Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser - NYT




Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward - Google Search

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Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser

New York Times-4 hours ago
“I have sincerely apologized to the president and the vice president, and .... of anonymity, said that retired Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward is the ...

Robert Harward - Wikipedia

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Robert S. "Bob" Harward, Jr. is a retired United States Navy SEAL and a former Deputy Commander of the United States Central Command, under the leadership command of General James Mattis. He also served as the Deputy Commander of U.S. Joint Forces Command and previously commanded Combined Joint Interagency Task Force 435.[1]

Keith Kellogg - Wikipedia

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Joseph Keith Kellogg Jr. (born May 12, 1944), known as Keith Kellogg, is a retired general officer in the United States Army. President Donald Trump put Kellogg in charge of the presidential transition agency action team for defense.[1] He was named a foreign policy advisor to then presidential candidate Trump in March 2016.[2] He was named Acting National Security Advisor on February 13, 2017, following the resignation of Michael T. Flynn.

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Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser

New York Times-3 hours ago
The White House said in the statement that it was replacing Mr. Flynn with retired LtGenJoseph K. Kellogg Jr. of the Army, a Vietnam War ...
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Keith Kellogg: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Keith Kellogg has been named acting national security advisor following the resignation ... Kellogg later rose to the rank of lieutenant general.
Story image for Lt. Gen. Joseph K. Kellogg Jr. from The Independent

Donald Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn resigns over ...

The Independent-4 hours ago
The White House said it will replace Mr Flynn with retired Army Lieutenant General Joseph K Kellogg Jr as acting national security adviser.
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Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser

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“I am tendering my resignation, honored to have served our nation and the American people in such a distinguished way,” Mr. Flynn wrote.
The White House said in the statement that it was replacing Mr. Flynn with retired Lt. Gen. Joseph K. Kellogg Jr. of the Army, a Vietnam War veteran, as acting national security adviser.
Mr. Flynn was an early and ardent supporter of Mr. Trump’s candidacy, and in his resignation he sought to praise the president. “In just three weeks,” Mr. Flynn said, the new president “has reoriented American foreign policy in fundamental ways to restore America’s leadership position in the world.”
But in doing so, he inadvertently illustrated the brevity of his tumultuous run at the National Security Council, and the chaos that has gripped the White House in the first weeks of the Trump administration — and created a sense of uncertainty around the world.
Michael T. Flynn, under scrutiny for his communication with Russia, resigned as President Trump's national security adviser late Monday.
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Earlier Monday, Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, told reporters that “the president is evaluating the situation” about Mr. Flynn’s future. By Monday evening, Mr. Flynn’s fortunes were rapidly shifting — his resignation came roughly seven hours after Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to the president, said on MSNBC that Mr. Trump had “full confidence” in the retired general.
And when he did step down, it happened so quickly that his resignation does not appear to have been communicated to National Security Council staff members, two of whom said they learned about it from news reports.
Officials said Mr. Pence had told others in the White House that he believed Mr. Flynn lied to him by saying he had not discussed the topic of sanctions on a call with the Russian ambassador in late December. Even the mere discussion of policy — and the apparent attempt to assuage the concerns of an American adversary before Mr. Trump took office — represented a remarkable breach of protocol.
The F.B.I. had been examining Mr. Flynn’s phone calls as he came under growing questions about his interactions with Russian officials and his management of the National Security Council. The blackmail risk envisioned by the Justice Department would have stemmed directly from Mr. Flynn’s attempt to cover his tracks with his bosses. The Russians knew what had been said on the call; thus, if they wanted Mr. Flynn to do something, they could have threatened to expose the lie if he refused.
The Justice Department’s warning to the White House was first reported on Monday night by The Washington Post.
In addition, the Army has been investigating whether Mr. Flynn received money from the Russian government during a trip he took to Moscow in 2015, according to two defense officials. Such a payment might violate the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which prohibits former military officers from receiving money from a foreign government without consent from Congress. The defense officials said there was no record that Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star Army general, filed the required paperwork for the trip.
Representative Adam B. Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said in a statement late Monday that Mr. Flynn’s resignation would not close the question of his contact with Russian officials.
“General Flynn’s decision to step down as national security adviser was all but ordained the day he misled the country about his secret talks with the Russian ambassador,” said Mr. Schiff, noting that the matter is still under investigation by the House committee.
Two other Democratic lawmakers — Representative John Conyers Jr. of Michigan and Representative Elijah E. Cummings of Maryland — called for an immediate briefing by the Justice Department and the F.B.I. over the “alarming new disclosures” that Mr. Flynn was a blackmail risk. “We need to know who else within the White House is a current and ongoing risk to our national security,” they said in a statement.
Representative Devin Nunes, Republican of California and the chairman of the House intelligence committee, was supportive of Mr. Flynn until the end. “Washington, D.C., can be a rough town for honorable people, and Flynn — who has always been a soldier, not a politician — deserves America’s gratitude and respect,” Mr. Nunes said in a statement.
The White House had examined a transcript of a wiretapped conversation that Mr. Flynn had with Mr. Kislyak in December, according to administration officials. Mr. Flynn originally told Mr. Pence and others that the call was limited to small talk and holiday pleasantries.
But the conversation, according to officials who saw the transcript of the wiretap, also included a discussion about sanctions imposed on Russia after intelligence agencies determined that President Vladimir V. Putin’s government tried to interfere with the 2016 election on Mr. Trump’s behalf. Still, current and former administration officials familiar with the call said the transcript was ambiguous enough that Mr. Trump could have justified either firing or retaining Mr. Flynn.
Mr. Trump, however, had become increasingly concerned about the continued fallout over Mr. Flynn’s behavior, according to people familiar with his thinking, and told aides that the media storm around Mr. Flynn would damage the president’s image on national security issues.
Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist, asked for Mr. Flynn’s resignation — a move that he has been pushing for since Friday, when it became clear that the national security adviser had misled Mr. Pence.
Around 8:20 p.m. Monday, a sullen Mr. Flynn was seen in the Oval Office, just as preparations were being made for the swearing-in of newly confirmed Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin. Soon after, Mr. Flynn’s resignation letter started making the rounds.
Administration officials said it was unlikely that Mr. Kellogg would be asked to stay on as Mr. Flynn’s permanent replacement. Mr. Flynn brought Mr. Kellogg into the Trump campaign, according to a former campaign adviser, and the two have remained close. K. T. McFarland, the deputy national security adviser who also was brought on by Mr. Flynn, is expected to leave that role, a senior official said.
One person close to the administration, who was not authorized to discuss the personnel moves and spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that retired Vice Admiral Robert S. Harward is the leading candidate to replace Mr. Flynn, although Mr. Kellogg and David H. Petraeus are being discussed. It was not clear whether Mr. Petraeus is still expected to appear at the White House this week, as initially discussed by advisers to the president.
Mr. Flynn’s concealment of the call’s content, combined with questions about his management of his agency and reports of a demoralized staff, put him in a precarious position less than a month into Mr. Trump’s presidency.
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Few members of Mr. Trump’s team were more skeptical of Mr. Flynn than the vice president, numerous administration officials said. Mr. Pence, who used the false information provided by Mr. Flynn to defend him in a series of television appearances, was incensed at Mr. Flynn’s lack of contrition for repeatedly embarrassing him by withholding the information, according to three administration officials familiar with the situation.
Mr. Flynn and Mr. Pence spoke twice in the past few days about the matter, but administration officials said that rather than fully apologize and accept responsibility, the national security adviser blamed his faulty memory — which irked the typically slow-to-anger Mr. Pence.
The slight was compounded by an episode late last year when Mr. Pence went on television to deny that Mr. Flynn’s son, who had posted conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton on social media, had been given a security clearance by the transition team. The younger Mr. Flynn had, indeed, been given such a clearance, even though his father had told Mr. Pence’s team that he had not.
Officials said classified information did not appear to have been discussed during the conversation between Mr. Flynn and the ambassador, which would have been a crime. The call was captured on a routine wiretap of diplomats’ calls, the officials said.
But current Trump administration officials and former Obama administration officials said that Mr. Flynn did appear to be reassuring the ambassador that Mr. Trump would adopt a more accommodating tone on Russia once in office.
Former and current administration officials said that Mr. Flynn urged Russia not to retaliate against any sanctions because an overreaction would make any future cooperation more complicated. He never explicitly promised sanctions relief, one former official said, but he appeared to leave the impression that it would be possible.
During his 2015 trip to Moscow, Mr. Flynn was paid to attend the anniversary celebration of Russia Today, a television network controlled by the Kremlin. At the banquet, he sat next to Mr. Putin.
Mr. Flynn had notified the Defense Intelligence Agency, which he once led, that he was taking the trip. He received a security briefing from agency officials before he left, which is customary for former top agency officials when they travel overseas.
Still, some senior agency officials were surprised when footage of the banquet appeared on RT, and believed that Mr. Flynn should have been more forthcoming with the agency about the nature of his trip to Russia.
Correction: February 13, 2017
An earlier version of this article misstated the day on which the White House sent out a series of conflicting signals about Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser. It was Monday, not Tuesday.
Continue reading the main story
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Michael Flynn Resigns as National...

