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    Special counsel John Durham is not expected to bring charges in connection with the 2017 U.S. intelligence community assessment on Russian interference during the 2016 presidential election. That's what sources familiar with the investigation told the Wall Street Journal in a report published Tuesday about the grand jury indictment against Michael Sussmann, a cybersecurity lawyer accused of lying to investigators . He denies any wronging. Durham was appointed by former Attorney General William Barr to investigate the origins and conduct of the Trump-Russia investigation and was given special counsel status last year in a bid to allow him to continue his work into the Biden administration. Barr said in the summer of 2020 that he believed Durham was looking into the 2017 U.S. intelligence assessment. DURHAM GRAND JURY INDICTS LAWYER FOR ALLEGEDLY LYING TO FBI, CONCEALING TIES TO CLINTON CAMPAIGN "There was definitely Russian, uh, interference," Barr told the New York Times . “I think Durham is looking at the intelligence community’s ICA — the report that they did in December [2016]. And he’s sort of examining all the...
    Evidence indicates Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and the chair of the Arizona GOP tried to get election officials to stop counting ballots in the state. Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on Wednesday sent a letter to her state's attorney general, Republican Mark Brnovich, demanding that he investigate what she said were "clear efforts" from Donald Trump allies to interfere in vote-counting, in violation of state law. "I urge you to take action not only to seek justice in this instance, but to prevent further attempts to interfere with the integrity of our elections," Hobbs, a Democrat, wrote in the letter, in which she also wrote that Brnovich said "just last week" that "fair elections are the cornerstone of our republic." Hobbs' letter came after the Arizona Republic newspaper and the Associated Press reported last week that Trump, Trump campaign lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward tried to pressure local officials to interfere with vote tabulation in the state. President Joe Biden carried Arizona — which...
    (CNN)With Joe Biden and Vladimir Putin huddling Wednesday in Geneva it's worth remembering a similar summit between Putin and Donald Trump in 2018 -- one of the lowest points of a presidency absolutely stuffed with them.The two presidents met in Helsinki on July 16, 2018 -- a meeting that came amid special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The central issue was whether Trump would confront Putin about Russia's involvement in a US presidential election.That, um, didn't happen. In a joint news conference after their meeting, Trump not only refused to condemn Russian interference but seemed to side with Putin and against his own intelligence community."I hold both countries responsible," Trump said in response to a question from the American press about Russia's interference. "I think that the United States has been foolish. We've all been foolish. We're all to blame."He later added that Putin "was extremely strong and powerful in his denials" of election meddling. And this: "My people came to me, [former Director of National Intelligence] Dan Coats came to me and some...
    Police officers wearing protective face masks walk past the Spasskaya Tower of the Kremlin in Moscow on March 13, 2021 (AFP via Getty Images) With a series of sanctions and the expulsion of Russian diplomats from the US, Joe Biden has sought an end to a “cycle of escalation and conflict” with Russia in the wake of sweeping hacking operations and intelligence findings that revealed Kremlin-backed efforts to undermine American elections. In remarks from the White House on Thursday, Mr Biden said: “We cannot allow a foreign power to interfere in our democratic process.” The sanctions imposed through the Treasury Department target 32 entities and individuals “carrying out Russian government-directed attempts to influence the 2020 US presidential election” and other disinformation efforts, according to the White House. Ten diplomats were also removed from the Russian Embassy in Washington DC. The US has formally blamed the Kremlin for the SolarWinds cyberattack that compromised 100 businesses and nine federal agencies through an operation allegedly helmed by a Russian intelligence agency that US intelligence officials found was also responsible for extensive “influence” campaigns...
    WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration announced Thursday the U.S. is expelling 10 Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions against dozens of companies and people, holding the Kremlin accountable for interference in last year's presidential election and the hacking of federal agencies.The sweeping measures are meant to punish Russia for actions that U.S. officials say cut to the core of American democracy and to deter future acts by imposing economic costs on Moscow, including by targeting its ability to borrow money. The sanctions are certain to exacerbate tensions with Russia, which promised a response, even as some experts said the measures appeared tailored to avoid an out-of-control escalation of retaliatory acts between the two countries.Sanctions against six Russian companies that support the country's cyber efforts represent the first retaliatory measures against the Kremlin for the hack familiarly known as the SolarWinds breach, with the U.S. explicitly linking the intrusion to the SVR, a Russian intelligence agency. Though such intelligence-gathering missions are not uncommon, officials said they were determined to act because of the operation's broad scope and the high cost of the...
