9:11 AM 9/24/2017 – ‘No joy in Trumpworld’: White House staffers looking to jump ship …

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Baltimore psychologist heads effort to ‘warn’ about Trump’s mental health

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Put psychologist John Gartner on a couch and ask him about his childhood and one of the first stories he will recall is about his mom, Diana, and a touchstone moment in the fight for women’s rights.

In 1969, Diana Gartner and other leaders of the relatively new National Organization for Women made a reservation at the Oak Room Bar in New York under the name “Dr. Gartner.” The showdown that followed when the women arrived during the establishment’s male-only hours would lead to an early victory for feminism: The storied bar ultimately changed its gender policy.

John Gartner was 10 years old when the incident made headlines.

“It does run in our family to be mavericks,” he said. “Or rebels with a cause.”

These days Gartner is gaining national attention for a cause of his own — and creating a stir in his field — by trying to convince voters that President Donald Trump has a mental illness, and should be removed from his job because of it.

From a small office at Sheppard and Enoch Pratt Hospital, Gartner has emerged as a leader of a group of mental health professionals called Duty To Warn. The campaign began as an internet petition seeking to remove Trump under the 25th Amendment, which broadly lays out the procedure for booting a president who is “unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”

The <a href=”http://Change.org” rel=”nofollow”>Change.org</a> petition, launched in January and aimed at Trump’s cabinet, has garnered more than 62,000 signatures. But it has also drawn substantial criticism, and not just from Trump supporters. Both the American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association advise members against assessing the mental health of individuals they haven’t personally examined .

And yet the campaign by Gartner and others appears to be expanding. Duty to Warn is planning to hold conferences in cities across the country on Oct. 14, many drawing established psychologists and psychiatrists. Gartner and others, meanwhile, have contributed to a book to be published next month: “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump.”

Gartner — a Princeton graduate and former assistant professor at the Johns Hopkins medical school, specializes in borderline personality disorder and depression. He describes Trump as a “malignant narcissist,” a condition that includes paranoia, anti-social behavior, sadism and other traits along with narcissism.

Gartner points to the president’s insistence that President Barack Obama bugged his office, or that the crowds at his inauguration were historically large, as validating signs.

“Unless he doesn’t believe a word he’s saying, there’s evidence here of someone, really, who’s actually disconnected from reality,” said Gartner, 59. “We have someone in charge of the nuclear codes who is not in touch with reality. I can’t imagine anything more dangerous.”

Among Gartner’s most notable critics is psychiatrist Allen Frances, who wrote the guidelines for diagnosing narcissistic personality disorder — and who rejects any claim that Trump has it.

To meet the criteria for a narcissistic personality disorder, Frances said, Trump would have to display distress or impairment himself. One could argue he’s caused distress, Frances said, but he doesn’t appear to experience it.

“I think that this guy and other people like him mean well and are sincere and believe that somehow they have a professional responsibility to warn America about the horrors of Trump,” said Frances, an emeritus professor of psychiatry at Duke University. “But I don’t see them as knowing much about diagnoses.”

Frances, who published a book this month titled “Twilight of American Sanity,” is hardly a fan of the 45th president. He describes Trump as “the biggest threat to democracy since the Civil War.” But he says that doesn’t mean he has a mental illness.

The effort to apply a diagnosis to Trump, Frances said, “confuses bad behavior for mental illness.”

A White House spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Trump supporters frequently say the president’s brazen rhetoric is a big part of the reason why he was elected. His voters did not want another carefully scripted, play-it-safe politician.

And as with any politician, it’s impossible to sort out what Trump believes from political theater.

Gary Collins led the Trump campaign in Baltimore.

“Time and again on the campaign and in the White House, while something might sound a little different, the reality is that it usually comes out in weeks, months or even days that what he’s saying has a lot of validity to it,” he said.

Collins said Gartner “is clearly pushing a political agenda, and clearly doesn’t like the president.”

