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US Podcasts: Trump’s “Fake News” Diversion Over Russia Links

US Podcasts: Trump’s “Fake News” Diversion Over Russia Links
January 12
10:09 2017

As the controversy escalated on Thursday over possible links between Russia and Donald Trump, my University of Birmingham colleague Adam Quinn and I spoke about developments with BBC outlets.

Trump v. Intelligence Services

Listen to Scott Lucas with BBC Radio Hereford on Friday morning

The leak of the [35 memoranda on possible Russia compromise of Trump] may well be because Trump picked a fight with intelligence agencies. For months he said they were inept. He said they were trying to bring him down with claims of Russian hacking of the US election.

The agencies were called out by him, who said, “I don’t believe anything you say,” and now they are hitting back.

Trump’s “Fake News” Diversion

Listen to Scott Lucas with BBC Radio Hereford, after the Trump press conference

After an initial discussion of President Obama’s legacy (see also US Podcast: Obama Says Goodbye — But What Has He Accomplished?, the conversation turned to Trump’s press conference.

What Trump has done is to avoid dealing with any of the allegations specifically by saying they are “fake news”. He has accused the media of spreading it, he refused to take a question from CNN, and he is accusing his own intelligence agencies of disseminating “fake news”.

We now live in an era where Trump, using Twitter for example, throws smoke here, there, and everywhere so we are never quite sure what is real.

What is real is that there are serious questions about not only his policies but his character, even before he takes office.

“Throwing Up Smoke”

Listen to Scott Lucas with BBC Radio Scotland

Trump is going to throw up smoke to avoid reality and to bully the rest of us to do that as well.

“He is the Author of His Own Misfortunes”

Listen to Adam Quinn with BBC Radio 5 Live about Trump’s press conference

Donald Trump is the author of his own misfortunes, to some extent. He’s been extremely non-transparent about his finances —- if he had been more open about those, we could be much more able to establish in a thorough, public way what connections, if any, he does have with Russia.

“Republican Senators Are Very Concerned”

Adam Quinn’s summary for the BBC News Channel, before Trump’s press conference

I think if Donald Trump was more keen to cooperate and was transparent, then he would probably have fewer problems.

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About Author

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas

Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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44 Comments

  1. Andre De Angelis
    Andre De Angelis January 12, 10:25

    Clapper agrees with Trump and news outlets maintain their claims in the dossier are unsubstantiated.
    “The outgoing U.S. director of national intelligence has extended an olive branch of sorts to Donald Trump — denouncing media leaks, casting skepticism on a report that Russia has damaging material on the president-elect, and assuring Trump that America’s spies stand ready to serve him”

    Reply to this comment
    • gunny
      gunny January 12, 14:37

      Angelis, Where are your efforts to deny facts?
      ================================
      It`s a bombshell story, emerging on the eve of Trump’s first news conference as president-elect: U.S. intelligence officials had presented Trump with claims that Russia had amassed compromising personal and financial allegations about him.
      ==
      The purported Russian efforts were described in a newly released and uncorroborated dossier produced in August. But they had circulated more widely in Washington in October — following early reports and opaque warnings from elected officials that something was afoot involving the Kremlin and Trump.
      ==
      In October, Mother Jones magazine described how a former Western spy — assigned to look into Trump’s Russian ties for a private American firm — had presented his findings to the FBI in August. Those findings, the magazine said, were produced for political opposition research and said that Russian intelligence had compromised Trump during his visits to Moscow — information that, if true, could be used to blackmail him or undermine his presidency.
      ==
      The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday identified the dossier’s author as
      =============================================================
      Christopher Steele, a director of London-based Orbis Business Intelligence Ltd.
      =============================================================
      , whom the Journal said declined repeated requests for interviews through an intermediary. Another Orbis director told the Journal he wouldn’t “confirm or deny” that Orbis had produced the report..
      ==
      In October, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wrote to the FBI asking it to publicly disclose what it knew about any Trump campaign ties to Russia.
      ==
      “It has become clear that you possess explosive information about close ties and coordination between Donald Trump, his top advisers, and the Russian government — a foreign interest openly hostile to the United States, which Trump praises at every opportunity.
      ==
      The public has a right to know this information,” Reid wrote on Oct. 30.
      ==
      Looks like if denying isn`t the right answer to find out the deeper ties between Donald Trump and thge russian regime . .

      Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis January 12, 23:33

        What point are you trying to make Gunny?

        Neocon senator John McCain, friend of Ukrainian fascists and Trump enemy, passed (<-details) the "report" to the FBI and thereby made it into an official document.

        Reading your own post, what do you not understand about "The purported Russian efforts were described in a newly released and uncorroborated dossier produced in August“?

        assigned to look into Trump’s Russian ties for a private American firm — had presented his findings to the FBI in August

        That too is false. Neocon senator John McCain, friend of Ukrainian fascists and Trump enemy, passed the “report” to the FBI and thereby made it into an official document.

        In October, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wrote to the FBI asking it to publicly disclose what it knew about any Trump campaign ties to Russia.

        What was political theater by Reid in light of Clinton’s Houma Abedein email scandal. Reid was furious at Comey for the leak about the investigation into Clinton’s breach of secrecy laws so close to the election.

        Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis January 13, 02:58

        In October, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid wrote to the FBI asking it to publicly disclose what it knew about any Trump campaign ties to Russia.

        Question: Why did Reid do this? The DNC already paid for a copy of the dossier, so why did the DNC not release the dossier to the public? It was a produced by a private company therefore not classified.

        Was Reid trying to pressure the FBI into giving legitimacy to the allegations by suggesting they were based on US intelligence?

        Reply to this comment
  2. Andre De Angelis
    Andre De Angelis January 12, 10:26

    All news outlets but Buzzfeed refused to publish the claims because none could corroborate the allegations. Clapper claims the only reason he even presented the dossier to Trump was to inform him that it was floating around.

    The New York Times even denounced the dossier as fake news.

    Reply to this comment
    • Scott Lucas
      Scott Lucas Author January 12, 11:51

      If you believe this, you have not read the coverage but are just citing a Trump-Russia disinformation point.

      Mother Jones published the claims back in October. CNN published an exclusive on the claims, including support for possible credibility, as an exclusive — before the Buzzfeed publication of the 35 memoranda.

      Clapper has *not* said the only reason for presentation to Trump was information, thereby implying that there is no investigation. The quote in your previous comment from Politico is a distortion of Clapper’s actual statement — he did not speak directly about the report but said the intelligence community had not relied upon it.

      The New York Times has not denounced the dossier as “fake news”.

      Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis January 12, 23:15

        Scott,

        You’re conflating reporting about the existence of the dossier with reporting about the allegations contained in it. The Mother Jones piece released no details other than mentioning Harry Reid’s diversionary theatrics at the time (to protect Clinton from the email scandal) and the now debunked story about Trump’s Russian server.

        CNN reported no details either and Jake Tapper went on the air after the Trump press conference to explicitly deny CNN had published any details either (other than to refute Buzzfeed’s error about Trump’s lawyer visiting Russia). According to Tapper, none of the allegations could be corroborated. In fact, this defense was cited by CNN against Trump’s accusations they were putting out fake news.

        It wasn’t just CNN and Mother Jones who had the dossier since October. The dossier was being shopped around in October to all the major news outlets and none wanted to touch it because they smelled BS written all over it. This was clearly part of a coordinated smear campaign initiated by Trump’s political opponents.

        The allegations are so baseless that the key taking point has shifted from the veracity of the allegations but to the credibility of the former MI6 agent who produced it. The narrative being that if he is credible, then so must the allegations.

        As for the NYT, it reported that Buzzfeed’s release had raised serious questions about journalistic ethics. Buzzed also admit that none of the allegations are corroborated but are arguing that they believe it’s up to he public to decide. That epitomes the justification for the release of fake news.

        Reply to this comment
        • Scott Lucas
          Scott Lucas Author January 12, 23:24

          Andre,

          Some news organizations such as CNN are not reporting on specific allegations not because they have declared them “BS” — that’s your attempt at dismissal — but because 1) they consider the claims unsubstantiated and 2) they are self-censoring some of the lurid details.

          Happy for you to portray your own judgements but don’t attribute to the news organizations to try to give them any weight.

          Scott

          Reply to this comment
          • Andre De Angelis
            Andre De Angelis January 13, 00:17

            Scott,

            None of the allegations were published until Buzzfeed released the 35 pages. Even the Mother Jones piece from October was very vague about the allegations in the dossier.

