6:31 PM 12/2/2017 – To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs – World Politics Review

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The Latest: Trump expresses no concern about Flynn plea deal
Kaspersky Lab, Russian antivirus vendor, singled out in warning issued by U.K. cybersecurity chief
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks
Trump Calls Reports That He Will Fire Tillerson Fake News
Mattis Begins Five-Day Tour of the Middle East
Remembering Stalins Hunger
Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI as Trump-Russia inquiry takes critical step
UK Warns Government Agencies Not to Use Kaspersky Software – U.S. News & World Report
Tweets and isolationist talk belie Trump’s first year of national security policy, experts say – Washington Examiner
Big Tobacco and the Army
Russia Conducts Nuclear Exercises Amid Orthodox End-Times Talk
Putins Strategy of Global Tension
Polands Defense Minister Answers the Question: What Does Putin Want?
7 Steps to Stop Putins Special War Against the West
Spies Suspect Kremlin Is Pushing Dozens of Fake Trump Sex Tapes
Former FBI Director James Comey, fired after he refused to let Flynn ‘go,’ is having some fun on social media – Los Angeles Times
Flynn Said to Have Reached Out to Russia at Kushner’s Behest (2) – seattlepi.com
Islamic State attack kills at least 2 in eastern Afghanistan – ABC News
ISIS’ Intelligence Service Refuses to Die
Cold-War-era Soviet spy George Blake issues rare statement from Moscow
Trump administration allegedly considering plan to privatize CIA operations
EUROPE/UNITED STATES : Intelligence services get into storytelling
Rex Tillerson Brushes Off Reports That He Is Being Shown The Door
Border Patrol Seeks Witnesses To Help Figure Out Agent’s Death

To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs – World Politics Review

 

Saved Stories – None
The Latest: Trump expresses no concern about Flynn plea deal

WASHINGTON (AP) – The Latest on former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s pleading guilty to a charge of lying to the FBI about his contacts with Russia (all times local):

9:20 a.m.

President Donald Trump is expressing no concern about the guilty plea by his former national security adviser Michael …

Kaspersky Lab, Russian antivirus vendor, singled out in warning issued by U.K. cybersecurity chief

The head of Britain’s top cybersecurity agency has warned the U.K. government against using Russian antivirus products amid concerns surrounding Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based software vendor recently banned by U.S. officials over its alleged ties to Russian intelligence.

Ciaran Martin, the director of the U.K. National Cyber Security Centre, warned …

FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that adversarial governments are more often collaborating with criminals to carryout cyber attacks against the United States.

Wray said the indictment of a Canadian national who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to helping Russian spies hack into Yahoo email accounts reflect “one of the more dangerous, emerging threats” facing the United States today, known in the intelligence community as a “blended threat.”

“We are seeing an emergence of that kind of collaboration,” Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee, noting that until recently governments and criminals worked separately. “Now there’s this collusion, if you will, that’s occurring on a number of instances like mercenaries being used to commit cyber attacks.”

The Justice Department announced charges in March against Karim Baratov, a 22-year-old Canadian citizen, and three other men, including two officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, for their involvement in the 2014 hack into Yahoo that affected 500 million accounts.

U.S. law enforcement officials said Baratov, who they dubbed a “hacker-for-hire,” acknowledged breaking into email accounts and selling the passwords to an agent of the FSB, a Russian intelligence agency.

The individuals targeted included Russian officials, a European diplomat, a former economic minister from a neighboring country, and a prominent banker.

The case confirmed longstanding suspicions that Russia’s government hires non-government hackers and uses its spy services to facilitate criminal activity in addition to conducting espionage.

Wray, who President Donald Trump handpicked to replace ousted FBI Director James Comey in June, said Russia is attempting to assert its dominance in the world by relying on asymmetric warfare to “damage and weaken” the United States

To combat the threat, Wray said he has set up a “foreign influence task force” within the bureau made up of different divisions, including counterintelligence, cyber, and criminal investigation. He said the agency would also coordinate closely with the Department of Homeland Security, which is charged with overseeing critical election infrastructure, to prevent against cyberattacks.

The post FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacksappeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Trump Calls Reports That He Will Fire Tillerson Fake News

President Donald Trump on Friday dismissed press reports that he plans on firing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, calling them “fake news” in a tweet.

Trump’s comments followed multiple reports, citing administration officials, that the White House has developed a plan to oust Tillerson and replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who in turn would be replaced by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton (Ark.).

“The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soonFake News!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “He’s not leaving.”

Trump added that although he and Tillerson “disagree on certain subjects, (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!”

The media has been speculating that I fired Rex Tillerson or that he would be leaving soon – FAKE NEWS! He’s not leaving and while we disagree on certain subjects, (I call the final shots) we work well together and America is highly respected again!https://instagram.com/p/BcLCXDYgQed/ 

The tweet also linked to a post on Trump’s Instagram account, which includes a picture of Tillerson’s swearing-in ceremony.

Trump has frequently been at odds with Tillerson, airing some of their disagreements publicly. The president once said that Tillerson was “wasting his time trying to negotiate” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

“Save your energy, Rex, we’ll do what has to be done,” he tweeted.

In October, both Trump and Tillerson denied reports that the secretary of state threatened to resign, calling them “fake news.” Some news outlets reported at the time that Tillerson had privately called Trump a “moron” at a meeting over the summer.

The post Trump Calls Reports That He Will Fire Tillerson ‘Fake News’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Mattis Begins Five-Day Tour of the Middle East

Secretary of Defense James Mattis is beginning his five-day tour of the Middle East on Friday.

The Department of Defense announced that Mattis will visit Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, and Kuwait.

During his time in Egypt on Saturday, Mattis will meet with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Defense Minister Gen. Sedki Sobhi.

Mattis will then go to Jordan on Sunday, where King Abdullah II will host a conference on combating extremism in West Africa. Attendees of the meeting in Jordan will include representatives from many countries in Africa and Europe.

Mattis will meet with Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Gen. Qamar Bajwa, who serves as Chief of Army Staff, on Monday. His final stop will be in Kuwait Tuesday, where he will meet with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah.

Mattis is well known in the region due to his time as commander of U.S. Central Command, which focuses on the Middle East. Mattis had traveled throughout much of the region then and met with regional and local leaders.

The post Mattis Begins Five-Day Tour of the Middle East appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Remembering Stalins Hunger

History is the only laboratory we have in which to test the effect of ideas. Scientific knowledge may progress by abandoning its old notions and even forgetting them. But political knowledgethe interplay of regimes and policies and personalitiesadvances only while we recall the political arrangements of the past and what came of them. In the old adage of Dr. Johnson, humankind is far more often in need of being reminded than of being instructed.

The modern historian Anne Applebaum is determined that no one forget what Soviet communism really was, and in many ways her latest book, Red Famine, is simply a cry for remembrance of the Holodomorthe great Soviet starvation of the early 1930s, in which nearly 4 million Ukrainians died because Joseph Stalin had an idea, and the political regime he ruled allowed him to implement it.

“The starvation of a human body,” Applebaum notes, “always follows the same course. In the first phase the body consumes its stores of glucose. . . . In the second phase, . . . the body begins to consume its own fats. . . . In the third phase, the body devours its own proteins.” In the endskin thinned, eyes sclerotic, belly swollen, the mind beaten down by hallucinationsa mortal apathy takes hold as the body slumps toward death.

Just as starvation follows a familiar course in each individual, so food shortages all follow a recognizable pattern. As Amartya Sen showed in his classic 1981 study, Poverty and Famines, government is a primary cause of scarcity. Modern famines aren’t acts of God so much as acts of politics: born of the actions and inactions of distant officials, the incompetence and cupidity of local administrators, and, perhaps most of all, the imposition of bad policy at the highest reaches of power.

Here in 2017, the centennial of the Russian Revolution, Applebaum insists that we look again at how the Ukrainian famine was allowed to begin and how it was allowed to continue. The particulars she relates are fascinating, but, as Sen would have predicted, the overall story traces a murderous arc that ought to be familiar: the death of millions in the exercise of tyrannical power. When we forget what Communist tyranny did, we forget why we must always resist its return.

In the battles that followed the Bolshevik revolution, the system of Soviet  republics slowly emerged in part as Lenin’s way to coopt the peasants and tie them to the Russian government that was determined to keep the breadbasket of Ukrainian territory within the new Communist territory. Stalin began his own rule by expanding the policy, allowing Ukraine to keep some distinctive national elements.

By 1927, however, Stalin felt the political situation had become both more secure and more fragile. International threats loomed large in the Russian mind, even while greater controls over the population allowed large-scale attempts to modernize the Soviet republics. The peasants as a class, especially the richer peasants known as kulaks, resisted Communist efforts and thereby seemed in league with foreign powers. So Stalin began confiscating land to form collective farms.

It was, in conception, a political masterstroke, aimed at solving all his problems at once. Forcing the peasants to join collective farms would disempower the kulaks and thereby weaken Ukrainian identity. Collectivization promised a uniform modernizing of agriculture, which would increase yields across the Soviet empire. Even more, it would allow greater state control of agricultureproviding Moscow with Ukrainian food to distribute to less treasonous Soviet areas, ensuring their loyalty to Moscow. The collective farms would even provide grain that could be sold abroad, bringing in the cash necessary for Stalin’s radical plans to build a modern industrial base for the Soviet Union.

Unfortunately, the farming population resisted, which Stalin took as sedition. Brutal police enforcers from the cities were sent in to punish the peasants, killing anyone they suspected of hiding grain and confiscating even the seed they needed for the next planting. And so the familiar tale of modern famine began to march toward its inevitable conclusion. “Starvation,” Applebaum points out, “was the result of the forcible removal of food from peoples’ home; roadblocks that prevented peasants seeing work or food; blacklists imposed on farms and villages.”

