Saturday, April 1, 2017

Rex Tillerson's Complaint: "Lavrov won't dance!" Putin Rex consoles: " Don't you worry, Rexik, baby. Lavrov, go dance, stupid! And whisper something sweet into his dead ears about the sanctions and Crimea!" - Rex Tillerson wins applause, literally, in NATO debut – POLITICO Saturday April 1st, 2017 at 3:32 PM

Fred Astaire - I Won't Dance, from Roberta

Rex Tillerson: Lavrov won't dance: not allowed! 

"But it was at lunch that he won applause. After one minister spoke of taking a two-tier approach with Russia, adding that “it takes two to tango,” Tillerson responded: “Sure, you can dance with Russia and you might also gain something out of it. But for sure you cannot tango with [Sergey] Lavrov because he is not allowed to dance that one.” The implication, diplomats said, was that only one man is in charge in Russia."

Image result for lavrov and tillerson dance cartoons

Jane Monheit and Michael Buble - I Won't Dance

Uploaded on Aug 19, 2007
A duet by Jane Monheit and Michael Buble from the album, 

Taking a Chance on Love

Image result for Putin The Tsar

Putin Rex 

Putin Rex: "Who said so? Not true! Fake news! Sergey, march down to the dance floor and start dancing right away! That's an order! Maybe, it will lead to romance... Well, I am not asbestos, after all. And you know, Rex, I'll tell you, between us, two Rexes: it's a real hard job I have: I have to tell them everything! No initiative! Not like in your America, where you have too much of all sorts of, khe-khe, different initiatives, so to speak... Well, fly over here to Moscow, my dear boy, I'll give you another Order of Friendship for your good efforts to tango, as from the real Rex to another real Rex! 
"Lavrov, did you hear me? Stop tinkering with you answering machines, go to the floor and do your pa de deux!"

Lavrov: "No, I won't!"

Putin Rex: "Why?"

Lavrov: "No, I can't!"

Putin Rex: "But why?!"

Lavrov: "I don't have good dancing shoes. I can't buy them because of the sanctions! And then, I am really afraid, it might lead to a romance. And I am not sure that Rex will be here six months from now, or even sooner. My heart will be broken again, and I will be all alone and by myself..." 

Image result for lavrov and tillerson dance cartoons

Putin Rex: "Don't you worry, Serzhik, mataggim, we'll find you another Rex, and the better equipped one, too, with the nice, powerful underwater drill; he'll dance real well when I order the music. Putin Rex is the one and only, but there are all sorts of other little Rexes out there. Just like all sorts of trumps, pages, tillers' sons, and all sorts of other farmers and puzders

If not one, then another. What difference does it make? We pay them all anyway, they all are in our pocket. 
Go dance, stupid! And whisper something sweet into his dead ears about the sanctions and Crimea! And push all the right buttons under his suit, you know how to do this if you really want to, don't play this little innocent schoolboy here. 
Не грузи, перезагружай!" 

Related image

Image result for lavrov and tillerson dance cartoons


Russia Jokes About 'Election Interference' on April Fools' Day
MOSCOW Need some election interference? The Russian Foreign Ministry is ready to help or so it says on April Fools' Day. On Saturday, the ministry posted on its Facebook page an audio file of the purported new automated telephone switchboard ...
Call the Russian Embassy. Press 3 for 'election interference.'Washington Post
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Rex Tillerson wins applause, literally, in NATO debut – POLITICO

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Facing a skeptical crowd of fellow foreign ministers during his first visit to NATO, Rex Tillerson won applause for lunchtime remarks about the need for strength and unity in dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, five diplomats who were in the room told POLITICO.
The U.S. Secretary of State initially planned to skip Friday’s meeting in Brussels, citing a conflict with a visit to Washington by Chinese President Xi Jinping. That caused consternation among allies, prompting NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg to reschedule so that Tillerson could attend.
Still, ministers were not sure what to expect from the former chief executive of Exxon Mobil, now working for a president who called NATO “obsolete” during his campaign.
U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Vice President Mike Pence, visiting its Brussels headquarters in February, carried Donald Trump’s demand that allies increase military spending. But both were already somewhat familiar to diplomats — Mattis from his time as a NATO uniformed commander and Pence from his long service in the U.S. Congress.
Tillerson, by contrast, had never worked in public service and his reported close ties to Putin and Russia, where Exxon has invested billions of dollars in oil projects, added to NATO diplomats’ wariness.
But the Secretary of State appeared to have sounded the right notes, expressing unwavering support for NATO. “The U.S. commitment to NATO is strong and this alliance remains the bedrock for transatlantic security,” he said. 
“The United States is committed to ensuring NATO has the capabilities to support our collective defense,” he said. “We understand that a threat against one of us is a threat against all of us, and we will respond accordingly.”
“The president supports NATO. The U.S. Congress supports NATO,” Tillerson said.
But it was at lunch that he won applause. After one minister spoke of taking a two-tier approach with Russia, adding that “it takes two to tango,” Tillerson responded: “Sure, you can dance with Russia and you might also gain something out of it. But for sure you cannot tango with [Sergey] Lavrov because he is not allowed to dance that one.” The implication, diplomats said, was that only one man is in charge in Russia.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pose for the family photo in Brussels
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson pose for the family photo in Brussels
Asked how Tillerson was received, one European NATO ambassador said: “With an ovation, I mean it literally. This is not metaphorically speaking. He actually got applause.” 
“I’ll be honest, we didn’t know what we were getting into,” the ambassador said, adding: “Boy, did he deliver: he was very, very clear about the United States standing by its allies. In fact, unlike Mattis, who if you remember conditioned his support for the alliance, Tillerson’s support was unconditional.”
“He said, ‘we stand by our friends, we stand by Article 5, no ifs or buts.'”
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США - РФ: Тиллерсон взорвал зал НАТО шуткой о Лаврове - Госдепартамент США, Лавров, МИД РФ, Тиллерсон, США - РФ (01.04.17 14:30) « Курьезы « Новости

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Как информирует 
, об этом пишет 
Голос Америки.
Сообщается, что один из дипломатов, заявил, что по отношению к России необходимо применить "двухуровневый подход", а для танца "необходима пара".

В ответ на это Тиллерсон сказал: "Конечно, что с Россией можно танцевать и даже что-то с этого получить. Но с Сергеем Лавровым точно не потанцуешь, потому что ему запрещено танцевать".

Читайте на "Цензор.НЕТ": Высказывания Тиллерсона о российской агрессии вызывают недоумение, - МИД РФ
Отмечается, что его слова сорвали овации у министров иностранных дел НАТО.

"Он сорвал овации, в буквальном смысле. Это не метафора. Ему аплодировали", - заявил один из дипломатов.

"При этом имелось в виду, что все решения в России принимает лично Путин", - пишет Голос Америки.

Напомним, в ходе своего первого визита в штаб-квартиру НАТО Тиллерсон также заявил о российской агрессии в Украине, а также о сохранении санкций против России.

Flynn immunity offer hangs over...

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Flynn immunity offer hangs over Russia investigators

WLS - ‎1 hour ago‎
White House press secretary Sean Spicer says that President Trump believes Michael Flynn should testify before Congress. By Tom LoBianco, Manu Raju and Kevin Liptak. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn's offer to testify in return for ...

Trump urges former adviser Flynn to cut immunity deal

Savannah Morning News - ‎3 hours ago‎
FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2017 file photo, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Trump says his former national security adviser is right to ask for immunity in exchange for ...

