“Our enemies are innovative and resourceful, and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and our people, and neither do we.” - George W. Bush

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Last Post
































That's all folks

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The End of the New World Order




Let us find graceful ways to restore the trade balance

From Harold Seneker, Fair Lawn, NJ, US

Take a long-term look at the US trade deficit from 1950 onwards and you can see that US trade was in trivial deficit for many years.

Deficits began worsening in the 1980s, and have really plunged since the mid-1990s, when Nafta, other trade deals and the massive expansion of Chinese imports into the US took hold in earnest. Since then, deficits have ranged broadly around $500bn a year. The change is quite dramatic.

Two questions come to mind. First, does the world really think such a massive imbalance can continue forever? And second, what do China, Europe and other major creditors think they are going to do with the astronomical numbers of dollars they are piling up, aside from helping the US Treasury finance its budget deficit?

I understand this arrangement helps some nations’ internal political problems, from dealing with recalcitrant French farmers to finding employment for 1bn Chinese, but all things come to an end eventually, and this imbalance must too. After all, a half trillion here, and a half trillion there — after a while it begins to add up to real money.

Perhaps, just perhaps, it might be wiser to work with the US to find graceful ways to restore the trade balance with a minimum of pain, and perhaps even to mutual benefit, rather than act as though redressing an imbalance were an act of war heralding the imminent end of civilisation. One step, which would not hurt exports to the US, might be to buy more US goods and services, rather than block or discourage trade in them.

Really, I buy them all the time, and they aren’t all that bad!
Harold Seneker
Fair Lawn, NJ, US

Sunday, June 10, 2018

Trump renders G7 irrelevant

Europe’s vanishing calm

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

AVIGNON, France | The Rhone River Valley in southern France is a storybook marriage of high technology, traditional vineyards and ancestral villages. High-speed trains and well-designed toll roads crisscross majestic cathedrals, castles and chateaus.

Traveling in a Europe at peace these days evokes both historical and literary allusions. As with the infrastructure and engineering of the late Roman Empire right before its erosion, the Continent rests at its pinnacle of technological achievement.

There is a Roman Empire-like sameness throughout Europe in fashion, popular culture and government protocol — a welcome change from the deadly fault lines of 1914 and 1939.

Yet, as in the waning days of Rome, there is a growing uncertainly beneath the European calm.

The present generation has inherited the physical architecture and art of a once-great West — cathedrals, theaters and museums. But it seems to lack the confidence that it could ever create the conditions to match, much less exceed, such achievement.

The sense of depression in Europe reminds one of novelist J.R.R. Tolkien’s description of the mythical land of Gondor in his epic fantasy “The Lord of the Rings.” Gondor’s huge walls, vaunted traditions and rich history were testaments that it once served as bulwark of a humane Middle-earth.

But by the novel’s time, the people of Gondor had become militarily and spiritually enfeebled by self-doubt, decades of poor governance, depopulation and indifference, paradoxically brought on by wealth and affluence.

Europeans are similarly confused about both their past and present. They claim to be building a new democratic culture. But the governing elites of the European Union prefer fiats to plebiscites. They are terrified of popular protest movements. And they consider voters little more than members of reckless mobs that cannot be properly taught what is good for them.

Free speech is increasingly problematic. It is more dangerous for a European citizen to publicly object to illegal immigration than for a foreigner to enter Europe illegally.

Elites preach the idea of open borders. But people on the street concede that they have no way of assimilating millions of immigrants from the Middle East into European culture. Most come illegally, en masse, and without the education or skills to integrate successfully.

Oddly, less wealthy Central and Eastern Europeans are more astutely skeptical of mass immigration than wealthier but less rational Western Europeans.

Europeans claim to believe in democratic redistribution, but apparently not on an international level. They are torn apart over a poorer Mediterranean Europe wishing to share in the lifestyles of their northern cousins without necessarily emulating the latter’s discipline and work ethic.

Germany wishes to be the good leader that can live down its past by virtue-signaling its tolerance. Yet Berlin does so in an overbearing, almost traditional Prussian fashion. It rams down the throat of its neighbors its politically correct policies on Middle Eastern immigration, mandatory green energy, virtual disarmament, mercantilist trade and financial bailouts. Rarely has such a socialist nation been so hyper-capitalist and chauvinist in piling up trade surpluses.

The world quietly assumes that the rich and huge European Union cannot and will not do much about unscrupulous Chinese trade practices, radical Islamic terrorism, or Iranian and North Korean nuclear proliferation.

Such problems are left to the more uncouth Americans. That unspoken dependency might explain why many Europeans quietly concede that the hated Donald Trump’s deterrent foreign policy and his economic growth protocols could prove in the long term a better deal for Europe than were the beloved Barack Obama’s lead-from-behind and redistributionist agendas.

The European Union’s sole reason to be is to avoid a repeat of the disastrous 20th century, in which many millions of Europeans were slaughtered in world wars, death camps and the great communist terror in Russia.

Yet paradoxically, the European reaction to the gory past often results in an extreme Western sybaritic lifestyle that in itself leads to decline.

European religion has been recalibrated into a secular and agnostic political correctness. Child-raising, if done, is often a matter of having one child in one’s late 30s. Buying a home and getting a job depend more on government ministries than on individual daring and initiative.

