Source: Michael Isikoff
President Obama has ordered the U.S. intelligence community to conduct a “full review” of the cyberattacks during the 2016 election and to prepare a report on the subject — including to Congress — before he leaves office, White House homeland security adviser Lisa Monaco said Thursday.
“We may have crossed into a new threshold,” Monaco said at a breakfast meeting with reporters, referring to the “malicious” election-related cyberattacks, which U.S. intelligence officials have said publicly they are “confident” were directed by the Russian government. “And it’s incumbent upon us to take a stock of that, to review, to conduct some after-action, to understand what this means and what has happened and to impart lessons learned.”
Deputy White House press secretary Eric Schultz later told reporters that Obama ordered the review earlier this week, describing it as a “deep dive” by U.S. intelligence agencies — working with the FBI and the State Department — into malicious cyberattacks that the U.S. intelligence community have already determined was directed at the “highest levels” of the Russian government. (Schultz notably said Thursday that the U.S. intelligence community has “high confidence” in that conclusion. The intelligence community had previously said it was “confident” about the Russian role.) He added that the review will also encompass cyberprobing and “scanning” of state election systems last summer, as well as look back at an earlier election-related cyberattack on the campaigns of Obama and Sen. John McCain in 2008, which U.S. officials attributed to the Chinese government.
Schultz emphasized that the review is “not an effort to challenge the outcome” of the 2016 presidential election. Still, he said, “it’s a huge priority. It’s a major priority for the president.”
Obama’s review could box in President-elect Donald Trump on an issue that has wide-ranging implications for U.S.-Russia relations. Already the matter has prompted calls for further investigations by the Congress — including proposals to create a national commission, patterned after the one formed after the 9/11 terror attacks — to conduct a full public review of the subject.
In an interview released this week, President-elect Trump dismissed the conclusions of the intelligence community on the Russian role in cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee and other political organizations, saying at one point they could have been committed by “some guy in his home in New Jersey.”
“I don’t believe they interfered,” said Trump in an interview with Time, about the Russian role in meddling in the U.S. election. “That became a laughing point, not a talking point, a laughing point. … Why not get along with Russia?” Trump added. “And they can help us fight ISIS, which is both costly in lives and costly in money. And they’re effective and smart. It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey. I believe that it could have been Russia, and it could have been any one of many other people. Sources and even individuals.”
Despite calls by seven Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee for the Obama administration to declassify more information about what it knows about the cyberattacks, Monaco did not commit to a public release of the intelligence community’s review, saying officials had to be careful not to release information that would “disclose sources and methods.” But Schultz later told reporters, “We’re going to make public as much as we can.”
She also did not respond to a question about what response the U.S. government may have taken, or is still contemplating, in retaliation for what it believes to be the Russian attacks. In her opening comments to reporters, Monaco spoke generally about the cyberthreats facing the country, adding at one point that “we will act to protect our interests, as well as impose costs” on malicious cyber actors, including nation-states, that attack U.S. interests. She did not elaborate.
Monaco’s comments came as senior Senate Republicans have signaled they are prepared to order investigations into the Russian role in the election. McCain, chairman of the Armed Forces Committee, and Sen. Lindsey Graham, who chairs Senate subcommittees on foreign operations and terrorism, said this week they intend to launch their own probes of the issue and are planning a congressional trip to Eastern Europe soon to collect more information on the subject. Graham’s review will be a sweeping look at threatening Russian activities, including in Ukraine, but will include examining what role that country played in the election, an aide said this week. The Washington Post quoted McCain as saying he is “working closely” with Senate Intelligence Committee chair Sen. Richard Burr of North Carolina on the issue.
GOP acceptance of the Russian role was further reinforced Thursday when Rep. Devin Nunes, the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, released a statement further pointing the finger at Moscow — and ignoring Trump’s dismissive comments. “Russia’s cyber-attacks are no surprise to the House Intelligence Committee, which has been closely monitoring Russia’s belligerence for years — as I’ve said many times, the Intelligent Committee has repeatedly failed to anticipate [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s hostile actions.” Nunes blamed the Obama administration for its previous dedication to “resetting” relations with Russia and its failure to take more forceful action against the Kremlin in the past. “It appears, however, that after eight years the administration has suddenly awoken to the threat,” Nunes said in the statement.
