5:14 AM 12/9/2017 – Bus overturns on Highway 101 in San Francisco, major injuries reported – The Mercury News – Saved Stories – The World News and Times

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Bus overturns on Highway 101 in San Francisco, major injuries reported – The Mercury News

30 injured when private charter bus overturns on Hwy. 101 in SF – SFGate
Parents of Seminole Heights murder suspect in court for contempt hearing – TBO.com
WH: Trump treats women with ‘highest level of respect’ – The Hill
FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as GOP lawmakers press him on Trump, Clinton probes – Washington Post
Planned Parenthood under investigation by Justice Department over sale of fetal tissue – Fox News
Hundreds gather to mourn victims of Aztec High School shooting – Albuquerque Journal
What??!! Trump Brags He & Gen. Mattis Defeated Daesh in Syria and Iraq – Sputnik International
Essential California: Fires rage from San Diego to the San Fernando Valley – Los Angeles Times
Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Just Hit A New Low – TIME
Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters – Fox News
9:55 AM 12/7/2017 Ex-intelligence chiefs probed over worst type of betrayal: Polish defence minister thenews.pl |  The Early Edition: December 7, 2017|  Mike Flynn Google News: Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt? Salon
8:14 AM 12/8/2017 Wray seemingly confirmed that the F.B.I. had applied for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (F.I.S.A.) as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign
Trump, campaign aides got email with WikiLeaks encryption key for documents: Report – Washington Times
Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on the Dark Web
Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened
California fires: 3 people burned in new blaze – CNN
Two Teens Killed In US School Shooting, Attacker Dead: Police – NDTV
Reza Zarrab Recounts Death Threat to Iran Sanctions Jury – New York Times
Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List – HuffPost
NJ’s weekend snow forecast just got worse; up to 4 inches possible – NJ.com
5:23 PM 12/6/2017 FBI and DOJ have Been Under Investigation Since January American Lens
5:46 PM 12/6/2017 The FBIs constant bungling is an American embarrassment | TheHill
7:56 AM 12/7/2017 FBIs Crisis and Peter Strzok My Bullet Points by Michael Novakhov
12:57 PM 12/5/2017 Trump Said Probing His Finances Would Be A Red Line. Thats Exactly What Robert…

 

Saved Stories – The World News and Times
Bus overturns on Highway 101 in San Francisco, major injuries reported – The Mercury News
 


The Mercury News
Bus overturns on Highway 101 in San Francisco, major injuries reported
The Mercury News
Fire crews responded to a bus that had overturned Friday evening on Highway 101 in San Francisco. (Courtesy San Francisco Fire Department.) By Erin Baldassari | ebaldassari@bayareanewsgroup.com | Bay Area News Group. PUBLISHED: December 8, 2017 at 9:40 
Multiple serious injuries in bus crash on Highway 101 in SFSFGateall 13 news articles »
30 injured when private charter bus overturns on Hwy. 101 in SF – SFGate
 


SFGate
30 injured when private charter bus overturns on Hwy. 101 in SF
SFGate
A private charter bus loaded with 30 people overturned on Highway 101 in San Francisco Friday night, tumbling onto its side and skidding across the busy freeway, leaving everyone aboard injured, four seriously, officials said. The crash occurred just and more »
Parents of Seminole Heights murder suspect in court for contempt hearing – TBO.com
 


TBO.com
Parents of Seminole Heights murder suspect in court for contempt hearing
TBO.com
Rosita Donaldson, left, and Howell Donaldson Jr., speak about their 24-year-old son, Howell “Trai” Donaldson III, on Friday. He faces four counts of first-degree murder as Tampa police believe he is the one who killed four people in Seminole Heights and more »
WH: Trump treats women with ‘highest level of respect’ – The Hill
 


The Hill
WH: Trump treats women with ‘highest level of respect’
The Hill
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday defended President Trump · Donald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at 
Trump to undergo routine physical and release health report, White House saysCNBC
Sarah Huckabee Sanders denies Trump wears dentures after slurred speech, saying his throat was just dryBusiness Insider
Sarah Sanders Just Explained Why Trump Was Slurring His Words During A SpeechBuzzFeed News
CBS News –Townhall –TPM –Deadline
all 74 news articles »
FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as GOP lawmakers press him on Trump, Clinton probes – Washington Post
 


Washington Post
FBI director defends bureau’s integrity as GOP lawmakers press him on Trump, Clinton probes
Washington Post
FBI Director Christopher A. Wray defended his agency’s integrity and independence in response to skeptical questioning Thursday from Republicans who repeatedly suggested its personnel are biased against President Trump. Wray spent the morning being 
Trumpocalypse: The End GameNew York Times
FBI Director Christopher Wray Defends His Agency On Capitol HillNPR
FBI Director Christopher Wray defends agency after Trump’s attacksCNN
CBS News –Business Insider –CNNMoney –Newsweek
all 282 news articles »
Planned Parenthood under investigation by Justice Department over sale of fetal tissue – Fox News
 


Fox News
Planned Parenthood under investigation by Justice Department over sale of fetal tissue
Fox News
The Justice Department has launched a federal investigation into Planned Parenthood’s practices and the sale of fetal tissue. In a letter first obtained by Fox News, Justice Department Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Stephen Boyd 
Justice Department opens probe into Planned Parenthood’s fetal tissue practicesWashington Examiner 
Justice Department Moves To Investigate Planned Parenthood’s Fetal Tissue PracticesDaily Beast
all 22 
Family Research Council Commends DOJ for Pursuing Investigation into Planned Parenthood Baby Parts ScandalPR Newswire (press release)
all 19 news articles »
Hundreds gather to mourn victims of Aztec High School shooting – Albuquerque Journal
 


Albuquerque Journal
Hundreds gather to mourn victims of Aztec High School shooting
Albuquerque Journal
Hundred gathered at a candlelight vigil in honor of the victims of a shooting at Aztec High School Thursday morning that left three dead, including the suspected shooter. (Marla Brose/Albuquerque Journal and more »
What??!! Trump Brags He & Gen. Mattis Defeated Daesh in Syria and Iraq – Sputnik International
 

What??!! Trump Brags He & Gen. Mattis Defeated Daesh in Syria and Iraq
Sputnik International
President Donald Trump said yesterday that Defense Secretary James Mattis knocked the hell out of ISIS because the president and his policies made it possible. Is Trump already trying to rewrite history? War correspondent Ali Musawi and journalist and more »
Essential California: Fires rage from San Diego to the San Fernando Valley – Los Angeles Times
 


Los Angeles Times
Essential California: Fires rage from San Diego to the San Fernando Valley
Los Angeles Times
Good morning, and welcome to the Essential California newsletter. It’s Friday, Dec. 8, and here’s what’s happening across California: TOP STORIES. Flames roar through Southern California. Powerful Santa Ana winds helped fuel new destructive wildfires 
California Today: Guiding LA Through a CrisisNew York Times
Chelsea Handler, Lea Michele, more celebrities flee homes as California fires rageUSA TODAY
Newest California fire burns homes, horses in San Diego area – live updatesCBS News
Christian Science Monitor –NPR –Mashable
all 1,363 news articles »
Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Just Hit A New Low – TIME
 


TIME
Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Just Hit A New Low
TIME
President Donald Trump’s approval rating continues to fall, according to one survey, reaching 32% in November its lowest point since he took office in January. The new poll, conducted by the Pew Research Center at the end of last month, drew on a 
Poll: Trump approval at 32 percent; most believe ‘improper’ Russia contactUPI.com
Trump Approval Rating Hits 45 PercentThe Epoch Timesall 69 news articles »
Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters – Fox News
 


Fox News
Trump, Mattis turn military loose on ISIS, leaving terror caliphate in tatters
Fox News
The U.S. military estimates the terror group now controls just 3 percent of Iraq and only 5 percent of Syria after the fall of Raqqa. BAGHDAD Hundreds of ISIS fighters had just been chased out of a northern Syrian city and were fleeing through theand more »
9:55 AM 12/7/2017 Ex-intelligence chiefs probed over worst type of betrayal: Polish defence minister thenews.pl |  The Early Edition: December 7, 2017|  Mike Flynn Google News: Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt? Salon

Ex-intelligence chiefs probed over worst type of betrayal: Polish defence minister Thursday December 7th, 2017 at 10:14 AM 1 Share PR dla Zagranicy Paweł Kononczuk 07.12.2017 13:13 Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz has said that former heads of Polands Military Counterintelligence Service (SKW) are suspected of the worst type of betrayal a Pole can commit.” Defence Minister Antoni Macierewicz. … Continue reading“9:55 AM 12/7/2017 – Ex-intelligence chiefs probed over ‘worst type of betrayal’: Polish defence minister – thenews.pl |  The Early Edition: December 7, 2017|  Mike Flynn – Google News: Mike Flynn and the Russians: Was he reckless, greedy or hopelessly corrupt? – Salon”
8:14 AM 12/8/2017 Wray seemingly confirmed that the F.B.I. had applied for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (F.I.S.A.) as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign

Wray seemingly confirmed that the F.B.I. had applied for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (F.I.S.A.) as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign Saved Stories Saved Stories – None The Early Edition: December 8, 2017 FBI Director Chris Wray Briefs Congress And Defends … Continue reading“8:14 AM 12/8/2017 – Wray seemingly confirmed that the F.B.I. had applied for warrants under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (F.I.S.A.) as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion by the Trump campaign”
Trump, campaign aides got email with WikiLeaks encryption key for documents: Report – Washington Times
 


