U.S. intelligence officers intercepted a conversation last May of a Russian spy bragging Moscow “was getting ready to pay [Hillary] Clinton back” by meddling in the November election, according to news reports Thursday.
“In May 2016, a Russian military intelligence officer bragged to a colleague that his organization, known as the GRU, was getting ready to pay Clinton back for what President Vladimir Putin believed was an influence operation she had run against him five years earlier as secretary of state,” Time magazine reported.
“The GRU, he said, was going to cause chaos in the upcoming U.S. election.
“What the officer didn’t know, senior intelligence officials tell Time, was that “U.S. spies were listening,” Time reported, quoting top U.S. intelligence officials.
“They wrote up the conversation and sent it back to analysts at headquarters, who turned it from raw intelligence into an official report and circulated it.
“But if the officer’s boast seems like a red flag now, at the time U.S. officials didn’t know what to make of it,” the magazine said.
“We didn’t really understand the context of it until much later,” the senior intelligence official said.
The boast is now considered “the first indication U.S. spies had from their sources that Russia wasn’t just hacking email accounts to collect intelligence but was also considering interfering in the vote,” Time reported.
In 2011, Putin publicly accused Clinton and the State Department of fueling protests in 70 cities that threatened his re-election bid.
The demonstrations were organized on social media by a popular blogger named Alexei Navalny.
The State Department retorted it only financed pro-democracy organizations.
According to Time, a Russian soldier in Ukraine “successfully infiltrated a U.S. social media group by pretending to be a 42-year-old American housewife and weighing in on political debates with specially tailored messages.”
Moscow also created a Facebook profile to spread stories on specific issues that sought to influence particular reporters, the U.S. officials said.
Source: newsmax – Time: US Caught Russian Spy Boasting of Election Meddling
A historian and political analyst who cowrote a book about battlefield intelligence with Michael Flynn said Flynn was reluctant to join the Trump administration, but that the president “insisted” he serve as national security adviser, reports say.
President Donald Trump’s pressure on Flynn came even as Trump’s transition team was warned that the retired lieutenant general was under investigation, The Daily Beast reported.
“He did not want to be national security adviser,” Michael Ledeen, who co-authored the book “The Field of Flight” last year with Flynn, told The Daily Beast. “He didn’t want to be in the government. He wanted to go back to private life. But Trump insisted on it.”
“He likes him, he trusted him, he was comfortable with him,” Leeden said.
According to the New York Times, Flynn told Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign. And despite the warning, Trump picked Flynn for the national security post.
Ledeen told ABC News that Flynn is “a very talented man” who made major contributions to military intelligence.
“He revolutionized U.S. military battlefield intelligence and was attempting to do the same thing at [the Defense Intelligence Agency] when he was fired for telling the truth under oath,” Ledeen told ABC News.
Source: newsmax – Author: Trump Pressured Flynn to Be National Security Adviser
Chelsea Manning has posted the first photo of herself on social media a day after leaving prison, where she served seven years for releasing 75,000 documents to WikiLeaks.
“Okay, so here I am everyone!!” the photo was captioned Thursday, showing Manning wearing makeup and and low-cut top.
— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) May 18, 2017
When she entered the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas in 2010, Manning was a 22-year-old Army Private named Bradley Manning, convicted by a military tribunal under the Espionage and Computer Fraud Abuse Acts and sentenced to 35 years in prison. Manning came out as transgender just after her sentencing in August 2013.
Although the military at first refused to provide any accommodations for her gender dysphoria, a settlement was reached after she filed a lawsuit in 2014, and Manning received hormone therapy and grooming items provided to women in custody.
Manning had her sentence commuted by President Barack Obama three days before he left office. Still, she served more time than any other whistleblower in U.S. history.
Manning is still on active duty while she appeals her 2013 conviction and is subject to the Uniform Code of Military Justice.
“After so many years of government control over her body and gender, I know she is eager to grow her hair, express her gender and negotiate decisions on her own terms,” ACLU attorney Chase Strangio said, NBC News reported.
Manning, who seems to be quickly acclimating to social media, also tweeted a few other photos celebrating her release and a new start.
— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) May 18, 2017
— Chelsea Manning (@xychelsea) May 17, 2017
Source: newsmax – Chelsea Manning Photo Shows Freshly Freed Whistleblower
Newsmax founder and CEO Chris Ruddy lauded Roger Ailes for not just changing the face of cable and television news, but also for impacting America’s “political transformation.”
“Roger loved America,” Ruddy said. “He was a guy that really loved the country; he had a passion for America. I think he dedicated his life to helping America.”
“Whether that was in politics as a Republican strategist or doing the Fox network, I think he really wanted to champion these things,” Ruddy said.
“If Roger hadn’t created Fox News with the help of Rupert Murdoch and [the] $1 billion check that Murdoch provided, I think that Donald Trump would never have been elected.”
And though Ailes “once told me he had never worked for a campaign that lost,” it was his creation of Fox News that was his proudest accomplishment, Ruddy said.
“He changed the face of cable news and television news,” Ruddy said. “Before that, we had ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN all doing the establishment line, Roger came in and said, ‘Hey, there’s millions of people in the heartland of America that don’t like the news they’re getting, they’re underserved, they’re not served at all in some cases. Let’s create a network that represents them in Washington, New York, and Hollywood.'”
Not only was his idea prescient, Fox “became the No. 1 ratings juggernaut,” Ruddy said.
“Fox does about $2.4 billion in revenue,” he noted. “It’s a huge audience out there that wants news that they’re not getting from the mainstream media. I think Roger showed that.”
“Roger Ailes has impacted the political transformation we’re seeing in America,” Ruddy said, adding Ailes remained a “driving force” at Fox for his entire career.
“He didn’t really have aback bench of lieutenants that you would need normally to run a business like that, or run a network,” he said. “It was Roger, he was the mastermind, he was pulling all the strings so to speak . . .”
“One of the things he always told me was that if he left Fox, the place would fall apart,” Ruddy recalled.
Ruddy said he believes “Newsmax is going to be a continuation of some of the things that Roger was trying to start.”
“It’s a huge audience out there that wants news that they’re not getting from the mainstream media,” Ruddy said. “I think Roger showed that, and Newsmax has done very well as a digital media company . . .”
Ruddy said he once tried “to work with Roger to bring him over to Newsmax.”
“He was interested for a while, and then he renewed with Fox, but I think we certainly are carrying the legacy of having more fairness and balance in the media, which is the important thing,” he said.
Source: newsmax – Ruddy: Ailes ‘Loved America,’ Helped Trump