How Trump's Tantrums Benefit Putin
The World’s Beating a Path to Putin’s Door, and Not Just Because of Soccer
States Need More Cybersecurity Money
States Seek More Money to Secure Elections After Russian Meddling
More Republican Outreach to Russia
At least four Republican Senators are heading to Russia next week, a trip happening at the same time National Security Advisor John Bolton is scheduled to travel to Moscow, Energy Secretary Rick Perry is welcoming Russia's energy minister to the U.S., and President Trump is discussing meeting with Vladimir Putin in July.
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MANY, MANY NEW TRUMP-RUSSIA UPDATES HERE, WITH LINKS TO ORIGINAL NEWS ARTICLES ...
Russians Targeting Senator McCaskill Campaign
The Missouri Democrat is the first identified target of the
Kremlin’s GRU intelligence agency 2018 election interference.
The same group of Russian hackers who targeted Hillary Clinton's campaign, the Democratic National Committee, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee during the 2016 election tried to get access to Senator Claire McCaskill (D-MO) reelection campaign staffers' accounts.
Russia Brags About Advance Knowledge of U.S. Plans
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has made a disturbing claim that Russia will know of any U.S. or western nations' military plans before they happen because someone is giving the Russian government inside information.
Did Rand Go Rogue?
Republican congressional leadership says no plans are in the works to welcome Russian government officials to Capitol Hill, contrary to what Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced this week in Moscow.
Microsoft: U.S. political system facing 'broadening cyberthreats' from Russia
U.S. candidates, campaigns and political groups are facing a resurgence of attempted cyberattacks from hackers, including the Russians accused of disrupting the 2016 presidential election, Microsoft said Tuesday.
The announcement –- the latest sign that this year’s midterms remain under threat as well –- came as the tech giant said it will offer politicians and political organizations free help in repelling email-based hacks.
"In the face of this continuing activity," the company said in a blog post Tuesday, "we must work on the assumption that these attacks will broaden further."
WH Blocks Elections Security Bill
The White House has stepped in to stop updated election security legislation from advancing in the Senate
Trump tried to buy, bury decades of dirt from National Enquirer
He and his lawyer at the time, Michael D. Cohen, devised a plan to buy up all the dirt on Mr. Trump that the National Enquirer and its parent company had collected on him, dating back to the 1980s
Manafort-allied Lobbyist Sam Patten reaches
plea deal connected to Russia and Ukraine work
Worked With Indicted Russian, Manafort's Kiev-based protégé, Konstantin Kilimnik
Worked for Cambridge Analytica on how to manipulate American voters
Pleads guilty to failing to register as a foreign lobbyist
Was the Inaugural Committee a giant slush fund?
Sam Patten, a DC lobbyist allied with Paul Manafort, appeared in federal court Friday to face charges of operating as an unregistered foreign agent for Russia and Ukraine from 2014 to 2017.
Prosecutors also say Patten used a straw man to contribute $50,000 of foreign money to the Trump inaugural committee on behalf of a foreign client with whom he then attended the inauguration.
Special Counsel Robert Mueller had referred the case to the US Attorney's Office for the District of Columbia and the Justice Department's National Security Division.
VTB Sells U.S. Business to Executives
Sanctioned Kremlin-run bank finds workaround to keep U.S. business
Vneshtorgbank (VTB), Russia's state-run bank that the U.S. sanctioned in 2014 as punishment for Russia's annexation of Crimea, has sold its U.S. operation to its executives and changed its name.
VTB has come up frequently in stories about the Russia investigation.
The New York Times reported last year that Felix Sater said he had lined up funding from VTB Bank for Trump Tower Moscow in November 2015, and Trump signed a letter of intent. Sater confirmed that information this past March.
In 2016, according to BuzzFeed News, the FBI started investigating suspicious wire transfers to Russian embassies around the world, and at least one came into the U.S. from VTB Bank.
Newsweek, in December 2017, published a detailed account of how Deutsche Bank partnered with VTB around the same time the former started lending Donald Trump hundreds of millions of dollars.
How Russia Kills Abroad
WALL STREET JOURNAL EDITORIAL
British authorities on Wednesday indicted two men for the March chemical-weapons attack on a former Russian double agent on British soil. The new details add to the evidence that Vladimir Putin’s regime is responsible, but its reckless methods are the real stunner.
Police and prosecutors allege the men they identify as Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov—almost certainly pseudonyms—arrived at London’s Gatwick airport on Friday, March 2, smuggling the weapons-grade nerve agent Novichok in a small counterfeit perfume bottle. They ferried the chemical on suburban trains and the Tube through central London to a hotel, where nonfatal quantities of Novichok were found two months later.
On Sunday, March 4, they again carried the Novichok alongside hundreds of other people on public transport—they couldn’t have rented a car?—to Salisbury, where they sprayed the chemical on the front door of the home of their intended target, Sergei Skripal. He and his daughter Yulia fell seriously ill later that day, as did police officer Nick Bailey after he tried to examine the house. All three spent weeks in the hospital.
The alleged assassins then disposed of their fake perfume bottle, which was discovered almost four months later by Charlie Rowley and his partner, Dawn Sturgess, in a bin for charity donations. He fell seriously ill. She died of the poisoning.
Nothing will come of these indictments. Since Russia refuses to extradite its nationals, Britain isn’t even asking. The most effective response is what Britain and its allies are already doing: sustained financial sanctions against Mr. Putin’s corrupt regime.
These new details show the public why those sanctions are important. The Kremlin was more than criminally ruthless toward a former spy. It was also reckless about the safety of innocents who might get in the way—including the police officer and two members of the public who did. Anyone on those trains with the Russian assassins, or anyone who might ride near Mr. Putin’s henchmen in the future, has a stake in seeing the sanctions continue.
MORE INFO ON RUSSIAN NERVE GAS POISONINGS
Paul Manafort and special counsel reach tentative plea deal
The deal is expected to be announced in court Friday, but it remains unclear whether Manafort has agreed to cooperate with prosecutors or is simply conceding to a guilty plea
How Trump and Manafort Are Helping Each Other in the Russia Investigation (The Atlantic)
Following the Money that Followed the Meeting:
A Series Of Suspicious Money Transfers Followed The Trump Tower Meeting
Federal law enforcement officials are investigating two waves of curious financial transfers involving Aras and Emin Agalarov that took place at two key points in time that could be relevant to the Russia investigation.
Two bursts of suspicious banking activity — one shortly after the June 2016 meeting, the other immediately after the presidential election.
The money transfers raised red flags. The timeline starts with the Trump Tower meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, Paul Manafort, Natalia Veselnitskaya, Kaveladze, and others, set up for the Agalarovs through Goldstone, which took place on June 9, 2016.
Manafort has flipped
Paul Manafort pleads guilty to conspiracy and obstruction and will cooperate in the Russia investigation
Paul Manafort pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of conspiracy and obstruction in the Russia investigation.
Andrew Weissman, a prosecutor on the special counsel Robert Mueller's team, said Manafort's plea deal includes an agreement to cooperate with the Russia investigation.
Manafort: Guilty and Cooperating
UPDATE 2: The special counsel's office has posted all relevant documents to its site
What Paul Manafort Knows
Paul Manafort’s decision to cooperate with Robert Mueller could clarify
several of the biggest mysteries of the Russia investigation
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