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Red Don, Russian mobsters and Putin's Playground
"There's two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump." GOP leader Kevin McCarthy, June 2016 in meeting with fellow GOP lawmakers. Some of the lawmakers laughed at McCarthy's comment. Then McCarthy quickly added: "Swear to God." Paul Ryan instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying: "No leaks. . . . This is how we know we're a real family here."

[FONT=&amp]Meeting That Gates Admits Lying About Matches Rohrabacher Dinner

By Andrew Martin
and David Voreacos
February 23, 2018, 12:44 PM PST
Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates just admitted to lying to U.S. investigators about a March 19, 2013, meeting between his boss, Paul Manafort, and an unidentified U.S. congressman. Public filings show a meeting that day between Manafort and Dana Rohrabacher, a Russia-friendly Republican congressman from California.

Gates pleaded guilty Friday to conspiracy against the U.S. and making false statements about a meeting that day. In a criminal information unsealed Friday, he admitted that he'd withheld that the meeting included a discussion of Ukraine, where he and Manafort had done political consulting work.

[Image: 600x-1.jpg]

Dana Rohrabacher

Gates and Manafort were charged in October with money laundering and failing to register foreign lobbying work with the U.S. government. Since then, Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been pressing both men to cooperate, ratcheting up the pressure on Thursday with bank and tax fraud charges and again on Friday with conspiracy and false-statement counts.

Details of a March 19, 2013, meeting surfaced last year in supplemental filings from DMP International, Manafort's firm, and Mercury Public Affairs, whose partner, Vin Weber, also participated in the 2013 meeting.

The lobbying that Gates and Manafort are accused of hiding included work on behalf of Ukraine's then-President Viktor Yanukovych, who was backed by Russia.
After the guilty plea on Friday, a spokesman for Rohrabacher, who has sought better relations with Russia, said: "As the congressman has acknowledged before, the meeting was a dinner with two longtime acquaintances - Manafort and Weber - from back in his White House and early congressional days."
"The three reminisced and talked mostly about politics," the spokesman said. "The subject of Ukraine came up in passing. It is no secret that Manafort represented Viktor Yanukovych's interests, but as chairman of the relevant European subcommittee, the congressman has listened to all points of view on Ukraine."

Let's get to the bottom line, folks. Does anyone care to venture a guess how this Trump-FBI confrontation will end. Will the FBI succeed in deposing the elected President.

You can already see the National Security State staking out their new territory.

(1) Judges are now looking at overturning Republican gerrymandering because personal freedom is now being backed by Republicans, no longer Democrats.
(2) Big corporations are now entertaining the pushing of strict gun control. Obviously, if there were a total takeover of the government and it turned into an FBI led police state, they wouldn't want any guns on the street.
(3) The FBI intrusion into the NCAA seems to be designed to create an image that the FBI can handle even miniscule everyday stuff (and implicitly everyone will benefit, even sports fans). This NCAA problem has been around forever. Why is the FBI pushing it now?
(4) For the umpteenth time the FBI had received advance information about a shooter or bomber and did nothing. They never do anything. This feeds in to the narrative that the National Security State actually wants to encourage school shootings in order to scare the public into abandoning their personal Constitutional freedoms. Some people thing they even STAGE shootings for this purpose.
(5) The Federal Courts have unabashedly begun to TOTALLY RULE about such things as the travel ban and DACA because this directly impacts cheap labor for Silicone Valley. The old economy capitalists have abandoned the field to the COASTAL ELITE BILLIONAIRES in Silicone Valley, Hollywood, Wall Street, CNN and DC-Virginia.
(6) Because the power of the coastal elites is so concentrated in Google, Facebook, CNN and is so global in nature and overwhelming, it looks like the coastal elites have in mind an actual, out-of-the-closet, frank POLICE STATE where the people feel better about the FBI (and other secret agencies) running the country than their elected officials.
(7) The worries about Russian hacking are really just a preliminary to limiting or eliminating national elections or giving them over to the Federal Courts to be reviewed and overturned when necessary.
(8) Prosecuting the President in a State Court is such a bizzare concept, it belongs in Poland in the 1700''s or the Weimar Republic.

Please, if you will, put your predictions about all this in writing. It's great to see whose predictions come true. And things seem to be happening so fast, it will soon come out in the wash.

James Lateer
[FONT=&amp]Roger Stone's Secret Messages with WikiLeaks

Transcripts obtained by The Atlantic show Donald Trump's longtime confidante corresponded with the radical-transparency group.
Kevin Lamarque / Peter Nicholls / Reuters / WG600 / The Atlantic

[FONT=&amp]On March 17, 2017, WikiLeaks tweeted that it had never communicated with Roger Stone, a longtime confidante and informal adviser to President Donald Trump. In his interview with the House Intelligence Committee last September, Stone, who testified under oath, told lawmakers that he had communicated with WikiLeaks via an "intermediary," whom he identified only as a "journalist." He declined to reveal that person's identity to the committee, he told reporters later.
Private Twitter messages obtained by The Atlantic show that Stone and WikiLeaks, a radical-transparency group, communicated directly on October 13, 2016and that WikiLeaks sought to keep its channel to Stone open after Trump won the election. The existence of the secret correspondence marks yet another strange twist in the White House's rapidly swelling Russia scandal. Stone and Trump have been friends for decades, which raises key questions about what the president knew about Stone's interactions with Wikileaks during the campaign. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The depth of Stone's relationship with WikiLeaks and Julian Assange has been closely scrutinized by congressional investigators examining whether Trump associates coordinated with Russiaor anyone serving as a cut-out for Moscowto damage Hillary Clinton's candidacy. Stone confirmed the authenticity of the messages, but called them "ridiculously out of context" and "a paste up." He said that he provided the complete exchange to the House Intelligence Committee, but did not immediately respond to a request to provide his own record of the conversation to The Atlantic.
A screenshot of the exchange, which has not been previously reported, was provided to the House Intelligence Committee last year by a third-party source. The private messages confirm that Stone considered himself a "friend" of WikiLeaks, which was branded a "non-state hostile intelligence service" by CIA Director Mike Pompeo last April. Stone insisted that the messages vindicated his account. "They prove conclusively that I had no advance knowledge of content or source of WikiLeaks publications," he said. "I merely had confirmed Assange's public claim that he had information on Hillary Clinton and he would publish it." He also narrowed the scope of his earlier denials, saying that he'd only denied having communicated directly with Assange, not with Wikileaks. Wikileaks did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