Duty to Warn has reopened a heated discussion in the psychiatric community over the Goldwater Rule, the 1973 prohibition on analyzing people from afar. It’s named for Sen. Barry Goldwater, the 1964 Republican nominee for president. When Fact magazine published an article in which psychiatrists opined that Goldwater was mentally unfit for the presidency, the Arizona senator successfully sued.

The policy was reaffirmed this spring by the American Psychiatric Association.

“The complexity of today’s media environment demands that we take special care when speaking publicly about mental health issues,” the association says on its website.

The Goldwater rule doesn’t apply to Gartner, who is a psychologist. But the American Psychological Association takes a similar — if less ironclad — position.

“APA’s Code of Ethics counsels psychologists against diagnosing living individuals whom they have not personally assessed,” spokeswoman Kim I. Mills said. “Singling out mental illness is misguided and tends to further stigmatize mental health problems.”

Gartner dismisses the rule and similar guidelines as a product of professional associations concerned primarily with protecting members from lawsuits. It is preferable to meet with patients before assessing them, he agrees, but in cases where that’s not possible it shouldn’t be a requirement.

Much can be gleaned, he says, by observing years of public interactions.

“The only people who aren’t allowed to comment on Donald Trump’s mental health are the people who are most expert and qualified to do it,” Gartner said.

The phrase “duty to warn” has its antecedent in a similar ethical dilemma. It’s based on the name used for laws on the books in at least 28 states, including Maryland, that require mental health professionals to break patient confidentiality rules and report information about a patient if they believe that person may become violent.

Garter isn’t alone in his assessment of the Goldwater Rule.

Justin A. Frank, a clinical professor of psychiatry at the George Washington University Medical Center, has written books analyzing Presidents George W. Bush and Obama, and expects to publish a third in the series, on Trump, next year.

“My feeling is that the rule was based on a very specific kind of thing: Financial fear,” he said.

Frank said he relies on principles of applied psychoanalysis to build profiles of presidents.

“It’s true that I don’t get them in my office — and that’s a serious issue,” he said. “But there’s nothing I can do about that.”

Asked whether he has come to any conclusions yet about Trump, Frank declined to offer a diagnosis.

“He’s Donald Trump,” Frank said. “I really think that he’s a fairly unique person.”

The Duty to Warn effort has drawn some attention on Capitol Hill, but almost entirely from Democrats — making it an easy target for Trump supporters and others to dismiss as a partisan endeavor.

Supporters of the group point to a private conversation caught on an open microphone this summer between Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Sen. Jack Reed of Rhode Island. During a conversation about the federal budget, Reed was heard describing the president as “crazy,” and Collins responded with “I’m worried.”

Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee told reporters last month that Trump had failed to display the “stability nor some of the competence” to be a successful president.

But those comments have been exceptions to the rule in both parties.

Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Montgomery County Democrat, introduced legislation this year to create a commission that would determine whether a president is unable to meet the responsibilities of the office under the 25th Amendment.

Raskin, a constitutional law professor from the liberal wing of the party, says he is addressing a long-term process issue, not targeting the current president.

Raskin, whose bill has 31 Democratic co-sponsors, declined to say whether he agrees with Gartner on Trump’s mental health.

“I do not take a position on that and I don’t think it’s my role to take a position on that,” he said. “There are enough signs of chaos in some of the dealings of the president that it reminds us of the importance of the 25th Amendment, but I personally will reserve judgment on presidential fitness — that’s why we have the process.”

Raskin is set to receive an award from Duty to Warn at its meeting in Washington next month.

“They appreciate the work that I’m doing in trying to flesh out the constitutional process,” he said.

Gartner is a registered Democrat, and has contributed to Democratic campaigns, including Hillary Clinton’s. But Gartner insists Duty to Warn isn’t a political exercise.

“I didn’t like George Bush, but I never circulated a petition about him,” he said. “I’d be grateful for a President Pence, even though I disagree with everything he believes in. … He’s conservative, [but] he’s not mentally unstable.”

Gartner says the petition will be sent to each member of Trump’s cabinet next month.

He acknowledges he’s unlikely to get the kind of quick response his mother received decades ago at the Oak Room Bar.

