Saturday, December 17, 2016

It’s Crucial to Purge and Prosecute ‘Rogue’ FBI Agents Collaborating with Russia - By Rmuse on Sat, Dec 17th, 2016 at 3:28 pm - PoliticusUSA

It’s Crucial to Purge and Prosecute 

‘Rogue’ FBI Agents 

Collaborating with Russia

The growing consensus is that Putin's espionage and
FBI-created “October surprise” gave Russia and
FBI rogues what they wanted; a Trump White House.

It’s Crucial to Purge and Prosecute ‘Rogue’ FBI Agents Collaborating with Russia
*The following is an opinion column by R Muse*
Assessing election data is a time intensive task during the normal course of events, and if America wasn’t in the midst of a coup d’état conducted by a hostile foreign power and the nation’s top law enforcement agency, it would be acceptable to postpone assessing why a Russian collaborator is heading to the White House. However, acceptable or not, a Russian puppet is heading to the White House and there is overwhelming evidence that his trip to Washington was made possible by both Russian intervention and “rogue alt-right” agents within the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Over the past two days there has been no small number of “reports” on exactly why Trump won an election he had no right being a part of, much less winning. The consensus is clear that the Putin-ordered espionage on behalf of Trump, and the FBI-created “October surprise” courtesy of Director James Comey eroded just enough electoral support for Hillary Clinton to give Russia and FBI rogues what they wanted, Donald Trump in the White House.
Clinton explained why Trump’s friend and ally Putin worked so hard to prevent her from winning the election. Ironically, it was because in 2011 she accused Putin of rigging Russian parliamentary elections to keep himself in power. She said:
At the same time, citizens of Russia were pouring into the streets to protest. . . . People who were outraged because they thought they were on a trajectory of greater freedom, greater opportunity, and they watched that, and they were appalled. Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people. And that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election.”
Now, what Putin did in directing the espionage against the United States was well known over at the Federal Bureau of Investigation. For dog’s sake the “pro-Trump “alt-right rogue” contingency at the Bureau appears to have given information about the Russian hacking to Rudy Giuliani. Back in July Giuliani boasted, exactly one day after Trump appealed to the Kremlin for campaign aid, that he was certain the Russians were on the job and had already “acquired” the stolen data.
According to an in depth investigative article on Huffington Post, one touted as an “Outline of What Increasingly Exhibits the Hallmarks of a Criminal Conspiracy,” it reports that traitor Giuliani
Confessed on the Lars Larson radio program that current FBI agents working on the Clinton investigation had illegally leaked information to him about the Abedin emails before it became public and before Director Comey had been told of the emails, and, moreover, were intending to leak this information as a (in Giuliani’s words) pro-Trump ‘October Surprise,’ thereby establishing a political motive among a faction of the FBI.” (Author bold)
To make matters worse, Comey decided to leak the “unknown” information himself to beat those same rogue New York FBI agents who were planning to leak the “new” evidence; irrelevant evidence in the Anthony Weiner sexting case. Comey likely sought to protect the “rogue” agents by preventing them from committing an act that would be “violating numerous federal criminal statutes, and which plan to leak would already be regarded as a criminal conspiracy by law.”
As Hillary Clinton noted, and as the Huffington Post stated categorically; Comey’s “October surprise” was more than enough to put Trump in the White House. This is the conclusion of Nate Silver and many others.

It is all the more damning of an indictment against Comey and the anti-Clinton “rogues” in the FBI that they knew full well that Russia was working against Clinton on behalf of Trump, and then they joined Putin’s efforts to thwart her campaign and put Putin’s man in the Oval Office. As President Obama said, everyone knew the Russians were working for Trump, and in fact it was blatantly apparent because Trump openly called on his Russian spy friends to help him by committing espionage to portray Clinton as untrustworthy; something they did willingly to sate Putin’s thirst for vengeance against Hillary Clinton. As an aside, it is noteworthy that Putin’s puppet, Trump is renowned for being an extremely vindictive piece of work, so Americans have an idea of what kind of leader they just allowed Vladimir Putin and “rogue” FBI agents to install to “govern” them. In any other universe, this kind of installation is what Keith Olbermann and many, many other regard as a bloodless coup.
As Mr. Drum remarked, and any half-wit should comprehend by now, there were two “egregious interventions” in the Clinton campaign; first by Russian spies aiding Trump’s campaign, and then by the director of the FBI. Drum gives Comey unwarranted slack by claiming he “was motivated at least partly by his fear of a rogue group of agents who were dedicated to Clinton’s defeat;” rogue agents that should have been summarily fired and likely would have been if they weren’t aligned with Comey’s “politics.”
Mr. Comey knew his actions were wrong and indeed, the Justice Department had fairly warned him about an “unprecedented act of interference in an election.” Comey cannot claim interfering was not his intent, or that he didn’t know it was interfering in an election or appearing political. Remember, he claimed he didn’t comment on Trump’s Russia connection because it was too close to the election, in July, and he didn’t want to “interfere” or appear politically motivated.
No matter what Mr. Comey’s excuse or justification for aiding the Russians install Putin’s puppet in the White House,  “he knew exactly what he was doing… and went ahead in a manner perfectly calculated to do the maximum damage.” If for no other reason than for the sake of national security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation needs to be hastily purged of “rogue” agents and if applicable they must be prosecuted for criminal conspiracy; this includes their partisan director James Comey.
If it is discovered they were complicit in the Trump-Russia conspiracy, and knowingly aided a hostile foreign power’s leader, they must join their Republican cohorts and be charged with treason. They have committed a grave assault on, as Senator John McCain said “the pillar of our democracy;” something the American people likely once believed the FBI existed to defend.

See also: 

Abedin-Weiner Emails Affair: Just Another Russia-Trump Set-Up? Or much more?

Abedin-Weiner Emails Affair: Just Another Russia-Trump Set-Up? Or much more?

Trump, Putin, Reopening of Emails Investigation, and other stories - by Michael Novakhov


The only thing I can say is that our capacity for self-deception is immense. 

Trump, a puppet of the Russian KGB

engages in the crude disinformation campaign, targeting the naïve morons, very much like himself (the only difference is that he has his own, clear ulterior motive: money), the example of which can be this piece, a reminiscence of the best efforts of the Russian Stalinist propaganda. 

The clear connection between Trump's campaign and the Russian intelligence, engaging in cyber-thefts, collections of "kompromat", blatant propaganda through Russian government's information channels, such as "Sputnik" and "RT', and possibly the wide range of other activities, that we might not be fully aware of, makes them practically a single information-intelligence entity, created under the guise of the free democratic elections. The failure, on the part of the FBI, to investigate and to address this issue of brazen interference into the American political process and elections fully and head-on might be viewed in itself as a dereliction of duty and the prosecutable criminal omission. And I certainly hope that this grave error of omission, probably much more significant than the clearly orchestrated Mrs. Clinton's "emails crisis", will be prosecuted fully and soon. 

"Trump and his campaign have also spread propaganda created as part of the Kremlin's effort, relying on bogus information generated through traditional Russian disinformation techniques. In one instance, a manipulated document was put out onto the internet anonymously by propagandists working with Russia; within hours, Trump was reciting that false information at a campaign rally. The Trump campaign has also spread claims from Sputnik, another news outlet identified by American intelligence as part of the Russian disinformation campaign. For example, almost immediately after the posting of an article by Sputnik attacking this Newsweek reporter, the Trump campaign emailed a link to the piece to American reporters, urging them to pursue the same story... 
Western intelligence and law enforcement say tens of thousands of people have been working with Russia on its hacking and disinformation campaign for many years. They include propagandists and cyber-operatives stationed in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk, located in the southwestern part of Siberia. Operations have also been conducted in the United States, primarily out of New York City, Washington D.C. and Miami. Those involved include a large number of Russian emigres, as well as Americans and other foreign nationals. Intelligence operations in Europe and the U.S. have determined that the money these emigres receive for their work is disguised as payments from a Russian pension system. One U.S. official says there is evidence many of these Americans and foreign nationals do not know they are part of Russia’s propaganda operation." 

