Putin’s Meddling in US Elections Backfiring on His Own Allies at Home and on Americans Who Helped Them, Shevtsova Says

Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sergei Lavrov, Seated With Flags

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 16, 2017) The Kremlin’s effort to affect the outcome of the 2016 US presidential elections has provoked one consequence Moscow has long wanted – the demoralization of the American elite – but it is having other less welcome ones on both that elite and the Russian one, something only becoming clear, Liliya […]

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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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NEWSLINK: “Leadership In Russia: Hacking, Trust And Where Do We Go From Here?” – Forbes/ Shellie Karabell

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

“… election hacking is only part of the ‘trust’ problem: there’s the Ukraine invasion, Olympic doping scandals, the civil war in Syria. …”

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Russian Info War Against U.S., Far Broader than Last Year’s Elections, an Act of Terrorism, Latynina Says

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(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, November 12, 2017) Donald Trump’s on-again, off-again acceptance of Vladimir Putin’s claim that Moscow didn’t interfere in the 2016 US presidential elections has the effect, like the focus on Watergate during the Nixon Administration of distracting attention from something much larger and more evil. In the case of what has come to […]

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Security Experts Chide West On ‘Limited, Weak’ Response To Russia

Europe Map

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – BRUSSELS, November 9, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/russia-threat-to-democracy-western-response-european-values-think-tank/28842909.html) A group of security and foreign-policy experts says Western governments have been “limited and weak” in their response to the Kremlin’s barrage of “hostile actions” toward democracies. In a declaration initiated by the Prague-based think tank European Values titled How The […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia, Trump, and the 2016 U.S. Election; Charges of foreign power interference in the U.S. presidential election have raised grave national security concerns and touched off multiple federal inquiries that could drag on for months” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Jonathan Masters

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia hackers had targets worldwide, beyond U.S. election” – Washington Post/AP

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“… [H]ackers who disrupted the U.S. presidential election …[also] target[ed] the emails of Ukrainian officers, Russian opposition figures, U.S. defense contractors and thousands of others of interest to the Kremlin, according to a previously unpublished digital hit list …. the most detailed forensic evidence yet of the close alignment between the hackers and the Russian government … an operation that stretched back years […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Containing Our Intelligence War with Russia; We should be wary of conflating Moscow’s desire to change our international behavior with an intent to destroy our nation” – The National Interest/ George Beebe

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

“… We must not rely solely on mutual pledges of restraint, however. We must take urgent steps to improve our defenses against cyber sabotage and influence operations. Within the cyber realm, we should make a concerted effort to patch vulnerabilities, update software and employ malware detection systems. This would make cyberattacks more difficult, even if it would not preclude intrusions […]

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Twitter Bans Ads From Two Russian Media Companies

Twitter Logo and Faint World Map

(Article ©2017 RFE/RL, Inc., Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – rferl.org – Oct. 26, 2017 – also appeared at rferl.org/a/twitter-bans-rt-sputnik-russia-us-election-meddling/28817851.html) Twitter has banned advertisements from the accounts of state-owned Russian media outlets Russia Today (RT) and Sputnik, citing assertions by U.S. intelligence agencies that these networks interfered with last year’s U.S. presidential election. The San Francisco-based social network said in an unsigned […]

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NEWSLINK: “THE FRONTLINE INTERVIEWS: THE PUTIN FILES” – PBS/ Frontline

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56 video interviews and transcripts; Interviews include Yevgenia Albats, Masha Gessen, Julia Ioffe, Vladimir Kara-Murza, Michael McFaul, Molly McKew, Victoria Nuland; Transcript of interview with Thomas Graham #27 ….

