Russians, Trump & the U.S. Election

Discussion in 'Politics and the Topics of the day' started by MASTERBAKER, Jul 27, 2016.


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    Every American needs to know this

    First, this is not a Democrat versus Republican issue. Trump has revealed the swamp. It's the Congressional representation we both have. It's been years that politician have become millionaires on the misery of taxpayers. Trump, restarted the North Dakota pipeline project. He's invested millions in it. The E.P.A. is being broken down. Land and water safeguards are being rewritten. Indian lands are being referred to as Federal Government lands.Fossil fuels are still being offered. The world is moving on to solar energy,and windmills powered electricity. Water powered car engines are in use. Clean air, food stuff free of pesticides, etc. are more common. Yet, this Congress, would have us believe that smog and carbon dioxide,along with lead,etc. in our drinking water will have no effect on our health. We the taxpayers deserve better. Politicians are suppose to protect us. Not make themselves rich at our ecpense. See the truth. Trump and the majority of congressional politicians have their fortunes riding on these so called executive orders. Follow the money trail. Or better yet,ask Sheldon Silvers, or the Senate House Speaker that was forced to resign because of his pedophilia; plus the State Senator that was also forced to resign for accepting bribes. Whose son went to jail.Remember it's not Republicans,versus Democrats. It's corruption vs the taxpayers. Flint Michigan still has no clean water. Tornadoes hit Pennsylvania and Louisiana. You think insurance companies are paying out acts of God!!!!

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator


    Joe Pound Little weasel cracker will try to dance out of this one, but I have a feeling his dance card will be punched by a Special Prosecutor before too long. The wheels are turning and the NY Times and Washington Post are in a race to see who can bring down this Administration first. Competetion is a good thing.
    Like · Reply · 143 · Yesterday at 10:05am
    5 Replies · 3 hrs
    Daniel L. Miller
    Here is my theory. Last year Russia created a list of conservative politicians with whom they had acquired blackmail materials on. They then met with these people during the campaign, knowing they could hack the 2016 election in their favor, and inform...See More
    · Reply · 99 · Yesterday at 10:09am
    17 Replies · 3 hrs
    James Grill
    The press kept after Nixon (another lying moron) until he fessed up and resigned... How long will it take to get Dodo? I'd bet within 2 years!
    Like · Reply · 57 · Yesterday at 10:05am
    11 Replies
    Patrick Hauser
    When the hell are Trump's voters going to dump their pride and concede to these facts?

    This is absolutely ridiculous and if you can't admit that, there's something wrong with you.
    Like · Reply · 51 · Yesterday at 10:19am
    8 Replies · 56 mins
    Suzanne Martin Bircher
    we now have 8 confirmed on the list of Trump's inner circle with ties to Russia.... Stone, Cohen, Manafort, Page, Tillerson, Ross, Flynn, and Sessions... and of course Trump and Bannon. This should terrify Americans, but Trump's daily scandals keep everyone's heads spinning.

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator


    Why Dems will regret a probe into Russian election hacking
    ByJohn Crudele

    March 6, 2017|10:34pm|Updated

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    The investigation of Russian interference in the US election could turn into a big headache for the Democrats. The phrase “Be careful what you ask for” comes to mind.

    For months before the presidential election, I explained why the Democrats were making a big mistake by picking Hillary Clinton as their candidate. And I correctly predicted that she would lose.

    The Democrats didn’t listen, and now their party is in shambles. They aren’t going to listen to me now either about the unintended consequences of an investigation of the Russians, but I’m going to explain anyway.

    One of the reasons I predicted Hillary would lose was that theRussians had hacked her emails— along with those of some other Democratic Party higher-ups.

    A very reliable source told me that the Russians did it, through a proxy and — this is the important part — that the National Security Agency had hacked the Russians while the Russians were hacking Hillary.

    So everything the Russians have, the NSA also has. And, as I said back then, the NSA offered those hacked emails — including Hillary’s — to the FBI, which declined the offer.

    Everyone now agrees with me that the Russians did indeed hack Hillary. In fact, Clinton herself treated this as a fait accompli — something that had actually happened — when she started to address what was in those emails. She said the 30,000 or so messages were mostly discussions about yoga and daughter Chelsea’s wedding.

    That, of course, is absurd.

    Only Hillary really knows what’s in those 30,000 emails because they never came out, although they were supposed to.

    WikiLeaks, which dumped hundreds of thousands of Democratic emails onto its site, never had one email that came from Hillary or was sent to her.

    WikiLeaks had promised what it called the fourth phase of email dumps the week before the election, but that’s the only promise it didn’t keep. So what happened? My guess is that President Obama’s stern warning to Vladimir Putin caused the Russian president to stop the promised leak of Hillary’s personal emails.

    Any investigation of the Russian hacking is liable to result in Hillary’s emails being read, and perhaps released.

    The other possibility is even more likely. Putin could get annoyed by the firestorm over his interference in the US election and decide to have the surrogate he had do the hacking release Hillary’s emails.