The failure on the part of the FBI to investigate in-depth, fully and without any bias, the connection between the Russian intelligence (and/or in conjunction with other foreign services), despite the clearly present clues, with the terrorist activities on the US soil, apparently, in accordance with the Obama Administration's general ideological guidance, might also imply the potential elements of criminal culpability. "We do not operate on innuendo", unless these "innuendos" are fully investigated and turn out some credible and actionable evidential proves, at least circumstantial, which, in my view, in some cases, are almost easily seen. Otherwise, these "innuendos" will continue to operate on us, with no end in sight. 

"Resignation letters piling up at FBI

Let them resign! After this scandal that they have caused. Resign now! It is much better than to split and to destroy the organization (probably for nothing else but their own selfish career goals). The FBI will only be strengthened, cleansed and purified after these resignations. 
The FBI has nothing to do with ideology and politics, it has all to do with the honest service. If you have your irreconcilable "ideological or political" differences, then resign and go promote your ideology anywhere you want. The FBI is the paramilitary type of organization, and this "mutiny" is in fact, the insubordination and it is tantamount to blackmail. The question is, was this "mutiny" organized deliberately and on purpose? Who are its leaders? The former retired agents? Mr. Horowitz, the IG for the FBI, please look into this. This issue has to be investigated and resolved. It is too serious to leave it without the attention and without the follow-up. It looks like the FBI is due for a generational rotation. 

The "Leakers Should Shut Up", said Podesta. Or to be fired and to be prosecuted. Before taking care of others, the FBI should take care of its own. This behavior raises very poignant questions about the state of morale, discipline, and supervision in the FBI. If the agents allow themselves this type of behavior, how do they handle the other issues and investigations? Is it not one of the very important reasons for the dire state of the domestic security in the country? It looks that the FBI became a runaway train, where the discipline and moral values are not reinforced, and where the agents feel that they can do whatever the heck they want. It also looks that they exploit and misuse Comey's goodness and trust. If Mr. Comey is more of a loving and permissive father rather than a strict disciplinarian, he should hire the one as his deputy (ex-Commissioner Bratton comes to mind as one of the possible candidates, for example), who would not have any problems kicking his agents' nice cute little asses when they deserve it, and even when they do not. This will fix things very fast. The FBI agents should serve the country, not their selfish interests and their psychopathic needs, as they often do.

The most important and salient question, which is lost in the emotional waves and the details of this discussion, is: how the 650,000 emails got into the Abedin-Weiner's computer? This is what, I think, the FBI should concentrate and work on. Before we prosecute, which should not be a goal in and by itself, we, first of all, should attempt to understand what really happened. 

It is the FBI as Trumplandia that is a problem!

The crescendo of the furious criticism of the FBI and Mr. Comey personally, questions about the timing of his letter, and the calls for his resignation in the last few days, with the very few voices in his defensereached the degree of intensity and rage which was unseen in the recent times. This episode raises again the old, unrelated to the elections issues and questions about what the FBI is and how it functions, and also, of course, the issue of the need for the deep structural  and operational reform of the FBI, its institutional culture, functioning, and moda operandi. 

Welcome to Trumplandia, where feelings trump facts! "The currently serving FBI agent said Clinton is “the antichrist personified to a large swath of FBI personnel,” and that “the reason why they’re leaking is they’re pro-Trump."

The new question, among the others, that is added by the recent events is: how well is Mr. Comey able to control the FBI and his agents, and also about the role and the informal power of the upper echelons of the former FBI agents, many of whom are the irrational and rabid Clintons-haters, most notably James Kallstrom, who is known for his somewhat unusual friendship with Trump, and it is not just Mr. Kallstrom alone. The roots of this disorder remain deep mystery to me, as the completely independent outsider (and intending to stay this way, with the invaluable benefits of the observations from the vantage point of the side of the road), and maybe, to a certain degree, as a critic and a "partial antagonist" (from "in part", otherwise - impartial). 

The undue power and influence of the former FBI agents, and their direct role in the war-like anti-Clinton activities are underscored by the fact that R. Giuliani received an advanced notice about the reopening of the emails investigation, which indicates, to a certain degree, that it might have been orchestrated by them, at least in part: “I did nothing to get it out; I had no role in it,” Giuliani said. “Did I hear about it? You’re darn right I heard about it, and I can’t even repeat the language that I heard from the former FBI agents.” 

Do they think that they are entitled to run the country from the shadows, from behind the scenes? Do they think that they can meddle with impunity into some of the most important decision makings? Do they think, in their usual, sly, underhanded and grandiose way, that they are uniquely qualified, professionally, intellectually and morally to be the judges and the arbiters, and also the malevolent actors, inserting themselves into the political processes? I very much doubt that they are. I think, humbly, that these questions should become the focus of the intent, deep, and objective Congressional inquiry, the only forum which would be able to answer them. 

Were there any cooperation and coordination between the Weiner's "sexting" investigation and the hypothetical Russian, direct, or through the intermediaries, dumping of 650000 emails into the Weiner-Abedin's computer?

That's the question! This cooperation and coordination might have been not necessarily open, verbal and by "official agreement", but implied, through the non-verbal understanding of the situation and the potential significance of this dumping. Was this issue adequately addressed and investigated? If any, at least the circumstantial evidence of such cooperation and coordination is found, in addition to timing, which can be viewed as an evidence in and by itself (!), the implications are enormous. It would imply the nefarious and treacherous act of working together with the hostile foreign power. 

FBI's apparent lack of interest in investigating Trump and his ties to the Russian mob and intelligence services is met by the rightful skepticism by many people and in many quarters, and by the outright allegations of wrongful favoritism and practicing "the clear double standards" by such prominent politicians as Sen. Harry Reid

"Comey knew that the FBI is not only a leaky sieve but there were people within the FBI actively working—actively working—to try to help the Trump campaign," Kaine said in an interview with Fusion. "This just absolutely staggering, and it is a massive blow to the integrity of the FBI."

"We can only guess at the motives of the FBI 
agents behind this politicization of law enforcement, but their behavior is sickening."

All this raises questions and concerns, including the far-reaching suspicions and implications. Is there the pro-Trump and the pro-Russian "conspiracy" within the FBI? As the mass, not the elite security organization, FBI would be the easiest to infiltrate, in comparison with the other intelligence services, as its past and more recent history suggests and illustrates. The rate of psychopathology among the FBI agents, because of nature, traditions, and specifics of its work and its workforce might be significantly higher than in the other services. I am not aware of any studies of this issue and any attempts to address it. This is a side issue, but the important one. 

"James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, faced a dilemma on Thursday when deputies briefed him about the discovery of a trove of emails that might be linked to the inquiry into Hillary Clinton’s private email server that was closed months ago.
Mr. Comey could immediately inform Congress about the emails, which were found in an investigation into former Representative Anthony D. Weiner. That unusual step, months after Mr. Comey had cleared Mrs. Clinton of any criminal wrongdoing in the email case, would risk accusations that he was unfairly harming her presidential campaign less than two weeks before the election.
Or he could delay any announcement and examine the new emails more closely, risking criticism that he had suppressed important new information if it came out after the election, despite his pledges of “transparency” in the investigation." 

