Get over the election already! Sorry Trumpies that’s not gonna happen

Local EPD apologist and Tommy McClain hater Violet sent us this:

Get over the election already!
So what if there were a few Facebook pages rallying Trump supporters.
It’s no worse than the millions spent by Hollywood rallying support for Hillary.
Apparently, it’s okay for Democrats to have scandalous support, but not for Republicans?

Why not cover real news, like Comey’s lies and Hillary’s email? There is ACTUAL evidence of law breaking by Comey and Hillary, yet you keep chasing your pipe dream of tripping Trump; give up, he’s MUCH smarter than you or the MSM.

We thought this debate between Tucker Carlson and Rob Reiner seemed like a good response

Filmmaker Rob Reiner handed it to Tucker Carlson Thursday when the Fox News host tried to belittle the importance of Russia’s invasion in the U.S. election.

Carlson began by wondering why Reiner wasn’t demanding Trump send in the F-15 fighters to bomb St. Petersburg if his new ad says “we’re at war.” Reiner tried to explain that it’s a cyber war, which Carlson refuted.

“If you watch the entire video, it talks about cyberwarfare” Reiner explained. “It talks about how he was able to use the internet and cyber tools to attack the U.S. democracy, which is what they did.”

Carlson told Reiner that he should clarify in the video “we’re not really at war,” dismissing the hacking of a democracy as a serious issue.

Reiner again encouraged Carlson to watch the full video where it explains what the cyberwar was about and how it was conducted according to intelligence. He named off the various ways we now know the Russians, or people connected to Russia, were using the internet to help attack Hillary Clinton and boost Donald Trump. He admitted that we’re accustomed to propaganda being used in elections, what is unique in this situation was the use of propaganda to specifically target and advertise to those in swing states on Facebook.

Carlson tried to accuse Reiner of colluding with far-right warmongers who’ve supported full on violent wars in the past and wondered why he would align himself with these types of people as a liberal. Reiner explained very simply that people on both sides of the political aisle believe Russia invaded the U.S. when it sought to impact American democracy.

“We’re not advocating going to war, or going to a traditional war,” Reiner said.

“Well, you should say that,” Carlson demanded.

“But we’re already in a cyber war with them,” Reiner countered. “People want to turn their heads at that and it’s at their own peril. The point I’d like to make, and this is really important for people to understand because this doesn’t have anything to do with Donald Trump. Trust me, Donald Trump, whatever happens to him, is going to happen to him, I mean there are already investigations. Muller is going to find what he finds. The House and Senate have their own investigations. They’ll find whatever they find. But beyond that, we’ve been invaded in a certain way and the thing that has been so upsetting to me, I don’t know how old you are Tucker, but when I was young we had to hide under a desk because we were worried we were going to get attacked by a nuclear bomb.

He went on to say that when the country has been attacked in the past, whether 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, “we’ve come together as a country to defend ourselves against foreign enemies.” America isn’t doing that here for the first time in our history. That is a major reason why it is important to him that people see the video.

Carlson said that Hollywood doesn’t care about China hacking the US websites and government agencies and that they build movies with the Chinese censors in mind. Reiner countered that the difference is that we’ve done the same to China. Russia stepped into influence an election and that was “game over.”

“It’s not about hacking into computers and stealing information, it’s about using that information and weaponizing it in some way,” Reiner explained. He went on to say he wants people to encourage policymakers to put things in place so that we can protect ourselves as a country.

video link here:

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/09/watch-rob-reiner-smacks-down-tucker-carlson-for-belittling-importance-of-russias-election-meddling/

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Russia’s military show of force shakes up Europe, with Trump in charge we should worry too

The Russian Military dominates the Arctic these days and now they have Europe very concerned with their latest moves

TALLINN/VILNIUS (Reuters) – From planes, radar screens and ships in the Baltics, NATO officials say they are watching Russia’s biggest war games since 2013 with “calm and confidence”, but many are unnerved about what they see as Moscow testing its ability to wage war against the West.

NATO believes the exercises, officially starting on Thursday in Belarus, the Baltic Sea, western Russia and the Russian exclave of Kaliningrad, are already underway. It says they are larger than Moscow has publicized, numbering some 100,000 troops, and involve firing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.

Codenamed Zapad or “West”, NATO officials say the drills will simulate a conflict with the U.S.-led alliance intended to show Russia’s ability to mass large numbers of troops at very short notice in the event of a conflict.

“NATO remains calm and vigilant,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said last week during a visit to an Estonian army base where British troops have been stationed since March.

But Lithuania’s Defense Minister Raimundas Karoblis was less sanguine, voicing widely-felt fears that the drills risk triggering an accidental conflict or could allow Moscow to leave troops in neighboring Belarus.