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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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NEWSLINKS DIGEST: More American tales of Russiagate

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

  These Americans Were Tricked Into Working For Russia. They Say They Had No Idea. Buzzfeed.com October 17, 2017   Facebook admits Russia agents used Messenger to disrupt U.S. presidential election Recode.net October 18, 2017 In attempt to sow fear, Russian trolls paid for self-defense classes for African Americans CNN.com October 18, 2017 Trump Campaign Staffers Pushed Russian Propaganda Days […]

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Washington Post coverage of Russiagate

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

October 8, 2017 The notorious Kremlin-linked ‘troll farm’ and the Russians trying to take it down https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/the-notorious-kremlin-linked-troll-farm-and-the-russians-trying-to-take-it-down/2017/10/06/c8c4b160-a919-11e7-9a98-07140d2eed02_story.html?utm_term=.d27065c3abb0 October 9, 2017 Google uncovers Russian-bought ads on YouTube, Gmail and other platforms https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/09/google-uncovers-russian-bought-ads-on-youtube-gmail-and-other-platforms/?utm_term=.1314cf8ad2f0 October 9, 2017 Russian operatives used Twitter and Facebook to target veterans and military personnel, study says https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-switch/wp/2017/10/09/russian-operatives-used-twitter-and-facebook-to-target-veterans-and-military-personnel-study-says/?utm_term=.313a59a7b68d  

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NEWSLINK: “Facebook can’t protect elections on its own” – Washington Post editorial

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“… Existing federal regulations place stricter requirements on political ads on radio and television than those on the Internet. There’s a reason for that: The use of online advertising in political campaigns has spiked in prominence in only the past few years, before most rules governing election spending were written. As a result, Facebook had no legal responsibility to let […]

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NEWSLINK: “How Russian trolls tried to organize anti-immigrant rallies, and more;   Are Russia’s ‘Friends’ Hiding in Your Facebook Feed?” – The Nation/ Bob Dreyfuss

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“All of a sudden, Facebook—and perhaps Twitter and Google, too—find themselves at the center of the Russiagate investigation. You can’t say you didn’t see this coming. …”

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American Focus on Russian Interference in Elections Working to Moscow’s Benefit, Alksnis Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, September 2017) Many assume that the exposure of Moscow’s intervention in the US elections represents a failure in that Kremlin operation, but in fact, Irina Alksnis points out, the continuing US focus on this works to Russia’s benefit in many ways – and, although she doesn’t say so, may even have been […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Understanding Russia’s War Stories; Putin’s foreign policy is rooted in an epic myth of betrayal and redemption” – The New Republic/ Sophie Pinkham

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

“… From the hacking of DNC servers during the presidential campaign to links between Russian officials and Trump’s team, Democrats have leapt at the idea that Trump’s victory resulted from Russian machinations, even though there remains little evidence that the hacks decisively affected the election. Rather than revising their platform to appeal to today’s working class, Democrats have pointed their fingers […]

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New U.S. Ambassador Huntsman Says ‘No Question’ Russia Meddled in Elections

File Photo of John Huntsman, Men in Military Uniforms and Others, adapted from image at army.mil

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – September 19, 2017) In a nomination hearing before the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, U.S. Ambassador to Russia nominee Jon Huntsman said he was certain Moscow had interfered in the 2016 presidential elections. Earlier this year, U.S. intelligence unanimously concluded Moscow undermined the U.S. electoral system to sway the outcome of U.S. elections last November in […]

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At Forum, Experts Slam Russian ‘Disinformation’ Campaigns Aimed at West

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

(Voice of America – voanews.com – Cindy Saine – WASHINGTON – September 15, 2017) The German Marshall Fund says it has documented Russian interference in the elections or political affairs of at least 27 countries since 2004, ranging from disinformation campaigns on Facebook, Twitter and other social media to cyber attacks. The Helsinki Commission held a hearing Thursday on Capitol […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘Russia’s propaganda machine amplifies alt-right;’ Fred Weir: ‘I find this quite extraordinary. The suggestion that Russia is behind the pandemonium that currently reigns in Washington strikes me as beyond preposterous. …'”

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

(Fred Weir – Facebook – August 28, 2017 – facebook.com/fred.weir/posts/10213101665152439) “[‘Russia’s propaganda machine amplifies alt-right’] I find this quite extraordinary. The suggestion that Russia is behind the pandemonium that currently reigns in Washington strikes me as beyond preposterous. That Russian media might exploit fissures and factional battles in US politics — maybe with a certain discernible tone of glee — […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia’s Attacks on Democracy Aren’t Only a Problem for America; And that’s a problem for skeptics of Russian meddling” – The Nation/ Joshua Holland

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“… the Kremlin’s attempts to influence other countries’ electoral processes have been a problem across Europe for over a decade, and … our intelligence agencies weren’t alone in sounding the alarm. And that’s a serious problem for those who are dismissive of the evidence of Russian intervention. …  * * * While Russian interference in last year’s election was all about […]

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

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“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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Why Some U.S. Ex-Spies Don’t Buy the Russia Story; Evidence that undermines the “election hack” narrative should get more attention.

