Donald Trump’s First UN Address Gets Mixed Reviews From Political Leaders Tuesday September 19th, 2017 at 4:05 PM

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Donald Trump’s First UN Address Gets Mixed Reviews From Political Leaders

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Some condemned Trump’s remarks as “dangerous.” Others praised the speech for being “strong

Trump’s first speech to the United Nations was a disastrous, nationalistic flop – Washington Post

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Washington Post
Trump’s first speech to the United Nations was a disastrous, nationalistic flop
Washington Post
Beyond pragmatism, the speech will likely be remembered as one in which the president of the United States sounded more like a mob boss than a statesman—think Robert DeNiro as Al Capone in “The Untouchables” minus the baseball bat. This was a …

Today’s Headlines and Commentary 

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Addressing the U.N. General Assembly, President Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea and labeled Iran a “rogue nation,” the New York Times reported. In remarks at the summit of world leaders, Trump called the North Korean regime “a band of criminals” and said the U.S. would act unilaterally to defend itself against North Korea if necessary. Trump also denounced Iran as a “corrupt dictatorship” and a supporter of terrorism in the Middle East and called the Iran nuclear deal “an embarrassment.” Furthermore, Trump said the U.S. was “prepared to take further action” to respond to violence and repression in Venezuela. In the speech, the president emphasized an “America First” approach to foreign policy to the audience of foreign leaders and diplomats.

The FBI wiretapped Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort under Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants before and after the election, CNN reported on Monday. The FBI obtained a FISA warrant to surveil Manafort for a 2014 investigation into consulting firms working for Ukraine’s former ruling party, the Party of Regions, which was linked to Russia. Last year, investigators discontinued that surveillance because of a lack of evidence. However, the FISA court granted the FBI  a new warrant in fall 2016 to resume monitoring of Manafort in connection with the investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and elements linked to the Russian government. The surveillance continued into this year. Separately, the Times reported that during a raid on Manafort’s house in July, Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team warned Manafort that they planned to indict him.

Myanmar’s de-facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi evaded accusations that her government is carrying out a campaign of ethnic cleansing against the Rohingya Muslim population, the Washington Post reported. In her first public statement since the crisis began on August 25, Suu Kyi said that Myanmar’s government condemned all human rights violations, but she did not acknowledge any responsibility for the actions of Myanmar’s armed forces, which U.N. officials have described as atrocities. She pledged to investigate claims of abuse but also defended the government’s development efforts in Rakhine state, where the most of the Rohingya population live. Although Suu Kyi said that a majority of Muslims in Rakhine have not left the country, over 400,000 refugees have crossed the border to Bangladesh since August. Satellite images showed over 200 Rohingya villages that have been incinerated since March, according to the Times.

The Trump administration rejected a U.S. government study that found that refugees brought economic benefits, the Times reported on Monday. A draft of a study prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services this year showed that refugees had a net positive impact of $63 billion to government revenues over a 10-year period. But Trump administration officials cut these conclusions out of the final version of the report sent to the White House this September. That version said that the cost of refugees for the H.H.S. was higher than the cost of ordinary Americans but did not mention any of the revenues that refugees contribute.

The Senate approved the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act on Monday in an 89-8 vote, the Post reported. The bill includes a government-wide ban on using Kaspersky Lab software and raises the level of defense spending to approximately $700 billion. Senators failed to include amendments reversing President Trump’s ban on transgender military service members or increasing sanctions on North Korea. The Senate bill authorizes about $40 billion more in spending than President Trump’s proposed defense budget, according to the Wall Street Journal. Lawmakers will now work out a compromise between the Senate bill and a version passed by the House in July.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. is considering closing its embassy in Cuba to protect the health of diplomats who have reported hearing losses and brain trauma, the Times reported. Twenty-one Americans associated with the embassy in Havana have experienced a range of health problems over the last six months, including mild traumatic brain injury, loss of balance, and severe headaches. American officials have said that a sonic attack or misconfigured surveillance system may have caused the injuries. Cuba’s government has offered to let the FBI investigate. On Sunday, Secretary Tillerson said that the step of closing the embassy was being considered not as a political statement but as a measure to protect the health of employees. American and Cuban officials met on Friday to discuss the ongoing investigation into the incidents.