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Michael Flynn Resigns as National Security Adviser

New York Times - ‎3 hours ago‎
Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser, during a news conference on Monday. Credit Stephen Crowley/The New York Times. Michael T. Flynn, the national security adviser, resigned on Monday night after it was revealed that he had misled Vice ...

Donald Trump's National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Resigns

Huffington Post - ‎5 hours ago‎
In a few hours, he went from having Trump's “complete confidence” to being the first major casualty of the administration. 02/13/2017 11:05 pm ET | Updated 4 hours ago. 8k. S.V. Date Senior White House Correspondent, The Huffington Post. Sam Stein ...

Michael Flynn's resignation prompts cries for 'immediate' probe into Trump administration's Russia ties

New York Daily News - ‎2 hours ago‎
Within minutes of Michael Flynn's resignation, questions began to swirl over just how deep-seated the ex-national security adviser's ties to Russia actually are — and who else within the Trump administration might have known about them. The abrupt ...

Michael Flynn Resigns As Russia Scandal Dogs White House

Foreign Policy (blog) - ‎3 hours ago‎
Trump's national security adviser steps down, after misleading the vice president about his conversations with Russian ambassador. By Dan De LuceDan De Luce is Foreign Policy's chief national security correspondent. February 14, 2017; Dan.DeLuce · @ ...

Flynn resigns as Trump's national security adviser; Petraeus among possible replacements

Washington Times - ‎5 hours ago‎
National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway take their seats before the start of a joint news conference with President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in the East Room of the White ...

National Security Adviser Michael Flynn Resigns

New York Magazine - ‎5 hours ago‎
National Security Adviser Michael Flynn resigned on Monday night following reports that he misled Vice-President Mike Pence and other Trump administration officials on his conversations with Russia's ambassador to the United States in December.

Trump security adviser Flynn quits after leaks suggest he tried to cover up Russia talks

The Guardian - ‎4 hours ago‎
Michael Flynn claimed in his resignation letter that he had mistakenly misled the vice-president about the nature of the phone calls to Russia. Photograph: Win McNamee/Getty Images. Share on Facebook · Share on Twitter · Share via Email; View more ...

Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn resigns

Press of Atlantic City - ‎1 hour ago‎
FILE- In this Feb. 1, 2017, file photo, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn speaks during the daily news briefing at the White House, in Washington. Flynn resigned as President Donald Trump's national security adviser Monday, Feb. 13, 2017.

