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Videos and Sound: Agent Smith evil laugh from The Matrix Revolutions
The Adventures Of Agent Smith
The Adventures Of Agent Smith
Agent Smith evil laugh from The Matrix Revolutions
US Finalizing Plans to Revamp Cyber Command
Russian-American lobbyist met with Trump Jr, Russian lawyer: NBC – Japan Today
Donald Trump – Google News: Russian-American Lobbyist Attended Meeting Organized by Trump’s Son – New York Times
Which Country Today Is Most Like Orwell’s 1984 Authoritarian Nightmare? – Newsweek
Russian-American lobbyist admits to attending meeting – Youngstown Vindicator
Putin Trump – Google News: What if there’s no Trump-Putin conspiracy? – Kankakee Daily Journal
What if there’s no Trump-Putin conspiracy? – Kankakee Daily Journal
Neocons Enlist in Anti-Trump #Resistance – Consortium News
The Trumps of Russia? How billionaire Agalarov family ended up in the spotlight
Cast of characters populates the Trump campaign-Russia drama – Washington Post
Tracking Trump: Junior’s email errors put first family in a spot of Russian bother – The Guardian
Putin Trump – Google News: Be wary: Trump and Putin could yet bring democracy to a halt – The Guardian
Russia ran campaign against US oil, gas activity – Times Record News
‘Thank you, dear Donald’: Why Macron invited Trump to France – Washington Post
White House leaves door open to US-Russia cyber ‘dialogue’ – POLITICO.eu
American democracy is in big trouble but Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump aren’t to blame – Salon
Blake Dowling: This week’s threat LeakerLocker – Florida Politics (blog)
All the president’s men’s lawyers: who are Trumpworld’s leading attorneys?
All the president’s men’s lawyers: who are Trumpworld’s leading attorneys? – The Guardian
Trump’s team can’t lie about Russia much longer – Los Angeles Times
A lopsided map, heated primaries, and Trump: Where the 2018 Senate races stand today – Business Insider

 

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Videos and Sound: Agent Smith evil laugh from The Matrix Revolutions

The Web: News, Reviews, Analysis, Opinions from mikenova (10 sites) Videos and Sound: Agent Smith evil laugh from The Matrix Revolutions  Follow Mike Nova @mikenov Agent Smith evil laugh from The Matrix Revolutions https://youtu.be/iNkrF43SZEU?list=PLppHqt7CIm6irJICFfGYP8S4lwrCfeJIX  via @YouTube 12:13 PM – 15 Jul 2017  Retweets  likes Twitter Ads info and privacy Videos and Sound Shared Articles: » Russian-American at Trump Jr. meeting … Continue reading“Videos and Sound: Agent Smith evil laugh from The Matrix Revolutions”
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Agent Smith evil laugh from The Matrix Revolutions

US Finalizing Plans to Revamp Cyber Command

After months of delay, the Trump administration is finalizing plans to revamp the nation’s military command for defensive and offensive cyber operations in hopes of intensifying America’s ability to wage cyber war against the Islamic State group and other foes, according to U.S. officials.   Under the plans, U.S. Cyber Command would eventually be split off from the intelligence-focused National Security Agency.   Details are still being worked out, but officials say…

Russian-American lobbyist met with Trump Jr, Russian lawyer: NBC – Japan Today


Japan Today
Russian-American lobbyist met with Trump Jr, Russian lawyer: NBC
Japan Today
A lobbyist who was once a Soviet counter-intelligence officer participated last year in a meeting with senior aides to U.S. President Donald Trump, including his eldest son, and a Russian lawyer, NBC News reported on Friday, adding to allegations of 

and more »

Donald Trump – Google News: Russian-American Lobbyist Attended Meeting Organized by Trump’s Son – New York Times


New York Times
Russian-American Lobbyist Attended Meeting Organized by Trump’s Son
New York Times
On Friday, Rinat Akhmetshin, the Soviet army veteran, revealed another detail of an exotic life: He was one of the people at the meeting Donald Trump Jr. had with a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower on June 9, 2016. The presence of Mr. Akhmetshin adds …
What Is Donald Trump Saying to Emin Agalarov in This Video?New York Magazine
Russian-American lobbyist who served in Soviet military joined Donald Trump Jr.’s meetingChicago Tribune
Soviet Army intelligence veteran attended meeting with Donald Trump Jr. and Russian lawyerLos Angeles Times
HuffPost –PBS NewsHour –New York Times –NBCNews.com
all 2,257 news articles »

 Donald Trump – Google News

Which Country Today Is Most Like Orwell’s 1984 Authoritarian Nightmare? – Newsweek

Which Country Today Is Most Like Orwell’s 1984 Authoritarian Nightmare?
Newsweek
Whatever disdain people might have for Trump and his unwillingness to confront even the reality of his past statements and positions, the United States is not Oceania and any suggestion otherwise is an exaggeration. The judiciary is independent and the …

Russian-American lobbyist admits to attending meeting – Youngstown Vindicator

Russian-American lobbyist admits to attending meeting
Youngstown Vindicator
Akhmetshin has been identified in media reports as a former officer in Russia’s military intelligence service known as the GRU. He has denied that, saying he served in the Soviet Army from 1986 to 1988 after he was drafted but was not trained in spy 

Putin Trump – Google News: What if there’s no Trump-Putin conspiracy? – Kankakee Daily Journal

What if there’s no Trump-Putin conspiracy?
Kankakee Daily Journal
Trump feels assaulted by the media who have been accusing him of being a Putin puppet since mid-2016. Rather than distancing himself from PutinTrump’s initial tendency is always to “punch back 10 times harder,” as Melania Trump put it. That means …

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 Putin Trump – Google News

What if there’s no Trump-Putin conspiracy? – Kankakee Daily Journal

What if there’s no Trump-Putin conspiracy?
Kankakee Daily Journal
Trump feels assaulted by the media who have been accusing him of being a Putin puppet since mid-2016. Rather than distancing himself from PutinTrump’s initial tendency is always to “punch back 10 times harder,” as Melania Trump put it. That means …

and more »

Neocons Enlist in Anti-Trump #Resistance – Consortium News


Consortium News
Neocons Enlist in Anti-Trump #Resistance
Consortium News
In these summer dog days of the Trump presidency, good news is hard to come by, but in late June it was reported that the successor institution to William Kristol’s Project for a New American Century, the Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI), was shutting 

The Trumps of Russia? How billionaire Agalarov family ended up in the spotlight

Aras Agalarov and his pop singer son Emin have known the Trumps for years. Now the Donald Jr email scandal has put them in an unwanted spotlight

Hes a billionaire construction magnate who likes shiny and expensive things and built a luxury tower block adorned with his own name: its not surprising that people have referred to Aras Agalarov as the Russian Trump.

Agalarov and his pop singer son Emin have known the Trump family for years, and emails released this week by Donald Trump Jr suggest the Agalarovs may have been a conduit for Russian efforts to help the Trump camp.

Related: The five unanswered questions from Donald Trump Jr’s Russia emails

Aras is a very careful, shrewd operator, and he will be absolutely horrified that his name has been dragged into this

Related: Rob Goldstone: who is the man who set up Trump Jr’s meeting with a Russian lawyer?

@AgalarovAras I had a great weekend with you and your family. You have done a FANTASTIC job. TRUMP TOWER-MOSCOW is next. EMIN was WOW!