[Image: gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAAAAACH5BAEKAAEAL...ICTAEAOw==]These messages have been reproduced by The Atlantic's art team."I have never said or written that I had any direct communication with Julian Assange and have always clarified in numerous interviews and speeches that my communication with WikiLeaks was through the aforementioned journalist," Stone told the committee in his prepared statement in September. The full hearing was held behind closed doors and the transcript has not been made public. At least one lawmaker had already obtained a screenshot of the exchange before Stone testified, according to two sources familiar with the matter who requested anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.
The correspondence raises questions about whether Stonewho served as Trump's lobbyist in Washington in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and had been encouraging him to run for president for over a decadehas kept secret any interactions that may be of interest to congressional investigators examining Russia's election interference.
Stone also exchanged private Twitter messages in August and September of 2016 with a user known as Guccifer 2.0. Guccifer claimed in a posting on their Wordpress site to have "penetrated Hillary Clinton's and other Democrats' mail servers," but the self-described hacker was later characterized by U.S. officials as a front for Russian military intelligence. Stone only published that exchange after it was revealed by The Smoking Gun, a website that publishes mugshots and other public documents.
On the afternoon of October 13, 2016, Stone sent WikiLeaks a private Twitter message. "Since I was all over national TV, cable and print defending wikileaks and assange against the claim that you are Russian agents and debunking the false charges of sexual assault as trumped up bs you may want to rexamine the strategy of attacking me- cordially R."
WikiLeakswhose Twitter account is run "by a rotating staff," according to Assangereplied an hour later: "We appreciate that. However, the false claims of association are being used by the democrats to undermine the impact of our publications. Don't go there if you don't want us to correct you."
"Ha!" Stone responded on October 15. "The more you correct' me the more people think you're lying. Your operation leaks like a sieve. You need to figure out who your friends are." Assange's internet connection was cut off days later by the Ecuadorian embassywhich granted him diplomatic asylum in London in 2012following WikiLeaks' release of emails that had been stolen by Russian hackers from Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's inbox. The morning after Donald Trump won the election, however, WikiLeaks sent Stone another message. "Happy? We are now more free to communicate."
It is unclear whether Stone and WikiLeaks kept in touch, using Twitter or another platform, after the election. WikiLeaks continued to insist through at least last March that neither the organization nor Assange had ever communicated with Stone directly. Stone later identified radio host Randy Credico as the intermediary, but Credico denied that in an interview with The Daily Beast earlier this month. "There was no backchannel to Roger Stone, and I think that his testimony was a lot of bravado," Credico said. "Roger's a showman."
The substance of the messages does seem to corroborate, however, Stone and WikiLeaks' denials prior to October 13 that they had coordinated in any significant way. WikiLeaks indicated that Stone's claims of associationeven if through a backchannel, as Stone allegedwere false. But the screenshots do not show whether Stone and WikiLeaks communicated prior to October 13 or after November 9, 2016.
Democrats have asked GOP members to subpoena Twitter for the private messages of Trump associates currently under investigation in the Russia probe, according to one of the sources familiar with the internal proceedings. But the majority has so far refused. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican who is leading the Intelligence Committee's investigation, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. As The Atlantic's Julia Ioffe first disclosed last fall, WikiLeaks also exchanged private Twitter messages with Donald Trump Jr., who provided the correspondence to congressional investigators. WikiLeaks continued to message Trump Jr. through July 2017, "actively soliciting" his cooperation on ventures ranging from obtaining the president's tax returns to appointing Assange Australia's U.S. ambassador.
On July 22, 2016, just before the Democratic National Convention kicked off, WikiLeaks published thousands of emails that had been stolen from Democratic National Committee servers by hackers the U.S. intelligence community has since linked back to Russia. Stone told the Southwest Broward Republican Organization on August 8 that he had "communicated with Assange" and believed that "the next tranche of his documents"which Assange had hinted at in an earlier interview with CNN pertained to the Clinton Foundation. Stone soon walked that back, claiming instead that he communicated with Assange via an intermediary who he identified last November as Randy Credico. He declined to identify the intermediary in his interview with the House Intelligence Committee, but later changed his mind and claimed it had been Credico.
On October 4, 2016, Assange held a press conference to mark WikiLeaks's 10th anniversary. The event had been hyped by supporters of then-candidate Trump, including Stone, as an "October surprise" that would completely derail Clinton's presidential campaign just over a month before the election. On October 2, Stone told the far-right talk-radio host Alex Jones that he had been "assured that the mother lode" was coming. The next day, he tweeted that he had "total confidence that @wikileaks" and his "hero Julian Assange" would come through.
At his press conference, however, Assange gave no hints of what was to come, leaving his fans, and many of Trump's, disappointed. Still, Stone was not deterred. "Libs thinking Assange will stand down are wishful thinking. Payload coming #Lockthemup," he tweeted on October 5, 2016.
The payload actually came two days later: WikiLeaks began publishing the contents of Podesta's inbox, which had been infiltrated by Russian hackers seven months earlier. Stone told The Daily Caller on October 12 that Assange had delayed the email dump on purpose: "I was led to believe that there would be a major release on a previous Wednesday," he said. He denied, however, that he had been given "advance knowledge of the details" and maintained that he was only in touch with Assange "through an intermediary."
On the morning of October 13, WikiLeaks issued a clarification: "WikiLeaks has never communicated with Roger Stone as we have previously, repeatedly stated." It was later that day when Stone confronted WikiLeaks in a private message, and accused the organization of "attacking" him. WikiLeaks did not seem phased by the confrontation, and re-opened its line of communication with Stone on November 9. Fourteen months later, Stone visited the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where Assange has been holed up for more than five years.
"I didn't go and see" Assange, Stone told The Daily Beast last month. "I dropped off a card to be a smart ass."
James Lateer Wrote:Let's get to the bottom line, folks. Does anyone care to venture a guess how this Trump-FBI confrontation will end. Will the FBI succeed in deposing the elected President.

You can already see the National Security State staking out their new territory.

(1) Judges are now looking at overturning Republican gerrymandering because personal freedom is now being backed by Republicans, no longer Democrats.
(2) Big corporations are now entertaining the pushing of strict gun control. Obviously, if there were a total takeover of the government and it turned into an FBI led police state, they wouldn't want any guns on the street.
(3) The FBI intrusion into the NCAA seems to be designed to create an image that the FBI can handle even miniscule everyday stuff (and implicitly everyone will benefit, even sports fans). This NCAA problem has been around forever. Why is the FBI pushing it now?
(4) For the umpteenth time the FBI had received advance information about a shooter or bomber and did nothing. They never do anything. This feeds in to the narrative that the National Security State actually wants to encourage school shootings in order to scare the public into abandoning their personal Constitutional freedoms. Some people thing they even STAGE shootings for this purpose.
(5) The Federal Courts have unabashedly begun to TOTALLY RULE about such things as the travel ban and DACA because this directly impacts cheap labor for Silicone Valley. The old economy capitalists have abandoned the field to the COASTAL ELITE BILLIONAIRES in Silicone Valley, Hollywood, Wall Street, CNN and DC-Virginia.
(6) Because the power of the coastal elites is so concentrated in Google, Facebook, CNN and is so global in nature and overwhelming, it looks like the coastal elites have in mind an actual, out-of-the-closet, frank POLICE STATE where the people feel better about the FBI (and other secret agencies) running the country than their elected officials.
(7) The worries about Russian hacking are really just a preliminary to limiting or eliminating national elections or giving them over to the Federal Courts to be reviewed and overturned when necessary.
(8) Prosecuting the President in a State Court is such a bizzare concept, it belongs in Poland in the 1700''s or the Weimar Republic.

