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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

John McCain passes FBI dossier alleging secret Trump-Russia contacts

Julian Borger in Washington Wednesday 11 January 2017 07.58 EST

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself.

The material, which has been seen by the Guardian, is a series of reports on Trump’s relationship with Moscow. They were drawn up by a former western counter-intelligence official, now working as a private consultant. BuzzFeed on Tuesday published the documents, which it said were “unverified and potentially unverifiable”.

The Guardian has not been able to confirm the veracity of the documents’ contents, and the Trump team has consistently denied any hidden contacts with the Russian government.

A spokesman for the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, on Wednesday denied Russia has collected compromising information on Trump and dismissed news reports as a “complete fabrication and utter nonsense”. Dmitry Peskov insisted that the Kremlin “does not engage in collecting compromising material”.

Trump’s transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but late on Tuesday, Trump tweeted: “FAKE NEWS – A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!” He made no direct reference to the allegations.

An official in the US administration who spoke to the Guardian described the source who wrote the intelligence report as consistently reliable, meticulous and well-informed, with a reputation for having extensive Russian contacts.

Some of the reports – which are dated from 20 June to 20 October last year – also proved to be prescient, predicting events that happened after they were sent.

One report, dated June 2016, claims that the Kremlin has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for at least five years, with the aim of encouraging “splits and divisions in western alliance”.

It claims that Trump had declined “various sweetener real estate deals offered him in Russia” especially in developments linked to the 2018 World Cup finals but that “he and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other political rivals.”

Most explosively, the report alleges: “FSB has compromised Trump through his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to blackmail him.” The president-elect has not responded to the allegations.

CNN reported on Tuesday that the FBI was still investigating the credibility of the documents but added that the intelligence chiefs had included a summary of the material in a secret briefing on Russian interference in the election delivered last week to Barack Obama and Donald Trump.

The emergence of the documents is potentially explosive, 10 days before Trump’s inauguration and on the eve of his first planned press conference since July last year.

Despite glowing references from US and foreign officials who have worked with the source, there are some errors in the reports. One describes the Moscow suburb of Barvikha as “reserved for the residences of the top leadership and their close associates”, but although it is a very expensive neighbourhood, there are no restrictions on who can own property there. The document also misspells the name of a Russian banking corporation.

The FBI does not normally make any comment on ongoing counter-intelligence investigations but was under increasing pressure from Democrats and some Republicans to act before the inauguration, particularly because of Comey’s announcement of a continuing investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server 11 days before the election, which many of her supporters believe cost her the presidency.

The reports were initially commissioned as opposition research during the presidential campaign, but its author was sufficiently alarmed by what he discovered to send a copy to the FBI. It is unclear who within the organisation they reached and what action the bureau took. The former Democratic Senate leader, Harry Reid, has lambasted Comey for publicising investigations into Hillary Clinton’s private server, while allegedly sitting on “explosive” material on Trump’s ties to Russia.

Another Democratic senator, Ron Wyden, questioned Comey insistently at a Senate intelligence committee hearing on Tuesday on whether the FBI was pursuing leads on Trump campaign contacts with Russia.

“Has the FBI investigated these reported relationships?” Wyden asked.

Comey replied: “I would never comment on investigations … in a public forum.

The Guardian can confirm that the documents reached the top of the FBI by December. Senator John McCain, who was informed about the existence of the documents separately by an intermediary from a western allied state, dispatched an emissary overseas to meet the source and then decided to present the material to Comey in a one-on-one meeting on 9 December, according to a source aware of the meeting. The documents, which were first reported on last year by Mother Jones, are also in the hands of officials in the White House.

McCain is not thought to have made a judgment on the reliability of the documents but was sufficiently impressed by the source’s credentials to feel obliged to pass them to the FBI.

The Senate armed services committee, which Senator McCain chairs, launched an inquiry last week into Russian cyber-attacks during the election.

McCain was reluctant to get involved, according to a colleague, for fear the issue would be dismissed as a personal grudge against Trump. He pushed instead for the creation of a special Senate committee to look into connections between campaign staff and Moscow, but the proposal was blocked by the Republican leadership.

