Hillary Clinton has admitted that she should have fired her adviser, Burns Strider, who was accused of harassment during her 2008 presidential campaign.
Burns Strider was initially docked pay and told to seek counseling but was later fired from a campaign group after again being accused of harassment.
He has not commented on the allegations.
Hillary Clinton posted the statement moments before President Donald Trump began his state of the union speech.
Her move has prompted some speculation that she was seeking to bury her apology in the storm of media coverage around the address.
According to New York Times, the 30-year-old woman who made the complaint shared an office with Burns Strider when it broke the story of the claims last week.
The report said that, according to three former campaign officials, she had told a campaign official that Burns Strider had rubbed her shoulders inappropriately, kissed her on the forehead and sent suggestive emails.
When the woman’s complaint was investigated, two advisers, including her campaign manager, recommended Burns Strider be fired, but instead Hillary Clinton moved her to a new role, while Strider stayed in place.
President Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., has released private Twitter correspondence with WikiLeaks after a publication revealed they had communicated shortly before his father’s election.
The Atlantic magazine revealed WikiLeaks had asked Donald Trump Jr. for co-operation and information.
WikiLeaks published leaks of Hillary Clinton campaign emails during the election.
Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyers handed the Twitter direct messages to congressional investigators.
The congressional investigation is one of several looking into allegations of Russian collusion and meddling in the US election.
The largely one-sided transcripts show the president’s son replied only a few times to a series of requests from Wikileaks.
In a series of tweets on November 13, Donald Trump Jr. played down his contact with WikiLeaks, referring to his “whopping 3 responses” which he said one of the congressional committees “has chosen to selectively leak. How ironic!”.
Messages show WikiLeaks appeared to have first contacted Donald Trump Jr. on September 20, asking if he knew the origin of an anti-Trump website.
Donald Trump son replied the next day saying: “Off the record I don’t know who that is, but I’ll ask around. Thanks.”
The Atlantic alleges Donald Trump Jr. then emailed senior officials, including Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner to tell them WikiLeaks had made contact.
The correspondence between September 2016 and July 2017 shows WikiLeaks urging Donald Trump to share their Clinton files; asking him to supply his tax returns to WikiLeaks and advising him to challenge the result if he lost the election.
The Atlantic piece points out that while Donald Trump Jr. didn’t reply to later messages, timestamps from tweets show instances where he and his father appear to have “acted on its requests” by mentioning or sharing WikiLeaks stories shortly afterwards.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has criticized The Atlantic‘s story.
Julian Assange accuses it of selecting messages that were “edited” and failing to show the full context of the conversations.
He also said the messages were part of the group’s promotional efforts.
He wrote on Twitter: “WikiLeaks can be very effective at convincing even high-profile people that it is their interest to promote links to its publications.”
Donald Trump Jr.’s lawyer Alan Futerfas told The Atlantic: “Over the last several months, we have worked co-operatively with each of the committees and have voluntarily turned over thousands of documents in response to their requests.
“Putting aside the question as to why or by whom such documents, provided to Congress under promises of confidentiality, have been selectively leaked, we can say with confidence that we have no concerns about these documents and any questions raised about them have been easily answered in the appropriate forum.”
On October 29, the president issued four tweets on the subject.
The first tweet said: “Never seen such Republican ANGER & UNITY as I have concerning the lack of investigation on Clinton made Fake Dossier (now $12,000,000?),….”
Then he added: “…the Uranium to Russia deal, the 33,000 plus deleted Emails, the Comey fix and so much more. Instead they look at phony Trump/Russia,….”
Ending with: “…’collusion,’ which doesn’t exist. The Dems are using this terrible (and bad for our country) Witch Hunt for evil politics, but the R’s…”
“…are now fighting back like never before. There is so much GUILT by Democrats/Clinton, and now the facts are pouring out. DO SOMETHING!”