The questions are: How balanced and adequate were the briefing and advice that Mr. Comey received from his deputies whom apparently, he absolutely trusted and on whom he absolutely relied? Was there the excessive sense of urgency in their report? Was there any covert bias? Were his deputies influenced to a certain degree by Trump's criticism and exhortations? How objective were they? Trump's daughter-in-law claimed that Trump "forced the Comey's hand". Is there any truth in it? Was his hand forced in any way? Were the alternative opinions expressed? What is the degree of tolerance for the alternative opinions in general? How well was he served by their advice? After all, it is not them who became the targets of the present "sound and fury", it is him alone. These interesting questions might matter little: he gave his word to the Congress, and he felt that he had to keep it. Comey would not be Comey, if he did not feel this way. Nevertheless, it is difficult not to entertain these questions, sometimes the nuances and the half-tones do matter.  

"Mr. Comey, who must flourish or fail by the respect in which his agents hold him, revived the thrill of their chase when a federal case against the aforementioned ex-congressman developed, and now the F.B.I. was on the hunt again." 

"If we’ve learned anything from the last week, it’s that “the FBI” isn’t a single entity trying to do a single thing — it’s rife with internal disagreements and power struggles playing out through leaks to the press. The non-revelation of the Marc Rich documents shows that the FBI’s lack of control and self-discipline is total...
It would have been so easy for the FBI to exercise a little more discipline to keep itself from becoming the story yet again." 

Mike Morell: "And I think he did it with the intent of protecting his organization and trying to keep his organization out of politics but the effect has been just the opposite. And now people are now questioning his integrity, they're questioning the integrity of the FBI, they're questioning whether this is an independent organization," he said. "I feel sorry for him but he made the wrong decisions here." 

All in all, the issues are the degree of cohesion within the organization, the strength of its truly apolitical stance, all-important institutional culture with the adequate intellectual component, common sense, wisdom, responsibility, and the true sense of loyalty to the leader. It is easy to make these comments post factum. However, in the organization like the FBI, the ability for the foresight and correct prognostication should matter. A lot. 

The emails might have been stolen by the Russians 

and simply dumped into the Abedin-Weiner's computer. The 650,000 of them is a huge (as Trump would say, "really hooooge") amount, and this quantity might have been a part of the taunting hint: "Yes, this is we, who did it!" Just like before, when they, most likely, made the large quantities of these emails available to the Wikileaks. And now as a substitute for them, after Assange was neutralized, they use the new (How "new"? That's the question.) actors, and witting and/or "unwittingintermediaries, whose involvement would bring the maximum of damage to Clinton's campaign. It looks very unlikely that such a massive amount of emails could be copied by hand and by one or two persons. It was convincingly observed that if Weiner "sent or received 200 emails a day, 365 days a year–a considerable number!–it would take 3,250 days, or just about nine years, to accumulate 650,000 on the laptop’s hard drive. It is not clear–to me, anyway–what would cause such a large number of emails to reside on the laptop, absent some sort of bulk downloads." The nature of this "operation" is consistent with the previous pattern of the Russian involvement, as was strongly hypothesized by the US intelligence community. 



Open Letter To The FBI Director Mr. J. Comey: "Investigate and prosecute them!" - by Michael Novakhov

Dear Mr. Comey: 

I would like to express my full and complete agreement with the recent calls for the investigation of the "political intervention by the police [it is meant "by the FBI" - M.N.] into the election... that was also clearly illegal". 

Investigate and prosecute them! 

Also investigate how the 650,000 emails got into the Weiner-Abedin's computer, who was behind this, if there is indeed "the right-wing conspiracy within the FBI", and if any foreign powers were behind this. Also: if there was a collusion, in any way, shape, or form, overt or covert, between the FBI's presently on active duty, or former agents (possibly investigating the Weiner affair) and the hostile foreign powers, which, as I wrote before, would imply treason. This connection, hypothetical or not so hypothetical, is underlined by the recent reports (very readily made and somewhat puzzling) of the Russian Ministry of the Foreign Affairs spokesman's statement about the contacts between the Trump's campaign and the Russian officials, possibly including the officials from the Russian intelligence services,despite the subsequent denials of the Trump's allies. 

Our most beloved FBI will also receive its benefits package of turning this crisis into the  much awaited, needed, and inevitable structural and operational reforms. So many turns, so many wise and wised up men, so little time, and so many benefits, almost for everyone, unless offset by the opposite and the most interminable benefits of my most interminable wishful thinking. We live, we learn, but most often we do not.

This is the matter of the utmost importance which is not negated by the outcome of the elections. Mr. Comey, I, personally, still have trust in you as the guardian (or one of them) of the American democracy, and I, personally, still believe that you should stay on your job and to clear this incredible mess. The same moral imperative that forced you to share the fact of the renewal of investigative activities in your letter to Congress of 10.28.16, should force you (and also the current President, and the current AG) to open the full, objective, and in-depth investigation of this matter. This is beyond and above of the post-election shock. 

The signs of the great America sliding towards fascism are unmistakable, and you should be aware of this more than anyone else. The shadow of the sickening fear of Tyranny and the political persecutions descendedupon "the land of the free and the home of the brave".

To retain the trust of the American people in its institutions, in the FBI, in the American values and the system of government, it is, it seems to me, as the US citizen and as a firm believer in these values, absolutely imperative, necessary and unavoidable to start and to proceed with this investigation relentlessly and absolutely objectively, without giving in to any political pressures, just like you did with Mrs. Clinton emails investigations. Otherwise this cementing, the all-important trust will be broken, and, I am afraid, Sir, that your own reputation as the person of integrity standing above any and all political frays, might be ruined. The stakes are high, maybe even much higher than at the times of the Watergate, and the time is now. 

If the FBI is not able or willing to investigate itself, or if this proposed investigation is not perceived as meaningful or trustworthy, then, I believe, just like the other people who expressed their views, that the outside independent investigators and prosecutors should be appointed, and that they should carry out and accomplish this work in as efficient and speedy manner, as it is possible. 

Investigate the false and treacherous "investigators", who, allegedly, got engaged into the criminal actions, and try to surreptitiously control and manipulate the country and its political system in their sick, unlawful, and never ending quest for power! Make them taste their own poisons and their own "medicines". Prosecute the criminals, regardless of their positions or their status to the fullest extent of the law, if they are found guilty. 

Wake up from this shock and this nightmare, exercise your own full control,  and take your own actions, America! The stakes are high, and the time is now! 


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FBI backs CIA report on Russian interference: report | TheHill | "Available to the Highest Bidder..." - NYT

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Available to the Highest Bidder: Coffee With Ivanka Trump - The New York Times

A Charity Auction for Coffee With Ivanka Trump Appears to Be Canceled - The New York Times

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Available to the Highest Bidder: Coffee With Ivanka Trump

