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Trump-Russia Affair

Donald J. Trump may have been compromised by the Russians, became a traitor to his country and may be a Russian spy or mole. Donald J. Trump put Putin and Russian interests above American interests and may have committed treason. Donald J. Trump, Trump Jr. and an unknown number of people from the Trump campaign may have conspired (colluded) to work with the Russians to help elect Donald J. Trump as the president of the United States of America. When Donald J. Trump called on the Russians to get him Clinton’s emails, the Russians started trying to hack Clinton’s emails the same day. Donald J. Trump returned the favor by changing the party platform to soften its rhetoric on Russia and slow walking sanctions against Russia and siding with Putin and Russia over America and our allies. Donald J. Trump Trump may be compromised or/and a mole for Russia. Which explains multiple efforts to set up a back channel with the Kremlin. Donald J. Trump disclosed classified information to the Russians. Donald J. Trump and his campaign lied about their contacts with Russians. When questioned about their contacts with the Russians they attempted to hide, lie, distract and may have destroyed evidence about contacts and connections to the Russians and what they were up to. Donald J. Trump went so far as to dictate a cover story for his son to hide to true reasons for the meeting with the Russians.  

Donald J. Trump his son and his campaign all claimed they did have not contact with any Russians turns out Trump Jr. and his several of Trump's campaign staff did have contacts with the Russians. When they were caught, Donald J. Trump proceeded to construct a cover story that it was about adoptions. Trouble is that’s not what Trump Jr.'s emails say they went there for. They went to get dirt on Hillary from the Russian government. We know Trump Jr. and other members of the Trump campaign were willing to conspire with the Russians government and others to help Trump get elected. The Russians wanted to help Trump win the 2016 election, the email Trump Jr. received offered incriminating evidence against Clinton from the Russian government. Let that sink in for a moment members of the Trump campaign willingly conspired with the Russian government to help Trump get elected President of the United States of America. Many people are saying this is disgusting and far worse than Watergate.

Donald J. Trump and his Republican allies have attacked the FBI, the justice department and our intelligence agencies in an attempt to destroy their credibly in an effort to protect Trump, his son, his campaign and Putin from prosecution. Destroying the credibly of the FBI, the justice department and our other intelligence agencies is un-American but is something Putin or one of his spy’s or moles would do. The Mueller investigation has exposed illegal schemes across international borders and produced more than 100 criminal charges. Mueller has indicted 32 people (26 are Russian nationals) and three Russian companies so far, it not a witch hunt it’s a mole hunt. If Donald J. Trump is a traitor or a mole then he is the enemy of America and the enemy of the people.

Mueller was unable to prove a criminal case because people obstructed justice, took the 5th, lied and destroy evidence. That does not mean Trump and the Russians did not conspire to help Trump win the 2016 election. People do not obstruct justice, take the 5th, lie, destroy evidence for things that are good they only do them things when they have done something bad, something to hide or to protect themselves from going to jail. Was it just a coincidence that 5 hours after trump asked the Russians to get Clintons emails the Russians started hacking the DNC. Or when the Russians started leaking DNC emails 30 min after the Trump video came out, that should make you wonder what went on with Trump and the Russians? When Trump needed help the Russians where there to help him and trump did try to remove the Russians sanction and slow walked new sanction, which may have payment for help he received from the Russians for help in the 2016 elections.

We may not find out what happen or did not happen in our lifetime however history is funny the truth always comes out. Maybe we will find out more as the Trump-Ukraine Affair unfolds. When Trump and his campaign were caught meeting with Russians to get dirt on Clinton they lied and said it was about adaption. This time when they were caught trying to get dirt on Biden they lied and said it was about corruption. The Trump-Ukraine Affair should make you rethink the Trump-Russia Affair. The fact that Donald J. Trump is seeking help from another foreign country and publicly urging China and Ukraine to investigate the Bidens should scare the hell out of every American the president of the Untied State is seeking foreign interference in our elections and using your tax dollars to do it. mericans may come to realize that Trump did the same thing during the 2016 election seeking help from a foreign government (the Russians) to win the 2016 election. Russia helped elect Trump to install a Russian friendly government in American the 2016 election may come to know as a Russia coup d'état of America. Quid pro quo from Trump for Putin’s help in the 2016 election may explain why Trump puts Russia and Putin interests ahead of American interests. The fact that Trump uses Russian talking points, sides with Russia over America should make all Americans realize Clinton was right Trump is Putin’s puppet; Trump is America's first Russian backed president. #Trump, #TrumpRussia, #Russia

