Russia Is Already Meddling in the 2018 Election – Here’s Who They’re Targeting This Time

By The Blaze. According to a report from the Daily Beast, the same Russian intelligence agency behind the cyberattack in the 2016 election is already meddling in the 2018 midterm election. . .

The report said that the alleged hacking attempts were aimed at staffers for Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), and used the same tactics that were successful against former Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.

The attacks involved links sent to the staffers’ email addresses that were made to look like official notices from their websites requesting a password change. The link provided also mimes official email address change websites, but sends the information to hackers.

“We did discover that a fake Microsoft domain had been established as the landing page for phishing attacks, and we saw metadata that suggested those phishing attacks were being directed at three candidates who are all standing for elections in the midterm elections,” said [Tom] Burt. . .

“Russia continues to engage in cyber warfare against our democracy. I will continue to speak out and press to hold them accountable,” McCaskill said to the Daily Beast. “While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. I will not be intimidated. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Putin is a thug and a bully.” (Read more from “Russia Is Already Meddling in the 2018 Election – Here’s Who They’re Targeting This Time” HERE)

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Russians Unsuccessfully Tried to Hack Computers of Democratic Sen. Claire Mccaskill

By NPR. Russian hackers trying to influence the 2018 elections made an unsuccessful attempt to breach the computer system of Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, one of this fall’s most vulnerable Democrats.

The Daily Beast reported that McCaskill is the first known target of the Kremlin’s plot to interfere in this fall’s midterm elections after targeting the U.S. in the 2016 presidential election.

McCaskill has been a critic of Russia and of President Trump — who has at times doubted that any such interference happened at all and decried attempts by special counsel Robert Mueller to investigate as a “witch hunt.” At a press conference last week after his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump appeared to believe Putin’s denials over the conclusions of U.S. intelligence agencies, though he later tried to walk that back.

In a statement, McCaskill said she “will not be intimidated” by the attempts, which occurred around August 2017.

“Russia continues to engage in cyber warfare against our democracy. I will continue to speak out and press to hold them accountable,” McCaskill said in a statement. “While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. I will not be intimidated. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Putin is a thug and a bully.” (Read more from “Russians Unsuccessfully Tried to Hack Computers of Democratic Sen. Claire Mccaskill” HERE)

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Bulldozes Another Narrative About Russia

By Townhall. After months of speculation President Trump would recognize Russia’s annexation of Crimea as legitimate, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo bulldozed that narrative during testimony in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Wednesday afternoon.

“On the subject of Russia, I want to bring something to your attention right off the bat today. Today the Trump administration is releasing what we’re calling the Crimea Declaration,” Pompeo said.

“I want to show this committee that the United States does not, and will not recognize the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea,” Pompeo continued. “There will be no relief of Crimea-related sanctions until Russia returns control of the Crimean peninsula to Ukraine.”

Pompeo also said NATO is an “indispensable” part of U.S. national defense and that President Trump’s demand members pay their fair share will only bolster the alliance against Russia.

Pompeo testified about a number of issues and said negotiations with North Korea, despite progress until now, have a long way to go. (Read more from “Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Bulldozes Another Narrative About Russia” HERE)

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Pompeo Faces Tough Questions on Russia, North Korea

By ABC News. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo fiercely defended the Trump administration’s foreign policy on Capitol Hill Wednesday, facing tough questions from Republican and Democratic senators about North Korea, Russia, Iran, and more.

But it was the divide in U.S. foreign policy between President Trump’s comments and his administration’s actions that underlaid the contentious hearing, with Pompeo at one time seeming to suggest that the administration’s actions mattered more than Trump’s words. He was quick to correct himself later, saying that he misspoke, but blasting what he called Democrats’ “glee” at his mistake and their efforts “to make a political point from that.”

“That’s silliness. This president runs this government. His statements are in fact U.S. policy,” Pompeo declared in a particularly heated exchange with the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Sen. Bob Menendez, D-New Jersey.

