The uncanny Kushner Mezvinsky parallel lends support to the "Two Egg Baskets" hypothesis - M.N. - 7:19 PM 2/16/2019

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The uncanny Kushner Mezvinsky parallel lends support to the "Two Egg Baskets" hypothesis, shared earlier, of the involvements in 2016 campaigns on the bipartisan basis and indicates the long term planning. The usual by now, same hypothetical culprit may be at play: the New Abwehr.  - M.N. 

2.16.19

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Trump versus Clinton: Battle of the Jewish sons-in-law - Jewish World - Haaretz - Israel News
Trump Vs. Clinton: Battle Of The Jewish Sons-In-Law
Donald Trump Hillary Clinton 2016: In-laws from Hell - Google Search
Donald Trump Hillary Clinton 2016: In-laws from Hell
US Vice President Mike Pence makes his first Auschwitz visit
‘People Have Been Dying Over This’
MI6 chief warns of Russia threat | UK | News
Wa eez zi prrro - o - b - le-e-e-m, Anti? Mi iz morr ov zi jdgju zan u arr... Unt mi hazi mucho mucho morr many zan u du, tu-u-u-u... - 12:24 PM 2/16/2019
FBI Became a Political Tool Under Obama - Google Search
FBI Became a Political Tool Under Obama - Google Search
FBI Became a Political Tool Under Obama - Google Search
FBI Became a Political Tool Under Obama - Google Search
FBI Became a Political Tool Under Obama - Google Search
Former Intel Officer Tony Shaffer on How the FBI Became a Political Tool Under Obama — American Thought Leaders
Ivanka gives talk at the 55th annual Munich Security Conference alongside world leaders, Jared and the Pences - Google Search
Ivanka gives talk at the 55th annual Munich Security Conference alongside world leaders, Jared and the Pences - Google Search
Ivanka gives talk at the 55th annual Munich Security Conference alongside world leaders, Jared and the Pences - Google Search

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Trump versus Clinton: Battle of the Jewish sons-in-law - Jewish World - Haaretz - Israel News

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JTA – Somebody had better put a mezuzah on the Lincoln bedroom.
Whoever ends up winning the presidential election in November, one thing seems certain: For the first time in history, Jews will be in the president’s inner family circle.
Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have Jewish sons-in-law, and of course Bernie Sanders — in the unlikely event he makes it to the White House — is Jewish himself (though his daughter-in-law is not).
With the head-to-head contest between the two likely nominees heating up, we decided to take a closer look at Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, and Marc Mezvinsky, who is married to Chelsea Clinton.
Age
Kushner: 35
Mezvinsky: 38

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Occupation
Kushner: CEO of family real estate firm Kushner Properties and owner-publisher of The New York Observer
Mezvinsky: Investment banker and co-founder of hedge fund Eaglevale Partners
Education
Kushner: High school at Frisch, a modern Orthodox yeshiva in Paramus, New Jersey; B.A. from Harvard (sociology); J.D. and M.B.A. from New York University
Mezvinsky: High school at Friends Central in the Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood;  B.A. from Stanford (religious studies and philosophy); M.A. in international relations from the University of Oxford, England
Family
Kushner: Grew up in Livingston, N.J; father, Charles Kushner, ran a real estate empire until his imprisonment and is involved in various Jewish philanthropic endeavors; mother, Seryl Kushner, is involved in the family’s business and philanthropy; three siblings
Mezvinsky: Grew up in Philadelphia; both parents served stints in Congress as Democrats; father, Edward Mezvinsky, served two terms from Iowa in the 1970s (and decades later went to prison); mother, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, a former TV journalist, served a single term from Pennsylvania in the mid-‘90s; parents are now divorced; one full brother, four half-siblings and five adopted siblings
Professional track record
Kushner: Often described as a wunderkind, Jared Kushner has doubled the assets of his family’s real estate empire since taking over as CEO in 2008; in 2014, Kushner Properties did $2 billion in transactions
Mezvinsky: Worked at Goldman Sachs for eight years before launching Eaglevale in 2011, which now has $326 million under management; but the hedge fund was down 3.6 percent in 2014, largely due to Mezvinsky’s bad bets on Greek debt
Campaign involvement
Kushner: Helped draft Donald Trump’s AIPAC speech, advises the presumptive Republican nominee for president on Israel issues and is involved in assembling his White House transition team; Kushner’s newspaper endorsed Trump for president
Mezvinsky: Appears at non-political events with the Clintons, but has no known involvement with Hillary’s campaign
Jewish practice
Kushner: Belongs to an Orthodox synagogue, Manhattan’s Kehilath Jeshurun, observes Shabbat and kosher restrictions; raising children as Jews
Mezvinsky: Grew up in a Conservative synagogue, has been seen in shul on occasion with wife Chelsea Clinton; raising daughter with both Jewish and Methodist traditions
Wife’s relationship to Judaism
Kushner: Ivanka Trump underwent Orthodox conversion after studying with Orthodox Rabbi Haskel Lookstein; now observes Shabbat and keeps a kosher home; “We’re pretty observant,” she has said
Mezvinsky: Chelsea Clinton is still a practicing Methodist; the couple married in an interfaith ceremony featuring a huppah and co-officiated by Rabbi James Ponet of Yale University and Methodist Rev. William Shillady
Why Dad went to prison
Kushner: Hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, secretly recorded the encounter and sent the tape to his sister as part of a blackmail scheme; served 16 months after guilty pleas to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations
Mezvinsky: Bilked friends, family and strangers out of some $10 million in bogus schemes disguised as investments in Africa and oil development; served five years after pleading guilty to 31 counts of felony fraud, including bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud
Residence
Kushner: Stylish 10-room apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side at – where else? – Trump Park Avenue
Mezvinsky: A sleek apartment in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, on 26th Street, that the couple bought in 2013 for $10.5 million
Children
Kushner: Theodore James, 2 months; Joseph Frederick, 2; Arabella Rose, 4
Mezvinsky: Daughter Charlotte, 1, and one on the way
Look
Kushner: “Baby-faced,” “sandy haired” and “handsome”
Mezvinsky: Bespectacled with a perennial 5 o’clock shadow
Trump Vs. Clinton: Battle Of The Jewish Sons-In-Law