Japan moved a missile interceptor to a military base near the aerial paths of recent North Korean missile tests that crossed over the northern island of Hokkaido, the Post reported. The Japanese Defense Ministry announced it deployed on Tuesday a Patriot Advanced Capability-3 interceptor unit to a base in southern Hokkaido “as a precaution.” Japan’s constitution only allows its defense forces to shoot down missiles heading to Japan or causing debris to fall on Japanese territory.

 

ICYMI: Yesterday, on Lawfare

Jesse Goldhammer and Zach Graves argued for the creation of a Cyber Workforce Incubator to bring private-sector cyber talent to Washington D.C.

Sarah Tate Chambers summarized the latest developments in cybercrime prosecutions in the Cybercrime Roundup.

Matthew Kahn celebrated the 70th birthday of the National Security Act of 1947.

Susan Hennessey, Shannon Togawa Mercer, and Benjamin Wittes analyzed the latest revelations about the investigations into Paul Manafort and the Trump campaign.

 

Email the Roundup Team noteworthy law and security-related articles to include, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook for additional commentary on these issues. Sign up to receive Lawfare in your inbox. Visit our Events Calendar to learn about upcoming national security events, and check out relevant job openings on our Job Board.

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FBI Severely Underreported How Many Times It Authorized Informants to Break the Law

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Kinja is in read-only mode. We are working to restore service.

Signed in as mikenova

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FBI Severely Underreported How Many Times It Authorized Informants to Break the Law – Gizmodo

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Gizmodo
FBI Severely Underreported How Many Times It Authorized Informants to Break the Law
Gizmodo
This year, the FBI appears to for the first time have overlooked a reporting obligation established by the US Attorney General’s office, and in doing so, the bureau appears to have greatly lowballed the total number of times it authorized confidential 

Trump Threatens to ‘Totally Destroy’ North Korea – New York Times

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New York Times
Trump Threatens to ‘Totally Destroy’ North Korea
New York Times
Leaders from around the globe take the lectern at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday. It’s a particularly big moment for President Trump, who addressed the world gathering for the first time. • Mr. Trump threatened to “totally destroy 
Trump joins the UN club he once deridedCNN
Trump warns of ‘rogue nation’ threat in speech to UNBBC News
Trump Addresses UN General Assembly For The First TimeNPR
Washington Post –Reuters –CBS News
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Trump Threatens To ‘Totally Destroy’ North Korea In ‘America First’ Speech At United Nations

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Trump also strongly indicated he would not renew the Iranian nuclear deal, in a forceful first speech before the international body.

Five Questions About the Manafort Investigation – The Atlantic

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The Atlantic
Five Questions About the Manafort Investigation
The Atlantic
Mueller’s primary responsibility is to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidentialelection, but he has broad latitude to pursue “any matters” he discovers during the course of his inquiry. Taking over the long-running investigation could 
Exclusive: US government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairmanCNN
Government wiretapped Manafort during and after 2016: reportThe Hill
Trump campaign adviser was wiretapped under secret court orders: CNNCNBC
U.S. News & World Report –BBC News –Newsweek
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Senate Intelligence Committee interview with Trump lawyer abruptly canceled – Washington Post

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Washington Examiner
Senate Intelligence Committee interview with Trump lawyer abruptly canceled
Washington Post
The meeting was scheduled as part of the committee’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election. Cohen arrived for the interview with his attorney Tuesday morning, but left the closed door session after about an hour, informing 
The Latest: Trump lawyer says Hill panel delays interviewMiami Herald
Trump lawyer Michael Cohen blasts Russia investigations to Senate Intelligence CommitteeWashington Examiner
Senate Cancels Meeting With Trump Lawyer Michael CohenNBCNews.com
NBC Montana
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8:12 AM 9/19/2017 – Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer and confidant, to appear before Senate investigators 

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Trump – from Huffington Post from mikenova (1 sites) Donald Trump: Noah Syndergaard Just Sent A Trump-Bashing Tweet About Hurricanes “Stick to baseball,” one commenter sniped.Donald Trump Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts Trump Investigations Report from mikenova (2 sites) Trump Investigations Report: Raids, warrants, and wiretaps: The Trump-Russia probe has reached a critical stage Business Insider … Continue reading “8:12 AM 9/19/2017 – Michael Cohen, Trump’s lawyer and confidant, to appear before Senate investigators”

