Tag Archives: russia

Everyone except for Trump seems to concur: Russia is a threat to democracy

Thursday, Aug. 23, 2018|2 a.m.

Considering exactly what his employer has said about Russian interference in U.S. elections, it was amazing to hear John Bolton’s take on the topic this past weekend.During a look on ABC’s” This Week, “the national security consultant stated Russia was undoubtedly meddling, as were other nations.
“Well, I can say definitively that it’s a sufficient national security issue about Chinese meddling, Iranian meddling and North Korean meddling that we’re taking steps to attempt and prevent it,” Bolton stated. “So all four of these countries, truly.”
That bears repeating: Bolton stated “all 4” nations were involved, Russia included.Which when again
asks the question, why will not Trump get on board with his own administration over the Russian hazard? Trump’s “would/wouldn’t “mistake aside, he’s repeatedly undermined his administration through comments and actions on Russia. A case in point came early this month when 4 chiefs of intelligence and security companies made a joint look to announce that Russian attempts to interfere in the 2018 elections were real and continuous. Those present were Bolton, FBI Director Chris Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and National Security Firm Director Paul Nakasone. But who wasn’t there? Trump, whose no-show deprived the intelligence authorities of the
presidential endorsement that his appearance would have paid for them.That’s mystifying, offered the plain tone of the remarks that day.”Our focus here today is simply to inform the American individuals we acknowledge the hazard,”Coats stated.”It is real.
It is continuing. And we’re doing whatever we can to have a genuine election that the American people can have rely on. “In addition to that, it exceeds the elections. It goes to Russia’s intent to weaken our democratic worths, drive a wedge in between our allies, and act of other dubious things. “This was Coats determining the Russians as the opponent of the American individuals. Duration. With his remarks Sunday, Bolton said the very same thing.Yet Trump continues to downplay and at times even counter that message. Whether he’s saying “No,”in reaction to a concern about whether the hazard still
exists(later declaring he was showing he wouldn’t take further concerns)or stating the United States was instrumental(as he specified in Helsinki), Trump has actually repeatedly chosen not to call out Russia. This is a president who promotes his” hit back two times as hard”state of mind, yet he offers nothing however spoken love pats to Russian President Vladimir Putin.Does Russia have blackmail product on Trump? Is it Trump revealing his weakness for strongman-type leaders, as he’s made with other dictators? Is it a symptom of Trump’s egotistical rejection to admit that he lost the popular vote, by aiming to play down the legitimacy of unique counsel Robert Mueller’s examination? Nobody however Trump seems to understand, but the disconnect between Trump and his team on the Russian hazard grows more perplexing whenever Bolton or another senior administrator says what Trump will not acknowledge– that Russia is an enemy force.No concern, the intelligence leaders are dead, solid proper on this one. The Department of Homeland Security stated moles handled to hack into a handful of state voting systems during 2016, and some remain highly susceptible, especially
those without paper-ballot backups. To its credit, Nevada embraced the redundant systems after 2016. Meanwhile, a Senate Intelligence Committee report stated Russia had been constructing operations to disrupt U.S. elections considering that a minimum of 2014 and had devoted cyberattacks on elections elsewhere. Plainly, this is a threat to Americans. The president needs to be leading the voices condemning Russia.Instead, Trump demures and does things like direct his staff to welcome Putin to the White House, despite the fact that Putin is assaulting our democracy. An excerpt from former FBI Director James Comey’s
memoir, “A Greater Loyalty, “uses cooling context about Trump’s behavior. Comey said when he and other members
of the intelligence neighborhood informed the Trump team about the attack during a January 2017 meeting at Trump Tower, there were”no concerns about what the future
Russian risk might be.” Rather, Comey stated, the team right away held a method session”about how they could spin exactly what we ‘d simply told them.” Ever since, top members of the Trump administration have dealt with the threat with the seriousness it deserves.But put simply, we have an afraid president who will not challenge America’s chief adversary. Lawmakers need to be taking strong action to avoid Russian aggressiveness and discover why Trump grovels prior to Putin.

Roger Stone associate held in contempt in Russia probe

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J. Scott Applewhite/ AP Paul Kamenar, right, lawyer for Andrew Miller, joined by Peter Flaherty, center, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, speaks with reporters after a federal judge discovered Miller in contempt for refusing to affirm prior to the grand jury hearing proof in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 governmental election, at the District Court in Washington, Friday, Aug. 10, 2018.

Friday, Aug. 10, 2018|1:10 p.m.

WASHINGTON– An associate of former Trump project consultant Roger Stone was held in contempt of court Friday in a fresh attempt to challenge Robert Mueller’s visit as the special counsel examining Trump campaign contacts with Russia during the 2016 presidential project.

The relocation also spotlighted a growing focus by Mueller on Stone. Another of Stone’s associates, a New Yorker known as the “Manhattan Madam” because she as soon as operated a high end escort service, was expected to make her very first look prior to a grand jury in the event.

Paul Kamenar, the attorney for Stone associate Andrew Miller, whose refusal to appear prior to the grand jury Friday led him to be held in contempt, argued after the procedures that Mueller’s appointment is unconstitutional. He asserted that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein did not have the authority to select Mueller to lead the examination into Trump campaign contacts with Russia.

Previous difficulties to Mueller’s legitimacy have failed.

President Donald Trump has sought to undermine the investigation by calling it a “witch hunt” and a “hoax.” He has actually consistently insisted, “there was no collusion.”

