A handful of Americans, allegedly operating out of the nation’s highest office, tried to influence the presidential election in Russia this week in favor of keeping President Vladimir Putin in office, a secret U.S. intelligence report says.
“We have reason to believe officials used public statements, policy actions, and other overt and covert tools to keep Russian President Vladimir Putin in office,” said the report, issued today jointly by all of the national security agencies of the United States.
Although the report didn’t directly accuse any specific federal officials of intervening in the Russian election, it said the nation’s “top officials, including the top executive, worked publicly and behind the scenes to ensure Putin retains office even though the Russian president has taken steps in the last several years that threaten the United States and are in conflict with the policies of the United States on some of its most important matters, including its relationships with foreign allies and its own homeland security.”
Don McGannon, a former head of the National Security Agency who now works on national security programs with several federal agencies, says the report is clearly accusing President Trump of actively supporting the reelection of Putin even though he’s not named in the report.
“When the report says America’s top executive is behind the effort to help Putin, it is referring to Donald Trump,” McGannon says.
The measures Trump and other officials took to help Putin include “taking no serious, coordinated measures to prevent Russia from interfering in upcoming U.S. midterm elections, allowing Putin to demonstrate new missile capabilities that can harm the United States without counterbalancing that with new U.S. capabilities, and muting the U.S. response to Russian aggression in Europe and the Middle East,.”
“What we have is a clear effort by a top American—the President—and other officials in the White House taking overt and covert steps to ensure Putin remains president even though his presidency has been marked by an escalation of threats against the Unoted States, its allies, and even the liberal democratic world order,” says Nancy Hutchinson, a national security fellow at the centrist Foreign Policy Institute in Washington. “This is a clear example of a foreign country—the United States—meddling in the election of another country to help its leader retain power. That’s a violation of international protocols and calls out for investigation by the United Nations Security Council. Just imagine if the situation were eversed and a foreign power tried to intervene in our election to help one candidate over another. Would we accept that? Of course we wouldn’t, and neither should it be acceptable that there are Americans using their high position to help another foreign leader. It’s simply unacceptable and we must get to the bottom of this.”
This is a work of satire. It is a fictional news article not meant to be taken seriously. Photos: pd and cc. Creative Commons and public domain. Not necessarily an endorsed use of images.
President Trump said this morning he plans to kick off his 2020 reelection effort in a strategic planning session with his campaign manager on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland. “The Dems have already started rigging the election, so we have to be smart and not let them fraudulently get three million more votes than we did like they did last time,” Trump said. Trump said his campaign manager, Vladimir Putin, “knows how to play tough” when it comes to winning elections, so that should serve as a warning to Democrats. “Vlad doesn’t fool around,” he said. “He gets in there and makes a difference, whether it’s on social media, cyber strategy, he has a plan for every situation.” More.
Alexander Nix, the embattled former head of data-mining company Cambridge Analytica, took issue with a claim by a key Russian figure in the Trump campaign collusion scandal that Russia was the decisive factor in Donald Trump’s improbable election to the presidency of the United States. “Anybody who knows the inside story of Donald Trump’s election victory knows that it was our data targeting that led to his win and that Russian involvement, despite all the help it got from the Trump campaign, was a side player at best,” said Nix, who resigned from his company last week after a video surfaced suggesting the company used questionable tactics to help candidates. More.
President Donald Trump defended his call to Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on his reelection to the Russian presidency earlier this week by saying he’s no different than any other leader who picks the candidates he runs against, controls the voting system in his country, and dictates any policy he wants as long as he doesn’t trigger opposition from his opponents who are lying in wait to depose him. “Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron, Justin Trudeau—are they all so much different than President Putin?” Trump said in remarks to reporters this morning. Trump said that Theresa May, who is prime minister of Great Britain, wouldn’t be much different than Vladimir Putin if she had her political enemies assassinated and knew Parliament would rubber stamp any policy she handed it. More.
The House Intelligence Committee released its long-awaited report on whether Russia intervened in the 2016 presidential election on behalf of Donald Trump and concluded that, while there were errors of judgment by Trump campaign officials, there was no collusion with Russian attempts to tamper with the election. It also recommended measures to protect future U.S. elections against tampering, and also recommended the redeployment of remaining Russia funds to investigate still-open questions about the 2012 attacks on the American embassy in Benghazi, Libya, and the culpability of then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. “There remain unanswered questions about Secretary Clinton’s negligence and misconduct in the days and weeks leading up to the horrific attack on the United States,” the report says. More.
