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6:04 PM 10/19/2017 – Russia-sponsored troll networks: U.S. is not the only Russian target. It looks like the worldwide operation. M.N. | Russia-sponsored troll networks still operating, targeting America – Miami Herald

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Russia-sponsored troll networks

U.S. is not the only Russian target. It looks like the worldwide operation. 

M.N. 

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Ex-Pentagon official says Russia may be operating hundreds of “troll” networks
McClatchy Washington Bureau · 1 hour ago

Russia-sponsored troll networks – Google Search

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Russia-sponsored troll networks still operating, targeting America

McClatchy Washington Bureau1 hour ago
The number of networks of Russian-sponsored trolls spreading propaganda to the United States and Europe may number in the hundreds, …
Story image for Russia-sponsored troll networks from IT PRO

10 million people saw Russia sponsored Facebook ads in the US

IT PROOct 3, 2017
10 million people saw Russia sponsored Facebook ads in the US …. “troll farm” which has published pro-Kremlin propaganda in the past. … data through authentic peer groups and networks was inevitable,” the report read.
Story image for Russia-sponsored troll networks from theTrumpet.com

Russian Twitter Campaign Seeks to Divide America

<a href=”http://theTrumpet.com” rel=”nofollow”>theTrumpet.com</a>Oct 5, 2017
network of Russia- affiliated Twitter accounts attempted to fan the flames of … to the Russian government-affiliated troll farm known as the Internet … Facebook and its Russia-sponsored ads have filled the news for weeks.
Story image for Russia-sponsored troll networks from New York Times

Fake Russian Facebook Accounts Bought $100000 in Political Ads

New York TimesSep 6, 2017
The report also found that hundreds of Russian “trolls,” or paid … and Russia is whether Russia-sponsored operators would have needed any …

Russia-sponsored troll networks still operating, targeting America – Miami Herald

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Russia-sponsored troll networks still operating, targeting America
Miami Herald
RBC said the St. Petersburg trolls shaped their content on social issues that meshed withTrump’s rhetoric, quoting them as calling it “correlation rather than direct support” for the Republican nominee. The messages often sought to … In Russia and more »

Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election and their outcome – Google Search

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Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election and their outcome – Google Search

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Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election and their outcome from Washington Post

CIA director distorts intelligence community’s findings on Russian …

Washington Post2 hours ago
… Thursday that U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did not alter the outcome, … “There are an awful lot of former CIA talking heads on TV,” Pompeo said, …
CIA Director Wrongly Says US Found Russia Didn’t Affect Election …
<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>56 minutes ago

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Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election and their outcome from The Independent

How Russia’s election meddling could spell the end of an era for …

The Independent2 hours ago
One consequence of a bitterly contested presidential election came into clearer … evidence of Russianelection influence are turning their attention to how the … Facebook newsfeeds, Twitter timelines and Google search results. … vehemently rejected the notion of Russian interference – it suggests that at …
Should Political Ads on Facebook Include Disclaimers?
In-DepthSlate MagazineOct 17, 2017

Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election and their outcome from snopes.com

Is the Supreme Court Deciding Whether to Nullify the 2016 Election?

<a href=”http://snopes.com” rel=”nofollow”>snopes.com</a>Oct 18, 2017
A petition challenging the 2016 U.S. presidential election results has long … of the 2016 presidential election due to purported Russian interference. … Does this mean the Court will discuss each petition distributed during their conference?

Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election and their outcome from CNN

Donald Trump just suggested the FBI, Democrats and Russia might …

CNN6 hours ago
Its broad assertion that Russia waged a campaign to interfere in the election is now … CNN also reported earlier this year that US investigators have … Russian involvement in the 2016 election have also sat down with Steele to … takes to Twitter to say that the stories over his place of birth are the result of a …

Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election and their outcome from Newsweek

Putin Says Americans Should Not ‘Disrespect’ Trump, Because He’s …

Newsweek1 hour ago
Putin, who U.S. officials have accused of swaying the 2016 U.S. … claims of Russian interference in last year’s U.S. elections, asserting that Trump … colluded with Russia to discredit and defeat Democratic presidential … President Donald Trump meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the their …

Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election and their outcome from CBS News

Michael Hayden fears Russian meddling “narrative” is being lost

CBS NewsOct 18, 2017
Other nations, including the U.S., have attempted similar tactics but have … more important than the outcome of the investigation may be lost. … the inevitable Clinton presidency,” and later “moved theirefforts to move … While he is “certain” what the Russians did affected the 2016 election, he said therewas …

Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election and their outcome from Newsweek

Every Excuse Hillary Clinton Has Given for Her 2016 Election Loss

NewsweekOct 16, 2017
Hillary Clinton has blamed her election loss to Donald Trump on … that sexism kept her from shattering America’s ultimate glass ceiling. It’s the latest attempt by the former secretary of state and two-time presidential loser to recast her 2016 … to emphasize the urgency of Russia’s interference in the election.
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Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did alter the outcome – Google Search

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Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did alter the outcome from Washington Post

CIA director distorts intelligence community’s findings on Russian …

Washington Post2 hours ago
… that U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did not alter the outcome, …

Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did alter the outcome from The Daily Advertiser (blog)

Don’t make Russian election hack great again

The Daily Advertiser (blog)Oct 15, 2017
Toward the end of the 1996 presidential campaign, Republican candidate Bob … of revelations about Russian interference in the 2016 in presidential election. … Russian actions were an attempt to influence an American election. Whether their efforts altered the outcome does not detract from the fact they …

Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did alter the outcome from The New Yorker

A Dizzying Week of Trump-Russia Revelations

The New YorkerSep 21, 2017
The possible outcomes of the Russia investigation have always been wildly divergent. … of the 2016 Presidential election in the minds of many Americans, as well … may ensnare officials for wrongdoing unrelated to Russian interference. … be in trouble for work he did before he joined the Trump campaign.

Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did alter the outcome from New York Times

German Election Mystery: Why No Russian Meddling?

New York TimesSep 21, 2017
“We’re not really expecting any Russian interference. … traditional news media sources and, unlike Americans, tend to be wary … “It would almost make more sense for the C.I.A. to leak fake news to make it seem like the Russians did it. … like the power grid, hospitals or servers that process election results.
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Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did not alter the outcome – Google Search

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Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did not alter the outcome from Washington Post

CIA director distorts intelligence community’s findings on Russian …

Washington Post2 hours ago
… that U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did not alter the outcome, …

Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did not alter the outcome from The Daily Advertiser (blog)

Don’t make Russian election hack great again

The Daily Advertiser (blog)Oct 15, 2017
Toward the end of the 1996 presidential campaign, Republican candidate Bob … of revelations about Russian interference in the 2016 in presidential election. … Russian actions were an attempt to influence an American election. Whether their efforts altered the outcome does not detract from the fact they …

Story image for Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did not alter the outcome from New York Times

German Election Mystery: Why No Russian Meddling?

New York TimesSep 21, 2017
“We’re not really expecting any Russian interference. … traditional news media sources and, unlike Americans, tend to be wary … “It would almost make more sense for the C.I.A. to leak fake news to make it seem like the Russians did it. … like the power grid, hospitals or servers that process election results.
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CIA director distorts intelligence community’s findings on Russian interference

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CIA Director Mike Pompeo declared Thursday that U.S. intelligence agencies determined that Russia’s interference in the 2016 American presidential election did not alter the outcome, a statement that distorted spy agency findings.

“The intelligence community’s assessment is that the Russian meddling that took place did not affect the outcome of the election,” Pompeo said at a security conference in Washington.

His comment suggested — falsely — that a report released by U.S. intelligence agencies in January had ruled out any impact that could be attributed to a covert Russian interference campaign that involved leaks of tens of thousands of stolen emails, the flooding of social media sites with false claims and the purchase of ads on Facebook.

A report compiled by the CIA and other agencies described that Russian operation as unprecedented in its scale and concluded that Moscow’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process and help elect Donald Trump.

But the report reached no conclusions about whether that interference had altered the outcome — an issue that U.S. intelligence officials made clear was considered beyond the scope of their inquiry.

“We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election,” the report said. U.S. spy agencies are “charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors,” the report said, but do “not analyze U.S. political processes or U.S. public opinion.”

[Senate Intelligence Committee leaders: Russia did interfere in 2016 elections]

Former U.S. intelligence officials voiced concern over Pompeo’s statement.

“This is another example of Pompeo politicizing intelligence,” a former senior U.S. intelligence official said. Pompeo “is the most political CIA director since Bill Casey” during the Reagan administration, the former official said. “This significantly undermines the intelligence community’s credibility.”

The former official and others spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing the subject’s sensitivity.

A CIA spokesman denied that Pompeo intended to mislead the public with his remarks. “The intelligence assessment with regard to Russian election meddling has not changed,” said the spokesman, Ryan Trapani, “and the director did not intend to suggest that it had.”

Pompeo’s comment came in response to a question about Russian meddling at the end of a lengthy public appearance at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a conservative think tank.

Pompeo also criticized former U.S. intelligence officials for their television appearances, implying that they have violated their oaths and potentially contributed to the leaks of sensitive information.

“There are an awful lot of former CIA talking heads on TV,” Pompeo said, adding that their obligation to remain quiet about their work “far extends beyond the day you turn in your badge.”

[At CIA, a watchful eye on Mike Pompeo, the president’s ardent ally]

His comment seemed to be aimed mainly at former senior intelligence officials in the Obama administration, including James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of National Intelligence, who said in a recent interview that Russia’s interference had “cast doubt” on Trump’s win.

“Our intelligence community assessment did, I think, serve to cast doubt on the legitimacy of his victory,” Clapper said in an interview on CNN last month. He added that he worried Trump’s perceived focus on the issue “transcends, unfortunately, the real concern here, which is Russian interference in our political process.”

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Clapper could not immediately be reached to comment.

Michael Morell, the former CIA deputy director who is employed by CBS News to comment on national security issues, responded to Pompeo with a post on Twitter. Pompeo’s caution against leaking is “wise,” Morell said. “But, to be clear, critiquing policy is not leaking.”

Pompeo’s mischaracterization of the intelligence report was the latest in a series of statements from the former Republican congressman that have seemed aimed at minimizing the significance of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

At a security forum in Aspen, Colo., earlier this year, Pompeo said that “it is true” that Russia interferedbut had also done so in the election “before that, and the one before that.” He continued that refrain Thursday, saying he had recently been reading accounts of Russian attempts to meddle in “the Nixon elections” in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The intelligence report released in January, which was produced in part by Pompeo’s own agency, noted Russia’s “longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led liberal democratic order” but said the 2016 effort “demonstrated a significant escalation in directness, level of activity and scope of effort compared to previous operations.”

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Mike Pompeo – Google Search

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US spies can make it harder to do business with Iran. Here’s how …

CNBC2 hours ago
The United States should make it more expensive for Iran to engage in “adventurism” in the Middle East, CIA Director Mike Pompeo said …
CIA Director Wrongly Says US Found Russia Didn’t Affect Election …
<a href=”http://NBCNews.com” rel=”nofollow”>NBCNews.com</a>19 minutes ago

FBI paid for dossier – Google Search

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Story image for FBI paid for dossier from Washington Post

Trump suggests FBI may have ‘paid for’ dossier alleging Russia ties

Washington Post6 hours ago
President Trump suggested Thursday that the FBI may have had a hand in creating an intelligence dossier that alleged ties between Russia …
Trump’s Question for the FBI
OpinionU.S. News & World Report1 hour ago

Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook – Google Search

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Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook – Google Search

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Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook – Google Search

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Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook – Google Search

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Story image for Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook from WIRED

Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook Is More Than Fake …

WIREDOct 18, 2017
This past summer, a Facebook account called Blacktivist posted a horrifying video. It depicted a blackman handcuffed, his face planted to the …

Story image for Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook from The Guardian

Russian troll factory paid US activists to help fund protests during …

The GuardianOct 17, 2017
Russian trolls posing as Americans made payments to genuine … Did Russia fake black activism on Facebook to sow division in the US?

Story image for Russians Posing as Black Activists on Facebook from CNNMoney

Exclusive: Even Pokémon Go used by extensive Russian-linked …

CNNMoneyOct 12, 2017
One Russian-linked campaign posing as part of the Black Lives Matter … CNN has separately established the links between the Facebook page … and encouraging other Americans to view black activism as a rising threat.
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Trump Suggests ‘Pee Tape’ Dossier Was Financed Jointly by Russia, the FBI

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President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to suggest a potentially explosive dossier of allegations concerning his links to Russia may have been paid for by the FBI, Russia, the Democratic Party or a combination of the three. Trump’s tweeted speculation came a day after two officials with the intelligence firm that commissioned the dossier last year appeared before the House Intelligence Committee but invoked their constitutional privilege not to provide testimony.

Related: Here’s what the ‘golden shower’ dossier now being investigated by Mueller claims about Trump and Russia

“Workers of firm involved with the discredited and Fake Dossier take the 5th,” Trump tweeted. “Who paid for it, Russia, the FBI or the Dems (or all)?”

Keep up with this story and more by subscribing now

The Washington-based firm Fusion GPS commissioned former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele to produce the dossier during the 2016 election campaign. It has refused to bow to pressure to disclose who paid for it. A lawyer for the firm, Josh Levy, wrote a letter to the House Intelligence Committee this week accusing Republican Chairman Devin Nunes of an “abuse of power” after he issued a subpoena to get the firm’s representatives to testify on Capitol Hill.

It has been widely reported that the dossier was initially financed by anti-Trump Republicans before Democrats picked up the check as the campaign moved toward the general election. Steele contacted the FBI with his findings and in October the two parties reached an agreement that he would continue his research with compensation from the bureau, according to a report from The Washington Post. That agreement never came to fruition, however.

President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting with members of the Senate Finance Committee and his economic team at the White House, on October 18. Trump took to Twitter Thursday morning to suggest a potentially explosive dossier of allegations concerning his links to Russia may have been paid for by the FBI, Russia or the Democratic Party or a combination of the three. Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

A summary of the dossier’s findings was provided to Trump and President Barack Obama ahead of January’s presidential inauguration. And, while Trump labeled the dossier “discredited” and “fake,” investigators looking into Russian interference in the 2016 election have been taking it increasingly seriously.

Earlier this month, it was reported that the investigation into the dossier had been taken up by the man leading the FBI’s Russia probe, Special Counsel Robert Mueller. The former FBI director’s team has also met with Steele, CNN has reported.

Some of the more salacious details of the dossier, including that Russia possesses a video of Trump getting Russian prostitutes to urinate on a bed in a Moscow hotel room was once occupied by President Barack Obama and wife Michelle, have not been verified. But some aspects of the so-called pee-tape dossier have been corroborated, according to the CNN report.

Suggesting that a federal intelligence service coordinated with a foreign power to produce a dossier about him is just Trump’s latest explosive and unsubstantiated accusation. Notably, he has also claimed that three million to five million people voted illegally in the 2016 election and that then-President Barack Obama wiretapped his residence at Trump Tower.

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NPR News: 10-19-2017 11AM ET 

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NPR News: 10-19-2017 11AM ET

Download audio: https://play.podtrac.com/npr-500005/npr.mc.tritondigital.com/NPR_500005/media/anon.npr-mp3/npr/newscasts/2017/10/19/newscast110625.mp3?orgId=1&d=300&p=500005&story=558766488&t=podcast&e=558766488&ft=pod&f=500005

Congress is spending millions on Russia investigations — but you’ll probably never know exactly how much – USA TODAY

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USA TODAY
Congress is spending millions on Russia investigations — but you’ll probably never know exactly how much
USA TODAY
USA TODAY reported last month that the House intelligence committee paid to send two of its staff investigators to London in July to try to contact Christopher Steele, the former British spy who compiled a dossier on Donald Trump and his alleged ties and more »

Actually, No, Bob Corker and John McCain Are Doing Nothing to Hold Trump Accountable – The Nation.

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The Nation.
Actually, No, Bob Corker and John McCain Are Doing Nothing to Hold Trump Accountable
The Nation.
Donald Trump is claiming, for the moment, that he is on exceptionally good terms with congressional Republicans — even with some of the Republicans that his once-and-future chief strategist Steve Bannon has targeted for political extinction. Indeed and more »

WH Denies Trump Joked About Killing Gays, But New Yorker Stands by Story – Advocate.com

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WH Denies Trump Joked About Killing Gays, But New Yorker Stands by Story
Advocate.com
The email also stated that in the process of fact-checking the profile, The New Yorker’s staff spoke to more than 60 people to confirm Trump’s statement, including senior White House officials, a senior staffer in the vice president’s office, Rep 
Understanding Mike Pence And His Relationship To Trump: ‘His Public Role Is Fawning’KCUR
The Danger of President PenceThe New Yorker
White House denies Trump joked about Pence being anti-gayPoliticoall 144 news articles »

Trump Campaign Spending on Legal Fees Surges as Russia Inquiries Widen – New York Times

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New York Times
Trump Campaign Spending on Legal Fees Surges as Russia Inquiries Widen
New York Times
The report underscores the degree to which Mr. Trump’s team has been consumed byinvestigations being pursued by congressional committees and the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, into Russian meddling in the presidential election, and …
Trump campaign legal bills topped $1 million last quarterMyAJC
Trump’s Campaign Paid His Son’s Russia-Probe Law Firm $238,000 …Bloomberg
Trump campaign spends more than $1 million on legal fees in last quarterUSA TODAY
Politico –Vox –Washington Examiner –CNN
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House Intelligence Committee will subpoena Trump pal Roger Stone if he doesn’t identify his go-between with … – Daily Mail

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Daily Mail
House Intelligence Committee will subpoena Trump pal Roger Stone if he doesn’t identify his go-between with …
Daily Mail
The House Intelligence Committee will subpoena Trump friend Roger Stone if he refuses to identify an intermediary who shared information with him about Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Rep. Mike Conway, the Republican leading the committee’s Russia …
Roger Stone attorney says he complied with request for Assange contactkvor
Clinton impeachment leader Bob Barr helping Roger Stone dodge congressional subpoena for Wikileaks sourceRaw Story
Roger Stone Must Give Away His WikiLeaks Source Or Will Be Subpoenaed By CongressWLSall 7 news articles »

As congressional investigations wear on, some eye a finish – WBOC TV 16

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WBOC TV 16
As congressional investigations wear on, some eye a finish
WBOC TV 16
WASHINGTON (AP) – As congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections wear on in the Capitol, some lawmakers are starting to wonder when – and how – the probes will end. After months of clandestine interviews and a few 

Anthony Weiner scandals: From politics to sexting cases – Fox News

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Fox News
Anthony Weiner scandals: From politics to sexting cases
Fox News
In the video announcement, Weiner, Abedin and their son appear to be a happy family, putting the scandal behind them. “Look, I’ve made … Abedin, at the time, was one of Hillary Clinton’s top campaign aides for the 2016 presidential election. August and more »

Donald Trump promotes criticism of Hillary Clinton for role in Russian uranium deal while attacking ‘fake’ media – The Independent

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The Independent
Donald Trump promotes criticism of Hillary Clinton for role in Russian uranium deal while attacking ‘fake’ media
The Independent
Donald Trump has called criticism over Hillary Clinton’s role in a uranium deal with Russia “the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow”. As the controversy over the president’s handling of grieving military families grows, he lashed out and more »

Putin Trump – Google News: Trump and Putin’s Strong Connection: Lies – Mother Jones

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Mother Jones
Trump and Putin’s Strong Connection: Lies
Mother Jones
Also the author of a 2012 biography of Putin, The Man Without a Face, Gessen of late has been a frequent critic of the authoritarian tendencies of President Donald Trump. She spoke with Mother Jones about the similarities she sees between Trump and and more »

 Putin Trump – Google News

The Trump White House is unmoored – Washington Post

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Washington Post
The Trump White House is unmoored
Washington Post
President Trump’s most faithful supporters like to believe he’s always a step ahead of the media and the political establishment — that he’s playing three-dimensional chess while we’re stuck on checkers. Where we see utter discord, they see carefully …
Trump’s Unforced ErrorThe Atlantic
Father of Soldier Killed in Niger: Trump Was Respectful When He Called MeTIME
How did Trump’s response to four soldiers’ deaths go so wrong?Los Angeles Times
NPR –Chicago Tribune –CNN
all 907 news articles »

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11:32 AM 10/17/2017 – Data Firm Says ‘Secret Sauce’ Aided Trump; Many Scoff

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LGBT-pro nonprofit accuses former FBI agent of stealing more tha – Hawaii News Now

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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -A former high-ranking FBI official in Honolulu is under fire after a local nonprofit accused him of stealing more than $33,000.

