Exclusive: Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election – documents

 

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF REUTERS NEWS AGENCY)

Exclusive: Putin-linked think tank drew up plan to sway 2016 U.S. election – documents

By Ned Parker, Jonathan Landay and John Walcott | WASHINGTON

A Russian government think tank controlled by Vladimir Putin developed a plan to swing the 2016 U.S. presidential election to Donald Trump and undermine voters’ faith in the American electoral system, three current and four former U.S. officials told Reuters.

They described two confidential documents from the think tank as providing the framework and rationale for what U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded was an intensive effort by Russia to interfere with the Nov. 8 election. U.S. intelligence officials acquired the documents, which were prepared by the Moscow-based Russian Institute for Strategic Studies [en.riss.ru/], after the election.

The institute is run by retired senior Russian foreign intelligence officials appointed by Putin’s office.

The first Russian institute document was a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals.

It recommended the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama, the seven officials said.

A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election. For that reason, it argued, it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency, the seven officials said.

The current and former U.S. officials spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the Russian documents’ classified status. They declined to discuss how the United States obtained them. U.S. intelligence agencies also declined to comment on them.

Putin has denied interfering in the U.S. election. Putin’s spokesman and the Russian institute did not respond to requests for comment.

The documents were central to the Obama administration’s conclusion that Russia mounted a “fake news” campaign and launched cyber attacks against Democratic Party groups and Clinton’s campaign, the current and former officials said.

“Putin had the objective in mind all along, and he asked the institute to draw him a road map,” said one of the sources, a former senior U.S. intelligence official.

Trump has said Russia’s activities had no impact on the outcome of the race. Ongoing congressional and FBI investigations into Russian interference have so far produced no public evidence that Trump associates colluded with the Russian effort to change the outcome of the election.

Four of the officials said the approach outlined in the June strategy paper was a broadening of an effort the Putin administration launched in March 2016. That month the Kremlin instructed state-backed media outlets, including international platforms Russia Today and Sputnik news agency, to start producing positive reports on Trump’s quest for the U.S. presidency, the officials said.

Russia Today did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesperson for Sputnik dismissed the assertions by the U.S. officials that it participated in a Kremlin campaign as an “absolute pack of lies.” “And by the way, it’s not the first pack of lies we’re hearing from ‘sources in U.S. official circles’,” the spokesperson said in an email.

PRO-KREMLIN BLOGGERS

Russia Today and Sputnik published anti-Clinton stories while pro-Kremlin bloggers prepared a Twitter campaign calling into question the fairness of an anticipated Clinton victory, according to a report by U.S. intelligence agencies on Russian interference in the election made public in January. [bit.ly/2kMiKSA]

Russia Today’s most popular Clinton video – “How 100% of the 2015 Clintons’ ‘charity’ went to … themselves” – accumulated 9 millions views on social media, according to the January report. [bit.ly/2os8wIt]

The report said Russia Today and Sputnik “consistently cast president elect-Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional media outlets.”

The report said the agencies did not assess whether Moscow’s effort had swung the outcome of the race in Trump’s favor, because American intelligence agencies do not “analyze U.S. political processes or U.S. public opinion.” [bit.ly/2kMiKSA]

CYBER ATTACKS

Neither of the Russian institute documents mentioned the release of hacked Democratic Party emails to interfere with the U.S. election, according to four of the officials. The officials said the hacking was a covert intelligence operation run separately out of the Kremlin.

The overt propaganda and covert hacking efforts reinforced each other, according to the officials. Both Russia Today and Sputnik heavily promoted the release of the hacked Democratic Party emails, which often contained embarrassing details.

Five of the U.S. officials described the institute as the Kremlin’s in-house foreign policy think tank.

The institute’s director when the documents were written, Leonid Reshetnikov, rose to the rank of lieutenant general during a 33-year-career in Russia’s foreign intelligence service, according to the institute’s website [bit.ly/2oVhiCF]. After Reshetnikov retired from the institute in January, Putin named as his replacement Mikhail Fradkov. The institute says he served as the director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service from 2007 to 2016. [bit.ly/2os4tvz]

Reuters was unable to determine if either man was directly involved in the drafting of the documents. Reshetnikov’s office referred questions to the Russian institute.

On its website, the Russian institute describes itself as providing “expert appraisals,” “recommendations,” and “analytical materials” to the Russian president’s office, cabinet, National Security Council, ministries and parliament. [bit.ly/2pCBGpR]

On Jan. 31, the websites of Putin’s office [bit.ly/2os9wMr] and the institute [bit.ly/2oLn9Kd] posted a picture and transcript of Reshetnikov and his successor Fradkov meeting with Putin in the Kremlin. Putin thanked Reshetnikov for his service and told Fradkov he wanted the institute to provide objective information and analysis.

“We did our best for nearly eight years to implement your foreign policy concept,” Reshetnikov told Putin. “The policy of Russia and the policy of the President of Russia have been the cornerstone of our operation.”

(Reporting by Ned Parker and Jonathan Landay, additional reporting by Warren Strobel and Arshad Mohammed; Editing by David Rohde and Ross Colvin)

CIA Director Mike Pompeo: WikiLeaks Is A ‘Hostile Intelligence Service’

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

CIA director Mike Pompeo: WikiLeaks is a ‘hostile intelligence service’

Story highlights

  • Pompeo made a public appearance and blasted WikiLeaks
  • “It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is”
  • He also offered his take on threats from Iran and North Korea

Washington (CNN) CIA director Mike Pompeo gave a speech Thursday, railing against WikiLeaks as a “hostile intelligence service.”

His appearance at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, among his first forays into the public eye since being confirmed, came several months after WikiLeaks’ publishing stolen emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta as well as the Democratic National Committee and just over a month since WikiLeaks published a trove of files it said were from the CIA. The CIA has neither confirmed nor denied their veracity.
In his Thursday speech, Pompeo accused WikiLeaks, its founder Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, a former contractor who leaked NSA documents to journalists, of disseminating classified information to “make a name for themselves.”
Pompeo has in the past called for Snowden to receive the death penalty.
He said people at the CIA found praise for WikiLeaks “both perplexing and deeply troubling.”
“As long as they make a splash, they care nothing about the lives they put at risk or the damage they cause to national security,” Pompeo said. “It’s time to call out WikiLeaks for what it really is: a non-state hostile intelligence service often abetted by state actors, like Russia.”
During the question and answer portion of the event, Pompeo said because Assange was not a US citizen and lived in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, he “has no First Amendment freedoms.”
Although WikiLeaks describes itself as a media organization exposing powerful governments and companies, Pompeo said he viewed this as false.
“These are not reporters doing good work,” Pompeo said. “These are people who are actively recruiting agents.”
Pompeo said past administrations had been “squeamish” about going after people who published secrets he considered harmful to the US.
During the campaign rally in October, Trump said he loved WikiLeaks and regularly touted their disclosures. For a time before taking office, Trump did not endorse a report from the US intelligence community accusing Russia of being behind the hacks and using WikiLeaks to disseminate them in order to hurt the Clinton campaign.
Russia has denied any wrongdoing, and Assange has said WikiLeaks’ source was not Russia.
WikiLeaks responded to Pompeo’s comments in part by referencing a now deleted tweet he sent during the campaign referencing WikiLeaks’ DNC trove.

