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FTR #981 The Ukrainian Fascist Foundation of the “Russia-Gate” Psy-Op

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This broadcast was recorded in one, 60-minute segment.

Helmets of the Ukrainian Azov battalion

Introduction: In FTR #967, we noted the Ukrainian fascist affiliation of Andrei Artemenko, a Ukrainian member of Parliament who worked with CIA and FBI-connected Trump business associate Felix Sater. Alleged by our media and government to have signified “Russian influence” on the Trump administration, this Sater/Artemenko gambit was actually an ANTI-Russian conspiracy.

In this program, we highlight the profound extent to which the “evidence” in the Russia-Gate “investigation” tracks back to the very same OUN/B successor organizations we have covered in so many of our previous programs:

  1. A story noting the probable Dnipropetrovsk origin of the missile technology apparently facilitating North Korea’s guided missile technology documented the political affiliation of Igor Kolomoisky [Kolomoiskoy], governor of the “Dnipro” district: ” . . . . So, among the Kolomoisky-backed militias was the Azov battalion whose members marched with Swastikas and other Nazi insignias. . . . . . . . In response to the reports of possible Ukrainian collusion in North Korea’s missile program, Oleksandr Turchynov, secretary of the Ukrainian national security and defense council, issued a bizarre denial suggesting that The New York Times and U.S. intelligence agencies were pawns of Russia. . . . Press reports about Turchynov’s statement left out two salient facts: that as the interim President following the February 2014 coup, Turchynov ordered Right Sektor militants to begin the bloody siege of rebel-held Sloviansk, a key escalation in the conflict, and that Turchynov was the one who appointed Kolomoisky to be the ruler of Dnipropetrovsk.”
  2. The journalistic viewpoint on a Ukrainian hacker allegedly used by “Russian hackers” against the U.S. comes from  Anton Gerashchenko, part of the same milieu as Pravy Sektor, Azov, etc. Gerashchenko is, in fact, an apologist for Azov, as discussed in FTR #’s 803, 804, 808, 818:  . . . . Security experts were initially left scratching their heads when the Department of Homeland Security on Dec. 29 released technical evidence of Russian hacking that seemed to point not to Russia, but rather to Ukraine. . . A member of Ukraine’s Parliament with close ties to the security services, Anton Gerashchenko, said that the interaction was online or by phone and that the Ukrainian programmer had been paid to write customized malware without knowing its purpose, only later learning it was used in Russian hacking. . . . It is not clear whether the specific malware the programmer created was used to hack the D.N.C. servers. . . .”
  3. Reading between the lines, an otherwise characteristically propagandized New York Times article encapsulated critically important information: “. . . . While still politically influenced, Ukrainian law enforcement is no longer a swamp of incompetence and corruption. It has been able to monitor Mr. Manafort’s former business associates and turn up evidence of Russian hacking in the 2016 United States election, in part owing to American support. . . .”
  4. Exemplifying the Ukrainian fascists at the epicenter of “Russia-Gate” are a group of Ukrainian hackers, working in tandem with fascist politicians like the aforementioned Anton Gerashchenko. The hacker/Ukrainian fascist link spawned the “PropOrNot” list of “Russian/Kremlin/Putin” dupes in the U.S. media: This list was compiled by the Ukrainian intelligence service, interior ministry and–ahem–hackers: “. . . . One of the more frightening policies enacted by the current oligarch-nationalist regime in Kiev is an online blacklist [42] of journalists accused of collaborating with pro-Russian ‘terrorists.’ [43]  The website, ‘Myrotvorets’ [43] or ‘Peacemaker’—was set up by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence and police, all of which tend to share the same ultranationalist ideologies as Parubiy and the newly-appointed neo-Nazi chief of the National Police. . . . The website is designed to frighten and muzzle journalists from reporting anything but the pro-nationalist party line, and it has the backing of government officials, spies and police—including the SBU (Ukraine’s successor to the KGB), the powerful Interior Minister Avakov and his notorious far-right deputy, Anton Geraschenko. Ukraine’s journalist blacklist website—operated by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence—led to a rash of death threats against the doxxed journalists, whose email addresses, phone numbers and other private information was posted anonymously to the website. . . .”
  5. A Ukrainian activist named Alexandra Chalupa has been instrumental in distributing the “Russia did it” disinformation to Hillary Clinton and influencing the progress of the disinformation in the media. ” . . . . One of the key media sources [46] who blamed the DNC hacks on Russia, ramping up fears of crypto-Putinist infiltration, is a Ukrainian-American lobbyist working for the DNC. She is Alexandra Chalupa—described as the head of the Democratic National Committee’s opposition research on Russia and on Trump, and founder and president of the Ukrainian lobby group ‘US United With Ukraine Coalition’ [47], which lobbied hard to pass a 2014 bill increasing loans and military aid to Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russians, and tightly aligning US and Ukraine geostrategic interests. . . . In one leaked DNC email [50] earlier this year, Chalupa boasts to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda that she brought Isikoff to a US-government sponsored Washington event featuring 68 Ukrainian journalists, where Chalupa was invited ‘to speak specifically about Paul Manafort.’ In turn, Isikoff named her as the key inside source [46] ‘proving’ that the Russians were behind the hacks, and that Trump’s campaign was under the spell of Kremlin spies and sorcerers. . . .”
  6. Alleged “Russian agent” Paul Manafort–identified in FTR #919 as a probable “advance man” for regimes targeted for destabilization–may well have been the person who recommended to his “client” Yanukovich to fire on the Maidan demonstrators. It was that gunfire that signalled the end of Yanukovich’s government. This reinforces Mr. Emory’s take on Manafort. ” . . . . The lawyer’s demands for explanation spring from the hacking earlier this year of the iPhone of Mr Manafort’s daughter, [since confirmed as genuine, at least in part–D.E.] Andrea, with around 300,000 messages published in the dark web. One of the texts sent to her sister Jessica said: ‘Don’t fool yourself. That money we have is blood money.’ It continued ‘You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly, as a tactic to outrage the world and get focus on Ukraine. Remember when there were all those deaths taking place. A while back. About a year ago. Revolts and what not. Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people get them slaughtered.’ . . . .”
  7. Reinforcing the hypothesis that the Maidan shootings were a provocation is the disclosure by Ukraine’s chief prosecutor that the rifles allegedly used to fire on the Maidan demonstrators were recovered by an alleged Yanukovich operative and leader of the snipers who was one of the demonstrators on the Maidan! “ . . . Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko says that the man who helped the so-called “black hundred” of police task force Berkut, who had been shooting at protesters during the Revolution of Dignity, flee Kyiv and deliberately drowned their weapons to conceal evidence, was himself one of the participants of the Maidan protests. ‘With the help of military counterintelligence, we have found weapons of the ‘black hundred,’ including a sniper rifle, which the entire country saw on footage showing the shooting at the protesters from outside the October Palace,” he told the 112 Ukraine TV channel. . . . ‘We found it with a large number of automatic rifles on the bottom of one of Kiev’s lakes. They were cut and drowned in one batch by a single group, whose leader is one of the targets of our investigation. Unfortunately, this man who, according to our version, upon the orders of [former Interior Minister Vitaliy] Zakharchenko helped the ‘black hundred’ flee Kyiv, destroyed and drowned their weapons, he, himself, was with us on the Maidan,’ Lutsenko said. . . . “
  8. The sniper activity in the Maidan must be weighed against the fact that Nazi-linked elements from the Azov milieu were serving as snipers in Kiev at the time. Were they connected to the shootings of demonstrators?
  9. The supposed “evidence” of Russian hacking in the U.S. election comes from CrowdStrike, whose co-founder and chief technology officer–Dmitry Alperovitch–is deeply tied to the NATO/OUN/B milieu installed in power in Ukraine: ” . . . . Dmitri Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. The connection between Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council—which is is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk—has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. As I pointed out in the pages of The Nation in November, the Atlantic Council has spent the past several years producing some of the most virulent specimens of the new Cold War propaganda. . . .”

Emblem of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion

Program Highlights Include:

  1. Information supplementing the discussion from FTR #967 concerning attempts by the OUN/B successor organizations to oust Poroshenko.
  2. Efforts by Yulia Tymoshenko to pass information about Poroshenko to U.S. authorities.
  3. The role of former Ukrainian intelligence chief, Pravy Sektor intimate Valentyn Nalyvaichenko in Tymoshenko’s efforts.
  4. The role of Nalyvaichenko in providing dirt on Poroshenko to Artemenko
  5. The role of Atlantic Council financier Viktor Pinchuk in advancing “peace plans” being attributed to “Russia/Putin/the Kremlin/dupes of same.”

1. Robert Parry highlights a critical feature of the transfer of Ukrainian ICBM technology to North Korea. Dnipropetrovsk, where a financially distressed missile factory resides, had Ukrainian oligarch Igor Kolomoisky as governor, beginning in 2014 just after the Maidan revolution.

Kolomoisky is a strong backer of neo-Nazi elements of the Ukrainian militia units that are prominent in the military conflict in Eastern Ukraine–the Azov battalion in particular.

Azov’s political front, National Corp, recently formed a far-right union, along with Right Sector/Pravy Sektor and Svoboda, calling for: an end to the country’s attempts to move closer to the EU; instead forming a “European Union with the Baltic States;” Ukraine to acquire its own nuclear arsenal.

As Parry also notes below, it was Kolomoisky’s operation in Dnipro that has come under suspicion for a possible role in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014. That may well have been a rogue Ukrainian military operation authored by neo-Nazi militias operating in that area–they had access to the anti-aircraft missile technology used to down the aircraft.

A Ukraine Link to North Korea’s Missiles?” by Robert Parry; Consortium News; 08/15/2017

U.S. intelligence analysts reportedly have traced North Korea’s leap forward in creating an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of striking U.S. territory to a decaying Ukrainian rocket-engine factory whose alleged role could lift the cover off other suppressed mysteries related to the U.S.-backed coup in Kiev.

Because the 2014 coup – overthrowing elected President Viktor Yanukovych – was partly orchestrated by the U.S. government’s influential neoconservatives and warmly embraced by the West’s mainstream media, many of the ugly features of the Kiev regime have been downplayed or ignored, including the fact that corrupt oligarch Igor Kolomoisky was put in charge of the area where the implicated factory was located.

As the region’s governor, the thuggish Kolomoisky founded armed militias of Ukrainian extremists, including neo-Nazis, who spearheaded the violence against ethnic Russians in eastern provinces, which had voted heavily for Yanukovych and tried to resist his violent overthrow.

Kolomoisky, who has triple citizenship from Ukraine, Cyprus and Israel, was eventually ousted as governor of Dnipropetrovsk (now called Dnipro) on March 25, 2015, after a showdown with Ukraine’s current President Petro Poroshenko over control of the state-owned energy company, but by then Kolomoisky’s team had put its corrupt mark on the region.

At the time of the Kolomoisky-Poroshenko showdown, Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, chief of the State Security Service, accused Dnipropetrovsk officials of financing armed gangs and threatening investigators, Bloomberg News reported, while noting that Ukraine had sunk to 142nd place out of 175 countries in Transparency International’s Corruptions Perception Index, the worst in Europe.

Even earlier in Kolomoisky’s brutal reign, Dnipropetrovsk had become the center for the violent intrigue that has plagued Ukraine for the past several years, including the dispatch of neo-Nazi militias to kill ethnic Russians who then turned to Russia for support.

Tolerating Nazis

Yet, protected by the waves of anti-Russian propaganda sweeping across the West, Kolomoisky’s crowd saw few reasons for restraint. So, among the Kolomoisky-backed militias was the Azov battalion whose members marched with Swastikas and other Nazi insignias.

Ironically, the same Western media which heartily has condemned neo-Nazi and white-nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, adopted a much more tolerant attitude toward Ukraine’s neo-Nazism even as those militants murdered scores of ethnic Russians in Odessa in May 2014 and attacked ethnic Russian communities in the east where thousands more died.

When it came to Ukraine, The New York Times and other mainstream outlets were so dedicated to their anti-Russian propaganda that they veered between minimizing the significance of the neo-Nazi militias and treating them as bulwarks of Western civilization.

For instance, on Feb. 11, 2015, the Times published a long article by Rick Lyman that presented the situation in the port city of Mariupol as if the advance by ethnic Russian rebels amounted to the arrival of barbarians at the gate while the inhabitants were being bravely defended by the forces of civilization. But then the article cited the key role in that defense played by the Azov battalion.

Though the article provided much color and detail and quoted an Azov leader prominently, it left out the fact that the Azov battalion was composed of neo-Nazis.

This inconvenient truth that neo-Nazis were central to Ukraine’s “self-defense forces” would have disrupted the desired propaganda message about “Russian aggression.” After all, wouldn’t many Americans and Europeans understand why Russia, which suffered some 27 million dead in World War II, might be sensitive to neo-Nazis killing ethnic Russians on Russia’s border?

So, in Lyman’s article, the Times ignored Azov’s well-known neo-Nazism and referred to it simply as a “volunteer unit.”

In other cases, the Times casually brushed past the key role of fascist militants. In July 2015, the Times published a curiously upbeat story about the good news that Islamic militants had joined with far-right and neo-Nazi battalions to kill ethnic Russian rebels.

The article by Andrew E. Kramer reported that there were three Islamic battalions “deployed to the hottest zones,” such as around Mariupol. One of the battalions was headed by a former Chechen warlord who went by the name “Muslim,” Kramer wrote, adding:

“The Chechen commands the Sheikh Mansur group, named for an 18th-century Chechen resistance figure. It is subordinate to the nationalist Right Sector, a Ukrainian militia. Right Sector formed during last year’s street protests in Kiev from a half-dozen fringe Ukrainian nationalist groups like White Hammer and the Trident of Stepan Bandera.

“Another, the Azov group, is openly neo-Nazi, using the Wolf’s Hook’ symbol associated with the [Nazi] SS. Without addressing the issue of the Nazi symbol, the Chechen said he got along well with the nationalists because, like him, they loved their homeland and hated the Russians.”

Rockets for North Korea

The Times encountered another discomforting reality on Monday when correspondents William J. Broad and David E. Sanger described U.S. intelligence assessments pointing to North Korea’s likely source of its new and more powerful rocket engines as a Ukrainian factory in Dnipro.

Of course, the Times bent over backward to suggest that the blame might still fall on Russia even though Dnipro is a stronghold of some of Ukraine’s most militantly anti-Russian politicians and although U.S. intelligence analysts have centered their suspicions on a Ukrainian-government-owned factory there, known as Yuzhmash.

So, it would seem clear that corrupt Ukrainian officials, possibly in cahoots with financially pressed executives or employees of Yuzhmash, are the likeliest suspects in the smuggling of these rocket engines to North Korea.

Even the Times couldn’t dodge that reality, saying: “Government investigators and experts have focused their inquiries on a missile factory in Dnipro, Ukraine.” But the Times added that Dnipro is “on the edge of the territory where Russia is fighting a low-level war to break off part of Ukraine” – to suggest that the Russians somehow might have snuck into the factory, stolen the engines and smuggled them to North Korea.

