Mod: Obviously this is something the United States has never faced before. Until now.
U.S. counterintelligence officials are examining possible ties between Russia and Trump associates (Washington Post link): U.S. counterintelligence officials are sifting through intercepted communications and financial data as part of a wider look at possible ties between the Russian government and associates of President-elect Donald Trump, officials said.
But while it has been clear for months that a broad investigation is underway, what remains murky — even to lawmakers receiving closed briefings — is its scope and target. It is unclear if the intercepts being examined have any connection to the Trump campaign.
But the investigation adds to the uncertainty surrounding Trump’s relationship with Russia even as he is sworn in as president. U.S. intelligence agencies have already concluded that Russia interfered in the election to help Trump win.
FBI Director James B. Comey has been chastised by Democratic lawmakers for refusing to even acknowledge that it was investigating alleged links between Trump or his associates and the Kremlin.
Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, has been under FBI scrutiny for some time, including for allegations of illegal financial dealings in Ukraine, current and former U.S. officials said. Manafort has done business in Russia and Ukraine.
The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, CIA and the National Security Agency, which intercepts phone calls, emails and other electronic communications of foreigners overseas, are also involved in the probe, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing matter.
In September, The Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies were investigating a broad, covert Russian operation in the United States to sow public distrust in the 2016 election. The BBC last week and McClatchy this week reported that six U.S. government agencies were involved in a probe of potential Russian interference in the campaign, to include possible covert funneling of money by the Kremlin to help Trump win.
The New York Times on Thursday reported that the U.S. authorities were scrutinizing intercepted communications and financial data as part of a wider probe of possible links between Trump associates, including Manafort, and Russia.
Near-Treasonous Trump Thrills Russia by Calling NATO "Obsolete" (Daily Banter link): Let's just dispense with the pleasantries and call Donald Trump what he is: a bourgeoning traitor to the United States of America. There's a very strong possibility he's been compromised by Vladimir Putin, so says a detailed report that our intelligence agencies had enough confidence in to brief President Obama, and even if he hasn't his history of praise for Russia -- even at the expense of support for the U.S. and its president -- creates enough circumstantial evidence to be damning. Now before the Trump trolls descend, demanding a trove of incontrovertible proof they'd simply dismiss anyway, keep in mind that these very same people were more than willing to chant "lock her up" and insist that Hillary Clinton was a hardened criminal based on nothing but innuendo and Russian hacks designed to damage her and install Trump.
Mod: The thought that this country is inaugurating someone under this kind of a cloud is mind-boggling.
Nancy Sinatra not happy Trump using father's song at inauguration (CNN link): Famed singer Frank Sinatra's eldest daughter, Nancy Sinatra, has never been a fan of President-elect Donald Trump.
Now that he's about the assume the presidency, the younger Sinatra let the world know how she feels about one of her father's famous songs being used in the inauguration festivities.
According to inauguration chairman Tom Barrack, Trump and his wife, Melania, have selected "My Way" by Frank Sinatra for their first dance as the first couple at the Liberty Ball on Inauguration Day. Nancy Sinatra, when asked for a response about the song selection on Twitter, said: "Just remember the first line of the song."
The first line of the song is, "And now, the end is near."
Mod: The remaining portions of these stories are available through the links posted above.