Related: Like father like son? What conservatives are writing about Donald Trump Jr

Continue reading…

Cast of characters populates the Trump campaign-Russia drama – Washington Post


Washington Post
Cast of characters populates the Trump campaign-Russia drama
Washington Post
MOSCOW A billionaire real estate mogul, his pop singer son and a music promoter. A property lawyer, Russia’s prosecutor general and a Russian-American lobbyist. These unlikely figures have come to the fore as revelations that Donald Trump’s
Russian-American Lobbyist Attended Meeting Organized by Trump’s SonNew York Times
Ex-Trump adviser denies any campaign contact with RussiansCNN 
Trump Family Values
 
Rinat Akhmetshin: Who Is the Russian Lobbyist Who Met the Trump Team?NBCNews.com
Los Angeles Times
 The New Yorker
 
Slate Magazine (blog)The Atlantic
 –New York Times NBCNews.com
all 2,306 

all 2,347
 news articles »
Tracking Trump: Junior’s email errors put first family in a spot of Russian bother – The Guardian


The Guardian
Tracking Trump: Junior’s email errors put first family in a spot of Russian bother
The Guardian
In fact, the paper reported, Trump Jr had been promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to the meeting. This was the first indication that some in the Trump campaign had been willing to accept Russian help to damage their …

and more »

Putin Trump – Google News: Be wary: Trump and Putin could yet bring democracy to a halt – The Guardian


The Guardian
Be wary: Trump and Putin could yet bring democracy to a halt
The Guardian
Then there’s Donald Trump, the Republican president. He recently tweeted that Russian interference was all a big Dem HOAX!, and at last week’s G20 meeting he accepted Vladimir Putin’s assertion that Russia hadn’t meddled with the US election. At the …
Why Americans need to close ranks against Putin’s attack on our democracyWashington Post
Lisa Boothe on Russia Obsession: Putin Wins & the American People LoseFox News Insider

all 359 news articles »

 Putin Trump – Google News

Russia ran campaign against US oil, gas activity – Times Record News


Times Record News
Russia ran campaign against US oil, gas activity
Times Record News
The declassified version of the report, entitled Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, included an analytic assessment drafted and coordinated among the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and 

and more »

‘Thank you, dear Donald’: Why Macron invited Trump to France – Washington Post


Washington Post
‘Thank you, dear Donald’: Why Macron invited Trump to France
Washington Post
PARIS This could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. If the potential for a productive relationship between PresidentTrump and French President Emmanuel Macron initially seemed a scant possibility, Trump’s whirlwind Bastille Day visit to 
How Trump’s ‘compliment’ to Brigitte Macron hurts AmericaCNN
Trump and Macron: An unlikely friendship is bornBBC News
Trump Defends His Son and Plays Down Differences With French LeaderNew York Times
USA TODAYNPR
all 2,429 2,274 news articles »
White House leaves door open to US-Russia cyber ‘dialogue’ – POLITICO.eu


POLITICO.eu
White House leaves door open to US-Russia cyber ‘dialogue’
POLITICO.eu
And several cyber experts were anxious that public pledges of teamwork with Russia on this sensitive topic might play poorly in the international arena at time when many American allies in Europe are fighting to keep Moscow’s digital agents out of 

and more »

American democracy is in big trouble but Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump aren’t to blame – Salon


Salon
American democracy is in big trouble but Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump aren’t to blame
Salon
This is troubling for a number of reasons, particularly because it distracts from more legitimate (and internal) threats to our democratic process, while giving the false impression that American democracy was in good shape before the Russkies came 
Why Americans need to close ranks against Putin’s attack on our democracyWashington Post
The Putin Obsession That Led to Trump Jr.’s MeetingPOLITICO Magazine
Opinion | Washington Post: Why Russia is a hostile powerThe Southern
VICE NewsThe HillBennington Banner (subscription)New York Times
all 2,268 2,353 news articles »
Blake Dowling: This week’s threat LeakerLocker – Florida Politics (blog)


Florida Politics (blog)
Blake Dowling: This week’s threat LeakerLocker
Florida Politics (blog)
There are many political figures I can think of, who have enough problems as it is; I (for one) wouldn’t want to see what’s on former Republican Rep. Scott DesJarlais’s PC, or that on the tablet of disgraced former Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York 

and more »

All the president’s men’s lawyers: who are Trumpworld’s leading attorneys?

Donald Trump Jr, Mike Pence and the president himself are among those who have recently hired outside counsel as controversy dogs the administration

As the investigation into Russias interference in the 2016 presidential election intensifies, the number of Trump associates recruiting personal lawyers continues to grow.

Related: Ex-Soviet counter-intelligence officer says he attended Trump Jr meeting

Related: Trump lawyer to apologize for sending expletive-filled emails to stranger

Related: Democrats call for Jared Kushner’s security clearance to be revoked

Continue reading…

All the president’s men’s lawyers: who are Trumpworld’s leading attorneys? – The Guardian


The Guardian
All the president’s men’s lawyers: who are Trumpworld’s leading attorneys?
The Guardian
Donald Trump Jr, the president’s oldest son, became the latest in the Trump orbit to recruit outside counsel after revelations he accepted a meeting with a Russian lawyer promising compromising information on Hillary Clinton from Russiangovernment …

Trump’s team can’t lie about Russia much longer – Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles Times
Trump’s team can’t lie about Russia much longer
Los Angeles Times
One of the more curious aspects of the latest revelations regarding the investigation of President Trump‘s campaign and Russian government meddling in the 2016 election that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort met that June with a 
Trump’s Legal Team Adds Lawyer Amid Expanding Russia InvestigationNew York Times
Trump set to bring in new attorney to manage response to Russia investigationWashington Post
A Shake-Up on the Trump Legal TeamsThe Atlantic
Daily Mail
all 218 news articles »
A lopsided map, heated primaries, and Trump: Where the 2018 Senate races stand today – Business Insider


Reuters
A lopsided map, heated primaries, and Trump: Where the 2018 Senate races stand today
Business Insider
As Miller said, the only way a primary battle becomes a negative is if the nominee that emerges “is so extreme that they have a potential to not appeal to the overall electorate or to blow themselves up with comments that are so far outside the 
Commentary: Trump’s plan to make voters older, wealthier and whiterReuters

all 3,846 news articles »

 

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The Adventures Of Agent Smith
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US Finalizing Plans to Revamp Cyber Command
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No matter how bad it gets for him, heres why Trump isnt getting impeached this year
Saved Stories – None: Democrats Push Probe Into Trump, Deutsche Bank and Russia TheStreet
AP Top News at 3:58 p.m. EDT: Russian-American at Trump Jr. meeting is ex-military officer
Posts 7.12.17: America is closed for renovations News In Photos A sea of police officers stood outside the church in the Bronx where the funeral for Officer Miosotis Familia was held on Tuesday (7.11.17). News In Photos The Mafia-ISIS connection: Partners in crime or perfect strangers? Al Arabiya English The Web World Times wwtimes.com All of the FBI is one huge showboat! The Web World Times wwtimes.com
Germany appears to be the only real-time political beneficiary of Trump-Russia scandal, not Russia or Israel The role of Germany in Trump-Russia scandal Links 7.14.17
Democrats Push Probe Into Trump, Deutsche Bank and Russia
Trumps legal team faces tensions and a client who often takes his own counsel
Moral Vacuum in the House of Trump
Nevada Rushes to Address Shortage of Newly Legalized Marijuana
Donald Trumps deep connections to dirty Russian money: The trail leads back more than 30 years
Former Soviet Counter Intelligence Officer at Meeting With Donald Trump Jr. and Russian Lawyer
Marine KC-130T Experienced Problems at Cruising Altitude, Broke Into At Least 2 Pieces
Marine plane had emergency at high altitude, general says
Military plane crash victims: ‘These were the cream of the crop’ – CNN International
Donald Trump: Donald Trump, Russia and a mob of comedy Corleones
Turkey Chooses Russia Over NATO for Missile Defense
Russia – Google News: Turkey Chooses Russia Over NATO for Missile Defense – Bloomberg
Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism – Google Search
The Senate Judiciary Committee Plans How To Coordinate Investigations With Mueller
mueller – Google News: The Senate Judiciary Committee Plans How To Coordinate Investigations With Mueller – Forbes

 

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The Adventures Of Agent Smith

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US Finalizing Plans to Revamp Cyber Command

mikenova shared this story from Voice of America.

