RUSSIALINK: “Russian experts Sergei Rogov, Viktoria Zhuravleva: U.S. foreign policy determined by domestic problems” – Interfax

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

(Interfax – Feb. 9, 2021) U.S. President Joe Biden recently gave his first speech that was formally devoted to the country’s foreign policy, its goals and ways to achieve them. As usual, everyone has their take on the substance of such speeches. Our special correspondent Vyacheslav Terekhov spoke about this issue with Russian Academy of Sciences Academic Sergei Rogov and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Justice Department knew there was no Russia collusion by spring of 2017” – Washington Times/ Rowan Scarborough

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“The top [DOJ] official in early 2017 overseeing the FBI‘s Russia probe, Dana J. Boente,] testified he was briefed as many as six times on its status and was told there was no evidence of Trump campaign collusion, a newly released transcript shows. … [Instead,] during this time the FBI took major steps to expand the probe. … Trump in […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia Won’t Congratulate Biden on U.S. Election Victory Before Official Results – Kremlin” – Moscow Times

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

(Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – November 9, 2020) Russia will not yet recognize Joe Biden as President-elect of the United States, the Kremlin said Monday as world leaders rushed to congratulate the Democratic Party challenger after U.S. television networks declared him the winner. “We believe it’s correct to wait for the official results of the elections to be announced,” Kremlin […]

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Trump’s Popularity Wanes Among Russians, Fewer Paying Attention to U.S. Election Than in 2016

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – RM Staff – Oct. 27, 2020) Fewer Russians believe U.S. President Donald Trump will be better for Russia than they did in 2016, though the president is still more popular among Russians than Democratic challenger Joe Biden. Only 16 percent of Russians polled said that Trump would be better for Russia than Biden, a substantial […]

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Russia Relations Unlikely To Improve, Regardless Of U.S. Election Outcome

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

Despite the differences, analysts say … prospects for warmer ties are faint … that relations – which sunk to post-Cold War lows following Moscow’s interference in Ukraine … and may have declined further since … – could get worse, regardless of who wins […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Dismisses Trump Hope of Nuclear Deal Before U.S. Vote” – Bloomberg/ Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer, Vladimir Kuznetsov

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“Russia dashed hopes of a [nuclear weapons] deal … before next month’s [U.S.] presidential election …. The U.S. proposal for a nuclear freeze … also cover[ing] tactical weapons ‘has long been known to us’ and is rejected by Russia because ‘we need to deal with their new strategic-range’ conventional arms too, including in space and missile defense, said [Russian Deputy […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Spinning good news on arms control” – The Hill/ Steven Pifer

Russian Mobile ICBM Parade File Photo

“… A speedy conclusion could be possible on extending New START, which would be in the U.S. interest. Putin has said Moscow would extend without conditions. … [C]hief [U.S.] arms control envoy[] Marshall Billingslea[] has called New START ‘deeply flawed.’ … Billingslea backed away from the demand that China [get involved] … [yet] continued to insist … Russia agree to […]

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The Role of Russian Espionage in Re-Shaping the West

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

… This brings me to the most critical point about the book. Instead of referencing sources for various claims and assertions, the author provides notes … at the end …. Despite the fallacy of the incomplete evidence, Harding’s hypothesis is embraced enthusiastically by many […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov: Chances to extend New START Treaty aren’t great, but they haven’t dried up yet” – Interfax

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

(Interfax – Aug. 18, 2020 – interfax.com/newsroom/exclusive-interviews/69585/) Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has given an interview to Interfax correspondent Ksenia Baygarova, in which he speaks about the results of the second round of strategic stability consultations in Vienna, chances to extend the New START Treaty and comments on calls by the United States not to interfere in the situation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Unwanted Truths: Inside Trump’s Battles With U.S. Intelligence Agencies” – New York Times Magazine/ Robert Draper

DNI Seal and Smaller Seals of Agencies Related to DNI

“Last year, intelligence officials gathered to write a classified report on Russia’s interest in the 2020 election. An investigation from the magazine uncovered what happened next.” “… the O.D.N.I. at last acknowledged publicly that Russia ‘is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate … Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia “establishment.”‘ … also assert[ing] for the first […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S. Lawmakers Offer Bill to Boost Aid for Ukraine Military” – Reuters