    WASHINGTON -- The Biden administration announced Thursday the U.S. is expelling 10 Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions against dozens of companies and people, holding the Kremlin accountable for interference in last year's presidential election and the hacking of federal agencies.The sweeping measures are meant to punish Russia for actions that U.S. officials say cut to the core of American democracy and to deter future acts by imposing economic costs on Moscow, including by targeting its ability to borrow money. The sanctions are certain to exacerbate tensions with Russia, which promised a response, even as some experts said the measures appeared tailored to avoid an out-of-control escalation of retaliatory acts between the two countries.Sanctions against six Russian companies that support the country's cyber efforts represent the first retaliatory measures against the Kremlin for the hack familiarly known as the SolarWinds breach, with the U.S. explicitly linking the intrusion to the SVR, a Russian intelligence agency. Though such intelligence-gathering missions are not uncommon, officials said they were determined to act because of the operation's broad scope and the high cost of the...
    (CNN)The Biden administration on Thursday revealed new details about Russia's extensive interference in the 2016 and 2020 US elections, including disclosing for the first time that a Russian agent who received internal polling data from the Trump campaign in 2016 passed it along to Russia's intelligence services.The new revelations about Moscow's election meddling came as part of the Biden administration's slate of sanctions against Russian actors on Thursday over Russia's election interference as well as the SolarWinds hack and Russia's ongoing occupation of Crimea.After then-President Donald Trump repeatedly denied or downplayed Russia's election interference in 2016, senior Trump administration officials, including Trump himself, refused to acknowledge or elevate Russian operations in 2020 and sought to characterize China as the greater threat. The sanctions also included the US government's acknowledgment for the first time that a Russian-linked intelligence operative named Konstantin Kilimnik provided information on Trump campaign polling strategy and data to the Russian intelligence services in 2016. Biden imposes new sanctions on Russia in response to election interference and cyber hacks Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen in a statement characterized the...
    The United States is set to hit Russia with fresh sanctions for alleged interference in the 2020 presidential election, a sweeping cyberattack against American government and corporate networks and other activities. The sanctions are expected to be announced on Thursday and include expelling Russian diplomats from the U.S. and blacklisting more than 20 Russian entities, according to one U.S. official and a second source familiar with the matter. The news was first reported by Bloomberg. The sanctions will come a month after President Joe Biden publicly promised retaliation against Russian President Vladimir Putin for a range of malicious activities that Washington blames on Moscow. Biden has characterized Putin as a “killer” and said he would “pay the price” for these actions. Russia denies all of these charges, including calling the allegations over the 2020 election “baseless accusations.” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov suggested Moscow would respond in kind to any “illegal” sanctions imposed by the U.S. “We condemn any intentions to impose sanctions, consider them illegal, and in any case the principle of reciprocity operates in this area,” he said Thursday...
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is pushing back against the House coronavirus crisis subcommittee's accusations of "political meddling" by the Trump administration related to the pandemic. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., on Thursday sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and CDC Director Robert Redfield accusing Redfield of directing his subordinates to destroy evidence of political interference related to COVID-19 research by the Trump administration. The committee's accusations center around an interview with Dr. Charlotte Kent, editor-in-chief of the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), regarding the Trump administration's alleged attempts to interfere with the publication of a scientific COVID-19 report for MMWR. Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., walks to a closed Democratic Caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington, Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) "The Subcommittee’s characterization of the conversation with Dr. Kent is irresponsible," the CDC said in a statement to Fox News. "We urge the Subcommittee to release the transcript in full which will show that during her testimony Dr. Kent repeatedly said there was no political interference...
    Trey Trainor, the chairman of the Federal Election Commission, spoke with the Daily Caller’s Samantha Renck about ongoing allegations of voter fraud, restoring trust in America’s democratic process and more. The Trump campaign held a press conference Thursday to discuss voter fraud, potential foreign influence and ongoing lawsuits in states like Pennsylvania. Sidney Powell, one of the campaign’s attorneys, said there was a “massive influence of communist money through Venezuela, Cuba and likely China in the interference with our elections here in the United States.” “I think it’s very crucial that they present the evidence,” Trainor said about allegations of foreign interference. “I think it’s crucial that they present the evidence to a court — not necessarily to the media.” (RELATED: Trump Campaign Says It Has Uncovered Enough ‘Fraud’ To Overturn Election Result) “It is deeply concerning that those accusations have been made,” he added. “One of the things I find most fascinating about it is when the claims of Russia collusion were made against the Trump campaign, we spent about three years investigating it. When the claims are made on...
