NEWSWATCH: “John McCain: ‘Vladimir Putin Is an Evil Man'” – Wall Street Journal/The Saturday Essay/John McCain

John McCain file photo

[note from JRL web editor: warning, contains mild profanity] “… Sir Andrew Wood, a retired British diplomat … told me he knew a former MI6 officer … Christopher Steele ….  * * * I agreed to receive a copy of … ‘the dossier.’ …. The allegations were disturbing … I had no idea which if any were true. I could not […]

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NEWSLINK: “When did Trump and Putin talk about ‘hookers’?” – Washington Post/Philip Bump

James Comey file photo, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“By the top of the second page of the first memo former FBI director James B. Comey wrote to memorialize his conversations with President Trump, prostitutes are mentioned. Sex workers are a running theme in the seven memos released on Thursday evening, a function of their prominent role in the dossier of unproven allegations involving the president’s 2016 campaign and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What Is the FBI Hiding? The bureau still won’t comply with an eight-month-old subpoena from Congress” – Wall Street Journal/Kimberley A. Strassel

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“Bit by bit, congressional investigators have wrested [information] from a recalcitrant [FBI regarding] its suspect 2016 election dealings. … one secret … jealously guard[ed]: how central that Steele dossier was from the start. … House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes … has demand[ed compliance] … with an August 2017 subpoena … [requiring] among other things … electronic communication [] ‘EC’ … […]

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NEWSWATCH: “How the U.S. Can Play Cyber-Offense; Deterrence Isn’t Enough” – Foreign Affairs/ Michael Sulmeyer

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“The United States has been the victim of repeated cyberattacks by foreign powers, and it seems to have little power to stop them. During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Russian hackers broke into the Democratic National Committee’s e-mail servers and made more general efforts to influence the election’s outcome, as detailed in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s indictment of 13 Russians […]

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NEWSLINK: “On Russia, we need more reason and less frenzy” – Washington Post/Katrina vanden Heuvel

Stylized Artist's Depiction of Shadowy Figures in Dark Coats and Dark Hats, One Carrying a Briefcase

“… Finding a way back from the brink won’t be easy, but less hysteria and more reason would be a useful first step. … Those who care about our democracy should be particularly wary of stoking a new Cold War. Worsening relations only feed the worst forces on both sides – militaries expand, the space for dissent closes, nationalist fervor […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Democrats for Eavesdrop Abuse; Their intel memo confirms the FBI used Clinton research to spy on Carter Page” – Wall Street Journal Editorial

“… the memo confirms … the FBI used an opposition-research document paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee as part of its application to surveil Carter Page … associated with the Donald Trump campaign. … the Democrats do not dispute that the Steele dossier was the FBI’s only source in its initial FISA application for its […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Deep State Has Long Abused Its Power; From Eisenhower to Trump, the intelligence community has always struggled with its political role.” – The National Interest/George Beebe

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“Few questions have greater import for the health and integrity of any republic than the question of whether important parts of its government’s national-security apparatus are abusing their power for political purposes. … particularly … in the United States, where … the Intelligence Community (IC) ha[s] grown so large and capable, where faith in the integrity of our democratic institutions […]

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NEWSWATCH: “GOP Focuses on Russia Allegations That Reached Steele; Notes by freelance journalist Cody Shearer got to writer of dossier via Clinton associate” – Wall Street Journal/Byron Tau

American Flag and Partial View of U.S. Capitol Dome, adapted from image at aoc.gov

“Republicans on Capitol Hill are probing a collection of unverified and salacious allegations against … Trump … compiled in late 2016 by … freelance journalist and researcher … Cody Shearer, who … passed his work along to an associate of Hillary Clinton. … eight pages of raw and unverified notes … purportedly drawn from interviews with two prominent journalists and […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Release the FISA Documents; The public deserves to see the full record on the FBI wiretap request” – Wall Street Journal editorial

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia file photo, adapted from image at dc.uscourts.gov

“… Trump … refused to declassify the Democratic memo on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA)[sic; the court abbreviates itself as FISC, and deals with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)]… , sending it back for negotiation with the Justice Department over intelligence sources and methods. … Trump claimed … that Democrats laid a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Who Is Christopher Steele? The man who revealed a vast international conspiracy but didn’t know his own client.” – Wall Street Journal/Kimberley A. Strassel

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… the former British spy’s credibility has been dismantled. … the FBI should have known better. … the bureau had every reason to be wary …. He was … a paid political operative, hired by Fusion, as a subcontractor for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Opposition researchers are not retained to present considered judgment … [but] to slime an opponent and benefit a […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Biased FBI and DOJ Officials Broke The Law And Tried To Decide The Election – an Annotated Timeline” [excerpt] – Forbes/Thomas Del Beccaro

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

“There can be no question, at this point, that certain higher ups in the FBI and the DOJ did not want Hillary to be indicted and did not want Donald Trump to become President. Those efforts were not entirely independent of each other. Below is a timeline of events – abbreviated though it is – that makes it rather plain […]

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NEWSLINK: “Lost in memo frenzy, White House passed on punishing Russia for 2016 meddling” – The Hill/STEPHEN BLANK

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“Stephen Blank is a former professor of Russian National Security Studies and National Security Affairs at the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College. He is also a former MacArthur fellow at the U.S. Army War College.”  