Washington Times
Trump, campaign aides got email with WikiLeaks encryption key for documents: Report
Washington Times
In this July 11, 2017, file photo, Donald Trump Jr. is interviewed by host Sean Hannity on the Fox News Channel television program, in New York. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File) more >. Print. By Sally Persons – The Washington Times – Updated: 9:17 a.m 
Don Jr and other Trump campaign officials were offered secret link to WikiLeaks hacks: reportRaw Storyall 13 news articles »
Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on the Dark Web

Source: Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on the Dark Web
Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened

Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home – ABC Online Judge: Man accused of threatening court unfit to stand trial – Hudson Valley 360 Russian social media executive sought to help Trump … Continue reading“Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened”
California fires: 3 people burned in new blaze – CNN
 


CBS News
California fires: 3 people burned in new blaze
CNN
Carpinteria, California (CNN) Wildfires roared across Southern California for a fifth day Friday, with new blazes leading to additional evacuations as neighborhoods went up in flames in San Diego County. Six large wildfires have scorched 141,000 acres 
Firefighters Battle Intense Wildfires Ravaging Southern CaliforniaU.S. News & World Report
California Struggles To Gain On Fires As New Ones Appear DailyNPR
Some Skirball Fire Evacuees To Be Allowed To Return To Homes TonightDeadline
USA TODAY –Fox News –HuffPost –KABC-TV
all 1,288 news articles »
Two Teens Killed In US School Shooting, Attacker Dead: Police – NDTV
 


NDTV
Two Teens Killed In US School Shooting, Attacker Dead: Police
NDTV
The attack took place at Aztec High School, New Mexico State Police said on Twitter. The school is located in the small town of Aztec some 180 miles (300 kilometers) northwest of Albuquerque in an area close to Navajo tribal lands. World | Agence and more »
Reza Zarrab Recounts Death Threat to Iran Sanctions Jury – New York Times
 


New York Times
Reza Zarrab Recounts Death Threat to Iran Sanctions Jury
New York Times
Reza Zarrab, the chief government witness in a trial involving a billion-dollar scheme to smuggle gold for oil in violation of United States sanctions on Iran, testified on Thursday that his life had been threatened in a federal detention center in 
Turkish Leader Restarted Iran Laundering Scheme, Witness SaysBloomberg
Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab accused of raping NYC cellmateNBCNews.com
Star witness in Iran sanctions case sexually assaulted his cellmate: suitNew York Post
Daily Mail –Daily Sabah –TRT World –U.S. News & World Report
all 69 news articles »
Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List – HuffPost
 


HuffPost
Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List
HuffPost
Santa Claus is going to have a devil of a time getting Melania Trump what she wants for Christmas, thanks to her husband. On Thursday, the first lady visited Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., to cheer up the kids, according to the Daily 
Melania Trump Tells Children Her Dream Christmas Would Be on ‘A Deserted Island’Daily Beast
Melania Trump Mocked For Wishing To Spend Christmas On Deserted IslandInternational Business Times
Flotus gets a fast food fix: Melania Trump and Karen Pence do lunch at Whataburger as they help Hurricane Harvey …Daily Mailall 162 news articles »
NJ’s weekend snow forecast just got worse; up to 4 inches possible – NJ.com
 


NJ.com
NJ’s weekend snow forecast just got worse; up to 4 inches possible
NJ.com
A storm system is now expected to move closer to the Atlantic coast than was initially anticipated, upping the probability that most areas of New Jersey will see their first snow accumulations of the season this weekend. In a revised forecast issued 
New Orleans area braces for wintry weather: What to knowNOLA.com
The Weather Authority | Snow For Central Alabama TomorrowAlabama’s News Leaderall 137 news articles »
5:23 PM 12/6/2017 FBI and DOJ have Been Under Investigation Since January American Lens

Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks FBI and DOJ have Been Under Investigation Since January American Lens Peter Strzok Photo: See First Image of the FBI Agent fbi criticism – Google Search How Nonpartisan and Independent Was the FBI’s Leadership in 2016? DANA MILBANK: Latest fallback: Who cares if Trump colluded with Russia? … Continue reading“5:23 PM 12/6/2017 – FBI and DOJ have Been Under Investigation Since January American Lens”
5:46 PM 12/6/2017 The FBIs constant bungling is an American embarrassment | TheHill

FBI from mikenova (7 sites) Saved Stories – FBI: Trump recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – CNN 1. FBI from mikenova (16 sites): Christopher Wray – Google News: House conservatives ramp up accusations of bias against Trump in Russia probe – USA TODAY 1. FBI from mikenova (16 sites): Andrew McCabe – Google News: The … Continue reading“5:46 PM 12/6/2017 – The FBI’s constant bungling is an American embarrassment | TheHill”
7:56 AM 12/7/2017 FBIs Crisis and Peter Strzok My Bullet Points by Michael Novakhov

Michael Novakhov My Bullet Points:  Stop this hysteria, and stop scapegoating Peter Strzok. The political attitudes, and expressing them, on the part of the FBI agent, might or might not be ethical, depending on the circumstances (office email to a colleague and lover probably is not), but it is not a crime. Mr. Muellers … Continue reading“7:56 AM 12/7/2017 – FBI’s Crisis and Peter Strzok – My Bullet Points – by Michael Novakhov”
12:57 PM 12/5/2017 Trump Said Probing His Finances Would Be A Red Line. Thats Exactly What Robert…
 

12:57 PM 12/5/2017 Trump Said Probing His Finances Would Be A Red Line. Thats Exactly What Robert Mueller Is Now Doing. Subpoena For Deutsche Bank May Put Mueller On Collision Course With Trump NPR Trump Tells Palestinian President He Intends To Move U.S. Embassy In Israel To Jerusalem

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7:21 AM 12/8/2017 – Two Teens Killed In US School Shooting, Attacker Dead: Police – NDTV

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Saved Stories

Saved Stories – None
Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on the Dark Web
Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened
California fires: 3 people burned in new blaze – CNN

Two Teens Killed In US School Shooting, Attacker Dead: Police – NDTV

Reza Zarrab Recounts Death Threat to Iran Sanctions Jury – New York Times
Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List – HuffPost
NJ’s weekend snow forecast just got worse; up to 4 inches possible – NJ.com
FBI Director Denies Political Bias Is Tainting Investigations – New York Times
The Op-Ed Paul Manafort Allegedly Tried to Have Planted Is Comically Worshipful of Paul Manafort – Slate Magazine
Rachel Maddow Explains Mystery Around Arrests of High-Level Russian Intelligence Officers – AlterNet
Can Steve Bannon Realign American Politics? – New York Times
There Was No Peace Process for Trump to Destroy – New York Times
Tweeters Give Melania Trump Vacation Ideas After Deserted Island Holidays Joke
Few policy differences narrowed at Trump meeting with congressional leaders – CNN
Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes cleared of wrongdoing in House ethics probe – Washington Post
Devin Nunes Cleared of Misconduct Over Disclosing Monitoring of Trump Aides – New York Times
Paul Manafort, Special Counsel Mueller tussle over Ukrainian op-ed – Reuters
Donald Trump Jr frantically tries to defend himself after latest Trump-Russia bombshell lands
Paul Manafort’s legal team bites back at Robert Mueller over Ukraine op-ed – Washington Examiner
Paul Manafort says he edited Ukraine op-ed, is silent on colleague’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence – Washington Post
Trump’s mental meltdown – Washington Post
What if Mueller catches Trump and it isn’t enough? – Washington Post
“Checkmate! Legal scholar says this clause in Michael Flynns plea deal means its over for Donald Trump
Putin ‘deeply concerned’ by Trump’s Jerusalem move – Arutz Sheva
House Intelligence chairman cleared of disclosing classified information – Reuters

 

Saved Stories – None
Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on the Dark Web

Source: Criminals are cashing in on Bitcoins for illegal activity from buying drugs, hiring hitmen and forging passports on the Dark Web
Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened

Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened Donald Trump: The huge Israel announcement has overshadowed the Russia turmoil at home – ABC Online Judge: Man accused of threatening court unfit to stand trial – Hudson Valley 360 Russian social media executive sought to help Trump … Continue reading“Jake Tapper: Trump Attacks FBI Only When His Side Is Threatened”
California fires: 3 people burned in new blaze – CNN
 


CBS News
California fires: 3 people burned in new blaze
CNN
Carpinteria, California (CNN) Wildfires roared across Southern California for a fifth day Friday, with new blazes leading to additional evacuations as neighborhoods went up in flames in San Diego County. Six large wildfires have scorched 141,000 acres 
Firefighters Battle Intense Wildfires Ravaging Southern CaliforniaU.S. News & World Report
California Struggles To Gain On Fires As New Ones Appear DailyNPR
Some Skirball Fire Evacuees To Be Allowed To Return To Homes TonightDeadline
USA TODAY –Fox News –HuffPost –KABC-TV
all 1,288 news articles »
Two Teens Killed In US School Shooting, Attacker Dead: Police – NDTV
 


NDTV
Two Teens Killed In US School Shooting, Attacker Dead: Police
NDTV
The attack took place at Aztec High School, New Mexico State Police said on Twitter. The school is located in the small town of Aztec some 180 miles (300 kilometers) northwest of Albuquerque in an area close to Navajo tribal lands. World | Agence and more »

Reza Zarrab Recounts Death Threat to Iran Sanctions Jury – New York Times
 


New York Times
Reza Zarrab Recounts Death Threat to Iran Sanctions Jury
New York Times
Reza Zarrab, the chief government witness in a trial involving a billion-dollar scheme to smuggle gold for oil in violation of United States sanctions on Iran, testified on Thursday that his life had been threatened in a federal detention center in 
Turkish Leader Restarted Iran Laundering Scheme, Witness SaysBloomberg
Turkish gold trader Reza Zarrab accused of raping NYC cellmateNBCNews.com
Star witness in Iran sanctions case sexually assaulted his cellmate: suitNew York Post
Daily Mail –Daily Sabah –TRT World –U.S. News & World Report
all 69 news articles »
Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List – HuffPost
 


