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Thursday, March 30, 2017
Russia
Danziger on Kiev shooting

Danziger: With Extreme Prejudice

Last week Denis Voronenkov, a former Russian legislator, found out that criticizing Vladimir Putin and his friends is a very unhealthy activity. As noted by Danziger, a gunman shot Voronenkov on the street in Kiev, Ukraine, just days before he was scheduled to testify against Viktor Yanukovych (the ex-president of Ukraine and Putin puppet who employed Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort). Voronenkov is the latest in a series of Russian legislators, diplomats, and other officials to die more or less mysteriously abroad over the past several months. Next semester, the Russian studies curriculum will include screenings of The Godfather.

March 26, 2017
Trump

5 Key Questions About The FBI’s Trump-Russia Investigation

On Wednesday Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said he had seen classified information indicating U.S. investigators had surveilled phone calls made from Trump Tower during the campaign. If you leave President Obama out of the allegation, what Rep. Nunes says may well be true. Comey said the FBI had been investigating since July and was looking into many different activities and persons. Breitbart News claims, implausibly, that the conversations had nothing to do with Russia.

March 24, 2017

Le Pen Visits Russia Ahead Of French Presidential Election

Le Pen has said she considers Crimea – which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014 – a part of Russia, and would cultivate closer ties with Russia if elected president rather than pressuring it over Putin’s authoritarian policies.

National Front Treasurer Wallerand de Saint-Just said Le Pen’s trip is not a cash-raising exercise, though party members have said they are seeking millions to fund both the presidential and the ensuing parliamentary election campaigns.

March 24, 2017
FBI director Comey and other intelligence chiefs testifying on Russian interference in US presidential election

FBI’s Russia Probe Expands To ‘PizzaGate’ Threats

The FBI’s widening investigation into Russian subversion is now looking into continuing threats against a Washington, D.C. pizza shop targeted by right-wing conspiracy mongers.

Comet Ping Pong Pizza, a popular, family-oriented shop in an upscale northwest Washington, D.C. neighborhood, came under relentless online attack last year because of its owner’s friendship with senior members of the Hillary Clinton campaign as well as David Brock, founder of Media Matters for America, a website that tracks press coverage critical of the Clintons.

March 23, 2017
FBI email leaks

FBI Director Confirms Investigation Of Possible Collusion Between Trump Campaign And Russia

Director James B. Comey confirmed for the first time Monday that the FBI is investigating possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian authorities during the 2016 election campaign. Comey said the investigation was examining whether “there was any coordination” between individuals associated with the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

March 20, 2017
Trump, Benghazi, Yemen Raid

Rush-SHA, Rush-SHA, Rush-SHA

House Intelligence Committee chair Nunes said he had seen no proof — not even Republican-style proof, which often starts as a shared quote from a Fox News morning show and escalates into a hearing by noon — that President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump’s phones in Trump Tower.

March 16, 2017
Trump, Foreign Policy

Donald Trump And The New Global System

The Trump foreign policy chaos is likely to accelerate centrifugal forces in the global system that will be the death-knell of American exceptionalism and leadership, hastening a rebalancing of global power with the United States as just another player.

March 13, 2017
Retired Gen. Michael Flynn attended White House intel briefings while working for foreign clients

Michael Flynn Finally Admits He Lobbied For Turkey During Trump Campaign

The assertion that the White House was unaware of Flynn’s lobbying activities raises questions of how carefully Trump’s advisers have been investigated for possible conflicts of interest in an administration beset by allegations of such conflicts — beginning with the president’s own businesses.

March 10, 2017
Trump, Mentally Ill

What Should We Do About A Mentally Ill President?

It’s time to face up to the obvious: The President of the United States is deranged. He is pathologically addicted to lying, bizarrely repeating his most blatant fabrications even after they’ve been totally debunked.

March 10, 2017
Watergate: Richard Nixon resigning the presidency amid Watergate scandal, August 9, 1974

Déjà Vu: How The Trump Presidency Recalls The Nixon Era

Not since Nixon has the United States had a leader who believes so strongly that there is an orchestrated campaign to undermine his presidency. And the revelations over months about contacts between Russian officials and Trump advisers remind some of the slow beginnings of the Watergate scandal.

March 9, 2017
Jon Huntsman, Russian Ambassador

Trump’s New Russian Ambassador Isn’t His Biggest Fan

In many ways, Jon Huntsman marks a departure from Donald Trump’s usual appointments. Different from the likes of Jeff Sessions and Mike Pence, he is a moderate, who, despite his Republican credentials, served under President Barack Obama as ambassador to China.