In a police statement filed last month, the nonprofit Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation said that between November 2016 and August 2017, 56-year-old Robert Kauffman wrote improper checks and made several unauthorized withdrawals from the foundation’s bank account.

Kauffman is a former assistant special agent-in-charge of the FBI’s Honolulu field office, and served with the bureau for more than 20 years where he investigated organized crime and espionage cases. He also served as the foundation’s treasurer.

“Several of these checks and bank account withdrawals were in excess of $3,000, which requires the approval of two board members,” attorney and foundation director David Brustein wrote.

“Robert did not have signatures or board approval,” Brustein added.

But Kauffman’s attorney, Myles Breiner, said his client is “innocent of any embezzlement,” and was safeguarding the money from being misspent.

He said Kauffman returned the money with a cashier’s check even before the foundation went to the police.

“Mr. Kauffman is innocent of any embezzlement. We believe that there was a disagreement over the handling of funds by the Legacy Foundation,” said Breiner.

“(He) was concerned about some of the decision being made about the costs and financing of various projects the foundation was endorsing.”

Kauffman is currently chief investigator for the state Judiciary’s Office of Disciplinary Counsel, which oversees attorney conduct.

He’s also listed as the CEO of The Wellness Group LLC, which unsuccessfully applied for a medical marijuana dispensary license. Among the Wellness Groups’ investors included foundation board members Brustein and Dr. David McEwan.

Brustein said Kauffman’s role at the two organizations are unrelated.

The Hawaii LGBT Legacy Foundation is a tax-exempt organization that supports causes for the gay, lesbian and transgendered people and is a big organizer of the Honolulu Pride festival happened throughout October.

The $33,000 is nearly half of the foundation’s annual revenues. Legal experts said allegations of theft or mismanagement can be financially exhausting for a nonprofit.

“It is more damaging, not only to the organization but the people who the organization was set up to assist,” said Hawaii Pacific University assistant professor Randal Lee, a retired Circuit Judge who has investigated hundreds of white-collar crime cases as a Honolulu deputy prosecutor.

Honolulu police are investigating and have turned over the case to its white-collar division. Kauffman plans to fight the allegations.

Copyright 2017 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

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Data Firm Says ‘Secret Sauce’ Aided Trump; Many Scoff

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But a dozen Republican consultants and former Trump campaign aides, along with current and former Cambridge employees, say the company’s ability to exploit personality profiles — “our secret sauce,” Mr. Nix once called it — is exaggerated.

Cambridge executives now concede that the company never used psychographics in the Trump campaign. The technology — prominently featured in the firm’s sales materials and in media reportsthat cast Cambridge as a master of the dark campaign arts — remains unproved, according to former employees and Republicans familiar with the firm’s work.

“They’ve got a lot of really smart people,” said Brent Seaborn, managing partner of TargetPoint, a rival business that also provided voter data to the Trump campaign. “But it’s not as easy as it looks to transition from being excellent at one thing and bringing it into politics. I think there’s a big question about whether we think psychographic profiling even works.”

At stake are not merely bragging rights, but also an emerging science that many believe could reshape American politics and commerce. Big data companies already know your age, income, favorite cereal and when you last voted. But the company that can perfect psychological targeting could offer far more potent tools: the ability to manipulate behavior by understanding how someone thinks and what he or she fears.

A voter deemed neurotic might be shown a gun-rights commercial featuring burglars breaking into a home, rather than a defense of the Second Amendment; political ads warning of the dangers posed by the Islamic State could be targeted directly at voters prone to anxiety, rather than wasted on those identified as optimistic.

“You can do things that you would not have dreamt of before,” said Alexander Polonsky, chief data scientist at Bloom, a consulting firm that offers “emotion analysis” of social networks and has worked with the center-right Republican Party in France.

“It goes beyond sharing information,” he added. “It’s sharing the thinking and the feeling behind this information, and that’s extremely powerful.”

Both conservatives and liberals are eager to harness that power. In Washington, some Democratic operatives are scrambling to develop personality-profiling capabilities of their own. But even as Cambridge seeks to expand its business among conservative groups, questions about its performance have soured many Republicans in Mr. Trump’s orbit.

Cambridge is no longer in contention to work for Mr. Trump at the Republican National Committee, a company spokesman confirmed, nor is it working for America First Policies, a new nonprofit formed to help advance the president’s agenda.

In recent months, the value of Cambridge’s technology has been debated by technology experts and in some media accounts. But Cambridge officials, in recent interviews, defended the company’s record during the 2016 election, saying its data analysis helped Mr. Trump energize critical support in the Rust Belt. Mr. Nix said the firm had conducted tens of thousands of polls for Mr. Trump, helping guide his message and identify issues that mattered to voters.

But when asked to name a single race where the firm’s flagship product had been critical to victory, Mr. Nix declined.

“We bake a cake, it’s got 10 ingredients in it. Psychographics is one of them,” he said. “It’s very difficult to isolate exactly what the impact of that ingredient is.”

Drawn to America

Cambridge’s parent company, the London-based Strategic Communication Laboratories Group, has a long record of trying to understand and influence behavior. Founded in 1993 by a former British adman, the firm has worked for companies and candidates around the world, as well as for government and military clients. SCL has studied Pakistani jihadists for the British government and provided intelligence assessments for American defense contractors in Iran, Libya and Syria, according to company documents obtained by The New York Times.

“Their approach was seen as serious and focused,” said Mark Laity, chief of strategic communications at NATO’s military headquarters in Europe, who has taken part in NATO-affiliated conferences where SCL has made presentations.

In recent years, the company has moved to exploit the revolution in big data to predict human behavior more precisely, working with scientists from the Cambridge University Psychometrics Center. The United States represented a critical new market. Europe has strict privacy protections that limit the use of personal information, but America is more lightly regulated, allowing the sale of huge troves of consumer data to any company or candidate who can afford them.

In 2013, Cambridge Analytica was created as SCL’s American operation, and the two companies today share many of their roughly 200 employees, several top executives, and offices in New York and Washington.

To develop its profiling system, Cambridge conducts detailed psychological surveys — by phone and online — of tens of thousands of people, differentiating them by five traits, a model widely used by behavioral researchers.

Uniquely, the company claims to be able to extrapolate those findings to millions of other people it has not surveyed, assigning them one of 32 distinct personality types. Cambridge then blends those profiles with commercial data and voting histories, revealing “hidden voter trends and behavioral triggers,” according to a 2016 company brochure.

Those profiles, in turn, would allow campaigns to customize advertising, direct-mail slogans and door-knocking scripts, each calibrated to prod the targeted voter toward — or away from — a candidate.

The promise of psychometrics appealed to Mr. Mercer, a computer scientist who made a fortune helping to lead Renaissance Technologies, a Long Island-based hedge fund. Mr. Mercer and his daughter Rebekah presided over a growing political empire that included millions of dollars in contributions to conservative groups and a stake in Breitbart, whose nationalist and racially antagonistic content prefigured Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign.

Mr. Mercer became Cambridge’s principal investor, according to two former employees. (Like several others interviewed for this article, they spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing nondisclosure agreements and the threat of lawsuits.) Mr. Bannon, the family’s political guru, also advised the company and served as vice president of its board, according to Delaware public records.

Mr. Mercer has never spoken publicly about his policy views in depth, but his giving is eclectic: He has financed anti-Clinton documentaries, right-wing media watchdogs, libertarian think tanks and both Senator Ted Cruz, a religious conservative, and Mr. Trump, a thrice-married nationalist.

“The genius here is Bob, and the billionaire in this is Bob, and the person with the extreme views of how the world should be is Bob,” said David Magerman, a Renaissance research scientist who was recently suspended after criticizing his boss’s support for Mr. Trump.

In the run-up to the 2014 elections, Breitbart, under Mr. Bannon, set up a London office and made common cause with populist conservatives in Europe. But back in the United States, Cambridge was at first slow to land big accounts. It was rebuffed by the political network overseen by the billionaire conservative brothers Charles G. and David H. Koch, to which the Mercers were major donors. Federal Election Commission records show that the firm had nine clients in House and Senate races that year, among them three “super PACs” partly financed by Mr. Mercer.

As the 2016 presidential campaign began, however, Cambridge landed a marquee political client: Mr. Cruz, the Texas senator. Mr. Mercer seeded a super PAC with $11 million to support him.

Cambridge had a talented salesman in Mr. Nix, an Eton-educated SCL director chosen to lead the American effort. Among colleagues, his skills at cajoling clients are legendary. At an office party at a London dog track in the summer of 2015, one young employee offered an affectionate toast.

“He is so smooth he’ll rub shoulders with politicians and their campaigns,” the employee joked, according to a video of the event posted on YouTube, “and, in their face, tell them he’s going to rip them off.”

‘Not About Tricking People’

But Cambridge’s psychographic models proved unreliable in the Cruz presidential campaign, according to Rick Tyler, a former Cruz aide, and another consultant involved in the campaign. In one early test, more than half the Oklahoma voters whom Cambridge had identified as Cruz supporters actually favored other candidates. The campaign stopped using Cambridge’s data entirely after the South Carolina primary.

“When they were hired, from the outset it didn’t strike me that they had a wide breadth of experience in the American political landscape,” Mr. Tyler said.

Ms. Mercer and Mr. Bannon were aggressive advocates for Cambridge. When the campaign disputed a $2.5 million invoice, they lit into Mr. Cruz’s senior campaign team during a conference call, according to the consultant. Cambridge Analytica, Ms. Mercer and Mr. Bannon claimed, was the only thing keeping Mr. Cruz afloat. (The company declined to comment on the exchange, as did a personal spokeswoman for Mr. Bannon and the Mercers.)

After the Cruz campaign flamed out, Mr. Nix persuaded Mr. Trump’s digital director, Brad Parscale, to try out the firm. Its data products were considered for Mr. Trump’s critical get-out-the-vote operation. But tests showed Cambridge’s data and models were slightly less effective than the existing Republican National Committee system, according to three former Trump campaign aides.

Mr. Bannon at one point agreed to expand the company’s role, according to the aides, authorizing Cambridge to oversee a $5 million purchase of television ads. But after some of them appeared on cable channels in Washington, D.C. — hardly an election battleground — Cambridge’s involvement in television targeting ended.

In postelection conversations with potential clients, Cambridge has promoted itself as the brains behind Mr. Trump’s upset victory. One brochure circulated to clients this year, which details Cambridge’s expertise in behavioral targeting, also calls the company’s “pivotal role” in electing Mr. Trump its “biggest success politically in the United States.”

Trump aides, though, said Cambridge had played a relatively modest role, providing personnel who worked alongside other analytics vendors on some early digital advertising and using conventional microtargeting techniques. Later in the campaign, Cambridge also helped set up Mr. Trump’s polling operation and build turnout models used to guide the candidate’s spending and travel schedule. None of those efforts involved psychographics.

In some recent public settings, Cambridge executives have acknowledged that. “I don’t want to break your heart; we actually didn’t do any psychographics with the Trump campaign,” Matt Oczkowski, Cambridge’s head of product, said at a postelection panel hosted by Google in December.

The firm’s claims about its client base have also shifted. As recently as October, the firm said it had 50 clients in the 2016 elections. But a company spokesman said federal elections records showing just a dozen were correct.

The spokesman also said neither Cambridge nor SCL had done any work, paid or unpaid, with the pro-“Brexit” Leave.eu campaign last year, although Mr. Nix once claimed that Cambridge had helped “supercharge” Leave.eu’s social media campaign. British authorities are now investigating the company’s exact role with Leave.eu and whether Cambridge’s techniques violated British and European privacy laws.

At a conference in Munich last month, Alexander Tayler, Cambridge’s chief data officer, dodged a question about whether Cambridge would work with far-right parties in European elections this year. He also played down the role of psychological profiling in the company’s work, much of which, Mr. Tayler suggested, is still based on traditional data analytics and marketing.

“It’s not about being sinister,” Mr. Tayler said. “It’s not about tricking people into voting for a candidate who they wouldn’t otherwise support. It’s just about making marketing more efficient.”

Looking to Expand

Even before the election, according to one former employee, Cambridge employees attended sessions about soliciting government business in the United States — where Mr. Trump now oversees the federal bureaucracy and Mr. Bannon is arguably the White House’s most powerful staff member. According to documents obtained by The Times, SCL is pursuing work for at least a dozen federal agencies, including the Commerce Department and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Mr. Bannon’s spokeswoman said he stepped down from the Cambridge board in August, when he joined the Trump campaign, and “has no financial involvement” with the firm currently. She declined to say whether Mr. Bannon previously held equity in the firm.

Late last month, SCL executives met with Pentagon officials who advise the Joint Chiefs of Staff on information warfare. A reference document submitted in advance of that meeting indicates that the company has worked as a subcontractor on roughly a dozen Pentagon projects, many of them “counter-radicalization” assessments in Pakistan and Yemen.

Such intelligence work is the bread and butter of SCL’s government contracting in other countries. And the firm’s experience in trying to influence Muslim sentiment abroad dovetails with Mr. Trump and Mr. Bannon’s focus on combating the Islamic State.

The Washington Post reported last month that SCL had secured a contract for a similar program at the State Department and was seeking military and Homeland Security work.

In an email, a Joint Chiefs spokesman confirmed that the Pentagon meeting, first reported by BuzzFeed, had occurred, but said he could not elaborate on the discussions “in order to avoid any undue influence or unintended consequences.”

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

At the moment, according to former employees, Cambridge has relatively few well-known corporate clients in the United States. Among them are ECI New York, a clothing company, and Goldline, which sells gold coins and markets heavily to listeners of conservative talk radio.

A spokesman for MasterCard declined to say if it would do business with Cambridge. The Yankees did not sign on.

But Mr. Nix appears to have bigger ambitions. “I think were are on the cusp of something enormous,” he said.

Data science is about to reshape marketing, Mr. Nix maintained, and the big advertising conglomerates would survive only by developing their own targeting technology — or acquiring companies like Cambridge.

“Those agencies that don’t adapt will die,” Mr. Nix said.

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Minnesota researchers create mass shooting database – News – Crookston Times – Crookston, MN

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manipulation of voters psychology – Google Search

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Cambridge Analytica, the shady data firm that might be a key Trump …

Vox7 hours ago
Cambridge Analytica specializes in what’s called “psychographic” profiling, meaning they use data collected online to create personality …
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An intern at the Trump campaign data firm, Cambridge Analytica …

Business InsiderOct 14, 2017
An intern at the Trump campaign data firm, Cambridge Analytica, appears to have left sensitive voter targeting tools online for nearly a year.
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Russia Probe Now Investigating Cambridge Analytica, Trump’s …

Daily BeastOct 11, 2017
They were once Steve Bannon’s favorite analytics shop. Now investigators want to know if the Kremlin had a thing for Cambridge Analytica, too.
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Potential Lawsuit Could Reveal How Trump Targeted Voters on …

Slate Magazine (blog)Oct 6, 2017
And Trump’s campaign was masterful at it, in large part thanks to Cambridge Analytica, the data-targeting team that worked to make sure Trump …
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Trump addresses strategy on Iran nuclear deal (full speech)

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From: Trump
Duration: 18:34

President Trump unveils the United States’ new strategy on the Iran nuclear deal.

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Tillerson responds to Corker’s ‘castration’ remark 

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After Sen. Bob Corker criticized President Donald Trump for his “castration” of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the secretary responded by saying he is “fully intact.”

12:36 PM 10/16/2017 – Surveillance Reform: The Fourth Amendments Long, Slow, Goodbye 

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Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts Trump Investigations Report from mikenova (18 sites) FBI News Review: 12:12 PM 10/16/2017 FBI: Oh, by the way, we just found 30 pages of information about the Clinton/Lynch tarmac meeting Canada Free Press (blog) FBI: Oh, by the way, we just found 30 pages of information about the Clinton/Lynch tarmac meeting Canada Free … Continue reading “12:36 PM 10/16/2017 – Surveillance Reform: The Fourth Amendments Long, Slow, Goodbye”

Donald Trump and WikiLeaks aren’t even trying to hide their collusion anymore 

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Investigators are still piecing together how the Donald Trump campaign and international cyberterrorist group WikiLeaks were communicating and coordinating their efforts during the course of the 2016 election. Although Trump’s longtime friend Roger Stone bragged that he was using backchannels to coordinate with WikiLeaks, the rest of the effort was a secret one. However, at this point, Trump and WikiLeaks are no longer even trying to hide it.

Last night Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks and a wanted fugitive who’s spent years hiding out in a basement closet, had an unhinged meltdown about Hillary Clinton. Assange posted a series of deranged tweets about Clinton’s “menacing glares” and far worse. It raised the question of whether perhaps Assange should be taken to a mental institution instead of a prison once he’s eventually apprehended. It was also one more reminder that WikiLeaks, the Russian government, and the Donald Trump campaign treasonously conspired to rig the election in in favor of Trump and against Clinton.

So how did Donald Trump handle Assange’s meltdown about Clinton? By joining in. Trump hadn’t tweeted about her in quite some time. Yet this morning he couldn’t wait to tweet “I was recently asked if Crooked Hillary Clinton is going to run in 2020? My answer was, ‘I hope so!’” It’s not a coincidence that Assange and Trump suddenly have the same message: they’re colluding as we speak to create a media distraction. They must know that a bombshell story is about to surface which helps expose their election rigging scheme, and they’re trying to force that bombshell to share some headline space with the Hillary controversy they’re manufacturing.

During the course of the 2016 election, Russian government hackers stole personal information from the Hillary Clinton campaign and the Democratic Party. It then gave that information to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, which often altered that information to appear scandalous. WikiLeaks coordinated with the Donald Trump campaign to release that (dis)information at the most opportune time for Trump. Everyone knows this. All that’s left is to prove it, so everyone involved can face charges.

The post Donald Trump and WikiLeaks aren’t even trying to hide their collusion anymore appeared first on Palmer Report.

12:28 PM 10/16/2017 – Timeline of Trump and Obstruction of Justice: Key Dates and Events 

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Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts Trump Investigations Report from mikenova (18 sites) FBI News Review: 12:12 PM 10/16/2017 FBI: Oh, by the way, we just found 30 pages of information about the Clinton/Lynch tarmac meeting Canada Free Press (blog) FBI: Oh, by the way, we just found 30 pages of information about the Clinton/Lynch tarmac meeting Canada Free … Continue reading “12:28 PM 10/16/2017 – Timeline of Trump and Obstruction of Justice: Key Dates and Events”

Today’s Headlines and Commentary 

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Iraqi forces seized key positions in the disputed city of Kirkuk, pushing out Kurdish forces, Reuters reported. The U.S.-trained counterterrorism force took up positions outside the provincial government headquarters on Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after Iraqi forces moved in to the city area. Kurdish fighters largely withdrew peacefully, the New York Times reported. One faction within the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) agreed to not contest the city’s seizure while fighters aligned with the KRG’s president continued to fight. The U.S. embassy called for an end to the fighting.

The Supreme Court will hear a case on government access to email data stored overseas, the Washington Post reported. The justices agreed to consider the Justice Department’s appeal in U.S. v. Microsoft. The case asks whether the Justice Department could use a warrant to access emails that Microsoft stored on a server in Ireland.

Bowe Bergdahl, the U.S. soldier who endured five years of Taliban captivity, plead guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, according to the Times. Army prosecutors argued that Bergdahl’s sudden departure from his base in Afghanistan endangered the troops that then searched for him.

A grand jury found Ahmad Khan Rahimi guilty of carrying out a plot to set off explosives in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood and New Jersey last year, the Times reported. In the case, the FBI presented evidence that Rahimi set up nine different bombs in and around New York City, only two of which exploded.

The death toll from a pair of truck bombings in Mogadishu, Somalia rose past 300 on Monday, the Post reported. The bombings nearly totally destroyed a city block. Somalia’s government blamed the attacks on al-Shabab, the al-Qaeda linked extremist group. Al Shabab has not yet issued any statement, according to the Times. Counterterrorism experts suggested that the militant organization may have received help from al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which has expertise in bomb-making.

