“Rudy Giuliani” – Google News: Cohen gives new evidence to lawmakers amid talk about Trump and pardons – MSNBC

Cohen gives new evidence to lawmakers amid talk about Trump and pardons  MSNBC

Michael Cohen and his documents just went back to Capitol Hill. Plus, Rudy Giuliani sounds off about Michael Cohen, Pres. Trump, and talk of pardons. Robert …

“Rudy Giuliani” – Google News

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Palmer Report: What the hell is Donald Trump even talking about?


Stop us if you’ve heard this one before, because it’s becoming a more frequent refrain by the day, but Donald Trump just had a rather horrible day. Michael Cohen gave three suitcases of evidence to Congress, two of Trump’s current lawyers have already been incriminated as a result, and we don’t even know what else is in those magic suitcases. Trump appears to be pretty darn scared of it all.




Shortly after Michael Cohen finished testifying for the day, by which time Trump attorneys Jay Sekulow and Rudy Giuliani were left contemplating life behind bars, Donald Trump had nothing left to do but run his mouth. Unfortunately for Trump, he couldn’t come up with anything remotely coherent to say.




Donald Trump posted this bizarre tweet, quoting one of his remaining allies: “Congressman Chris Stewart: ‘No one is accusing the President of a crime and yet they (the Democrats) are issuing hundreds of subpoenas. This is unprecedented.’ They are desperately trying to find anything they can, even a punctuation mistake in a document!” Wait, what? Where do we even start with this?



First of all, everyone is accusing Donald Trump of a crime. Second, if we were locking people up for punctuation errors, Trump would already be in solitary confinement. In reality these crimes include insurance fraud, money laundering, bribery, bank fraud, wire fraud, obstruction of justice, and conspiracy against the United States. Finally, it’s notable that Trump is quoting one of his shrinking number of congressional allies; thirteen GOP Congressmen and as many as fifteen GOP Senators are voting against Trump’s national emergency.

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“trump russian money” – Google News: Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort to be sentenced, could face life in prison – Economic Times

Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort to be sentenced, could face life in prison  Economic Times

US President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort faces potentially spending the rest of his life behind bars when a judge sentences him on …

“trump russian money” – Google News

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“trump money laundering” – Google News: Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort to be sentenced, could face life in prison – Economic Times

Former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort to be sentenced, could face life in prison  Economic Times

US President Donald Trump’s former campaign chief Paul Manafort faces potentially spending the rest of his life behind bars when a judge sentences him on …

“trump money laundering” – Google News

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“Sebastian Gorka” – Google News: Police: Sisters dating same man ‘euthanized’ father – WWMT-TV

Police: Sisters dating same man ‘euthanized’ father  WWMT-TV

Two sisters are accused of killing their father and confessing the crime to a man they both dated. Sisters Linda Roberts, 61, and Mary-Beth Tomaselli, 63, are …

“Sebastian Gorka” – Google News

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Palmer Report: Robert Mueller is targeting Ivanka Trump after all


Just yesterday, Palmer Report waded through a curious series of events that seemed to suggest that Special Counsel Robert Mueller hasn’t sought any documents from Ivanka Trump, even though he’s asked for documents from her husband and her brothers. This left us wondering aloud if it was possible that Mueller isn’t even investigating Ivanka. But now it turns out he very much is targeting her.




The House Judiciary Committee is now weighing whether to go ahead and add Ivanka Trump to their document request list, after having targeted just about everyone in her family but her. Some of the Democrats on the committee are openly acknowledging that targeting Ivanka could trigger Donald Trump into retaliatory action, in a way that targeting Don Jr or Eric Trump might not. But the kicker is the tidbit down in paragraph seven of the article.




Robert Mueller is apparently “scrutinizing Ivanka Trump’s role in the Trump Tower Moscow deal, including who she communicated with about the plans to build the luxury real estate project in Russia’s capital city.” This isn’t necessarily surprising, as Ivanka has reportedly played key roles in a number of Trump Organization real estate deals, including Trump Soho.



So we’ll see what the House Judiciary Committee ends up doing. We’re starting to suspect that they’re holding back on Ivanka Trump, and openly discussing when and if they might target her, as a way of trying to get under Donald Trump’s skin. After all, each time he overreaches in an attempt at retaliation, he inches himself closer to ouster. But for now the upshot is that Robert Mueller is targeting Ivanka, which may be more important in the long run.

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“trump narcissist” – Google News: Dan O’Brien: ‘He might have polarised opinion, but Trump has done far less harm than had first been threatened’ – Independent.ie

Dan O’Brien: ‘He might have polarised opinion, but Trump has done far less harm than had first been threatened’  Independent.ie

Having just passed the halfway point in Donald Trump’s four-year US presidential term, now is a good time to weigh up the real impact he has had so far – on …

“trump narcissist” – Google News

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Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Rational Security: The ‘Sensitive Compartmented Kushner’ Edition

Why does senior White House adviser Jared Kushner have a security clearance? President Trump comes back from a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un empty-handed. And the NSA has apparently stopped a controversial surveillance program that collected Americans’ phone records.

Susan is fresh from her interview with Chris Wray. 

Ben is lighting a candle for Mueller. 

Shane recommends a new profile of Fox News. 

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

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Palmer Report: Insider expects Donald Trump’s assets will be seized while he’s still in office


With each passing hour, we learn about new past and present felonies committed by Donald Trump, and new criminal investigations into those crimes. This increasingly raises the question of just how legal justice will be served to a guy who is illegally occupying the office of President of the United States after having treasonously rigged the election. Two words come into play: asset seizures.




For some time now, Palmer Report has expected the Feds and/or the State of New York to begin hitting Donald Trump with financial penalties for his financial crimes. When Trump doesn’t pay up because he’s too cash-poor, his assets will begin to be seized. It turns out we’re not the only ones who are thinking in these terms.




Donny Deutsch has known Donald Trump for twenty years, though not particularly amicably. Deutsch is also a longtime friend of Michael Cohen. This means Deutsch is in position to know about just how criminally ugly things are in general inside the Trump Organization and Trump real estate empire. Deutsche appeared on Hardball with Chris Matthews on Wednesday evening and predicted that Trump’s assets will indeed be seized while he’s still in office.



There are a few different ways this can happen. New York State just launched a criminal investigation into Donald Trump’s insurance fraud. It can hit him with huge fines and then begin seizing his bank accounts or real estate properties in the state. New York State is also likely to hit Trump for state income tax fraud. That’s before getting to the question of whether the DOJ can seize Trump’s assets while he’s in office. In any case, the longer Trump holds the White House hostage, the more of his properties he’s likely to lose.

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Donald Trump | The Guardian: Trump ‘very disappointed’ if North Korea rebuilding rocket site

US president claims it is too early to tell if Kim Jong-un is reconstructing Sohae facility

Donald Trump has said he will be “very disappointed” in the North Korean ruler, Kim Jong-un, if reports about a rocket launch site being rebuilt prove to be true.

Two US thinktanks and South Korea’s Yonhap news agency have reported that work was under way to restore part of the Sohae satellite launching station even as Trump met Kim in Hanoi last week for their second summit.

Related: North Korea rebuilds part of launch site it promised the US it would dismantle

Continue reading…

Donald Trump | The Guardian

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Palmer Report: Ivanka Trump’s scandals are spiraling out of control

Welcome to Trumpland, where the norm is “another day, another scandal.” This time, it involves Ivanka Trump and her security clearance. Ivanka recently denied that her father had anything whatsoever to do with her husband Jared’s security clearance. As information continues to come to light, not only did Trump demand clearance for Jared, but he did the same for Ivanka. Et tu, Ivanka?


