NEWSLINK: “Russia likely targeted all 50 states in 2016, but has yet to try again, DHS cyber chief says” – ABC News/Mike Levine

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“… even with the campaign season underway the U.S. government has yet to detect any new cyber activity from Russia targeting election systems … Nevertheless … it’s likely every single U.S. state was targeted by Russian hackers during the 2016 presidential election – far more states potentially impacted than the public may have realized. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The Beginning of the End of the Russia Hoax” – Rush Limbaugh

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“… my answer was, ‘Before I get into that, Chris, I just want to tell you, this whole idea that the Russians had anything to do with the outcome of the presidential election is absurd. The idea that they colluded or tampered or worked with Donald Trump to do it is doubly absurd. There is nothing to it.’ …”

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NEWSLINK: “Nobody is safe from Russia’s colossal hacking operation; Russia hackers have targetted ‘millions’ of connected devices in the UK and US. It’s all part of Putin’s grand plan to disrupt the west” – Wired (UK)/Nicole Kobie

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“… this week U.S. and U.K. authorities teamed up to issue a joint warning about communications infrastructure, including home-office routers. The rare joint alert noted that routers, switches, firewalls and network intrusion detection systems at government and businesses were the main targets of Russian hackers, but it added that even “small-office/home-office customers” should take more protective action, as should Internet […]

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British Media Regulator Probing RT’s Impartiality After Salisbury Poisoning

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – April 18, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/british-media-regulator-probing-rt-s-impartiality-after-salisbury-poisoning/29174828.html) Britain’s media watchdog has started probing whether Russian news channel RT broke impartiality rules in its programs after a former Russian double agent and his daughter were poisoned in the English city of Salisbury last month. Media regulator Ofcom warned on […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Trained ‘Special Units’ on Door Handle Poisonings, U.K. Says” – New York Times/Ellen Barry

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Russia has been researching the application of chemical agents to door handles as a way to assassinate its enemies, and has been training personnel ‘from special units’ to carry out such attacks, said Mark Sedwill, Britain’s national security adviser … in a letter to the secretary general of NATO. … Sedwill’s letter, the most detailed account of British intelligence on […]

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RUSSIALINK: Interfax: Moscow urges London to explain situation surrounding visa for Victoria Skripal – Foreign Ministry

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

MOSCOW. April 6 (Interfax) – The Russian Foreign Ministry has urged United Kingdom officials to explain what is happening about the issuing of a visa to Victoria Skripal, cousin of Yulia Skripal, who is undergoing treatment at a Salisbury hospital after being poisoned, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said. London’s refusal to comment on the situation is outrageous, Zakharova […]

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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: “Poisoned Russian Agent Sergei Skripal Is Getting Better Fast, Hospital Says” – Reuters

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is no longer in critical condition and his health is improving rapidly more than a month since he [and his daugter were] poisoned with a nerve agent …. Britain said they were poisoned with a military-grade nerve agent first developed by the Soviet Union. Russia has denied it had anything to do with the first […]

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U.S. Reported Poised To Impose New Sanctions On Russian Billionaires

Portion of U.S. Treasury Department Building Facade, North Side, with Sculpture of Alexander Hamilton

(Article ©2018 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – April 5, 2018 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/us-reported-poised-impose-new-sanctions-russian-billionaires/29146529.html) The United States plans to impose a new round of sanctions on Russia, this time targeting Russian billionaires with ties to President Vladimir Putin, media are reporting. Reuters and The Washington Post, citing U.S. officials speaking on condition of anonymity, said at […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia and the U.S. can replace expelled diplomats” – CNN/Laura Koran

File Photo of U.S. Embassy Moscow, with Russian Foreign Ministry Building in Distance

“The State Department confirmed the United States and Russia can replace diplomats in each other’s countries who were expelled … standard practice … [when] targeted personnel are ejected as ‘persona non-grata’ … any new diplomats would be subject to approval on a ‘case-by-case basis.’ ‘As always/As with similar incidents in the past, the Russian government remains free to request accreditation […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Porton Down experts unable to identify ‘precise source’ of novichok that poisoned spy; The lab’s boss says a ‘state actor’ made the novichok and also rubbishes claims that it could have come from his facility.” – Sky News (UK)/Paul Kelso

