Russia

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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RUSSIA: Bank Owned By Former Republican House Rep Stripped Of License Over Money Laundering Violations

The Charlotte Observer reports: A Russian bank owned by former North Carolina Congressman Charles Taylor has been accused of money laundering and lost its license. The Commercial Bank of Ivanovo “failed on multiple occasions to comply with Bank of Russia regulations” on money laundering “of criminally obtained incomes and the financing of terrorism,” the Bank of Russia said in a …

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SNL’s Trump: Russia, Go To Bed, Daddy Won [VIDEO]

USA Today reports: Robert De Niro led “SNL’s” cold open Saturday night, resuming his role as Robert Mueller – this time in a slightly more forlorn fashion – having submitted his final report. Wearing a fake square jaw, “Mueller” reiterated that his special counsel has drawn no conclusions around whether or not President Trump obstructed justice and could not prove …

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Trump Threatens Russia Over Troops In Venezuela

Reuters reports: U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday called on Russia to pull its troops from Venezuela and said that “all options” were open to make that happen. The arrival of two Russian air  force planes outside Caracas on Saturday believed to be carrying nearly 100 Russian special forces and cybersecurity personnel has escalated the political crisis in Venezuela. “Russia …

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Kremlin Denies Mueller Report On Interference: You Can’t Find A Black Cat In Dark Room If There’s No Cat

Reuters reports: Russia is ready to improve ties with the United States but it is up to Washington to make the first move, the Kremlin said on Monday after the conclusion of a U.S. investigation into alleged collusion between Donald Trump and Moscow in the 2016 election. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov [photo] dismissed the report on a conference call and …

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Trump Notes “Multiple Offers” Of Russian Help In 2016

Newsday reports: The conclusion of Robert Mueller’s special report which exonerates Donald Trump and his associates of any collusion with Russia during the 2016 election has been described by some of Trump’s opponents as a “victory for Putin”. The reality could not be more different as the report exonerates Trump, his family and his associates but from what the world …

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Franklin Graham Meets With Sanctioned Russian

The Christian Post reports: Leading American evangelical Franklin Graham recently met with a Russian official sanctioned by the U.S. government during a trip to Moscow that he says Vice President Mike Pence “wholeheartedly supported.” In addition to a meeting he had with Russian Orthodox Bishop Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and evangelical leaders, Graham also met with the leader of the …

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White House Rejects Demand To Release Transcripts Of Trump’s Private Talks With Putin: You Can’t Make Us

Politico reports: The White House on Thursday rejected congressional Democrats’ demands for documents relating to President Donald Trump’s private discussions with Russian President Vladimir Putin — escalating tensions between the Trump administration and Congress over a crucial piece of Democrats’ oversight ambitions. “The committees’ letters cite no legal authority for the proposition that another branch of the government can force …

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Putin Signs Bill Criminalizing “Insulting” Him Online

Devin Nunes surely approves. The Moscow Times reports: Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a controversial set of bills that make it a crime to “disrespect” the state and spread “fake news” online, Russian media reported on Monday. The bills amending existing information laws overwhelmingly passed both chambers of Russian parliament in less than two months. Observers and some lawmakers …

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RUSSIA: New Law Will Jail People For 15 Days Over Online Posts That “Disrespect” Putin Or State Officials

The Guardian reports: Russia’s parliament has approved a controversial law that allows courts to jail people for online “disrespect” of government or state officials, including the president, Vladimir Putin. The law, which critics say is reminiscent of Soviet-era legislation used to target political dissidents, stipulates fines of up to 100,000 roubles (£1,155) for “indecent” online posts that demonstrate a “blatant …

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Putin Threatens To Target US With New Nukes [VIDEO]

CNBC reports: Russia will respond to any American deployment of short or intermediate-range nuclear weapons in Europe by targeting not only the countries where they are stationed, but the U.S. itself, President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday. In his toughest remarks yet on a potential new arms race, Putin said Russia was not seeking confrontation and would not take the first …

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House Dems Launch Probe Into NRA’s Ties To Kremlin

ABC News reports: A pair of House Democrats are launching a new probe of what they called the “complex web of relationships” between members of the National Rifle Association and Russian individuals with close ties to the Kremlin. In a letter sent to NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre, Rep. Ted Lieu and Rep. Kathleen Rice expressed concern about the NRA’s attempts …

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Dems Move To Force Trump To Reveal Talks With Putin

Politico reports: House Democrats are taking their first real steps to force President Donald Trump to divulge information about his private conversations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, setting up an extraordinary clash with the White House over Congress’ oversight authority. Rep. Adam Schiff, the Intelligence Committee chairman, and Rep. Eliot Engel, the Foreign Affairs Committee chairman, told POLITICO they are …

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Russia To Test “Unplugging” From Global Internet

The BBC reports: Russia is considering whether to disconnect from the global internet briefly, as part of a test of its cyber-defences. The test will mean data passing between Russian citizens and organisations stays inside the nation rather than being routed internationally. A draft law mandating technical changes needed to operate independently was introduced to its parliament last year. The …

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New Russian Weapon Causes Hallucinations, Vomiting

Newsweek reports: Two Russian naval vessels have been fitted with a defensive weapon, which, during testing, caused some subjects to hallucinate and vomit because of its disorientating effect. The weapon’s name “Filin” translates to “Eagle Owl” in English. The technology, which was developed to dazzle and incapacitate attackers, has been deployed on the Russian naval frigates Admiral Gorshkov and Admiral …

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Putin Orders New Missiles After US Leaves Arms Treaty

ABC News reports: President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russia’s military to begin developing new medium-range missiles in response to President Donald Trump’s announcement that the United States is leaving a key Cold War nuclear arms treaty. Putin announced that Russia was also suspending the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces, or INF treaty, a day after the U.S. said it was pulling out …

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Email Shows Former NRA Head Sought Putin Meeting

The Daily Beast reports: A former NRA president hoped to win access to Vladimir Putin on a trip to Moscow, according to an email from one of the trip’s organizers. That organizer, Republican operative Paul Erickson, also said the trip could have “enormous diplomatic consequences.” The email, sent in November 2015 and reviewed by The Daily Beast, came just months …

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Russian Oligarch Names Trump Transition Team Member To Board Of Directors Now That Sanctions Are Lifted

Salon reports: A member of President Trump’s transition team was announced as a new board member of a company owned by Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska as soon as the Treasury Department lifted sanctions on Deripaska’s companies Sunday. On Monday, EN+ announced seven new board directors, including Christopher Burnham, who served on Trump’s State Department transition team and previously worked as …

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Russia Secretly Offered Nuclear Plant To North Korea

The Washington Post reports: Russian officials made a secret proposal to North Korea last fall aimed at resolving deadlocked negotiations with the Trump administration over its nuclear weapons program, said U.S. officials familiar with the discussions. In exchange for dismantling its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles, Moscow offered the country a nuclear power plant. The Russian offer, which intelligence officials …

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VENEZUELA: Kremlin Beefs Up Security For Maduro

Reuters reports: Private military contractors who do secret missions for Russia flew into Venezuela in the past few days to beef up security for President Nicolas Maduro in the face of U.S.-backed opposition protests, according to two people close to them. Russia, which has backed Maduro’s socialist government to the tune of billions of dollars, this week promised to stand …

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