Michael Flynn Resigns As Trump's National Security Adviser

WAMC - ‎5 hours ago‎
National security adviser Michael Flynn (right) has resigned amid allegations he misled then-Vice President-elect Pence (left) about the extent of a conversation he had with the Russian ambassador. Mario Tama / Getty Images. Originally published on ...
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Democrats push to punish Flynn after reports of secret contacts with Russians - Washington Times

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Washington Times


Democrats push to punish Flynn after reports of secret contacts with Russians
Washington Times
Claire McCaskill, Missouri Democrat and the ranking member on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, requested a closed briefing from FBI Director James B.Comey on any bureau investigation related to Mr. Flynn's contacts ...
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Donors Claim FBI Spies on Jailed Journalist's Supporters - Courthouse News Service

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Donors Claim FBI Spies on Jailed Journalist's Supporters
Courthouse News Service
SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – A man who started a crowd-funding campaign for jailed journalist Barrett Brown's legal defense claims in a federal class action that the FBI is unconstitutionally spying on donors. Brown was arrested in September 2012 after he ...

FBI Dallas warns citizens of scam involving FBI phone number - KCBD-TV

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FBI Dallas warns citizens of scam involving FBI phone number
KCBD-TV
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Top House Republican wants FBI 'assessment' on Trump-related leaks | Fox News

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Top House Republican wants FBI 'assessment' on Trump-related leaks - Fox News

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Top House Republican wants FBI 'assessment' on Trump-related leaks
Fox News
The Republican leadership of the House Intelligence Committee wants the FBI to do an assessment of recent media leaks that have revealed details of sensitive discussions involving key Trump administration officials. "We are going to be outlining all of ...

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Deseret News


FBI warns of valentine romance scams
Deseret News
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Published on Apr 13, 2014
Composed By, Arranged By, Conductor, Producer --
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Canadian prime minister makes first visit to Trump's White House - ABC News

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Montreal Gazette


Canadian prime minister makes first visit to Trump's White House
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DuPont settles lawsuits over leak of chemical used to make Teflon - The Fiscal Times

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The Fiscal Times


DuPont settles lawsuits over leak of chemical used to make Teflon
The Fiscal Times
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32 dead in Taiwan's worst highway accident for decades - Yahoo News

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32 dead in Taiwan's worst highway accident for decades
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Scenes From Mar-a-Lago as Trump and Abe Get News About North Korea - New York Times

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New York Times


Scenes From Mar-a-Lago as Trump and Abe Get News About North Korea
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Scenes From Mar-a-Lago as Trump and Abe Get News About North Korea - New York Times

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New York Times


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Mediaite


After Open Briefing on North Korea, Trump Dropped In On Wedding of Top Donor's Son
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Trump turns Mar-a-Lago Club terrace into open-air situation room - Washington Post

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Washington Post


Trump turns Mar-a-Lago Club terrace into open-air situation room
Washington Post
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Trump turns Mar-a-Lago Club terrace into open-air situation room

