Russia

McConnell Continues To Block Election Security Bills

The New York Times reports: A raft of legislation intended to better secure United States election systems after what the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, called a “sweeping and systematic” Russian attack in 2016 is running into a one-man roadblock in the form of the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell of Kentucky. McConnell, long the Senate’s leading ideological opponent …

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US And Russian Warships Nearly Collide In Pacific

The BBC reports: A Russian warship and a US warship have come close to collision in the western Pacific Ocean, with each side blaming the other for the incident. Russia’s Pacific Fleet said the cruiser USS Chancellorsville crossed just 50 metres (160ft) in front of the destroyer Admiral Vinogradov at 06:35 Moscow time (03:35 GMT). It was forced to perform …

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Russian Trolls Earned Big Ad Bucks With 2016 Meddling

NBC News reports: The effort by a Russian internet deception factory to manipulate American public opinion during the 2016 election was better planned and executed — and also more lucrative — than previously understood, according to a new analysis of nearly 10 million tweets by a leading cybersecurity firm. The operation by the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency amounted to …

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Trump Finally Admits “Russia Helped Me Get Elected”

Mediaite reports: Evidenced by his Twitter feed, President Donald Trump woke up Thursday morning with Special Counsel Robert Mueller — and his stunning nine-minute press conference — very much on his mind. In a remarkable development, however, it appears that Trump is publicly admitting, for the first time at least, that Russia interference helped get him elected president, as has …

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Tillerson: Trump Was Unprepared During Putin Meeting

The Washington Post reports: Former secretary of state Rex Tillerson told members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee that Russian President Vladimir Putin out-prepared President Trump during a key meeting in Germany, putting the U.S. leader at a disadvantage during their first series of tête-à-têtes. The U.S. side anticipated a shorter meeting for exchanging courtesies, but it ballooned into a …

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Republicans To Block Funding For Election Security

The Hill reports: Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), a member of Senate GOP leadership, said Wednesday that the chamber is unlikely to vote on any election security legislation, despite requests from a federal agency for more funding to improve election systems nationwide. Blunt made the remarks at a Senate Rules Committee hearing where Election Assistance Commission (EAC) officials highlighted what they …

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Putin Praises Mueller Report As “Very Objective”

The Hill reports: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday praised special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections as “objective.” “On the whole he had a very objective investigation and he confirmed that there are no traces whatsoever of collusion between Russia and the incumbent administration, which we said was absolutely fake,” Putin said during …

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Pompeo Warns Putin Against 2020 Election Meddling

The Associated Press reports: On his first trip to Russia as U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo warned his Russian counterpart against any “unacceptable” Russian meddling in U.S. elections. At a news conference following three hours of meetings Tuesday, Pompeo said he told Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that any such action by the Russians in the 2020 elections “would …

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Sen. Tom Cotton: Trump’s Tariffs Will Cause “Sacrifices” But It’s Nothing Compared To Soldiers Killed In Battle

CBS News reports: As the U.S. and China inch closer to an all-out trade war, Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton says that the sacrifice Americans will pay for President Trump’s tariffs are “minimal” compared to those serving overseas. President Trump has maintained that Americans would not be fronting the brunt of the cost for tariffs, but many, including the president’s own …

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Convicted Russian Spy: I Was Trying To Build Peace

NPR reports: Maria Butina says this is all a big misunderstanding. Was she part of the vast Russian government effort to influence politics within the United States? “Absolutely not,” she said. All she wanted, Butina said, was to be a “peace-builder” between Russia and the United States. The Russian woman who has pleaded guilty to conspiring to serve as a …

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Over Half Of Europe’s Voters Saw Russian Fake News

Politico Europe reports: More than half of Europeans may have seen some form of disinformation promoted by Russian actors on social networks ahead of the parliamentary election later this month, according to an analysis reviewed by POLITICO. The report — by SafeGuard Cyber, a U.S.-based cybersecurity firm — coincides with criticism that tech companies, notably Facebook, are not doing enough …

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White House: Trump And Putin Discussed Letting Don McGahn Testify, Agreed There Was No Collusion In 2016

NBC News reports: President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke Friday and both agreed “there was no collusion” between Moscow and Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. Sanders said that the two briefly discussed special counsel Robert Mueller’s report “essentially in the context of that it’s over and there was no collusion.” She …

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Putin Signs Bill To Create Russia-Only Internet

CNN reports: Russia is one step closer to creating its own, independent internet—at least legally speaking. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law new measures that would enable the creation of a national network, able to operate separately from the rest of the world, according to documents posted on a government portal on Wednesday. For now, the network remains …

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Russian Spy Maria Butina Sentenced To 18 Months

Buzzfeed News reports: Maria Butina, the Russian gun rights activist who pleaded guilty to conspiring to act as an unregistered agent for the Russian government in the US, was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison, although she’ll get credit for the nine months she’s already served. US District Judge Tanya Chutkan said she agreed with prosecutors that Butina …

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REPORT: Mulvaney Warned Homeland Security Not To Bring Up Continued Russian Interference With Trump

The New York Times reports: In the months before Kirstjen Nielsen was forced to resign, she tried to focus the White House on one of her highest priorities as Homeland Security secretary: preparing for new and different Russian forms of interference in the 2020 election.  President Trump’s chief of staff told her not to bring it up in front of …

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Fox Host Shep Smith Blasts Kushner For “Diminishing” Russia Interference: It Wasn’t Just Some Facebook Ads

“Jared Kushner’s diminishment of Russian interference is both disingenuous and deceptive. The attack on our democracy involved much more than the purchase of a few Facebook ads. From the Mueller report we now know, Russians made contact with multiple members of the Trump campaign, including Jared Kushner, attempting to change American policies and promote Russian objectives. “They invaded our nation, …

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Kremlin Claims Mueller Report Shows No Interference

The Associated Press reports: The Kremlin argued on Friday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s 400-page report has not offered any credible evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The redacted report presented on Thursday said that there was no collusion between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian officials but it did document Russian efforts to meddle in …

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Mueller: Russia Organized Dozens Of Pro-Trump Rallies

Reuters reports: Special counsel Robert Mueller in his highly-anticipated report said his team identified “dozens” of U.S. political rallies organized on social media by the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian troll farm that was later indicted for attempting to interfere with the 2016 presidential election. According to Mueller’s report, which was released on Thursday, the IRA organized political rallies …

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How Pro-Trump Russian Trolls Targeted Bernie Backers

The Washington Post reports: A pair of Clemson University researchers, at the request of The Washington Post, examined English-language tweets identified as coming from Russia, many of which were designed to influence the election. The effort to promote Sanders as a way to influence the U.S. election began shortly after he declared his candidacy in spring 2015, according to Mueller’s …

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GOP Sen. Ben Sasse: Julian Assange Is A “Wicked Tool Of Putin” And Russian Intel, Deserves Life Sentence

The Hill reports: Sen. Ben Sasse (R-Neb.) is applauding the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange by British police acting on a U.S. extradition warrant. Assange, who published hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic National Committee in 2016, had been living in the Embassy of Ecuador in London under asylum protection since 2012. Assange fled to the …

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