Senior FBI Official Took Free Gifts from Media While Trump-Russia Probe Was Underway, Watchdog Says

FBI logo outside of building

The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Justice released the findings Tuesday of an investigation that found a former senior FBI official violated agency policy by having numerous unauthorized contacts with the media.

The investigation found that the official, who has not been named and has since retired from the agency, “had numerous contacts with members of the media between January and November 2016 in violation of FBI policy,” as well as accepted unauthorized gifts from media members, according to the report.

The senior official had unofficial contact with media officials during the opening months of the Trump-Russia investigation. That investigation by the FBI started in the months leading up to and after the Nov. 2016 presidential election. However, the report does not mention that this official was part of the investigation.

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Ex-FBI Boss Has ‘Grave Concern’ FISA Court Was ‘Defrauded Intentionally’ in Russia Probe

“I have grave concern that the court was defrauded intentionally … There was some type of agenda, an inappropriate agenda beyond an objective intelligence or criminal investigation,” said Kevin Brock, a retired FBI assistant director for Intelligence who helped implement most of the intelligence and informant rules the FBI uses today.

“I struggle to find any other explanation,” Brock told the John Solomon Reports podcast. “Any other explanation just doesn’t pass the smell test. I mean, the glaring — the Steele dossier, for an experienced counterintelligence agent in the field, was blinking red lights Russian disinformation campaign, and yet you’re going to have the highest levels of the FBI executives use that to create an investigation?”

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FBI’s Desperate Pretext to Keep Spying on Carter Page: He Might Write a Book!

Nine months into a relentless effort to spy on Carter Page with the most awesome surveillance tools the U.S. possesses, the FBI had no proof the former Trump adviser had colluded with Russia to hijack the 2016 election.

In fact, the bureau hid from the FISA court the fact that it knew Page was actually a U.S. asset who had helped the CIA and that in a secret recording with an informant he had denied all the core allegations against him with significant proof.

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New Evidence Implicates FBI Higher-Ups in Dishonesty of Anti-Trump Lawyer

For the past year, defenders of the FBI have consistently downplayed the significance of an FBI staff lawyer falsifying evidence in the government’s investigation into Donald Trump’s relationship with Russia. They argue Kevin Clinesmith’s crime of altering a CIA document to obscure the fact that former Trump campaign aide Carter Page worked for U.S., not Russian, intelligence was a rare lapse in judgment by an overworked bureaucrat. It was not, his apologists say, part of any broader conspiracy to conceal exculpatory information from surveillance court judges, who never learned of Page’s history with the CIA before approving FBI warrants to wiretap him as a suspected Russian agent.

But such explanations are challenged by new revelations from court papers filed in the case, which some civil libertarians call the most egregious violation and abuse of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) since it was enacted more than 40 years ago.

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Nunes Plans Criminal Referrals to DOJ Following Release of Strzok’s Internal FBI Messages

Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, said Sunday he plans to make new criminal referrals to the Justice Department following the release of internal FBI messages from the account of Peter Strzok, the top FBI investigator on Crossfire Hurricane.

In an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures,” Nunes said the messages, which the Justice Department and FBI declassified earlier this month, should have been provided to Congress years ago when Republicans began investigating whether the FBI abused the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) in order to surveil Trump campaign aide Carter Page.

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John Durham Sought Christopher Steele’s Notes from a Meeting with The FBI in Which an Agent Said the Ex-Spy ‘Wasn’t Truthful’

John Durham, the U.S. attorney investigating aspects of the Trump-Russia probe, has sought notes that former British spy Christopher Steele took during his interviews in 2016 with the FBI regarding a since-debunked dossier he penned that accused the Trump campaign of colluding with the Russian government.

An FBI agent who took part in one of the interviews with Steele told Justice Department investigators that the ex-spy “clearly … wasn’t truthful” regarding his contacts with members of the media.

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Intel Chief Urges John Durham to Release Interim Report in Order to Protect Investigation

John Ratcliffe, the Director of National Intelligence, urged U.S. Attorney John Durham on Sunday to release an interim report on his investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, saying that the American public should have record of the investigation in case the Biden administration shuts it down.

