an understanding going in – you do this and I’ll do that in return – do you really need operatives courting Trump’s doofus foreign policy advisor George Papadopoulos in London. Or having Trump’s oligarch friend’s publicist setting up a meeting with Don Jr. and a lawyer most known for working to overturn the sanctions tied to the Magnitskey Act? These are clearly overtures, dangles as intelligence professionals call them – almost all of which got a positive response. If the plan is set, you shouldn’t need so many of what amount to cold approaches like this.

On the other hand, Trump’s connections to Russia, Russian money and the machinations of Putin-aligned oligarchs runs so deep, it is simply not credible to imagine that these pre-existing relationships with Russia and Russian money is unrelated to what happened in 2016. Not remotely credible.

Now, you might be saying, these are two extreme, strawman-ish scenarios you’re outlining. Well, I agree. That’s my point. I’m setting forth the maximal theories on either side to make the point that I don’t think we know quite where on this spectrum this all fits or how we reconcile what seems like a deep and close relationship with what seem like introductions. We know a fair amount about what happened before the campaign. We know a decent amount about what happened during the campaign. But it’s not as easy or clear as many assume how you fit them together.

The most important question is what happened during the campaign – in legal terms, in democratic terms, in national security terms. But in many ways the biggest question, the most fascinating and hardest to figure is this one I just laid out: how does Trump’s heavy dependence on Russian money and employees with deep ties to Russia and Ukraine and the criminal underworlds in those countries connect to the very pro-Russia line he took during the campaign and his campaign’s willingness to work with and conspire with the Russian disruption campaign in 2016? Sure they must be related. But how? I don’t think we really know that yet.

My best guess is that people around Putin knew Trump was crooked and dependent on Russian money and that he was likely to be friendly and up for … well, up for anything. So they went to work trying to make friends and found willing partners. He was up for anything. But that isn’t so much an explanation based on specific facts as it is the simplest explanation, the cleanest theory that accounts for all the facts we know.

This requires a lot more sleuthing and explanation.

EXCLUSIVE: Huma Abedin backed up her emails to Anthony Weiner’s laptop after leaving the State Department even … – Daily Mail
 

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EXCLUSIVE: Huma Abedin backed up her emails to Anthony Weiner’s laptop after leaving the State Department even …
Daily Mail
Huma Abedin backed up copies of her emails with Hillary Clinton to her pervert husband Anthony Weiner’s laptop, DailyMail.com can disclose – conflicting with her account to the FBI and in court that she did not preserve the conversations. An  

Trump Administration Tells 200,000 Salvadorans To Leave Or Get Deported: Reports
 

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The move hurts U.S. interests to further an anti-immigration ideology, advocates say.

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Putin Happy With Return on Investment for Hacking 2016 Election …

NewsweekDec 14, 2017
For less than a half-million dollars, Russian President Vladimir Putin got what he most wanted out of the Kremlin’s campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election: a destabilized American democracy and Hillary Clinton out of his hair, U.S. officials say. The Kremlin views its influence campaign, …

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“The drip, drip, drip Effect
 

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The drip, drip, drip Effect
“The drip, drip, drip” Effect | Global Security News
 

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 –

“The drip, drip, drip” Effect:

They will try, and will try, and will try until they find the suitable for them the “cost efficiency ratio” and the “cost effect” formula. They will try until they are. That’s the Asiatic historical nature of the Russian predatory ruling classes: to raid, to rob, to steal, to exploit, to enslave, in any which Mongol-Tatar way they can, and see the opportunity to, and their sneaky way to do it. They will definitely try until they are definitely stopped. 

October 28 Letter is not something that is outside the Russian meddling efforts but is a result of them because the October 28 Letter was the direct result of the Abedin-Weiner emails affair, which, it looks like to me, was engineered by the Russians on the highest levels (again, the telling style is implicated), with the witting or unwitting participation of the pro-Trump faction of the FBI (Was it the predominant mood in this organization at that particular time: the “post-Obama – pre-Clinton panic”?). That’s again, how it looks to me personally, and to many other observers. 

And the logic here is very simple and clear: If Anthony Weiner’s latest sexting episode was the FBI set up as a sting operation (with known or unknown to them political purposes), and if this “operation” lead to the October 28 Letter which changed the course of the elections, then Trump’s election is indeed the “coup d’état” performed by the panicking FBI. 

The role of J. Comey in all this might open some questions. My impression is that he personally is the ethical, maybe even very ethical and apolitical person, but he was in some ways deceived and manipulated by the upper echelons of the FBI leadership on which he relied upon in the day to day management. They just used him as the “ethical cover” or shield, and, possibly, run those “everyday affairs” as they saw fit. But this is my hypothesis, and it might not be necessarily correct. I think that the future historians will probably have the intense interest in these “matters”. 

Michael Novakhov

8:59 AM 1/8/2018

_____________________________________

Russia has been meddling in foreign elections for decades. Has it made a difference?

“We identified two waves of Russian meddling since the early 1990s. The first wave lasted until 2014 and targeted only post-Soviet countries. Since then, a second wave has expanded dramatically into established Western democracies.

However, an examination of both of these waves shows that Russia’s efforts have made little difference…

Of course, Russia may still have influenced the outcome. As FiveThirtyEight’s Harry Enten notes“the drip, drip, drip” of these email releases “makes it all but impossible to measure their effect precisely.” And Trump won by such a thin margin that even a small Russian impact could have tipped the election.

But there is far stronger evidence that other factors were more critical. For instance, public opinion shifted suddenly after Oct. 28, when FBI Director James B. Comey announced that he was reopening an investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server while serving as secretary of state. And the closeness of the election mostly resulted from polarization between Democrats and Republicans that long predates Russian President Vladimir Putin or the rise of Trump. ”

_______________________

Trump Tower fire: FDNY says fire on roof of Manhattan building ‘under control’
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9:19 AM 1/9/2018 – Saved Stories: Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe – ANI News

