Moscow has Made ‘Unforgivable Mistake’ of Setting West against Russia for the Long Term, Shevtsova Says

File Photo of G7 Leaders and other Officials Around Round Table at the Hague, with Flags

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, August 15, 2018) The Russian regime has made “the unforgivable mistake” of acting against the West in ways that have made Russia a key part of the domestic politics of the U.S. and European countries and guaranteed that the West will continue its sanctions regime against Moscow for a long time to […]

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NEWSLINK: “This Russian Spy Agency is in the Middle of Everything; Only a few years ago, the GRU looked like it might be dissolved. But Putin found new uses for it: covert war in Ukraine and ‘active measures’ that helped Trump get elected” – The Daily Beast/Amy Knight

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

“… Russia’s military intelligence agency, known as the GRU‍, is getting blamed for all sorts of things …. Robert Mueller indicted 12 GRU officers for hacking into computers of the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee. The GRU allegedly was behind the recent poisonings of four people in Britain, including former GRU officer Sergei Skripal, who survived, and a woman […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. to impose ‘crushing’ set of sanctions on Russia’s debt and oil” – bne Intellinews/Ben Aris

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

“A proposed ‘crushing’ bipartisan bill introduced by the … Senate … will not be debated until … autumn and many … harsh terms could be considerably watered down, Luis Saenz, … co-head of equities at BCS Global Markets said …. [The] bill … targets Russian debt and energy companies, designed to punish Russia for interfering in the U.S. presidential election, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What Are the FBI and CIA Hiding? The agency might have led the bureau down a rabbit hole in the 2016 Trump counterintelligence probe” – Wall Street Journal/Thomas J. Baker

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“Although the FBI’s case officially began July 31, 2016, there had been investigative activity before that …. John Brennan’s CIA might have directed activity in Britain … [problematic considering] longstanding agreements that the U.S. will not conduct intelligence operations there. It would explain why the FBI continues to stonewall Congress … Further, what we know about the case’s origin does […]

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NEWSLINK: “Putin wanted to interrogate me. Trump called it ‘an incredible offer.’ Why? When foreign affairs are, literally, personal.” – Washington Post/Michael McFaul

Ambassador Mike McFaul file photo

“I thought I was done worrying about Vladimir Putin. … his proxies falsely argued that I had been sent by President Barack Obama to fund the opposition and foment revolution; that I hoped Putin would end up like Serbian autocrat Slobodan Milosevic, dislodged and imprisoned; and that I was a pedophile. …. But this month, at the Helsinki summit between […]

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Angus Roxburgh: “The real facts about the Putin-Trump press conference”

Subject: The real facts about the Putin-Trump press conference Date: Wed, 25 Jul 2018 From: Angus Roxburgh <angus.roxburgh@gmail.com> There has been much discussion, rightly, of Rachel Maddow’s sensational allegation that the White House intentionally doctored both the transcript and the video of the Putin-Trump press conference. Philip Bump in the Washington Post washingtonpost.com/news/politics/wp/2018/07/25/no-the-white-house-didnt-intentionally-edit-a-question-to-putin-out-of-a-video/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.2e9618f92cac tries to dissect what happened. But neither […]

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NEWSLINK: “Democrats Will Regret Becoming the Anti-Russia Party; Riling up the public against Moscow is good for Democrats in the short term-and bad for America” – Micah Zenko/Foreign Policy Magazine

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“… When a political party increases its animus toward a foreign country – believing that this will enhance its own popularity-it introduces second-order effects that can manifest themselves years later. It creates a voting bloc of Americans who become socialized to hate a foreign government and, by extension, its citizens. It reduces the motivations and complexities of that government to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Surprise, Maryland – your election contractor has ties to Russia” – Washington Post Editorial

Baltimore Inner Harbor and Skline file photo, adapted from image at epa.gov by Steven C. Welsh, www.stevencwelsh.com :: www.stevencwelsh.info

“… an Internet technology company with which [Maryland] contracts to hold electronic voting information is connected to a Russian oligarch … ‘very close’ to … Putin. Maryland leaders did not know about the connection until the FBI told them. Maryland[] … chose a company to keep electronic information on voter registration, election results and other … data. … [a] company […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Helsinki Summit: A Good Idea Turns Bad; Mitigating the dangers of a U.S.-Russian escalatory spiral will be difficult” – The National Interest/George Beebe