Donald Trump – Google News: The Madness of Donald Trump – RollingStone.com

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RollingStone.com
The Madness of Donald Trump
RollingStone.com
It’s Donald Trump’s true coming-out party as an insane person. It looks like the same old Trump up there on the stage: same boxy blue suit, same obligatory flag pin and tangerine combover, same too-long reddish power tie swinging below his belt line 

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 Donald Trump – Google News

9:09 AM 9/19/2017 – ‘Mother’ Merkel knows how to deal with Russian hacking, win elections… 

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TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION – Google Search Tuesday September 19th, 2017 at 9:15 AM 1 Share Trump News Review Trump was a subdued figure at the first day of the General Assembly, pledging to cooperate with world leaders to restructure the U.N. and refraining from aggressive anti-U.N. rhetoric deployed throughout the 2016 presidential campaign, however a different and hardline side … Continue reading “9:09 AM 9/19/2017 – ‘Mother’ Merkel knows how to deal with Russian hacking, win elections… “
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Deutsche Bank warning: There will be MORE Trumps and Le Pens – Europe must prepare – Express.co.uk

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Express.co.uk
Deutsche Bank warning: There will be MORE Trumps and Le Pens – Europe must prepare
Express.co.uk
The election of US President Mr Trump over Hillary Clinton stunned the establishment, pollsters, and the electorate in America as he was not expected to win. But by using a populist narrative of “America First” and taking a tough stance on immigration 

Trump Lawyer Insists In Senate Testimony He Never Colluded With Russia

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Michael Cohen, the president’s personal attorney, is set to testify before the Intelligence Committee in its Russia investigation.

Is Donald Trump actually crazy? 27 mental-health experts offer up their conclusions (Commentary) – OregonLive.com

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OregonLive.com
Is Donald Trump actually crazy? 27 mental-health experts offer up their conclusions (Commentary)
OregonLive.com
Diagnosing President Donald Trump’s mental health has become a favorite pastime among his political opponents. “Does the … Jeb Bush during the 2016 GOP presidential primaries: “I’m not a psychiatrist or a psychologist, but the guy needs therapy.”.

Trump’s Lawyer Says Rumors About Russia Undercut the President – New York Times

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New York Times
Trump’s Lawyer Says Rumors About Russia Undercut the President
New York Times
Their rush to presume guilt, Mr. Cohen said, had overtaken the facts, smeared supporters of the president — like him — and diverted attention from a pressing national security threat: Russia’smeddling in the United States‘ elections. “There are some 
Trump Confidante Rejects Any Collusion In Russia Election InterferenceNPR
In Senate testimony, Trump lawyer to deny colluding with RussiaCNN
Trump Lawyer Cohen to Senate: ‘Lies’ About Russia Hurt His ReputationNBCNews.com
U.S. News & World Report
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Donald Trump gives first speech to UN general assembly – live – The Guardian

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The Guardian
Donald Trump gives first speech to UN general assembly – live
The Guardian
Temer speaks about international terrorism and organized crime. He speaks about the need for countries to commit to human rights. “We reject racism,” Temer says. “We reject xenophobia in all its forms”. He expresses concern about the crisis in 

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Kurdish Independence Referendum – Google Search

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Kurdish Independence Referendum – Google Search

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Story image for Kurdish Independence Referendum from The Jerusalem Post

Why the US chose to oppose the Kurdish independence referendum

The Jerusalem Post11 hours ago
KURDISH PEOPLE attend a rally to show their support for the upcoming September 25th independence referendum in Duhuk, Iraq.. (photo …
Regional implications of the Kurdish independence vote
Opinion<a href=”http://Aljazeera.com” rel=”nofollow”>Aljazeera.com</a>1 hour ago
Kurds defiant as Iraq says no to independence vote
In-DepthThe Australian23 minutes ago

Kurdish Independence Referendum Draws Criticism and Threats, Saudi Arabia’s “Authoritarian Upgrading” Strategy, and the Gulf’s New Outreach to Israel 

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Iraq Braces for Kurdish Independence Referendum

As world leaders gather in New York this week, Iraqi President Fuad Masum, who had been scheduled to address the U.N. General Assembly, will be conspicuously absent. He decided at the last minute to cancel his trip as Iraq prepares for a Kurdish referendum on independence. The vote is scheduled for September 25 and is approaching fast, despite months of efforts by Iraqi and international diplomats to convince Kurdish President Masoud Barzani to delay the referendum.