“We can’t be totally calm. There is a large foreign army massed next to Lithuanian territory,” he told Reuters.

Some Western officials including the head of the U.S. Army in Europe, Gen. Ben Hodges, have raised concerns that Russia might use the drills as a “Trojan horse” to make incursions into Poland and Russian-speaking regions in the Baltics.

The Kremlin firmly rejects any such plans. Russia says some 13,000 troops from Russia and Belarus will be involved in the Sept. 14-20 drills, below an international threshold that requires large numbers of outside observers.

NATO will send three experts to so-called ‘visitor days’ during the exercises, but a NATO official said these were no substitute for meeting internationally-agreed norms at such exercises that include talking to soldiers and briefings.

Moscow says it is the West that threatens stability in eastern Europe because the U.S.-led NATO alliance has put a 4,000-strong multinational force in the Baltics and Poland.

Wrong-footed by Moscow in the recent past, with Russia’s seizure of Crimea in 2014 and its intervention in Syria’s war in 2015, NATO is distrustful of the Kremlin’s public message.

In Crimea, Moscow proved a master of “hybrid warfare”, with its mix of cyber attacks, disinformation campaigns and use of Russian and local forces without insignia.

One senior European security official said Zapad would merge manoeuvres across Russia’s four western military districts in a “complex, multi-dimensional aggressive, anti-NATO exercise”.

“It is all smoke and mirrors,” the official said, adding that the Soviet-era Zapad exercises that were revived in 1999 had included simulated nuclear strikes on Europe.

NATO officials say they have been watching Russia’s preparations for months, including the use of hundreds of rail cars to carry tanks and other heavy equipment into Belarus.

As a precaution, the U.S. Army has moved 600 paratroopers to the Baltics during Zapad and has taken over guardianship of the airspace of Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, which lack capable air forces and air defense systems.

NATO‘S NEXT MOVE?

Russia’s military show of force raises some uncomfortable questions for the alliance because NATO cannot yet mass large numbers of troops quickly, despite the United States’ military might, NATO officials and diplomats said.

NATO, a 29-nation defense pact created in 1949 to deter the Soviet threat, has already begun its biggest modernization since the Cold War, sending four battalions to the Baltics and Poland, setting up an agile, high-readiness spearhead force, and developing its cyberspace defenses.

But NATO has deliberately taken a slowly-slowly approach to its military build-up to avoid being sucked into a new arms race, even as Russia has stationed anti-aircraft and anti-ship missiles in Kaliningrad, the Black Sea and Syria.

“The last thing we want is a military escalation with Russia,” said one senior NATO official involved in military planning, referring to Zapad.

In the event of any potential Russian incursion into the Baltics or Poland, NATO’s new multinational forces would quickly need large reinforcements. But a 40,000-strong force agreed in 2015 is still being developed, officials say.

Lithuania’s Karoblis said he hoped to see progress by the next summit of NATO leaders in July 2018.

Baltic politicians want more discretion given to NATO to fight any aggressor in the event of an attack, without waiting for the go-ahead from allied governments.

During Zapad, NATO is taking a low-key approach by running few exercises, including an annual sniper exercise in Lithuania. Only non-NATO member Sweden is holding a large-scale drill.

NATO Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe James Everard told Reuters there was no need to mirror Zapad. “It’s not a competition,” he said during a visit to NATO forces in Latvia.

Fearing Russia, Sweden holds biggest war games in 20 years

GOTHENBURG, Sweden (Reuters) – Neutral Sweden has launched its biggest war games in two decades with support from NATO countries, drilling 19,000 troops after years of spending cuts that have left the country fearful of Russia’s growing military strength.

On the eve of Russia’s biggest maneuvers, since 2013, which NATO says will be greater than the 13,000 troops Moscow says are involved, Sweden will simulate an attack from the east on the Baltic island of Gotland, near the Swedish mainland.

“The security situation has taken a turn for the worse,” Micael Byden, the commander of the Swedish Armed Forces, said during a presentation of the three-week-long exercise.

Sweden, like the Baltics, Poland and much of the West, has been deeply troubled by Russia’s 2014 annexation of Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula Crimea and its support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.

“Russia is the country that affects security in Europe right now with its actions – the annexation of the Crimea and continued battles in eastern Ukraine – so it is clear that we are watching very closely what Russia is doing,” Byden said.

Around 1,500 troops from the United States, France, Norway and other NATO allies are taking part in the exercise dubbed Aurora.

Non-NATO member Sweden has decided to beef up its military after having let spending drop from over 2 percent of economic output in the early 1990s to around 1 percent, and is re-introducing conscription.