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

“… [S]enators [from both parties] introduced legislation to back Ukraine with $300 million of annual military financing …. The bill also authorizes up to $4 million to train Ukrainian military officers, requires a [DOD] … and State Department report on the requirements of Ukraine’s armed forces and a plan to supply security assistance and requires the appointment of a special […]

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Pompeo Says U.S. Will ‘Do Everything’ To Stop Nord Stream 2 Project

Gas Flame file photo

… The United States opposes the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which would run under the Baltic Sea and double Russia’s direct natural gas exports to Germany while bypassing Ukraine […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “[U.S.] Election Spotlight: Russia [– Trump vs. Biden]” – Council on Foreign Relations

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

“In the wake of Western efforts to develop a cooperative post–Cold War relationship with Russia, the country has reemerged as a top U.S. rival and an object of mistrust and suspicion. … * * * Donald J. Trump (R – Incumbent) Trump has cultivated cordial relations with … Putin and dismissed accusations that his campaign cooperated with Moscow’s interference in […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Revelation of Steele’s primary source triggers focus on think tank tied to Clinton, Biden” – Just the News/ John Solomon

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“The Obama team’s ties to the Brookings Institution are deep, and so are those of impeachment witness Fiona Hill.” “[Igor Danchenko,]… Christopher Steele’s primary sub-source … was an American resident tied to a liberal think tank close to the Obama administration …. In … [FISA] warrant [applications] targeting Trump adviser Carter Page, the FBI referred to the primary sub-source … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Joe Biden May Want to Forget About the Russia Investigation” – Wall Street Journal/ Gerard Baker

File Photo of Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin in front of U.S. Flag and Russian Flag, adapted from image from RIA Novosti

The candidate struggles to field softballs from friendly media. … It’s well past time … Biden was asked … what he knew about … serious malfeasance by [Obama administration] officials [in the Russiagate investigation targeting the Trump campaign]. … We know … Biden was kept abreast of … the investigation […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “New FBI Notes Re-Debunk Major NYT Story, Highlight Media Collusion To Produce Russia Hoax” – The Federalist/ Mollie Hemingway

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“The New York Times in 2017 falsely reported that the Trump campaign had ‘repeated’ contacts with Russian intelligence officials during the 2016 campaign, and instead of being held accountable for publishing lies, the story’s authors received Pulitzer prizes.” “The FBI official who ran the investigation into whether the … Trump campaign colluded with Russia to steal the 2016 presidential election […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Drew Holden: Remember the Steele dossier? ….” – twitter post

U.S. Capitol in Bright Sunlight

Remember the Steele dossier?  … Now that its been thoroughly discredited, anyone care for a trip down memory lane about how folks in the media hyped it up because it made Trump look bad? […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Unasked FBI Question: Why? G-men rightly debunked the Steele dossier. And then peddled it anyway.” – Wall Street Journal/ Holman W. Jenkins, Jr.

FBI Headquarters File Photo

“New revelations … more emphatically underline a question nobody seems willing to ask: Why did the FBI fan a Russia collusion confabulation that it knew was unfounded, false and baseless? The obvious answer is not so much rejected as turned away from: because the FBI, and specifically … Comey, had a powerful interest in changing the subject from … Comey’s […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “White House fills top Russia job previously occupied by two impeachment witnesses” – CNN/ Zachary Cohen, Vivian Salama, Kylie Atwood

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“The White House [reportedly] has tapped Ryan Tully to be the top official on Europe and Russia at the National Security Council … the fifth person to occupy that job in … three and a half years …. Tully currently serves … as [NSC] senior adviser for arms control and deputy senior director for … [its] directorate on [WMD] …. […]

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‘Modernized’ Homo Sovieticus in Emigration Supports Trump, Eidman Says

(Paul Goble – Window on Eurasia – Staunton, July 6, 2020) Some analysts like Yury Felshtinsky argue that many Russian-speaking emigres in the US support Donald Trump because of their “common racism,” Igor Eidman says. But “this is only one of the sources of Trumpohilia” and not necessarily the most influential. Instead, the Russian sociologist says, “Homo Sovieticus supports Trump […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “How Kremlin’s View of U.S.’s War in Afghanistan Has Shifted” – Wall Street Journal/ Alan Cullison

File Photo of U.S. NATO Troops Atop Ridge in Afghanistan

“Deteriorating U.S.-Russian ties adversely affect a once-shared goal, leading to a U.S. intelligence assessment of bounties paid to Taliban.” “For years … the U.S. and Russia shared a goal of deposing the Taliban government and hunting down its remnants …. [T]hat … crumbled … amid mutual suspicion and U.S. plans to leave Afghanistan with the Taliban undefeated. Today… [there is] […]

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What Does Russia Want In Afghanistan?

