4:47 PM 10/18/2017 – “Winged shoes, masked faces, hand in hand…”

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Image result for the masked faces the winged shoes hermes

Winged shoes, masked faces, hand in hand…

Bodies-Souls together, heads up, heads on,

The messengers of Gods…

Image result for the masked faces the winged shoes hermes

the masked faces the winged shoes hermes – Google Search

LeBron’s Footwear Makes A Powerful Statement 

LeBron’s Footwear Makes A Powerful Statement

NBA star LeBron James hit the court in Nike kicks with a custom political statement.
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7:26 AM 9/20/2017 – Russian Intelligence services and international mafia – Google News: How Trump Has Normalized the Unspeakable – from The Nation, and other stories

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Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts

Trump Investigations Report from mikenova (2 sites)
Trump Investigations Report: 6:12 AM 9/20/2017 Hillary Clinton Tears Into Trumps Dark And Dangerous UN Speech

Hillary Clinton Tears Into Trump’s ‘Dark And Dangerous’ UN Speech Wednesday September 20th, 2017 at 5:41 AM Donald Trump 1 Share The former secretary of state then explained what Trump should have said. The real reason Rod Rosenstein is refusing to recuse himself in the Trump-Russia investigation by Bill Palmer Wednesday September 20th, 2017 at 5:36 AM Palmer Report 1 … Continue reading“6:12 AM 9/20/2017 – Hillary Clinton Tears Into Trump’s ‘Dark And Dangerous’ UN Speech”

Trump Investigations Report

The World Web TimesNews | Photos | Audio and Video | Politics | Trump | Security | Reviews | Analysis | Current Topics | Opinions | Links | PostsLocal | Guides | Classifieds | News reading lists, review of media reports, digests, reviews, summaries, editors selected important articles

Trump – from Huffington Post

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Donald Trump: Donald Trump Says He’s ‘Saddened’ By ‘Worst Ever’ Emmy Ratings

He also gave a shoutout to the “deplorables” at TV’s big night.

Donald Trump

Trump News Review

1. Trump from mikenova (195 sites)
Donald Trump | The Guardian: Administration appointment could benefit grandson of Trump inquisitor
Donald Trump: Donald Trump Says He’s ‘Saddened’ By ‘Worst Ever’ Emmy Ratings
crime and terror – Google News: Police respond to terror – Wigan Today
Trump Investigations Report: 6:12 AM 9/20/2017 Hillary Clinton Tears Into Trumps Dark And Dangerous UN Speech
organized crime and terrorism – Google News: Muslim Rohingya terrorist group booted from Facebook – Hong Kong Standard (press release)
Donald Trump – Google News: Mexico, Donald Trump, Hurricane Maria: Your Wednesday Briefing – New York Times
Donald Trump – Google News: Mexico, Donald Trump, Hurricane Maria: Your Wednesday Briefing – New York Times
trump as putin’s puppet – Google News: Putin’s Pro-Trump Operation May Have Been Far Bigger Than We Yet Know – Mother Jones
Putin Trump – Google News: Putin’s Pro-Trump Operation May Have Been Far Bigger Than We Yet Know – Mother Jones
trump and intelligence community – Google News: Putin’s Pro-Trump Operation May Have Been Far Bigger Than We Yet Know – Mother Jones
putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Putin’s Pro-Trump Operation May Have Been Far Bigger Than We Yet Know – Mother Jones
trump russian candidate – Google News: Putin’s Pro-Trump Operation May Have Been Far Bigger Than We Yet Know – Mother Jones
putin and trump – Google News: Putin’s Pro-Trump Operation May Have Been Far Bigger Than We Yet Know – Mother Jones
Putin Trump – Google News: Putin’s Pro-Trump Operation May Have Been Far Bigger Than We Yet Know – Mother Jones
trump and putin – Google News: Putin’s Pro-Trump Operation May Have Been Far Bigger Than We Yet Know – Mother Jones
former FBI agents power influence – Google News: RT wants to spread Moscow’s propaganda here. Let’s treat it that way. – Washington Post
Putin and American political process – Google News: RT wants to spread Moscow’s propaganda here. Let’s treat it that way. – Washington Post
russian organized crime in us – Google News: These are the lawyers on Robert Mueller’s special counsel team – CBS News
organized crime and terrorism – Google News: These are the lawyers on Robert Mueller’s special counsel team – CBS News
Russian – International “Mafia” – organized crime – Google News: These are the lawyers on Robert Mueller’s special counsel team – CBS News

 

Saved Stories – 1. Trump
They said Melania Trump was the face of success. She made them take down billboards with her face. – Washington Post
Right and Left React to Trump’s Speech at the UN – New York Times
These are the lawyers on Robert Mueller’s special counsel team – CBS News
How Trump Has Normalized the Unspeakable – The Nation.
President Trump’s UN Speech Is Exactly What Kim Jong Un Wanted to Hear – TIME
4:38 AM 9/20/2017 Trump Supporters Invite Black Lives Matter On Stage In A Rare Moment Of Unity
Anatomy of a Russian attack: From robocalls to hoaxes, a look at tactics used – WTOP
4:51 AM 9/20/2017 Paul Manafort asks Justice to investigate FBI wiretap report and other stories Trump News Review
Senate panel invites Trump lawyer to testify in public – The Ledger
Who Can Really ‘Drain The Swamp’? Alabama GOP Primary Race Pits Trump Against Bannon – NPR
For Trump Aides Caught in Russia Probe, Legal Bills and Paranoia – Bloomberg
Why the left’s war on history will fail – Fox News
What Trump overlooked in his UN speech – National Review
Mueller ratchets up pressure on Paul Manafort, but who is leaking these damaging details? – Fox News
The Electoral College Is a National Security Threat – Politico
Of Course Donald Trump Didn’t Coin The North Korea ‘Rocket Man’ Nickname First
5:18 AM 9/20/2017 Mueller team questions deputy AG amid probe of Comey firing SFGate, and other stories | The real reason Rod Rosenstein is refusing to recuse himself in the Trump-Russia investigation by Bill Palmer
Hillary Clinton tells Stephen Colbert what happened with ‘manspreading’ Vladimir Putin – The Week Magazine
The ongoing delusions of Hillary Clinton – The Week Magazine
Is Trump about to repeat George W Bush’s worst mistake? | Michael Fuchs
RT wants to spread Moscow’s propaganda here. Let’s treat it that way. – Washington Post
Putin’s Pro-Trump Operation May Have Been Far Bigger Than We Yet Know – Mother Jones
6:12 AM 9/20/2017 Hillary Clinton Tears Into Trumps Dark And Dangerous UN Speech
Trump To World: I Know More Than You, So Sit Down And Shut Up!
‘It was very dark and dangerous’: Hillary Clinton slams Trump’s UN speech as she tells Stephen Colbert the president … – Daily Mail

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5:00 PM 9/13/2017 – Hillary Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ When Comey Reopened Email Probe

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Hillary Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ When Comey Reopened Email Probe – NBCNews.com

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Business Insider
Hillary Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ When Comey Reopened Email Probe
NBCNews.com
Hillary Clinton was stunned when then-FBI Director James Comey reopened the agency’sinvestigation into her private email server just days before the 2016 election, she told TODAY on Wednesday in her first live interview since the race. “I was just …
Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ By Comey’s Intervention (VIDEO)TPM
Hillary Clinton: Without the Comey letter, ‘the evidence shows I would have won’CNBC
‘This man is going to be the death of me’: Huma Abedin broke down in tears after learning of her estranged husband’s …Business Insider
Newsmax –NBC New York
all 70 news articles »

Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ By Comey’s Intervention (VIDEO) – TPM

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TPM
Clinton: I Was ‘Dumbfounded’ By Comey’s Intervention (VIDEO)
TPM
Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that she was “stunned” and “dumbfounded” by then-FBI Director James Comey’s letter regarding her emails late in the 2016 election. Comey, who had led theinvestigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server as 

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Outgoing US Ambassador to Russia Has Mixed Feelings, Hopes for Better Relations – Voice of America

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Voice of America
Outgoing US Ambassador to Russia Has Mixed Feelings, Hopes for Better Relations
Voice of America
The U.S. ambassador said he regrets the suffering caused to families in the conflict that erupted with Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and ongoing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine. “I feel, personally, very very bad. … The Ukraine crisis 
As Germans prepare to vote, a mystery grows: Where are the Russians?New Zealand Herald

all 58 news articles »

Alec Baldwin Is Bringing Back His Trump Impression For The ‘SNL’ Premiere

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He’s baaaaack.

Hillary Clinton: Without the Comey letter, ‘the evidence shows I would have won’ – CNBC

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Fox News
Hillary Clinton: Without the Comey letter, ‘the evidence shows I would have won’
CNBC
Hillary Clinton opened up on Wednesday about President Donald Trump’s firing of James Comey, saying she would have won the election had it not been for the former FBI director’s letter about his investigation of her private email account. “Absent that 
Clinton jumps gun on special counsel probe, ‘convinced’ Trump team helped Russia meddleFox News
‘This man is going to be the death of me’: Huma Abedin broke down in tears after learning of her estranged husband’s …Business Insider
Clinton calls Trump Jr.’s explanation of Russia meeting ‘an absurd lie’Politico
Washington Examiner –The Federalist –Washington Post
all 1,020 news articles »

Flynn again under spotlight for unreported foreign business deals – Sacramento Bee

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NPR
Flynn again under spotlight for unreported foreign business deals
Sacramento Bee
… during his background check. Both could be criminal violations. Flynn resigned his White House post after only a month because he misled administration officials about a telephone callhe held during the transition with then-Russian Ambassador 
Flynn could face new pressure in Russia probe as Dems allege he concealed contactsABC News

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Armenia and Azerbaijan are Stuck with Russia and the US – International Policy Digest

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International Policy Digest
Armenia and Azerbaijan are Stuck with Russia and the US
International Policy Digest
Over the years, Russia has served as the main arbitrator for the territorial dispute between Armenians and Azerbaijanis over the Nagorno-Karabakh region. The most vivid explanation lies in the past relationship of Russia with these two countries both 

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Trump is privately raging about Robert Mueller. But all of this is his own fault. – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Trump is privately raging about Robert Mueller. But all of this is his own fault.
Washington Post
THE MORNING PLUM: Is President Trump even capable of grasping the basic outlines of the story line that led to the appointment of Special Counsel Robert S. Mueller III and his intensifying investigation, which is now targeting Trump himself? This is 
Trump Staffers’ Loyalty Tested as Mueller Closes InVanity Fair
Trump’s closed-door rants on Comey and MuellerAxios

all 24 news articles »

The empty shell of America’s two-party system

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Both the Democrats and the Republicans are riven by internal schisms

Obama Is Now Campaigning for Germany’s Angela Merkel—Or His Face Is, Anyway – Newsweek

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Newsweek
Obama Is Now Campaigning for Germany’s Angela Merkel—Or His Face Is, Anyway
Newsweek
Barack Obama as good as admitted, back in December, that he missed the campaign trail, when he told his formed aide David Axelrod in an interview that he would have won the 2016 electionagainst Donald Trump. Sadly for him, that pesky constitution 
You Snooze, She WinsSlate Magazine

all 87 news articles »

Harvard Psychiatrist: Trump Is a ‘Sociopath’ and a ‘Very Sick Individual’ – AlterNet

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Harvard Psychiatrist: Trump Is a ‘Sociopath’ and a ‘Very Sick Individual’
AlterNet
… Boston Psychoanalytic Society and Institute. Dodes is a signatory to the much-discussed February 2017 open letter to the New York Times that sought to warn the public about the dangers posed by Donald Trump’s mental health. He is also a 

DNI Dan Coats: ‘Troubling’ former intel officials criticize Trump, intelligence community – Washington Examiner

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Washington Examiner
DNI Dan Coats: ‘Troubling’ former intel officials criticize Trump, intelligence community
Washington Examiner
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats said Wednesday it’s “troubling” many former intelligence officials have been critical of the intelligence community and its “capabilities with the president.” “I find it troubling that many outside the 
Intelligence director criticizes former officials for speaking out against TrumpThe Hill
Intel Director Slams Former Officials Criticizing Trump AdminNewsmax
Top US Official: Russia ‘Ever More Aggressive’ in CyberspaceVoice of America

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Trump’s Moscow Tower and Back-Channel Ukraine Dossier: Both Began During the Election, Evidence Suggests

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Congressional investigators are reportedly exploring any connections between two deals brokered by Donald Trump’s lawyer Michael Cohen and Felix Sater which directly raised Russian interests. The timeline for one of these arrangements is potentially very different than what has been reported widely in the news media. Discussions of the two deals appear to have occurred closer together in time and discussion on both began during the presidential race. The timing is sure to raise the interest of investigators looking into possible links between Trump associates and Russian election interference.

The first arrangement involving Cohen and Sater was a proposal to build a Trump Tower in Moscow on terms that would be highly lucrative for Donald Trump. Those discussions reportedly began in September 2015 and led to Trump signing a 17-page letter of intent in late October 2015. Cohen saidhe discussed the project with Trump three times. The project went so far as to include soliciting building designs from architects and preliminary discussions about possible financing. According to Cohen, he personally decided to end the deal in late January 2016.

The second dealing with Cohen and Slater involved a back channel plan for handling Ukraine and Russia. Most all news outlets and analysis start the timeline for this plan in January 2017, but there is reason to believe it began much earlier.

The Ukrainian proposal has been called a “peace plan” by some, but that is a misnomer. The proposal involved unwinding Russian sanctions on favorable terms to Moscow, and the use of derogatory information against the current Ukrainian leadership. The idea was hatched by Ukrainian politician Andrii Artemenko, who told the Times that he received encouragement for his plans from Putin’s top aides. Discussing the terms of the proposal, Ukraine’s Ambassador to the United States, Valeriy Chaly said, “Such ideas can be pitched or pushed through only by those openly or covertly representing Russian interests.” Cohen reportedly hand delivered the Ukraine dossier to then-National Security Advisor Michael Flynn in the White House in the week before Flynn’s resignation.

The question is even if Cohen delivered the dossier in early 2017, when did the discussions of the Ukraine plan involving Cohen, Sater, and Artemenko begin?

The New York Times reported, “it was late January when the three men associated with the proposed plan converged on the Loews Regency, a luxury hotel on Park Avenue in Manhattan” to discuss Artemenko’s ideas. Cohen later acknowledged to Business insider that he met with Artemenko in New York to discuss the plan but said it was only “under 10 minutes.”

(Cohen has told many different and conflicting stories about the Ukraine dossier.)

The discussions between Artemenko, Sater, and Cohen began long before January 2017, according to Artemenko. In an interview with a Ukrainian news outlet, Artemenko said that he began discussions with Cohen and Sater “at the time of the primaries, when no one believed that Trump would even be nominated.” Talking Point Memo reported on this interview in February 2017 (see also Josh Marshall’s assessment that the Ukrainian news outlet is a legitimate publication).

It would surely be significant for the special counsel and congressional investigations if Cohen’s discussions involving the Ukraine plan began during the presidential election season. It is even more significant if, indeed, the plan came with Russian backing, as Artemenko and Ambassador Chaly both suggest. Even Cohen, in explaining the reason he met with Artemenko in January said Artemenko told him the proposal “was acknowledged by Russian authorities would create world peace.”

It would also be significant that both deals involved Cohen and Slater in this time period. If the discussions on the Ukraine plan occurred during “the primaries, when no one believed that Trump would even be nominated,” that would be much closer in time to the emails between Cohen and Sater on Trump Tower in Moscow. Those emails include Sater telling Cohen, “I will get Putin on this program and we will get Donald elected. … Buddy our boy can become president of the USA and we can engineer it. I will get all of Putins team to buy in on this, I will manage this process.”

If the Ukraine discussions began in early 2016, other parts of the timeline also become significant. Those include bringing Paul Manafort onto the campaign in March 2016, with his ties to Ukraine including his work on the behalf of  the same pro-Kremlin political groups to which Artemenko belongs. The Trump team then changed the Republican party platform on Ukraine in July 2016, which they later denied. On July 30, Trump told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that he was open to recognizing Russia’s control of Crimea.

Finally, it is worth considering why exactly the deal involving Trump Tower in Moscow discontinued.

Cohen has insisted that the reasons for pursuing the deal and for abandoning it were unrelated to the campaign and involved purely business determinations. In a two-page statement to the House Intelligence Committee on August 28, 2017, Cohen said:

“The Trump Tower Moscow proposal was not related in any way to Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.” “The decision to pursue the proposal initially, and later to abandon it, was unrelated to the Donald J. Trump for President campaign. Both I and the Trump Organization were evaluating this proposal and many others from solely a business standpoint, and rejected going forward on that basis.”

Sater tells a different story. According to the New York Times: Sater “said he had been working on a plan for a Trump Tower in Moscow … one that he said had come to a halt because of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign. Sater also told Talking Points Memo: “Once the campaign was really going-going, it was obvious there were going to be no deals internationally.” Sater said, “It didn’t go through because obviously he became President.” Sater’s statements suggest the plan may have only been temporarily suspended due to the campaign and would have potentially proceeded if Trump had not been elected.

The Ukraine project was different. The Trump team was able to shift the Republican party in the direction of the Kremlin’s interests on Ukraine during the campaign itself. Almost as soon as they came into office, Trump’s team then began unusual efforts to unwind Russian sanctions.

Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

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House Dems: Michael Flynn May Have Lobbied For Nuclear Deal Inside White House – NPR

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NPR

Shuttered Facebook group linked to Russia organized anti-immigrant rallies across Texas – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Shuttered Facebook group linked to Russia organized anti-immigrant rallies across Texas
Business Insider
Casey Michel, a journalist who has spent years tracing US secession movements to Russia, tracked the group’s activity throughout the election and determined it was more than just a platform for far-right Texas secessionists. Several signs pointed to 

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Mike Flynn’s Son Is Subject of Federal Russia Probe – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com
Mike Flynn’s Son Is Subject of Federal Russia Probe
NBCNews.com
Flynn’s status as a subject of the Russia investigation widens the publicly known scope of the probe. NBC News has reported that those under investigation have included the elder Flynn and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Others under …
Mike Flynn’s son is subject of Federal Russia probe: reportRaw Story
Flynn’s son is a subject in Russia probe: reportThe Hill (blog)

all 9 news articles »

Trump’s White House Turns Up the Heat on James Comey – Vanity Fair

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Vanity Fair
Trump’s White House Turns Up the Heat on James Comey
Vanity Fair
Despite his inexplicable habit of wearing two collared shirts simultaneously, Steve Bannon demonstrated a semblance of acuity during Sunday’s revealing interview on 60 Minutes when he dubbed the president’s dismissal of F.B.I. director James Comey a …
White House: Prosecutors ‘should certainly look at’ charging ComeyMSNBC
Trump’s closed-door rants on Comey and MuellerAxios
Exclusive: Justice Department declines Senate request to interview FBI officials over ComeyfiringCNN
Newsweek –AOL –Newsmax
all 46 news articles »

Putin spokesman: US has ‘serious problems’ with press freedom as Justice Department probes Russia-funded news – Washington Examiner

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RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Putin spokesman: US has ‘serious problems’ with press freedom as Justice Department probes Russia-funded news
Washington Examiner
Critics of the Russia-funded news outlets see them as propaganda, and a January U.S.intelligence community report claimed RT and Sputnik were part of a Kremlin propaganda effort during the 2016 election that cast President Trump in a sympathetic light.
RT Says US Ordered Contractor For RT America To Register As ‘Foreign Agent’RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

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Donald Trump Is Still ‘Ranting, Brooding’ About Comey and Russia Investigations – Newsweek

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Donald Trump Is Still ‘Ranting, Brooding’ About Comey and Russia Investigations
Newsweek
President Donald Trump continues to “rant and brood” over former FBI director James Comey and the Trump-Russia investigation that has plagued his administration, even as he has curtailed his public and Twitter comments on the subject, according to a …

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Q&A with Andy Wright on Flynn, Subpoenas and “Privileged Information” 


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2:48 PM 9/11/2017 – Mueller is right to follow the money, to interview up to a dozen White House aides

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Special counsel Robert Mueller is expected to interview up to a dozen White House aides in the coming weeks as the Russia investigation intensifies, Politico reported. Former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Communications Director Hope Hicks, former Press Secretary Sean Spicer, and Chief Counsel Don McGahn will all likely face inquiries from Mueller and his team. Investigators are said to be interested in a session on Air Force One in which White House aides wrote a misleading statement about the meeting with a Russian lawyer who promised compromising information about Hillary Clinton.

WSJ.com: World News: Hurricane Irma Blamed for 10 Deaths in Cuba

Hurricane Irma killed at least 10 people as it slammed into Cuba and scraped across its northern coast over the weekend, the communist islands official media reported Monday.