    Imagine how quickly attention will shift if we suddenly have Hillary ’s emails about Obama, Bill Clinton, donations to the Clinton Foundation and many other topics.

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    These are the people who don't want an investigation into Donald Trump and the United States of Russia! Phone numbers also![​IMG]

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    Truth makes a difference!!!!! Decades of warning against Communism is suddenly negated and and approved by a ,draft dodger, indicted child molester, liar,con man,etc. We the people, who have declared a more perfect union, suddenly find ourselves with a country being run by Scalawags ,and Carpet baggers again!!!! This is terrifying news!!!
    kirkout likes this.

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    Trump Supporters Explain Why This Whole Russia Thing Doesn't Bother Them
    Eve Peyser

    Mar 10 2017, 3:15pm
    They blame a biased media for spreading a fake scandal and don't think the Russians have much reason to want Donald Trump in the White House.
    The accusations about the Trump team's ties to Russia are simultaneously alarming, confusing, unsubstantiated, and ever expanding. It feels like every damn day a new story about Donald Trump's connections to the Putin regime emerges. It's still unclear whether Jeff Sessions knowingly lied about his communications with the Russian ambassador during his confirmation hearings. We still don't know how significant Trump's meeting with the Russian ambassador was during the campaign, or what erstwhile Trump advisor Carter Page's role was in all this. Most of all, we don't know why Trump's people keep denying that they've had meetings with representatives of the Russian government—even when there are perfectly reasonable reasons for them to have those meetings.


    We do know that in December the FBI and CIA agreed that Russia was trying to influence the election in favor of Trump. We know it took months for Trump to just concede that the Russians were responsible for the email hacks that targeted Democrats. (Trump eventually admitted Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee's emails.) We also know that Trump has been unusually pro-Putin and pro-Russia for a prominent US politician since the beginning of his campaign. For months, the media, liberals, and anti-Trump conservatives have made a lot of noise about what the president is hiding and why.

    Trump's supporters, however, have looked at the same stories everyone else has and come to very different conclusions. Curious to see what the MAGA crowd thought of the sprawling Russia scandal, I asked six Trump supporters to explain to me why they weren't too concerned.

    Since the evidence linking Trump and his team to Russia is unverified, many see the accusations as part of a larger "fake news" problem, an attack by the biased media to undermine the president. Even the notion that Russia interfered with the election didn't hold water for Trump fans I spoke to. "If you've ever visited grassroots America you'd know he'd never need to cheat," Spencer Raitt-Forest, a New York City–based Trump supporter, told me. He believes "the media" is pushing the narrative of Trump's connection with Russia because they don't "like to be wrong."
    A Timeline of Trump's Long History with Russia
    Harry Cheadle

    Feb 16 2017, 3:32pm
    Let's sort out some simple, widely reported truths from eyelid-twitch-inducing "just asking questions" Medium posts.
    Someday we will have all of this Russia stuff sorted out. There will come a time when documents will be unclassified, officials will spill the beans, and things that once were powerful secrets are just history. Truth has a way of worming its way out horribly into the light, inch by inch. But for now, it feels as if we know nothing, and learn less every day. Michael Flynn, Donald Trump's former national security advisor, has resigned, apparently because he talked to a Russian ambassador about sanctions then misled the rest of the administration about it. Members of Trump's presidential campaign reportedly had contact with Russian intelligence officials, a notion that's especially distressing because Russian hackers are widely assumed to have hacked and then leaked damaging emails written by Democrats, helping tip a close election to Trump.
    "What happened to innocent until proven guilty?" Raitt-Forest mused. "With the media, it seems like Trump is guilty until proven innocent."

    A Mississippi Republican—who voted for Trump for the sake of getting another "conservative Supreme Court justice" and asked to remain anonymous because her job doesn't permit her to publicly express her political beliefs—explained that she believes the president's ties to Russia became a major issue because the media is lazy. "It is not my place to look into the motives or heart of others," she said, but added, "Media jobs are hard to come by. News outlets have cut staff and increased output expectations."

    She also believes the stories about Trump's links to Russia would have more credibility had they also looked into "Clinton's issues, such as the pay to play as secretary of state or the sale of US uranium to Russia."

    Conservative talking head and Twitter celebrity Bill Mitchell echoed a similar sentiment, mentioning the same uranium deal. "People involved in that deal, people benefiting from that deal donated $140 million to the Clinton Foundation," he told me over the phone. "It looks like pay for play took place here. That's why I'm surprised the Democrats even brought this Russia thing because they are so deeply implicated in doing some corruption with Russia themselves."

    (The story of Clinton's approving a shady uranium deal, widely circulated on conservative media, was dismissed by fact-checkers like Snopes that noted the former secretary of state played a minor role at best in allowing a Russian state-owned company to take 51 percent ownership of a company called Uranium One in 2010. )

    More broadly, Trump supporters reject the notion that their man would ever collude with the Russian government. "The Russians had no real reason to want Trump and Republicans in power," Michael Warner, a Trump-supporting college student from Indiana, told me.

