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The NYT should tell readers whether it helped crooked FBI agents get Trump elected in 2016

The NYT should tell readers whether it helped crooked FBI agents get Trump elected in 2016

posted on Jan 29 2023 22:28:49 UTC via inquirer.com

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It was arguably the most consequential “October Surprise” in the history of American presidential elections. In the waning days of the 2016 race, with polls showing Hillary Clinton clinging to a lead over Donald Trump, two last-minute stories broke that rekindled on-the-fence voters’ ethical doubts about Democrat Clinton and quashed a budding scandal around her GOP rival.

Except the “October Surprise” was no surprise to one key player: Rudolph Giuliani, the ex-New York mayor and Trump insider who later became the 45th president’s attorney. Late that month, Giuliani told Fox News that the trailing Republican nominee had “a surprise or two that you’re going to hear about in the next few days. I mean, I’m talking about some pretty big surprises.”

Just two days later, then-FBI director James Comey revealed the bureau had reopened its probe into Clinton’s emails, based on the possible discovery of new communications on a laptop belonging to disgraced New York politico Anthony Weiner. The news jolted the campaign with a particularly strong boost from the New York Times, which devoted two-thirds of its front page to the story — and the notion it was a major blow to Clinton’s prospects.

It was later reported that Comey was motivated to make the unusual announcement about the laptop because he feared leaks from the FBI’s New York field office, which, according to Reuters, had “a faction of investigators based in the office known to be hostile to Hillary Clinton.” Indeed, Giuliani bragged immediately after that he had sources in the FBI, including current agents.

The supposed bombshell — it turned out there was nothing incriminating or particularly new on the laptop — wasn’t the only FBI-related story that boosted Trump in the homestretch of the 2016 campaign. On Oct. 31, citing unnamed “intelligence sources,” the Times reported, “Investigating Donald Trump, F.B.I. Sees No Clear Link to Russia.” That article defused a budding scandal about the GOP White House hopeful — at least until after Trump’s shock election on Nov. 8, 2016. In the coming days and weeks, the basis of that Times article would melt, but by then the most unlikely POTUS in U.S. history was ensconced in the Oval Office.

There are many reasons for Trump’s victory, but experts have argued the FBI disclosures were decisive. In 2017, polling guru Nate Silver argued that the Comey probe disclosure cost Clinton as many as 3-4 percentage points and at least one percentage point, which would have flipped Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin and handed her the Electoral College.

Clearly, the wrong investigation was reopened.

This week’s stunning corruption charges against a top FBI spymaster who assumed a key role in the bureau’s New York office just weeks before 2016′s “October surprise” — an agent who by 2018 was known to be working for a Vladimir Putin-tied Russian oligarch — should cause America to rethink everything we think we know about the Trump-Russia scandal and how it really happened that Trump won that election.

The government allegations against the former G-man Charles McGonigal (also accused of taking a large foreign payment while still on the FBI payroll) and the outsized American influence of the sanctioned-and-later-indicted Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska — also tied to U.S. pols from Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort to Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell — should make us also look again at what was really up with the FBI in 2016.

How coordinated was the effort in that New York field office to pump up the ultimate nothingburger about Clinton’s emails while poo-pooing the very real evidence of Russian interference on Trump’s behalf, and who were the agents behind it? What was the role, if any, of McGonigal and his international web of intrigue? Was the now-tainted McGonigal a source who told the New York Times that fateful October that Russia was not trying to help Trump win the election — before the U.S. intelligence community determined the exact opposite? If not McGonigal, just who was intentionally misleading America’s most influential news org, and why?

As a veteran journalist, I find the Times’ role in this fiasco — although likely an unwitting one — deeply disturbing. To be sure, the 2016 FBI leaks weren’t the first time a major news organization has been burned by anonymous law enforcement sources, and regrettably it probably won’t be the last. Media critics have been talking for years about the Times’ flawed coverage, and how its near certainty that Clinton would win and a desire to show its aggressiveness toward a future president seems to have skewed its coverage.

It’s not only that America’s so-called paper of record has never apologized for its over-the-top coverage of the Clinton emails or the deeply flawed story about the FBI Trump-Russia probe. It’s that the Times has shown a stunning lack of curiosity about finding out what went wrong. In May 2017, or just seven months after Trump’s election, then-Times executive editor Dean Baquet ended the position of public editor, an independent journalist who was embedded in the newsroom to cover controversies exactly like these.

Baquet said the rise of social media meant the public could now raise such questions. OK, those questions are being raised. When can we expect answers? (I’ve sent a Twitter direct message to one of the coauthors of the 2016 FBI-Trump-Russia article, Eric Lichtblau, and attempted connecting with the other, Steven Lee Myers, and I’ll let you know if I hear back.)