WSJ.com: World News

 

Saved Stories – None
Mueller is right to follow the money – Chicago Tribune
Russian pol: US ‘intelligence missed it while Russian intelligence stole the president of the United States’ – The Hill
Jeff Sessions Considering a New Weapon in His War on Leakers – Vanity Fair
TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION Update 9:22 AM 9/11/2017: Why Robert Mueller May Have to Give Donald Trump Immunity By BENNETT GERSHMAN
Stephen Bannon says James Comey’s firing was biggest mistake in ‘modern political history’ – New York Daily News
Bannon criticizes Comey firing and calls out Hillary on 60 Minutes – Daily Mail
A History Of Donald Trump’s Tasteless Comments About 9/11
Question of the Day: Remembering 9/11 – Ricochet.com
Russian news agency that pushed DNC conspiracy reportedly under FBI investigation – Business Insider Nordic
Donald Trump – Google News: When Donald Trump’s instincts got it right – Chicago Tribune
When Donald Trump’s instincts got it right – Chicago Tribune
September 11, 2001: Deadliest Terrorist Attack Carried Out On American Soil – Oxygen (blog)
Escaped from mafia Slava Kemerovsky convoyed from Spain to Estonia – https://en.crimerussia.com/
Stephen Bannon is threatening to blow up the Republican Party – Washington Post
Bannon: Trump’s firing of Comey may be biggest mistake ‘in modern political history’ – Charlotte Observer
National Security-Related Congressional Hearings, September 11-16
FBI probes Russian news agency over election propaganda – New York Post
Steve Bannon: Firing Comey was the biggest mistake in ‘modern political history’ – Business Insider
The real reason Reince Priebus and Don McGahn have hired the same Trump-Russia attorney
Steve Bannon’s nervous defense of Trump on Russia is telling – Washington Post
What happens when know-nothings and amateurs hold power – Washington Post
How a Former Governor Invaded Ukraine – Bloomberg
Miss America gets political: Trump takes flak over Charlottesville and Russia – The Guardian
Bannon: Comey firing was worst mistake in ‘modern political history’ – East Idaho News
Republican attempt to deflect Trump-Russia probes could backfire -sources – Reuters

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Google News: The Art of the Steal: Trump Illegitimacy Is Glaring – Advocate.com

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Review of Trump news: 

Google News: The Art of the Steal: Trump Illegitimacy Is Glaring – Advocate.com

Trump – from Huffington Post from mikenova (1 sites)
Donald Trump: Trumps Arizona Rally Promises To Stoke Another Kind Of Racial Conflict

After an explosive week, the president is returning to the divisive issue he knows best.

Donald Trump

Recent Posts In Brief 

Trump Investigations Report
Donald Trumps market honeymoon turning into a risky divorce Financial Times
Do not use psychiatry as a political tool for Donald Trumps impeachment. The political issues, struggle, and problems should be dealt with by political, not medical-psychiatric means  Michael Novakhov
Why was Peter Strzok removed from Muellers Investigative Team?  It is very unclear why
Peter Strzok is removed
Anthony Weiner was the first to talk about Trumps connections with Russian oligarchs, Weiners sentence is Trumps revenge | Anthony Weiner seeks to reschedule sentencing for sexting a minor
Donald Trump is going to hate what comes next
Is Donald Trump a Racist? | Just Security: Prosecuting Domestic Terrorism as Terrorism
Trump News: Taking Stock of the Resistance: Where are the Men? HuffPost
2:19 PM 8/14/2017 trump russian ties Google News: Pence not aware of any Russian collusion with Trump campaign CBS News
Trump Investigations Websites Reviewed on 8.14.17

The World Web TimesNews | Photos | Audio and Video | Politics | Trump | |  Security | Reviews | Analysis | Current Topics | Opinions | Links | PostsLocal | Guides | Classifieds

Current and Selected News Stories In Brief – Front Page

Trump – Current News Stories 

1. Trump from mikenova (192 sites)
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: The US is greatly reducing visas for Russiansand it’s going to hurt both countries – Quartz
putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Who’s losing the Moscow-Washington fight? Ordinary Russians. – Laredo Morning Times
crime and terror – Google News: Piracy, copyright violation sources of terror funding: Rajnath Singh – Economic Times

trump russian candidate – Google News: The Art of the Steal: Trump Illegitimacy Is Glaring – Advocate.com

trump russia treason – Google News: The Art of the Steal: Trump Illegitimacy Is Glaring – Advocate.com
russian organized crime in us – Google News: Glenn Simpson, key figure behind million-dollar ‘dossier,’ to face questions – ABC News
trump russian candidate – Google News: Glenn Simpson, key figure behind million-dollar ‘dossier,’ to face questions – ABC News
organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News: Glenn Simpson, key figure behind million-dollar ‘dossier,’ to face questions – ABC News
organized crime and intelligence – Google News: Glenn Simpson, key figure behind million-dollar ‘dossier,’ to face questions – ABC News
Trump, Putin, and the Mob – Google News: Charlottesville was a set-up arranged by the Democrats to make Trump look bad – Burlington County Times
Putin and the Mob – Google News: Charlottesville was a set-up arranged by the Democrats to make Trump look bad – Burlington County Times
trump criminal investigation – Google News: Trump vowed to hire 5000 Border Patrol agents. It never happened – MyAJC
Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump Might Pardon His Buddy, a Sheriff Known for Treating Immigrants Terribly – Mother Jones
trump electorate – Google News: Trump’s Arizona Trip Kicks Off Ugly GOP Senate Primary Season – TPM
Trump and Russia – Google News: Russia thinks Trump’s new Afghan strategy will not bring benefits: Ifax – Reuters
trump and russia – Google News: Russia thinks Trump’s new Afghan strategy will not bring benefits: Ifax – Reuters
russia helping trump – Google News: Russia thinks Trump’s new Afghan strategy will not bring benefits: Ifax – Reuters
trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Robinson: Too dangerous to avoid Trump’s mental stability – The Daily Herald
trump as samson – Google News: Senegal Reinstates Qatar Ambassador, Hopes for End to Gulf Feud – U.S. News & World Report
Donald Trump | The Guardian: Trump’s Afghan shift praised in Kabul but leaves Pakistan wary
Donald Trump: Trumps Arizona Rally Promises To Stoke Another Kind Of Racial Conflict

Trump – Selected News Stories 

Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Trumps Vague Speech On Afghanistan
Pressure on Manafort grows as feds track more income, possible money laundering – McClatchy Washington Bureau
Pressure on Manafort grows as feds track more income, possible money laundering – Miami Herald
Full Transcript: Donald Trump Announces His Afghanistan Policy – The Atlantic
Donald Trumps market honeymoon turning into a risky divorce Financial Times
US senators push to limit presidential use of nuclear weapons
Are Sanctions on Russia Desirable? – American Thinker
Donald Trump’s market honeymoon turning into a risky divorce – Financial Times
Warning signs of mass violence in the US? – WTOP
Steve Bannons ideas will survive and thrive in the White House
Trumpism and the Philosophy of History – Project Syndicate
US Institutes Visa Restrictions At Its Missions Across Russia Due To Kremlin Order – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Russia names replacement for Sergei Kislyak as envoy in Washington – Reuters
GOP spent nearly $1.3 million at Trump properties this year – Washington Examiner
Republican Politicians Know They Can’t Win Without Trump’s Nazi Sympathizers – Miami New Times
New Polls Show Trump’s Presidency Stands on Perilous Ground – NBCNews.com
Payback: Trump orders diplomatic response aimed at Putin – Hot Air
GOP base comfortable with Trump’s racially inflammatory posture – MSNBC
Scarborough: Trump’s ‘not going anywhere until Bob Mueller says he’s going somewhere’ – The Hill
Trump struggles to move past Bannon, starting with Afghanistan – Jamestown Sun
20 Questions That Should Be Answered by the Russia Investigations – Just Security
Why was Peter Strzok removed from Muellers Investigative Team?  It is very unclear why
Secret Service can’t pay agents for Trump and his family, report says – CNN
Putin names new ambassador to US after Kislyak’s departure – The Hill
US scales back Russian visa operations after Putin cuts embassy staff – Reuters

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Trump News: Taking Stock of the Resistance: Where are the Men? – HuffPost

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1. Trump from mikenova (192 sites)

trump anxiety – Google News: Taking Stock of the Resistance: Where are the Men? – HuffPost 

The Web World TimesNews | Photos | Audio and Video | Politics | Trump | Security | Reviews | Analysis | Current Topics | Opinions | Links | PostsLocal | Guides | Classifieds

1. Trump from mikenova (192 sites)
trump anxiety – Google News: Taking Stock of the Resistance: Where are the Men? – HuffPost
Donald Trump: All The Things Trump Tweeted About Before Condemning White Supremacy
Donald Trump | The Guardian: Donald Trump finally condemns Charlottesville racism video
Donald Trump: Robert Pattinson Finally Responds To Donald Trumps Weird Twilight Tweets
Just Security: Do Federal Courts Lack the Power To Directly Enjoin the President?
Trump Investigations: 2:19 PM 8/14/2017 trump russian ties Google News: Pence not aware of any Russian collusion with Trump campaign CBS News
Donald Trump: Trump Speaks Out Against Neo-Nazis
former FBI agents power influence – Google News: No Manafort deal for Philippines this time? – Philippine Star
organized crime and terrorism – Google News: UN chief Guterres condemns terrorist attack in Burkina Faso – UN News Centre
Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: The First Amendment on the Grounds in Charlottesville
crime and terror link – Google News: Trump calls KKK, neo-Nazis ‘criminals’ after Charlottesville remarks criticized – The Globe and Mail
Donald Trump | The Guardian: Q&A: What are Trump and the White House’s links to the far right?
Donald Trump: War over hate groups rages online
Donald Trump: Japans economy extends its winning streak
trump and republican party – Google News: Trump vs. the GOP – U.S. News & World Report
2016 elections anxiety – Google News: CS Balala criticises foreign press over ‘poor’ coverage – Daily Nation
trump russian ties – Google News: Pence “not aware” of any Russian collusion with Trump campaign – CBS News
Palmer Report: In his latest speech, Donald Trump swings weakly and misses on white supremacists yet again
Donald Trump: How You Can Identify A White Nationalist
Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News: Trump Messes with the Russia Investigation at His Own Peril – The Nation.
Comey resignation – Google News: Trump Messes with the Russia Investigation at His Own Peril – The Nation.

 

Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Dont Expect Indictments Soon in Russia Probe: When Counterintelligence and Prosecutorial Interests Meet
How Mueller Can Make the Grand Jury Report Public or Hand it to Congress
Putting investigatingtrump.com on hold as the research & reporting continues
Strategic coordination between Robert Mueller and Congress is paying off in Trump-Russia probe
Anthony Scaramucci, HR McMaster, Mike Pompeo: Sunday guests – Orlando Sentinel
Experts Say Journalists Could Be Espionage Act’s Next Frontier – Courthouse News Service
Fired NSC Aide Reveals Political Warfare Operation Targeting Trump – Washington Free Beacon
Report On McMaster Proves Fired Staffer Right – The Daily Caller
What could Trump’s plans to declare opioid use a national emergency mean for S. Utah? – St. George Daily Spectrum
Trump threatens ‘military option’ in Venezuela as crisis escalates
Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn are struggling to pay for legal defense in Russia probe: Report – Washington Examiner
At Netroots, liberal activists demand full-throttle approach to Trump-Russia ties – Politico
Indiana psychologist gets probation for falsifying report – WSBT-TV
Donald Trump warns North Korea that US is locked and loaded
Does Trump love Putin more than his Cabinet and Americans serving overseas? – Washington Post
Russia’s ‘Fancy Bear’ Hackers Used Leaked NSA Tool to Target Hotel Guests – WIRED
Rape as a Tactic of Terror: Holding the Islamic State Accountable
Who’s who in the government’s investigation into Russia ties – Washington Post
Rape as a Tactic of Terror: Holding the Islamic State Accountable – Just Security
Trump believes his CIA director, but only to a point – MSNBC
Surviving America’s Political Meltdown – Project Syndicate
President Trump Officially Declares Opioid Epidemic a National Emergency – Fortune
Americans Aren’t Thrilled With Trump’s Threat Of ‘Fire And Fury’ Against North Korea
Trump Surprised by FBI Raid on Manafort Home: ‘Pretty Tough Stuff’ – NBCNews.com
Donald Trump: I’m Not Firing Robert Mueller; No Collusion With Russia – Breitbart News

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2:19 PM 8/14/2017 – trump russian ties – Google News: Pence “not aware” of any Russian collusion with Trump campaign – CBS News

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trump russian ties – Google News: Pence “not aware” of any Russian collusion with Trump campaign – CBS News

The Web World TimesNews | Photos | Audio and Video | Politics | Trump | Security | Reviews | Analysis | Current Topics | Opinions | Links | PostsLocal | Guides | Classifieds

1. Trump from mikenova (192 sites)
Donald Trump: War over hate groups rages online
Donald Trump: Japans economy extends its winning streak
trump and republican party – Google News: Trump vs. the GOP – U.S. News & World Report
2016 elections anxiety – Google News: CS Balala criticises foreign press over ‘poor’ coverage – Daily Nation
trump russian ties – Google News: Pence “not aware” of any Russian collusion with Trump campaign – CBS News
Palmer Report: In his latest speech, Donald Trump swings weakly and misses on white supremacists yet again
Donald Trump: How You Can Identify A White Nationalist
Trump and Russia – Google News: Trump Messes with the Russia Investigation at His Own Peril – The Nation.
trump criminal investigation – Google News: Trump Messes with the Russia Investigation at His Own Peril – The Nation.
trump investigated by the fbi – Google News: Trump Messes with the Russia Investigation at His Own Peril – The Nation.
trump and russia – Google News: Trump Messes with the Russia Investigation at His Own Peril – The Nation.
Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News: Trump Messes with the Russia Investigation at His Own Peril – The Nation.
Comey resignation – Google News: Trump Messes with the Russia Investigation at His Own Peril – The Nation.
russia helping trump – Google News: Trump Messes with the Russia Investigation at His Own Peril – The Nation.
trump narcissist – Google News: Trump’s greeting offensive – The Spokesman-Review
trump under federal investigation – Google News: President Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists as ‘criminals and thugs’ – WSB Atlanta
trump russia treason – Google News: Remember the time when Americans could laugh at themselves? Now there’s Australian TV – World Tribune
Trump’s and Putin’s connections with organized crime – Google News: Remember the time when Americans could laugh at themselves? Now there’s Australian TV – World Tribune
trump under federal investigation – Google News: Golden State Warriors great: Scrutiny of Trump a disgrace – The Mercury News
Donald Trump: Trump condemns white supremacist groups after outrage over initial response
Donald Trump: Samantha Bee Declares ‘Many Sides Week’ To Honor White People’s Link To Racism

 

Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Dont Expect Indictments Soon in Russia Probe: When Counterintelligence and Prosecutorial Interests Meet
How Mueller Can Make the Grand Jury Report Public or Hand it to Congress
Putting investigatingtrump.com on hold as the research & reporting continues
Strategic coordination between Robert Mueller and Congress is paying off in Trump-Russia probe
Anthony Scaramucci, HR McMaster, Mike Pompeo: Sunday guests – Orlando Sentinel
Experts Say Journalists Could Be Espionage Act’s Next Frontier – Courthouse News Service
Fired NSC Aide Reveals Political Warfare Operation Targeting Trump – Washington Free Beacon
Report On McMaster Proves Fired Staffer Right – The Daily Caller
What could Trump’s plans to declare opioid use a national emergency mean for S. Utah? – St. George Daily Spectrum
Trump threatens ‘military option’ in Venezuela as crisis escalates
Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn are struggling to pay for legal defense in Russia probe: Report – Washington Examiner
At Netroots, liberal activists demand full-throttle approach to Trump-Russia ties – Politico
Indiana psychologist gets probation for falsifying report – WSBT-TV
Donald Trump warns North Korea that US is locked and loaded
Does Trump love Putin more than his Cabinet and Americans serving overseas? – Washington Post
Russia’s ‘Fancy Bear’ Hackers Used Leaked NSA Tool to Target Hotel Guests – WIRED
Rape as a Tactic of Terror: Holding the Islamic State Accountable
Who’s who in the government’s investigation into Russia ties – Washington Post
Rape as a Tactic of Terror: Holding the Islamic State Accountable – Just Security
Trump believes his CIA director, but only to a point – MSNBC
Surviving America’s Political Meltdown – Project Syndicate
President Trump Officially Declares Opioid Epidemic a National Emergency – Fortune
Americans Aren’t Thrilled With Trump’s Threat Of ‘Fire And Fury’ Against North Korea
Trump Surprised by FBI Raid on Manafort Home: ‘Pretty Tough Stuff’ – NBCNews.com
Donald Trump: I’m Not Firing Robert Mueller; No Collusion With Russia – Breitbart News

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Trump Investigations Websites – Reviewed on 8.14.17

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The following is the list of websites on Trump Investigations, presently or formerly active. It is, I am sure, incomplete. If you have any suggestions for adding any suitable sites to this list, please email this information to info@trumpinvestigations.org. Your input is appreciated. I also think that it would be a good idea to establish some kind of partnership of the websites covering the subjects of Mr. Trump and his investigations. Please, let me know if you are interested, writing to the same email address. And finally but maybe most importantly, I think that it would be a good idea to ask Mr. Mueller to establish his own website as the source of the official information on the investigation in the form of suitable updates. Thank you all.

I just want to add that in the present circumstances and in the midst of all these disinformation attacks, the objectivity is above all.

Michael Novakhov

Trump Investigations Websites – Reviewed on 8.14.17


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9:38 AM 8/14/2017 – A new site was added to Trump News Review:  Investigating Trump:  http://investigatingtrump.com/

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“As I learned way back in the Sixties as a cub reporter for The Newport Daily News, one of the oldest newspapers in the country, never assume, always question the legal authorities and never, ever, stop digging. Keep the faith…” – Peter Lance. 

A new site was added to Trump News ReviewInvestigating Trump –  http://investigatingtrump.com/. This is the latest post from this site:

Putting investigatingtrump.com on hold as the research & reporting continues

By Peter Lance July 15th, 2017. Seven months ago, to the day, marked with a launch piece in The Huffington Post, I started this website as a resource for other investigative reporters and the public. The idea was to help my colleagues and all those for whom truth matters, to get a daily record of the best enterprise journalism devoted to the campaign, transition and presidency of Donald J. Trump.At this point investigatingtrump.com has grown to nearly seven hundred pieces, with four hundred of them focused on THE TRUMP-RUSSIA CONNECTIONThe site also features in-depth coverage of 45’s many CONFLICTS OF INTEREST, his broken CAMPAIGN PROMISES and his vitriolic MEDIA ATTACKS. Until April, when my work schedule got more intense, I filed a number of my own HUFFPOSTS as I continued to maintain my original news site peterlance.comAll of the stories curated for the new site were reproduced faithfully as they appeared in their source media, with all hyperlinks back to The NYT, WP, AP, WSJ, CNN, MSNBC, THE DAILY BEAST, POLITICO, YAHOO NEWS and the other print and broadcast entities that first published them. From a few hundred followers on TWITTER @PETERLANCE_ the number grew to nearly 2,400, many of them the reporters whose work the site celebrated.

A TURNING POINT IN THE INVESTIGATION

With each new revelation, the site content grew exponentially, from one or two pieces a day, to some days, in recent weeks, when there were three, four and even five pieces in a given 24-hour news cycle, each one of which might have merited page-one-above-the-fold status in any normal era.

But if Donald Trump has proven anything it’s that none of the traditional rules of “normality” apply. If there ever was a legal, moral or ethical rulebook, he’s shredded it. And yes, come to think it, there is — it’s called The U.S. Constitution.

As such, keeping this site fresh and up to date has become a full-time job and since I am now, as I have been since 9/11 when I began reporting on the FBI in four books for HarperCollins, a lone wolf reporter, my current work load demands that I hit the pause button. 

I’m currently at work adapting those four books into a ten hour dramatic series titled “Deal With The Devil” after my most recent book. I’ve also assembled more than 5,000 pages of research for my next project, a book on Trump-Russia, that I hope will break some new ground.

But since it was revealed by The NYT last weekend that Donald J. Trump Jr. colluded with agents or representative close to Vladimir Putin — the kleptocrat who  engineered a cyber coup d’état on the U.S. presidency — all official investigations have taken an exponential turn.

Given the utter unwillingness to even embrace the reality of the Russian hack by the White House and the slow roll of the GOP controlled Congress, I’m not optimistic that the truth will emerge on Capitol Hill. And as something of an expert on the multiple failures and conflicts-of-interest within the FBI and Department of Justice, I’m loathe to put my faith in Special Counsel Robert Mueller who is, himself, a creature of the Bureau and the DOJ.

But as we experience a renaissance in investigative reporting not seen since Watergate what gives me hope that is that the dogged work of reporters will get us, in the words of Carl Bernstein, “the best obtainable version of the truth.”

So as this new generation of reporters continues to peel back the shocking layers in the Trump-Putin scandal, I will keep pushing. In the meantime this site will remain a dynamic resource for research and dot connection as we move forward.