“I think the American people should know what’s happening in a two-year investigation into this and I hope that that report will be forthcoming,” Ratcliffe said in an interview on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”

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By Two-to-One Margin Voters Believe FBI Should be Prosecuted for Its Role in Russia Probe

A near-majority of voters say FBI agents and leaders should be prosecuted for their role in the Russian collusion conspiracy theory, according to a new Just the News Daily Poll with Scott Rasmussen.

Among the voters, 46 percent said FBI officials should be criminally charged over the scandal, while only half that number — 23 percent — said they shouldn’t.

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Durham Using Grand Jury to Investigate Debunked Trump-Russia Allegation, Reports Say

The U.S. attorney investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia probe is seeking grand jury testimony from a group of computer scientists behind a since-debunked allegation that Donald Trump’s real estate company had covert computer contacts with a Russian bank, according to a report.

The New Yorker reports that John Durham, the U.S. attorney for Connecticut, has contacted the scientists in recent weeks seeking their testimony.

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Senator Lindsey Graham Teases Bombshell Regarding FBI’s Trump Probe

Republican South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham provided a slew of updates about the Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigation into Crossfire Hurricane on Sunday and teased “damning” revelations that he said will soon be made public.

“There’s a day of reckoning,” Graham said in an interview on Fox News “Sunday Morning Futures.”

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FBI Investigated Steele Dossier Source as a Possible Russian Spy Years Before Trump Probe

The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation on the primary source for dossier author Christopher Steele, and considered obtaining a warrant to wiretap him in 2010, according to a document released Thursday.

The FBI was also aware of the information about the source, identified elsewhere as Igor Danchenko, by December 2016, according to the document.

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Peter Strzok Defends FBI Against FISA Abuse Allegations, Says Agents Were ‘Overworked’

Former FBI official Peter Strzok defended the bureau’s surveillance of former Trump aide Carter Page in an interview aired Sunday, attributing failures found in a government watchdog report to agents being “overworked.”

“I don’t think at all that it’s anything improper. You get people who are overworked, who make mistakes — and don’t get me wrong, inexcusable mistakes,” Strzok said in an interview with “CBS Sunday Morning.”

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Ratcliffe Says He Is Coordinating with John Durham, Plans to Declassify More Trump-Russia Documents

John Ratcliffe, the director of national intelligence, has been coordinating with U.S. Attorney John Durham and plans to soon declassify more documents related to the Trump-Russia probe, he said Sunday.

“The question now is did the FBI have a proper predicate to begin a counterintelligence investigation at all, and that’s the issue that John Durham is looking at, and also the issue that I’m continuing to look at,” Ratcliffe said in an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.”

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CIA Conduct During Russia Assessment May Be Next Boomerang in Probe of Investigators

By his own admission, ex-CIA Director John Brennan chafed at being questioned earlier this month by federal prosecutor John Durham about the Obama administration’s intelligence assessment that Russia’s meddling in 2016 election was designed to help Donald Trump.

Brennan “questioned why the analytic tradecraft and the findings of the ICA are being scrutinized by the Department of Justice, especially since they have been validated by the Mueller Report and the bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Review,” a statement issued by his spokesman Nick Shapiro said.

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Lindsey Graham: Memo Shows FBI Lied to Senate About Dossier Source

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday released an FBI memo from 2018 that he says shows investigators lied to the Senate about statements that the primary source for the Steele dossier told the FBI regarding the salacious document.

“This document clearly shows that the FBI was continuing to mislead regarding the reliability of the Steele dossier,” Graham said in a statement announcing the release of an eight-page briefing document that the FBI provided to the Senate Intelligence Committee in February 2018.

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Commentary: Time to Grab Some Popcorn as Attorney Lin Wood Agrees to Take on Carter Page’s Case

Lin Wood, the attorney representing a Kentucky teenager in a number of defamation lawsuits against major media outlets, announced a settlement Friday with the Washington Post. The terms of the agreement between the family of Nicholas Sandmann – the Covington Catholic High School student accused of disrespecting a “native elder” while wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat during the January 2019 March for Life – remain secret. 

Wood and Sandmann settled a similar lawsuit against CNN earlier this year. Cases still are pending against NBC News, ABC News, CBS News, the New York Times, Rolling Stone, and Gannett.