About an hour later President Trump tweeted: “All of this ‘Russia’ talk right when the Republicans are making their big push for historic Tax Cuts & Reform. Is this coincidental? NOT!”
The president’s critics on Twitter were quick to accuse him of attempting to divert attention from the Russian investigation by complaining about the lack of focus on an opponent he defeated in the presidential election nearly a year ago.
US intelligence agencies have already concluded that the Russian government sought to help Donald Trump win the election.
Robert Mueller’s investigation is looking into any links between Russia and the Trump campaign. Both deny there was any collusion.
His team is known to have conducted extensive interviews with several current and former White House officials.
Former FBI director Robert Mueller was appointed by the department of justice as special counsel in May shortly after President Trump fired FBI director James Comey.
Meanwhile, Devin Nunes, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, announced his panel’s investigation into the sale of a Canadian mining company that had mines in the American West.
Uranium One – which owned a fifth of US uranium supplies – was acquired seven years ago by Russian state-owned company Rosatom.
President Donad Trump tweeted on October 19: “Uranium deal to Russia, with Clinton help and Obama Administration knowledge, is the biggest story that Fake Media doesn’t want to follow!”
The State Department, under Hillary Clinton, helped approve the deal.
Last week, The Hill reported that at the time of the sale the FBI was investigating alleged attempts by Russia to gain influence in the US nuclear industry through bribery and extortion.
The New York Times and The Hill have reported that Russian nuclear officials and Uranium One’s chairman donated millions of dollars to the Clinton charitable foundation.
Devin Nunes told reporters at Capitol Hill on October 24: “One of the things we are concerned about is whether or not there was an FBI investigation, was there a DOJ investigation and if so, why was Congress not informed of this matter.”
However, Democratic congressmen accused Republicans of creating a distraction.
Elijah Cummings and John Conyers in a statement on October 24: “This new investigation is a massive diversion to distract from the lack of Republican oversight of the Trump administration and the national security threat that Russia poses.”
In an interview with C-SPAN on October 23, Hillary Clinton said that the Uranium One allegations are “baloney”.
Donald Trump Jr. has released an email chain showing he was offered “sensitive” information on Hillary Clinton by a Russian national.
Here’s a statement by Donald Trump Jr. published on July 11, 2017:
“To everyone, in order to be totally transparent, I am releasing the entire email chain of my emails with Rob Goldstone about the meeting on June 9, 2016. The first email on June 3, 2016 was from Rob, who was relating a request from Emin, a person I knew from 2013 Ms. Universe Pageant near Moscow. Emin and his father have a very highly respected company in Moscow. The information they suggested they had about Hillary Clinton I thought was Political Opposition Research. I first wanted to just have phone call but when that didn’t work out, they said the woman would be in new York and asked if I would meet. I decided to take the meeting. The woman, as she has said publicly, was not a government official. And, as we have said, she had no information to provide and wanted to talk about adoption policy and the Magnitsky Act. To put this in context, this occurred before the current Russian fever was in vogue. As Rob Goldstone said just today in the press, the entire meeting was <<the most inane nonsense I ever heard. And I was actually agitated by it>>.”
Rob Goldstone is a publicist, Emin Agalarov is an Azerbaijani businessman and singer-songwriter. Aras Agalarov is Emin’s father and an Azerbaijani-Russian businessman and public figure.
Below is the full text of the exchange in chronological order and also a statement released by President Trump’s son:
On June 3, 2016, at 10:36, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Emin just called and asked me to contact you with something very interesting.
The Crown prosecutor of Russia met with his father Aras this morning and in their meeting offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and be very useful to your father.
This is obviously very high level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump – helped along by Aras and Emin.
What do you think is the best way to handle this information and would you be able to speak to Emin about it directly?
I can also send this info to your father via Rhona, but it is ultra sensitive so wanted to send to you first.
On June 3, 2016, at 10:53, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Thanks Rob I appreciate that,. I am on the road at the moment but perhaps I just speak to Emin first. Seems we have some time and if it’s what you say I love it especially later in the summers. Could we do a call first thing next week when I am back?