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NEWSWATCH: “Why the Nunes Memo is a Devastating Blow to the ‘Deep State’; The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence has done its duty by releasing this memo” – The National Interest/Daniel McCarthy

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

“In the midst of the 2016 election, bad actors at the Justice Department tried to turn the FBI into the police arm of the Democratic National Committee (DNC). That’s the bottom line of the January 18 House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence memo released today. … a Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) was led, or misled, into authorizing spying on […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Nunes memo shows the opposite of what Trump hoped it would prove” – Washington Post

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… The memo argues that the FBI may have abused special spying authority under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), obtaining a warrant to surveil former Trump adviser Carter Page using information from the controversial Steele dossier, a collection of allegations about Mr. Trump and his circle assembled by a former British intelligence agent with funding from Democrats. The memo […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Nunes memo and Putin’s long game; As the president and other Republicans directly question the integrity of the FBI and DOJ, analysts and some in the GOP say it only furthers Russian objectives. [Excerpt]” – Politico/Matthew Nussbaum

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

“… Putin might get tired of winning. Ever since the U.S. intelligence community discovered the Russian operation to interfere in the 2016 presidential election … some Republicans have been laboring to undermine investigations into the attack and discredit the intelligence agencies that discovered it. … [O]n Friday … House Republicans released a partisan memo alleging anti-Trump bias at the FBI […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Did The FBI Vouch For The Crazy Russian Deal From The Steele Dossier?” – Forbes/Paul Roderick Gregory

“The media’s promotion of an unverified dossier against … Trump[] failed to cement Hillary Clinton’s expected victory …. If that were the whole story, the dossier would have faded from public view … Trump would not have spent his first year fighting off charges of treason, and a much bigger story would not be getting ready to break. What we […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Newly released texts between former Mueller probe members reveal skepticism about the case” – Washington Post/Karoun Demirjian

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… An FBI official who was removed from special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election over politically charged texts disparaging President Trump considered never joining the probe at all, because of a ‘gut sense and concern, there’s no big “there” there.’… Click here for: “Newly released texts between former Mueller probe members reveal […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Steele boasted to friends of his ‘professional’ work on Russia-Trump dossier” – Washington Times/ Rowan Scarborough

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… On Friday, two Republican senators made a criminal referral to the Justice Department. An investigation revealed that … Steele misled the FBI, said Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina. The FBI told lawmakers that the bureau had not confirmed the dossier’s core collusion charges since … Steele’s first briefing in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Flynn Flipped. Who’s Next?” – New York Times editorial

Michael Flynn file photo

“… Flynn pleaded guilty to one count of lying to the F.B.I. about his communications with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, during the transition period in December 2016. … The president has repeatedly denied that he or his campaign had any involvement with Russia, and he has mocked the investigation as a ‘witch hunt.’ …”

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NEWSLINK: “BOOK REVIEW: COLLUSION [re Luke Harding]” – Irrussaianality/ Paul Robinson

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… evidence of direct collusion between Trump and the Russians is looking a little thin, to say the least. Now, into this maelstrom steps Guardian reporter Luke Harding … * * *  I wish I could say that this book was a joke. If you were going to write a parody of the collusion story, this is perhaps what it would look like. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Red mist; How the Russia investigation looks from Moscow; Hyperventilating about Vladimir Putin infuriates Russian liberals, but it has led to a better Russia policy” – The Economist

Vladirmir Putin and Donald Trump Sitting in Chairs with Flags Behind, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“Buzzfeed recently broke an explosive story about Russia’s meddling in America’s elections. On August 3rd 2016, it reported, just as the presidential race was entering its final phase, the Russian foreign ministry wired nearly $30,000 through a Kremlin-backed bank to its embassy in Washington, DC, with a remarkable description attached: ‘To finance election campaign of 2016’. … only one of 60 […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Bonfire of the Prosecutors; Political animosities are pushing the U.S. toward a significant political crisis” – Wall Street Journal/ Daniel Henninger

Department of Justice Headquarters Building file photo, adapted from image at justice.gov

