FBI Investigates Russian State News Agency As Part Of Pro-Trump “Influence Campaign” During 2016 Election

Yahoo News reports:

The FBI recently questioned a former White House correspondent for Sputnik, the Russian-government-funded news agency, as part of an investigation into whether it is acting as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

As part of the probe, Yahoo News has learned, the bureau has obtained a thumb drive containing thousands of internal Sputnik emails and documents — material that could potentially help prosecutors build a case that the news agency played a role in the Russian government “influence campaign” that was waged during last year’s presidential election and, in the view of U.S. intelligence officials, is still ongoing.

The emails were turned over by Andrew Feinberg, the news agency’s former White House correspondent, who had downloaded the material onto his laptop before he was fired in May. He confirmed to Yahoo News that he was questioned for more than two hours on Sept. 1 by an FBI agent and a Justice Department national security lawyer at the bureau’s Washington field office. Feinberg said the interview was focused on Sputnik’s “internal structure, editorial processes and funding.”

  • Leo
  • bkmn

    As much as Trump wants this to go away it seems like the intelligence community is hellbent on making sure it doesn’t

    • Treant

      Maybe, just maybe, he shouldn’t have disrespected the intelligence community, the wall of lost agents, and every American at every possible pass.

      • Gustav2

        Remember that reportedly started during the preliminary “nominee” briefings where Flynn screamed at the briefers.

        I always wondered what part of the briefing pissed Flynn off.

        • Treant

          The questioning his authoritay part.

          • Robincho

            “AuthoriTAH” — Eric Cartman

    • Ninja0980

      When he has attacked them over and over again and put religious wackos in charge of them, they aren’t going to be idle.

    • Rambie

      But will this even make a blip on the news when it’s wall-to-wall Hurricane news and aftermath?

    • Skokieguy [Larry]

      Sometimes when you stand in front of wall commemorating dead CIA employees and have tweeted things like “Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to “leak” into the public. One last shot at me.Are we living in Nazi Germany?” – perhaps they might be a teensy bit extra motivated to make sure no rock is unturned…?

    • dagobarbz, fine Italian shoes

      I wonder about the new bible-thumping head of the CIA. I am positive everyone in those offices is smarter than this clown, and don’t appreciate all the god-swoggling being introduced to them.

      I would rebel…

  • JWC
    • Todd20036

      Bolling Green: Never remember.

      • JWC

        The great Bbolling Green massacre with 3 part harmony

  • Uncle Mark

    When the FBI is done with Sputnik, can the investigate FOX next?

    • JCF

      And Breitbart!

  • ultragreen

    FARA has a history of selective enforcement. People and organizations that are associated with countries that are out-of-favor with the U.S. security establishment tend to be targeted. Even if there has been a violation of FARA by representatives of Sputnik, the impact on their operations and news content will likely be minimal.

  • Rex

    I think there’s some untold they’re not telling.

  • That_Looks_Delicious

    They’re doing it now in Germany ahead of the election. I hope the Germans are smarter than we were.

    • Dirk Prophet

      They’re more educated, at least.

      • ultragreen

        Wrong. The U.S. has a higher percentage of people with tertiary education than Germany, and almost all countries in Europe for that matter.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_tertiary_education_attainment

        • MaryJOGrady

          Their tertiary education tends to be tougher and better than ours, though, as does their primary and secondary education. (No one can buy his or her way into a German university.) When the US developed the “everybody must go to college” myth, the quality of higher education at many institutions suffered.

          • ultragreen

            No, the United States has the best universities in the world. That’s why we lead the world in Nobel prizes.

          • MaryJOGrady

            The US does have many great universities. However, Nobel laureates by definition are outliers, and quite a few US laureates have studied abroad.

        • bambinoitaliano

          And yet the shit gibbon was elected. I think someone is doing a lot of editing at wikipedia.

          • ultragreen

            I think you are unwilling to accept obvious facts.

        • Dirk Prophet

          Tertiary education isn’t the only metric. It’s a lot harder to get accepted into a German university than an American university. German primary and secondary education is much superior to American.

          • ultragreen

            The U.S. tertiary education system is diverse and huge. Europe has nothing comparable. We have faster supercomputers, better equipped research laboratories, larger university libraries, larger university endowments, and we offer better salaries. We attract the best and brightest people from around the world to our universities. The best American universities are equal to, or better than, anything that exists in Europe. That’s why we lead the world in winning Nobel prizes.