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Somebody had better put a mezuzah on the Lincoln Bedroom.
Whoever ends up winning the election in November, one thing seems certain: For the first time in history, Jews will be in the president’s inner family circle.
Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have Jewish sons-in-law, and of course Bernie Sanders — in the unlikely event he makes it to the White House — is Jewish himself (though his daughter-in-law is not).
With the head-to-head contest between the two likely nominees heating up, we decided to take a closer look at Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, and Marc Mezvinsky, who is married to Chelsea Clinton.

Age


Kushner: 35
Mezvinsky: 38

Occupation


Kushner: CEO of family real estate firm Kushner Properties and owner-publisher of The New York Observer.
Mezvinsky: Investment banker and co-founder of hedge fund Eaglevale Partners.

Education


Kushner: High school at Frisch, a modern Orthodox yeshiva in Paramus, New Jersey; B.A. from Harvard (sociology); J.D. and M.B.A. from New York University.
Mezvinsky: High school at Friends Central in the Philadelphia suburb of Wynnewood; B.A. from Stanford (religious studies and philosophy); M.A. in international relations from the University of Oxford, England.

Family


Kushner: Grew up in Livingston, N.J. Father, Charles Kushner, ran a real estate empire until his imprisonment and is involved in various Jewish philanthropic endeavors. Mother, Seryl Kushner, is involved in the family’s business and philanthropy. Has three siblings.
Mezvinsky: Grew up in Philadelphia. Both parents served stints in Congress as Democrats: father, Edward Mezvinsky, served two terms from Iowa in the 1970s (and decades later went to prison); mother, Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky, a former TV journalist, served a single term from Pennsylvania in the mid-‘90s. Parents are now divorced. Has one full brother, four half-siblings and five adopted siblings.

Professional track record


Kushner: Often described as a wunderkind, Jared Kushner has doubled the assets of his family’s real estate empire since taking over as CEO in 2008. In 2014, Kushner Properties did $2 billion in transactions.
Mezvinsky: Worked at Goldman Sachs for eight years before launching Eaglevale in 2011, which now has$326 million under management. But the hedge fund was down 3.6 percent in 2014, largely due toMezvinsky’s bad bets on Greek debt.

Campaign involvement


Kushner: Helped draft Donald Trump’s AIPAC speech, advises the presumptive Republican nominee for president on Israel issues and is involved in assembling his White House transition team. Kushner’s newspaper endorsed Trump for president.
Mezvinsky: Appears at non-political events with the Clintons, but has no known involvement with Hillary’s campaign.

Jewish practice


Kushner: Belongs to an Orthodox synagogue, Manhattan’s Kehilath Jeshurun, observes Shabbat and kosher restrictions, and is raising children as Jews.
Mezvinsky: Grew up in a Conservative synagogue, has been seen in shul on occasion with wife Chelsea Clinton and is raising daughter with both Jewish and Methodist traditions.

Wife’s relationship to Judaism


Kushner: Ivanka Trump underwent Orthodox conversion after studying with Orthodox Rabbi Haskel Lookstein. She now observes Shabbat and keeps a kosher home. “We’re pretty observant,” she has said.
Mezvinsky: Chelsea Clinton is still a practicing Methodist. The couple married in an interfaith ceremony featuring a huppah and co-officiated by Rabbi James Ponet of Yale University and Methodist Rev. William Shillady.

Why Dad went to prison


KushnerHired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, secretly recorded the encounter and sent the tape to his sister as part of a blackmail scheme. He served 16 months after guilty pleas to 18 counts of tax evasion, witness tampering and making illegal campaign donations.
Mezvinsky: Bilked friends, family and strangers out of some $10 million in bogus schemesdisguised as investments in Africa and oil development. He served five years after pleading guilty to 31 counts of felony fraud, including bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud.

Residence


KushnerStylish 10-room apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side at – where else? – Trump Park Avenue.
Mezvinsky: A sleek apartment in Manhattan’s Flatiron district, on 26th Street, that the couple bought in 2013 for $10.5 million.

Children


KushnerTheodore James, 2 months; Joseph Frederick, 2; Arabella Rose, 4.
Mezvinsky: Daughter Charlotte, 1, and one on the way.

Look


Kushner: “Baby-faced,” “sandy haired” and “handsome.”
Mezvinsky: Bespectacled with a perennial 5 o’clock shadow.
Donald Trump Hillary Clinton 2016: In-laws from Hell - Google Search

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Donald Trump Hillary Clinton 2016: In-laws from Hell