Saved Stories – None
Ahmad Taibi: No deal for Palestine under Donald Trump – Aljazeera.com
The Orange Menaceand the Even More Dangerous Party That Stands With Him – The Nation.
White House: Jared And Ivanka Are Sacrificing Their Personal Lives For America
5 reasons to worry Trump is undermining the Justice Department’s independence – Vox
Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell you – Politico
The Decline of Anti-Trumpism – New York Times
“Fire and Fury” sparks talk about Trump’s mental fitness
Trump tells farming convention the American dream is roaring back to life
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex … – Telegraph.co.uk
Sebastian Gorka: Michael Wolff is “an oily creep” – The Rebel
Everything hits the fan
Daily briefing: May’s shambolic reshuffle, Google sued, BBC fallout – Financial Times
Whitcomb: Fire and Ice; A City for the ‘Middle Class’? Demeaning the FBI; Bike-Friendly URI – GoLocal Worcester
Azov Regiment already has US weapons Bellingcat – UNIAN
Russia Rejects CIA Chief’s Assertion It’s Meddling In US Congressional Elections – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Trade Profile: Russia Guards Against Its Vulnerabilities – STRATFOR
Mueller Conveys Interest in Questioning Trump: Source – NBC New York
Just What The Heck Is Trump Doing During His Hours And Hours Of ‘Executive Time’?
Amid Already Chaotic Week, Trump Faces New Questions On Potential Obstruction Of Justice – Kaplan Herald
US Navy Destroyer Arrives in Ukraine Amid Rift With Russia – Newsweek
Vladimir Putin forms HIT SQUAD to ward off drone attacks – Daily Star
The Early Edition: January 9, 2018
A Trump Interview With Robert Mueller Would Follow Presidential Tradition – NPR
Fox News Host Howard Kurtz Defends Jake Tapper from Trump Attacks – Daily Beast

 

Saved Stories – None
Ahmad Taibi: No deal for Palestine under Donald Trump – Aljazeera.com


Aljazeera.com
Ahmad Taibi: No deal for Palestine under Donald Trump
Aljazeera.com
Jerusalem – Ahmad Taibi, a prominent Arab member of Israel’s Parliament, said a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under US President Donald Trump would be impossible. Speaking to Al Jazeera from his office in the Knesset, Taibi said there is 

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The Orange Menaceand the Even More Dangerous Party That Stands With Him – The Nation.


The Nation.
The Orange Menaceand the Even More Dangerous Party That Stands With Him
The Nation.
As he marks the end of his first year in office, Donald Trump, the self-proclaimed very stable genius, stands astride thepolitical world like a cartoon dybbuk, an orange menace of terrifying impulsiveness. With his tweet-spasms spewing venom on

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White House: Jared And Ivanka Are Sacrificing Their Personal Lives For America

“Its ridiculous for anyone to try and attack what they do for this nation.

5 reasons to worry Trump is undermining the Justice Department’s independence – Vox


Vox
5 reasons to worry Trump is undermining the Justice Department’s independence
Vox
The Trump administration installed its own appointees to several important US attorney posts without getting the Senate’s approval, and has recently sidelined several career officials in the FBI or DOJ who Trump dislikes. On top of that, two Republican 
Russian are tiresome fallback when attention turns to ClintonSTLtoday.com

all 56 news articles »

Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell you – Politico


Politico
Is Trump mentally fit? Don’t count on his physical to tell you
Politico
If President Donald Trump were any other 71-year-old covered by Medicare and having his annual wellness visit he’d be checked on his cognitive functions and possible safety risks. But when the president goes for his physical exam Friday, the  
The White House struggles to silence talk of Trump’s mental fitnessWashington Post

Donald Trump is addicted to cable TV! Which is fine!CNN 
How does Trump’s schedule compare with other presidents?BBC News
Donald Trump poised for medical check amid allegations over his fitness for officeCNBC
Bloomberg
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President Trump has called himself smart six times beforeABC News
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all 2,394
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The Decline of Anti-Trumpism – New York Times


New York Times
The Decline of Anti-Trumpism
New York Times
Let me start with three inconvenient observations, based on dozens of conversations around Washington over the past year: First, people who go into the White House to have a meeting with President Trump usually leave pleasantly surprised. They find 
Trumpism Will Survive Without BannonThe Daily Caller
Now Bannon stumps for Trumpism and the patriotism of Donald JrBusiness Day
Steve Bannon apologizes to Trump in statement, touts effort to preach ‘TrumpismGlobalnews.ca
CNNWND.comHuffPostNew York Magazine
all 2,839 2,398 news articles »
Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe – ANI News


ANI News
Trump likely to be interviewed over Russia probe
ANI News
The intelligence community believes that the Russian government was engaged in electoral interference during the 2016 US presidential election. A January 2017 assessment by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence stated that Russian 

and more »

“Fire and Fury” sparks talk about Trump’s mental fitness

January 8, 2018, 6:33 PM | “Fire and Fury” author Michael Wolff says members of the president’s inner circle are concerned about his unpredictablity and temper. But as CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett reports, this isn’t the first …
Trump tells farming convention the American dream is roaring back to life

President Trump on Monday declared that the American dream is roaring back to life, arguing during a speech at a farming convention in Tennessee that the recent tax bill he signed into law will yield great benefits for the countrys farmers.
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex … – Telegraph.co.uk


Telegraph.co.uk
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a narcissist, says ex … narcissist, says ex-aide Steve Hilton 
Telegraph.co.uk
The man who served as David Cameron’s director of strategy said the former prime minister thought Barack Obama was one of the most narcissistic, narcissistic, self-absorbed people with whom he had ever dealt. Steve Hilton, who was once one of Mr Cameron’s most 
Cameron didn’t have ‘bromance’ with Obama and thought he was a The Independent
David Cameron thought Barack Obama was a self-absorbed narcissist, former strategist claimsRT

all 7 narcissist, claims former adviserThe Independent

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Sebastian Gorka: Michael Wolff is “an oily creep” – The Rebel


The Rebel
Sebastian Gorka: Michael Wolff is “an oily creep”
The Rebel
We take on Fake News, internet doctors, and the contentious Jake Tapper/Stephen Miller CNN interview. Sebastian Gorkajoins me from Stockholm to discuss Michael Wolff’s book, and why Dr. Gorka refused to speak to him. I go deep into Judicial Watch  

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Everything hits the fan

Right now Donald Trump is missing the good old days of last week, when it was only Steve Bannon who had gone rogue against him. It’s difficult to figure out how much of this is a snowball effect and how much of it may be happenstance, but at this rate Trump’s entire world is caving in on him from within. Now everyone from Ivanka Trump to Brad Parscale to Sebastian Gorka on down is suddenly finding ways to play for the other team, whether because they’re trying to distance themselves or because they’re all simply very rapidly losing what they barely ever had to begin with.

