4:06 PM 9/24/2017 – Through soft power and propaganda, Russia is trying to topple democracy in the USA

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Through soft power and propaganda, Russia is trying to topple democracy in the USA

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The Cold War is back. And this time it’s personal.

A quarter century ago, America won the Cold War. After a long, patient, cohesive diplomatic campaign, the West prevailed in the early 1990s, and the Soviet Union collapsed. A decade later Russia became intent on re-establishing itself as a great power on the world stage. Now Russia is resurgent, with greater ambitions than ever and a sophisticated 21st-century foreign policy toolbox blending the techniques of military, cyber and information warfare.

On September 14, Russia began Zapad 2017 joint strategic military exercises, the largest since the Cold War with up to 100,000 Russian troops mobilising on the European Union’s eastern borders. NATO is appropriately concerned about these manoeuvers on the ground, but generals and other military experts warn that Russia’s propaganda tactics – exercised through the channels of online, social and traditional media – may be more effective than conventional weapons.

Evidence continues to pile up of Russian hackers meddling in elections and referendums of Britain, Italy, the Netherlands, France and most notably the 2016 US presidential race with data hacking, denial-of-service attacks, phishing schemes that lure campaign workers to click on bad links, and release of fake news to inspire outrage or induce apathy. Ongoing reports suggest that Russia’s campaign in the United States was far more extensive than initially understood – jeopardising voter data in numerous local races, creating fictional Twitter and Facebook users, posting online events indicating surging xenophobia, launching bots and purchasing online ads.

Bots on the job

Russia’s interference continues. After troubling protests by white supremacists, counter-protests and lethal violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, Russia added to the chaos with a flood of tweets produced by bots masquerading as regular folks and spreading fake news stories about the counter-protestors. ProPublica reports that Angee Dixson joined Twitter on August 8 and began a flurry of tweets, as many as 90 a day, defending President Donald Trump, criticising the removal of Confederate monuments, and spreading unproven rumors about violence from counter-protestors. But Dixson was fake, and Twitter removed the account and hundreds of other fictional creations.

Crafting messages to target youth or the marginalised, triggering outrage and despair about issues, is easy. One of the authors grew up behind the Iron Curtain in propaganda-ridden, Soviet-controlled Lithuania. To get reliable news, she and her family surreptitiously listened to Voice of America broadcasts. Today, in a sardonic irony of history, this expert and author on Russian foreign policy in Washington watches Russia Today, the Kremlin’s television network known as RT, blast fake news from American televisions.

Russia couldn’t accomplish its Tsarist or Soviet goals through armed conflict, crude propaganda or a coercive energy policy, but now realises once unimaginable success through soft power, cyberwarfare and a tsunami of manipulated news and messaging. Russian influence penetrates deep into Europe and the United States, altering public opinion and the course of political developments.

Former US President Barack Obama – intent on avoiding the appearance of political favoritism – warned his Russian counterpart during the 2016 campaign against hacking, but otherwise remained quiet about the dangers of growing foreign influence in the US political system. In retrospect, this approach was a mistake. Another mistake: the current administration’s striking lack of will to address the threat. Clearly, another strategy is required and the United States and other democracies must rethink their posture toward Russia.

On guard

A critical first step is to abandon complacent, misguided assumptions that the West had ever definitively won the soft-power and influence contest with Moscow. Even now, the United Kingdom’s 2016 Brexit vote – an outcome abetted by covert and overt Russian influence and propaganda – has substantially weakened the European Union. Initial EU efforts to confront the challenge have been no match, even against RT alone, with a self-reported annual 2016 budget of more than $300 million, available to 700 million viewers worldwide in more than 100 countries. Meanwhile, the US State Department has been slow to make use of the some $80 million earmarked for fighting Russian and terrorist group disinformation, reportedly out of fear of upsetting Moscow.

More recently, the US Justice Department advised RT that it must register as a foreign agent for its US operations, requiring periodic disclosure of the relationship with the Russian government as well as activities, receipts and disbursements in support of those activities. The same requirements should be made of the Russian government news agency Sputnik.

US citizens must also study up on ongoing propaganda strategies – and take time to seek confirmation for outrageous claims in any news source. The movie Wag The Dog imagined media experts and a film producer conspiring to invent a war with faked footage of conflict. Government-controlled Russian TV often relies on techniques which could have been lifted from the movie, such as using a single actor to play three different people with different names and fictional histories such as spy, bystander and heroic surgeon in “news” broadcasts on Rossia 1 national news (Vesti), NTV National News and the National Independent News of Crimea.

Blurred lines

Russian media skillfully blend entertainment, disinformation and propaganda into a seamless, convincing whole. Over several decades, the distinctions between fiction and reality – and perhaps more importantly the distinction between “reality” television and reality – have become increasingly blurred in US media. Many viewers do not fully appreciate the extent to which “reality” television is not real at all. Participants are carefully cast, their stories and “drama” shaped by producers, their dialogue if not written out word for word, craftily encouraged by producers and writers.

The characters in these “reality” dramas are recorded on video equipment. Everything they say and do on the show is artificially lit and staged and, tellingly, observed by a crew of up to 100 staff members hovering nearby although hidden from TV viewers. The fictional series Unreal, depicting behind-the-scenes action on an “unscripted” show like The Bachelor may be a fairly accurate wheels-within-wheels evocation of just how constructed and confected such shows are – or illustrate just how hopelessly blurred the lines have become.

The Apprentice, as artificial and concocted as any series, created the fictional character of Donald Trump as boss, which he parlayed into a winning presidential campaign. It’s hard to imagine that Trump could have become US president without this manufactured “reality” television show, name recognition and celebrity status included.

To counter Russia’s manipulation, the United States and its allies need, at minimum, to project a forceful unified vision of the appeal of liberal democracy and its values. In contrast, it’s self-defeating for the West to watch the US president spend a private tête-à-tête with Vladimir Putin at a G20 state dinner.

The Russians may or may not have kompromat with which to blackmail Trump. There may or may not have been collusion among members of the Trump campaign and the Russian government. Regardless, the dangerous impression that this foreign power holds some nefarious means of influencing the presidency disrupts global affairs and weakens the United States and the West.

The American people must begin to hear thoughtful, impassioned statements from their leaders, if not their president, condemning interference in the election process. The United States and other democratic countries must commit the full resources of their governments to preventing such activities in the future. And the factions within Washington and other capitals must find the unity, will and vision necessary to win the new Cold War being waged in the media, social networks and cyberspace.

If the United States doesn’t respond quickly and definitively to the ominous threat, history books will mark this era as the pivotal moment when world power shifted from liberal democracy to authoritarian dictatorship.

This article first appeared on Yale Global Online.

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Cold war returns: Through soft power and propaganda, Russia is trying to topple democracy in the USA – Scroll.in

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Cold war returns: Through soft power and propaganda, Russia is trying to topple democracy in the USA
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On September 14, Russia began Zapad 2017 joint strategic military exercises, the largest since the Cold War with up to 100,000 Russian troops mobilising on the European Union’s easternborders. NATO is appropriately concerned about these manoeuvers on 

The Trump Effect reaches Germany – Fox News

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The Trump Effect reaches Germany
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As Bellwether noted last week, Germany’s electorate is tired of being lectured about the country’s duty to take in undocumented refugees from the Middle East and Africa. On Sunday, voters made their feelings clear by giving unprecedented support to the …
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The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump

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Donald Trump speaks to supporters in Huntsville, Alabama, September 22, 2017. (Reuters / Marvin Gentry)

It’s exhausting to have a president who gets angrier at outspoken black athletes than at Nazis. It’s exhausting how shameless he is about his bigotry and his toxicity. This is a president who never played football. He never served in the armed forces. He frets over what conclusions we draw from the size of his hands. His skin is thinner than the gossamer wings of a butterfly. He is the epitome of a bullying but frail brand of masculinity. He belongs in a psychological text book as a case study, not in the White House. Look at Trump’s comments—in their entirety—about the current state of the National Football League, from his speech at a campaign rally in Huntsville, Alabama.

Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, “Get that son of a bitch off the field right now, out, he’s fired. He’s FIRED!” You know, some owner is gonna do that. He’s gonna say, “That guy disrespects our flag; he’s fired.” And that owner, they don’t know it. They don’t know it. They’re friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They’ll be the most popular person, for a week. They’ll be the most popular person in this country.

Then, the very week that the autopsy of 27-year-old former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez went public, which found he had stage-three CTE, Trump claimed that the game was too soft. He said:

Today if you hit too hard—15 yards! Throw him out of the game! They had that last week. I watched for a couple of minutes. Two guys, just really, beautiful tackle. Boom, 15 yards! The referee gets on television—his wife is sitting at home, she’s so proud of him. They’re ruining the game! They’re ruining the game. That’s what they want to do. They want to hit. They want to hit! It is hurting the game.

This is Trump, the violent fantasist who dreams of a physical supremacy he never achieved, and has then spent his life expressing this insecurity and hostility through boardroom bullying and, of course, sexually predatory behavior. He has lived his life in thrall to toxic masculinity, but lacked the ability to prove this “manhood” on the football field, and then dodged the armed forces, never attempting to prove his “manhood” on the battlefield. He has chosen instead to spend a lifetime tearing down the people who have dared stand in his path, and the women who dared to say “no.” Call it irony, call it divine coincidence, but it’s stunning that the day Trump publicly yearns for the time when football fulfilled his vicarious desires of physical domination, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos on Friday scrapped a key part of government policy on campus sexual assault. It’s so on the nose, a screenwriter would reject the scenario.

But Trump’s speech wasn’t over. His radar, always firmly attuned to the worst impulses of his audience, turned his attention again back to black players who protest, and he said:

But do you know what’s hurting the game more than that? When people like yourselves turn on the television and you see those players taking the knee when they’re playing our great national anthem. The only thing you could do better is, if you see it, even if it’s one player, leave the stadium. I guarantee things will stop. Things will stop. Just pick up and leave. Pick up and leave. Not the same game anymore, anyway.

Some could argue that this is just a case of a divisive autocrat going after obvious targets of racial animus and of a base that doesn’t care if nuclear Armageddon looms, as long as they get their culture war—while Trump’s party gets its tax cuts for billionaires. But whether Trump realizes it or not, there is something else at play. These athletes are doing a lot more than sitting or kneeling or raising a fist during the anthem. They are offering up an alternative model for unity, justice, and even manhood. They are showing that what makes an adult is whom you can help, not whom you can cuss, and certainly not whom you can destroy for shameless and divisive political gain. Look at the work that’s been done by Michael Bennett, Colin Kaepernick, Malcolm Jenkins, the Charlottesville scholarships just funded by Chris Long… the list goes on and on of NFL players attempting to use their platform to highlight a different path for healing this country. The anthem protest is just a means to that end, an effort to highlight the gap between the promises that the flag represents and the lived experience of too many people in this country.