Sweden’s soldiers attend the Aurora 17 military exercise in Gothenburg, Sweden September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Johan Ahlander

The armed forces, which at one point could mobilize more than 600,000, stand at just 20,000, with 22,000 more Home Guard volunteers.

NATO generals say the Aurora exercise is not a response to Russian exercises that start on Thursday.

French soldiers work in weapon systems during the joint NATO exercise ‘Aurora 17’ at Save airfield in Goteborg, Sweden September 13, 2017. Henrik Brunnsgard/TT News Agency/via REUTERS

But Byden, speaking as U.S. and French forces displayed mobile surface-to-air missile systems to be deployed during the exercise, stressed the importance of NATO for Sweden.

“We are a sovereign country that takes care of and is responsible for our safety. We do this together with others, ready to both support and receive help,” he said.

The United States shipped vehicles by sea from Germany, while France brought others by train. They are to be moved via a classified route to Sweden’s east coast for the exercise where U.S. attack helicopters will play the enemy during Aurora.

The government is determined to stick to the country’s formal neutrality. Sweden has not fought a war since it clashed with Norway in 1814.

But like its non-NATO neighbor Finland, Sweden has been drawing closer to NATO, allowing closer cooperation with alliance troops, with a view to working together in the event of an armed conflict.

 

Trump’s Russian dream deal that never happened


WASHINGTON – In the third month of Donald Trump’s presidency, Vladimir Putin dispatched one of his diplomats to the State Department to deliver a bold proposition: The full normalization of relations between the United States and Russia across all major branches of government.
The proposal, spelled out in a detailed document obtained by BuzzFeed News, called for the wholesale restoration of diplomatic, military and intelligence channels severed between the two countries after Russia’s military interventions in Ukraine and Syria.
The broad scope of the Kremlin’s reset plan came with an ambitious launch date: immediately.
By April, a top Russian cyber official, Andrey Krutskikh, would meet with his American counterpart for consultations on “information security,” the document proposed. By May, the two countries would hold “special consultations” on the war in Afghanistan, the Iran nuclear deal, the “situation in Ukraine,” and efforts to denuclearize the “Korean Peninsula.” And by the time Putin and Trump held their first meeting, the heads of the CIA, FBI, National Security Council, and Pentagon would meet face-to-face with their Russian counterparts to discuss areas of mutual interest. A raft of other military and diplomatic channels opened during the Obama administration’s first-term “reset” would also be restored.
“This document represents nothing less than a road map for full-scale normalization of US-Russian relations,” said Andrew Weiss, the vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, after reviewing the proposal provided by BuzzFeed News.
Besides offering a snapshot of where the Kremlin wanted to move the bilateral relationship, the proposal reveals one of Moscow’s unspoken assumptions – that Trump wouldn’t share the lingering US anger over Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 election and might accept a lightning fast rapprochement.
“It just ignores everything that caused the relationship to deteriorate and pretends that the election interference and the Ukraine crisis never happened,” said Angela Stent, a former national intelligence officer on Russia during the George W. Bush administration who also reviewed the document.
As of today, only a small fraction of the dozens of proposed meetings have taken place — and many of the formalized talks appear unlikely to happen as Moscow and Washington expel one another’s diplomats and close diplomatic facilities in a tit-for-tat downward spiral.
The Russian Embassy in Washington declined to discuss the document. “We do not comment on closed bilateral negotiations which is normal diplomatic practice,” the embassy said in a statement.
Officials at the White House and State Department declined to say who delivered the document but did not dispute its authenticity. They denied giving the Russians explicit indications that their proposal was feasible. When asked how Moscow got the impression that its terms might be acceptable, a spokesperson for the National Security Council cited misleading news reports about Trump’s infatuation with Russia. “Frankly, I would point more to media coverage than administration overtures,” the spokesperson said.
Of course, Russian officials could simply have listened to Trump’s extensive public remarks, which repeatedly touted the benefits of engagement with Moscow as recently as February. “I would love to be able to get along with Russia,” Trump said at a news conference.
Yet despite Trump’s warm rhetoric, the actual level of engagement between the United States and Russia since the president took office has been fairly limited outside of the open channels used by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley and the White House.
Under Secretary of State Tom Shannon and his Russian counterpart Sergei Ryabkov have held on-and-off discussions on irritants in the US-Russia relationship, but have little to show for it. On Syria, State Department diplomats Michael Ratney and Brett McGurk have held regular discussions with Russian counterparts to discuss a modest ceasefire confined to the southwest of the country. On Ukraine, Special Envoy Kurt Volker’s discussions with his Russian counterpart have only just gotten off the ground.
The Pentagon, meanwhile, has been openly skeptical of engagement with the Russians as it maintains a limited deconfliction channel in Syria. In February, Gen. Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, met his Russian counterpart, Gen. Valery Gerasimov, in Azerbaijan, but was quick to point out that the meeting did not portend increased cooperation with Russia in Syria or anywhere else. The two met again in Turkey in May.
Defense Secretary James Mattis has also downplayed expectations for cooperation, telling reporters in February, “We are not in a position right now to collaborate on a military level.”
CIA Director Mike Pompeo traveled to Moscow in May for talks with Russian intelligence officials, but an agency spokesman declined to discuss the nature of the meeting.
In pushing its reset plan, Moscow seemed to underestimate the political blowback the Trump administration would face if it carried out a large scale rapprochement amid high-profile investigations by the FBI and Congress into allegations of collusion with Russia.