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – August 10, 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. In 2003, when a number of former intelligence professionals formed a group to protest the way intelligence was bent to accuse Iraq of producing weapons of […]

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NEWSWATCH: “President Trump signs Russia sanctions bill” – ABC

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Trump today signed a bill aimed at punishing Russia for its interference in the 2016 election despite his reservations … passed with rare and overwhelming bipartisan support in Congress …. The bill limits the president’s ability to lift or waive sanctions against Russia and keeps in place sanctions the Obama administration imposed …. It also allows the U.S. to deny […]

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NEWSLINK: “Latest Diplomatic Rift Places US, Russia on Edge of ‘Tipping Point'” – Russia Matters/ Paul Saunders

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

“The Russian government’s recent announcement of its decision to eject American diplomats and block access to two diplomatic properties may signal an approaching tipping point in the United States-Russia relationship. Trump administration officials and members of Congress should consider very carefully how to proceed. While the Russian Foreign Ministry’s official announcement of Moscow’s latest moves focused primarily on Russia’s complaints […]

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How the Ukraine War Spilled Into the U.S. Election; Foreign meddling in campaigns may be the new normal

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – July 13, 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. U.S. politics as an extension of the Russian-Ukrainian war theater sounds mildly ridiculous — but, as partisan U.S. forces push competing stories of the post-Soviet nations’ […]

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Trump’s Low-Level Russian Connection; The lawyer who met Donald Trump Jr. was no Kremlin power broker.

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – July 11, 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. In stories about her meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Natalia Veselnitskaya, the unlikely celebrity in the latest installment of the Trump-Russia story, is often described as […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Trump campaign’s attempted collusion” – Washington Post editorial

Historic Washington Post Masthead, adapted from image at nlrb.gov

“… Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya, who has campaigned against Western-imposed sanctions on Russia, met with Mr. Trump’s closest advisers: his eldest son, Donald Trump Jr.; his son-in-law, Jared Kushner; and the Trump campaign chairman at the time, Paul Manafort. The meeting was suggested, as The Post reported Monday, by a Russian pop star whose family has business ties both to the […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Culture of Dishonesty” – New York Times editorial

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

“… On Sunday, before Donald Trump Jr. acknowledged that there was a Clinton-related aspect to the meeting, Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, was on Fox News suggesting that the Veselnitskaya episode was “a big nothingburger” for the Trump campaign. …”

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NEWSLINK: “Even Now, Does Mr. Trump Get It on Hacking?” – New York Times editorial

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

“… it is important that when he held his first presidential face-to-face meeting with Vladimir Putin on Friday, Mr. Trump began by raising the interference issue and then reportedly pressed him more than once on Russian involvement during the course of their two-hour-and-15-minute conversation. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “No Thaw Likely at Trump-Putin Meeting” – Wall Street Journal/ Nathan Hodge

File Photo of Donald Trump Waving Before Large Crowd with Trump Signs, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

“Russian officials are cautious about expectations for a fresh start in relations with Washington despite a planned first meeting between … Putin and … Trump next week. … Lavrov expressed hope that ‘pragmatism will prevail.’ But he added that U.S.-Russian relations ‘have become hostage to the internal politics’ inside Washington. * * * Russia continues to chafe under U.S. and Western […]

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NEWSLINK: “Understanding Russia Doesn’t Mean Liking Moscow; It Means Making America Safer” – Russia Matters/ Paul Saunders

Kremlin and River

One of America’s biggest problems in dealing with Russia today is the pressure on policymakers to decide on a course of action without a good understanding of our rival and its motives, goals and priorities. While few would condemn a company for studying the market to assess its competitors, or decry U.S. politicians for doing research on their opponents, attempts […]