Ivanka was adamant in her denials during an interview with Abby Huntsman of The View. “There were anonymous leaks about there being issues. But the president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband’s clearance—zero.” Ivanka took things one step further, claiming that there were no problems with either of their clearances “other than a backlog.” Sure, Ivanka. Memos from both John Kelly and Don McGahn paint a different picture: red flags were found by intelligence personnel on both of them.




According to CNN, while Trump can grant clearances, that task is usually left to those who better know the process. Despite this, after Kelly and McGahn declined to grant the clearances, Trump apparently took things into his own (little) hands and granted the clearances, despite the misgivings of the intelligence community. Of course, we all know how Trump feels about our intelligence community. I’m sure he’s much smarter than all of them combined.




Interestingly, even though Ivanka’s rejection could have been triggered by issues from her husband Jared’s rejection, a source tells CNN that officials “had concerns about granting Trump a clearance that were separate from those raised about her husband.” This family is looking more and more like some type of crime syndicate, and John Kelly apparently knew it. The couple allegedly told others that Kelly “was blocking them” because “he did not feel like they belonged in the West Wing,” according to CNN. John Kelly has been doing this for a very long time. I daresay his experience tells him what constitutes a danger to the U.S. as opposed to some petty reason put forth by Kushner and Trump. But, I keep forgetting that the Trumps believe themselves to be above reproach and the law.



Anderson Cooper spoke with Kristen Powers of USA Today and former RNC Chief of Staff Mike Shields. Cooper is correct that Ivanka has no expertise in anything even remotely related to governance, and Kushner likewise has no expertise in peace negotiations. Shields’ contention that because Kushner is a businessman, he is savvy in negotiations, is ridiculous. No, he’s not. He is, for the most part, a failed businessperson. This is a clear case of nepotism that holds absolutely no value to the American people. Indeed, Trumps actions invariably do much more harm than good. It needs to end now.

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1. Trump Circles: Elections from Michael_Novakhov (16 sites): “Rudy Giuliani” – Google News: Former Trump Lawyer Ty Cobb Calls Robert Mueller “American Hero” – Russia Investigation No “Witch Hunt” – Jim Heath TV

Former Trump Lawyer Ty Cobb Calls Robert Mueller “American Hero” – Russia Investigation No “Witch Hunt”  Jim Heath TV

Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb has opened up about his experience helping President Trump navigate the special counsel investigation of Robert Mueller …

“Rudy Giuliani” – Google News

1. Trump Circles: Elections from Michael_Novakhov (16 sites)

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“Rudy Giuliani” – Google News: Former Trump Lawyer Ty Cobb Calls Robert Mueller “American Hero” – Russia Investigation No “Witch Hunt” – Jim Heath TV

Former Trump Lawyer Ty Cobb Calls Robert Mueller “American Hero” – Russia Investigation No “Witch Hunt”  Jim Heath TV

Former White House lawyer Ty Cobb has opened up about his experience helping President Trump navigate the special counsel investigation of Robert Mueller …

“Rudy Giuliani” – Google News

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Palmer Report: Michael Cohen’s private testimony today is all coming out, and it’s even uglier for Donald Trump than we expected


Michael Cohen came back to the House Intelligence Committee today for an extra eight hours of testimony that wasn’t even originally supposed to happen, and as a sign of just how pivotal it was, Cohen showed up with three suitcases of evidence. Now it’s all coming out in rapid fashion.




Democratic Congressman Jim Himes, who sits on the committee and was present for today’s Michael Cohen testimony, just told CNN that a transcript will soon be made public. We’re assuming that portions of it will be redacted, at least for now, due to the nature of the ongoing criminal investigations. But we already know one key piece of what transpired today, and apparently two, and let’s just say that two of Trump’s people are likely headed to prison as a result of it.




First came the news that Michael Cohen provided the committee with documents today proving that Donald Trump’s criminal defense attorney Jay Sekulow instructed him to lie under oath to Congress in 2017 about Trump Tower Moscow. Considering that Cohen is headed to prison for lying under oath to Congress, it seems a given that Sekulow will now head to prison with him.



Then came the apparently related news that Rudy Giuliani sent two unnamed attorneys to dangle a pardon in front of Michael Cohen after his office was raided by the FBI. That’s conspiracy to commit felony obstruction of justice, and it means Rudy should also be packing his toothbrush for prison. So two of Trump’s lawyers are facing prison, and those are just the two scandals that have surfaced so far in relation to Cohen’s testimony today. Just wait until the transcript gets published.

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“trump putin” – Google News: Ilhan Omar Controversy Caps a Month of Stumbles for Democratic Leaders – New York Times

Ilhan Omar Controversy Caps a Month of Stumbles for Democratic Leaders  New York Times

House Democrats, rusty after years in the minority, have stomped on their own messages, have fallen prey to Republican maneuvers and are in battling over …

“trump putin” – Google News

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Palmer Report: Donald Trump is even more screwed than we thought

Two new polls demonstrate that not only do voters think just about any registered Democrat in the U.S. would make a better president than Donald Trump, a majority of Americans – including 33 percent of Republicans – believe that Trump has broken the law either before or after becoming president.

An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll has Trump seven points behind a generic opponent now, a gap that should logically widen as his crimes become more and more exposed. As Palmer Report has pointed out, a House Oversight Committee document request has sent scores of Trump allies and toadies into a frenzy that is sure to lead to further legal issues as some jump ship, while others sink with it, maneuvering and backstabbing along the way.


Allen Weisselberg appears to have stopped participating in Trump’s illegal Cohen payoffs as early as 2017, and Congress is likely targeting him for a public hearing. And everyone saw how affected Trump was by Cohen’s testimony, leading to his disastrous early exit from the already pointless Kim Jong Un summit. Americans generally don’t respond well in the polls to clear diplomatic losses to dictators, especially when the president admits that he lost because he was rattled by congressional oversight.




This is how Trump’s ouster is going to happen: death by 1,000 cuts rather than one or two major bombshells. While Trump may very well be forced out of office before next year’s election, he’s reportedly looking at reelection as the only way to save himself. That’s why this poll matters, along with serving as a somewhat useful, yet rough, way to track the public’s feelings about Trump as multiple investigations continue.




But it’s a new Quinnipiac poll that really stands out, as it demonstrates that most Americans believe that Trump has committed crimes at some point in his life. Those polled were not as willing to say that they believe Trump has committed crimes while in office, but it indicates that Americans won’t be surprised if it comes to light that he has.



Not only does such polling provide a small bit of relief for frustrated Americans on the 2020 front, it makes investigators’ jobs easier, whether they’re working for Robert Mueller, the State of New York, or House Democrats. Taking down a president, even one so obviously corrupt and damaging as Donald Trump, is a heavy political lift. The more public support for Trump’s removal, the lighter it gets, and if Americans already believe that Trump committed past crimes, they’re much more likely to be compelled by evidence of new ones. And if he survives to run again next year, a lot of Democrats in the running now are favored to send him home so he can face justice as a private citizen.

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The post Donald Trump is even more screwed than we thought appeared first on Palmer Report.