Yet the more credible European lesson from the last century’s catastrophes is that too few 20th-century European democracies stayed militarily vigilant. In the 1930s, too few of them felt confident enough in Western democratic values to confront existential dangers in their infancy like Hitler and Stalin.

Atheistic nihilism and a soulless modernism — not religious piety and a reverence for custom and tradition — fueled German and Italian fascism and Russian communism.

Contrary to politically correct dogma, Christianity, military deterrence, democracy and veneration of a unique past did not destroy Europe.

Instead, the culprit of European decline was the very absence of such ancient values — both then and now.

• Victor Davis Hanson, a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, is the author of “The Second World Wars: How the First Global Conflict Was Fought and Won” (Basic Books, 2017).

Friday, June 08, 2018

G6 plus Trump

Trump goes to G-7 and would rather not. The G-6 would rather he not as well. Real estate is all about timing. Trump has assessed that there is no better time to recalibrate the one sided trade deals that the previous administrations of Bush, Clinton, Bush and Obama foolishly made with just about everyone. It will be a short meeting but Trump is holding the cards.

Trump Tweets:

Please tell Prime Minister Trudeau and President Macron that they are charging the U.S. massive tariffs and create non-monetary barriers. The EU trade surplus with the U.S. is $151 Billion, and Canada keeps our farmers and others out. Look forward to seeing them tomorrow.Tweets, current page.  Tweets & replies  Media
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Why isn’t the European Union and Canada informing the public that for years they have used massive Trade Tariffs and non-monetary Trade Barriers against the U.S. Totally unfair to our farmers, workers & companies. Take down your tariffs & barriers or we will more than match you!
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

Prime Minister Trudeau is being so indignant, bringing up the relationship that the U.S. and Canada had over the many years and all sorts of other things...but he doesn’t bring up the fact that they charge us up to 300% on dairy — hurting our Farmers, killing our Agriculture!
Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump

BACKGROUND:

Europe’s economy is looking like the weak link in the global expansion after a slowdown in the first quarter.

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said on Monday that its composite leading indicators show “signs of easing growth momentum” in the eurozone as a whole and its three biggest economies—Germany, France and Italy, Bloomberg reported.
In comparison, the 35-member OECD area and the US show “stable” growth and China’s index points to “tentative signs” of the economy gaining speed.

FRANKFURT--German industrial production and exports declined in April compared with March, giving yet another sign that Europe's largest economy is struggling to gain momentum following a weak start to the year.

Industrial output dropped 1.0% from March while exports slipped 0.3%, the Federal Statistical Office said Friday. Economists polled by The Wall Street Journal had forecast a small increase in industrial production.

"Following a moderate first quarter, industrial production had a weak start to the second quarter," said the economics ministry.

A separate publication on Thursday showed that German manufacturing orders dropped for the fourth straight month in April, signaling that the economic slowdown is stretching into the second quarter.

Germany's economy has started to cool, reflecting similar developments elsewhere in the eurozone. Germany's annualized growth rate slowed to 1.2% in the first quarter from 2.5% in the fourth quarter of last year.

Deutsche Bank AG's DBK, -1.36% DB, +1.41% Chairman Paul Achleitner is considering a merger with rival Commerzbank AG CBK, -2.42% and is speaking with top investors and government officials about the potential tie-up, Bloomberg reported late Thursday. 

Sources told the news outlet there have been no formal talks yet between the two German banks and that a deal isn't seen as imminent. Deutsche Bank said in a statement that the chairman is constantly asked about this matter. "His answer is always the same: 'All the pro and contra arguments can be read in analyst reports and the media. So what do you think? He sees no reason to actively raise this issue." A representative from Commerzbank wasn't immediately available for a comment. Deutsche Bank shares fell 1.5% in Friday's trade, while Commerzbank shares were down 2.8%. The Deutsche Bank stock is down more than 40% year-to-date following a string of bad news. Last week, the U.S. Federal Reserve designated DB's U.S. business in "troubled condition," while S&P Global Ratings downgraded the company over concerns related to its restructuring plans.


Wednesday, June 06, 2018

Obama-era State and Treasury Department officials discreetly issued a special license for the conversion to a major Omani bank and unsuccessfully pressured two U.S. banks to partake in the transaction, all while misleading lawmakers about the activities.

Obama hid efforts to aid Iran's windfall

Team approached U.S. banks for cash conversion after signing of nuclear deal


The Obama administration — despite repeatedly assuring Congress that Iran would remain barred from the U.S. financial system — secretly mobilized to give Tehranaccess to American banks to convert the windfall of cash it received from sanctions relief under the 2015 nuclear deal into dollars, an investigative report by the Senatehas revealed.

A copy of the report, obtained by The Washington Times, outlines how Obama-era State and Treasury Department officials discreetly issued a special license for the conversion to a major Omani bank and unsuccessfully pressured two U.S. banks to partake in the transaction, all while misleading lawmakers about the activities.
The document, compiled by the Senate’s Republican-led chief investigative subcommittee, began circulating Tuesday, just as the Trump administration issued its harshest warnings to date to foreign governments and companies to avoid doing business with Iran or find themselves in the crosshairs of Washington’s reimposition of sanctions as part of Mr. Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

“Companies doing business in Iran face substantial risks, and those risks are even greater as we reimpose nuclear-related sanctions,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Department undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence.