Trump urges fired aide: Go for immunity

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - ‎6 hours ago‎
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, center, arrives in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, prior to the start of a joint news conference with President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin ...

Trump calls out 'sleepy eyes' Chuck...

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Trump calls out 'sleepy eyes' Chuck Todd, slams 'fake news media'

USA TODAY - ‎1 hour ago‎
President Trump again directed his weekly Saturday breakfast tweets at the media, this time chiding "Meet the Press" host Chuck Todd for exploring potential Russian meddling in the 2016 election. "When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start ...

Donald Trump tells NBC to stop reporting on Russian ties, focus instead on wiretapping claims

Washington Times - ‎1 hour ago‎
In this March 31, 2017, photo, President Donald Trump listens during a meeting with the National Association of Manufacturers in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington. Slim majorities of Americans favor independent investigations into ...

Donald Trump blasts the media and Russia investigation in early morning tweets

Business Insider - ‎48 minutes ago‎
President Donald Trump unleashed on NBC's Chuck Todd and the investigation into potential ties between Trump associates and Russia in early Saturday morning tweets. "When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama ...

Trump mocks Chuck Todd's appearance, Russia reporting in Saturday morning tweet

Politico - ‎2 hours ago‎
President Donald Trump went after Chuck Todd and NBC News on Saturday morning, asking when they will stop reporting on "the fake Trump/Russia story." "When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama ...

President Trump calls NBC's Chuck Todd 'Sleepy Eyes' on Twitter

New York Daily News - ‎5 minutes ago‎
President Trump tweeted about NBC News' Chuck Todd Saturday morning — referring to him as “Sleepy Eyes” — prompting a retort from the “Meet the Press” moderator. “When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and @NBCNews start talking about the Obama ...

Trump tells NBC to stop covering Russia story

The Hill - ‎2 hours ago‎
President Trump on Saturday called for NBC News to devote more attention to his unproven claims that President Obama spied on him and stop covering the investigations into Russia's interference in the election. “When will Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd and ...
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Questions, Answers About the Legal...

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Questions, Answers About the Legal Immunity Process

U.S. News & World Report - ‎7 hours ago‎
Questions and answers about the granting of immunity from prosecution by Congress and the Justice Department. | April 1, 2017, at 3:13 a.m.. MORE. LinkedIn · StumbleUpon · Google +; Cancel. Questions, Answers About the Legal Immunity Process.

The only 4 things you need to know about Trump and Russia

CNN - ‎13 hours ago‎
(CNN) Donald Trump's Russia problem is getting worse -- and more complicated. Questions about his campaign's alleged ties to Moscow seem to proliferate by the hour. The mushroom cloud surrounding his baseless allegations that President Barack Obama ...

Trump urges former adviser Flynn to cut immunity deal

Fairfield Daily Republic - ‎7 hours ago‎
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump urged his former national security adviser to strike an immunity deal Friday, even as congressional investigators rebuffed Michael Flynn's offer of cooperation in exchange for protection from prosecution.

Michael Flynn's Russia connections back in the spotlight

ABC News - ‎17 hours ago‎
Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, is back in the spotlight this week after he requested immunity as a condition for speaking with congressional investigators about Russia's meddling in the presidential election.

Trump urges fired aide: Go for immunity

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - ‎5 hours ago‎
Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, center, arrives in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 13, 2017, prior to the start of a joint news conference with President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin ...
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Беглый Янукович распоясался: дважды ударил по лицу Путина и избил Медведева ::

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Сегодня ночью в Сочи во время встречи экс-президента Украины Виктора Януковича с президентом России Владимиром Путиным и премьер-министром РФ Дмитрием Медведевым произошла ссора.
Об этом изданию "ГОРДОН" сообщил собственный источник.
В результате ссоры Янукович "избил Медведева и дважды ударил по лицу Путина". После этого подоспевшие охранники ранили экс-президента Украины в ноги.
Причина ссоры неизвестна. По данным источника, во время встречи в Сочи Янукович был "сильно выпивший".
Янукович был избран президентом Украины в 2010 году. 22 февраля 2014 года, после трех месяцев протестов на Майдане, Верховная Рада признала его самоустранившимся от должности и не выполняющим свои обязанности, после чего были объявлены новые президентские выборы. В том же месяце Янукович покинул Украину, сейчас с семьей проживает в России.
В Украине против него открыто несколько уголовных производств. Его обвиняют в массовых убийствах граждан, завладении государственным имуществом, захвате власти неконституционным путем, действиях, направленных на свержение конституционного строя. В отношении экс-президента применяется процедура заочного осуждения.
Пользователи социальных сетей с юмором встретили такое сообщение. "Фантомас кагбе разбушевался. Очень смешно"," батя! За шо?", "а шапки украл?", - пишут люди в комментариях.

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Page 2

Army Reserve soldier bought gun minutes before killing 3, himself - Army

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CANTON, Ohio (Tribune News Service) — In the span of about an hour, Army reservist Tres Peterson bought a gun, drove to his ex-fiancee's home, fatally shot her, her mother, a family friend and their family dog, then turned the gun on himself.
Police Chief Bruce Lawver said Thursday's triple homicide and suicide at 529 Smith Ave. NW remains under investigation.
"We're seeing no background of any type of violent behavior between the two of them ... It's very shocking to everybody in the community," Lawver said.

Tres Peterson
Police were called shortly after 1:30 p.m. Thursday to the yellow, two-story home where four people were found dead.
Peterson, 21, of Massillon, had lived there, too, for a couple of months while he was engaged to Cheyenne Calderon, according to police. Her Facebook page said they were engaged Jan. 31. Police said the couple split about a week ago.
Calderon, who was 20, lived there with her 3-year-old son; her mother, Kelly Freshour, 50; Freshour's friend, Timothy Keyser, 70; and Calderon's brother and sister-in-law, who weren't home Thursday at the time of the shootings.
An hour earlier, Peterson had purchased a TP9SA 9mm handgun from a retail store in the Belden Village area that sells firearms, said Detective Bill Adams, lead investigator on the case.
"Tres Peterson, at the time, did nothing wrong," Adams said. "He was a legitimate citizen, and the store conducted the appropriate checks by law, and he passed them. He had no offense tied to an assault or crime of violence."
Adams said the process, which was legal, takes about 45 minutes. Peterson purchased the gun at 12:31 p.m.
At 1:15 p.m., Calderon and a friend of hers saw Peterson walking near the house on Smith. Calderon called her brother and sister-in-law, Lawver said, to warn them. They told Calderon they were almost back home.
They didn't make it in time to save the family.
Shortly after 1:30 p.m., Calderon was in the kitchen with the family's Siberian husky when Peterson walked up to the kitchen door and opened fire, Lawver said.
"The dog ... was right at the door when the door was opened," Lawver said. "He could've just been a target of opportunity that was right there when Peterson came in."
Calderon ran from the kitchen, through the dining room and into a first-floor bedroom, where her mother and Keyser were located, Lawver said.
Peterson chased her, shooting, and killed all three inside the bedroom.
Lawver said Peterson returned to the dining room and killed himself.
During the gunfire, Calderon's friend, Brandon Posey, who was in the living room, grabbed Calderon's son and ran out of the house, the chief said. They escaped unharmed.
Posey called for help, and Calderon's brother and sister-in-law arrived. They were carrying guns and possessed conceal-carry permits, said Capt. David Kurzinsky, who heads the Detective Bureau.
They "went back in to extinguish the situation and to see whether anyone was still alive," Lawver said.
It was too late.
Mayor Thomas Bernabei, speaking at a news conference Friday, categorized the event as "tragic and senseless, and an act, based on what we know at this time, that was totally unpredictable."
"(Calderon's) brother told us that Peterson never demonstrated physical violence or threatening behavior toward her," Lawver said.
Peterson graduated from Washington High School in 2015. His Facebook profile indicates he worked in human resources for the U.S. Army Reserve and as a stocker at Wal-Mart.
Adams said detectives spoke to Peterson's 1st Sergeant at the Army Reserves, where Peterson was an active member with administrative and clerical duties. Peterson was working toward becoming a full-time reservist.
"There were no disciplinary problems. He was a model soldier. He was well-liked, very quiet," Adams said he was told.
Stark County court records show Peterson was charged in December 2015 with telecommunications harassment, but the charge was reduced to disorderly conduct.
Court documents filed in the case say a woman told police Peterson was "constantly harassing" her via telephone and social media for several weeks. She had told Peterson she didn't want him to contact her, and the Massillon Police Department had told him to stop, but he continued. Peterson was fined $100 and ordered to have no contact with the victim. The fine was paid in full in March 2016, and there are no other entries on the docket.
Calderon's grandparents have custody of her child, Lawver said. Police also removed three dogs and two cats from the home.
Autopsies on the victims are expected to be completed Monday.
A gofundme account has been started to cover the costs of the funerals for the three victims and Calderon's son.
On another Facebook profile, this one called "The Tres Peterson Fan Club," a post dated 12:45 p.m. Thursday — about 15 minutes after Peterson purchased the gun — read "Peace out to all my fans love you guys." Another post on the page, from February and from Calderon's profile, read "Can't wait to be Mrs. Tres Peterson" and gave a wedding date of March 25.
©2017 The Repository, Canton, Ohio
Visit The Repository, Canton, Ohio at <a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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Tillerson pressures allies on...