Afghanistan Map of Ethnicities

… Trump tweeted that the intelligence reports were not deemed credible and the Kremlin and the Taliban have rejected reports alleging that officers of the GRU – Russia’s foreign military intelligence — either paid or offered money for killing American soldiers […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Intelligence officials cast doubt on Times’ Russia-Taliban bounty scheme: report” – New York Post/ Ebony Bowden

File Photo of U.S. NATO Troops Atop Ridge in Afghanistan

“Intelligence officials say a news report about Russia paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan does not match ‘verifiable’ Taliban activity and was never presented to … Trump because it was not deemed credible. The National Security Agency reviewed the claims contained in the New York Times report but found it did ‘not match well established and verifiable […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Why the World Worries About Russia’s Natural Gas Pipeline” – Bloomberg/ Anna Shiryaevskaya, Dina Khrennikova

Gas Flame file photo

“A … natural gas pipeline being built under the Baltic Sea from Russia … to the German coast is shaking up geopolitics. Nord Stream 2 … worries … bypassed countries in Eastern Europe … fear[ing the loss of] transit fees … [while also] adding to friction with the U.S., which argues the link would give the Kremlin new leverage over […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Weary Russia Tries to Avoid Entanglement in U.S.-China Spat” – Wall Street Journal/ Yaroslav Trofimov, Thomas Grove

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“As its dependence on Beijing grows, virus-hit Russia seeks to walk its own line.” “… With [Covid-19] … escalating the conflict between Washington and Beijing, Moscow faces a tough challenge: how to preserve its Chinese economic lifeline without getting dragged into the … looming clash. … In a way, it is a reversal of the dynamic that powered China-Russia relations […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin Criticizes U.S. Coronavirus Response, Condemns ‘Mayhem and Rioting’ at Anti-Racism Protests” – Moscow Times

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

In a major interview, Vladimir Putin discussed anti-racism protests in the U.S. and Europe (Moscow Times – themoscowtimes.com – June 14, 2020) Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that the U.S. anti-racism protests were a sign of deep crises in the country, criticizing the protests for sparking violence, and raising questions over Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. The […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “FBI spread claim Trump worked with Russia, declassified document shows” – New York Post/ Steven Nelson

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“A newly declassified document reveals FBI officials circulated sensational claims that … Trump ‘worked with’ Russia in 2016 and that his campaign was offered ‘financial compensation’ to drop U.S. sanctions, but didn’t disclose that the claims came from an opposition researcher for the Democrats. … former British spy Christopher Steele … detailed by the FBI in a classified annex to […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Upcoming nuclear arms talks with Russia a chance to save this key treaty” – The Hill/ Bonnie Kristian

Russia ICBM on Mobile Launcher

“… American and Russian diplomats will converge in Vienna … June 22 for arms control negotiations [] possibly … even laying the groundwork to extend the New START deal set to expire in February. … Even if a trilateral deal involving China were possible, experts generally agree it is not achievable before the February deadline. The Trump administration doesn’t ‘have […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russian Negotiator Doubts China Will Join 3-Way Arms Accord Sought by Trump” – Wall Street Journal/ Michael R. Gordon

File Photo of Beijing Temple, adapted from image at lbl.gov

“Kremlin won’t press Beijing to join talks despite U.S. plea, says diplomat” “Moscow won’t pressure China to join … coming arms-control talks with U.S. and Russian negotiators, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said …. [T]he New START treaty … cutting] long-range U.S. and Russian nuclear arms[] [is] due to expire in February …. Trump … seek[s] a broader agreement […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “U.S., Russia to Start Nuclear Arms Control Talks This Month” – AP

