Miosotis Familia’s murder is Russian Mafia’s response to Mueller’s investigation: “Here are my mouth and my ears for you. The Family-Bratva” https://t.co/g4XSiNoIVI

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Miosotis Familia’s murder is Russian Mafia’s response to Mueller’s investigation: “Here are my mouth and my ears for you. The Family-Bratva” https://t.co/g4XSiNoIVI

Mike Nova (@mikenov) posted a photo on Twitter

The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Foreign Interference In The Electi…

The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Foreign Interference In The Elections Of 2016

By Michael Novakhov Summary:  The big picture of the foreign interference in the Elections of 2016 still is not complete. What foreign …

From Nixon to Trump, the FBI has always had a duty to keep the President in check

From Nixon to Trump, the FBI has always had a duty to keep the President in check

From Nixon to Trump, the FBI has always had a duty to keep the President in check

James Comey, fired by President Donald Trump, told the panel Trump repeatedly pressed him for his loyalty.

Special counsel submits his proposed budget, but wont make it public

Special counsel submits his proposed budget, but wont make it public

Special counsel submits his proposed budget, but wont make it public

The Justice Department will instead release expenditure reports every six months.

Trump As Obamas Legacy: The American people will fire Trump after he completes his de-Obamafication, and their rage subsideshttp://webworl https://t.co/RorrIGvyq4

Trump As Obamas Legacy: The American people will fire Trump after he completes his de-Obamafication, and their rage subsides
http://webworl https://t.co/RorrIGvyq4

Mike Nova (@mikenov) posted a photo on Twitter

Get the whole picture – and other photos from Mike Nova

How Trump is rolling back Obamas legacy

How Trump is rolling back Obamas legacy

How Trump is rolling back Obamas legacy

During President Trumps first year in office, Congress and his administration plan to review, revoke and overwrite key parts of his predecessors domestic legacy. Here’s what he has done so far.

Trump As Obamas Legacy: It looks like the American people will be ready to fire Trump after he completes his mission of de-Obamafication…

Trump As Obamas Legacy: It looks like the American people will be ready to fire Trump after he completes his mission of de-Obamafication…
Video – Stan Getz – One of the greatest saxophonists of all time https://t.co/KS0dudq7Zr via @YouTube

Stan Getz – One of the greatest saxophonists of all time https://t.co/KS0dudq7Zr via @YouTube

In Homeland Security: What Should Americans Do about the Medias Lost Credibility?

Truth is the hallmark of any professional journalist. However, we recently witnessed the media lose credibility with its coverage of Russian collusion during the 2016 presidential election.

 In Homeland Security

1. News in Photos from mikenova (4 sites)
Day in Photos – Voice of America: July 10, 2017

A look at the best news photos from around the world.

Day in Photos – Voice of America

 

Saved Stories – None
Video – 150 Minutes The best of Opera ( Carmen, Traviata, Così fan Tutte, … https://t.co/XiuOTfiRMP via @YouTube
“Kremlin Believes U.S. Wants Regime Change In Russia” – M.N.: What’s the big news?! Kremlin believes this for about the last 100 years…
Pentagon Report: Kremlin Believes U.S. Wants Regime Change In Russia
Video – New details make Kushner meeting with Russian bank even weirder https://t.co/BjkNP2E9zI via @msnbc
Gunman in Bronx Hospital Shooting Is Dead, Officials Say
Ex-employee kills self at Bronx hospital after killing 1, wounding 5 https://t.co/mSIQFftnrT via @nbcnews
Donald: Do not waste time, emotions and Twitter space on the little nothings. Deal with the big issues and problems, the rest is immaterial.
Trump is not “crazy”, “sick”, or insane. These primitive labels simply do not apply and matter; use them for psychiatry textbooks and chats.
Video – Most Epic Classical Music Pieces Collection | 6-Hour Playlist [HD] https://t.co/8cL2CGuF4R via @YouTube
The Truth, the only Truth, and only the Truth is my God. Donald: accept and embrace this thesis fully, and we will start to see the light.
Miosotis Familia’s murder is Russian Mafia’s response to Mueller’s investigation: “Here are my mouth and my ears for you. The Family-Bratva” https://t.co/g4XSiNoIVI
The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Foreign Interference In The Electi…
The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Elections Of 2016 The Web World Times https://t.co/rSp64pNk1k https://t.co/LWE0cabWpn
Video – President Trump And Vladimir Putin Meet For First Time At G20 Summit In … https://t.co/dvDtAf1saS via @YouTube
Video – DAY 1: President Donald Trump G20 Summit Speech, Putin Meeting, Press Co… https://t.co/9isDeEEe2A via @YouTube
From Nixon to Trump, the FBI has always had a duty to keep the President in check
Special counsel submits his proposed budget, but wont make it public
Trump As Obamas Legacy: The American people will fire Trump after he completes his de-Obamafication, and their rage subsideshttp://webworl https://t.co/RorrIGvyq4
How Trump is rolling back Obamas legacy
Trump As Obamas Legacy: It looks like the American people will be ready to fire Trump after he completes his mission of de-Obamafication…
Video – Stan Getz – One of the greatest saxophonists of all time https://t.co/KS0dudq7Zr via @YouTube
In Homeland Security: What Should Americans Do about the Medias Lost Credibility?
trump psychological portrait – Google News: It’s all about Trump and Putin now | Opinion – Sun Sentinel
Washington Free Beacon: Behar Uses Homosexual Innuendo to Mock Trump-Putin Handshake on The View
fbi – Google News: Biographical notes on FBI director nominee Christopher Wray – Washington Post

 

Saved Stories – None
Video – 150 Minutes The best of Opera ( Carmen, Traviata, Così fan Tutte, … https://t.co/XiuOTfiRMP via @YouTube

150 Minutes The best of Opera ( Carmen, Traviata, Così fan Tutte, … https://t.co/XiuOTfiRMP via @YouTube

“Kremlin Believes U.S. Wants Regime Change In Russia” – M.N.: What’s the big news?! Kremlin believes this for about the last 100 years…

“Kremlin Believes U.S. Wants Regime Change In Russia” – M.N.: What’s the big news?! Kremlin believes this for about the last 100 years…
Pentagon Report: Kremlin Believes U.S. Wants Regime Change In Russia

Pentagon Report: Kremlin Believes U.S. Wants Regime Change In Russia

Pentagon Report: Kremlin Believes U.S. Wants Regime Change In Russia

Kremlin leaders believe the United States wants regime change in Russia, a worry that is feeding rising tensions between the two former Cold War foes, a U.S. defense intelligence report said on June 28.

Video – New details make Kushner meeting with Russian bank even weirder https://t.co/BjkNP2E9zI via @msnbc

New details make Kushner meeting with Russian bank even weirder https://t.co/BjkNP2E9zI via @msnbc

Gunman in Bronx Hospital Shooting Is Dead, Officials Say

Gunman in Bronx Hospital Shooting Is Dead, Officials Say

Gunman in Bronx Hospital Shooting Is Dead, Officials Say

The shooter is dead and the condition of the medical workers is not known, officials say.

Ex-employee kills self at Bronx hospital after killing 1, wounding 5 https://t.co/mSIQFftnrT via @nbcnews

Ex-employee kills self at Bronx hospital after killing 1, wounding 5 https://t.co/mSIQFftnrT via @nbcnews

Ex-employee kills self at Bronx hospital after killing 1, wounding 5

The NYPD has confirmed that at least one person was shot at a Bronx hospital.

Donald: Do not waste time, emotions and Twitter space on the little nothings. Deal with the big issues and problems, the rest is immaterial.

Donald: Do not waste time, emotions and Twitter space on the little nothings. Deal with the big issues and problems, the rest is immaterial.
Trump is not “crazy”, “sick”, or insane. These primitive labels simply do not apply and matter; use them for psychiatry textbooks and chats.

Trump is not “crazy”, “sick”, or insane. These primitive labels simply do not apply and matter; use them for psychiatry textbooks and chats.
Video – Most Epic Classical Music Pieces Collection | 6-Hour Playlist [HD] https://t.co/8cL2CGuF4R via @YouTube

Most Epic Classical Music Pieces Collection | 6-Hour Playlist [HD] https://t.co/8cL2CGuF4R via @YouTube

The Truth, the only Truth, and only the Truth is my God. Donald: accept and embrace this thesis fully, and we will start to see the light.