“Putin doesn’t seem to understand that Trump’s powers are not the same as his,” said Steven Pifer, a Russia expert at the Brookings Institution. “The checks and balances, the special prosecutor and congressional investigations have tied Trump’s hands in ways that didn’t occur to Putin.”
When asked if he is disappointed in Trump, given early hopes of improved relations, Putin has responded frostily.
“Your question sounds very naive,” Putin told a reporter at a press conference in China last week. “He is not my bride, and I am not his groom.”
“Each country has its own interests,” he added.
Still, the decision by the US Congress to slap new sanctions on Russia in August, which prompted Moscow to force the firing or transfer of hundreds of US employees in Russia, which in turn prompted the US to shutter Russia’s consulate in San Francisco, is not what Russia’s parliament presumably hoped for when it burst into applause the night of Trump’s surprise election victory over Hillary Clinton.
“When the Russians submitted this proposal, they were under the impression that Trump would do what he said he would do: Make a deal with Putin and normalize relations,” said Stent, who is also director of Eurasian studies at Georgetown University.
“That’s a reflection of the way their own system works,” she said. “If Putin wants something done, the Duma is compliant, the Ministry of Defense is compliant. But in the US, a lot of these things aren’t in the purview of the White House even if you have a president who is inclined.”
A senior State Department official acknowledged that Moscow’s initial expectations were unrealistic. In a July meeting between Tillerson and Lavrov in Hamburg, Tillerson stressed that a broader rapprochement wasn’t possible absent positive Russian action on Ukraine, the official said.
Moscow’s eagerness to dictate new bilateral meetings has at times irritated State Department officials, two US officials said. At a summit in Manila in August, for example, Lavrov left a bilateral meeting with Tillerson and began telling reporters that America’s special envoy for Ukraine would soon travel to Moscow to discuss the Ukraine crisis. US officials, however, had not agreed to hold the meeting in Russia and later demanded it happen elsewhere. The Americans ultimately prevailed, and the meeting took place in Minsk, the capital of Belarus.
Despite recent disappointments, the Kremlin hasn’t given up hope for normalized ties with the United States, even if it is still threatening to expel more diplomats and sue Washington over the closure of its US facilities. In an interview two weeks ago, Moscow’s new ambassador to Washington, Anatoly Antanov, made a passing reference to the March proposal and suggested the offer was still on the table. “We have always been interested in constructive interaction with Washington on the entire bilateral and international agenda,” Antanov told a Russian news outlet.
But as the White House faces the glare of multiple Russia probes, it has done little to pressure the Pentagon or State Department to engage their Russian counterparts. And absent a push, America’s risk-averse national security bureaucracy is unlikely to move forward on its own, especially given the nomination of prominent Russia hawks in senior positions, such as Wess Mitchell, a Kremlin skeptic slated to become the top US diplomat to Europe and Russia.
“There may not be a willingness by the US to go back to business as usual given that Russia policy on Ukraine and Syria hasn’t changed,” said Pifer.
In an apparent reference to Tillerson’s hawkish advisers, Putin told a business forum last week that the former ExxonMobil CEO has “fallen in with bad company.”
The State Department says it remains open to better ties. “We’ve told the Russians that the path to normalization runs through Ukraine,” a State Department official said.
As written, Russia’s offer from March contains numerous meetings with proposed deadlines that came and went. Perhaps the most forlorn proposal was one calling on both governments to work toward “resuming and promoting mutually beneficial trade and investment cooperation.” Five months after the proposal was delivered, Congress overwhelmingly passed legislation that slapped new economic sanctions on Russia while barring Trump from terminating previous sanctions without a congressional review.
Another ambitious proposal called for relaunching a pair of bilateral working groups on cyber security and counterterrorism originally started in 2009 as a part of Barack Obama’s sweeping “reset” with Russia. In July, that proposal looked as if it might succeed when Trump tweeted that he discussed “forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit” with Putin. But after a widespread backlash from Republicans, the president quickly reversed himself. “The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t,” he later tweeted.
The initial cybersecurity group launched under Obama was plagued by infighting as the Russian side tried to assert the right of governments to control information, which the American side rejected. “It never went anywhere,” a former official who participated on the US side said. “And with the Russian use of cyber as an instrument in Ukraine and then against us in 2016, the challenge became even greater.”
But even a bilateral channel mired in gridlock can offer Moscow something appealing: The optics of being a seen as a global power going toe-to-toe with the Americans. ●