Attempts to reach a compromise have failed so far, and Baghdad has started taking legal and political action. The Iraqi parliament passed a resolution last week rejecting the referendum and authorizing Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to “take all measures” to preserve the unity of the country. The parliament also voted to remove Najmaddin Kareem, the governor of Kirkuk, a contested oil-rich province, from office in response to his support for the referendum; Kareem told Reuters he will not abide by the parliamentary order. The Iraqi Supreme Court intervened as well, ordering the vote be postponed while its constitutionality is reviewed. If it proceeds, Arab officials in Kirkuk say they will request federal protection—which could mean a military occupation of the contested city.

Barzani and the Kurdish leadership are taking on a large risk for a mostly symbolic gesture, but they may be in too deep to back out now.

The United States has repeatedly warned Kurdish officials not to go through with the planned referendum and tried to broker some face-saving measures to facilitate a delay. “The United States does not support the Kurdistan Regional Government’s intention to hold a referendum later this month,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters last week. “The United States has repeatedly emphasized to the leaders of the Kurdistan Regional Government that the referendum is distracting from efforts to defeat [the Islamic State] and stabilize the liberated areas.” The U.S. Congress, which includes many outspoken supporters of Kurdish interests, has been quiet on the issue; a Kurdish diplomat told Politico that State and Defense Department officials have been advising members of Congress not to weigh in. Iraqi Kurdistan’s neighbors in Turkey and Iran have also been urging Barzani to call the referendum off, and factions within Iraq, including Iranian-backed militias, are issuing saber-rattling threats of reprisals if the vote is held. A spokesman for one Shia militia left Al-Monitor with the impression that Tehran has “given the unit the green light to attack Kirkuk if it decides to secede from Iraq.” The violence may have already started—on Monday, two men were killed in a shootout outside a Turkmen party office in Kirkuk, which the Washington Post reports may have been tied to the referendum.

As the vote has drawn near, Kurdish officials have increasingly tried to downplay its significance. “We are pledging dialogue and a peaceful solution,” one told the Post. As noted in a previous Ticker, the vote is subject to some ambiguities under Kurdish law and is designed to be a signal of intent, rather than a decisive rupture. Barzani and the Kurdish leadership are taking on a large risk for a mostly symbolic gesture, but they may be in too deep to back out now.

 

This Is What Authoritarian Upgrading Looks Like

Saudi Arabia’s economic reform project, Saudi Vision 2030, is reaching a critical juncture. Previous Saudi attempts to buck the country’s dependency on oil have faltered at early signs of economic trouble or the first hint of rebounding petrol prices. Now foreign lenders are feeling increasingly anxious about the Kingdom and two major European banks are looking to sell off their branches there, Bloomberg reports. That’s not a vote of confidence in the long-term promise of the reform plan.

Saudi Vision 2030 is hitting delays—the much-touted IPO for state oil giant Saudi Aramco will now likely be pushed until 2019, a separate Bloomberg article reported last week. That’s “a reflection of the deep discomfort with the need to expose the state to the scrutiny of open markets,” Karen Young, of the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington, wrote recently for the Institute’s Market Watch blog. She also notes spending that has dried up a third of Saudi Arabia’s total reserve assets since 2014. This could force spending cuts in the next three years. “[T]here will be moments of reckoning, especially in debt management,” she warns.

With the economic challenges will come political challenges as well. Economic reforms also invite political turmoil. Saudi Arabia has tried to preempt and manage some shocks with a few reforms—municipal elections and women’s suffrage, for instance—but it is also cracking down hard. While the new crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has been a worldwide charm offensive promoting a more cosmopolitan vision for the future of the Kingdom, authorities have been arresting dozens of political dissenters for such mild offenses as being reluctant to support Riyadh’s flailing feud with Qatar. More than 30 people have been arrested so far, including several prominent clerics. “In the starkest terms, Saudi Arabia is trying to moderate the extreme viewpoints of both liberal reformers and conservative clerics. And the arrests span that spectrum,” Saudi political analyst Jamal Kashoggi writes; his column in Al-Hayat was recently canceled due to government pressure, so his assessment appeared in the Washington Post.

The Saudi government’s reform plans may be dramatic, but even if they go through—a big if—the goal is to reinforce the central authority of the monarchy.

