8:08 AM 11/23/2017 – Trump, Brexit and the far right

  • Trump, Brexit and the far right – GS,
  • possibly warns Far Left, in its active measures against the
  • “Far West”. – M.N. (Are these the “Far East”, the “Middle East”, the “North East”, or the “Central European East”?)

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Alt-America and English Uprising review Trump, Brexit and the far right 

David Edgar’s adaptation of A Christmas Carol opens at the Royal Shakespeare theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon on 6 December.

 Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump is published by Verso. To order a copy for £17 (RRP £20) go to bookshop.theguardian.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.

 To order English Uprising go to www.mhpbooks.com.

Classified Israeli intel Trump disclosed to Russia revealed – Ynetnews
Seth Meyers Hilariously Imagines The Trump Family’s First Thanksgiving
Donald Trump Jr.’s Thanksgiving Conversation Starter Tips Spectacularly Backfire
Donald Trump Jr.’s Thanksgiving Conversation Starter Tips Spectacularly Backfire – HuffPost
Revealed: The highly sensitive Israeli intelligence on Isis that Donald Trump gave away to Russia – The Independent
Weiner & El Chapo Thanksgiving Meal Comes Super Early – TMZ.com
Hotlines inundated with trauma stories – Arkansas Online
8. Trump has flipped America’s partisan views on Russia – Axios
Philadelphia Mayor Roasts Donald Trump: Our President Is A Bully And A Punk
Drugs, bullets and blood – gulfnews.com
Don’t mention the war: Ukraine off the agenda at EU summit – Yahoo Singapore News
Don’t mention the war: Ukraine off the agenda at EU summit – Digital Journal
Why Steyer’s Campaign to Impeach Trump Unsettles Some Democrats – Wall Street Journal
Dying to live long enough to see the end of Trump – Los Angeles Times
Palmer Report: Donald Trump tips off that he knows Robert Mueller is going to get him on financial crimes
Putin and the Russian Mafia – Google News: ‘Riot days’: Maria Alyokhina is fighting the power – Irish Examiner
1. Trump Investigation – Mike Flynn from mikenova (9 sites): Mike Flynn – Google News: Grand jury in Russia probe expected to question witnesses about Mike Flynn associate: Report – Washington Examiner
trump in financial times – Google News: Trump Organization to exit SoHo hotel in New York – Financial Times
trump electorate – Google News: How will Trump presidency impact 2018 elections? – Chicago Tribune
Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Facebook to show users if they ‘liked’ alleged Russian propaganda – Deutsche Welle
social media in trump campaign – Google News: Mueller is zeroing in on Michael Flynn – Business Insider
Palmer Report: Donald Trump tells Ivanka and Jared Kushner to move back to New York
How the Panama Papers’ secret network of offshore money was discovered – Marketplace.org
Mueller is zeroing in on Michael Flynn – Business Insider

 

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Alt-America and English Uprising review Trump, Brexit and the far right

Both David Neiwerts book on the US radical right and Paul Stockers on Brexit argue that economic factors take second place in explaining populismDonald Trump is US president because just under 80,000 people in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin flipped those states his way. Many of his extra voters were working-class white men who had voted for Obama in 2012 and switched because of Trumps pledge to bring jobs back to the rust belt. They may not have liked Obamas liberal policies on gay people and guns, but for them the big issue remained the economy.But Trump would not have won without the support of three other groups: his gains in suburban and rural counties outweighed Hillary Clintons success in the big cities; despite the reservations of the Republican establishment about his candidacy, Trump retained the partys base, particularly among religious voters (the three times married pussy-grabber won more than 80% of white evangelicals); and he energised a movement of supporters that gained him the Republican nomination, without which he wouldnt have got any votes at all.Continue reading…
Classified Israeli intel Trump disclosed to Russia revealed – Ynetnews
 


Ynetnews
Classified Israeli intel Trump disclosed to Russia revealed
Ynetnews 
… Trump boasted to Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Russian Ambassador to the United States Sergei Kislyak in a White House meeting about the his access to classified information. “I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel
 
Vanity Fair magazine reports new details on the ‘code-word’ Israeli intelligence President Trump shared with Russian officials, relating to a dangerous special ops mission by an IDF commando unit and the Mossad deep within enemy territory to collect
and more »
Seth Meyers Hilariously Imagines The Trump Family’s First Thanksgiving

As told by Donald Trump Jr.
Donald Trump Jr.’s Thanksgiving Conversation Starter Tips Spectacularly Backfire

“Thanks Obama!”
Donald Trump Jr.’s Thanksgiving Conversation Starter Tips Spectacularly Backfire – HuffPost
 


HuffPost
Donald Trump Jr.’s Thanksgiving Conversation Starter Tips Spectacularly Backfire
HuffPost
But the tweet, in which Trump Jr. appeared to be claiming credit on his father’s behalf for America’s economy, didn’t provoke the kind of response that he was likely expecting. Most respondents pointed out the same thing that it was his father’s and more »
Revealed: The highly sensitive Israeli intelligence on Isis that Donald Trump gave away to Russia – The Independent
 


The Independent
Revealed: The highly sensitive Israeli intelligence on Isis that Donald Trump gave away to Russia
The Independent
Details have emerged of the highly-classified Israeli intelligence revealed by Donald Trump to Russian officials earlier this year. The US President’s decision to spill the information during a meeting with foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was described 
Report: Trump Revealed Israeli Commando and Mossad Operation in Syria to RussiansHaaretz told Russian officials of Israeli operation in Syria in MayThe Jerusalem Post 
Trump divulged to Russia details of a daring Israeli raid in Syria reportThe Times of Israel 
Report: Trump told Russian officials of Israeli operation in Syria in MayThe Jerusalem Post
Ynetnews
all 16 all 11 

 news articles »

Weiner & El Chapo Thanksgiving Meal Comes Super Early – TMZ.com
 


TMZ.com
Weiner & El Chapo Thanksgiving Meal Comes Super Early
TMZ.com
Anthony Weiner and El Chapo won’t have to wait long to lick their chops for Thanksgiving … the prison meal’s served at lunch time. We did a little digging and found out Weiner and Chapo — serving time at Federal Medical Center and Metropolitan …
Hotlines inundated with trauma stories – Arkansas Online
 

Hotlines inundated with trauma stories
Arkansas Online
The first came after The Washington Post published video of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump bragging about groping women to the former host of Access Hollywood. The second came in October with the report of decades of sexual harassment and more »
8. Trump has flipped America’s partisan views on Russia – Axios
 

8. Trump has flipped America’s partisan views on Russia
Axios
Reproduced from a Nov. 9, 2017 Pew Research Center study. The partisan gap in the concerns of Americans about U.S.-Russian relations has widened and flipped since Trump was elected last year, per a Pew Research report. Democrats and Republicans and more »
Philadelphia Mayor Roasts Donald Trump: Our President Is A Bully And A Punk

“I dont know where he was raised, but his family didnt do a good job raising that guy,” said Jim Kenney.
Drugs, bullets and blood – gulfnews.com
 


gulfnews.com
Drugs, bullets and blood
gulfnews.com
Russian gained him the trust of the new oligarchs of organised crime who muscled and murdered their way into controlling criminal gangs across western Europe, and Dutch to work with the local mafia who control the flow of drugs and guns throughand more »
Don’t mention the war: Ukraine off the agenda at EU summit – Yahoo Singapore News
 


Yahoo Singapore News
Don’t mention the war: Ukraine off the agenda at EU summit
Yahoo Singapore News
The EU’s bid to deepen ties with six former Soviet states enters its latest round in Brussels on Friday with anxiety aboutRussian influence running higher than ever in the bloc. But with Russia and the war in eastern Ukraine off the official agendaand more »
Don’t mention the war: Ukraine off the agenda at EU summit – Digital Journal
 


Digital Journal
Don’t mention the war: Ukraine off the agenda at EU summit
Digital Journal
The EU’s bid to deepen ties with six former Soviet states enters its latest round in Brussels on Friday with anxiety aboutRussian influence running higher than ever in the bloc. But with Russia and the war in eastern Ukraine off the official agendaand more »
Why Steyer’s Campaign to Impeach Trump Unsettles Some Democrats – Wall Street Journal
 


Wall Street Journal
Why Steyer’s Campaign to Impeach Trump Unsettles Some Democrats
Wall Street Journal
California billionaire Tom Steyer is personally funding a $20 million advertising campaign calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump. The move is causing anxiety among lawmakerswithin the Democratic Party. Democratic leaders fear that …and more »
Dying to live long enough to see the end of Trump – Los Angeles Times
 


Los Angeles Times
Dying to live long enough to see the end of Trump
Los Angeles Times
I gave my husband a multiple-choice quiz the other night: Will the anxiety Trump generates: 1) have no effect on me, 2) kill me off sooner than expected, or 3) actually extend my life by inspiring me to hang around long enough to see him thrown out of
Palmer Report: Donald Trump tips off that he knows Robert Mueller is going to get him on financial crimes

Anyone who has been paying close attention has long known that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating Donald Trump for everything from obstruction of justice to conspiring with the Russians to rig the election. The bigger question has been whether Mueller would also investigate Trump’s long history of criminal financial deals. As per usual, Mueller has given no hint. However, Trump tipped off today that he knows Mueller is coming for his finances.Today, the Trump Organization officially pulled the plug on the Trump Soho hotel, announcing that it’s severing its financial relationship with the hotel, and that the “Trump” name will quickly be removed from the property. This is far from the first time in which Trump has walked away from an underperforming property. But this one is different. Of all the shady business deals Trump and his family have made over the decades, Trump Soho might be the dirtiest. It was arranged through a man named Felix Sater, who had been convicted for among other crimes money laundering in relation to the Russian mafia.It’s not difficult to see where this is going. Donald Trump is walking away from Trump Soho because he (or one of his kids or handlers, or whoever is calling the shots at this point) has figured out that the property is one of his greatest criminal liabilities. This comes just days after Trump announced that he’s shutting down his legally-troubled charitable foundation. That’s not a coincidence, and it’s far from the last shady financial venture that Trump will lop off from his empire as he tries to insulate himself from what he knows is coming.The trouble for Donald Trump: by now it’s too late. This is the equivalent of a speeder slowing down afterbeing spotted by the police car. Not only did Trump just tip off that he knows Robert Mueller is investigating his financial crimes, he also tipped off that he thinks Mueller is going to get him for it.The post Donald Trump tips off that he knows Robert Mueller is going to get him on financial crimesappeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Putin and the Russian Mafia – Google News: ‘Riot days’: Maria Alyokhina is fighting the power – Irish Examiner
 


Irish Examiner
‘Riot days’: Maria Alyokhina is fighting the power
Irish Examiner
I am living in Moscow with so many brave, smart, strong people who do not agree. We are here to show you that Russia is not represented only by Putin and the mafia state. She has no doubt that Russia sought to influence the Brexit vote. However, we

 Putin and the Russian Mafia – Google News

1. Trump Investigation – Mike Flynn from mikenova (9 sites): Mike Flynn – Google News: Grand jury in Russia probe expected to question witnesses about Mike Flynn associate: Report – Washington Examiner
 

Grand jury in Russia probe expected to question witnesses about Mike Flynn associate: Report
Washington Examiner
The grand jury convened by special counsel Robert Mueller will have the opportunity to interview witnesses about an associate of former national security adviser Mike Flynn stemming from the federal probe looking into whether the Trump campaign 

 Mike Flynn – Google News

 1. Trump Investigation – Mike Flynn from mikenova (9 sites)

trump in financial times – Google News: Trump Organization to exit SoHo hotel in New York – Financial Times
 


New York Times
Trump Organization to exit SoHo hotel in New York
Financial Times
In October of last year the Financial Times revealed Mr Sater had helped the family of Viktor Khrapunov, a former Kazakh minister now exiled in Switzerland, invest millions in US real estate through front companies. The Khrapunovs have spent heavily 
Trump Organization Will Exit From Its Struggling SoHo Hotel in New YorkNew York Times
Trumps Can Never Really Check Out of SoHo HotelBloombergall 34 news articles »

 trump in financial times – Google News

trump electorate – Google News: How will Trump presidency impact 2018 elections? – Chicago Tribune
 


Chicago Tribune
How will Trump presidency impact 2018 elections?
Chicago Tribune
Political party leaders are calculating how President Donald Trump‘s presidency and the gridlock between Illinois’ Republican governor and the Democrat-controlled legislature will influence DuPage and Kane county voters going into the 2018 midterm …

 trump electorate – Google News

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Facebook to show users if they ‘liked’ alleged Russian propaganda – Deutsche Welle
 


Deutsche Welle
Facebook to show users if they ‘liked’ alleged Russian propaganda
Deutsche Welle
Last month, Facebook representatives testified on the alleged Russia involvement before the US Senate Judiciary Committee. The lawmakers have since urged the social media companies to do more to confront the perceived Russian meddling. Some have …
Did You Like Russian Propaganda On Facebook Without Realizing?ValueWalk
Did you ‘like’ Russian propaganda? Facebook will clue you inThe Mercury News
Facebook will let users know if they were exposed to Russian propagandaWisconsin Gazette
Bustle –Washington Examiner –TPM –Bloomberg
all 98 news articles »

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

social media in trump campaign – Google News: Mueller is zeroing in on Michael Flynn – Business Insider
 


Business Insider
Mueller is zeroing in on Michael Flynn
Business Insider
Mueller is tasked with looking into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, as well as whether any members of President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Moscow to tilt the race in his favor. … Patrick Cotter, a former federal prosecutor whoand more »

 social media in trump campaign – Google News

Palmer Report: Donald Trump tells Ivanka and Jared Kushner to move back to New York

This summer, shortly after it was first revealed that Jared Kushner had secretly met with the Russian Ambassador and the head of a Russian bank during the transition period, he and Ivanka Trump floated a story to the press indicating that they had been considering moving back to New York anyway. That never did happen. But now the idea of them moving back home is being floated again and this time it’s coming from Donald Trump.Donald Trump and his allies are now clearly trying to pin the firing of FBI Director James Comey on Jared Kushner. Several people close to Trump are now telling the media that they witnessed Kushner pushing Trump to fire Comey in the hope of making the Trump-Russia investigation go away, which would constitute obstruction of justice. But the real bombshell is buried in the very last paragraph of a new Vanity Fair profile (link), which reveals that Trump wants his daughter and son-in-law to leave the White House and move back home.Even more notably, Kushner’s camp is now making sure the media knows that Trump is telling him and Ivanka to go home. Trump is telling Jared and Ivanka that they should abandon the White House because their reputations are “being damaged by negative press,” according to that same Vanity Fair profile. If Trump has merely been bluffing them on this, it appears Kushner is now calling that bluff.So what now? Donald Trump is clearly trying to scapegoat Jared Kushner in the hope of protecting himself from obstruction of justice charges. Kushner has reportedly been cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller by giving him documents relating Comey’s firing. Now we know that Trump is telling Jared (and Ivanka) to get out of his White House and move back to New York, and Jared is running to the press to tattle on him for it. Will they stay or will they go? This might be the worst episode of Family Feud ever, and as the criminal probe continues, it’s just getting started.The post Donald Trump tells Ivanka and Jared Kushner to move back to New York appeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

How the Panama Papers’ secret network of offshore money was discovered – Marketplace.org
 


Marketplace.org
How the Panama Papers’ secret network of offshore money was discovered
Marketplace.org
With last year’s Panama Papers, and more recently the Paradise Papers, the curtain has been lifted from the networks of banks, law firms and shell companies that move trillions of dollars around the world. Jake Bernstein was a senior reporter for the 
Budget: ‘Paradise Papers‘ impact sees HMRC given more powersInternational Investment
India: Paradise Papers Expose Tax EngineeringMondaq News Alerts
Elite CheatsAmerican Free Press
Netralnews –Spear’s WMS
all 14 news articles »
Mueller is zeroing in on Michael Flynn – Business Insider
 


Raw Story
Mueller is zeroing in on Michael Flynn
Business Insider
Special counsel Robert Mueller is looking into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s former business partner, Bijan Kian, NBC News reported, and it is likely a sign that the Russia investigation is steering towards Flynn’s activities 
Mueller investigating Flynn business associate Bijan Kian as part of Russia probe: reportRaw Storyall 9 news articles »
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8:33 AM 11/22/2017 – Who needs and needed this scandal and this affair, cui bono? Apparently, there is a very broad range of the parties involved and maybe much broader than we could imagine

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Fed-up Russian oligarchs seem ready to take down Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump both“, says Bill Palmer. 

With the one important and the very interesting for this valid hypothesis and scenario proviso: the Russian “oligarchs” (read: a bunch of shrewd criminals) grew in with the Russian Intelligence and Security Services into one monstrous and inseparable entity. So this question and issue could be reformulated with this fact in mind. The major logical trust remains the same: Who needs and needed this scandal and this affair, cui bono? Apparently, there is a very broad range of the parties involved and maybe much broader than we could imagine. 

Michael Novakhov

11.22.17

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services – Google Search
Russian oligarchs – Google Search
Google Image Result for http://www.therussianoligarchs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/RO.jpg
Fed-up Russian oligarchs seem ready to take down Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump both
Revealed: Robert Muellers probe into Trump and his cronies runs far deeper and wider than we ever imagined
Military Staff Removed From White House After ‘Incident’ On Trump’s Asia Trip: Report
How did 1917 change the west? – Open Democracy
Russia Wanted Trump As President And It Got Him. Now What Does America Do?
Mueller investigating Kushner’s communication with foreign leaders: report | TheHill
Mueller is turning up the heat on Jared Kushner – Business Insider
john kelly – Google Search
john kelly – Google Search
Palestinians Cut Donald Trump and Jared Kushner Contact After Closure of Washington Office
“KELLY HAS CLIPPED HIS WINGS: JARED KUSHNERS HORIZONS ARE COLLAPSIng – Google Search
“Kelly Has Clipped his Wings: Jared Kushners Horizons Are Collapsing within the West Wing
Mueller is turning up the heat on Jared Kushner
Mueller Investigating Kushner Foreign Contacts The Forward
Jared Kushner – Google Search
Kushner Worried Mueller’s Probe Would ‘Get’ President Trump – Newsweek
Mueller Investigating Kushner’s Contacts With Israeli Officials – Forward
US Navy plane carrying 11 crashes into Pacific Ocean off Japan – Washington Post
Russian baritone Hvorostovsky dies at 55 – The Washington Post
U.S. Navy plane carrying 11 crashes into Pacific Ocean off Japan, 8 rescued
Puerto Rico Economic Development Dept. promotes investment in medical cannabis market Caribbean Business
Countering Russian Information Operations in the Age of Social Media

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services – Google Search
 

mikenova shared this story from Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services – Google News.

Story image for Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services from MyPalmBeachPost

Be on lookout for Russians in submarine heading for Trump’s Mar-a …

MyPalmBeachPostNov 21, 2017
The yacht is owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich, the former … and sense of being falsely maligned by the U.S. intelligence services. … Which is why in the interest of national security, we all need to keep an eye …

Story image for Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services from The Atlantic

Gangsters of the Mediterranean

The AtlanticNov 10, 2017
At a time when Russian intelligence and criminal activities have become an … as deferential to Putin’s government as the oligarchs he helped create. … of Russian state power—running guns for the security services, killing …

Story image for Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services from Center for Research on Globalization

How British Ministers, Spies, Oligarchs, Bankers and Russian …

Center for Research on GlobalizationNov 14, 2017
Rifkind was then chair of the Commons intelligence and security … the Russian security services – and that the Conservative Friends of Russia …

Story image for Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services from Mother Jones

Note to Robert Mueller: Hope Hicks Was Part of the Cover-Up

Mother JonesNov 21, 2017
Two days after Donald Trump won the election, Russian Deputy Foreign … dumped the Democratic emails stolen by Russian intelligence. … Michael Flynn, Trump’s top national security adviser during the campaign, prior to Election Day. … race to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a tycoon close to Putin.

Story image for Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services from New York Times

From Utah, Secretive Help for a Russian Oligarch and His Jet

New York TimesNov 6, 2017
The work on behalf of Mr. Mikhelson, whose gas company is under United States … a back door for evading sanctions, intelligence officials or law enforcement. … “There are serious national security risks when the F.A.A. approves an aircraft … to learn that they had aided Mr. Mikhelson, the Russian oligarch.

Story image for Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services from The Guardian

How Trump walked into Putin’s web

The GuardianNov 15, 2017
The “diplomat” was a British intelligence officer. … In June 1991, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic elected a … A post-communist spy agency, the Federal Security Service, or FSB, had taken …. The Washington- and London-based firms worked for oligarchs litigating against other oligarchs.

Story image for Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services from The Cipher Brief

What Dirt Does Russia Have on You?

The Cipher BriefNov 5, 2017
Russian intelligence officials might clandestinely lure foreign … as then head of the Russian intelligence service, the Federal Security Service or FSB, … a Russian opposition leader, allegedly posing with the exiled oligarch, …

Story image for Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services from Daily Beast

Senate Dems Have Been Privately Investigating Russia’s Europe …

Daily BeastNov 8, 2017
Senate Dems Have Been Privately Investigating Russia’s Europe … how these efforts are led by the government’s security services and buttressed by state-owned enterprises, Kremlin-aligned oligarchs, and Russian criminal groups that have … including in the House and Senate intelligence committees.
Democrats Working on Independent Russia Probe
U.S. News & World ReportNov 8, 2017

Story image for Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services from Salon

“Secrecy World” enters the White House: What kind of person does …

Salon3 hours ago
According to a declassified intelligence assessment, Putin targeted Democrats and … The details about the illicit cash flows swirling around the Russian leader had … multiple business connections with Russian oligarchs closely allied to Putin. … Erdoğan had attacked his family’s company, Doğan Holding, …

Story image for Russian oligarchs and Russian Intelligence and Security Services from HuffPost

Jared Kushner Keeps Failing To Disclose Connections With Russians

HuffPostNov 5, 2017
… failed to disclose business ties to a Russian oligarch whose deep … Kushner failing to disclose contacts with Russians has become a familiar pattern. … from the federal form that he filled out to gain a high-level security clearance, … in July, when he met privately with the Senate Intelligence Committee, …
Russian oligarchs – Google Search
 

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Story image for Russian oligarchs from Newsweek

These Russian Oligarchs Are Making Donald Trump Rich

NewsweekNov 17, 2017
But that doesn’t mean that Russians aren’t investing in Trump. In fact, at least 63 Russian elites and oligarchs have invested around $100 …

Story image for Russian oligarchs from HuffPost

Birdwatching: The Russian Oligarch

HuffPostNov 20, 2017
Russian Oligarchs are exotic birds. Take for instance the Rybolovlev with its unique interests in potash and da Vinci. The Rybolovlev Trust is …

Story image for Russian oligarchs from Truthdig

The Democrats Used to Love Russian Oligarchs

TruthdigNov 17, 2017
It is the Democrats that have been in “collusion” with Russian oligarchs since the birth of that class out of the rubble of the Soviet collapse.

Story image for Russian oligarchs from The Hill (blog)

Russian oligarch docks yacht in Palm Beach ahead of Trump visit

The Hill (blog)Nov 18, 2017
A prominent Russian oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin has docked his 500-foot yacht in the Port of Palm Beach, just days …
Google Image Result for http://www.therussianoligarchs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/RO.jpg
 

mikenova shared this story .

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Fed-up Russian oligarchs seem ready to take down Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump both
 

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

For decades, Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs have been steadfastly loyal to each other for one reason and one reason only: money. He’s made them richer than they ever imagined, and they’ve made him the wealthiest man in the world. However, Putin screwed it all up when his reckless behavior brought costly sanctions against Russia. Now recent developments suggest the fed-up oligarchs may be ready to take down Putin and his puppet Donald Trump.

Not everyone following the Trump-Russia scandal fully grasps this, but it’s always been all about sanctions. The United States placed heavy sanctions against Russia in 2012 after Putin and his cronies murdered a Russian dissident named Sergei Magnitsky in 2009. Those sanctions have since personally cost Putin billions of dollars, and his oligarchs have all suffered financially from it as well. When Putin installed Donald Trump into the Oval Office, his primary goal was to get those sanctions lifted. Instead that plan has backfired, and the U.S. is enacting even harsher sanctions against Russia in retaliation for election meddling. That leads us to the events of this past week.

It all started when a pair of major British newspapers simultaneously ran stories claiming that Vladimir Putin is considering quitting in early 2018 so that he doesn’t have to undergo the rigors of running for reelection. These stories were both farces, because Putin has always rigged the elections he’s run in, and therefore he doesn’t need to go through any such rigors. But these two stories were planted in the media by someone. It had to have been done by the Russian oligarchs, and it had to have been for the purpose of letting Putin know that he’s on notice.

This week it was revealed that Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin spoke by phone for more than an hour on Tuesday, just ten days after they held a lengthy private meeting in Asia. This suggests they’re both in panic mode, and they’re trying to calibrate their emergency responses. If the oligarchs do decide to take Putin down in order to get the United States to ease Russian sanctions, they’ll take Trump down in the process as well. We could be looking at the Pee Pee Tape after all.