Direct connection with Russian news organizations and election interference

WASHINGTON — The FBI recently questioned a former White House correspondent for Sputnik, the Russian-government-funded news agency, as part of an investigation into whether it is acting as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

As part of the probe, Yahoo News has learned, the bureau has obtained a thumb drive containing thousands of internal Sputnik emails and documents — material that could potentially help prosecutors build a case that the news agency played a role in the Russian government “influence campaign” that was waged during last year’s presidential election and, in the view of U.S. intelligence officials, is still ongoing.

The emails were turned over by Andrew Feinberg, the news agency’s former White House correspondent, who had downloaded the material onto his laptop before he was fired in May. He confirmed to Yahoo News that he was questioned for more than two hours on Sept. 1 by an FBI agent and a Justice Department national security lawyer at the bureau’s Washington field office.

Feinberg said the interview was focused on Sputnik’s “internal structure, editorial processes, and funding.”

“They wanted to know where did my orders come from and if I ever got any direction from Moscow,” Feinberg told Yahoo News. “They were interested in examples of how I was steered towards covering certain issues.”

It is not clear whether the agent and prosecutor who questioned Feinberg were acting as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s broader investigation into Russian efforts to disrupt the 2016 election and possible links to the Trump campaign. “We are not confirming whether specific matters are or are not part of our ongoing investigation,” a spokesman for Mueller emailed. A spokesman for the Justice Department declined to comment, and the FBI did not respond to questions.

But the inquiry comes at a time when members of Congress and others have pushed the Justice Department to strengthen its enforcement of the FARA, especially as it relates to the operations in Washington of two Russian news organizations, Sputnik and RT (formerly known as Russia Today).

“This is incredibly significant,” said Asha Rangappa, a former FBI counterintelligence agent and now an associate dean of Yale Law School, about the bureau’s questioning of the former Sputnik reporter. “The FBI has since the 1970s taken pains not to be perceived in any way as infringing on First Amendment activity. But this tells me they have good information and intelligence that these organizations have been acting on behalf of the Kremlin and that there’s a direct line between them and the [Russian influence operations] that are a significant threat to our democracy.”

Sputnik is owned by Rossiya Segodnya, a Russian government media operation headed by Dmitri Kiselyov, a belligerent television broadcaster who is known as Putin’s “personal propagandist” and has been sanctioned by the European Union in response to Russia’s intervention in Ukraine. On its website, Sputnik describes itself as a “modern news agency” that “covers global political and economic news targeting an international audience.”

Contacted by Yahoo News, Sputnik’s U.S. editor in chief, Mindia Gavasheli, said, “Any assertion that we are not a news organization is simply false.” He also said he was unaware of the FBI probe. “This is the first time I’m hearing about it, and I don’t think anyone at Sputnik was contacted, so thank you for letting us know,” Gavasheli said.

Gavasheli attributed the push to have Sputnik register through FARA to paranoia surrounding Russia. “I think it tells about the atmosphere of hysteria that we are witnessing now,” Gavasheli said. “Anything being related to Russia right now is being considered a spycraft of some sort.”

Both Sputnik and RT were identified in a U.S. intelligence report in January as being arms of Russia’s “state-run propaganda machine” that served as a “platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international audiences.” As an example, the report said, Sputnik and RT “consistently cast President-elect Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional US media outlets that they claimed were subservient to a corrupt political establishment.”

The investigation appears to center on whether Sputnik should be covered by the foreign agents registration law, a 1938 act passed by Congress to combat Nazi propaganda. The law mandates that foreign entities seeking to influence American public opinion and engage in lobbying must file detailed reports with the Justice Department on their funding and operations. If the Justice Department concludes that Sputnik is covered by the law, its executives in the U.S. could face criminal charges and fines, while the news agency’s reports would have to be explicitly labeled as foreign propaganda rather than presented as news.

There is an exemption under the law for media organizations that engage in legitimate news-gathering activity. But Feinberg, the former Sputnik reporter, said the FBI agent and Justice prosecutor who interviewed him focused their questions on how Sputnik determined what stories it would cover, where its directions came from and what he knew about its sources of funding.

