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The G7 took place this month in Charlevoix, Québec.

Vladimir Putin has not been invited in recent years, something President Trump took issue with. Obama’s Susan Rice objected to Trump’s stance.

These are the participating countries:

This is another important fact:

Prior to the summit, G7 ministers met in Whistler between May 31 and June 2:

… G7 Ministers responsible for development cooperation met in Whistler, Canada, to discuss their shared priorities on some of the most pressing global development and humanitarian challenges, including advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

But there was a more pressing subject, as The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) pointed out on June 2:

… as the G7 finance ministerial sessions wrapped up today, all the talk centered around their collective, and stunningly hypocritical, angst at new United States trade policy; specifically the imposition of Steel and Aluminum tariffs on imported goods.

France, Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Italy all have trade tariffs and trade barriers far higher than the U.S. Each of the G7 nations has exploited the overwhelmingly one-sided access to the U.S. market for decades. As President Trump demands “reciprocal and fair” trade agreements – those same nations now balk at the same rules and duties they impose on the U.S. now being imposed against them.

CTH cited a Reuters article:

Finance leaders of the closest U.S. allies vented anger over the Trump administration’s metal import tariffs but ended a three-day meeting in Canada on Saturday with no solutions, setting the stage for a heated fight at a G7 summit next week in Quebec.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to soothe the frustrations of his Group of Seven counterparts over the 25 percent steel and 10 percent aluminum tariffs that Washington imposed on Mexico, Canada and the European Union this week.

The other six G7 member countries asked Mnuchin to bring to President Donald Trump “a message of regret and disappointment” over the tariffs, Canadian Finance Minister Bill Morneau said at a press conference after the end of a three-day meeting in the Canadian mountain resort town of Whistler, British Columbia.

On June 6, two days before the G7 began, Trump’s National Economic Council (NEC) Chairman Larry Kudlow held a press conference to discuss the upcoming summit. Kudlow is a friendly economic face who can explain Trump’s strategy clearly to those with no background in finance. He has had a high-flying career in the financial industry, has written four books and has hosted his own television and radio shows. When asked about challenges with trade among G7 members, he said:

Well, look — we’re talking everything through. There may be disagreements. I regard this as much like a family quarrel. I’m always the optimist. I believe it can be worked out. But I’m always hopeful on that point. This is a G7 meeting, and the presidents and heads of state will get together.

Let me add one thought to that, though. The President — President Trump is very clear with respect to his trade reform efforts that we will do what is necessary to protect the United States, its businesses, and its workforce. So that we may have disagreements, we may have tactical disagreements, but he has always said — and I agree — tariffs are a tool in that effort. And people should recognize how serious he is in that respect.

When pressed on trade and tariffs, he explained (emphases mine):

Here’s the President’s key thought on this: reciprocity. And one of the problems, one of the reasons for the breakdown of the trading system — the world trading system, as I described, which the President is trying to fix — in the last 20-some-odd years, we’ve seen a lack of discipline; tariff and non-tariff barriers have gone up. There has been a lot of protectionism.

The United States, by the way, we have the lowest average tariff in the world. And if you go down a laundry list of industries, you will see we are much lower. Our tariff rates are much lower than our competitors.

So his point is we should all have a level playing field. He calls it “reciprocity.” I think it’s a very apt description. And that’s the problem. If you bring down the barriers, and you equalize the level of the playing field, then we’ll let nature take its course, we’ll let markets take their course, and we will see.

But I think the products we make here have improved enormously and will continue to improve enormously. And that’s really the message of this economic recovery.

So we’ll wait and see on that, but that’s the mechanism. As I said to the other question, the way you lower your trade gap, the way you increase your exports is lower the barriers.

And again, I want to say, other Presidents, in both parties, have paid lip service to this issue of the lack of reciprocity and China’s particularly bad behavior, but nothing ever comes of it. This President has the backbone to take the fight, and he will continue to make the fight because he believes it is in the best interest of the United States and also the rest of the world.

Some trade initiatives — GATT — and organisations — the WTO — were fine during their time, however, circumstances have changed over time:

Don’t blame Trump. Blame the nations that have broken away from those conditions. Very important point. All right? I’m not here at the podium to call out countries and individual names and so forth. But you know from our own work, Trump is trying to fix this broken system.

It was a good system — I agree with you — and it lasted for a bunch of decades. But that system has been broken in the last 20 years-plus. The World Trade Organization, for example, has become completely ineffectual. And even when it makes decisions, even in the rare moments when it makes decisions, important countries don’t even abide by them.

So you’re right about that framework from the mid-1940s on. I think it worked beautifully. I think free world trade is a very good thing indeed. But it is broken, and President Trump is trying to fix it. And that’s the key point.

Incidentally, Larry Kudlow suffered a heart attack a few days later. Fortunately, he’s now out and about:

Now onto the G7 summit. Before his arrival in Charlevoix on Friday, June 8, Trump tweeted:

The tension about Russia’s exclusion — and tariffs — mounted. That day, BT.com reported:

Donald Trump has dealt another blow to G7 unity after calling for Russia to be readmitted to the group – a call rejected by Theresa May.

The Prime Minister said Vladimir Putin’s Russia – thrown out of the group of leading industrialised nations in 2014 – should not be readmitted until it could demonstrate a change of course.

Mr Trump was already at odds with the rest of the group – the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan – over the imposition of tariffs on steel and aluminium.

His comments on Russia – backed by Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte – added further to the tensions at the summit in La Malbaie in Canada.

Mr Trump said: “Russia should be in the meeting, should be a part of it.”

But Mrs May told the BBC: “I have always said we should engage with Russia but my phrase is ‘engage but beware’.

“We should remind ourselves why the G8 became the G7, it was because Russia illegally annexed Crimea …

“So we need to say, I think, before any such conversations can take place Russia needs to change its approach.”

The article says that Prime Minister May met formally with every other leader except President Trump:

The US president is expected to depart the two-day summit early on Saturday, leaving the rest of the group behind.

Asked if Mrs May believed she had been snubbed, a Downing Street spokeswoman replied: “No.”

But the Prime Minister twice refused to say whether she had requested a formal bilateral meeting with Mr Trump.

Trump arrived that day (videos of arrival at Canadian Forces Base Bagotville here and here; arrival in Charlevoix here).

‘Justin from Canada’, as Trump refers to Premier Trudeau, looked rather weak:

Trump’s grandfather, a German immigrant, built a hotel in the Yukon as a young man. That was during the time of the Gold Rush:

The two leaders met privately then answered questions from the press, which ended with this:

Q Prime Minister, are you disappointed the President is leaving early?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: No, he’s happy.

Strangely enough, that day:

Trump also met with French president Emmanuel Macron in the early evening:

PRESIDENT MACRON: I wanted to thank President Trump. I think we had a very open and direct discussion this afternoon. We always have this kind of discussion.