Below are some of the receipts find out more about Trump and Russia. The more you know the better informed you will be.:

Tracking the Mueller Investigation into how the Russians infiltrated the Trump campaign and the Republican Party to help get Donald J. Trump elected president of the United States of America.

The Mueller report, with some redactions, was released on Thursday.

Donald J. Trump an American Nightmare a Russian Wet Dream
Trump is America’s first Russian backed President and the first American President to put Russian interest before American interest. Trump is Putin’s puppet in the White House. Trump is a wet dream for Putin and Russia while our founding fathers are rolling over in their graves Trump is their worst nightmare and our current nightmare. Trump has corrupted most if not all federal agencies.

Story by Natalie Venegas

An ex-associate of Rudy Giuliani, Lev Parnas, accused former President Donald Trump on Saturday of working with Russia, stating that "it's blatant."

Parnas, a Ukrainian-American businessman, worked with Giuliani when the former attorney for Trump attempted to find information on the Biden family. Parnas, meanwhile, was convicted in 2021 of fraud and campaign finance crimes and was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

As Trump continues his 2024 reelection campaign, his team is reportedly in discussions with Paul Manafort, his 2016 campaign chairman, to potentially help with the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee in July, according to CNN.

Manafort was found to have committed financial fraud in 2019 as those convictions were obtained by special counsel Robert Mueller as he investigated Manafort's alleged collusion with the Russian government in 2016.

Is Trump a useful idiot or something far worse or is this more quid pro quo for Russia helping Trump the 2016 election inquiring minds want to know?

Story by Reuters
By Doina Chiacu

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Donald Trump, who drew criticism as U.S. president for his praise of Russian leader Vladimir Putin, made his first public comment on the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Monday in a social media post that cast no blame.

"The sudden death of Alexei Navalny has made me more and more aware of what is happening in our Country," Trump wrote, appearing to link the death to his own political troubles.

"It is a slow, steady progression, with CROOKED, Radical Left Politicians, Prosecutors, and Judges leading us down a path to destruction. Open Borders, Rigged Elections, and Grossly Unfair Courtroom Decisions are DESTROYING AMERICA. WE ARE A NATION IN DECLINE, A FAILING NATION! MAGA2024"

It was not clear what similarities Trump was trying to draw with Navalny, 47, who fought against what he called vast corruption in the Russian elite and described Russia as ruled by "crooks and thieves."

The Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for clarification.

Trump has railed against a judge's order on Friday to pay $355 million in penalties for overstating his net worth to dupe lenders, a decision he called politically motivated. Trump also is preparing for four upcoming criminal trials as he pursues the Republican nomination.

Story by Lee Moran

A veterans group has hammered Donald Trump as “Putin’s puppet” in a new ad that calls out the former president’s latest attack on the NATO military alliance.

Trump at the weekend said he’d encourage Russia to do “whatever the hell they want” to NATO members who don’t “pay their bills” (ignoring the fact that member countries don’t actually pay fees but instead promise to spend 2% of their GDP on defense).

“Putin’s puppet is back with a vengeance and Republicans are marching in lockstep, following orders to strangle the freedom fighters in Ukraine, threatening to break the NATO alliance that’s kept the West safe and encouraging Putin to invade our European allies,” began the narrator of the spot released by the VoteVets progressive political action committee on Thursday.

“Just ask the people of Poland, Finland and the Baltics whose borders are already under assault from Russia whether they trust Putin the way Trump does,” he continued. “Ask the parents of American service members if they are ready to sacrifice their kids’ lives for Trump’s weakness.”