    Almost every Trump supporter I spoke to asked this question—how would a Trump presidency benefit Russia? As Mitchell told me, "Russia doesn't want Trump to be president. Trump has just announced he's going to increase military spending by $54 billion. He is going to dramatically increase our readiness, dramatically strengthen us, strengthen our navy, strengthen our air force, save money. Why does Russia benefit from a stronger American military? They don't."

    Still, not every Trump supporter I spoke to dismissed the Russia thing. A 30-year-old Alabama college professor—who asked to remain anonymous for professional reasons and voted for Jeb Bush in the primaries but Trump in the general—told me, "The administration needs to take the questions of the Russian connections more seriously than they are."

    "They have a responsibility to the country, Republican and Democrat, to explain and to alleviate those fears, or if there are deeper more problematic connections, they need to have a transparent investigation and take care of whatever the issues are," he explained. However, he doesn't think Sessions intentionally misled Congress during his confirmation hearing, and he finds the nature of the allegations questionable. He said he had a hard time believing how genuine the Democrats' concern is regarding the claims. Referencing an Obama quote from the 2012 election, the professor told me, "The 1980s called. They want their foreign policy back." In other words, cut the Cold War scare tactics.

    As for the liberal fantasy that has Trump being impeached for some as-of-yet-undefined transgression, Michael Warner figured it wouldn't matter too much: "The thing they don't understand is if it is found true, we still win. Pence will be the president of the United States, and I don't think there's any reasonable Republican who will be upset about it."

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    SEE IT: Vladimir Putin denies Russian election hack by incorrectly quoting the wrong American President
    Updated: Thursday, March 30, 2017, 9:05 AM
    Vladimir Putin at the International Arctic Forum in Arkhangelsk, Russia on Thursday.
    Russia meddling in French election: Senate Intelligence chairman

    Moderator Geoff Cutmore, from CNBC, asked Putin if he or the Russian government tampered with the 2016 election — as has been alleged in numerous U.S. intelligence reports — and if any evidence of that will emerge.

    Putin tried — and failed — to show some American history in his denial.

    [​IMG]Steve Kopack@SteveKopack
    Did Russia ever try to interfere in the US election? Will evidence be found?

    Putin: "Watch my lips -- NO"

    7:57 AM - 30 Mar 2017
    “Ronald Reagan once, debating about taxes and addressing Americans, said, ‘Watch my lips: No,’” Putin replied.

    “He said, 'Watch my lips: No,'” he repeated to audience applause.

    Comey wanted to go public with Russia info last summer: report

    Close, but: No.

    Neither President Ronald Reagan, nor any other American President, ever said that quote.

    But George H.W. Bush, Reagan’s vice president and successor, famously promised during the 1988 Republican National Convention: “Read my lips: No new taxes.”

    President George H.W. Bush famously said, "Read my lips: No new taxes." He then raised taxes, and lost his job.
    For whatever it’s worth — Bush ended up breaking that promise in office, and that played a major role in his re-election defeat four years later.

    Russian billionaire open to telling Congress about Manafort link

    In the panel, Putin also called American rhetoric about the alleged Russian interference “lies.”

    He and other Kremlin officials have repeatedly denied involvement in the hacking of emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, which leaked online in the final stretch of the campaign.

    Putin’s latest denial came the same day that a major claim from an infamous dossier — which alleges that Putin colluded with Donald Trump on his presidential bid — was reportedly verified.

    BBCreported that U.S. officials have validated the dossier’s claim that Mikhail Kalugin, a Russian diplomat working in Washington, D.C., was in fact a Kremlin spy who was pulled out of America over fears that his snooping would be exposed. The dossier misspelled his surname as “Kulagin.”

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

  9. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Spammer's Arrest Eyed For Donald Trump-Russia Ties | Rachel Maddow | MSNBC

  10. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    British intelligence passed Trump associates'
    communications with Russians on to US counterparts

    By Jim Sciutto, Pamela Brown and Eric Bradner, CNN
    Updated April 14, 2017

    Washington (CNN)British and other European intelligence agencies intercepted communications between associates of Donald Trump and Russian officials and other Russian individuals during the campaign and passed on those communications to their US counterparts, US congressional and law enforcement and US and European intelligence sources tell CNN.

    The communications were captured during routine surveillance of Russian officials and other Russians known to western intelligence. British and European intelligence agencies, including GCHQ, the British intelligence agency responsible for communications surveillance, were not proactively targeting members of the Trump team but rather picked up these communications during what's known as "incidental collection," these sources tell CNN.

    The European intelligence agencies detected multiple communications over several months between the Trump associates and Russian individuals -- and passed on that intelligence to the US. The US and Britain are part of the so-called "Five Eyes" agreement (along with Canada, Australia and New Zealand), which calls for open sharing among member nations of a broad range of intelligence.
    The communications are likely to be scrutinized as part of the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into Russia's efforts to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

    "If foreign intelligence agencies share information with US intelligence, and it's relevant to the investigation, then of course the intelligence committee will look at it," a source close to the Senate investigation told CNN.

