5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations – New York Times

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Et Tu, Brutus?!

Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations – New York Times

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Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations
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Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations

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But now the Met — the nation’s largest performing arts organization and one of the world’s most prestigious opera houses — finds itself in the position that Hollywood studios, television networks and newsrooms have confronted in recent weeks, answering questions about what it knew about allegations of sexual misconduct against one of its stars, and what actions it did and did not take.

Mr. Gelb said allegations about Mr. Levine had reached the Met administration’s upper levels twice before, to his knowledge.

One was in 1979, when Anthony A. Bliss, who was then the Met’s executive director, wrote a letter to a board member about unspecified accusations about Mr. Levine that had been made in an unsigned letter.

“We do not believe there is any truth whatsoever to the charges,” Mr. Bliss wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by The Times, which said the Met had spoken “extensively” with Mr. Levine and his manager. “Scurrilous rumors have been circulating for some months and have often been accompanied by other charges which we know for a fact are untrue.” (Mr. Bliss died in 1991, and there is no record of the original, unsigned letter, so the specific accusations against Mr. Levine in it remain unclear.)

Anthony A. Bliss, then executive director of the Met Opera, wrote this letter to a Met board member who had received anonymous accusations about James Levine, the music director at the time.

OPEN Document

And then in October 2016, after Mr. Levine had stepped down from his position as music director, Mr. Gelb said he was contacted by a detective with the Lake Forest Police asking questions about Mr. Pai’s report.

Mr. Gelb said that he briefed the board’s leadership and that Mr. Levine denied the accusations. The company took no further action, waiting to see what the police determined. Then, on Saturday, the Met decided to investigate Mr. Levine after media inquiries about his behavior with young men.

Mr. Gelb said that the Met had appointed Robert J. Cleary, a partner at the Proskauer Rose law firm who was previously a United States attorney in New Jersey and Illinois, to lead its investigation.

The men coming forward now said that some of the abuse started years ago, at the beginning of Mr. Levine’s career, and that this sort of behavior had been widely rumored in music circles.

Mr. Brown, the former bass player in the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, said that he had been surprised in the summer of 1968 when Mr. Levine made him principal bass at Meadow Brook, given that Mr. Brown was only 17 and had just finished his junior year of high school, while other players were older and more experienced. He said that he was initially flattered when Mr. Levine, the conductor of the school’s orchestra and the director of its orchestral institute, began to invite him to his dorm room late at night.

At their third meeting, Mr. Brown said, Mr. Levine began talking about sex.

“At that point I think it was basically a combination of fatigue and being young that allowed me to go to the bed — it was the bottom bunk — and have him masturbate me,” Mr. Brown said. “And then, almost immediately, he asked for reciprocation. And I have some very, very strong pictures in my memory, and one of them was being on the floor, and he was on the bottom bunk, and I put my hand on his penis, and I felt so ashamed.”

“The next morning I was late to rehearsal,” said Mr. Brown, who had been raised a Christian Scientist and recalled that he had received little sex education. “I was in a complete daze. Whatever happens when you get abused had happened, and it wasn’t just sexual.”

At their next meeting, Mr. Brown said, he told Mr. Levine that he would not repeat the sexual behavior, and asked if they could continue to make music as they had before.

“And he answered no,” Mr. Brown said, adding that Mr. Levine hardly looked at him for the rest of the summer, even while conducting him. “It was a terrible, terrible summer.” (That fall, after he returned for his senior year of high school, at the Interlochen Arts Academy, Mr. Brown told his roommate about Mr. Levine’s sexual advances at Meadow Brook, the roommate confirmed in an interview.)

Mr. Lestock, the teenage cello student at Meadow Brook, said in a telephone interview that he had a similar experience that summer in Mr. Levine’s dorm room.

“During the discussion, he suggested that I take my clothes off, because this would be natural and honest and expand my outlook on the world,” Mr. Lestock said. “My initial response included the word ‘no.’ I was not interested in that. But he ignored that, and pursued the point, and convinced me to let him masturbate me.”