This is a model of politics—as well as manhood—that threatens Trump’s entire agenda of poisonous, divisive narcissism. Look at the outpouring of comments by NFL players following Trump’s remarks. None of them have sunk to his level. Instead, they share the tone of Seahawk Richard Sherman who said, “The behavior of the President is unacceptable and needs to be addressed. If you do not Condemn this divisive Rhetoric you are Condoning it!!” The cornerback, who is not even 30 years old, is showcasing more adulthood then the 70-year-old president. This is the new reality. And Sherman is absolutely correct. To be silent in the face of this destructive person is to condone his actions. That’s not an option. This president is a child bully, and bullies are emboldened by our silence.

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Merkel: Germany’s ‘Mutti,’ Europe’s skipper

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Germany’s national election Sunday has all the makings of a fait accompli. Chancellor Angela Merkel is on track to gain her fourth term, which would give her 16 years as Germany’s leader. Martin Schulz, her closest rival and leader of the center-left Social Democrats, is behind in the latest polls by double digits. Merkel’s camp can start chilling the Riesling.

In the meantime, Merkel can start thinking about the road ahead — and it’s fair to say it’ll get bumpy.

More than any other leader, the woman Germans affectionately call “Mutti,” or mother, runs the show in Europe. Germany is the European Union’s heftiest, most vibrant economy, and with Britain Brexiting out of the EU, Merkel’s pragmatic leadership has become the dominant voice on the European stage.

But the rules of the game have changed in the eight months that Donald Trump has been president. Europe can no longer count on the White House the way it did in the pre-Trump era. Merkel publicly acknowledged as much last spring when she told Europeans to “take our fate into our own hands. … The times in which we could rely fully on others — they are somewhat over.”

Merkel said “others,” but she meant the U.S. Trump has upended trans-Atlantic relations, pushing positions that are antithetical to the EU agenda. He has said the U.S. will withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change, lauded Brexit, promoted protectionist policies and at times showed a vexing admiration for Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin leader who digs deep into his toolbox for ways to create fissures in European unity.

It doesn’t help that Europe is more fractured and tenuous than it has been in decades. Great Britain’s departure from the EU takes away the bloc’s second largest economy and leaves it with just one nuclear power, France. To the east, nationalist-minded populist leaders in Poland and Hungary hold power. And the continent is still balancing the accommodation of Middle Eastern and North African refugees with the need to winnow out potential terrorists.

Merkel’s decision to allow as many as a million refugees, primarily from the Middle East, into the country in 2015 made her politically vulnerable, and her popularity dipped. But German officials have since sealed up a major conduit for refugees through the Balkans, and have reimposed border controls. “People are not infused by that feeling any more that this is out of control, that we don’t know what’s going on and who’s coming in,” Germany’s ambassador to the U.S., Peter Wittig, told the Tribune Editorial Board on Thursday. “People now have the feeling that there is an orderly process. And Germans love order.”

Another challenge for Merkel: Turkey has emerged as a major dilemma for Europe as a whole, and Germany in particular. The West recoiled at Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s response to last year’s failed coup. After the attempt, Erdogan oversaw a crackdown that jailed 50,000 people and suspended 150,000 from their jobs.

Relations between Germany and Turkey became even more strained last spring, when Erdogan accused German officials of behaving like Nazis after Berlin kept him from campaigning in Germany’s Turkish enclaves ahead of a referendum effectively broadening his presidential powers. Erdogan has since dubbed Merkel’s team “enemies of Turkey.” A NATO member, Turkey also has been edging closer to the Kremlin; it recently bought a surface-to-air missile system from Russia, rankling NATO leaders who see Russia as an aggressive adversary.

Domestically, Merkel likely will have to cope with the emergence of the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) Party, which is expected to garner enough votes in Sunday’s elections to gain several seats in the Bundestag, Germany’s parliament.

In Germany, voters pick a party, not a leader. It’s a party’s performance in the election that decides how many seats it gets in parliament, and who the country’s leader will be. Merkel’s party, the Christian Democratic Union, leads the pack. AfD is fiercely anti-immigration and anti-EU, and at one point during the campaign called for an end to atonement for Germany’s Nazi past. It won’t have enough votes to block Merkel’s agenda, but polls suggest it may get enough support to become the third largest force in parliament.

Americans will be watching keenly how Merkel navigates these shoals, mostly because a strong, united Europe is in America’s best interests. A unified Europe is better fit to tackle terrorism, trade, financial crises, energy policy, immigration and, yes, Russia. We know who wants a weak, fragmented Europe — the shirtless ex-KGB agent to the east.

Join the discussion on Twitter @Trib_Ed_Board and on Facebook.

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mitts meaning – Google Search

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Merkel – Google Search

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Story image for Merkel from Washington Post

German Chancellor Merkel on track for 4th term as far right set to …

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Donald Trump – Google News: The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump – The Nation.

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The Nation.
The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump
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 Donald Trump – Google News

The Fragile, Toxic Masculinity of Donald Trump – The Nation.

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The Nation.
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Clinton Says Angela Merkel Is The Most Important Leader In The Free World

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“I have the highest level of personal regard for her.”

Anthony Weiner Faces Sentencing in Latest Chapter of Sexting Drama – NBC Bay Area

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11:38 AM 9/24/2017 – Clinton Says Angela Merkel Is The Most Important Leader In The Free World 

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Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts Trump Investigations Report from mikenova (5 sites) Trump Investigations Report: Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, theyre suspicious as hell … Continue reading “11:38 AM 9/24/2017 – Clinton Says Angela Merkel Is The Most Important Leader In The Free World”
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How to trap Trump – Chicago Tribune

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How to trap Trump
Chicago Tribune
The law was intended to imprison the leader of an organization who claims that all he did was to order the criminal act (such as obstruction of justice, bribery, extortion, fraud or money laundering). Maybe special counsel Robert Mueller’s 

Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska – The Washington Post

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Manafort’s Russia connection: What you need to know about Oleg Deripaska – Washington Post

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As “picture” Putin’s refugee sex mobs on the Bundestag election – BILDblog

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So now!

Screenshot from the Bild.de-Homepage - now!  While Germany chooses!  Huge Russian attack on our choice - robots spread AfD rumors about election fakes

“Bild” -reactor Julian Röpcke has looked at the hashtag #gebahlbetrug times ,

BILD analyzed the hashtag “election fraud”. He is most closely related to the terms “AfD”, “Islamization”, “election observer” and “btw17”. Outside Germany it is mainly pushed by. The USA ranked first, the UK in second place and Russia in third place.

Röpcke and Bild.de could have just as good (and actually even better) titles:  Altered Ami attack on our choice” . But instead:

Screenshot Bild.de - While Germany

For Röpcke and his colleagues it has been clear for many months that today’s Bundestag election is being strongly influenced by Russian forces, more precisely by Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin. However, they had predicted completely different caliber than only some Bots from Russia, which now continually retreat AfD-Hashtags. Together with his colleague Karina Mößbauer, Röpcke published this dossier on Putin’s colorful propaganda bouquet in December last year:

Screenshot 2 - The Prophecies of the Prophets - Article 3: Consciously dispersed. Article 2: Propaganda campaign with sexmobs - Article 3: Consciously dispersed Fake News - Article 4: Cyber, web and social media manipulation

The author duo writes :

Attack on our Bundestagswahl! It is a hybrid major attack on the perception of the Germans. And he has several concrete goals.

Experts agree: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (64) wants to shatter the confidence of the population in the German state, the authorities, and in particular Angela Merkel (62, CDU), and drive people into the hands of left and right extremists ,

Some points of this “secret war” dossier are a bit funny, for example, those with the “deliberately scattered fake news”. The only known “Fake News” that made it into a big German medium this year was spread by the “Bild” -zeitung and concerned a supposed refugee “Sex-Mob”, which on New Year’s Eve through Frankfurt am Main “beobt” should be. The Frankish “Bild” -reaction was thereby a lie of a AfD-sympathizer.

Not funny, but rather irreversible is the announcement of a “propaganda campaign with sexmobs” :

Screenshot Bild.de - Putin's hybrid major attack on the Bundestag election 2017 - Propaganda campaign even with sexmobs

The article by Mößbauer and Röpcke really has all the ingredients that a ninth-grader would choose if he were to invent a creative conspiracy theory in a homework: Putin, refugees, Syrian intelligence, Iraqi intelligence, mafia, dead, sex mob. Because “beyond disinformation”, says Mössbauer and Röpcke, “it could get worse!”

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In security crises it is already being discussed how Russia could try to force a radical rethinking of the population with disturbances – possibly even with lethal force. (…)

A previously unknown component is the close cooperation between Russian, Syrian and other intelligence services as well as Russian mafia, says Russian expert Gustav Gressel (European Council on Foreign Relations).

“A part of the refugees from Iraq and Syria, if only a very small part, had connections with Assad or Saddam Hussein’s secret services.”

These people could be specifically targeted by secretaries or mafia trips and are instrumentalized for disturbances, warns Gressel.

“What would happen, for example, if a similar event were repeated at a summer festival before the election, as in the Silvesternacht in Cologne? How would Merkel stand? What would be the consequence for the Bundestag election? Of course, this is an extreme example, but it is within reach, “says Gressel.

We have waited until shortly before the end of the Bundestag election. Nowhere did a Putin-Assad-Saddam-Mafia refugee sex mob appear. At no “summer festival” and also nowhere else in Germany. Already at the publication in December 2016 the questions of Gustav Gressel sounded absurdly enough, in order to regard them as highly questionable. But instead of questioning them, Röpcke, Mößbauer and “picture” adopt the conspiracy theory of their experts already in the headline.

Julian Röpcke writes today to the retweeting Twitter accounts from Russia:

It is unclear whether the campaign is more than mere propaganda.

We sometimes ask ourselves this.

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“Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it… Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell…” – by Bill Palmer 

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U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals by Bill Palmer Sunday September 24th, 2017 at 9:29 AM Palmer Report 1 Share If you were paying attention on election night, you’re aware that the vote totals in key swing states lined up for Donald Trump in statistically suspicious fashion. Trump winning would … Continue reading ““Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it… Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell…” – by Bill Palmer”

9:11 AM 9/24/2017 – ‘No joy in Trumpworld’: White House staffers looking to jump ship … 

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Baltimore psychologist heads effort to ‘warn’ about Trump’s mental health Sunday September 24th, 2017 at 9:05 AM 1 Share Put psychologist John Gartner on a couch and ask him about his childhood and one of the first stories he will recall is about his mom, Diana, and a touchstone moment in the fight for women’s rights. In … Continue reading “9:11 AM 9/24/2017 – ‘No joy in Trumpworld’: White House staffers looking to jump ship …”
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Donald Trump’s day from Hell 

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You’re Donald Trump. You’re less popular than head lice. Your escalating scandals may land you in prison. People are openly questioning your mental health. You try to appease what’s left of your racist base by attacking black athletes. You take it too far. Within a twenty-four hour period you’ve been condemned by everyone from the biggest star in the NBA to the commissioner of the NFL. Donald, you’re having a day from Hell – and it’s just getting started.

