Tag Archives: post

Report: Top GOP Lawmaker Was Recorded Saying He Thought Trump Was on Putin’s Payroll

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

Another night, another bombshell report about President Donald Trump and Russia.

The Washington Post revealed Wednesday evening that in June 2016, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) was secretly recorded telling other top Republicans that he believed Russian President Vladimir Putin “pays” Trump. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), who was in the room at the time, apparently ended the exchange moments later by telling those present not to leak what was said.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rep. Dana Rohrabacher R-Calif. and Trump,” McCarthy said, according to the Post, which reports that it obtained and verified a recording. (A spokeman for Rohrabacher denied the allegation; Trump has also denied any coordination with Russia.)

Spokesmen for Ryan and McCarthy told the Post that the exchange was meant as a joke, and there’s no evidence in the story that McCarthy was aware of any evidence to support the claim that Trump or Rohrabacher was on the Russian payroll. Regardless, the conversation provides some insight into what GOP congressional leaders apparently thought about candidate Trump, who by then had essentially secured the Republican presidential nomination.

The Post published this story just as news was breaking that the Department of Justice had appointed a special counsel to investigate ties between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia.

Prior to the discussion of Trump, according to the Post, Ryan and McCarthy had met separately with the Ukrainian prime minister, with whom they had discussed Russian interference in Eastern Europe. Here’s how the Post recounted the recorded conversation, which apparently took place the day after news broke that the Democratic National Committee had been hacked:

“I’ll guarantee you that’s what it is…The Russians hacked the DNC and got the opp opposition research that they had on Trump,” McCarthy said with a laugh.

Ryan asked who the Russians “delivered” the opposition research to.

“There’s…there’s two people, I think, Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy said, drawing some laughter.

“Swear to God,” McCarthy added.

“This is an off the record,” Ryan said.

Some lawmakers laughed at that.

“No leaks, alright?,” Ryan said, adding: “This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

“That’s how you know that we’re tight,” Rep. Steve Scalise said.

“What’s said in the family stays in the family,” Ryan added.

The Post notes that it’s difficult to tell whether the remarks were “meant to be taken literally.” When initially asked about the exchange, spokesmen for Ryan and McCarthy denied that the statements had been made. After being told by the Post that there was a recording of the conversation, the spokesmen said that it was an “attempt at humor.”

When initially asked to comment on the exchange, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Ryan, said: “That never happened,” and Matt Sparks, a spokesman for McCarthy, said: “The idea that McCarthy would assert this is absurd and false.”

After being told that The Post would cite a recording of the exchange, Buck, speaking for the GOP House leadership, said: “This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor. No one believed the majority leader was seriously asserting that Donald Trump or any of our members were being paid by the Russians. What’s more, the speaker and leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s interference in our election, and the House continues to investigate that activity.”

“This was a failed attempt at humor,” Sparks said.

Another intriguing aspect of this story is involvement of Evan McMullin, a former CIA officer and high-ranking GOP Hill staffer who ultimately entered the 2016 presidential race as an independent candidate with backing from the conservative “Never Trump” movement:

Evan McMullin, who in his role as policy director to the House Republican Conference participated in the June 15 conversation, said: “It’s true that Majority Leader McCarthy said that he thought candidate Trump was on the Kremlin’s payroll. Speaker Ryan was concerned about that leaking.”


Report: Top GOP Lawmaker Was Recorded Saying He Thought Trump Was on Putin’s Payroll

Posted in FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Ultima, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Report: Top GOP Lawmaker Was Recorded Saying He Thought Trump Was on Putin’s Payroll

The White House Won’t Deny the Facts of Latest Russia Scandal But Says It’s False Anyway

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

On Monday, the Washington Post set off a political firestorm when it reported that President Donald Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in their White House meeting on May 10. Current and former US officials told the Post that the disclosure jeopardized a valuable source of intelligence on ISIS. The paper quoted one official as saying that Trump had “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.”

On Monday evening, White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster read a confusing statement to the press that appeared to deny the Post’s report. “The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false,” he said, adding that “at no time—at no time—were intelligence sources or methods discussed.” Multiple news outlets soon pointed out that McMaster’s verbal gymnastics seemed to be a classic “nondenial denial.” That is, McMaster appeared to be denying information that wasn’t actually reported by the Post in the first place. The Post had not claimed that “intelligence sources or methods” were discussed; the paper had simply reported that the information discussed could be used to discern intelligence sources or methods.

Trump, for his part, appeared to muddy the waters further Tuesday morning when he took to Twitter to defend his actions. Unlike McMaster, Trump didn’t even purport to dispute the Post‘s reporting:

Later Tuesday, McMaster appeared before the press yet again in an attempt to clear up the situation. Asked about his Monday claim that the Post story was “false,” McMaster said, “I stand by my statement that I made yesterday.” But he then went on to suggest that he wasn’t actually claiming the facts in the story were wrong. Rather, he said it was the “premise” of the article that was false. According to McMaster, “What I’m saying is really the premise of that article is false—that in any way the president had a conversation that was inappropriate or that resulted in any kind of lapse in national security.”