Iran and North Korea

Until Trump tapped him to lead the CIA, Pompeo was a Republican member of Congress from Kansas. He was an outspoken critic of the Obama administration and the US nuclear agreement with Iran, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action or JCPOA.
As CIA director speaking at CSIS on Thursday, he was considerably less outspoken about his issues with the Iran deal, but did say Iranians were “on the march” and cited missile launches, their support of the Houthis in Yemen and military involvement in Iraq in the past two years.
“The list of Iranian transgressions has increased dramatically since the date that the JCPOA was signed,” Pompeo said.
Pompeo said he viewed working with both European and Middle Eastern allies as integral to countering Iran, but also said the US’ recent cruise missile strike on Syria likely sent a message of US strength to Iran.
“What I mean by that is, this was a decision-making process that was decisive, thoughtful and truly based on a factual understanding of the geopolitical importance of the things that are facing our nation today.”
He went on to say the Iranians “ought to take note of the fact that this administration” is willing to take different measures than past administrations.
Pompeo also spoke about nuclear proliferation in North Korea and the potential of another nuclear weapons test in the coming days.
“Multiple administrations have tried to deal with the threat of an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of putting a nuclear warhead into the United States, and we’re simply closer now than we have ever been at any time in North Korea’s history,” he said. “As the knowledge base increases and the capacity to deliver that increases and draws closer, it both reduces the option set to prevent it and makes more likely that you get a bad decision on a tough day from the leader of North Korea.”
Like Trump, Pompeo said China was of utmost importance to solving the issue.
Asked if there was hope China could turn back or end the North Korean nuclear weapons program, Pompeo said, “I’m counting on it.”

U.S. needs to stop Russian electoral interference, NSA’s top civilian leader says

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE WASHINGTON POST)

U.S. needs to stop Russian electoral interference, NSA’s top civilian leader says

March 25 at 6:48 PM
The U.S. government has not figured out how to deter the Russians from meddling in democratic processes, and stopping their interference in elections, both here and in Europe, is a pressing problem, the top civilian leader of the National Security Agency said.The NSA was among the intelligence agencies that concluded that Russian President Vladi­mir Putin ordered a cyber-enabled influence campaign in 2016 aimed at undermining confidence in the election, harming Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and helping elect GOP nominee Donald Trump.“This is a challenge to the foundations of our democracy,” said NSA Deputy Director Richard Ledgett, 58, who is retiring at the end of April, in an interview at Fort Meade, Md., the agency’s headquarters. “It’s the sanctity of our process, of evaluating and looking at candidates, and having accurate information about the candidates. So the idea that another nation-state is [interfering with that] is a pretty big deal and something we need to figure out. How do we counter that? How do we identify that it’s happening — in real-time as opposed to after the fact? And what do we do as a nation to make it stop?”The lack of answers, he said, “as an American citizen . . . gives me a lot of heartburn.”

Ledgett, known as a straight-shooting, unflappable intelligence professional, began his NSA career in 1988 teaching cryptanalysis — how to crack codes — and rose to become the agency’s top civilian leader . The NSA, with 35,000 civilian and military employees, gathers intelligence on foreign targets overseas through wiretaps and increasingly by cyberhacking. Its other mission is to secure the government computers that handle classified information and other data critical to military and intelligence activities.

Asked whether the NSA had any inkling that the Kremlin was going to orchestrate the release of hacked Democratic National Committee emails last July, he demurred. “I actually don’t want to talk about that.”

At the same time, he said, what Moscow did was “no strategic surprise.” Rather, “what may have been a tactical surprise was that they would do it the way they did.”

Campaigns of propaganda and disinformation, dating back to the Soviet Union, have long been a staple of the Kremlin’s foreign policy. Now, however, it is making effective use of its hacking prowess to weaponize information and combine it with its influence operations, or what intelligence officials call “active measures.”

“In general, if you’re responding to nation-state actions like that, you have to find out what are the levers that will move the nation-state actors and are you able and willing to pull those levers?” said Ledgett when asked how the United States should respond.

The Obama administration slapped economic sanctions on two Russian spy agencies involved in hacking the DNC, three companies believed to have provided support for government cyber operations, and four Russian cyber officials. The administration also ordered 35 Russian operatives to leave the United States and shut down Russian-owned facilities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and on Long Island believed to have been used for intelligence purposes.

Yet, intelligence officials including NSA Director Michael S. Rogers and FBI Director James B. Comey said on Monday that they believe Moscow will strike again — in 2020, if not in 2018.

So should the government mull other options, such as hacking Russian officials’ emails or financial records and releasing them in a bid to embarrass or show corruption? “I think every element of national power is something we should consider,” he said. “That would probably fall under something like a covert action. But if that’s the right answer, that’s the right answer.”

Ledgett is probably most well-known for leading the agency task force that handled the fallout from the leaks of classified information by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in 2013. The disclosures prompted a national and global debate about the proper scope of government surveillance and led Congress to pass some reforms, including the outlawing of bulk collection of Americans’ phone metadata.

But the disclosures also caused great upheaval in NSA’s collection efforts, hurt morale, and damaged relations with allies and with tech firms that enable court-ordered surveillance, Ledgett said. “It was a terrible time for the agency,” he said.

He oversaw the probe of the internal breach; relations with Congress, the White House, foreign governments and the press; and the effort to prevent a recurrence. “There was a bit of a narrative on the outside about this evil agency that hoovered up all the communications in the world and rooted through them for things that were interesting, and that wasn’t actually true.”

The operational hit was significant, he said. More than 1,000 foreign targets — whether a person or a group or an organization — altered or attempted to alter their means of communications as a result of the disclosures, he said. They “tried with varying degrees of success to remove themselves from our ability to see what they were doing,” he said.

The agency, which has some 200 stations worldwide, reworked capabilities including virtually all of its hacking tools. “In some cases, we had to do things very differently” to gather the same foreign intelligence as before.

Raj De, a former NSA general counsel, said Ledgett was relied on heavily by both Rogers and Rogers’s predecessor, Keith B. Alexander. “He has really been a source of steadiness for the agency,” said De, now head of the Cybersecurity & Data Privacy practice at Mayer Brown, a global law firm. “What is particularly notable about Rick is his willingness to engage with all types of people, to keep an open mind.”

In December 2013, Alexander, when he was the NSA director, said that Snowden should be given no amnesty. But Ledgett told CBS’s “60 Minutes” then that “my personal view is yes, it’s worth having a conversation about.”

In his interview earlier this week, however, he said what he meant was that by engaging Snowden in conversation, the agency might have been able to learn what material had not been released and where it was.

Today, he said, there is no longer any need to talk to Snowden. “He’s past his usefulness to us.” Snowden, who is living in Moscow under a grant of asylum, has been charged with violating the Espionage Act, and Ledgett said he should not be pardoned. “I’ve always been of the idea that ‘Hey, I think he needs to face the music for what he did.’ ”

Julie Tate contributed to this report.

I Am One Single ‘Independent’ Voting Unit: So Tired Of Extreme Politics

 

I remember about a year ago during the Republican Presidential Debates Texas Senator Ted Cruz chided one of the other Candidates because ‘he’ would compromise with the Democrats. Mr. Cruz swore to the Voting Public that when He is President that he will not negotiate/compromise with the Democrats. I guess the reason this statement didn’t attract more attention was that by this point in time the Media was more focused on the ‘Trump Show’ (the Republican Debates). Think about that statement for a moment folks. Politics, the whole Chess Game of it, always wanting Check and then Check Mate. The reason they are in Politics tend to be Super Ego’s, wealth and the fame. Trouble for most people is that they don’t have or do not wish to spend their own money to finance these hugely expensive Political Campaigns. Here is where a very small handful of people in the top of the DNC and the RNC run/ruin Our Country and everyone’s lives. Those who dictate where the ‘contributions’ will go to, these way too few people, point to polar ends, thus destroying Our Country from the inside.