            Was is surfacing is this. The dossier was shopped around to a number of news outlets and only Dvid Corn of Mother Jones reported on it until this week when CNN reported on the existence of the dossier by no details about the allegations.

            What’s also surfacing is the chain of custody of the dossier to the FBI. The report was commissioned for the purpose of discrediting Donald Trump by a private firm hired by Trump’s political opponents in the GOP and DNC.

            The FBI would not have considered the dossier without a Senator like John McCain laundering it to give it some legitimacy. McCain apparently received the dossier from a former UK ambassador who in turn received it from the source.

            McCain is now giving the unconvincing account that he was just being a concerned US citizen passing on information to the relevant authorities. This is the same McCain who has a rabid hatred of Russia and is desperate to reignite a Cold War with Russia.

            Reply to this comment
            • Scott Lucas
              Scott Lucas Author January 13, 07:45

              The dossier was not “shopped around” to news organizations by the compiler of the intelligence, Christopher Steele. He was concentrating on getting the FBI to pursue an investigation.

              It was the anti-Trump Republican group that commissioned the report who went to media outlets, including BBC, in late October amid frustration that FBI was slow in follow-up and was instead publicly announcing the re-opening of investigation into Hillary Clinton’s e-mails.

              As CNN noted clearly in the story that broke the news this week, the difference now from October is that US intelligence community, after initial investigation, believe Steele is “reliable” in the compilation of the dossier.

              Reply to this comment
              • Andre De Angelis
                Andre De Angelis January 13, 08:36

                Not shopped around Scott?

                “Dossiers compiled by the former British intelligence official have been circulating in Washington for months. Several news organizations, including The Washington Post, have been attempting to confirm many of the specific allegations without success.” (Source: Washington Post, January 10, 2017)

                The compiler of the intelligence, Christopher Steele, was concentrating on getting the FBI to pursue an investigation. Some news organizations — including CNN — knew of this but did not report because — if any of them had any of the memoranda — they could not verify.

                There were two chains of custody. One leafing to the FBI (via McCain) and the other to the news outlets. The dossier ended up in the hands of CNN, Buzzfeed, Mother Jones, Washington Post, New York Times, Politico and McClatchy.

                As CNN noted clearly in the story that broke the news this week, the difference now is that US intelligence community, after initial investigation, believed Steele was “reliable”.

                According to Elliot Engel and his sources, the release of the 2 page summary was a shot across Trump’s bow by the intelligence community.

                The dossier contains a number of typos, misspellings and in one section, the date of 2015 instead of 2016 is given. The formatting of the document has also been called into question.

    • gunny
      gunny January 12, 19:23

      Trump dossier: intelligence sources vouch for credibility of report’s author
      =========================================================
      =========================================================
      Ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele, named as writer of Donald Trump memo, is ‘highly regarded professional’.
      ==
      His denials – at least some of them – were emphatic, even by the standards that Donald Trump has come to be judged by. The dossier, he said, was a confection of lies; he compared it to Nazi propaganda; it was fake news spread by sick people.
      =
      At his press briefing on Wednesday, the president-elect dared the world’s media to scrutinise the 35 pages of claims, before throwing down a challenge – where’s the proof? Nobody had any. Case closed.
      =
      But in the rush to trample all over the dossier and its contents, one key question remained. Why had America’s intelligence agencies felt it necessary to provide a compendium of the claims to Barack Obama and Trump himself?
      =
      And the answer to that lies in the credibility of its apparent author, the ex-MI6 officer Christopher Steele, the quality of the sources he has and the quality of the people prepared to vouch for him.
      =
      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/12/intelligence-sources-vouch-credibility-donald-trump-russia-dossier-author

      Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis January 13, 00:19

        Trump dossier: intelligence sources vouch for credibility of report’s author

        It is interesting how the focus has been on the credibility of the author, but not the report itself, even though a glaring error has already been exposed regarding claims one of Turmp’s lawyers went to Prague to meet with Russian officials.

        Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis January 13, 03:18

        Trump dossier: intelligence sources vouch for credibility of report’s author

        I wonder if they still vouch for his intelligence.

        Why is this highly credible and experienced intelligence officer now in hiding? Did it not occur to him that he would be putting himself at risk by producing this dossier for clients who’s intention was to make it public?

