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MelissaB

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Member since: Mon Nov 8, 2004, 09:21 PM
Number of posts: 15,492

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Story finally confirms Rosenstein knew all along why Comey was being fired.

https://twitter.com/matthewamiller/status/1001965996716982273
https://twitter.com/nytmike/status/1001962171776012289

F.B.I. Official Wrote Secret Memo Fearing Trump Got a Cover Story for Comey Firing

WASHINGTON — The former acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, wrote a confidential memo last spring recounting a conversation that offered significant behind-the-scenes details on the firing of Mr. McCabe’s predecessor, James B. Comey, according to several people familiar with the discussion.

Mr. Comey’s firing is a central focus of the special counsel’s investigation into whether President Trump tried to obstruct the investigation into his campaign’s ties to Russia. Mr. McCabe has turned over his memo to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.

In the document, whose contents have not been previously reported, Mr. McCabe described a conversation at the Justice Department with the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, in the chaotic days last May after Mr. Comey’s abrupt firing. Mr. Rosenstein played a key role in the dismissal, writing a memo that rebuked Mr. Comey over his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton.

But in the meeting at the Justice Department, Mr. Rosenstein added a new detail: He said the president had originally asked him to reference Russia in his memo, the people familiar with the conversation said. Mr. Rosenstein did not elaborate on what Mr. Trump had wanted him to say.

More: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/30/us/politics/rosenstein-trump-comey-firing-mccabe-memo.html

"We knew we had a Russian agent on our hands." Top NSA official said - about Trump.

This is an important article, and I highly recommend reading it all.

Here’s How the FBI Investigation Into Russia and Trump Campaign Actually Started

By John R. Schindler • 05/28/18 9:50am

... snip

As the Guardian tactfully phrased the matter, “GCHQ was at no point carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team or proactively seeking information. The alleged conversations were picked up by chance as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets. Over several months, different agencies targeting the same people began to see a pattern of connections that were flagged to intelligence officials in the U.S.” In other words, Western intelligence agencies that were eavesdropping on the Kremlin and its spies—not Trump or any of his retinue—heard numerous conversations about Trump and his secret Russian connections. As I’ve told you previously, senior Kremlin officials got very chatty about Trump beginning in late 2014, on the heels of his infamous Moscow trip, and NSA knew about this.

In truth, NSA understood quite a bit about Trump’s connections to Moscow, and by mid-2016 it had increased its efforts to get to the bottom of the mystery regarding the candidate’s Russian ties. In response to urgent FBI requests for more information, NSA rose to the occasion, and by the time that Donald Trump officially accepted the Republican nomination in mid-July 2016, “We knew we had a Russian agent on our hands,” as a senior NSA official put it to me recently.

The official went on: “We had several reports in late 2015 and early 2016, mostly from Second and Third Party”—that being spy-speak for NSA’s foreign friends—“but by the spring of 2016 we had plenty of our own collection.” These reports, based on multiple intercepts, were tightly compartmented, that is, restricted to a small group of counterintelligence officials, given their obvious sensitivity, but they painted an indelible picture of a compromised GOP nominee. “The Kremlin talked about Trump like he was their boy, and their comments weren’t always flattering.” The NSA official stated that those above-top-secret reports left no doubt that the Russians were subverting our democracy in 2016—and that Team Trump was a witting participant in the Kremlin’s criminal conspiracy: “Trump and his kids knew what they were doing, and who they were doing it with,” the official explained.

This information helps explain why James Clapper, our country’s most experienced spy-boss, recently amplified his previous statement that our president was Vladimir Putin’s “asset” by explaining that he has “no doubt” that Russian spies “swung the election to a Trump win.” This weekend, Clapper stated that he was “absolutely” unaware of the FBI’s use of informants to gain information about the Trump campaign in 2016. Tellingly, Clapper said nothing about top-secret-plus intelligence which might have spurred the Bureau to rustle up some informants in this case—and, like any veteran spook with a half-century in the spy business, Clapper isn’t likely to blab about high-grade SIGINT anytime soon, particularly when it implicates the president in espionage and worse.


More: http://observer.com/2018/05/what-did-the-fbi-do-in-2016-about-russian-connections-to-donald-trump/


EXCLUSIVE: The start of the FBI's 2016 CI investigation of Team Trump had nothing to do with dossiers, informants, or "spies." Those are lies. It began with TS+ SIGINT proving Trump's secret ties to Putin & his Kremlin

https://twitter.com/20committee/status/1001099608087515136

Exit/rescue strategy for Muller team

https://twitter.com/KYWildWoman/status/1000005429638914048
Frank Figliuzzi, former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence at the FBI under Muller talks exit/rescue strategy for Muller team.


This aired last night on the Chris Hayes show and Morning Joe played the clip this morning.

Saturday Bombshell: Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election

Trump Jr. and Other Aides Met With Gulf Emissary Offering Help to Win Election

By Mark Mazzetti, Ronen Bergman and David D. Kirkpatrick
May 19, 2018

WASHINGTON — Three months before the 2016 election, a small group gathered at Trump Tower to meet with Donald Trump Jr., the president’s eldest son. One was an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation. Another was an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes. The third was a Republican donor with a controversial past in the Middle East as a private security contractor.

The meeting was convened primarily to offer help to the Trump team, and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months — past the election and well into President Trump’s first year in office, according to several people with knowledge of their encounters.