By Bob Brigham | Raw Story

One of America's top counterintelligence experts revealed his thoughts on Saturday on the three men linked to sanctioned Russian spies who were present for a key White House meeting plotting Donald Trump's coup attempt. "Four days after the electors met across the country and made Joe Biden the president elect, Donald Trump was still trying to find a way to hang on to the presidency," Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) said in Tuesday's public hearing of the Jan. 6 Attack on the U.S. Capitol.

"On Friday, December 18th, his team of outside advisers paid him a surprise visit in the White House that would quickly become the stuff of legend," Raskin explained. "The meeting has been called unhinged, not normal and the craziest meeting of the Trump presidency. The outside lawyers who'd been involved in dozens of failed lawsuits had lots of theories supporting the big lie, but no evidence to support it." At the meeting, the idea of using the U.S. military to seize voting machines.

"In the wee hours of December 19th, dissatisfied with his options, Donald Trump decided to call for a large and wild crowd on Wednesday, January 6th, the day when Congress would meet to certify the electoral votes," Raskin explained. "Never before in American history had a president called for a crowd to come contest the counting of electoral votes by Congress or engaged in any effort designed to influence, delay, or obstruct the joint session of Congress in doing its work required by our Constitution and the Electoral Count Act. As we'll see, Donald Trump's 1:42 AM tweet electrified and galvanized his supporters, especially the dangerous extremists in the Oath Keepers, the Proud Boys, and other racist and white nationalist groups spoiling for a fight against the government."

By Priscilla Alvarez and Zachary Cohen, CNN

Washington (CNN) Former President Donald Trump's Department of Homeland Security delayed and altered an intelligence report related to Russian interference in the 2020 election, making changes that "appear to be based in part on political considerations," according to a newly released watchdog report. The April 26 Homeland Security inspector general's assessment provides a damning look at the way DHS' Office of Intelligence and Analysis dealt with intelligence related to Russia's efforts to interfere in the US, stating the department had deviated from its standard procedures in modifying assessments related to Moscow's targeting of the 2020 presidential election. The conclusion that Trump's appointee appeared to have tried to downplay Russian meddling in a key intelligence report is the latest example of how his aides managed his aversion to any information about how Russia might be helping his election prospects. According to special counsel Robert Mueller's report, Trump officials tried to avoid the topic during meetings and at hearings, because he would become enraged and upset when Russian meddling came up. The US intelligence community announced during the 2020 campaign that Russia was actively meddling in the election to weaken then-candidate Joe Biden. At the time, Trump downplayed those findings and promoted false claims about Biden that aligned with Russia's disinformation efforts. The IG report addresses past suspicions that Trump appointees distorted some intelligence reports to foster a more Trump-friendly narrative.

Julia Davis

As Russia’s war of aggression continues to ravage its neighbor, the Kremlin’s propaganda apparatus has been more blatant than ever before in outlining the country’s goals for its biggest nemesis: the U.S. Last week, American intelligence officials reportedly assessed that Russian President Vladimir Putin may use the Biden administration’s support for Ukraine as a pretext to order a new campaign to interfere in U.S. elections. Though AP reported that “it is not yet clear which candidates Russia might try to promote or what methods it might use,” Russian state media seem to be in agreement that former U.S. President Donald Trump remains Moscow’s candidate of choice.The time is coming “to again help our partner Trump to become president,” state TV host Evgeny Popov recently declared. On Thursday’s edition of the state television show The Evening With Vladimir Soloviev, Putin’s pet pundits offered an update on plans for 2024. “We’re trying to feel our way, figuring out the first steps. What can we do in 2023, 2024?,” Russian “Americanist” Malek Dudakov, a political scientist specializing in the U.S., said.