Trump’s hellish twenty-four hour cycle began when he referred to NFL quarterback Colin Karpernick a “son of a bitch” at a rally tonight. He thought he could get away with it, because Kaepernick’s kneel-downs are seen as controversial by a number of moderate white Americans. But it turned out he’d taken things too far, even by his low standards. By today, after NFL stars like Lesean McCoy were calling Trump an “asshole” and worse, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell released a statement condemning Trump’s remarks. The owners of the New York Giants did the same. But that was just the half of it.

After NBA star Steph Curry hinted that he would decline to visit the White House, Donald Trump tweeted that Curry and his entire Golden State Warriors were no longer invited. This prompted LeBron James, the only NBA star with even more clout than Curry, to respond by calling Trump a “bum.” Kobe Bryant and others piled on. NBA commissioner Adam Silver released a statement in support of his players.

Donald Trump has been pushing an openly racist agenda for years, and it’s defined his entire time in politics. But these past twenty-four hours feel like a shift has taken place. Trump has taken his racist attacks so far that even moderate white Americans, who would generally prefer to not to get involved in social issues one way or the other, seem to be finally scratching their heads today at just how dementedly racist Trump is. If so, this will indeed go down as Trump’s ultimate day from Hell. Contribute to Palmer Report

The post Donald Trump’s day from Hell appeared first on Palmer Report.

U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals 

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If you were paying attention on election night, you’re aware that the vote totals in key swing states lined up for Donald Trump in statistically suspicious fashion. Trump winning would have been a shock; Trump winning along those particular numbers was all but mathematically impossible. If you’ve been paying attention since, you’ve figured out that Russian hackers almost certainly found a way to alter the actual vote totals. Now the U.S. government is inching closer to finally admitting it.

Russia’s fake news stories and fake Facebook ads were enough to con some Americans into voting under mistaken pretenses. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. As Palmer Report has been documenting since November, the actual vote totals were absurd (link). The national polls ended up being accurate within the margin of error, as Hillary Clinton won by three million votes nationwide. But those same polls said Hillary would win the states of Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida, and they should logically have also been accurate in those states. Instead Trump won all four of them, by the same one percent margin (link) – just large enough to avoid automatic recounts without being large enough raise eyebrows.

Other things stood out as having been just plain wrong about the vote totals in those four states. Exit polls for early voting in Florida, which accounted for the bulk of the vote, gave Hillary Clinton such a huge lead that Donald Trump shouldn’t have been able to overcome it on election day (link). Across the board in these four states, the numbers simply did not add up in the way that numbers are supposed to add up. There were other eyebrow raising issues. Voting equipment broke in suspiciously large numbers in Michigan on election – but it all happened in Detroit, which would have been the most favorable to Hillary (link). Any one of the above issues would be curious on its own. Combined, they’re suspicious as hell.

So this news blip from the Associated Press matters greatly: “US government tells election officials in 21 states that hackers targeted their systems in 2016, but most not breached” (link). Keep two things in mind here. The first is that the Trump administration has been doing everything it could to prevent the federal government from acknowledging that Russia meddled in the election. The only reason for it to put out a statement like this is because it knows it’s all going to come out anyway. The second thing to keep in mind there is the phrase “most not breached.” That’s an acknowledgment that some state voting systems were breached. This story is just getting started.

The post U.S. government inches closer to admitting Russian hackers altered Trump vs Hillary vote totals appeared first on Palmer Report.

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7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious – Washington Examiner

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7 signs Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation is getting serious
Washington Examiner
… the decision-making process that led to former FBI director James Comey’s firing in May, and aware of Trump’s response when he learned that ex-national security adviser Mike Flynn wasunder federal investigation for his lobbying for foreign 
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What Robert Mueller has on Paul Manafort could be the key line of …Slate Magazine
Mueller Scorches the EarthNational Review
Business Insider –RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty –The Guardian –CNN
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Trump and North Korea war of words escalates – BBC News

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Trump and North Korea war of words escalates
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US President Donald Trump has made new threats against North Korea in response to the country’s foreign minister’s fiery speech at the UN on Saturday. Ri Yong-ho described Mr Trumpas a “mentally deranged person full of megalomania” on a “suicide …
Trump cranks up North Korea threats as Pyongyang holds anti-US rallyReuters
Trump threatens ‘Little Rocket Man,’ says Kim may ‘not be around much longer’USA TODAY
North Korea foreign minister says Trump’s insults make rocket attack on US ‘inevitable all the more’Los Angeles Times
Aljazeera.com –ABC News
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Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretapping – The Hill

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Trump allies see vindication in reports on Manafort wiretapping
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Manafort has reportedly drawn federal interest for years related to his work for a Russian-backed political candidate in Ukraine — although it is unclear what information sparked the warrant investigators obtained as part of the Russia probe. CNN 
Paul Manafort: why Trump’s old ally could hold the key in Mueller’s Russia huntThe Guardian
How Trump followed a Russian map straight to Paul ManafortSalon
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Trump vs. Kim: Political theater or prelude to apocalypse? – Detroit Free Press

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Trump vs. Kim: Political theater or prelude to apocalypse?
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The Trump administration’s grown-ups want to believe they have counterparts in the North Korean intelligence community who are just as quick to discount the U.S. president’s public provocations as they are to dismiss Kim’s. But journalists who’ve 
North Korean president raises the ante in new anti-Trump tiradeGears Of Biz

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Twitter Bots as The Russian Dead Souls and Putin as Chichikov

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The Dead Souls Of Mother Russia

Twitter Bots as The Russian Dead Souls and Putin as Chichikov: The Fake Americans Russia Created to Influence the Election | Russia’s Fake Americans – The New York Times

THE DEAD SOULS

Mother Russia (whoever is behind this front) is in her old, familiar and the most favorite historical element: creating, operating, selling, and weaponizing THE DEAD SOULS, in this case, the fake social media accounts and automated bots. This political necrophilia points to the main historical problem of the contemporary Russian society and culture: the Russian collective soul is dead and without a future. The modern Chichikovs trade their stuff and goodies in similar underhanded ways and for the similar purposes: prestige, wealth, and the illusion of power. And the essence of this operation is the same: deception, although on a grand, truly Russian scale. Mr. Putin had already married Mother Russia by deceit and his political chicanery. Now he wants to start a romance with Uncle Sam. 

Michael Novakhov

9.9.17 

See also: Putin as Chichikov – Google Search

Chichikov, from “Dead Souls”

AYS - dead souls records
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Мертвые души 1 серия – YouTube

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Published on Jan 26, 2015

Dead Souls, Part 1 [Masterpiece of Russian Psychological Fiction] by Nikolai Gogol – YouTube

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chet baker & philip catherine: chet’s choice full album 1985

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Analysis: Trump tortured Spicer and Priebus. Now they get to tell investigators about Trump. – Philly.com

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Analysis: Trump tortured Spicer and Priebus. Now they get to tell investigators about Trump.
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28, 2017 file photo, President Donald Trump, accompanied by from second from left, former Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, Vice President Mike Pence, former National Security AdviserMichael Flynn, former Senior Adviser Steve Bannon, and former White … 

The Fake Americans Russia Created to Influence the Election

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The same morning, “Katherine Fulton” also began promoting DCLeaks in the same awkward English Mr. Redick used. “Hey truth seekers!” she wrote. “Who can tell me who are #DCLeaks? Some kind of Wikileaks? You should visit their website, it contains confidential information about our leaders such as Hillary Clinton, and others <a href=”http://dcleaks.com/.”” rel=”nofollow”>http://dcleaks.com/.”</a>

So did “Alice Donovan,” who pointed to documents from Mr. Soros’s Open Society Foundations that she said showed its pro-American tilt and — in rather formal language for Facebook — “describe eventual means and plans of supporting opposition movements, groups or individuals in various countries.”

Might Mr. Redick, Ms. Fulton, Ms. Donovan and others be real Americans who just happened to notice DCLeaks the same day? No. The Times asked Facebook about these and a half-dozen other accounts that appeared to be Russian creations. The company carried out its standard challenge procedure by asking the users to establish their bona fides. All the suspect accounts failed and were removed from Facebook.

Mobilizing a ‘Bot’ Army

On Twitter, meanwhile, hundreds of accounts were busy posting anti-Clinton messages and promoting the leaked material obtained by Russian hackers. Investigators for FireEye spent months reviewing Twitter accounts associated with certain online personas, posing as activists, that seemed to show the Russian hand: DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0, Anonymous Poland and several others. FireEye concluded that they were associated with one another and with Russian hacking groups, including APT28 or Fancy Bear, which American intelligence blames for the hacking and leaking of Democratic emails.

Some accounts, the researchers found, showed clear signs of intermittent human control. But most displayed the rote behavior of automated Twitter bots, which send out tweets according to built-in instructions.

The researchers discovered long lists of bot accounts that sent out identical messages within seconds or minutes of one another, firing in alphabetical order. The researchers coined the term “warlist” for them. On Election Day, one such list cited leaks from Anonymous Poland in more than 1,700 tweets. Snippets of them provide a sample of the sequence:

@edanur01 #WarAgainstDemocrats 17:54

@efekinoks #WarAgainstDemocrats 17:54

@elyashayk #WarAgainstDemocrats 17:54

@emrecanbalc #WarAgainstDemocrats 17:55

@emrullahtac #WarAgainstDemocrats 17:55

Lee Foster, who leads the FireEye team examining information operations, said some of the warlist Twitter accounts had previously been used for illicit marketing, suggesting that they may have been purchased on the black market. Some were genuine accounts that had been hijacked. Rachel Usedom, a young American engineer in California, tweeted mostly about her sorority before losing interest in 2014. In November 2016, her account was taken over, renamed #ClintonCurruption, and used to promote the Russian leaks.

Ms. Usedom had no idea that her account had been commandeered by anti-Clinton propagandists. “I was shocked and slightly confused when I found out,” she said.

Notably, the warlist tweets often included the Twitter handles of users whose attention the senders wanted to catch — news organizations, journalists, government agencies and politicians, including @realDonaldTrump. By targeting such opinion-shapers, Mr. Foster said, the creators of the warlists clearly wanted to stir up conversation about the leaked material.

J. M. Berger, a researcher in Cambridge, Mass., helped build a public web “dashboard” for the Washington-based Alliance for Securing Democracy to track hundreds of Twitter accounts that were suspected of links to Russia or that spread Russian propaganda. During the campaign, he said, he often saw the accounts post replies to Mr. Trump’s tweets.

Mr. Trump “received more direct replies than anyone else,” Mr. Berger said. “Clearly this was an effort to influence Donald Trump. They know he reads tweets.”

The suspected Russian operators at times lacked sophistication. “They are not always Americanophiles who know every nuance of U.S. politics,” said Mr. Foster, the FireEye researcher.

For instance, last October, hundreds of Anonymous Poland Twitter accounts posted a forged letter on the stationery of the conservative Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, purporting to show that it had donated $150 million to the Clinton campaign. The foundation denied any such contribution, which would have been illegal and, given its political leaning, highly unlikely.

‘A Battle of Information’

Only a small fraction of all the suspect social media accounts active during the election have been studied by investigators. But there is ample reason to suspect that the Russian meddling may have been far more widespread.

Several activists who ran Facebook pages for Bernie Sanders, for instance, noticed a suspicious flood of hostile comments about Mrs. Clinton after Mr. Sanders had already ended his campaign and endorsed her.