(Yahoo first learned about the FBI inquiry from a U.S. intelligence source. Feinberg then confirmed he was interviewed and showed the business cards of the FBI agent and Justice Department lawyer who questioned him.)

While his instructions as White House correspondent came from the senior editors and news directors at Sputnik’s Washington office, Feinberg said these supervisors regularly “would say, ‘Moscow wants this or Moscow wants that.’”

The thumb drive of emails and other documents that Feinberg turned over to the FBI contains messages that could shed light on Sputnik’s funding, its operations in Washington and how it makes editorial decisions. It includes documents Feinberg submitted on behalf of Sputnik to obtain congressional press credentials in which he confirmed that the Russian government is the company’s main funding source.

The questioning of Feinberg, Sputnik’s former White House correspondent, came just two weeks after Yahoo News published an interview in which he claimed he was fired by Sputnik’s D.C. bureau chief for refusing orders to ask the president’s press secretary about a since-discredited Fox News report in a televised briefing. That report claimed that WikiLeaks obtained internal Democratic National Committee emails not from material hacked by Russian intelligence services, as the U.S. government has asserted, but from a low-level DNC staffer, Seth Rich, who was murdered on the streets of Washington in July 2016. (Fox has since retracted the report.)

Feinberg, who first made his allegations on May 26, the day he left Sputnik, has also claimed the company pushed him to ask questions that suggested the Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad, who is a staunch ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was not behind chemical attacks in that country. Feinberg said the interviewers specifically asked him about a piece he wrote detailing these claims that was published by Politico on Aug. 21. A spokeswoman for Sputnik has previously denied Feinberg’s allegations and told Yahoo News his contract with the company “was not renewed due to performance-related issues.”

The FBI reached out to Feinberg shortly after another former Sputnik staffer, Joseph John Fionda, sent a letter to the Justice Department’s national security division detailing a series of similar accusations against the news organization and requested that it be investigated for FARA violations.

In a brief conversation over an encrypted messaging app, Fionda told Yahoo News he also sent “a big packet” of information to the division on or about Aug. 15.

In his letter to Justice, Fionda  said he was employed by RIA Global LLC, a media company associated with Sputnik, from Sept. 5 to Oct. 19, 2015. During that time, Fionda wrote, Sputnik conducted “a perception management information warfare program” about Russia’s military involvement in Syria. He said the news organization falsely described Russia’s targets in that country as “terrorists” affiliated with the jihadist group ISIS when, he asserted, the Russian forces were actually bombing other anti-Assad rebel groups.

In another instance, Fionda said, an article he wrote in September 2015 about President Obama’s repatriation of Guantánamo detainees to a number of countries was “censored” to omit any reference to the fact that six of the detainees were being sent back to Russia, where they were later imprisoned.

Fionda said his last straw with Sputnik came on Oct. 19, 2015, after excerpts of private emails from then-CIA Director John Brennan were published by a hacker on Twitter. He claimed Gavasheli, Sputnik’s U.S. editor in chief, asked him to “obtain the CIA Director’s stolen emails” from the hacker.

“I refused because I believed this was a solicitation to espionage,” Fionda wrote.

When he refused the order, Fionda wrote that Gavasheli told him to “get the f— out of my office” and then fired him. Gavasheli, in his interview with Yahoo News, denied this and said Fionda was fired after falsely claiming his father was ill in order to take time off from work.

The probe into Sputnik also comes shortly after the Russian news agency announced a significant expansion in the U.S. capital: It took over a popular Washington FM radio station dedicated to playing bluegrass music and replaced it with an all-talk format with hosts who regularly criticize U.S. policies — as well as one co-host who is a former Breitbart News reporter and Trump supporter. “I’m sure you heard a lot about us,” Gavasheli was quoted as saying by the Washington Post. “Now you can actually listen to us.”

https://www.yahoo.com/amphtml/news/sputnik-russian-news-agency-investigation-fbi-090024231.html

Trump pal Roger Stone: Trump’s removal from office would lead to a Civil War

Video here:

https://www.youtube.com/6e8ffebc-acb4-448a-80b0-3b5cb3f1607b

Daily Beast reports:

Roger Stone: Any Politician Who Votes To Impeach Trump “Would Be Endangering Their Own Life”

Roger Stone, a former Trump campaign advisor and personal friend of the president, says if Congress votes to impeach President Donald Trump, there will be all-out Civil War in the U.S.

“The people who are calling for impeachment are the people who didn’t vote for him. They need to get over it,” Stone said to TMZ in an airport baggage claim on Wednesday this week.