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It was Saturday night, and Palm Beach’s tony Mar-a-Lago Club was packed. There was a wedding reception in the ballroom. There was a full house for dinner on the terrace.
And at one table on the terrace, there was the president and the leader of a major U.S. ally, hashing out a national security problem in the open air.
“Someone opened up a laptop and at the table . . . a group of Japanese people stood around the prime minister and Donald, and they were all looking at the laptop,” said Jay Weitzman, a member of President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club. He was sitting three tables away from Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Saturday evening.
“Whoa,” Weitzman remembered thinking. “What’s going on?”
“Turns out, it was a missile launch,” he said Monday.
Richard DeAgazio's post on Facebook.
As Weitzman and other patrons watched Saturday evening, Trump and Abe remained at the table and discussed their response to a ballistic-missile test by North Korea. While waiters came and went — and while one club member snapped photos — the two leaders reviewed documents by the light of an aide’s cellphone.
That strange scene — in which Trump turned his table into an al fresco situation room — astounded White House veterans, who were used to presidents retiring to private, secured settings to hash out such an event.
Trump became president, in part, because of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s neglect of information security. During the 2016 campaign, Trump repeatedly called for Clinton to be jailed — and his crowds at rallies often chanted, “Lock her up!” — for her use of a private email server to handle government business while she was secretary of state.
Now, Trump is drawing fire from Democrats for his own seemingly loose attitude toward information security. He has continued to use an insecure cellphone, according to the New York Times. He may have left a key to classified information on his desk while visitors were in the Oval Office, according to a tweet from a Democratic senator.
And now, Trump has used his bustling club in Palm Beach, Fla., as a “winter White House,” except that, unlike the actual White House, the club is full of other people.
Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, told reporters Monday that “no classified material” was shared at the table at Mar-a-Lago and that Trump had been briefed in a secure location both before and after dinner.
The scene was first described by CNN. On Monday, Democrats blasted Trump for his handling of the moment.
(Reuters)
North Korea test launched a ballistic missile early Sunday, Feb. 12. After news of the missile test, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was visiting the U.S. at the time, held a brief joint news conference and presented a united front against the ballistic missile. North Korea test launched a ballistic missile early Sunday, Feb. 12. After news of the missile test, President Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was visiting the U.S. at the time, held a brief joint news conference and presented a united front against the ballistic missile. (Reuters)
“There’s no excuse for letting an international crisis play out in front of a bunch of country club members like dinner theater,” Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the leader of House Democrats, wrote in a tweet.
Separately, two Senate Democrats from the Homeland Security committee, Claire McCaskill (Mo.) and Thomas R. Carper (Del.), wrote to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who oversees the agency that protects the president’s communications. McCaskill and Carper said they were concerned about media reports that Trump is still using his old Android phone to sent Twitter messages.
McCaskill and Carper said that if a foreign power was able to hack that phone, it could be turned into an always-on listening post in the president’s pocket.
“The national security risks of compromising a smartphone used by [the president] are considerable,” the senators wrote.
Last week, Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) tweeted an Associated Press photo showing Trump with the chief executive of Intel standing by a stack of papers on Trump’s desk along with a black bag and a key in sight. “Never leave a key in a classified lockbag in the presence of non-cleared people,” Heinrich wrote.
It is hard to recall any other instance in recent U.S. history when the president seemed to handle an urgent national security matter in a public place.
On Sept. 11, 2001, of course, President George W. Bush learned of that day’s terrorist attacks while he was reading a book to children at a Florida elementary school. Bush continued reading for nearly another half-hour before being whisked away on Air Force One to a secure location.
In Barack Obama’s White House, two former aides said, a situation like the North Korean missile test might have been handled similarly: the president would be given a note with the news, then taken to a secure room to discuss a response.
Pete Souza, who was Obama’s White House photographer, posted a photo Monday that showed Obama huddling with national security advisers in a private space during a 2011 trip to El Salvador.
“When we were on the road, national security discussions and head of state phone calls were conducted in a private, secure location set up on-site. Everyone had to leave their Blackberry outside the area,” Souza wrote.
Mar-a-Lago, which Trump has run since 1995, includes tennis and beach facilities for its members and rents its ballroom out for weddings and galas open to nonmembers.
Trump has an apartment at the club. Club members said that the president seems at ease there, among people who have known him for years — and away from the protests and stresses of his new job. “He’s in a safe space,” said Mar-a-Lago member Robin Bernstein, an insurance executive.
Saturday night, as guests streamed into Mar-a-Lago for dinner and the wedding reception, a parking lot near the club had been converted into a security-check area for vehicles entering the estate. A string of BMWs, Mercedes and other high-end vehicles were backed up waiting to get through the checkpoint, which was staffed by Secret Service agents and officers from the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Inside the club, Trump and Abe entered the dining terrace to a standing ovation, club members told The Washington Post. The two leaders and their wives sat down on the noisy terrace, among other diners.
Richard DeAgazio, a retired investor and club member from the Boston area, was about six tables away. Already that day, his status as a Mar-a-Lago member had given him unprecedented access to the president: He had snapped pictures of Trump and Abe golfing and taken a photo with White House strategist Stephen K. Bannon.
During dinner, DeAgazio got a text: a friend asking him if he was aware of the North Korean missile test.
He looked over at the president’s table.
“That’s when I saw things changing, you know,” DeAgazio recalled in a telephone interview. DeAgazio said a group of staffers surrounded the two world leaders: “The prime minister’s staff sort of surrounded him, and they had a little powwow.”
As Trump and Abe turned their dinner table into an impromptu situation room. DeAgazio continued taking pictures, and he posted them on Facebook that night.
“The President receiving the news about the Missile incident from North Korea on Japan with the Prime Minister sitting next to him,” DeAgazio wrote as the caption for a photo he posted on Facebook at 9:07 p.m. Eastern time Saturday.
“HOLY MOLY !!!” De Agazio wrote later, posting more photos of the scene. “Wow . . . the center of the action!!!”
DeAgazio told The Post that after Trump and Abe had spoken for a few minutes, they left the open terrace and spent about 10 minutes in private before conducting a joint news conference at about 10:30 p.m. Later, he said, Trump and first lady Melania Trump returned to listen to music on the terrace, which faces the Intracoastal Waterway, and shake hands and schmooze with members and guests at the club — all of whom had paid Trump’s business to be there (or been paid-for by their hosts).
DeAgazio said was been impressed with how the president handled the situation.
“There wasn’t any panicked look. Most of the people [on the terrace] didn’t even realize what was happening,” DeAgazio said. “I thought he handled it very calmly, and very presidentially.”
Weitzman, the parking-garage entrepreneur, said he didn’t notice any weariness or concern in the president’s face, even after the news from North Korea. He said Trump was jovial: The president, for instance, complimented Weitzman’s son-in-law on his recent weight loss.
“It’s amazing,” Weitzman said. “You know, the president of the United States comes over and says, ‘You lost a little weight. How ya doing?’ ”
DeAgazio, the Boston retiree, said he was impressed that Trump had not gotten up from the table immediately when the North Korean news broke.
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“He chooses to be out on the terrace, with the members. It just shows that he’s a man of the people,” DeAgazio said.
Membership at the Mar-a-Lago Club now requires a $200,000 initiation fee — a fee that increased by $100,000 after Trump was elected.
DeAgazio said he wasn’t worried about the national security implications of Trump’s al fresco discussion with Abe. He said he was sure they had not been overheard.
“You don’t hear anything. You can’t hear” because of the background music and other diners’ chatter, DeAgazio said. “I mean, I can barely hear what’s going on at my table.”
John Wagner, Philip Bump and Abby Phillip contributed to this report.
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Justice Department warned White House that Flynn could be vulnerable to Russian blackmail, officials say