Kamenar likewise stated a prosecutor with powers as broad as Mueller’s need to be treated like a U.S. attorney and undergo Senate confirmation.

” There’s been no authority, we say, that provides the Justice Department the power to select Mr. Mueller,” Kamenar informed press reporters outside the courthouse in Washington after Miller was held in contempt for choosing not to appear prior to the grand jury.

Kamenar asserted that Mueller has greatly more authority than any U.S. attorney, consisting of the capability to arraign foreign stars and bring cases in more than one jurisdiction.

” So our point is if the United States attorneys have to be approved by the United States Senate, so, too, must Mr. Mueller,” Kamenar said.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller as special counsel in 2015 after Chief law officer Jeff Sessions stepped aside from the Russia investigation. A previous U.S. senator, Sessions was among Trump’s earliest Senate backers and was associated with campaign operations. Sessions fulfilled numerous times with Russia’s ambassador to the United States

Mueller has invested months investigating Russian meddling in the election and whether any Trump project assistants contributed to the foreign disturbance plot. A former FBI director, Mueller appears to be putting a focus on Stone, a political consultant and longtime informal consultant to Trump. Mueller’s group has actually spent months questioning witnesses about Stone, including Stone’s partners.

An indictment announced last month accused 12 Russian military intelligence officers of hacking into the governmental campaign of Hillary Clinton, Trump’s Democratic opponent, and the Democratic Celebration, and launching tens of thousands of personal interactions in a sweeping Kremlin-orchestrated conspiracy to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.

According to the charges, the Russian defendants, using a persona called Gufficer 2.0., in August 2016 contacted a person in touch with the Trump campaign to provide aid.

Stone, through his lawyer, has acknowledged having a “24-word exchange with someone on Twitter declaring to be Gufficer 2.0.” The statement from legal representative Grant Smith said the exchange “supplies no evidence of partnership or collusion with Gufficer 2.0 or anybody else in the supposed hacking of the DNC emails.”

Miller worked for Stone during Trump’s campaign. Kamenar stated his customer planned to appeal the contempt ruling in hope that the United States Supreme Court will ultimately hear the case.

The same grand jury that Miller chose not to appear before on Friday was likewise anticipated to hear from Kristin Davis, a longtime friend and partner of Stone. He is also godfather to her kid. Davis spent a number of months in a New york city City prison for running the escort service.

Miller’s decision to allow himself to be held in contempt is the most recent difficulty to Mueller’s authority as unique counsel.

Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, attempted three separate times in federal court to have a judge guideline that Mueller lacked the authority to prosecute him. Manafort, who is on presently on trial in federal court in Virginia for supposed financial criminal offenses, lost each time.

Giuliani: Don'' t anticipate Trump-Russia interview choice quickly

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Andrew Harnik/ AP Rudy Giuliani, a lawyer for President Donald Trump, praises at the Iran Liberty Convention for Person Rights and democracy at the Grand Hyatt, Saturday, May 5, 2018, in Washington.

Friday, Might 11, 2018|3:33 p.m.

New York City– President Donald Trump and his lawyers most likely will not decide whether he will address questions from Russia probe investigators up until after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month, inning accordance with the president’s legal team.

Rudy Giuliani, the president’s new lawyer, stated in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday that any preparation with Trump for a possible interview with federal detectives would likely be delayed till after the June 12 summit in Singapore due to the fact that “I would not want to take his concentration off something far, far more essential.”

Giuliani, who likewise recommended that special counsel Robert Mueller’s group had suggested it would not attempt to indict Trump, stated he had actually hoped to solve the concern of a possible interview by May 17, the one-year anniversary of Mueller’s visit, but that was not practical.

” A number of things postponed us, with the main one being the whole scenario with North Korea,” Giuliani stated. “The president has been extremely busy. It actually would be quite near impossible to invest the quantity of time on it we would require.”

The president’s lawyers have not decided whether it would be in Trump’s benefit to sit for an interview. Giuliani warned that it could be a “perjury trap” and recommended that “lies told by others” could land the president in legal problem, though he said that Trump himself would not close the door totally on an interview.

” The president would most likely like the resolution,” the former New York City mayor said. “If we were encouraged it would accelerate the process, we may do it. If our companied believe they would enter into it truthfully and with an open mind, we would be inclined to do it. However right now, we’re not there.”

Mueller’s investigation has actually run mostly in secrecy, with the general public getting only looks into its operation through witnesses who are questioned or when indictments and guilty pleas are unsealed. But Giuliani suggested that a current conversation with Mueller’s team led him to think that the special counsel, pointing out a Justice Department opinion, had actually eliminated the possibility of trying to arraign a sitting president.

Mueller has actually floated the idea of providing a grand jury subpoena for Trump to answer concerns, former Trump lawyer John Dowd has stated, though it is unclear how severe district attorneys were about such a move. Even if Mueller’s group decided to subpoena Trump as part of the examination, the president might still combat it in court or choose not to address concerns by invoking his Fifth Amendment protection from self-incrimination.

Giuliani stated Friday that if a subpoena were provided to obtain Trump to appear, the president’s legal team would oppose it unless they could “reach contract on the ground rules.” He argued that Trump might invoke executive opportunity, and the team would indicate Justice Department viewpoints in battling a subpoena and “on both law and the facts, we would have the greatest case you might envision.” He kept in mind the handover of 1.2 million files as proof of cooperation.

