9:23 AM 11/12/2017 – No puppet master, no puppet – by Michael Novakhov

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It looks like the Russians are desperate for the high-level contact: it did not work out for Mr. Pu, maybe it will for Medvedev? This is a somewhat unusual circumstance: to send two leaders on a far foreign trip almost simultaneously. There must be a reason for it.

Is the planned change in Russian leadership somewhere in sight for 2018, the year of the presidential elections in Russia? Does Putin plan not to run and to endorse Medvedev? Is there any deal in the works between the Russian and the U.S. intelligence circles about the change of leadership in Russia as a condition for improvement in relations and the reconsideration of sanctions which spell the economic and political demise of Russia as it is now? Blame it all on the old, half-demented Tzar, and send him into the well deserved and dignified retirement. Somewhat better and more humane than just to kill him. And then we’ll see, maybe he would want to travel to The Hague, or to some other interesting places, to attend some interesting meetings. 

No puppet master, no puppet. Or no the obvious, visible, and implied, “hard-wired” connection between them. The other, more complicated connections, of spying-cyber-virtual, and hard to find realm, are the completely different matter. 

Michael Novakhov

11.12.17

“Others who will be in Manila for the summit meetings include Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and leaders from Japan, Canada, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.” 

___________________________

Mr. Pu does not look very happy:

Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit ABC News Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit – ABC News

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TASS: World – Medvedev, Trump photographed next but one before gala dinner in Manila

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© REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

MANILA, November 12. /TASS/. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and US President Donald Trump were standing next nearest to each other during the joint photo session before the gala dinner for ASEAN leaders attending the summit in Manila, a TASS correspondent reported on Sunday.

The Russian prime minister was among the first to show up at the congress hall where the Philippines president organized the reception. Earlier in the day, Medvedev had a number of bilateral meetings. Trump, on the contrary, was the last to arrive at the reception, with his Philippines shirt pretty wrinkled.

Before taking their seats at the dinner, the leaders, wearing Philippines national shirts Barong Tagalong, posed for a joint photo. Medvedev and Trump were standing next but one to each other, with only Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguen Xuan Phuc between them.

Medvedev and Trump were also photographed shaking hands. After a speech by Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, journalists were asked to leave.

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Trump lands in Philippines, offers to mediate on South China Sea

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MANILA (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump landed in the Philippines on Sunday for a summit of Southeast and East Asian nations, hours after offering to mediate on competing claims to the South China Sea that have long stoked tensions in the region.

It will be the last leg of a marathon Asia tour that, despite Trump’s “America First” policy, may reassure some that his administration remains committed to a region that Beijing sees as its strategic domain.

In Vietnam earlier on Sunday, Trump said he was prepared to mediate in the dispute over the South China Sea, where four Southeast Asian countries and Taiwan contest China’s sweeping claims to the busy waterway.

But Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, host of two days of summit meetings that will bring together Southeast Asian and East Asian nations, said the thorny issue was better left untouched. All the claimants will be at the summit, except for Taiwan.

“We have to be friends, the other hotheads would like us to confront China and the rest of the world on so many issues,” Duterte said at a pre-summit business conference in Manila.

“The South China Sea is better left untouched, nobody can afford to go to war. It can ill-afford a violent confrontation.”

The United States and its former colony, the Philippines, have been strategic allies since World War Two.

Trump is expected to try during the summit to shore up relations, which have been strained by the mercurial Duterte’s notorious anti-U.S. sentiment and his enthusiasm for better ties with Russia and China.

Police used water canon to prevent hundreds of protesters reaching the U.S. embassy in Manila ahead of Trump’s arrival.

Carrying placards declaring “Dump Trump” and “Down with U.S. Imperialism”, the left-wing protesters were blocked by police in riot gear with shields and batons, and then showered with jets of water from a fire engine.

”Trump is the CEO of the imperialist government of the U.S., said 18-year-old student Alexis Danday after the protesters were scattered. “We know he is here to push for unfair treaties between the Philippines and the U.S.”

TRUMP CALLS IT “INDO-PACIFIC”

On a tour that has taken him to Japan, South Korea, China and Vietnam, Trump and his team have repeatedly used the term “Indo-Pacific” instead of “Asia-Pacific” for the region, which some see as an effort to depict it as more than China-dominated.

Pacific Rim nation leaders agreed in Vietnam on Saturday to address “unfair trade practices” and “market distorting subsidies”, a statement that bore the imprint of Trump’s efforts to reshape the global trade landscape.

The summit of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries in Vietnam put on show the contrasting vision of the “America First” policy with the traditional consensus favoring multinational deals that China now seeks to champion.

Leaders at the Philippines summit will discuss the South China Sea, but mainly to agree on a procedural step to cool tensions.

In August, foreign ministers of Southeast Asia and China adopted a negotiating framework for a code of conduct in the resource-rich waterway, a move they hailed as progress but one seen by critics as a tactic to buy China time to consolidate its power.

The framework seeks to advance a 2002 Declaration of Conduct (DOC) of Parties in the South China Sea. The DOC has mostly been ignored by claimant states, particularly China, which has built seven man-made islands in disputed waters, three of them equipped with runways, surface-to-air missiles and radars.

The framework will be endorsed by China and the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Monday, a diplomat from one of the regional bloc’s countries said.

Others who will be in Manila for the summit meetings include Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and leaders from Japan, Canada, South Korea, India, Australia and New Zealand.

Additional reporting by Neil Jerome Morales, Enrico dela Cruz and Manolo Serapio; Writing by John Chalmers; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan

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Trump offers to mediate in protracted South China Sea feud

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Трамп пришел на церемонию встречи с Дутерте после Медведева – Газета.Ru | Новости

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Премьер-министр России Дмитрий Медведев прибыл на церемонию встречи главы делегаций АСЕАН с президентом Филиппин Родриго Дутерте, следом за ним на церемонию пришел президент США Дональд Трамп, передает РИА «Новости».

Дутерте встретил лидеров вместе со своей супругой Сьелито Авансенье.

Во время церемонии фотографирования между Трампом и Медведевым стоял премьер-министр Вьетнама Нгуен Суан Фука.

Ранее сообщалось, что в Маниле заявили о желании России назначить военного атташе на Филиппинах.

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At least 20 children injured in stairwell collapse in San Diego – Los Angeles Times

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At least 20 children were injured when a stairwell collapsed Saturday night at an indoor paintball course in San Diego’s Barrio Logan neighborhood. The accident was reported at 7:40 p.m. at the facility on Main Street near Sigsbee Street. The children …
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12:47 PM 11/10/2017 – RECENT POSTS: The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism and the counterintelligence? Answer: Because sometimes the “F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun” – FBI News Review 

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Директор Федеральной службы безопасности Александр Бортников и специальный представитель Президента по вопросам природоохранной деятельности, экологии и транспорта Сергей Иванов перед началом совещания с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности. 11.10.17 2:26 PM 11/9/2017 – F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun | FBI News Review  M.N. I guess, now we can understand why we have all these problems with … Continue reading “12:47 PM 11/10/2017 – RECENT POSTS: The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism and the counterintelligence? Answer: Because sometimes the “F.B.I. Supervisor Wakes to Find a Woman Stole His Gun” – FBI News Review “

mikenov on Twitter: The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism and the counterintelligence? worldnewsandtimes.org/2017/11/10/124… 

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The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism and the counterintelligence? worldnewsandtimes.org/2017/11/10/124…


Posted by  mikenov on Friday, November 10th, 2017 6:05pm

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Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism…

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Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: The Secrets Of The Black Briefcase | Question: Why do we have all these problems with the counter-terrorism…

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STATEMENT BY SASC CHAIRMAN JOHN McCAIN ON PRESIDENT TRUMP’S COMMENTS ABOUT VLADIMIR PUTIN – Press Releases

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Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, released the following statement today on President Trump’s comments about Vladimir Putin:

“President Trump today stated that he believed Vladimir Putin is being sincere when he denies Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and reiterated that he hopes to cooperate with Russia in Syria.

“There’s nothing ‘America First’ about taking the word of a KGB colonel over that of the American intelligence community. There’s no ‘principled realism’ in cooperating with Russia to prop up the murderous Assad regime, which remains the greatest obstacle to a political solution that would bring an end to the bloodshed in Syria. Vladimir Putin does not have America’s interests at heart. To believe otherwise is not only naive but also places our national security at risk.”