File Photo of Stealth Bomber in Flight

“The U.S. and Russia have agreed to start arms control talks this month as the only remaining treaty between the two largest nuclear powers is poised to expire in less than a year … Russia has offered to extend the New [START] Treaty … expir[ing] in February, but Trump wants to see a three-way nuclear arms treaty that includes China. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Puts Defensive Face on Its Nuclear Doctrine Ahead of Arms-Control Negotiations” – Defense One/ Patrick Tucker

Russian Nuclear Submarine

… A country with such a strategy would consider using nuclear weapons – likely tactical ones – at the beginning of a conflict, aiming to press its adversary into quick negotiations. […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Rod Rosenstein Offers Limited Defense of Russia Probe; ‘I still believe it was the right decision under the circumstances,’ former deputy attorney general says” – Wall Street Journal/ Aruna Viswanatha and Sadie Gurman

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

“Former Trump Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein … came under increasing criticism from Republicans. … [as he stood] by his decision to appoint special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and any links … [with] the Trump campaign … sa[ying] he didn’t know then of … alleged [FBI] improprieties …. [A DOJ] watchdog … […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “What’s preventing a respite from the broken U.S.-Russia relationship?” – Defense News/ Steven Keil

“… In addition to a rare joint statement … Trump and … Putin connected numerous times over the past several weeks according to public reports. These developments stand out … [T]ies between Moscow and Washington have long been frozen in place. [Recent developments are] even more surprising given the Kremlin’s continued actions in places like Syria and Ukraine. The dual […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “The Vindication of Michael Flynn; Justice drops its prosecution with new evidence about the FBI” – Wall Street Journal Editorial

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

“… Justice … dropped its case against Michael Flynn … ‘with prejudice[]’ …. [E]vidence … undermines the credibility of James Comey’s FBI, special counsel Robert Mueller, and the entire ‘Russia collusion’ investigation. [R]etired Army general [Flynn] … initially pleaded guilty to making false statements … when two agents interviewed him at the White House shortly after he took over as […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Putin, Trump discuss anti-coronavirus efforts, situation on global oil market – Kremlin” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. May 7 (Interfax) – Russian President Vladimir Putin and United States President Donald Trump discussed efforts to counter the coronavirus pandemic and the situation on the global oil market in a telephone call on Thursday, the Kremlin press service said. “The heads of state exchanged greetings on the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazism. They emphasized a historic […]

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Don’t Bet on Reset: U.S.-Russian Relations in the Wake of the Coronavirus

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

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nikolas K. Gvosdev – April 22, 2020) Nikolas K. Gvosdev is the Captain Jerome E. Levy chair at the U.S. Naval War College and a senior fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute (FPRI). Vladimir Putin, during his two-decade tenure as either Russia’s president or prime minister, has now experienced several iterations of a peculiar […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Senate panel backs assessment that Russia interfered in 2016” – AP/ Mary Clare Jalonick, Eric Tucker

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

“A [heavily redacted] bipartisan Senate report … confirms the U.S. intelligence community’s conclusions that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election to sow chaos. Senators warned that it could happen again …. This is the fourth of five reports the Senate panel will release …. Previous reports reviewed Russian efforts to breach state election systems and manipulate social media, and […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Russia Hails Oil Deal It Says Will Save Millions of U.S. Jobs” – Reuters

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

“… .planned supply cuts represent a complete reversal by Russia and Saudi Arabia, which had both threatened to ramp up output in a battle for market share after the previous deal between … OPEC[] and other producers fell apart …. Combined with G20 input, the leaders of Russia, the United States and Saudi Arabia engaged in a series of phone […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Putin Makes Painful Climbdown as He Sues for Peace in Oil War” – Bloomberg/ Evgenia Pismennaya, Ilya Arkhipov, Henry Meyer

Oil Wells File Photo

“… Putin’s deal with OPEC … three years ago was a triumph … bolstering his clout on the global stage. But now he’s had to to make stinging concessions after … Trump stepped in to end a price war. Amid relief in Moscow at the unprecedented deal with Saudi Arabia and other major producers to slash oil output, the accord […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Trump, Putin, Saudi Crown Prince Scramble to Fix Oil Markets” – Wall Street Journal/ Georgi Kantchev, Summer Said, Andrew Restuccia, Justin Scheck