“All along I’ve felt, even if it was a hopeless cause, that we still needed to speak out,” Gartner said. “Bearing witness to these things is important. And I think bringing out the truth is important.”

john.fritze@baltsun.com

twitter.com/jfritze

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‘No joy in Trumpworld’: White House staffers looking to jump ship … – Raw Story

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Raw Story

Today in Trumpworld — September 22

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TRUMP’S SCHEDULE TODAY

5 p.m.: President Donald Trump will depart the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey en route to Alabama.

Story Continued Below

7:30 p.m.: Trump will arrive at Huntsville International Airport.

8 p.m.: Trump will arrive at the Von Braun Civic Center in Huntsville.

8:15 p.m.: Trump will participate in a rally for Sen. Luther Strange (R-Ala.).

9:10 p.m.: Trump will depart the Von Braun Civic Center en route to Bedminster, New Jersey.

11:50 p.m.: Trump will arrive at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster.

TRUMP’S TWITTER THIS MORNING: “Rand Paul, or whoever votes against Hcare Bill, will forever (future political campaigns) be known as ‘the Republican who saved ObamaCare.’ … Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before! … The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary? … The greatest influence over our election was the Fake News Media “screaming” for Crooked Hillary Clinton. Next, she was a bad candidate! … Will be in Alabama tonight. Luther Strange has gained mightily since my endorsement, but will be very close. He loves Alabama, and so do I!”

INSIDE THE HEALTH CARE PUSH: From POLITICO’s Josh Dawsey and Burgess Everett: “In public, President Donald Trump is all-in on the Senate’s final chance to repeal Obamacare. But privately, there’s ambivalence in the White House about the bill’s contents and its chances of clearing the tightly divided chamber next week. Trump spent time between meetings at the United Nations calling senators and other senior White House officials about the Graham-Cassidy bill, asking for updated vote tallies and how to woo senators for the bill. White House officials have considered tweaking the state funding to win a vote from GOP Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska — and others. Trump has also publicly excoriated Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul for voting against the legislation, telling aides he would go after other senators.”

SCRAMBLE TO LEAVE THE WEST WING: From POLITICO’s Nancy Cook: “A fast-growing number of White House staffers are starting to look for the exits, even though the one-year mark of President Donald Trump’s first term is still months away. Many who joined the administration in January did so with the explicit idea that they’d stay for at least a year, enough to credibly say they’d served. But in the aftermath of a wave of abrupt, high-profile departures over the summer that culminated with former strategist Steve Bannon’s ouster in August, aides up and down the chain are reaching out to headhunters, lobbyists, and GOP operatives for help finding their next job.”

FACEBOOK TO COOPERATE: From POLITICO’s Nancy Scola, Josh Dawsey and Ali Watkins:“Facebook has agreed to provide details to congressional investigators about ads purchased by Russians to influence the 2016 presidential campaign, and on Thursday vowed greater transparency in political advertising. But some Democratic senators want to make those pledges mandatory. The moves come amid mounting pressure from Congress to release the Russian-related ads, particularly criticism from Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee. Two people familiar with the matter disclosed the deal to POLITICO on Thursday shortly before Facebook announced it publicly.”

MUELLER’S WORK: From POLITICO’s Josh Dawsey: “Special counsel Robert Mueller has sought phone records concerning the statement written aboard Air Force One defending a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russians at Trump Tower last year that was set up by Donald Trump Jr., according to two people familiar with the investigation. Mueller has also asked the White House for documents and emails connected to a May 3 press briefing where Sean Spicer said the president had confidence in James Comey as FBI director, these people said. The request seeks to determine what White House officials – particularly Spicer – knew about the president’s plans to fire Comey in the days before it happened, according to one of the people familiar with it.”

PRICE UPDATE: From POLITICO’s Rachana Pradhan and Dan Diamond: “Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price has taken at least 24 flights on private charter planes at taxpayers’ expense since early May, according to people with knowledge of his travel plans and a review of HHS documents. … The cost of the trips identified by POLITICO exceeds $300,000, according to a review of federal contracts and similar trip itineraries.”

