( Fox News ) President Trump on Saturday dismissed a Democratic rebuttal to the GOP memo outlining government surveillance abuses in the 2016 campaign as a “total political and legal bust,” claiming that it only confirms the ”terrible things” that were done by the nation’s intelligence agencies.
The rebuttal, written by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, concluded that officials at the FBI and Justice Department “did not abuse the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) process, omit material information or subvert this vital tool to spy on the Trump campaign.”
Democrats sought to counter claims made in a Republican memo released this month that the FBI and DOJ relied on a Democrat-funded anti-Trump dossier to ask the FISA court for a warrant to monitor Trump adviser Carter Page. Democrats have claimed that the Republican memo leaves out important information.
But Trump was unimpressed by the 10-page memo.
Nunes on Democrat Memo Drop: It Proves Dems, Hillary Campaign Colluded with Russians
Breitbart News asked Nunes whether or not anything in what’s been made public points to collusion with the Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign.
“We’ve only seen collusion between the Democratic Party, the Hillary campaign, and the Russians,” Nunes said.
“We have no evidence of the Trump campaign colluded with Russia,” he added.
- LIMBAUGH: If these Russians were charged the way everybody thought charges were gonna happen, then they could charge Hillary, and they could charge Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS. But they can’t be charged just because the Russians have been, because the charges are different.
RUSH: “Well, if Mueller can indict the Russians, why can’t he indict Hillary and Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele?” And the answer is very simple, and it’s also very sneaky. Take a look at that indictment. This indictment is written very, very craftily. It is very, very good in its disinformation. The indictment describes all of the things the Russians were doing to try to interfere in our democratic process. It describes the trolling and the way they were using internet bots and other bad actors to influence the American people to think one way or the other.
But then when you get in the indictment to the charges, you see that the charges are not any of that. No. The Russians are charged with mail fraud. The Russians are charged with wire fraud. The Russians are charged with defrauding the U.S. government. The Russians are charged with identity theft. The Russians weren’t charged with interfering in American elections.
So there was a knee-jerk reaction. “Well, hey, doesn’t this open up Hillary and Steele and Fusion GPS? Doesn’t this just make them the next target?” No. Because Hillary and Fusion GPS, mail fraud? Wire fraud? Defraud the U.S. government? Identity theft? Ha! None of that’s applicable.
HANNITY: Rush Limbaugh had an amazing point on his radio show yesterday about why Mueller only indicted the Russians for certain crimes. He nails it. This is brilliant. Take a look.
RUSH ARCHIVE: The things these Russians were charged with in the Mueller indictment are wire fraud, defrauding the United States, mail fraud. These charges that the Russians were hit with in this indictment have nothing to do with the avowed purpose of the special counsel investigation, literally nothing to do with it.
And if these Russians were charged the way everybody thought charges were gonna happen, then they could charge Hillary, and they could charge Christopher Steele and Fusion GPS. But they can’t be charged just because the Russians have been, because the charges are different.
HANNITY: That’s why they didn’t go after the FEC issues. That’s why they didn’t go after the FARC issue. What Rush is saying here is brilliant, is that Mueller may have been shielding Hillary Clinton by limited the charges announced against the Russian trolls ’cause all of that could have been applied to Fusion GPS, Hillary Clinton, the campaign, Perkins Coie, and the rest of them. Brilliant point.
- Trump: “Why didn’t Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation? Ask Jeff Sessions!”
( By Alex Pappas | Fox News ) President Trump on Wednesday again dinged Attorney General Jeff Sessions, this time asking why the Democrats in the Obama administration aren’t being investigated as part of the probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.
“Question: If all of the Russian meddling took place during the Obama Administration, right up to January 20th, why aren’t they the subject of the investigation?” Trump tweeted.
Trump added: “Why didn’t Obama do something about the meddling? Why aren’t Dem crimes under investigation? Ask Jeff Sessions!”
Sessions, because of his role on the Trump campaign, recused himself from the special counsel’s Russia probe months ago – a move that angered Trump and has caused him to lash out at his attorney general over and over.
The Sessions recusal, followed by Trump’s firing of James Comey at the FBI, paved the way for the appointment of Robert Mueller as special counsel.
MUELLER INDICTS A LONDON LAWYER OVER A 2012 INTERVIEW – PROOF OF MUELLER’S DESPERATE FISHING EXPEDITION!
Desperate Witch Hunt Boss Robert Mueller charged Alex van der Zwaan with making false statements to federal authorities as part of Special Counsel’s probe of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election.
The indictment is regarding Van der Zwaan’s work with the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice in 2012.
The lawyer is accused of misleading investigators about the last time he talked with Richard Gates, who was indicted in October with ex-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort over their consulting work in Ukraine. Van Der Zwaan was questioned by U.S. authorities regarding his firm’s work in 2012 on behalf of the Ukraine Ministry of Justice.