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The acting attorney general informed the Trump White House late last month that she believed Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and warned that the national security adviser was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail, current and former U.S. officials said.
The message, delivered by Sally Q. Yates and a senior career national security official to the White House counsel, was prompted by concerns that ­Flynn, when asked about his calls and texts with the Russian diplomat, had told Vice ­President-elect Mike Pence and others that he had not discussed the Obama administration sanctions on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election, the officials said. It is unclear what the White House counsel, Donald McGahn, did with the information.
In the waning days of the Obama administration, James R. Clapper Jr., who was the director of national intelligence, and John Brennan, the CIA director at the time, shared Yates’s concerns and concurred with her recommendation to inform the Trump White House. They feared that “Flynn had put himself in a compromising position” and thought that Pence had a right to know that he had been misled, according to one of the officials, who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss intelligence matters.
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A senior Trump administration official said that the White House was aware of the matter, adding that “we’ve been working on this for weeks.”
The current and former officials said that although they believed that Pence was misled about the contents of Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador, they couldn’t rule out that Flynn was acting with the knowledge of others in the transition.
The FBI, Yates, Clapper and Brennan declined to comment on the matter. The White House said in a statement Monday that Trump was “evaluating the situation” regarding Flynn.
In a Feb. 8 interview with The Washington Post, Flynn categorically denied discussing sanctions with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, repeating public assertions made in January by top Trump officials. One day after the interview, Flynn revised his account, telling The Post through a spokesman that he “couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.”
Two officials said a main topic of the relevant call was the sanctions. Officials also said there was no evidence that Russia had attempted to exploit the discrepancy between public statements by Trump officials and what Flynn had discussed.
Flynn told The Post earlier this month that he first met Kislyak in 2013, when Flynn was director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and made a trip to Moscow.
U.S. intelligence reports during the 2016 presidential campaign showed that Kislyak was in touch with Flynn, officials said. Communications between the two continued after Trump’s victory on Nov. 8, according to officials with access to intelligence reports on the matter.
Kislyak, in a brief interview with The Post, confirmed having contacts with Flynn before and after the election, but he declined to say what was discussed.
For Yates and other officials, concerns about the communications peaked in the days after the Obama administration on Dec. 29 announced measures to punish Russia for what it said was the Kremlin’s interference in the election to help Trump.
After the sanctions were rolled out, the Obama administration braced itself for the Russian retaliation. To the surprise of many U.S. officials, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on Dec. 30 that there would be no response. Trump praised the decision on Twitter.
Intelligence analysts began to search for clues that could help explain Putin’s move. The search turned up Kislyak’s communications, which the FBI routinely monitors, and the phone call in question with Flynn, a retired Army lieutenant general with years of intelligence experience.
From that call and subsequent intercepts, FBI agents wrote a secret report summarizing ­Flynn’s discussions with Kislyak.
Yates, then the deputy attorney general, considered Flynn’s comments in the intercepted call to be “highly significant” and “potentially illegal,” according to an official familiar with her thinking.
Yates and other intelligence officials suspected that Flynn could be in violation of an obscure U.S. statute known as the Logan Act, which bars U.S. citizens from interfering in diplomatic disputes with another country.
At the same time, Yates and other law enforcement officials knew there was little chance of bringing against Flynn a case related to the Logan Act, a statute that has never been used in a prosecution. In addition to the legal and political hurdles, Yates and other officials were aware of an FBI investigation looking at possible contacts between Trump associates and Russia, which now included the Flynn-Kislyak communications.
Word of the calls leaked out on Jan. 12 in an op-ed by Post columnist David Ignatius. “What did Flynn say, and did it undercut U.S. sanctions?” Ignatius wrote, citing the Logan Act.
The next day, a Trump transition official told The Post, “I can tell you that during his call, sanctions were not discussed whatsoever.”
White House press secretary Sean Spicer, in a conference call with reporters on Jan. 13, said that the conversation between Flynn and Kislyak had “centered on the logistics” of a post-inauguration call between Trump and Putin. “That was it, plain and simple,” Spicer added.
On Jan. 15, Pence was asked about the phone call during an appearance on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” Citing a conversation he had with Flynn, Pence said the incoming national security adviser and Kislyak “did not discuss anything having to do with the United States’ decision to expel diplomats or impose censure against Russia.”
Before the Pence statement on Jan. 15, top Justice Department and intelligence officials had discussed whether the incoming Trump White House should be notified about the contents of the Flynn-Kislyak communications.
Pence’s statement on CBS made the issue more urgent, current and former officials said, because U.S. intelligence agencies had reason to believe that Russia was aware that Flynn and Kislyak had discussed sanctions in their December call, contrary to public statements.
The internal debate over how to handle the intelligence on Flynn and Kislyak came to a head on Jan. 19, Obama’s last full day in office.
Yates, Clapper and Brennan argued for briefing the incoming administration so the new president could decide how to deal with the matter. The officials discussed options, including telling Pence, the incoming White House counsel, the incoming chief of staff or Trump himself.
FBI Director James B. Comey initially opposed notification, citing concerns that it could complicate the agency’s investigation.
Clapper and Brennan left their positions when Trump was sworn in, but Yates stayed on as acting attorney general until Jan. 30, when Trump fired her for refusing to defend his executive order temporarily barring refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries — an action that had been challenged in court.
A turning point came after Jan. 23, when Spicer, in his first official press briefing, again was asked about Flynn’s communications with Kislyak. Spicer said that he had talked to Flynn about the issue “again last night.” There was just “one call,” Spicer said. And it covered four subjects: a plane crash that claimed the lives of a Russian military choir; Christmas greetings; Russian-led talks over the Syrian civil war; and the logistics of setting up a call between Putin and Trump. Spicer said that was the extent of the conversation.
Yates again raised the issue with Comey, who now backed away from his opposition to informing the White House. Yates and the senior career national security official spoke to McGahn, the White House counsel, who didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Trump has declined to publicly back his national security adviser since the news broke.
On Monday afternoon, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the president, said Trump had “full confidence” in Flynn. Minutes later, however, Spicer delivered a contradictory statement to reporters.
“The president is evaluating the situation,” Spicer’s statement read. “He’s speaking to Vice President Pence relative to the conversation the vice president had with Gen. Flynn and also speaking to various other people about what he considers the single most important subject there is: Our national security.”
Karen DeYoung and Greg Miller contributed to this report.
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Donald Trump wants to meet Pope Francis on upcoming trip to Italy 

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Trump ran a campaign based on intelligence security. That's not how he's governing. - Washington Post

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Washington Post


Trump ran a campaign based on intelligence security. That's not how he's governing.
Washington Post
Close observers of the 2016 election will remember that, on occasion, President Trump liked to draw attention to his opponent's security practices as a way of criticism. There was, you may recall, something about an email server. “Hillary Clinton ...
Scenes From Mar-a-Lago as Trump and Abe Get News About North KoreaNew York Times
Trump's Performative PresidencyThe Atlantic
Mar-a-Lago guest takes picture with nuclear 'football' briefcaseThe Hill
ABC News -BuzzFeed News -The Boston Globe -New York Daily News
all 76 news articles »

French candidate Macron’s team sees cyberattacks from Russia

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A leading French presidential candidate’s aides say Russian groups are interfering with his campaign but have offered little evidence to back up the claim.