And I think, on trade, there is a critical a path, but there is a way to progress altogether. We had a very direct and open discussion. And I saw the willingness on all the sides to find agreements and have a win-win approach for our people, our workers, and our middle classes.

We will have, this evening, a group discussion on North Korea — and you will have a very important meeting in Singapore — on Syria, on Iran, obviously. But I want to say that sometimes we disagree, but we always speak and share, I think, common concerns and common values. And we share the willingness to deliver and get results together.

So I wanted to thank you for that, once again.

Their meeting had been rescheduled from earlier that day, as Trump was delayed in leaving the White House.

There was the usual handshake and friendliness, but Macron had issued a warning to Trump the previous day via the press:

The Hill reported Macron’s remarks from Thursday, June 7:

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday delivered a stark message to President Trump, promising to resist “hegemony” and warning that no leader lasts forever.

Asked whether Trump did not care about “being isolated” from other world leaders, Macron responded, “Maybe, but nobody is forever.”

Macron’s statement comes as leaders from the Group of Seven prepare to meet at the G-7 summit in Canada on Friday — a meeting where Trump’s trade policies are expected to take center stage. 

Macron could reasonably apply his views on Trump to his own good self, as he has been lording it over the French for over a year now.

This is the reality of Trudeau and Macron:

This is what happened on Day 1:

This is a rather nice video summarising Friday’s events:

CTH has a meatier summary of what took place:

French President Emmanuel Macron responded to Trudeau’s plea and arrived two-days early to coordinate the strategic message.  Together they were looking for leverage in advance of Godzilla Trump’s arrival.  Germany’s Angela Merkel, and U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May even brought non-G7 members European Council President Donald Tusk, and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker as back-up.

Apparently the six-against-one plan was considered unfair to the six, so they added two moreUnfortunately for Canada, France, Germany and the U.K., Japanese PM Shinzo Abe and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte are not foolish enough to take on Godzilla.

As an entirely predictable outcome, President Trump won again.  It’s just so darned funny to watch this play out.  The era of the titan is back, and deliciously the titan is an American President, Donald J Trump.  He’s one guy, and he has them all surrounded; and he’s laughing the entire time.  He’s impenetrable, sharp, funny as heck and monolithic in stature making all of his opposition look decidedly less-than.

This video of everyone gathering around the table is interesting:

Photographs from June 9 lent further credence to CTH‘s summary:

Trump made a new friend at the G7, who also wants Russia re-admitted to the summit in future:

Trump held a press conference before leaving the G7 for the Singapore Summit:

Among his messages were:

Economic Security is National Security

CNN is “Fake News”

Then it was time for him to depart for Singapore:

Trump later instructed US representatives at the G7 to reject the summit’s communique:

This is because he thought Justin from Canada was being disingenuous with him after he left (see Trudeau’s closing press conference):

On Sunday, June 10, BT.com reported more on that and the rest of the summit, excerpted below:

The summit in Canada was marked by the US president’s controversial trade policy which has put him at odds with the rest of the G7 leaders.

He warned that retaliation against metal tariffs – 25% on imports of steel and 10% on aluminium from countries including the UK and the rest of the European Union – would be a mistake after previously calling the EU approach to business “brutal”…

During the meeting, Mr Trump accused other states of “robbing” his country through their trade policies and proposed scrapping tariffs across the G7.

But Theresa May hit back, branding the tariffs “unjustified” and saying the EU would respond – although she warned against further tit-for-tat escalation.

Despite the tensions at the gathering in Canada, Mr Trump rated his relationship with their leaders as a “10” – naming Germany’s Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and Mr Trudeau, but not the UK Prime Minister.

As well as criticising the tariffs, Mrs May also opposed Mr Trump’s call for Russia to be readmitted to the group of leading industrialised nations.

But Mr Trump insisted it would be an “asset” to have Vladimir Putin back at the summit table.

That day, White House Trade Policy Adviser Peter Navarro told Fox News that Trudeau had made a huge mistake — the ‘biggest miscalculation in Canadian political history‘ — and more:

Of course, as Trump was in Singapore, he couldn’t readily tweet about the G7 until he returned to Washington. On Friday, June 15, he had a few points to make:

He also told Fox & Friends that the leaders had wished him a happy birthday on June 14, Breitbart reported.

More on tariffs to follow.

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On Monday, June 18, 2018 President Donald Trump signed Space Policy Directive-3, National Space Traffic Management Policy:

It’s incredible to imagine that activity in outer space has progressed to this extent:

The future space operating environment will also be shaped by a significant increase in the volume and diversity of commercial activity in space. Emerging commercial ventures such as satellite servicing, debris removal, in-space manufacturing, and tourism, as well as new technologies enabling small satellites and very large constellations of satellites, are increasingly outpacing efforts to develop and implement government policies and processes to address these new activities.

To maintain U.S. leadership in space, we must develop a new approach to space traffic management (STM) that addresses current and future operational risks. This new approach must set priorities for space situational awareness (SSA) and STM innovation in science and technology (S&T), incorporate national security considerations, encourage growth of the U.S. commercial space sector, establish an updated STM architecture, and promote space safety standards and best practices across the international community.

The United States recognizes that spaceflight safety is a global challenge and will continue to encourage safe and responsible behavior in space while emphasizing the need for international transparency and STM data sharing. Through this national policy for STM and other national space strategies and policies, the United States will enhance safety and ensure continued leadership, preeminence, and freedom of action in space.

The White House offered a summary of Trump’s efforts to make space great again (emphasis in the original):

A RENEWED VIGOR FOR SPACE: The new Space Policy Directive builds on the President’s efforts to reinstate the United States leadership role in space.

  • On May 24, 2018, the President signed Space Policy Directive – 2 to reform United States commercial space regulatory framework, seeking to ensure our place as a leader in space commerce.
  • On March 23, 2018, President Trump unveiled a National Space Strategy that laid out an approach to ensuring that the United States is strong and competitive in the space environment.
  • On December 11, 2017, the President signed Space Policy Directive – 1, instructing NASA to return United States astronauts to the Moon, followed by human missions to Mars.
  • On June 30 2017, President Trump signed an Executive Order reviving the National Space Council for the first time in 24 years.

Trump met with the National Space Council on Monday. He said, in part (emphases mine):

We’re going to have the Space Force.

One year ago, I revived the National Space Council and put exactly the right man in charge, and that’s our friend, Mike Pence. He feels very strongly about this. And in December, I signed a historic directive that will return Americans to the moon for the first time since 1972, if you can believe that. (Applause.)

Always remembering it’s about that, but it’s also about jobs and the economy. This is a great thing we’re doing.

This time, we will do more than plant our flag and leave our footprints. We will establish a long-term presence, expand our economy, and build the foundation for the eventual mission to Mars — which is actually going to happen very quickly. And, you know, I’ve always said that rich guys seem to like rockets. So all of those rich guys that are dying for our real estate to launch their rockets, we won’t charge you too much. Just go ahead. If you beat us to Mars, we’ll be very happy and you’ll be even more famous.