WASHINGTON —After months of delay, the Trump administration is finalizing plans to revamp the nation’s military command for defensive and offensive cyber operations in hopes of intensifying America’s ability to wage cyber war against the Islamic State group and other foes, according to U.S. officials.
Under the plans, U.S. Cyber Command would eventually be split off from the intelligence-focused National Security Agency.
Details are still being worked out, but officials say they expect a decision and announcement in the coming weeks. The officials weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter so requested anonymity.
The goal, they said, is to give U.S. Cyber Command more autonomy, freeing it from any constraints that stem from working alongside the NSA, which is responsible for monitoring and collecting telephone, internet and other intelligence data from around the world – a responsibility that can sometimes clash with military operations against enemy forces.
Making cyber an independent military command will put the fight in digital space on the same footing as more traditional realms of battle on land, in the air, at sea and in space. The move reflects the escalating threat of cyberattacks and intrusions from other nation states, terrorist groups and hackers, and comes as the U.S. faces ever-widening fears about Russian hacking following Moscow’s efforts to meddle in the 2016 American election.
The U.S. has long operated quietly in cyberspace, using it to collect information, disrupt enemy networks and aid conventional military missions. But as other nations and foes expand their use of cyber-spying and attacks, the U.S. is determined to improve its ability to incorporate cyber operations into its everyday warfighting.
Experts said the command will need time to find its footing.

“Right now I think it’s inevitable, but it’s on a very slow glide path,” said Jim Lewis, a cybersecurity expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. But, he added, “A new entity is not going to be able to duplicate NSA’s capabilities.”
The NSA, for example, has 300 of the country’s leading mathematicians “and a gigantic super computer,” Lewis said. “Things like this are hard to duplicate.”
He added, however, that over time, the U.S. has increasingly used cyber as a tactical weapon, bolstering the argument for separating it from the NSA.
The two highly secretive organizations, based at Fort Meade, Maryland, have been under the same four-star commander since Cyber Command’s creation in 2009.
But the Defense Department has been agitating for a separation, perceiving the NSA and intelligence community as resistant to more aggressive cyberwarfare, particularly after the Islamic State’s transformation in recent years from an obscure insurgent force into an organization holding significant territory across Iraq and Syria and with a worldwide recruiting network.
While the military wanted to attack IS networks, intelligence objectives prioritized gathering information from them, according to U.S. officials familiar with the debate. They weren’t authorized to discuss internal deliberations publicly and requested anonymity.

FILE - National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command Director Adm. Mike Rogers testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 9, 2017.

FILE – National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command Director Adm. Mike Rogers testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, May 9, 2017.

Then-defense secretary Ash Carter sent a plan to president Barack Obama last year to make Cyber Command an independent military headquarters and break it away from the NSA, believing that the agency’s desire to collect intelligence was at times preventing the military from eliminating IS’ ability to raise money, inspire attacks and command its widely dispersed network of fighters.
Carter, at the time, also pushed for the ouster of Adm. Mike Rogers, who still heads both bodies. The Pentagon, he warned, was losing the war in the cyber domain, focusing on cyber threats from nations such as Iran, Russia and China, rather than on countering the communications and propaganda campaigns of internet-savvy insurgents.
Officials also grew alarmed by the growing number of cyberattacks against the U.S. government, including several serious, high-level Defense Department breaches that occurred under Rogers’ watch.
“NSA is truly an intelligence-collection organization,” said Lauren Fish, a research associate with the Center for a New American Security. “It should be collecting information, writing reports on it. Cyber Command is meant to be an organization that uses tools to have military operational effect.”
After President Donald Trump’s inauguration, officials said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis endorsed much of the plan. But debate over details has dragged on for months.
It’s unclear how fast the Cyber Command will break off on its own. Some officials believe the new command isn’t battle-ready, given its current reliance on the NSA’s expertise, staff and equipment. That effort will require the department to continue to attract and retain cyber experts.
Cyber Command was created in 2009 by the Obama administration to address threats of cyber espionage and other attacks. It was set up as a sub-unit under U.S. Strategic Command to coordinate the Pentagon’s ability to conduct cyberwarfare and to defend its own networks, including those that are used by combat forces in battle.
Officials originally said the new cyber effort would likely involve hundreds, rather than thousands, of new employees.
Since then, the command has grown to more than 700 military and civilian employees. The military services also have their own cyber units, with a goal of having 133 fully operational teams with as many as 6,200 personnel.
Its proposed budget for next year is $647 million. Rogers told Congress in May that represents a 16 percent increase over this year’s budget to cover costs associated with building the cyber force, fighting IS and becoming an independent command.
Under the new plan being forwarded by the Pentagon to the White House, officials said Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville would be nominated to lead Cyber Command. Leadership of the NSA could be turned over to a civilian.
Mayville is currently the director of the military’s joint staff and has extensive experience as a combat-hardened commander. He deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan, leading the 173rd Airborne Brigade when it made its assault into Iraq in March 2003 and later heading coalition operations in eastern Afghanistan.

Desiree Fairooz – Google Search

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No matter how bad it gets for him, heres why Trump isnt getting impeached this year

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Donald Trump during a speech in 2016. (Animation from video.)

We quickly lose sight of how exceptional the bizarre moments of the past six months have been. It would have seemed ludicrous one week ago that we’d be sitting here today holding an email in which Donald Trump Jr. cops to seeking out negative information about Hillary Clinton from someone he believed was a Russian government official. Yet here we are.

Trump’s base of support has already appeared to brush aside the obvious demonstration of a willingness to collude in the transfer of information that was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” as the first email to Trump Jr. read. President Trump once said that he could shoot someone dead in the middle of Fifth Avenue and not lose any support. That no longer seems much like hyperbole.

Trump: ‘Most people would have taken that meeting’

President Trump spoke at a news conference in Paris on July 13 and defended Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer. President Trump spoke at a news conference in Paris on July 13 and defended Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer. (The Washington Post)

President Trump spoke at a news conference in Paris on July 13 and defended Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer. (The Washington Post)

Still, others will note, it’s not as if Trump is popular. His approval rating remains mired in the low-40s, with most Americans viewing his job performance negatively. Doesn’t that alone mean that, if some other significant revelation occurs over the next seven days, Trump’s position must surely grow wobblier?

Nope. Despite a Democratic member of the House initiating the process to remove Trump from office, there’s almost no chance at all that the president would be impeached this year, no matter what happens.

Why? Politics. Impeachment takes the form of a trial, but it isn’t one. It’s a political vote by politicians, all of whom would like to themselves avoid the fate of being thrown out of office. And Trump’s political career both relied on and thrives because of the nature of the moment that he launched it.

Let’s go back to those approval ratings. Here are the average ratings by party for each day on which a poll was conducted for the first six months or so of Trump’s presidency (via Huffington Post Pollster).

There’s been a distinct downward trend, both among all voters and in Trump’s base, members of the Republican Party. But the drop-off hasn’t been all that steep; he’s polling about seven or eight points lower now than he did in January, with a similar decline among Republicans. It varies by pollster and methodology, as you might expect.

As we’ve noted before, though, the only number that really matters is that approval rating among Republicans, for reasons we’ll get into below. If your job depended largely on majority approval from a group of 10 of your peers, you probably wouldn’t start updating your résumé just because you went from having nine of them love you to only eight.

Let’s dive in a little by looking at the numbers from Gallup. The weekly average of approval ratings for Trump by party looks like this. In Gallup’s numbers, he’s down seven points from his January polling among all voters — and down only four with Republicans.

But there’s a critically important split in those Republican opinions. Conservative Republicans are much more likely to view Trump positively. With that group, he’s consistently been at around 90 percent approval.