Russia green-lights health clinic for treating Kremlin top officials

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MOSCOW (Reuters) - Moscow city authorities have given the green light for construction of an exclusive health clinic which, according to technical plans seen by Reuters and medical sources, is designed to treat President Vladimir Putin and senior officials.
  

This Mar-A-Lago Member Had A Great Time Photographing Trump Handling A National Security Crisis - BuzzFeed News

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BuzzFeed News


This Mar-A-Lago Member Had A Great Time Photographing Trump Handling A National Security Crisis
BuzzFeed News
This Trump supporter says he was at the “center of the action” as Trump dealt with the news that North Korea had just fired a missile in the direction of Japan. posted on Feb. 13, 2017, at 10:38 a.m.. Mike Hayes. BuzzFeed News Reporter. Tweet. Tumblr.

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Jerry Sandusky's son Jeffrey arrested on child sexual assault charges - NBCSports.com

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NBCSports.com


Jerry Sandusky's son Jeffrey arrested on child sexual assault charges
NBCSports.com
Jeffrey Sandusky, the adopted 41-year-old son of former Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky, has been indicted on charges of sexually assaulting a child, according to multiple reports out of Pennsylvania. According to WKBN, Sandusky was ...
Jerry Sandusky's son Jeffrey charged with child sexual abuseESPN
Jerry Sandusky's Son Charged With Child Sexual AssaultCBS Local
Jerry Sandusky's son arrested for child sexual assaultSports Illustrated
Yahoo Sports -New York Post -Washington Post -NBCNews.com
all 161 news articles »

Germany to deepen military ties with France, others: sources

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany will move forward this week with plans to set up a joint fleet of Lockheed Martin Corp C-130J transport planes with France and join a Netherlands-led fleet of Airbus A330 tanker planes, defense ministry sources said on Monday.
  
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Trump ignores reporters' shouted questions about Flynn

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Embattled national security adviser Michael Flynn&apos;s fate as one of President Donald Trump&apos;s senior aides remained uncertain Monday following reports that he discussed U.S. sanctions with a Russian envoy before Trump&apos;s inauguration....

Avalanche in French Alps Kills 4 Snowboarders

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The snowboarders, including an instructor, were off-piste and were preparing to descend a steep slope at the Tignes ski resort in the Vanoise range.

Israel leader’s White House trip clouded in uncertainty

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Israel’s prime minister heads to Washington this week for a high-profile meeting with President Donald Trump that suddenly is clouded in uncertainty.





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Donald Trump appears to gatecrash Mar-a-Lago wedding after North Korea missile statement 

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Trump aide Michael Flynn apologises over Russian envoy chats

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Michael Flynn has "the full confidence of the president", a White House spokeswoman says.

Syrian forces used gas attacks as key part of campaign to retake Aleppo, Human Rights Watch says

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The attacks killed nine, including four children.





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German left-of-center majority edges ahead as Merkel prospects dim: poll

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BERLIN (Reuters) - Three left-leaning German parties would now win enough combined support to oust Chancellor Angela Merkel in September's election, according to an opinion poll by the INSA institute to be published in Bild newspaper on Tuesday.
  

Ku Klux Klan killing: Frank Ancona's wife and stepson charged

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The body of Frank Ancona, the head of a KKK group, was found near a river in Missouri on Saturday.

Donald Trump 'evaluating Michael Flynn's situation' over conversations with Russian officials 

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US sanctions Venezuela vice-president over trafficking claims

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The US says Tareck el-Aissami has played "a significant role in international narcotics trafficking"

Trump presidency gets social with detailed posts, photos

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- There was President Donald Trump, in the middle of his Mar-a-Lago resort, conferring with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on decisions with national security implications over iceberg wedge salads. The Florida club members snapped photos and posted them to Facebook with detailed narratives about what they were seeing....

Tom Cruise's mother Mary Lee South dies at 80 

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UN Security Council strongly condemns North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test 

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UN Security Council strongly condemns North Korea’s latest ballistic missile test.

Panama seeks arrest of 2 sons of ex-president in graft case

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Prosecutors in Panama are seeking international help in detaining two sons of former President Ricardo Martinelli in relation to an alleged scheme to launder bribes from Brazilian construction giant Odebrecht.

US sanctions Venezuelan vice president as drug kingpin - Washington Post

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Washington Post


US sanctions Venezuelan vice president as drug kingpin
Washington Post
The Trump administration on Monday slapped sanctions on Venezuela's new vice president, Tareck el-Aissami, accusing him of being an international drug kingpin. The Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said that Aissami, who ...
US sanctions Venezuela vice president over drug traffickingFox News
US Hits Venezuelan Vice President With 'Kingpin' Act SanctionsBloomberg
Treasury sanctions Venezuelan vice president for drug traffickingThe Hill
Miami Herald -Reuters -USA TODAY -seattlepi.com
all 34 news articles »

Dominican court sentences American in slaying of US hotelier

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A panel of Dominican judges has sentenced an American citizen to 30 years in prison for killing and dismembering an expatriate U.S. hotel owner.

California dam managers dismissed flood concern 12 years ago

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Environmental activists and local government officials warned more than a decade ago about the risk of catastrophic flooding below a major Northern California dam - the very scenario that threatened to unfold over the weekend, forcing the evacuation of nearly 200,000 people downstream....

