25 min read

Trump warns presidential election result may not be known for 'years.'

► Trump was first compromised by the Russians in the 80s. In 1984, the Russian Mafia began to use Trump real estate to launder money. In 1987, the Soviet ambassador to the United Nations, Yuri Dubinin, arranged for Trump and his then-wife, Ivana, to enjoy an all-expense-paid trip to Moscow to consider possible business prospects. Only seven weeks after his trip, Trump ran full-page ads in the Boston Globe, the NYT and WaPO calling for, in effect, the dismantling of the postwar Western foreign policy alliance. The whole Trump/Russian connection started out as laundering money for the Russian mob through Trump’s real estate, but evolved into something far bigger.

► In 1984, David Bogatin — a convicted Russian mobster and close ally of Semion Mogilevich, a major Russian mob boss — met with Trump in Trump Tower right after it opened. Bogatin bought five condos from Trump at that meeting. Those condos were later seized by the government, which claimed they were used to launder money for the Russian mob. (NY Times, Apr 30, 1992)

► Felix Sater He grew up with Michael Cohen–Trump’s former “fixer” attorney. Cohen’s family owned El Caribe, which was a mob hangout for the Russian Mafia in Brooklyn. Cohen had ties to Ukrainian oligarchs through his in-laws and his brother’s in-laws. Felix Sater’s father had ties to the Russian mob. This goes back more than 30 years.

► Trump was $4 billion in debt after his Atlantic City casinos went bankrupt. No U.S. bank would touch him. Then foreign money began flowing in through Bayrock (mentioned above). Bayrock was run by two investors: Tevfik Arif, a Kazakhstan-born former Soviet official who drew on bottomless sources of money from the former Soviet republic; and Felix Sater, a Russian-born businessman who had pleaded guilty in the 1990s to a huge stock-fraud scheme involving the Russian mafia. Bayrock partnered with Trump in 2005 and poured money into the Trump organization under the legal guise of licensing his name and property management.

► The Russia Mafia is part and parcel of Russian intelligence. Russia is a mafia state. That is not a metaphor. Putin is head of the Mafia. So the fact that they have been operating out of the home of the president of the United States is deeply disturbing.

► Rudy Giuliani famously prosecuted the Italian mob while he was a federal prosecutor, yet the Russian mob was allowed to thrive. Now he’s deeply entwined in the business of Trump and Russian oligarchs. Giuiani appointed Semyon Kislin to the NYC Economic Development Council in 1990, and the FBI described Kislin as having ties to the Russian mob. Of course, it made good political sense for Giuliani to get headlines for smashing the Italian mob.

► A lot of Republicans in Washington are implicated. Boatloads of Russian money went to the GOP–often in legal ways. The NRA got as much as $70M from Russia, then funneled it to the GOP. The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee lead by McConnell got millions from Leonard Blavatnik. In the 90s, the Russians began sending money to top GOP leaders, like Speaker of the House Tom Delay. Craig Unger’s book alleges that most of the GOP leadership has been compromised by RU money.

► At the Cityscape USA’s Bridging US and the Emerging Real Estate Markets Conference held in Manhattan, on September 9, 10, and 11, 2008, Donald Trump Jr. was frank about the tide of Russian money supporting the family business, saying “…And in terms of high-end product influx into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of a lot of our assets.”

► Eric Trump told golf reporter James Dodson in 2014 that the Trump Organization was able to expand during the financial crisis because “We don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.”

► Russian oligarchs co-signed Trump’s Deutsche bank loans.

Trump now gleefully takes cues from Putin: ► Trump went against American intelligence on North Korean missiles. He told the FBI he didn’t believe their intelligence because Putin told him otherwise. “I don’t care, I believe Putin”

► Trump met in secret with Putin at the G20 summit in November 2018, without note takers. 19 days later, he announced a withdrawal from Syria.

► Trump refused to enforce sanctions legally codified into law - and in some cases reversed standing sanctions on Russian companies.

► He has denounced his own intelligence agencies in a press conference with Putin on election meddling - and publicly endorsed Putin’s version of events.

► Demanded Russia get invited back into G7

► Pushed the CIA to give American intelligence to the Kremlin.

► Withdrew from the Open Skies treaty

► Received intelligence in 2019 that Russia was paying bounties for dead American soldiers, and hasn’t done anything about it

Oh and this

Ivana’s family was involved in setting up KGB affiliated spying & meetings with Trump

Oh, you want sources?

