6:54 AM 12/8/2017 – Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes cleared of wrongdoing in House ethics probe – Washington Post

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Few policy differences narrowed at Trump meeting with congressional leaders – CNN
Devin Nunes Cleared of Misconduct Over Disclosing Monitoring of Trump Aides – New York Times
Paul Manafort, Special Counsel Mueller tussle over Ukrainian op-ed – Reuters
Donald Trump Jr frantically tries to defend himself after latest Trump-Russia bombshell lands
Paul Manafort’s legal team bites back at Robert Mueller over Ukraine op-ed – Washington Examiner
Paul Manafort says he edited Ukraine op-ed, is silent on colleague’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence – Washington Post
Trump’s mental meltdown – Washington Post
What if Mueller catches Trump and it isn’t enough? – Washington Post
“Checkmate! Legal scholar says this clause in Michael Flynns plea deal means its over for Donald Trump
Putin ‘deeply concerned’ by Trump’s Jerusalem move – Arutz Sheva
House Intelligence chairman cleared of disclosing classified information – Reuters
Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List
Have Donald Trump and his team just picked a new Trump-Russia scapegoat in the White House?
According to Leaked Emails, the Trump Campaign Received a Pitch to Set Up a Russian Social Media Page – Mother Jones
WikiLeaks published emails hacked from the Democratic Party and the personal email account of John Podesta – Daily Mail
Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on … – The Sun
Ethics Committee clears Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes – CNN
Rational Security: The “When Youre President They Let You Do It” Edition
Donald Trumps health scandal just got much worse for him
Hannity: Trump-Russia Probe ‘A House Of Cards Beginning to Crash Down’ – Fox News Insider
Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened
Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home – ABC Online
Judge: Man accused of threatening court unfit to stand trial – Hudson Valley 360
Russian social media executive sought to help Trump campaign in 2016, emails show – Washington Post

 

Saved Stories – None
Few policy differences narrowed at Trump meeting with congressional leaders – CNN
 


CNN
Few policy differences narrowed at Trump meeting with congressional leaders
CNN
That interaction raised fears Trump and congressional Democrats wouldn’t be able to bridge their differences. However, there have been numerous positive signs in recent days that congressional leaders, despite their stark divisions on policy, want to 
Did President Trump slur his Jerusalem speech? You be the judgeUSA TODAY
Congress averts government shutdown for nowReutersall 1,215 1,078 news articles »

Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes cleared of wrongdoing in House ethics probe – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes cleared of wrongdoing in House ethics probe
Washington Post
The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday that House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes had not disclosed classified information or violated House rules when he publicly discussed foreign surveillance reports earlier this year, formally 
House ethics committee clears Devin Nunes of disclosing classified infoUPI.comall 58 news articles »

Devin Nunes Cleared of Misconduct Over Disclosing Monitoring of Trump Aides – New York Times
 


Breitbart News

WTVA
Devin Nunes Cleared of Misconduct Over Disclosing Monitoring of Trump Aides
New York Times
WASHINGTON A congressional ethics panel cleared Representative Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, on Thursday of wrongdoing related to accusations that he improperly disclosed classified information. The House  
Ethics Committee clears Intelligence
 
House Ethics Committee closes probe of Intel
 Chairman Devin Nunes
 CNN WXIA-TV
House Ethics Committee clears Devin Nunes on allegations he mishandled classified information about Trumpteam …Washington Examiner 
House Ethics Committee closes probe of Intel
 
Ethics Committee clears Intelligence
 Chairman Devin Nunes
 WXIA-TV
Breitbart NewsChicago TribuneNewsmax
all 38 WTVA
Washington Post
all 52
 
news articles »
Paul Manafort, Special Counsel Mueller tussle over Ukrainian op-ed – Reuters
 


Reuters
Paul Manafort, Special Counsel Mueller tussle over Ukrainian op-ed
Reuters
I can only wonder why some American media dare falsely claim that Paul Manafort lobbied Russian interests in Ukraine, the piece said. Without his input Ukraine would not have had the command focus on reforms that were required to be a nation and more »

Donald Trump Jr frantically tries to defend himself after latest Trump-Russia bombshell lands

One day after his controversial testimony about the Trump-Russia scandal, things have managed to get even worse for Donald Trump Jr today. A new bombshell has just landed which demonstrates that his Trump Tower meeting with the Russian government was even more nefarious than previously believed. As a result, Junior is now frantically trying to defend himself from this new bombshell on Twitter and he may have given away a few things in the process.CNN is now reporting that after the meeting, Donald Trump Jr’s friend Rob Goldstone followed up via email with Trump campaign adviser Dan Scavino (link). This comes after Junior had long characterized the meeting as a bust, and it demonstrates that at least someone involved seemed to think the meeting was fruitful. This does not further incriminate Donald Trump Jr, as he was not included in these emails. However, Junior is overreacting on Twitter, which suggests there’s more to this.

Junior retweeted a political ally who had opined that “[CNN host Jake] Tapper’s on-air presentation of this story led with a clip of Don Jr. denying he had any follow up with Russians after Trump Tower. Portrayed as misleading.” He then referenced the portion of the CNN online article which stated “None of the newly disclosed emails were sent directly to Trump Jr.” But that’s not the point here.

This new reporting merely reveals that other participants judged the meeting to have been more fruitful than he’s claimed. That could simply mean that he was mistaken. Maybe he didn’t even know that Goldstone continued to communicate with the Trump campaign about the meeting after the fact. If so, why not just say so? Why is Donald Trump Jr frantically trying to defend himself against a report that doesn’t even appear to incriminate him? Is there more to this, or is he just panicking at this point?

The post Donald Trump Jr frantically tries to defend himself after latest Trump-Russia bombshell landsappeared first on Palmer Report.

Paul Manafort’s legal team bites back at Robert Mueller over Ukraine op-ed – Washington Examiner
 


Washington Examiner
Paul Manafort’s legal team bites back at Robert Mueller over Ukraine op-ed
Washington Examiner
Paul Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, and his deputy, Rick Gates, have been charged with violating federal money laundering, foreign lobbying, and banking laws. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin). Former Trump campaign chairman Paul 
Manafort attorney: Op-ed published to ‘correct the public record’ in UkrainePolitico
Paul Manafort says he edited Ukraine op-ed, is silent on colleague’s alleged ties to Russian intelligenceWashington Postall 21 news articles »

Paul Manafort says he edited Ukraine op-ed, is silent on colleague’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Paul Manafort says he edited Ukraine op-ed, is silent on colleague’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence
Washington Post
Attorneys for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort acknowledged Thursday that he edited an opinion piece for a Ukraine newspaper but did not publicly address allegations by special counsel prosecutors that he drafted it with a former colleague  
Oleg Voloshin: Paul Manafort, European integration’s unknown soldier for UkraineKyiv Post
all 22 
Manafort says Ukraine op-ed shouldn’t impact bail dealWTVA
Manafort attorney: Op-ed published to ‘correct the public record’ in UkrainePolitico
Paul Manafort’s Lawyers Deny He Violated A Court Order By Editing A Draft Op-Ed About His Work In UkraineBuzzFeed News

all 20 news articles »

Trump’s mental meltdown – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Trump’s mental meltdown
Washington Post
Donald Trump spent much of 2016 questioning his opponent’s stamina to be president of the United States. But it is nowTrump’s own fitness that is being scrutinized by friends and foes alike. After Trump spent recent weeks creating a level of chaos  

What if Mueller catches Trump and it isn’t enough? – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
What if Mueller catches Trump and it isn’t enough?
Washington Post
We need to prepare for the eventuality that the Mueller probe catches President Trump, family members and associates red-handed and Republicans in Congress refuse to do anything about it. This is beginning to look like a possible or even probable
Why Trump is still winningCNNall 42 news articles »

“Checkmate! Legal scholar says this clause in Michael Flynns plea deal means its over for Donald Trump

It’s been nearly a week since Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s plea agreement with former Donald Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn became official, but the details of that deal are still leaking out. Today a new clause in the deal surfaced publicly, which reveals additional requirements for Flynn whose sole purpose is to prevent Trump from sabotaging things. This led one respected legal scholar to simply declare “Checkmate!”Here’s how Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe summed up the latest news: “Flynns plea deal, unlike nearly all other plea deals, includes a sweeping, open-ended pledge by Flynn to cooperate fully with any state & local prosecutors Mueller might designate which defangs Trumps power to shield himself by firing or pardoning people. Checkmate!” (link). There are two specific things here at play.

First, let’s say that Trump decides to pardon Flynn on all federal charges, in a belated attempt at preventing Flynn from continuing to rat him out. Flynn would still be at the mercy of state level prosecutors such as New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who could either charge Flynn based on his confession, or force Flynn to cooperate in any state-level charges that are brought against Trump. Second, even if Trump fires Mueller, Flynn will still be locked into helping to take down Trump on a state level. It seems a given that any additional high ranking targets who cut a deal will be subject to this same clause.

In short, this means that Donald Trump can’t get very far by trying to pardon anyone, or by trying to fire Robert Mueller. It was already too late for that. Trump would have needed to pardon Flynn before his plea deal for it to have helped him much, and Trump would have needed to fire Mueller months ago back when he would have had more political muscle for trying to pull it off. But this plea deal clause helps to wall Trump in even further. It’s simply too late. The game isn’t finished being played yet, but it is indeed checkmate, as he’s going to lose.

The post “Checkmate!” Legal scholar says this clause in Michael Flynn’s plea deal means it’s over for Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

Putin ‘deeply concerned’ by Trump’s Jerusalem move – Arutz Sheva
 


Arutz Sheva
Putin ‘deeply concerned’ by Trump’s Jerusalem move
Arutz Sheva
Russian president Vladimir Putin is “deeply concerned” by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the Kremlin said Thursday, according to AFP. In a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip  
Putin, Erdogan agreed Trump’s Jerusalem decision bad for region: reportThe Hill
Putin, Erdogan voice ‘serious concern’ over Trump’s Jerusalem stanceGeo News, Pakistan
Putin ‘deeply concerned’ over US Jerusalem recognitionThe Times of Israel
ReutersXinhuaThe Jerusalem Post
all 9,053 news articles »
 and more »

House Intelligence chairman cleared of disclosing classified information – Reuters
 


Reuters
House Intelligence chairman cleared of disclosing classified information
Reuters
Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress have frequently raised the unmasking issue during the investigation of allegations that Russia sought to influence the 2016 U.S. election to boost Trump’s chances of defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton and 
Devin Nunes Cleared of Misconduct Over Disclosing Monitoring of Trump AidesNew York Times
House ethics panel: Nunes didn’t leak classified informationThe San Luis Obispo Tribune
Ethics panel clears US House Intelligence Committee chariman Nunes of disclosing classified informationThe Straits Timesall 29 news articles »

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

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

Have Donald Trump and his team just picked a new Trump-Russia scapegoat in the White House?

With four people having been arrested and two of them having pleaded guilty, the participants in Donald Trump’s Russia scandal have figured out that a whole lot of them are going down. They’re each just trying to make sure it isn’t them. We’re seeing plea deals, cooperating witnesses, and strategic leaks aimed at steering investigators in certain directions. In short, they’re trying to scapegoat each other. Now it appears Trump and his team may be trying to scapegoat a specific individual in the White House.If you were familiar with the name “Dan Scavino” when the week began, it was only because you know him as Trump’s social media director. He’s the guy who posts promotional tweets to Trump’s Twitter account and such. Apart from that behind the scenes role, he’s largely been invisible to the public until this week. Suddenly, he’s been invoked in a potentially incriminating manner in the Trump-Russia scandal twice within the span of a few days, and at least one of those instances came from Trump’s own team.

After Trump accidentally tweeted a confession to felony obstruction of justice this week, he then claimed that his attorney somehow wrote the tweet. Kellyanne Conway asserted that she witnessed the whole thing and it went exactly as Trump had claimed. She also insisted that Dan Scavino was involved in the posting of the tweet (link). At the time it was unclear why she chose to drag him into it.

Then CNN reported today that after Donald Trump Jr’s meeting with the Russians, his friend Rob Goldstone continued to communicate with you guessed it Dan Scavino after the meeting (link). We don’t yet know how CNN got these emails. But if they did come from Trump’s team, it would be the second time this week in which they’ve pushed the otherwise obscure Scavino front and center in the Trump-Russia scandal. It may be time for Dan Scavino to start asking why.

The post Have Donald Trump and his team just picked a new Trump-Russia scapegoat in the White House? appeared first on Palmer Report.

According to Leaked Emails, the Trump Campaign Received a Pitch to Set Up a Russian Social Media Page – Mother Jones
 


Mother Jones
According to Leaked Emails, the Trump Campaign Received a Pitch to Set Up a Russian Social Media Page
Mother Jones
CNN reported Thursday that Rob Goldstone, a British publicist who helped set up the meeting, emailed Dan Scavino, who did communications work for the Trump campaign and is now the White House director of social media, after their meeting. Goldstone  

WikiLeaks published emails hacked from the Democratic Party and the personal email account of John Podesta – Daily Mail
 


Business Recorder
WikiLeaks published emails hacked from the Democratic Party and the personal email account of John Podesta
Daily Mail
WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, are facing multiple investigations by U.S. authorities, including three congressional probes and a federal criminal inquiry, sources familiar with the investigations said. The Senate and House of 
Wikileaks faces US probes into its 2016 election role and CIA leaksBusiness Recorderall 2 news articles »

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


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

Ethics Committee clears Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes – CNN
 


CNN
Ethics Committee clears Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes
CNN
In April, Nunes temporarily stepped aside from his role as the head of the committee’s probe into Russian election meddling amid questions about his decision to provide information to the White House about the “unmasking” of Trump officials at the tailand more »

Rational Security: The “When Youre President They Let You Do It” Edition

Mike Flynn is cooperating with Bob Muellers Russia investigation, and President Trump raises questions about whether he sought to obstruct justice. Deutsche Bank has been told to hand over information about Trump-related finances. And the national security adviser tries to make Trump into a modern-day Ronald Reagan. Plus, Susan highlights a thoughtful discussion on women in national security. And Shane is taking Kim Jung Un . . . rationally.Have you helped us promote Rational Security yet? If not, please leave us a rating and a review on whatever podcast distribution system you use. A lot of people are visiting Lawfare and reaching our podcasts for the first time these days, so if you’re new to Lawfare and Rational Security, you can subscribe to the podcast using our RSS feed, or listen on iTunes, on Stitcher and now on Google Play.

Donald Trumps health scandal just got much worse for him

When Donald Trump began slurring his words severely during a speech yesterday, it wasn’t immediately clear if he was suffering from an issue with his teeth or an issue with his health. Pundits, the public, and even comedians have been debating the matter ever since. If it was caused by his teeth coming loose, why would a billionaire be wearing dentures instead of getting implants? If it wasn’t dentures, what is wrong with him? Today, the White House went and made it much worse.White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders knew the question would be coming during today’s press briefing, so she made a statement about it. She blamed Trump’s slurring on a dry throat. She then inexplicably announced that Trump is going to get a physical from a military doctor. This is indeed how these things are supposed to work but why on earth would she decide to make Trump’s health scandal even worse by bringing up the idea of him seeing a doctor? The entire point of her statement was supposed to have been to steer people away from the idea of this being a health issue for Trump.

This got me thinking. The wise answer would have been to simply blame it on a dry throat and move on. Bringing up a physical was a stupid move. But I can’t even figure out what the goal was. If Trump’s White House were trying to make the questions about his health go away, they’d have him take a physical tomorrow and immediately announced the results. Knowing them, they’d probably fake the results to hide anything that might be wrong with him. But they’d do it immediately nonetheless. Instead, they’re saying Trump will take a physical early next year.

Why? All this does is raise even more questions about Donald Trump’s health for the next few weeks. Maybe they’re banking on the idea that the media and the public will have moved on to the next scandal by early next year, and thus Trump never will have to take the physical. Maybe they know he’s in such swift decline that he won’t still be in office by early next year anyway. Or maybe they did this on purpose because they want people talking about Trump’s health, so he can resign for medical reasons right after the holidays. This is bizarre. All I know is that there has to be more to it, and there will be.

The post Donald Trump’s health scandal just got much worse for him appeared first on Palmer Report.

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


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

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

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

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


ABC Online
Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home
ABC Online
It’s a move that the President had promised to deliver from way back when he was just candidate Trump. It’s also something that many Presidents have said they’d do but haven’t and it’s largely supported by the Washington Establishment. The White 
Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement faces further backlash: Russia, Canada, Pakistan condemn US decisionFirstpost
Forget Russia, Israel Actual Foreign Power Collaborating With Team TrumpSputnik Internationalall 8,029 news articles »

Judge: Man accused of threatening court unfit to stand trial – Hudson Valley 360
 


Hudson Valley 360
Judge: Man accused of threatening court unfit to stand trial
Hudson Valley 360
HUDSON A Hudson man accused of making terroristic threats against Columbia County Court officials and who accused the district attorney of foiling his 2016 mayoral campaign was ruled mentally unfit to stand trial. Saratoga County Court Judge James A  

Russian social media executive sought to help Trump campaign in 2016, emails show – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
Russian social media executive sought to help Trump campaign in 2016, emails show
Washington Post
An executive at a leading Russian social media company made several overtures to Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016 including days before the November election urging the candidate to create a page on the website to appeal to Russian
Emails reveal follow-up after Trump Jr.’s Russia meeting: reportThe Hill 
Russian social media executive contacted Trump Jr., Dan Scavino about Russian social network profileWashington Examiner

Trump Jr. Refuses to Tell Lawmakers What He Told His Father About Meeting With RussiansVoice of America 
Exclusive: Previously undisclosed emails show follow-up after Trump Tower meetingCNN
Reuters

Business Insider ReutersNewsweekNBCNews.com
all 383 NBCNews.com
all 321
 
news articles »

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3:50 PM 12/7/2017 – Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt?

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt?
Live Stream: Wray Testifies Before House Judiciary on FBI Oversight
Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era
Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era – Bloomberg
Russian Military Wants To Help Trump Destroy ISIS in Iraq – Newsweek
Putin and Russia’s 2018 Election – STRATFOR
WATCH: FBI director Christopher Wray testifies before House committee – New York Daily News
Lawmakers press FBI on alleged bias in Clinton, Trump cases – Reuters
FBI Director Defends Bureau’s ‘Brave Men And Women’ After Trump Twitter Attack
Russia-NATO Cold War Leads Finland to Build Military 100 Years After Independence – Newsweek
The 7 facts (and 27 footnotes) that prove the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow – Macleans.ca
Russia-Trump: FBI chief Wray defends agency – BBC News
Argentine judge issues arrest warrant for Cristina Kirchner over terror attack cover-up – Telegraph.co.uk
Ex-intelligence chiefs probed over worst type of betrayal: Polish defence minister
Ex-intelligence chiefs probed over ‘worst type of betrayal’: Polish defence minister – thenews.pl
The Early Edition: December 7, 2017
Mike Flynn – Google News: Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt? – Salon
The FBI’s constant bungling is an American embarrassment – The Hill
5:23 PM 12/6/2017 FBI and DOJ have Been Under Investigation Since January American Lens
Gregg Jarrett: FBI Has Become “America’s Secret Police,” Mueller Using FBI As “Political Weapon” | Video
7:56 AM 12/7/2017 FBIs Crisis and Peter Strzok My Bullet Points by Michael Novakhov
wray fbi – Google Search
Peter Strzok – Google Search
Five Things to Know About Anti-Trump FBI Agent Peter Strzok
Mueller Removed Top Agent in Russia Inquiry Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt?

mikenova shared this story .

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

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

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

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

Live Stream: Wray Testifies Before House Judiciary on FBI Oversight

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

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

Russia Takes a Step Toward the Post-Putin Era

mikenova shared this story .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Putin and Russia’s 2018 Election – STRATFOR

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

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

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

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

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“There is no finer institution than the FBI, Director Chris Wray told Congress.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Ex-intelligence chiefs probed over worst type of betrayal: Polish defence minister

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PR dla Zagranicy

Paweł Kononczuk 07.12.2017 13:13

Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz has said that former heads of Poland’s Military Counterintelligence Service (SKW) are suspected of “the worst type of betrayal a Pole can commit.”

Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz. Photo: PAP/Rafał GuzDefence Minister Antoni Macierewicz. Photo: PAP/Rafał Guz

Warsaw prosecutors are conducting a probe into suspicions that former heads of Poland’s Military Counterintelligence Service overstepped their powers, including allegations that they cooperated with a foreign country without the consent of the Polish prime minister.

‘Illegal cooperation with Russian spies’

“This is about fully conscious and illegal cooperation with Russian spies, about the worst type of betrayal a Pole can commit,” Macierewicz told public broadcaster TVP Info on Wednesday.

“We are dealing with people who have very serious allegations against them,” he added.

Asked if former Prime Minister Donald Tusk knew about cooperation between the SKW and Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB), Macierewicz replied that “at some stage he certainly gained some knowledge.”

Macierewicz was speaking after Piotr Pytel, a former head of Poland’s Military Counterintelligence Service was detained on Wednesday.

Macierewicz said Pytel “is being charged in connection with illegal collaboration with the FSB.”

The FSB is Russia’s principal security agency and the main successor agency to the KGB.

Relations between Moscow and Warsaw are tense while Russian intelligence services are widely seen in Poland as hostile to this country.

After emerging from a prosecutor’s office on Wednesday, Pytel said he had refused to testify. He told reporters that the case against him was politically motivated.

Poland’s Gazeta Polska Codziennie daily reported last year that Poland’s Military Counterintelligence Service and the FSB struck a deal in April 2010, just after the crash of a Polish presidential plane in western Russia, on cooperation regarding threats faced by either of the sides.

Gazeta Polska Codziennie reported that a former SKW head and Pytel, his successor, had been accused of overstepping their powers.

Tusk, now European Council head, in April appeared before prosecutors in Warsaw as a witness in a probe into suspected collaboration between Russian and Polish intelligence services.