 

Well, President Trump and the Republicans themselves defeated themselves on the Health Care Issues earlier today. I think what happened earlier today was a good thing, I do mean that. We witnessed individual Congressmen/Women break from the ‘Rank and File’ ‘Party Line’. We witnessed quite a few politicians who were of a President’s own Party stand up to the Party Leadership and say No. You know something? Didn’t ‘We The People’ put these people in ‘Office’ to do what ‘we’ put them in there for? Wouldn’t this be great if it could be the pebble that breaks and now the mountain face falls off? Yep I know it’s just a pipe dream that Elected Officials could actually care something for us ‘little people’, us little ole Voters.

The Perfect Weapon: How Russian Cyberpower Invaded the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE NEW YORK TIMES)

WASHINGTON — When Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation called the Democratic National Committee in September 2015 to pass along some troubling news about its computer network, he was transferred, naturally, to the help desk.

His message was brief, if alarming. At least one computer system belonging to the D.N.C. had been compromised by hackers federal investigators had named “the Dukes,” a cyberespionage team linked to the Russian government.

The F.B.I. knew it well: The bureau had spent the last few years trying to kick the Dukes out of the unclassified email systems of the White House, the State Department and even the Joint Chiefs of Staff, one of the government’s best-protected networks.

Yared Tamene, the tech-support contractor at the D.N.C. who fielded the call, was no expert in cyberattacks. His first moves were to check Google for “the Dukes” and conduct a cursory search of the D.N.C. computer system logs to look for hints of such a cyberintrusion. By his own account, he did not look too hard even after Special Agent Hawkins called back repeatedly over the next several weeks — in part because he wasn’t certain the caller was a real F.B.I. agent and not an impostor.

Continue reading the main story

“I had no way of differentiating the call I just received from a prank call,” Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo, obtained by The New York Times, that detailed his contact with the F.B.I.

It was the cryptic first sign of a cyberespionage and information-warfare campaign devised to disrupt the 2016 presidential election, the first such attempt by a foreign power in American history. What started as an information-gathering operation, intelligence officials believe, ultimately morphed into an effort to harm one candidate, Hillary Clinton, and tip the election to her opponent, Donald J. Trump.

Like another famous American election scandal, it started with a break-in at the D.N.C. The first time, 44 years ago at the committee’s old offices in the Watergate complex, the burglars planted listening devices and jimmied a filing cabinet. This time, the burglary was conducted from afar, directed by the Kremlin, with spear-phishing emails and zeros and ones.

What is phishing?

Phishing uses an innocent-looking email to entice unwary recipients to click on a deceptive link, giving hackers access to their information or a network. In “spear-phishing,” the email is tailored to fool a specific person.

An examination by The Times of the Russian operation — based on interviews with dozens of players targeted in the attack, intelligence officials who investigated it and Obama administration officials who deliberated over the best response — reveals a series of missed signals, slow responses and a continuing underestimation of the seriousness of the cyberattack.

The D.N.C.’s fumbling encounter with the F.B.I. meant the best chance to halt the Russian intrusion was lost. The failure to grasp the scope of the attacks undercut efforts to minimize their impact. And the White House’s reluctance to respond forcefully meant the Russians have not paid a heavy price for their actions, a decision that could prove critical in deterring future cyberattacks.

The low-key approach of the F.B.I. meant that Russian hackers could roam freely through the committee’s network for nearly seven months before top D.N.C. officials were alerted to the attack and hired cyberexperts to protect their systems. In the meantime, the hackers moved on to targets outside the D.N.C., including Mrs. Clinton’s campaign chairman, John D. Podesta, whose private email account was hacked months later.

Even Mr. Podesta, a savvy Washington insider who had written a 2014 report on cyberprivacy for President Obama, did not truly understand the gravity of the hacking.

Photo

Charles Delavan, a Clinton campaign aide, incorrectly legitimized a phishing email sent to the personal account of John D. Podesta, the campaign chairman.

By last summer, Democrats watched in helpless fury as their private emails and confidential documents appeared online day after day — procured by Russian intelligence agents, posted on WikiLeaks and other websites, then eagerly reported on by the American media, including The Times. Mr. Trump gleefully cited many of the purloined emails on the campaign trail.

The fallout included the resignations of Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida, the chairwoman of the D.N.C., and most of her top party aides. Leading Democrats were sidelined at the height of the campaign, silenced by revelations of embarrassing emails or consumed by the scramble to deal with the hacking. Though little-noticed by the public, confidential documents taken by the Russian hackers from the D.N.C.’s sister organization, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, turned up in congressional races in a dozen states, tainting some of them with accusations of scandal.

In recent days, a skeptical president-elect, the nation’s intelligence agencies and the two major parties have become embroiled in an extraordinary public dispute over what evidence exists that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia moved beyond mere espionage to deliberately try to subvert American democracy and pick the winner of the presidential election.

Many of Mrs. Clinton’s closest aides believe that the Russian assault had a profound impact on the election, while conceding that other factors — Mrs. Clinton’s weaknesses as a candidate; her private email server; the public statements of the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, about her handling of classified information — were also important.

While there’s no way to be certain of the ultimate impact of the hack, this much is clear: A low-cost, high-impact weapon that Russia had test-fired in elections from Ukraine to Europe was trained on the United States, with devastating effectiveness. For Russia, with an enfeebled economy and a nuclear arsenal it cannot use short of all-out war, cyberpower proved the perfect weapon: cheap, hard to see coming, hard to trace.

GRAPHIC

Following the Links From Russian Hackers to the U.S. Election

The Central Intelligence Agency concluded that the Russian government deployed computer hackers to help elect Donald J. Trump.

OPEN GRAPHIC

“There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s mind,” Adm. Michael S. Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of United States Cyber Command, said at a postelection conference. “This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily,” he said. “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”

For the people whose emails were stolen, this new form of political sabotage has left a trail of shock and professional damage. Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress and a key Clinton supporter, recalls walking into the busy Clinton transition offices, humiliated to see her face on television screens as pundits discussed a leaked email in which she had called Mrs. Clinton’s instincts “suboptimal.”

“It was just a sucker punch to the gut every day,” Ms. Tanden said. “It was the worst professional experience of my life.”

The United States, too, has carried out cyberattacks, and in decades past the C.I.A. tried to subvert foreign elections. But the Russian attack is increasingly understood across the political spectrum as an ominous historic landmark — with one notable exception: Mr. Trump has rejected the findings of the intelligence agencies he will soon oversee as “ridiculous,” insisting that the hacker may be American, or Chinese, but that “they have no idea.”

Mr. Trump cited the reported disagreements between the agencies about whether Mr. Putin intended to help elect him. On Tuesday, a Russian government spokesman echoed Mr. Trump’s scorn.

“This tale of ‘hacks’ resembles a banal brawl between American security officials over spheres of influence,” Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, wrote on Facebook.

Democratic House Candidates Were Also Targets of Russian Hacking

Over the weekend, four prominent senators — two Republicans and two Democrats — joined forces to pledge an investigation while pointedly ignoring Mr. Trump’s skeptical claims.