A decade ago, Steven Heydemann identified this mix of economic reform, palliative political changes, and ruthless crackdowns as a strategy for regime maintenance. “Authoritarian upgrading consists … not in shutting down and closing off Arab societies from globalization and other forces of political, economic, and social change. Nor is it based simply on the willingness of Arab governments to repress their opponents,” he wrote in a 2007 Brookings report. “Instead, authoritarian upgrading involves reconfiguring authoritarian governance to accommodate and manage changing political, economic, and social conditions.” The Saudi government’s reform plans may be dramatic, but even if they go through—a big if—the goal is to reinforce the central authority of the monarchy. The recent arrests and suppression of dissent underscore that subtext of Saudi Vision 2030.

 

Are the Gulf States Sending Up a Trial Balloon with Israel?

The Gulf states have been quietly shifting their position on Israel for years now. They’ve found common cause in their opposition to Iran’s regional policy and, more recently, Qatar’s media empire. That quiet relationship may be coming into open view. It was made public last week that King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa of Bahrain will allow Bahraini citizens to visit Israel and that he opposes boycotts of the Israeli state; his comments were released at an event hosted by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, at which the king was represented by his son, Shaikh Nasser bin Hamad al Khalifa. The announcement follows recent rumors that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman paid a secret visit to Tel Aviv to discuss “regional peace.” There’s no clear indication that this prefigures an public diplomatic opening, but experts like Dennis Ross have speculated that the Trump administration may be trying to nudge the Arab states into the peace process to try to break the diplomatic deadlock.

Palestinian politics are currently subsumed in their own internal conflicts.

President Donald Trump is expected to discuss the peace process in separate meetings with President Benjamin Netanyahu and President Mahmoud Abbas at the U.N. General Assembly in New York this week, but there’s no sign of a shakeup. Palestinian politics are currently subsumed in their own internal conflicts. This past weekend, Hamas announced that it would dissolve its administrative committee in Gaza in an effort to convince Abbas to ease sanctions against the Strip. As Grant Rumley, research fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and coauthor of a new biography of Abbas, wrote for The Atlantic, this is likely to fare as well as other reconciliation attempts between the Palestinian factions. “The reality is that Hamas is unlikely to ever truly give up its military control over Gaza,” he writes. “The faction wants Abbas to pay for the costs of governing. Abbas wants total acquiescence and disarmament. Ultimately, there’s no middle ground here.”

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SYRIA – Google Search

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US military closes outpost in southeastern Syria, ceding territory to …

Washington Post3 hours ago
The U.S. military acknowledged Tuesday it has closed an outpost in southern Syria in recent days amid reports that American forces and their …
Key American base in southern Syria destroyed by retreating US …
Highly CitedAMN Al-Masdar News (registration)6 hours ago

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US and allies won’t rebuild Syria without political process

Washington Post11 hours ago
NEW YORK — The Islamic State is rapidly losing control of territory in Syria, but donor countries will not reconstruct the war’s damage until a …

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION – Google Search

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TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION and germany – Google Search

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Story image for TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION and germany from Newsweek

Trump ‘Pee Tape’ Dossier Researcher Tells Investigators He ‘Stands …

NewsweekAug 23, 2017
U.S. Donald Trump Russia Dossier … Putin during the their bilateral meeting at the G-20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7. … Fusion GPS has alleged that the investigation is an attempt to discredit the research. “This investigation into Mr. Simpson began as a desperate attempt by the Trump campaign …
Story image for TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION and germany from Mic

3 key takeaways from the newly released Trump-Russia emails

MicAug 28, 2017
3 key takeaways from the newly released Trump-Russia emails … the fervor around the investigationinto the Trump campaign’s potential Russian ties. … Putin at the opening of the G20 summit on July 7 in Hamburg, Germany.
Story image for TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION and germany from MassLive.com

Tale of Trump-Russia links may soon be back – big league (Editorial)

<a href=”http://MassLive.com” rel=”nofollow”>MassLive.com</a>Aug 30, 2017
Tale of Trump-Russia links may soon be back – big league (Editorial) … In populist tones, President Donald Trump is trying to turn the investigation into his … One on his way back from the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.
Story image for TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION and germany from The Guardian

Deutsche Bank expects subpoenas over Trump-Russia investigation

The GuardianJul 19, 2017
Deutsche’s relationship with Trump and questions about hundreds of millions in loans have dogged the German bank and the White House for …
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TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION – Google Search

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Story image for TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION from Mother Jones

