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Friday, May 25, 2018

In a letter to Sen. Charles Grassley, (R) Iowa, who is chair of the judiciary committee, Coons pointed to a September 7, 2017 interview of Trump Jr. by judiciary committee staffers. In the interview, Trump Jr. said he was not aware of foreign governments providing assistance to the Trump campaign. He also said that foreign nationals did not provide assistance to the Trump campaign. He further said he did not seek, directly or indirectly, assistance from foreign governments or foreign nationals for the Trump campaign, and that he was not aware of anyone else doing so, either. Finally, Trump Jr. said he did not tell anyone that he or the "campaign would be receptive to offers of assistance from foreign governments or foreign nationals." The letter by Coons to Grassley notes that "multiple recent news reports" suggest that Trump Jr. and Trump campaign advisor Stephen Miller met with three questionable individuals. ... read more


Saturday, May 19, 2018

Three months before the 2016 election, a small group gathered at Trump Tower to meet with Donald Trump Jr., the president's eldest son. One was an Israeli specialist in social media manipulation. Another was an emissary for two wealthy Arab princes. The third was a Republican donor with a controversial past in the Middle East as a private security contractor. The meeting was convened primarily to offer help to the Trump team, and it forged relationships between the men and Trump insiders that would develop over the coming months -- past the election and well into President Trump's first year in office, according to several people with knowledge of their encounters. read more


A Cambridge professor with deep ties to American and British intelligence has been outed as an agent who snooped on the Trump presidential campaign for the FBI. Multiple media outlets have named Stefan Halper, 73, as the secret informant who met with Trump campaign advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos starting in the summer of 2016. The American-born academic previously served in the Nixon, Ford and Reagan administrations. "If the FBI or DOJ was infiltrating a campaign for the benefit of another campaign, that is a really big deal," President Trump tweeted Saturday, calling for the FBI to release additional documents to Congress. The Halper revelation also shows the Obama administration's FBI began prying into the opposing party's presidential nominee earlier than it previously admitted. read more


Thursday, May 17, 2018

Political consulting group Cambridge Analytica used Russian researchers and shared data with companies linked to Russian intelligence, a whistleblower told a congressional hearing on interference in the 2016 US election Wednesday. Christopher Wylie, who leaked information on the British-based firm's hijacking of data on millions of Facebook users, told a Senate panel he believes Russian intelligence services had access to data harvested by the consultancy. Wylie told the panel that Russian-American researcher Aleksandr Kogan, who created an application to harvest Facebook user profile data, was working at the same time on Russian-funded projects, including "behavioral research." read more


In the blink of a Michael Avenatti tweet, Ahmed al-Rumaihi has suddenly found himself internet-famous. It began on Sunday evening, when the attorney for adult film star Stormy Daniels posted a screenshot of video footage from Trump Tower's lobby, recorded on December 12, 2016. Viral speculation followed, with online detectives identifying al-Rumaihi, the former head of a $100 billion wing of the Qatari sovereign wealth fund, in the image and linking him to a Russia-Qatar deal to sell a portion of the oil company Rosneft, which had been referenced in the Steele dossier, a set of raw intelligence reports compiled by former British spy Christopher Steele. From there, Slate took over, headlining a piece late Monday night: "Michael Cohen's Meetings With Michael Flynn and a Qatari Diplomat Might Be the Key to Unlocking the Steele Dossier." read more


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