On June 6, 2016, at 12:40, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Let me know when you are free to talk with Emin by phone about this Hillary info – you had mentioned early this week so wanted to try to schedule a time and day Best to you and family Rob Goldstone
On June 6, 2016, at 15:03, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Rob could we speak now?
On June 6, 2016, at 15:37, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Let me track him down in Moscow
What number he could call?
On June 6, 2016, at 15:38, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
My cell thanks
On June 6, 2016, at 15:43, Rob Goldstone wrote:
OK he’s on stage in Moscow but should be off within 20 minutes so I am sure can call Rob
On June 6, 2016, at 16:38, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Rob thanks for the help.
On June 7, 2016, at 16:20, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Hope all is well
Emin asked that I schedule a meeting with you and The Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow for this Thursday.
I believe you are aware of the meeting – and so wondered if 3pm or later on Thursday works for you?
I assume it would be at your office.
On June 7, 2016, at 17:16, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
How about 3 at our offices? Thanks rob appreciate you helping set it up.
On June 7, 2016, at 17:19, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Perfect… I won’t sit in on the meeting, but will bring them at 3pm and introduce you etc.
I will send the names of the two people with you for security when I have them later today.
On June 7, 2016, at 18:14, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Great. It will likely be Paul Manafort (campaign boss) my brother in law [Jared Kushner] and me. 725 Fifth Ave 25th floor.
On June 8, 2016, at 10:34, Rob Goldstone wrote:
Would it be possible to move tomorrow meeting at 4pm as the Russian attorney is in court until 3 i was just informed.
On June 8, 2016, at 11:15, Donald Trump Jr. wrote:
Yes Rob I could do that unless they wanted to do 3 today instead… just let me know and ill lock it in either way.
On June 8, 2016, at 11:18, Rob Goldstone wrote:
They can’t do today as she hasn’t landed yet from Moscow 4pm is great tomorrow.
On June 8, 2016 at 12:03, Donald Trump Jr. wrote to Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort:
President Donald Trump issued a brief statement in support of his son, describing him as “a high-quality person” and applauding his transparency.
Image source Wikimedia
The emails to Donald Trump Jr., which he released on Twitter, say “the crown prosecutor of Russia” (a role that does not exist) had “offered to provide the Trump campaign with some official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary and her dealings with Russia and would be very useful to your father”.
The email chain was also forwarded to Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s son-in-law, and campaign manager Paul Manafort.
All three later met Natalia Veselnitskaya at New York’s Trump Tower.
Since he was elected, Donald Trump has been dogged by allegations that Russia tried to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign. The president has denied any knowledge of this and Russia has also repeatedly denied interfering.
In May, the DoJ appointed ex-FBI director Robert Mueller as special counsel to look into the Russian matter.
The New York Times first reported on July 8 that a meeting had taken place on June 9, 2016, between Natalia Veselnitskaya and the Trump team.
It later reported that Donald Trump Jr. had earlier been offered alleged damaging information on Hillary Clinton.
The Times had been expected to publish emails connected to the meeting, but Donald Trump Jr. pre-empted this by posting the email chain on Twitter.
He had earlier admitted meeting Natalia Veselnitskaya but insisted she had provided “no meaningful information”. He said she had wanted to talk about adoptions.
Natalia Veselnitskaya, who has been linked to the Russian government, has insisted she was never in possession of information that could have damaged Hillary Clinton.
The Russian lawyer said Donald Trump’s son and two senior campaign aides may have met her last summer because they were “longing” for such information. She has denied any connection with the Kremlin.
The email chain released by Donald Trump Jr. shows that:
On June 3, 2016, he received an email from intermediary Rob Goldstone promising documents from Russia that would incriminate Hillary Clinton and her supposed dealings with Russia;
One email from Rob Goldstone said the information they had been promised was “obviously very high-level and sensitive information but is part of Russia and its government’s support for Mr. Trump”;
The person who was to meet Donald Trump Jr. in New York was described as “a Russian government attorney who is flying over from Moscow”;
Within the week, a meeting had been arranged which included Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner and Paul Manafort.