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Tillerson pressures allies on defense-budget targets

Arkansas Online - ‎1 hour ago‎
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson (left) talks Friday with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels. Tillerson insisted other members must increase defense spending, but he still pledged to defend U.S ...

Germany balks at Tillerson's call for more European Nato spending

South China Morning Post - ‎1 hour ago‎
United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson reassured his nervous European counterparts over Washington's commitment to Nato and pressed them again to spend more on defence, triggering a rebuke from Germany. Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said it ...

Moscow denounces Nato 'slander'

News24 - ‎3 hours ago‎
Moscow - Moscow on Friday denounced Nato "slander", accusing the alliance of using "the myth of Russian aggression" as a way to unify its members. To maintain unity, Nato uses "the myth of the Russian threat, the slander of Russian aggression, the ...

Can NATO and Russia avoid a war in Europe?

Russia Beyond the Headlines - ‎6 hours ago‎
The Russia-NATO Council meeting on March 30 failed to convince anyone that things won't get worse, but at least it showed that the West won't shut down the channels of communications. Nevertheless, with NATO forces growing stronger on Russia's ...

Russia 'pressured' to enter confrontation with NATO - ‎11 hours ago‎
Moscow is being pressured to take a confrontational stance in relations with NATO based on the logic of a military standoff, the Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday. "What kind of 'constructive' relationship can be expected between Russian and NATO ...
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felix sater trump - Google Search

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Story image for felix sater trump from WhoWhatWhy / RealNewsProject (blog)

Why FBI Can't Tell All on Trump, Russia

WhoWhatWhy / RealNewsProject (blog)-Mar 27, 2017
Felix Sater fits all of these categories. A convicted felon, Sater worked in Trump Tower, made business deals with Donald Trump through ...
Story image for felix sater trump from Los Angeles Times

Trump business associate led double life as FBI informant — and ...

Los Angeles Times-Mar 2, 2017
Working from a 24th-floor office in Manhattan's Trump Tower, Felix Sater spent years trying to line up lucrative deals in the United States, ...
Story image for felix sater trump from Huffington Post

Trump's Links To Convicted Felon Who Stabbed A Man With A ...

Huffington Post-Mar 23, 2017
NEW YORK ― Felix Sater has stabbed a man in the face with a broken margarita glass, run a $40 million mob-linked stock scam out of a ...
Story image for felix sater trump from Washington Post

Here's what we know so far about Team Trump's ties to Russian ...

Washington Post-10 hours ago
Team Trump Russian ties Donald Trump Paul Manafort Michael Flynn ... Felix Sater later testified that he identified a former pencil factory as a ...
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Company linked to Trump-Russian...

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Company linked to Trump-Russian dossier has its own Kremlin connection, US senator says

Fox News - ‎3 hours ago‎
The company that created a discredited dossier for President Trump's campaign rivals and was later used by the FBI in its probe of possible links between Trump and Russia has its own Kremlin connection, according to a powerful U.S. Senator.

Grassley presses Justice Dept. on Russian ties to firm behind Trump dossier

Politico - ‎5 hours ago‎
Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley wants information on how a Washington opposition research firm was apparently involved in a pro-Russian lobbying campaign at the same time that it was overseeing the unverified dossier about the Trump ...

Trump Dossier Financier Accused Of Improper Work For Kremlin

Daily Caller - ‎6 hours ago‎
The opposition researcher behind the so-called Trump dossier worked last year on behalf of an alleged former Russian spy, and the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee wants to know why he hasn't registered as a foreign agent. In a letter sent to ...

US Senator Seeks Probe Of Firm Linked To Russia Dossier

RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty - ‎3 hours ago‎
WASHINGTON – A leading Republican U.S. senator has called for deeper Justice Department investigation into the Washington lobbying firm connected to the explosive dossier compiled on President Donald Trump during last year's election campaign and ...