“George Beebe is director of the Center for the National Interest’s intelligence program. He formerly served as chief of Russia analysis at the CIA, and as special advisor to Vice President Cheney on Russia and the former Soviet Union.” “… the United States and Russia … managed to sail their listing bilateral ship directly into the rocks of the Russian […]

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RUSSIALINK: “THE HELSINKI SUMMIT – CAN THE ELECTION-INTERFERENCE SHADOW BE LIFTED?” – Valdai Discussion Club/ Timothy Colton/ Harvard

Stylized Russian and U.S. Flags, 200, 1807-2007

“The Helsinki summit between Presidents Putin and Trump was their first full-scale … The pair called for “constructive dialogue” without revealing any concrete results from the talks, other than plans for aides to follow up. They did hint at progress toward an understanding over Syria, presumably involving mutual acceptance of continuance of the Assad regime and Russian restraints on Iran, […]

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NEWSLINK: “Mueller’s New Indictment – Do the Feds Take Us for Idiots” – Medium/Mark McCarty

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

“… The timing of the indictment is of course quite strategic — released right before Trump’s summit with Putin, there will be no time for critiques of the indictments to appear and be digested prior to the meeting; hence, the chances of a successful outcome auguring for peace will be lowered. And how convenient that Assange has been rendered incommunicado just when […]

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Musings II … The “Intelligence Community,” “Russian Interference,” and Due Diligence; Did the U.S. “Intelligence Community” judge that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election?

DNI Seal and Smaller Seals of Agencies Related to DNI

(Jack Matlock – Jackmatlock.com – June 29, 2018) About: Jack Matlock is a career diplomat who served on the front lines of American diplomacy during the Cold War and was U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union when the Cold War ended. Since retiring from the Foreign Service, he has focused on understanding how the Cold War ended and how the […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why the CIA Needs Its Own Horowitz Report; No need to speculate: The intelligence agencies saw Trump as a de facto agent of the Kremlin” – Wall Street Journal/Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

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

“Now that the world has digested the Horowitz report, notice how much of the story it doesn’t tell. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is treated as a closed loop when, in fact, much of its decision making was based on intelligence and advice supplied by other agencies. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Tech didn’t spot Russian interference during the last election. Now it’s asking law enforcement for help.” – Washington Post

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“Silicon Valley companies and law enforcement are starting to talk about how to ward off meddling by malicious actors including Russia on social media in the November midterms, an attempt at dialogue and information-sharing that was absent during the 2016 presidential elections. …”

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Mueller’s Fruit of the Poisonous Tree; It makes no difference how honorable he is. His investigation is tainted by the bias that attended its origin in 2016” – Wall Street Journal/David B. Rivkin Jr., Elizabeth Price Foley

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“Special counsel … Mueller’s investigation may face a serious legal obstacle …. antecedent political bias. … the Justice Department’s inspector general[] unearthed a pattern of anti-Trump bias by high-ranking [FBI] officials …. their communications … were ‘… indicative of a biased state of mind … imply a willingness to take action to impact a presidential candidate’s electoral prospects.’ Although … […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russiagate’s ‘Core Narrative’ Has Always Lacked Actual Evidence; The unprecedented allegation that the Kremlin ‘attacked America’ and ‘colluded’ with its president in order to elect him is based on two documents devoid of facts or logic” – The Nation/Stephen F. Cohen

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

“… Cohen reminds listeners that the Russiagate scandal, which first leaked into the media in mid-2016, has already done immense political damage during these two years. …”

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NEW BOOK NEWSLINK: “The Perfect Weapon: War, Sabotage, and Fear in the Cyber Age” – Wilson Center

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“Please join us for an exclusive look at The Perfect Weapon … In 2015, Russian hackers tunneled deep into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee …    

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Top Agent Said F.B.I. Would Stop Trump From Becoming President” [Excerpt] – New York Times/Michael S. Schmidt

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“New texts released … by the Justice Department’s inspector general show that the F.B.I. agent overseeing the investigation into … Trump’s campaign pledged to stop … Trump from becoming president. ‘[Trump’s] not ever going to become president, right?’ asked a top F.B.I. lawyer, Lisa Page, in one text. ‘Right?!’ Peter Strzok, the agent overseeing the F.B.I.’s investigation into links between […]

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NEWSLINK: “THE EARLY CHAPTERS; Books on the Russia scandal focus on the news. What they need is more history” – Washington Post/Carlos Lozada