European foreign ministers condemned President Trump’s decision to decertify Iran’s compliance with the nuclear deal, the Wall Street Journal reported. At a European Union meeting in Luxembourg, they pledged to honor the agreement and urged U.S. lawmakers not to reimpose sanctions that would effectively terminate the deal. Also at the meeting, the EU adopted new sanctions to put a blanket ban on business with North Korea and to totally ban oil exports to Pyongyang, Reuters reported.

Spain’s prime minister demanded that Catalonia’s leader cease his move to declare independence by Thursday, the Journal reported. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Catalan President Carlos Puigdemont had not clarified whether he had declared independence from Spain in an address last week. Rajoy threatened to invoke a provision of the Spanish constitution that would strip away some of Catalonia’s autonomy if Puigdemont does not withdraw his bid for independence by Thursday.

Philippine forces killed a terrorist on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list in an operation to retake the city of Marawi from militant control, the Journal reported. The Philippine military said it found the body of Isnilon Hapilon, a Justice Department-wanted terrorist who was involved in several kidnappings in the early 2000s, in a city block captured by advancing military units.

Israeli warplanes attacked a Syrian missile launcher site after being fired on while patrolling in Lebanese airspace, the Guardian reported. The Israeli military said the battery fired a surface-to-air missile at Israeli jets flying close to the Syrian border.

Researchers discovered a flaw in the WPA2 security protocol, making Wi-Fi vulnerable to hacking, Reuters reported. The Department of Homeland Security issued a security warning after researchers at KU Leuven in Belgium found a bug in WPA2 that could allow hackers to read transmitted information or infect devices with malware.

British intelligence blamed Iran for a hack that targeted 9,000 email accounts associated with the British parliament this summer, the Guardian reported. The attackers used a “brute-force” technique to try to gain access to members of parliament’s emails, including the accounts of Prime Minister Theresa May and other cabinet members.

Hillary Clinton called Julian Assange a “tool of Russian intelligence,” Politico reported. Clinton spoke out against Assange’s Wikileaks organization, which played a key role in spreading leaked information about her 2016 campaign, in an interview on Monday.

NATO began its annual nuclear exercises in Germany, demonstrating its nuclear deterrent capabilities, according to the Journal. The drill will take place at U.S. bases in Belgium and Germany, where the U.S. stores its Europe-based nuclear arsenal.

Writing for the Post, Philip Carter argued that National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster should implement the lessons he drew from his past writing on the failures of national security policymaking at the White House.

The Times’ David Sanger, David Kirkpatrick and Nicole Perlroth detailed how North Korea has turned its hacking operations into a global threat.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation published a new report on reforming counterintelligence outreach to industry.

 

ICYMI: This weekend, on Lawfare

In the Foreign Policy Essay, Katerina Papatheodorou argued that the U.S. should implement better online countering violent extremism efforts by learning from guerilla marketing techniques.

Vanessa Sauter shared the Lawfare Podcast, featuring an interview with Shadi Hamid and William McCants on their new book Rethinking Political Islam.

Eliot Kim posted this week’s Water Wars, covering the U.S.’s latest freedom of navigation operation (FONOP) and Britain’s FONOP policy revisions.

Elena Chachko analyzed the limited scope of the actual action items from President Trump’s much-hyped Iran strategy announcement.

 

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

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Surveillance “Reform”: The Fourth Amendment’s Long, Slow, Goodbye 

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Over 16 years after the 9/11 attacks and the subsequent repeated passage or renewal of draconian “temporary” but “emergency” domestic surveillance laws in response, it’s fair to ask: Have we officially abandoned the Fourth Amendment in the Bill of Rights?

With the expiration of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act (FAA) less than three months away, now is a good time to review the effects of these surveillance laws in the seemingly endless “War on Terror.” But first, a quick recap of America’s embrace of mass surveillance in the post-9/11 era.

Within six weeks of the terrorist attacks in 2001, and with virtually no serious debate, Congress passed the behemoth PATRIOT Act. The law created vast new government surveillance powers that abandoned the Fourth Amendment’s across-the-board probable cause warrant requirement. In an October 11, 2001 speech discussing the Senate version of the legislation, Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) assured terrified civil libertarians that the PATRIOT Act’s five-year “sunset” clause governing 15 of the bill’s provisions would serve “as a valuable check on the potential abuse of the new powers granted in the bill.”

Unbeknownst to the public and most members of Congress, the Bush administration allowed key authorities of the PATRIOT Act to be abused, a fact only brought to light in 2013 by Edward Snowden’s revelations of mass telephone surveillance conducted under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act.

Section 215 is one of the 15 “temporary” provisions that has been renewed repeatedly since 2001, making a mockery of Feinstein’s assurance that the “sunset” provision would act as a “check” on any abuse of the law. Today, 12 of those 15 “temporary” and “emergency” surveillance measures are permanent law.

Thanks to another document made public by Snowden, we know that three days after the 9/11 attacks, then-NSA Director Michael Hayden initiated a secret warrantless surveillance program encompassing Americans in contact with anyone in Afghanistan. Over the ensuing weeks, it would become a multi-pronged warrantless spying effort code-named STELLAR WIND. After the New York Times revealedthis unconstitutional surveillance in December 2005,  thanks to the help of a whistleblower at the Justice Department, the Congress and the Bush administration spent the next two years trying to make the illegal surveillance legal. Their final product, passed in 2008, was the FAA—renewed with little debate in 2012 and now, because of a “sunset” provision, is set to expire on December 31.

The key provision of the FAA that is the primary focus of debate is Section 702, which allows the government to target the communications of foreign entities even if the government knows it will likely sweep up the emails, text messages, and phone calls of innocent Americans in the process.

Have FAA’s authorities been used to subvert the Fourth Amendment and the constitutional rights of Americans, just as the PATRIOT Act has? Yes. Repeatedly.

In September, the politically progressive group Demand Progress issued a scathing report on documented abuses of the FAA, drawing directly from partially declassified Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) records. The findings showed that aspects of the government’s Section 702 information collection, revealed in 2011, acquired “non-targeted, entirely domestic communications,” violating the Fourth Amendment. Indeed, the FISC found that the NSA engaged for 12 years in types of surveillance that FISC would eventually deem unlawful, with NSA only ceasing the violations under repeated—but ultimately empty—threats of criminal sanctions.

This report was preceded earlier this year by the publication of Stanford law professor (and Just Security editor) Jennifer Granick’s excellent book American Spies, which chronicles in detail the rights violations and false claims of effectiveness of the PATRIOT Act and the FAA by NSA and FBI officials.

Sixteen years after creating the biggest unconstitutional mass surveillance dragnet in American history, we have documentary evidence—from the federal government’s own records—of repeated, systemic abuses of these authorities. We also know they’re costing taxpayers, whose digital communications are swept up by these programs, tens of millions of dollars annually. What we don’t have is any public evidence that these surveillance practices have made us safer.

What’s the response of Congress? It’s proposing to reauthorize the same Section 702 program, which has led to these abuses.

On Oct. 6, on a bipartisan basis, the House Judiciary Committee introduced the ill-named USA Liberty Act (HR 3989). In my initial analysis of the bill, I noted that the proposed legislation ignored every major problem highlighted in the Demand Progress report. The bill’s authors also ignored an even longer list of Section 702 reform proposals put forward by nearly 60 civil society groups.

Meanwhile, the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, NSA Director Adm. Mike Rogers, and FBI Director Christopher Wray have mounted a public campaign to renew Section 702 unchanged. At a meeting with reporters on Sept. 25, Coats and his colleagues argued that 702 is a vital surveillance authority that has helped thwart numerous terrorist plots. On background, I asked one of the reporters who attended that meeting whether Coats, Rogers, or Wray offered a single example of 702 stopping an attack on the United States. They did not—which tracks with Granick’s findings in American Spies.

Despite the lack of public, independently confirmed evidence that 702 has prevented terrorist attacks on America, Coats, Rogers, and Wray are winning the argument that 702 should remain the law of the land.

If you think about it, the indifference of the House Judiciary Committee leadership to these proposals is not terribly surprising. The overwhelming majority of the groups calling for changes to a surveillance law that should never have existed have no political power.

Unlike the National Rifle Association, they operate no political action committee or similar electoral vehicle that could be used to strike fear into House or Senate members who dare to put forward such proposals. Thus, House and Senate members know that they can safely ignore these groups, no matter how many press releases, Facebook posts, or completely fact-based reports about surveillance abuses they churn out–just as they have ignored these same groups for nearly 20 years as Congress has passed or reauthorized laws that, bit by bit, have eviscerated the Fourth Amendment.

My prediction: Absent another Snowden-like revelation, Section 702 of the FAA will be reauthorized largely without change, and any changes will be cosmetic, and almost certainly abused. Whether it has a “sunset” provision or not is now politically and practically meaningless.

After this latest assault on the Bill of Rights has been signed into law by President Donald Trump later this year or early next, opponents will have one more—and probably final—chance to roll back the damage already done when the three remaining PATRIOT Act provisions subject to “sunset” come due at the end of 2019. Unless the privacy and civil liberties community revamps its entire approach and structure for advocacy on these issues, the long, slow goodbye to the Fourth Amendment will come to an end just before Christmas in 2019.

Image: The NSA’s headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland/Getty Read on Just Security »

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Russia tried to use Pokemon Go to stoke racial tensions in the US – Fox News

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Russia tried to use Pokemon Go to stoke racial tensions in the US
Fox News
Russia’s meddling in U.S. politics and society ahead of the 2016 presidential election keeps getting weirder. The Kremlin-backed campaign of so-called fake news employed … The Don’t Shoot Us YouTube page, which is simply titled “Don’t Shoot 

Timeline of Trump and Obstruction of Justice: Key Dates and Events 

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Did President Donald Trump or other U.S. officials engage in an obstruction of justice with respect to the Russia investigation? There are three scenarios which raise that question. It’s important to keep each of them in mind as one thinks about incriminating and exculpatory information, and patterns of related behavior.

Before setting out each scenario and then the Timeline, it may bear reminding that under U.S. federal criminal law, the definition of obstruction of justice includes anyone who “corruptly … or by any threatening letter or communication … endeavors to influence, obstruct, or impede” a criminal investigation. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Manual, even a mere attempt to pursue those ends is enough for obstruction, regardless of whether the attempt succeeds. The criminal standard matters if prosecutors were ever to consider pressing charges while Trump is President (a period in which he may be immune from indictment) or after he leaves office. The federal definition could also serve as a background for impeachment proceedings, although Congress would not be tied to the strict definitions of existing criminal law. Finally, there is always the court of public opinion.

What are the three scenarios that prosecutors, members of Congress, and the public could consider under the heading of obstruction of justice?

First, any attempts to unlawfully have FBI Director James Comey drop the investigation of Michael Flynn Second, any attempts to unlawfully interfere with FBI or congressional investigations into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian officials during the 2016 election Third, any attempts to unlawfully interfere with the FBI or congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election (having nothing to do with any alleged collusion)It is also important to keep in mind that one form of obstruction may be in getting officials to drop an investigation (which is very difficult to ever pick back up) and another form may be in firing officials with authority over the investigation.

The following is a Timeline of events that could be relevant to considerations of the obstruction of justice. It adheres as much as possible to the most directly relevant information, but also includes some other evidence that may be relevant to investigators who are looking for patterns of behavior (for example, Trump’s treatment of Preet Bharara).

Timeline

Late July 2016 – According to the New York Times and later confirmed by former FBI Director James Comey, the FBI begins investigating the Russian government’s attempts to interfere with the 2016 U.S. election. The investigation includes examining whether Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was connected to those efforts. The catalyst for the FBI investigation includes Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page’s trip to Moscow to deliver a pro-Russia foreign policy speech at a prestigious Russian institute that same month.

Dec. 29, 2016 – In retaliation for Russian interference in the election, the Obama administration ordersthe expulsion of Russian intelligence agents and imposes new sanctions on Russian state agencies and individuals suspected of hacking U.S. computer systems. The CIA and FBI had previously concluded that Russia had interfered in the election multiple times including leaking damaging information to assist the Trump campaign.

Jan. 6, 2017 – According to Senate testimony by James Comey, he first meets Trump at Trump Tower on this date as part of an Intelligence Community assessment briefing on Russian election interference. After the meeting ends, Comey meets with Trump privately and assures Trump he is not beingpersonally investigated. He writes a memo about the meeting after he returns to his car. Later testifying to Congress Comey says, “I was honestly concerned that he might lie about the nature of our meeting, and so I thought it really important to document.”

Jan. 6, 2017 – The New York Times reports that the IC concluded in its assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a campaign to influence the outcome of the 2016 election, initially seeking to weaken Hillary Clinton, but later developing a “clear preference” for Trump. The Timesreports that at the IC assessment meeting earlier that morning, Trump “responded by acknowledging, for the first time, that Russia had sought to hack into the Democratic National Committee’s computer systems,” but asserted that these activities did not influence the election’s outcome, and he did not address the IC conclusion that Putin had favored his campaign.

Jan. 19, 2017 – The New York Times first reports that U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies are conducting a counterintelligence investigation into links between Russian officials and Trump associates. The investigation centers partly on past business dealings between Trump advisers and Russia. The FBI is leading the investigation, alongside the CIA, NSA, and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The associates under investigation include former campaign manager Paul Manafort and advisers Carter Page and Roger Stone.

Jan. 27, 2017 – According to Comey’s testimony, Trump invites Comey to what he believes will be a group dinner at the White House, but which turns out to be a private dinner meeting with the then-FBI Director. Trump asks whether Comey wants to remain FBI Director, and Comey responds affirmatively. During the dinner, Trump repeatedly tells Comey that he “needs loyalty,” and Comey responds, “You will always get honesty from me.” Trump responds, “That’s what I want, honest loyalty.” Comey responds, “You will get that from me,” hoping to end the conversation. Comey later testifies to Congress that, given the one-on-one nature of the meeting and the substance of their talk, Comey believed the dinner was in part an effort to create a “patronage relationship.”

Feb. 13, 2017 – National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence and other administration officials about a conversation with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in December 2017 about U.S. sanctions against Russia.

Feb. 14, 2017 – According to Comey’s Senate testimony, Comey and other IC leaders deliver a counter-terrorism briefing at the Oval Office. Trump signals the end of the briefing by thanking everyone and saying he wanted to meet with Comey privately. Trump tells Comey, “I want to talk about Mike Flynn,” adding that Flynn had not done anything wrong, but had to resign because he misled Pence. Trump then tells Comey, “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” Comey later testifies that he “had understood the President to be requesting that we drop any investigation of Flynn in connection with false statements about his conversations with the Russian ambassador in December.”

Immediately after the meeting, Comey prepared a memo of the communication and presented the issue to FBI senior leadership. Comey interpreted Trump’s communication as “a direction” to drop the FBI investigation as it related to Flynn’s alleged false statements about his meetings with the Russian Ambassador in December 2016.

The FBI leadership team and Comey believed that it was important not to “infect the investigative team with Trump’s request,” and decided to refuse the directive. The team concluded it would not have made sense to disclose Trump’s request to Sessions, who had recused himself from the Russia investigation, or the Deputy AG, who was soon to be replaced. They believed it was best to keep the communication “closely held,” although they might decide to disclose it to other officials as the investigation progressed.

Shortly thereafter, Comey also met with Sessions and told him “that what had just happened –  him being asked to leave while the FBI Director, who reports to the AG, remained behind – was inappropriate and should never happen.” He said he “implored” Sessions to ensure that no further private communications occur between Trump and himself. Nevertheless, he did not disclose the content of Trump’s request regarding dropping the Flynn investigation.

In his written statement for the Senate, Comey said the Attorney General “did not reply” and then told Senators in open session that Sessions was “just kind of looking at me” and “his body language gave me a sense like, ‘What am I going to do?’”

In his own testimony before the Senate, Sessions said Comey’s account was “incorrect” and said, “I did affirm the long-standing written policies of the Department of Justice concerning communications with the White House.”

Mar. 2, 2017 – Sessions announces that he is recusing himself from any investigations into charges that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente takes over the Russia investigation following Sessions’ recusal.

Mar. 9, 2017 – Trump’s assistant calls U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara’s office and leaves a message asking Bharara to call Trump back. Trump’s direct communication request violates protocols governing presidential contact with federal prosecutors. Bharara notifies an adviser to AG Sessions of the presidential contact, and tells him he will not respond because of the protocol violation. Bharara then calls Trump’s assistant to say that he cannot speak with the president directly because of the protocol violation.

Mar. 10, 2017 – Trump orders Bharara and 46 other U.S. Attorneys appointed by Barack Obama to resign. The request surprises Bharara’s office because in November, he had met with Trump and advisers including Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner at Trump Tower, and Trump had personally asked him to stay in the position. Bharara publicly refuses to resign.

Mar. 11, 2017 – Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente calls Bharara and tells him that he is one of the 46 U.S. Attorneys being asked to resign. Bharara tells him that he is interpreting that as being fired, and Boente repeats that he is being asked to resign.

Bharara tweets that afternoon that he has just been fired by Trump:

I did not resign. Moments ago I was fired. Being the US Attorney in SDNY will forever be the greatest honor of my professional life.

— Preet Bharara (@PreetBharara) March 11, 2017

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Because Bharara served as U.S. attorney of the S.D.N.Y., his jurisdiction included Trump Tower, and he would likely have known whether Trump Tower had been wiretapped by federal investigators as Trump claimed, as well as other Tower-related information potentially relevant to the Russia investigation, or to any other investigations involving the finances or other activities of Trump and his companies.

Mar. 20, 2017 – In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Comey confirms that the FBI is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. He also dismisses Trump’s claims that President Obama wiretapped him during the presidential campaign.

Mar. 22, 2017 – The Washington Post reports that Director of National Intelligence Daniel Coats and other senior officials participate in an Oval Office briefing, after which Trump asks Coats and CIA Director Mike Pompeo to stay for a private meeting. Trump complains to them about Comey’s handling of the Russia investigation and asks them to intervene with Comey to get the FBI to stop investigating Flynn.

After the meeting, Coats discusses Trump’s request with other officials and decides that against Trump’s requests to issue a public statement and to intervene with Comey regarding Flynn, believing both would be inappropriate.

A day or two after Mar. 22, 2017 – Shortly after the Mar. 22 meeting, Trump reportedly makes separate telephone calls to both Coats and NSA Director Adm. Michael Rogers and requests that they issue public statements denying the existence of any evidence of collusion between Trump officials and the Russian government. Both officials view the requests as inappropriate and refuse.

Then Deputy Director of the NSA Richard Ledgett writes an internal NSA memo documenting Trump’s conversation with Rogers. During the call, Trump questions the accuracy of the IC Assessment that Russia had interfered with the election, in addition to trying to convince Rogers to issue a public statement.

In addition to Trump’s requests, senior White House officials separately requested that top intelligence officials consider the possibility of intervening with Comey directly to have the FBI withdraw its probe of Flynn. Their lines of questioning included: “Can we ask him to shut down the investigation? Are you able to assist in this matter?”

Mar. 30, 2017 – According to Comey’s Senate testimony, on this date, Trump calls Comey at his office and tells Comey that the Russia investigation is a “cloud” inhibiting his ability to act as President. Trump assures Comey that he has had nothing to do with Russia and asks Comey what he can do to “lift the cloud.” Comey responds that the FBI is investigating the matter as quickly as it can, and that a full investigation is in Trump’s best interests.

Trump then asks about why Comey had confirmed the FBI investigation into coordination between Russia and the Trump campaign at a Congressional hearing, and Comey explains that he was responding to Congressional leaders’ demands. Comey explains that he has briefed those leaders on who exactly the FBI is investigating and informed them that Trump is not personally under investigation. Trump repeatedly urges Comey to get the fact that he himself is not under investigation out to the public.

Comey later testifies to the Senate that the FBI and DOJ were reluctant to make a public statement that they did not have an open case on Trump “for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change.”