Last week’s indictment of McGonigal is a classic case of raising more questions than were answered. The evidence presented by prosecutors suggests the FBI counterintelligence expert wasn’t introduced to Deripaska until his waning days with the bureau in 2018, aided by a pair of Russian diplomats. In 2019, after he’d retired, the indictment says McGonigal went to work for the oligarch to help him evade U.S. sanctions and to investigate a rival. But the Times also reported that U.S. counterintelligence — in which McGonigal had been a key player — had tried unsuccessfully to recruit Deripaska as an asset in the years around the 2016 election.

Like the Woody Allen character Zelig, Deripaska — a 55-year-old aluminum magnate who at one time was the richest man in Putin’s Russia — is turning up in the background everywhere in the ongoing corruption of American democracy. The oligarch’s history of multimillion-dollar business dealings with Paul Manafort — Trump’s campaign manager in the summer of 2016 — is central to the theory of Russian interference, after it was confirmed that Manafort shared key campaign data with a suspected Russian intelligence agent also connected to Deripaska.

In 2019, Deripaska did manage to get those U.S. sanctions lifted, in a controversial deal backed not only by Team Trump but critically by then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. That same year, a Deripaska-linked aluminum company announced it would build a large plant in Kentucky, where McConnell was running for reelection. (It eventually wasn’t built.) This is the same McConnell who, during that critical fall period in 2016, refused to sign a bipartisan statement warning about Russian election interference.

Another coincidence in a scandal that is drowning in so-called coincidences.

It’s becoming clear that the tamping down of the most explosive parts of the Trump-Russia story is the greatest case of gaslighting since the George Cukor movie dropped in 1944. It’s not just the FBI leaks in New York. We also learned last week — yes, thanks to that same New York Times — about the extraordinary and ethically dubious lengths that Trump’s second attorney general, William Barr, and Barr’s handpicked special prosecutor John Durham, went to to try to prove the FBI was out to sink Trump. That’s the exact opposite of what really happened. Indeed, the Times noted the only major criminality turned up in the Durham probe was a potentially explosive new charge of financial impropriety — by Donald Trump.

Seven years later, the lack of accountability and justice for the gaslighting of American democracy is appalling. Barr did a remarkable job in blunting the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, including squashing his findings about obstruction of justice by the Trump administration. A much-hyped probe by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz into the FBI’s New York office took four long years and failed to find the leakers. And new revelations — including that tip about Trump financial crimes that Italian intelligence passed on to Barr and Durham — continue to surface.

» READ MORE: ‘Get the emails’: Revealed memos suggest Mueller probe failed America. Can Congress fix it? | Will Bunch

Why does it matter? Trump is no longer president, after all, and America has a lot of other problems, with police brutality and mass shootings currently on the front burner. Yet when it comes to this all-encompassing Trump-Russia scandal, the past isn’t even past. The seemingly untouchable 45th president was in New Hampshire and South Carolina this weekend, campaigning to become the 47th. The man that critics call “Moscow Mitch” McConnell could return as majority leader in that same election. And Putin’s obsession with Ukraine — always a focus of his U.S. interference and Trump dealings — has become a war with dire global implications.

More importantly, this never-ending scandal has demolished our trust is so many institutions — an FBI that seems to have corrupted an election, a Justice Department that covered up those deeds instead of exposing them, and, yes, a New York Times that enabled several lies instead of exposing them.

Congress and Merrick Garland’s Justice Department can shine a true light on this giant mess, but there’s a reason I’m picking on the New York Times today. It’s a massive temple of journalism that gives us both great work (like the Barr-Durham piece) and inexcusably bad work on a daily basis. The Times can finally apologize for the sins of 2016, expose exactly what went wrong, and then reveal the rest, so this kind of disaster never happens again. They owe it to American democracy.

McGonigal, meanwhile, will get a chance to clear his name in court. His defense lawyer comes from the firm Bracewell LLC, the law firm that was previously known as Giuliani and Bracewell after its onetime name partner, the former New York mayor. Just another coincidence, probably.

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Rob Bauer, chairman of NATO‘s Military Committee, recently said that the alliance is “ready” for a direct confrontation with Russia as the country continues to fight in Ukraine.

Bauer, an admiral in the Royal Netherlands Navy, told a Portuguese television channel, RTP, that NATO is focused on rearmament as Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s strategic objectives go beyond Ukraine and could possibly expand to neighboring countries.

The chairman, who is reportedly advocating “peacetime war economy,” added that it is important for NATO nations to direct civil industrial production towards military objectives.

However, Chinese military experts warned against NATO’s involvement in the war in Ukraine, noting that the “danger of ‘another World War’ in Europe is increasing,” the Global Times, a Chinese state media outlet, reported on Sunday.

