Politics The Lingering Mysteries of a Trump-Russia Conspiracy

01:20  17 may  2018
01:20  17 may  2018 Source:   theatlantic.com

Kelly: Trump 'embarrassed' by Russia probe

  Kelly: Trump 'embarrassed' by Russia probe <p>White House chief of staff John Kelly says in a new interview that President Trump is "somewhat embarrassed" by the investigation into Russia's attempts to meddle in the 2016 election.</p>Kelly told NPR that the subject tends to come up in Trump's conversations with foreign leaders, saying while the long-running investigation "may not be a cloud" hanging over the presidency, "the president is, you know, somewhat embarrassed, frankly.

A year of dizzying developments have bolstered both Mueller’s critics, who say he’s on a “fishing expedition,” and his defenders, who believe he’s leaving no stone unturned.

A murder, the IT rip-off and a mysterious man in a photo. It's the counter-narrative to the Russian hacking theory, writes John Barron.

a close up of a mans face © Larry Downing / Reuters / The Atlantic

The day after Robert Mueller was appointed special counsel to lead the investigation into Russia’s election interference, it seemed to some that President Trump's “worst nightmare” had come true. A year and nearly 20 indictments later, there's no sign it’s winding down.

Dozens of dizzying developments and near-daily news alerts have bolstered both Mueller’s critics who say he’s on a “fishing expedition,” and his defenders, who believe he’s leaving no stone unturned. All along, Mueller has never said a word, preferring to speak through the criminal charges he’s levied against multiple Trump associates, including Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates. Trump has taken the opposite approach, ramping up his attacks on Mueller’s “witch hunt” and against the special counsel himself in tweets and interviews.

Why this FBI informant thing is a big deal

  Why this FBI informant thing is a big deal <p>President Trump says the FBI implanted an informant in his campaign, and in a tweet Sunday, he demanded that the Justice Department investigate whether that actually happened.</p>The FBI spying on a U.S. presidential campaign would indeed be big news. But there's zero evidence that it happened.

The Lingering Mysteries of a Trump - Russia Conspiracy . It appears to be a screengrab of a poll that also appears on Feldman’s Instagram account (although the Instagram version was posted after the Twitter one, but the poll design is clearly Instagram-original, don’t ask me).

Now, Moby hasn’t revealed anything that hasn’t already been suggested by liberal conspiracy blogs, but who knows! Like the depths of the Trump family in business and their involvement with organized crime, sponsored terrorism, Russian oligarchs, it’s really dark.

To the president, the investigation may seem like it has dragged on. But the longest special-counsel probe—Iran Contra under former President Ronald Reagan—lasted six-and-a-half years. The Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky inquiry involving former President Bill Clinton, which ultimately led to Clinton’s impeachment in the House, lasted four years. And the investigation of the Valerie Plame affair under former President George W. Bush lasted three-and-a-half years. Mueller’s pace has been breakneck, legal experts tell me—especially for a complicated counterintelligence investigation that involves foreign nationals and the Kremlin, an adversarial government.

As the probe wears on, the fundamental legitimacy of Trump’s presidency hangs in the balance: Did his campaign conspire with Russia to undermine Hillary Clinton and win the election?

Trump: Firing of Comey will go down as a very good thing

  Trump: Firing of Comey will go down as a very good thing President Trump said Thursday that his firing of FBI Director James Comey will go down as a "very good thing" for the country after Comey attacked Trump over his treatment of FBI agents.&nbsp;In an interview with "Fox and Friends," Trump was asked by Fox's Brian Kilmeade how Republicans will "explain" their attacks on law enforcement and the Justice Department to their grandchildren, which Trump said was actually a positive development.

Similar to the birthers, the Trump - Russia conspiracy theorists refuse to recognize the fact that Donald Trump is their president and that he won the election fair and square.

When the Russian conspiracy behind Trump is finally fully exposed, our national nightmare will be over. A great many journalists and pundits have been convinced of the Russia conspiracy since December, some since October, a few since July.

Here, the most significant revelations the country has learned since Mueller began his probe—revelations that could eventually answer that question.