Mar. 30, 2017 – The Wall Street Journal reports that Mike Flynn has informed the FBI and congressional officials of his willingness to be interviewed by House and Senate investigators as part of the investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia, in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Flynn’s lawyer released a statement confirming only that discussions with Congressional investigators were taking place, though it concluded: “no reasonable person, who has the benefit of advice from counsel, would submit to questioning in such a highly politicized, witch-hunt environment without assurances against unfair prosecution.” The New York Times reports that congressional officials are unwilling to make a deal with Flynn until they are further along in their inquiries and have a better idea of the information Flynn might offer.

Mar. 31, 2017 – Trump applauds Flynn’s request for immunity, tweeting:

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

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 31, 2017

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Apr. 11, 2017 – According to Comey’s testimonyTrump calls Comey again and asks what he has done about Trump’s request to publicize the fact that he is not personally under investigation. Comey tells Trump that he relayed Trump’s request to Acting Deputy AG Dana Boente but that he has not heard back. Trump reiterates that the “cloud” is interfering with his ability to act as President, and asks whether he should have his staff contact Boente. Comey advises Trump of the traditional channel, which is for White House Counsel to contact DOJ leadership to make such requests. Trump says he will do so and tells Comey, “Because I have been very loyal to you, very loyal; we had that thing you know.” Comey responds by reiterating that the proper channel for Trump’s request is for Trump to follow the DOJ chain of command. Trump agrees and ends the call.

Comey testifies that in light of Trump’s requests, “Our — our absolute primary concern was, we can’t infect the investigative team. We don’t want the agents and analysts working on this to know the president of the United States has — has asked — and when it comes from the president, I took it as a direction — to get rid of this investigation, because we’re not going to follow that — that request.

Apr. 25, 2017 – Rod Rosenstein is confirmed as Deputy AG by the Senate and will serve as the official overseeing the Russia investigation in light of Sessions’ recusal. Rosenstein told Senators he would handle it “the way I would handle any investigation,” adding: “I don’t know the details of what, if any, investigation is ongoing, but I can certainly assure you if it’s America against Russia, or America against any other country, I think everyone in this room knows which side I’m on.”

May 8, 2017 – According to the New York Times, Trump summons VP Pence, his chief of staff, top lawyers, and other senior advisors to the Oval Office and informs them that he plans to get rid of Comey, showing them an at least four-page letter, singe-spaced consisting of a long-running series of thoughts on why Comey should be fired that Trump dictated to aide Stephen Miller. The draft criticizes Comey for failing to publicly disclose that Trump was not personally under investigation and for his handling of both the Russia and Clinton email investigations.

White House Counsel Donald McGahn opposes the letter as “problematic” in multiple ways. His objections include the letter’s angry tone and its references to private conversations between Trump and Comey. He successfully convinces Trump not to use the draft. Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein then composes his own letter, which becomes a central part of the administration’s public rationale for the removal. The New York Times reports that “Mr. Sessions had been charged with coming up with reasons to fire him,” according to administration officials.

May 8, 2017 — Trump implicitly accuses former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates of leaking classified information in a tweet. Because Yates was scheduled to testify on the Flynn investigation before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee later in May, and because she had previously warned the White House that Flynn might have been compromised, this tweet could provide supporting evidence for an attempt to intimidate a witness in the Flynn investigation.

Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017

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May 9, 2017 – Trump fires Comey from his post as FBI Director, removing the nation’s top law enforcement official while he was leading a criminal investigation into potential collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russian government to influence the 2016 election as well as an investigation into former NSA Adviser Michael Flynn for potentially making a false statement to the FBI. The firing raised questions about political interference in an ongoing criminal investigation that could implicate Trump and his top advisers.

In the official announcement, Trump cites letters written by AG Sessions and DAG Rosenstein that “recommend [Comey’s] dismissal,” adding that he has accepted their recommendation and therefore is terminating Comey. The letters largely deal with the Clinton email investigation, and Trump also publicly cites Comey’s handling of the Clinton investigation in announcing the change. However, Trump’s letter also references the Russia investigation and Comey’s actions toward Trump personally: “While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau.”

Of the two letters Trump cites, Sessions’ brief letter does recommend Comey’s dismissal, and cites the reasoning in Rosenstein’s letter. Rosenstein’s letter, however, does not explicitly recommend dismissal; instead, it only outlines Comey’s “serious mistakes” in handling the Clinton e-mail investigation. It concludes that the FBI will be unlikely to regain public trust until a new Director is put in place. White House officials say that Sessions and Rosenstein pushed for Comey’s removal, but observers in Washington, including veteran former FBI agents, view the letters as pretextual.

May 9, 2017 – ABC News reports that Rosenstein was so upset that he was on the verge of resigning because of Trump’s public statements, and statements by White House officials, that Trump was acting on Rosenstein’s recommendation in firing Comey. Rosenstein tells the Sinclair Broadcast Group: “No, I’m not quitting.”

May 9, 2017 – Late that night, the White House announces that Trump will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov in the Oval Office the next day.

May 10, 2017 –Trump meets with Lavrov and Ambassador Kislyak in the Oval Office and speaks to them about the Russia investigation and Comey’s firing. He reportedly tells the senior Russian officials: “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job…I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off…I’m not under investigation.”

According to the Times, Press Secretary Sean Spicer did not dispute the account. Instead, he claimed in a statement that: “By grandstanding and politicizing the investigation into Russia’s actions, James Comey created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia. Spicer adds, “The investigation would have always continued, and obviously, the termination of Comey would not have ended it. Once again, the real story is that our national security has been undermined by the leaking of private and highly classified conversations.”

May 11, 2017 – In an interview with NBC News’s Lester Holt, Trump admits that even before he consulted Rosenstein, “I was going to fire Comey. There’s no good time to do it, by the way.” Holt mentions that in Trump’s letter outlining the reasons for Comey’s firing, he cited Rosenstein’s letter, and Trump responds, “Oh, I was going to fire regardless of recommendation.”

Then, while addressing how he would have fired Comey regardless, he adds: “And in fact when I decided to just do it, I said to myself, I said you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story, it’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should have won…This was an excuse for having lost an election.”

When Holt asks him about whether he was angry with Comey because of the FBI’s Russia investigation, Trumps responds that he never tried to pressure Comey to drop it. He adds: “Maybe I’ll expand that, you know, lengthen the time (of the Russia probe) because it should be over with, in my opinion, should have been over with a long time ago. ‘Cause all it is, is an excuse but I said to myself, I might even lengthen out the investigation, but I have to do the right thing for the American people.” He added, “I want that to be so strong and so good. And I want it to happen.”

May 12, 2017 – Trump tweets, “James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations,” suggesting Trump may have recorded such tapes, and may decide to release them. The tweet follows a New York Times report the day prior describing the dinner between Trump and Comey at which Trump asked Comey for a pledge of loyalty.

James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017

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The Times reports that both the president and his spokesman refused to confirm or deny whether Trump tapes his conversations with visitors. When asked about whether such tapes existed by a Fox News host later that day, Trump reiterated: “That I can’t talk about. I won’t talk about it…All I want is for Comey to be honest.” Spokesman Sean Spicer, when asked, would not give a definitive response, saying only, “The president has nothing further to add on that.” Spicer further denied that Trump was threatening Comey, saying “That’s not a threat…He simply stated a fact. The tweet speaks for itself. I’m moving on.”

May 17, 2017 – Rosenstein appoints former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III to serve as the DOJ’s Special Counsel to investigate Russian interference in the election and possible coordination between Trump associates and Russia.

Trump responds by saying, “a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly. In the meantime, I will never stop fighting for the people and the issues that matter most to the future of our country.”

However, Trump decries the decision on Twitter:

This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017

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With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017

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“With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!;” “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”

May 2017 – The New York Times reports that Trump berated Sessions in an Oval Office meeting and told him he should resign, shortly after learning of the appointment of a Special Counsel to investigate links between the Trump campaign and Russia. Trump accuses Sessions of “disloyalty” and then launches into a series of insults against Sessions. Sessions became emotional and told Trump he would quit, and then drafted and sent a resignation letter to the White House. The Times reports that Sessions would later tell colleagues that Trump’s dressing down was the most humiliating experience he had ever had in public life.

Trump eventually rejects the resignation in May after senior administration officials argue that it would only create more problems for him. But the Times also reports that he wished to remove Sessions again in July, though he did not act on it at that time. The Times reports that Trump believes the moment Sessions recused himself is the moment Trump lost control over the Russia investigation.

This dressing down represents the low point in the relationship between Trump and Sessions, a Senator who broke ranks with fellow Senators to become one of Trump’s first supporters. The Timesreports that their relationship would marginally improve over time, partly because of Sessions’ taking a strong public stance against leakers later on.

May 18, 2017 – Rosenstein testifies before a closed-door Senate briefing that he knew Trump wanted to fire Comey before he wrote his letter justifying Comey’s removal.  Rosenstein adds that Trump asked him to write the letter. He tells Senators that on May 8 he knew that Trump was planning to fire Comey.

June 6, 2017 – Washington Post reporter Robert Costa reports on NBC News that “The President is expected to be Tweeting on Thursday in response to Comey — not to stay quiet during the testimony — because he himself wants to be the one driving the process.”

Costa later tweets:

I’m told by two WH sources that Pres. Trump does not plan to put down Twitter on Thursday. May live tweet if he feels the need to respond.

— Robert Costa (@costareports) June 6, 2017

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June 7, 2017 – DNI Coats and NSA Director Rogers both refuse to testify about their personal interactions with Trump and whether Trump asked them to intervene in the Russia investigation at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing.

Coats tells the Committee, “I don’t believe it’s appropriate for me to address that in a public session,” when asked about whether Trump requested he intervene in the Russia investigation. Coats adds, however: “But I am more than willing to sit before this committee during its investigative process in a closed session and answer your questions.” Roger says, “I am not going to discuss the specifics of interactions that I may or may have not had with the President.”

Both men deny being pressured to intervene. Coats says, “I have never felt pressure to intervene or interfere in any way and shape — with shaping intelligence, in a political way or in relationship to an ongoing investigation.” Rogers tells the Committee, “To the best of my recollection, I have never been directed to do anything I believe to be illegal, immoral, unethical or inappropriate.

June 8, 2017 – Trump’s personal lawyer Marc Kasowitz responds to Comey’s testimony  claiming Comey “admitted that he unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the President.”

However, legal experts say that the executive privilege could not have been implicated by Comey’s memos, because executive privilege functions as a shield against compelled rather than voluntary disclosure, and in any case, the leaks did not disclose any classified information or break any laws, since they dealt solely with private interactions with the President (the kind of internal communications of which many insider books are written).

June 16, 2017 – Trump attacks Deputy AG Rosenstein on Twitter:

I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

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June 22, 2017 – The New York Times reports that Trump officially announces that he does not have taped recordings of his conversations with James Comey, citing Trump’s tweet:

With all of the recently reported electronic surveillance, intercepts, unmasking and illegal leaking of information, I have no idea…

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017

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…whether there are “tapes” or recordings of my conversations with James Comey, but I did not make, and do not have, any such recordings.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 22, 2017

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The Times report notes that Trump’s tweet leaves open the possibility that others may have recorded their conversations, potentially without permission, such as the Intelligence Community generally or FBI in particular.

The Times report notes that legal experts have said Trump’s initial tweet threatening that tapes existed could serve as part of a potential obstruction of justice case, because the tweet could be construed as pressuring Comey not to reveal details about his and Trump’s conversations relating to the Russia investigation to federal investigators. Others say the threat of existence of tapes suggest Trump was trying to keep Comey honest.

June 16, 2017 – Trump attacks Rosenstein and the expanding Russia probe in a series of tweets:

I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

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June 23, 2017 – In a Fox television interview, in response to a Fox interviewer suggesting that the possibility of recordings of Comey’s conversations with Trump may have ensured Comey’s honesty in his Senate testimony, Trump says: “Well, it wasn’t very stupid, I can tell you that.” He added that in response to the possibility of Comey’s conversations being recorded, “I think his story may have changed.”

July 8, 2017 – The New York Times reports that Donald Trump Jr. arranged a meeting at Trump Tower with a Kremlin-linked Russian lawyer in June 2016, shortly after his father won the Republican nomination. Campaign manager Paul Manafort and Jared Kushner also attended. Though Trump Jr. initially releases a statement saying the meeting was primarily about an adoption program, emailsreleased later show meeting occurred because Trump Jr. was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton by the Russian lawyer.

Trump personally dictates a statement for Trump Jr., stating that he and the Russian lawyer “primarily discussed a program about the adoption of Russian children,” and that the subject of the meeting was “not a campaign issue at the time.” These claims are later proven to be false. Before the revelation of the president’s involvement in these deliberations, Trump’s lawyer repeatedly denied Trump was involved in drafting them. Eventually, the White House confirms that Trump “weighed in” on the drafting of the misleading statement.

July 10, 2017 – Trump tweets that Comey illegally leaked classified information to the media:

James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017

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July 19, 2017 – In an interview with the New York Times, Trump says that had he known Sessions was going to recuse himself from the Russia investigation, he would not have nominated him to be Attorney General:

TRUMP: Look, Sessions gets the job. Right after he gets the job, he recuses himself.

BAKER: Was that a mistake?

TRUMP: Well, Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else.

Trump repeats that he relied on the Rosenstein letter in deciding to fire Comey:

TRUMP: […] Rosenstein becomes extremely angry because of Comey’s Wednesday press conference, where he said that he would do the same thing he did a year ago with Hillary Clinton, and Rosenstein became extremely angry at that because, as a prosecutor, he knows that Comey did the wrong thing. Totally wrong thing. And he gives me a letter, O.K., he gives me a letter about Comey. And by the way, that was a tough letter, O.K. Now, perhaps I would have fired Comey anyway, and it certainly didn’t hurt to have the letter, O.K.

Trump asserts again that Comey leaked confidential information in his Senate testimony, and oddly suggests that, in their initial meeting, Comey told Trump to “treat Flynn good” (when Comey testified that Trump had asked him to let go of the Flynn investigation):

TRUMP: Comey also says that he did something in order to get the special prose— special counsel. He leaked. The reason he leaked. So, he illegally leaked.

TRUMP: So think of this. [NYT reporter] Mike [L. Schmidt]. He illegally leaks, and everyone thinks it is illegal, and by the way, it looks like it’s classified and all that stuff. So he got — not a smart guy — he got tricked into that, because they didn’t even ask him that question. They asked him another question, O.K.?

________

TRUMP: He said I said “hope” — “I hope you can treat Flynn good” or something like that. I didn’t say anything.

Later in the interview, Trump contends that Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe has a conflict of interest involving Hillary Clinton. Days later, he repeats his claim on Twitter:

Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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Why didn’t A.G. Sessions replace Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe, a Comey friend who was in charge of Clinton investigation but got….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

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…big dollars ($700,000) for his wife’s political run from Hillary Clinton and her representatives. Drain the Swamp!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 26, 2017

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Jill McCabe, McCabe’s wife, received nearly $500,000 in 2015 campaign donations from a political action committee associated with Va. Gov. Terry McAuliffe during an unsuccessful Virginia Senate run. McAuliffe is close with both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

July 24, 2017 – The New York Times reports that Trump aide and son-in-law Jared Kushner meet with Senate investigators looking into the Russia investigation on the Senate Intelligence Committee. After meeting with investigators behind closed doors, Kushner released a statement to news media: “All of my actions were proper and occurred in the normal course of events of a very unique campaign…I did not collude with Russians, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did.” He is the first member of the Trump inner circle to confer with congressional investigators.

July 24–25, 2017 — In a series of early morning tweets, Trump renews his attacks against Sessions.

So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 24, 2017

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Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump campaign – “quietly working to boost Clinton.” So where is the investigation A.G. @seanhannity

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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He also repeated his claims regarding McCabe having a conflict of interest with respect to the Clintons:

Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017

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Aug. 1, 2017 – In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump again berates Sessions for recusing himself from the Russia investigation:

WSJ: He’s the Russian guy. So Sessions has recused himself, but is Bob Mueller’s job safe? There is speculation –

TRUMP: No, we’re going to see. I mean, I have no comment yet, because it’s too early. But we’ll see. We’re going to see. Here’s the good news: I was never involved with Russia. There was nobody in the campaign. I’ve got 200 people that will say that they’ve never seen anybody on the campaign. Here’s another – he was involved early. There’s nobody on the campaign that saw anybody from Russia. We had nothing to do with Russia. They lost an election and they came up with this as an excuse. And the only ones that are laughing are the Democrats and the Russians. They’re the only ones that are laughing. And if Jeff Sessions didn’t recuse himself, we wouldn’t even be talking about this subject.

And Trump further suggests that Sessions’ early campaign endorsement was not a sign of loyalty:

WSJ: Just on Sessions, just one thing. Would you like to see him step aside? Would you like to see him resign? Would it be in the country’s best interest just –

TRUMP: I’m just very disappointed in him. I’m disappointed in, you know, a number of categories. I told you, the leakers. He should have – he should be after them. So many people say to me: Why are they going after you on nothing and they leave Hillary Clinton alone on, you know, really major things? And it is – so I’m disappointed in him. And don’t forget, when they say he endorsed me, I went to Alabama. I had 40,000 people, you may have been there, remember, in Mobile?

WSJ: I remember.

TRUMP: I had 40,000 people. He was the senator from Alabama. I won the state by a lot, massive numbers. A lot of the states I won by massive numbers. But he was a senator. He looks at 40,000 people and he probably says, what do I have to lose, and he endorsed me. So it’s not like a great, loyal thing about the endorsement. But I’m very disappointed in Jeff Sessions.

Aug. 3, 2017 – Vox reports that, in late May, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe told several people in high-level FBI management that they should consider themselves potential witnesses in any potential obstruction of justice investigation involving Trump. He told colleagues that he could also be a potential witness himself.

Aug. 26, 2017 – The Washington Post reports that sometime this past spring, Trump approached AG Sessions and asked whether the DOJ could possibly drop its case against former Maricopa County, Arizona Sherriff Joe Arpaio, whom Trump has long respected. Sessions advised him that it would have been inappropriate to drop the case, after which Trump decided to let the case go to trial and subsequently grant a pardon. Legal experts believe that Trump’s handling of the Arpaio case may be relevant to determining his intent in speaking to Comey about the FBI’s Michael Flynn investigation (“I hope you can let this go”) in an obstruction of justice probe.

Aug. 31, 2017 – The Wall Street Journal reports that Trump’s lawyers have met with Mueller several times in recent months and have submitted several memos to him contending that Trump didn’t obstruct justice by firing Comey and questioning Comey’s reliability as a potential witness.

Sept. 19, 2017 – The Wall Street Journal reports that Mueller’s office interviewed DAG Rosenstein in June or July 2017 about Trump’s removal of Comey. A source told CNN that Rosenstein has no current plans to recuse himself from the investigation, suggesting he does not view himself as a key witness in the obstruction of justice investigation. DOJ Spokesperson Ian Prior released a statement saying, “As the deputy attorney general has said numerous times, if there comes a time when he needs to recuse, he will. However, nothing has changed.”

