CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1201

Post by Addie » Mon Apr 02, 2018 11:13 am

Esquire - Charlie Pierce: If the Russians Got into Voting Machines, I Fear for the Republic

The evidence is building—if we can handle the truth.


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1202

Post by Addie » Sat Apr 07, 2018 1:48 pm

CBS News
Ground zero in Russia's hack of U.S. election infrastructure

60 Minutes investigates Russia’s widespread cyberattack against state voting systems


The threat Russia posed to our democratic process was deemed so great, the Obama Administration took the unprecedented step of using the cyber hotline – the cybersecurity equivalent of the nuclear hotline – to warn the Kremlin to stop its assault on state election systems. Russian operatives had launched a widespread cyberattack against state voting systems around the country. Bill Whitaker goes to Illinois, where election officials were the first to report and defend against the cyber strike for a 60 Minutes report to be broadcast Sunday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m., ET/PT on CBS.

It began with a call from a staffer at the Illinois Board of Elections headquarters in Springfield to Steve Sandvoss, the executive director. "I picked up the phone. And it's like, 'Steve, we got a problem.' And I said, 'Okay, what happened?' He says, 'We've been hacked.' I said, 'Oh my God.'" The server for the voter registration database, with the personal information of 7.5 million Illinois voters, had slowed to a crawl. The IT team discovered a malicious attack. "I suppose you could analogize it to a fast-growing tumor-- in the system. It was unlike anything we had ever seen," Sandvoss recalls.

Today, seven months from the midterm elections, key members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence tell Bill Whitaker much more needs to be done to secure the election infrastructure at the heart of America's democracy. Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) and Senator James Lankford (R-Oklahoma) say the U.S. needs a comprehensive strategy to fight cyber war but concede upgrading systems around the country by the 2020 presidential election will be a challenge. They are backing legislation to set minimum cyber security standards.

"This could be the Iranians next time, could be the North Koreans next time," says Lankford. "This is something that's been exposed as a weakness in our system that we need to be able to fix that, not knowing who could try to test it out next time," he tells Whitaker.

The sweep of the Russian operation in 2016 caught the Obama administration off guard. Michael Daniel, President Obama's cyber czar, envisioned a troubling scenario: hacked voter rolls causing chaos on Election Day. "Lines begin to form. Election officials can't figure out what's going on," says Daniel. "You would only have to do it in a few places. And it would almost feed on itself."


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1203

Post by Addie » Sun May 13, 2018 7:10 am

Isaac Chotiner interviews Michael McFaul on his new book, From Cold War to Hot Peace: An American Ambassador in Putin’s Russia.

Slate
Michael McFaul on Russian disinformation and the lost promise of Medvedev. ...

Every time I interview someone who spent a lot of time in Moscow or spent a lot of time around the Russian elite, I like to ask them what they make of the Russia scandal, because I find people often have a different take than people here do. What’s your perspective on it?

When I was the U.S. ambassador, I experienced firsthand this disinformation put out about me. I guess we call it fake news now. They put out nasty things about me that were just untrue. They were untrue. They would Photoshop my image on posters, and made it sound like I was trying to overthrow the regime. The bottom of it, real bottom-feeding, was when they put out a video of me suggesting that I was a pedophile. That level of disinformation and just grotesque stuff, I experienced early on. That part that is all revelatory for people that don’t understand the Russian system as well, I knew back then, because they had been using those tactics not just against me but against opposition leaders as well.

By the way, I think there’s a lot more coming on that front, because the technology is getting better. I’m scared of that world, where you’re going to watch a video of me someday, and it’s going to look like me and sound like me, but the words are not going to be mine. It’s going to be hard to know whether it’s really me or not. The Russians have invested heavily in those kinds of technologies. That’s the one I would say where what I experienced and what we saw in 2016, I see continuity.

Second, and I don’t want to get ahead of my skis here, because I don’t know where the investigation will end and what Mr. Mueller’s going to find, but I do know that Vladimir Putin uses surrogates all the time, business surrogates, to create leverage with people through business arrangements, usually through corrupt business arrangements. That’s how he creates leverage against the oligarchs inside of Russia, and that’s how he operates in parts of the post-Soviet world. That murky world of giving money, paying three times the price for this, that, and the other, those are very common Putin instruments of influence that I have seen up close and personal in Russia. I won’t be surprised by that part.