John Mattes, who ran the “San Diego for Bernie Sanders” page, said he saw a shift from familiar local commenters to newcomers, some with Eastern European names — including four different accounts using the name “Oliver Mitov.”

“Those who voted for Bernie, will not vote for corrupt Hillary!” one of the Mitovs wrote on Oct. 7. “The Revolution must continue! #NeverHillary”

While he was concerned about being seen as a “crazy cold warrior,” Mr. Mattes said he came to believe that Russia was the likely source of the anti-Clinton comments. “The magnitude and viciousness of it — I would suggest that their fingerprints were on it and no one else had that agenda,” he said.

Both on the left and the pro-Trump right, though, some skeptics complain that Moscow has become the automatic boogeyman, accused of misdeeds with little proof. Even those who track Russian online activity admit that in the election it was not always easy to sort out who was who.

The New York Times would like to hear from readers who want to share messages and materials with our journalists.

“Yes, the Russians were involved. Yes, there’s a lot of organic support for Trump,” said Andrew Weisburd, an Illinois online researcher who has written frequently about Russian influence on social media. “Trying to disaggregate the two was difficult, to put it mildly.”

Mr. Weisburd said he had labeled some Twitter accounts “Kremlin trolls” based simply on their pro-Russia tweets and with no proof of Russian government ties. The Times contacted several such users, who insisted that they had come by their anti-American, pro-Russian views honestly, without payment or instructions from Moscow.

“Hillary’s a warmonger,” said Marilyn Justice, 66, who lives in Nova Scotia and tweets as @mkj1951. Of Mr. Putin, she said in an interview, “I think he’s very patient in the face of provocations.”

Ms. Justice said she had first taken an interest in Russia during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, while looking for hockey coverage and finding what she considered a snide anti-Russia bias in the Western media. She said she did get a lot of news from Sputnik and RT but laughed at the notion that she could have Kremlin connections.

Another of the so-called Kremlin trolls, Marcel Sardo, 48, a web producer in Zurich, describes himself bluntly on his Twitter bio as a “Pro-Russia Media-Sniper.” He said he shared notes daily via Skype and Twitter with online acquaintances, including Ms. Justice, on disputes between Russia and the West over who shot down the Malaysian airliner hit by a missile over Ukraine and who used sarin gas in Syria.

“It’s a battle of information, and I and my peers have decided to take sides,” said Mr. Sardo, who constantly cites Russian sources and bashed Mrs. Clinton daily during the campaign. But he denied he had any links to the Russian government.

If that’s so, his prolific posts are a victory for Russia’s information war — that admirers of the Kremlin spread what American officials consider to be Russian disinformation on election hacking, Syria, Ukraine and more.

But if Russian officials are gleeful at their success, in last year’s election and beyond, they rarely let the mask slip. In an interview with Bloomberg before the election, Mr. Putin suggested that reporters were worrying too much about who exactly stole the material.

“Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?” he said, in a point that Mr. Trump has sometimes echoed. “The important thing is the content that was given to the public.”

Continue reading the main story

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Russia’s Fake Americans – The New York Times

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The case for Trump-Russia collusion: We’re getting very, very close – Washington Post

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The case for Trump-Russia collusion: We’re getting very, very close
Washington Post
In seeking Russian supportTrump sought not only to become president but also to make money: Even as he launched his presidential campaign, he hoped to receive a major influx of money from a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow. Along with the motives, …
New Russian envoy describes ‘warm’ meeting with Trump: agenciesReuters
New Russian envoy describes ‘warm’ meeting with Donald Trump: AgenciesThe Straits Times
New Russian Ambassador To US Says Ready To Improve RelationsRadioFreeEurope/RadioLibertyall 13 news articles »

Mueller wants to speak with White House staffers about Trump Jr. controversy – Fox News

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Mueller wants to speak with White House staffers about Trump Jr. controversy
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Special Counsel Robert Mueller has requested to speak with aides involved in the president’s eldest son’s initial response to his June 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who promised damaging information on Democratic nominee … 

trump as magnet and fraud – Google Search

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The President Is A Ponzi Scheme

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He’s gotten many hardworking people to invest their hopes and dreams in him. But he’s also attracted the support of those who smell an easy profit.

felix sater – Google News: ‘Help world peace and make a lot of money’: Here’s the letter of intent to build a Trump Tower Moscow – Business Insider

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Business Insider
‘Help world peace and make a lot of money’: Here’s the letter of intent to build a Trump Tower Moscow
Business Insider
A letter of intent forwarded by Russian-born businessman Felix Sater to the Trump Organization’s lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, outlines the terms of a licensing agreement to purchase property to build a “Trump World Tower Moscow.” Sater sent the 
REVEALED: Longtime Trump associate floated this bizarre ulterior motive for Moscow TowerRaw Story
Marcus: Trump’s pursuit of Moscow tower big, disturbing dealThe Columbianall 3 news articles »

 felix sater – Google News

Trump News Review – 10:21 AM 9/8/2017 

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Chuck Schumer Channels LBJ For A Dealmaking Day
Trump handed him a gift, but the Democrats’ workaholic-in-chief had earned it.

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 to learn about Hillary Clinton’s “fitness” to be president, Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday in a closed-door session, explaining that he would use the information from the meeting to “consult with counsel to make an informed decision as to whether to give it further consideration” and defending the comments he made in an email chain promising damaging information on Clinton. Byron Tau and Rebecca Ballhaus report at the Wall Street Journal.

Trump Jr. did not discuss with the president the misleading statement drafted this July on Air Force One about the June 2016 meeting, Trump Jr. said during questioning, reiterating that the meeting was not an attempt to collude with Russia to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign. Nicholas Fandos and Maggie Haberman report at the New York Times.

“The meeting provided no meaningful information and turned out not to be about what had been represented,” Trump Jr. said in prepared remarks, the president’s son tweeting a statement after the session that he hoped the interview “fully satisfied their inquiry,” which would be unlikely as the president’s son was not able to provide important details, according to people who attended the hearing. Tom Hamburger and Karoun Demirjian report at the Washington Post.

“I can say very confidently that I have not detected any whiff of interference” by the White House into the Russia investigation, F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray said yesterday in Washington, Sarah N. Lynch reporting at Reuters.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is seeking to interview White House staff over the statement drafted aboard Air Force One, according to three sources familiar with the situation. Pamela Brown, Gloria Borger and Jeremy Diamond report at CNN.

Questions should be asked of former F.B.I. Director James Comey’s role in the salacious “Trump dossier” commissioned by the opposition research firm Fusion G.P.S. and compiled by the former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele, Kimberley A. Strassel writes at the Wall Street Journal.

The senate investigations into connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin must be meticulous and should not be rushed, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes write at Foreign Policy.

CYBERSECURITY, PRIVACY AND TECHNOLOGY

______________________________________

The Fake Americans Russia Created to Influence the Election

Saturday September 9th, 2017 at 4:42 AM

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The same morning, “Katherine Fulton” also began promoting DCLeaks in the same awkward English Mr. Redick used. “Hey truth seekers!” she wrote. “Who can tell me who are #DCLeaks? Some kind of Wikileaks? You should visit their website, it contains confidential information about our leaders such as Hillary Clinton, and others <a href=”http://dcleaks.com/.”” rel=”nofollow”>http://dcleaks.com/.”</a>

So did “Alice Donovan,” who pointed to documents from Mr. Soros’s Open Society Foundations that she said showed its pro-American tilt and — in rather formal language for Facebook — “describe eventual means and plans of supporting opposition movements, groups or individuals in various countries.”

Might Mr. Redick, Ms. Fulton, Ms. Donovan and others be real Americans who just happened to notice DCLeaks the same day? No. The Times asked Facebook about these and a half-dozen other accounts that appeared to be Russian creations. The company carried out its standard challenge procedure by asking the users to establish their bona fides. All the suspect accounts failed and were removed from Facebook.

Mobilizing a ‘Bot’ Army

On Twitter, meanwhile, hundreds of accounts were busy posting anti-Clinton messages and promoting the leaked material obtained by Russian hackers. Investigators for FireEye spent months reviewing Twitter accounts associated with certain online personas, posing as activists, that seemed to show the Russian hand: DCLeaks, Guccifer 2.0, Anonymous Poland and several others. FireEye concluded that they were associated with one another and with Russian hacking groups, including APT28 or Fancy Bear, which American intelligence blames for the hacking and leaking of Democratic emails.

Some accounts, the researchers found, showed clear signs of intermittent human control. But most displayed the rote behavior of automated Twitter bots, which send out tweets according to built-in instructions.

The researchers discovered long lists of bot accounts that sent out identical messages within seconds or minutes of one another, firing in alphabetical order. The researchers coined the term “warlist” for them. On Election Day, one such list cited leaks from Anonymous Poland in more than 1,700 tweets. Snippets of them provide a sample of the sequence:

@edanur01 #WarAgainstDemocrats 17:54

@efekinoks #WarAgainstDemocrats 17:54

@elyashayk #WarAgainstDemocrats 17:54

@emrecanbalc #WarAgainstDemocrats 17:55

@emrullahtac #WarAgainstDemocrats 17:55

Lee Foster, who leads the FireEye team examining information operations, said some of the warlist Twitter accounts had previously been used for illicit marketing, suggesting that they may have been purchased on the black market. Some were genuine accounts that had been hijacked. Rachel Usedom, a young American engineer in California, tweeted mostly about her sorority before losing interest in 2014. In November 2016, her account was taken over, renamed #ClintonCurruption, and used to promote the Russian leaks.

Ms. Usedom had no idea that her account had been commandeered by anti-Clinton propagandists. “I was shocked and slightly confused when I found out,” she said.

Notably, the warlist tweets often included the Twitter handles of users whose attention the senders wanted to catch — news organizations, journalists, government agencies and politicians, including @realDonaldTrump. By targeting such opinion-shapers, Mr. Foster said, the creators of the warlists clearly wanted to stir up conversation about the leaked material.

  1. M. Berger, a researcher in Cambridge, Mass., helped build apublic web “dashboard”for the Washington-based Alliance for Securing Democracy to track hundreds of Twitter accounts that were suspected of links to Russia or that spread Russian propaganda. During the campaign, he said, he often saw the accounts post replies to Mr. Trump’s tweets.

Mr. Trump “received more direct replies than anyone else,” Mr. Berger said. “Clearly this was an effort to influence Donald Trump. They know he reads tweets.”

The suspected Russian operators at times lacked sophistication. “They are not always Americanophiles who know every nuance of U.S. politics,” said Mr. Foster, the FireEye researcher.

For instance, last October, hundreds of Anonymous Poland Twitter accounts posted a forged letter on the stationery of the conservative Bradley Foundation, based in Milwaukee, purporting to show that it had donated $150 million to the Clinton campaign. The foundation denied any such contribution, which would have been illegal and, given its political leaning, highly unlikely.

‘A Battle of Information’

Only a small fraction of all the suspect social media accounts active during the election have been studied by investigators. But there is ample reason to suspect that the Russian meddling may have been far more widespread.

