Trump today canceled, via a tweet, his planned G20 meeting with Russian president Vladimir Putin. Read the rest
Remember last year when Trump was considering Mitt Romney to become secretary of state after he was elected? In the end Trump dumped the idea of Romney and Rex Tillerson got the job. Now, a second Steele memo that surfaced in November 2016 reveals that Tillerson might not have really been Trump's idea, but might actually have been a decision made by Trump's boss, the Kremlin.
According to The Daily Beast:
A new New Yorker profile of Trump-Russia dossier author Christopher Steele reports on a lesser-known memo the former MI-6 spy allegedly discussed with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators. According to the report, in late November 2016, Steele relayed information from his Russian sources that senior Kremlin officials had intervened to block Mitt Romney as President-elect Trump’s choice for secretary of State.
And according to The New Yorker:
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One subject that Steele is believed to have discussed with Mueller’s investigators is a memo that he wrote in late November, 2016, after his contract with Fusion had ended. This memo, which did not surface publicly with the others, is shorter than the rest, and is based on one source, described as “a senior Russian official.” The official said that he was merely relaying talk circulating in the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, but what he’d heard was astonishing: people were saying that the Kremlin had intervened to block Trump’s initial choice for Secretary of State, Mitt Romney. (During Romney’s run for the White House in 2012, he was notably hawkish on Russia, calling it the single greatest threat to the U.S.) The memo said that the Kremlin, through unspecified channels, had asked Trump to appoint someone who would be prepared to lift Ukraine-related sanctions, and who would coöperate on security issues of interest to Russia, such as the conflict in Syria.
House Democrats just released a trove of data, metadata, Facebook ads, and Twitter accounts run out of the Kremlin’s troll farm. A team of reporters at Daily Beast reports on how ads were created by people working for the Russian government's cyberwar arm, and literally paid for in rubles with no questions asked by Facebook.
Yep, even of those Dank Bernie Memes you shared were Russian.
Russian ads like the ones shown here came from...
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...dozens of inflammatory Facebook and Twitter ads from Kremlin-backed fake social media accounts, including several The Daily Beast has already identified, with names like “Being Patriotic,” “Secured Borders,” and “United Muslims of America.” They were released on Wednesday, along with accompanying metadata showing their Russian provenance, not by the companies themselves, but by Democrats on the House intelligence community investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election.
Taken together, the ads and the metadata provide a deeper picture than previously known of one aspect of Russia’s so-called “active measures” disinformation campaign. Hundreds of millions of Americans – nearly 150 million, Facebook acknowledged on Wednesday – didn’t realize online political material they were seeing and sharing came from a foreign adversary. But the Russians, capitalizing on social-media targeting tools made possible by accumulated data from billions of users, knew a tremendous amount about their unsuspecting American audience.
“Russia exploited real vulnerabilities that exist across online platforms and we must identify, expose, and defend ourselves against similar covert influence operations in the future,” Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, said during a hearing on Wednesday with executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google.