Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

U.S. harming itself with paranoia about Russian interference

Democratic Senator's Report Warns of Russian Meddling Across Europe Paul Morigi Getty Images File
Ellis Copeland | 12 January, 2018, 07:38

President continues to believe Russian President Vladimir Putin's comments, and he continues to question US intelligence agencies' analysis of Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"Never before in American history has so clear a threat to national security been so clearly ignored by a US president", said the report, released by Sen.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Russian Federation rejects any accusations of election meddling in the 2016 USA presidential election and lamented that such allegations were still being made.

Putin said that Russian Federation remains willing to improve ties with the USA, but added that the US political infighting makes it hard.

Trump and the White House deny they played any role in the Russian attack on the 2016 presidential election.

"The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues", Trump tweeted this morning. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, and yet on and on it goes. The best piece of evidence we have that Trump colluded with Russian Federation in 2016 is that he is colluding with them now. "Republicans should finally take control!"

While the US has what the report calls "a patchwork" of offices and programs working on efforts that could help counter Russia's election interference, it doesn't have the coordinated approach that the report calls for: a "fusion" center that brings different elements of government together to address the threat, much like the National Counterterrorism Center.

Cardin's Russian Federation study is also one of the first out of the gate in a year that's sure to yield an avalanche of paper on Russian Federation, between the numerous congressional probes and Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller's ongoing investigation.

"President Trump must be clear-eyed about the Russian threat, take action to strengthen our government's response and our institutions, and - as have other presidents in times of crisis - mobilize our country and work with an worldwide coalition to counter the threat and assert our values", he said.

"It's a factor that has changed digital communications in recent years, not just in Germany but in many European countries and certainly also in the United States", he told reporters in Berlin.

The former official, who spoke to the Daily Beast under the condition of anonymity, said that Harrington's idea was ill-advised and that the Kremlin would rather perceive the move as a go-ahead from the USA for additional provocations in areas like Syria and Ukraine.

Trump Under Scrutiny for ‘S--hole Countries’ Comments
Trump Under Scrutiny for ‘S--hole Countries’ Comments

The report outlines two decades of tactics Putin has sharpened to undermine democracies overseas, including military force, cyber warfare, disinformation campaigns, organized crime and money laundering, meant to further entrench his grip on power, which he uses to enrich himself and a small circle of loyalists.

Russian-US relations have been going through hard times since 2014, when they started to worsen due to to the crisis in Ukraine and the following referendum in Crimea, which resulted in the region's reunification with Russia.

The study, about Russian leader Vladimir Putin's worldwide crusade against democracy, is expansive, at more than 200 pages. But the report says a hiring freeze and delays from senior leadership at the agency have prevented the funds from being transferred to the center.

"While President Trump stands practically idle, Mr. Putin continues to refine his asymmetric arsenal and look for future opportunities to disrupt governance and erode support for the democratic and global institutions that the United States and Europe have built over the last 70 years", Cardin said.

According to Peskov, the positions stated in the report on Russia's alleged meddling "harm both bilateral Russian-US relations, and they harm the United States itself as when this becomes a fixed idea, this does not create comfortable conditions for normal social development and life".

The report further calls on the Department of the Treasury to publicize any information it has that would expose Putin's corruption and the wealth he stores overseas.

"No one likes interference in their internal political issues and affairs; our American friends especially do not like it", Putin said.

Micah Johnson, a spokeswoman for Sen.

Asked at a briefing on January 9 why Republican committee staffers or members were not involved in the report, staffers insisted that Republicans would be supportive its findings and recommendations.

In addition to the congressional investigation, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is conducting a criminal investigation to determine whether anyone in Trump's orbit assisted the Russian intelligence operation or otherwise broke the law.

The report, commissioned by Sen.

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