In other words, McMaster wasn’t disputing any of the details in the Post‘s report; he was simply saying the president’s actions were somehow appropriate. McMaster refused to say whether or not the information the president shared with Lavrov and Kislyak was classified. But he repeated several times that Trump’s decision to share the material was “wholly appropriate.”

And why does McMaster think Trump’s statements to the Russians were appropriate? Because, McMaster seemed to imply, the president can decide to share whatever he wants. “As you know,” he said, “it is wholly appropriate for the president to share whatever information he thinks is necessary to advance the security of the American people. That’s what he did…He made the decision in the context of the conversation, which was wholly appropriate.”

McMaster added that Trump wasn’t even aware that the information apparently came from a sensitive intelligence source:

So there you have it: The Post story is “false” because Trump’s statement’s were “appropriate,” and Trump’s statement’s were “appropriate” because he’s the president.

Link to original – 

The White House Won’t Deny the Facts of Latest Russia Scandal But Says It’s False Anyway

Posted in FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, PUR, Radius, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The White House Won’t Deny the Facts of Latest Russia Scandal But Says It’s False Anyway

The FBI Has Lots of Agents Investigating Hillary Clinton

Mother Jones

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC “-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN” “http://www.w3.org/TR/REC-html40/loose.dtd”>

During a Democratic debate in October, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said that the American people were “sick and tired of hearing about Hillary Clinton’s damn emails.” That did a lot to diffuse a story that had plagued the former Secretary of State throughout the summer. But the ongoing FBI investigation into her handling of classified information and the use of her private email server located in the basement of her New York residence has never disappeared, even if it has receded into the background. This weekend, the Washington Post and the Los Angeles Times each published stories highlighting the latest developments in the case.

Whether or not Clinton and her senior aides face criminal charges, the stories demonstrate that the allegations that began nearly a year ago will continue to present a serious problem for the Democratic front-runner. As the Washington Post explains: “From the earliest days, Clinton aides and senior officials focused intently on accommodating the secretary’s desire to use her private email account, documents and interviews show…Throughout, they paid insufficient attention to laws and regulations governing the handling of classified material and the preservation of government records, interviews and documents show. They also neglected repeated warnings about the security of the BlackBerry while Clinton and her closest aides took obvious security risks in using the basement server.”

Here are some key takeaways from the newest reports:

Clinton’s closes aides will soon be asked to meet with FBI investigators: According to the LA Times, a federal prosecutor has contacted the attorneys for Clinton aides to try and set up interviews. The story didn’t specify which lawyers had been contacted, but it did note that the attorneys for longtime aides Huma Abedin, Cheryl Mills, Jake Sullivan, and Philippe Reines did not respond or declined to comment when contacted by reporters. Federal prosecutors have already granted immunity to Bryan Pagliano—the Clinton aide who set up the private email server and maintained it—after Pagliano told a Congressional panel in September that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination. According to the LA Times, prosecutors will try to set up a meeting with Clinton as well. Brian Fallon, a spokesman for the Clinton campaign, said that Clinton is ready to work with the investigators and has offered to meet with them since last August.

The FBI has devoted extensive resources to this investigation: The Post story states that 147 FBI agents have “been deployed” to help work the case (although it’s unclear if that means 147 have worked the case full time or that 147 agents have worked it at one time or another) but after the story was published that number has been challenged. “The FBI has accelerated the investigation because officials want to avoid the possibility of announcing any action too close to the election,” the Post wrote.

Clinton was warned about her BlackBerry phone by government security officials and continued to use it: One of the key issues in this saga is that Clinton and her aides didn’t want her to have to give up her BlackBerry because, “as a political heavyweight and chief of the nation’s diplomatic corps, she needed to manage a torrent of email to stay connected to colleagues, friends and supporters,” writes the Post. “She hated having to put her BlackBerry into a lockbox before going into her own office” which was in a secure area of the State Department known as ‘Mahogany Row.’

Clinton’s staff and the State Department’s security officials tried to work out a solution, but the security officials weren’t convinced they could provide her a BlackBerry that she could use in her office securely. According to the Post, Clinton never had a government BlackBerry, personal computer, or email account. The story describes how “the State Department security officials were distressed about the possibility that Clinton’s BlackBerry could be compromised and used for eavesdropping,” and wrote a memo outlining the range of risks, including the likelihood that Clinton’s use of her phone would lead other employees to do the same.