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Senator Lindsey Graham Teases: The FBI ‘Lied Their Ass Off’ to Congress About the Steele Dossier

Sen. Lindsey Graham on Sunday teased the release of evidence showing that the FBI “lied their ass off” to Congress regarding the reliability of the Steele dossier, which the bureau used as part of its investigation of the Trump campaign.

“I will tell you next week what I found,” the South Carolina Republican said in an interview on “Fox Sunday Futures” with Maria Bartiromo.

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Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham Says He’ll Grant Request For Mueller Testimony

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday he will approve Democrats’ request to invite Robert Mueller to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee after the former special counsel published an op-ed in The Washington Post criticizing President Donald Trump’s decision to commute the prison sentence for Roger Stone.

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Appeals Court Orders Dismissal of Michael Flynn Prosecution

A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said in a 2-1 ruling that the Justice Department’s decision to abandon the case against Flynn settles the matter, even though Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

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Eight More Key ‘Russiagate Investigators’ US Attorney John Durham is Likely Investigating

The multiple investigations of the U.S. government’s intelligence-gathering activities against the Trump campaign have typically focused on the actions of the same small group of former officials: James Comey, Andrew McCabe, Peter Strzok, Lisa Page, John Brennan, James Clapper and a few others.

But just as significant to the efforts to get to the bottom of the government’s Trump-related surveillance are a handful of current and former FBI and Justice Department employees whose names are not as well known to the public.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham Says He’s Been Denied Access to FBI Employees Who Interviewed Key Dossier Source

Sen. Lindsey Graham said Sunday that he has been denied access to interview an FBI agent and FBI analyst who met with a key source for the Steele dossier who disavowed the salacious document.

Graham has sought interviews with the FBI case agent and supervisory intelligence analyst to discuss their interview in January 2017 with the primary source for Christopher Steele, the former British spy who investigated the Trump campaign for Democrats.

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Judge Sullivan Defends Delay, Says Justice Department Reversal in Flynn Case ‘Unusual’

A federal judge on Monday defended his decision not to quickly approve the Justice Department’s request to dismiss its own criminal case against former Trump administration national security adviser Michael Flynn, saying that the department’s reversal was unusual and he wanted to consider the request carefully before ruling on it.

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Top FBI Lawyer Who Authorized Carter Page Surveillance Forced to Resign

The FBI lawyer who signed a surveillance order against former Trump aide Carter Page that the Justice Department has deemed invalid submitted his resignation on Friday, the FBI said.

Dana Boente, the FBI general counsel, has recently come under scrutiny over his role in the various investigations against former Trump advisers, including Michael Flynn and Carter Page.

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Once a Staunch Opponent of De-Classification, Democrat Rep. Adam Schiff Now Calls for Releasing ‘Any Flynn Transcripts’

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff on Friday called for transparency in the release of a transcript of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s phone calls in late December 2016 with a Russian ambassador.

“We need to ensure a transparent and complete public record free of political manipulation,” Schiff wrote in a letter to Richard Grenell, the acting director of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

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Commentary: John Brennan and the Plot to Subvert an American Election

Let’s talk about John Brennan a bit. You remember John Brennan. He was Barack Obama’s director of the CIA. Once upon a time, he was an enthusiast for Gus Hall, the Communist candidate for president, for whom he voted in 1976. I can’t think of any better background for the head of the country’s premier intelligence service under Obama. In 2014, having put childish things behind him as St. Paul advised, Brennan spied on the Senate Intelligence Committee. He denied it indignantly. “Nothing could be further from the truth. We wouldn’t do that. That’s just beyond the scope of reason in terms of what we’d do.”

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John Brennan Says He Is Willing To Meet With Prosecutor Investigating Origins Of Russia Probe

Former CIA Director John Brennan said Friday that he has yet to be interviewed by the federal prosecutor investigating the origins of the Trump-Russia probe, but that he is willing to do so and has “nothing to hide.”

“I feel very good that my tenure at CIA and my time at the White House during the Obama administration was not — that was not engaged in any type of wrongdoing or activities that caused me to worry about what this investigation may uncover,” Brennan said in an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes.