It would have been devastating enough if the story was simply that Bannon was accusing Trump and his son of a “treasonous” plot with the Russians. That’s profoundly ugly, and unprecedented in the modern presidency. Since when does a former White House Chief Strategist fire back with accusations of literal treason? But then came Brad Parscale’s bizarre tweet in which he repeatedly insisted that nothing happened in the campaign without the approval of Jared Kushner and Eric Trump (wait, a minute, Eric?). Was Parscale trying to help these two by making them look powerful, or trying to throw them under the bus by assigning the Russia plot decision-making to them? It quickly got worse.

Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s former resident White House white supremacist and goatee model, seemed to try to defend Trump against Michael Wolff’s book, but instead ended up confirming that Trump was lying about Wolff being given insider access. Stephen Miller went on CNN and offered up such a demented defense of Trump complete with getting kicked off the air and kicked out of the building that he had to have known he was hurting Trump in the process. Then Lindsey Graham, Trump’s inexplicable new puppet, went on The View and wandered totally off script by defending Robert Mueller.

After everything else had hit the fan from within for Donald Trump, last night Ivanka Trump jumped on Twitter and appeared to endorse Oprah for President. Why on earth would she endorse her own father’s potential 2020 competitor? Then again, at this point we all know Donald Trump won’t still be in office by 2020 to run for reelection anyway.

The post Everything hits the fan appeared first on Palmer Report.

Daily briefing: May’s shambolic reshuffle, Google sued, BBC fallout – Financial Times


Financial Times
Daily briefing: May’s shambolic reshuffle, Google sued, BBC fallout
Financial Times
It was the opposite of a show of power. Theresa May’s cabinet reshuffle and attempt to reinforce authority went awry. The accident-strewn revamp, being dubbed the night of the blunt knives, saw one senior minister refuse to move and another resign from 

Whitcomb: Fire and Ice; A City for the ‘Middle Class’? Demeaning the FBI; Bike-Friendly URI – GoLocal Worcester


GoLocal Worcester
Whitcomb: Fire and Ice; A City for the ‘Middle Class’? Demeaning the FBI; Bike-Friendly URI
GoLocal Worcester
The FBI, of course, is a particular target because of its probe of the extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s Russian police state. Trump is trying to undermine the investigation, led by a man of great integrity and 

Azov Regiment already has US weapons Bellingcat – UNIAN


UNIAN
Azov Regiment already has US weapons Bellingcat
UNIAN
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to try to help President Donald Trump win, in part by hacking and releasing emails embarrassing to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and 

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Russia Rejects CIA Chief’s Assertion It’s Meddling In US Congressional Elections – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty


RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Russia Rejects CIA Chief’s Assertion It’s Meddling In US Congressional Elections
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Russian officials on January 8 rejected an accusation by CIA Director Mike Pompeo that Russia is attempting to interfere inU.S. congressional elections this year and has been meddling in U.S. elections “for decades.” “I continue to be concerned, not 
RussiaUS Only Complained About Election Interference Because Trump WonNewsweek
CIA’s Pompeo Says Russia and Others Trying to Undermine US ElectionsU.S. News & World Report 
CIA’s Pompeo says Russia may once again try to undermine US electionsUNIAN
 
CIA director says Russia has meddled in US elections ‘for decades’TheBlaze.com
UNIAN

Daily Post NigeriaThe Japan News
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Trade Profile: Russia Guards Against Its Vulnerabilities – STRATFOR


STRATFOR
Trade Profile: Russia Guards Against Its Vulnerabilities
STRATFOR
Russia’s most abundant resource, land, has proved more a bane than a boon throughout history. Though Russia is the world’s largest country by area, 75 percent of its territory is frozen most of the year, and marshlands make up most of the remainder  
Russia Analytical Report, Dec. 18, 2017-Jan. 8, 2018Russia Matters
Center for Security StudiesCSS Resources (blog)

all 12 news articles » 

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Mueller Conveys Interest in Questioning Trump: Source – NBC New York


NBC New York
Mueller Conveys Interest in Questioning Trump: Source
NBC New York
Mueller for months has led a team of prosecutors and agents investigating whether Russia and Trump’s Republican campaign coordinated to sway the 2016 election, and whether Trump has worked to obstruct an FBI investigation into his aides, including by 
AP source: Mueller has expressed interest in Trump interviewWFLA
Trump lawyers readying president for possible interview in Russia probe: reporti24NEWS
Five Questions Mueller Would Ask Trump In Russia Probe InterviewNewsweek
Las Vegas Sun –ABC News –NBCNews.com
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Just What The Heck Is Trump Doing During His Hours And Hours Of ‘Executive Time’?

Here are some theories.

Amid Already Chaotic Week, Trump Faces New Questions On Potential Obstruction Of Justice – Kaplan Herald


NBCNews.com

New York Times
Amid Already Chaotic Week, Trump Faces New Questions On Potential Obstruction Of Justice
Kaplan Herald
… to submit his resignation after ex-FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed to oversee an independent Russia investigation. According to The New York Times, Trump rejected the letter and sent it back to Sessions with a note saying Not accepted 
Fox News’ Influence on Trump is AlarmingSyracuse New Times

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US Navy Destroyer Arrives in Ukraine Amid Rift With Russia – Newsweek


Newsweek
US Navy Destroyer Arrives in Ukraine Amid Rift With Russia
Newsweek
Russian-armed forces in Ukraine’s eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk have also fought against Ukrainian government forces for over three years. The U.S., which has three military allies on the Black Sea basin, has pledged support for Ukraine and 

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Vladimir Putin forms HIT SQUAD to ward off drone attacks – Daily Star


Daily Star
Vladimir Putin forms HIT SQUAD to ward off drone attacks
Daily Star
The move, which involves development drone-zapping technology, comes amid fears that terrorists could unleash mayhem using sophisticated long-distance unmanned flying objects. Russian concerns have been heightened by jihadist attacks on its military 
Russian media tries to sort out source of attack on Syria air baseAl-Monitor
Vladimir Putin is poised to create a special force to protect nuclear power plantsDaily Mail
Attacks On Russian Syrian Facilities Much More Sophisticated Than Thought, Russia Blames ‘Western Forces’Tsarizm (blog)

all 59 news articles »

The Early Edition: January 9, 2018

Signup to receive the Early Edition in your inbox here.

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

NORTH KOREA

North and South Korea began high-level face-to-face talks today at the truce village of Panmunjom, marking the first official talks in two years. According to South Koreas Unification Ministry, South Korea proposed reuniting families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War and expressed a desire to discuss the nuclear issue. Andrew Jeong reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The talks were proposed by South Korea after the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said in his New Years address that he was considering sending a team to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, next month. The BBC reports.