In the Great Famine of 1932 and 1933, cannibalism became an open secret. All pets and farm animals disappeared. The hunger of the farmers reduced their strength to work the farms, worsening the crisis. And around 3.9 million Ukrainians starved to death, with at least a million more elsewhere in the Soviet Union. None of that famine originated in the old causes of bad weather. Stalin killed the peasants because he had ordered a policy that no one could resist.

Robert Conquest’s path-breaking 1986 study, The Harvest of Sorrow, convinced most readers that the famine had in fact taken place, though the Soviets never fully admitted it and, as Applebaum acidly points out, Western journalists (notably the New York Times‘s Walter Duranty) helped keep the millions of deaths hidden from the world.

The only question that remains these days is whether Stalin directly intended the deaths. He certainly caused them with his policies, and he was obviously willing to allow the slaughter to continue, once it had began. But did he want a Ukrainian genocide from the beginning? Given the archival evidence of Soviet pride in destroying the kulaks, the answer seems to be both yes and no. Stalin planned on any number of deaths, and he pursued his agricultural reforms even once it was clear that no goal other than punishing the peasants was being served. “Stalin did not seek to kill all Ukrainians,” Applebaum writes. But he did intend to eliminate “the most active and engaged.”

In Red Famine, Applebaum shows that she understands the purposes that remembering the Holodomorserves today. The Ukrainians have repurposed the particular Soviet oppression as general Russian oppression, with the Great Famine understood as a deliberate genocideand thus a rallying cry for Ukraine to resist encroachment from Putin’s post-Soviet Russia.

With her 2004 Pulitzer Prize-winning volume, Gulag: A History, Anne Applebaum endeavored to return to conscious memory the Soviet prison system that figures from Alexander Solzhenitsyn to Robert Conquest had chronicled. It was a fine book, just as Red Famine is a fine book. But Applebaum’s greatest strengthher most admirable gift to her readersis her unwillingness to let us forget just how relentlessly murderous, cruel, and ideological the Soviet regime really was.

She knows, in other words, that here in 2017, a hundred years after the Bolshevik revolution, we are still in need of being reminded what the laboratory of history has taught us about the evil of communism.

The post Remembering Stalin’s Hunger appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBI as Trump-Russia inquiry takes critical step

  • Flynn ready to testify about contact between Trump campaign and Russians
  • I recognize that my actions were wrong I am working to set things right

In a startling breakthrough for prosecutors investigating potential collusion between Russia and the Donald Trump presidential campaign, former national security adviser Michael Flynn announced on Friday that he was cooperating with prosecutors and ready to testify about Russian contacts.

After months of silence and invisibility, Flynn walked into a federal courthouse in Washington DC on Friday morning and pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the FBI. The plea was part of a larger deal with special counsel Robert Muellers team, and strikes at the heart of the Trump White House.

Related: Frame by frame: how the Michael Flynn-Russia saga unfolded

Michael Flynn is the fourth Donald Trump aide to face criminal charges in the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election and any alleged collusion.

Related: Jared Kushner questioned by Mueller’s team about Michael Flynn, insider says

Mike Flynn should ask for immunity in that this is a witch hunt (excuse for big election loss), by media & Dems, of historic proportion!

Continue reading…

UK Warns Government Agencies Not to Use Kaspersky Software – U.S. News & World Report


U.S. News & World Report
UK Warns Government Agencies Not to Use Kaspersky Software
U.S. News & World Report
In September, the U.S. government barred federal agencies from using Kaspersky products because of concerns about the company’s ties to the Kremlin and Russian spy operations. News reports have since linked Kaspersky software to an alleged theft of 
Government issues antivirus national security warning amid Russia fearsTelegraph.co.uk

all 35 news articles »

Tweets and isolationist talk belie Trump’s first year of national security policy, experts say – Washington Examiner


Washington Examiner
Tweets and isolationist talk belie Trump’s first year of national security policy, experts say
Washington Examiner
Trump has questioned and criticized longtime allies and military alliances, often on Twitter, and has shaken up U.S. policy like few presidents before him. Earlier this year, he suggested the NATO alliance might be obsolete and scolded alliance 

Big Tobacco and the Army

A reader faults Big Tobacco for addicting many in the military.
Russia Conducts Nuclear Exercises Amid Orthodox End-Times Talk

One of the more interesting aspects of Cold War 2.0 is the ideological struggle between the postmodern West and Russiaa struggle that most Westerners deny even exists. President Barack Obama, after Moscow seized Crimea in early 2014, pronounced that there was nothing big afoot: After all, unlike the Soviet Union, Russia leads no bloc of nations, no global ideology.

Obamas statement was wrong then, and its even more wrong now. As Ive explained, there is an undeniable ideological struggle between Vladimir Putins neo-traditionalist Russia and the post-modern Westone that prominent Russians talk about all the time. In the Kremlins imagination, this fight pits the godless, materialistic, doomed 21st century West, too lazy to even reproduce, against a tough, reborn Russia that was forged in the murderous fire of 74 years of Bolshevism.

The yawning gap between Russian and Western values can be partly explained by the fact that Communism shielded the former from the Wests vast cultural shifts since the 1960s. Living under the Old Left provided protection against the New Left. As a result, Russians are living in our past and find current Western ways incomprehensible and even contemptible.

Take the reaction to Americas present panic about sexual harassment, which is felling celebrities and politicians left and right. In Moscow, this looks like madness, punishing powerful men for doing what powerful men have always done. Their late-night TV uses our sex panic as a punchline, proof that Americans are weak and feminized, held hostage to radical ideology. Andrei Konchalovsky, one of Russias top film directors (including some Hollywood hits), expressed his view plainly: Thank God we live in a country where political correctness has not reached the point of absurdity.

Read the rest at The Observer …

Filed under: RadicalismStrategy

Putins Strategy of Global Tension

Ever since Moscows Little Green Men seized Crimea in early 2014, weve been in a new Cold War with Russia. To the consternation of wishful-thinkers, as Vladimir Putins confrontation with the West has become transparent, the reality of what I termed Cold War 2.0 almost four years ago has grown difficult to deny. Since the Kremlins revanchism is driving this conflict, were in it whether we want to be or not.

Europe is the central front in Cold War 2.0, thanks to geography and history. Putins war on, and in, Ukraine continues on low boil, while the Russian military regularly delivers provocationsa too-close warship here, an aircraft buzz thereall along NATOs eastern frontier, sending an aggressive message. Major military exercises like Septembers Zapad mega-wargame demonstrate Putins seriousness about confronting the Atlantic Alliance.

What Putin wants was the subject of my recent interview with Antoni Macierewicz, Polands plain-spoken defense minister. What the Kremlin boss seeks, he explained, is restoration of the Russian empire, to which Ukraine (or at least most of it) belonged for centuries. Putin understands that there is no empire without Ukraine, he added.

However, Kremlin provocations extend far beyond the former Soviet Union, as Macierewicz elaborated:

The first move, I think, is Ukraine. But I dont exclude a military attack in the Far East. They want to distract American attention, prolong the front of confrontation in order to create a favorable situation for aggression in Europe. If you look at the map, Russia is always helping the enemies of America: deep ties to North Korea, involvement in Afghanistan and Syria, backing Iran, and so on.

This assessment sounds alarmist at first, particularly the mention of possible aggression in the Far East, but Western intelligence agencies that track Russian moves have been thinking along similar linesthough they seldom say so in public. Therefore, its worth taking a brief look at what Putins up to, and where.

Read the rest at The Observer …

Filed under: CounterintelligenceEspionageStrategyUSG

Polands Defense Minister Answers the Question: What Does Putin Want?

Since coming to power in late 2015, Polands right-wing government has been a lightning rod for criticism at home and abroad. Opponents have castigated the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS in Polish) for its conservatism and resistance to the European Union, de facto led by Germanys Angela Merkel, on a host of issues, above all Muslim migration.

No PiS official has attracted more opprobrium than the minister of National Defense, Antoni Macierewicz, a hero of the Solidarity movement and Polish resistance to Communism. Since 1991, Macierewicz has held numerous positions in government, mostly in the national security realm, and he possesses deep insights into issues of defense and intelligencewhich are very topical now given the rising Russian threat on Polands frontiers.

Time has moderated Macierewiczs piquant views only slightly in his 69 years, and the defense minister ranks among the most straight-talking politicians Ive ever met. I recently sat down with him in Warsaw to discuss whats on his mind. Our conversation started with Polands impressive defense modernization efforts and the nature of the Russian threat to NATO, then moved on to issues of counterintelligencewhere Macierewicz rightly considers himself an expert. We concluded with the sensitive matter of Smolensk, the mysterious April 2010 air crash that decapitated Polands government, an issue that rests close to the heart for Macierewicz and for the many Poles who fear Vladimir Putins intentions. 

What would you like the American public to know about Polish defense modernization?

We want to do everything we can to have a military that is able to defend our country and to be a solid partner of the United States and NATObut first and foremost, as our top objective, we want to have a military that is able to defend ourselves and our allies. And we want our friends in the United States to know exactly this: We are of course grateful to the United States for the support that we have received in the dramatic situation in which we find ourselves and share a joint-Polish American awareness of this threat, which is a threat to all off Europe.

Read the rest at The Observer …

Filed under: CounterintelligenceEspionageStrategy

7 Steps to Stop Putins Special War Against the West

President Donald Trumps bizarre weekend highlights just how deeply the Kremlin has burrowed into Western politics, nowhere more than the United States. Trump blew apart his Asian trip by insisting that his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, had nothing to do with meddling in our election last yearbecause the Kremlin boss says so.