State TV pundits are delighted that crazed Russian propaganda about Hunter Biden’s supposed funding of bioweapons in Ukraine has “served up a beneficial deck of cards for Trump.”
Julia Davis

Putin’s invasion of Ukraine pitted Russia against most of the world, leaving Kremlin propagandists yearning for any tidbits of pro-Russian sentiment in the United States. These days, state television draws on a bounty of translated quotes almost exclusively from two Western voices: Tucker Carlson of Fox News and former U.S. President Donald J. Trump. They have a plan to reward them both: Carlson with a highly coveted interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and Trump with a freebie PR campaign designed to light his path back to the White House. Last Thursday, Russia’s Defense Ministry released a colorful diagram, purporting to demonstrate that President Joe Biden’s son Hunter, is secretly bankrolling the Pentagon’s biolabs in Ukraine, allegedly developing biological weapons to target Russia. The allegation was preposterous and was squeamishly avoided by the responsible mainstream media, but Tucker Carlson immediately latched on to it. Talking about the accusation later the same day, Carlson did his best to pre-empt any doubts about his motivation. He said: “What are the outlines of that story? We’re not sure. We know it’s legitimate to ask what it means, why wouldn’t it be? You’re not a Russian agent repeating discredited Putin talking points if you ask. You’re a good citizen.”

Putin is a pariah. Trump still sees him as a political asset.
By Aaron Blake

When presidential candidate Donald Trump asked Russia to find his 2016 opponent’s emails — i.e., “Russia, if you’re listening” — Republicans hinted that maybe this was a bad idea. So Trump claimed it was a joke. And Republicans moved on and stood by him. When Trump in 2020 used the presidency to leverage Ukraine for an investigation into his next opponent, a number of Republicans admitted it was unseemly, but said it wasn’t impeachable. They moved on and stood by him. One of them even ventured that Trump had learned a “pretty big lesson” about asking a foreign country to investigate a political rival, and predicted he would “be much more cautious in the future.” Trump wasn’t joking. He will not be more cautious in the future. And if anything, the big lesson he learned seems to have been that he has so effectively demolished this norm that it no longer encumbers him whatsoever.

The former president is once again asking for Russia to help boost his political prospects
By Ryan Bort

Donald Trump famously called on Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s emails ahead of the 2016 election. He’s now calling on Vladimir Putin to dig up dirt on President Biden’s family. The ask came during an interview with Just the News on Real America’s Voice, with the former president citing a Senate report that found a Russian oligarch once gave $3.5 million to a company he claims was founded by Biden’s son, Hunter. “Why did the mayor of Moscow’s wife give the Bidens, both of them, $3.5 million? That’s a lot of money,” Trump said. “She gave him $3.5 million so I would think Putin would know the answer to that,” Trump said. “I think he should release it. I think we should know that answer.” The Senate report to which Trump is referring is a partisan report Republicans released in 2020. The report found that Yelena Baturina gave $3.5 million to a firm called Rosemont Seneca Thornton in 2014. Hunter Biden was the co-founder of a firm called Rosemont Seneca Advisors. Biden’s lawyer told CNN that this is not the same firm that received the “consultancy agreement” payment from Baturina. There is no evidence the payment was corrupt or that Hunter Biden had anything to do with it.

US: Putin approved operations to help Trump against Biden

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin authorized influence operations to help Donald Trump in last November’s presidential election, according to a declassified intelligence assessment that found broad efforts by the Kremlin and Iran to shape the outcome of the race but ultimately no evidence that any foreign actor changed votes or otherwise disrupted the voting process. The report released Tuesday from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence represents the most detailed assessment of the array of foreign threats to the 2020 election. These included efforts by Iran to undermine confidence in the vote and harm Trump’s reelection prospects as well as Moscow operations that relied on Trump’s allies to smear Joe Biden, the eventual winner.

“I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected,” the president tweeted.
By Alex Ward

President Donald Trump has finally admitted what many have known for more than two years: Russia helped elect him as president. In a tweetstorm pushing back against the conclusions of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation — no collusion with Russia, maybe obstruction of justice — Trump either purposely or accidentally referred to Moscow’s preference for him in the 2016 election. “Russia, Russia, Russia! That’s all you heard at the beginning of this Witch Hunt Hoax,” Trump tweeted on Thursday morning. “And now Russia has disappeared because I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected. It was a crime that didn’t exist.” The key part there, just for emphasis, was “I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.” In other words, “the Kremlin tried to help me win, but I didn’t coordinate with them.” Just an hour later, though, he told reporters that Russia didn’t have anything to do with helping him win, contradicting his own tweet. “I got me elected. Russia didn’t help me at all,” the president said.