North Korea agreed today to send a delegation to next months Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, marking the first time North Korea has participated in the Winter Games in eight years and the move signifies a breakthrough in inter-Korean sports exchanges, however it was not immediately clear whether any conditions have been attached to North Koreas decision to attend. Choe Sang-Hun reports at the New York Times.

The inter-Korean talks mark the first talks in more than two years, and the meeting has created optimism within the South Korean government that talks about sports could lead to discussions on broader issues, such as Pyongyangs nuclear weapons program. Yoonjung Seo and Anna Fifield report at the Washington Post.

The two Koreas intend to re-open a military hotline, the South Korean Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung said today, James Griffiths reports at the CNN in rolling coverage of the talks.

South Korea said it would be prepared to temporarily lift some sanctions to allow the North Korean delegation to visit the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, the South Korean foreign ministry spokesperson Roh Kyu-deok said that Seoul would consider whether it would need to take prior steps with the U.N. Security Council and other countries to ensure the visit goes ahead. Christine Kim and Josh Smith report at Reuters.

The U.S. has been watching the inter-Korean talks closely and there have been debates within Washington about the impact the easing of tensions would have on the Trump administrations maximum pressure strategy and whether Kims overture was designed to drive a wedge between Washington and Seoul. Katrina Manson explains at the Financial Times.

South Korea hopes that a North Korean figure skating duo will compete in the Games, the signs that the duo will participate are positive, however translating their attendance into a broader diplomatic thaw poses a huge challenge. Anna Fifield provides an analysis at the Washington Post.

There have been debates within the Trump administration about conducting a targeted military strike against a North Korean facility despite the apparent ease in tensions on the Korean Peninsula, demonstrating the precariousness of the situation. While there may be relative calm over the next few months, mid-2018 could be a time of reckoning, Gerald F. Seib writes at the Wall Street Journal.

North Korea exacted concessions from South Korea without offering anything in return, demonstrating North Koreas we win and you lose approach to deals and South Koreas President Moon Jae-ins administration must avoid getting played by recognizing North Koreas traps, insist on a quid pro quo at every step and have a few tricks up its own sleeves. Nicholas Eberstadt writes at the New York Times.

The U.S. should carry out strikes to destroy North Koreas nuclear arsenal, the fear that North Korea would retaliate with conventional rocket artillery against Seoul should not deter the U.S. as South Koreas vulnerability is very largely self-inflicted through years of deliberate inaction, and the U.S. must pursue its national interests. Edward Luttwak writes at Foreign Policy.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Special counsel Robert Mueller informed Trumps lawyers last month that he would probably seek to interview the president, according to two sources familiar with the discussion, no formal request has been made and no date has been set for an interview as part of Muellers investigation into ties into the Trump campaign and Russia, and whether Trump obstructed justice by firing the former F.B.I. Director James Comey. Matt Apuzzo and Michael S. Schmidt report at the New York Times.

Talks between Trumps lawyers and Mueller are in a preliminary stage, according to a source familiar with the matter, the prospect of interviewing the president suggests that Muellers probe has progressed and may be reaching a conclusion. Rebecca Ballhaus reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Muellers team could possibly interview Trump on a limited portion of questions within the next few weeks, according to an anonymous source close to the president, who added that Trump is comfortable about being interviewed. Carol D. Leonnig reports at the Washington Post.

Trumps lawyers have been preparing how to define the parameters of any interview with the president, according to sources with knowledge of the matter, and Trumps team have been looking at examples from previous administrations as a basis for limiting the Presidents exposure. Gloria Borger, Pamela Brown and Katelyn Polantz report at CNN.

Mueller could issue a grand jury subpoena to the president and, if this measure is taken, it seems that Trump would not be able to refuse to cooperate, Pete Williams provides an analysists at NBC News.

The founder of the opposition research firm Fusion G.P.S. has become a central figure in the Russia investigations, Glenn R. Simpson commissioned the controversial dossier compiled by former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele which alleged connections between the Trump campaign and Russian officials he has appeared before congressional committees for questioning, and he has connections to Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya. Matt Flegenheimer profiles Simpson at the New York Times.

The U.S. District Judge Trevor McFadden should recuse himself from the legal case on the Steele dossier, lawyers for Fusion G.P.S. have argued, saying that Judge McFadden has many conflicts of interests, including the fact that he worked as a vetter on Trumps transition team. Josh Gerstein reports at POLITICO.

The efforts to uncover how the F.B.I. used the Steele dossier progressed last week, federal Judge Richard Leon rejected a request by Fusion G.P.S. for a preliminary injunction against a congressional subpoena for bank records about its clients and payments and the F.B.I and the Justice Department reached an agreement to turn over information it had subpoenaed to the House Intelligence Committee. The developments have come as a consequence of the House Intelligence Committees fight for transparency, the Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

IRAN

It would be a misrepresentation [of events] and also an insult to Iranian people to say they only had economic demands, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted by the Tasnim news agency as saying yesterday about the protests that have taken place across Iran, Rouhani also suggested that there was a generational element to the unrest and said that citizens should be allowed to criticize all Iranian officials. Bozorgmehr Sharafedin reports at Reuters.

The protests in Iran have prompted mass arrests and deaths in custody, prompting concerns about the abuse of human rights. Saeed Kamali Dehghan reports at the Guardian.

The unrest appears to be dying down but the economic grievances show no sign of disappearing, Jon Gambrell provides an analysis at the AP.

Trump faces several deadlines on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal from the end of this week, ahead of his decision on the deal, 52 U.S. national security experts have signed a letter calling on the president not to undermine the agreement. Reuters reports.

Iranian officials appear to have embarked on a coordinated effort to defend the 2015 nuclear deal, turning their attention to the deal from the protests that have taken place across the country due to the possibility of new U.S. sanctions being imposed on Iran. Zein Basravi reports at Al Jazeera 

Iran might re-consider its cooperation with the U.N.s International Atomic Energy Agency (I.A.E.A.) if the U.S. does not meet its commitments under the agreement, Irans nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi was quoted as telling the I.A.E.A. Director General in a phone call yesterday. Bozorgmehr Sharafedin reports at Reuters.

The nuclear deal constitutes the first genuine foreign policy test of this year and Trump has been placed in an awkward position that may lead to him keeping the deal alive, however it is not possible to predict what Trump will decide. Susan B. Glasser writes at POLITICO Magazine.