(pk/gs)

Source: IAR/TVP Info

Ex-intelligence chiefs probed over ‘worst type of betrayal’: Polish defence minister – thenews.pl

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thenews.pl
Ex-intelligence chiefs probed over ‘worst type of betrayal’: Polish defence minister
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The FSB is Russia’s principal security agency and the main successor agency to the KGB. Relations between Moscow and Warsaw are tense while Russian intelligence services are widely seen in Poland as hostile to this country. After emerging from a 

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The Early Edition: December 7, 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. Heres todays news.

TRUMP RECOGNIZES JERUSALEM AS ISRAELS CAPITAL

President Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the State Department to begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a speech yesterday, the president said it was a long overdue step to advance the peace process and added that the U.S. would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides. David M. Halbfinger, Mark Landler and Isabel Kershner report at the New York Times.

While previous president have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver, Trump said, adding that we cannot solve our problems by making the same failed assumptions and repeating the same failed strategies of the past. David Nakamura reports at the Washington Post.

The presidents decision is an important step toward peace, the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in response to Trumps decision, however Palestinian officials denounced the decision and the Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas said that the move undermined efforts to achieve peace and meant that the U.S. could no longer be an honest broker in peace talks. Rory Jones reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The recognition of Jerusalem as Israels capital is a war declaration against Palestinians, the leader of the Palestinian Hamas militant group, Ismail Haniya, said in a speech in Gaza City today, calling for a new Intifada, or uprising, and saying that Trumps decision has killed the peace process, has killed the Oslo [accord], has killed the settlement process. Al Jazeera reports.

Clashes between Palestinian protestors and Israeli soldiers broke out today following Trumps announcement, including at a checkpoint near Ramallah, at the border fence between Israel and Gaza, and in other places in the West Bank. Loveday Morris and Ruth Eglash report at the Washington Post.

Leaders across the world condemned Trumps decision, including some of the U.S.s traditional allies and leaders in the Arab and Muslim world. The BBC reports.

There is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B, the U.N.-Secretary-General António Guterres said yesterday in response to Trumps announcement, adding that he understood the deep attachment that Jerusalem holds in the hearts of so many people. The U.N. News Centre reports.

The solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine is based on two states and with Jerusalem as the capital of both, the E.U. foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said today, Reuters reporting.

Trumps decision amounted to throwing the region into a circle of fire, the Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdoğan said today, adding that the move disregarded U.N. resolutions regarding the status of Jerusalem. The Hürriyet Daily News reports.

Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem constitutes a legitimate reason to target American forces in Iraq, the leader of a prominent Iranian-backed Iraqi militia group said in a statement today. Reutersreports.

I would like to announce that we are already in contact with other countries which will issue a similar recognition, Netanyahu said today, but did not say which countries have been contacted, Reutersreporting.

The White House was prepared to accept a temporary derailment of the peace process to fulfil Trumps campaign process, two senior White House officials said after the announcement, with one official explaining that we know there will be some short term pain, but think it will help in the long run. Elisa Labott and Jeremy Diamond report at CNN.

A full transcript and video of Trumps speech is provided by the New York Times.

It is not for the U.S. to decide who should control East Jerusalem, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said yesterday in response to a question about the issue. East Jerusalem is considered by many to be occupied Palestinian territory, Mallory Shelbourne reports at the Hill.

The U.N. Security Council will meet tomorrow to discuss Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem, diplomats said yesterday that the request for a meeting was made by eight members of the 15-member body. Michelle Nichols reports at Reuters.

While I recognize that you will publicly welcome this news, I ask that you restrain your official response, a State Department document dated Dec. 6 said, revealing U.S. efforts to influence Israeli officials to temper their reaction to the news. Arshad Mohammed reveals at Reuters.

A taskforce was set up by the State Department to deal with the fallout from the Jerusalem announcement, revealing the threat to the safety of Americans, Josh Rogin explains at the Washington Post.

The precise location of a U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem has important symbolic implications, and some consider the White Houses plan to move the embassy within three to four years as optimistic, Adam Taylor explains at the Washington Post.

The announcement was greeted with joy and outrage in Jerusalem, an Israeli police spokesperson said that the police were prepared for larger protests in the city tomorrow. Loveday and Ruth Eglash observe at the Washington Post.

The key takeaways from Trumps speech are provided by Barbara Plett Usher at the BBC.

Trump had been intent on moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem for months. Some senior administration officials, such as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, warned that the move would raise potential risks to U.S. interests in the region and undermine the prospect of an Israel-Palestine peace deal, while others, such as Vice President Mike Pence and Nikki Haley, were in support of the decision. Josh Dawsey, Missy Ryan and Karen DeYoung reveal at the Washington Post.

The presidents son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner pushed for the recognition of Jerusalem, he has been focused on achieving a peace deal in defiance of his critics and amid waning influence since the appointment of White House chief of staff John Kelly. Kushner has gambled that the Jerusalem announcement will pay off, however it could have serious implications in the Middle East, Annie Karni explains at POLITICO.

Arab leaders have deprioritized the Palestinian cause while they have been distracted by other troubles in the region, including the Arab Spring uprisings, wars in the Middle East, and the Saudi Arabia-Iran rivalry, meaning that the emotions following Trumps speech were as much of sadness and resignation as of anger and threats. Anne Barnard, Ben Hubbard and Declan Walsh explain at the New York Times.

The rationale for the decision was seemingly tied to Trumps psychology rather than diplomatic considerations, and it is hard to discern any substance in the Trump administrations strategy to achieve the ultimate deal between Israel and Palestine. Peter Beaumont and Julian Borger write at the Guardian.

The peace process was over long ago, Christopher Dickey writes at The Daily Beast, noting the changed dynamics since 1995 and the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

Countries have not recognized Jerusalem as Israels capital for good reason, the presidents decision has demonstrated that the Trump administration has been willing to pick sides in the Israel-Palestine conflict and exploded any residual notion that Washington can act as honest broker. The Financial Times editorial board writes.

Trumps decision was not as radical as his critics have portrayed, it reflected promises by numerous previous presidential candidates and was in accordance with Congresss 1995 act recognizing Jerusalem as Israels capital. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

Trumps speech did not acknowledge the majority-Arab East Jerusalem, was muted in his support for the two-state solution, and the motivation for his speech may in fact be an ideological desire to extend the reach of the culture war, consequently solidifying his support among American evangelicals and reinforcing his own brand of divisive politics. Ishaan Tharoor writes at the Washington Post.

Trumps announcement has undermined the U.S.s moral authority, damaged the nascent relationship between Israel and Gulf Arab countries and played into the hand of extremists and terrorists in the region. Hussein Ibish writes at The Daily Beast.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Trumps former national security adviser Michael Flynn told a former business associate that one of the Trump administrations first acts would be to rip up economic sanctions against Russia, a whistle-blower revealed yesterday in a letter written to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.). Flynn has been under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his probe into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election, Mark Mazzetti and Michael S. Schmidt report at the New York Times.

Cummings asked the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) to issue a subpoena to the White House for documents related to Flynn, saying that the committee has credible allegations that Flynn sought to manipulate the course of international nuclear policy through the revelation that Flynn assured the associate that sanctions against Russia would be ripped up. Tom Hamburger reports at the Washington Post.

Gowdy said yesterday that his committee would not look into the whistleblowers allegations as the Oversight Committee is not investigating Russia, the House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Mike Conaway (R-Texas) declined to say if they would investigate the matter. Manu Raju and Katelyn Polantz report at CNN.

Donald Trump Jr. testified before the House Intelligence Committee yesterday and refused to provide details of a telephone conversation with his father earlier this year about how to handle the fallout from the revelations that he met with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower in July 2016, during the presidential campaign. Byron Tau reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Trump Jr. said the call with his father was protected under attorney-client privilege as lawyers for both men were on the call, the ranking Democrat on the committee Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.) said that the presence of counsel does not make communications between father and son a privilege and that he would follow up with Trumps lawyer about the legal basis for refusing to disclose details of the call. Sharon LaFraniere and Nicholas Fandos report at the New York Times.

The founder of private military contractor Blackwater, Erik Prince, said that his meeting with Russian banker Kirill Dmitriev on Jan. 11 in the Seychelles had nothing to do with his support for the Trump campaign, according to a transcript released yesterday of his interview before the House Intelligence Committee. Prince said that the meeting with Dmitriev was informal and that the real purpose of the trip was to meet with Emirati officials, Katie Bo Williams reports at the Hill.

Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska dropped his libel suit against the Associated Press, which alleged that the AP had falsely implied that he was paying Trumps former campaign chairman Paul Manafort for work advancing the Russian governments interests. Josh Gerstein reports at POLITICO.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is scheduled to appear before the House Judiciary Committee on Dec. 13 as part of the committees Russia investigation, Brett Samuels reports at the Hill.

The president and his allies have attacked Muellers investigation, highlighting possible bias in Muellers team and the F.B.I. in a possible attempt to discredit the special counsel and create the political support needed to dismiss him. Devlin Barrett and Sean Sullivan report at the Washington Post.

YEMEN

Trump yesterday called on Saudi Arabia to allow food, fuel, water and medicine to reach Yemeni civilians, making the statement after the second consecutive night of Saudi airstrikes on Yemens capital of Sanaa and intermittent blockades on the country by the Saudi-led coalition. Max Bearak reports at the Washington Post.

A White House official said that Trumps statement on Yemen was not a retaliation for Saudi Arabias condemnation of Trumps decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, saying that the statement was to do with a serious humanitarian issue in Yemen and the Saudis should and can do more. Steve Holland and Phil Stewart report at Reuters.

The Saudi-led coalition captured an area southwest of Sanaa, residents said today, marking the first significant gains by the coalition since the former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh was killed on Monday. Reuters reports.

The death of Saleh has changed the dynamics of the war in Yemen, providing Saudi Arabia an opportunity to gain an advantage by bridging relations with Saleh supporters in opposition to the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. Yaroslav Trofimov writes at the Wall Street Journal.

NORTH KOREA

The U.S.-South Korea large-scale military exercises and U.S. threats have made the outbreak of war an established fact, a spokesperson for North Koreas foreign ministry said today. Soyoung Kim and Heekyong Yang report at Reuters.

The U.N. political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman met with North Koreas vice foreign minister in Pyongyang yesterday and discussed bilateral cooperation and other issues of mutual interest, according to North Koreas K.C.N.A. news agency. Reuters reports.

A total of 49 countries violated U.N. sanctions on North Korea between March 2014 and September 2017, according to a report by a Washington-based think tank. Rishi Iyengar reports at CNN.

SYRIA

Approximately 2,000 U.S. troops are on the ground in Syria, the Defense Department acknowledged yesterday, a number four times greater than the figure provided a month ago. Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

The updated figure does not reflect troops assigned to classified missions and some Special Operations personnel, Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon said yesterday, John Ismay reporting at the New York Times.

A delegation representing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is expected to arrive in Geneva on Sunday to participate in U.N.-backed peace talks, according to Syrias state S.A.N.A. news agency, the delegation had walked out last week and returned to the Syrian capital of Damascus. Reuters reports.

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

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The Islamic State groups capacity to reach sympathizers around the world means that its ability to inspire attacks remains potent, the acting director of intelligence at the National Counterterrorism Center, Lora Shiao, told senators yesterday. Doina Chiacu reporting at Reuters.

The Saudi merchant Mustafa al Hawasi said that he was very happy to have been able to support the brothers who carried out the 9/11 attack, former F.B.I. agent Abigail Perkins said of her 2007 interrogation of the former C.I.A. captive, describing the conversation in testimony meant to demonstrate that Hawasi is subject to trial before the Guantánamo Bay war court. Carol Rosenberg reports at the Miami Herald.

The House yesterday voted against advancing articles of impeachment against Donald Trump, Ben Jacobs and Lauren Gambino report at the Guardian.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to visit Africa at the beginning of next year, amid speculation over his position and a plan to replace Tillerson with C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo. Reutersreports.

Mike Flynn – Google News: Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt? – Salon

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Salon
Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt?
Salon
… information for months at the behest of special counsel Robert Mueller. Free to tell the story now that Michael Flynn had pleaded guilty to charges of lying to the FBI, Cummings said the committee Democrats had been approached last summer by a 
Flynn told former business associate that Russia sanctions would be ‘ripped up,’ according to congressional witnessWashington Post
A Missing Piece Falls Into Place in the Saga of Michael FlynnThe Atlantic
Whistleblower: Flynn told colleague Russia sanctions would be ‘ripped up’CNN
CBS News –NBCNews.com –Politico –TheHill
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 Mike Flynn – Google News

The FBI’s constant bungling is an American embarrassment – The Hill

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The Hill
The FBI’s constant bungling is an American embarrassment
The Hill
The actions of current and former FBI officials are making life easy for Kremlin propagandists, who no longer have to make stuff up and now just cut-and-paste news reports. The Kremlin material won’t be broadcast to American audiences but will be used 
Reps. Gaetz, Biggs: Hillary Clinton’s FBI special treatment must be …Fox News
GOP Lawmakers Press for Investigation of FBI’s ‘Special Treatment’ of Hillary Clinton ProbeDaily Signal
Hillary Clinton Received ‘Break After Break From the FBI,’ Say House RepublicansNewsweek
CNSNews.com –Townhall –Tampabay.com
all 21 news articles »
5:23 PM 12/6/2017 FBI and DOJ have Been Under Investigation Since January American Lens

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Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks FBI and DOJ have Been Under Investigation Since January American Lens Peter Strzok Photo: See First Image of the FBI Agent fbi criticism – Google Search How Nonpartisan and Independent Was the FBI’s Leadership in 2016? DANA MILBANK: Latest fallback: Who cares if Trump colluded with Russia? … Continue reading“5:23 PM 12/6/2017 – FBI and DOJ have Been Under Investigation Since January American Lens”

Gregg Jarrett: FBI Has Become “America’s Secret Police,” Mueller Using FBI As “Political Weapon” | Video

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FOX News’ Gregg Jarrett on Wednesday night said the Federal Bureau of Investigation has become “America’s secret police” and that special counsel Robert Mueller is using the government entity as a “political weapon.”
“The FBI is a shadow government now,” Jarrett declared. “It has become highly politicized.”
“I think we now know that the Mueller investigation is illegitimate and corrupt,” Jarrett told Sean Hannity. “And Mueller has been using the FBI as a political weapon. And the FBI has become America’s secret police. Secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment, and threats. It’s like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of the night banging through your door.”

Jarrett on Wednesday night’s Hannity:

SEAN HANNITY: Let’s start with all of these revelations. [Jeannie] Rhee, and Peter Strzok and all of these figures. Hillary Clinton supporters, Trump haters.
GREGG JARRETT, FOX NEWS: I think we now know that the Mueller investigation is illegitimate and corrupt. And Mueller has been using the FBI as a political weapon. And the FBI has become America’s secret police. Secret surveillance, wiretapping, intimidation, harassment, and threats. It’s like the old KGB that comes for you in the dark of the night banging through your door.
HANNITY: By the way, this is not a game, this is not a hyperbole you’re using here.
JARRETT: No, ask Paul Manafort. They came for him and broke through his front door…
The FBI is a shadow government now. It has become highly politicized. Peter Strzok is the perfect example of it. He led both the Hillary Clinton investigation and until recently the Mueller investigation. This is a guy who has corrupt political motives. We now know it. The Congress has the emails but he is the tip of the iceberg. There are others, especially Andrew Weissmann and as you pointed out, Jeannie Rhee.

7:56 AM 12/7/2017 FBIs Crisis and Peter Strzok My Bullet Points by Michael Novakhov

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Michael Novakhov My Bullet Points:  Stop this hysteria, and stop scapegoating Peter Strzok. The political attitudes, and expressing them, on the part of the FBI agent, might or might not be ethical, depending on the circumstances (office email to a colleague and lover probably is not), but it is not a crime. Mr. Muellers … Continue reading“7:56 AM 12/7/2017 – FBI’s Crisis and Peter Strzok – My Bullet Points – by Michael Novakhov”

wray fbi – Google Search

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Story image for wray fbi from Los Angeles Times

FBI Director Christopher Wray to testify amid turbulence over Russia …

Los Angeles Times2 hours ago
Flynn admitted to lying to the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador during the presidential transition, and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Wray probably will face questions about the conduct of FBI agents assigned to the Mueller inquiry. One agent was removed from the case after he …
Director Defends FBI After Trump Says Bureau Is in ‘Tatters’
Highly CitedNew York TimesDec 4, 2017
Media image for wray fbi from NPR

NPR

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Washington Examiner

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New York Times

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ABC News

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USA TODAY

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RealClearPolitics
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Who is FBI Director Christopher Wray?

Fox NewsJun 7, 2017
Wray was formally installed as the new director of the FBI on Sep. 28, after he was confirmed by the Senate on a 92-5 vote in August. All five nay votes came from Democrats. He was unanimously approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee in July, after he appeared before the committee. President Trump …
Ceremony Held to Recognize Appointment of Eighth FBI Director
Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog)Sep 28, 2017
Media image for wray fbi from Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog)

Federal Bureau of Investigation (press release) (blog)

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CBS News

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USA TODAY

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NPR

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Chicago Tribune

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The Hill
Story image for wray fbi from CBS News

FBI Director Chris Wray sends internal email to boost employee …

CBS NewsDec 4, 2017
FBI Director Chris Wray sent an internal email to FBI employees Monday amid concerns about morale. On Sunday in a tweet President Trump had disparaged the Bureau as having a reputation “in tatters — worst in history.” In the email, which was obtained by CBS News, Wray told staff Monday morning that …
Trump versus the FBI
Greensboro News & Record (blog)Dec 5, 2017
Story image for wray fbi from Washington Examiner

FBI Director Christopher Wray stands by staff after Trump attacks …

Washington ExaminerDec 4, 2017
FBI Director Christopher Wray told his staff Monday it was “truly an honor” to represent them after President Trump took the agency to task for being the “worst in History” and leaving its reputation in “Tatters,” according to a report. Wray told 35,000 agents and support staff he was “inspired by example after …
Story image for wray fbi from Newsweek

FBI Director Tells Agents to ‘Keep Calm and Tackle Hard’ After …

NewsweekDec 5, 2017
FBI Director Christopher Wray said in an internal memo to FBI employees Monday that they should “welcome” people asking “tough questions” about how they use their power—after President Donald Trump claimed in a tweet over the weekend that the agency was in “tatters.” In the email, which was …
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FBI Director Defends Agency After Trump Says It’s ‘In Tatters’: ‘Truly …

MediaiteDec 4, 2017
As President Trump continues to trash the FBI and talk about how their reputation is “in tatters,” Director Christopher Wray says the agency is doing just fine. The New York Times picked up on an internal memo Wray sent out to the bureau’s staff this morning. While the statement doesn’t address Trump by …
Peter Strzok – Google Search

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On Strzok, Let’s Wait for the Evidence

National Review12 hours ago
I’m taking a “wait and see” attitude on FBI agent Peter Strzok, who is now enmeshed in a political storm involving both the Clinton and the Trump investigations. You know why? Well . . . it’s because I can’t stand the Clintons. What difference does that make? Well, because I didn’t like them any better in 2001.
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Gutfeld: The Real Collusion Between the FBI and Clinton Campaign

Fox News InsiderDec 5, 2017
Greg Gutfeld discussed the FBI official who was reassigned from the Mueller investigation after sending politically-charged texts to his mistress. Gutfeld said Peter Strzok showed evidence of “bias and stupidity” when it was revealed he sent the messages critical of President Trump and supportive of Hillary …
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FBI agent Peter Strzok’s anti-Trump texts demanded by Senate

Washington Times13 hours ago
Charles Grassley wrote to FBI Director Chris Wray on Wednesday to ask that the bureau address a series of questions about counterintelligence investigator Peter Strzok. The deputy assistant director in the FBI’s counterterrorism division was removed both from that position and the Mueller team over the …
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FBI agent dismissed from Mueller probe changed Comey’s …

CNNDec 4, 2017
Electronic records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server as the No. 2 official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey’s earlier draft language describing Clinton’s actions as “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” the sources said. The drafting …
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OpinionThe San Diego Union-TribuneDec 4, 2017
Five Things to Know About Anti-Trump FBI Agent Peter Strzok

mikenova shared this story from Breitbart News.

by Adam Shaw6 Dec 2017565

Here’s what you need to know about Strzok:

Strzok Was Demoted Over the Texts

Strzok, who the New York Times reported is “considered one of the most experienced and trusted F.B.I. counterintelligence investigators” and was a top investigator in Mueller’s Russia probe, was demoted to a human resources position after the discovery of the texts — which were sent to an FBI lawyer with whom he was having an extramarital affair.

Strzok Was Involved in Softening Comey’s Language on Clinton’s Email Use

CNN reported that Strzok was involved in changing the language FBI Director James Comey used in his July 2016 statement to describe Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information. The language was reportedly changed from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.”

The subsequent language is softer and therefore was less damaging to Clinton — who was at that time locked in a bruising presidential campaign with then-candidate Donald Trump. CNN noted that federal law carries penalties for gross negligence in the handling of classified material.

Strzok Interviewed Michael Flynn, Top Clinton Aides

Strzok was reportedly involved in the interviews of Michael Flynn in January for the probe into Russian interference, as well as Clinton aides Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills concerning the Clinton email scandal.

Those interviews are now being scrutinized as Flynn was charged for lying during that interview about his contacts with Russian officials, but Abedin and Mills were not charged for saying they did not know about Clinton’s private email server until 2013 — when there were emails from earlier suggesting they do.

Strzok’s roles in both interviews have stoked concerns about bias and double standards in the FBI’s probes.

Strzok Is Not the Only One

Strzok is not the only agent accused of having a left-leaning bias. Documents obtained by Judicial Watch show that the prosecutor now serving as Mueller’s top deputy sent an email in January gushing over then-Acting Attorney General Sally Yates’ refusal to enforce President Trump’s travel ban.

“I am so proud. And in awe. Thank you so much. All my deepest respects,” said Andrew Weissman in the email, one of a number of supportive emails Yates received from DOJ colleagues.