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Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Rules for radicals, real and fake: Trumpworld’s Saul Alinsky obsession – New York Daily News

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New York Daily News
Rules for radicals, real and fake: Trumpworld’s Saul Alinsky obsession
New York Daily News
Rudy Giuliani tied former community organizer Barack Obama to Alinsky’s nefarious plans in 2008, and Newt Gingrich did the same in 2012. Carson picked up the baton last year and hurled it at Clinton’s head, pointing to a throwaway line in Alinsky’s 

 Rudy Giuliani – Google News

CIA Director Mike Pompeo has had enough, speaks out in direct defiance of Donald Trump 

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Donald Trump’s hand picked CIA Director Mike Pompeo has long come off as being one of Trump’s most personally loyal allies. Pompeo has publicly claimed in the past that Russian interference in the election was far less significant than what the rest of the US intelligence community has asserted. Even as recently as last week, Trump and Pompeo were reportedly conspiring to run interference aimed at protecting Trump from his Russia scandal. But as of today, Pompeo is clearly had enough of the antics – and he’s speaking out publicly in direct defiance of Trump.

Earlier today, Donald Trump announced that he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin’s claim that Russia did not interfere in the election. This sent immediate shockwaves across America, causing “Putin” to immediately become the top trending topic on Twitter. Numerous current and former government officials quickly lashed out at Trump for the remark, or sought to directly dispute Trump’s assertion. Shockingly, Mike Pompeo was among those voices.

Here’s how NBC news reporter Andrea Mitchell characterized what Mike Pompeo said: “Wow! CIA Director Mike Pompeo releases statement endorsing intel conclusion Russia meddled direct challenge to Donald Trump’s comments accepting Putin denial and calling ex CIS officials political hacks.” Mitchell’s surprise is warranted, as Pompeo is now clearly trying to distance himself from the entire Trump-Russia mess, and in effect distance himself from Donald Trump entirely. It raises the question of what’s suddenly going on here.

Mike Pompeo is not known to have been a participant in the Trump-Russia election rigging scandal. However, his consistent attempts at covering for Trump in the scandal have made him look incredibly guilty. Perhaps he’s now come to the conclusion that he’s tired of getting dragged deeper into this mess. Perhaps he fears getting caught up the investigation. Or perhaps Mike Pompeo concluded today that Donald Trump is a goner after the Putin remarks, and he’s now hoping to hang onto his CIA job under the next president.

The post CIA Director Mike Pompeo has had enough, speaks out in direct defiance of Donald Trumpappeared first on Palmer Report.

Trump Investigations Report: 4:48 PM 11/11/2017 – Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election 

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Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election The best reporting on Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and, of course, George Papadopoulos – Salon Boris Johnson met ‘London professor’ linked to FBI’s Russia investigation – The Guardian Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election – … Continue reading “4:48 PM 11/11/2017 – Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election”

 Trump Investigations Report

These Are the Ads Russia Bought on Facebook in 2016

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They made for a wildly varied slide show, designed by Russia to exploit divisions in American society and to tip the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald J. Trump and against Hillary Clinton. The House Intelligence Committee provided on Wednesday the biggest public platform to date for a sample of the Facebook ads and pages that were linked by a trail of ruble payments to a Russian company with Kremlin ties.

“America, we have a problem,” said Representative Jackie Speier, a California Democrat who sits on the House committee. “We basically have the brightest minds of our tech community here and Russia was able to weaponize your platforms to divide us, to dupe us and to discredit democracy.”

Among the ads the committee made public at Wednesday’s hearing were a Bernie Sanders superhero promoting gay rights …

… and a shot of Mr. Trump giving a thumbs up and promoting rallies in Florida.

An image of Jesus arm-wrestling Satan (who, the ad said, was backing Mrs. Clinton) …

… and an endorsement of the Black Panthers as fighters against the Ku Klux Klan.

There was a Confederate flag and a call for the South to rise again …

… and a yellow “No Invaders Allowed” sign posted at the United States border.


Attacking Candidates

While many descriptions of Russia’s stealth influence campaign have stressed the focus on issues rather than candidates, many of the Facebook posts did both, often attacking Mrs. Clinton (sometimes via Mr. Sanders):

But at least one ad attacked Mr. Trump:


On the Left and Right

And although some of the Facebook pages fell on the liberal or multicultural side of the political divide, with names like Woke Blacks …

… most leaned strongly to the right, including Back the Badge…

… and Stop All Invaders.


From Both Sides

In some cases, the Russian groups took opposite stands on painful issues, such as police shootings of black people. A page called Don’t Shoot took aim at police brutality…

… while Being Patriotic suggested that Black Lives Matter activists were killing police officers.


Only a Sampling

While the ads being made public by Congress were just a sampling of the large Russian influence operation, independent researchers in recent weeks have identified and made public a far greater volume of such pages. Facebook, Twitter and other platforms have shut down the suspect accounts, but it is still possible to retrieve many of the posts and images because they were widely shared across the internet.

Perhaps the biggest collection, put together by two American researchers who asked not to be identified to avoid online harassment, is posted at a page on Medium. The researchers based their searches largely on the pages and accounts named in a Russian media account based on interviews with former employees of the Russian company with Kremlin ties, the Internet Research Agency, accused of much of the fakery.

Signed in as mikenova

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Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election

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How do you run a political campaign that successfully tips the scale in the favor of your candidate? Run lots of advertisements, ones that portray your candidate in a legitimately human light, establish his or her stance on vital issues and projects them as a trustworthy potential leader of the nation. From time to time, a good ol’ smear campaign that cries foul on your opponents weaknesses is also helpful. At least, that’s what the experts tell me. Take one look at some of the advertisements purchased by the Russian propaganda machine on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and Google to sabotage the presidential race, however, and you will see just how different they are from any successful political campaign any candidate in this democracy has ever run.

“With our hands stuck to our smartphones and eyes to the screen, social media platforms have evolved as the most efficient modern method to gain visibility. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram openly boast their ability to target specific interest groups within the population who are most likely to engage with and be influenced by the campaign. Political memes are funny and relatable, and they subtly input ideas into people’s heads with great efficiency. Due to the massive reach of these platforms and their content delivery techniques, it is easy to reach and influence millions of people every day via paid campaigns.” – Mayur Patil, Co-Founder at Furor Media

There is a picture of Jesus Christ arm-wrestling an #ImWithHer Satan in an attempt to prevent Hillary Clinton from winning the election. There is a meme about Bernie Sanders calling out the Clinton Foundation on corruption charges. There is an advertisement for a fake event being held in an attempt to allow Texas to secede from the United States. And of course, the weirdest of them all, a campaign promoting a coloring book of Bernie Sanders in hilarious muscular poses as an LGBT superhero. Some of these ads performed poorly, while others boasted click-through rates that were abnormally high and oddly successful. One thing that always remained the same, however, is just how weird these advertisements were. If this was an attempt to hack a democratic election, it was abnormally bizarre.

It’s easy to dismiss these campaigns as nothing more than a joke, but the very fact that they reached millions of viewers across the nation proves just how effective they were. Experts, however, say that the fact that these campaigns were so abnormal and funny was exactly the reason why they were so successful. In a new report released by the Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center, authors James Carey and Claire Wardle tell us that the best way to reach a huge audience on a social media platform is to involve as much drama as possible. According to these researchers, advertisements purchased by the foreign propaganda machine were targeted towards a narrow strip of swing voters who weren’t sure which way to lean come election time. The advertisements, despite their initial lack of seriousness, helped confirm for these people their predisposed biases and gave them reason enough to pick one among two opposing candidates both of whom they largely disliked. Better Trump than Hillary, that was the motto of this campaign. Donald Trump may not be perfect, but he is still an outsider, and therefore times better than an establishment-loving Hillary Clinton. You keep hammering this idea into someone’s head long enough, and they will eventually give in.

“It’s hard to imagine that $100,000 in Facebook ads, a small army of Twitter bots, and 18 YouTube channels might have tipped the race for Trump. But the 2016 election was also decided by only several tens of thousands of voters in a handful of counties where swing voters were already deeply suspicious of Clinton. Russia’s Facebook campaign was particularly effective because it confirmed pre-existing narratives that certain segments of Trump voters already had about her.” – Maya Kosoff, Vanity Fair

The propaganda machine ran a very sophisticated social media campaign that depended on the human race’s most basic impulses in an attempt to influence their behavior. Hillary Rotten Clinton. Hillary the Satan. Killary with a K. These ideas were repeatedly hammered into people’s heads as a means to manipulate them on a subconscious level. They may not have agreed with these ads when they saw them, but keep encountering them time after time and they’ll eventually form a subconscious idea that anyone is better than Hillary Clinton. And that, my friends, is how a fiercely hated foreign power with no standing in our nation managed to manipulate our democracy and coerce our wills without us even knowing it.