[Editor’s Note: For more analysis, readers may be interested in: “A Round-Up of Just Security’s Obstruction of Justice Coverage”]

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Opinion: We must stop politicizing tragedy – The Ledger

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Opinion: We must stop politicizing tragedy
The Ledger
Perhaps the most famous case in the past two decades is the Patriot Act. Shortly after 9/11, congress implemented and passed the Patriot Act. This act allowed three-letter agencies — such as the NSA or the FBI — to expand their power and ability to 

11:55 AM 10/16/2017 – TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION – from The Early Edition: October 16, 2017 

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SYRIA The U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) began their final push to oust Islamic State militants from Raqqa yesterday, marking the last phase to combat the militants in their de facto capital in Syria and after a significant number of militants surrendered as part of a locally brokered deal. John Davison and Ellen Francis report … Continue reading “11:55 AM 10/16/2017 – TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION – from The Early Edition: October 16, 2017”

12:03 PM 10/16/2017 – How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election – Axios 

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Trump Investigations Report | Latest Posts Trump Investigations Report from mikenova (18 sites) Trump – Google News: Trump dares ‘crooked’ Hillary to run again after she blames loss on Comey ‘shiv’ – Fox News Fox News Trump dares ‘crooked’ Hillary to run again after she blames loss on Comey ‘shiv’ Fox News President Trump tweeted Monday that he hopes Crooked … Continue reading“12:03 PM 10/16/2017 – How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election – Axios”

Trump allies worry that losing the House means impeachment – CNN

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CNN
Trump allies worry that losing the House means impeachment
CNN
If Republicans forfeit the House, Democrats will almost certainly create a spectacle that will derail conservatives’ agenda and the remainder of Trump’s first term — a spectacle complete with a raft of new subpoenas, a spotlight on the Russia 
The Daily 202: Trump’s attacks on Senate Republicans are paying political dividendsWashington Post

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Russia Funding Taliban in War Against NATO Troops – TOLOnews

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Russia Funding Taliban in War Against NATO Troops
TOLOnews
The report said that Russia’s intelligence services are sending fleets of fuel tankers into Afghanistan through the Hairatan border crossing with Uzbekistan to companies operating on behalf of the Taliban. The Times reported that about $2.5 million USD 

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How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election – Axios

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Axios
How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election
Axios
U.S. investigators are probing whether Russia relied on clandestine American help to identify political soft spots and pressure points in its campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. But experts say that, even without local assistance, Russia’s own 
Why are Russian media outlets hyping the Mueller investigation?San Francisco Chronicle
Inside Russia’s alliance with white nationalists across the globeThinkProgress

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How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election – Axios

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Axios
How history readied Putin to disrupt the US election
Axios
U.S. investigators are probing whether Russia relied on clandestine American help to identify political soft spots and pressure points in its campaign to disrupt the 2016 election. But experts say that, even without local assistance, Russia’s own 
Why are Russian media outlets hyping the Mueller investigation?Midland Daily News
Inside Russia’s alliance with white nationalists across the globeThinkProgress

all 31 news articles »

Manafort Got $60 Million from Russian Oligarch – Patheos (blog)

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Patheos (blog)
Manafort Got $60 Million from Russian Oligarch
Patheos (blog)
It’s the place where Russian oligarchs and organized crime (but I repeat myself), including Putinhimself, launder their money through banks. And guess who was vice chairman of … Trump’sCommerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. While he was on the board of 

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7:22 AM 10/16/2017 The Method To The Moron’s Madness » Donald Trump: Further reading – FT | » Donald Trump | The Guardian: How Fallon fell: why is the late-night host floundering in Trump’s America? 

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Donald Trump “reelection campaign” funds may be going to Trump’s personal secretary Trump’s supposed 2020 reelection effort may be even more fraudulent than previously known  » 10:59 AM 10/15/2017 – The Method To The Moron’s Madness » Palmer Report » Donald Trump: Further reading 16/10/17 01:12 from 1. Trump from mikenova (5 sites) Donald Trump Donald Trump – further … Continue reading “7:22 AM 10/16/2017 The Method To The Moron’s Madness » Donald Trump: Further reading – FT | » Donald Trump | The Guardian: How Fallon fell: why is the late-night host floundering in Trump’s America?”

The Early Edition: October 16, 2017 

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Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of up-to-the-minute developments at home and abroad. Here’s today’s news.

SOMALIA

More than 300 have been killed in a double explosion in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu on Saturday and the death toll is likely to rise, marking one of the deadliest attacks in the country since the Islamist insurgency started in 2007. Nicholas Bariyo reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The attack came after President Trump renewed efforts to rid Somalia of al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militants, some analysts stating that the bombing may have been in retaliation for al-Shabab’s loss of territory and in response to the U.S.’ increased drone attacks. Hussein Mohamed, Eric Schmitt and Mohamed Ibrahim report at the New York Times.

The U.N. Secretary-General condemned the attack and urged all Somalis “to unite in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism,” in a statement by the Secretary-General’s spokesperson yesterday. The UN News Centre reports.

The Mogadishu attack may prompt the U.S. to step up its involvement in Somalia and to counter al-Shabab, who were almost certainly behind the attack. Jason Burke provides an analysis at the Guardian.

IRAN

“We stand committed to the J.C.P.O.A. and its full implementation by all sides,” a joint statement by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron said Friday, using the acronym for the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. The leaders made the statement following President Trump’s decertification of Iran’s compliance with the accord and urged the Trump administration and Congress to “consider the implications to the security of the U.S. and its allies before taking any steps” to undermine the agreement. Laurence Norman reports at Wall Street Journal.

“We will continue to stick to the deal and to cooperate with the [International Atomic Energy Agency] within the framework of international law,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Friday in response to Trump’s decision to decertify Iran’s compliance, adding that the U.S. is “more isolated than ever” as a consequence of the president’s actions. Erin Cunningham reports at the Washington Post.

“What we’re saying now with Iran is don’t let it become the next North Korea,” the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said yesterday, defending Trump’s decision to decertify Iran’s compliance and arguing that the aim is to “improve the situation” and “see how” to make the nuclear agreement “better.” Eli Watkins reports at CNN.

“If it’s not broke, don’t fix it,” Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told Russia’s TASS news agency yesterday, responding to the Trump’s decision to decertify Iran’s compliance, noting that the Trump administration has a habit of calling for improvements and amendments to already successful agreements. Olivia Beavers reports at the Hill.

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman “praised President Trump for visionary new Iran strategy,” the White House said yesterday in a read out of Saturday’s call between Trump and King Salman. Mallory Shelbourne reports at the Hill.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Trump for his “brave decision” on the Iran deal in an interview yesterday, adding that “we cannot allow this rogue regime 30 times the size of North Korea’s economy to have a nuclear arsenal.” Mallory Shelbourne reports at the Hill.

“The U.S. is no longer not just unpredictable but unreliable,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said yesterday, stating that the strength of the agreement was that it was based on “mutual mistrust” but that Trump is “widening the mistrust” between Iran and the U.S. and between the U.S. and the international community. Rebecca Savransky reports at the Hill.

Syria’s Foreign Ministry condemned the Trump administration yesterday for its decision on the Iran deal, Reuters reports.

The various reactions of global leaders to Trump’s Iran strategy is provided by the BBC.

The Iran deal cannot be “fixed” because it is “intrinsically misconceived,” Iran cannot be trusted to comply with the agreement and the deal “will breathe its last shortly.” The former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton writes at the Wall Street Journal.

Trump’s Iran strategy foreshadows “yet another crisis over the deal and perhaps a U.S. withdrawal in just three months’ time” as the president’s decision to decertify Iran’s compliance has left Congress to deal with the mess he has created. Josh Rogin writes at the Washington Post 

The president has sent mixed messages to Congress about his intentions, which does not bode well for the future of the deal as Congress lacks the tools to make effective foreign policy decisions. Daniel B. Shapiro writes at POLITICO Magazine.

Iran carried out a cyberattack on the U.K. parliament and hacked 9,000 email accounts in June, including the account of Prime Minister Theresa May, according to a secret intelligence assessment. Francis Elliot and Fiona Hamilton report at the Times.

IRAQ

Iraqi forces and Kurdish troops have clashed in the northern oil-rich Iraqi province of Kirkuk today, amid a three-day standoff when Iraqi forces advanced into the disputed province which was included in last month’s controversial Iraqi Kurdistan independence referendum, where the Kurds voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence. Loveday Morris and Mustafa Salim report at the Washington Post.

The Iraqi forces were sent by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi to impose security in the area and marks the first use of military force since the referendum vote, undermining the U.S.-backed efforts of the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces to combat Islamic State militants. David Zucchino reports at the New York Times.

The Iraqi central government accused the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (K.R.G.) of bringing Turkish Kurdistan Workers’ Party (P.K.K.) fighters to Kirkuk, labeling the move a “declaration of war” – a K.R.G. official denying the claim as “false” and that there are only Peshmerga in Kirkuk. Reutersreports.

The Pentagon urged dialogue as “the best option to defuse ongoing tensions” and warned against “destabilizing actions that distract” from the fight against Islamic State militants and that would “further undermine Iraq’s stability.” Reuters reports.

The Iraqi forces’ operation has allegedly caused “lots of casualties,” according to a Peshmerga commander, adding that the Iraqi forces “burnt lots of houses and killed many people,” the claims could not be independently verified. Al Jazeera reports.  

Iraqi forces have captured territory in Kirkuk today, including key several positions, the Iraqi military saying in a statement that they are “continuing to advance.” Reuters reports.

Iran shut its border crossings with Iraqi Kurdistan yesterday at the request of the Iraqi government, the Iraqi foreign ministry said in a statement. Reuters reports.

NORTH KOREA

Diplomatic efforts with North Korea “will continue until the first bomb drops,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in an interview yesterday, adding that the “President has also made clear to me that he wants this solved diplomatically.” Eli Watkins reports at CNN.

The U.S. and South Korea will begin five-day joint military exercises off the Korean Peninsula today, an exercise that was described by North Korea on Saturday as “a reckless act of war” and there has been speculation that the drills would prompt North Korea to launch a provocation, with one South Korean government source saying that Pyongyang is preparing to launch a missile. Eun-Young Jeong reports at the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S. military will conduct noncombatant evacuation exercises next week to prepare U.S. service members and their families in the event of war and other emergencies. Choe Sang-Hun reports at the New York Times.

North Korea and South Korea will not hold direct talks in Russia today, despite attending the same event and despite encouragement by Moscow to use the opportunity to talk. Reuters reports.

North Korea’s ability to carry out cyberattacks poses a serious threat to the West and has achieved much more than many analysts expected, including targeting key state infrastructure, stealing hundreds of millions of dollars, and hacking into South Korea’s military networks. David E. Sanger, David D. Kirkpatrick and Nicole Perlroth explain at the New York Times.

SYRIA

The U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (S.D.F.) began their final push to oust Islamic State militants from Raqqa yesterday, marking the last phase to combat the militants in their de facto capital in Syria and after a significant number of militants surrendered as part of a locally brokered deal. John Davison and Ellen Francis report at Reuters.

The locally brokered deal was arranged to “minimize civilian casualties” and “purportedly excludes” foreign Islamic State fighters, the U.S.-led coalition said in a statement, emphasizing that the coalition was not involved in the discussions for the deal. Louisa Loveluck reports at the Washington Post.

A senior Turkish official rejected Syria’s call for Turkish troops to withdraw from the rebel-held Idlib province at the weekend, emphasizing that the Turkish forces are there in close cooperation with Russian forces and in order to establish a de-escalation zone. Umut Uras reports at Al Jazeera.

TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION

Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort has around $60m worth of business dealings with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, who has close ties to the Kremlin. Aggelos Petropoulos and Richard Engel report at NBC News.

Democrats and Republicans are stepping up efforts to secure the integrity of voting systems ahead of next year’s mid-term elections and in response to Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Michael Wines reports at the New York Times.

The America public deserve to know about the connections between the Democrats, opposition research firm Fusion GPS, former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele and the F.B.I., and the media’s focus on Trump-Russia has meant they have failed to pick up on stories that reveal wider Russian influence. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

The PHILIPPINES

Two leaders of Islamic State-linked militants in the southern Philippine city of Marawi were killed by Philippine forces, a government spokesperson saying in a statement today that the bodies of the leaders – one of whom was on the U.S. Department of Justice list of most-wanted terrorists world-wide – were recovered today. Jake Maxwell Watts reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Around 30 militants remain in Marawi, the Philippine’s military chief said today, as the forces stage an operation to retake the city. The AP reports.

THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson defended his role in the Trump administration yesterday amid reports that he has a poor relationship with the president, Julia Manchester reports at the Hill.

The reports of a poor relationship between U.S. ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley and Tillerson are “so ridiculous,” Haley said in an interview yesterday, stating that she shares a “great relationship” with the Secretary of State. Jacqueline Klimas reports at POLITICO.

White House chief of staff John Kelly has been taking action to fill positions in the administration. Nancy Cook explains his efforts at POLITICO.

GUANTÁNAMO

The entire civilian legal team defending the alleged mastermind of the 2000 U.S.S. Cole bombing has quit due to a secret ethical conflict, throwing into doubt the future of the case. Carol Rosenberg reports at the Miami Herald.

The Pentagon has not yet said if it would extend the duty of the chief war crimes prosecutor Army Brig. Gen. Mark Martins, who is set to retire next month but has said would extend his service if asked to. Carol Rosenberg reports at the Miami Herald.

An al-Qaeda terrorist turned government informant was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Friday. Carol Rosenberg provides an overview of Ahmed al Darbi’s circumstances at the Miami Herald.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

The Islamic State today claimed responsibility for firing two rockets yesterday from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula into EgyptReuters reports.

The crisis in South Sudan has caused deep concern in the U.S., however the South Sudanese President Salva Kiir has dismissed the Trump administration’s comments and shows no sign of changing his behavior. Kevin Sieff reports at the Washington Post.

Islamist militants carried out a daytime attack today in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula today, killing seven according to officials. Ashraf Sweilam reports at the AP, also providing the context for the recent increased violence perpetrated by militants in Egypt.

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9:19 AM 10/17/2017 – us national security – Google News: Facebook looking to hire employees with US national security clearance to combat election manipulation – Firstpost | Stars and Stripes: A new battle in Iraq gives Iran the upper hand | Stars and Stripes: Bergdahl guilty pleas leave room for drama at sentencing

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1. US Security from mikenova (78 sites)
Stars and Stripes: At least 15 dead in Taliban attack on Afghan police compound
Washington Free Beacon: Rick Scott Declares State of Emergency in Advance of Richard Spencer Florida Event
In Homeland Security: National Security, Intelligence, Cybersecurity Experts To Speak At Homeland Security Week Conference
Just Security: Would the United States Be Responsible for Private Hacking?
Stars and Stripes: Russia pressures Serbia on status of controversial base
cia – Google News: Tom Cotton to CIA? That could go really bad, really fast – Salon
global security – Google News: Unisys Appoints Jonathan Goldberger as New Leader for Global Security Services – PR Newswire (press release)
International Security – Google News: Turkey leader in Poland for talks on security, his policies – ABC News
Stars and Stripes: Deadly fires ease, anger grows over Iberia’s 41 fire deaths
Stars and Stripes: US presence in Somalia surges as military mission turns more deadly
www.washingtontimes.com stories: Security: Japanese military helicopter loses contact off central Japan
The National Interest: How America and Iran Almost Went to War
www.washingtontimes.com stories: Security: After Kirkuk, Kurdish forces pull out of more areas in Iraq

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12:14 PM 10/5/2017 – FBI agents question Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend for several hours – ABC News | US: Myanmar crackdown could draw international terrorists | Myanmar military accused of killing dozens of fleeing Rohingya villagers – The Guardian | False Flag Terrorism: Myth and Reality by 20committee

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False Flag Terrorism: Myth and Reality 

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Sunday night’s appalling atrocity in Las Vegas, where an apparently lone gunman holed up in the Mandalay Bay hotel shot more than 500 people – killing 59 of them at present count – has taken over the airwaves and social media. Rightly so, since this is the deadliest mass shooting incident in recent American history.

Questions abound regarding Stephen Paddock, the shooter, who’s dead (reportedly by his own hand) and therefore unavailable to explain what motivated him to commit such an awful crime. It’s a rare thing for an affluent older white man – he was 64 and devoted to gambling in his retirement from accountancy – without a criminal record to assemble a vast arsenal, then unleash it on hundreds of people he’d never met.

It may be some time before a motive can be detected in this strange and sinister case. The claim of the Islamic State that Paddock was their “soldier” has been dismissed by U.S. intelligence as a desperate fantasy by the ailing terror group, eager to cash in on the Las Vegas horror. Indeed, we may never know exactly what propelled Paddock into this horrific act.

In the absence of reliable information, the usual charlatans have jumped into the fray, offering fact-free speculation. Per sordid custom, this ghoulish gang is led by Alex Jones, the InfoWars doyen, who proffered his customary insta-explanation for the crime: False Flag!

In other words, nothing in Las Vegas is as it seems. Jones offered a tale that was convoluted even for him: Paddock was merely a front for the “Deep State” in Washington, the Islamic State, and “the literal grandchildren of the folks that financed the Bolshevik Revolution out of New York and London” (translation: Jews).

This is his shtick, and Jones falls back on False Flags to explain nearly everything. He became notorious for employing it after the 2012 school horror in Sandy Hook, Connecticut, which left 20 little kids murdered. Egged on by his instance that the entire incident was a hoax, Jones’ demented fans have tortured grieving parents for years.

This vile spectacle has pushed the False Flag idea beyond the pale, which is unfortunate because they really do exist among spies and terrorists. Recruiting agents and conducting espionage operations while pretending to be somebody else happens every day in the real world. Terrorists, too, have been known to kill while masquerading as another party, for political effect.

Polite people don’t like to talk about this, of course, and their politesse has infected our discourse about such important matters, to its detriment. Now, thanks to Alex Jones, to mention False Flags in any way is to self-brand as a lunatic.

Read the rest at The Observer …

Filed under: CounterintelligenceEspionageTerrorism  

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Myanmar military accused of killing dozens of fleeing Rohingya villagers – The Guardian

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The Guardian
Myanmar military accused of killing dozens of fleeing Rohingya villagers
The Guardian
The Myanmar military killed dozens of Rohingya villagers as they gathered to seek safety following the outbreak of violence in Rakhine state, according to witness reports collected by human rights experts. The testimonies describe soldiers beating and more »

9:18 AM 10/5/2017 – German intelligence heads stress international cooperation – Washington Times | Trump’s CIA director outlines plans to make agency more aggressive, cut red tape – by Joseph Fitsanakis 

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The heads of three German intelligence agencies say national and international cooperation and information-sharing is ever more critical as threats become more global. Source: German intelligence heads stress international cooperation – Washington Times Trump’s CIA director outlines plans to make agency more aggressive, cut red tape by Joseph Fitsanakis Thursday October 5th, 2017 at 2:29 AM Search Results For … Continue reading “9:18 AM 10/5/2017 – German intelligence heads stress international cooperation – Washington Times | Trump’s CIA director outlines plans to make agency more aggressive, cut red tape – by Joseph Fitsanakis”

Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas shooter, targeted jet fuel tanks, possibly other targets: Investigators 

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Las Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock also shot into jet fuel tanks at the airport across from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, possible attempting to set off a massive explosion, according to a report.

Bullet holes were found in two white tanks at McCarran International …

US: Myanmar crackdown could draw international terrorists

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The U.S. State Department says Myanmar’s crackdown that has caused an exodus of a half-million Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh could destabilize the region and invite international terrorists.

     

Germany’s Trade Surplus Creates Tension With the Trump Administration | Economic Intelligence

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When an irresistible force meets an immovable object, the results are generally not pretty. For this reason, one has to worry about Germany’s outsized trade surplus, which appears to be putting that country on a collision course with the Trump administration.

Being elected on the platform that other countries have been taking advantage of the U.S. in the area of international trade, President Donald Trump seems to be moving irresistibly towards doing something about other countries’ large trade surpluses. Being sure that its country’s large trade surplus is a sign of virtue rather than constituting any problem, the German government is immovable about any notion of taking policy measures to help reduce the size of that surplus.

At the heart of the trade tensions between the U.S. and Germany is the fact that, at around $300 billion, Germany now has the world’s largest external current account surplus. At over 8 percent of GDP, Germany’s external current account surplus is approximately three times the size of that of China, which has for long been the main recipient of U.S. criticism about unfair trade practices.

U.S. concern about Germany’s large external current account surplus predates Trump becoming president. Already in April 2016, in its semi-annual currency report to Congress, the U.S. Treasury flagged that the German external surplus was problematic. It did so by placing Germany, along with China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan, on a special monitoring list. It warned that these countries faced extra scrutiny and potential retaliation by Washington as a result of concerns over their growing trade imbalances with the U.S.


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Since assuming office, Trump has made abundantly clear his displeasure with Germany’s large trade surplus, which he considers to be totally unacceptable in that it unfairly disadvantages U.S. workers. In that context, his administration has charged that Germany has taken advantage of its Euro membership to gain an unfair competitive advantage. By adopting the Euro as its currency, which weak economic performers like Greece, Italy and Portugal also use, Germany has enjoyed the benefits of a very much weaker currency than it would have had if it had maintained the Deutsche Mark.

The German government’s reaction to the Trump administration’s charges of unfair trade practices is generally one of indignation and incomprehension. It insists that a large trade surplus is not a policy objective, but rather the result of Germany’s orderly budget policies and its aging population’s high propensity to save. Why, they ask, should Germany be penalized for following sensible economic policies?

