Paul Manafort sentenced to 47 months in prison in Virginia trial, sentencing in Washington DC case next week

Trump's former campaign chief faced up to 25 years in prison, was sentenced to less than four.

Sweden arrests tech worker said to be Russian spy

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

U.S. Cyber Command DDOS'd Russian troll factory's internet on 2018 midterms voting day: WaPo

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

Retired CIA operative warns us "Convergence Is Worse Than Collusion"

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.

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?

Read the rest

Trump told Cohen to lie to Congress about The Moscow Tower Project

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.

Manafort worked with Kilimnik, reported Russian operative, even after criminal charges: Reports

Four words in a tiny font at the top of a page in Mueller's recent court filing reveal that Manafort kept at it with Kilimnik even *after* Manafort was charged with multiple felonies. Read the rest

Gates tells Mueller of Trump campaign deal with Israel's Psy-Group for 2016 "social media manipulation"

[PHOTO: Psy Group's headquarters in Israel, via]

Former Donald Trump presidential campaign aide Rick Gates is cooperating with Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, and has provided info on a firm in the Middle East that is reported to have worked with the Trump campaign to influence the 2016 U.S. election. Read the rest

Like Putin, Trump wants U.S. out of NATO

How much more evidence does America need that Donald Trump isn't working for us, but for Russia? Read the rest

After Comey firing, FBI began investigating if Trump was working for Russia

“Officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests”

Manafort gave polling data to Kremlin agent while Russia attacked U.S. elections

Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort provided an individual identified as a Kremlin agent with internal campaign polling data, while Russia's military was executing a political attack on the United States presidential elections of 2016. Read the rest

Michael Cohen's mobile phone data shows he was in Prague around time of Trump Russia meeting

A long-chewed-on mystery about Michael Cohen's activities in the Trump-Russia conspiracy may now be resolved, thanks to data leaked by Cohen's cellphone. Operational security will get you every time, dumb criminals. Read the rest

Santa Claus dies of a heart attack in front of room full of Russian children

Navigating the topic of death with a young child can be a difficult, traumatic experience for parents, especially if the topic is broached by the sudden loss of a loved one. Trying to explain death to a kid because they watched Santa Claus pass away right before their eyes? That's a higher level of awful.

According to The Moscow Times, a group of kindergarteners from Siberia were celebrating the season with a Christmas party, attended by Santa or rather, one of the jolly old fellow's Eastern European iterations, Ded Moroz. A bit of background: Ded Moroz, which translates as Father Frost, was originally celebrated/feared in pre-slavic lore as a wizard or a snow demon, and over the centuries became a central figure in the region's celebrations of the New Year and Christmas.

Anyway, back to the awful.

As part of a school play, Ded Moroz, played by 67-year-old Valery Titenko, danced his way across the stage, until he didn't. Dressed in Ded Moroz's long red, fur-fringed coat, Titenko suffered a heart attack and fell to the ground.

From the Moscow Times:

The group of kids apparently thought that Titenko’s fatal collapse was part of his skit and began giggling. A woman dressed as a clown who was also part of the skit noticed Titenko’s fall and rushed to help him.

Titenko was rushed to the hospital but died before he could get there.

According to The Moscow Times, Titenko was aware of his poor health and had been feeling dreadful earlier in the day. Read the rest

'Donald's Right.' Putin praises Trump Syria withdrawal tweet as 'the right decision'

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised Donald Trump’s surprise announcement of U.S. troop withdrawal from Syria, calling it “the right decision.” Nice to know the boss approves! Read the rest

Moscow might have nukes in Crimea, hacked EU cables warn

Hacked EU cables released this week warn that Russia may already have nuclear weapons in Crimea. The private diplomatic messages describe annexed area of Ukraine as a ‘hot zone,’ and Donald Trump as a ‘bully.’ Read the rest

Robert Mueller was target of Russian infowar, Senate report reveals

After Donald Trump was sworn in as President, Russia's information warfare teams focused on a new target: special counsel Robert Mueller. Read the rest

Maria Butina pleads GUILTY. Russian spy “knowingly engaged in conspiracy against the United States”

Maria Butina, 30, stood in a D.C. federal court this morning and told the judge that she “knowingly engaged in conspiracy against the United States.” Then, one hour into the hearing, she stood again and said one word: “Guilty.”

The accused Russian spy acknowledged that she acted "under direction of" a Russian official who has been identified as Alexander Torshin.

She has signed a plea agreement with the U.S. that requires her to cooperate fully with any relevant federal, state, or local investigations. Special Counsel Robert Mueller's office may want to talk with her about a few things. Read the rest

Vladimir Putin's old Stasi ID card discovered

What a wonderful time to be alive. Read the rest

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