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Robert Mueller to Testify Before House Committees

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The hearings will most likely be aired live and in full on network and cable television. With other potential witnesses off limits for now, Mr. Mueller possesses perhaps the singular authority to shift the dynamic in Washington and change the minds of Americans across the country who long since cast their lot with Mr. Trump or his critics.

“Americans have demanded to hear directly from the special counsel so they can understand what he and his team examined, uncovered, and determined about Russia’s attack on our democracy, the Trump campaign’s acceptance and use of that help, and President Trump and his associates’ obstruction of the investigation into that attack,” Mr. Nadler and Mr. Schiff said in a joint statement.

The question is what Mr. Mueller will be willing to say.

From the time he took over the F.B.I.’s investigation of Russia’s election meddling and possible ties to the Trump campaign in May 2017, Mr. Mueller, 74, has been one of the most vexing figures in American public life. He conducted his work in absolute private, despite incessant attacks by Mr. Trump in public and from within the White House, and ultimately issued a lengthy report that raised as many questions as it answered.

In the report, Mr. Mueller detailed Russia’s disinformation and hacking campaigns to sow chaos in the American political system, harm Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign and eventually bolster Mr. Trump. Though he detailed more than 100 contacts between Trump associates and various Russian figures and painted a picture of a campaign that welcomed the foreign assistance, the special counsel ultimately concluded that there was insufficient evidence to charge anyone with conspiring with the Russians to undermine the 2016 election.

Mr. Mueller’s team also extensively investigated whether Mr. Trump’s attempts to thwart its work amounted to obstruction of justice. The special counsel’s report documented 10 such episodes — including orders by Mr. Trump to fire Mr. Mueller, to constrain his investigation and to alter records about what he had done.

Ultimately, the members of Mr. Mueller’s team concluded that because Justice Department policy prohibits indicting a sitting president, they could not determine whether Mr. Trump’s actions had been criminal. But they also clearly stated that they could not exonerate the president of wrongdoing, either, and that the Constitution provides another means of adjudicating possible presidential wrongdoing: Congress.

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2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms - Google Search

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Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from The Times of Israel (blog)

Netanyahu says he's considering plan to cancel September elections

The Times of Israel (blog)-14 hours ago
Legal officials say Netanyahu's push to call off elections is a 'spin' — report ... Israeli firm SpaceIL says it won't repeat its attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon, ... to the conflict — one that guarantees Israel's security and respects the dignity of the ..... One social media user suggests “Trump took revenge” for Khamenei ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from The Times of Israel (blog)

Netanyahu's party acting to cancel September elections — report

The Times of Israel (blog)-14 hours ago
Netanyahu 'considering' plan to cancel elections; Blue and White blasts 'spin' ... Israeli firm SpaceIL says it won't repeat its attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon, ... to the conflict — one that guarantees Israel's security and respects the dignity of the ..... One social media user suggests “Trump took revenge” for Khamenei ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from The Times of Israel (blog)

In Bahrain, Kushner calls Trump peace plan 'opportunity of the century'

The Times of Israel (blog)-15 hours ago
Israeli firm SpaceIL says it won't repeat its attempt to land a spacecraft on the ... Knesset speaker acting to cancel September elections — report ... to the conflict — one that guarantees Israel's security and respects the dignity of the Palestinian people.” ..... One social media user suggests “Trump took revenge” for Khamenei ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from The Times of Israel (blog)

Netanyahu allies back move to cancel elections; legal sources say it's ...

The Times of Israel (blog)-17 hours ago
Legal officials say Netanyahu's push to call off elections is a 'spin' — report ... Some pundits claim the whole move is only designed to garner media ... Israeli firm SpaceIL says it won't repeat its attempt to land a spacecraft on the moon, ... to the conflict — one that guarantees Israel's security and respects the dignity of the ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from Mother Jones

Want to See How Disinformation Could Play Out in 2020? Just Look ...

Mother Jones-Jun 20, 2019
After the 2016 election, Mark Zuckerberg notoriously dismissed the idea that Facebook ... Camille Francois, chief innovation officer at the social media security firm ... Disinformation and manipulation are coming from domestic outfits, as seen in ... probing Psy-Group, a privateintelligence firm” staffed by former Israeli spies ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from Haaretz

Israel Seeks to Erase Archives of Intel Firm Psy-Group Employed in ...

