Russiagate Timeline May-June 2017

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    May 2017

    May 1, 2017:” During an Oval Office interview with CBS’ John Dickerson, Trump says “I don’t stand by anything” when asked about his claims that President Obama tapped his phones during the 2016 election. Trump then proceeds to double down on the wiretapping accusation: “I think our side’s been proven very strongly and everybody’s talking about it and frankly, it should be discussed.” Trump cuts the interview short when Dickerson presses him on his claims.” Mother JonesThe new Democrat Coalition Cybersecurity Task Force Congressional Members Kathleen Rice, Derek Kilmer, and Josh Gottheimer wrote a letter to the “Office of Personnel Management asking for cybersecurity information after it was revealed that millions of people had their identities compromised…”The answer we got back is, ‘We only speak to the chair people of committees.’ Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Pa.) asked acting General Services Administrator Tim Horne about a briefing House Oversight Committee staffers had received from the GSA, in which they were informed that the “GSA has a new policy only to respond to Republican committee chairmen.” Politico

     May 2, 2017: “During a Q&A, Hillary Clinton blames her election defeat on Russian hacking and FBI director James Comey’s October 28 letter to Congress stating that the bureau was examining newly discovered emails possibly related to its investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server. “I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off—and the evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling [and] persuasive,” she said.” Mother Jones

    – Donald Trump tweets: “FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony…” — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2017

    “…Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign? ” — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 3, 2017

    “On the eve of FBI Director James Comey’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Trump tweets: “FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony… Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?” [Added May 8, 2017]Bill Moyers

    May 3, 2017: “FBI director James Comey testifies before the Senate judiciary committee, saying, “It makes me mildly nauseous to think that we might have had some impact on the election. But honestly, it wouldn’t change the decision.”  Mother Jones        Washington Post     pic.twitter.com/966VZoydLI — ABC News (@ABC) May 3, 2017

    In response to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT), who asks FBI Director Comey about Trump’s April 29, 2017 interview in which he said that the hacking of the DNC “could’ve been China, could’ve been a lot of different groups,” Comey answers, “The intelligence community with high confidence concluded it was Russia.” [Added May 8, 2017]Bill Moyers

    May 4, 2017: Adam Schiff “Just finished closed hearing with FBI Director Comey and NSA Director Rogers. Good opportunity for our follow up. Here are next steps: pic.twitter.com/eOjX1SRR9B”— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 4, 2017      Trump gave interview to The Economist

    May 5, 2017: French Presidential Candidate Macron is hacked and emails are released as the country goes into media blackout before the election in attempts to tip the election in Putin, Trump and Alt-Right favorite Marine Le Pen’s favor. Rachel Maddow Reports

    “In an interview with Boston radio station WBUR, golf journalist James Dodson says Eric Trump told him that funding for Trump golf courses came from Russia. So when I got in the cart with Eric,” Dodson says, “as we were setting off, I said, ‘Eric, who’s funding? I know no banks—because of the recession, the Great Recession—have touched a golf course. You know, no one’s funding any kind of golf construction. It’s dead in the water the last four or five years.’ And this is what he said. He said, ‘Well, we don’t rely on American banks. We have all the funding we need out of Russia.’ I said, ‘Really?’ And he said, ‘Oh, yeah. We’ve got some guys that really, really love golf, and they’re really invested in our programs. We just go there all the time.’ Now that was three years ago, so it was pretty interesting. Eric Trump later denies saying this.”Mother Jones

    “The chair and vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee issue a joint statement, saying: “Three days ago, Carter Page told Fox News he was cooperating with the Committee’s investigation into Russian activities surrounding the 2016 Election. Today we have learned that may not be the case.” The statement expresses the hope that Page “will live up to his publicly-expressed cooperation with our effort.” [Added May 8, 2017]Bill Moyers

    “Trump signs a bill extending the controversial EB-5 immigrant program. Concerns about “gerrymandering” that facilitates abuses of the program persist.”  Salon

    May 6, 2017: Adam Schiff Tweets: “Worst fear during Russia hack in our election was they would dump fakes among real documents. Reportedly, this is now happening with Macron. pic.twitter.com/k4UxiFnYHq— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) May 6, 2017″     Later revealed as a Macron tactic to derail hackers.