Congress Wants Answers

Strzok’s potential bias has caught the attention of Republicans in Congress. Rep. Peter King (R-NY) toldthe New York Post Tuesday that he and fellow members of the House Intelligence Committee want to review Strzok’s “text messages, e-mails and contacts.”

They also want to know his impact on the findings of the investigation into Clinton’s email use and why he was questioning Michael Flynn. He also said the FBI and Justice Department have been “stonewalling” them.

“I think we should definitely question him. In fact, he’s one of the people we’ve been trying to get information on for the last several months,” King said.

Adam Shaw is a Breitbart News politics reporter based in New York. Follow Adam on Twitter:@AdamShawNY.

Mueller Removed Top Agent in Russia Inquiry Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts

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Collusion
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Yes, the Kremlin is worried about Russias own presidential elections – The Washington Post

mikenova shared this story .

 

Monkey Cage

December 6 at 6:00 AM

It’s a foregone conclusion that Vladimir Putin will win Russia’s March 2018 presidential elections, so why is the Kremlin fretting about turnout? And how is Russia’s big business supposed to help get people to vote? Here’s what’s going on.

Russia’s Central Election Commission is expected to formally kick off the campaign season sometime in mid-December, and Putin will likely declare his candidacy shortly afterwards. But Russia under Vladimir Putin is not a democracy. The Constitutional Court has deemed the country’s best-known opposition figure, Alexei Navalny, ineligible to register for the upcoming March 2018 election, citing two controversial financial-crimes convictions. The European Court of Human Rights ruled that both decisions were arbitrary and unreasonable.

In Navalny’s place, the election will feature Ksenia Sobchak, a television personality. Sobchak polls nationally at less than 1 percent — and her supposedly oppositional campaign has refused to criticize Putin.

Why do unfair elections even matter?

Putin’s regime represents what Steven Levitsky and Lucan Way term “competitive authoritarianism.” Elections in hybrid systems like Russia are not designed to determine who rules, but rather to signal the regime’s power and resilience to potential challengers.

Elections in these polities are often marred by abuses of state power, but they are nonetheless held and can be bitterly fought. It is tempting to disregard the results of such elections because of the extent to which they are manipulated by elites in power. Yet counterintuitively, the level of state control over the electoral process is itself a reason to pay close attention.

In his book “Patronal Politics,” Henry Hale points out that authoritarian regimes deploy every available resource to dominate elections, even when opposition candidates would not win a free and fair contest. Competitive, if unfair, elections send a potent message about the power of incumbent regimes.

A crushing electoral victory signals to potential opponents that they can expect the regime to remain in power, and that open opposition will be futile. But low turnout can communicate the regime’s potential weakness. Challengers may become empowered, while erstwhile allies consider defection to avoid falling on the wrong side of a revolutionary wave.

The Kremlin has high turnout goals for 2018

The “great power of expectations,” as Hale labels this phenomenon, drives Russian politics — and the Putin regime has set a high bar for itself. Last year, the Kremlin’s top political technologists established a “70 at 70” objective for Putin’s reelection in March 2018 — 70 percent of the vote with 70 percent turnout. In a recent interview, Russian political expert Tatyana Stanovaya remarked, “Putin just needs to be elected quietly and quickly, without fuss, with good turnout, and a good result.”

…but may struggle to meet them

September’s regional and municipal elections, though, showed Russians aren’t particularly excited about voting. The low turnout has left the Kremlin scrambling to boost voter enthusiasm for next March. Putin remains popular, but protest activity is rising, particularly in the provinces.

According to the Russian government’s own polling, public support for government policies is at the lowest level in nearly a decade. Russia’s regional governments remain under the Kremlin’s tight control, but they are increasingly at odds with federal policies.

In three regions, fiscal problems have become so dire that their governors circumvented official channels and appealed publicly to Moscow for bailouts. Foreign policy adventures — first in Ukraine, then in Syria — may have temporarily distracted Russians from problems at home, but public interest in both conflicts is waning.

The Kremlin has enlisted help from big business

Putin has publicly downplayed Russia’s low turnout but Kremlin policy tells a different story. Russian authorities have long included state-owned enterprises (SOEs) in their voter mobilization efforts, but “corporate mobilization” has taken on new significance this election cycle. Following record low turnout in Russia’s 2016 parliamentary elections, reports emerged that SOEs, rather than the ruling party United Russia, would drive get-out-the-vote efforts and socioeconomic monitoring in future elections.

Here’s how this played out in September’s regional and municipal elections. State-run energy giants Rosatom and RosHydro funded initiatives to monitor pre-election risks in the regions, and report the findings to the Kremlin. With the presidential contest approaching, Rosatom recently hired a contractor to file reports on socioeconomic conditions in the remote “closed cities” in which the company operates power plants. Rosatom’s former chief executive, Sergei Kiriyenko, is first deputy head of the Presidential Administration tasked with managing domestic politics.

The Kremlin increasingly expects SOEs to deliver investment and social services that struggling regional governments cannot provide. For instance, state-run Gazprom ratcheted up its spending on development projects this year, according to Bloomberg reporting. Despite initial plans to slash “non-core expenditures,” outlays on charity were up 60 percent 2017, reaching 26.3 billion rubles ($438 million).

The company built a patriotic theme park and a sports complex in the Siberian city of Irkutsk — projects that may provide temporary jobs and boost support at the polls for Putin next March. SOEs routinely subsidize economically impractical investments across Russia, especially in the country’s single-industry towns. Economists Clifford Gaddy and Barry Ickes have referred to a political imperative to “keep the lights on” in the Russian provinces.

Reuters report, meanwhile, suggests the Kremlin ordered major energy and utility companies to supply the Presidential Administration with news items that cast Russia’s leadership in a positive light. A memo to industry leaders requested stories “where it’s possible to say that state support helped lift the economy out of crisis” and benefited local residents. State-run media outlets are supposed to disseminate the stories to the public.

Prioritizing short-term political goals hinders Russia’s growth

Over the past decade, the Kremlin has allowed SOEs to monopolize and dominate the Russian economy. The regime is asking SOEs to leverage their weight and reach to ensure Putin wins a convincing mandate in the March 2018 election.

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But the tacit trade of market share for political help comes at the cost of competitiveness in Russia’s economy. Relying on corporations, rather than regional and municipal governments, to fulfill the state’s development goals also risks further atrophying of the country’s federal structure. Under Putin, the Kremlin has increasingly sought to circumvent lower levels of government, preferring instead to dictate policy from Moscow.

Choosing political goals over economic efficiency harms minority investors and will limit Russia’s potential to improve its ranking in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” report, once a key goal of Putin’s third term.

According to a Levada Center poll from late November, 67 percent of likely voters would vote for Putin, with anticipated turnout between 53 and 55 percent — not the 70 percent figure the Kremlin hopes to see. Trailing far behind are the nationalist firebrand Vladimir Zhirinovsky and the Russian Communist Party’s Gennady Zyuganov, each with just four percent.

Nonetheless, the logic of patronal politics demands that the authorities pull out all the stops to encourage a high turnout in an election Putin will surely win, even if their methods hinder Russia’s future development.

Christopher Jarmas is a master’s candidate in Russian, Eastern European, and Central Asian area studies at Harvard University. Follow him on Twitter @jarmascm.

Collusion | IRRUSSIANALITY

mikenova shared this story from IRRUSSIANALITY.

The investigation into suspected collusion between US President Donald Trump and the Russian government has claimed its first three victims: one (Paul Manafort) for completely unconnected money laundering charges, and two (George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn) for lying to investigators about things which were not themselves criminal, and which are therefore crimes which would never have happened had there never been an investigation. To date, the evidence of direct collusion between Trump and the Russians is looking a little thin, to say the least. Now, into this maelstrom steps Guardian reporter Luke Harding with his book Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russian Helped Donald Trump Win.

Collusion spends over 300 pages insinuating that Trump is a long-standing agent of the Russian secret services, and hinting, without ever providing any firm evidence, that Trump and his team acted on orders from the Kremlin to subvert American democracy. I’ll be honest, and admit that I picked this book up expecting it to be a series of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, and to be utterly unbalanced in its analysis, and in that sense I’m not an unbiased reader. At the same time, I was interested to see if Harding had come up with anything that everybody else had not, and was willing to give him a chance. I needn’t have bothered. For alas, my worst suspicions proved to be true, and then some.

collusion

The first thing to note about Collusion is that most of it is padding. That is to say, that it consists mainly of a lot of digressions in which Harding describes people and events not directly related to the main story of collusion. Whenever a new character is introduced, you tend to get pages of background information, along with descriptions of various places they’ve been to, things they’ve done in the past, and so on. At the start of the book, for instance, Harding introduces Christopher Steele, who prepared an infamous dossier purportedly based on secret sources within the Kremlin, which made all sort of extreme accusations against Trump. We learn about Steele’s parents, his childhood, his education, his career, and so on. Harding recounts how he met Steele. We learn about how they tried one café, then another, who drank what, etc, etc. This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the book. There’s a lot of padding. This padding makes Collusion an easy read, and gives it colour, and the flavour of a spy novel. But none of it adds anything to our knowledge of Donald Trump and his relationship with Russia. It’s just filler, designed to cover up the fact that, when it comes to the matter of collusion, Harding doesn’t have a whole lot new to say and certainly doesn’t have enough to fill up an entire book.

The second thing to note is that Harding’s modes of argumentation and standards of evidence are not  – how can I be polite about this? – what I’m used to as an academic. Let’s take the example of Trump’s former convention manager, Paul Manafort, to whom Harding devotes an entire chapter, obviously on the basis that the Trump-Manafort connection somehow proves a Trump-Kremlin connection. The problem Harding has is that, despite pages of fluff about Manafort, he hasn’t got any evidence that Manafort is a Kremlin agent. In fact, he quotes one source – a former Ukrainian official, Oleg Voloshin – as telling him that when Manafort worked as a political advisor to Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich:

Manafort was an advocate for US interests. So much so that the joke inside the Party of Regions [in Ukraine] was that he actually worked for the USA. … He supported Ukraine’s association with NATO and with the EU. He warned Yanukovich not to lock up [former Prime Minister Iuliia] Tymoshenko. “If it weren’t for Paul, Ukraine would have gone under Russia much earlier,” Voloshin told me.

This is pretty funny behaviour for a Kremlin agent, and Harding has to admit that, “It’s unclear to what extent, if any, Manafort was involved in supplying intelligence to Russia.” This doesn’t fit with the conclusion that Harding obviously wants readers to draw – that Manafort was a Kremlin agent, and so Trump must be too. So, he comes up with something else: some of Manafort’s associates in Ukraine “were rumoured to have links with Russian intelligence.” Note the use of the word “rumoured”. It’s not exactly convincing, but it’s good enough for Luke, who uses it to tell a story about one such associate, Konstantin Kilimnik. Harding recounts that he contacted Kilimnik by email to ask him about his relationship with Manafort. Kilimnik responds by telling him that the collusion accusations are  “insane” and “gibberish”, and signs off his email with a bit of self-mockery: “Off to collect my paycheck at KGB. :))”

And here’s where it gets interesting. For Harding thinks there’s something suspicious about Kilimnik’s answer. He writes:

The thing which gave me pause was Kilimnik’s use of smiley faces. True, Russians are big emoticon fans. But I’d seen something similar before. In 2013 the Russian diplomat in charge of political influence operations in London was named Sergey Nalobin. Nalobin had close links with Russian intelligence. He was the son of a KGB general; his brother had worked for the FSB; Nalobin looked like a career foreign intelligence officer. Maybe even a deputy resident, the KGB term for station chief. On his Twitter feed Nalobin described himself thus:

A brutal agent of the Putin dictatorship : )

And that’s it. That’s Harding’s evidence. Just to make sure readers get the point, he follows the last line up with a double paragraph space. Stop and think what this means, he seems to be saying. Someone who “looked like a career foreign intelligence officer” uses smiley faces. Kilimnik uses smiley faces!!! Say no more.

This is the level at which Harding’s logic works. Harding recounts a meeting of Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the White House, a meeting which was photographed by someone from the Russian news agency TASS. As Harding tells us:

The Times put the photo of Trump and Lavrov on its front page. At the bottom of the photo taken inside the White House was a credit. It said: “Russian Foreign Ministry.”

Yet another double paragraph break follows,  just to make sure that readers take in the implication of what this means.

Take another example. We learn (which in fact we knew already if we’d been following this story) that Trump’s short-lived National Security Advisor, and former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, Michael Flynn, attended a conference on the subject of intelligence at Cambridge University, where he met a Russian woman, Svetlana Lokhova. Harding admits that, “There is no suggestion she is linked to Russian intelligence.” Nevertheless, he feels it necessary to tell us that Flynn later corresponded with her by email. He writes:

In his emails, Flynn signed off in an unusual way for a US spy. He called himself “General Misha.”

Misha is the Russian equivalent of Michael.

Again, Harding then introduces a section break, leaving this ominous fact hanging in the air. Think of what it means, he is saying!

This is typical of how Harding argues. He puts in some suspicious sounding fact, or asks some question, and then just leaves it hanging. The implication is that the question doesn’t need answering, that the most damaging and extreme answer is obviously true. There’s an awful lot of this technique in Collusion. Harding spends pages on a digression about Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybovlev before telling us that Rybovlev’s private jet sometimes parks next to that of Donald Trump. Seems suspicious, huh? Except that Harding tells us that, ‘The White House … said that Trump and Rybovlev had never met. This appears to be true.” But Harding isn’t satisfied, and asks, “Had he [Rybovlev] perhaps met someone else from Trump’s entourage during his travels? Like, for example, Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen?” Later, Harding tells us that Rybovlev’s yacht was once at Dubrovnik at the same time as Ivanka Trump’s yacht. “Was this perhaps planned” he asks.

Harding’s method is to ask these questions, as if asking was itself proof of guilt. Trump borrowed money from Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank was bailed out at one point by the Russian bank VTB. “Was there a connection?” Harding asks. But Harding doesn’t answer these questions. In fact, one of the interesting things about this book is that again and again the author has to confess that the facts don’t really fit what he’s trying to say. For instance, when discussing Trump and Deutsche Bank, and trying to make it sound as if Trump was in some way connected to the Kremlin because he was borrowing from the Germans, Harding writes, “The sources insist that the answer was negative. No trail to Moscow was ever discovered, they told us.”

This isn’t a lone example. Harding spends quite a few pages discussing Carter Page, a businessman who appeared on RT and gave a talk at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and who at one point had a marginal role in the Trump election campaign. It’s clear that he wants it all to sound really damaging. And yet, he writes that Page’s “attempts to meet Trump individually failed.” So, it turns out that there’s not much of a connection there after all. Likewise, when discussing Russian computer hackers, Harding writes: “By the second decade of the twenty-first century the cyber world looked like the high seas of long ago. The hackers who sailed on it might be likened to privateers. Sometimes they acted for the ‘state’, sometimes against it.” This rather undermines his claim that the Russian state was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

In another example, Harding discusses the sudden death of Oleg Erovinkin, who worked for the oil company Rosneft. He speculates that “Erovinkin was Steele’s source deep inside Rosneft,” and was murdered because word of Steele’s document had leaked out. The murder, he implies, is proof of the dossier’s validity. Except that Harding admits that, “there was nothing suspicious about Erovinkin’s sudden death” and “Steele was adamant that Erovinkin wasn’t his source.” Yet this doesn’t stop Harding from writing that, “in the wake of the dossier the Kremlin did appear to be wiping out some kind of American or Western espionage network. … It certainly looked that way.”

I could give other examples, but I can’t make this review too long. The point is that Harding ignores his own evidence. He argues by innuendo, and on occasion he just lets his imagine run away with itself. Steele’s dossier alleged that Trump had hired prostitutes while on a trip to Moscow. Vladimir Putin’s response was to crack a joke about Russian prostitutes being the best in the world. But to Harding it wasn’t a joke. As he writes:

Putin may have been sending a second message, darkly visible beneath the choppy, translucent waters of the first. It said: we’ve got the tape, Donald!

I wish I could say that this book was a joke. If you were going to write a parody of the collusion story, this is perhaps what it would look like. Unfortunately, Harding is deadly serious and I suspect that a lot of uncritical readers will soak it all up, not stopping to reflect on the awful methodology. So, I end on a word of warning. By all means read this book. But don’t do so in order to find out the truth about Donald Trump and Russia; do so in order to understand the methods currently being used to enflame Russian-Western relations. In that respect, Collusion is really quite revealing.

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Collusion

The investigation into suspected collusion between US President Donald Trump and the Russian government has claimed its first three victims: one (Paul Manafort) for completely unconnected money laundering charges, and two (George Papadopoulos and Michael Flynn) for lying to investigators about things which were not themselves criminal, and which are therefore crimes which would never have happened had there never been an investigation. To date, the evidence of direct collusion between Trump and the Russians is looking a little thin, to say the least. Now, into this maelstrom steps Guardian reporter Luke Harding with his book Collusion: Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russian Helped Donald Trump Win.

Collusion spends over 300 pages insinuating that Trump is a long-standing agent of the Russian secret services, and hinting, without ever providing any firm evidence, that Trump and his team acted on orders from the Kremlin to subvert American democracy. Ill be honest, and admit that I picked this book up expecting it to be a series of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, and to be utterly unbalanced in its analysis, and in that sense Im not an unbiased reader. At the same time, I was interested to see if Harding had come up with anything that everybody else had not, and was willing to give him a chance. I neednt have bothered. For alas, my worst suspicions proved to be true, and then some.

collusion

The first thing to note about Collusion is that most of it is padding. That is to say, that it consists mainly of a lot of digressions in which Harding describes people and events not directly related to the main story of collusion. Whenever a new character is introduced, you tend to get pages of background information, along with descriptions of various places theyve been to, things theyve done in the past, and so on. At the start of the book, for instance, Harding introduces Christopher Steele, who prepared an infamous dossier purportedly based on secret sources within the Kremlin, which made all sort of extreme accusations against Trump. We learn about Steeles parents, his childhood, his education, his career, and so on. Harding recounts how he met Steele. We learn about how they tried one café, then another, who drank what, etc, etc. This pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the book. There’s a lot of padding. This padding makes Collusion an easy read, and gives it colour, and the flavour of a spy novel. But none of it adds anything to our knowledge of Donald Trump and his relationship with Russia. Its just filler, designed to cover up the fact that, when it comes to the matter of collusion, Harding doesnt have a whole lot new to say and certainly doesnt have enough to fill up an entire book.

The second thing to note is that Hardings modes of argumentation and standards of evidence are not  – how can I be polite about this? what Im used to as an academic. Lets take the example of Trumps former convention manager, Paul Manafort, to whom Harding devotes an entire chapter, obviously on the basis that the Trump-Manafort connection somehow proves a Trump-Kremlin connection. The problem Harding has is that, despite pages of fluff about Manafort, he hasnt got any evidence that Manafort is a Kremlin agent. In fact, he quotes one source a former Ukrainian official, Oleg Voloshin as telling him that when Manafort worked as a political advisor to Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich:

Manafort was an advocate for US interests. So much so that the joke inside the Party of Regions [in Ukraine] was that he actually worked for the USA. He supported Ukraines association with NATO and with the EU. He warned Yanukovich not to lock up [former Prime Minister Iuliia] Tymoshenko. If it werent for Paul, Ukraine would have gone under Russia much earlier, Voloshin told me.

This is pretty funny behaviour for a Kremlin agent, and Harding has to admit that, Its unclear to what extent, if any, Manafort was involved in supplying intelligence to Russia. This doesnt fit with the conclusion that Harding obviously wants readers to draw that Manafort was a Kremlin agent, and so Trump must be too. So, he comes up with something else: some of Manaforts associates in Ukraine were rumoured to have links with Russian intelligence. Note the use of the word rumoured. Its not exactly convincing, but its good enough for Luke, who uses it to tell a story about one such associate, Konstantin Kilimnik. Harding recounts that he contacted Kilimnik by email to ask him about his relationship with Manafort. Kilimnik responds by telling him that the collusion accusations are  insane and gibberish, and signs off his email with a bit of self-mockery: Off to collect my paycheck at KGB. :))

And heres where it gets interesting. For Harding thinks theres something suspicious about Kilimniks answer. He writes:

The thing which gave me pause was Kilimniks use of smiley faces. True, Russians are big emoticon fans. But Id seen something similar before. In 2013 the Russian diplomat in charge of political influence operations in London was named Sergey Nalobin. Nalobin had close links with Russian intelligence. He was the son of a KGB general; his brother had worked for the FSB; Nalobin looked like a career foreign intelligence officer. Maybe even a deputy resident, the KGB term for station chief. On his Twitter feed Nalobin described himself thus:

A brutal agent of the Putin dictatorship : )

And thats it. Thats Hardings evidence. Just to make sure readers get the point, he follows the last line up with a double paragraph space. Stop and think what this means, he seems to be saying. Someone who looked like a career foreign intelligence officer uses smiley faces. Kilimnik uses smiley faces!!! Say no more.

This is the level at which Hardings logic works. Harding recounts a meeting of Trump and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the White House, a meeting which was photographed by someone from the Russian news agency TASS. As Harding tells us:

The Times put the photo of Trump and Lavrov on its front page. At the bottom of the photo taken inside the White House was a credit. It said: Russian Foreign Ministry.

Yet another double paragraph break follows,  just to make sure that readers take in the implication of what this means.

Take another example. We learn (which in fact we knew already if wed been following this story) that Trumps short-lived National Security Advisor, and former head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, Michael Flynn, attended a conference on the subject of intelligence at Cambridge University, where he met a Russian woman, Svetlana Lokhova. Harding admits that, There is no suggestion she is linked to Russian intelligence. Nevertheless, he feels it necessary to tell us that Flynn later corresponded with her by email. He writes:

In his emails, Flynn signed off in an unusual way for a US spy. He called himself General Misha.

Misha is the Russian equivalent of Michael.

Again, Harding then introduces a section break, leaving this ominous fact hanging in the air. Think of what it means, he is saying!