The post Fed-up Russian oligarchs seem ready to take down Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump bothappeared first on Palmer Report.

Revealed: Robert Muellers probe into Trump and his cronies runs far deeper and wider than we ever imagined
 

mikenova shared this story from Palmer Report.

For months, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s work in the Trump-Russia investigation has played out largely in the background. When it comes to the true scope and breadth of his probe, we’ve all had to wait for occasional clues to fall to us like dogs awaiting scraps from the table. However, every once in awhile a detail surfaces which helps fill in the gaps. This time around, that detail is so strikingly out of context that it shows this investigation to be vastly more sophisticated than even the most fervent of anti-Trump people were hoping.

For reasons known only to him, Robert Mueller is investigating the role that Donald Trump’s son-in-law played in a United Nations vote about Israel during the transition period, according to a new Wall Street Journal report (link). Good luck figuring out why, because there’s no context for this new revelation, and we’ve gotten nothing up to this point that would help us understand it. Simply put: Mueller knows things we don’t.

Whenever something has occasionally leaked from Mueller’s camp, it’s usually only because he strategically wants it to leak, and only after he already has a complete handle on the situation. In other words, he believes he already has Jared Kushner nailed on whatever supposed or alleged crime is involved with this United Nations vote and now he wants Kushner to know that he knows. The end goal here is to force Kushner to cut a deal against Donald Trump, and we’re now seeing this strategy play out.

Moreover, if Robert Mueller is taking this kind of ultra-comphrehensive approach to investigating and pursuing an underling like Kushner, it means he’s taking every bit as detailed of an approach when it comes to pursuing Donald Trump. In other words, by the time we see a headline about Mueller pursuing Trump for money laundering or conspiracy against the United States, it’ll mean that Mueller believes he already has Trump nailed on those crimes. This probe runs far deeper than we ever imagined and it’s progressed far ahead of where we thought.

The post Revealed: Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump and his cronies runs far deeper and wider than we ever imagined appeared first on Palmer Report.

Military Staff Removed From White House After ‘Incident’ On Trump’s Asia Trip: Report
 

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The Huffington PostMilitary Staff Removed From White House After ‘Incident’ On Trump’s Asia Trip: Report

How did 1917 change the west? – Open Democracy
 

mikenova shared this story from Putin and American political process – Google News.


Open Democracy
How did 1917 change the west?
Open Democracy
Failed utopias lead to the death of idealism, and the likes of Putin and Trump are symbols of this process. As we watch … Slipping into the first person reckoning with my place in the order of things allows me to admit another awkwardness that and more »

Russia Wanted Trump As President And It Got Him. Now What Does America Do?
 

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The Huffington PostRussia Wanted Trump As President And It Got Him. Now What Does America Do?

Mueller investigating Kushner’s communication with foreign leaders: report | TheHill
 

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Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team of investigators are looking into White House senior adviser and President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and his contact with foreign leaders, according to a new report.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller’s team is probing Kushner’s involvement in the controversy surrounding a U.N. resolution passed in December 2016 that condemned Israeli settlement construction.

Trump, who was president-elect at the time, called for the US to veto the resolution, saying the resolution was “extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

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The UN Security Council passed the resolution days later as the US abstained from vetoing it.

The Journal reports that Israeli officials reached out to several top officials involved in Trump’s transition, including Kushner and former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, and that Mueller’s probe is asking questions about those overtures.

Mueller’s investigators are also looking into Kushner’s role in setting up meetings and communication with foreign leaders during Trump’s transition, according to the Journal.

Earlier this month, it was reported that Kushner turned over documents to Mueller’s team as the special counsel began looking into his role in Trump’s decision to fire former FBI Director James Comey.

Kushner has repeatedly figured into the investigation into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election due to his presence at meetings last year with Russian officials and representatives. The Washington Post reported earlier this year that Mueller was looking into the Kushner’s business dealings and finances.

Kushner held two meetings with Russians in the month before Trump took office — one with former Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and another with Sergey Gorkov, the chairman of a state-owned Russian bank.

Kushner, alongside Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpO’Malley tells Dems not to fear Trump Right way and wrong way Five things to know about the elephant trophies controversy MORE Jr. and former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, also attended a meeting during the 2016 election at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on then-Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The senior adviser has also come under fire for repeatedly updating his security clearance disclosure form to include more than 100 names of foreign contacts he’s held meetings or had contact with.

Kushner has denied any wrongdoing or improper communications with Russia during the 2016 election.

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Mueller is turning up the heat on Jared Kushner
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Jared Kushner White House Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner arrives to address Congressional interns at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center July 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law …
Mueller investigating Kushner’s communication with foreign leaders: reportThe Hill
Kelly Has Clipped his Wings: Jared Kushner’s Horizons Are Collapsing within the West WingVanity Fair
Kushner Worried Mueller’s Probe Would ‘Get’ President TrumpNewsweek
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John Kelly’s folly

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Palestinians Cut Donald Trump and Jared Kushner Contact After Closure of Washington Office
 

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The Palestinians have severed all contacts with officials from the Trump administration after it decided to close their official representation in Washington, dealing a blow to any potential resurrection of peace talks with Israel.

Last week, the State Department declined to renew the permit for the office operated by the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington. The PLO is viewed in the international community as the official representative of the Palestinians.

“What is the use of holding any meetings with them when they close our office? Our meetings begin from our office, and the arrangements are there,” Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki told AFP news agency Tuesday.

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“In practice by closing the office they are freezing all meetings and we are making that official.”

The note sent by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday to official departments and embassies said that “any meeting with an American official is banned regardless of the reason until they back down and treat us fairly,” Bloomberg reported.

The decision means that no Palestinian official will be able to meet with President Donald Trump, his key Middle East adviser Jason Greenblatt, or his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, who has been tasked with trying to find a solution to the conflict, while the temporary freeze is in place.

A PLO official and an official in Abbas’ office were not available for comment. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office declined to comment on the reports. A State Department official, not authorized to comment publicly on the matter, told Newsweek in an email, “We continue to be in contact with Palestinian officials about the status of the PLO office in Washington as well as about our larger efforts to advance a lasting and comprehensive peace. These discussions are ongoing.”

In this handout image provided by the Palestinian Press Office, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) meets with Jared Kushner, senior adviser to President Donald Trump in Ramallah, West Bank, on June 21. Thaer Ghanaim/PPO via Getty

The justification for closing the office is that the Palestinians are threatening to submit cases to the International Criminal Court (ICC) about Israel and alleged war crimes.

Rights groups have condemned what they say is the Palestinians’ right to seek an ICC decision on Israel’s conduct during the seven-week 2014 Gaza War, in which its forces were accused of not taking adequate measures to protect civilian live. More than 2,200 Palestinians were killed in the ground invasion and aerial bombing of the territory known as Operation Protective Edge. Israel says many of those killed were militants.

“The U.S. threat to close the PLO’s mission in Washington as punishment for seeking justice at the ICC makes any U.S. commitment to justice for serious crimes seem at best selective,” said Omar Shakir, the rights group’s researcher on the conflict.

“Ongoing impunity for such crimes during Israel’s 50-year-occupation stands as a major barrier to a durable, just peace. The Trump administration should stop pressuring Palestine to abandon support for a credible, long overdue path to justice.”

Trump, who has said he wants to strike the “ultimate deal” in negotiating a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians after decades of conflict, now has 90 days to decide if “the Palestinians have entered into direct, meaningful negotiations with Israel,” and perform a U-turn on the decision to close the office.

Trump and his advisers have reportedly begun work on a Middle East peace plan that seeks to end years of stalemate in part fueled by Israel’s continued military occupation of parts of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and the Palestinian failure to recognize Israel as a Jewish state in nature, as well as what Israel says is incitement for attacks against Jews.

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“Kelly Has Clipped his Wings: Jared Kushners Horizons Are Collapsing within the West Wing
 

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Kushner and Kelly walk along the South Lawn on August 3, 2017.

By Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images.

When Donald Trump appointed John Kelly as chief of staff in July, the four-star Marine general arrived with a mandate to bring order to a freewheeling West Wing. Gone are the days of staffers waltzing into the Oval Office to lobby the president on policy or supply him with gossip. Trump still tweets, of course, but for the most part Kelly’s cleanup has been successful, according to interviews with a half dozen Trump advisers, current and former West Wing officials, and Republicans close to the administration. The aide who has ceded the most influence in the Kelly era, these people said, is Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. “Kelly has clipped his wings,” one high-level Republican in frequent contact with the White House told me.

It’s perhaps hard to remember now, but it wasn’t long ago when Trump handed Kushner a comically broad portfolio that included plans to reinvent government, reform the V.A., end the opioid epidemic, run point on China, and solve Middle East peace. But since his appointment, according to sources, Kelly has tried to shrink Kushner’s responsibilities to focus primarily on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. And even that brief appears to be creating tensions between Kushner and Kelly. According to two people close to the White House, Kelly was said to be displeased with the result of Kushner’s trip to Saudi Arabia last month because it took place just days before 32-year-old Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salmanarrested 11 Saudi royals, including billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin TalalThe Washington Post reportedthat Kushner and M.B.S., as the prince is known, stayed up till nearly 4 a.m. “planning strategy,” which left Kelly to deal with the impression that the administration had advance knowledge of the purge and even helped orchestrate it, sources told me. (Asked about this, Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded, in part: “Chief Kelly and Jared had a good laugh about this inquiry as nothing in it is true.”)

Where this all leaves Kushner in Trump’s ever-changing orbit is a topic that’s being discussed by Republicans close to the White House. During Kelly’s review of West Wing operations over the summer, the chief of staff sought to downsize Kushner’s portfolio, two sources said. In the early days of the administration, sometimes with the help of a small cadre of Ivy League whiz kids who staff his Office of American Innovation, Kushner dreamed up scores of business “councils” that would advise the White House. “The councils are gone,” one West Wing official told me. With some of their purview being whittled away, “they seem lost,” the official added.

As Kushner’s Russia troubles mount—last Friday the Senate disclosed that he had not turned over e-mails about WikiLeaks, a claim his attorney, Abbe Lowell, denied—insiders are again speculating, as my colleague Emily Jane Fox reported last month, about how long Kushner and Ivanka Trump will remain in Washington. Despite Kushner’s efforts to project confidence about Robert Mueller’s probe, he expressed worry after the indictments of Paul Manafort and Rick Gates about how far the investigation could go. “Do you think they’ll get the president?” Kushner asked a friend, according to a person briefed on the conversation.

According to two Republicans who have spoken with Trump, the president has also been frustrated with Kushner’s political advice, including his encouragement to back losing Alabama G.O.P. candidate Luther Strange and to fire F.B.I. Director James Comey, which Kushner denies. (For what it’s worth, Kushner’s choice of Strange prevented Trump from the embarrassment of inadvertently supporting Roy Moore.) Trump, according to three people who’ve spoken to him, has advocated for Jared and Ivanka to return to New York in part because they are being damaged by negative press. “He keeps pressuring them to go,” one source close to Kushner told me. But as bad as the Russia investigation may be, it’s not clear a New York homecoming would be much better for Kushner, given that his family’s debt-ridden office tower at 666 Fifth Avenue could be headed for bankruptcy.

This article has been updated to include a comment from the White House.

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Mueller is turning up the heat on Jared Kushner
 

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Jared KushnerWhite House Senior Advisor to the President Jared Kushner arrives to address Congressional interns at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center July 31, 2017 in Washington, DC. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has reportedly landed in Mueller’s crosshairs.
  • Mueller’s team has begun to question witnesses about some of Kushner’s conversations and meetings with foreign leaders during the transition.
  • Investigators are also homing in on Kushner’s role in pushing Trump to fire former FBI Director James Comey in May.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is turning up the heat on President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, as he examines potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, and whether Trump obstructed justice when he fired FBI Director James Comey in May.

Mueller’s team has reportedly questioned witnesses about some of Kushner’s conversations and meetings with foreign leaders during the transition, when he famously hosted former Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak at Trump Tower and asked whether it would be possible to set up a backchannel line of communication to Moscow.

Kislyak then orchestrated a meeting between Kushner and the CEO of Russia’s Vnesheconombank, Sergei Gorkov, who was appointed by Russian President Vladimir Putin in January 2016 as part of a restructuring of the bank’s management team, Bloomberg reported last year.

The Kremlin and the White House have provided conflicting explanations for why Kushner met with Gorkov. Reuters reported earlier this year that the FBI is examining whether Gorkov suggested to Kushner that Russian banks could finance Trump associates’ business ventures if US sanctions were lifted or relaxed.

Federal investigators are also examining Kushner’s role in blocking a UN resolution that would have condemned Israel for building settlements in disputed territories, according to The Wall Street Journal, and whether Kushner advised Trump to fire Comey last spring. Kushner reportedly gave Mueller’s team documents related to Comey’s firing earlier this month.

Four people told The Journal that Kushner “pushed” Trump to fire the former FBI director in conversations with the president and his top advisers. His lawyer, Abbe Lowell, downplayed Kushner’s involvement.

“When the president made the decision to fire FBI Director Comey, Mr. Kushner supported it,” Lowell said in a statement.

Kushner has come under heightened scrutiny since last week, when the Senate Judiciary Committee said he forwarded emails about a “Russian backdoor overture and dinner invite” to Trump campaign officials and failed to produce those emails to lawmakers investigating Russia’s election interference.

Additional emails that he failed to turn over, according to the committee, involved communication with the anti-secrecy agency WikiLeaks and with a Belarusian-American businessman named Sergei Millian. Millian most recently headed a group called the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce.

The Journal reported in September that members of Trump’s legal team wanted Kushner to resign from his position as a senior adviser because of his controversial meetings with Russian nationals during the election and his initial failure to disclose them on his security clearance form.

Kushner has had to revise the form several times, at one point adding more than 100 foreign contacts that he initially failed to disclose. He still does not have a permanent security clearance, which experts say is rare for a senior official who has been in the White House for nearly a year.

They began pushing for his ouster when they became aware of Kushner’s attendance at a meeting organized by his brother-in-law Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower last June with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin. Kushner was the only one at the meeting who currently holds a White House job.

One of Trump’s main lawyers in the probe, John Dowd, told The Journal that he “didn’t agree” with some of his colleagues’ view that Kushner should resign.

“I thought it was absurd,” Dowd said. “I made my views known.”

In an 11-page statement provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee in late July detailing his Russian contacts during the campaign and transition period, Kushner said he “did not recall” the meeting with Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin until he began “reviewing documents and emails in response to congressional requests for information.”

Mueller Investigating Kushner Foreign Contacts The Forward
 

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Investigators employed by special counsel Robert Mueller are looking into presidential adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner’s conversations with Israeli officials during the presidential transition process, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

Last December, the Obama administration chose not to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution that was critical of Israeli settlement construction. In the run-up to that vote, Israeli leaders reportedly made contact with several top Trump officials, including Kushner and Steve Bannon, in order to get Trump to help stop either the vote or the Obama administration’s plan not to veto it. Those contacts are the one of the subjects of Mueller’s line of inquiry, the Journal reported.

Kushner, whom President Trump charged with forging an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, is known to be close with Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who once slept in Kushner’s childhood bedroom.

Mueller’s team is reportedly also looking at Kushner’s role in setting up other meetings and discussions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition, as well as his role in the firing of FBI director James Comey.

Kushner encouraged Trump to fire Comey, according to multiple reports. The president reportedly now blames him for giving him that advice, which ultimately lead to Mueller’s appointment.

While inquiries about the Israeli government may seem far removed from Mueller’s mandate to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Journal noted that “investigators typically ask a host of questions over the course of a probe, and inquiries don’t necessarily indicate suspicion. Mr. Kushner figures into several events that Mr. Mueller is investigating, including a June 2016 meeting with a Kremlin-linked lawyer at Trump Tower” — which Kushner originally failed to disclose on his security clearance forms.

Contact Aiden Pink at pink@forward.com or on Twitter, @aidenpink

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Mueller is turning up the heat on Jared Kushner

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Kushner Worried Mueller’s Probe Would ‘Get’ President Trump – Newsweek
 

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Kushner Worried Mueller’s Probe Would ‘Get’ President Trump
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Jared Kushner was worried about his father-in-law, President Donald Trump, reportedly asking a friend about the ongoing Russia probe: Do you think they’ll get the president? The businessman and adviser to the president was reportedly concerned about …
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Mueller Investigating Kushner’s Contacts With Israeli Officials
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Investigators employed by special counsel Robert Mueller are looking into presidential adviser/son-in-law Jared Kushner’s conversations with Israeli officials during the presidential transition process, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Last 
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TOKYO A U.S. Navy aircraft carrying 11 crew and passengers crashed into the Pacific Ocean southeast of the Japanese island of Okinawa on Wednesday afternoon, the 7th Fleet said. The aircraft was traveling to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, …
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Russian baritone Hvorostovsky dies at 55 – The Washington Post
 

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November 22 at 3:37 AM

MOSCOW — Russian baritone Dmitri Hvorostovsky has died after a long battle with cancer. He was 55.

Hvorostovsky’s office said in a statement Wednesday that the acclaimed singer “died peacefully” earlier and was “surrounded by family” near his home in London.

“May the warmth of his voice and his spirit always be with us,” the statement said.

Diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2015, the beloved Russian baritone had all but given up live performances. In June, the Vienna State Opera announced that he had cancelled all upcoming performances.

Hvorostovsky made an unscheduled appearance in front of a rapturous audience at Metropolitan Opera in New York in May to perform an aria from Rigoletto, one of his trademark parts.

U.S. Navy plane carrying 11 crashes into Pacific Ocean off Japan, 8 rescued
 

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Puerto Rico Economic Development Dept. promotes investment in medical cannabis market Caribbean Business
 

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SAN JUAN – Puerto Rico Economic Development Secretary Manuel Laboy announced Monday that the island was presented to some 14,000 “world leaders” of the medicinal cannabis market as an ideal investment destination.

The island’s pitch was given during the sixth annual Marijuana Business Conference & Expo, a major industry event, held this year in Las Vegas.

“The medical cannabis industry survived Hurricane María. This puts this industry in a privileged position, and at DDEC [Spanish acronym for the Economic Development & Commerce Department] we believe we had to let the world know. Therefore, through the Puerto Rico Medical Cannabis Association [PRMCA] we backed a commercial mission to present Puerto Rico as an investment destination and an ideal international market for medicinal cannabis,” Laboy said in a written statement.

Puerto Rico Medicinal Cannabis Assoc. working with gov’t to explore hemp’s potential

“This effort also served to demonstrate to the pioneers and connoisseurs of this market, who gathered to discuss the latest trends in the industry, that Puerto Rico is up, strengthened and ready to develop this industry so it represents opportunities for the country’s economic growth, generates jobs and provides alternatives for medical treatment to so many patients who need relief from their chronic conditions,” the official added.

Laboy Rivera said that after Hurricane María, the cannabis market, like other industries, faced challenges to be able to conserve crops and continue distribution, as well as working on an ecosystem that involves manufacturing, cultivation, laboratories, dispensaries and education.

“It is extremely important and necessary to deliver the message that Puerto Rico has taken measures to protect the industry and is doing everything necessary to continue developing it at the highest level of quality and competitiveness,” the secretary said.

He added that, during the event, funds were also raised to subsidize the cost of medicine for patients registered in the Medical Cannabis Program in Puerto Rico and to have new patients join it free of cost.

The effort is supported by celebrities such as Montel Williams, a multiple sclerosis patient and Emmy-winning TV personality who, through his LenitivLabs, established a fundraising alliance with the PRMCA.

Puerto Rico revenue projections from medical cannabis called ‘very optimistic’

“We have the ecosystem ready to continue with the production of medicinal cannabis to supply local demand and forge alliances with international business people, which will result in new investments for Puerto Rico. This industry has many opportunities to continue growing, develop new businesses related to this activity and become a significant source of jobs for the country,” PRMCA President Ingrid Schmidt said.

According to PRMCA estimates, the cannabis industry in Puerto Rico has generated more than $35 million for the economy and more than 1,000 direct and indirect jobs in its short development period.

According to Health Department reports, there are about 12,000 PRMCA-registered patients, who are being treated for epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, anxiety disorder, fibromyalgia, arthritis and cancer, among other conditions.

Countering Russian Information Operations in the Age of Social Media
 

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As investigations into attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election continue, more aspects of Russia’s approach to information warfare are coming to light. A steady stream of new disclosures is revealing a complex blend of hacking, public disclosures of private emails, and use of bots, trolls, and targeted advertising on social media designed to interfere in political processes and heighten societal tensions.

Moscow’s hostile actions are driven by the belief that Russia is already in a state of conflict with the West, led by the United States, and that the internet is a domain for waging this conflict. From the earliest stages of the internet’s development, Russia has held a starkly different view from the West of its benefits and its potential. Russia’s national security establishment immediately saw connectivity as a threat and a potential weapon—and eventually as one that could help achieve regime change and deprive a country of its sovereignty—rather than as an enabler of economic development.

The organization of Russia’s information-warfare capabilities, which include cyber operators, media outlets, and false flag entities, is shrouded in secrecy. In the West, generally only the intelligence community has a clear picture of how Russian capabilities are directed. Barring the sudden appearance of a Russian counterpart to Edward Snowden, the only view into Russia’s information toolbox is provided by cybersecurity companies and criminal prosecutions. The picture is further muddied because the Russian government keeps many of its cyberwarfare actors at arm’s length by employing contractors and former criminals through middlemen, giving Moscow a degree of deniability if caught.

Nevertheless, both Western governments and private industry can take steps to mitigate Russian influence operations. Western governments should swiftly and decisively denounce Russian information activities as soon as they are identified, and their counterintelligence agencies should identify quantitative means to measure the effectiveness of Russia’s methods. Social media companies should more aggressively police their platforms for malicious state-sponsored content, and they should work with news organizations to promote verified and fact-checked content on their platforms.

Background

Russia’s long-standing, overall foreign policy objective is to weaken adversaries, particularly countries on its periphery, those in NATO, and the United States, by any means available, and its information warfare targets social cohesion and political systems toward this aim. During the twentieth century, the Soviet Union exploited freedom of expression in the West by planting and spreading fake news stories. In the last decade, the rise of social media has made this task vastly simpler. And at least since 2016, Moscow has also exploited the sophisticated advertising networks used by legitimate companies and political campaigns to precisely target audiences for disinformation.

Russia worked toward this objective during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, when Russian agents combined technical and psychological measures to sway U.S. voters away from Hillary Clinton and toward Donald J. Trump. Hackers obtained documents and selectively released them to embarrass the Clinton campaign, while their carefully targeted social media operations denigrated Clinton and boosted the Trump agenda.

Russia attempted similar campaigns during the French election in May 2017, but a forewarned French government and media meant that the activities met with only limited technical success and had no significant bearing on the election result. French law prohibits candidates from campaigning and the media from quoting candidates or campaign officials within forty-four hours of a presidential vote. That prevented the French media from disclosing the contents of emails leaked from Emmanuel Macron’s campaign in the hours before the vote. French media users also tend to get their news from traditional outlets rather than social media, which further limited the leak’s effectiveness.

It is harder to discern whether or how Russia meddled in the German elections in September 2017. One possible explanation is that after the French experience, Russia chose not to interfere in Germany; another is that Russia did attempt to interfere, but the techniques used were more subtle and are not yet fully understood. (Many of the implements used in the U.S. election are only becoming widely known a year after the event.) But even if Russia’s potential election manipulation is unsuccessful or entirely absent, just its suggestion is enough to cause uncertainty and doubt about the democratic process and hence meet Russia’s objectives.

Russian attempts to sow discord are not confined to elections. Attempts to meddle in U.S. internal affairs have continued since the election. Most recently, Russian internet trolls published divisive messages on social media in response to the controversy over NFL players’ kneeling during the national anthem. According to the research group Alliance for Securing Democracy, more than six hundred Russian-backed accounts promoted hashtags aimed at fueling the debate.

The digital processing of personal data, including browsing history and consumer spending, enables anyone to precisely target selected groups and individuals by geographic location and socioeconomic status. In particular, malicious actors are able to show contradictory messages to different groups of users, categorized by political, ethnic, religious, or demographic characteristics, in order to play on existing tensions within target societies. Information is slowly emerging about the extent to which this method was employed by Russian-linked entities during and after the U.S. presidential election, but its overall effect remains unclear.

Cyber-enabled disinformation can have a measurable objective and effect. One method is for hackers to insert false reports in genuine media outlets. For example, in May 2017, a malicious actor suspected to be from Russia compromised the website of a Qatari state media outlet to attribute to the emir of Qatar remarks praising Iran. This triggered a diplomatic row between Qatar and its neighbors.

Challenges

The social media ecosystem provides an ideal environment for hostile information campaigns. The more incendiary the information is, the more likely it is to go viral. Many users have lost trust in established news outlets, and they tend to consume information that affirms, rather than informs, their views.

Russia has no need to create new divisions in target societies when it can exploit already-existing fault lines. For example, Russian-backed efforts amplified the controversy about the NFL and the national anthem by promoting the most divisive and extreme voices in the debate. Now, as during the Cold War, the strongest defense against malign Russian influence is to identify the divisions and social ills that provide Russia with leverage. Remedies to these problems are complex and require significant resources and time. However, the Trump administration has shown little interest in confronting Russian cyber operations, and the president himself is actively engaged in the divisive use of social media.