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“Trump liar” – Google News: Martha McSally says she was raped years ago. Does that make her a liar, Donald Trump? – AZCentral

Martha McSally says she was raped years ago. Does that make her a liar, Donald Trump?  AZCentral

Arizona Sen. Martha McSally revealed on Wednesday that she was raped while in the Air Force but never reported it. So does that make her a liar, President …

“Trump liar” – Google News

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“Trump” – Google News: Democrats reject Fox News for 2020 debates over Trump relationship – live – The Guardian

Democrats reject Fox News for 2020 debates over Trump relationship – live  The Guardian

And in more Michael Cohen news: ABC News is reporting that “attorneys who claimed to be in close contact with Rudy Giuliani,” current personal attorney to …

“Trump” – Google News

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“Rudy Giuliani” – Google News: Democrats reject Fox News for 2020 debates over Trump relationship – live – The Guardian

Democrats reject Fox News for 2020 debates over Trump relationship – live  The Guardian

And in more Michael Cohen news: ABC News is reporting that “attorneys who claimed to be in close contact with Rudy Giuliani,” current personal attorney to …

“Rudy Giuliani” – Google News

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“Anthony Weiner” – Google News: Lawmakers ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Trump negotiating better trade deal with China – KATU

Lawmakers ‘cautiously optimistic’ about Trump negotiating better trade deal with China  KATU

WASHINGTON (SBG) – President Donald Trump is working on getting a better deal with China, reflecting bipartisan urgency to resolve the ongoing trade …

“Anthony Weiner” – Google News

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Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: The Lawfare Podcast Shorts: FBI Director Wray on Combating Cyberthreats

On Tuesday, I interviewed FBI Director Chris Wray at the 2019 RSA Conference. We discussed about how the Director views the cyber threat landscape 18 months into his term, his concerns about the threats posed by Russia and China, what the FBI is doing to protect the 2020 elections, and more.

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

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The impact of the presumed Russian and other foreign “meddlings” in the US Presidential Election of 2016


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from Trump Investigations.

The impact of the presumed Russian and other foreign “meddling” in the US Presidential Election of 2016 remains undetermined, uncertain, subject to the directly opposite opinions, and very difficult to study and assess correctly, due to a variety of reasons, including the study methodology of this type of the quite novel subject matter and the problem. 
Nevertheless, a very good quality, top notch in all respects, solid statistical and multidisciplinary studies, possibly as the part of the Congressional Investigations, will help to address and to approach these questions, even if the chances of getting the convincing answers are quite slim. 

Michael Novakhov


3.6.19
________________________________

Russian election 2016 meddling impact – Google Search

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Russian election 2016 meddling impact – Google Search

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Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from CNBC

Trump administration finds ‘no material impact‘ from foreign …

CNBCFeb 5, 2019
Mueller is investigating Russia’s meddling during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as possible collusion with Trump campaign …
Feds: No Evidence Foreign Meddling Impacted Midterms
U.S. News & World ReportFeb 5, 2019
Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from TIME

You Have Questions About Robert Mueller’s Investigation. Here Are …

TIMEMar 5, 2019
… investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and may complete … Some experts like Nate Silver say that the specific effects of Russian …. the Russian president’s denials that Russia meddled in the election, …
Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from CNBC

‘Insane,’ ‘racketeering’ and ‘reckless’: Russia’s reactions to tougher US …

CNBCFeb 14, 2019
… for its meddling in the 2016 election and aggressive actions towards … the impact of possible new U.S. sanctions for the Russian economy.
Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from USA TODAY

Analysis: For President Trump, Cohen’s allegations were explosive …

USA TODAYFeb 27, 2019
This time, whatever the impact of Cohen’s testimony, the hearing sets … led the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election doesn’t have …
Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from The New Yorker

How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump

The New YorkerSep 24, 2018
A meticulous analysis of online activity during the 2016 campaign … to answer—whether Russian meddling had a decisive impact in 2016
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Russian election 2016 meddling impact – Google Search


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from “Russian election 2016 meddling impact” – Google News.

Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from CNBC

Trump administration finds ‘no material impact‘ from foreign …

CNBCFeb 5, 2019
Mueller is investigating Russia’s meddling during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, as well as possible collusion with Trump campaign …
Feds: No Evidence Foreign Meddling Impacted Midterms
U.S. News & World ReportFeb 5, 2019
Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from TIME

You Have Questions About Robert Mueller’s Investigation. Here Are …

TIMEMar 5, 2019
… investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and may complete … Some experts like Nate Silver say that the specific effects of Russian …. the Russian president’s denials that Russia meddled in the election, …
Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from CNBC

‘Insane,’ ‘racketeering’ and ‘reckless’: Russia’s reactions to tougher US …

CNBCFeb 14, 2019
… for its meddling in the 2016 election and aggressive actions towards … the impact of possible new U.S. sanctions for the Russian economy.
Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from USA TODAY

Analysis: For President Trump, Cohen’s allegations were explosive …

USA TODAYFeb 27, 2019
This time, whatever the impact of Cohen’s testimony, the hearing sets … led the inquiry into Russian meddling in the 2016 election doesn’t have …
Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from The New Yorker

How Russia Helped Swing the Election for Trump

The New YorkerSep 24, 2018
A meticulous analysis of online activity during the 2016 campaign … to answer—whether Russian meddling had a decisive impact in 2016.
Story image for Russian election 2016 meddling impact from CNBC

Trump: Russian election meddling took place, but it ‘could be other …

CNBCJul 17, 2018
Trump: Russian election meddling took place, but it ‘could be other people’ as well … that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place,” Trump said, … The president also claimed Russia’s actions didn’t have an impact …
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The Long History of US-Russian ‘Meddling’


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from The Nation.

A man waves a Russian flag in St. Petersburg in November 1998. (Reuters / Alexander Demianchuk)

The John Batchelor Show, March 6

Even though the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Committee found “no direct evidence of a conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia,” Russiagate allegations of “collusion” between candidate and then–President Donald Trump and the Kremlin have poisoned American politics for nearly three years. They are likely to continue to do so for the foreseeable future, due not only to the current subpoena-happy Democratic chairs of House “investigative” committees.

At the core of the Russiagate narrative is the allegation that the Kremlin “meddled” in the 2016 US presidential election. The word “meddle” is nebulous and could mean almost anything, but Russiagate zealots deploy it in the most ominous ways, as a war-like “attack on America,” a kind of “Pearl Harbor.” They also imply that such meddling is unprecedented when in fact both the United States and Russia have interfered repeatedly in the other’s internal politics, in one way or another, certainly since the 1917 Russian Revolution.

For context, recall that such meddling is an integral part of Cold War and that there have been three Cold Wars between America and Russia during the past one hundred years. The first was from 1917 to 1933, when Washington did not even formally recognize the new Soviet government in Moscow. The second is, of course, the best known, the 40-year Cold War from about 1948 to 1988, when the US and Soviet leaders, Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, declared it over. And then, by my reckoning, the new, ongoing Cold War began in the late 1990s, when the Clinton administration initiated the expansion of NATO toward Russia’s borders and bombed Moscow’s longtime Slav and political ally Serbia.

That’s approximately 85 years of US–Russian Cold War in a hundred years of relations and, not surprisingly, a lot of meddling on both sides, even leaving aside espionage and spies. The meddling has taken various forms.

In the period from 1917 to 1933, such interference was extreme on both sides. In 1918, President Woodrow Wilson sent approximately 8,000 US troops to Siberia to fight against the “Reds” in the Russian Civil War. For its part, Moscow founded the Communist International (Comintern) in 1919 and urged the American Communist Party to pursue revolutionary regime change in the United States, an historical analogue of the “democracy promotion” later pursued by Washington. During these years, both sides eagerly generated, and amply funded, “disinformation” and “propaganda” directed at and inside the other country.