    A U.S. judge on Thursday dismissed a libel lawsuit filed by President Donald Trumps re-election campaign against CNN over a 2019 opinion piece which it said suggested the campaign would be open to Russian interference, according to a court document. The campaign sued CNN, which is owned by AT&T Inc, in March over the June 13, 2019, piece by Larry Noble, a CNN contributor and former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission. U.S. District Judge Michael Brown said the campaign had failed to prove the piece was maliciously published, which is the legal standard for libel against public figures. The Trump campaigns lawsuit objected to a statement in the opinion piece in which Noble referred to Special Counsel Robert Muellers report on Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and said: "The Trump campaign assessed the potential risks and benefits of again seeking Russias help in 2020 and has decided to leave that option on the table." The campaign argued that it has "repeatedly and openly disclaimed any intention to seek Russian involvement in the 2020 election," and has...
    The campaign of a Republican Senate candidate in Michigan is alleging election interference, voter suppression and impropriety by state officials as mail-in ballots were tallied, according to a report. A consultant for John James’ Senate campaign said the candidate was leading Democratic incumbent Sen. Gary Peters until ballots that suddenly appeared in the dark of night changed the tide, Fox News reported. “There were all kinds of chicanery, including ballots that came in reportedly in the middle of the night at 3:30 a.m. – 35,000 ballots that were deceptively brought in,” Stuart Sandler told Fox News. “There have been a lot of irregularities and a lack of integrity. They’re not letting challengers in, they’re not letting them get food or water. When they do, they’re not letting them come back. There’s all sorts of disruptions to the process,” he said. Peters was declared the winner in Michigan on Wednesday by a number of media outlets, including Fox News, with 1 percent of the vote left to be counted. Gary PetersAP The results show Peters had 49.6 percent to James’ 48.5...
    President Trump’s re-election campaign Thursday accused NBC News of “actively running interference” for Democratic nominee Joe Biden and his son Hunter via a widely ridiculed report that critics feel was designed to dupe voters into thinking recent allegations that are harmful to the former vice president are simply part of a conspiracy.  NBC News published a lengthy story headlined, “How a fake persona laid the groundwork for a Hunter Biden conspiracy deluge,” which debunked what it claimed to be a “fake ‘intelligence’ document” that painted the presidential hopeful's youngest son as a bad actor with ties to the Communist Party of China.  'PLAUSIBLE DENIABILITY': TONY BOBULINSKI CLAIMS BIDEN FAMILY SHRUGGED OFF CONCERNS ABOUT RISK TO 2020 BID However, the Hunter Biden story that NBC News attempted to debunk is not the Hunter Biden story, according to the campaign. Hunter Biden’s former business associate Tony Bobulinski -- who says he was once involved in a joint business venture with Hunter Biden and Jim Biden -- has come forward with documents, including emails and text messages, claiming that he met twice with former Vice President Joe Biden. Those claims conflict...
    The US Treasury Department has imposed sanctions on Iran over its attempt to interfere with US presidential election.  Officials on Thursday identified five Iranian entities that were found to have 'directly or indirectly engaged in, sponsored, concealed, or otherwise been complicit' in trying to compromise the outcome of the election.    'As a result of today's designations, all property and interests in property of the persons designated today subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them,' department officials said.   'The Iranian regime uses false narratives and other misleading content to attempt to influence U.S. elections,' Mnuchin said in a statement.  'This Administration is committed to ensuring the integrity of the U.S. election system and will continue to counter efforts from any foreign actor that threatens our electoral processes.'    This is a developing story. More to come.  
    Sen. Ted Cruz laced into Twitter boss Jack Dorsey and “big tech billionaires drunk on their own power” Saturday over censorship of The Post’s exposé of the Biden family foreign business dealings. Dorsey is expected to receive a subpoena and be grilled next Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. GOP leaders are seeking answers for why the company decided to censor new emails published in The Post raising new questions about Joe and Hunter Biden’s relationship with executives from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. “This is a power grab from big tech billionaires drunk on their own power. That is abuse of monopoly power by big tech,” Cruz told reporters on a press call Saturday. “It appears Twitter is throttling [in a] brazen attempt to manipulate the election outcome and it is continuing as we speak.” Twitter has refused to unlock The Post’s account unless the news organization deletes tweets about its own reporting on Hunter Biden’s emails. Cruz was joined on the call GOP House Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who floated the possibility of collusion between Twitter and...
