Catching up on the Russian interference in the election story

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

Read Masha Gessen in the New York Review of Books: https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2017/01/09/russia-trump-election-flawed-intelligence/ Also the work of cyber security expert Jeffery Carr at Medium: https://medium.com/@jeffreycarr The work of Glenn Greenwald at The Intercept: https://theintercept.com/staff/glenn-greenwald/ A few interesting facts. NSA had only “moderate confidence” rather than “high confidence.” And NSA is the only group that could have hard evidence of a Russian connection. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Lawmakers Want Documents on Russia Election Probe” – Reuters

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

“The House of Representatives Intelligence Committee called on the Trump administration … to provide them with … documents related to the investigation of Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election. The request may be an effort to avoid a repeat of an unusual document access arrangement made between the Senate Intelligence Committee and CIA to review information related to enhanced […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russia investment and political stories go their separate ways” – bne/Intellinews/Ben Aris

Kremlin and Saint Basil's File Photo

“There are two Russias at the moment. The first is the evil “Putin’s Russia” that kills journalists, bombs civilians and invades other countries. Then there is “bull Russia”, where investors have been making fat profits ….”

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NEWSLINK: “U.S., Russia: A History of Containment” – Stratfor

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“One of the United States’ greatest geopolitical imperatives is to prevent the rise of regional hegemons with the ability to challenge it. Russia’s historical dominance of Eurasia, the Soviet Union’s rise as a superpower after World War II and its resulting political, economic and military rivalry with the United States have long made Russia a target of Washington’s actions abroad. […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Trump’s pick for U.S. Treasury chief says 100% committed to Russia sanctions” -bne/Intellinews

“US #Treasury secretary nominee Steven #Mnuchin said he is 100% committed to enforcing the #sanctions against #Russia, as he gave evidence during the #Senate #Finance Committee confirmation hearings on January 19. * * * … Relations between the two countries plunged to their lowest ebb since the Cold War in 2014 after Russia annexed Crimea and encouraged a separatist conflict […]

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How Tillerson Could Fuel A Russian Arctic Drilling Boom

Rex Tillerson file photo, adapted from image at readyagain.gov

(Oilprice.com – Robert Berke – January 23, 2017) Robert Berke is an energy financial analyst with experience as a government consultant to the State of Alaska. It’s now clear to nearly everyone that U.S. President Trump intends to seek warmer U.S. relations with Russia, while putting China and Iran relations in the deep freezer. Trump has made no secret of […]

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What Can Putin Really Offer Trump for a Deal?

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 23, 2017) The #Russian and #American #media are full of stories in which various experts discuss what a deal between Vladimir #Putin and Donald #Trump might look like, with almost all the attention going to the concessions Trump should make to Putin and much less to the issue of what Putin […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian officials: We’re not counting on Trump to lift sanctions. #Russia says plans for 2017 based on sanctions” – CNN Money

Igor Shuvalov file photo

“Russia is not banking on Donald Trump scrapping economic sanctions any time soon. First deputy prime minister Igor Shuvalov said the Russian government’s plans for 2017 are based on the expectations that sanctions are here to stay. ‘Perhaps the market is expecting an improvement in our relationship … [but] in our work, we operate on the basis of continued sanctions,’ […]

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NEWSWATCH: “The Simple Reason Russia and America Keep Inching towards Crisis” – The National Interest/Ted Galen Carpenter

Map of Commonwealth of Independent States, European Portion

“Tensions between the United States and Russia rose rapidly during the final months of the Obama administration. Symbolizing that trend is the new deployment of three thousand U.S. troops along with tanks and other military hardware in eastern Poland, directly on [the] border with Russia. … Long gone was the hope Obama expressed early in his presidency for a ‘reset’ […]

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NEWSWATCH: “‘Russia adviser for Trump? I’m not looking for a job . . . I’m 93’; But that doesn’t stop Henry Kissinger from stating his opinions” – The Times (UK)/Will Pavia

Henry Kissinger File Photo, with Military Officer and Others in Background; adapted from image at defense.gov,; original image was DoD photo by Air Force Senior Master Sgt. Adrian Cadiz