By Mark Hosenball

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election on social media was more widespread than previously thought and included attempts to divide Americans by race and extreme ideology, said reports by private experts released on Monday by U.S. senators from both parties. The Russian government’s Internet Research Agency, based in St. Petersburg, Russia, tried to manipulate U.S. politics, said the reports, one by social media analysts New Knowledge and the other by an Oxford University team working with analytical firm Graphika. The twin reports largely verified earlier findings by U.S. intelligence agencies, but offered much more detail about Russian activity going back years that continues even now, said the reports and senior lawmakers.

In February 2017 Trump’s new national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign after press reports disclosed that Flynn had continued to serve in the White House despite a warning from the Justice Department that he was vulnerable to Russian blackmail for having lied to Vice President Pence about the substance of a telephone conversation between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the United States in December 2016. Flynn’s contacts with the ambassador, both before and after the election, had been monitored by the FBI as part of its routine surveillance of the ambassador’s communications and in connection with a then secret investigation since July 2016 of possible collusion between Russian officials and prominent members of the Trump campaign. That investigation had been triggered by information obtained by Australian authorities, who reported to the FBI in May that George Papadopoulos, a foreign-policy adviser in the Trump campaign, had told an Australian diplomat in London that Russia had “dirt” on Clinton, an apparent reference to the stolen e-mails that were eventually released by WikiLeaks in July. Speculation in the press regarding the existence of the investigation had been repeatedly dismissed by Trump as “fake news” but was confirmed by Comey in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee in March 2017, during which he also contradicted Trump’s claim that Obama had spied on the Trump campaign by tapping Trump’s telephones. Democratic members of Congress, meanwhile, expressed dismay that Comey had chosen to report the discovery of additional Clinton e-mails in October but had waited until after the election to reveal the Russia investigation.

The New York Times revealed the Trump team’s connections with the Russians and attempts to sway the F.B.I. director, James Comey. The articles, which won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting, triggered the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.

Despite Russia’s harmful national interests against the U.S., and its human rights violations around the world, President Trump and his team are directly and indirectly tied to Russia. Throughout the 2016 presidential election, President Trump not only refused to criticize Russian President Vladimir Putin, but was even friendly and accommodating in his remarks. In his own words, President Trump called President Putin “highly respected." More recently, President Trump put the U.S. on equal moral footing with Russia when responding to Bill O’Reilly’s question about Putin being a "killer," saying "We've got a lot of killers... you think our country's so innocent?" This is absolutely false moral equivalence, and unheard of for the President of the United States to insult and demean the country he leads.


What is the real story of Donald Trump and Russia? The answer is still unclear, and Democrats in Congress want to get to the bottom of it with an investigation. But there’s no doubt that a spider web of connections—some public, some private, some clear, some murky—exists between Trump, his associates and Russian President Vladimir Putin. These charts illustrate dozens of those links, including meetings between Russian officials and members of Trump’s campaign and administration; his daughter’s ties to Putin’s friends; Trump’s 2013 visit to Moscow for the Miss Universe pageant; and his short-lived mixed martial arts venture with one of Putin’s favorite athletes. The solid lines mark established facts, while dotted ones represent speculative or unproven connections. more...

By Janusz Bugajski, Opinion Contributor

With the Trump administration’s foreign policy coming under intense scrutiny during the impeachment process and at NATO’s summit in London this week, it is both timely and instructive to review the Trump administration’s record toward Russia. A dispassionate assessment must focus on whether the president has either countered or contributed to Moscow’s neo-imperialist and anti-American agenda. Vladimir Putin’s Russia is a revisionist power that seeks to rebuild its dominance in the defunct Soviet bloc by challenging the independence and territorial integrity of its neighbors. In stark contrast, the NATO alliance under U.S. leadership exists to prevent an expansionist power from dominating Europe. With French President Emmanuel Macron questioning U.S. commitments to collective defense, it is important to specify where American policy has resisted Russia’s aggression and defended Europe, and where it has assisted the Kremlin’s agenda. more...