Donald Trump Jr. also posted a statement saying he was releasing the email chain “to be totally transparent” and reiterated that the Russian lawyer had “no information to provide”.
Rob Goldstone has previously denied any knowledge of involvement in the election by the Russian government.
It is thought to be the first confirmed private meeting between a Russian national and members of Donald Trump’s inner circle.
After the New York Times first reported the meeting on July 8, Donald Trump Jr. released a statement which confirmed that it had taken place but did not mention whether it was related to the presidential campaign.
However, another Times report, on the next day, said Donald Trump Jr. had agreed to the meeting after being offered information that would potentially prove detrimental to Hillary Clinton.
The newspaper cited three White House advisers briefed on the meeting, and two others with knowledge for it, as its sources.
Image source Wikimedia
Donald Trump Jr. said that an acquaintance he had known from the 2013 Miss Universe pageant had set up the meeting. The Washington Post confirmed that figure to be music publicist Rob Goldstone, who has links to the Russian music industry.
In a statement on July 9, Donald Trump Jr. said he had been asked to meet “an individual who I was told might have information helpful to the campaign”.
“I was not told her name prior to the meeting. I asked Jared [Kushner] and Paul [Manafort] to attend, but told them nothing of the substance.”
Donald Trump Jr.’s statement continues: “After pleasantries were exchanged, the woman stated that she had information that individuals connected to Russia were funding the Democratic National Committee and supporting Mrs. Clinton.
“Her statements were vague, ambiguous and made no sense. No details or supporting information was provided or even offered. It quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.
“She then changed subjects and began discussing the adoption of Russian children and mentioned the Magnitsky Act.
“It became clear to me that this was the true agenda all along and that the claims of potentially helpful information were a pretext for the meeting.”
Natalia Veselnitskaya said on July 8 that “nothing at all was discussed about the presidential campaign” and insisted she had “never acted on behalf of the Russian government and have never discussed any of these matters with any representative of the Russian government”.
The Magnitsky Act was adopted by Congress in 2012 and allows the US to withhold visas and freeze financial assets of Russian officials thought to have been involved in human rights violations.
The law so incensed President Vladimir Putin that he suspended a program allowing Americans to adopt Russian children.
Natalia Veselnitskaya is a lawyer whose clients include companies and individuals said to be close to the Kremlin and her main role has been campaigning against the Magnitsky Act.
President Donald Trump has criticized the growing number of states refusing to pass on voters’ details to his commission on electoral fraud.
The president tweeted: “What are they trying to hide?”
At least 20 states have said that they will not or only partly comply with the request, citing privacy concerns.
Democrats fear that the commission may be used to justify tightening voting procedures – changes which could make certain groups less likely to vote.
The groups most affected by so-called voter suppression tend to vote Democrat.
However, it is not just Democrats who are opposed to the collection of such data by the federal government.
Mississippi’s Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann, a Republican, said in an official statement that his reply to the commission would be “they can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico and Mississippi is a great state to launch from”.
Kentucky’s Secretary of State, Alison Lundergan Grimes, said she would not be releasing “sensitive personal data to the federal government”.
She said in a statement: “Kentucky will not aid a commission that is at best a waste of taxpayer money and at worst an attempt to legitimize voter suppression efforts across the country.”
The panel, described by President Trump as “very distinguished,” is chaired by Vice-President Mike Pence.
On June 28, its vice-chair, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent a letter to the 50 US states and the District of Columbia requesting details from voter rolls including: names, addresses, dates of birth, political affiliation, last four digits of social security number, voting history since 2006, criminal convictions and military status.
The information would be used “to fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting,” the letter said.