NATO Official Says Alliance ‘Ready’ for Direct-confrontation-with-Russia

The chairman of NATO’s Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, is seen on January 20 in Oeiras, Portugal. Bauer recently said that the alliance is “ready” for a direct confrontation with Russia as the country continues to fight in Ukraine. Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images

Some NATO members, including the United States, recently announced that they will provide Ukraine with tanks to help Ukrainian forces fight Moscow’s invasion.

The U.S. is set to send an additional $3.75 billion in military assistance to Ukraine, which includes 50 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles, bringing the overall security assistance by the U.S. to Ukraine to approximately $27.2 billion since Putin launched his invasion last February.

“Kiev will always pay efforts to drag its NATO allies to directly fight with Russian troops in Ukraine, as this is probably the only way for Kiev to turn around the current situation. But Washington is not stupid, so it won’t be used by Kiev, but will keep using Kiev to undermine Moscow,” Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times Sunday.

Meanwhile, Wei Dongxu, a Beijing-based military expert, told the Chinese media outlet that Ukrainian troops might be able to launch counter offensives in some areas that are currently occupied by the Russians by the end of the winter or shortly afterwards. This could happen if the West supplies Ukraine with F-16 fighter jets, “armed by NATO members,” main battle tanks, and long-range missiles.

Last month, former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev suggested that members of the NATO military alliance providing Ukraine with assistance could be “legitimate military targets.”

Medvedev, who is now the deputy chairman of Russia’s Security Council, questioned whether the delivery of weapons to Ukraine by NATO nations could be considered an attack on Russia.

“Today…the main question is whether the hybrid war de facto declared on our country by NATO can be considered to be the alliance’s entry into war with Russia? Is it possible to view the delivery of a large volume of weapons to Ukraine as an attack on Russia?” he said.

Newsweek reached out to the Russian foreign affairs ministry for comment.

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The post Michael Novakhov retweeted: A former CIA leader on the cataclysms that may lie ahead — and how the U.S. should deal with them. first appeared on My News Links.

Michael Novakhov retweeted: German chancellor says he won’t send fighter jets to Ukraine bbc.in/40dXj0W

The post Michael Novakhov retweeted: German chancellor says he won’t send fighter jets to Ukraine bbc.in/40dXj0W first appeared on My News Links.

Michael Novakhov retweeted: “But there also appears to be a growing cohort of military experts who believe that reclaiming Crimea is imperative to Ukraine’s long-term survival, and contend that Ukrainian forces have already shown they have the ability to get the job done.” businessinsider.com/crimea-shaping…

The post Michael Novakhov retweeted: “But there also appears to be a growing cohort of military experts who believe that reclaiming Crimea is imperative to Ukraine’s long-term survival, and contend that Ukrainian forces have already shown they have the ability to get the job done.” businessinsider.com/crimea-shaping… first appeared on My News Links.

It was arguably the most consequential “October Surprise” in the history of American presidential elections. In the waning days of the 2016 race, with polls showing Hillary Clinton clinging to a lead over Donald Trump, two last-minute stories broke that rekindled on-the-fence voters’ ethical doubts about Democrat Clinton and quashed a budding scandal around her […]

The post The NYT should tell readers whether it helped crooked FBI agents get Trump elected in 2016 first appeared on My News Links.

It was arguably the most consequential “October Surprise” in the history of American presidential elections. In the waning days of the 2016 race, with polls showing Hillary Clinton clinging to a lead over Donald Trump, two last-minute stories broke that rekindled on-the-fence voters’ ethical doubts about Democrat Clinton and quashed a budding scandal around her […]

The post The NYT should tell readers whether it helped crooked FBI agents get Trump elected in 2016 first appeared on The News Channels.

It was arguably the most consequential “October Surprise” in the history of American presidential elections. In the waning days of the 2016 race, with polls showing Hillary Clinton clinging to a lead over Donald Trump, two last-minute stories broke that rekindled on-the-fence voters’ ethical doubts about Democrat Clinton and quashed a budding scandal around her […]

The post The NYT should tell readers whether it helped crooked FBI agents get Trump elected in 2016 first appeared on Trumpism And Trump – trumpismandtrump.com.

2023-01-29T22:16:38Z (Reuters) -A missile hit an apartment building on Sunday in Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second city, killing one person and injuring others, regional governor Oleh Synehubov said. A Reuters picture from the scene showed fire engulfing part of a residential building. Synehubov said the strike took place in the city’s central Kyiv district. “According to updated […]

The post Missile hits Kharkiv apartment building, one dead- governor first appeared on The News Links.

#FBI FBI Was the now-tainted McGonigal a source who told the New York Times that fateful October that Russia was not trying to help Trump win the election … ?! The NYT should tell readers whether it helped crooked FBI agents get Trump elected in 2016 inquirer.com/opinion/commen…

The post #FBI FBI Was the now-tainted McGonigal a source who told the New York Times that fateful October that Russia was not trying to help Trump win the election … ?! The NYT should tell readers whether it helped crooked FBI agents get Trump elected in 2016 inquirer.com/opinion/commen… first appeared on The News Links.

