NEWSWATCH: “Intel Committee Releases Glenn Simpson Testimony Transcripts” – House Intelligence Committee

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence today voted to publish the transcripts of testimony provided to the committee by Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn Simpson. The November 8 transcript is available here: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/20180118/106796/HMTG-115-IG00-20180118-SD001.pdf and the November 14 transcript is available here: http://docs.house.gov/meetings/IG/IG00/20180118/106796/HMTG-115-IG00-20180118-SD002.pdf

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NEWSLINK: “Containing Russia, Again; An Adversary Attacked the United States-It’s Time to Respond” – Foreign Affairs/ Robert D. Blackwill, Philip H. Gordon

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“… evidence of Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election – and in U.S. politics and society more generally – grows. …”

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NEWSLINK: “The DNC: Swimming In Malware But Never Once Targeted” – Medium/ Jeffrey Carr

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  “… As I and other cybersecurity researchers have pointed out, malware is shared. The concept of ‘exclusive use’ is an unsubstantiated myth. The differences in how the DNC and Joint Staff networks were breached versus the White House and State Department suggest an alternative theory that makes more sense; i.e., that malware developed by Russian-speaking hackers for use by […]

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NEWSLINK: “Trump’s Russia Ambassador: U.S.-Russia Relations ‘Done’ if Kremlin Meddles in 2018 Elections; Jon Huntsman tells a room full of lawmakers that Russia is very much on course to play a disruptive role again” – DailyBeast/ Andrew Desiderio

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia has been meddling in foreign elections for decades. Has it made a difference?” – Washington Post/ Lucan Ahmad Way, Adam Casey

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

“… Russia has been intervening in foreign elections for decades. Has it been effective? …. we put together and examined a data set of all 27 Russian electoral interventions since 1991. …  First wave: In the former Soviet states, 1991 to 2014 … Second wave: in Western democracies, 2014 to now …. It’s true that Russia has been increasingly trying to […]

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

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“… 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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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

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(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

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“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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