    “Jared Kushner’s sister, Nicole Meyer, touts Jared’s proximity to Trump, as well as the EB-5 citizenship program, as selling points to potential Chinese investors in Kushner Companies’ One Journal Square development in New Jersey. The project appears to benefit from the type of gerrymandering that generates criticism of the EB-5 program.” Salon

    May 6-7, 2017: “Trump spends the weekend at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. Since March, he’s been fuming over Comey’s congressional appearance, in which the FBI director had acknowledged the FBI’s ongoing investigation into Trump campaign ties to Russia and had refuted Trump’s false claim that President Obama had wiretapped him. In the weeks that followed, Trump grew angrier and talked about firing Comey. At Bedminister, Trump grouses over Comey’s May 3 congressional testimony — especially his comment about being “mildly nauseous” at the thought that his actions relating to the Clinton investigation might have affected the outcome of the election. [Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

    Days before May 9, 2017: “According to The New York Times FBI Director Comey asks Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein for additional resources to expand the bureau’s Trump/Russia investigation. Department of Justice spokesperson Sarah Flores denies the story, calling it “100 percent false.” [Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

    May 8, 2017: “Honored to welcome Georgia Prime Minister, Giorgi Kvirikashvili to the @WhiteHousetoday with @VP Mike Pence. “https://t.co/EAPvsrbrUOpic.twitter.com/FnKkuWLFDp— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017″Trump gives interview to Time Magazine over dinner.
    “Donald Trump issues a pair of tweets ahead of a hearing where former acting attorney general Sally Yates is expected to testify that she warned the Trump administration that Michael Flynn had lied about his interactions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak weeks before Trump ultimately fired his national security adviser.”Mother Jones

    “Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council.”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017

    “General Flynn was given the highest security clearance by the Obama Administration – but the Fake News seldom likes talking about that.”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017

    ” Hours after Trump took to Twitter to imply that his hiring of Flynn was Obama’s fault, NBC Newsreported that Obama had warned Trump against hiring Flynn during their meeting in the Oval Office on November 10—two days after Trump was elected and months before Trump appointed Flynn as his national security adviser.”Mother Jones

    May 8, 2017: “Upon returning to the White House on Monday, Trump tells a few close aides, including Vice President Pence and White House counsel Don McGahn, that Comey has to go. According to ABC News, Pence, McGahn, chief of staff Reince Priebus and senior adviser Jared Kushner are members of a small group that begins to prepare talking points about Comey’s firing. Trump summons Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to the White House, where he instructs them provide a written justification for removing Comey.” [Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers  Washington Post

    “With former Acting Attorney General Sally Yates scheduled to testify later in the day, Trump tweets:” Bill Moyers

    [Added May 15, 2017]

    May 9, 2017: Trump Fired FBI Director James Comey at Jeff Sessions’ recommendation via letter delivered by private bodyguard.  NY Times

    DOJ, Gregory Brower, Assistant Director Office of Congressional Affairs sent a letter to Charles Grassley, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary for the US Senate as a supplement to Comey’s testimony on May 3. “the FBI believes it is reasonable to conclude that most of the emails found on r. Weiner’s laptop computer related to the Clinton investigation occurred as a result of backup of personal devices, with a small number a result of manual forwarding by Ms. Abedin to Mr. Weiner…Our investigation determined that Ms. Abedin commonly forwarded emails to others who would print documents for her.” ProPublica

    Donald Trump fires FBI director James Comey, following recommendations to do so from Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein’s memo recommending Comey’s firing explains that his recommendation is the result of Comey’s mishandling of the Clinton email investigation during the 2016 presidential campaign. Read Trump’s letter firing Comey, along with Sessions and Rosenstein’s memos recommending Comey’s termination” on Mother Jones

    “Following Comey’s firing, CNN reports that the US attorney’s office in Alexandria, Virginia has issued grand jury subpoenas to associates of Michael Flynn’s, marking an escalation of the FBI’s investigation into Russia.”Mother Jones

    “Within hours of Comey’s firing, more than 100 lawmakers, including several Republicans, have called for an independent investigator or special prosecutor to be assigned to the FBI’s investigation into Trump’s ties to Russia, particularly now that the new FBI head will be chosen by Trump himself. “It is critical that the FBI can continue all of its pending work with independence and integrity – especially the investigation into the Russian government’s efforts to influence our last election and undermine American democracy,” said Republican congressman from Florida Rep. Curbelo.”Mother Jones

    “Citing the May 9 recommendations of Attorney General Sessions and Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein, Trump fires FBI Director Comey, ostensibly because of his inappropriate statements about the Clinton email investigation prior to the 2016 election. Trump, Sessions and Rosenstein write that terminating Comey is necessary to restore trust, confidence and integrity in the FBI. In his termination letter to Comey, Trump also says he “greatly appreciates you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation.” [Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

    “Late in the evening and amid bushes on the White House grounds, press secretary Sean Spicer tells reporters to “turn the lights off” before answering questions about Comey’s firing. He says that the impetus came from the deputy attorney general. “No one from the White House,” Spicer says. “That was a DOJ decision.” Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway echoes that position on CNN, reading excerpts from Rosenstein’s memo to Anderson Cooper.” [Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

    The House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence sent a letter to Sessions re. FISA/Steele Dossier Docs.