Here is a video clip (full White House video here). Mike Pence is at the president’s side and transport secretary Elaine Chao is in the background:

Trump plans to create a new branch of the military — Space Force:

Vice President Pence then introduced the meeting, which included reports from the National Space Council as well as updates from Cabinet secretaries who are also working with the Council. The User Advisory Group met for the first time on June 19.

Democrats said that it couldn’t be done, that space was essentially dead for the United States — and, now, Trump is making space great again!

At the weekend, suddenly, a new American media narrative appeared: family separation of illegal aliens at the US border.

Anyone who is anyone chimed in about the ‘heartless policy’ of the Trump administration, including — but not limited to — former first ladies Laura Bush and Michelle Obama, Laura Bush’s brother-in-law (former presidential candidate) Jeb Bush and Senator (former presidential candidate) Ted Cruz. Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker decided not to send the National Guard to help patrol the southern border.

Even First Lady Melania Trump notionally had something to say, although her thoughts were expressed through her spokeswoman with the goal of bringing about revised immigration legislation.

On Monday, June 18, 2018, the Daily Mail posted an exposé of a Texas facility for incoming illegals. Well, those in the facility entered illegally and immigration officials are treating them as humanely as possible given their status. They are only there for a few days.

However, this is not exactly a Trump administration policy. It is one from prior administrations that is continuing today until the Democrats come to the table and work out a reasonable immigration bill with Republicans.

Please note that what everyone is in an uproar about are processing facilities only, the same way Ellis Island was a century ago for … legal immigrants.

The commentary to this video with Hillary Clinton is instructive:

The video — originally from Mediaite — was posted by a YouTube user in September 2017. An excerpt from the YouTuber’s commentary follows. Emphases mine:

This clip isn’t quite what Mediaite presents it as, though. She’s talking here about the migrant crisis in 2014, when parents in Central America sent their kids north, frequently unaccompanied, to cross the U.S. border. They were *recent* arrivals, often intercepted by Border Patrol and sent to detention facilities immediately upon entering the U.S. The case for legalizing DREAMers rests on the fact that they’re not recent — they’re fully (or mostly) assimilated into American culture, sometimes not even speaking the language of their country of birth fluently. Reportedly even Steve Bannon drew a distinction between DREAMers and other illegals during his time in the White House: “Trump was never in favor of repealing DACA,” said a source close to the president, who also said that keeping the program is in line with the immigration stance of Bannon, whose counsel Trump closely heeds. Bannon’s economic nationalist view is very much rooted in culture, and so eliminating DACA wouldn’t be a priority for him because “these kids have been here and they’re going to schools here,” the source said. “They’re Americans. They understand the culture.”

On June 16, the GOP reminded Americans that the Obama administration wanted the child migration crisis kept quiet. Note the date on the video below — 2014. Yes, children were sleeping in cages then:

The video description reads:

On CNN, Representative Henry Cuellar (D-TX) admits that the Obama Administration tried to keep the children migrant crisis on the southern border quiet.

There are a number of considerations surrounding children who show up at the border. Some are accompanied by an adult, but many are not. Not all of the adults accompanying the children are actually family members. What if they are being trafficked?

Did Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen wait too long to address the questionable narrative? By the time she spoke, the media and other anti-Trumpers had embraced it. It spread like wildfire. She should have had a statement prepared to give on television as soon as the news stories began. Why did she wait until Sunday, June 17 to address the issue? Fox News reported:

The head of the Department of Homeland Security bashed the media Sunday for their reporting on the increasingly volatile immigration controversy, writing in a string of tweets: “We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period.”

Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen added: “This misreporting by Members, press & advocacy groups must stop. It is irresponsible and unproductive. As I have said many times before, if you are seeking asylum for your family, there is no reason to break the law and illegally cross between ports of entry.”

The second sentence in the tweet below is the real issueillegal entry:

The tweets below are from her Monday press conference (see full transcript):

Also:

If President Trump was upset with Nielsen a few weeks ago, he must surely be furious now. On May 11, US News reported:

President Donald Trump unloaded on Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a heated Cabinet meeting this week, railing against her for failing to stop illegal border crossings.

Trump, who has grown increasingly frustrated by a spike in border apprehensions and legal setbacks, blamed Nielsen Wednesday for failing to do enough to stop them, according to people familiar with the exchange.

Nielsen, one person said, tried to explain the issues were complex and that the department’s powers were limited by a slew of legal restrictions. She told the president her team was doing everything it could, but the president was left unconvinced.

The episode, first reported by The New York Times, left Nielsen on the verge of resignation, according to the paper, which also said Nielsen, the former deputy White House chief of staff, had drafted — but not submitted — a resignation letter.

The department pushed back against that characterization.

Homeland Security spokesman Tyler Houlton said in a tweet that, “The @nytimes article alleging that the Secretary drafted a resignation letter yesterday and was close to resigning is false.”

Illegal immigration was always an issue for President Trump:

This is what an actual facility for young illegals looks like as of June 15, 2018:

You can read more about Casa Diego and other children’s facilities at Breitbart: ‘PHOTOS: Inside Shelter for Illegal Alien Children Separated from Parents‘. Please read the article and look at the pictures. Excerpts follow:

The Department of Health and Human Services hosted Breitbart News and other media on a tour of a facility in El Cajon, California, on Friday where migrant children are being sheltered after being separated from their parents.

The children are separated from their parents — or, to be precise, from the adults accompanying them, who may or may not be their parents — when their parents cross the southern U.S. border illegally and are caught and detained.

Previously, under the “catch-and-release” policy, the adults would be released. Under the “zero tolerance” policy of the Trump administration, the adults are being detained and prosecuted. Children cannot be incarcerated with them.

However, families that arrive together at legal ports of entry and apply for asylum status are generally not split up and are permitted to stay in the U.S. pending the adjudication of their applications (which can take several years).

It is important to remember that much of this kerfuffle about ‘cages’ started with a reporter from Playboy magazine:

On Thursday, CNN analyst and Playboy reporter Brian Karem shouted at White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders: “These people have nothing. They come to the border with nothing and you throw children in cages.” None of the reporters in the briefing room corrected him.

A non-profit organisation, Southwest Key, is in charge of these facilities, which are well equipped and clean. Casa Diego is for boys aged 6 to 17. They received schooling on the premises. A recreation area is also on site:

The goal is “reunification”: letting each child depart with a legal guardian.

