Trump sends Pompeo to Russia to meet with Vladimir Putin and Sergei Lavrov, May 12-14

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

New Mueller Report version released after BuzzFeed News and EPIC sued for it

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 says US engaged in Venezuela 'information war', denies reports it told Maduro to flee

Russia claims did not tell Venezuela's Maduro to flee, disputes Pompeo and Bolton

Bill Barr haltingly admits campaigns offered stolen dirt by foreign enemies should maybe call FBI

Christ, what an asshole. Read the rest

Trump campaign won't say no to hacked political dirt, Democrats agree not to use illegally obtained data

Rudy Giuliani: “nothing wrong with taking information from Russians.”

This 2015 Facebook/Instagram post was 'earliest evidence' of Russia's attack, says Mueller report

"Good evening buds!" the post read.

Polar bear got lost in Russia, hundreds of miles from home [video, photo]

“Environmentalists say the bear could have lost its bearings while drifting on an ice floe.”

Pepsi plans to use cubesats to display ads in the night sky

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

Barr: We'll release the Mueller report in a week but first we gotta color code it and redact the bad stuff

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

Russia prison chief reassures inmates yoga won't make them gay

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.

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.

Read the rest

Russian agent Maria Butina to be sentenced in U.S. on April 26

The admitted agent for Russia was connected with the NRA and pro-Trump U.S. political groups.

Two Russia-backed hacker groups target Europe ahead of elections, FireEye reports

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

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.

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