Trump's remarks praising Putin's military aggression against Ukraine should be the last straw for anyone inexplicably holding out hope he's not driven in part by Russian interests.
By Ja'han Jones

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday praised Russian President Vladimir Putin’s military aggression against Ukraine as fears of war in the region grow. The deluded Russian despot seems set on recreating the Soviet Union and reliving a bygone era. Trump's fawning statements in response are the latest reminder that America — not too long ago — was under the thumb of a Kremlin fan boy. We’ll address that shortly, but first, here are Trump’s comments from his Tuesday interview on “The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show," an ultraconservative radio talk show: more...

People with scant illusions about Trump are volunteering to help him execute one of his Big Lies.
By David Frum

If Donald Trump had been supported only by people who affirmatively liked him, his attack on American democracy would never have gotten as far as it did. Instead, at almost every turn, Trump was helped by people who had little liking for him as a human being or politician, but assessed that he could be useful for purposes of their own. The latest example: the suddenly red-hot media campaign to endorse Trump’s fantasy that he was the victim of a “Russia hoax.” The usual suspects in the pro-Trump media ecosystem will of course endorse and repeat everything Trump says, no matter how outlandish.

But it’s not pro-Trumpers who are leading the latest round of Trump-Russia denialism. This newest round of excuse-making is being sounded from more respectable quarters, in many cases by people distinguished as Trump critics. With Trump out of office—at least for the time being—they now feel free to subordinate their past concerns about him to other private quarrels with the FBI or mainstream media institutions. On high-subscription Substacks, on popular podcasts, even from within prestige media institutions, people with scant illusions about Trump the man and president are nonetheless volunteering to help him execute one of his Big Lies. more...


The Atlantic's David Frum joins Morning Joe to discuss his latest piece 'It Wasn't a Hoax,' on '...the suddenly red-hot media campaign to endorse Trump’s fantasy that he was the victim of a 'Russia hoax.'' video...

By Jonathan Chait

In 2018, I became either famous or notorious — depending on your point of view — for writing a story speculating that Russia had secret leverage over Trump (which turned out to be correct). The story’s most controversial suggestion was that it was plausible, though hardly certain, that Russia’s influence over Trump might even date back as far as 1987. Here is what I wrote in that controversial section: more...

Exclusive: Documents suggest Russia launched secret multi-agency effort to interfere in US democracy
Luke Harding, Julian Borger and Dan Sabbagh

Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents. The key meeting took place on 22 January 2016, the papers suggest, with the Russian president, his spy chiefs and senior ministers all present.

They agreed a Trump White House would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them “social turmoil” in the US and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position. Russia’s three spy agencies were ordered to find practical ways to support Trump, in a decree appearing to bear Putin’s signature. more...


It’s official: The Trump campaign colluded with Russia. In an explosive development, the Biden administration confirmed that a Russian government agent with close connections to Donald Trump’s top 2016 campaign official “provided the Russian Intelligence Services with sensitive information on polling and [Trump] campaign strategy.” This revelation demolishes, once and for all, Trump’s ceaseless claims that he was the victim of the “greatest witch hunt in the history of our country.” (Recall that a Trump appointee directed Robert Mueller to investigate “any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump.”) more...

David Smith in Washington

The KGB ‘played the game as if they were immensely impressed by his personality’, Yuri Shvets, a key source for a new book, tells the Guardian. Donald Trump was cultivated as a Russian asset over 40 years and proved so willing to parrot anti-western propaganda that there were celebrations in Moscow, a former KGB spy has told the Guardian. Yuri Shvets, posted to Washington by the Soviet Union in the 1980s, compares the former US president to “the Cambridge five”, the British spy ring that passed secrets to Moscow during the second world war and early cold war. Now 67, Shvets is a key source for American Kompromat, a new book by journalist Craig Unger, whose previous works include House of Trump, House of Putin. The book also explores the former president’s relationship with the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

“This is an example where people were recruited when they were just students and then they rose to important positions; something like that was happening with Trump,” Shvets said by phone on Monday from his home in Virginia. Shvets, a KGB major, had a cover job as a correspondent in Washington for the Russian news agency Tass during the 1980s. He moved to the US permanently in 1993 and gained American citizenship. He works as a corporate security investigator and was a partner of Alexander Litvinenko, who was assassinated in London in 2006. more...