“Democrats and Republicans must work together, and across the jurisdictional lines of the Congress, to examine these recent incidents thoroughly and devise comprehensive solutions to deter and defend against further cyberattacks,” said Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Schumer and Jack Reed.

“This cannot become a partisan issue,” they said. “The stakes are too high for our country.”

A Target for Break-Ins

Sitting in the basement of the Democratic National Committee headquarters, below a wall-size 2012 portrait of a smiling Barack Obama, is a 1960s-era filing cabinet missing the handle on the bottom drawer. Only a framed newspaper story hanging on the wall hints at the importance of this aged piece of office furniture.

“GOP Security Aide Among 5 Arrested in Bugging Affair,” reads the headline from the front page of The Washington Post on June 19, 1972, with the bylines of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein.

Andrew Brown, 37, the technology director at the D.N.C., was born after that famous break-in. But as he began to plan for this year’s election cycle, he was well aware that the D.N.C. could become a break-in target again.

There were aspirations to ensure that the D.N.C. was well protected against cyberintruders — and then there was the reality, Mr. Brown and his bosses at the organization acknowledged: The D.N.C. was a nonprofit group, dependent on donations, with a fraction of the security budget that a corporation its size would have.

“There was never enough money to do everything we needed to do,” Mr. Brown said.

The D.N.C. had a standard email spam-filtering service, intended to block phishing attacks and malware created to resemble legitimate email. But when Russian hackers started in on the D.N.C., the committee did not have the most advanced systems in place to track suspicious traffic, internal D.N.C. memos show.

Mr. Tamene, who reports to Mr. Brown and fielded the call from the F.B.I. agent, was not a full-time D.N.C. employee; he works for a Chicago-based contracting firm called The MIS Department. He was left to figure out, largely on his own, how to respond — and even whether the man who had called in to the D.N.C. switchboard was really an F.B.I. agent.

“The F.B.I. thinks the D.N.C. has at least one compromised computer on its network and the F.B.I. wanted to know if the D.N.C. is aware, and if so, what the D.N.C. is doing about it,” Mr. Tamene wrote in an internal memo about his contacts with the F.B.I. He added that “the Special Agent told me to look for a specific type of malware dubbed ‘Dukes’ by the U.S. intelligence community and in cybersecurity circles.”

Part of the problem was that Special Agent Hawkins did not show up in person at the D.N.C. Nor could he email anyone there, as that risked alerting the hackers that the F.B.I. knew they were in the system.

Photo

An internal memo by Yared Tamene, a tech-support contractor at the D.N.C., expressed uncertainty about the identity of Special Agent Adrian Hawkins of the F.B.I., who called to inform him of the breach.

Mr. Tamene’s initial scan of the D.N.C. system — using his less-than-optimal tools and incomplete targeting information from the F.B.I. — found nothing. So when Special Agent Hawkins called repeatedly in October, leaving voice mail messages for Mr. Tamene, urging him to call back, “I did not return his calls, as I had nothing to report,” Mr. Tamene explained in his memo.

In November, Special Agent Hawkins called with more ominous news. A D.N.C. computer was “calling home, where home meant Russia,” Mr. Tamene’s memo says, referring to software sending information to Moscow. “SA Hawkins added that the F.B.I. thinks that this calling home behavior could be the result of a state-sponsored attack.”

Mr. Brown knew that Mr. Tamene, who declined to comment, was fielding calls from the F.B.I. But he was tied up on a different problem: evidence suggesting that the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Mrs. Clinton’s main Democratic opponent, had improperly gained access to her campaign data.

Ms. Wasserman Schultz, then the D.N.C.’s chairwoman, and Amy Dacey, then its chief executive, said in interviews that neither of them was notified about the early reports that the committee’s system had likely been compromised.

Shawn Henry, who once led the F.B.I.’s cyber division and is now president of CrowdStrike Services, the cybersecurity firm retained by the D.N.C. in April, said he was baffled that the F.B.I. did not call a more senior official at the D.N.C. or send an agent in person to the party headquarters to try to force a more vigorous response.

“We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana,” Mr. Henry said. “We are talking about an office that is half a mile from the F.B.I. office that is getting the notification.”

“This is not a mom-and-pop delicatessen or a local library. This is a critical piece of the U.S. infrastructure because it relates to our electoral process, our elected officials, our legislative process, our executive process,” he added. “To me it is a high-level, serious issue, and if after a couple of months you don’t see any results, somebody ought to raise that to a higher level.”

The F.B.I. declined to comment on the agency’s handling of the hack. “The F.B.I. takes very seriously any compromise of public and private sector systems,” it said in a statement, adding that agents “will continue to share information” to help targets “safeguard their systems against the actions of persistent cybercriminals.”

By March, Mr. Tamene and his team had met at least twice in person with the F.B.I. and concluded that Agent Hawkins was really a federal employee. But then the situation took a dire turn.

A second team of Russian-affiliated hackers began to target the D.N.C. and other players in the political world, particularly Democrats. Billy Rinehart, a former D.N.C. regional field director who was then working for Mrs. Clinton’s campaign, got an odd email warning from Google.

“Someone just used your password to try to sign into your Google account,” the March 22 email said, adding that the sign-in attempt had occurred in Ukraine. “Google stopped this sign-in attempt. You should change your password immediately.”

Mr. Rinehart was in Hawaii at the time. He remembers checking his email at 4 a.m. for messages from East Coast associates. Without thinking much about the notification, he clicked on the “change password” button and half asleep, as best he can remember, he typed in a new password.

This Is My Opinion How To Make U.S. Presidential Elections Much More Fair And Honest

 

Folks, I floated this idea by my wife on Election Night a couple of weeks ago and after giving it a lot of thought we decided that it sounds like a pretty good idea, now see what you think of it. When I was a kid and I first learned of the Electoral College I thought that it sounded like a horrible idea. Then after studying the history of the issue it really ticked me off. The Founding Fathers thought that ‘We The People’ were actually to stupid to elect our own Officials so they put in a ‘cheat formula’ sort of like the current day Democrats do with their ‘Super Delegates’.  The Democratic leadership has proven that they have no interest in letting the people, Democrats or otherwise to get to elect their party’s nominee. In my honest opinion, this is why Donald Trump is the President-Elect today and not Bernie Sanders, it is the fault of the Elite who run the DNC. When I was a kid back in the 1960’s I remembered studying to find if the people had ever voted one way just to have the Electoral College vote another person into the Presidency. I was only able to find one time where it had happened and it was back in the early 1800’s, I remember thinking how irate the American people would be if this ever happened in these ‘modern’ times. I honestly thought that it never would, then the 2000 election came along and Al Gore beat George W. Bush by about half a million votes but the Supreme Court gave the election to Mr. Bush by one electoral vote. The people sat on their hands and did nothing. Now just 16 years later it has happened again. It looks like Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over two-million votes but she got her butt kicked in the Electoral College vote. You know, when the Founding Fathers set up our political system maybe they were right, the American people do seem to be ignorant sheep. Remember though that when they put in the phrase ‘All People Are Created Equal’ they were only referring to ‘White Male Landowners.’ You know, our ‘Founding Fathers’ had some serious issues.