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Allison Kaplan Sommer lives in Israel and writes for Haaretz.
It’s fair to say that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, the respective front-runners for the Republican and Democratic parties, would oversee very different kinds of White Houses should one of them get elected. But the two candidates do have one odd thing in common: an in-law from hell, one who would bring potentially embarrassing baggage into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue when he comes to visit.
That’s because their daughters Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton both have a felon for a father-in-law.
Story Continued Below
Ivanka Trump is married to Jared Kushner, heir to a billion-dollar New Jersey real estate empire, whose Orthodox Jewish family has been both a philanthropic pillar of the state’s Jewish community and a force in its political life. But the family’s reputation was indelibly scarred after a longstanding feud between Jared’s father, Charles Kushner, and his brother, Murray, spun out of control and landed Charles behind bars.
The two brothers, heirs to their Holocaust survivor father’s thriving businesses, spent years filing lawsuits against each other, which led to government investigations of illegal behavior surrounding campaign financing, taxes and charitable contributions. Filial anger and a desire for revenge ultimately threatened Charles to the extent that he resorted to measures more characteristic of a New Jersey mob boss than a mild-mannered businessman. Furious that his sister Esther and her husband were providing information against him, he hired a prostitute to seduce his brother-in-law, videotaped their sexual encounter and had the tape delivered to Esther.
Enter Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor and former presidential hopeful and current endorser in chief of Donald Trump. Christie was the prosecutor who put Ivanka’s father-in-law behind bars.
As an ambitious U.S. attorney, Christie aggressively went after Charles Kushner, who pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud the IRS, making false statements to the federal government and witness tampering. He served 14 months of his two-year sentence at an Alabama prison and was permitted to spend the remainder of his sentence in a New Jersey halfway house.
In 2009, not long after Charles became a free man and resumed his business activities with a far more subdued public profile, Jared and Ivanka were wed and the proud Trump and Kushner papas stood beside them at their wedding.
The families appear to get on famously. Indeed, family loyalty overtook traditional Kushner Democratic Party ties last summer when Charles jumped parties long enough to donate $100,000 to Trump’s PAC and host a Jersey Shore reception for Trump at his seaside mansion.
Ivanka and Jared are also very close to their respective fathers, both personally and professionally. It seems to be a quality the ambitious overachieving young couple shares along with their extreme ambition—a strategic ability to rise above their flawed legacies while preserving unswerving family loyalty. As far as The Donald is concerned, his daughter and son-in-law’s squeaky-clean image as a tasteful New York power couple clearly more than balances out Jared’s dad’s prison record, and it is clear Trump views his son-in-law as a campaign asset, not a liability. He loves to show him off. At a town hall meeting last month, when asked about Israel, Trump responded that “my son-in-law is Jewish, and he’s fantastic.”
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And in his speech at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee convention, Trump won big applause when he mentioned that his daughter—who converted to Judaism and whose Hebrew name is Yael—was “about to have a beautiful Jewish baby.”
***
The criminal transgression of Chelsea Clinton’s father-in-law, Ed Mezvinsky, also appears to have had a lasting and devastating effect on his family. Just as the Trumps and Kushners inhabited the same lofty world of high-stakes real estate development, Chelsea Clinton's and Marc Mezvinsky’s parents—Bill and Hillary and Ed Mezvinsky and Marjorie Margolies-Mezvinsky—were Democratic political power couples who ran in the same circles. Chelsea and Marc’s 2010 wedding should have been a great coming together for the two families who were already close; instead, it was touch-and-go as to whether Marc’s father would even be invited. His mother walked him down the aisle, and none of the wedding photos released to the press included the groom’s parents.
Ed, who had been a two-term Iowa congressman in the 1970s, relocated to Pennsylvania after marrying Marjorie and became chairman of the Pennsylvania Democratic Party. In 1992, Margolies-Mezvinsky ran for a House seat and won—only to lose it in the Republican sweep of 1994.
But a more shocking disappointment than an unsuccessful election was in store for Margolies-Mezvinsky. During the 1990s, she discovered that her husband was neck-deep in multiple fraudulent-investment adventures, swindling investors of $10 million. Among his victims was her own mother. Margolies-Mezvinsky herself went bankrupt and had to withdraw from a political race as a result of his misdeeds.
In March 2001, Mezvinsky pleaded guilty to felony charges of bankmail and wire fraud, and he spent five years in prison, between 2003 and 2008. He and his wife were divorced in 2007.
Extended family gatherings can’t be comfortable, and not just because of the divorce. Not only did Ed Mezvinsky use his friendship with the Clintons to give him credibility to convince his victims to invest their money with him, but when he was being prosecuted, he and his wife desperately turned to Bill and Hillary Clinton to bail him out of trouble.
POLITICO recently uncovered White House files showing that Mezvinsky had asked for clemency from his powerful friends in the last days of the Clinton presidency. In a desperate and impractical—and ultimately unsuccessful—Hail Mary play, the couple wrote to the president requesting a pardon on January 12, 2001, eight days before Clinton left office.
Story Continued Below
Unlike Kushner—who returned home from prison with his business and his family, if not his dignity, intact, and has worked his way back to a measure of respectability—Ed Mezvinsky, now 79, continues to carry his past sins with him, in the form of unpaid restitution to his victims. As recently as 2014, tabloids reported that his victims still haven’t seen their money returned and that it was unlikely it would ever happen.
Chelsea and Marc had known each other from his family’s better days and became friends at Stanford University. Their love has truly appeared to conquer all—triumphing over their awkward intertwined families, who now share a grandchild, Charlotte, with another on the way. Whether it is because his family background soured him on the political life, or whether his Wall Street job is disadvantageous to Hillary Clinton, Marc Mezvinsky (unlike Jared Kushner) has been virtually invisible in his mother-in-law’s campaign, leading The Forward to ask, “Why Is Hillary Clinton's Jewish Son-In-Law Avoiding Campaign Spotlight?"
All these shared experiences, one would think, were part of the bonding between Chelsea and Ivanka that made them friends, at least before the campaign. The Trump-Kushner and Clinton-Mezvinsky couples double-dated, and their kids play-dated. The two women must have a lot to talk about over a cup of coffee: In addition to having fathers-in-law with sullied pasts and husbands who overcame the family shame, both became pregnant; Ivanka gave birth to her third child on March 26 , and Chelsea is due with her second in the summer.
Beyond that, both Chelsea and Ivanka are well-heeled, ambitious, well-educated Manhattan working mothers nearly exactly the same age. Chelsea is 36 and vice chair of the Clinton Foundation; Ivanka is 34 and executive vice president of the Trump Organization.
But things have obviously changed. Chelsea and Ivanka have put their friendship on hold as they have crisscrossed the country campaigning in maternity wear in support of their cross-aspirational parents, whose campaign teams load up their dossiers ready to smear the other during the general election.
But only last June, just as her father was getting into the race, Ivanka tweeted a quote from Chelsea with the approving hashtag #wisewords— “Life is not about what happens to you, but what you do with what happens to you.” For women born in the glare of the media spotlight into highly ambitious, flawed families, managing motherhood, pregnancy and challenging in-laws and facing an-already nasty and combative presidential campaign battle—they should be words to live by over the coming months.
And what will happen when all is said and done, after the election and inauguration is behind the First Family, whichever family that may be?
Story Continued Below
While their new connection to the White House will certainly help rehabilitate the image of either Chelsea or Ivanka's ex-con father-in-laws, the optics will be problematic for their presidential relative—particularly for Clinton if Mezvinsky's debts to his victims remain unpaid.
And so, what might otherwise be camera-worthy extended family moments (joint Christmas-Hanukah celebrations with the grandkids, maybe?) could very well be kept more private than usual, if only so that an ex-con in-law doesn’t cast a shadow on the person who is trying to hold the confidence of a nation.
US Vice President Mike Pence makes his first Auschwitz visit

