US Politics in Trump era
House Democrats on Tuesday asserted that President Trump abused his power by pressuring Ukraine to help him in the 2020 presidential election, releasing a 300-page impeachment report that found that Mr. Trump “placed his own personal and political interests above the national interests of the United States.”
The Kremlin said on Monday that Washington would need Russian consent to publish transcripts of phone calls between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. The Democratic-led House last week launched an impeachment inquiry into Trump in the aftermath of a whistleblower complaint alleging that Trump had solicited interference by Ukraine in the 2020 U.S. election for his own political benefit.
President Trump on Monday questioned whether the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, Representative Adam B. Schiff, should be arrested for treason for his description of a phone call Mr. Trump had with the president of Ukraine during a recent congressional hearing.
President Trump told a crowd of staff from the United States Mission to the United Nations on Thursday morning that he wants to know who provided information to a whistle-blower about his phone call with the president of Ukraine, saying that whoever did so was “close to a spy” and that “in the old days,” spies were dealt with differently.
President Trump acknowledged on Sunday that he discussed former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. with Ukraine’s president as Democrats ramped up calls for an investigation into whether he improperly pressured a foreign leader to investigate a political opponent.
Browder is the founder and CEO of Hermitage Capital Management and was the largest foreign investor in Russia until 2005. Since 2009 when his lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, died in prison after uncovering a $230 million fraud committed by Russian government officials, Browder has been leading a campaign to expose Russia's endemic corruption and human rights abuses.
President Trump refused to support the conclusion of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, saying at the end of his summit here Monday with Russian President Vladimir Putin that the autocrat privately gave him an “extremely strong and powerful” denial.
The media has treated the notion that Russia has personally compromised the president of the United States as something close to a kook theory. A minority of analysts, mostly but not exclusively on the right, have promoted aggressively exculpatory interpretations of the known facts, in which every suspicious piece of evidence turns out to have a surprisingly innocent explanation. What is missing from our imagination is the unlikely but possible outcome on the other end: that this is all much worse than we suspect.
Just weeks before his back-to-back summits with NATO members in Belgium and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland, President Trump is legitimizing Russia’s claim that it did not interfere in the 2016 election, contradicting the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies.
Trump aides colluded with foreign governments. There’s ample evidence on many fronts, from legal documents to reliable reporting. This doesn’t mean that a crime was committed, because, as Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani and others have pointed out, collusion is not a crime per se. But it does mean that attempts to dismiss the Russia investigation as a witch hunt that lacks any evidence are not merely disingenuous—they’re simply wrong.
The Russian lawyer who met with Trump campaign officials in Trump Tower in June 2016 on the premise that she would deliver damaging information about Hillary Clinton has long insisted she is a private attorney, not a Kremlin operative trying to meddle in the presidential election.
The FBI has found that a business associate of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort had ongoing ties to Russian intelligence, including during the 2016 campaign when Manafort and his deputy, Rick Gates, were in touch with the associate, according to new court filings.
Affter the meeting between Kushner and Crown Prince, Crown Prince Mohammed told confidants that Kushner had discussed the names of Saudis disloyal to the crown prince, according to three sources who have been in contact with members of the Saudi and Emirati royal families since the crackdown. Kushner, through his attorney’s spokesperson, denies having done so.
Even as the special counsel expands his inquiry and pursues criminal charges against at least four Trump associates, House Intelligence Committee Republicans said on Monday that their investigation had found no evidence of collusion between Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia to sway the 2016 election.
Mueller gathers evidence that 2017 Seychelles meeting was effort to establish back channel to Kremlin
Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has gathered evidence that a secret meeting in Seychelles just before the inauguration of Donald Trump was an effort to establish a back channel between the incoming administration and the Kremlin — apparently contradicting statements made to lawmakers by one of its participants, according to people familiar with the matter.
Alexander Torshin's links to NRA leaders are deeper than previously known, NPR has learned. He claims to have met Donald Trump in 2015 and served as a U.S. election observer in 2012 through the NRA.
A majority of President Donald Trump's voters surveyed by the left-leaning Public Policy Polling (PPP) believe he should continue to serve as president even if it's proven that he conspired with Russia to sway the 2016 election. Just 14 per cent of Trump voters said he should resign in the event that special counsel Robert Mueller or the congressional intelligence committees find that he colluded with Russia.
