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Thread: Mark Levin fox and friends on President Trump Obama wiretapping trump tower phones 3/

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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Mark Levin fox and friends on President Trump Obama wiretapping trump tower phones 3/

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    Mark Levin fox and friends on President Trump Obama wiretapping trump tower phones 3/5/2017


    Published on Mar 5, 2017

    Mark Levin fox and friends on President Trump Obama wiretapping trump tower phones 3/5/2017 video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KA6QLbFi0do
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    Mentioned in video...

    Intercepted Russian Communications Part of Inquiry Into Trump Associates



    Paul Manafort, Donald J. Trump’s former campaign chairman, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. CreditSam Hodgson for The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — American law enforcement and intelligence agencies are examining intercepted communications and financial transactions as part of a broad investigation into possible links between Russian officials and associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump, including his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, current and former senior American officials said.

    The continuing counterintelligence investigation means that Mr. Trump will take the oath of office on Friday with his associates under investigation and after the intelligence agencies concluded that the Russian government had worked to help elect him. As president, Mr. Trump will oversee those agencies and have the authority to redirect or stop at least some of these efforts.

    It is not clear whether the intercepted communications had anything to do with Mr. Trump’s campaign, or Mr. Trump himself. It is also unclear whether the inquiry has anything to do with an investigation into the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s computers and other attempts to disrupt the elections in November. The American government has concluded that the Russian government was responsible for a broad computer hacking campaign, including the operation against the D.N.C.

    The counterintelligence investigation centers at least in part on the business dealings that some of the president-elect’s past and present advisers have had with Russia. Mr. Manafort has done business in Ukraine and Russia. Some of his contacts there were under surveillance by the National Security Agency for suspected links to Russia’s Federal Security Service, one of the officials said.

    Mr. Manafort is among at least three Trump campaign advisers whose possible links to Russia are under scrutiny. Two others are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign, and Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative.

    The F.B.I. is leading the investigations, aided by the National Security Agency, the C.I.A. and the Treasury Department’s financial crimes unit. The investigators have accelerated their efforts in recent weeks but have found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing, the officials said. One official said intelligence reports based on some of the wiretapped communications had been provided to the White House.

    Counterintelligence investigations examine the connections between American citizens and foreign governments. Those connections can involve efforts to steal state or corporate secrets, curry favor with American government leaders or influence policy. It is unclear which Russian officials are under investigation, or what particular conversations caught the attention of American eavesdroppers. The legal standard for opening these investigations is low, and prosecutions are rare.

    “We have absolutely no knowledge of any investigation or even a basis for such an investigation,” said Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for the Trump transition.

    In an emailed statement Thursday evening, Mr. Manafort called allegations that he had interactions with the Russian government a “Democrat Party dirty trick and completely false.”

    “I have never had any relationship with the Russian government or any Russian officials. I was never in contact with anyone, or directed anyone to be in contact with anyone,” he said.

    “On the ‘Russian hacking of the D.N.C.,’” he said, “my only knowledge of it is what I have read in the papers.”

    The decision to open the investigations was not based on a dossier of salacious, uncorroborated allegations that were compiled by a former British spy working for a Washington research firm. The F.B.I. is also examining the allegations in that dossier, and a summary of its contents was provided to Mr. Trump earlier this month.

    Representatives of the agencies involved declined to comment. Of the half-dozen current and former officials who confirmed the existence of the investigations, some said they were providing information because they feared the new administration would obstruct their efforts. All spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the cases.

    Numerous news outlets, including The New York Times, have reported on the F.B.I. investigations into Mr. Trump’s advisers. BBC and then McClatchy revealed the existence of a multiagency working group to coordinate investigations across the government.

    The continuing investigation again puts the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, in the middle of a politically fraught investigation. Democrats have sharply criticized Mr. Comey’s handling of the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Mrs. Clinton has said his decision to reveal the existence of new emails late in the campaign cost her the election.