It was Pompeo’s first time in front of the committee since President Trump’s historic meetings with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Russian leader Vladimir Putin – the outcomes of which are both now being called into question. (Read more from “Pompeo Faces Tough Questions on Russia, North Korea” HERE)

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Trump Is Very Concerned About This Possible Russia Decision

President Donald Trump appeared to want to flip the script on Tuesday tweeting that he is “very concerned” that Russia will be “pushing very hard for Democrats” this fall in the midterm elections.

Trump tweeted, “I’m very concerned that Russia will be fighting very hard to have an impact on the upcoming Election. Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats.”

“They definitely don’t want Trump!” he added.

Trump received a torrent of criticism from members of the media, as well as lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, for seeming to be as ready to accept Putin’s denial of Russia’s meddling in the 2016 presidential race as the U.S. intelligence community’s findings that it did.

The president, following the meeting, clarified that he has “full faith” in America’s intelligence agencies, including their findings concerning Russian attempts to influence the election.

He noted that he has stated multiple times over the past year that he believes Russia sought to meddle, but he does not believe it changed the outcome.

In an interview with CNBC last Thursday, Trump said, “Getting along with President Putin, getting along with Russia, is positive, not a negative.”

He added, “That being said, if it doesn’t work out, I’ll be the worst enemy he’s ever had.”

Trump emphasized the actions he has taken against Putin’s interests.

“Look at the sanctions I threw on. Look at the diplomats I threw out. Look at all of the things that I’ve done,” he said.

The president continued, “Nobody else did what I’ve done. Obama didn’t do it. Obama was a patsy for Russia. He was a total patsy.

“I have been far tougher on Russia than any president in many, many years.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer responded to the president’s assertion that the Russians may help the Democrats this fall by tweeting video footage from the Helsinki summit of Putin saying he wanted Trump to win in 2016. “Let’s go to the video tape (again),” Schumer wrote.

Following the Democrat’s harsh rhetoric toward Trump’s meeting with Putin last week, a 2003 Associated Press photo of Schumer accompanying the Russian president on a visit to New York City circulated widely.

Garrett Graff, writing for Politico, argued that Trump just might be right about the Russians seeking to help the Democrats regain power this November.

“There’s solid geopolitical evidence that boosting the Democrats would be a smart strategy for a foreign actor this fall,” he wrote.

Graff continued, “Vladimir Putin’s goal isn’t—and never was—to help the Republican Party, at least in the long run.”

“Boosting Trump’s presidential campaign was a means to Putin’s end: Weakening the West, and exploiting the seams and divisions of the West’s open democracies to undermine our legitimacy and moral standing.”

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., agreed with Trump that Putin’s plan is not wedded to a person or a party, but meant to sow chaos.

He wrote, “Putin is pro-Chaos and is an Equal Opportunity Disruptor of the American electoral system.” (For more from the author of “Trump Is Very Concerned About This Possible Russia Decision” please click HERE)

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Leaked: Trump Sent Plane to Bring Home Otto Warmbier Without Asking North Korea’s Permission

When President Donald Trump learned of American college student and North Korean prisoner Otto Warmbier’s dire medical condition, he immediately sent a plane to land in Pyongyang and bring home the 22-year-old without asking North Korea’s permission first, says a report from GQ.

In early June of 2017, Trump-appointed U.S. special representative for North Korea policy Joseph Yun learned that Warmbier was unconscious. “I was completely shocked,” said Yun of learning the news. “I came back immediately, and I told Secretary Tillerson … and we determined at the time that we needed to get him and the other prisoners out as soon as possible, and I should contact Pyongyang and say I wanted to come right away.”

“When Trump learned of Otto’s condition, he doubled down on the order for Yun to rush to Pyongyang and bring Otto home,” says the report. “The North Koreans were unilaterally informed that an American plane would soon land in Pyongyang and that United States diplomats and doctors would get off.”

An anonymous State Department official said the president sounded like a “dad” when learning of the news. He was determined to retrieve Warmbier and bring him back to his parents as soon as humanly possible.

“The president was very invested in bringing Otto home,” the official told GQ. “Listening to him deliberate on this, he sounded to me a lot more like a dad.”

(Read more from “Leaked: Trump Sent Plane to Bring Home Otto Warmbier Without Asking North Korea’s Permission” HERE)

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Trump Tweets an All-Caps Warning to Iran. Here’s What He Said.