“They lost. Their candidate had every advantage: They spent two billion dollars, we spent $275 million. Sorry, we whipped their ass. It is over. You lost,” he said.

He added, warning: “Try to impeach him. Just try it. You will have a spasm of violence –an insurrection– in this country like you have never seen before… Both sides are heavily armed, my friend.”

“This is not 1974,” Stone, who worked in the White House during Nixon’s resignation, added. “People will not stand for [the impeachment of President Trump]. Any politician who votes for it would be endangering their own life.”

He explained: “There will be violence on both sides. Let me make this clear: “I’m not advocating violence, I am predicting [violence].”

Asked if he is saying that Trump’s removal from office would lead to a Civil War, Stone said: “Yes, that is what I think will happen.”

 

Fox News Insider says:

Former Trump adviser Roger Stone believes a civil war would ensue if Congress impeaches President Donald Trump.

Speaking to TMZ at the Los Angeles International Airport on Wednesday, Stone was asked what he believes would happen if Congress moves to strip Trump of his power.

“The people who are calling for his impeachment are the people who didn’t vote for him. They need to get over it. They lost. Their candidate had every advantage,” he said, pointing out that the Hillary Clinton campaign spent $2 billion dollars compared to the Trump campaign’s $275 million.

“Sorry, he whipped her a**. It’s over. You lost,” Stone said. “Try to impeach him. Just try it. You will have a spasm of violence in this country, an insurrection, like you’ve never seen.”

Hannity and the alt-Right are colluding with the Russians again. Target: H.R. McMaster

The knives are coming out for H.R. McMaster

Whether McMaster is ousted or not, efforts to undermine him both inside and outside the West Wing seem to be well underway.

Twitter accounts that have been linked to Russian influence operations have jumped on the anti-McMaster bandwagon, too, using hashtags like #FireMcMaster and #deepstate, according to a newly launched website that aims to track Russian propaganda efforts in real time
http://dashboard.securingdemocracy.org/

On Friday, the top and trending websites the accounts were sharing were the Circa story about McMaster letting Rice keep her security clearance. Shares of a Breitbart story titled “NSC Purge: McMaster ‘Deeply Hostile to Israel and to Trump'” have increased by 2,300% since Wednesday, according to the site, and “clearance,” “McMaster,” and “Susan Rice” were among the top and trending topics.

Allies of White House chief strategist Steve Bannon intensified their battle against national security adviser H.R. McMaster this week as McMaster began asserting more control over the National Security Council and fired officials appointed by his immediate predecessor, Michael Flynn.

The dismissals of Ezra Cohen-Watnick, Rich Higgins, and Derek Harvey have exacerbated friction between McMaster and the White House’s more nationalist wing, which is led by Bannon and has President Donald Trump’s ear.

“There is a split in the White House between the Bannon camp of ideologues and the McMaster-Mattis-Tillerson camp of more centrist intellectuals,” Pete Mansoor, a retired Army colonel who worked closely with McMaster, told Politico. “And this conflict is playing out in real time as the Trump administration tries to flesh out its foreign policy and national security policy.”

John Kelly’s recent move from homeland security secretary to White House chief of staff should ensure McMaster’s independence and control over the NSC — for now.

But the nationalists may have a competitive advantage: Trump, who already thinks McMaster is a “pain” who talks too much and has complained to aides that he wants Flynn back at the White House, is reportedly considering sending McMaster to replace Gen. John Nicholson as the top commander of American and NATO troops in Afghanistan.

“What the nationalists are saying about McMaster: ‘He wants to send more troops to Afghanistan, so we’re going to send him,'” Axios’ Mike Allen reported Thursday.

McMaster has gone to bat for Trump in the past. He defended him to reporters after Trump disclosed Israeli intelligence to Russian diplomats in the Oval Office. And he said he “would not be concerned” if Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, had asked to set up a secret back-channel method of communication with Moscow during the transition period.

But right-wing media outlets like Breitbart have long harbored suspicions about McMaster, who persuaded Trump to stay away from the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” in a speech to Middle Eastern leaders in Saudi Arabia earlier this year.

Michael Warren, a writer for The Weekly Standard, told CNN on Friday that Bannon and his allies saw McMaster’s sudden purge of Flynn appointees as an overt attempt to sabotage Trump’s agenda.

Laura Ingraham, a conservative political commentator and Trump ally, on Thursday tweeted, “Obama holdovers at NSC or State Dept who are leaking [should] do real time for these leaks,” and questioned why McMaster had “fired actual Trump supporters.”

Since the firings, administration officials speaking anonymously to conservative-leaning news outlets have accused McMaster of being “anti-Israel” and opposing “everything the president wants to do.”