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“… Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, told Sky News they were not yet able to prove it was made in Russia. … ‘We were able to identify it as novichok, to identify that it was military-grade’ … he confirmed the substance required ‘extremely sophisticated methods to create, something only in […]

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NEWSLINK: “Is Putin a C.I.A. Agent?” – Thomas L. Friedman/New York Times

New York Times Masthead from 1913 adapted from image at loc.gov

“… Because Putin has undertaken so many actions in recent years that contributed to the weakening of Russia’s economy and human capital base that you have to wonder whether he’s secretly on the C.I.A.’s payroll. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Was nerve agent spy poisoned by his breakfast? Police quiz daughter’s friend who brought £1 bag of cereal from Russia as a gift” – The Daily Mail (UK)

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“Police quiz daughter’s friend who brought £1 bag of cereal from Russia as a gift; Yulia, 33, was asked by Sergei Skripal to bring home his favourite porridge; She forgot and instead asked a friend who was travelling later to buy it instead; Metropolitan Police have questioned the unnamed woman over buckwheat …”

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Professor Warns of Putin Hit list: ‘It’s Very Cold Warrish'” – Nina Khrushcheva

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“Russian-American professor Nina Khrushcheva talked about Russian President Vladimir Putin’s retaliatory strategy against state enemies and warned that his hit list and weapons development program is reminiscent of Cold War tensions. …”  

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NEWSWATCH: “Poisoned Door Handle Hints at High-Level Plot to Kill Spy, U.K. Officials Say” – New York Times/Ellen Barry, David E. Sanger

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“British officials investigating the poisoning of Sergei V. Skripal … former Russian double agent, believe it is likely that an assassin smeared a nerve agent on the door handle at his home. … so risky and sensitive that it is unlikely to have been undertaken without approval from the Kremlin …. Skripal … was freed in a spy swap with […]

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Russian sports minister suggests putting WADA in charge of national anti-doping organizations

Olympic Rings Lit at Night, adapted from image at state.gov

MOSCOW. April 2 (Interfax) – Russian anti-doping organizations could become branches of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), which in that case would be responsible for their work, Russian Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said. “WADA is monitoring the work of all national anti-doping organizations and laboratories, and responsibility is borne by the states where these structures are located. The consequences of […]

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NEWSLINK: “All 60 Russians kicked out of U.S. are ‘undeclared spies’ pretending to be diplomats, U.S. official says” – Fox News

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

“All of the 60 Russians expelled by the United States this week were undeclared ‘spies’ pretending to be diplomats, a senior administration official told reporters … saying the Russians were unwelcome — ‘persona non grata.’ ‘These are not diplomats that we expelled. These were intelligence officers that were engaging in activities that were not commensurate with their diplomatic roles and […]

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Defending Digital Democracy

File Image of Laptop Computer, Tables and Mobile Device, adapted from image at energy.gov

Subject: Democracy’s Front-Line Defenders Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2018 From: Eric Rosenbach <erosenbach@belfercenter.hks.harvard.edu> Defending Digital Democracy America’s enemies aren’t resting. Neither are we. I hope you’ll be in touch with me with thoughts about how we can strengthen our efforts to defend democracy. Warm regards, Eric Rosenbach Co-Director, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard University Director, Defending Digital […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Russian expulsions are a good first step. But only a first step.” – Washington Post Editorial

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

“The United States joined with 19 other countries Monday in what was described as the largest-ever collective expulsion of Russian intelligence officers. … the biggest: Sixty officials with diplomatic status … ordered out of the [United States] and the Russian consulate in Seattle was closed. … a needed response to the nerve-agent attack on a former spy and his daughter […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Tough Action on Russia, at Last, but More Is Needed” – New York Times Editorial

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

“… expelling scores of Russians from the United States and 21 other countries … Trump and allied leaders have imposed the most significant punishment yet on Russia and … Putin. … Putin’s mischief … runs the gamut from interference in the elections in America and other Western democracies to propelling the wars in Ukraine and Syria. … The expulsion orders retaliate […]

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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: “Factbox: Diplomatic Moves Against Russia After Nerve Gas Attack” – Reuters

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“Following are diplomatic measures announced against #Russia by the United States, Canada, several EU countries and Ukraine in response to the poisoning of a former Russian double agent with military-grade nerve agent in the English town of Salisbury. …”