President Trump warned Iran Sunday night that it better not continue threatening the United States or the country “will suffer consequences.”

In a message to Iranian President Rouhani, Trump tweeted in all caps: “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the likes of which few throughout history have ever suffered before. We are no longer a country that will stand for your demented words of violence & death. Be cautious!” . . .

“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani told Iranian diplomats, according to Reuters. . .

Trump’s comments also came after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo delivered remarks to members of the Iranian American community, expressing support for the Iranian people and saying the leadership in Tehran “resembles the Mafia more than a government.” (Read more from “Trump Tweets an All-Caps Warning to Iran. Here’s What He Said.” HERE)

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China’s Serious and Breaking Vaccine Scandal: Are Your Vaccines Made in China?

Please consider this a “public service announcement,” if you will, because the mainstream, lamestream media probably will not report on the growing Chinese vaccine scandal and huge protests against vaccines made and administered in China.

However, as a personal caveat, I feel I must offer this: I’m leery about anything made in China, especially after doing the research for Chapter 13 The China Trade Debacle: Toxic and “Made in China” for my 2009 book, Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What’s Probably Making Us Sick.

As an illustration of that leeriness, just the other day I purchased a food plastic wrap with the words, no BPA or other toxins. However, when I got it home and read the fine print, I found “Made in China.” Well, I returned it to the store for a refund, as the research indicates much of Chinese-made consumables – whether non-edibles like wallboard or food like farm-raised fish and seafood – are contaminated with toxic chemicals, as I discuss at great length in Chapter 13 of the above book.

However, the above being said explains why I feel I must warn about Chinese-made vaccines. Here’s something that ought to tweak your interests too:

“…China’s Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) announced it has ordered all production stopped at the vaccine maker and launched an investigation.”

“Changchun Changsheng Biotechnology is China’s second largest maker of the rabies vaccine and a subsidiary of a large publicly-traded vaccine maker.”

“The company said in a stock exchange filing Sunday that it had already halted production of another vaccine — for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis — which regulators found last year to be sub-standard and which had also become the focus of public attention.”

The question all administering physicians, healthcare workers who administer vaccines, parents and intended vaccinees should be asking before submitting to receiving a Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine is: “Was the DTP vaccine made in China, and may I please see the vaccine package insert describing the vaccine?”

Chinese citizens have been protesting the above DTP vaccine while Chinese health officials have been sanitizing the web of any information about the problems with Chinese vaccines.

A Chinese newspaper,

the People’s Daily said on Sunday that local regulators must “rapidly take action, do a complete investigation and announce authoritative information in a timely manner to pacify public anxiety”.

Chinese citizens have taken to protesting the vaccines on their social media “WeChat,” which readers can try to access here.

Chinese parents are more than anxious about China’s ‘safety’ standards, especially since in 2008 some 300,000 children fell ill from drinking melamine-contaminated milk powder. Six children died!

What U.S. healthcare consumers and parents may not surmise is that many vaccines administered in the USA possibly could be made in China. Back in 2016, this was reported:

U.S. and European vaccine makers such as Merck & Co., GlaxoSmithKline plc, and Sanofi Pasteur SA maintain vaccine manufacturing operations in China, that this activity is on the rise, and that Western vaccine makers are also establishing joint venture partnerships with Chinese vaccine companies. [CJF emphasis]

Furthermore, back in 2017, batches of DPT vaccines made by Changchun Changsheng were recalled!

The current vaccine scandal is over rabies vaccines for humans!

Even though the U.S. CDC and others claim no Chinese-made vaccines are administered in the USA, if I were a person inclined to receive a vaccine, I’d still ask that all important question, “Is it made in China?”, because we have found in our research you cannot trust the CDC and FDA when it comes to vaccines and the information both put out about vaccines as ‘safe’. (For more from the author of “China’s Serious and Breaking Vaccine Scandal: Are Your Vaccines Made in China?” please click HERE)

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North Korea Said to Be Dismantling Nuclear Site

By NY Daily News. North Korea appears to have started dismantling key facilities at its main satellite launch site in a step toward fulfilling a commitment made by leader Kim Jong Un at his summit with President Donald Trump in June.