Some 90% of the children at the shelter arrived at the border without adults; the other 10% were separated from the adults accompanying them. Once the children arrive — usually brought by U.S. Border Patrol agents — they are greeted in the “intake” office, where they receive any urgent medical care, are assigned a case worker, and are given food, a shower, and new clothing. They are also given toiletries and lessons in hygiene — literally how to flush a toilet, brush their teeth, and operate the shower, which some of the children may have never seen in their lives …

They have limited access to telephones to call relatives, both in the U.S. and abroad. They receive therapy, both as individuals and in group sessions. They enjoy field trips to local museums, parks, and the zoo, where they can explore the city beyond the shelter. And they also have social activities, including a recent “prom” for which they dressed up.

Girls come from another facility and share some of Casa Diego’s services.

In conclusion:

“Cages,” these are not. What is immediately striking about the facility is the enthusiasm and care of the staff who work there.

No doubt, I will post on this subject again in future.

On Friday, I posted a summary analysis of the DoJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the Hillary Clinton email investigation.

The report — probably in three versions — came out on Thursday, June 14. On June 13, Q wrote (message 1497) the following (emphases in the original). ‘RR’ is Rod Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general:

Q !CbboFOtcZs ID: 8d9246 No.1739449 📁
Jun 13 2018 22:50:25 (EST)

POTUS in possession of (and reviewing):
1. Original IG unredacted report
2. Modified IG unredacted report [RR version]
3. Modified IG redacted report [RR version]
4. IG summary notes re: obstruction(s) to obtain select info (classified)
[#3 released tomorrow]
[SEC: FBI/DOJ handling of HRC email investigation]
[[RR]]
Who has the sole ability to DECLAS it all?
Did you witness the stage being set today?
Nunes/Grassley/Freedom C. push for docs.
[[RR]] central figure within docs (personally involved).
KNOWN CONFLICT.
Immediate impeachment / resignation / termination / recusal IF EVER BROUGHT TO LIGHT.
Be loud.
Be heard.
Fight for TRUTH.
Q

So, President Trump has all three versions of the IG’s report.

The public has the redacted — edited — version. Some are saying that the public version cannot have been redacted because there are no black bars hiding text.

However, all it takes to edit is to delete and/or massage the text. One example of how this is done is for someone to write an executive summary and conclusions that do not tie in with the body of the report, which appears to have been done in this case.

To make matters worse, the FBI director, Christopher Wray — a Trump appointee — held a press conference. He began with a statement, which defended the FBI top to bottom. From what Wray said, he does not see people in the DC Swamp as criminal. He lauds all the efforts with regard to gang members and child abducters but never once mentions white collar crims in government. He closed with corporate verbiage (emphases mine):

As I’ve been saying since my confirmation hearing, I’m committed to doing this job, in every respect, by the book, and I expect all our employees to do the same. I’ve emphasized at every opportunity I’ve had that I’m a big believer in process—that our brand over 110 years is based less on our many successes than on the way we earned them. Following our rules, following the law, following our guidelines. Staying faithful to our core values and best traditions. Trying to make sure we’re doing the right thing in the right way. Treating everyone with respect. And pursuing the facts independently and objectively, no matter who likes it.

That’s the best way—the only way—to maintain trust and credibility with the people we serve.

The upshot of the report and Wray’s press briefing is that erring FBI agents will have more ‘training’ to overcome their ways.

Seriously?

On the day the report appeared, IG Horowitz’s office tweeted:

Public reaction to the tweet (read the thread) is scathing — and rightly so.

In summary, this is what the body of the report — Horowitz’s work and writing — tells the American public:

Even a former federal prosecutor thinks there is something amiss:

Not only do senior FBI employees loathe Trump …

… they also loathe his supporters — the people the FBI is notionally serving (see Wray’s remark above):

Senior FBI employees also loathe the United States of America:

Here is something interesting:

The conclusion one can only reach is that application of the law is currently a double standard: one rule for the criminal ‘great and the good’ and another for every day criminals.

Right now, Swampers haven’t a care in the world.

Thanks, FBI.

Thanks, Mr Wray, for defending your guys and gals. Americans thought you were supposed to be the clean up man.

DoJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report — the second of three or four — was made public on Thursday, June 14, 2018.

That day was also President Trump’s 72nd birthday. And it was Flag Day:

The president was said to have received a briefing on it, likely by DAG Rod Rosenstein, that morning.

ImperatorRex has laid out salient points in an incisive Twitter thread, also available on Thread Reader.

Excerpts follow.

Regardless of the wishy-washy tone of the report, it has laid out several facts:

This is likely to prompt further investigation into the DoJ.

Some are disappointed that it wasn’t an explosive report, however, more will follow. Horowitz, an Obama appointee, couldn’t do his job properly in his administration. Now he can.

Rex concludes that Trump was silent about it on Twitter. Perhaps he was enjoying a birthday celebration with friends and family, because he’s tweeted and retweeted plenty about it today, June 15:

The following was among Trump’s retweets:

I hope this will help to bring Mueller’s investigation to a close within the next few months.

Monday, June 4, was a big day for President Trump:

Kellyanne Conway, the first female manager of a winning presidential campaign, told Fox News’s Judge Jeanine Pirro:

Brad Parscale succeeds Conway as Trump’s campaign manager for 2020:

Promiseskept.com has a clean layout that is easy to navigate. Click on the various topics to read achievements, future plans and the latest news.

This polling statistic stands out:

Of course, the media avoids reporting the positive:

The June 4 Press Briefing was mostly negative. Only one reporter, Lalit, asked press secretary Sarah Sanders about the 500 Days:

Lalit.

Q Thank you. What does the President think is his top foreign policy achievement in the first 500 days?

SANDERS: I think that there have been a number of major foreign policy achievements. Certainly, I think the strengthening of relationships with a number of foreign leaders. I think that the conversation that we’re looking forward to having here in the next couple of weeks is certainly a step in the right direction. Moving the embassy in Israel would certainly be on that list. Being tough on Russia. Being tough on trade and making sure that countries that have engaged in unfair trade practices are held accountable. Those are just a few. But certainly, I think the list is quite lengthy. And we’d be happy to provide some more details.

The media’s negativity towards Trump should be raising people’s suspicions. Why do they hate him so? His policies are making Americans safer and more prosperous. Only someone not right in the head could dislike a president who says:

Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free.

Just before the May employment figures came out, the media accused Trump of breaking some sort of rule by sending out a brief teaser tweet. The interview below shows Obama giving interviews about employment figures prior to their release, but they gave him a pass:

Then, there’s Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-California) who spouts utter rubbish:

For those who missed them, here are the facts:

With regard to the economy and jobs:

With a successful Singapore Summit, there is more greatness to come in the next 950+ days!

MAGA!

When someone tells you something ‘can’t be done’, do not believe them. DO IT.

Consider:

Who would have thought that a former pro basketball player and a real estate mogul could do this?

Of course, it’s a work in progress:

Yet, it has moved forward from a meeting of two leaders to this:

Please join me in praying for success and peace.

This post concludes a series on Spygate.

Please see Part 1 for a list of people involved and how they know each other. The same names will be appearing in this and other related posts.