The NYT should tell readers whether it helped crooked FBI agents get Trump elected in 2016 inquirer.com/opinion/commen…

The post The NYT should tell readers whether it helped crooked FBI agents get Trump elected in 2016 inquirer.com/opinion/commen… first appeared on The News Links.

FBI News Review: Objective, Balanced, Timely | RSS Pages

posted on Jan 29 2023 21:10:55 UTC by Mike Nova via The News And Times

FBI News: Objective, Balanced, Timely – RSS FBI’s institutional psychology and modus operandi are based on the mentality of the REFORMED PETTY CRIMINAL, who feels called to fight the “real criminals”, because they are his Alter Ego, and the G-men feel uniquely qualified to catch those thieves because they are the thieves themselves, in addition to posing […]

The post FBI News Review: Objective, Balanced, Timely | RSS Pages first appeared on The News And Times.

What Does Charlie McGonigal Know About 2016?

posted on Jan 29 2023 21:10:55 UTC by Mike Nova via The News And Times

What Does Charlie McGonigal Know About 2016? #FBI FBI: With Trump seeking to return to the WH, the answers are critical to democracy. The malign conspirators who first brought that would-be tyrant to power, both foreign and domestic, are still at large.What Does Charlie McGonigal Know About 2016? https://t.co/xdFmczW8aJ — Michael Novakhov (@mikenov) January 28, […]

The post What Does Charlie McGonigal Know About 2016? first appeared on The News And Times.

  Selected Articles – TNT Michael Novakhov @mikenov posted at 15:27:32 UTC by Michael Novakhov via Tweets by ‎@mikenov #FBI #DOJ:Weiner’s sexting of 2016 which started the chain of events up to Trump Presidency needs to be reinvestigated in the light of McGonigal affair.Who was behind this girl:The FBI?The Russians?The Israelis disliking the Weiner-Abedin marriage?https://t.co/i1yFBEtRCN Quoted tweet from @mikenov: Teen […]

The post TNT Review: #FBI #DOJ: My Opinion: Weiner’s sexting of 2016 which started the chain of events up to Trump Presidency needs to be reinvestigated in the light of McGonigal affair. Who was behind this girl: The FBI? The Russians? The Israelis disliking the Weiner-Abedin marriage? first appeared on The News And Times.

Saved Web Pages – Daily Report at 9 p.m. created by Michael Novakhov  •  Jan 28 2023 The most notable news articles in full text version. Current Page: https://www.inoreader.com/stream/user/1006407045/tag/web-pages/view/html –   Timeline on Jared Kushner, Qatar, 666 Fifth Avenue, and White House Policy   The heart of the case involving President Donald J. Trump and Ukraine was […]

The post Timeline on Jared Kushner, Qatar, 666 Fifth Avenue, and White House Policy | Charles McGonigal’s arrest should make Jared very nervous – Saved Web Pages – Daily Report at 9 p.m. first appeared on The News And Times.

  Charles McGonigal, Election 2016, and Hillary Clinton Charles McGonigal, 2016 Election, and Hillary Clinton 10:17 AM · Jan 25, 2023·  – Michael Novakhov on FBI: The FBI #FBI errors are #SYSTEMIC, chronic, persistent, very likely are fueled by the ROT from within: treachery. This is the greatest threat to US Security. FBI tries to […]

The post Charles McGonigal, Election 2016, and Hillary Clinton – 10:28 AM 1/29/2023 first appeared on The News And Times.

Top Links

posted on Jan 29 2023 21:10:55 UTC by Mike Nova via The News And Times

All News | Blog | Links | Sites | The News And Times | Blogs Review | Audio | Video | Selected Articles

The post Top Links first appeared on The News And Times.

Michael Novakhov @mikenov

posted on Jan 29 2023 19:56:31 UTC by Michael Novakhov via Tweets by ‎@mikenov
Understanding the US Designation of the Wagner Group as a Transnational Criminal Organisation – ICCT icct.nl/publication/us…

Michael Novakhov @mikenov

posted on Jan 29 2023 15:49:02 UTC by Michael Novakhov via Tweets by ‎@mikenov
Charles McGonigal, Election 2016, and Hillary Clinton – 10:28 AM 1/29/2023 thenewsandtimes.blogspot.com/2023/01/charle…

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Michael Novakhov @mikenov

posted on Jan 29 2023 11:10:13 UTC by Michael Novakhov via Tweets by ‎@mikenov
Совещание с постоянными членами Совета Безопасности • Президент России kremlin.ru/events/preside…

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