Mr. Levine at that point was also an assistant conductor at the Cleveland Orchestra, and was surrounded by a tight-knit clique of musicians who were awed by him and followed him as his career took off. Mr. Lestock joined that group, whose members studied music together, traveled together, ate together, and sometimes lived together. But he said that over the years he was sometimes subjected to humiliating sexual encounters with Mr. Levine.

At one point in Cleveland, where he moved in 1969 to study at the Cleveland Institute of Music, he said that Mr. Levine encouraged the members of the group to put on blindfolds and masturbate partners they could not see. They did, Mr. Lestock said.

“This was the extent to which he had control,” Mr. Lestock said. Another member of the group, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to guard his privacy, said that he had also taken part in a blindfolded masturbation session.

A few years later, in a hotel near the Ravinia Festival, Mr. Lestock said that Mr. Levine caused him physical pain, telling him that he should “expand” his “range of emotions” and pinching him — repeatedly and hard — on his legs.

“Once I started to break down and cry, he continued to try to hurt me,” Mr. Lestock said of Mr. Levine, who was music director of Ravinia from 1973 through 1993.

But Mr. Lestock said he felt powerless to leave. “If I had left the group at the point, I would have had no career, no income, no friends, and have been totally alone in the world,” he said. After following Mr. Levine to New York in the early 1970s, Mr. Lestock, who is now 67, eventually left the group, and music.

Mr. Pai said that he first met Mr. Levine when he was four years old and his parents took him backstage after a Ravinia concert. In 1985, when Mr. Pai was 15, he said, Mr. Levine gave him a ride home and began holding his hand in an “incredibly sensual way.” The following summer, he said, Mr. Levine touched his penis in a hotel room near the festival, beginning what he described as years of sexual encounters.

“I was vulnerable,” said Mr. Pai, who is 48. “I was under this man’s sway, I saw him as a safe, protective person, he took advantage of me, he abused me and it has really messed me up.”

He said that the relationship continued for years and that his feelings were complicated: He shared a copy of a Western Union Mailgram he had sent to Mr. Levine at the Salzburg Festival in 1988 that contained the postscript “P.S. I love you.” But Mr. Pai came to realize that, in those early years, he had been too young to give consent.

Speculation about Mr. Levine’s private life has occasionally come into public view. In 1987, Mr. Levine dismissed talk of wrongdoing in an interview with The Times, saying that “both my friends and my enemies checked it out and to this day, I don’t have the faintest idea where those rumors came from or what purpose they served.”

A decade later, more rumors circulated in Germany, when politicians and media outlets debated his appointment to become the music director of the Munich Philharmonic, beginning in 1999. In an interview in The Times in 1998, Mr. Levine declined to respond to the speculation.

“I’ve never been able to speak in public generalities about my private life,” he said.

Officials at Ravinia, where Mr. Levine is scheduled to begin an ongoing annual residency next summer, said on Sunday that they first learned of the accusations through the media this weekend. “Ravinia finds these allegations very disturbing and contrary to its zero-tolerance policies and culture,” Allie Brightwell, its media manager, said in an email. “Ravinia will take any actions that it deems appropriate following the results of these investigations.”

The Boston Symphony Orchestra, which Mr. Levine led from 2004 through 2011, said in a statement Sunday that it had conducted “a personal and professional review of all aspects of James Levine’s candidacy” before naming him its music director, and that it had never been approached during his tenure with accusations of inappropriate behavior.

For the three men, unburdening themselves after decades has meant delving back into some of their most painful memories.

Sitting in his home in St. Paul, Mr. Brown looked over old documents from Meadow Brook, including a program for a starry concert performance of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” featuring Cornell MacNeil, Roberta Peters and Jan Peerce in which he played under Mr. Levine’s baton. He said his abuse had left scars for years.

“I’m still trying to figure out why it’s so incredibly emotional, and sticks with you for your whole life,” Mr. Brown said. “It’s shame, a lack of intimacy and sheltering yourself from other people.”

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Sex cases put spotlight on sex addiction, but is it real?

mikenova shared this story .

Is sex addiction a true addiction, a crime, or a made-up condition used by misbehaving VIPs to deflect blame or repair tarnished images?