While Pyongyang could be trying to build trust with Washington as they engage in talks to resolve the nuclear standoff, analysts say dismantling a few facilities at the site alone wouldn’t realistically reduce North Korea’s military capability or represent a material step toward denuclearization. And they expressed concern the work is being done without verification.

North Korea-focused 38 North website said commercial satellite images between July 20 and 22 indicate the North began dismantling key facilities at the Sohae launch site. The facilities being razed or disassembled include a rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space-launch vehicles and a rail-mounted processing building where space launch vehicles were assembled before being moved to the launch pad, according to the report. . .

An official from South Korea’s presidential office on Tuesday said Seoul has also been detecting dismantlement activities at the Sohae launch site but did not specify what the North was supposedly taking apart. (Read more from “North Korea Said to Be Dismantling Nuclear Site” HERE)

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North Korea: Satellite Images Show Dismantling of Missile Test Facilities

By The Guardian. Satellite images indicate North Korea has begun dismantling key facilities at a site used to develop engines for ballistic missiles, in a first step toward fulfilling a pledge made to US President Donald Trump at a June summit, reports a Washington-based think tank.

The images from 20 July showed work at the Sohae satellite launching station to dismantle a building used to assemble space-launch vehicles and a nearby rocket engine test stand used to develop liquid-fuel engines for ballistic missiles and space-launch vehicles, the 38 North think tank said. . .

Trump told a news conference after his 12 June summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un that Kim had promised that a major missile engine testing site would be destroyed very soon.

Trump did not identify the site, but a US official subsequently told Reuters that it was Sohae. (Read more from “North Korea: Satellite Images Show Dismantling of Missile Test Facilities” HERE)

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Nikki Haley Speaks out on Putin Summit and She Does Not Hold Back

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley offered a very harsh statement on relations between the U.S. and Russia, and then spoke out about the president’s controversial summit with Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin. . .

“How do you feel about some of what he has done here because it is unconventional to basically do some of this, I know this has happened before, especially with Putin, but the way he went about this, he’s taken a lot of shots and criticism back home,” [David] Brody asked. . .

“Well, first of all, we don’t trust Russia,” Haley responded forcefully, “we don’t trust Putin, we never will, they’re never gonna be our friend, that’s just a fact.”

“But what I do think is, whether it’s the president sitting down with Kim [Jong Un], or whether the president sits down with Putin, those are things that have to happen,” she continued. “You can’t get to the end of the other side if you don’t have those conversations.” . . .

Haley defended the Helsinki summit, saying that it “was something that was a long time coming there were a lot of grievances that needed to be aired, there were a lot of challenges that we needed to discuss, and I think the president did that.” (Read more from “Nikki Haley Speaks out on Putin Summit and She Does Not Hold Back” HERE)

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Surprising Poll Reveals How Americans Truly Feel About So-Called Russian Collusion

By The Federalist. An overwhelming majority of Americans don’t think the ongoing probe into whether Donald Trump’s campaign colluded with Russian officials to steal the presidency from Hillary Clinton is that important, according to a new Gallup poll.

A record-breaking number of Americans (22 percent) think immigration is the most important problem facing the United States, while 19 percent say dissatisfaction with the U.S. government is the biggest problem and 7 percent think racism is the most important issue.

A combined total of 16 percent of Americans list unifying the country, lack of respect for one another, and the economy in general as the most important issues. The other issues that make it to the top of the list are health care (according to 3 percent of Americans), and ethics and morality (according to another 3 percent of those surveyed).

The ongoing probe to investigate to what extent Russia was involved in Trump’s electoral victory in 2016 was nowhere on the list of the top eight issues most Americans (70 percent) say are the most important ones the United States is facing.

Of the Republican voters surveyed, 35 percent thought immigration was the most important issue. Of Independent voters, immigration topped the charts, but a much smaller plurality (22 percent) said this was the most important issue. (Read more from “Poll Reveals How Americans Truly Feel About So-Called Russian Collusion” HERE)

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Trump-Russia: FBI Believed Carter Page ‘Collaborated and Conspired’ With Moscow

By The Guardian. The Trump administration has released documents related to the surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, as part of an investigation into whether he colluded with Russia to undermine the 2016 US presidential election.