But the Times also cited the view of missile expert Michael Elleman, who addressed North Korea’s sudden access to more powerful engines in a study issued this week by the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

“It’s likely that these engines came from Ukraine — probably illicitly,” [missile expert Michael Elleman said in an interview with the Times. “The big question is how many they have and whether the Ukrainians are helping them now. I’m very worried.” . . .  .

. . . . Yet, while the Ukraine crisis may have reduced living standards for average Ukrainians, it was an important catalyst in the creation of the New Cold War between Washington and Moscow, which offers lucrative opportunities for U.S. military contractors and their many think-tank apologists despite increasing the risk of nuclear war for the rest of us. . . . .

The MH-17 Case, Kolomoisky’s operation in Dnipro also has come under suspicion for a possible role in the shoot-down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on July 17, 2014. According to a source briefed by U.S. intelligence analysts, Dnipro was the center of a plot to use a powerful anti-aircraft missile to shoot down Putin’s official plane on a return flight from South America, but instead – after Putin’s plane took a more northerly route – the missile brought down MH-17, killing all 298 people aboard.

For reasons that have still not been explained, the Obama administration suppressed U.S. intelligence reports on the MH-17 tragedy and instead joined in pinning the shoot-down on ethnic Russian rebels and, by implication, Putin and his government.

In the West, the MH-17 shoot-down became a cause celebre, generating a powerful propaganda campaign to demonize Putin and Russia – and push Europe into joining sanctions against Moscow. Few people dared question Russia alleged guilt even though the Russia-did-it arguments were full of holes. [See here and here.] . . . .

. . . . In response to the reports of possible Ukrainian collusion in North Korea’s missile program, Oleksandr Turchynov, secretary of the Ukrainian national security and defense council, issued a bizarre denial suggesting that The New York Times and U.S. intelligence agencies were pawns of Russia.

“This information [about North Korea possibly obtaining rocket engines from Ukraine] is not based on any grounds, provocative by its content, and most likely provoked by Russian secret services to cover their own crimes,” Turchynov said.

Press reports about Turchynov’s statement left out two salient facts: that as the interim President following the February 2014 coup, Turchynov ordered Right Sektor militants to begin the bloody siege of rebel-held Sloviansk, a key escalation in the conflict, and that Turchynov was the one who appointed Kolomoisky to be the ruler of Dnipropetrovsk.

2. We are being told that a Ukrainian hacker, nicknamed “The Profexer” was the creator of the malware allegedly used in the high-profile hacks.

The assertion that the Profexer was paid by Russian hackers to write custom malware comes from Anton Gerashchenko, a far-right member of Ukraine’s Parliament with close ties to the security services and an open apologist for the Azov Battalion.

And according to Mr. Gerashchenko, the interaction the Prefexor had with the ‘Russian hackers’ was online or by phone and that the Ukrainian programmer had been paid to write customized malware without knowing its purpose.

As the article also notes, however, “It is not clear whether the specific malware the programmer created was used to hack the D.N.C. servers, but it was identified in other Russian hacking efforts in the United States.”

The central point here involves Profexer’s claims to have written software for the Russian hackers who “hacked” the DNC.

Aside from the fact that the DNC may not have been “hacked” at all, the P.A.S. web shell tool the Profexer wrote that was cited in the “Grizzly Steppe” report  was an outdated version of P.A.S. web shell.

Unless there’s more information yet to come along this line of inquiry, it appears that the primary criminal activity that the Profexer witnessed was the his own quasi-crime of creating “customized malware” for an anonymous group that may or may not have been used in the DNC hacks. Based on this compelling evidence it appears we can narrow the culprits down to…pretty much any hacker. Huzzah!

It’s clear that the P.A.S. web shell malware that was used in the DNC hacks wasn’t customized. Because it was already an outdated version of P.A.S. web shell.

The article also notes that the Ukrainian government has handed over to the FBI server images of the Ukrainian Election Commission server that was hacked in 2014 during a high profile hack suspected to be the work of Russian government agents.

That hack created material touting Dmitry Yarosh–the head of Pravy Sektor (“Right Sector”) as the victor in the Ukrainian elections of 2014.

“In Ukraine, a Malware Expert Who Could Blow the Whistle on Russian Hacking” by Andrew E. Kramer and Andrew Higgins; The New York Times; 08/16/2017

The hacker, known only by his online alias “Profexer,” kept a low profile.He wrote computer code alone in an apartment and quietly sold his handiwork on the anonymous portion of the internet known as the dark web. Last winter, he suddenly went dark entirely.

Profexer’s posts, already accessible only to a small band of fellow hackers and cybercriminals looking for software tips, blinked out in January — just days after American intelligence agencies publicly identified a program he had written as one tool used in Russian hacking in the United States. . . . .

But while Profexer’s online persona vanished, a flesh-and-blood person has emerged: a fearful man who the Ukrainian police said turned himself in early this year, and has now become a witness for the F.B.I.

“I don’t know what will happen,” he wrote in one of his last messages posted on a restricted-access website before going to the police. “It won’t be pleasant. But I’m still alive.” 

It is the first known instance of a living witness emerging from the arid mass of technical detail that has so far shaped the investigation into the election hacking and the heated debate it has stirred.The Ukrainian police declined to divulge the man’s name or other details, other than that he is living in Ukraine and has not been arrested.

There is no evidence that Profexer worked, at least knowingly, for Russia’s intelligence services, but his malware apparently did. . . .

 . . . . “There is not now and never has been a single piece of technical evidence produced that connects the malware used in the D.N.C. attack to the G.R.U., F.S.B. or any agency of the Russian government,” said Jeffrey Carr, the author of a book on cyberwarfare. The G.R.U. is Russia’s military intelligence agency, and the F.S.B. its federal security service. . . .

. . . . Security experts were initially left scratching their heads when the Department of Homeland Security on Dec. 29 released technical evidence of Russian hacking that seemed to point not to Russia, but rather to Ukraine.

In this initial report, the department released only one sample of malware said to be an indicator of Russian state-sponsored hacking, though outside experts said a variety of malicious programs were used in Russian electoral hacking.

The sample pointed to a malware program, called the P.A.S. web shell, a hacking tool advertised on Russian-language dark web forums and used by cybercriminals throughout the former Soviet Union. The author, Profexer, is a well-regarded technical expert among hackers, spoken about with awe and respect in Kiev.

He had made it available to download, free, from a website that asked only for donations, ranging from $3 to $250. The real money was made by selling customized versions and by guiding his hacker clients in its effective use. It remains unclear how extensively he interacted with the Russian hacking team.

After the Department of Homeland Security identified his creation, he quickly shut down his website and posted on a closed forum for hackers, called Exploit, that “I’m not interested in excessive attention to me personally.”

Soon, a hint of panic appeared, and he posted a note saying that, six days on, he was still alive.

Another hacker, with the nickname Zloi Santa, or Bad Santa, suggested the Americans would certainly find him, and place him under arrest, perhaps during a layover at an airport.

“It could be, or it could not be, it depends only on politics,” Profexer responded. “If U.S. law enforcement wants to take me down, they will not wait for me in some country’s airport. Relations between our countries are so tight I would be arrested in my kitchen, at the first request.”

In fact, Serhiy Demediuk, chief of the Ukrainian Cyber Police, said in an interview that Profexer went to the authorities himself. As the cooperation began, Profexer went dark on hacker forums. He last posted online on Jan. 9. Mr. Demediuk said he had made the witness available to the F.B.I., which has posted a full-time cybersecurity expert in Kiev as one of four bureau agents stationed at the United States Embassy there. The F.B.I. declined to comment.

Profexer was not arrested because his activities fell in a legal gray zone, as an author but not a user of malware, the Ukrainian police say. But he did know the users, at least by their online handles. “He told us he didn’t create it to be used in the way it was,” Mr. Demediuk said.

A member of Ukraine’s Parliament with close ties to the security services, Anton Gerashchenko, said that the interaction was online or by phone and that the Ukrainian programmer had been paid to write customized malware without knowing its purpose, only later learning it was used in Russian hacking.

Mr. Gerashchenko described the author only in broad strokes, to protect his safety, as a young man from a provincial Ukrainian city. He confirmed that the author turned himself in to the police and was cooperating as a witness in the D.N.C. investigation. . . .

. . . . It is not clear whether the specific malware the programmer created was used to hack the D.N.C. servers. . . .

. . . . Included in this sharing of information were copies of the server hard drives of Ukraine’s Central Election Commission, which were targeted during a presidential election in May 2014. That the F.B.I. had obtained evidence of this earlier, Russian-linked electoral hack has not been previously reported.

Traces of the same malicious code, this time a program called Sofacy, were seen in the 2014 attack in Ukraine and later in the D.N.C. intrusion in the United States. . . .

. . . . . Hackers had loaded onto a Ukrainian election commission server a graphic mimicking the page for displaying results. This phony page showed a shocker of an outcome: an election win for a fiercely anti-Russian, ultraright candidate, Dmytro Yarosh. Mr. Yarosh in reality received less than 1 percent of the vote.

The false result would have played into a Russian propaganda narrative that Ukraine today is ruled by hard-right, even fascist, figures. . . .

. . . . A Ukrainian government researcher who studied the hack, Nikolai Koval, published his findings in a 2015 book, “Cyberwar in Perspective,” and identified the Sofacy malware on the server.

The mirror of the hard drive went to the F.B.I., which had this forensic sample when the cybersecurity company CrowdStrike identified the same malware two years later, on the D.N.C. servers.

. . . .Ukraine’s Cyber Police have also provided the F.B.I. with copies of server hard drives showing the possible origins of some phishing emails targeting the Democratic Party during the election. . . .

3. Note the Ukrainian intelligence services’ apparent role in the “investigation” into Russia-Gate. Noting the disappearance of an arrested Ukrainian hacker and quoting the aforementioned Oleksander Turchynov, a characteristically slanted New York Times article notes that: ” . . . . . . . . While still politically influenced, Ukrainian law enforcement is no longer a swamp of incompetence and corruption. It has been able to monitor Mr. Manafort’s former business associates and turn up evidence of Russian hacking in the 2016 United States election, in part owing to American support. . . . [The “evidence” comes from Ukrainian security services–D.E.]”

“Schooled in Scandal: What Makes Ukraine a Hotbed of Intrigue” by Andrew Higgins and Andrew E. Kramer; The New York Times; 10/7/2017.

. . . . The arrest of Gennadi Kapkanov, 33, a Russian-born Ukrainian hacker, and the takedown of Avalanche, a vast network of computers he and his confederates were accused of hijacking through malware and turning into a global criminal enterprise, won a rare round of applause for Ukraine from its frequently dispirited Western backers.

By the following day, however, Mr. Kapkanov had disappeared.

A judge in a district court in Poltava turned down a prosecution request that he be held in preventive custody for 40 days, and ordered him set free. Mr. Kapkanov has not been seen since. . . .

. . . . “Why is there so much noise around Ukraine? Because Ukraine is the epicenter of the confrontation between the Western democratic world and authoritarian, totalitarian states,” Oleksandr Turchynov, the head of Ukraine’s national security and defense council, said in an interview. . . .

. . . . While still politically influenced, Ukrainian law enforcement is no longer a swamp of incompetence and corruption. It has been able to monitor Mr. Manafort’s former business associates and turn up evidence of Russian hacking in the 2016 United States election, in part owing to American support.

The C.I.A. tore out a Russian-provided cellphone surveillance system, and put in American-supplied computers, said Viktoria Gorbuz, a former head of liaison at the S.B.U.

Ms. Gorbuz’s department translated telephone intercepts from the new system and forwarded them to the Americans.

It is unclear whether any phone intercepts relevant to the election meddling investigation have gone to the American authorities. But a Ukrainian law enforcement official has given journalists partial phone records of former associates of Mr. Manafiort. . . .

4. A key element of analysis is an important article in The Nation by James Carden. This story points out that a number of cyber-security experts are skeptical of the official findings.

Furthermore the story points out that Crowdstrike is headed by Dmitri Alperovitch a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, which is funded, in part, by the State Department, NATO, Lithuania, Latvia, the Ukrainian World Congress and Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk!

” . . . . Yet despite the scores of breathless media pieces that assert that Russia’s interference in the election is ‘case closed,’might some skepticism be in order? Some cyber experts say ‘yes.’ . . . Cyber-security experts have also weighed in. The security editor at Ars Technica observed that ‘Instead of providing smoking guns that the Russian government was behind specific hacks,’ the government report ‘largely restates previous private sector claims without providing any support for their validity.’ Robert M. Lee of the cyber-security company Dragos noted that the report ‘reads like a poorly done vendor intelligence report stringing together various aspects of attribution without evidence.’ Cybersecurity consultant Jeffrey Carr noted that the report ‘merely listed every threat group ever reported on by a commercial cybersecurity company that is suspected of being Russian-made and lumped them under the heading of Russian Intelligence Services (RIS) without providing any supporting evidence that such a connection exists.’ . . .”

“In this respect, it is worth noting that one of the commercial cybersecurity companies the government has relied on is Crowdstrike, which was one of the companies initially brought in by the DNC to investigate the alleged hacks.”

” . . . . Dmitri Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. . . . The connection between [Crowdstrike co-founder and chief technology officer Dmitri] Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council—which is is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk—has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. As I pointed out in the pages of The Nation in November, the Atlantic Council has spent the past several years producing some of the most virulent specimens of the new Cold War propaganda. . . .

 “Is Skepticism Treason?” by James Carden; The Nation; 1/3/2017.

. . . . In this respect, it is worth noting that one of the commercial cybersecurity companies the government has relied on is Crowdstrike, which was one of the companies initially brought in by the DNC to investigate the alleged hacks.

In late December, Crowdstrike released a largely debunked report claiming that the same Russian malware that was used to hack the DNC has been used by Russian intelligence to target Ukrainian artillery positions. Crowdstrike’s co-founder and chief technology officer, Dmitri Alperovitch, told PBS, “Ukraine’s artillery men were targeted by the same hackers…that targeted DNC, but this time they were targeting cellphones [belonging to the Ukrainian artillery men] to try to understand their location so that the Russian artillery forces can actually target them in the open battle.”

Dmitri Alperovitch is also a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council.

The connection between Alperovitch and the Atlantic Council has gone largely unremarked upon, but it is relevant given that the Atlantic Council—which is is funded in part by the US State Department, NATO, the governments of Latvia and Lithuania, the Ukrainian World Congress, and the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk—has been among the loudest voices calling for a new Cold War with Russia. As I pointed out in the pages of The Nation in November, the Atlantic Council has spent the past several years producing some of the most virulent specimens of the new Cold War propaganda.

It would seem then that a healthy amount of skepticism toward a government report that relied, in part, on the findings of private-sector cyber security companies like Crowdstrike might be in order. And yet skeptics have found themselves in the unenviable position of being accused of being Kremlin apologists, or worse. . . .