The Truth, the only Truth, and only the Truth is my God.
Donald: accept and embrace this thesis fully, and we will start to see the light.
Miosotis Familia’s murder is Russian Mafia’s response to Mueller’s investigation: “Here are my mouth and my ears for you. The Family-Bratva” https://t.co/g4XSiNoIVI

Miosotis Familia’s murder is Russian Mafia’s response to Mueller’s investigation: “Here are my mouth and my ears for you. The Family-Bratva” https://t.co/g4XSiNoIVI

Mike Nova (@mikenov) posted a photo on Twitter

Get the whole picture – and other photos from Mike Nova

The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Foreign Interference In The Electi…

The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Foreign Interference In The Elections Of 2016

By Michael Novakhov Summary:  The big picture of the foreign interference in the Elections of 2016 still is not complete. What foreign …
The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Elections Of 2016 The Web World Times https://t.co/rSp64pNk1k https://t.co/LWE0cabWpn

The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Elections Of 2016 The Web World Times https://t.co/rSp64pNk1k https://t.co/LWE0cabWpn

The Web World Times wwtimes.com News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions

Video – President Trump And Vladimir Putin Meet For First Time At G20 Summit In … https://t.co/dvDtAf1saS via @YouTube

President Trump And Vladimir Putin Meet For First Time At G20 Summit In … https://t.co/dvDtAf1saS via @YouTube

Video – DAY 1: President Donald Trump G20 Summit Speech, Putin Meeting, Press Co… https://t.co/9isDeEEe2A via @YouTube

DAY 1: President Donald Trump G20 Summit Speech, Putin Meeting, Press Co… https://t.co/9isDeEEe2A via @YouTube

From Nixon to Trump, the FBI has always had a duty to keep the President in check

From Nixon to Trump, the FBI has always had a duty to keep the President in check

From Nixon to Trump, the FBI has always had a duty to keep the President in check

James Comey, fired by President Donald Trump, told the panel Trump repeatedly pressed him for his loyalty.

Special counsel submits his proposed budget, but wont make it public

Special counsel submits his proposed budget, but wont make it public

Special counsel submits his proposed budget, but wont make it public

The Justice Department will instead release expenditure reports every six months.

Trump As Obamas Legacy: The American people will fire Trump after he completes his de-Obamafication, and their rage subsideshttp://webworl https://t.co/RorrIGvyq4

Trump As Obamas Legacy: The American people will fire Trump after he completes his de-Obamafication, and their rage subsides
http://webworl https://t.co/RorrIGvyq4

Mike Nova (@mikenov) posted a photo on Twitter

Get the whole picture – and other photos from Mike Nova

How Trump is rolling back Obamas legacy

How Trump is rolling back Obamas legacy

How Trump is rolling back Obamas legacy

During President Trumps first year in office, Congress and his administration plan to review, revoke and overwrite key parts of his predecessors domestic legacy. Here’s what he has done so far.

Trump As Obamas Legacy: It looks like the American people will be ready to fire Trump after he completes his mission of de-Obamafication…

Trump As Obamas Legacy: It looks like the American people will be ready to fire Trump after he completes his mission of de-Obamafication…
Video – Stan Getz – One of the greatest saxophonists of all time https://t.co/KS0dudq7Zr via @YouTube

Stan Getz – One of the greatest saxophonists of all time https://t.co/KS0dudq7Zr via @YouTube

In Homeland Security: What Should Americans Do about the Medias Lost Credibility?

Truth is the hallmark of any professional journalist. However, we recently witnessed the media lose credibility with its coverage of Russian collusion during the 2016 presidential election.

 In Homeland Security

trump psychological portrait – Google News: It’s all about Trump and Putin now | Opinion – Sun Sentinel


Sun Sentinel
It’s all about Trump and Putin now | Opinion
Sun Sentinel
From Trump’s comments going back more than a decade, it seems that Trump also needed something else from Putin: acceptance. I’m not sure why this is true, or which part of Trump’s psychological profile explains it. But he has long admired the Russian …

and more »

 trump psychological portrait – Google News

Washington Free Beacon: Behar Uses Homosexual Innuendo to Mock Trump-Putin Handshake on The View

ABC’s “The View” co-host Joy Behar described President Donald Trump’s handshake with Russian President Vladimir Putin with a homosexual innuendo Monday.

Behar said that Trump’s position made him “a bottom” because Putin’s hand was over his. That term is used to describe the submissive role among gay men, which Behar and the audience appeared to enjoy.

“See, when Putin shook hands with Trump, he did this,” Behar said, holding co-host Sunny Hostin’s hand to demonstrate. “This is Putins hand on top. So Trump was a bottom. Get it?”

Howls and laughs followed her comment before some audience members broke into applause.

“What? He was on the bottom, thats all,” Behar said when the applause died down.

Later in the segment, Behar also attacked Republicans for their partisan loyalty to Trump.

“Trump’s base is still 80 percent of Republicans are still OK with him, and these people youre talking about, they are worried about the next election,” Behar said about Republicans defending Trump. “Theyre all a bunch of cowards, more cowardly than they are patriotic.”

This is not the first time Behar has made jokes about Trump and Putin being gay. In June she said that she would enjoy a Romeo and Juliet production with Trump and Putin as the titular star-crossed lovers.

Describing Trump’s relationship with Putin in homosexual terms has become common on the left, which some gay rights defenders have criticized. When talk show host Stephen Colbert courted controversy by making a joke about oral sex between the two leaders, law professor Craig Konnoth said that it was homophobic.

“Using gay love or gay sexuality as a punchline to advance critiques of Trumps policies ultimately threatens to do more harm than good,” Konnoth wrote in the Washington Post about Colbert. “These jokes take many gay individuals back to less happy times, when humor like this was a reminder of a real and ever-present threat.”

The Wahington Free Beacon contacted the Human Rights Campaign, a prominent LGBTQ advocacy group, about Behar’s joke. The group did not respond at the time of this article’s publication.

The post Behar Uses Homosexual Innuendo to Mock Trump-Putin Handshake on ‘The View’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

 Washington Free Beacon

fbi – Google News: Biographical notes on FBI director nominee Christopher Wray – Washington Post


Washington Post
Biographical notes on FBI director nominee Christopher Wray
Washington Post
QUOTE: From my earliest days working with agents as a line prosecutor to my time working with them at the Department of Justice in the aftermath of 9/11, I have been inspired by the men and women of the FBI – inspired by their professionalism 
Week ahead: Trump FBI pick to testify before SenateThe Hill
Trump claims that Comey leaked classified information to mediaCBS News
Senate committee sets hearing date for Trump’s FBI pickWSAW

all 44 news articles »

 fbi – Google News

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Foreign Interference In The Electi…
In Homeland Security: What Should Americans Do about the Medias Lost Credibility?
The Early Edition: July 10, 2017
Russia Causing Cyber Mayhem, Should Face Retaliation: Ex-UK Spy Chief – New York Times
Russia Causing Cyber Mayhem, Should Face Retaliation: Ex-UK Spy Chief
Saved Stories – None: Russian Intelligence services – Google News: DIA report: Russia redeploying KGB tactics to dominate US – WND.com
Russian Intelligence services – Google News: DIA report: Russia redeploying KGB tactics to dominate US – WND.com
Saved Stories – None: Internet explodes after Pence touches flight hardware labeled DO NOT TOUCH
russia helping trump – Google News: Trump suggested a cybersecurity pact with Russia. Lawmakers say they were ‘dumbfounded.’ – Washington Post
Who stole the 2016 US Presidential Elections? – Google Search
The real special relationship – cartoon | Opinion | The Guardian
Donald Trumps alarming G20 performance
Opinion: Donald Trumps alarming G20 performance
How Trump is rolling back Obamas legacy
trump and obama legacy – Google Search
trump and obama legacy – Google Search
trump and obama legacy – Google Search
trump and obama legacy – Google Search
Special counsel submits his proposed budget, but wont make it public
News In Photos: Russian President and US First Lady smiled as they talked during the dinner, which was attended by world leaders and their spouses
Trump confronts Putin over Russian election meddling
From Nixon to Trump, the FBI has always had a duty to keep the President in check
Palmer Report: Collusion bombshell: Donald Trump team secretly met with Kremlin lawyer during campaign
Trump Team Met With Lawyer Linked to Kremlin During Campaign
Russia: Trump Team Met With Lawyer Linked to Kremlin During Campaign

 

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Foreign Interference In The Electi…

mikenova shared this story from FB-RSS feed for Mike Nova.