Thanks to this post from /thinkards

Mitch McConnel and Paul Ryan rejected an offer by the Obama administration to sign a joint statement condemning foreign election interference

Russia interfered in the 2016 election to help Trump win

Breaking with their House Republican counterparts, the Senate Intelligence Committee said Tuesday that the intelligence community properly concluded in January of last year that Russian President Vladimir Putin was trying to help Donald Trump when Moscow meddled in the 2016 election.

The Senate summary noted there were different confidence levels between the National Security Agency and the CIA and FBI about whether Putin and the Russian government were aspiring to help Trump; the CIA and FBI assessed with “high confidence” and the NSA with “moderate confidence.” - *Jeremy Herb *cnn.com

Jan 1, 2016 to Nov 6, 2016. It has been debunked that Ukraine at all interfered in the 2016 elections

The CrowdStrike allegation is crazy stuff, dismissed by even Trump’s own aides. So let’s ignore that.

The story of Chalupa’s work at the DNC has not advanced since 2017, and it’s pretty thin bar, especially when compared with state-ordered hacking by Russia. She may or may not have worked with embassy officials, and the DNC did not use her research. The impact, if any, seems minimal.

The release of the “black ledger” — via a Ukrainian state agency and legislator — did result in Manafort’s removal from the campaign and prompted questions about Trump and Russia. (Trump might have avoided some of these questions if he had done some due diligence and not hired Manafort in the first place, given Manafort’s deep ties to Russian figures.) But the legal ruling in Ukraine that this was election inference has been overturned. And again, people appear to have acted out of individual motivations, not at the behest of the head of state. - *Glenn Kessler *washingtonpost.com

Jul 7, 2016 Donald Trump:

Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing

Sep 1, 2016. Mitch McConnell refused to sign bipartisan statement on Russian Interference into US elections

Former Vice President Joe Biden says he and President Barack Obama decided not to speak out publicly on Russian interference during the 2016 campaign after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell refused to sign a bipartisan statement condemning the Kremlin’s role.

Speaking on Tuesday at the Council on Foreign Relations, Biden said the Obama administration sought a united front to dispel concerns that going public with such accusations would be seen as an effort to undermine the legitimacy of the election.

However, McConnell “wanted no part of having a bipartisan commitment saying, essentially, ‘Russia’s doing this. Stop,’ " he said.

At that point, Biden added, he felt that “the die had been cast” and that “this was all about the political play.” - *Scott Neuman *npr.org

Jan 6, 2017. The CIA, NSA, FBI, and ODNI concluded that Russia interfered in the 2016 election

American intelligence officials have concluded that the president of Russia, Vladimir V. Putin, personally “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election,” and turned from seeking to “denigrate” Hillary Clinton to developing “a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” - *David E. Sanger *nytimes.com

Jan 20, 2017 to Mar 4, 2018. The state department spent $0 of $120 million dollars it was granted in order to fight Russian meddling

As Russia’s virtual war against the United States continues unabated with the midterm elections approaching, the State Department has yet to spend any of the $120 million it has been allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy.

As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian, and a department hiring freeze has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts.

The delay is just one symptom of the largely passive response to the Russian interference by President Trump, who has made little if any public effort to rally the nation to confront Moscow and defend democratic institutions. More broadly, the funding lag reflects a deep lack of confidence by Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson in his department’s ability to execute its historically wide-ranging mission and spend its money wisely. - *Gardiner Harris *nytimes.com

May 10, 2017. Trump told Russian officials he was not concerned with Moscow’s meddling in the US election

President Donald Trump told two Russian officials in a 2017 meeting that he was not concerned about Moscow’s meddling in the U.S. election, which prompted White House officials to limit access to the remarks, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

A summary of Trump’s Oval Office meeting with Russia’s foreign minister and its ambassador was limited to a few officials in an attempt to keep the president’s comments from being disclosed publicly, the Post said, citing former officials with knowledge of the matter.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Reuters.

A member of the U.S. intelligence community who filed a whistleblower complaint against Trump said notes from other conversations the president had with foreign leaders had been placed on a highly classified computer system in a departure from normal practice in a bid to protect information that was politically sensitive, rather than sensitive for national security reasons. - *unlisted *cnbc.com

Jul 16, 2018 Donald Trump:

I don’t see any reason why it would be [Russia who interfered in our elections]. I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today.