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The Obama administration prohibited any member of the first family from directly soliciting charitable donations, said Norm Eisen, who served as an ethics lawyer early in President Obama’s tenure. Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, have attended occasional charitable fund-raising events, including the Congressional Black Caucus annual dinners. The Obamas also allowed their daughters’ high school to auction off magazines they had signed, Mr. Eisen said, but they did not auction off access to themselves.
“You never, ever want to have government officials using their public office for the private gain, even for a worthy charity,” Mr. Eisen said. “That was how we did it.”
The circumstance with the Trumps is not an exact parallel; all of the incoming first family will not live in the White House.
In a brief telephone interview about the auction, Eric Trump — who is expected to remain at the Trump Organization — said that he was trying to navigate the “new world” he is in since his father’s win.
“We’ve done this every year,” he said, referring to his foundation, which typically raises about $5 million annually, has a single paid staff member and gives almost all its revenues to St. Jude’s. “We utilized Charitybuzz to raise significant funds. Every single year we’ve auctioned off a lunch with one of ourselves. It’s nothing more than an effort to raise a lot of money in an effort to help sick children.”
In a statement, Ms. Trump said it was an “honor” to raise “additional money to benefit terminally ill children through the donation of my personal time.”
Charity auctions by celebrities and others are not uncommon, and Charitybuzz is a website that celebrities use to help raise money through auctions. (On the same site that listed Ms. Trump’s auction, a former New York Times editor raised money for a children’s charity by auctioning off a tour of The Times.)
The possible cancellation of the auction would be the second concession by Ms. Trump that she might have overstepped ethical bounds. A jewelry company she owns apologized last month after a senior executive there sent out a notice to reporters promoting a $10,800 gold bracelet Ms. Trump had worn during a television interview with her father.
Here are a few of the terms for having coffee with Ivanka Trump, as listed on Charitybuzz:
  • To take place at Trump Tower in NYC or Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. - dependent on Ivanka's schedule.
  • The winner may take a photo.
  • The winner can not take anything to be signed.
  • United States Secret Service will be Present for the Duration of the Experience.
  • The Trump Organization reserves the right to terminate this lunch at their discretion without refund, should winner violate any of the delineated terms.
Officials in Washington have long accepted donations to charities from special interests pursuing favors. The charity of Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah, accepts hundreds of thousands of dollars from the pharmaceutical industry, and the Congressional Black Caucus takes in millions of dollars annually from corporate donors that are pushing legislation in Congress.
Even with the coffee auction in doubt, the Trump family is pushing other charitable events. Eric Trump has scheduled a charitable fund-raiser in late February at the family’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where $25,000 “Gold Level” sponsors will be given special access.
Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, a nonprofit organization that promotes limiting the influence of special interests, said the role of Ms. Trump and her brother in the fund-raising effort seemed “highly inappropriate” because they were offering access in exchange for money.
Federal employees have strict restrictions on charitable solicitations, but the provision does not apply to the president.
“This is just wrong,” Mr. Wertheimer said of the auction to have coffee with Ms. Trump. “The president’s family should not be out raising money for whatever cause, in exchange for a potential influence buyer who wants to get his views to the president.”
Time with Ms. Trump clearly comes at a premium. Tony Podesta, a lobbyist and the brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, also happens to be on the same Charitybuzz website offering lunch in exchange for a charitable donation.
The Podesta auction closed on Thursday with Tony Podesta, whose firm calls itself “A King of K Street,” having drawn just four bids, reaching $1,750 a couple of hours before it closed. The final bidding price is not public.
“Not a surprise that more people want to meet her than me,” Tony Podesta said in an interview Thursday. “She is sort of priceless right now. She is a great businesswoman. She is a really interesting person, and she is right in the middle of what is the biggest political change the United States has gone through since Roosevelt.”
Ms. Trump, who is disengaging from the Trump Organization where she is executive vice president, has signaled a desire to be involved in policy, working on pay equity for women and talking to her father about climate change.
She has interviewed candidates to work for her as chief of staff as she prepares for a possible role in the administration. She also plans to lobby members of Congress, in conjunction with the Republican Main Street Partnership, to expand child care, said Sarah Chamberlain, the partnership’s president. “We are thrilled to have her,” Ms. Chamberlain said Thursday.
She and Mr. Kushner have examined how he could join the administration without violating anti-nepotism laws. He is looking at having a staff and an office in the White House, although no final decisions have been made.
A number of the transition team’s executive committee meetings have been on the 25th floor of Trump Tower, where all three of Mr. Trump’s adult children have offices, according to two people present for the briefings.
The president-elect said in a Twitter message this week that Donald and Eric would run the business going forward.
As of Thursday evening, the highest bid for the coffee auction — $67,888 — had come from Russell Ybarra, the Tex-Mex restaurant-chain owner, who said in an interview Thursday that he wanted to urge Ms. Trump to persuade her father not to go too far in restricting immigration laws. Many of the employees at his 14 restaurants are immigrants, and he said he already had a hard time finding workers.
“I believe Ivanka is more open-minded a person you can reason with,” Mr. Ybarra said, just before he went back on the website and increased his bid.
“I’m sure it will go MUCH higher,” he wrote in an email, unaware that the Trump family was considering canceling the auction. “Either way, it keeps it exciting.”
By early Friday, the high bid had risen to $72,888.
The contest to have coffee with Ms. Trump comes with strict rules. A background check by the Secret Service is required, according to Charitybuzz, and the Trump Organization retained the right to shut down the meeting, which was to be held sometime after January at the Trump Tower in New York or the Trump International Hotel, near the White House.
“All winning bidders and their guests to conduct themselves appropriately,” the contest rules say. “Polite manners and respect for the generous donor and adherence to any rules or parameters are a must.”
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Exclusive: How Jared Kushner Became Donald Trump’s Mini-Me

