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(130,281 posts)
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 09:27 AM Feb 21

Russia Intercepts U.S. Phone Calls in Bid to Influence 2024 Election

Source: Newsweek

Published Feb 21, 2024 at 4:57 AM EST Updated Feb 21, 2024 at 6:30 AM EST

Russia intercepted the phone calls of several prominent Americans and could use the information as kompromat, or blackmail, during the upcoming presidential election according to a Department of Justice court memo citing former FBI source Alexander Smirnov as its source.

The document was filed on Tuesday in support of the case against Smirnov, who is accused of lying to the agency and faking records regarding the Bidens' business activities in Ukraine.

It recounts a report Smirnov gave his handler after meeting 'Russian Official 1,' an unnamed individual described as the person "who controls groups that are engaged in overseas assassination efforts."

Based on conversations with Smirnov, the court filing states: "During this meeting with Russian Official 1, Russian Official 1 claimed that another individual, Russian Official 4, the head of a particular unit of a Russian Intelligence Service, ran an intelligence operation at a "club" located at a particular hotel.

Read more: https://www.newsweek.com/russian-intelligence-intercepted-calls-us-figures-alexander-smirnov-1871870

Link to DOJ court filing memo (PDF) - https://storage.courtlistener.com/recap/gov.uscourts.nvd.167064/gov.uscourts.nvd.167064.15.0.pdf
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(87,058 posts)
14. Since at least...
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 01:20 PM
Feb 21


I distinctly recall having an ongoing, months long discussion with my farming partner at the time about this very situation and who was involved. I was at least 90% spot on.

I know that when I came in from the fields in autumn that I was not the only one one that page.


(8,930 posts)
4. Biden should start
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 10:01 AM
Feb 21

The Mass Deportation now. Every Russian ASSet in government should be sent home ASAP. forget about internment camps, throw em the fuck out immediately. Pooty can put em on the front line, they love war and guns and DICKtators, they can block bullets for their idol.


(51,507 posts)
5. "... ran an intelligence operation at a "club" located at a particular hotel." Don't you wonder
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 10:05 AM
Feb 21

where that might be?


(47,791 posts)
6. Yes
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 10:18 AM
Feb 21

This is like a spy thriller and getting more bizarre all the time. If it was fiction, it might be considered too farfetched.


(42,710 posts)
16. Mystery, riddle, enigma, hmm....
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 05:21 PM
Feb 21
No where was that passion for filling Trump’s pockets more apparent than at his DC hotel, which brought in more than $3 million from Republican political organizations during Trump’s term in office, more than at any other Trump property. During that time, Trump’s businesses were being used by foreign governments and special interests to gain access and influence not just over Trump and his administration, but also the powerful lawmakers who could be found bumping elbows in the lobby.

However, since becoming a Waldorf Astoria in 2022, GOP spending at the largely unchanged luxury hotel in the Old Post Office building has all but disappeared. This directly conflicts with how Republicans explained their choice of venue at the time. When questions arose about their patronage of the then-president’s business, Republicans brushed off concerns of corruption saying that Trump’s DC hotel was simply a convenient location near Capitol Hill for lawmakers and political operatives to socialize, that they would be there regardless of who owned it.

As such, it would be reasonable to expect that Republicans would continue to frequent the hotel after Trump sold it and it rebranded as a Waldorf Astoria in June 2022, leaving many of the building’s luxury public spaces largely unchanged from its time as a Trump property. Yet political spending by GOP groups at the new hotel is virtually nonexistent, clocking in at a measly $37,878, according to the FEC’s most recent data covering the 17 months from June 2022 to the end of November 2023. For comparison, GOP groups spent $1,570,239, or 40 times that, in the interval between June 2018 and November 2019—the last comparable period when the building was still under Trump ownership. In fact, the amount spent since it opened is just a quarter of the $154,500 that then-Speaker Paul Ryan’s joint fundraising committee spent there in a single day in 2018, and a fraction of the $435,034 that Republican groups have spent at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s private club and residence, since the Waldorf Astoria opened.

Last year, CREW reported that from its opening in June 2022 to the midterm elections, Republican officials, candidates and fundraising committees spent less than $2,000 at the Waldorf Astoria. In the same five-month period in 2018, Republicans spent more than 400 times that amount with $867,000 paid to the Trump Hotel.


Midnight Writer

(21,908 posts)
10. Let's see some real reporters grab onto this like a dog grabbing on to a steak.
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 12:12 PM
Feb 21

They made a movie based on the exploits of Woodward and Bernstein. Their stories got front-page play across the entire nation.

We need more of that kind of journalism.

Isn't this story at least as dangerous, as shocking, as the revelations that came out during Watergate?


(130,281 posts)
12. It would be hard for them to pivot to do that
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 12:23 PM
Feb 21

since they helped to create and magnify the "But Burisma!!!111!1!!!", "the laptop", and "the Bidens were involved in shady business dealings" narrative in the first place.


(50,040 posts)
11. What is this steaming pile?
Wed Feb 21, 2024, 12:20 PM
Feb 21
"citing former FBI source Alexander Smirnov as its source. "

So citing a confirmed liar is a good strategy?
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