    Sen. Ted Cruz laced into Twitter boss Jack Dorsey and “big tech billionaires drunk on their own power” Saturday over censorship of The Post’s exposé of the Biden family foreign business dealings. Dorsey is expected to receive a subpoena and be grilled next Friday by the Senate Judiciary Committee. GOP leaders are seeking answers for why the company decided to censor new emails published in The Post raising new questions about Joe and Hunter Biden’s relationship with executives from the Ukrainian energy company Burisma. “This is a power grab from big tech billionaires drunk on their own power. That is abuse of monopoly power by big tech,” Cruz told reporters on a press call Saturday. “It appears Twitter is throttling [in a] brazen attempt to manipulate the election outcome and it is continuing as we speak.” Twitter has refused to unlock The Post’s account unless the news organization deletes tweets about its own reporting on Hunter Biden’s emails. Cruz was joined on the call GOP House Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA), who floated the possibility of collusion between Twitter and the...
    Washington — A nearly 1,000-page report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday documented a broad set of links and interactions between Russian government operatives and members of the 2016 Trump campaign, adding new details and dimensions to the account laid out last year by special counsel Robert Mueller and raising counterintelligence concerns about certain Russian efforts that may have persisted into the 2020 election season. Tuesday's report was the committee's final, and long-awaited, chapter in its more than three-year investigation into Russia's 2016 election interference, marking the conclusion of what was held up as the last and arguably only bipartisan congressional investigation into the matter. Spanning 966 pages, it concluded, as have other assessments of Russia's efforts, that Moscow "engaged in an aggressive, multifaceted effort to influence, or attempt to influence, the outcome of the 2016 presidential election."  The report, redacted in parts, detailed extensive contacts between Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national who worked closely with Manafort for years. The report labeled Kilimnik a "Russian intelligence officer," and said Manafort, for reasons...
    Sen Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyDemocrats step up hardball tactics in Supreme Court fight Romney, Murphy 'extremely concerned' about threats to withdraw from US Embassy in Baghdad GOP online donor platform offering supporters 'Notorious A.C.B.' shirts MORE (D-Conn.) said Friday that if President TrumpDonald John TrumpPresident Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for coronavirus Secret recordings show Melania Trump was frustrated about criticism of Trump 2018 border separation policy: CNN MORE cannot be on the campaign trail due to his recent coronavirus diagnosis, that he would have to rely on "surrogates" including Russian President Vladimir PutinVladimir Vladimirovich PutinLawmakers introduce resolution condemning Azerbaijan, Turkey for conflict with Armenia McMaster: Trump 'aiding and abetting Putin's efforts' at election interference Democrat asks intelligence director if Trump's personal debt is security problem MORE.  The commentary from Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, comes just hours after Trump announced that he and the first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpPresident Trump, Melania Trump test positive for COVID-19 Trump, first lady to quarantine after...
    WHITE House Communications chief Hope Hicks known to be one of President Donald Trump's most loyal aides has quit. News of Hicks’ departure broke one day after she testified before the House intelligence committee as part of the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election. 2 The 29-year-old said she wanted to leave to explore opportunities outside WashingtonCredit: AP:Associated Press “There are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump,” Hicks said in a statement. “I wish the President and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country.” Hicks had served as the press secretary for Trump’s insurgent presidential campaign before taking on similar duties in the White House. She previously worked at the Trump Organization and was promoted to comms director in September 2017 after the short-lived tenure of Anthony Scaramucci. 2 Trump said Hicks had done on 'outstanding' job over the yearsCredit: AFP or licensors “Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years,” Trump said in a statement. “She is as smart and thoughtful as...
    Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe revealed that U.S. intelligence had learned of claims from Russian intelligence that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton approved a plan to connect then-candidate Donald Trump to the Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee. Ratcliffe made the admission in a letter to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Tuesday. "In late July 2016, U.S. intelligence agencies obtained insight into Russian intelligence analysis alleging that U.S. Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had approved a campaign plan to stir up a scandal against U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump by tying him to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the Russians' hacking of the Democratic National Committee," wrote Ratcliffe. "The IC does not know the accuracy of this allegation or the extent to which the Russian intelligence analysis may reflect exaggeration or fabrication," he added. Ratcliffe went on to say that former Central Intelligence Agency Director John Brennan briefed former President Barack Obama on the claims garnered from Russian intelligence. Those claims were also forwarded to then-FBI Director James...
    Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed Friday concluding a pact with Washington against interfering in one another’s elections and internal affairs, just weeks before the US hosts a divisive presidential vote. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov read out Putin’s statement in a video released by the ministry, while the Kremlin chief was visiting massive military drills involving China and Iran in southern Russia. Western countries have for years accused Russia of using hackers and internet trolls to sway the outcome of elections, and US intelligence officials have said that Moscow is once again manipulating social media in favour of Donald Trump as it did in 2016. Putin’s proposal for a non-interference pact in cyberspace came amid Kremlin accusations that Western countries are mounting a “disinformation” campaign against Russia over the poisoning last month of opposition leader Alexei Navalny in Siberia.  In his statement, Putin called for the two countries to “exchange guarantees of non-interference in each others’ domestic affairs including elections,” and particularly noted the use of “information and communication technologies”. He also called for a global pact agreeing not to use...
    By now, the Kremlin has meddled in so many elections around the world that the immune system of global democracy has gotten at least a little wise to its threats. Here are some lessons that other countries can teach us in the age of Russian mayhem. When in Doubt, Go AnalogIn 2017, spooked by stories about Russian hacking in the US election, Dutch TV broadcaster RTL investigated the Netherlands' software system for counting paper ballots and found it riddled with security flaws. “The average iPad is more secure than the Dutch electoral system,” said one security researcher. So in a dramatic move just six weeks before a big election, the country decided to count all the votes manually—a slower but far more secure option.Get Physical AuthenticationIn 2007, Estonia was an early victim of Russian cyberattacks; yet today nearly half of the country's citizens vote online. Estonia has kept the Kremlin from corrupting that digital democracy in part by giving every citizen a smart ID card that physically authenticates their identity for online banking, paying taxes, and voting. Online elections remain...
    OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images, Alex Wong/Getty Images Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign slammed the Trump administration over reports they interfered with the Centers for Disease Control’s reporting on the coronavirus. On Saturday, the Biden campaign reacted to reporting that former Trump campaign official and current HHS official Michael Caputo has led an effort to interfere with the CDC’s reporting on the coronavirus in order to align it with President Donald Trump’s “optimistic” narrative. In a lengthy statement emailed to Mediaite, Biden Communications Director Kate Bedingfield called the report a “repugnant betrayal,” and connected it to the revelations in tape recordings for Bob Woodward’s book: “When Donald Trump told Bob Woodward that he wanted to downplay the virus, this is the exact kind of repugnant betrayal that he meant. Instead of telling us the truth about the deadly seriousness of COVID-19, this report is further proof that the Trump Administration has been systematically putting political optics ahead of the safety of the American people. “Sadly, this is only the latest example of Trump’s refusal to be honest about this pandemic — even...
    (CNN)The Russians are still meddling.Over the past week there have been fresh warnings over Russian hackers targeting the 2020 election, the indictment of a Russian man stealing Americans' identities as part of election meddling, and sanctions against a Russian-linked politician for spreading disinformation. The episodes are a stark reminder that Russian-linked election interference efforts -- along with the potential threat from countries like China and Iran -- are ramping back up with the November 3 election less than two months away, suggesting Moscow is still looking to duplicate its wildly successful 2016 meddling campaign. Share your story: Have you been targeted with election disinformation?There are signs the Trump administration is taking steps to counter Russian efforts. In addition to new sanctions this week, the intelligence community's top election security official Bill Evanina publicly announced last month that Russia was actively working to denigrate Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden. Read MoreBut those actions are playing out against a backdrop of President Donald Trump still refusing to accept that Russia is interfering to benefit his campaign -- and at the same...
    ichael Reynolds/CNP via ZUMA Wire For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.Last week, 11 Democratic senators signed on to a letter to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin demanding the United States impose new sanctions on Russians who attempt to interfere with the 2020 election. “There is virtually no national security threat more serious,” they wrote, “than that posed by those who would undermine confidence in, and the effective operation of, our democratic elections.” After the events of 2016, when Russian hackers attacked the Democratic National Committee and other high-profile Democratic targets, the prospect of a foreign nation again disrupting the presidential election is a real concern. (A Senate report released last month detailed renewed efforts by the Russian government to spread disinformation in order to influence the campaign.) But this year, there’s another hostile power putting its thumb on the scales to help President Donald Trump. From the United States Postal Service to the Department of Housing and Urban Development to the Justice Department, Trump has sought to use the...