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In late June, Donald Trump arrived at a factory in Monessen, Pennsylvania, and stood before a wall of crushed cans to discuss one of his favorite topics: trade. The setting befit the oration. This particular factory, after all, had once employed hundreds of aluminum workers; these days, however, it relied on about 35, who largely prepare the metal for recycling. Standing beside his Great Wall of Cans, Trump bashed NATO and globalization, among other organizations and inexorable forces, before honing in on his quixotic plan to single-handedly revive Monessen’s fortunes. Trump would simply utilize his experience in the real-estate business to turn around the moribund American steel industry. The return of the steel business, he promised, would send a new generation of skyscrapers “soaring, soaring” into the sky.
Trump, who has often been flanked at larger campaign rallies by his wife and extended family, was alone. And rather than speaking extemporaneously, as is his custom, he was reading prepared remarks from a teleprompter. The initial draft of his speech, rather notably, had only one word in its file name: Jared, seemingly a reference to Jared Kushner, the presumptive nominee’s increasingly influential son-in-law, who reportedly had lent a hand in writing this speech.
Kushner, through a publicist, declined to comment on the incident, and for this story. But the 35-year-old real-estate scion has recently emerged, alongside his wife, Ivanka Trump, as one of Trump’s key advisers. Earlier this week, The New York Times called him a de facto campaign manager, a position he assumed after he, along with Ivanka, reportedly urged the ouster of Trump’s impetuous manager Corey Lewandowski. And it was Kushner, according to someone with direct knowledge of the conversation, who was on the phone with Rupert Murdoch and Fox News C.E.O. Roger Ailes “down to the wire” in the days preceding the controversial Fox News debate, in January, attempting to broker a peace deal between his father-in-law and the network. (In the end, his efforts were unsuccessful and Trump skipped the debate.)
In March, Senator Jeff Sessions credited Kushner with arranging a discussion between Trump and Republican lawmakers. Kushner, with the assistance of New York Observer editor Ken Kursonaccording to Reuters, also crafted Trump’s well-received speech to AIPAC, one of his early experiments with a teleprompter. “Trump is in the process of making a new Republican Party, and Jared will be part of it,” Myers Mermel, a fellow real-estate executive told me. “And it’ll be a much different Republican Party than we had in the past.”
On some level, the specter of Kushner campaigning beside his infamous father-in-law seems rather improbable. Outside of their involvement in the real-estate business, Kushner and Trump appear to be opposites. Trump has run a campaign based, in part, on racial undertones; Kushner, on the other hand, is an observant Jew. Trump is the Republican Party’s presumptive nominee for president; Kushner comes from a well-known Democratic family (in fact, his own father’s former tormentor in New Jersey, Chris Christie, is now essentially his father-in-law’s right hand).
Furthermore, Trump’s style could be characterized as a steroidal version of Las Vegas, as designed by Uday Hussein. Contrastingly, visitors to Kushner’s office on the top floor of 666 Fifth Avenue, which his family purchased for $1.8 billion in 2007, pass under a Noguchi-designed wave-like ceiling in the building’s lobby. Kushner’s floor is serene, and features a bubbling fountain. He and Ivanka Trump are the epitome of well-bred understatement. Their apartment, recently profiled in Elle Décor, features Christian Liaigre upholstery and midcentury chic. “Besides being devastatingly handsome, he is well mannered, well bred, and so well turned out,” notes the inimitable Peggy Siegal, who has organized several events for The New York Observer, which Kushner purchased a decade ago for what was reported to be nearly $10 million.
But Kushner and his famous father-in-law now seem to have a deep pact forged, perhaps, in mutual ambition and determination—qualities that many have long overlooked in the relatively soft-spoken, well-mannered Kushner. Soon after Trump deleted a tweet featuring Hillary Clinton’s face beside the words “most corrupt candidate ever” appearing inside what looked like a Star of David—a meme sourced to an anti-Semitic message board—Kushner came right to his father’s defense. “My father in law is an incredibly loving and tolerant person,” Kushner noted in a statement. He continued: “The suggestion that he may be intolerant is not reflective of the Donald Trump I know.” Days later, Dana Schwartz, an Observer reporter, wrote an open letter to Kushner in the Observer, calling his support of his father-in-law into question. The next day, Kushner fired back with his own essay, which at times appeared to borrow the lingua franca of Trump, himself. “My father-in-law is not an anti-Semite,” the piece began. “It’s that simple, really.”
In many ways, Kushner has become as polarizing as the father-in-law he now serves. One friend, Reed Cordish, who runs a Baltimore-based real-estate firm, described Kushner as “brilliant” and “a hard worker,” with “a unique mind.” But another Manhattan peer described Kushner less favorably. “He’s very polite and put together and business-like,” this person said. “And he’s like a robot.”
Like his father-in-law, Kushner was also born into wealth and appears, at times, to abide by his own set of rules. His father, Charles Kushner, founded the family real-estate company and was a mainstay of Democratic politics in New Jersey until he pled guilty to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering, and offering illegal campaign donations—not to mention hiring a prostitute to sleep with his brother-in-law, tape the incident, and send said tape to his sister. The elder Kushner served one year of a two-year sentence.
Charlie Kushner’s imprisonment had a profound effect on his son. It forced Jared, who is the eldest son in his family, to take over the business at age 27, in 2008, and shoulder responsibility beyond his years. “I think a lot of what motivates Jared is trying to rebuild the family name from the damage that his father has done,” one former friend told me.
But soon after purchasing the Observer, in 2006, Kushner seemed prepared to exert his influence. One former Observer editor told me that Kushner attempted to order takedown pieces on people who had crossed his family in their business dealings. (A person close to Kushner vehemently denies this.) At the Observer, Kushner established a relationship with the paper’s legendary editor, Peter Kaplan. The two attended a Yankees game together and sat in the rain, sharing beers. His relationship with the *Observer’*s reporters, however, was less cozy, particularly early in his tenure. One former Observer editor described Kushner as a young man who would promise raises to reporters and then cancel them. (The person close to Kushner notes that, as the owner of the paper, he didn’t pay attention to line-item raises for reporters. Besides, this person added, “he makes good on every deal he makes.”)
Another former Observer editor told me that it was “a poorly kept secret in the bullpen that Jared ordered a hit piece on Richard Mack”—the co-founder of Mack Real Estate Group—“pushing a tip that was shaky at best.” The two real-estate executives had fallen out over a bad deal, and three reporters were assigned to the Mack investigation. “The tip—which was about Mack’s business dealings—didn’t check out in the slightest,” someone with knowledge of the assignment told me. “It was a joke. Totally made up.”
Kushner eventually met with the source, the three reporters, and then editor in chief Elizabeth Spiers to discuss the story. (After this story was published, Spiers posted her own recollection of the meeting here.) The piece became a running joke in the newsroom: if any of the reporters were ever behind on a filing or deadline, many joked that it was because they were working on “the big Dick Mack story.” This went on for months. Finally, Kushner set up a meeting with his source and the reporters involved, the person says. The reporters grilled the source, the story fell apart, and, eventually, even Kushner agreed the story should be killed. (A person close to Kushner disputes this account and told me that Kushner has never done business with Mack, stipulating that it was a former business partner of Mack’s who presented the tip to Kushner, who in turn passed it on to Spiers. In this version of events, the source subsequently refused to meet with the Observer editors unless Kushner was present, which explains his presence at the meeting.)
Kushner, however, didn’t advocate aggressive coverage when it came to his allies. The Observer’s list of the 100 most powerful people in real estate, for instance, “was a total Jared project,” one former editor told me, designed to reward his friends and, crucially, place his father-in-law in the right spot on the list. (A person close to Kushner told me that reporters sometimes called him about the list, on account of his involvement in the industry, but that he didn’t meddle with it.) Meanwhile, Ivanka and Kushner’s mother, Seryl Kushner, stopped by the *Observer’*s office to discuss office furnishings, rugs, and “who was going to sit where,” the former editor told me.
To his staff, Kushner remained a forceful boss. Back then, Kushner “was frustrated that [the Observer] wasn’t a stronger digital player,” as this former editor recalled, and often expressed impatience that the print journalists didn’t want to write more for the Web site. He urged another former editor to give the journalists byline quotas to fulfill their digital contributions. Kushner’s Observer has lost virtually all of its cultural currency among New York’s elite, but the paper is now profitable and reporting traffic growth. A source close to Kushner notes that the Observer boasts 6 million unique visitors per month, up from 1.3 million in January 2013.
Donald Trump may be an unusual leader of a populist uprising, but Kushner nevertheless appears an unusual wingman. Kushner, who has been remarkably successful in helping to guide his family’s business, particularly its latest expedition into Brooklyn, travels mostly in black cars and aboard private planes. If he has to work through lunch, he often orders catered sandwiches from Balthazar. (A person close to Kushner denies this.) As one former editor at the Observer told me, “he is so far removed from average people; this is a guy who never came anywhere near a subway.” (This person close to Kushner asserts that he is a regular subway rider.)
Like Christie, Kushner may signal a moderating influence on Trump to his detractors within the Republican establishment, which remains wary of the candidate. Certainly, Trump would do well to rely on political analysis from other, more seasoned sources. Days after this Monessen speech, for instance, the Times noted that many residents of the Pennsylvania town had long conceded that steel jobs would not be returning. Many, in fact, were more interested in high-tech alternatives that offered a brighter future.
But just as much as Trump’s candidacy has been widely interpreted as a self-advancing business maneuver itself—as I reported last month, Kushner has been part of conversations about monetizing Trump’s audience via a new media platform—some have wondered if Kushner is also out for his own good. Despite the renegade nature of Trump’s run, one former business associate described Kushner’s involvement as the ultimate résumé-boosting exercise. “There aren’t many people who are in the position of their father-in-law becoming the nominee of a major political party,” this person told me. The chance to be involved in a major presidential campaign provides social and business opportunities, the former associate added. “Why would he not take that?,” a former friend added: “And he thought buying The New York Observer would give him political clout!”
But others wonder whether something deeper is at play. Kushner, who was just coming of age as an adult when his father was imprisoned, has exhibited a tendency to seek the friendships of older people—often moguls as old as twice his age. He runs in a rarified circle that includes Murdoch and Robert Thomson, the chief executive of News Corp. (The friendship with Murdoch grew partly out of Ivanka’s friendship with Murdoch’s ex-wife, Wendi Deng.) Is his relationship with Trump more than simply the demonstration of familiar fealty?
Either way, Kushner’s commitment to the Trump campaign, whether personally ambitious or simply altruistic, could produce more headaches for a family that has known plenty of them. Should Kushner indeed help his father-in-law achieve a spot in the Oval Office, it could pose a previously unforeseen threat to an emerging wing of the Kushner empire. After all, Kushner’s younger brother, Josh Kushner, is the co-founder of Oscar Health, a burgeoning healthcare start-up valued in the billions. Oscar, as BuzzFeed noted, is “the first health insurance company created for consumers in the new world of the Affordable Care Act.” That is a law, of course, that Trump has continuously threatened to repeal if elected.
Full ScreenPhotos:Donald Trump’s Mansions and Saddam Hussein’s Palaces Are Basically the Same

The Grand Staircase

In comparing the palatial estates of Donald Trump and Saddam Hussein, what better place to start than magnificent stairways. Every demagogue needs one; it’s part of the essential decor package, imperative for Making an Entrance, issuing grand pronouncements, or in the inevitable Hollywood biopic, raining indiscriminate hellfire down upon disloyal minions from a gold-plated AK-47, staving off a palace coup.
On the top: The “foyer” of the Donald’s former manse in Greenwich, Connecticut.
On the bottom: A “double-revolution staircase,” constructed of white marble with a mother-of-pearl overlay, in one of the three reception palaces at Saddam Hussein’s presidential compound in his hometown of Tikrit. (Note the third, uppermost staircase, which is the architectural equivalent of Spinal Tap’s Nigel Tufnel explaining that his guitar amplifiers are superior, because “these go to 11.”)
Photo: Top, courtesy of Vista; bottom, by Patrick Robert/Corbis.