During the second Cold War, from 1948 to 1988, the “meddling” was expanded and institutionalized. At least until the McCarthyite attempted purge of such activities, the American Communist Party, now largely under the control of Moscow, was an active force in US politics, with some appeal to intellectuals and others, as well as bookstores and “schools”—all amply supplied with English-language Soviet “propaganda” and “disinformation”—in many major cities.

US meddling during those years took various forms, but the most relevant in terms of the role of social media in Russiagate were nearly around-the-clock Russian-language short-wave radio broadcasts. When I lived in Moscow off and on from 1976 to 1982, every Russian I knew had a short-wave radio as well as a nearby place where reception was good. Many were enticed by the then-semi-forbidden rock music—Elton John was the rage, having surpassed The Beatles—but stayed tuned for the editorial content, which was, Soviet authorities complained, “disinformation.”

Suspect “contacts” with the other side was another Cold War precursor of Russiagate. Here too I can provide first-hand testimony. By 1980, my companion Katrina vanden Heuvel—now my wife and publisher and editor of The Nation—joined me on regular stays in Moscow. Most of our social life was among Moscow’s community of survivors of Stalin’s Gulag and the even larger community of active dissidents. In mid-1982, both of us were suddenly denied Soviet visas. I appealed to two sympathetic high-level Soviet officials. After a few weeks, both reported back, “I can do nothing. You have too many undesirable contacts.” (Our visas were reissued shortly after Mikhail Gorbachev came to power in March 1985.)

In the post-Soviet era since 1992, at least until Russiagate allegations began in mid-2016, almost all of the “meddling” has been committed by the United States. During the 1990s, under the banner of “democracy promotion,” there was a virtual American political invasion of Russia. Washington openly supported, politically and financially, the pro-American faction in Russian politics, as did American mainstream media coverage. US government and foundation funding went to desirable Russian NGOs. And the Clinton administration lent ample support, again political and financial, to President Boris Yeltsin’s desperate and ultimately successful reelection campaign in 1996. (For more on the 1990s, see my Failed Crusade: America and the Tragedy of Post-Communist Russia.) Conversely, there was almost no Russian meddling in American politics in the 1990s, apart from the pro-Yeltsin lobby, largely made up of Americans, in Washington.

As for Russia under Vladimir Putin, since 2000, again there was virtually no notable Russian “meddling” in American politics until the Russiagate allegations began. (Not surprisingly, in light of the history of mutual “meddling,” Russian social media were active during the 2016 US election, but with no discernible impact on the outcome, as Aaron Maté has shown and as Nate Silver has confirmed.) American meddling in Russia, on the other hand, continued apace, or tried to do so. Until more restrictive Russian laws were passed, US funding continued to go to Russian media and NGOs perceived to be in US interests. Hillary Clinton felt free in 2011 to publicly criticize Russian elections, and, the same year, then–Vice President Joseph Biden, while visiting Moscow, advised Putin not to return to the presidency. (Imagine Putin today advising Biden as to whether or not to seek the US presidency.)

Indeed, the Kremlin may be more tolerant of American “meddling” today than Washington is of Russian “interference.” Maria Butina, a young Russian woman living in the United States, has been in prison for months, much of the time in solitary confinement, charged with “networking” on behalf of her government without having registered as a foreign agent. Hundreds of Americans have “networked” similarly in Russia since the 1990s, myself among them, to the indifference of the Kremlin, though this may now be changing, largely in reaction to US policies.

How should we feel about US-Russian “meddling” of the kind that involves dissemination of their respective information and points of view? We should encourage it on both sides. Attempts to suppress it is leading to censorship in both countries, while the more conflicting information and dialogue we have the better—better understanding and better policy-making and more and better democracy on both sides. (Disclosure: All of my own books and many of my articles have been published in Moscow in Russian-language translations. The reactions of Russian readers are exceptionally valuable to me, as they should be to any American author.)

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“Russian Intelligence services” – Google News: Facebook CEO says he’ll double down on privacy – newschannel20.com

Facebook CEO says he’ll double down on privacy  newschannel20.com

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Mark Zuckerberg said Facebook will start to emphasize new privacy-shielding messaging services, a shift apparently intended to blunt …

“Russian Intelligence services” – Google News

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“analysis of trump electorate” – Google News: Democrats reject Fox News for 2020 debates over Trump relationship – live – The Guardian

Democrats reject Fox News for 2020 debates over Trump relationship – live  The Guardian

A meeting of House Democrats reportedly erupted into a feud on Wednesday over a proposed resolution condemning anti-Semitism in an indirect rebuke of …

“analysis of trump electorate” – Google News

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“trump as danger to National Security” – Google News: Democrats reject Fox News for 2020 debates over Trump relationship – live – The Guardian

Democrats reject Fox News for 2020 debates over Trump relationship – live  The Guardian

A meeting of House Democrats reportedly erupted into a feud on Wednesday over a proposed resolution condemning anti-Semitism in an indirect rebuke of …

“trump as danger to National Security” – Google News

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“trump authoritarianism” – Google News: Lessons from war: Study butterflies, reject border walls | TheHill – The Hill

Lessons from war: Study butterflies, reject border walls | TheHill  The Hill

I naively assumed that these lessons from war and ones from history books would teach us the true futility of walls and barriers.

“trump authoritarianism” – Google News

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“Donald Trump” – Google News: Trump news live – Democrats call for impeachment as president bullies Republicans over emergency declaration – The Independent

Trump news live – Democrats call for impeachment as president bullies Republicans over emergency declaration  The Independent

Donald Trump has lashed out at a number of old enemies on Twitter overnight, including Hillary Clinton, as his frustration with House Democrats and the …

“Donald Trump” – Google News

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1. Trump Circles: Elections from Michael_Novakhov (16 sites): “Donald Trump” – Google News: Trump news live – Democrats call for impeachment as president bullies Republicans over emergency declaration – The Independent

Trump news live – Democrats call for impeachment as president bullies Republicans over emergency declaration  The Independent

Donald Trump has lashed out at a number of old enemies on Twitter overnight, including Hillary Clinton, as his frustration with House Democrats and the …

“Donald Trump” – Google News

1. Trump Circles: Elections from Michael_Novakhov (16 sites)

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Jared and Ivanka’s Security Clearance Scandal: What We Know


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Trump reportedly intervened when his daughter and son-in-law were denied security clearances.
Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Donald Trump, who inherited much of his wealth from his father, has never had much of a problem with nepotism. Two of his sons run the family business and his daughter and son-in-law work in the White House. He clearly prefers to be surrounded by Trumps, and recent reports from the New York Times and CNN demonstrate just how far he’ll go to make sure he is.

According to those reports, Trump pushed for security clearances to be granted to Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner against the wishes of intelligence officials and his own White House staff. Trump has denied intervening in the security clearance process and the White House is now refusing to comply with the House’s investigation into the issue. Here’s what happened and why it matters.

As the White House’s resident renaissance man, Kushner has a huge portfolio of responsibilities, including bringing peace to the Middle East and solving the opioid crisis. Kushner got by with an interim top-secret clearance until February 2018, when then-White House Chief of Staff John Kelly conducted a review of clearances in the wake of the scandal surrounding Rob Porter. Kushner, and everyone else with the interim clearance, was bumped down to as simple secret-level clearance.