Jared Kushner Proposed a Secret Backchannel to Moscow

In late May 2017, The Washington Post reported that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, was willing to go to extraordinary lengths to establish a secret line of communication between the Trump team and Russian government officials during the presidential transition after the 2016 election. As part of a series of meetings he held with foreign officials during that period, Kushner spoke with Russia’s then-ambassador, Sergei Kislyak, in December and floated the possibility of setting up a secure channel. He also wanted those talks to take place in Russian diplomatic facilities in the U.S., which would essentially conceal future interactions from the American government, according to The Post. A surprised Kislyak relayed Kushner’s offer back to Kremlin officials, in conversations that were picked up as part of the intelligence community’s routine eavesdropping of monitored foreign agents.

DNC asks court to order Trump administration to serve Russia with legal papers

  DNC asks court to order Trump administration to serve Russia with legal papers State Department would be required to serve Moscow in lawsuit over alleged 2016 election meddlingIf a federal judge agrees, the Trump administration would be compelled to serve legal papers to the Russian government and two other entities in the lawsuit the DNC filed in April. Russia routinely refuses to accept such notices that it is being sued, so a judge’s order to the State Department is required, the DNC filing claims.

Morell’s comments echo the categorical remarks by Obama’s top national security official, James Clapper, who told Meet the Press last week that during the time he was Obama’s DNI, he saw no evidence to support claims of a Trump / Russia conspiracy .

The information that Mr. Papadopoulos gave to the Australians answers one of the lingering mysteries of the past year george papadopoulos, Hillary Clinton, New York Times, russia conspiracy theory, Russia dossier. Stormy Daniels’ Lawyer Says Russian Paid Trump Attorney Cohen 0,000.

Kushner explained in a statement prepared for the congressional intelligence committees investigating potential collusion that he had simply been wondering aloud whether such a channel existed, so that the incoming administration could securely discuss their military options in Syria with the Russians. But he did not initially disclose the Kislyak meeting to U.S. officials during his background check—the White House only acknowledged it after news outlets reported on it. It was part of a pattern of off-the-books interactions between the Trump campaign and Kislyak. One of Trump’s top surrogates, then-Senator Jeff Sessions, met with Kislyak twice, but told his colleagues during his confirmation hearings for attorney general that he had no contact with Russians during the campaign. Two other campaign aides, Carter Page and J.D. Gordon, spoke to Kislyak following a panel at the Republican National Convention. And Trump’s first national-security adviser, Michael Flynn, was forced to resign after mischaracterizing his conversations with the former ambassador.

Russians to take no part in World Cup drug testing: FIFA

  Russians to take no part in World Cup drug testing: FIFA Russians will not be involved in drug testing procedures at the World Cup as FIFA looks to reassure teams that samples cannot be tampered with, the governing body's medical committee chairman Michel D'Hooghe has told the Times newspaper. A 2016 report commissioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and compiled by Canadian sports lawyer Richard McLaren found more than 1,000 Russian competitors were involved in a conspiracy to conceal positive tests over a five-year period. Soccer was among the sports implicated in the probe and the sport's global governing body are taking no chances at the Russia-hosted World Cup.

the Trump campaign, made a startling revelation to Australia’s top diplomat in Britain: Russia had The information that Mr. Papadopoulos gave to the Australians answers one of the lingering mysteries of the past year Conservative Treehouse completely broke down their latest Russian conspiracy .

There are nagging, lingering questions regarding all of this that no one in the U.S. intelligence community or the former president’s Daily Weird News and Odd Strange Videos, Conspiracy Theories, Latest UFO Sightings, Creepy Aliens, Scary Ghosts, Ancient & Unexplained Mysteries !

The Trump Administration Made Early Attempts to Lift Russia Sanctions

Just days after Trump took office, his administration looked into lifting the sanctions that former President Barack Obama had imposed on Russia over its meddling in the 2016 election. Tom Malinowski, who stepped down in January 2017 as Obama's assistant secretary of state for human rights, told me last June that he and Daniel Fried—then the chief U.S. coordinator for sanctions policy—scrambled to lobby Congress to halt the development of a sanctions-lifting package being considered by the White House after government officials began ringing "alarm bells about possible concessions being made" to Russia. (Malinowski was lobbying unofficially). By that time, the FBI, CIA, and NSA had concluded that the Russians had interfered in the election to derail Hillary Clinton’s candidacy.

From the legislative side, Democratic Senator Ben Cardin and Republican Senator Lindsey Graham quickly introduced the Russia Sanctions Review Act on February 8, 2017. The legislation called for new penalties on Russia and included a provision that gave Congress veto power over any sanctions-lifting package proposed by the White House that would affect Russia. It passed that summer with a veto-proof majority, effectively forcing Trump to sign the bill. The administration blew through two deadlines to impose the new sanctions as required by law, but began to implement them in waves in March.