The Gold and the Beige

It’s the perfect palate for a photo op, whether you’re entertaining a beauty queen, glowering at a diplomat, or feigning interest in a reporter. The wall sconces, candelabra, and chandeliers are the perfect lighting sources to set the mood to match your mood—from the soft glow of seduction to the white-hot glare of merciless intimidation.
On the top: A cozy seating area in the Donald’s Mar-a-Lago Club, in Palm Beach, Florida.
Bottom: A sitting room in one of Saddam’s Baghdad palaces. During the U.S.-led occupation, the palace was converted into a hotel for visiting dignitaries.
Photo: Top, by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage; bottom, by Max Becherer/Polaris.

Programmed to Receive

Every potentate needs a formal reception area to fill with supplicants, family retainers, and hordes of “yes” men. Right? Of course! Yes, sir! Let’s build a wall!
On the top: Reception hall at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, set for Donald Trump Jr.’s wedding to model Vanessa Haydon in November 2005.
On the bottom: The elaborate circular conference table at one of Saddam’s palaces in Tikrit.
Photo: Top, by Evan Agostini/Getty Images; bottom, by JOSEPH BARRAK/AFP/Getty Images.

A Grand Entranceway

On the top:
 The Donald strikes a pose in the atrium of Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, 1999. It is currently the site of most of Trump’s remote TV interviews.
On the bottom: The central rotunda of Saddam’s Al Faw palace (also known as the Water Palace), in Baghdad. The 62-room palace was built in the early 1990s to commemorate Hussein’s victory over the Iranians in the Al-Faw Peninsula, in 1988, and eventually became the headquarters for coalition forces in Iraq.
Photo: Top, by Ted Thai/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images; bottom, by ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images.

A Fondness for Classic Architectural References

On the top:
 The Trump Taj Mahal resort and casino complex, Atlantic City, New Jersey. Opened in 1990, bankrupt in 2014, sold to billionaire Carl Icahn in 2015.
On the bottom: Saddam Hussein’s Al-Shaheed Monument, Baghdad. Opened in 1983, to honor Iraqi soldiers who died during the eight-year Iraq-Iran war, 1980–1988.
Photo: Top, by Joe Schilling/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images; bottom, by DeAgostini/Getty Images.

Chandelier Madness!

On the left:
 Trump celebrates his March 1, 2016, primary victories at his Mar-a-Lago Club, in Palm Beach. To the left of The Donald is New Jersey governor Chris Christie.
On the right: A U.S. soldier negotiates the main stairwell inside Saddam Hussein’s Radwaniyah Palace, Baghdad, 2003.
Photo: Left, by John Moore/Getty Images; right, by Max Becherer/Polaris.

And So to Bed

On the top:
 A penthouse bedroom at the Trump Taj Mahal, in Atlantic City, 2007.
On the bottom: A U.S. soldier in Saddam’s former bedroom in the Al-Faw palace in Baghdad, 2011.
Photo: Top, by Chance Yeh/ Press; bottom, by Saad Shalash/Reuters.
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PRI - ‎1 hour ago‎
US President Barack Obama listens to remarks during a signing ceremony for the 21st Century Cures Act at the White House in Washington, DC, Dec. 13, 2016. Credit: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters. President Barack Obama, who has vowed to retaliate against ...

Hillary Clinton Suggests FBI Involvement, Russian Hackers 'Made the Difference' in Election Outcome

<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a> - ‎1 hour ago‎
Speaking to major campaign donors at Manhattan's Plaza Hotel on Thursday, Hillary Clinton spoke out about what she believes the “unprecedented” impact of Russian hackers and the eleventh hour letter from FBI director James Comey regarding her use of ...

Politics|Clinton Says 'Personal Beef'...

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Politics|Clinton Says 'Personal Beef' by Putin Led to Hacking Attacks

New York Times - ‎1 hour ago‎
Hillary Clinton in Washington on Dec. 8. On Thursday, she said that the hacking attacks carried out by Russia against her campaign and the Democratic National Committee were intended “to undermine our democracy.” Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York ...

In Leaked Remarks, Hillary Clinton Explains Putin's 'Beef' With Her

NPR - ‎31 minutes ago‎
Hillary Clinton has kept a low profile since losing the election to Donald Trump, but at a private event before donors Thursday night, she blamed her loss, in part, on "some unprecedented factors" — namely Russian hacking and the letter about the ...

Sen. Burr: Intel Committee planning Russian hacking hearings next year

Politico - ‎1 hour ago‎
Even as Senate Homeland Security Chairman Ron Johnson on Friday complained that the CIA refused to brief him on Russian cyberattacks, Senate Intelligence Chairman Richard Burr announced a series of hearings on the alleged efforts to influence the ...

Clinton blames Putin's personal grudge against her for election interference

Washington Post - ‎35 minutes ago‎
At a thank you event with some of her top campaign donors and fundraisers, Hillary Clinton blamed a personal grudge held against her by Russian President Vladimir Putin for unprecedented interference in the election that resulted in her defeat. Clinton ...
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Espionage Is Being 'Turbocharged' By The Internet : Parallels : NPR

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The world is entering a new cyber era — one with no ground rules, and with the potential for traditional espionage to be "turbocharged" by the Internet, President Obama told NPR in an exclusive interview.
"Among the big powers, there has been a traditional understanding of, that everybody is trying to gather intelligence on everybody else," Obama told Morning Edition's Steve Inskeep in a wide-ranging interview on Thursday. "It's no secret that Russian intelligence officers, or Chinese, or for that matter Israeli or British or other intelligence agencies, their job is to get insight into the workings of other countries that they they're not reading in the newspapers everyday."
The informal, unwritten rules of the past are no longer adequate, the president added.
"One of the things that we're going to have to do over the next decade is to ultimately arrive at some rules of what is a new game," he said. "And that is the way in which traditional propaganda and traditional covert influence efforts are being turbocharged by the Internet."
The president suggested the U.S. is more vulnerable than other nations because the American economy is both bigger and more highly digitized than other countries.
"This is actually a good example of where, in addition to whatever actions that we take bilaterally against Russia, we've got to spend some time working at an international level to start instituting some norms, the same way we did with things like nuclear weapons," he told NPR.
Obama On Russian Hacking: 'We Need To Take Action. And We Will'
Nuclear weapons are governed by an elaborate web of international treaties, including the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons. Such an infrastructure has yet to emerge for the much newer challenge of cyber-weapons.
In a separate interview with NPR this week at the White House, Lisa Monaco, the president's Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Adviser, picked up on a similar theme.
Asked which security threats would loom most pressing to her successor, Monaco glanced at the overflowing inboxes lined up on her desk. She works in the warren of National Security Council offices packed into the basement of the West Wing.
"So, the terror threat," she replied. But Monaco suggested that cyber issues will rank a close second.
"We will continue to see a growth in the number and nature of actors — nation states, non-state actors, hacktivists, criminals," she said. "And a wide variety of vectors by which they're trying to do us harm. The 'Internet of Things' is going to pose grave new challenges for the next team, as the attack surface that cyber actors can operate in is ever-expansive."
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obama npr - Google Search

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Obama: Espionage Is Being 'Turbocharged' By The Internet

NPR-12 minutes ago
... and with the potential for traditional espionage to be "turbocharged" by the Internet, President Obama told NPR in an exclusive interview.