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Devin Nunes (R-Trump), brushing the dust off his suit from the exploding memo his staff wrote on FBI bias against Donald Trump, says he’s ordered several new explosive devices to discredit the Mueller investigation into Trump Russia collusion. “I have several orders pending with Acme Corp. that I’m confident will bring down this charade of an investigation,” Nunes said this morning. Among other things, Nunes said, he expects to get a delivery by as early as Monday that will show the Deep State connections of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller . . . . More.
President Trump says his military parade, in which soldiers, tanks, missiles, and other vehicles will come down Pennsylvania Ave. in formation to showcase U.S. military might, will attract bigger audiences than President Obama’s military parade and will even be bigger than the parades of the last 10 presidents combined. “The tanks, the trucks—they’ll be like nothing we ever saw with Obama or even with the others,” Trump said this morning. “Very few people showed up for Obama’s parade. And I heard that some of the tanks broke down, Jeeps had flat tires, some soldiers didn’t march in a straight line.” More.
longer referring to the 45th president of the United States as Donald Trump or Donald J. Trump but as the criminal enterprise that’s taken over the White House. The change is significant because the Stylebook is the authoritative source on usage for newspaper reporters and editors as well as writers in broadcast, magazine publishing, marketing, and public relations. Charles Danbury, the style guide’s executive editor, says the change was necessary because of the importance of accurately reporting on the federal government. “As the resource that’s looked to by journalists throughout the United States, we take our responsibilities with the utmost seriousness,” Danbury said in a statement released today. “What we have in the White House is a criminal enterprise, funded by Russian oligarchs using money laundered through New York real estate, that is systematically assaulting the institutions that have made the United States a beacon for people around the world. Accuracy demands that we call the criminal operation what it is.” More.
unfortunate and unhelpful” that President Trump is destroying the United States, and said it would be better if the President didn’t destroy the institutions he has sworn to oversee or make the United States loathsome in the eyes of people around the world. He also said it would be better if the President didn’t pit Americans against Americans. “Would it be better if the President tried to strengthen our institutions? Yes, it would,” Ryan said. “Would it be better if he tried to make people look up to the United States rather than down on it? Yes. And would it be a plus if he brought Americans together rather them drive them apart? Yes, I’m sure it would be.” Ryan said he can’t speak for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), but he believes the Majority Leader also thinks it’s very unfortunate and unhelpful when the President makes the United States an object of hatred and derision around the world. More.
President Donald Trump was overheard singing the Russian national anthem rather than the American national anthem during the opening ceremony of the NCAA football championship game between Alabama and Georgia universities Jan. 8. “От южных морей до полярного края,” the President was heard singing, while those around him were singing, “What so proudly we hailed at the twilight’s last gleaming.” Commentators have remarked that the President didn’t appear to know the words to the national anthem, but it wasn’t until a recording surfaced in which his voice could be heard that it became clear it was the Russian national anthem that he was singing. More.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) probably aren’t going to say anything about it, according to the two congressional leaders’ aides. Max Phillip, McConnell’s chief of staff, said it’s the Majority’ Leader’s intent not to say much about President Trump’s tweet comparing his nuclear button to the nuclear button of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. “Would he plan to comment on that anytime soon?” Phillip said. “I wouldn’t expect that.” Phillip said there’s always a temptation to say something when the President’s son is accused of treason by a person who was the President’s top aide just a short while ago, but the Majority Leader will probably not address it. “You have to think about what you remark on and what you don’t remark on, and I think the Majority Leader will probably choose not to remark on that,” he said. More.
President Donald Trump this morning says hell probably lie about it, although he’s not sure if he’ll use the lie he’s been planning to use or a different lie, including one he hasn’t thought of yet. “We’ll see how it goes when we get to that point,” Trump told reporters outside the White House. “One thing I think I’ve made clear is, I don’t like to give away my plan. I like to keep people guessing.” Trump said he will probably lie later this week given the decision he made last week. “You know, we have to deal with the fake news like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. “I’m just going to see what the expedient thing to say is, and, frankly, I don’t know what that will be yet—or maybe I do. Maybe I don’t want to tell you.” He said part of what he says might be truthful. “Maybe there’s an expectation I’ll lie completely,” he said. “We just don’t know, but there could be some truth to what I say. More.
