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The Steele Dossier

In early January, BuzzFeed published a set of documents describing information acquired by a private intelligence firm. The dossier had been in the possession of the FBI and intelligence organizations since late summer and was the basis for several news stories and Congressional comment.

The information was on Russian connections with Donald Trump’s campaign. It consists of reports from various sources on conversations by campaign operatives and Russian officials. The sources are not identified, but some seem to be privy to conversations at high levels within the Russian government. Read More

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Iodine-131 Over Europe: Probably Medical

In early January, slightly elevated levels of iodine-131 were observed over northern and western Europe. The levels were measured during a temperature inversion, along with elevated levels of naturally occurring radioisotopes.

This, along with the deployment of an American WC-135 aircraft to the Mildenhall Royal Air Force Base in the UK, has led to speculation that the Russians have carried out a nuclear test. This is highly unlikely for several reasons. Read More

Links – February 20, 2017

I am continuing to go light on the latest about Donald Trump’s relationship to Russia, in the service of finishing up a major post on the subject. In the meanwhile, here is a selection beyond the New York Times and Washington Post headlines.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says that Trump urged him to get closer to Russia.

Concern in Europe about Trump’s stand on Russia.

Russia is bullying Norway.

Thirty-three questions about Trump’s relationship with Russia.

Why Trump can’t come clean on Russia. Read More

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Carter Page Again

Carter Page was in Moscow last July, about the time suspicions about Donald Trump’s Russian connnections began to bubble up. We’ve heard more than usual about and from him this past week.

For background, here are recaps from September and November. Page was dropped from the Trump campaign last summer,  when his and Paul Manafort’s Russian connections became an issue. But the two keep popping up in relation to the campaign, clearly friends of or fellow travelers.

Page’s current appearance in the news is via the Intercept, which acquired a bizarre letter Page wrote to the Justice Department claiming that the Clinton campaign was trying to silence him and perhaps damage voting rights in the process. Or something. You can read it yourself and decide.

This is not the first of Page’s writings that might be described as unhinged. You can find more here. He seems to be focused on civil rights analogies in, shall we say, unusual ways.

Judy Woodruff interviewed him last night. His answers were unresponsive word salad, in the way of many in the Trump administration. His strange ideas alone are cause for concern, but there are the connections to Russia as well.

 

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Links – February 15, 2017

The Trump circus in the White House continues. You have undoubtedly seen more than enough articles about Michael Flynn’s resignation as National Security Advisor because of his (not fully explained) telephone conversations with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, or maybe it was because he lied to Vice President Michael Pence, or maybe it was because someone leaked about the whole mess to the media.

So I won’t link to much of that; in any case, I am working on posts relating to it and the question of just how connected the White House is to Russia. Flynn is the third to resign from Trump’s service for too much connection to Russia, along with Paul Manafort and Carter Page. You have probably seen news reports about calls for an independent investigative body to look at the whole mess. Read More