        Surely he would have anticipated that he would have been identified eventually.
        Surely, if he was knowingly putting his life at risk, he would have insisted that the report not be released to the public to protect his identity.
        Surely, he would have gone to ground sooner – day after he Mother Jones report by David Corn, rather than wait till now
        Remember, he is not working for a government intelligence agency but his own private firm which one assumes he started to make money, so you would have to dismiss the claim he did this out if patriotism.

        So is he possibly the dumbest former intelligence officer on the planet or just a fraud?

        Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis January 13, 07:32

        Trump dossier: intelligence sources vouch for credibility of report’s author

        Almost immediately after it was published, the farcical nature of the “dossier” manifested. Not only was its author anonymous, but he was paid by Democrats (and, before that, by Trump’s GOP adversaries) to dig up dirt on Trump. Worse, Steele himself cited no evidence of any kind but instead relied on a string of other anonymous people in Russia he claims told him these things. Worse still, the document was filled with amateur errors.

        Investigative reporter, Richard Engel, appeared on Rachel Maddow. He has heard these allegations for months and has been investigating them in Russia, Europe, the US. He’s contacted leading experts as have other reporters. No reporter has been able to find a thing. Nothing. Claims of videos but no one has seem them.

        Engel asks why the intel community would produce a 2 page report now and suddenly release it. Engle said that he was told the intel community did it because they are angry and they are putting Trump on notice to stop being so nice to Russia. He said he would treat this with a lot of caution.

        Chuck Schumer himself said a few days ago that Trump was being foolish to take on the IC as they had the power to destroy him.

        The irony of all this is that it looks like the US intelligence community are the ones engaging in “Kompromat”.

        Reply to this comment
  3. Mustapha
    Mustapha January 12, 11:51

    He didn’t even become president yet and he’s already making a show,Trump will destroy America from the inside while exposing the Russians for the criminals they’re along the way.

    Reply to this comment
  4. gunny
    gunny January 12, 14:47

    US intel sources warn Israel against sharing secrets with Trump administration
    ==============================================================
    Donald Trump’s upcoming inauguration as the next president of the US is causing Israeli intelligence officials to lose sleep as well.
    =
    Discussions held in closed forums recently raised fears of a leakage of Israeli intelligence top-classified information, clandestine modus oprandi and sources, which have been exposed to the American intelligence community over the past 15 years, to Russia – and from there to Iran.
    =
    The cause of concern are the suspicions of unreported ties between Trump or his associates and the Kremlin, whose agents are also associated with intelligence officials in Tehran.
    =
    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4906642,00.html
    =
    These fears, which began upon Trump’s election, grew stronger following a meeting held recently between Israeli and American intelligence officials (the date of the meeting is not mentioned to protect the sources of the report). During the meeting, according to the Israelis who participated in it, their American colleagues voiced despair over Trump’s election, as he often lashes out at the American intelligence community. The American officials also told the Israelis that the National Security Agency (NSA) had “highly credible information” that Russia’s intelligence agencies, the FSB and GRU, were responsible for hacking the Democratic Party (DNC) servers during the elections and leaking sensitive information to WikiLeaks, which hurt Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
    =
    The American officials further added that they believed Putin had “leverages of pressure” over Trump – but did not elaborate. They were apparently referring to what was published Wednesday about embarrassing information collected by the Russian intelligence.

    Reply to this comment
  5. gunny
    gunny January 12, 15:15

    Up to now the russian cyber war was successful
    ======================================
    At present it`s an allegation, and such is the deterioration of Trump’s relationship with the US intelligence, but also its credibility in general, that the claim that they have investigated the source and find it believable.
    =
    It`s time to find out more evidence about the claims otherwise it will widen the dangerous divide within American society
    =.
    But that`s exactly what Putin and the Kremlin wants.
    =
    Whether damning proof of complicity with an antagonistic foreign power, or a piece of raw anti-Trump disinformation, at present this cache of documents is probably more effective than any number of hours of programming by Russia’s RT television station – which emerged as the star of the recent and deeply flawed open source on the hacking case – in turning America against itself.
    =
    http://www.raamoprusland.nl/dossiers/het-kremlin/418-the-trump-dossier-dynamite-or-disinformation
    =
    Looks like if it`s time .to take action against the Russian war against the West.
    =
    President Barack Obama took unprecedented steps to retaliate against Russian interference in the 2016 election, prompting vows from Russian authorities that Moscow will respond.
    =
    The administration described Russia’s involvement as “Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities” and sanctioned 4 Russian individuals and five Russian entities for what it said was election interference. The administration also ordered 35 Russian diplomats to leave the country and two Russian compounds are being closed..
    =
    Elections during the year 2017 are important for the future of western countries. The West can`t leave the Russian War against western countries unanswered.If US & Europe he wants to preserve the integrity & and sovereignty of it`s nations.