Please, if you will, put your predictions about all this in writing. It's great to see whose predictions come true. And things seem to be happening so fast, it will soon come out in the wash.

James Lateer

Republican gerrymandering is a good thing, James? The Republicans believe in personal freedom? That may be true if you're rich, white, Christian and male. Otherwise, forget it.

The FBI did not cook this up. Trump and his people brought this on themselves.

"The FBI also apparently interviewed Page about his contacts with Russian intelligence agents "multiple times,"including in March 2016, the month Page joined the Trump campaign. In fact, the FISA application includes information about Page's activity prior to joining the Trump campaign at all. All of that previous interest and activity helps dispel the notion that the focus on Page amounted to a "witch hunt"targeting Trump; it was surveillance into an individual with business ties to Russia whom the country had also spent years trying to recruit…"In fact, the FBI's closely-held investigation team only received Steele's reporting in mid-September." The memo also emphasizes that the Steele dossier was extensively vetted and largely contained information that the FBI had either already obtained during its investigation or that it later corroborated. "

And what's going to happen? This comes from a source who has been correct for the last year. You don't have to like it or agree with it, but when a source has been consistently right, you'd better pay attention to it.

John Schindler ‏Verified account (ex-NSA officer with many intel sources) @20committee

Look, folks: CI [counterintelligence] people in the IC [intelligence community] were in complete panic in 2016 -- not that Obama WH listened much -- since they KNEW who Trump really was.
2/ OK, time for a mini-rant cum tweetstorm on this since Planet Fox is up in arms now trying to crush the Muller investigation and the FBI. CI professionals in the IC have known for MANY YEARS that Trump possessed strange, disconcerting ties to the Kremlin. Going back to 80s.
/3 After Trump's USSR visit in 1987, he was viewed as a KGB "agent of influence" to use the proper Chekist term. Widely known in CI circles.
/4 From 1987, Trump was -- at best -- a Useful Idiot of the Kremlin's. Not a "spy" in a conventional sense, but not a loyal American either.
/5 Coupled with Trump's shady financial ties to Russian mobsters since the 1990s -- which CI folks knew about too -- this was disturbing.
/6 OF COURSE CI pros were totally freaked out in 2015-16 when Trump, whom they knew was under Moscow's thumb, ran for POTUS & got #GOP nom.
/7 Right now, Trump WH & its lie machine want you to focus on everything but who POTUS really is & who his real friends are. Don't let them.
/8 The sordid truth about our 45th President is coming out, no matter what. It will rock the USA to its core. As it damn well should. /End
Since Big News in #KremlinGate is looming, it's time for a brief tweetstorm on what's really going on behind scenes with Team Mueller. /1
If you're surprised that # MoscowMisha is cooked, you've not been paying attention. Sr & Jr are both going down on a bunch of charges. /2
Flynn, like Manafort, desperately wanted a deal from Mueller, but they had 0 to offer that DoJ didn't already have. So, they're screwed. /3
The Team Mueller + FBI/IC joint investigation here is truly massive; a CI inquiry this expansive hasn't been seen in DC since VENONA. /4
Together, they're investigating HUNDREDS of targets for poss ties to Russian spies & mobsters. Public will be shocked when it comes out. /5
These CI targets include WH officials; Trump associates, friends & family; journalists and lobbyists; even bloggers. It's a wide net. /6
It will take years for this CI inquiry to be concluded -- VENONA ran from 1943 to 1980, folks -- but the answers will stun the public. /7
Anticipate a bunch of indictments in the next year or 2, perhaps many more in the long run; it depends how indictments rounds 1-5 go. /8
The Russian conspiracy in DC took years to metastasize, it will take years to unravel it all. Marathon not sprint, as I say. Patience. /End
To Whom It May Concern:

I can only thank my lucky stars that I began my JFK research 4 1/2 years ago and as a result, all of this stuff with Trump, the FBI, Hilary, Obama and all the rest would otherwise make no sense. Thankfully, JFK and National Security State buffs can see through all this mess like looking through crystal.

(1) Carter Page spent 5 years in Marine (Naval) Intelligence. So anything he says, does or is involved in can't be credited at all. Look at the pathetic situation where Richard Case Nagell totally wasted (or tried to waste) 17 years of the life of author Dick Russell. Put that on top of another similar fact: Page studied in London and earned a degree there. Otepka biographer William J. Gill would have a field-day with that.

Anyone who tries to make any kind of an argument about anything which derives from any activities of someone with that kind of resume(ie Carter Page) is either (1) wasting time or (2) has their mind as twisted as a pretzel by 37 layers of media disinformation. In fact, I've got the spooky feeling that Carter Page may actually be a Hindu reincarnation of Lee Harvey Oswald. He is a walking, talking case of hopeless confusion and frustration as was LHO (who was also a Naval Intelligence star).

(2) In 1933, the Democratic Party switched from being segregationist and conservative Catholic-influenced to being pro-New Deal and mildly pro-African American and more liberal generally than the Republicans. Similarly, from 1964 to 1968, the Democrats lost the South to Richard Nixon and became totally pro-Civil Rights and they lost the liberal wing of Eastern Establishment, people like Rockefeller and Henry Cabot Lodge.

(3) Well, we have just witnessed a similar "sea-change" in the Democratic and Republican parties. I can speak as someone who has voted for only three Republicans (including Ronald Reagan) since 1980. You know that all good things can sometimes come to an end. We may be at that kind of a (dead) end now.

(4) There are 100,000 students on campuses from Saudi Arabia and 350,000 from Communist China. It would be nice if, when a student came to the US, they could be required to sign an affidavit disavowing the hideous policies of their respective governments. Dream on! If a Big Ten University had 40,000 students, then there could be 10% of their student body just from Saudi Arabia and Communist China. And that doesn't even consider the Pakistanis, Iranians and so on).

It is this type of situation in which the Democratic Party has switched to "identity politics." And the "identities" are too often Communist Chinese and reactionary Middle-Eastern. And that wouldn't matter except the people who come from those places think that freedom is bad. So on college campuses, if you happen to hear a speaker say something you don't agree with, you can go to a "grief counsellor" to help you recover from the shock. (You can't make this type of stuff up). How can Democrats now claim to be the party of personal freedom? It doesn't add up.

It seems pretty much impossible for this sad situation to turn around. More and more, the red states are full of poor people who will need more and more Medicaid and Donald Trump is their pony. Ditto for the tariffs about which Trump is talking (maybe not doing). It is the Midwest manufacturing base which has been devastated by globalism. It is the Democratic Party which is 100% globalist and 100% into third-world repression of personal freedoms. Would that it were not so.

The Democratic Party is now an intellectual skeleton case. It is bankrupt of ideas and everybody knows it. The Republicans are cultural red-necks and gun freaks. The ugly reality is that there is really now a third party. That third party is the faction of Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, the foreign guest workers from Poland and Pakistan, Bill Gates and the FBI and CIA, NSA, and on and on. The people in this third "party of the robots" has already devastated the EU, put the UK on the run and threatens to render the globe pretty much unrecognizable.