HuffPost
Donald Trump Is Making It Hard For Santa Claus To Fulfill Melania’s Christmas List
HuffPost
Santa Claus is going to have a devil of a time getting Melania Trump what she wants for Christmas, thanks to her husband. On Thursday, the first lady visited Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C., to cheer up the kids, according to the Daily 
Melania Trump Tells Children Her Dream Christmas Would Be on ‘A Deserted Island’Daily Beast
Melania Trump Mocked For Wishing To Spend Christmas On Deserted IslandInternational Business Times
Flotus gets a fast food fix: Melania Trump and Karen Pence do lunch at Whataburger as they help Hurricane Harvey …Daily Mailall 162 news articles »

NJ’s weekend snow forecast just got worse; up to 4 inches possible – NJ.com
 


NJ.com
NJ’s weekend snow forecast just got worse; up to 4 inches possible
NJ.com
A storm system is now expected to move closer to the Atlantic coast than was initially anticipated, upping the probability that most areas of New Jersey will see their first snow accumulations of the season this weekend. In a revised forecast issued 
New Orleans area braces for wintry weather: What to knowNOLA.com
The Weather Authority | Snow For Central Alabama TomorrowAlabama’s News Leaderall 137 news articles »

FBI Director Denies Political Bias Is Tainting Investigations – New York Times
 


New York Times
FBI Director Denies Political Bias Is Tainting Investigations
New York Times
WASHINGTON Christopher A. Wray, the director of the F.B.I., defended his work force on Thursday in a politically charged hearing on Capitol Hill, rebutting President Trump’s accusation that the bureau was in tatters and fending off attacks from and more »

The Op-Ed Paul Manafort Allegedly Tried to Have Planted Is Comically Worshipful of Paul Manafort – Slate Magazine
 


Law.com
The Op-Ed Paul Manafort Allegedly Tried to Have Planted Is Comically Worshipful of Paul Manafort
Slate Magazine
As such, the special counsel’s office has retracted its decision to acquiesce to Manafort’s request for less stringent bail requirements and is asking the court to maintain GPS monitoring and provide for a fully secured bond of unencumbered real 
Paul Manafort’s draft op-ed is what collusion with Russia might look likeWashington Post
Prosecutors: Paul Manafort should stay on house arrest after cowriting op-ed with colleague tied to Russian intelWGRZ-TV
The Latest: Trump lawyer denies financial record subpoenaABC News
Law.com –Pittsburgh Post-Gazette –Business Insider
all 51 news articles »
Rachel Maddow Explains Mystery Around Arrests of High-Level Russian Intelligence Officers – AlterNet
 

Rachel Maddow Explains Mystery Around Arrests of High-Level Russian Intelligence Officers
AlterNet
Well now, from the Russia side, ‘The Bell’ is reporting, based on conversations with acquaintances of the men arrested, that the reason they were arrested is because they were the Russian sources who helped U.S. intelligence services get evidence last  

Can Steve Bannon Realign American Politics? – New York Times
 


New York Times
Can Steve Bannon Realign American Politics?
New York Times
But realignments are made, not born. A recent outbreak of Republican congressional retirement announcements reflects fears of a Democratic wave in next year’s midterms more than any clear pattern of looming party transformation. Still, the volatile and more »

There Was No Peace Process for Trump to Destroy – New York Times
 


New York Times
There Was No Peace Process for Trump to Destroy
New York Times
I don’t know anyone who believes that: America supports and favors Israel over the Palestinians for a variety of domesticpolitical, strategic and sentimental reasons. Well, Trump has provoked the unswerving ire of the Palestinians (who now refuse to 
Donald Trump set to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocate US embassyThe Independent
Balance of Power: Consequences Come Quickly on Jerusalem MoveBloomberg
Putin ‘Deeply Concerned’ About Trump’s Jerusalem MoveThe Quint
Haaretz –RT –kfor.com
all 8,954 news articles »
Tweeters Give Melania Trump Vacation Ideas After Deserted Island Holidays Joke

“It’s called Alcatraz!”
Few policy differences narrowed at Trump meeting with congressional leaders – CNN
 


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

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


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

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


Breitbart News

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


Washington Post
Paul Manafort says he edited Ukraine op-ed, is silent on colleague’s alleged ties to Russian intelligence
Washington Post
Attorneys for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort acknowledged Thursday that he edited an opinion piece for a Ukraine newspaper but did not publicly address allegations by special counsel prosecutors that he drafted it with a former colleague  
Oleg Voloshin: Paul Manafort, European integration’s unknown soldier for UkraineKyiv Post
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Trump’s mental meltdown – Washington Post
 


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

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


Washington Post
What if Mueller catches Trump and it isn’t enough?
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Why Trump is still winningCNNall 42 news articles »

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

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

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

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

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

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


Arutz Sheva
Putin ‘deeply concerned’ by Trump’s Jerusalem move
Arutz Sheva
Russian president Vladimir Putin is “deeply concerned” by U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, the Kremlin said Thursday, according to AFP. In a telephone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip  
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 and more »

House Intelligence chairman cleared of disclosing classified information – Reuters
 


Reuters
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Reuters
Trump’s fellow Republicans in Congress have frequently raised the unmasking issue during the investigation of allegations that Russia sought to influence the 2016 U.S. election to boost Trump’s chances of defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton and 
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3:08 PM 12/7/2017 – M.N.: Ridiculous! They should resign themselves due to the legal illiteracy and misleading the public.  WSJ Editorial Board Calls for Robert Mueller to Step Down After FBI Agent’s Anti-Trump Texts

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M.N.: Ridiculous! They should resign themselves due to the legal illiteracy and misleading the public. 

WSJ Editorial Board Calls for Robert Mueller to Step Down After FBI Agent’s Anti-Trump Texts – Breitbart News

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WSJ Editorial Board Calls for Robert Mueller to Step Down After FBI Agent’s Anti-Trump Texts – Breitbart News

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Mexico: Reject Internal Security Law – Human Rights Watch
 

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Donald Trump used to brag that he would bring his dealmaking skills to the worlds most intractable problems. Instead he has folded without a card being dealtThirty years ago this weekend the first intifada began in a Gaza refugee camp, when an Israeli army lorry collided with a civilian car, killing four Palestinians. The uprising spread like wildfire and burned for six years. It was a popular expression of frustration over 20 years of occupation that took both the Israelis and the Palestinian leadership, at the time in exile in Tunisia, by complete surprise. This week Donald Trump drove a truck into the most sensitive of Palestinian grievances: the status of Jerusalem. Days of rage have been called. Years of fury may follow.Continue reading…
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Few issues in Washington have generated more heat and less light than the idea that the actions of President Donald Trump, his campaign associates, and his businesses could be prosecuted as part of an ongoing criminal conspiracy under theRacketeer 

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8:45 AM 12/6/2017 – Plot to Assassinate UK Prime Minister Theresa May

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

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Monkey Cage

December 6 at 6:00 AM

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

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

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

Why do unfair elections even matter?

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

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

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

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

The Kremlin has high turnout goals for 2018

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

…but may struggle to meet them

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

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

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

The Kremlin has enlisted help from big business

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

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

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

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

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

Prioritizing short-term political goals hinders Russia’s growth

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

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

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

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

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

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

Collusion | IRRUSSIANALITY

mikenova shared this story from IRRUSSIANALITY.

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

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

collusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

A brutal agent of the Putin dictatorship : )

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misha is the Russian equivalent of Michael.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Collusion

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

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

collusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

A brutal agent of the Putin dictatorship : )

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

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

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

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

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

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

Misha is the Russian equivalent of Michael.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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On the Night News Desk When Trumps Tweeting Starts

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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Legal Weed Is Coming to New Jersey – VICE


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Breitbart News
Is Mueller’s Trump-Russia investigation politically biased?
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From my standpoint, having spent a good part of my life in that agency, it’s not the agents that are screwing this all up,” formerFBI assistant director James Kallstrom told FOX Business’ Liz MacDonald. “It’s the people at the higher levels of the 
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Trump Will Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital And Announce U.S. Embassy Move

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

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


Politico

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


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

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


NBCNews.com
Donald Trump Jr. likely to face questions on Russian contacts from House panel
NBCNews.com
During a committee interview with the firm behind a 35-page dossier on then-candidate Trump last month, a Fusion GPS official not only stood by its claims but provided additional leads about Russian money flowing to Trump real estate projects 
Russian Lawyer To Senate: Don Jr. Asked For Clinton Info At Trump Tower MeetingTPM
President Trump’s eldest son to face congressional questions on his contacts with Russians, WikiLeaksLos Angeles Times
Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: ReportWashington Examiner
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Music promoter behind Trump Jr. meeting with Russian lawyer to testify before congressional investigators: Report – Washington Examiner
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Russia’s Influence Spreads – American Spectator
Press backpedals on Trump collusion charge, focuses on obstruction – Washington Examiner
Obstruction of Justice was Coming from Inside the FBI – FrontPage Magazine
White House: Reports of anti-Trump investigator on Mueller team ’cause a great deal of concern’ – Washington Examiner
Trump’s Jerusalem decision promises upheaval – CNN
Editorial: Get gangsters out of casinos – Times Colonist
The Zarrab Affair: Dark Clouds over Ankara – Gatestone Institute
Mueller’s Russia Probe Tops $6.7M So Far – U.S. News & World Report
Three steps Republicans should take to start reining in Trump – Washington Post
Rudy Giuliani – Google News: Witness says Giuliani, Mukasey tried to broker deal for his freedom – NBCNews.com
Witness says Giuliani, Mukasey tried to broker deal for his freedom – NBCNews.com
UK terror attacks: Review reveals what MI5 knew about Manchester, London Bridge and Westminster attackers – The Independent