    Reply to this comment
  6. gunny
    gunny January 12, 15:29

    DNI Clapper Statement on Conversation with President-elect Trump, Wednesday, January 11, 2017
    ==
    https://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/224-press-releases-2017/1469-dni-clapper-statement-on-conversation-with-president-elect-trump

    Reply to this comment
    • Andre De Angelis
      Andre De Angelis January 12, 23:36

      Thanks for the link Gunny. It looks like Politico did in fact correctly quote Clapper when he expressed regret about the leaks and refused to confirmed that the Dossier has not been considered by the US intelligence community.

      Reply to this comment
  7. incyprus
    incyprus January 12, 15:36

    Is it me or non of those bbc audio/video files play…?

    Reply to this comment
    • Don Cox
      Don Cox January 12, 18:43

      I think BBC video works only if you are in Britain. Viewers are supposed to have a British TV license.

      Reply to this comment
      • Scott Lucas
        Scott Lucas Author January 12, 18:49

        incyprus/Don,

        Apologies — we are putting up more audio files, including an interview with Dr Quinn.

        Scott

        Reply to this comment
    • Don Cox
      Don Cox January 12, 18:50

      At least Trump can’t be blackmailed over this particular orgy (assuming it happened). Blackmail of this kind is a threat to publish, and it has been published, so there can be no threat.
      .
      Doesn’t every important person who goes to Russia know that the hotel rooms are bugged ? Perhaps people who never read books don’t know.

      Reply to this comment
  8. gunny
    gunny January 12, 15:48

    The Kremlin does not collect compromising materials,” Dmitry Peskov told.
    ===========================================================
    History suggests otherwise.
    =
    In 1999, Russia’s prosecutor-general,Yuri Skuratov, launched an investigation into corruption in the administration of then-President Yeltsin. After parliament rebuffed Yeltsin’s attempt to fire Skuratov, a grainy video surfaced on state television of a man, identified as the prosecutor, cavorting with two prostitutes. Skuratov was initially suspended but later got the ax, just as he claimed to be moving in on high-level corruption.
    =
    Former Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov attends an annual meeting of opposition and human rights activists in Moscow on Dec. 12, 2016.
    =
    More recently, Mikhail Kasyanov, a former Putin crony, got a taste of kompromat. According to media reports, Kasyanov was being flagged as a possible competitor to Putin in next year’s presidential election. But in the spring of 2016, video was broadcast on a state-controlled, pro-Putin television channel that purported to show Kasyanov and a female opposition activist having sex and speaking contemptuously about other opposition figures.
    =
    The Russian online tabloid Life News regularly publishes sensational and scandalous reports. Treisman said the publication is believed to have sources within Russia’s Federal Security Service, or FSB, the successor agency to the KGB.
    =
    In its classic form, as with Skuratov and Kasyanov, kompromat often takes the form of embarrassing information of a sexual nature — sometimes the result of entrapment.
    =
    To this day, foreign diplomats are warned to beware of “honey traps” — enticement to perform intimate acts, often in hotel rooms, that are then surreptitiously recorded on video.
    =
    “It’s a long-standing spy technique that was widely used during Soviet times so there is a certain degree of skill and tradition, but it’s not a technique that is exclusive to the Russians,” said Chris Chivvis, associate director of the International Security and Defense Policy Center and a senior political scientist at Rand Corp.
    =
    And such information is often collected solely on “spec” — compiled but never used, kept on hand just in case.
    =
    http://www.latimes.com/world/europe/la-fg-russia-kompromat-20170111-story.html
    =
    That`s exactly what is waiting for Trump after Russian security sercices have collected compromising material about Trump when he had visited Russia Trump, who had long tried to do real estate deals in Russia, had teamed up with Aras Agalarov, a billionaire oligarch close to Vladimir Putin (whose son is a popular pop singer). The glitzy event, which included a swanky after-party, drew various Russian notables, including a member of Putin’s inner circle and an alleged Russian mobster. Trump later boasted that he had mingled with “almost all of the oligarchs.” Trump had hoped that Putin would attend the pageant—tweeting months earlier, “if so, will he become my new best friend?”—but the Russian leader was a no-show.
    =
    During Trump’s stay in Moscow, US intelligence experts note, he would have been a natural and obvious target for Russian intelligence. At the time, Trump was a prominent American, an international businessman, and a celebrity. He was also deeply involved in US politics. He had almost run for president in 2000 and nearly did so again in 2012, and he had been a leading foe of President Barack Obama, having pushed the conspiracy theory that Obama had been born in Kenya.
    =
    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/12/russian-intelligence-trump-moscow
    =
    Russians had begun this kind of war against the west.
    If the West does not find any answers to these attacks, these events will hunt Donald Trump for the next 4 years.
    =
    But maybe that’s what Trump wants.Putin and his warriors will want this war in any case.