The protests in Iran show the importance of the nuclear deal, the agreement was supposed to deliver better economic conditions for the Iranian people and the raised expectations have made them intolerant of the lack of progress being made by the government, and Trump should also be aware that foolish moves by his administration could empower the most regressive forces and set back reforms. The New York Times editorial board writes.

SYRIA

The Syrian military today accused Israel of launching missiles at military outposts near the Syrian capital of Damascus, the Syrian army said in a statement that the attacks caused material damage. The Israeli military declined to comment, however the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today reiterated Israels long-standing policy that it would prevent the transfer of game-changing weapons to Hezbollah from Syrian territory, the AP reports.

A total of 126 people have been killed in the rebel-held Damascus enclave of Eastern Ghouta since Dec. 29, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the area has been besieged by the Syrian government since 2013. Al Jazeera reports.

Rebels in Eastern Ghouta have been engaging in talks with Russia, saying that they have exacted few concessions so far, but face little choice and believe that Russia will have the final say on Syrias fate. Ellen Francis reports at Reuters.

Russia has been given the space to expand its role in Syria, Saudi Arabia, the U.N. and the U.S. have allowed Russia to take the initiative, partly due to Washingtons passivity. Colum Lynch writes at Foreign Policy.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 58 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between December 29, 2017 and January 4, 2018. [Central Command]

PAKISTAN

The Pentagon announced yesterday that it has frozen $900m in security assistance to Pakistan, the Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said in a statement that the amount has been suspended, not cancelled or reprogrammed. Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

A Pakistan court has ordered the release of a radical anti-U.S. cleric amid increased tensions between U.S. and Pakistan. Riaz Khan and Munir Ahmed report at the AP.

The Trump administrations approach to Pakistan is misguided: Pakistans geography, the role of its military and proxies, and its importance in relation to the security situation in Afghanistan means that it has greater leverage over us than many imagine. Richard G. Olson writes at the New York Times.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The Trump administration is expected to push an initiative that would call on U.S. diplomats and military attaches to play a bigger role in arms sales, an anonymous senior official said that the plan is expected to be launched as soon as next month. Mike Stone and Mike Spetalnick report at Reuters.

Vice President Mike Pence is scheduled to visit the Middle East at the end of this month, the trip includes visits to Egypt, Israel and Jordan. Jordan Fabian reports at the Hill.

The Trump administrations foreign policy is likely to get worse this year, 2017 was bad but a number of significant issues must be grappled with this year such as the Iran nuclear deal, N.A.F.T.A. renegotiation, the crisis on the Korean Peninsula that could lead to more damaging consequences. Hal Brands writes at Foreign Policy.

The Libyan city of Sirte has been struggling to rebuild itself since Islamic State militants were driven out by Libyan militias and the U.S. army in December 2016. Sudarsan Raghavan describes the situation in Sirte at the Washington Post.

A Trump Interview With Robert Mueller Would Follow Presidential Tradition – NPR


NPR
A Trump Interview With Robert Mueller Would Follow Presidential Tradition
NPR
If President Trump answers questions from Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller, as reports indicate he may, Trump would follow the precedent set by many previous occupants of his office. NBC News reports the president’s lawyers are
Trump probably could not refuse Mueller subpoena to answer questionsNBCNews.com
Mueller Is Said to Likely Seek to Interview TrumpNew York Times
Russia probe: Trump lawyers ‘in talks over Mueller interview’BBC News
Omaha World-Herald –Fortune –NBCNews.com
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Fox News Host Howard Kurtz Defends Jake Tapper from Trump Attacks – Daily Beast


Daily Beast
Fox News Host Howard Kurtz Defends Jake Tapper from Trump Attacks
Daily Beast
The ‘MediaBuzz’ host called CNN’s Tapper an experienced journalist who was right to cut off his contentious interview with Stephen Miller. Matt Wilstein. 01.08.18 4:23 PM ET. Fox News/Screenshot. Jake Tapper got some strong support from an unlikely 

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10:09 AM 1/7/2018 – Trump, Oligarchs, Mob

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

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Oligarch, friend of Trump: Who is Pavel Fuchs? | Ukraine
COMMENTARY We have lost our republic and are now an oligarchy | Op-Ed
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Trump’s business network reached alleged Russian mobsters

<a href=”https://www.usatoday.com/…/trump…mobsters…/98321252/” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.usatoday.com/…/trump…mobsters…/98321252/</a>

Mar 28, 2017

To expand his real estate developments over the years, Donald Trump, his company and partners repeatedly …

Trump Russia: The U.S. President’s Disturbingly Deep Ties To Russia …

<a href=”http://fortune.com” rel=”nofollow”>fortune.com</a> › Commentary › Donald Trump
May 17, 2017

The only Russians who likely had the resources and political connections to sponsor such ambitious …

Donald Trump’s Many, Many, Many, Many Ties to Russia – Time

<a href=”http://time.com” rel=”nofollow”>time.com</a> › Ideas › politics

Aug 2, 2016

Manafort also has done multimillion-dollar business deals with Russian oligarchsTrump’s foreign policy …

A Panama tower carries Trump’s name and ties to organized crime …

<a href=”https://www.nbcnews.com/…/panama-tower-carries-trump-s-name-ti” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.nbcnews.com/…/panama-tower-carries-trump-s-name-ti</a>…
Nov 17, 2017

The Trump Organization licensed its name to a luxury condo tower in Panama riddled with ties to drug money …

Craig Unger: Donald Trump Would Not Be President Without The …

<a href=”https://www.realclearpolitics.com/…/craig_unger_donald_trump_w” rel=”nofollow”>https://www.realclearpolitics.com/…/craig_unger_donald_trump_w</a>…
Jul 21, 2017

The September issue of the ‘New Republic’ is set to be titled “Married to the Mob: What Trump Owes the …

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Donald Trump and Criminal Conspiracy Law

Center For American ProgressDec 8, 2017
One of the key figures involved in these deals has been the Russian-born, mob-linked businessman Felix Sater, who plead guilty to racketeering for his …. These same email exchanges suggest that Manafort may have been eager to sell access to the Trump campaign to an oligarch with close Russia links …
Story image for trump oligarchs mob from Harvard Political Review

A Tale of Two Russias

Harvard Political ReviewDec 23, 2017
In exploring the various ties several Russian mobsters had with the Trump organization in the past three decades, new questions arise about the extent … Now that the oligarchs commanded both economic and political power, organized crime and the state became inherently linked through the oligarchy.
Story image for trump oligarchs mob from Dallas News (blog)