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Obama On Russian Hacking: 'We Need To Take Action. And We Will'

NPR-17 hours ago
In an interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep that is airing Friday on Morning Edition, Obama said, "I think there is no doubt that when any foreign ...
Story image for obama npr from NPR

Partisan Divide Colors Obama's Place In History

NPR-Dec 14, 2016
As President Obama prepares to leave office, 45 percent of Americans think he'll be remembered as an outstanding or above-average ...

FBI as rogue domestic law enforcement agency - Google Search

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Story image for FBI as rogue domestic law enforcement agency from New York Times

Useful Idiots Galore

New York Times-10 hours ago
James Comey, the F.B.I. director, testified in September before a House ... by a foreign power and a rogue domestic law enforcement agency?
Story image for FBI as rogue domestic law enforcement agency from AlterNet

Paul Krugman Reveals the Real 'Useful Idiots' Who Enabled Our ...

AlterNet-3 hours ago
... totally unjustified last-minute intervention by the FBI, which appears to ... by a foreign power and a rogue domestic law enforcement agency?".

FBI Fails AGAIN to Process Requests to Protect Family, Business ...

Digital Journal-Dec 2, 2016
Adams is seeking urgent law enforcement to STOP the imminent ... Problem is, Adams cannot find in America today any agency, persons or political ... Prosecutor McColgan, Bridgeport Township Board and rogue local cops to ... UnAmerican activities, treason and persistent domestic terrorism of Adams ...
Story image for FBI as rogue domestic law enforcement agency from The Atlantic

A More Detailed Guide to Dealing With Trump's Lies

The Atlantic-Jul 22, 2016
FBI agents ran to the nearest reporter to leak about potentially damaging material about Clinton. ... our nation's supposed best and brightest law enforcement agents. ..... over the agency, meant that someone else should take his place. ... FBI would leak it first; and (2) that there is a rogue faction at the FBI ...
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Russia challenges US to prove election hacking claims or shut up - | Continuous News

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By Laura Smith-Spark CNN
(CNN) -- The United States must either stop accusing Russia of meddling in its elections or prove it, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday.
Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was "indecent" of the United States to "groundlessly" accuse Russia of intervention in its elections, Russian state news agency Tass reported.
"They should either stop talking about that or produce some proof at last. Otherwise it all begins to look unseemly," Peskov reportedly said about the latest accusations that Russia was responsible for hacker attacks.
President Barack Obama on Thursday vowed retaliatory action against Russia for its meddling in the US presidential election last month.
US intelligence agencies in October pinned blame on Russia for election-related hacking. At the time, the White House vowed a "proportional response" to the cyberactivity, though declined to preview what that response might entail.
US President-elect Donald Trump dismissed the US intelligence community's assessment, however, in comments Sunday.
He suggested that there was no proof Russia had hacked the election, saying the snooping in Democratic Party servers and emails of campaign staffers for Hillary Clinton could have been done by China or even someone sitting in New Jersey.
A US official familiar with the election-related hacking told CNN Thursday that the operation was carried out with sophisticated hacking tools, suggesting that Putin was involved.
The source said while Putin's "fingerprints" were not on the hacking, "the nature of the operation was such that this had to be approved by top levels of the Russian government."
Russian cyberhacking activity has continued largely unabated since the election, including against US political organizations, US officials briefed on the investigation told CNN.
Clinton: Putin grudge was behind hack
Clinton said Thursday night that Putin's alleged involvement in the hacking of Democratic organizations during the 2016 election stemmed from a longtime grudge the Russian President has held against her.
Meanwhile, her campaign chairman, John Podesta, whose own stolen emails were leaked, issued a scathing rebuke of the FBI.
He wrote in a Washington Post op-ed that the bureau's "seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election" by comparison with its overzealous investigation of Clinton's emails "shows that something is deeply broken" there.
Saakashvili: It's déjà vu
Former Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili told CNN Friday that he was not surprised by the US claims against Russia.
"Well I almost was, like, vindicated when the same administration in Washington suddenly started to speak about Russian involvement in the election," he said, speaking in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev.
"Because we, for me, it's déjà vu. They were the same people telling us, "no, no, it cannot possibly be true." And now it came to their doorsteps. And of course he [Putin] does all those things. Of course he is a great master."
CNN's Lindsay Isaac contributed to this report.
TM & © 2016 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.
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trump - Google Search

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Trump finds an unlikely partner: Chuck Schumer

Politico-34 minutes ago
Now, as the debate within the Democratic Party rages about whether to seek common ground with Trump, or to steal a page from Senate ...
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For the Record: Trump falsely claims WH didn't mention Russia ...

USA TODAY-5 hours ago
Another day, another Trump Twitter tirade. Thursday morning's edition hit on Vanity Fair and journalists in general before the president-elect ...
Why It Matters That Trump Isn't Taking the Russia Hack Seriously
<a href="" rel="nofollow"></a>-3 hours ago

Charly Antolini: CARAVAN - The Big Drum Solo - YouTube

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Published on Sep 22, 2013
Charly Antolini: CARAVAN - The Big Drum Solo - Dick Morrissey - Brian Dee - Len Skeat - Jazzfestival Bern - Switzerland - 1993
More Charly Antolini Videos here at DRUMMERWORLD :

Jo Jones, a magician on drums, in Caravan - YouTube

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Uploaded on Dec 30, 2011
Jo Jones is one of the greatest drummer in the history of Jazz. Most inventive, he frequently improvises the most unpredictable and bold breaks with an impressive rythmic energy. This example of his drum solo shows his amazing and unique variety.

The extraordinary solo of Jo Jones, a magician on drums, ends in a blaze of spectacular glory the film "l'Aventure du Jazz." This film will be showed again in France in 2012 by its director Louis Panassié to commemorate the centenary of Hugues Panassié's birth in 1912 and also the foundation of the "Hot Club de France " 80 years ago with the collaboration of Charles Delaunay and Pierre Nourry.

A showing is already expected in December 2012 in Paris by the current Hot Club president François Desbrosses. More showings are being organized in several french towns.

Soon you will see "l'Aventure du Jazz" in Lattes (near Montpellier ) on Friday, March 9 in the Jacques Coeur theater.

Bonjour: you will find more information about this film on my website and also others subjects i have tackled in my long and adventurous life which started in 1956 with the first African tour on a Harley Davidson.

As you may understand, I have lived and filmed rare and most unforgettable historical moments.

Please contact me by mail <a href=""></a>
So long. Louis Panassié.

« Jo Jones est un des plus grands batteurs dans l'histoire du jazz. Très inventif, il improvise fréquemment les breaks les plus imprévisibles, les plus audacieux d'un tonus rythmique impressionnant. Ses solos de batterie sont d'une richesse, d'une variété uniques ». Hugues Panassié.
L'extraordinaire solo de ce magicien de la batterie qu'est Jo Jones termine en apothéose et de façon spectaculaire le montage de « L'Aventure du Jazz ». Ce film sera à nouveau projeté en France en 2012 par son réalisateur Louis Panassié. A l'occasion de la commémoration du centième anniversaire de la naissance d'Hugues Panassié en 1912 et également de la fondation, en collaboration avec Charles Delaunay et Pierre Nourry, du Hot-Club de France il y a 80 ans.
Une projection est notamment prévue par son actuel Président, François Desbrosses, à Paris en décembre 2012.
D'autres séances sont actuellement en cours d'organisation en diverses villes de France.
On pourra voir « L'Aventure du Jazz » tout d'abord à Lattes (dans la banlieue de Montpellier) le vendredi 9 mars à 20h.30 au Théâtre « Jacques Cœur ».