“… Attorney General Jeff Sessions, responding to … House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte … asked the Justice Department’s career lawyers to look into the possibility of … a second special prosecutor, to investigate Hillary Clinton. * * * The people who brought us the Trump-Russia collusion narrative are now weeping crocodile tears that the appointment of a second prosecutor would mean […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Manafort Indictment; Mueller’s charges relate to money-laundering cash from Ukraine” – Wall Street Journal Editorial

U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia file photo, adapted from image at dc.uscourts.gov

“… Mueller indicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort for tax fraud …. [accusing] Manafort (and business partner Richard Gates) of funneling money from a pro-Russia party in Ukraine into offshore shell companies and bank accounts. They … allegedly used these accounts to fund their spending habits, neglecting to declare the money to the IRS. The indictment also accuses … Manafort of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Clinton campaign, DNC paid for research that led to Russia dossier” – Washington Post/ Adam Entous, Devlin Barrett, Rosalind S. Helderman, Julie Tate

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“The … Clinton campaign and … Democratic National Committee helped fund research … result[ing] … in a now-famous dossier … alleg[ing] … Trump[] connections to Russia and possible coordination between his campaign and the Kremlin …. [T]he Clinton campaign and the DNC[] retained Fusion GPS [with the help of law firm Perkins Coie] … to conduct the research. … [Fusions GPS] hired dossier author Christopher Steele, a former British […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Report of Ukraine Witness to DNC Hacking Stirs Confusion” – AP

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“A report that a cooperating witness has emerged out of Ukraine to help the FBI’s inquiry … is drawing confusion and denials in Ukraine. … The New York Times says a malware author linked to the hacking of the DNC’s servers had turned himself in … But Ukraine’s Cyberpolice said … the unnamed individual had no established links to hacking The Times’ story has […]

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NEWSLINK: “Mending the Gap? Why the DNC mistrusts the FBI” – Economic Principals/ David Warsh

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“… The DNC’s reluctance to share its server probably stems from an awareness of lingering antagonisms within the FBI – the natural inference is that there’s presumably something on it that they don’t trust some FBI agents to keep to themselves once seen. Still, the failure to turn over the evidence is just the sort of lever on public opinion […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Special Seinfeld? An investigation about nothing could become something worse” – Wall Street Journal/ James Freeman

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“‘After 7 months of investigations & committee hearings about my “collusion with the Russians,” nobody has been able to show any proof. Sad!,’ tweeted … Trump …. his argument is stronger than he suggests, because … Comey’s FBI began looking for evidence of collusion nearly a full year ago. It still hasn’t appeared, which means that Department of Justice Special Counsel […]

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VIDEO & ARTICLE: “Russian Banker Sees Trump Facing Witch Hunt in New Cold War” – Bloomberg

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Erik Schatzker, Jake Rudnitsky – June 1, 2017) [Video interview also at: bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-01/russian-banker-says-u-s-involved-in-witch-hunt-against-trump] U.S. politicians have turned an investigation into alleged Russian interference in the presidential elections into a witch hunt to settle domestic political scores, according to the head of Russia’s second-largest bank. “This is effectively a new Cold War,” VTB Group Chief Executive Officer […]

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Andrei Liakhov: “Re: 2017-#98-Johnson’s Russia List/ My answer to the ‘prominent Washington expert'”

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Subject: Re: 2017-#98-Johnson’s Russia List Date: Wed, 24 May 2017 20:01:47 +0300 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> My answer to the “prominent Washington expert”: Dear expert, you have not read the report correctly. [“Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections”] The January report never stated unequivocally that Russia’s interference is an established fact. At most, to me, as to […]

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Response by prominent Washington expert on Russia to JRL 2017-#95, 18 May 2017 [Re: U.S. #Intelligence, #Russia, #Hacking, U.S. Election]:

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Response by prominent Washington expert on Russia to JRL 2017-#95, 18 May 2017: “I was surprised to read Prof. Robinson’s analysis on your Russia List. His analysis misses one rather central point, without mention of which everything else that he says instantly loses credibility. It is not leaks — what would the in-party do without leaks to blame? —  that […]

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The Russian Shadow behind the Comey Dismissal

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(The Kennan Institute –wilsoncenter.org/program/kennan-institute – MAXIM TRUDOLYUBOV – May 10, 2017) Maxim Trudolyubov, Senior Fellow with the Kennan Institute and editor-at-large with Vedomosti, has been following Russian economy and politics since the late 1990s. He has served as an opinion page editor for Vedomosti and editor and correspondent for the newspaper Kapital. The Trump’s administration’s highest-level meeting with Russia is […]

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NEWSLINK: “It Was Inevitable That Trump Would Fire James Comey; The FBI director repeatedly ventured into matters above his pay grade” – The National Interest/ Jacob Heilbrunn

James Comey file photo, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“It was probably inevitable that Donald Trump would fire FBI Director James B. Comey. The surprising thing may be … that Trump waited as long as he did. Comey has repeatedly displayed lamentably bad judgment. … [In]Washington … [i]nstitution after institution has come into disrepute because of bungling by top government officials. Comey’s missteps are not an aberration, but part of a […]

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NEWSWATCH: Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump: “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?”

