The administration of Donald Trump is sending Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi, Russia, on May 12-14, says the U.S. State Department.
What could they possibly be planning to discuss? Iran, North Korea, Venezuela, and winning the 2020 election, my top guesses. Read the rest
A new version of Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 elections has just been made public in response to a BuzzFeed News lawsuit. Read the rest
Russia claims did not tell Venezuela's Maduro to flee, disputes Pompeo and Bolton
Rudy Giuliani: “nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.”
"Good evening buds!" the post read.
“Environmentalists say the bear could have lost its bearings while drifting on an ice floe.”
Pepsi has announced plans to contract with the Russian space startup Startrocket to project massive "artificial constellations" spelling out ads for a "nonalcoholic energy beverage" in the night sky; Startrocket is planning to launch a cluster of cubesats with reflective mylar sails in 2021.
Read the rest
Trump's handpicked Attorney General Bill Barr says the report prepared by Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office will be ready for public release within about a week. Read the rest
Newsweek reports that yoga classes were reinstated in Russian prisons this week after being suspended due to a "religious scholar's" warning that it cold make prisoners gay.
Read the rest
Theological professor Alexander Dvorkin wrote a document suggesting yoga could cause uncontrolled sexual arousal and homosexuality in detention centers, leading to riots, the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomlets reported. Senator Elena Mizulina, who is known for her conservative views, used the document to appeal to the Prosecutor General's Office to check the legality of the yoga classes, and asked for them to be suspended, according to the paper.
The admitted agent for Russia was connected with the NRA and pro-Trump U.S. political groups.
Security services firm FireEye says two hacker groups known to be sponsored by the Russian government of Vladimir Putin are waging cyber-attacks currently against European government systems. Read the rest
Trump's former campaign chief faced up to 25 years in prison, was sentenced to less than four.
In Sweden, officers of the Swedish Security Service have arrested a person who worked “in a high-technology sector” and is believed by investigators to be a Russian agent. Read the rest
The official cyberwarfare division of America's military successfully blocked off Internet access for the Russian government's notorious “troll factory” on the day of the 2018 U.S. midterm elections. Read the rest
I heard former CIA 'clandestine serviceman' Jon Sipher on Renato Mariotti's fantastic podcast On Topic.
Sipher describes how Trump and Putin's colliding interests are far more threatening to the future of democracy than answering the question "was there collusion?"
The entire story was published by The Atlantic here.
Read the rest
Two Donald Trump supporters were recently photographed at a rally wearing shirts emblazoned with the phrase i’d rather be russian than a democrat. To some supporters of President Trump, praising Russia and denigrating Democrats is simply a means of expressing tribal loyalties, or of goading liberals. However, as heated political rhetoric becomes part of the media landscape, such fringe views are becoming more mainstream, displaying an increasing convergence of interests between Vladimir Putin’s Russia and the views of Trump supporters.
While many Americans are concerned that the Trump campaign may have colluded with Russia to influence the 2016 election, Trump’s outright convergence of interests with Putin’s Russia may well prove far more damaging for U.S. interests in the long run. Convergence can be defined as distinct groups doing the same things for different reasons, or as a unity of interests evolving from separate starting points. Both Putin and Trump seek to inject chaos into the U.S. political system. They support an assault on U.S. foreign-policy elites, encourage fringe and radical groups, and envision a United States untethered from traditional allies. They also share a willingness to utilize informal and semi-legal means to achieve their goals. The common interest shown by Russia and the alt-right in exploiting fears surrounding the routine Jade Helm military exercise in Texas in 2015?
Trump received 10 personal updates from Michael Cohen and encouraged a planned meeting with Vladimir Putin. “Make it happen,” Trump said of the Putin meeting.