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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Britain's spy agencies played a crucial role in alerting their counterparts in Washington to contacts between members of Donald Trump's campaign team and Russian intelligence operatives, the Guardian has been told.

GCHQ first became aware in late 2015 of suspicious "interactions" between figures connected to Trump and known or suspected Russian agents, a source close to UK intelligence said. This intelligence was passed to the US as part of a routine exchange of information, they added.

The European countries that passed on electronic intelligence – known as sigint – included Germany, Estonia and Poland. Australia, a member of the "Five Eyes" spying alliance that also includes the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand, also relayed material, one source said. read more

Friday, April 07, 2017

President Trump is considering a broad shakeup of his White House that could include the replacement of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus and the departure of chief strategist Steve Bannon, aides and advisers tell us.

A top aide to Trump said he's contemplating major changes, but that the situation is very fluid and the timing uncertain: "Things are happening, but it's very unclear the president's willing to pull that trigger."

The West Wing "Game of Thrones" has been raging ever since Trump took office. But the war between the nationalists and the moderates, led by Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, burst into the open this week after Bannon was taken off the National Security Council, setting off a torrent of leaks against him.

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Over a 24-hour period, top U.S. cyber defenders engaged in a pitched battle with Russian hackers who had breached the unclassified State Department computer system and displayed an unprecedented level of aggression that experts warn is likely to be turned against the private sector.

Whenever National Security Agency hackers cut the attackers' link between their command and control server and the malware in the U.S. system, the Russians set up a new one, current and former U.S. officials said.

The new details about the November 2014 incident emerged recently in the wake of a senior NSA official's warning that the heightened aggression has security implications for firms and organizations unable to fight back. read more

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Donald Trump Jr. is considering a run for New York governor, he told the members of an elite gun club in New York. "Going back to doing deals is boring after 18 months. The politics bug bit me," Trump Jr. said, according to the New York Post. The 39-year-old businessman and reality TV star didn't state whether he was looking towards a 2018 or later run. Trump Jr. is a big-game hunter and said he'd oppose any limit on the Second Amendment.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Former national security adviser Susan Rice denies leaking the name of her successor, Michael Flynn -- but it turns out she didn't even ask for his identity to be unmasked in surveillance reports.

Rice, a longtime target of conservative ire over her actions during the Benghazi attacks, has come under a new round of fire after reports originating with right-wing conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich claimed she ordered the "unmasking" of Trump campaign associates.

She did, according to one Republican official -- but Rice didn't request Flynn's unmasking.
The GOP official told the Wall Street Journal that two members of the Trump transition team had been unmasked by intelligence reports reviewed by Republican lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee.

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