    Reply to this comment
  9. gunny
    gunny January 12, 18:54

    Le Pen Spotted at Trump Tower During Unannounced New York Visit
    ======================================================
    French National Front leader Marine Le Pen was spotted at Trump Tower during an unannounced visit to New York less than four months before France’s presidential election.
    =
    An aide to Le Pen, who leads in the latest opinion poll for the presidency, declined to comment on her reason for being in the lobby of the building on Thursday. Le Pen waved off reporters when approached.
    =
    https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-12/le-pen-in-new-york-for-unannounced-visit-during-french-race
    =
    Marine le Pen, can truly be branded as a fascist.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2015/03/20/french-courts-yes-its-okay-to-call-marine-le-pen-a-fascist-or-worse/?utm_term=.7d8cc6f827da
    =
    Marine le Pen is the french bomb who would like to let explode the European Union after the french election – if she is going to win After Niqel Farage from the english UKIP is one of the best political friends of Trump and the english Tories are presumably hijacked by right wing populists. like Leadsom, Davis and Johnson Marine le Pen can be the true explosive of the European Union.
    =
    Looks like if behind the curtain Donald Trump is collecting and gathering the extreme right wing enemies of the European Union. The fascist Marine le Pen Is financially supported by the chief of Fascists in Europe called Putin.
    =
    If Marine le Pen has existing connections with Trump and if she is also supported by Trump 2017 will be more catastrophic than 2016. If so than Europe is sitting between two enemies wanting to destroy the European Union.
    =
    Time to fight Trump uncompromising before he will enter office. .

    Reply to this comment
    • Andre De Angelis
      Andre De Angelis January 12, 23:38

      Marine le Pen, can truly be branded as a fascist.

      I am surprised McCain and Nuland have not rushed to give her a war welcome and pose for official pictures as they did with indisputable fascist and neo nazis like Oleh Tyahnybok

      Reply to this comment
  10. Andre De Angelis
    Andre De Angelis January 12, 23:48

    The claims in the dossier are already falling apart.

    The report alleges that one of Trump’s lawyer’s ,, Michael Cohen, met with Russian officials in Prague who were involved in the hacks on the Democratic National Committee. It turns out Cohen has never been to Prague or left the country.

    Reply to this comment
    • gunny
      gunny January 13, 14:17

      Cohen has visited Prague but he is denying it.
      = .

      Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis January 14, 02:08

        False. The FBI has confirmed Cohen did not go to Prague.

        What Osborn about Prague that neocon dirty tricks operatives are so obsessed with. Prague was the setting of another lie they spread back in 2002, about Iraqi government officials having a meeting with Mohammad Attah

        Reply to this comment
  11. Andre De Angelis
    Andre De Angelis January 13, 00:02

    Another point I forgot to mention was the the FBI presented the dossier to the FISA court and that much of their request was denied. Evidently, the Obama administration had to replace the judge with a more agreeable one.

    Reply to this comment
    • Scott Lucas
      Scott Lucas Author January 13, 07:41

      Source?