U.S. intelligence officials have said they have strong evidence that Russian intelligence services penetrated the computers of the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and other political organizations and political leaders, including John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman, whose emails were hacked. They have said the later public release of those emails by WikiLeaks and other websites was consistent with methods the Russian intelligence services have used elsewhere in Eastern Europe and Ukraine.
Politics is a dirty, ugly business.
But maybe that’s why we can’t let it go.
It’s like a car crash, or a vicious boxing match, or footage of animal attacks.
We are shocked, appalled, scared, disgusted–and hooked.
We are political animals by nature, so this trend is not going to disappear, well, ever. Just as lions smell prey from afar, so we humans smell political trickery from miles away. And just as lions must satisfy their instinct for fresh kills and warm blood, so we must feed our appetite for political controversy.
Now, you are most likely not a politician–I’m not, and I don’t see myself ever going down that twisted road–but for some it’s a true calling. They were born for politics just like alpha male lions were born for leading a pride. And so, even if we’re not politicians, we can respect the power and speed of a superior political “lion” like Ronald Reagan or Donald Trump.
No wonder they call our PEOTUS “Donald Reagan.”
For the record, I do not think Trump is a “politician.” He hates being called one and I think he transcends the category. They broke the mold, as the saying goes, when they made Donald Trump. Even though he’s not a “politician,” I think we can all agree that Donald Trump has almost miraculous political instincts.
This is why I don’t call Trump a politician–I call him a “political savant.” He is a man who has spent his entire life AROUND politicians, but not AS a politician. He has always been a DOER in a world–the political world–of talkers. And after half a century of DOING and WATCHING, Trump saw that the conditions were right. He saw the prey. He knew he it was within catching distance. And he knew his “political pride” (fellow patriotic Americans) were in desperate need of fresh meat and warm blood.
This is why Trump has had so much success once he finally starting running. He saw where all his policies could fit and he saw all his opponents weak spots. By appointing Gen. Kelly and Kris Kobach to DHS, Trump is sending a message to his lingering opponents: you have no power here; the wall is already effectively built.
This is because Trump does not need to haggle over a bunch of new laws or wrangle for tons of new funding: all the laws and all the funding he needs are already in place, but no one has had the political will to enforce them.
In a Washington Examiner article yesterday, Byron York pointed out this elephant in the room.
There’s no shortage of people telling Donald Trump he can’t build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. And maybe, in the end, he won’t do it. But at the moment Trump takes office, he will have the legal authority and the money he needs to get started on the wall. Yes, there will be obstacles … but the fact is, the law is already in place that will allow Trump to go forward.
That’s right: Trump didn’t force his revolution; he just saw all the pieces lying on the political workbench and his “savant” instincts told him now was the time to put it all together and into motion.
“As in other areas of immigration enforcement,” continues York, “Trump will be able to effect radical change simply by following the law. In this case, it is the Secure Fence Act, passed in 2006 with bipartisan support — 283 votes in the House and 80 in the Senate, including then-Sens. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.”
That’s right! Bush, Obama, and Hillary all voted for a PHYSICAL BARRIER ALONG THE SOUTHERN BORDER as far back as 2006! Nice talk, of course; the only problem is, they lacked the political will to DO anything about it.
Interestingly, York notes, the law’s reference to ‘at least’ a double-layer fence, plus its mention of ‘additional physical barriers,’ suggests that Congress specified the minimum amount that Homeland Security should do — not the maximum.”
Remember, this is a standing, unrepealed LAW of the United States. It’s literally just gathering dust WAITING to be enforced. Action to upgrade the existing fencing and add additional barriers is a first step. But “if the president and his border security team want a wall instead of a fence, or even an electric fence instead of a double chain link, they can do it.”