How Putin’s proxies helped funnel millions into GOP campaigns

Dallas News (blog)Dec 15, 2017
As Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team probes deeper into potential collusion between Trump officials and representatives of the Russian … Oleg Deripaska is said to be one of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s favorite oligarchs, and he is founder and majority shareholder of Russia’s Rusal, the …
Story image for trump oligarchs mob from The National Memo (blog)

Donald Trump And The Mob: A Patsy Among Punks

The National Memo (blog)Dec 17, 2017
It’s a lesson that was not lost on Russian mobsters, like Felix Sater, Trump’s partner in his SoHo hotel, and a number of his wealthy, well-connected oligarch friends. Nor was it a lesson ever ignored by Mueller and his top team of law enforcement officials. It’s also a lesson that came straight out of New York’s …
Story image for trump oligarchs mob from Bloomberg

Was Trump SoHo Used to Hide Part of a Kazakh Bank’s Missing …

BloombergDec 10, 2017
Khrapunov also worked on a separate deal with Felix Sater, a former Bayrock executive and onetime adviser to Trump. …. Sater and Bayrock founder Tevfik Arif had been hopscotching from Moscow to the Cote d’Azur hitting up oligarchs for investments in Trump-branded projects since 2004, according to a …
Story image for trump oligarchs mob from New Republic

Trump’s Russian Laundromat

New RepublicJul 13, 2017
A Senate investigation into organized crime later revealed that Bogatin was a leading figure in the Russian mob in New York. … It’s entirely possible that Trump was never more than a convenient patsy for Russian oligarchs and mobsters, with his casinos and condos providing easy pass-throughs for their …
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Story image for trump oligarchs from Washington Times

Dubious Trump dossier producer now targeted by Russian oligarchs …

Washington TimesDec 18, 2017
Fusion GPS, the producer of the infamous Trump dossier, is fending off in court three of Russia’s richest oligarchs by painting them as corrupt bankers in bed with President Vladimir Putin. The three primary investors in Moscow’s Alfa Bank — Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan — filed a libel …
Story image for trump oligarchs from TheSpec.com

Trump fits the bill of American oligarch

<a href=”http://TheSpec.com” rel=”nofollow”>TheSpec.com</a>Jan 4, 2018
For decades, he laundered Russian oligarchs‘ dirty money through sales of his condos. His golf courses have been financed with Russian money. And it is obvious that his campaign sought help from the Russians. During and after the election, there were posters of Trump all over Russia, looking very much …
Story image for trump oligarchs from The Nation.

Maxine Waters Connects the Dots on Trump, Deutsche Bank, and …

The Nation.Dec 19, 2017
Representative Maxine Waters, the California Democrat who is the ranking member on the House Committee on Financial Services, has been pushing since March to connect dots that could link Donald Trump, his associates, Germany’s Deutsche Bank, and Russian oligarchs. Now it appears she’s getting …
Story image for trump oligarchs from Common Dreams

The Triumph of the Oligarchs

Common DreamsDec 18, 2017
The oligarchs are the richest of the richest 1 percent. They’ve poured hundreds of millions into the GOP and Trump. Half of all contributions to the first phase of the 2016 election came from just 158 families, along with the companies they own or control. The giant tax cut has been their core demand from the …
Oligarch, friend of Trump: Who is Pavel Fuchs? | Ukraine

mikenova shared this story from Al Jazeera English.

“When I was young, I beat people up,” Pavel Fuchs tells the presenter of Russian television show Business Persona. “I don’t like it when someone lies to me.”

He recounts a story about his Turkish builders. “While refurbishing I told them not to smoke but when I arrived they were smoking. I asked them again not to smoke.”

AL JAZEERA EXCLUSIVE: THE OLIGARCHS

  • Ukraine’s former president Viktor Yanukovich is estimated to have siphoned off at least $1.5bn from the country through his cronies before his ouster in 2014
  • Al Jazeera has traced at least $160m of the suspected misappropriated assets frozen in Cyprus upon the request of the Ukrainian authorities
  • The investigation by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit has revealed that three Ukrainian oligarchs illegally traded the frozen assets linked to Yanukovich

“And they continued smoking?” asks the presenter.

“Yes, and they had to eat their cigarette butts,” Fuchs replies.

“How beautiful,” remarks the presenter.

Al Jazeera has discovered Fuchs bought a company and $160m of frozen assets held within it, part of $1.5bn traced to former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich.

Investigators believe Yanukovich and businessmen close to him stole the money.

When the deal was made, officials were working on seizing the money and returning it to the Ukrainian budget.

‘Mercenary’

Born in October 1971, in Ukraine’s second city of Kharkiv, Fuchs earned the nickname “Naemnik”, Mercenary, according to restricted Russian interior ministry records.

He graduated from Kharkiv State University’s department of economic and social planning in 1994 and headed to Moscow.

Currently he sits at the helm of a huge business empire with holdings in oil, gas, luxury real estate and banking.

His investments span Russia, Ukraine, the United Kingdom, the United States and many of the world’s tax havens.

He is so influential that Russian President Vladimir Putin has honoured him for his services to the Russian economy.

Trump-Russia

During the noughties, Fuchs cultivated links to now US President Donald Trump, negotiating with his organisation in 2004 and again between 2008 and 2010. He reportedly baulked at a $200m asking price for the rights to a Trump Hotel Moscow.

Fuchs told a Ukrainian news agency they dealt with Trump in the later stages.

In 2016, Newsweek quoted a former Trump executive as saying the organisation retains close links with Fuchs. He has also been photographed with Trump’s cybersecurity adviser, Rudy Giuliani.

Fuchs is trying with another investor to purchase Prominvestbank, the Ukrainian subsidiary of Russian-state owned VEB Bank. VEB has been placed at “the centre of an international firestorm that threatens the Trump presidency”. Ukrainian regulators have blocked Fuchs’s purchase.

Kharkiv links

A number of sources have suggested Fuchs is well connected in Kharkiv.

The current Mayor, Gennady Kernes, regularly appears in Fuchs family photos on social media.

Kernes caused controversy in August 2014 by naming Fuchs and Russian parliamentarian Alexander Shishkin “Honorary Citizens of Kharkiv”.

The following day a prosecutor announced that the titles had been rescinded, following resistance from local government.