 5. The OUN/B milieu in the U.S. has apparently been instrumental in generating the “Russia did it” disinformation about the high-profile hacks. In the Alternet.org article, Mark Ames highlights several points:

“The Anonymous Blacklist Quoted by the Washington Post Has Apparent Ties to Ukrainian Fascism and CIA Spying” by Mark Ames; Alternet.org; 12/7/2016.

  • Emblem of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion

    Emblem of the Ukrainian Azov Battalion

    The “PropOrNot” group quoted in a Washington Post story tagging media outlets, websites and blogs as “Russian/Kremlin stooges/propaganda tools/agents” is linked to the OUN/B heirs now in power in Ukraine. ” . . . One PropOrNot tweet, dated November 17, invokes a 1940s Ukrainian fascist salute “Heroiam Slava!!” [17] to cheer a news item on Ukrainian hackers fighting Russians. The phrase means “Glory to the heroes” and it was formally introduced by the fascist Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists (OUN) at their March-April 1941 congress in Nazi occupied Cracow, as they prepared to serve as Nazi auxiliaries in Operation Barbarossa. . . . ‘the OUN-B introduced another Ukrainian fascist salute at the Second Great Congress of the Ukrainian Nationalists in Cracow in March and April 1941. This was the most popular Ukrainian fascist salute and had to be performed according to the instructions of the OUN-B leadership by raising the right arm ‘slightly to the right, slightly above the peak of the head’ while calling ‘Glory to Ukraine!’ (Slava Ukraїni!) and responding ‘Glory to the Heroes!’ (Heroiam Slava!). . . .”

  • The OUN/B heirs ruling Ukraine compiled a list of journalists who were “Russian/Kremlin stooges/propaganda tools/agents,” including personal data and contact information (like that made public in the WikiLeaks data dump of DNC e-mails). This list was compiled by the Ukrainian intelligence service, interior ministry and–ahem–hackers: “. . . . One of the more frightening policies enacted by the current oligarch-nationalist regime in Kiev is an online blacklist [42] of journalists accused of collaborating with pro-Russian ‘terrorists.’ [43]  The website, ‘Myrotvorets’ [43] or ‘Peacemaker’—was set up by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence and police, all of which tend to share the same ultranationalist ideologies as Parubiy and the newly-appointed neo-Nazi chief of the National Police. . . . The website is designed to frighten and muzzle journalists from reporting anything but the pro-nationalist party line, and it has the backing of government officials, spies and police—including the SBU (Ukraine’s successor to the KGB), the powerful Interior Minister Avakov and his notorious far-right deputy, Anton Geraschenko [closely associated with the Azov Battalion]. Ukraine’s journalist blacklist website—operated by Ukrainian hackers working with state intelligence—led to a rash of death threats against the doxxed journalists, whose email addresses, phone numbers and other private information was posted anonymously to the website. Many of these threats came with the wartime Ukrainian fascist salute: “Slava Ukraini!” [Glory to Ukraine!] So when PropOrNot’s anonymous “researchers” reveal only their Ukrainian(s) identity, it’s hard not to think about the spy-linked hackers who posted the deadly “Myrotvorets” blacklist of “treasonous” journalists. . . .”
  • Helmets of the Ukrainian Azov battalion: Your tax dollars at work

    Helmets of the Ukrainian Azov battalion: Your tax dollars at work

    A Ukrainian activist named Alexandra Chalupa has been instrumental in distributing the “Russia did it” disinformation to Hillary Clinton and influencing the progress of the disinformation in the media. ” . . . . One of the key media sources [46] who blamed the DNC hacks on Russia, ramping up fears of crypto-Putinist infiltration, is a Ukrainian-American lobbyist working for the DNC. She is Alexandra Chalupa—described as the head of the Democratic National Committee’s opposition research on Russia and on Trump, and founder and president of the Ukrainian lobby group ‘US United With Ukraine Coalition’ [47], which lobbied hard to pass a 2014 bill increasing loans and military aid to Ukraine, imposing sanctions on Russians, and tightly aligning US and Ukraine geostrategic interests. . . . In one leaked DNC email [50] earlier this year, Chalupa boasts to DNC Communications Director Luis Miranda that she brought Isikoff to a US-government sponsored Washington event featuring 68 Ukrainian journalists, where Chalupa was invited ‘to speak specifically about Paul Manafort.’ In turn, Isikoff named her as the key inside source [46] ‘proving’ that the Russians were behind the hacks, and that Trump’s campaign was under the spell of Kremlin spies and sorcerers. . . .”

6a. Andrei Artemenko wasn’t the only Ukrainian politician to approach the Trump administration with a peace plan in early 2017. Yulia Tymoshenko did the same thing in February, saying Trump promised her that he would “not abandon Ukraine.”

Additionally, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the former head of the Security Service of Ukraine and a political ally of Tymoshenko, claims he traveled to the US in December and January and delivered to the U.S. Department of Justice proof of “political corruption by (Ukraine’s) top officials.” And he apparently gave the same material to Artemenko in 2015. And while Nalyvaichenko says he doesn’t back Artemenko’s peace plan, he did admit to submit a peace plan of his own to the US government.

Nalyvaichenko is a direct heir to the OUN/B, having run Ukrainian intelligence (the SBU) along the lines of the OUN/B. Nalyvaichenko is very close to Pravy Sektor and Dimitry Yarosh.

Peace proposals by anti-Russian figues include one by Viktor Pinchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch who also a member of the anti-Russian Atlantic Council.

“Artemenko Goes from Obscurity to Notoriety” by Melkorezeva, Oksana Grytsenko; Kyiv Post; 02/24/2017

. . . . But Artemenko is not the only Ukrainian politician to reach out to the White House behind President Petro Poroshenko’s back.

Yulia Tymoshenko, the former prime minister and leader of Batkivshchyna Party, had a brief meeting with U.S. President Donald J. Trump before the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Feb. 3, during which Trump reportedly promised her that he would “not abandon Ukraine.”

And Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, the former head of the Security Service of Ukraine and a political ally of Tymoshenko, says he visited the U.S. in December and January.

Nalyvaichenko told the Kyiv Post he met there with former Republican Senator Jim DeMint, a Trump advisor and president of the conservative the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, and Bob Corker, a Republican senator from Tennessee and Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman.

Nalyvaichenko said he delivered to the U.S. Department of Justice proof of “political corruption by (Ukraine’s) top officials.” He said also delivered to Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s Office materials about alleged money laundering and the illegal use of offshore companies by Poroshenko’s business partner and lawmaker Ihor Kononenko.

Back in 2015, Nalyvaichenko gave the compromising materials on Poroshenko to Artemenko, which he claimed to also give to the U.S. authorities. . . .

6b. Alleged “Russian agent” Paul Manafort–identified in FTR #919 as a probable “advance man” for regimes targeted for destabilization–may well have been the person who recommended to his “client” Yanukovich to fire on the Maidan demonstrators. It was that gunfire that signalled the end of Yanukovich’s government. This reinforces Mr. Emory’s take on Manafort. ” . . . . The lawyer’s demands for explanation spring from the hacking earlier this year of the iPhone of Mr Manafort’s daughter, [since confirmed as genuine–D.E.] Andrea, with around 300,000 messages published in the dark web. One of the texts sent to her sister Jessica said: ‘Don’t fool yourself. That money we have is blood money.’ It continued ‘You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly, as a tactic to outrage the world and get focus on Ukraine. Remember when there were all those deaths taking place. A while back. About a year ago. Revolts and what not. Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people get them slaughtered.’ . . . .”

“As the Russia Investigation Continues, the Focus Has Intensified on Ukraine”  by Kim Sengupta; The Independent; 9/21/2017.

A hearing took place last week in Kiev on Andrii Artemenko’s efforts to have his citizenship restored. A day later John Bolton, the former American envoy to the UN, and a staunch Donald Trump supporter, told an international conference in the city that he expected some of the people around the US President to go to prison. Investigations into Paul Manafort, meanwhile, are looking at his activities in Ukraine.

The Ukrainian connection in the Trump affair is under increasing scrutiny. Mr Artemenko, an MP, is a relatively unfamiliar name in the expanding and colourful cast of those now entangled. But his links with Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, and Felix Sater, a criminal and former business associate of Trump, has become important in establishing whether the Kremlin was actively seeking to influence American policy.

Mr Artemenko has been accused of treason by the government of Petro Poroshenko and stripped of his citizenship. That came after revelations that he reportedly gave details of a secret plan to Mr Sater and Mr Cohen to be passed on to the Trump White House which would, in effect, formalise the dismemberment of Ukraine. The proposal was that sanctions against Russia would be lifted in return for Moscow leasing the Crimea for an unspecified amount of time.

Mr Trump had stated during his election campaign that he may accept the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea. Mr Artemenko delivered his plan to Mr Cohen who passed it on, it has been claimed, to Michael Flynn, a former Lieutenant General, who was then Mr Trump’s National Security Adviser. Mr Flynn was himself forced to resign over his contacts with the Russian government and is now the subject of an inquiry over that as well as over lobbying for Recep Tayyep Erdogan’s Turkish government.

It is Mr Manafort who is most immediately in the firing line with his work as Mr Trump’s campaign manager as well as that of Viktor Yanukovych, Ukraine’s pro-Moscow President who was overthrown in the revolution of four years ago and fled to Russia, being examined.

It has been revealed that Mr Manafort was secretly wiretapped by the FBI and has been told by prosecutors that he may face indictment over alleged violations of tax laws, money laundering, and lobbying for a foreign power. Federal agents working for Special Investigator Robert Mueller, who carried out an early morning raid at his apartment in Alexandria, Virginia, have taken away documents and computer files which include, it is believed, details of his work for President Yanukovych.

A number of Mr Manafort’s associates have been subpoenaed by Mr Mueller’s team. They include the heads of two consulting firms, Mercury Public Affairs and the Podesta Group, who worked with Mr Manafort in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s Anti-Corruption Bureau, set up under Western supervision, has allegedly discovered secret accounts, the so-called “black ledger”, supposedly showing that in a period of five years, between 2007 and 2012, when Mr Manafort received $12.7m from Mr Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. Officials hold that the money was part of an illegal clandestine system which had been used to pay off a number of figures. Mr Manafort has insisted that he had not received the money.

Human rights groups in Ukraine also want to question Mr Manafort about killings during the Maidan protests in Kiev in 2014. Eugenia Zakrevska, a lawyer representing families of victims, is part of a team seeking information on who was complicit in President Yanukovych’s ordering security forces to open fire on demonstrators.

The lawyer’s demands for explanation spring from the hacking earlier this year of the iPhone of Mr Manafort’s daughter, Andrea, with around 300,000 messages published in the dark web. One of the texts sent to her sister Jessica said: “Don’t fool yourself. That money we have is blood money.” It continued “You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly, as a tactic to outrage the world and get focus on Ukraine. Remember when there were all those deaths taking place. A while back. About a year ago. Revolts and what not. Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people get them slaughtered.”

In another text she said: “He is cash-poor right now. And now Ukraine is late in paying him.”

No evidence has been presented that Mr Manafort was responsible for deaths and Andrea Manafort has refused to comment on the texts. Ms Zakrevska, however, wants Mr Manafort “to clarify the allegations contained in the text messages and to contact us with any information you may have about events that occurred in central Kiev between 18 and 20 February 2014”.

Mr Artemenko, according to a New York Times report “emerged from the opposition” organised against President Poroshenko by Mr Manafort and was instigated in putting together the “peace deal” by figures close to Vladimir Putin. This is denied by the MP complains that that “anyone who has a personal opinion in Ukraine is automatically named a Russian spy. I don’t have such connections with Russia, that is the reason why I tried to involve the Trump administration on this issue and not the Kremlin.”

But the man Mr Artemenko chose to help him get his plan to the Trump administration boasts of the sheer extent of his Russian connections. Felix Sater, born Felix Sheferovsky in Russia, whose family emigrated to the US when he was six, had declared that he could get the Kremlin’s backing to make Mr Trump the US President.

“Our boy can become President of the USA and we can engineer it … I will get Putin on this programme and we will get Trump elected,” he emailed Mr Cohen, a lifelong friend. Another excited email to Mr Trump’s lawyer said “Can you believe two guys from Brooklyn are going to elect a President?”

Mr Sater’s connections were enough to ensure that Ivanka Trump got to seat on Putin’s chair at the Presidential office in the Kremlin. He had chaperoned her and Donald Jr on a trip to Moscow at the request of Mr Trump. Ivanka recalls the trip included “a brief tour of Red Square and the Kremlin” and this may have involved sitting at President Putin’s desk.

Mr Sater was jailed in 1991 for slashing a man with a broken cocktail glass (a margarita) and he was also convicted for involvement in an investment scam in which Russian and American organised crime groups targeted the elderly, some of whom were Holocaust survivors. On that occasion he avoided a potential sentence of 20 years, paying a £25,000 fine instead. He also became a federal informer. According to prosecution documents he supplied highly valuable material on al-Qaeda, Russian organised crime, the American mafia and foreign governments.

Mr Artemenko, Mr Sater and Mr Cohen met at a Manhattan restaurant earlier this year where, according to Mr Artemenko and Mr Sater, the Ukraine plan was discussed at length and Mr Cohen offered to take it to Michael Flynn. The New York Times reported that he subsequently delivered it personally, in a sealed envelope, to the President’s National Security Adviser. Mr Cohen later denied this account. The newspaper stands by its story, saying that he had acknowledged what he had done to its journalists.

Mr Flynn was forced to resign soon afterwards. Investigators now have obtained a copy of the Artemenko plan. Prosecution lawyers are said to be considering whether it constituted a covert attempt by a foreign power to influence US policy.

Mr Artemenko feels he has been caught in the crossfire between Mr Trump and “the liberal media”. He will continue with his “Roadmap for Peace”, he says, and strive to regain Ukrainian nationality – his birth right. A source close to him refused to say whether or not he has agreed to meet Robert Mueller’s investigators.

6c. It’s worth noting that Paul Manafort has confirmed that some of the hacked texts are real. As the following article also notes, Andrea Manafort was actually with her dad in Florida during the sniper attacks. Might he have shared details of his behavior visa

“Ukraine Lawyer Seeks Probe of Alleged Hacked Texts of Manafort’s Daughter” by Simon Ostrovsky; CNN; 03/11/2017

A Ukrainian human rights attorney representing the victims of mass police shootings in Kiev in 2014 has asked prosecutors to investigate what are purported to be the hacked text messages of one of Paul Manafort’s daughters, saying the texts point to possible influence Manafort had with Ukraine’s president during that period.

“You know he has killed people in Ukraine? Knowingly,” Andrea Manafort allegedly wrote of her father in March 2015 in an angry series of texts to her sister, Jessica, about her father’s personal and professional life.

“Remember when there were all those deaths taking place. A while back. About a year ago. Revolts and what not,” reads another text in reference to the bloodshed in Kiev.

“Do you know whose strategy that was to cause that, to send those people out and get them slaughtered.”

“He has no moral or legal compass,” Andrea allegedly wrote about her father earlier as part of the same conversation.