    The Guardian reported earlier Thursday that British alerted US Intel of such contacts.

    GCHQ's surveillance became politically sensitive when Trump -- citing an uncorroborated Fox News report -- claimed that Britain had tapped his phones in Trump Tower at former President Barack Obama's behest.

    White House press secretary Sean Spicer repeated Trump's claim and cited Fox News' reporting about GCHQ's surveillance to reporters in the briefing room. "Judge Andrew Napolitano made the following statement, quote, 'Three intelligence sources have informed Fox News that President Obama went outside the chain of command (to spy on Trump). He didn't use the NSA, he didn't use the CIA ... he used GCHQ,'" Spicer told journalists.

    Those comments angered British officials. After Spicer's remarks, White House officials told CNN British ambassador to the US Kim Darroch and Sir Mark Lyall Grant, national security adviser to Prime Minister Theresa May, "expressed their concerns to Spicer and Trump national security adviser H.R. McMaster" in two separate conversations.

    The GCHQ also issued a statement saying: "Recent allegations made by media commentator Judge Andrew Napolitano about GCHQ being asked to conduct 'wire tapping' against the then President-elect are nonsense. They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored."
    Last month, Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr, R-North Carolina, said that "based on the information available to us, we see no indications that Trump Tower was the subject of surveillance by any element of the United States government either before or after Election Day 2016."

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    New York Times Just Dropped A Pence-Comey-Russia Coverup Bombshell

    By Robert Haffey

    Published on May 13, 2017

    Much of the discussion around a possible Trump impeachment ends up turning to the question of Vice President Mike Pence, and if he would really be any better than Trump. The presumption here is that Pence is innocent of any wrongdoing or illicit activity that Trump may have committed, and will be safe when the downfall comes. New information is starting to reveal that Pence’s hands may not be as clean as previously believed.

    A newly released New York Times article states that Pence was “part of the small group of advisers who planned Mr. Comey’s ouster [sic] in near secrecy.”

    Its seems the administration is lying so much that they can’t even keep track of what they’ve said. At first, the White House claimed that Comey was fired after Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein wrote a memo to Trump suggesting the termination. Pence embraced the lie wholeheartedly, appearing before the press to feed them the concocted narrative. He threw his full support behind Trump’s story.

    The next day Trump imploded the entire narrative. In an interview with Lester Holt, Trump said that he had already decided to fire Comey before Rosenstein’s memo, instantly exposing his subordinates as liars.

    So Trump ordered his Deputy Attorney General to send him a letter pretending to advocate for Comey’s termination, Pence and others then defended the memo and said that it was the reason Comey was fired, leaving out the fact that Trump requested the memo, then Trump decided to reveal the whole story as a lie.

    At the heart of all of it is Pence, supporting Trump’s mendacious machinations. Clearly, he has no problem lying directly to the American people if it serves his boss’s purposes. From there, it’s not hard to imagine that Pence has been involved in all manner of Trumpian transgressions. He’s a yes man, and he’s just been exposed. This reveal is likely just the first of many shameful Pence revelations.

    When Trump falls, so falls Pence.
    Camille likes this.
  12. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    Russian President Vladimir Putin says a “political schizophrenia is developing in the US,” as he cracked a joke about President Donald J. Trump “secrets” after meeting with a Russian official


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    Silicon Valley Answers to Congress Amid the Russia Probe: The Daily Show

    Congress lays into the heads of major tech companies like Google, Facebook and Twitter to find out how Russia used social media to meddle in the 2016 presidential election.

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    U.S. Senator Al Franken relentlessly hammers Facebook lawyer over Russia ads, “American political ads and Russian money, rubles. How could you not connect those two dots?!”
    QueEx likes this.

    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    This is a must-watch to understand today's political climate

  18. deputy dawg

    deputy dawg Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

    In this NPR "Fresh Air" interview e explains how all the characters in Trumps campaign circle connect to Russian financial/political influx. Mueller's case in a nutshell:

    QueEx likes this.
  19. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    How the Russia Inquiry Began: A Campaign Aide, Drinks and Talk of Political Dirt


    George Papadopoulos was working as an energy consultant in London when the Trump campaign named him a foreign policy adviser in early March 2016.VIA AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE — GETTY IMAGES

    The New York Times
    December 30, 2017

    WASHINGTON — During a night of heavy drinking at an upscale London bar in May 2016, George Papadopoulos, a young foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had political dirt on Hillary Clinton.

    About three weeks earlier, Mr. Papadopoulos had been told that Moscow had thousands of emails that would embarrass Mrs. Clinton, apparently stolen in an effort to try to damage her campaign.

    Exactly how much Mr. Papadopoulos said that night at the Kensington Wine Rooms with the Australian, Alexander Downer, is unclear. But two months later, when leaked Democratic emails began appearing online, Australian officials passed the information about Mr. Papadopoulos to their American counterparts, according to four current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of the Australians’ role.