The New York Times and CNN Just Published Bombshells About …

Mother Jones13 hours ago
… Just Published Bombshells About the Trump-Russia Investigation … that indicate that the investigation into Donald Trump’s former campaign …
Who is Paul Manafort again? And how does he fit in FBI’s Russia …
OpinionThe San Diego Union-Tribune11 hours ago
Trump-Russia probe said to be closing in on Manafort
In-DepthFinancial Times6 hours ago
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What Britain needs to understand about the profound and ancient divisions in Germany – New Statesman

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What Britain needs to understand about the profound and ancient divisions in Germany
New Statesman
Half of East Elbia was ruthlessly stripped of Germans and handed over to Poles or Russians; the rump became the German Democratic Republic (GDR), a mere satrap of the Red Army. So while …. Donald Trump is the president of the United States. His 

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Trump-Russia probe said to be closing in on Manafort – Financial Times

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Financial Times
Trump-Russia probe said to be closing in on Manafort
Financial Times
“They must have felt like there was a danger of evidence being destroyed,” said the FBI agent. “It’s usually done in drug cases where it might be flushed, not in white-collar cases.” … The FBI is also probing Michael Flynn, the retired general who 

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Rubin: ‘Mother’ Merkel knows how to deal with Russian hacking, win elections – News Chief

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Rubin: ‘Mother’ Merkel knows how to deal with Russian hacking, win elections
News Chief
As Americans absorb the latest details of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. elections — via hundreds of fake Facebook accounts — Germans have been expecting similar interference in their Sept. 24 federal election. But the fact that no Russian hack 

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Manafort Wiretapped by Feds, Told to Expect Indictment: Reports – New York Magazine

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New York Magazine
Manafort Wiretapped by Feds, Told to Expect Indictment: Reports
New York Magazine
The wiretap of Manafort had to be approved by the court established under the ForeignIntelligence Surveillance Act, meaning federal judges found that there was probable cause to believe Manafort was an agent of a foreign power. Sources say … That 
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation sets a tough tonePittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Latest Scoops from CNN and the New York Times: A Quick and Dirty AnalysisLawfare (blog)
Exclusive: US government wiretapped former Trump campaign chairmanCNN
New York Times –New York Times
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James Comey Tried to Discredit Trump’s Wiretapping Assertions That Proved True – Breitbart News

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Breitbart News
James Comey Tried to Discredit Trump’s Wiretapping Assertions That Proved True
Breitbart News
Later that month, then-FBI Director James Comey disputed Trump’s claims to the House intelligence committee. “With respect to the president’s tweets about alleged wiretapping directed at him by the prior administration, I have no information that 
With a Picked Lock and a Threatened Indictment, Mueller’s Inquiry Sets a ToneNew York Times
The Latest Scoops from CNN and the New York Times: A Quick and Dirty AnalysisLawfare (blog)
Investigators wiretapped Manafort’s phones, may have picked up conversations with President TrumpHot Air
Washington Free Beacon
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Trump Lawyer Cohen To Answer Senate Questions About Russia – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com
Trump Lawyer Cohen To Answer Senate Questions About Russia
NBCNews.com
WASHINGTON — Senate investigators probing Russian attempts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election will zero in on reported links between Moscow and President Trump’sbusinesses when longtime Trump associate Michael Cohen answers …
Trump’s ‘pit bull’ to testify on RussiaThe Hill
Trump lawyer to meet with Senate Intelligence Committee Tuesday in Russia probeThe Denver Post
Donald Trump’s personal lawyer will testify over Russian election meddlingNEWS.com.au
U.S. News & World Report
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Trump behaves like the buffoon his detractors always said he was – Stuff.co.nz

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Stuff.co.nz
Trump behaves like the buffoon his detractors always said he was
Stuff.co.nz
Hillary Clinton is hardly an impartial judge, but I believe she was on the mark when she recently described Trump as “immature, with poor impulse control”. She went on to say that … Politicsworks through consensus and collaboration. Trump shows no 

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Weiner Asks for Leniency, Claims His Underage Sexting is a ‘Deep Sickness’ – The Jewish Voice

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The Jewish Voice
Weiner Asks for Leniency, Claims His Underage Sexting is a ‘Deep Sickness’
The Jewish Voice
In a new court filing, the disgraced former Representative Anthony Weiner said that his sexting with an underage girl was not an “abnormal sexual interest in teenagers,” but rather the result of a “deep sickness.” On Wednesday, September 13, in a 