 

Saved Stories – None
Trump Will Recognize Jerusalem As Israel’s Capital And Announce U.S. Embassy Move

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

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


Politico

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


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

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


NBCNews.com
Donald Trump Jr. likely to face questions on Russian contacts from House panel
NBCNews.com
During a committee interview with the firm behind a 35-page dossier on then-candidate Trump last month, a Fusion GPS official not only stood by its claims but provided additional leads about Russian money flowing to Trump real estate projects 
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NBC Chicago
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Gangster Capitalism and Nostalgic Authoritarianism in Trump’s America – Truthdig


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

and more »

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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Russia’s Influence Spreads – American Spectator


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

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


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


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

and more »

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


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

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Trump’s Jerusalem decision promises upheaval – CNN


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

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

and more »

The Zarrab Affair: Dark Clouds over Ankara – Gatestone Institute

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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 Rudy Giuliani – Google News

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


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

Digital Journal
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UK terror attacks: Review reveals what MI5 knew about Manchester, London Bridge and Westminster attackers – The Independent

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

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4:34 AM 12/5/2017 – “Out Of Control” FBI Considers Itself Above The Law, Threat To Every American

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Tucker Carlson Tonight 12/4/17 – Tucker Carlson Tonight December 4, 2017 Fox News

_______________________________

“As a result, a large swath of responsible center-right observers are now demanding a full review of the investigation and prosecution powers wielded by the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in the National Review on Saturday that President Trump should call for a second independent counsel to

investigate abuse of the counterintelligence authorities under President Barack Obama,

abuses he suggests were undertaken to protect the controversial Iran deal on nuclear weapons.

 

This is an excellent idea. The new special counsel could also review…” 

_____________________________

FBI News Review

fbinewsreview.org 

Investigate the investigators! Save America! Reform the FBI now!

News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions

_____________________________

“There are many examples of this, but the point is clear,

the FBI is out of control

and not just in the Trump investigation but much more broadly.

An agency charged with enforcing the law clearly considers itself above the law, and that is a threat to you and every American,

no matter who you voted for,” Carlson said Monday.

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
fbi – Google News: House Intel chairman threatens FBI director, deputy AG with contempt of Congress – USA TODAY
3:38 AM 12/5/2017 A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. The Washington Post
FBI director tells staff to ‘expect — and welcome’ tough questions – CNN
A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – Washington Post
Trump Has Now Urged Seven Officials to Help End the Russia Probes
Recent Searches December 2017
3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…
3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…
4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris …
5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations…
The U.S. and Global Security Review: Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…
M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation…
Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned…
8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say – StopFake.org
Turkey issues warrant for ex-CIA officer over alleged role in 2016 coup
All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next? – The Guardian
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump? – Toronto Star
Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea – Nikkei Asian Review
Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label – Bloomberg
Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum. – National Review

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Tucker Carlson: “Out Of Control” FBI Considers Itself Above The Law, Threat To Every American | Video
 

mikenova shared this story .

Tucker Carlson delivers commentary on FBI agent Peter Strzok and an “out of control” FBI on Monday’s broadcast of his FOX News show. Strzok was heavily involved in two politicized cases — the Clinton email investigation and the Russian collusion probe and oversaw interviews with Mike Flynn.
“There are many examples of this, but the point is clear, the FBI is out of control and not just in the Trump investigation but much more broadly. An agency charged with enforcing the law clearly considers itself above the law, and that is a threat to you and every American, no matter who you voted for,” Carlson said Monday.
Carlson also reported that Strzok had a hand in the wording of then-FBI Director James Comey’s infamous statement clearing Hillary Clinton of wrongdoing in the investigation into her private server. Strzok reportedly prodded Comey to use “extremely careless” instead of “grossly negligent.”

Strzok has since been removed from Mueller’s investigative team after it was found out he exchanged anti-Trump text messages with a mistress.

CARLSON: Two days ago comment news broke that a key figure in the Mueller investigation, a longtime FBI official named Peter Strzok had been removed from his job for sending highly political text messages to his mistress, whose another FBI official.
Apparently, those texts attacked President Trump and expressed affection for Hillary Clinton. Ordinarily, this would not rate a headline. Even career government officials are allowed to have political views. But this is no ordinary moment. Peter Strzok is at the very center of the two most politicized Justice Department cases in a generation.
Strzok was first of all deeply involved in the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s private email server last year. At the conclusion of that investigation, it was apparently Strzok who changed the FBI’s description of what Hillary did from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless.” Now, the first description is a crime, the second is merely a blunder. So in effect, Peter Strzok exonerated Hillary Clinton in the middle of a presidential campaign.

Carlson said when Strzok interviewed Flynn, the one that resulted in his guilty plea, the then-National Security Advisor did not have a lawyer present because he had no idea he was being officially interviewed.

CARLSON: In effect, Peter Strzok exonerated Hillary Clinton in the middle of a presidential campaign. But then he kept going. Strzok went on to sign the document, the official document that opened an investigation into Russian meddling in an election. The very same investigation the Hillary campaign was calling for at the time. The one that has now completely overwhelmed to the Trump presidency.
And if that wasn’t enough, it was also Peter Strzok who, according to news accounts this afternoon oversaw the FBI’s interviews in January with general Mike Flynn at the White House. The ones that resulted in Flynn pleading guilty to felony charges on Friday. Apparently, Flynn had no idea he was being interviewed and that would explain why he didn’t have a lawyer present. If true, that would qualify as trickery, it would be unethical.

fbi – Google News: House Intel chairman threatens FBI director, deputy AG with contempt of Congress – USA TODAY
 

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USA TODAY
House Intel chairman threatens FBI director, deputy AG with contempt of Congress
USA TODAY
WASHINGTON House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes has directed his staff to prepare a contempt of Congress resolution against FBI Director Christopher Wray and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for “hiding” a top agent’s alleged 
House Republicans Prepare Contempt Action Against FBI, DOJBloomberg
House Republicans target FBI, DOJ for contempt over Russia investigationMassLive.com
Justice Dept. offers up key witness in Russia probe as House Intel Chair threatens contemptCNN
Breitbart News –PJ Media –TheBlaze.com –Washington Examiner
all 31 news articles »

 fbi – Google News

How Nonpartisan and Independent Was the FBI’s Leadership in 2016? – National Review
 

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National Review
How Nonpartisan and Independent Was the FBI’s Leadership in 2016?
National Review
Yes, President Trump doesn’t help himself when he Tweets, After years of Comey, with the phony and dishonest Clinton investigation (and more), running the FBI, its reputation is in Tatters worst in History! But criticism of a particular FBI 
Russia-Trump: President criticised for attacking FBIBBC News
President Trump complains about ‘unfair’ treatment of Michael FlynnChicago Tribune
Trump slams DOJ and FBI in weekend tweetstormCNN
The Daily Caller –U.S. News & World Report
all 3,000 news articles »
fbi – Google News: Tucker Carlson: “Out Of Control” FBI Considers Itself Above The Law, Threat To Every American – RealClearPolitics
 

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RealClearPolitics
Tucker Carlson: “Out Of Control” FBI Considers Itself Above The Law, Threat To Every American
RealClearPolitics
Tucker Carlson delivers commentary on FBI agent Peter Strzok and an “out of control” FBI on Monday’s broadcast of his FOX News show. Strzok was heavily involved in two politicized cases — the Clinton email investigation and the Russian collusion probe 

 fbi – Google News

3:38 AM 12/5/2017 A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. The Washington Post
 

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A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – The Washington Post When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didnt mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssens sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all … Continue reading“3:38 AM 12/5/2017 – A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – The Washington Post”

A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – The Washington Post
 

mikenova shared this story .


Robert S. Mueller III. (Charles Dharapak/Associated Press)

 

December 4 at 6:11 PM

The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had “exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting Democrat Hillary Clinton” and that Strzok was “also a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server.”

This is a blockbuster revelation, carrying the possibility of shattering public confidence in a number of long-held assumptions about the criminal-justice system generally and the FBI and the Justice Department specifically. The Justice Department should appoint a special counsel to investigate Strzok’s actions as soon as possible.

The Strzok report comes on heels of the widely derided Justice Department investigation into IRS discrimination against conservative groups, including the disposition of allegations against IRS senior official Lois Lerner, and after the wildly erratic behavior of then-FBI Director James B. Comey during 2016. It also follows the vote to hold then-Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress — the first ever against a sitting member of the Cabinet — with 17 Democrats voting in support. Mix into this battering of the Justice Department’s and FBI’s reputations the still-murky charges and counter-charges of abuse of “unmasking” powers during the waning days of the Obama era.

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As a result, a large swath of responsible center-right observers are now demanding a full review of the investigation and prosecution powers wielded by the Obama-era Justice Department and FBI. Former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy wrote in the National Review on Saturday that President Trump should call for a second independent counsel to investigate abuse of the counterintelligence authorities under President Barack Obama, abuses he suggests were undertaken to protect the controversial Iran deal on nuclear weapons.

This is an excellent idea. The new special counsel could also review Strzok’s texts and, more crucially, his conduct throughout 2015 and 2016. Strzok may be completely innocent of anything except an off-handed joke that the straight-laced Mueller deemed necessary to punish in a display of a “Caesar’s wife” sort of purity of purpose. But if his texts to FBI lawyer Lisa Page reveal a partisan animus towards Trump or admiration for Clinton, then the bureau and the department have a huge problem on their hands and not just with Strzok and Page.