The part that does surprise me was the audacity of the intervention. Both the stealing of the emails, and publishing them through surrogates, sending Russians into our country acting as Americans. I’ve lived in Russia for six or seven years of my life. I’ve known Putin since 1991. Even I was shocked by the chutzpah and the audacity of those activities. I would not have predicted that in 2016.


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1204

Post by Addie » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:05 pm

Yahoo News - Michael Isikoff
Clapper: 'We had a suspect' in Kremlin-WikiLeaks transfer ...

In an interview for the Yahoo News podcast “Skullduggery,” Clapper told Chief Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff and Editor in Chief Daniel Klaidman that intelligence officials were “pretty confident” that they had identified the conduit for the hacked emails to WikiLeaks by the time he left office in January 2017. He declined, however, to provide any details about the suspect’s identity.

“We had a suspect,” said Clapper. “I don’t know whether the suspicions we had at the time were conveyed [to Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller] or whether they were validated.” U.S. intelligence officials were “pretty confident at the time but not sufficient enough to publicize it,” he said.

The precise means by which DNC emails that had been hacked by Russian intelligence made their way to WikiLeaks for public consumption has never been publicly revealed by the U.S. intelligence community. Nor has it ever been clear that U.S. officials had figured it out. ...

But Clapper told “Skullduggery” that the WikiLeaks transfer “cut-out” was selected by the Russians for a reason — so that Assange could tell the world he did not get the DNC emails from Russian intelligence. “The real point was it was an attempt to ensure [Assange] plausible deniability,” Clapper said. ...

But Clapper said he did find what he portrayed as an alarming degree of what he called “parallelism” between Trump and the Russians.

“There is striking — I found, we found, parallelism between what the [Trump] campaign was doing and saying and what the Russians were doing and saying,” said Clapper. “It was almost like an echo chamber, particularly with respect to Hillary Clinton personally, and her alleged scandals and her alleged maladies, physical and mental. There were a lot of very similar themes that came ultimately from the Russians and the campaign.”


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1205

Post by Sterngard Friegen » Fri Jun 15, 2018 12:21 pm

Could it be some guy with a Richard Nixon hairboil on his back?



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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1206

Post by Addie » Sun Jun 17, 2018 9:06 am

The Guardian
Leave. EU faces new questions over contacts with Russia

MPs say latest revelations show Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore may have misled parliament


A leader of the Leave.EU campaign suggested sending a “message of support” to the Russian ambassador after the then foreign secretary made a speech that was critical of Russia, documents seen by the Observer suggest.

The material also appears to show that Andy Wigmore, spokesman for the Leave.EU campaign and the business partner of Arron Banks, the biggest funder of Brexit, passed confidential legal documents to high-ranking officials at the Russian embassy and then denied it to parliament.

The documents related to George Cottrell, an aide to Nigel Farage who was with him on the campaign trail for Donald Trump in July 2016. Cottrell was arrested by the FBI and charged with 21 counts of money laundering, bribery and wire fraud. ...

Ian Lucas, Labour MP for Wrexham, who is also on the committee, said: “There has been a coordinated attempt to attack, bully and intimidate anyone asking questions about this, including MPs. But what the evidence is showing is an intimate business relationship with a hostile foreign government that was being built up in the period before the summer of 2016 that needs to be in the public domain.”

The Observer has seen a series of exchanges that suggest a picture of communications between the embassy and the Leave.EU campaign running up to the referendum which continued in the period after Farage became an active supporter and campaigner for Trump.

In October the Russian ambassador, Alexander Yakovenko, was identified by US special counsel Robert Mueller as a high-level intermediary between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The documents about Cottrell’s arrest appear to have been handed over during a period in which Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, had his business dealings in Ukraine exposed and was replaced by Steve Bannon.