President Donald Trump is expected to blame his 2016 Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton later today. An administration official this morning said the President will be saying it’s Clinton’s fault and that Clinton’s actions raise questions. “Let’s not forget that questions remain unsettled over what Clinton did and what she didn’t do,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in order to speak candidly about the President’s intentions. The official said Trump plans to assign the blame to Clinton and will likely point to unanswered questions as well. “He will be clear that the Democratic nominee he ran against is at fault, but whether he will pivot to unanswered questions in her past isn’t clear,” the official said. “We’re talking about the President. He goes off script sometimes.” More.
President Donald Trump has charged the Democratic party with already having rigged the 2020 presidential election and he says his Democratic opponent has already cheated. “Loser Dems haven’t even waited until my first year as president is over before rigging the 2020 elections because they can’t win on their own,” Trump said today. He also accused his Democratic opponent of cheating. “My Democratic opponent, who had the help of the crooked and corrupt DNC, is already getting dead people, immigrants, criminals to vote in New Jersey and other unAmerican, socialist states.” Trump vowed to “lock up” his Democratic opponent “who is totally corrupt, by the way” after the election. “We must SAVE USA the beautiful from liberal elite who will EXPAND the deficit and cut the Regs for liberal Wall Street and sexual harassers in Hollywood who don’t represent America.” More.
President Donald Trump today called on his former Democratic opponent for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, to step down. “Witch hunt against DT most unfair ever,” the president wrote on Twitter early this morning. “Where’s investigation into Dem/HC Russia collusion?! Clinton needs to step down NOW!!” Reached while walking her dog with her family in the woods outside of Chappaqua, N.Y., Hillary Clinton said she had no comment.Trump reiterated his call for Clinton to resign at a press briefing later in the morning. “Where are the calls from the fake media for Hillary Clinton to resign?” he said. “She needs to be investigated. She will be investigated. We know about the corruption, the uranium deal that let the Russians buy a quarter of our uranium here in the United States, and the money that went into her sex-harasser husband’s phony foundation.” More.
The president of the United States, Donald Trump, said on Twitter today “DO SOMETHING!” The president, citing “GUILT by Democrats/Clinton,” pointed to the “Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more.” In other news, Trump’s one-time campaign manager, Paul Manafort, was indicted by a federal grand jury this morning and faces possible criminal charges for money laundering in connection to the investigation by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller, who is looking into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Manafort business associate Rick Gates was also indicted in connection with the matter. White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee-Sanders says Trump stands by his call for someone somewhere to do something. “The president is clear that he wants something to be done and he wants it done now,” Huckabee-Sanders said. More.
Fox News this morning highlighted a White House poll showing President Donald Trump with an approval rating of 111 percent, almost triple what an aggregate of recent national polls are showing. “The latest poll out of the White House makes clear that President Trump is not only popular throughout the country, he’s the most popular president ever, despite Democrats’ effort to thwart his agenda and paint him as a divider rather than a uniter,” Fox News host Sean Hannity said.The poll, which the White House released this morning, shows the president’s approval rating increasing from 106 percent last quarter to 111 percent, a five percentage point jump that the White House says is due to the president’s effort to eliminate wasteful and unlawful health care subsidies for low-income households and to stop people who’ve been victims of bank fraud from filing frivolous lawsuits against financial institutions. More.
In the first charge to come out of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian collusion by the Trump campaign, a grand jury has indicted one third of American voters for acts of criminal stupidity. “Evidence collected over the last six months provides clear and convincing evidence that 62.9 million Americans acted with criminal negligence and stupidity in voting for a man who repeatedly demonstrated he is unfit for high office,” the highly anticipated document says. The indictment, which was unsealed in federal court today, says Donald Trump, when he was a candidate for president of the United States, made it clear he neither understood nor respected the institutions of the country he was seeking to lead. “Voting for a candidate who undermined the democratic institutions of the United States violates the duties of Americans to undertake their responsibilities as voters responsibly. More.