Part 2 covers events from 2015 and the first half of 2016.

Part 3 reviews what happened during the summer that year.

Part 4 covers events from September through November 8, 2016.

Last weekend, The_War_Economy posted a brilliant Twitter thread of 246 tweets with accompanying sources.

His thread is called SPYFALL, available in Thread Reader and individual tweets.

I have been excerpting and summarising SPYFALL this week as well as adding some of my own information so that those of us reading about Spygate can better comprehend its various elements.

When summarising SPYFALL, I will include the relevant tweet number in parentheses which will have a link to the source material.

Emphases mine below.

Today’s conclusion covers events from the 2016 transition period through to Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017.

November 2016

While Trump and his transition team were getting organised, the Obama administration wasted no time in working against them. Nor did Christopher Steele:

On November 11, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie stood down from Trump’s transition team. Mike Pence assumed leadership of the team. Meanwhile, former Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul attended a talk by Russian ambassador Kislyak (202):

On November 16, John Kerry had returned from Antarctica and was in Marrakesh for a UN climate conference. In Washington (206):

ODNI’s Clapper handed in his resignation, and Schumer chose Feinstein to take over the Senate Judiciary Committee, allowing Mark Warner to lead the Senate Intelligence Committee.

On November 15, Admiral Mike Rogers stood down from Trump’s transition team (204). At least one news report suggested he was too much of a Chris Christie ally.

However, Mike Rogers had one more thing to do, which is why I said in Part 4 that he had been invaluable to Trump:

At this point, Republican senator and anti-Trumper John McCain (Arizona) entered the Steele Dossier/UK intelligence nexus:

On November 22, the FBI interviewed either the DoJ’s Bruce Ohr or his wife Nellie Ohr, employed by Fusion GPS in 2016 (212).

December 2016

The FBI ramped things up against the president-elect early in the month (214):

FBI’s Comey put more resources into the counter-intelligence operation into Trump as Randall Coleman resigns and Luke Harding meets with Steele.

The Clinton campaign paid their final fees to law firm Perkins Coie, which received $5.6 million between June and December 2016 (215).

Christopher Steele had given Sir Alex Younger a copy of the infamous dossier (216):

Alex Younger gives a speech at the Secret Intelligence Services Headquarters in London, after he had received the dossier from Steele directly. The dossier was also passed throughout UK’s intelligence services, including GCHQ, who provided their assessment to the NSA.

On December 5, the FBI interviewed one of the Ohrs again (217).

A few days later, John McCain met with James Comey (218):

and handed in the dossier. This was either on December 8, 9 or after the 13th. Who knows? He may have even met Glenn Simpson during this. It’s multiple choice!

On December 9, Obama ordered a review of Russian interference in US elections going back to 2008 (219), the year he was elected to the presidency.

On December 12, the FBI interviewed the Ohrs again and (220):

At the same time, Evelyn Farkas published the article “Here’s What America Needs to Know About Trump and Russia”.

More about Russian meddling on both sides of the Atlantic appeared in the days that followed:

On December 20, the Ohrs went in for another FBI interview (225).

On December 23, Lawfare’s Matt Tait – ex-GCHQ – wrote an article for Politico called ‘Putin’s Way of War‘ (226).

On October 28, Obama took diplomatic action against Russia, which involved a phone conversation between Ambassador Kisylak and General Mike Flynn, a member of Trump’s transition team. This would rebound on Flynn a short time later. Even today, his case is still ongoing and he is relying on the goodness of others to survive:

The FBI said there was nothing wrong with Flynn talking with Kislyak. They were right. As a member of the transition team, he was within his rights to do so:

January 2017

President-elect Trump was clearly unhappy at the intelligence community, Obama people and Democrats opposing his upcoming inauguration.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) offered a memorable riposte:

Last chance efforts to damage Trump were in play, which included the Steele dossier. The most influential names from Spygate were coming together as one:

On January 6 (235):

the ODNI published the unclassified version of their report on Russian influence in the 2016 United States Presidential election, which both the FBI and the CIA had high confidence in. The NSA? Not so much.

That day, Comey decided to brief Trump about the Steele dossier (236):

… neglecting to tell him who paid for it, but said that CNN was looking for a hook. And then, by coincidence, ODNI’s Clapper appeared on CNN for an interview and told Tapper about the dossier.

Up to that point, the dossier looked like a solid card to play against Trump, until BuzzFeed and the Wall Street Journal got involved. Hilarious, for Trump supporters, anyway!

That said, although the DoJ‘s inspector general Michael Horowitz opened up an investigation into his department on January 12 (239), it was business as usual for Trump’s adversaries in Washington:

On January 17, outgoing US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power used her final speech to verbally attack Russia (242).

Then came Inauguration Day, January 20:

Thus concludes Spygate as The_War_Economy detailed it in SPYFALL.

Thank you very much, The_War_Economy, for your brilliant work!

This is part of a series about Spygate.

Please see Part 1 for a list of people involved and how they know each other. The same names will be appearing in this and other related posts.

Part 2 covers events from 2015 and the first half of 2016.

Part 3 reviews what happened during the summer that year.

The_War_Economy posted a brilliant Twitter thread of 246 tweets with accompanying sources.

His thread is called SPYFALL, available in Thread Reader and individual tweets.

I will be excerpting and summarising SPYFALL this week as well as adding some of my own information so that those of us reading about Spygate can better comprehend its various elements.

When summarising SPYFALL, I will include the relevant tweet number in parentheses which will have a link to the source material.

Today’s post covers what happened between September 2016 and the election on November 8.

Emphases mine below.

September 2016

At the end of Part 3, Stefan Halper met with Trump campaign adviser Sam Clovis for coffee at a hotel in the Washington DC area hotel. That was on September 1. They appeared to have discussed China; Halper also asked how he could get in touch with George Papadopoulos (137).

On September 2, Halper invited Papadopoulos to join him in London. Republican operative Peter W Smith set up KLS Research LLC to help find Clinton’s emails, something he had been trying to do since July. FBI lawyer Lisa Page texted her colleague Peter Strzok to say that James Comey was going to meet with Obama, as he was interested in what the FBI was doing (138).

Meanwhile, James Comey refused to say whether Trump campaign aides were being investigated. In Rome, FBI agents were asking Christopher Steele about his sources and future copies of his memos (133).

Steele also spoke with the State Department’s Jonathan Winer about his (Steele’s) dossier. Winer prepared a two-page summary of the discussion and shared it with State Department colleagues Victoria Nuland and Jon Finer (134). Finer went to share the information with then-Secretary of State John Kerry. Once Kerry found out the FBI had a copy, he dropped the subject. So did Victoria Nuland (135).

Steele was very much against Donald Trump’s candidacy. He met with the DoJ’s Bruce Ohr and made his views clear (136). Bruce Ohr’s wife, Nellie Ohr, had applied for a ham radio licence on May 23.