She also called on foreign governments to harden their financial systems against “deceptive” Iranian transactions that ultimately channel money to terrorists.
The Iranian government “uses shell and front companies to conceal its tracks” as part of an elaborate scheme designed to procure cash for the Quds Force of Iran’s militant Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which the U.S. designates as a terrorist organization, Ms. Mandelker said.

She issued the warnings in a speech at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank as Iran announced Tuesday that it was formally moving ahead with preparations to increase its nuclear enrichment capacities — the sharpest response to date by the Islamic republic to Mr. Trump’s pullout from the nuclear accord.

Iranian officials said the increase, while provocative, does not violate its commitments under the nuclear accord.

The president sent shock waves around the world with his May 8 decision to withdraw from the Iran nuclear pact and begin reimposing U.S. sanctions, which the U.S., Europe, China and Russia had collectively lifted in 2015 in exchange for Iran’s promise to curb its suspect nuclear programs and allow international inspections.

While Iran told the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency on Tuesday that it plans only to increase enrichment within limits set by 2015 deal, the announcement came with threats from a top Iranian official that the activities could be quickly expanded. The warning put fresh pressure on European leaders to keep the nuclear accord alive despite Mr. Trump’s withdrawal.

The head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, said Tehran is prepared to dramatically increase its capacity for enrichment but that the work so far is limited to building a facility for assembling the centrifuges. He made the comment a day after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, ordered the increase in capacity and vowed that Iran would preserve its nuclear program despite the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 accord.

Congress out of the loop
The Senate report focuses new scrutiny on the lengths President Obama’s team was willing to go to ensure the deal’s success as it was still being negotiated.
The Senate Homeland Security Committee’s permanent subcommittee on investigations probe contends that the Obama administration went out of its way to keep U.S. lawmakers in the dark about calculated and secretive efforts to give Tehrana back channel to the international financial system and to U.S. banks, facilitating a massive U.S. currency conversion worth billions of dollars.
“Senior U.S. government officials repeatedly testified to Congress that Iranian access to the U.S. financial system was not on the table or part of any deal,” according to a draft copy of the document obtained by The Times. “Despite these claims, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, at the direction of the U.S. State Department, granted a specific license that authorized a conversion of Iranian assets worth billions of U.S. dollars using the U.S. financial system.

“Even after the specific license was issued, U.S. government officials maintained in congressional testimony that Iran would not be granted access to the U.S. financial system,” the report said.

Sen. Rob Portman, the Ohio Republican who chairs the subcommittee, is set to outline his panel’s findings Wednesday.

Under terms of the nuclear deal, Iran was given the right to reclaim billions of dollars in state assets and bank accounts frozen by international sanctions, but it remained “illegal for U.S. persons, entities, and financial institutions to do business with Iran or parties on behalf of Iran.”

The ban included any “intermediary” transactions by U.S. banks to convert currency for Iran — a development that would have elevated the value of the Iranian assets on the global market and allowed Tehran to more easily move the money through the international banking system.

On the day the nuclear deal was implemented in 2015, Tehran had some $5.7 billion worth of assets at Bank Muscat in Muscat, Oman, according to Senate investigators, who said Tehran moved quickly to request access to the U.S. dollar.
On Tehran’s request, Bank Muscat contacted the U.S. Treasury Department’s office of foreign assets control.

According to the Senate report: “Muscat sought to convert $5.7 billion in Omai rials into euros. [But] because the rial is pegged to the U.S. dollar, the most efficient conversion was with an intermediary step through a U.S. bank using U.S. dollars.”

Obama Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in July 2015 that Iran would “continue to be denied access to the [U.S.] financial and commercial market” under the proposed accord, but the Treasury office went ahead with attempts to quietly allow the currency transaction sought by Iran.
“On February 24, 2016, OFAC issued a specific license to Bank Muscat authorizing Iranian assets worth roughly $5.7 billion to flow through the U.S. financial system,” according to the Senate report, which claims the move was made “even though U.S. sanctions prohibited it.”

Even as office of foreign assets control officials directly “encouraged two U.S. correspondent banks to convert the funds,” the Treasury Department continued to deny it was working to facilitate the currency transaction, said the report, which cites a 2016 letter from the department to Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Republican, and Sen. Mark Kirk, Illinois Republican, that contended the Obama “administration has not been and is not planning to grant Iran access to the U.S. financial system.”

The catch, according to Senate investigators, was that neither of the U.S. banks approached by the office of foreign assets control would take on the Iranian currency exchange — in part because of political concerns over the prospect of being found out to have secretly circumvented the remaining ban on U.S. transactions with the Islamic republic.

Despite the Obama administration’s efforts, Iran was ultimately forced to convert its Bank Muscat assets to euros in small increments using European banks and without accessing the U.S. financial system, the Senate investigators said.
Mr. Portman said in a statement Tuesday night that “the Obama administrationmisled the American people and Congress because they were desperate to get a deal with Iran.”

“Despite claims both before and after the Iran deal was completed that the U.S. financial system would remain off limits, the Obama administration issued a specific license allowing Iran to convert billions of dollars in assets using the U.S. financial system,” Mr. Portman said. “The only reason this transaction wasn’t executed was because two U.S. banks refused, even though the administration asked them to help convert the money.”

Such sanctions, he added, “are a vital foreign policy tool, and the U.S. government should never work to actively undermine their enforcement or effectiveness.”
Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.  