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The best reporting on Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and, of course, George Papadopoulos – Salon

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The best reporting on Paul Manafort, Rick Gates, and, of course, George Papadopoulos
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new Propublica logo Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, his protégé Rick Gates and the less well-known Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos have all faced scrutiny before Monday. Here are our favorite stories on …and more »
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Boris Johnson met ‘London professor’ linked to FBI’s Russia investigation – The Guardian

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The Guardian
Boris Johnson met ‘London professor’ linked to FBI’s Russia investigation
The Guardian
Boris Johnson is facing questions about the government’s links to key individuals named by the FBI in its Trump-Russia investigation, following the emergence of a photo of him with Joseph Mifsud, the “London professor” with high-level Kremlin contacts.

Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election – Forbes

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Inside Russia’s Intentionally Bizarre Bid To Sabotage The 2016 Election
Forbes
“With our hands stuck to our smartphones and eyes to the screen, social media platforms have evolved as the most efficient modern method to gain visibility. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram openly boast their ability to target specific interest groups 

Trump Scraps Possible Formal Meeting With Putin

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President Donald Trump will not meet formally with Russian President Vladimir Putin at an Asia-Pacific summit in Vietnam this week due to a scheduling conflict, the White House said Friday, amid U.S. concerns that the meeting wouldn’t create genuine progress on key issues.

“Are they going to bump into each other and say hello? Certainly possible and likely,” Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters. “But in terms of a scheduled, formal meeting, there’s not one on the calendar and we don’t anticipate that there will be one.”

Any Putin-Trump meeting would be fraught with political complications for Trump, as his campaign and his administration face investigations over ties to the Russian government during the 2016 presidential campaign. Those probes have been heating up in recent weeks, with charges filed against Trump’s former campaign manager and a foreign policy campaign aide.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Bloomberg that consultations are continuing.

“There is no final understanding yet,” he said.

The Kremlin had announced that both sides were working on a suitable time and format for a meeting when both men are in Vietnam, without specifying if it’d be a formal sit-down. But U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had downplayed the possibility in an interview on his flight from China to Vietnam, saying there was no point meeting if there wasn’t the likelihood they’d make progress on a number of issues.

North Korea

The news came a day after Trump met with Chinese President Xi Jinping over many of the same questions he would have discussed with Putin, notably how to rein in North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

Xi had offered Trump few concrete proposals and little beyond well-worn phrases about the importance of denuclearizing the Korean peninsula. Both Russia and China oppose moves that would cause Kim Jong Un’s regime to collapse, and have called on both North Korea and the U.S. to lower tensions and start talks.

While the Kremlin had said it expected the meeting to happen, and Trump himself told reporters aboard Air Force One that a sit-down was likely, Tillerson insisted Thursday the meeting would only occur if there was “sufficient substance” to necessitate gathering.

“We’d like to know if the two heads of state are going to meet there’s something useful to point to,” Tillerson told reporters in Beijing. He insisted there had not been an agreement for a formal meeting, but said it could be useful if concrete progress on the “significant conversations underway” between the U.S. and Russia on a range of foreign policy issues could be accomplished.

Ross Revelations

That could include efforts on North Korea, as well as the ongoing crises in Syria and Ukraine.

Any meeting between Trump and Putin could carry a political cost for the U.S. president. Recent weeks have featured a flood of difficult stories for the White House, including revelations earlier this week in the New York Times that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross had failed to disclose business ties to Putin associates.

Ross told Bloomberg Television that he will “probably not” maintain his stake, worth up to $10 million, in shipping company Navigator Holdings Ltd., whose clients include a Russian energy company owned partially by Putin’s son-in-law as well as an oligarch who has been sanctioned by the U.S. government.

“I’ve been actually selling it anyway, but that isn’t because of this,” Ross said Monday.

Collusion Investigation

A meeting would also follow the decision by Trump campaign foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos to plead guilty last week to lying to the FBI about his attempts to organize a meeting between campaign staff and Russian officials. The investigation into Russian interference in the election has also already ensnared Paul Manafort, the president’s former campaign chairman, who is accused of crimes stemming from his lobbying and consulting work for pro-Russian interests in Ukraine.

Critics of the U.S. president accuse the White House of slow-walking new sanctions against Russia imposed by Congress, which wanted to signal its displeasure with Russian interference in the 2016 election. This week top U.S. technology companies, including Facebook Inc.Twitter Inc., and Google Inc. disclosed that Russia had distributed mass propaganda over their social media networks during the election.

Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said Friday it was “hard to overestimate the importance and significance of any contact between the president of Russia and the United States for all international matters.”

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Во Вьетнаме завершился саммит АТЭС • Президент России

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Вопрос: Одной из интриг прошедшего саммита стали Ваши возможные переговоры с господином Трампом. Насколько я понимаю, Вам всё‑таки удалось поговорить, что называется, «на ногах». Расскажите, пожалуйста, о чём и, на Ваш взгляд, почему всё‑таки не удалось организовать такую полноценную встречу, полноформатные переговоры?

В.Путин: Что касается отдельной встречи. Во‑первых, это было связано с графиком работы господина Трампа, моим графиком и определёнными формальностями протокола, с которыми нашим командам справиться, к сожалению, не удалось. Но они будут наказаны за это.

Вместе с тем ничего страшного не произошло, мы поговорили в ходе сегодняшнего заседания, пообщались, и, в общем и целом, всё, что хотели, мы обсудили. В основном‑то говорили о чём?

Говорили о том, что обсуждалось на самом саммите АТЭС, говорили о том, как использовать те новые возможности, которые предоставляет цифровая экономика для развития экономических связей. И вы знаете, мы ещё согласовали совместное заявление по борьбе с терроризмом в Сирии.

В этом смысле, имея в виду и первое, и второе, можно сказать, что работа на полях АТЭС была полезной и успешной, потому что не так просто было выйти на заявление по Сирии. Наши эксперты работали над этим заявлением в преддверии саммита, и уже вчера началась доработка этого документа.

Министры иностранных дел господин Лавров и господин Тиллерсон работали над теми вопросами, которые возникли уже после того, как этот текст был предложен экспертами, и сегодня только что мы с Президентом Соединённых Штатов этот документ согласовали. Считаю его важным, потому что он подчёркивает некоторые абсолютно принципиальные вещи.

Во‑первых, продолжение борьбы с терроризмом. Это чрезвычайно важно и для Соединённых Штатов, особенно в свете последних трагических событий, которые там произошли, связанные с террористическими вылазками. Это важно для нас, для страны, которая давно сталкивается с этой проблемой. И это важно для всего международного сообщества. Борьба с терроризмом будет продолжена, причём совместными усилиями.

Что касается Сирии: чрезвычайно важным считаю, что мы подтвердили территориальную целостность и суверенитет страны. Мы договорились о том, что будем после завершения борьбы с террором, ликвидации террористической угрозы на этой территории двигаться по пути политического урегулирования под эгидой Организации Объединённых Наций. Детали этого заявления вы можете посмотреть. Оно, по‑моему, уже опубликовано.

Вопрос: Владимир Владимирович, как Вы оцениваете так называемые антироссийские расследования, которые, кажется, только набирают силу в Соединённых Штатах? Министры американского правительства, их уже обвиняют в коррупционных связях с Россией, и вроде бы члены предвыборного штаба Дональда Трампа встречались с Вашей вроде бы племянницей. Как Вы оцениваете эту ситуацию? Это первый вопрос.

И второй вопрос: Владимир Владимирович, когда уже наконец? Мы уже устали ждать!

В.Путин: Вторую часть Вашего вопроса пока оставлю без ответа. Время придёт, мы поговорим на эту тему.

Что касается первой части, то я уже многократно высказывался на этот счёт. Считаю, что всё, что связано с российским так называемым «досье» в Соединённых Штатах, на сегодняшний день – это проявление продолжающейся внутриполитической борьбы.