Haaretz-Jun 18, 2019
Among those was a campaign to dig up and distribute via social media ... Personally I don't believe he was involved in the any U.S. election campaign. ... of 2016 to advise the Trump presidential campaign how to manipulate social media to ... Group, accusing the later of retaining another Israeli private intelligence firm, ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from The Wire

Israeli Tech Companies Target Rights Activists With Tailor-Made ...

The Wire-Jun 11, 2019
The dirty cyber campaigns mounted by Israeli companies like Archimedes, NSO and ... Media reports have confirmed that the Saudi intelligence agency that ... notified police authorities in Norway that another Saudi social media activist, Iyad al ... and the Internet Research Agency used in the 2016 US presidential election, ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from The Straits Times

Russians' US election interference has inspired copycats around the ...

The Straits Times-Jun 10, 2019
... who headed the social media giant's investigation into 2016 election manipulation before he ... The Israel-based accounts, run by a social media company called ... that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in a ... The report set out 45 election security recommendations, among them the ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from Middle East Monitor

Israel's interference in 2016 US election to be probed by Senators

Middle East Monitor-Jun 6, 2019
Israel's interference in 2016 US election to be probed by Senators ... what, if any, role Israel may have played in attempts to manipulate the 2016 election. ... questioning Soriano over communications with Israeli private intelligence firms. ... Social media giant, Facebook traced these accounts to Archimedes Group, a private ...

The Morning Briefing: Celebrate Toxic Masculinity on 75th Anniversary ...

PJ Media-Jun 6, 2019
Deripaska is believed to have worked with Soriano on corporate intelligence ... well as "three Israeli private intelligence firms: Psy Group, Wikistrat, and Black Cube, ... campaign chairman Rick Gates in 2016 to use social media manipulation to help ... gamed out how to successfully interfere in an election as early as 2015.
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from Politico

Senate Intelligence Committee summons mysterious British security ...

Politico-Jun 5, 2019
Deripaska is believed to have worked with Soriano on corporate intelligence ... with three Israeli private intelligence firms: Psy Group, Wikistrat, and Black Cube, ... campaign chairman Rick Gates in 2016 to use social media manipulation to help ... The Senate Intelligence Committee has been investigating Russia's election ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from Sun Sentinel

What American and Israeli elections teach us about fake news and ...

Sun Sentinel-Jun 5, 2019
The day after their elections in 2016 and 2019, respectively, the U.S. and ... Former employees of an Israeli private intelligence firm, the Psy Group, have said the firm designed social media manipulation plans to boost the Trump campaign.
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from Just Security

The Early Edition: May 30, 2019

Just Security-May 30, 2019
Before the start of business, Just Security provides a curated summary of ... from the D.O.J., shutting down the special counsel's office and returning to private life. ... systematic” attempts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. ... by passing legislation that enhances election security, increases social media ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from NTD

Fake Social Media Accounts Spread Pro-Iran Messages During US ...

NTD-May 29, 2019
A network of fake social media accounts impersonated political candidates and ... the 2018 congressional elections, cybersecurity firm FireEye said on Tuesday. ... groups could manipulate social media platforms to promote stories and other ... These are the accounts that FireEye, a private security firm, reported on today.
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from NBCNews.com

Did the Iranians create fake US social media accounts and pose as ...

<a href="http://NBCNews.com" rel="nofollow">NBCNews.com</a>-May 28, 2019
Did the Iranians create fake U.S. social media accounts and pose as GOP politicians? ... Was this the work of an Iranian intelligence service? ... reports released Tuesday by Facebook and a leading cybersecurity company, FireEye. .... looking at what happened in the 2016 election and trying to duplicate that on a local level.
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from The Star Online

Fake Facebook accounts: the never-ending battle against bots

The Star Online-May 26, 2019
Most fake social media accounts are "bots," created by automated programs to ... terms of service and part of an effort to manipulate social conversations. ... Facebook said its artificial intelligence detects most of these efforts and ... in spreading misinformation on social media ahead of the 2016 US election, .... company info.
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from The Times of Israel

Archimedes Group, outed by Facebook for election fakery, works from ...