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Paul Manafort Has A Bad Week; Twitter, Facebook In The Hot Seat : NPR

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Paul Manafort speaks on the phone while touring the floor of the Republican National Convention on July 17, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio. Win McNamee/Getty Images hide caption

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Paul Manafort speaks on the phone while touring the floor of the Republican National Convention on July 17, 2016, in Cleveland, Ohio.

Win McNamee/Getty Images

Last week in the Russia imbroglio: Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, got some bad news; members of Congress put social networks, including Facebook and Twitter, under the interrogation lights; and with all these many lawyers now running around — the meter is running too.

Much more below.

The Russia story is so vast, has been running for so long — and may continue for so much longer — that NPR journalists have been getting an update inside the newsroom every day to try to keep them in step. On the theory that other readers also might find the reports useful, here’s a version of our newsletter called “The Daily Imbroglio,” which also includes a look back at events from the past week you might have missed.

Reports: U.S. Government Surveilled Manafort … Sometime … Somewhen

Donald Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, was under U.S. government surveillance at some point, according to reports this week — although they do not agree as to the particulars. CNN was first out of the gate with its story about surveillance on Monday, which called what the FBI or other spy agencies were doing “a wiretap.” The eavesdropping took place before, during and after the campaign, according to CNN.

CBS News also cited a source confirming CNN, but not many other news organizations reported this development. That stood until Friday, when the Wall Street Journal’s Shane Harris reported that the U.S. put Manafort under surveillance after he resigned from the Trump campaign in August of 2016.

But the monitoring the Journal describes is very different. Not a “wiretap” like you might have seen on The Sopranos, where FBI agents listen in real-time, but surveillance after the fact, “possibly by obtaining copies of his emails and other electronically stored communications, or by having agents follow him or conduct physical searches of his property.”

NPR has not confirmed any of these reports, and U.S. government officials have declined to comment about these kinds of law enforcement operations. A spokesman for Manafort, Jason Maloni, told NPR’sGeoff Bennett that if the stories are true, it’s evidence of abuse of power by then-President Obama and also evidence of criminal leaking by whatever sources revealed the surveillance was taking place.

Why would the Feds want to spy on Manafort? Former U.S. intelligence officials, including ex-CIA Director John Brennan, have said they’ve documented evidence of a lot of clandestine communications between people in Trumpworld and Russians. The latest data point came on Wednesday, when the Washington Post reported that Manafort had offered a private briefing on the U.S. election to to Oleg Deripaska, a Ukrainian billionaire friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The FBI wants to know whether Manafort was colluding with the Russians whose interference in the U.S. was aimed at helping Trump be elected.

Timeline Of Trump And Russia In Mid-2016: A Series Of Coincidences Or Something More?

That’s one example of what are believed to be tens of thousands of emails and other documents the Trump campaign has given congressional investigators looking into the Russia imbroglio — but it also confirms what Brennan and others have suggested. The frustration in trying to understand this story from the outside is how more evidence is deemed classified, possibly from Congress or the Justice Department, which U.S. spy agencies might not want to reveal because it compromises the sources or methods they used to collect it.

Learn More About The Trump-Russia Imbroglio

In Manafort’s particular case, investigators’ focus appears to be on alleged money laundering, foreign advocacy or other such crimes — sources told The New York Times that prosecutors working for Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller have warned Manafort they intend to indict him.


Next In The Hot Seat: Facebook And Twitter

Russian influence-mongers used more overt tools to attack the election last year than anyone first appreciated, including Facebook ads, public accounts (of fake Americans) and others. And as NPR’s Ryan Lucas reports, members of Congress want answers about what social media platforms knew at the time about what was happening — and what they’ve learned in retrospect.

The Next Big Focus In The Russia Investigations: Social Media

“The moves on Capitol Hill follow concerns that the social media giants have been less than forthcoming about how Russia may have used their platforms to try to undermine the American election,” Lucas writes.