Monday, June 04, 2018

The National Security Consequences of the Democrat Lie and The Mueller Inquisition:

Putin invites North Korea's Kim to visit Russia in September

Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to visit Russia during its Eastern Economic Forum.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to visit Russia during its Eastern Economic Forum.PHOTO: AFP
MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russian President Vladimir Putin invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to travel to Russia in September, RIA news agency reported on Monday (June 4), citing Mr Ivan Melnikov, a deputy speaker of the Lower House of Parliament.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who visited Pyongyang last week, passed the North Korean leader an invitation from Mr Putin to visit Russia during its Eastern Economic Forum, which is held in Vladivostok every year, Mr Melnikov said.

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Joe diGenova said Attorney General Jeff Sessions betrayed President Trump and he did not have to recuse himself because this is a "counterintelligence investigation."





Joe diGenova said Attorney General Jeff Sessions betrayed President Trump and he did not have to recuse himself because this is a "counterintelligence investigation." From Wednesday night's Hannity on FNC:
HANNITY: I cannot at this point defend any longer his inaction, in some ways, and that decision to recuse himself the day after he's confirmed. Looked at now what it has done to the country. Your reaction?

JOE DIGENOVA: Well, it was an unforced betrayal of the president of the United States who had appointed him. And here's the problem. The case that was being turned over to Bob Mueller at that time was a counterintelligence investigation. It was not a criminal investigation. Therefore Jeff Sessions did not have to recuse himself. He could have supervised that investigation, stayed in touch with it, been aware of it. And even if criminal matters came up, he would not necessarily have had to recuse himself.

In fact, we now know that it remains basically a counterintelligence investigation. And the only thing that Mueller wants to do is interview the president of the United States for no good reason in order to get evidence so he can refer it to the House of Representatives. There's never going to be an interview. The president should never agree to an interview. And it's very, very sad that Jeff Sessions created this problem by really getting out of something that he never should have gotten out of at that point.

PANDORA’S BOX: Trump/Russia May Expose Extent of “Five Eyes” Allied Spying

A comprehensive timeline of events of the Russia investigation

Over the past month, a number of articles have made reference to the timeline surrounding the Obama administration’s counterintelligence operation into President Donald Trump’s campaign ‘s alleged ties to Russia.
Investigations conducted by Congressional and Senate committees are entering the second year and what has been pieced together by investigators – battling for documents every step of the way – challenges the information the FBI and former senior Obama administration have revealed about the investigation.
Their evidence is at odds with the DOJ/FBI timeline leaked to various news outlets indicating the investigation began in late summer of 2016. These discrepancies make it all the more important that the DOJ and FBI turn over documents to the Congressional oversight committees who are investigating what looks like an abuse and weaponization of the tools used by U.S. federal law enforcement and the intelligence community.
In a December 2017 article, I interviewed numerous intelligence officials and whistleblowers, who say what happened in the Trump campaign is a microcosm of ongoing abuse of the intelligence apparatus and explain why the American public has a right to know what happened.
But the FBI’s Russia/Trump investigation has become more of a Pandora’s box and the revelations lead to multiple unanswered questions on the part of all the players involved.
What was the evidence that allowed the Obama administration to open a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign? We still don’t have an answer but we’re closer than ever to unraveling what happened and why. If the FBI was truly concerned that Russians were trying to influence the campaign, why didn’t the Bureau give a defensive briefing to alert the campaign about these concerns? What role did the offices of the Director of National Intelligence, the CIA and NSA have in the investigation?
Unfortunately, the FBI and DOJ have stonewalled the American public’s right-to-know, along with congressional oversight efforts, and so many questions are left unanswered. What we do know is that a  bulk of the information regarding advisors with the Trump campaign was gathered in England. We also know that Great Britain’s intelligence apparatus, along with other allied nations intelligence networks, were also gathering communications and data on officials of the Trump campaign while overseas.
How much information  shared with the U.S. authorities and what was the nature of intelligence sharing?
Here is what the timeline, based on leaks in the press and information obtained by lawmakers, reveals and why it is so important that the President and Congress do everything in their power to find out what happened and wrap up this investigation.