He also indicated that the president’s legal representatives may be “most likely” to agree to an interview if Mueller’s team narrowed the scope of exactly what it was investigating. Though Giuliani would not provide a precise date for when a decision would be made about the interview, he said it most likely “would be silly to make a choice” much before the highly prepared for top. He said that the needs on Trump’s time indicated that his legal group had actually “refrained from doing a lot” in regards to preparing the president for a possible in-person interview.

” It would take a while and he’s focused on North Korea,” said Giuliani.

A variety of Trump allies, including Vice President Mike Pence today, have actually stepped up calls for Mueller’s examination to conclude, suggesting it was interfering in the president’s capability to do the country’s service. Mueller’s team is examining Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible coordination with Trump associates as well as whether the president blocked justice. Up until now, the special counsel’s workplace has actually charged 19 individuals– including 4 Trump campaign advisers– and 3 Russian companies.

Both Trump’s previous national security advisor, Michael Flynn, and his deputy project chairman, Rick Gates, have pleaded guilty and are now complying with the probe. A variety of other previous White House and project staffers, consisting of Reince Priebus and Steve Bannon, as well as Inauguration Day committee chairman Tom Barrack, have been talked to.

Trump’s long time individual lawyer, Michael Cohen, had his office and house raided by federal representatives and, today, was revealed to have been offering his insight into Trump to corporations. Giuliani said the arrangement “looks bad” but insisted there was no criminal activity.

Giuliani demurred when asked if Trump would consider it a “red line” for his children to be interviewed. Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared, Kushner, both dealt with the project and are senior advisers at the White Home, while Trump’s adult kids, Don Jr. and Eric, were also leading figures on the project. Giuliani said he did not anticipate those interviews with Mueller to take place.

” Our understanding is that he’s basically ended up,” Giuliani said. “As far we know, we’re essentially the last witness.”

The special counsel’s office has actually not outlined the duration of the probe.

A few of Trump’s recent tweets revealed the president’s anxiety about how the examination could sway citizens as they decide whether to keep congressional Republican politicians in power or require him to face an aggressive Democratic bulk. Giuliani duplicated his call for the probe to end soon however recommended that if it lasted up until November’s midterms, “it would be assisting Republicans.”

” It makes the project feel it has to do with impeachment,” the former mayor stated. “I think the Democrats would be making the exact same error we did back during Clinton.”

In 1998, months after Clinton was impeached, voter reaction cost the Republicans’ possibility to pick up seats in both Houses of Congress.

Associated Press authors Chad Day and Eric Tucker contributed reporting from Washington.

Newly revealed Facebook ads show Russia'' s cyber invasion

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Jon Elswick/ AP A few of the Facebook ads linked to a Russian effort to interfere with the American political process and stir up stress around dissentious social problems, released by members of the United States House Intelligence committee, are photographed in Washington, on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017.

Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017|6:17 p.m.

WASHINGTON– A trove of Facebook advertisements revealed Wednesday by Congress portrays Russia’s amazing cyber invasion into American life in 2016 targeted at upending the country’s democratic argument and fomenting discord over such disparate problems as migration, gun control and politics.

The ads, seen by vast varieties of people, encouraged street presentations versus Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton and promoted assistance and opposition to Bernie Sanders, Muslims, gays, blacks and the icons of the Civil liberty motion.

The few dozen advertisements, a little sampling of the approximately 3,000 Russia-connected ones that Facebook has recognized and turned over to Congress, were released in the middle of two successive days of tough and in some cases caustic questioning by House and Senate lawmakers about why social media giants hadn’t done more to combat Russian interference on their sites.

The ads underscore how foreign representatives sought to sow confusion, anger and discord among Americans through messages on hot-button topics. U.S. intelligence services state the Russian use of social media became part of a broad effort to sway the 2016 governmental election in favor of Trump. Special counsel Robert Mueller is examining whether the Kremlin worked with the Trump campaign to affect voters.

Much of the advertisements reveal mindful targeting, with messages tailored toward particular audiences. One ad, aimed at those with an interest in civil rights and their leaders, highlights a guy who claims to be Expense Clinton’s invalid boy. Another video parodying Trump was targeted at blacks who also are interested in BlackNews.com, HuffPost Politics or HuffPost Black Voices.

Though authorities at Facebook and other social media giants were initially reluctant to acknowledge Russian success on their sites in swaying popular viewpoint, company leaders have struck a various tone in recent weeks and disclosed steps to Congress they state are meant to prevent future meddling by foreign representatives.

In preparation for hearings this week, Facebook divulged that content generated by a Russian group, the Web Research Company, potentially reached as lots of as 126 million users. Business executives stated that moving forward they would confirm political advertisement purchasers in federal elections, requiring them to reveal correct names and places. The website will likewise develop brand-new graphics where users can click the advertisements and find out more about who’s behind them.

However that did not avoid hours of questioning during two days of hearings, with legislators expressing exasperation at the seeming failure to ward off foreign intervention.

At one point during a hearing Tuesday, Sen. Al Franken shook his head after he could not get all the companies to commit to declining political ads purchased with foreign currency. Several advertisements promoting Facebook pages called “Back the Badge,” “Being Patriotic,”” Blacktivist,” “South United” and” Woke Blacks “were labeled as being paid for in rubles using Qiwi, a Moscow-based payment service provider that intends to serve “the new generation in Russia” and former Soviet republics, according to the business’s website.

“Google has all knowledge that male has actually ever developed,” the Minnesota Democrat stated. “You cannot assemble rubles with a political ad and go like, ‘Hmmm, those data points define something pretty bad?’ “

Besides the ads launched by legislators on the House intelligence committee, Democrats on the panel also launched four tweets from RT, a Russian state-sponsored television network, and more than 2,700 Twitter deals with active during the last months of the election campaign.