In Vietnam on Saturday, Trump announced that he spoke to Putin on the sideline of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Danang, and the Russian president said he absolutely did not meddle in our election. He added, Every time he sees me he says I didnt do that and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it. Trump then stated that the Kremlin boss is very insulted by reports that Russia interfered in our 2016 election, and this is not a good thing for our country. Adding fuel to the fire he set, Trump dismissed allegations of Russian meddling as this artificial Democratic hit job, then castigated the leadership of the Intelligence Community he inherited on his inauguration in January as dishonest political hacks.

Trump has never accepted the IC assessment that Russian spies interfered in our election last year, but even for this president, Saturdays outburst was extraordinary. Its not every day that the American president publicly sides with a foreign leader against his own intelligence bossesespecially when that leader is the very one whom American spies assess meddled to elect this president. That Trump chose to do this on Veterans Day, on foreign soil, did not go unnoticed by many with displeasure.

Trumps controversial words blew up in his face immediately. Across the political spectrum, his public siding with Putin while undermining the investigation into his Moscow links was met with howls of outrage, while many are now wondering what exactly Trumps relationship with the Kremlin isas well they should.

CIA Director Mike Pompeo quickly entered the fray, issuing a terse statement: The Director stands by and has always stood by the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment entitled: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed. Pompeo is viewed by many at Langley and across the IC as uncomfortably close to the president, but Trumps bizarre siding with Putin on such a major issue was something the CIA director could not countenance.

Read the rest at The Observer …

Filed under: CounterintelligenceEspionageStrategyUSG

Spies Suspect Kremlin Is Pushing Dozens of Fake Trump Sex Tapes


Attempting to get to the bottom of a complex espionage case, untangling multiple strands of secret agentry, is the most challenging exercise in all intelligence work. It taxes the minds of the most gifted counterspies, particularly when the operation extends over years, even decades, and it involves a complex cast of players, some of them Russian.

A half-century ago, when our Intelligence Community was assessing if there were Kremlin moles inside our spy agencies (spoiler: there were), a nasty bureaucratic fight ensued that dragged on for years. The protagonist was James Angleton, the CIAs top counterspy for two decades, who coined the term wilderness of mirrors to describe the impenetrable mystery of certain espionage operations. In typical Angletonian flourish, he borrowed the phrase from a T. S. Eliot poem to capture the enduring mystery of never quite grasping up from down in a case, or knowing whos really running the showand looking at it too closely only leads to more confusion.

Ive previously written about Angletons wilderness of mirrors, since it remains a fascinating saga still, and I noted how tricky the counterspy game can be:

One of the alluring aspects of counterintelligence is that very complex cases can turn on very small, sometimes minute, pieces of information. And years of getting to the bottom of an operation can be swiftly overturned when one tinyand possibly very inconvenientfact comes to light. This is particularly a possibility when what exactly happened in a case proves hard to pin down. As most cases involving the Russians are.

This is relevant today, since between Special Counsel Robert Muellers team and the efforts of our Intelligence Community, the secret side of Washington, D.C., is currently engaged in the biggest counterintelligence investigation since the days of VENONA in the early Cold War, when the FBI and NSA unraveled a vast Kremlin spy apparatus in our country, centered in our nations capital.

Read the rest at The Observer …

Filed under: CounterintelligenceEspionage MysteriesStrategyUSG

Former FBI Director James Comey, fired after he refused to let Flynn ‘go,’ is having some fun on social media – Los Angeles Times


Los Angeles Times
Former FBI Director James Comey, fired after he refused to let Flynn ‘go,’ is having some fun on social media
Los Angeles Times
As the special counsel investigation into Russian meddling moves closer to President Trump’s inner circle, the man reportedly pressured by Trump not to charge ex-National Security Advisor Michael T. Flynn has been posting online famous quotes about
Trump Says He Fired Michael Flynn ‘Because He Lied’ to FBINew York Times
James Comey’s simple, stinging response to Flynn’s guilty pleaQuartz
Did Trump admit something he really shouldn’t have in his tweet about Michael Flynn’s guilty plea?Washington Post
Palm Beach Post –Raw Story –Washington Post
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Flynn Said to Have Reached Out to Russia at Kushner’s Behest (2) – seattlepi.com


seattlepi.com
Flynn Said to Have Reached Out to Russia at Kushner’s Behest (2)
seattlepi.com
He’s also disclosed payments from RT, described in an unclassified U.S. intelligence report as the Kremlin’s principalinternational propaganda outlet, and Kaspersky Government Security, a cybersecurity business that U.S. authorities say works 
Former Trump adviser Michael Flynn pleads guilty to lying to FBIDallas News
Statement from former national security adviser FlynnEconomic Times
Flynn admits to lying, says Trump team knew of Russia talksDuluth News Tribune
Bloomberg –The Hill
all 1,208 news articles »
Islamic State attack kills at least 2 in eastern Afghanistan – ABC News

Islamic State attack kills at least 2 in eastern Afghanistan
ABC News
At least two security forces were killed and 10 others, including both soldiers and civilians, were wounded in an attack by Islamic State group militants in eastern Nangarhar province. Attahullah Khogyani, spokesman for the provincial governor, said

and more »

ISIS’ Intelligence Service Refuses to Die

“In Iraq, the war of weapons is over, but the war of information is not. First of all, many of the most experienced and dedicated Emni members were able to escape when ISIS fell. Compared to ISIS fighters, they enjoyed relative freedom of movement, so when the Iraqi operation in Mosul started, many agents moved to liberated territories, from which they updated ISIS on the movement of Iraqi forces. Even now, their presence is no secret to local civilians.”

Cold-War-era Soviet spy George Blake issues rare statement from Moscow

One of the Cold Wars most recognizable spy figures, George Blake, who escaped to the Soviet Union after betraying British intelligence, issued a rare statement last week, praising the successor agency to Soviet-era KGB.

Trump administration allegedly considering plan to privatize CIA operations

The United States Central Intelligence Agency and the White House are considering several proposals to hire private companies to carry out covert operations abroad, according to a report. 

EUROPE/UNITED STATES : Intelligence services get into storytelling

Rex Tillerson Brushes Off Reports That He Is Being Shown The Door

Rex Tillerson has become a symbol of dysfunction and tension, and the subject of months of rumors about his declining stock in a chaotic administration.
Border Patrol Seeks Witnesses To Help Figure Out Agent’s Death

Border Agent Killed: The mysterious death happened the weekend before Thanksgiving when many more people than usual were on the road traveling to visit relatives.
To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs – World Politics Review


World Politics Review
To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs
World Politics Review
As Paul Kan of the U.S. Army War College put it in a path-breaking book on narcotrafficking and security, the unique nature of the trade has made persistent threats to national and international security more complex, durable, and acute. In short 

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6:17 PM 12/2/2017 – Trump administration allegedly considering plan to privatize CIA operations

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Trump administration allegedly considering plan to privatize CIA operations

EUROPE/UNITED STATES : Intelligence services get into storytelling
Rex Tillerson Brushes Off Reports That He Is Being Shown The Door
Border Patrol Seeks Witnesses To Help Figure Out Agent’s Death
To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs – World Politics Review
3:04 PM 12/2/2017 Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts New York Times
Mueller Removed FBI Agent From Russia Probe Over Anti-Trump Messages – NPR
Video – Leading expert Philip Gordon speaks to Michael Morell about the big national security challenges and risks that emanate from the Middle East. For deep analysis on regional power plays, download Intelligence MattersThe Intelligence Matters podcast is produced by The Cipher Brief in partnership with CBS News:–thecipherbrief.com: https://www.thecipherbrief.com/podcasts/philip-gordon-brewing-crisis-middle-east–iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/intelligence-matters/id1286906615?mt=2–Android: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-cipher-brief/intelligence-matters
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The Architecture Of 21st-Century Intelligence http://ht.ly/PF1k30gRLfl
Students don’t have to major in intelligence to be a part of the intelligence community. The IC needs individuals from many backgrounds. http://ht.ly/2enN30gX1Tf
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Russia Investigation: What Exactly Has Flynn Agreed to Do to Stay Out of Jail? – Newsweek
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Trump administration allegedly considering plan to privatize CIA operations

The United States Central Intelligence Agency and the White House are considering several proposals to hire private companies to carry out covert operations abroad, according to a report. 

EUROPE/UNITED STATES : Intelligence services get into storytelling

Rex Tillerson Brushes Off Reports That He Is Being Shown The Door

Rex Tillerson has become a symbol of dysfunction and tension, and the subject of months of rumors about his declining stock in a chaotic administration.
Border Patrol Seeks Witnesses To Help Figure Out Agent’s Death

Border Agent Killed: The mysterious death happened the weekend before Thanksgiving when many more people than usual were on the road traveling to visit relatives.
To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs – World Politics Review


World Politics Review
To Promote Global Security and Tackle Extremism, Decriminalize Drugs
World Politics Review
As Paul Kan of the U.S. Army War College put it in a path-breaking book on narcotrafficking and security, the unique nature of the trade has made persistent threats to national and international security more complex, durable, and acute. In short 

3:04 PM 12/2/2017 Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts New York Times

Saved Stories Saved Stories – None Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts – New York Times A Wary Response, So Far, on Trump’s Expected Declaration on Jerusalem – New York Times Donald Trump insists no collusion shown in Flynn case – Deutsche Welle Two senior FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged … Continue reading“3:04 PM 12/2/2017 – Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts – New York Times”
Mueller Removed FBI Agent From Russia Probe Over Anti-Trump Messages – NPR


NPR
Mueller Removed FBI Agent From Russia Probe Over Anti-Trump Messages
NPR
The office of special counsel Robert Mueller removed an FBI agent from the team investigating Russia’s interference in last year’s election and possible ties between the Trump campaign and Russia, the Washington Post and the New York Times both
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump textsWashington Post
FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation over anti-Trump messagesCNN
Trump tweet suggests he knew Flynn had lied to FBI at time of firingNBCNews.com
New York Times –USA TODAY –Politico
all 469 news articles »
Video – Leading expert Philip Gordon speaks to Michael Morell about the big national security challenges and risks that emanate from the Middle East. For deep analysis on regional power plays, download Intelligence MattersThe Intelligence Matters podcast is produced by The Cipher Brief in partnership with CBS News:–thecipherbrief.com: https://www.thecipherbrief.com/podcasts/philip-gordon-brewing-crisis-middle-east–iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/intelligence-matters/id1286906615?mt=2–Android: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-cipher-brief/intelligence-matters

Leading expert Philip Gordon speaks to Michael Morell about the big national security challenges and risks that emanate from the Middle East. For deep analysis on regional power plays, download Intelligence Matters

The Intelligence Matters podcast is produced by The Cipher Brief in partnership with CBS News:
–thecipherbrief.com: https://www.thecipherbrief.com/podcasts/philip-gordon-brewing-crisis-middle-east
–iOS: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/intelligence-matters/id1286906615?mt=2
–Android: https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/the-cipher-brief/intelligence-matters

RIP, Hero.