McCain told the NBC programme Meet the Press on Sunday: “I would like to see a select committee. Apparently that is not in agreement by our leadership. So we will move forward with the armed services committee and I’m sure foreign relations and intelligence committee will as well.”

But the senator added: “It is possible if enough information comes out, that that decision could be reversed. I still think it’s the best way to attack the issue.”

Asked on the same programme on whether an investigation was ongoing into campaign links to Moscow, Senator Lindsey Graham, another conservative Republican said: “I believe that it’s happening.”

According to the report passed to Comey, Russian intelligence allegedly gathered compromising material during Trump’s stay in Moscow in November 2013, when he was in the city to host the Miss Universe pageant.

Another report, dated 19 July last year said that Carter Page, a businessman named by Trump as one of his foreign policy advisers, had held a secret meeting that month with Igor Sechin, head of the Rosneft state-owned oil company and a long-serving lieutenant of Vladimir Putin. Page also allegedly met Igor Divyekin, an internal affairs official with a background in intelligence, who is said to have warned Page that Moscow had “kompromat” (compromising material) on Trump.

Two months later, allegations of Page’s meetings surfaced in the US media, attributed to intelligence sources, along with reports that he had been under FBI scrutiny.

Page, a vociferous supporter of the Kremlin line, was in Moscow in July to make a speech decrying western policy towards Russia. At the time he declined to say whether he had been in contact with Russian officials, but in September he rejected the reports as “garbage”.

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

A month after Trump’s surprise election victory, Page was back in Moscow saying he was meeting with “business leaders and thought leaders”, dismissing the FBI investigation as a “witch-hunt” and suggesting the Russian hacking of the Democratic Party alleged by US intelligence agencies, could be a false flag operation to incriminate Moscow.

Another of the reports compiled by the former western counter-intelligence official in July said that members of Trump’s team, which was led by campaign manager Paul Manafort (a former consultant for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine), had knowledge of the DNC hacking operation, and in return “had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a campaign issue and to raise US/Nato defence commitments in the Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine”.

A few days later, Trump raised the possibility that his administration might recognise Russia’s annexation of Crimea and openly called on Moscow to hack Hillary Clinton’s emails.

In August, officials from the Trump campaign intervened in the drafting of the Republican party platform, specifically to remove a call for lethal assistance to Ukraine for its battle against Moscow-backed eastern rebels.

Manafort stepped down in August as campaign manager and the campaign steadily distanced itself from Page. However, Trump’s praise of Putin and defence of Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and Syria remained one of the few constants in his campaign talking points.

Manafort has denied secret links with Moscow calling the allegation “an outrageous smear being driven by Harry Reid and the Clinton campaign”.

Since then, Trump has consistently cast doubt on Russian culpability for hacking the Democratic National Committee, defying a consensus of 17 national intelligence agencies. After Obama deported 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for Moscow’s intervention, Trump praised Putin for not carrying out tit-for-tat deportations of US diplomats. “I always knew he was very smart,” he tweeted.

An FBI spokesman declined to comment after the CNN report.

50 comments:

  1. If it's good enough for Mother Jones it's good enough for me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And Harry Reid too.

      If it's good enough for Dirty Harry, it's good enough for me.

      Delete
    2. Not to forget Crazy John, too.

      Delete
  2. T Rex up before the Inquisition on Fox News right now.

    ReplyDelete
  3. No wonder you people are all so fucked up.

    The salads are killing you.

    NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Kale, coconuts, and avocados could be bad for you.

    Experts say there’s something metallic lurking in those foods, in our water, and elsewhere that could be making us feel miserable.

    Anxiety, trouble focusing, exhaustion, and an all around mental funk are familiar symptoms for a lot of people.

    “People will come in with very non-specific symptoms; they feel moody, have depression, difficulty falling asleep,” Dr. Svetlana Kogan explained.

    After some investigation Dr. Kogan — an internist — said she found that copper is increasingly the culprit.