CNN reports that Trump was annoyed by Kushner’s downgraded clearance and wanted the issue resolved, in part because of the media attention it was getting. As for why Ivanka would need a clearance, CNN reports that “as a senior adviser who sits in meetings with other senior officials, she is privy to sensitive information.”

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The normal process for granting a security clearance involves the White House’s personnel security office making a determination following an FBI background check. The Times reports that “personnel division officials were divided about whether to grant” Kushner top access. But Kelly and former White House counsel Donald McGahn were aligned. They believed Kushner should not get clearance, in part because of lingering concerns from the FBI and the CIA. The concerns involved Kushner’s family real estate business and its ties to foreign governments, along with his repeated misstatements to the FBI about foreign contacts.

It’s less clear why Ivanka was denied a clearance. CNN reports that because she and Kushner are married, his own issues could have been a factor, but even if that was the case, it wasn’t the only issue. As CNN reports, “Officials had concerns about granting Trump a clearance that were separate from those raised about her husband, according to one of the sources, though it’s unclear what the concerns regarding her were.”

While it’s legal for the president to intervene in security clearance issues, it’s “highly unusual,” according to the Times. And doing it on behalf of his daughter and son-in-law certainly makes it look worse.

Democrats think so, at least. One of the first acts of the Democrat-run House Oversight Committee in January was to launch an investigation “into grave breaches with the security clearance process at the White House.”

They’re denying everything, of course. Trump told the Times he played no role in Kushner getting clearance and Ivanka has said her father stayed out of the process. “The president had no involvement pertaining to my clearance or my husband’s clearance, zero,” she told ABC News.

In the aftermath of the reports refuting that claim, the White House dug its heels in. On Tuesday, White House Counsel Pat Cipollone said the Trump administration would not comply with House Oversight Committee’s request for documents pertaining to Kushner’s security clearance. “We will not concede the Executive’s constitutional prerogatives or allow the Committee to jeopardize the individual privacy rights of current and former Executive Branch employees,” Cipollone wrote to the committee.

Committee chairman Elijah Cummings has accused the White House of stalling as the committee attempts to investigate “repeated, significant, and ongoing abuses of the security clearance system.”

Cummings has threatened to subpoena the White House for the information he’s after. There’s also a looming legislative response. The J.A.R.E.D. Security Clearance Act of 2019 would require congressional notification if a member of the president’s family is granted a security clearance against the wishes of intelligence officials.

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Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: SinoTech: Trump Delays Tariff Hike on Chinese Imports, Anticipates Trade Deal

On Feb. 24, President Trump announced in two tweets that he would delay the increase in U.S tariffs targeting Chinese goods scheduled for March 1 and that, “assuming both sides make additional progress,” he would hold a summit with President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago to “conclude an agreement.” Trump’s announcement came at the conclusion of several days of trade talks in Washington. The talks were originally scheduled to last from Feb. 21–22, but the U.S. and China extended negotiations by another two days in what was widely interpreted as a sign of progress.

On Thursday, however, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow painted a slightly different picture of the Washington trade talks. Kudlow advanced a largely positive message, noting that negotiators made “great headway” and that the Chinese expressed willingness to introduce key structural reforms to their economy. Kudlow also revealed, however, that the talks had collapsed at one point and that the second day of negotiations was “canceled” due to a lack of progress. That two day extension, Kudlow continued, came only after U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer “read [the Chinese representatives] the riot act.”

In recent weeks and months, it has become clear that Lighthizer and Trump don’t see eye-to-eye on the U.S.-China trade war. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, largely hewing to positive rhetoric, has said that the administration is “completely united” on the trade file. Yet the New York Times has reported that Lighthizer “has been frustrated by the president’s superficial understanding of the trading relationship with China.” On Feb. 24, Lighthizer and Trump argued in front of Vice Premier Liu He in the Oval Office. In the exchange, caught on camera, Lighthizer maintained that the memoranda of understanding (MOUs) that Chinese and American negotiators are preparing are binding agreements. Trump disagreed. Three days later, Lighthizer testified before the House Ways and Means Committee. While praising “President Trump’s leadership,” Lighthizer adopted a cautious tone, stating that “much still needs to be done before an agreement is reached and, more importantly after it is reached, if one is reached.”

Lighthizer has focused not only on the much-discussed need for Chinese officials to implement structural changes to the economy, but has also stressed the need for proper enforcement of any deal struck between Beijing and Washington. The administration, Lighthizer testified, wants a “triple-tiered enforcement mechanism” that would allow the U.S. to unilaterally impose tariffs if Beijing does not abide by the terms of the deal. Lighthizer is not alone in pushing for robust enforcement provisions: a variety of trade specialists have stressed that a deal would be meaningless without proper verification.

Despite Lighthizer’s concerns, it seems that the two sides are close to a deal. The New York Times reported on Sunday that Beijing will “make big purchases of American … goods” and lower non-tariff barriers that American firms face in China in return for the U.S. dropping tariffs on “at least $200 billion” worth of Chinese goods. Beijing has already agreed to Trump’s proposed Mar-a-Lago summit, which means that Trump and Xi could well reach a deal by the end of the month. How far that deal will go in addressing Lighthizer’s concerns, however, remains an unresolved question. 

State Council Releases Draft Regulations on Gene-editing 

On Feb. 26, 2019, the National Health Commission, an executive agency responsible for health policy under China’s State Council, released draft regulations covering gene editing and other biomedical technologies. The regulations follow a November 2018 scandal in which Chinese scientist He Jiankui announced that he had used the gene editing technology CRISPR-Cas9 to modify the genomes of two twin girls before birth to make them immune to HIV/AIDS. He’s work was quickly condemned by many in the Chinese and international scientific communities, and he was fired from his position at the Southern University of Science and Technology in Shenzhen.

Under the new regulations, clinical trials that use techniques such as gene transfer, regulation, and editing will be designated based on their risk and must receive approval from government officials. Low- and medium-risk trials will be reviewed by health departments at the provincial level, while high-risk technologies will be reviewed by the National Health Commission. The draft regulations also place a greater burden on the directors of hospitals and research organizations to supervise clinical trials at their institutions. Researchers who violate these regulations may face sanctions, including having business licenses revoked, criminal investigation, or tbans from conducting research, according to Bloomberg.

The biotechnology industry, including genetics research, is a source of both competition and collaboration between the United States and China. A report released last month by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, titled “China’s Biotechnology Development: The Role of U.S. and Other Foreign Engagement,” highlights the trade and investment relationships linking biotech firms in the two countries. The report, which was written by the Rhodium Group and Gryphon Scientific, notes that the health and biotechnology sector was the leading recipient of Chinese investment in the United States in 2018. However, greater investment could exacerbate privacy worries surrounding Chinese companies’ access to sensitive health and genetic information of U.S. citizens. Indeed, Chinese investment in U.S. biotechnology companies is likely to come under increased scrutiny following revisions to the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process to allow for review of acquisitions of minority stakes in firms working with critical technologies. Those revisions were made as part of the Foreign Investment Risk Review Modernization Act, which was fully implemented earlier this year.

The draft State Council regulations reflect the Chinese government’s renewed attention to possible dangers surrounding gene-editing. However, as China’s biotechnology sector grows, concerns in the United about national security risks relating to health data, access to sensitive research, and differing regulatory regimes and ethical standards surrounding technologies like CRISPR-Cas9 may continue to grow.