RIP, Hero.

Vietnam War Medal of Honor Recipient Wesley Fox Dies at 86

Marine Corps Col. Wesley Fox, who received the Medal of Honor, died the evening of Nov. 24 at 86.

The Architecture Of 21st-Century Intelligence http://ht.ly/PF1k30gRLfl

The Architecture Of 21st-Century Intelligence http://ht.ly/PF1k30gRLfl

The Architecture Of 21st-Century Intelligence

The modern intelligence agency hides in plain sight.

Students don’t have to major in intelligence to be a part of the intelligence community. The IC needs individuals from many backgrounds. http://ht.ly/2enN30gX1Tf

Students don’t have to major in intelligence to be a part of the intelligence community. The IC needs individuals from many backgrounds. http://ht.ly/2enN30gX1Tf

Rutgers receives $1.95 million grant to establish a defense intelligence program | The Daily Targum

FBI, DHS Warn of Hacker Mercenaries Funded by Nation-States

A screenshot of the warning screen from a purported ransomware attack, as captured by a computer user in Taiwan, is seen on a laptop in Beijing, May 13, 2017.
Vice President Pence visits DIA HQ

Vice President Mike Pence visited the Defense Intelligence Agency Headquarters at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Nov. 6, to receive classified intelligence briefings and meet with DIA officers.

US Secretary of Defense Mattis arrives in Cairo

On a Mideast trip, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis arrived on Saturday in Cairo to meet with Egyptian officials and discuss cooperation before heading on to Jordan, Pakistan and Kuwait, airport officials said.

FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks

Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to … – Washington Free Beacon Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea – Washington Post Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That … Continue reading“FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks”
Syrian state media: Israeli missiles strike near Damascus

Israel fired several surface-to-surface missiles at a military post near the Syrian capital of Damascus early on Saturday, causing material damage but no casualties, Syria’s state-run news agency reported.

Mattis signals military shift in Syria to reflect ISIS defeat

The U.S. military is shifting its stance in Syria, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday, as the program to arm the Kurdish opposition comes to a close and is replaced by increased support to local police and security forces.

Ex-CIA analyst rejects Turkish claims of involvement in coup

A retired CIA analyst has dismissed Turkish accusations that he was involved in last year’s failed coup, saying he was a “choice target” following a warrant for his detention.

Russia Investigation: What Exactly Has Flynn Agreed to Do to Stay Out of Jail? – Newsweek


Newsweek
Russia Investigation: What Exactly Has Flynn Agreed to Do to Stay Out of Jail?
Newsweek
Also, a reminder that it’s been reported that Flynn’s lawyers are no longer coordinating or sharing information with the president’s lawyers, another indication that Flynn is cooperating. Kate Brannen is Deputy Managing Editor of Just Security 

and more »

Review of FBIs action during election coming next year

Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks Review of FBI’s action during election coming next year FBI foreign influence task force – Google Search FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to … – Washington Free Beacon Robert Mueller just penetrated the … Continue reading“Review of FBI’s action during election coming next year”
11:48 AM 12/2/2017 RECENT POSTS

Recent Posts  G+ Posts on G+ from mikenova (2 sites) Public RSS-Feed of Mike Nova. Created with the PIXELMECHANICS ‘GPlusRSS-Webtool’ at http://gplusrss.com: 8:57 AM 12/2/2017 8:57 AM 12/2/2017 FBI from mikenova (4 sites) FBI News Review: The Orthodox Jewish communities in the U.S. and Israel and their leadership groups are deeply infiltrated by Putins agents. These … Continue reading“11:48 AM 12/2/2017 – RECENT POSTS”
Two senior FBI officials on Clinton, Trump probes exchanged politically charged texts disparaging Trump

Private conduct of a senior counter-intelligence agent and an FBI lawyer could stoke further debate about the bureaus impartiality.
Michael Flynn has nothing to incriminate Trump, president’s legal advisers believe

President Trump’s allies are signaling that they believe former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn has no information to incriminate the president.

A source close to the legal team said that Special Counsel Robert Mueller filings on Friday is the extent of Mr. Flynn’s incriminating statements about White House and campaign …

Water strategy represents an emerging opportunity for US national security – The Hill


The Hill
Water strategy represents an emerging opportunity for US national security
The Hill
Politics stops at the water’s edge, or at least at water. The most conservative and the most liberal members of Congress, House and Senate, authorizers and appropriators, have come together in repeated support of global water security. Now the long 

12:32 PM 12/2/2017 UW law professor named winner of Stockholm Prize in Criminology

FBI from mikenova (7 sites) Saved Stories – FBI: UW law professor named winner of Stockholm Prize in Criminology … – Madison.com political criminology – Google News: This RSS feed URL is deprecated Saved Stories – FBI: James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse Post – Breitbart … Continue reading

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4:57 PM 12/2/2017 – The Defense Intelligence Agency is refusing to release a wide array of documents related to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn

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Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks

Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Defense Intelligence Agency – Google Search
Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley – Google Search
Vice President Pence visits DIA HQ
Flynn Flipped. Whos Next?
Mueller Removed Top F.B.I. Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts
Mueller unearths more lies, a key witness but no smoking gun in Flynn
US agent who got prostitutes, cash from Colombian drug lord headed to prison
Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – The Washington Post
Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – Washington Post
Trump Says ‘Absolutely No Collusion’ With Russia After Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts – New York Times
Mike Flynn – Google News: Trump says Michael Flynn’s actions during transition were ‘lawful’ and ‘there was nothing to hide’ – CNBC
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages – The Daily Freeman
Lisa Page and Peter Strzok – Google Search
Peter Strzok – Google Search
Top FBI official assigned to Muellers Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – The Washington Post
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted – The Guardian
James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse Post
Review of FBI’s action during election coming next year
FBI foreign influence task force – Google Search
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to … – Washington Free Beacon
Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea – Washington Post
Mike Nova’s Shared NewsLinks
Defense Intelligence Agency – Google Search
 

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Citing probes, military agency bars access to Flynn records

Washington PostNov 28, 2017
WASHINGTON — The Defense Intelligence Agency is refusing to release a wide array of documents related to former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, saying that turning them over could interfere with ongoing congressional and federal investigations. Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general …

Media image for Defense Intelligence Agency from The Hill

The Hill

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Washington Times

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The Daily Caller

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Daily Beast

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BuzzFeed News

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Key players in the Michael Flynn investigation

The Spokesman-Review5 hours ago
A retired U.S. Army lt. general and former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency during the Obama administration, Flynn served for less than a month as President Donald Trump’s first national security adviser. He was fired in mid-February by Trump after officials said that he had misled Vice President …
Donald Trump’s best and worst day as president: An analysis
Opinion<a href=”http://NOLA.com” rel=”nofollow”>NOLA.com</a>4 hours ago

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New York Times

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AOL

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Stars and Stripes

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NOLA.com

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Metro
Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley – Google Search
 

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Vice President Pence visits DIA Headquarters

DVIDS (press release)Nov 8, 2017
DIA Director Army LtGenRobert Ashley hosted the visit, and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats accompanied the vice president. “DIA officers play a crucial role in our intelligence apparatus,” Pence said in a statement. “We are grateful for their work and sacrifice.” The vice president received …

Story image for Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley from Homeland Preparedness News

LtGenAshley to become 21st Defense Intelligence Agency director

Homeland Preparedness NewsAug 24, 2017
LtGenRobert P. Ashley, Jr., U.S. Army, was recently confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the 21st Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Currently serving as deputy chief of staff, G-2, for the U.S. Army, Ashley is scheduled to begin his duties as DIA director in October, where he takes over for Lt.

Story image for Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley from ExecutiveGov

LtGenRobert Ashley: Army Kicks Off Force Review to Identify …

ExecutiveGovApr 20, 2017
The team will present findings to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and host an industry day on June 29 to discuss its findings, Judson reported. Ashley said the assessment will cover the areas of open-source intelligence, interrogation, certification process for analysts, counterintelligence, collection …
Army looks to revamp its intelligence enterprise from the ‘bottom-up’
<a href=”http://FederalNewsRadio.com” rel=”nofollow”>FederalNewsRadio.com</a>Apr 20, 2017

Story image for Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley from Department of Defense

Outgoing DIA Director to Workforce: ‘Keep Telling Truth to Power’

Department of DefenseOct 4, 2017
Marine Corps LtGen. Vincent R. Stewart turned over the reins to Army LtGenRobert P. Ashley during the ceremony at the agency’s Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling headquarters. Deputy Defense Secretary Pat Shanahan represented Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the ceremony and presided over it.