A surveillance application filed by the FBI in October 2016, a month before the election, said: “The FBI believes that Page has been collaborating and conspiring with the Russian government.”

Page has consistently denied working as an agent of the Russia and has not been charged with any crime after almost two years of investigation.

In an interview with CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, he reiterated his denials and described the FBI’s application to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court as “so ridiculous it’s beyond words”. He accused law enforcement of misleading the court.

“I’ve never been an agent of a foreign power by any stretch of the imagination,” he said. (Read more from “Trump-Russia: FBI Believed Carter Page ‘Collaborated and Conspired’ With Moscow” HERE)

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Russia Dumps Almost All U.S. Bonds Due to ‘Geopolitical Risk,’ Buys Billions in Gold

The Russian government has drastically reduced their holdings of United States Treasury bonds, with Russian ownership of U.S. bonds declining from $96.1 billion in March to $48.7 billion in April—and then further reducing their holdings to just $14.9 billion in May; an 11-year low.

A gradual Russian sell-off of U.S. sovereign debt began in 2011 and has intensified over the years as Washington has continued to impose sanctions against Russia. To put the massive sell-off into perspective, in 2010, Russia was among the top 10 holders of US Treasuries at $176.3 billion.

The Treasury released a list of 33 countries on Tuesday, which included the biggest holder, China, which held $1.2 trillion of US debt in May. Russia was not on the list, as there is a $30 billion threshold for inclusion on the Treasury Department’s monthly report of major sovereign debt holders.

A U.S. Treasury bond is a fixed-interest government debt security with a maturity of more than 10 years. Treasury bonds make interest payments twice a year.

Elvira Nabiullina, director of the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) said in May that the dramatic reduction of U.S. Treasury holdings was a result of the systematic risk assessment, which included financial, economic and geopolitical risk, according to RT.

In turn, Russia has been buying large amounts of gold during its gradual sell-off of U.S. Treasury bonds, and it recently overtook China as the world’s biggest holder of gold with $80.5 billion worth.

The global head of debt and rates strategy at ING, Padhraic Garvey, said that for Russia it equated to “moving from a safe asset to an ultra-safe asset,” in reference to the move from U.S. Treasury bonds to gold.

To be clear, the impetus for the move from Treasury bonds into gold coincides with a desire to breakaway from the hegemony of the U.S. petrodollar and the global dollar-based payment systems.

Over 60 percent of global reserves and 80 percent of global payments are currently denominated in U.S. dollars, according to James Rickards, author of Currency Wars.

The reason gold is so critical is that it cannot be manipulated by U.S.-based economic warfare, as it cannot be frozen out as other forms of digital and paper fiat can be.

Gold can simply be loaded onto pallets and shipped to another state to make a payment, thus bypassing targeted economic sanctions that are often used by the United States as a means of attempting to force geopolitical compliance by Russia and other countries. The strategic significance of gold is so great, that even when oil prices and Russian financial reserves were collapsing in 2015, they continued to acquire gold.

Additionally, the U.S. is the only country with veto power at the International Monetary Fund, known as the global lender of last resort. Thus, one of the most crucial weapons wielded by Russia, in its war to free itself from the hegemony of the petrodollar, is gold.

With the petrodollar being utilized as a weapon by the U.S. in a time of increased economic warfare, gold is a clearly a means of bypassing U.S. sanctions.

“Gold is an asset that is independent of any government and, in effect, given what is usually held in reserves, any Western government,” said Matthew Turner, metals analyst at Macquarie Group in London.“This might appeal given Russia has faced financial sanctions.”

With the recent launch of Chinese Yuan-denominated oil futures, and more sanctions being imposed on Russia—one can’t help but wonder if this rapid sell-off of U.S. Treasury holdings was meant as a test of sorts to assess the potential impact of a rapid Chinese liquidation of Treasury bonds. (For more from the author of “Russia Dumps Almost All U.S. Bonds Due to ‘Geopolitical Risk,’ Buys Billions in Gold” please click HERE)

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