Several activists who ran Facebook pages for Bernie Sanders, for instance, noticed a suspicious flood of hostile comments about Mrs. Clinton after Mr. Sanders had already ended his campaign and endorsed her.

John Mattes, who ran the “San Diego for Bernie Sanders” page, said he saw a shift from familiar local commenters to newcomers, some with Eastern European names — including four different accounts using the name “Oliver Mitov.”

“Those who voted for Bernie, will not vote for corrupt Hillary!” one of the Mitovs wrote on Oct. 7. “The Revolution must continue! #NeverHillary”

While he was concerned about being seen as a “crazy cold warrior,” Mr. Mattes said he came to believe that Russia was the likely source of the anti-Clinton comments. “The magnitude and viciousness of it — I would suggest that their fingerprints were on it and no one else had that agenda,” he said.

Both on the left and the pro-Trump right, though, some skeptics complain that Moscow has become the automatic boogeyman, accused of misdeeds with little proof. Even those who track Russian online activity admit that in the election it was not always easy to sort out who was who.

The New York Times would like to hear from readers who want to share messages and materials with our journalists.

“Yes, the Russians were involved. Yes, there’s a lot of organic support for Trump,” said Andrew Weisburd, an Illinois online researcher who has written frequently about Russian influence on social media. “Trying to disaggregate the two was difficult, to put it mildly.”

Mr. Weisburd said he had labeled some Twitter accounts “Kremlin trolls” based simply on their pro-Russia tweets and with no proof of Russian government ties. The Times contacted several such users, who insisted that they had come by their anti-American, pro-Russian views honestly, without payment or instructions from Moscow.

“Hillary’s a warmonger,” said Marilyn Justice, 66, who lives in Nova Scotia and tweets as @mkj1951. Of Mr. Putin, she said in an interview, “I think he’s very patient in the face of provocations.”

Ms. Justice said she had first taken an interest in Russia during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, while looking for hockey coverage and finding what she considered a snide anti-Russia bias in the Western media. She said she did get a lot of news from Sputnik and RT but laughed at the notion that she could have Kremlin connections.

Another of the so-called Kremlin trolls, Marcel Sardo, 48, a web producer in Zurich, describes himself bluntly on his Twitter bio as a “Pro-Russia Media-Sniper.” He said he shared notes daily via Skype and Twitter with online acquaintances, including Ms. Justice, on disputes between Russia and the West over who shot down the Malaysian airliner hit by a missile over Ukraine and who used sarin gas in Syria.

“It’s a battle of information, and I and my peers have decided to take sides,” said Mr. Sardo, who constantly cites Russian sources and bashed Mrs. Clinton daily during the campaign. But he denied he had any links to the Russian government.

If that’s so, his prolific posts are a victory for Russia’s information war — that admirers of the Kremlin spread what American officials consider to be Russian disinformation on election hacking, Syria, Ukraine and more.

But if Russian officials are gleeful at their success, in last year’s election and beyond, they rarely let the mask slip. In an interview with Bloomberg before the election, Mr. Putin suggested that reporters were worrying too much about who exactly stole the material.

“Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?” he said, in a point that Mr. Trump has sometimes echoed. “The important thing is the content that was given to the public.”

Continue reading the main story

Read the whole story

  • · · · · ·

Russia’s Fake Americans – The New York Times

Saturday September 9th, 2017 at 4:18 AM

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The case for Trump-Russia collusion: We’re getting very, very close – Washington Post

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 5:12 PM

Russia Helping Trump – Google News

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Washington Post

The case for Trump-Russia collusion: We’re getting very, very close
Washington Post
In seeking Russian supportTrump sought not only to become president but also to make money: Even as he launched his presidential campaign, he hoped to receive a major influx of money from a proposed Trump Tower in Moscow. Along with the motives, …
New Russian envoy describes ‘warm’ meeting with Trump: agenciesReuters
New Russian envoy describes ‘warm’ meeting with Donald Trump: AgenciesThe Straits Times
New Russian Ambassador To US Says Ready To Improve RelationsRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty

all 13 news articles »

Mueller wants to speak with White House staffers about Trump Jr. controversy – Fox News

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 2:24 PM

Mueller – Google News

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Fox News

Mueller wants to speak with White House staffers about Trump Jr. controversy
Fox News
Special Counsel Robert Mueller has requested to speak with aides involved in the president’s eldest son’s initial response to his June 2016 meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who promised damaging information on Democratic nominee …

trump as magnet and fraud – Google Search

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 1:40 PM

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The President Is A Ponzi Scheme

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 1:30 PM

Donald Trump

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He’s gotten many hardworking people to invest their hopes and dreams in him. But he’s also attracted the support of those who smell an easy profit.

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felix sater – Google News: ‘Help world peace and make a lot of money’: Here’s the letter of intent to build a Trump Tower Moscow – Business Insider

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 12:44 PM

  1. Trump Circles: Elections From Mikenova (16 Sites)

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Business Insider

‘Help world peace and make a lot of money’: Here’s the letter of intent to build a Trump Tower Moscow
Business Insider
A letter of intent forwarded by Russian-born businessman Felix Sater to the Trump Organization’s lawyer at the time, Michael Cohen, outlines the terms of a licensing agreement to purchase property to build a “Trump World Tower Moscow.” Sater sent the 
REVEALED: Longtime Trump associate floated this bizarre ulterior motive for Moscow TowerRaw Story
Marcus: Trump’s pursuit of Moscow tower big, disturbing dealThe Columbian

all 3 news articles »

felix sater – Google News

Trump News Review – 10:21 AM 9/8/2017 by mikenova

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 12:36 PM

Trump Investigations Report

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Chuck Schumer Channels LBJ For A Dealmaking Day
Trump handed him a gift, but the Democrats’ workaholic-in-chief had earned it.

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer in June 2016 to learn about Hillary Clinton’s “fitness” to be president, Trump Jr. told the Senate Judiciary Committee yesterday in a closed-door session, explaining that he would use the information from the meeting to “consult with counsel to make an informed decision as to whether to give it further consideration” and defending the comments he made in an email chain promising damaging information on Clinton. Byron Tau and Rebecca Ballhaus report at the Wall Street Journal.

Trump Jr. did not discuss with the president the misleading statement drafted this July on Air Force One about the June 2016 meeting, Trump Jr. said during questioning, reiterating that the meeting was not an attempt to collude with Russia to disrupt the 2016 presidential campaign. Nicholas Fandos and Maggie Haberman report at the New York Times.

“The meeting provided no meaningful information and turned out not to be about what had been represented,” Trump Jr. said in prepared remarks, the president’s son tweeting a statement after the session that he hoped the interview “fully satisfied their inquiry,” which would be unlikely as the president’s son was not able to provide important details, according to people who attended the hearing. Tom Hamburger and Karoun Demirjian report at the Washington Post.

“I can say very confidently that I have not detected any whiff of interference” by the White House into the Russia investigation, F.B.I. Director Christopher Wray said yesterday in Washington, Sarah N. Lynch reporting at Reuters.

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is seeking to interview White House staff over the statement drafted aboard Air Force One, according to three sources familiar with the situation. Pamela Brown, Gloria Borger and Jeremy Diamond report at CNN.

Questions should be asked of former F.B.I. Director James Comey’s role in the salacious “Trump dossier” commissioned by the opposition research firm Fusion G.P.S. and compiled by the former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele, Kimberley A. Strassel writes at the Wall Street Journal.

The senate investigations into connections between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin must be meticulous and should not be rushed, Susan Hennessey and Benjamin Wittes write at Foreign Policy.

CYBERSECURITY, PRIVACY AND TECHNOLOGY

Legislative action may be needed to require social media companies to disclose information about digital political ads, Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA.) said yesterday, following Facebook’s findings Wednesday that a Russian firm likely purchased polarizing ads. Dutin Volz and David Ingram report at Reuters.

Twitter is expected to brief congressional investigators soon about Russian use of its advertising platform, Sen. Warner also said yesterday. Dustin Volz and Jonathan Landay report at Reuters.

Google has seen no evidence of a Russia propaganda campaign on its platforms, the search engine said in a statement, Reuters reporting.

Up to 28% of Americans could have seen Russian-funded propaganda posts on Facebook, according to an expert’s analysis of Facebook’s findings. Ben Collins, Kevin Poulsen and Spencer Ackerman explain how the polarizing messages swept the social media platform during the 2016 presidential election at The Daily Beast.

Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Expect Special Counsel Mueller to Follow the Money
Follow the money. Mark Felt, the deceased FBI executive who was Watergates Deep Throat, may not have actually whispered those words to reporter Bob Woodward. But they reflect a practice federal agents and prosecutors heed in criminal investigations as varied as drug dealing and terrorism to cyber intrusion and political corruption.No one should be surprised that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly looking into the finances of President Donald Trump and his associates. But in July the president warned that Mueller would be exceeding his mandate if he sought information on the Trump familys finances unrelated to Russia. And now Rep. Ron DeSantis has filed a proposed amendment to a House spending bill to prevent Mueller from investigating matters that occurred before June 2015, when Trump announced his presidential run.

The president not only seems to misread the broad mandate that Mueller was given by the Justice Department, but the positions that he and DeSantis have taken suggest they are also unfamiliar with how investigations like Muellers work. Finances that are not on their face related to Russia could nonetheless prove relevant to the Russia investigation. And the contrived date restriction that DeSantis proposes would improperly inhibit investigators, prosecutors and ultimately the grand jury. For example, seemingly unrelated financial matters that predate events central to the investigation could show a pattern of behavior related to the issue in question or a state of financial distress that could speak to motive.

In this post, as a former U.S. attorney who has led numerous investigations in which financial evidence established key elements for conviction of serious crimes, I offer a brief explanation of why the special counsel is right to probe the finances of the subjects of his Russia investigation and why he surely will ignore the president’s warning if the evidence leads him there.

I oversaw many cases in which a suspects personal finances were often intimately linked to whatever wrongdoing that person had engaged in. The finances either created a motive (naked greed, for example), contained evidence or fruits of the illegal scheme itself, or provided evidence of how the scheme was concealed. For example, in one conspiracy case prosecuted by my office, we established the complicity of Russian hackers by examining related financial crimes and connecting complex schemes involving the transfer of funds to the conspirators. Similar evidence of financial transactions can establish overt acts proving the conspiracy or can connect the alleged conspirator with the crime, whether or not the crime itself is financial in nature. In fact, ignoring such evidence would severely hamstring most federal criminal investigations.