This is typical of how Harding argues. He puts in some suspicious sounding fact, or asks some question, and then just leaves it hanging. The implication is that the question doesnt need answering, that the most damaging and extreme answer is obviously true. Theres an awful lot of this technique in Collusion. Harding spends pages on a digression about Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybovlev before telling us that Rybovlevs private jet sometimes parks next to that of Donald Trump. Seems suspicious, huh? Except that Harding tells us that, The White House said that Trump and Rybovlev had never met. This appears to be true. But Harding isnt satisfied, and asks, Had he [Rybovlev] perhaps met someone else from Trumps entourage during his travels? Like, for example, Trumps personal lawyer Michael Cohen? Later, Harding tells us that Rybovlevs yacht was once at Dubrovnik at the same time as Ivanka Trumps yacht. Was this perhaps planned he asks.

Hardings method is to ask these questions, as if asking was itself proof of guilt. Trump borrowed money from Deutsche Bank. Deutsche Bank was bailed out at one point by the Russian bank VTB. Was there a connection? Harding asks. But Harding doesnt answer these questions. In fact, one of the interesting things about this book is that again and again the author has to confess that the facts dont really fit what hes trying to say. For instance, when discussing Trump and Deutsche Bank, and trying to make it sound as if Trump was in some way connected to the Kremlin because he was borrowing from the Germans, Harding writes, The sources insist that the answer was negative. No trail to Moscow was ever discovered, they told us.

This isnt a lone example. Harding spends quite a few pages discussing Carter Page, a businessman who appeared on RT and gave a talk at the Higher School of Economics in Moscow, and who at one point had a marginal role in the Trump election campaign. Its clear that he wants it all to sound really damaging. And yet, he writes that Pages attempts to meet Trump individually failed. So, it turns out that theres not much of a connection there after all. Likewise, when discussing Russian computer hackers, Harding writes: By the second decade of the twenty-first century the cyber world looked like the high seas of long ago. The hackers who sailed on it might be likened to privateers. Sometimes they acted for the state, sometimes against it. This rather undermines his claim that the Russian state was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.

In another example, Harding discusses the sudden death of Oleg Erovinkin, who worked for the oil company Rosneft. He speculates that Erovinkin was Steeles source deep inside Rosneft, and was murdered because word of Steeles document had leaked out. The murder, he implies, is proof of the dossiers validity. Except that Harding admits that, there was nothing suspicious about Erovinkins sudden death and Steele was adamant that Erovinkin wasnt his source. Yet this doesnt stop Harding from writing that, in the wake of the dossier the Kremlin did appear to be wiping out some kind of American or Western espionage network. It certainly looked that way.

I could give other examples, but I cant make this review too long. The point is that Harding ignores his own evidence. He argues by innuendo, and on occasion he just lets his imagine run away with itself. Steeles dossier alleged that Trump had hired prostitutes while on a trip to Moscow. Vladimir Putins response was to crack a joke about Russian prostitutes being the best in the world. But to Harding it wasnt a joke. As he writes:

Putin may have been sending a second message, darkly visible beneath the choppy, translucent waters of the first. It said: weve got the tape, Donald!

I wish I could say that this book was a joke. If you were going to write a parody of the collusion story, this is perhaps what it would look like. Unfortunately, Harding is deadly serious and I suspect that a lot of uncritical readers will soak it all up, not stopping to reflect on the awful methodology. So, I end on a word of warning. By all means read this book. But dont do so in order to find out the truth about Donald Trump and Russia; do so in order to understand the methods currently being used to enflame Russian-Western relations. In that respect, Collusion is really quite revealing.

Yes, the Kremlin is worried about Russia’s own presidential elections – Washington Post


Washington Post
Yes, the Kremlin is worried about Russia’s own presidential elections
Washington Post
Following record low turnout in Russia’s 2016 parliamentary elections, reports emerged that SOEs, rather than the ruling party United Russia, would drive get-out-the-vote efforts and socioeconomic monitoring in future elections. Here’s how this played

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On the Night News Desk When Trumps Tweeting Starts

Lara Jakes, recent night editor for our Washington bureau, and Steve Kenny, night editor in New York, discuss how Year 1 of the Trump era has affected their jobs and their sleep.
With democracy under attack, it’s time to protect American elections – The Hill


The Hill
With democracy under attack, it’s time to protect American elections
The Hill
From freedom of the press to separation of powers, the years-long erosion of America’s democratic institutions has many voicing their concerns. As the country gears up for elections in 2018 and 2020, it’s time to restore faith in a bedrock principle of 

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This explains how social media can both weaken and strengthen democracy.

The new power of the democracy activists and of the trolls are two sides of the same technology.

House Intelligence Committee chairman aims to hold top FBI, DOJ officials in contempt

Rep. Devin Nunes is planning on filing the contempt resolution as quickly as possible, complaining that top law enforcement officials withheld information he subpoenaed from the committee.

White House casts decision to move US embassy to Jerusalem as a recognition of reality http://cnn.it/2BA3xwf pic.twitter.com/W1pHSO9kYR

White House casts decision to move US embassy to Jerusalem as a “recognition of reality”http://cnn.it/2BA3xwf  

Republicans are betting the future won’t happen. Who wants to tell them? – USA TODAY


USA TODAY
Republicans are betting the future won’t happen. Who wants to tell them?
USA TODAY
So how is Trump’s GOP handling a hemorrhaging of young voters who are establishing voting patterns that could last the rest of their adult lives? By trolling them out of the middle class. How does the GOP tax plan, which has now passed the House and

and more »

Donald Trump Jr. to face questions about Russia contacts on Capitol Hill – ABC News


Washington Examiner
Donald Trump Jr. to face questions about Russia contacts on Capitol Hill
ABC News
In October, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about interactions with Russian nationals and efforts to arrange a meeting between campaign and Russian officials. He is cooperating with 
Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: ReportWashington Examiner

all 39 news articles »

More charges could be coming against former Trump aide in Russia probe – CNN


CNN
More charges could be coming against former Trump aide in Russia probe
CNN
The indictments came almost six months after Mueller assumed the federal investigation into Russian collusion, yet so far the charges have not directly related to Manafort and Gates’ work for the Trump campaign or to Russian foreign policy. This week

and more »

Legal Weed Is Coming to New Jersey – VICE


VICE
Legal Weed Is Coming to New Jersey
VICE
In fact, state lawmakers plan to start moving on legalization as soon as Republican (and Trump lackey) Chris Christie hands over the keys to the governor’s mansion next month. Christie has long opposed legal weed, arguing in May that the substance

and more »

Corey Lewandowski: Getting fired by Trump could be “greatest thing that ever happened” – CBS News


CBS News
Corey Lewandowski: Getting fired by Trump could be “greatest thing that ever happened”
CBS News
… to hide” from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to the Trump campaign. Lewandowski and former deputy Trump campaign manager David Bossie will appear on CBSN’s “Red & Blue 

and more »

Robert Mueller reveals hes taking down Mike Pence along with Donald Trump

For quite some time, it’s been clear that Mike Pence willfully lied to the American public in an attempt at protecting Michael Flynn and covering up Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. That means Pence is guilty of obstruction of justice and maybe a lot more. The big question has been whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller would try to take Pence down along with Trump, or wait to tackle Pence until after Trump has been ousted. Now we’re getting our answer.

Mike Pence’s people are preparing him for what they believe is an inevitable interview with Mueller, according to details buried pretty far down the page in a lengthy new CNN online report (link). Mueller now has Michael Flynn on his side, and Flynn’s testimony and evidence are enough to incriminate Pence. Make no mistake: if Mueller is sitting down with Pence while he’s still investigating Trump, it’s to try to nail Pence. So where does this go?

Flynn is admitting that he was notifying the Trump transition team in real time about his efforts to get the Russian Ambassador to delay the Russian government’s sanctions response. Mike Pence was the head of the transition team. So unless the entire team conspired to keep this information from Pence, which is not a believable scenario, Pence knew that Flynn was committing crimes. That means Pence lied a month later when he claimed he had no knowledge of Flynn doing anything wrong.

Someone on the transition team will cut a deal and confirm that Mike Pence knew what Michael Flynn was up to. Throw in the fact that Congress notified Pence about some of Flynn’s crimes back in November of 2016, and Pence is hosed. Is Robert Mueller seeking to force Pence to cut a deal against Trump and resign the vice presidency? Only Mueller knows but it’s clear Pence knows he’s in jeopardy.

The post Robert Mueller reveals he’s taking down Mike Pence along with Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

By pointing the finger at Moscow, Hillary Clinton has promoted Vladimir Putin power – Washington Times

By pointing the finger at Moscow, Hillary Clinton has promoted Vladimir Putin power
Washington Times
Today even the FBI has taken up Hillary’s strategy, but nothing has as yet implicated Mr. Trump, and no White House grandee is implicated in a Russian-related crime. As of last weekend, we know that a Hillary supporter working high up in the FBI, Peter

and more »

Is Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation politically biased? – Fox Business


Breitbart News
Is Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation politically biased?
Fox Business
From my standpoint, having spent a good part of my life in that agency, it’s not the agents that are screwing this all up,” formerFBI assistant director James Kallstrom told FOX Business’ Liz MacDonald. “It’s the people at the higher levels of the 
James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse PostBreitbart News
FOX NEWS FIRST: Mueller Russia probe has credibility problem; Gay wedding cake showdown in Supreme CourtFox News

all 3,845 news articles »

Trump Will Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital And Announce U.S. Embassy Move

The decision threatens to inflame Israeli-Palestinian tensions and provoke outrage across the region.

White House: Jerusalem embassy move a ‘recognition of reality’ – CNN


Politico

CNN
Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administration … – CNN


CNN
Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administration …
CNN
The founder of the controversial military contracting firm Blackwater, Erik Prince, and his allies lobbied contacts inside the administration to provide the CIA with a private network of intelligence contractors, according to a US official with 
US official: Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administrationWENY-TV

all 2 news articles »


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6:54 AM 12/6/2017 – More charges could be coming against former Trump aide in Russia probe – CNN

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Republicans are betting the future won’t happen. Who wants to tell them? – USA TODAY
Donald Trump Jr. to face questions about Russia contacts on Capitol Hill – ABC News
Legal Weed Is Coming to New Jersey – VICE
Corey Lewandowski: Getting fired by Trump could be “greatest thing that ever happened” – CBS News
Robert Mueller reveals hes taking down Mike Pence along with Donald Trump
By pointing the finger at Moscow, Hillary Clinton has promoted Vladimir Putin power – Washington Times
Is Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation politically biased? – Fox Business
Trump Will Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital And Announce U.S. Embassy Move
White House: Jerusalem embassy move a ‘recognition of reality’ – CNN
Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administration … – CNN
Donald Trump Jr. likely to face questions on Russian contacts from House panel – NBCNews.com
Gangster Capitalism and Nostalgic Authoritarianism in Trump’s America – Truthdig
The media feeding frenzy about Donald Trump firing Robert Mueller is out of control
Firing Mueller would be hard for Trump and Congress should make it impossible – USA TODAY
Trump’s Endorsement of Roy Moore Points Up a GOP Problem: Chaos – New York Times
How Robert Mueller is using Deutsche Bank to prove Russia bought off Donald Trump
Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: Report – Washington Examiner
Comey Gets Emotional in Latest Subtweet Against Trump: Lady Liberty ‘In Rough Weather’ – Mediaite
Robert Muellers holiday gift to the American people: even more Trump-Russia indictments
Mike Pompeo just proved why America needs him at the CIA – Washington Examiner
Russia’s Influence Spreads – American Spectator
Press backpedals on Trump collusion charge, focuses on obstruction – Washington Examiner
Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI – FrontPage Magazine
White House: Reports of anti-Trump investigator on Mueller team ’cause a great deal of concern’ – Washington Examiner

 

Saved Stories – None
Republicans are betting the future won’t happen. Who wants to tell them? – USA TODAY


USA TODAY
Republicans are betting the future won’t happen. Who wants to tell them?
USA TODAY
So how is Trump’s GOP handling a hemorrhaging of young voters who are establishing voting patterns that could last the rest of their adult lives? By trolling them out of the middle class. How does the GOP tax plan, which has now passed the House and

and more »

Donald Trump Jr. to face questions about Russia contacts on Capitol Hill – ABC News


Washington Examiner
Donald Trump Jr. to face questions about Russia contacts on Capitol Hill
ABC News
In October, former Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about interactions with Russian nationals and efforts to arrange a meeting between campaign and Russian officials. He is cooperating with 
Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: ReportWashington Examiner

all 39 news articles »

More charges could be coming against former Trump aide in Russia probe – CNN


CNN
More charges could be coming against former Trump aide in Russia probe
CNN
The indictments came almost six months after Mueller assumed the federal investigation into Russian collusion, yet so far the charges have not directly related to Manafort and Gates’ work for the Trump campaign or to Russian foreign policy. This week

and more »

Legal Weed Is Coming to New Jersey – VICE


VICE
Legal Weed Is Coming to New Jersey
VICE
In fact, state lawmakers plan to start moving on legalization as soon as Republican (and Trump lackey) Chris Christie hands over the keys to the governor’s mansion next month. Christie has long opposed legal weed, arguing in May that the substance

and more »

Corey Lewandowski: Getting fired by Trump could be “greatest thing that ever happened” – CBS News


CBS News
Corey Lewandowski: Getting fired by Trump could be “greatest thing that ever happened”
CBS News
… to hide” from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team in the ongoing investigation into Russian election meddling and any ties to the Trump campaign. Lewandowski and former deputy Trump campaign manager David Bossie will appear on CBSN’s “Red & Blue 

and more »

Robert Mueller reveals hes taking down Mike Pence along with Donald Trump

For quite some time, it’s been clear that Mike Pence willfully lied to the American public in an attempt at protecting Michael Flynn and covering up Donald Trump’s Russia scandal. That means Pence is guilty of obstruction of justice and maybe a lot more. The big question has been whether Special Counsel Robert Mueller would try to take Pence down along with Trump, or wait to tackle Pence until after Trump has been ousted. Now we’re getting our answer.

Mike Pence’s people are preparing him for what they believe is an inevitable interview with Mueller, according to details buried pretty far down the page in a lengthy new CNN online report (link). Mueller now has Michael Flynn on his side, and Flynn’s testimony and evidence are enough to incriminate Pence. Make no mistake: if Mueller is sitting down with Pence while he’s still investigating Trump, it’s to try to nail Pence. So where does this go?

Flynn is admitting that he was notifying the Trump transition team in real time about his efforts to get the Russian Ambassador to delay the Russian government’s sanctions response. Mike Pence was the head of the transition team. So unless the entire team conspired to keep this information from Pence, which is not a believable scenario, Pence knew that Flynn was committing crimes. That means Pence lied a month later when he claimed he had no knowledge of Flynn doing anything wrong.

Someone on the transition team will cut a deal and confirm that Mike Pence knew what Michael Flynn was up to. Throw in the fact that Congress notified Pence about some of Flynn’s crimes back in November of 2016, and Pence is hosed. Is Robert Mueller seeking to force Pence to cut a deal against Trump and resign the vice presidency? Only Mueller knows but it’s clear Pence knows he’s in jeopardy.

The post Robert Mueller reveals he’s taking down Mike Pence along with Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

By pointing the finger at Moscow, Hillary Clinton has promoted Vladimir Putin power – Washington Times

By pointing the finger at Moscow, Hillary Clinton has promoted Vladimir Putin power
Washington Times
Today even the FBI has taken up Hillary’s strategy, but nothing has as yet implicated Mr. Trump, and no White House grandee is implicated in a Russian-related crime. As of last weekend, we know that a Hillary supporter working high up in the FBI, Peter

and more »

Is Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation politically biased? – Fox Business


Breitbart News
Is Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation politically biased?
Fox Business
From my standpoint, having spent a good part of my life in that agency, it’s not the agents that are screwing this all up,” formerFBI assistant director James Kallstrom told FOX Business’ Liz MacDonald. “It’s the people at the higher levels of the 
James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse PostBreitbart News
FOX NEWS FIRST: Mueller Russia probe has credibility problem; Gay wedding cake showdown in Supreme CourtFox News

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Trump Will Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital And Announce U.S. Embassy Move

The decision threatens to inflame Israeli-Palestinian tensions and provoke outrage across the region.

White House: Jerusalem embassy move a ‘recognition of reality’ – CNN


Politico

CNN
Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administration … – CNN


CNN
Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administration …
CNN
The founder of the controversial military contracting firm Blackwater, Erik Prince, and his allies lobbied contacts inside the administration to provide the CIA with a private network of intelligence contractors, according to a US official with 
US official: Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administrationWENY-TV

all 2 news articles »

Donald Trump Jr. likely to face questions on Russian contacts from House panel – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
Donald Trump Jr. likely to face questions on Russian contacts from House panel
NBCNews.com
During a committee interview with the firm behind a 35-page dossier on then-candidate Trump last month, a Fusion GPS official not only stood by its claims but provided additional leads about Russian money flowing to Trump real estate projects 
Russian Lawyer To Senate: Don Jr. Asked For Clinton Info At Trump Tower MeetingTPM
President Trump’s eldest son to face congressional questions on his contacts with Russians, WikiLeaksLos Angeles Times
Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: ReportWashington Examiner
NBC Chicago
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Gangster Capitalism and Nostalgic Authoritarianism in Trump’s America – Truthdig


Truthdig
Gangster Capitalism and Nostalgic Authoritarianism in Trump’s America
Truthdig
Just one year into the Donald Trump presidency, not only have the failures of American democracy become clear, but many of the darkest elements of its history have been catapulted to the center of power. A dystopian ideology, a kind of nostalgic 

The media feeding frenzy about Donald Trump firing Robert Mueller is out of control

Donald Trump is going to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller any minute now, according to nearly every political news outlet in the country, based on no evidence whatsoever. Last month’s logic: Mueller arrested Paul Manafort, therefore Trump is about to fire Mueller. Last week’s logic: Michael Flynn cut a deal, therefore Trump is about to fire Mueller. This week’s logic: Mueller is probing Trump’s finances, therefore Trump is about to fire Mueller. It’s a media feeding frenzy, and it’s out of control.

Remember all the media buzz about Donald Trump firing James Comey just before it happened? No, you don’t, because there was none. That was the entire point. Trump was trying to catch everyone off guard by firing Comey at a time when no one was expecting it, hoping that he would get away with it because not enough of the public was paying attention to the Russia scandal at the time. It backfired on him, but there was a logic to it.

Trump firing Mueller right now would be completely logicless, even by Trump’s warped standards. He knows everyone is watching him right now. He knows the public is eager to eat him alive if he does it. He knows his own Republican Party might even have to dunk him for it. They could, and at this point probably would, turn around and immediately reappoint Mueller as a more powerful Independent Counsel. It’s not that the GOP cares about doing the right thing. It just doesn’t want to go into the midterms having to answer for why it let Trump fire Mueller. Trump, for all his deranged ideas and increasingly addled brain, knows this.

So why is the media pushing the narrative so vigilantly about Donald Trump preparing to fire Robert Mueller? It’s the same reason the media has begun automatically hyping this same narrative every time Mueller has made a breakthrough. It comes down to one word: ratings. People hear this, they get scared, they tune in for more. It’s not that the odds of Trump firing Mueller are zero. Anything is possible. It’s just that the odds of it are no better now than the last time ten times the media breathlessly overhyped this particular narrative.

The post The media feeding frenzy about Donald Trump firing Robert Mueller is out of control appeared first on Palmer Report.

Firing Mueller would be hard for Trump and Congress should make it impossible – USA TODAY


USA TODAY
Firing Mueller would be hard for Trump and Congress should make it impossible
USA TODAY
White House attorney Ty Cobb has reportedly built up President Trump’s expectation that special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation would be winding down by Christmas. But now that Mueller has secured the guilty pleas of former national 
Trump slams DOJ and FBI in weekend tweetstormCNN
Feinstein: Senate Russia probe building obstruction case against TrumpNBCNews.com
Donald Trump’s Lawyers Keep Saying the Russia Investigation Will End Soon. Here’s WhyTIME
Business InsiderReutersFox News
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Trump’s Endorsement of Roy Moore Points Up a GOP Problem: Chaos – New York Times


New York Times
Trump’s Endorsement of Roy Moore Points Up a GOP Problem: Chaos
New York Times
WASHINGTON President Trump’s sudden decision on Monday to endorse Roy S. Moore and direct the Republican National Committee to restore funding for the embattled Senate candidate in Alabama undercut party officials who have disavowed him. But it did 
White House defends Trump’s Moore endorsementCNN
GOP senators grumble over Trump, RNC backing MoorePolitico 
Was Trump’s Endorsement Of Roy Moore A Mistake?FiveThirtyEight
 
Senate GOP won’t follow Trump’s lead in backing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore

Los Angeles Times TwitterWashington Post
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NPRTwitter
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How Robert Mueller is using Deutsche Bank to prove Russia bought off Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: Report – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: Report
Washington Examiner
In addition to Trump Jr., former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were present at the meeting. Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury this fall on 12 charges 

and more »

Comey Gets Emotional in Latest Subtweet Against Trump: Lady Liberty ‘In Rough Weather’ – Mediaite


Mediaite
Comey Gets Emotional in Latest Subtweet Against Trump: Lady Liberty ‘In Rough Weather’
Mediaite
In James Comey’s latest subtweet against President Donald Trump, the former FBI director got a little emotional about the health of America’s democracy. In NYC to meet with my publisher. Hope leadership book will be useful. Reassuring to see Lady 

Robert Muellers holiday gift to the American people: even more Trump-Russia indictments

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal has become increasingly fruitful over the past five weeks. He’s now indicted and arrested four people, including two of Trump’s most infamous advisers, two of whom have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the investigation. Now comes word that even more Trump-Russia indictments may soon be on the way.

We’ve already documented that the publicly available schedule for the federal court in Washington DC, where Mueller has carried out most of his grand juries to date, has dozens of sealed items on it. Based on the manner in which the case numbers are grouped, they appear to represent sealed indictments against six or seven individuals. Items are only sealed for good reason. Most or all of these indictments are likely against Trump-Russia players. But now something else entirely is playing out in the public view, and it involves one of the names you’ve already heard.