The messages were obtained from a hacker website that in February posted four years’ worth of texts, consisting of 300,000 messages, apparently taken from Andrea Manafort’s iPhone.

Paul Manafort: No comment

Paul Manafort currently faces an FBI investigation over millions of dollars’ worth of payments he allegedly received while working as a political strategist for Ukraine’s Russia-backed president, Viktor Yanukovych. Manafort has denied receiving the undeclared cash payments.

Protesters descended on Kiev’s central square in a peaceful protest in the winter of 2013 when Yanukovych unexpectedly backed out of a trade deal with the European Union under pressure from the Kremlin. Close to 100 people died in the shootings in the weeks before Yanukovych fled in February 2014.

Ukrainian authorities say Yanukovych created conditions that allowed security forces to kill the pro-Western protesters in Kiev, but so far have not been able to charge him because he is in Russia.

Manafort has not been linked to the shootings.

Asked by CNN to comment, Manafort said via text message: “Comment on what. There is nothing.”

Manafort would not confirm whether the texts were genuine, but in a Politico story last month on the texts, he indicated that some of them were.

The texts suggest that Manafort and his daughter were together in Florida on the day of the worst violence in Kiev on February 20th, when close to 50 people died.

Manafort already influential in Ukraine

Thursday, the human rights lawyer, Eugenia Zakrevska, filed a motion in Kiev requesting that prosecutors verify the contents of the text message dump and take measures to compel US authorities to question Manafort.

“I call on Mr. Manafort to clarify the allegations contained in the text messages and to contact us with any information he may have on those events,” Zakrevska told CNN.

Zakrevska and a special prosecution unit have been working together on several concurrent cases looking into the violence in and around Kiev’s Independence Square.

Zakrevska said all of the killings would have already taken place by the time Manafort met his daughter the evening of the 20th, if the texts’ timestamps are accurate, and she thought it was unlikely that Andrea actually witnessed Paul Manafort personally directing Kiev police forces.

“But this doesn’t rule out Manafort’s influence on Yanukovych’s actions and decisions during that period,” Zakrevska said.

Serhiy Gorbatyuk, Ukraine’s prosecutor for special investigations, confirmed to CNN that his office received Zakrevska’s motion and said the text messages would be investigated and potentially entered into evidence. “We will check thoroughly to verify if they are real or not.”

Asked by CNN about the prospect of an investigation by the general prosecutors’ office, Manafort replied: “Total BS on GP (general prosecutor).”

Manafort began working for Yanukovych in 2004 and grew to be an influential figure in Ukraine who had the ear of the President. After Yanukovych was ousted and pro-Western forces took the reins, Manafort stayed on in the country to help rebrand Yanukovych’s Party of Regions as “Opposition Bloc.”

Covert methods and ‘shady email’

The text messages, if genuine, shed light both on the last days of the Yanukovych regime in Ukraine and a turbulent period in the Trump campaign last summer, when Trump shook up his team’s leadership structure.

They also cover the time period when Russia, according to US intelligence agencies, may have been conducting hacks into email accounts associated with the Democratic Party.

In the same 2015 conversation with her sister, Andrea allegedly suggests to Jessica that their father used covert methods to send messages to Ukraine.

“I was there when it happened. I saw him on his shady email,” she allegedly wrote. “They don’t write emails. They log on and write in the drafts So it’s never transmitted over any servers.”

In another alleged exchange with Jessica, in June 2016, Andrea plays down her father’s involvement in the hacks of the Democratic Party emails.

“Pretty crazy about all the email hacking huh?” the texts read. “Dad must be over the moon.”

“Oh i saw.” is the reply. “The russians.”

“Well it wasn’t dad’s doing. It was hackers,” Andrea allegedly writes back. “No clue who the hackers were. Fbi is looking into it.”

———-

6d. Reinforcing the hypothesis that the Maidan shootings were a provocation is the disclosure by Ukraine’s chief prosecutor that the rifles allegedly used to fire on the Maidan demonstrators were recovered by an alleged Yanukovich operative and leader of the snipers who was one of the demonstrators on the Maidan! “ . . . Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko says that the man who helped the so-called “black hundred” of police task force Berkut, who had been shooting at protesters during the Revolution of Dignity, flee Kyiv and deliberately drowned their weapons to conceal evidence, was himself one of the participants of the Maidan protests. ‘With the help of military counterintelligence, we have found weapons of the ‘black hundred,’ including a sniper rifle, which the entire country saw on footage showing the shooting at the protesters from outside the October Palace,” he told the 112 Ukraine TV channel. . . . ‘We found it with a large number of automatic rifles on the bottom of one of Kiev’s lakes. They were cut and drowned in one batch by a single group, whose leader is one of the targets of our investigation. Unfortunately, this man who, according to our version, upon the orders of [former Interior Minister Vitaliy] Zakharchenko helped the ‘black hundred’ flee Kyiv, destroyed and drowned their weapons, he, himself, was with us on the Maidan,’ Lutsenko said. . . . “

“Prosecutors say public to face unpleasant surprise in Maidan killings probe”; Unian.info; 07/24/2016

Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko says that the man who helped so-called “black hundred” of police task force Berkut, who had been shooting at protesters during the Revolution of Dignity, flee Kyiv and deliberately drowned their weapons to conceal evidence, was himself one of the participants of the Maidan protests.

“With the help of military counterintelligence, we have found weapons of the “black hundred,” including a sniper rifle, which the entire country saw on footage showing the shooting at the protesters from outside the October Palace,” he told the 112 Ukraine TV channel.

“We found it with a large number of automatic rifles on the bottom of one of Kiev’s lakes. They were cut and drowned in one batch by a single group, whose leader is one of the targets of our investigation. Unfortunately, this man who, according to our version, upon the orders of [former Interior Minister Vitaliy] Zakharchenko helped the “black hundred” flee Kyiv, destroyed and drowned their weapons, he, himself, was with us on the Maidan,” Lutsenko said.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the Prosecutor General’s Office July 14 conducted searches at the houses of persons involved in assisting the troops from Berkut police special forces’ “black hundred” in fleeing Kyiv after the bloody killings of the Maidan activists and subsequent destruction of their weapons.

Earlier, Deputy Prosecutor General of Ukraine, Chief Military Prosecutor Anatoliy Matios said: “When public learns who is involved in this, people will be very surprised.” According to him, information to be published may cause rejection, “but the truth is the truth.”

 

 

 

Discussion

6 comments for “FTR #981 The Ukrainian Fascist Foundation of the “Russia-Gate” Psy-Op”

  1. Following the reports that the Mueller investigation was about to issue its first round of charges in the #TrumpRussia investigation, the big question was whether or not the charges would be over something unrelated to the Trump campaign (e.g. like money-laundering that was discovered over the course of the investigation) or whether or not it would actual tie in to the whole #TrumpRussia affair (e.g. something showing the Trump campaign colluding with Russian government officials over the Democratic hacks). And sure enough we got both! In that respect in didn’t disappoint.

    First we got the indictment of Paul Manafort, who was probably #1 on the list of people expected to be arrested, along with his long-time business associate Rick Gates. It appears to mostly involve crimes related to their work in Ukraine, consisting of 12 counts of conspiracy against the U.S., conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act) statements, false statements and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts, according to a Mueller spokesperson. All in all it wasn’t particularly surprising or necessarily related to anything involving the Trump campaign.

    And then there was the second round of reports involving a relatively obscure Trump campaign advisor, George Papadopoulos. It was much, much more #TrumpRussia-related:

    The Washington Post

    Trump campaign adviser admitted to lying about Russian contacts

    By Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger
    October 30, 2017 at 1:25 PM

    George Papadopoulos, a former campaign adviser to President Trump, pleaded guilty earlier this month to lying to federal officials about contacts he had with people he believed had ties to the Russian government while he was affiliated with Trump’s campaign.

    Papadopoulos, who was named by Trump in March 2016 as a foreign policy adviser to the campaign, was first charged under seal in July and ultimately pleaded guilty in October to lying to federal agents investigating Russian interference in the presidential election.

    According to court papers released Monday, those contacts included an unnamed overseas professor whom Papadopoulos met in Italy in March, the same month he joined the campaign. In April 2016, the professor told him the Russian government had “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, including thousands of Clinton’s emails.

    That conversation occurred two months before the Democratic National Committee revealed it had been hacked and believed Russians were behind the attack. It also came about a month after an email account belonging to Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, was targeted with a phishing attempt that may have led to the hack of his emails. Podesta’s emails were released by WikiLeaks in October.

    An email quoted in court filings appears to match one described to The Washington Post in August in which Papadopoulos identified the professor with whom he met as Joseph Mifsud, the director of the London Academy of Diplomacy. That document was among more than 20,000 pages the Trump campaign turned over to congressional committees after review by White House and defense lawyers.

    Papadopoulos, who was arrested when he arrived at Dulles Airport on July 27, signed a plea agreement that indicates he is cooperating with special prosecutor Robert S. Mueller III, filings show. The charge against him indicates that Mueller is deeply examining any links between Trump aides and Russian officials as part of his probe into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.

    According to court filings, Trump was aware of Papadopoulos’s claims that he had pipeline to Moscow: During a March 2016 meeting in Washington of the campaign’s national security advisers, Papadopoulos said he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between the then-candidate and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    On Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said she was “not sure that the president recalls specific details of the meeting,” calling it “brief.” She described Papadopoulos’s role with the campaign as “extremely limited.”

    Asked about the indictments on Monday evening in Moscow, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, “We don’t know what the charges are.” After being sent a copy of the indictments, he responded, “My office hours are over!”

    According to court filings, Papadopoulos updated several Trump campaign officials for months on his efforts to broker meetings between the campaign and the Russian government, forwarding information to unnamed people described as “high-ranking campaign officials” and “campaign supervisor.”

    Papadopoulos’s emails began days after he was named to Trump’s campaign team and continued for months. At one point, he offered to set up a meeting directly between Trump and Putin.

    In response, one high-ranking campaign official emailed another official Papadopoulos’s offer, adding, “We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”

    The documents show Papadopoulos lied to federal agents about his interactions with the professor, saying their conversations predated his involvement with the campaign and indicating he believed the professor had low-level contacts in Russia. In fact, he knew that the professor had ties to senior levels of the Russian government, according to court papers.

    Mifsud told The Post in an email in August that he had “absolutely no contact with the Russian government” and said he was an academic whose only ties to Russia are through academic links. He did not respond to a request for comment Monday.

    In addition, Papadopoulos communicated with a Russian woman with ties to the government and a man in Moscow he believed was connected to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the filings show.

    Trump identified Papadopoulos as one of his advisers in a March 2016 meeting with The Washington Post editorial board, during which the then-GOP candidate described Papadopoulos as “an energy consultant. Excellent guy.”

    The court papers show that while he was serving as an adviser to the campaign, Papadopoulos met a Russian woman he believed was a niece of Putin and with whom he communicated about setting up a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian officials.

    He told agents that he met the woman a year before joining the Trump campaign, but, in fact, he met her only after he was named to the campaign and communicated with her for months while working with Trump aides, the documents show.

    According to court filings, she told Papadopoulos she would like to help set up meetings for the Trump campaign with her associates to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under a future President Trump.

    Papadopoulos emailed campaign officials about her offer. A supervisor, who is not named, wrote back, “Great work.”

    The Post has reported that Papadopoulos repeatedly emailed top campaign aides to set up such meetings, and some emails show his offers were rebuffed.

    However, court documents demonstrate that Papadopoulos had ongoing communications with his Russian contacts and campaign officials about the possibility of an “off the record” trip he might take to Moscow to help facilitate ties.

    In one email exchange in August 2016, a campaign supervisor told Papadopoulos that he would “encourage” him and another unnamed foreign policy adviser to “make the trip, if it is feasible,” according to filings. The trip did not ultimately take place.

    Prosecutors allege Papadopoulos also obstructed their inquiry by deleting a Facebook page that would have revealed his contacts with Russians not long after learning of the investigation.

    At the time Trump identified Papadopoulos as an adviser, the hotel and real estate executive was rising in the field of Republican presidential candidates and his campaign was eager to show it had credible voices offering advice on foreign policy. On the same day, Trump also announced he was being advised by Carter Page, another energy consultant whose ties to Russia have been under scrutiny.

    Papadopoulos initially drew attention because of his scant foreign policy background. He had earlier advised the presidential campaign of Ben Carson, but he had graduated from college less than a decade earlier and he appeared to have exaggerated his résumé.

    Still, Papadopoulos was present later in March, at a meeting of the team in Washington that included both Trump and then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, who had endorsed the campaign.

    Throughout the summer, Papadopoulos met with foreign officials and gave interviews to media in other countries, sometimes describing Trump’s views on Putin on Russia.

    He told a group of researchers in Israel that Trump saw Putin as “a responsible actor and potential partner,” according to a column in the Jerusalem Post, while later he met with a British Foreign Office representative in London and a Greek official in New York, British and Greek embassy spokesmen have said. He also criticized U.S. sanctions on Russia in an interview with the Russian news outlet Interfax.

    The Post has also reported that Sergei Millian, who was a key source of information contained in a dossier of information about Trump’s ties to Russia, told people around him that he was in contact with Papadopoulos during the campaign.

    ———-

    “Trump campaign adviser admitted to lying about Russian contacts” by Rosalind S. Helderman and Tom Hamburger; The Washington Post; 10/30/2017

    “Papadopoulos, who was named by Trump in March 2016 as a foreign policy adviser to the campaign, was first charged under seal in July and ultimately pleaded guilty in October to lying to federal agents investigating Russian interference in the presidential election.”

    A young foreign policy advisor who joins the Trump campaign in March of 2016. And what makes March a notable month in the history of Democratic hacks? It was March when APT28 (Fancy Bear) allegedly phished John Podesta’s email credentials and broke into the DNC’s.

    So the same month these twin hacks take place we have George Papapdouplos joining the Trump campaign, and then meeting with a mysterious professor, identified as Josphe Mifsud, who, in April, tells Papadopoulos that the Russian government had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, including thousands of Clinton’s emails:


    According to court papers released Monday, those contacts included an unnamed overseas professor whom Papadopoulos met in Italy in March, the same month he joined the campaign. In April 2016, the professor told him the Russian government had “dirt” on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, including thousands of Clinton’s emails.

    That conversation occurred two months before the Democratic National Committee revealed it had been hacked and believed Russians were behind the attack. It also came about a month after an email account belonging to Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, was targeted with a phishing attempt that may have led to the hack of his emails. Podesta’s emails were released by WikiLeaks in October.

    An email quoted in court filings appears to match one described to The Washington Post in August in which Papadopoulos identified the professor with whom he met as Joseph Mifsud, the director of the London Academy of Diplomacy. That document was among more than 20,000 pages the Trump campaign turned over to congressional committees after review by White House and defense lawyers.