Granted, warns York, there’s a lot of work to do. Last year, in response to questions from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, DHS revealed that there are only 36.3 miles of double-layer fencing along the 1,954-mile Mexican border. Secretary Jeh Johnson told the Senate that 1,300 miles of the border, or 66.5 percent, have no fencing at all.
Would a Trump wall cover the entire border? As York reminds us, Trump said many times during the campaign and since that, that would not be necessary. “We’re going to build a wall,” Trump told Sean Hannity Dec. 1. “Now, there are certain places you don’t need a wall because you have — you know, you have mountains, you have other things, you have large and rather vicious rivers. But no, we’re building a wall.”
Fortunately, “there are funds provided annually to the Department of Homeland Security for construction in the Procurement, Construction, and Improvements Account that could be drawn on to begin construction along the border (perhaps with the need for some re-programming),” noted a senior Republican aide on Capitol Hill.
Trump could also make Mexico pay for the wall, or at least for part of it, and Trump’s plan to do so is one of the more detailed proposals released during his campaign.
Dealing with lawsuits to stop building projects (like The Wall) is one of the few parts of the presidency that Trump has actual hands-on experience with in his earlier career. And building a wall is Trump’s single most-repeated campaign promise. It’s something many Trump supporters and aides believe he simply has to do. The good news is, he has the authority to get started on Day One.
President Trump has already done more for our military than Barack Hussein Obama has done in eight years.
Congress has passed a vote that will send the $619 billion National Defense Authorization Act — along with the 2.1 percent raise and an order to keep 476,000 soldiers in the Army — that will move to the Senate floor in the coming weeks for a vote.
This was a Bill that President Trump has helped push for many months now, and we are all hoping our Republican led Congress unanimously votes to pass this Bill for our military families.
The pay raise will kick in January 1st if the Bill is signed into law, despite an executive order by Obama in August to set raises at 1.6 percent in 2017 to save money. The Army had also recently announced a reduction in soldiers to cut costs amid tight defense budgets under Obama.
Our troops deserve this pay raise and so much more. President Trump has also indicated that he does not want a single military family to have to rely on food stamps ever again.
Do you agree with President Trump demanding Republicans in Congress push this Bill forward so that our military families can finally receive the funding they deserve?
Share this is you agree and leave us your comments below!
Former FBI chief and whistle blower Ted Gunderson exposed satanism in the CIA, the illuminati and pedophile rings and more before his death in 2011.
There are some who believe he was killed by the elite to shut him up.
After retiring from the FBI, Gunderson gave presentations across the country alerting the public to the reality of false flag terrorism, satanic ritual abuse, MK mind control and chemtrails…
Gunderson is best known not for only for exposing these evils and educating the public, but for risking his life to personally help and protect many victims.
According to Activist Post: Gunderson worked tirelessly to expose the sexual and satanic ritual abuse of children by the global elite.He was instrumental in exposing the Franklin Cover-Up, involving government drug smuggling, money laundering, child kidnapping and recruiting boys from orphanages in the Midwest for sex with U.S. Congressmen.
Gunderson also gave speeches exposing the CIA and international child trafficking.
He asked his seminar audience members to copy his research and distribute it to as many people as possible. Education was Gunderson’s plan for defeating global fascist tyranny.
The United States Geological Society (USGS) is a well-known authority when it comes to the issue of climate change. A subsection of the organization called the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Office (NCCWS) exists specifically for the study of the climate. Global warming is a hotly debated topic and each side provides research.
In order for the world to make informed decisions, the research needs to be as accurate as possible. That means Democrats need to stop lying and accept the truth.
The NCCWS has eight regional Climate Science Centers (CSCs) that conduct and support science projects that address specific local and regional research priorities and needs. The NCCWSC lists some of its goals:
- Assess and synthesize our state of knowledge about climate and land use change impacts to natural and cultural resources
- Understand the social-ecological impacts of climate and land use change
- Understand the interactions between climate and the physical, biological, and chemical forces that influence the structure and functioning of ecosystems and the goods and services they provide (search our projects)
- Educate and train a core of climate scientists that will provide expertise in the future (learn more about our educational programs)
When America’s leaders and the world look to this organization for reliable and fair data, it is disturbing to discover that the data may have been tampered with. This was first revealed in a June 2016 report from the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior.