Boy, 10, dies after 'furniture falls on him' at Topshop store

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The Spy Revolt Against Donald Trump Begins

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In a recent column, I explained how the still-forming Trump administration is already doing serious harm to America’s longstanding global intelligence partnerships. In particular, fears that the White House is too friendly to Moscow are causing close allies to curtail some of their espionage relationships with Washington—a development with grave implications for international security, particularly in the all-important realm of counterterrorism.
Now those concerns are causing problems much closer to home—in fact, inside the Beltway itself. Our Intelligence Community is so worried by the unprecedented problems of the Trump administration—not only do senior officials possess troubling ties to the Kremlin, there are nagging questions about basic competence regarding Team Trump—that it is beginning to withhold intelligence from a White House which our spies do not trust.
That the IC has ample grounds for concern is demonstrated by almost daily revelations of major problems inside the White House, a mere three weeks after the inauguration. The president has repeatedly gone out of his way to antagonize our spies, mocking them and demeaning their work, and Trump’s personal national security guru can’t seem to keep his story straight on vital issues.
That’s Mike Flynn, the retired Army three-star general who now heads the National Security Council. Widely disliked in Washington for his brash personality and preference for conspiracy-theorizing over intelligence facts, Flynn was fired as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency for managerial incompetence and poor judgment—flaws he has brought to the far more powerful and political NSC.
Flynn’s problems with the truth have been laid bare by the growing scandal about his dealings with Moscow. Strange ties to the Kremlin, including Vladimir Putin himself, have dogged Flynn since he left DIA, and concerns about his judgment have risen considerably since it was revealed that after the November 8 election, Flynn repeatedly called the Russian embassy in Washington to discuss the transition. The White House has denied that anything substantive came up in conversations between Flynn and Sergei Kislyak, the Russian ambassador.
That was a lie, as confirmed by an extensively sourced bombshell report in The Washington Post, which makes clear that Flynn grossly misrepresented his numerous conversations with Kislyak—which turn out to have happened before the election too, part of a regular dialogue with the Russian embassy. To call such an arrangement highly unusual in American politics would be very charitable.
In particular, Flynn and Kislyak discussed the possible lifting of the sanctions President Obama placed on Russia and its intelligence services late last year in retaliation for the Kremlin’s meddling in our 2016 election. In public, Flynn repeatedly denied that any talk of sanctions occurred during his conversations with Russia’s ambassador. Worse, he apparently lied in private too, including to Vice President Mike Pence, who when this scandal broke last month publicly denied that Flynn conducted any sanctions talk with Kislyak. Pence and his staff are reported to be very upset with the national security adviser, who played the vice president for a fool.
It’s debatable whether Flynn broke any laws by conducting unofficial diplomacy with Moscow, then lying about it, and he has now adopted the customary Beltway dodge about the affair, ditching his previous denials in favor of professing he has “no recollection of discussing sanctions,” adding that he “couldn’t be certain that the topic never came up.” That’s not good enough anymore, since the IC knows exactly what Flynn and Kislyak discussed.
In pretty much every capital worldwide, embassies that provide sanctuary to hostile intelligence services are subject to counterintelligence surveillance, including monitoring phone calls. Our spy services conduct signals intelligence—SIGINT for short—against the Russian embassy in Washington, just as the Russians do against our embassy in Moscow. Ambassadors’ calls are always monitored: that’s how the SpyWar works, everywhere.
Ambassador Kislyak surely knew his conversations with Flynn were being intercepted, and it’s incomprehensible that a career military intelligence officer who once headed a major intelligence agency didn’t realize the same. Whether Flynn is monumentally stupid or monumentally arrogant is the big question that hangs over this increasingly strange affair.
Prominent Democrats in Congress are already calling for Flynn to be relieved over this scandal, which at best shows him to be dishonest about important issues. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, has bluntly asked for the national security adviser’s ouster. Republicans on the Hill who would prefer that the White House stop lying to the public about its Kremlin links ought to get behind Schiff’s initiative before the scandal gets worse.
In truth, it may already be too late. A new report by CNN indicates that important parts of the infamous spy dossier that professed to shed light on President Trump’s shady Moscow ties have been corroborated by communications intercepts. In other words, SIGINT strikes again, providing key evidence that backs up some of the claims made in that 35-page report compiled by Christopher Steele, a former British intelligence official with extensive Russia experience.
As I’ve previously explained, that salacious dossier is raw intelligence, an explosive amalgam of fact and fantasy, including some disinformation planted by the Kremlin to obscure this already murky case. Now SIGINT confirms that some of the non-salacious parts of what Steele reported, in particular how senior Russian officials conspired to assist Trump in last year’s election, are substantially based in fact. This is bad news for the White House, which has already lashed out in angry panic, with Press Secretary Sean Spicer stating, “We continue to be disgusted by CNN’s fake news reporting.”
That is hardly a denial, of course, and I can confirm from my friends still serving in the IC that the SIGINT, which corroborates some of the Steele dossier, is damning for the administration. Our spies have had enough of these shady Russian connections—and they are starting to push back.
There are pervasive concerns that the president simply isn’t paying attention to intelligence.
How things are heating up between the White House and the spooks is evidenced by a new report that the CIA has denied a security clearance to one of Flynn’s acolytes. Rob Townley, a former Marine intelligence officer selected to head up the NSC’s Africa desk, was denied a clearance to see Sensitive Compartmented Information (which is required to have access to SIGINT in particular). Why Townley’s SCI was turned down isn’t clear—it could be over personal problems or foreign ties—but the CIA’s stand has been privately denounced by the White House, which views this as a vendetta against Flynn. That the Townley SCI denial was reportedly endorsed by Mike Pompeo, the new CIA director selected by Trump himself, only adds to the pain.
There is more consequential IC pushback happening, too. Our spies have never liked Trump’s lackadaisical attitude toward the President’s Daily Brief, the most sensitive of all IC documents, which the new commander-in-chief has received haphazardly. The president has frequently blown off the PDB altogether, tasking Flynn with condensing it into a one-page summary with no more than nine bullet-points. Some in the IC are relieved by this, but there are pervasive concerns that the president simply isn’t paying attention to intelligence.
In light of this, and out of worries about the White House’s ability to keep secrets, some of our spy agencies have begun withholding intelligence from the Oval Office. Why risk your most sensitive information if the president may ignore it anyway? A senior National Security Agency official explained that NSA was systematically holding back some of the “good stuff” from the White House, in an unprecedented move. For decades, NSA has prepared special reports for the president’s eyes only, containing enormously sensitive intelligence. In the last three weeks, however, NSA has ceased doing this, fearing Trump and his staff cannot keep their best SIGINT secrets.
Since NSA provides something like 80 percent of the actionable intelligence in our government, what’s being kept from the White House may be very significant indeed. However, such concerns are widely shared across the IC, and NSA doesn’t appear to be the only agency withholding intelligence from the administration out of security fears.
What’s going on was explained lucidly by a senior Pentagon intelligence official, who stated that “since January 20, we’ve assumed that the Kremlin has ears inside the SITROOM,” meaning the White House Situation Room, the 5,500 square-foot conference room in the West Wing where the president and his top staffers get intelligence briefings. “There’s not much the Russians don’t know at this point,” the official added in wry frustration.
None of this has happened in Washington before. A White House with unsettling links to Moscow wasn’t something anybody in the Pentagon or the Intelligence Community even considered a possibility until a few months ago. Until Team Trump clarifies its strange relationship with the Kremlin, and starts working on its professional honesty, the IC will approach the administration with caution and concern.
previously warned the Trump administration not to go to war with the nation’s spies, and here’s why. This is a risky situation, particularly since President Trump is prone to creating crises foreign and domestic with his incautious tweets. In the event of a serious international crisis of the sort which eventually befalls almost every administration, the White House will need the best intelligence possible to prevent war, possibly even nuclear war. It may not get the information it needs in that hour of crisis, and for that it has nobody to blame but itself.
John Schindler is a security expert and former National Security Agency analyst and counterintelligence officer. A specialist in espionage and terrorism, he’s also been a Navy officer and a War College professor. He’s published four books and is on Twitter at @20committee.
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Die Presse: Никто не знает, на что действительно способны Путин или Эрдоган