President Trump’s Leaky Ship of State

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Near the top of President Trump’s enemies list, along with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Nordstrom, are the leakers who fuel his “running war” with the media. “These leakers, they are disgusting,” he said last week. “These are horrible people.” These “low-life,” “criminal” blabbermouths, he vowed on Twitter, “will be caught!”
That shouldn’t be difficult, not least because some of the loosest lips belong, in Washington-speak, to “people close to the president,” meaning a few doors down from the Oval Office. Mr. Trump’s mercurial management habits and shifting allegiances invite rivalries, backbiting and snitching by competing members of his team, particularly when the White House is under pressure, as it was during last week’s meltdown over the Republicans’ health care bill.
Even now, days after that debacle, “people close to” Mr. Trump (maybe even Mr. Trump himself?) are cited on multiple media outlets, ranging from Breitbart to CNN to The Times, placing the blame for the failure to replace Obamacare on, variously, Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff; Gary Cohn, the president’s chief economic adviser; Paul Ryan, the speaker of the House; House conservatives; House moderates; House Democrats; and Jared Kushner, the senior adviser/son-in-law whose ski trip to Aspen in the heat of the battle reportedly left Mr. Trump “fuming.”
A leaky White House is not the only consequence of Mr. Trump’s chaotic management style, and maybe not even the most important. Mr. Trump’s cabinet officers are having a terrible time getting their departments up and running — and building their own leadership teams — in part because they are having to deal with a small army of 500 Republican advisers, lobbyists and itinerant campaign workers appointed by the White House to oversee the transition from one administration to the other.
These loyalists, organized in “beachhead teams,” have evolved into a kind of shadow government, meddling in operations and carrying reports of disloyalty, real or imagined, back to their overseer in the White House, Rick Dearborn, a former Jeff Sessions aide who runs the transition and plays a big role in shaping policy, such as it is.
ProPublica unearthed the identities, which the White House has tried to keep secret, of many of these loyalists. At Homeland Security, Frank Wuco, an anti-Muslim conspiracy theorist who reportedly played a fictional jihadist named Fuad Wasul on a YouTube video, is a senior adviser. At the Labor Department, Danny Tiso, a former Trump campaign worker in New Hampshire who graduated from high school only two years ago, is a special assistant.
At the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, the new administrator, is saddled with Don Benton, who has been described as Mr. Trump’s “senior adviser” to the agency. This totally mystifies Republicans in Mr. Benton’s home state, Washington, where, according to The Seattle Times, he has had “an almost perfect track record of failure and interpersonal conflict, often resulting in legal or disciplinary action, at every public position he’s held.” Mr. Benton is a former state Republican Party boss whose only experience in running an environmental agency was a stint as director of environmental services in Clark County, Wash., where he had to be pressured into showing up.
As a state senator, a job he held simultaneously with his environmental gig, Mr. Benton once called a female colleague a “trashy, trampy-mouthed little girl,” and followed her around the Senate floor, saying: “You are weird. … Weird, weird, weird. Just so weird!” This emerged in a workplace complaint that Mr. Benton filed, saying he felt “physically threatened” by the colleague he harassed.
Mr. Benton is now driving Mr. Pruitt batty. Two agency officials told The Washington Post that Mr. Pruitt has tried to shut Mr. Benton out of meetings because he has “piped up so frequently during policy discussions,” with remarks so weird, weird, weird they are actually humorous. Of course, given what Mr. Pruitt has been up to at the E.P.A., it’s tempting to hope that Mr. Benton sticks around and continues to gum up the works.
There may be a 100-day housecleaning in the works, according to leaks from several Republicans close to the White House (who hope their rivals will be among the first to go). But this may be wishful thinking. Mr. Trump seems to enjoy the confusion and intrigue that occurs when staffers with hazy roles — or, like Mr. Benton, few qualifications — scrap over turf and vie for his attention.
This is a man, it must be remembered, who seems happiest when jetting from one red-state rally to another, and who seems to greatly prefer campaigning to actually governing.
Continue reading the main story
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8 mysterious Russian deaths since US election - YouTube

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Published on Mar 31, 2017
Former FBI agent Clint Watts says the mysterious deaths of eight prominent Russians could be linked to Russia's interference in the US elections. CNN's Elise Labott reports.
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Page 3

Gilbert Baker, Inventor of Gay Rights Rainbow Flag, Dies at 65

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Gilbert Baker, a San Francisco-based activist and artist best known for creating the rainbow flag representing gay rights, has died at the age of 65, his longtime friend announced on social media on Friday.
"My dearest friend in the world is gone. Clive Baker gave the world the rainbow flag, he gave me forty years of love and friendship," Cleve Jones said on Twitter.
No details were immediately available on the cause of Baker's death or where he died. According to the biography posted on his official website, he had been living in New York City.
Jones also tweeted a photo of Baker with former President Barack Obama, inviting mourners to meet him under a rainbow flag in the Castro district of San Francisco on Friday evening to remember his friend.
Baker, who was born in Kansas in 1951, was stationed in San Francisco in the early 1970s while serving in the U.S. Army, at the start of the gay rights movement.
According to the website biography Baker began making banners for gay rights and anti-war protests, often at the request of Harvey Milk, who would become the first openly gay man elected to public office in California when he won the 1977 race for a seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
Milk rode under the first rainbow flags made by Baker at the San Francisco Gay Freedom Day Parade in June 1978, just months before the politician was murdered by a former city supervisor, the biography says.

Sen. Grassley Demands Information on the FBI and British from the Firm Behind the ’Dodgy Dossier’ Against Trump

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Sen. Grassley Demands Information on the FBI and British from the Firm Behind the ’Dodgy Dossier’ Against Trump

March 28, 2017 (EIRNS)—On March 27, Sen. Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, issued a press release on his March 24 letter to the political opposition research firm, Fusion GPS, demanding full details about its history in the production of an unsubstantiated dossier against then-candidate Donald Trump, alleging, among other things, misdeeds in Russia.
Fusion GPS, based in the Washington, D.C. area, was first hired by anti-Trump Republicans to dish dirt on Trump; then, after Trump was nominated as Republican candidate, the Hillary Clinton Democrats took over and paid Fusion GPS; then, finally, the FBI came into the picture last Fall. In the course of this, Fusion GPS subcontracted to the London-Based Orbis Business Intelligence, a spook outfit set up in 2009 by so-called ex MI-6 agents, Christopher Steele and Christopher Burrows.
Grassley sets out a list of 13 detailed questions to be answered by Fusion GPS, attention Glenn R. Thompson. Grassley points out in the letter that,
"Last month, the Washington Post reported that a few weeks before the election, the FBI had reached an agreement with Mr. Steele to pay him to continue his work [on anti-Trump information], noting that "[t]he revelation that the FBI agreed to pay Steele at the same time he was being paid by Clinton supporters to dig into Trump’s background could further strain relations between the law enforcement agency and the White House.
"When political opposition research becomes the basis for law enforcement or intelligence efforts, it raises substantial questions about the independence of law enforcement and intelligence from politics."

Anti-Trump Cabal Wants Third World War, Prominent German Warns

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Anti-Trump Cabal Wants Third World War, Prominent German Warns

March 29, 2017 (EIRNS)—Wolfgang Bittner, prominent author of books and articles in Germany, has harsh commentaries on NATO and on the anti-Trump campaign in an interview with Deutsche Wirtschaftsnachrichten. He warns that the ongoing NATO build-up in Europe’s East is not to be taken lightly, that there is always the danger of direct confrontation with Russia, and confirms that Mikhail Gorbachov has with good reason warned that a nuclear Damocles’ sword hangs over the globe.
The most dangerous acute threat originates in the United States, Bittner warns:
"One must fear that the hardliners and the lobbyists of the military industry in the U.S. Congress are actually going for war. After the change of government in Washington D.C., a change of the relationship to Russia has been hinted. Whether the new President Donald Trump can realize his ideas, is, however, a very big question. Already now, a few weeks into his term in office, it is evident that his enemies whom he charged with mismanagement and corruption in his inaugural address, are preventing the promised thaw and continue to pour fuel on the fire again and again.
"Apparently, there is a kind of separate government in the United States, consisting of high finance in connection with the military-industrial complex, the intelligence agencies, the Federal Reserve and other institutions of the power apparatus. They do not want peace in the world nor a peaceful and prosperous Europe either."
Geopoliticians like John McCain, former NATO Commander Gen. Philip Breedlove, Hillary Clinton, and George Friedman have always had this strategy, Bittner says, pointing to a speech that Friedman once gave in which he openly stated that the United States had gone into two world wars to prevent an alliance between Germany’s technology and Russia’s vast raw materials.
Bittner attacks the mainstream media for their propaganda drive against Russia, saying that many journalists are employed by, or are at least close to, NATO propaganda networks such as the Atlantic Bridge, Goldman Sachs Foundation, American Interest, German Foreign Policy Association, Atlantic Initiative, and Munich Security Conference.
Read the whole story

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Former NSA director says Russia was involved in 2016 election