Western states also depend on multinational corporations to constrain information warfare operations. Immediately after the election, Google, Facebook, Twitter, and other tech companies denied that their services could have been manipulated by disinformation campaigns. More recently, though, they have acknowledged the scope of Russian operations and have been working with third parties to flag fake news, and they have rolled out technological fixes to counter disinformation and provided limited data on the source of advertisement purchases. Critics in the media and Congress have argued that these companies’ responses have been “frankly inadequate on almost every level” and are unlikely to succeed.

Recommendations

Although the Trump administration seems unlikely to pursue action against Russian information operations, there are steps the U.S. Congress and other governments should consider.

Awareness of the challenge of Russian information warfare is the most potent defense against it. Western nations were initially slow to respond to the multifaceted nature of Russia’s developing online capabilities. The focus in the West was almost exclusively on countering technical threats delivered through cyberspace, such as economic crime, espionage, and attacks on critical infrastructure. This approach neglected the additional capabilities that Russia was building up in other areas of information warfare.

More recently in Europe, however, increasing awareness of the threat has enabled society, media, and governments to put appropriate defenses in place. In Germany, public awareness and interest in hostile information operations had been aroused by the “Lisa” case, in which Russia attempted to stoke anti-immigrant sentiment. The media blackout in France helped blunt the effect of Russia’s interference in the presidential election; but Macron’s campaign was also aware of Russia’s attempts to influence the outcome and took countermeasures. Leaders in other Western nations should be open and outspoken about the nature of the challenge, as doing so has been shown to be highly effective in raising public awareness and decreasing potential targets’ susceptibility to information operations.

Another essential step to countering information warfare is for governments targeted by Russian influence operations to develop a metric of damage that acknowledges a range of objectives, including influencing elections. Countries including the United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom have made little visible effort to quantify the success and effectiveness of Russia’s subversion and disinformation campaigns. This raises the risk that targeted governments could misdirect resources and countermeasures against ineffective threats that could reasonably be simply monitored, while overlooking other threats that could cause actual harm.

Once harmful information operations are identified, targeted states should quickly denounce them, both to minimize their effectiveness and to deter other actors that might want to conduct Russian-style operations. Policymakers should also warn other states tempted to combine cyberattacks with social media manipulation that exposure and response will be much more rapid and effective than they were in the 2016 election.

On computers, antivirus software monitors the integrity of critical systems and processes, assessing whether they have been affected by malicious data introduced from outside. Governments should develop an analogous system of identifying sources of misinformation and mapping how they influence online discourse and public opinion. This would allow them to properly assess any effect of Russian subversion on public debate. While the government agency that would conduct this monitoring would vary among countries, in each case the security and counterintelligence agencies responsible for protecting the security and integrity of state systems would need to provide support. The costs involvedin implementing such measures would be a disincentive for any Western government, but they should be weighed against the costs of the loss of political legitimacy, integrity, or, indeed, sovereignty.

Social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook have an important role to play in mitigating the effects of Russian messaging, but their primary objective is generating profits, not defending Western political systems. Attempts to introduce legislation or regulations to restrict online speech, even if they were targeted at Russian disinformation and trolls, could mirror Russian constraints on free expression and could be interpreted as running counter to the values Western societies seek to defend. Nevertheless, tech platforms have an interest in taking firm steps to prevent, for example, the hijacking of profiles of legitimate organizations and individuals for the purpose of disinformation. They also have an interest in cooperating with Western intelligence agencies, as this could provide them with greater understanding of how their systems are abused to systematically deceive their users, as well as of software bugs and other technical vulnerabilities in their products.

To address the specific problem of disinformation, social media companies should continue partnering with journalists and fact-checkers to build trust, even though this is only effective for media-literate users who take the time and effort to assess the legitimacy of sources. The extent that governments can guide such efforts will vary among countries, depending on their constitutional systems and media cultures. In the United States, for instance, the First Amendment greatly limits what the U.S. government can do to vet online media. But where government action is permissible, national media bodies, such as the United Kingdom’s Independent Press Standards Organization and the Office of Communications, should implement proposals for an open review and verification system for online media with the aim of establishing a gold standard for fact-checking and objectivity. Whichever approach countries choose to take, they should recognize that any anti-disinformation system needs protection against the same kind of gaming and abuse as any other open forum to which Russia has access.

To combat the particular challenge of how human psychology is exploited by social media disinformation, governments’ responses should be as interesting as the fake news they are countering. Simple explanations that a particular piece of news is false are not sufficient to engage target audiences. Countermeasures should focus not on fact-checking but on the deceit—emphasizing that people were conned—and, like the original disinformation, should appeal to readers’ emotions rather than their rationality, in order to be effective.

Russian information operations pose a difficult but not insurmountable challenge to targeted governments. But countermeasures should be flexible and adaptable: any success in countering Moscow’s operations will invariably cause the Kremlin to deploy new capabilities. If defenders are not prepared to be alert and agile, they will once more be taken by surprise.

This Cyber Brief is part of the Digital and Cyberspace Policy programThe Council on Foreign Relations takes no institutional positions on policy issues and has no affiliation with the U.S. government. All views expressed in its publications and on its website are the sole responsibility of the author or authors.

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10:44 AM 11/21/2017 – “Merkel caput!”: All this Kafkaesque – Bulgakovian “The Dance of the Kapitalist Demons” acquires the contours more of the Grand Leftist Plot rather than the Rightist one, implied in its Putinistic origins – By Michael Novakhov 

Merkel caput!

All this Kafkaesque – Bulgakovian “The Dance of the Kapitalist Demons” acquires the contours more of the Grand Leftist Plot rather than the Rightist one, implied in its Putinistic origins – By Michael Novakhov

The coming Great World Revolution of 2018 (“1917 + 100” version): The Ruling Kapitalists: Trump, Merkel, Putin – caput! China smiles, and the European left too. Putin wears the mask of the Byzantine saint but looks more and more like the Tatar, of the questionable Ryazan origins. Trump tries hard to be a good boy and to act “Presidential”, whatever it is: maybe they will allow him some chocolate in prison as a reward for the good behavior. Merkel, more mysterious than ever, looks like she wants to scratch her long-suffering Germanic ass, but cannot do this because it would be non-World-Chancellarian. 

All this Kafkaesque – Bulgakovian phantasmagoric “The Dance of the Kapitalist Demons” acquires the contours more of the Grand Leftist Plot rather than, or “masquerading” as the Rightist one, which is implied in its Putinistic origins theory. Some would also call it “Trump – The Obama Operation, Part 2”. 

But it is always hard to know, and the affair might be mixed too, in accordance with our decadent promiscuous mores and the rotten age. You have to blame something. Or someone, at least. Then everything becomes so cogent, logical, and clear, and easy to understand, publish, print, distribute, produce, and most importantly, to sell. Then it “re-a-h-l-ly” starts making some rotten sense. Just like in our collective psycho-sexual desires, taboos, complexes, and the televised obsessions. 

Michael Novakhov 

10:44 AM 11/21/2017 

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The collapse of talks reflected the deep reluctance of Ms. Merkel’s conservative bloc and prospective coalition partners — the ecologist-minded Greens and pro-business Free Democrats — to compromise over key positions. The Free Democrats quit the talks late Sunday, citing what they called an atmosphere of insincerity and mistrust.

“There is no coalition of the willing to form a government,” said Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, director of the Berlin office of the German Marshall Fund. “This is uncharted territory since 1949. We’re facing a protracted period of political immobility. Not only is this not going to go away soon, there is no clear path out.”

Calling new elections is not a straightforward procedure in Germany. Written with the unstable governments of the 1920s and 1930s and collapse of the Weimar Republic in mind, the German Constitution includes several procedural hurdles that would ensure a prolonged and difficult process.

Some were quick to link Germany’s disorder to a broader crisis of democracy in the West. “The unthinkable has happened,” said Christiane Hoffmann, deputy head of the Berlin bureau of Der Spiegel, a German magazine. In that sense, she said, “This is Germany’s Brexit moment, its Trump moment.”

Others said Germany’s troubles were in many ways just a sign that the country was becoming more normal, not less. Having had only four chancellors since 1982, the country has known only a string of centrist governments that governed by consensus.

The crisis erupted seven weeks after the last election, which brought the right-wing Alternative for Germany, or AfD, into Parliament, and in some ways represented the return of politics to a country long deprived of debate and policy disagreements.

“It’s just another step in the long learning of democracy of Germany since World War II, going from a very stable proportional system to something more messy,” said Henrik Enderlein, dean of the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin.

The bigger question, he said, was whether Ms. Merkel’s pragmatic governing style had reached its limit in an era where people crave the clash of a wider spectrum of policies. “Her über-pragmatism is reaching its end,” he said. “It’s hard to see a scenario where she returns to her previous position of power.”

Ms. Merkel met in private on Monday with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who as head of state is charged with trying to break the deadlock in coalition talks. He could appoint a chancellor to lead a minority government or, failing that, set in motion the process for new elections.

The potential for instability in Germany would be a major blow to the European Union. Ms. Merkel has been the region’s dominant political figure of the past decade, credited with guiding the bloc through the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis and, more recently, providing a powerful counterpoint to populists across the Continent and beyond.

Financial markets reacted calmly to the turmoil in Berlin, calculating that the German economy could power through the uncertainty. After opening lower, the DAX index of major stocks closed the day higher. The euro fell slightly.

But some economists warned that the longer-term effects could be more severe. A weak government might be unable to agree on needed improvements to infrastructure and the education system, for example.

“The economic situation is very good,” Christoph M. Schmidt, chairman of the German Council of Economic Experts, said in a statement. “But over the mid and long term there are big challenges, especially the demographic shift, digitalization, sensible development of the European Union, and climate change.”

The political instability stems from the elections in Germany on Sept. 24, when Ms. Merkel’s Christian Democrats finished first. But their share of the overall vote dropped significantly, while the far-rightAlternative for Germany scored a record vote, entering Parliament for the first time as the third-biggest grouping.

Even so, political analysts had expected Ms. Merkel to form a new coalition government that would have allowed her to remain as chancellor. That may still happen, but it will be harder now, and it is unlikely to happen soon, experts say.

Elsewhere in Europe, the possibility of a weakened Ms. Merkel and of an inward-looking Germany alarmed some leaders. The chancellor canceled a meeting in Berlin with Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands. In Paris, President Emmanuel Macron of France said that Ms. Merkel’s difficulties were a serious hurdle to the partnership between their two countries.

France has “no interest in a worsening of the situation” in Germany, Mr. Macron said in a statement on Monday. “Our wish is that our main partner, for the sake of Germany and Europe, remains strong and stable, so that we can move forward together,” he added.

Even if Ms. Merkel’s problems leave Mr. Macron as Europe’s de facto strongest leader — with weak domestic opposition in France, a strengthening economy, and a good record so far on driving through economic overhauls — the French president had been counting on Ms. Merkel as an ally in his push to make changes to the European Union.

Mr. Macron will be aware that his agenda for the bloc, which includes a common defense force, a strengthened euro, and a joint finance minister, stands no chance without German backing.

Ms. Merkel had originally set Friday as the deadline for reaching an agreement with the Free Democrats, the Greens, and the Christian Social Union, which forms a conservative bloc with the chancellor’s Christian Democrats. From the outset, all of those parties had differed markedly on key issues, notably migration and climate policies, resulting in strained talks that led to open sniping.

After they agreed to take talks into overtime, negotiators and party leaders failed to produce any breakthroughs over the weekend, and the Free Democrats quit the talks.

Ms. Merkel could try to approach the Social Democrats about forming another grand coalition. But the center-left party has served as the junior coalition partner to the Christian Democrats since 2013 and on Monday, the party’s leader, Martin Schulz, said his group had no interest in another round.

As for new elections, the president can set the process in motion by proposing Ms. Merkel as chancellor, which would be put to a vote in Parliament.

If Ms. Merkel were to win a majority in the first round of voting, the president could then name her as chancellor. If not, lawmakers would vote again, within 14 days.

If Ms. Merkel failed to win a majority in a second vote, then lawmakers would vote a third time and the candidate with the most votes would win. At that point, the president could name that person chancellor or simply dissolve the Parliament and order new elections, which would take place within 60 days.

But there is no guarantee that elections would improve the situation: Recent opinion polls predict that a new vote would bring little change, compared to the result in September. A Forsa poll released last week showed Ms. Merkel’s conservatives at 32 percent, the Social Democrats on 20 percent, the Free Democrats at 12 percent, the Greens 10 percent and the AfD 12 percent.

Some worry that the AfD could benefit from the current chaos and increase its share of the vote. But even if it did, that share remains far below that of populist movements in other countries.

“Germany is not leaving the E.U. and it did not elect Donald Trump,” said Mr. Kleine-Brockhoff. “It was unable to form a government on its first attempt. That’s bad. It causes instability. But it’s not the end of the world.”

Correction: November 20, 2017An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the right-wing party that won seats in the September parliamentary elections. It is Alternative for Germany, not Alliance for Democracy.

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Most people have heard of Ivanka and Jared, but the first family is far from the only group of relatives staffing the Trump administration.

A Daily Beast examination of public records reveals that there are at least 20 families, joined by either blood or marriage, in which multiple members hold some federal post or appointment. They include the families of some of Trump’s most prominent campaign supporters and agency officials, including one cabinet officer. The posts range from senior White House staff to more ceremonial and advisory positions.

A few of the most prominent cases came to the fore in recent weeks with the hiring of Eric Trump’s brother-in-law to be chief of staff at the Department of Energy and the nomination of Brett Talley to a federal judgeship in Alabama. In paperwork filed with the Senate Judiciary Committee, Talley failed to disclose that his wife is the chief of staff to the White House senior counsel Don McGahn—presenting a potential conflict of interest if the administration ever argues a case in Talley’s court.

But McGahn too has a direct relation in the administration. His wife, Shannon McGahn, was hired in May as a policy adviser to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. In March, Trump tapped former Ford Motor Company lawyer Jim Carroll to join McGahn’s team. Carroll has since moved over to the Office of Management and Budget, where he serves as general counsel. But before he did, the White House hired his son, James Carroll III—whose previous professional experience consisted of a stint as the sports editor of his college newspaper—as a staff assistant.

Such staffing choices aren’t necessarily novel for this administration. From John Adams to John Kennedy, U.S. presidents and their teams have drawn on families for high-level staffing. A lack of comprehensive records for previous administrations makes it difficult to gauge whether the Trump administration is staffed by more families than his predecessors’.

But Trump’s administration is, more than any since perhaps Kennedy’s, defined by blood relations, with daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner occupying senior posts and other members of the family, including sons Don Jr. and Eric and daughter-in-law Lara Trump, serving as prominent public faces of the president’s political and business arms. And the degree to which other families supply the administration with top talent only further illustrates the insularity of the current group controlling the levers of power in Washington, D.C.

Though not technically a federal employee, former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani serves as an informal adviser to the president. In March, his son Andrew joined the White House Office of Public Liaison as associate director after his professional golfing career petered out. The younger Giuliani’s LinkedIn page listed him as a former sales intern at investment firm CapRok.

As secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos is one of the administration’s most senior officials. But her family has also provided tremendous financial support for the president and the Republican Party, shelling out more than $200 million in Republican campaign contributions. Donors are frequently rewarded with administration posts and the DeVos’ were no different. In September, Dick Devos Jr., Betsy’s husband, was appointed to the Federal Aviation Administration’s Management Advisory Council. The next month, Pamella DeVos, Betsy’s sister-in-law, landed a spot on the advisory board for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. DeVos’ brother, Erik Prince, the founder of notorious military contractor Blackwater, was also said to be informally advising Trump’s incoming administration after last year’s election.

Other intra-family administration posts have been more prominent and filled more direct policy-making roles. Often, these appointments have illustrated another ongoing trend in the Trump administration: the tasking of high-level officials to regulate or oversee industries in which they formerly worked.

Former House Financial Services Committee Oversight Counsel, Uttah Dhillon, was appointed as a senior assistant to the president in January. In June, his wife Janet Dhillon was tapped to be an Equal Employment Opportunity commissioner, which puts her on a body that previously took enforcement actions against at least two of her former employers, United Airlines (PDF) and JCPenny, for allegedly discriminatory action that took place while she served in legal roles for the companies.

Pamela Patenaude, Trump’s deputy secretary of Housing and Urban Development, didn’t work in industry. But she led the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation, which promotes U.S. housing policy reforms. When she was nominated in April, her daughter Meghan was already a deputy assistant for scheduling to Vice President Mike Pence. By the time she was confirmed to the HUD post in September, another of her daughters, Caitlin Patenaude, had been hired as a policy adviser at the Department of Health and Human Services.

Other Trump administration families appear to have followed their principals into the federal government. Sisters Millan and Sydney Hupp both worked on Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt’s campaign for Oklahoma attorney general. Sydney Hupp is now Pruitt’s executive scheduler, and her sister is EPA’s director of scheduling and advance.

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Jennifer Pavlik likewise followed her former boss into the administration. She was Pence’s chief of staff in the Indiana governor’s mansion, and now serves as the vice president’s deputy chief of staff. She joined the administration in January, and a few months later her husband followed. Brian Pavlik, a former concessions program manager for the Indiana State Parks system, was hired as a special assistant to the National Parks Service.

At least one familial Trump official is no longer in the job. A few months after former White House adviser Sebastian Gorka joined the administration, his wife, Katharine Gorka, landed a job at the Department of Homeland Security. She remains in that post, but her husband was unceremoniously ousted in August.

As she continues advising high-level government officials, Sebastian Gorka has been relegated to an advisory position at a group run by “Pizzagate” conspiracy theorists. He was recently pictured parking his car on a sidewalk in Virginia.

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President Trump is making history at a historic level. He tells us this himself. Good morning, he said at the start of his Cabinet meeting Monday. We just returned from a historic, 12-day trip to Asia. We knew the trip would be historic because the and more »
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The director of the CIA has extraordinary influence over all counterintelligence investigations — and there are reasons to distrust his intentions.
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Story image for Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation from Washington Examiner

Byron York: Did dossier trigger the TrumpRussia probe?

Washington ExaminerNov 12, 2017
The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation into the TrumpRussia affair shortly after receiving the first installment of an anti-Trump …

Story image for Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation from Chicago Tribune

What more evidence of TrumpRussia collusion do you need?

Chicago TribuneNov 14, 2017
Donald Trump Jr. is shown arriving at Trump Tower for meetings with … a counterintelligence investigationinto whether Russian operatives had …

Story image for Trump Russia as counterintelligence investigation from Fortune

Every Major Event in the TrumpRussia Investigation So Far

FortuneOct 31, 2017
“The FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential …
The Russia investigation timeline
CBS NewsOct 31, 2017
Your Guide to Mueller’s Russia Investigation
In-DepthBloombergOct 31, 2017
A ‘Sea Of Black Masks’: Prosecutors Open Felony Trial Of Inauguration Protesters
 

mikenova shared this story from Donald Trump.

The U.S. government plans to seek felony convictions for nearly 200 inauguration protesters. The first trial is now underway.

Mike Flynn – Google News: How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to … – Vanity Fair
 

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Vanity Fair
How Much Did Trump Know?: Why Mike Flynn Could Be the Key to …
Vanity Fair
The Turkish government, the Clinton e-mails, a gold trader, the suicide of a potential witness: Regarding Michael Flynn, Robert Mueller has a lot to investigate, …
Politico: Filing Against Manafort Could Shed Light on Flynn CaseNewsmaxall 3 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Trump Administration To End Immigration Protections For Haitians
 

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The U.S. will end the special status in July 2019.

Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel – The Daily Banter
 

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The Daily Banter
Sorry, Trumpers, Your President Is Definitely Under Investigation By The Special Counsel
The Daily Banter
The move by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to investigate Trump’s conduct marks a major turning point in the nearly year-old FBI investigation […] Trump had received private assurances from then-FBI Director James B. Comey starting in January and more »
Donald Trump Is Shutting Down His Charitable Foundation
 

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Trump had been accused of using it as a political slush fund.

Trump Russia scandal – Google Search
 

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A Timeline of the TrumpRussia Scandal

<a href=”http://RollingStone.com” rel=”nofollow”>RollingStone.com</a>Nov 6, 2017
“The new joke in town is that Russia leaked the disastrous DNC e-mails, which should never have been written (stupid), because Putin likes me …
Trump and the Russia investigation: What to know
In-DepthFox NewsMay 19, 2017

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MSNBC

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Vox

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Fox News

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Jeffrey Toobin is writing a book about TrumpRussia scandal

Los Angeles TimesNov 15, 2017
Jeffrey Toobin, the CNN legal analyst and New Yorker reporter, will publish a new book about the Russia scandal that has clouded the first year …

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from MSNBC

Poll shows Americans taking the TrumpRussia scandal seriously

MSNBCNov 9, 2017
“U.S. intelligence agencies have said that they believe the Russian government attempted to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential …
Culture of scandal is the new normal
OpinionNewsdayNov 10, 2017

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from Chicago Tribune

Is Mike Pence involved in the Russia scandal?

Chicago TribuneNov 15, 2017
Vice President Mike Pence is hip-deep in the Russia scandal, his … concerning President Donald Trump’scampaign and Russia, nearly as …

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from Vox

The newest developments in the TrumpRussia scandal, explained

VoxOct 27, 2017
The Russia sanctions story, by contrast, is arguably being underplayed. It’s a clear indication of the stakes of the TrumpRussia scandal: the …

Story image for Trump Russia scandal from MSNBC

Mueller’s latest request suggests trouble for Trump’s White House

MSNBCNov 20, 2017
For months, Donald Trump has responded to questions about his Russia scandal by insisting, with great vigor, that he isn’t personally under …
Seth Meyers: ‘Wanna-Be Dictator’ Trump Gets Into The Feud We’ve Been Waiting For
 

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The Early Edition: November 21, 2017
 

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10:27 AM 11/16/2017 – Information War in progress…

Trump News TV

Trump News TV from mikenova (1 sites)
Trump’s YouTube Videos: PBS NewsHour Weekend full episode Nov. 12, 2017
 

From: Trump
Duration: 24:55

On this edition for Sunday, Nov. 12, President Trump arrives in the Philippines, his last stop on a five-nation Asia tour. Also, researchers in Hawaii, already a state leader in renewable energy, are using ocean waves to make electricity. Megan Thompson anchors from New York.

Trump’s YouTube Videos

Trump’s YouTube Videos: Trump travels to Vietnam and shakes hands with Putin
 

From: Trump
Duration: 03:07

The president says Putin said he “absolutely did not meddle” in the US election in 2016.

Trump’s YouTube Videos

Trump’s YouTube Videos: Trump and Putin chat at Apec summit
 

From: Trump
Duration: 01:07

Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin chatted and stood side by side for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit’s official photo. The US and Russian presidents had already had an exchange at the start of a leaders’ meeting at the summit in Da Nang, Vietnam. As the talks were going on, Putin and Trump issued a joint statement on Syria, agreeing to continue joint efforts on fighting Islamic State until it is defeated. The two leaders also confirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and called on all parties to the Syrian conflict to take an active part in the Geneva political process. The statement on Syria was coordinated by the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson
View the video at https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/video/2017/nov/11/trump-and-putin-chat-at-apec-summit-video

Trump’s YouTube Videos

Trump Investigations News Review

Trump Investigations from mikenova (28 sites)
Trump Investigations Report: 9:46 AM 11/16/2017 M.N.: It looks like a first phase of the warming up Information War: drawing up the boundaries, the borders, the division lines: Russian legislators pass law targeting international media as foreign agents
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Donald Trump | The Guardian: Joseph Stiglitz: Trump has ‘fascist’ tendencies – video
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Donald Trump | The Guardian: Joseph Stiglitz: ‘Trump has fascist tendencies’
Trump Investigations Report: 9:27 AM 11/16/2017 Balance of Power: Russian Election Meddling Fears Invade Europe
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Facebook’s Russia Problem Proves Feds Are Missing the Point – WIRED
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): trump russian money – Google News: Russian Money and Trump’s Legal Defense – Just Security
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): emails investigation is Russia-Trump set-up – Google News: Go Ahead. Make Clinton’s Day – The American Prospect
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Just Security: Russian Money and Trumps Legal Defense
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: trump russian candidate – Google News: Feinstein Presses Insiders on Trump-Russia Dealings – Mother Jones
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: russian organized crime in us – Google News: An excerpt from ‘Collusion’ – MSNBC
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Russian Intelligence services and organized crime – Google News: An excerpt from ‘Collusion’ – MSNBC
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: trump electorate – Google News: GOP faces something worse than a dilemma – LancasterOnline
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: trump psychological profile – Google News: COLUMN: The Vanity of Dictators – Cache Valley Daily
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: US elections and russia – Google News: Balance of Power: Russian Election Meddling Fears Invade Europe – Bloomberg
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Rational Security: The “DMs on the DL” Edition
Trump Investigations Report: 8:45 AM 11/16/2017 The C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo has emerged as the favorite to replace Tillerson as Secretary of State | Russia is seeking to undermine the international system Just Security: The Early Edition: November 16, 2017
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Just Security: The Early Edition: November 16, 2017
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: roger stone – Google News: California Senator Dianne Feinstein Sends Request Letters to White House, Roger Stone, Felix Sater, and Margaret … – Sierra Sun Times
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn Investigation – NBCNews.com
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Flynn worries about son in special counsel probe – CNNPolitics – CNN
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Speculation grows around Flynn and Mueller probe – The Hill

 

Trump Investigations from mikenova (28 sites)
Trump Investigations Report: 9:46 AM 11/16/2017 M.N.: It looks like a first phase of the warming up Information War: drawing up the boundaries, the borders, the division lines: Russian legislators pass law targeting international media as foreign agents

M.N.: It looks like a first phase of the “warming up” Information War: drawing up the boundaries, the borders, the division lines: Russian legislators pass law targeting international media as foreign agents  Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks Russian legislators pass law targeting international media as foreign agents Balance of Power: Russian Election Meddling Fears Invade Europe Russian Intelligence services … Continue reading“9:46 AM 11/16/2017 – M.N.: It looks like a first phase of the “warming up” Information War: drawing up the boundaries, the borders, the division lines: Russian legislators pass law targeting international media as foreign agents “Trump Investigations Report
1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Donald Trump | The Guardian: Joseph Stiglitz: Trump has ‘fascist’ tendencies – video

The economist and and author of Globalisation and its Discontents talks to the Guardian’s Larry Elliott about why he considers Donald Trump unfit to be US president. He says stagnant incomes, the opioid crisis and falling life expectancies all pointed towards a political problem in the US but no one imagined it leading to a Trump presidencyContinue reading… Donald Trump | The Guardian

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Donald Trump | The Guardian: Joseph Stiglitz: ‘Trump has fascist tendencies’

The Nobel prize-winning economist on the threat from the US president, fairer globalisation and whether Bernie Sanders would have wonHarry Truman once demanded to be given one-handed economists because he became so frustrated with his advisers meeting every demand for answers with on the one hand, on the other hand.Truman would have liked Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel prize-winning economist who worked for a later Democratic president, Bill Clinton, and who does not mince words when talking about the current incumbent of the White House, Donald Trump.