It is hard to imagine how payments by foreign governments, including Russia, would not be central to Muellers investigation, given what is already known. To start, Donald Trump, Jr. admitted at a real estate conference in 2008 that Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia. As Reuters reported in March, wealthy Russians invested nearly $100 million in revenue to several of Trumps properties in Florida and New York in recent years. And beyond Russian money flowing to Trump properties in the United States, Donald Trump had tried to develop properties in Russia since the 1980s. In 2007 he declared, We will be in Moscow at some point, and in 2013 his hosting of the Miss Universe pageant in Russia was financed by Aras Agalarov, an oligarch who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Agalarov later worked with Trump on plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, though the deal fell apart. Late last month, the Washington Post reported on emails that revealed that Trumps personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, played a role in that deal, working to connect the Trump Organization with a spokesperson for Putin to help finalize it. Agalarovs son also reportedly sought to arrange the now-infamous meeting between Trump Jr. and the Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

These financial relationships are relevant to the Russia investigation because they may speak to Trump or his associates motive or opportunity to collude, or else provide evidence of collusion. Recently these facts were recounted as part of a civil lawsuit filed against the Trump campaign by three voters whose private information was exposed to the world as part of the Russians hack of the Democratic National Committee. Discovery will likely be allowed in that case. Surely the special counsel must look into these issues as well.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein granted Mueller a broad mandate to probe financial records when he authorized an investigation into any links between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump (emphasis added). There is ample reason for Mueller to believe based simply on information in the public sphere that there are financial links between Trump and Russians close to the Russian government. The only way he would be able to tell if any of these financial links connect Trump to the Russian government for purposes of influence operations is to investigate them.

Given that investigating Trumps finances is within Muellers mandate, the president’s warning that Mueller not look at Trump family finances beyond any relationship to Russia is highly inappropriate. My bosses at the Department of Justice once tried to interfere in an election-related investigation within my purview. In 2006, I was fired along with eight other U.S. attorneys for what many believe was an attempt to politicize criminal investigations and install political loyalists to oversee important federal investigations. The investigation report issued by the Justice Departments Office of the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that the Department failed to ensure that the removals were not undertaken for an improper political purpose and that several department officials assertion that the removals were performance-based was inaccurate and misleading with regard to several of the U.S. Attorneys.

In my view, we were fired because we chose loyalty to the law and our oaths to the Constitution over loyalty to the president and his political party.  The scandal that flowed from that moment rocked the country and resulted in the resignation of top Justice Department officials, including the attorney general, Alberto Gonzales.

Bob Mueller, who served as FBI director under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, doesnt need anyones advice on how to investigate and prosecute cases. His experience and integrity speak for themselves to anyone but the willfully ignorant or those who have little regard for the truth. Whether ignorance, disregard for the rule of law or something else explains the antipathy of the White House and others, Mueller deserves and may require the active support of Congressand perhaps eventually the judiciary, if we want the truth.

Why Russia investigation could take new turn – CNBC

CNBC
Why Russia investigation could take new turn
CNBC
Trump has bragged about his “complete power” to pardon and used it in a controversial move to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The president’s power to pardon is indeed vast, but it does not extend to state and local law violations. The Muellerinvestigation 
In the Trump era, politics is crimeColorado Springs Independent
A closer look at Trump’s first pardon and Arpaio’s controversial careerGears Of Bizall 64 news articles »
Trump Terrible 10: Apocalypse Now Edition
Unprecedented violent storms are attacking our shores. North Koreas got nukes. Russia hacked our election. And malevolent
DOJ: Admitting Existence Of A Sessions Resignation Letter Would Violate His Privacy
HuffPost had filed a FOIA request seeking a copy of the alleged resignation letter.
The President’s Son Admitted To An Amateurish Attempt At Collusion. He May Have Helped Bury His Father’s Presidency In The Process
This delicate legal situation is once again due almost entirely to unnecessary and unforced errors on the part of the Trump family.
Chuck Schumer Channels LBJ For A Dealmaking Day
Trump handed him a gift, but the Democrats’ workaholic-in-chief had earned it.
How The Hell Do You Appraise A Crappy Drawing By Donald Trump?
A valuation expert speaks on the peculiar difficulty of appraising a doodle by the most powerful man in the world.
Poll: Most Americans Want Congress To Save Dreamers
Just over a quarter think Congress shouldn’t act to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.
White Christians Are Now A Minority In The U.S.
A new study reveals major changes to the American religious landscape in recent decades.
Who Do Conservatives Blame For Donald Trump’s Bad Deal? Paul Ryan, Of Course!
Deals are Donald Trump’s art form, unless it’s a bad deal, in which case Paul Ryan is to blame.
Hurricane Harvey Is Just The Latest In Facebooks Fake News Problem
The social media network can’t help but spread political falsehoods.

Trump News Review – 10:21 AM 9/8/2017

1. Trump from mikenova (194 sites)
Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: Expect Special Counsel Mueller to Follow the Money
trump criminal investigation – Google News: Why Russia investigation could take new turn – CNBC
Trump Investigations – Google News: Why Russia investigation could take new turn – CNBC
trump psychological portrait – Google News: Even North Korea’s Top Trump Analyst Can’t Understand His Tweets – Vanity Fair
Donald Trump | The Guardian: Here comes Hillary Clinton’s memoir and there’s plenty of blame to go round
crime and terror – Google News: Terror suspects arrested at Birmingham Airport ‘quizzed on links to ISIS executioners’ – Coventry Telegraph
trump and republican party – Google News: GOP Lawmakers Prepare To Vote On Spending Deal Trump Cut With Democrats – NPR
Just Security: South Sudan: The Crisis Continues
trump electorate – Google News: With Charlie Dent’s retirement, Trumpism claims its first scalp – it won’t be the last | Friday Morning Coffee – PennLive.com
Trumpism – Google News: With Charlie Dent’s retirement, Trumpism claims its first scalp – it won’t be the last | Friday Morning Coffee – PennLive.com
2016 elections and mental health – Google News: These Women Are the Last Thing Standing Between You and Nuclear War – MarieClaire.com
Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices: iOS 11 May Complicate Border Searches
analysis of trump electorate – Google News: First Read’s Morning Clips: Trump’s Spending Deal Rattles GOP – NBCNews.com
Just Security: The Early Edition: September 8, 2017
US elections and russia – Google News: Russia: US may have planted ‘compromising material’ during Russian consulate inspection – Washington Examiner
Trump – Google News: What Donald Trump Jr. Left Out of His Statement to Congress – The Atlantic
Donald Trump: Cordrays possible exit from consumer regulator cheers US banks
trump and republican party – Google News: The Note: Trump’s deals flummox Republican Party – ABC News
Emails Investigation Reopening – Google News: Route 18 reopens after SUV, truck crash in Beaver Falls – Tribune-Review
Trump – Google News: Trump’s Bipartisan Push Shakes Up Capitol Hill – NBCNews.com
morell on trump – Google News: North Korea expected to test another ICBM this weekend – Washington Examiner

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Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Expect Special Counsel Mueller to Follow the Money
Why Russia investigation could take new turn – CNBC
Trump Terrible 10: Apocalypse Now Edition
DOJ: Admitting Existence Of A Sessions Resignation Letter Would Violate His Privacy
The President’s Son Admitted To An Amateurish Attempt At Collusion. He May Have Helped Bury His Father’s Presidency In The Process
Chuck Schumer Channels LBJ For A Dealmaking Day
How The Hell Do You Appraise A Crappy Drawing By Donald Trump?
Poll: Most Americans Want Congress To Save Dreamers
White Christians Are Now A Minority In The U.S.
Who Do Conservatives Blame For Donald Trump’s Bad Deal? Paul Ryan, Of Course!
Hurricane Harvey Is Just The Latest In Facebooks Fake News Problem
Here’s what a realistic Ukraine settlement may look like – EURACTIV
Chinese ‘chuckle at Trump for messing up picture-perfect America’: State media – CNBC
Seth Meyers Ruthlessly Mocks Trump’s ‘Bring Your Daughter To Jerk Day’
Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump Jr. fled father’s name before embracing it – ABC News
What Kind of War Is Trump Threatening? – Lynchburg News and Advance
On president’s war powers, Trump has the Constitution about right – Philly.com
Why North Korea is a black hole for American spies – Politico
Why we should worry that the only restraint on Trump is three unelected generals – New Statesman
Analysis: The long road to ending the North Korean threat – i24NEWS
Trump-Democrats Deal Leaves GOP Wary of More to Come – RealClearPolitics
Smiley’s London: exploring the underground haunts in John le Carré’s A Legacy of Spies – Evening Standard
Carr: Hillary Clinton uses new book to blame everyone but herself – Boston Herald
On Capitol Hill, Trump Jr. denies collusion with Russia – WITN
I Spent a Night at Donald Trump’s Childhood Home. He Would Hate This Place – Newsweek

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Felix Sater’s letter to Michael Cohen surfaces, directly incriminating Donald Trump by Bill Palmer

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 12:35 PM

Palmer Report

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Last week it was revealed that Donald Trump was trying to build Trump Tower Moscow during the election, and that his attorney Michael Cohen and business partner Felix Sater were leading the way in trying to make it happen. It was also revealed that Trump signed a letter of intent to build it, erasing any shot at deniability. Now an email from Sater to Cohen has surfaced regarding the project, and it directly incriminates Donald Trump.

The email in question has been obtained by the Daily Beast, and it’s brief but stunning. Felix Sater wrote the following to Michael Cohen, verbatim with some missing apostrophes and a missing word or two: “Attached is the signed LOI by Andrey Rozov. Please have Mr. Trump counter-sign, signed and sent back. Let’s make this happen and build a Trump Moscow. And possibly fix relations between the countries by showing everyone that commerce & business are much better and more practical than politics. That should Putins message as well, and we will help him agree on that message. Help world peace and make a lot of money, I would say thats a great lifetime goal for us to go after.” (link). That’s the full text of the email, and it tells us a lot.

There are a few key details that stand out. “LOI” refers to letter of intent. It’s been previously reported that Trump did in fact sign the letter. This means that Cohen, and by extension Trump, agreed with Sater’s premises laid out in the email. In other words, the Trump Tower Moscow was partly an attempt at conspiring with a foreign government to influence the outcome of the election, and partly and effort at making foreign profits from the election. These are both crimes. Trump’s decision to sign the letter of intent, after the project was framed to him in this manner, directly incriminates him.

In addition, the email reveals just how thoroughly the Trump and Putin camps were colluding during the election. It documents that Trump’s camp was even willing to help frame Putin’s messaging on the project so he could sell the idea that Trump should be president. If Special Counsel Robert Mueller didn’t already have this incriminating email, he does now.

The post Felix Sater’s letter to Michael Cohen surfaces, directly incriminating Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

Weiner resigned from Congress soon after, and in December Huma gave birth to son Jordan. – Daily Mail

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 12:30 PM

Abedin – Google News

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Daily Mail

Weiner resigned from Congress soon after, and in December Huma gave birth to son Jordan.
Daily Mail
In 2013, Weiner decided to run for mayor of New York City and also agreed to be filmed for a documentary about his return to politics. Weiner announced he would run in late May, but just two months later allegations emerged that he had continued to 

Why Russia investigation could take new turn – CNBC

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 10:17 AM

Trump Criminal Investigation – Google News

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CNBC

Why Russia investigation could take new turn
CNBC
Trump has bragged about his “complete power” to pardon and used it in a controversial move to pardon Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The president’s power to pardon is indeed vast, but it does not extend to state and local law violations. The Mueller investigation 
In the Trump era, politics is crimeColorado Springs Independent
A closer look at Trump’s first pardon and Arpaio’s controversial careerGears Of Biz

all 64 news articles »

Expect Special Counsel Mueller to Follow the Moneyby John McKay

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 10:17 AM

Lawfare – Hard National Security Choices

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“Follow the money.” Mark Felt, the deceased FBI executive who was Watergate’s “Deep Throat,” may not have actually whispered those words to reporter Bob Woodward. But they reflect a practice federal agents and prosecutors heed in criminal investigations as varied as drug dealing and terrorism to cyber intrusion and political corruption.