The Big Questions In The Age Of Chutzpah: The Foreign Interference In The Elections Of 2016

By Michael Novakhov Summary:  The big picture of the foreign interference in the Elections of 2016 still is not complete. What foreign …

In Homeland Security: What Should Americans Do about the Medias Lost Credibility?

mikenova shared this story from 1. US Security from mikenova (75 sites).

Truth is the hallmark of any professional journalist. However, we recently witnessed the media lose credibility with its coverage of Russian collusion during the 2016 presidential election.

 In Homeland Security

The Early Edition: July 10, 2017

mikenova shared this story from Just Security.

Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Heres todays news.

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Trumps eldest son Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer supportive of Russian President Putin after she offered to give him information that individuals connected to Russia were helping Trump rival Hillary Clinton, Trump Jr., White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort attending the meeting in June 2016 in the hope of gaining information that would be helpful to now-President Trumps campaign, Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo and Adam Goldman report at the New York Times.

Donald Trump Jr., Kushner and Manafort were duped into the meeting by the Russians as part of a Democratic plot to sink the Trump campaign with the help of Kremlin operatives, spokesperson for President Trump’s outside counsel Mark Corallo said in a statement released in the hours after the story of the meeting was published, after the Trump team initially downplaying the meeting as a courtesy on behalf of orphaned children, writes Scott Bixby at The Daily Beast.

Trump Jr.s meeting with the Russian lawyer borders on treason, Richard Painter, an ethics lawyer under former president George W. Bush, said yesterday, Brandon Carter reporting at the Hill.

Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya is heading Moscows efforts to destroy the Magnitsky Act, a package of U.S. sanctions targeting corrupt Russian officials. Nico Hines looks at the record of the lawyer who met with Trump Jr. last June at The Daily Beast.

Is Donald Trump Jr.s meeting with the Russian lawyer the first hard evidence of Trump-Russia collusion? Scott Bixby and Justin Miller examine the facts at The Daily Beast.

President Trump strongly pressed Russian President Vladimir Putin on the issue of Russian interference in the U.S. election twice in their face-to-face meeting last week and it was time to move forward, Trump insisted yesterday, while lawmakers from both parties accused him of appeasing Putin by failing to insist that he was responsible for the interference or threaten any consequences, Julie Hirschfeld Davis reports at the New York Times.

President Trump agreed with him that Russia had not interfered in last years U.S. presidential election, President Putin told reporters Saturday, adding that they should ask Trump about it directly, David Filipov reports at the Washington Post.

Secretary of State Rex Tillersons account of the Trump-Putin meeting in which he said Trump pressed Putin on more than one occasion on Russian meddling in the U.S. election, which Putin denied before Trump decided to move on in the face of Putins refusal to admit blame does not tally with that of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, which was that Trump had listened to Putins assurances that Moscow was not responsible for interfering in the U.S. election and accepted these statements, David Filipov, Damian Paletta and Abby Phillip report at the Washington Post.

Trump told Putin to cut it out during their meeting, bringing up the issue of Russian interference right away because he wanted to look [Putin] in the eye so that he would know that Trump knew [he] did it, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley explained yesterday, Nolan D. McCaskill reports at POLITICO.

Over half of the memos former F.B.I. director James Comey made of his conversations with President Trump about the Russia investigation contain classified information, according to officials familiar with the documents, raising the question of whether Comey broke his own agencys rules and ignored the same security protocol he publicly denounced Hillary Clinton for during the 2016 presidential election, John Solomon reports at the Hill.

That is so illegal! President Trump tweeted this morning after it emerged that Comeys memos contained classified information.

TRUMP-PUTIN MEETING

President Trump backtracked on a plan to work with Russia to create an impenetrable cybersecurity unit to combat election hacking hours after promoting the idea via Twitter yesterday, also via Twitter, and after the idea was ridiculed by various Democrats and some Republicans, the BBC reports.

U.S.-Russia cooperation on cybersecurity was also called for by the U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley yesterday, Julia Manchester reports at the Hill.

President Trump and Secretary of State John Kerrys use of Obama-like rhetoric of cooperation and shared U.S.-Russia goals suggests that Putin may have successfully sized up Trump during their first meeting, yet both Trump and Kerry need to understand that Putin is not Americas friend, writes the Wall Street Journal editorial board.

In the face of a sustained and possibly accelerated attack on the U.S. by Russia, President Trump not only wavers on the source of the attack, but refuses to condemn the culprit and instead actually has a habit of praising him, writes Charles M. Blow at the New York Times, urging investigators to ignore team Trumps calls for everyone to get over this annoying Russia thing and move on.

SYRIA

A new round of indirect talks between the Syrian government and opposition leaders aimed at reaching a peace agreement was opened by the U.N. envoy for Syria today, Jamey Keaten reports at the AP.

A ceasefire in a limited area of southwest Syria began yesterday following an agreement between the U.S., Russia and Jordan that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Friday, the agreement which was negotiated on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hamburg on Thursday centering on a key boundary line demarcating areas of control for the various warring parties. Gardiner Harris reports at the New York Times.

Now it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia, Trump tweeted yesterday, stating that the ceasefire will save lives and calling for further cooperation with Russia in Syria, Philip Issa reports at the AP.

The ceasefire agreement constituted an important step toward the common goals of defeating ISIS, helping to end the conflict in Syria, reducing suffering, and enabling people to return to their homes, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said in a statement Saturday, setting out that de-escalation zones are a priority for the Trump administration. Kyle Balluck reports at the Hill.

The agreement can be fruitful if it is expanded to all of Syria, Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Bahram Qasemi said today, according to the Tasnim news agency, adding that Iran is seeking Syria’s sovereignty and security so a ceasefire cannot be limited to a certain location, Bozorgmehr Sharafedin reports at Reuters.

There have been no airstrikes or clashes in the southwest since the ceasefire began yesterday, according to the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, rebel groups in the area also stating that there has been no significant fighting. Reuters reports.

Anxiety remains in southwest Syria due to a lack of mechanisms to enforce the ceasefire, the APreports.

Israel and Jordan expressed the fear that the ceasefire would enable Iranian-backed pro-Syrian government forces to establish a lasting presence along their borders, the AP reports in rolling coverage.

The southwest Syria ceasefire may offer a model for future cooperation between the U.S. and Russia throughout the country, marking a departure from previous approaches by acquiescing to Russias broader plan to end the violence in Syria through de-escalation zones however many details of the agreement are yet to be developed and questions remain over Russias ability to rein in the Assad government and Iran. Liz Sly writes at the Washington Post.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has succeeded in killing hopes of democracy in Syria, has played on the notion that revolution is enabled by foreign interference, and has created a perception that dictatorship is a bulwark against colonialism and Islamist extremism. Kamel Daoud writes at the New York Times.

TILLERSON-POROSHENKO MEETING

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Kiev yesterday,underlining U.S. support for Ukraine two days after President Trump met with Russian President Putin, Tillerson saying that the U.S. was committed to restoring Ukraines territorial sovereignty and integrity in a joint press conference following the meeting, Thomas Grove reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Russia must make the first move to reduce tensions in eastern Ukraine and European sanctions will remain in place until it changes its course in the region, Tillerson said, Matthew Lee reporting at the AP.

The U.S. will continue to have dialogue with Russia on how to gain assurances that there will be no more interference in U.S. elections, Tillerson also said at the press conference yesterday, the Hills Olivia Beavers reports.

THE KOREAN PENINSULA

North Korea accused the U.S. of reckless military provocations after a recent practice bombing by two U.S. B-1B bombers on the Korean peninsula, reports USA Today.

The U.S. bombing mission took place as G20 leaders were meeting in Hamburg last week and was conducted with South Korean jets, the U.S. air force commander in the Pacific Gen. Terrence OShaughnessy saying that if called upon, we are trained, equipped and ready to unleash the full lethal capability of our allied air forces, Demetri Sevastopulo reports at the Financial Times.

The U.S. decision to fly the B-1B bombers over the South China Sea was a flexing of military musclesseen as a threat to Beijing, Chinas foreign ministry said, Christopher Bodeen reporting at the AP.

The Russia-China alignment in response to North Koreas testing of an intercontinental ballistic missile last week may interfere with U.S. efforts to curb the Pyongyang regime, Asia policy experts and former diplomats fear, Katie Bo Williams writes at the Hill.