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Former National Security Director Gen. Keith Alexander told members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in a Thursday afternoon hearing on Russian meddling in the 2016 election cycle that he believes the country indeed interfered.
That’s one area where experts in the hearing on Russian interference — and seemingly, members on both sides of the aisle — were in agreement. Virginia Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the intelligence committee’s vice chairman, asked the witnesses if they had any doubt that Russians interfered in the 2016 election cycle. 
“I believe they were involved,” Gen. Alexander said. 
Fellow witnesses Kevin Mandia, chief executive officer of cybersecurity company FireEye, and Thomas Rid, professor at the Department of War Studies at King’s College in London, answered along similar lines. Mandia said it “absolutely stretches credulity to think they were not involved.” Rid said Russia seized an opportunity in 2016 when the U.S. was extremely polarized, politically speaking. 
“The more polarized a society, the more vulnerable it is,” Rid said.
Democrats for months have called for a Capitol Hill probe into any Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, but the Republican-controlled intelligence committees are just now beginning to hold public hearings. 
Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio revealed in the hearing that would-be hackers with IP addresses in Russia attempted to sabotage his former presidential campaign staff as recently as Wednesday, giving weight to cybersecurity experts’ remarks in a hearing earlier Thursday on the same topic that Russia isn’t done intervening in U.S. politics. 
The afternoon hearing came on the heels of a New York Times report that a pair of White House officials helped provide Rep. Devin Nunes, a California Republican and chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, with intelligence reports showing President Donald Trump and his associates were included in foreign surveillance sweeps by American spy agencies. Some critics fear Nunes is too close to Mr. Trump to handle investigations into any Russian interference into the presidential election. 
During an earlier hearing on the same subject Thursday, cybersecurity experts told the Senate panel that Russia had every ability to create fake social media accounts by mimicking profiles of voters in key election states and precincts in the 2016 election, and use a mix of bots and real people to push propaganda from state-controlled media outlets like Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik.
Mandia said it’s tough to differentiate between bots and humans as bots become smarter, and the U.S. can’t fight Russia with cyber tactics alone. 
“It just feels like we’re in a glass house throwing rocks at a mud hut,” he said. 
FBI Director James Comey revealed last week the FBI is investigating any possible ties between President Donald Trump and Russia. 
Here’s our live-blog from earlier, below. 

4:03 p.m. The hearing is adjourned. 
4:01 p.m. Guccifer 2.0 is definitely not just one human being, Rid said, because of the differences in writing, but he said he is “confident” Guccifer 2.0 is an agent of the Russian government. 
3:57 p.m. Rid said Congress may be more susceptible to hacking than others, as ethics rules sometimes require members to have multiple devices, and thus, they have more to secure. 
3:41 p.m. Mandia said merely fighting Russia with cyber-on-cyber warfare won’t work. 
“It just feels like we’re in a glass house throwing rocks at a mud hud,” he said. 
3:34 p.m. West Virginia Democrat Sen. Joe Manchin asked about the extent of Russia’s ability to meddle the 2016 election. 
“Could they have drastically changed the outcome of the election?” Manchin said.
“I have no idea,” Mandia responded. 
3:29 p.m.: Oklahoma Republican Sen. James Lankford asked witnesses if mysterious hacker Guccifer 2.0 is definitely linked to Russia. 
“I think it’s remarkably consistent,” Mandia said. 
3:10 p.m. New Mexico Democratic Sen. Martin Heinrich said members of his family and staff have also been victims of phishing attempts to sabotage their personal information. 
3:07 p.m. Sen. John Cornyn, the Senate majority whip from Texas, asked Gen. Alexander how important the somewhat-controversial Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is, given that it’s coming up for reauthorization in Congress. The law is controversial because it allows for physical and electronic surveillance measures. 
“I think that’s the most important program that’s out there, especially in counterterrorism,” Gen. Alexander said. 
2:40 p.m. Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio said he will not address claims that he was the target of a Russian cyberattack, but said members of his former campaign staff were targeted — both during the campaign, and as recently as Wednesday. Wednesday’s attempt, which came from an IP in Russia, failed, he said. 
2:31 p.m. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, the committee’s vice chairman, asked if any of the witnesses had any doubt that Russians interfered in the 2016 election cycle. 
“You can’t always connect the dots,” Mandia said, but added, “It absolutely stretches credulity to think they were not involved.”
“I believe they were involved,” Gen. Alexander said. 
“I believe they were involved as well,” Rid added. 
Warner next asked if it was possible for the Russians to target voters at the precinct level with a network of bots. 
Possible to target precinct levels with a botnet network for specific precincts?
Alexander: “I think it’s technically possible,” Gen. Alexander said, adding he couldn’t confirm how much that happened.
2:24 p.m. Russia seized an opportunity in 2016 when the U.S. was very polarized politically, said Thomas Rid, a professor at the Department of War Studies at King’s College in London.
“The more polarized a society, the more vulnerable it is,” Thomas Rid said. 
Russian intelligence operations by 2015 began combining the tools of hacking and leaking, targeting defense and diplomatic entities, Rid said. 
Russia likes to use “unwitting” agents, Rid said, adding that Wikileaks, Twitter and “over-eager” journalists contributed to Russia’s efforts in 2016. 
2:18 p.m. Retired Gen. Keith Alexander, former director of the National Security Agency, said the U.S. needs to determine Russia’s motives for interfering in elections or politics. 
“What’s Russia trying to do, and why are they trying to do it?” he said. 
Gen. Alexander said the U.S. can’t shy away from or ignore Russia. 
“I believe we have to engage and confront,” he said. 
2:14 p.m. Witness and cybersecurity expert Kevin Mandia said Russians began changing their rules of engagement for cyber warfare in August or September 2014. Also in 2014, a group they attributed to the Russian government began compromising organizations and leaking data, something experts hadn’t seen before, he said. 
“It is our view that the United States is going to continue to see these things happen,” Mandia said. 
Mandia said the U.S. needs to know who is behind the hacking, which requires international cooperation. Only then can the U.S. determine a proportional response, he said. 
2:06 p.m. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr opens the hearing. 
Read the whole story

· · · · · ·

FBI probing whether Trump aides helped Russian intel in early 2016

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CBS News has learned that U.S. investigators are looking into whether Trump campaign representatives had a role in helping Russian intelligence as it carried out cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and other political targets in March 2016.
This new information suggests that the FBI is going back further than originally reported to determine the extent of possible coordination. Sources say investigators are probing whether an individual or individuals connected to the campaign intentionally or unwittingly helped the Russians breach Democratic Party targets.
In March 2016, both Mr. Trump and Hillary Clinton had emerged as their parties’ most likely nominees.
According to a declassified intelligence assessment, it was in March when Russian hackers “began cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election.” In May, U.S. officials say the Russians had stolen “large volumes of data from the DNC.”
CBS News
Starting in June, websites like Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks began posting the hacked documents.
In August, Trump confidant Roger Stone tweeted about Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
“Trust me, it will soon the Podesta’s time in the barrel,” Stone tweeted. 
Then on Oct 7, WikiLeaks began publishing Podesta’s personal emails. It was the same day the Department of Homeland Security and director of national intelligence publicly accused Russia of carrying out the cyberattacks.
Now, one year after the Russian operation began, sources say the FBI’s investigation is nowhere near over. It involves dozens of agents in Washington, New York and London. The NSA and CIA are also gathering intelligence from inside Russia.
CBS News
Despite his denials, investigators believe the operation was authorized by Russian President Vladimir Putin himself and it involved both cyberattacks and information warfare.
According to testimony on Friday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, 15,000 operatives worldwide participated in spreading false news stories and conspiracy theories online. Those activities are also part of the FBI’s investigation - including who paid for them.
Law enforcement sources say one theory is that Trump associates could have been motivated by money. But sources tell us the FBI wants to get the investigation absolutely right so that the public will trust the result, whatever that turns out to be.
© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
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Trump's White House struggles to get out from under Russia controversy - Washington Post

