Politics: Analysis: Why the FBI might’ve thought Trump could be working for Russia - PressFrom - US

PoliticsAnalysis: Why the FBI might’ve thought Trump could be working for Russia

19:30  12 january  2019
19:30  12 january  2019 Source:   msn.com

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Trump could declassify any of this any time he wants to and I have told you that I don’t think he’s I believe now that the FBI planted an informant in the Trump campaign. The Wall Street Journal editorial today And it’s clear the Journal thinks that you could figure it out by reading what they’ ve written

Donald Trump has said he was thinking of “this Russia thing” when he decided James Comey’s fate Trump recalled three conversations with Comey about the FBI investigation into Russian It is the greatest honour of my professional life to have worked with him. He enjoyed broad support in

Analysis: Why the FBI might’ve thought Trump could be working for Russia© Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images In this file photo taken on July 16, 2018, President Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands ahead of a meeting in Helsinki.

The theory that President Trump is or has been a Russian asset is a popular one among his detractors. But for the first time, we’re learning that it’s something the FBI suspected strongly enough to dig into.

The Washington Post has confirmed that the FBI launched a counterintelligence inquiry into whether Trump was working for Russia shortly after Trump fired FBI Director James B. Comey in May 2017. The news was first reported by the New York Times.

Needed in the Russia investigation: More skepticism of Manafort and the media

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Media caption What FBI Director Comey said on Trump , Russia and wiretaps. Although the FBI case has been open since July, Mr Comey said the effort is still in its early stages. "This work is very complex and there is no way for me to give you a timetable as to when it will be done," Mr Comey said

We' ve been around since 1908. If I thought for a second Mudd was going anything more than trying to prove an analyst can be a macho tough guy–and it is hilarious to watch analysts engage in d**k-measuring contests–I’d be advocating to disband the FBI because what he’s describing is insurrection.

Practically speaking, this may not mean a whole lot. Special counsel Robert Mueller III was appointed mere days later, meaning any evidence the FBI collected was likely limited. It was Mueller’s decision to continue the line of inquiry, and we don’t know whether he has. But practical concerns aside, it’s a shocking story: The idea that the nation’s leading law enforcement agency was looking into whether a sitting U.S. president was working for a hostile foreign nation. The decision itself was something the FBI reportedly struggled with for months and still has its detractors.

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But what might have led to such an extraordinary step by the FBI — and what’s the state of the evidence?

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Contrary to what you might have heard, Donald Trump is not under criminal investigation by the The contrast with the FBI investigation of Hillary Clinton and her inner circle in 2015–16 could not Paul Manafort began officially working for former Ukrainian President Yanukovych at least as far

Donald Trump has adopted many contradictory positions since taking office, but he has been Trump dismisses the idea that Russian interference affected the outcome of the 2016 election, calling it a Instead of investigating whether Russia tipped the electoral scales on its own, they’ ve focussed on

Comey’s firing was obviously the tipping point. Investigators reportedly shed their previous reservations about the inquiry after Trump’s televised admission to NBC News’s Lester Holt that the Russia investigation was on his mind when he did it. Another red flag was Trump’s attempts to include a reference to the Russia investigation in Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein’s letter justifying the firing.

We already know that these few days comprised a central event in Mueller’s investigation into whether Trump obstructed justice, but the idea that it also warranted a counterintelligence inquiry is notable. It’s one thing to deliberately hamper the investigation; it’s another to suspect Trump might have done so on behalf of Russia. And were this to ever lead to any concrete conclusions, that the Holt interview will apparently have been an extraordinary misstep by Trump, who has often seemed to blurt out unhelpful statements about his true motivations.

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It could intensify its own Russia investigation , or even open new investigations into Trump and his allies. Any one of these actions, theoretically, could “That cooperation can be more or less robust. An FBI that really believes its independence is under attack is going to have a deeper relationship

Today, President Donald J Trump informed FBI director James Comey that he has been terminated If confirmed, the report suggests the FBI ’s investigation into the Trump camp’s links with Moscow Readers’ support means we can continue bringing The Guardian’s independent journalism to the world.

The other obvious one here is the Steele dossier. The dossier included a high-profile allegation that Russia had kompromat — or compromising material — on Trump thanks to supposedly salacious evidence it had about Trump’s pursuits in a Moscow hotel room. This allegation has never been proven and Putin has denied it (as if he would confirm it), but Comey has suggested it’s not out of the question, and some lawmakers have even gone so far as to raise the idea that Trump is compromised.

“Millions of Americans will continue to wonder if the only possible explanation for this dangerous and inexplicable behavior is the possibility — the very real possibility — that President Putin holds damaging information over President Trump,” Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor last year.

Added Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.): “I think it’s likely." A then-retiring GOP congressman, Charlie Dent (Pa.), agreed.