“Facebook has acknowledged that it sold ads to some 500 fake Russia-linked accounts between 2015 and 2017. The ads addressed socially divisive issues like gun control, immigration and race relations. It also conceded in a statement that it may discover more.”

Russia's Election Meddling Part Of A Long History Of 'Active Measures'

The Intelligence Committee’s leaders, North Carolina Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, had been turning up the heat on Facebook especially: The social behemoth had shown the content of some ads to committee staffers in a briefing, but not permitted the Hill investigators to keep them. Burr and Warner said they wouldn’t abide any deflection or soft-pedaling, so Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday the company would turn over the contents and cooperate with the congressional investigations. More from Facebook.

In a file photo taken on May 15, 2012, a login page of Facebook reflects in a glass panel in Kuala Lumpur. Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

In a file photo taken on May 15, 2012, a login page of Facebook reflects in a glass panel in Kuala Lumpur.

Saeed Khan/AFP/Getty Images

How Russian Twitter Bots Pumped Out Fake News During The 2016 Election

The Intelligence Committee has scheduled a hearing about the social media aspect of the Russian influence campaign for next month. And ahead of that, representatives for Twitter — much smaller in terms of users and business throw-weight, but still highly visible in key areas — are set to meet with the Intelligence Committee next week.

Here’s what Facebook does not want: Regulations it considers onerous. So company leaders are expected to go along to get along in the hope that if they’re cooperative and forthright, Congress will not mandate restrictions on the way it does business. That might not be good enough for Warner, however, who has broached the idea of new requirements for disclosures about ad-buyers or other such new policies.


All These Lawyers Are Getting Expensive

President Trump and several administration officials have retained their own lawyers in the Russia matter, and all that advice is not cheap. So donors are covering the costs: The Republican National Committee has directed more than $427,000 to attorneys representing Trump and Donald Trump Jr., Matea Gold reported in the Washington Post.

Separately, family members of former Trump national security adviser Mike Flynn announced on Monday that they have set up a legal defense fund to help Flynn continue to pay the lawyers helping him in the Russia matter. Joe Flynn and Barbara Redgate, Flynn’s brother and sister, made a case based on Flynn’s record of service.

“Mike devoted 33 years of his life to our country serving in the United States Army, spending years away from his family while he fought this nation’s battles overseas, including the war on terror,” they wrote.

Attorneys say Flynn’s fund will not accept contributions from foreign nationals, anonymous givers or Trump’s business or campaign. But the fund is not expected to disclose how much it raises or the identities of its donors, as NPR’s Tom Bowman reported.


Briefly:

Mueller Wants White House Phone Records

Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller has asked the White House for records specifically about President Trump’s role in drafting Donald Trump Jr’s initial statement about the June 2016 meeting between campaign aides and a Russian delegation, reports Josh Dawsey for Politico.

Businessman Paints Terrifying And Complex Picture Of Putin's Russia

Meaning what? Trump had a hand in drafting the original statement that said Trump Jr., Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner met with Russians to talk about “adoptions.” But “adoptions” is the code word that Russians use when they talk about the 2012 sanctions imposed by the U.S. under the Magnitsky Act. So Mueller wants to know who in the White House was involved, what discussions took place and what the intentions of the principals were.

Rosenstein: Trump Knew Comey Ouster Wouldn’t End Russia Probe

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has told Mueller’s team that he believes Trump knew he’d encounter a political backlash by firing FBI Director James Comey, but that he didn’t expect it would end the Russia investigation, report Aruna Viswanatha and Del Quentin Wilber for the Wall Street Journal.

The James Comey Saga, In Timeline Form

Meaning what? Mueller is reported to be weighing whether Trump has obstructed justice: Comey said the president asked him to ease off of Flynn, there are reports he also asked other intelligence agency bosses how to get the FBI off the case and then Trump went ahead and fired Comey. Although Trump has said in subsequent interviews that he fired Comey (among other reasons) because of the whole “Russia thing,” Rosenstein may be trying to put in a word for his boss. He could be making the case, in so many words, that Trump isn’t guilty of obstruction because he didn’t actually expect that getting rid of Comey would get rid of the Russia matter.