Taken together, they demonstrate how real news events and stories assisted shape surreptitious Russian messaging.

One advertisement mentioned a real October 2016 newspaper article– about a shooter’s battle with Boston police officers– then utilized it to assault Hillary Clinton as “the main hardliner against cops” and to promote Trump as the candidate who can “safeguard the police from terrorists.”

Three of the tweets referenced Clinton, consisting of one that connected to an RT story about the release of a batch of hacked e-mails from her project chairman, John Podesta. Another included a video of Clinton falling while getting into a van. “What effect will this stumble have on #Hillary’s campaign?” it checked out.

Some 34,000 Trump advocates were revealed an advertisement calling for Clinton’s removal from the tally, pointing out “dynastic succession of the Clinton household” as a breach of core principles set out by the Founding Dads. Clicking on it took Facebook users to a petition at WhiteHouse.gov. Another, seen by more than 15,000 individuals and getting some 1,300 clicks, related Clinton with President Barack Obama’s “anti-police and anti-constitutional propaganda.”

Though U.S. intelligence officials think the social networks effort was targeted at aiding Trump, there are other indications it was intended to plant basic departments.

One ad promoted a Nov. 12 anti-Trump rally in New york city City, titled “Not My President.” Large anti-Trump rallies really did happen around the nation that day in major American cities. That doesn’t imply the Russian accounts prepared the events, but rather that they were piggybacking on existing protests and promoting them to similar individuals.

Lawmakers said some Russia-linked ads, including one from an account claiming to be linked to the Tennessee Republican Celebration, were shared not just by regular Americans, however by members of the Trump project and administration, including Trump’s boy Donald Jr. and White Home therapist Kellyanne Conway.

Not all Russia’s activity was planned to intervene in the election, said Salve Regina University professor James Ludes, who has actually written on Russia’s influence on the United States.

The advertisements on divisive concerns such as race and gun ownership– and even organizing opposing rallies throughout the street from each other– are meant to “assault political cohesion” and make Americans turn versus one another, he said.

“It’s not planned to benefit when prospect or another per se, but raise political temperature,” Ludes stated. “Make us feel like we are coming apart at the seams.”

Associated Press authors Chad Day in Alexandria, Virginia, Ryan Nakashima in Menlo Park, California, Barbara Ortutay in New York City and Matt O’Brien in Cambridge, Massachusetts contributed to this report.

Trump campaign got early word that Russia had Democrats’ e-mails

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Donald Trump’s Twitter

account by means of AP In this photo from President Donald Trump’s Twitter account, George Papadopoulos, 3rd from left, sits at a table with then-candidate Trump and others at what is labeled at a national security conference in Washington that was posted on March 31, 2016. Papadopoulos, a former Trump campaign assistant belittled by the White Home as a low-level volunteer was thrust on Oct. 30, 2017, to the center of unique counsel Robert Mueller’s examination, providing evidence in the very first criminal case that connects Trump’s team and intermediaries for Russia looking for to interfere in the campaign.

Tuesday, Oct. 31, 2017|2 a.m.

WASHINGTON– The guilty plea of a 30-year-old campaign aide– so green that he listed Model United Nations in his certifications– moved the story Monday of the Trump project’s interactions with Russia: Court files revealed that Russian authorities alerted the project, through an intermediary in April 2016, that they possessed thousands of Democratic e-mails and other “dirt” on Hillary Clinton.

That was 2 months prior to the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee was publicly revealed and the taken e-mails began to appear online. The brand-new court filings supplied the very first clear evidence that Trump campaign aides had early understanding that Russia had taken personal documents on Clinton and the committee, an appealing trove in a close governmental contest.

By the time of a vital conference in June of last year, when Donald Trump Jr. and other senior Trump campaign authorities consulted with a Russian lawyer offering damaging details on Clinton, some might have understood for weeks that Russia had actually material most likely gotten by unlawful hacking, the brand-new documents suggested. The disclosures contributed to the proof indicating efforts at collaboration in between the Trump project and the Russian federal government, but they appeared to disappoint evidence that they conspired in the hacking or other prohibited acts.

The unlikely figure at the center of the new details was a “diplomacy advisor” to Trump, George Papadopoulos. It was Papadopoulos, among three males whose charges were revealed Monday, who appears to have been the very first campaign aide to discover the Russian hacking of Democratic targets.

An essential information is still missing: Whether and when Papadopoulos informed senior Trump project authorities about Russia’s ownership of hacked e-mails. And it appears that the young aide’s quest for a much deeper connection with Russian authorities, while he strongly pursued it, led nowhere.

Papadopoulos repeatedly promoted the idea of a “history making” meeting in between Trump and Vladimir Putin, the Russian president. Senior campaign authorities, however, stated that Trump ought to not make the trip and leave it to someone “low level in the project so as not to send out any signal,” inning accordance with an email cited in court files.

Papadopoulos then proposed that he himself, possibly with another campaign official, travel to Moscow to consult with the Russians.

“The trip proposed by defendant PAPADOPOULOS did not occur,” prosecutors wrote.

To understand the significance of Monday’s advancements, it assists to recall exactly how the Russian attack unfolded.

In September 2015, the FBI made its first call to the Democratic National Committee to report proof of Russian hackers inside the committee’s network. But for 7 months, the word never ever got beyond an IT contractor, and the hackers apparently had the run of confidential e-mails and other files.