    Well that, uh, rather conspicuous. But it gets a lot more conspicuous when we learn that Trump campaign was well aware of Papadopoulo’s ‘pipeline’ to Moscow since Papadopoulos made this clear duing a meeting in March and claimed he could arrange a meeting between Trump and Putin. And then he updated campaign officias for months on his efforts to broker some kind of meeting:


    According to court filings, Trump was aware of Papadopoulos’s claims that he had pipeline to Moscow: During a March 2016 meeting in Washington of the campaign’s national security advisers, Papadopoulos said he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between the then-candidate and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    According to court filings, Papadopoulos updated several Trump campaign officials for months on his efforts to broker meetings between the campaign and the Russian government, forwarding information to unnamed people described as “high-ranking campaign officials” and “campaign supervisor.”

    Papadopoulos’s emails began days after he was named to Trump’s campaign team and continued for months. At one point, he offered to set up a meeting directly between Trump and Putin.

    In response, one high-ranking campaign official emailed another official Papadopoulos’s offer, adding, “We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”

    “In response, one high-ranking campaign official emailed another official Papadopoulos’s offer, adding, “We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.””

    Note that it’s already been confirmed that Paul Manafort is the campaign official who said “We need someone to communicate that [Trump] is not doing these trips. It should be someone low level in the campaign so as not to send any signal.”

    And adding to the intrigue the woman Papadopoulos thought was Putin’s niece (but wasn’t) who was communicating with him and encouraging all these efforts to arrange a Trump campaign/Moscow meeting:


    The court papers show that while he was serving as an adviser to the campaign, Papadopoulos met a Russian woman he believed was a niece of Putin and with whom he communicated about setting up a meeting between Trump campaign officials and Russian officials.

    He told agents that he met the woman a year before joining the Trump campaign, but, in fact, he met her only after he was named to the campaign and communicated with her for months while working with Trump aides, the documents show.

    According to court filings, she told Papadopoulos she would like to help set up meetings for the Trump campaign with her associates to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under a future President Trump.

    Papadopoulos emailed campaign officials about her offer. A supervisor, who is not named, wrote back, “Great work.”

    The Post has reported that Papadopoulos repeatedly emailed top campaign aides to set up such meetings, and some emails show his offers were rebuffed.

    However, court documents demonstrate that Papadopoulos had ongoing communications with his Russian contacts and campaign officials about the possibility of an “off the record” trip he might take to Moscow to help facilitate ties.

    In one email exchange in August 2016, a campaign supervisor told Papadopoulos that he would “encourage” him and another unnamed foreign policy adviser to “make the trip, if it is feasible,” according to filings. The trip did not ultimately take place.

    So we have a young energy analyst joining the Trump team in March of 2016, where his only real asset he brings to the campaign his is alleged ties to the Kremlin. After joining the campaign he gets into contact with a mysterious professor who suggests the Russian government has “dirt” on Hillary and thousands of email. And also a mystery woman who convinced him she’s Putin’s niece. And then Papadopoulos spends months trying to arrange a meeting between the Trump campaign and Moscow but it never seems to pan out. It’s rather amazing. Especially in the context of things like:

    1. The Felix Sater push to get Michael Cohen to travel to Russia to get the “Trump Tower Moscow” deal worked out fizzled with now Kremlin response in January of 2016.

    2. The notorious meeting in Trump Tower between Manafort, Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump, Jr. initiated when Rob Goldstone wrote an email about the Russian government having “dirt” on Hillary.

    3. The “opposition research” team of Peter Smith that set out to discover Russian hackers on the dark web who were allegedly in possession of Hillary’s hacked emails. A team that apparently included Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon, and Kellyanne Conway and brought them into contact with “Guccifer 2.0” (who apparently told them to contact neo-Nazi hacker Andrew ‘the weev’ Auernheimer).

    Yes, we appear have the Trump campaign (or people affiliated with it) trying to reach out to the Russian government at the same time the Russian government was trying to reach out to the Trump campaign. What kind of crazy game of spy-footsie was going on here? Given the initial rebuffs of the Trump team that Moscow appeared to deliver to the Sater/Cohen outreach effort in January of 2016 it’s possible that much of the Russian efforts were intended to ameliorate any hurt feelings for a potential future president.

    But what’s the explanation for why the Trump campaign seemed to simultaneously want to reach out to the Kremlin while constantly rebuffing Papadopoulos’s outreach efforts? After all, it seemed like that was why the campaign hired the guy in the first place. As the following article notes, Papadopoulos sent out his first email floating a meeting with Putin just three days after joining the Trump campaign in March of 2016. And by May, Papadopoulos was apparently in contact with Ivan Timofeev, a senior official at the government-funded Russian International Affairs Council the organization. Papadopoulos told the Trump campaign that Timofeev reached out to him that Russian foreign ministry officials were open to a Trump visit to Moscow and requested that the campaign and Russians write a formal letter outlining the meeting. But that effort was rebuffed by the Trump campaign too.

    So the pattern we seem to see is that the Trump campaign wanted Russian government contacts, just not very high-level contacts. And yet in early 2016 we have Trump Org lawyer Michael Cohen reaching out to get Kremlin help to build Trump Tower Moscow in January of 2016. You almost couldn’t do something more conspicuously ‘pro-Russian’ than to announce a deal to build Trump Tower Moscow and yet that was part of the plan Sater and Cohen were pursuing. Don’t forget that Sater was selling the deal as a way to help Trump win by demonstrating what a dealmaker he was.

    So while the Trump team’s desire to get into contact with the Kremlin didn’t appear to change, the team’s willingness to do these contacts in a high profile manner did appear to change pretty significantly over of the course of 2016. And such a change in behavior makes sense since Trump became the nominee and had an actual presidential race to run. But it’s still pretty notable shift in behavior. Especially given how Papadopoulos didn’t appear to shift his behavior at all and was apparently repeatedly trying to arrange these meetings for months despite being consistently rebuffed:

    The Washington Post

    Trump campaign emails show aide’s repeated efforts to set up Russia meetings

    By Tom Hamburger, Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman
    August 14, 2017

    Three days after Donald Trump named his campaign foreign policy team in March 2016, the youngest of the new advisers sent an email to seven campaign officials with the subject line: “Meeting with Russian Leadership – Including Putin.”

    The adviser, George Papadopoulos, offered to set up “a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss US-Russia ties under President Trump,” telling them his Russian contacts welcomed the opportunity, according to internal campaign emails read to The Washington Post.

    The proposal sent a ripple of concern through campaign headquarters in Trump Tower. Campaign co-chairman Sam Clovis wrote that he thought NATO allies should be consulted before any plans were made. Another Trump adviser, retired Navy Rear Adm. Charles Kubic, cited legal concerns, including a possible violation of U.S. sanctions against Russia and of the Logan Act, which prohibits U.S. citizens from unauthorized negotiation with foreign governments.

    But Papadopoulos, a campaign volunteer with scant foreign policy experience, persisted. Between March and September, the self-described energy consultant sent at least a half-dozen requests for Trump, as he turned from primary candidate to party nominee, or for members of his team to meet with Russian officials. Among those to express concern about the effort was then-campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who rejected in May 2016 a proposal from Papadopoulos for Trump to do so.

    The exchanges are among more than 20,000 pages of documents the Trump campaign turned over to congressional committees this month after review by White House and defense lawyers. The selection of Papadopoulos’s emails were read to The Post by a person with access to them. Two other people with access to the emails confirmed the general tone of the exchanges and some specific passages within them.

    Papadopoulos emerges from the sample of emails as a new and puzzling figure in the examination of the Trump campaign’s contacts with Russian officials and their proxies during the 2016 election, now the subject of a special-counsel investigation.

    Less than a decade out of college, Papadopoulos appeared to hold little sway within the campaign, and it is unclear whether he was acting as an intermediary for the Russian government, although he told campaign officials he was.

    While the emails illustrate his eagerness to strengthen the campaign’s connections to the Russian government, Papadopoulos does not spell out in them why it would be in Trump’s interest to do so. His entreaties appear to have generated more concern than excitement within the campaign, which at the time was looking to seal the Republican nomination and take on a heavily favored Hillary Clinton in the general election.

    But the internal resistance to Papadopoulos’s requests is at odds with other overtures Trump allies were making toward Russia at the time, mostly at a more senior level of the campaign.

    Three months after Papadopoulos raised the possibility of a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, the president’s son Donald Trump Jr. and son-in-law Jared Kushner met with a delegation led by a Russian lawyer offering to provide damaging information on Clinton.

    Manafort attended that Trump Tower session in June 2016, a meeting now under scrutiny in the special counsel’s collusion inquiry. But the new emails reveal that Manafort had rejected a request from Papadopoulos just the previous month to set up a meeting between Trump and Russian officials.

    In July 2016 and again two months later, Jeff Sessions, then a senator and senior foreign policy adviser to Trump, met with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak.

    And also in July, a few weeks after Papadopoulos asked his superiors whether other campaign advisers or aides could accept some of the Russians’ invitations, Carter Page, another foreign policy adviser, spoke at a Russian university in Moscow. Page said he made the trip independently of the campaign.

    To experts in Russian intelligence gathering, the Papadopoulos chain offers further evidence that Russians were looking for entry points and playing upon connections with lower-level aides to penetrate the 2016 campaign.

    Former CIA director John Brennan in May told the House Intelligence Committee that he had seen worrisome evidence of “contacts and interactions” between Russian officials and the Trump campaign, although he offered no specifics.

    Steven L. Hall, who retired from the CIA in 2015 after 30 years of managing the agency’s Russia operations, said when told by The Post about the emails: “The bottom line is that there’s no doubt in my mind that the Russian government was casting a wide net when they were looking at the American election. I think they were doing very basic intelligence work: Who’s out there? Who’s willing to play ball? And how can we use them?”

    Papadopoulos, a former intern and researcher at the conservative Hudson Institute, was on a list of campaign volunteers that Trump announced as his foreign policy advisory team during a meeting with The Post’s editorial board in March 2016. Trump called Papadopoulos an “excellent guy.”

    Almost immediately, Papadopoulos came under scrutiny for his lack of experience. He graduated from college in 2009, and his LinkedIn profile cited his participation in a Model U.N. program for students among his qualifications. Papadopoulos did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

    Page, who has been the subject of a foreign surveillance warrant over his connections to Russia, said the Papadopoulos email exchange was another sign that the Russia communications were inconsequential.

    “The entirely benign offer from a volunteer member of the Trump movement is infinitely less relevant than the real collusion in the 2016 election,” said Page, who was copied on the first Papadopoulos email communication in March. Page said in an email exchange Saturday that “the real scandal lies among Clinton and Obama associates who fed false evidence” to investigators that he said formed the basis of the federal warrant concerning him.

    Papadopoulos made more than a half-dozen overtures on behalf of Russians or people with Russia contacts whom he claimed to know.

    On March 24, Clovis, the campaign co-chairman who also served on the foreign policy team, reacted to one proposed Russia meeting by writing, “We thought we probably should not go forward with any meeting with the Russians until we have had occasion to sit with our NATO allies.”

    In the same email chain, Kubic, the retired admiral, reminded others about legal restrictions on meetings with certain Russian officials, adding, “Just want to make sure that no one on the team outruns their headlights and embarrasses the campaign.”

    Undeterred, Papadopoulos alerted then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in an April email that he was receiving “a lot of calls over the past month” about arranging a Russia meeting.

    “Putin wants to host the Trump team when the time is right,” he wrote on April 27.

    On May 4, Papadopoulos forwarded Lewandowski and others a note he received from the program head for the government-funded Russian International Affairs Council. In it, Ivan Timofeev, a senior official in the organization, reached out to report that Russian foreign ministry officials were open to a Trump visit to Moscow and requested that the campaign and Russians write a formal letter outlining the meeting.

    Clovis responded to the Timofeev invitation by noting: “There are legal issues we need to mitigate, meeting with foreign officials as a private citizen.”

    The email chain does not show a response from Lewandowski, who did not return calls seeking comment.

    Several weeks later, Papadopoulos forwarded the same message from Timofeev to Manafort, the newly named campaign chairman.

    “Russia has been eager to meet with Mr. Trump for some time and have been reaching out to me to discuss,” the adviser told Manafort.

    Manafort reacted coolly, forwarding the email to his associate Rick Gates, with a note: “We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips.”

    Gates agreed and told Manafort he would ask the campaign’s correspondence coordinator to handle it — “the person responding to all mail of non-importance” — to signify this did not need a senior official to respond.

    In an email to The Post, Timofeev confirmed that his organization had discussed a meeting with the Trump campaign in the spring of 2016.

    The Russian International Affairs Council was created in 2010 by a decree of then-President Dmitry Medvedev as a project of various Russian government agencies. It is led by former foreign minister Igor Ivanov. Its board includes Russia’s current foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, as well as top Russian scholars and business leaders, among them the chairman of Alfa-Bank and Sberbank, two of Russia’s largest banks.

    “We discussed the idea informally as one of the opportunities for … dialogue between Russia and the U.S.,” Timofeev said in the email. “RIAC often hosts meetings with prominent political figures and experts from the US and many other countries.”

    He said the group would have been open to meeting with other campaigns.

    Clinton spokesman Nick Merrill said officials with the Democrat’s campaign have “no recollections or record” of having been contacted by the group. Similarly an adviser to Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, former Russian ambassador Michael McFaul, said he could not recall any similar invitation.
    ———-

    “Trump campaign emails show aide’s repeated efforts to set up Russia meetings” by Tom Hamburger, Carol D. Leonnig and Rosalind S. Helderman; The Washington Post; 08/14/2017

    “Three days after Donald Trump named his campaign foreign policy team in March 2016, the youngest of the new advisers sent an email to seven campaign officials with the subject line: “Meeting with Russian Leadership – Including Putin.””

    Just three days after he joins the team he floats the idea of a meeting with Putin. And keeps floating the idea for months, apparently with the encouragement of some Russian contacts:


    Papadopoulos made more than a half-dozen overtures on behalf of Russians or people with Russia contacts whom he claimed to know.

    On March 24, Clovis, the campaign co-chairman who also served on the foreign policy team, reacted to one proposed Russia meeting by writing, “We thought we probably should not go forward with any meeting with the Russians until we have had occasion to sit with our NATO allies.”

    In the same email chain, Kubic, the retired admiral, reminded others about legal restrictions on meetings with certain Russian officials, adding, “Just want to make sure that no one on the team outruns their headlights and embarrasses the campaign.”

    Undeterred, Papadopoulos alerted then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski in an April email that he was receiving “a lot of calls over the past month” about arranging a Russia meeting.

    “Putin wants to host the Trump team when the time is right,” he wrote on April 27.

    On May 4, Papadopoulos forwarded Lewandowski and others a note he received from the program head for the government-funded Russian International Affairs Council. In it, Ivan Timofeev, a senior official in the organization, reached out to report that Russian foreign ministry officials were open to a Trump visit to Moscow and requested that the campaign and Russians write a formal letter outlining the meeting.

    Clovis responded to the Timofeev invitation by noting: “There are legal issues we need to mitigate, meeting with foreign officials as a private citizen.”

    The email chain does not show a response from Lewandowski, who did not return calls seeking comment.

    Several weeks later, Papadopoulos forwarded the same message from Timofeev to Manafort, the newly named campaign chairman.