    May 10, 2017Trump locked out US Press and Photographers out while he entertained Russian Ambassador/Explosive Expert Physicist Sergey Kislyak, central to the Flynn firing and inquiry, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.   “Tass, Russia’s official news agency, released more photographs of the three men laughing together in the Oval Office. The White House released nothing.” NY TImes  These Russian tweets alerted the US. Business Insider; Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and H.R. McMaster, new National Security Adviser, was present and denied the importance of what was shared. This sharing of Israeli intelligence could end the sharing of intelligence with the U.S. “Trump allegedly revealed the city in ISIS-held territory where, according to his intelligence briefing, the U.S. ally retrieved evidence that the militant group is actively planning to smuggle a laptop wired with an explosive onto an airliner. The information of the location and nature of the plot threatens to give away Israeli intelligence methods to Russia. Israel fears that Moscow, allied with Iranian forces in Syria, may then pass the intelligence onto Tehran, its longtime enemy.”NewsweekRussian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrives in Washington for meetings with top officials, including Trump himself. At a press conference with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson welcoming the Russian Foreign Minister, a reporter asked a question about the Comey firing. Lavrov responded, ironically “Was he fired? You are kidding, you are kidding!” before walking away.”Mother Jones

    Vice President Mike Pence says repeatedly that Comey’s firing occurred because Sessions and Rosenstein recommended it: The deputy attorney general “came to work, sat down and made the recommendation for the FBI to be able to do its job that it would need new leadership. He brought that recommendation to the president. The attorney general concurred with that recommendation.” [Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

    “Deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says Trump had been thinking about firing Comey “since the day he was elected,” but reiterates Pence’s position that Sessions and Rosenstein were “absolutely” the impetus for the firing. “[Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

    “ The Washington Post and The New York Times report that Trump had been the impetus for Comey’s firing, not Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein. [“Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

    “Rod Rosenstein speaks by phone with White House counsel Don McGahn. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rosenstein insists that the White House correct the misimpression that Rosenstein initiated the process leading to Comey’s firing. He suggests that he can’t work in an environment where facts aren’t reported accurately. “[Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

    “The White House releases a new timeline of the events relating to Comey’s firing. It recites that the impetus for removing Comey had come from Trump, not the deputy attorney general. But the White House acknowledges that Trump met with Sessions and Rosenstein on May 8 to discuss “reasons for removing the director” and that the attorney general and his deputy sent their written recommendations to Trump on May 9. “[Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

    “House Oversight Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) asks the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate Comey’s firing. “[Added May 15, 2017]Bill Moyers

    “At an Oval Office meeting with Russian Ambassador Kislyak and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and their aides, Trump reveals highly classified intelligence about the Islamic State and American counterterrorism plans. The meeting occurs because Putin had previously asked Trump to meet with Lavrov, and Trump didn’t feel he could say no. Kislyak’s attendance was unexpected. The intelligence that Trump reveals is so sensitive that it has not been shared with American allies and has been tightly restricted within the US government. Minutes after the meeting ends, Kislyak’s presence becomes known when the Russian news agency TASS publishes photographs that a Russian photographer had taken of the three men. The White House had not permitted any US news organization to attend any part of the meeting, even for photographs.” [Added May 18, 2017]Bill Moyers

    “Early in the morning, Trump takes to Twitter to defend his firing of James Comey. “Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!” he writes.”Mother Jones

    May 10, 2017: “The Democrats have said some of the worst things about James Comey, including the fact that he should be fired, but now they play so sad!”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017

    “James Comey will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI.”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017

    “Comey lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington, Republican and Democrat alike. When things calm down, they will be thanking me!— Donald J. Trump” (@realDonaldTrump)May 10, 2017
    “CNN reports that a source claims that Roger Stone urged Trump to fire Comey. Within minutes, Trump responds to the report on Twitter, calling out CNN and saying the report is “fake news.”Mother Jones

    “The Roger Stone report on @CNN is false – Fake News. Have not spoken to Roger in a long time – had nothing to do with my decision.”— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2017

    Stone says on Twitter that he “never made such a claim” but supports Trump’s decision ‘100%.’”Mother Jones

    “As controversy swirls surrounding Trump’s firing of Comey, the White House announces the Press Secretary Sean Spicer will be gone for the rest of the week fulfilling his US navy reserve duty and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the principal deputy press secretary, will cover for him, including running the first press briefing since Trump’s firing of the FBI director.”Mother Jones
    “In remarks on the Senate floor, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell rejects calls for a special prosecutor to take over the Russia probe. “Today we’ll no doubt hear calls for a new investigation, which could only serve to impede the current work being done,” he said.”Mother Jones

    May 11, 2017: Investigative Reporter WBAL-TV on Twitter: “Developing: FBI confirms agents are executing a search warrant at the office of GOP Fundraiser/Consulting firm in Annapolis”— Jayne Miller (@jemillerwbal) May 11, 2017

    “FBI investigation of GOP fundraising firm in Annapolis is run out of Washington, not a local case”— Jayne Miller (@jemillerwbal) May 11, 2017