During that time, Trump was pressed to assemble a team of foreign policy advisors, a difficult task due to the fact that he was shunned by lots of Republicans who had served in earlier administrations. In early March, Papadopoulos, who had actually been helping the beleaguered campaign of Dr. Ben Carson, used his services to the Trump campaign.

Around March 6, documents state, a project supervisor– recognized by a former Trump advisor as Sam Clovis– told Papadopoulos, then living in London, that “a principal foreign policy focus of the campaign was an enhanced relationship with Russia.”

A week later, traveling in Italy, Papadopoulos came across a London-based teacher of worldwide relations, Joseph Mifsud, who claimed to have “significant connections with Russian federal government officials.” (The court files do not name Mifsud, but a Senate aide informed on the case identified him as the professor in concern.)

Unimpressed by Papadopoulos in the beginning, Mifsud became far more interested when he found out that the young traveler was working for the Trump campaign. The two guys reunited in London on March 24, when the teacher presented Papadopoulos to a Russian woman he said was a relative of Putin with close ties to senior Russian officials.

On March 31, back in Washington, Papadopoulos met Trump for the first time at an event of his brand-new foreign policy group at the prospect’s Washington hotel. Inning accordance with the previous Trump advisor who existed, and who spoke on condition of privacy to avoid angering previous coworkers, Papadopoulos spoke for a couple of minutes about his Russian contacts and the prospects for a meeting with the Russian president.

However several individuals in the space started to raise questions about the wisdom of a meeting with Putin, noting that Russia was under sanctions from the United States. Jeff Sessions, now chief law officer and after that a senator from Alabama who was counseling Trump on national security, “shut George down,” the consultant said. “He stated, ‘We’re not going to do it’ and he added, ‘I ‘d prefer that nobody discuss this once again.'”

But Papadopoulos was not deterred, the documents say, and he continued to interact with Mifsud and the Russian woman about more contacts. The Russian woman wrote on April 11, “we are all really excited by the possibility of a great relationship with Mr. Trump.” Mifsud introduced Papadopoulos over email to a Moscow contact who said he had connections to the Russian foreign ministry. They spoke repeatedly over Skype about a possible Moscow journey, the files state.

On April 26 came a crucial conference. At breakfast at a London hotel, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that he had actually just returned from Moscow, where he had “learned that the Russians had actually obtained ‘dirt’ on then-candidate Clinton.” Mifsud said he had actually been informed the Russians had “countless emails.”

On Might 4, the Russian contact with ties to the foreign ministry wrote to Papadopoulos and Mifsud, stating ministry authorities were “open for cooperation.” Papadopoulos forwarded the message to a senior campaign authorities, asking whether the contacts were “something we wish to move forward with.”

The court files describe in information how Papadopoulos continued to report to senior project officials on his efforts to set up meetings with Russian authorities, which The Washington Post reported on in August. But the files do not say explicitly whether, and to whom, he handed down his most explosive discovery– that the Russians had exactly what they thought about compromising emails on Trump’s challenger.

J.D. Gordon, a previous Pentagon official who worked for the Trump project as a national security consultant and assisted set up the March 31 foreign policy meeting, stated he had known nothing about Papadopoulos’ discovery that Russia had actually acquired Democratic e-mails or of his extended pursuit of conferences with Russians.

“I was shocked to discover exactly what George Papadopoulos was up to throughout the project,” Gordon stated in a text message. “He certainly went to fantastic lengths to walk around me and Senator Sessions.”

Gordon stated that such end-runs around typical channels are common in presidential campaigns. “It’s extremely tough to understand what each person is doing, especially considering that some folks intentionally go around the hierarchy,” he said. “But George Papadopoulos undoubtedly represents a severe case.”

Prosecutors may have deliberately left prominent information out of the documents filed in court to secure the continuing examination. But exactly what they did state portrays Papadopoulos as continuing for months to set up conferences with Russian authorities. As late as August 2016, Papadopoulos was encouraged by a project official, apparently Clovis, to take a trip to Moscow “if it is possible.”

Rather of opening a new era in relations with Russia, Papadopoulos found himself caught up in the examination of the Russian disturbance in the U.S. election. The files accuse him of lying to FBI representatives in two interviews, first on Jan. 27 and then on Feb. 16, when he “restated his supposed desire to comply with the FBI’s examination,” according to an affidavit submitted by Robert M. Gibbs, an FBI agent investigating the case.

On Feb. 17, the representative wrote, Papadopoulos shut down the Facebook account he had used since 2005, consisting of to exchange messages with the intermediaries for Russia. Prosecutors considered that to be obstruction of justice, and it became part of the case that concluded Oct. 5 when Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to making a false declaration to the FBI, which brings a maximum charge of five years in jail.

Clinton project, DNC helped pay for Trump-Russia file

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Patrick Semansky/ AP In this June 5, 2017 file image, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks in Baltimore.

Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017|1 a.m.

WASHINGTON– The presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton and the Democratic National Committee spent for research study that was included in a file revealed in January which contained salacious claims about connections in between Donald Trump, his partners and Russia.

A representative for a law office said on Tuesday that it had employed Washington-based scientists last year to gather destructive information about Trump on many subjects– including possible ties to Russia– on behalf of the Clinton project and the DNC.

The discovery, which emerged from a letter submitted in court on Tuesday, is likely to sustain brand-new partisan attacks over federal and congressional investigations into Russia’s efforts to interrupt in 2015’s election and whether any of Trump’s associates assisted in the effort.