Jul 16, 2018. Trump sided with Vladimir Putin over the US intelligence community regarding Russia’s election interference in the US 2016 election

US President Donald Trump, in a stunning rebuke of the US intelligence community, declined on Monday to endorse the US government’s assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election, saying he doesn’t “see any reason why” Russia would be responsible.

Instead, Trump – standing alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin – touted Putin’s vigorous denial and pivoted to complaining about the Democratic National Committee’s server and missing emails from Hillary Clinton’s personal account.

“I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today,” Trump said during a joint news conference after he spent about two hours in a room alone with Putin, save for a pair of interpreters.

Trump’s statements amounted to an unprecedented refusal by a US president to believe his own intelligence agencies over the word of a foreign adversary and drew swift condemnation from across the partisan divide. - *Jeremy Diamond *cnn.com

Aug 2, 2018. 8 US Intelligence Groups warned Russia disrupting the US 2018 midterm elections

American intelligence agencies and both parties on Capitol Hill are in consensus that, as Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, said, “Russia conducted an unprecedented influence campaign to interfere in the U.S. electoral and political process.”

The federal and congressional intelligence and national security groups that have stated that Russia interfered in the election:

  1. Central Intelligence Agency

  2. Office of the Director of National Intelligence

  3. F.B.I.

  4. National Security Agency

  5. Justice Department

  6. Department of Homeland Security

  7. House Intelligence Committee

  8. Senate Intelligence Committee - *Karen Yourish, Troy Griggs *nytimes.com

Nov 1, 2018. House Intelligence Ranking Member Republican Devin Nunes was directly involved in the push for Ukraine Biden investigations by Trump associate Lev Parnas

Ed MacMahon, a lawyer for Rudy Giuliani associate Lev Parnas, who faces charges of campaign finance violations, has told the Daily Beast that his client helped Republican Rep. Devin Nunes arrange meetings meant to advance the Ukrainian investigations into the Biden family that are at the center of the ongoing impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump.

Now, another lawyer for Parnas — Joseph A. Bondy — has told CNN that Parnas is willing to testify before the House Intelligence Committee about Nunes’s involvement in the Ukraine scandal. Nunes is the ranking member of that committee, and in that capacity has led the Republican defense of Trump during the recent public impeachment inquiry hearings. - *Sean Collins *vox.com

Jan 3, 2019. The Senate GOP refuses to vote for bills protecting elections from foreign interference

The second sentence of the Mueller report states clearly that “the Russian government interfered in the 2016 presidential election in sweeping and systematic fashion.” The Senate, however, doesn’t plan to do anything about it.

According to Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), election security legislation is not on the agenda. “At this point I don’t see any likelihood that those bills would get to the floor if we mark them up,” Blunt said in a Senate Rules Committee meeting Wednesday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has insisted that he won’t even allow a vote on the bill in the Senate, describing it as a “radical, half-baked socialist proposal.” But McConnell isn’t allowing votes on any legislation. As ThinkProgress recently reported, the Senate has not considered any matters whatsoever in recent months aside from confirming President Donald Trump’s judicial nominees. - *Zack Ford *thinkprogress.org

Mar 1, 2019. House Intelligence Ranking Member Republican Devin Nunes called off a staff trip to Ukraine when he realized House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff would be told

An associate of Rudy Giuliani is willing to testify that Devin Nunes wanted a top aide to travel to Ukraine and interview officials in an attempt to help Donald Trump’s re-election - but called off the trip when they realized Adam Schiff would be told.

Lev Parnas, a Ukraine-born businessman who was arrested trying to leave the US last month, is willing to say under oath that Nunes wanted to send Derek Harvey, a senior investigator, to Ukraine in March this year.

Once there, he would interview Ukraine’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor Nazar Kholodnytsky and a deputy in Ukraine’s Prosecutor General’s office, Konstantin Kulik, about potential Democrat corruption in 2016, Parnas claimed through his lawyer.

But when Nunes, top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, realized that committee chair Schiff would be told about the trip, it was cancelled, Parnas claims.

It comes after Parnas accused Nunes of personally travelling to Vienna in 2018 as part of efforts to dig up dirt on Joe Biden - efforts that Nunes is now investigating in his role on the committee. - *Chris Pleasance *dailymail.co.uk

May 7, 2019 Mitch McConnell:

Case Closed

May 21, 2019. Rex Tillerson testified to the House Foreign Affairs Committee

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson quietly slipped into the Capitol Tuesday to talk to the House Foreign Affairs Committee about the Trump administration’s interactions with Russia.