In Other News…

The U.S.-China tech rivalry was very much apparent at the Mobile World Congress (MWC), held last week in Barcelona. MWC is one of the world’s most diverse tech conferences, where industry giants like Apple and Samsung display new technology to attendees from around the globe. Huawei made a defiant stand at this year’s conference. Addressing the Congress, Huawei chairman Guo Ping argued that “we don’t do bad things” and called for “aligned responsibility, unified standards, and clear regulations.” The United States sent a delegation to MWC to “protest [Huawei’s] involvement in providing infrastructure for 5G.” Huawei, meanwhile, used the conference to showcase new gadgets, including its widely heralded foldable phone, the Mate X.

The United States and various analysts have warned that the Chinese government might compel Huawei to turn over data under China’s 2017 National Intelligence Law. A spokesperson for the Chinese government, said on March 4 that,

According to China’s National Intelligence Law, organizations and citizens have the obligation to support, assist and cooperate with national intelligence work. At the same time it also explicitly stipulates that intelligence work should be conducted according to law and in a way that respects and protects human rights and the lawful rights of individuals and organizations.

Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei has been adamant in interviews with foreign media that “We never participate in espionage … And we absolutely never install backdoors. Even if we were required by Chinese law, we would firmly reject that.” Zhou Hanhua, the vice president of the Law Institute at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, also argued in Wired that no part of Chinese law requires Huawei to install backdoors. That assessment has been called into doubt by a number of other legal experts.

In tandem with Huawei’s broader PR effort to make the case that it is not a security threat, the New York Times reports that Huawei is about to file a lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas challenging the U.S. government’s restriction preventing federal agencies from using the company’s products. Russia-based Kaspersky Labs unsuccessfully filed a similar suit last year, with the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ultimately ruling against the company’s argument that legislation prohibiting federal agencies from using Kaspersky products was an unconstitutional bill of attainder.

On March 1, Canada’s Department of Justice issued an “authority to proceed” with the extradition process of Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, who has been indicted in the United States for subverting Iran sanctions. The Chinese Embassy in Ottawa issued a sharp rebuke, casting the decision as an example of “obvious political interference” and calling for Meng’s immediate release “in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Extradition Act.” Meng’s defense team maintained that Meng is “innocent of any wrongdoing” and that the extradition “constitutes an abuse of the processes of law.” Meng has a variety of legal tools available, including the right of appeal, meaning that it could be years before she is extradited to the United States.

According to the Washington Post, China has delayed the publication of a World Bank report that calls on China to implement structural economic reforms. The World Bank teamed up with the Development Research Center, “an influential think tank under China’s state council,” to suggest solutions for sustainable economic growth. The report, the Post reports, is designed to follow up on a previous World Bank-Development Research Center publication, entitled “China 2030.” That report concluded that Chinese growth in the coming years would depend on the Chinese leadership’s ability to achieve reforms.

The latest report from the China Internet Network Information Center indicates the sheer scale of internet usage in China. China News Service shared several statistics from that report, including that the national internet availability rate has increased to 59.6 percent. As of December 2018, China had some 829 million internet users. Sinocism’s Bill Bishop noted that these statistics are “just another reminder of why many U.S. internet forms are willing to work with Beijing” and to cooperate with Chinese censorship demands.

On March 1, Paul Grewal, Facebook deputy general counsel, revealed that Facebook and Instagram have filed a federal lawsuit against four firms and three individuals in China. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern District of California, alleges that defendants “operated a series of websites promoting the sale of fake … and inauthentic accounts.” Facebook is seeking a permanent injunction against the defendants’ actions as well as damages for “trademark and service mark infringement.”

Commentary

In Foreign Policy, Michèle Flournoy and Gabrielle Chefitz describe what the United States must do to promote innovation domestically as China’s technology sector continues to develop. For the Brookings TechTank blog, Daniel Araya looks at why the United States and China have chosen such different paths to pursue AI dominance. On the Council on Foreign Relations Net Politics blog, Robert Knake discusses the relatively slow breakout times for intrusions by Chinese hackers revealed in recent data from the cybersecurity firm Crowdstrike. Tom Braithwaite, writing in the Financial Times, considers what U.S.-China tech relations might look like today had Motorola’s acquisition of Huawei succeeded in 2003, observing the dearth of U.S. companies in international telecommunications infrastructure. Melanie Hart and Blaine Johnson explore China’s global governance ambitions, including the relationships between digital surveillance and Chinese technology infrastructure, in a new report for the Center for American Progress.

For the Center for Strategic and International Studies, Mark Sobel considers provisions to require a stable Chinese currency as part of trade deal between China and the United States. Meanwhile in Caixin magazine, Yu Yongding argues “that China must think twice” before agreeing to a deal on the renminbi. A new report from Joshua P. Meltzer and Neena Shenal of Brookings and the American Enterprise Institute respectively examines how the United States and China could work to address long-term challenges in a trade deal.

On Lawfare, former FCC chairman Tom Wheeler and Robert D. Williams (Disclosure: Williams edits this column) argue that a U.S. ban on using Huawei hardware in 5G infrastructure will not be enough to ensure the security of domestic 5G networks. Ben Buchanan analyzes U.S. Cyber Command’s offensive cyber operation against Russia’s Internet Research Agency in advance of the 2018 midterm elections. Finally, Jim Baker offers his assessment of the Trump administration’s recent executive order on artificial intelligence. On the Lawfare Podcast, Bastian Giegerich of IIISS and Benjamin Wittes discuss IISS’ recently released Military Balance report, including Chinese military modernization (at 18:17) and the cyber-military balance (at 39:18). On the Cyberlaw Podcast, Stewart Baker interviews Crowdstrike’s Dmitri Alperovitch on the firm’s 2019 Global Threat Report, including the threats posed by nation-state actors such as China, Russia, and North Korea (at 31:45).

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

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“US elections and russia” – Google News: The Long History of US-Russian “Meddling” – The Nation

The Long History of US-Russian “Meddling”  The Nation

The two governments have repeatedly interfered in each other’s domestic politics during the past 100 years—and it’s not all bad.

“US elections and russia” – Google News

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Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Document: Trump Revokes Obama Executive Order on Counterterrorism Strike Casualty Reporting

On Wednesday, President Trump issued an executive order revoking an Obama administration order that created reporting requriements for U.S. counterterorrism strikes. Read the full order below.

Executive Order on Revocation of Reporting Requirement

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1.  Findings.  (a)  Section 3 of Executive Order 13732 of July 1, 2016 (United States Policy on Pre- and Post Strike Measures To Address Civilian Casualties in U.S. Operations Involving the Use of Force), requires the Director of National Intelligence, or such other official as the President may designate, to release, by May 1 each year, an unclassified summary of the number of strikes undertaken by the United States Government against terrorist targets outside areas of active hostilities, as well as assessments of combatant and non combatant deaths resulting from those strikes, among other information.

(b)  Section 1057 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 (Public Law 115-91) similarly requires the Secretary of Defense to submit to the congressional defense committees, by May 1 each year, a report on civilian casualties caused as a result of United States military operations during the preceding year (civilian casualty report).  Subsection 1057(d) requires that the civilian casualty report be submitted in unclassified form, but recognizes that the report may include a classified annex.

(c)  Section 1062 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (Public Law 115-232) expanded the scope of the civilian casualty report and specified that the report shall be made available to the public unless the Secretary of Defense certifies that the publication of the report would pose a threat to the national security interests of the United States.