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Являются ли автократы хорошими государственными лидерами, могла бы показать конкуренция. Но если ее нет, критерием становится экономика. И она беспощадна.

Disintegrating Oroville Dam Built With Primitive Technology

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through the cracksThe Oroville Dam has fallen apart, which has caused the evacuation of 200,000 on the Feather River in Northern California in and around the town or Oroville. The dam is the highest in the United States and built of one of the most primitive technologies used to create dam structures.
Oroville Dam is 770 feet high. Construction was started in 1962 and ended in 1968. The design is called “earthfill,” which allows builders to make use of local materials for building.
According to Construction Engineer, earthfill damns have “non-overflow sections with separate spillways.” The spillway is part of the Oroville Dam that has failed.
“Once you have damage to a structure like that it’s catastrophic,” acting Water Resources director Bill Croyle told Reuters.
A construction engineer describes earthfill dam hallmarks:
The foundation requirements are not as rigorous as other dams
Local available soil is the main construction material
High skill not required
No special plants are required. Most earth-moving machines can be used
In its manual on earthfill dams, the Army Corps of Engineers wrote:
An understanding of the causes of failure is a critical element in the design and construction process for new dams and for the evaluation of existing dams. The primary cause of failure of embankment dams in the United States is overtopping as a result of inadequate spillway capacity.
Apparently, the most badly damaged part of the Oroville Dam is its spillway. Stati0n KRCA reported:
As tensions remain high around Butte County and the surrounding areas, water levels at Lake Oroville continue to drop Monday morning, stopping water from spilling over the potentially hazardous auxiliary spillway.
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48 Questions the FBI Uses to Determine if Someone Is a Likely Terrorist - The Intercept

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The Intercept


48 Questions the FBI Uses to Determine if Someone Is a Likely Terrorist
The Intercept
For the past year and a half, the FBI has been using a secret scoring system to judge the likelihood that someone will carry out a violent attack. The survey, called “Indicators of Mobilization to Violence,” assigns points based on factors like ...

trump and russia - Google News: Russia-US flight searches surge 88% post Donald Trump Inauguration - The Independent

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The Independent


Russia-US flight searches surge 88% post Donald Trump Inauguration
The Independent
US tourism is suffering in the wake of Donald Trump's election, according to a new study, but there is one notable exception. Travellers from at least 94 countries are reconsidering visiting the "land of the free" after Mr Trump's Inauguration, found ...
John McCain: Russia dissidents are our moral equalsUSA TODAY
Trump's New Start With Russia May Prove Better Than Obama'sWall Street Journal
Russia says Putin-Trump meeting possible before JulyThe Straits Times
Anadolu Agency
all 42 news articles »


 trump and russia - Google News

Taliban suicide attack targeting police at rally kills 13 - ABC News

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Geo News, Pakistan


Taliban suicide attack targeting police at rally kills 13
ABC News
A suicide bomber plowed a motorcycle into a group of police escorting a protest rally in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore on Monday, killing at least 13 people and wounding nearly 60 in an attack claimed by a breakaway Taliban faction. The blast ...
Police officials among 13 martyred in Lahore suicide bombingGeo News, Pakistan
Senior police officers among 13 killed as suicide bomber strikes LahoreDAWN.com

all 165 news articles »
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