            Also, Germany does not have better primary and secondary education than the United States. That’s a gross overgeneralization. Our primary and secondary educational system is decentralized, therefore its quality depends on where you live in the United States. Our best primary and secondary schools are, once again, equal to, or better than, anything that exists in Europe. Germany’s educational system is overstandardized.

          • Dirk Prophet

            You failed to disprove my first sentence.

          • ultragreen

            I added a second paragraph that discusses primary and secondary education in the United States. I should also point out that ‘competition’ to enter a university doesn’t matter because its a function of scarcity. We think everyone should have access to higher education if they want it, while Europe imposes artificial restrictions.

          • Dirk Prophet

            Everybody? Even those who can’t benefit? We accept students who are barely literate and then tend to graduate them. It’s a false metric.
            http://www.businessinsider.com/pisa-worldwide-ranking-of-math-science-reading-skills-2016-12

          • Dirk Prophet
    • GayOldLady

      I’ve read that the ads were so refined that they were directly targeting people in certain states in certain districts/precincts. They must have had help from people very familiar with district by district voting information. I believe we’re going to find out that our voter registration systems were compromised and they targeted people on the voting rolls district by district to win WI, MI, NC, FL and PA and to keep Hillary from turning places like AZ. I feel certain the RNC was involved and that they’ve received contributions from Russia.

      • The_Wretched

        Mercer, the oligarch who funded Trump and set up Bannon, owns a data farming and analysis company — Cambridge Analytica. They had in hand exactly the data needed for the Russians to target on behalf of Trump.

        • GayOldLady

          I have a cousin who told me incredible anti-Hillary stories she claimed to have read on Facebook. Unfortunately she believed the stories that Hillary was having people killed, that Hillary was dying of some sort of brain issue. That she had Parkinson disease. That she was shooting up drugs. That she was running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor. Obviously we no longer speak to each other, but they were very successful in their targeting because she went out and voted for Trump and she doesn’t normally vote.

          • Reality.Bites

            Was your cousin always a gullible idiot or is it recent? I know that sounds like sarcasm, but I really am curious if she’s the sort of person who would believe any far-fetched story or something has changed in her.

          • GayOldLady

            I’m ten years older than her and took care of her often when she was a child. Because of that we had a relationship more like sisters. She was one of the first people in my family who knew I was gay and she didn’t judge me, but I’ve noticed in recent years her voicing more and more attitudes that seemed right wing, especially on immigration, Latinos, Muslims and she even made a comment to me concerning transgenders/restrooms that set off a huge argument between us. It took her several weeks to tell me she’d voted for Trump and when she finally told me I could tell she’d rehearsed the defense of her vote. She’s no rocket scientist, but she’s not dumb. The thing that may be influencing her is that she has a son who is an Officer in the Military, Special Forces. I think her thinking has been trending right since she first began interacting with the West Point, military officer types. We’re no longer speaking. I basically told her to take a hike. I’m way too old to deal with the fools who voted for Trump. No great loss!!!

          • Reality.Bites

            There’s right-wing and believing there’s a child-sex-pizza ring at the top echelons of the Democratic Party.

            You see I draw the line at that. I’ll believe Trump paid the hookers to pee on the bed, but I won’t believe that Mitch McConnell referred him to the escort agency that was owned by Paul Ryan.

            I don’t find someone being a right-wing bigot as disturbing as someone being THAT stupid.

          • jerry

            I guess the latest FB picture meme shows Trump wading through water saving two kittens from floodwaters…and the gullible people actually believe it, ignoring the original viral picture was of a young muscular rescue worker. That, and Trump was, of course, no where near actual flooding, and his waistline is 5X larger than the person pictured.

          • Rocco

            Yes! It was so shocking at the time…like a slow moving train wreck. I think I have successfully purged all the associated Facebook ‘friends’ from my list…ugh.

    • MaryJOGrady

      The French sure were smarter than us.

      • JWC

        Let them all learn from the mistakes of the US Sadly the creeping cancer did not start yesterday its been on going for months

      • canoebum

        The French have always been smarter than us. They had a guillotine and they used it to very good effect. We should try that. Then there’s the food and wine. I’m with the French: life without butter, cheese and wine is hardly worth living.

    • JWC

      Merkle and Putin have a similar love affair as Clinton and Putin had

    • greenmanTN

      Hopefully, watching Trump in action serves as an example of what NOT to do and other countries will heed it.

