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Gurdjieff And De Hartmann - Songs of Sayyids and Dervishes

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10 hours ago
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Gurdjieff / De Hartmann - The Big Seven [AUDIO]

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11 hours ago
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Despite Republican control, Trump relies on executive orders to push his agenda

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11 hours ago
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Twitter finds over 1000 new Russian-linked accounts - The Hill

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The Hill

Twitter finds over 1000 new Russian-linked accounts
The Hill
Twitter said Friday that it has suspended 1,062 new accounts it has found to be linked to the Internet Research Agency, a Russian "troll farm" which disseminated content intended to interfere in the U.S. political process. In total, the company has ...
Russia-linked Twitter accounts are working overtime to help Devin Nunes and WikiLeaksBusiness Insider
Nearly 700000 Americans promoted Russian bots spreading pro-Trump propaganda during the campaignNew York Daily News
Twitter admits Russian propaganda more widespread than initially reportedCBS News
CNNMoney -USA TODAY -Politico -Bloomberg
all 55 news articles »
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mikenova
18 hours ago
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Russia collusion investigation is far from a ‘witch hunt’

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David Ignatius, Washington Post Writers Group

Published 5:11 pm, Friday, January 19, 2018
  • Trump dossier. Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set-up Orbis Business Intelligence and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, in London where he has spoken to the media for the first time. Photo: Victoria Jones /PA Wire /PA Images / PA Wire

Photo: Victoria Jones /PA Wire /PA Images

Trump dossier. Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set-up Orbis Business Intelligence and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, in London where he has spoken to the media for the first time.

Trump dossier. Christopher Steele, the former MI6 agent who set-up Orbis Business Intelligence and compiled a dossier on Donald Trump, in London where he has spoken to the media for the first time.

Photo: Victoria Jones /PA Wire /PA Images

Russia collusion investigation is far from a ‘witch hunt’

“Does this concern you at all?” asks a tart email message from a Trump supporter who wonders why the mainstream media doesn’t take a closer look at allegations that the Justice Department’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 election has been tainted by bias.

It’s a fair question. President Donald Trump has made very serious charges, tweeting in December that the FBI’s “reputation is in Tatters — worst in History!” And Republicans in Congress have claimed that the bureau was manipulated by a former British intelligence officer named Christopher Steele, who supposedly pumped up allegations about Trump-Russia collusion with a “dossier” that was financed by Hillary Clinton.

What’s true here and what’s false? A careful look at the evidence rebuts the claim that the FBI was misused by Steele and that the bureau’s operations are in disarray. Republicans delude themselves in claiming that the Russia probe is a partisan concoction. Trump operatives have admitted in plea agreements that they lied to the FBI about their contacts with Russia.

In a rational world, Trump would apologize for smearing America’s top investigative agency, but that’s not where we live right now. So let’s instead listen to FBI Director Christopher Wray, who was appointed by Trump after James Comey was fired. Wray told a House committee last month:

“What I can tell you is (I see) tens of thousands of agents and analysts and staff working their tails off to keep Americans safe from the next terrorist attack, gang violence, child predators, spies from Russia, China and North Korea, and Iran.”

Several bureau veterans offered similar assessments; Trump’s comments offended even Comey’s detractors in the FBI.

What about Republican claims that Steele spawned what Trump calls a “witch hunt”? It’s true that Steele was hired by Fusion GPS, an investigative firm paid to dig up dirt on Trump, first by Republican opponents, then by Clinton supporters. But Steele went through well-established contacts, and the FBI got serious only after it obtained its own independent information.

Steele’s main FBI connection was a senior agent he had met in 2010, when he shared information about corruption in the international soccer federation known as FIFA. Steele, who had retired from MI6 the year before, had been retained as a private investigator by the Football Association in England. His FBI contact was involved in international organized-crime investigations. The FIFA investigation helped bring Justice Department indictments in 2015 that toppled the organization’s leadership.

So when Steele contacted the FBI in mid-2016 with information about Trump and the Russians, he was already a valued source. Around July 4, 2016, he met with his FBI friend in London to share what he had gathered for a June 20 Fusion GPS report, the first chapter of his eventual dossier. In that first report, Steele’s sources claimed that Russia had been “cultivating” Trump for at least five years.

Steele’s information didn’t get much high-level attention at first. But bells began ringing in July, after Australian intelligence told the FBI about an unusual conversation two months earlier between Australia’s London ambassador and George Papadopoulos, a Trump foreign-policy adviser.The Australians decided to share this intelligence with the FBI after hacked Democratic emails were published in July.

Based on the Australian account, knowledgeable sources say, the bureau requested another meeting with Steele to dig deeper. That encounter took place around Oct. 1 in Rome with Steele’s old FBI contact. At this meeting, the FBI official asked Steele if he had ever heard of Papadopoulos, according to an official familiar with the meeting. Steele hadn’t.

So, far from a yarn concocted by Steele, the FBI probe was driven by its own independent reporting about Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty last October to lying about his Russia contacts. The bottom line: There may be something in tatters at the center of this investigation, but it isn’t the FBI.

A question for Republicans in Congress who have been so quick to trash FBI officials and defend Trump: Does this concern you at all?

David Ignatius writes a column for the Washington Post.

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mikenova
20 hours ago
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Deutsche Bank Willing To Report Jared Kushner’s ‘Suspicious Transactions’ To Robert Mueller: Report

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A German bank reportedly has evidence of “suspicious transactions” related to Jared Kushner’s family accounts and is willing to hand the information over to Russia probe special counsel Robert Mueller.

The board chairman of the banking giant Deutsche Bank, Paul Achleitner, called for an internal investigation and found troubling results, German business magazine Manager Magazin reported in its print edition released on Friday.

Deutsche Bank—a major lender to President Donald Trump and his son-in-law and senior White House advisor Kushner, according to Mother Jones—provided the results to the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority, which is Germany’s bank regulatory agency and referred to as BaFin.

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U.S. president's senior advisor Jared Kushner is seen during a welcome ceremony at the presidential palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 23, 2017. THOMAS COEX/AFP/Getty Images

“Achleitner’s internal detectives were embarrassed to deliver their interim report regarding real estate tycoon Kushner to the financial regulator BaFin,” states the Manager Magazin story translated from German to English. “Their finding: There are indications that Donald Trump’s son-in-law or persons or companies close to him could have channeled suspicious monies through Deutsche Bank as part of their business dealings.”

No details on the suspicious money transfer were reported. The bank is worried about what the results will mean for its image, according to Manager Magazin.

“What BaFin will do about [the bank’s findings] is not the bank’s greatest concern,” the German magazine reported. “Rather, it’s the noise that U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller … will make in his pursuit of Trump. For he will likely obtain this information—a giant risk to [the bank’s] reputation.”

The bank’s investigation into Kushner and his family business are ongoing and have been complicated by technical issues internally, the magazine story states.

Neither Kushner’s personal attorney nor the bank have commented.

Kushner is already wrapped in problems with Deutsche Bank.

Federal prosecutors last month reportedly subpoenaed the bank for records relating to Kushner Companies, his family-run business. It was not known if the records involve Kushner or are tied to Mueller’s probe into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign and Russians in the presidential election.

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1 day ago
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