President Donald Trump said no one respects freedom of the press more than he does but if outlets such as CNN and NBC continue to produce fake news, he’s going to be forced to take action to ensure the news Americans receive is real. “It’s not something I want to do,” he said at a press briefing today. “Believe me. I want our press to be so free and so good. In fact, I think my policy on the press is more fair than Obama’s. I’m not sure what his policy was, but I hear it wasn’t so good, frankly, And mine is better. That’s what I’m told. I’m just saying.” Trump said he’s looking into how to “open up” the press so it’s more accountable to truth. “Are they running fake stories about Russian collusion?” he said. More.
President Donald Trump said it was a lie when a man he said was lying about him called him a liar. “The liar who lied about my lying is a liar,” the president said in remarks to reporters this morning. Trump said the liar lied about his lying even after lying about being a liar. “When a liar lies about his lying, you know it’s a lie,” he said. “It’s a lie to think you can lie about a lie, because people know it’s a lie and I’m not lying about that.” Trump said he had to call the liar a liar after he lied about him lying about his lying. “What he said was a lie, because he said I was lying.” More.
President Donald Trump said his oldest son, Donald Jr., didn’t collude with the Russians to hurt Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election, but if he did, he can count on a presidential pardon. “The Democrats can use their rigged system to convict my son for a fake Russia collusion story but I have the ability to pardon him and I will,” Trump said today at the White House. “He’s going to keep running my business until I’m out of office.” Trump called the linkage between his son and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya a “witch hunt” because their meeting was the kind of thing people involved in campaigns have always done. “If someone who claimed to have connections to the Iranian government offered to share damning stories about me to Hillary Clinton’s people, do you think they’d turn that down?” Trump said. More.
HAMBURG, Germany. President Donald Trump, fresh from his two-hour meeting with Russia President Vladimir Putin, was in good spirits as he headed for a dinner at the G-20 meeting here Friday night. “I had a terrific meeting with President Putin, a really terrific meeting that will mean great things for America,” Trump said. “I’ve said all along America would be better off if we got along with Russia, and our meeting today was a fresh start, a really good start after the disastrous years we’ve had for so long.” Trump said he and Putin talked about cyber security and bringing peace to Syria—“a really important topic, by the way, really serious stuff”—and about forging closer ties between their two countries in the coming years. “I said I wanted to put the past behind us,” Trump said. “President Putin is a strong leader who I think we can do a lot with. And he certainly respects our strength, our military, our control over the cyber. We’re a really big country and I think he knows that.” More.
President Donald Trump admitted today he never taped former FBI Director James Comey but he left open the possibility that he’s taping himself, although he acknowledged he’s just speculating. “I’m not saying I am taping myself but so many things are coming out of the White House, coming out of the Oval Office, that I think I could be taping myself,” he said. “I just think we’re going to be revealing some very interesting things in the months ahead. Very interesting things. You’ll be surprised, I can guarantee you that.” A White House press aide who spoke on condition of anonymity said the President’s remark “speaks for itself,” although it wasn’t clear if the President was admitting he was taping himself or whether he was being taped at his request or whether he was being taped not at his request but with his tacit agreement. “Or maybe the agreement isn’t tacit,” this aide said. “I think you ought to ask the President whether it’s tacit or not.” More.
Special Prosecutor is Opportunity to Return Focus to Taking Away Health Care, Gutting Programs for Americans, Trump Says
President Donald Trump in a series of early-morning tweets said the appointment of former FBI director Robert Mueller to look into the Trump-Russia allegations gives his administration a chance to refocus on pulling the rug out from voters who put him into office. “Mueller will finally get the fake Russia story out of the news,” Trump said in the first of his tweets this morning. “We welcome the chance to take away health care from 24m, raise taxes on 70% of homeowners, cut heating aid to the old,” he said in a second tweet. In a third, he said he wants to get back to “wrecking U.S. standing in world, being a pushover to China, undercutting our allies.” More.
Exasperated by President Donald Trump’s repeated preference for Russian national interests over those of the United States, all 48 Democratic lawmakers in the Senate sponsored a bill, “The Put America First Again Act of 2017,” to require the President to look out for American interests. “We believe the President of the United States, among all Americans, should put American interests first,” Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.), the minority leader in the Senate, said in introducing the bill. “We think it’s the least he can do.” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) called the bill a “desperate act of grandstanding” by the Democrats and said it has as much chance of getting brought up on the Senate floor as a health care bill that would make insurance better and cheaper for more Americans. More.