According to the Daily Beast, Tillerson arrived under a shroud of secrecy, with almost no media warning and a back entrance to the building.

During a six-hour hearing, Tillerson told the committee about how the administration actively avoided confronting Russia on their election interference in the name of establishing a rapport with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

He also said that senior White House adviser Jared Kushner often undermined his attempts to brief the President on State Department policy proposals. - *Kate Riga *talkingpointsmemo.com

May 30, 2019. Mitch McConnell vowed to block election security bills

It’s a position that McConnell has taken before. During a hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr earlier this month, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., called out McConnell and the Trump administration for working in tandem to block the Secure Elections Act, an election security bill she co-sponsored with Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla.

Klobuchar said that the White House had called Republicans to urge them not to support the bill “and McConnell also didn’t want the bill to move forward, so it was a double-edged thing.”

Blunt this week acknowledged that it was McConnell who stopped the bill from advancing when it was mysteriously pulled just before the Rules Committee was scheduled to mark up the bill, according to Mother Jones.

Along with the Secure Elections Act, the Rules Committee has failed to take up other election security bills, including the Protecting the Right to Independent and Democratic Elections (PRIDE) Act, the Protecting American Votes and Elections (PAVE) Act, and the Honest Ads Act. All three bills were reintroduced this year after they went nowhere during the last session, Mother Jones reported.

McConnell has also refused to bring HR 1 to a vote, a sweeping set of ethics and election reforms approved by the Democratic-led House of Representatives. - *Igor Derysh *salon.com

Jun 3, 2019 Jared Kushner:

I don’t know [if I would call the FBI if Russians asked for a meeting again during campaign season]

Jun 13, 2019 Donald Trump:

I think you might want to listen, there isn’t anything wrong with listening. If somebody called from a country, Norway, [and said] ‘we have information on your opponent’ – oh, I think I’d want to hear it.

Jul 23, 2019 Christopher Wray:

The Russians are absolutely intent on trying to interfere with our elections

Jul 24, 2019 Robert S. Mueller III:

Based on Justice Department policy and principles of fairness, we decided we would not make a determination as to whether the President committed a crime

Jul 24, 2019 Robert S. Mueller III:

It [interference in our 2016 election] wasn’t a single attempt. They’re [Russia] doing it as we sit here, and they expect to do it during the next campaign

Aug 12, 2019 Michael K. Atkinson:

In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election. This interference includes, among other things, pressuring a foreign country to investigate one of the President’s main domestic political rivals. The President’s personal lawyer, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani, is a central figure in this effort. Attorney General Barr appears to be involved as well.

Oct 3, 2019 Donald Trump:

I would think that if they [Ukraine] were honest about it, they’d start a major investigation … they should investigate the Bidens … China likewise should start an investigation

Oct 8, 2019 Glenn Kessler:

First of all, the evidence so far indicates there is nothing that took place in Ukraine that even begins to compare to the Russian intervention in the 2016 election. Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III documented in great detail a top-down effort, initiated by Russian President Vladimir Putin, to illegally hack and release information in a deliberate attempt to meddle in the presidential election on behalf of Trump. What we have in Ukraine, so far, is just flotsam and jetsam that does not add up to state-level efforts to change the course of history.

Nov 13, 2019. The conspiracy that Ukraine interfered in the US 2016 elections has been thoroughly debunked

A discredited conspiracy theory that blames Ukraine, and not Russia, for interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election reared its head again during the first day of public impeachment hearings into President Donald Trump’s alleged attempt to pressure Ukraine into investigating a political opponent.

First, California Rep. Devin Nunes, the top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, referenced it obliquely in defending Trump, saying “indications of Ukrainian election meddling” had troubled the president.

Subsequently, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs George P. Kent, under questioning, said there was “no factual basis” to any theory of Ukrainian meddling in the 2016 election — while there is ample evidence of Russian interference. - *Frank Bajak *apnews.com

Nov 20, 2019 Vladimir Putin:

Thank God. No one is accusing us of interfering in the U.S. elections anymore; now they’re accusing Ukraine.

Nov 21, 2019 Fiona Hill:

Based on questions and statements I have heard, some of you on this committee appear to believe that Russia and its security services did not conduct a campaign against our country—and that perhaps, somehow, for some reason, Ukraine did. This is a fictional narrative that has been perpetrated and propagated by the Russian security services themselves.