The Times of Israel-May 24, 2019
Last week, an Israel-based social media manipulation company was singled out by ... B. Archimedes Ltd. was registered on February 21, 2016 by two men: a lawyer ... young people who served in the 8200 intelligence unit and who know how to .... The King David Residence complex features a private swimming pool, gym, ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from Mintpress News

Microsoft's ElectionGuard a Trojan Horse for a Military-Industrial ...

Mintpress News-May 24, 2019
In other words, while “officially” a private company, its only investor is the ... This is because, before, during and after the 2016 election, DHS was caught ... alterations to data or other manipulation of those systems, per FBI officials. ... artificial-intelligence targeting systems that will use social media to identify potential targets.
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from The Times of Israel

Europeans head to polls in 28 countries in key moment for Euroskeptic ...

The Times of Israel-May 22, 2019
With starkly different visions for bloc's future, parties across the continent vie for the votes of 400 million people, in the most hotly anticipated such vote in recent ...
Story image for 2016 Social Media Electoral Manipulations by Israeli Private Intelligence Firms from The Advocate

Kushner Companies and Russian individuals exchanged suspicious ...

The Advocate-May 20, 2019
When McFadden discovered the transfers from Kushner Companies to the ... said the report went to managers in New York who were part of the private-banking division. ... The House Intelligence Committee, which has signaled an interest in the ... Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election.
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Putin and Trump: Hiding the Cash

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A mysterious encounter on the side of the G20 Summit in Osaka, Japan, is likely to take place between Russian president Vladimir Putin and U.S. president Donald Trump.

Once again, as was the case when they met in Helsinki in July 2018, there may be no notes taken and no assistants in the room and, consequently, we may never know what was said and what was agreed.

Overshadowing this meeting are continuing concerns that Putin has found ways to compromise, indeed blackmail, Trump.

There is no hard evidence to support this view. However, Trump’s continuous friendly comments about Putin and his secretive conversations with him have generated suspicions.

The FBI remains silent about the findings of a counterintelligence investigation that it opened in early 2017.

Election support

Trump has publicly contradicted himself in various interviews and Tweets recently as to whether he would welcome foreign (that is Russian) information against his Democratic Party opponents as the 2020 U.S. presidential election campaign proceeds.

He has brushed aside suggestions that accepting such information would violate U.S. election laws.

The U.S. president has ignored all of the evidence in the April report by special counsel Robert Mueller of enormous Russian engagement in the years leading to the November 2016 election. Instead, he has stated that he trusts Putin who told him there was no interference.

Trump agreed, with a big smile across his face, in a long and wide-ranging interview with U.S. NBC TV reporter Chuck Todd that was fully aired on Sunday, June 23, that he would raise the subject of Russian interference in U.S. elections when he meets Putin in Japan.

Sanctions and cash

Mueller did not investigate the Trump Organization’s financial dealings with Russia, or large-scale acquisitions of Trump owned properties in the United States by wealthy Russians.

Investigations now being pursued by New York State authorities and by Congressional committees may provide information on such matters as Trump’s taxes, as well as his many ties to Deutsche Bank.

Some of these investigations have now been going on for more than a year.

In addition, the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank has been investigating whether Deutsche Bank was involved in transactions that saw it move Russian funds through the Estonian branch of Danske Bank into New York accounts. Deutsche is under a further set of investigations by European authorities.

And further aspects of the dirty cash investigations in the United States embrace Deutsche Bank’s involvement in possible transactions with Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who headed a family real estate firm and who is now a senior White House advisor.

It seems likely that Putin will try and convince Trump to lift U.S. financial sanctions on major Russian enterprises and the close circle of Putin’s multi-billionaire friends.

Few issues anger Putin as much as this one, but it is difficult to see just what Trump may ask for in return to pledging an effort to curb sanctions – perhaps a private Putin promise of further help to Trump in the 2020 U.S. elections.

Or perhaps Russian support for Trump’s strategy of “maximum pressure” against Iran?

Putin’s money

The importance to Putin of seeing the United States lift sanctions cannot be underestimated. The issue is prominent in the Mueller report. It is a critical and compelling feature of extensive research contained in a brand new book by Atlantic Council scholar Anders Aslund – “Russia’s Crony Capitalism.”