The president and his allies have actually argued for months that the examinations are politically encouraged. They have challenged the info included in the dossier, which was compiled by a previous British spy who had been contracted by the Washington research study company Combination GPS.

The letter that was submitted in court stated that Combination GPS started working for the law office, Perkins Coie, in April 2016. Composed by the firm’s handling partner Matthew J. Gehringer, the letter said that Combination GPS had currently been conducting the research study “for several other customers throughout the Republican main contest.”

Perkins Coie was paid $12.4 million to represent the Clinton project and the DNC throughout the 2016 project, according to filings. The role of the Clinton campaign and the national party in moneying the research study for the file was first reported on Tuesday by The Washington Post.

At the time that Democrats started spending for the research study, Trump was in the process of clinching the Republican governmental nomination, and Clinton’s allies were rushing to figure out ways to run against a prospect who had currently weathered attacks from Republican competitors about his shifting policy positions, his character and his business record.

Combination GPS hired Christopher Steele, a reputable former British spy with substantial experience in Russia, to carry out research study into any possible connections in between Trump, his services, campaign team and Russia.

Steele produced a series of memos that alleged a broad conspiracy in between the Trump campaign and the Russian federal government to affect the 2016 election on behalf of Trump. The memos also consisted of unsubstantiated accounts of encounters between Trump and Russian prostitutes, and real estate deals that were planned as kickbacks.

The contents of the memos distributed in Washington in late 2016, and were briefed to Trump by senior U.S. intelligence authorities during the governmental shift. The memos, which ended up being called the “Steele File,” were made public by BuzzFeed– triggering an ongoing dispute about their precision and about who moneyed the research.

Blend GPS was begun by 3 former Wall Street Journal staff members. The company worked directly with Perkins Coie and its lead election attorney, Marc Elias, inning accordance with the law practice representative, who spoke on condition of privacy to talk about delicate details about confidential organisation relationships. The law practice’s payments to Combination GPS for the Russia research ended just before Election Day, the spokesperson said.

The representative stated that neither the Clinton project, nor the DNC, knew that Combination GPS had been employed to carry out the research.

Earlier this year, Elias had actually denied that he had possessed the dossier prior to the election.

Anita Dunn, a veteran Democratic operative dealing with Perkins Coie, stated Tuesday that Elias “was definitely acquainted with a few of, but not all, of the details” in the file. But, she said “he didn’t have and had not seen the full file, nor was he associated with pitching it to press reporters.” And Elias “was not at liberty to confirm Perkins Coie as the client at that point,” Dunn stated.

Brian Fallon, who acted as a representative for the Clinton campaign, on Tuesday wrote on Twitter that he did not know that Steele had actually been dealing with behalf of the Clinton campaign prior to the election.

“If I had, I would have volunteered to go to Europe and aim to assist him,” Fallon composed.

A legal representative and spokeswoman for Combination GPS did not respond to ask for comment.

A spokeswoman for the DNC looked for to distance the national celebration from the work, noting that the celebration’s chairman, Tom Perez, was elected only after in 2015’s election. He and his management group “were not involved in any decision-making concerning Combination GPS, nor were they mindful that Perkins Coie was dealing with the company,” stated Xochitl Hinojosa, the DNC spokesperson.

The work by Blend GPS on the file has actually come under analysis from congressional investigators, who have actually questioned among its founders and subpoenaed its banking records to attempt to identify who moneyed the research study.

Fusion GPS is battling the subpoena in federal court, and Gehringer’s letter was produced in connection with that legal case.

In the letter, Gehringer praised Blend GPS for its “efforts to fulfill your commitment to maintain client confidentiality. In the scenarios, nevertheless, our company believe it is appropriate to release Blend GPS from this obligation as it associates with the identity of Perkins Coie.”

Gehringer added that “offered the interest in this problem, our company believe it would be proper for all parties who worked with Blend GPS in connection with the 2016 governmental campaign to release Blend GPS from this obligation too.”

Clinton camp helped fund Trump-Russia dossier research study

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Rick T. Wilking/Pool/ AP In this Oct. 9, 2016, file picture, Democratic governmental candidate Hillary Clinton, right, speaks as Republican governmental nominee Donald Trump listens throughout the 2nd governmental debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016.

Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2017|6:15 p.m.

WASHINGTON– Hillary Clinton’s presidential project and the Democratic National Committee assisted money political research into President Donald Trump that ultimately produced a dossier of claims about his ties to Russia, an individual familiar with the matter said Tuesday night.

The revelation is likely to sustain grievances by Trump that the dossier, which the president has actually derided as “fake things,” is a politically inspired collection of salacious claims. Yet the FBI has worked to corroborate the file, and in a sign of its continuous importance to investigators, unique counsel Robert Mueller’s group– which is penetrating potential coordination between Russia and the Trump project– weeks ago questioned the previous British spy who assisted compile the claims in the dossier.

The file, which circulated in Washington in 2015 and was committed the FBI for its evaluation, contends that Russia was taken part in a longstanding effort to help Trump and had actually accumulated compromising information about him. Trump has actually repeatedly dismissed the file as false and in recent days has actually questioned on Twitter whether Democrats or the FBI had actually helped money it.

The individual knowledgeable about the matter, who spoke on condition of privacy to go over private customer matters, stated the arrangement was brokered by Marc Elias, a legal representative for the project and the DNC, and his law office of Perkins Coie. The offer started around last spring, when the company was approached by Combination GPS, the political research company behind the file, and lasted into the fall, right before Election Day, according to the individual.