    Fact-checking the Trump interview with NBC’s Lester Holt May 11, 2017 

    “Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testifies in a Senate hearing that the White House has misled the public about the FBI’s Russia investigation and regard for Comey at the agency. He says the Russia probe is ‘highly significant’” Mother Jones

    “The New York Times and CNN each report via sources close to James Comey that part of President Trump’s motivation for firing Comey was the FBI director’s refusal to swear political loyalty to the president. The Times details a conversation between Trump and Comey during a one-on-one dinner that took place at the White House on January 27—just one day after former acting Attorney General Sally Yates warned the Trump White House that then National Security Adviser Michael Flynn was vulnerable to blackmail by the Kremlin. Three days before the dinner, on Jan. 24, Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI about his contacts with the Russian ambassador. In the conversation with Yates the day before the Comey dinner, White House Counsel Don McGahn asked Yates how Flynn did in the FBI interview, and Yates declined to answer.” Mother Jones

    “Trump says in an NBC interview that he asked Comey three times whether he is personally under investigation by the FBI for possible Russia ties—twice on the phone, and once at the January 27 dinner. Trump claims that Comey reassured him that he is not under investigation. (Sources close to Comey say this never happened.)”Mother Jones   “If it’s possible, will you let me know, am I under investigation?” Trump told Lester Holt he asked Comey.”   NPR

    “Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testifies that James Comey enjoyed “broad support within the FBI and still does to this day…. The majority, the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep, positive connection to Director Comey.” [Added May 15, 2017] Bill Moyers

    Trump tells NBC’s Lester Holt that he had already decided to fire Comey before his meeting with Sessions and Rosenstein: “Regardless of recommendation, I was going to fire Comey, knowing there was no good time to do it. And in fact, when I decided to do it, I said to myself, I said, you know, this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made up story….” Trump also says that on three different occasions — once in person and twice over the phone — he’d asked Comey if he was under investigation for alleged ties to Russia, and Comey told him he wasn’t. And Trump tells Holt that he had sent Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) a “certified letter” from “from one of the most prestigious law firms in the country” confirming that he has “nothing to do with Russia.” [Added May 15, 2017] Bill Moyers

    “Trump contradicts his White House staff as well as the vice president, over the reasoning. At first, staffers said Trump acted on the assessment of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, but in an interview with NBC News, Trump says he was going to fire Comey regardless of Rosenstein’s advice.  “It was set up a while ago,” Trump told Lester Holt on May 11. “And frankly, I could have waited, but what difference does it make?” It’s worth noting that just before the firing, the FBI sent a letter to Sen. Chuck Grassley correcting aspects of Comey’s May 3 testimony. The letter came after ProPublica first reported inaccuracies in Comey’s statements to Congress.

    From ProPublica’s Peter Elkind:

    “In (the letter), the FBI acknowledged that only a “small number” of more than 49,000 “potentially relevant” emails found on Weiner’s laptop had been forwarded from Clinton deputy Huma Abedin to Weiner, her husband, not hundreds or thousands as Comey had stated. The FBI said just two of those messages contained classified information.” NPR

    The New York Times reports on Trump’s one-on-one dinner with Comey on Jan. 27, when Trump asked Comey for a personal loyalty pledge that Comey refused to provide. “[Added May 15, 2017] Bill Moyers

    “ The Senate Intelligence Committee sent Mike Flynn a subpoena for documents that he’d refused to produce voluntarily in response to the committee’s April 28 letter request. “[Added May 15, 2017] Bill Moyers

    May 12, 2017: “Trump tweets: James Comey better hope that there are no “tapes” of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

    — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017 Bill Moyers

    “In response to questions about Trump’s early morning tweet about Comey and “tapes,” press secretary Sean Spicer refuses to answer whether Trump was taping Oval Office conversations. “The president has nothing further to add on that,” Spicer says repeatedly. ” [Added May 15, 2017] Bill Moyers

    The White House releases a one-page May 8, 2017 letter from Trump’s outside lawyers — Sheri Dillon and William Nelson at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. The carefully worded letter states that “with a few exceptions” totaling about $100 million, Trump’s tax returns from 2005 “do not reflect” any “income from Russian sources,” “debt owed by you or [The Trump Organization] to Russian lenders,” “equity investments by Russian persons or entities,” or “equity or debt investments by you or [The Trump Organization] in Russian entities.” The letter does not define “Russian” or purport to determine whether or to what extent individuals from Russia, Ukraine, or other former Soviet-bloc countries may have used shell corporations through which they may have conducted transactions with Trump businesses. Months earlier, Dillon had developed and presented Trump’s business conflicts of interest plan whereby Trump retained all ownership in his businesses.” [Added May 15, 2017] Bill Moyers

    The Wall Street Journal reports that the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) — a unit that specializes in combating money-laundering — will share financial records with the Senate Intelligence Committee investigating Trump’s ties to Russia.”[Added May 15, 2017] Bill Moyers    “The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that the Justice Department has requested Manafort’s banking records.”  NBC 