    The hacking and the revelation that a member of the Trump campaign may have had inside information about it were driving factors that led the F.B.I. to open an investigation in July 2016 into Russia’s attempts to disrupt the election and whether any of President Trump’s associates conspired.

    If Mr. Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. and is now a cooperating witness, was the improbable match that set off a blaze that has consumed the first year of the Trump administration, his saga is also a tale of the Trump campaign in miniature. He was brash, boastful and underqualified, yet he exceeded expectations. And, like the campaign itself, he proved to be a tantalizing target for a Russian influence operation.

    While some of Mr. Trump’s advisers have derided him an insignificant campaign volunteer or a “coffee boy,” interviews and new documents show that he stayed influential throughout the campaign. Two months before the election, for instance, he helped arrange a New York meeting between Mr. Trump and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt.

    The information that Mr. Papadopoulos gave to the Australians answers one of the lingering mysteries of the past year: What so alarmed American officials to provoke the F.B.I. to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign months before the presidential election?

    It was not, as Mr. Trump and other politicians have alleged, a dossier compiled by a former British spy hired by a rival campaign. Instead, it was firsthand information from one of America’s closest intelligence allies.

    Interviews and previously undisclosed documents show that Mr. Papadopoulos played a critical role in this drama and reveal a Russian operation that was more aggressive and widespread than previously known. They add to an emerging portrait, gradually filled in over the past year in revelations by federal investigators, journalists and lawmakers, of Russians with government contacts trying to establish secret channels at various levels of the Trump campaign.

    The F.B.I. investigation, which was taken over seven months ago by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has cast a shadow over Mr. Trump’s first year in office — even as he and his aides repeatedly played down the Russian efforts and falsely denied campaign contacts with Russians.

    They have also insisted that Mr. Papadopoulos was a low-level figure. But spies frequently target peripheral players as a way to gain insight and leverage.

    F.B.I. officials disagreed in 2016 about how aggressively and publicly to pursue the Russia inquiry before the election. But there was little debate about what seemed to be afoot. John O. Brennan, who retired this year after four years as C.I.A. director, told Congress in May that he had been concerned about multiple contacts between Russian officials and Trump advisers.

    Russia, he said, had tried to “suborn” members of the Trump campaign.

    ‘The Signal to Meet’

    Mr. Papadopoulos, then an ambitious 28-year-old from Chicago, was working as an energy consultant in London when the Trump campaign, desperate to create a foreign policy team, named him as an adviser in early March 2016. His political experience was limited to two months on Ben Carson’s presidential campaign before it collapsed.

    Mr. Papadopoulos had no experience on Russia issues. But during his job interview with Sam Clovis, a top early campaign aide, he saw an opening. He was told that improving relations with Russia was one of Mr. Trump’s top foreign policy goals, according to court papers, an account Mr. Clovis has denied.

    Traveling in Italy that March, Mr. Papadopoulos met Joseph Mifsud, a Maltese professor at a now-defunct London academy who had valuable contacts with the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Mr. Mifsud showed little interest in Mr. Papadopoulos at first.

    But when he found out he was a Trump campaign adviser, he latched onto him, according to court records and emails obtained by The New York Times. Their joint goal was to arrange a meeting between Mr. Trump and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia in Moscow, or between their respective aides.

    Sam Clovis, a former co-chairman of Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign, denies that he told Mr. Papadopoulos that improving relations with Russia was one of Mr. Trump’s top foreign policy goals during Mr. Papadopoulos’s interview for a job with the campaign.WIN MCNAMEE/GETTY IMAGES

    In response to questions, Mr. Papadopoulos’s lawyers declined to provide a state ment.

    Before the end of the month, Mr. Mifsud had arranged a meeting at a London cafe between Mr. Papadopoulos and Olga Polonskaya, a young woman from St. Petersburg whom he falsely described as Mr. Putin’s niece. Although Ms. Polonskaya told The Times in a text message that her English skills are poor, her emails to Mr. Papadopoulos were largely fluent. “We are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump,” Ms. Polonskaya wrote in one message.

    More important, Mr. Mifsud connected Mr. Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev, a program director for the prestigious Valdai Discussion Club, a gathering of academics that meets annually with Mr. Putin. The two men corresponded for months about how to connect the Russian government and the campaign. Records suggest that Mr. Timofeev, who has been described by Mr. Mueller’s team as an intermediary for the Russian Foreign Ministry, discussed the matter with the ministry’s former leader, Igor S. Ivanov, who is widely viewed in the United States as one of Russia’s elder statesmen.

    When Mr. Trump’s foreign policy team gathered for the first time at the end of March in Washington, Mr. Papadopoulos said he had the contacts to set up a meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Putin. Mr. Trump listened intently but apparently deferred to Jeff Sessions, then a senator from Alabama and head of the campaign’s foreign policy team, according to participants in the meeting.

