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Archive for the ‘Russia’ Category

I am not big on post mortems.  Living through that 2015 – 2016 campaign season was painful enough one time around. In her Candidate Confessional podcast for HuffPo, Jennifer Palmieri, communications director for Hillary for America,  revisits the difficulty she encountered trying to get the press to buy into the seriousness of the Russian meddling. There is a lesson here, especially for the press.


The most ignored story of the 2016 presidential campaign is the press corps’ unwillingness to focus on Russia’s election meddling before election night, according to one of Hillary Clinton’s former top aides.

After all, the circumstances that led to the accusations of collusion that continue to dog President Donald Trump were visible during the campaign itself. The same Trump associates who are currently being questioned for potential ties to the Kremlin had senior positions on his election team.

But to the eternal frustration of Clinton’s camp, the press never seemed interested in the Russian-meddling angle during the campaign.

In the latest episode of “Candidate Confessional,” Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s campaign communications director, recounts how she tried to repeatedly get reporters to write about Russia, to little effect.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Hillary Clinton’s campaign team was frustrated the press wouldn’t focus on potential Russian meddling in the election until after Election Day.

Read more and hear podcast >>>>

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How bizarre is it that, eight months after the election, Hillary Clinton’s name is mentioned at almost the same frequency on tonight’s news as Trump’s? By the way, there was no there there. No “dirt.” No kompromat, but we already knew that from the Steele memos.

Men obsessed with Hillary Clinton. Here is a throwback from exactly nine years and seven months ago tonight.

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Just to keep the record straight, here are the 17 intel agencies that we have been hearing about since Hillary Clinton brought them up during one of the debates.

 

latimes.com

There’s more than the CIA and FBI: The 17 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community

Nina Agrawal

The U.S. intelligence community recently reaffirmed its conclusion that senior officials in Russia were behind hacks during the 2016 presidential campaign into the Democratic National Committee and emails belonging to associates of Hillary Clinton.

But what exactly is the “intelligence community?” It’s not just an amorphous term for all U.S. intelligence officials. It’s a veritable alphabet soup of 17 agencies and offices. The group includes agencies strictly focused on intelligence as well as the intelligence arms of other government agencies and of the military. Its total budget in 2015 was $66.8 billion.

Here are the 17 offices:

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Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times explains why Trump’s remarks yesterday implying that not all 17 agencies were in agreement were deceptive misleading.

 

President Trump speaking in Warsaw on Thursday. During his speech, Mr. Trump yet again raised doubt about Russian meddling in the presidential election.

President Trump speaking in Warsaw on Thursday. During his speech, Mr. Trump yet again raised doubt about Russian meddling in the presidential election. Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Trump Misleads on Russian Meddling: Why 17 Intelligence Agencies Don’t Need to Agree

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG

President Trump said on Thursday that only “three or four” of the United States’ 17 intelligence agencies had concluded that Russia interfered in the presidential election — a statement that while technically accurate, is misleading and suggests widespread dissent among American intelligence agencies when none has emerged.

The “three or four” agencies referred to by Mr. Trump are the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the F.B.I. and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, all of which determined that Russia interfered in the election. Their work was compiled into a report, and a declassified version was released on Jan. 6 by the director of national intelligence. It said that all four agencies had “high confidence” that Russian spies had tried to interfere in the election on the orders of President Vladimir V. Putin.

The reason the views of only those four intelligence agencies, not all 17, were included in the assessment is simple: They were the ones tracking and analyzing the Russian campaign. The rest were doing other work.

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Cross-posted at The Department of Homegirl Security.

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Here is the report everyone is talking about today. Rarely do I post an article before reading and fully digesting it myself, but this is different. Based on sources deep inside the Russian government, this report validates what we suspected knew all along: that Putin directed these initiatives and that the target, specifically, was Hillary Clinton. So, without having read more than a few paragraphs, I am posting it here to provide immediate circulation. It is long. It is important.

Hacking Democracy

Timeline

(Photo by Alexei Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images; photo illustration by Nick Kirkpatrick/The Washington Post)

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

The White House debated various options to punish Russia, but facing obstacles and potential risks, it ultimately failed to exact a heavy toll on the Kremlin for its election interference.

Inside was an intelligence bombshell, a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government that detailed Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s direct involvement in a cyber campaign to disrupt and discredit the U.S. presidential race.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

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It is also important that we thank the Washington Post team for their dogged pursuit of the truth. We have seen in the past as we see today that persistent investigative reporting is essential to keeping the government on task.  The task is uncovering the truth.

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The Crisis

by Thomas Paine


December 23, 1776

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives every thing its value.

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So, last night when we were, depending on our locations, mixing the dinner salad or driving the kids to soccer, James Comey, who was at work in Los Angeles meeting with agents there, was summarily fired by Donald Trump who did not have the grace to learn that Comey was not at the location (FBI HQ) where the letter firing him was sent and leaked the letter to news media so that Comey found out via TV while working. This is the shoddiest, shabbiest way I have ever seen anyone fired.  It was worse than doing it by post it.  Worse than a text or Facebook PM. It was a WTF kind of firing.

No love is lost between Team Hillary Clinton and the guy obsessed with her emails. He probably had a lot to do with some of her election results.  If she had prevailed, none of this would have happened because no matter how inimical he was to her candidacy, she would never have fired him.

Before we arise in a standing ovation that Comey is gone, let’s assess the fact that the guy who fired him remains, and he is POTUS. He will be meeting today with Sergei Lavrov and apparently his own Secretary of State, Tillerson, will not be in on the meeting. How weird is that?


Do you see any kind of agenda here? Consolidation of influence at the top – not a good thing.  President Obama always trusted Secretary of State Clinton to meet effectively with FM Lavrov. Why does Trump not trust Tillerson similarly? Despots consolidate influence at the top.

Still laughing about how Comey was terminated? He was getting close to Trump’s Russian relations.  Trump fired him in a way that was supposed to humiliate him – and probably did.

But that is nothing to celebrate. Comey was wrong-headed in some ways and deservedly should feel sick about how he wrong-headedly affected the election. Nevertheless he served – honorably  as far as we know.  He did not deserve to be treated like a used mophead.

Think before you laugh or celebrate. You never know. The next head on the chopping block could be your own. See The Tudors, The Borgias, The White Queen, The White Princess. Yes, we codified treason in our Consitution so those things would not happen, but look at James Comey!

We should be very careful and skeptical about the firing of the head of the FBI.

Don’t celebrate. Cerebrate! (Think!)

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