Remember, we noted that impeachment is a political process. It requires having members of the House pass articles of impeachment that then go to the Senate where punishment is determined. And every single one of those 435 members of the House have to face their own constituents next year in an effort to keep their jobs. Most (but certainly not all) will face challengers from within their own parties who they’ll need to defeat in primaries in order to be on the ballot in November.

And that is why Trump isn’t going anywhere any time soon.

In 2014, Pew Research Center looked at the composition of the primary electorate. It found that in the 2010 and 2014 off-year elections, the people who came out to vote in the Republican primaries were much more conservative than Republican voters overall. In 2010, the voting pool was 12 points more likely to espouse consistent conservative views on policy issues than Republican Party voters overall. Three years ago, the voting pool was 11 points more conservative.

To break it down explicitly: Republicans control the House, so nothing’s passing there without their support. Republican House members are all up for reelection next year. To get on the ballot in November, they need to win their primaries. Their primary fights will be against other Republicans (in most states), and be determined by the most conservative voters in their party.

And those conservative Republicans have a 90 percent approval rating for President Trump, even after all of the things that have emerged over the last six months.

Those hoping for a Trump impeachment, then, might wonder what happens after the primaries. After all, it’s not a coincidence that Richard Nixon resigned in August of 1974, after his party’s primaries that year — and after a visit to his office from congressional leaders who warned that his support on Capitol Hill had collapsed. Part of the concern, clearly, was that Nixon’s unpopularity was going to lead to a bruising defeat for House Republicans that November.

That may be a concern for House Speaker Paul D. Ryan next year, too, but there are two big differences. First, Republicans have a very healthy margin in the House that would allow them to lose more than 20 seats while still maintaining a majority. Second, there are a lot fewer close House races now than there were then — a function of a lot of things including population sorting and gerrymandering.

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In 1974, the winners of 90 House seats were settled by margins of 10 points or less (including the Republican minority leader in the House who’d met with Nixon). In 2016, it was a third of that.

In 2016, only 15 Republicans were elected with margins of under 10 points.

To put a fine point on it: Far fewer House Republicans are dependent on cobbling together support from voters outside of their party in order to win reelection. And since the most fervent supporters within their party stand strongly behind Trump, that may offer them all of the political cover they’d seek.

Theoretically, something else could emerge that would cause Trump’s support from those Republicans to crumble. But it’s very, very hard to imagine what that might be.

Saved Stories – None: Democrats Push Probe Into Trump, Deutsche Bank and Russia TheStreet

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Source: Democrats Push Probe Into Trump, Deutsche Bank and Russia – TheStreet

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AP Top News at 3:58 p.m. EDT: Russian-American at Trump Jr. meeting is ex-military officer

mikenova shared this story from 1. World and Politics from mikenova (25 sites).

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Russian-American lobbyist who attended a meeting at Trump Tower last year is a former military officer long shadowed by allegations of connections to Russian intelligence….

 AP Top News at 3:58 p.m. EDT

Posts 7.12.17: America is closed for renovations News In Photos A sea of police officers stood outside the church in the Bronx where the funeral for Officer Miosotis Familia was held on Tuesday (7.11.17). News In Photos The Mafia-ISIS connection: Partners in crime or perfect strangers? Al Arabiya English The Web World Times wwtimes.com All of the FBI is one huge showboat! The Web World Times wwtimes.com

mikenova shared this story from Michael Novakhov: My Opinions.

Posts – 7.12.17 America is closed for renovations News In Photos A sea of police officers stood outside the church in the Bronx where the funeral for Officer Miosotis Familia was held on Tuesday (7.11.17). News In Photos The Mafia-ISIS connection: Partners in crime or perfect strangers? Al Arabiya English The … Continue reading“Posts – 7.12.17: America is closed for renovations News In Photos A sea of police officers stood outside the church in the Bronx where the funeral for Officer Miosotis Familia was held on Tuesday (7.11.17). News In Photos The Mafia-ISIS connection: Partners in crime or perfect strangers? Al Arabiya English The Web World Times wwtimes.com All of the FBI is one huge showboat! The Web World Times wwtimes.com”

Germany appears to be the only real-time political beneficiary of Trump-Russia scandal, not Russia or Israel The role of Germany in Trump-Russia scandal Links 7.14.17

mikenova shared this story from Michael Novakhov: My Opinions.

Germany appears to be the only real-time political beneficiary of “Trump-Russia scandal”, not Russia or Israel as if the scenarios were known, played out, and planned by them, with skillful masking.  Michael Novakhov 7.14.17   The role of Germany in “Trump-Russia scandal” – Links – 7.14.17 Germany appears to be the only real-time political beneficiary of Trump-Russia … Continue reading“Germany appears to be the only real-time political beneficiary of “Trump-Russia scandal”, not Russia or Israel… – The role of Germany in “Trump-Russia scandal” – Links – 7.14.17”

Democrats Push Probe Into Trump, Deutsche Bank and Russia

mikenova shared this story .

House Democrats are using a new tactic to gather information on Deutsche Bank (DB) as part of a broader party effort to push action on inquiries into President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia.

Democrats will offer measures known as resolutions of inquiry, an investigative procedure that House of Representatives members can employ to make a direct request for information to the executive branch. The resolutions automatically trigger floor votes if they don’t get action in committee within 14 legislative days. Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) on Friday will file a resolution to push for information on Trump, those in his orbit and Deutsche Bank.

The resolution, introduced by Waters and Representatives Daniel Kildee (R-MI), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Al Green (D-TX) and Ed Perlmutter (D-CO), asks Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin to provide records from his department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network that detail Trump’s ties to Russia as well as those of his family members and associates.

House Democrats have sent four letters requesting information on Trump and Deutsche Bank since March — two to Deutche Bank directly, one to House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and one to Mnuchin.

“We have to get all the information we can find about [President Trump] and his business relationships,” Waters said in a recent interview with TheStreet. “It is extremely important, and I don’t care where it comes from.”

Specifically, Democrats are seeking details on the bank’s conduct in the Russian mirror trading scandal, through which it helped wealthy Russians move $10 billion out of the country from 2011 to 2014, and its relationship with Trump.

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The German banks is one of the few banks that still lends money to the president after his bankruptcies and financial woes. His financial disclosure, released by the U.s. Office of Government Ethics last month, shows liabilities for Trump of at least $130 million to Deutsche Bank Trust Company Americas, including at least $50 million for the Old Post Office that houses Trump’s Washington, D.C. hotel.

Waters, ranking member on the Financial Services Committee, and fellow committee Democrats will request through resolution of inquiry from the Treasury Department information on credit extended by Russian banks and Russian government officials to Trump and those in his orbit and information on the Russian mirror trading scandal. They are seeking information on money laundering and sanctions violations by those in the president’s orbit as well.

The ROI lists off Trump’s properties, past and present, including the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City, Trump National Doral in Miami and the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. It also targets properties owned by Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Democrats also specify several figures of interest. Trump’s family members are listed, as well as figures such as campaign chairman Paul Manafort, activist investor Carl Icahn, Russian-born associate Felix Sater, operative Roger Stone and attorney Michael Cohen. They also list members of the administration, including Gary Cohn, Wilbur Ross, Rex Tillerson and Jeff Sessions.

The resolution also requests information on the president’s long-time assistant, Rhona Graff, and publicist Rob Goldstone, two figures tied into the brewing scandal surrounding Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer last summer. Emails released by Trump Jr. earlier this week just minutes before The New York Times was set to break a story on them revealed he accepted a meeting last year with a Russian lawyer on the promise that she could offer damaging information about Hillary Clinton. The emails also said the Russian government was supporting his father’s presidential bid.

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Trumps legal team faces tensions and a client who often takes his own counsel

mikenova shared this story .

The challenge for President Trump’s attorneys has become, at its core, managing the unmanageable — their client.