Ex-CIA officer charged with conspiracy to commit espionage

  Ex-CIA officer charged with conspiracy to commit espionage A former CIA case officer was indicted by a federal grand jury on Tuesday on one count of conspiracy to gather or deliver national defense information to aid a foreign government, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.A press release from the DOJ announced t hat Jerry Chun Shing Lee, a Hong Kong-born former CIA officer who left the agency in 2007, had been charged with attempting to provide documents and other information to the Chinese government."Lee, a former CIA case officer, allegedly conspired to provide information to the Chinese government about the national defense of the United States.

Do Liberals actually believe in the Trump - Russia conspiracy after 8 years of denying the Obama birth certificate conspiracy ? This lingering debt makes Trump a potential target for being compromised.

“Collusion” doesn’t purport to solve all the mysteries of this alleged conspiracy . There’s no longer any serious question that there was cooperation between Trump ’s campaign and Russia , but the extent of the cooperation, and the precise nature of it, remains opaque.

Several of the Russian oligarchs sanctioned by the administration are key players in Mueller’s investigation. At least one, Viktor Vekselberg, was questioned by the special counsel’s team earlier this year about payments he made to Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen between January and August 2017.

Top Trump Campaign Officials Met With Russians to Get Dirt on Clinton

Last July, as Trump and his aides were flying back to the U.S. from a whirlwind trip to Poland and Germany, The New York Times published what seemed like a smoking gun: Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner had attended a meeting at Trump Tower at the height of the election with a Russian lawyer who promised dirt on Clinton. Emails released by Trump Jr. after the meeting was made public detailed how it had been arranged: Music publicist Rob Goldstone, who represents the pop-star son of one of Trump’s former business partners, offered Trump Jr. information on behalf of “the crown prosecutor of Russia” that would “incriminate” Clinton. “This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump,” Goldstone wrote. “If it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summer,” Trump Jr. replied. Following the exchange, the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya—who acknowledged recently that she works as an “informant” for the Kremlin—was dispatched from Moscow to meet with the trio on June 9, 2016.

Trump Jr., Manafort, and Kushner have said they were disappointed by what she brought with her—that there was little usable opposition research. Still, Manafort took notes on the conversation referencing “active sponsors of the RNC” and “Cyprus offshore.” When news of the meeting broke, Trump helped write a statement for his son that omitted any reference to compromising information about Clinton; it said the meeting was instead about Russia’s adoption policy, a topic the president had discussed the day before with Putin at the G20 summit. Mueller has made that misleading statement a focus of his investigation, according to questions drafted by the president’s lawyers based on their conversations with Mueller’s team.

Collusion Happened

  Collusion Happened Trump aides colluded with foreign governments. This is a simple, straightforward statement, and by this point, it ought to be an uncontroversial one. There’s ample evidence on many fronts, from legal documents to reliable reporting. This doesn’t mean that a crime was committed, because, as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others have pointed out, collusion is not a crime per se. But it does mean that attempts to dismiss the Russia investigation as a witch hunt that lacks any evidence are not merely disingenuous—they’re simply wrong.

A few years back, my father and I voluntarily submitted ourselves to an episode of Question Time, a long-running program on the BBC on which sundry British politicians try to sound as indignant as possible while expressing nothing whatsoever beyond the day’s conventional wisdom.

Through Trump has had dealings with Russia going back years—he met with Trump -like, conspiracy -mongering mogul Vladimir Zhirinovsky in But the most long-lasting consequence—one which will linger whether Trump wins or not—is the multinational embrace of white supremacy.

Manafort and a Former Russian Spy Discussed Repaying a Russian Oligarch

Emails exchanged between Manafort and his longtime business associate Konstantin Kilimnik—a former agent of Russia’s military-intelligence unit known as the GRU—suggest that Manafort was using his high-level campaign role to curry favor with the Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska. In late September, The Washington Postreported that Manafort asked Kilimnik how he could use his position to repay Deripaska, and offered to give him “private briefings” about the campaign. The Atlantic later reported a more complete account of their exchanges. On April 11, 2016, Manafort asked Kilimnik whether he had shown "our friends" the media’s coverage of him since his hiring as a senior campaign strategist. "Absolutely," replied Kilimnik, who has come under FBI scrutiny over his purported ties to Russian intelligence. "Every article."