One former NSC official told The Daily Caller that McMaster was a “sycophant” of retired Gen. David Petraeus. The official seemed to try to appeal directly to the president’s ego, adding that he didn’t understand why Trump was “allowing a guy who is subverting his foreign policy at every turn to remain in place.”

On Thursday, a letter McMaster wrote to Susan Rice, a national security adviser during the Obama administration, allowing her to keep her security clearance was leaked to Circa — an outlet seen as friendly to Trump. Circa paired the letter, which immediately stirred outrage in far-right circles, with quotes from anonymous West Wing officials claiming it undermined the president’s judgment.

“What is this? Does H.R. McMaster need to go? Susan Rice? Omg,” Sean Hannity, a Trump ally and Fox News host who dined with the president last week, tweeted on Thursday.

“H.R. McMaster is a Deep State Plant who Opposes the Trump Agenda,” tweeted Mike Cernovich, a prominent far-right provocateur who describes himself as an “American nationalist.”

Cernovich set up a website this week called McMaster Leaks, on which he alleged the general had “been leaking information to David Petraeus and has had direct contact with George Soros,” a billionaire, left-leaning philanthropist and frequent bogeyman of the far right.

“America needs Rich Higgins in office, not HR McMaster,” tweeted Frank Gaffney, the president of the Center for Security Policy, a far-right think tank. He added that if McMaster weren’t “fired for sabotaging” Trump’s agenda, “it will be the McMaster administration.”

“Why is Gen McMaster making decisions without even informing Gen Kelly?” tweeted Jack Posobiec, a far-right internet activist and pro-Trump conspiracy theorist. “Is this proper chain of command?”

By Natasha Bertrand Aug. 4, 2017 Business Insider

http://www.businessinsider.com/hr-mcmaster-steve-bannon-russia-trolls-2017-8

A lot more on the story here:

http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/why-is-the-alt-right-attacking-h-r-mcmaster/

 

Putin’s got another big treasonous supporter in Congress

Dana Rohrabacher represents California’s 48th District. Orange County California. Congressman Rohrabacher serves as Chairman of the Europe, Eurasia, and Emerging Threats Subcommittee of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and is Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology.

Rohrabacher is a hard right winger and a Trumpster and has won acclaim during his 13 terms from the National Taxpayers Union, Citizens Against Government Waste, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Federation of Independent Business.

 

Financier Bill Browder has accused Rep. Dana Rohrabacher of violating federal sanctions by using information provided by Russian officials to try to convince Congress to overturn those sanctions.

Browder filed a complaint with the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control this week saying Rohrabacher and his staff member, Paul Behrends, violated the Magnitsky Act by taking information from a sanctioned Russian official and using the information to try to change the act.

The act is named for attorney Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison after accusing several prominent Russians of stealing $230 million in taxes. Browder, who was Magnitsky’s boss, persuaded Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act in 2012. It prevents more than 40 prominent Russians involved in the affair from traveling to or banking in the U.S. The act infuriated Russian President Vladimir Putin, who retaliated by halting U.S. adoptions of Russian children.

The complaint relies heavily on a recent Daily Beast report about a memo Rohrabacher received detailing complaints about Magnitsky and Browder during a 2016 meeting in Moscow with a high-ranking Russian justice official who was among those sanctioned under the act.

Congress was considering expanding the act at the time, and there was an intense lobbying effort by a handful of people with Russian ties on Capitol Hill to have Magnitsky’s name removed from it.

In the complaint, Browder alleges Rohrabacher and Behrends “provided services to one of the central figures targeted by the Magnitsky Act” because they got information from the Russian official and used it to try to change the law.

In a statement responding to the complaint, Rohrabacher said he questions why Browder doesn’t want the congressman to get information from multiple sources.

“Anyone who knows me understands that I am the Member of Congress least likely to take directions from government officials, especially foreign government officials. Because of some grotesquely misleading headlines, Mr. Browder flatters himself by claiming that I contemplated conducting a hearing all about him. Perhaps he protests too much,” Rohrabacher said.

Browder testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday and called out Rohrabacher as part of Russian efforts to sway Congress to get rid of the Magnitsky Act. It’s unusual for a sitting member of Congress to be called out by a witness on Capitol Hill, but senators didn’t react to the statement.

“We know for sure that part of their campaign was running around Capitol Hill. One of the people that they were able to convince to go along with them is a member of the House of Representatives from Orange County, Dana Rohrabacher, who they have met with on a number of occasions and who has been effectively touting, or spreading their propaganda around the House of Representatives,” Browder said.

http://www.latimes.com/politics/essential/la-pol-ca-essential-politics-updates-complaint-filed-over-rohrabacher-