The German government is also quick to point out that even if it wanted to do something to address its large trade surplus, it is politically constrained from doing so. Since joining the Euro in 1999, it has not been a German central bank that influences the German exchange rate, but rather the independent European Central Bank that does so. Germany might have two seats on the ECB’s board, but it is only one of 19 countries that are represented on that board, which puts it in a distinct minority.


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Similarly, to the repeated entreaties by the International Monetary Fund that Germany should use the fiscal space that it has to help reduce trade imbalances both in Europe and the rest of the world, the German government responds that this is no longer constitutionally possible. In 2009, the German parliament overwhelmingly approved a balanced budget amendment or “debt brake.” According to that debt brake, from 2016 onwards, the German government has been constitutionally precluded from running a structural budget deficit that exceeds 0.35 percent of GDP.

One has to fear that the German government is grossly underestimating how politically important it is to the Trump administration to deliver on the president’s election promises to bring jobs back to America. One also has to worry that should the German government remain intransigent about doing anything to address its country’s large trade surplus, Trump will use his executive authority to follow through on his threats to introduce far-reaching trade restriction to meet his trade balance objectives.

An intensification of trade restrictions is the last thing that the world economy needs; it could very well invite retaliation that could lead to a global trade war. For this reason, one must hope that cooler heads prevail in both Berlin and Washington to find a cooperative way to deal with today’s global trade imbalances. The basis for such an approach might be to have Washington commit to more disciplined budget policies in return for Berlin committing to finding a way to use the fiscal space that it now enjoys to pursue a more expansionary fiscal policy.

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Hearing in the Bundestag: Maaßen calls for more technical possibilities – politics

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With reference to the security security situation, Hans-Georg Maaßen, the President of theConstitution, calls for more powers for the news services. “Security has its price, and the price is not only paid in euros,”. Only the services could detect and prevent terrorist attacks in advance. “We need a full set of tools with which we are able to solve the problems of today,” said Maaßen. “It can not be that we are dependent on our partners.”

Maaßen said he had “a few wishes just in the technical area”. The protection of the constitution needs access to messenger services like WhatsApp or telegram. He would also like to know who is looking at decapitation videos in Germany, which are spread over a foreign server, in order to be able to compare this information with files of suspicious extremists and to assess their dangerousness better.

The threat of cyber attacks is growing

The President of the Constitutional Defense argued that the security situation is now much more complex than in the case of the terror series 40 years ago in the so-called Deutscher Herbst. Currently there are 10,300 Salafists in Germany as well as more than 1800 persons in the Islamic terrorist spectrum. In addition, there was an increase in violent right- and left-wing extremism as well as a growing threat of cyber-attacks . “If I were a business man, I could say: in all our business areas, it is booming,” said Maaßen. “Unfortunately this is not a positive message.”

The President of the Federal Intelligence Service (BND), Bruno Kahl, said that the intelligence services are currently faced with immense challenges. The German services would have to keep pace with the technical development. “Otherwise the digital revolution benefits only those from whom we are supposed to protect our country.”

Maaßen: No cyber attacks before the Bundestagswahl

The intelligence chiefs also spoke about cyber attacks in the run-up to the Bundestag election. Hans-Georg Maaßen, President of the Constitution, confirmed that the feared attacks and disinformation campaigns had been suspended. Before the members of the Intelligence Control Board, Maaßen expressed the assumption that such methods had not been used “because the political costs are simply too high.” After the recent elections in the US and France, Russian disinformation campaigns had become so clear that this time, such measures were intentionally abandoned.

Maaßen had warned against foreign influence in the run-up to the election. Andrej Hunko, a member of the Left, said: “Contrary to the propaganda of German secret services, there were no cyber attacks on the Bundestag elections.” He referred to the answer given by the Ministry of the Interior to his parliamentary question. It lists only attack attempts on parties and part-time foundations, which have already taken months. The ministry calls the attacks “possible preparations for attempts to influence the Bundestag election”. Hunko, on the other hand, considers this presumed connection to be “coffee beverages”. ( dpa )

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german intelligence trump – Google Search

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Story image for german intelligence trump from CNBC

Trump dossier’ on Russia links is now a part of special counsel’s …

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Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr (R), R-N. … Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan have sued Washington investigations …

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Germany Collides With Trump

U.S. News & World ReportSep 13, 2017
When an irresistible force meets an immovable object, the results are generally not pretty. For this reason, one has to worry about Germany’s …

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Macron could become one of Trump’s greatest assets

CNNSep 28, 2017
Paris (CNN) Donald Trump should be clicking his heels together this week: Europe … First, in Germany’s national elections on Sunday, the far-right AfD … a “European intelligence academy, shared information gathering and …
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German intelligence heads stress international cooperation

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Christof Gramm military intelligence – Google Search

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Story image for Christof Gramm military intelligence from ABC News

German intelligence heads stress international cooperation

ABC News3 hours ago
… Christof Gramm, head of the German Military Counter-Intelligence Service and Bruno Kahl, head of the German Federal Intelligence Service, …
German spy chiefs face public grilling by lawmakers
InternationalDeutsche Welle5 hours ago

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The U.S. State Department says Myanmar’s crackdown that has caused an exodus of a half-million Rohingya Muslims to Bangladesh could destabilize the region and invite international terrorists.

Russia may have tested cyber warfare on Latvia, Western officials say – Reuters
 


Reuters
Russia may have tested cyber warfare on Latvia, Western officials say
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RIGA/BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Moscow was probably behind interruptions in Latvia’s mobile communications network before Russia’s war games last month, in an apparent test of its cyber attack tools, Baltic and NATO officials said, based on early and more »
FBI agents question Las Vegas gunman’s girlfriend for several hours – ABC News
 


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null
How to Maintain Security when Rolling out DevOps – InformationWeek
 

How to Maintain Security when Rolling out DevOps
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The heads of three German intelligence agencies say national and international cooperation and information-sharing is ever more critical as threats become more global. Source: German intelligence heads stress international cooperation Washington Times Trumps CIA director outlines plans to make agency more aggressive, cut red tape by Joseph Fitsanakis Thursday October 5th, 2017 at 2:29 AM Search Results For … Continue reading“9:18 AM 10/5/2017 – German intelligence heads stress international cooperation Washington Times | Trumps CIA director outlines plans to make agency more aggressive, cut red tape by Joseph Fitsanakis”
The U.S. Air Force is 24 Percent Short of the Fighters it Needs

Dakota WoodSecurity,

Our military is minimally ready, rapidly aging, and has so shrunk in size that even senior military leaders question its ability to adequately meet its national security obligations.

Arguably the federal governments first obligation to Americans is to keep us safe from foreign attack and to defend our vital national interests wherever they are threatened.

Alarmingly, our government is on the verge of failing in this core responsibility. Our military is minimally ready, rapidly aging, and has so shrunk in size that even senior military leaders question its ability to adequately meet its national security obligations.

This is a disservice to Americans in general and, most especially, to those who are tasked with carrying out the duty of protecting our nation.

Two weeks ago, voicing his concerns about the militarys condition and the impact that restricted funding is having on Americas security, Secretary of Defense James Mattis was quite blunt:

[N]othing has done more damage to the readiness of our armed forces than the continuing resolutions that stop us from taking initiative, than the lack of budgetary predictability. I bring this up because if we dont get budgetary predictability, if we dont remove the defense caps, then were questioning whether or not America has the ability to survive. Its that simple.

Gen. Daniel B. Allyn, until recently the vice chief of staff of the Army, has testified that only one-third of our BCTs [brigade combat teams], one-fourth of our combat aviation brigades, and half of our division headquarters are considered ready.

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Currently, of the Armys 31 brigade combat teams only three would be available to immediately deploy to a conflict.

The Air Force is 24 percent short of the fighters it needs, and is short 1,000 pilots and over 3,000 maintainers. Only four of its 32 combat-coded squadrons are ready to execute all wartime missions.

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Prior to 1991, the Air Force purchased more than 500 aircraft a year to offset platforms aging out of its inventory. Since then, it has averaged fewer than 100 per year.

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The Latest: Russia says it fired 10 missiles at IS in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) – The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):4:10 p.m.The Russian Defense Ministry says its submarines HAVE fired 10 cruise missiles at Islamic State positions outside the eastern Syrian town of Mayadeen, one of the last major IS strongholds in the country.

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Las Vegas Shooting Survivor Stands to Meet the Trumps: I Will Never Lie Down to Shake the Presidents Hand

Las Vegas shooting survivor Thomas Gunderson was shot in the leg during Sunday night’s attack, but he still stood to greet the president and first lady when they visited him at the hospital.President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Last Vegas on Wednesday to speak with doctors, law enforcement officers, first responders, and survivors of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.With over 500 people injured in the attack, the Trumps visited one of the hospitals where survivors are recovering. Gunderson was one of the many people who sustained injuries from being shot and spoke with the president and first lady during their trip.

Gunderson, despite being shot in the leg, stood when he shook the Trumps’ hands and later posted a video of the interaction to his Facebook page.

“I will never lie down when the president of this great country comes to shake my hand!” Gunderson wrote on Facebook. “There may be plenty of issues in this country but I will always respect my country, my president, and my flag. Shot in the leg or not, I will stand to show my president the respect he deserves!”

The video went viral almost instantly, the Hill reported.

“Don’t get up,” Melanie Trump said after entering the hospital room. “Are you OK?”

“Hey, this guy looks tough to me,” President Trump said as he entered Gunderson’s room after the first lady.

Gunderson was not the only Las Vegas shooting survivor who found the president’s trip motivational. One woman told reporters that his visit was “comforting,” adding, “He wasn’t who we see on social media.”

Teen Las Vegas shooting victim found President Trump’s visit “comforting,” telling reporters, “he wasn’t who we see on social media.”

The post Las Vegas Shooting Survivor Stands to Meet the Trumps: I Will Never Lie Down to Shake the Presidents Hand appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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NYT Falsely Reports Trump Admin Blocked Puerto Ricans From Using Food Stamps for Hot Meals

TheNew York Times falsely reported earlier this week that the Trump administration was blocking food stamp recipients in hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico from using the federal subsistence to eat hot meals.On Tuesday, theTimes reportedPuerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló complained, “the federal government had denied a request to allow hurricane victims in Puerto Rico who use food stamps to redeem them at fast-food restaurants and other places that serve prepared hot meals.””He [Rosselló ] said he was pursuing the issue with federal officials and was hoping the waiver would come soon,” the Times reported.

But after the piece had already been up for 24 hours, it was updated to admit the claim was inaccurate.

Though Mr. Rosselló said on Tuesday that the federal government had denied a request to allow hurricane victims in Puerto Rico to use food stamps at fast-food restaurants and other places that serve prepared hot meals, officials at the Department of Agriculture, which oversees the federal nutrition program, said they sent a letter to Puerto Rico on Sept. 30 approving a waiver that would allow food-stamp recipients to use their benefits to buy hot food. The agency granted similar waivers following hurricanes in Texas and Florida.

A correction beneath the piece now acknowledges the error: “Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the status of a request from Gov. Ricardo Rosselló that the federal government grant a waiver permitting hurricane victims in Puerto Rico to use food stamps at fast-food restaurants.”

“The Department of Agriculture granted the waiver on Sept. 30; it was not still pending on Tuesday,” the correction reads.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue called attention to the correction on Twitter.

Important @NYTimes correction: @USDANutrition granted hot foods waiver to  on 9/30. It was NOT denied. http://nyti.ms/2xZNxEU 

Residents of the community of San Isidro in Canóvanas, P.R., received boxes of food from FEMA on Monday.

Aid Is Getting to Puerto Rico. Distributing It Remains a Challenge.

Two weeks after Hurricane Maria, many are still receiving only meager portions and delivery is being hampered by bureaucracy and tough logistics.

nytimes.com

The post NYT Falsely Reports Trump Admin Administration Blocked Puerto Ricans From Using Food Stamps for Hot Meals appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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11:46 AM 10/5/2017 – US Security: CIA Director Says More Agents Being Sent Into Field | Russia hacking phones, mining info from US troops on cruise tours

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Las Vegas Shooting Survivor Stands to Meet the Trumps: I Will Never Lie Down to Shake the Presidents Hand

Las Vegas shooting survivor Thomas Gunderson was shot in the leg during Sunday night’s attack, but he still stood to greet the president and first lady when they visited him at the hospital.

President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited Last Vegas on Wednesday to speak with doctors, law enforcement officers, first responders, and survivors of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

With over 500 people injured in the attack, the Trumps visited one of the hospitals where survivors are recovering. Gunderson was one of the many people who sustained injuries from being shot and spoke with the president and first lady during their trip.

Gunderson, despite being shot in the leg, stood when he shook the Trumps’ hands and later posted a video of the interaction to his Facebook page.

“I will never lie down when the president of this great country comes to shake my hand!” Gunderson wrote on Facebook. “There may be plenty of issues in this country but I will always respect my country, my president, and my flag. Shot in the leg or not, I will stand to show my president the respect he deserves!”

The video went viral almost instantly, the Hill reported.

“Don’t get up,” Melanie Trump said after entering the hospital room. “Are you OK?”

“Hey, this guy looks tough to me,” President Trump said as he entered Gunderson’s room after the first lady.

Gunderson was not the only Las Vegas shooting survivor who found the president’s trip motivational. One woman told reporters that his visit was “comforting,” adding, “He wasn’t who we see on social media.”

Teen Las Vegas shooting victim found President Trump’s visit “comforting,” telling reporters, “he wasn’t who we see on social media.”

The post Las Vegas Shooting Survivor Stands to Meet the Trumps: I Will Never Lie Down to Shake the Presidents Hand appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

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TheNew York Times falsely reported earlier this week that the Trump administration was blocking food stamp recipients in hurricane-stricken Puerto Rico from using the federal subsistence to eat hot meals.

On Tuesday, theTimes reportedPuerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló complained, “the federal government had denied a request to allow hurricane victims in Puerto Rico who use food stamps to redeem them at fast-food restaurants and other places that serve prepared hot meals.”

“He [Rosselló ] said he was pursuing the issue with federal officials and was hoping the waiver would come soon,” the Times reported.

But after the piece had already been up for 24 hours, it was updated to admit the claim was inaccurate.

Though Mr. Rosselló said on Tuesday that the federal government had denied a request to allow hurricane victims in Puerto Rico to use food stamps at fast-food restaurants and other places that serve prepared hot meals, officials at the Department of Agriculture, which oversees the federal nutrition program, said they sent a letter to Puerto Rico on Sept. 30 approving a waiver that would allow food-stamp recipients to use their benefits to buy hot food. The agency granted similar waivers following hurricanes in Texas and Florida.

A correction beneath the piece now acknowledges the error: “Because of an editing error, an earlier version of this article misstated the status of a request from Gov. Ricardo Rosselló that the federal government grant a waiver permitting hurricane victims in Puerto Rico to use food stamps at fast-food restaurants.”

“The Department of Agriculture granted the waiver on Sept. 30; it was not still pending on Tuesday,” the correction reads.

Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue called attention to the correction on Twitter.

Important @NYTimes correction: @USDANutrition granted hot foods waiver to  on 9/30. It was NOT denied. http://nyti.ms/2xZNxEU 

Residents of the community of San Isidro in Canóvanas, P.R., received boxes of food from FEMA on Monday.

Aid Is Getting to Puerto Rico. Distributing It Remains a Challenge.

Two weeks after Hurricane Maria, many are still receiving only meager portions and delivery is being hampered by bureaucracy and tough logistics.

nytimes.com

The post NYT Falsely Reports Trump Admin Administration Blocked Puerto Ricans From Using Food Stamps for Hot Meals appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas shooter, targeted jet fuel tanks, possibly other targets: Investigators

Las Vegas mass murderer Stephen Paddock also shot into jet fuel tanks at the airport across from his hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, possible attempting to set off a massive explosion, according to a report.

Bullet holes were found in two white tanks at McCarran International …

Global Software Defined Security Market to Reach a Value of About US$ 3800 Mn in the Year 2022 – Persistence … – PR Newswire (press release)

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BERLIN (AP) – The heads of three German intelligence agencies say national and international cooperation and information-sharing is ever more critical as threats become more global.

Speaking at a public session Thursday of a parliamentary panel, the heads of Germany’s foreign, domestic and military intelligence agencies emphasized that cyber threats …

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A visit to the reclusive country reveals the perilous moment were in.
Trump Suggests Senate Intel Committee Investigate Fake News

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to question the work of the Senate Intelligence Committee while it investigates allegations of Russian collusion in the 2016 election, suggesting it look into the “fake news networks” instead.

“Why isnt the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!” Trump posted Thursday morning.

Why Isn’t the Senate Intel Committee looking into the Fake News Networks in OUR country to see why so much of our news is just made up-FAKE!

The Senate Intelligence Committee has invited Facebook, Twitter, and Google to testify in public regarding Russian ads that may have had influence during the 2016 campaign, now being referred to as “fake ads.”

Trump has returned to his old habit of railing against “fake news” this week in light of an NBC News report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson almost resigned this summer. Trump said Thursday it never happened and called out NBC for having “low news and reporting standards.”

Rex Tillerson never threatened to resign. This is Fake News put out by @NBCNews. Low news and reporting standards. No verification from me.

After Tillerson made a public statement of support for Trump on Wednesday, Trump said NBC should apologize because its story had been “totally refuted” by Tillerson and Vice President Mike Pence

Wow, so many Fake News stories today. No matter what I do or say, they will not write or speak truth. The Fake News Media is out of control!

NBC news is  and more dishonest than even CNN. They are a disgrace to good reporting. No wonder their news ratings are way down!

The @NBCNews story has just been totally refuted by Sec. Tillerson and @VP Pence. It is . They should issue an apology to AMERICA!

 

The post Trump Suggests Senate Intel Committee Investigate ‘Fake News’ appeared first on Washington Free Beacon.

Man jailed in theft of copper from FBI construction site – Seattle Times

Man jailed in theft of copper from FBI construction site
Seattle Times
NEW ORLEANS (AP) It was a case that hit close to home for the New Orleans office of the FBI. The agency says in a Wednesday news release that a man was spotted outside its New Orleans field office removing copper from the site where a visitor center …

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Army to Unveil New Major Land War Doctrine (Think War with Russia or China)

Kris Osborn

Security,

This is a very big deal.

Creed explained the new doctrine adjustments represent the natural evolution from the Army’s Unified Land Operations concept articulated in 2011-2012 as well as a Cold-War strategy known as Air-Land battle designed to defend Western Europe using initial air attacks in tandem with conventional ground force assault.

The Army will release a new combat FM 3.0 Operations doctrine designed to better position the service for the prospect of large-scale, mechanized, force-on-force warfare against technologically advanced near-peer rivals such as Russia or China – able to substantially challenge US military technological superiority.

Senior Army leaders involved in ongoing analysis of current and future threats, as they pertain to a fast-changing operational land-combat environment, explained that changing global circumstances, inspired the need for the Army to craft new doctrinal specifics.

RecommendedAmerica Can’t Shoot Down a North Korean Nuke

The new “Operations” doctrine, to be unveiled in a matter of days at the Association of the United States Army Annual Convention, is intended as a supplement or adjustment to the Armys current FM 3.0 Full Spectrum Field Manual, a doctrine which first emerged more than several years ago.

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Authors of the new doctrine explain that while many elements of the Army’s previous “Full Spectrum” doctrine are retained, updated and expounded upon in the new doctrine — FM 3.0 Full Spectrum was written when the Russians had not attacked Ukraine, the Army was fully immersed in war in Afghanistan and the current tensions in the South China Sea had not yet emerged to the extent they do today, Col. Rich Creed, Combined Arms Director Ft. Leavenworth, told Scout Warrior in an exclusive interview.

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The Early Edition: October 5, 2017

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

The TRUMP ADMINISTRATION

I have never considered leaving this post, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday at a news conference addressing a report by NBC News which claimed that Tillerson called the president a moron after a July 20 meeting and had to be counseled by Vice President Mike Pence about remaining in the job. Felicia Schwartz reports at the Wall Street Journal.