Related: Business Today: sign up for a morning shot of financial news

A couple of things are most disturbing the attack on the press and the attack on the foundations of knowledge

We saved the banks, we saved the bankers and we saved the shareholders; we didnt do much for homeowners

We are dealing with countries all over the world … Trumps word is not good

Continue reading…

 Donald Trump | The Guardian

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

Trump Investigations Report: 9:27 AM 11/16/2017 Balance of Power: Russian Election Meddling Fears Invade Europe

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks Balance of Power: Russian Election Meddling Fears Invade Europe Russian Intelligence services and organized crime – Google News: An excerpt from ‘Collusion’ – MSNBC US elections and russia – Google News: Balance of Power: Russian Election Meddling Fears Invade Europe – Bloomberg Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Rational Security: The … Continue reading“9:27 AM 11/16/2017 – Balance of Power: Russian Election Meddling Fears Invade Europe”Trump Investigations Report
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Facebook’s Russia Problem Proves Feds Are Missing the Point – WIRED
 


WIRED
Facebook’s Russia Problem Proves Feds Are Missing the Point
WIRED
An ad featuring a strapping Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) proffered a sketch book for users to color your hero. A post from South … Research Agency. The posts confirmed platform-enhanced intrusion in the 2016 election, paid in rubles, not and more »

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): trump russian money – Google News: Russian Money and Trump’s Legal Defense – Just Security
 


The Guardian
Russian Money and Trump’s Legal Defense
Just Security
Just this week, we’ve learned that the FBI is now looking into dozens of money transfers sent by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to its embassies across the globe, totaling more than $380,000 and bearing the subject line to finance election
Today’s Headlines and CommentaryLawfare (blog)
Russia is meddling in western politics as it has nothing to loseThe Guardian
Revenge Is a Rotten Way to Run a CountryBillMoyers.com
BuzzFeed News
all 277 news articles »

 trump russian money – Google News

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1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): emails investigation is Russia-Trump set-up – Google News: Go Ahead. Make Clinton’s Day – The American Prospect
 


The American Prospect
Go Ahead. Make Clinton’s Day
The American Prospect
Even before such a probe has been authorized, the sudden push to investigate Clinton by Trump his allies is widely seen as a transparent bid to distract from special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s probe, which seems to turn up more Russia-Trumpcampaign and more »

 emails investigation is Russia-Trump set-up – Google News

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites): Just Security: Russian Money and Trumps Legal Defense
 

Piece by piece, we continue to learn about Russias assault on the 2016 election: cyberattacks on voting systems in 39 states; troll farms that pushed divisive political messages to millions of viewers on social media; and likely involvement in the leaking of information to influence the outcome of the election, potentially including the information shared directly with Donald Trump Jr. by WikiLeaks. Just this week, weve learned that the FBI is now looking into dozens of money transfers sent by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to its embassies across the globe, totaling more than $380,000 and bearing the subject line to finance election campaign of 2016.

We dont know for what purpose the funds were spent innocent or otherwise. Indeed, there is a chance this money went toward administering Russia’s 2016 parliamentary elections. But while we await the outcome of the investigation, we should be taking a hard look at all of the avenues of Russian influence in our democracy. One avenue that has gone relatively unexplored is the money flowing directly to candidates, including the President.

Which brings us to a troubling question: is Russian money helping to pay for the legal defense of the President and his family against allegations they colluded with Russia?

According to filings with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) the Republican National Committee (RNC) has paid over $400,000 in personal legal fees for Donald Trump and Donald Trump Jr. in connection with the investigations into the Trump campaigns collusion with Russia in the 2016 election. At least $12,000 of those funds came from a Ukrainian-born billionaire with ties to Vladimir Putin.

How did this happen?

Lets start with the Russian connection. It was first reported in September that three Americans with substantial Russian business ties contributed almost $2 million to the RNC. Unless these donations were directed by a foreigner, they are not illegal. But we know, for starters, that all three men are connected to Viktor Vekselberg one of the richest men in Russia and a close associate of President Putin. In fact one man, Andrew Intrater, is Vekselbergs cousin and CEO of  the American subsidiary of Vekselbergs  firm. Furthering suspicion, two of the three men do not have a significant history of donating to prior campaigns. The three men declined to comment to ABC News or could not be reached. Special counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly now investigating their 2016 contributions.

Two pieces of context should deepen our suspicion. The first is that in Putins Russia, business, politics, and the security establishment are inextricably linked. In 2003, Vladimir Putin sent a message to his countrys oligarchs with the televised trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, then Russias richest man, who was placed in a cage for the broadcast. Since then, any major business deals in Russia essentially require the approval of the Kremlin. Secondly, this type of conduct fits into a broader pattern of Russian interference with other countries domestic politics. Russia has even offered legal assistance to political allies before; last year Lukoil, the Russian oil giant, paid the fines for a Russian-connected advisor to the President of the Czech Republic, allowing him to retain his influence.

In addition to raising deep concerns about Russian interference, this development should also raise alarms about the state of our campaign finance system. Americans are deeply concerned that anyoneRussian or otherwisecould funnel millions of dollars into the political system. Here, for the first time in recent history, we are seeing a major portion of six and seven-figure contributions to a political party being funneled toward the personal legal expenses of the President and his family.

The money that the RNC has used to pay Trumps legal fees came from a special account permitted by a change to the law in 2014. That change allowed political parties to raise money into three separate accounts, each with their own contribution limit, including an account for election recounts and contests and other legal proceedings. As a result, a single donor in the 2016 election could give up to $2.5 million to the state and national committees of one partyabout 35 times higher than what they could give in 2014.

Although it is unlikely that the Russia defense is the kind of legal proceeding envisioned by Congress, the RNC has decided to interpret the language broadly enough to include not only the President, but his son. Thanks to a dysfunctional FEC, theres little chance that such uses will be restricted or penalized.

As the next election cycle approaches, Congress should be taking steps to prevent meddling in our campaigns, and to close the gaping loopholes in our campaign finance system. That includes eliminating multi-million-dollar contribution limits that provide avenues for wealthy donors, foreign and domestic, to ingratiate themselves to political leaders. It also includes taking specific steps like preventing corporations from being used as conduits for foreign moneya proposal advanced in the latest iteration of the DISCLOSE Act. Finally, it demands renewed enforcement by the chronically lax FEC, to ensure that the money flowing through our campaigns is not coming from foreign sources.

The authors of this article come from two very different backgroundsone focuses on the rules of our political system, and the other focuses on foreign policy. This story concerns us both because of what it reveals about our democracy, and because of the threat it poses to our self-governance. The United States should be run by and for the American peoplenot the wealthiest few, and certainly not our foreign adversaries.

Alex Tausanovitch is the associate director of Democracy and Government Reform at American Progress. James Lamond is Manager of the Moscow Project at American Progress.

Read on Just Security »

 Just Security

1. Trump from mikenova (196 sites)

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: trump russian candidate – Google News: Feinstein Presses Insiders on Trump-Russia Dealings – Mother Jones
 


Mother Jones
Feinstein Presses Insiders on Trump-Russia Dealings
Mother Jones
Even as candidate Trump denied he had business interests in Russia, Sater worked with Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, in an unsuccessful effort to develop a Moscow tower bearing Trump’s name in 2015 and into 2016. Cohen had sent an email to …

 trump russian candidate – Google News

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: russian organized crime in us – Google News: An excerpt from ‘Collusion’ – MSNBC
 


NJ TODAY
An excerpt from ‘Collusion’
MSNBC
The KGB kept watch on all foreigners, especially American and British ones. The UK mission in Moscow was under close …. Steele’s gloomy view of Russiathat under Putin it was not only domestically repressive but also internationally reckless and 
KGB spy hired to guard US embassy in MoscowNJ TODAYall 7 news articles »

 russian organized crime in us – Google News

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Russian Intelligence services and organized crime – Google News: An excerpt from ‘Collusion’ – MSNBC
 


MSNBC
An excerpt from ‘Collusion’
MSNBC
The officer’s actual employer was an invisible entity back in LondonSIS, the Secret Intelligence Service. The officer was …. Instead, from out of country, he examined the dark intersection between organized crime and the Russian state. Very often 

 Russian Intelligence services and organized crime – Google News

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: trump electorate – Google News: GOP faces something worse than a dilemma – LancasterOnline
 


Fox News
GOP faces something worse than a dilemma
LancasterOnline
The Trump factor now dominates all electoral calculations. Trump is not only a deeply polarizing figure; he is a deeply paradoxical figure. His staunch support among perhaps 35 percent of the electorate, especially among working class Democrats 
Inside the Data: What the Virginia Election Results Mean for ’18NBCNews.com
Could a surge of support from women flip the House to the Democrats in 2018?Washington Post
Democrats Will Need More Than Resistance to GovernThe Nation.
Fox News –Dallas News
all 368 news articles »

 trump electorate – Google News

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: trump psychological profile – Google News: COLUMN: The Vanity of Dictators – Cache Valley Daily
 


Cache Valley Daily
COLUMN: The Vanity of Dictators
Cache Valley Daily
Every major country’s intelligence officers construct a psychological profile of important world leaders. Most of these are voluminous. Foreign leaders can dissect the most powerful human alive using four words: Stroke Trump’s massive ego.Trump envies …and more »

 trump psychological profile – Google News

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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: US elections and russia – Google News: Balance of Power: Russian Election Meddling Fears Invade Europe – Bloomberg
 


Bloomberg
Balance of Power: Russian Election Meddling Fears Invade Europe
Bloomberg
Spurred on by Prime Minister Theresa May’s threat to retaliate against Russian interference, a parliamentary committee wants to grill executives from Facebook, Google and Twitter. The committee, following similar inquiries by U.S. lawmakers, is and more »

 US elections and russia – Google News

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Rational Security: The “DMs on the DL” Edition

The FBI is investigating an alleged kidnapping scheme involving ex-National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Donald Trump Jr. was in direct contact with Wikileaks during the 2016 campaign. And author and scholar Yascha Mounk, our special guest this week while both Tamara and Susan are away, breaks down the breakdown in democracy. Plus, I’ve got your holiday gift wrapping needs covered. And Yascha joins the #BabyCannonSociety.Have you helped us promote Rational Security yet? If not, please leave us a rating and a review on whatever podcast distribution system you use. A lot of people are visiting Lawfare and reaching our podcasts for the first time these days, so if you’re new to Lawfare and Rational Security, you can subscribe to the podcast using our RSS feed, or listen on iTunes, on Stitcher and now on Google Play.

 Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

Saved Stories – Trump Investigations

Trump Investigations Report: 8:45 AM 11/16/2017 The C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo has emerged as the favorite to replace Tillerson as Secretary of State | Russia is seeking to undermine the international system Just Security: The Early Edition: November 16, 2017

Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Just Security: The Early Edition: November 16, 2017 roger stone – Google News: California Senator Dianne Feinstein Sends Request Letters to White House, Roger Stone, Felix Sater, and Margaret … – Sierra Sun Times Mueller Has Enough Evidence to Bring Charges in Flynn Investigation – NBCNews.com Flynn worries about … Continue reading“8:45 AM 11/16/2017 – The C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo has emerged as the favorite to replace Tillerson as Secretary of State | Russia is seeking to undermine the international system – Just Security: The Early Edition: November 16, 2017”Trump Investigations Report
Saved Stories – Trump Investigations: Just Security: The Early Edition: November 16, 2017
 

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 ASIA TRIP

America is back, Trump said yesterday following his 12-day tour of Asia, claiming that the days of the U.S. being taken advantage of are over and saying that his efforts to drum up support for putting pressure on North Korea were successful. Sabrina Siddiqui and Julian Borger report at the Guardian.

Americas renewed confidence and standing in the world has never been stronger than it is right now, Trump claimed yesterday, providing a positive assessment of his Asia trip and referred to his previous trip to Saudi Arabia, his tough talk with N.A.T.O. allies, and lauded his close personal relationships with leaders across the world. Michael D. Shear reports at the New York Times.

Trump blamed the naïve thinking and misguided judgment of previous administrations for neglecting a wide-range of issues in Asia, from the North Korean threat to trade relationships. Jordan Fabian reports at the Hill.

China and Japan have seemingly warmed their relations at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (A.S.E.A.N.) summit at the weekend, apparently moving closer over concerns about the U.S.s role in Southeast Asia. Motoko Rich and Jane Perlez explain at the New York Times, providing an overview of the relationship and referring to Trumps recent trip to Asia.

The two U.C.L.A. basketball players who were detained in China thanked Trump for intervening in their case and helping to bring them back to the U.S., Max Greenwood reports at the Hill.

Despite Trumps comments, the White House seemingly did not achieve any major diplomatic wins during the Asia trip, Cristiano Lima explains at POLITICO.

NORTH KOREA

China reiterated its support for a freeze-for-freeze deal to de-escalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula today, contradicting Trump, who said yesterday that the Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed with him that we would not accept a so-called freeze-for-freeze agreement which calls for a suspension of North Koreas nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles tests in return for the U.S. and South Korea suspending their annual joint military exercises. Simon Denyer reports at the Washington Post.

It is unlikely that the visit by a Chinese special envoy to North Korea tomorrow would lead to a breakthrough in the crisis on the Peninsula, observers have warned, saying that the focus of the meetings would likely be on improving relations between the two countries rather than on the nuclear weapons program. Ben Westcott reports at CNN.

Singapore has suspended trade relations with North Korea according to a customs notice obtained today, demonstrating the increasing international efforts to isolate the Pyongyang regime. Reutersreports.

Japan has been considering plans to deal with a sudden influx of North Korean evacuees should a crisis break out on the Peninsula, a Japanese newspaper reported today, Reuters reports.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

Top lawmakers have expressed concern about Secretary of State Rex Tillersons management of the State Department, with Senators from both parties saying that Tillersons reorganization may impact the ability to fulfil the U.S.s foreign policy aims. Robbie Gramer reports at Foreign Policy.

The C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo has emerged as the favorite to replace Tillerson as Secretary of State, Pompeo and Trump have a warm relationship and are more in tune with each others foreign policy concerns. Eliana Johnson and Annie Karni report at POLITICO.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee Dianne Feinstein (Calif.) has requested documents relating to Trumps son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner and his potential involvement in the firing of former F.B.I. Director James Comey and former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Feinstein made the request in a letter yesterday ahead of the committees questioning of Kushner. Jordain Carney reports at the Hill.

The former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele said that he believes 70% to 90% of the contents of the dossier connecting the Trump campaign and Russia is accurate, according to a quote from Steele in an upcoming book. Steele was commissioned by the opposition research firm Fusion G.P.S. to compile the controversial dossier, Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.

Special counsel Robert Mueller may have flipped the Turkey-based businessman Reza Zarrab in his investigation into Flynn, Zarrab is set to face trial for his alleged role in gold-for-gas deals between Turkey and Iran but speculation that he has cooperated with federal prosecutors has arisen following Zarrabs secret removal from a federal prison earlier month and it is unclear where he is currently being held. Earlier this year, Flynn disclosed that he had been a paid agent of Turkey once he had resigned as Trumps national security adviser due to his interactions with Russia. Katie Zavadski reports at The Daily Beast.

The State Department under former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton were aware of the Russian propaganda and disinformation campaign, which started with the Russian annexation of the Crimea in 2014, however the State Department was unable to deal with the scale of the Russian efforts. Rick Stengel, the former under secretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs, explains at POLITICO Magazine.

CYBERSECURITY, PRIVACY AND TECHNOLOGY

Russia is seeking to undermine the international system. That much is clear, the head of the U.K. governments National Cyber Security Center Ciaran Martin said yesterday, saying that the agency has responded to over 600 significant incidents in the last year, and making the comments after the British Prime Minister Theresa May singled out Russia as a threat to western democracies. Jenny Gross and Wiktor Szary report at the Wall Street Journal.

The rules on disclosing cybersecurity flaws were publicly released by the White House yesterday, the publication comes following years of criticism of a lack of transparency over the federal agencies assessment of the balance between disclosure and retention. Ellen Nakashima reports at the Washington Post.

LEBANON

The French President Emmanuel Macron extended an invitation to the Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his family yesterday amid concerns that Hariri has been held in Saudi Arabia against his will following his unexpected resignation from the Saudi capital of Riyadh on Nov. 4 via a televised announcement, Alissa J. Rubin and Anne Barnard report at the New York Times, explaining that the invitation has raised further questions over Hariris status and the possibility that he could be being eased out to exile in France.

Macron invited Hariri a day after meeting with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia have denied holding Hariri against his will or coercing him into resigning as Prime Minister. In his resignation speech, Hariri cited threats to his life and the role of Iran and Hezbollah in Lebanon and the region as the reason for his decision, the BBC reports.

Hariri has accepted Macrons invitation, the AP reports.

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will meet with the Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil tomorrow, the Russian Foreign Ministry said today, Reuters reporting.

Frances attempts to solve the crisis caused by Hariris resignation carries risks as France has not yet received assurances from Riyadh about Hariris freedom of movement and speech, analysts have said. Jillian Kestler-DAmours explains at Al Jazeera.

SYRIA

Turkey, Russia and Iran are scheduled to hold a summit on Nov. 22 to discuss developments in Syria in the Russian coastal city of Sochi, Reuters reports.

The Syrian army and Russian jets have stepped up their air strikes and shelling of the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region near the capital of Damascus, residents and a war monitor said yesterday, the increased military power coming after Free Syrian Army rebels launched an attack on an army complex in northeastern Damascus on Tuesday. Suleiman Al-Khalidi reports at Reuters.

The Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu today accused the Syrian Kurdish Y.P.G. militia of being more concerned with capturing territory than combating the Islamic State group, Reuters reports.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 10 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on November 12. Separately, partner forces conducted one strike against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

RUSSIA

The likely targets of a Russian bill targeting international media organizations include Voice of America, Radio Free Europe and CNN, the Russian parliaments lower house yesterday voted overwhelmingly in favor of legislation allowing authorities to designate foreign media as a foreign agent and the move was in retaliation to the U.S. Justice Departments requirement that the Russian state-funded R.T. television channel register as a foreign agent. Andrew Roth reports at the Washington Post.

Russia restructured more than £3bn it is owed by Venezuela yesterday, throwing the Venezuelan government a lifeline amid a crisis that President Nicolás Maduro has blamed on U.S. sanctions. James Marson and Kejal Vyas report at the Wall Street Journal.

MYANMAR

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for an independent investigation into the reports of widespread atrocities committed by Myanmars security forces in a press conference with the Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi yesterday, adding that the U.S. government was still assessing whether the violence against the minority Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state amounted to ethnic cleansing. Niharika Mandhana reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The New York-based rights group Human Rights Watch accused Myanmar security forces of widespread sexual violence and rape of women and girls in the Rakhine state in a report published today. Reuters reports.

SOUTH CHINA SEA

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (A.S.E.A.N.) avoided referring to Chinas creation of artificial islands in the South China Sea in a statement delivered by the Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte on behalf of his fellow heads of state yesterday, the omission reflecting Chinas influence on A.S.E.A.N. and the region. Jim Gomez reports at the AP.

China and the Philippines have agreed to avoid violence in the dispute over the South China Sea in a joint statement carried by Chinas Xinhua news agency today which reaffirmed the importance of peace and engaging in dialogue. Reuters reports.

SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabias blockade of Yemens ports is an attempt to try and starve Yemen into submission, the kingdom must realize that the world is finally taking notice of its actions in the Yemen civil war and Congress and the U.N. must keep pressing all parties for a political solution. The New York Times editorial board writes, referring to the blockade that began on Nov. 5 in response to a ballistic missile that was fired by the Iran-backed Houthi rebels at the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

The Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salmans efforts to reform the kingdom are necessary but also impossible, Kamel Daoud writes at the New York Times, charting the rise of the Wahhabi ideology, Saudi Arabias relationship with the ideology, and offers an analysis of the Crown Princes actions and the impact of his proposed reforms on Islamists outside the kingdom.

URANIUM ONE DEAL

Republican congressional investigators began their efforts to secure information about an Obama-era nuclear deal with Russia yesterday, writing letters to the F.B.I., Justice Department, Treasury Department and intelligence agencies. John Solomon reports at the Hill.

It would send a signal that were going to be like some dictatorship if the President directs the Justice Department to investigate the uranium deal, the former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said yesterday, adding that she would not be concerned if a special counsel were appointed or if she faced indictments because I know theres no basis to it. Brent D. Griffiths reports at POLITICO.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

House Democrats introduced five articles of impeachment against President Trump yesterday, however the representatives have acknowledged that the efforts would not be successful while Republicans control both houses of Congress. Maegan Vazquez reports at CNN.

The Justice Department aims to release a report into the alleged misconduct by then-F.B.I. Director James Comey in late winter or early spring, the Justice Department Inspector General said yesterday, the review includes an investigation of Comeys actions during the presidential campaign, leaks by the F.B.I. and the investigation into Hillary Clintons private email use. Josh Gerstein reports at POLITICO.

The F.B.I. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe gave the investigation into Hillary Clintons email use a special status, documents released yesterday reveal, however F.B.I. officials refused to answer what was meant by this status. John Solomon reports at the Hill.

Live updates of the Zimbabwean military takeover and the ousting of President Robert Mugabe are provided at the BBC.

The self-styled Libyan National Army launched air strikes against Islamic State militants in their stronghold of Sirte yesterday, a commander with the force said yesterday, Reuters reporting.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee advanced legislation that would reduce U.S. aid to the Palestinian Authority unless it stops making payments that, lawmakers described, reward violent crimes. Reuters reports.

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November 16, 2017 – WashingtonJudiciary Committee Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) on Wednesday sent four letters requesting information related to the Russia investigation. Additional requests are expected to be sent in the coming Dianne …
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Michael T. Flynn, who was fired after just 24 days on the job, was one of the first Trump associates to come under scrutiny in the federal probe now led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign 
An indictment of Flynn could seal Mueller’s obstruction-of-justice case against TrumpBusiness Insider
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Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s sprawling investigation has spawned a new guessing game in Washington centered on retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser. Despite what some experts say is almost-indisputable …
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9:46 AM 11/16/2017 – M.N.: It looks like a first phase of the “warming up” Information War: drawing up the boundaries, the borders, the division lines: Russian legislators pass law targeting international media as foreign agents 

M.N.: It looks like a first phase of the “warming up” Information War: drawing up the boundaries, the borders, the division lines: Russian legislators pass law targeting international media as foreign agents 

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7:17 AM 11/11/2017 – The love did pass, and the tomatoes wilted…

But Mr. Mueller continues his investigation. Indict Putin!

Директор Федеральной службы безопасности Александр Бортников и специальный представитель Президента по вопросам природоохранной деятельности, экологии и транспорта Сергей Иванов перед началом совещания с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.
Директор Федеральной службы безопасности Александр Бортников и специальный представитель Президента по вопросам природоохранной деятельности, экологии и транспорта Сергей Иванов перед началом совещания с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности.

