This speech by Hillary Clinton the week before the 2016 presidential election is prescient.
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President Trump unleashed several tweets accusing his former lawyer, Michael Cohen, of lying “in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam” and denying that he had any knowledge of the 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer.
Said Trump: “I did NOT know of the meeting with my son, Don jr. Sounds to me like someone is trying to make up stories in order to get himself out of an unrelated jam (Taxi cabs maybe?). He even retained Bill and Crooked Hillary’s lawyer. Gee, I wonder if they helped him make the choice!”
Michael Cohen claims that then-candidate Donald Trump knew in advance about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower in which Russians were expected to offer his campaign dirt on Hillary Clinton, sources with knowledge tell CNN.
“Cohen is willing to make that assertion to special counsel Robert Mueller, the sources said.”
“Cohen’s claim would contradict repeated denials by Trump, Donald Trump Jr., their lawyers and other administration officials who have said that the President knew nothing about the Trump Tower meeting until he was approached about it by the New York Times in July 2017.”
“The Moscow lawyer said to have promised Donald Trump’s presidential campaign dirt on his Democratic opponent worked more closely with senior Russian government officials than she previously let on,” according to documents reviewed by the Associated Press.
“Scores of emails, transcripts and legal documents paint a portrait of Natalia Veselnitskaya as a well-connected attorney who served as a ghostwriter for top Russian government lawyers and received assistance from senior Interior Ministry personnel in a case involving a key client.”
The New York Times has published an incredibly detailed, interactive map of 2016 presidential election results.
Vanity Fair: “Despite the tape’s release, however, people familiar with Cohen’s thinking are confident that his value as a potential cooperating witness is undiminished. ‘It’s not the recording that is valuable,’ one person said. ‘It’s the backstory.’ Another person close to Cohen said that he was privy to information that could be valuable to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russia’s attempt to interfere in the 2016 election.”
Said the person: “When Michael says that he wants the truth out there, and that the truth is not the president’s friend, he is not talking about marginal issues. He’s talking about core issues at the heart of the Mueller probe.
“Three people familiar with the situation believe that Cohen has discussed information about the June 2016 meeting in Trump Tower, during which Don Jr., Kushner, and Paul Manafort met with a Russian lawyerwith ties to the Kremlin who promised to provide them with ‘dirt’ on Hillary Clinton.”
After a disastrous news conference with Vladimir Putin, President Trump walked back his comments — using the double-negative defense — and said he accepted the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election.
But tonight, Trump once again called it “a big hoax” in a tweet.
Washington Post: “Trump’s tweet threw his position on the Russia issue into doubt again. Last Monday, at a joint news conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Trump appeared to accept the Russian leader’s denial of interference. That statement was followed by days of corrections and clarifications by Trump and the White House, culminating in Trump’s seemingly begrudging acceptance of the U.S. intelligence community’s assessment that Russia had, in fact, targeted the United States.”
“President Trump claimed without evidence on Sunday that his administration’s release of top-secret documents related to the surveillance of a former campaign aide had confirmed that the Justice Department and the F.B.I. ‘misled the courts’ in the early stages of the Russia investigation,” the New York Times reports.
Said Trump: “Looking more & more like the Trump Campaign for President was illegally being spied upon (surveillance) for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC.”
“In a series of early-morning tweets, Mr. Trump left unmentioned how the documents laid out in stark detail why the F.B.I. was interested in the former campaign adviser, Carter Page.”
“On the eve of one of the newsiest days of the 2016 presidential election season, a group of Russian operatives fired off tweets at a furious pace, about a dozen each minute. By the time they finished, more than 18,000 had been sent through cyberspace toward unwitting American voters, making it the busiest day by far in a disinformation operation whose aftermath is still roiling U.S. politics,” the Washington Post reports.
“The reason for this burst of activity on Oct. 6, 2016, documented in a new trove of 3 million Russian tweets collected by Clemson University researchers, is a mystery that has generated intriguing theories but no definitive explanation.”
“On Oct.7, 2016, Wikileaks began releasing embarrassing emails that Russian intelligence operatives had stolen from the campaign chairman for Hillary Clinton. The Clemson researchers and others familiar with their findings think there likely is a connection between this looming release and the torrent of tweets.”
Blake Hounshell: “When I wrote, back in February, that I was skeptical that President Donald Trump would ever be proved to have secretly colluded with Russia to sway the 2016 election in his favor, I mistyped.”
“What I meant to write was that I wasn’t skeptical.”
”Last week’s events have nullified my previous skepticism… With every other world leader, the physically imposing Trump attempts to dominate—witness his alpha-male handshakes with French President Emanuel Macron or his flamboyant man-spreading next to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Yet with the diminutive Putin—who is maybe 5 feet, 6 inches tall—he’s oddly submissive. During the public portion of their encounter, Trump was slumping in his chair, as if defeated. Why? Why did he insist on a one-on-one meeting with Putin in the first place?”
“In the days following Donald Trump’s election victory over Hillary Clinton, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg placed a secret, previously unreported call to the president-elect during which, sources tell BuzzFeed News, he congratulated the Trump team on its victory and successful campaign, which spent millions of dollars on advertising with Facebook.”
“The private call between Zuckerberg and Trump, which was confirmed by three people familiar with the conversation, is just one in a series of private endorsements from Facebook employees of the Trump campaign’s ad efforts on the platform.”
“Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election,” the New York Times reports.
“The evidence included texts and emails from Russian military officers and information gleaned from a top-secret source close to Mr. Putin, who had described to the C.I.A. how the Kremlin decided to execute its campaign of hacking and disinformation.”
“Mr. Trump sounded grudgingly convinced, according to several people who attended the intelligence briefing. But ever since, Mr. Trump has tried to cloud the very clear findings that he received on Jan. 6, 2017, which his own intelligence leaders have unanimously endorsed.”
President Trump told CBS News that it’s “true” Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election, and he “would” hold Russian President Vladimir Putin responsible for interference.
Said Trump: “Well, I would, because he’s in charge of the country. Just like I consider myself to be responsible for things that happen in this country. So certainly as the leader of a country you would have to hold him responsible, yes.”
“The indictment last week of 12 Russian military officers is focusing new attention on election servers in Georgia that are currently embroiled in a lawsuit between election integrity activists and the secretary of state,” Politico reports.
“The activists, intent on proving that the state’s paperless voting machines are not secure and should be replaced, want to examine two state election servers to look for evidence that Russian hackers or others might have compromised them to subvert elections. But the state has been fighting them for more than a year, citing sovereign immunity from lawsuits and also insisting to the news media that Georgia was never targeted by Russian hackers.”
“The now infamous Facebook data set on tens of millions of Americans gathered by a Cambridge University scientist for a firm that went on to work for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was accessed from Russia,” CNN reports.
“Damian Collins, the Conservative MP leading a British parliamentary investigation into online disinformation, told CNN that a British investigation found evidence that the data… had been accessed from Russia and other countries. The discovery was made by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), Britain’s data protection authority.”