As I learned way back in the Sixties as a cub reporter for The Newport Daily News, one of the oldest newspapers in the country, never assume, always question the legal authorities and never, ever, stop digging. Keep the faith…


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8:11 AM 8/14/2017 – Donald Trump: America is now a dangerous nation

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Trump Investigations:

Review of media reports, news reading lists, editors selected important articles – Information Service: News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions

The Web World TimesNews | Photos | Audio and Video | Politics | Trump | Security | Reviews | Analysis | Current Topics | Opinions | Links | PostsLocal | Guides | Classifieds

1. Trump from mikenova (190 sites)
Donald Trump: America is now a dangerous nation
Donald Trump: Chinas love of US chicken feet proves a recipe for a perfect trade
Trump, Putin, and the Mob – Google News: Putin is just waiting for the right moment to spear Trump – The New European
Putin and the Mob – Google News: Putin is just waiting for the right moment to spear Trump – The New European
donald trump racketeering – Google News: Putin is just waiting for the right moment to spear Trump – The New European
morell on trump – Google News: Trump’s national security team cools down the rhetoric on North Korea – Washington Examiner
Trump’s and Putin’s connections with organized crime – Google News: The Power and the Story: fact, fabrication and the shaping of the modern media – New Statesman
US elections and russia – Google News: Lansing, Eaton County use Russian software the feds call unsafe – Lansing State Journal
Donald Trump – Google News: Did you hear the one about Donald Trump? – Los Angeles Times
Donald Trump – Google News: Did you hear the one about Donald Trump? – Los Angeles Times
Trump and Russia – Google News: One of the two agencies that probes meddling in US elections is completely broken – Quartz
donald trump russia – Google News: One of the two agencies that probes meddling in US elections is completely broken – Quartz
trump and russia – Google News: One of the two agencies that probes meddling in US elections is completely broken – Quartz
US elections and russia – Google News: One of the two agencies that probes meddling in US elections is completely broken – Quartz
Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News: One of the two agencies that probes meddling in US elections is completely broken – Quartz
Donald Trump – Google News: In Context: President Donald Trump’s statement on ‘many sides’ in Charlottesville, Va. – PolitiFact
Donald Trump: Trump’s Obamacare Tantrum Shows He’s Learned Nothing From Repeal’s Collapse
Politifact.com: Stories mentioning Donald Trump: In Context: President Donald Trumps statement on many sides in Charlottesville, Va.
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: Don’t Expect Indictments Soon in Russia Probe: When Counterintelligence and Prosecutorial Interests Meet – Just Security
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: Russia’s security service prevents series of terrorist attacks in Moscow region – TASS
Donald Trump – Google News: GOP is more likely to vent ‘personal disgust’ for Trump after Charlottesville – CNBC
Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Strategic coordination between Robert Mueller and Congress is paying off in Trump-Russia probe
Anthony Scaramucci, HR McMaster, Mike Pompeo: Sunday guests – Orlando Sentinel
Experts Say Journalists Could Be Espionage Act’s Next Frontier – Courthouse News Service
Fired NSC Aide Reveals Political Warfare Operation Targeting Trump – Washington Free Beacon
Report On McMaster Proves Fired Staffer Right – The Daily Caller
What could Trump’s plans to declare opioid use a national emergency mean for S. Utah? – St. George Daily Spectrum
Trump threatens ‘military option’ in Venezuela as crisis escalates
Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn are struggling to pay for legal defense in Russia probe: Report – Washington Examiner
At Netroots, liberal activists demand full-throttle approach to Trump-Russia ties – Politico
Indiana psychologist gets probation for falsifying report – WSBT-TV
Donald Trump warns North Korea that US is locked and loaded
Does Trump love Putin more than his Cabinet and Americans serving overseas? – Washington Post
Russia’s ‘Fancy Bear’ Hackers Used Leaked NSA Tool to Target Hotel Guests – WIRED
Rape as a Tactic of Terror: Holding the Islamic State Accountable
Who’s who in the government’s investigation into Russia ties – Washington Post
Rape as a Tactic of Terror: Holding the Islamic State Accountable – Just Security
Trump believes his CIA director, but only to a point – MSNBC
Surviving America’s Political Meltdown – Project Syndicate
President Trump Officially Declares Opioid Epidemic a National Emergency – Fortune
Americans Aren’t Thrilled With Trump’s Threat Of ‘Fire And Fury’ Against North Korea
Trump Surprised by FBI Raid on Manafort Home: ‘Pretty Tough Stuff’ – NBCNews.com
Donald Trump: I’m Not Firing Robert Mueller; No Collusion With Russia – Breitbart News
What if President Trump can’t do the job? Here’s the Constitutional answer – Seattle Times
Manafort’s son-in-law met with federal investigators, sources say – CNN International
Batavick: Internet has brought unfortunate consequences to politics – Carroll County Times

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Donald Trump | The Guardian: The Guardian view on Donald Trump and racism: a moral failure that shames America | Editorial

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The Web World TimesNews | Photos | Audio and Video | Politics | Trump | Security | Reviews | Analysis | Current Topics | Opinions | Links | PostsLocal | Guides | Classifieds

News reading lists, review of media reports, digests, reviews, summaries, editors selected important articles

1. Trump from mikenova (190 sites)
Donald Trump | The Guardian: The Guardian view on Donald Trump and racism: a moral failure that shames America | Editorial
Donald Trump: China has a vested interest in keeping the peace between Trump and Kim
Donald Trump: Trump aides seek to placate China ahead of trade move
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: Sonic Weapons in Cuba: on the Cutting Edge? – The Cipher Brief
trump psychological profile – Google News: The Latest: US seeks ‘effective’ ties with China’s military – San Francisco Chronicle
trump psychological portrait – Google News: The Latest: US seeks ‘effective’ ties with China’s military – Washington Post
trump russia treason – Google News: LYONS: Trump presidency a badly scripted reality TV show – pharostribune.com
Donald Trump: Violence in Virginia, void in the White House
trump electorate – Google News: Pennsylvania a battleground in next election? – Indiana Gazette
trump in financial times – Google News: Steve Bannon is undermining Trump, says Scaramucci – Financial Times
Donald Trump: Steve Bannon is undermining Trump, says Scaramucci
Donald Trump: Charlottesville Mayor Blasts Trump’s ‘Repeated Failure’ To Denounce White Supremacists
trump as danger to National Security – Google News: N Korean leader playing dangerous game with US: McMaster – Press TV
Russian Intelligence, organized crime and war on police – Google News: JK Rowling among celebs calling out Trump over white nationalist rally in Charlottesville – EW.com
trump russian candidate – Google News: JK Rowling among celebs calling out Trump over white nationalist rally in Charlottesville – EW.com
trump russian ties – Google News: JK Rowling among celebs calling out Trump over white nationalist rally in Charlottesville – EW.com
Donald Trump | The Guardian: Donald Trump and the snub that wasn’t | Open Door | Paul Chadwick
Donald Trump: How What Happened Here In Charlottesville Was Inevitable
trump anxiety – Google News: Why Trump won’t stand up against hate – CNN
Trump anxiety – Google News: Why Trump won’t stand up against hate – CNN
Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump and the snub that wasn’t – The Guardian
Saved Stories
Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Strategic coordination between Robert Mueller and Congress is paying off in Trump-Russia probe
Anthony Scaramucci, HR McMaster, Mike Pompeo: Sunday guests – Orlando Sentinel
Experts Say Journalists Could Be Espionage Act’s Next Frontier – Courthouse News Service
Fired NSC Aide Reveals Political Warfare Operation Targeting Trump – Washington Free Beacon
Report On McMaster Proves Fired Staffer Right – The Daily Caller
What could Trump’s plans to declare opioid use a national emergency mean for S. Utah? – St. George Daily Spectrum
Trump threatens ‘military option’ in Venezuela as crisis escalates
Paul Manafort and Mike Flynn are struggling to pay for legal defense in Russia probe: Report – Washington Examiner
At Netroots, liberal activists demand full-throttle approach to Trump-Russia ties – Politico
Indiana psychologist gets probation for falsifying report – WSBT-TV
Donald Trump warns North Korea that US is locked and loaded
Does Trump love Putin more than his Cabinet and Americans serving overseas? – Washington Post
Russia’s ‘Fancy Bear’ Hackers Used Leaked NSA Tool to Target Hotel Guests – WIRED
Rape as a Tactic of Terror: Holding the Islamic State Accountable
Who’s who in the government’s investigation into Russia ties – Washington Post
Rape as a Tactic of Terror: Holding the Islamic State Accountable – Just Security
Trump believes his CIA director, but only to a point – MSNBC
Surviving America’s Political Meltdown – Project Syndicate
President Trump Officially Declares Opioid Epidemic a National Emergency – Fortune
Americans Aren’t Thrilled With Trump’s Threat Of ‘Fire And Fury’ Against North Korea
Trump Surprised by FBI Raid on Manafort Home: ‘Pretty Tough Stuff’ – NBCNews.com
Donald Trump: I’m Not Firing Robert Mueller; No Collusion With Russia – Breitbart News
What if President Trump can’t do the job? Here’s the Constitutional answer – Seattle Times
Manafort’s son-in-law met with federal investigators, sources say – CNN International
Batavick: Internet has brought unfortunate consequences to politics – Carroll County Times

The Web World TimesNews | Photos | Audio and Video | Politics | Trump | Security | Reviews | Analysis | Current Topics | Opinions | Links | PostsLocal | Guides | Classifieds

News reading lists, review of media reports, digests, reviews, summaries, editors selected important articles


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Today’s Stories

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Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Now we know why Donald Trump wanted North Korea distraction: the FBI has raided Paul Manaforts home
Fact-checking Donald Trump’s misleading tweet about US nuclear arsenal – PolitiFact
Trump friend Roger Stone blasts Robert Mueller for Russia probe – Palm Beach Post (blog)
Hours after FBI raided Paul Manaforts home, Donald Trump began ranting about the FBI on Twitter
1 in 4 say Trump acted illegally with Russia: poll – The Hill
The US sanctioned a ‘smooth as butter’ cartel operator and a Mexican soccer star allegedly working with him – Business Insider
Donald Trump is so desperate to distract from Paul Manafort bombshell, hes attacking Mitch McConnell
Russian spy plane trolls Trump – Politico
Russian intelligence-gathering aircraft flies over Washington: report – The Hill
Trump Clearly Has No Clue How to Stop the Opioid Epidemic – Fortune
Will President Trump implement new sanctions against Russia? – Hurriyet Daily News
Saddam Hussein’s lesson for Trump – CNN
President Trump and His Team Send Mixed Signals on North Korea Threat – TIME
Why Do We Entertain The Idea Of Entertainers Running For Office? – Newsy
Senate panel gets more details about Trump Tower meeting, reviews Comey memos – Gant Daily
FBI conducted predawn raid of former Trump campaign chairman Manafort’s home – Washington Post
AP News in Brief at 6:04 pm EDT – Washington Post
Are the US and Russia on a Collision Course? – Military.com
FBI agents searched former Trump campaign chair’s home – The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
Michael Cohen Owes NY More Than $40K In Unpaid Taxes From His Taxi Biz – TPM
felix sater – Google News: Michael Cohen Owes NY More Than $40K In Unpaid Taxes On His Taxi Biz – TPM
Stocks Fall on Trump’s North Korea Warning; Dollar Up After Data – New York Times
As Mueller investigation intensifies, Trump unleashes angry rant on Russia probe – ThinkProgress
Trump threatens North Korea with fire and fury video
Fragile baby Donald Trump requires a daily briefing of compliments – A.V. Club

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7:54 AM 8/6/2017 – Trump – Google News: Obama’s army takes on Trump – Politico – Trump News from mikenova

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Trump Investigations – trumpinvestigations.org – on The Web

Review of Media Reports – The Web – News and Information Service

 

1. Trump from mikenova (190 sites)
Trump – Google News: Obama’s army takes on Trump – Politico
trump and intelligence community – Google News: On Russia, Two Trumps: In DC, Constrained; For The Nation, Defiant – NPR
trump russian candidate – Google News: On Russia, Two Trumps: In DC, Constrained; For The Nation, Defiant – NPR

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7:49 AM 8/6/2017 – “That’s why Trump is so terrified…”

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“The Mueller dream-team now has the top 14 financial crimes prosecutors in America,” said Malcolm Nance, a former US intelligence officer and the author of a book on Moscow’s role in the 2016 US election, The Plot to Hack America. Nance predicted that the Mueller investigation would look into every corner of Trump and Kushner’s past business dealings.

“The wheels of justice grind finely and slow but this is a wood chipper, and all these various items and going to get fed into it – Flynn, [Jared] Kushner, Trump, Manafort and anyone who has been assigned to the White House over this period,” Nance said. “Their entire lives are going to be subjected to scrutiny. No one is getting out unscathed. That’s why Trump is so terrified.”

1. Trump from mikenova (190 sites)
trump and intelligence community – Google News: On Russia, Two Trumps: In DC, Constrained; For The Nation, Defiant – NPR
trump russian candidate – Google News: On Russia, Two Trumps: In DC, Constrained; For The Nation, Defiant – NPR
trump and intelligence community – Google News: David Cohen, former top spy, warns Trump not to ‘politicize’ Iran intelligence – Jewish Telegraphic Agency
putin won US 2016 election – Google News: When a Candidate Conspired With a Foreign Power to Win An Election – Politico
former FBI agents power influence – Google News: When a Candidate Conspired With a Foreign Power to Win An Election – Politico
Trump Investigations trumpinvestigations.org on The Web: Thats why Trump is so terrified
putin and trump – Google News: Donald Trump’s vacation vs Vladimir Putin’s vacation in 8 photos – The indy100
Putin Trump – Google News: Donald Trump’s vacation vs Vladimir Putin’s vacation in 8 photos – The indy100
Putin Trump – Google News: Donald Trump’s vacation vs Vladimir Putin’s vacation in 8 photos – The indy100
trump and putin – Google News: Donald Trump’s vacation vs Vladimir Putin’s vacation in 8 photos – The indy100
1. Trump Circles: Elections from mikenova (16 sites): Putin Trump – Google News: Donald Trump’s vacation vs Vladimir Putin’s vacation in 8 photos – The indy100
trump anxiety – Google News: Trump Administration Stirs Alarm Over Voter Purges – NBCNews.com
Trump anxiety – Google News: Trump Administration Stirs Alarm Over Voter Purges – NBCNews.com
2016 elections anxiety – Google News: Trump Administration Stirs Alarm Over Voter Purges – NBCNews.com
US elections and russia – Google News: Tillerson meets top Russian diplomat after new US sanctions – Miami Herald
trump and intelligence community – Google News: Donald Trump won the election, and we don’t know whether he colluded but he’s not a legitimate president – Salon
Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump won the election, and we don’t know whether he colluded but he’s not a legitimate president – Salon
donald trump russia – Google News: Donald Trump won the election, and we don’t know whether he colluded but he’s not a legitimate president – Salon
1. Trump Circles: Elections from mikenova (16 sites): Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump won the election, and we don’t know whether he colluded but he’s not a legitimate president – Salon
trump anxiety – Google News: Does Trump care about the average American? – Chicago Tribune
Trump anxiety – Google News: Does Trump care about the average American? – Chicago Tribune

 

Saved Stories – 1. Trump
President Trump is tasked with governing, but he keeps harping on these 7 things – Los Angeles Times
Does Trump care about the average American? – Chicago Tribune
Donald Trump won the election, and we don’t know whether he colluded but he’s not a legitimate president – Salon
Tillerson meets top Russian diplomat after new US sanctions – Miami Herald
Trump Administration Stirs Alarm Over Voter Purges – NBCNews.com
“Thats why Trump is so terrified
When a Candidate Conspired With a Foreign Power to Win An Election – Politico
David Cohen, former top spy, warns Trump not to ‘politicize’ Iran intelligence – Jewish Telegraphic Agency
On Russia, Two Trumps: In DC, Constrained; For The Nation, Defiant – NPR
Analysis: Trump turns to Russia probe to poke at his critics – Akron Beacon Journal
Donald Trump tweets This is not a vacation while in the middle of a round of golf
‘There is too much anger out there.’ Bombing of a Minnesota mosque leaves Muslims concerned – Los Angeles Times
Mueller team zeroes in on Trump financial crimes because they’re faster to prosecute: CNN – Raw Story
Trump Russia gambit could backfire – Albany Times Union
Terrorism convicts pose unanswered question – Santa Fe New Mexican
Report: Trump Eyes Stephen Miller To Replace Scaramucci
Challenges mount for President Donald Trump, but the bully pulpit is still his – Houston Chronicle
Steve Bannon and H.R. McMaster are trying to kill each other and Donald Trump is too far gone to care
Fox News just unwittingly tipped off that Donald Trump knows hes about to be proven guilty on Russia
Buchanan: Is Trump’s Russia policy being hijacked? – The Ledger
Tough new sanctions approved by UN could cost North Korea $1 billion in exports annually – Los Angeles Times
Trump turns to Russia probe to poke at his critics – Concord Monitor
Huang Jing isn’t S’pore’s first brush with a foreign agent: A S’porean was seduced by a Russian spy – Mothership.sg (registration)
OPINION: In Trumpland, a potty mouth is what offends – Daily Record
Blackburn tells senators to ‘show some spine’ in dealing with health care – Columbia Daily Herald

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12:06 PM 8/5/2017 – Trump Investigations Newsline: trumpinvestigations.org – on The Web: trump and intelligence community – Google News: Trump Slams Russia Probe As Grand Jury Issues Subpoenas – CBS Miami

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Trump Investigations – trumpinvestigations.org – on The Web

Review of Media Reports – The Web – News and Information Service

  • trump and intelligence community – Google News: Trump Slams Russia Probe As Grand Jury Issues Subpoenas – CBS Miami

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TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION: A grand jury has been impaneled in Washington by special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump-Russia collusion, a sign that Muellers probe is entering a new phase of increased intensity according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to Del Quentin Wilber and Byron Tau at the Wall Street Journal.

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Washington Times
Fact-checking the Trump-Russia investigation
Washington Post
On May 9, 2017, Trump fired James BComey as FBI director. As a justification, Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions pointed to Comey’s handling of the agency’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s private email server. But during the 2016 
Trent Franks: Mueller must resign from Russia probe because of long friendship withComeyWashington Times
Mueller, Comey have had long, close relationship | Fox NewsFox News
Trump questions Mueller’s investigation: It’s full of ‘Hillary Clinton supporters’Washington Examiner
Reuters –Congressman Trent Franks
all 196 news articles »
TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION –  The Early Edition: August 4, 2017

A grand jury has been impaneled in Washington by special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Trump-Russia collusion, a sign that Muellers probe is entering a new phase of increased intensity according to people familiar with the matter who spoke to Del Quentin Wilber and Byron Tau at the Wall Street Journal.

Mueller has not impaneled a new grand jury, according to several lawyers involved in the case, but he has issued subpoenas from a pre-existing Washington-based grand jury in recent weeks, at least some of which were for documents related to the business dealings of former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Matt Apuzzo reports at the New York Times.

Subpoenas in connection with a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and others in President Trumps inner circle and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya have also been issued by Muellers grand jury, Reuters Karen Freifeld and John Walcott report.

There were no Russians in our campaign, President Trump told a rally in Huntingdon, West Virginia, yesterday, insisting that Mueller and his team were trying to cheat you out of the leadership that you want with a fake story. David Smith reports at the Guardian.

A measure that would bar the president from directly firing any special counsel that would apply retroactively to cover special counsel Robert Muellers appointment in May will be introduced by Sens. Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) next week in an effort to protect Mueller, Tom LoBianco reports at CNN.

President Trump is not considering firing Mueller, Trumps attorney Jay Sekulow said yesterday, John Bowden reporting at the Hill.

The federal probe into alleged Trump-Russia collusion has expanded to focus on possible financial crimes, including some leads unrelated to Russia but involving people close to the president, CNNs Evan Perez, Pamela Brown and Shimon Prokupecz report.

News that Mueller has impaneled a grand jury isnt a nothing-burger, but it doesnt suggest anything new. Grand juries are how federal prosecutors conduct their investigations, having the subpoena power that prosecutors require to compel reluctant witnesses to testify and gather documentary evidence, explains Randall D. Eliason at the Washington Post.

People are leaping to conclusions following the news that Mueller has impaneled a grand jury in his investigation into Trump-Russia collusion, including that this means that President Trump is about to be charged with committing a felony pursuant to the U.S. Constitution but merely impaneling a grand jury, which has the power to issue an indictment, doesnt mean that Mueller will ultimately seek an indictment, former federal prosecutor Renato Mariotti cautions at POLITICO MAGAZINE.