Tillerson did not explicitly deny calling the president a moron and deflected questions about the incident, instead using the conference to praise Trump and the administrations foreign policy agenda, however Tillersons comments and body language reinforced the impression that he disapproves of Trumps approach, consequently raising more questions about his future. Peter Baker, Maggie Haberman and Glenn Thrush observe at the New York Times.

The secretary did not use that type of language to speak about the president of the United States, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said yesterday, going further than Tillerson by expressly denying that the Secretary of State called the president a moron. Max Greenwood reports at the Hill.

NBC news is #FakeNews, Trump tweeted yesterday, castigating the network for its report about the Secretary of State, adding in a follow up tweet that the story had been totally refuted by Tillerson and Pence and that NBC News should issue an apology AMERICA! Julia Manchester reports at the Hill.

Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Chief of Staff John Kelly help separate our country from chaos, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said yesterday, responding to reports about Tillersons frosty relationship with the president and talk of Tillerson resigning, Corker coming to the Secretary of States support and accusing people within the administration of working against the interest of the country. Rebecca Kheel reports at the Hill.

Im not going to deal with petty stuff like that, Tillerson said in response to a question by a reporter asking if he had called Trump a moron, also responding with disparaging comments about the culture in Washington to deflect from any apparent tension between himself and the president. Matt Flegenheimer analyzes Tillersons cynical remarks at the New York Times.

It may already be too late for Tillerson to hang onto his job: his unhappiness as Secretary of State has been well-documented, he has a tense relationship with the president and few allies to support him, his foreign policy approach does not align with Trumps and he has had trouble managing and reorganizing the State Department. Anne Gearan, Philip Rucker and Ashley Parker write at the Washington Post.

Tillerson should resign as he has been unable to successfully implement Trumps America First agenda or, if he does not agree with the approach, limit and redirect Trumps foreign policy instincts. Rich Lowry writes at POLITICO Magazine.

Several White House officials and a plethora of senior staff at the State Department have wanted Tillerson to resign for some time, underscoring the deteriorating relationship the Secretary of State has with the White House and his struggles at Foggy Bottom. Lachlan Markay and Asawin Suebsaeng explain at The Daily Beast.

An exodus of officials leaving the State Department due to Tillersons mismanagement and the Trump administrations policies damages U.S. interests and undermines the nations core principles. Nik Steinberg writes at POLITICO Magazine.

Military figures have increasingly made public comments that do not always accord with the presidents rhetoric and tweets, demonstrating an increasingly public role for military leaders. Barbara Starr writes at CNN.

TRUMP-RUSSIA

The issue of collusion is still open, Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said yesterday at a news conference with fellow leader of the Senate Intelligence Committee Mark Warner (D-Va.) during an interim update on the Committees investigation. Patricia Zengerle reports at Reuters.

Every campaign and every election official should take the matter of Russian interference very seriously, Burr (R-N.C.) said yesterday, warning that Russian operatives are likely to remain active in upcoming elections. Nicholas Fandos reports at the New York Times.

The committee members have reached a general consensus over the intelligence communitys assessment of Russias disinformation campaign during the 2016 election, but have not come to a conclusion on the extent to which Russia intervened in favor of Trump. Kaite Bo Williams reports at the Hill.

The committee will no longer pursue inquiries about the memos written by former F.B.I. Director James Comey written after his conversations with Trump, Burr stating that this issue has reached a logical end as it relates to the Russia investigation. Olivia Beavers reports at the Hill.

The Senate Intelligence Committee update revealed five important things, including the issues posed by the salacious dossier compiled by former British Intelligence officer Christopher Steele, and evidence of a slowly-warming relationships between the committee and social media companies. Kyle Cheney and Elana Schor set out the key takeaways at POLITICO.

We should have seen this coming, F.B.I. Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said yesterday, stating that the U.S. should have been prepared for Russian interference in the 2016 election and also suggested that the meddling has not stopped. Tal Kopan reports at CNN.

Special counsel Robert Muellers team has taken over F.B.I. inquiries into the Steele dossier, according to three sources familiar with the matter, the sources also stating that Muellers investigation has taken control of multiple inquiries into allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 election. Mark Hosenball reports at Reuters.

Three Russian oligarchs have filed a libel suit against private investigation firm Fusion GPS in relation to their handling of the Steele dossier, Josh Gerstein reports at POLITICO.

Facebook and Twitter will testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, the social media companies confirmed yesterday, the committee plans to hold a hearing this month but has not set a date. Ali Breland reports at the Hill.

Any evidence of collusion between Trump and the Russians remains elusive, the committee should focus efforts on the Russian disinformation campaign without being driven by an agenda to discredit to the president. The Wall Street Journal editorial board writes.

IRAQ

The Iraqi town of Hawija has been liberated from the Islamic State group, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told reporters today, although the towns outskirts are yet to be captured. Once the operation has been completed, the only remaining Islamic State territory in Iraq would be a stretch of the Euphrates river valley near the border with Syria. The BBC reports.

The Hawija operation was carried out by U.S.-backed Iraqi government forces and Iranian-trained and armed Shiite Popular Mobilization Forces, the offensive bringing the troops into direct contact with Kurdish Peshmerga forces. Reuters reports.

The capture of Hawija has strategic importance due to its geographical location and its position in relation to major routes to the north of Iraq. Al Jazeera explains.

SYRIA

Pro-Syrian President Bashar al-Assad forces made an incursion into the de-confliction zone near the at-Tanf garrison in southeastern Syria, coalition spokesperson Col. Ryan Dillon told CNN yesterday, adding that the incursion was communicated through channels with Russia and the forces withdrew from the zone. Ryan Brown reports at CNN.

A Russian airstrike in Syrias Idlib province killed 49 Nusra Front militants, who head the Tahrir al-Sham alliance, a Russian state TV channel quoted the defense ministry as saying today. Reutersreports.

The leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Tahrir al-Sham militant group has fallen into a coma after being injured by a Russian airstrike, Russias military said today, the AP reports.

Russian airstrikes targeted civilians trying to flee fighting in the Deir al-Zour province, killing at least 60 civilians, according to opposition activists, former residents and the U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. Suleiman Al-Khalidi reports at Reuters.

The reports that Russian soldiers were captured by the Islamic State group in Syria should be viewed with caution and are hardly official information, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said yesterday, responding to a video released by the militants appearing to show two Russian men captured in Deir al-Zour province. Mariya Petkova reports at Al Jazeera.

The presence of sarin was found in an attack on the Syrian town of Latamneh in March, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (O.P.C.W.) told Reuters yesterday, ahead of a report to be published within the next few weeks. Anthony Deutsch and Michelle Nichols report at Reuters.

U.S.-led airstrikes continue. U.S. and coalition forces carried out 34 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria on October 3. Separately, partner forces conducted five strikes against targets in Iraq. [Central Command]

IRAQI KURDISTAN REFERENDUM

We will not accept changing borders in the region, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said at a news conference with Turkish President Reçep Tayyip Erdoğan, referring to last weeks overwhelming vote in favor of independence in a referendum held in Iraqs Kurdish region, Erdoğan reflected Rouhanis comments and called the referendum illegitimate. Amir Vahdat reports at the AP.

The Iraqi Kurdish secession vote is an act of betrayal toward the entire region and a threat to its future, Irans Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted as saying on Iranian state TV yesterday, stating that Turkey and Iran must take necessary measures against the vote. Parisa Hafezi and Tulay Karadeniz report at Reuters.

French President Emmanuel Macron offered today to mediate between Baghdad and the Kurdish region during Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadis visit to Paris. John Irish and Marine Pennetier report at Reuters.

NORTH KOREA

A military strike on North Korean nuclear and missile sites may not achieve the aim of disarming the country as it may have other hidden facilities, Russian President Vladimir Putin cautioned yesterday, emphasizing that all sides should be pursuing diplomatic efforts. Reuters reports.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Trump agreed to maintain pressure on North Korea in a phone call yesterday, according to a senior Japanese government official the two leaders also agreed that dialogue for the purpose of dialogue was meaningless. Reuters reports.

Some products made by North Korean laborers have been making their way to the U.S. and other Western countries, meaning that consumers may be unwittingly supporting North Koreas nuclear weapons program. Tim Sullivan, Hyung-Jin Kim and Martha Mendoza reveal at the AP.

North Korean officials seek to preserve the regime and have rational aims, the U.S. cannot progress while Pyongyang believes its survival is at stake and the next step for the U.S. should be to offer to send a high-level delegation to Pyongyang for peace talks or to support an international conference. Former President Jimmy Carter writes about his experience with North Korean leaders and ways forward at the Washington Post.

China and Russias good-cop, bad-cop routine undermines U.S. efforts to rein in North Korea and the level of cooperation shown marks a significant development in international relations, Alexander Gabuev writes at the Wall Street Journal.

Russian companies have been providing North Korea with economic support to maintain influence in Asia although it has also backed tougher U.N. sanctions against North Korea. Andrew Osborn provides an analysis of Russias relationship with North Korea at Reuters.

RUSSIA

Russia has targeted N.A.T.O. soldiers personal smartphones to gather information about operations and monitor troop levels, according to Western officials. Thomas Groves, Julian E. Barnes and Drew Hinshaw report at the Wall Street Journal.

The U.S.-Russia relationship has become hostage to the internal political situation in the U.S., Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday, stating that he had no real personal relationship with Putin but adding that Russia had many friends in the U.S. who could help to improve relations. Ivan Nechepurenko reports at the New York Times.

The U.S. should provide arms to Ukraine in the face of Russian aggression, particularly due to its violations of cease-fire agreements and the threat posed by its military, as demonstrated by the recently conducted Russian-Belarus Zapad military drills. Antony J. Blinken writes at the New York Times.

Saudi Arabia King Salmans visit to Russia reflects shifting global relations that can have an impact in the Middle East and across the world. Patrick Wintour explains at the Guardian.

OTHER DEVELOPMENTS

U.S. Army Special Forces came under fire in southwest Niger yesterday, three soldiers were killed and two were wounded according to U.S. military officials, the incident taking place as the U.S. and Niger were conducting joint patrols near the border with Mali. Eric Schmitt reports at the New York Times.

Sudan has fulfilled the U.S.s conditions and expects the U.S. to lift economic sanctions, Sudans State Minister for Foreign Affairs Hamed Momtaz said yesterday, the U.S. imposed sanctions in relation to its alleged support for global terrorism and violent suppression of rebels in Darfur. Khalid Abdelaziz reports at Reuters.

The Islamic State group have claimed responsibility for an attack that killed at least four and wounded nearly 40 in the Libyan city of Misrata yesterday. Ahmed Elumami reports at Reuters.

There are compelling arguments against extending the jurisdiction of military tribunals to domestic offenses and the Supreme Court should decide to settle the issue this term in the case involving a Yemeni prisoner at Guatánamo Bay. Just Security co-editor-in-chief Steve Vladeck writes at the New York Times.

Read on Just Security »

Judge: FBI can keep cost of iPhone hack secret – Politico (blog)

Judge: FBI can keep cost of iPhone hack secret
Politico (blog)
A federal judge has ruled that the FBI does not have to make public how much it paid last year to unlock an iPhone used by one of the apparent perpetrators of a terrorist attack in California that killed 14 people. Three news organizations USA Today 

3:02 PM 9/27/2017 Department of Justice Says FBI Has Systemic Misconduct Problems and Isnt Reporting Serious Issues With Agents | FBI investigating 1000 white supremacist, domestic terrorism cases Washington Post

FBI Current News and Selected Articles Review  Investigate the Investigators! Save America! Reform the FBI! Saved Stories – 1. FBI FBI has 1000 open investigations into violent white supremacy, domestic terror: Agency chief – ABC News Trump Will Skip FBI Director Ceremony, Amid Bureau’s Russia Investigation – Newsweek FBI investigating 1000 white supremacist, domestic terrorism cases … Continue reading“3:02 PM 9/27/2017 – Department of Justice Says FBI Has ‘Systemic’ Misconduct Problems and Isn’t Reporting Serious Issues With Agents | FBI investigating 1000 white supremacist, domestic terrorism cases – Washington Post”

Download audio: https://www.fbi.gov/audio-repository/ftw-podcast-2016-cius-092517.mp3/@@download/file/ftw-podcast-2016-cius-092517.mp3

5:11 PM 9/30/2017 fbi Google News: How Arnold Mesches Turned His FBI Surveillance Files Into Eerily Prescient Works of Art The Intercept

How Arnold Mesches Turned His FBI Surveillance Files Into Eerily Prescient Works of Art – The Intercept Saturday September 30th, 2017 at 5:12 PM Fbi – Google News 1 Share The Intercept How Arnold Mesches Turned His FBI Surveillance Files Into Eerily Prescient Works of Art The Intercept Using a Freedom of Information Act request, Mesches obtained a box … Continue reading“5:11 PM 9/30/2017 – fbi – Google News: How Arnold Mesches Turned His FBI Surveillance Files Into Eerily Prescient Works of Art – The Intercept”
5:44 PM 9/30/2017 Justice allows Senate panel to interview FBI officials CNNPolitics CNN Mike Novas Shared NewsLinks

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James Comey Is Interrupted by Protesters During Speech at Howard

James B. Comey, the former F.B.I. director, exhorted his audience to listen with an attitude that they might actually be convinced of something.
Justice allows Senate panel to interview FBI officials – CNNPolitics – CNN


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Justice allows Senate panel to interview FBI officials – CNNPolitics on Comey firing 
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(CNN) The Justice Department has agreed to let the Senate judiciary committee interview two senior FBI officials who could provide firsthand accounts about the  circumstances around the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, potentially resolving a  …

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9:18 AM 10/5/2017 – German intelligence heads stress international cooperation – Washington Times | Trump’s CIA director outlines plans to make agency more aggressive, cut red tape – by Joseph Fitsanakis

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The heads of three German intelligence agencies say national and international cooperation and information-sharing is ever more critical as threats become more global.

Source: German intelligence heads stress international cooperation – Washington Times 

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German spy chiefs face public grilling by lawmakers | News | DW

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The heads of Germany’s secret services – the foreign affairs body, the German Intelligence Agency (BND), its domestic equivalent the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BfV), and the Military Counterintelligence Service (MAD) – all convened for a public hearing before the German parliament’s oversight committee for the first time on Thursday.

In his opening statement, BvF head Hans-Georg Maassen said that “the biggest threat” when it comes to German security is Islamic terrorism. At the same time, there is a growing danger of violent right-wing and left-wing extremists, and as well as cyber espionage.

“There is a boom in all our fields of interest,” he said

Read moreWhat powers do German security forces have?

At the same time, he said that the relationship between privacy and safety shoud not be viewed in a “static and especially not dogmatic” light. According to Maassen, secret services need “a full toolbox, which allows them to solve present-day problems,” instead of being dependent on the tools provided by their foreign allies.

Maassen’s comments were echoed by BND chief Bruno Kahl, who said that secret services must adapt to the ever-changing issue of digitalisation.

“We, as intelligence services, need to make sure that we keep up with these developments,” he said.

While the agencies regularly report to the nine-member body, such proceedings are usually secret. Last October, however, the government launched a bid to reform the secret services, which introduced the concept of annual public hearings.

The lawmakers are expected to quiz the intelligence heads about terrorism, cyber security, and the reform efforts for at least three hours. According to observers, some of the inquiries should also touch on the sore spots in the intelligence community, including the botched effort to stop the murderous neo-Nazi cell NSU and the spying scandal involving the US National Security Agency (NSA).

Not a trial

However, the head of the oversight committee, Clemens Binninger of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, warns that the hearing is neither a trial nor a cross-examination.

“This is not, and can never be, a light version of a parliamentary investigation,” he said, adding that it should be viewed as an attempt to take the secret services “out of the grey zone.”

The committee’s vice president, Andre Hahn from the Left party, also warns against exaggerated expectations.

In the public context, the committee members will “only ask those questions […] that they already know the answers to,” he said.

Read more: How Germany’s BND recruits young hackers?

Germany’s secret services explained

German intelligence services are much less present in the public eye than their counterparts in the US and Russia.

The BND performs roughly the same role as the American CIA, gathering intelligence outside Germany’s borders. With some 6,500 employees, it is the largest of the three German agencies.  Following the end of the Cold War, the agency is increasingly focusing on halting the drug trade, money laundering, the illegal weapons trade and terrorism. BND chief Bruno Kahl once served as an aide to the current Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.

Read more: Germany reforms its main intelligence service

The BfV however, deals with threats inside Germany, including spies, jihadists and political extremists. It employs around 2,750 people, headed by Interior Ministry veteran Hans-Georg Maassen.

With only some 1,200 employees, the MAD is the smallest of the three agencies. Its mission is to act against espionage and sabotage in the German army, as well as to control extremist attitudes and actions among the soldiers. The chief of the military intelligence service is a civilian, constitutional lawyer Christof Gramm.

dj/rt (AFP, dpa)

________________________________

Trump’s CIA director outlines plans to make agency more aggressive, cut red tape 

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The man appointed by President Donald Trump to lead the United States Central Intelligence Agency has outlined his plans to promote more aggressive intelligence operations and combat what he described as “red tape” in the agency’s culture.

9:03 AM 10/5/2017 – German intelligence heads stress international cooperation – Washington Times | Trump’s CIA director outlines plans to make agency more aggressive, cut red tape – by Joseph Fitsanakis

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German intelligence heads stress international cooperation

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BERLIN (AP) – The heads of three German intelligence agencies say national and international cooperation and information-sharing is ever more critical as threats become more global.

Speaking at a public session Thursday of a parliamentary panel, the heads of Germany’s foreign, domestic and military intelligence agencies emphasized that cyber threats in particular necessitate joint solutions.

The head of Germany’s BND foreign intelligence service, Bruno Kahl, says “the threats for Germany can only be identified, analyzed and fended off by a cooperation of agencies.”

He added that it’s also incumbent on German intelligence agencies to be on the cutting edge of technology.

Kahl says “otherwise the digital revolution will only benefit those we should be protecting our country from.”

Kahl was joined by domestic intelligence head Hans-Georg Maassen and military intelligence head Christof Gramm.

A Matter of Minutes: Gunfire, Chaos and Death

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Las Vegas shooting: No way to report conspiracy theories or fake news on Facebook — Quartz

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Obsession

Propaganda

October 04, 2017

While Facebook is under investigation for the role it may have played in Russian meddling in the US election, fake news and conspiracy theories continue to spread rapidly on the platform, particularly after the Las Vegas massacre.

They are being shared and viewed tens of thousands of times each hour, with no warnings whatsoever that they might be fake—and often no way for readers to flag them as “fake news” to the company, despite its pledge to do more to crack down on lies and propaganda.

video posted by Infowars founder Alex Jones posted today (Oct. 4), for example, asks:

Could Stephen Paddock, the lone Vegas shooter, have been a patsy to kick off the left’s war with the right in the streets of America and to simultaneously roll in the Rapiscan naked body scanners that profit former DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff, George Soros and a handful of lobbyists connected to the management of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino?

Jones claimed that the Sandy Hook massacre that killed 20 children in 2012 was a hoax, and spread the “Pizzagate” conspiracy that falsely claimed a Washington DC store was a front for a pedophile ring (he later apologized for his Pizzagate remarks).

There’s no flag on Jones’s Facebook page or any of his posts telling Facebook users that he might be a “disputed” source of information. Within two hours of being posted to Facebook, the video above was viewed 120,000 times, and shared nearly 3,000 times.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in December the company would make it easier for people to report hoaxes, and would send suspected stories to a third-party group of fact-checkers who would mark a story as “disputed” if they conclude the story is a hoax. In April, the company said disputed posts would be accompanied by “related articles” that would offer fact-based alternatives for users to read.

Because the Jones post is a video, and not a “news” article, there’s no way for users to flag it right now as fake news, for it to be fact-checked, or for the company to attach “related articles” that might be more truthful. Facebook is still developing its video-reporting function, a person familiar with the company’s strategy told Quartz, and will roll it out as soon as it is available.

Facebook has been touting video as a fast-growing way for its clients to reach customers and “dial up emotion and engagement,” and said “daily watch time” of Facebook live videos had quadrupled from May 2016 to May 2017. The company’s overall daily video views doubled from April to November of 2016, reaching 8 billion (the latest statistics available). In five years, Facebook will “probably be all video” an executive predicted last year.