In the final days before Donald Trump was sworn in as president, members of his inner circle pleaded with him to acknowledge publicly what U.S. intelligence agencies had already concluded — that Russia’s interference in the 2016 election was real.
Until Monday, there was no evidence that Trump knew about any campaign contacts with Russians or their intermediaries. But tucked away in the guilty plea of George Papadopoulos is a piece of information that undermines Trump’s February statement and draws him more directly into the scandal. According to Papadopoulos, when he attended a March 31, 2016 campaign national security meeting he told the small group, which included President Trump, that he had ongoing communications with Russians that would allow him to facilitate a meeting between Trump and Vladimir Putin.
A business associate of President Trump promised in 2015 to engineer a real estate deal with the aid of the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, that he said would help Mr. Trump win the presidency. The business associate, Felix Sater, wrote a series of emails to Mr. Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen, in which he boasted about his ties to Mr. Putin and predicted that building a Trump Tower in Moscow would be a political boon to Mr. Trump’s candidacy.
Back in June, a tantalizing set of reports from Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal gave us one indication that collusion may have occurred, or was at least attempted, between supporters of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian hackers who targeted Democrats’ emails.
Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show
Russia’s ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, according to current and former U.S. officials.
While the leaders-and-spouses dinner was on Mr. Trump’s public schedule, the news media was not allowed to witness any part of it, nor were reporters provided with an account of what transpired. “We’re all going to be wondering what was said, and that’s where it’s unfortunate that there was no U.S. interpreter, because there is no independent American account of what happened,” said Steven Pifer, a former ambassador to Ukraine who also specializes in Russia and nuclear arms control.
On Friday NBC News reported—and the Associated Press confirmed firsthand—that Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya was also attended by a Russian lobbyist formerly employed by Soviet counter-intelligence who some U.S. officials reportedly say has “ongoing ties to Russian intelligence.”
Democratic members of the House Judiciary Committee sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions on Wednesday asking why the Department of Justice settled a major money-laundering case involving a real-estate company owned by the son of a powerful Russian government official whose lawyer met with Donald Trump Jr. last year.
Donald Trump Jr. was in serious legal trouble even before the New York Times obtained his emails. As my colleague Zack Beauchamp has explained, his very decision to meet with Kremlin-connected lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya to see what dirt she had on Clinton may well have violated campaign finance law. That’s because you don’t have to actually get anything of value from a foreigner; simply sitting down with a Russian national to see whether she had information that could help Trump and damage his rival could be enough to constitute a federal crime.
President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., was promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton before agreeing to meet with a Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer during the 2016 campaign, according to three advisers to the White House briefed on the meeting and two others with knowledge of it.
A tantalizing new report from Shane Harris of the Wall Street Journal gives the strongest indication yet that collusion may have occurred — or was at least attempted — between supporters of Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and Russian hackers who targeted Democrats’ emails. And it raises serious questions about whether fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was involved in these efforts to contact hackers.
Evidence is emerging that the hacking and disinformation campaign waged at the direction of Russian President Vladimir Putin took at least four separate but related paths. The first involved establishing personal contact with Americans perceived as sympathetic to Moscow — such as former Defense Intelligence Agency chief Michael Flynn, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and early Trump foreign-policy adviser Carter Page — and using them as a means to further Russia's foreign-policy goals.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered an indignant defense on Tuesday against what he called “an appalling and detestable lie” that he may have colluded with the Russian effort to interfere in the 2016 election, showcasing his loyalty to President Trump in an often contentious Senate hearing but declining to answer central questions about his or the president’s conduct.
The hard-charging New York lawyer President Trump chose to represent him in the Russia investigation has prominent clients with ties to the Kremlin, a striking pick for a president trying to escape the persistent cloud that has trailed his administration. Marc E. Kasowitz’s clients include Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch who is close to President Vladimir Putin and has done business with Trump’s former campaign manager. Kasowitz also represents Sberbank, Russia’s largest state-owned bank, U.S. court records show.
