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sabra

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Member since: Tue Nov 9, 2004, 04:15 PM
Number of posts: 30,392

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Paul Wood (BBC) - CIA contacts indicated that there's "more than one tape", "audio and video"


http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38589427

<snip>


Mr Trump was in Moscow in 2013 for the Miss Universe pageant (pictured)

How did Trump 'compromise' claims come to light?

And the former MI6 agent is not the only source for the claim about Russian kompromat on the president-elect. Back in August, a retired spy told me he had been informed of its existence by "the head of an East European intelligence agency".

Later, I used an intermediary to pass some questions to active duty CIA officers dealing with the case file - they would not speak to me directly. I got a message back that there was "more than one tape", "audio and video", on "more than one date", in "more than one place" - in the Ritz-Carlton in Moscow and also in St Petersburg - and that the material was "of a sexual nature".

'Be very careful'

The claims of Russian kompromat on Mr Trump were "credible", the CIA believed. That is why - according to the New York Times and Washington Post - these claims ended up on President Barack Obama's desk last week, a briefing document also given to Congressional leaders and to Mr Trump himself.

Lawmakers: Trump can't stop investigation of Clinton email case

Source: The Hill

A new inspector general (IG) investigation into the FBI’s conduct leading up the 2016 election is likely to continue after Inauguration Day, whether President-elect Donald Trump wants it or not.

Although the inspector general himself, Michael E. Horowitz, is a political appointee, everyone beneath him is a career official.

Trump could remove Horowitz, but lawmakers from both sides of the aisle say it’s unlikely that he would be able to halt the investigation.

The president “cannot shut down a probe, that’s the whole point of the IG,” House Intelligence Committee chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said. “They’re supposed to be independent.”

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/314110-lawmakers-trump-cant-stop-investigation-of-clinton-email-case

Paul Wood (BBC) - was presented with report of Trump-Russia blackmail tape a week before election


http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-38591382

...

By Paul Wood, BBC news correspondent

Claims about a Russian blackmail tape were made in one of a series of reports written by a former British intelligence agent.
As a member of MI6, he had been posted to the UK's embassy in Moscow and now runs a consultancy giving advice on doing business in Russia. He spoke to a number of his old contacts in the FSB, the successor to the KGB, paying some of them for information.

They told him that Mr Trump had been filmed with a group of prostitutes in the presidential suite of Moscow's Ritz-Carlton hotel.

I know this because the Washington political research company that commissioned his report showed it to me during the final week of the election campaign.

The BBC decided not to use it then, for the very good reason that without seeing the tape - if it exists - we could not know if the claims were true. The detail of the allegations were certainly lurid.


The Guardian: FBI had Trump report in summer but were obsessed with Clinton's private email server


https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/11/trump-russia-report-opposition-research-john-mccain

The story of the Trump dossier: secret sources, an airport rendezvous, and John McCain

What began as opposition research during the Republican primary slowly grew from a covert investigation into an extraordinary but unverified global story

...

In this case, the request for opposition research on Donald Trump came from one of his Republican opponents in the primary campaign. The research firm then hired one of its sub-contractors who it used regularly on all things Russian: a retired western European former counter-intelligence official, with a long history of dealing with the shadow world of Moscow’s spooks and siloviki (securocrats).

By the time the contractor had started his research, however, the Republican primary was over. The original client had dropped out, but the firm that had hired him had found a new, Democratic client. This was not necessarily the Hillary Clinton campaign or the Democratic National Committee. Opposition research is frequently financed by wealthy individuals who have donated all they can and are looking for other ways to help.

...

He delivered a set to former colleagues in the FBI, whose counter-intelligence division would be the appropriate body to investigate. It is believed he also passed a copy to his own country’s intelligence service, but it felt constrained in what action it could take and left it up to the Americans to do their own investigation and draw their own conclusions.

As summer turned to autumn, the investigator was asked for more information by the FBI but heard nothing back about any investigation. The bureau seemed obsessed instead with classified material that flowed through a private email server set up by Clinton’s aides. The FBI’s director, James Comey, threw the election into a spin 11 days before the vote by announcing his investigators were examining newly discovered material.

The former intelligence official grew concerned that there was a cover-up in progress. On a trip to New York in October, he decided to pass the material to the press. He met David Corn, the Washington editor of Mother Jones, who first reported its existence on 31 October.