Paul Waldman

Up until now, many of President Trump’s pardons — for war criminals, corrupt politicians and fraudsters of various types — have appeared mostly rooted in his deep affinity for the most despicable human beings our society has managed to produce. If you were a vocal Trump supporter, that was often enough to get you on the list, whatever your crime. But with his latest batch of pardons, particularly those of former campaign chair Paul Manafort and longtime confidante Roger Stone, something different is at play: The pardons are all about him.

The long and winding coverup of the Russia scandal is now complete. Trump and his advocates have long cited special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s failure to bring criminal charges for coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. They have insisted there was “no collusion.”

But all those meetings between Russian officials and Trump campaign officials, the way Stone kept Trump apprised of the progress of WikiLeaks’ plans to release Democratic emails that the Russians stole, Manafort’s coordination with a Russian intelligence operative — it all added up to a shocking betrayal of the United States. Which is why Trump has worked so hard to convince Americans it was no big deal, and to ensure that neither he nor his associates paid the appropriate price.

The events leading up to the Manafort pardon underscore this story. His case went through many twists and turns, including a period in which he made a deal to cooperate with prosecutors, then lied to them about various matters. But the record showed a stunning level of not only avaricious fraud, but an eagerness to do the bidding of foreign actors who did not appear to have U.S. interests in mind.

The Republican-controlled Senate Intelligence Committee, which issued a scathing report on the scandal, documents how Manafort, as campaign chair, secretly passed confidential internal campaign polling data to his associate Konstantin Kilimnik. The report describes Kilimnik as “a Russian intelligence officer.” more...

*** Why does Trump continue to protect Putin and Russia over America? It makes you wonder if Trump is on Putin’s payroll or do the Russians have something on him.  ***

Jordan Novet

President Donald Trump suggested Saturday that China might have been behind a cyberattack affecting multiple U.S. government agencies and companies, despite Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s allegation hours earlier that Russia was likely behind the attack. The assertion adds confusion to an already complex situation, as cybersecurity workers strive to figure out a hack that came to light less than week ago. At that time Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter, that attackers were affiliated with Russia.

“Russia is the priority chant when anything happens because Lamestream is, for mostly financial reasons, petrified of........discussing the possibility that it may be China (it may!)” Trump wrote in a pair of tweets. A U.S. official confirmed to NBC News on Saturday that White House officials were planning to issue a statement on Friday that would say Russia was responsible for the cyberattack but were told to stand down. The Associated Press reported on the White House’s plans earlier on Saturday. Two officials told NBC News that Trump’s tweets had caught White House off guard.

“At this time the NSC is focused on investigating the circumstances surrounding this incident, and working with our interagency partners to mitigate the situation,” National Security Council spokesperson told NBC News. “There will be an appropriate response to those actors behind this conduct.” Russia has been a sensitive topic for Trump. An investigation led by Robert Mueller found that the Russian government had interfered in the 2016 election that resulted in Trump becoming president. Trump said in 2019 that he had never worked for Russia, after The New York Times reported the Federal Bureau of Investigation had begun looking into whether he had become influenced by the Kremlin. more...

More than 50 former intelligence officials signed a letter casting doubt on the provenance of a New York Post story on the former vice president's son.

More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

The letter, signed on Monday, centers around a batch of documents released by the New York Post last week that purport to tie the Democratic nominee to his son Hunter’s business dealings. Under the banner headline “Biden Secret E-mails,” the Post reported it was given a copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who said he got it from a Mac shop owner in Delaware who also alerted the FBI.

While the letter’s signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them “deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case” and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin’s hand at work. “If we are right,” they added, “this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this.”