The attorney for Rick Gates was forced to appear in front of a judge this week because there was a perceived conflict of interest between his representation of Gates and that of another client. For reasons known only to him, the attorney used this as an opportunity to tell the judge that Mueller’s team has informed him that even more indictments could be coming against Gates, according to a new CNN report (link). This means Gates would be hit with charges for alleged crimes that Mueller either didn’t have ready, or didn’t know about, at the time of the arrest. Why does this matter?

By the time the smoke clears, few among the public are going to care or remember what ends up happening to Rick Gates. But it’s notable that this is coming almost immediately after Robert Mueller busted Gates’ business partner Paul Manafort for having conspired with a Russian spy to try to taint the jury pool. No one knows how Mueller found out about it unless Gates told him. All we know is that more indictments are coming soon. Some are against the same old faces, and some are against even bigger players. Happy holiday.

The post Robert Mueller’s holiday gift to the American people: even more Trump-Russia indictmentsappeared first on Palmer Report.

Mike Pompeo just proved why America needs him at the CIA – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
Mike Pompeo just proved why America needs him at the CIA
Washington Examiner
Praising Panetta for his work on counterterrorism operations while at the CIA, Pompeo stated that he frequently asks the Obama-era director “how to think about things.” This might seem simple, but it shows a bipartisan intellectual introspection 

and more »

Russia’s Influence Spreads – American Spectator


American Spectator
Russia’s Influence Spreads
American Spectator
The FBI has a lot to answer for and ought to itself be investigated. As for the Russians they now have more say in Washington than at any time I can remember. Those in Official Washington who have adopted Hillary’s strategy have made Kislyak a powerful  
Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated UnfairlyVoice of America
Gingrich: The swamp is more corrupt than we thought it wasFox News
Prosecutor: No evidence Trump knew Flynn lied to FBIWND.com
POLITICO MagazineLifeZetteWashington Examiner
all 4,297 news articles »
 

and more »

Press backpedals on Trump collusion charge, focuses on obstruction – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
Press backpedals on Trump collusion charge, focuses on obstruction
Washington Examiner
TheHill.com columnist Brent Budowsky wrote a piece Tuesday that said, New evidence raises the danger that PresidentTrump will ultimately be charged with obstruction of justice by Robert Mueller and his special counsel team. The pivot came after a 
Obstruction of justice watch: Trump attacks the FBIThe Hill
We need to keep our focus on the real damage Trump is doingChicago Tribune
An “obstructionist” tweetAL DIA News
National Review
all 4,297 4,068 news articles »
Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI – FrontPage Magazine


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

and more »

White House: Reports of anti-Trump investigator on Mueller team ’cause a great deal of concern’ – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
White House: Reports of anti-Trump investigator on Mueller team ’cause a great deal of concern’
Washington Examiner
Her comment came days after the New York Times and other outlets reported Mueller had reassigned Peter Strzok, a top FBIinvestigator, over the summer in response to the discovery that Strzok had sent anti-Trump text messages to a colleague. The news 
WH Expresses ‘Concern’ About Bias in Mueller ProbeNewsmax

all 53 news articles »


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5:49 AM 12/6/2017 – Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administration … – CNN

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Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administration … – CNN

Donald Trump Jr. likely to face questions on Russian contacts from House panel – NBCNews.com
Gangster Capitalism and Nostalgic Authoritarianism in Trump’s America – Truthdig
The media feeding frenzy about Donald Trump firing Robert Mueller is out of control
Firing Mueller would be hard for Trump and Congress should make it impossible – USA TODAY
Trump’s Endorsement of Roy Moore Points Up a GOP Problem: Chaos – New York Times
How Robert Mueller is using Deutsche Bank to prove Russia bought off Donald Trump
Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: Report – Washington Examiner
Comey Gets Emotional in Latest Subtweet Against Trump: Lady Liberty ‘In Rough Weather’ – Mediaite
Robert Muellers holiday gift to the American people: even more Trump-Russia indictments
Mike Pompeo just proved why America needs him at the CIA – Washington Examiner
Russia’s Influence Spreads – American Spectator
Press backpedals on Trump collusion charge, focuses on obstruction – Washington Examiner
Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI – FrontPage Magazine
White House: Reports of anti-Trump investigator on Mueller team ’cause a great deal of concern’ – Washington Examiner
Trump’s Jerusalem decision promises upheaval – CNN
Editorial: Get gangsters out of casinos – Times Colonist
The Zarrab Affair: Dark Clouds over Ankara – Gatestone Institute
Mueller’s Russia Probe Tops $6.7M So Far – U.S. News & World Report
Three steps Republicans should take to start reining in Trump – Washington Post
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Witness says Giuliani, Mukasey tried to broker deal for his freedom – NBCNews.com
Witness says Giuliani, Mukasey tried to broker deal for his freedom – NBCNews.com
UK terror attacks: Review reveals what MI5 knew about Manchester, London Bridge and Westminster attackers – The Independent
Government Makes Manafort’s Lawyer a Key Witness Against HimHo-hum? – Law.com
US to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Trump Says, Alarming Middle East Leaders – New York Times
Saved Stories – None
Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administration … – CNN


CNN
Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administration …
CNN
The founder of the controversial military contracting firm Blackwater, Erik Prince, and his allies lobbied contacts inside the administration to provide the CIA with a private network of intelligence contractors, according to a US official with 
US official: Erik Prince proposed private spy network to Trump administrationWENY-TV

all 2 news articles »

Donald Trump Jr. likely to face questions on Russian contacts from House panel – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
Donald Trump Jr. likely to face questions on Russian contacts from House panel
NBCNews.com
During a committee interview with the firm behind a 35-page dossier on then-candidate Trump last month, a Fusion GPS official not only stood by its claims but provided additional leads about Russian money flowing to Trump real estate projects 
Russian Lawyer To Senate: Don Jr. Asked For Clinton Info At Trump Tower MeetingTPM
President Trump’s eldest son to face congressional questions on his contacts with Russians, WikiLeaksLos Angeles Times
Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: ReportWashington Examiner
NBC Chicago
all 34 31 news articles »
Gangster Capitalism and Nostalgic Authoritarianism in Trump’s America – Truthdig


Truthdig
Gangster Capitalism and Nostalgic Authoritarianism in Trump’s America
Truthdig
Just one year into the Donald Trump presidency, not only have the failures of American democracy become clear, but many of the darkest elements of its history have been catapulted to the center of power. A dystopian ideology, a kind of nostalgic 

The media feeding frenzy about Donald Trump firing Robert Mueller is out of control

Donald Trump is going to fire Special Counsel Robert Mueller any minute now, according to nearly every political news outlet in the country, based on no evidence whatsoever. Last month’s logic: Mueller arrested Paul Manafort, therefore Trump is about to fire Mueller. Last week’s logic: Michael Flynn cut a deal, therefore Trump is about to fire Mueller. This week’s logic: Mueller is probing Trump’s finances, therefore Trump is about to fire Mueller. It’s a media feeding frenzy, and it’s out of control.

Remember all the media buzz about Donald Trump firing James Comey just before it happened? No, you don’t, because there was none. That was the entire point. Trump was trying to catch everyone off guard by firing Comey at a time when no one was expecting it, hoping that he would get away with it because not enough of the public was paying attention to the Russia scandal at the time. It backfired on him, but there was a logic to it.

Trump firing Mueller right now would be completely logicless, even by Trump’s warped standards. He knows everyone is watching him right now. He knows the public is eager to eat him alive if he does it. He knows his own Republican Party might even have to dunk him for it. They could, and at this point probably would, turn around and immediately reappoint Mueller as a more powerful Independent Counsel. It’s not that the GOP cares about doing the right thing. It just doesn’t want to go into the midterms having to answer for why it let Trump fire Mueller. Trump, for all his deranged ideas and increasingly addled brain, knows this.

So why is the media pushing the narrative so vigilantly about Donald Trump preparing to fire Robert Mueller? It’s the same reason the media has begun automatically hyping this same narrative every time Mueller has made a breakthrough. It comes down to one word: ratings. People hear this, they get scared, they tune in for more. It’s not that the odds of Trump firing Mueller are zero. Anything is possible. It’s just that the odds of it are no better now than the last time ten times the media breathlessly overhyped this particular narrative.

The post The media feeding frenzy about Donald Trump firing Robert Mueller is out of control appeared first on Palmer Report.

Firing Mueller would be hard for Trump and Congress should make it impossible – USA TODAY


USA TODAY
Firing Mueller would be hard for Trump and Congress should make it impossible
USA TODAY
White House attorney Ty Cobb has reportedly built up President Trump’s expectation that special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation would be winding down by Christmas. But now that Mueller has secured the guilty pleas of former national 
Trump slams DOJ and FBI in weekend tweetstormCNN
Feinstein: Senate Russia probe building obstruction case against TrumpNBCNews.com
Donald Trump’s Lawyers Keep Saying the Russia Investigation Will End Soon. Here’s WhyTIME
Business InsiderReutersFox News
all 4,093 4,092 news articles »
Trump’s Endorsement of Roy Moore Points Up a GOP Problem: Chaos – New York Times


New York Times
Trump’s Endorsement of Roy Moore Points Up a GOP Problem: Chaos
New York Times
WASHINGTON President Trump’s sudden decision on Monday to endorse Roy S. Moore and direct the Republican National Committee to restore funding for the embattled Senate candidate in Alabama undercut party officials who have disavowed him. But it did 
White House defends Trump’s Moore endorsementCNN
GOP senators grumble over Trump, RNC backing MoorePolitico 
Was Trump’s Endorsement Of Roy Moore A Mistake?FiveThirtyEight
 
Senate GOP won’t follow Trump’s lead in backing Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore

Los Angeles Times TwitterWashington Post
all 1,492 

NPRTwitter
all 1,421
 news articles »
How Robert Mueller is using Deutsche Bank to prove Russia bought off Donald Trump

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

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

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

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

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

Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: Report – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: Report
Washington Examiner
In addition to Trump Jr., former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, were present at the meeting. Manafort and his associate Rick Gates were indicted by a federal grand jury this fall on 12 charges 

and more »

Comey Gets Emotional in Latest Subtweet Against Trump: Lady Liberty ‘In Rough Weather’ – Mediaite


Mediaite
Comey Gets Emotional in Latest Subtweet Against Trump: Lady Liberty ‘In Rough Weather’
Mediaite
In James Comey’s latest subtweet against President Donald Trump, the former FBI director got a little emotional about the health of America’s democracy. In NYC to meet with my publisher. Hope leadership book will be useful. Reassuring to see Lady 

Robert Muellers holiday gift to the American people: even more Trump-Russia indictments

Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal has become increasingly fruitful over the past five weeks. He’s now indicted and arrested four people, including two of Trump’s most infamous advisers, two of whom have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the investigation. Now comes word that even more Trump-Russia indictments may soon be on the way.

We’ve already documented that the publicly available schedule for the federal court in Washington DC, where Mueller has carried out most of his grand juries to date, has dozens of sealed items on it. Based on the manner in which the case numbers are grouped, they appear to represent sealed indictments against six or seven individuals. Items are only sealed for good reason. Most or all of these indictments are likely against Trump-Russia players. But now something else entirely is playing out in the public view, and it involves one of the names you’ve already heard.

The attorney for Rick Gates was forced to appear in front of a judge this week because there was a perceived conflict of interest between his representation of Gates and that of another client. For reasons known only to him, the attorney used this as an opportunity to tell the judge that Mueller’s team has informed him that even more indictments could be coming against Gates, according to a new CNN report (link). This means Gates would be hit with charges for alleged crimes that Mueller either didn’t have ready, or didn’t know about, at the time of the arrest. Why does this matter?

By the time the smoke clears, few among the public are going to care or remember what ends up happening to Rick Gates. But it’s notable that this is coming almost immediately after Robert Mueller busted Gates’ business partner Paul Manafort for having conspired with a Russian spy to try to taint the jury pool. No one knows how Mueller found out about it unless Gates told him. All we know is that more indictments are coming soon. Some are against the same old faces, and some are against even bigger players. Happy holiday.

The post Robert Mueller’s holiday gift to the American people: even more Trump-Russia indictmentsappeared first on Palmer Report.

Mike Pompeo just proved why America needs him at the CIA – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
Mike Pompeo just proved why America needs him at the CIA
Washington Examiner
Praising Panetta for his work on counterterrorism operations while at the CIA, Pompeo stated that he frequently asks the Obama-era director “how to think about things.” This might seem simple, but it shows a bipartisan intellectual introspection 

and more »

Russia’s Influence Spreads – American Spectator


American Spectator
Russia’s Influence Spreads
American Spectator
The FBI has a lot to answer for and ought to itself be investigated. As for the Russians they now have more say in Washington than at any time I can remember. Those in Official Washington who have adopted Hillary’s strategy have made Kislyak a powerful  
Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated UnfairlyVoice of America
Gingrich: The swamp is more corrupt than we thought it wasFox News
Prosecutor: No evidence Trump knew Flynn lied to FBIWND.com
POLITICO MagazineLifeZetteWashington Examiner
all 4,297 news articles »
 

and more »

Press backpedals on Trump collusion charge, focuses on obstruction – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
Press backpedals on Trump collusion charge, focuses on obstruction
Washington Examiner
TheHill.com columnist Brent Budowsky wrote a piece Tuesday that said, New evidence raises the danger that PresidentTrump will ultimately be charged with obstruction of justice by Robert Mueller and his special counsel team. The pivot came after a 
Obstruction of justice watch: Trump attacks the FBIThe Hill
We need to keep our focus on the real damage Trump is doingChicago Tribune
An “obstructionist” tweetAL DIA News
National Review
all 4,297 4,068 news articles »
Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI – FrontPage Magazine


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

and more »

White House: Reports of anti-Trump investigator on Mueller team ’cause a great deal of concern’ – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
White House: Reports of anti-Trump investigator on Mueller team ’cause a great deal of concern’
Washington Examiner
Her comment came days after the New York Times and other outlets reported Mueller had reassigned Peter Strzok, a top FBIinvestigator, over the summer in response to the discovery that Strzok had sent anti-Trump text messages to a colleague. The news 
WH Expresses ‘Concern’ About Bias in Mueller ProbeNewsmax

all 53 news articles »

Trump’s Jerusalem decision promises upheaval – CNN


CNN
Trump’s Jerusalem decision promises upheaval
CNN
There are fears Trump’s action will trigger violence against Americans and US interests and a wider Middle East conflagration, especially in countries where leaders support the US government. The US Consulate in Jerusalem warned Americans to be wary of 
US to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Trump Says, Alarming Middle East LeadersNew York Times
Donald Trump steps into Jerusalem spatBoston Herald
Why President Trump’s Jerusalem Decision Could Derail Middle East Peace TalksTIME
Newsweek –Politico –CNBC
all 2,313 news articles »
Editorial: Get gangsters out of casinos – Times Colonist

Editorial: Get gangsters out of casinos
Times Colonist
Organized crime has reached into B.C. casinos, and the provincial government is trying to root it out. International crime groups are so successful at laundering their money through the province’s gaming establishments that one intelligence 

and more »

The Zarrab Affair: Dark Clouds over Ankara – Gatestone Institute

The Zarrab Affair: Dark Clouds over Ankara
Gatestone Institute
In the text above replace the words “in the Arab world” with “Turkey,” and delete the word “Iran” in the preceding line, and one will get a short paragraph “Explaining Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan: A Psychological Profile.” A number of high 

and more »

Mueller’s Russia Probe Tops $6.7M So Far – U.S. News & World Report


U.S. News & World Report
Mueller’s Russia Probe Tops $6.7M So Far
U.S. News & World Report
In the late 1990s, independent counsel Kenneth Starr and his successor, Robert Ray, spent more than $52 million toinvestigate President Bill Clinton and then-first lady Hillary Clinton. Those investigations lasted 4 1/2 years and didn’t include a 
What you missed over the weekend in the Russia investigationWashington Post
Mueller Removed Top Agent in Russia Inquiry Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
This investigation into Trump’s campaign is way out of controlThe Hill
TIME –Fox News –CNN
all 3,876 news articles »
Three steps Republicans should take to start reining in Trump – Washington Post


Washington Post
Three steps Republicans should take to start reining in Trump
Washington Post
Now that former national security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI and is cooperating with Mueller, preventing Trump from rashly firing the special counsel is more important than ever. Two bipartisan bills have already been 

and more »

Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Witness says Giuliani, Mukasey tried to broker deal for his freedom – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
Witness says Giuliani, Mukasey tried to broker deal for his freedom
NBCNews.com
A gold trader who has become a star witness in a U.S. sanctions-busting trial was asked Tuesday about his hiring of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey to find a “political” resolution after prosecutors initially rebuffed his bid to cut a deal. “Within  
Turkish Banker’s Lawyers Launch Methodical Attack on Gold TraderBloomberg
Turkish gold trader says he’s not angry over failed bids to dodge prosecution for US sanctions violationsNew York Daily News

Turkey detains 17 in graft case as Erdogan denounces US ‘plot’Digital Journal

all 71 68 news articles »

 Rudy Giuliani – Google News

Witness says Giuliani, Mukasey tried to broker deal for his freedom – NBCNews.com


NBCNews.com
Witness says Giuliani, Mukasey tried to broker deal for his freedom
NBCNews.com
A gold trader who has become a star witness in a U.S. sanctions-busting trial was asked Tuesday about his hiring of Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey to find a “political” resolution after prosecutors initially rebuffed his bid to cut a deal. “Within  
Gold Trader Says He Never Liked Turkish Banker Facing TrialU.S. News & World Report
Turkish Banker’s Lawyers Launch Methodical Attack on Gold TraderBloomberg
Turkish gold trader says he’s not angry over failed bids to dodge prosecution for US sanctions violationsNew York Daily News
 
Turkey detains 17 in graft case as Erdogan denounces US ‘plot’

Digital Journal
all 78 68 news articles »
UK terror attacks: Review reveals what MI5 knew about Manchester, London Bridge and Westminster attackers – The Independent

UK terror attacks: Review reveals what MI5 knew about Manchester, London Bridge and Westminster attackers
The Independent
Butt was under live investigation as the principal subject of an MI5 operation opened in mid-2015 following information suggesting he wanted to commit a terror attack in the UK. Redouane was known for immigration offences but had no police orterror 

Government Makes Manafort’s Lawyer a Key Witness Against HimHo-hum? – Law.com


Law.com
Government Makes Manafort’s Lawyer a Key Witness Against HimHo-hum?
Law.com
White-Collar Crime columnists Robert J. Anello and Richard F. Albert write: Mostly lost among the headlines regarding the first charges to be brought by Robert Mueller and the Special Counsel’s Office investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S

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


Washington Post

New York Times
US to Recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital, Trump Says, Alarming Middle East Leaders East… 
New York Times
President Trump told Israeli and Arab leaders on Tuesday that he plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a symbolically fraught move that would upend decades of American policy and upset efforts to broker peace between Israel and the  
Trump tells Palestinians, Jordanians and Egyptians he intends to move the US Embassy in Israel to JerusalemWashington Post

Turkey joins US allies in warning Trump not to recognize JerusalemCNN
Trump tells Palestinians and Jordanians he intends to move US Embassy to Jerusalem, leaders sayWashington Post
Trump tells
 Abbas he will move US embassy to Jerusalem
Aljazeera.com
NBCNews.com Wall Street JournalThe Intercept
all 1,797 BBC NewsAxios
all 1,724
 
news articles »

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1:51 PM 12/5/2017 – Mueller reportedly subpoenaed Deutsche Bank

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The World News and Times

The World News and Times from mikenova (22 sites)
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 11:34 AM 12/5/2017 – Investigative Committee asks for Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov
Russia News: 11:34 AM 12/5/2017 Investigative Committee asks for Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 11:19 AM 12/5/2017 – Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 11:19 AM 12/5/2017 – Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 11:19 AM 12/5/2017 – Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France
Trump Investigations Report: 11:19 AM 12/5/2017 Kerimov smuggled suitcases with cash into France
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 10:28 AM 12/5/2017 – Trump’s Russia defense in disarray – CNN
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 10:28 AM 12/5/2017 – Trump’s Russia defense in disarray – CNN
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 10:28 AM 12/5/2017 – Trump’s Russia defense in disarray – CNN
Trump Investigations Report: 10:28 AM 12/5/2017 Trumps Russia defense in disarray CNN
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 9:45 AM 12/5/2017 Trumps personal bank details handed over to Muellers Russia investigation Metro…
Trump Investigations Report: 9:45 AM 12/5/2017 Trumps personal bank details handed over to Muellers Russia investigation Metro
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 9:04 AM 12/5/2017 – Saved Stories: Recent Searches December 2017 | Trump Has Now Urged Seven Officials…
FBI News Review: 9:04 AM 12/5/2017 Saved Stories: Recent Searches December 2017 | Trump Has Now Urged Seven Officials
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 8:34 AM 12/5/2017 – Mueller reportedly subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for information on Trump and his family…
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 8:34 AM 12/5/2017 – Mueller reportedly subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for information on Trump and his family…
FBI News Review: 8:34 AM 12/5/2017 Mueller reportedly subpoenaed Deutsche Bank for information on Trump and his family Business Insider | Director Defends F.B.I. After Trump Says Bureau Is in Tatters
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 8:27 AM 12/5/2017 – Saved Stories: Trump to FBI: Losers!
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 8:27 AM 12/5/2017 – Saved Stories: Trump to FBI: Losers!
FBI News Review: 8:27 AM 12/5/2017 Saved Stories: Trump to FBI: Losers!