There was confusion at the Treasury Department about investigating people’s bank accounts. Treasury Department lawyer Paul Ahern said that draft guidelines were in place to do so (139), but, in reality, the Office of Intelligence and Analysis had never finalised said guidelines (140).

Russian interference was high on the agenda:

On September 13, George Papadopoulos began meeting with Stefan Halper in London (145). On March 26, 2018, The Daily Caller reported:

Papadopoulos now questions Halper’s motivation for contacting him, according to a source familiar with Papadopoulos’s thinking. That’s not just because of the randomness of the initial inquiry but because of questions Halper is said to have asked during their face-to-face meetings in London.

According to a source with knowledge of the meeting, Halper asked Papadopoulos: “George, you know about hacking the emails from Russia, right?”

Papadopoulos told Halper he didn’t know anything about emails or Russian hacking, said the source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the investigations into Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. The professor did not follow up on the line of inquiry.

Halper first contacted Papadopoulos by email. In a Sept. 2, 2016, message sent to Papadopoulos’s personal email account, he offered the Trump aide $3,000 to write a policy paper on issues related to Turkey, Cyprus, Israel and the Leviathan natural gas field. Halper also offered to pay for Papadopoulos’s flight and a three-night stay in London.

Papadopoulos accepted the proposal, flew to England, and met with Halper and one of his assistants. He delivered the paper electronically Oct. 2 and received payment days later, according to documents TheDCNF reviewed

Papadopoulos, 30, pleaded guilty in October 2017 to lying to the FBI about contacts he had during the campaign with Russian nationals and a London-based professor with links to the Russian government.

That professor, Joseph Mifsud, told Papadopoulos in April 2016 he learned the Russians had possession of “thousands” of Clinton-related emails. That conversation would later spark the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the presidential campaign. It is not known whether Papadopoulos told anyone on the Trump campaign about Mifsud’s remarks

London was a veritable stomping ground for Papadopoulos during the campaign.

In addition to meetings there with Halper and Mifsud, the Chicago native had an encounter that would serve as the catalyst for the FBI’s investigation into Russian meddling.

In May 2016, a month after his meeting with Mifsud, an Israeli embassy official, who Papadopoulos knew, introduced him to Australian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Alexander Downer.

During a barroom conversation at Kensington Gardens, Papadopoulos told Downer about the emails Mifsud mentioned to him, The New York Times reported in December 2016.

After WikiLeaks published a trove of stolen DNC emails in July 2016, Australian government officials told the FBI about Downer’s interaction with Papadopoulos. The bureau opened its counterintelligence investigation July 31, 2016 …

The Daily Caller article says the reasons why Downer wanted to meet with Papadopoulos are unclear and added that Downer and Halper have no clear personal connection with each other.

As to the meetings between Papadopoulos and Halper, the two:

met several times during the London trip, including at the Connaught Hotel and the Travellers Club — a classic 19th century club foreign diplomats and politicians frequent. Halper’s research assistant — a Turkish woman named Azra Turk — also met with Papadopoulos. The Connaught Hotel meeting was scheduled for Sept. 13, 2016, and the Travellers Club conclave was two days later …

At the time of the Papadopoulos meeting, Halper was working on a project related to China and Russia’s economic relations. There are no public records of Halper releasing reports on Turkey, Cyprus and Israel.

On September 14, the Department of Homeland Security’s Lisa Monaco told those attending (146):

the 10-year-anniversary of the DOJ’s National Security Division that Russia hacking the elections would be “extremely difficult”.

On September 22, two California Democrats — Senator Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff — issued a joint statement condemning Russian hacking based on briefings they had received (148).

On September 23, journalist Michael Isikoff posted an article (149):

“U.S. intel officials probe ties between Trump adviser and Kremlin” with information provided by Steele. The FBI takes notice.

Isikoff knows a Democrat operative, Alexandra Chalupa, who, Politico says:

had worked in the White House Office of Public Liaison during the Clinton administration. Chalupa went on to work as a staffer, then as a consultant, for Democratic National Committee. The DNC paid her $412,000 from 2004 to June 2016, according to Federal Election Commission records, though she also was paid by other clients during that time, including Democratic campaigns and the DNC’s arm for engaging expatriate Democrats around the world.

A daughter of Ukrainian immigrants who maintains strong ties to the Ukrainian-American diaspora and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, Chalupa, a lawyer by training, in 2014 was doing pro bono work for another client interested in the Ukrainian crisis and began researching [Paul] Manafort’s role in Yanukovych’s rise, as well as his ties to the pro-Russian oligarchs who funded Yanukovych’s political party.

On September 26:

Concern about cyberattacks loomed larger near the end of September:

In the employ of Glenn Simpson from Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele (154):

starts meeting with journalists from The New York Times, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, CNN and Yahoo! News. He meets Jane Mayer at the Tabard Inn in Washington. This is done under Glenn Simpson‘s watch, as he paid $168,000.00 to Steele to do it.

October 2016

October 2016 was a nail-biting month for both the Trump campaign as well as Hillary and her fellow Democrats.

So many things happened, yet Dems were sure their candidate would win.

Christopher Steele continued to be busy. At this point, he was in contact with the FBI (DoJ) and the State Department:

The FBI had no evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Also, then-deputy FBI director Andrew McCabe hadn’t yet told James Comey about Andrew Weiner‘s laptop (157). Incidentally, Jeff Sessions sacked McCabe on March 16, 2018.

On October 6, the Washington Post held their Cybersecurity Summit. The DHS’s Lisa Monaco said it would be difficult to hack the November 8 election because of the various voting systems in place throughout the 50 states (158).

Russia loomed large on October 7:

That day (161), the 2005 Billy Bush Access Hollywood tape dropped, which the GOPe and Democrats hoped would sink Trump. WikiLeaks also started dropping the Podesta emails, a treasure trove of insider Dem information. Two days later, on October 9, the FBI told John Podesta — Hillary Clinton’s campaign supremo — they were investigating the email hack (162).

WikiLeaks realeased near-daily dumps of Podesta emails from then until the election.

Meanwhile, on October 13, candidate Trump delivered his ‘Slings and Arrows’ speech in Florida (163).

On October 14, retired CIA official Michael Morrell (164):

takes some time out to try and tie Trump, Manafort, Stone and Page to Russia through financial connections and suggesting they are all agents of Russia.

That same day, Peter Strzok‘s wife received a promotion at the SEC and a former US ambassador to Russia visited the White House (165):

Michael McFaul is in the White House, where he bumps into Ambassador Kislyak. Also, Strzok’s wife, Melissa Hodgman, is promoted to Associate Director in the SEC’s Enforcement Division.

Christopher Steele refocussed his efforts in meeting with journalists, including the BBC’s Paul Wood, and once again met with the aforementioned DoJ’s Bruce Ohr (166), whom he had met in September.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told Obama that NSI director Admiral Mike Rogers should be fired (167). Rogers would turn out to be an invaluable asset to president-elect Trump.

