The Mueller investigation and other federal prosecutors are looking into a working breakfast meeting attended by Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA), who emerged after the election as a member of the Trump Transition Team, and later, as President Donald Trump’s top defender in the House.
“The Special Counsel’s Office and federal prosecutors in Manhattan are scrutinizing a meeting involving former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, one-time National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, and dozens of foreign officials,” The Daily Beast reports.
The breakfast “took place at 8:30 a.m. at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 18, 2017—days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration. About 60 people were invited, including diplomats from governments around the world.”
Federal investigators are looking into how funds from the Trump inaugural committee were spent, and if they were misused. They are also looking “into whether foreigners contributed money to the Trump inaugural fund and PAC by possibly using American intermediaries.”
That would be illegal.
Nunes has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but “pushed a misleading memo alleging misconduct in the FBI investigation of Trump’s associates that the bureau said contained ‘material omissions of fact that fundamentally impact the memo’s accuracy,'” The Daily Beast notes.
This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. This story will be updated, and NCRM will likely publish follow-up stories on this news. Stay tuned and refresh for updates.
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Conservative Writer Lays Out Damning Evidence: 18 Reasons That Show Trump May Be a Russian Agent
Conservative writer Max Boot laid out a detailed case showing that President Donald Trump could be a Russian asset — but he can’t find any evidence to disprove that theory.
The national security analyst examined publicly reported evidence of Trump’s business and personal ties to Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, and found 18 reasons to believe the president may be working against U.S. interests, Boot wrote for the Washington Post.
The FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation of Trump after he fired former FBI director James Comey, and that work may still be ongoing under special counsel Robert Mueller, who has indicted Russians and former Trump campaign officials for activity during the 2016 campaign.
Boot summarized the president’s business dealings with Russia, and listed numerous examples of Trump siding with Putin against U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies, and listed other examples of his strange and troubling behavior regarding the foreign adversary.
“I can’t think of anything that would exonerate Trump aside from the difficulty of grasping what once would have seemed unimaginable: that a president of the United States could actually have been compromised by a hostile foreign power,” Boot wrote.
Trump claims he has been tougher on Russia than any other president, but Boot said most punitive measures against the Kremlin have come from Congress or Trump aides — and he pointed out the president had been “furious” over these measures.
“This is hardly a ‘beyond a reasonable doubt’ case that Trump is a Russian agent — certainly not in the way that Robert Hanssen or Aldrich Ames were,” Boot wrote. “But it is a strong, circumstantial case that Trump is, as former acting CIA director Michael Morell and former CIA director Michael V. Hayden warned during the 2016 campaign, ‘an unwitting agent of the Russian federation’ (Morell) or a ‘useful fool’ who is “manipulated by Moscow” (Hayden).”
“If Trump isn’t actually a Russian agent, he is doing a pretty good imitation of one,” he added.
Redaction Error Shows Mueller Is Accusing Manafort of Sharing 2016 Polling Data With Suspected Russian Spy
A redaction error in a court filing by Paul Manafort’s attorney on Tuesday appears to reveal the former Trump presidential campaign chairman is being accused by Robert Mueller of “sharing polling data” from the 2016 presidential campaign with his business partner, who has been described as a suspected Russian intelligence agent or former “spy.”
According to a report from Talking Points Memo, “Manafort’s attorneys appear to have made a mistake in the filing, allowing redacted portions to be revealed via copying and pasting the text to a new document. Most of what’s revealed relates to Manafort associate Konstantin Kilimnik, a Russian national who Mueller has linked to a Russian intel agency.”
TPM adds, “Manafort’s attorneys write that he ‘conceded’ to special counsel prosecutors that he discussed a ‘Ukraine peace plan’ with Kilimnik ‘on more than one occasion,’ and that he is accused of lying to the government about ‘sharing polling data with Mr. Kilimnik related to the 2016 presidential campaign.'”
The Washington Post notes that the “apparently inadvertent revelation indicates a pathway by which the Russians could have had access to Trump campaign data.”
UPDATE: 4:04 PM ET –
On MSNBC former Assistant Director for Counterintelligence at the FBI, Frank Figliuzzi, describes Kilimnik as a “known” Russian agent.
NY Times Bombshell: Russian Trolls Extensively Targeted Black Americans – Tried to Suppress Democratic Turnout
A bombshell New York Times report reveals the Russian troll operation on social media platforms was far more extensive than first understood. One major aspect of a report prepared for the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee finds Russia “extensively” and “specifically” targeted Black Americans.
Russia’s Internet Research Agency (I.R.A.), owned by a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, used not only Facebook and Twitter, but also YouTube, Reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Vine, Google+, and especially Instagram.
“The Russian influence campaign on social media in the 2016 election made an extraordinary effort to target African-Americans, used an array of tactics to try to suppress turnout among Democratic voters and unleashed a blizzard of posts on Instagram that rivaled or exceeded its Facebook operations, according to a report produced for the Senate Intelligence Committee,” the Times reports.
Two reports have been prepared for the Senate Intelligence Committee.
One of the reports, by a company called New Knowledge, reveals the “most prolific I.R.A. efforts on Facebook and Instagram specifically targeted black American communities and appear to have been focused on developing black audiences and recruiting black Americans as assets.”
In that same report, “researchers discovered many examples of the Russian operators building an audience with one theme and then shifting to another, often more provocative, set of messages. For instance, an Instagram account called @army_of_jesus_ first posted in January 2015 images from The Muppet Show, then shifted to The Simpsons and by early 2016 became Jesus-focused. Multiple memes associated Jesus with Mr. Trump’s campaign and Satan with Mrs. Clinton’s.”
Russian trolls worked both to support Donald Trump and to attack Hillary Clinton.
“While the right-wing pages promoted Mr. Trump’s candidacy, the left-wing pages scorned Mrs. Clinton while promoting Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate,” the Times states. “The voter suppression effort was focused particularly on Sanders supporters and African-Americans, urging them to shun Mrs. Clinton in the general election and either vote for Ms. Stein or stay home.”
Whether such efforts had a significant effect is difficult to judge. Black voter turnout declined in 2016 for the first time in 20 years in a presidential election, but it is impossible to determine whether that was the result of the Russian campaign.
The paper describes it as “the Russian effort to sway American opinion and divide the country, which the authors said continues to this day.”
Read the entire Times report here.
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