When FBI Special Agent Robert Hanssen was revealed to have committed espionage against the United States, it didn’t mean that even one other member of the bureau was guilty of Hanssen’s sins, but it did require a painstaking review of all of Hanssen’s activities and inputs, as all of them had to be reconsidered in light of his treasonous behavior.

If Strzok’s texts reveal deep animus towards Trump or an operational effort to tilt one or more investigations, then all of his actions have to be reviewed to assure the public’s confidence in the bureau. That one or two agents or officials of the bureau are discovered to have been acting from improper motives would be bad enough. To try and sweep those activities under the rug would be worse. Against the backdrop of other recent controversies, it would be disastrous.

Step one is a quick publication of the questionable texts. All of them. The public has a right to know what the predicate for Mueller’s extraordinary action was. The public also deserves a detailed account of Strzok’s (and Page’s) duties and authorities during the years in question. If an NBA official was discovered to have purposefully thrown even one game, every game in which he had carried a whistle would be under the microscope. That’s how it works.

Unless there’s a coverup.

Nevertheless, just as Hanssen was “one bad apple” who didn’t spoil the bunch, so even an out-of-bounds Strzok doesn’t necessarily mean anything about the FBI beyond him. To get to the truth, and restore confidence in federal law enforcement, better a special counsel to conduct the inquiry, bring any necessary charges and make a report — someone without ties to the president or his opponents.

They do exist, such men and women. Former federal judges make excellent candidates. But we need one appointed right now.

FBI director tells staff to ‘expect — and welcome’ tough questions – CNN
 

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CNN
FBI director tells staff to ‘expect — and welcome’ tough questions
CNN
Read More. Wray also did not mention the case of Peter Strzok, the bureau official who was removed by special counsel Robert Mueller from his team of investigators over the summer after an internal investigation found messages he sent that could be and more »
A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now. – Washington Post
 

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The Rebel
A special counsel needs to investigate the FBI and Justice Department. Now.
Washington Post
The Post reported that a former top FBI official, Peter Strzok, who had been assigned to and then removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation, had exchanged politically charged texts disparaging [President] Trump and supporting 
FBI’s Disgraced Strzok interveiwed both Flynn and HillaryThe Rebel
Conway on Allegedly ‘Tainted’ FBI Agent: Americans Frustrated by Clinton Double StandardFox News Insiderall 4 news articles »
Trump Has Now Urged Seven Officials to Help End the Russia Probes
 

mikenova shared this story from Newsweek.

President Donald Trump has pushed at least seven officials to put an end to investigations at various levels of government into whether his campaign helped Russia meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

On Thursday The New York Times revealed that over the summer Trump urged members of the Senate—including those leading the Senate Intelligence Committee’s Russia investigation—to wrap up their investigations.

The chairman of the intelligence committee, Republican Richard Burr, said in an interview that Trump made a request “something along the lines of ‘I hope you can conclude this as quickly as possible.’”

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President Donald Trump speaks with reporters at the White House on November 28. The president has reportedly asked several officials to end the Russia investigations as soon as possible. Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

However, a Republican senator who spoke to Burr told the Times that Trump had been “very forceful” in conversations with Burr. Another senator, who also remained anonymous, told the paper Trump called other congressional members, asking them to lean on Burr to end the investigation.

Burr said other members of his committee told him of similar calls they received from Trump but said he didn’t feel pressured to end the probe, chalking up the president’s actions to inexperience.

According to lawmakers and aides, Trump also approached Republican Senator Roy Blunt, who sits on the committee, and Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell, with requests to end the investigations quickly.

Related: Has Michael Flynn flipped? Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team reportedly met with his lawyer

The news brings to seven the total number of officials Trump has asked to help end the multiple investigations moving forward in both branches of Congress and the Department of Justice.

Special counsel Robert Mueller is pushing ahead with his investigation of whether Trump obstructed justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey, who was leading one of the investigations.

Congress started its investigation early this year after key American intelligence agencies compiled a report that found Russia worked to undermine Trump’s campaign rival Hillary Clinton and assist his campaign.

The latest news is a “huge story,” wrote attorney Norm Eisen on Twitter Thursday because it “corroborates a corrupt motive” for Trump’s firing of Comey on May 9.

Eisen, a former White House special counsel for ethics and a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, published a report in October arguing that Trump obstructed justice by attempting to intervene in the investigations.

In a letter written by Comey ahead of his testimony to Burr’s committee in June, he wrote that Trump had pressured him on several occasions to end the part of the investigation examining former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Writing about a rare private meeting between the president and his top law enforcement official in February, Comey said Trump tried to pressure him into “letting Flynn go.” The request came after Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about contact he had had with the Russian ambassador. Trump made a similar request to him in a phone call, Comey said.

During closed testimony before Burr’s committee and in separate interviews with Mueller’s legal team in June, two top Trump administration intelligence officials said the president approached them to defend him publicly against the investigations, multiple sources told CNN.

Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and National Security Agency Director Mike Rogers said Trump asked them to state publicly that his campaign did not work with Russia to interfere in the election. A report by The Wall Street Journal in June cited sources who said Trump also called Rogers to state publicly that there is no evidence his campaign colluded with Russia.

Officials who spoke with The Washington Post in June said that Trump applied pressure to CIA Director Mike Pompeo in March when he kept Pompeo and Coats behind after a meeting to complain about Comey’s handling of the Russia investigation. Coats reportedly told other officials that Trump had asked for an intervention. It is not known whether Trump asked Pompeo directly to intervene.

Trump’s request came after Comey testified before Congress that the FBI was investigating whether Trump’s campaign worked with Russia during the election campaign.

“Who believes at this point he didn’t obstruct justice?” former Department of Justice public affairs director Matthew Miller‏ wrote on Twitter Thursday.

“Pressuring senators to end an investigation that impacts him & those close to him could be further evidence of obstruction of justice by the President,” wrote Noah Bookbinder‏, an attorney who co-wrote the report with Eisen, on Thursday. He called Trump’s behavior “part of a pattern of conduct.”

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4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris Wray “needs to clean house.”
5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations…
 

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The U.S. and Global Security Review: Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…
 

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Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…: We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI M.N. In my humble opinion, w…

 The U.S. and Global Security Review

M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation…
 

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M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI. The FBIs darling special, professional, and VIP informants made the nice careers for themselves in Psychiatry, including the leadership positions in the American Psychiatric Association, not because of their intellectual or other abilities, but because of their special affiliation with the FBI, and informing on the researchers who have these abilities. Some psychiatric Mata Haries apparently would not even stop at using their sexual connections for these purposes.
Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned…
 

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Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned about the FBIs interference in Science, and in Psychiatry. For example, the FBIs interference in Anthropology is the well known and the well-established fact.
8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…
 

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8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say – StopFake.org
 

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StopFake.org
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say
StopFake.org
The deputies of the European Parliament who form Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at a meeting in Amsterdam say that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Donald Trump along with the Islamic state are the 
Turkey issues warrant for ex-CIA officer over alleged role in 2016 coup
 

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The Turkish government has issued a warrant for the arrest of a former officer in the United States Central Intelligence Agency, which Ankara claims was instrumental in the failed July 2016 attempt to topple the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The move comes amidst heightened tensions in relations between Ankara and Washington. The two NATO allies have partially revoked entry visas for each others citizens, while it is alleged that Michael Flynn, US President Donald Trumps former national security advisor, had an illegal agreement with Turkey to help abduct a Turkish dissident cleric living in Pennsylvania and help transport him to Turkey.

All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next? – The Guardian
 

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The Guardian
All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next?
The Guardian
The Flynn plea deal makes clear that he was not acting as a lone ranger in his communications with Russian officials, including the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak. Documents show that Flynn was told to call the Russians and other key 
Russia investigation sheds new light on Jared Kushner’s involvement with MoscowLos Angeles Timesall 683 news articles »
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump? – Toronto Star
 

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Toronto Star
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?
Toronto Star
I expect Flynn wouldn’t have bothered lying to the FBI about conversations with, say, the Canadian ambassador on matters of mutual interest. But, in this climate, talking to the Russians was simply one step too far. The ostensible reason is the widely 
Kremlin says Flynn didn’t influence Putin’s decision to not retaliate against US sanctionsNBCNews.com
Kremlin denies that Flynn persuaded Putin to hold off on retaliatory sanctionsWashington Postall 46 news articles »
Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea – Nikkei Asian Review
 

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Nikkei Asian Review
Russia edges in as key power broker with North Korea
Nikkei Asian Review
Unlike China, Russia traditionally has little economic leverage over Pyongyang. But the Putin administration is believed to have given the North Korean issue high priority. Moscow likely sees its role as go-between as a bargaining chip with the U.S and more »
Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label – Bloomberg
 

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Bloomberg
Who’s an Oligarch? Rich Russians Fret Over US Sanctions Label
Bloomberg
The U.S. law, which Trump grudgingly signed on Aug. 2 after it passed Congress with a veto-proof margin, instructs the Treasury, together with the State Department and intelligence agencies, to identify officials and oligarchs as determined by their 
Changing the rules: what comes after a Putin election victory?Financial Times
Is Vladimir Putin really the evil genius behind Donald Trump?Toronto Starall 19 news articles »
Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum. – National Review
 

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National Review
Little peace, and our strength is ebbing: A report from the Reagan National Defense Forum.
National Review
Various speakers called out Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, and, more broadly, radical Islamic terrorism as threats to the peace and security of the United States. Retired General Jack Keane bluntly stated that China was trying to dominate its region 
HR McMaster talks North Korea threat, Michael Flynn dealFox Newsall 27 news articles »