The study claimed that at least two scientists in a recently closed U.S. Geological Survey laboratory in Colorado had been caught manipulating data. This was a crucial finding due to the implications that the past 2 decades of research has been potentially tainted. Unfortunately nobody seems to what type of manipulation actually took place.
Since then, the issue has been investigated further which resulted in a hearing on December 2nd. The hearing by the Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations was designed to get to the bottom of what had really been done at the USGS.
What the Subcommittee found was quite shocking. They discovered that an unnamed scientist at the lab had routinely manipulated roughly 1/4 to 1/3 of the data obtained from a mass spectrometer from 1996 until 2008. It was also revealed that a separate scientist, perhaps picking up where the first left off, also manipulated data on a routine basis from 2008 until 2014.
The report showed that the lab had no formal quality assurance or control protocols and there were also no standard operating procedures in place to govern its work. The two scientists believed to be responsible were never held accountable. These small bits of information are all that is being released. It is not certain if more is being held back for a later time.
Overall, the USGS declined to comment. However, spokeswoman A.B. Wade did say, “disciplinary actions were being pursued,” and that “neither are now employed by the federal government.”
In fact, investigation disclosed that the scientist responsible for the 2008-2014 manipulation was paid for an additional two years of service after the deceit was discovered. Whether he was still working at the USGS or just simply being paid to keep quiet is unknown. This man was even given an award at some point after his research was discredited. This is very suspicious under any circumstances.
Georgia Representative Jody Hice questioned the USGS Deputy Director:
“We — taxpayers — were paying for a guy who manipulated data to justify why he manipulated data. Is that what you’re telling me? That sounds to me like it could be done through interrogation rather than giving him two years on the payroll. It sounds to me like a brief slap on the wrist and he continues on the payroll until he’s ready to retire, after he receives an award.”
An understandable concern is found in wondering how this went on for so long without someone noticing. 2 decades is an incredibly extended period for so many lies to go undetected.
There are two possible explanations. One, the USGS seriously needs to evaluate the procedures that they use to evaluate scientists’ research. It seems there should have been a system in place to check for errors.
Two, this manipulation was not limited to just 2 scientists. There is no way of knowing how far this corruption has spread into the agency. A lot of questions remain.
The top priority will be finding out exactly what these scientists did. Currently, the purpose and resulting effects of that manipulation remains a mystery. Can any of the climate change research be trusted?
The amount of information that is known is outweighed by what is still left to discover. We do not know the effects the manipulated research has had or what other studies it might have tainted. Anything having to do with USGS research and climate change studies needs to be reevaluated immediately.
A vital government agency allowed 18 years of fraudulent research. They did not detect it and have not punished the guilty parties. That negligence points towards a much deeper level of fraud. Independent research and investigation is necessary.
Due to the amount of unknowns, the USGS should be eliminated from the probe. That is the only way to ensure an unbiased result.
Democrats need to stop lying about climate change and how it is dramatically ruining this planet. Al Gore predicted years ago that we would not have ice caps today, and he couldn’t have more wrong if he tried.
Democrats use these lies to take away funding from other things like increasing pay for our military, fixing our infrastructure, and illegal immigration.
We should expose them for their decades of lying and betrayal to the American people.
What in the world is going on with Julian Assange? With each passing day the story just gets more and more strange.
One of the most popular social media topics is the discussion of Assange’s mysterious behavior since shortly before the election. He has not been seen on camera or in person since early October, and his internet has been cut off for nearly a month.
Through this time, he continues to receive visitors, and to issue the occasional cryptic tweet. Wikileaks has continued releasing leaked materials, but nothing like the explosive bombshells promised by Assange in October.