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

“… None of the works on Trump and Russia is comprehensive; the appeal of one or another depends on the angles you obsess over and the blind spots you ignore. …” * * * THE FUTURE IS HISTORY How Totalitarianism Reclaimed Russia By Masha Gessen. Riverhead. 515 pp. $28 COLLUSION Secret Meetings, Dirty Money, and How Russia Helped Donald Trump […]

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NEWSLINK: “Mueller asks to secure evidence in ‘Putin chef’ case, citing Russian intelligence and ongoing interference operations” – Washington Post/Spencer S. Hsu

Robert Mueller file photo, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“Federal prosecutors say they believe operations to interfere in U.S. elections are ongoing and want a court to tightly control how evidence gathered by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III about Internet trolling in 2016 is shared with a Russian company accused of helping to mislead American voters. … The filing seeking a protective order for documents came in proceedings […]

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Amid ‘Russiagate’ Hysteria, What Are the Facts? We must end this Russophobic insanity

Jack Matlock file photo, adapted from image at usembassy.gov

(Jack F. Matlock Jr. – June 2, 2018) Jack F. Matlock Jr., Ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991, is the author of Reagan and Gorbachev: How the Cold War Ended and Superpower Illusions: How Myths and False Ideologies Led America Astray-And How to Return to Reality. [Short Version: thenation.com/article/amid-russiagate-hysteria-what-are-the-facts/] [Longer version: jackmatlock.com/2018/06/musings-russiagate-hysteria/#more-982] Whom the gods would destroy, […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Whatever It Was, We Didn’t Do It” – New York Times Editorial

Kremlin and River

“… Russia’s reaction to all accusations of foul play [has been consistent], whether … [to] well-documented charges by the Netherlands, Australia and other nations that [Russia] was responsible for downing a Malaysian jetliner over Ukraine in 2014, killing 298 … the British accusation that Russia was most likely behind the poisoning of a double agent and his daughter in England […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “It’s Time To Admit The Russia Investigation Was Illegitimate From The Start” – The Federalist/Margot Cleveland

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

“… DOJ intentionally failed to inform the [FISA] court that the [DNC] … paid for the Christopher Steele dossier. That unverified and mainly false dossier formed a significant part of the government’s application for a wiretap …. I … spent nearly 25 years reviewing challenges to warrants based on claims of withheld (or false) evidence. … unlike the typical criminal […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why It’s Ridiculous To Say FBI Spying Meant To Protect The Trump Campaign; The decision to use Stefan Halper as an informant instead of a messenger cannot possibly be considered a favor to the Trump campaign. It’s as insulting as it is ridiculous to assert.” – The Federalist/Jason Beale

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“Jason Beale (a pseudonym) is a retired U.S. Army interrogator and strategic debriefer with 30 years experience in military and intelligence interrogation and human intelligence collection operations. …”  

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NEWSLINK: “The Definitive Story Of How Trump’s Team Worked The Trump Moscow Deal During The Campaign” – Buzzfeed

Donald Trump

“… Talks to construct the 100-story building continued …. The tower — a sheer, glass-encased obelisk situated on a river — would have soared above every other building in Moscow …. the sharply angled skyscraper would have climaxed in a diamond-shaped pinnacle emblazoned with the word “Trump,” putting his name atop the continent’s tallest structure. …”    

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NEWSLINK: “Approval of Russia investigation slips as Trump’s ramped-up attacks solidify his base against it” – Los Angeles Times/Chris Megerian, Noah Bierman

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“One year into the Russia investigation … Mueller … works away, mostly silent. … Trump and his allies have been anything but, and they’ve had some success in undermining public confidence in the sprawling inquiry. Though the investigation has reached deeper into his inner circle, Trump’s approval ratings lately have ticked slightly higher, despite remaining at historic lows for a […]

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NEWSLINK: “Never-ending Russia probe could fuel GOP’s midterm message” – Fox News/Alex Pappas

Robert Mueller file photo, adapted from image at fbi.gov

“As … Mueller’s probe hits the one-year mark … Republicans in midterm elections have started to see an opportunity to use the Trump controversy to their advantage … appealing to voters tired of the never-ending investigation.  Candidates in some GOP primaries this year already have worked to woo Trump supporters by arguing it’s time to end the Russia probe. Other […]

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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: “Senators: Extent of Russian election intrusion still unknown” – Washington Post/AP, Mary Clare Jalonick, Christina A. Cassidy

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

“The United States still doesn’t know — and may never know — the extent of Russian interference in state election systems in 2016, according to bipartisan findings released Tuesday by the Senate intelligence committee. … The committee found that in at least six states ‘Russian-affiliated cyber actors’ conducted ‘malicious access attempts on voting-related websites’ that went beyond routine scanning previously […]