 

The World News and Times from mikenova (22 sites)
Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 11:34 AM 12/5/2017 – Investigative Committee asks for Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov

11:34 AM 12/5/2017 – Investigative Committee asks for Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov

Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com

Russia News: 11:34 AM 12/5/2017 Investigative Committee asks for Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov

Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks Investigative Committee asks for Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov Russian Senator Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France Twitter Search / engcrimerussia: French Prosecutor: Russian Senator Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France https://en.crimerussia.com/financialcrimes/french-prosecutor-s-office-russian-senator-kerimov-smuggles-suitcases-with-money-into-france/ pic.twitter.com/EyMsg8Ozgq Trump versus the FBI – Greensboro News & Record (blog) Trump Is … Continue reading“11:34 AM 12/5/2017 – Investigative Committee asks for Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov”

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Trump Investigations Report: 11:19 AM 12/5/2017 Kerimov smuggled suitcases with cash into France

Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Twitter Search / engcrimerussia: French Prosecutor: Russian Senator Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France https://en.crimerussia.com/financialcrimes/french-prosecutor-s-office-russian-senator-kerimov-smuggles-suitcases-with-money-into-france/ pic.twitter.com/EyMsg8Ozgq French Prosecutor: Russian Senator Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France https://en.crimerussia.com/financialcrimes/french-prosecutor-s-office-russian-senator-kerimov-smuggles-suitcases-with-money-into-france/ pic.twitter.com/EyMsg8Ozgq Investigative Committee asks for Interpol arrest warrant for Telman Ismailov https://en.crimerussia.com/contractkillings/investigative-committee-asks-for-interpol-arrest-warrant-for-telman-ismailov-/ pic.twitter.com/JpQXd6dZj3 Russian oligarchs mull on taking assets back to country as … Continue reading“11:19 AM 12/5/2017 – Kerimov smuggled “suitcases with cash” into France”

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Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Trump’s Russia defense in disarray – CNN Former US Attorney Calls Comey ‘Dirtiest Cop in America’ – PJ Media Secret Manafort op-ed said to have Russia tie – Arkansas Online Donald Trump – Google News: Deutsche Bank receives subpoena from Mueller on Trump accounts: source – Reuters Russia names … Continue reading“10:28 AM 12/5/2017 – Trump’s Russia defense in disarray – CNN”

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Trump Investigations Report: 9:45 AM 12/5/2017 Trumps personal bank details handed over to Muellers Russia investigation Metro

Donald Trump’s personal bank details handed over to Mueller’s Russia investigation Tuesday December 5th, 2017 at 9:37 AM Comments On: Trumps Personal Bank Details Handed Over To Muellers Russia Investigation 1 Share Donald Trumps personal bank details have been handed over to special counsel Robert Mueller. The prosecutor issued a subpoena to Deutsche Bank AG in a … Continue reading“9:45 AM 12/5/2017 – Trump’s personal bank details handed over to Mueller’s Russia investigation – Metro”

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10:12 AM 12/3/2017 – The plot gets thicker: Enter Ms. McFarland…

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KT McFarland – Google Search

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Meet KT McFarland, Trump’s anti-Arab, Putin-praising Former Deputy National Security Adviser – Haaretz
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Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – The Washington Post
Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – Washington Post

 

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Who is KT McFarland? Donald Trump’s pick for deputy national security adviser
 

mikenova shared this story .

This article was originally published on November 28, 2016 and republished after reports of KT McFarland’s involvement in the Trump-Russia probe.

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has filled two more top administration posts.

The incoming president has tapped Fox News analyst Kathleen “KT” McFarland to serve as deputy national security adviser, and campaign attorney Donald McGahn as White House counsel.

Trump confirmed the picks Friday in a statement from his transition team.

He cited McFarland’s “tremendous experience and innate talent,” which he said would “complement the fantastic team we are assembling.”

Trump had already tapped retired Army Gen. Michael Flynn as his national security adviser.

McFarland has most recently served as a Fox News analyst. She served in various posts under former Presidents Nixon, Ford and Reagan.

While on Fox News McFarland has offered analysis on various issues of national security, some of which has raised an eyebrow or two over the years.

In 2012 McFarland said to, “Either bomb Iran, or let Iran get the bomb.”

In response to the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris, McFarland called for more racial profiling, while blaming the attacks on the failings of political correctness. Candidate Trump echoed McFarland’s sentiments in 2016 following the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, insisting that the U.S. should adapt “Israeli style” racial profiling.

In a segment with Sean Hannity on Fox News, McFarland defended waterboarding saying, “It’s not torture, but even if it is torture, it’s worth doing.”

While discussing Saudi Arabia’s support for the Iran nuclear agreement, McFarland inisted Saudi Arabia was being duplicitous, based upon her reasons that “they are Arabs, they are not going to say something to your face that will upset you… it’s not what they say, it’s what they do.”

McFarland whose national security experience goes as far back as serving on Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council Staff in the Ford administration, wrote a column in 2013 praising Vladimir Putin for his role in the Syrian conflict. She even went as far as to suggest Putin should receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

McFarland’s position does not require Senate confirmation.

Meet KT McFarland, Trump’s anti-Arab, Putin-praising Former Deputy National Security Adviser – Haaretz
 

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Haaretz
Meet KT McFarland, Trump’s anti-Arab, Putin-praising Former Deputy National Security Adviser
Haaretz
This article was originally published on November 28, 2016 and republished after reports of KT McFarland’s involvement in theTrump-Russia probe. U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has filled two more top administration posts. The incoming president has  

Police search for driver who hit at least 4 people in New York City – CBS News
 

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Police search for driver who hit at least 4 people in New York City
CBS News
Last Updated Dec 3, 2017 7:38 AM EST. NEW YORK — Police are searching for a driver who hit and killed one person and injured three others outside a nightclub in Queens, New York, early Sunday morning, CBS New York reports. Two of the three who are 
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WPLG Local 10 –Daily Star
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One dead after hit-and-run driver strikes four people during knife …

New York Daily News2 hours ago
One dead after hit-and-run driver strikes four people during knife fight outside Queens hookah bar … (Marc A. Hermann for New York Daily News) … An irate hit-and-run driver mowed down at least four people, killing one, after a knife fight outside a Queens hookah bar Sunday morning, according to police …

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Police search for driver who hit at least 4 people in New York City

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NEW YORK — Police are searching for a driver who hit and killed one person and injured three others outside a nightclub in QueensNew York, early Sunday morning, CBS New York reports. Two of the three who are injured are in serious condition, according to the station. Two other people were stabbed …
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Medics rushed Lewis to Mount Sinai Hospital Queens, where he died, according to authorities. The 20-year-old man lived in the nearby Queensbridge Houses, police said. Cops from the 114th Precinct in Astoria took to Twitter and asked people to avoid the area as police investigated the slaying.
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BREAKING – Sputnik International
 

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BREAKING
Sputnik International
Police are searching for a driver of a white sedan that has reportedly struck several people in New York City and fled the scene. A car has rammed into a crowd in the Queens area in New York City, killing at least one and injuring three people, CNNand more »

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Tax cuts for businesses and rich as Donald Trump wins major 11th …

Telegraph.co.ukDec 2, 2017
US corporation tax will drop from 35 per cent to 20 per cent under Donald Trump’s overhaul which has been backed by Congress. The move piles pressure … “We‘re going to grow the country, we‘re going to grow jobs, we‘re going to be growing everything,” Mr Trump said in New York. “We have companies …

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We are unbeatable,’ Trump tells crowd at New York fundraiser

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President Donald Trump speaks at a fundraiser at Cipriani in New York, Saturday, Dec. … The president gave the rosy assessment based on the economic upswing since he took office, which the president believes will be supercharged by tax cuts … We‘re going to be growing everything,” Mr. Trump said.
defense forum in Simi Valley – Google Search
 

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H.R. McMaster, said Saturday at an annual national defense forum at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. “Does an event like the indictment of your predecessor carry some kind of foreign policy or national security impact?” McMaster was asked by Fox News anchor Bret Baier during a luncheon …

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Los Angeles Times
Two CIA directors spar over President Trump’s tweets
Los Angeles Times
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CIA chief Pompeo says he warned Iran’s Soleimani over Iraq aggression
 

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December 2, 2017 / 11:38 PM / Updated 4 hours ago

CIA chief Pompeo says he warned Iran’s Soleimani over Iraq aggression

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. (Reuters) – U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said on Saturday he sent a letter to Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and Iranian leaders expressing concern regarding Iran’s increasingly threatening behavior in Iraq.

Speaking during a panel at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in Southern California, Pompeo said he sent the letter after the senior Iranian military commander had indicated that forces under his control might attack U.S. forces in Iraq. He did not specify the date.

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“What we were communicating to him in that letter was that we will hold he and Iran accountable for any attacks on American interests in Iraq by forces that are under their control,” Pompeo told the panel.

“We wanted to make sure he and the leadership in Iran understood that in a way that was crystal clear.”

Soleimani, who is the commander of foreign operations for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards, refused to open the letter, according to Pompeo, who took over the CIA in January.

Iranian media earlier quoted Mohammad Mohammadi Golpayegani, a senior aide to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, as saying an unnamed CIA contact had tried to give a letter to Soleimani when he was in the Syrian town of Albu Kamal in November during the fighting against Islamic State.

“I will not take your letter nor read it and I have nothing to say to these people,” Golpayegani quoted Soleimani as saying, according to the semi-official news agency Fars.

Reuters reported in October that Soleimani had repeatedly warned Kurdish leaders in northern Iraq to withdraw from the oil city of Kirkuk or face an onslaught by Iraqi forces and allied Iranian-backed fighters, and had traveled to Iraq’s Kurdistan region to meet Kurdish leaders.

The presence of Soleimani on the frontlines highlights Tehran’s heavy sway over policy in Iraq, and comes as Shi‘ite Iran seeks to win a proxy war in the Middle East with its regional rival and U.S. ally, Sunni Saudi Arabia.

A U.S.-led coalition has been fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and is often in proximity to Iran-allied militia fighting Isis there.

“You need to only look to the past few weeks and the efforts of the Iranians to exert influence now in Northern Iraq in addition to other places in Iraq to see that Iranian efforts to be the hegemonic power throughout the Middle East continues to increase,” Pompeo said.

The CIA chief said Saudi Arabia had grown more willing to share intelligence with other Middle Eastern nations regarding Iran and Islamist extremism.

The Israeli government said last month that Israel had covert contacts with Saudi Arabia amid common concerns over Iran, a first disclosure by a senior official from either country of long-rumoured secret dealings.

“We’ve seen them work with the Israelis to push back against terrorism throughout the Middle East, to the extent we can continue to develop those relationships and work alongside them – the Gulf states and broader Middle East will likely be more secure,” said Pompeo.

Writing by Michelle Price in WASHINGTON, additional reporting by Dubai newsroom; Editing by Mary Milliken and Michael Perry

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
6:31 PM 12/2/2017 To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs World Politics Review
 

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Saved Stories Saved Stories – None The Latest: Trump expresses no concern about Flynn plea deal Kaspersky Lab, Russian antivirus vendor, singled out in warning issued by U.K. cybersecurity chief FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks Trump Calls Reports That He Will Fire Tillerson Fake News Mattis Begins Five-Day Tour … Continue reading“6:31 PM 12/2/2017 – To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs – World Politics Review”

To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs
 

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Afghan farmers collect raw opium as they work in a poppy field in the Khogyani district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, May 10, 2013 (AP photo by Rahmat Gul).

plan to privatize CIA operations – Google Search
 

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Story image for plan to privatize CIA operations from BuzzFeed News

The Trump Administration Is Mulling A Pitch For A Private “Rendition …

BuzzFeed NewsNov 30, 2017
Amyntor’s officials and employees include veterans of a variety of US covert operations, ranging from the Reagan-era Iran–Contra affair to more recent … A source speaking on behalf of the company stressed that while Amyntor officials are aware of and involved in the rendition plan, the company itself …

Story image for plan to privatize CIA operations from Carbonated.tv (blog)

Trump Admin Plans To Pay Millions To Private Firm For A Spy Network

Carbonated.tv (blog)14 hours ago
President Donald Trump’s administration is reportedly planning to pay millions to a private international security firm and is also considering allowing former U.S. … intelligence on terrorists using “a network of assets in a denied area”, an online propaganda operation to counter Islamic extremism, and the rendition plan.

Story image for plan to privatize CIA operations from Truth-Out

Is Steve Bannon Planning to Unleash Erik Prince on Wyoming Sen …

Truth-OutNov 27, 2017
Is Steve Bannon Planning to Unleash Erik Prince on Wyoming Sen. … a former Australian air force pilot, and a lawyer with dual citizenship in the U.S. and Israel . . . to secretly rebuild his private CIA and special operations enterprise by setting up foreign shell companies and offering paramilitary services.”.

Story image for plan to privatize CIA operations from The Intercept

Intercepted Podcast: The Distraction in Chief

The InterceptNov 15, 2017
Trump has granted the CIA and military sweeping authorities to conduct lethal operations, all while laughing it up with the murderous despot, Rodrigo ….. JS: Right, and Erik Prince publicly is pushing this Afghanistan plan to privatize the war and, you know, I think he secretly wants to be or not so secretly …

Story image for plan to privatize CIA operations from Reuters

Blackwater founder still promotes plan to privatize Afghan operations

ReutersOct 26, 2017
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The founder of private military contractor Blackwater is trying to interest U.S. intelligence agencies in his plan to privatize … U.S. government sources say Prince has recently floated his Afghanistan proposal to spy agencies including the CIA but it is not clear how much support it …
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks
 

mikenova shared this story from Washington Free Beacon.

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that adversarial governments are more often collaborating with criminals to carryout cyber attacks against the United States.

Wray said the indictment of a Canadian national who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to helping Russian spies hack into Yahoo email accounts reflect “one of the more dangerous, emerging threats” facing the United States today, known in the intelligence community as a “blended threat.”

“We are seeing an emergence of that kind of collaboration,” Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee, noting that until recently governments and criminals worked separately. “Now there’s this collusion, if you will, that’s occurring on a number of instances like mercenaries being used to commit cyber attacks.”

The Justice Department announced charges in March against Karim Baratov, a 22-year-old Canadian citizen, and three other men, including two officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, for their involvement in the 2014 hack into Yahoo that affected 500 million accounts.

U.S. law enforcement officials said Baratov, who they dubbed a “hacker-for-hire,” acknowledged breaking into email accounts and selling the passwords to an agent of the FSB, a Russian intelligence agency.

The individuals targeted included Russian officials, a European diplomat, a former economic minister from a neighboring country, and a prominent banker.

The case confirmed longstanding suspicions that Russia’s government hires non-government hackers and uses its spy services to facilitate criminal activity in addition to conducting espionage.

Wray, who President Donald Trump handpicked to replace ousted FBI Director James Comey in June, said Russia is attempting to assert its dominance in the world by relying on asymmetric warfare to “damage and weaken” the United States

To combat the threat, Wray said he has set up a “foreign influence task force” within the bureau made up of different divisions, including counterintelligence, cyber, and criminal investigation. He said the agency would also coordinate closely with the Department of Homeland Security, which is charged with overseeing critical election infrastructure, to prevent against cyberattacks.

The post FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacksappeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Trump administration allegedly considering plan to privatize CIA operations
 

mikenova shared this story from intelNews.org.

The United States Central Intelligence Agency and the White House are considering several proposals to hire private companies to carry out covert operations abroad, according to a report. 

To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs – World Politics Review
 

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World Politics Review
To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs
World Politics Review
As Paul Kan of the U.S. Army War College put it in a path-breaking book on narcotrafficking and security, the unique nature of the trade has made persistent threats to national and international security more complex, durable, and acute. In short  

FBI, DHS Warn of Hacker Mercenaries Funded by Nation-States
 

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A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack, as captured by a computer user in Taiwan, is seen on a laptop in Beijing, May 13, 2017.

Defense Intelligence Agency – Google Search
 

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Citing probes, military agency bars access to Flynn records

Washington PostNov 28, 2017
WASHINGTON — The Defense Intelligence Agency is refusing to release a wide array of documents related to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, saying that turning them over could interfere with ongoing congressional and federal investigations. Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general …

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The Hill

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Washington Times

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Key players in the Michael Flynn investigation

The Spokesman-Review5 hours ago
A retired U.S. Army lt. general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, Flynn served for less than a month as President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser. He was fired in mid-February by Trump after officials said that he had misled Vice President …
Donald Trump’s best and worst day as president: An analysis
Opinion<a href=”http://NOLA.com” rel=”nofollow”>NOLA.com</a>4 hours ago

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Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley – Google Search
 

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Vice President Pence visits DIA Headquarters

DVIDS (press release)Nov 8, 2017
DIA Director Army LtGenRobert Ashley hosted the visit, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats accompanied the vice president. “DIA officers play a crucial role in our intelligence apparatus,” Pence said in a statement. “We are grateful for their work and sacrifice.” The vice president received …

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LtGenAshley to become 21st Defense Intelligence Agency director

Homeland Preparedness NewsAug 24, 2017
LtGenRobert P. Ashley, Jr., U.S. Army, was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 21st Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Currently serving as deputy chief of staff, G-2, for the U.S. Army, Ashley is scheduled to begin his duties as DIA director in October, where he takes over for Lt.

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LtGenRobert Ashley: Army Kicks Off Force Review to Identify …

ExecutiveGovApr 20, 2017
The team will present findings to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and host an industry day on June 29 to discuss its findings, Judson reported. Ashley said the assessment will cover the areas of open-source intelligence, interrogation, certification process for analysts, counterintelligence, collection …
Army looks to revamp its intelligence enterprise from the ‘bottom-up’
<a href=”http://FederalNewsRadio.com” rel=”nofollow”>FederalNewsRadio.com</a>Apr 20, 2017

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Outgoing DIA Director to Workforce: ‘Keep Telling Truth to Power’

Department of DefenseOct 4, 2017
Marine Corps LtGen. Vincent R. Stewart turned over the reins to Army LtGenRobert P. Ashley during the ceremony at the agency’s Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling headquarters. Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan represented Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the ceremony and presided over it.

Story image for Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley from Voice of America

Former US DIA Chief Tells Analysts, ‘Speak Truth to Power’

Voice of AmericaOct 3, 2017
Army LtGenRobert Ashley takes over. Stewart is now set to become deputy commander at U.S. Cyber Command, a move approved by lawmakers this past July. The new DIA chief, Army LtGenRobert Ashley, previously served as director of intelligence at both U.S. Central Command and Joint Special …

Ashley, new DIA chief, concerned

Intelligence OnlineSep 5, 2017
Army LtGenRobert Ashley, the new head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon’s intelligence agency, was appointed on August 21 having only just finished carrying out an audit of the US Army’s intelligence services. As director of intelligence, or G2, of the army, he launched a …

Story image for Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley from Defense Systems

Army says smartphone, digital tech increase vulnerability

Defense SystemsMay 9, 2017
Electronic signals emitted by U.S. forces make it easier for tech-savvy enemies to keep tabs on units’ locations and movements. The spying tools are relatively cheap and ubiquitous: iPhones, Goggle maps, commercial tracking software. “It’s an unbounded battle space,” said LtGenRobert Ashley Jr., Army …
Vice President Pence visits DIA HQ
 

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Vice President Mike Pence visited the Defense Intelligence Agency Headquarters at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Nov. 6, to receive classified intelligence briefings and meet with DIA officers.

Flynn Flipped. Whos Next?
 

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Michael Flynns guilty plea raises obvious questions: What did President Trump know? And when did he know it?

Mueller Removed Top F.B.I. Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts
 

mikenova shared this story from Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The special counsel had a top agent removed from his inquiry after the Justice Departments inspector general began examining whether the agent sent texts expressing political views.

Mueller unearths more lies, a key witness but no smoking gun in Flynn
 

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Michael Flynn’s guilty plea Friday and all of the criminal cases thus far have not resolved the fundamental question special counsel Robert Mueller is seeking to answer: Did Trump’s campaign collude with Russia to win the election?

US agent who got prostitutes, cash from Colombian drug lord headed to prison
 

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The bribes federal agent Christopher Ciccione accepted from a wanted Colombian drug lord $18,000 in cash, prostitutes, restaurant meals and a hotel room have cost him his career. Yet, “Chris is a good man who served his country for more than 20 years both in the military and as a federal agent,” his defense attorney said.

Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – The Washington Post
 

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Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has already interviewed two dozen current and former Trump aides, according to people familiar with the investigation. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

A white sedan whisked a man into the loading dock of a glass and concrete building in a drab office district in Southwest Washington. Security guards quickly waved the vehicle inside, then pushed a button that closed the garage door and shielded the guest’s arrival from public view.

With his stealth morning arrival Thursday, White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II became the latest in a string of high-level witnesses to enter the secretive nerve center of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Twenty hours later, Mueller and his team emerged into public view to rattle Washington with the dramatic announcement that former national security adviser Michael Flynn would plead guilty to lying to the FBI.

The ensnaring of Flynn, the second former aide to President Trump to cooperate with the inquiry, serves as the latest indication that Mueller’s operation is rapidly pursuing an expansive mission, drilling deeper into Trump’s inner circle.

In the past two months, Mueller and his deputies have received private debriefs from two dozen current and former Trump advisers, each of whom has made the trek to the special counsel’s secure office suite.

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What likely led Michael Flynn to flip sides in the Russia investigation
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The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips discusses what likely caused Michael Flynn to flip on his old boss.

The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips talks about what likely caused President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, to flip on his old boss and cooperate with the Mueller investigation. (Jason Aldag, Amber Phillips/The Washington Post)

Once inside, most witnesses are seated in a windowless conference room where two- and three-person teams of FBI agents and prosecutors rotate in and out, pressing them for answers.

Among the topics that have been of keen interest to investigators: how foreign government officials and their emissaries contacted Trump officials, as well as the actions and interplay of Flynn and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.

Often listening in is the special counsel himself, a sphinx-like presence who sits quietly along the wall for portions of key interviews.

This picture of Mueller’s operation — drawn from descriptions of witnesses, lawyers and others briefed on the interviews — provides a rare look inside the high-stakes investigation that could implicate Trump’s circle and determine the future of his presidency.

The locked-down nature of the probe has left both the witnesses and the public scrutinizing every move of the special counsel for meaning, without any certainty about the full scope of his investigation.

Trump and his lawyers have expressed confidence that Mueller will swiftly conclude his examination of the White House, perhaps even by the year’s end. Trump’s Democratic opponents hope the investigation will uncover more crimes and ultimately force the president’s removal from office.