So anybody who takes the "Russiagate" issue at face value should (for their own self-interest) sober-up. (I can't believe how many, many, many people are in this sad state. There are zillions). Living through this pretty much shows how, in only 6 years, Hitler and Goebbels were able to sell their unlimited crocks of crap to the German people. People will believe anything if they are told seven times.

The next election or two will be when the rubber meets the road. Stay tuned.

James Lateer
I don't take anything at face value, James, but I have challenged people to come up with a compelling counter-narrative that makes logical sense and fits the facts. I haven't had any takers. Carter Page is an enigma, as are most of the people Trump surrounds himself with. Steve Bannon had a Navy career too. Rex Tillerson was personally awarded a medal by Putin. Now a key person in this story has disappeared -

[FONT=&amp]The Professor At The Center Of The Trump-Russia Probe Boasted To His Girlfriend In Ukraine That He Was Friends With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov

A Ukrainian woman named Anna says Joseph Mifsud asked her to marry him in a restaurant overlooking the Kremlin. Later, he allegedly told a Trump campaign aide that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton. She hasn't heard from him since that news broke in October.
Amid the opportunists, weirdos, trolls, and pawns who make up the cast of the Russian plot to interfere in American politics, Joseph Mifsud stands out.
The Maltese professor, who allegedly delivered word of Hillary Clinton's stolen emails to Donald Trump's campaign, is an authentically mysterious figure, his true role and ties to Russian intelligence unclear.
And while others like former Trump campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page and their friends and girlfriends told their stories, Mifsud went to ground. His biography disappeared from one university where he taught and he quit his job at another university. His email and cell phones went dead. And politicians, colleagues, and journalists can't find him.
Neither can Anna, his 31-year-old Ukrainian fiancé, who says he is the father of her newborn child. And her story, snatched from the pages of a John le Carré novel, offers a glimpse at the human collateral damage of an intelligence operation in which the mysterious Mifsud was allegedly a central figure.
Anna, whom BuzzFeed News has agreed to identify only by her first name because she doesn't want the attention, says she was seven months pregnant and engaged to Mifsud when he became the focus of world media attention as the professor who told Papadopoulos that Russia had "dirt" on Clinton.
Shortly thereafter, he dropped from sight. He also cut off all contact with Anna, including phone calls and WhatsApp messages. That silence has held, even six weeks after the daughter Anna says he fathered was born.
"He never helped me," she said. "Only talk and promises."
BuzzFeed News first contacted Anna in October. She refused to talk then, saying her relationship with Mifsud was private. According to WhatsApp messages she later shared, she told the professor about BuzzFeed News' attempt to speak to her and in his very last WhatsApp message to Anna, Mifsud asked her not to talk to journalists.

Now, however, feeling deceived, she's changed her mind. The result is new information about Mifsud's activities, including his claim of having dined with Sergey Lavrov, Russia's foreign minister.

"He said, I have dinner with Lavrov tonight. Lavrov is my friend. Lavrov this, Lavrov that,'" Anna said. "He even show me picture with Lavrov."
Russia's Foreign Ministry didn't respond to a request for comment.
In a series of WhatsApp messages sent in May 2017, Mifsud also told Anna he was in Saudi Arabia at the same time as President Donald Trump's visit, and in Sicily, Italy, for the G7 Summit.

Mifsud did not respond to repeated requests for comment, which BuzzFeed News made to multiple phone numbers and email accounts, as well as via WhatsApp and Signal. Several of his family members, colleagues, and Facebook friends also did not return requests for comment. Mifsud acknowledged in an interview with Italian newspaper La Repubblica published last November that he met former Trump campaign aide Papadopoulos "three or four times," and facilitated connections between "official and unofficial sources," but denied any wrongdoing.

In addition to meeting Anna in Kiev, BuzzFeed News spoke to her multiple times in the past month over Facebook messenger, via WhatsApp, on the telephone, and in a video call.
She provided access to her entire WhatsApp history with Mifsud. She also shared dozens of photos of the couple together, including in Ukraine and Russia. BuzzFeed News has seen many photos of the baby and of Anna during different stages of her pregnancy and at the clinic where she gave birth. Anna also said that she wants to do a DNA test to prove that Mifsud is the father of the baby.
Parts of the conversation with Anna in the Ukrainian capital were in her fractured English, and others took place through an interpreter. Some quotes have been edited for clarity.

Anna told BuzzFeed News that she first met Mifsud about four years ago at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow.

He approached her while she was taking a selfie and, using English, offered to take her picture. They spoke for a bit, and he invited her to dinner, she said.
The two met again in Moscow a few months later and "then he came to Ukraine," Anna said, "to celebrate my niece's birthday."
Over the next three years, Mifsud visited Ukraine about 10 times, Anna said. "He came to celebrate a New Year, birthdays, my sister's baby. He knew all my family. Something we celebrate, he would come. We had a good relationship," she said.
In late October 2015, Mifsud proposed to her. Anna says they were at a restaurant overlooking the Kremlin in Moscow celebrating Anna's sister's birthday. The Maltese academic asked Anna to marry him at the restaurant, and gave her a ring.

"We had a plan to live in Rome. We spoke about this, but only speak," Anna, who works in marketing, said. "He tell me, I want a baby with you, I want a family with you."

When the couple split up for a few months in 2016, Mifsud sent her an email asking her to return the ring and handbags, one of which was a Chanel handbag that Mifsud had bought for her during a visit to Rome in spring 2015. In the Italian capital, they stayed in a hotel where "people came to see him all the time," Anna said.

According to Anna's WhatsApp messages, he often shared news of his activities, sending Anna links to his interviews and photos from events he was speaking at, and telling her about his work as a professor at the now-closed London Academy of Diplomacy.

But he also had a secretive side. According to Anna, he asked her to delete photos from Facebook where she could be seen drinking, after she uploaded one holding a cocktail. "He said, because I am important man.'" He also demanded she unfriend anyone she hadn't met in person.
Over the course of what Anna describes as an on-and-off relationship spanning three years, the couple saw each other in Rome, Moscow, and Kiev. But unlike in Rome and Moscow, where Mifsud frequently received visitors, Mifsud didn't use his trips to Ukraine to network. "He didn't meet people in Kiev. Russia-Ukraine relationship not good, and I do a lot of work in Moscow,'" Anna recalled Mifsud saying.
Anna said she and Mifsud last met in person in Kiev in early April 2017. He told her then that he had recently been questioned by the FBI in the US, she said.
"He told me he was in his hotel room when he was called downstairs by reception. It was the FBI. He said they wanted to talk about connections he set up between people in Britain and Russia."
"He said his phone was probably being checked," Anna added.
In mid-May, about a month after Mifsud left Kiev, Anna found out she was pregnant. And six weeks ago she gave birth to a baby girl.
After finding out that she was pregnant, according to WhatsApp messages seen by BuzzFeed News, Mifsud repeatedly told Anna he really wanted to see her and promised to visit her soon, but he never did, often making excuses or citing health reasons.
"For 7 months, 'I come, I come,'" Anna said. "He never helped me. Only talk and promises."
Mifsud at first expressed "shock" at the news of Anna's pregnancy. He asked if she slept with anyone during a recent work trip she'd made to Denmark and Norway, and whether she wanted to keep the baby.
But in later messages, he put his initial reaction down to being surprised and told Anna that he was "super excited" and that the "child will have great parents."