Nick Shapiro, a former top aide under CIA director John Brennan, provided POLITICO with the letter on Monday. He noted that “the IC leaders who have signed this letter worked for the past four presidents, including Trump. The real power here however is the number of former, working-level IC officers who want the American people to know that once again the Russians are interfering." more...

Sinéad Baker

US spies and diplomats are accusing the Trump administration of refusing to properly investigate mysterious illnesses that have affected officials in Cuba, China, and Russia, and some are suggesting a cover-up, The New York Times reported on Monday. In 2016, US and Canadian diplomats in Cuba started hearing strange sounds and reporting symptoms like nerve damage and headaches. Doctors said they were caused by mild traumatic brain injuries.

In 2018, several US officials in Guangzhou, China, also said they heard mysterious sounds and had similar symptoms. They were diagnosed with brain injuries. The Times reported on Monday that some senior CIA officers who visited foreign stations, including in Moscow, experienced similar symptoms but that the agency is not convinced an attack took place. more...

Giuliani’s dirty tricks are the scandal, not Hunter Biden’s hard drive.
By Michelle Goldberg

The Treasury Department last month imposed sanctions on four people linked to Russia for attempting to influence the presidential election, including a Ukrainian parliamentarian named Andriy Derkach, who has worked with Donald Trump’s consigliere Rudy Giuliani to smear Joe Biden. According to the Treasury, Derkach has been “an active Russian agent for over a decade, maintaining close connections with the Russian intelligence services.”

The Treasury said Derkach had worked covertly to cultivate “false and unsubstantiated narratives concerning U.S. officials in the upcoming 2020 presidential election” — an obvious reference to Biden. Derkach had released “edited audiotapes and other unsupported information” and managed to push his “unsubstantiated narratives” into Western media.

According to The Washington Post, U.S. intelligence agencies warned the White House last year that Giuliani, then searching in Ukraine for dirt about Biden and his son Hunter, was the target of a Russian influence operation. “The Russians have been cultivating Rudy Giuliani as an asset for over a year,” Chris Murphy, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told me. “Any information proffered by Rudy Giuliani is likely compromised.”

That, of course, did not stop The New York Post from publishing a series of breathless articles about Hunter Biden purportedly based on a hard drive that fell into Giuliani’s hands. Some of the stories — like one about Hunter’s anguished texts to his father from rehab — seem intended to wound Joe Biden by humiliating his child. Others were meant to resurrect the discredited accusation that Joe Biden pressed for the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor to help Burisma, an energy company that had Hunter Biden on its board.

So far, the Hunter Biden laptop affair is a farcical retread of the Russian hack-and-leak operation that helped torpedo Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations in 2016. Now, as then, the Trump campaign appears to be hoping that the media will dribble out stolen private messages over the final weeks of the campaign, creating an illusion of scandal where none exists. And now, as then, someone in Trump’s inner circle is working directly with someone who is, at least according to the U.S. government, a Russian agent. more...

Sonam Sheth

President Donald Trump smirked when supporters at his campaign rally on Friday revived a familiar chant. "Lock him up!" they shouted as the president laughed. "Lock him up!" The chants were referring to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, whom Trump and his personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, have long accused of being in bed with corrupt Ukrainian interests.

Specifically, they allege that Biden inappropriately leveraged his role as vice president to shut down a criminal investigation into the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings to protect Hunter, who was serving on Burisma's board at the time. As Business Insider has previously reported, there is no evidence that these claims hold merit, and they've been debunked by intelligence assessments, media reports, congressional investigations, and witness testimony.

Regardless, the Biden-Ukraine conspiracy theory was turbocharged this week, after The New York Post published a widely discredited story purporting to show "smoking-gun" emails between Hunter Biden and a senior Burisma executive about setting up a meeting with Joe Biden when he was vice president in 2015.

The story was written by a former producer for the Fox News show "Hannity," and Giuliani was one of its primary sources. Shortly after, it was reported that federal authorities are investigating if the emails were part of a foreign influence operation. At a rally in Iowa on Wednesday, Trump touted the "explosive documents published by a very fine newspaper, The New York Post," which he said showed "that Joe Biden has been blatantly lying about his involvement in his son's corrupt business dealings." more...

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