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1207

Post by Addie » Tue Jun 19, 2018 11:33 am

Think Progress
Russians and the American right started plotting in 1995. We have the notes from the first meeting. – ThinkProgress

In a congressional hearing last fall, Glenn Simpson, the man whose research helped lead to the now-infamous dossier on Russia and President Donald Trump, let slip a bombshell revelation about Russian infiltration in the United States.

“I would say broadly speaking, it appears that the Russian operation was designed to infiltrate conservative organizations,” Simpson said. “They targeted various conservative organizations, religious and otherwise, and they seem to have made a very concerted effort to get in with the [National Rifle Association].”

While Simpson’s comments drove ongoing investigations into relations between the National Rife Association (NRA) and now-sanctioned Russian officials, another aspect of the Russian strategy has received far less attention: Which conservative religious organizations were targeted by Russian operatives? And who within those organizations proved susceptible to Russian infiltration — or even helped further the Kremlin’s aims?

A series of interviews and never-before-seen documents, including testimonials and diaries obtained by ThinkProgress, sheds new light on how the relationship between the Religious Right and Russia first began, and how it led to several collaborative efforts in the years to come.

In examining both the individuals and organizations involved, it’s evident that as the 2016 presidential election was heating up, those same Religious Right figures — some affiliated with groups that were reportedly funded by sanctioned Russian officials — went out of their way to defend the Russian regime. Now, with Trump in the White House, relations between Russia and American social conservatives have waned, but they’ve hardly disappeared.


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1208

Post by Addie » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:06 pm

This site is new to me, I think. :think:

Committee To Investigate Russia


Advisory Board

Max Boot Military Historian and Foreign Policy Analyst
James Clapper Former Director of National Intelligence
Evelyn Farkas, Ph.D. Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia
General Michael Hayden Former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency
Jeh Johnson Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security
Michael Morell Former Acting Director of the CIA
Norman Ornstein American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar
Leon Panetta Former Secretary of Defense, Former Director of the CIA, and Former White House Chief of Staff
Rob Reiner Director, Actor, and Activist
Charles Sykes Conservative Commentator
Clint Watts Foreign Policy Research Institute Fellow and Former FBI Agent


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1209

Post by Foggy » Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:37 pm

Wow, great find, Addie! :dance:


The point of no return is no longer even visible in your rearview mirror. :-

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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1210

Post by Addie » Mon Jun 25, 2018 10:58 am

Just Security
Trump as a Russian Target – Through the Eyes of a former CIA Russian Expert

Donald Trump would have been an active target of Russian intelligence since the moment they laid eyes on him for two reasons that come straight from the classical espionage textbook: He has influence; and he is potentially vulnerable to various forms of compromise. Playing by the book, the Russians would have attempted to initiate multi-layered operations to develop varied means of access to him in an effort to establish and ultimately exploit mechanisms of control over Trump and his associates. This is not calling out our president, but rather is a reflection of the reality of how Russian intelligence operates. Indeed, it could even benefit the president to know how this stratagem works. To be fair, I have no information that suggests that our president has been compromised by the Russians. Rather, my intent is to offer to the reader an explanation of the classical vulnerabilities that intelligence officers seek to identify and exploit including sexual indiscretions, greed, corruption, revenge, and most of all, ego. In essence, the pursuit of selfish interests over the common good.

Based on well-practiced history, intelligence services typically hold off making a direct approach to high priority targets for years. Traditionally, the modus operandi (“method of operation,” the preferred term in intelligence jargon) is to wait for the right opportunity to present itself in order to maximize leverage over the target and enhance prospects of success. The key questions in this tradecraft are to determine if and how the target can be turned to serve another nation’s interests, rather than the interests of their own country. Espionage is a loyalty test, in the final analysis. Better put, a litmus test for loyalty and betrayal.