    May 15, 2017: “The Washington Post reports that Trump revealed highly classified information to Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and ambassador Sergey Kislyak in their White House meeting on May 10. A US official tells the Post that the information had one of the highest available classification levels. “This is code-word information,” the official tells the Post, adding that Trump “revealed more information to the Russian ambassador than we have shared with our own allies.” Mother Jones

    “National security adviser H.R. McMaster issues a 40-second “non-denial denial” of the Washington Poststory that Trump disclosed highly classified intelligence to Russian Ambassador Kislyak and Foreign Minister Lavrov.“Bill Moyers

    “McMaster reads a statement to the press denying the Washington Post’s report, while mischaracterizing the substance of it. He says: “The story that came out tonight, as reported, is false. The president and the foreign minister reviewed a range of common threats to our two countries, including threats to civil aviation. At no time—at no time—were intelligence sources or methods discussed.” The Post didn’t report that sources and methods were disclosed; the paper reported that the information discussed could be used to discern intelligence sources or methods. After reading his statement, McMaster refuses to take questions.” Mother Jones

    “I was in the room,” McMaster concludes, “It didn’t happen.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who also attended the Oval Office meeting with the Russians, issues a statement saying the group “did not discuss sources, methods or military operations.” [Added May 18, 2017]Bill Moyers

    At his daily press conference, Sean Spicer refuses — seven times — to answer whether Trump is secretly recording his conversations.” [Added May 18, 2017] Bill Moyers

    May 16, 2017: “In response to press reports that former FBI Director James Comey had written a contemporaneous memorandum documenting Trump’s Feb. 14 request to halt the Flynn investigation,the White House issues an unattributed statement that concludes: “This is not a truthful or accurate portrayal of the conversation between the president and Mr. Comey.” [Added May 17, 2017]Bill Moyers“Donald Trump defends himself on Twitter, without denying that he shared highly classified material with Russia’s foreign minister and ambassador.”Mother Jones“A senior European intelligence official tells the Associated Press that his country may stop sharing intelligence with the United States if it is confirmed that Trump shared classified information with Russian officials.” Mother Jones“In a press briefing, H.R. McMaster clarifies that in calling the Washington Post‘s reporting “false,” he was disputing the “premise” of the article: that Trump had done “anything inappropriate” or that had compromised national security by revealing information to Russian officials. In response to multiple questions, McMaster refuses to confirm whether or not the information the president revealed was classified. McMaster also refuses to clarify why White House officials called the NSA and CIA after Trump’s conversation with Lavrov and Kislyak.” Mother Jones“National security adviser McMaster tells reporters repeatedly that Trump’s disclosure of intelligence with the Russians was “wholly appropriate.” As his press conference ends, McMaster says that Trump “wasn’t even aware where this information came from. He wasn’t briefed on the source or method of the information either.” [Added May 18, 2017]Bill Moyers“The New York Times reports that during an Oval Office meeting in February, Donald Trump asked then FBI director James Comey to drop the agency’s investigation into Michael Flynn, who had resigned the day before amid controversy over his discussions of US sanctions with the Russian ambassador. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump said to Comey, according to a two-page memo Comey drafted after the meeting. “He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.” The Washington Post and Politico subsequently confirmed the Times’ account. According to the paper, Comey kept detailed records of all of his conversations with the president.” Mother Jones“The Washington Post reports that Comey shared his memos with a small number of people at the Justice Department. (It’s unclear whether those officials include Rod Rosenstein or Jeff Sessions, who were involved in Comey’s firing.)” Mother Jones“At the International Republican Institute’s Freedom Awards, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) likens Trump’s mounting Russia scandal to Watergate: “I think we’ve seen this movie before. I think it’s reaching a point where it’s of Watergate size and scale, and a couple of other scandals that you and I have seen. It’s a centipede that the shoe continues to drop.” Mother Jones

    “Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe testifies that James Comey enjoyed “broad support within the FBI and still does to this day…. The majority, the vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep, positive connection to Director Comey.” [Added May 15, 2017] Bill Moyers

    “ABC reports that “Federal investigators have subpoenaed records related to a $3.5 million mortgage that former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort took out on his Hamptons home just after leaving the campaign, according to a source familiar with the matter.” Mother Jones

    “New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is also taking a “preliminary look” at Manafort’s real estate transactions, according to a separate source.” Feds Subpoena Records for $3.5M Mystery Mortgage on Manafort’s Home NBC

    “Two sources close to Comey say that Trump asked him to close down the FBI’s investigation into former national security adviser Michael Flynn a day after Flynn was let go. Comey, who was still FBI director at the time, wrote a memo about the exchange immediately after the Oval Office conversation in February, an associate of Comey’s told NPR.House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, sends a request to Acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe for “memoranda, notes, summaries, and recordings referring or relating” to communications between Comey and Trump, setting a deadline of May 24.The White House has denied that the president ever asked for the investigation to end. The FBI would not comment, but McCabe testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on May 11 that “there has been no effort to impede our investigation to date.” NPR

    The House Intelligence Committee sent a letter to then-Acting Director Andrew McCabe to voluntarily interview and produce documents.

