UPDATE: 9:49 AM ET –
Buzzfeed’s Tom Namako reports the woman in the White House photo is an NSC staffer, not Mariia Butina. We are leaving the remainder of this post as is but will remove later.
This photo is going around: That is not alleged Russian spy Maria Butina in the Oval Office With Trump. It’s an NSC staffer, a NSC source tells BuzzFeed News. pic.twitter.com/k1pDeIBZiK
— Tom Namako (@TomNamako) July 17, 2018
The woman the Dept. of Justice just charged with being a Russian foreign agent and spy, Mariia Butina, who has strong ties to both the NRA and the GOP, appears to be among the Russians President Donald Trump secretly invited into the Oval Office in May of 2017.
Last year, Americans were stunned to learn that top Russian agents, including then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, had been in the Oval Office. The meeting was kept secret, with no U.S. reporters allowed. It did not appear on the president’s daily schedule.
The only reporter in the room was a Russian news photographer, who was also part of the Russian government. Russian news organizations first published the photos, forcing the White House to admit the deception.
Kislyak is seen by the U.S. Intelligence services as a top spy and recruiter of spies.
But hidden – until now – in the photos may be Mariia Butina, the 29-year old who the DOJ on Monday said developed “relationships with U.S. persons” and infiltrated “organizations having influence in American politics, for the purpose of advancing the interests of the Russian Federation.”
The photos were taken just one day after President Trump had fired James Comey.
Some have been posting the images to social media, so to confirm they were not photoshopped after the fact, NCRM found the same photo, including what appears to be the image of Butina, in a New York Times article dated May 10, 2017.
UPDATE: 9:39 AM –
Some are backtracking, suggesting the woman who appears to be Butina may be an NSC staffer, Cari Lutkins. NCRM cannot confirm either. We’ve updated the title and text appropriately to indicate it may be Butina.
Here’s one of the images via Twitter:
Mariia Butina in the Oval Office, hiding in plain sight.
— (((Adam Hertz))) 🔥 (@AdamHertz) July 17, 2018
Here’s Butina with NRA chief Wayne LaPierre:
BREAKING: Russian national Maria Butina has been arrested for allegedly working on behalf of Russia to influence American politicians through coordination with a domestic gun rights organization. Butina cultivated close ties with the @NRA: https://t.co/nxMF71D6ED pic.twitter.com/UDYTuOOeog
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 16, 2018
Here’s Butina with GOP Governor Scott Walker:
— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) July 16, 2018
Butina with Rick Santorum:
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) July 17, 2018
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
WATCH: The Mueller Report Star-Studded Live Stream Video
So this happened. Eighteen of Hollywood’s biggest celebrities convened to bring The Mueller Report to the stage – and the star power behind the effort was mind-boggling.
The players included Annette Bening, Kevin Kline, John Lithgow, Frederick Weller, Ben McKenzie, Michael Shannon, Noah Emmerich, Justin Long, Jason Alexander, Gina Gershon, Wilson Cruz, Joel Grey, Alyssa Milano, Kyra Sedgwick, Alfre Woodard, Piper Perabo, Zachary Quinto, and Aidan Quinn.
The live reading, titled The Investigation: A Search for the Truth in Ten Acts, was written by Robert Schenkkan and presented by Law Works Monday night.
Now, without further ado: watch history unfold before your eyes.
‘I Was Happy to Do It for You’ GOP Congressman Who Threatened Michael Cohen Tells Trump: Report
President Donald Trump reportedly called Rep. Matt Gaetz Wednesday night. Gaetz, the Florida Republican who very publicly threatened Michael Cohen, told President Trump he was “happy to do it for you,” according to a reporter for The Atlantic.
Gaetz, after a warning from Speaker Nancy Pelosi and massive outrage across the nation, apologized to Cohen for the threat, which many agree was designed to intimidate him just hours before his explosive testimony Wednesday before the House Oversight Committee.
The Atlantic’s Edward-Isaac Dovere posted this tweet Thursday morning:
President Trump called @mattgaetz last night from Hanoi to talk the Cohen testimony and the threats (since rescinded) Gaetz made about Cohen.