The Secrets and Messages from the Big Black Briefcase (BBB)… So far all the clues point in his direction. А свято место пусто не бывает

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4:27 AM 11/11/2017 – “He listens…” Or so it seems… – Putin, Trump approve joint statement on Syria-Kremlin – Reuters | Opinion: For Putin, the optics of not meeting Trump are bad – PBS NewsHour | Trump and Putin ‘agree to defeat IS in Syria’ – BBC News worldnewsandtimes.org/2017/11/11/427

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Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, in a photo released by the government in August. Credit KCNA, via KNS, via Associated Press Letters: Trump, Kim and the Possibility of War A psychiatrist says Trumps mental state is a legitimate inquiry, and another reader suggests that history will judge him po…
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HOW WILBUR ROSS IS CONNECTED TO THE PARADISE PAPERS

The Paradise Papers reportedly name Donald Trump’s Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross for not disclosing business ties to the Kremlin. Watch the video to find out how and whether or not the Commerce Dept is responding.

In an earlier far more innocent era, my mother told me you will be judged by the friends you keep. For many Americans, this was axiomatic. However, in this cynical era, you are often judged by who you know or who knows you. In some sense, this is a Kafkaesque arrangement where judgments and the assignment of guilt are made without knowledge or forethought.
Take, for example, the stories emanating from revelations of the Paradise Papers. This massive trove of 13.4 million records was founded 100 years ago and operates in various points around the globe managing the assets of very wealthy people. Reflecting millions of loans, financial transactions and e-mails, the data reveal how wealthy individuals manage their portfolios.

A Message from Toyota

THE TOYOTA HIGHLANDER

Help keep your family safe and comfortable with advanced safety features and plenty of seating. Safety is always riding on board the Toyota Highlander. See for yoursel…

Recently a German newspaper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, unraveled the connections indicating how the wealthy sometimes avoid taxes and make business deals.
Wilbur Ross, the Secretary of Commerce, was caught in the web of these revelations. Despite divesting himself of most business interests when he joined the Trump cabinet, he kept a shipping company, Navigator Holdings, through a chain of companies in the Cayman Islands. Discussing Ross’ Paradise Papers file Jon Swaine of the Guardian noted that Navigator is a company operated by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s son-in-law an allegation that put Ross in the journalistic crosshairs.

The very mention of a transaction in which Russia is included is now branded “collusion.”

Navigator is paid $20 million a year to ship gas out of Russia for a Russian company named Sibur and Sibur is co-owned by Kirill Shamalov, Putin’s son-in-law. Commenting on this matter, Ross said “there is nothing whatsoever improper about Navigator having a relationship with Sibur.” He continued, “The fact that it happens to be called a Russian company does not mean that there’s any evil in it.” That is true on several levels.

 

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1:21 PM 11/2/2017 – Examples of Russian Facebook ads: The Russian Agitprop won the Elections – 2016 for Mr. Trump

Russia Facebook Ad Army of Jesus

Examples of Russian Facebook ads:

M.N.: The Russian Agitprop won the Elections – 2016 for Mr. Trump!

Examples of Russian Facebook ads meant to divide the US and push Trump

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An ad from a Russia-linked account on Facebook run during the 2016 presidential election.US House Intelligence Committee

Congress released some of the Facebook ads linked to Russian operatives in the run-up to last year’s presidential election, and they reveal a concerted effort to divide the US and vilify Hillary Clinton.

The ads targeted different cross-sections of the US population and often citizens at opposite sides of the political spectrum.

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, released the trove on Wednesday before a hearing with Facebook, Google, and Twitter.

“Whether the Russians and Trump coordinated these efforts, we do not yet know, but it is true that the Russians mounted what could be described as an independent expenditure campaign on Trump’s behalf,” Schiff said.

“The Russians did so by weaving together fake accounts, pages, and communities to push politicized content and videos, and to mobilize real Americans to sign online petitions and join rallies and protests,” Schiff said.

Some of the ads portrayed Clinton as an ally of Satan, promoted a US burqa ban, and hailed Trump as the “one and only who can defend the police from terrorists.”

Take a look at the divisive ads below.

A suggestion to like the “Woke Blacks” Facebook page was shown to people interested in “African-American culture” and the civil rights movement.

US House Intelligence Committee

It was seen more than 750,000 times, the Wall Street Journal reported.

This post, centered on Sanders’ criticism of the Clinton Foundation, was targeted at people who liked the “Bernie Sanders” Facebook page.

US House Intelligence Committee

“The Clinton Foundation is nothing more than an ‘organized crime’ at it’s [sic] finest, in which we are investing our taxpayers’ money,” the rest of the ad went.

“So why are so many people going to vote for her? That’s a secret for me. What’s your opinion on that point?”

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Comey Memoir Title Revealed: ‘A Higher Loyalty’
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The cover and title for former FBI Director James Comey’s new book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership, were released on Thursday. The title appears to be a direct reference to the now-infamous exchange Comey shared with President Trump at …
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‘London professor’ in Trump case made many Russia trips
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Trove of ‘Russian troll’ posts exposed by Congress
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Further instances of social media posts and ads thought to be part of Russian propaganda efforts to influence the last US presidential election and divide its society have been shared with the public. The US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence 
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US authorities identify six Russian officials in DNC hack: WSJ
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The intelligence community concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the campaign to sway the election in Trump’s favor. Russia has denied it meddled in the election and Trump has denied that his campaign colluded with the …
Prosecutors Consider Bringing Charges in DNC Hacking CaseFox Business
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9:04 AM 11/2/2017 – M.N.: Look at their recent photos. They look more depressed and confused than “gleeful” 

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7 из 8 Перед началом совещания с членами Правительства. Из альбома к материалу Совещание с членами Правительства 31 октября 2017 года Москва, Кремль  6 из 8 Перед началом совещания с членами Правительства. Из альбома к материалу Совещание с членами Правительства 31 октября 2017 года Москва, Кремль – Look at their recent photos. They look more depressed and confused than “gleeful”. https://t.co/b2bIujNhWz — Mike … Continue reading “9:04 AM 11/2/2017 – M.N.: Look at their recent photos. They look more depressed and confused than “gleeful””
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2016 elections anxiety – Google News: Data Shows Sales of Legal Cannabis Products Remain Strong – PR Newswire (press release)

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Data Shows Sales of Legal Cannabis Products Remain Strong
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The increased legalization efforts in the November 2016 elections resulted in more states approving cannabis legislation in some form, i.e., medical or recreational. Recreational initiatives … On September 28, 2017, the company announced positive top  

 2016 elections anxiety – Google News

9:24 AM 11/2/2017 – M.N.: The power of denial: “I’m not under investigation as you know,” Trump said yesterday… | M.N.: What do you mean by “radicalized”? Were they recruited in Russia? By whom? For what purposes? Who recruited them?

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Most of the Uzbek and Tajik Islamic State group recruits have been radicalized in Russia, demonstrating the power of the terrorist group’s Russian-language propaganda, Amie Ferris-Rotma writes at Foreign Policy. M.N.: What do you mean by “radicalized”?  Were they recruited in Russia? By whom? For what purposes? Who recruited them? _______________________________ “I’m not under investigation as you know,” Trump … Continue reading “9:24 AM 11/2/2017 – M.N.: The power of denial: “I’m not under investigation as you know,” Trump said yesterday… | M.N.: What do you mean by “radicalized”? Were they recruited in Russia? By whom? For what purposes? Who recruited them?”

Donald Trump: People Have Serious Questions About This Dictionary’s Trump-Themed ‘Word Of The Year’

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🤔 🤔 🤔

 Donald Trump

U.S. authorities identify six Russian officials in DNC hack: WSJ

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November 2, 2017 / 8:29 AM / Updated 4 hours ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department has gathered enough evidence to charge six members of the Russian government in the hacking of Democratic National Committee computers before the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, citing people familiar with the investigation.

Federal agents and prosecutors in Washington, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco have been cooperating on the DNC investigation and prosecutors could bring the case to court next year, it said.

By identifying individual Russian military and intelligence hackers with charges, U.S. authorities could make it difficult for them to travel, but arrests and jailing would be unlikely, according to the Journal report.

The hacking investigation, conducted by cybersecurity experts, predates the appointment in May of federal special counsel Robert Mueller to oversee the probe of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign.

Mueller and the Justice Department agreed to allow the technical cyber investigation to continue under the original team of agents and prosecutors, the Journal said.

U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian intelligence agencies were behind those cyber attacks, which resulted in thousands of emails and other documents being made public by WikiLeaks last year. The intelligence community concluded in January that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the campaign to sway the election in Trump’s favor.

Russia has denied it meddled in the election and Trump has denied that his campaign colluded with the Russian government.

If the case is brought by federal prosecutors, it would pinpoint the specific Russian military and intelligence hackers behind the attack on the DNC and the emails of John Podesta, who was campaign chairman for Trump’s Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton.

It would be the second time the United States charged Russians with cyber crimes. In March, the Justice Department charged two Russian intelligence agents and two hackers with masterminding the 2014 theft of 500 million Yahoo accounts.

(Corrects last paragraph to say ‘It would be the second time the United States charged Russians with cyber crimes,” instead of “It would not be the second time …”)

Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Steve Orlofsky

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putin won US 2016 election – Google News: US could charge six Russian officials over DNC email hacking – Engadget

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US could charge six Russian officials over DNC email hacking
Engadget
US intelligence officials, however, have maintained that Russians were indeed behind the hacking. “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at theU.S. presidential election,” it assessed in January. Mueller’s team 
Prosecutors Consider Bringing Charges in DNC Hacking CaseFox Business
US authorities identify six Russian officials in DNC hack: WSJReutersall 18 news articles »

 putin won US 2016 election – Google News

This is what you need to know about those Russian Facebook ads – Wired.co.uk

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Wired.co.uk
This is what you need to know about those Russian Facebook ads
Wired.co.uk
US lawmakers have released a handful of Facebook ads bought by Russian-linked trolls and directly targeted to US citizens during the 2016 presidential election. The ads, which range from Bernie Sanders colouring books to claims that Hillary … This 
Russia sought to influence LGBT voters with ‘Buff Bernie’ adWashington Bladeall 10 news articles »

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trump and intelligence community – Google News: Carl Bernstein: Russia probe feels ‘worse than Watergate’ – Chicago Tribune

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Chicago Tribune
Carl Bernstein: Russia probe feels ‘worse than Watergate’
Chicago Tribune
If President Donald Trump colluded with Russia to win the presidency, it’s “worse than Watergate,” journalist Carl Bernstein says. Bernstein’s views on the matter were of great interest to a … “What’s so astonishing to me in the last few months is and more »

 trump and intelligence community – Google News

Comey – Google News: James Comey’s new book will tell readers about ‘A Higher Loyalty’ – USA TODAY

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USA TODAY
James Comey’s new book will tell readers about ‘A Higher Loyalty’
USA TODAY
Back in January, President Trump allegedly talked James Comey about loyalty. “I need loyalty, I expect loyalty,” he said, according to the former FBI director’s testimony before Congress. And now, the title of Comey’s new book seems to reference that  

 Comey – Google News

Donald Trump: Trump’s USDA Pick With Ties To Russia Investigation Reportedly Withdraws Nomination

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Sam Clovis was poised to become the USDA’s chief scientist, despite having no science background.

 Donald Trump

Russian Facebook ads, now publicly released, show sophistication of influence campaign – Chicago Tribune

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Chicago Tribune
Russian Facebook ads, now publicly released, show sophistication of influence campaign
Chicago Tribune
Lawmakers on Wednesday released a trove of ads that Russian operatives bought on Facebook, providing the fullest picture yet of how foreign actors sought to promote Republican Donald Trump, denigrate Democrat Hillary Clinton and divide Americans …
18 political ads you may have seen on Facebook that were actually made by RussiantrollsMarkets Insider
Here are some of the Russian Facebook ads meant to divide the US and promote TrumpBusiness Insider
Facebook Ads Reveal the Real Russian GameBloomberg
The Verge –Washington Post
all 739 news articles »

PM Netanyahu Meets British FM Johnson

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Signed in as mikenova

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Hillary Clinton says FBI investigation into Trump, Russia ‘should have come out’ before election – EW.com (blog)

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EW.com (blog)
Hillary Clinton says FBI investigation into Trump, Russia ‘should have come out’ before election
EW.com (blog)
Hillary Clinton is defending her campaign’s involvement with the infamous dossier of research into Donald Trump, which included information about the FBI’s investigation into ties between the then-presidential candidate’s campaign and Russia. Appearing 
Who will be charged next in the FBI’s Russia probe?Aljazeera.com
Former Trump Aides Charged as Prosecutors Reveal New Campaign Ties With RussiaNew York Times
FBI affidavit: George Papadopoulos said Trump campaign OK’d meeting with RussiansWashington Examiner
Chicago Tribune –NPR –HuffPost
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Two Navy destroyer collisions in the Pacific this summer that claimed the lives of 17 sailors were preventable and resulted from multiple failures on the part of senior officers and sailors standing watch to avert disaster, according to a new investigation released Wednesday. 

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Two Navy destroyer collisions in the Pacific this summer that claimed the lives of 17 sailors were preventable and resulted from multiple failures on the part of senior officers and sailors standing watch to avert disaster, according to a new investigation released Wednesday.

Navy: Failures of Leaders, Watchstanders Led to Deadly Ship Collisions

Two Navy destroyer collisions in the Pacific were preventable and resulted from multiple failures on the part of senior officers.

The Uzbek immigrant accused of mowing down people along a bike path near the World Trade Center left a handwritten note referring to the Islamic State group and had been radicalized in the U.S. 

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The Uzbek immigrant accused of mowing down people along a bike path near the World Trade Center left a handwritten note referring to the Islamic State group and had been radicalized in the U.S.

Truck Attack Suspect Linked to ISIS, Radicalized in US: Governor

The Uzbek immigrant accused of mowing down people on a bike path near the World Trade Center left a note referring to ISIS.

MikeWith their level of expertise in all areas of earthly and heavenly, human, s… 

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Mike

With their level of expertise in all areas of earthly and heavenly, human, social, and other types of existence and endeavors, including the paranormal and sometimes very abnormal and the illegal ones, our dear and wise in all respects FBI should not have any problems answering this question. Unless they do not see it as a problem and as the question that they are in charge of. Then it becomes their problem, and a big one. M.N. 10.23.17FBI, Did Russia’s Facebook Ads Actually Swing the Election?

DIA bids farewell to Lt. Gen. Stewart, welcomes 21st director Lt. Gen. Ashley 

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Washington—Army Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley, Jr. assumed directorship of the Defense Intelligence Agency from Marine Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart in a ceremony presided over by Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan Oct. 3 at DIA Headquarters.

The Early Edition: November 2, 2017 

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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. Here’s today’s news.

NEW YORK TERROR ATTACK

Federal prosecutors have filed charges against 29-year-old Uzbek immigrant Sayfullo Saipov who is suspected of carrying out Tuesday’s attack in New York. The charges accuse the driver, who killed eight people and injured 12, of aiding the Islamic State group and working with “others known and unknown.” Melanie Grayce West, Zolan Kanno-Youngs and Rebecca Davis O’Brien report at the Wall Street Journal.

The F.B.I. are no longer seeking information about a second individual in connection with the attack, the Assistant F.B.I. Director Bill Sweeney announced yesterday, adding that “we have found him. I’ll leave it at that.” Josh Delk reports at the Hill.

The charges against Saipov were filed in civilian court and not the military system, following comments by the president that the U.S. criminal justice system was a “laughingstock” and that he would consider trying Saipov at the military court in Guantánamo Bay. Benjamin Mueller, William K. Rashbaum, Al Baker and Adam Goldman report at the New York Times.

Saipov said he was proud of what he had done, he requested that the Islamic State flag be displayed in his hospital room and told the F.B.I. that he was inspired after watching a video of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Devlin Barrett, Matt Zapotosky and Mark Brennan report at the Washington Post.

Trump used the terrorist attack to promote hardline policies, saying yesterday that he would take action to remove the “diversity lottery” program for foreigners seeking U.S. visas and step up “extreme vetting” of immigrants, also taking aim at Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) for helping to create the “lottery” program and stating that the U.S. needs a system of “punishment that’s far quicker and far greater than the punishment these animals are getting right now.” David Nakamura and Ed O’Keefe report at the Washington Post.

Saipov “killed 8 people, badly injured 12. SHOULD GET DEATH PENTALTY!” Trump tweeted last night, his comments potentially causing problems when the criminal case comes to be heard as defense lawyers could argue that their client cannot get a fair trial. Cristiano Lima reports at POLITICO.

The New York attack has shone the spotlight on Uzbekistan and Central Asia’s problems with terrorism, the region consists of five predominantly Muslim Soviet republics that have struggled with poverty and have served as recruitment ground for the Islamic State group. Sajjan Gohel explains at CNN.

Sending Saipov to Guantánamo would be unprecedented, likely drawing the ire of the F.B.I. and career national security professionals, and raising complex legal questions as the suspect is a lawful permanent U.S. resident. Charlie Savage explains at the New York Times.

“It’s hard to imagine a worse idea” than sending Saipov to Guantánamo Bay, the co-editor of Just Security Stephen I. Vladeck writes at the Washington Post, setting out the legal obstacles, arguing that the U.S. criminal justice system is well-equipped to handle such cases, and highlighting that Guantánamo proceedings have been dysfunctional.

The Islamic State group tends to keep quiet when a recruit is apprehended and there may be a number of reasons that they do not claim responsibility in such scenarios, Rukmini Callimachi explains at the New York Times.

Most of the Uzbek and Tajik Islamic State group recruits have been radicalized in Russia, demonstrating the power of the terrorist group’s Russian-language propaganda, Amie Ferris-Rotma writes at Foreign Policy.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Federal prosecutors and agents have gathered evidence to charge more than six members of the Russian government who were involved in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s (D.N.C.) computer system during the 2016 U.S. election campaign, according to sources familiar with the matter. Aruna Viswanatha and Del Quentin Wilbur report at the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s my THREAD from Sunday eve of #IndictmentDay explaining why indicting Russians would be a game changer 👇https://t.co/5nOjC3ssGl

— Ryan Goodman (@rgoodlaw) November 2, 2017

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

“I’m not under investigation as you know,” Trump said yesterday in a phone call about the investigations between the Trump campaign and Russia, saying that he was not “angry at anybody” and that the indictment of his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort “has nothing to do with us.” Maggie Haberman and Peter Baker report at the New York Times.

“No I don’t believe he does,” the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders responded yesterday when asked whether the president recalled the suggestion by his former campaign adviser George Papadopoulos in March 2016 that he arrange a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Reuters reporting.

Manafort and former Trump campaign adviser Rick Gates pose a significant flight risk according to federal prosecutors, due to their “substantial ties abroad” and Manafort currently holds three U.S. passports. The two men were charged earlier this week as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Reuters reports.

A sampling of political ads purchased by Russian operatives on Facebook and Twitter around the 2016 U.S. election were disclosed by lawmakers yesterday during the second day of congressional hearings with representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google; the disclosures revealing the extent of Russia’s online campaign to spread disinformation and sow discord. Cecilia King, Nicholas Fandos and Mike Isaac report at the New York Times.

Examples of Russian-bought ads on Facebook and Instagram are provided at POLITICO.

An analysis of Russian-bought Facebook ads and how they made an impact is provided by Leslie Shapiro at the Washington Post.

The former national security adviser Michael Flynn followed five Russia-backed Twitter accounts and promoted their messages, Ben Collins and Kevin Poulsen report at The Daily Beast.

The opposition research firm Fusion GPS paid former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele $168,000 to compile the dossier alleging links between Russia and the Trump campaign, the firm said in a statement yesterday. Mark Hosenball reports at Reuters.

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton defended the decision to pay for part of the Steele dossier in an interview yesterday, also expressing frustration that voters were not made aware before election day that the Trump campaign was under investigation by the F.B.I.. Henry C. Jackson reports at POLITICO.

NORTH KOREA

“Armed conflict must be avoided under any circumstance,” the South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a speech yesterday ahead of Trump’s 12-day visit to Asia, vowing to maintain South Korea’s “overwhelming military superiority” but emphasizing that military action on the Peninsula could not be taken without “prior consent” of Seoul. Jonathan Cheng reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe yesterday called for more pressure to be exerted on North Korea to bring about negotiations, Abe also reiterating his support for Trump’s policy that all options are on the table to deal with the nuclear threat. Mari Yamaguchi reports at the AP.

North Korea is developing an advanced intercontinental ballistic missile (I.C.B.M.), according to an anonymous U.S. official, and the missile could potentially strike the U.S. mainland. Barbara Starr reports at CNN.

A bipartisan bill providing for sanctions on North Korea was agreed yesterday and the Senate Banking Committee would act on the bill next week, Patricia Zengerle reports at Reuters.

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) yesterday called on Trump to release an assessment of the potential casualties and costs that would come as a consequence of a war with North Korea. Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

Trump will seek to convince Chinese President Xi Jinping to do more to rein in North Korea when Trump visits Beijing next week, according to senior administration officials. Steve Holland and John Walcott report at Reuters.

China hopes to work with North Korea “to make a positive contribution to … defending regional peace and stability,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said in a message replying to North Korea’s congratulatory message on China’s Communist Party Congress. Soyoung Kim and Ken Blanchard report at Reuters.

The recent normalization of relations between China and South Korea could change the dynamics of Trump’s Asia trip and how his administration intends to deal with North Korea and its allies in the region. Jane Perlez, Mark Landler and Choe Sang-Hun explain at the New York Times.

“We can educated [the] North Korean population to stand up by disseminating outside information,” a high-ranking official who defected from North Korea told U.S. lawmakers yesterday, also urging officials to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to convince him to abandon his nuclear program. The BBC reports.

A U.N. resolution drafted by the European Union and Japan would condemn the “gross violations of human rights” in North Korea, the U.N. General Assembly’s human rights committee is expected to vote on the draft this month. Edith M. Lederer reports at the AP.

IRAN

Russia opposes “any unilateral change” to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday during a meeting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, making the comments following Trump’s decision in October to de- certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement and adding that Russia opposes “linking Iran’s nuclear program with other issues including defensive issues.” Nasser Karimi reports at the AP.

The U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will travel to Washington next week to convince senators not to abandon the nuclear deal or impose sanctions against Iran, saying that the 80 million Iranians “deserve and need to feel the benefits of both the deal and engagement,” but adding that the world should not be “blind” to the “disruptive behavior of Iran.” Patrick Wintour reports at the Guardian.

SYRIA

“We count on the cooperation of Iran and other partners” to end the war in Syria, the Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday following discussions with Iranian leaders, saying that the latest round of Syria talks currently being held in Kazakhstan’s capital of Astana were “advancing well.” Aresu Eqbali and Asa Fitch report at the Wall Street Journal.

The official Syrian opposition said that it would not attend Russia-brokered Syrian peace talks planned for this month, Turkey has also expressed opposition to an invitation extended to the Syrian Kurds and rejected negotiations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime outside the U.N.’s Geneva process or without U.N. sponsorship. Patrick Wintour reports at the Guardian.

Russia’s veto of the investigation into the use of chemical weapons in Syria shows a “callous disregard for the suffering and loss of life,” the White House said in a statement yesterday, referring to Russia’s vote eight days ago at the U.N. Security Council which prevented the renewal of the Joint Investigative Mechanism’s (J.I.M.) mandate. Brendan O’Brien reports at Reuters.

A suspected Israeli airstrike hit a target in Syria’s Homs province yesterday, and the Syrian army responded by firing surface-to-air missile at the aircraft. Israel has declined to comment on the reports, but the Intelligence Minister reiterated that “smuggling arms to Hezbollah is a red line in our eyes.” Ori Lewis reports at Reuters.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out eight airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on October 31. Separately, partner forces conducted five strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

IRAQ

Negotiations between Iraq’s central government and the semiautonomous Kurdistan region over border controls have failed, according to Iraqi officials. Tensions between Baghdad and Iraq Kurdistan have been high since September’s controversial independence referendum. The AP reports.

Iraqi federal forces threatened yesterday to resume military operations against Kurdish-held territory following the dispute over border controls, Reuters reporting.

NIGER

Niger would be open to allowing U.S. for investigation, reconnaissance and combat, Niger’s Prime Minister Brigi Rafini said yesterday, adding that there would be an inquest into the ambush of U.S. and Nigerian forces on Oct. 4. Vipal Monga and Joe Parkinson report at the Wall Street Journal.

Niger asked the U.S. “some weeks ago” to arm drones and “use them as needed,” Niger’s Defense Minister Kalla Mountari said yesterday. Tim Cocks and Absoulave Massalatchi reporting at Reuters.

BIN LADEN RAID DOCUMENTS

A series of documents collected from the raid of Osama Bin Laden’s Pakistani hideout were released by the C.I.A. yesterday, the documents revealing that Bin Laden was involved in al-Qaeda operations while in hiding. Nancy A. Youssef reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The documents reveal information about Bin Laden’s son, Hamza, and according to analysts from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies (F.D.D.) reveal a relationship between al-Qaeda and Iran. The BBC reports.