No one should be surprised that Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly looking into the finances of President Donald Trump and his associates. But in July the president warned that Mueller would be exceeding his mandate if he sought information on the Trump family’s finances unrelated to Russia. And now Rep. Ron DeSantis has filed a proposed amendment to a House spending bill to prevent Mueller from investigating matters that occurred before June 2015, when Trump announced his presidential run.

The president not only seems to misread the broad mandate that Mueller was given by the Justice Department, but the positions that he and DeSantis have taken suggest they are also unfamiliar with how investigations like Mueller’s work. Finances that are not on their face related to Russia could nonetheless prove relevant to the Russia investigation. And the contrived date restriction that DeSantis proposes would improperly inhibit investigators, prosecutors and ultimately the grand jury. For example, seemingly unrelated financial matters that predate events central to the investigation could show a pattern of behavior related to the issue in question or a state of financial distress that could speak to motive.

In this post, as a former U.S. attorney who has led numerous investigations in which financial evidence established key elements for conviction of serious crimes, I offer a brief explanation of why the special counsel is right to probe the finances of the subjects of his Russia investigation and why he surely will ignore the president’s warning if the evidence leads him there.

I oversaw many cases in which a suspect’s personal finances were often intimately linked to whatever wrongdoing that person had engaged in. The finances either created a motive (naked greed, for example), contained evidence or fruits of the illegal scheme itself, or provided evidence of how the scheme was concealed. For example, in one conspiracy case prosecuted by my office, we established the complicity of Russian hackers by examining related financial crimes and connecting complex schemes involving the transfer of funds to the conspirators. Similar evidence of financial transactions can establish overt acts proving the conspiracy or can connect the alleged conspirator with the crime, whether or not the crime itself is financial in nature. In fact, ignoring such evidence would severely hamstring most federal criminal investigations.

It is hard to imagine how payments by foreign governments, including Russia, would not be central to Mueller’s investigation, given what is already known. To start, Donald Trump, Jr. admitted at a real estate conference in 2008 that “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets; say in Dubai, and certainly with our project in SoHo and anywhere in New York. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” As Reuters reported in March, wealthy Russians invested nearly $100 million in revenue to several of Trump’s properties in Florida and New York in recent years. And beyond Russian money flowing to Trump properties in the United States, Donald Trump had tried to develop properties in Russia since the 1980s. In 2007 he declared, “We will be in Moscow at some point,” and in 2013 his hosting of the Miss Universe pageant in Russia was financed by Aras Agalarov, an oligarch who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Agalarov later worked with Trump on plans to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, though the deal fell apart. Late last month, the Washington Post reported on emails that revealed that Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, played a role in that deal, working to connect the Trump Organization with a spokesperson for Putin to help finalize it. Agalarov’s son also reportedly sought to arrange the now-infamous meeting between Trump Jr. and the Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

These financial relationships are relevant to the Russia investigation because they may speak to Trump or his associates’ motive or opportunity to collude, or else provide evidence of collusion. Recently these facts were recounted as part of a civil lawsuit filed against the Trump campaign by three voters whose private information was exposed to the world as part of the Russians’ hack of the Democratic National Committee. Discovery will likely be allowed in that case. Surely the special counsel must look into these issues as well.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein granted Mueller a broad mandate to probe financial records when he authorized an investigation into “any links … between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump” (emphasis added). There is ample reason for Mueller to believe based simply on information in the public sphere that there are financial links between Trump and Russians close to the Russian government. The only way he would be able to tell if any of these financial links connect Trump to the Russian government for purposes of influence operations is to investigate them.

Given that investigating Trump’s finances is within Mueller’s mandate, the president’s warning that Mueller not look at Trump family finances beyond any relationship to Russia is highly inappropriate. My bosses at the Department of Justice once tried to interfere in an election-related investigation within my purview. In 2006, I was fired along with eight other U.S. attorneys for what many believe was an attempt to politicize criminal investigations and install political loyalists to oversee important federal investigations. The investigation report issued by the Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General and Office of Professional Responsibility concluded that “the Department failed to ensure that the removals were not undertaken for an improper political purpose” and that several department officials’ assertion that the removals were performance-based “was inaccurate and misleading with regard to several of the U.S. Attorneys.”

In my view, we were fired because we chose loyalty to the law and our oaths to the Constitution over loyalty to the president and his political party.  The scandal that flowed from that moment rocked the country and resulted in the resignation of top Justice Department officials, including the attorney general, Alberto Gonzales.

Bob Mueller, who served as FBI director under Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, doesn’t need anyone’s advice on how to investigate and prosecute cases. His experience and integrity speak for themselves to anyone but the willfully ignorant or those who have little regard for the truth. Whether ignorance, disregard for the rule of law or something else explains the antipathy of the White House and others, Mueller deserves and may require the active support of Congress—and perhaps eventually the judiciary, if we want the truth.

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Wealthy Russians are having babies in the US, for passportsby mikenova

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 10:08 AM

Trump Investigations Report

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Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts

The World Web TimesNews | Photos | Audio and Video | Politics | Trump | Security | Reviews | Analysis | Current Topics | Opinions | Links | PostsLocal | Guides | Classifieds | News reading lists, review of media reports, digests, reviews, summaries, editors selected important articles

Trump – from Huffington Post

Trump – from Huffington Post from mikenova (1 sites)
Donald Trump: Melania Trump’s Supporters Flip Out Over Vanity Fair ‘Best-Dressed List’ Snub
Barack and Michelle Obama did make the cut, however.
Donald Trump

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Trump News Review

1. Trump from mikenova (194 sites)
Donald Trump | The Guardian: Harvey spells it out: markets alone won’t protect you | Joseph Stiglitz
trump as putin’s puppet – Google News: Carr: Hillary Clinton uses new book to blame everyone but herself – Boston Herald
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: Smiley’s London: exploring the underground haunts in John le Carré’s A Legacy of Spies – Evening Standard
donald trump russia – Google News: Rep. Adam Schiff On Donald Trump Jr. And Russia – NPR
trump as samson – Google News: Analysis: The long road to ending the North Korean threat – i24NEWS
trump as danger to National Security – Google News: Why we should worry that the only restraint on Trump is three unelected generals – New Statesman
Russian Intelligence services and international organized crime and terrorism – Google News: US threatens Syrian opposition to join PKK/PYD – Yeni Şafak English
Russia influence in Eastern Europe – Google News: Hybrid war: The real casualties in Ukraine – New Eastern Europe
trump as danger to National Security – Google News: On president’s war powers, Trump has the Constitution about right – Philly.com
Trump liar – Google News: Ted Cruz 2.0? Senator Adjusts With Trump in Office and Houston Under Water – New York Times
Donald Trump: Mar-A-Lago evacuated as hurricane approaches Florida
trump as danger to National Security – Google News: What Kind of War Is Trump Threatening? – Lynchburg News and Advance
putin won US 2016 election – Google News: Facebook Says Fake Accounts Likely Tied To Russia Bought $100000 In Political Ads – Forbes Africa (blog)
Donald Trump: Melania Trump’s Supporters Flip Out Over Vanity Fair ‘Best-Dressed List’ Snub
Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump Jr. fled father’s name before embracing it – ABC News
Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump Jr. fled father’s name before embracing it – ABC News
1. Trump Circles: Elections from mikenova (16 sites): Donald Trump – Google News: Donald Trump Jr. fled father’s name before embracing it – ABC News
Donald Trump: Seth Meyers Ruthlessly Mocks Trump’s ‘Bring Your Daughter To Jerk Day’
trump as danger to National Security – Google News: WILL: Contemplating war with North Korea – Niagara Gazette
organized crime and intelligence – Google News: Cryptomania – Kyiv Post
organized crime and Russian intelligence – Google News: Cryptomania – Kyiv Post
Saved Stories – 1. Trump
Hillary Regrets Not Going After Ex-FBI Director During Election: ‘What the Hell Was Comey Doing?’ – Mediaite
The Risk of Nuclear War with North Korea – The New Yorker
Authorities say sale of counterfeit sneakers can lead to terrorist financing – WJBD Online
Authorities say sale of counterfeit sneakers can lead to terrorist financing – KTIC
Donald Trumps attorneys wife arrested
Donald Trump Jr. Just Admitted He Committed A Crime
King on Trump and Schumer: ‘It was almost like a love-in at times’ – CNN
Editorial: Alarming signs and sleazy people in collusion probe – Boulder Daily Camera
The Latest: Trump Jr. denies collusion with Russia – Washington Post
Former U.S. Presidents may be laying the groundwork to jointly come out against Donald Trump
US May Need New Law to Address Russian ad Buys on Facebook – Senator – News18
Trump and Putin Are the Real Targets of Israel’s Alleged Strike in Syria – Haaretz
Even the Saudis Are Turning to Russia as Assad’s Foes Lose Heart – Bloomberg
Trump anger at Gary Cohn raises doubts about White House tenure reports
News Update: Russia Investigations into Hacking Collusion – Pinnacle
American Muslims 16 years after 9/11 – Milli Gazette
WILL: Contemplating war with North Korea – Niagara Gazette
Donald Trump Jr. fled father’s name before embracing it – ABC News
Melania Trump’s Supporters Flip Out Over Vanity Fair ‘Best-Dressed List’ Snub
Facebook Says Fake Accounts Likely Tied To Russia Bought $100000 In Political Ads – Forbes Africa (blog)
Mar-A-Lago evacuated as hurricane approaches Florida
US threatens Syrian opposition to join PKK/PYD – Yeni Şafak English
Rep. Adam Schiff On Donald Trump Jr. And Russia – NPR
Donald Trump Jr gives bumbling testimony, unwittingly nails his father for obstruction of justice

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Wealthy Russians are having babies in the US, for passports – WCAI

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 9:56 AM

Trump Russian Candidate – Google News

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WCAI

Wealthy Russians are having babies in the US, for passports
WCAI
The irony is that, on the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump railed against “anchor babies” — a demeaning name for children born to a noncitizen mother in a country to gain new citizenship for the child. And yet, according to the Daily Beast, the 

and more »

Comey’s Secret Power – WSJ

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 6:46 AM

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  1. Edgar Hoover’s abuse of power as FBI director led Congress and the Justice Department to put new checks on that most powerful and secretive of offices. By the time Congress finishes investigating James Comey’s role in the 2016 presidential election, those safeguards may be due for an update.

Powerful as Hoover was, even he never simultaneously investigated both major-party candidates for the presidency. Mr. Comey did, and Americans are now getting a glimpse of how much he influenced political events.