Many other states, including Alabama, California, Connecticut and Minnesota have said they will not send the information, or will only send information that is already publically available.
Vladimir Putin has repeatedly denied any Russian interference into the presidential election.
According to the Washington Post article, President Obama was told early last August by sources deep within the Russian government that President Putin was directly involved in a cyber campaign to disrupt the election, injure Hillary Clinton and aid a Trump victory.
Image source AP
The Post said Barack Obama secretly debated dozens of options to punish Russia but in the end settled on what it called symbolic measures – the expulsion of 35 diplomats and closure of two Russian compounds. They came in late December, well after the election.
The paper reported that Barack Obama was concerned he might himself be seen as trying to manipulate the election.
The Post quoted a former administration official as saying: “From national security people there was a sense of immediate introspection, of, <<Wow, did we mishandle this>>.”
Measures President Obama had considered but which were not put into action included planting cyber weapons in the Russian infrastructure and releasing information personally damaging to Vladimir Putin.
President Trump tweeted on June 23: “The Obama Administration knew far in advance of November 8th about election meddling by Russia. Did nothing about it. WHY?”
The president followed that up with two more tweets on June 24, the second saying: “Obama Administration official said they “choked” when it came to acting on Russian meddling of election. They didn’t want to hurt Hillary?”
Donald Trump repeats the argument in an interview with Fox News, which will air on June 25.
“If he had the information, why didn’t he do something about it? He should have done something about it. But you don’t read that. It’s quite sad.”
Allegations of collusion between the Trump team and Moscow officials during the election have dogged the president’s first five months in office.
Donald Trump has repeatedly denied the allegations, calling the investigations a “witch hunt”.
Edgar Maddison Welch, who opened fired in a Washington DC pizza restaurant because of an online conspiracy theory, has been sentenced to four years in jail.
The 28-year-old burst into Comet Ping Pong on December 4, 2016, armed with a rifle and pistol.
The gunman drove from North Carolina to pursue bogus claims that the restaurant was the nexus of a pedophile ring linked to Hillary Clinton’s inner circle.
No one was injured in what prosecutors described as an “armed invasion”.
Edgar Maddison Welch fired an assault rifle into a locked cabinet, believing that abused children were being kept there.
Image source Wikipedia
Online conspiracy theorists had circulated a rumor that hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager contained clues to a pedophile ring.
James Alefantis, who owns the restaurant, testified in court that Edgar Maddison Welch’s “physical terror” had “left lasting damage on the people I love”.
He added that he hopes that “one day in a more truthful time we will remember this day as an aberration” when “lies were seen as real and our social fabric had frayed”, the Washington Post reported.
Edgar Maddison Welch, who has two young daughters, pleaded guilty in March to assault and firearms charges.
In a letter to US District Judge Ketanji Jackson, Edgar Maddison Welch apologized for “endangering the safety” of the pizzeria customers, adding “it was never my intention to harm or frighten innocent lives, but I realize now just how foolish and reckless my decision was”.
Prosecutors had argued that a lengthy sentence was required to “deter other people from pursuing vigilante justice based only on their YouTube feed”.
The assistant US attorneys Demian Ahn and Sonali Patel wrote: “Beyond Pizzagate, the internet is full of wild conspiracy theories where people urge members of the public… to take action.”
Comet Ping Pong was forced to hire security and also unplugged their phone due to abusive callers, the court heard.
The White House has defended Donald Trump’s voter fraud claim, saying that the president believes that millions of people voted illegally in the US election based on “studies and evidence”.
Press secretary Sean Spicer said President Trump “does believe that”, but offered no evidence to support the claim when pressed by reporters.
Donald Trump has repeated his claim to explain why he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton.
However, any notion of widespread voter fraud has been widely rejected.
Sean Spicer told reporters on January 24: “He continues to maintain that belief based on studies and evidence that people have presented to him.”
The press secretary’s comments came after President Trump told congressional leaders behind closed doors on January 23 that three to five million undocumented immigrants had illegally voted in the election.