FLYNN, PAGE, PAPADOPOULOS AND STEELE:
A TIMELINE OF EVENTS


Late 2015 (No date specified): According to several former and current western intelligence sources who spoke to this reporter, the investigations into President Donald Trump and his campaign began much earlier than has been reported and for that matter, it did not begin in the United States but rather across the Atlantic Ocean, in Great Britain.
Intelligence community counterparts in Great Britain, specifically GCHQ, which is similar to America’s NSA, had already begun looking into what they alleged was contact between Russians and some members of the Trump campaign and played “an early, prominent role” according to these sources. But whether that information was requested by the U.S. as assistance to an investigation here or whether the British began the investigation on their own is still not clear.
The Guardian reported that British Intelligence sources shared its signals intelligence on people connected to Trump campaign with the United States. However, The Guardian also reports that Germany, Poland, and Estonia also shared communications related to members of the Trump campaign with the United States.  Great Britain, which is part of what is called the “Five-Eyes” alliance includes the United States, Australia, Canada and New Zealand and the countries often shared signals intelligence, raw communications between targets they were investigating.
John Brennan
If what we are being told is true, who inside the U.S. and British intelligence agencies were aware that members of the Trump campaign had their communications intercepted by British intelligence, purportedly investigating the Russians? Was it the U.S. who asked the British to assist in a counterintelligence investigation or did the British do this on their own as claimed in The Guardian? If this did occur, how directly involved were CIA Director John Brennan and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper in the information being shared by our allies? And how often had American political communications, unknown to the public, been intercepted by foreign governments for political purposes?
Moreover, if members of an administration collect information from allies based on overseas communications between opposition, what happens to that intelligence? How is it safeguarded from abuse and who or what agency has the oversight authority to ensure it is a legitimate counterintelligence investigation? Congressional oversight is always after-the-fact and lawmakers have been hampered by roadblocks set up by the DOJ, FBI and former senior officials of the Obama administration, who either have withheld documentation, evaded answering questions or lied.
If what the British and western intelligence officials are saying is true, then the investigation into the Trump campaign began much earlier than the FBI’s claims at the end of July 2016. More importantly, our allies may have been collecting more communications than we’re aware of on Trump campaign officials and volunteers. What we do know is that National Security Advisor Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn; Carter Page, a short time foreign policy volunteer for the campaign; Paul Manafort, a short-term campaign chair and George Papadopoulos, a young short-term foreign policy advisor were all caught up in the spying dragnet.
December 10, 2015: Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn, who was the former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, goes to Moscow to give a speech at an event held by Russia Television, a Russian government-funded news agency known as RT. Flynn was paid $45,000 through his speaker’s bureau which arranged for him to speak at the event. Jill Stein, who was the Green Party’s presidential candidate, was also seated at the same table as Flynn, along with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Early March 2016: George Papadopoulos was working in London at the London Centre of International Law Practice. It was during this time in early March that he learns that he will serve as a volunteer foreign policy advisor on the Trump campaign, according to court records. He had only been with this organization for a short period of time:
  • Early March 2016: Fusion GPS approached the law firm of Perkins Coie which represents the Hillary for America Campaign and the Democratic National Committee. Fusion GPS presents the firm with a proposal to continue its opposition research on then-candidate Donald Trump, which they had begun in 2015 under contract with the Paul Singer-connected Washington Free Beacon.
  • March 10, 2016:  An onslaught of malicious phishing email messages targeting people from the Hillary Clinton campaign were sent around. John Podesta – who responded to the phishing bait – allowed the hackers to gain entry into the campaigns most confidential emails, per reports.
  • March 11, 2016: A Russian spy, Evgeny Buryakov, who posed as a banker in New York City, pleaded guilty to espionage-related charges. Court documents revealed Russia’s SVR, foreign intelligence service, was involved. Allegedly Carter Page, a graduate of the Naval Academy, who was outed as “Male 1” in media reports was approached by the Russians in 2013. The FBI then approached Page about his contact with the Russians. For the most part Page’s involvement in the FBI’s case remains a mystery.  Questions still loom as to whether or not Page assisted the FBI in bringing charges against the Russian spies and the extent of his role, according to analysts.
  • March 14, 2016: Professor Joseph Mifsud, allegedly in hiding now, was an honorary director with the London Academy of Diplomacy and was also with the London Centre of International Law Practice. Mifsud shows the direct interest in Papadopoulos and arranges a meeting. Mifsud, originally from Malta, was connected to both the British foreign secretary along with Western intelligence agencies, including the CIA, according to various reports and work history.  Papadopoulos had gone to Rome as part of a visiting delegation from the London Center.  In an article, Lee Smith with Real Clear Politics outlines Mifsud’s history and calls into question his direct ties with Russia, instead suggesting the professor’s ties appear to be stronger to western intelligence agencies and possibly Bill and Hillary Clinton. Smith refers to an interview Mifsud gave to  the Italian newspaper La Repubblica shortly before he went into hiding saying,“The only foundation I am a member of…the Clinton Foundation.”
  • March 21, 2016: Then-candidate Trump, who was under criticism for not having a foreign policy team in place, does an hour-long interview with the Washington Post, where he reveals a number of advisors selected for the campaign’s foreign policy team. Two of the people on the list are Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, who were brought on board by Sam Clovis.
From The Washington Post: 