And yet, even though we have second-hand testimony that he’s alive and well inside the embassy, there is a growing contingent of internet sleuths who believe he has been captured or killed by the CIA, and his accounts have been taken over by the agency. The circumstantial evidence pointing to foul play can become convincing when taken all together.
Julian could put these swirling rumors to rest by simply throwing open the window on his balcony and giving a wave to the crowd, but he has declined to do so. He could even just snap a quick selfie with one of his many visitors, like Pamela Anderson, and ask her to tweet it.
If his intention is to build excitement around Wikileaks, in a sort of viral marketing play, it has paid off handsomely. Yet it comes at the cost of credibility among his ardent supporters. Whatever the case regarding Julian’s physical well being, demands for his release are growing louder.
December this year marks the sixth anniversary of Julian’s legal troubles in the UK. In Dec. 2010 he turned himself in to police in London, and was released on half a million pounds bail. In 2012, fearing imminent arrest and extradition, he sought diplomatic refuge inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. He has spent more than four years confined inside the Embassy, with the building surrounded by police most of that time.
Assange released an urgent statement this week demanding his release from detention. He took the unusual step of releasing evidence obtained during a deposition with Swedish prosecutors. The evidence is a series of SMS instant messages taken from the alleged “victim’s” mobile phone at the time charges were filed.
Up until now, neither Assange nor his legal team have been allowed to see the messages. The Swedish prosecutor’s office has held them as a guarded secret. And now we see why: they totally confirm Assange’s innocence, and the fact that he was framed for the crime by Swedish authorities!
The messages are text exchanges between the alleged “victim” of Assange’s sexual assault, and one of her friends.
She makes statements such as “I want him. I want him.” and “we had long foreplay but nothing happened. Then it got better.” She later said “it turned out alright” with regards to the escapade.
But it’s a series of texts beginning on August 20, around the time a warrant was put out for Assange’s arrest, that are most damning.
Aug 20: “I did not want to put any charges on Julian Assange, but the police were keen on getting their hands on him. I’m shocked they arrested him because I only wanted him to take a test!”
Aug 21: “I did not want to accuse (Julian Assange) for anything. It was the police who made up the charges.”
Aug 23: “It was the police, not me, that started the whole thing!”
Aug 28: “My lawyer negotiated with the (Sweden’s Largest Tabloid) to sell my story.”
These text messages appear to erase any doubt that Julian Assange has been set up to be arrested for a crime that never took place.
What’s even more interesting is that Assange later found out this woman was a potentially dangerous stalker, who had deliberately staged the sexual encounter!
In a detailed 23-page statement, Assange lays out his entire version of events, going all the way back to before he had ever stepped foot in Sweden. He details the bogus case against him, and the justification for setting him free immediately.
A clear story emerges of a “victim” who was nothing more than a political groupie. The young Swedish woman went out of her way to set up the initial contact with Assange, where she proceeded to flirt with him all evening, plying him with wine and flattery. She then paid for the two to travel back to her apartment, where she practically ripped his clothes off.
Though Assange felt some reservations, as a young man in a foreign city his hormones won out and the two had consenual intercourse. she enjoyed the experience so much that she wanted a replay in the morning, and then went out to buy him breakfast in bed!
Assange later discovered that the woman had been seemingly obsessed with him for months, after discovering an eerie Flikr photo album she ran, with nothing but page after page of photos of himself.
Contrary to popular belief, Julian Assange was never charged with rape, nor did he flee Sweden to avoid prosecution. The real story is considerably different from the biased version the mainstream media has been peddling.
As he details in his lengthy report that was released this week, what actually happened was a night of consensual sex, followed by series of awkward contacts, as is so common to these urban hookups.
The woman he had slept with suffered pangs of regret after her night of unprotected sex, and so she went to a local medical center to be tested for STDs.
While she was at the hospital being tested, she put Assange on the spot, by texting him with a demand to come down and be tested. She warned him that if he refused, she could report him for sexual assault and the Swedish police would arrest him.
Julian knew something was very wrong, but nevertheless sought to calm her fears. He explained to the woman that his day was already booked with speaking events but he would be happy to come down to the hospital on Saturday, the following morning, and subject himself to any tests she wished.