In messages sent in late September, Mifsud wrote, "You will be the most beautiful mummy … I cannot stop thinking of you." In another message, he wrote, "I am so proud of youuuuu I think we need to get a nanny to help you."

But there were also signs that Mifsud was not as enthusiastic as he portrayed himself, and the tone of their messages changed in the final months of her pregnancy. The professor stopped answering the phone and would reply only to Anna's WhatsApp messages, saying he was ill with heart problems or in the hospital, but promising to fly to her as soon as he was given the green light.
In one message, Anna accused Mifsud of backtracking on a promise to help her. He replied by saying he couldn't recall any promises, and that he continued to be ill. And, apparently casting doubt on the child's paternity, he wrote that once he was well again, they would do the DNA test that Anna had been asking for.

In late October, he told her in a message that he was "fighting to live."

Just days later, on Nov. 1, one day after Papadopoulos's guilty plea was unsealed in Washington, La Repubblica published an interview with him at the Rome university where he was working, in which he acknowledged being the unnamed professor referenced in the court documents in which investigators allege that Mifsud told Papadopoulos that the Russians had dirt on Clinton. The journalist who did the interview said in an email that it had taken place the previous day.

When Mifsud's name was thrust upon the world stage, the WhatsApp messages stopped.

Anna says that she was surprised by the news of the allegations. "I really believed he was sick," she said.
"I am angry with myself. I did not see what he really is!" Anna wrote in a Facebook message last month. "Joseph only promised me...many promises."
In what was one of Mifsud's last messages to her, the 57-year-old professor wrote after she reminded him that the baby was due soon and that they hadn't seen one another in months that either she give him time to recover or their paths would go different ways.
"We still need to speak face to face," he said, apparently referencing the baby. "We never did."

Mifsud remains one of the mysteries in special counsel Robert Mueller's probe of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election and possible Trump campaign collusion. According to court documents, Mifsud told Papadopoulos that the Russians had thousands of emails from Democrats in April 2016, two months before the Democrats themselves were aware that their computer system had been hacked. Mifsud told Papadopoulos he'd learned of the emails during a trip to Russia, but who told him is unknown.

Papadopoulos is reported to have later shared the information with the Australian high commissioner to the United Kingdom, whose government passed the information to US authorities after WikiLeaks began publishing the emails in July 2016. That information sparked the FBI to launch the investigation that Mueller now leads.
Exactly how Mifsud and Papadopoulos met also is not publicly known, though Papadopoulos is cooperating with the Mueller probe. Mifsud allegedly showed little interest in Papadopoulos until he learned that Papadopoulos had been named to Trump's campaign.
Mifsud's professional ventures before the Papadopoulos guilty plea are also in dispute. Papadopoulos's fiancé, Simona Mangiante, whom Mifsud hired in 2016 to work at the grand-sounding London Centre of International Law Practice, another UK-based organization where the Maltese academic held a senior position, told BuzzFeed News that she never understood what the organization did.
"I never understood if it was a facade for something else," she said when reached by phone in January. "It wasn't a serious thing. For starters, I never understood what I was doing there, and they never paid me for three months, so I just said OK, enough.'"
The center did not respond to a request for comment.
Asked for her thoughts on Mifsud, Mangiante said, "My impression [is that] he was not a transparent person and I never understood what he was really doing."
Mykhailyna Skoryk contributed additional reporting to this story.
Inside the Russian effort to fuel American secessionists
Flights to Russia, embassies in Moscow, fake social media accounts galore. But for what?

CASEY MICHELFEB 26, 2018, 8:00 AM

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's major indictment of the people and organizations behind Russia's social media interference operations brought a wave of revelations. Its reference to a "real U.S. person affiliated with a Texas-based grassroots organization" who was in communication with the Russians, however, prompts a whole new set of questions.
The person mentioned by Mueller has not been named even while the identities of other Americans are revealed but one group seems to be feeling the heat. The Texas Nationalist Movement (TNM), dedicated to breaking the state off from the rest of the U.S., issued a statement immediately following the indictment claiming they "had no knowledge of nor any involvement with the Russian-led efforts to influence the 2016 General Election."

TNM is largely unknown outside Texas, but it is the foremost group advocating secession in the U.S. and one of the American groups with the most notable ties to Kremlin-funded actors in Russia. It was also one of the few American organizations that communicated directly with the Russian operatives behind the fake Facebook pages and one of the only groups that the Russian operatives specifically advertised as partners.
The relationship shows how Russian operatives behind the fake Facebook accounts identified American counterparts and, in the case of secession movements in both Texas and California, how parallel interests in fracturing the U.S. created unlikely bedfellows. By elevating the Texas and California secession causes, Russian operatives hoped to help foment the type of secession crisis the U.S. hasn't seen since the 1860s.

The overlooked detail in Mueller's indictment of Russian operatives

Meanwhile, another Facebook page continues to pump out Russian propaganda aimed at Texas.

[B]Lone Star links[/B]

In early 2015, a man ducked around amidst a coterie of neo-Nazis and white supremacists, differentiated only by his cowboy hat. Nate Smith had traveled to St. Petersburg to take part in one of the largest gatherings of far-right forces seen over the past decade. In a photo obtained by ThinkProgress, Smith can be seen grinning and glad-handing, featured by Rodina a Russian party whose co-founder, Dmitry Rogozin, remains sanctioned by the U.S. on its website.
IN A PHOTO OBTAINED BY THINKPROGRESS, NATHAN SMITH, HERE IN HIS COWBOY HAT, KEEPS A LOW PROFILE IN RUSSIA IN 2015.While Smith maintained a low profile at the conference especially in comparison to the former Ku Klux Klan lawyers and American white supremacists praising the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin he nonetheless took the time to plug his cause in Russian media. In an interview with Vzglyad, Smith claimed that the U.S., under then-President Barack Obama, had transitioned into a "dictatorship," adding that every member of the U.S. military originally from Texas would identify as "Texan" before "American."

As Politico reported at the time, dozens of bots instantly pushed Smith's message which was also carried in Sputnik with tweets about a "Free Texas."
During the interview, Smith also mentioned one of TNM's "friends": a man, often spotted in well-tailored suits and crocodile shoes, named Alexander Ionov. As the head of the Anti-Globalization Movement of Russia (AGMR), Ionov would later serve as one of the primary linchpins between Moscow's cultivation of American secessionists some of whom, both in California and Texas, reportedly received both funding and offers of coordination from the Russian operations detailed in Mueller's recent indictment.
"Friends, colleagues, comrades! A new page is opening up in the struggle for the self-determination of nations."
But that would come later, when Russia's interference efforts took off in earnest. Back in 2015, a few months after Smith's visit, Ionov organized his first "Dialogue of Nations" conference. Ionov's AGMR hoped to cobble a grip of Western secessionists to spread the type of state fracture already underway in Ukraine, according to Meduza. Per the Guardian, the conference was partially paid for by a grant from Russia's National Charity Fund and as Vice would later report, AGMR's office features a letter from Putin himself thanking Ionov for "work[ing] to strengthen friendship between peoples[.]"