    Democratic 2020 vice presidential candidate Kamala Harris warned that Russia’s continued interference in America’s political institutions could be a reason why Joe Biden might not win the election. Harris spoke with CNN’s Dana Bash, who asked for the senator’s response to a Department of Homeland Security warning that Russia is working to undermine public trust in the election by amplifying groundless claims that mail-in voting will lead to mass corruption. When asked if Russian interference could cost the election for Biden, Harris referred to the findings from her place on the Senate Intelligence Committee, saying she expects Russia “will be at the front of the line” of foreign efforts to meddle with the election. “Could it cost you the White House?” Bash asked. “Theoretically, of course, yes,” Harris answered. Harris elaborated by saying she and Biden were taking a realistic approach to the possibilities of what might happen at the end of the election. She made her argument by referring to allegations of voter suppression, Russia’s actions during the 2016 election, and President Donald Trump’s efforts to sow doubt...
    Reuters September 5, 2020 0 Comments China has taken the most active role among countries seeking to interfere in the U.S. election and has the biggest program to influence domestic politics, U.S. national security adviser Robert O’Brien said on Friday, without providing any details. “We know the Chinese have taken the most active role,” O’Brien told reporters at a briefing. He said China had “had the most massive program to influence the United States politically,” followed by Iran and then Russia. U.S. intelligence found that Russia orchestrated a cyber campaign to sway the 2016 presidential election in Republican Donald Trump’s favor and there have been reports hackers may try to influence the election on Nov. 3. Moscow has denied interfering in 2016. “We’ve made it very clear to the Chinese, to the Russians, to the Iranians and others that haven’t been publicly disclosed that anyone … that attempts to interfere with the American elections will face extraordinary consequences,” O’Brien said. Trump-appointed Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday he believed China was more of a threat than Russia when...
    Alexei Nikolsky/TASS via ZUMA Press For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.A new intelligence report produced by the Department of Homeland Security predicts the Russian government will “continue amplifying criticisms of vote-by-mail and shifting voting processes amidst the COVID-19 pandemic to undermine public trust in the electoral process.” The finding suggests that Russia is already engaged in a campaign to destroy faith in the voting system at the same time that President Donald Trump has made similar claims for similar motives, with the assistance of Attorney General Bill Barr and other supporters. Russia is “likely to promote allegations of corruption, system failure, and foreign malign interference to sow distrust.” The activity described by the report follows the playbook employed during the 2016 election interference campaign: Find and exacerbate existing fissures in domestic US discourse and society to wreak havoc. When it comes to the now hot-button issue of mail voting, the report warns that “Russian state media, proxies, and Russian-controlled social media trolls are likely to promote allegations of corruption, system...
    Donald Trump and his surrogates have been pushing the same false narrative that Biden is in cognitive decline, even sharing a doctored video to try to bolster their smear. The DHS official who spoke to ABC News this week claimed that while the department "generally does not comment on leaked documents, this particular draft product lacked the necessary context and evidence for broader dissemination outside of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis." "After briefing the Acting Secretary and he asked questions, [Office of Intelligence and Analysis] career leadership decided to delay the product for further review," they added. The revelation comes one day after Facebook and Twitter announced that they had removed several Russian-backed accounts and pages whose aim was to hurt Biden's candidacy by "target[ing] public debate in the US" — just as Russia did in 2016 when it targeted Hillary Clinton's campaign and sought to help elect Trump. In late August, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe informed Congress that he would stop briefing members in person on issues pertaining to election security, leading...