    The F.B.I. investigation into Mr. Manafort began last spring, and was an outgrowth of a criminal investigation into his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and for the country’s former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. In August, The Times reported that Mr. Manafort’s name had surfaced in a secret ledger that showed he had been paid millions in undisclosed cash payments. The Associated Press has reported that his work for Ukraine included a secret lobbying effort in Washington aimed at influencing American news organizations and government officials.

    Mr. Stone, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s, said in a speech in Florida last summer that he had communicated with Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group that published the hacked Democratic emails. During the speech, Mr. Stone predicted further leaks of documents, a prediction that came true within weeks.

    In a brief interview on Thursday, Mr. Stone said he had never visited Russia and had no Russian clients. He said that he had worked in Ukraine for a pro-Western party, but that any assertion that he had ties to Russian intelligence was “nonsense” and “totally false.”

    “The whole thing is a canard,” he said. “I have no Russian influences.”

    The Senate intelligence committee has started its own investigation into Russia’s purported attempts to disrupt the election. The committee’s inquiry is broad, and will include an examination of Russian hacking and possible ties between people associated with Mr. Trump’s campaign and Russia.

    Investigators are also scrutinizing people on the periphery of Mr. Trump’s campaign, such as Mr. Page, a former Merrill Lynch banker who founded Global Energy Capital, an investment firm in New York that has done business with Russia.

    In an interview on Thursday, Mr. Page expressed bewilderment about why he might be under investigation. He blamed a smear campaign — that he said was orchestrated by Mrs. Clinton — for media speculation about the nature of his ties to Russia.

    “I did nothing wrong, for the 5,000th time,” he said. His adversaries, he added, are “pulling a page out of the Watergate playbook.”

    The lingering investigations will pose a test for Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who has been nominated for attorney general. If Mr. Sessions is confirmed, he will for a time be the only person in the government authorized to seek foreign intelligence wiretaps on American soil.

    Mr. Sessions said at his confirmation hearing that he would recuse himself from any investigations involving Mrs. Clinton. He was not asked whether he would do so in cases involving associates of Mr. Trump.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/19/u...stigation.html

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  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    Mentioned by Levine.

    N.S.A. Gets More Latitude to Share Intercepted Communications

    By CHARLIE SAVAGE
    JAN. 12, 2017



    James R. Clapper, center, the director of national intelligence, with Adm. Michael S. Rogers, right, director of the National Security Agency, during a Senate hearing last week.CreditStephen Crowley/The New York Times

    WASHINGTON — In its final days, the Obama administration has expanded the power of the National Security Agency to share globally intercepted personal communications with the government’s 16 other intelligence agencies before applying privacy protections.The new rules significantly relax longstanding limits on what the N.S.A. may do with the information gathered by its most powerful surveillance operations, which are largely unregulated by American wiretapping laws. These include collecting satellite transmissions, phone calls and emails that cross network switches abroad, and messages between people abroad that cross domestic network switches.

    The change means that far more officials will be searching through raw data. Essentially, the government is reducing the risk that the N.S.A. will fail to recognize that a piece of information would be valuable to another agency, but increasing the risk that officials will see private information about innocent people.

    Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch signed the new rules, permitting the N.S.A. to disseminate “raw signals intelligence information,” on Jan. 3, after the director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., signed them on Dec. 15, according to a 23-page, largely declassified copy of the procedures.

    Previously, the N.S.A. filtered information before sharing intercepted communications with another agency, like the C.I.A. or the intelligence branches of the F.B.I. and the Drug Enforcement Administration. The N.S.A.’s analysts passed on only information they deemed pertinent, screening out the identities of innocent people and irrelevant personal information.

    Now, other intelligence agencies will be able to search directly through raw repositories of communications intercepted by the N.S.A. and then apply such rules for “minimizing” privacy intrusions.
    “This is not expanding the substantive ability of law enforcement to get access to signals intelligence,” said Robert S. Litt, the general counsel to Mr. Clapper. “It is simply widening the aperture for a larger number of analysts, who will be bound by the existing rules.”