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited the memorial site of Auschwitz on Friday along with the Polish president and Jared Kushner , the son-in-law of President Donald Trump , viewing a train car, crematoriums and the hair of victims that make it such a powerful testament to the evil that befell Europe in the last century. 
It was the first visit for Pence, a conservative Christian, to the site where German forces murdered 1.1 million people, most of them Jews but also Poles, Roma and others, during the Nazis' occupation of Eastern Europe during World War II. 
Pence and his wife Karen were joined by Polish President Andrzej Duda and first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda. 
"It seems to me to be a scene of unspeakable tragedy, reminding us what tyranny is capable of," Pence said hours later during an event Friday evening on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany. "But it seems to me also to be a scene of freedom's victory." 
"I traveled in our delegation with people who had family members who had been at Auschwitz — some had survived, some not. But to walk with them and think that two generations ago their forebears came there in box carts and that we would arrive in a motorcade in a free Poland and a Europe restored to freedom from tyranny is an extraordinary experience for us, and I'll carry it with me the rest of our lives," Pence said. 
They began their visit by walking under the notorious gate with the German words "Arbeit Macht Frei," the Nazi slogan meaning "Work sets you free." 
There, they paused and turned toward reporters, who took their photos. 
Pence toured an exhibition hall that includes human hair and personal belongings of the victims before a wreath-laying at the Death Wall in a courtyard where prisoners were executed. Many of those shot there were Poles who were part of the underground resistance against the German occupation. 
The two couples walked side-by-side to the wall for the wreath laying. The Pences held hands and the vice president adjusted a banner reading "From The People of the United States of America." 
Kushner was among a second group that then approached the wall and wreaths. 
The second part of the visit took them to the nearby satellite camp of Birkenau, the site of the murder of Jews from across Europe. Pence knelt and bowed his head, placing his hand on a historic red boxcar on the train tracks used to bring Jews to their deaths there. 
The couples also placed candles at a memorial to the Holocaust victims, with Pence wearing a Jewish skullcap. Poland's chief rabbi recited a prayer to the dead and a Christian prayer was also recited. 
The visit came a day after Pence accused Britain, France, Germany and the European Union as a whole of trying to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran and called on the EU to join the Trump administration in withdrawing from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with Iran. 
He made those comments during a conference on the Mideast in Warsaw focused largely on Iran and which Tehran denounced as a hostile act. 
Several times during his visit Pence compared the evil of the Nazis to that of Iran today. 
He accused the regime in Tehran of "breathing out murderous threats with the same vile anti-Semitic hatred that animated the Nazis in Europe." 
He added that "to be there to see the end result of that and understand all that happened there, I think will better prepare us and strengthen the resolve of the free world to oppose that kind of vile hatred and to confront authoritarian threats of our time." 
Pence was on a four-day visit to Europe that also included meeting with Polish soldiers and American troops in Poland. 
___ 
Geir Moulson in Berlin contributed to this report. 
Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
‘People Have Been Dying Over This’

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In an MSNBC interview broadcast Saturday, Donald Trump’s biographer, Craig Unger, detailed the alleged links between the president and the Russian mafia, Raw Story reports.
The author of House of Trump, House of Putin detailed on MSNBC’s AM Joy how the Russian mob functions. According to the author, unlike the Italian mob and other similar criminal organizations, the Russian mafia is tied to the state. Russian mobsters, according to Unger, report to Vladimir Putin.
President Donald Trump — who is being accused of coordinating with official Moscow to sway the 2016 election in his favor — is connected to the Russian mafia, according to Unger, and the relationship between Trump and Russian mafia has been going “on and off” for nearly four decades.
“I found 13 people who have had been in Trump Tower, associated with the Russian mafia,” he said, adding that the president’s Manhattan building served as a “base of operations” for the Russian mob for the past 35 years. Furthermore, according to the writer, the Russian mafia helped Donald Trump on numerous occasions, notably when the now-president’s Atlantic City casino business wend under.
“Russian money played a huge, huge role” in Donald Trump’s financial recovery post-Atlantic City, according to Unger.
Currently investigating alleged coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia is Special Counsel Robert Mueller, whose office made the news on Friday following recommendations that former Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort serve up to 24 years in prison.
As reported by the Guardian, in a court filing made public on Friday, Mueller’s team said that Manafort should serve a prison term of up to 24 years for “serious, longstanding, and bold” financial crimes.
In August 2018, Manafort was found guilty on eight counts of tax fraud, one count of bank fraud, and one count of foreign financial accounts. The jury found the longtime Republican operative guilty of hiding more than $16 million in income from United States authorities. Manafort also had millions of dollars parked in foreign banks.
Like all Trump campaign officials indicted in Mueller’s probe thus far, Manafort was found guilty for crimes unrelated to the alleged collusion. But the former Trump campaign chairman is also being accused by the Special Counsel’s office of collaborating with an alleged Russian intelligence operative, Konstantin Kilimnik, during the 2016 presidential campaign in order to help Donald Trump win the election.
According to President Trump’s biographer Craig Unger, Paul Manafort is “playing for a pardon,” and he is afraid for his life.
“The Russian mafia is serious. People have been dying over this, there have been a lot of unexplained deaths. It wouldn’t surprise me if Manafort was afraid of that,” the author concluded for MSNBC.
MI6 chief warns of Russia threat | UK | News