The dangerous case of Donald Trump: Robert Jay Lifton and Bill Moyers on “A Duty to Warn” – Salon

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Salon
The dangerous case of Donald Trump: Robert Jay Lifton and Bill Moyers on “A Duty to Warn”
Salon
There will not be a book published this fall more urgent, important, or controversial than The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump, the work of 27 psychiatrists, psychologists and mental health experts to assess President Trump’s mental health. They had 

World Leaders Anxious To Hear Donald Trump As UN Assembly Kicks Off – NDTV

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NDTV
World Leaders Anxious To Hear Donald Trump As UN Assembly Kicks Off
NDTV
United Nations: World leaders open their annual debate at the United Nations Today, eager to hear US President Donald Trump deliver his maiden address amid global anxiety over North Korea and Iran. Mr Trump takes the podium at the General Assembly …
Trump treks to the United Nations to meet world leaders anxious about what he’ll sayUSA TODAY
At UN, Trump to lay out vision of US role in the world, focusing on ‘outcomes, not ideology’Chicago Tribune

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Donald Trump set to push nationalist agenda at UN – Financial Times – Financial Times

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Financial Times
Donald Trump set to push nationalist agenda at UN – Financial Times
Financial Times
Donald Trump’s debut address to the UN general assembly on Tuesday morning is expected to set out a nationalistic foreign policy based on “sovereignty” and …

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Raids, warrants, and wiretaps: The Trump-Russia probe ‘has reached a critical stage’

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Paul ManafortPaul Manafort Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Recent revelations about special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s election interference and potential collusion with President Donald Trump’s campaign team indicate that the investigation has reached the point where Mueller may soon start announcing criminal charges.

The Wall Street Journal and CNN reported on Friday that Mueller had obtained a search warrant for records of the “inauthentic” accounts Facebook shut down earlier this month and the targeted ads these accounts purchased during the 2016 election.

Legal experts said the warrant meant Mueller had been able to convince a federal judge that there was good reason to believe a foreign entity had committed a crime by making campaign contributions in the form of ads and the spread of fake news, and that evidence of that crime would be found on Facebook.

Three days later, the New York Times reported that Mueller told Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort he was going to be formally charged with a crime following a raid on his Virginia home over the summer.

Mueller has also issued subpoenas to Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni and former attorney Melissa Laurenza to testify before a federal grand jury.

The developments indicate that Mueller’s probe “is nearing the litigation stage,” said Brookings Institution fellows and legal experts Benjamin Wittes and Susan Hennessey.

“Combined with a flurry of stories about subpoenas, grand-jury appearances and other activity, it’s reasonable to expect that Mueller is moving forward on a number of different fronts and is getting close to entering a litigation phase,” wrote Wittes and Hennessey, a former attorney for the National Security Agency.

“The key question is what he will allege, to what extent it will deal with campaign activity, and against whom he will allege it,” they added.

Trump PutinRussian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump AP

CNN reported on Monday that the FBI obtained a warrant from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court last year to surveil Manafort, which typically requires “some indication of criminal conduct,” Wittes and Hennessey said, rather than merely “a showing of probable cause that a crime has or will be committed.”

Manafort was previously surveilled under a separate FISA authorization that began in 2014 as the FBI scrutinized his lobbying work on behalf of the pro-Russia Party of Regions in Ukraine and his business dealings with Russian entities.

That surveillance ended due to a lack of evidence, according to CNN, but was later restarted under the new warrant that extended into 2017. Information obtained from the newly discovered FISA warrant was shared with Mueller’s team.

An early foreign policy adviser to Trump’s campaign, Carter Page, was also placed under FBI surveillance following a trip he took to Moscow last July.

It is still unclear whether Manafort has already been indicted, and if so, on what charges. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was recently recruited by Mueller to help investigate Manafort for possible financial crimes and money laundering. The IRS’s criminal-investigations unit has been brought onto the investigation to examine similar issues.

Manafort’s spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

It is difficult to predict whether Mueller will charge specific foreign entities with a crime for what could be perceived as illicit campaign contributions — there is little if any precedent for an election interference as brazen and multifaceted as Russia’s.

Taken together, though, wrote Wittes and Hennessey, the developments signal that “Mueller’s investigation has reached a critical stage — the point at which he may soon start making allegations in public.”

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