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A Senate Democrat Reportedly Outsourced Parts of the Trump-Russia Probe to Operative Linked to Soros, Fusion GPS

by Chuck Ross   A Democratic senator outsourced parts of the investigation into possible Trump-Russia collusion to a former Senate staffer with links to George Soros and Fusion GPS, according to a New Yorker report. The New Yorker reports the unidentified senator contacted Daniel Jones, a former Senate Intelligence Committee staffer, around…

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Mark Meadows: ‘Strong Suggestion’ that Undercover FBI Sources Taped Trump Campaign

Mark Meadows

by Chuck Ross   North Carolina Rep. Mark Meadows said Wednesday that there is a “strong suggestion” that undercover FBI sources secretly taped members of the Trump campaign. “Now whether that was a confidential human source taping an individual, that’s what I believe it is, but it’s important that we…

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Trump Dossier Research Chief Glenn Simpson Declines US Congress Interview Request

Reuters   The Republican chairman of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Friday subpoenaed a U.S. research firm founder to give a deposition on his hiring of a former British spy to compile a dossier on alleged links between U.S. President Donald Trump’s associates and Russia. Representative Bob Goodlatte, a…

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US House Intelligence Committee to Vote on Release of Trump Russia Transcripts

Reuters   A U.S. House of Representatives committee will vote on Friday on whether to release dozens of transcripts of interviews from its investigation of Russia and the 2016 U.S. election, including conversations with senior associates of President Donald Trump. The House Intelligence Committee is expected to agree to send…

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Gowdy: Russia Docs Are ‘Embarrassing’ For John Brennan, DOJ And FBI

by Chuck Ross   South Carolina Republican Rep. Trey Gowdy said the information in a batch of Russia investigation documents that President Donald Trump was considering for declassification will prove “embarrassing” for the Department of Justice, FBI and former CIA Director John Brennan. Gowdy made the remarks in an interview…

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EXCLUSIVE: Released Texts Messages And Emails Show Mueller Team’s Cozy Relationship With Press

by Joe Simonson   Hundreds of pages of emails and texts messages released from the Justice Department’s special counsel office through a FOIA request document shows an ongoing relationship between Robert Mueller’s team and the press, according to an investigation by The Daily Caller News Foundation. The documents, released in…

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DOJ Official Bruce Ohr’s Congressional Testimony Contradicts Fusion GPS Founder Glenn Simpson’s

Glenn Simpson, Bruce Ohr

by Chuck Ross   Department of Justice (DOJ) official Bruce Ohr told Congress in August that he met before the 2016 election with Glenn Simpson, a direct contradiction to what the Fusion GPS founder said in a congressional deposition in 2017. Sources familiar with Ohr’s Aug. 28 testimony tell The…

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Nellie Ohr To Testify Before Congress About Work For Fusion GPS

by Chuck Ross   Congress will interview Nellie Ohr, the wife of Department of Justice official Bruce Ohr, later this week, Texas Rep. John Ratcliffe said on Sunday. Ratcliffe said Sunday that Ohr is expected to appear for a closed-door interview with the House Judiciary and House Oversight & Government Reform…

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Nunes: Democrats, Journalists Will Be ‘Frightened’ By Declassified Trump-Russia Documents

by Chuck Ross   House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes said this week that Democrats and the media are likely to be “frightened” by the information contained in Trump-Russia documents that Republicans are asking President Donald Trump to declassify. Speaking at an event hosted by the Center for Security Policy…

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New Text Messages Show FBI Officials Discussed ‘Media Leak Strategy’ Ahead Of Major Trump-Russia Revelation

McCabe Page and Strzock

by Chuck Ross   Newly released text messages show that disgraced FBI official Peter Strzok asked to speak to former FBI lawyer Lisa Page about a “media leak strategy” during a crucial period of the Trump-Russia investigation last year. The text messages were revealed on Monday by North Carolina Rep.…

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Maria Butina Worried Russian Email Hacks Would Hurt Attempts To ‘Befriend Politicians’

Maria Butina

by Chuck Ross   Maria Butina, a Russian national accused of acting as an unregistered foreign agent, expressed concern in July 2016 that her efforts to establish relationships with American politicians would be disrupted by Russian hacks of Democrats’ emails. “Right now I’m sitting here very quietly after the scandal…