Offshore Oil Rig file photo

All three leaders face economic threat from low prices. Moscow and Riyadh bury the hatchet. “… On Thursday, Saudi Arabia and Russia ended their stalemate and convinced a handful of other major oil producers to join them in the biggest monthly oil-production cut ever. … Mexico … [also] said it would reduce … production by 100,000 barrels a day …. […]

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Pompeo’s Visit Lets Post-Soviet States Leverage U.S. Backing Against Russia, China, But Real Support Remains Limited

(Russia Matters – russiamatters.org – Nikolas Gvosdev – February 7, 2020) With U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to the region, the 2020 round of the Eurasian bazaar is in session. This is where the countries that border Russia attempt to bargain with the United States to obtain passes for their human rights records, to extract military or economic […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Ex-MI6 spy ‘fabricated dossier on Trump and prostitutes'” – Sunday Times (UK)/ Tim Shipman

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

“The dossier on Donald Trump … by … former MI6 spy Christopher Steele …accus[ing Trump] … of being compromised by Russia, was a … ‘fabrication,’ according to … leading British spy writer[] Nigel West [who] … revealed he was hired by a … Republican law firm to assess the dossier in 2017 and concluded that large parts of it were […]

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Musings II … The “Intelligence Community,” “Russian Interference,” and Due Diligence

DNI Seal and Smaller Seals of Agencies Related to DNI

Did the U.S. “Intelligence Community” judge that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election? (Jackmatlock.com – Jack Matlock – June 29, 2018) Most commentators seem to think so. Every news report I have read of the planned meeting of Presidents Trump and Putin in July refers to “Russian interference” as a fact and asks whether the matter will be discussed. […]

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From: Jessica Pisano: “Correction: Re: 2019-#187-Johnson’s Russia List/#20”

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

Subject: Correction: Re: 2019-#187-Johnson’s Russia List/#20 Date: Mon, 18 Nov 2019 From: Jessica Pisano <pisanoj@newschool.edu> To: davidjohnson@starpower.net Dear David, I hope all is well with you. There is a line in your reproduction of my WaPo piece (#20) below that was not part of my article: “the Republicans say that Trump’s quid pro quos are normal. Here’s why they’re wrong.” […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Antonov: Russia-U.S. dialogue gaining momentum recently” – Interfax

Anatoly Antonov and Others Facing U.S. Official with U.S. and Russian Flags on Table

NEW YORK (UN). Nov 8 (Interfax) – Russia will be pleased if U.S. President Donald Trump arrives in Moscow to attend celebrations of the 75th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany in World War II next year, Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov said. “We will be glad to welcome U.S. President Donald Trump in Moscow at […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Hunter Biden’s web of interests; His ties span the globe and raise questions about the overlap of business and politics” – Financial Times/ Aime Williams, Sun Yu, Roman Olearchyk

“Hunter Biden’s business interests often show up in unexpected places … Now [they are] … at the centre of … the fourth impeachment inquiry in U.S. history. … under scrutiny after … Trump leaned on the president of Ukraine to investigate …. Trump has also publicly called on China to investigate the Bidens. The Ukraine revelations have led House Democrats […]

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JRL NEWSWATCH: “Is Russia Winning the Ukraine Scandal?” – Council on Foreign Relations/ Stephen Sestanovich

File Photo of Zelenskiy Extending Handshake, adapted from image at a subdomain of senate.gov

“U.S. military and economic support for Ukraine has so far weathered the widening impeachment inquiry into … Trump’s contacts with Kyiv. This backing could strengthen Ukraine in the next round of diplomacy with Russia. … Trump’s suspension of military aid to Kyiv was opposed both within his own administration and by Congress, and the move was reversed even before details […]

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RUSSIALINK: “Russia-U.S. relations far cry from Trump’s ‘getting along with Russia’ – Peskov” – Interfax

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

MOSCOW. Oct 8 (Interfax) – U.S. President Donald Trump has not explained the meaning of his wish to get along with Russia, and the reality does not align with his statements, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the press on Tuesday. Journalists asked Peskov to comment on criticism of Trump’s friendly attitude to Russia, which had been voiced in the United […]

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