    “Copper is an essential element,” she explained.


    http://newyork.cbslocal.com/2017/01/10/copper-toxicity/

    You need more chocolate.

    Let the image of Quirk chewing on copper wire sink in.....it explains a LOT about the man....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "all around funk"

      Does that not perfectly describe Q ?

      Delete
    2. "all around mental funk" to be exact.

      Delete
    3. I've eaten nearly three pounds of Christmas Gift chocolate in the last week, and I FEEL GREAT, except for the gout attack in my wrist.

      Delete
  4. I've mentioned before how some of the elements of Trump's rise to power reminds of Rob Ford's rise, and fall, in Toronto. Ford was already in office when rumours of 'videos' surfaced. They eventually did surface in his case.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope and hallucinate, that's the ticket.

      Delete
    2. Maybe The Donald smokes crack.

      Delete
    3. In a country like yours, with no center and no culture, as Trudeau describes it, what difference would a little crack smoking make anyway, Ash ?

      Delete
    4. If the USA weren't defending you, Ash, Canada wouldn't last a year.

      The only question is who would gobble you up first, the Russians, or the Chinese ?

      My hunch is the Russians though I may be wrong.

      Delete
    5. FOR ASH

      NBC: Intel chiefs did not brief Trump on supposed compromising material, saw it as “disinformation”
      POSTED AT 11:21 AM ON JANUARY 11, 2017 BY ALLAHPUNDIT


      Oh, for cripes sake.

      A senior U.S. intelligence official with knowledge of the preparation for the meeting with Trump told NBC News that the president-elect was not briefed on the so-called two-page addendum to the dossier originally generated as part of anti-Trump Republican opposition research.

      Multiple officials say that the summary was included in the material prepared for the briefers, but the senior official told NBC News that the briefing was oral and no actual documents were handed to the Trump team.

      “Intel and law enforcement officials agree that none of the investigations have found any conclusive or direct link between Trump and the Russian government period,” the senior official said.

      According to the official, the two-page summary about the unsubstantiated material made available to the briefers was to provide context, should they need it, to draw the distinction for Trump between analyzed intelligence and unvetted “disinformation.”

      They prepared the two-page annex as an example of information that isn’t credible? Not only does that blast the BuzzFeed memos to smithereens, it’s a dagger at CNN’s story. Remember, CNN tried to take the high road by not reporting on the contents of the annex or the underlying memos....

      http://hotair.com/archives/2017/01/11/nbc-intel-chiefs-did-not-brief-trump-on-supposed-compromising-material-saw-it-as-disinformation/

      Put that in your crack pipe, Ash, light up, and suck away.

      Delete
    6. .

      Saw the Trump guy who was accused in the article above. He was being interviewed on TMZ and denied the story pointing out that he wasn't even in Russia at the time of the purported contacts. He went further, pointing out to the host of the show, Harvey Levin that he was actually with him at the time of the meeting he was accused of being in.

      I'm not saying some of the stuff isn't true. I don't know. But, I sure as hell wouldn't buy it at this point based on what I have seen.

      .

      Delete
  5. .

    From the Times of Israel...


    Bennett: We must seize ‘unique opportunity’ of Trump’s first weeks to tell him what Israel wants.

    While Obama left the region ‘on fire,’ incoming president is ‘open to listening’ to Israel, education minister says, setting his sights on annexing 60% of West Bank


    The arrogance and assumed entitlement of these jerks is amazing.

    The tail wagging the dog.

    .

    ReplyDelete
  6. Secretary of State John Kerry will join world leaders at a conference in Paris on Sunday.

    The conference is to be one of Kerry's last missions as U.S. secretary of state.

    ...

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his supporters in Washington are concerned about the conference.

    Last month, the United States allowed the passage of a United Nations Security Council resolution that was critical of Israel. Resolution 2334 demands an end to Israeli settlements.

    ...

    Uri Savir is an Israeli diplomat. He also established the Peres Center for Peace. He said a person inside the Palestinian Liberation Organization, or PLO, who did not want to be identified described a new Palestinian plan.