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Washington Post

Trump's White House struggles to get out from under Russia controversy
Washington Post
President Trump entered his 11th week in office Friday in crisis mode, his governing agenda at risk of being subsumed by escalating questions about the White House's conduct in the Russia probe — which the president called a “witch hunt.” Trump and ...
For April Ryan, Clashes With the White House Bring a New Kind of ProminenceNew York Times
Adam Schiff views documents White House says back Trump surveillance claimLos Angeles Times
The Russia/Flynn/Freedom Caucus vortex of questions and tension at the White HouseCNN
Politico -Fox News -The Hill
all 941 news articles »
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World News Review: Tillerson Talks Tough With NATO Allies Over Military Spending

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The Trump administration kept its European allies on edge by dispatching Secretary of State Rex Tillerson with new and tougher demands that NATO members boost military spending, clashing with Germany in particular.

 World News Review

Russia News Review: RT - Daily news: ‘Harder for third parties to penetrate’: Pornhub, YouPorn up security to protect user privacy 

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PreviewAdult website Pornhub has announced that it is now fully encrypted by default, following the US Republican representatives’ decision to allow Internet Service Providers to sell online users’ private data.
Read Full Article at

 RT - Daily news

 Russia News Review

Russia News Review: Sputnik International - Breaking News & Analysis - Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics: Germany Launches Spying Probe Into Turkish Religious Official

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German prosecutors are looking into Halife Keskin, a top official at Turkey’s state-run religious affairs agency Diyanet, on suspicion his agency was spying on ethnic Turks in Germany, a local newspaper reported Friday.

 Sputnik International - Breaking News & Analysis - Radio, Photos, Videos, Infographics

 Russia News Review

World News Review: Schiff: Info I saw at White House is what Nunes saw

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Former national security adviser Michael Flynn's offer to testify in return for immunity from prosecution hovered over the investigations Friday into Russia's communications with top aides to President Donald Trump.

 World News Review

CNN's YouTube Videos: Trump leaves without signing executive orders 

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From: CNN
Duration: 01:01

President Trump appears to leave an executive order signing ceremony without having actually signed the orders.

 CNN's YouTube Videos

Opinions Review In Brief: Opinions: This Watergate lawmaker set the standard for slavish loyalty. Then came Nunes.

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The House Intelligence Committee chairman demonstrates he’s in over his head.


 Opinions Review In Brief
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· · ·
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Global Opinions: Every day a new Russian revelation. That’s not as bizarre as it sounds. 

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Russian meddling is ubiquitous — and hitting France hardest.

 Global Opinions
Read the whole story

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Russian Intelligence services and organized crime - Google News: Report: Price Bought Drug Companies Stocks on Same Day He Tried to Help Them - Daily Beast

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Daily Beast

Report: Price Bought Drug Companies Stocks on Same Day He Tried to Help Them
Daily Beast
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price reportedly bought $90,000 worth of pharmaceutical stocks on the same day that he tried to defeat a regulation that would've driven drug companies' profits down. These are not the first allegations of ...

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 Russian Intelligence services and organized crime - Google News

organized crime and Russian intelligence - Google News: Report: Price Bought Drug Companies Stocks on Same Day He Tried to Help Them - Daily Beast

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Daily Beast

Report: Price Bought Drug Companies Stocks on Same Day He Tried to Help Them
Daily Beast
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price reportedly bought $90,000 worth of pharmaceutical stocks on the same day that he tried to defeat a regulation that would've driven drug companies' profits down. These are not the first allegations of ...

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 organized crime and Russian intelligence - Google News

Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks Review: trump and russia - Google News: The most powerful members of the Trump administration disagree with him about Russia - Vox

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mikenova shared this story from  1. Recent Events Review from mikenova (87 sites).


The most powerful members of the Trump administration disagree with him about Russia
President Trump's Russia problems are getting worse here at home, with the FBI conducting a formal criminal probe into his campaign's ties to Moscow and his disgraced former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, seeking an immunity deal in exchange ...

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 trump and russia - Google News

 Mike Nova's Shared NewsLinks Review

Teacher, missing student were spotted soon after vanishing - New York Post

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Teacher, missing student were spotted soon after vanishing
New York Post
Tad Cummins, 50, and Elizabeth Thomas, 15, were captured on camera buying food at the store in Oklahoma City on the afternoon of March 15, CNN reported. The pair have been missing since March 13, several weeks after a student reported she saw him ...

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Russia and US Presidential Elections of 2016 - Google News: Trump calls Russia probe 'witch hunt' as Flynn seeks immunity - Press TV

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Press TV

Trump calls Russia probe 'witch hunt' as Flynn seeks immunity
Press TV
The FBI, as well as the Senate and House intelligence committees, are investigating Russia'salleged meddling in the 2016 US presidential election and any ties between Trump's associates and Moscow. Earlier, Flynn agreed to testify as part of ...
Michael Flynn offers to testify in Trump-Russia
White House tells Russia probers: Come see intel yourselvesNews Sentinel
Fired US national security adviser Michael Flynn wants immunity in Russia
CNN -The Independent -Wall Street Journal -Twitter
all 642 news articles »

 Russia and US Presidential Elections of 2016 - Google News
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Page 6

NYT > Opinion: Opinion: Trump Is President. Now Encrypt Your Email. 

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The president has praised hackers and called for Edward Snowden’s execution. You don’t have to be paranoid to get serious about information security.

 NYT > Opinion

NYT > Contributing Writers: Trump Is President. Now Encrypt Your Email. 

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The president has praised hackers and called for Edward Snowden’s execution. You don’t have to be paranoid to get serious about information security....

 NYT > Contributing Writers

Trump and Russia - Google News: The attempted cover-up of Donald Trump's relationship with Russia is slowly falling apart - Raw Story

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Raw Story

The attempted cover-up of Donald Trump's relationship with Russia is slowly falling apart
Raw Story
As the Trump Russia story continues to stutter forward, comparisons to Watergate are everywhere — and justifiably so. The revelations and denials, the slow unraveling of deception, the critical role of a free and independent press challenging the ...