Вот те конкретные вещи, о которых Вы сказали, конечно, они мне известны, хотя о каких‑то связях моих родственников с представителями Администрации или с какими‑то официальными лицами – я об этом узнал только вчера от господина Пескова. Я не знаю об этом ничего, ровным счётом вообще ничего. По‑моему, это всё бредни какие‑то.

По поводу министра торговли, по‑моему, речь идёт о министре торговли Соединённых Штатов. Он бизнесом раньше занимался, был акционером или владельцем шиппинговой компании, причём мирового уровня, заключал контракты с отправителями грузов по всему миру, может быть, и с российскими. Но это не больше чем бизнес.

Никакого отношения к политике это никогда не имело и не имеет. Я даже фамилии его не знаю, если по‑честному, только недавно, честно говоря, услышал. Поэтому здесь нечего расследовать. Но при желании можно, конечно, поковыряться в поисках каких‑то сенсаций. Их там нет, никаких сенсаций нет.

Что касается господина Манафорта, то его тоже как‑то связывают с Россией. Единственная связь с Россией – это то, что он, будучи руководителем и, наверное, владельцем, даже не знаю, американского пиаровского агентства, заключал контракты и тоже как бизнесмен, работающий в этой сфере, работал с Украиной, в том числе с бывшим президентом Януковичем.

Но какое это отношение имеет к России, я не понимаю. Никакого. Ровным счётом ничего здесь нет, просто пустая болтовня и желание использовать любую зацепку для борьбы с действующим Президентом США. Но это, повторяю, не наше дело, пускай они сами разбираются.

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· · ·

Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit, discuss Russian meddling in election – ABC News

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Bloomberg
Trump, Putin meet 1-on-1 on sidelines of APEC Summit, discuss Russian meddling in election
ABC News
President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC) in Vietnam Saturday, according to the White House.
Putin Gets in a Few Words With Trump But Still No Formal MeetingBloombergall 1,910 news articles »

cambridge analytica – Google News: Cambridge Analytica Denies Working With Russia, Unconvincingly – New York Magazine

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New York Magazine
Cambridge Analytica Denies Working With Russia, Unconvincingly
New York Magazine
The final channel is the efforts by Cambridge Analytica, the campaign’s data firm. This channel is less well known to the public, in part because reporting about it has been dominated by The Wall Street Journal, and its stories hidden behind a paywall.
Cambridge Analytica reached out to Wikileaks about Clinton emails, CEO saysFox News
Cambridge Analytica Reached Out to Assange About Clinton Emails While Working For Trump CampaignMediaite
Data firm that worked for Trump asked WikiLeaks to share hacked emailsThe Guardian
The Hill –Wall Street Journal –The Portugal News –The Guardian
all 29 news articles »

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Smiles and snaps: Trump and Putin’s delicate diplomatic dance

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DANANG, Vietnam — Talks between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, a much-anticipated box office event at an Asia-Pacific summit, were up in the air Saturday as the leaders swapped warm greetings in Vietnam but kept the world guessing on a formal meeting.

The question of whether the US and Russian leaders will hold official discussions on the sidelines of the APEC summit in the resort city of Danang has added a layer of diplomatic intrigue to an event dominated by trade discussions.

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Trump’s relationship with Moscow has haunted the first year of his presidency, with key former aides under a US investigation for alleged collaboration with the Kremlin.

Overly amicable talks between Trump and Putin would be an awkward sell for the White House as it denies any wrongdoing.

Instead a delicate diplomatic dance has been on show, giving glimpses of a warm relationship but no substantive talks.

The two men have met in Danang three times since late Friday, when they posed for a photo side by side in loose-fitting blue shirts custom made for the summit.

They again warmly shook hands on Saturday morning as leaders sat down for talks and then briefly chatted as they walked together to a podium for a “family photo” of attendees.

Moscow’s top diplomat Sergei Lavrov also had a short meeting with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson.

Asked to give details on their talks, Lavrov glibly replied “I can, but I wouldn’t.”

Russia has denied allegations of interfering in the US election last year, won by Trump in a shock victory.

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and an associate are under house arrest on charges including conspiracy to launder money, linked to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller into allegations that the campaign colluded with Russia.

Yet the US leader also wants Russian support for his efforts to isolate North Korea in a bid to restrain its nuclear ambitions.

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Report: Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent

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Two days ago we got word that Special Counsel Robert Mueller had quietly interviewed Donald Trump’s White House senior adviser Stephen Miller before the start of the Asia trip. Yesterday we got word that Miller was the unnamed “senior policy adviser” mentioned in the confession of Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos. Now comes a report that Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent.

First came the surprising word on Thursday from CNN that Mueller had interviewed Miller at least a week earlier. This was notable because the media had previously believed that Mueller’s first interview with a current Trump White House senior adviser would be with Hope Hicks, and that it would take place after the Asia trip. This prompted Palmer Report to point out that Mueller clearly knew something about Miller the the rest of us didn’t, though it wasn’t yet clear what it was (link). Then came the even more surprising revelation on Friday from the New York Times that Miller was aware of at least portions of Papadopoulos’ Russian conspiracy plot at the time (link). Now here comes the stunning part.

Late on Friday night, Democratic Coalition co-founder and MSNBC guest commentator Scott Dworkin tweeted that “3 different GOPers told me tonight that we should expect Stephen Miller to resign next week, possibly as early as tomorrow” (link). Donald Trump tweeted a photo of himself and Miller aboard Air Force One earlier this week, confirming that Miller is on the Asia trip. This would mean that Miller could resign before the trip is even finished.

One possible explanation for this could be that Trump didn’t know Stephen Miller had met with Robert Mueller, and now that it’s surfaced in the media, things have immediately gone sour between the two of them. There are other possible explanations. Now we wait to see what happens next.

The post Report: Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent appeared first on Palmer Report.

Putin Trump – Google News: Smiles and snaps: Trump and Putin’s delicate diplomatic dance – The Times of Israel

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The Times of Israel
Smiles and snaps: Trump and Putin’s delicate diplomatic dance
The Times of Israel
DANANG, Vietnam — Talks between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, a much-anticipated box office event at an Asia-Pacific summit, were up in the air Saturday as the leaders swapped warm greetings in Vietnam but kept the world guessing on a formal …and more »

 Putin Trump – Google News

President Trump greets Putin in Vietnam after talks of a formal meeting fell through – New York Daily News

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New York Daily News
President Trump greets Putin in Vietnam after talks of a formal meeting fell through
New York Daily News
President Trump is crossing paths — again — with Russian President Vladimir Putin after the White House said the two would not be holding a formal meeting in Vietnam. The world leaders shook hands on Saturday as leaders of the 21-nation Asia-Pacific …
The Latest: Tillerson: TrumpPutin talks under considerationMiami Heraldall 3,320 news articles »

Ex-Trump aide Mike Flynn says Gulen kidnap allegations ‘false’ – BBC News

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Ex-Trump aide Mike Flynn says Gulen kidnap allegations ‘false’
BBC News
Former top White House aide Michael Flynn has denied offering $15m (£11.5m) to help forcibly remove a Muslim cleric to Turkey are “false”, his lawyer says. Robert Kelner said claims that the ex-national security adviser and his son had met Turkish …
Michael Flynn’s lawyer blasts media reports of alleged kidnapping plotABC News
Is special counsel Robert Mueller trying to get Michael Flynn to cooperate?CBS News
Mueller Probing Possible Deal Between Turks, Flynn During Presidential TransitionNBCNews.com
NPR –Business Insider –Wall Street Journal –The Hill
all 139 news articles »

Trump sides with Putin over intelligence agencies on Russian meddling – Axios

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Axios
Trump sides with Putin over intelligence agencies on Russian meddling
Axios
President Trump told reporters on Air Force One that he believes Vladimir Putin’s denials about election meddling, and doesn’t want to press further because he thinks the U.S. and Russia can work together on issues that include North Korea, Syria and 
Trump says US deal with Russia on Syria will save many livesReuters
Trump, Putin Say US-Russia Deal On Syria Will Save Many Lives, ‘Extraordinarily Important’RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Transcript: Trump’s Air Force One gaggle: Putin, Russia probe, Asia trip, and Roy MoorePolitico
Daily Beast –The Pavlovic Today –Daily Mail
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Donald Trump demands Russia acts to stop North Korea war as he plays Putin against China – Express.co.uk