He won’t follow instructions. After one meeting in which they urged Trump to steer clear of a certain topic, he sent a tweet about that very theme before they arrived back at their office.

He won’t compartmentalize. With aides, advisers and friends breezing in and out of the Oval Office, it is not uncommon for the president to suddenly turn the conversation to Russia — a subject that perpetually gnaws at him — in a meeting about something else entirely.

And he won’t discipline himself. Trump’s legal team, led by Marc E. Kasowitz of New York, is laboring to underscore the potential risk to the president if he engages without a lawyer in discussions with other people under scrutiny in widening Russia inquiries, including Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser.

Nearly two months after Trump retained outside counsel to represent him in the investigations of alleged Russian meddling in last year’s election, his and Kushner’s attorneys are struggling to enforce traditional legal boundaries to protect their clients, according to half a dozen people with knowledge of the internal dynamics and ongoing interactions, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the matter candidly.

Jared Kushner, son-in-law and senior adviser to President Trump, listens during session with cybersecurity experts at the White House in January. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

Compounding the challenges have been tensions between Trump’s and Kushner’s legal teams in a frenzied, siege-like environment. Senior White House officials are increasingly reluctant to discuss the issue internally or publicly and worry about overhearing sensitive conversations, for fear of legal exposure.

“Stuff is moving fast and furious,” said one person familiar with the work of the legal teams. “The tensions are just the tensions that would normally exist between two groups of lawyers starting to work together and struggling with facts that we don’t all know yet.”

A third faction could complicate the dynamic further. Trump’s eldest child, Donald Trump Jr., hired his own criminal defense attorney this week amid disclosures that he met with a Russian lawyer with ties to the Kremlin who he thought could provide incriminating information about Democrat Hillary Clinton during the campaign. Trump Jr. also is considering hiring his own outside public relations team.

In remarks to reporters on Air Force One before his arrival in Paris on Thursday, Trump defended his son as “a good boy” who had done nothing wrong and suggested he would support Trump Jr. testifying about the case “if he wants to.”

[‘Category 5 hurricane’: White House under siege by Trump Jr.’s revelations]

As in Trump’s West Wing, lawyers on the outside teams have been deeply distrustful of one another and suspicious of motivations. They also are engaged in a circular firing squad of private speculation about who may have disclosed information about Trump Jr.’s meeting with the Russian lawyer to the New York Times, said people familiar with the situation.

Michael J. Bowe, a partner at Kasowitz’s firm and a member of Trump’s legal team, said the lawyers are collaborating effectively. “The legal teams have worked together smoothly and professionally from the start,” he said.

Trump’s lawyer denies Trump asked Comey to drop the Flynn probe

President Trump’s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz hit back at former FBI director James Comey’s testimony on June 8, saying that Trump never asked Comey to let the Flynn investigation go or for Comey’s “loyalty.” President Trump’s personal attorney Marc Kasowitz hit back at former FBI director James Comey’s testimony on June 8. (Photo: Ricky Carioti/The Washington Post/Reuters)

(Reuters)

Another question is who will pay the legal fees for the president and administration officials involved in the Russia inquiries. Some in Trump’s orbit are pushing the Republican National Committee to bear the costs, said three people with knowledge of the situation, including one who euphemistically described the debate as a “robust discussion.”

Although the RNC does have a legal defense fund, it well predates the Russia investigations and is intended to be used for legal challenges facing the Republican Party, such as a potential election recount.

The RNC has not made a decision, in part because the committee is still researching whether the money could legally be used to help pay legal costs related to Russia. But many within the organization are resisting the effort, thinking it would be more appropriate to create a separate legal defense fund for the case.

RNC officials declined requests for comment. The White House has not said whether Trump, Kushner and other officials are paying their legal bills themselves or whether they are being covered by an outside entity.

Those retained by the parties involved include Kasowitz, Bowe and Jay Sekulow for Trump; Jamie S. Gorelick and Abbe Lowell for Kushner; and Alan Futerfas for Trump Jr.

The president has been irritated with Kasowitz, which the Times first reported this week. The two men have known each other for decades, and both are hard-charging, prideful and brash.

[Trump is struggling to stay calm on Russia, one morning call at a time]

But people briefed on the evolving relationship said Trump has made Kasowitz absorb his fury about the Russia inquiries — in keeping with how the president treats his White House staff, quick to blame aides when things go awry.

The lawyers are now faced with the challenge of trying to force change on Trump, 71, who throughout his life has often thrived amid freewheeling chaos. He made his name as a flamboyant Manhattan developer, trafficking in hyperbole and mistruth — or “puffery,” as one former aide put it — while exhibiting little discretion in his daily conversations. For Trump, this was a formula for success.

“There’s no question that Donald Trump has lied flagrantly and almost pathologically his entire life,” said Timothy L. O’Brien, author of the Trump biography “TrumpNation” and a Bloomberg View columnist. “For good parts of his life, he’s been insulated from the consequences of doing that.”

Trump is now the highest elected official in the nation, and with that outsize perch comes potentially outsize consequences. His legal team is trying to impress upon him and those in his orbit that there could be severe ramifications for lying to federal investigators or congressional committees.

O’Brien said, “He is now in a completely different world, and it’s a world unlike any he’s ever existed in before — both in terms of the sophistication and honesty that’s required of him to do his job well, and most especially the titanic legal and reputational consequences of Donald Trump continuing to be the same old Donald Trump.”

[‘A million miles per hour’: Inside Trump’s campaign when Trump Jr. met with Russian]

The president, however, believes he has done nothing wrong and is the target of what he repeatedly has called “a witch hunt.” His instinct, those close to him have said, is to trust his gut and punch back.

Barry Bennett, who was a Trump campaign adviser, said that Trump isn’t used to losing and that “he never stops fighting. That’s what life has taught him. In Washington, politics is a full-
contact sport, and it’s certainly tougher than having it out with a magazine. It’s a new arena for him and he’s treating it like every arena he’s ever been in. He may be right, but it’s messy.”

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During last year’s campaign, Bennett recalled, “do you know how many times people came to him and said, ‘That was lethal, you’re never going to survive it’? Every time, he survived. When somebody tells him he can’t do something, he’s at a minimum circumspect.”

When it comes to Twitter, however, the president is hardly circumspect. His political advisers have long urged him to restrain his first impulses on social media and to think twice before tweeting — and now, his lawyers are asking the same.

Still, the president persists.

“It’s my voice,’’ Trump said in a recent interview with the New York Times Magazine. ‘‘They want to take away my voice. They’re not going to take away my social media.’’

Robert Costa, Rosalind S. Helderman and Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.

Moral Vacuum in the House of Trump

mikenova shared this story .

Biographies describe a man intent on making his fortune and not afraid of skating near the edge to do so. At one point, according to Politico, federal investigators found that Frederick used various accounting measures to collect an extra $15 million in rent (in today’s dollars) from a government housing program, on top of paying himself a large “architect’s fee.” He was hauled before investigating committees on at least two occasions, apparently was arrested at a K.K.K. rally in Queens (though it’s not clear he was a member), got involved in a slush fund scandal with Robert Wagner and faced discrimination allegations.

I repeat this history because I don’t think moral obliviousness is built in a day. It takes generations to hammer ethical considerations out of a person’s mind and to replace them entirely with the ruthless logic of winning and losing; to take the normal human yearning to be good and replace it with a single-minded desire for material conquest; to take the normal human instinct for kindness and replace it with a law-of-the-jungle mentality.

It took a few generations of the House of Trump, in other words, to produce Donald Jr.

The Donald Trump Jr. we see through the Russia scandal story is not malevolent: He seems to be simply oblivious to the idea that ethical concerns could possibly play a role in everyday life. When the Russian government offer came across his email, there doesn’t seem to have been a flicker of concern. Instead, he replied with that tone of simple bro glee that we remember from other scandals.