Mr. Comey’s actions in the Hillary Clinton email probe are concerning enough. He made himself investigator, judge and jury, breaking the Justice Department’s chain of command. He publicly confirmed the investigation, violating the department’s principles. He announced he would not recommend prosecuting Mrs. Clinton, even as he publicly excoriated her—an extraordinary abuse of his megaphone. Then he rekindled the case only 11 days before the election.

An inquiry by the Senate Judiciary Committee has now shown that Mr. Comey’s investigation was a charade. He wrote a draft statement exonerating Mrs. Clinton in May, long before he bothered to interview her or her staff. This at least finally explains the probe’s lackluster nature: the absence of a grand jury, the failure to follow up on likely perjury, the unorthodox immunity deals made with Clinton aides.

But the big development this week is a new look at how Mr. Comey may have similarly juked the probe into Donald Trump’s purported ties to Russia. The House Intelligence Committee’s investigation took a sharp and notable turn on Tuesday, as news broke that it had subpoenaed the FBI and the Justice Department for information relating to the infamous Trump “dossier.” That dossier, whose allegations appear to have been fabricated, was commissioned by the opposition-research firm Fusion GPS and then developed by a former British spook named Christopher Steele.

But the FBI had its own part in this dossier, and investigators are finally drilling down into how big a role it played, and why. The bureau has furiously resisted answering questions. It ignored the initial requests for documents and has refused to comply with the House committee’s subpoenas, which were first issued Aug. 24. Republicans are frustrated enough that this week they sent orders compelling FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions to appear before the committee to explain the obstruction.

One explanation is that the documents might show the FBI played a central role in ginning up the fake dossier on Mr. Trump. To this day, we do not know who hired Fusion GPS to gather the dirt. The New York Times early this year reported, citing an anonymous source, that a wealthy anti-Trumper initially hired Fusion to dig into Mr. Trump’s business dealings, but the contract was later taken over by a Clinton-allied group. That’s when Fusion shifted its focus to Russia and hired Mr. Steele.

The question is when the FBI got in on the act. The Washington Post in February reported that Mr. Steele “was familiar” to the FBI, since he’d worked for the bureau before. The newspaper said Mr. Steele had reached out to a “friend” at the FBI about his Trump work as far back as July 2016. The Post even reported that Mr. Steele “reached an agreement with the FBI a few weeks before the election for the bureau to pay him to continue his work.”

Who was Mr. Steele’s friend at the FBI? Did the bureau influence the direction of the Trump dossier? Did it give Mr. Steele material support from the start? The timing matters because it could answer the vital question of why the FBI wanted the dossier. Here’s one thought: warrants.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which oversees spying activities, is usually generous in approving warrants, on the presumption law-enforcement agencies are acting in good faith. When a warrant is rejected, though, law enforcement isn’t pleased.

Perhaps the FBI wanted to conduct surveillance on someone connected to a presidential campaign (Carter Page?) but couldn’t hit what was—and ought to be—a supremely high bar for getting such a potentially explosive warrant. A dossier of nefarious allegations might well prove handy in finally convincing the FISA court to sign off. The FBI might have had a real motive to support Mr. Steele’s effort. It might have even justified the unjustifiable: working with a partisan oppo-research firm and a former spook to engineer a Kremlin-planted dossier that has roiled Mr. Trump’s entire presidency.

Now that’s power.

Mr. Comey’s meddling has never seemed to stem from some hidden partisan impulse, but rather from an overweening self-righteousness. But power can be misused as much in the hands of the sanctimonious as the corrupt. And it’s overdue for congressional investigators to get to the bottom of precisely how much power Mr. Comey was exercising.

Write to <a href=”mailto:kim@wsj.com”>kim@wsj.com</a>.

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Comey’s Secret Power – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 6:44 AM

Comey – Google News

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Wall Street Journal (subscription)

Comey’s Secret Power
Wall Street Journal (subscription)
By the time Congress finishes investigating James Comey’s role in the 2016 presidential election, those safeguards may be due for an update. Powerful as Hoover was, even he never simultaneously investigated both major-party candidates for the 

Wealthy Russians are having babies in the US, for passports – KOSU

Friday September 8th, 2017 at 6:36 AM

Trump Russian Candidate – Google News

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KOSU

Wealthy Russians are having babies in the US, for passports
KOSU
The irony is that, on the campaign trail, candidate Donald Trump railed against “anchor babies” — a demeaning name for children born to a noncitizen mother in a country to gain new citizenship for the child. And yet, according to the Daily Beast, the 

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Feds put the screws to Rudy Giuliani to try to get him to flip on Donald Trump by Bill Palmer

Thursday September 7th, 2017 at 6:06 PM

Palmer Report

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If you’ve been wondering why you haven’t heard from or about Rudy Giuliani of late, we now have some answers to that. The Feds just took aggressive action which can only be interpreted as an attempt at pressuring him into flipping on Donald Trump, and it’s safe to assume he’s been laying low all of this time because he’s known what was coming. Suffice it to say that this latest development doesn’t look good for him.

Awhile back, Giuliani got himself tangled with Reza Zarrab, who’s been awaiting trial in the United States for a series of alleged financial crimes. Zarrab was operating his business out of Trump Towers Istanbul, making it suspicious that Giuliani – a Trump campaign surrogate – was attempting to meddle in the case. Once this was revealed, Giuliani all but disappeared from the public radar. Now the Feds are bringing indictments against pretty much everyone involved in the Giuliani-Zarrab mess.

Yesterday the Department of Justice posted a press release revealing that it was bringing indictments against four of the co-conspirators in the mess (link). Although the press release does not mention Giuliani, it does mention that Dana Boente is involved in this latest move – and that tells us a lot. Boente is the U.S. District Attorney for Eastern Virginia, even though this case is playing out in the Southern District of New York.

Boente also serves as the Acting Assistant Attorney General for National Security. He was also the one who helped get the initial grand juries in the Trump-Russia investigation underway in his Eastern District of Virginia, which have since been taken over by Robert Mueller. Even though Rudy Giuliani is still serving as Reza Zarrab’s quasi-attorney, this latest move reads like an attempt at getting co-conspirators to flip on then both – and the whole reason to nail Rudy is to get him to flip on Trump when it comes to election collusion shenanigans.

The post Feds put the screws to Rudy Giuliani to try to get him to flip on Donald Trump appeared first on Palmer Report.

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FBI chief sees no evidence of White House interference in Russia probe – Reuters

Thursday September 7th, 2017 at 6:06 PM

Elections 2016 Investigation – Google News

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CNN International

FBI chief sees no evidence of White House interference in Russia probe
Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Thursday he has “not detected any whiff of interference” by the White House into the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Speaking publicly for the 
FBI Director Wray: No ‘whiff of interference’ with Mueller investigationCNN International
Wray: No Signs of Interference Into Russia ProbeNewsmax

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In wake of Donald Trump Jr’s incriminating testimony, Robert Mueller quickly targets Donald Trump’s senior staffby Bill Palmer

Thursday September 7th, 2017 at 6:05 PM

Palmer Report

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Just hours after Donald Trump Jr admitted to Congress that he had initially lied to the media about the nature of his meeting with Russian government representatives, Robert Mueller is already springing into action. The Special Counsel is now targeting Donald Trump’s entire Senior Staff with regard to how Trump tried to obstruct justice in relation to that meeting.

Palmer Report pointed out immediately after Junior’s testimony that he had confirmed that his father had instructed him to lie to the media about the meeting, thereby unwittingly nailing his father for obstruction of justice (link). Sure enough, CNN is now reporting that Mueller is quickly zeroing in on that discussion (link) – and he’s targeting Trump’s senior staff in the process.

Donald Trump crafted his son’s initial false statement about the Russia meeting while he was on Air Force One with his senior staffers. That makes them witnesses at the least, and co-consirators in obstructing justice at the most. If Mueller can compel these senior staffers to testify about what Trump said during that plane ride, then he’ll have first-hand witnesses of Trump’s obstruction. Moreover, he’ll only need to flip one of them, by convincing them that it’s better to come clean than to face potential criminal charges.

Donald Trump Jr admitted to Congress today during his testimony that he had met with the Russian government representatives at Trump Tower during the election, in the hope of obtaining secret information about Hillary Clinton (link). While he still insists this is somehow harmless in intent, it means that he conspired with the Kremlin to influence the outcome of the election – a crime. Donald Trump’s attempt at covering up his son’s collusion meeting isn’t merely obstruction of justice – it also demonstrates that he understood the collusive and illegal nature of his son’s Russia meeting.

The post In wake of Donald Trump Jr’s incriminating testimony, Robert Mueller quickly targets Donald Trump’s senior staff appeared first on Palmer Report.

FBI chief sees no sign of political interference in Russia probe

Thursday September 7th, 2017 at 4:34 PM

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FBI director Christopher Wray said on Thursday he had seen no sign of political interference in the bureau’s investigation of alleged collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

“I can say very confidently I have not detected any whiff of interference with that investigation,” he told a conference of national security industry executives in Washington.

Making his first remarks on the matter since taking office one month ago, Mr Wray also said he had “enormous respect” for special counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the probe. Earlier this summer, after the president privately expressed frustration with the special counsel, prominent Republicans such as Senator Lindsey Graham warned Mr Trump against firing him.

The FBI has assigned several agents to do the investigative leg work for Mr Mueller. “I have confidence in them to do their jobs professionally,” Mr Wray said.

Agents in the bureau’s counter-intelligence division also are working to thwart any future election meddling by Russia. “I’m very impressed with the strides that are being made on that front,” said the director.

Mr Trump turned to Mr Wray to run the FBI after firing former director James Comey in May over his handling of the Russia allegations. At the time, Mr Trump said he had been irked that Mr Comey was still investigating his ties to Russia, which the president called a “made-up story”.

Mr Wray, who was sworn in as FBI director on August 2, headed the Department of Justice’s criminal division from 2003 to 2005 and later became a corporate defence attorney.

I can say very confidently I have not detected any whiff of interference with that investigation

His white-collar clients included New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who was accused of engineering a traffic jam on a Hudson River bridge to punish a political adversary, and Credit Suisse, which in 2014 became the first major US bank in more than two decades to plead guilty to criminal wrongdoing in helping Americans evade paying US taxes.

Since taking office, Mr Wray said that he had reviewed classified evidence supporting the intelligence community’s January 6 public assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin had personally directed “an influence campaign” aimed at the presidential election.

Mr Putin sought to undermine public confidence in American democracy and hurt the election prospects of Hillary Clinton, Mr Trump’s rival in the race for the White House. “Putin and the Russian government developed a clear preference” for a Trump win, the intelligence community concluded.

Mr Wray repeated what he said during his Senate confirmation hearing, that he had “no reason to doubt the conclusions” of the intelligence community about Russia’s meddling.

Follow David J Lynch on Twitter: @davidjlynch

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President Donald Trump gives tax reform speech in North Dakota – YouTube

Thursday September 7th, 2017 at 9:32 AM

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trump – Google Search

Thursday September 7th, 2017 at 9:10 AM

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trump – Google Search

Thursday September 7th, 2017 at 9:08 AM

Trump – Google News

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Inside Donald Trump’s Deal With the Democrats on Debt, Harvey Aid

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