    Mr. Sessions, now the attorney general, initially did not reveal that discussion to Congress, because, he has said, he did not recall it. More recently, he said he pushed back against Mr. Papadopoulos’s proposal, at least partly because he did not want someone so unqualified to represent the campaign on such a sensitive matter.

    If the campaign wanted Mr. Papadopoulos to stand down, previously undisclosed emails obtained by The Times show that he either did not get the message or failed to heed it. He continued for months to try to arrange some kind of meeting with Russian representatives, keeping senior campaign advisers abreast of his efforts. Mr. Clovis ultimately encouraged him and another foreign policy adviser to travel to Moscow, but neither went because the campaign would not cover the cost.

    Mr. Papadopoulos was trusted enough to edit the outline of Mr. Trump’s first major foreign policy speech on April 27, an address in which the candidate said it was possible to improve relations with Russia. Mr. Papadopoulos flagged the speech to his newfound Russia contacts, telling Mr. Timofeev that it should be taken as “the signal to meet.”

    “That is a statesman speech,” Mr. Mifsud agreed. Ms. Polonskaya wrote that she was pleased that Mr. Trump’s “position toward Russia is much softer” than that of other candidates.

    Stephen Miller, then a senior policy adviser to the campaign and now a top White House aide, was eager for Mr. Papadopoulos to serve as a surrogate, someone who could publicize Mr. Trump’s foreign policy views without officially speaking for the campaign. But Mr. Papadopoulos’s first public attempt to do so was a disaster.

    In a May 4, 2016, interview with The Times of London, Mr. Papadopoulos called on Prime Minister David Cameron to apologize to Mr. Trump for criticizing his remarks on Muslims as “stupid” and divisive. “Say sorry to Trump or risk special relationship, Cameron told,” the headline read. Mr. Clovis, the national campaign co-chairman, severely reprimanded Mr. Papadopoulos for failing to clear his explosive comments with the campaign in advance.

    From then on, Mr. Papadopoulos was more careful with the press — though he never regained the full trust of Mr. Clovis or several other campaign officials.

    Mr. Mifsud proposed to Mr. Papadopoulos that he, too, serve as a campaign surrogate. He could write op-eds under the guise of a “neutral” observer, he wrote in a previously undisclosed email, and follow Mr. Trump to his rallies as an accredited journalist while receiving briefings from the inside the campaign.

    In late April, at a London hotel, Mr. Mifsud told Mr. Papadopoulos that he had just learned from high-level Russian officials in Moscow that the Russians had “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to court documents. Although Russian hackers had been mining data from the Democratic National Committee’s computers for months, that information was not yet public. Even the committee itself did not know.

    Whether Mr. Papadopoulos shared that information with anyone else in the campaign is one of many unanswered questions. He was mostly in contact with the campaign over emails. The day after Mr. Mifsud’s revelation about the hacked emails, he told Mr. Miller in an email only that he had “interesting messages coming in from Moscow” about a possible trip. The emails obtained by The Times show no evidence that Mr. Papadopoulos discussed the stolen messages with the campaign.

    Not long after, however, he opened up to Mr. Downer, the Australian diplomat, about his contacts with the Russians. It is unclear whether Mr. Downer was fishing for that information that night in May 2016. The meeting at the bar came about because of a series of connections, beginning with an Israeli Embassy official who introduced Mr. Papadopoulos to another Australian diplomat in London.

    It is also not clear why, after getting the information in May, the Australian government waited two months to pass it to the F.B.I. In a statement, the Australian Embassy in Washington declined to provide details about the meeting or confirm that it occurred.

    “As a matter of principle and practice, the Australian government does not comment on matters relevant to active investigations,” the statement said. The F.B.I. declined to comment.

    A House Judiciary Committee session last month at which Attorney General Jeff Sessions testified. Mr. Sessions was head of the Trump campaign’s foreign policy team.AL DRAGO FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

    A Secretive Investigation

    Once the information Mr. Papadopoulos had disclosed to the Australian diplomat reached the F.B.I., the bureau opened an investigation that became one of its most closely guarded secrets. Senior agents did not discuss it at the daily morning briefing, a classified setting where officials normally speak freely about highly sensitive operations.

    Besides the information from the Australians, the investigation was also propelled by intelligence from other friendly governments, including the British and Dutch. A trip to Moscow by another adviser, Carter Page, also raised concerns at the F.B.I.

    With so many strands coming in — about Mr. Papadopoulos, Mr. Page, the hackers and more — F.B.I. agents debated how aggressively to investigate the campaign’s Russia ties, according to current and former officials familiar with the debate. Issuing subpoenas or questioning people, for example, could cause the investigation to burst into public view in the final months of a presidential campaign.

    It could also tip off the Russian government, which might try to cover its tracks. Some officials argued against taking such disruptive steps, especially since the F.B.I. would not be able to unravel the case before the election.

    Others believed that the possibility of a compromised presidential campaign was so serious that it warranted the most thorough, aggressive tactics. Even if the odds against a Trump presidency were long, these agents argued, it was prudent to take every precaution.