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3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…
3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…
4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris …
5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations…
5:52 AM 12/4/2017 – Trump: FBI’s reputation in tatters – The Hill
The U.S. and Global Security Review: Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…
M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation…
Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned…
8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…
04.12.2017 15:47
9:42 AM 12/4/2017 – K.T. McFarland discussed how sanctions imposed by the Obama administration would…
10:47 AM 12/4/2017 – The Season For Impeachment
10:55 AM 12/4/2017 – Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette
10:55 AM 12/4/2017 Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI LifeZette
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say – StopFake.org
Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated Unfairly – Voice of America
Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations – CNN
Donald Trump says he feels ‘very badly’ for Michael Flynn – video
SNL Warns Trump With ‘Christmas Carol’ Sketch: Ghosts Of Mike Flynn, Billy Bush, And Vladimir Putin Will Haunt You – RealClearPolitics
US govt could ‘lose perspective’ & move towards war Oliver Stone – Newsline
US Using Political Pressure to Draw Balkans Into NATO – Russian Foreign Ministry – Sputnik International
Bob Mueller ‘Has a Huge Conflict of Interest,’ Says Former Assistant FBI Director – Breitbart News
Why Does Our Side Keep Losing Elections? – New York Times
Turkey issues warrant for ex-CIA officer over alleged role in 2016 coup

 

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3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…

3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat – Business Insider | “We’re going to be growing everything, Mr. Trump said. – M.N.: Sounds sexy…
3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence…

3:36 AM 12/4/2017 – British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat – Business Insider | “We’re going to be growing everything, Mr. Trump said. – M.N.: Sounds sexy…
4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris …

4:02 AM 12/4/2017 – The FBI’s reputation is “in Tatters worst in History!” New FBI Director Chris Wray “needs to clean house.”
5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations…

5:23 AM 12/4/2017 – Et Tu, Brutus?! Met Opera Suspends James Levine After New Sexual Abuse Accusations – New York Times
5:52 AM 12/4/2017 – Trump: FBI’s reputation in tatters – The Hill

5:52 AM 12/4/2017 – Trump: FBI’s reputation in tatters – The Hill
The U.S. and Global Security Review: Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…

Behavior and Law: M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We d…: We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI M.N. In my humble opinion, w…

 The U.S. and Global Security Review

M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation…

M.N.: FBI, get your hands off the Sciences!!! We do need the comprehensive, in-depth, objective investigation, reassessment, and reevaluation of the FBI. The FBIs darling special, professional, and VIP informants made the nice careers for themselves in Psychiatry, including the leadership positions in the American Psychiatric Association, not because of their intellectual or other abilities, but because of their special affiliation with the FBI, and informing on the researchers who have these abilities. Some psychiatric Mata Haries apparently would not even stop at using their sexual connections for these purposes.
Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned…

Personally, besides the FBIs blatant and undue interference in political matters, I am especially concerned about the FBIs interference in Science, and in Psychiatry. For example, the FBIs interference in Anthropology is the well known and the well-established fact.
8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…

8:47 AM 12/4/2017 – Dear Mr. Clapper…
04.12.2017 15:47

9:42 AM 12/4/2017 – K.T. McFarland discussed how sanctions imposed by the Obama administration would…

9:42 AM 12/4/2017 – K.T. McFarland discussed how sanctions imposed by the Obama administration would make it harder for Trump to reach out to Moscow
10:47 AM 12/4/2017 – The Season For Impeachment

10:47 AM 12/4/2017 – The Season For Impeachment
10:55 AM 12/4/2017 – Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette

10:55 AM 12/4/2017 – Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette
10:55 AM 12/4/2017 Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI LifeZette

Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette Your DNA kit begins a journey of discovery but are results in safe hands? Women Line Up to Run for Office, Harnessing Their Outrage at Trump – New York Times Is Trump About to Blow Up Jared Kushner’s … Continue reading“10:55 AM 12/4/2017 – Michael Flynn Investigation Sparks Concern About a Politicized FBI – LifeZette”
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say – StopFake.org


StopFake.org
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say
StopFake.org
The deputies of the European Parliament who form Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at a meeting in Amsterdam say that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Donald Trump along with the Islamic state are the 

Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated Unfairly – Voice of America


Newsweek
Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated Unfairly
Voice of America
President Donald Trump has expressed sympathy for his former National security adviser Michael Flynn, saying Flynn had been treated unfairly by investigators looking into Russia’s influence on the 2016 presidential election. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday 
The Early Edition: December 4, 2017Just Security
Byron York: In Trump-Russia probe, was it all about the Logan Act?Washington Examiner
‘Closer to the bullseye’: How damning is Michael Flynn’s guilty plea for Trump?SBS
Mic –Haaretz –Politico
all 2,385 news articles »
Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations – CNN


CNN
Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations
CNN
The lies were about a series of calls Flynn had with Kislyak. The calls were about two distinct events: a controversial vote at the United Nations and President Barack Obama’s decision to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 US election. The Obama

and more »

Donald Trump says he feels ‘very badly’ for Michael Flynn – video

The US president addresses the media about his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who last week pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Trump had already fired Flynn for lying to the vice-president, Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russia in February. Trump said it was very unfair how Flynn was being treated compared to Hillary Clinton, who Trump claimed had lied to the FBI many times without sanction

Continue reading…

SNL Warns Trump With ‘Christmas Carol’ Sketch: Ghosts Of Mike Flynn, Billy Bush, And Vladimir Putin Will Haunt You – RealClearPolitics


RealClearPolitics
SNL Warns Trump With ‘Christmas Carol’ Sketch: Ghosts Of Mike Flynn, Billy Bush, And Vladimir Putin Will Haunt You
RealClearPolitics
Via Saturday Night Live: President Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) is visited by the spirits of Michael Flynn (Mikey Day), Billy Bush (Alex Moffatt), Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) and Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) in this ‘Christmas Carol’ parody warning 
Trump is Haunted by Xmas Ghosts Billy Bush, Vladimir Putin and Hillary Clinton in SNL Cold Open: WATCHTowleroad

all 8 news articles »

US govt could ‘lose perspective’ & move towards war Oliver Stone – Newsline


Newsline
US govt could ‘lose perspective’ & move towards war Oliver Stone
Newsline
Stone went on to speak about his perception of Putin, after interviewing him for over 30 hours for the interview series. If I can give you an overall opinion of Mr. Putin, he’s the ultimate negotiator; he will wear you out. He really believes in 

and more »

US Using Political Pressure to Draw Balkans Into NATO – Russian Foreign Ministry – Sputnik International


Sputnik International
US Using Political Pressure to Draw Balkans Into NATO – Russian Foreign Ministry
Sputnik International
The Western states repeatedly raised concerns with regard to the joint drills, saying that the Russian troops, deployed in Belarus for the military exercises, were likely to stay in the country afterward, which was repeatedly refuted by Russia. Moscow 

Bob Mueller ‘Has a Huge Conflict of Interest,’ Says Former Assistant FBI Director – Breitbart News


Breitbart News
Bob Mueller ‘Has a Huge Conflict of Interest,’ Says Former Assistant FBI Director
Breitbart News
Bob Mueller should have never been offered nor accepted the job as special counsel as he has a huge conflict of interest, JimKallstrom tells Breitbart News. He should have recused himself. Not only do observers describe Mueller and the man he 

Why Does Our Side Keep Losing Elections? – New York Times


New York Times
Why Does Our Side Keep Losing Elections?
New York Times
Turning Point: Elections in Europe give wind to right-wing nationalist movements. In the wake of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Narendra Modi’s voter-sanctioned authoritarianism and the Polish and Hungarian 

Turkey issues warrant for ex-CIA officer over alleged role in 2016 coup

The Turkish government has issued a warrant for the arrest of a former officer in the United States Central Intelligence Agency, which Ankara claims was instrumental in the failed July 2016 attempt to topple the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The move comes amidst heightened tensions in relations between Ankara and Washington. The two NATO allies have partially revoked entry visas for each others citizens, while it is alleged that Michael Flynn, US President Donald Trumps former national security advisor, had an illegal agreement with Turkey to help abduct a Turkish dissident cleric living in Pennsylvania and help transport him to Turkey.