A tide of high-profile sexual misconduct accusations against celebrities, politicians and media members has raised these questions – and sowed confusion. Sex addiction is not an officially recognized psychiatric diagnosis, though even those who doubt it’s a true addiction acknowledge that compulsive sexual behavior can upend lives.

Either way, there is an important distinction, sometimes blurred, between a mental condition and a crime. Some men who have been accused of assault or other sexual crimes have sought treatment for sex addiction or other unspecified conditions. But compulsive behavior is very different from a crime, and the vast majority of people who suffer from sexually compulsive behavior do not harass or assault others.

There’s “an extremely fine line between addict and offender” and sometimes the two overlap, said psychologist Leah Claire Bennett of Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services, a rehab center that offers sex addiction treatment in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Despite pressure from some therapists, sex addiction was not included in the most recent edition of the manual that psychiatrists use to diagnose mental illness. “The reason is very simple,” said Dr. Charles O’Brien, a University of Pennsylvania psychiatry professor involved in the manual’s 2013 update. There is no rigorous scientific proof that compulsive sexual behavior affects the brain in the same ways that have been shown with addiction to drugs or alcohol, he said.

“There’s an overuse of the word ‘addiction,’” O’Brien said. “There are many treatment programs. That doesn’t make it a disorder.”

Still, some skeptics don’t dispute that compulsive sexual behavior can become a serious problem. The issue for some is whether it amounts to mental illness, or whether it might result from a different psychiatric condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Robert Weiss, a California-based sex addiction therapist, said the condition involves unrestrained compulsive sexual behavior without regard to consequences. Sometimes that leads to illegal behavior.

The International Institute for Trauma and Addiction Professionals says sex addiction affects from 2 percent to 5 percent of the general population but that only 10 percent of those with this addiction engage in criminal sexual behavior. Most patients and sex offenders are men.

Some treatment programs won’t admit patients accused of rape and other violent sex crimes, referring them to centers or therapists who specialize in treating sex offenders.

Addiction treatment at Pine Grove, The Meadows in Arizona and other high-profile residential rehab centers can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Despite country club-like settings, there’s nothing cushy or indulgent about sex addiction therapy, Weiss said.

Pine Grove requires daylong sessions including group therapy daily for up to three months. Some centers use 12-step programs similar to Alcoholics Anonymous, but they don’t require swearing off sex for good. Some use brain “retraining” exercises, or sharing stories about bad behavior with a roomful of strangers.

Some centers use equine therapy. Weiss says that interacting with horses can help patients recognize problems sometimes associated with sex addiction, including overly aggressive, controlling behavior.

The New York Post published a photograph last year that it said showed former New York congressman Anthony Weiner riding a horse as part of treatment at a Tennessee sex addiction rehab center. Weiner was sentenced in September for sexting with a teenager. He said at the time that he was undergoing therapy and had been “a very sick man for a very long time.”

Weiss and other therapists say sex addicts are never cured, but they can learn to manage their behavior and avoid triggers, including avoiding jobs and circumstances that could lead to a repeat of problem behavior.

L.J. Schwartz, a former real estate adviser in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, says a nearly 30-year addiction to sex almost ruined his life.

Schwartz says his addiction included having sex with strangers at adult bookstores or masturbating there while watching porn nearly every chance he got; working as a stripper; and phone sex. He was never arrested but says his behavior endangered his job and marriage.

“There’s no pleasure derived from sex addiction; it’s pain,” Schwartz said.

He says a 12-step program helped him resist his compulsions and he now works as a recovery coach for other patients.

But hard evidence that treatment works is lacking. “There’s not a lot of data,” Bennett acknowledged.

“We have a lot of anecdotal evidence. We can see the change in people,” she said. She said Pine Grove plans a long-term study to measure the benefits.

Whether treatment can repair tarnished images is uncertain.

“The accusations levied against Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, Louis C.K. and others for sexual assault, harassment and abuse have created righteous outrage and concerns that ‘sex addiction treatment’ is being used to excuse their offensive behavior,” the addiction professionals institute said in a recent statement.

Whether any of these men have a diagnosed mental condition has not been publicized.