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 9:48 AM 8/4/2017 – Mike Nova Tweeted

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  1. Mike Nova Retweeted

    Newsweek cover: Trump is a “Lazy Boy” http://hill.cm/IP5iVXl 

    View image on Twitter
  2. Mike Nova Retweeted

    Poll: 80 percent of voters disapprove of GOP handling of health care http://politi.co/2uphgSs 

    View image on Twitter
  3. Mike Nova Retweeted

    Trump helped build a Baku hotel that appears to be a corrupt operation linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard: http://nyer.cm/eEurRzr 

    View image on Twitter
  4. Mike Nova Retweeted

    JUST IN: Senate unanimously blocks Trump from making recess appointments http://hill.cm/kPHlgpv 

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  5. Mike Nova Retweeted

    All the stages of crushing in one animation. 💓 This heartwarming short brings all the gay feels → https://goo.gl/qp8oKP 

  6. Mike Nova Retweeted

    Dubai authorities says 82-floor high-rise “successfully evacuated” as firefighters try to bring blaze under control. http://abcn.ws/2vmI1LS 

  7. Mike Nova Retweeted

    BREAKING: Robert Mueller’s investigation is following the Trump-Russia money trail, sources tell CNN http://cnn.it/2u5m7sJ 

    View image on Twitter
  8. Mike Nova Retweeted

    BREAKING: Mueller impanels D.C. grand jury in Russia probe http://thebea.st/2u5xm4k 

    View image on Twitter
  9. Mike Nova Retweeted

    Support is gathering behind a bipartisan push to protect Robert Mueller from potentially being fired by Trump http://cnn.it/2u53qW0 

    View image on Twitter
  10. Jared Kushner sealed real estate deal with oligarch’s firm cited in money-laundering case https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/24/jared-kushner-new-york-russia-money-laundering?CMP=share_btn_tw 

    Photo published for Jared Kushner sealed real estate deal with oligarch's firm cited in money-laundering case

    Jared Kushner sealed real estate deal with oligarch’s firm cited in money-laundering case

    Donald Trump’s son-in-law bought part of old New York Times building from Soviet-born tycoon, Guardian investigation into Russian money in NYC property market finds

    theguardian.com

  11. The “German hypothesis” of the “Trump-Russia scandal” – Michael Novakhov – In My Opinion – on The Web http://webworldtimes.com/blog/2017/08/01/the-inexorable-and-the-most-interesting-rise-of-germany-at-the-center-of-her-old-european-empire-as-the-world-power/  … …

    View image on Twitter
  12. Robert Mueller’s investigation plunges across Trump’s red line. @GrahamDavidA has more: https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/08/mueller-grand-jury/535875/?utm_source=twb 

    Photo published for Mueller Reportedly Impanels a Grand Jury in a Widening Probe

    Mueller Reportedly Impanels a Grand Jury in a Widening Probe

    A Wall Street Journal story claimed the investigation had moved before a grand jury, while CNN reported Mueller is looking into potential financial crimes unrelated to the 2016 election.

    theatlantic.com

  13. Mueller latest move in the Russia probe may foreshadow a ‘large-scale series of prosecutions’ http://read.bi/2hsedHU  via @bi_politics

    Photo published for Mueller's latest move in the Trump-Russia probe may foreshadow a 'large-scale series of prosecuti...

    Mueller’s latest move in the Trump-Russia probe may foreshadow a ‘large-scale series of prosecuti…

    It marks an escalation of the probe into last year’s election meddling.

    businessinsider.com

  14. Exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in relation to Trump Jr., Russian lawyer meeting – sources http://reut.rs/2v2m4PB 

    Photo published for Trump says ties with Russia at 'all-time low,' blames Congress

    Trump says ties with Russia at ‘all-time low,’ blames Congress

    U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday said Washington’s “relationship with Russia is at an all-time and very dangerous low,” and blamed Congress for the situation.

    reuters.com

  15. National security veterans worry about impact of Trump transcript leaks ➡️ @AkbarSAhmed http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/national-security-veterans-worry-trump-leaks_us_59833617e4b0fa1575fc52f2?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004  via @HuffPostPol

    Photo published for National Security Veterans Worry Trump Transcript Leaks May Have Nasty Impact

    National Security Veterans Worry Trump Transcript Leaks May Have Nasty Impact

    Some say it’ll perturb allies and make the president even more secretive. But the striking content leads other commentators to support the revelations.

    huffingtonpost.com

  16. Special counsel Robert Mueller reportedly assembles grand jury, ramping up Russia probe http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/robert-mueller-grand-jury-russia-probe_us_59837b30e4b0cb15b1bd6508?ncid=engmodushpmg00000004  via @HuffPostPol

    Photo published for Special Counsel Robert Mueller Reportedly Assembles Grand Jury, Ramping Up Russia Probe

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller Reportedly Assembles Grand Jury, Ramping Up Russia Probe

    Special Counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury as part of his investigation into possible collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign …

    huffingtonpost.com

  17. Trump urged Mexican president to end his public defiance on border wall, transcript reveals http://wapo.st/2hqtKIl?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.37b4c4c92d83 

    Photo published for ‘You cannot say that to the press’: Trump urged Mexican president to end his public defiance on...

    ‘You cannot say that to the press’: Trump urged Mexican president to end his public defiance on…

    The president described paying for the wall as a “political problem” and said the best solution is just not to talk about it.

    washingtonpost.com

  18. Trump Supports Plan to Cut Legal Immigration by Half https://nyti.ms/2hnRKvI 

    President Trump just before an announcement about immigration legislation with Senator Tom Cotton, second from right, and Senator David Perdue, far right, at the White House on Wednesday.

    Trump Supports Bill Basing Immigration on Skills and Employability

    Two Republican senators visited the White House to introduce their legislation, which some critics said would keep out badly needed low-wage workers.

    nytimes.com

  19. The “German hypothesis” of the “Trump-Russia scandal” – Michael Novakhov – In My Opinion – on The Web http://webworldtimes.com/blog/2017/08/01/the-inexorable-and-the-most-interesting-rise-of-germany-at-the-center-of-her-old-european-empire-as-the-world-power/ 

    View image on Twitter
  20. Oh, Wait. Maybe It Was Collusion. https://nyti.ms/2uljCC5 

    Donald Trump, right, with his son Donald Trump Jr. at the Republican National Convention last year.

    Opinion | Oh, Wait. Maybe It Was Collusion.

    Russian intelligence may have been trying to recruit allies within the Trump campaign to influence the election — and our government.

    nytimes.com

  21. BBC News – After Trump, “big data” firm Cambridge Analytica is now working in Kenya http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-40792078 

    Donald Trump posing with African leaders in Italy

    After Trump, “big data” firm Cambridge Analytica is now working in Kenya – BBC News

    After helping to elect Trump, big data company Cambridge Analytica is going global.

    bbc.com

  22. No let-up in spying amid tit-for-tat Russian sanctions: U.S official http://reut.rs/2vgFnXN 

    Photo published for No let-up in spying amid tit-for-tat Russian sanctions: U.S official

    No let-up in spying amid tit-for-tat Russian sanctions: U.S official

    Russia still runs a versatile spying campaign against the United States despite sanctions and daily publicity about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the top U.S. counte…

    reuters.com

  23. Russia’s slumping grain yields are bad news for Putin http://read.bi/2h9RhNJ  via @bi_contributors

    Photo published for Russia’s slumping grain yields are bad news for Putin

    Russia’s slumping grain yields are bad news for Putin

    Russia’s grain harvesting season normally starts in June, but this year, it started in July.

    businessinsider.com

  24. Putin is in a corner, trying not to look weak @CNN http://cnn.it/2f15AmW 

    Photo published for Putin is in a corner, trying not to punch himself in the face

    Putin is in a corner, trying not to punch himself in the face

    Vladimir Putin’s counter to new US sanctions on Russia was curiously out of date.

    cnn.com

  25. This issue, “Google censorship”, has the enormous importance – Michael Novakhov – In My Opinion – on The Web http://webworldtimes.com/blog/2017/08/02/this-issue-google-censorship-has-the-enormous-importance/ 

    View image on Twitter
  26. This issue, “Google censorship”, has the enormous importance – Michael Novakhov – In My Opinion – on The Web http://webworldtimes.com/blog/2017/08/02/this-issue-google-censorship-has-the-enormous-importance/ 

  27. The Great Political Divide Over American Identity https://nyti.ms/2hnxn1x  via @UpshotNYT

    Gathering for an Independence Day parade in Washington, D.C., last month.

    The Great Political Divide Over American Identity

    The data show that the nation as a whole is moving away from exclusionary conceptions of identity that President Trump benefited from.

    nytimes.com

  28. Mike Nova Retweeted

    EXCLUSIVE: Former Justice Department official Greg Andres joins special counsel Mueller’s team. http://reut.rs/2tXfJUt  via @karen_freifeld

    View image on Twitter
  29. Mike Nova Retweeted

    We stand w/ Georgia in defense of what @POTUS calls the “ties that bind us together as nations, as allies, & as a civilization.”

  30. Conservative daily promotes Germany’s nuclear armament – World Socialist Web Site: http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2017/08/02/fazg-a02.html 

    Photo published for Conservative daily promotes Germany’s nuclear armament

    Conservative daily promotes Germany’s nuclear armament

    In two recent articles published in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, the newspaper makes the case for Germany arming itself with nuclear weapons.

    wsws.org

  31. Whose Message to Believe on Russia? https://nyti.ms/2hmmv41 

    Vice President Mike Pence addressed service members at an air base outside Tbilisi, Georgia, on Tuesday.

    Opinion | Whose Message to Believe on Russia?

    The vice president’s blunt comments in Eastern Europe do little to ease doubts about the president’s views on Moscow.

    nytimes.com

  32. Germany as the world power – Google Search Tuesday August 1st, 2017 at 10:29 AM – Saved and Shared Articles Review http://worldwt.com/blog/2017/08/01/germany-as-the-world-power-google-search-tuesday-august-1st-2017-at-1029-am/ 

  33. Germany threatens retaliation if U.S. sanctions harm its firms http://reut.rs/2s8rSHr 

    Photo published for Germany threatens retaliation if U.S. sanctions harm its firms

    Germany threatens retaliation if U.S. sanctions harm its firms

    Germany threatened on Friday to retaliate against the United States if new sanctions on Russia being proposed by the U.S. Senate end up penalizing German firms.

    reuters.com

  34. Trump Removes Anthony Scaramucci From Communications Director Role https://nyti.ms/2udFxeg 

    Photo published for Trump Removes Anthony Scaramucci From Communications Director Role

    Trump Removes Anthony Scaramucci From Communications Director Role

    The decision to remove Mr. Scaramucci came at the request of the new chief of staff, John Kelly, people close to the decision said.

    nytimes.com

  35. Putin’s Bet on a Trump Presidency Backfires Spectacularly https://nyti.ms/2ub8HKN 

    Photo published for Putin’s Bet on a Trump Presidency Backfires Spectacularly

    Putin’s Bet on a Trump Presidency Backfires Spectacularly

    If the sanctions passed by Congress last week sent any message to Moscow, it was that Mr. Trump’s hands are tied in dealing with Moscow, probably for years to come.

    nytimes.com

  36. After Fleeing Bias at Home, Gay Russians Say It Persists in Brooklyn https://nyti.ms/2rIaBlg 

    A rally in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn on Saturday in support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people was described as the first Russian-speaking event of its kind in the country.

    After Fleeing Bias at Home, Gay Russians Say It Persists in Brooklyn

    On Saturday, about 200 people rallied in Brighton Beach to protest discrimination in what was described as the country’s first Russian-speaking march for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

    nytimes.com

  37. Trump has some positive qualities… – Michael Novakhov – In My Opinion – on The Web http://webworldtimes.com/blog/2017/07/30/trump-has-some-positive-qualities/ 

    View image on Twitter
  38. Trump has some positive qualities… – Michael Novakhov – In My Opinion – on The Web http://webworldtimes.com/blog/2017/07/30/trump-has-some-positive-qualities/ 

  39. Trump enlists Kelly to enforce order, but can the ‘zoo’ be tamed? http://wapo.st/2eWU0JF?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.1cb576a2d482 

    Photo published for Trump enlists Kelly to enforce order, but can the ‘animals in the zoo’ be tamed?

    Trump enlists Kelly to enforce order, but can the ‘animals in the zoo’ be tamed?

    As some administration officials texted and called each other Saturday to discuss Kelly, there was widespread angst since few of them were familiar with his leadership style.

    washingtonpost.com

  40. DO NOT ADOPT RUSSIAN CHILDREN! – Michael Novakhov – In My Opinion – on The Web http://webworldtimes.com/blog/2017/07/30/do-not-adopt-russian-children/ 

  41. The Kremlin is done betting on Trump and planning how to strike back against U.S. sanctions http://wapo.st/2tNiTd3?tid=ss_tw&utm_term=.d5e14ca2ba45 

    Photo published for The Kremlin is done betting on Trump and planning how to strike back against U.S. sanctions

    The Kremlin is done betting on Trump and planning how to strike back against U.S. sanctions

    “You think we’re bad guys, we’re going to be bad guys, and we’ll see whether you like it or not,” one political commentator said to describe the Kremlin’s thinking.

    washingtonpost.com

  42. West Wing as a viper’s nest of seething rivalry, bitter feuds, gross incompetence http://worldwt.com/blog/2017/07/30/the-observer-view-on-donald-trumps-unfitness-for-office/ 

  43. The Observer view on Donald Trump’s unfitness for office | Observer editorial https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/30/observer-view-of-donald-trump-unifit-for-office?CMP=share_btn_tw 

    Photo published for The Observer view on Donald Trump’s unfitness for office | Observer editorial

    The Observer view on Donald Trump’s unfitness for office | Observer editorial

    The incompetence and infighting at the White House dismay America’s allies and encourage its enemies

    theguardian.com

  44. ★★ 150 Minutes ★★ The best of Opera ( Carmen, Traviata, Così fan Tutte, … https://youtu.be/mqIljeeoLXE?list=PL40BEDB68139E063F  via @YouTube


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Mr. Galeotti: Are you singing the Russian tune: softly, subtly, and for some time now? – “Stop Hyping Trump’s Links to the Russian Mob (Op-ed)” – The Moscow Times

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Mr. Galeotti: Are you singing the Russian tune: softly, subtly, and for some time now?

Stop Hyping Trump’s Links to the Russian Mob (Op-ed)

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Gage Skidmore / Flickr

It seems there is some new claim to link Donald Trump and his business empire with “Russian organized crime” almost every day.

There are plenty of reasons to think that Trump’s business model is flawed to the point of being a pyramid scheme, and that his taste in buyers and investors is in the extreme.

But talk of his becoming an ally or instrument of organized crime misses the point.

There is real organized crime in Russia, just as there is everywhere. Some proper gangsters have, from time to time, shown up in these Trump tales.

One notorious old-school Russian criminal or “thief-within-the-code,” as the old underworld elite was called, even lived in the New York Trump Tower for a while.

But there is no evidence Trump and Vyacheslav “Yaponchik” Ivankov, ever met. And given that at the time Ivankov had no criminal record in the United States, there is a distinct limit to how big a deal one can make of this.

The real connection, it would seem, is that many dubious Russian figures who are in the United States illegally have bought into Trump properties. As with so much up-market real estate dealing, it is likely these deals are in part money laundering.

Trump certainly stands accused of building a property empire which has disproportionate exposure to questionable Russian cash. But that’s not quite the “smoking gun” so many yearn for.

First of all, Trump’s aesthetics — all gilt, no guilt — probably appealed to the 1990s generation of Russian nouveau riche. For them, no excess was excessive. Furthermore, communities often cluster, and as the “Trump brand” became known, others gravitated towards it.

More to the point, 1990s Russian money was by definition dirty, generated in a bare-knuckled era of gangster capitalism where the laws were still being rewritten and the market was whatever your muscle or connections made it.

Things have moved on, and there are genuinely quite reputable Russian companies and banks these days, but even they are usually built on money made in the days when all money was dirty.

This is how capitalism emerges, how generations slowly turn yesterday’s dirty practices into today’s historical foibles — think Lloyd’s underwriting slavery or America’s “robber barons.” Unpicking clean money from dirty in the Russian economy is no more possible than it is in the global economy.

So if you sell to Russians without caring too much who they are, or if you look for investments outside the handful of blue-chip Russian sources, what will you get?

A mix of a clean, gangster but mainly just grubby money, courtesy of what is still a rapacious, corrupt, capital-flighty, embezzlement-heavy, corrupt economy.

That said, the odds are that you’re dealing with Russian businessmen, not tattooed criminal gangsters.

Get beyond the street-level thuggery and the supply chains moving trafficked people and drugs to the lucrative Western markets and your modern “Russian organised crime” figure is likely an entrepreneur with a portfolio of assets from the dirty to the essentially clean.

He’ll be educated and solvent, connected to local and even national political circles and savvy enough to move his money around so that it is next to impossible to prove its criminal origins.

In this respect, they are not that different from so many investors from China, Africa or so many other parts of the world where economic opportunities have outpaced morality and governance. And they are not just buying into Trump properties, they are investing in central London penthouses, Caribbean mansions, Miami beachfront condos, and luxury yachts.

In the current feverish mood, in which many believe that opposing and decrying Trump is a patriotic duty, there is a risk that all this sounds like excusing him. However, I would suggest it is actually raising the rather more real and general problem.

However satisfying it might be to find proof that a tattooed Russian mobster carried a suitcase of blood-stained cash into Trump Tower and bought off the president-to-be, that seems rather unlikely.

Trump was ahead of the downward curve, driven by his desperate need to bail out an often-mismanaged property empire by looking for emerging market money, including from Russia.

There is no evidence yet that this has turned him into a pawn of a mythologized “Russian mafia” or the Kremlin, but that shouldn’t be the only point.

Instead, his business dealings hold up a depressingly accurate mirror to the worst-case scenarios of today’s transnational financial markets.

They also show the “business-is-business” values these markets embody, in which compliance too often simply means deniability, and in which everyone is willing to be a money laundry, so long as there has been a little pre-washing beforehand.

Trump’s sin, and his service, is to show us the dangers in unrestrained, globalized capitalism. Bigly.

Mark Galeotti is a senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations Prague and coordinator of its Center for European Security.

The views and opinions expressed in opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the position of The Moscow Times.


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My View: Evidence shows Trump, businesses connected to Russia | Editorials: “When Putin succeeded Yeltsin as president, he endorsed Russian intelligence connections with the country’s mobsters and oligarchs, allowing them to operate freely as long as they served his personal interests. Multiple sources make clear that Putin and the FSB/KGB essentially control the Russian mob.” – by Tom Maertens Mankato

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Image result for trump, putin, mob

My View: Evidence shows Trump, businesses connected to Russia | Editorials

by Tom Maertens Mankato

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The Trump administration continues to deny that Russia interfered in the 2016 elections, including hacking 21 state voter databases; the campaign/White House issued at least 20 blanket denials of meeting with Russians, now shown to be lies.

The evidence is overwhelming that Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort knowingly conspired with Russia to alter the 2016 election. Trump Jr. was told explicitly that the June 9 meeting he accepted with several Russians was very sensitive because Russia was supporting his father.

His emails make the transactions clear: the Kremlin offered assistance, and subsequently left behind “compromising material” on Hillary Clinton; Trump Jr. willingly accepted it knowing it came from Russia and was intended to affect the election. The (eventual) quid pro quo involved “adoptions” (the Magnitsky Act), which imposed sanctions on 44 of Putin’s cronies linked to murder, corruption or cover-ups.

Besides the Trump Jr., Manafort and Kushner meetings, Page, Flynn, and Sessions also met with Russian officials and lied about it.

The idea that these meetings took place without the knowledge and direction of Trump is laughable. Trump has consistently defended Russia, and denigrated his own intelligence community and the press, while impeding or obstructing investigations.

For his part, Trump had multiple private meetings with Putin at the Hamburg G20 meeting, with no Americans present. There was no American notetaker in the Oval Office meeting Trump had with Russians where he disclosed highly classified information. What else did Trump give away?

Why did Jared Kushner attempt to set up a secret back-channel communication with the Kremlin inside the Russian embassy to avoid detection by U.S. intelligence?

We already know that Roger Stone, a Trump campaign official, admitted to having contacts with Wikileaks, which the CIA director labelled a hostile intelligence service, (and which Trump professed to “love” over 140 times during the last 30 days of the campaign) and with Guccifer 2.0, a front for Russian military intelligence. Stone also betrayed his involvement by his foreknowledge that John Podesta’s email account would be hacked.

Several investigations are underway which should confirm who the culprits were and how they manipulated the elections.

What most Americans don’t understand is the connection between Putin, the KGB/FSB, and the Russian mob. Boris Yeltsin himself described Russia as “the biggest mafia state in the world.”

The connection dates back to the Communist Party’s rainy day slush fund — said to exceed $20 billion — in case Gorbachev’s reforms got out of control and they had to flee the country. The KGB was charged with exporting the money, which it subcontracted to the mob to launder and invest abroad.

When the Soviet Union disintegrated, Yeltsin abolished the Communist Party, leaving the KGB/mafia with all that money, which they used to buy real estate abroad and distressed enterprises in Russia as their own insurance policies.

When Putin succeeded Yeltsin as president, he endorsed Russian intelligence connections with the country’s mobsters and oligarchs, allowing them to operate freely as long as they served his personal interests. Multiple sources make clear that Putin and the FSB/KGB essentially control the Russian mob.

According to James Henry, former chief economist at McKinsey & Company, some $1.3 trillion in illicit capital has been sent out of Russia since the 1990s, parked mostly in real estate, like Trump’s. In fact, Trump Jr. said in 2008 that most of the Trump money was coming from Russia.

The Guardian has uncovered elaborate ties between the Trump family and Russian money laundering in New York real estate (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jul/24/jared-kushner-new-york-russia-money-laundering).