GUANTÁNAMO BAY

The head of the war court defense team Marine Brig. Gen. John Baker was yesterday sentenced to 21 days confinement by the military judge presiding over the trial of the suspected U.S.S. Cole bombing at Guantánamo Bay, due to Baker’s refusal to follow his orders. Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

The judge also declared Baker’s decision to release three civilian lawyers from the defense team “null and void,” Carol Rosenberg reports at the Miami Herald.

The context behind Baker’s confinement is provided by Spencer Ackerman at The Daily Beast.

TRUMP ADMINISTRATION FOREIGN POLICY

Asian nations are bracing themselves for Trump’s visit to Asia which begins later this week, Foster Klug describes the mood at the AP.

An associate of Vice President Mike Pence has been nominated to be director general of the foreign service, causing concern that diplomacy would be further politicized by the Trump administration. Robbie Gramer explains at Foreign Policy.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The U.S. yesterday defended its decision to vote against the U.N. resolution calling for a repeal of the embargo imposed on Cuba, Rick Gladstone reports at the New York Times.

The House passed legislation allowing the State Department to revoke the passports of individuals suspected to be foreign terrorists, Cristina Marcos reports at the Hill.

The two fatal U.S. Navy collisions during the summer were “avoidable,” according to a report released by the U.S. Navy. Barbara Starr, Jamie Crawford and Brad Lendon report at the CNN.

An airstrike in Yemen killed at least 25 civilians and wounded at least nine, according to health officials, a statement carried by Saudi Arabia’s officials news agency said that the Arab coalition would investigate the attack. Shuaib Almosawa and Nour Youssef report at the New York Times.

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The Fifth Column in the Fifth Domain

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The key question as representatives from Facebook, Twitter and Google testify Tuesday and Wednesday before Congress is not how Russia used social media to interfere in last year’s presidential election, but rather what role U.S. voters, the federal government and social media companies should play in building resiliency against such disinformation campaigns in the future. However, in the short-term, collaboration between the government and private industry to institute transparency of ads may minimize the impact of nefarious foreign actors.

  • Tuesday, Colin Stretch, the general counsel of Facebook, Sean Edgett, the acting general counsel of Twitter, and Richard Salgado, the director of law enforcement and information security at Google, will testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism to discuss extremist content and Russian disinformation online.
  • Wednesday, Facebook’s Stretch, Twitter’s Edgett, and Kent Walker, Google’s senior vice president and general counsel, will also testify in front of the House Intelligence Committee following a earlier hearingat the Senate Intelligence Committee on the same topic.

While lawmakers are likely to criticize the social media executives for the exploitation of their platforms this week, the companies will likely respond that no private company should, in a free society, determine what is true and what is not. Social media, hailed as a powerful communication tool and a great equalizer by internet idealists, has also been clearly demonstrated as a critical element in amplifying deceptive narratives to susceptible audiences.

  • “Twitter’s open and real-time nature is a powerful antidote to the spreading of all types of false information,” wrote Colin Crowell, Twitter’s vice president of public policy, government and philanthropy in June. “This is important because we cannot distinguish whether every single Tweet from every person is truthful or not. We, as a company, should not be the arbiter of truth.”
  • The scale of use of these platforms also means policing propagators of disinformation – foreign or domestic – among billions of other users will never be perfect.

Todd Rosenblum - The Cipher Brief

However, Russian use of these prominent internet platforms was merely one aspect of what was a much larger and more coordinated Russian effort to undermine faith in Western democratic institutions. Solving the social media problem will not solve the Russia problem, but experts agree that, given the continuing success of Russia’s interference in U.S. politics, both the Kremlin and other nefarious actors will execute similar information operations against vulnerable open societies in the coming years.

Mark Jacobson - The Cipher Brief

  • Dezinformatsia, a Russian umbrella term for so-called disinformation operations, seeks to muddy the political and social waters of adversaries, undermining public trust.
  • Disinformation is spread through both overt state-sponsored media, such as Russian channels RT and Sputnik, and covert operations, such as weaponized hack-and-leak operations, cutouts, and compromising material, or Kompromat.
  • According to Facebook’s own statements, the Kremlin employs a network of paid trolls – most notably the Internet Research Agency – to amplify divisive opinions and misinformation to exploit societies’ political flashpoints, from immigration and racism to gender identity and gun rights. Between 2015 and 2017, the troll farm reportedly posted about 80,000 times – over 200 posts a day – and that roughly 29 million people received the content in their news feeds, and at most, another 126 million may have been exposed to the Kremlin-directed disinformation through likes and shares.
  • According to data from six of the 470 Russian Facebook pages that have been identified by the company– namely Blacktivists, United Muslims of America, Being Patriotic, Heart of Texas, Secured Borders and LGBT United – Russian disinformation content had been shared over 340 million times, and therefore likely magnitudes greater, given that it represented merely slightly over 1 percent of the known Russian sites.
  • Facebook disclosed that known Russian agents bought some $100,000 in advertisements, or around 3000 ads total, targeting specific demographic audiences and geographies such as critical election swing states, including Michigan and Wisconsin.
  • Google has acknowledged that Russian trolls uploaded over a thousand videos to YouTube on 18 different channels.

In the short-term, increased transparency of the sources and funding of ads on social media will minimize the risk of manipulation. Social Media companies have begun to implement this transparency, but online ads are often automated, making vetting and policing difficult.

  • Last week, Twitter announced that it will ban Russian state-sponsored media channels RT and Sputnik from purchasing ads and will require election-related ads for candidates to disclose who is purchasing them and how they are being targeted.
  • Rob Goldman, Facebook’s vice president in charge of ad products, said the company is designing new tools that will allow users to click on a link to see all the ads any given advertiser is running, even if it did not initially target them. Goldman also said the company will build an archive of federal election ads that appear on Facebook, including the amount spent and number times an ad is displayed.

Ultimately, informing users of potential disinformation may be the primary way to navigate the complex and easily-manipulated digital information landscape of the future. How consumers of news on social media can effectively distinguish fact from fiction will be the real bulwark against Russian disinformation, not the policing of content from privately owned platforms.

Todd Rosenblum - The Cipher Brief

Mark Jacobson - The Cipher Brief

Twitter, Facebook, and Google did not respond to requests for comment.

Levi Maxey is a cyber and technology analyst at The Cipher Brief. Follow him on Twitter @lemax13.

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Russian hackers targeted hundreds of US Gmail accounts, new ‘hit list’ shows

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Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, hackers staged a cyber assault with a self-spreading malware that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries.  (Reuters)

The Russian hackers who targeted Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign also attempted to breach several thousand email inboxes, including those of U.S. defense contractors, a papal representative, and a member of the punk band Pussy Riot.

That’s according to a digital hit list obtained by the Associated Press.

The comprehensive list highlights not only the close relationship between the hacking group Fancy Bear and the Russian government, but also the wide variety of their targets — including both Republicans and Democrats — going back several years.

The lengthy catalogue, which includes approximately 4,700 Gmail users worldwide, is “a master list of individuals whom Russia would like to spy on, embarrass, discredit or silence,” Keir Giles, director of the Conflict Studies Research Center, told the AP.

Hackers acquired “a master list of individuals whom Russia would like to spy on, embarrass, discredit or silence.”

– Keir Giles, director of the Conflict Studies Research Center

In the U.S., the hackers tried to access at least 570 inboxes, according to the AP. Workers for Boeing, Raytheon, and Lockheed Martin were among the most targeted, as well as top U.S. officials, including former Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark. Additionally, more than 130 political party workers’ inboxes were targeted, including several Democrats and some Republicans.

Also accessed: The private correspondence of U.S. Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and former Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, in cyberattacks tied to Russian hackers.

In Ukraine, the AP’s analysis showed that Fancy Bear tried to access at least 545 email accounts, including one belonging to President Petro Poroshenko. And the hackers actively sought to breach numerous accounts of domestic Russian dissidents, musicians and journalists.

Targets there included the Vatican’s representative in Kiev and feminist Pussy Riot member Maria Alekhina, who was detained in August for rallying for the release of a Ukrainian filmmaker outside his Siberian prison.

The hit list was divined using data assembled by Secureworks, a cybersecurity firm. Secureworks obtained thousands of malicious links and emails after Fancy Bear accidentally revealed secretive information about its phishing operation.

Fancy Bear is believed to be closely associated with the Russia’s military intelligence agency, the GRU. The AP’s findings provide further evidence of Fancy Bear’s collaboration with the Russian government.

Fancy Bear’s work is not confined to hacking emails. In 2014, experts believe Fancy Bear created a malicious version of a mobile app and posted it to a Ukrainian military forum. The compromised app likely allowed the Russian military to view the locations of Ukrainian soldiers on the battlefield, officials said.

Security researchers believe Fancy Bear is using a sophisticated leaked National Security Agency hacking tool known as EternalBlue, the Hill reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Russian hackers targeted hundreds of US Gmail accounts, new ‘hit list’ shows – Fox News

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Fox News
Russian hackers targeted hundreds of US Gmail accounts, new ‘hit list’ shows
Fox News
Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National SecurityAgency, hackers staged a cyber assault with a self-spreading malware that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries. (Reuters).and more »

Child sex offenders to be named as such in US passports

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The Trump administration is moving to require the passports of registered child sex offenders to identify them as such

Congressional Dems File Brief Opposing Bakers in Gay Wedding Cake Case 

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More than 200 congressional Democrats joined an amici curiae brief Wednesday in support of the same-sex couple who sued a Colorado-based baker after he refused to bake a cake for their wedding.

Led by Sen. Tammy Baldwin (Wisc.) and Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, the first openly gay New Yorker elected to Congress, the brief was joined by 36 Senators and 175 members of the House of Representatives. Among the notable signatories are Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.).

“I support religious freedom and the freedom of full equality for every American. Our religious beliefs don’t entitle any of us to discriminate against others and I don’t believe that any American should face discrimination based on race, gender, or sexual orientation—whether it’s at a bakery, a hotel, or a doctor’s office,” said Baldwin. “It is simply wrong to discriminate against any American based on who they are or who they love. If an individual has the ability to pay for a service and is not in violation of the law, they should not be turned away.”

The case, Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, concerns cakeshop owner Jack Phillips, who refused to sell a cake to Charlie Craig and David Mullins for the two men’s wedding. In response, Craig and Mullins filed charges in front of the Colorado Civil Rights Commission, contending that their civil rights had been denied.

The case centers around Phillips’s First Amendment rights to both freedom of worship and to freedom of expression: Phillips sees his work as art, and thinks that the obligation to make cakes independent of their use contravenes his expression rights. Craig and Mullins, meanwhile, contend that Phillips’s denial of service to them violates their civil rights to not be turned away in public simply because of their sexual orientation.

The case has drawn attention as the latest to deal with rights for gay Americans—following 2012’s United States v. Windsor and 2015’s Obergefell v. Hodges—and for Americans who oppose same-sex marriage for religious or moral reasons.

Ruling in favor of Phillips would be contrary to the history of antidiscrimination legislation, and would permit unchecked discrimination while blocking legislators from intervening, the Democrats said.

“To allow the exemptions sought by Petitioners would effectively create a constitutional rule condoning broad-based discriminatory conduct while hamstringing Congress from enacting comprehensive nondiscrimination legislation in the future,” they write.

Rather, they contend, the religious concerns of Phillips and others are overruled by a need to practice equal treatment, the “cost” of doing business in an equal society. The exemption that Phillips seeks is incompatible with existing non-discrimination law, regardless of how much he engages in “expressive” conduct.

“At a minimum, the obligation to recognize basic civil rights and practice equal treatment is at least the ‘cost’ of doing business. Put simply, doing business in a society of equals necessitates equal treatments,” they write.

The Democrats also claim that Masterpiece’s argument is reminiscent of those made against passage of title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which banned discrimination against African Americans in restaurants, shops, and other “places of public accommodation.”

“The very reasons once cited for the pervasive exclusion of African Americans from places of public accommodation … could be cited in support of conduct invoking this exemption,” they write.

Eleven Senate Democrats, as well as Democrat-aligned independent Sen. Angus King (Maine), did not join the brief. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.) did sign on. Among those who did not join the brief are several Senators who face tough reelection battles in 2018: Sens. Joe Donnelly (Ind.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), and Joe Manchin (W.Va.).

An amici brief from congressional Republicans, led by Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) and Reps. Vicky Hartzler (Miss.) and Mike Johnson (La.), was filed in September in support of Phillips and Masterpiece.

The post Congressional Dems File Brief Opposing Bakers in Gay Wedding Cake Case appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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· · ·

FBI is closer to drawing a conclusion on motive for Las Vegas shooting

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ImageJim Wilson / The New York Times

FBI agents gather near an entrance to the site of the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, Oct. 4, 2017. A lone gunman, Stephen Paddock, fired down onto attendees at the festival from a 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay suite nearby, killing at least 59 and injuring hundreds.

By Ricardo Torres-Cortez (contact)

Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017 | 2 a.m.

Click to enlarge photoSteve Marcus

Aaron Rouse, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Las Vegas Division, responds to a question during a media briefing at Metro Police headquarters Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017.

A month into the investigation of why Stephen Paddock indiscriminately rained gunfire on thousands of concert attendees, killing 58 and injuring hundreds at the Route 91 Harvest festival, investigators maintain that there is “absolutely” no indication the gunman was ideologically driven or affiliated with any international or domestic terror or hate group.

But investigators have made significant strides in their efforts to try to determine the how and the why the 64-year-old Mesquite gunman decided to shatter windows of a 32nd story Mandalay Bay suite, bringing forth the biggest loss of life during a shooting in modern U.S. history Oct. 1 on the Las Vegas Strip, said Aaron Rouse, FBI Las Vegas’ special agent in charge.

“We do know a lot more (about Paddock) than when we started,” Rouse told the Las Vegas Sun Wednesday afternoon. “I feel like we are going in the correct direction to understand why this happened.”

Asked if investigators have pinpointed a possible motive, Rouse said he believes that, “When we’re done, we’ll have as close to an answer on the why as you’re going to be able to come to without talking with (Paddock).”

But before that conclusion is made and publicly announced, investigators need to ensure that determination comes from evidence and facts and not from speculation or assumption, Rouse said, asking for patience from the public. “It won’t be as fast as people would want it to be. This isn’t a TV show.”

Since the shooting, investigators have received and tracked hundreds of tips, Rouse said.

Initially, the probe extended worldwide, but it’s scaled down since agents got a lot of the answers they were searching for, which include Paddock’s movements and contacts, Rouse said. Briefings are held daily and new developments are communicated to Metro Police, which is working in conjunction with its federal counterpart.

At one point more than 300 FBI personnel had been summoned, with hundreds more in rotation when the original group became fatigued. The FBI’s Evidence Response Team “painstakingly” worked side by side with Metro’s forensic investigators in a “very long and detailed effort” to measure and study the killing field.

“When they’re done with their final report, there will be — I think — as best representation forensically of what happened as you can possibly ask for,” Rouse said. And that information led investigators in “good directions.”

The agency’s victim assistance unit repatriated belongings left behind by the victims with their loved ones. “You never quite know how a small object is going to affect someone’s life,” Rouse said.

Interviews and follow-ups have been conducted and subpoenas have been served and returned. It’s not rare to see hundreds or even thousands of these court orders in an investigation of this scale, Rouse said. Footage related to the shooting, a substantial amount turned in by civilians, has amounted to more than 40 terabytes.

Rouse said video provided by the public has helped tighten a timeline, which has seen several adjustments. “We can’t say ‘thank you’ enough.”

We’ve been very fortunate that we’ve had a fairly good, robust understanding of the events that have gone on, and unfortunately people got wrapped up around a timeline,” Rouse said, referring to what Metro Police has said about that due to its preliminary nature, it was likely to include inconsistencies as investigators learned more, and dealt with different time stamps, logs and witness statements.

Responding to criticism of the shifting timeline, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said during the last public briefing Oct. 13 that information released the days after the shooting, which was what investigators knew at the time, was to “calm the public” and not serve as an official account or build a legal case.

The current timeline remains consistent, Rouse said.

As with other modern mass-casualty events, conspiracy theories have been rampant online. Was there a second shooter; was it a false-flag operation, is there a government cover-up?

All evidence points to Paddock being the only shooter and “we’re too busy to pay attention” to online conspiracy theorists, Rouse said.

“Thousands of people have been involved in this effort, (a cover-up) would require an effort to keep all of them in line with the same story and that doesn’t happen in real life,” Rouse said. “So we’re going to continue to focus on the facts, we’re going to continue to focus on being thorough, and it will take as long as it takes, but I believe we’re making significant progress.”

Asked if the misinformation has led to false tips, Rouse said that it happens in every investigation.

“I think it becomes more intensified because of the media outpouring on this particular event,” Rouse said. But they follow every lead to assure that what’s being reported “absolutely did or did not happen.”

Victims, their loved ones and the public deserve for the FBI to be right, as that contributes to the trust and confidence the federal agency seeks. “I have the ultimate confidence to know that we’re following a tried and true course that has worked well for law enforcement agencies worldwide.”

Nevada can be proud of the public-private partnerships, Rouse said.

“Bad things are going to happen,” Rouse said. “It’s how you respond to them that shows your true sense of community, and this is a strong community.”

Read the whole story
· · · · · ·

FBI is closer to drawing a conclusion on motive for Las Vegas shooting – Las Vegas Sun

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FBI is closer to drawing a conclusion on motive for Las Vegas shooting
Las Vegas Sun
FBI agents gather near an entrance to the site of the Route 91 Harvest festival in Las Vegas, Oct. 4, 2017. A lone gunman, Stephen Paddock, fired down onto attendees at the festival from a 32nd-floor Mandalay Bay suite nearby, killing at least 59 and and more »

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With Tweet, Trump May Add Burden to Prosecution of Attack Suspect 

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The president’s late-night Twitter message could complicate the case against the man accused in the Manhattan truck attack before it even heads to trial.

Child sex offenders to be named as such in US passports

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America’s registered child sex offenders will now have to use passports identifying them for their past crimes when traveling overseas.

     

Bin Laden raid: Son Hamza’s wedding video in CIA file release – BBC News

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BBC News
Bin Laden raid: Son Hamza’s wedding video in CIA file release
BBC News
Osama Bin Laden’s personal diary, video of his son Hamza’s wedding and documentaries about himself were among files found on the al-Qaeda leader’s computer, the CIA has revealed. Nearly half a million of the files have been released, the fourth such …
CIA releases more files it says came from bin Laden raid, including his journalCNN
Inside Bin Laden’s Files: GIFs, Memes, and Mr. BeanWIRED
CIA release of bin Laden files renews interest in Iran linksFox News
PBS NewsHour –Ars Technica –Washington Post –CIA
all 225 news articles »

CIA release of bin Laden files renews interest in Iran links

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The CIA’s release of documents seized during the 2011 raid that killed al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden has again raised questions about Iran’s support of the extremist network leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

     

Rumbles of the Quantum Computing Revolution in SecurityTheoretical ideas appear … 

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Rumbles of the Quantum Computing Revolution in Security

Theoretical ideas appear to be on the brink of spurring a revolution in quantum technologies and, as a result, defense and national security.

Street Sense: The Urban Battlefields of the FutureCounterinsurgency operations o… 

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Street Sense: The Urban Battlefields of the Future

Counterinsurgency operations of the future will take place in crowded urban environments; fighting within cities, rather than for them.
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What Defines a Terrorist? Motive Matters.Is terrorism defined by the existence o… 

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What Defines a Terrorist? Motive Matters.

Is terrorism defined by the existence of a political motive, or is it a description of a tactic?

https://www.thecipherbrief.com/article/tech/social-media-fifth-column-fifth-domain 

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Social Media: The Fifth Column in the Fifth Domain

Social Media: The Fifth Column in the Fifth Domain

As representatives from Twitter, Facebook, and Google prepare to testify before Congress, we look at how these platforms fit into a larger Russian disinformation campaign.

Stay tuned for new episode of Intelligence Matters featuring @pburelli on what’s behind the crisis in Venezuelapic.twitter.com/iz2VFatSat 

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Stay tuned for new episode of Intelligence Matters featuring  on what’s behind the crisis in Venezuela 

What About Election Meddling by U.S. Intelligence?

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In an otherwise forgettable February 2017 interview, Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly asked Donald Trump how he could respect Russian President Vladimir Putin, who O’Reilly labeled as a “killer.” Trump shockingly defended Putin by commenting, “There are a lot of killers. We have killers. Well, you think our country is so innocent?” On a separate Fox program in 2015, Trump brushed off comments that Putin kills journalists who disagree with him, responding, “I think our country does plenty of killing too.” Trump’s tendency to attribute moral equivalence to otherwise non-comparable issues was again on display when he repeatedly blamed “both sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

This political tactic of deflecting answers is not unique to Trump. Indeed, it is long-favorite ploy of Soviet and Russian spokesmen. The Washington Post recently wrote an article about the issue entitled, “Whataboutism: The Cold War tactic, thawed by Putin, is brandished by Donald Trump.” Of the many practices and talking points that President Trump has seemed to borrow from Putin’s Russia, “whataboutism” is particularly insidious. As New York Times correspondent Anne O’Hare described this much-used trick, “it may not convince, but it adds to the confusion between truth and falsehood and fosters that darkness of the mind in which dictatorships operate.” When combined with Russia’s use of disinformation, bots, propaganda, espionage, cyber-attacks, Facebook advertisements, and espionage, it makes for a powerful intelligence operation.

Both authors of this piece served in the CIA and have become sensitive to a “whataboutism” charge often leveled by people across the political spectrum: “So what if Russia meddled in our election? It is exactly what the CIA does around the world.” Such suggestions—particularly from the president himself—are frustrating, to say the least. Rather than be compared to U.S. actions overseas, the Russian intelligence operation needs to be judged for what it is: a Russian attack on the United States.

At the risk of acting exactly as Russia would like, we’ll indulge the whataboutism crowd for a moment. We openly admit the CIA is an espionage enterprise, and a major component of that, as the CIA says in its mission statement, is to conduct “effective covert action as directed by the President.” A covert action—be it, for example, sabotage, the spreading of propaganda or a paramilitary operation—is designed to hide the hand of the country carrying out that action, or at least provide plausible deniability. The action itself is usually intended to have a political effect. Covert action is similar to what Russian intelligence services call “active measures.”

The president must approve every covert action through a “Presidential Finding,” and the intelligence oversight committees in Congress monitor the action.

We also openly admit the United States has participated in its share of excesses. In the early years of the Cold War, the United States overthrew governments, including democratically elected ones, and even attempted to assassinate leaders of other countries.

These are not the proudest moments of our history, which is why our democratic institutions have sought to curb such excesses and ensure our intelligence activities align with our values as a nation. Constitutional change in leadership has assured those values are constantly reassessed. The pendulum has swung over time. The 1975 Church Committee investigations of intelligence abuses put an end to U.S. government-sanctioned assassination and established the Senate oversight committee. However, the attacks of September 11 led to new excesses, the consequences of which we, as a country, are still dealing with today.

Indeed, due to increased oversight and lessons learned from earlier mistakes, the CIA has been out of the business of overthrowing governments for a long time. One can agree or disagree with the policy, but recent efforts aimed at regime change have come with a decidedly military flavor. Of course, there are consequences to any effort aimed at overthrowing a country’s leadership, but it seems the United States has come to the conclusion that it is better to do so overtly, and with allies if possible.

The key point, however, is that our society processes its blunders and takes the consequences seriously. Our covert action does not take place in a vacuum, but within a structured set of rules and laws. They are not perfect. When we see imperfections, we work to fix them. It’s not always pretty, and it doesn’t always work well (ask any field officer how many meetings with lawyers he or she had to have before undertaking even the slightest first step toward covert action). But generally speaking, we endeavor to create a better way of doing things, implementing checks and balances to control potential overreach. We keep aiming for better.

So how is Russia’s influence operation against our election different?

Russia’s influence operation is an attempt by an authoritarian regime, led by a single individual with zero oversight and who is not accountable in any way, to influence and divide a democratic society through its open, democratic election process. It is the equivalent of Russia bombing the democratic institutions of the Western world.

Putin is in a weak position. With an economy smaller than that of New York state and no vision for the country except his own enrichment, Putin has very little to offer his people. Unable to raise his country up, he seeks parity by pulling other countries down. Underlying this is a desire to consolidate and maintain power in a single central authority: Putin himself. Indeed, Putin not only attacks the democratic institutions of other countries, he even stage manages his own elections.

The Russian influence operation against our election was part of this strategy, which was also applied across Europe as several countries held elections, including in the Netherlands, France and Germany. A key component of this operation is preventing people from having a say in their own government, by spreading lies about candidates or asking what’s the point in voting at all, and by exploiting societal fractures and dividing people. Putin has needed this at home—again, because he has little to offer in terms of a vision of the future of Russia—and he is attempting to implement the same elsewhere.

In a free society, citizens have the ability to learn about their government’s actions and to debate and criticize them. Journalists, too, are free to be critical of their leaders. They can – and do – uncover CIA covert activities and critique and criticize as they wish. In Russia, this gets you killed. Putin’s government is implicated in numerous assassinations of Russian journalists and opposition figures.