"How do we use to get whole," Manafort responded. "Has [Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska] operation seen?" According to legal complaints filed in the Cayman Islands, Deripaska's representatives claimed he gave Manafort $19 million in 2014 to invest in a TV business venture. Manafort, the filings say, all but disappeared without paying Deripaska back when the project fell through. Manafort and Kilimnik met in New York on August 2, 2016. Just over two weeks later, Manafort was forced to resign after The New York Times reported that the pro-Russia political party he had worked for had earmarked him $12.7 million for his work between 2007 and 2012.

Top Trump Campaign Aides  Received  ‘Millions’ From Oligarchs

On October 30, 2017, Mueller filed his first indictments in the Russia investigation against Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates, who were accused of laundering the “millions” of dollars they had received from Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs throughout their years advising Ukraine’s pro-Russia Party of Regions. That same day, the special counsel’s office revealed that a little-known Trump campaign aide named George Papadopoulos was cooperating with the probe after pleading guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with a foreign national with ties to Russia. The Manafort and Gates indictment contained 12 counts, including conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts. Following a second round of indictments against both men in February, Gates decided to cooperate with investigators in exchange for a lesser sentence. Manafort, meanwhile, has maintained his innocence. His trial is scheduled to begin on July 10.

How cocktail party chatter led a Trump ally to claim a 'deep state' conspiracy

  How cocktail party chatter led a Trump ally to claim a 'deep state' conspiracy A seemingly impromptu suggestion at a cocktail party in 2016 -- that Hillary Clinton's deleted emails were circulating among the intelligence community and the Trump campaign might be able to get hold of them -- has irked former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo for years, he said. Now, Caputo believes the mention of those emails by a government contractor -- and that person's advice that the Trump campaign pursue sources in the US intelligence community for opposition research on Clinton -- was part of a government conspiracy to entrap members of the Trump campaign.

The second Financial Times article places Trump in the middle of a money laundering scheme, in which his real estate deals were used to hide not just an infusion of capital from Russia and former Soviet states, but for laundering “Rusal: A lingering heat.” Financial Times (January 25, 2010).

Russian Trolls Worked to Help Trump

In mid-February, Mueller dropped another bombshell: Thirteen Russian nationals connected to the Internet Research Agency—a Kremlin-backed outfit whose employees posed as Americans and spread disinformation online in an attempt to influence the 2016 election—were charged with “knowingly and intentionally” conspiring with each other “to defraud the United States.” The defendants’ operations in 2016, the indictment alleges, included “supporting” Trump’s candidacy and “disparaging Hillary Clinton.”

According to Mueller, the defendants took extra steps to make it look like its social-media campaign was based in the U.S. rather than in Russia, purchasing space on computer servers in the U.S. Individuals associated with the Trump campaign were targeted by the Russians, too, as they sought to “coordinate political activities” like rallies and protests. The indictment reinforced an intelligence community assessment released in January 2017 that said the Russians interfered to hurt Clinton’s candidacy. It was released days after the country’s top intelligence officials warned lawmakers that the Russians plan to target the 2018 midterm elections.

Mueller Questioned a Russian Oligarch About Payments to Trump’s Attorney

One of the biggest scoops in the Russia investigation came just recently, from a lawyer representing the adult-film performer Stormy Daniels in her lawsuit against Trump and Michael Cohen. Cohen had been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by the Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg between January and August 2017, the attorney, Michael Avenatti, claimed last week. He did not offer any evidence up front to support the claim, but soon CNN reported that Mueller had questioned Vekselberg about the payments. Cohen’s lawyer Steve Ryan acknowledged the Cohen-Vekselberg transaction but told me that it was not “a payment.” Cohen’s New York office and residences were raided by the FBI last month on a tip Mueller gave to the Southern District of New York. Investigators were reportedly looking for evidence of potential bank fraud, wire fraud, and campaign finance violations.

How cocktail party chatter led a Trump ally to claim a 'deep state' conspiracy .
A seemingly impromptu suggestion at a cocktail party in 2016 -- that Hillary Clinton's deleted emails were circulating among the intelligence community and the Trump campaign might be able to get hold of them -- has irked former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo for years, he said. Now, Caputo believes the mention of those emails by a government contractor -- and that person's advice that the Trump campaign pursue sources in the US intelligence community for opposition research on Clinton -- was part of a government conspiracy to entrap members of the Trump campaign.

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