“… We are teetering on the brink of a new world order, [#Kissinger] says. In the past eight years, ‘the world, no matter what they thought of #Obama, believes that #America stepped back’ …. ‘And in that stepping back, a great part of the world has discovered the importance of a role for America, even if they do not like […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Kremlin Hopes for Rapport With US, but Differences Will Stay” – AP

Kremlin and River

“Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman voiced hope for a constructive dialogue with President Donald Trump’s administration in comments broadcast Saturday, but warned that differences will remain. Dmitry Peskov said in an interview with state Rossiya television that it would be an ‘illusion’ to expect that U.S.-Russian relations would be completely free of disagreements. …” Click here for “Kremlin Hopes for […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Henry Kissinger Says Donald Trump Is Right about Russia” – Fortune/Stephen Gandel

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… shortly before #Trump’s Inauguration, #Kissinger said that he agrees with Trump’s ‘general attitude’ toward #Russia. … [that] America needed to be less confrontational with Russia, and that that should be a major priority for Trump. ‘I hope that an effort will be made for a serious dialogue which tries to avoid the drift towards confrontation and in which Europe, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “What would Trump presidency mean for Russia: risks and opportunities” – Dmitri Trenin/Carnegie Moscow/Euronews

Donald Trump

The inauguration of Donald T#rump does not require a complete overhaul of #Russian policy towards the United States, but rather should inspire reflection on opportunities for improvement of the fraught dynamic between these two powers. The illusion that the new president is a friend to #Russia must be abandoned, as must the notion that under him relations between Moscow and […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Kremlin spokesman says telephone conversation between Putin, Trump under consideration” – TASS

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

“A telephone conversation between … #Putin and #Trump is currently under consideration but there are no plans for their personal meeting yet, #Russian Presidential spokesman Dmitry #Peskov told reporters. ‘There is no information on their meeting yet. A telephone conversation is under consideration but we don’t have any more information,’ the #Kremlin spokesman said adding that a date for a […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia shouldn’t pin hopes for lifting of sanctions on foreign elections – Medvedev” – RT/Russia Today

File Photo of Dmitry Medvedev with United Russia Logos Behind Him

“‘It’s time to discard the illusions that any sanctions imposed on our country would be lifted. Obviously, they are there to stay for a long time. And don’t lay your hopes on someone else’s elections,’ [Medvedev] said Sunday, in a speech addressing a United Russia party meeting in Moscow. …”

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Russia and the U.S. Can Never Be Long-Term Partners, Russian Historian Says

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

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, January 20, 2016) Hopes and fears both spring eternal as to relations between #Russia and the United States, with each new development prompting discussions about a possible breakthrough to some kind of permanent accord. But Vladislav Zubok says that “the radical differences” between the nationalism of the two countries make that impossible. […]

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RIA Novosti: Trump not pro-Russian – Moscow spokeswoman

Russian Foreign Ministry Building Tower file photo

(RIA Novosti – January 20, 2017) Donald Trump, who is about to become the president of the United States, is not pro-Russian, a Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman has said, state news agency RIA Novosti reported. “There are no pro-Russian candidates there, we have never said that we support Donald Trump, or that we do not support him, there has never […]

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Russia Fears That Trump Won’t Be Such a Great Deal After All

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Henry Meyer , Ilya Arkhipov, Irina Reznik – January 19, 2017) Russia is giving Donald Trump the kind of fawning television coverage usually reserved for Vladimir Putin, with its most popular propagandist hailing the president-elect this week as “a man of his word.” But inside the Kremlin, the initial euphoria over having a Putin admirer in […]

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Remarks by the President in Final Press Conference. (excerpt re: Russia)

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

(The White House – Office of the Press Secretary – January 18, 2017) Q Mr. President, thank you. The President-elect has said that he would consider lifting sanctions on Russia if they substantially reduced their nuclear stockpile. Given your own efforts at arms control, do you think that’s an effective strategy? Knowing this office and Mr. Trump, how would you […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Inside the belly of Russia’s ‘propaganda machine’: A visit to RT news channel; US security services have fingered the channel as a key player in the Kremlin’s efforts to sway Western politics. But inside its offices, RT seems a far cry from what the US says it is – and what it aspires to be.” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Satellite Dishes