In a callback to Soviet times, Putin sees both the public and private sectors as his personal foreign policy tools. He directs private companies and individuals to carry out his active measures. Troll farms spread disinformation. Hackers steal information. He has enlisted Russian media to serve as his foreign policy tool. As the editor of RT America said in an interview with The Hill, “When Russia is at war, we are, of course, on Russia’s side.” U.S. covert action, on the other hand, is authorized directly by the President and restrained by Congressional oversight. We also transfer power every four or eight years. Putin faces no such restraints.

Despite President Trump’s rants against journalists, the United States government does not dictate the content of U.S. media outlets. Even ex-spooks are allowed to speak out. John recently publicly questioned if Trump colluded with Russia, and Alex wrote a series critical of the U.S. role in overthrowing Iran’s prime minister in 1953. Can you imagine an ex-KGB officer writing a public article criticizing Putin or a Russian active measures campaign? The polonium-laced tea would be delivered directly to her hotel room.

The fundamental difference between Putin’s Russia and the United States is the key to understanding why Russia’s influence operation is different. The assignment of moral equivalence between an open society, however imperfect, and Putin’s Russia that inhibits a free press, squashes any and all opposition, and invades its neighbors is wrong, and frankly offensive to those public servants upholding the Constitution.

At the end of the day, there is a reality of right and wrong in the world. The U.S., despite its mistakes, is about a world order that serves the U.S. by benefiting all. Putin, on the other hand, seeks to interrupt and weaken the credibility of the West worldwide, fueled by the singular ambition of maintaining personal power and wealth.

Yes, the U.S. takes action overseas, but it is fundamentally different than Russia and is supported by a legal process that is answerable to the electorate. As Joel Harding commented recently on his blog, To Inform is to Influence, “In the United States we count our blessings in terms of our freedoms. Freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and so on. I often ask, what freedoms do Russians have?”

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· · · · ·

Russian Intelligence services – Google News: What About Election Meddling by U.S. Intelligence? – The Cipher Brief – The Cipher Brief

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What About Election Meddling by U.S. Intelligence? – The Cipher Brief
The Cipher Brief
President Trump is borrowing one of Putin’s and Russia’s most insidious tactics: ‘whataboutism.’and more »

 Russian Intelligence services – Google News

Donald Trump – Google News: Trump just said alleged NYC terrorist should be killed. That may hurt the case against him – CNBC

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CNBC
Trump just said alleged NYC terrorist should be killed. That may hurt the case against him
CNBC
President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the man alleged to have committed a terrorist attack in New York City this week should be killed. “SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!” Trump tweeted, referring to Sayfullo Saipov, who was charged Wednesday …
The Attack in Manhattan Poses a Test for Donald TrumpThe Atlantic
Donald Trump Responds To NYC Incident: ‘NOT IN THE USA’HuffPost
Donald Trump’s death penalty call for New York terror suspect Sayfullo Saipov raises fears of tainted trialTelegraph.co.uk

all 3,313 news articles »

 Donald Trump – Google News

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Russia sought to influence LGBT voters with ‘Buff Bernie’ ad

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Russian propagandists sought to influence LGBT voters with a “Buff Bernie” ad. (Photo public domain)

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Russia sought to influence LGBT voters with ‘Buff Bernie’ ad – Washington Blade

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Washington Blade
Russia sought to influence LGBT voters with ‘Buff Bernie’ ad
Washington Blade
The highly anticipated dump of social media ads Russian propagandists used to influence the2016 election against Hillary Clinton was made public Wednesday, revealing at least one adaimed at titillating gay voters with a buffed up version of her and more »

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: House Drops Motherlode of Russian Propaganda – Daily Beast

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Daily Beast
House Drops Motherlode of Russian Propaganda
Daily Beast
Paid ads are a small fraction of Russian propaganda on social media, both the companies and their legislative overseers emphasized. Far larger was the organic content created by troll farms like Internet Research Agency—a St.Petersburg-based Russian …
Lawmakers slam social media giants for fake news and Russian adsNew York Post
Facebook, Google, Twitter say 150 million Americans saw Russian propagandaSan Francisco Chronicle
Lawmakers say there’s still more work to be done after second day of social media testimony on HillCBS News
Christian Science Monitor –WIRED –Business Insider –Google Blog
all 313 news articles »

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook – Google News: The social media ads Russia wanted Americans to see – Politico

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Politico
The social media ads Russia wanted Americans to see
Politico
Russian accounts bought thousands of social media ads on hot-button U.S. issues ranging fromBlack Lives Matter to illegal immigration, according to a batch of the ads released Wednesday by members of the House intelligence panel. Here is a sampling of  

 Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook – Google News

House Intelligence Committee Releases Incendiary Russian Social Media Ads – New York Times

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New York Times
House Intelligence Committee Releases Incendiary Russian Social Media Ads
New York Times
The House Intelligence Committee released dozens of advertisements that Russia-linked firms created during the 2016 campaign. • Facebook, Google and Twitter are on Capitol Hill on Wednesday after a hearing a day earlier, this time to face questions 
Senators Take to Facebook to Criticize Facebook’s Russian AdsWIRED
Facebook also showed Russia-linked ads on other websitesMarkets Insider
These are some of the tweets and Facebook ads Russia used to try and influence the 2016 presidential electionRecode
The Guardian –Fortune –Google Blog –Meeting | Hearings & Meetings | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
all 883 news articles »

Russia Investigations: Connecting the Dots – Bloomberg

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Bloomberg
Russia Investigations: Connecting the Dots
Bloomberg
Paul Manafort and Rick Gates were placed under house arrest after pleading not guilty to charges in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s meddling with the 2016 U.S. election. George Papadopoulos, an ex-foreign policy adviser, …
How to Interpret Robert Mueller’s Charges Against Paul ManafortWIRED
Robert Mueller’s Office Will Issue First Indictment Monday, Sources ConfirmNBCNews.com
Top House Intelligence member ‘can’t comment’ if Trump under investigation in Russia probeABC News
The Atlantic –CNN –Politico
all 1,069 news articles »
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The Russia investigation timeline – CBS News

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CBS News
The Russia investigation timeline
CBS News
By Katie Ross Dominick, Julia Burnham, Nicole Sganga and Brittany Knotts. November 2013. The Miss Universe pageant is held in Moscow. “The event’s location was secured thanks to licensing fees of nearly $20 million paid by a Moscow real estate …
Washington prepares for the unexpected as Russia investigation unfoldsWashington Post
Americans are really divided on the Russia investigationCNN
A Lot Happened in the Russia Investigation on Monday. Here’s a Wrap-Up.New York Times
The Providence Journal –USA TODAY –The Independent
all 5,510 news articles »

The Man Who Could Break the Russia Investigation Wide Open – WNYC

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WNYC
The Man Who Could Break the Russia Investigation Wide Open
WNYC
Former Trump adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about an April 2016 conversation with a Russian professor who claimed to have “dirt” on Hillary Clinton. Max Kutner, a senior politics writer at Newsweek, and Amy Sabrin, a  

Trump resists mounting pressure from Bannon and others to fight Mueller – Washington Post

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WIRED
Trump resists mounting pressure from Bannon and others to fight Mueller
Washington Post
Debate intensified in President Trump’s political circle Tuesday over how aggressively to confront special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, dividing some of the president’s advisers and loyalists as the Russia investigation enters a new phase following 
How to Interpret Robert Mueller’s Charges Against Paul ManafortWIRED
Robert Mueller’s Office Will Issue First Indictment Monday, Sources ConfirmNBCNews.com
Robert Mueller’s First ChargesThe Atlantic
Politico –KRIS Corpus Christi News –New York Magazine –CNN
all 1,099 news articles »

White House signals Trump will stay out of Mueller’s way – Politico

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Politico
White House signals Trump will stay out of Mueller’s way
Politico
Defunding the Russia investigation? Influential Republicans are warning the White House to avoid such a direct attack. Setting up a dueling probe to dig into Democratic scandals? That might distract attention, but it won’t stop Mueller’s wide-ranging and more »

Mueller moves complicate Hill Russia inquiries – CNN

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CNN
Mueller moves complicate Hill Russia inquiries
CNN
Mueller’s investigation, which has already led to some dust-ups with the Hill, threatens to limit the scope of the congressional Russia probes even further. And Democrats are increasingly coming around to the idea that Mueller may be their best shot at 
Unanswered questions in Robert Mueller’s Russia investigationABC News
Russia Tried To Infiltrate Trump Campaign, Mueller Documents ConfirmNPR
What’s next in Mueller’s Russia investigation?CBS News
Fox News –Bloomberg –Department of Justice
all 5,961 news articles »

Manafort’s Brooklyn Brownstone Goes From Eyesore to Evidence – New York Times

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New York Times
Manafort’s Brooklyn Brownstone Goes From Eyesore to Evidence
New York Times
On Monday, federal prosecutors linked the house to something more than a local annoyance: It was, they charged, a mechanism through which Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, laundered millions in unreported income from lobbying …
Did Manafort use laundered money to pay Gardens contractor?MyPalmBeachPost
Meet the blogger who helped indict Paul ManafortPoynter (blog)
‘We stayed in Paul Manafort’s Airbnb’BBC News
The Verge –Fast Company –Yahoo Finance –Department of Justice
all 78 news articles »
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3:47 PM 11/1/2017 – Cambridge Analytica Is Hiring Up Staffers For Mexico’s Elections – BuzzFeed News 

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Saved Stories – Trump Investigations Saved Stories – Trump Investigations cambridge analytica – Google News: The Trump Campaign’s Data Firm Is Hiring Up Staffers For Mexico’s Elections – BuzzFeed News social media in trump campaign – Google News: Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators unveil election security bill | Social media companies decline to back ad … – … Continue reading “3:47 PM 11/1/2017 – Cambridge Analytica Is Hiring Up Staffers For Mexico’s Elections – BuzzFeed News”

Saved Stories – Cambridge Analytica: Trump, Assange, Bannon, Farage… bound together in an unholy alliance – The Guardian

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The Guardian
Trump, Assange, Bannon, Farage… bound together in an unholy alliance
The Guardian
Because that was the day that the dramatis personae of two separate Trump-Russia scandals smashed headlong into one another. A high-speed news car crash between Cambridge Analyticaand Wikileaks, the two organisations that arguably had the most … 

 Saved Stories – Cambridge Analytica

Cambridge Analytica Social Media Posts in Trump and Brexit campaigns – Google News: You don’t need Brexit or Trump conspiracies to worry about Facebook – New Statesman

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Los Angeles Times
You don’t need Brexit or Trump conspiracies to worry about Facebook
New Statesman
An extra level of frisson has been added to the reports in recent days, with news that Cambridge Analytica approached Julian Assange – still hiding out in the Ecuadorian embassy in London – about the emails hacked from the Hilary Clinton campaign which …
Security and disinformation in the U.S. 2016 election – Google BlogGoogle Blog
Extremist Content and Russian Disinformation Online: Working with – United States Senate Committee on the JudiciaryMeeting | Hearings & Meetings | United States Senate Committee on the Judiciaryall 883 news articles »

 Cambridge Analytica Social Media Posts in Trump and Brexit campaigns – Google News

Facebook, Google, Twitter: How tech giants are involved in the Russia investigation – Fox News

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Fox News
Facebook, Google, Twitter: How tech giants are involved in the Russia investigation
Fox News
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg revealed that the social media platform turned over to Congress 3,000 political propaganda ads tied to Russian accounts which were used during the2016 election. Here’s a breakdown of the complicated relationship …
Capitol Hill Continues Investigation Into Russia’s Interference In 2016 ElectionWWNO
House Intelligence Committee Releases Incendiary Russian Social Media AdsNew York Times
Facebook to tell Congress Russian-linked content may have reached 126 million during 2016 electionABC News
CNET –The Guardian –The Independent –Google Blog
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Fake news post says Mueller indicted 4 Democrats in Russia investigation – PolitiFact

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PolitiFact
Fake news post says Mueller indicted 4 Democrats in Russia investigation
PolitiFact
The announcement of indictments stemming from Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election sparked a fake news story that said a Democratic quartet was ensnared in the inquiry. “Breaking: Breitbart leaks names 
Sean Hannity Said ‘President Clinton’ Because on Manafort Monday, Even Republicans Can’t Believe Trump Is in ChargeNewsweek
Hillary Clinton Is Asked Who She’ll Dress up as for Halloween — Her Answer Is a Real DoozyIndependent Journal Reviewall 249 news articles »

Kremlin: Attempts to tie US investigations to Russia ‘baseless’ and ‘ludicrous’ – The Boston Globe

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Kremlin: Attempts to tie US investigations to Russia ‘baseless’ and ‘ludicrous’
The Boston Globe
Moscow has always denied playing any role in the 2016 presidential election and has portrayed the investigation into Russian interference as an attempt by President Trump’s opponents to cover up for the election defeat of Hillary Clinton. Kremlin and more »

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6:53 AM 10/31/2017 – M.N.: Comments to Mr. Hall’s article: “The “Russian clumsiness” in this affair was pushed very much to the front. The good, well designed and executed intelligence operations (please, forgive my amateurish ramblings, I am not a pro at all in these matters) probably are never or very rarely discovered and publicised, unless they are meant so by design.”

Russia’s outreach to George Papadopoulos went just how spies would have done it. I ran the CIA’s Russia operations. Here’s what I make of the Trump aide’s plea deal.

 October 31 at 6:00 AM 

Steven L. Hall retired from the CIA in 2015 after 30 years of running and managing Russian operations.
“Who is George Papadopoulos?
George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty in early October to lying to federal officials about his contacts with Russian nationals. He is one of three former Trump campaign officials facing criminal charges. (Elyse Samuels/The Washington Post)

The facts as laid out in the newly unsealed plea agreement between special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and George Papadopoulos, a former foreign policy adviser to President Trump’s campaign, do not provide a slam-dunk case that the Trump team was colluding with the Russian government. But to a former CIA officer like me, everything Papadopoulos admitted in the plea deal looks consistent with the modus operandi of the Russian intelligence services engaged in an “active measures” covert operation. So what might the Russians have been up to with Papadopoulos?

…and it is still not entirely clear how far the Russians may have gotten into actual voting machines and voter registrations databases at the state level.

…an as-yet-unidentified professor there became interested in Papadopoulos after learning that he had a foreign policy role in Trump’s campaign.”

[“The London professor is not named in the official court documents but the Telegraph can disclose his identity as Professor Joseph Mifsud, honorary director of the London Academy of Diplomacy, which is affiliated to the University of Stirling in Scotland.”

Prof Mifsud confirmed he was the London professor described in the document drawn…” – M.N. ] 

“However, like most good Russian operations, this one built a strong element of deniability into the construct. The Russian government can easily say that it did have contact with some members of candidate Trump’s foreign policy team, but only in support of future foreign policy planning; if their past statements are any guide, they will label any other analysis as American “Russophobia” or Cold War-era thinking. They will simply deny any claim that Russia was trying to pass Clinton “dirt” to the Trump campaign.”

M.N.: There might be another interpretation of this “deniable construct”, as I tried to address many times previously in my posts: the behind the scenes, carefully and pedantically conceived, arranged and staged, the sophisticated manipulations of the German Intelligence. This “deniability” went just that far and no further, it might have been deliberately designed to point to Russians, which does not exclude the genuine Russian activity. The “Russian clumsiness” in this affair was pushed very much to the front. The good, well designed and executed intelligence operations probably are never or very rarely discovered and publicised, unless they are meant so by design.

Please, forgive me these amateurish ramblings, I am not a pro at all in these matters. Whatever is deeply hidden, arises our natural and deep curiosity, and with those trained as psychiatrists, it probably is a professional thing and trait. 

Absolute irreverence is a desirable feature of the medical profession, although not always employed and practiced. It should also be the principle of the high quality, deep intelligence analysis. The various types of politicization and also various types of conventional “groupthink” might obscure the vision. Searching for the truth as we see it, is the guide. The Delphic divings are always a temptation. 

And these are the general thoughts, not related necessarily to this particular article. 

“Russians will of course denounce all of this new information as conspiracy theories.”

M.N.: And it might be a “conspiracy theory”, but this does not exclude the genuine Russian activity at all. The multi-level complexity of this affair has to be appreciated. The fact that some Russians busied themselves with these activities does not exclude the possibility that they were skillfully directed by the others, in this instance, by the more sophisticated and more subtle Germans with their own agenda. 

“Americans should remember that all of that is also part of the Russians’ active measures operation against us, and that there is probably more to come.”

M.N.: The Americans should also remember the historical circumstances around the WW2. 

And all this is not to diminish the extent and the significance of the new Russian threat: it is very, very real, and very much in front of our eyes. This issue was misunderstood and neglected for decades after 1990-s in the self-soothing blinding bliss. The historical issue of the Russian Threat, in all its manifestations, aspects, developments, etc., has to be studied carefully and objectively, it has to be understood, diagnosed correctly, and to be dealt with, the earlier the better, and preferably now, and in a well thought out, methodical and consistent fashion. The illusion of the “end of the Cold War” is shattered. This is a new reality, but it does not have to become the “new normal”. Normal it is not, and will never be. This new reality is very much abnormal, and this historical disease has to treated, as efficiently and as radically as it is possible and feasible. 

Russia’s outreach to George Papadopoulos went just how spies would have done it – The Washington Post

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6:11 PM 10/30/2017 – These are the important issues for the digital age: the effects of the “psychographic” targeting and the specially designed, individually tailored advertising

The absolute numbers and the “tiny fraction of total content served” do not matter much. What matters is the numbers of the most vulnerable, and possibly not very intelligent individuals, who are the most suggestible and susceptible to the effects of “psychographic” targeting and the specially designed, individually tailored advertising, and the impact on their voting preferences. The small numbers and the “tiny fractions” can produce the crucial swing votes in the key states and localities and can determine the outcome of the elections, as, apparently, was the case in 2016.

These are the important issues for the digital age.

Michael Novakhov

10.30.17

__________________________

“For Facebook, which places roughly 220 posts each day in the news feeds of US users, the amount of content equals about tiny fraction of total content served. Americans in total were served over 33 trillion stories in their News Feeds between 2015 and 2017.”

Russian content on Facebook may have reached 126 million users — far more than first disclosed, internal document says

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trump and russia – Google News: The vital questions on Trump and Russia – The Guardian

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The Guardian
The vital questions on Trump and Russia
The Guardian
Whatever else it may be, the story of Donald Trump and Russia comes down to this: a sitting president or his campaign is suspected of having coordinated with a foreign country to manipulate a US election. He strongly denies all wrongdoing and calls the …
Trump tweets ‘NO COLLUSION’ after arrests of top aides in Russian probeChicago Tribune
Trump says any Manafort misdeeds occurred ‘years ago’ABC News
Trump rages on Twitter at Clinton and Russia inquiry ‘witch hunt’BBC News
Washington Post –FRANCE 24 –Telegraph.co.uk –CNN
all 346 news articles »

 trump and russia – Google News

emails investigation is Russia-Trump set-up – Google News: The Painstaking Detail of the Manafort-Gates Indictment Shows What a Solid Job Robert Mueller Has Done – Slate Magazine (blog)

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Slate Magazine (blog)
The Painstaking Detail of the Manafort-Gates Indictment Shows What a Solid Job Robert Mueller Has Done
Slate Magazine (blog)
Before that hack, Donald Trump Jr. arranged for Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner to meet with an attorney who was offering help directly from Russia. (Trump Jr. famously responded to the offer of dirt on Clinton by saying, “[I]f it’s what and more »

 emails investigation is Russia-Trump set-up – Google News

Robert Mueller’s indictment of Paul Manafort and Robert Gates is a painstaking catalog of alleged crimes.

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Palmer Report: Paul Manafort has been arrested, and it sounds like Michael Flynn has cut a deal against Donald Trump

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Here’s the thing about Donald Trump: he’ll throw anyone under the bus. Moments after his campaign chairman Paul Manafort was arrested this morning, Trump dismissively tweeted that Manafort was arrested for crimes that took place before he joined the campaign. When Trump announced last month that he would be helping his associates with Trump-Russia legal fees, he made clear that none of the money would be going to his loyal former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. Now we may know why.

Manafort was arrested this morning on a dozen different charges. One of them is “Conspiracy against the United States” – which is every bit as ugly as it sounds. He was also charged with failure to register as a foreign agent. That’s the exact same crime Michael Flynn admitted to when he retroactively registered as a foreign agent after he’d gotten caught. We know Special Counsel Robert Mueller has had a grand jury against Flynn for some time in Virginia. Mueller is intentionally making an example of Manafort, making sure his arrest is plastered all over the TV news in the most humiliating way possible. So where is Flynn’s big spectacle of an arrest? Why isn’t he being made an example of as well?

It’s entirely possible that Michael Flynn will be arrested before the day is over, as the dual arrests of Manafort and Rick Gates – along with today’s reveal of the George Papadopoulos plea deal – have made clear that Mueller is going all-in today. But even if Flynn does quietly get arrested today, he’ll have been spared the humiliation of having been the prominent first arrest out of the gate. There’s really only one reason for Mueller to give Flynn that kind of courtesy.

If Michael Flynn has cut a deal to flip on Donald Trump, he’ll still be indicted, charged, arrested, and required to plead guilty, as part of the carrying out of that deal. It’s notable that on this day, one of Donald Trump’s two key foreign agents got popped before the cameras for all to see, while the other one seems to be getting the kid gloves. Throw in Trump’s decision not to help Flynn with his legal fees, and it sounds like even the ever-oblivious Trump knows Flynn has cut a deal against him. Why would the ever-defiant Flynn cut a deal? Simple: to keep his son Michael Flynn Jr out of prison.

Keep in mind that Robert Mueller arrested Trump adviser George Papadopoulos months ago, and formally cut a deal with him weeks ago, and none of us are learning about it until today (link). So it’s entirely possible that Michael Flynn has already secretly cut a deal as well. For that matter it’s possible Flynn already surrendered himself awhile ago – which would also explain why he wasn’t popped this morning. Stay tuned.

The post Paul Manafort has been arrested, and it sounds like Michael Flynn has cut a deal against Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

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Russian Intelligence, organized crime and mass shootings – Google News: Trump aides arrested – Castanet.net

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Castanet.net
Trump aides arrested
Castanet.net
between his campaign and the Russian government. Responding to news that two … Trump’s tweets followed news reports late Friday that a federal grand jury in Washington has approved the first charges in a criminal investigation into Russia ties led by and more »

 Russian Intelligence, organized crime and mass shootings – Google News

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12:26 PM 10/30/2017 – The geopolitical aspect of the Manafort’s Ukraine involvement

The geopolitical aspect of the Manafort’s Ukraine involvement and Trump campaign involvement: Germany achieved her old plans and dreams: the control of Ukraine, the most appetizing “morsel” left in the Eastern Europe, after the Russian bear withdrew; grudgingly, fighting, yelling, screaming, appropriating Crimea, and destabilizing the Eastern Ukraine. This control would be incomplete without the sidelining of the US, Germany’s major competitor in the region after the Russian influence had waned. 

It is conceivable that the “Manafort affair” was engineered by the German Intelligence, as a part of the larger “Trump affair”, to further discredit Yanukovych, and to solidify the Germany’s control over Ukraine during and by Poroshenko’s rule. 

Apparently, Manafort was recommended and introduced to Yanukovych camp by Putin and Deripaska, as the convenient Western and American tool, at the elections time. When things went sour, and Yanukovich fled, the role of the Manafort & Co started to unravel, further discrediting Yanukovich and his “American team”, thus helping to sideline the “wild greedy Americans” who manufacture the elections according to their secret politico-technological recipes, in contrast to the “noble Germans”, the “real protectors” of the “free elections” and the “democratic values”.

The recent, unconfirmed, and somewhat strange and puzzling,  press reports about the fistfight between Putin and Yanukovych in Sochi, on April 1, 2017, during which Yanukovich was shot in a leg by Putin’s bodyguard, may help to clarify the emotional dynamics between them. 

Yanukovych probably felt deceived and betrayed by Putin’s recommendation of Manafort to him, and this may explain his intense anger if this fight indeed took place, which I think, it did: the reports read like a lot of mysterious, confused, and the disinformational smoke behind the very real fire, which was hard to conceal, especially if Yanukovych was indeed shot in a leg during this exchange. 

Germany’s gain in these games is evident, and this once again opens the question about her role and planning of the “Trump affair” and the Manafort “sub-affair”, or a subplot. 

It would also be very hard to believe that, given the degree of the German interest and involvement, they did not know about Paul Manafort and his shenanigans. I think they were involved quite actively. 

Michael Novakhov

10.30.17 

What Did Ex-Trump Aide Paul Manafort Really Do in Ukraine?

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A former Trump aide now under federal investigation as part of the Russia probe earned millions working for a corrupt pro-Russian political party that repeatedly disparaged America’s most important military alliance.

Paul Manafort, who was Trump’s campaign chief from May to August 2016, spent nearly a decade as a consultant to Ukraine’s Party of Regions and its standardbearer, Viktor Yanukovych.