 

Okay, now I will get to the meat of this article which is the idea about how to make the Presidential Elections more fair. I don’t like the Electoral system because I do not believe that it creates equality Nationwide. Yet if we only count the popular vote then Presidential hopefuls would only visit or care about the States with the biggest population centers, in fact they would only concern themselves with the biggest cities. Why would they bother wasting time and money on States like Wyoming, North or South Dakota or Alaska, Kansas, Nebraska, Nevada or Utah? You can see where the current Democratic Party has been doing this in recent elections, this time, it cost them the White House. Here is my suggestion for your thoughts. So as to make the Presidential Elections much more equal and fair so that every State has equal representation like we all do with Federal Senators (2 each) no matter how big, small, or populated a State is, or not. Keep an Electoral College (sort of) but with this huge change, every State gets one vote. Whomever wins a State’s popular vote gets that State’s one vote. We have 50 States, if there is a tie of 25 each then and only then we look at the ‘popular vote’ to see who won the most votes Nationwide, then give the Election to the one who won the most total votes. If our political system ever gets to where we have more that the two big contenders let’s say a viable third, fourth or fifth political party to where their Candidate’s win States but no Candidate won at least the 25 States then one week later have another election with only the top two finishers on the ballot. I personally believe this system would be better than what some Countries do with their ‘Coalition’ Governments. That system is a train wreck because it causes too many elections and gives way to much power to a very small Party that happens to be part of the Ruling Coalition, they know that all they have to do is to threaten to leave the Coalition and they can bring down the whole Government. Okay folks, that’s it, what do you think of this idea?

DNC’s (Super Delegates) Are THE Reason That Mr. Trump Won The Election!!!

 

Here in Eastern Kentucky in the USA it is just past 2 AM on November 11, 2016, Veterans Day. As a registered Independent voter and as a Service Connected Disabled Veteran I am very disappointed in how my fellow countrymen and women are acting now that the Presidential election is over. Even though I did not vote for Mr. Trump for President (I voted for Gary Johnson) I do have to admit that I am glad that he won over the habitual lying War Hawk Hillary Clinton. As a person I do not believe that I would like either Mr. Trump or Hillary Clinton even though I actually applauded the day her husband took the oath of office and George H.W. Bush got on the plane and left Washington. As a former resident of the state of Arkansas I was well aware of the many flaws of the Clintons but I felt Bill Clinton was a better choice than any of the Bush boys. Kentucky is a very Republican leaning state so I knew that Mr. Trump was going to easily carry the state whether I voted for him or not. I just had a very difficult time with the concept of voting for either of the ‘big two’ and even though I am not a Libertarian being I knew Mr. Johnson wouldn’t win, I voted for him. Otherwise I did vote for a straight Democratic ticket for the first time since 2000 when I lived in Florida and voted for Al Gore. I wrote this first paragraph for those of you whom do not know me so that you would know where I am coming from and so you would not mistakenly just take it for granted that I am a staunch Republican and or a fan of Mr. Trump.

 

In the state of Kentucky if you are a registered Independent voter you are not allowed to express your Constitutional right to vote, in any of the primaries, for or against anyone or against or for anything. If I and my family had been allowed our one person one vote we were all going to vote for Bernie Sanders, but we weren’t allowed to thanks to the DNC. It is my personal belief that if the DNC were an honest group of people, there would be no such thing as (Super Delegates) as it is the obvious intent of the leadership of the Democratic Party for they themselves to say who is going to the the Democratic Nominee, not the democratic voters. I totally believe that if the people’s choice had been allowed to win, it would have been Mr. Sanders, not the bought and paid for habitual liar Hillary Clinton. But, the multi-millionaires of the Democratic leadership had no intention of letting ‘the people’ decide. It is my total belief that if Mr. Sanders had been the Democratic Nominee that he would have easily beaten Mr. Trump this past Tuesday as there were many millions of people who voted for Mr. Trump because they loathed Mrs. Clinton. So, it is definitely my opinion and belief that all of these (Haters) that are protesting the results of the election should turn their wrath toward the very people that caused this outcome, and that is the DNC leadership itself. Before the next Presidential election  people who say they are Democrats should insist that there no longer be such a thing as a (Super Delegate) within their Party anymore at all, ever again. As I said, they are the reason that Mr. Trump is the President Elect!!!

Bill And Hillary Clinton: Crooks, Thieves, And Sleaze At Every Level Of Their Existence?

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF ‘THE DAILY MAIL.COM’)

Influence peddling, acting for Putin’s ally, hiding classified secrets and sexting – how FIVE separate FBI cases are probing virtually every one of Clinton’s inner circle and their families

  • Scale of FBI investigations into Clinton’s closest aides and friends is becoming clear 
  • Besides Huma Abedin,  a swathe of long-time loyalists are at the center of investigations including Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe 
  • John Podesta ran the Clinton Foundation which is under investigation while his brother Tony is also focus of a probe about foreign corruption 
  • Cheryl Mills already received limited FBI immunity during Clinton email investigation – and is key Clinton fixer 
  • String of other names are being looked at or have been caught up in earlier scandals  

The extent to which Hillary Clinton’s key advisers are now the focus of major FBI investigations is becoming clear.

The Clinton’s’ long-term inner-circle – some of whom stretch back in service to the very first days of Bill’s White House – are being examined in at least five separate investigations. 

The scale of the FBI’s interest in some of America’s most powerful political fixers – one of them a sitting governor – underlines just how difficult it will be for Clinton to shake off the taint of scandal if she enters the White House.

There are, in fact, not one but five separate FBI investigations which involve members of Clinton’s inner circle or their closest relatives – the people at the center of what has come to be known as Clintonworld.

The five known investigations are into: Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin’s estranged husband sexting a 15-year-old; the handling of classified material by Clinton and her staff on her private email server; questions over whether the Clinton Foundation was used as a front for influence-peddling; whether the Virginia governor broke laws about foreign donations; and whether Hillary’s campaign chairman’s brother did the same.

The progress of the Clinton Foundation investigation and that into McAuliffe was first reported by the Wall Street Journal. 

The FBI does not generally comment on investigations, so it is entirely possible there are more under way. 

Here are the advisers and consigliere – and how the FBI is looking at them

What does she know: Huma Abedin has been Clinton's shadow for 20 years but now finds herself off the campaign trail and facing new FBI interest

Huma Abedin: secrets and access – and perjury?

Probes: Clinton emails; Clinton Foundation 

Who is she: Currently vice-chair of the Clinton campaign she was has worked with Clinton for 21 years, since she was 19, as among other things, intern, ‘body woman’, chief of staff and senior adviser. 

Huma Abedin is now represented by attorneys as the FBI begins the lengthy process of examining a laptop seized in the inquiry into her estranged husband’s sexting relationship with a 15-year-old.

It is the most recent  stage in the Clinton emails investigation in which the FBI has looked into whether Clinton and her staff broke strict laws on the handling of classified material while she was Secretary of State through their use of the now notorious Clintonemail.com server.

The case appeared to be closed in July when James Comey, the FBI director announced that Clinton would not be prosecuted. It was later made clear there would be no other prosecutions.

However last week’s bombshell announcement that new emails were being examined put the focus squarely on 40-year-old Abedin.

Although the decision had been made not to prosecute, that was on the basis of the existing evidence at the time. But if the search finds new evidence of breaking laws about the handling of classified material, there is nothing to stop a prosecution of Abedin – or anyone else.

That, however, is not the only potential for a brush with the law for Abedin.

The FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation also drags her into the spotlight.

The probe, the Wall Street Journal reported, is into whether the Foundation was involved in financial crimes or influence-peddling.

That would directly draw in Abedin. Her overlapping series of roles while Hillary Clinton was Secretary of State has been unmasked by emails published either as a result of lawsuits against the State Department, or hacked from John Podesta’s account.