Russian propaganda promoting Texas secession moves to Instagram

After a ThinkProgress investigation, an account posting the exact same material as a fake Russian Facebook page comes down.

Addressing a number of contingents from several countries, Ionov pointed to the camaraderie evident: "Friends, colleagues, comrades! A new page is opening up in the struggle for the self-determination of nations." Smith and TNM, whom Ionov would later describe as his "big friends," didn't attend the 2015 conference, but a crew of oddballs from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. black nationalist movement showed up.

Elsewhere, while Ionov's first conference kicked off, a series of Russian operatives were simultaneously scouring for a number of English speakers to help flesh out a new, parallel program. They would be working on a different project that would complement Ionov's efforts: an endeavor that would allow Russian operatives to reach directly into American homes, and convince them to organize on American streets.
[B]Deep in the heart of Texas[/B]

Several aspects of the Russian Internet Research Agency's operations on Facebook over the past few years remain a mystery. We still don't know how many Americans followed these fake pages, or how many attended their events, or how many still have no idea that they'd unwittingly subscribed to a Russian front. Facebook has been silent, time and again, on these questions.
At one point in 2016, the Russian "Heart of Texas" Facebook page boasted more followers than the official Texas Democrat and Texas Republican pages combined.
But thanks to Russian journalists, we do know that one Facebook page outpaced the rest, at least as it pertains to political developments in the U.S. Per RBC, the Russian "Heart of Texas" Facebook page was the third-most popular of those uncovered thus far and, with some 254,000 followers before it was pulled down, the most popular page devoted to "political questions."
Indeed, at one point in 2016, the page boasted more followers than the official Texas Democrat and Texas Republican pages combined.

From the outset, the page's target audience was clear. Much of the material characterized by numerous typos and syntax errors was geared to far-right Texans, railing against vegetarians and LGBTQ individuals, claiming that Texas is a "Christian state," criticizing "Killary Rotten Clinton." As one post memorably staked, "NO HYPOCLINTOS [sic] IN THE GOD BLESSED TEXAS".
THE RUSSIAN "HEART OF TEXAS" PAGE WITH POSTS LIKE THIS MANAGED TO OBTAIN MORE FOLLOWERS IN 2016 THAN THE OFFICIAL TEXAS DEMOCRAT AND TEXAS REPUBLICAN PAGES COMBINED.Thus far, the main claim to notoriety from "Heart of Texas" stems from the May 2016 protest it managed to organize in Houston. Dubbed the "Stop Islamization of Texas" rally, the "Heart of Texas" page managed to coax a number of white supremacists some armed with weapons like AR-15s into downtown Houston, where they faced down a larger group of counter-demonstrators. Until Facebook's announcement 15 months later, neither side realized that the initial protest had been plotted out of St. Petersburg.
Lost amid the coverage of "Heart of Texas," though, is a second, broader round of protests the page planned across Texas in the days before the election. Reprising the odd English in other posts these protests were awkwardly dubbed "Secede IF Hillary!" and planned from Lubbock to San Antonio to Dallas, the Russian operatives called on followers to "open carry" and "make photos." It's unclear how many Texans actually showed up.

Organizers behind armed white supremacist protest in Houston revealed as Russian

But we do know one thing, scraped from a screenshot taken of the page before it was removed: Unlike the May rally in Houston, the statewide rallies planned by Russian operatives pointed directly to coordination with the Texas Nationalist Movement. The "Heart of Texas" event page circulated a petition for followers and their "folks" to sign which would then be "pass[ed]… to the TNM[.]"
TNM may not have participated in the rallies outright, and later stated that they declined the entreaties from "Heart of Texas," but the Russian operatives had publicly announced that they would be running a petition drive on behalf of the Texas separatists spreading the word and, most importantly, gathering names of potential supporters of some future fracture.
[B]Second time's the charm[/B]

While the "Heart of Texas" Facebook page was pledging to gather supporter information for TNM, the organization sent Smith back to Moscow in 2016 for the second annual "Dialogue of Nations" conference.
Or, rather, TNM accepted funding from the Moscow-backed AGMR to travel back to Russia. As TNM head Daniel Miller later related in an interview with Salon, AGMR which had taken tens of thousands of dollars from the Kremlin had helped fund the Texans' latest voyage to Russia. (According to Ionov, about one-third of his group's budget came directly from the Kremlin, while private donors in "Texas and other countries" provided the rest.) Miller confirmed the funding in a December 2016 interview with KQED, but "declined to say how much money the Kremlin gave" to the Texas Nationalist Movement.
As an analysis from BBC found, Twitter feeds"with ties to Russia pushed a huge Twitter trend in favor of" #Calexit.
Regardless of how much money TNM took from Russia, Smith reprised his role in Moscow, advocating for Texas secession and swapping tactics and encouragement with those from Spain, Ireland, and Italy. While he once more kept a low profile TNM's website didn't even advertise Smith's trip to Russia he did describe the anti-American diatribes at the conference as "kind of awkward, I guess."
However, at one point during his trip, Smith was spotted with a handful of other secessionists on Red Square, grinning with the Kremlin walls behind him.
View image on Twitter[Image: CtRnS4WWAAAUe1r?format=jpg&name=small]

[URL=""][Image: CowYSxqD_normal.jpg]Calexiteer

With Nate Smith of @TexasNatMov and the representative of Republican Sinn Fein of Ireland, and Irina of Russia on Red Square.
3:03 AM - Sep 26, 2016
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The man who snapped the photo a one-time far-right, anti-LGBTQ activist named Louis Marinelli quickly eclipsed Smith when it came to the most identifiable link between Russia and American separatists. Where Smith kept his head down during the conference, Marinelli took the spotlight and ran with it.
IN A PHOTO OBTAINED BY THINKPROGRESS, MARINELLI (SECOND-FROM-LEFT), SMITH (SECOND-FROM-RIGHT), AND IONOV (RIGHT) HANG IN MOSCOW, TAKING A BREAK FROM ADVOCATING FOR THE CRACK-UP OF THE U.S.In so doing, he would help catapult the notion of California secession, a so-called #Calexit, into mainstream American discourse and then, by dint of his relations in Russia, do more damage to the cause of secession in the U.S. than anyone since Jefferson Davis.
[B]Golden dreams[/B]