In a sensational news scoop by Third-World Times, President Donald Trump of the United States secretly recorded his phone conversations with James Comey, his FBI director, before he fired him! According to the Times, President Trump asked Comey to say whether the FBI was investigating him, and Comey, not knowing he was being recorded, said he wasn’t! Now, if the FBI indicts Trump on a charge of colluding with the Russians to win the presidency, President Trump can call Comey a liar and ruin his reputation! Trump has boxed Comey in and painted him into a corner! “He’s a smart cookie, that Trump,” says a Washington insider, according to the Times. Meanwhile, Democratic lawmakers in Washington are upset at Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for drafting the memo that Trump used as the basis for Comey’s firing. More.
Former FBI Director James Comey, whose eleventh-hour intervention in the 2016 election is widely believed to have resulted in the election of Donald Trump as president, said he never would have thrown the election to Trump if he had known getting fired just a few months later would be his reward. “Donald Trump has a lot of nerve firing me when I’m the whole blippin’ reason he’s even in his blippin’ office,” said Comey, a Republican who was appointed to head the FBI four years ago. More.
Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn insisted he’s not guilty of colluding with Russia to help Donald Trump become president in 2016 and to prove it, he said he’ll gladly testify before Congress as long as he’s given immunity. “I’m eager to clear my name of these incorrect charges,” said Flynn, who has kept a low profile since resigning in January after just a few weeks working for the Trump White House. “That’s why l’m saying, give me immunity to testify and I’ll tell you everything I know.” Flynn said his testimony will show he has done nothing wrong and the entire Russia-Trump connection amounts to nothing. More.
President Donald Trump, who took a national security briefing on North Korea last week while dining in a public restaurant at his Mar-a-Lago restaurant, tweeted on an unsecured phone today that Americans shouldn’t forget about Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server while she was secretary of state. “I let her off the hook, but we shouldn’t forget how she risked national security with her emails,” Trump tweeted from his iPhone 7. In another tweet, Trump said he might have his Department of Justice take a look at what she did, even though he had said after the election he would let the matter drop, because “Russians, others could have hacked her like they did the DNC.” More.
President Donald Trump, on the defensive for staff contacts with the Russian government before he was sworn in as president, said the only scandal is the unsecured server Hillary Clinton used as secretary of state when Barack Obama was president. “You have 30,000 emails that could have been compromised because of Hillary Clinton’s illegal use of a private server,” said Trump, who continues to use an unsecured phone for conversations and tweeting and who has taken national security briefings in public locations, including the main dining room at his Mar-a-Lago resort. “We must get to the bottom of her use of a private server when she was communicating with foreign leaders.” To that end, he is directing the Department of Justice to open up an investigation into what Clinton did, and didn’t do, with her server. “Nothing less than our national security is at stake,” he said. More.
Lawmakers in the U.S. Senate this week are tweaking 2017 budget legislation to allocate money for construction of the Mexican border wall, a priority of incoming president Donald Trump, but the budgetary maneuver faces a high hurdle to get past Democrats—and might not even be necessary. A consortium of Russian businessmen, including one who is a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin, has come forward with a proposal to create a private fund that would pay for the wall, enabling Trump to meet his highest-profile campaign promise without taking money away from other U.S. priorities or adding to the federal deficit. More.
President-elect Donald Trump said today he has created so much doubt about what is true and what is not that any compromising information the Russians could reveal about him would not hurt his political standing among his supporters. “If Russian hackers were to reveal that I, say, participated in a golden shower with prostitutes, no one who supports me would believe it,” Trump said today at Trump Tower in New York City. “I’m not saying I participated in that on any of my tips to Moscow when I was seeking Russian money to bail my company out of bankruptcy. But even if I did and the Russians released a video of me doing it, it wouldn’t affect me. Everything is doctored, everything is fake. More.
As he vowed to do, President Barack Obama retaliated against Russian hacking of the U.S. election by releasing photos that Russian President Vladimir Putin is embarrassed to see on the Internet. “We were clear to President Putin that he would regret meddling in the election, which is so fundamental to our Democracy,” said White House spokesperson Josh Earnest this morning. “President Obama was very clear that the United States would retaliate in a manner and at a time of its choosing, and today we have made good on that threat with the release of these embarrassing photos of Vladimir Putin.” The photos are devastating indictments of Putin, say security experts and intelligence analysts. In one photo, Putin is wearing an anti-Putin t-shirt. In another, he has a propeller hat on his head. In a third, he has a message taped to his back that says “Kick me!” More.