She was at various times Clinton’s White House deputy chief of staff; her senior adviser; a consultant for Teneo Holdings; working for the Clinton Foundation.

It was also revealed that while she was at the State Department where she was Clinton’s gatekeeper, Abedin received emails from Doug Band – Bill Clinton’s right-hand man at the Clinton Foundation – asking for help and access for ‘friends’ or ‘friend of ours’.

And finally there is the possibility of a federal perjury case.

The discovery of a laptop during the Anthony Weiner sexting investigation by the FBI appears at odds with testimony she gave under oath as part of a deposition in a federal case that she had passed on all relevant devices to the FBI.

Best of friends: Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe with Hillary Clinton as she headlined a fundraiser for the PAC he controls. It then gave $500,000 to the wife of the now FBI deputy director for her own political ambitions

Terry McAuliffe: Clinton cash from China

Probes: Clinton Foundation; links to foreign donations 

Who is he: Currently Democratic governor of Virginia. Has previously been prolific Clinton fundraiser and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and chairman of Hillary’s failed 2008 run for the White House. 

McAuliffe was a board member of the Clinton Foundation from at least 2004, so he will surely be caught up in investigations conducted by the FBI’s Washington DC field office into whether it was used as a front for influence-peddling.

But the overlaps between him and the Foundation go further than that and into his own campaign for governor and related campaigning.

The Washington Post reported in 2015 how he and the foundation had 120 overlapping donors, who had given him, his campaign or his political action committee $13.8 million.

That political action committee then went on to fund another campaign – that of Dr Jill McCabe, whose husband Mark is currently the deputy director of the FBI. He was the assistant FBI director when Jill McCabe was running for state senator in Virginia.

The PAC controlled by McAuliffe, which had received money from Clinton Foundation donors, gave Jill McCabe more than $500,000, prompting her husband to stand back from the Clinton Foundation investigation.

Chinese government front? Wang Wenliang, the billionaire McAuliffe at first claimed he had never met, filmed entering a fundraiser attended by the governor at Clinton's home

Chinese government front? Wang Wenliang, the billionaire McAuliffe at first claimed he had never met, filmed entering a fundraiser attended by the governor at Clinton’s home

Part of the $13.8 million is, however, involved in a second FBI investigation which focuses on McAuliffe personally regarding donations of $120,000 from a Chinese man called Wang Wenliang.

The FBI is investigating whether donations made were in breach of a ban on foreign governments influencing US elections. Wenliang, a billionaire according to Forbes, is a member of the one-party state’s parliament – as well as a donor to the Clinton Foundation.

He is also a US permanent resident and his donations came through a US firm.

This weekend’s tidal wave of revelations also shed new light on a FBI investigation into the donations.

McAuliffe’s attorney was reported by the Wall Street Journal to have said that the investigation focused on whether he had previously failed to register as an agent of a foreign entity.

In May, when the revelation of the FBI foreign donations probe emerged,  McAuliffe denied ever meeting Wenliang. Then he backtracked – saying ‘I did not deals’ – when told by his staff that there were ‘likely’ several meetings.

DailyMail.com revealed footage of him going to a fundraiser also attended by Wengliang.

The venue was Hillary Clinton’s Washington DC home and the attendees included Huma Abedin.

The governor’s lawyer told the Wall Street Journal the probe is focused on ‘whether he failed to register as an agent of a foreign entity’.

Cheryl Mills: Woman at center of Clintonworld

Cut a deal: Cheryl Mills gained partial immunity from the FBI in return for opening her laptop

Cut a deal: Cheryl Mills gained partial immunity from the FBI in return for opening her laptop

Probes: Clinton Foundation; Clinton emails 

Who is she: Long-term Clinton lawyer who advised Bill during impeachment then Hillary over emails; Foundation director; State Department chief of staff.

Cheryl Mills is unusual among Clinton insiders; she has already cut a deal with the FBI.

She exchanged partial immunity from prosecution in return for opening her laptop to FBI review during the Clinton email investigation.

Mills was chief of staff under Clinton at the State Department and communicated extensively on the Clintonemail.com private server.

The deal with the Justice Department – headed by Attorney-General Loretta Lynch –  was hugely advantageous as it also limited the search to no later than January 31, 2015, the point at which  the server’s existence became known to a Congressional committee.

In March backups of Clinton’s emails were destroyed by a technician, a move which could have been seen as illegal destruction of evidence.

And the deal allowed for the destruction of Mills’ laptop. Heather Samuleson, another more junior aide, cut the same deal.

Mills went on to sit in with Clinton on her FBI interview in early July as her attorney, an unusual arrangement given that she had previously been a focus of the investigation.

However the renewed move by the FBI to examine the Huma Abedin emails on the Weiner laptop could set the immunity aside.

If they find new emails, those could open the way for prosecution. Equally, if they examine emails already seen on her laptop and conclude that they represent a case for prosecution over the handling of classified material, that too would be unlikely to be covered by the immunity deal.

Foundation role: Cheryl Mills was deeply involved in the Clinton family charity during a war between Chelsea and Doug Band, her father's right-hand man

Foundation role: Cheryl Mills was deeply involved in the Clinton family charity during a war between Chelsea and Doug Band, her father’s right-hand man

In fact, any part of Mills’ role in setting up the server could now be back in play. She was clearly identified in one of the Wikileaks emails as part of the reason for secrecy around Clinton.

That is only one of Mills’ roles in Clintonworld which the FBI are concerned with.

The other is her role as director of the Clinton Foundation for two periods, 2004 to 2009 and then from 2013 on.

The influence-peddling investigation has not been the subject of public commentary by the FBI but would involve anyone who held a high-level role.

Mills was heavily involved in the Foundation not just as a director, but while she was working at the State Department.

During that time it was at the center of a fierce battle between Chelsea Clinton and Doug Band, in which Band was effectively forced out.

Mills drew up a new structure for all of Bill Clinton’s operations – at the time it was the William J. Clinton Foundation – and, Wikileaks publication of John Podesta’s email shows – took part in a number of exchanges about it.

The State Department has previously said that Mills paid her own way to go to Clinton Foundation meetings in New York.

But neither the department nor the Clintons have addressed whether the FBI is looking at whether the Clinton Foundation monetized access to the Secretary of State through the overlapping roles of, among others, Mills and Abedin.

At her side: Phillipe Reines was effectively Hillary Clinton's chief spin doctor when she was Secretary of State - the point at which the email and Foundation probes center on 

At her side: Phillipe Reines was effectively Hillary Clinton’s chief spin doctor when she was Secretary of State – the point at which the email and Foundation probes center on

Phillipe Reines: What does he know of emails and access?

Probes: Clinton emails; Clinton Foundation

Who is he: Hillary Clinton press secretary when she was senator; press secretary to failed 2008 presidential campaign and spokesman for Chelsea during it; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Hillary; played Donald Trump in debate prep.

As one of her inner circle at the State Department, Phillipe Reines was one of those – he told the FBI – who Clinton turned to for help with her IT issues.

He also bought her an iPad in June 2010, when the technology was new.

Clinton was to go on to claim she only had ‘one device’. Reines meanwhile used both his state.gov email and his personal gmail for government business while in office.

Reines was also deeply involved in responding to the Benghazi committee’s demands for information about the server and the public relations response to it, Wikileaks emails from John Podesta’s gmail have revealed.

However the other Clinton Foundation probe could also drag in Reines.