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Alex Younger, the head of MI6, said "very little is off limits" in assessing the dangers of President Vladimir Putin's spy networks. Russian agencies such as the GRU are conducting a concerted campaign to undermine and disrupt Western institutions and alliances, he said.
Speaking at the Munich Security Conference yesterday, Mr Younger said: "We've been really, really clear with them that whatever they think they are trying to achieve with this concerted campaign of covert and overt action to denigrate the quality of our institutions and alliances, it's not going to work. It's going to come at too high a cost. The Russian state is intent on breaking up the links and alliances that exist between us and I think they are wrong to do so.
"I am intent on attaching a cost to the campaign of subversion, overt and covert, they are carrying out to that end. Don't forget we are the ones with the alliances, that is our vital advantage."
It is thought two assassins from the GRU attempted to murder Sergei Skripal, a former Russian MI6 double agent, and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury last year using the deadly nerve agent novichok.
Mr Younger was speaking a day after the Bellingcat news website identified a third suspect in the attempted murder - Denis Sergeev, 45, believed to be a GRU colonel.
The website claims the officer travelled under the pseudonym Sergey Fedotov.
Prior to the latest claim, Bellingcat had named Anatoliy Vladimirovich Chepiga and Alexander Mishkin, also said to be part of the GRU, as two of the men who poisoned the Skripals.
The Kremlin has not commented on Sergeev's name being made public but it has previously denied the claims about Chepiga and Mishkin.
Mr Younger added: "We assess there is a standing threat from the GRU and the other Russian intelligence services and that very little is off limits."
The spy chief said he did not know why Russia was so aggressive, adding: "Perhaps it feels threatened by the quality of Western institutions and Western alliances."
Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson accused the Kremlin of "operating without rules".
He added: "Russian adventurism must have a cost."
Wa eez zi prrro - o - b - le-e-e-m, Anti? Mi iz morr ov zi jdgju zan u arr... Unt mi hazi mucho mucho morr many zan u du, tu-u-u-u... - 12:24 PM 2/16/2019

Michael_Novakhov shared this story from The FBI News Review.

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FBI Became a Political Tool Under Obama - Google Search

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FBI Became a Political Tool Under Obama - Google Search

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Former Intel Officer Tony Shaffer on How the FBI Became a Political Tool Under Obama — American Thought Leaders