      Reply to this comment
      • Andre De Angelis
        Andre De Angelis January 13, 08:38

        The Guardian has learned that the FBI applied for a warrant from the foreign intelligence surveillance (FISA) court over the summer in order to monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials. The FISA court turned down the application, asking FBI counter-intelligence investigators to narrow its focus. According to one report, the FBI was finally granted a warrant in October, but that has not been confirmed, and it is not clear whether any warrant led to a full investigation. [The Guardian]

        https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts

        Reply to this comment
        • Scott Lucas
          Scott Lucas Author January 13, 09:13

          Correct — the BBC’s Paul Wood confirmed that the FISA warrant was issued for an investigation of two Russian banks and possible connections with three Trump officials, with Trump the ultimate target of the investigation.

          The FISA warrant is not connected to Steele’s intelligence dossier, as you said initially. Nor did the Obama Administration put in a “more amenable” judge, as you claim.

          Reply to this comment
          • Andre De Angelis
            Andre De Angelis January 13, 23:35

            There were 3 attempts to obtain a FISA warrant with the first 2 attempts being rejected.

            The final application was granted in October under a different judge.

            There is not disputing this.

            Reply to this comment
            • Scott Lucas
              Scott Lucas Author January 14, 00:31

              Rejected 1st time in June. Re-filed and asked to narrow focus in July. Accepted in October with a new judge, but with no evidence that he/she was appointed by Obama Administration to push through the warrant — that’s your spin.

              Reply to this comment
              • Andre De Angelis
                Andre De Angelis January 14, 02:11

                Rejected in June with advise to narrow focus. Rejected in July again with advise to narrow focus.
                I admit there is no evidence Obama appointed judge though it would not be unheard of for the FBI to have approached a different judge they were hoping would be more agreeable

              • Scott Lucas
                Scott Lucas Author January 14, 07:07

                FBI is not allowed to approach a different judge just to appeal a decision.

              • Andre De Angelis
                Andre De Angelis January 14, 03:26

                Scott,

                I suggest you go back and re-read what Wood wrote.

                ” Their first application, in June, was rejected outright by the judge. They returned with a more narrowly drawn order in July and were REJECTED AGAIN. Finally, before a new judge, the order was granted, on October the 15th, three weeks before election day.”

                So remind me who is spinning?

              • Scott Lucas
                Scott Lucas Author January 14, 06:58

                Wood compresses the second incident — the instructions from 2nd judge were specifically to narrow scope of enquiry. Outcome was definition of electronic intercepts of the two Russian banks with respect to targets.

  12. Andre De Angelis
    Andre De Angelis January 13, 02:55

    Scott,

    The more one looks at the story, the more holes appear.

    1. We are told the report was commissioned by Republican opponents of Tump and produced in August

    2. The DNC paid money towards the dossier once Trump became the GOP nominee.

    3. As Clapper has told us, the dossier was not produced by a government agency therefore was never classified

    4. Harry Reid make a public demand for the FBI release to this report

    5. The report was shopped around to media outlets in October, with only David Corn of Mother Jones running with i

    6. John McCain passed on the report to the FBI.

    7. The report and allegations contained in the dossier only came out a day prior to Trump’s first press conference, and a week after the redacted (and very unconvincing) report into Russian hacking was released to the public

    8. The author, who we are told is a highly respected former intelligence officer with 20 years experience on Russian matters, has suddenly gone to ground fearing for his life

    This raises some serious questions.

    1. Having paid a credible intelligence agent for this report, why did Trump’s republican opponents nor the DNC make these allegations public?

    2. If the DNC did indeed pay for a copy of the dossier, why did Harry Reid publicly demand the FBI release it? Why did the DNC not release it, even if through indirect channels? Was Reid trying to mask the orgin of the dossier and trick the public into believing it was based on government intelligence?

    Was it to pressure the FBI to give credibility to a dossier that was not produced by a government intelligence agency?

    I would be interested to hear your thoughts.

    3. Why is this highly credible and experienced intelligence officer now in hiding? Did it not occur to him that he would be putting himself at risk by producing this dossier for clients who’s intention was to make it public?

    Surely he would have anticipated that he would have been identified eventually.

    Surely, if he was knowingly putting his life at risk, he would have insisted that the report not be released to the public to protect his identity.

    Surely, he would have gone to ground sooner – day after he Mother Jones report by David Corn, rather than wait till now

    Remember, he is not working for a government intelligence agency but his own private firm which one assumes he started to make money, so you would have to dismiss the claim he did this out if patriotism.

    Reply to this comment

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