Backed by Russian-leaning oligarchs, the party opposed NATO membership and spouted anti-Western rhetoric that once helped fuel violence against American marines. Its reign ended when Yanukovych fled to Russia after bloody street protests against his personal corruption and pro-Moscow actions.

Image: Paul Manafort speaks during a primary night eventManafort has always said he tried to Westernize the party and steer it towards a democratic model, and denies any part in anti-NATO messaging, but Ukrainian critics and U.S. diplomats who served in Kiev aren’t so sure.

Related: Donald Trump Aide Paul Manafort Scrutinized for Russian Business Ties

Manafort also earned millions doing private business deals with some of the oligarchs who backed the party.

As NBC News previously reported, federal officials say that the money Manafort earned from both the party and the oligarchs — and what he did with it — are part of what has drawn the attention of investigators. New details keep emerging as U.S. and Ukrainian officials piece together Manafort’s contacts and payments in Ukraine from 2004 to 2014.

Manafort Goes to Ukraine

Manafort, the son of a wealthy Connecticut builder, had worked as a lobbyist and as an aide for Republican presidents before his stint in Ukraine. He had built a reputation for repackaging controversial foreign leaders for U.S. consumption. Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos, Angolan guerilla leader Jonas Savimbi, and Zairian strongman Mobutu Sese Seko were among his clients.

In 2004, Manafort was hired by clients in Ukraine who needed a similar image overhaul.

Image: Viktor Yanukovych in Feb. 2014Viktor Yanukovych had been governor of Donetsk, a Russian-speaking region close to the Russian border, and then the prime minister of Ukraine. He and his faction, the Party of Regions, were thought by many Western observers to have links to organized crime. As a young man, Yanukovych had been convicted of robbery and assault.

John Herbst, who was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2004 to 2006, said the motivations of the oligarchs who ran the party seemed uncomplicated. “My impression of Yanukovych and the others — and I knew most of the senior folks — it was all about getting rich or richer, and maintaining power.”

Aided by high-priced Russian political consultants, Yanukovych ran for president of Ukraine in 2004, and seemed to have won.

Related: Flynn, Manafort Are Key Figures in Russia Probe Mueller Will Lead

But the election was tainted by charges of fraud and corruption — most against Yanukovych and the Party of Regions — and an attempted assassination. A month prior to balloting, someone poisoned Yanukovych’s main rival, pro-Western candidate Viktor Yushchenko, and nearly killed him. On Election Day, Yanukovych, who had trailed in polls by double digits, won by three points, sparking accusations of voter fraud.

The government voided the election results and scheduled a do-over.

Richard Engel: Yanukovych is in Russia 0:49

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Weeks before the December 2004 presidential “re”-election, a pro-Russian Ukrainian billionaire and major Party of Regions donor named Rinat Akhmetov asked Manafort to help with Yanukovych’s troubled campaign.

Yanukovych lost the do-over election to Yushchenko, but Manafort won a job he would keep for a decade.

Manafort was hired to prepare the Party of Regions for the parliamentary elections of 2006, in which Yanukovych would try to reclaim the office of prime minister.

By 2006, Manafort and his team were “the principal political consultants in the Party of Regions,” said Taras Chornovil, a former Ukrainian Parliament deputy who was a member of the party from 2004 to 2007.

A leaked U.S. State Department cable from 2006 said that Manafort’s job was to give the Party of Regions an “extreme makeover” and “change its image from … a haven for mobsters into that of a legitimate political party.”

Related: FBI Making Inquiries Into Ex-Trump Campaign Manager’s Foreign Ties

Manafort allegedly came up with the POR’s slogan for the 2006 election, “A Better Life Today.” Though Manafort couldn’t speak Russian or Ukrainian, he taught Yankovych how to give a speech and how to stay on message.

Image:  Taras ChornovilAccording to Chornovil, Manafort’s campaign tactics that year also included mandating that Yanukovych surrogates wear make-up and Hugo Boss suits during TV interviews. After their TV appearances, they had to return the rented suits to party headquarters, Chornovil said.

When Chornovil complained about Manafort to a close associate of Yanukovych, Chornovil said the man told him Manafort was untouchable — “a big cheese here, in charge of everything.”

Manafort was also trying to help Yanukovych expand his base of support.

Ukraine has a sharp political and geographic divide between its pro-Western, Ukrainian-speaking majority and a large Russian minority that looks East.

While other American consultants, both Democratic and Republican, were working on the campaigns of Ukraine’s pro-Western “Orange” parties, Manafort was working for a party whose base was in Russian-speaking Eastern Ukraine. Manafort’s new bosses were oligarchs friendly to Moscow, and hostile to America’s principal military alliance, NATO.

Image: Taras BerezovetsSaid Herbst, “They were pro-Russian because that’s where their voters were politically and culturally. So they would not have gotten them if they were arguing for NATO — let’s join NATO — policies.”

Skepticism about NATO had the virtue of appealing to many Ukrainian speakers as well. Nationwide, more than half of the public opposed joining the military alliance.

He could attract pro-Western Ukrainians, meanwhile, by broadcasting his support for European Union membership. Some oligarchs behind the party were eager to do business with Europe anyway.

Bill Taylor, who was U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009, said Manafort would contact the U.S. embassy and tell them he was urging his client to look West. “[He said] he’d tell Yanukovych, ‘You’ll do better in Western Ukraine if you orient more toward Europe,” recalled Taylor. “‘To broaden your base, you should orient toward the EU.'”

For the next eight years, Yanukovych would adjust his positions on NATO and the EU as needed, tacking East or West depending on the electoral winds and his audience.

Sometimes his party’s public actions and Yanukovych’s private assurances to Western officials were at odds.

“[Yanukovych] was willing to allow all kinds of cooperation with NATO,” which the Russians did not like, said Amb. Herbst, “but it’s true that [Yanukovych] was organizing rallies against NATO exercises.”

Ukrainian parliament votes to have president tried 0:28

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State Department cables show that soon after the Party of Regions helped stoke anti-NATO proteststhat spurred an attack on U.S. marines in Crimea, Yanukovych told the U.S. ambassador he wanted Ukraine to join the military alliance.

Through a spokesman, Manafort says his role with Yanukovych and the POR was “strategist and consultant.” Manafort recommended “strategy and messaging,” he said, “especially as it related to the campaign and fulfillment of campaign promises.” The party’s political campaigns, said the spokesman, were “built on a foundation of economic recovery and building a relationship with the West that supported and focused on Ukraine being a part of the European Union.”

Critics of Manafort, however, insist his gameplan for the 2006 election was to drive a wedge into the electorate. Chornovil, Serhiy Leshchenko, a Ukrainian lawmaker and former investigative journalist, and Taras Berezovets, who advised one of Yanukovych’s main political foes, all say Manafort’s strategy was based on polarizing the voting public. They say he wanted to set Russian speakers against Ukrainian speakers, and supporters of Moscow against supporters of NATO.

According to Berezovets, “His idea was to [use] the matter of language to divide the electorate. The whole idea, it really worked.”

Image: Inna BohoslovskaAlong with advocacy of making Russian the second, official state language, Manafort pushed “anti-NATO propaganda,” said Chornovil.

Berezovets called anti-NATO rhetoric “one of the key ideas of Paul Manafort.”

A former U.S. diplomat in the region said he doubted using wedge issues like NATO was Manafort’s idea, but said, “Manafort was not above telling Yanukovych to exploit wedge issues.” He also acknowledged it could seem odd for a U.S. citizen to be advising an anti-NATO candidate: “I think he probably distinguishes his personal values from his political advice.”

Through his spokesman, Manafort said he never had anything to do with any anti-NATO rhetoric. “Mr. Manafort encouraged the POR to move towards the West and NATO.”

The Party of Regions won the parliamentary elections in 2006, making Yanukovych prime minister again.

‘I Am Trying to Play a Constructive Role’

Yanukovych had to run for prime minister again in 2007. Accusations of corruption and links to the Putin regime were damaging his client’s prospects, so Manafort went back to work grooming his image.

Responding to criticism that he was simply repackaging a flawed candidate, Manafort told the New York Times at the time, “I am not here just for the election…I am trying to play a constructive role in developing a democracy. I am helping to build a political party.”

Manafort hired the American public relations firm Edelman to boost Yanukovych’s public image in Europe and the U.S. for a monthly retainer of $35,000.

Yanukovych, meanwhile, traveled to Germany as part of a bid for European Union membership. “In public and private statements both at home and abroad,” said another leaked cable, “Yanukovych consistently reiterates his government’s commitment to Europe.”

Yanukovych lost the 2007 race. After the loss, both he and his party tacked East with overt anti-NATO rhetoric, a response to Yushchenko’s push for Ukraine to join NATO.

Image: Ukrainian Parliament speaker Arseniy YatFrom January through April 2008, the Party of Regions mounted a slick, well-coordinated campaign against Ukraine’s NATO membership. The “NATO No” slogan appeared on giant television screens and mass-produced blue signs at rallies where Yanukovych spoke. The same slogan was emblazoned on blue and yellow signs carried by the party’s members of Parliament onto the floor of the Parliament in February.

Provided with examples of the messaging, Manafort’s spokesman declined to comment.

In 2010, Yanukovych ran for president again, and Manafort again worked for him. This time, Yanukovych pledged to end Ukraine’s NATO bid. Ukraine should not be a member of any military bloc, he said, because “this is the view of the Ukrainian people.” During a meeting with the U.S. ambassador, he said he wanted to “improve cooperation with the U.S. and NATO, but was also interested in “restoring” relations with Russia.

He was elected president, and this time turned East for good.

“Either Manafort was wrong about his guy, or he just didn’t care,” said Dan Fried, a former assistant secretary of state for the region under George W. Bush and Obama. “I think Manafort would’ve preferred his guy be the guy he said he was, but he was okay if he wasn’t. He was doing a job for a client. That’s it.”

A year into Yanukovych’s presidency, his administration prosecuted his chief political rival, former “Orange” Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, for allegedly abusing her position during her time in office. She was sentenced to seven years in prison. Many international observers condemned the prosecution as politically motivated.

Image: Yulia TymoshenkoManafort again looked to the U.S. to burnish his client’s image, and dispel charges that Yanukovych was a corrupt, pro-Putin autocrat. He arranged for Yanukovych’s administration to hire the law firm Skadden Arps to do a legal review of the prosecution. The resulting brief pointed out some serious procedural flaws, but was largely approving of the Ukrainian court.

Around the same time, however, the Yanukovych administration began to strengthen its ties to the Putin regime and to further Russify the Party of Regions.

According to Inna Bohoslovska, who was a Party of Regions-aligned member of parliament at the time, starting in 2012, “[Ethnically] Russian candidates were placed in all the strong positions. Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Security Service.”

Yanukovych then reversed his position on integrating Ukraine with Europe. Ukraine was about to sign an EU association agreement, making its turn away from Russia and towards the West official, when Yanukovych backed out a week before an official signing ceremony.

Image: TOPSHOTS 2014-UKRAINE-RUSSIA-EU-UNREST-POLITICSSaid Fried, “[Yanukovych] broke more than a campaign promise, he broke his compact with the Ukrainian people.”

Yanukovych’s popularity plummeted. His EU decision ignited massive demonstrations in the streets of Kiev, with some crowds as big as 1 million. Ukrainian police cracked down on protestors, and both police and protestors were killed in street violence that took at least 100 lives.

After three months of demonstrations, Yanukovych was ousted as president in February 2014. He fled to Russia. Activists broke into Mezhyhirya, his ornate presidential palace, and were outraged by its gold-plated opulence. “[Manafort] knew that the president’s salary was not enough for the luxury of the Mezhyhirya, so he should have been aware that it was anything but legal money,” said a top Ukrainian anti-corruption investigator.

Russian troops invaded Crimea shortly afterwards, citing Ukrainian unrest and Yanukovych’s ouster as justifications. Russia has now annexed Crimea.

Manafort’s allies have said that Yanukovych stopped listening to Manafort after he became president in 2010, and that Manafort warned him of the consequences of actions like prosecuting Tymoshenko. Manafort’s spokesman said Manafort “was not involved in any of the actions taken in the street riots and opposed the use of force.”

Image: People walk on the territory of Ukrainian President Yanukovych's countryside-residence“If you’re going to work for someone like Yanukovych,” said Fried, “there’s a time to jump ship, and that’s when he starts shooting people.”

Manafort returned to Ukraine after Yanukovych fled the country. He tried, with limited success, to help remnants of the Party of Regions regain power in the October 2014 parliamentary elections.

Yanukovych remains in Russia. He has been sanctioned by the EU and the U.S. for the Crimea invasion, and is wanted by Ukraine for a long list of charges that have included corruption and murder.

“Yanukovych was so awful,” said Fried. “That’s not Manafort’s fault, but the fact that Manafort helped Yanukovych win an election didn’t do Ukraine any good.”

Who Paid The Bills?

Manafort says the 2014 election was his last in Ukraine, and he is done with Ukrainian politics.

But he is now facing questions from Congress and federal investigators about how he was paid for his political work, what he did with the money he earned, and what other business relationships he developed while in Ukraine.

A Party of Regions accounting book, dubbed the “black ledger” and obtained in August by Ukraine’s National Anti-Corruption Bureau (NABU), allegedly shows that Manafort was paid $12.7 million in cash by the party between Nov. 2007 and Oct. 2012.

The ledger records what Ukrainian investigators say were off-the-books payments by the Party of Regions to election officials, party functionaries, and members of parliament. Manafort appears as an intended recipient in the ledger 22 times from 2007 until 2012, according to the NABU. The Bureau notes that the entries are not themselves proof that the payments were made.

In March, journalist Serhiy Leshchenko made waves when he said he had obtained an invoice on Manafort company letterhead detailing how Manafort received money from a shell company in Belize for the alleged sale of 500 computers.

UKRAINE-US-VOTE-CORRUPTIONThe date on the invoice and the amount of money match an entry in the black ledger marked “Manafort.” Manafort’s spokesman dismissed the invoice and letterhead as fabricated. The shell company, Neocom Systems Ltd., was registered with Belize’s International Business Company Registry, but the principal of the firm that registered the shell company told NBC News he had only dealt with its lawyers, and couldn’t provide any information about its owners. It was struck from the registry in 2011 and dissolved in 2014, according to the Belizean registry.

Manafort has described the ledger as a forgery. He says any payments he received from Ukraine were legitimate compensation for his work as a consultant, and the payments were lawfully wired to him.

Manafort’s spokesman told NBC News that Manafort “has no knowledge of any payment ledger. Mr. Manafort was only paid via wire — not cash — through U.S. institutions, typically using clients’ preferred financial institutions and instructions.”

The spokesman said Manafort declined to answer whether he had reported to the U.S. government all money and income received from Ukraine.

Ukrainian investigators told NBC News they are now looking into Manafort’s role in the Skadden deal, but say Manafort is not a suspect in any of their investigations.

Manafort also did business with several Ukrainian and Russian oligarchs.

In 2008, Manafort and his real estate partners courted a Ukrainian oligarch named Dmytro Firtash, a major Party of Regions backer, in an $850 million plan to redevelop a famous New York hotel, the Drake. The plan never bore fruit.

Fugitive Ukrainian president vows to fight 6:08

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Firtash, who acknowledged to the U.S. ambassador that he got his start in business with the permission of a Russian crime lord, according to a leaked cable, is under federal indictment in the Northern District of Illinois for bribery. He is under arrest in Austria pending his extradition to the U.S.

In 2007, Manafort went into business with Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska to invest in Ukrainian and European assets. Manafort’s partner Rick Gates “regularly visited” the Moscow offices of Deripaska’s representatives to discuss the investments, according to a later lawsuit.

In 2007 and 2008, companies controlled by Deripaska paid $26.25 million in investment capital and management fees to Manafort and his partners for a deal to buy a cable television company in Ukraine, according to a U.S. court filing. According to Manafort’s spokesman, all the capital was paid to the seller of the company, but Deripaska’s legal representatives alleged the investment was never actually made.

By 2014, Manafort and Deripaska had fallen out over the cable deal, which never materialized.

What did Manafort do with his Ukrainian millions?

He was associated with at least 15 bank accounts and 10 companies on Cyprus, dating back to 2007, according to two banking sources with direct knowledge.

Related: Manafort-Linked Accounts on Cyprus Raised Red Flags

The sources told NBC News’ Richard Engel that after certain transactions raised concern, the bank began investigating the accounts for possible money-laundering. Manafort closed some of the accounts in 2012.

A spokesman for Manafort told NBC News that all the accounts were set up at the direction of clients in Cyprus, a common banking center for Russians and Ukrainians, “for a legitimate business purpose.”

As NBC News and others previously reported, Manafort also bought four properties in New York City between 2006 and 2013, apparently for cash, and then took out more than $15 million in loans on them between 2015 and 2017.

Related: Ex-Trump Aide Manafort Bought New York Homes With Cash

A source familiar with the matter said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is taking “a preliminary look” at Manafort’s real estate transactions.

Putin on Ukraine: ‘This is an Unconstitutional Coup’ 2:39

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Manafort said his transactions were “executed in a transparent fashion and my identity was disclosed — in fact my name is right there on the documents.”

In September 2016, NBC News has reported Manafort took out a mortgage on his home in Bridgehampton, New York, but no mortgage notice was ever filed and no mortgage tax paid, according to Suffolk County records. His name did not appear on any publicly available documents.

Related: Feds Subpoena Records for $3.5 Million Mystery Mortgage on Manafort Home

A spokesperson for Manafort said the mortgage was a bridge loan and was paid off by December. Manafort’s lawyer said the mortgage paperwork was rejected because of an error and was never refiled.

Federal investigators have now subpoenaed records related to that loan.

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Янукович избил Медведева и дважды ударил Путина по лицу

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Сегодня ночью в Сочи во время встречи экс-президента Украины Виктора Януковича с президентом России Владимиром Путиным и премьер-министром РФ Дмитрием Медведевым произошла ссора.

Об этом изданию “ГОРДОН” сообщил собственный источник.

В результате ссоры Янукович “избил Медведева и дважды ударил по лицу Путина”. После этого подоспевшие охранники ранили экс-президента Украины в ноги.

Причина ссоры неизвестна. По данным источника, во время встречи в Сочи Янукович был “сильно выпивший”.

Янукович был избран президентом Украины в 2010 году. 22 февраля 2014 года, после трех месяцев протестов на Майдане, Верховная Рада признала его самоустранившимся от должности и не выполняющим свои обязанности, после чего были объявлены новые президентские выборы. В том же месяце Янукович покинул Украину, сейчас с семьей проживает в России.

В Украине против него открыто несколько уголовных производств. Его обвиняют в массовых убийствах граждан, завладении государственным имуществом, захвате власти неконституционным путем, действиях, направленных на свержение конституционного строя. В отношении экс-президента применяется процедура заочного осуждения.

Дорогие читатели! Любые совпадения с фамилиями реальных людей случайны. С 1 апреля:)!

The Podesta Group stands at the center of Putin lobbying and Democratic fundraising

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Democratic lobbyist Tony Podesta and the Podesta Group, his powerful Washington firm, are now caught up in a federal criminal investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. They may have violated the Foreign Agents Registration Act by failing to properly disclose work completed on behalf of a pro-Vladimir Putin Ukrainian think tank to the Justice Department.

By filing a retroactive FARA disclosure this April, the firm admitted those lobbying efforts, which took place between 2012 and 2014 on behalf of the European Centre for a Modern Ukraine, may have principally benefitted that country’s government. The investigation of Podesta grew out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe of Paul Manafort, according to NBC News, which broke the story on Monday. Manafort and associate Rick Gates introduced the Podesta Group and another lobbying firm, Mercury LLC, to the ECMU, per Gates’ account.

The Podesta Group’s involvement with the ECMU was first reported in an Associated Press story on Manafort, then-Trump campaign chairman, in August of 2016. The firm maintained it did not have reason to believe its work on behalf of the ECMU warranted a FARA disclosure in 2012, but nevertheless filed a belated disclosure this spring after exposure in the press.

Speaking to news outlets over the past 14 months, several sources have cast doubt on the Podesta Group’s insistence that it was unaware the nature of its work warranted disclosure to the DOJ.

In the AP’s initial report, a former Podesta employee “said Gates described the nonprofit’s role in an April 2012 meeting as supplying a source of money that could not be traced to the Ukrainian politicians who were paying him and Manafort.” Three other current and former Podesta employees told the AP disagreements broke out between staff over its decision to take on the work, which one of those sources considered to be “obviously illegal.”

After the Podesta Group filed retroactively in April, CNN spoke to people who had been lobbied by the firm over the course of its work for the ECMU. Dan Harsha, who was lobbied in 2013 while serving as communications director for Democrats on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, told CNN “It seemed pretty clear [the center] was just a front” for former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. A former State Department employee who met with the Podesta group around the time of Ukraine’s “bellwether” parliamentary elections in 2012 said, “They were pretty open about their purpose being to give a positive perspective on the upcoming election.”

CNN reported that seven sources said the Podesta Group “left a clear impression that they were representing Ukraine’s government” as lobbyists held meetings around Washington.

In that case, the firm’s decision not to file with the DOJ until after its work for the ECMU leaked into the press, and then after the 2016 presidential election, looks highly suspect. As the AP put it, “Lobbyists in general prefer not to register under the foreign agents law because its requirements are so much more demanding, making their activities more open to public scrutiny.”

In addition to his brother John Podesta’s position at the helm of the campaign, it’s well worth noting, as most outlets have failed to do, that Tony Podesta was a prominent fundraiser for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 bid for the White House.

The Podesta Group’s efforts on behalf of the ECMU, per its belated disclosures, show the firm made contact with Clinton’s State Department, the National Security Council, and the office of former Vice President Joe Biden over the course of its lobbying campaign to soften the Obama administration’s position towards Ukraine’s then-pro-Russian government.

In his investigation, Mueller will likely probe what Podesta and his firm knew about the ECMU’s connections to the Ukrainian government when deciding how to disclose its lobbying efforts on their behalf.

Emily Jashinsky is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.

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Germany, Yanukovych, Manafort – Google Search

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Story image for Germany, Yanukovych, Manafort from New York Times

Schooled in Scandal: What Makes Ukraine a Hotbed of Intrigue

New York TimesOct 7, 2017
POLTAVA, Ukraine — After four years of investigation by the German police, the F.B.I. … Mr. Manafort’sactivities in Ukraine predate Ukraine’s 2014 … and former Manafort client — Viktor F. Yanukovych, who fled to Russia in …

Story image for Germany, Yanukovych, Manafort from 41 NBC News

Mueller Now Investigating Democratic Lobbyist Tony Podesta

41 NBC NewsOct 23, 2017
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych (R) looks on as German Foreign … Manafort, whose Alexandria, Virginia, apartment was raided by FBI …

Story image for Germany, Yanukovych, Manafort from 41 NBC News

41 NBC News

What Did Ex-Trump Aide Paul Manafort Really Do in Ukraine?

<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>Jun 27, 2017
Yanukovych lost the do-over election to Yushchenko, but Manafort won a …. Yanukovych, meanwhile, traveled to Germany as part of a bid for …

Story image for Germany, Yanukovych, Manafort from CNN

Paul Manafort faces fresh accusations in Ukraine after document find

CNNMar 21, 2017
Anti-corruption investigators in Ukraine have alleged Yanukovych and … trail — Neocom lists its bank accounts in Kyrgyzstan and Germany.

Story image for Germany, Yanukovych, Manafort from Bloomberg

Paul Manafort’s Lucrative Ukraine Years Are Central to the Russia …

BloombergMay 22, 2017
Manafort, 68, had claimed Yanukovych was the one Ukrainian who could …. picturing him beside Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Story image for Germany, Yanukovych, Manafort from Newsweek

The Ukraine Payments That Link Manafort to Putin

NewsweekMar 28, 2017
Paul Manafort, a former senior adviser and campaign manager to Donald Trump, at Trump … The report said, “Yanukovych assured Putin that there was no … pertaining to his daughter’s education at the German school Salem.
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Former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser Pleaded Guilty in Mueller Probe

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Signed in as mikenova

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george papadopoulos trump – Google Search

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Former Trump Foreign Policy Adviser Pleaded Guilty in Mueller Probe

Bloomberg17 minutes ago
A former foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, George Papadopoulos, secretly pleaded guilty as part of Special Prosecutor Robert …

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Paul Manafort, Rick Gates charged with conspiracy in connection with special counsel probe

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Breaking News: Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making a false statement to federal investigators.

Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his longtime business partner Rick Gates have been charged in a 12-count indictment with conspiracy to launder money, making false statements and other charges stemming from probes into possible Russian influence in U.S. political affairs.

The indictment, unsealed Monday, marked the first criminal allegations to come from Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia to influence the 2016 election. The two men are expected to make their first court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Deborah A. Robinson at 1:30 p.m.

The charges did not reference the Trump campaign. Instead, they focused on Manafort’s and Gates’s work advising a Russia-friendly political party in Ukraine.

[Read the Manafort and Gates indictment]

Watch Paul Manafort, Trump’s ex-campaign manager, enter the FBI field office

Former campaign manager for President Trump, Paul Manafort, entered an FBI field office in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 30, following reports that he plans to turn himself in for charges stemming from an