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Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated Unfairly – Voice of America
Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations – CNN
Donald Trump says he feels ‘very badly’ for Michael Flynn – video
SNL Warns Trump With ‘Christmas Carol’ Sketch: Ghosts Of Mike Flynn, Billy Bush, And Vladimir Putin Will Haunt You – RealClearPolitics
US govt could ‘lose perspective’ & move towards war Oliver Stone – Newsline
US Using Political Pressure to Draw Balkans Into NATO – Russian Foreign Ministry – Sputnik International
Bob Mueller ‘Has a Huge Conflict of Interest,’ Says Former Assistant FBI Director – Breitbart News
Why Does Our Side Keep Losing Elections? – New York Times
Turkey issues warrant for ex-CIA officer over alleged role in 2016 coup
Theresa May ‘appears on Saturday Night Live’ and brags about her war of words with Donald Trump – The Sun
‘Closer to the bullseye’: How damning is Michael Flynn’s guilty plea for Trump? – SBS
Tom Hanks Blasts Trump For Attacking The Media
Tom Hanks Blasts Trump For Attacking The Media – HuffPost
Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga – Bloomberg
Trump is having the best and worst days of his presidency right now – CNN
All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next? – The Guardian
All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next? | Jill Abramson
Robert Mueller forced Michael Flynn to agree to wear a wire
Flynn’s Case Proves It’s Time to Fire Mueller – FrontPage Magazine
Google needs the First Amendment, too – Washington Examiner
Republican tax bill is ‘fiscally irresponsible’ and based on ‘delusional’ assumption, investor says – CNBC
Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump, Syria, Corsica: Your Monday Briefing – New York Times
Mexico Inches Closer to Solidifying Military’s Crime-Fighting Role – Insightcrime.org
The Irrational, Unshakable Faith of the Collusion Conspiracists – Townhall

 

Saved Stories – None
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say – StopFake.org
 


StopFake.org
Putin, Trump and ISIS ‘main threats to liberal values,’ European deputies say
StopFake.org
The deputies of the European Parliament who form Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) at a meeting in Amsterdam say that Russian President Vladimir Putin and his American counterpart Donald Trump along with the Islamic state are the  

Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated Unfairly – Voice of America
 


Newsweek
Trump: Fired National Security Adviser Treated Unfairly
Voice of America
President Donald Trump has expressed sympathy for his former National security adviser Michael Flynn, saying Flynn had been treated unfairly by investigators looking into Russia’s influence on the 2016 presidential election. Flynn pleaded guilty Friday 
The Early Edition: December 4, 2017Just Security
Byron York: In Trump-Russia probe, was it all about the Logan Act?Washington Examiner
‘Closer to the bullseye’: How damning is Michael Flynn’s guilty plea for Trump?SBS
Mic –Haaretz –Politico
all 2,385 news articles »
Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations – CNN
 


CNN
Russia hits back over ‘completely absurd’ Flynn allegations
CNN
The lies were about a series of calls Flynn had with Kislyak. The calls were about two distinct events: a controversial vote at the United Nations and President Barack Obama’s decision to punish Russia for meddling in the 2016 US election. The Obamaand more »

Donald Trump says he feels ‘very badly’ for Michael Flynn – video

The US president addresses the media about his former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who last week pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI. Trump had already fired Flynn for lying to the vice-president, Mike Pence, about his contacts with Russia in February. Trump said it was very unfair how Flynn was being treated compared to Hillary Clinton, who Trump claimed had lied to the FBI many times without sanctionContinue reading…
SNL Warns Trump With ‘Christmas Carol’ Sketch: Ghosts Of Mike Flynn, Billy Bush, And Vladimir Putin Will Haunt You – RealClearPolitics
 


RealClearPolitics
SNL Warns Trump With ‘Christmas Carol’ Sketch: Ghosts Of Mike Flynn, Billy Bush, And Vladimir Putin Will Haunt You
RealClearPolitics
Via Saturday Night Live: President Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) is visited by the spirits of Michael Flynn (Mikey Day), Billy Bush (Alex Moffatt), Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) and Hillary Clinton (Kate McKinnon) in this ‘Christmas Carol’ parody warning 
Trump is Haunted by Xmas Ghosts Billy Bush, Vladimir Putin and Hillary Clinton in SNL Cold Open: WATCHTowleroadall 8 news articles »

US govt could ‘lose perspective’ & move towards war Oliver Stone – Newsline
 


Newsline
US govt could ‘lose perspective’ & move towards war Oliver Stone
Newsline
Stone went on to speak about his perception of Putin, after interviewing him for over 30 hours for the interview series. If I can give you an overall opinion of Mr. Putin, he’s the ultimate negotiator; he will wear you out. He really believes in and more »

US Using Political Pressure to Draw Balkans Into NATO – Russian Foreign Ministry – Sputnik International
 


Sputnik International
US Using Political Pressure to Draw Balkans Into NATO – Russian Foreign Ministry
Sputnik International
The Western states repeatedly raised concerns with regard to the joint drills, saying that the Russian troops, deployed in Belarus for the military exercises, were likely to stay in the country afterward, which was repeatedly refuted by Russia. Moscow  

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Breitbart News
Bob Mueller ‘Has a Huge Conflict of Interest,’ Says Former Assistant FBI Director
Breitbart News
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New York Times
Why Does Our Side Keep Losing Elections?
New York Times
Turning Point: Elections in Europe give wind to right-wing nationalist movements. In the wake of Brexit and the election of Donald Trump, with Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Narendra Modi’s voter-sanctioned authoritarianism and the Polish and Hungarian  

Turkey issues warrant for ex-CIA officer over alleged role in 2016 coup

The Turkish government has issued a warrant for the arrest of a former officer in the United States Central Intelligence Agency, which Ankara claims was instrumental in the failed July 2016 attempt to topple the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. The move comes amidst heightened tensions in relations between Ankara and Washington. The two NATO allies have partially revoked entry visas for each others citizens, while it is alleged that Michael Flynn, US President Donald Trumps former national security advisor, had an illegal agreement with Turkey to help abduct a Turkish dissident cleric living in Pennsylvania and help transport him to Turkey.

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The Sun
Theresa May ‘appears on Saturday Night Live’ and brags about her war of words with Donald Trump
The Sun
The second post features a clip showing a Muslim man appearing to destroy a statue of the Virgin Mary. The third and final tweet claims to show a group of men killing a youngster and is titled: “Islamist mob pushes teenage boy off roof and beats him to and more »

‘Closer to the bullseye’: How damning is Michael Flynn’s guilty plea for Trump? – SBS
 


SBS
‘Closer to the bullseye’: How damning is Michael Flynn’s guilty plea for Trump?
SBS
Former United States national security adviser Michael Flynn has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about conversations he had had with the Russian ambassador to the US. Mr Flynn admitted on Saturday he lied when he told FBI agents in January this year 
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Tom Hanks Blasts Trump For Attacking The Media

“We’re not the United States without the First Amendment,” says the actor.
Tom Hanks Blasts Trump For Attacking The Media – HuffPost
 


HuffPost
Tom Hanks Blasts Trump For Attacking The Media
HuffPost
Oscar-winning actor Tom Hanks decried President Donald Trump‘s relentless attacks on the media on Saturday. Trump’sattempts to delegitimize mainstream media will only raise the stock of agenda-filled outlets, Hanks told CNN’s Axe Files. They’re and more »

Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga – Bloomberg
 

Your Guide to Understanding the Trump-Russia Saga
Bloomberg
By now, few American elected leaders — other than President Donald Trump, on occasion –dispute that elements of the Russian state interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. What remains unproven is whether anybody from Trump’swinning and more »

Trump is having the best and worst days of his presidency right now – CNN
 


CNN
Trump is having the best and worst days of his presidency right now
CNN
Washington (CNN) No wonder the President is lashing out. Donald Trump waited 10 long months for the vindication of his first legacy-boosting win on Capitol Hill — the Senate vote on tax reform. But his triumph, when it came, was tainted by his worst  
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Week Ahead: Trump Aims To Dismiss Russia Probe As Partisan; Can He Get His Taxes Win?NPR

Trump lawyer says president knew Flynn had given FBI the same account he gave to vice presidentWashington Post 
Trump’s lawyer offered a dubious explanation for Trump’s bombshell tweet about Michael FlynnBusiness Insider
Trump, Defending Himself After Flynn Guilty Plea, Says FBI Is in ‘Tatters’New York Times

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All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next? – The Guardian
 


The Guardian
All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next?
The Guardian
The Flynn plea deal makes clear that he was not acting as a lone ranger in his communications with Russian officials, including the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak. Documents show that Flynn was told to call the Russians and other key 
Russia investigation sheds new light on Jared Kushner’s involvement with MoscowLos Angeles Timesall 683 news articles »

All the signs in the Russia probe point to Jared Kushner. Who next? | Jill Abramson

The investigation is taking a new twist, as Donald Trump appears to be distancing himself from his son-in-lawGame of Trumps is about to get really bloody. With special counsel Robert Muellers investigation moving ever closer to President Trump himself, it looks like someone inside the family is about to be sacrificed.With Michael Flynn, Trumps former national security adviser, pleading guilty last week to the charge of lying to the FBI, much more about the Russia scandal is now coming into focus. The Flynn flip was by far the most dramatic event so far in the investigation into alleged Russian interference in 2016s US presidential race. Flynns evidence can only lead up the chain of power towards Trump.

Related: Mueller investigation takes a big step closer to Donald Trump

What Kushner told the president about firing former FBI director James Comey will be critical

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Robert Mueller forced Michael Flynn to agree to wear a wire

This week Special Counsel Robert Mueller finalized a plea agreement with Donald Trump’s former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who agreed to testify in the Trump-Russia scandal in exchange for sentencing leniency. Now that the deal is official, its details are becoming a matter of public record. Among the most fascinating aspects of the plea deal: Mueller forced Flynn to agree to wear a wire.In exact words, the deal required Flynn to agree to participate “in covert law enforcement activities,” as dug up by the Guardian (link). In other words, Flynn had to agree to spy on other suspects or targets involved in the Trump-Russia scandal. In Flynn’s case that could only have meant wearing a wire, planting a bug, or something similar. Considering that Flynn is ex-military and used to run the Defense Intelligence Agency, it’s perfectly reasonable to believe he could have pulled this off. Now for the bigger question: when the heck would this have happened?

We don’t know that Flynn actually did wear a wire, only that he was forced to agree to wear a wire. The strange part is that the clause is being included in Flynn’s plea deal just now, as his deal is becoming public, so everyone in the Trump-Russia scandal now knows not to talk to Flynn anyway. Some will argue that this is merely boilerplate language. But I believe there are two other possible, and more specific, explanations.