    “Russia has been eager to meet with Mr. Trump for some time and have been reaching out to me to discuss,” the adviser told Manafort.

    Manafort reacted coolly, forwarding the email to his associate Rick Gates, with a note: “We need someone to communicate that DT is not doing these trips.”

    Gates agreed and told Manafort he would ask the campaign’s correspondence coordinator to handle it — “the person responding to all mail of non-importance” — to signify this did not need a senior official to respond.

    The guy was persistent. You have to give him that. And yet these emails appear to indicate that the Trump team was persistent in ignoring Papadopoulos’s proposed. Perhaps they were redundant or too high profile given the other avenues of communication but that’s all part of the #TrumpRussia mystery: we have evidence of both covert Kremlin outreach efforts (the Peter Smith Dark Web team) and extremely overt efforts (like Trump saying “Russia, please hack Hillary’s emails” in the middle of campaign event). Both of these efforts were happening simultaneously while the Russian government itself appeared to be ignoring Trump campaign outreach while initiating its own outreach efforts. It’s like some sort of tragicomic spy parody farce. And that doesn’t even include all of the incredulous hacking evidence where the Russian hackers appeared to be out to implicate themselves.

    And then there’s the mystery professor, Joseph Mifsud, who told Papadopoulos about the “dirt” and thousands of emails on Hillary. It turns out he’s a professor who claims he has no ties to the Russian government even though you can google them. It’s one of the latest twists in this tragicomic spy farce:

    Mother Jones

    Mystery Professor in Mueller Case Had Contacts With Russian Officials
    Why did Joseph Mifsud, who was apparently collaborating with the Trump campaign, deny this?

    Hannah Levintova and David Corn
    Oct. 30, 2017 5:16 PM

    The statement made public by special counsel Robert Mueller on Monday morning announcing the guilty plea of former Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos produced a stunning revelation: a professor who touted his close ties to Russian officials told Papadopoulos in late April 2016 that he had learned on a trip to Moscow that the Russians had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails.” (This was two months before the Russian hack of the Democratic National Committee became public.) This professor was not named in the statement, but according to the document, he is based in London, a citizen of a Mediterranean country, and on April 18, 2016 flew to Moscow to attend a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club, an academic forum in Russia known for connecting Russian officials with Western diplomats.

    This mystery professor is likely Joseph Mifsud of the University of Stirling in Scotland. According to a calendar entry on the Valdai club’s website, Mifsud spoke on a Valdai panel on April 19, 2016, titled, “World Energy: Key Trends and Political Risks.” Mifsud grew up in the Mediterranean nation of Malta, where he served in various government posts; he was the only Londoner and the only professor on the panel. The Mueller legal filing revealed that Papadopoulos had extensive contacts with the professor as part of an effort to set up a meeting between Trump campaign representatives and Russian officials. Papadopoulos told his campaign supervisors about this effort and was encouraged to proceed. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with the professor and others connected to Russia.

    The Washington Post noted on Monday that Mifsud is probably the professor cited in the Mueller statement. One of the emails quoted in the document, according to the Post, “appears to match one described to the Washington Post in August in which Papadopoulos identified the professor with whom he met as Joseph Mifsud, the director of the London Academy of Diplomacy.” But the Post reported that in August Mifsud told the newspaper he had “absolutely no contact with the Russian government,” and he insisted his ties to Russia were purely academic.

    The public record, though, contains information contradicting Mifsud and showing that he has had contacts with Russian government officials. According to photos on the website of Russia’s embassy in the United Kingdom, Mifsud met with embassy representative Ernest Chernukhin in July of this year (weeks before he issued his denial to the Post). A biography from a 2013 business conference says Mifsud “has advised Governments on international education issues in many countries including Morocco, Syria, Russia, Tunisia, and Italy.” Mifsud also met with Russian Ambassador to the UK Alexander Yakovenko in May of 2014, according to a 2014 Russian embassy press release.

    Additionally, in early 2017, Mifsud invited Alexey Klishin, a department head and professor in the international law division of the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, a school run by Russia’s Foreign Ministry, to the London Academy of Diplomacy to present a lecture. Klishin was a former member of the upper house of the Russian parliament. According to a January 2017 press release from the Institution of the Russian Academy of Sciences, “Klishin’s presentation was devoted to international law and national legal systems [and] to their coexistence in the era of Brexit and the new presidency in the United States.” The release noted that Klishin had “visited the London Academy of Diplomacy at the University of Stirling…at the invitation of the Director Joseph Mifsud.” Here’s a photo with Mifsud (second from the right) and Klishin (center) standing next to each other:

    Mifsud did not respond to a request for comment from Mother Jones.

    One obvious question for the professor is why he told the Post he had “absolutely” no contacts with Russian officials when on-line material suggests he has. There are no indication in the Mueller statement whether his team has questioned Mifsud about the Clinton “dirt” or Papadopoulos’s initiative to create a back-channel bond between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s office.

    There’s another reason why Mifsud could be of interest to Mueller and his investigators. In the past year, the New York Times has reported that US intelligence agencies collected information in the summer of 2016 indicating that top Russian intelligence and political officials were looking to gain influence over Trump through his advisers and that US spy agencies had intercepted calls showing that Trump campaign aides and other Trump associates had repeated interactions with senior Russian intelligence officials, perhaps unwittingly. (In June, former FBI chief James Comey, in congressional testimony, disputed the Times story disclosing contacts between the Trump aides and Russian intelligence, but he did not specify what was wrong with the article.) So Mueller is no doubt looking for possible instances of when Russian intelligence infiltrated—or tried to infiltrate—the Trump campaign, either directly or through witting or unwitting cut-outs. And the Papadopoulos episode could be a case not only of a Trump aide trying to establish a campaign connection with the Kremlin but of Russian intelligence attempting to score a contact within the Trump campaign.


    ———-

    “Mystery Professor in Mueller Case Had Contacts With Russian Officials” by Hannah Levintova and David Corn; Mother Jones; 10/30/2017

    One obvious question for the professor is why he told the Post he had “absolutely” no contacts with Russian officials when on-line material suggests he has. There are no indication in the Mueller statement whether his team has questioned Mifsud about the Clinton “dirt” or Papadopoulos’s initiative to create a back-channel bond between the Trump campaign and Vladimir Putin’s office.”

    Yeah, like so much of this story, almost nothing makes sense because it’s almost like everyone wanted to get caught.

    All in all, if the Kremlin really did plan an election disruption campaign as some sort of attempt to discredit the US democracy, it doesn’t appear to be a campaign simply dedicated to embarrassing Hillary Clinton and the Democrats. It also appeared to involve getting lots of evidence demonstrating how the GOP was more than happy to collude with the Kremlin and engage in a joint coverup, thus demonstrating the profound corruption of the Republicans too. And when you look at what’s getting exposed – a little bit of DNC dirty laundry vs evidence the GOP enthusiastically work with foreign powers to win elections and enthusiastically work to cover it up – it would appear to be Kremlin campaign that, in the end will do much, much more damage to the GOP. At least it should be far more damaging to the GOP based on all available evidence…available evidence that is in many cases available precisely because of the inexplicably overt nature of so much of the behavior of all these apparent Kremlin agents, either those contacting the Trump campaign with incriminating ‘the Russian government has dirt on Hillary and wants to share it with you!’ emails or the hackers themselves who appear to have run a self-implicating frame up job. Thanks, Kremlin?

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 30, 2017, 5:02 pm
  2. Here’s an article with some important details about on Joseph Mifsud, the Maltese professor in London who was allegedly the main point of contact between Trump campaign foreign policy advisors George Papadopoulos, and what appears to be an odd Kremlin intelligence operation of teasing the Trump campaign with promises of “thousands of Hillary’s emails”: According to the following article, Mifsud wasn’t simply telling Papadopoulos about rumors that the Kremlin had “dirt” on Hillary in the form of thousands of emails. In April of 2016, Mifsub reportedly told Papadopoulos that he had returned from Moscow where he has a meeting with “high-level officials” who discussed with him these thousands of emails.

    Additionally, the following piece it was Mifsud who introduced Papadopoulos to the Russian woman who pretended to be Vladimir Putin’s niece. So if this really was a Russian intelligence operation it appeared they were willing to approach the Trump campaign with figures who could be outed as lying to them WITH GOOGLE. After all, if someone is claiming to be Putin’s niece that should be something that can, and should, be verified by the Trump campaign, right? Like, what’s her name and which of Putin’s siblings is her parent? Wouldn’t there be all sort of frantic research into this Putin niece by a campaign that was about to collude with Putin’s niece? Apparently not.

    It’s the latest twist in an alleged Kremlin intelligence operation that appears to have the creation of high comedy spy farce as one of its key objectives:

    The New York Times

    The Professor Behind the Trump Campaign Adviser Charges

    By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
    OCT. 31, 2017

    LONDON — Joseph Mifsud, who investigators say tempted a Trump campaign official with a promise of Russian “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, always presented himself as a professor, according to several online biographies and a person who knows him. But his academic affiliations are hard to pin down.

    He identified himself as the director of the London Academy of Diplomacy — or, on another web page, as its honorary director. But the academy is difficult to find.

    The academy was affiliated with the University of East Anglia until 2014, before transferring its affiliation to the University of Stirling, in Scotland, the University of East Anglia said in a statement on Tuesday.

    In a biography that was previously displayed on the website of the London Center of International Law Practice, where Mr. Mifsud was the director of international strategic development, there is no mention of academic training or any degrees he may have earned. Instead, he is listed as the “honorary director” of the London Academy of Diplomacy, an “honorary” professor at the University of East Anglia and a full professor at Stirling University.

    A spokesman for Stirling University, however, said that Mr. Mifsud “has been a full-time, professorial teaching fellow in the university’s politics department since May 2017.”

    The biography goes on to say that Mr. Mifsud has “lectured extensively throughout the world,” “worked in a number of universities,” “attended and chaired conferences” and “organized major ministerial and institutional meetings on pan-Mediterranean dialogue.”

    Mr. Mifsud’s principal experience in diplomacy or international relations appears to have been work for the government of the Mediterranean island state of Malta. A biography of Mr. Mifsud on the website of an organization calling itself the Society for Intercultural Education Training and Research said he worked in the Maltese Foreign Ministry, in the Ministry of Education and as the head of an unidentified department at the University of Malta.

    Mr. Mifsud was an enthusiastic promoter of President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. He was a regular at meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club, an annual conference held in Sochi, Russia, that Mr. Putin attends. Three short articles on the Valdai website cite Mr. Mifsud as an expert echoing Russian government views.

    “As more and more differences emerge between Saudi Arabia and the United States, it is time for Moscow and Riyadh to intensify their relations, Mifsud believes,” one article stated, before quoting Mr. Mifsud: “‘I feel there is a taste for this relationship to develop between the Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia.”

    Another article, written by Mr. Mifsud, argued against the closer integration of the European Union and a third, also by Mr. Mifsud, lauded Mr. Putin’s intervention in Syria while finding American leadership “despondently lacking.”

    Mr. Mifsud’s unusual résumé, however, did not appear to raise alarms with George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the Trump campaign, according to court papers filed Monday in Federal District Court for the District of Columbia by the special prosecutor investigating Russian interference in the election. Mr. Papadopoulos has pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about his conversations with the “professor.”

    Mr. Mifsud is referred to in the papers only as “the professor,” based in London, but a Senate aide familiar with emails involving Mr. Mifsud — lawmakers in both the Senate and the House are investigating Russia’s role in the election — confirmed that he was the professor.

    Mr. Papadopoulos was an energy consultant before he joined the Trump campaign, and Mr. Mifsud was “initially” uninterested in him until he disclosed his Trump campaign role, the prosecutors wrote in the court papers. Then, they said, Mr. Mifsud “appeared to take great interest.”

    When the two men first met, in Italy in March 2016, Mr. Mifsud quickly promised “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton, then the likely Democratic presidential nominee, in the form of “thousands of emails” obtained by the Russian government, prosecutors say.

    Mr. Papadopoulos “understood that the professor had substantial connections to Russian government officials” and “repeatedly sought to use the professor’s Russian connections in an effort to arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian government officials,” the prosecutors wrote.

    On March 24, 2016, Mr. Mifsud falsely presented a young Russian woman as a niece of Mr. Putin’s and introduced her to Mr. Papadopoulos, prosecutors wrote. Mr. Papadopoulos emailed his campaign supervisor about his promising meeting with his “good friend” — Mr. Mifsud — and “Putin’s niece.”

    “Great work,” the supervisor responded, according to the prosecutors.

    Mr. Papadopoulos emailed both Mr. Mifsud and the Russian woman the following month, on April 10, about setting up a potential trip to Russia.

    “This is already been agreed,” Mr. Mifsud replied. “I am flying to Moscow on the 18th for a Valdai meeting, plus other meetings at the Duma,” a reference to a Russian legislative body.

    “I have already alerted my personal links to our conversation and your request,” the Russian woman wrote to Mr. Papadopoulos.

    Mr. Mifsud then put Mr. Papadopoulos in contact with the Russian Foreign Ministry and, on April 26, met Mr. Papadopoulos for breakfast in London. Mr. Mifsud said he had returned from meetings with high-level officials in Moscow. There, he said, he learned that the Russians had “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton — “emails of Clinton” and “thousands of emails,” as Mr. Papadopoulos later told the F.B.I.

    Four days later, Mr. Papadopoulos thanked Mr. Mifsud for his “critical help” in arranging a possible meeting between the Trump campaign and Russian officials.

    “It’s history making if it happens,” Mr. Papadopoulos wrote.

    ———-

    “The Professor Behind the Trump Campaign Adviser Charges” by DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK; The New York Times; 10/31/2017

    “When the two men first met, in Italy in March 2016, Mr. Mifsud quickly promised “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton, then the likely Democratic presidential nominee, in the form of “thousands of emails” obtained by the Russian government, prosecutors say.”

    It’s somewhat unclear from the reporting if Mifsud promised “dirt” in the form of “thousands of emails” back when they first met in March of 2016 or a month later, because according to this passage it wasn’t intil April that Mifsud told Papadopoulos about the “dirt” and “thousands of email”:


    Mr. Mifsud then put Mr. Papadopoulos in contact with the Russian Foreign Ministry and, on April 26, met Mr. Papadopoulos for breakfast in London. Mr. Mifsud said he had returned from meetings with high-level officials in Moscow. There, he said, he learned that the Russians had “dirt” on Mrs. Clinton — “emails of Clinton” and “thousands of emails,” as Mr. Papadopoulos later told the F.B.I.

    And the timing is rather important here in terms of getting a sense of what the Trump team thought it was getting into, because the fake Putin niece appears toh have entered the picture on March 24th:


    Mr. Papadopoulos “understood that the professor had substantial connections to Russian government officials” and “repeatedly sought to use the professor’s Russian connections in an effort to arrange a meeting between the campaign and Russian government officials,” the prosecutors wrote.