Marinelli, from the outset, seemed an odd choice to push for California's independence. A former foot soldier for the vociferously anti-gay National Organization for Marriage, Marinelli originally hailed from New York, and, until recently, had lived longer in Russia than in California. (His wife is a Russian national.)
However, following a supposed political transformation, Marinelli decided that he should be the man to lead the charge for California independence even it meant doing so while working as an English teacher in Siberia. With his travel to Moscow, according to LA Weekly, paid for by the Kremlin-backed AGMR, Marinelli declaredthat Californians had a "different worldview" than Americans. He further avowed that California was a "separate nation."
Meanwhile, back in San Francisco, Marinelli's U.S.-based team at YesCalifornia hung a public banner exclaiming that "California and Russia will always be friends!"
As such, it didn't take long for Ionov to realize that California, rather than Texas, should be the horse to which he could hitch his project. Much of that, of course, had to do with the election: a Donald Trump surprise, shifting the momentum building in Texas over to California. Suddenly, #Calexit burst forth on social media: Not long after Trump's victory, #Calexit jumped into one of Twitter's most popular hashtags.
But that sudden surge, in a harbinger of ties that would later be revealed, wasn't entirely organic. As an analysis from BBC found, Twitter feeds "with ties to Russia pushed a huge Twitter trend in favor of" #Calexit. A separate Twitter analysis found that YesCalifornia's message was "amplified by many of the same accounts that infiltrated conservative Twitter communities and promoted a pro-Trump, white nationalist agenda."
As the researchers added, the bots pushing the message from Marinelli who himself admitted that he voted for Trump appeared to primarily "function… [to promote] the Trump presidency and its agenda."
1 Mar
[URL=""][Image: 3JXTIIiL_normal.jpg]Casey Michel

Replying to @cjcmichel
Good to see more coverage of @YesCalifornia secessionists' ties to Russia. … #Calexit

[URL=""][Image: 3JXTIIiL_normal.jpg]Casey Michel

Ah, good, the pro-#Calexit bots have arrived. That definitely won't raise any questions about ties to Russia.
1:27 PM - Mar 1, 2017
[Image: C53N0zcVUAAJmnI?format=jpg&name=360x360][Image: C53N5TLVAAIqib8?format=jpg&name=360x360][Image: C53N6gaUwAAGJpU?format=jpg&name=360x360][Image: C53N7tCU4AAmOGR?format=jpg&name=360x360]

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[B]Independent ambassadors[/B]

As these bots and Russian networks pumped out pro-#Calexit messages, Ionov found another means of supporting the dream of an independent California. In December 2016, in a space provided rent-free by the Kremlin-funded AGMR, Marinelli and YesCalifornia opened the first "Embassy of the Independent Republic of California."
For good measure, Marinelli, already appearing weekly on Russian state media, described the Kremlin-funded AGMR as a "partner."
Flanked by photos of Hugo Chavez and Bashar al-Assad, Marinelli who had already compared a planned California referendum to the botched 2014 Crimean "vote" sat alongside Ionov, announcing that the "embassy" would help fortify relations between Russia and California, with the hope of "gain[ing] Russian support for California independence." (It didn't go unnoticed in Russia that YesCalifornia's platform for secession included removing California from NATO.)
[URL=""][Image: CowYSxqD_normal.jpg]Calexiteer

Tomorrow @YesCalifornia opens a hub/embassy in Russia to gain Russian support for Californian independence. 2/2
10:05 PM - Dec 16, 2016
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[URL=""][Image: CowYSxqD_normal.jpg]Calexiteer

Presentation to the press at the opening of the Embassy of the Independent Republic of California @CAEmbRu @YesCalifornia #Calexit
4:23 AM - Dec 18, 2016
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The opening was, on its face, equal parts fantastical and farcical. In a photo obtained by ThinkProgress, the preparation for the opening of the "embassy" involved a person in a Barack Obama mask helping with decorations.
IN THIS PHOTO, OBTAINED BY THINKPROGRESS, SOMEONE IN A BARACK OBAMA MASK IS HELPING OPEN THE "CALIFORNIA EMBASSY" IN MOSCOW IN 2017.But around the time of the founding of the "embassy," other aspects of a Russian campaign to target California separatists picked up. In December 2016, Marinelli let slip that he had begun working with the Russian Internet Research Agency the same organization targeted in Mueller's indictments to push his messaging. According to KQED, Marinelli said that "he worked with [the IRA] to raise awareness' of Calexit goals." (YesCalifornia has disputed KQED's reporting.)
Simultaneously, Russian operatives from the IRA began pushing #Calexit on both Twitter and Medium accounts that wouldn't come to light until nearly a year later.
[B]California implosion[/B]

While the "California Embassy" was opening, however, the political plates in the U.S. were shifting. Support for #Calexit may have spiked, but so too did an awareness that Russian operations had permeated the U.S., and potentially into the White House itself. Suddenly, odd ties with Russia became suspect. And it didn't take long to place Marinelli's ties to Moscow the travel funding his group received from a Kremlin-backed front; the bots pumping out the #Calexit message within the broader Russian disruption strategy.
Campaign finance regulators began making noise about potential violations. California newspapers, perking up at the state's connection to Russia's interference efforts, railed against Marinelli: The San Jose Mercury News calledMarinelli's project a "con," while a fellow #Calexit supporter described YesCalifornia as a "Russian front organization."
View image on Twitter[Image: C24skjRWEAAxMsB?format=jpg&name=small]

[Image: dmuTWNDh_normal.jpg]California National Party (CNP)@Vote_CNP

Hands off California, Putin. We won't take orders from your puppet Moscow Marinelli. #FreetheBear #Calexit #CAnotCrimea
1:33 PM - Jan 23, 2017
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Battered by the criticism, YesCalifornia eventually dropped Marinelli, who announced he would be seeking Russian citizenship and no longer live in "occupied California." YesCalifornia's new head described Marinelli's links in Russia as a "death blow" to his participation in the movement.
And just like that, Russia's efforts at lending weight to #Calexit cratered. While Marinelli would later rejoin YesCalifornia in an advisory capacity, his ties to Russia have permanently tarred his movement. Somewhere along the way, the "California Embassy" in Moscow shuttered, with far less fanfare than its opening.

Russia revelations reveal new push for California secession

Congressional investigations unearth a new Russian account trying to break the Golden State off from the U.S.

[B]American union[/B]

Three years ago, Russian efforts at stoking American separatism appeared ascendant: whisking Texans to Moscow, opening a "California Embassy" in the Russian capital, unleashing the country's bots and social media frauds to push the message of American disunion. Between Kremlin higher-ups blaming the U.S. for the Soviet Union's dissolution to claiming Washington's hand behind Chechnya's independence movement, bolstering the effort to pry states off the U.S. was too good an opportunity to pass up.
Any momentum the Texas or California campaigns carried has been smothered by accusations of sedition.
As 2018 pushes on, though, it's become increasingly clear that these efforts have blown up, and blown back in the faces of those pushing the message of secession.
Texas separatism is on the back burner, beset by new revelations from the special counsel's office about potential ties to Russia, while the notion of #Calexit has effectively imploded. (Almost no one showed up at YesCalifornia's Sacramento rally in support of secession earlier this month.) Any momentum either campaign carried has been smothered by accusations of sedition. Even the white ethno-state separatists who'd looked to Moscow for succor appear to be on their heels, disappointed with Trump and distracted by their own rounds of infighting.
Russian efforts, to be sure, have no shortage of Western secession movements to lean on (see: Catalonia). But dreams of American rupture are effectively dead, at least for the foreseeable future, thanks in large part to revelations of Russian involvement. Much like the questionable predictions of certain scions of Russian political science, American disintegration appears no closer to fruition than it was in decades prior, undone by a combination of travel to Moscow, embassies in Russia, and revelations that supporters were played by those sitting in computer banks in St. Petersburg and that backers, since 2015, unwittingly played a small role in a far larger reality of Russian meddling efforts across these United States.
This article has been updated to reflect YesCalifornia's dispute of KQED's reporting.