Meanwhile, some witnesses who have been interviewed came away with the impression that the probe is unfolding and far from over.

“When they were questioning me, it seemed like they were still trying to get a feel of the basic landscape of the place,” said one witness who was questioned in late October for several hours and, like others, requested anonymity to describe the confidential sessions. “I didn’t get the sense they had anything incriminating on the president. Nor were they anywhere close to done.”

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment, citing the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb said he believes the probe’s focus on Trump’s White House is wrapping up, noting that all White House staffer interviews will be completed by the end of next week.

“At the end of the interviews, it would be reasonable to expect that it would not take long to bring this to conclusion,” Cobb said. “I commend the Office of Special Counsel for their acknowledged hard work on behalf of the country, to undertake this serious responsibility, and to perform it in an expedited but deliberate, thorough way.”

At least two dozen people who traveled in Trump’s orbit in 2016 and 2017 — on the campaign trail, in his transition operation and then in the White House — have been questioned in the past 10 weeks, according to people familiar with the interviews.

The most high profile is Kushner, who met with Mueller’s team in November, as well as former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer. Former foreign policy adviser J.D. Gordon has also been interviewed.

White House communications director Hope Hicks was scheduled to sit down with Mueller’s team a few days before Thanksgiving. Mueller’s team has also indicated plans to interview senior associate White House counsel James Burnham and policy adviser Stephen Miller.

McGahn, who was interviewed by Mueller’s prosecutors for a full day Thursday, was scheduled to return Friday to complete his interview. However, the special counsel postponed the session as a courtesy to allow McGahn to help the White House manage the response to Flynn’s plea, a person familiar with the interview said.

Cobb declined to say which White House aides remain to be interviewed.

Several people who worked shoulder to shoulder with Flynn have also been interviewed by Mueller’s operation. That includes retired Gen. Keith Kellogg, the chief of staff to the National Security Council, as well as several people who worked with Flynn Intel Group, a now-shuttered private consulting firm.

Mueller’s group has also inquired whether Flynn recommended specific foreign meetings to senior aides, including Kushner. Investigators were particularly interested in how certain foreign officials got on Kushner’s calendar and the discussions that Flynn and Kushner had about those encounters, according to people familiar with the questions.

During the transition, Kushner and Flynn met with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. At the early December meeting, Kushner suggested establishing a secure communications line between Trump officials and the Kremlin at a Russian diplomatic facility, according to U.S. officials who reviewed intelligence reports describing Kislyak’s account.

Kushner has said that Kislyak sought the secure line as a way for Russian generals to communicate to the incoming administration about U.S. policy on Syria.

Trump’s son-in-law has also been identified by people familiar with his role as the “very senior member” of the transition team who directed Flynn in December to reach out to Kislyak and lobby him about a U.N. resolution on Israeli settlements, according to new court filings.

The volume of questions about Kushner in their interviews surprised some witnesses.

“I remember specifically being asked about Jared a number of times,” said one witness.

Another witness said agents and prosecutors repeatedly asked him about Trump’s decision-making during the May weekend he decided to fire FBI Director James B. Comey. Prosecutors inquired whether Kushner had pushed the president to jettison Comey, according to two people familiar with the interview.

Kushner attorney Abbe Lowell declined to comment on what the president’s son-in-law discussed at his November session with Mueller. “Mr. Kushner has voluntarily cooperated with all relevant inquiries and will continue to do so,” he said.

Two administration officials said that it would be natural for investigators to ask a lot of questions about Kushner, whom Trump put in charge of communicating with foreign officials, adding that such inquiries do not indicate he is a target.

The special counsel has continued to make ongoing requests for records from associates of the Trump campaign, according to two people familiar with the requests. The campaign associates aren’t expected to finish producing these documents by the end of the year. Mueller’s team is also newly scrutinizing an Alexandria-based office and advisers who worked there on foreign policy for the campaign.

In the past several weeks, Mueller’s operation has reached out to new witnesses in Trump’s circle, telling them they may be asked to come in for an interview. One person who was recently contacted said it is hard to find a lawyer available for advice on how to interact with the special counsel because so many Trump aides have already hired attorneys.

“It was kind of a pain,” the person said. “It’s hard to find a lawyer who wasn’t already conflicted out.”

People who have gone before Mueller’s team describe polite but detailed and intense grillings that at times have lasted all day and involved more than a dozen investigators. Spicer, for example, was in the office from about 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. for his fall session. Mueller’s team has recommended nearby lunch spots, but many witnesses have food brought in for fear of being spotted if they go outside.

Mueller has attended some interviews, introducing himself to witnesses when he enters and then sitting along the wall. Sometimes he is joined by his deputy, longtime friend and law partner James Quarles, a former Watergate prosecutor who is the main point of contact for the White House.

Investigators bring large binders filled with emails and documents into the interview room. One witness described the ricochet of questions that followed each time an agent passed them a copy of an email they had been copied on: “Do you remember this email? How does the White House work? How does the transition work? Who was taking the lead on foreign contacts? How did that work? Who was involved in this decision? Who was there that weekend?”

Some witnesses were introduced to so many federal agents and lawyers that they later lamented that they had largely forgotten many of their names by the time one team left the room and a new team entered.

“They say, ‘Hey, we’re not trying to be rude, but people are going to come in and out a lot,’ ” one witness explained about the teams. “They kind of cycle in and out of the room.”

One contingent of investigators is focused on whether Trump tried to obstruct justice and head off the investigation into Russian meddling by firing Comey in May. Prosecutors Brandon Van Grack and Jeannie Rhee have been involved in matters related to Flynn.

Yet another team is led by the former head of the Justice Department’s fraud prosecutions, Andrew Weissman, and foreign bribery expert Greg Andres. Those investigators queried lobbyists from some of the most powerful lobby shops in town about their interactions with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign adviser Rick Gates.

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Mueller’s team charged Manafort and Gates last month with engaging in a conspiracy to hide millions of dollars in hidden foreign accounts and secretly creating an elaborate cover story to conceal their lobbying work for a former Ukrainian president and his pro-Russia political party. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Lawyers familiar with prosecutors’ questions about Manafort said they expect several more charges to come from this portion of the case.

People familiar with the Mueller team said they convey a sense of calm that is unsettling.

“These guys are confident, impressive, pretty friendly — joking a little, even,” one lawyer said. When prosecutors strike that kind of tone, he said, defense lawyers tend to think: “Uh oh, my guy is in a heap of trouble.”

Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.

Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – Washington Post
 

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Washington Post
Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation
Washington Post
A white sedan whisked a man into the loading dock of a glass and concrete building in a drab office district in Southwest Washington. Security guards quickly waved the vehicle inside, then pushed a button that closed the garage door and shielded the 
FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation over anti-Trump messagesCNN
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
Mueller reportedly ousted an investigator on his team over possible anti-Trump textsBusiness Insider
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11:52 AM 12/1/2017 – The Operation Silk Road – The World News and Times

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11:52 AM 12/1/2017 – The Operation Silk Road – The World News and Times

11:52 AM 12/1/2017 – The Operation Silk Road – The World News and Times

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11:52 AM 12/1/2017 – The Operation Silk Road – The World News and Times

11:52 AM 12/1/2017 – The Operation Silk Road – The World News and Times

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11:52 AM 12/1/2017 – The Operation Silk Road – The World News and Times
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The Operation “Silk Road”: Please, meet (for now) the CIA Director, and our Designated Future President…

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The Operation “Silk Road”: Please, meet (for now) the CIA Director, and our Designated Future President, Mr. Silk (codename Cotton). Yea-yeah, the same one who six years ago was just a kid looking for a job…

8:10 AM 12/1/2017 – Sen. Cotton or Dir. Silk, you still gotta serve somebody – Trump Investigations …

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8:10 AM 12/1/2017 – Sen. Cotton or Dir. Silk, you still gotta serve somebody – Trump Investigations Report

2:33 PM 11/30/2017 – Michael Flynn, Trump’s ex-National Security Adviser, focus of Russia investigation…

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2:19 PM 11/30/2017 – NYPD cop charged with trying to traffic three kilos of heroin

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2:19 PM 11/30/2017 – NYPD cop charged with trying to traffic three kilos of heroin

1:51 PM 11/30/2017 – Michael Flynn, Trump’s ex-National Security Adviser, focus of Russia investigation…

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1:51 PM 11/30/2017 – Michael Flynn, Trump’s ex-National Security Adviser, focus of Russia investigation: What to know – Fox News

1:45 PM 11/30/2017 – Trump Wants to Install a Reliable Mouthpiece on Russia at the CIA – Mother Jones…

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1:45 PM 11/30/2017 – Trump Wants to Install a Reliable Mouthpiece on Russia at the CIA – Mother Jones

12:05 PM 11/30/2017 – Donald Trump Attacks China For Having ‘No Impact On Little Rocket Man’

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12:05 PM 11/30/2017 – Donald Trump Attacks China For Having ‘No Impact On Little Rocket Man’

10:49 AM 11/30/2017 – Pompeo has also chafed at the restrictions inherent in running the C.I.A., where…

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10:49 AM 11/30/2017 – Pompeo has also chafed at the restrictions inherent in running the C.I.A., where he has been expected to be neither seen nor heard.

Today’s Headlines and Commentary 

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Michael Flynn, the former national security adviser, pleaded guilty on Friday for lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, the New York Times reported. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office charged Flynn with one count of making false statements to the FBI about two meetings with Sergei Kislyak in which Flynn and Kislyak discussed U.S. sanctions and a U.N. Security Council resolution. The charge is an indication that Flynn is cooperating with the special counsel investigation.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story is developing quickly and Lawfare’s coverage of current reporting is likely to be overtaken by events throughout the day.

Pope Francis said, “the presence of God today is also called Rohingya,” marking the first time the pope has used the term for Myanmar’s Muslim ethnic group during his visit to Southeast Asia, Reuters reported. The pope gave remarks after meeting Rohingya refugees in Dhaka, Bangladesh’s capital. More than 600,000 Rohingya have fled Myanmar after a campaign of military that the U.N. has termed “ethnic cleansing.” The pope did not use the word “Rohingya” when he visited Myanmar earlier this week.

Saudi Arabia’s air force intercepted a ballistic missile launched from Yemen. The attack is the second this month, CNN reported. A Saudi military spokesperson said the missile was headed towards a Saudi city near the Yemen border. Houthi rebels in Yemen said the attack was a successful test. A missile fired at the Riyadh airport on Nov. 4 prompted the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen to blockade all the country’s ports. The U.N. sanctions monitor said on Wednesday that Iran had designed and manufactured those missiles, according to Reuters. The U.N. report said it did not have any evidence who supplied the missile to the Houthis. Iran has denied smuggling weapons in defiance of U.N. sanctions.

Reza Zarrab, the Turkish-Iranian businessman who plead guilty to evading U.S. sanctions, testified that Turkish government officials told him that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan approved his scheme to illegally move millions of dollars of Iranian oil sales, the Washington Post reported. Zarrab is cooperating with federal prosecutors in the trial of one of his co-conspirators. The Turkish government has castigated the trial as a plot by Erdogan’s enemies to challenge his credibility.

Over the summer, President Trump pushed top Senate Republicans to close out congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the New York Times reported. The president told Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, that he was hopeful the inquiry would “as quickly as possible.” Trump angrily denounced the Russia investigation to other top lawmakers, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and Sen. Bob Corker. The White House denied that the president had tried to improperly influence the investigation.

Erik Prince, founder of the security firm Blackwater, confirmed to congressional investigators that he secretly met a Russian banker close to President Vladimir Putin to discuss a U.S.-Russia communications channel, according to the Post. Prince confirmed that his counterpart at the previously reported meeting was Kirill Dimitriev, head of the Russian Direct Investment Fund. Prince denied that he was acting on behalf of the Trump campaign.

Attorney General Jeff Session refused to answer questions from congressional investigators in a closed hearing about whether Trump had ever attempted to interfere with the Justice Department’s Russia investigation, Reuters reported. Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee, said Sessions declined to answer questions about President Trump’s interactions with Sessions regarding the investigation.

The Defense Department disclosed that it has not yet provided a lawyer to the American citizen believed to be an Islamic State fighter being detained as an enemy combatant despite the man’s request for counsel, the Times reported. Justice Department lawyers provided the information in response to an order from D.C. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan in a habeas petition the ACLU brought on behalf of the man. The FBI has not questioned the man since he asked for a lawyer. The government has not charged the man with any crime and it is unclear whether it plans to transfer him to any other country for detention.

Israel bombed targets in Gaza in response to mortar fire from Palestinian militants, the Post reported. The Israeli military said it hit Hamas military sites. The mortar fire came after Israel destroyed a tunnel that the Islamic Jihad militant organization had built under the Israel-Gaza border.

The White House is considering a plan to relocate the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the Wall Street Journal reported. The move would also involve formally recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The plan is not yet official, but it could spark strident opposition from Palestinians and cause complications with the Israel-Palestine peace process. On Friday, the president will face a deadline on whether to issue a waiver that would allow the U.S. to keep its embassy in Tel Aviv, delaying provisions of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act from taking effect.

The U.S. will withdraw 400 Marines from Syria ahead of schedule after the U.S.-backed campaign against the Islamic State achieved large reductions in the group’s territory, the Journal reported. The Marine unit provided artillery support to the U.S.-backed forces that captured Raqqa, the Islamic State’s former capital, last month. A coalition spokesperson said the move was part of a larger reduction in military commitments as the campaign winds down.

The Syrian government‘s negotiators left U.N. peace talks in Geneva and said they may not return, Reuters reported. The Syrian representatives said the opposition’s collective statement that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad cannot play a role in the country’s political transition made negotiations impossible. The government team said they would consult with political leadership in Damascus on whether to return to the table next week.

Niger’s government gave its approval for armed U.S. drone flights over its territory, the Times reported. The U.S. and Niger signed a memorandum of understanding allowing armed drone flights out of Niamey, the capital, and an expanded military presence in the country. The U.S. is targeting extremist groups across West Africa. Deploying drones in Niger would significantly enlarge the range U.S. drones can cover over West Africa.

Taliban gunmen disguised in burqas attacked a university dormitory in Peshawar, Pakistan, the Times reported. Gunfire killed at least nine people and wounded thirty others. The Pakistani Taliban said its militants had attacked a Pakistani intelligence safe house. Pakistani authorities said there was no intelligence activity at the university.

The Pentagon delayed indefinitely a planned phase-out of certain types of cluster munitions, according to the AP. The Department of Defense said it was unable to fulfill a pledge by President George W. Bush to use cluster munitions that have high safety standards by 2019 and would continue to use its existing stockpile. The U.S. has not signed the 2010 treaty banning the use of cluster bombs.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday on Lawfare

Hayley Evans and Shannon Togawa Mercer discussed Brexit’s implications for data protection regulations.

Evans summarized the UK’s new data protection bill.

Madiha Afzal explained why the Trump’s administration’s strategy in Pakistan is likely doomed to failure.

Curtis Bradley and Jack Goldsmith discussed whether Congress cares that the president has an enormous amount of discretion to interpret international law.

Goldsmith and Robert Williams argued that the recent indictment of three Chinese hackers shows the 2015 U.S.-China cybersecurity agreement is weakening.

Scott Anderson and Yishai Schwartz explained the potential consequences if the president waives the Jerusalem Embassy Act.

Benjamin Wittes posted the “Power of Delusion Thinking” edition of Rational Security.

Susan Hennessey shared her testimony from a congressional hearing on the cybersecurity of voting machines.

 

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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The Early Edition: December 1, 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.

The TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

A plan to replace Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with C.I.A. Director Mike Pompeo has been devised by the White House, senior administration officials said yesterday, with Pompeo to be replaced by Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) – who has signaled an intention to accept the role of C.I.A. Director if offered – however officials have said that Trump has not yet signed off on the plan which was devised by White House chief of staff John F. Kelly. Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman and Gardiner Harris report at the New York Times.

“He’s here – Rex is here,” Trump said yesterday in response to a question about Tillerson and whether he wants him to remain as secretary of state, Trump’s comments did not quell rumors about Tillerson’s departure and there have been numerous reports that the president has a poor relationship with the secretary of state. Michael C. Bender and Peter Nicholas report at the Wall Street Journal.

“He remains, as I have been told, committed to doing this job,” the State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said yesterday, making the statement as part of a series of comments by administration officials that tried to downplay the rumors of Tillerson’s departure, separately Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told reporters that he had spoken to Tillerson in a lengthy conversation and did not believe he was soon to be sacked. Anne Gearan and Carol Morello report at the Washington Post.

Kelly called the State Department to tell them that the “rumors” about a plan to oust Tillerson “are not true,” Nauert said yesterday, the BBC reports.

Nauert pointed out that Tillerson will be going on a tour of Europe next week and had a full week of engagements when asked about the secretary of state’s position, in response to a question about Tillerson’s authority and whether it has been undermined, Nauert responded that Tillerson “is someone whose feathers don’t get ruffled very easily.” Julian Borger and David Smith report at the Guardian.

“There’s nothing to it,” the Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday in response to reports of Tillerson’s imminent departure. Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

The reports of Tillerson’s departure were disclosed as part of an attempt by the White House to publicly shame the secretary of state, according to a source familiar with the matter, adding that the shaming would be followed by waiting for Tillerson to “punch out.” Michelle Kosinski and Sara Murray report at CNN.

Several senior administration officials claimed that there would be further departures of senior White House aides and Cabinet members as Trump reaches his one-year anniversary in office, the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said yesterday that “there are no personnel announcements at this time.”  Michael C. Bender reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Diplomats frustrated with Tillerson’s leadership of the State Department have cautiously welcomed the prospect of Pompeo’s appointment, saying that despite his partisan persuasion, they hope that a better relationship with the president would be to the benefit of the department. Nahal Toosi explains at POLITICO.

Pompeo has certain qualities that Tillerson does not possess, however he would be still faced with similar problems regarding the president’s lack of regard for diplomacy and the reports of Pompeo’s potential appointment has drawn a mixed reaction from serving U.S. officials. Arshad Mohammed explains at Reuters.

Pompeo would bring a distinctly political voice to the role of secretary of state, having shown an ideological and politicized approach as C.I.A. director which has aligned with the president’s views on many issues, this would bring the benefit of a better relationship with the president, but would remove a voice of moderation on key foreign policy issues. Mark Landler writes at the New York Times.

Tillerson is arguably unsuited to his role and has presided over a chaotic and demoralizing period at the State Department, however if the personnel changes take place, it would potentially provide Trump with “two more loyal lieutenants” as Pompeo has been pointedly hawkish on key issues, such as on the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, and Cotton is “perhaps the hardest-line hawk in the Senate.” Ishaan Tharoor provides an analysis at the Washington Post.

The appointment of Cotton as C.I.A. Director “would cement his meteoric rise in Republican politics,” which has been achieved through an attempt to “co-opt and shape the president rather than rail against him.” Eliana Johnson and Ali Watkins observe at POLITICO.

Intelligence professionals have questioned Cotton’s credentials and have expressed objection to his characterization of waterboarding and torture, Spencer Ackerman explains at The Daily Beast.

Changes in personnel would “likely be seen as a signal of greater U.S. willingness to use force,” it remains unclear whether bringing in Pompeo and Cotton would lead to substantive policy changes, nevertheless “Pyongyang and Tehran should understand that Washington is recalculating its tolerance for risk.” David Ignatius writes at the Washington Post.

NORTH KOREA

“The Chinese Envoy, who just returned from North Korea, seems to have had no impact on Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted yesterday, referring to a recent visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping’s special envoy to Pyongyang and North Korea’s launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (I.C.B.M.) on Wednesday. Ashley Parker reports at the Washington Post.

The U.S.’s announcement last week of joint military drills with South Korea provoked North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to take “rash action,” the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov claimed yesterday, accusing the U.S. of escalating tensions and calling for the U.S. to “first of all explain to us what they are trying to achieve.” Nathan Hodge reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson yesterday praised China for “doing a lot” but said they could do more to “restrain” the trade of oil with North Korea, Makini Brice and Andrew Osborn reporting at Reuters.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said yesterday that the U.S. would be “unrelenting” in its pursuit of diplomacy, adding that “our diplomats will speak from a position of strength because we do have military options.” Reuters reporting.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

Trump urged Senate Republicans to try and conclude the Senate Intelligence Committee’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, according to several lawmakers and aides, including the Chairman of the committee Richard Burr (R-N.C.). The former Chairwoman of the committee Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said that Trump’s requests were “inappropriate” and breached the separation of powers, Jonathan Martin, Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns report at the New York Times.

During testimony to the House Intelligence Committee, the Trump associate and founder of private military company Blackwater, Erik Prince, confirmed that he had met with a member of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle in the Seychelles in a secret Jan. 11 meeting. The meeting was brokered by the U.A.E. as part of an apparent attempt to set up backchannel communications between Trump and Russia, according to sources familiar with the interview, however Prince denied that he was representing the Trump transition team during the meeting, Karoun Demirjian reporting at the Washington Post.

A transcript of Prince’s interview is expected to be made public within the next three days, Katie Bo Williams reports at the Hill.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions was evasive when testifying before the House Intelligence Committee in a closed hearing yesterday, according to Democratic lawmakers who attended, the ranking Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff (Calif.) said that he was troubled by Sessions’ refusal to answer critical questions relating to the Russia investigation. Patricia Zengerle and Sarah N. Lynch report at Reuters.

The opposition research firm Fusion G.P.S. would not run afoul of the First Amendment by revealing more of its clients and vendors, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon suggested yesterday, the firm commissioned the former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele to compile a controversial dossier that alleged links between Trump and Russia. Josh Gerstein reports at POLITICO.

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort reached a bail deal with prosecutors yesterday, Manafort and his co-defendant Rick Gates have had their movement restricted since special counsel Robert Mueller charged them as part of his investigation into Russian interference in the election. Spencer Hsu reports at the Washington Post.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE

A plan to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the U.S. Embassy to the city has been considered by the Trump administration, according to U.S. officials, such a move would likely provoke a strong reaction from Palestinians and potentially undermine peace negotiations. When asked about moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, a White House spokesperson said that the “president has always said it is a matter of when, not if,” Felicia Schwartz, Andrew Ackerman and Rory Jones report at the Wall Street Journal.