… The network appears to have changed focus about five years ago to become more about promoting the Russian point of view on international affairs, and much less about covering Russia per se. It also became a platform for coverage of social problems in Western societies, government malfeasance, corporate non-accountability, and the dysfunctions of democracy that often contrasts in tone, […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russia, U.S. Mulling Joint Mission to Venus” – Space.com/Mike Wall

Planet Venus file photo, adapted from image at nasa.gov

“Russia’s space program and NASA are working together on a mission to Venus that would investigate some of the scorching-hot planet’s biggest mysteries, including, perhaps, whether it harbors life. An international team of scientists tasked with fleshing out the main goals of the mission, which is known as Venera-D, is wrapping up its work and will deliver its final report […]

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And Then Putin Came For The West

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

(RFE/RL – rferl.org – Brian Whitmore – January 17, 2016) First he went after the domestic opposition. When Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin five years ago, he launched a massive crackdown on dissent, jailing opposition leaders, staging a series of show trials, and cracking down on social media. He called them fifth columnists and tools of the West. Outside […]

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RUSSIALINK RBTH: “Will Russia cut its nuclear arsenal in exchange for lifting sanctions?”

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

The U.S. may reconsider sanctions against Russia if the latter agrees to reduce its nuclear arsenals, said U.S. President-elect Donald Trump in an interview with the British newspaper, The Times. According to military experts, if the reduction is reciprocal then such an agreement will be to Russia’s advantage. Russia, however, will first want a change in NATO policy. (Russia Beyond […]

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RUSSIALINK Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs: “Reply by Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova to a media question on the U.S. troop buildup in Europe”

U.S. Army Tanks in Transport Arriving in Germany, adapted from army.mil

“Question: Do you agree with the assertion promulgated by US and European media that the dispatch of US troops to Europe is not of major importance? …”  

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Russian business ombudsman to attend Trump inauguration ceremony

Boris Titov file photo

MOSCOW. Jan 16 (Interfax) – Russian business ombudsman Boris Titov has gone to Washington to attend the inauguration ceremony of U.S. President Donald Trump on January 20, the ombudsman’s office told Interfax. “Yes. Titov has left for Washington. He is expected to attend the Trump inauguration. The business ombudsman is also scheduled to have a number of meetings in the […]

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NBC VIDEO: Watch Full Interview With Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

Dmitry Peskov file photo adapted from image at kremlin.ru/wikimedia commons

(NBC News –  Jan. 12, 2016 – nbcnews.com/video/watch-full-interview-with-kremlin-spokesman-dmitry-peskov-853603395519) Watch Full Interview With Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov NBC News’ Bill Neely talks to Dmitry Peskov about hacking, President Putin and Donald Trump. [featured image is file photo]

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NEWSWATCH: “Russian tech expert named in Trump report says US intelligence never contacted him” – McClatchy/KEVIN G. HALL, TIM JOHNSON

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

A #Russian venture capitalist and tech expert whose name and company are mentioned in the now-notorious document alleging connections between the Donald #Trump campaign and Russian #hackers says no #intelligence officers have ever contacted him about the accusations, which he says are false. * * * #XBT, owner of Dallas-based enterprise-hosting company #Webzilla, is run by a successful Russian tech […]

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

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

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

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NEWSLINK: “Team Trump on Russia: Words and Actions” – Russia Matters

Donald Trump

“U.S. President-elect Donald Trump has picked his Cabinet members, Cabinet-level officials and advisors. Here is a snapshot of their positions on and ties with Russia. This is a work in progress that will evolve throughout the month of January. In our initial post on Jan. 9, we focused on Cabinet picks who have had direct dealings with Russia or a […]

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PBS VIDEO: What kind of threat does Russia pose to the U.S.?