Bonjour, vous trouverez plus d'informations sur mes reportages sur mon site et aussi sur d'autres thématiques que j'ai abordées durant ma longue vie d'aventurier-reporter qui commença en 1956 par le premier tour de L'Afrique en Harley-Davidson.
Comme vous l'aurez compris, j'ai vécu et filmé des moments historiques, rares mais surtout inoubliables. N'hésiter pas à me contacter par mail à <a href=""></a>.
A très bientôt. Louis Panassié.
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fbi and 2016 election - Google Search

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Story image for fbi and 2016 election from USA TODAY

Q&A: Why the CIA, FBI differ on Russian election hacking

USA TODAY-Dec 12, 2016
WASHINGTON — New questions about the ultimate goal and the extent of Russia's intrusions into U.S. political institutions continued to ...

John Podesta - Google Search

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'Infuriating': John Podesta Unleashes On 'Deeply Broken' FBI

Huffington Post-8 hours ago
John Podesta did not mince words when calling out the FBI for its “lackadaisical response” to Russian hacking during the 2016 election ...
John Podesta: Something is deeply broken at the FBI
Highly Cited-Washington Post-14 hours ago

Severe Mistakes Of The DNC, FBI, White House Allowed Hacking

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There were several critical mistakes that led to the massive hacking of both the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and chief Hillary Clinton advisor John Podesta’s emails, and the blame rests squarely with American leadership at the highest levels, according to reports.
Russia’s infiltration of the communication systems of the DNC and Podesta was possible because of “The Perfect Weapon,” according to an expansive Tuesday article at The New York Times.
The weapon was only so perfect, it turns out, as the multiple security protocol lapses of the political and law enforcement institutions show.
The FBI, for example, did not bother to warn the DNC that it knew for months it was a target of a Russian cyber attack. FBI agents met with DNC officials several times to discuss the committee’s network security, but failed to mention it was investigating potential Russian espionage into the DNC’s systems, according to Reuters.
When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the FBI discovered vulnerabilities in the DNC’s system, he was reportedly transferred to DNC’s help desk, specifically tech-support contractor Yared Tamene. After the initial communication, Hawkins tried to call back a number of times, but Tamene did not pick up due to fears that Hawkins was not a legitimate law enforcement agent.
“I had no way of differentiating the call I just received from a prank call,” Tamene wrote in an internal memo, obtained by The Times.
Not only did Hawkins not go directly to the DNC headquarters — which is only around a mile away from FBI’s J. Edgar Hoover Building — after he couldn’t completely relay the warning, but the DNC (perhaps automatically) directed Hawkins to the lowest level of assistance.
While there were desires to bolster protections, the DNC complained they didn’t have sufficient funds to hire cybersecurity support or install advanced software to protect its servers. The organization said its nonprofit status made it dependent on donations and that it didn’t have the budget of an equally-sized corporation.
“There was never enough money to do everything we needed to do,” Andrew Brown, the technology director at the DNC, told The Times.
The DNC raised a total of $369,374,155 during the 2016 election cycle, according to OpenSecrets.
So the DNC’s poor operational structure played a huge part in critical information about a breach on its system failing to be addressed and so did its inability to take cybersecurity seriously.
Somewhat ironically, WikiLeaks released emails from Podesta’s account that show there was only urgency once a cyber intrusion already occurred.
“This is a legitimate email. John needs to change his password immediately, and ensure that two-factor authentications is turned on his account,” says an email with the subject line, “Re: Someone has your password,” from Charles Delavan, a Clinton campaign aide. (RELATED: Advanced Cybersecurity: The Simple Password May Soon Be Obsolete)
The Podesta emails caused the Democratic member of Congress and then-Chairwoman of the DNC, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and other top party aides, to resign in disgrace.
Then there’s the White House, which is in some degree tasked, among another litany of other duties, with protecting democratic institutions from foreign espionage.
President Barack Obama chose not to retaliate against Russia for hacking America’s critical infrastructure for fear of disrupting negotiations with Russia over the Syrian civil war.
“The Administration arguably should have come out earlier and harder in publicly attributing the attack as Russian,” Peter Singer, strategist and senior fellow at New America, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The early announcements came via the victim and the cybersecurity firm investigating the breach. It wasn’t until October that the US government went public. This was too close to the election itself. The irony is that they kept quiet, fearing looking like they were being partisan, but the result of the silence was to have that effect.”
Ryan Hagemann, technology and civil liberties policy analyst at the Niskanen Center, doesn’t believe all of the onus should be on Obama.
“The responsibility for protecting American political institutions from espionage and hacking primarily falls to the NSA, CIA, and other agencies with cyber expertise,” Hagemann said, adding that these agencies are supposed to report to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which reports to the president.
“While the President is indeed the commander-in-chief, his ability to make informed decisions relies on the expertise of specialists and practitioners who work below him,” Hagemann continued.
The Times likened the whole DNC hack to the Watergate scandal, drawing comparisons in the respective burglaries of information — one direct and remote. Perhaps a more appropriate historical analogy would be the intelligence sharing (or lack thereof) prior to the September 11th attacks, where different intelligence, law enforcement agencies and institutions failed to collaborate properly and take signals and warnings with the utmost seriousness.
Delavan told The Times that a typo in the email he sent urging Clinton’s campaign staff to change their passwords played a huge part in private conversations becoming publicized.
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'Infuriating': John Podesta Unleashes On 'Deeply Broken' FBI

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‘Infuriating’: John Podesta Unleashes On ‘Deeply Broken’ FBI
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John Podesta: Something is deeply broken at the FBI - The Washington Post

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Obama Vows Retaliation for Suspected...

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Obama Vows Retaliation for Suspected Russian Hacking

U.S. News & World Report - ‎1 hour ago‎
President Barack Obama, right, and Russia's President President Vladimir Putin pose for members of the media before a 2015 bilateral meeting at the United Nations headquarters. (Andrew Harnik/AP Photo). By BRADLEY KLAPPER and JOSH LEDERMAN, ...

Obama Says US Will Retaliate for Russia's Election Meddling

New York Times - ‎8 hours ago‎
President-elect Donald J. Trump at a “thank you” rally in West Allis, Wis., on Tuesday. Credit Todd Heisler/The New York Times. WASHINGTON — President Obama said on Thursday that the United States would retaliate for Russia's efforts to influence the ...

Barack Obama promises retaliation against Russia over hacking during US election

The Guardian - ‎2 hours ago‎
Barack Obama has warned that the US will retaliate for Russian cyberattacks during the presidential election. According to extracts of an interview due to air on National Public Radio on Friday morning, the US president said he was waiting for a final ...

Hillary Clinton: Putin's Alleged Involvement in Democratic Hack Stems From Longtime Grudge

ABC News - ‎30 minutes ago‎
Hillary Clinton has an explanation for Vladimir Putin's alleged involvement in the hacking of Democratic organizations during the 2016 presidential election: The Russian leader has a longtime grudge against her, dating back to 2011 when she made ...

Obama on Russia hacking the US election: 'We need to take action and we will'

Business Insider - ‎11 hours ago‎
Russian President Vladimir Putin supervised his intelligence agencies' hacking of the U.S. presidential election and turned it from a general attempt to discredit American democracy to an effort to help Donald Trump, three U.S. officials said on Thursday.

Russia challenges US to prove election hacking claims or shut up

KBZK Bozeman News - ‎1 hour ago‎
(CNN) -- The United States must either stop accusing Russia of meddling in its elections or prove it, a spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday. Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was "indecent" of the United States to ...
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Russia Challenges U.S. To Prove It Meddled In Election

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The Kremlin is challenging the United