Four months earlier, Kernes survived an assassination attempt that left him wheelchair-bound. Two of his associates, Yuri Diment and Sergei Batozsky – were both assassinated in 2016. Fuchs had been photographed with Diment before his death.

Strong political links

Fuchs has told Russian media he made a name for himself working for two of Russia’s richest men, Vladimir Potanin and Mikhail Prokhorov.

They made their money in the 1990s buying up huge stakes in the precious metals sector before investing in numerous other industries. Prokhorov ran for president in Russia in 2012.

Fuchs is now extremely well connected in his own right.

Russian company records put his name beside some of the most powerful and well-connected Russian politicians.

They include deputies in the State Duma, Alexander Ter-Avanesov and Amir Gallyamov.

Also named are Dagestan’s representative in the Federation Council, Sueliman Kerimov, who is worth an estimated $7.5bn, and politician and businessman Vladimir Gruzdev.

Fuchs has also been involved in a joint venture with a man closely linked to Moscow’s all-powerful mayor, Yuri Luzhkov.

In 2000, Fuchs invested in oil via Nefthold LLC, which leads to numerous high-ranking Russian politicians and government officials.

One of Fuchs’s fellow shareholders is a person named Nikolai Borodin. He is low profile, but is also named as founder of a charity co-founded with Sergei Stepashin, formerly prime minister and head of Russia’s spy agency.

The jewel in the Fuchs real-estate crown is Moscow City, a cluster of skyscrapers that loom over the Russian capital.

Construction began in 2004. Fuchs developed two of the towers – Eurasia and Imperia – through his Moscow City Group company.

The two towers were reportedly a joint venture with Valentin Yumashev, the powerful son-in-law of former Russian president Boris Yeltsin, who is thought to have been instrumental in Vladimir Putin’s rise to power.

Friends and business partners

Fuchs has done business with a number of people who have been caught up in alleged fraud scandals.

One big investor in Eurasia Tower was a man now at the centre of the largest alleged fraud case ever to have been heard in the Britain’s High Court.

Mukhtar Ablyazov began his Eurasia investment company in 2005, with a view to developing the tower.
However, by 2011, he had fled Russia for London, accused of siphoning billions out of Kazakhstan’s BTA Bank.

That left Fuchs without an investment partner or finance.

Having then fled the UK jurisdiction Ablyazov spent three years in a French prison over the alleged fraud, facing extradition. He was released in December last year and is still wanted in both Russia and his home country of Kazakhstan.

Fuchs also appears close to a man known as the “King of Bling”, jeweller to stars including rappers 50 Cent and Kanye West.

Jacob the Jeweller, aka Jacob Arabo, aka Yacub Arabov, is an American of Turkmen origin who spent 18 months in prison 10 years ago after making a plea deal with prosecutors who had accused him of money laundering for Detroit’s Black Mafia gang.

He appears several times in Fuchs family photos posted on social media and has recently denied links to a gold mine in Swaziland owned by the country’s absolute monarch.

In 2012, Fuchs bought shares in disgraced Pushkino Bank.

The head of the bank, Alexei Alyakin, is on Russia’s federal wanted list, accused of withdrawing and laundering millions of dollars.

Authorities revoked the bank’s licence in 2013 for multiple violations, including money laundering and fraudulent accounting.

Another colourful billionaire, Vijay Mallya, appears to have indirect company links to Fuchs. He is the former owner of India’s Kingfisher Airlines, now facing extradition to India on fraud charges which he denies.

Fuchs’s offshore vehicle Dorchester International Incorporated, based in the Caribbean tax haven of St Kitts and Nevis, is a shareholder in three layers of companies that lead to a trust declared by Mallya in SEC filings from 2000. Mallya denies having any relationship with Fuchs.

International network

The Panama Papers, a huge leak of offshore company documents, help illuminate a huge international network of more than 250 companies with links to Fuchs.

His vehicle, Dorchester International Incorporated of St Kitts and Nevis, lays a trail to another Indian billionaire, a Nigerian senator, Malaysian billionaires, a Cuban pharmaceutical company and mining in Tanzania.

Dorchester has stakes in Stallion Group Holdings in the British Virgin Islands, which belongs to the richest Indian in the Gulf, Sunil Vaswani. He is worth a reported $7.5bn according to Forbes magazine.

Five layers of offshore companies lead to the Cement Company of Northern Nigeria (CCNN).

Sokoto East Senator Dr Ibrahim Gobir was the chairman of CCNN before becoming a politician. The Panama Papers show he remained a shareholder.

Following a similar path of offshore companies leads you to LabioFam Asia, part of Cuban state company that specialises in medicine, pesticides and perfumes. Labiofam was run by Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s cousin Jose Antonio Fraga Castro until his death in 2012.

Dorchester jointly holds shares in Westmead Holdings Ltd of Cyprus with two Malaysian billionaires, Lee Shin Cheng and Lee Yeow Chor, who lead multibillion dollar palm oil business IOI Group. Fuchs was also invested in Kibo Mining of South Africa, which owned concessions in Tanzania.

Dorchester International also has numerous sister companies sharing the same name but registered in other offshore jurisdictions.

Company formation agent

Group Chesterfield, not to be confused with the insurance company, Chesterfield Group, has offices in the UK capital, Ireland, Isle of Man, Cyprus, and The Bahamas.

Property records show Fuchs’s company owns the London premises and Dorchester International is the named director of a number of Chesterfield’s registered entities.

“If you’ve got a company formation agent registered and that company formation agent is forming companies for you then that’s immediately suspicious,” says Benton. “I can’t see how you’d even be allowed to do that. There’s no checks and balances there are there?”

Nearly all of Fuchs’ companies appear to have been incorporated by Chesterfield, which is almost always the registered secretary of his offshore companies. Chesterfield denies it is owned by Fuchs and says it does not primarily form companies for him.

Ukraine

Besides buying frozen assets linked to the former president of Ukraine and his own company formation agency, Fuchs has invested in oil and gas in the country.

The Russia-based oligarch visits Ukraine regularly. On one occasion, his armed security guards confronted a journalist from Radio Free Liberty who had filmed Fuchs’s private jet arriving at Kiev airport. The following day his PR representatives sent the journalist an apology.

Since 2014, Fuchs has stepped up investments in oil and gas in Ukraine, investing in at least four major local oil, gas and coal mining reported to have formerly been controlled by Yanukovich and his associates.

According to Ukrainian Pravda newspaper, Fuchs has purchased several oil and gas mining assets that formerly belonged to former government ministers Edward Stavitsky and Yuri Boyko.