Donald Trump Wasn't Told About Unverified Russia Dossier, Official Says

Source: NBC News

President-elect Donald Trump was not told about unverified reports that Russia has compromising information on him during last week's intelligence briefing, according to a senior intelligence official with knowledge of preparations for the briefing.

A summary of the unverified reports was prepared as background material for the briefing, but not discussed during the meeting, the official said. During Trump's press conference Wednesday morning, the president-elect said he was made aware of the information "outside that meeting."

A 35-page dossier published by BuzzFeed on Tuesday includes claims that the Russian government has been cultivating, supporting and assisting Trump for five years — even obtaining compromising information in an effort to blackmail him. The document, which was not prepared by the U.S. government, contains obvious errors. It was originally generated as part of opposition research by anti-Trump Republicans and then shopped by Democrats.

...

According to the senior official, the two-page summary about the unsubstantiated material made available to the briefers was to provide context, should they need it, to draw the distinction for Trump between analyzed intelligence and unvetted "disinformation."

The briefers also had available to them unvetted "disinformation" about the Clinton Foundation, although that was not orally shared with Trump.

Read more: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/trump-cites-nazi-germany-rejects-dossier-alleged-russia-dealings-n705586

CNN reporter: Top Trump aide threatened to throw me out

Source: The Hill

A CNN reporter who was denied a chance to ask a question at President-elect Donald Trump’s press conference said that Trump’s incoming White House press secretary threatened to throw him out if he pressed for another question.

Jim Acosta attempted to ask Trump a question at his first press conference since he was elected president, but the president-elect refused and called the network “fake news.”

“At one point during this news conference, in the interest of full disclosure...after I asked and I guess demanded that we had a question, Sean Spicer, the incoming press secretary did say to me if I were to do that again, I was going to be thrown out of this press conference,” Acosta said during a live broadcast following the press conference.

...

"Don't be rude. No, I'm not going to give you a question. You are fake news," Trump responded, before calling on another reporter from Trump-friendly outlet Breitbart.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/313792-cnn-reporter-spicer-threatened-to-throw-me-out-of-trump-presser

FBI chief given dossier by John McCain alleging secret Trump-Russia contacts

Source: The Guardian

Senator John McCain passed documents to the FBI director, James Comey, last month alleging secret contacts between the Trump campaign and Moscow and that Russian intelligence had personally compromising material on the president-elect himself.

The material, which has been seen by the Guardian, is a series of reports on Trump’s relationship with Moscow. They were drawn up by a former western counter-intelligence official, now working as a private consultant.

...

The Guardian can confirm that the documents reached the top of the FBI by December. Senator John McCain, who was informed about the existence of the documents separately by an intermediary from a western allied state, dispatched an emissary overseas to meet the source and then decided to present the material to Comey in a one-on-one meeting on 9 December, according to a source aware of the meeting. The documents, which were first reported on last year by Mother Jones, are also in the hands of officials in the White House.

McCain is not thought to have made a judgment on the reliability of the documents but was sufficiently impressed by the source’s credentials to feel obliged to pass them to the FBI.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jan/10/fbi-chief-given-dossier-by-john-mccain-alleging-secret-trump-russia-contacts?CMP=share_btn_tw

Meryl Streep slams Trump in emotional awards speech

Source: The Hill

Actress Meryl Streep delivered an emotional speech railing against President-elect Donald Trump -- though never mentioning him by name -- during her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 74th annual Golden Globes on Sunday.

The iconic actress referred to the time Trump imitated a disabled New York Times reporter on the campaign trail, and said that particular, real-life performance broke her heart.

“But there was one performance this year that stunned me. It sank its hooks in my heart. Not because it was good — there was nothing good about it — but it was effective and did its job," Streep said of Trump's imitation of reporter Serge Kovaleski, who has a congenital condition affecting the joints. "It made its intended audience laugh and show their teeth.”

“It was that moment, when the person asking to sit in the most respected seat in our country imitated a disabled reporter -- someone he out-ranked in privilege, power, and the capacity to fight back," she continued." It kind of broke my heart when I saw it, and I still can’t get it out of my head because it wasn’t in a movie; it was in real life.”

“This instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone in the public platform — by someone powerful — it filters down into everybody’s life because it kind of gives permission for other people to do the same thing. Disrespect invites disrespect. Violence incites violence. When the powerful use their position to bully to lose others, we all lose,” Streep said.

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/in-the-know/in-the-know/313264-meryl-streep-slams-trump-in-emotional-lifetime-achievement
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