March 9, 2017
Danziger puts Kislyak on the couch

Danziger: A Hot Couch Potato

Russia experts tell us that leading figures in Moscow get most of their ideas about America from the news. So Danziger surmises that Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, might well mimic Kellyanne Conway, the presidential adviser who put her feet up on an Oval Office couch. Then again, he’s probably too smart to imitate her.

March 8, 2017
Rod Rosenstein, Trump, Russia Probe

Deputy Attorney General Nominee Resists Call For Special Prosecutor In Russia Probe

Rod Rosenstein, a top federal prosecutor nominated by President Trump to be deputy attorney general, testified that he was “not aware” of any reason he couldn’t oversee such a probe of Kremlin-led election interference.

March 8, 2017
Emperor Trump, Conspiracy theorist in chief

Who Will Save Us From The Conspiracy Theorist In Chief?

Barring some unpredictable (if quite likely) disaster, it’s basically up to the Republicans to keep the presidency while saving the nation from Trump. But don’t hold your breath.

March 8, 2017
Trump

There’s An Obvious Reason Why Trump Has Gotten ‘Some Negative’ Coverage

By wrapping his agenda in radical initiatives, lashing out wildly at his enemies, and generally conducting himself like an adolescent, Trump has provided pundits with scant opportunities to praise him, or to portray him as presidential.

March 7, 2017
John Oliver, Watergate

#EndorseThis: John Oliver Dubs Trump’s Wiretapping Claims ‘Stupid Watergate’

Donald Trump took to Twitter this weekend to dive deeper into his alternate reality where down is up, the Bowling Green Massacre actually happened — and President Obama tapped his phone last year.

March 6, 2017
Trump

Why Does Trump Think Obama Spied On Him?

The allegation by a president of such serious subterfuge against a predecessor is likely unprecedented. The claim has reportedly been denied by the current head of the FBI James Comey, by a spokesperson for Obama, and by Obama’s former intelligence chief James Clapper.

March 6, 2017
Sessions speaks with reporters ahead of the weekly Senate Republican caucus luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington

Why Sessions’ Recusal Complicates Trump-Russia Probes

Now that Sessions has stepped aside, Lawyers and Justice Department officials are poring through statutes and scratching their collective heads over who has authority to sign warrants for the FBI’s electronic surveillance of the Russians and Trump associates implicated in the probe.

March 5, 2017
Morning Joe, Sessions

‘Morning Joe’ Issues A Warning Jeff Sessions Can’t Ignore

For Joe Scarborough, the only thing more bizarre than Jeff Sessions’ press conference Thursday recusing himself from an ongoing White House investigation was its timing.

March 4, 2017
Obama, Trump

Citing No Evidence, Trump Accuses Obama Of ‘Wire Tapping’ Trump Tower

President Donald Trump has accused his predecessor of “wire tapping” Trump Tower just before the presidential election. The allegations were made in a series of tweets on Saturday, but the president failed to provide any evidence supporting his claims.

March 4, 2017
Russia, Watergate

Russia-gate Began Like Watergate — With A Break-In That Few Noticed

If there were a starting point for the political turmoil around members of Donald Trump’s inner circle and their ties to Russia, it likely would be last June 15. On that day, news broke of a computer penetration. It seemed like a minor event, not unlike the famous political break-in 44 years earlier at the Watergate complex that became synonymous with political scandal.

March 4, 2017
Sweden, Russia

Sweden Restores Conscription Amid Russia Fears

The Swedish government enacted a new law reintroducing compulsory military service for the first time since 2010, and for the first time ever on a gender-equal basis. The reason for the change is a response to Russia’s military activity over the last three years.

March 3, 2017
Trump, Putin

#EndorseThis: Trump And Putin Celebrate Their ‘Friendversary’

Imagine if Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin were Facebook friends. What would their “friendversary” video look like? The Nix Bros, who are known for their political comedy videos, take this very question and turn it into reality with a downright hilarious, yet utterly terrifying, viral video.

March 3, 2017
Sergey Kislyak

How Did Sergey Kislyak Become The Hottest Meeting Ticket In Washington?

His diplomatic career has encompassed the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the inexorable-seeming rise of one Vladimir Putin. Now Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States, finds himself in a harsh and unwanted spotlight over contacts with Donald Trump’s campaign team.

March 3, 2017
Trump, Sessions, Russia, Special Prosecutor

Russian Election Interference Demands A Special Prosecutor

Certainly, we are in a hyper-partisan age. But does that mean partisans set aside every principle they ever held dear and watch democratic norms be destroyed just to protect a president from their party? Are institutional checks and balances meaningless?

March 3, 2017