    Savir wrote that PLO officials have developed a plan for a temporary agreement. The agreement would establish a Palestinian state until permanent negotiations could be launched a year from now.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Little Marco - The Loathsome Cuban Terrier:

    Washington (CNN)President-elect Donald Trump's choice for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, is facing resistance from a notable quarter -- Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

    Rubio -- who refused to say if he would vote for Tillerson after a day of testimony -- pressed the former ExxonMobil CEO hard Wednesday on a slew of human rights questions, pushing him to denounce the behavior of Russia, China, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines and expressing deep disappointment when the Texan refused to do so.

    Rubio's vote could make the difference in Tillerson's progress, as Republicans have only a one-vote margin on the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and Democrats may not support him. But it is possible, should Tillerson stall in committee, for the Senate to bypass the panel and bring the nomination to the full Senate for a vote.

    ReplyDelete
  8. FIRED-UP US President-elect Donald Trump has gone on the attack, slamming unverified reports about his private and professional life as “fake news” and stepping up his bitter battle with his intelligence services, comparing them to Nazi Germany.

    ...

    He also attacked BuzzFeed and CNN, the media outlets that reported information about the dossier, calling them “fake news” and denying CNN from asking a follow-up question on the story.

    He also argued with reporters during the media conference.

    ...

    Nine days from his inauguration as the nation’s 45th president, Mr Trump also used the news conference to detail how he planned to avoid conflicts of interest related to his sprawling global business empire.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was very entertaining.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, wish I could've caught it.

      Delete
    3. He refused to take questions from CNNand buzzfeed. Said they were rude and fake news. I laughed my ass off. We get 4 years of entertainment instead of 8 years of lecturing. I love it.

      Delete
  9. TRUMP STING ON SPOOKS CAUGHT LEAKING....DRUDGE HEADLINE

    ReplyDelete
  10. I'm retired MI-7 and I have it from an excellent source, though unverified, that Quirk sucks his thumb.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are at leave to believe this, or not, just as you please.

      Delete
    2. WAIT, wait just a minute....a minor correction is in order....got the name wrong....

      It's ASH that sucks his thumb.

      Sorry.

      Delete
    3. Poor cell phone connection to London....

      Delete
  11. US President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state set a course for a potentially serious confrontation with Beijing on Wednesday, saying China should be denied access to islands it has built in the contested South China Sea.

    ...

    Democratic President Barack Obama's administration conducted periodic air and naval patrols to assert the right of free navigation in the South China Sea. These have angered Beijing, but seeking to blockade China's man-made islands would be a major step further and a step that Washington has never raised as an option.

    ...

    Asked if Washington should consider imposing "secondary sanctions" on Chinese entities found to be violating existing sanctions on North Korea, Tillerson said: "If China is not going to comply with those U.N. sanctions, then it's appropriate ... for the United States to consider actions to compel them to comply."

    ReplyDelete
  12. Trump should have smacked the CNN guy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dream Drudge Headline -

      Trump KOs CNN Reporter

      Delete
  13. AN off-duty policeman has prevented a possible terrorist bloodbath, arresting the alleged gunman after he stormed into a Spanish supermarket shouting “Allahu Akhbar” and opening fire.

    ...

    According to Spanish media outlet La Region, police officer Perez said he and his colleagues were able to detain him after he ran out of ammunition.

    Asked about the man screaming ‘Allahu Akbar’, the officer told La Region he had heard him say something in Euskara - the language of the Basque region - but didn’t understand it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Basque and Finnish are two languages of Europe that don't come from the Indo-European family of languages.

    ReplyDelete
  15. QuirkWed Jan 11, 04:50:00 PM EST
    .

    From the Times of Israel...


    Bennett: We must seize ‘unique opportunity’ of Trump’s first weeks to tell him what Israel wants.

    While Obama left the region ‘on fire,’ incoming president is ‘open to listening’ to Israel, education minister says, setting his sights on annexing 60% of West Bank

    The arrogance and assumed entitlement of these jerks is amazing.

    The tail wagging the dog.