In the case of considering businessman Donald Trump as a potential target, as with any high priority target, the Russians would test the waters to avoid taking any undue risks. They typically begin by initiating mutually beneficial activity to test receptiveness to a deepening relationship. In the established business circles Trump and his associates run in, it would have been logical to test interest in lining one another’s pockets for mutual gain. Even if the Russians were ultimately unsuccessful in compromising Trump directly, they would have been content to compromise and exploit lesser targets along the way – minnows with access to the big fish. What’s the harm in that? Taking the bait would incentivize an even greater investment by Russian intelligence to deepen the relationship and, depending on the circumstances, do it more clandestinely. Why clandestine? The Russians want to determine their target’s threshold for cooperation. Will the target report a crime? How will he respond to a test of his loyalty to American interests, if not American law? What are his limits? In any relationship, whether it be with a citizen and his country, or a wife and a husband, a secret relationship with a third party is not a sign of a healthy relationship.

However the Russians opted to test businessman Trump, once he became a serious candidate for president, a strategic opportunity to exploit the situation would have become obvious to Russian intelligence. At this point, if not earlier, the gravity of the stakes would have compelled Russian intelligence to consult with President Putin to ensure he was on board with any continuing or new Russian operations that amounted to meddling in the presidential election. For any intelligence officer worth his or her stripes, it would have been irresponsible for the Russians – looking at it from their perspective – not to have gone all out in trying to lure in the Trump campaign.


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1211

Post by Addie » Fri Jun 29, 2018 10:38 am

CBS News
Some questions in Trump-Russia dossier now finding answers

An Associated Press review finds that investigations and criminal cases are revealing some truth in a set of controversial memos accusing the Trump campaign of working with the Russian government. But libel complaints argue otherwise, and whether there was collusion remains an open question.

No one has painted a more vivid or lurid portrait of a purported alliance between Donald Trump's presidential campaign and Russia than a quiet, nondescript former British spy named Christopher Steele.

Steele's once-confidential campaign memos were published just before Trump's inauguration, unleashing tales of cavorting prostitutes and conniving campaign aides on secret sorties with agents of the Kremlin.

Ever since, the credibility of these Democratic-funded memos — the so-called Steele dossier — has remained the subject of both official investigation and political sniping.

In the 18 months since the dossier's release, government investigations and reports, criminal cases and authoritative news articles have begun to resolve at least some of the questions surrounding the memos.


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1212

Post by Addie » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:02 am

New York Mag - Jonathan Chait
Will Trump Be Meeting With His Counterpart — Or His Handler?

A plausible theory of mind-boggling collusion.


On June 14, 2016, the Washington Post reported that Russian hackers had broken into the Democratic National Committee’s files and gained access to its research on Donald Trump. A political world already numbed by Trump’s astonishing rise barely took notice. News reports quoted experts who suggested the Russians merely wanted more information about Trump to inform their foreign-policy dealings. By that point, Russia was already broadcasting its strong preference for Trump through the media. Yet when news of the hacking broke, nobody raised the faintest suspicions that Russia wished to alter the outcome of the election, let alone that Trump or anybody connected with him might have been in cahoots with a foreign power. It was a third-rate cyberburglary. Nothing to see here.

The unfolding of the Russia scandal has been like walking into a dark cavern. Every step reveals that the cave runs deeper than we thought, and after each one, as we wonder how far it goes, our imaginations are circumscribed by the steps we have already taken. The cavern might go just a little farther, we presume, but probably not much farther. And since trying to discern the size and shape of the scandal is an exercise in uncertainty, we focus our attention on the most likely outcome, which is that the story goes a little deeper than what we have already discovered. Say, that Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, and Paul Manafort told their candidate about the meeting they held at Trump Tower with a Russian lawyer after they were promised dirt on Hillary Clinton; and that Trump and Kushner have some shady Russian investments; and that some of Trump’s advisers made some promises about lifting sanctions.

But what if that’s wrong? What if we’re still standing closer to the mouth of the cave than the end?

The media has treated the notion that Russia has personally compromised the president of the United States as something close to a kook theory. A minority of analysts, mostly but not exclusively on the right, have promoted aggressively exculpatory interpretations of the known facts, in which every suspicious piece of evidence turns out to have a surprisingly innocent explanation. And it is possible, though unlikely, that every trail between Trump Tower and the Kremlin extends no farther than its point of current visibility.