      Sad to say, but at the moment the US’s main contribution to world peace is to serve as a case study of what happens when a country fails to act against the enemies in their midst.

  • Halou

    Trump will not be pleased about this.

  • Steven B

    Color me sceptical on any investigation results coming out of the FBI, CIA, NSA or DOJ right now. I’m only hoping that independant and pissed off agents or investigators are doing what they can to get to the bottom of this treason.
    In the meantime I’m putting my money on Mueller and his staff. #ItsMuellerTime

  • Rebecca Gardner

    The whole world sucks. Since the November election I’ve added a new stage to the 5 stages of grief. I’m at step 4-1/2, Revenge. Cleanse the wold of all this fucking evil, selfishness, hate, killing, fighting. Then I’ll move onto Acceptance.
    (Yeah, I need to stay off the internet today)

    https://youtu.be/L9HzldJzf1Y

    • joeyj1220

      Have you checked out American Horror Story? The first episode last week was awesome! Sarah Paulson is ALL OF US trying to cope with the election results and seeing only demonic clowns

      • JCF

        Um, Sarah Paulson (her AHS character) voted for Jill Stein. She is NOT me. >:-/

    • Frostbite

      meh. i’m with you. humanity has some bright moments but for the most part is simply a selfish destructive mess. we’ve ruined this planet. constantly at war with outselves. and apparently value such pitiful things like kardashians over self enlightenment. the right-wing is right, the beginning of the end is here. personally i’d rather have it quick and over with, let the idiot-in-chief push the button, than a long slow painful decline of natural disasters, pollution, and lack of resources. we had an opportunity to better ourselves and blew it. the “rich” seem to think they’re immune, but they’re going to go right down with the rest of the planet.

      • canoebum

        They say the meek shall inherit the earth. I know the meek. They are molds, slimes, fungi, sponges and bacteria. Maybe a few algae and plankton.

        • Frostbite

          they will probably be better caretakers of the planet than humans have been.

  • james1200

    This is one of those moments, like the attack on Pearl Harbor, where we find out what we’re made of. Will we find a sense of common purpose again and fight back or are we so divided (and stupid) that half the country will side with Trump/Nazis/Russia and we’ll fall into chaos, and continue on as a very large, very armed third-world country? As Trump proves, as The Sobbing Stormtrooper Christopher Cantwell proves, all bullies are actually quite weak and scared on the inside so if we can’t defeat this Alliance of Incompetence, we don’t deserve to survive as a country.

    http://i.imgur.com/ffhSRn0.jpg

  • m_lp_ql_m

    “Yahoo News”
    Wasn’t Yahoo hacked by the Russians in September before the election?

    • robindaybird

      hard to tell as its always been a cesspool of far-right bigots and idiots – which made Yahoo’s buyout of tumblr very puzzling.

  • Blake J Butler
    • canoebum

      I smell a GOP primary challenge in the air.

  • Blake J Butler
    • Adam King

      Gee, ya think? Real swift, that Francis.

    • Treant

      (Slow, Sarcastic Clap)

    • bambinoitaliano

      Where are his flying nuns? You would think for someone supposedly close to god, he would not need a man made vehicle to travel. Pffffft.

    • JCF

      May???

  • Jonathan Smith
  • That_Looks_Delicious
  • Lazycrockett
  • Rex

    Meanwhile, Trump talks through a scheduled “moment of silence” this morning at a 9/11 memorial service.

    • Treant

      WHAT? Fuck to the no he didn’t!

      • MaryJOGrady

        Oh, yes, he did.

        • Treant

          Oh, no he di’nt!

          (Who am I kidding? Of course I believe he did, I just need the video to send to my husband and mother so both can froth a little more).

          • Todd20036

            No surprise at all. TO have a moment of silence to think of the 9/11 victims, you have to, you know, think of someone other than yourself.
            For most people, that’s simple. For Trump, that’s quite impossible.

          • Ken M

            “Moment, minute, whatever, I got insurance forms to fill out.” I’m sure he was thinking it. Priorities and all. Fucking, Leaking, Douchebag

      • Rex

        Ceremony at the Pentagon. And yes, he did.

  • Reality.Bites

    Why, it’s almost as if the FBI is leaving no stone unturned in their investigation of the man who fired their leader in order to thwart an investigation of the man who fired their leader.