That worry triggered a memo from Assistant Secretary for Diplomatic Security Eric Boswell “with the subject line ‘Use of Blackberries in Mahogany Row.’” Boswell wrote: “Our review reaffirms our belief that the vulnerabilities and risks associated with the use of Blackberries in the Mahogany Row redacted considerably outweigh the convenience their use can add” because these devices are “highly vulnerable in any setting to remotely and covertly monitoring conversations, retrieving e-mails, and exploiting calendars.” According to the Post, nine days after Boswell’s memo, Clinton wrote him saying she understood the importance of what he was describing, especially “the sentence that indicates (Diplomatic Security) have intelligence concerning this vulnerability during her recent trip to Asia.”

Clinton’s server might have been operating for at least two months without standard encryption, among other security issues: Neither story published this weekend proves that Clinton’s email server was hacked. But the Post does note that for two months the server operated without basic Internet encryption, at least according to an analysis performed by an outside cybersecurity firm (the server might have had other encryption measures employed). Emails or any other data passing through the server was doing so in plain text, which means they could be read by anyone who intercepted them. Additionally, the server included features that “made it vulnerable to talented hackers, including a software program that enabled users to log on directly from the World Wide Web,” according to the Post.

The Clinton campaign told the Post that the security of the server “was taken seriously from the onset” and that “robust protections” were in place.

The private server was also controversial because Clinton and her lawyers tried to “wipe” it before turning it over to the FBI, forcing the agency to employ forensic techniques to retrieve the data. The Times writes that the FBI has recovered “most, if not all” of the emails that Clinton and her lawyers deleted from the server before turning it over to the FBI in August.

Despite concerns raised by government security officials at the time, and independent experts consulted for these stories, the chances of criminal charges are slim: Even with all the concerns about the security of the server and her use of a private account, prosecutors would have to prove that Clinton and her aides knowingly mishandled classified information and shared it with people who weren’t cleared to see it, “a high hurdle in the Clinton case,” according to the Post. Comparisons have been made to the cases against Gen. David Petraeuswho shared classified information with his mistress and then lied to FBI investigators about it—and the late Sandy Berger, a national security adviser for President Bill Clinton who was caught trying to smuggle classified documents from the National Archives in his pants.

Clinton’s case is not nearly as serious as Petraeus’, according to the Times, nor as blatant as Berger’s. “Those cases are just so different from what Clinton is accused of doing,” Stephen Vladeck, a law professor at American University, told the Times. “And the Justice Department lawyers know it.”

Read more: 

The FBI Has Lots of Agents Investigating Hillary Clinton

Posted in alternative energy, Anchor, Cyber, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, solar, Uncategorized, Venta | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off on The FBI Has Lots of Agents Investigating Hillary Clinton

Trump says nuclear weapons are the riskiest kind of climate change

Trump says nuclear weapons are the riskiest kind of climate change

By on 21 Mar 2016commentsShare

National embarrassment and presidential hopeful Donald Trump met with The Washington Post’s editorial board on Monday and spouted some nonsense about climate change, among many other topics. The takeaways: He’s “not a big believer” in human-caused climate change; instead, he believes “our biggest form of climate change we should worry about is nuclear weapons.”

Here’s the full climate exchange:

FRED HIATT, WASHINGTON POST EDITORIAL PAGE EDITOR: You think climate change is a real thing? Is there human-caused climate change?

DONALD TRUMP: I think there’s a change in weather. I am not a great believer in man-made climate change. I’m not a great believer. There is certainly a change in weather that goes – if you look, they had global cooling in the 1920s and now they have global warming, although now they don’t know if they have global warming. They call it all sorts of different things; now they’re using “extreme weather” I guess more than any other phrase. I am not – I know it hurts me with this room, and I know it’s probably a killer with this room – but I am not a believer. Perhaps there’s a minor effect, but I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.

STEPHEN STROMBERG, EDITORIAL WRITER: Don’t good businessmen hedge against risks, not ignore them?

DONALD TRUMP: Well I just think we have much bigger risks. I mean I think we have militarily tremendous risks. I think we’re in tremendous peril. I think our biggest form of climate change we should worry about is nuclear weapons. The biggest risk to the world, to me – I know President Obama thought it was climate change – to me the biggest risk is nuclear weapons. That’s – that is climate change. That is a disaster, and we don’t even know where the nuclear weapons are right now. We don’t know who has them. We don’t know who’s trying to get them. The biggest risk for this world and this country is nuclear weapons, the power of nuclear weapons.


No, thank you, Frederick Ryan Jr. and the WaPo editorial board, for reminding us to check out Mexico’s immigration policies. We hear the food’s great and there’s going to be a really big wall. Maybe that’ll keep Trump out.



enable JavaScript

to view the comments.

Find this article interesting?

Donate now to support our work.

Get Grist in your inbox


Trump says nuclear weapons are the riskiest kind of climate change

Posted in alo, Anchor, FF, GE, LAI, LG, ONA, Radius, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Trump says nuclear weapons are the riskiest kind of climate change