Reines was a key member of the inner circle when Clinton was Secretary of State.

His official title was ‘deputy assistant undersecretary’ for strategy, effectively her most powerful public affairs adviser.

That means that any knowledge he has of how the Clinton machine in the State Department interacted with the Clinton Foundation and Bill Clinton Inc machines in Manhattan would be crucial to the FBI investigation

Key role at center of the Clinton web: John Podesta, whose leaked emails were leaked. He took the helm of the Clinton Foundation, which is being probed on whether it peddled access

Key role at center of the Clinton web: John Podesta, whose leaked emails were leaked. He took the helm of the Clinton Foundation, which is being probed on whether it peddled access

John Podesta: ‘Dean’ of Clintonworld

Probes: Clinton Foundation

Who is he: Bill Clinton’s first White House deputy chief of staff and later chief of staff; founder of DC lobbying firm Podesta & Podesta, now the Podesta Group; took charge of the Clinton Foundation in 2011 ; now Hillary campaign chairman; at 67, often seen as the ‘dean’ of the Clinton political machine.

The leaks from John Podesta’s emails revealed by Wikileaks have shown how he was a key player in the Clinton Foundation – at precisely the time that the focus of the FBI influence-peddling investigation is likely to be.

At the time Clinton was Secretary of State and Doug Band, who had effectively run the foundation, wrote a memo which emerged in Podesta’s leaked emails.

In it, Band detailed the overlap between the commercial activities of Bill Clinton and the charitable fundraising of the William J. Clinton Foundation (now the Clinton Foundation) – material which is likely to be pertinent to the influence-peddling case.

Podesta’s role at Foundation lasted into 2012, so his knowledge of how it interacted with Hillary Clinton’s aides – particularly Cheryl Mills, with whom he was in frequent contact, according to the emails – would be relevant to the FBI probe.

Lobbyist: Tony Podesta is the brother of Clintonworld 'dean' John Podesta but is being investigated by the FBI over taking a contract from a firm which may have been a front for corrupt cash from Ukraine's deposed president Viktor Yanukovych - an ally of Vladimir Putin
Lobbyist: Tony Podesta is the brother of Clintonworld 'dean' John Podesta but is being investigated by the FBI over taking a contract from a firm which may have been a front for corrupt cash from Ukraine's deposed president Viktor Yanukovych - an ally of Vladimir Putin

Lobbyist: Tony Podesta is the brother of Clintonworld ‘dean’ John Podesta but is being investigated by the FBI over taking a contract from a firm which may have been a front for corrupt cash from Ukraine’s deposed president Viktor Yanukovych – an ally of Vladimir Putin

Tony Podesta: Dined with Hillary, lobbied for Putin’s ally?

Probe: Undeclared lobbying for foreign government

Who is he: Older brother of John Podesta, with whom he founded what is now The Podesta Group of which he is chairman; social acquaintance of the Clintons; Democratic fundraiser

The FBI and the Justice Department are investigating possible ties to alleged corruption involving the former president of Ukraine – and Podesta’s firm is one of those targeted.

Perhaps surprisingly, the investigation also lapped at the Trump campaign, as its then chairman Paul Manafort stepped down in August when it was revealed that his company was also being investigated.

The broad-based investigation is looking into whether U.S. companies and the financial system were used to enable corruption by the party of former pro-Russian Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, CNN reported.

The Podesta Group hired an independent legal firm to investigate whether it had been misled by the Center for a Modern Ukraine, a not-for-profit group linked to the ousted Ukrainian government, a spokeswoman for the group said in a statement to Reuters in August.

The key to the FBI investigation is that Manafort and his deputy Rick Gates may have been paid by the Yanukovych government to push its case in Washington without declaring that the money came from abroad.

One of the firms Gates appears to have hired to help push the Center for a Modern Ukraine was The Podesta Group.

The FBI will therefore look at whether Podesta knowingly or negligently breached laws requiring all foreign attempts to influence U.S. politics to be registered.

Yanukovych was ousted as Ukranie’s leader in 2014 – and is exiled in southern Russia, after long-term accusations that he was a friend of Vladimir Putin.

The older Podesta, his brother’s emails disclosed, remains extremely close to John, sharing the use of an apartment in New York until earlier this year. Official records also show he is a ‘bundler’ for Clinton who had raised $62,000 by the end of June.

It is a long-standing relationship. One email forced out of the State Department showed how in 2012 the Clinton Foundation used the then Secretary of State to host a dinner at her home where attendees included donors – and Podesta.

Body man: Doug Band was Bill Clinton's personal aide at the White House but went on to effectively run the Foundation - then boasted in a leaked memo of making the ex-president rich

Body man: Doug Band was Bill Clinton’s personal aide at the White House but went on to effectively run the Foundation – then boasted in a leaked memo of making the ex-president rich

Doug Band: Man who made Bill rich

Probe: Clinton Foundation

Who is he: Bill Clinton’s ‘body man’ in the White House; his chief aide after leaving office until 2011; CEO of Teneo Holdings.

The FBI investigation into whether the Clinton Foundation committed financial crimes or was involved in influence-peddling will inevitably focus on one man in particular: Band.

Band was at Bill Clinton’s side to the same extent as Huma Abedin was at his wife’s, starting as his ‘body man’ in the White House, putting himself through law school in the evenings, and then running Bill Clinton’s post-presidency life.

His emails to Cheryl Mills and Huma Abedin which have emerged in lawsuits forcing publication by the State Department show how he sent messages asking for meetings for people described as ‘friend’ or ‘good friend of ours’.

Any influence-peddling or financial crimes committed by the Foundation appear to have some connection to them, if they were to exist.

His explosive memo detailing the project to make Bill Clinton rich which he sent to John Podesta made clear how involved he was in 2011 in the Clintons’ lives and finances.

‘Independent of our fundraising and decision-making activities on behalf of the Foundation, we have dedicated ourselves to helping the President secure and engage in for-profit activities – including speeches, books, and advisory service engagements,’ he wrote.

‘In that context, we have in effect served as agents, lawyers, managers and implementors to secure speaking, business and advisory service deals.’

It also put a figure on Bill Clinton’s personal gains via Band.

‘Since 2001, President Clinton’s business arrangements have yielded more than $30 million for him personally, with $66 million to be paid out over the next nine years should he choose to continue with the current engagements,’ it said.

His current exact status in the Clinton inner circle appears unclear. On the one hand he has not been pictured with the Clinton’s in many years or listed at their events.

On the other hand, he continues to donate to the Clinton cause and to those of its allies – he was one of the donors to Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe’s PAC which was used to pay $500,000 to the FBI assistant director’s wife for her failed campaign bid.

And in 2013 he asked John Podesta to help remove any stain on his reputation with a glowing letter of reference. Podesta obliged by redrafting it for him.

Inner circle: Justin Cooper set up the Clinton email server and edited Bill's autobiography - but the FBI is also looking into the Foundation he was involved in 

Inner circle: Justin Cooper set up the Clinton email server and edited Bill’s autobiography – but the FBI is also looking into the Foundation he was involved in

Justin Cooper: Smashed BlackBerry with a hammer

Probes: Clinton Email; Clinton Foundation

Who is he: Staff assistant for Oval Office operations in Bill’s White House; Doug Band’s right-hand man; edited Bill’s memoir My Life; registered the notorious Clintonemail.com server; now works for Teneo with Band.

Justin Cooper’s role in the Clintonemail.com secret server started  at the very beginning of its operation: he registered its existence.