The former US director of national intelligence James Clapper says events in Washington now are more serious than the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, and that it is imperative investigators get to the bottom of the Trump administration’s links with the Putin regime. Clapper used a speech to Australia’s National Press Club on Wednesday to launch a critique of the US president, Donald Trump, describing his decision to cultivate Russia and share intelligence with the Putin regime as “very problematic”. He described Trump’s firing of the FBI chief Jim Comey as “egregious and inexcusable”.
Jared Kushner is now under congressional and F.B.I. scrutiny after his meeting with a close ally of Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. Here’s how the Russian banker Sergey N. Gorkov could benefit from meeting President Trump’s senior adviser.
John Kelly, National Security advisor claims the only thing Jared Kushner is interested in is helping America. Simply click on the "Jared Kishner" tag in this article to follow all the reports on Kushner and his family to see if you agree!
Jared Kushner and Russia’s ambassador to Washington discussed the possibility of setting up a secret and secure communications channel between Trump’s transition team and the Kremlin, using Russian diplomatic facilities in an apparent move to shield their pre-inauguration discussions from monitoring, according to U.S. officials briefed on intelligence reports. Sergey Kislyak’s account of the meeting was captured by U.S. intelligence.
In this post, former FBI agent offers specific examples of when Trump and Paul Manafort, diverted attention from questions posed to them to fake news articles propagated by the Russians.
American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers, according to three current and former American officials familiar with the intelligence.
John O. Brennan, the former director of the C.I.A., offered the fullest public account yet of how the federal investigation into Russian election meddling began. In testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, Mr. Brennan described a nerve-fraying few months as American authorities realized that the election was under attack and worried that Mr. Trump’s campaign might be aiding that fight. His remarks were the fullest public account to date of the origins of an F.B.I. investigation that continues to shadow the Trump administration.
The decision came 10 days before Donald Trump had been sworn in as president, in a conversation with President Barack Obama’s national security adviser, Susan Rice, who had explained the Pentagon’s plan to retake the Islamic State’s de facto capital of Raqqa with Syrian Kurdish forces whom the Pentagon considered the U.S.’s most effective military partners. Obama’s national security team had decided to ask for Trump’s sign-off, since the plan would all but certainly be executed after Trump had become president. Flynn didn’t hesitate. According to timelines distributed by members of Congress in the weeks since, Flynn told Rice to hold off, a move that would delay the military operation for months.
Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters. The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.
A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Speaker Ryan responded: ‘What’s said in the family stays in the family.’ GOP leaders now cast the exchange as ‘an attempt at humor.’
A Dutch TV documentary alleges that President Donald Trump has extensive connections to Russia’s ruling oligarchs and a history of illegal racketeering.“Donald Trump’s business partners have included Russian oligarchs and convicted mobsters, which could make the president guilty of criminal racketeering charges,” wrote Steven Rosenfeld at AlterNet on Friday.
A photographer for a Russian state-owned news agency was allowed into the Oval Office on Wednesday during President Trump’s meeting with Russian diplomats, a level of access that was criticized by former U.S. intelligence officials as a potential security breach. The officials cited the danger that a listening device or other surveillance equipment could have been brought into the Oval Office while hidden in cameras or other electronics. Former U.S. intelligence officials raised questions after photos of Trump’s meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov were posted online by the Tass news agency.
President Trump has fired the director of the F.B.I., James B. Comey, over his handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails, the White House said on Tuesday.Mr. Comey’s dismissal was a stunning development for a president that benefited from the F.B.I. investigation of the Democratic nominee during the 2016 campaign. Separately, the F.B.I. also is investigating whether members of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to influence the election.
Ms. Yates, the former acting attorney general, gave a dramatic account of an unfolding crisis in the early days of President Trump’s White House. Less than a week into the Trump administration, Sally Q. Yates, the acting attorney general, hurried to the White House with an urgent concern. The president’s national security adviser, she said, had lied to the vice president about his Russian contacts and was vulnerable to blackmail by Moscow.
Former Trump adviser Carter Page has declined to provide records of his communications with Russians to the Senate intelligence committee, saying that anything of note has already been recorded by former President Barack Obama’s administration. Mr Page, who advised President Donald Trump on foreign policy matters during the 2016 campaign, is the subject of investigation by the FBI and congressional committees looking into whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government.