Sec. 2.  Revocation of Reporting Requirement.  Section 3 of Executive Order 13732 is hereby revoked.

Sec. 3.  General Provisions.  (a)  Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

(i)   the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency, or the head thereof; or

(ii)  the functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary, administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b)  This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c)  This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

DONALD J. TRUMP

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

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Among the ‘Jewish groups’ Trump cites, one with neo-Nazi ties


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President Donald Trump pushed for Congressional leaders to unseat Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., from the House Foreign Affairs Committee this week by citing a letter signed by organizations he described as “Jewish groups” calling for her removal.

But the coalition behind the letter — described by conservative media to be “leading Jewish organizations” — includes groups that maintain no relationship to the American Jewish community and peddle anti-Muslim conspiracy theories.

One of the groups was once found to have ties to a longtime neo-Nazi.

“Representative Ilhan Omar is again under fire for her terrible comments concerning Israel. Jewish groups have just sent a petition to Speaker Pelosi asking her to remove Omar from Foreign Relations Committee. A dark day for Israel!” Trump tweeted Monday night.

The tweet refers to a letter addressed to Pelosi and chairman Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., arguing that Omar has shown “carelessness and poor judgement” in her criticism of Israel and “lacks the temperament for someone who is tasked with objectively addressing the volatile issues in the Middle East.” It calls for her ouster from the influential committee.

Signatories include two organizations classified as anti-Muslim hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. Both have ties to the Trump administration: ACT for America and the Center for Security Policy.

Critics say the president’s promotion of fringe anti-Muslim groups with hawkish foreign policy views raises wider questions about the Republican push to unseat Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee.

Both groups are linked to members of Trump’s foreign policy team who favor military intervention in the Muslim world: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton. Omar is vocally skeptical of U.S. wars.

The letter was authored by the Endowment for Middle East Truth, which then circulated it among supporting organizations.

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Asked to describe her criteria for selecting organizations to cosign, EMET founder and president Sarah Stern described the coalition as being made up of “hawks.”

“The groups that signed onto it are national security hawks and care about a strong and safe America and a strong and safe Israel,” Stern said. 

Muslim and Jewish groups alike have questioned whether the push is motivated solely by rooting out anti-Semitism, or scaremongering against one of the first Muslim congresswoman ever elected.

“There’s no doubt that, rather than seriously confronting the issue of anti-Semitism, President Trump and his allies want to weaponize the debate to advance their own agendas — agendas rife with xenophobia and Islamophobia,” said Logan Bayroff, director of communications for J Street, a Jewish group that endorses a two-state solution.

Omar’s office could not be reached for comment.

But the Minnesota Democrat addressed how her identity m ight shape perceptions of her in a recent interview with The Intercept’s Deconstructed podcast.

“I believe that there are a lot of people who analyze my words differently because of their preconceived notions about who a Muslim is, who a refugee is, who … this black woman is,” she said.

 

Act for America

Among the signatories of the letter calling for Omar’s removal from the committee is Brigitte Gabrielle of ACT for America.

Act for America has boasted about its relationship with the Trump administration, referring to Pompeo as a “steadfast ally,” in direct mail pieces. The group presented Pompeo with its National Security Eagle Award in 2016.

ACT bills itself as a “grassroots national security organization,” but the SPLC argues the group conflates national security with the denigration of Muslims.

“We’ve listed ACT for America as a hate group for some time,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the civil rights group’s Intelligence Project. “And the reason is that Brigitte Gabrielle has engaged in some really ugly rhetoric about Muslims and has held protests aligned with neo-Nazis.”

Beirich pointed to a series of rallies the group planned in 2017 under the banner “March Against Sharia” attended by white nationalists.

Longtime neo-Nazi Billy Roper organized the Arkansas event for the group, according to the SPLC. Roper once served as the state leader of the National Alliance, a now defunct neo-Nazi group that agitated for Jewish genocide. ACT subsequently disavowed Roper.

In a viral video clip from a 2014, Gabrielle falsely claims one fifth of Muslims believe in a violent ideology, and compares peaceful Muslims to peaceful Germans during the Nazi regime — “irrelevant.”

ACT could not be reached for comment.

 

Center for Security Policy

The Center for Security Policy, the right-wing think tank founded by Frank Gaffney Jr., has advocated for U.S. wars in the Middle East stretching back to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

The think tank is nonpartisan and adheres to the philosophy of “Peace through Strength,” according to its mission statement.

But the center has a history of stoking conspiratorial fears about the Muslim Brotherhood and “creeping Sharia” in order to make their case, according to the SPLC, which classifies the think tank as a hate group.

Gaffney has been accused of Islamophobic and xenophobic comments, including the denigration of immigrants and refugees.

In 2015 he described Somali refugees working at meat processing plants by saying, “I don’t know about you, but it kind of creeps me out that they are getting jobs in the food supply of the United States.”

Omar is a Somali refugee.

Gaffney recently stepped back from managing the think tank, which is now led by Fred Fleitz.

Fleitz most recently served as the chief of staff to John Bolton, the hawkish National Security Advisor who has reportedly explored strategies for bombing Iran with the Pentagon.

“I was proud to sign this letter as President of the Center for Security Policy, an organization that is pro-Israel and has taken a strong stand against a dangerous surge in anti-Semitism on the Left,” Fleitz said in a statement. “I was very disappointed that Roll Call included as credible sources discredited far-left organizations to smear the signers of this letter such as the Southern Poverty Law Center and J Street.”

Asked about Act for America and the Center for Security Policy’s designations as hate groups, other groups that endorsed the letter calling for Omar’s removal from the committee have stressed the content is what is most important, not the signatures at the end.

Eric Rozenman, communications consultant to the Jewish Policy Center, argued the SPLC has overzealous in its condemnations. Organizers were not aware of the other cosigners before the letter was published, he said.

Still, critics say amplifying anti-Muslim groups by falsely casting them as leading Jewish organizations is dangerous.

“The problem with elevating these group is it gives cover and sanction to their bigotry,” Beirich said.

Watch: Trump calls on Rep. Ilhan Omar to resign

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“Trump demands victory to be handed to him” – Google News: Foreign leaders lavish Trump with diplomatic gifts – 13WHAM-TV

Foreign leaders lavish Trump with diplomatic gifts  13WHAM-TV

WASHINGTON (AP) — Foreign leaders showered President Donald Trump and his family with more than $140000 in gifts during their first year in the White …

“Trump demands victory to be handed to him” – Google News

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“Russian Intelligence services” – Google News: As Russian Military Moves into Thawing Arctic, U.S. Strategy Shifts – Scientific American

As Russian Military Moves into Thawing Arctic, U.S. Strategy Shifts  Scientific American

Scientific American is the essential guide to the most awe-inspiring advances in science and technology, explaining how they change our understanding of the …

“Russian Intelligence services” – Google News

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“trump in financial times” – Google News: Blow to Trump as US trade deficit hits 10-year high – Financial Times

Blow to Trump as US trade deficit hits 10-year high  Financial Times

The US trade deficit soared to $621bn last year, its highest level in a decade, dealing a blow to President Donald Trump’s ambitions to reduce an imbalance he …

“trump in financial times” – Google News

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The Early Edition: March 6, 2019


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from Just Security.

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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.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

President Trump took time out of official business in October 2017 to sign a $35,000 check to his then-personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who had made “hush payments” to prevent alleged sexual misconduct from being exposed before the 2016 presidential election. The incident marks one of 11 occasions that Trump or his trust cut such checks, with others coinciding with Trump’s conversations with Russian President Putin and the firing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman report in an exclusive at the New York Times.