At the time he was being paid by the Clintons as a family aide and through the Clinton Foundation.

He told one Congressional Committee – the Oversight and Government Reform Committee – that he had no security clearance.

However as the man with complete control over the server, he had unlimited access to its contents. He also destroyed devices which had been linked to the server, including a BlackBerry smashed with a hammer.

He was not prosecuted under the initial inquiry but if the Huma Abedin-Anthony Weiner record leads to new evidence, such a deal would be off the table.

He was also at the very center of the Foundation’s operations during much of the time Hillary Clinton was in office.

He frequently appears in the leaked John Podesta emails as ‘[email protected]’ and is involved in a series of key meetings.

That would make him a key focus for the other investigation into the foundation he was so intimately involved in was a front for influence-peddling or financial crimes.

Unhappy together: Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner were seen on the day DailyMail.com revealed he had sexted a 15-year-old girl, setting off the explosive chain of events leading to the renewed FBI probe

 Unhappy together: Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner were seen on the day DailyMail.com revealed he had sexted a 15-year-old girl, setting off the explosive chain of events leading to the renewed FBI probe

Anthony Weiner: Sexual sleaze

Probe: Sexting 15-year-old girl 

Who is he: Former New York congressman when Clinton was senator; estranged husband of her key aide Huma Abedin; notorious serial sexter.

The FBI probe into Anthony Weiner is unlike any of the other Clinton associates and their family members.

Weiner is being investigated after DailyMail.com revealed how he had a sexting ‘relationship’ with a 15-year-old girl who told him he was underage.

Notorious image: This is the picture Weiner sent a girl, 15, which was part of the DailyMail.com bombshell which prompted the FBI probe

Notorious image: This is the picture Weiner sent a girl, 15, which was part of the DailyMail.com bombshell which prompted the FBI probe

The girl told DailyMail.com that Weiner spoke about rape fantasies with her. She showed messages in which he spoke about being ‘hard’ and how he ‘would bust that tight p****’.

The revelations came a month after Abedin had announced that her six-year-old marriage to him was over when he was caught sexting a woman in her 40s to whom he sent a picture of himself in bed, apparently aroused, with his son by Clinton’s chief aide sleeping by his side.

The FBI moved on Weiner in the wake of the DailyMail.com revelations and seized all his mobile and electronic devices.

It was on a laptop he had used that they found emails ‘relevant’ to the discontinued Clinton email server investigation –  setting off a bomb under the presidential election.

Weiner’s computer was apparently being searched for child pornography at the time of the discovery.

The FBI now have a fresh search warrant which will allow them to examine the material found on the laptop which had apparently been stored by Huma Abedin.

The material could impact almost every one of the investigations listed by DailyMail.com.

Senator Bernie Sanders Is A Traitor To All Of His Followers!

 

Well its official, Hillary (The Queen of Treason) Clinton is now the Democrats official nominee to be our next President. I say she is Americas Queen of treason because of her laziness with her job as our Secretary of State concerning our Nations secrets that she made available to hackers thus putting many of our military personnel and our Spies lives in harm’s way. The other issue with her treason was her actions about Benghazi Libya and just leaving four of our personnel to die without even trying to do anything to help save them. Our Nations Military code of ‘we don’t leave anyone behind’ is something she totally broke. Tell me that if Chelsea and Bill were in that Compound that this lazy coward would have reacted the same way.

 

Now, about Senator Bernie Sanders, it was only about one year ago that he decided to become a Democrat as he has represented the state of Vermont as an Independent for several terms in the Senate. He now has the gall to tell all of those who have supported him with their heart, souls, and money to vote for this woman who has done nothing but belittle him and with the aid of the DNC leadership, stab him in the back for the past year. How does a person of any values do as he has done? Senator Sanders has proven that he is a traitor to all the people who believed in him and worked so hard for him, he has totally betrayed them all. What is obvious to all but the blind is that his followers wanted him to continue his push to be President through him running as an Independent in the November election. Quite honestly Senator Sanders should have never ran as a Democrat and the recent revelations of the DNC and the ‘Super Delegates’ of their party have proven they have no loyalty to him and that they never have had. Senator Sanders, you absolutely disgusts me, your actions make it appear that you have been bought out, literally.

Meet In The Middle: Have The Trump Wall (We Pay For It); And Have Direct Path To Citizenship

Yesterday the Republican Convention opened in Cleveland Ohio to a chorus of hate and infighting among the Republicans as many tried to ‘dump Trump’ from ‘their’ ticket. What they were trying to do was to annul all of the voters voices in all of the states primaries. You see, they so not care what ‘the people’ want or what the people have had to say. Before you jump on the Republicans remember that next week the Democrats have their Convention in Philadelphia Pa  and there are going to be a lot of very upset Bernie Sanders followers there who will never vote for Ms. Hillary even though Bernie sold them out by endorsing her. Remember it was mostly Bernie backers who started most of the violence outside at the Trump rallies.

If Mr. Trump or Mr. Sanders become the next President of the United States, how much can/will actually change in D.C. politics? If either one of these two out-lairs becomes our next President both sides of the Congressional Isle, Republican and Democratic will fight against the will of the people by fighting against our elected President. Both of these grand old parties leaderships are off base in not knowing that it is they themselves who do not represent the actual base of their own party. Personally I still think that this November first there should be at least five names on the Presidential ballot for ‘we the people’ to get to vote on. I think Mr. Sanders and Mr. Trump as Independents, Mr. Cruz as the Tea Party Representative, Ms. Hillary as the Democratic Party’s Representative and Mr. Kasich as the Republican Party’s Representative. I just think that this would give the American people a more ‘honest’ vote. What I mean by this is simply that I believe the American people and these Party’s leaderships would know much more clearly where ‘we the people’ stand on the issues. In my thoughts we then take the top two candidates (provided that no one got above 50% in the first election) square them in another election two weeks later. I’m just saying, it could work, what do you think?

 

What I am asking is for all party’s to meet more toward the center, that way a lot will get accomplished where only gridlock rules right now. The ‘far-right’ wants the Trump Wall and much tighter security at our borders, let America have this wall but have it built along the American side so that we control it. Have it built with American money by legal American workers. Make several legal entry points in each border state. Make it as easy for people on our southern borders to legally enter as we do for our Canadian friends. Then make the penalties for being caught here illegally much more severe.

 

Now the back-end of this argument, the reality of the financial cost and the human cost of deporting a minimum of eleven million people? How about the reality of the children whom were born here? Are we a Christian Nation? Are we, really? We have to make a direct pathway to citizenship for all people living here regardless of nationality. My exception to this rule would have to be is if a person is a convicted felon or has a felony warrant out for their arrest. Those folks wishing to live here should be given a fair and open hearing on their request for citizenship. I hope that you can see that what I am trying to do is to be fair to both ‘extreme’ factions of the two main party’s.  Good diplomacy means that neither side is happy but both sides get good movement in their direction on the issue that they say concerns them the most. Gridlock is destroying our country from the inside and it is not what the majority of the people want. What this election cycle is showing is the fact that the RNC and the DNC don’t give a damn what ‘we the people’ think.

 

 

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oldpoet56

oldpoet56

truthtroubles.wordpress.com/ Just an average man who tries to do his best at being the kind of person the Bible tells us we are all suppose to be. Not perfect, never have been, don't expect anyone else to be perfect either. Always try to be very easy going type of a person if allowed to be.

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