The Friday Evening News Drop Begins

Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin

Ambassador Sergei Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, then President-elect Trump’s son-in-law and confidant, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower, according to intercepts of Russian communications that were reviewed by U.S. officials. Kislyak said Kushner suggested using Russian diplomatic facilities in the United States for the communications.

The meeting also was attended by Michael Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser.

Neither the meeting nor the communications of Americans involved were under U.S. surveillance, officials said.

The Post bolded that last. So the information came from…?

This is kind of stunning. They didn’t want to be surveilled by the Americans, but they were okay with Russian communications? And this was for the campaign.

The entire idea, he [senior intel official] said, “seems extremely naïve or absolutely crazy.”

 



Florida Man Admits GOP-Russia Collusion

Via TPM:

A Republican political operative in Florida asked the alleged Russian hacker who broke into Democratic Party organizations’ servers at the height of the 2016 campaign to pass him stolen documents, according to a report Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.

In return, that operative received valuable Democratic voter-turnout analyses, which the newspaper found at least one GOP campaign used to its advantage. The hacker went on to flag that same data to Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of Donald Trump’s who briefly advised his presidential campaign, and who is currently under federal investigation for potential collusion with Russia.

The Wall Street Journal’s report presents the clearest allegations to date of collusion between people connected to Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia.

The Florida man in question is GOP consultant Aaron Nevins. A campaign consultant for U.S. Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) admitted to using the stolen information to his candidate’s advantage. Funny that the tip of the iceberg would emerge in Florida of all places.

PS: I hope this story puts some focus back on the fact that other elections were tampered with — not just the presidential race. They’re going to keep doing it if we don’t stop them.

PPS: The funniest part of the story is that Roger Stone admits he received the stolen info but says he didn’t share it with anyone. As if the original ratfucker would leave a rat unfucked! It is to laugh…



News Dump of the Day: Part the 3rd

According to CNN, Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to disclose his contacts with Ambassador Kislyak on his Security Form (SF) 86.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose meetings he had last year with Russian officials when he applied for his security clearance, the Justice Department told CNN Wednesday.

Sessions, who met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak at least two times last year, didn’t note those interactions on the form, which requires him to list “any contact” he or his family had with a “foreign government” or its “representatives” over the past seven years, officials said.
Sessions initially listed a year’s worth of meetings with foreign officials on the security clearance form, according to Justice Department spokeswoman Sarah Isgur Flores. But she says he and his staff were then told by an FBI employee who assisted in filling out the form, known as the SF-86, that he didn’t need to list dozens of meetings with foreign ambassadors that happened in his capacity as a senator.
After CNN’s story published, a spokesman responded to the reporting with a statement, saying that Sessions was instructed not to list meetings like the ones with Kislyak on his form.
“As a United States Senator, the Attorney General met hundreds — if not thousands — of foreign dignitaries and their staff,” spokesman Ian Prior said. “In filling out the SF-86 form, the Attorney General’s staff consulted with those familiar with the process, as well as the FBI investigator handling the background check, and was instructed not to list meetings with foreign dignitaries and their staff connected with his Senate activities.”

Here’s a link to a blank SF 86 below the fold/after the jump. Here’s what the bottom of page 121 looks like:

Read more



News Dump Comes Early Today

This is going to be a quick post. Between noticing earlier that some of my cactuses are in bloom

and heading up to Los Alamos tonight to meet Ray Monk, who has written a biography of J. Robert Oppenheimer, I want to post some early questions about the revelation that the FBI had a possibly fraudulent document, possibly Russian, that caused James Comey to make his July announcement last year. I have the feeling that I am missing some things and have many questions. Some are unlikely to be answered any time soon, but others may be due to my confusion and hurry. Read more



DCI Brennan Testimony Before House Select Committee on Intelligence

Here’s the live feed:

Every GOP committee member has yielded their time back to Congressman Gowdy after asking a question or two that are tangential at best to the issue before the committee. Congressman Gowdy then treats DCI Brennan as if he is a hostile witness in a case that Gowdy is prosecuting. DCI Brennan is not having any of it and is not amused. Here is a great example from earlier in the hearing:



History Turns on Small Things

There were too many factors that contributed to the outcome of the 2016 election to identify just one overriding cause, IMO. You can count them off like stone weights of varying sizes that, combined, sunk the SS Clinton: sexism, racism, Russian interference, Comey’s overweening self-regard, the “change” election dynamic, a click-driven-Clinton-hating Beltway media, celebrity culture, etc.

But a case can be made that one key pivot-point for the 2016 election was the oft-photographed contents of Anthony Weiner’s underpants. Via WaPo, Weiner’s latest round of legal trouble, which unearthed irrelevant emails that nonetheless upended the election, will be resolved today:

Former congressman Anthony Weiner is expected to appear in federal court Friday to plead guilty in a sexting case, according to a representative with the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan said Weiner will appear at 11 a.m. before U.S. District Judge Loretta A. Preska but declined to release further information. The New York Times, citing an unnamed source, reported that as part of a plea agreement, Weiner plans to plead guilty to a single charge of transferring obscene material to a minor. He has reportedly turned himself over to federal agents, according to the Times.

The contemptible shit-stain will probably get probation and community service for sending dick pics to a 15-year-old girl. I guess that’s roughly commensurate with the magnitude of the crime.

But even if the judge throws the book at him and sentences him to 10 years, it would feel inadequate as payback for what Weiner set in motion. The orange fart cloud that engulfs the planet did not emerge from Weiner’s shorts. Still, how ironic, nauseating and infuriating on every level that the nasty little pervert played a role at all.

History turns on small things. Sometimes very, very small things.



Oh boy… now it is getting real and weird

Oh yeah, the Majority Leader in the House is arguing that his statement on tape that the statement he made that the current President and a senior member of his caucus were paid by the Russians in 2016 is just a joke.

Things are getting real, and they are getting weirder than ever….