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NEWSWATCH: “I will say once again: 1) There is not a shred of evidence for the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. …” – Leonid Bershidsky/Twitter

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

(Leonid Bershidsky (Bloomberg) – Twitter @Bershidsky – April 27, 2018) [embedded tweet should load below] I will say once again: 1) There is not a shred of evidence for the Trump-Russia collusion narrative. 2) There are few Americans who know anything about how Moscow works, who’s important and who’s connected to whom, and these few have largely kept out of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Midwestern Democrats Want The National Party To Stop The Trump-Russia Talk; ‘The only ones who want to do this are Democratic activists who are already voting Democratic.'” – BuzzFeed/Molly Hensley-Clancy

United States Map, adapted from image at epa.gov

“In battleground states in the middle of the country, some Democrats watched with frustration … a splashy new lawsuit alleging a vast conspiracy between … Trump and Russia.  The Democratic National Committee’s drumbeat … is wearing thin with some Democrats … particularly in the Midwest, where people on the ground say voters are uninterested and even turned off by the […]

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NEWSWATCH: Five Reasons Democrats Are Suing Over Their Russia Collusion Narrative; The Democratic National Committee just filed a civil suit in the Southern District of New York against the Russian government, members of the Trump campaign, and WikiLeaks” – The Federalist/Willis L. Krumholz

U.S. Courthouse for Southern District of New York in Manhattan

“The … DNC[], still trying to cope with Hillary Clinton’s defeat, just filed a civil suit … [against] the Russian government, members of the Trump campaign … and WikiLeaks. The [66-page] complaint … contains nothing you haven’t heard from the media …. The lawsuit … extensively recount[s] Democrats’ conspiracy-theorist and still-unproven version of the 2016 election. … the mainstream press […]

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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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NEWSWATCH: “Why Expelling Russian Diplomats Isn’t Enough” – Atlantic Council/Jakub Janda

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

“So far, twenty-eight nations have sent home more than 140 Russian diplomats and spies in a coordinated response to the Russian nerve agent assassination attempt in Salisbury, England. Symbolically, this unprecedented expulsion of Russian officials constitutes an important show of unity, but its practical impact in terms of hindering Russian subversion operations is limited. With the exception of the United […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Arizona Election Database Targeted in 2016 by Criminals, Not Russia: Source” – Reuters

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

“A hack on an Arizona election database … [in] 2016 … was carried out by suspected criminal actors … not the Russian government, a senior Trump administration official told Reuters …. responding to a report on … ’60 Minutes’ citing an internal government document that Russian hackers … infiltrated computer systems associated with at least four U.S. states, including Arizona, […]

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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: “When does Russian propaganda work – and when does it backfire? Here’s what we found.” – Washington Post/Leonid Peisakhin, Arturas Rozenas

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

“Assuming that Russia knows how its propaganda affects its audience, we might be able to figure out what it was trying to do in the U.S. election. If Russia targeted voters predisposed toward Trump, trying to motivate them to vote, that would suggest its goal was to help him get elected. But if Russia spread its biased messages broadly, that […]

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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: “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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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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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: “Vladimir Putin Blames U.S. Election Interference On ‘Jews,’ Ukrainians” – Huffington Post

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

“Russian President Vladimir Putin denied any accusations that he meddled in the 2016 U.S. presidential election during an interview with NBC News’ Megyn Kelly. During the tense interview, Putin appeared defensive and even suggested Jewish people were to blame for the United States’ election breach. …”

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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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RUSSIALINK TRANSCRIPT: “[Putin] Interview to American TV channel NBC [Complete Transcript]” – KremlinRu

File Photo of Kremlin Tower, St. Basil's, Red Square at Night

(Kremlin.ru – March 10, 2018 – en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/57027) Vladimir Putin answered questions from NBC anchor Megyn Kelly. The interview was recorded in the Kremlin on March 1, 2018, and in Kaliningrad on March 2, 2018. Part 1. The Kremlin, Moscow, March 1, 2018 Megyn Kelly: So, thank you very much for doing this, Mr President. I thought that we’d start with […]

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NEWSLINK: “We’re All Russian Bots Now; Americans don’t need help from Moscow to tear each other apart on social media” – Politico/Howard Axelrod

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

“… To call us all unwitting pawns isn’t fair, of course, as there’s no grand conspiracy at work here. Just an ongoing degradation of public discourse, which poses an ongoing and deepening threat to democracy. …”

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