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Express.co.uk
Donald Trump demands Russia acts to stop North Korea war as he plays Putin against China
Express.co.uk
The US President said China is helping to deal with Kim Jong-un’s regime, but extra assistance from the Russians would “make the problem go away a lot faster”. Speaking shortly before his arrival in Hanoi today, Mr Trump described his Chinese and more »

Mike Flynn – Google News: How Flynn — and the Russia scandal — landed in the West Wing – Politico

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Politico
How Flynn — and the Russia scandal — landed in the West Wing
Politico
11 — replaced by soon-to-be Vice President Mike Pence — Flynn and former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon celebrated by tossing binders full of potential personnel picks, carefully culled by Christie’s team, into trash bins with a sense of …
Mike Flynn forced his way into the Trump administration by crashing a private Trump Tower meeting: reportRaw Storyall 3 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Trump, Putin Say US-Russia Deal On Syria Will Save Many Lives, ‘Extraordinarily Important’ – RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

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RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Trump, Putin Say US-Russia Deal On Syria Will Save Many Lives, ‘Extraordinarily Important’
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Putin and Trump reaffirmed their commitment to Syria’s sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity and called on all parties to the Syrian conflict to take an active role in the Geneva political process, it said. Several rounds of UN-sponsored 
Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin vow to work together to defeat ISIS and bring peace to SyriaMirror.co.uk
Combat work to destroy terrorists in Syria is finishing – PutinTASS
Trump: I ‘really believe’ Putin when he says he did not meddle in 2016 electionChicago Tribune
Anadolu Agency –Kuwait News Agency –Newsweek
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Putin Says Time to Move On With Trump After Russia Meddling ‘Nonsense’

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The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

Signed in as mikenova

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Report: Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent

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Report: Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent

Report: Stephen Miller’s resignation may be imminent

Robert Mueller just targeted Stephen Miller. Now comes word that Miller may exit stage left.

Trump says Putin again denied election interference, and he believes him – CBS News

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CBS News
Trump says Putin again denied election interference, and he believes him
CBS News
Mr. Trump called the accusation an “artificial barrier” erected by Democrats — once again casting doubt on the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia did try to interfere in the election to help Mr. Trump win. Mr. Trump and Putin did not 
Trump: Putin is ‘insulted’ by and denies meddling accusationABC Newsall 1,899 news articles »
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How to Find a Smoking Gun in the Russia Investigation – Politico

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Politico
How to Find a Smoking Gun in the Russia Investigation
Politico
There are other individuals deep within the Russian intelligence services and in President Putin’s inner circle who would definitively know the answers to questions of collusion. So how can we find these individuals and discover the smoking gun, should 

Mueller team questions how much Trump knew on Russia contacts: report – The Hill

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The Hill
Mueller team questions how much Trump knew on Russia contacts: report
The Hill
“The ultimate question Mueller is after is whether candidate Trump and then President-electTrump knew of the discussions going on with Russia, and who approved or even directed them,” one source told Reuters. “That is still just a question.”.
Russian Twitter trolls deflected bad news about candidate TrumpPress Herald
What you need to know about newly revealed Trump campaign-Russia tiesPolitiFact
Trump, Clinton camps both offered slice of dossier firm’s work: sourcesReuters
Newsweek –WSAU (blog) –Twitter
all 294 news articles »

A Gangster Place in the Sun: How Spain’s Fight Against the Mob Revealed Russian Power Networks – Boise Weekly

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Boise Weekly
A Gangster Place in the Sun: How Spain’s Fight Against the Mob Revealed Russian Power Networks
Boise Weekly
At a time when Russian intelligence and criminal activities have become an urgent concern in the United States and Europe, the Spanish investigations of Petrov and other Russians offer a remarkable view of the way that some of the most powerful mafia 

Trump chooses Putin’s word over the US intelligence community — again – Vox

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Vox
Trump chooses Putin’s word over the US intelligence community — again
Vox
President Donald Trump just sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin over the US intelligence community. That’s because in one of their conversations during an international summit in Vietnam, Putin denied that Russia interfered in the 2016 
Trump says Putin insulted by US election meddling claimBBC News
Trump Says Putin Again Denied Election Meddling After Meeting at Asia SummitNBCNews.com
Trump, Putin Issue Joint Statement On Defeating ISIS In SyriaNPR
Politico –WJLA –Fox News
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Trump calls James Comey, former intel colleagues ‘political hacks’ – Washington Examiner

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Washington Examiner
Trump calls James Comey, former intel colleagues ‘political hacks’
Washington Examiner
So, you look at it, and then you have Brennan, you have Clapper, and you have ComeyComey’sproven now to be a liar, and he’s proven to be a leaker. So, you look at that. And you have President Putin very strongly, vehemently says he had nothing to do …
Trump slams former US intel leaders as ‘political hacks’The Hill
Stephen Miller May Have Some ProblemsTPM (blog)
Trump adviser admits lying to FBI out of loyalty — just as Trump demandsShareblue Mediaall 9 news articles »

What Was Russia’s Role In 2016 US Election? 2 Former KGB Officials Weigh In – NPR

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NPR
What Was Russia’s Role In 2016 US Election? 2 Former KGB Officials Weigh In
NPR
Gennady Gudkov, a retired KGB colonel, peered at me across his dark, vaulted office in an old Moscow manor house. “I’m going to tell you something that I’ve never told anyone before,” he said. “About 10 years ago, Russia had the opportunity to and more »
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Trump Says Putin ‘Means It’ About Not Meddling – New York Times

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New York Times
Trump Says Putin ‘Means It’ About Not Meddling
New York Times
DANANG, Vietnam — President Trump said on Saturday that he believed President Vladimir V. Putin was sincere in his denials of interference in the 2016 presidential elections, calling questions about Moscow’s meddling a politically motivated “hit job 
‘He said he didn’t meddle’: Trump talks with Putin about US elections and Syria in brief interactionsWashington Post
Trump says Putin insulted by US election meddling claimBBC News
Trump, Putin Issue Joint Statement On Defeating ISIS In SyriaNPR
CNN –NBCNews.com –Fox News
all 464 news articles »

Cambridge Analytica Denies Ties to Russia, Unconvincingly

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There are several channels through which Donald Trump’s campaign apparently cooperated with Russian efforts to help him win the presidency. The first, and best known, is a Trump Tower meeting in June 2016 to pursue Russian promises of providing dirt on Hillary Clinton. A second is Roger Stone, a frequent Trump adviser who had clear advance notice of the publication of stolen emails. A third is Trump himself openly asking Russia to obtain Clinton’s State Department emails. The final channel is the efforts by Cambridge Analytica, the campaign’s data firm. This channel is less well known to the public, in part because reporting about it has been dominated by The Wall Street Journal, and its stories hidden behind a paywall. But Cambridge Analytica’s role has come into much clearer focus.

Two weeks ago, the Journal reported that Alexander Nix, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica, reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to help him better organize the stolen Democratic emails his site was publishing. On Friday, the Journal found that this contact came as Cambridge Analytica was joining the Trump campaign.

Nix denies the allegation: “We did not work with Russia in this election, and moreover we would never work with a third-party state actor in another country’s campaign.” But Nix also denies Russia had anything to do with the campaign at all. (“On Thursday, Mr. Nix called the notion that Russians “significantly interfered” in the U.S. election “frankly absurd,” the Journal notes.) That second denial, which is silly, saps the other denials of some of their credibility.

Perhaps Cambridge Analytica would defend itself on the grounds that it didn’t know, in June of 2016, that the WikiLeaks emails had been stolen by Russia. But other reporting suggests the firm knew this very well.

During that same time period, Republican operative Peter W. Smith tried to obtain the Clinton State Department emails. In his search for the emails, he said he was working on behalf of Michael Flynn, a Trump campaign adviser. One of the cyberexperts Smith met, a man named Matt Tait, told Smith that his mission would entail trafficking in stolen emails obtained by Russia. Smith made clear this didn’t bother him. “Smith and I talked several times about the DNC hack, and I expressed my view that the hack had likely been orchestrated by Russia and that the Kremlin was using the stolen documents as part of an influence campaign against the United States,” recounted Tait. Despite impressing upon them the ethical and legal dangers of cooperating with a probable Russian intelligence plot, “Smith, however, didn’t seem to care.”

The Journal also reported last summer that American investigators “have examined reports from intelligence agencies that describe Russian hackers discussing how to obtain emails from Mrs. Clinton’s server and then transmit them to Mr. Flynn via an intermediary.”