A representative for Weinstein confirmed that he is receiving treatment and has been taking his recovery and sessions seriously. But the representative declined to specify Weinstein’s condition or the treatment he is receiving for it. A former publicist for Spacey said he also is seeking unspecified treatment.

Bennett said some people do use sex addiction as an excuse, “but that’s not who we’re treating here at Pine Grove. These people’s lives are in shambles. They’ve been traumatized throughout their lives. They have huge psychological wounds and are using very maladaptive ways of coping.”

Actor David Duchovny voluntarily sought rehab for sex addiction in 2008 while starring on Showtime’s “Californication.” Married to actress Tea Leoni at the time, he had been dogged by cheating rumors. His career never stalled. He returned to “Californication” for the remainder of its run and has continued to appear in high-profile roles.

When sex addiction may have contributed to criminal behavior, a trip to rehab could bolster a defense attorney’s argument that the accused person has changed, said Samuel Pillsbury, a professor at Loyola School of Law in Los Angeles. But it’s a less effective strategy for violent crimes, he said.

“It’s very difficult for me to imagine a prosecutor deciding, ‘Oh, he’s in rehab, I’ll drop the charges or I’ll reduce the charges significantly,’” Pillsbury said. “But it could have an effect on sentencing.”

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British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat

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Theresa May and PutinRussian President Vladimir Putin meets British PM Theresa May at the G20 Summit in Hangzhou, in 2016. Reuters / Sputnik Photo Agency

  • MI6 has elevated Russia to “tier one” threat status.
  • The head of MI6 has told NATO its response to Russian interference in Europe and the West needs to get sharper.
  • Russia has at least 700,000 security and intelligence personnel on its payrolls.
  • Britain has only about 16,000 equivalent  people in its special security services.
  • NATO’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force is outnumbered six to one by Russian forces.

LONDON — MI6, the secret intelligence service, has reclassified Russia as a “tier one” threat, alongside Islamic terrorism, after years of regarding the nation as a second-rung security issue. Back in 2010, Russia was not even named in the British National Security Council’s annual strategic defence and security review. In 2015, Russia was mentioned but not named specifically as a top priority. Only in 2016was Russia once again called out — as it was during the Cold War — as a serious threat to national security, in the security review.

Alex Younger, the head of MI6, went to NATO last month to tell the joint forces that Europe and the US need to get their act together when it comes to opposing Russia, according to Edward Lucas writing in The Times.

The British people have been slow to wake up to Russia’s interference in domestic politics. For years, the Russian government has funded misinformation around the Brexit referendum, oligarchs have invested in the London property market via offshore financial vehicles, and Russian espionage services have used the UK as a location for assassinating their political opponents.

But the intelligence community has become increasingly alarmed at the boldness of Russian interventions inside Britain. Fourteen people are suspect to have been killed in Britain by Russian spiessince 2003, according to BuzzFeed.

Now MI6 will no longer stand idly by while Putin acts with a “sense of impunity,” Younger told NATO in November.

But Younger has a problem: The sheer size of the Russian security and intelligence apparatus. Britain has about 16,000 people devoted to intelligence and security. By contrast, the Russian state employs between 705,000 and 940,000 people across its various security, intelligence and counter-intelligence agencies, according to Victor Madeira, a Russia expert at the Institute for Statecraft, who testified to the House of Commons defence committee. That’s 42 times as many, for a country whose population is roughly twice the size of the UK’s.

  • TOTAL Russian security agency staffing (ca 2006-2015) 705,000-940,000
  • FSB: 387,000
  • SVR: 13,000
  • GRU: 280,000-480,000
  • Special Communications and Information Service (Spetssvyaz): 53,000-120,000
  • TOTAL British security agency staffing (2015): 16,586
  • MI5, MI6, GCHQ: 12,080
  • DI, NSS, JIO, OSCT: ~4,506

Of course, not all those people are deployed against the UK. The US remains Russia’s great enemy, Madeira told Business Insider. And many of them will be employed in low-level work, such as border guards. But even so, “you’re talking orders of magnitude [over the UK] that the number of people that Russia can deploy,” Madeira says.

