February 27, 2018


NSA Boss Suggests Trump Lets Putin Think 'Little Price to Pay' for Messing With U.S. (Andrew Desiderio, 02.27.18. Daily BVeast)

Adm. Mike Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, told a Senate panel Tuesday that the Trump administration is not doing enough to counter Russia's attempts to meddle in future U.S. elections through the use of cyberattacks.

"Clearly, what we've done hasn't been enough," Rogers bluntly declared during a Senate armed services committee hearing.

In particular, Rogers said the administration's decision to not immediately implement congressionally mandated sanctions against Russia sends a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that the Kremlin can continue to wage cyber warfare against the U.S. and other countries.

"Not just the sanctions but more broadly, my concern is, I believe that President Putin has clearly come to the conclusion there's little price to pay here, and that therefore I can continue this activity," Rogers told Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).

If there weren't universal agreement with them, the obvious disdain of his own cabinet for Donald would be a national crisis.

How Trump's 2020 campaign manager is connected to the Russia scandal: Parscale is linked to Cambridge Analytica, a data firm that has become a focus of the Trump-Russia investigation. (Sean Illing, 2/27/18, vox.com)

Cambridge Analytica is a data company that specializes in what's called "psychographic" polling, which means it uses data collected online to create personality profiles for voters. It then uses that information to target individuals with content tailored to their specific profile.

Last December, Mueller requested that Cambridge Analytica turn over internal documents as part of his investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election.

The thread connecting Russia, the Trump campaign, and Cambridge Analytica is Michael Flynn, Trump's former national security adviser who was forced to resign after he reportedly lied to Vice President Mike Pence and the FBI about his phone conversations with a Russian envoy in 2016.

A series of reports last July by the Wall Street Journal's Shane Harris, Michael Bender, and Peter Nicholas revealed that Peter Smith, a pro-Trump GOP operative, sought to acquire 30,000 deleted emails from Hillary Clinton's private server. Two of the groups Smith reached out to had connections to Russia.

Smith told Harris that he was in regular contact with Flynn, who at the time was still working closely with Trump's campaign. Harris also reported on intelligence assessments that outlined the efforts of Russian hackers to retrieve Clinton's emails and pass them on to Flynn, who would then share them with the Trump campaign.

Via an August 2017 Associated Press report, we also know that Flynn was later forced to disclose "a brief advisory role with a firm related to a controversial data analysis company that aided the Trump campaign."

That "data analysis" company was Cambridge Analytica.

We don't know what data Flynn might have shared with the Russians (or vice versa). Nor do we know if -- or to what extent -- the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians to help their disinformation operation.

What we do know is that Russia was actively meddling in the 2016 presidential election in order to help Trump win the White House. We also know that part of its operation relied on manipulating Facebook's algorithms to target specific voters.

And this is precisely the sort of work that Cambridge Analytica and Brad Parscale were hired to perform for the Trump campaign.

Given all we know, Donald should be expected to hire staff Vlad has approved.

Posted by at February 27, 2018 4:34 PM