Trump son-in-law tried to set up secret communications with Russia?

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President Trump’s son-in-law and top advisor Jared Kushner (Ivanka’s husband) talked to the Russian ambassador about setting up a secret communications channel linking the transition team with Moscow.  The technology would be through the Russian embassy.

U.S. intelligence intercepted dispatches from Ambassador Sergey Kislyak telling his superiors about the talks.  So reports the Washington Post.

Could Jared be the mole in the White House?  He wouldn’t be the leaker, since he wouldn’t have leaked this or other information about the Russian investigations.  And this could not have been just his doing.  Michael Flynn, since fired as the president’s national security advisor for his Russian associations, was also at the meeting.  And the channel was to be for the “transition team.”

I grew up up during the Cold War, with all of its worries about Russia infiltrating our government and trying to take us over.  I’ve also read too many spy novels.  But this is all exceedingly troubling. [Read more…]

Trump tried to get intelligence officials to deny collusion

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More comes out about President Trump interfering in the investigation of Russian connections with his campaign.

He asked the Director of National Intelligence, Dan Coats, and the Director of the National Security Agency, Michael Rogers, separately to deny publicly that any collusion took place.

Both refused the request as inappropriate.

Dan Coats is the former Republican senator from Indiana whom Trump appointed to his position.

In related news, former CIA director John Brennan testified before a Congressional Committee that Russia “brazenly interfered with the 2016 election” and that he briefed Congressional leaders about this in August.  He also talked with his counterpart in Russian intelligence, warning him about the consequences of their “aggressive” actions.  Read what he says about Russian attempts to win over individuals after the jump (and after the Trump story).

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Are U.S. spies staging a “soft coup” against the Trump administration?

6357759479_0d038eded2_oPresident Trump’s former national security advisor Michael Flynn lost his job because someone leaked records from his phone being monitored, recording him telling the Russian ambassador that sanctions against his country would be eased.  Such phone intercepts are the work of U.S. intelligence agencies or possibly the FBI.  They are top secret.  It’s a crime to release bugging transcripts.  Nevertheless, someone in the intelligence bureaucracy gave them to a reporter.  Something similar evidently happened with the President of the United States, no less, with the leak of phone conversations between Donald Trump and world leaders, such as the embarrassing account of his spat with the Prime Minister of Australia.

Evidently, our national intelligence agency–or at least some individuals that work for it–are working to undermine our elected president and his administration.

Whatever you think of Donald Trump, this is dangerous.  At least two reports have come out on the subject, excerpted and linked after the jump.  Eli Lake calls what happened to Michael Flynn a “political assassination.”  He says that while the FBI might have been tapping his phone as part of the larger investigation of the Russian connection with Trump’s administration, Flynn was planning to reform the intelligence bureaucracy, which would be a motive for trying to get rid of him.  Damon Linker, who opposes both Trump and Flynn, nevertheless is highly concerned about the usurpation of an elected government by our shadowy spy world, accusing it of trying to stage a “soft coup” that is a threat to our democracy. [Read more…]