Posts Tagged ‘national security’

Donald Trump Jr. Met With a Russian to Get Dirt on Hillary Clinton

July 10, 2017

Donald Trump Jr. Met With a Russian to Get Dirt on Hillary Clinton

Donald Trump Jr., promised damaging information about Hillary Clinton, met with Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya during the 2016 campaign, reports the New York Times. Brother-in-law Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort, then Trump campaign manager, also attended the Trump Tower meeting on June 9, 2016, soon after Donald Trump clinched the GOP presidential nomination.

Junior has replied that the meeting with Ms. Veselnitskaya was about something else. And besides, he added, her campaign dirt on Hillary wasn’t any good.

More:

“Trump’s Son Met With Russian Lawyer After Being Promised Damaging Information on Clinton,” Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo, and Adam Goldman, New York Times

“Donald Trump Jr.’s Two Different Explanations for Russian Meeting,” Liam Stack, New York Times

“If There Was No Collusion, It Wasn’t for Lack of Trying,” David A. Graham, The Atlantic

“Donald Trump Jr.’s ‘Denials’ of Russian Collusion Are Actually Confessions,” Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine

“Donald Trump Jr. is digging himself a deep legal hole” Zack Beauchamp, Vox

“Trump Jr. Hires Criminal Defense Attorney Alan Futerfas For Russia Probe,” Matt Shuman, TPM LiveWire

“Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer is a Juilliard-trained trombonist who plays in a symphony and defends mobsters,” Derek Hawkins, Washington Post

 

Updates:

“Russian Dirt on Clinton? ‘I Love It,’ Donald Trump Jr. Said,” Jo Becker, Matt Apuzzo, and Adam Goldman, New York Times

“Read the Emails on Donald Trump Jr.’s Russia Meeting,” New York Times

“Was President at Trump Tower When Son Met Russian Lawyer?” John T. Bennett, Roll Call

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Trump’s Big Mouth Makes It Harder To Fight Terrorism

May 25, 2017

When Donald Trump blabbed highly classified intelligence information to the Russian Foreign Minister last week, he made it more difficult for the U.S. to fight foreign terrorist threats. Vox explains.

Update:

“Trump Tells Murderous Dictator Location of U.S. Nuclear Subs,” NotionsCapital

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Trump Golf: Hole-in-One for Hackers

May 19, 2017

Trump Golf: Hole-in-One for Hackers

“We parked a 17-foot motor boat in a lagoon about 800 feet from the back lawn of The Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach and pointed a 2-foot wireless antenna that resembled a potato gun toward the club. Within a minute, we spotted three weakly encrypted Wi-Fi networks. We could have hacked them in less than five minutes, but we refrained.

A few days later, we drove through the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, with the same antenna and aimed it at the clubhouse. We identified two open Wi-Fi networks that anyone could join without a password. We resisted the temptation.

We have also visited two of President Donald Trump’s other family-run retreats, the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., and a golf club in Sterling, Virginia. Our inspections found weak and open Wi-Fi networks, wireless printers without passwords, servers with outdated and vulnerable software, and unencrypted login pages to back-end databases containing sensitive information.

The risks posed by the lax security, experts say, go well beyond simple digital snooping. Sophisticated attackers could take advantage of vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi networks to take over devices like computers or smart phones and use them to record conversations involving anyone on the premises.

“Those networks all have to be crawling with foreign intruders, not just ProPublica,” said Dave Aitel, chief executive officer of Immunity, Inc., a digital security company, when we told him what we found.”

— “Any Half-Decent Hacker Could Break Into Mar-a-Lago,”  Jeff Larson and Julia Angwin, with Surya Mattu of Gizmodo, ProPublica.com

While the president travels with secure communication equipment, he tweets on an older model Android phone. And members and their guests could have their phones hacked to record conversations at the clubs.

Related:

“Trump’s Mar-a-Lago is heaven — for spies,” Darren Samuelsohn, Politico

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The Trump Campaign Contacted Russia at Least 18 Times

May 18, 2017

The Trump Campaign Contacted Russia at Least 18 Times

“Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race, current and former U.S. officials familiar with the exchanges told Reuters.

The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators probing Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election and contacts between Trump’s campaign and Russia.

Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser, three current and former officials said.

Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations, four current U.S. officials said.”