President-elect Donald Trump said today he will move U.S. spy operations to Russia, which has “terrific” surveillance and “fantastic” intelligence gathering. “Our spy operations are a disaster,” Trump said after meeting with Mike Pompeo, the Kansas congressman who is in line to head up the CIA. Trump said his “good relationship” with Russia president Vladimir Putin makes the partnership with Russia’s spy agency, known as the KGB, a “fantastic opportunity to get the best intelligence, the best knowledge of what’s going on in the world.” More.
Facebook annouced today that it has been the subject of a fake news story that it is banning fake news stories after it was accused of allowing fake news stories to tilt the presidential election to Donald Trump. “We are not banning fake news stories, despite what you might have read in a fake news story on Facebook, and we have no plans to ban fake news stories,” said Mark Zuckerberg, the chief of the popular social media site. Zuckerberg called it “questionable” that the widespread sharing of fake news on Facebook had any affect on the election outcome, and it’s for that reason there will be no policy change to ban fake news. “Does fake news get shared on facebook?” Zuckerman said. “Of course. It’s impossible to stop. But we do not believe that fake news on our site had anything to do with the election of Donald Trump.” More.
FBI Director James Comey said he’s shocked Republicans are using his vague and cryptic letter to lawmakers about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s emails to fuel their theories of a massive criminal coverup. “I just can’t believe people are seizing on my mysterious, innuendo-laden letter to rile up Republicans who are disposed to mistrust Hillary Clinton,” Comey said in a statement today. “It never occurred to me that I would give fodder to conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton by saying I was reopening the investigation of her even though I don’t know what’s in the emails we discovered.” Comey, a Republican appointed by President Obama in 2013 in a show of bipartisanship, said he’s “a little shaken up” that Clinton critics are “making a big deal about this” and using it to reinforce their belief Clinton “is a criminal who is trying to become president” by rigging the election. More.
The Democratic National Committee has been hacked. Colin Powell has been hacked. The NSA has been hacked. The American Olympic Committee has been hacked. So many opportunities. So many directions. When you can get into any email you want, whose email do you get into next? That’s the question Russia’s state-supported hackers have been asking themselves and now they want to get your input. In a first for Russia’s hackers, they’ve put out a call on their Facebook page to get ideas from you on whose lives they should turn upside down next. “Tom Brady? Beyonce? Barbra Streisand? It’s just so hard to know,” said the group, which calls itself Анонимный, or “anonymous” in Russian. “It’s impossible to keep up with who’s trending. “Drake is big. But you already know what his emails are going to say. There has to be a surprise factor.” More.
Russian president Vladimir Putin says he’s enjoying the positive coverage he’s getting from the endorsement of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump but he doesn’t want to give the impression his success is all about his leadership skills; it helps to be an authoritarian, he says. Putin says he could never work his will if he couldn’t jail critics or have them killed, which takes care of a lot of opposition. He also takes advantage of a rubber-stamp legislative body and gets to set the terms of his election, which is better than running campaign ads, even if they’re good ones. “Truth be told, it helps to do what you want without checks and balances,” he says. “Sure, I’m a good leader. I’m strong. But at the end of the day, I never lose sight of the real source of my strength: my authoritarianism.” More.
Analysts say pro-Russia remarks appear to be sprinkled into the presidential nomination acceptance speech that Hillary Clinton gave on the last night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, and they wonder if the remarks were added at the last minute by Russian hackers who’ve infiltrated the servers of the DNC. “The speech was more pro-Russia than we expected, and that makes you wonder what the Russians have done now that we know they’ve hacked the DNC servers,” says Jon Brighton, cyber security branch chief at the National Security Agency. One line that might have been added, Brighton says, comes about halfway through Clinton’s speech, when she’s talking about the bonds of trust that appear to be fraying in the United States. “America is once again at a moment of reckoning,” she says. “Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart. Bonds of trust and respect are fraying. Luckily, we maintain strong bonds of trust with Russia and our good friend Vladimir Putin.” More.