However, if users want to flag videos like Jones’s as misleading, their only options now are to label it “annoying,” “something that shouldn’t be on Facebook,” or spam. The “shouldn’t be on Facebook” option leads to another window, that again doesn’t mention disputed information.

And the “something else” option only allows users to choose between advertising drugs, guns, or adult products, or “an unauthorized use of my intellectual property”—there’s no mention of fake news.

There are plenty of other Facebook pages pushing lies and conspiracy theories about Las Vegas, with no evidence, and no warning from Facebook. Truthfeed, for example (nearly 693,000 likes overall) claims that “Antifa” groups were celebrating the massacre, a common conspiracy theory among far-right websites.

Asked about the proliferation of conspiracy theories related to the Las Vegas shooting on its platform, a Facebook spokesman said:

While we don’t typically discuss specific links, we’re sending articles that our classifier identifies as potential hoaxes (based on user reports, disbelief comments, and other signals) to our fact checking partners. When they mark them false, we’re showing them lower in News Feed and applying Related Articles as an option.

Even amidst the investigations into Russia’s interference in the US election, Facebook has maintained that it wants to be a conduit for discussion, and not an arbiter of truth. “I’m not going to sit here and tell you we’re going to catch all bad content in our system,” Zuckerberg said on Sept. 21 in post. “We don’t check what people say before they say it, and frankly, I don’t think our society should want us to. Freedom means you don’t have to ask permission first, and that by default you can say what you want.”

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Las Vegas sheriff gives timeline of shooting, discovery of gunman – CBS News

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CBS News
Las Vegas sheriff gives timeline of shooting, discovery of gunman
CBS News
Las Vegas sheriff Joseph Lombardo broke down the timeline of the 75 chaotic minutes Sunday night between when shots first rang out and when police found gunman Stephen Paddock dead in his hotel room 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay. The first shots …
Las Vegas Shooting: Chaos at a Concert and a Frantic Search at Mandalay BayNew York Times
Mandalay Bay on Las Vegas Shooting: ‘We’re Grateful for the Immediate Actions of Our First Responders’Billboard
Las Vegas shootingMandalay Bay, MGM hotels off ‘lockdown’ after concert massacreFox News
Florida Today –USA TODAY
all 10,723 news articles »

Las Vegas Strip shooter targeted aviation fuel tanks, source says – Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Las Vegas Strip mass murderer Stephen Paddock used his Mandalay Bay hotel room to fire bullets at jet fuel tanks Sunday night, a knowledgeable source told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

The bullets left two holes in one of two circular white tanks. One of the bullets penetrated the tank, but did not cause a fire or explosion near the Route 91 Harvest country music festival, another knowledgeable source said late Wednesday.

The tanks are roughly 1,100 feet from the concert site, where Paddock killed 58 people and wounded almost 500. Several airplane hangars belonging to prominent corporations are also near the tanks.

Within the past couple of days, a construction crew repaired the holes, and FBI agents inspected the tanks and took measurements of the line of fire from Mandalay Bay, the sources said.

Paddock, a 64-year-old Mesquite resident, had broken two windows in his 32nd-floor suite — one in line with the concert site and the other with a direct view of the fuel tanks, one source said.

The bases of private aircraft companies are also close to the tanks, which sit on property owned by McCarran International Airport.(Wes Rand/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

“Airport fueling has not been compromised,” McCarran spokesman Chris Jones said late Wednesday. “It’s functional.”

The tanks are operated by Swissport, the company that runs the fueling operations for the airport, according to McCarran spokeswoman Christine Crews. They primarily are used to provide fuel to the private aircraft operators.

A Swissport official could not be reached for comment.

FBI spokeswoman Sandra Breault declined to comment. “We can’t comment on an ongoing investigation,” she said.

A source knowledgeable about airport operations said jet fuel is hard to ignite and tanks like those across from Mandalay Bay have mechanisms in place to prevent fires.

Mike Boyd, a Colorado-based aviation consultant, echoed those words.

“A machine gun is not going to blow up a tank of fuel,” Boyd said. “Jet fuel itself sitting there in a big wet pile is very hard to ignite. You have to be a very amateur terrorist to think anything like that.”

Paddock’s shooting rampage was the deadliest in modern U.S. history. He killed himself as Las Vegas police closed in on his room.

His brother Eric Paddock, 55, who lives in Orlando, Florida, has expressed shock at his deadly actions.

Paddock was a retired accountant who had no criminal background and a passion for video poker. He lived in Mesquite with his girlfriend, Marilou Danley, and regularly came to the Las Vegas Strip to gamble.

Danley left Las Vegas for the Philippines a couple of weeks before the deadly mass shootings and returned to the country late Tuesday. She was interviewed by FBI agents in Los Angeles.

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In a statement released by her Los Angeles lawyer, she said she had no warning about his plans and pledged to cooperate with investigators.

Contact Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564. Follow @JGermanRJ on Twitter.

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Las Vegas Gunman Chased Gambling’s Payouts and Perks – New York Times

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NBCNews.com
Las Vegas Gunman Chased Gambling’s Payouts and Perks
New York Times
LAS VEGAS — The video poker machines that Stephen Paddock liked were the ones that did not draw attention. They had few look-at-me flashing lights or listen-to-me bells. He would sit in front of them for hours, often wagering more than $100 a hand.
Sources: Vegas killer paid cash for property and privacyCNN
Las Vegas Strip shooter targeted aviation fuel tanks, source saysLas Vegas Review-Journal
Las Vegas Gunman Stephen Paddock Kept Firing for 10 Minutes, Police SayNBCNews.com
New York Daily News –Deadline
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Stephen Paddock rented room overlooking Life is Beautiful festival – Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Las Vegas Review-Journal
Stephen Paddock rented room overlooking Life is Beautiful festival
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Lombardo said that Paddock, 64, of Mesquite rented the room at the Ogden during the festival, which ran from Sept. 22-24, via the Airbnb room-sharing site. He said investigators had not yet determined whether Paddock was engaged in “pre-surveillance and more »

Nation Mourns Las Vegas Route 91 Mass Shooting – NBCNews.com

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NBCNews.com
Nation Mourns Las Vegas Route 91 Mass Shooting
NBCNews.com
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stand along with Vice President Mike Pence and his wife, Karen Pence, as they take part in a moment of silence for the victims of theLas Vegas shootings, on the South Lawn of the White House on …
Las Vegas shooting updates: Portraits of the victims emergeLos Angeles Times
What we’ve learned about the Las Vegas shooting so farPBS NewsHour
Las Vegas shooting: Brother says something drove Paddock into ‘the pit of hell’USA TODAY
BBC News –New York Times –NPR
all 7,880 news articles »

There’s no way to report many of the fastest-spreading Las Vegas conspiracy theories on Facebook – Quartz

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Quartz
There’s no way to report many of the fastest-spreading Las Vegas conspiracy theories on Facebook
Quartz
While Facebook is under investigation for the role it may have played in Russian meddling in the US election, fake news and conspiracy theories continue to spread rapidly on the platform, particularly after the Las Vegas massacre. They are being shared and more »

Manhattan DA reportedly dropped felony fraud case against Trump’s kids after donation from Trump’s lawyer – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Manhattan DA reportedly dropped felony fraud case against Trump’s kids after donation from Trump’slawyer
Business Insider
Sater, who was accused nearly two decades ago of being a co-conspirator in a $40 million fraud and moneylaundering scheme involving four Mafia families, escorted Ivanka and Don Jr. around Moscow in 2006 when their father was scouting real estate in …and more »

Senate Intelligence Committee says it has wrapped up its investigation into James Comey’s firing – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Senate Intelligence Committee says it has wrapped up its investigation into James Comey’s firing
Business Insider
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr said at a Wednesday press conference that his committee “has reached a logical end” with its investigation of former FBI Director JamesComey’s firing. Burr, a Republican senator from North Carolina, …
Intel panel no longer pursuing details surrounding Comey memosThe Hill
Trump-Russia Senate Investigation Has ‘Hit a Wall’ With Comey Memos and Steele DossierNewsweek
Senate Intelligence Committee: Comey portion of investigation is likely over, but not closed completelyWashington Examiner
Santa Ynez Valley News –Reuters –USA TODAY
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How one Trump high-rise became a crossroads of controversy – Newsday

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New York Daily News
How one Trump high-rise became a crossroads of controversy
Newsday
From its inception, developers of this Trump-branded property included Long Islanders Felix Sater and Tevfik Arif. Sater faced criminal charges years ago in New York for assault and a stock-fraud scheme. Sater later became a valued confidential 
Manhattan DA reportedly dropped felony fraud case against Trump’s kids after his lawyer donated to his campaignBusiness Insider
How Ivanka Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., Avoided a Criminal IndictmentThe New Yorker
Report: NY Prosecutors Investigated Ivanka, Trump Jr. For Potential FraudTPM
Jezebel –Slate Magazine (blog) –Carbonated.tv (blog) –ProPublica
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Senate Intelligence Committee Gives Update On Russian Interference Investigation – NPR

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Senate Intelligence Committee Gives Update On Russian Interference Investigation
NPR
Senate Investigators do not yet know whether anyone in the U.S. knowingly cooperated with the Russian influence campaign during the 2016 election. Facebook; Twitter. Google+. Email. Subscribe to the NPR Politics Podcast. Listen on NPR One · Apple …

Sources: Facebook won’t release Russia-linked election ads due to Mueller investigation – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Sources: Facebook won’t release Russia-linked election ads due to Mueller investigation
Business Insider
Senators Richard Burr and Mark Warner of the US Senate Intelligence Committee called on Facebook to publicly release the ads, which have already been privately handed over to committee staffers investigating Russia’s meddling in US elections, during a …
Senators reveal first findings in Russia effort to sway US electionKTUU.com
Report: Russia used Facebook ads to stir up Michigan voters during electionMLive.com
Russia-Financed Facebook Ads Had Diverse TargetsBloomberg
Madison.com –Washington Post
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‘Trump dossier’ on Russia links now part of special counsel’s probe: sources – Reuters

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Reuters
‘Trump dossier’ on Russia links now part of special counsel’s probe: sources
Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The special counsel investigating whether Russia tried to sway the 2016 U.S. election has taken over FBI inquiries into a former British spy’s dossier of allegations of Russian financial and personal links to President Donald 
Senate Intelligence Committee still investigating possible collusion between Trump campaign and RussiaUSA TODAY
Senate Intelligence Heads Warn That Russian Election Meddling ContinuesNew York Times
Hill investigators to tell public what they’ve learned about Russia’s interference and what happens nextCNN
ABC News –Vox
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Senate panel has not decided whether Trump campaign colluded with Russia – Los Angeles Times

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USA TODAY
Senate panel has not decided whether Trump campaign colluded with Russia
Los Angeles Times
Mueller is conducting a criminal investigation into whether Trump colluded with Russia and other issues, including whether the firing of Comey involved obstruction of justice. On Monday, Facebook handed over to the Senate and House intelligence 
Senate Intelligence Committee still investigating possible collusion between Trump campaign and RussiaUSA TODAY
Senators: Probe into possible Trump-Russia collusion ongoingChicago Tribune
Trump-Russia collusion? Still investigating, senators sayWashington Postall 258 news articles »

Top Senate intelligence duo: Russia did interfere in 2016 election 

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Chairman Richard Burr says he endorses findings that Russia meddled in election but says it is ‘open question’ whether Trump team colluded with Moscow

The Senate intelligence committee has said it has confidence in an US agency finding earlier this year that Russia intervened in the US presidential election in an effort to skew the vote in Donald Trump’s favour.

The committee chairman, Republican senator Richard Burr, said it remained an “open question” whether there was collusion by the Trump campaign with Moscow. But he added that Russian intelligence could threaten the next round of congressional elections next year.

Related: Facebook says up to 10m people saw ads bought by Russian agency

Related: Facebook says up to 10m people saw ads bought by Russian agency

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GOP Head of Senate Russia Probe Still Won’t Say Moscow Was Trying to Help Trump – Mother Jones

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Washington Post
GOP Head of Senate Russia Probe Still Won’t Say Moscow Was Trying to Help Trump
Mother Jones
This suspicious move raised the prospect that the Trump campaign was doing Putin a favor. The changes, Burr said, were intended to position the United States “as a strong ally of Ukraine, but also leave the door open to better relations with Russia 
Congress to Trump, basically: Russia is not fake newsWashington Post
The past 24 hours in Trump-Russia news, explainedVox
Trump dossier’ on Russia links now part of special counsel’s probe: sourcesReuters
Reuters.com
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What we know on the 3rd day after the shooting – KMBZ

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What we know on the 3rd day after the shooting
KMBZ
A couple days before the shooting you know they don’t know that money was for the FBI is investigating that aspect the other what the money it’s day. I’m going to be dead and a couple of days and … They’d be injured in now I am not hospital which one and more »

Senate Intelligence Heads Warn That Russian Election Meddling Continues – New York Times

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New York Times
Senate Intelligence Heads Warn That Russian Election Meddling Continues
New York Times
Senators Richard M. Burr, left, the intelligence committee’s chairman, and Mark Warner, its vice chairman, held the most extensive news conference since the committee began its investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election. … committee’s 
US Senate Committee Agrees Russia Meddled In Election, Still Probing CollusionRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Facebook and Twitter will testify to the US Congress on Russia and the 2016 presidentialelectionRecode
Senate Intelligence Committee leaders: Russia did interfere in 2016 electionsWashington Post
The Guardian –CNBC
all 224 news articles »

Trump’s Remarks About Erasing Puerto Rico’s Debt Jolt The Markets – NPR

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NPR
Trump’s Remarks About Erasing Puerto Rico’s Debt Jolt The Markets
NPR
President Trump sent shivers through the municipal bond market by suggesting that Puerto Rico’s $73 billion debt should be wiped away, but administration officials quickly walked back the remarks Wednesday morning, saying they weren’t meant to be taken …
A tale of two Puerto Ricos: What Trump saw — and what he didn’tWashington Post
Trump can’t magically wipe away Puerto Rico’s debt, but his words can make bonds worth a lot lessCNBC
Puerto Rico: Trump paper towel-throwing ‘abominable’BBC News
CNN –New York Times
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Congress to Trump, basically: Russia is not fake news – Washington Post

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Congress to Trump, basically: Russia is not fake news
Washington Post
The Senate’s investigation into Russian meddling and whether Trump’s 2016 campaign helped isn’t complete, but lawmakers announced Wednesday that they’ve reached some conclusions, and those conclusions contradict how Trump has approached …
Senate Intel Heads Say Trump-Russia Collusion Is Still Open QuestionNBCNews.com
Trump dossier’ on Russia links now part of special counsel’s probe: sourcesReuters
3 Russians named in Trump dossier sue Fusion GPS for libelPolitico (blog)
Vox –Axios
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Judge bars Texas secretary of state from giving voter information to Trump commission – Texas Tribune

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Texas Tribune
Judge bars Texas secretary of state from giving voter information to Trump commission
Texas Tribune
The order, which came out Tuesday, adds Texas to a growing list of states not complying with the president’s investigation into the 2016 elections, which Trump says suffered from large-scale voter fraud. Judge Tim Sulak of the Austin-based 353rd Texas and more »

Donald Trump – Google News: As Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Flounders, Possible Next President Mike Pence’s Is Soaring – Newsweek

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Newsweek
As Donald Trump’s Approval Rating Flounders, Possible Next President Mike Pence’s Is Soaring
Newsweek
While President Donald Trump has watched disapprovingly as his approval rating has wallowed in the depths since the day he took up residence in the White House, at least one member of his team has witnessed the kind of bump in favorability about which …and more »

 Donald Trump – Google News

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Russia Needed Help Targeting US Voters, Two Ex-CIA Chiefs Say – Bloomberg

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Bloomberg
Russia Needed Help Targeting US Voters, Two Ex-CIA Chiefs Say
Bloomberg
Michael Morell, who spent his career at the CIA including a stint as acting director of the agency, said in a separate interview that Russia either needed someone to help give it information on microtargeting or stole the necessary information, such as 
Two former CIA officials: Russia could not have micro-targeted US voters without assistanceRaw Storyall 239 news articles »

‘Issue of collusion’ with Russia still open, Senate intel chief says – WTNH Connecticut News (press release)

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WTNH Connecticut News (press release)
‘Issue of collusion’ with Russia still open, Senate intel chief says
WTNH Connecticut News (press release)
The top two members of the Senate Intelligence Committee gave a detailed update on the panel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election today, saying that the “issue of collusion” with Russia remains open. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C 

Congressional and FBI investigators are homing in on the Trump-Russia dossier – Business Insider

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Business Insider
Congressional and FBI investigators are homing in on the Trump-Russia dossier
Business Insider
Trump Putin Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump AP. A collection of explosive memos alleging ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign team and Russia is being examined by both the Senate Select Committee on … Steele and more »

Russia-Trump campaign collusion an ‘open’ issue: Senate panel chiefs – Reuters

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Reuters
Russia-Trump campaign collusion an ‘open’ issue: Senate panel chiefs
Reuters
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia interfered in the election to try to help Trumpdefeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton through a campaign of hacking and releasing embarrassing emails, and disseminating propaganda via social media 
Probe continues into possible Russian collusion with Trump campaignHereford Timesall 2 news articles »

Las Vegas highlights Islamist terrorism is not America’s greatest domestic threat – The Hill

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The Hill
Las Vegas highlights Islamist terrorism is not America’s greatest domestic threat
The Hill
As the FBI Director acknowledged last week, many domestic incidents are not treated as acts of terrorism and instead prosecuted as a criminal matter. Other observers point out the added legal complexity of distinguishing between a “hate crime” and and more »

Trump: ‘America a nation in mourning’ – Nevada Appeal

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Nevada Appeal
Trump: ‘America a nation in mourning’
Nevada Appeal
LAS VEGAS — Visiting bedsides and the base of police operations, President Donald Trumpoffered prayers and condolences Wednesday to the victims of Sunday night’s shooting massacre in Las Vegas along with praise and congratulations to first …
Stephen Paddock, Las Vegas Suspect, Was a Gambler Who Drew Little AttentionNew York Times
Las Vegas shooting: From ISIS to gambling debts, theories abound for shooter’s motiveFox News
Las Vegas shooting updates: Portraits of the victims emergeLos Angeles Times
FRANCE 24 –ABC News –WDSU New Orleans
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With Las Vegas Shooting Victims, Trump Assumes Role of Consoler in Chief – New York Times

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New York Times
With Las Vegas Shooting Victims, Trump Assumes Role of Consoler in Chief
New York Times
LAS VEGAS — President Trump comforted the victims of Sunday’s deadly mass shooting and paid tribute to those who tended to them, taking up on Wednesday a harrowing duty of the modern presidency that has nevertheless become numbing in its …
Trump Las Vegas visit – live updatesCBS News
What does Las Vegas want Trump to do in wake of shooting?BBC News
Trump on Las Vegas shooter: ‘A very sick man. He was a very demented person.’Washington Post
NPR –NBCNews.com –Politico
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Tillerson Denies Trump Rift

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In an unscheduled press conference, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied claims he was on the verge of quitting and reaffirmed his loyalty to President Trump.

Probe continues into possible Russian collusion with Trump campaign – Jersey Evening Post

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Jersey Evening Post
Probe continues into possible Russian collusion with Trump campaign
Jersey Evening Post
The chairman of the US senate intelligence committee has said the panel is continuing toinvestigate possible collusion between Russia and associates of Donald Trump’s election campaign – but has not reached a conclusion yet. Senator Richard Burr, a …and more »

Russia-Trump campaign collusion an ‘open’ issue – US Senate panel chiefs – Reuters

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Reuters
Russia-Trump campaign collusion an ‘open’ issue – US Senate panel chiefs
Reuters
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia interfered in the election to try to help Trumpdefeat Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton through a campaign of hacking and releasing embarrassing emails, and disseminating propaganda via social media and more »

US Lawmakers Eye More Support for US Int’l Broadcasters as Russia Probe Continues – Voice of America

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Voice of America
US Lawmakers Eye More Support for US Int’l Broadcasters as Russia Probe Continues
Voice of America
The hearing came hours after the Senate Intelligence Committee briefed the public on its ongoing investigation into attempted Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Committee leaders said they haven’t concluded whether there was …and more »