October 15 was the DOJ’s John Carlin‘s last day at work. He had resigned as head of the DOJ’s National Security Division (168).

On October 16, Julian Assange’s access to the Internet was severed (169) but that contingency plans were in place. WikiLeaks claimed a ‘state party’ was responsible.

On October 18, the Obamas held their last state dinner. It was for Italy’s prime minister, Mario Renzi. The guest list includes a few of the names here (see 170 and 171).

On October 19, Robert Mueller appeared on the scene (172):

he’s been hired by Booz Allen Hamilton to review their security after the thefts committed by NSA contractor Harold Martin, who was discovered during the FBI’s search for the Shadow Brokers.

On October 20, Christopher Steele finished his memos, Stefan Halper addressed the China Forum in Washington and Mike Rogers received a briefing on pending FISA issues (173).

Also related:

As the month drew to a close:

The FBI terminated their relationship with Christopher Steele, as journalist David Corn wrote about information he should not have made public (187):

Now David Corn also drops the article “A Veteran Spy Has Given the FBI Information Alleging a Russian Operation to Cultivate Donald Trump”, which ends Steele’s relationship with the FBI as they terminate him as a source.

Early November 2016

At the beginning of the month, the Steele Dossier began making the rounds in the Obama administration (189). Again, there was still no evidence of Trump-Russia collusion.

On October 31 the Obama administration sent a message to Russia via a secure channel originally designed for use in averting a nuclear exchange. On November 1, Russia confirmed receipt of the message (191).

That same day, Andrew McCabe recused himself from the FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation (190).

On November 2, Obama criticised James Comey for his handling of the investigation into Hillary’s emails (192). Reopening the investigation at the end of October shocked many. The election was only days away.

A number of legislators and media pundits questioned whether Comey had violated the Hatch Act, a few of whom are listed below. From Wikipedia:

On October 30, 2016, U.S. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid stated that FBI Director James Comey may have violated the Hatch Act by sending a letter to the Congress on October 28, 2016, which stated that the FBI would be reopening their investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy.[34][35] Also on October 30, Richard Painter, a chief White House ethics lawyer for the George W. Bush administration, published an op-ed saying that he had filed a complaint against the FBI with the OSC and with the Office of Government Ethics about the same matter.[36]

Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote to the DoJ’s Inspector General Michael Horowitz about conflicts of interest in the FBI investigation into the Clinton Foundation and Hillary’s emails (193). Grassley’s letter mentioned the July 2016 tarmac meeting between then-AG Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton.

On November 3, Stefan Halper told Sputnik News that Hillary Clinton would make a better president than Donald Trump (194).

On November 6, news emerged that the FBI had examined all of Hillary’s hundreds of thousands of emails (195):

FBI’s Comey shuts down the Clinton investigation again, having read through 650,000 e-mails within about six days, something Michael Flynn openly questions.

Former Conservative MP Louise Mensch, an anti-Trumper now living in New York, wrote a piece for the now-defunct Heat Street (196):

… Louise Mensch (yes, her) published the article “EXCLUSIVE: FBI ‘Granted FISA Warrant’ Covering Trump Camp’s Ties To Russia” in Heat Street …

Meanwhile, confident of a Hillary victory, John Kerry left on a trip to Antarctica. And he must have got the surprise of his life learning the news from November 8:

Of course, as we all know, the story was far from over. In fact, in some respects, Spygate had only just begun.

Tomorrow’s post concludes the story of Spygate up to the present.

This is part of a series about Spygate.

Please see Part 1 for a list of people involved and how they know each other. The same names will be appearing in this and other related posts.

Part 2 covers events from 2015 and the first half of 2016 as The_War_Economy laid out in his brilliant Twitter thread of 246 tweets with accompanying sources.

His thread is called SPYFALL, available in Thread Reader and individual tweets.

I will be excerpting and summarising SPYFALL this week as well as adding some of my own information so that those of us reading about Spygate can better comprehend its various elements.

When summarising SPYFALL, I will include the relevant tweet number in parentheses which will have a link to the source material.

Today’s post covers what happened during the summer of 2016, when the Republicans and Democrats held their respective conventions to elect their candidate. What appear to be random occurrences in Part 2 start to form pieces of a greater puzzle.

Emphases mine below.

Conferences, private meetings

Conferences take place all year round. However, those that took place during the summer of 2016 would reveal international trips and private meetings.

Secret meetings — unrelated to conferences — also took place.

On June 4, Carter Page received an invitation from a doctoral candidate at Cambridge University to the Race to Change the World symposium (91). The doctoral candidate is thought to have been an assistant to Stefan Halper.

Two years later — on June 5, 2018 — The Daily Caller reported that President Trump’s speechwriter, Stephen Miller, received an invitation in May, weeks before Page was invited:

Carter Page was not the only Trump campaign adviser invited to a July 2016 event at the University of Cambridge, the storied British institution where “Spygate” is believed to have originated.

The Daily Caller News Foundation has learned that an invitation to attend the campaign-themed event was extended to Stephen Miller, another Trump campaign adviser who currently serves in the White House. Miller did not attend the event, which featured former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright as a keynote speaker.

J. D. Gordon, the director of the campaign’s national security advisory committee, told TheDCNF he believes the invitation from Cambridge to Miller was sent in May 2016. That’s a month before a graduate assistant of FBI informant Stefan Halper sent an invitation to Page to visit the campus.

“The invitation was to Stephen Miller who could not attend,” Gordon, a former Pentagon spokesman, told TheDCNF. “In the midst of our policy office search for a surrogate, Carter Page informed me that he had also been invited and would like to attend.”

Gordon said he told Page the campaign preferred he did not attend the Cambridge conclave.

“Though since he wasn’t planning to make public remarks, conduct media interviews or otherwise represent the campaign, he was not required to fill in one of our request forms.”

Gordon said Miller, a former Senate aide to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, passed the Cambridge request to John Mashburn, a campaign policy adviser. Mashburn gave it to Gordon.

The three-day Cambridge conclave was where Page first met Halper, a former Cambridge professor who turns out to have also been working for the FBI as part of a counterintelligence investigation into the Trump campaign.

Page, an energy consultant, has said Halper, a veteran of three Republican administrations, offered advice about the campaign during a brief chat on the sidelines of the event.

The pair met numerous times over the course of the next 14 months, Page told TheDCNF. He visited Halper’s farm in Virginia and met with the 73-year-old academic in Washington, D.C. They stayed in contact through September 2017, the same month the U.S. government’s surveillance warrants against Page expired. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Cambridge Prof With CIA, MI6 Ties Met With Trump Adviser During Campaign, Beyond)

Halper, who has longstanding connections to the CIA, met with at least two other Trump campaign advisers — Sam Clovis and George Papadopoulos.