Elias did not immediately return an email seeking remark, and representatives of Blend GPS declined to comment. The Washington Post first reported the plan.

According to a letter acquired by the AP Tuesday night, representatives of Blend GPS reached out to the company to reveal interest in continuing research study on Trump it had begun “for several other clients during the Republican main contest.” The identity of that other customer has actually not been exposed.

Perkins Coie then engaged Blend GPS in April 2016 “to carry out a range of research study services throughout the 2016 election cycle,” according to the letter.

The letter was sent out Tuesday by the law office’s basic counsel to a legal representative for Combination GPS. It is meant to launch the research company from its customer privacy responsibilities.

Facebook'' s Sandberg prefers release of Russia-linked ads

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Laurent Gillieron/Keystone/ AP

In this Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, file picture, Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg speaks throughout a plenary session throughout the yearly meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017|9:56 a.m.

New York City– A leading Facebook executive states ads connected to Russia trying to influence the United States presidential election should “definitely” be released to the general public, along with info on whom the ads were targeting.

Previously, Facebook decreased to make the advertisements public. While Facebook’s chief operating officer, Sheryl Sandberg, now favors the release, she didn’t state Thursday when the business would do so.

The company divulged last month that it found advertisements connected to fake accounts– most likely run from Russia– that looked for to influence the election. Facebook states these advertisements focused on dissentious political concerns, such as immigration and weapon rights, in an apparent effort to sow discord among the United States population. The ads consisted of promoted occasions and enhanced posts that appear in users’ news feeds.

Facebook has turned over the advertisements– and details on how they were targeted, such as by location or to individuals with a particular political association– to congressional investigators. Congress is likewise examining Russia-linked ads on Twitter and Google.

In an interview with the news website Axios on Thursday, Sandberg stated Facebook has the obligation to prevent the kind of abuse that happened on its service during the election. She said Facebook hopes to “set a brand-new standard in openness in marketing.”

However she also stated that had the ads been linked to legitimate, rather than fake, Facebook accounts, “the majority of them would have been allowed to run.” While the business forbids certain content such as hate speech, it does not want to avoid totally free expression, she stated.

“The thing about free expression is that when you allow totally free expression, you permit totally free expression,” Sandberg stated.

The relocation comes as critics and legislators are progressively requiring the policy of Facebook and other internet giants.

Sandberg is meeting elected authorities in Washington today ahead of a House hearing at which executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google are anticipated to testify. Sandberg is no complete stranger to Washington. Before her time at Google and later on Facebook, she worked for Larry Summers, the treasury secretary under President Expense Clinton.

Sandberg said Facebook didn’t capture these advertisements previously because it was focused on other dangers, such as hacking. Facebook, she said, does owe America an apology.

“What we actually owe the American individuals is decision” to do “everything we can” to prevent hazards and foreign interference, Sandberg stated.

Sandberg didn’t say whether she thinks Facebook played a role in electing Donald Trump as president, as critics have actually stated it did by allowing the spread of fake news on its service.

She said only that the role Facebook plays in elections “surpass any one project, any one nation.”

Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, has backtracked from calling the concept of Facebook’s influence on the election “quite insane.”

UNLV Study: Warming News from Russia

Things are heating up in Russia.

UNLV Geoscience Ph.D. trainee Jonathan Baker has found evidence that shows nearly constant warming from completion of the last Ice Age to the present in the Ural Mountains in central Russia.

The research, which was published today in top geoscience journal Nature Geoscience, reveals consistent warming over the previous 11,000 years, contradicting the existing belief that northern hemisphere temperature levels peaked 6,000 to 8,000 years ago and cooled till the pre-Industrial duration.

Baker’s research study, performed in conjunction with UNLV geoscientist Matthew Lachniet, Yemane Asmerom and Victor Polyak of the University of New Mexico, and Russian researcher Olga Chervyatsova, reveals that winter season temperature variations in continental Eurasia are warmer today than at any time in the previous 11,000 years.

This study opposes previous work likely due to the fact that those research studies focused on summer season temperature level trends and not the more delicate winter season temperature variations that were not formerly available, Baker stated.

The brand-new finding is based upon precisely dated isotope temperature level record and supports computer system models for Eurasia that forecasted continuous warming. The research showed that vanishing ice in the Arctic areas of The United States and Canada managed the warming pattern as the Glacial epoch glaciers retreated. Later, increasing greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide and methane, were most likely responsible for the ongoing warming in the Ural Mountains.

The cave environment record has essential implications for the future, Lachniet described. “Since greenhouse gas concentrations are increasing at rates unmatched for the previous 800,000 years, human-caused warming will be superimposed on the ‘natural’ pattern,” he said.

Baker added, “Over the past century, winter seasons in continental Eurasia warmed 70 times faster than throughout the previous 7,000 years, according to our record. At this speed, the warming will continue to posture serious and detrimental effects throughout the region.”

As modern-day temperature levels are influenced in part by greenhouse gases, both summer seasons and winters are expected to warm, whereas past temperatures in those seasons had opposing trajectories, Baker said.

Baker conducted the research while residing in Russia as a Fulbright beneficiary. There he dealt with co-author Olga Chervyatsova and the Ufa Speleo Club to gather stalagmites from Kinderlinksaya Cave, located about 750 miles east of Moscow in the southern Ural Mountains.

The information were gotten using state-of-the art geochemical strategies at the Las Vegas Isotope Science Laboratory at UNLV and the Radiogenic Isotope Laboratory at the University of New Mexico. Both facilities were supported by facilities grants from the National Science Structure. The research was also supported by the Ralph Stone Fellowship of the National Speleological Society.