IRAQ

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi congratulated Iraqi forces on their victory over the Islamic State after arriving in Mosul yesterday, while air strikes and exchanges of gun fire could still be heard as the militants made their last stand against Iraqi forces, Kalin reports at Reuters.

Victory is settled and remaining Daesh [fighters] are trapped in the last spans, al-Abadi said yesterday, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State and stopping short of declaring full victory against the militants in Mosul, Asa Fitch and Ali A. Nabhan report at the Wall Street Journal.

Iraqi forces advanced on the small area of Mosuls Old City today which remains in the Islamic States hands, Susannah George reports at the AP.

Fighting continues in Mosul over an area believed to be 200 yards long and 50 yards wide, Louisa Loveluck, Liz Sly and Mustafa Salim report at the Washington Post.

The planned Kurdish referendum on independence in Iraq should not go ahead, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today, Reuters reporting.

 A comprehensive post-Mosul strategy is the only way to ensure that the defeat of ISIL will be enduring, the chairman of the Senate Armed Forces Committee Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said in a statement yesterday, joined by other Republican lawmakers who warned that more work needs to be done, Olivia Beavers reports at the Hill.

Who controls what in Mosul? Yarno Ritzen provides a map at Al Jazeera.

The capture of Mosul does not spell the end of the problems blighting the city and the country: the Islamic State still maintains territory in other cities and towns in Iraq, there are signs that Islamic State militants will revert to their insurgent roots as they lose territory, the humanitarian crisis will need to be addressed, and sectarian divides persist, Tim Arango and Michael R. Gordon observe at the New York Times.

The impending defeat of the Islamic States caliphate poses serious questions for the Trump administration: what role will the U.S. take in Iraq once the Islamic State is defeated, who has responsibility for reconstruction, how can the U.S. enable the Iraqi government to implement federalism and bridge Sunni-Shiite divides, and what U.S. military presence should remain? Antony J. Blinken sets out the challenges at the New York Times.

The Islamic States crumbling caliphate should not be underestimated for the ideology persists and they have the ability to inspire global terrorist attacks, Ben Hubbard and Eric Schmitt write at the New York Times.

GULF-ARAB CRISIS

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will shuttle between Kuwait, Qatar and Saudi Arabia from today until Thursday in an effort to resolve a crisis that has enveloped the region since early June, Tillersons first shuttle diplomacy mission since taking office, Matthew Lee reports at the AP.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is scheduled to arrive in Kuwait today to begin discussions aimed at resolving the crisis in which Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Egypt and Bahrain have diplomatically isolated Qatar because of its alleged support for terrorism, issuing a list of 13 demands on June 22 before diplomatic ties could be restored which was rejected by Qatar last week, Al Jazeera reports.

Regret over the four Arab nations blockade of Qatar was expressed by the International Criminal Courts (I.C.C.) chief prosecutor yesterday, who praised Doha for its mature handling of the crisis, according to Qatars state news agency. Al Jazeera reports.

Qatar has set up a commission to seek compensation from the Saudi-led bloc for the economic damage caused as a consequence of the land and air embargo of the country, the Qatari attorney general announced yesterday, Patrick Wintour reports at the Guardian.

ISRAEL-PALESTINE

President Trump is considering next steps on the Israel-Palestine peace talks, a White House officials said yesterday, the Hills Olivia Beavers reporting.

Clarification on what seems to be an emerging power-sharing agreement between Gazas Hamas leaders and exiled rival to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Mohammed Dahlan was sought by Abbas in a meeting with Egypts President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi yesterday, Al Jazeera reports.

Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian man who attached a soldier at a West Bank traffic junction this morning, Israels military said, the AP reporting.

AFGHANISTAN

A resolution to the Afghan war requires a political settlement and a shift in the political dynamics can be achieved by combining three approaches: holding credible elections, revisiting power-sharing mechanisms, and enabling the Taliban to participate in peace negotiations and be part of political reforms. Alex Thier and Scott Worden write at the Hill.

Pakistans support for the Haqqani terror network undermines efforts to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Trump administration must reconsider its approach to Pakistan if it wants to make headway in Afghanistan, Rahmatullah Nabil and Melissa Skorka write at the Wall Street Journal.

U.K. ARMS SALES TO SAUDI ARABIA

U.K. campaigners Campaign Against the Arms Trade (C.A.A.T.) lost a high-profile case calling for the cessation of U.K. arms sales to Saudi Arabia over concerns that Saudi Arabia is repeatedly breaching international humanitarian law in its campaign in Yemen today, the High Court of England and Wales delivering its open judgment this morning, C.A.A.T. spokesperson Andrew Smith promising to pursue an appeal of a judgment he said would be seen as a green light for government to continue arming and supporting brutal dictatorships and human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia that have shown blatant disregard for international humanitarian law. Alice Ross reports at the Guardian.

G20 SUMMIT

Trumps behavior in and around the G20 summit last week was unsettling for his European allies and confirmed the fears of those who believe that his conduct is currently the biggest threat to American national security, writes Lawrence H. Summers at the Washington Post.

European leaders feel they can be less restrained in highlighting their differences with the U.S. in response to President Trumps erratic and incendiary behavior, the change in attitude on display at the G20 summit and reflected in European domestic politics, writes Steven Erlanger at the New York Times.

The massive contradiction at the heart of Donald Trumps foreign policy is that, on the one hand, he wants America to remain the essential nation, the ultimate embodiment of Western ideals, while on the other he works to deliberately alienate many of the U.S. traditional allies whose support the U.S. relies on, writes Robert J. Samuelson at the Washington Post.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein visited Guantánamo Bay detention center Friday for an update on current operations, the first concrete sign that the Trump administration means to follow through on its campaign promise to fill up the prison with bad dudes, writes Rebecca Kheel at the Hill.

President Trumps pick to head the F.B.I. Christopher Wray will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday morning, the Hills Morgan Chalfant reports.

Kuwait Airways and Royal Jordanian were exempted from President Trumps ban on laptops in the cabins of U.S.-bound flights over the weekend, both countries saying they had worked with U.S. officials to tighten security checks from flights from Kuwait and Jordan, the BBC reports.

The process of pulling its military hardware from Turkeys Incirlik airbase was begun by Germany yesterday, a further pressure on the already tense relationship between the two nations following a disagreement over whether German politicians could visit troops stationed at the air base, Matthias Gebauer reports at Der Spiegel.

Ukraine will not seek N.A.T.O. membership for now and will instead focus on building a genuine program of reforms to meet N.A.T.O. requirements for future membership, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said today following a meeting with N.A.T.O. Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, the APreports.

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Russia Causing Cyber Mayhem, Should Face Retaliation: Ex-UK Spy Chief – New York Times

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Internet explodes after Pence touches flight hardware labeled DO NOT TOUCH

It was the sort of photo that was just begging to be hilariously captioned, mocked on Twitter and photoshopped. Photoshopped. During a visit to NASAs Kennedy Space Center in Florida on Thursday, Vice President Pence solemnly reached out and touched the Orion spacecraft’s titanium forward bay cover, placing his full palm just below a sign that read: Critical []

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Trump suggested a cybersecurity pact with Russia. Lawmakers say they were ‘dumbfounded.’
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Chris Riddell 09/07/2017

Donald Trumps alarming G20 performance

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Confusing civility with comity is a grave mistake in human or international relations. Yes, the G20 summit did agree on a common communiqué after the leaders’ meeting. Some see this as an achievement or an indication that some normality in international relations between the US and other countries is being restored. The truth is that at no previous G20 meeting did the possibility that there would not be a common statement agreed by all participants occur to anyone.

Rather than seeing agreement as an achievement, it is more accurate to see the content of the communiqué as a confirmation of the breakdown of international order that many have feared since the election of Donald Trump. The president’s behaviour in and around the summit was unsettling to US allies and confirmed the fears of those who believe that his conduct is the greatest threat to American security.

The existence of the G20 as an annual forum arose from a common belief of major nations that there was a global community with common interests in peace, mutual security, prosperity and economic integration and the containment of threats even as there was competition between nations in the security and economic realms. The idea that the US should lead in the development of the international community has been a central tenet of American foreign policy since the end of the second world war.