Drawing upon multiple sources, Aslund suggests that the private investments held by Russians in real estate and other assets in the West could be around $800 billion, and: “Putin personally holds tens of billions of dollars of assets abroad, probably in the range of $100 billion to $160 billion.”

Aslund notes that many of Putin’s friends and associates have created opaque complex sets of offshore holding companies to launder the cash and invest it and that a significant portion of these funds belongs to Putin himself.

So, when Putin forcefully argues against Western sanctions, he is not just doing this on behalf of his friends, but he sees himself as a victim as well.

Raising transparency

Many Trump properties are registered in the names of holding companies that mask the identities of the true owners, although Russians are thought to be particularly prominent at Trump properties in New York and in Florida.

Putin has every reason to try and see that the United States continues to allow such real estate investment secrecy and Trump may have personal financial reasons to share this view.

Surprisingly he has been silent, so far, as legislation to secure beneficial ownership of assets in the U.S. has recently been gathering bi-partisan support in both houses of the U.S. Congress.

The FACT Coalition, representing approximately 100 different organizations, has been lobbying hard for this legislation and secured formidable political and business support.

A transatlantic effort

This comes at a time when greater efforts to curb money laundering, investigate banks and pressure offshore havens to be more transparent are being seen on both sides of the Atlantic.

For example, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK’s House of Commons has recently warned that Putin is striving to undermine British security and it has argued that both sanctions on Russia and UK anti-money laundering regulations need to be strengthened.

If there is one thing that Putin and his cronies do not like it is transparency (while Trump is going to extreme lengths to keep his own finances secret).

The question is – will Trump in this week’s meeting provide Putin with any joy when it comes to lifting those sanctions and keeping a tight lid on Russian investments across the world?

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Nikolai Patrushev - Google Search

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Story image for Nikolai Patrushev from The Times of Israel

Netanyahu tells Russian official: We will do 'anything' to prevent ...

The Times of Israel-Jun 24, 2019
... with Russia's National Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. ... security advisers — Patrushev, Meir Ben-Shabbat and John Bolton, ...
At Jerusalem summit, Bolton says Iran has 'open door' for negotiations
<a href="http://JNS.org" rel="nofollow">JNS.org</a>-8 hours ago
Story image for Nikolai Patrushev from The Times of Israel

Bolton lands in Israel ahead of unprecedented security summit

The Times of Israel-Jun 22, 2019
Bolton will discuss regional issues with his counterparts, Meir Ben-Shabbat and Nikolai Patrushev. Iran's efforts to entrench itself militarily in ...
The Latest: Trump warns Iran against attacking US interests
International-Midland Reporter-Telegram-4 hours ago
Iran Says US Blocking Diplomacy As Trump Targets Supreme Leader ...
In-Depth-RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty-7 hours ago
Story image for Nikolai Patrushev from RT

Russian Security Council secretary speaks to media after Russia-US ...

RT-10 hours ago
Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev is addressing the media after his meeting with US National Security Advisor John Bolton, ...
Story image for Nikolai Patrushev from The Times of Israel

Moscow says it will look out for Iranian interests at upcoming ...

The Times of Israel-Jun 20, 2019
... have to take into account the interests of Iran,” Nikolay Patrushev said. ... National Security Adviser Meir Ben-Shabbat will host Patrushev and ...
Kremlin says Russia-US-Israel meeting 'very important'
International-The Jerusalem Post-Jun 19, 2019

Russia, US & Israel hold security talks in Jerusalem

RT-13 hours ago
US National Security Advisor John Bolton, alongside his counterparts Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, Israeli Prime ...
Story image for Nikolai Patrushev from The Jerusalem Post

Patrushev: It is extremely important to guarantee Israel's security

The Jerusalem Post-Jun 23, 2019
Russia's Nikolai Patrushev said at the unprecedented trilateral meeting with the US and Israel on Tuesday that It is extremely important to ...
Story image for Nikolai Patrushev from The Times of Israel

Israel, US to suggest legitimizing Assad if Russia curbs Iran in Syria ...

The Times of Israel-Jun 2, 2019
... and Russian Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev will ... Ben-Shabbat last met with Patrushev in September 2018 in Moscow ...
US-Russian-Israeli Meeting to 'Contain Iran'
Asharq Al-awsat English-Jun 1, 2019
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Nikolai Patrushev - Google Search

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