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Papadopoulos Verdict: 14 Days in Jail, 200 Hours of Community Service, and a $9,500 Fine

Robert Mueller, George Papadopoulous, Donald Trump

by Chuck Ross   Former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos was sentenced to 14 days jail in a federal court in Washington, D.C., on Friday. District Judge Randolph D. Moss also ordered a year of supervision, 200 hours of community service and a $9,500 fine for the 30-year-old former Trump aide.…

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Judicial Watch Busts FISA Court Corruption

by CHQ Staff   In response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by our friends at Judicial Watch the Department of Justice release this bombshell admission: [National Security Division] FOIA consulted [Office of Intelligence] … to identify and locate records responsive to [Judicial Watch’s] FOIA request…. [Office of…

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Daily Caller News Foundation Sues To Obtain Information On Comey’s Leaker

James Comey

by Richard Pollock   The Daily Caller News Foundation is suing the Department of Justice for failing to produce records regarding the Columbia University professor who received four memos from former FBI Director James Comey, one of which was leaked to The New York Times. Cause of Action Institute, a conservative…

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Memphis Democrat Steve Cohen Increasingly Unhinged, Calls President Trump and Rudy Giuliani ‘Pathological Liars’

Steve Cohen

Memphis-area Democrat Representative Steve Cohen appeared on MSNBC’s “Live With Alex Witt” Sunday to react to the latest, if unusual, developments with former Trump attorney Michael Cohen (no relation) and Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing ‘Trump-Russia Collusion’ investigation. The five-term congressman has a well-established record of vitriolic statements aimed at conservative…

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President Of Judicial Watch Tom Fitton Trashes DOJ And FBI For Abusing ‘Awesome Powers’ Without Accountability

Tom Fitton

by Nick Givas   Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton trashed the FBI and Department of Justice for abuse of power on “Fox & Friends First” Tuesday and said they are not being held accountable for their actions. Fitton’s group sued under the Freedom of Information Act to obtain surveillance warrant documents related…

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Commentary: The ‘Self Licking Ice Cream Cone’ of Mueller’s Russia Probe

James Brennan

by George Rasley   Senator Rand Paul met with President Donald Trump Monday and asked him to consider revoking former CIA Director John Brennan’s security clearance. Our friend Sara Carter reports the Kentucky Senator later took to Twitter and wrote, “Just got out of WH meeting with @RealDonald Trump. I…

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The Carter Page FISA Application: Four Key Takeaways (Plus One More)

Carter Page and Trump

As experts comb through the newly-released, heavily redadcted FISA application to surveil former Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page, John Hinderaker at PowerLineBlog noticed four key takeaways. First, he notes, the application – which was renewed several times by the Obama-Holder-Lynch Department of Justice – strongly suggests Page is a Russian…

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President Trump Says DOJ and FBI ‘Misled’ Surveillance Court to Wiretap a Former Aide

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump claimed Sunday that newly released documents about the origins of an investigation of a former adviser’s links to Russia help vindicate his claim that U.S. government investigators were spying on his 2016 election campaign. He contended in Twitter remarks that “as usual,” the documents “are ridiculously heavily…

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Commentary: Why Should Trump Pick A Fight With Putin Over The Failures Of Obama, Clapper, Strzok and Brennan?

Russia meddling

by George Rasley   President Trump’s statement about the poor state of US – Russian relations, “I hold both countries responsible. I think that the United States has been foolish. I think we’ve all been foolish. We should have had this dialogue a long time ago — a long time,…

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Trump Says He Misspoke at Helsinki Press Conference: ‘I Accept Our Intelligence Community’s Conclusion’ That Russia Meddled in 2016 Election

Donald Trump

President Donald Trump said Tuesday that he accepts the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia sought to influence the 2016 U.S. election. “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place. Could be other people also. A lot of people out there,” Trump…

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Commentary: Obama Cybersecurity Failures Are The Real 2016 Election Story

Barack Obama

by George Rasley   Remember when the Democrats lost the 2016 election and the charge was that the Russians “hacked” the election? Then the charge morphed into, the Trump campaign, or maybe even Trump himself, “colluded” with the Russians to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House? As Rowan Scarborough…

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