    But Patrick Toomey, a lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union, called the move an erosion of rules intended to protect the privacy of Americans when their messages are caught by the N.S.A.’s powerful global collection methods. He noted that domestic internet data was often routed or stored abroad, where it may get vacuumed up without court oversight.

    “Rather than dramatically expanding government access to so much personal data, we need much stronger rules to protect the privacy of Americans,” Mr. Toomey said. “Seventeen different government agencies shouldn’t be rooting through Americans’ emails with family members, friends and colleagues, all without ever obtaining a warrant.”

    The N.S.A. has been required to apply similar privacy protections to foreigners’ information since early 2014, an unprecedented step that President Obama took after the disclosures of N.S.A. documents by the former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden. The other intelligence agencies will now have to follow those rules, too.

    Under the new system, agencies will ask the N.S.A. for access to specific surveillance feeds, making the case that they contain information relevant and useful to their missions. The N.S.A. will grant requests it deems reasonable after considering factors like whether large amounts of Americans’ private information might be included and, if so, how damaging or embarrassing it would be if that information were “improperly used or disclosed.”

    The move is part of a broader trend of tearing down bureaucratic barriers to sharing intelligence between agencies that dates back to the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. In 2002, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court secretly began permitting the N.S.A., the F.B.I. and the C.I.A. to share raw intercepts gathered domestically under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
    After Congress enacted the FISA Amendments Act — which legalized warrantless surveillance on domestic soil so long as the target is a foreigner abroad, even when the target is communicating with an American — the court permitted raw sharing of emails acquired under that program, too.

    In July 2008, the same month Congress passed the FISA Amendments Act, President George W. Bush modified Executive Order 12333, which sets rules for surveillance that domestic wiretapping statutes do not address, including techniques that vacuum up vast amounts of content without targeting anybody.

    After the revision, Executive Order 12333 said the N.S.A. could share the raw fruits of such surveillance after the director of national intelligence and the attorney general, coordinating with the defense secretary, agreed on procedures. It took another eight years to develop those rules.

    The Times first reported the existence of those deliberations in 2014 and later filed a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit for documents about them. It ended that case last February, and Mr. Litt discussed the efforts in an interview at that time, but declined to divulge certain important details because the rules were not yet final or public.

    Among the most important questions left unanswered in February was when analysts would be permitted to use Americans’ names, email addresses or other identifying information to search a 12333 database and pull up any messages to, from or about them that had been collected without a warrant.

    There is a parallel debate about the FISA Amendments Act’s warrantless surveillance program. National security analysts sometimes search that act’s repository for Americans’ information, as do F.B.I. agents working on ordinary criminal cases. Critics call this the “backdoor search loophole,” and some lawmakers want to require a warrant for such searches.

    By contrast, the 12333 sharing procedures allow analysts, including those at the F.B.I., to search the raw data using an American’s identifying information only for the purpose of foreign intelligence or counterintelligence investigations, not for ordinary criminal cases. And they may do so only if one of several other conditions are met, such as a finding that the American is an agent of a foreign power.

    However, under the rules, if analysts stumble across evidence that an American has committed any crime, they will send it to the Justice Department.

    The limits on using Americans’ information gathered under Order 12333 do not apply to metadata: logs showing who contacted whom, but not what they said. Analysts at the intelligence agencies may study social links between people, in search of hidden associates of known suspects, “without regard to the location or nationality of the communicants.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/12/u...nications.html

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  4. #4
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    Obama administration rushed to preserve intelligence of Russian election hacking

    Originally published March 1, 2017 at 7:04 pm Updated March 1, 2017 at 8:22 pm

    The information concerned Russia’s attempt to undermine the election and its possible contacts with associates of President-elect Donald Trump.

    WASHINGTON — In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald Trump and Russians — across the government. Former U.S. officials say they had two aims: to ensure such meddling is not duplicated in future U.S. or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.