    On March 24, 2016, Mr. Mifsud falsely presented a young Russian woman as a niece of Mr. Putin’s and introduced her to Mr. Papadopoulos, prosecutors wrote. Mr. Papadopoulos emailed his campaign supervisor about his promising meeting with his “good friend” — Mr. Mifsud — and “Putin’s niece.”

    So was the Trump team thinking it was in contact with Putin’s niece before or after it was told the Kremlin had thousands of Hillary’s emails? It’s an interesting question although given all the subsequent contacts – like the Rob Goldstone meeting at the Trump Tower – it’s not like the Trump team hasn’t demonstrated an ample willingness to collect “dirt” that it thought was coming from the Kremlin.

    It will certainly be interesting to see what more is released about Papadopoulos’s Collusion Adventures. But if there’s one thing this chapter in #TrumpRussia makes clear, it’s that when Rob Goldstone sent those over-the-top emails to Donald Trump Jr. in early June, emails that almost seemed like an intelligence fishing attempt to see if the Trump campaign was willing to accept such overt and self-incriminating overture sent over email, the question of whether or not the Trump campaign would be receptive to over-to-top overt overtures was already thoroughly answered months earlier by George Papadopoulus.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 31, 2017, 2:13 pm
  3. Following up on the strange case of the enthusiastic collusion of George Papadopoulos, the following article makes a couple important clarifications. First, regarding the question of when exactly the mysterious professor Mifsud floated the rumor that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails” (March or April), the article notes that it was definitely “on or about April 26th” of 2016.

    The article also notes that in addition to introducing Papadopoulos to the woman claiming to be Vladimir Putin’s niece it was Mifsud who also introduced Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev, the senior official from the government-funded Russian International Affairs Council. So the two people who claimed to be reaching out to the Trump campaign on behalf of the Russian government via Papadopoulus were both introduced by Mifsud the mysterious Maltese professor:

    The New York Times

    Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian to Discuss ‘Dirt’ on Clinton

    By MATT APUZZO and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT
    OCT. 30, 2017

    WASHINGTON — A professor with close ties to the Russian government told an adviser to Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign in April 2016 that Moscow had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton in the form of “thousands of emails,” according to court documents unsealed Monday.

    The adviser, George Papadopoulos, has pleaded guilty to lying to the F.B.I. about that conversation. The plea represents the most explicit evidence that the Trump campaign was aware that the Russian government was trying to help Mr. Trump and that the campaign was eager to accept that help.

    As part of that effort, the Russian government hacked Democratic accounts and released a trove of embarrassing emails related to Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. The Trump campaign has repeatedly denied any inside knowledge about that.

    “They have dirt on her,” the professor told Mr. Papadopoulos, according to the documents. “They have thousands of emails.”

    Mr. Papadopoulos was quietly arrested at Washington Dulles Airport on July 27 and has since been cooperating with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, records show. Mr. Papadopoulos’s conversation in April raises more questions about a subsequent meeting in June at Trump Tower, where Mr. Trump’s eldest son and senior advisers met with Russians who were similarly promising on Mrs. Clinton.

    The documents released on Monday said that several senior campaign officials knew about some of Mr. Papadopoulos’s interactions with the Russians. The documents do not say whether he mentioned the Clinton emails to anyone.

    The professor, who was not identified in court documents, introduced Mr. Papadopoulos to others, including someone connected to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a woman who he believed was a relative of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. Mr. Papadopoulos repeatedly tried to arrange a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials, court records show.

    “We are all very excited by the possibility of a good relationship with Mr. Trump,” the woman, who was not identified, told Mr. Papadopoulos in an email. She was not actually a relative of Mr. Putin, according to court documents.

    Mr. Papadopoulos told the F.B.I. in January that the professor was “a nothing.” But Mr. Papadopoulos now acknowledges that he knew the professor had “substantial connections to Russian government officials.” Attempts to reach Mr. Papadopoulos on Monday were not successful.

    Mr. Papadopoulos was first interviewed by the F.B.I. in January, as the bureau was investigating connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. In that interview, Mr. Papadopoulos said that he began communicating with the professor and the Russian woman before he became a foreign policy adviser to the campaign. He has since acknowledged that is untrue.

    “The professor only took interest in defendant Papadopoulos because of his status with the campaign; and the professor told defendant Papadopoulos about the ‘thousands of emails’ on or about April 26, 2016, when defendant Papadopoulos had been a foreign policy adviser to the campaign for over a month,” according to the documents.

    In February, Mr. Papadopoulos deleted his Facebook account, which included his communications with the Russians. Later that month, he began using a new cellphone number.

    The documents say that Mr. Papadopoulos knew that the professor had met with senior officials in Moscow to discuss Mrs. Clinton’s email.

    Mr. Papadopoulos alerted his supervisor and several members of the foreign policy team about his contacts, referring to his “good friend” the professor and a woman he called Mr. Putin’s niece. The campaign supervisor — who was not identified in the documents — said in response that he would “work it through the campaign” and added “Great work.”

    ———-
    “Trump Campaign Adviser Met With Russian to Discuss ‘Dirt’ on Clinton” by MATT APUZZO and MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT; The New York Times; 10/30/2017

    “The professor, who was not identified in court documents, introduced Mr. Papadopoulos to others, including someone connected to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a woman who he believed was a relative of the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. Mr. Papadopoulos repeatedly tried to arrange a meeting between the Trump campaign and Russian government officials, court records show.”

    Recall how the Russian International Affairs Council included a number of people from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, including foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, so the reference to “someone connected to the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is likely a reference to Ivan Timofeev.
    And here’s the clarification on when the “thousands of emails” idea was first floated:


    “The professor only took interest in defendant Papadopoulos because of his status with the campaign; and the professor told defendant Papadopoulos about the ‘thousands of emails’ on or about April 26, 2016, when defendant Papadopoulos had been a foreign policy adviser to the campaign for over a month,” according to the documents.

    So that helps give us a better picture of the role Professor Mifsud played in all this. A pretty big role in appears. First he befriends Papadopoulos in March. Then he introduces him to a fake Putin niece later that month. Then, a month later, he tells Papadopoulos that Moscow has thousands of Hillary’s emails. And at some point during all this he introduces Papadopoulos to Ivan Timofeev of the Russian International Affairs Council who informs Papadopoulus that Russian foreign ministry officials are willing to meeting with the the Trump campaign and requested that the campaign and Russians write a formal letter outlining the meeting. A fake Putin niece, the hint of Hillary’s emails, and request for a formal letter outlining a meeting with Russian foreign ministry officials.

    Given all that, and given how many of these interactions happened before Trump was officially the GOP nominee, one of the interesting questions raised by all this is whether or not the Trump campaign was the only GOP campaign tempted with that kind of rumor of Hillary’s emails. It’s possible, although it’s also worth noting that when Papadopoulus was reportedly informed of this “dirt” on Hillary it was in late April, when the GOP primary was still underway but not for much longer. Ted Cruz and John Kasich both dropped out on May 3rd and 4th, so Trump was effectively the GOP’s nominee by early May and appeared to be on his way to being the nominee in April. So if the Kremlin really was reaching out to the Trump team via Papadopoulos in April to dangle a “we got Hillary’s emails” offer to it wouldn’t be stunning if the Trump team was the only campaign that was made that offer.

    Still, the question of who else may have known about these “Kremlin has Hillary’s emails” rumors during the 2016 campaign, either told by someone like the Professor who we are assuming is working as a Russian intelligence proxy or told by the Trump team after they found out, is a pretty massive question. Rumors spread, after all.

    For instance, might Ted Cruz’s campaign have received a hot tip from someone claiming to be a a Kremlin proxy about thousands of Hillary emails possessed by the Russian government? It will be interesting to see if anything of that nature comes out over the course of the investigation. And it turns out there was at least one element of Ted Cruz’s campaign that definitely heard rumors that Hillary’s “33,000 deleted emails” were floating around somewhere. That would be Cambridge Analytica. Don’t forget, Cambridge Analytica and Robert and Rebekah Mercer all backed Ted Cruz. It was only after he lost that they switched over to Team Trump.

    And according to the following report, at some point in at some point in June of 2016 – the month Guccifer 2.0 first emerged and the month Cambridge Analytica formally joined the Trump campaign – Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix actually emailed Julian Assange to ask if Cambridge Analytica could help index Hillary’s thousands of stolen email so they could be more easily searchable online:

    The Daily Beast

    Trump Data Guru: I Tried to Team Up With Julian Assange
    The head of Cambridge Analytica said he asked the WikiLeaks founder for help finding Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails.

    Betsy Woodruff
    10.25.17 10:30 AM ET

    Alexander Nix, who heads a controversial data-analytics firm that worked for President Donald Trump’s campaign, wrote in an email last year that he reached out to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange about Hillary Clinton’s missing 33,000 emails.

    On Wednesday, Assange confirmed that such an exchange took place.

    Nix, who heads Cambridge Analytica, told a third party that he reached out to Assange about his firm somehow helping the WikiLeaks editor release Clinton’s missing emails, according to two sources familiar with a congressional investigation into interactions between Trump associates and the Kremlin. (CNN later reported Cambridge backer Rebekah Mercer was one of the email’s recipients.) Those sources also relayed that, according to Nix’s email, Assange told the Cambridge Analytica CEO that he didn’t want his help, and preferred to do the work on his own.

    The interchange between Nix—whose company made millions from the Trump campaign—and Assange represents the closest known connection between Trump’s campaign and Wikileaks.

    Cambridge Analytica did not provide comment for this story by press time. But after publication, Assange provided this statement to The Daily Beast: ”We can confirm an approach by Cambridge Analytica and can confirm that it was rejected by WikiLeaks.”

    Nobody has published the 33,000 emails that were deleted from the personal email server Hillary Clinton used while she was secretary of State.

    “It’s not at all clear that anybody hacked Clinton’s emails or has them,” said one of the sources familiar with the investigation.

    Those 33,000 messages were a central focus of Trump and his allies during the campaign. At least one Republican operative tried to recruit hackers to obtain those emails, according to The Wall Street Journal. And at a press conference on July 27, 2016, while the Democratic National Convention was underway, Trump—then the Republican nominee—said he hoped the Kremlin would recover those emails.

    “Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’ll be able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” he said.

    And on the campaign trail, Trump praised WikiLeaks and tweeted about its findings. Politifact calculated that he mentioned the site about 137 times during the campaign.

    “I love WikiLeaks!” he proclaimed at a rally on Oct. 10, shortly after the site began publishing emails hacked from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.

    Roger Stone, a longtime adviser to Trump, was in touch with Assange through an intermediary. The House Intelligence Committee is pushing Stone to share the identity of that intermediary with them. So far, he has not complied.

    Robert and Rebekah Mercer, a billionaire father-daughter duo that spent big to boost Trump’s presidential candidacy, are major investors in Cambridge Analytica. Robert Mercer co-manages a hedge fund that drew scrutiny from congressional investigators in 2014 for using questionable banking tactics to allegedly dodge paying upward of $7 billion in taxes. Steve Bannon, formerly a senior White House aide, was on the company’s board before he joined the White House. He has worked with the Mercers on multiple conservative projects, and Bloomberg News reported he previously had holdings in Cambridge Analytica valued at between $1 million and $5 million.

    On Wednesday afternoon, Trump campaign executive director Michael Glassner tried to downplay the role Cambridge Analytica played during the election, stating that the Republican National Committee [RNC] was its “main source” for data analytics.

    After Trump secured the GOP nomination, Glassner said in a statement: “We were proud to have worked with the RNC and its data experts and relied on them as our main source for data analytics. … Any claims that voter data from any other source played a key role in the victory are false.”

    But FEC data contradicted Glassner. According to the campaign’s own FEC filings, the Trump campaign paid Cambridge Analytica $5.9 million from July 29, 2016—a week after Trump formally accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in Cleveland—to December 12, 2016. Brad Parscale, the campaign’s digital director, told the Wall Street Journal that the “psychographic” firm’s invoices is “mislabeled” in the FEC filing but he didn’t elaborate how or why.

    A Republican digital strategist who worked with Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 campaign told The Daily Beast that Nix should not be viewed as a reliable narrator.

    “Alexander Nix is not credible at all,” the strategist said. “He is a consummate salesman, and there are numerous instances already out in the public record where he made claims that were not just factually wrong—they were total fabrications.”

    The source added that this doesn’t mean Nix didn’t reach out to Assange.

    “I wouldn’t put it past him, if you consider every other thing that he’s done, every other way that he’s conducted business,” the strategist added. “I absolutely can see him reaching out and making an inquiry, hoping to find another way that Cambridge could become the heroes.”

    The source made these statements before Assange publicly admitted the dialogue with Nix.

    ———-

    “Trump Data Guru: I Tried to Team Up With Julian Assange” by Betsy Woodruff; The Daily Beast; 10/25/2017

    “Nix, who heads Cambridge Analytica, told a third party that he reached out to Assange about his firm somehow helping the WikiLeaks editor release Clinton’s missing emails, according to two sources familiar with a congressional investigation into interactions between Trump associates and the Kremlin. (CNN later reported Cambridge backer Rebekah Mercer was one of the email’s recipients.) Those sources also relayed that, according to Nix’s email, Assange told the Cambridge Analytica CEO that he didn’t want his help, and preferred to do the work on his own.”

    So after the Trump campaign basically gets teased about Moscow getting its hands on Hillary’s emails in late April we find Cambridge Analytica, now working for the Trump campaign, actually contacting Julian Assange about helping Wikileaks release them. And Assange confirmed this email exchange did indeed take place:


    On Wednesday, Assange confirmed that such an exchange took place.

    And don’t forget that early June was when the bizarre outreach to Rob Goldstone took place culminating in the June 9th Trump Tower meeting.

    It’s all part of why it’s not at all surprising to see the Trump administration and rest of the GOP running as fast as it can from the firm:


    On Wednesday afternoon, Trump campaign executive director Michael Glassner tried to downplay the role Cambridge Analytica played during the election, stating that the Republican National Committee [RNC] was its “main source” for data analytics.

    After Trump secured the GOP nomination, Glassner said in a statement: “We were proud to have worked with the RNC and its data experts and relied on them as our main source for data analytics. … Any claims that voter data from any other source played a key role in the victory are false.”

    But FEC data contradicted Glassner. According to the campaign’s own FEC filings, the Trump campaign paid Cambridge Analytica $5.9 million from July 29, 2016—a week after Trump formally accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in Cleveland—to December 12, 2016. Brad Parscale, the campaign’s digital director, told the Wall Street Journal that the “psychographic” firm’s invoices is “mislabeled” in the FEC filing but he didn’t elaborate how or why.

    A Republican digital strategist who worked with Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 campaign told The Daily Beast that Nix should not be viewed as a reliable narrator.

    “Alexander Nix is not credible at all,” the strategist said. “He is a consummate salesman, and there are numerous instances already out in the public record where he made claims that were not just factually wrong—they were total fabrications.”

    “Cambridge who? Anawhatica?” That’s basically the GOP’s response at this point. For understandable reasons.