Dec 2, 2019. John Kennedy backed Russian conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the US 2016 election

You’ll remember that Kennedy, a Republican senator from Louisiana, got into hot water just before Thanksgiving when he claimed that it could have been Ukraine – not Russia – that hacked the Democratic National Committee server and released a series of emails aimed at damaging Clinton’s campaign via the website WikiLeaks. Kennedy later apologized – to CNN’s Chris Cuomo – for making that claim, acknowledging that it was the Russians who had hacked the DNC server. Case closed! Except not! - *Chris Cillizza *cnn.com

Dec 9, 2019. Ted Cruz backed Russian consipiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in US 2016 election

In a fiery back-and-forth on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) declared there is “considerable evidence” that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election, echoing debunked claims recently spread by other GOP leaders.

The show’s host, Chuck Todd, asked the senator if he believed Ukraine had attempted to sway the 2016 election.

“I do,” Cruz said.

Todd’s eyes grew wide and he raised his eyebrows in surprise: “You do?” - *Katie Shepherd *washingtonpost.com

Dec 10, 2019. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov visited Oval Office for second time since Russian election interference

President Trump is hosting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the White House on Tuesday afternoon, in Lavrov’s second Oval Office meeting with Trump. Likely topics of conversation include nuclear weapons and, a senior U.S. official said, “the state of the bilateral relationship.” The last time Lavrov visited Trump in the Oval Office, Trump had just fired FBI Director James Comey and reportedly bragged that the move relieved pressure on an investigation into his campaign’s ties with Russia; he also divulged highly classified intelligence from Israel with Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Americans only learned about the meeting after Russia released photos. - *Peter Weber *theweek.com

Dec 14, 2019. Lindsey Graham backed Russian conspiracy theory that Ukraine meddled in the US 2016 election

en. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) has invited Donald Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani to appear in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee to present information he claims to have dug up in Ukraine—even though the details of Giuliani’s self-directed investigation raise serious doubts about the credibility of any information he presents.

“Rudy, if you want to come and tell us what you found, I’ll be glad to talk to you,” Graham said in an interview for CBS’ Face the Nation set to air Sunday. “I don’t know what Rudy found, I don’t know what he was up to when he was in the Ukraine.” - *Will Sommer *thedailybeast.com

Dec 16, 2019. The Trump Administration threatened to veto 2020 spending bill due to language requiring future release of Ukraine aid

Senior Trump administration officials in recent days threatened a presidential veto that could have led to a government shutdown if House Democrats refused to drop language requiring prompt release of future military aid for Ukraine, according to five administration and congressional officials.

The language was ultimately left out of mammoth year-end spending legislation that passed the House and Senate this week ahead of a Saturday shutdown deadline. The White House said President Trump signed the $1.4 trillion package Friday night.

The Ukraine provision was one of several items the White House drew a hard line on during negotiations to finalize the spending legislation, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the developments. It would have required the White House to swiftly release $250 million in defense money for Ukraine that was part of the spending package. - *Erica Werner *washingtonpost.com

Dec 21, 2019. The Trump Administration opposed bipartisan Senate bill countering Russian aggression because the bill required the administration to report Russian election meddling

The Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act of 2019 (DASKA) would impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs, banks and sovereign debt. The bill would also sanction Russian ship-building and energy industries. The legislation also requires the State Department and Intelligence Community to report to Congress whether Russia is meddling in U.S. elections every 90 days.

Though the bill has drawn bipartisan support, the Trump administration sent a 22-page letter to Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, saying that it “strongly opposes” the bill in its current form. The letter was first obtained by The Daily Beast.

The letter took issue with the bill’s requirement for the administration to report Russian election meddling. - *Igor Derysh *salon.com

Feb 3, 2020. Graham pledged upcoming investigations into Hunter Biden

Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham said Sunday that he and other Republicans will begin calling witnesses within weeks for hearings related to Hunter Biden’s work in Ukraine, as well as the FBI’s surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

“We’re going to get to the bottom of this,” Graham pledged in an interview on Fox News’ “Sunday Morning Futures.” - *Chuck Ross *dailysignal.com

Feb 5, 2020. Barr imposed restrictions that all investigations into 2020 candidates must be cleared by top DOJ officials

Attorney General William P. Barr issued new restrictions on Wednesday over the opening of politically sensitive investigations, an effort meant to avoid upending the presidential election as the F.B.I. inadvertently did in 2016 when its campaign inquiries shaped the outcome of the race.