    That included questioning Christopher Steele, the former British spy who was compiling the dossier alleging a far-ranging Russian conspiracy to elect Mr. Trump. A team of F.B.I. agents traveled to Europe to interview Mr. Steele in early October 2016. Mr. Steele had shown some of his findings to an F.B.I. agent in Rome three months earlier, but that information was not part of the justification to start an counterintelligence inquiry, American officials said.

    Ultimately, the F.B.I. and Justice Department decided to keep the investigation quiet, a decision that Democrats in particular have criticized. And agents did not interview Mr. Papadopoulos until late January.

    Opening Doors, to the Top

    He was hardly central to the daily running of the Trump campaign, yet Mr. Papadopoulos continuously found ways to make himself useful to senior Trump advisers. In September 2016, with the United Nations General Assembly approaching and stories circulating that Mrs. Clinton was going to meet with Mr. Sisi, the Egyptian president, Mr. Papadopoulos sent a message to Stephen K. Bannon, the campaign’s chief executive, offering to broker a similar meeting for Mr. Trump.

    After days of scheduling discussions, the meeting was set and Mr. Papadopoulos sent a list of talking points to Mr. Bannon, according to people familiar with those interactions. Asked about his contacts with Mr. Papadopoulos, Mr. Bannon declined to comment.

    Mr. Trump’s improbable victory raised Mr. Papadopoulos’s hopes that he might ascend to a top White House job. The election win also prompted a business proposal from Sergei Millian, a naturalized American citizen born in Belarus. After he had contacted Mr. Papadopoulos out of the blue over LinkedIn during the summer of 2016, the two met repeatedly in Manhattan.

    Mr. Millian has bragged of his ties to Mr. Trump — boasts that the president’s advisers have said are overstated. He headed an obscure organization called the Russian-American Chamber of Commerce, some of whose board members and clients are difficult to confirm. Congress is investigating where he fits into the swirl of contacts with the Trump campaign, although he has said he is unfairly being scrutinized only because of his support for Mr. Trump.

    Mr. Millian proposed that he and Mr. Papadopoulos form an energy-related business that would be financed by Russian billionaires “who are not under sanctions” and would “open all doors for us” at “any level all the way to the top.”

    One billionaire, he said, wanted to explore the idea of opening a Trump-branded hotel in Moscow. “I know the president will distance himself from business, but his children might be interested,” he wrote.

    Nothing came of his proposals, partly because Mr. Papadopoulos was hoping that Michael T. Flynn, then Mr. Trump’s pick to be national security adviser, might give him the energy portfolio at the National Security Council.

    The pair exchanged New Year’s greetings in the final hours of 2016. “Happy New Year, sir,” Mr. Papadopoulos wrote.

    “Thank you and same to you, George. Happy New Year!” Mr. Flynn responded, ahead of a year that seemed to hold great promise.

    But 2017 did not unfold that way. Within months, Mr. Flynn was fired, and both men were charged with lying to the F.B.I. And both became important witnesses in the investigation Mr. Papadopoulos had played a critical role in starting.

    Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Matthew Rosenberg contributed reporting.


    George Papadopoulos, First to Plead Guilty in Russia InquiryOCT 30, 2017

    The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.DEC 13, 2016

    Comey Tried to Shield the F.B.I. From Politics. Then He Shaped an Election.APR 22, 2017

    Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian to Discuss
    ‘Dirt’ on ClintonOCT 30, 2017

    Trump Belittles George Papadopoulos as ‘Low Level’ AdviserOCT 31, 2017


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  20. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

  21. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Mike Luckovich, Copyright 2018 Creators Syndicate
  22. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    FEB 8 2018, 3:12 AM ET

    Russians penetrated U.S. voter systems, top U.S. official says

    NBC News

    The U.S. official in charge of protecting American elections from hacking says the Russians successfully penetrated the voter registration rolls of several U.S. states prior to the 2016 presidential election.

    In an exclusive interview with NBC News, Jeanette Manfra, the head of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, said she couldn't talk about classified information publicly, but in 2016, "We saw a targeting of 21 states and an exceptionally small number of them were actually successfully penetrated."

    Jeh Johnson, who was DHS secretary during the Russian intrusions, said, "2016 was a wake-up call and now it's incumbent upon states and the Feds to do something about it before our democracy is attacked again."

    "We were able to determine that the scanning and probing of voter registration databases was coming from the Russian government."

    NBC News reported in Sept. 2016 that more than 20 states had been targeted by the Russians.

    There is no evidence that any of the registration rolls were altered in any fashion, according to U.S. officials.

    In a new NBC News/SurveyMonkey poll, 79 percent of the respondents said they were somewhat or very concerned that the country's voting system might be vulnerable to computer hackers.

    In January 2017, just weeks before leaving his post, Johnson declared the nation's electoral systems part of the nation's federally protected "critical infrastructure," a designation that applies to entities like the power grid that could be attacked. It made protecting the electoral systems an official duty of DHS.