The UK government was given details last December of allegedly extensive contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow, according to court papers.Reports by Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer, on possible collusion between the the Trump camp and the Kremlin are at the centre of a political storm in the US over Moscow’s role in getting Donald Trump elected.
The White House is refusing to provide congressional investigators with some of the documents they're requesting as part of an investigation into potential Trump campaign connections to Russia, and whether former national security adviser Mike Flynn disclosed payments from Russian companies when applying for his security clearance. The news comes as Reps. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) announced Tuesday that Flynn might have broken the law by failing to disclose the foreign payments on official documents filed as part of the security clearance review process.
Are Richard Burr’s financial ties to Russian oil why he’s holding up the Trump-Russia investigation?
Over the past few days various reports have surfaced asserting that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr is sabotaging his own committee’s investigation into Donald Trump’s Russia scandal by refusing to sign off on vital documents. It’s led some to ask if Burr is strategically trying to protect Trump and/or Russia. Now comes the revelation that Burr has an investment in an oil drilling company that partners with a major Russian oil company.
One day after Jason Chaffetz announced out of nowhere that he won’t be seeking reelection to Congress in 2018 and that he won’t be running for any other office, he followed it up today by hinting that he may not even finish his term. Now comes a report that one of Chaffetz’s own former staffers is confirming that Chaffetz is under FBI investigation, and that it’s going to become public before much longer.
Over the weekend, credible leaks from the U.S. intelligence community have sprung afoot, ranging from Donald Trump and three advisers being caught on tape admitting to treason with Russia (link) to Rudy Giuliani trying to cut a deal against Trump (link). Now comes chatter that GOP leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell may have been nailed as well.
Information presently public and available confirms that Erik Prince, Rudy Giuliani, and Donald Trump conspired to intimidate FBI Director James Comey into interfering in, and thus directly affecting, the 2016 presidential election. This conspiracy was made possible with the assistance of officers in the New York Police Department and agents within the New York field office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. All of the major actors in the conspiracy have already confessed to its particulars either in word or in deed; moreover, all of the major actors have publicly exhibited consciousness of guilt after the fact.
Last week we brought you the story of how Rudy Giuliani is in so much legal trouble that he’s been trying to get a deal in exchange for flipping on Donald Trump, but that the FBI rejected it because its Trump-Russia investigation is so far along that it doesn’t need his help (link). But now equally proven intel sources say that Giuliani has cut a deal after all, and is cooperating with law enforcement against Trump.
Buried in the last paragraph of a Guardian story about British intelligence alerting the U.S. to contact between Trump advisers and Russian officials is this sort-of bombshell: One source suggested the official [American] investigation was making progress. “They now have specific concrete and corroborative evidence of collusion,” the source said. “This is between people in the Trump campaign and agents of [Russian] influence relating to the use of hacked material.”
The Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee rebuffed calls on Tuesday to recuse himself from the panel’s investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election, as Democrats accused him of stalling the inquiry by canceling the committee’s meetings.
Circumstantial evidence strongly indicates that President Donald J. Trump and his campaign associates brokered a massive oil privatization deal, where his Organization facilitated a global financial transaction to sell Russian Oil stock to its Syrian War adversary, the Emirate of Qatar. The Trump Russia Dossier describes a massive privatization deal to deliver a chunk of the state-owned Rosneft Oil company to Qatar and also a secret buyer in the Cayman Islands.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) on Thursday sought to refute Attorney General Jeff Sessions's claim that his contact with Russia was because he was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I've been on the Armed Services Com for 10 years. No call or meeting w/Russian ambassador. Ever," McCaskill tweeted.
Mensch works at News Corp by day, probes Trump-Moscow by night. Here’s how she learned the secret that eluded even the best journalists. On the eve of the November election, Mensch published a sensational story reporting that a special intelligence court in Washington had granted a warrant to allow the FBI to conduct surveillance of “US persons” in an investigation of possible contacts between Russian banks and the Trump organisation.
A dossier making explosive — but unverified — allegations that the Russian government has been “cultivating, supporting and assisting” President-elect Donald Trump for years and gained compromising information about him has been circulating among elected officials, intelligence agents, and journalists for weeks.