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 Trump and Russia - Google News

trump and russia - Google News: The attempted cover-up of Donald Trump's relationship with Russia is slowly falling apart - Raw Story

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Raw Story

The attempted cover-up of Donald Trump's relationship with Russia is slowly falling apart
Raw Story
As the Trump Russia story continues to stutter forward, comparisons to Watergate are everywhere — and justifiably so. The revelations and denials, the slow unraveling of deception, the critical role of a free and independent press challenging the ...

and more »

 trump and russia - Google News

The attempted cover-up of Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia is slowly falling apart

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It’s déjà vu all over again.
As the Trump Russia story continues to stutter forward, comparisons to Watergate are everywhere — and justifiably so. The revelations and denials, the slow unraveling of deception, the critical role of a free and independent press challenging the cover-up and digging for the truth are all very familiar, especially to those of us who actually were in Washington back during those peculiar days and nights of Richard Nixon.
But another inside-the-Beltway, historic parallel struck me last week when reports emerged of House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-CA) suddenly jumping from his Uber car into another and covertly racing to the White House grounds, where he met with who-knows-who about who-knows-what. (The New York Times reported on Thursday that White House officials Ezra Cohen-Watnick and Michael Ellis gave Nunes access to “intelligence reports that showed President Trump and his associates were incidentally swept up in foreign surveillance by American spy agencies.” Early Thursday evening, The Washington Post added to the list John Eisenberg, legal adviser to the National Security Council.)
When it comes to paralleling Nunes and his car switcheroo, there hasn’t been such noteworthy bolting from a vehicle in the District of Columbia since a South American stripper named Fanne Foxx dashed from the limousine of House Ways and Means Chairman Wilbur Mills and jumped into the Tidal Basin. That was in 1974, just a couple of months after Nixon’s resignation. Foxe and Rep. Mills were having an affair and soon after his companion’s 2 a.m. dip, Mills, who was considered by many to be the most powerful man on Capitol Hill, had to give up his chairmanship. Foxe had her 15 minutes of fame, during which her exotic dancer sobriquet was changed from “The Argentine Firecracker” to “The Tidal Basin Bombshell.”
No word as to what Rep. Nunes’ stripper name will be, but I’m open to suggestions. Certainly Devin “D for Dumb” Nunes is a real possibility. Which brings to mind another congressional highlight of 1974, and I’m not talking about the superb work of the House Judiciary Committee passing articles of impeachment against Nixon. It also was the year that a start-up magazine, New Times, made a splash with its cover story naming, “The 10 Dumbest Members of Congress.” It was written by Nina Totenberg, now NPR’s star legal affairs correspondent.
No. 1 on her list was Sen. William Scott, Republican from Virginia, a one termer whose stupid-is-as-stupid-does behavior reportedly included racist and anti-Semitic remarks.
During a defense briefing that included information about missile silos in Russia, Scott is alleged to have said, “Wait a minute! I’m not interested in agriculture. I want the military stuff.” Nor did he seem to know the difference between the Suez Canal and the Persian Gulf, so thank God he never was anywhere near the nuclear codes.
To make matters worse, when the article appeared, Scott called a press conference in his office to angrily denounce the story, giving it even wider coverage and proving once and for all that he really was exactly who Totenberg and the magazine said he was.
Which brings us back to Devin Nunes. Certainly, in this current Congress he already has a lot of competition for dumbest. The Texas House Republicans alone include an impressive array of top-tier candidates. (And I say that as a Yankee who nonetheless received half his chromosomes from a smart and capable Texan.)
Or maybe Nunes is dumb like a fox. Between his feckless dashing about Washington like a barely housebroken Scooby-Doo and his postponement of more open hearings that might further reveal the administration’s culpability, he has done his best to obfuscate and obstruct. He’s certainly a tool, his fumbling mistakes and misrepresentations thoroughly mucking up his committee’s investigation, probably beyond redemption. Which doubtless is just what his White House pals wanted.
Hard to believe he wants to go out this way (and he should resign, recuse himself or be replaced by House Speaker Ryan). There are even those who say that when the committee room doors are closed, in private he has been a helpful colleague — until now.
Apparently, Nunes been played and played big-time, a cog in the Steve Bannon machine designed to subvert the current investigations. That classified — and said to be anonymous! — information about which Nunes insisted he had to brief President Trump but at the same time hide from the eyes of his committee turns out to have been leaked to him by the supposedly leak-averse White House itself. In other words, he was briefing the White House on documents he got from the White House. Huh?
And what was in those documents? According to The Times:
“The intelligence reports consisted primarily of ambassadors and other foreign officials talking about how they were trying to develop contacts within Mr. Trump’s family and inner circle before his inauguration, officials said…
“Mr. Nunes has acknowledged that the incidental intelligence gathering on Trump associates last year was not necessarily unlawful, and that it was not specifically directed at Mr. Trump or people close to him. American intelligence agencies typically monitor foreign officials of allied and hostile countries, and they routinely sweep up communications linked to Americans who may be taking part in the conversation or are being spoken about.”
Shocker — not. And far removed from the myth of Barack Obama “wiretapping” Trump Tower, as the current president claimed.
Now, how about the men who allegedly handed off the info to Rep. Nunes? There’s Michael Ellis, who’s in the White House Counsel’s office. He used to work for Nunes at the intelligence committee and now reports to the aforementioned National Security Council attorney John Eisenberg.
And you may remember Ezra Cohen-Watnick — he’s the guy who national security adviser H.R. McMaster recently wanted to bounce from his position as the National Security Council’s senior director for intelligence. Cohen-Watnick, 30, went running to his protectors, Steve Bannon and presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner. They then went to Trump, who overruled McMaster and saved the kid’s job. After Trump sent his scurrilous tweets about wiretapping, Cohen-Watnick apparently wanted to pay his debt to the boss and seems to have set about trying to find something, anything, that might be interpreted as supporting his president’s fantasy.
Cohen-Watnick is a protégé of McMaster’s short-lived predecessor as national security adviser, the notorious Michael Flynn, who lost his job for, among other sins, purportedly lying to Vice President Mike Pence and others about his conversations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. At least that was the cover story. He also may have been involved in a private, half-baked scheme to kidnap Turkish opposition leader Fethullah Gulen from exile in Pennsylvania and turn him over to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and certain death, thus avoiding formal extradition.
Still with me? Earlier reports had indicated that Flynn might be cutting a deal with the FBI, copping a plea in exchange for telling everything he knows about Donald Trump’s team and Russia, including possible collusion in that country’s interference with the 2016 election. Now The Wall Street Journal reports that according to officials, Flynn has offered to be interviewed by the agency and the congressional intelligence committees in exchange for immunity, “but has so far found no takers.” His lawyer wrote, “Gen. Flynn certainly has a story to tell, and he very much wants to tell it, should the circumstances permit.” I’ll bet, but it may take a while; no one seems anxious to grant Flynn’s request anytime soon. And it’s pretty funny coming from a fellow who last September told Meet the Press, “When you are given immunity, that means you probably committed a crime.”
Which brings us back to Watergate. When Woodward and Bernstein started writing their articles in June 1972, there was frustration, because while they were on the front page of The Washington Post almost every day, their reporting was buried in other newspapers around the country and the story got little traction — much as the Russia story has been ignored or denied by Trump’s base. Richard Nixon won re-election in a landslide.
In my memory, Watergate finally began to really crack open months later when the burglars appeared for sentencing in March 1973. One of them, James McCord, had written a letter to Judge John Sirica and then met with him in chambers, begging for a deal and singing like the Vienna Boys Choir about who at the Nixon White House had asked the burglars to take the rap and remain silent in exchange for a payoff.
So maybe now a similar agreement eventually will be reached with Flynn. Add to that the seeming seriousness of Republican Richard Burr, chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, who as of this week — and unlike the hapless Nunes — seems committed to getting honest answers, much as his fellow North Carolinian, Democrat Sam Ervin, sought when he chaired the Senate Watergate Committee. (That said, the apparent commitment of Burr — and Democratic vice chair Mark Warner of Virginia — does not yet negate the real need for an independent, bipartisan inquiry and a special prosecutor.)
Senators of both parties serving on the intelligence committee were stunned Thursday when Clinton Watts, a senior fellow at the George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, told them in a public hearing that not only had Russia hacked Hillary Clinton but also other GOP presidential candidates who ran against Trump in the primaries, including Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Lindsey Graham. What’s more, Watts said, “the commander in chief has used Russian active measures at times against his opponents.”
In part, he noted, that’s why Russia was so successful — Trump played such a willing (if possibly unwitting) role in their scheme: “… Part of the reason these active measures work, and it does today in terms of Trump Tower being wiretapped, is because they [Trump’s associates] parrot the same lines.”
Sure, there’s a chance this will all lead to naught. But we have to find out. Every piece of this puzzle inexorably leads us to the big looming questions one longs to ask Trump and his cohort under oath: If there’s really nothing going on, why are you working so hard to keep the truth from coming out? What exactly are you hiding?
Or is this a knee-jerk authoritarian response to anyone who dares challenge the leader, a dictatorial reaction that will only worsen with time and the consolidation of power? That may be the most frightening question of all.
This article was originally published at
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· · · · · · · · · · ·

donald trump russia - Google News: The attempted cover-up of Donald Trump's relationship with Russia is slowly falling apart - Raw Story