Since his election, Mr Trump’s rhetoric has rejected the concept of global community, and expressed a strong belief that the US should seek better deals rather than stronger institutions and systems. In the past month and especially after the G20, it has become clear that Mr Trump’s actions will match his rhetoric. The US is now isolated on the question of how to deal with the long run security threat of climate change. It has forced the G20 to back away from previous commitments to rejecting protectionism. And in part because of American attitudes, the G20 was mute on international migration at a time when refugee issues are more serious than at any moment in the past 50 years.

All of this is troubling enough. What many people fear but few are saying is that in the difficult times that come during any term the president’s character will cause him to act dangerously. As biographer Robert Caro has observed, power may or may not corrupt but it always reveals. Mr Trump has yet to experience a period of economic difficulty or any form of international economic crisis. He has not yet had to make a major military decision in time of crisis. Yet his behaviour has been erratic.

The president chose hours before meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin to cast doubt on judgments of the US intelligence community regarding Russia’s interference with the US election. On the brink of the most important set of international meetings of his presidency so far, he put forward the absurd idea that a main discussion item at the G20 involved Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, making demonstrably false assertions about his role.

It is rare for heads of government to step away from the table during major summits. When it is necessary, their place is normally taken by the foreign minister or another very senior government official. There is no precedent for a head of government’s adult child taking a seat, as was the case when Ivanka Trump took her father’s place at the G20. There is no precedent for good reason. It is insulting to the others present and sends a signal of disempowerment regarding senior officials.

Mr Trump’s pre-summit speech in Poland expressed the sentiment that the primary question of our time was the will of the west to survive. Such a sentiment is inevitably alienating to the vast majority of humanity that does not live in what the president considers to be the west. Manichean rhetoric from presidents is rarely wise. George W Bush’s reference to an “axis of evil” is generally regarded as a serious error not because the nations he referenced were not evil but because his rhetoric drew those adversaries together. Invoking the idea of the west against the rest as the president did is a graver mis-step.

A corporate chief executive whose public behaviour was as erratic as that of Mr Trump would already have been replaced. The standard for democratically elected officials is appropriately different. But one cannot look at the past months and rule out the possibility of even more aberrant behaviour in the future. The president’s cabinet and his political allies in Congress should never forget that the oaths they swore were not to the defence of the president but to the defence of the constitution.

The writer is Charles W Eliot university professor at Harvard and a former US Treasury secretary

Opinion: Donald Trumps alarming G20 performance

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A company would have replaced a CEO with behaviour as erratic as that of the president

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Can Trump Destroy Obama’s Legacy?

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WASHINGTON — When the judgment of history comes, former President Barack Obama might have figured he would have plenty to talk about.
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Special counsel submits his proposed budget, but wont make it public

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Former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, has submitted a proposed budget to the Justice Department. The department declined to make it public Friday, but a special counsel spokesman said officials would release expenditure reports later. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has turned in a proposed budget to the Justice Department, but officials declined to make the document public and committed only to releasing reports of the team’s expenditures every six months.

That means the public won’t get a window into how much money Mueller thinks he will need to spend, though he will provide information on what he is spending. The first report will come sometime after Sept. 30, said Peter Carr, a spokesman for the special counsel’s office.

Mueller is less than two months into his investigation of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election, and his every move has come under scrutiny. President Trump has decried the probe as a “witch hunt,” and he and his supporters have raised questions about whether Mueller and his hires can be impartial.

[As Mueller builds his Russia special-counsel team, every hire is under scrutiny]

A Justice Department spokesman declined to comment.

Carr said Mueller has hired 16 lawyers to work with him. Together, the team is a formidable collection of legal talent with experience prosecuting national security, fraud and public corruption cases, arguing matters before the Supreme Court and assessing complicated legal questions.

Trump and his allies have pointed out that many are Democratic donors.

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Seven special counsel team members have donated to Democratic campaigns — five of those to Hillary Clinton’s — and their giving totals nearly $53,000, according to Federal Election Commission records. The others have not donated at all, the records show.

[Here are the people investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election]

The special counsel’s budget also could become a source of contention. Shortly before Mueller was appointed, Trump seemed to express disdain that tax dollars were being spent on the Russia investigation, writing on Twitter, “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?” He will likely soon have specific dollar figures to pair with his tweets.

The regulation under which Mueller was appointed does not specifically detail how the special counsel must disclose expenses to the public. It requires only that Mueller “be provided all appropriate resources by the Department of Justice,” that he submit a proposed budget within his first 60 days and that he make a budget request 90 days before the start of the fiscal year.

When Patrick J. Fitzgerald, at the time a U.S. attorney, was appointed as special counsel to investigate the leak of the identity of CIA Officer Valerie Plame, the U.S. Government Accountability Office audited his expenditure statements every six months and released them publicly.

News In Photos: Russian President and US First Lady smiled as they talked during the dinner, which was attended by world leaders and their spouses

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Trump confronts Putin over Russian election meddling

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Updated at 4:03 p.m. ET

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Friday that President Trump raised the issue of Russian election interference in a bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump opened the more than two-hour meeting “by raising the concerns of the American people” about Russia’s meddling in last year’s presidential race, according to Tillerson. Trump and Putin had a “robust and lengthy exchange on the subject,” the secretary of state said.

As he has done in the past, Putin denied involvement in any meddling in the election.

Trump and Putin agreed, however, that the issue of election interference was a substantial hindrance in their ability to move the U.S.-Russia relationship forward. The two world leaders also agreed to work on further commitments of noninterference in the affairs of the United States and in the democratic process in the U.S. as well as in other countries.

There is “more work to be done in that regard,” Tillerson said.

The top U.S. diplomat spoke Friday at a press briefing after Trump held his first official meeting with Putin. Trump and Putin exchanged a warm handshake in a brief interlude with reporters and photographers before their meeting began.

“President Putin and I have been discussing various things, and I think it’s going very well. We’ve had some very, very good talks,” Trump told reporters before the meeting. “We’re going to have a talk now and obviously that will continue, but we look forward to a lot of very positive things happening — for Russia, for the United States, and for everybody concerned. And it’s an honor to be with you.”

The two men were scheduled for a 30-minute meeting on the sidelines of the Group of 20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, but ended up talking almost five times that long.

Beforehand, Putin mentioned that they have talked already a few times over the phone.

“But phone conversation is never enough,” he said through a translator. “If we want to have positive results in bilaterals and be able to resolve most acute international topics and issues, definitely we need personal meetings.

“And I’m delighted to be able to meet you personally, Mr. President, and I hope, as you have said, our meeting will yield positive results for Russia and the U.S.”

The two presidents were joined in the meeting by their translators and by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Tillerson.

Speaking from Hamburg on Russian state TV, Lavrov said Trump “heard President Putin’s clear statements that it’s not true the Russian leadership intervened in the election and that he accepts those statements.”

Tillerson told reporters that his interpretation of the exchange was that the two men agreed on the need to move past the issue of election interference. The secretary of state said the focus is now on how the U.S. secures a commitment that Russia has no intention of interfering in U.S. elections in the future — and how the Trump administration creates a framework to judge whether Russia is keeping that commitment.

Last month, Putin told international journalists in St. Petersburg that it’s possible that “patriotic” Russian hackers outside of his government might be trying to engage in cyber attacks against the world’s democracies. “I must stress, on a state level, we are never engaged into these kind of activity,” said Putin at the time, according to a media report.

The U.S. intelligence community has unanimously concluded, however, that Russian intelligence services did interfere with “active measures” including cyber attacks, social media bots and other techniques — and that they did so at Putin’s direction.

The majority of the meeting, Tillerson said, was spent parsing out details of a cease-fire in southwest Syria that between the U.S. and Russia. Jordan and Israel are also part of the deal. A state-run news agency in Jordan reported that the cease-fire would go into effect on Sunday.

Putin and Trump also discussed the increasing threat posed by North Korea. Earlier this week, that country tested an intercontinental ballistic missile, which showed the theoretical potential to reach Alaska.

“I would say the Russians see (North Korea) a little differently than we do,” Tillerson said. “We’re going to continue those discussions and ask them to do more. Russia does have economic activity with North Korea. But, I would also hasten to add, Russia’s official policy is the same as ours: a denuclearized Korean peninsula.”

Friday’s warm meeting between the two leaders also came just a day after Trump spoke in Poland, a country known for its distaste for Russia, and reiterated America’s commitment to Article 5 of the NATO charter.