Flynn also worked as a consultant to Cambridge Analytica — a fact he failed to disclose until this last August. We don’t have proof that all these figures were acting together. But it certainly appears that Cambridge Analytica was heavily involved with trying to get Clinton’s stolen emails, and was aware that Russia had engineered their theft, and played an important role facilitating cooperation between Russia and the Trump campaign.

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Joel Willett cia – Google Search

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How to Find a Smoking Gun in the Russia Investigation

Politico1 hour ago
By JOEL WILLETT … Eight years later, the FBI arrested CIA officer Aldrich Ames, who confessed to selling secrets to the Russians beginning in …

Story image for Joel Willett cia from The Courier-Journal

Trump’s intelligence failure | Joel Willett

The Courier-JournalJan 11, 2017
His tweets questioning the conclusions reached by both the CIA and … Joel Willett is a Louisville native who served in the CIA’s Directorate of …

Story image for Joel Willett cia from The Liberty Conservative

Ron Paul: CIA May Use ‘False Flag’ To Set Pretext For War In North …

The Liberty ConservativeSep 28, 2017
Former Texas congressman and libertarian icon Ron Paul appeared on his old friend Alex Jones’ radio show this week to discuss crucial …

Story image for Joel Willett cia from The Liberty Conservative

Trump Nominates Libertarian Favorite Don Willett To Federal …

The Liberty ConservativeSep 28, 2017
Willett is known as a champion of restraining bureaucracy and interpreting regulations in a limited way. In 2015, he was described by Reason’s …
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How to Find a Smoking Gun in the Russia Investigation

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Forget what Vladimir Putin says—the case that Russia directly coordinated with the Trump campaign to affect the outcome of the 2016 election has grown an order of magnitude stronger since last November. From Jared Kushner’s efforts to establish a covert communication channel with the Kremlin immune from U.S. monitoring, to Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, the headlines all tell the same story: Numerous campaign and administration officials want to conceal their extensive connections to Russia.

Despite the growing mountain of circumstantial evidence, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees investigating Russian interference recently announced they will end their work by February 2018, with no unified findings on whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia. Mueller is a prosecutor pursuing criminal charges against individuals, not a rapporteur tasked with uncovering a grand conspiracy. It appears that, absent a John Dean-like figure testifying to direct involvement in collusion, some in Congress will continue the refrain, “There’s no smoking gun.”

Story Continued Below

But obtaining testimony from Trump campaign officials is only half of the picture. There are other individuals deep within the Russian intelligence services and in President Putin’s inner circle who would definitively know the answers to questions of collusion. So how can we find these individuals and discover the smoking gun, should one exist? The answer involves an examination of dark days in the history of the FBI and CIA’s struggle against the Soviet Union, and raises important questions about these agencies’ ability to operate free from political pressure from the Trump White House.

***

On August 18, 1986, a payphone rang in a shopping center in Springfield, Virginia. The man answering was Alexander Fefelov, a KGB technical officer assigned to the Soviet Embassy in Washington. The caller was one of the KGB’s most valuable assets in the U.S. government. The KGB referred to him as “B” because they did not know his true identity, though he had been in contact with them since October 1985. For reasons unclear, Fefelov made a fateful decision to record the call that day.

Eight years later, the FBI arrested CIA officer Aldrich Ames, who confessed to selling secrets to the Russians beginning in 1985. Ames’ treason resulted in the deaths of numerous Russians who had cooperated with the U.S. However, both agencies quickly realized that Ames alone could not have been responsible for all of the compromises.

Desperate to find evidence that would identify the remaining mole, both the FBI and CIA agreed to a crude tactic called “cold pitching.” It involved identifying former and current Russian intelligence officers around the world and offering them $1 million to talk. Dozens of Russians were approached and declined to cooperate, but the effort finally paid off when FBI agent Mike Rochford lured a Russian officer to the United States under the guise of a business deal. After two weeks of trying, Rochford convinced the man to help find the mole in exchange for money and resettlement in the United States.

As it turned out, the Russian had access to the entire file on B, and CIA officers quickly devised a plan to smuggle it out of Russia. However, the man missed his planned rendezvous with the CIA. Rochford feared the worst, but the man surfaced in a third country, having successfully exfiltrated himself and the file out of Moscow. The file included every communication B had sent to the Russians. It contained maps of “dead drop” sites, locations where money and documents were exchanged between B and the KGB. There was no name[JW1] , but for the first time, the FBI had direct, non-circumstantial evidence that a second traitor existed.

After consulting with the Russian turncoat, Rochford was instructed to open a specific envelope. Though the KGB never knew B’s name, the envelope nevertheless contained a smoking gun: Fefelov’s 1986 recording. Two FBI employees played the tape and recognized the voice of their colleague, Robert Hanssen. FBI officials were stunned. For months, they had investigated an innocent CIA officer, never suspecting the mole was within their own ranks. They began a three-month period of physical and electronic surveillance of Hanssen, methodically building an ironclad case against him. In February 2001, FBI agents observed him placing classified documents under a footbridge in Foxstone Park in Vienna, Virginia. They arrested him on the spot. Hanssen infamously commented, “What took you so long?”

***

The effort to find a smoking gun on Hanssen consumed 14 years and significant resources. Could a similar effort be successful today? The Manafort indictment shows Mueller’s investigation is doing all it can to gain cooperation from U.S. persons. The CIA must similarly work to entice Russians with information to come forward, exactly as it has done in the past. Such an effort would be exceedingly difficult, as the circle of Russians with knowledge is certainly small and likely not allowed to travel abroad. Success would require support from senior CIA leadership.

It is difficult to imagine CIA director and Trump loyalist Mike Pompeo approving operational activity of this nature that could ultimately implicate his boss. On the contrary, he seems intent on undermining the intelligence community’s conclusions on Russian interference, as evidenced by his recent meeting with a conspiracy theorist who claims Russia didn’t hack the Democratic National Committee’s emails. It is less difficult to imagine President Trump’s infuriated response to learning of the existence of such operations. But most importantly, what Russian source could actually trust that the full weight of the U.S. government is committed to his or her safety?

This last point is worth dwelling on. Last year, shortly after the U.S. intelligence community released its findings, a high-ranking Russian cyber intelligence officer was arrested and accused of cooperating with the CIA. Whether the accusation was true not, Putin made clear the consequences of even being suspected of talking to the CIA about election hacking. And Russian officials undoubtedly got the message.

With Pompeo’s objectivity compromised, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees play an increasingly vital oversight role to ensure our intelligence agencies are operating effectively. While it is not the role of oversight to directly propose or approve operational activity, the committees must ensure that Pompeo doesn’t stand in the way of any CIA operations, like the one that caught Hanssen, that are intended to pursue individuals with intelligence on Russia’s compromise of our election. Additionally, they must ask pointed questions about the agency’s preparedness to deal with an unexpected Russian defector who approaches the CIA with information. What would be the chain of custody for such information? How would the CIA assess the trustworthiness of the source? How would the resulting intelligence be disseminated to Congress? Would the president be briefed? The committees might even consider asking Pompeo to recuse himself from such operational decisions, due to his obvious conflicts.

These questions require answers. Our country was attacked, and there is strong circumstantial evidence that Russia had help within the United States. Neither committee should conclude its investigation until they know that no effort has been spared to find a smoking gun, or can confidently conclude that there isn’t one to find.

Joel Willett served 5 years in the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, including a year on the National Security Council at the White House. Prior to the CIA, he served in the U.S. Army and lived and worked in Moscow. He has an MBA from the University of Chicago and is a member of the Truman National Security Project’s Defense Council.