    FBI documents and communications that were recently declassified show the bureau treated foreign interference on Hillary Clinton’s campaign differently than it did with President Donald Trump’s campaign. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-SC) released the documents on Sunday with a lengthy statement about the contents: There was a clear double standard by the Department of Justice and FBI when it came to the Trump and Clinton campaigns in 2016. These newly released documents indicate that a foreign government was trying to influence the Clinton campaign through a campaign associate and the FBI was seeking a FISA warrant. However, the Bureau, as it is supposed to do, required that Hillary Clinton be defensively briefed about the matter so she could engage in corrective action. When it came to the Trump campaign, there were four counterintelligence investigations opened against Trump campaign associates.  Not one time was President Trump defensively briefed about the FBI’s concerns. Even more egregious, when the FBI gave a generic briefing to the Trump campaign about foreign influence, not only did they fail to mention the specific concerns...
    Lindsey Graham said Sunday that the FBI and Justice Department exhibited a 'double standard' in the 2016 presidential race in how it went about informing Hillary Clinton about an investigation into foreign influence in her campaign but did not do the same for Donald Trump. The South Carolina senator told Fox News' Maria Bartiromo on Sunday morning that FBI leadership shot down a request for a FISA warrant until Clinton was briefed on the matter. 'They never did to Trump,' Graham said during his interview on 'Sunday Morning Futures.' 'As a matter of fact, not only did they not tell Trump, they used a generic briefing to spy on Trump.' He pointed to a newly released redacted document detailing an October meeting where FBI personnel briefed the Clinton campaign so they were able to fix the issue without a FISA warrant ever being needed.  Senator Lindsey Graham said Sunday that the FBI exhibited the 'ultimate double standard' by informing Hillary Clinton of an investigation into foreign influence in her campaign but not doing the same for Donald Trump  ...
    (CNN)A Senate Intelligence Committee report detailing how Russia's 2016 election interference was encouraged by President Donald Trump and his campaign raises the stakes for the current campaign at a time when Trump is openly amplifying Russian disinformation. The newly released findings and recommendations add to US intelligence officials' warnings that Russia continues to target the 2020 election, specifically Trump's 2020 opponent Joe Biden.Russian intelligence operatives were closer to top Trump campaign efforts than was previously known in 2016, the report states. The committee also documented continued disinformation from Russia-linked people well past the 2016 election --findings so alarming that the bipartisan Senate committee called for several changes to protect national security in 2020. "Campaigns should recognize that campaign staff are attractive targets for foreign intelligence services," the committee said. Bipartisan Senate report details Trump campaign contacts with Russia in 2016, adding to Mueller findings"The threat is ongoing," Republican Sen. Richard Burr, who chaired much of the committee's investigation, said in a statement Tuesday. "My hope is that this report and the Committee's work will provide the American people with more...
    By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters)t - Below are key findings of the U.S. Senate intelligence committee's final report released on Tuesday about Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S presidential election in which Republican Donald Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton. The bipartisan report, three-and-a-half years in the making, found Russia used Republican political operative Paul Manafort, the WikiLeaks website and others to try to influence the 2016 election to help now-U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign. Russia has denied such interference. RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN "The Committee found that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian effort to hack computer networks and accounts affiliated with the Democratic Party and leak information damaging to Hillary Clinton..." "Moscow's intent was to harm the Clinton Campaign, tarnish an expected Clinton presidential administration, help the Trump Campaign after Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee, and undermine the U.S. democratic process." PAUL MANAFORT Paul Manafort, Trump's one-time 2016 campaign chairman, engaged with a "Russian intelligence officer" named Konstantin Kilimnik and Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, with whom it said Moscow coordinates foreign influence operations. "On numerous occasions,...
    Russian Look via Zuma For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.The Senate Intelligence Committee released its fifth and final volume in its years long counterintelligence investigation on Tuesday, offering new detail and reporting on connections between President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign and the Russian hack-and-leak operation aimed at Hillary Clinton. But several of the Democratic members of the committee, most notably Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, say the report blocks the American public from a key piece information: what the Russians are doing right now to intervene in the 2020 election to help Trump. New information “remains needlessly classified.”  “The…report includes a wealth of extremely troubling new revelations about the counterintelligence threat posed by Donald Trump and his campaign,” Wyden said in a standalone statement included at the end of the report. However, Wyden added, a lot of the new information “remains needlessly classified” in the report, including “redcated information that is directly relevant to Russia’s interference in the 2020 election.” Wyden, who has developed a reputation for presciently and publicly flagging major...
