2016 Campaign

Nunberg Backs Down Saying He Will Testify

Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg “spent much of Monday promising to defy a subpoena from special counsel Robert Mueller, even throwing down the challenge to ‘arrest me,’ then backed off his defiance by saying he would probably cooperate in the end,” the AP reports.

“Nunberg said he was angry over Mueller’s request to have him appear in front of a grand jury and turn over thousands of e-mails and other communications with other ex-officials, among them his mentor Roger Stone. But he predicted that, in the end, he’d find a way to comply.”

Ex-Trump Aide Will Refuse to Appear Before Grand Jury

Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg told the Washington Post that he has been subpoenaed to appear in front of a federal grand jury investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 but that he will refuse to go.

Said Nunberg: “Let him arrest me. Mr. Mueller should understand I am not going in on Friday.”

Nunberg added that he was planning to go on Bloomberg TV and tear up the subpoena.

“It is unclear what actions Mueller would take if Nunberg does not appear in front of the grand jury. Nunberg, an early campaign aide, was dismissed by Trump and no longer is in his good graces.”

Escort Says Audio Recordings Prove Russian Meddling

“A Belarusian escort with close ties to a powerful Russian oligarch said from behind bars in Bangkok on Monday that she had more than 16 hours of audio recordings that could help shed light on Russian meddling in United States elections,” the New York Times reports.

“The escort, Anastasia Vashukevich, said she would hand over the recordings if the United States granted her asylum. She faces criminal charges and deportation to Belarus after coming under suspicion of working in Thailand without a visa at a sex-training seminar in the city of Pattaya.”

Trump Says Russia Probe Was Started to Help Clinton

President Trump accused the Obama administration of launching an investigation into the Trump campaign in the months before the 2016 election in order to help Hillary Clinton win.

Said Trump: “Why did the Obama Administration start an investigation into the Trump Campaign (with zero proof of wrongdoing) long before the Election in November? Wanted to discredit so Crooked H would win. Unprecedented. Bigger than Watergate! Plus, Obama did NOTHING about Russian meddling.”

McConnell ‘Watered Down’ Russia Warning

Former Obama chief of staff Denis McDonough told Meet the Press that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blocked a more robust response to Russian meddling in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election.

Said McDonough: “It took over three weeks to get that statement worked out. It was dramatically watered down.”

McDonough added that he knew it had been watered down at the request of McConnell.

Stormy Daniels Almost Called Deal Off

“The 2016 election was less than a month away, and Donald Trump’s attorney had blown the deadline for paying Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged affair with the future president,” the Washington Post reports.

“In an Oct. 17 email, an attorney for Daniels — a porn star whose real name is Stephanie Clifford — threatened to cancel the nondisclosure agreement by the end of the day.”

“That very morning, Trump’s attorney, Michael Cohen, had created a limited liability company, public records show, that ultimately would serve as a vehicle for Daniels’s payoff. But the money had not arrived. A second email to Cohen, a short time after the first, said Daniels was calling the deal off.”

Mueller Preparing Criminal Charges Against Hackers

Special counsel Robert Mueller “is assembling a case for criminal charges against Russians who carried out the hacking and leaking of private information designed to hurt Democrats in the 2016 election,” NBC News reports.

“Much like the indictment Mueller filed last month charging a different group of Russians in a social media trolling and illegal-ad-buying scheme, the possible new charges are expected to rely heavily on secret intelligence gathered by the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).”

“Sources say he has long had sufficient evidence to make a case, but strategic issues could dictate the timing.”

Mueller Asking What Trump Knew About Hacked Emails

“Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is asking witnesses pointed questions about whether Donald Trump was aware that Democratic emails had been stolen before that was publicly known, and whether he was involved in their strategic release,” NBC News reports.

“Mueller’s investigators have asked witnesses whether Trump was aware of plans for WikiLeaks to publish the emails. They have also asked about the relationship between GOP operative Roger Stone and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and why Trump took policy positions favorable to Russia.”

Judge Sets Manafort Trial Date for September

“A judge in Washington on Wednesday set a September 17 trial date for former Trump campaign chief Paul Manafort on charges from special counsel Robert Mueller, including money laundering and failing to register as a foreign agent,” Politico reports.

“The decision from U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson would put Manafort on trial at the height of the midterm campaign season, a potentially unwelcome distraction for Republicans as they try to maintain majorities in Congress.”

Remember How Trump Hit Clinton Over Classified Info?

First Read: “If there was one issue Donald Trump campaigned on more aggressively than the others in 2016, it was the importance of handling classified information — when it came to Hillary Clinton’s private email account and server… Why is this stroll down memory lane important? Yesterday, we learned that White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner — who had access to highly classified information and was even viewing the Presidential Daily Brief — lost his top-security clearance.”

“We’ve seen the Trump White House engage in plenty of hypocrisy over the past year — the vows to clean up the ‘swamp,’ the promises that wealthy Americans wouldn’t benefit under the tax law — but its carelessness about who is seeing classified information might be the biggest hypocrisy of all.”

“And regarding that Washington Post report about how foreign governments have discussed how they can manipulate Kushner, no one can survive a story like that — unless you’re the president’s son-in-law.”

Mueller Asking About Trump’s Russian Business Dealings

“Investigators for special counsel Robert Mueller have recently been asking witnesses about Donald Trump’s business activities in Russia prior to the 2016 presidential campaign as he considered a run for president,” CNN reports.

“Questions to some witnesses during wide-ranging interviews included the timing of Trump’s decision to seek the presidency, potentially compromising information the Russians may have had about him, and why efforts to brand a Trump Tower in Moscow fell through.”

“The lines of inquiry indicate Mueller’s team is reaching beyond the campaign to explore how the Russians might have sought to influence Trump at a time when he was discussing deals in Moscow and contemplating a presidential run.”

Russia Compromised 7 States Prior to 2016 Election

“The U.S. intelligence community developed substantial evidence that state websites or voter registration systems in seven states were compromised by Russian-backed covert operatives prior to the 2016 election — but never told the states involved,” NBC News reports.

The states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Texas and Wisconsin.

“Top-secret intelligence requested by President Obama in his last weeks in office identified seven states where analysts — synthesizing months of work — had reason to believe Russian operatives had compromised state websites or databases…The officials say systems in the seven states were compromised in a variety of ways, with some breaches more serious than others, from entry into state websites to penetration of actual voter registration databases.”