Fuchs family

Fuchs has a brother, Roman, who is also in business. He is connected to at least 35 Russian companies, including a chain of over 280 restaurants. Roman is co-director of two of Fuchs’s major offshore companies including Belize-registered Quadrill Investment.

With his wife, Fuchs co-owns a prestigious six-bedroom home in London’s most exclusive neighbourhood, Belgravia. It features two vaults in the basement and was purchased in 2012 for about $40m.

Records show he also owns property at 15 Central Park West in New York City, dubbed the world’s most powerful address, as well having owned a luxury condo in Miami.

His daughter, Anastasia, married the grandson of one of Libyan dictator Muammar Gadaffi’s henchmen in a plush ceremony in the French Riviera last year.

Pavel Fuchs declined to comment for this story.

COMMENTARY We have lost our republic and are now an oligarchy | Op-Ed

mikenova shared this story from observer-reporter.com – RSS Results in opinion/op-eds of type article.

Oligarchy n, 1 : government by the few 2 : a government in which a small group exercises control esp. for corrupt and selfish purposes. (Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, Eleventh Edition)

Our republic has been displaced by an oligarchy. If anyone doubts this is so, one need only read the Republican tax bill that was approved in December. It was shoved down the throat of the American people by a Republican Congress and a president who wants to be a dictator.

The bill passed strictly along party lines, with Republicans voting yea and the Democrats nay. Consolidating the House and Senate versions was accomplished only among Republican members of both houses. The Republican majority, doing the bidding of the oligarchic, billionaire-supported superPACs, are providing 83 percent of the tax cuts to 1 percent of the population. Twelve Republican members of the House of Representatives voted against the bill. Nine members from New York and New Jersey, both high-tax states, did so largely because of the $10,000 cap on deductions for state and local taxes. Two members of the California delegation voted against it because they fear they will lose their seats to Democrats in this year’s midterm elections, and one member from North Carolina voted against the measure because of deficit concerns.

When some voters see $30 to $40 more in their paychecks next year, many will believe that the Republicans have done them a favor. But we can only hope that most will look further, and realize that their tax break is ephemeral. By 2025, their tax cuts will become tax increases. And those who will reach retirement age during this period will see their stake in Social Security and Medicare become much smaller.

I haven’t even mentioned what this will do to health care. The $1.5 trillion in additional debt that this bill will create must be paid for.

Becoming an oligarchy makes it much easier for us to slip into a dictatorship. While some figures in various industries, including the media and government, have admitted to sexual misconduct and have resigned or been removed from their posts, President Trump continues to deny being among them, despite his brazen admission to such acts on the notorious “Access Hollywood” tape. The groper-in-chief and his minions remain active in trying to delegitimize the press and the courts, and now are attempting to do the same to the Justice Department, the FBI and Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

Pundits on the Fox News Channel state that the FBI is comparable to the KGB. They know better, but perpetuate the myth hoping that they can discredit whatever facts emerge from Muller’s investigation. The KGB was the secret police of Soviet Russia, and its members were guilty of torture and murder. The FBI commits none of these crimes, and operates within strict constitutional laws.

There are strong indications that U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes, who chairs the House Intelligence Committee, along with a small cabal of fellow Republicans on the committee, are working to begin an investigation of the FBI and the special counsel, alleging corruption and malfeasance. They are hanging their hat on the text messages of FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, which were highly critical and disparaging of Trump. So far as I have been able to learn, Strzok wrote all of his emails before being assigned to Mueller’s team. As soon as Mueller learned of the text messages, Strzok was dismissed.

There was a purported conversation between Philadelphia socialite Elizabeth Willing Powel and Benjamin Franklin at the close of the Constitutional Convention in 1787. I don’t think it has ever been conclusively proven to be true, but I think it can be used to illustrate a point. Powel is said to have asked, “Well, doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy”? Franklin replied, “A republic, if you can keep it.”

We did not keep it. We reside in an oligarchy, and if Trump and his Republican supporters have their way, it will soon be a dictatorship.

Bloom is a former U.S. Marine, former police officer and resident of Lawrence.

Trump Called For Roy Cohn – Google Search

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Trump Called For Roy Cohn – Google Search

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Trump Called For Roy Cohn – Google Search

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9:05 AM 1/7/2018 – Trump Investigations News Review: COMMENTARY: We have lost our republic and are now an oligarchy – Observer-Reporter

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Saved Stories – 1. Trump: Oligarch, friend of Trump: Who is Pavel Fuchs? – Aljazeera.com


Aljazeera.com
Oligarch, friend of Trump: Who is Pavel Fuchs?
Aljazeera.com
He was released in December last year and is still wanted in both Russia and his home country of Kazakhstan. Fuchs also appears close to a man known as the “King of Bling”, jeweller to stars including rappers 50 Cent and Kanye West. Jacob the Jeweller 
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Trump Investigations from mikenova (31 sites)
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: COMMENTARY We have lost our republic and are now an oligarchy – Observer-Reporter
 

COMMENTARY We have lost our republic and are now an oligarchy
Observer-Reporter
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NPR

Montana Standard
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Oligarch, friend of Trump: Who is Pavel Fuchs?
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Trump to North Korean leader Kim: My Nuclear Button is much bigger & more powerful
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 Donald Trump – Google News

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Trump – Google News: Mexico’s Trumpian populist could mean trouble for Donald Trump – Politico
 


Politico
Mexico’s Trumpian populist could mean trouble for Donald Trump
Politico
Indeed, the election of the former mayor of Mexico City could be disastrous for Trump and his administration, creating an even more charged relationship between the two countries that could reduce cooperation on border security, trade and immigrationand more »

 Trump – Google News

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Emails Investigation Reopening – Google News: Hillary Clinton email matter needs to be reopened for a new read and here’s why – Lowell Sun
 


Washington Post
Hillary Clinton email matter needs to be reopened for a new read and here’s why
Lowell Sun
In the months following President Donald Trump’s election, more has been revealed about Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. More has come out about the FBI’s bias in the investigation, and more reporting has shed light on former 
FBI has been investigating the Clinton Foundation for monthsWashington Post
FBI Reportedly Investigating Clinton FoundationHuffPost
Clinton Foundation investigated by Justice DepartmentBBC News
Washington Examiner –The Hill –The Hill –CNN
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 Emails Investigation Reopening – Google News

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Russian Intelligence, organized crime and political interference – Google News: President Trump Called For Roy C