I’ve long suspected, based on a variety of circumstantial evidence, that Michael Flynn began partially cooperating with Robert Mueller this summer, to try to get Mueller to leave his son alone. If so, it’s possible Mueller had Flynn wearing a wire and spying on Donald Trump’s people back then. The other explanation would be that Mueller is throwing this clause into Flynn’s plea deal, despite not being able to act on it, simply to scare every other Trump-Russia suspect. The more paranoid they become about the possibility of Mueller already having dirt on them, the more likely they are to cut a deal.

The post Robert Mueller forced Michael Flynn to agree to wear a wire appeared first on Palmer Report.

Flynn’s Case Proves It’s Time to Fire Mueller – FrontPage Magazine
 


FrontPage Magazine
Flynn’s Case Proves It’s Time to Fire Mueller
FrontPage Magazine
A week before Trump’s inauguration, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said that there was nothing necessarily inappropriate about contact between members of the incoming administration and foreign officials because Flynn was part of the and more »

Google needs the First Amendment, too – Washington Examiner
 


Washington Examiner
Google needs the First Amendment, too
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Government officials may have threatened Google to bring about this de-ranking of Russia Today. If so, the First Amendment poses questions for us. We need to answer such questions, however, only if government officials did in fact threaten Google  

Republican tax bill is ‘fiscally irresponsible’ and based on ‘delusional’ assumption, investor says – CNBC
 


CNBC
Republican tax bill is ‘fiscally irresponsible’ and based on ‘delusional’ assumption, investor says
CNBC
The Senate GOP tax plan will increase the deficit by more than $1.4 trillion over a decade, according to analysis by the Congressional Budget Office. That includes money for additional debt service payments due to the bill. “I think when you add aand more »

Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump, Syria, Corsica: Your Monday Briefing – New York Times
 


New York Times
Donald Trump, Syria, Corsica: Your Monday Briefing
New York Times
While the selection has been criticized as non-news, it is already getting attention from last year’s recipient, Donald Trump, who was then the U.S. president-elect. Mr. Trump recently said that Time editors had called to tell him he would probably and more »

 Donald Trump – Google News

Mexico Inches Closer to Solidifying Military’s Crime-Fighting Role – Insightcrime.org
 


Insightcrime.org
Mexico Inches Closer to Solidifying Military’s Crime-Fighting Role
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Lawmakers in Mexico moved one step closer to cementing the military’s role in the fight against organized crime, despite criticisms about whether oversight mechanisms have been put in place to ensure accountability and transparency. Mexico’s lower  

The Irrational, Unshakable Faith of the Collusion Conspiracists – Townhall
 


Townhall
The Irrational, Unshakable Faith of the Collusion Conspiracists
Townhall
Instantly the Trump impeachment mob was high fiving and laying bets how soon the trail would lead to Trump and force his exit. ABC’s Brian Ross added to the frenzy when he breathlessly blurted that Flynn was cooperating with Muller, and would testify and more »


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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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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

mikenova shared this story .

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.”

Continue reading the main story

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.”

trump and fbi – Google Search

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British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat

mikenova shared this story from Politics.

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.”

British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat – Business Insider

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Business Insider
British security services are vastly outgunned by the Russian counterintelligence threat
Business Insider
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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Trump transition advisor said Russia ‘has just thrown USA election to him’, NY Times – CNBC

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CNBC
Trump transition advisor said Russia ‘has just thrown USA election to him’, NY Times
CNBC
29 by K.T. McFarland to Trump advisor Tom Bossert, the day then President Barack Obama had imposed sanctions on Russiafor election interference. At the time, McFarland was transition advisor; she later became deputy national security advisor under 
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Trump Rages at FBI as He Struggles to Escape Mueller’s Crosshairs – Vanity Fair

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Vanity Fair
Trump Rages at FBI as He Struggles to Escape Mueller’s Crosshairs
Vanity Fair
Facing a wave of news stories questioning whether the president had just handed Mueller another smoking gun, Trump went back on the offensive early Sunday morning in an aggressive campaign to discredit Mueller, Comey, and the F.B.I. After years of 
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As Mueller probe deepens, Trump says he didn’t ask Comey to stop investigating Flynn – Los Angeles Times

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As Mueller probe deepens, Trump says he didn’t ask Comey to stop investigating Flynn
Los Angeles Times
At a crucial juncture in special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s wide-ranging Russia investigation, President Trump embarked on a risky gambit on Sunday, going on record to directly dispute his former FBI chief’s sworn contention that the president had 
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To Stop North Korea, Act Like Israel – New York Times

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To Stop North Korea, Act Like Israel
New York Times
Every cog of the nation’s machinery is mobilized to facilitate the regime’s racketeering: Defectors have described schoolchildren working in poppy fields; they say cash and smuggled goods are brought in on state-owned merchant vessels; and diplomats 

Trump has given staffers assignments and told them not to tell Kelly: report – The Hill

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The Hill
Trump has given staffers assignments and told them not to tell Kelly: report
The Hill
President Trump has reportedly given staffers direct assignments by calling them secretly to the residence in the evenings, in an attempt to circumvent chief of staff John Kelly · John Francis KellyMORE. Trump reportedly gives aides tasks and says they
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Operative Offered Trump Campaign ‘Kremlin Connection’ Using NRA Ties – New York Times

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Operative Offered Trump Campaign ‘Kremlin Connection’ Using NRA Ties
New York Times
WASHINGTON A conservative operative trumpeting his close ties to the National Rifle Association and Russia told a Trump campaign adviser last year that he could arrange a back-channel meeting between Donald J. Trump and Vladimir V. Putin, the
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Susan Collins: Robert Mueller ‘clearly making progress’ in Russia investigation – Washington Examiner

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Susan Collins: Robert Mueller ‘clearly making progress’ in Russia investigation
Washington Examiner
Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s guilty plea shows that special counsel Robert Mueller is getting results from the investigation into Russia’s 2016 interference. “[C]learly he is making progress 

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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Guest opinion: Russian trolls and the spreading chaos on social media
Farmington Daily Times
Why should Russian Internet trolls’ interference in Western elections through social media propaganda stop with United States elections? Well, it doesn’t, of course. And it’s a matter that should be of concern to all citizens of the world’s democracies 

 Russian propaganda on social media – Google News

Trump denies asking FBI director to go easy on Flynn – USA TODAY

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USA TODAY
Trump denies asking FBI director to go easy on Flynn
USA TODAY
The special counsel’s investigation centers on Russia’s efforts to influence the 2016 presidential election by hacking Democratic Party emails and pushing fake news about Trump opponent Hillary Clinton. Legal documents filed by Mueller’s office said a 
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House Republicans target FBI, DOJ for contempt over Russia investigation – AL.com

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House Republicans target FBI, DOJ for contempt over Russia investigation
AL.com
Until now, Nunes said, the FBI and Department of Justice have failed to sufficiently comply with an Aug. 24 committee subpoena — including by refusing repeated demands “for an explanation of Peter Strzok’s dismissal from the Mueller probe.” “In light 

Trump lashes out at own FBI in a series of tweets – The Daily Freeman

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Trump lashes out at own FBI in a series of tweets
The Daily Freeman
… national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, again denied that he directed FBI Director James Comey to stop investigating Flynn. The Republican president offered a running Twitter commentary Sunday amid renewed focus 

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Trump says FBI credibility is in tatters as he denies telling Comey to stop Flynn probe.

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CIA director: Trump tweets yielding valuable intelligence – CNN

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CIA director: Trump tweets yielding valuable intelligence
CNN
Washington (CNN) CIA Director Mike Pompeo said Saturday that President Donald Trump’s prolific Twitter feed was yielding valuable intelligence. “I’ve actually seen it help us,” Pompeo told the audience at The Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi

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Everyone piles on as Donald Trump launches into his most cartoonish meltdown yet

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Everyone piles on as Donald Trump launches into his most cartoonish meltdown yet

Everyone piles on as Donald Trump launches into his most cartoonish meltdown yet

No one’s even sure what this guy’s talking about anymore

Trump attacks his own FBI in a series of tweets – CNBC

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Trump attacks his own FBI in a series of tweets
CNBC
President Donald Trump attacked his own FBI in a series of tweets on Sunday morning and said the law enforcement agency’s reputation is “in tatters.” The president was responding to reports that a veteran FBI counterintelligence agent was removed from 

KT McFarland – Google Search

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Story image for KT McFarland from Business Insider

Top Trump transition official in private email: Russia ‘has just thrown …

Business Insider17 hours ago
KT McFarland, a top official on President Donald Trump’s transition team, said in an email last December that they should reassure Russia, which she said had just “thrown the U.S.A. election” to Trump. The email, obtained by The New York Times, sheds new light on McFarland’s role in coordinating the …
Media image for KT McFarland from Washington Examiner

Washington Examiner

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New York Times

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CNN

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HuffPost

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The Hill

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Hot Air
Story image for KT McFarland from New York Post

Ex-Trump adviser KT McFarland reportedly discussed Russia …

New York PostDec 1, 2017
… Getty Images. Ex-deputy national security adviser KT McFarland was identified Friday as the second person who discussed US sanctions against Russia with disgraced ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn. … The Associated Press in a tweet identified McFarland, who was let go after Flynn resigned.
AP sources link KT McFarland to Flynn papers
<a href=”http://cleveland.com” rel=”nofollow”>cleveland.com</a>Dec 1, 2017
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New York Times
Story image for KT McFarland from Haaretz

Meet KT McFarland, Trump’s anti-Arab, Putin-praising Former …

Haaretz1 hour ago
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” …
Story image for KT McFarland from The Hill

KT McFarland will be key to North Korea crisis — if the Senate ever …

The HillNov 29, 2017
According to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, their nuclear weapons program “endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States.” Another prominent official who sounded this alarm is ambassadorial-nominee KT McFarland, a national security expert whose wisdom has been proven over …
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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