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NEWSLINK: “Media Contempt for Facts Grows Along With the Dangers of War With Russia; “Russiagate” has become a grave threat to US national security-but its discredited foundational allegations persist.” – The Nation/ Stephen F. Cohen

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

“Nation Contributing Editor Stephen F. Cohen and John Batchelor continue their weekly discussions of the new US-Russian Cold War. (Previous installments, now in their fourth year, are at TheNation.com.) Cohen is increasingly alarmed that as Washington and Moscow drift toward military conflict, the US political-media establishment remains obsessed with “Russiagate”-allegations that Russian President Putin ordered the hacking of the Democratic […]

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NEWSLINK: “The Washington Post, Russia, and Trump” – Russian and Eurasian Politics/ Gordon M. Hahn

“Is it all the result of ‘garbage in, garbage out’ or just bad propaganda/stratcomm (strategic communications)? Like the rest of the U.S. mainstream media, ever since the defeat of their preferred candidate in the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, the Washington Post has been engaged in an extensive ‘hissy fit’ and disinformation campaign that greatly exaggerates and even outright manufactures […]

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NEWSLINK: “An inside listen into Obama’s struggle to punish Russia for Putin’s election assault” – Washington Post/ Allison Michaels

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

The story raises “Can He Do That?” questions for both the Obama and Trump administrations. Can a president fail to sufficiently punish a country that interferes in our democratic elections? Can an incoming president deny that such interference occurred? And what happens when the two leaders transition power?

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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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VIDEOS & ARTICLE: Russian Cyber Hacks on U.S. Electoral System Far Wider Than Previously Known

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(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Michael Riley, Jordan Robertson – June 13, 2017) [See video “How to See If Russia Meddled With Your Vote”: bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-06-13/russian-breach-of-39-states-threatens-future-u-s-elections] Russia’s cyberattack on the U.S. electoral system before Donald Trump’s election was far more widespread than has been publicly revealed, including incursions into voter databases and software systems in almost twice as many states as previously […]

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The Leaked NSA Report Is Being Read Backward; What if Russian hackers were more anti-Clinton than pro-Trump?

File Photo of NSA Headquarters Building, adapted from NSA photo at defense.gov

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – June 6, 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. The publication that revealed a classified National Security Agency report on alleged Russian attempts to hack U.S. election-related systems, treats the report as possible evidence that […]

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Trump team turned out more effective during election campaign

File Photo of Donald Trump Waving Before Large Crowd with Trump Signs, adapted from image at whitehouse.gov

ST. PETERSBURG. June 2 (Interfax) – Donald Trump won the presidential elections in the United States because his work of his team turned out more effective and the accusations made against Russia of interference in the U.S. election campaign are reminiscent of anti-Semitism, Russian President Vladimir Putin said. “What fingerprints? Say hornprints, hoofprints. What? Whose prints are these? IP addresses […]

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NEWSLINK: “A Noun, a Verb and Vladimir Putin. Why the Democrats are making a big mistake by obsessing over Russia.” – Politico, Matt Latimer

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

“The Democrats’ strategy could be summed up in two words: Donald Trump. …”

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NEWSLINK: “What does Russia think about all this? ‘Washington has gone crazy.’ The Kremlin sees vulnerability in a new world order.” – Washington Post/ David Ignatius

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“When Russian officials and analysts here talk about the U.S. investigation of their alleged hacking of the 2016 campaign, two themes predominate: They’re flattered that their country is seen as such a powerful threat, and they’re amazed that the United States is so preoccupied with the scandal. … * * * You might expect that Russians would feel embarrassed by […]

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

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(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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The “All 17 Agencies Agreed” Myth

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Subject: The “All 17 Agencies Agreed” Myth Date: Fri, 26 May 2017 From: Jeffrey Carr <greylogic.carr@gmail.com> Founder, Suits and Spooks (suitsandspooks.com) Author, “Inside Cyber Warfare: Mapping the Cyber Underworld” (O’Reilly Media, 2009, 2011) The “All 17 Intelligence Agencies Concluded That Russia Is Responsible” Myth that originated with Hilary Clinton is wrong, has always been wrong, and was confirmed as wrong […]

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