[FONT=&amp]Special counsel wants documents on Trump, numerous campaign associates

WASHINGTON The grand jury investigating alleged collusion between Russia and Donald Trump's presidential campaign has sent a witness a subpoena seeking all documents involving the president and a host of his closest advisers, according to a copy of the subpoena reviewed by NBC News.
According to the subpoena, which was sent to a witness by special counsel Robert Mueller, investigators want emails, text messages, work papers, telephone logs and other documents going back to Nov. 1, 2015, 4½ months after Trump launched his campaign.
The witness shared details of the subpoena on condition of anonymity. The news site Axios reported Sunday that a subpoena was sent to a witness last month.

NBC News reported last week that Mueller's team is asking pointed questions about whether Trump knew about hacked emails from Hillary Clinton's campaign before the public found out. The subpoena indicates that Mueller may be focused not just on what Trump campaign aides knew and when they knew it, but also on what Trump himself knew.
In addition to the president, the subpoena seeks documents that have anything to do with these current and former Trump associates:
  • Steve Bannon, who left the White House as chief strategist in August.
  • Michael Cohen, a personal lawyer for Trump who testified before congressional investigators in October.
  • Rick Gates, Trump's former deputy campaign manager, who pleaded guilty last month to conspiracy and lying to the FBI.
  • Hope Hicks, who resigned last week as Trump's communications director.
  • Corey Lewandowski, Trump's campaign manager until June 2016.
  • Paul Manafort, a former Trump campaign manager and Gates' business partner, who pleaded not guilty to money laundering, conspiracy and making false statements last week.
  • Carter Page, a former Trump campaign aide.
  • Keith Schiller, a former bodyguard for Trump who left as director of Oval Office operations in September.
  • Roger Stone, a longtime Republican political operative and Trump campaign adviser who sources have told NBC News is the focus of investigators interested in his contacts with WikiLeaks during the campaign.
Once Hicks' resignation takes effect in the next few weeks, Cohen will be the only person listed in the subpoena who hasn't left the employment of Trump or of the White House.
Katy Tur reported from Washington. Alex Johnson reported from Los Angeles.

Blackwater's Eric Prince, secret Trump emissary.

We finally know the purpose of the mysterious Seychelles meeting between Russians and Trump associates
Michal Kranz

Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly determined that a meeting in the Seychelles between associates of President Donald Trump and a Russian banker was meant to help establish a secret back-channel between Trump and Russia.

This stands in contrast to the testimony one of the meeting's participants gave Congress last year.
Another of the participants is reportedly cooperating with Mueller's probe.

Special counsel Robert Mueller has reportedly gathered enough evidence to conclude that the January 2017 meeting between an associate of President Donald Trump, a Russian banker, and a representative of the United Arab Emirates in the Seychelles was conducted in order to set up a back channel for communication between the incoming Trump administration and Russia, The Washington Post reported.

The meeting has attracted significant attention since news broke that Lebanese-American businessman George Nader, who acted as an adviser and representative of Emirati Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan at the meeting, has been cooperating with Mueller's office since January of this year, according to The New York Times. It is unclear how much Nader has contributed to Mueller's information gathering.

But the conclusion Mueller, who is investigating Russian election interference, has reportedly reached stands in stark contrast to the dismissive description that one of the participants, private security entrepreneur Erik Prince, gave the House Intelligence Committee during his testimony in November.

What Prince told investigators

Prince, who founded the private security company Blackwater, arrived in the Seychelles in order to meet with Crown Prince Mohammed and other Emirati officials, according to The Times, although it is unclear what the meeting was about. Prince has deep connections to the UAE, and had been contracted by them to created a private army for the Crown Prince.

According to Prince's testimony last year, the officials at this first meeting suggested that Prince meet with Russian banker Kirill Dmitriev who manages a state-run fund in Russia and is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin at the bar of the local Four Season hotel.

Prince said it was a casual meeting that lasted no more than 30 minutes.

"We chatted on topics ranging from oil and commodity prices to how much his country wished for resumption of normal trade relations," Prince told the House Intelligence Committee. "I remember telling him that if Franklin Roosevelt could work with Joseph Stalin to defeat Nazi fascism, then certainly Donald Trump could work with Vladimir Putin to defeat Islamic fascism."

Prince denied that he was acting as a representative of Trump, who would be inaugurated as president days after the meeting. Prince had acted as an informal adviser to Trump's transition team, The Times reported.

How Mueller's findings contradict Prince's narrative

Based on information it has gathered, Mueller's office claimed that the meeting between Prince and Dmitriev had in fact been premeditated, and was meant to coordinate an eventual meeting between a representative of Trump's transition team and a Russia emissary.

Nader attended the meeting as well, and had helped organize it. Nader has long been an adviser to the UAE and had connections to several Trump associates. According to The Post, Emirati officials were indeed under the impression that Prince was representing Trump at the meeting.

Nader also had long-time connections to Prince, and he reportedly introduced the security entrepreneur to Dmitriev.

If confirmed, the nature of the Seychelles meeting would not be the first time the White House has allegedly tried to establish a back-channel with Russia. In December 2016, White House senior adviser and Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner met with then-Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyak to talk about setting up an unofficial communication channel, The Times reported last year. Former national security adviser Michael Flynn, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last year and is cooperating with the Mueller probe, was reportedly also at the meeting.

The Seychelles meeting took place after this initial encounter.

Mueller's team is reportedly in the process of looking into Trump's foreign business contacts and has asked Nader about the possibility that the UAE funneled money to Trump's campaign. Such foreign donations to the campaign, if uncovered, would be illegal.
"Blackwater founder Erik Prince will host a fundraiser this month for Russia-friendly Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, as Prince faces new questions over a 2017 meeting currently being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller. Prince and Rohrabacher have been friends and mutual supporters for years: Prince interned for the California congressman on Capitol Hill in 1990, and Rohrabacher vigorously defended Prince when Blackwater faced congressional scrutiny during President George W. Bush's administration. The fundraising event, slated for March 18 at Prince's Middleburg, Virginia residence, is expected to be attended by GOP Reps. Tom Garrett Jr. and Dave Brat, and Lt. Colonel Oliver North, according to an invitation obtained by CNN. Tickets start at $1,000 for the general reception, although donors paying $2,700 will also be invited to attend a VIP event beforehand. Prince, an associate of President Donald Trump, is confronting renewed questions regarding a January 2017 trip to the Seychelles islands, where he met with a Russian banker, Kirill Dmitriev and Emirati officials. Also in attendance was George Nader, a Middle East specialist with ties to Emirati leaders. Nader is now cooperating with Mueller's investigation, CNN has learned."
"I'm shocked, shocked" that Blackwater was engaged in shady affairs.

James Lateer

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