— “Trump campaign had at least 18 undisclosed contacts with Russians: sources,” Ned Parker, Jonathan Landay and Warren Strobel, Reuters

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Access to the President? Join the Club!

February 20, 2017

Access to the President? Join the Club!
Membership has it’s privileges, especially for those who shelled out $300,000 to join the Trump National Golf Club in New Jersey.

Back in November, President elect Donald J. Trump paraded his prospective cabinet officers into the clubhouse of his Bedminster golf club for job interviews. Now it turns out he invited random club members to sit in. Politico just got the audio, recorded by someone who was in the room. Here’s a transcript:

“We’re doing a lot of interviews tomorrow — generals, dictators, we have everything. You may wanna come around. It’ll be fun. We’re really working tomorrow. We have meetings every 15, 20 minutes with different people that will form our government.”

“We’re going to be interviewing everybody — Treasury, we’re going to be interviewing Secretary of State. We have everybody coming in — if you want to come around, it’s going to be unbelievable….so you might want to come along.”

The pattern continues now that Donald Trump is President and Golf-Cheat-In-Chief. While he was entertaining Japan’s Prime Minister Abe in the public dining room of his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida ($200,000 membership fee), aides alerted him about a North Korean ballistic missile test, and they discussed the US response in full view and earshot of the club’s members. One club member even got a selfie with the serviceman who carries the “nuclear football.” House Oversight Committee Chair Jason Chaffetz was not amused.

Mr. Trump believes that only the rich should play golf, so if you have the bucks to pay and play, you can chat with him about the nation’s business as well as your own.

More:

“Leaked Trump tape: ‘You are the special people,'” Darren Samuelsohn and Anne Karni, Politico

“Trump ran a campaign based on intelligence security. That’s not how he’s governing.” Philip Bump, Washington Post

“Sun, Sand and Influence: For Mar-a-Lago Members, Proximity Is Power,” Nicholas Confessore, Maggie Haberman, and Eric Lipton, New York Times

“Trump’s Presidency ‘Enhances’ a $200,000 Mar-a-Lago Membership,” Chas Danner, New York Magazine

“Democrats demand Mar-a-Lago list of members, visitors,” Matthew Nussbaum, Politico

“Shouldn’t We Know Who Else Is at the ‘Winter White House’?” George Zornick, The Nation

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Petraeus: Probation for Pillow Talk Leaks

April 27, 2015

Petraeus: Probation for Pillow Talk Leaks

Former CIA Director David Petraeus was sentenced to two years’ probation and fined $100,000 for leaking military secrets to his mistress/biographer Paula Broadwell. General Petraeus could have been sentenced to a year in prison; the fine is less than the fee he gets for a single speech.

That’ll teach him.

More:

“Petraeus receives no jail time for leaking. Whistleblowers face decades in jail.” Trevor Timm, BoingBoing

“7 whistleblowers facing more jail time than Gen. Petraeus,” Ben Branstetter, DailyDot

“Gen. David Petraeus: From hero to zero,” Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post

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Admiral Romney’s Profit-Motive Navy

October 26, 2012

Admiral Romney's Profit-Motive Navy

“Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has vowed to boost the size of the Navy by roughly 15 percent as part of a broader defense buildup. ‘Our Navy is smaller now than at any time since 1917,’ he complained in Monday night’s debate. ‘That’s unacceptable to me.’

But for one of Romney’s most important advisers on Navy issues, a man who oversaw a massive naval expansion for Pres. Ronald Reagan, there’s more at stake than U.S. national security. John Lehman, an investment banker and former secretary of the Navy, has strong and complex personal financial ties to the naval shipbuilding industry. He has profited hugely from the Navy’s slow growth in recent years — raising the prospect that he could make even more if Romney takes his advice on expanding the fleet.”

–“Romney’s Big Navy Guru Made Millions From Building Ships,” David Axe, Wired Danger Room

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Pentagon Observes Banned Books Week?

September 28, 2010

Pentagon Observes Banned Books Week?

In recognition of Banned Book Week, the Defense Department bought up nearly 10,000 copies of a memoir and destroyed them. The book, Operation Dark Heart, was written by former Defense Intelligence Agency officer Anthony A. Shaffer and covers his special operations experience in Afghanistan.

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