“Can you smell money?!?!?!?!” Jack Abramoff emailed a co-conspirator during his lobbying and casino fraud shenanigans. That’s the same tone as Don Jr.’s “I love it” when offered a chance to conspire with a hostile power. A person capable of this instant joy and enthusiasm isn’t overcoming any internal ethical hurdles. It’s just a greedy boy grabbing sweets.

Once the scandal broke you would think Don Jr. would have some awareness that there were ethical stakes involved. You’d think there would be some sense of embarrassment at having been caught lying so blatantly.

But in his interview with Sean Hannity he appeared incapable of even entertaining any moral consideration. “That’s what we do in business,” the younger Trump said. “If there’s information out there, you want it.” As William Saletan pointed out in Slate, Don Jr. doesn’t seem to possess the internal qualities necessary to consider the possibility that he could have done anything wrong.

That to me is the central takeaway of this week’s revelations. It’s not that the Russia scandal may bring down the administration. It’s that over the past few generations the Trump family has built an enveloping culture that is beyond good and evil.

The Trumps have an ethic of loyalty to one another. “They can’t stand that we are extremely close and will ALWAYS support each other,” Eric Trump tweeted this week. But beyond that there is no attachment to any external moral truth or ethical code. There is just naked capitalism.

Successful business people, like successful politicians, are very ambitious, but they generally have some complementary moral code that checks their greed and channels their drive. The House of Trump has sprayed an insecticide on any possible complementary code, and so they are continually trampling basic decency. Their scandals may not build to anything impeachable, but the scandals will never end.

Continue reading the main story

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Donald Trumps deep connections to dirty Russian money: The trail leads back more than 30 years

mikenova shared this story from Salon: in-depth news, politics, business, technology & culture Salon.

On Air Force One on Thursday, President Trump actually took questions from reporters but there was some confusion about whether or not the exchange was on the record. The White House later released a transcript that left out a couple of things. Since reporters were released from their agreement to keep it off the record, they filled in the blanks:

So we are getting closer to an admission that our president knew that representatives of the Russian government wanted to help him win the election. He simply doesn’t believe there’s anything wrong with that.

We know for sure that he doesn’t think there’s anything unusual about it. He told the reporters:

Honestly, in a world of politics, most people are going to take that meeting. If somebody called and said, hey — and you’re a Democrat — and by the way, they have taken them — hey, I have really some information on Donald Trump. You’re running against Donald Trump. Can I see you? I mean, how many people are not going to take the meeting?

When asked about it again during his press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron, he said the same thing.

Donald Trump used to brag about doing business with Russians. He told David Letterman back in 2013 “I’ve done a lot of business with the Russians, I know the Russians very well. They’re smart and they’re tough and they’re not looking so dumb right now.” That was around the time of the Miss Universe Pageant in Moscow, when Trump was tight with billionaire oligarch Aras Agalarov, also known as Putin’s builder, and his pop star son Emin, both of whom were instrumental in the “Hillary dirt” meeting with Donald Jr. After years of trying fruitlessly to get a Trump project off the ground in the country, he had finally succeeded in making the contact who could make his dream come true.

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According to Michael Isikoff at Yahoo, it was a typical Trump arrangement in which Agalarov would build the tower and license Trump’s name for big dollars. Donald Jr. was put it charge and Ivanka even made a trip in 2014 to see the proposed property. Unfortunately for the Trumps, the project got shelved when the Russian economy went south due to the sanctions imposed by the U.S. and the European Union following the Russian incursion into Crimea (something President Trump is now in a position to “fix”).

Agalarov told Forbes back in March that he was still on board the Trump train and that “anything Trump related I would be interested to pursue. I think today the Trump brand is stronger all over the world. And him being the president; I mean, it’s a big brand now.” Indeed it is.

Nonethless, Trump was all over the map about his involvement with Russia during the campaign, saying in one breath that he was good pals with Vladimir Putin and another denying that he’d ever had anything to do with Russia in any way, shape or form. In his first press conference as president he said, “I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.”

But asking if Trump has investments in Russia was never the right question. The question to ask was whether any Russians had investments in Donald Trump. Some years back Donald Trump Jr. told a real estate conference, “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets. We see a lot of money pouring in from Russia.” When writer James Dodson asked how the Trumps were able to finance their purchase of golf courses during the recession when credit had all dried up, Eric Trump told him, “Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.” (Eric Trump has denied he ever said this.)

Nonetheless it has been difficult to analyze Trump’s financing arrangements since his company is family-owned and he refuses to release his tax returns or detail his holdings in any useful way. We know Trump was cited numerous times for money-laundering in his Atlantic City casinos. (I wrote about that here.)  But this blockbuster article by Craig Unger in the New Republic confirms that Trump has been financed for years by Russian mobsters who have laundered money through his high-end real estate projects. And when I say Russian mobsters I’m talking about the most powerful Russian mobsters in the world.

Unger makes clear that he can find no evidence that Trump was ever involved in criminal activity, or knew exactly where the money pouring into his buildings was coming from. He didn’t need to know or want to; if nothing else Trump has finely honed survival instincts. But Unger also documents that criminals and oligarchs lived in and ran illegal activities out of Trump properties, including Trump Tower in Manhattan, for more than 30 years. They provided Trump with some of his most lucrative branding deals, the ones in which he was not required to make any personal investment. The unending flow of Russian money, Unger writes, that “provided Trump with a crucial infusion of financing that helped rescue his empire from ruin, burnish his image, and launch his career in television and politics.”

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It’s hard to believe that anyone with that kind of criminal exposure would think it was a good idea to run for president. But Trump had been in the public spotlight and had gotten away with it for years. Books were written about his ties to criminals and he’s been sued thousands of time for fraudulent business practices. In his experience, this is just how the world works.

Trump’s comments about his son’s nefarious meeting shows that he believes everyone does whatever it takes to win and use any means at their disposal. He’s so casual about it that it’s obvious that if at some point before he ran for president he was personally offered the help of the Russian FSB, he would have taken it without a second thought. He simply assumes that everyone in the world is exactly like him.

I’m sure there is a clinical term for this but it’s just as easy to simply say that he has the ethos of a mobster. Why wouldn’t he? He’s been doing business with them for years.

Former Soviet Counter Intelligence Officer at Meeting With Donald Trump Jr. and Russian Lawyer

mikenova shared this story .

WASHINGTON — The Russian lawyer who met with the Trump team after a promise of compromising material on Hillary Clinton was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist — a former Soviet counter intelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, NBC News has learned.

NBC News is not naming the lobbyist, who denies any current ties to Russian spy agencies. He accompanied the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to the June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.

The Russian-born American lobbyist served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the U.S., where he holds dual citizenship.

Donald Trump Jr. meeting with Russian attorney: Another person attended 2:49

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Veselnitskaya acknowledged to NBC News that she was accompanied by at least one other man, though she declined to identify him.

The presence at the meeting of a Russian-American with suspected intelligence ties is likely to be of interest to special counsel Robert Mueller and the House and Senate panels investigating the Russian election interference campaign.

Related: What’s Next in the Trump-Russia Saga? Here’s What We Know Now

Contacted by NBC News, representatives for Kushner and Manafort declined to comment.

Alan Futerfas, the attorney retained by Donald Trump Jr., confirmed he has spoken to the individual.

“It’s very simple,” Futerfas said. “The person was described as a friend of Emin [Agalarov]’s and maybe as a friend of Natalia [Veselnitskaya]’s.”

Agalarov is a pop star and a client of Rob Goldstone, a music publicist who arranged the meeting with Trump Jr. Agalarov appeared in a music video with Trump when the Miss Universe pageant, which Trump owned at the time, was held in Moscow in 2013.

Futerfas said he has talked with that individual who came to the meeting with Veselnitskaya. “He is a U.S. citizen. He told me specifically he was not working for the Russian government, and in fact laughed when I asked him that question.”