    U.S. allies, including the British and the Dutch, had provided information describing meetings in European cities between Russian officials — and others close to Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin — and associates of President-elect Trump, according to three former U.S. officials who requested anonymity in discussing classified intelligence. Separately, U.S. intelligence agencies had intercepted communications of Russian officials, some of them within the Kremlin, discussing contacts with Trump’s associates.

    Then and now, Trump has denied that his campaign had any contact with Russian officials, and, at one point, he suggested U.S. spy agencies had cooked up intelligence indicating that the Russian government had tried to meddle in the presidential election. Trump has accused the Obama administration of hyping the Russia storyline as a way to discredit his new administration.

    At the Obama White House, Trump’s statements stoked fears among some that intelligence could be covered up or destroyed — or its sources exposed — once power changed hands. What followed was a push to preserve the intelligence that illustrated the anxiety with which the Obama White House and U.S. intelligence agencies had come to view the threat from Russia.

    It also reflected the suspicion among many in the Obama White House that the Trump campaign might have colluded with Russia on election email hacks, a suspicion that U.S. officials say has not been confirmed. Former senior Obama administration officials said that none of the efforts were directed by President Barack Obama.

    “The only new piece of information that has come to light is that political appointees in the Obama administration have sought to create a false narrative to make an excuse for their own defeat in the election. There continues to be no there, there,” said Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman.

    As Inauguration Day approached, Obama White House officials grew convinced that the intelligence was damning and that they needed to ensure that as many people as possible inside government could see it, even if people without security clearances could not. Some officials began asking specific questions at intelligence briefings, knowing the answers would be archived and could be easily unearthed by investigators, including the Senate Intelligence Committee, which in early January announced an inquiry into Russian efforts to influence the election.

    The opposite happened with the most sensitive intelligence, including the names of sources and the identities of foreigners who were regularly monitored. Officials tightened the already small number of people who could access that information. They knew the information could not be kept from the new president or his top advisers, but they wanted to narrow the number of people who might see the information, officials said.

    More than a half-dozen current and former officials described various aspects of the effort to preserve and distribute the intelligence, and some said they were speaking to draw attention to the material and ensure proper investigation by Congress. All spoke on the condition of anonymity.

    The FBI is conducting a counterintelligence investigation into Russia’s meddling in the election, and is examining alleged links between Trump’s associates and the Russian government.

    Separately, the House and Senate intelligence committees are conducting their own investigations, though they must rely on information collected by the FBI and intelligence agencies.

    In a related matter, The Washington Post reported Wednesday that last year, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., spoke twice with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak, Justice Department officials said. Sessions, who is now the U.S. attorney general, did not disclose the encounters during his confirmation hearing.

    The Post reported that one meeting was a private conversation in September between Sessions and Kislyak in Sessions’ office.

    As attorney general, Sessions oversees the Justice Department and the FBI; he has resisted calls to recuse himself from those agencies’ investigations into the meddling claims.

    Alarm grew at the Obama White House after a campaign of cyberattacks on state electoral systems in September, which led the Obama administration to deliver a public accusation against the Russians in October.
    But it was not until after the election, and after more intelligence had come in, that the administration began to grasp the scope of the suspected tampering and concluded that one goal of the cyberattack campaign was to help tip the election in Trump’s favor. In early December, Obama ordered the intelligence community to conduct a full assessment about the Russian campaign.

    In the weeks before the assessment was released in January, the intelligence community combed through databases for an array of communications and other information — some of which was months old by then — and began producing reports that showed there were contacts during the campaign between Trump associates and Russian officials.

    The nature of the contacts remains unknown.

    The New York Times, citing four current and former officials, reported last month that U.S. authorities had obtained information of repeated contacts between Trump’s associates and senior Russian intelligence officials. The White House has dismissed the story as false.

    Since the Feb 14 article appeared, more than a half-dozen officials have confirmed contacts of various kinds between Russians and Trump associates.

    http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-w...ction-hacking/

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