The Daily Caller article says it is unclear as to whether Stephen Miller was a target of Spygate.

On the Democrat side, an important meeting took place on June 27, approximately one month before the Democratic National Convention (DNC). That was the day when Bill Clinton just happened to be in Phoenix, Arizona, and boarded then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch‘s plane for an extended chat with her (92). Details about what was discussed are still unknown.

Concerning intelligence, the GCHQ’s Robert Hannigan went to Washington DC to give material to John Brennan, then-CIA director (93). However, it should be noted that Brennan was not Hannigan’s direct counterpart. Admiral Mike Rogers of the NSA was the person Hannigan should have seen (94). They had already met earlier that year for the US-UK’s intelligence relationship anniversary. Yet, Hannigan chose to see the CIA’s Brennan.

On July 7, Carter Page travelled to Russia to speak at the New Economic School. During his time there, he also met with Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich (99).

Page returned to the US, then flew to England for the aforementioned Race to Change the World conference. He met with Stefan Halper, who told Page that he (Halper) knew Trump’s then-campaign manager Paul Manafort (100).

Between July 27 and July 30, the Aspen Security Forum brought together intelligence officials and CNN reporters. Attendees included Homeland Security’s Jeh Johnson, DOJ’s John Carlin, ODNI’s James Clapper, CNN’s Evan Perez, CNN’s Jim Sciutto, WaPo’s Shane Harris (108, 109). This could explain how Clapper was later hired as a CNN contributor. See Crossfire Hurricane below for details on what happened next.

Other news: DNC emails and FISA

In July, more than 19,000 DNC — Democratic National Committee — emails had been ‘stolen’. It was thought that various Russian hacking groups or persons, including Guccifer 2.0 were responsible. It was more likely that these were saved internally by someone working for the DNC — the late Seth Rich, an alleged Bernie Sanders supporter — then leaked. Nonetheless, the narrative of Russian hackers began circulating in the media. One of the intelligence people looking at what happened, particularly with regard to Guccifer 2.0, was Matt Tait, a former GCHQ employee who also writes for the Democrat-dominated blog, Lawfare (95).

The FBI tried to obtain a FISA warrant concerning two Russian banks. They had tried earlier in June. Once again, the FISC — FISA court — rejected the application (96).

On July 25, FBI lawyer Lisa Page and FBI counterintelligence official Peter Strzok sent text messages to each other (105):

about Strzok’s relationship to Judge Rudolph Contreras of the FISA Court. 

On July 24, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager Robby Mook blamed the DNC hacks on Russia. ABC news said that CrowdStrike was Mook’s source. On July 26, Christopher Steele filed a memo which confirmed what Mook had said (106). That day, Obama (107):

signed a directive to place the FBI in charge of responding to all cyber threats, allowing the federal government an role in investigating, preventing and mitigating attempts to hack US-based computer networks.

USA Today quoted Department of Homeland Security’s Lisa Monaco, who defended the new policy.

Hillary Clinton

On July 2, the FBI interviewed Hillary Clinton about her server. On July 5, then FBI director James Comey suggested that no charges be brought against her. On July 6, Loretta Lynch said no charges would be brought against the soon-to-be Democrat nominee for president (98).

In late July, Peter W Smith — a well-connected Republican operative — contacted Matt Tait (103) :

in an attempt to recruit him to figure out who hacked Clinton’s private server (aside from Russia), as he had heard from somebody on the dark web had copies of the e-mails.

Donald Trump

On July 20, Donald Trump became the Republican presidential nominee (102). Paul Manafort had done a stellar job the previous two months in getting Trump the necessary delegates. He had been negotiating with hardened anti-Trumpers much of the time.

This was around the time that Peter W Smith got in touch with Matt Tait (see above).

Crossfire Hurricane

On July 31, the day after the aforementioned Aspen Security Forum ended, Crossfire Hurricane began.

This series of tweets is particularly important:

N.B.: The NSA’s Mike Rogers was not invited to these meetings.

August’s events

With Crossfire Hurricane underway, quite a few things happened in August.

Some of this information emerged only a few weeks ago.

We now know that Crossfire Hurricane provided the basis for Robert Mueller’s investigation of alleged Trump campaign Russian collusion.

On May 16, 2018, the New York Times reported that, in early part of August 2016, two FBI agents went to London to meet with Alexander Downer, Australian ambassador to the UK, about his meeting with George Papadopoulos:

a mission so secretive that all but a handful of officials were kept in the dark.

Their assignment, which has not been previously reported, was to meet the Australian ambassador, who had evidence that one of Donald J. Trump’s advisers knew in advance about Russian election meddling. After tense deliberations between Washington and Canberra, top Australian officials broke with diplomatic protocol and allowed the ambassador, Alexander Downer, to sit for an F.B.I. interview to describe his meeting with the campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos.

The agents summarized their highly unusual interview and sent word to Washington on Aug. 2, 2016, two days after the investigation was opened. Their report helped provide the foundation for a case that, a year ago Thursday, became the special counsel investigation.

On August 4, James Clapper had a telephone conversation with Russia’s FSB’s Alexander Bortnikov to warn him against future interference (119). Bortnikov denied any involvement in the US presidential election.

On August 6, before leaving for his summer holiday on Martha’s Vineyard, Obama (120):

ordered his aides to “check vulnerabilities in state-run election systems, seek bipartisan support from Congressional leaders for a statement condemning Moscow and urge states to accept federal help”.

Remember, Obama mocked Trump that year about election fixing. Obama said there was no way to rig an election and that there were no vulnerabilities in the voting system.

Hillary Clinton chimed in on Russia for the first time (121):

A few days later:

On August 15 (125):

Strzok and Page discussed the “insurance policy” as DoH’s Johnson started calling state officials to gain their support in their election defence campaign, but he was met with “a wall of resistance”.

On August 19, Paul Manafort resigned as Trump’s campaign manager (126). Kellyanne Conway took the reins and led The Donald to victory.

Obama returned from holiday on August 21 (127).

Then:

On August 27, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nevada) sent a letter to then-FBI director James Comey (130):

about the Russia investigation, demanding an investigation be opened, with zero knowledge of Crossfire Hurricane‘s existence. Reid cited Carter Page in the letter.

On August 28, disgraced New York politician Anthony Weiner, husband of Hillary’s confidante Huma Abedin, had been caught sexting again (131). His laptop would be seized, opening up a re-investigation by the FBI into the contents of the political emails therein just days before the election in November.

On August 29, Stefan Halper contacted Trump campaign adviser Sam Clovis, mentioning that Carter Page suggested they meet. He issued an invitation to meet in Washington DC (132).

On June 5, 2018, The Daily Caller reported:

Clovis met with Halper once for coffee on Sept. 1, 2016 at a Washington-area hotel.

Tomorrow’s post will look at what happened in the run-up to the November 8 election.

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