    Quirk, The Israelis live there. They wish to control their lands. AND the disputed lands.

    How is that different than Russia, China, America, France and every other NATION of the planet?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I get it, Jews don't have the same rights as Turkey, America etc.?

      Delete
    2. Detroit can't control it's own city.

      I'd be certainly shot at night walking through parts of it, and during the day the chances would be high. Detroiters haven't earned the right to complain about governance elsewhere.


      Off topic -

      Say Quirk, my daughter has taken to letting her wonderful dog off at Doggie Day Care while she is so busy during the day. The mutt LOVES it ! He can play with all the other mutts all day long till he is exhausted.

      Beats being snowbound all day in a duplex.

      He now knows exactly where he is going in the morning and is all excited about it !

      Delete
    3. .

      Oh, I get it, Jews don't have the same rights as Turkey, America etc.?

      Bullshit.

      Turkey, America, and etc. don't feel entitled to tell Israel what they 'want from' Israel. They don't tell the American sugar daddy what they expect to get. They don't demand, as a right, the US support in every action they take. They are not a client state, the tail trying to wag the dog. They don't feel so damned arrogant and entitled.

      .

      Delete
  16. Trump's 'Cadillac One' limo will have tear gas cannon, shotgun....DRUDGE

    Pretty lightly armed, really. No armor? A shotgun ? That's worthless.

    Tear gas ? Good grief.

    Should have combat grenades, at least.

    50 caliber machine guns.

    Give the guy a chance....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I predict Trump will face at least one serious jihadi assassination attempt.

      Delete
    2. Ted Cruz Introduces Bill To Declare Muslim Brotherhood As A Terrorist Organization
      By Laura Loomer - on January 11, 2017


      Now that President Obama is leaving the White House, an actual fight against Islamic terrorists can take place. Terrorist organizations can finally be called what they are, terrorist organizations.
      Ted Cruz has proposed a bill to do what Obama refused to do while president: declare the Muslim Brotherhood as an international terrorist organization. That’s the same Muslim Brotherhood that Hillary Clinton confidant Huma Abedin and her family are closely tied to.

      The bill would also declare the Iranian Revolutionary Guard corps as a terrorist group as well....

      http://pamelageller.com/2017/01/ted-cruz-introduces-bill-declare-muslim-brotherhood-terrorist-organization.html/

      Delete
    3. .

      Really, a major terrorist event in the next 4 four years? Wow, don't go out on a limb.

      I predict there will be a major shooting event by some nut job in the next 4 years.

      I expect they will soon be calling both of us modern day Nostradamuses.

      .

      Delete
    4. .

      Or, are you predicting Trump will face a Muslim assassination attempt in the next four years?

      In which case, I will predict he will face an assassination attempt by some Oscar winning movie star on their way to Canada.

      .

      Delete
    5. Here, I'll emulate you and do a Double:

      I predict Trump will face at least one serious jihadi assassination attempt.

      Bang, bang, bang, bang or bomb bomb bomb bomb, or both.

      By jihadi I understand muzzie of some variety or flavor.

      Delete
    6. In which case, I will predict he will face an assassination attempt by some Oscar winning movie star on their way to Canada.

      Quirk

      How much you wanna to bet, and odds ?

      Delete
  17. Quirk, if you are down on your luck, you can get 15 meals free from South Beach Diet, for free, and lose weight too, if you act now, immediately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. South Beach Diet

      http://www.southbeachdiet.com/home/index.jsp

      You'll look like a surfer in no time at all !

      Delete
    2. You can also get a free diet analysis, normal value $199.99.

      Delete
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      Lose weight and get in the best shape of your life! Order NOW to get 4 weeks for the price of 3! Included with your plan, you'll receive:

      15 meals FREE! That's like 5 days of food, or an extra week of the program absolutely FREE!
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      Delete
  18. This will put Q-Man in a swoon -

    PAUL ANKA SET TO PERFORM 'MY WAY' AT TRUMP INAUGURATION....DRUDGE

    Closest thing to immortality on the planet.

    ReplyDelete