Van Der Zwaan told investigators that his last contact with Gates was an innocuous text message in mid-August 2016, when they actually spoke the following month about the Tymoshenko report in a call the lawyer secretly recorded, the information says.
FAKE NEWS! INDICTED RUSSIAN AGENCY $1.25M BUDGET WAS NOT FOR U.S. ONLY – RUSSIA AND OTHER COUNTRIES INCLUDED
- Russian company Internet Research Agency ‘Project Lakhta’ was a worldwide trolling program–aimed at multiple countries including Russia itself and the United States–with a monthly budget in excess of $1.25 million.
( Law and Crime ) Mainstream media accounts have mostly sensationalized the amount of money spent by the Internet Research Agency on the group’s social media trolling effort known as “Project Lakhta.” Pages 6 and 7 of the indictment note:
a. CONCORD funded the ORGANIZATION as part of a larger CONCORD-funded interference operation that it referred to as “Project Lakhta.” Project Lakhta had multiple components, some involving domestic audiences within the Russian Federation and others targeting foreign audiences in various countries, including the United States.
b. By in or around September 2016, the ORGANIZATION’s monthly budget for Project Lakhta submitted to CONCORD exceeded 73 million Russian rubles (over 1,250,000 U.S. dollars), including approximately one million rubles in bonus payments.
Therefore, an accurate and contextualized understanding of this section would read something akin to: Project Lakhta was a worldwide trolling program–aimed at multiple countries including Russia itself and the United States–with a monthly budget in excess of $1.25 million.
But spending $1.25 million per month on a worldwide trolling program just doesn’t have the same sting as spending $1.25 million per month in the United States alone–so most media accounts simply fail to mention this.
The New York Times misleading coverage reads, “The Russian nationals were accused of working with the Internet Research Agency, which had a budget of millions of dollars and was designed to reach millions of Americans.”
CNN‘s coverage was similar, “By around September 2016, the indictment says, the Internet Research Agency’s monthly budget for the project that included the US election interference operation exceeded 73 million Russian rubles, or over $1.25 million.”
The Washington Post’s analysis of the Mueller indictment also fails to offer any sort of context, but provides a hefty dose of additional darkness in the way of obfuscatory musings about spending during the primaries. Aaron Blake writes, “At one point in the indictment, a price tag is put on the effort: $1.25 million in one month, as of September 2016. To put that in perspective, that’s as much as some entire presidential campaigns were spending monthly during the primaries.”
The Atlantic‘s national security and intelligence committee staff writer Natasha Bertrand breathlessly repeated the context-free assumption in a still-extant tweet with over 2,500 retweets and over 4,200 likes as of Saturday afternoon.
As journalist Aaron Maté noted, most Americans are likely to infer the $1.25 million-per-month was solely allocated for U.S.-focused trolling efforts. But the above-referenced journalists aren’t stupid. That’s probably by design.
The Mueller indictment only mentions the official name of Russia–the Russian Federation–on one occasion. And that mention only appears in a section detailing how the Internet Research Agency’s trolling efforts were also aimed at Russian citizens and electoral systems.
There are three references to the “Russian government” in Mueller’s new indictment, but none of those references explicitly allege electoral interference by the Russian government itself. One of those references–on page 24–simply rehashes U.S. media reporting about alleged Russian government interference. Another reference–on page 5–notes that the Internet Research Agency LLC was registered in Russia as a Russian corporate entity. The final reference–on page 6–notes that two other organizations, Concord Management and Consulting and Concord Catering, have received contracts for the Russian government–but does not detail any of those contracts.
In other words, the only detailed mention of the Russian nation-state in Mueller’s indictment is the fact that the Russian troll farm actively worked to troll and interfere with Russian elections as well. That’s kind of important.
- Second Trump-Russia dossier being assessed by FBI was written by Clinton supporter/former journalist Cody Shearer independently sets out some of the allegations made by ex-spy Christopher Steele
- The Shearer memo was provided to the FBI in October 2016
Guardian UK reports:
The FBI inquiry into alleged Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election has been given a second memo that independently set out some of the same allegations made in a dossier by Christopher Steele, the British former spy.
The second memo was written by Cody Shearer, a controversial political activist and former journalist who was close to the Clinton White House in the 1990s.
Unlike Steele, Shearer does not have a background in espionage, and his memo was initially viewed with scepticism, not least because he had shared it with select media organisations before the election.
However, the Guardian has been told the FBI investigation is still assessing details in the ‘Shearer memo’ and is pursuing intriguing leads.
One source with knowledge of the inquiry said the fact the FBI was still working on it suggested investigators had taken an aspect of it seriously.
It raises the possibility that parts of the Steele dossier, which has been derided by Trump’s supporters, may have been corroborated by Shearer’s research, or could still be.