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

Twitter May 9, 2017 Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump “The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?” [live feed of tweet also should embed below; tweet also viewable at: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/861713823505494016] The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end? — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017

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NEWSLINK: “FBI’s Comey: Russia is ‘greatest threat of any nation on Earth’ to U.S. democratic process” – CNBC/ Jacob Pramuk

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“#FBI Director James #Comey told senators Wednesday that #Russia remains involved in American politics, saying he thinks the country poses the ‘greatest threat’ to the U.S. political process of any in the world. During a Senate Judiciary Committee oversight hearing, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham – a foreign policy hawk – asked Comey ‘what kind of threat’ Russia presents ‘to the […]

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NEWSWATCH: Transcript of AP interview with Trump (excerpt re: CrowdStrike)

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

[In an interview with AP, dated April 24, 2017, with an indication that it apparently took place Friday, April 21, 2017, President Donald Trump commented on Democratic National Committee cybersecurity problems and computer contractor CrowdStrike.] TRUMP: They [Democratic National Committee] shouldn’t have allowed it to get out. If they had the proper defensive devices on their internet, you know, equipment, they wouldn’t […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Behold the Master Conspirator; Adam Schiff and Carter Page have in common cluelessness and ambition” – Wall Street Journal/Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“… Schiff and … Page are fitting sharers of the stage in this episode, with a certain indefinable insubstantiality in common. … Page attached himself to Candidate Trump, promoter of better relations with Russia, after apparently spending the past decade – since leaving a junior job with Merrill Lynch in Moscow – seeking to insert himself in energy deals in Russia in hopes, […]

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Why the Comey Hearing Was Frightening to a Russian

Gas Facility file photo

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – March 21, 2017) Leonid Bershidsky is a Bloomberg View columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website Slon.ru. Monday’s hearing on Russia’s alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election and the alleged contacts between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Kremlin yielded inspiring news for […]

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Cyber Firm at Center of Russian Hacking Charges Misread Data

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Oleksiy Kuzmenko, Pete Cobus – WASHINGTON – March 21, 2017) [Text with links here voanews.com/a/crowdstrike-comey-russia-hack-dnc-clinton-trump/3776067.html] An influential British think tank and Ukraine’s military are disputing a report that the U.S. cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike has used to buttress its claims of Russian hacking in the presidential election. The CrowdStrike report, released in December, asserted that […]

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“How did the intelligence community know that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee? CrowdStrike told them so. From the March 20 House Intelligence Committee hearing …”

FBI Headquarters File Photo

How did the intelligence community know that the Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee?  CrowdStrike told them so. From the March 20 House Intelligence Committee hearing: Congressman Will HURD: Have you been able to — when did the DNC provide access for — to the FBI for your technical folks to review what happened? FBI Director COMEY: Well we never […]

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NEWSLINK: “Notes From the House Select Intelligence Hearing on Russia; In one of the most anticipated congressional hearings in years, James Comey and Mike Rogers took turns saying nothing” – Rolling Stone/Matt Taibbi

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

[DJ: To be contrasted with Michael McFaul’s enthusiastic minute-by-minute Twitter feed at @McFaul] “The hearing on Russia’s involvement with the American electoral process began with an army of reporters swarming ’round the committee heads: Republican chair Devin Nunes of the Fresno area, and Democrat and ranking member Adam Schiff of Los Angeles. … The two witnesses were top dogs from […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump Attacks FBI on Leakers of Russia Reports: ‘FIND NOW'” – Reuters

FBI Headquarters File Photo

… Trump criticized the FBI … for failing to stop leaks of national security information to the media and directed the agency to find those who pass on classified information. … amid media reports that the FBI has refused a White House request that it refutes recent stories …. The Federal Bureau of Investigation … did not answer a request […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Intelligence panel chair asks why Democrats denied FBI access after Russian hacking (excerpt)” – McClatchy/ANNA DOUGLAS

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

… [Senator Richard] Burr wanted to know why the Democratic National Committee didn’t give the FBI direct access to servers and devices that had been compromised in a cyberattack. FBI Director James Comey told Burr the agency and its investigators had made ‘multiple requests at different levels’ for access to DNC infrastructure and John Podesta’s devices for the purposes of […]

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