Howard Students to Comey: You, Sir, Are Not Our Homey

'You're Not Our Homey,' Howard University Protesters Tell Ex-FBI Director James Comey

The former FBI director addressed the students of Howard University in Washington, D.C. on Friday, Sept. 22, in the first of what’s set to be a series of speeches as he takes a lecturer post there. Comey has built a relationship with the president of the historically black university because, in part, he wanted to bring more non-white recruits into the FBI.

It did not go over well, as NPR’s Ryan Lucas reports: Protesters interrupted with chants of “no justice, no peace” and “James Comey, you’re not our homey.” They also sang the civil rights song “We Shall Not Be Moved.”

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7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious

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While President Trump made headlines this week for his provocative rhetoric on North Korea and the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Iran, several major developments related to the ongoing probe of possible collusion between his associates and Russia flew quietly under the radar.

Each new disclosure about the direction and breadth of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation lent credence to what many legal experts have been saying since the former FBI director began hiring lawyers with expertise in corruption, foreign bribery, and white collar crime: This is serious, and some in Trump’s orbit should be worried.

“Combined with a flurry of stories about subpoenas, grand-jury appearances and other activity, it’s reasonable to expect that Mueller is moving forward on a number of different fronts and is getting close to entering a litigation phase,” Brookings Institution fellows Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes wrote earlier this week.

Here are seven key signs that indicate Mueller and his high-powered team are digging deep and may be nearing the “litigation phase,” as Hennessy and Wittes put it.

1. Indictment warning

During the FBI’s raid of an apartment belonging to Paul Manafort earlier this summer, Mueller explicitly told the former Trump campaign chairman he “planned to indict him,” the New York Times reported Monday. According to the report, Manafort and several FBI agents picked the lock of Manafort’s home in the predawn hours of July 26 and left with “binders stuffed with documents” and photographs of “expensive suits in his closet.”

The report shed light on the aggressive tactics Mueller has employed as he reportedly seeks to “flip” Manafort against several other persons of interest in the special counsel’s investigation, including the president.

2. Record requests

It was widely reported this week that Mueller has begun requesting exhaustive records from White House aides who were clued in to the decision-making process that led to former FBI director James Comey’s firing in May, and aware of Trump’s response when he learned that ex-national security adviser Mike Flynn was under federal investigation for his lobbying for foreign governments.

Beyond Comey and Flynn, the Washington Post claimed Mueller demanded that any correspondence related to the following individuals or incidents be turned over to his team: Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian attorney last June; Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov; Manafort; the FBI’s interview of Flynn shortly after the inauguration; and a statement issued by former White House press secretary Sean Spicer the night Comey was fired.

3. Spicer’s notes and texts

Spicer made news Thursday for being snappish with Axios co-founder Mike Allen during an exchange about the notes he kept during his time in Trump’s circle, which could become a valuable resource for Mueller.

“From a legal standpoint I want to be clear: Do not email or text me again. Should you do again I will report to the appropriate authorities,” Spicer said in an email, later adding that he would “contact the appropriate legal authorities to address [Allen’s] harassment” if he continued to receive requests for comment.

A source close to Spicer said the exchange, which the former press secretary later apologized for, showed how current and former White House officials are trying to be “careful … and want to avoid attracting attention to themselves” as long as the Russia investigation is ongoing.

Spicer is one of several former and current Trump aides whom Mueller has expressed an interest in interviewing, ABC News reported earlier this month. The others include: former chief of staff Reince Priebus, White House communications director Hope Hicks, White House counsel Don McGahn, senior associate counsel James Burnham, and White House spokesman Josh Raffel.

4. Surveillance of Manafort

A bombshell report by CNN late Monday night alleged that U.S. government officials wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who remains at the center of Mueller’s investigation, before the November election and during the subsequent transition phase. The surveillance was conducted after federal investigators obtained a so-called FISA warrant, which almost always requires the demonstration of probable cause.

Sources told CNN that “some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign.”