For instance, Russia has a massive official propaganda budget. “The resources we have collectively in the West even since Crimea, since Ukraine, that we’ve thrown at the problem are minuscule compared to what Russia does officially and unofficially, to the tune of annual budgets anywhere from $600 million to $1 billion, the Russians spend on the RTs and the Sputniks and outlets like this,” Madeira testified.

Russia has maintained that force because of the “mindset” of the Russian state, which has a completely different conception of the post-Cold War “peace” than Western nations do. In the West, peacetime is regarded as a dividend to be celebrated, a time to relax and prosper. But inside the Russian state, which is still run largely by former Soviet intelligence officials, peace is regarded as the period you use to prepare for the next inevitable conflict.

The Russian security apparatus, in other words, is in a constant state of war preparation in way that the British government is not.

“Russia continuously conducts strategic influence operations, especially in what NATO sees as ‘peacetime’, because to Moscow that is when the foundations of wartime success are laid,” Madeira wrote to the Commons defence committee. “Recent Russian security and intelligence budgets have grown annually by an estimated 15%-20% – with spending going to operations, not infrastructure.”

“That mindset in the Russian security and intelligence services remains that way today,” he told Business Insider.

It’s not just that the spies are outnumbered, either. NATO is probably not equipped to fend off a surprise attack from Russia, the defence committee heard last year. On that panel, MP Bob Stewart asked Igor Sutyagin, of the Royal United Services Institute, if NATO was capable of reacting in time to a sudden, unprovoked military assault from Russia.

“The problem is that the NATO Very High Readiness [Joint Task] Forces are not enough to cope … the mobility, even if they will be there, they will be outnumbered six to one which is very serious,” Sutyagin said. “Secondly, the forces, even if deployed have some structural deficiencies … the Western side might be unprepared to deal with these environments.”

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British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat
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LONDON MI6, the secret intelligence service, has reclassified Russia as a “tier one” threat, alongside Islamic terrorism, after years of regarding the nation as a second-rung security issue. Back in 2010, Russia was not even named in the British 

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Russia investigation sheds new light on Jared Kushner’s involvement with Moscow

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The expanding federal investigation into Russian interference in last year’s election is shining new light on the central role played by one member of President Trump’s inner circle — his son-in-law and top advisor Jared Kushner — in reaching out to Moscow.

The latest disclosure — that even before Trump took office Kushner directed campaign foreign policy advisor Michael Flynn to try to persuade Russia to quash a United Nations resolution — is one example of numerous Kushner contacts with Moscow and meetings with Russian intermediaries now under scrutiny by investigators for special counsel Robert S. Mueller III.

Kushner, a 36-year-old former Manhattan real estate developer and Washington neophyte, may be key as Mueller pursues the still-unresolved mystery of whether Trump’s campaign had improper dealings with Russia, a charge that Kushner denies.

Revelations about Kushner’s Russia contacts have been dribbling out for months, forcing Kushner and other Trump aides who denied or downplayed them to repeatedly backtrack.

But with Flynn now cooperating with Mueller’s investigators, Kushner’s role in handling outreach to foreign governments for Trump is likely to get even more scrutiny from investigators. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about his own Russia contacts.

Publicly Trump insists he is not worried, telling reporters Saturday there had been “absolutely no collusion” with Moscow, but adding, “We’ll see what happens.”

In the wake of Flynn’s plea deal, Democrats on both the House and Senate intelligence committees said they wanted Kushner, who appeared in private before both panels in July, to return to answer new questions about his dealings with Russian officials and intermediaries from Moscow.

“Mike Flynn wasn’t acting as a free agent. He was acting at the behest of very senior people close to the president or the president himself,” said Rep. Adam B. Schiff of Burbank, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. “If Mr. Kushner was involved in that, he’d have a lot to tell us that he hasn’t told us so far.”

Kushner’s lawyer, Abbe Lowell, declined to comment on Kushner’s Russia contacts.

Kushner has described himself as an overworked and inexperienced campaign aide who was “forced to make changes on the fly” when it came to Russia.