Story image for Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley from Voice of America

Former US DIA Chief Tells Analysts, ‘Speak Truth to Power’

Voice of AmericaOct 3, 2017
Army LtGenRobert Ashley takes over. Stewart is now set to become deputy commander at U.S. Cyber Command, a move approved by lawmakers this past July. The new DIA chief, Army LtGenRobert Ashley, previously served as director of intelligence at both U.S. Central Command and Joint Special …

Ashley, new DIA chief, concerned

Intelligence OnlineSep 5, 2017
Army LtGenRobert Ashley, the new head of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the Pentagon’s intelligence agency, was appointed on August 21 having only just finished carrying out an audit of the US Army’s intelligence services. As director of intelligence, or G2, of the army, he launched a …

Story image for Lt. Gen. Robert Ashley from Defense Systems

Army says smartphone, digital tech increase vulnerability

Defense SystemsMay 9, 2017
Electronic signals emitted by U.S. forces make it easier for tech-savvy enemies to keep tabs on units’ locations and movements. The spying tools are relatively cheap and ubiquitous: iPhones, Goggle maps, commercial tracking software. “It’s an unbounded battle space,” said LtGenRobert Ashley Jr., Army …
Vice President Pence visits DIA HQ
 

mikenova shared this story from Defense Intelligence Agency News.

Vice President Mike Pence visited the Defense Intelligence Agency Headquarters at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling Nov. 6, to receive classified intelligence briefings and meet with DIA officers.

Flynn Flipped. Whos Next?
 

mikenova shared this story from Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Michael Flynns guilty plea raises obvious questions: What did President Trump know? And when did he know it?

Mueller Removed Top F.B.I. Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts
 

mikenova shared this story from Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The special counsel had a top agent removed from his inquiry after the Justice Departments inspector general began examining whether the agent sent texts expressing political views.

Mueller unearths more lies, a key witness but no smoking gun in Flynn
 

mikenova shared this story from Stars and Stripes.

Michael Flynn’s guilty plea Friday and all of the criminal cases thus far have not resolved the fundamental question special counsel Robert Mueller is seeking to answer: Did Trump’s campaign collude with Russia to win the election?

US agent who got prostitutes, cash from Colombian drug lord headed to prison
 

mikenova shared this story from Stars and Stripes.

The bribes federal agent Christopher Ciccione accepted from a wanted Colombian drug lord $18,000 in cash, prostitutes, restaurant meals and a hotel room have cost him his career. Yet, “Chris is a good man who served his country for more than 20 years both in the military and as a federal agent,” his defense attorney said.

Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – The Washington Post
 

mikenova shared this story .


Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has already interviewed two dozen current and former Trump aides, according to people familiar with the investigation. (Andrew Harnik/AP)

A white sedan whisked a man into the loading dock of a glass and concrete building in a drab office district in Southwest Washington. Security guards quickly waved the vehicle inside, then pushed a button that closed the garage door and shielded the guest’s arrival from public view.

With his stealth morning arrival Thursday, White House Counsel Donald F. McGahn II became the latest in a string of high-level witnesses to enter the secretive nerve center of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Twenty hours later, Mueller and his team emerged into public view to rattle Washington with the dramatic announcement that former national security adviser Michael Flynn would plead guilty to lying to the FBI.

The ensnaring of Flynn, the second former aide to President Trump to cooperate with the inquiry, serves as the latest indication that Mueller’s operation is rapidly pursuing an expansive mission, drilling deeper into Trump’s inner circle.

In the past two months, Mueller and his deputies have received private debriefs from two dozen current and former Trump advisers, each of whom has made the trek to the special counsel’s secure office suite.

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What likely led Michael Flynn to flip sides in the Russia investigation
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The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips discusses what likely caused Michael Flynn to flip on his old boss.

The Washington Post’s Amber Phillips talks about what likely caused President Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, to flip on his old boss and cooperate with the Mueller investigation. (Jason Aldag, Amber Phillips/The Washington Post)

Once inside, most witnesses are seated in a windowless conference room where two- and three-person teams of FBI agents and prosecutors rotate in and out, pressing them for answers.

Among the topics that have been of keen interest to investigators: how foreign government officials and their emissaries contacted Trump officials, as well as the actions and interplay of Flynn and Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law.

Often listening in is the special counsel himself, a sphinx-like presence who sits quietly along the wall for portions of key interviews.

This picture of Mueller’s operation — drawn from descriptions of witnesses, lawyers and others briefed on the interviews — provides a rare look inside the high-stakes investigation that could implicate Trump’s circle and determine the future of his presidency.

The locked-down nature of the probe has left both the witnesses and the public scrutinizing every move of the special counsel for meaning, without any certainty about the full scope of his investigation.

Trump and his lawyers have expressed confidence that Mueller will swiftly conclude his examination of the White House, perhaps even by the year’s end. Trump’s Democratic opponents hope the investigation will uncover more crimes and ultimately force the president’s removal from office.

Meanwhile, some witnesses who have been interviewed came away with the impression that the probe is unfolding and far from over.

“When they were questioning me, it seemed like they were still trying to get a feel of the basic landscape of the place,” said one witness who was questioned in late October for several hours and, like others, requested anonymity to describe the confidential sessions. “I didn’t get the sense they had anything incriminating on the president. Nor were they anywhere close to done.”

A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment, citing the sensitivity of the ongoing investigation.

White House lawyer Ty Cobb said he believes the probe’s focus on Trump’s White House is wrapping up, noting that all White House staffer interviews will be completed by the end of next week.

“At the end of the interviews, it would be reasonable to expect that it would not take long to bring this to conclusion,” Cobb said. “I commend the Office of Special Counsel for their acknowledged hard work on behalf of the country, to undertake this serious responsibility, and to perform it in an expedited but deliberate, thorough way.”

At least two dozen people who traveled in Trump’s orbit in 2016 and 2017 — on the campaign trail, in his transition operation and then in the White House — have been questioned in the past 10 weeks, according to people familiar with the interviews.

The most high profile is Kushner, who met with Mueller’s team in November, as well as former chief of staff Reince Priebus and former press secretary Sean Spicer. Former foreign policy adviser J.D. Gordon has also been interviewed.

White House communications director Hope Hicks was scheduled to sit down with Mueller’s team a few days before Thanksgiving. Mueller’s team has also indicated plans to interview senior associate White House counsel James Burnham and policy adviser Stephen Miller.

McGahn, who was interviewed by Mueller’s prosecutors for a full day Thursday, was scheduled to return Friday to complete his interview. However, the special counsel postponed the session as a courtesy to allow McGahn to help the White House manage the response to Flynn’s plea, a person familiar with the interview said.

Cobb declined to say which White House aides remain to be interviewed.

Several people who worked shoulder to shoulder with Flynn have also been interviewed by Mueller’s operation. That includes retired Gen. Keith Kellogg, the chief of staff to the National Security Council, as well as several people who worked with Flynn Intel Group, a now-shuttered private consulting firm.

Mueller’s group has also inquired whether Flynn recommended specific foreign meetings to senior aides, including Kushner. Investigators were particularly interested in how certain foreign officials got on Kushner’s calendar and the discussions that Flynn and Kushner had about those encounters, according to people familiar with the questions.

During the transition, Kushner and Flynn met with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak. At the early December meeting, Kushner suggested establishing a secure communications line between Trump officials and the Kremlin at a Russian diplomatic facility, according to U.S. officials who reviewed intelligence reports describing Kislyak’s account.

Kushner has said that Kislyak sought the secure line as a way for Russian generals to communicate to the incoming administration about U.S. policy on Syria.

Trump’s son-in-law has also been identified by people familiar with his role as the “very senior member” of the transition team who directed Flynn in December to reach out to Kislyak and lobby him about a U.N. resolution on Israeli settlements, according to new court filings.

The volume of questions about Kushner in their interviews surprised some witnesses.

“I remember specifically being asked about Jared a number of times,” said one witness.

Another witness said agents and prosecutors repeatedly asked him about Trump’s decision-making during the May weekend he decided to fire FBI Director James B. Comey. Prosecutors inquired whether Kushner had pushed the president to jettison Comey, according to two people familiar with the interview.

Kushner attorney Abbe Lowell declined to comment on what the president’s son-in-law discussed at his November session with Mueller. “Mr. Kushner has voluntarily cooperated with all relevant inquiries and will continue to do so,” he said.

Two administration officials said that it would be natural for investigators to ask a lot of questions about Kushner, whom Trump put in charge of communicating with foreign officials, adding that such inquiries do not indicate he is a target.

The special counsel has continued to make ongoing requests for records from associates of the Trump campaign, according to two people familiar with the requests. The campaign associates aren’t expected to finish producing these documents by the end of the year. Mueller’s team is also newly scrutinizing an Alexandria-based office and advisers who worked there on foreign policy for the campaign.

In the past several weeks, Mueller’s operation has reached out to new witnesses in Trump’s circle, telling them they may be asked to come in for an interview. One person who was recently contacted said it is hard to find a lawyer available for advice on how to interact with the special counsel because so many Trump aides have already hired attorneys.

“It was kind of a pain,” the person said. “It’s hard to find a lawyer who wasn’t already conflicted out.”

People who have gone before Mueller’s team describe polite but detailed and intense grillings that at times have lasted all day and involved more than a dozen investigators. Spicer, for example, was in the office from about 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. for his fall session. Mueller’s team has recommended nearby lunch spots, but many witnesses have food brought in for fear of being spotted if they go outside.

Mueller has attended some interviews, introducing himself to witnesses when he enters and then sitting along the wall. Sometimes he is joined by his deputy, longtime friend and law partner James Quarles, a former Watergate prosecutor who is the main point of contact for the White House.