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NEWSLINK: “It’s wishful thinking to blame Clinton’s loss on Cambridge Analytica; Cambridge Analytica has now joined Russia at the top of a list of conspirators who may have helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016, leaving the real reasons unexamined” – The Independent (UK)/Patrick Cockburn

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sergei Lavrov, Seated With Flags

“… Cambridge Analytica has now joined Russia at the top of a list of conspirators who may have helped Trump defeat Hillary Clinton in 2016. This is satisfactory for Democrats as it shows that they ought to have won, and delegitimises Trump’s mandate. In the Russian and Cambridge Analytica scandals, dodgy characters abound who claim to have a direct line […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump Orders Expulsion of 60 Russians Over Poison Attack in Britain” – New York Times/KATIE ROGERS, EILEEN SULLIVAN

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Trump ordered the expulsion of 60 Russian officials on Monday, joining a coordinated campaign by two dozen countries to retaliate for the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain …. The mass expulsion of Russian personnel stationed in the United States was the largest ever, eclipsing even the darkest days of the global showdown with the Soviet Union. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why did Russia poison one of its ex-spies in Britain?” – Washington Post.Maria Snegovaya

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“With Putin returning to office after this election, Moscow appears poised to continue disrupting world politics for years to come.”

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NEWSLINK: “Russia Wormed Its Way Into Access at Power Plants, U.S. Says; Cyberattacks Put Russian Fingers on the Switch at Power Plants, U.S. Says” – New York Times

Electrical Yard file photo

“The Trump administration accused Russia … of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will. United States officials and private security firms saw the attacks as a signal by Moscow that it could disrupt the West’s critical facilities in […]

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RUSSIALINK Interfax: “Russia ready to probe Skripal’s poisoning together with UK – Nebenzya”

File Photo of UN Building with Flags

NEW YORK (UN). March 15 (Interfax) – Russia is not involved in the poisoning of former Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU) officer Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the United Kingdom and stands ready to investigate this situation together with the UK, Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vasily Nebenzya said. “Russia has nothing to do with this incident. […]

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NEWSLINK: “Does Putin’s Russia reject the West?” – BBC/Sarah Rainsford

File Photo of British Parliament Building Including Saint Stephen's Tower Containing Big Ben

“Amid the furor over a nerve agent spy attack in the UK, Russia is holding a presidential election. … Putin is expected to win yet another term in office. Do ordinary Russians share his outlook? …”  

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House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence: Russia Investigation

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

House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence March 12, 2018 Russia Investigation [PDF: intelligence.house.gov/uploadedfiles/ hpsci_russia_investigation_one_page_summary.pdf ] Overview Following a more than yearlong, bipartisan investigation into Russia active measures targeting the 2016 U.S. election, the House Intelligence Committee has completed a draft report of 150+ pages, with 600+ citations. The draft report addresses, in detail, each of the questions within the agreed […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian Spy’s Poisoning: Where Does PM May Go from Here? Russia’s apparent attempt to murder Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom leaves Her Majesty’s Government with no good choices” – David Johnson/The National Interest

File Photo of British Parliament Building, Big Ben, Thames, adapted from image at loc.gov

“Russia’s apparent attempt to murder Sergei Skripal in the United Kingdom leaves … [the UK] with no good choices. Unlike the murder of … Litvinenko … London had no choice but rapidly and publicly to accuse [Russia] of … incompetence in losing control of a nerve agent it invented or attempted murder on British soil. …”  British Prime Minister May […]

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NEWSLINK: “PUTIN ON U.S. ELECTION MEDDLING: ‘SO WHAT?’ AND OTHER KEY QUOTES FROM MEGYN KELLY’S INTERVIEW” – Newsweek

Kremlin and River

“… Putin said he ‘doesn’t care’ about the alleged meddling of Russian nationals and companies in the U.S. presidential election on 2016 that saw the victory of Republican candidate Donald Trump over his Democrat rival Hillary Clinton. Putin discussed the indictment filed by special counsel Robert Mueller last month as part of an exclusive interview to NBC’s Megyn Kelly aired […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin on U.S. election interference: ‘I couldn’t care less'” – NBC News

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“… Putin has told NBC News that he ‘couldn’t care less’ if Russian citizens tried to interfere in the 2016 American presidential election because, he claims, they were not connected to the Kremlin. In an exclusive and at-times combative interview with NBC’s Megyn Kelly, Putin again denied the charge by U.S. intelligence services that he ordered meddling in the November […]