The Times outlined a number of other events that played into the obstruction case and could have fed further suspicions about Trump’s motivations, including his pro-Russia and pro-Putin campaign-trail rhetoric and his public request that Russia try to obtain Hillary Clinton’s emails. The GOP also altered its platform on Ukraine in a more pro-Russia direction.

Trump says he never worked for Russia, rejects media reports

Trump says he never worked for Russia, rejects media reports U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday denied media reports regarding the Russia investigation and his meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin, telling reporters he never worked for Russia and did not know anything about his interpreter's notes. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Trump, speaking at the White House before departing for New Orleans, said a Washington Post report that he had concealed details about his meetings with Putin and confiscated his interpreter's notes was false.

Why it could matter: If FBI agents backed off their investigation of Mrs Clinton in 2016 it could be further evidence of bias within the bureau that could affect its ongoing investigation into Mr Trump . If public confidence in the FBI is eroded, the ultimate findings of Mr Mueller's probe may be cast in doubt.

-- Trump may not have considered that McCabe could be a bigger headache for him outside the FBI than he was inside of it (see James Comey). Trump expressed to Comey his desire for the FBI to drop an investigation into [Michael Flynn]. Comey later testified … that he ‘ thought [the leak] might

What hasn’t been outlined in all this, though, are the proposed back channels between the Trump team and Russia.

A month before Comey was fired, The Washington Post reported that Trump ally and Blackwater founder Erik Prince had proposed such a secret channel of communication between Trump and Moscow at a January 2017 meeting in the Seychelles with a Putin representative. The FBI was also presumably aware at the time (because it monitors the calls of Russian officials on U.S. soil) that then-Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak had told his superiors in Moscow that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, had proposed a back channel during the transition period. (The Post reported this shortly after Comey’s firing.)

If Trump was working for Russia, it would be logical to assume he’d need some way of actually learning what Russia desired — which would be difficult through regular channels, given they’d be monitored. We don’t know where these back channels stand in the Russia investigation, but if Mueller were probing a potential secret Trump-Russia alliance, you’d think they’d be of-interest.

For similar reasons, Trump’s meeting with Putin in Helsinki last year has also raised eyebrows. He met privately with Putin for two hours, with nobody but interpreters present, and apparently nobody in American government really knows what they discussed. Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats even seemed to express concern about the lack of information. "I’m not in a position to either understand fully or talk about what happened in Helsinki,” Coats said afterwards. Why Trump would need to keep things so under wraps has always been curious.

Trump denies working for Russia, calls past FBI leaders ‘known scoundrels’

Trump denies working for Russia, calls past FBI leaders ‘known scoundrels’ The president made his comments in response to reports that he was the subject of an FBI counterintelligence investigation.

Trump defends firing the FBI head who was investigating his Russia contacts. Defenders said Trump ’s action would not circumvent the FBI investigation , which would go “Somewhere Dick Nixon is smiling,” Stone, who worked for Nixon and is among the Trump associates facing FBI scrutiny

As we’ ve seen since then, the FBI disagrees with that assessment as does the director of national intelligence. Except we know that is utter hogwash. The investigation into the DNC hack determined that is was more likely than not a Russian hacking group that had an extensive history.

There are, of course, simpler explanations to all of this than the idea that Trump was working for Russia. Perhaps he truly admires Putin’s leadership style — which very much fits with his expressed admiration and work with other authoritarian leaders. It has been clear that Trump wanted to do business in Russia, so he seemed to be positively predisposed toward the country. And his efforts to hamper the Russia investigation needn’t be about any secret pro-Russia agenda; it’s also quite logical to think Trump simply views the whole thing as casting a pall over his election and raising concerns about the legitimacy of his presidency. Even if Trump unjustly attempted to obstruct the investigation, that doesn’t mean he was necessarily doing it for Russia. In fact, Russia would seem to have less to gain from such obstruction than Trump himself would.

But there was apparently enough subterfuge and concern here to cause the FBI to take an extraordinary step — even if might have wound up being a brief one. The idea that Trump’s interests might not indeed be “America First” has largely bubbled beneath the surface of American politics for the last two-plus years. It’s still highly speculative, based upon the public evidence, but as always the question is what Mueller knows that we don’t.

Rudy Giuliani says Trump didn't collude with Russia but can't say if campaign aides did.
Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that he never denied President Donald Trump's campaign colluded with the Russian government during the 2016 campaign, only that the President himself was not involved in collusion. In an interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo on "Cuomo Prime Time," Giuliani, a former New York mayor and Trump's attorney, said he doesn't know if other people in the campaign, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, were working with the Kremlin during the 2016 presidential race. "I never said there was no collusion between the campaign, or people in the campaign," Giuliani said.

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