The House Intelligence Committee has hired experienced former Southern District of New York federal prosecutor Daniel Goldman to lead its myriad investigations into President Donald Trump. Chairman Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) announced yesterday that Goldman, who has experience prosecuting Russian organized crime, joined the committee last month as senior adviser and director of investigations, Andrew Desiderio reports at POLITICO.

Trump yesterday characterized the sweeping new investigation of his inner circle as a “big … fat … fishing expedition.” In a series of messages sent on Twitter, the president claimed the House Judiciary Committee investigation of his alleged crimes was “the greatest overreach in the history of our Country,” adding “the real crime is what the Dems are doing, and have done!” AFP reports.

A federal judge said yesterday that the publication of a book last month by longtime Trump associate Roger Stone which criticized Special Counsel Robert Mueller may violate a media gag order – a move that could land the self-described “dirty trickster” Stone in jail. Judge Amy Berman Jackson for the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ordered Stone and his attorneys to provide her with a report by Monday explaining how he plans to comply with the order, and also insisted that he turn over particular records detailing everything he knew about the book’s release, Reuters reports.

An analysis on the likely next steps for Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference and alleged collusion with the Trump campaign, and the furore over the release of the investigation’s report in particular, is provided at the Economist.

Trump is now engaged in a war for his survival, Stephen Collinson comments at CNN, contrasting Trump with the more “disciplined” former president Bill Clinton, and arguing that the president’s “incessant claims that he is the victim of ‘hoax’ investigations and attempts to tear down the guardrails surrounding his office often give the impression that he has something to hide.”

The “big unanswered questions” after Cohen’s congressional hearings last week are explored by Philp Ewing at NPR: why did the Trumps keep Cohen out of the June 2016 meeting with the Russians; did the Trumps do anything beyond welcome the work of WikiLeaks; what else is in the ‘treasure trove;’ and how credible is Cohen?

The KOREAN PENINSULA

North Korea has allegedly begun rebuilding a rocket launch site that had been partially dismantled as a goodwill gesture after the Singapore summit between President Trump and Northern leader Kim Jong-un in June last year. Satellite images suggest the reconstruction work was carried out shortly before the leaders’ failed second summit in Hanoi last week, and the publication of the photographs last night have contributed to fears that the peace effort us in jeopardy, Julian Borger reports at the Guardian.

North Korea began dismantling the Sohae Satellite Launching Station in Tongchang-ri near its northwestern border with China last summer, partially dismantling an engine test site, a rocket launchpad and a rail-mounted building used by engineers to assemble launch vehicles and move them toward the launchpad. However, the North did not completely take down the facilities, and when Kim met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in September, he offered to destroy them in the presence of U.S. experts – an offer that is now shrouded in uncertainty, Choe Sang-Hun reports at the New York Times.

U.S. Senators merged from a closed-door briefing yesterday on the Kim-Trump summit apparently reassured that the administration has a plan for dialogue with Pyongyang going forward, even if they remain unclear whether the plan will be successful. “I see what the strategy is,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) commented, describing the briefing as “great,” and adding: “the odds of success on the strategy are not high, but I think everybody’s realistic about that,” Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

Trump has consistently failed to understand Kim’s motivations, retired U.S. Army colonel and former member of the National Security Council Jeff McCausland comments at NBC.

The TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

President Trump strong-armed his former chief of staff John Kelly and former White House counsel Don McGahn to grant his daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump a security clearance in defiance of their recommendations, according to a new report. Three people familiar with the matter have claimed that the president’s decision to intervene in his daughter’s security clearance process “rankled” White House officials; White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated “we don’t comment on security clearances,” Pamela Brown and Kaitlan Collins report at CNN.

White House Counsel Pat Cipollone yesterday said that the administration will refuse to provide Congress with information about senior adviser Jared Kushner’s security clearance, criticizing House Democrats for “overly intrusive document requests.” Cipollone wrote a letter to Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, stating that his Committee’s request for information on Kushner “suggest[s] that the Committee is not interested in proper oversight, but rather seeks information that it knows cannot be provided consistent with applicable law,” Andrew Desiderio reports at POLITICO.

VENEZUELA

Venezuelan opposition leader and self-declaed interim president Juan Guaidó pledged yesterday to increase pressure on incumbent President Nicolás Maduro, who in turn promised to crush the “crazed minority” that wants to remove him from power. Guaidó, who returned to the country on Monday in defiance of a travel ban, told reporters that Maduro’s government is “drowning in contradictions, they don’t know how to respond to Venezuela’s people … they thought the pressure had reached its zenith, but it’s only just beginning,” AFP reports.

Is Guaidó interim president or opposition leader? Carol Morello provides an analysis at the Washington Post.

SYRIA

U.S.-backed forces in Syria are holding more than 2,000 suspected Islamic State group fighters, according to U.S. defense officials, with the development providing an obstacle to Trump administration’s plans to withdraw U.S. forces from the war-torn country. The new estimate exacerbates the challenge of relocating the captured Islamic State fighters to their home countries – and makes it more difficult for the U.S.-led coalition to wind down operations in Syria,  Nancy A. Youssef and Gordon Lubold report at the Wall Street Journal.

Two months after declaring all U.S. troops are leaving Syria – President Trump wrote to members of Congress that he agrees “100%” with keeping a military presence in the country. A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives wrote to Trump on Feb. 22, praising his decision to maintain a small residual force in Syria; “I agree 100% … ALL is being done,” President Trump responded, writing directly on the letter, Courtney Kube reports at NBC.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 211 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria between Feb. 10 and Feb. 23. [Central Command]

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Senate Republican leaders have acknowledged that opponents of President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency along the Southern border have sufficient votes in the Senate to prevail on a resolution aimed at preventing the move. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell – who is backing Trump despite his own misgivings about the declaration – said Trump will veto the resolution that is likely to be sustained in Congress: “I think what is clear in the Senate is there will be enough votes to pass the resolution of disapproval, which will then be vetoed by the president and then, in all likelihood, the veto will be upheld in the House,” McConnell told reporters, Al Jazeera reports.

At least 16 people were killed in a suicide attack today on a construction company in eastern Afghanistan. The hours-long attack in the key city of Jalalabad began early this morning when at least two blasts were heard – according to a reporter – before security forces rushed to the scene, AFP reports.

Tech giant Google has remained silent over reports it told a U.S. congresswoman that a “controversial” app was not in breach of its terms and conditions. Saudi app Absher can be used by men to track women and stop them from travelling, the BBC reports.

Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei yesterday urged governments – along with the telecoms industry and regulators – to work together to create a common set of cybersecurity standards. Reuters reports.

A group of Democratic and progressive lawmakers are reportedly sponsoring a pledge from a veterans group to “end the forever war.” Gass-roots organization Common Defense claims that it has secured the backing of eight lawmakers –including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) – for its pledge calling for the U.S. “to bring a clear end to these military interventions,” citing involvement in conflicts in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Jordan, Niger, Somalia and Thailand, Justin Wise reports at the Hill.

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Putin urges stronger protection of Russian military secrets – NBC 15 WPMI


Michael_Novakhov
shared this story
from “Putin Trump” – Google News.

Putin urges stronger protection of Russian military secrets  NBC 15 WPMI

MOSCOW (AP) — President Vladimir Putin urged Russia’s top domestic security agency on Wednesday to tighten its protection of information related to new …

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