According to Craig Unger in The New Republic, at least 13 people with known or alleged links to Russian mobsters or oligarchs have owned, lived in, and even run criminal activities out of Trump Tower and other Trump properties over the past three decades. USA Today reported that “the president and his companies have been linked to at least 10 wealthy former Soviet businessmen with alleged ties to criminal organizations or money laundering.”

Unger cites multiple sources about hundreds of Trump units that were sold to “Russian-speakers” and concludes that, without the Russian mafia, Donald Trump would not be president of the United States.

Trump is clearly running scared, desperate to stop the investigation; he fired Comey, he’s threatening to fire Mueller and is talking about presidential pardons, all intended to obstruct justice. As former Justice Department spokesman Matt Miller said: “Trump looks ‘super guilty.’”

Trump continues to claim the Russia connection is a “hoax,” but it’s gotten the Trump crime family in deep trouble.

Tom Maertens

worked on Soviet and then Russian affairs for a dozen years, inside the State Department, at the U.S. Consulate General in Leningrad, and as Minister-Counselor for Science, Environment and Technology at U.S. Embassy Moscow. Sources for this article can be found in the online version at mankatofreepress.com

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Trump lashes out over Russia probe, after news of grand jury (VIDEO) | World

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US President Donald Trump accompanied by Senator Shelly Moore Capito arrive at Huntington tri-state airport for a rally in Huntington, West Virginia, August 3, 2017. — Reuters picUS President Donald Trump accompanied by Senator Shelly Moore Capito arrive at Huntington tri-state airport for a rally in Huntington, West Virginia, August 3, 2017. — Reuters picWASHINGTON, Aug 4 — Donald Trump described Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election as a “total fabrication” yesterday amid reports that a special prosecutor has impaneled a grand jury to investigate the issue, a step toward possible criminal indictments.

“We didn’t win because of Russia. We won because of you,” Trump said at a campaign-style rally in West Virginia.

Trying to build support among his core supporters, he said his enemies were “trying to cheat you out of the leadership you want with a fake story that is demeaning to all of us and most importantly, demeaning to our country and demeaning to our constitution.”

“The reason why Democrats only talk about the totally made-up Russia story is because they have no message, no agenda, and no vision,” he said.

“The Russia story is total fabrication. It’s just an excuse for the greatest loss in the history of American politics.”

His comments came after the Wall Street Journal revealed that special counsel Robert Mueller has impaneled a grand jury to investigate Russia’s interference with the 2016 presidential election.

The newspaper, citing two unnamed sources familiar with the matter, reported that the grand jury had begun its work in the US capital Washington “in recent weeks.”

The move is a sign that the sweeping federal investigation — which includes allegations that Trump campaign officials coordinated with Russia to tilt the election in the Republican’s favour — is gathering pace.

The establishment of a grand jury will allow Mueller — a former FBI director — to subpoena documents and get sworn testimony. It could well lead to criminal indictments.

“It’s a significant escalation of the process,” national security attorney Bradley Moss told AFP.

“You don’t impanel a grand jury unless your investigation has discovered enough evidence that you feel reflects a violation of at least one, if not more, criminal provisions,” he said.

“If you secure an indictment, your next step is to arrest the defendant.”

Presidential lawyer Ty Cobb said he was not aware that a grand jury had been convened.

“Grand jury matters are typically secret,” Cobb said, adding that “the White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly.”

“The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr Mueller.”

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president was not likely the subject of the investigation.

“Former FBI director Jim Comey said three times the president is not under investigation and we have no reason to believe that has changed,” she said.

Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores declined to comment on the report.

‘Investigatory independence’

Trump has repeatedly denied allegations of collusion, saying he is the victim of a political “witch hunt” and “fake news”.

But he has been forced to acknowledge that his eldest son, Donald Jr, his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his then campaign advisor Paul Manafort did meet a Kremlin-connected lawyer to get dirt on Hillary Clinton.

Mueller is also said to be investigating Trump’s financial records unrelated to Russia or the election, CNN reported.

Trump has publicly warned Mueller that his financial dealings should be out of bounds and investigating them would cross a red line.

If called to testify before a grand jury, Trump would not be the first president to do so. Then president Bill Clinton was forced to give details about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky, evidence that was used in his impeachment.

yesterday’s revelations will only fuel speculation that Trump may try to curb the investigation by firing Mueller.

Two US senators introduced a bipartisan bill yesterday to pre-empt that move by insulating Mueller.

The legislation, sponsored by Democrat Chris Coons and Republican Thom Tillis, would bar a president from directly firing the special counsel without a judicial review.

Under the bill, Mueller would be allowed to challenge his removal in court in the event he is fired without good cause.

“A back-end judicial review process to prevent unmerited removals of special counsels not only helps to ensure their investigatory independence, but also reaffirms our nation’s system of check and balances,” Tillis said in a statement.

Coons added: “Ensuring that the special counsel cannot be removed improperly is critical to the integrity of his investigation.” — AFP

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Trump Supports Plan to Cut Legal Immigration by Half – New York Times

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New York Times
Trump Supports Plan to Cut Legal Immigration by Half
New York Times
WASHINGTON — President Trump embraced a proposal on Wednesday to slash legal immigration to the United States in half within a decade by sharply curtailing the ability of American citizens and legal residents to bring family members into the country.
Trump, GOP senators introduce bill to slash legal immigration levelsWashington Post
Trump, GOP senators unveil measure to cut legal immigrationThe Hill
Late-night hosts to Trump: ‘Wherever you are today, it’s not based on merit’The Guardian
ABC News –Vox –Fox News Insider
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What is a grand jury Robert Mueller Trump Russia

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  • Special Counsel Robert Mueller (R) departs after briefing members of the U.S. Senate on his investigation into potential collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., June 21, 2017.   REUTERS/Joshua RobertsRobert Mueller, right. Thomson ReutersRobert Mueller, the FBI’s special counsel, impaneled a grand jury in recent weeks to help him investigate Russia’s election interference.
  • The move signals the scope of the investigation is broadening, and the jury has already issued subpoenas.
  • Investigators have also seized on Trump’s financial ties to Russia as a potential avenue of investigation, according to CNN.

Robert Mueller, the special counsel leading the FBI’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, has impaneled a grand jury, The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The grand jury has been working for several weeks already, according to The Journal, and marks an escalation of the investigation into the election meddling and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign team was involved.

“It is a clear sign that this investigation is escalating, and it likely means we are going to see a parade of White House staffers and other Trump associates coming in and out of the courthouse in downtown Washington,” Matthew Miller, a Justice Department spokesman under President Barack Obama, told Business Insider.

“While testimony is secret, you can’t hide who is coming in and out of that courthouse,” Miller said, “and it will put tremendous pressure on White House staffers who will be wondering what their friends and associates testified to behind closed doors.”

Reuters reported that the jury had already issued subpoenas related to the June 2016 meeting between Trump’s eldest son and a Russian lawyer with connections to the Kremlin. Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and his former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, also attended the meeting.

A grand jury “serves as the mechanism by which” criminal charges are initiated, according to Alex Whiting, a former federal prosecutor, and it has the authority to subpoena documents and witnesses.

“In any complex or long-term criminal investigation, therefore, federal prosecutors will go to the grand jury to compel the production of documents or records,” Whiting wrote in May. “Or if they want to force witnesses to testify under oath, which a grand jury subpoena requires unless the witness has a valid privilege not to testify.”

Stephen Vladeck, a professor at the University of Texas who specializes in national-security law, told The Journal that the grand jury was “a further sign that there is a long-term, large-scale series of prosecutions being contemplated and being pursued by the special counsel.”

Emily Pierce, who was a Justice Department official in the Obama administration, told Business Insider that impaneling a grand jury “does not necessarily mean Mueller will bring charges,” adding that “it certainly ups the ante for anyone who may be a target of this probe.”

Miller said the choice of venue for the grand jury was “notable,” too.

“Washington is where any obstruction-of-justice crimes that occurred in the White House would be appropriately venued,” he said.

Mueller reportedly expanded the investigation in May to include obstruction of justice, days after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, who was leading the Russia probe.

In June, Mueller took over the grand-jury investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s lobbying work for a Turkish businessman, according to Reuters. And experts say Mueller appears to be widening his investigation into Trump’s associates by impaneling the second grand jury.

“While many people have focused on the potential actions of the president and whether he can face charges, I think that the lower-level folks who are reportedly targets have more to fear, given it is likely more difficult to indict a president than a campaign operative,” Pierce said.

Vladeck agreed.

“If there was already a grand jury in Alexandria looking at Flynn, there would be no need to reinvent the wheel for the same guy,” he told The Journal. “This suggests that the investigation is bigger and wider than Flynn, perhaps substantially so.”

Renato Mariotti, a former federal prosecutor, said that impaneling a grand jury was “an early step, not a late step, in an investigation.”

“It means there is enough evidence to warrant serious investigation,” Mariotti wrote on Twitter. “But it does not mean that charges will be sought.”

The White House said in a statement attributed to Ty Cobb, the special counsel to the president, that it “favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly.”

He continued: “The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”

Whiting previously wrote that grand jury investigations “can last for months or even years, as prosecutors chase down evidentiary leads and amass the documentary and testimonial evidence.”

According to reports, Mueller has additionally expanded the investigation to examine Trump’s financial history and business dealings, and he recently added a 16th lawyer to his team of investigators: Greg Andres, a former Justice Department official who managed the department’s program targeting illegal foreign bribery.

Citing people familiar with the investigation, CNN reported on Thursday that “federal investigators exploring whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian spies have seized on Trump and his associates’ financial ties to Russia as one of the most fertile avenues for moving their probe forward.”

The investigators are apparently examining Trump Organization financial records and looking at who purchased Trump-branded real estate in the past six years, according to CNN. They’re also probing the backgrounds of people like the Russian-Azerbaijani oligarch Aras Agalarov, who helped bring Trump’s Miss Universe pageant to Moscow in 2013.

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Exclusive: Grand jury subpoenas issued in relation to Trump Jr., Russian lawyer meeting

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August 3, 2017 / 8:42 AM / 44 minutes ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Grand jury subpoenas have been issued in connection with a June 2016 meeting that included President Donald Trump’s son, his son-in-law and a Russian lawyer, two sources told Reuters on Thursday, in a sign that special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation is gathering pace.

The sources added that Mueller had convened a grand jury in Washington to help investigate allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election.

Russia has loomed large over the first six months of the Trump presidency. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia worked to tilt the presidential election in Trump’s favor. Mueller, who was appointed special counsel in May, is leading the probe, which also examines potential collusion by the Trump campaign with Russia.

Moscow denies any meddling and Trump denies any collusion by his campaign, while regularly denouncing the investigations as political witch hunts.

Mueller’s use of a grand jury could give him expansive tools to pursue evidence, including issuing subpoenas and compelling witnesses to testify. The impaneling of the grand jury was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

A spokesman for Mueller declined comment.

A grand jury is a group of ordinary citizens who, working behind closed doors, considers evidence of potential criminal wrongdoing that a prosecutor is investigating and decides whether charges should be brought.

“This is a serious development in the Mueller investigation,” said Paul Callan, a former prosecutor.

“Given that Mueller inherited an investigation that began months ago, it would suggest that he has uncovered information pointing in the direction of criminal charges. But against whom is the real question.”

U.S. stocks and the dollar weakened following the news, while U.S. Treasury securities gained.

Damaging Information

News last month of the meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and a Russian lawyer who he was told had damaging information about his father’s presidential rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton, fueled questions about the campaign’s dealings with Moscow.

The Republican president has defended his son’s behavior, saying many people would have taken that meeting.

Trump’s son-in-law and White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort also attended the meeting.

Ty Cobb, special counsel to the president, said he was not aware that Mueller had started using a new grand jury.

“Grand jury matters are typically secret,” Cobb said. “The White House favors anything that accelerates the conclusion of his work fairly. … The White House is committed to fully cooperating with Mr. Mueller.”

John Dowd, one of Trump’s personal lawyers, said: “With respect to the news of the grand jury, I can tell you President Trump is not under investigation.”

A spokesman for Manafort declined to comment.

Lawyers for Trump Jr. and Kushner did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

One source briefed on the matter said Mueller was investigating whether, either at the meeting or afterward, anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign encouraged the Russians to start releasing material they had been collecting on the Clinton campaign since March 2016.

Another source familiar with the inquiry said that while the president himself was not now under investigation, Mueller’s investigation was seeking to determine whether he knew of the June 9 meeting in advance or was briefed on it afterward.

Additional reporting by Noeleen Walder, Jan Wolfe, Anthony Lin, Jonathan Stempel, Tom Hals, Julia Ainsley and Joel Schectman; Writing by Frances Kerry and Phil Stewart; Editing by Bill Trott and Peter Cooney

August 2, 2017 / 9:07 PM / 21 hours ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told Attorney General Jeff Sessions last weekend that his job was safe after Sessions endured several weeks of sharp public criticism from President Donald Trump, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday.

Kelly, who was named chief of staff by Trump on Friday, phoned Sessions on Saturday to reassure him the White House wanted him to remain as head of the Justice Department, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The conversation was first reported by the Associated Press.

Kelly said Trump was still annoyed with Sessions’ decision in March to recuse himself from the investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, but there had been “kind of a thaw” in Trump’s attitude toward him, according to the official.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.

The Kremlin says it did not interfere in the election, and Trump has denied any collusion.

Last week, Trump assailed Sessions in a tweet as “very weak” and said he was “very disappointed” with his attorney general in a Wall Street Journal interview.

When asked at a news conference last week about Sessions’ future, Trump replied: “Time will tell. Time will tell.”

Republican lawmakers rallied to the defense of Sessions, a former U.S. senator from Alabama, and Trump has not mentioned him in tweets in recent days.

Reporting by Steve Holland; Writing by Eric Beech; Editing by Peter Cooney

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Oh, Wait. Maybe It Was Collusion.

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They then employed a cover story — adoptions — to make it believable to the outside world that there was nothing amiss with the proposed meetings. They bolstered this idea by using cutouts, nonofficial Russians, for the actual meeting, enabling the Trump team to claim — truthfully — that there were no Russian government employees at the meeting and that it was just former business contacts of the Trump empire who were present.

When the Trump associates failed to do the right thing by informing the F.B.I., the Russians probably understood that they could take the next step toward a more conspiratorial relationship. They knew what bait to use and had a plan to reel in the fish once it bit.

While we don’t know for sure whether the email solicitation was part of an intelligence ploy, there are some clues. A month after the June meeting at Trump Tower, WikiLeaks, a veritable Russian front, released a dump of stolen D.N.C. emails. The candidate and campaign surrogates increasingly mouthed talking points that seemed taken directly from Russian propaganda outlets, such as that there had been a terrorist attack on a Turkish military base, when no such attack had occurred. Also, at this time United States intelligence reportedly received indications from European intelligence counterparts about odd meetings between Russians and Trump campaign representatives overseas.

Of course, to determine whether collusion occurred, we would have to know whether the Trump campaign continued to meet with Russian representatives subsequent to the June meeting. The early “courting” stage is almost always somewhat open and discoverable. Only after the Russian intelligence officer develops a level of control can the relationship be moved out of the public eye. John Brennan, the former director of the C.I.A., recently testified, “Frequently, people who go along a treasonous path do not know they are on a treasonous path until it is too late.”

Even intelligence professionals who respect one another and who understand the Russians can and often do disagree. On the Trump collusion question, the difference of opinion comes down to this: Would the Russians use someone like Mr. Goldstone to approach the Trump campaign? Our friend and former colleague Daniel Hoffman argued in this paper that this is unlikely — that the Russians would have relied on trained agents. We respectfully disagree. We believe that the Russians might well have used Mr. Goldstone. We also believe the Russians would have seen very little downside to trying to recruit someone on the Trump team — a big fish. If the fish bit and they were able to reel it in, the email from Mr. Goldstone could remain hidden and, since it was from an acquaintance, would be deniable if found. (Exactly what the Trump team is doing now.)

If the fish didn’t take the bait, the Russians would always have had the option to weaponize the information later to embarrass the Trump team. In addition, if the Russians’ first objective was chaos and disruption, the best way to accomplish that would have been to have someone on the inside helping. It is unlikely that the Russians would not use all the traditional espionage tools available to them.

However, perhaps the most telling piece of information may be the most obvious. Donald Trump himself made numerous statements in support of Russia, Russian intelligence and WikiLeaks during the campaign. At the same time, Mr. Trump and his team have gone out of their way to hide contacts with Russians and lied to the public about it. Likewise, Mr. Trump has attacked those people and institutions that could get to the bottom of the affair. He fired his F.B.I. director James Comey, criticized and bullied his attorney general and deputy attorney general, denigrated the F.B.I. and the C.I.A., and assails the news media, labeling anything he dislikes “fake news.” Innocent people don’t tend to behave this way.

The overall Russian intent is clear: disruption of the United States political system and society, a goal that in the Russian view was best served by a Trump presidency. What remains to be determined is whether the Russians also attempted to suborn members of the Trump team in an effort to gain their cooperation. This is why the investigation by the special counsel, Robert Mueller, is so important. It is why the F.B.I. counterintelligence investigation, also quietly progressing in the background, is critical. Because while a Russian disruption operation is certainly plausible, it is not inconsistent with a much darker Russian goal: gaining an insider ally at the highest levels of the United States government.

In short, and regrettably, collusion is not off the table.

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Trump Signs Russian Sanctions Into Law, With Caveats

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In the statement to Congress, Mr. Trump said the bill “included a number of clearly unconstitutional provisions.” Although he added that “I nevertheless expect to honor” the waiting periods, he did not commit to it. Moreover, he took issue with other provisions, saying only that he “will give careful and respectful consideration to the preferences expressed by the Congress.”

“This bill remains seriously flawed — particularly because it encroaches on the executive branch’s authority to negotiate,” Mr. Trump said in the separate statement to reporters. “Congress could not even negotiate a health care bill after seven years of talking. By limiting the executive’s flexibility, this bill makes it harder for the United States to strike good deals for the American people and will drive China, Russia and North Korea much closer together.”

“Yet despite its problems,” he added, “I am signing this bill for the sake of national unity. It represents the will of the American people to see Russia take steps to improve relations with the United States. We hope there will be cooperation between our two countries on major global issues so that these sanctions will no longer be necessary.”

Like Mr. Trump, who has offered no public comment or even a Twitter message about the Russian order to slash the number of United States Embassy workers, it appears that Mr. Putin has not completely given up on the idea of establishing closer relations. The Russian government took its retaliatory action before the president signed the bill so that it would be a response to Congress, not to Mr. Trump.

After Mr. Trump signed the measure on Wednesday, the Russian government reaction was mild. “De facto, this changes nothing,” said Dmitri S. Peskov, the Kremlin press secretary, who was traveling with Mr. Putin in the Russian Far East, according to the Interfax news agency. “There is nothing new.”

He added that no new retaliation should be expected. “Countermeasures have already been taken,” he said.

The Russian Foreign Ministry attributed the sanctions to “Russophobic hysteria” and reserved the right to take action if it decided to. Vasily A. Nebenzya, the Russian ambassador to the United Nations, said the law would do nothing to change Moscow’s policies. “Those who invented this bill, if they were thinking that they might change our policy, they were wrong,” he told reporters. “As history many times proved, they should have known better that we do not bend, we do not break.”

Dmitri A. Medvedev, the Russian prime minister, declared the “end to hope for the improvement of our relations” and mocked Mr. Trump for being forced to sign. “The Trump administration has demonstrated total impotence, handing over executive functions to Congress in the most humiliating way possible,” he wrote on Facebook. He added that “the American establishment has totally outplayed Trump” with the goal “to remove him from power.”

American lawmakers said the new law sent an important signal that Russia would be held to account for its election interference and aggression toward its neighbors. But the lawmakers expressed concern about whether Mr. Trump would try to sidestep the measure.

The president’s signing statement “demonstrates that Congress is going to need to keep a sharp eye on this administration’s implementation of this critical law and any actions it takes with respect to Ukraine,” said Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic minority leader.

Senator Benjamin L. Cardin of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee and a prime driver behind the legislation, said, “I remain very concerned that this administration will seek to strike a deal with Moscow that is not in the national security interests of the United States.”

The Trump administration continues to send mixed messages about Russia.

Vice President Mike Pence, who has been visiting Eastern Europe in recent days to shore up allies nervous about an assertive Kremlin, told a group of Balkan prime ministers on Wednesday that Russia sought “to redraw international borders by force” and “undermine your democracies.”

“The United States will continue to hold Russia accountable for its actions, and we call on our European allies and friends to do the same,” he said in Montenegro, the latest Eastern European nation to join NATO. He noted that the president would sign the sanctions legislation.

“Let me be clear: The United States prefers a constructive relationship with Russia based on mutual cooperation and common interests,” Mr. Pence said. “But the president and our Congress are unified in our message to Russia: A better relationship and the lifting of sanctions will require Russia to reverse the actions and conduct that caused sanctions to be imposed in the first place.”