“I did not collude with Russia, nor do I know of anyone else in the campaign who did so,” Kushner said after July’s closed-door meeting with investigators from the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Trump cycled through a cadre of high-level aides during the presidential campaign, but Kushner remained a trusted advisor with one particularly unassailable credential — he is family through his marriage to Trump’s older daughter, Ivanka.

After running his real estate company like a family business, Trump saw no reason to change course while campaigning or after winning the White House. Kushner joined the administration and received a vast portfolio of responsibilities, including overhauling the federal government with the newly created Office of American Innovation and pursuing a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

He has insisted that his initial failure to report his meetings with the Russians or any other foreigners on forms required for a government security clearance was not deliberate. He blamed an aide who he said had mistakenly submitted the form, known as an SF-86, before it was complete, and said that he later updated it.

As a trusted advisor, Kushner was the intermediary with foreign officials, a role that led to several contacts with Russian officials, either directly or through intermediaries.

According to court papers disclosed on Friday, Flynn was directed by a “very senior member” of Trump’s transition team — identified by a former official as Kushner — to lobby Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and officials from other foreign governments in an attempt to delay or defeat a United Nations Security Council resolution critical of Israel in December 2016.

Trump had publicly opposed the resolution, saying it “puts Israel in a very poor negotiating position and is extremely unfair to all Israelis.”

But the Trump team’s attempts to block the resolution was at odds with the position taken by the Obama administration, which still occupied the White House and planned to let the resolution pass.

The attempts to influence the vote, which a person familiar with the transition described as a collaborative endeavor by multiple high-ranking members of Trump’s team, did not succeed. Kislyak said Russia would not vote against the resolution, which passed after the United States abstained.

Earlier that month, at a meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan, Kislyak asked Kushner whether the Trump transition office had a secure telephone line that Trump’s aides could use to talk to Russian generals about the war in Syria.

Because none was available, Kushner said he asked about using one at the Russian Embassy instead to conduct “direct discussions” with Moscow.

He said that after Kislyak, who was recalled to Moscow last summer, told him that was impossible, they agreed to follow up after the inauguration. Kushner did not explain why the Trump team did not simply ask to use a secure U.S. government line.

In contrast to Flynn, who admitted this week in court that he and Kislyak had discussed U.S. sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration after the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014, Kushner has said that he did not discuss lifting the sanctions.

Kushner met Kislyak in April 2016 at a foreign policy speech by Trump at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington.

Kushner also held a Dec. 13 meeting with Sergey Gorkov, head of the state-owned Vnesheconombank, Russia’s national development bank. He said he took the meeting at Kislyak’s urging because Gorkov had a “direct relationship” with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Russian bank described the session in March as part of a new outreach to “a number of representatives of the largest banks and business establishments of the United States, including Jared Kushner, the head of Kushner Companies.” Kushner, by contrast, said he and Gorkov did not discuss “private business of any kind.”

In testimony to Congress last summer, Kushner also denied having any contact with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, during the campaign, according to a statement from his lawyer, and said he could not recall anyone from the campaign having such contacts.

WikiLeaks was responsible for releasing hacked emails that U.S. intelligence agencies say were obtained through Russia’s attempt to interfere with the presidential election.

But Kushner was forced to backtrack when the Atlantic magazine revealed last month that the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., forwarded a message from WikiLeaks to Kushner and others.

Lowell said his client did not respond to the email and was not in touch with WikiLeaks.

“Mr. Kushner had no contacts with that organization,” he wrote in a letter last month to the Senate Judiciary Committee after the panel’s bipartisan leadership requested more documents from him.

Kushner also attended a June 9, 2016, meeting at Trump Tower with Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian attorney introduced to Trump Jr. as “a Russian government attorney” who was part of “its government’s support for Mr. Trump.”

The emails said she could provide documents that “would incriminate” Trump’s Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton, and would be “very useful to your father.” Kushner insisted he showed up to the meeting without reading the emails about who she was and left early, calling it a “waste of time.”

david.cloud@latimes.com

Twitter: @davidcloudLAT

Russian propaganda on social media – Google News: Guest opinion: Russian trolls and the spreading chaos on social media – Farmington Daily Times

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KT McFarland – Google Search

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McFarland’s position does not require Senate confirmation.


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