No investigation into a presidential or vice-presidential candidate — or their senior campaign staff or advisers — can begin without written notification to the Justice Department and the written approval of Mr. Barr.

The F.B.I. must also notify and consult with the relevant leaders at the department — like the heads of the criminal division, the national security division or a United States attorney’s office — before investigating Senate or House candidates or their campaigns, or opening an inquiry related to “illegal contributions, donations or expenditures by foreign nationals to a presidential or congressional campaign.”

But Mr. Barr is the first to require that the F.B.I. consult with the Justice Department before opening politically charged investigations.

The requirements in the memo are to remain in effect through the 2020 elections. After that, the department will study whether the changes were necessary. - *Katie Benner *nytimes.com

Feb 9, 2020. Bill Barr streamlined the passing of Biden dirt regarding Ukraine from Giuliani directly to the Department of Justice

“The Department of Justice is receiving information coming out of the Ukraine from Rudy,” Graham, of South Carolina, said on “Face the Nation.”

“[Attorney General Bill Barr] told me that they have created a process that Rudy could give information and they would see if it’s verified. Rudy Giuliani is a well known man. He’s a crime fighter. He’s loyal to the president. He’s a good lawyer. But what I’m trying to say- to the president and anybody else, that the Russians are still up to it. Deterrence is not working. So let’s look at Hunter Biden’s conflict. Let’s look at Joe Biden. Vice President Biden, what did you do when they told you your son was on Burisma’s board? It undercuts your ability to fight corruption. Did you take it seriously? Obviously he didn’t. But when it comes to documents coming out of the Ukraine, to Republicans and Democrats, be very cautious turning anything over you got over to the intel community” - *Melissa Quinn *cbsnews.com

Feb 11, 2020. Trump re-tweeted propaganda attempting to tie Mitt Romney to Ukraine’s Burisma

One of the posts the president retweeted was a meme that makes the unfounded claim “Romney’s son” — as well as the sons of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and former Secretary of State John Kerry — “are all on the board of directors for energy companies doing business in Ukraine.” We looked into those assertions in October and found no evidence that any of those political leaders’ sons worked for energy companies based in, or “doing business in,” Ukraine.

Romney has five sons, who work in finance, real estate and radiology, as we explained. The senator’s office declined to comment when we wrote that story, saying only that the claims were “fake news from random online trolls.”

Trump also retweeted a post from the conservative site Big League Politics, which claims Romney is “tied” to Burisma because a former adviser to his 2012 presidential campaign was on the company’s board. That’s an awfully thin “tie.”

The linked story, posted in September, notes that Joseph Cofer Black — a “special adviser” under the Romney campaign’s foreign policy and national security team — joined the Burisma board in 2017. Black, a former director of the CIA’s counterterrorist center and State Department coordinator for counterterrorism who served under both the George W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations, did join the Burisma board in 2017, as reported in the Kyiv Post.

This is a classic guilt-by-association claim. There’s no evidence Romney had anything to do with Black getting a position on Burisma’s board five years after his presidential campaign. Black was one of 24 special advisers to the campaign on foreign policy and national security. - *Lori Robertson *factcheck.org

Feb 15, 2020. Pompeo held undisclosed meeting with Russian diplomat

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at a security conference in Munich on Friday that the State Department did not publicly disclose before nor after the fact.

Politico reported that the two diplomats met in Lavrov’s meeting room at the hotel in which the conference took place.

Maria Zakharova, Lavrov’s spokesperson, posted about the meeting on Facebook and included a photo of Pompeo in the hotel hallway with Lavrov and others.

Zakharova wrote in the post that Pompeo had wished the people in the hallway “good luck,” according to Politico’s translation.

“There are few to whom Americans now wish something good,” she reportedly wrote.

The State Department did not list the meeting in its official schedule of Pompeo’s travels from February 13-22 and did not provide a readout for it. - *Cristina Cabrera *talkingpointsmemo.com

Apr 24, 2020 Henry Olson:

[Biden’s accusation that Trump would try to delay the 2020 election] was not only clearly over the line but also unmasks how low the supposedly moderate Biden will go to win. . . . This rhetoric is both unfounded and harmful to democracy. Trump has not done anything that a hopeful dictator would do, such as restrict press freedom, curtail political activity or arrest political opponents.