Unique counsel named to probe Trump-Russia ties

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J. Scott Applewhite/ AP In this June 19, 2013, file photo, previous FBI Director Robert Mueller testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington.

Published Wednesday, Might 17, 2017|3:07 p.m.

Updated Thirty Minutes ago

WASHINGTON– Besieged from all sides, the Trump administration appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller Friday evening as an unique counsel to manage the federal examination into allegations Russia and Donald Trump’s campaign collaborated to affect the 2016 governmental election.

The appointment came as Democrats firmly insisted ever more loudly that someone outside Trump’s Justice Department must handle the politically charged investigation. An increasing number of Republicans, too, have actually participated in requiring Congress to dig much deeper, specifically after Trump fired FBI Director James Comey who had been leading the bureau’s probe.

Earlier Wednesday, Trump grumbled in a start address that “no political leader in history” has actually been treated even worse by his opponents, even as exasperated fellow Republicans slowly joined the demand a significant investigation into whether he attempted to quash the FBI’s probe.

Three congressional committees, all led by Republicans, verified they wished to hear from Comey, whose notes about a February conference with the president show Trump advised him to drop the bureau’s examination of fired National Security Consultant Michael Flynn. Congressional private investigators are looking for Comey’s memos, as well as files from the Justice Department related to the shooting.

Many Democrats also were calling for an independent unique counsel, or district attorney.

The current political storm, combined with the still-potent fallout from Trump’s recent disclosure of categorized information to Russian diplomats, eclipsed all else in the capital and beyond. Stocks fell dramatically on Wall Street as financiers stressed that the current turmoil in Washington could hinder Trump’s pro-business program.

Republicans, frustrated by the president’s unrelenting parade of issues, mainly looked for to cool the heated environment with assurances they would get to the bottom of scandals.

“There’s plainly a great deal of politics being played,” House Speaker Paul Ryan stated. “Our task is to get the realities and to be sober about doing that.”

Not impressed, Rep. Elijah Cummings, top Democrat on a crucial Home oversight panel, stated, “Speaker Ryan has shown he has zero, absolutely no, absolutely no appetite for any examination of Donald Trump. He implicated the Republicans of taking fantastic discomforts to “do just humanly possible, just to claim that they’re doing something.”

Interest was barely restricted to the United States No less a commentator than Russia’s Vladimir Putin called the dramatic charges swirling around Trump evidence of “political schizophrenia dispersing in the U.S.” He offered to furnish a “record” of the Trump-diplomats conference in the Oval Workplace if the White House wanted it.

There was no word on exactly what that record might involve, a concern numerous were most likely to raise in light of Trump’s recent caution to Comey that he had “better hope” there were no tapes of a conversation they ‘d had.

The White House contested Comey’s account of the February discussion concerning Flynn, however did not use specifics. A number of members of Congress said that if Trump did recommend that Comey “let this go” relating to Flynn’s Russian contacts, it was most likely simply a joke, light banter.

White Home aides primarily kept an unusual low profile, preventing going on television. Trump did not offer any commentary on Twitter and did not straight deal with the debates throughout a beginning address at the Coast Guard Academy, though he provided a broadside versus the forces he views as working against him.

“No politician in history, and I state this with fantastic surety, has actually been dealt with worse or more unfairly,” he stated. “You can’t let the critics and the cynics get in the way of your dreams. … I think that’s why we won. Hardship makes you stronger. Don’t give in, don’t back down. … And the more exemplary your battle, the more opposition that you will face.”

Questions about Trump’s conduct have actually been installing for weeks, most recently with 2 explosive revelations– that in February the president pushed Comey to drop a federal investigation into Flynn’s contacts with Russia and that he divulged classified information to the senior Russian officials recently.’

Both claims originated from anonymous sources, and the White House fasted to denounce the leakages and reject any impropriety, firmly insisting the president never ever aimed to squelch the Flynn examination nor did he make improper disclosures to the Russians.

Putin, seeing from afar, stated the “progressing political struggle” had gone from something of an amusement to major cause for issue, and he suggested Trump’s critics were stoking anti-Russian sentiment to harm the president.

“These individuals either don’t understand that they are injuring their own country, and because case they are simply dumb,” Putin stated. “Or they do understand everything, and that suggests that they are dangerous and deceitful.”

On Capitol Hill, Comey was clearly the male in need, with three committees working to seat him at their witness tables.

— Your house oversight committee set a May 24 hearing on whether Trump interfered in the FBI probe, and invited Comey to affirm.

— The Senate intelligence committee invited Comey to appear in both open and closed sessions. It also asked acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe to provide the committee any notes Comey may have made regarding conversations he had with White Home or Justice Department officials about Russia’s efforts to influence the election.

— Leading members of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked the FBI to offer any Comey memos and asked the White Home to turn over any audio recordings that might exist of discussions with the now-fired director. They expect to bring in Comey into affirm, also.

Trump is preparing to leave town Friday on his very first foreign journey, and assistants have actually been enthusiastic the journey will be an opportunity for the administration to get back on track after weeks of chaos and interruptions.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., hypothesized Trump was probably happy to obtain from town– “and a great deal of us are thankful he’s leaving for a few days.”

His recommendations to the president: “Stay disciplined, remain focused and deliver on the world phase.”

Associated Press writers Deborah Riechmann, Eileen Sullivan, Erica Werner, Matthew Daly and Mary Clare Jalonick added to this report