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Events in the 2016 elections were unprecedented. Top FBI officials knowingly used information paid for by the campaign of Hillary Clinton to obtain a FISA spy warrant on a member of the Trump campaign. Meanwhile, top Obama administration officials also spied on the campaign, using so-called unmasking requests.
Those same FBI agents, however, chose to look the other way when it came to the risks posed by Clinton’s use of a private email server. We now know that emails she send as Secretary of State through that server were automatically copied to an unknown foreign entity.
Looking ahead of the 2020 elections, the question is whether the FBI has been reformed enough to make sure political bias don’t influence investigations.
Today we sit down with Tony Shaffer, acting president of the London Center for Policy Research. He served as a Lieutenant Colonel in U.S. Army, where he was a senior intelligence officer. Today he’s also an advising producer for National Geographic and a member of the Trump 2020 advisory board.
Jan Jekielek: So let’s talk about what has been known as the Spygate scandal or also known as the Russia collusion scandal in some circles. In short, the FBI used politicized and flawed information to investigate the Trump campaign. They were fed information by a series of people who were actually paid by the Hillary Clinton campaign including MI6 Agent Christopher Steele, Fusion G.P.S. co-founder Glenn Simpson, Perkins Coie lawyer Michael Sussman.  The FBI then used this unverified information to obtain a series of FISA warrants on the Trump campaign volunteer Carter Page [and others]. This seems like a terrible thing to happen and it’s very—we were discussing earlier this has really tarnished the reputation of certain agencies, especially the FBI in this case. What do you think can be done to fix that?
Tony Shaffer: There are three things that need to be examined in this and I’ve had experience in dealing with these sorts of domestic operations. While it’s not well known, the Department of Defense has parallel authorities with the FBI regarding what we call foreign counterintelligence. So we the Department of Defense, do these sorts of things. And so I’m very familiar with authorities based on having to have briefed these sorts of operations to the Natural Security Council. So let’s start there. EO12333 is the foundational document which governs all of these sorts of collection activities. Each agency then takes and has its own implementation guidelines within the context of the FBI doing domestic foreign counterintelligence especially on political campaigns, a waiver is required by the National Security Council. In this case, Susan Rice, to allow for enhanced domestic collection on individuals. That is to say that, to have the Trump campaign collected on is extraordinarily hard because in most circumstances, a U.S. citizen, if you’re a U.S. citizen and you’re being targeted by the Russians you are obligated to be told; the FBI is obligated to tell you you’re a target. Because you’ve done nothing wrong, you’re a U.S. citizen. The only way you cannot have that done is by a waiver at the National Security Council. So everything starts, everything we’re talking about in some form, goes back to National Security Council because those waivers had to be granted. So let’s start with that. Once those waivers are granted then we’ve seen from that allowance, that diversion from policy, for the FBI to have essentially this door open for them to do extraordinarily bad things regarding their authority. The FISA system, the foreign intelligence collection activities which we’re talking about are very powerful. The U.S. government has very powerful technology. I’ve overseen very complex technology programs which the American public has no clue exists. They just don’t. And anytime you have these programs you must have really good oversight so that this power is not abused. My belief is that certain members of the FBI knew exactly what they were doing regarding using these powerful tools of collection, collection and technology against domestic political threats. What they saw as threats, which were the Trump campaign and others who were essentially endangering the candidacy of Hillary Clinton. That candidacy was jeopardized by two fold issues: first her use of an illegal E-mail server. That’s an unforced error on her part. It’s still not resolved. And then of course, just the fact that political forces were challenging her in the domestic political front. So these two things combined. We’ve now seen the FBI essentially took a side. And they did so again based on the waivers they got from the White House. So when you get down to the operational level, to the level of Comey, of Peter Strzok, of Andrew McCabe, and these others who were now the overseers of these immensely powerful programs there was at some point, from my judgment, a decision to allow for what we as intelligence officers never permit, outside information to be used as gospel, hard intelligence facts. I did intelligence collection for over 30 years. And within those operations, unless we the U.S. government developed the information through our own independent sources, it wasn’t considered valid. You would never take information from a quote, unquote opposition research firm, put it into the system and say this is validated intelligence. It is never done for two reasons: first, it’s going to be, it’s opposition research, so you automatically understand the slant. Even if it’s factual. It’s going to be flavored a certain way to essentially be unusable for purposes of factual understanding of the situation. It’s just not done. Secondly, whenever you do something like that you have the potential of opening a door to information, operations and deception. In this case, in the case of Steel with his information, it is my belief based on what I’ve seen regarding the information collection chain, this was information that was fed to Steel for purposes of upending our elections. This was information designed by someone in Russia to essentially be a poison pill. And I don’t believe the Russians, just for the records, I don’t believe the Russians took a side during the 2016 elections. I believe the Russians were trying to upend the elections for purposes of just being Russians. The Russians tried to be disruptive in any democratic process. This was no different. So they were in a position to win no matter who became the president. They would win because if Trump became president they were able to do some things to undermine his authority and obviously the whole Russian time, the Russian narrative, the Russian investigation has been a huge lodestone on the presidency. If Hillary Clinton had won they could have done things to say that they undermined her legitimacy by saying that she did things with them and her election was not legitimate. They were going to win no matter what. Either way. And the FBI was completely oblivious to the danger of taking in this information, putting it into the intelligence collection system as if it’s gospel. So those are the two things I see that were hugely wrong with the FBI doing this. But again let me emphasize this again, they could not have done all of these things, especially not telling Trump about the fact that there was a perception that he was being collected against if not the White House opening the door for them to do all this.
Jan Jekielek:  Because of this waiver of the NSC?
Tony Shaffer: Because of that waiver.
Jan Jekielek:  Again so two questions: One is who can be held accountable for this? How can accountability be found? And the second is what can be done to rehabilitate obviously this incredibly important agency, the FBI, which right now is in this tarnished state.
Tony Shaffer: Well let me say for the record I’ve worked with the FBI three times undercover with them over the past 30 years doing the INF, the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty. I worked with the FBI in Texas where we were in the process of destroying our boosters and the FBI and the Army ran joint teams to monitor Soviet officers who were involved in observing our activities. I’ve worked with the FBI again in 17 November. A terrorist group in Athens, where we were working right out here at WFO deploying forward with an FBI team to defeat a terror organization which notably they defeated that terror organization right before the Greek Olympics and then also in Afghanistan. My book Operation Dark Heart, I do document the time we worked together with the FBI. The FBI actually conducted an interrogation which ended up breaking –we didn’t touch him- on an enabler of the IRGC trying to fund terrorist activities against us in Afghanistan. These are all things which I’ve done so I have the highest regard and respect for FBI Agents. I have no regard at all for their leadership. Many agents feel as I did because of this tarnished image that these leaders have now created for the FBI. So what do we do? First, I think we have to do a full review of everything within the FBI’s foreign counterintelligence programs. We have to have a peer come in and do essentially an academic and operational review. In the army, we do to reduce all the time of foreign counterintelligence cases. We have someone with fresh eyes come in and look at it to verify the legality, verify the operational necessity, and verify the tradecraft, a very simple thing. Someone needs to do that regarding all FBI agents. I’m arguing that we should have the Department of Defense, with their foreign counterintelligence activities, do a full audit. And I do mean a full audit not an I.G. audit, not a criminal investigation, just an audit because if we believe that the FBI took these shortcuts; we do know they took shortcuts for this Russian narrative issue.