    And just to be clear, here’s an article that points out that this email was sent in June. Apparently Nix had to point out to Rebekah Mercer that he had already contact Assange in June after Mercer contacted Nix in August floating exactly the idea:

    Washington Examiner

    Top Trump donor inquired if data firm could help organize Hillary Clinton-related emails from WikiLeaks

    by Diana Stancy Correll | Oct 27, 2017, 6:08 PM

    Rebekah Mercer, a top Trump donor, contacted the CEO of the data analytics firm the Trump campaign hired and asked if the company could better organize the emails related to Hillary Clinton that were being released by WikiLeaks, a report said Friday.

    Mercer forwarded Alexander Nix, CEO of Cambridge Analytica, an email in August 2016 from a person she had met at an event supporting Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, that the Trump campaign should help organize the hacked emails concerning Clinton to make them more searchable, according to the Wall Street Journal.

    She then asked whether this was possible for Cambridge Analytica or the Government Accountability Institute, a conservative nonprofit dedicated to investigative research.

    Nix reportedly responded that he had already contacted WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, in June and asked him to share the emails with the company so they could help disperse them, but said Assange had denied his request.

    ———-

    “Top Trump donor inquired if data firm could help organize Hillary Clinton-related emails from WikiLeaks” by Diana Stancy Correll; The Washington Examiner; 10/27/2017

    “Nix reportedly responded that he had already contacted WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange, in June and asked him to share the emails with the company so they could help disperse them, but said Assange had denied his request.”

    June was quite a month for the Trump campaign.

    Ok, let’s review: we have this strange outreach effort starting in March centered around the mysterious Mr. Mifsud who promptly introduced George Papadoulus to a fake Putin niece. Then he starts talking about Hillary’s emails in late April. And then we have the infamous Trump Tower meeting on June 9th that started off with an email from Goldstone to Trump Jr. promising Russian government help but instead the meeting appeared to mostly be about overturning the Magnitsky act. Guccifer 2.0 goes public on June 14th, and then at some point in June, the CEO of Cambridge Analytica contacts Julian Assange and seemingly acts as if he believes Assange already has those emails.

    So You have to wonder…did that delegation during that June 9th meeting tell the Trump campaign that Wikileaks already had the emails? Or maybe some sort of cryptic hint pointing the campaign in Wikileaks’s direction? Because it seems pretty clear that the Trump campaign had those emails on its mind during the meeting. How could the topic not have come up?

    And if that happened and the delegation really did direct the Trump campaign towards Wikileaks for those emails it once again raises the question: were the Russian intentionally toying with the Trump campaign? Kind of like introducing a fake Putin niece and then hinting at possession of Hillary’s emails but never delivering them, that kind of toying?

    We’ll probably never know the answer to that, but it hard to ignore the possibility that getting the Trump team to totally implicate itself in Russian collusion would have been one of the goals of Kremlin plans to mess around with the US election. After all, if the Kremlin really was planning on waging an over-the-top election interference fiasco the self-implicating hacking campaign filled with “I’m a Russian hacker” clues makes no sense because it’s not like Moscow could reasonably expect to benefit significantly from a Trump victory after a hacking campaign filled with “I’m a Russian!” clues. But pulling off a self-implicating hacking campaign against Hillary while getting the Trump team to implicate itself in the hacking, on the other hand, does make some amount of sense. At least the payout isn’t predicated on getting special treatment from the new administration. It would still be a pretty crazy plan…just not as crazy as the plan we’re expected to assume the Kremlin had where the massive “I’m a Russian” hacking is done in order to get a President installed who will lift all the Russian sanctions.

    So might we be seeing the outlines of a Kremlin campaign designed to smear the Democrats with the email hacks while simultaneously making sure Team Trump leaves a long trail of evidence leading back to those hacks and collusion with Moscow? It would be a pretty high risk gambit, but if the plan was always for this whole this to explode in a mega-scandal that probably wouldn’t have been as high risk as a plan to pull off a scheme this self-incriminating without getting caught.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 31, 2017, 8:17 pm
  4. For The Record 981 is the most coherent piece of modern political analysis. Literally nothing being broadcast in the mass-media (left-right-center-alternative included) comes close to the amount of factual triangulation that has been presented here. Bravo!

    I must say though, if the end goal is a fascist revolution, the ring leaders must realize that the entire planet is going thru an accelerated state of decay. Ice caps melting, tropical forests destroyed, deserts expanding, rivers and seas poisoned, ect. What is to be had if you can no longer live on the planet?

    I this why the privatization of space exploration is being entertained?

    All of the world’s fascist ring leaders hang out in low-orbit while they release a plague that will wipe out the rest of us?

    What is the end game?

    Posted by Robert Montenegro | November 1, 2017, 9:20 am
  5. @Robert Montenegro–

    At your earliest convenience, please examine FTR #982, which further develops the situation.

    Best,

    Dave

    Posted by Dave Emory | November 1, 2017, 6:53 pm
  6. We just got some more information on the timing of the offer by Cambridge Analytica’s CEO Alexander Nix to Julian Assange back in June 2016 to help Wikileaks make the presumed cache of Hillary Clinton’s stolen emails more searchable online: According to Nix, that offer was made in “early June”. And unless he’s using the term “early” loosely here that almost certainly means this offer to Wikileaks was made before the June 14th news reports about the DNC getting hacked:

    The Guardian

    Data firm that worked for Trump asked WikiLeaks to share hacked emails

    Cambridge Analytica executive confirms firm asked Assange to share hacked emails related to Clinton – reportedly around time it started working for Trump

    Julian Borger in Washington

    Friday 10 November 2017 18.08 EST
    Last modified on Friday 10 November 2017 18.09 EST

    The chief executive of Cambridge Analytica has confirmed that the UK data research firm contacted Julian Assange to ask WikiLeaks to share hacked emails related to Hillary Clinton at about the time it started working for the Trump campaign in summer 2016.

    Speaking at a digital conference in Lisbon, Alexander Nix said he had read a newspaper report about WikiLeaks’ threat to publish a trove of hacked Democratic party emails, and said he asked his aides to approach Assange in early June 2016 to ask “if he might share that information with us”, according to remarks published by the Wall Street Journal.

    Assange, WikiLeaks’s founder, has already acknowledged the approach by Cambridge Analytica and said WikiLeaks rejected the request. In Lisbon, Nix reportedly agreed that the overture had been rebuffed.

    “We received a message back from them that he didn’t want to and wasn’t able to, and that was the end of the story,” Nix said at the Web Summit conference, according to the WSJ. He called the exchange “very benign”.

    However, the contacts between Cambridge Analytica and WikiLeaks are of interest to investigators looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin. The documents published by WikiLeaks in the summer of 2016 were later determined by US intelligence agencies to have been stolen by hackers working for Russian intelligence.

    According to the Journal, citing emails and unnamed sources, Cambridge Analytica had sent employees to the Trump digital campaign headquarters and was in the process of finalising a contract with the campaign in early June of last year, apparently around the time Nix said he made the approach to Assange. It is not suggested that Cambridge Analytica made the approach at the Trump campaign’s request. The Guardian has contacted Cambridge Analytica for comment.

    Representative Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House intelligence committee looking into possible Trump-Moscow collusion has said the committee had a “deep interest” in the relationship between Cambridge Analytica and WikiLeaks.

    In an interview at the Web Summit, Nix rejected any suggestion of collusion with Russia.

    “We did not work with Russia in this election, and moreover we would never work with a third-party state actor in another country’s campaign,” he said.

    Robert Mercer, a Trump mega-donor, and his daughter, Rebekah, are major investors in Cambridge Analytica and Steve Bannon was a vice-president of the company before joining the Trump campaign and becoming the president’s chief strategist in the White House.

    ———-

    “Data firm that worked for Trump asked WikiLeaks to share hacked emails” by Julian Borger; The Guardian; 11/10/2017

    “Speaking at a digital conference in Lisbon, Alexander Nix said he had read a newspaper report about WikiLeaks’ threat to publish a trove of hacked Democratic party emails, and said he asked his aides to approach Assange in early June 2016 to ask “if he might share that information with us”, according to remarks published by the Wall Street Journal.

    Early June 2016. That’s the window. But we can probably narrow the window down even more based on Nix’s explanation because he said “he had read a newspaper report about WikiLeaks’ threat to publish a trove of hacked Democratic party emails”.

    So which news report about Assange’s threat was he referring to? Well, probably this one from June 12th:

    The Guardian

    WikiLeaks to publish more Hillary Clinton emails – Julian Assange

    New release likely to fan controversy and provide further ammunition for Republican presidential rival Donald Trump

    Mark Tran
    Sunday 12 June 2016 10.50 EDT

    Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, has said his organisation is preparing to publish more emails Hillary Clinton sent and received while US secretary of state.

    Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, is under FBI investigation to determine whether she broke federal law by using her private email in sending classified information. A new WikiLeaks release of Clinton emails is likely to fan a controversy that has bedevilled her campaign and provide further ammunition for Donald Trump, her Republican presidential rival, who has used the issue to attack her.

    Assange’s comments came in an interview on ITV’s Peston on Sunday. “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton … We have emails pending publication, that is correct,” Assange said.He did not specify when or how many emails would be published.

    WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive in March of 30,322 emails and email attachments sent to and from Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state. The 50,547 pages of documents are from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014, and 7,570 of the documents were sent by Clinton, who served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

    ———-

    “WikiLeaks to publish more Hillary Clinton emails – Julian Assange” by Mark Tran; The Guardian; 06/12/2016

    Assange’s comments came in an interview on ITV’s Peston on Sunday. “We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton … We have emails pending publication, that is correct,” Assange said.He did not specify when or how many emails would be published.”

    That report is from Sunday June 12th, 2016, and it’s based on Assange’s comments made “on ITV’s Peston on Sunday.” So if that’s the report Nix was referring to that would be Nix’s outreach to Wikileaks after the notorious June 9th Trump Town meeting. And it was June 14th when the first reports of the DNC hacks hit the news and June 15th when Guccifer 2.0 first went public and started dumping documents. And this, of course, is assuming Nix is telling the truth.

    But also note how there’s nothing in the above article hinting at Assange having emails from Hillary’s private email server and he was already published 30,000+ Hillary-related emails in March of 2016:


    WikiLeaks launched a searchable archive in March of 30,322 emails and email attachments sent to and from Clinton’s private email server while she was secretary of state. The 50,547 pages of documents are from 30 June 2010 to 12 August 2014, and 7,570 of the documents were sent by Clinton, who served as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

    But as we saw from previous reports, when Nix reached out to Assange, it was about Hillary’s 33,000 missing emails (emails that were deemed personal and not related to her State Department work and deleted before Hillary’s private server was turned over to the FBI). So when Assange talks about an impending new cache of Hillary’s emails it’s not like Nix should have automatically assumed this meant Assange had those 33,000 missing emails because Assange clearly had a large cache of Hillary-related emails.

    So it’s worth noting that there were in fact news reports that the Russian government had indeed hacked Hillary’s email server and had those 33,000 missing emails. Or rather, ‘news’ reports. It turns out Gateway Pundit, one of the least credible right-wing blogs on the internet, published a piece claiming exactly that on May 10, 2016. And here’s the kicker: It’s based on a ‘report’ from WhatDoesItMean.com, a site that makes InfoWars seem sane in comparison:

    The Gateway Pundit

    REPORT: Hillary’s Emails Hacked by Russia – Kremlin Deciding Whether to Release 20,000 Stolen Emails (VIDEO)

    May 10, 2016 by Jim Hoft
    Guest Post by Joe Hoft

    The Kremlin is debating whether to release the 20,000 emails they have hacked off of Hillary Clinton’s server..

    According to a report from four days ago, beginning in 2011, the Russians began monitoring Romanian computer hacker Marcel Lazar Lehel (aka Guccifer) after he attempted, unsuccessfully, to break into the computer system of the Russian funded RT television network.

    After monitoring Guccifer, the Russians were reportedly able to record (both physically and electronically) his actions which allowed the Russian intelligence analysts, in 2013, to not only detect his breaking into the private computer of Secretary Clinton, but also break in and copy all of its contents as well.

    The report notes that shortly after Russia obtained Clinton’s emails, they released a limited amount to RT TV which were published in an article in March 2013, titled Hillary Clinton’s ‘hacked’ Benghazi emails: FULL RELEASE.

    A couple of years later, in 2016, the US then brought in Guccifer for questioning related to this incident. According to the report, NBC news knew why Guccifer was being questioned but withheld this information from the American public.

    The Associated Press reported in October 2015 that “Hillary Clinton’s private email server maintained in her home while serving as secretary of State was possibly hacked by Russia-tied authorities, and others, on five separate occasions.”

    The AP report noted that investigators discovered among Clinton’s cache of released emails malicious software aimed at transmitting data to three overseas computers, including at least one in Russia. This malicious software was reportedly activated by clicking on it; but in October it was not clear if Clinton actually opened these messages or not, per the AP.

    Recently separate reports have come out noting that Guccifer had indeed hacked Clinton’s emails. Now according to this latest report, Clinton’s server was not only compromised by Guccifer but also by Russia. Guccifer told FOX News last week that he hacked Hillary’s homebrew server and so did at least 10 others.

    UPDATE: Judge Andrew Napolitano told Megyn Kelly on Monday,

    “There’s a debate going on in the Kremlin between the Foreign Ministry and the Intelligence Services about whether they should release the 20,000 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails that they have hacked into.”


    Via Free Repubic:
    https://youtu.be/oounggTI-jk?t=1m18s
    ———-
    “REPORT: Hillary’s Emails Hacked by Russia – Kremlin Deciding Whether to Release 20,000 Stolen Emails (VIDEO)” by Joe Hoft; The Gateway Pundit; 05/10/2016;

    The Kremlin is debating whether to release the 20,000 emails they have hacked off of Hillary Clinton’s server.”

    A link to WhatDoesItMean.com about the Kremlin debating over whether or not it should released Hillary’s hacked personal emails. That’s what was swirling around the right-wing media cesspool in early May of 2016.

    And note how Andrew Napolitano made sure this rumor made it into Fox News:


    UPDATE: Judge Andrew Napolitano told Megyn Kelly on Monday,

    “There’s a debate going on in the Kremlin between the Foreign Ministry and the Intelligence Services about whether they should release the 20,000 of Mrs. Clinton’s emails that they have hacked into.”


    Via Free Repubic:
    https://youtu.be/oounggTI-jk?t=1m18s

    Napolitano also reference this rumor in a piece in Reason Magazine on May 12, 2016.

    And recall that Trump campaign team member George Papadopoulos was reportedly told by Joseph Mifsud, the mysterious Maltese professor, that the Russian government had thousands of Hillary’s emails in late April of 2016. So around a week after that encounter we get a report from WhatDoesItMean.com on May 6th about the Russian government debating releasing Hillary’s emails that gets promoted by Gateway Pundit on May 10 and then pushed into the mainstream-ish news by Andrew Napolitano shortly afterwards.

    The timing of it all is pretty interesting.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | November 10, 2017, 4:46 pm

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