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(PBS Newshour – pbs.org/newshour/bb/kind-threat-russia-pose-u-s/ – January 12, 2017) President-elect Trump has said he would like to improve relations with Russia. But his choice for defense secretary, Gen. James Mattis, views Russia as America’s number one threat. What’s the reality of the White House-Kremlin dynamic? Steve Inskeep discusses with Evelyn Farkas, a former Defense Department official, and Michael McFaul, former U.S. […]

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Moscow Times: Russia Says It Plans to Pivot From Nuclear Deterrence, Avoiding Trump’s Arms Race

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – January 12, 2017) When it comes to strategic deterrence, Russia might replace its nuclear weapons with precision bombs, in order to help reduce international tensions and strengthen world peace, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a public lecture on Thursday, the news agency RIA Novosti reported. According to Shoigu, Moscow plans to rely on […]

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NEWSLINK: “Why Are the Trump Allegations Hanging Around When They Haven’t Been Substantiated?” – Lawfare/Susan Hennessey, Benjamin Wittes

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

“What is one to make of the apparent inability of press and government alike to verify the allegations in the Trump dossier combined with the cache of documents’ apparent staying power? The unverified allegations against Donald Trump are not just salacious, they are specific. These are facts which should be verifiable as either true or false. …”

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NEWSWATCH: “Twenty years ago, Russians loved the US. Where did it all go wrong? In the immediate post-Soviet era, Russians held the US in high esteem. But that started to change amid economic woes and Western adventurism in the Balkans and Middle East.” – Christian Science Monitor/Fred Weir

Boris Yeltsin and Vladimir Putin

“… Time magazine’s July 15, 1996, cover. … depicts Russian President Boris Yeltsin, recently reelected … grinning and clutching an American flag under the headline ‘Yanks to the Rescue!’ The story tells of a group of high-powered US political consultants who were secretly brought to Russia amid the hard-fought presidential elections of 1996, in which a beleaguered Mr. Yeltsin was […]

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RUSSIALINK: “What kind of Russia should the West fear? RD Interview: Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center explains how current misguided perceptions in both the United States and Russia could lead to a dangerous new geopolitical reality.” – Russia Direct

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

“… Russia should not be afraid of the West. A country like Russia can only be defeated by itself. Thus, it should be focused on dealing with its own weaknesses. In my view, NATO’s enlargement doesn’t create an existential threat for Russia and should be dealt with seriously, but calmly. The fear [of the West] is a very bad thing […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Comey: DNC denied FBI’s requests for access to hacked servers” – The Hill

FBI Headquarters Building file photo

“The FBI requested direct access to the … DNC … hacked computer servers but was denied, Director James Comey told lawmakers …. The bureau made ‘multiple requests at different levels’ … but ultimately struck an agreement with the DNC that a ‘highly respected private company’ would get access and share what it found with investigators. ‘We’d always prefer to have […]

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NEWSWATCH: “For 1st time since Cold War, U.S. tanks roll into Russia’s backyard” – CBS

U.S. Army Tanks in Transport Arriving in Germany, adapted from army.mil

“… All the massive hardware of a U.S. combat brigade arrived in Germany over the weekend, and started rolling east toward Poland, where 4,000 American soldiers will be waiting for it. … the first build-up of American troops and weapons in Europe in almost 30 years … meant, in large part, to reassure America’s nervous allies in Europe that the […]

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RBTH: A welcome cold war: Russia and the U.S. fight to protect polar bears

File Photo of Polar Bear on Ice and Snow with Water Nearby

In late 2016, Russia and the U.S. jointly studied 180 polar bears living along the border of Alaska and Chukotka. Their findings will help develop a three-year plan to save the species. (Russia Beyond the Headlines – rbth.ru – RAM TER-GHAZARYAN, SPECIAL TO RBTH – January 10, 2017) The Wrangel Island Reserve in the Chukchi Sea has one of the […]

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Russia may take asymmetric measures against U.S. in response to ‘Magnitsky list’ expansion – Russian MP Slutsky

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

MOSCOW. Jan 10 (Interfax) – Moscow may asymmetrically react to Washington’s decision to expand the ‘Magnitsky list’ – similarly to Russia’s response to the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the United States, Russian State Duma International Affairs Committee Chairman Leonid Slutsky said. “I would like to remind you that Russia has a law on measures of response to the Magnitsky […]