What is missing from our imagination is the unlikely but possible outcome on the other end: that this is all much worse than we suspect. After all, treating a small probability as if it were nonexistent is the very error much of the news media made in covering the presidential horse race. And while the body of publicly available information about the Russia scandal is already extensive, the way it has been delivered — scoop after scoop of discrete nuggets of information — has been disorienting and difficult to follow. What would it look like if it were reassembled into a single narrative, one that distinguished between fact and speculation but didn’t myopically focus on the most certain conclusions?


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1213

Post by Danraft » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:37 am

Foggy wrote:
Thu Jun 21, 2018 7:37 pm
Wow, great find, Addie! :dance:
Yep. I've shared this site a few times in discussion with someone who thought there was nothing there-- on FB and Twitter. Both of them came back to me with more questions. :dance:

Summary little Mini-Sites, that link to various odds and ends make the garble and info overload come into focus.
From the above article..
And while the body of publicly available information about the Russia scandal is already extensive, the way it has been delivered — scoop after scoop of discrete nuggets of information — has been disorienting and difficult to follow. What would it look like if it were reassembled into a single narrative, one that distinguished between fact and speculation but didn’t myopically focus on the most certain conclusions?
:daydream:

This is what TFB did with Birthers (and more), and is just where we are today. So much coming so fast that no one has the time to assemble it all into one place. It's fascinating when it is seen that way.
(hint) :thumbs:


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1214

Post by Addie » Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:31 am

Cross-posting

WaPo
The Dutch were a secret U.S. ally in war against Russian hackers, local media reveal

BERLIN — The Dutch domestic intelligence service AIVD had access to the infamous Russian hacking group Cozy Bear for at least a year starting in mid-2014, local media outlets reported Thursday. According to the reports, the Dutch government alerted the United States to Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election after Netherlands-based officials watched the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other operations by the Russians, including a 2014 State Department hack.

The DNC hack, revealed by The Washington Post in June 2016, was considered a pivotal event in several actions believed to be undertaken by the Russian government to meddle in the U.S. presidential election that year. Two independent research firms later confirmed that the DNC’s network was compromised by Russian government hackers. ...

According to Dutch media, AIVD agents also watched when Russian hackers launched an attack on the State Department in 2014 and compromised unclassified systems at the White House as well as in Congress.

Officials later told The Post that the NSA had been alerted to the hacks by an unnamed Western intelligence agency. The Western ally had previously hacked not only the Russians’ computers but also surveillance cameras inside their offices. The unnamed Western analysts were monitoring the hackers’ maneuvers inside U.S. networks and even collected CCTV footage of those involved.

Thursday’s reports indicated for the first time that the ally that alerted the United States may have been the Netherlands. The country’s analysts were reportedly also able to track the location of the hackers' offices down to a university building next Moscow’s Red Square.

The information obtained by Dutch AIVD agents was passed on to the CIA and the NSA at the time, according to de Volkskrant and Nieuwsuur, and could have contributed to a subsequent FBI inquiry into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.


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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1215

Post by RVInit » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:08 pm

I guess the Dutch are off Trump's Christmas list.


"I know that human being and fish can coexist peacefully"
--- George W Bush

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Re: CIA assessment: Russia helped Trump win & Senate knew it

#1216

Post by Danraft » Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:42 pm

RVInit wrote:
Sat Jul 21, 2018 1:08 pm
I guess the Dutch are off Trump's Christmas list.
Aha.. putting on my "R-Anon" hat (because I'm a step ahead of Q)
Clearly, the hacking attack is actually from the Dutch!!!
Upset because their Cannabis Tourism trade is threatened by the Democrats decriminalization of pot, they hacked and placed Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions in place!
.
the Onion, back when it was a subcription pulp circular, published a great spoof about how "High Times" was a 'gateway magazine' that could lead to reading other magazines- like "Mad" and perhaps even "Cosmo" or "GQ"-- and before long (gasp), your child might get into hard books and spend hours a day staring at paper.
Lately, I've felt an urge for a good Dutch 'coffee shop'.


We've got work to doing!
So, pull on your Sock Puppets --and start Mis-spelling!!!

- Dr Whom, Time Lord
(DNA tests reveal a recessive, silent 'm')

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