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Saturday, March 17, 2018
Russian sanctions

Donald Trump’s Intelligence Deficit

Spats between the White House and intelligence agencies are hardly new, though in decades past these feuds tended to be on policy grounds. Trump’s, however, is more personal. Now, the question is not whether he continues to wage war with the intelligence establishment—it is how far he is willing to go.

February 22, 2017
president's daily brief

Why The Flynn-Russia Affair Is So Troubling For Trump

Call it what you will: Flynnghazi. Russiagate. The Crackpot Dome scandal. No matter the sobriquet attached to the inappropriate discussions between the Russian ambassador and Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, the growing cancer from this case is not going away.

February 22, 2017
Trump, White House, Bannon

White House Denies Any Collusion Between The Trump Campaign And Russia

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus flatly denied Sunday that the two camps colluded during the 2016 presidential campaign. Priebus also insisted that ousted national security advisor Mike Flynn had done nothing illegal in discussing sanctions against Russia with the country’s ambassador to Washington prior to Trump’s inauguration, and batted aside questions about disorder and disarray in the White House.

February 20, 2017
Putin, Russian Hacks, Russia

Is Russia’s Trump Honeymoon Over?

Over the last week Trump and his team, unwittingly or not, have dragged Russia back into conversation, even if that conversation is about disillusionment in Moscow. While Trump has remained loyal to a familiar and vague idea of getting along with Russia, it is his cardinals who are making headlines in Russia now and curbing the enthusiasm for the presidency in Moscow.

February 18, 2017
Retired Admiral Harward rejects National Security job

Retired Admiral Harward Rejects Trump Offer Of National Security Post

Two sources familiar with the decision said Admiral Harward turned down the job in part because he wanted to bring in his own team at the National Security Council.
That put him at odds with Trump, who had told former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s deputy, K.T. McFarland, that she could stay.

February 16, 2017
Trump, Russia, Media

Angry Trump Dismisses Russia Controversy As ‘Scam’ By Hostile Media

President Trump dismissed a growing controversy about ties between his aides and Russia on Thursday as a “ruse” and “scam” perpetrated by a hostile news media, and denied that any of his associates had contacts with Moscow before last year’s election.

February 16, 2017
Flynn, Russia

#EndorseThis: Michael Flynn Is Out, But Is Gen. Petraeus On Deck?

Press secretary Sean Spicer, the M.C. Escher of bullshit, claims Flynn’s resignation “isn’t a legal issue, it’s a trust issue.” But the Stephen Colbert wonders if what Flynn did was so darn legal, then why did Trump ask for his resignation? Colbert explains,“It’s funny ‘cause it’s treason.”

February 15, 2017

National Security Adviser Flynn Resigns Over Russian Contacts

Michael Flynn submitted his resignation hours after Trump said that he was reviewing the situation and talking to Vice President Mike Pence. The national security adviser had promised Pence he had not discussed sanctions with the Russians but it was later discovered that the subject had come up.

February 14, 2017
Justice Warned Trump On Flynn

Justice Department Reportedly Warned Trump On Flynn

Top White House officials have been reviewing Flynn’s contacts with the Russians and whether he discussed the possibility of lifting U.S. sanctions on Russia once Trump took office. That would potentially be in violation of a law banning private citizens from engaging in foreign policy, known as the Logan Act.

“He’s not out of the woods,” said a U.S. official who is familiar with the transcripts of intercepted communications between Flynn and the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, in late December. This official said Flynn “did discuss sanctions.”

February 13, 2017
Flynn, Russia Sanctions

Democrats Demand Answers About Flynn’s Pre-Inauguration Contact With Russia

The FBI has been examining Flynn’s contacts with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, according to reports. At issue is whether Flynn tried to undermine the Obama administration’s move to toughen sanctions against Moscow after concluding that Russia had meddled in the U.S. election.

February 11, 2017

The Art Of The Deal: Why Putin Needs One More Than Trump

For Putin, in his 17th year of dominating the Russian political landscape, a deal with President Trump, or even an early symbolic concession such as easing minor sanctions, matters. Expected to contest a presidential election next year that could extend his time in the Kremlin to 2024, he needs sanctions relief to help lift the economy out of recession.

February 1, 2017
Trump, Russia, Nuclear Deal

How Trump Plans To Make The ‘Best’ Nuclear Arms Deal With Russia

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump will propose offering to end sanctions imposed on Russia over its annexation of Crimea in return for a nuclear arms reduction deal with Moscow, he told The Times of London. “They have sanctions on Russia — let’s see if we can make some good deals with Russia,” the Republican president-elect said during his interview.

January 16, 2017

Did Flynn Violate The Logan Act By Discussing Sanctions With Russian Envoy?

The timing of the calls between Flynn and a Russian envoy raised questions about whether the Trump team had given Russia any assurances to soothe their anger over the sanctions. If that were the case, it would have raised a possible entanglement with the Logan Act, which bars unauthorized U.S. citizens from negotiating with foreign governments with which the U.S. has disputes.

January 14, 2017
Putin, Obama, Spy Wars

Let The Spy Wars Begin

In some ways, it’s just like old times, when the Kremlin and Washington regularly engaged in tit-for-tat expulsions of a spy or two. But in other ways, it’s not: this spy war long ago moved out of the shadows to entangle the U.S. presidential elections.

December 30, 2016
Putin, Obama, Russian Sanctions

Putin: Russia Will Not Expel Diplomats In Response To U.S. Sanctions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov earlier proposed expelling 35 U.S. diplomats after President Barack Obama ordered the expulsions and sanctions, but Vladimir Putin said he would wait for the actions of President-elect Donald Trump before deciding on any further steps in relations with the United States.

December 30, 2016
Obama, Putin, Russia

Russia Accuses Obama Of ‘Personal Hatred’

Moscow has accused U.S. President Barack Obama of “personal hatred” for Russia after the U.S. introduced new sanctions in light of allegations that Russian hackers interfered in the U.S. presidential election.

December 29, 2016
Putin, Obama, Russia, Sanctions

Obama Sanctions Russia, Expels 35 Diplomats For Meddling In 2016 Election

The move against the diplomats from the Russian embassy in Washington and consulate in San Francisco is part of a series of actions announced on Thursday to punish Russia for a campaign of intimidation of American diplomats in Moscow and interference in the U.S. election.

December 29, 2016
Trump, Russian Sanctions, Hacking

Asked About Russian Sanctions, Trump Says ‘We Ought To Get On With Our Lives’

Asked by reporters if the U.S. should sanction Russia, Trump replied: “I think we ought to get on with our lives. I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what’s going on.”

December 28, 2016

Focus Shifts To Trainload Of Bodies From Plane Crash Site In Ukraine

By Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times The battle for control at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 entered a new chapter Sunday focused on the fate of victims’ bodies, and U.S. and British leaders pointed fingers at Russia for nurturing the separatists suspected of bringing down the airliner. “There’s a buildup of extraordinary […]

July 21, 2014
Putin Clinton

Obama And Putin Spoke About U.S. Sanctions Thursday: U.S. Official

Washington (AFP) — President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by phone early on Thursday about tough new sanctions imposed on Moscow on Ukraine. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said that the call took place “early” on Thursday morning. He did not divulge other topics of the conversation, but the timing of the […]

July 17, 2014

U.S. Readies Unilateral Sanctions On Russia

Washington (AFP) — The United States signaled it could go it alone on toughening sanctions on Russia if Europe does not agree to increase pain for Moscow over its “destabilizing” policies in Ukraine. A raft of unilateral measures have been prepared that President Barack Obama could use to land new blows on the Russian economy, […]

July 16, 2014