Futerfas confirmed that, “for the purpose of security or otherwise, the names were reviewed” but said Trump Jr. knew nothing about the man’s background at the time of the meeting.

When asked about whether he had concerns, knowing what he knows now, Futerfas responded: “I have absolutely no concerns about what was said in that meeting.”

Veselnitskaya, in an exclusive interview with NBC News, denied having any connection to the Kremlin and insisted the meeting was to discuss sanctions, not the presidential campaign.

Exclusive: Russian Lawyer Responds to Trump Jr. Emails 2:09

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In an email exchange released by Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son wrote “I love it” to Goldstone when told about possibly getting his hands on material potentially damaging to the Clinton campaign.

Goldstone told Trump Jr. that the meeting would be with a “Russian government attorney” and that the information was “part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump.” Trump Jr. responded enthusiastically, “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer.”

Related: Trump’s Lawyer Says President Was Unaware of Son’s Russian Emails

Trump Jr. said after releasing the emails that, “in retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently.”

President Trump has defended his son’s decision to meet with Veselnitskaya, saying “most people would have taken that meeting.”

“My son is a wonderful young man. He took a meeting with a Russian lawyer, not a government lawyer but a Russian lawyer,” Trump said Thursday in a joint press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron. “From a practical standpoint most people would have taken that meeting. It’s called opposition research or research into your opponent.”

Ken Dilanian and Natasha Lebedeva reported from Washington. Hallie Jackson reported from Paris.

Marine KC-130T Experienced Problems at Cruising Altitude, Broke Into At Least 2 Pieces

mikenova shared this story from USNI News.

Romanian static-line paratroopers enter a KC-130T Hercules Aircraft from Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452, on the flight line of Campia Turzii, Romania, June 3, 2010. A pair of KC-130 Hercules aircraft, from VMGR-452, out of Newburgh, N.Y., and VMGR-234, out of Fort Worth, Texas, are currently deployed as the air combat element of the Black Sea Rotational Force Security Cooperation Marine Air-Ground Task Force. US Marine Corps photo.

The Marine Corps KC-130T that crashed Monday afternoon likely experienced a failure at cruising altitude and fell to the ground in two main pieces, the service announced today.

The Marines have still not commented on potential causes of the crash, as the investigation is ongoing. But Brig. Gen. Bradley James, Commanding General of the 4th Marine Aircraft Wing, told reporters in a press conference in Mississippi today that there are “two large impact areas” and that “indications are something went wrong at cruise altitude. There is a large debris pattern.”

James said at the press conference that the families of the victims – nine Marines from the reserve unit Marine Air Refueler Transport Squadron (VMGR) 452 based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y., along with six Marines and a Navy corpsman from 2nd Raider Battalion based at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C. – had been notified but that the names of those 16 service members would not be released until “the next few days” out of respect for their families.

The Marines from VMGR-452, which falls under James’ 4th MAW, were tasked with transporting the 2nd Raider Battalion special operations personnel from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., to Naval Air Facility El Centro, Calif. Around 4 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration notified the Marine Corps that the plane had dropped off local radar readings. Around that time, large plumes of smoke were noticed by local residents in fields in Northwest Mississippi.

Two U.S. Marine Corps KC-130 Hercules refueling aircraft with the Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452 prior to departing for a refueling mission in support of exercise Northern Edge 2011 June 13, 2011, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. US Marine Corps photo.

The fact that the KC-130T would experience issues at cruising altitude leading to a crash is unusual in that the airplane has among the best safety records of anything the military flies today. USNI News previously reported the Marines’ KC-130 fleet, which has included three older models before the introduction of today’s KC-130J, has experienced just two in-flight Class A mishaps before this week. Class A mishaps involve a fatality or more than $2 million in damages. In the two previous mishaps, one involved a flash fire breaking out as a plane was coming in for a landing in Pakistan, leading to a fatal crash into a mountainside, and the other occurred just after takeoff, leading to a crash landing that all personnel survived. The Marines have not seen any similar instances of a KC-130 having issues at cruising altitude.

Related

Marine KC-130 Involved in Monday Crash Has Good Safety Record

MARINE KC-130 INVOLVED IN MONDAY CRASH HAS GOOD SAFETY RECORD

This post has been corrected to reflect that the KC-130 itself has experienced only three in-flight mishaps, rather than four in-flight mishaps as was previously reported. A fourth entry provided by the Naval Safety Center was mistakenly labeled as a KC-130 mishap; rather, the Naval Safety Center told USNI News…

July 11, 2017

In “Aviation”

U.S. Increases Role in Aussie Pitch Black Air Combat Exercise

U.S. INCREASES ROLE IN AUSSIE PITCH BLACK AIR COMBAT EXERCISE

The U.S. has increased its role in an air combat exercise, featuring its largest contribution of airpower in more than a decade from the U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps in a practical demonstration of Washington’s, “rebalance to the Pacific.” Codenamed Pitch Black 2016, the biannual exercise in the first…

August 23, 2016

In “Aviation”

Marine plane had emergency at high altitude, general says

mikenova shared this story .

GREENWOOD, Miss. — A Marine Corps transport plane that crashed in Mississippi, killing 16 service members, experienced an emergency at high altitude and left two debris fields a mile apart, a Marine general said Wednesday, bolstering witness accounts that the plane broke up or exploded while in the air.

“Two large impact areas are half a mile north of Highway 82 and a half a mile south of Highway 82,” said Brig. Gen. Bradley S. James, commander of the Fourth Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Forces Reserve.

“Indications are something went wrong at cruise altitude,” he said. “There is a large debris pattern.”

The KC-130T, en route from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina to Naval Air Facility El Centro in California, crashed Monday into a soybean field between the towns of Itta Bena and Moorhead, in the Mississippi Delta. It was ferrying members of the elite Marine Raiders special operations force and their equipment, who were scheduled to proceed from El Centro to Yuma, Ariz., James said at a news conference a few miles from the crash site.

James did not specify what he meant by “cruise altitude.” As a propeller-driven craft, the KC-130 family of aircraft does not fly as high as jet planes of similar size. It can go above 30,000 feet with a relatively light load, but it generally cruises below that level.

Appearing with James, Marshall L. Fisher, commissioner of Mississippi’s Department of Public Safety, warned that the wreckage contained explosives. He cautioned people in the rural area not to touch any debris, both for safety’s sake and because removal of it could be a crime.

“There are items that are going to be recovered by teams on the ground; some of them may be unsafe,” he said. He later noted that “there are ordnance disposal teams in the area” who may be causing controlled explosions throughout the search.

The KC-130 family, consisting of four-engine turboprops, is a variant of C-130 transport, a venerable mainstay of the U.S. military. The KC-130T is designed for aerial refueling of other aircraft but can also be used to carry people and gear.

The aircraft that crashed bore registration number 165000 and was nicknamed “Triple Nuts” for the three zeros. It belonged to Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 452, or VMGR-452, nicknamed the Yankees, a Reserve unit based at Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, N.Y., about 60 miles north of New York City.

The plane was built in 1993. In its life, it refueled fighter jets patrolling the no-fly zone in Iraq before the 2003 invasion, and later it ferried troops and equipment into and out of the war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Alan Stinar, a former Marine mechanic who worked on this and other KC-130s, and who is a historian of the model, said it also took part in at least two missions in Africa.

“These things are workhorses that can do almost any job the Marines need them to do, and during the war they were very, very busy,” Stinar said.

Marine plane had emergency at high altitude, general says 07/12/17 [Last modified: Wednesday, July 12, 2017 8:28pm] 
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Military plane crash victims: ‘These were the cream of the crop’ – CNN International

mikenova shared this story from Top Stories – Google News.