But just a day earlier, Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson offered a somewhat different take, focusing on the potential for cooperation with Russia in fighting the Islamic State and finding a resolution to the civil war in Syria. Rather than sounding unified with Congress, Mr. Tillerson complained that lawmakers should not have passed the sanctions legislation.

“The action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place and the way they did, neither the president nor I are very happy about that,” he told reporters on Tuesday. “We were clear that we didn’t think it was going to be helpful to our efforts, but that’s the decision they made. They made it in a very overwhelming way. I think the president accepts that.”

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After Trump, “big data” firm Cambridge Analytica is now working in Kenya – BBC News

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After Trump, “big data” firm Cambridge Analytica is now working in Kenya
BBC News
On its website, the firm says it “uses data to change audience behaviour.” Most notably, the company was hired by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and has been given some credit for Trump’s electoral success. The company purchases and compiles …

After Trump, “big data” firm Cambridge Analytica is now working in Kenya

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A social media data firm that worked for Donald Trump and which once claimed ties to a pro-Brexit campaign group is now reportedly working for Kenya’s incumbent president.

Cambridge Analytica’s mission statement is simple. On its website, the firm says it “uses data to change audience behaviour.” Most notably, the company was hired by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and has been given some credit for Trump’s electoral success.

The company purchases and compiles data on voters – including their browsing history, location data and Facebook likes. On its website, Cambridge Analytica claims to possess up to 5,000 data points on more than 230 million American voters. When combined with on-the-ground surveys, Cambridge Analytica can use this vast information bank to target key messages at relevant voters.

Now, Cambridge Analytica is working in Kenya, helping in the effort to re-elect President Uhuru Kenyatta.

On 10 May, The Star newspaper in Kenya reported that Kenyatta’s Jubilee Party had hired the firm, and a month later, the same newspaper reported that Cambridge Analytica was working from the seventh floor of the party’s headquarters in Nairobi.

Cambridge Analytica refused to comment on those reports to BBC Trending, but the global privacy-protection charity Privacy International confirmed that they had seen similar information to The Star, citing local sources, and said that Cambridge Analytica was being paid $6 million for its work in the country.

Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in Kenyan politics began in 2013, when the company worked for Kenyatta and The National Alliance – the forerunner of the Jubilee Party. During that year’s campaign, the company correlated online data with 47,000 on-the-ground surveys. According to the Cambridge Analytica website, this allowed the company to create a profile of the Kenyan electorate and come up with a campaign strategy “based on the electorate’s needs (jobs) and fears (tribal violence).” Kenyatta won the 2013 election.

Kenyans are among the most active social media users in Africa. The number of mobile phone users in the country shot up from 8 million in 2007 to 30 million in 2013, and 88% of the population can now access the internet through their phones.

Having served as Minister of Information and Communication from 2005 to 2013, Bitange Ndemo was one of the driving forces behind Kenya’s technological expansion. He told BBC Trending that social media plays a “key role” in the country’s political campaigns.

“It provides a fast way of responding to your opponent’s propaganda,” he said. “Plus, it is perhaps the only medium that can reach most young people.”

Tribal turmoil

At the same time, Kenya’s recent political history has been marred by violence. This reached a peak after the 2007 general election, when a contested result caused tribal divisions to erupt – 1,100 people were killed in the ensuing conflict, while 650,000 were displaced.

“Kenya is very tricky political terrain,” says Paul Goldsmith, an American researcher and writer who’s lived in Kenya for 40 years. “Cambridge Analytica might have access to surveys and other data, but that doesn’t necessarily translate into useful insights. There’s always something unpredictable during elections here. There’s always a curveball.”

“Western companies, charities and development experts tend to run into obstacles when they come to Africa,” Goldsmith says. “I would be surprised if Cambridge Analytica was any different.”

Tribal divisions continue to frame Kenyan politics. Each political party remains closely affiliated with a particular ethnic group. Though Kenyatta did not stand for president in 2007, he was accused of encouraging members of his native Kikuyu tribe to attack Luo tribesmen, who were represented in the election by Raila Odinga. The charge was taken to the International Criminal Court, but ultimately dismissed in December 2014 due to a lack of evidence. Odinga, who maintains that he was cheated out of victory in 2007, is standing against Kenyatta this time around.

During primary elections earlier this year, held to decide the candidates for each party, seven people were killed as rival groups accused each other of vote rigging. Earlier this week, a senior election official was reported dead, and a close colleague told the press that he had been tortured and murdered.

A spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica told Trending that the company is not involved in any negative advertising in Kenya, and that the company “has never advocated the exploitation of ethnic divisions in any country.”

Data harvesting

Cambridge Analytica’s presence in Kenya has prompted concerns about data protection. “Kenya does not currently have specific data protection legislation,” says Claire Lauterbach, a researcher at Privacy International. “This basically means that it’s unclear which agencies or companies can have access to individuals’ data, including sensitive information.”

Cambridge Analytica’s strategy involves the mass harvesting and analysis of voter data. Data protection campaigners are therefore concerned about what might happen to this data after the election.

The issue even worries former government ministers, including Bitange Ndemo, who says the government has failed to pass the data protection laws that he drafted when in office. “Somehow Parliament did not quite understand its importance,” he told Trending. “We need to protect personal data. The fears that data may be abused should be a concern to all.”

In response, Cambridge Analytica said that the company is not compiling individualised data profiles on Kenyan voters, and a spokesperson also stated that a data harvesting programme on the same scale as recent American campaigns is not possible in Kenya.

Cambridge Analytica is heavily funded by Robert Mercer, a US businessman who helped to fund Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and was a member of Trump’s transition team. Mercer is also a major donor to Breitbart News, the website that current White House chief strategist Steve Bannon ran before joining the Trump campaign, and Bannon was once on Cambridge Analytica’s board of directors.

Cambridge Analytica is currently being investigated by the UK’s privacy watchdog, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), regarding its alleged use of analytics in the recent EU referendum campaign.

Following the Brexit vote, it was widely reported that Cambridge Analytica had assisted the unofficial Leave.EU campaign – affiliated with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage and insurance tycoon Aaron Banks. Leave.EU’s former communications director, Andy Wigmore, told the Observer in February that Cambridge Analytica was “more than happy to help… we shared a lot of information.”

Banks, one of the founders of Leave.EU, has made contradictory statements about Cambridge Analytica’s role in the campaign on Twitter. At one point, in response to a story about the firm, Banks seemed to credit the company’s technology with advancing the Brexit cause:

However, he later said that Leave.EU did not enlist the company, because the Electoral Commission (EC) designated a different group as the official Leave campaign:

Cambridge Analytica now denies that it was ever involved in the EU referendum campaign, and has lodged a legal complaint against the Observer.

Kenya is not the only developing country election where Cambridge Analytica is now getting involved. Bloomberg News reported that the company is also conducting initial research in Mexico, in advance of that country’s presidential election in 2018.

Blog by Sam Bright

You can follow BBC Trending on Twitter @BBCtrending, and find us on Facebook.

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William Evanina – Google Search

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Story image for William Evanina from Reuters

No let-up in spying amid tit-for-tat Russian sanctions: US official

ReutersJul 31, 2017
William Evanina, the National Counterintelligence Executive, described a wide array of challenges his agency faces: hacking of government …
Story image for William Evanina from Reuters

Top Senate Democrat urges Trump to block China deals over North …

ReutersAug 1, 2017
… on a health care bill on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 25, 2017. … both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue,” said William Evanina, National …
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Top US Senate Democrat urges Trump to block China deals over …

Reuters UKAug 1, 2017
… working with both sides of Pennsylvania Avenue,” said William Evanina, National Counterintelligence Executive, referring to the White House …
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Russia Still Spying On US Despite Sanctions, Warns Top US …

<a href=”http://malaysiandigest.com” rel=”nofollow”>malaysiandigest.com</a>10 hours ago
William Evanina, the National Counterintelligence Executive, told Reuters that his US intelligence agencies “have not seen a deterrence, or a …
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No let-up in spying amid tit-for-tat Russian sanctions: U.S official

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July 31, 2017 / 5:44 PM / 2 days ago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Russia still runs a versatile spying campaign against the United States despite sanctions and daily publicity about Moscow’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the top U.S. counter-intelligence official said in an interview.

William Evanina, the National Counterintelligence Executive, described a wide array of challenges his agency faces: hacking of government and industry secrets; industrial espionage; government employees and contractors who share secrets with the news media and groups such as WikiLeaks and foreign acquisition of strategic U.S. industries.

Evanina spoke to Reuters on Friday, the same day that Russia retaliated in Cold War-era style to a new round of U.S. sanctions by ordering Washington to cut diplomatic staff and said it was seizing two U.S. diplomatic properties. Russian President Vladimir Putin said 755 people would have to leave their jobs, although many will be Russian nationals.

Congress voted overwhelmingly last week to further punish Russia over U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusions that Moscow had used cyber warfare and other methods to meddle in the election, something Putin has repeatedly denied. Last December, then-President Barack Obama expelled 35 Russian diplomats, sanctioned Russian intelligence agencies and personnel, and evicted Russian officials from two diplomatic compounds in the United States.

Evanina said that losing the compounds was a “significant blow to the Russians. Significant. And I’m not even sure we … can measure it.”

He said, however, that U.S. agencies “have not seen a deterrence, or a drop – or an increase,” in Russian spying activity in the last year. “I can tell you, the FBI does not have less work.”

Still, Evanina acknowledged that in the tit-for-tat expulsions, the United States has more to lose than Moscow.

“We have a significantly … smaller footprint over there than they do here. It’s always going to be disproportionate.”

The United States has long pursued its own aggressive espionage and electronic surveillance operations against Russia and, before that, the Soviet Union. Russia’s cuts to U.S. personnel and property will shrink the diplomatic infrastructure that countries typically rely on to both conduct foreign affairs – and spy.

Evanina said Russian espionage strategy has shifted over the last five to seven years, no longer relying solely on intelligence officers formally employed by its spy agencies. Now, he said, it also involves dispatching businessmen, engineers and other travelers to the United States working as contractors for intelligence services.

Evanina declined to comment on U.S. investigations into Moscow’s election year activities and whether President Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials. Trump denies any collusion.

He said that in the past year, he has worked intensively with the U.S. private sector to protect critical infrastructure and supply chains from foreign threats. Evanina suggested that the United States could soon adopt more stringent reviews of foreign acquisitions that have national security implications.

Reuters reported on July 20 that the secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has objected to at least nine acquisitions of U.S. companies by foreign buyers so far this year, a historically high number that bodes poorly for China’s overseas buying spree.

Reporting by Warren Strobel and John Walcott; editing by Grant McCool


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The Russians Were Involved. But It Wasn’t About Collusion – NYT

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The Russians Were Involved. But It Wasn’t About Collusion.

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Russians are fond of a proverb, “besplatniy sir biyvaet tol’ko v mishelovke”: “Free cheese can be found only in a mousetrap.”

Having long considered the United States its main enemy, the Kremlin deploys a full quiver of intelligence weapons against America and its national security agencies, political parties and defense contractors. Its intelligence services, though best known for clandestine operations to recruit spies, also run covert “influence operations” that often use disinformation to try to affect decisions or events in rival countries. A central tool of those operations is “kompromat,” “compromising material”: things of seemingly great value that are dangled, at what appears to be no cost, before unwitting targets. This is the “free cheese” that ensnares victims in a trap.

I know all this from having spent much of my 30-year government career, including with the C.I.A., observing Soviet, and then Russian, intelligence operations. I came to realize that President Vladimir Putin, who spent his formative years in the K.G.B., the Soviet Union’s main intelligence agency, and served as director of its successor agency, the F.S.B., wants, as much as anything, to destabilize the American political process. For all his talk of desiring friendly relations, Mr. Putin favors a state of animosity between our two nations. By characterizing the United States and NATO as Russia’s enemies, he can attack within his own borders what threatens him the most — the ideals of liberty, freedom and democracy, of which the United States has been a defender.

This background is necessary for understanding the real meaning of the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower between Kremlin-connected Russians and three representatives of Donald Trump’s campaign: his son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort, then the campaign manager. The evidence that has emerged from this meeting strongly suggests that this was not an effort to establish a secure back channel for collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign but an influence operation with one simple objective: to undermine the presidential election.

No conclusive proof has yet emerged that the Kremlin arranged this meeting, and the Russians involved have asserted they were not working for the Putin government. Mr. Kushner himself told Senate investigators that there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Moscow. But to me, the clearest evidence that this was a Russian influence operation is the trail of bread crumbs the Kremlin seemed to have deliberately left leading from Trump Tower to the Kremlin. This operation was meant to be discovered.

The meeting was arranged by a British publicist named Rob Goldstone, who told Donald Trump Jr. via email that his client, the Russian pop star Emin Agalarov, wanted to share incriminating evidence on the Clinton campaign that had been obtained from the Russian government. Sophisticated Russian intelligence tradecraft that was meant to be kept secret would not have permitted such an insecure opening gambit for establishing continuing communication with the Trump campaign. They would not have used something as insecure as email, or relied on liaison cutouts who could so easily be traced to the Kremlin. Instead, the Russians who attended the meeting had obvious Kremlin ties, including Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Moscow lawyer who has done work on behalf of the F.S.B.; Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-American lobbyist who served in the Soviet military; and Mr. Agalarov, whose father is a real estate titan close to Mr. Putin.

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An Embattled White House Gets a General

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The Generals Can’t Save Us From Trump

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Consider North Korea: As Pyongyang defiantly ignored Mr. Trump’s martial strutting, he indicated that the United States was counting on the Chinese to bring financial pressure; praised the skills of Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader; and offered to negotiate. A few months later, Mr. Trump has already ditched that approach, closing the door on the Chinese and going back to military threats.

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, Mr. Trump has sown confusion about American policy toward Syria; incited regional isolation of Qatar, home to an important American military base; and encouraged a destabilizing confrontation between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

During Mr. Trump’s maladroit visit to Europe, he declined to affirm the country’s commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty — the linchpin of Europe’s collective security — and hectored European NATO members to spend more on defense. Although he has walked back the gaffe, trans-Atlantic relations remain shaky.

Most recently, Mr. Trump last week announced that transgender Americans would be barred from military service — catching the Pentagon by surprise and upending a long-running internal review process. After each of these episodes, stories leak about how the generals were either outgunned by advisers like Stephen Bannon or, more often, just left out of the loop.

At the margins, the generals may dial back their boss’s impulses, and occasionally stand up to Mr. Trump in small ways, as Mr. Mattis did when he declined to praise Mr. Trump in a televised cabinet meeting in June. And there are small victories: Last week, General McMaster managed to remove the Flynn holdover Derek Harvey, the Middle East senior adviser and an Iran hawk, from the security council.

But it’s unlikely that the generals will consistently rein in Mr. Trump at the strategic level. Gen. Joseph Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and therefore, on paper at least, the president’s primary military liaison and adviser, rarely has one-on-one meetings with Mr. Trump. Mr. Kelly, a former Marine general who had served as his secretary of homeland security and whom many had hoped would temper the president on immigration, apparently shares Mr. Trump’s policy views and seems disinclined to challenge him.

Relying on the generals was always a dubious, ad hoc plan prompted by Mr. Trump’s uniquely troubling peculiarities. Generals aren’t supposed to make policy, let alone get involved in politics.

In the mid-1950s, the political scientist Samuel P. Huntington observed that American military officers had evolved into a disciplined and largely apolitical group of professionals. He outlined a separation of roles: military obedience to civilian leaders in areas of strategic or political discretion, and civilian deference to the military on operational matters.

This was the norm until after Vietnam, when numerous scholars conducting post-mortems on the war — including, coincidentally, General McMaster in his book “Dereliction of Duty” — concluded that military commanders should have challenged civilian leaders more aggressively.

And over time, that’s what happened. As the Pentagon gained a broader post-Sept. 11 mandate, branching into what were once considered law enforcement and diplomatic arenas, the line between the civilian and military division blurred. Combatant commanders’ assertiveness peaked when a beleaguered President George W. Bush looked to Gen. David Petraeus to extricate the United States from the Iraq quagmire by way of the “surge” in 2007.

President Barack Obama reasserted civilian control when he fired Gen. Stanley McChrystal in 2010 and pulled the military out of Iraq in 2012.

Civilian control remains more or less intact, but the civilian leadership has changed. Unlike Mr. Obama, who took responsibility for his administration’s military actions, Mr. Trump has publicly scapegoated the military for politically damaging episodes, such as the errant February raid in Yemen in which one Navy SEAL and up to 30 civilians died. He has also been openly at odds with Mr. Mattis over torture, budget cuts at the State Department and climate change.

Still, there was an expectation that, given Mr. Trump’s apparent affection for all things martial, the generals would eventually take at least some control of foreign policy, especially after General McMaster replaced the wayward Mr. Flynn at the National Security Council.

This has not happened. Instead, Mr. Trump has simply sidelined the security council and its role in coordinating foreign policy, relegating it to on-the-fly improvisation. The generals in the Trump administration still sit outside the president’s inner circle. General McMaster admitted that Mr. Trump went into his private meeting with President Vladimir Putin of Russia at last month’s G-20 meeting without an agenda — indeed, without General McMaster.

The generals have failed because for all their acumen, they’re not suited to the job of the nation’s strategic stewards. They’re military men, not statesmen. This isn’t a slight on Mr. Mattis or General McMaster — it’s a rare officer who can move from operations to policy and strategy, as Eliot Cohen noted in his book “Supreme Command.” They lack the sound civilian leader’s worldly acumen, and the good ones know it. (Obviously Mr. Cohen — one of Mr. Trump’s most vehement Republican critics — did not have the current president in mind in positing the ideal civilian leader.)

Furthermore, most generals — Douglas MacArthur being the rare exception — are acutely aware of the chain of command, and uncomfortable directly challenging the commander in chief. That’s what makes Mr. Mattis’s comment in Singapore so surprising — and it’s unlikely we’ll hear more in that vein.

So where will the check on Mr. Trump’s incompetent foreign policy come from? Not the State Department, under siege and led, for now, by the underqualified Rex Tillerson. Only Congress, on a bipartisan basis, can constrain Mr. Trump’s recklessness and ineptitude.

And, slowly but surely, that constraint is materializing. Congress is using its power of the purse to reject Mr. Trump’s drastic cuts in the foreign assistance budget and resist his substantially defunding the State Department. More significantly and unconventionally, it is countering Trump administration policy stances it considers unsound, having passed a resolution reaffirming the American commitment to NATO and voted overwhelmingly to impose new sanctions on Russia.

But even on its best days, Congress is an unreliable and unwieldy mechanism for managing foreign policy, and no substitute for a wise and engaged chief executive and a nimble security council.

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· · · ·

Recap of Recent Pieces on Just Security (July 23-28)

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I. Government Lawyering

Lisa Monaco, Help Wanted: Custodians for the Rule of Law (Friday, July 28)II. Trump Campaign – Russia Investigation

Ambassador (ret.) Keith Harper, The Presidenut’s Pardons Paradox: Granting Them Could Aid the Prosecution (Wednesday, July 26) Bob Bauer,  If “Love” Knows No Bounds: On Criminal “Intent” and the Scope of Campaign Finance Law (Tuesday, July 25) Renato Mariotti, A Former Federal Prosecutor Dissects Kushner’s Statement (Tuesday, July 25) Fred Wertheimer, President Trump’s Unsurprising Endorsement of Illegal Solicitation–His 2016 Campaign Repeatedly Violated Ban on Soliciting Foreign Donations (Tuesday, July 25) Kate Brannen and Andy Wright, Q&A on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Decision to Subpoena Manafort ((Tuesday, July 25) Ryan Goodman, Can Jared Kushner Be Impeached? (Monday, July 24) Renato Mariotti, How the Prospect of Indictment Could Impact the President’s Decision Making (Monday, July 24)III. The State Department

Jane Stromseth, Why the U.S. needs the Office of Global Criminal Justice Led by a Senate-Confirmed Ambassador-at-Large (Wednesday, July 26)IV.  Iraq and Female Foreign Fighters

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, Fall of Mosul Raises Question: What Should Be Done with Female Foreign Fighters? (Thursday, July 27)V. Cybersecurity and Election Infrastructure

Karen Hobert Flynn, As Hackers Target U.S. Voting Machines, We Need Leaders Who’ll Put Country Over Party (Thursday, July 27)VI. Norms Watch

Hannah Ryan, Norms Watch: Democracy, the Trump Administration, and Reactions to It (July 21-July 28) (Friday, July 28)VII. Attorney General Jeff Sessions

Steve Vladeck, The Three Sessions Succession Scenarios (Tuesday, July 25)VIII. The Transgender Military Service Ban

Bishop Garrison, We’ve Been Here Before: Discriminating Against Those Who Volunteer to Serve (Wednesday, July 26)IX. Islamophobia and Countering Violent Extremism

Faiza Patel, Margot Adams and Emily Hockett, Defeated Anti-Muslim Amendment a Sign of Trump’s Normalizing of Islamophobia (Wednesday, July 26) Michael German and Faiza Patel, Fighting Terrorism Without Dividing Us: Why Congress Must Look Beyond Countering Violent Extremism (Thursday, July 27)X. The Authorization for Use of Military Force 

 Heather Brandon and Scott Johnston, Takeaways from this Week’s House AUMF Hearing—on Authorizing War Against ISIS (Thursday, July 27)XI. Authoritarianism and Emergency Powers

Rachel Kleinfeld, We Are Already in a State of Emergency (Friday, July 28)XII. Yemen 

Will Picard, The Danger of a Grand Bargain: The Wrong Peace Deal Could Mean Endless War in Yemen (Tuesday, July 25) Stephen Seche and Eric Pelofsky, Yemen: The View from Riyadh, (Sunday, July 23)XIII. National Security Council

Kate Brannen and Jenna McLaughlin, Top Middle East Advisor is Removed from the National Security Council  (Thursday, July 28) Read on Just Security »

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Germany echoes Putin’s attack on US bill to sanction Russia

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A senior German government official on Friday agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s criticism of new U.S. sanctions aimed at punishing Russian aggression around the world.