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Right as it joined the Trump campaign, this data firm reportedly contacted WikiLeaks
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The Wall Street Journal reports that while Federal Elections Commission records show that Cambridge Analytica was not paid by the Trump campaign until July 29, the company had already sent a small team to work with Trump’s digital operationsstaff in 

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HOW WILBUR ROSS IS CONNECTED TO THE PARADISE PAPERS

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

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

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

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

Navigator is paid $20 million a year to ship gas out of Russia for a Russian company named Sibur and Sibur is co-owned by Kirill Shamalov, Putin’s son-in-law. Commenting on this matter, Ross said “there is nothing whatsoever improper about Navigator having a relationship with Sibur.” He continued, “The fact that it happens to be called a Russian company does not mean that there’s any evil in it.” That is true on several levels.
This is a third party transaction in which the investor through a holding company joined a deal worth at least $200 a year. Mr. Ross probably knew very little about the transaction and, my guess is, he was unaware of any Russian involvement.
Moreover, the deal does not violate any laws, nor is there any suspicion that is the case. It would appear as if this is a witch hunt in which any reference to Russia is a form of collusion. Clearly this falls into the category of “false news.” But it has even darker implications.
The very mention of a transaction in which Russia is included is now branded “collusion.” You might even describe this phenomenon as contemporary McCarthyism, albeit McCarthy made allegations about those who joined the Communist Party as opposed to present claims that have a gossamer thin relationship to Russian officials.
My guess is these claims aren’t going anywhere, certainly not into the hands of Mr. Mueller, the Special Counsel. But these violations of privacy and reputation should not be overlooked. It is precisely the frivolous investigations of this kind that discourage good people from government service.
The Paradise Papers are certainly not the Pumpkin Papers and, in time, their salacious stories will be replaced. Unfortunately, it will leave in its wake a number of unsubstantiated claims and reputations that have been unfairly besmirched.

Dr. Herb London is president of the London Center for Policy Research and is co-author with Jed Babbin of “The BDS War Against Israel.”

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Saved Stories – None: What to Make of the Latest Story About Flynn and Gulen?
The Wall Street Journal has another major story today regarding disgraced former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Reportedly, Special Counsel Robert Mueller is now investigating allegations that both Flynn and his son, Michael Flynn Jr., plotted to either kidnap and render Turkish clerk Fethullah Gulen to Turkey or to use Flynns influence as National Security Advisor to effectuate his extraditionall in exchange for up to $15 million.
Its a very big story, one that casts the larger Flynn investigation in an altogether different, and more menacing, light, and one that also potentially casts the obstruction of justice investigation of President Donald Trump in a different light. Today, we put together a Special Edition of the Lawfare Podcast on the subject, featuring Shane Harris (one of the Journal reporters who broke the story), Turkey expert Ryan Evans, editor of War on Rocks, and Lawfare contributors Steve Vladeck and Paul Rosenzweig.

In this post, we try to unpack some of the storys legal and political significance for Lawfare readers.

First, while stunning, this allegation is not entirely new. The Wall Street Journal and other outlets have previously reported on a September meeting between Flynn and Turkish officials in which they discussed possibilities for removing Flynn from the United States. Former CIA Director James Woolsey attended that meeting and was so disturbed by what he heard that he contacted then-Vice President Joe Biden through an intermediary to report the matter. Woosley has made some public statements about the episode.
The Journals latest story however adds three crucial new pieces:
  • First, that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the matter as part of his larger probe into Trump associates and Russian election interference;
  • Second, that a second meeting occurred in December, following the election and after Flynn had been named National Security Advisor designate to the Trump administration, at which planning continued; and
  • Third, that this December meeting apparently focused on a more developed plan than what was discussed in September, including discussions of the possibility of transporting Mr. Gulen by private jet to the Turkish prison island of Imrali and a proposal to pay Flynn and his son up to $15 million for successfully delivering Gulen by one means or another.
In other words, the import of the new Wall Street Journal story is the news that the special counsel is investigating whether, during the presidential transition, the incoming national security advisorwhile acting as unregistered agent of a foreign governmentwas also plotting a kidnapping on behalf of that foreign power.
What does it all mean?
There have been media reports over the past several weeks regarding possible indictments against Michael Flynn and his son. NBC recently reported that Muellers team believe it has enough evidence against the pair to seek an indictment. And sources familiar with the Flynn family have revealed that both the elder Flynn and his wife are especially worried about the possibility of their son facing serious legal jeopardy. Both the fact that a public indictment has not yet materialized and Flynns concern for his son have lead to speculation that he might choose to cooperate with Muellers investigation in exchange for a dealor, in the alternative, that the Mueller camp is busily pressuring him now to do so.
Previously, most analysts seemed to be assuming that possible indictments for Flynn would relate to his failure to disclose income and information on his security clearance forms and elsewhere as required, possible false statements to investigators, and for failure to register as a foreign agent as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA). Those are all serious matters on their own. But the latest allegations open up a whole new ballpark of possibilities.
The Journal story is ambiguous as to what the plot actually was and the manner and time in which it might be executed. On the one hand, discussion of putting someone on a private jet in exchange for $15 million would indicate the Flynns were not discussing using legal processes here. There is a word in the English language lexicon for forcibly putting someone on a plane against his will outside of the legal systems that allow compulsion and seizure of persons: The word is kidnapping and it is an extremely serious offense.
The federal kidnapping statute is at 18 USC 1201 and the laws of Pennsylvaniawhere Gulen liveswould presumably have something to say about aspects of the plot (assuming the facts as reported by the Journal are true) as well. Flynn was a private individuala campaign advisorat the September meeting, and in the transition period during which the December meeting took place, he was a designated government official who had not yet assumed office. When government officials act or conspire to transfer someone, against their will and not pursuant to regular legal process, to a foreign jurisdiction, that is often described as extraordinary rendition. Prior administrations have acknowledged the use of the practice with respect to foreigners captured overseas. Even then, it is extremely controversial. As applied to a domestic person outside of traditional legal processes, it is simply criminalunder all imaginable circumstances. Plotting to do it, is a conspiracy to kidnap.
The Journal is, as we say, ambiguous about means. In some passages, it suggests a kidnapping; in others, it suggests that Flynn would use his position as national security advisor to return Gulen by legal means. The U.S. and Turkey do have an extradition treaty. The Department of Justice has so far rebuffed Turkish extradition requests related to their claims that Gulen is the mastermind behind a 2015 failed coup attempt. But perhaps Flynn only agreed that he would use his influence to mount pressure on the Justice Department to use legal methods. And perhaps Flynn might argue that he was doing the President-elects bidding, attempting to reset relations with Turkey by removing a major irritant in those relations.
That answer might get Flynn out of some legal hot water, but unless the facts in the Journal story dont pan out, there are still big problems. For one thing, theres still the allegation about money. Its no more legal to take $15 million to use your influence as national security advisor to bring about an outcome than it is to kidnap someone.
Moreover, this version of the story would actually raise troubling issues about political influence on law enforcement. While the United States and Turkey do have an extradition treaty, the extradition process is designed to insulate against politically motivated decision-making as to peoples fatesprecisely what appears to have been contemplated here. Career DOJ officials, not the national security advisor, determine whether a requesting country has satisfied the terms of the treaty and provided a sufficient evidentiary basis to proceed with the request. That is especially important in situations like this one, where there is strong suspicion that the charges against Gulen are politically-motivated and that he will not be afforded protections of due process if returned to Turkey. If Flynn planned to subvert or improperly influence the extradition process for political aims, much less for money, that is a serious problem in and of itself.
The timing of the December meeting may also raise new questions related to Flynns status as a foreign agent under FARA. As Steve Vladeck writes on Just Security:
18 U.S.C. § 219, goes one important step further [than the rest of FARA], making it a crime for any individual who is an officer or employee or person acting for or on behalf of the United States, or any department, agency, or branch of Government thereof, including the District of Columbia, in any official function, to be or to act as an agent of a foreign principal under FARA.
In other words, for a private citizen, FARAs entire impact is in requiring disclosure. But for public officials, § 219 actually prohibits such individuals from acting as foreign agents. Thus, whereas a private citizen need only apprise the Justice Department if they are receiving funds from foreign principals to influence U.S. policy, public officials may not receive such funds, periodand face felony charges if they do. (N.B.: Theres an interesting question about whether transition officials might qualify as public officials for purposes of § 219. Im skeptical, but at least in Flynns case, theres still the issue of whether he was continuing to serve as an agent of a foreign power on and after January 20, when he became the National Security Advisor.)
Flynn would be barred from continuing to act as a foreign agent after January 20, when he took office, and that offense (a felony) would not be able to be remediedas Flynn has sought to do previouslywith retroactive filings.
Finally, theres the matter of what all of this means for President Trump, who famously asked then-FBI Director James Comey to back off of the Flynn investigation in the period before he then fired Comey. This request has always represented a grave matter, particularly in the context of President Trumps larger set of interactions with law enforcement over time. It was, after all, a profound violation of the principle that the President does not direct law enforcement on investigative matters. It is, however, a far graver matter to the extent the investigation of Flynn involved potentially violent felonies. If Flynn is really suspected of involvement in a kidnapping plot, the question of what the President knew and when he knew it goes from being merely important to being acutely crucial.
The public needs to know what precisely President Trump was asking his FBI director when he said to him: I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks: As the Russiagate Investigation Builds Momentum, Trumps Allies Attack the CIA
mikenova shared this story from The Nation.