“The United States has demonstrated not merely with words, but with its actions, that we stand firmly behind Article 5, the mutual defense commitment,” he said.

The statement would not have been newsworthy if not for Trump’s decision in May to omit a line in a speech that reaffirmed the U.S. commitment. That decision raised eyebrows especially in Eastern Europe, as Putin has shown in Ukraine and Crimea that he is intent on projecting Russia’s power and influence in Europe beyond his country’s borders.

While Friday’s meeting was the first time the two men have met since Trump became president, it’s unclear whether they’ve met in person before.

In an interview in 2013 with David Letterman, the Late Show host asked Trump whether he had met Putin before.

“I met him once,” Trump said.

But in 2016, Trump seemingly began to backtrack on that claim. In July, he told a CBS affiliate in Miami, “I never met Putin, I have nothing to do with Russia whatsoever.”

He reiterated that at a news conference that month, too.

“I never met Putin,” he said. “I don’t know who Putin is.”

CNN put together a list of 80 times Trump talked about the Russian president over the past four years, which gives insight into how his rhetoric has and hasn’t changed.

Compared with predecessor President Barack Obama, however, Trump has been noticeably warmer toward Russia. Whereas Obama once mentioned the threats posed by Ebola and “Russian aggression” in the same sentence back in 2014, Trump has repeatedly talked about wanting to improve relations with Russia.

On Friday, the two presidents hit it off immediately, Tillerson said.

“There was a clear positive chemistry between the two,” he added. “There was such a level of engagement and exchange, neither one of them wanted to stop.”

He said that at one point the first lady was even sent into the meeting to try to persuade them to finish up, but “that didn’t work either.” They continued talking for another hour.

That is good news for many Americans. According to a recent NPR/PBS Newshour/Marist poll, 46 percent of adults view Trump’s goal of improving relations as a mostly good thing, whereas 41 percent view it as a mostly bad thing.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit <a href=”http://www.npr.org/” rel=”nofollow”>http://www.npr.org/</a>.

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Why Would Vladimir Putin Want To Leak The DNC Emails?

WHY WOULD VLADIMIR PUTIN WANT TO LEAK THE DNC EMAILS?

Russian intelligence services are the main suspects behind the hacking of DNC emails, and many Democrats warn that the Russian president has stepped into American politics in an unprecedented way.

July 25, 2016

In “NPR News”

From Nixon to Trump, the FBI has always had a duty to keep the President in check

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JOHN Mindermann is part of an unusual fraternity. A former agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), now 80 and retired in his hometown, San Francisco, he is among the relative handful of law-enforcement officials who have investigated a sitting president of the US.

In June, when it was reported that former FBI director Robert Mueller would investigate whether US president Donald Trump had obstructed the federal inquiry into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential election, I called Mindermann, who told me he was feeling a strong sense of déjà vu.

Mindermann joined the FBI 50 years ago, after a stint with the San Francisco police force. He was soon transferred to the bureau’s Washington field office, housed in the Old Post Office building on Pennsylvania Ave.

On the afternoon of Saturday, June 17, 1972, he was in the shower at home when the phone rang.

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An FBI clerk told him that there had been a break-in overnight at the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate complex. He was to go to the Metropolitan Police Department headquarters and see the detective on duty.

The clerk confided that the bureau had run a name check on one of the burglars, James McCord.

It revealed that McCord had worked at both the FBI and the CIA. He would later be identified as the chief of security at the Committee to Re-elect the President, the Nixon campaign operation known as Creep.

Mindermann met the detective, who was wearing a loud sports jacket and smiling widely. The detective strode into the evidence vault and produced nearly three dozen $100 bills, each in a glassine envelope. They had been seized from one of the burglars.

Mindermann noticed the consecutive serial numbers. “That alone told me that they came from a bank through a person with economic power,” Mindermann told me.

“I got this instant cold chill. I thought: This is not an ordinary burglary.”

McCord had been carrying wire-tapping gear at the Watergate. This was evidence of a US federal crime — the illegal interception of communications — which meant the break-in was a case for the FBI.

Wire-tapping was standard practice at the FBI under J Edgar Hoover, who had ruled the bureau since 1924. But Hoover died six weeks before the Watergate break-in, and L Patrick Gray, a lawyer at the Justice Department and a staunch Nixon loyalist, was named acting director.

“I don’t believe he could bring himself to suspect his superiors in the White House — a suspicion which was well within the Watergate investigating agents’ world by about the third or fourth week,” said Mindermann.

A month after the break-in, Mindermann and a colleague named Paul Magallanes found their way to Judy Hoback, a Creep accountant.

They learned from Hoback that $3m or more in unaccountable cash was sloshing around at Creep, to finance crimes like the Watergate break-in.

Both men sensed instinctively that “people in the White House itself were involved”, Magallanes, who is now 79 and runs an international security firm near Los Angeles, told me. The agents typed up a 19-page statement that laid out Creep’s direct connections to Richard Nixon’s inner circle.

The following year, on Friday, April 27, as Nixon flew off to Camp David for the weekend, the FBI moved to secure White House records relevant to Watergate.

At 5.15 pm, 15 agents arose from their desks in the Old Post Office building and marched, fully armed, up Pennsylvania Avenue.

On Monday, Nixon returned to the White House to find a skinny FBI accountant standing watch outside a West Wing office. The president pushed him up against a wall and demanded to know how he had the authority to invade the White House.

Mindermann laughed at the memory: “What do you do,” he said, “when you’re mugged by the president of the United States?”

JAMES Comey, the former FBI director, said in June, testifying before the US Senate Intelligence Committee a month after his dismissal from his post by the president: “I take the president at his word — that I was fired because of the Russia investigation.”

Comey was referring to the account Trump gave in an NBC interview on May 11 — and Comey took issue with the rest of the story as Trump told it.

Trump, he said, “chose to defame me and, more importantly, the FBI by saying that the organisation was in disarray, that it was poorly led, that the workforce had lost confidence in its leader. Those were lies, plain and simple.”

Trump, Comey said, had asked his FBI director for his loyalty — and that seemed to shock Comey the most. The FBI’s stated mission is “to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States” — not to protect the president.

Trump might have been less confused about how Comey saw his job if he had ever visited the FBI director in his office. On his desk, under glass, Comey kept a copy of a 1963 order authorising Hoover to conduct round-the-clock FBI surveillance of the Rev Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

It was signed by the young attorney general, Robert F Kennedy, after Hoover convinced John F Kennedy and his brother that King had communists in his organisation — a reminder of the abuses of power that had emanated from the desk where Comey sat.

One of history’s great what ifs is whether the Watergate investigation would have gone forward if Hoover hadn’t died before the break-in. Hoover’s FBI was not unlike what Trump seems to have imagined the agency still to be: A law-enforcement apparatus whose flexible loyalties were bent to fit the whims of its director.

In his half-century at the helm of the FBI, Hoover rarely approved cases against politicians. In the 1960s, he much preferred going after the civil rights and anti-war movements.

The Iran-Contra scandal provided the bureau with its first great post-Watergate test. On October 5, 1986, Sandinistas in Nicaragua shot down a cargo plane, which was found to contain 60 Kalashnikov rifles, tens of thousands of cartridges, and other gear.

One crew member was captured and revealed the first inklings of what turned out to be an extraordinary plot. President Ronald Reagan’s national-security team had conspired to sell American weapons to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and, after marking up the price fivefold, skimmed the proceeds and slipped them to the anti-communist Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

This was a direct violation of federal law, as US Congress had passed a bill cutting off aid to the rebels, which made Iran-contra a case for the FBI.

In a major feat of forensics, FBI agents recovered 5,000 deleted emails from National Security Council office computers, which laid out the scheme. They opened a burn bag of top-secret documents belonging to the NSC aide Oliver North and found a copy of elaborately falsified secret testimony to Congress.

They dusted it for fingerprints and found ones belonging to Clair George, chief of the clandestine service of the CIA. Almost all the major evidence that led to the indictments of 12 top national-security officials was uncovered by the FBI.

George HW Bush pardoned many of the key defendants at the end of his presidency, on Christmas Eve 1992. This was the limit of the agency’s influence, the one presidential power that the FBI could not fight.

But over the course of two decades, the post-Hoover relationship between the FBI and the White House had settled into a delicate balance between the rule of law and the chief of state. Presidents could use secrecy to push their executive powers to the limit. But the FBI retained a powerful unofficial check on these privileges: The ability to amass, and unveil, deep secrets of state.