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Raw Story

The attempted cover-up of Donald Trump's relationship with Russia is slowly falling apart
Raw Story
As the Trump Russia story continues to stutter forward, comparisons to Watergate are everywhere — and justifiably so. The revelations and denials, the slow unraveling of deception, the critical role of a free and independent press challenging the ...

and more »

 donald trump russia - Google News
Next Page of Stories
Page 7

Stars and Stripes: Navy promotes SEAL commander in defiance of Congress

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In defiance of Congress, the Navy has granted a retroactive promotion, back pay and a bigger pension to an admiral whom lawmakers forced to retire last year after multiple investigations found he had retaliated against whistleblowers, records show.

 Stars and Stripes

World News Review: Trump backs Flynn’s call for immunity in Russia probes

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President calls investigations into election interference a ‘witch hunt’

 World News Review

trump anxiety - Google News: Trump's approach to intel agencies shows anxiety, distrust - ABC News

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Trump's approach to intel agencies shows anxiety, distrust
ABC News
Trump's approach to dealing with the nation's spy agencies appears to be based, at least in part, on the White House's anxiety over the Russia investigations, which threaten to seriously weaken his presidency. It also reflects a deep distrust of the ...

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 trump anxiety - Google News

US elections and russia - Google News: Election meddling: When Russia returns, will the US be ready? - Christian Science Monitor

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Christian Science Monitor

Election meddling: When Russia returns, will the US be ready?
Christian Science Monitor
Because Russia is almost certain to repeat its efforts to undermine American voters' faith in theirelectoral system, according to US officials. Why shouldn't it? The Vladimir Putin regime appears happy with the way covert and overt techniques have ...
Russia's meddling in other nations' elections is nothing new. Just ask the EuropeansLos Angeles Times
Vladimir Putin Responds to Allegations of Involvement in US Election: 'Watch My Lips...'Independent Journal Review
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World – TIME: Israel Will Limit West Bank Settlement Construction in a Nod to President Trump 

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(JERUSALEM) — Israel will limit new settlement construction in the West Bank “when possible” to within areas already developed or at least to contiguous areas, President Benjamin Netanyahu’s government announced as a gesture to President Donald Trump as it approved the first new settlement in the territory in two decades.
With the new policy, the government said it would attempt to exercise some restraint in expanding the physical footprint of settlements, though it did not specify any slowdown in construction. Israeli media on Friday reported Netanyahu announced the guidelines at a meeting the night before where his cabinet also approved the new settlement.
Netanyahu had promised to build the new settlement to replace Amona, a settlement outpost built on private Palestinian land that was dismantled in February following an Israeli Supreme Court ruling. Pro-settler hard-liners who dominate his coalition and oppose Palestinian statehood on security or religious grounds had pressed him to keep that promise.
But Netanyahu also faces pressure from Trump to rein in settlement construction to help revive the stalled peace process with the Palestinians.
Netanyahu told ministers to take Trump’s position “into consideration,” calling for restraint to be shown “to allow progress in the peace process.”
Under the guidelines, new construction would be built “within existing developed areas, when possible.” If that is not possible then it would be allowed adjacent to already built-up areas. If that also is not possible “because of legal, security or topological constraints,” building would be permitted as close as possible to existing construction.
White House envoy Jason Greenblatt has already made two visits to the region, meeting with Israelis and Palestinians and attending an Arab summit in Jordan this week. Greenblatt has been working with the Israelis on a series of understandings over settlement construction in hopes of restarting peace talks that collapsed over two years ago — in part over the thorny issue of settlements.
A White House official sought to play down the announcement Thursday of the new settlement, saying Netanyahu made his promise to the Amona settlers before Trump laid out his vision. But the official, who agreed to discuss the matter on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly about it, signaled that the White House would take a tougher line down the road.
Thursday’s announcement said the new settlement would be built near the settlement of Shilo, close to the former site of Amona. It also said the government had approved tenders to build 2,000 new apartments from previously approved settlement projects.
The Palestinians claim the West Bank and east Jerusalem, areas captured by Israel in 1967, as parts of a future state. In December, weeks before Trump was inaugurated, President Barack Obama allowed the U.N. Security Council to pass a resolution that declared settlements in both areas illegal and an obstacle to reaching a two state solution to the conflict. Trump condemned the decision at the time.
Israel says settlements along with other core issues like security should be resolved in peace talks.
The new settlement approval was sharply criticized by Palestinians. Yusuf Mahmoud, spokesman for the Palestinian government in the West Bank, said “This is a new escalating Israeli step and it shows that the Israeli government is persistent on hindering any efforts to restore the peace process.”
Another senior Palestinian official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he is not allowed to brief media on the issue, said Palestinian policy now is to maintain relations and avoid confrontation over the issue with the Trump administration ahead of a visit to the White House by President Mahmoud Abbas in April.
Israel’s anti-settlement watchdog group Peace Now also condemned the decision to replace Amona. “The government announced that they will establish a new settlement for the first time deep in the West Bank in an area that is isolated and that could never be part of the state of Israel under the two state solution,” Lior Amihai, of Peace Now said. “The government is doing so in order to appease a radical minority of settlers who want to continue the occupation over the Palestinians and to prevent a possibility of peace and settlement in the region. This is unfortunate that the government is binding to the settlers will,” he said.
Over 420,000 Israelis now live in the West Bank, settlers say. But Israel has not built a full-fledged new settlement since the 1990s. Instead, construction during that period has expanded existing settlements or taken place in unauthorized outposts like Amona. The territory has deep religious significance for many devout Jews, who see it as their biblical heartland and heritage.
Oded Revivi, chief foreign envoy of the Yesha Council, an umbrella group representing Israel’s more than 120 West Bank settlements, welcomed the new settlement. “The true test will be the implementation of these plans and their manifestation as actual bricks and mortar on the ground. We will be monitoring the government very closely to see that these plans come to fruition, enabling a new era of building throughout our ancestral homeland,” he said. The group did not address the new limitations on construction.
The United Nations issued a statement saying Secretary-General Antonio Guterres expressed “disappointment and alarm” over the new settlement, stressing that “there is no Plan B for Israelis and Palestinians to live together in peace and security,” and condemning “all unilateral actions that, like the present one, threaten peace and undermine the two-state solution.”
Writing in Haaretz, commentator Barak Ravid pointed out that “at the end of the security cabinet meeting Thursday night, it turned out that all the celebrations, hopes and expectations of the right that Trump would be the Messiah heralding the vision of the ‘Greater Land of Israel’ had shattered against reality.” He said “it turns out that the actions of Trump’s administration on the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and especially on the matter of construction in the settlements, were a real strategic surprise for the right.”

 World – TIME
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