Carter Page, a foreign-policy adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, speaks with reporters after a day of questions from the House Intelligence Committee in Washington, November 2, 2017. (AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite)
The Russiagate news has sharply accelerated over the past two weeks: the indictments of two senior Trump campaign officials, Paul Manafort and Rick Gates; the guilty plea from George Papadopoulos about his multiple campaign contacts with Russian officials and intermediaries, including those who told him they possessed “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, including “thousands of emails,” before news of the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee was made public; the rumors that next to be indicted by Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating Russiagate, will be General Michael Flynn, and perhaps his son, too; the avalanche of news about Russian bots and trolls using Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms to exacerbate political divisions in 2016 and to support the election of Donald Trump, including the creation of numerous fake personalities; and, of course, the bob-and-weave testimony of Carter Page, a former Trump campaign policy aide, about his pattern of Russian contacts in 2016, delivered to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (HPSCI).
And there’s a lot more to come, including—according to The Wall Street Journal—the likely criminal indictment of at least six Russian officials for their role in the 2016 cyberattacks. In response, Trump, Page, and Trump’s CIA director Mike Pompeo are escalating their attacks on the CIA and its intelligence-community partners.
Page’s testimony, all 200-plus pages of it, is popcorn-worthy entertainment, with him denying, obfuscating, and prevaricating under intense questioning from both Republicans and Democrats on the HPSCI. For instance, there’s an exchange between Page and ranking Democrat Adam Schiff over Page’s exasperating assertion that he’s claiming his Fifth Amendment right to protect himself from self-incrimination while, at the same time, announcing that he’s willing to turn over to the committee certain documents and e-mails, but not others (see pages 26-29 of the transcript). At one point, Schiff asks, “Dr. Page, is it your position that you have a Fifth Amendment right to provide nonincriminating emails or documents to the committee but withhold incriminating documents from the committee and selectively comply with the subpoena?”
What Page is apparently worried about is that, for years, the US intelligence community has been watching him and, no doubt, intercepting his e-mails, phone calls, and other communications, and that recorded transcripts and copies of all of those are in the HPSCI’s (and Mueller’s) files. As early as 2013, Page came to the attention of US authorities because of his contacts with suspected Russian spies, who apparently were seeking to recruit him. In 2016, during the campaign, Page was secretly monitored by US intel over renewed contacts with Russians while he was serving on Trump’s foreign-policy team. In April, The New York Times reported that the FBI obtained a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court–ordered wiretap against Page in 2016 “based on evidence that he was operating as a Russian agent.” Among his contacts then were a range of leading Russian officials, including top executives of Gazprom, for whom Page was both an adviser and investor. In September 2016, Harry Reid, then the Senate minority leader, wrote to then-FBI Director James Comey about Page’s alleged contacts with “high-ranking sanctioned [Russian] individuals,” part of what Reid—who’d been briefed on what the intelligence community was learning—called evidence of “significant and disturbing ties” between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, according to Yahoo News.
No wonder, then, that Page, echoing Donald Trump, is on the warpath against the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency, and other elements of the US intelligence community. (Those three agencies concurred, in January 2017, that the Russian government, under the direct supervision of Vladimir Putin, hacked into the DNC system and released its contents to WikiLeaks and other outlets in order to tilt the election in Trump’s favor.) In his rambling, often confusing testimony to the HPSCI, and in letters to the committee that he released, Page bitterly denounced his accusers, including the HPSCI, the FBI, and the media, for “civil rights abuses” and “an ongoing witch hunt,” part of what he called “an intensive domestic political surveillance operation… initiated on behalf of the Clinton/Obama regime.”
Yet Page—who may or may not decide to cooperate with Mueller, and in fact may already be doing so—explicitly stated the reason that he’s willing to provide some documents to the House committee but not others: because, he said, he’s concerned that some of the information he might be forced to turn over will in some way contradict what Mueller and the congressional intelligence committees already know, from having looked at the transcripts and copies of his phone calls, texts, and e-mails. The information that he might provide “cannot be as comprehensive as the information that was already illegally collected against me,” he told the HPSCI, and he said he’s worried that some of it might not “match up.” As he put it, “The National Security Agency, CIA, and FBI have infinitely greater data processing capabilities than I do.”
Page’s, and Trump’s, attacks on the CIA et al. might be intended to provide cover, at least as far as the public is concerned, for Page’s overt and covert contacts with leading Russian officials. In his testimony, Page revealed that he did, in fact, meet with Russia’s deputy prime minister—though, earlier, appearing on Chris Hayes’s MSNBC program, Page said his contacts with Russians were limited to “man in the street”-type interactions. At one point in during Page’s testimony, Schiff read to him the text of an e-mail that Page had sent to two Trump campaign officials on July 8, 2016. It read: “I’ll send you guys a readout soon regarding some incredible insights and outreach I’ve received from a few Russian legislators and senior members of the presidential administration here.” Yet under repeated questioning, Page stuck to his story about man-in-the-street contacts and a very brief, “five second” interaction with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich.
By attacking the CIA—which Trump once compared to Nazi Germany, during the campaign—Page may be getting some help from the CIA itself, at least from its Trump-appointed director, Mike Pompeo. In a major exposé broken by The Intercept, reporters Duncan Campbell and James Risen—the latter a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter formerly with The New York Times and Los Angeles Times—revealed that Pompeo recently met with former high-level NSA official William Binney to discuss Binney’s widely discredited theory that the DNC wasn’t hacked at all and that the WikiLeaks-published e-mails resulted from an internal leak. According to Binney, the meeting with Pompeo came about because Trump himself told Pompeo to meet with him. (Pompeo began the meeting by saying, “The president told me I should talk to you.”) “This is crazy,” a former CIA official told The Intercept. “You’ve got all these intelligence agencies saying the Russians did the hack. To deny that is like coming out with the theory that the Japanese didn’t bomb Pearl Harbor.” CNN, which also reported the Pompeo-Binney meeting, called Binney the purveyor of a “conspiracy theory.”
Unfortunately, that exact “conspiracy theory” was circulated via The Nation this past summer in a widely criticized story by Patrick Lawrence, who cited a memo published by Binney and some of his associates at an outfit called Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity. In that piece, Lawrence uncritically transmitted the VIPS memo’s claim that the DNC affair was “an inside job” by a DNC official, and not the work of the Russians. (Many Nation contributors, as well as a dissident group within VIPS itself and a fact-checker and outside security expert hired by The Nation, challenged Lawrence’s claims. An editor’s note by Nation editor and publisher Katrina vanden Heuvel, attached to the Lawrence article after it was published, concluded: “As part of the editing process, however, we should have made certain that several of the article’s conclusions were presented as possibilities, not as certainties.”)
So far, Pompeo hasn’t officially challenged the CIA’s conclusions about the 2016 hack attack. “The Director stands by, and has always stood by, the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment,” a CIA spokesman told The Intercept. But Pompeo strayed off the straight and narrow at least once. A few weeks ago, he made this statement: “The intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election.” In fact, however, the community made no such conclusion, opting in its January 2017 report not to conclude anything at all, one way or the other, about whether Russia’s actions affected the election’s outcome. Noting that making a political calculation along those lines was beyond its scope, the Intelligence Community Assessment concluded, “We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election.” So Pompeo’s statement was flat-out wrong—and worrisome.
Meanwhile, a little-noticed but important story in The Wall Street Journal last week reported that the Justice Department is pretty well convinced, to say the least, that the Russians did it. Reports the Journal: “The Justice Department has identified more than six members of the Russian government involved in hacking the Democratic National Committee’s computers and swiping sensitive information that became public during the 2016 presidential election, according to people familiar with the investigation. Prosecutors and agents have assembled evidence to charge the Russian officials and could bring a case next year, these people said.”
Stay tuned. It now appears that Manafort, Gates, and Papadopoulos are not the only ones who will face charges in the Russiagate affair.

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

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Trump, Kim and the Possibility of War


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