    But Johnson told NBC News he is now worried that since the 2016 election a lot of states have done little to nothing "to actually harden their cybersecurity."

    Manfra said she didn't agree with Johnson's assessment. "I would say they have all taken it seriously."

    NBC News reached out to the 21 states that were targeted. Five states, including Texas and California, said they were never attacked.

    Manfra said she stands by the list, but also called it a "snapshot in time with the visibility that the department had at that time."

    Homeland Security Chief Jeh Johnson Allison Shelley / Getty Images file
    Many of the states complained the federal government did not provide specific threat details, saying that information was classified and state officials did not have proper clearances. Manfra told us those clearances are now being processed

    Other states that NBC contacted said they were still waiting for cybersecurity help from the federal government. Manfra said there was no waiting list and that DHS will get to everyone.

    Some state officials had opposed Johnson's designation of electoral systems as critical infrastructure, viewing it a federal intrusion. Johnson said that any state officials who don't believe the federal government should be providing help are being "naïve" and "irresponsible to the people that [they're] supposed to serve."


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    So Much News, So Little Time - Russia Hacks Voter Rolls & Rob Porter Resigns:


    MASTERBAKER ヽ(͡° ͜ʖ Grown Folks Board/cooking Super Moderator

    ONE DAY after she spent 8-hours talking to Mueller, Trump's longest confidante Hope Hicks resigned... which means Mueller is probably getting close and Trump is terrified - but can he fire him? Watch here!

  25. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    MAR 5 2018

    Special counsel wants documents on Trump, numerous campaign associates


    WASHINGTON — The grand jury investigating alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's presidential campaign has sent a witness a subpoena seeking all documents involving the president and a host of his closest advisers, according to a copy of the subpoena reviewed by NBC News.

    According to the subpoena, which was sent to a witness by special counsel Robert Mueller, investigators want emails, text messages, work papers, telephone logs and other documents going back to Nov. 1, 2015, 4½ months after Trump launched his campaign.

    The witness shared details of the subpoena on condition of anonymity. The news site Axios reported Sunday that a subpoena was sent to a witness last month.

    NBC News reported last week that Mueller's team is asking pointed questions about whether Trump knew about hacked emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign before the public found out. The subpoena indicates that Mueller may be focused not just on what Trump campaign aides knew and when they knew it, but also on what Trump himself knew.

    In addition to the president, the subpoena seeks documents that have anything to do with these current and former Trump associates:
    • Steve Bannon, who left the White House as chief strategist in August.
    • Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for Trump who testified before congressional investigators in October.
    • Rick Gates, Trump's former deputy campaign manager, who pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy and lying to the FBI.
    • Hope Hicks, who resigned last week as Trump's communications director.
    • Paul Manafort, a former Trump campaign manager and Gates' business partner, who pleaded not guilty to money laundering, conspiracy and making false statements last week.
    • Keith Schiller, a former bodyguard for Trump who left as director of Oval Office operations in September.
    • Roger Stone, a longtime Republican political operative and Trump campaign adviser who sources have told NBC News is the focus of investigators interested in his contacts with WikiLeaks during the campaign.
    Once Hicks' resignation takes effect in the next few weeks, Cohen will be the only person listed in the subpoena who hasn't left the employment of Trump or of the White House.

    Katy Tur reported from Washington. Alex Johnson reported from Los Angeles.

  26. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator

    Putin posits 'Ukrainians, Tatars, or Jews' as true election meddlers

    In a second segment of his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly that aired Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested "Ukrainians, Tatars, or Jews, but with Russian citizenship" may be the real culprits who meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.

    "Maybe they are not even Russians," he said of the 13 Russian nationals indictedby Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his election interference probe. "Maybe they have dual citizenship or a green card; maybe the U.S. paid them for this," Putin added. "How can you know that? I do not know, either."

    Source: USA Today, Los Angeles Times

  27. QueEx

    QueEx Well-Known Member Super Moderator


    Putin suggests 'Ukrainians, Tatars, or Jews' are the real election meddlers


    In a second segment of his interview with NBC's Megyn Kelly that aired Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested "Ukrainians, Tatars, or Jews, but with Russian citizenship" may be thereal culprits who meddled in the 2016 U.S. election.

    "Maybe they are not even Russians," he said of the 13 Russian nationals indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in his election interference probe. "Maybe they have dual citizenship or a green card; maybe the U.S. paid them for this," Putin added. "How can you know that? I do not know, either."

    Putin also claimed it is "impossible" for Moscow to involve itself in other countries' affairs as Washington does. "We lack the necessary instruments," said the former KGB agent. "Russia does not have the kind of tools the U.S. has." WatchPutin's full conversation with Kelly insix parts via NBC. Bonnie Kristian
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  28. older version

    older version Well-Known Member BGOL Investor

    I was going to start a new thread on this, but see you linked the interview here.

    Deep down, Russia is as much a hater of Jews as Germany was.

    Israel is made up of ex-Russian ashkenazi jews who fled.
    Russia still keeps ties with Iran, and Syria :hmm:

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