Investigators bring large binders filled with emails and documents into the interview room. One witness described the ricochet of questions that followed each time an agent passed them a copy of an email they had been copied on: “Do you remember this email? How does the White House work? How does the transition work? Who was taking the lead on foreign contacts? How did that work? Who was involved in this decision? Who was there that weekend?”

Some witnesses were introduced to so many federal agents and lawyers that they later lamented that they had largely forgotten many of their names by the time one team left the room and a new team entered.

“They say, ‘Hey, we’re not trying to be rude, but people are going to come in and out a lot,’ ” one witness explained about the teams. “They kind of cycle in and out of the room.”

One contingent of investigators is focused on whether Trump tried to obstruct justice and head off the investigation into Russian meddling by firing Comey in May. Prosecutors Brandon Van Grack and Jeannie Rhee have been involved in matters related to Flynn.

Yet another team is led by the former head of the Justice Department’s fraud prosecutions, Andrew Weissman, and foreign bribery expert Greg Andres. Those investigators queried lobbyists from some of the most powerful lobby shops in town about their interactions with former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and campaign adviser Rick Gates.

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Mueller’s team charged Manafort and Gates last month with engaging in a conspiracy to hide millions of dollars in hidden foreign accounts and secretly creating an elaborate cover story to conceal their lobbying work for a former Ukrainian president and his pro-Russia political party. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Lawyers familiar with prosecutors’ questions about Manafort said they expect several more charges to come from this portion of the case.

People familiar with the Mueller team said they convey a sense of calm that is unsettling.

“These guys are confident, impressive, pretty friendly — joking a little, even,” one lawyer said. When prosecutors strike that kind of tone, he said, defense lawyers tend to think: “Uh oh, my guy is in a heap of trouble.”

Rosalind S. Helderman contributed to this report.

Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – Washington Post
 

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Washington Post
Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation
Washington Post
A white sedan whisked a man into the loading dock of a glass and concrete building in a drab office district in Southwest Washington. Security guards quickly waved the vehicle inside, then pushed a button that closed the garage door and shielded the 
FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation over anti-Trump messagesCNN
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
Mueller reportedly ousted an investigator on his team over possible anti-Trump textsBusiness Insider
NBCNews.com –Fox News –Newsweek
all 389 news articles »
Trump Says ‘Absolutely No Collusion’ With Russia After Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty
 

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The former national security adviser may testify that a senior member of Trump’s transition team told him to contact Russia about an upcoming United Nations vote.

Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts – New York Times
 

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New York Times
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts
New York Times
He helped lead the investigation into whether Hillary Clinton mishandled classified information on her private email account, and then played a major role in the investigation into links between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. But Mr. Strzok was 
NYT: Mueller Pulled Top FBI Agent After Anti-Trump Texts SurfaceNewsmaxall 311 news articles »

Mike Flynn – Google News: Trump says Michael Flynn’s actions during transition were ‘lawful’ and ‘there was nothing to hide’ – CNBC
 

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CNBC
Trump says Michael Flynn’s actions during transition were ‘lawful’ and ‘there was nothing to hide’
CNBC
Earlier, Trump told reporters that there was “no collusion” with Russia, in spite of Flynn entering a guilty plea on Friday. The former White House official confessed to lying to the FBI about discussions he held with a Russian ambassador. However 
Trump was reportedly told to stay away from Twitter after Mike Flynn’s plea deal was revealedAOL
Donald Trump Says He ‘Had to Fire’ Michael Flynn Because He LiedTIME
Trump finally responds to the Mike Flynn bombshell and his comments couldn’t be more clearTheBlaze.com
Washington Examiner –Fox News
all 311 news articles »

 Mike Flynn – Google News

Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
 

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USA TODAY
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts
Washington Post
The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged 
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
Flynn plea raises questions on how Trump could reactCNN
FBI agent assigned to Russia investigation removed after anti-Trump textsUSA TODAY
The Spokesman-Review –Fox News –Newsmax
all 331 news articles »
FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages – The Daily Freeman
 

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FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages
The Daily Freeman
FBI removed agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump messages. In this file photo, former FBI Director Robert Mueller, the special counsel probing Russian interference in the 2016 election, departs Capitol Hill in Washington. As Congress returns from its and more »

Lisa Page and Peter Strzok – Google Search
 

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Story image for Lisa Page and Peter Strzok from Washington Post

Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have …

Washington Post1 hour ago
Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do … During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, …

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Special counsel attorney departs for FBI

CBS NewsSep 28, 2017
Lisa Page, an attorney who was part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election, has left, the special … Peter Strzok, who was chief of the FBI counterespionage unit that was involved in overseeing the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private …
Peter Strzok – Google Search
 

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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have …

Washington Post31 minutes ago
Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump Texts
Highly CitedNew York Times1 hour ago

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Mueller dismisses top FBI agent in Russia probe over possible anti …

Fox News2 minutes ago
“Immediately upon learning of the allegations, the Special Counsel’s Office removed Peter Strzok from the investigation,” Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, confirmed to Fox News. Strzok also worked on the FBI investigation last year into whether then-Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton …

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Mueller fired top FBI investigator for exchanging politically charged …

Raw Story1 hour ago
According to the Washington Post, Peter Strzok, who was a key participant into the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server was asked to step aside, according to sources. Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew …
Top FBI official assigned to Muellers Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – The Washington Post
 

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The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged politically charged texts disparaging President Trump and supportive of Hillary Clinton, according to multiple people familiar with the matter.

Peter Strzok, as deputy head of counterintelligence at the FBI, was a key player in the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server to do government work as secretary of state, as well as the probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election.

During the Clinton investigation, Strzok was involved in a romantic relationship with FBI lawyer Lisa Page, who worked for Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, according to the people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

The extramarital affair was problematic, these people said, but of greater concern among senior law enforcement officials were text messages the two exchanged during the Clinton investigation and campaign season, in which they expressed anti-Trump sentiments and other comments that appeared to favor Clinton.

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President Trump drew criticism for his apparent acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling. 

President Trump drew criticism for his apparent acceptance of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials of election meddling. (Patrick Martin/The Washington post)

The people discussing the matter did not further describe the political messages between Strzok and Page, except to say the two would sometime react to campaign news of the moment.

The Justice Department inspector general’s office said in a statement Saturday that its investigators are “reviewing allegations involving communications between certain individuals, and will report its findings regarding those allegations promptly upon completion of the review of them.’’

A spokesman for Mueller’s office said Strzok was removed “immediately upon learning of the allegations,’’ and added that Page left the Mueller team two weeks before they became aware of the allegations.

The FBI declined to comment.

The Post has repeatedly sought comment from Strzok and Page, but got no response.

Defenders of Page and Strzok insisted the issue is “overblown’’ and that there was no misconduct between the two.

A friend of Page said there was no professional misconduct at issue in the matter, and she said Page left the Mueller team in July before any of the issues came to light.

When the issue arose, Strzok was taken off the Mueller team in August and he was given a job in the human resources division of the FBI — widely viewed as a demotion internally, according to people familiar with the matter. Page no longer works much with McCabe, these people said.

At the time they left Mueller’s group, no one publicly linked the two departures. For months, officials have refused to explain why Strzok was reassigned, but people familiar with the matter said it was ultimately Mueller’s decision.

Among federal law enforcement officials, there is great concern that exposure of the texts they exchanged may be used by the president and his defenders to attack the credibility of the Mueller probe, and the FBI more broadly, according to the people familiar with the matter.

Defenders of Strzok and Page inside the FBI said that because there was no direct supervisory role between Page and Strzok in the workplace, there wasn’t anything professionally wrong about having an affair, but added they understood why Mueller would not want anyone engaged in such conduct on his team. For one thing, if a foreign intelligence agency learned of such an affair, they could try to use it as a means of blackmail, though there’s no evidence anyone outside the FBI was aware of the relationship.

The president’s most vociferous defenders in Congress have called for a special counsel to investigate how the FBI handled the Clinton probe, and other Clinton-connected matters. Word of the texts could give new fuel to those demands.

The Clinton investigation formally ended in July 2016, when then-FBI Director James B. Comey announced he would recommend Clinton face no charges for her use of a private email server as secretary of state. But the issue was resurrected in late October, when Comey informed congressional leaders that the FBI had discovered new Clinton emails on a laptop belonging to former congressman Anthony Weiner, then the subject of a separate FBI investigation. Days later, Comey announced the emails on the laptop did not change the FBI’s view of the case.

Clinton and her supporters say Comey’s moves in October cost her the 2016 election, and Trump and his Republican allies have used it to justify Comey’s firing — the event that ultimately led to Mueller being appointed as special counsel.

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Mueller has so far charged four people in his investigation of possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, most recently former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Of the four, two have pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI — Flynn and a former Trump campaign adviser.

During the Clinton email investigation, Page was a regular participant when Comey would hold “skinny group’’ meetings on the case — a small collection of advisers that gathered to address sensitive cases, according to people familiar with the case.

Current and former FBI officials say the Strzok matter points to a larger, unresolved issue facing the agency as it tries to investigate the president and make a fresh start with a new director, Christopher A. Wray. Much of the agency’s senior leadership jobs are currently filled by people who were put in those positions by Comey and Wray has yet to make many significant changes at the top. But a major housecleaning by the new director is widely anticipated inside the bureau.

McCabe, the deputy director, has faced repeated questions from the White House and Republican lawmakers about whether he should have been involved in the Clinton case at all — given the hundreds of thousands of dollars in political donations made to his wife, a candidate for political office in Virginia, by a key Clinton ally in 2015.

Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
 

mikenova shared this story from Top Stories – Google News.