Donald Trump, who first made the claim in a late November tweet, has never provided any evidence.
Fact-checkers have rejected it as untrue and Republican election officials in key states have said they found no proof of fraudulent voting.
Image source CNBC
On January 24, the National Association of Secretaries of State said it had confidence in the “systemic integrity of our election process” and was not aware of any evidence related to Donald Trump’s claims.
Hillary Clinton received nearly three million votes more than Donald Trump, who won the presidency by prevailing in so-called swing states.
Republicans admonished Donald Trump and urged him to drop the matter a day after the closed doors meeting with congressional leaders.
Senator Lindsey Graham called the comments “inappropriate”, adding that Donald Trump should “knock this off”.
He continued that President Trump “seems to be obsessed with the idea that he could not have possibly lost the popular vote without cheating and fraud”.
House Speaker Paul Ryan also said there was no evidence to support Donald Trump’s claims.
Republican Pennsylvania Representative Charlie Dent also weighed in, saying Donald Trump needed to move on and “get to the serious business of governing”.
Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders said it was “nonsensical” and he feared Donald Trump was paving the way for Republican governors to “go forward with voter suppression”.
Donald Trump has turned his fire on Hillary Clinton, after an investigation was launched into the action taken by the FBI during the election campaign.
The FBI and the DoJ face questions over their handling of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server.
FBI director James Comey’s decision to reopen an investigation 11 days before the election shook up the race.
Donald Trump tweeted that Hillary Clinton was “guilty as hell”.
He continues to fire out tweets on a range of subjects just a week before his inauguration.
In the latest batch his anger over alleged compromising material held on him by Russia shows no sign of abating, again calling it “fake news” and “phony allegations” put together by “my political opponents and a failed spy afraid of being sued”.
Donald Trump then turned to January 12 announcement that a US government watchdog was to investigate the actions taken by the FBI and the justice department during the election campaign.
After he won the election, Donald Trump had toned down his rhetoric against his opponent, refusing to follow up on his election mantra that she should be “locked up” for criminal behavior.
On January 13, the president-elect tweeted: “What are Hillary Clinton’s people complaining about with respect to the FBI. Based on the information they had she should never have been allowed to run – guilty as hell.
“They were VERY nice to her. She lost because she campaigned in the wrong states – no enthusiasm!”
On January 12, the DoJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz said he would look into “certain actions” by the FBI and DoJ.
Although Hillary Clinton was cleared of any wrongdoing days before the US voted, her team blamed James Comey’s announcement as a key factor in her defeat.
Michael Horowitz said his review would look at a news conference in July 2016 when James Comey said he would not recommend charges against Hillary Clinton.
A letter to Congress on October 28, in which James Comey said there were more emails to look at, will also be subject to this new inquiry.
Michael Horowitz said his investigation had come in response to “numerous” requests from the public and from members of Congress.
Hillary Clinton said she had set up a home email server for reasons of convenience, but admitted it was a mistake.
In clearing her in July, the FBI said Hillary Clinton and her staff were “extremely careless” in handling classified materials. However, there was no evidence of intentional wrongdoing, it said.
Then in October they briefly reopened the investigation after finding new related emails but nothing was found on them and the case was closed for a second time.
In another of his tweets, the president-elect repeated that: “My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!”
In his press conference on January 11, Donald Trump said he wanted a report into hacking of all types, including defense and industry.
The president-elect also admitted for the first time “I think it was Russia” when asked about hacking of the election campaign, but said many others had also hacked the US.
US intelligence agencies this month released an unclassified version of a report alleging that the Russian government had a “clear preference” for Donald Trump to win the US election.
The report says Russian President Vladimir Putin “ordered” a campaign aimed at influencing the outcome.
US intelligence agencies are also weighing claims that Moscow is holding compromising information about Donald Trump.