Trump began the hour-long meeting by pulling out a list of some of his foreign policy advisers.”Walid Phares, who you probably know. PhD, adviser to the House of Representatives. He’s a counterterrorism expert,” Trump said (during his interview with the Washington Post). “Carter Page, PhD. George Papadopoulos. He’s an oil and energy consultant. Excellent guy. The honorable Joe Schmitz, [was] inspector general at the Department of Defense. General Keith Kellogg. And I have quite a few more. But that’s a group of some of the people that we are dealing with. We have many other people in different aspects of what we do. But that’s a pretty representative group.”
  • March 2016 (Date not specified): Shortly after Trump announces his foreign policy team, FBI Director James Comey, along with Deputy Director Andrew McCabe go to brief Attorney General Loretta Lynch about Carter Page. Why? Because Page had already been on the FBI’s radar during a 2013 investigation into Russian spies working in New York City.
According to the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia report, Lynch told lawmakers, “one of the possibilities the three of us discussed was whether or not to provide what is called a defensive briefing to the campaign, wherein there would be a meeting with a senior person with the campaign to alert them to the fact that…there may be efforts to compromise someone in their campaign.” The FBI, however, did not provide that briefing.
The report also noted “Page previously lived and worked in Russia and maintained contact with known Russian intelligence officers, including (redacted) who was described in a 2015 court filing as an SVR officer posted to the Russian Mission to the United Nations. Page previously worked with the FBI in the prosecution of (redacted) and other Russian intelligence officials.”
Late Spring (no specified date given by Obama Officials): After speaking to Lynch, Comey briefs the National Security Council Principals about Page, according to the Russia Report (page 54). Those interviewed by the House Intelligence Committee, however, did not specify the date of the meeting to lawmakers, only recalling it was in late spring. Still, despite concerns, the FBI did not provide a defensive briefing to the Trump campaign about Page or raise any awareness about Russia’s interference. The Washington Examiner’s Byron York, describes: “…the principals committee includes some of the highest-ranking officials in the government, including the secretaries of State, Treasury, Defense, and Homeland Security, the attorney general, the head of the CIA, the White House chief of staff, U.N. ambassador, and more.”
Former CIA Director John Brennan, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power (Remember her? she unmasked over 300 people at the end of her tenure.), Attorney General Loretta Lynch, among other senior officials were briefed on the matter. What did Obama know, what did Valerie Jarrett know? Those are questions that are still left unanswered:
  • March 29, 2016: Paul Manafort and his partner, Richard Gates, join the Trump campaign. Like Page, both men were also on the FBI’s radar. Manafort and Gates worked as political consultants for Ukrainian politicians backed by the Kremlin.
  • April 2016: Hillary Clinton’s campaign lawyer Marc E. Elias, with the law firm Perkins Coie, goes back to Fusion GPS to retain the research firm for an investigation into Trump’s campaign and alleged ties to Russia, according to a letter. Perkins Coie was also representing the DNC in addition to the Hillary Clinton Campaign. According to Luke Harding, The Guardian former British spy Christopher Steele begins working for Fusion GPS co-founder and friend Glen Simpson in April. Steele was no stranger to Washington D.C. circles. He had a long time relationship with the FBI and was connected to officials in the State Department, many of whom were closely connected to Hillary and Bill Clinton.  According to the Washington Post article, which first reported who paid the research firm, “Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, retained the company in April 2016 on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC.”
NOTE: Harding interviewed Steele for his report in The Guardian, which stated that he began working for Fusion in April but other articles and Congressional testimony suggest Fusion GPS hired Steele in June. These dates are confusing but important. If Steele turned in his first part of the dossier in June, there is a reason to believe he was working much earlier for Fusion GPS. 
  • April 26, 2016: Papadopoulos has a meeting with Professor Joseph Mifsud in London. According to court documents, Papadopoulos tells the FBI that Mifsud told him about a recent trip to Moscow. Mifsud allegedly said that while he was in Moscow he met with “high-level Russian government officials” that claimed to have information on Hillary Clinton.
  • May 4, 2016: Papadopoulus gives an interview to The Times, in London, where he garners attention for lashing out at Prime Minister David Cameron saying, the PM should apologize for calling Trump “divisive, stupid and wrong.”  This interview gets the attention of the Australian Diplomat Alexander Downer, who is upset by Papadopoulos’ remarks regarding Cameron and arranges to meet with him. The meeting was scheduled for May 10, 2016, according to reports and interviews with Downer.
  • May 10, 2016: Papadopoulos agrees to meet Downer at London’s Kensington Wine Room. According to Downer, they only had one drink and he was meeting to respond to Papadopoulos’s interview with The Times.  It was then that Papadopoulos referred to the information Mifsud had relayed to him about Moscow having information on Clinton. Downer, in an interview with The Australian news magazine, said articles referring to a heavy night of drinking were false. He said that “by the way, nothing [Papadopoulos] said in that conversation indicated Trump himself had been conspiring with the Russians to collect information on Hillary Clinton. It was just that this guy, [Papadopoulos], clearly knew that the Russians did have material on Hillary Clinton — but whether Trump knew or not?”
Downer also indicated that “(Papadopoulos) didn’t say Trump knew or that Trump was in any way involved in this. He said it was about Russians and Hillary Clinton; it wasn’t about Trump.” In fact, he noted that Papadopoulos “didn’t say dirt; he said material that could be damaging to (Clinton). No, he said it would be damaging. He didn’t say what it was.
Sam Clovis Interviewed By House Intelligence Committee
Sam Clovis Interviewed By House Intelligence Committee
It was the conversation during this meeting, according to a story in the New York Times in December 2017,  that would open the FBI’s counterintelligence investigation “Crossfire Hurricane,” which was to probe any coordination between the Trump campaign and Moscow.