Washington Post
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts
Washington Post
The former top FBI official assigned to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election was taken off that job this past summer after his bosses discovered he and another member of Mueller’s team had exchanged 
Mueller Removed Top FBI Agent Over Possible Anti-Trump TextsNew York Times
ABC’s Brian Ross again under fire for explosive error on Trump, FlynnFox News
Flynn’s Russia dealings were lawful, says TrumpBBC News
CBS News –NOLA.com –New York Post –Minneapolis Star Tribune
all 243 news articles »
Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted – The Guardian
 

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The Guardian
Russian hacking: FBI failed to tell US officials their email was targeted
The Guardian
The FBI failed to notify scores of US officials that Russian hackers were trying to break into their personal Gmail accounts despite having evidence for at least a year, an investigation found. The Associated Press dedicated two months and a small team and more »

James Comey ‘Emperor with No Clothes,’ Says Former FBI Assistant Director After Gloating Bible Verse Post
 

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“‘But let justice roll down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream,’ Amos 5:24,” Comey posted Friday on Instagram below the picture of gently cascading water.

“Anyone with a brain knows what he meant,” James Kallstrom told Breitbart News. “He thinks he was unjustly brought down, and now justice is going to prevail and show him as some sort of a martyr. Nothing could be further from the truth.”

The post from the man fired by President Donald Trump earlier this year came within minutes after news hit that Flynn pleaded guilty to making false statements to the FBI and that Trump’s former national security advisor planned to cooperate with Robert Mueller’s probe of possible collusion between the Republican nominee’s campaign and the Russian government.

“My guilty plea and agreement to cooperate with the Special Counsel’s Office reflect a decision I made in the best interests of my family and of our country,” Flynn explained in a statement. “I accept full responsibility for my actions.”

And shortly after the guilty plea and an acknowledgement of cooperation with Mueller became public, Comey posted the Bible verse on Instagram.

“He’s a guy who either knows the Bible or thought it would be cool to give that response back, when he is the emperor with no clothes,” Kallstrom explained. “He carried water for the Clinton Foundation and Obama administration, and demoralized the FBI, making a fool of himself in my view—he conducted himself in a way that was not in keeping with the rule of law—and here he is quoting the Bible. Hopefully, justice will roll down on him and his sycophants who threw the bureau under the bus.”

Kallstrom noted Comey’s lack of effective action on investigations involving Benghazi, Operation Fast and Furious, and Hillary Clinton’s email scandal as examples of the former director’s failures in office that led to concerns that the director played favorites.

The 27-year veteran of the FBI believes that Comey’s social-media post buttresses criticism that he politicized the FBI when he served as director.

“He just showed himself as the hypocrite that he is,” Kallstrom offered. “He lacks the common sense to realize he’s digging his hole deeper.”

Review of FBI’s action during election coming next year
 

mikenova shared this story .

Washington (CNN)A watchdog review of how the FBI handled its investigation into then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is on track for release next March or April, Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz said Wednesday.

The inspector general gave no clues in Wednesday’s appearance before the House oversight committee hinting at what the report would conclude. But he said the review is “moving along quite expeditiously.”

Horowitz

opened the probe

 in mid-January — prior to President Donald Trump’s inauguration — when James Comey was still FBI director and when questions were still fresh about Clinton’s use of a private email server as secretary of state.

Horowitz indicated at the time it would be a wide-ranging look at multiple ways the Justice Department and FBI may have impacted the election, including potentially improper disclosures of information and the bureau’s decision, days before the election, to release documents on a controversial pardon issued nearly 16 years earlier by Clinton’s husband, President Bill Clinton.

But no doubt central to the probe will be Comey’s multiple announcements about Clinton’s emails. In July 2016, he announced he would not recommend charges against Clinton. In late October — less than two weeks before the election — he notified Congress that the FBI obtained emails it previously did not have and would re-open the investigation.

close dialog

Two days before the election, he said the FBI had reviewed the emails and would not recommend charges.

Then-candidate Trump made the private server a key criticism of his campaign, and Clinton struggled to put the issue behind her.

Horowitz said Wednesday his office has “interviewed dozens of people” and reviewed 1.2 million records.

The report has taken time because some former Justice Department and FBI employees and their attorneys needed to have security clearances authorized, he added.

Horowitz noted the report could be delayed “because, as we’ve seen, events can arise, issues can arise that requires us to do additional interviews or get additional records.”

FBI foreign influence task force – Google Search
 

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FBI Sets Up ‘Foreign Influence‘ Task Force To Protect Election System

TPMNov 30, 2017
FBI Director Christopher Wray told Congress Thursday that the FBI has a “foreign influence” task force to deal with election interference by outside actors. “I take any effort to interfere with out election system by Russia or any other nation state or non-nation state seriously, because it strikes right at the heart …
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to …
Highly CitedWashington Free BeaconDec 1, 2017

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The Hill

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Washington Free Beacon

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Newsmax
FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to Launch Cyberattacks
 

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FBI Director Christopher WrayFBI Director Christopher Wray / Getty Images

BY: Natalie Johnson

FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Thursday that adversarial governments are more often collaborating with criminals to carryout cyber attacks against the United States.

Wray said the indictment of a Canadian national who pleaded guilty on Tuesday to helping Russian spies hack into Yahoo email accounts reflect “one of the more dangerous, emerging threats” facing the United States today, known in the intelligence community as a “blended threat.”

“We are seeing an emergence of that kind of collaboration,” Wray testified before the House Homeland Security Committee, noting that until recently governments and criminals worked separately. “Now there’s this collusion, if you will, that’s occurring on a number of instances … like mercenaries being used to commit cyber attacks.”

The Justice Department announced charges in March against Karim Baratov, a 22-year-old Canadian citizen, and three other men, including two officers of Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, for their involvement in the 2014 hack into Yahoo that affected 500 million accounts.

U.S. law enforcement officials said Baratov, who they dubbed a “hacker-for-hire,” acknowledged breaking into email accounts and selling the passwords to an agent of the FSB, a Russian intelligence agency.

The individuals targeted included Russian officials, a European diplomat, a former economic minister from a neighboring country, and a prominent banker.

The case confirmed longstanding suspicions that Russia’s government hires non-government hackers and uses its spy services to facilitate criminal activity in addition to conducting espionage.

Wray, who President Donald Trump handpicked to replace ousted FBI Director James Comey in June, said Russia is attempting to assert its dominance in the world by relying on asymmetric warfare to “damage and weaken” the United States

To combat the threat, Wray said he has set up a “foreign influence task force” within the bureau made up of different divisions, including counterintelligence, cyber, and criminal investigation. He said the agency would also coordinate closely with the Department of Homeland Security, which is charged with overseeing critical election infrastructure, to prevent against cyberattacks.

FBI Warns of Mounting Collaboration Between Nations, Criminals to … – Washington Free Beacon
 

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Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea – Washington Post
 

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Washington Post
Robert Mueller just penetrated the White House gates with Michael Flynn’s guilty plea
Washington Post
Mueller’s decision to actually charge Flynn, then, is clearly a significant escalation of an investigation that has already led to charges against Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, and a similar guilty plea for making false statements by 
Charging Flynn With Lying Shows That Mueller Is Still Only Getting StartedNew York Magazine
What Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Means in Mueller’s Russia InquiryNew York Times
Michael Flynn’s Guilty Plea Shows That Robert Mueller Is Closing InWIRED
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4:36 PM 12/2/2017 – Whats Behind the Rising Tide of Ransomware?

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Whats Behind the Rising Tide of Ransomware?

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Mueller removed FBI agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts: reports – Reuters
Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – Washington Post
Trump Says He Fired Michael Flynn ‘Because He Lied’ to FBI – New York Times
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post
Donald Trump insists ‘no collusion’ after Michael Flynn admits lying to FBI and agrees to co-operate with Russia probe – The Independent
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Trump on Michael Flynns guilty plea: Theres been absolutely no collusion

 

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Whats Behind the Rising Tide of Ransomware?

During the last 12 month, we have witnessed the rise of ransomware, with hundreds of thousands of devices infected, countless dollars spent to recover lost files, emergency investments to improve security measures and devastating reputational damage. These factors make ransomware one of the most dangerous cyberthreats to both businesses and individual users.

Alarmingly, this threat is growing. In fact, Symantec uncovered 101 new ransomware families in 2016 and detected 36 percent more infections than the previous year, according to the firm’s “Internet Security Threat Report.” In addition, antivirus tools picked up 846 ransomware infections per day at the beginning of the year, and that figure ballooned to 1,539 per day by the year’s end.

What’s Driving the Rise in Ransomware?

The two main contributors to the rapid growth of this threat are ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), an emerging trend in which would-be cybercriminals with little to no technical expertise purchase tools and services created by malware developers to launch their own ransomware attacks, and the underground economy.

The Symantec report described two factions of cybercriminals: traditional fraudsters who seek to launch massive attacks through phishing campaigns without using exploit kits (EKs) and cybergangs that focus on more sophisticated attacks. Both subscribe to the concept of living off the land, or sharing certain pieces of code or features with other ransomware families. Bad Rabbit, for example, shares elements of its ransom note and propagation technique with NotPetya.

The most popular vehicle for ransomware is phishing, which relies on social engineering more than sophisticated cybercriminal techniques. Emails are distributed by bots and designed to look like a legitimate message from a trusted sender. Another common threat vector is exploit kits, which take advantage of vulnerabilities in outdated or unpatched software to redirect traffic to an exploit server kit hosted on a legitimate website.

The underground economy is typically associated with stolen credit card or other personal information, but the focus has largely shifted to commercial malware. Just like you go to the supermarket to buy your groceries, cybercriminals search the Dark Web for readily packaged, user-friendly ransomware and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) kits. The increasing availability of these threats to actors who would otherwise lack the skills to carry out a cyberattack foreshadows tremendous consequences for the security community.