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Six Problems With U.S. Intel on the Russian Hacks

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

(Bloomberg – bloomberg.com – Leonid Bershidsky – January 9, 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. [from Facebook: January 9, 2017 Andrew Kuchins Andrew Kuchins is Senior Fellow and research professor at the Center for Eurasian, Russian and East European Studies (CERES) […]

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NEWSWATCH: “Thousands of U.S. Troops En Route to Eastern Europe; Hundreds of tanks, fighting vehicles, and attack helicopters to be deployed in unprecedented operation” – Transitions Online

Globe Highlighting NATO Members

“A massive movement of U.S. troops and materiel is underway, headed for Eastern Europe with one goal uppermost: ‘to deter Russian aggression.’ U.S. troops began offloading more than 2,000 pieces of equipment including Abrams tanks and Bradley fighting vehicles … [to] equip around 3,500 U.S. troops  … one of the largest movements of American forces in Europe since the end […]

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NEWSLINK: “Russian Media Chief Dismisses U.S. Report on Propaganda Efforts” – Wall Street Journal

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

Head of RT news channel calls American intelligence assessment on election interference ‘comedy hit of the year’

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Ellen Mickiewicz: “RT”

Map of Russia and Russian Flag adapted from images at state.gov

Subject: RT Date: Sun, 8 Jan 2017 19:59:35 -0500 From: Ellen Mickiewicz <ellen.mickiewicz@gmail.com> Ellen Mickiewicz, James R. Shepley Emeritus Professor of Public Policy and Political Science Duke University The Report from the U.S. Intelligence Community is notable for its factual mistakes and misleading conclusions. Whether misleading is deliberate or simply lack of information they could have accessed is not known. […]

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VIDEO: Russia’s election intervention is ‘new reality, new weapon’

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

(PBS Newshour – January 7, 2017) [Click here for transcript] On Tuesday, the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence will hold a meeting about the intelligence report released this week that concludes the Russian government tried to influence the U.S. election. To break down what is in the report and what to expect, senior national security reporter at The Wall […]

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A DEEP DIVE INTO THE OBAMA RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN DNC HACK (AND THEFT AND HARASSMENT)

Putin and Obama with U.S. and Russian Flags

Subject: A DEEP DIVE INTO THE OBAMA RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN DNC HACK (AND THEFT AND HARASSMENT) Date: Sat, 7 Jan 2017 From: Andrei Liakhov <gaffriloff@yahoo.co.uk> A DEEP DIVE INTO THE OBAMA RESPONSE TO RUSSIAN DNC HACK (AND THEFT AND HARASSMENT) BY Andrei Liakhov [Andrei Liakhov has over 20 years of experience with leading international law firms, private companies and government […]

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NEWSLINK Buzzfeed: “DNC: That Fight With FBI Over Hacked Servers Was All A Misunderstanding. Democratic Party officials say the public spat over their hacked servers was a miscommunication.”

FBI Headquarters Building file photo

“The Democratic National Committee downplayed its public spat with the FBI on Friday over why federal investigators did not independently examine their servers breached by Russian cyberspies, saying it was a misunderstanding that didn’t have anything to do with lingering political tensions between the two. …”

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NEWSLINK Wired: “FBI SAYS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WOULDN’T LET AGENTS SEE THE HACKED EMAIL SERVERS”

FBI Headquarters Building file photo

“… In a statement to WIRED, a senior FBI law enforcement official wrote in an email Thursday that ‘The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated.’ This contrasts with what DNC deputy communications director Eric Walker told Buzzfeed […]

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NEWSLINK DailyBeast: “U.S. Spy Report Blames Putin for Hacks, But Doesn’t Back It Up. The long-awaited public report on Russia’s role in the DNC hack accused the Kremlin of working to elect Trump-without providing much new information to prove it.”

File Image of Stylized Eye Surrounded by Binary Code

“U.S. spy chiefs presented their case at Trump Tower on Friday that Russia was behind the hacks that rocked the 2016 presidential election. But they didn’t help themselves by releasing a strongly-worded report that is scant on new evidence-and is, in some cases, a literal rehash of outdated information. …”

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