German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel suggested Friday that the United States is using the sanctions bill as an opportunity to boost American energy companies by barring Europeans from doing business with their Russian rivals. The remarks endorse a key plank of Russia’s position, despite German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s posture as a leading European critic of Putin.

“Sanctions policies are neither a suitable nor an appropriate instrument for promoting national export interests and the domestic energy sector,” Gabriel said.

Putin made a similar accusation, as Congress took the final steps to send the bill to President Trump’s desk. “I would call them particularly cynical because they amount to an obvious attempt to use one’s geopolitical advantages in the competitive struggle in order to protect one’s economic interests at the expense of one’s allies, as in this case,” Putin said Thursday while traveling in Finland.

That charge was just one part of the Russian defense against the sanctions, as the Foreign Ministry paired it with a statement that U.S. concern about Russian aggression is a fiction.

“It is common knowledge that the Russian Federation has been doing everything in its power to improve bilateral relations, to encourage ties and cooperation with the U.S.,” the Foreign Ministry said. “Meanwhile, the United States is using Russia’s alleged interference in its domestic affairs as an absolutely contrived excuse for its persevering and crude campaigns against Russia.”

U.S. intelligence officials in President Trump’s administration and the Obama administration agree that Russians were behind a series of cyberattacks and document leaks targeting Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party. Leaked National Security Agency documents also revealed an effort to hack state election systems, although they didn’t succeed in altering the vote on election day. Russian officials also harassed U.S. diplomats, according to the State Department, including one incident when a policeman outside the U.S. embassy in Moscow assaulted an American official trying to enter the building.

“For too long, the message to Vladimir Putin has been that Russia can invade its neighbors, threaten U.S. allies, intensify its cyber-attacks, and interfere with foreign elections with very little repercussion,” Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, R-Ariz., said in June when the bill passed the upper chamber. “Unless and until Russia pays a price for its actions, these destabilizing activities will continue.”

The new sanctions aim to punish Russia by barring companies that do business in the United States from working on energy projects with significant Russian ownership — defined in the law as a one-third stake. The most significant example is Nord Stream 2, a major new gas pipeline that a company owned by the Russian government is trying to build in northern Europe.

The pipeline would strengthen Russia’s hand with respect to Ukraine and Europe, but several major energy companies from Germany and other Western European nations are involved in the deal.

U.S. lawmakers took a variety of steps to alleviate those worries in the final version of the bill, including measures that would allow for U.S-European coordination over the implementation of the sanctions.

“It’s critically important that we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our European allies in countering Russian aggression,” House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce said as lawmakers prepared to pass the legislation. “That’s why, in the bipartisan, House-Senate negotiations, we secured important changes to improve transatlantic cooperation.”

Gabriel acknowledged those concessions, but signaled Germany intends to take a firm line in defending German-Russian energy cooperation.

“It is good that Congress has now explicitly stipulated that consultations must be held with the United States’ European partners before further measures can be taken,” he said. “Our stance remains that we will not accept any extraterritorial use whatsoever of these US sanctions against European companies.”

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Trump swallows a bitter pill on Russia

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Confronted by almost-unanimous congressional support for the package and questions about his intentions toward Russian President Vladimir Putin, President Donald Trump had little choice but to sign a bill that officials complain will tie his hands in his dealings with Putin. | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Moscow is furious at new sanctions as the White House complains of Congressional interference in foreign policy.

By MICHAEL CROWLEY

President Donald Trump plans to sign a Congressional law restricting his ability to lift sanctions on Russia, the White House said Friday night, in a severe blow to his budding relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Confronted by a united Congress and suspicions about his intentions towards the Russian leader, Trump had little choice but to sign the measure, whose passage the White House had opposed.

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“It would have been foolhardy for the Trump administration to veto this bill,” said Edward Fishman, a former Obama State Department official who worked on Russia sanctions policy. “Congress would have overriden the veto, and all it will do is fuel the fire of the Russia scandal in Washington.”

The White House statement sought to save face from a resounding political setback, arguing that Trump had negotiated changes to early drafts of the bill and, “based on its responsiveness to his negotiations, approves the bill and intends to sign it.”

The timing of the announcement—late on a summer Friday, amid headlines about White House staff turmoil—ensured relatively little coverage for what analysts called a major development in U.S.-Russia relations.

The legislation, which also imposes new penalties on North Korea and Iran, passed the House and Senate with just a handful of dissenting votes. It requires Trump to justify in writing any effort to ease sanctions on Russia and mandates an automatic Congressional review of any such move.

That severely limits Trump’s ability to cut a deal with Putin, whose top priority is the rollback of U.S. and European sanctions against his economy and associates.

Members of both parties have grown concerned about Trump’s eagerness to befriend Putin despite strong evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election and multiple investigations into alleged links between Trump associates and the Kremlin. Trump and Putin developed a friendly rapport in multiple conversations at the G-20 summit in Hamburg earlier this month, one of them an after-dinner chat attended by no other U.S. officials.

But even before Trump agreed to sign the new sanctions measure, Putin angrily ordered a staff cut at the U.S. embassy in Moscow and the seizure of properties used by American diplomats in Russia.

That move returned a favor from December, when President Barack Obama shut down two Russian diplomatic compounds — one in Maryland and one in New York — as punishment for Russian meddling in the November election. U.S. officials said the rural compounds were used for espionage. The Kremlin says they were recreation spots and whose closure, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier this month, was “robbery in broad daylight.”

Russia did not initially retaliate for Obama’s December closure of the compounds—reportedly after Trump’s now-resigned national security adviser, Michael Flynn, told Russia’s ambassador in Washington that Trump would reverse the action after taking office. But Trump has not done so, and the sanctions he now plans to sign into law will now make that nearly impossible given sharp anti-Kremlin sentiments in Congress.

On Friday, Russian officials suggested that relations with the U.S. could be on a downward slope.

“We are not ruling out any steps, so to say, to bring to their senses those presumptuous Russophobes who are setting the tone on Capitol Hill today,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told reporters, according to the Kremlin-funded Russian outlet RT.

Ryabkov also warned of “potentially destructive consequences” from the legislation.

Analysts say Moscow still hopes to do business with Trump, who has largely shrugged off warnings about Putin’s intentions and said Washington and Moscow should cooperate in the Middle East and on issues like terrorism and cyber security.

The new sanctions bill will make that exceedingly difficult, however.

The measure enshrines into law sanctions imposed by Obama through executive orders and gives Congress 30 days to review any effort by Trump to weaken sanctions.

Earlier this month, the White House’s top legislative liaison, Marc Short, said the law amounted to an “unusual precedent of delegating foreign policy to 535 members of Congress.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has also urged Congress not to impede his “flexibility” to bargain with Moscow.

That echoes arguments from Obama, who resisted Congressional intrusions into his nuclear diplomacy with Iran. Obama unsuccessfully battled tougher sanctions on Tehran than he had wanted and was forced to submit his final deal for Congressional review.

But Obama officials who worked on the Iran deal call Russia a different case.

“I generally think Congress should be wary of impinging too far on executive branch prerogatives in foreign policy,” said Jon Finer, who served as chief of staff to Secretary of State John Kerry during the nuclear negotiations.

“But two key differences here make the Russia case exceptional: the unprecedented interference (which Trump is the only person in Washington incapable of acknowledging) in our election, and the Administration’s constant stream of lies about its ties to Russia, which raise legitimate questions about why they want a deal,” Finer added.

The White House did win some changes to the legislation since its first passage by the House and Senate, including ones sought by energy companies that could be penalized, it was clear that Trump plans to sign the final product only grudgingly.

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After Congress struck a deal to advance the measure last week, Trump angrily tweeted that “the phony Russian With Hunt continues,” calling it “very sad that Republicans, even some that were carried over the line on my back, do very little to protect their President.”

Trump isn’t the only critic of the legislation outside of Moscow. European officials have expressed alarm that the measure would grant Trump the power to ban investments in energy projects on the continent tied to Russia—a point of friction happily amplified by Russian media outlets.

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Trump: ‘We’re going to destroy’ MS-13 – CNN

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CNN
Trump: ‘We’re going to destroy’ MS-13
CNN
“Together we’re going to restore safety to our streets and peace to our communities and we’re going to destroy the vile, criminal cartel MS-13 and many other gangs,” Trump said. Long Island has been particularly affected by the brutal street gang, with 
Trump to cite gang violence in New York town in pressing for deportationsReuters
In Long Island, Trump to talk about crackdown on MS-13, immigrationCBS News
Trump headed to Long Island to trumpet MS-13 crackdownABC News
Los Angeles Times –Fox News
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Trump says he’s going to ‘destroy’ MS-13 — here’s how the gang got its sinister name – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Trump says he’s going to ‘destroy’ MS-13 — here’s how the gang got its sinister name
Business Insider
“Mara inmates realized they had to join La Eme [The Mexican Mafia] to survive, and the mob was happy to add war-hardened machete wielders to its cell-block armies. The Mexican Mafia uses the number thirteen (M is the thirteenth letter of the alphabet), …

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McFeatters: Trump’s a mess but he’s not mentally ill – Online Athens

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Online Athens
McFeatters: Trump’s a mess but he’s not mentally ill
Online Athens
WASHINGTON | As Donald Trump veers wackily from day to day, swearing before 30,000 Boy Scouts, publicly humiliating his attorney general and changing his mind on policy issues, he is raising alarm that the president of the United States might be 

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“Everyone thinks he was whacked” – BuzzFeed News

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“Everyone thinks he was whacked”
BuzzFeed News
Vladimir Putin’s former media czar was murdered in Washington, DC on the eve of a planned meeting with the U.S. Justice Department, according to two FBI agents whose assertions cast new doubts on the US government’s official explanation of his death 

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Today’s Headlines and Commentary

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North Korea has launched a missile that landed within 200 nautical miles of Japan, according to TheWashington Post. The Pentagon confirmed that it detected a missile launch around 10:45 a.m. EST. Japanese and South Korean national security officials condemned the move. In recent days, U.S. intelligence officials had identified preparations for another test. The launch comes less than three weeks after Pyongyang fired its first missile deemed technically capable of reaching the United States. The AP reports that a Pentagon official says the launch was an intercontinental ballistic missile.

The Russian government seized two American diplomatic properties and ordered the State Department to reduce embassy staff by September, reports The New York Times. The Kremlin’s move comes one day after Congress sent a bill to the White House that would constrain the president’s unilateral authority to change sanctions on Russia. President Trump has not yet signalled whether he will sign the bill. Moscow’s decision also follows the Obama administration’s December 2016 expulsion of Russian diplomats and the closure of two Russian compounds in response to Russian interference in the U.S. election. The move is the latest in rising tensions between Washington and Moscow.

Buzzfeed reports that RT founder Mikhail Lesin was murdered in November 2015 in a Washington, D.C. hotel the day before he planned to meet with officials at the Department of Justice. While the Justice Department previously closed the investigation into Lesin’s death, determining it to have been an accident, FBI sources informed Buzzfeed that Lesin was “beaten to death” in his Dupont Circle hotel, likely on behalf of the Kremlin. Lesin had traveled to Washington to meet with Justice Department officials about pro-Kremlin propaganda network RT.

The Pakistani Supreme Court ordered Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to step down over allegations of corruptionreports the Times. The charges brought against Sharif stemmed from the Panama Papers disclosure, which showed that his family held valuable real estate holdings concealed by offshore companies. The former Prime Minister called the investigations into his family’s finances a conspiracy. His resignation may create a political opening for opposition leader Imran Khan in the next general elections.

Iran successfully launched a missile into space on Thursday after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran, according to the Times. Such launches are permitted under the 2015 nuclear agreement. The launch comes as the Times also reports that President Trump has instructed his national security team to find a justification for declaring Iran is in violation of the agreement. The AP reports that the administration imposed new sanctions on Iran on Friday over the missile launch.

President Trump considered Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to replace Reince Priebus as White House Chief of Staff, reports the Times. The president has openly said that he has lost faith in Priebus and that he wants “a general” to replace him.

Responding to attacks from the president, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that Trump’s remarks were “hurtful” but described him as a “strong leader” in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, the Times writes. Sessions reiterated his belief that he was right to recuse himself from the ongoing investigation into Russian election interference, a major source of the president’s criticism.

The State Department ordered relatives of U.S. embassy staff in Caracas to leave Venezuela, The Wall Street Journal reports. A contentious vote on Sunday to elect members to the Constituent Assembly, a body tasked with drafting a new constitution, may deepen the already pervasive political and economic instability in Venezuela. The U.S. has threatened “strong and swift economic actions” against Venezuela if the country adopts the Constituent Assembly. Earlier this week, the Trump administration imposed new sanctions on 13 Venezuelan government officials for alleged corruption and undermining democratic political processes.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare

In the Intelligence Studies Essay, Steve Slick asked what effects President Trump’s revised executive order on the structure of the National Security Council will have on policy deliberations.

Paul Rosenzweig argued that Europe is unserious in its approach to privacy.

Nicholas Weaver examined the indictment of Alexander Vinnick for running the BTC-e crypto-currency exchange.

Andrew Keane Woods noted a new case filed by Google in the U.S. District Court of California challenging a Canadian Supreme Court ruling requiring Google to delist links to particular pages.

Trey Herr and Bruce Schneier flagged new revisions to their paper on estimating vulnerability rediscovery.

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

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High-Profile Russian Death In Washington Was No Accident—it Was Murder, Officials Say

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Donald Trump and his advisers just can’t stop talking about each other’s penises 

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Perhaps we should have seen it coming after Donald Trump spent the primary race defending against the accusation that he had small hands, only to literally defend the size of his penis during a primary debate. And it shouldn’t come as a surprise, considering that Trump and the people he’s surrounded himself with are some of the most insecure men on the planet. But it still stands out as jarring just how obsessed Trump’s feuding advisers are with talking about each other’s dicks.

“I’m not Steve Bannon, I’m not trying to suck my own cock,” said Anthony Scaramucci in a rant last night to a reporter. The pure spectacle of the remark ensured that it’ll be the only thing that either Scaramucci or Bannon will ever be remembered for. But this wasn’t some isolated incident. Just last week it was revealed that Bannon had referred to Paul Ryan as a “limp-dick.” There are other examples, and these are just the ones that have made it out to the public.

If you’ve ever had the misfortune to know someone who’s similar in nature to Donald Trump or his gang of thugs, then you know that this is more or less how these types of men converse. Their entire worldview is more or less built around the size of their own dick, and their fear that it’s smaller than that of other men. They can’t so much as refer to a woman without saying something sexist, or to a minority without saying something racist. It’s just their horrible, horrifying nature.

And yet it invariably leads these insecure gutter dwelling fractions of small men to spend their miserable lives obsessively talking about each other’s penises. They make it far too easy for the rest of us. The jokes just end up writing themselves.

The post Donald Trump and his advisers just can’t stop talking about each other’s penises appeared first on Palmer Report.

Donald Trump | The Guardian: After Trump and Brexit, is this the end for the Anglo Saxon west? | Timothy Garton Ash

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Some welcome the prospect of decline in Britain and the US. They should be careful what they wish for
• Timothy Garton Ash is a Guardian columnist‘“You must be from England,” says the shop assistant at the CVS drugstore in Menlo Park, California. When I mention Donald Trump, he says: “Well, don’t get me started on how things are going on your side of the Atlantic. Your Mrs May there in Downing Street is being [expletive deleted] by the bureaucrats in Brussels …”

I can only agree. Having jumped from the Brexit frying pan into the Trump fire, I find myself comparing the two and wondering which is worse. The transatlantic difference is, in the first place, between Britain’s madness of the thing and America’s madness of the man. Theresa May may be wooden, rigid and out of her depth, but compared to Trump she looks like Mother Teresa.

Related: Dunkirk reveals the spirit that has driven Brexit: humiliation | Rafael Behr

Related: Hardliners won’t like this soft Brexit plan. Tough – we have little choice | Simon Jenkins

Continue reading…

 Donald Trump | The Guardian

Just Security: The Early Edition: July 28, 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.

RUSSIA, IRAN and NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS PACKAGE

Russia ordered the U.S. to cut diplomatic staff to 455 and barred the use of some properties this morning in retaliation for new U.S. sanctions against Russia, the BBC reports.

The Senate cleared the new sanctions package against Russia, North Korea and Iran yesterday on a 98-2 vote, Natalie Andrews reports at the Wall Street Journal.

It is unclear whether President Trump will sign the legislation,which binds his hands when it comes to changing sanctions policy toward Moscow, while if he vetoed the bill he would have to do so in the knowledge that lawmakers are prepared to override, White House incoming press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying yesterday that the president would “wait and see what that final legislation looks like and make a decision at that point,” but Trump’s communications chief Anthony Scaramucci suggesting that he may veto the sanctions in order to “negotiate an even tougher deal against the Russians.” Karoun Demirjian reports at the Washington Post.

“Illegal” American plans for new sanctions against Russia were denounced by Russian President Putinyesterday, also dismissing investigations into Trump-Russia collusion as political hysteria, and warning that Moscow could not “put up forever with this boorishness,” Andrew Higgins reports at the New York Times.

Finally, good news: Congress performed the civic duty that President Trump has so far avoided yesterday, imposing wide-ranging new sanctions on Russia for its hacking of the 2016 election, a “timely and appropriate” use of a controversial but nonviolent tool for making clear when another country’s behavior has crossed a line and for applying pressure on its leaders to change course, writes the New York Times editorial board.

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Russian intelligence “100 percent” monitored the meeting last June involving Donald Trump Jr. and other members of Donald Trump’s inner circle and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who had connections to Russian President Putin and went into the meeting with something to offer, Bill Browder, a businessman behind a Russian sanctions law, told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday during its hearing on Russian interference in the U.S. election, CNN’s Tom LoBianco and Manu Raju report.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions “made the right decision” in recusing himself from Trump-Russia-related investigations, he said yesterday, adding that President Trump’s repeated public criticisms of him were “kind of hurtful,” CNN’s Miranda Green and Saba Hamedy report.

Sessions intends to remain in post to fight for President Trump’s agenda “as long as he sees that as appropriate,” adding that Trump has “every right” to make a change if he wishes since Sessions serves at Trump’s “pleasure,” the attorney general told the AP’s Sadie Gurman.

A letter urging President Trump to fire senior adviser Jared Kushner over his contacts with Russian officials during the presidential campaign is being circulated by a small group of House Democrats, Katie Bo Williams reports at the Hill.

President Trump can be indicted, but likely not by special counsel Robert Mueller. Ronald Rotunda, a professor at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law who was asked by then-independent counsel Kenneth Starr to assess whether a federal grand jury could indict former president Bill Clinton, writes at the Washington Post that his conclusion then that it was possible remains intact, but that the differences between the Clinton situation and the Trump situation mean that where Starr had the authority to indict Clinton, Mueller does not have the same authority in respect to Trump.

How should Congress and Justice Department officials weight their choices as Trump threatens openly and repeatedly to fire Attorney General Jeff Sessions, presumably to clear the way for firing special counsel Robert Mueller? David Ignatius considers the “unthinkable” at the Washington Post.

IRAN

Iran successfully launched a missile into space yesterday, two days after the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill approving additional sanctions against the country and statements from the Trump administration last week expressing the U.S.’ concerns over “Iran’s malign activities in the Middle East,” Thomas Erdbrink reports at the New York Times.

Trump has instructed his national security aides to find a way to de-certify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, some U.S. aides conceding that it would be difficult to convince the other parties to the nuclear deal to return to the negotiating table, and the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations committee Bob Corker (R.-Tenn) suggesting that the administration take a more nuanced approach. David E. Sanger reports at the New York Times.

Iran poses a threat even if it complies with the nuclear deal, having exploited loopholes in the deal to develop its ballistic missile program, the launch of a missile yesterday demonstrating its “chutzpah,” Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

ISRAEL & PALESTINE

Worshipers in Iran have staged an anti-Israel protest in Tehran today, demonstrating against the Israeli authorities’ actions at al-Aqsa mosque, the AP reports in rolling coverage.

Israeli authorities removed the remaining security apparatus at al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem yesterday, after the security apparatus – put in place following the killing of two Israeli policemen on July 14 by Arab Israelis who emerged from the mosque – sparked mass protests from Palestinians and violent clashes between Israelis and Palestinians. Rory Jones reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Israeli forces fired teargas, stun grenades and sound bombs at Palestinian worshipers returning to al-Aqsa mosque last night, injuring more than 100 in their efforts to disperse the crowds, Al Jazeerareports.