According to Chuck Ross with the Daily Caller Papadopoulos believed Mifsud was referring to the 30,000-plus emails Hillary Clinton had deleted from her server. Andrew McCarthy in National Review noted that this scenario makes more sense because it was those emails that Donald Trump harped on throughout the campaign and that were in the news when Mifsud spoke with Papadopoulos in April 2016. While there are grounds for concern that Clinton’s emails were hacked, there is no proof that it happened; Clinton’s 30,000 emails are not the hacked DNC emails on which the “collusion” narrative is based.”
  • June 20, 2016: Former British spy Christopher Steele turns over the first part of his work on the dossier to Fusion GPS, according to The Guardian.
  • July 2016:  According to the book Russian Roulette, Victoria Nuland, with the State Department, who knows Steele, gets a summary of the dossier through Jonathan Winer, also the State Department. According to the book, she gave permission for an FBI agent in London to meet with Steele.
  • July 5, 2016:  Steele met with FBI Agent Michael Gaeta in London at Steele’s home. At that point, Steele gave Gaeta a copy of the dossier he has put together.
  • July 7, 2016: Carter Page makes a trip to Moscow for a speaking engagement on July 7, but not as an official member of the Trump campaign.
  • July 11-12, 2016: Just days after leaving Moscow, Carter Page attends an event at the University of Cambridge called 2016’s Race to Change the World: How the U.S. Presidential Campaign Can Reshape Global Politics and Foreign Policy. Page received the invitation to attend the event at the end of May. Page told this reporter that this is when he first met Stephan Halper, an emeritus professor of the university. Halper’s contact with Page suggests he was already an informant being used by the FBI in their counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign. Interestingly, Page was not invited to speak at the event but event organizers paid for his trip to attend. It is now widely circulated in reports that Stephan Halper was the informant used by the FBI to keep tabs on the Trump campaign. If this is true, who inside the FBI or DOJ authorized him to do so and why?
  • July 19 – December 13, 2016: There would be 16 more memos put together by Steele and his final December memo would be given to Rep. John McCain through a representative, as reported by The Guardian.
NOTE: On May 16, 2018, The New York Times and The Washington Post, citing anonymous sources,  revealed the name of the FBI’s investigation into alleged Russian influence in the Trump campaign. In the articles, which reference the operation Crossfire Hurricane, sources stated that Halper didn’t reach out to Trump campaign officials until July 31st. This, however, is clearly not the case as Carter Page began speaking with Halper in mid-July during his trip at the London conference.
Halper, who has close ties with the CIA and MI-6, is now at the center of the controversy surrounding the FBI’s investigation and whether or not he was used as an informant by the FBI to gather information. But this wasn’t Halper’s first rodeo. The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald’s article reveals that Halper was also utilized by the CIA during President Ronald Reagan’s campaign against former President Jimmy Carter.
  • July 16, 2016: Carter Page revealed on his Twitter account that Halper was already in touch with him earlier than stated by the FBI and DOJ. In fact, on July 16, Page sent an email to a senior Trump campaign official about Halper, indicating Halper’s desire to help the campaign.
  • July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks releases the DNC emails connected to the campaign that FBI officials believe were hacked when John Podesta clicked on the malicious email sent to him in March, as reported by The Washington Post.
  • July 2016 (date not specified): Australian diplomat Alexander Downer reports his conversation with Papadopoulos to the FBI.
  • July 25, 2016: FBI confirms it’s investigating the Democratic National Committee hack, as reported by Politico.
  • July 31, 2016: According to the New York Times and the Washington Post the FBI opens its investigation now known as Crossfire Hurricane into the Trump campaign and alleged ties to Russia. Sources close to the current investigations being conducted in Congress and the Senate have told this reporter that based on all the evidence it appears the counterintelligence investigation began much earlier, possibly as early as March.
  • August 2, 2016: Two FBI agents that had been dispatched to London, send a summary of their report and interview with Downer to headquarters. Embattled FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, was one of the agents to interview Downer in what is considered highly unusual because Downer was a diplomat, as reported.
  • August 29, 2016: Stephan Halper sends an email to Sam Clovis, who was the former national co-chairman of the Trump campaign. It was Clovis who brought Page and Papadopoulos onto the Trump campaign as foreign policy advisors. As stated by The Washington Examiner’s Byron York in his interview with Clovis, he met with Halper several days later in Virginia. Clovis, who is not suspected of any wrongdoing, recounts to York that Halper did not divulge that he knew Page and seemed very interested in Papadopoulos.
Clovis tells York:
“This is just my speculation — I have no knowledge,” Clovis told me. “I think [Halper] was using his meeting with me to give him bona fides to talk to George Papadopoulos. He used Carter Page to get to me and he used me to get to George. George was the target. I think George was the target all along.”
Clovis’s theory is that Halper was trying to link Papadopoulos and the 30,000-plus emails that Hillary Clinton unilaterally deleted from her private email system. Halper was hoping “that somebody would bite in the campaign … his goal was to drag George into this to say the Trump campaign tried to get access to those emails from Russia.”
September 23, 2016: Yahoo News Michael Iskoff publishes an article saying U.S. Intelligence officials are investigating Carter Page and his connections to Russia. The story, which was used as part of the evidence to gain a warrant to spy on Page, also relied on the same information Christopher Steele provided the FBI in his unverified dossier. According to the House Intelligence Committee investigation, the FISA application on Page was actually “derived from information leaked by Steele himself to Yahoo News.”
October 1, 2016: The Washington Post’s David Ignatius reported in his January 16, column that Christopher Steele met with an FBI agent In Rome. Ignatius writes: “That encounter took place around Oct. 1 (2016) in Rome with Steele’s old FBI contact. At this meeting, the FBI official asked Steele if he had ever heard of Papadopoulos, according to an official familiar with the meeting. Steele hadn’t.” According to congressional officials and reports, Steele was offered $50,000 by the FBI but was never paid after it was discovered he had been speaking to reporters about his dossier in violation of the contract he had as an informant for the FBI.