“This is a premature report,” the White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in response to rumors of the planned U.S. Embassy move, Andrew Restuccia and Eliana Johnson reporting at POLITICO.

An Israeli soldier was stabbed to death in southern Israel yesterday, hours after Israeli forces struck the Gaza Strip in retaliation for mortar fire. Ilan Ben Zion reports at the Financial Times.

The two sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should focus on incremental changes rather than a comprehensive solution, and the plan to for the division of the Jerusalem municipal area “is a good place to begin.” Peter Berkowitz writes at the Wall Street Journal.

YEMEN

Saudi Arabia intercepted a Houthi rebel missile fired toward the country from Yemen, the Saudi military said today, marking the second launch by the Houthi rebels in Yemen after they fired a ballistic missile on Nov. 4. Jamie Tarabay reports at CNN.   

The Houthi ballistic missiles that were fired into Saudi Arabia this year appear to have been designed and manufactured by Iran, according to a confidential report by U.N. sanctions monitors to the Security Council on Nov. 24, the revelation likely strengthening the Trump administration’s attempts to punish Iran. Michelle Nichols reports at Reuters.

The Saudi-led coalition must “fully” wind down its blockade on Yemen to “avoid an atrocious humanitarian tragedy,” the U.N. humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock said today, Tom Miles reporting at Reuters.

SYRIA

The U.S. is set to pull 400 Marines out of Syria following their successful support of coalition forces and the Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) in their operation to take the Islamic State-held city of Raqqa, the U.S. Central Command said in a statement yesterday.

“We’re not saying it’s not needed anymore but we’re saying it’s not needed in the volume we’ve had it,” the spokesperson for the U.S.-led coalition Col. Ryan Dillon said yesterday in relation to troop deployments in Syria and the withdrawal of the Marines. Ben Kesling reporting at the Wall Street Journal.

The U.N.-backed peace talks on Syria have been extended until mid-December, the U.N. special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura said yesterday, emphasizing that the talks should have “no preconditions.” The U.N. News Centre reports.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 11 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq between November 24 and November 26. [Central Command]

U.S.-U.K. RELATIONS

“The fact that we work together does not mean that we are afraid to say we think the United States has got it wrong,” the British Prime Minister Theresa May said yesterday, responding to Trump’s sharing of content from the far-right, anti-Islam political group “Britain First” on his Twitter account. Jason Douglas and Jenny Gross report at the Wall Street Journal, noting the impact the president’s actions have had on the “special relationship.”

Trump’s visit is unlikely to be officially canceled, despite the outrage across the political spectrum in the U.K. at Trump’s actions, Amanda Erickson explains at the Washington Post.

The British government were “within their rights to tell the U.S. President to butt out,” and Trump should be aware that the U.K. remains the “indispensable ally to the U.S. in the political and economic affairs of the world,” the Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

The U.K. should rescind its invitation to Trump for a state visit, Matthew D’Ancona writes at the New York Times.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The U.S. Defense Department was granted permission by the government of Niger to deploy armed drones from its capital, Pentagon officials said yesterday, the agreement was made through a memorandum of understanding and drone operations could begin within days. Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt report at the New York Times.

Taliban militants in Pakistan killed at least nine people and wounded at least 30 in an attack in the city of Peshawar today, according to officials, Ismail Khan reporting at the New York Times.

The American citizen who apparently fought for the Islamic State group in Iraq and was captured by the U.S. in mid-September has been informed of his right to counsel, however the Department of Justice said yesterday that “due to his current situation, it was unknown when he would be able to have an attorney.” Katie Bo Williams reports at the Hill.

Members of the Taliban in Afghanistan have defected to Islamic State group in the northern Jawzjan province, providing the Islamic State with a new foothold which has drawn the attention of U.S. forces. Matin Sahak and Girish Gupta report at Reuters.

The Defense Department has indefinitely postponed a planned policy banning the use of certain cluster bombs by 2019, the Pentagon spokesperson Tom Crossen saying in a statement yesterday that “cluster munitions remain a vital military capability.” Ellen Mitchell reports at the Hill.

A package of secret proposals that would allow for private companies to run covert operations and rendition programs has been considered by the White House and the C.I.A., Aram Roston reveals at BuzzFeed News.

The Libyan Prime Minister Fayez el-Sarraj yesterday expressed hope that the U.N.-imposed arms embargo would be partially lifted, making the comments ahead of a meeting with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and a meeting today with President Trump. Reuters reports.

The Iranian-Turkish businessman Reza Zarrab claimed that the Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdoğan personally intervened in a scheme allowing Iran to avoid U.S. and U.N. sanctions, Zarrab said in court testimony in New York yesterday. Jose Pagliery reports at CNN.

Trump has not nominated a single member to work on the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board which reviews the intelligence community, demonstrating the president’s ambivalence toward the intelligence community, Jenna McLaughlin writes at Foreign Policy.

The Trump administration and Saudi Arabia’s goal to curb Iran’s influence in the Middle East has been undermined by a lack of commonality on key issues, particularly how far they are willing to risk a civil war in Lebanon to clamp down on the Iran-backed Lebanese Shi’ite Hezbollah group. Yaroslav Trofimov writes at the Wall Street Journal.

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Group Of Republicans Warn Against Plans To Drill In Fragile Arctic Wildlife Refuge

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“Any development footprint in the refuge stands to disrupt this fragile, critically important landscape,” the 12 House GOP lawmakers wrote.

Robert Mueller expertly used Michael Flynn to lay a no-win trap for Jared Kushner 

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Two days ago we learned that Special Counsel Robert Mueller recently met with Jared Kushner to discuss Michael Flynn’s role in the Trump-Russia scandal. It stood out as bizarre, considering that we had already learned Mueller was in the process of cutting a deal with Flynn, meaning that Mueller wouldn’t need any more testimony against Flynn. This morning Flynn did indeed cut that deal. Now that the details are leaking out, it’s become clear why Mueller went back and met with Kushner: it was a trap.

Flynn has testified that while he was illegally communicating with the Russian Ambassador about sanctions on December 29th, he was relaying those conversations in real time to Jared Kushner at Mar-a-Lago (link). In other words, Flynn just sent Kushner up the river by pegging him as the ringleader of the Trump-Russia conspiracy. Of course Flynn will have to provide evidence of this beyond merely his own word, but Mueller has given him a sweetheart deal, suggesting that Flynn does indeed have overwhelming evidence. The key here, however, is Mueller’s last minute meeting with Kushner.

Based on the timeline as we now know it, Mueller went back and met with Kushner after Flynn had begun negotiating a deal, but before word of that deal became public. In other words, Kushner didn’t know at the time that Flynn had already ratted him out. Mueller met with Kushner in order to lay a perjury trap by asking him about the events that Flynn had already spelled out.

We don’t yet know whether Jared Kushner fell into that perjury trap, or if he told Robert Mueller the truth. But either way he’s facing trouble. If he admitted to being Flynn’s point man for the Russian sanctions conspiracy, then he just confessed to a serious crime. And if he lied about it, then Mueller has him nailed for lying to a federal investigator, which is an imprisonable felony. If Flynn’s evidence against Kushner is as good as Mueller seems to think it is, then Kushner is screwed one way or the other.

The post Robert Mueller expertly used Michael Flynn to lay a no-win trap for Jared Kushner appeared first on Palmer Report.

erdogan trump – Google Search

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Story image for erdogan trump from Politico

Trump speaks with Erdogan about crisis in Syria

PoliticoNov 24, 2017
President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart on Friday discussed by phone the crisis in Syria and other issues, including ties between the United States and Turkey, according to a White House readout of the call. “President Trump and President Erdogan underscored the need to end the …
ErdoğanTrump vow to fight against ‘all’ terror groups
InternationalYeni Şafak EnglishNov 25, 2017
Trump tells Turkey’s leader: US to stop arming Syrian Kurds
In-DepthWashington PostNov 24, 2017
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USA TODAY

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Washington Examiner

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The Independent

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Reuters

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Business Insider

Media image for erdogan trump from Daily Sabah

Daily Sabah
Story image for erdogan trump from Business Insider

Trump and Turkey’s Erdogan ‘on the same wavelength’ for the first …

Business InsiderNov 28, 2017
ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday his talks with U.S. President Donald Trump last week were the first occasion in a long time the two NATO allies were “on the same wavelength” and they would speak against this week. Diplomatic ties between Ankara and Washington …
Erdoğan says he will talk to Trump again amid YPG dispute
InternationalHurriyet Daily NewsNov 28, 2017
Turkey Demands Trump Honor Purported Pledge to Cut Off …
In-DepthVoice of AmericaNov 27, 2017
ErdoganTrump to talk again in coming days
InternationalAnadolu AgencyNov 28, 2017
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Reuters

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Hurriyet Daily News

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Anadolu Agency

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Daily Sabah

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Haaretz

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Al-Monitor
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giuliani and trump – Google Search

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Turkish Gold Trader Suggests That Rudy Giuliani Negotiated …

The Daily CallerNov 29, 2017
A month after Giuliani and Mukasey’s meeting with Erdogan, Trump fired Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney who was initially handling the Zarrab case. The move caught Bharara by surprise. Though an Obama appointee, Trump had told him just after the election that he would keep his position during the new …
Reza Zarrab takes the stand in trial straining US-Turkish ties
<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>Nov 29, 2017
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Daily Beast

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New York Magazine

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New York Daily News

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NBCNews.com

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Bloomberg

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New York Times

Trump taps golf club members for posts

Long Island Business News1 hour ago
Callista Gngrich, named envoy to the Vatican, and her husband, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, have both been members of Trump’s Northern Virginia golf club, according to USA Today. Andrew Giuliani, Rudy Giuliani’s son and a member of Trump National Golf Club in Westchester, is the White …

Is It Giuliani’s Turn in the Flynn/Trump/Turkey Barrel?

TPM (blog)Nov 29, 2017
GOP Senators Criticize Trump Retweets Of Anti-Muslim Videos about 10 hours ago. After President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning retweeted several anti-Muslim videos from a far-right.
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rudy giuliani russia – Google Search

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Rudy Giuliani turns up in Ukraine with pro-Russia official linked to …

Raw StoryNov 20, 2017
Former Trump campaign surrogate Rudy Giuliani was seen this week in the Ukraine with a pro-Russiaofficial who is linked to Ukrainian political clients of former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort. The Palmer Report was first to note on Monday that a news publication in the Ukraine had published …
Story image for rudy giuliani russia from Daily Beast

Crook Claims Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey Tried to Broker …

Daily BeastNov 29, 2017
Giuliani and Mukasey avoided mentioning the “central role” of Iran in the charges against Zarrab on filings submitted to the court about their work and said the case had no serious implications for U.S. national security. Judge Richard Berman slammed the omissions as “disingenuous” earlier this year.
Story image for rudy giuliani russia from Slate Magazine (blog)

Why a Gold Trader’s Plea Deal Is a Big Deal for US Foreign Policy …

Slate Magazine (blog)Nov 28, 2017
The Zarrab case itself is complicated to begin with, and is also tied to a dizzying number of ongoing geopolitical stories—from Turkey’s political crackdown to the investigation of the Trump campaign’s connections to Russia—and involves figures including Rudy Giuliani, Michael Flynn, and Turkish President …
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Rudy Giuliani – Google Search

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Crook Claims Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey Tried to Broker …

Daily BeastNov 29, 2017
Giuliani and Mukasey avoided mentioning the “central role” of Iran in the charges against Zarrab on filings submitted to the court about their work and said the case had no serious implications for U.S. national security. Judge Richard Berman slammed the omissions as “disingenuous” earlier this year.
Media image for Rudy Giuliani from The Daily Caller

The Daily Caller

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New York Magazine

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New York Daily News

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The News Tribune

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Bloomberg

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Voice of America
Story image for Rudy Giuliani from Raw Story

Turkish gold trader linked to Flynn and Giuliani could start testifying …

Raw StoryNov 28, 2017
A Turkish-Iranian gold trader linked to both Mike Flynn and Rudy Giuliani has agreed to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors. Reza Zarrab was scheduled to stand trial earlier this month in New York, where the U.S. attorney had filed charges in an international corruption case, but his lawyer confirmed an …
Turkish Gold Trader Confirmed as Witness in Sanctions Case
Courthouse News ServiceNov 28, 2017
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Rudy Giuliani Could Be Facing Felony Charges In Reza Zarrab Case

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Rudy Giuliani May Be Going to Prison

Rudy Giuliani is famous for being the former mayor of New York City during the terrorist attacks in 2001. He helped the city get back on its feet and made the city even stronger than before. For those efforts, he deserves a ton of respect.

Nevertheless, there’s a possibility that he will be heading to jail. The reason is that Giuliani may have played a critical role in rigging the 2016 presidential election in order to help his friend Donald Trump see victory. If this is true, that could mean he broke the law.

The Background Story

Before getting into politics, Giuliani practiced law in New York City. After getting out of politics, Giuliani got back to practicing law again.

This led Giuliani to work alongside Michael Mukasey (who was appointed Attorney General by George W. Bush) in order to try to broker a prisoner exchange with Turkey. Giuliani and Mukasey were representing Reza Zarrab, who is from Turkey and has links to Turkish government officials. In the end, there was no exchange of prisoners between the United States and Turkey. (Source: “Crook Claims Rudy Giuliani and Michael Mukasey Tried to Broker U.S.-Turkey Prisoner Swap,” The Daily Beast, November 29,2017.)

Reza Zarrab<a href=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6F5L6pV2w0″ rel=”nofollow”>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6F5L6pV2w0</a>

Zarrab needed to be represented by lawyers because he was a gold trader who was allegedly involved in a multi-million-dollar cash-for-gold scheme to help Turkey buy oil from Iran and get around the sanctions against Iran. There was no success in the case, and Zarrab remain in America.

Zarrab feels that Giuliani was trying to sabotage the trial for his own personal interest. Things then took another turn, with Giuliani just disappearing. Now Zarrab is co-operating with U.S. officials and informing them of all the details he knows about Rudy Giuliani.

Zarrab has told his side of the story, including more than €45.0 million that he used to bribe a former Turkish minister of economy. He did that so he would be allowed to trade gold with Iran even though there are sanctions in place. The plan was to split the profit margins of the transactions 50-50. Zarrab disclosed how a gold trade would work from the start to the end. He also explained how the parties involved would conduct their business. (Source: Ibid.)

In terms of client-lawyer confidentially there were no laws being broken by Zarrab. Since there is a possibility that Giuliani broke the law, Zarrab was allowed to speak about his interactions with Giuliani.

Did Rudy Giuliani Take on Representing Reza Zarrab to Protect Himself?

A lawyer always has a decision of not representing a client if they choose to do so. When looking at all the facts, it seems that Giuliani took on the Zarrab case in order to protect himself.

First off, Giuliani is good friends with Donald Trump. This was even before Trump got into the political world. This, of course, is no indication that there was any wrongdoing.

However, one suspicious move by President Trump is that he did not give Giuliani a high-ranking role in his administration. There had been many rumors that Giuliani was going to be named vice president; instead, Giuliani only took an informal role as a cybersecurity advisor. This is quite surprising, due to vast amount of experience that Giuliani has in politics.

A major reason for not being appointed to a high-ranking position is because Giuliani most likely would have not been approved by the senate committee. This is due to the fact of possible rigging of votes in the 2016 presidential campaign. In addition, there is the possibility that he worked with the FBI by gaining information about Hillary Clinton.  Giuliani told Fox News that he had information about the Clinton e-mail scandal  before it was public knowledge.  (Source: “FBI Investigating Possible Leaks To Rudy Giuliani About Hillary Clinton Email Investigation,” Huffington Post, May 3, 2017.)

By being involved in the case, it gave Giuliani a first-hand look at all the information in the matter. In addition, it gave Giuliani the possibility of helping his friend Trump if his name were to come up in the manner.

Therefore, by Giuliani having an “informal” role in Trump’s administration, it still gave the two a working relationship.

Bill Palmer Claims that Giuliani Is Going to Prison

Bill Palmer is the senior editor and founder of The Palmer Report, said,

Whatever extra-legal antics Rudy Giuliani was carrying out to try to sabotage the trial of Reza Zarrab earlier this year, Zarrab surely knows the ugly details. Now that Zarrab has flipped, he must and will give up Giuliani. Because Giuliani was breaking the law to try to help Zarrab, attorney-client privilege doesn’t apply. It means Giuliani is going to prison – and he might have to cut a deal against Trump just to avoid a particularly long sentence.

(Source: “Key Witness Flips, Rudy Giuliani Now Implicated…But He’s Suddenly Disappeared,” Bluedot Daily, November 30, 2017.)

Can the Former Mayor Really Go to Prison?

There is a long list of political figures who have gone to jail for their actions. So, regardless of what they did for the country, breaking the law is a serious matter. Interference in the 2016 presidential election is not a joking matter. The time that Giuliani could spend in jail would be determined by a judge.

Giuliani could see jail time, but it will be related to events that have occurred relating to the 2016 presidential election. It seems that he used his previous contacts as a political figure to gain access to FBI confidential information regarding Hillary Clinton’s e-mail case. Since he has a relationship to Donald Trump, the information could have been shared and used during the campaign, which would be breaking the law.

Also, it could be possible that there was interference from Turkey and Russia in the 2016 election, with Giuliani working with these foreign governments. Again, this would be breaking the law. If any of this is tru,e than it could lead to Giuliani going to jail.

Of course, no one is guilty until it is proven. This is where Reza Zarrab comes into play. Zarrab seems to have information related to Giuliani interfering in the election; this is where charges could be laid. This would then result in the former mayor seeing possible jail time.

Robert Mueller and his special investigation team will investigate Rudy Giuliani for any interference in the 2016 presidential election. It is quite possible that Mueller interviews Reza Zarrab as part of this investigation.

It does not help Giuliani’s case that he seems to be hiding from the public. Some may think it means he has done something wrong. With Giuliani being a public figure, it’s possible that someone will find and broadcast his current hiding position on social media .

If Giuliani is guilty, it may be best to come out of hiding and attempt to make a deal in order to see fewer charges.

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Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Is Rudy Giuliani Facing Serious Felony Charges in the Reza Zarrab Case? – Lombardi Letter

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Is Rudy Giuliani Facing Serious Felony Charges in the Reza Zarrab Case?
Lombardi Letter
Rudy Giuliani is famous for being the former mayor of New York City during the terrorist attacks in 2001. He helped the city get back on its feet and made the city even stronger than before. For those efforts, he deserves a ton of respect. Nevertheless 

 Rudy Giuliani – Google News

Is Rudy Giuliani Facing Serious Felony Charges in the Reza Zarrab Case? – Lombardi Letter

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Is Rudy Giuliani Facing Serious Felony Charges in the Reza Zarrab Case?
Lombardi Letter
Rudy Giuliani is famous for being the former mayor of New York City during the terrorist attacks in 2001. He helped the city get back on its feet and made the city even stronger than before. For those efforts, he deserves a ton of respect. Nevertheless 

Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data … – FiveThirtyEight

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FiveThirtyEight
Criminologists Are Asking Jeff Sessions To Release FBI Crime Data …
FiveThirtyEight
As Trump tweets, government acts. Welcome to Meanwhile, our recurring look at what federal agencies are up to and how their work affects people’s lives. When da…

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It’s a Gay, Gay, Gay Government

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In many places and at many moments, we still do. But not in Palm Springs. While the names of streets and structures here commemorate its Rat Pack and Republican pasts — there’s Frank Sinatra Drive and, at the airport, the Sonny Bono Concourse — its present is progressive and very, very gay. Democrats handily outnumber Republicans. The local officials I spoke with guessed that anywhere from 20 percent to 40 percent of the city’s residents are gay or lesbian.

The old City Council had just one straight person on it. Moon, a 68-year-old former Navy officer, is the city’s third openly gay mayor. When we chatted, he went through the government’s gay roll call. The city manager: gay. The assistant city manager: gay. The newly hired city clerk: gay.

“You see why having an all-gay City Council is no big deal?” he told me. “Nobody cares anymore.”

Palm Springs so thoroughly embraces L.G.B.T. people that Holstege, who is married to a man, faced questions about whether she was inventing her bisexuality for political gain.

“Social media started to trash her,” said Roberts, 57, who supported her candidacy. “They were saying she’s not really bi, maybe she had an experience in college, and now she wants to sweep up gay dollars and gay votes. So I called her up one day and said: ‘Christy, I’m making the weirdest call I’ve ever made in my entire life. You’re being accused of being fake gay, fake bi. This is a whole new world for me. This is a parallel universe.’ ”

He was backing her, he said, because of her erudition — she has a law degree from Stanford — and her expertise regarding homelessness and affordable housing. But he did care about her truthfulness and wanted her assurance that her critics were off base. She gave that to him.

She gave it to me, too, and said that during her campaign, she in fact shied away from talk about sexual orientation. When I asked her what the new Council’s first order of business should be, she mentioned making it easier for people at the airport to summon Uber or Lyft.

In general the City Council race included little talk about identity politics. Middleton told me that she was seldom asked about being a transgender woman but routinely fielded questions about downtown development and the city’s budget, subjects she knew well because of her extensive involvement in civic organizations. High on her wish list for the city is six more police officers and four more firefighters. That was among her campaign promises.

I asked the police chief, Bryan Reyes, about her victory. He was jubilant. “I just believe — I reallybelieve — in her,” he said. “I’m a straight male. I have no problem doing photo ops, giving her hugs, because of the person she is, what she represents, her work ethic, her character.”

When she and I had lunch, servers and others rushed over to congratulate her. “Do we refer to you as ‘City Councilwoman’ or just plain Lisa?” asked one of the restaurant’s owners, John Paschal.

“Her Exalted,” Middleton suggested, and they both laughed. Then she went back to bending my ear about spurring entrepreneurship in Palm Springs.

She sees the city, which has a population of just under 50,000