Unsubstantiated allegations suggest Donald Trump’s election team colluded with Russia and that there were salacious videos of his private life, including claims of using prostitutes at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Moscow.
In his series of tweets on January 13, Donald Trump called the claims “made-up facts by sleazebag political operatives”.
President-elect Donald Trump says Democrats have shown “gross negligence” by allowing their servers to be hacked in the run-up to the November 8 presidential election.
Donald Trump made the comments after an intelligence report said Russian President Vladimir Putin had “sought to help Donald Trump win”.
He has stopped short of accusing Russia of interfering, saying only that the election outcome was not affected.
The Kremlin has not commented, but Russia has previously denied the claims.
Following the report’s findings, the US Department of Homeland Security announced that voting machines and other election databases would be classified as “critical infrastructure” and given more protection from cyber-attacks.
Emphasizing that the election outcome was not affected, Donald Trump added on January 7: “Only reason the hacking of the poorly defended DNC is discussed is that the loss by the Dems was so big that they are totally embarrassed!”
Image source Flickr
In an interview with ABC, President Barack Obama said that he was concerned that there had been “Republicans or pundits or cable commentators who seem to have more confidence in Vladimir Putin than fellow Americans because those fellow Americans are Democrats.
“That cannot be.”
Asked whether Donald Trump was among them, President Obama said: “We have to remind ourselves we’re on the same team. Vladimir Putin’s not on our team.”
The unclassified report says that Russia developed a “clear preference” for Donald Trump.
Russia’s goals, the document added, were to “undermine public faith” in the US democratic process and “denigrate” Hillary Clinton, harming her electability and potential presidency.
However, the report gives no detailed evidence of Vladimir Putin’s alleged role.
The report says the Russian president liked Donald Trump because he had vowed to work with Russia and the Russian leader had had “many positive experiences working with Western political leaders whose business interests made them more disposed to deal with Russia, such as former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder”.
In contrast, Vladimir Putin had blamed Hillary Clinton for inciting anti-government protests in 2011 and early 2012 “and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him”.
President-elect Donald Trump said the US must “greatly strengthen and expand” its nuclear capabilities “until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes”.
His spokesman later said that the presidentelect was referring to the need to prevent nuclear proliferation.
Donald Trump spoke hours after President Vladimir Putin said Russia needs to bolster its military nuclear potential.
According to Arms Control Association, the US has 7,100 nuclear weapons and Russia has 7,300.
Donald Trump’s comments came in the form of a tweet, giving no other details.
Hours later, Jason Miller, the communications manager for the Trump transition team, explained the president-elect “was referring to the threat of nuclear proliferation and the critical need to prevent it – particularly to and among terrorist organizations and unstable and rogue regimes”.
Jason Miller also added that Donald Trump “emphasized the need to improve and modernize our deterrent capability as a vital way to pursue peace through strength”.
Image source Flickr
Donald Trump’s tweet came after Vladimir Putin met with his military advisers to review Russian military activities in 2016.
The Russian president said: “We need to strengthen the military potential of strategic nuclear forces, especially with missile complexes that can reliably penetrate any existing and prospective missile defense systems.”
During Donald Trump’s campaign he referred to nuclear proliferation as the “single biggest problem” facing the world, but also said he could not rule out using nuclear weapons against Europe.
Donald Trump’s defeated Democratic rival Hillary Clinton repeatedly cast her opponent during the campaign as too erratic and lacking in the diplomatic skills required to avoid a nuclear war.
Hillary Clinton mocked Donald Trump by saying: “A man who can be provoked by a tweet should not have his fingers anywhere near the nuclear codes.”
In interviews before his surprise victory Donald Trump said that other countries should spend more on their own defense budgets, and forgo US protection, because “we can’t afford to do it anymore”.
He has said he is in favor of countries such as Japan and South Korea developing nuclear weapons “because it’s going to happen anyway”.
Donald Trump is spending the festive season at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he has been meeting with campaign advisers.