The agency might not have been able to stop presidents like Nixon and Reagan from overreaching, but when it did intervene, there was little presidents could do to keep the FBI from making their lives very difficult — as Bill Clinton discovered in 1993, when he appointed Louis J Freeh as his FBI director.

Freeh was an FBI agent early in his career but had been gone from the agency for some time when he was named to run it — so he was alarmed to discover that the FBI was in the midst of investigating real estate deals involving the Clintons in Arkansas.

Freeh saw Clinton as a criminal suspect in the Whitewater affair, in which the FBI and a special prosecutor bushwhacked through the brambles of Arkansas politics and business for four years — and, through a most circuitous route, wound up grilling a 24-year-old former White House intern named Monica Lewinsky in a hotel.

The bureau had blood drawn from the president to match the DNA on Lewinsky’s blue dress — evidence that the president perjured himself under oath about sex, opening the door to his impeachment by the House of Representatives.

Clinton’s allies complained after the fact that Freeh’s serial investigations of the president were a fatal distraction. From 1996 to 2001, when al-Qaida and Osama bin Laden bombed two American Embassies in Africa and plotted the September 11 attacks, the FBI spent less time and money on any counterterrorism investigation than it did investigating claims that Chinese money bought influence over Clinton though illegal 1996 campaign contributions.

One of the FBI’s informants in the investigation was a politically connected Californian named Katrina Leung. At the time, Leung was in a sexual relationship with her FBI handler, James J Smith. Smith

had reason to suspect that Leung might be a double agent working for Chinese intelligence, but he protected her anyway.

The FBI buried the scandal until after Clinton left the White House in 2001. By the time it came to light, Freeh was out the door and President George W Bush had chosen Mueller as the sixth director of the FBI.

Mueller arrived at FBI headquarters with years of service as a United States attorney and US Justice Department official. It was a week before the September 11 attacks, and he was inheriting an agency ill-suited for the mission that would soon loom enormously before it. Richard A Clarke, the White House counterterrorism czar under Clinton and Bush, later wrote that Freeh’s FBI had not done enough to seek out foreign terrorists.

In a speech Mueller gave at Stanford University in 2002, concerning the nation’s newest threat, he spoke of “the balance we must strike to protect our national security and our civil liberties as we address the threat of terrorism”.

He concluded: “We will be judged by history, not just on how we disrupt and deter terrorism, but also on how we protect the civil liberties and the constitutional rights of all Americans, including those Americans who wish us ill. We must do both of these things, and we must do them exceptionally well.”

These views made Mueller something of an outlier in the Bush administration; five days after the September 11 attacks, vice president Dick Cheney was warning that the White House needed to go over to “the dark side” to fight al-Qaida.

Among the darkest places was a top-secret programme code-named Stellar Wind, under which the National Security Agency eavesdropped freely in the US without search warrants.

By the end of 2003, Mueller had a new boss: James Comey, who was named deputy attorney general. Comey read into the Stellar Wind programme and deemed it unconstitutional. He briefed Mueller, who concurred. In the first week of March, the two men agreed that the FBI could not continue to go along with the surveillance programmes. They also thought attorney general John Ashcroft should not re-endorse Stellar Wind.

Comey made the case to Ashcroft. In remarkable congressional testimony in 2007, Comey described what happened next: Hours later, Ashcroft keeled over with gallstone pancreatitis. Comey was now acting attorney general.

Comey read into the Stellar Wind programme and deemed it unconstitutional. He briefed Mueller, who concurred. In the first week of March, the two men agreed that the FBI could not continue to go along with the surveillance programmes.

They also thought attorney general John Ashcroft should not re-endorse Stellar Wind. Comey made the case to Ashcroft. In remarkable congressional testimony in 2007, Comey described what happened next: Hours later, Ashcroft keeled over with gallstone pancreatitis. Comey was now acting attorney general.

He and the president were required to reauthorise Stellar Wind on March 11 for the programme to continue. When Comey learned the White House counsel and chief of staff were heading to the hospital on the night of March 10 to get the signature of the barely conscious Ashcroft, Comey raced to Ashcroft’s hospital room to head them off.

When they arrived, Ashcroft told the president’s men that he wouldn’t sign. Pointing at Comey, he said: “There is the attorney general.”

Bush signed the authorisation alone anyway, asserting that he had constitutional power to do so. Mueller took meticulous notes of these events; they were partly declassified years later.

On March 11, he wrote that the president was “trying to do an end run around” Comey. At 1.30am on March 12, Mueller drafted a letter of resignation.

“I am forced to withdraw the FBI from participation in the program,” he wrote. If the president did not back down, “I would be constrained to resign as director of the FBI.”

And Comey and Ashcroft would go with him. Seven hours later Mueller sat alone with Bush in the Oval Office. Once again, the FBI had joined a battle against a president.

Mueller’s notes show that he told Bush in no uncertain terms that “a presidential order alone” could not legalise Stellar Wind.

Unless the NSA brought Stellar Wind within the constraints of the law, he would lose his FBI director, attorney general and acting attorney general. In the end, Bush relented. It took years, but the programmes were put on what Mueller considered a defensible legal footing.

Trump’s showdown with Comey and its aftermath is the fifth confrontation between the FBI and a sitting president since Hoover’s death, and the first in which the president’s principal antagonists, Mueller and Comey, have been there before. For the Watergate veterans Mindermann and Magallanes, the news of recent weeks came with a certain amount of professional gratification. When I spoke to them on June 14, both said they wanted the bureau’s role as a check on the president to be in the public eye.

Magallanes had always been bothered by how, in the collective American memory, Nixon’s downfall was attributed to so many other authors: Woodward and Bernstein, crusading congressional committees, hard-nosed special prosecutors.

To the agents who were present at the time, it was first and foremost an FBI story.

“We were the people who did the work,” Magallanes told me. “It was we, the FBI, who brought Richard Nixon down. We showed that our government can investigate itself.”

Tim Weiner was a reporter for The New York Times from 1993 to 2009. His work has won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award. His books include Enemies: A History of the FBI.

Adapted from an article that appeared in The New York Times Magazine.

© 2017 The New York Times

Palmer Report: Collusion bombshell: Donald Trump team secretly met with Kremlin lawyer during campaign

mikenova shared this story from 1. Trump from mikenova (186 sites).

Up to now, the confirmed meetings between the Donald Trump campaign and Russia have all been highly suspicious but have all had ways in which they could be explained away. Jeff Sessions claimed he only met with the Russian Ambassador because he was doing so in his role as a Senator, for instance. But now comes confirmation of a meeting that could not have been anything but collusion between the Trump team and the Russian government.

Key members of Donald Trump’s family and campaign staff held a meeting with a top Kremlin lawyer during the campaign, then lied about it, according to an explosive new report from the New York Times (link) and incredibly, Donald Trump Jr is now admitting to the meeting but is insisting that it was about the adoption of Russian kids.

So we’re supposed to believe that everyone from Donald Trump Jr to Jared Kushner to Paul Manafort had such a strong moral compunction about Russian adoption that they stopped what they were doing in the middle of the campaign to hold a meeting with a Kremlin lawyer, just to get the adoption issue cleared up. This might actually be the weakest on-the-fly excuse that a stupid criminal has ever come up with to try to explain away criminal activities after getting caught in the act.

To be clear, we still don’t know what was discussed in the meeting. If there are tapes of the meeting, as Donald Trump seems to keep unwittingly hinting at during his recent Twitter rants, then the NY Times doesn’t appear to have those tapes. But considering that the upper ranks of the Trump campaign all piled into a meeting with a notorious Kremlin attorney like Natalia Veselnitskaya during the campaign, this is nothing short of a collusion bombshell. Moreover, there are likely larger collusion bombshells forthcoming. If you’re a regular reader, feel free to support Palmer Report.

The post Collusion bombshell: Donald Trump team secretly met with Kremlin lawyer during campaignappeared first on Palmer Report.

 Palmer Report

Trump Team Met With Lawyer Linked to Kremlin During Campaign

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American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russian hackers and propagandists worked to tip the election toward Mr. Trump, and a special prosecutor and congressional committees are now investigating whether his campaign associates colluded with Russians. Mr. Trump has disputed that, but the investigation has cast a shadow over his administration for months.