Worshipers were advised to enter the mosque rather than pray outside in protest by Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas and clerics of the Islamic Waqf authority, Ian Lee and Oren Liebermann report at CNN.

Male worshipers under the age of 50 have been barred by Israeli authorities from entering al-Aqsa mosque in anticipation of more mass protests ahead of Friday prayers, Reuters reports.

Tensions have been raised in Jerusalem as a Palestinian protestor died last night from a wound inflicted by Israeli authorities and extra police forces have been deployed to al-Aqsa this morning, Al Jazeera reports.

Jordan’s attorney general has filed murder charges against an Israeli embassy guard for the deaths of two Jordanians at the Israeli embassy in Amman on July 23, reports saying that the attorney general wishes the guard to be tried in Israel using diplomatic channels, the AP reports.

“The Al Jazeera network continues to incite violence around the Temple Mount,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on social media Wednesday – using the Jewish name for the contested holy site which includes al-Aqsa mosque and is known to Muslims as “Noble Sanctuary” – Al Jazeera stating that they would take “all necessary legal measures” to act against action by Israeli authorities to close their Jerusalem office. Al Jazeera reports.

Why is the Jerusalem holy site so controversial? Lawahez Jabari, Paul Goldman and Saphora Smith explain at NBC News.

SYRIA

The U.S.-led coalition have killed several senior Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq recently, including “propagandists and facilitators,” according to a statement by U.S. Central Command.

The U.N. has been unable to deliver humanitarian aid to many hard-to-reach areas of Syria and, despite the reduction in violence following the creation of “de-escalation” zones, Al Jazeera reports.

Specialist civil defense teams in rebel-held Deraa have shifted their focus to clearing unexploded cluster bombs amid the relative calm in southwest Syria since a ceasefire was reached earlier this month, having been trained in Jordan to learn to de-mine areas, Sarah Dadouch reports at Reuters.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 18 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on July 24. Separately, partner forces conducted four strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

GULF-ARAB DISPUTE

The U.N. is the “right platform to start from,” Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said yesterday, reiterating that Qatar is ready and willing to engage in dialogue and that Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain “need to retreat from all their illegal actions,” Al Jazeera reports.

“Outsourcing” Qatar’s foreign policy “will never be acceptable,” Qatar’s Government spokesman Sheikh Saif bin Ahmed Al-Thani said today, stating that the Saudi-led embargo is an attempt to undermine Qatar’s sovereignty and independence, Al Jazeera reports in rolling coverage.

Qatar has been able to withstand the Saudi-led embargo due to lessons it learnt from a confrontation in 2014 where Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar in protest against Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood and the Doha-based Al Jazeera network, Yaroslav Trofimov explains at the Wall Street Journal.

The crisis in the Gulf is regional and reflects the lack of a sustainable and stable order in the Middle East, bringing the risk of a “new normal” of a Cold War in the region. Former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu writes at Al Jazeera.

NORTH KOREA

Japan has imposed sanctions against organizations and individuals linked to North Korea, the Japanese Foreign Minister said yesterday, joining the U.S. in its actions against the Pyongyang regime. Elaine Lies reports at Reuters.

“None of these choices are particularly palatable. None of them are good,” Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley said yesterday, stating that a land war with North Korea would be “highly deadly” and a nuclear attack on Los Angeles would be “terrible,” Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

North Korea’s hacking activities are focusing on raising foreign currency rather than disrupting military and government data, Christine Kim reports at Reuters.

The Pyongyang regime relies on North Korean laborers in the Gulf to get cash and evade sanctions, according to officials and analysts, the sanctions bill passed yesterday by the U.S. Senate seeking to limit the use of overseas North Korean labor, Jon Gambrell reports at the AP.

CHINA

“[Certain] outside countries are determined to stir up trouble,” China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said today, responding to comments made by U.K. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson that the U.K. may send two aircraft carriers to patrol the South China Sea. James Griffiths reports at CNN.

China closed off a section of the ocean on its east coast yesterday to carry out naval exercises, marking the latest in China’s recent stepping-up of naval drills, the AP reports.

India’s national security adviser met with officials in Beijing today to discuss the border dispute between China and India centering on the presence of Chinese forces at a road over the Doklam Plateau in June and the Indian troops sent to confront them at the frontier, Christopher Bodeen reports at the AP.

The current India-China border dispute evokes memories of the 1962 border war, the Economistexplaining the historical context and Bhutan’s role in the territorial standoff.

VENEZUELA

The families of U.S. diplomats have been ordered to leave Venezuela by the State Department amid rising tensions over an upcoming vote to rewrite the country’s constitution in a way that would essentially strip the legislature of its power, Max Greenwood reports at the Hill.

The individual sanctions on a further 13 Venezuelan officials including some involved in the constituent assembly announced by the Trump administration on July 26 are a promising step in the right direction,while generalized sanctions currently being considered would be a mistake. The Economist urges the administration to intensify its efforts to pressurize officials, which will not force regime change in itself but which can be combined with the offer of negotiations brokered by foreign governments and which is preferable to the alternative slide into generalized violence.

If the constituent assembly is called the U.S. should react in ways that punish Venezuela’s rulers, not its long-suffering population, or risk harming both countries, the New York Times editorial board agrees.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The top Middle East advisor on the N.S.C. was removed from his post by National Security Adviser Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster yesterday, the reason behind the decision not immediately clear, reports Just Security’s Deputy Managing Editor Kate Brannen at Foreign Policy.

There will be “no modification to current policy” on transgender people serving in the U.S. military until Defense Secretary Jim Mattis has received President Trump’s “direction” to change the policy and figured out how to do it, America’s top military officer Gen. Joseph Dunford said yesterday, the APreports.

Allegations that U.S. service members were present at a military base in Cameroon where U.S.-trained forces detained and tortured civilians in a report by Amnesty International is being investigated by the Pentagon, Paul McLeary reports at Foreign Policy.

Former top Obama aides are being accused of making hundreds of requests to unmask the names of Americans in intelligence during last year’s presidential election, including Trump transition officials, by the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in a letter seen by the Hill’s John Solomon.

The Saudi-led coalition in Yemen shot down a ballistic missile fired by Houthi rebels toward the city of Mecca last night, it said, Reuters reporting.

Al-Qaeda is active in the Indian-controlled part of Kashmir, the group announced for the first time yesterday, saying via a linked propaganda network that a militant from an indigenous rebel group would lead the fighters in opposing Indian rule in the region. Aijaz Hussain reports at the AP.

Over 40 people were killed in an attempt to free them from an ambush by Boko Haram in northeast Nigeria Tuesday, the BBC reports.

A man suspected of being a member of Afghanistan’s Taliban who participated in an attack in which an American soldier was killed was indicted in Germany on charges of terrorism and murder, German federal prosecutors said today, the AP reporting.

The new Libya peace deal between the leader of the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli Fayez al-Serraj and the commander of the self-styled Libyan National Army Gen. Khalifa Haftar lends legitimacy to the latter, whose forces have mostly added to the chaos, not helped to resolve it, while Serraj may lack the strength to implement the political solution demanded by the agreement reached in Paris this week, and few truly believe that Gen. Haftar is done with the battlefield, the Economist writes.

Read on Just Security »

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Congress Defies Trump on Russia

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Trump Investigations – on The Web: Recent Tweets: Mike Nova – @mikenov: Is there a connection between the Firtash extradition activities and this Barcelona train crash?!

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Mike Nova @mikenov Is there a connection between the Firtash extradition activities and this Barcelona train crash?! – http://webworldtimes.com/blog/2017/07/28/is-there-a-connection-between-the-firtash-extradition-activities-and-this-barcelona-train-crash/ … … 26s Mike Nova @mikenov Is there a connection between the Firtash extradition activities and this Barcelona train crash?! – http://webworldtimes.com/blog/2017/07/28/is-there-a-connection-between-the-firtash-extradition-activities-and-this-barcelona-train-crash/ … 1m Mike Nova @mikenov Sprawling Firtash investigation alleges new US, Spanish ties https://www.kyivpost.com/ukraine-politics/sprawling-firtash-investigation-alleges-new-us-spanish-ties.html … Sprawling Firtash investigation alleges new US, … Continue reading “Recent Tweets: Mike Nova – @mikenov: Is there a connection between the Firtash extradition activities and this Barcelona train crash?!”

 Trump Investigations – on The Web

“Dominance is his game”, said Krauthammer about Trump. I will add: submission to the will of Congress and American people should be his solution. 

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“Dominance is his game”, said Krauthammer about Trump. I will add: submission to the will of Congress and American people should be his solution. 

 

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Global Opinions: The ugly way Trump’s rise and Putin’s are connected 

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An important chunk of the money that has pumped up the New York luxury real estate market was money originally siphoned off from the Russian state.

 Global Opinions

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The president can be indicted — just not by Mueller

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Ronald Rotunda is a professor at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law.

Nearly two decades ago, then-independent counsel Kenneth Starr asked me to evaluate whether a federal grand jury could indict a sitting president — in that case, Bill Clinton. My answer — that such an action would be permissible — was recently unearthed in response to a Freedom of Information Act request from the New York Times, and it may have relevance for a new special counsel and the current president.

Whitewater to witch hunts: What Trump can expect from the special prosecutor

The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus explains why lashing out might not be the best legal move for President Trump. The Washington Post’s Ruth Marcus explains why lashing out might not be the best legal move for President Trump. (Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

(Adriana Usero/The Washington Post)

My fundamental conclusion remains intact: Nothing in the Constitution would bar a federal grand jury from returning charges against a sitting president for committing a serious felony. But — and this is a big but — differences between the Clinton situation then and the investigation of President Trump now mean that where Starr had the authority to indict Clinton if he chose, Mueller most likely does not possess the same power.

On the underlying question of whether the Constitution bars indictment of a sitting president, no previous case is directly on point. The Justice Department has taken a different view than the conclusion I reached — both beforehand, during the Watergate investigation, and afterward, at the end of the Clinton administration. But the history and language of the Constitution and Supreme Court precedents suggest that the president does not enjoy general immunity from prosecution.

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First, the framers knew how to write a clause granting such immunity when they wanted to. Members of Congress enjoy “privilege from arrest” in civil cases when going to and from Congress (now irrelevant because we no longer use that procedure) and may not be criminally prosecuted for “any speech or debate” in Congress. If the framers wanted to protect the president from prosecution while in office and to make impeachment the sole mechanism for proceeding against a president, they could and would have said so.

Second, some argue that criminal prosecution would distract the president and make him unable to perform his duties. During Watergate, Richard Nixon’s lawyers argued that “if the president were indictable while in office, any prosecutor and grand jury would have within their power the ability to cripple an entire branch of the national government and hence the whole system.” The Supreme Court never reached that question, and Nixon left office without being indicted.

In my view, questions about “crippling” the government are not compelling, and the precedents in favor of the power to indict a sitting president were strengthened with the Supreme Court’s ruling that a private sexual harassment lawsuit against Clinton involving alleged conduct before he took office could go forward even during his presidency.

As I wrote in the memo to Starr, “If the president is indicted, the government will not shut down, any more than it shut down when the Court ruled that the president must answer a civil suit brought by Paula Jones.” In addition, the 25th Amendment offers another answer to the government-could-not-proceed objection, by providing a mechanism to keep the executive branch running if the president is temporarily unable to discharge his powers. In this country, no one is above the law.

Nonetheless, there is a significant — in fact, likely dispositive — difference between the Clinton situation and that facing Trump. Starr served as independent counsel under a now-defunct statute. By contrast, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III serves under Justice Department regulations put in place after the independent counsel law expired.

This is not a technical distinction but one that I discussed in my memo, distinguishing between the independent counsel statute and the regulations such as those establishing Mueller’s office.

And this difference has enormous implications for Mueller’s power. Supreme Court cases going back 150 years emphasize that the president retains complete authority to control federal criminal prosecutions. Without a statutorily appointed special counsel given special tenure, Trump could fire anyone who tried to indict him.

Moreover, the regulations governing Mueller mandate that he “comply with the rules, regulations, procedures, practices and policies of the Department of Justice.” They permit removal of the special counsel for “good cause, including violation of Departmental policies.”

As Clinton was about to leave office, his Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel ruled that the president could not be indicted. Is this legal opinion a departmental policy that binds Mueller? It would seem so, given that OLC’s stated function is “to provide controlling advice to Executive Branch officials on questions of law” (emphasis added). If that creates a Catch-22 situation in which a special counsel can never proceed against a president, my answer is: I don’t write the rules, I just read them.

As interesting as this debate is, it also strikes me as entirely premature. In my assessment, the “case” against Trump right now amounts to a mountain of innuendo built on a foundation of loose sand. The facts so far do not come close to making an obstruction case against the president, and for now there is no evidence that he engaged in any underlying crime.

If and when Mueller comes up with something that might create an indictable case, though, he is apt to run into serious questions about the limitations of his office, questions that Starr did not face.

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Sessions lessons – The Washington Post

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Transparency, thy name is Trump, Donald Trump. No filter, no governor, no editor lies between his impulses and his public actions. He tweets, therefore he is.

Ronald Reagan was so self-contained and impenetrable that his official biographer was practically driven mad trying to figure him out. Donald Trump is penetrable, hourly.

Never more so than during his ongoing war on his own attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Trump has been privately blaming Sessions for the Russia cloud. But rather than calling him in to either work it out or demand his resignation, Trump has engaged in a series of deliberate public humiliations.

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Day by day, he taunts Sessions, calling him “beleaguered” and “very weak” and attacking him for everything from not firing the acting FBI director (which Trump could do himself in an instant) to not pursuing criminal charges against Hillary Clinton.

What makes the spectacle so excruciating is that the wounded Sessions plods on, refusing the obvious invitation to resign his dream job, the capstone of his career. After all, he gave up his safe Senate seat to enter the service of Trump. Where does he go?

Trump relishes such a cat-and-mouse game and, by playing it so openly, reveals a deeply repellent vindictiveness in the service of a pathological need to display dominance.

Dominance is his game. Doesn’t matter if you backed him, as did Chris Christie, cast out months ago. Or if you opposed him, as did Mitt Romney, before whom Trump ostentatiously dangled the State Department, only to snatch it away, leaving Romney looking the foolish supplicant.

Yet the Sessions affair is more than just a study in character. It carries political implications. It has caused the first crack in Trump’s base. Not yet a split, mind you. The base is simply too solid for that. But amid his 35 to 40 percent core support, some are peeling off, both in Congress and in the pro-Trump commentariat.

The issue is less characterological than philosophical. As Stephen Hayes of the Weekly Standard put it, Sessions was the original Trumpist — before Trump. Sessions championed hard-line trade, law enforcement and immigration policy long before Trump (who criticized Romney in 2012 for being far too tough on illegal immigrants, for example) rode these ideas to the White House.

For many conservatives, Sessions’ early endorsement of Trump served as an ideological touchstone. And Sessions has remained stalwart in carrying out Trumpist policies at Justice. That Trump could, out of personal pique, treat him so rudely now suggests to those conservatives how cynically expedient was Trump’s adoption of Sessions’ ideas in the first place.

But beyond character and beyond ideology lies the most appalling aspect of the Sessions affair — reviving the idea of prosecuting Clinton.

In the 2016 campaign, there was nothing more disturbing than crowds chanting “lock her up,” often encouraged by Trump and his surrogates. After the election, however, Trump reconsidered, saying he would not pursue Clinton, who “went through a lot and suffered greatly.”

Now under siege, Trump has jettisoned magnanimity. Maybe she should be locked up after all.

This is pure misdirection. Even if every charge against Clinton were true and she got 20 years in the clink, it would change not one iota of the truth — or falsity — of the charges of collusion being made against the Trump campaign.

Moreover, in America we don’t lock up political adversaries. They do that in Turkey. They do that (and worse) in Russia. Part of American greatness is that we don’t criminalize our politics.

Last week, Trump spoke at the commissioning of the USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier. Ford was no giant. Nor did he leave a great policy legacy. But he is justly revered for his decency and honor. His great gesture was pardoning Richard Nixon, an act for which he was excoriated at the time and which cost him the 1976 election.

It was an act of political self-sacrifice, done for precisely the right reason. Nixon might indeed have committed crimes. But the spectacle of an ex-president on trial and perhaps even in jail was something Ford would not allow the country to go through.

In doing so, he vindicated the very purpose of the presidential pardon. On its face, it’s perverse. It allows one person to overturn equal justice. But the Founders understood that there are times, rare but vital, when social peace and national reconciliation require contravening ordinary justice. Ulysses S. Grant amnestied (technically: paroled) Confederate soldiers and officers at Appomattox, even allowing them to keep a horse for the planting.

In Trump World, the better angels are not in evidence.

To be sure, Trump is indeed examining the pardon power. For himself and his cronies.

Read more from Charles Krauthammer’s archivefollow him on Twitter or subscribe to his updates on Facebook.

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· · · · ·

The worst is yet to come

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President Trump. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

The Court of Mad King Donald is not a presidency. It is an affliction, one that saps the life out of our democratic institutions, and it must be fiercely resisted if the nation as we know it is to survive.

I wish that were hyperbole. The problem is not just that President Trump is selfish, insecure, egotistical, ignorant and unserious. It is that he neither fully grasps nor minimally respects the concept of honor, without which our governing system falls apart. He believes “honorable” means “obsequious in the service of Trump.” He believes everyone else’s motives are as base as his.

The Trump administration is, indeed, like the court of some accidental monarch who is tragically unsuited for the duties of his throne. However long it persists, we must never allow ourselves to think of the Trump White House as anything but aberrant. We must fight for the norms of American governance lest we forget them in their absence.

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It gets worse and worse. The past week has marked a succession of new lows.

Trump has started a sustained campaign to goad or humiliate Attorney General Jeff Sessions into resigning. Trump has blasted Sessions on Twitter, at a news conference, in newspaper interviews and at a campaign-style rally. He has called Sessions “beleaguered” and said repeatedly how “disappointed” he is in the attorney general.

How Jeff Sessions and Donald Trump’s relationship turned sour

The relationship between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has deteriorated in recent months. Here’s a look at how they got to this point. The relationship between President Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions has deteriorated in recent months. Here’s a look at how they got to this point. (Video: Taylor Turner/Photo: Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

(Taylor Turner/The Washington Post)

Forget, for the moment, that Sessions was the first sitting U.S. senator to support Trump’s campaign, giving him credibility among conservatives. Forget also that Sessions is arguably having more success than any other Cabinet member in getting Trump’s agenda implemented. Those things aside, what kind of leader treats a lieutenant with such passive-aggressive obnoxiousness? Trump is too namby-pamby to look Sessions in the eye and say, “You’re fired.”

That’s what the president clearly is trying to summon the courage to do, however. The Post reportedthat Trump has been “musing” with his courtiers about the possibility of firing Sessions and naming a replacement during the August congressional recess.

Trump has no respect for the rule of law. He is enraged that Sessions recused himself from the investigation of Russia’s meddling in the election, and thus is not in a position to protect the House of Trump from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III. According to the New York Times, “Sharing the president’s frustration have been people in his family, some of whom have come under scrutiny in the Russia investigation.” I’m guessing that means the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Who elected them , by the way?

Trump seeks to govern by whim and fiat. On Wednesday morning, he used Twitter to announce a ban on transgender people serving in the military, surprising his own top military leaders. A Pentagon spokesman told reporters to ask the White House for details; White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters to ask the Pentagon. Was Trump trying to reignite the culture wars? Would the thousands of transgender individuals now serving in the military be purged? Was this actual policy or just a fit of indigestion?

Inside the mad king’s court, the internecine battles are becoming ever more brutal. Members of Trump’s inner circle seek his favor by leaking negative information about their rivals. This administration is more hostile to the media than any in recent memory but is also more eager to whisper juicy dirt about the ambitious courtier down the hall.

Trump’s new favorite, Anthony Scaramucci, struts around more like a chief of staff than a communications director, which is his nominal role. Late Wednesday night — after dining with Trump and his head cheerleader, Sean Hannity — Scaramucci took a metaphorical rapier to the actual chief of staff, Reince Priebus, by strongly hinting on Twitter that Priebus leaks to reporters. The next morning, Scaramucci told CNN that “if Reince wants to explain that he’s not a leaker, let him do that.” And in a profanity-laden phone call to the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza, Scaramucci called Priebus “a f—ing paranoid schizophrenic, a paranoiac.”

Why bring in Scaramucci? Because, I fear, the mad king is girding for war. Trump is reckless enough to fire Mueller if he digs too deeply into the business dealings of the Trump Organization and the Kushner Companies.

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A look at President Trump’s first year in office, so far

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Scenes from the Republican’s first six months in the White House.

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Scenes from the Republican’s first six months in the White House.

July 27, 2017 At the White House, President Trump welcomes Jennifer Scalise, wife of U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who was shot in June at a GOP congressional baseball team practice. The East Room ceremony honored first responders who aided people during the shooting in Alexandria, Va. Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post