5. Grand jury testimony

Mueller is beginning to bring in lobbyists and public relations consultants who have worked with Manafort to testify before a federal grand jury in Washington. One such individual – Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni – did so last week at a courthouse in downtown D.C.

Maloni, who began working for Manafort after the 2016 election, testified for more than two-and-a-half hours, telling reporters on his way in that “hell yeah” he was ready to appear before the grand jury. It was not immediately clear what investigators sought from Maloni’s testimony, though the longtime public relations executive may have been aware of potential errors on Manafort’s foreign-agent filing amendments, which he retroactively disclosed in June.

Mueller also issued a grand jury subpoena in August to Melissa Laurenza, a lawyer and former National Republican Senatorial Committee staffer who represented Manafort until recently.

6. Facebook ads

The social media giant turned over detailed records to congressional committees and Mueller’s team this week regarding ads purchased by a Russian company during the 2016 election. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg confirmed earlier this month that the company bought approximately $3,000 ads between June 2015 and May 2017, totalling $100,000.

There is a good chance Mueller will probe whether the advertisements “showed any of the kind of sophisticated targeting that might indicate that Americans had provided assistance,” the Atlantic’s David Graham wrote earlier this week.

7. James Quarles

Former assistant special prosecutor for the Watergate investigation James Quarles is the latest to emerge as a central figure assisting with Mueller’s probe. The Daily Beast reported Tuesday that Quarles was added to the team as its “point person” for interactions with the White House, noting that he has been constantly in touch with Trump’s legal aides to check in on document requests and confirm the status of upcoming interviews.

Quarles left his position as a partner at the global law firm WilmerHale to join Mueller’s team in June.

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Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog) Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:33 PM 

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Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog) Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:33 PM Trump And Intelligence Community – Google News 1 Share The Hill (blog) Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory The Hill (blog) The former director of National Intelligence said that the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russians sought … Continue reading “Clapper: Intelligence community ‘cast doubt on the legitimacy’ of Trump’s victory – The Hill (blog) Saturday September 23rd, 2017 at 12:33 PM”
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These Are The 21 States Russian Hackers Targeted In The 2016 Election

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State election officials didn’t know whether their systems had been targeted until Friday.

Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump’s legal defense via the RNC / Boing Boing

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Source: Ukraine-born billionaire with biz ties to Russian oligarchs is funding Trump’s legal defense via the RNC / Boing Boing

Mueller Scorches the Earth – National Review

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National Review
Mueller Scorches the Earth
National Review
It was not enough to get a search warrant to ransack the Virginia home of Paul Manafort, even as the former Trump campaign chairman was cooperating with congressional investigators.Mueller’s bad-asses persuaded a judge to give them permission to pick …
Robert Mueller Has Requested Air Force One Phone Records in the Russia InvestigationGQ Magazine
What Scares Paul Manafort More than Mueller?Vanity Fair
What the FISA Warrants Against Paul Manafort Tell us About Mueller’s InvestigationJust Security
The Hill –The Guardian –Conservative Review –CNN
all 39 news articles »

FBI agent sentenced for disclosing sensitive material to mistress – MyAJC

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MyAJC
FBI agent sentenced for disclosing sensitive material to mistress
MyAJC
When FBI agent Ken Hillman was assigned to Northwest Georgia, his aim was clear: catch sex predators who target children online. But on Friday, Hillman stood in front of a federal judge and pleaded guilty to a crime of his own; disclosing sensitive law …and more »

Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory – Business Insider 

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Donald Trump’s election victory was called into question by the US intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s election interference, Clapper said. Source: Clapper: Russia’s election interference ‘cast doubt’ on Trump’s victory – Business Insider

Facebook to give Congress copies of 3,000 political ads bought through Russian accounts, reversing previous decision

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The company had previously shown some of the ads to Capitol Hill investigators but took back copies before they could be studied carefully, citing concerns over user privacy at the time. Facebook has reversed that position amid rising complaints from Capitol Hill that the company was not cooperating fully with its investigation. Chief Executive Mark […]

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