NOTE: The Senate Judiciary Committee sent a criminal referral on Steele on January 4, 2018, which stated “[The] FBI relied on admittedly uncorroborated information, funded by and obtained for Secretary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in order to conduct surveillance of an associate of the opposing presidential candidate. It did so based on Mr. Steele’s personal credibility and presumably having faith in his process of obtaining the information.”
[T]here is substantial evidence suggesting that Mr. Steele materially misled the FBI about a key aspect of his dossier efforts, one of which bears on his credibility…
October 31, 2016: FBI is granted Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Application warrant on Carter Page. There were three more FISA warrants on Page, each renewed every 90 days by law and ending in September 2017. As I previously reported, DOJ Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein signed off on the final FISA application on Page and that application would have contained all the evidence gathered from previous investigations. According to the House Intelligence Committee’s Russia report the bulk of the FISA warrant relied heavily on Christopher Steele’s unverified dossier.
The question here is why didn’t the FBI get a warrant to spy on Papadopoulos if the bureau was so concerned about the connections he alleged to Mifsud? Or did they try to get a warrant but failed to have enough proof for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court?
November 3, 2016: Despite multiple offers to help the Trump campaign, Halper suggests that Clinton would be the better candidate, as reported by Sputnik Russian news. 
November 8, 2016: Election Day.
November 9, 2016: President Trump becomes the 45th president of the United States after the vote is tallied.
November 10, 2016: Former President Obama, who fired Flynn based on multiple disagreements over the administration’s policy in the Middle East and Islamic State crisis, warns President Trump about Flynn.
November 18, 2016:  Flynn is named by Trump as Incoming National Security Advisor.
December 22, 2016:  Flynn has a phone conversation with the Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.
Dec. 28, 2016: Executive order 13757 is signed by Obama announcing sanctions against Russia for interfering in the 2016 election. Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak contacts Flynn, according to Flynn’s plea agreement.
December 29, 2016: Flynn calls a senior member of the Presidential Transition Team to discuss what if anything he should discuss with Kislyak. Flynn is on vacation with his family. He then calls the Russian Ambassador and has multiple short phone conversations with Kislyak. Flynn calls back the senior Presidential Transition Team official, in Mar-a-Lago, to let them know what he had discussed with Kislyak, according to the plea agreement.
January 5, 2017: Then-National Security Advisor Susan Rice, President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates have a meeting at the White House about Russian interference in the election.
January 6, 2017: Director of National Intelligence James Clapper asks then FBI Director James Comey to brief then President-Elect Donald Trump on the contents of the dossier after their national security briefing with the President-elect at Trump Tower, according to Comey’s memos and as reported.
January 10, 2017:  CNN’s Jake Tapper, publishes the first report about the intelligence chief’s briefing on Steele’s dossier, citing senior officials with knowledge.
NOTE: The House Intelligence Committee Russia report found that Clapper was not truthful and had multiple conflicting statements regarding his communications with CNN reporters about the contents of the dossier and the briefing given to then President-elect Trump. Clapper is suspected of leaking the information to CNN on the dossier Comey testified was unverified and salacious, as reported. Comey noted in his memos that news agencies had the Steele dossier for some time but they were unwilling to publish the unverified dossier unless they had a “news hook.” 
January 10, 2017: Shortly after CNN’s report, Buzzfeed publishes the Steele dossier.
January 12, 2017: The Washington Post columnist David Ignatius publishes a column leaking the highly classified contents of Flynn’s conversation with Kislyak. Senior Obama government officials tell Ignatius that Flynn discussed the sanctions – including the expulsion from the U.S. of 35 Russian diplomats-  with the Russian Ambassador. In the article, they try to accuse the incoming National Security Advisor of violating the Logan Act, an obscure law that forbids U.S. citizens from negotiating with nations in a dispute with the United States.
January 15, 2017: Vice President-Elect Mike Pence tells CBS’s Face the Nation that he spoke to Flynn and there was no discussion of sanctions, according to the transcripts.
January 20, 2017: Inauguration Day. But that wasn’t all that took place, on her last day as National Security Advisor Susan Rice sent out the last email on her official White House account. In it she recounts the Jan. 5 meeting she had with Obama, Biden, Yates and Comey. The email was discovered by the Senate Judiciary Committee and in a letter they sent, to Rice. The Chairman Charles Grassley and Sen. Lindsey Graham questioned Rice, asking why she would send such a memo to herself. She stressed repeatedly in the email that Obama wanted any investigation into Trump to be done “by the book,” as reported. 
“The President stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book,” wrote Rice. “From a national security perspective, however, President Obama said he wants to be sure that, as we engage with the incoming [Trump] team, we are mindful to ascertain if there is any reason that we cannot share information fully as it relates to Russia.”
January 24, 2017: FBI Special Agents Peter Strzok and Joe Pientka interview Flynn at the White House about his conversation with Kislyak. Flynn is not aware that the agents were coming to the White House to conduct an official interview as the FBI had been conducting security briefings with the new transition team that week.
NOTE: The agents did not believe Flynn lied about his phone conversations with Kislyak. Comey also told lawmakers the agents did not believe Flynn lied, as reportedand according to the House Intelligence Committee Russia report.
January 26, 2017: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates goes to the White House to notify the administration that Flynn is not telling the truth and could be blackmailed by the Russians (which on its face is extreme since there was no evidence that Flynn had been lying).
February 13, 2017: Flynn is fired by the White House for apparently misleading Vice President Pence about his conversation with Russia.