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NEWSLINK: “Confronting Putin” – NBC

Vladimir Putin file photo with VOA logo; screen shot from video still

“In this NBC News Special, Megyn Kelly travels to Russia for a rare exclusive sit-down interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Amid heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia, Megyn grills Putin on the Kremlin’s role in Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Spy chiefs ‘suspect Russia targeted ex-double agent with poison so rare military scientists still don’t know what it is'” – The Mirror (UK)

Artist Rendition of Barrel with Poison Symbol on It, Oozing Green Material

“A secret military lab in Porton Down has been unable to ‘definitively’ identify the substance – raising fears it could be the heavy metallic chemical Thallium”

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NEWSLINK: “Christopher Steele, the Man Behind the Trump Dossier; How the ex-spy tried to warn the world about Trump’s ties to Russia” – The New Yorker/Jane Mayer

Strobe Talbott file photo, adapted from image at state.gov

“Strobe Talbott, a Russia expert who served as Deputy Secretary of State in the Clinton Administration, and who has known Steele professionally for ten years, has watched the spectacle in Washington with regret. Talbott regards Steele as a ‘smart, careful, professional, and congenial’ colleague who ‘knows the post-Soviet space, and is exactly what he says he is.’ Yet, Talbott said, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “External Interference Narratives in Russian and U.S. Politics: Conspiracy Theorizing Meets Whataboutism” [Excerpt]

Arm and Torso of Person in Brown Sweater Placing Paper Ballot into Ballot Box

(PONARS Eurasia – ponarseurasia.org – Serghei Golunov – February 2018) Serghei Golunov is Professor at the Center for Asia-Pacific Future Studies at Kyushu University, Japan. [Full text ponarseurasia.org/memo/external-interference-narratives-russian-and-us-politics-conspiracy-theorizing] (PONARS Policy Memo) Conspiracy theories about covert external interference play significant roles in the political discourses of many countries worldwide. In Russia, conspiracy theorizing about U.S. clandestine interference is a long-time, long-term […]

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NEWSLINK: “Ukrainian Association of the Kennan Institute Alumni: ‘We are deeply concerned by the Kennan Institute’s growing pro-Kremlin policies'” – Kyiv Post/Ukrainian Association of the Kennan Institute Alumni

File of Reagan Building, adapted from image at archives.gov

“The following is an open letter of the Ukrainian Association of the Kennan Institute Alumni published on Feb. 27.”

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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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NEWSLINK: “A So-Called Expert’s Uneasy Dive Into the Trump-Russia Frenzy; Is it possible to express skepticism about the impact of Kremlin interference in the 2016 election without the Internet turning you into a pro-Trump propagandist?” – The New Yorker/Adrian Chen

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“… The thing is, I don’t really want to be an expert on the Internet Research Agency and Russian online propaganda. I agree with my colleague Masha Gessen that the whole issue has been blown out of proportion. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Teaching Activities for: ‘Russia Sees Midterm Elections as Chance to Sow Fresh Discord, Intelligence Chiefs Warn'” – New York Times/The Learning Network/Caroline Crosson Gilpin

Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.gov

“… Russia is using fake accounts on social media — many of them bots — to spread disinformation, the officials said. European elections are being targeted, too, and the attacks were not likely to end this year, they warned. …”

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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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NEWSLINK: “Russia Sees Midterm Elections as Chance to Sow Fresh Discord, Intelligence Chiefs Warn” – New York Times/MATTHEW ROSENBERG, CHARLIE SAVAGE, MICHAEL WINES

Multilingual Polling Place Sign from U.S. Election Polling Place

“Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats: ‘We’re not going to allow some Russian to tell us how to vote, how we ought to run our country.’”  

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NEWSWATCH: “Carter Page, Useful Idiot; The demonization of Carter Page highlights the most alarming aspect of our recent domestic political turmoil – a disturbing conviction that basic standards of truth or fairness must not be allowed to deflect from the paramount objective of toppling Trump” – The American Interest/Kirk Bennett

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

“… Reading some of the recent hyperventilating headlines (‘Carter Page admits to advising the Kremlin’), one could be forgiven for wondering whether Page’s years in Moscow were spent working from an office adjoining Putin’s. The reality is disappointingly pedestrian. What Page actually wrote in a 2013 letter is that, ‘over the past half year, I have had the privilege to […]

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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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