Jan Jekielek:  There may be other things.
Tony Shaffer: There are probably other things. So I think we owe it to the American people to do. And the FBI owes it for their own interest to have someone come in and do look. They owe it, they need to have this done to begin the process of overcoming this tarnished image that they have created. Secondly, and I think of equal importance is to hold those accountable who broke the law. There are specific instances of Title 18 which some people like McCabe have been referred to the Department of Justice for violations of that, their have been criminal referrals. I believe that if you examine each player within the context of the play, Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Lisa Page and others, you will find that they did violate directly elements of Title 18 and based on the fact that you need to have a single justice system that doesn’t play favorites, they must be looked at for prosecution based on these violations. We know Comey compromised classified information. We know Strzok, for a fact, has lied before Congress at least three times. I’ve talked to members of Congress about the conflicts between what he said in closed session versus what he said in open session. That’s something that’s being dealt with right now. So you’ve got to do both things you’ve got to do a full review to make sure that the American people can regain trust by a third party looking at what the FBI did on foreign counterintelligence as well as now, at this point examining the full scope of all the title 18 felony violations conducted by these officers and investigate them and prosecute them to the full extent of the law. They should not be above the law simply because they were federal officers in the FBI. It gives them no special dispensation for their bad acts.
Jan Jekielek:  You know one of the things that really struck me as you were speaking earlier. . . We’re talking about some opposition research that was used but it’s also research that was actually done by foreign intelligence agencies at least in part. And so we had current and former United Kingdom Intelligence Agency people basically providing information about Americans. I think many of our audience would see that as gross overreach by intelligence agencies. How do we protect against this? How do we protect Americans against this in the future?
Tony Shaffer:  This goes back to where the FBI did violate laws or allowed the violation of laws to exist within the context of this. US citizens cannot deal legally with foreign intelligence and operatives, you can’t do it. The moment you do that you are in danger of violating U.S. law. There is a number of exceptions that allow for the FBI and intelligence community to spy on you. One of those is if you are dealing with a known intelligence operative of a foreign nation, that’s illegal. It opens the door. But in this case it was encouraged. It’s in this case the FBI did not say oh Fusion GPS you shouldn’t be doing that. They were all in and allowing this to be open. And the second point of concern is the very thing you said; foreign intelligence services have an interest that is not generally in line with our interests. Even the British will tell you that while we’re allies we’re not necessarily in sync on every single issue. They as a nation have their own national security objectives. Some overlap and some do not. So I think this is one of the issues that we have to be aware of when we study this as an after the fact issue. The FBI knowingly permitted intelligence operatives from foreign nations, with objectives which clearly were not in the interests of United States, to allow information to come into our system, to be used as fact, which has to this day disrupted our political process and continues to interfere with some people’s confidence in democracy.
Jan Jekielek:   As you mentioned earlier you weren’t happy with the top brass in the FBI but actually a lot of them it seems have now been replaced or removed. I don’t know how many layers, how how deep that goes. And it does look like significant action has been taken. How significant is that?
Tony Shaffer:  Not sufficient. Director Wray has been reluctant to I think go to the full extent of what’s necessary to weed out the bad actors. The FBI did not become corrupted overnight. This was, I would argue it’s a process started under the Clintons back in the 90s, where you had a series of individuals over time who came into the senior levels of the FBI who were more legally focused, more lawyers out of DOJ running it, rather than field operatives. And look I I’ve been an operative my entire life. I have little tolerance for analysts who want to play in operations. And I think, in our intelligence community, we have seen huge failures based on analysts coming in to be in charge of operations. The same parallel exists within DOJ and FBI. Basically the agents who come through the field have a really good understanding of how to go about investigating, preparing evidence, and submitting it for purposes of prosecution or in a case of foreign counter-intelligence, how to effectively set up counterintelligence operations to catch spies. Lawyers, who have never had any field operational experience coming in to be in charge and overseeing that, tend to politicize the operations rather than allow them to run to the full extent of what the logical conclusion should be. So what lawyers are to FBI operators, we have the same problem with analysts in the intelligence community telling us as operatives what to do. So this has been a problem over time. A lot of the folks we see now running the FBI are very focused on legality rather than success and the legality they often refer to, has been for example in the last couple days I hope you don’t mind me mentioning it, Lisa Page’s texts which were revealed over the last 72 hours indicate that the FBI was trying to cut a deal with State Department regarding Hillary Clinton’s classified emails found on the Weiner laptop so they said basically if you FBI downgrade the classification to unclassify we’ll give you more space in our embassies overseas.   That’s payola.
Jan Jekielek: That doesn’t sound good.
Tony Shaffer: So that’s my point, you have these. . . Lisa Page is the lawyer. So what you see is lawyers coming in to manage the process of the whole activity. And I don’t believe for a minute Lisa Page’s actions were reflective of what a field operative in the FBI would have done regarding seeking justice. I don’t think a field operative would have cared about how many attaché positions they have in embassies overseas. They would have done their best as sworn officers, sworn law enforcement officers to follow the information where it was. You bring in people like Lisa Page who have no interest in serving justice trying to basically cut political deals behind the scenes. This is the illustration of my point. And when you have this level of corruption you got to weed it out. And I don’t believe Christopher Wray has actually gone in and done this to the level necessary to right the FBI.
Jan Jekielek: Do you think he will?
Tony Shaffer: No I don’t. I think he is a member of the swamp. I think based on his actions to date that he has done what he can to stop the bleeding. But he has no interest in cutting out the cancer that is in the FBI.
Jan Jekielek:  Well actually speaking the e-mail server, there’s also some evidence recently unearthed that some of the e-mails may have been sent to a foreign entity.
Tony Shaffer: All of them except for 7.
Jan Jekielek: OK. Can you share that a little bit more?