Mr. Trump has also equivocated on whether the Russians were solely responsible for the hacking. But in Germany on Friday, meeting President Vladimir V. Putin for the first time as president, Mr. Trump questioned him about the hacking. The Russian leader denied meddling in the election.

The Russian lawyer invited to the Trump Tower meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, is best known for mounting a multipronged attack against the Magnitsky Act, an American law that blacklists suspected Russian human rights abusers. The law so enraged Mr. Putin that he retaliated by halting American adoptions of Russian children.

The adoption impasse is a frequently used talking point for opponents of the Magnitsky Act. Ms. Veselnitskaya’s campaign against the law has also included attempts to discredit its namesake, Sergei L. Magnitsky, a lawyer and auditor who died in under mysterious circumstances in a Russian prison in 2009 after exposing one of the biggest corruption scandals during Mr. Putin’s rule.

Ms. Veselnitskaya is married to a former deputy transportation minister of the Moscow region, and her clients include state-owned businesses and a senior government official’s son, whose company was under investigation in the United States at the time of the meeting. Her activities and associations had previously drawn the attention of the F.B.I., according to a former senior law enforcement official.

In his statement, Donald J. Trump Jr. said: “It was a short introductory meeting. I asked Jared and Paul to stop by. We primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children that was active and popular with American families years ago and was since ended by the Russian government, but it was not a campaign issue at the time and there was no follow up.”

He added: “I was asked to attend the meeting by an acquaintance, but was not told the name of the person I would be meeting with beforehand.”

Donald J. Trump Jr. had denied participating in any campaign-related meetings with Russian nationals when he was interviewed by The Times in March. “Did I meet with people that were Russian? I’m sure, I’m sure I did,” he said. “But none that were set up. None that I can think of at the moment. And certainly none that I was representing the campaign in any way, shape or form.”

Asked at that time whether he had ever discussed government policies related to Russia, the younger Mr. Trump replied, “A hundred percent no.”

The Trump Tower meeting was not disclosed to government officials until recently, when Mr. Kushner, who is also a senior White House aide, filed a revised version of a form required to obtain a security clearance. The Times reported in April that he had failed to disclose any foreign contacts, including meetings with the Russian ambassador to the United States and the head of a Russian state bank. Failure to report such contacts can result in a loss of access to classified information and even, if information is knowingly falsified or concealed, in imprisonment.

Mr. Kushner’s advisers said at the time that the omissions were an error, and that he had immediately notified the F.B.I. that he would be revising the filing. They also said he had met with the Russians in his official transition capacity as a main point of contact for foreign officials.

In a statement on Saturday, Mr. Kushner’s lawyer, Jamie Gorelick, said: “He has since submitted this information, including that during the campaign and transition, he had over 100 calls or meetings with representatives of more than 20 countries, most of which were during transition. Mr. Kushner has submitted additional updates and included, out of an abundance of caution, this meeting with a Russian person, which he briefly attended at the request of his brother-in-law Donald Trump Jr. As Mr. Kushner has consistently stated, he is eager to cooperate and share what he knows.”

Mr. Kushner’s lawyers referred all other questions about the Trump Tower meeting to Donald J. Trump Jr.

Mr. Manafort, the former campaign chairman, also recently disclosed the meeting, and Donald J. Trump Jr.’s role in organizing it, to congressional investigators who had questions about his foreign contacts, according to people familiar with the events.

A spokesman for Mr. Manafort declined to comment. Ms. Veselnitskaya did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Because Donald J. Trump Jr. does not serve in the administration and does not have a security clearance, he was not required to disclose his foreign contacts. Federal and congressional investigators have not publicly asked for any records that would require his disclosure of Russian contacts. It is not clear whether the Justice Department was aware of the meeting before Mr. Kushner disclosed it recently. Neither Mr. Kushner nor Mr. Manafort was required to disclose the content of the meeting in their government filings.

During the campaign, Donald J. Trump Jr. served as a close adviser to his father, frequently appearing at campaign events. Since the president took office, the younger Mr. Trump and his brother, who have worked for the Trump Organization for most of their adult lives, assumed day-to-day control of their father’s real estate empire.

But a quick internet search would have revealed Ms. Veselnitskaya as a formidable operator with a history of pushing the Kremlin’s agenda. Most notable is her campaign against the Magnitsky Act, which provoked a Cold War-style, tit-for-tat row with the Kremlin when President Barack Obama signed it into law in 2012.

Under the law, some 44 Russian citizenshave been put on a list that allows the United States to seize their American assets and deny them visas. The United States asserts that many of them are connected to fraud exposed by Mr. Magnitsky, who after being jailed for more than a year was found dead in his cell. A Russian human rights panel found that he had been assaulted. To critics of Mr. Putin, Mr. Magnitsky, in death, became a symbol of corruption and brutality in the Russian state.

An infuriated Mr. Putin has called the law an “outrageous act,” and, in addition to banning American adoptions, compiled what became known as an “anti-Magnitsky” blacklist of United States citizens.

Among those blacklisted was Preet Bharara, then the United States district attorney in Manhattan, who led high-profile convictions of Russian arms and drug dealers. Mr. Bharara was abruptly fired in March, after previously being asked to stay on by Mr. Trump.

One of Ms. Veselnitskaya’s clients is Denis Katsyv, the Russian owner of a Cyprus-based investment company called Prevezon Holdings. . In a civil forfeiture case prosecuted by Mr. Bharara’s office, the Justice Department alleged that Prevezon had helped launder money tied to a $230 million corruption scheme exposed by Mr. Magnitsky by parking it in New York real estate and bank accounts. As a result, the government froze $14 million of its assets. Prevezon recently settled the case for $6 million without admitting wrongdoing.

Ms. Veselnitskaya and her client hired a team of political and legal operatives that has worked unsuccessfully in Washington to repeal the Magnitsky Act. They also tried but failed to keep Mr. Magnitsky’s name off a new law that takes aim at human-rights abusers across the globe.

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

Ms. Veselnitskaya was also deeply involved in the making of an anti-Magnitsky film that premiered just weeks before the Trump Tower meeting. Titled “The Magnitsky Act — Behind the Scenes,” the film echoes the Kremlin line that the widely accepted version of Mr. Magnitsky’s life and death is wrong. The film claims that he was not assaulted and alleges that he never testified that government officials conspired to steal $230 million in fraudulent tax rebates.

In the film’s telling, the true culprit of the fraud was William F. Browder, an American-born financier who hired Mr. Magnitsky to investigate the fraud after he had three of his investment funds companies in Russia seized. On RussiaTV5, a station whose owners are known to be close to Mr. Putin, Ms. Veselnitskaya was lauded as “one of those who gave the film crew the real proofs and records of testimony.”

Mr. Browder, who stopped the screening of the film in Europe by threatening libel suits, called the film a state-sponsored smear campaign.

“She’s not just some private lawyer,” Mr. Browder said of Ms. Veselnitskaya. “She is a tool of the Russian government.”

John O. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director, testified in May that he had been concerned last year by Russian government efforts to contact and manipulate members of Mr. Trump’s campaign. “Russian intelligence agencies do not hesitate at all to use private companies and Russian persons who are unaffiliated with the Russian government to support their objectives,” he said.

The F.B.I. began a counterintelligence investigation last July into Russian contacts with any Trump associates. Agents focused on Mr. Manafort and a pair of advisers, Carter Page and Roger J. Stone.

Among those now under investigation is Michael T. Flynn, who was forced to resign as Mr. Trump’s national security adviser after it became known that he had falsely denied speaking to the Russian ambassador about sanctions imposed by the Obama administration over the election hacking.

Congress later discovered that Mr. Flynn had been paid more than $65,000 by companies linked to Russia, and that he had failed to disclose those payments when he renewed his security clearance and underwent an additional background check to join the White House staff.

In May, the president fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, who days later provided information about a meeting with Mr. Trump at the White House. According to Mr. Comey, the president asked him to end the bureau’s investigation into Mr. Flynn. That led to the appointment of Robert S. Mueller III, a former F.B.I. director, as special counsel.

The status of Mr. Mueller’s investigation is not clear, but he has assembled a veteran team of prosecutors and agents to dig into any possible collusion.

Continue reading the main story

Russia: Trump Team Met With Lawyer Linked to Kremlin During Campaign

mikenova shared this story from 1. Russia from mikenova (98 sites).

The meeting at Trump Tower in Manhattan was arranged by Donald Trumps eldest son and was attended by Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner.

 Russia


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