June 22, 2019

ALL COMEDY IS CONSERVATIVE:

The origins of the Russia investigation, explained (The Week, June 22, 2019)

When did the investigation start?
The FBI began probing the Trump campaign's connections to Russia on July 31, 2016, based on an alarming tip from the Australian government. Two months earlier, Trump foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos had told Australia's top diplomat in London over drinks that the Russian government had "dirt" on Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and might release the information to help the Trump campaign. The diplomat, Alexander Downer, thought Papadopoulos was too young and inexperienced to have any real influence in a presidential campaign, but notified his superiors. When WikiLeaks began releasing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee on July 22, the Australian ambassador to the U.S. informed American officials of what Papadopoulos had said. Days later, the FBI opened a counterintelligence investigation, code-naming the operation "Crossfire Hurricane."

What did the FBI investigate?
The unusual ties of several Trump campaign aides to Russia. The early investigation focused on Papadopoulos, as well as Trump senior adviser Michael Flynn, campaign manager Paul Manafort, and foreign policy adviser Carter Page. Flynn had been paid $45,000 by Russia's state-sponsored television network RT for a 2015 speech in Moscow, where he was given a place of honor at the same dinner table as President Vladimir Putin. Manafort had been paid millions lobbying for pro-Russian interests in Ukraine. Page, an oil industry consultant who had lived in Russia for three years during the early 2000s, was already well known to the FBI. Russian spies had attempted to recruit him as an asset in 2013, after which a Russian operative was overheard in a wiretapped conversation telling his superiors that Page was "an idiot." As a Trump campaign aide...

Sublime.

Posted by at June 22, 2019 7:41 AM

  

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