    (CNN)The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday released the final volume of its bipartisan investigation into Russia's 2016 election interference that scrutinized contacts between Russians and Trump associates.The nearly 1,000-page report caps off a three-year investigation into 2016 election interference that included more than 200 interviews, including with top Trump family members and Trump campaign officials such as Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Steve Bannon.Tuesday's report, which was released with redactions, is the fifth volume the committee has released detailing its findings, with previous chapters examining Russia's social media campaign and affirming that Russia was seeking to help Trump's campaign.The committee's probe provides the latest treatise on how Russia meddled in the 2016 election, following former special counsel Robert Mueller's report last year and the House Intelligence Committee's 2018 Republican report, which Democrats disputed. The issues surrounding Russia and the 2016 election hand are still being litigated four years later, as multiple Republican-led Senate panels are now investigating the origins of the 2016 FBI's investigation into Trump associates and Russia.But the Republican-led Senate Intelligence Committee was unique on Capitol Hill...
    Last Friday, William Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, released a statement that “Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment.’” It also noted that both China and Iran prefer that Trump be defeated in the November election. The timing of that wasn’t lost on New York Times reporter Robert Draper who was about to publish an article titled, “Unwanted Truths: Inside Trump’s Battle With U.S. Intelligence Agencies.” Just as this article was going to press — and shortly after I submitted a list of questions to the O.D.N.I. relating to its struggle to avoid becoming politically compromised — Evanina put out a new statement. In it, the O.D.N.I. at last acknowledged publicly that Russia “is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia ‘establishment.’” In the same statement, however, Evanina also asserted for the first time that both China and Iran were hoping to defeat Trump. As with the preceding statement, the O.D.N.I. made no distinction between Russia’s...
    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton offered a warning on Sunday over the signs that Russia is once again attempting to meddle with America’s electoral institutions. In an interview with MSNBC’s Zerlina Maxwell (who worked for Clinton’s 2016 campaign), Clinton was asked for what advice would she give Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign to address Russian interference. The question comes shortly after U.S. intelligence officials warned that Russia is once again trying to meddle in America’s elections, and that they and China seem to want President Donald Trump to win re-election. “When even the Trump administration intelligence officials have to admit that there is so much activity coming from Russia that is designed to help Trump, then you know there’s so much more than they are even telling us,” Clinton said. She continued by referring to senators who’ve been briefed on foreign interference and believe the situation is “so much worse” than what is publicly known. “I hope the press doesn’t fall for it,” Clinton said. “I hope the press is vigilant and incredibly skeptical about what’s happening...
    As the Nov. 3 presidential vote nears, there are fresh signs that the nation's electoral system is again under attack from foreign adversaries. Intelligence officials confirmed in recent days that foreign actors are actively seeking to compromise the private communications of "U.S. political campaigns, candidates and other political targets" while working to compromise the nation's election infrastructure. Foreign entities are also aggressively spreading disinformation intended to sow voter confusion heading into the fall. There is no evidence that America's enemies have yet succeeded in penetrating campaigns or state election systems, but Democrat Joe Biden's presidential campaign confirmed this week that it has faced multiple related threats. The former vice president's team was reluctant to reveal specifics for fear of giving adversaries useful intelligence. Because of such secrecy, at least in part, foreign interference largely remains an afterthought in the 2020 contest, even as Republicans and Democrats alike concede it poses a serious threat that could fundamentally reshape the election at any moment. Biden's campaign is increasingly concerned that pro-Russian sources have already shared disinformation about Biden's family with President Donald...
    NEW YORK (AP) — As the Nov. 3 presidential vote nears, there are fresh signs that the nation’s electoral system is again under attack from foreign adversaries. Intelligence officials confirmed in recent days that foreign actors are actively seeking to compromise the private communications of “U.S. political campaigns, candidates and other political targets” while working to compromise the nation’s election infrastructure. Foreign entities are also aggressively spreading disinformation intended to sow voter confusion heading into the fall. There is no evidence that America’s enemies have yet succeeded in penetrating campaigns or state election systems, but Democrat Joe Biden’s presidential campaign confirmed this week that it has faced multiple related threats. The former vice president’s team was reluctant to reveal specifics for fear of giving adversaries useful intelligence. Because of such secrecy, at least in part, foreign interference largely remains an afterthought in the 2020 contest, even as Republicans and Democrats alike concede it poses a serious threat that could fundamentally reshape the election at any moment. Biden’s campaign is increasingly concerned that pro-Russian sources have already shared disinformation about...
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