    Trump Tweets

    As President I wanted to share with Russia (at an openly scheduled W.H. meeting) which I have the absolute right to do, facts pertaining….

    4:03 AM – 16 May 2017

    …to terrorism and airline flight safety. Humanitarian reasons, plus I want Russia to greatly step up their fight against ISIS & terrorism.

    4:13 AM – 16 May 2017

    May 17, 2017: “House Democratic leaders hold a press conference in which they announce that they are circulating a discharge petition among their congressional colleagues to try to force a vote on legislation that would create a 12-person independent commission to investigate Russia’s interference in the US election.” Mother Jones

    Eleven Democratic senators send a letter to the Justice Department Inspector General asking him to investigate whether Attorney General Jeff Sessions violated his pledge to recuse himself from any investigations connected to the 2016 election when he took part in the firing of FBI Director James  .” Mother Jones

    “During a press conference in Sochi, Russia, Putin calls the allegations that Trump had revealed classified information to Lavrov and Kislyak “political schizophrenia.” Mother Jones

    Putin offers to provide the US Congress with transcripts of the May 10 Oval Office conversations among Trump, the Russian ambassador, and Russia’s foreign minister. “[Added May 18, 2017]Bill Moyers  Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein names former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference with the election. In a White House statement, Trump says, “As I have stated many times, a thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity. I look forward to this matter concluding quickly.” [Added May 18, 2017]Bill Moyers    NPR

    “The Washington Postreports that during a private June 2016 meeting with Republican leaders, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said he believed Trump was on Vladimir Putin’s payroll. “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,’ McCarthy said, referring to Rep. Dana Rohrbacher (R-Calif.), a steadfast defender of Putin and Russia. When his colleagues laughed, McCarthy added, “Swear to god.” (McCarthy says he was joking.)” Mother Jones

    “The New York Times reports that Michael Flynn told the Trump transition team’s chief lawyer in early January—before the inauguration—that Flynn was under investigation for failing to disclose more than $500,000 of work as a paid lobbyist for Turkey.” Mother Jones

    McClatchy reports that 10 days before Trump’s inauguration, Flynn asked to delay an Obama administration plan to fight ISIS that Turkey opposed.” Mother Jones

    May 18, 2017:“Reuters reports that Michael Flynn and other members of Trump’s campaign had at least 18 previously undisclosed calls and emails with Russian officials in the last seven months of the 2016 presidential campaign.” Mother Jones

    Trump tweets:”With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) “May 18, 2017

    -Trump tweets: “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017 “Mother Jones   Bill Moyers

    “During a White House news conference with the Colombian president Trump denies any collusion with Russia and again calls the investigation a “witch hunt.” “I respect the move,” Trump said of the DOJ’s appointment of special prosecutor Robert Mueller III to oversee the Russia investigation, “But the entire thing has been a witch hunt. And there is no collusion between, certainly, myself and my campaign—but I can always speak for myself—and the Russians. Zero.” Mother Jones

    “Two sources close to Michael Flynn tell Yahoo News that at a dinner on April 25, more than two months after leaving his post as national security adviser, Flynn told a group of close friends that he was still in regular communication with the president. “I just got a message from the president to stay strong,” he reportedly told the group, on the heels of a day when two congressmen announced that Flynn may have broken the law by failing to disclose a $34,000 payment from RT, a Russian state-owned media outlet, on his 2016 application to renew his security clearance.” Mother Jones

    May 19, 2017: “The Washington Post reports that people familiar with the investigation into Trump’s Russia ties have identified a senior White House adviser as a “significant person of interest.” Mother Jones

    -“The New York Times reports that in Trump’s May 10 Oval Office meeting with Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Trump called former FBI director Comey a “nut job” and expressed relief at his ouster. “I just fired the head of the F.B.I. He was crazy, a real nut job,” Trump said, according to a document summarizing the meeting, which an American official read to The New York Times. “I faced great pressure because of Russia. That’s taken off.” Mother Jones

    McClatchy reports that the investigation into Russia’s interference into the 2016 election has been expanded to include the possibility of a cover-up by the White House, according to members of Congress who were briefed on Friday by Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein.” Mother Jones

    CNN reports that White House lawyers have begun researching impeachment procedures, despite public assurances by many Republicans and Democrats that impeachment is still a distant option.” Mother Jones

    May 22,2017: Michael Flynn reported to invoke the 5th Amendment in response to the Senate investigative committee’s subpoena. “Netanyahu added that U.S.-Israeli “intelligence cooperation is terrific and it’s never been better.” MSN/AP