Erik Prince, the private security contractor and the former head of Blackwater, arranged the meeting, which took place on Aug. 3, 2016. The emissary, George Nader, told Donald Trump Jr. that the crown princes who led Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were eager to help his father win election as president. The social media specialist, Joel Zamel, extolled his company’s ability to give an edge to a political campaign; by that time, the firm had already drawn up a multimillion-dollar proposal for a social media manipulation effort to help elect Mr. Trump.

The company, which employed several Israeli former intelligence officers, specialized in collecting information and shaping opinion through social media.

More: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/19/us/politics/trump-jr-saudi-uae-nader-prince-zamel.html

Big article by Buzzfeed: The definitive story on Trump Moscow.

The Definitive Story Of How Trump’s Team Worked The Trump Moscow Deal During The Campaign

On the day of the third Republican presidential debate, Trump personally signed the letter of intent.

All through the hot summer campaign of 2016, as Donald Trump and his aides dismissed talk of unseemly ties to Moscow, two of his key business partners were working furiously on a secret track: negotiations to build what would have been the tallest building in Europe and an icon of the Trump empire — the Trump World Tower Moscow.

Talks to construct the 100-story building continued even as the presidential candidate alternately bragged about his relationship with Vladimir Putin and rejected suggestions of Russian influence, and as Russian agents worked to sway US public opinion on Trump’s behalf.

While fragments of the Trump Moscow venture have trickled out — most recently in a report last night by Yahoo News — this is the definitive story of the Moscow tower, told from a trove of emails, text messages, congressional testimony, architectural renderings, and other documents obtained exclusively by BuzzFeed News, as well as interviews with key players and investigators. The documents reveal a detailed and plausible plan, well-connected Russian counterparts, and an effort that extended from spearfishing with a Russian developer on a private island to planning for a mid-campaign trip to Moscow for the presidential candidate himself.

The tower — a sheer, glass-encased obelisk situated on a river — would have soared above every other building in Moscow, the architectural drawings show. And the sharply angled skyscraper would have climaxed in a diamond-shaped pinnacle emblazoned with the word “Trump,” putting his name atop the continent’s tallest structure.

More: https://www.buzzfeed.com/anthonycormier/trump-moscow-micheal-cohen-felix-sater-campaign?utm_term=.ryq5K6P3o#.amDEr2mGa


Benjamin Wittes

This is, assuming it’s true, a holy shit story: While Trump was preparing for the Republican convention in spring 2016, Michael Cohen was still negotiating Trump Tower Moscow and was working on a Trump-Putin meeting to take place after the convention to finalize the deal.
https://twitter.com/benjaminwittes/status/997151527725862912
In addition, the Trump Organization was negotiating on the project with a Russian spy.
https://twitter.com/benjaminwittes/status/997151537246896128

Read the whole thing.

Read the whole thing.




(Another) Russian Ambassador to Portugal Oleg Belous dies suddenly at age of 66 - foreign ministry

Russian Ambassador to Portugal Oleg Belous dies suddenly at age of 66 - foreign ministry

MOSCOW, May 9. /TASS/. Russian Ambassador to Portugal Oleg Belous has died in Lisbon at the age of 66, the Russian foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

"The Russian foreign ministry deeply regrets to announce that Russian Ambassador to Portugal Oleg Belous died suddenly in Lisbon on May 8, 2018," the ministry said.

Oleg Belous was born in 1951. After graduation from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, he joined the foreign ministry in 1973.

In 1996-1998, he was director of the ministry’s European cooperation department and was Russia’s Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in 1998-2001.

More: http://tass.com/politics/1003483

An extensive Analysis of the questions Mueller wants to ask Trump

... snip

During the campaign, what did you know about Russian hacking, use of social media or other acts aimed at the campaign?

*Intelligence Community Assessment and Mueller's indictment of Russians both confirm that Russia had an explicit goal of trying to help elect Donald Trump through hacking/disseminating damaging information on Clinton and pushing fake news/disinformation online.
*The Intelligence Community has explicit intelligence indicating this order came directly from Putin.
*Papadapolous plead guilty to lying to the FBI and had been reported by our allies to have been discussing Russia having Clinton emails before it was publicly known.
*This was the official start of the FBI investigation
*Trump had asked Russia publicly to find Hillary's missing emails
*Trump and his campaign frequently promoted Wikileaks
*Trump Jr appears to have gotten some communication from Wikileaks during the election
*Roger Stone spoke with both Assange and Guccifer 2.0 during the election
*The Cambridge Analytica whistleblower claims that Bannon was early on testing messaging for Putin/Russia
*The Cambridge Analytica whistleblower claims a Russian Official was asking questions in regards to targeting for unknown reasons
*SCL Group (tied to Cambridge Analytica) had paid Flynn
*Mueller has already indicted the Russian Internet Research Agency and multiple individuals in response to their involvement and interference in the 2016 election.
*Multiple Trump associates promoted accounts tied to the Internet Research Agency during the election.

Interference was wide spread and Trump's team seemed willing to work with Russia on multiple occasions. Its again a question of whether or not this is some widespread campaign conspiracy that Trump somehow didn't know about (unlikely) or was part of a coordinated plan.

More: https://www.reddit.com/r/TrumpInvestigation/comments/8g68g7/an_extensive_analysis_of_the_questions_mueller/


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