Tony Shaffer: I’ve actually spoken to the members of DOD who discovered this flaw, this flaw was discovered by the intelligence community part of the Department of Defense. It was the the ODNI inspector general’s office. And they did a full evaluation. They received the same copy of the e-mail server and all the e-mails that the FBI had. And the purpose of the ODNI, the IG who came out of DOD. The reason they were doing this review is because they had to make an assessment of the classification of all the e-mails that were contained on Hillary Clinton’s server. So it was during that review of every e-mail, basically they went through every e-mail and not only did DOD but ODNI guys look at the e-mail, they looked at the metadata. So every e-mail as you know and your audience probably knows, that within the data which moves the e-mail there’s router information that indicates who sent the e-mail, when it was sent, how it was sent, the route it took, and anybody else who gets copies of it. So within this very deep metadata review the ODNI IG discovered that in every email, except for like seven, were being sent to a third party. That third party was apparently I’m told a business that was in Manassas, Virginia and that business was owned or is owned by the Chinese intelligence service. And there was a drop at this place then it was sent off to Chicago is what I was briefed. And what’s significant about this is not so much that I know; it’s the fact that according to the ODNI IG, Peter Strzok, the guy in charge of the Clinton email investigation within the FBI, was briefed on this three times. And each briefing, he was presented with this information and the question was what are you going to do about this? So and by the way, this is now in congressional testimony. Peter Strzok was asked this question in closed hearings. He gave one answer in closed hearings and then he was asked again in public by Congressman Louie Gohmert and he gave a different answer. So this is an unresolved issue. And based on the information I have from talking to people who were directly involved this was known to the FBI. And the FBI refused to examine it as part of their investigation. To this day, I have no clear understanding of why Strzok did not look at this but they did provide him, that is the ODNI did provide Strzok the specific investigation data from their investigation which indicated this all had occurred.
Jan Jekielek: Can you comment on the National security implications of this?
Tony Shaffer:  The two implications are, first anything that Hillary Clinton had on a server was compromised to the Chinese Intelligence Service which indicates to me that by law, there is supposed to be a damage assessment conducted by this compromise, that’s by law. Anytime you have a compromise like this of information to a foreign intelligence threat, you have to do an evaluation of what damage was done. Jim Clapper when he was ODNI himself was asked about why haven’t you done a damage assessment. And he said I just don’t want to do it. I don’t think you know that’s a good answer. I don’t. But it needs to be done. And again I’ve said this to a number of. Members of Congress in the Senate on this. This is not a partisan issue by law. When you have a compromise like this; it says in the law you must do a damage assessment. So the first thing you’ve got to do is do a damage assessment. Secondly, there is other evidence the Chinese have been very effective in eating our lunch. We lost a number of assets back about 2011, 2012 in Beijing. We’ve never recovered from that. There’s other indicators, Chinese are very effective in their intelligence collection programs against us. I think we need to do a review of everything we’re doing to figure out why the Chinese are so effective. So those are the things I think we should do based on this information. And again I’m speaking about this purely as an intelligence professional. You need to set aside the politics whatever they are and actually do the job evaluating how this was compromised, what was compromised, and what the damage was that came from this compromise.
Jan Jekielek:  You know this work that you do, advising congressional members and so forth. That also speaks to your role as the acting president at the London Center. Can you tell me a little more about what you do?
Tony Shaffer: Well being a president is very distracting from getting work done I’ll say that for the record. What I normally do is, as the vice president for operations and I’m still doing it as president, is I manage a group of extraordinary fellows, male and female, who are masters of the practicing of their art of expertise of their choosing. Sidney  Powell, you interviewed Sidney Powell a few days ago, Sidney is an amazing woman who is an extraordinary litigator. She’s well respected, a practitioner. One of my closest friends and colleagues who is one of our distinguished members of our board is Bud Mcfarlane, the national security adviser for President Reagan, Jim Woolsey another extraordinary fellow, distinguished fellow, who actually is one of the backbone of our organization. The common thread of the people that we have within our ranks and our purpose as practitioners, we are very big on examining practical issues from the perspective of what policies work. We don’t deal well with theoretical papers. You don’t see us do a lot of papers because, while we do have academics I publish editorials, your organization publishes my editorials, we’re very much into educating the public in a very academic and factual way. We deal primarily in fact, in fact relating to this process worked in the past. We believe if you adapt this process for this current challenge the chances of success are pretty good. And I’d like to believe that if we’re brought into a situation; we were brought into Venezuela recently by certain senior leaders at the State Department, we’re being brought in because they want to have practical answers which will result in some outcome that is favorable to the national security interests of the United States.
Jan Jekielek:  Very interesting. So and this also speaks to my next question actually which is personally you are involved as an adviser to the Trump 2020. Yes. And what inspired you to do this?
Tony Shaffer:  Prior to President Trump’s election, we as practitioners of Intelligence and law enforcement had seen a dimunition if you will of a commitment by the federal bureaucracy to do the right thing and I think we talked today about the Russian narrative or Russian collusion investigation as an example of that or the bureaucracy I’ve seen a number of times to including my own issue of Able Danger of the 9/11 attacks. I’ve seen personally cover ups which would curl the hair of the American public. And a lot of us were kind of tired of seeing the federal bureaucracy or the swamp being able to determine its own future by being pretty much impervious to any oversight. And when President Trump rolled into town. one of the extraordinary things about the man is that he actually went about keeping his political promises. And so to me as someone who is seeing the swamp go after people for purposes of trying to protect its own wrongdoing. I was very bouied by President Trump’s election and then him keeping his word. So when I was asked I believe it was November of 2016, a little over year ago to join as an adviser to the campaign, I thought about it seriously. And based on the actions up to that point in time of the president, I felt that joining the campaign as an adviser would be a good thing. And since then I’ve been gratified. And you can go on the president’s Facebook page. I’ve been the one putting together the national security policy planks for his campaign. I’ve done a number of interviews with Lara Trump. They’re available. And what I do appreciate about being on Trump 2020 is that The London Center’s fundamental philosophy is very Reagan based. A lot of our fellows are very close to Reagan’s thinking on national security. And as the adviser to the campaign I advise them to do Reagan type stuff. It’s not really it’s not rocket science. This is actually examining what worked in the Reagan years. Having my colleagues and mentors are Reagan, not many of them left, but the ones who are left we work with very closely. And so I try to impart the wisdom that I get from these folks into the campaign to say hey this is this is what I think may be best regarding our national security. I found that they’ve been completely receptive to what I believe to be common sense approaches. The president has seen what I’ve done for his campaign. And apparently he likes it because he allows it to be posted on his Facebook. So I’ve been happily gratified that they actually do take my advice and just a word. If you ask me to advise you and I show up and you don’t want my advice don’t ask me to advise you. And I’ve been gratified by the fact these people are very open to your advice. I’d like to believe the advice has been well applied in his foreign policy over the past year.
Jan Jekielek:  Excellent. Well Tony thanks so much. Certainly appreciate speaking with you.
Tony Shaffer: Thank you it’s been great and I appreciate your organization and being on with you. Thank you.
This interview has been edited for clarity and brevity.
American Thought Leaders is a new Epoch Times show available on Facebook and Youtube.
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