According to his sworn statement, the woman was eventually satisfied with this arrangement, and the two agreed to meet the following morning before heading to the medical office together.
To his surprise, Assange awoke the next morning to the sensational headlines that he was wanted for rape! It turns out, the nervous girl had said too much, and an overzealous administrator at the hospital probably made an anonymous tip to police.
Assange voluntarily turned himself in for questioning, and the lead prosecutor quickly dropped the case, citing no evidence of any rape. Everyone seemed to agree that it was all a big misunderstanding, even though Assange’s reputation had taken a considerable hit online.
He continued to make himself available for questioning, DNA tests, and all manner of intrusive investigations, until he was assured that he was okay to leave the country, and all charges had been dismissed.
Only later, once he was safely in the UK, did he find that a new prosecutor had taken over in Sweden and unilaterally decided to re-open the case. Since then, Assange has been wanted on an extradition order to Sweden, where he fears he will be extradited a second time to the United States, to stand trial for serious espionage charges.
He presents strong evidence that Sweden and the United States had the motive to collude with each other in order to frame Assange for a sex crime and lock him up. Both countries had every reason to want to stop his work with Wikileaks, and to punish him for past leaks.
So, as it stands, Julian Assange remains imprisoned in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, with orders for his arrest if he steps foot outside. A UN commission has reviewed his case and recommended his release, but the UK and Sweden are having none of it. They steadfastly hold to the line that Assange will be arrested and deported on a warrant, if he leaves the embassy.
Will this new evidence of the text message exchanges finally prove his innocence and invoke a pardon? We don’t know, but until then at least he has Pamela Anderson to bring him some good cheer and vegan fare which he reportedly hates.
The former Baywatch star has a soft spot for the Aussie activist, and has been visiting him regularly in the past several months. She brings food and other small items that Julian may be missing from the outside world.
The weird thing is, Anderson never talks much about her visits on her own social media accounts. She hasn’t taken any pictures inside the compound. No selfies with Julian. No word on all the rumors surrounding his disappearance. Pamela Anderson acts as if nothing is out of place, but in a way that almost seems suspiciously casual. Same as all of Assange’s other celebrity friends who have been reported as visitors.
One thing everyone agrees on, she still looks gorgeous as she is photographed visiting the embassy, and is sure to bring a sparkle of feminine essence into Assange’s otherwise dreary existence. If she is as compassionate as reported, her visits with the frustrated whistle blower may be extraordinarily generous.
Fueling speculation is Julian’s ongoing lack of internet access. He remains totally cut off from Twitter and other social media, and so there has been no direct dialog with his supporters.
The government of Ecuador claimed they were cutting his internet connection in order to prevent him from interfering with the election, but now a month later there is still no word on why he remains isolated.
There is a protest rally scheduled for Friday December 17th, outside the embassy in London where he has been holed up for four long years. The crowd will be protesting his detention, and demanding an appearance at the balcony window. There is a growing chorus calling for his internet to be restored as well. And with all charges dropped, and a UN commission calling for his release, it’s past time for Assange to be granted an international pardon.
Why aren’t Democrats pressuring Obama to act?
Donald Trump is expected to nominate Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state, two sources close to the transition process told NBC News on Saturday.
Tillerson, 64, became president of the Texas-based oil company in 2004 and has a close business relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has spent his entire career at the company now known as Exxon Mobil.
The sources cautioned that nothing is final until the president-elect officially announces it, likely next week.
Tillerson met Saturday with Trump at Trump Tower in New York, the president-elect’s spokesperson confirmed.
The selection of Tillerson comes after Trump and his transition team spent weeks searching for someone to fill the post of the top U.S. diplomat. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani were reportedly in the running. Giuliani said Friday he had taken his name out of consideration.
Tillerson will be paired with former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton as his deputy secretary of state for day-to-day management of the department, one source added.
As secretary of state, Tillerson would be fourth in line to the presidency.
This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.