    “Speaking to reporters in Jerusalem, Donald Trump denies mentioning “Israel” in his May 10 conversation with the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in the Oval Office. In making this statement, Trump tacitly implies that he did in fact discuss classified information with these Russian officials and also appears to confirm that the classified information originated with Israel—a statement that no US official has made publicly.” Mother Jones

    Roger Stone and Paul Manafort submitted documents requested to the Senate Intelligence Committee. NBC

    May 23,2017: “In a letter sent on Tuesday by five House Democrats to Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan, lawmakers called for information relating to two internal bank reviews. One of which is looking into the 2011 Russian mirror scandal, which the bank has already agreed to pay $628 million in fines after regulators determined the bank helped to covertly move $10 billion out of Russia through a process known as “mirror trading”. The other is to review the personal accounts of Trump and his family members held at the bank. “Congress remains in the dark on whether loans Deutsche Bank made to President Trump were guaranteed by the Russian Government, or were in any way connected to Russia,” the letter to the bank said. “Only with full disclosure can the American public determine the extent of the President’s financial ties to Russia and any impact such ties may have on his policy decisions,” the committee said in the letter, which was signed by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA), Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-MI), Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), Rep. Al Green (D-LA) and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO).”  Yahoo News

    “Trump asked intelligence chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence” Washington Post

    “John O. Brennan, the former C.I.A. director, described on Tuesday a nerve-fraying few months last year as American authorities realized that the presidential election was under attack and feared that Donald J. Trump’s campaign might be aiding that fight. Mr. Brennan, in testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, said he was concerned by a series of suspicious contacts between Russian government officials and Mr. Trump’s associates. The C.I.A. learned about those meetings just as it was beginning to grapple with Russian hackers and propagandists trying to manipulate the presidential race.”  NY Times

    May 25, 2017: Jared Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation Washington Post  In early December, Kushner met in New York with the Russian ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, and he later sent a deputy to meet with Kislyak. Flynn was also present at the early-December meeting, and later that month, Flynn held a call with Kislyak to discuss U.S.-imposed sanctions against Russia. Flynn initially mischaracterized the conversation, even to Vice President Pence — ultimately prompting his ouster from the White House. Kushner also met in December with Sergey Gorkov, the head of [VEB] Vnesheconombank, which has been the subject of U.S. sanctions following Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its support of separatists in eastern Ukraine. In addition to the December meetings, a former senior intelligence official said FBI agents had been looking closely at earlier exchanges between Trump associates and the Russians dating to the spring of 2016, including one at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Kushner and Kislyak — along with close Trump adviser and current attorney general Jeff Sessions — were present at an April 2016 event at the Mayflower where then-candidate Trump promised in a speech to seek better relations with Russia. It is unclear whether Kushner and Kislyak interacted there.

    DNC calls for suspension of Kushner’s security clearance amid FBI scrutiny The Hill

    May 26, 2017Russian ambassador told Moscow that Kushner wanted secret communications channel with Kremlin Washington Post  “Ambassador Sergey Kislyak reported to his superiors in Moscow that Kushner, son-in-law and confidant to then-President-elect Trump, made the proposal during a meeting on Dec. 1 or 2 at Trump Tower”

    Jared Kushner Under Scrutiny in Russia Probe, Officials Say NBC News “Investigators believe Kushner has significant information relevant to their inquiry, officials said. That does not mean they suspect him of a crime or intend to charge him. ”  Kushner met at least once in December with the Russian ambassador, Sergey Kislyak, and he also met last year with a Russian banker, Sergey Gorkov.” Gorkov was installed by Putin as head of the Putin-controlled bank VEB, with an office in NY, which harbored a recently-released from US Federal prison unregistered Russian spy who tried to recruit Carter Page and other Americans for the Russian Government.  Rachel Maddow

    “Report: Russian Billionaire Linked To Manafort Seeks Immunity To TestifyOleg Deripaska, who had Trump’s former campaign manager on a $10 million annual contract, is apparently ready to sing. ” Huff Post

    May 27, 2017:  DOJ declinedThe the interview request and document production made by the House Intelligence Committee.

    May 29. 2017: Offices of Search Engine Yandex Raided in Ukraine NY Times

    May 31, 2017: Dispute erupts over House panel subpoenas for CIA, FBI: “Committee aides complained that the chairman, Representative Devin Nunes, who publicly recused himself from leading the Russia probe in April following a secret visit he paid to White House officials, failed to consult Democrats on the subpoenas. The subpoenas asked the agencies to provide details of any requests made by two top Obama administration aides and the former CIA director to “unmask” names of Trump campaign advisers inadvertently picked up in top-secret foreign communications intercepts, congressional sources said. The former officials named in the subpoenas were Obama national security adviser Susan Rice, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power and former CIA Director John Brennan.”  Reuters

    White House issued ETHICS WAIVERS   for Ex-Lobbyists and Corporate Lawyers  President Trump has given at least 16 White House staff members dispensation to work on policy matters they handled while employed as lobbyists or to interact with their former colleagues in private-sector jobs.” NY Times