CNN International
Military plane crash victims: ‘These were the cream of the crop’
CNN International
(CNN) A painter who loved to fly, a father who married his high school sweetheart, and a former football star who was living his dream of being in the Navy were among the 16 service members killed in Monday’s military plane crash in Mississippi 
Marine plane had emergency at high altitude, general saysTampabay.com
Marine KC-130T Experienced Problems at Cruising Altitude, Broke Into At Least 2 PiecesUSNI News
Woes said to hit plane at ‘cruise altitude’NWAOnline

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Donald Trump: Donald Trump, Russia and a mob of comedy Corleones

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The president struggles to keep things in the family

 Donald Trump

Turkey Chooses Russia Over NATO for Missile Defense

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Turkey has agreed to pay $2.5 billion to acquire Russia’s most advanced missile defense system, a senior Turkish official said, in a deal that signals a turn away from the NATO military alliance that has anchored Turkey to the West for more than six decades.

The preliminary agreement sees Turkey receiving two S-400 missile batteries from Russia within the next year, and then producing another two inside Turkey, according to the Turkish official, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter. A spokesman for Russia’s arms-export company Rosoboronexport OJSC said he couldn’t immediately comment on details of a deal with Turkey.

Turkey has reached the point of an agreement on a missile defense system before, only to scupper the deal later amid protests and condemnation from NATO. Under pressure from the U.S., Turkey gave up an earlier plan to buy a similar missile-defense system from a state-run Chinese company, which had been sanctioned by the U.S. for alleged missile sales to Iran.

Turkey has been in NATO since the early years of the Cold War, playing a key role as a frontline state bordering the Soviet Union. But ties with fellow members have been strained in recent years, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan pursuing a more assertive and independent foreign policy as conflict engulfed neighboring Iraq and Syria. Tensions with the U.S. mounted over U.S. support for Kurdish militants in Syria that Turkey considers terrorists, and the relationship with the European Union soured as the bloc pushed back against what it sees as Turkey’s increasingly autocratic turn. Last month, Germany decided to withdraw from the main NATO base in Turkey, Incirlik, after Turkey refused to allow German lawmakers to visit troops there.

Turkey ‘Disappointed’

The missile deal with Russia “is a clear sign that Turkey is disappointed in the U.S. and Europe,” said Konstantin Makienko, an analyst at the Center for Analysis and Technology, a Moscow think-tank. “But until the advance is paid and the assembly begins, we can’t be sure of anything.”

The Russian system would not be compatible with other NATO defense systems, but also wouldn’t be subject to the same constraints imposed by the alliance, which prevents Turkey from deploying such systems on the Armenian border, Aegean coast or Greek border, the official said. The Russian deal would allow Turkey to deploy the missile defense systems anywhere in the country, the official said.

‘Know-How’

For Turkey, the key aspect of any deal is transfer of technology or know-how, the Turkish official said. Turkey wants to be able to produce its own advanced defense systems, and the Russian agreement to allow two of the S-400 batteries to be produced in Turkey would serve that aim, the official said.
“There are a lot of different levels of technology transfer,” and any offer to Turkey would probably be limited in terms of sophistication, said Makienko, the Moscow-based analyst. “For Turkey to be able to copy the S-400 system, it would have to spend billions to create a whole new industry.”

The S-400 is designed to detect, track and then destroy aircraft, drones or missiles. It’s Russia’s most advanced integrated air defense system, and can hit targets as far as 250 miles away. Russia has also agreed to sell them to China and India.

The sides are currently sorting out technical details and it could take about one year to finalize the project, the Turkish official said. One battery may be available earlier if Russia decides to divert it from another country, the official added. The missiles are not ready to sell off-the-shelf and Russia will have to produce the batteries before delivering them, the official said.

The official said the systems delivered to Turkey would not have a friend-or-foe identification system, which means they could be deployed against any threat without restriction.

U.S. and European rivals have also bid to co-produce missile defense systems with Turkey, as it seeks partnerships allowing it to enhance its domestic arms production amid a military buildup in the region.

Disagreements between Turkey, which has the second-largest army by personnel numbers in NATO, and the U.S., the bloc’s biggest military, have also impacted business. No U.S. companies bid for a Turkish attack helicopter contract in 2006 after Turkey insisted on full access to specific software codes, which the U.S. refused to share, considering it a security risk. Turkey partnered with Italy instead in a $3 billion project to co-produce 50 attack helicopters for its army.

Russia – Google News: Turkey Chooses Russia Over NATO for Missile Defense – Bloomberg

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Bloomberg
Turkey Chooses Russia Over NATO for Missile Defense
Bloomberg
Turkey has agreed to pay $2.5 billion to acquire Russia’s most advanced missile defense system, a senior Turkish official said, in a deal that signals a turn away from the NATO military alliance that has anchored Turkey to the West for more than six

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 Russia – Google News

Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism – Google Search

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The Senate Judiciary Committee Plans How To Coordinate …

Forbes20 hours ago
On Tuesday, the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism took on the challenge of analyzing how the Senate can investigate Russian …
Story image for Senate Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism from USA TODAY

Watergate prosecutor: Congress should continue its Russia probes

USA TODAYJul 11, 2017
He told the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism … The Senate Judiciary Committee, along with the Senate and House …
The Senate Judiciary Committee Plans How To Coordinate Investigations With Mueller

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WASHINGTON, DC -: Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) and Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism in the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Eric Thayer/Getty Images)

On Tuesday, the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism took on the challenge of analyzing how the Senate can investigate Russian hacking at the same time as the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, is operating. I was one of the four witnesses. The hearing’s focus was on the lessons of past similar investigations. About a half-dozen Senators came. The Chair, Lindsay Graham, and his ranking minority member, Sheldon Whitehouse, seemed to arrive at a common-sense mode of operating, after working in the Judiciary Committee’s naturally sophisticated way through a range of legal issues.

Senator Graham, who clearly was the architect of the hearing, was, if not haunted, then concerned, by the history of the Iran-Contra investigation. (Indeed, the main reason I was there, was that I had been Special Deputy Chief Counsel of the House Iran-Contra committee, and could answer his questions directly about the legal issues that emerged from that investigation.) In that investigation, the Congressional committees needed testimony about the Reagan White House from Oliver North and John M. Poindexter, the principal culprits. The committee gave them use immunity, and to everyone’s surprise, despite the concurrence and the full precautions by the special prosecutor, Lawrence Walsh, nevertheless an aberrant panel of the D.C. Circuit reversed the convictions of North and Poindexter.

Senator Graham wants the Senate investigators to proceed, but with care as to immunity. I left the hearing with a sense that as a former military prosecutor he would do a fine job of questioning witnesses if the Senate Republican leadership would let Judiciary move ahead like the Senate Intelligence committee.

Senator Whitehouse had many important points of his own, keeping alive the Subcommittee as a forward-leaning inquiry. He gave attention to the day’s (and week’s) excitement, the e-mails showing the top echelon of Trump’s campaign wanted to take the apparent offer by the Russian lawyer of a meeting about “dirt” on Hillary Clinton due to Russian support for Trump – a powerful indication the Trump campaign wanted rather eagerly to collude with Russia.

He also touched on the way top Trump officials, notably Attorney General Jeff Sessions, had claimed an excuse for refusing to testify as to what Trump told them – an excuse that seemed much like executive privilege. As Senator Whitehouse explored with the witnesses, only President Trump himself in writing, not his subordinates, could claim executive privilege (other than temporarily to give time to check with the President) and President Trump was obviously stalling on touching that toxic privilege.

mueller – Google News: The Senate Judiciary Committee Plans How To Coordinate Investigations With Mueller – Forbes

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Forbes
The Senate Judiciary Committee Plans How To Coordinate Investigations With Mueller
Forbes
On Tuesday, the Senate Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism took on the challenge of analyzing how the Senate can investigate Russian hacking at the same time as the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller, is operating. I was one of the four witnesses.

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 mueller – Google News

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