“I was happy to do it for you. You just keep killing it,” Gaetz was heard telling him.
(Gaetz told me he doesn’t discuss calls w/POTUS)
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) February 28, 2019
Dovere adds to his reporting that Trump called Gaetz “as he headed into his meetings” with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un. Trump was in Hanoi to broker a denuclearization deal. Talks ended quickly and abruptly, and for the second time there is no deal.
Dovere’s report has not been confirmed by other news outlets.
Gaetz is now facing an investigation by the Florida Bar Association for the threat he made to Cohen. It’s possible the House Ethics Committee could also investigate, especially after Speaker Pelosi suggested they “vigilantly monitor” possible intimidation of witnesses by Members of Congress.
Former Obama Office of Government Ethics chief Walter Shaub weighed in on Dovere’s report that Trump had called Gaetz, suggesting the Florida Bar use that information as part of its investigation:
.@TheFlaBar, this is relevant to your investigation of @mattgaetz: (1) he threatened a committee witness; (2) he’s not a committee member; (3) his allegations were not raised in the hearing, suggesting he had no basis; and now (4) he reportedly admitted to doing it for Trump.
— Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) February 28, 2019
Trump Told a Reporter Off the Record Russia Was Falsely Accused of Interfering in US Election: Report
The New York Times is reporting on President Donald Trump‘s five “mystery” meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In the wide-ranging and lengthy article, several odd and disturbing events stand out.
First, video of President Trump in July of 2017 at a G-20 dinner, the one where First Lady Melania Trump sat next to Putin and President Trump later went to speak with Putin without any U.S. officials present.
What was especially odd about that dinner was, aside from there is no record of what the two world leaders said to each other, this video that was not widely reported on.
Here’s how The Times describes it:
“Videotape later made public showed Mr. Trump pointing at Mr. Putin, who was seated across and down a long table, then pointing at himself and then making a pumping motion with his fist.”
Here is that video. It’s hard to make out and the quality is poor but President Trump can be seen in the lower left corner of the image:
Here’s Donald Trump desperately trying to get Vlad’s attention at the G20 dinner. pic.twitter.com/5sIKuJvtu8
— Jennifer Hayden (@Scout_Finch) July 19, 2017
Also disturbing is that President Trump, according to The Times, a day after that G-20 Summit, called a Times reporter and told them that Russia was wrongly accused of interfering in the U.S. election.
Again, direct from The Times:
“The day after the two meetings, as Mr. Trump was on Air Force One taking off from Germany heading back to Washington, he telephoned a Times reporter and argued that the Russians were falsely accused of election interference. While he insisted most of the conversation be off the record, he later repeated a few things in public in little-noticed asides.”
One more aspect of the Times article that has received the most attention.
President Trump “said that he raised the election hacking three times and that Mr. Putin denied involvement. But he said Mr. Putin also told him that ‘if we did, we wouldn’t have gotten caught because we’re professionals.’ Mr. Trump said: ‘I thought that was a good point because they are some of the best in the world’ at hacking.”
- News2 days ago
New Bombshell Book on Trump Reveals He Wanted to Be Treated Like Hitler: ‘Totally Loyal’
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM3 days ago
Trump Rambles for 108 Minutes in CPAC Speech Filled With ‘Unapologetic Fascism’: Report
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM19 hours ago
‘God Anointed Him’: Christian Right Expert Explains Conservative Outrage After FBI Raided Trump’s Mar-a-Lago
- BREAKING NEWS2 days ago
Travis McMichael Gets Life Prison Sentence for Killing of Ahmaud Arbery
- BREAKING NEWS1 day ago
FBI Has Executed a Search Warrant at Mar-a-Lago: ‘My Beautiful Home Is Under Siege’ Trump Says
- News23 hours ago
‘I’d Be Advising My Client to Tell Their Family I’m Looking at Jail Time’: Mueller Prosecutor on the FBI’s Trump Raid
- News2 days ago
Less Than Half of Florida Voters Would Choose ‘Polarizing’ DeSantis New Poll Finds
- COMMENTARY2 days ago
‘It’s So Gross’: NY Times Blasted for Negative Reporting on Biden by ‘Blindered Horse-Race Analysts’