    June 2017

    June 1, 2017: Maybe Private Russian Hackers Meddled in Election, Putin Says “Asked about suspicions that Russia might try to interfere in the coming elections in Germany, Mr. Putin raised the possibility of attacks on foreign votes by what he portrayed as free-spirited Russian patriots. ” NY Times

    Did Trump, Kushner, Sessions Have An Undisclosed Meeting With Russian? “It has long been known that Trump briefly met Ambassador Kislyak that day at a VIP reception shortly before he gave a foreign policy address at the hotel. Five current and former U.S. officials said they are aware of classified intelligence suggesting there was some sort of private encounter between Trump and his aides and the Russian envoy.” NBC NEWS

    June 2, 2017: Trump Reviewing Whether to Block Comey Testimony to Senate “Independent analysts have said they don’t believe Comey, now a private citizen, can be stopped if he is intent on telling his story.” Bloomberg

    Trump orders agencies to ignore information requests from Democrats: “Trump’s aides are trying to shut down the release of information that could be used to attack the president. There are some exceptions to the Trump administration order, particularly from national security agencies, Democrats and Republicans said. Agencies will also comply if a Republican committee chairman joins the Democratic requests, but ranking members’ oversight requests are spurned.” Politico

    June 6, 2017: Trumpileaks Michael Moore launched the secure website for whistleblowers.

    June 7, 2017:  Trump Impeachment Process Set to Begin As Democrat Al Green Files Articles “He contends that the president deserves to be removed for allegedly engaging in obstruction of justice by firing former FBI Director James Comey in May during the agency’s investigation into Russia’s possible meddling in the 2016 election. he is drafting articles of impeachment. U.S. Representative Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) joined him at a news conference to disclose that he, too, would undergo an impeachment endeavor.” Newsweek 

    Senate Intelligence Committee Hearing on FISA Legislation VIDEO: Director Daniel R. Coats (Director of National Intelligence DNI) Opening StatementBiography

    Acting Director Andrew McCabe (Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation FBI) Biography

    Admiral Michael S. Rogers (Director of the National Security Agency NSA) Biography

    Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein (Deputy Attorney General of the Department of Justice DOJ) Biography

    June 8, 2017: James Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee  VIDEO.Opening Statement

    June 9, 2017:

    June 15, 2017:”Vice President Pence has hired outside legal counsel to help with both congressional committee inquiries and the special counsel investigation into possible collusion between President Trump’s campaign and Russia. The vice president’s office said Thursday that Pence has retained Richard Cullen, a Richmond-based lawyer and chairman of McGuireWoods who previously served as a U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Virginia.” Washington Post

    June 13, 2017:  Jeff Sessions, Attorney General, testimoney before Senate Intelligence Committee  VIDEO

    June 21, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committe Hearings VIDEO:

    Acting Director Dr. Samuel Liles (Acting Director of Cyber Division, Office of Intelligence and Analysis)

    DHS Acting Director Jeanette Manfra (Acting Director of Undersecretary, National Protection and Programs Directorate DHS) Opening Statement

    Assitant Director Bill Priestap (Assitant Director of Counterintelligence Division FBI) Opening Statement

    Michael Haas (Midwest Regional Representative National Association of State Election Directors) Opening Statement

    Professor Dr. J. Alex Halderman (Professor of Computer Science & Engineering University of Michigan) Opening Statement

    President-Elect Connie Lawson (President-Elect of National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) & Secretary of State Indiana) Opening Statement

    Executive Director Steve Sandvoss (Executive Director of Illinois State Board of Elections Illinois) Opening Statement

    June 25, 2017: “two different far-right activist groups held competing rallies in Washington, D.C., and bickered over the rallies’ respective goals and attendance. The “rally for free speech,” held near the Lincoln Memorial, featured a number of white supremacist speakers, including Richard Spencer and Nathan Damigo, while the “rally against political violence,” held near the White House, focused on vilifying the left.” ADL

    Contacted Trump Jr this morning on why he should publish his emails (i.e with us). Two hours later, does it himself: https://t.co/FzCttGSyr6

    — Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange) July 11, 2017

    June 28, 2017: Senate Intelligence Committee Hearings Video Witnesses Ambassador Nicholas Burns (Roy and Barbara Goodman Family Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations,Harvard Kennedy School of Government) Opening Statement

    Director Janis Sarts (Director of NATO Strategic Communication Center of Excellence NATO Strategic Communication Center of Excellence) Opening Statement

    Ambassador Vesko Garcevic (Professor of the Practice of Diplomacy and International Relations

    Frederick Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University) Opening Statement

    Dr. Constanze Stelzenmueller (Bosch Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution)  VIDEOOpening Statement

    David J. Glawe Opening StatementResponse to Questionnaire for Completion by Presidential NomineesResponse to Committee Additional Pre-Hearing Questions Response to Senator Wyden’s Additional Pre-Hearing Questions

July-December 2017 Continued