Who Is Most Vulnerable?

The truth is that everybody is at risk, but certain industries and companies are more attractive to fraudsters than others. Health care organizations such as hospitals, for example, are particularly vulnerable due to the high value of patient data. When fraudsters lock up historical medical data, health care professionals are unable to render crucial medical services and thus more likely to pay a ransom to recover their stolen data.

Government institutions are also top cybercriminal targets due to the high sensitivity of their data, especially data that relates to critical infrastructure, such as electricity, oil and gas, and transportation. Similarly, the value of legal data, much of which could incriminate or embarrass high-profile clients, puts law firms at risk. The most obvious target, however, is the financial sector, due to the millions of dollars in transactions that occur on banks’ networks daily and the growing popularity and lagging security of mobile banking apps.

Why Are Ransomware Attacks So Effective?

There are countless factors contributing to the ever-increasing popularity of ransomware among cybercriminals. Below are the six most significant.

  1. Willingness to pay ransoms: Many people are willing to pay the ransom to recover their lost files, which makes ransomware a profitable business for fraudsters.
  2. Vulnerable software: Lack of patch management processes that identify critical systems and prioritize patches based on severity leaves software exposed to attacks.
  3. Failure to test disaster recovery and business continuity plans: In case of a cyber incident, it’s crucial to devise a plan to continue operations during the incident response process or, at least, re-establish service as soon as possible after a data breach. Failure to regularly review and test these plans puts organizations at increased risk.
  4. Lack of backup plans: If an organization’s backup and restore strategy is not aligned with its overall disaster recovery and business continuity plans or tested regularly, it may fail unexpectedly when a cyberattack hits.
  5. Lack of security awareness training: An educated employee is the security team’s best ally. By conducting thorough and regular security training, your company will be less exposed to cyberthreats. It doesn’t matter how strong your security infrastructure is if your users fail to follow best practices.
  6. The underground economy: The availability of cybercriminal tools in underground forums and marketplaces puts ransomware in the hands of nontechnical fraudsters who would otherwise lack the know-how to carry out attacks.

To combat this growing threat, users should leverage resources such as No More Ransom, which offers tools and expertise to help ransomware victims recover their files without paying their attackers. Individuals and businesses can also take advantage of the IBM X-Force Exchange for up-to-date threat intelligence, as well as IBM’s Ransomware Response Guide.

Download IBM’s Ransomware Response Guide

The post What’s Behind the Rising Tide of Ransomware? appeared first on Security Intelligence.

Analysis: Flynn plea clouds Trump’s tax victory

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The Palestinians are warning the United States against recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

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President Trumps tweet was the first time he had said the firing was not solely related to Mr. Flynns false statements to Vice President Mike Pence.
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The guilty plea by President Trumps former national security adviser brings the special counsel investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election into Mr. Trumps inner circle.
Mueller removed FBI agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts: reports – Reuters


Reuters
Mueller removed FBI agent from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts: reports
Reuters
In apparent reference to the case, the Justice Department inspector general’s office said in a statement on Saturday that it was reviewing allegations involving communications between certain individuals. The matter came up during a review that the 

and more »

Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation – Washington Post


Washington Post
Inside the secretive nerve center of the Mueller investigation
Washington Post
A white sedan whisked a man into the loading dock of a glass and concrete building in a drab office district in Southwest Washington. Security guards quickly waved the vehicle inside, then pushed a button that closed the garage door and shielded the  
FBI agent removed from Mueller investigation over anti-Trump messagesCNN
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Mueller reassigned top FBI agent in Russia probe over anti-Trump texts, reports sayNBCNews.com

Mueller reportedly ousted an investigator on his team over possible anti-Trump textsBusiness Insider 
NBCNews.com
 
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CNN
 –Fox News Newsweek
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all 331
 
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Trump Says He Fired Michael Flynn ‘Because He Lied’ to FBI – New York Times


Quartz
Trump Says He Fired Michael Flynn ‘Because He Lied’ to FBI
New York Times
President Trump said on Saturday that he had fired his former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, who pleaded guilty the day before in connection with the Russia investigation, because he lied to the vice president and the F.B.I.. While the 
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Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts – Washington Post


Washington Post
Top FBI official assigned to Mueller’s Russia probe said to have been removed after sending anti-Trump texts
Washington Post
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Donald Trump insists ‘no collusion’ after Michael Flynn admits lying to FBI and agrees to co-operate with Russia probe – The Independent


The Independent
Did Michael Flynn just take down Ivanka Trump too?

The maddening part about seeing yet another piece of the puzzle revealed in the Trump-Russia scandal is that it serves as a reminder of what all we still don’t know. Michael Flynn cut a deal on Friday which saw him incriminate Donald Trump and Jared Kushner by name in the Russia scandal, with various media outlets reporting that Flynn has also nailed additional unnamed members of the Trump family.

The first place your mind probably goes is to Donald Trump Jr, right? After all, he’s long been documented to have met with the Russian government during the election, and he was communicating with Russian puppet WikiLeaks during the election as well. But let’s say that it’s not just Junior. Is there the hypothetical case to be made that Michael Flynn may have just taken down Ivanka Trump as well? Let’s take a look at what we know, and what we think we know.

The one key detail is that during the transition period, Ivanka barged into a meeting and told Michael Flynn right in front of everyone else in attendance that he could have any job he wanted in the administration. Was she merely trying to reward Flynn for his loyalty in self-important and naive fashion? Or was she trying to reward Flynn in order to keep him quiet about the role he played in conspiring with Russia to rig the election?

It’s extraordinarily difficult to imagine, yet still technically possible, that Ivanka Trump somehow didn’t know that her father and her husband had both instructed Michael Flynn to conspire with the Russian government during the election. Even if she didn’t know, her life is now ruined, based on who else is going down. But if she did know, that would make her guilty of various conspiracy and obstruction crimes and Flynn would be able to take her down for it.

The post Did Michael Flynn just take down Ivanka Trump too? appeared first on Palmer Report.

Yale’s psychiatrist says that Donald Trump day by day is getting and more mentally unstable! – Weekly Observer


Weekly Observer
Yale’s psychiatrist says that Donald Trump day by day is getting and more mentally unstable!
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Trump reiterates ‘no collusion’ with Russia in first public comments since Flynn’s guilty plea – Fox News


Fox News
Trump reiterates ‘no collusion’ with Russia in first public comments since Flynn’s guilty plea
Fox News
His plea to a single felony count of false statements made him the first official of the Trump White House to be charged so far in the criminal investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. The plea turns Flynn into a potentially key government 
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TrumpRussia: Six big takeaways from the Flynn dealBBC News 
Reuters

RadioFreeEurope/RadioLibertyThe Nation. Sky News 
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‘The Daily Show’ Yule Log Roasts Michael Flynn On An Open Fire

Time to get cozy.

‘The Daily Show’ Yule Log Roasts Michael Flynn On An Open Fire – HuffPost


HuffPost
‘The Daily Show’ Yule Log Roasts Michael Flynn On An Open Fire
HuffPost
The Daily Show with Trevor Noah released the Yule log on Friday, after Flynn pleaded guilty in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Flynn confessed to lying to the FBI about his 

Trump ex-aide admits lying to FBI as Kushner ‘appears in Russia probe papers’ – Belfast Telegraph


Belfast Telegraph
Trump ex-aide admits lying to FBI as Kushner ‘appears in Russia probe papers’
Belfast Telegraph
Flynn’s plea to a single felony count of false statements made him the first official of Mr Trump’s White House to be charged so far in the criminal investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller. And his action could be an ominous sign for a White 

For Americans like me, Trump’s questionable relationship with the truth makes it hard to trust in his Presidency – The Independent


The Independent
For Americans like me, Trump’s questionable relationship with the truth makes it hard to trust in his Presidency
The Independent
President Donald J Trump is a liar. According to the Washington Post, my President has lied, on average, nine times a day in the past 35 days. It has become so common that we are oblivious to it. Perhaps if the lies were limited to personal issues it 

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Trump Says ‘Absolutely No Collusion’ With Russia After Michael Flynn Pleads Guilty

The former national security adviser may testify that a senior member of Trump’s transition team told him to contact Russia about an upcoming United Nations vote.

North Korea: Trump is ‘begging for nuclear war’ – CNN


CNN
North Korea: Trump is ‘begging for nuclear war’
CNN
By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. Breaking News. World+. AfricaAmericasAsiaEuropeMiddle East. North Korea: Trump is ‘begging for nuclear war’. U.S 
North Korea Fires a Ballistic Missile, in a Further Challenge to TrumpNew York Times

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‘No collusion’ between presidential campaign and Russia, says Trump video – The Guardian


The Guardian
‘No collusion’ between presidential campaign and Russia, says Trump video
The Guardian
US president Donald Trump tells reporters there was ‘absolutely no collusion’ between his presidential campaign and Russia, just hours after his former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his 

“No collusion between presidential campaign and Russia, says Trump video

US president Donald Trump tells reporters there was ‘absolutely no collusion’ absolutely no collusionbetween his presidential campaign and Russia, just hours after his former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about his contacts with the Kremlin. Trump also told reporters that it had been a ‘fantastic evening’ fantastic evening on Friday, which saw the US Senate pass the ‘largest largest tax cuts in the history of our country’ country

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Trump on Michael Flynns guilty plea: Theres been absolutely no collusion

In his first public comments about Michael Flynn pleading guilty Friday since Michael Flynn pleaded guilty  to lying to the FBI about his interactions with a Russian official, President Trump reiterated Saturday that his campaign did not collude with Russia during last year’s presidential election. When asked by reporters before departing for New York if he was worried about what Flynn might say, [] What has been shown is no collusion. No collusion. Theres been absolutely theres been absolutely no collusion, []

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