Donald Trump has won the Electoral College vote being certified as president, despite a last-ditch effort to deny him the White House.
Six weeks after winning the polls, Donald Trump has secured the 270 votes needed to formalize his victory.
Electors had been flooded with emails, letters and phone calls urging them not to support Donald Trump.
The process is usually a formality, but was beset this year by claims Russian hackers tried to sway the public vote.
Texas ultimately put Donald Trump over the 270 threshold, despite two of its electors voting against him.
According to the New York Times, four Democratic electors also cast their votes for someone other than Hillary Clinton.
The result will be officially announced on January 6 in a special joint session of Congress.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence hailed Donald Trump on Twitter as the results came in: “Congratulations to @realDonaldTrump; officially elected President of the United States today by the Electoral College!”
The movement to block Donald Trump had fought hard to convince Republican electors to abandon their party’s candidate.
Thousands of anti-Trump protesters had gathered at state capitols across the country.
In Pennsylvania, over 200 demonstrators braved sub-zero temperatures, chanting, “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA!” and “No treason, no Trump!'”
In Maine, protesters beat drums and waved signs saying, “Don’t let Putin Pick Our President,” – a reference to allegations that Kremlin-backed hackers tried to sway the election in Donald Trump’s favor.
On December 19, the Electoral College is expected to certify Donald Trump as the next president of the United States, despite a last-minute effort to thwart the Republican.
The 538 electors will vote at state capitols nationwide.
A handful of Democratic electors have been organizing a long shot bid to persuade their Republican counterparts to cast ballots against Donald Trump.
The process is usually a formality, but takes place this year amid claims Russian hackers tried to sway the vote.
The Electoral College was set up by the founding fathers as a compromise between allowing Congress and the people to elect the president.
Technically, Americans cast votes on Election Day for electors, not the candidates themselves.
The electors are mostly elected officials or party functionaries whose names are not on the ballot. They are generally unknown to the public apart from one or two exceptions such as former President Bill Clinton, who is a New York elector this year.
There are 538 electors in all, one for each member of Congress. A candidate needs to take at least 270 electoral votes – half of the total plus one – to win the White House.
In November’s presidential election, Donald Trump won 306 electors from 30 states.
Under federal law, electors must gather on December 19, with each elector casting two votes – one for president and one for vice-president.
Their so-called Certificates of Vote must be transmitted by December 28 to Congress and the National Archives in Washington.
On January 6, Vice-President Joe Biden will preside as Congress officially tallies the electoral votes.
Once the votes are counted, the results are final, and Donald Trump would be all set for his noon inauguration on January 20.
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by a margin of nearly 3 million, but only gained 232 electors because she lost crucial swing states. This has fuelled renewed calls for the Electoral College to be scrapped, with critics arguing it is undemocratic and unfair.
Furthermore, US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia hacked the emails of the DNC – leaking embarrassing messages about Hillary Clinton’s paid speeches to Wall Street and party infighting – in an attempt to put its thumb on the electoral scales for Donald Trump.
Ten electors – nine Democrats and one Republican – asked unsuccessfully for an intelligence briefing about Moscow’s alleged role.
On December 18, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta upped the ante by suggesting the Trump team could even have colluded with Russia on the cyber-attack, which the Republican’s camp denies.
Millions of Americans who consider Donald Trump unfit to occupy the Oval Office have signed an online petition calling for Republican electors not to vote as directed by their state’s popular ballot.
Some have posted electors copies of founding father Alexander Hamilton’s writings in his Federalist Papers, which state that the meeting of the Electoral College “affords a moral certainty, that the office of President will never fall to the lot of any man who is not in an eminent degree endowed with the requisite qualifications”.
A handful of Democratic electors are so desperate to stop Donald Trump that they have even offered to vote against Hillary Clinton and unite with the other electors behind a consensus Republican candidate.
Nothing in the US constitution or in federal law requires electors to vote one way or another.
Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia bind their electors by law, though so-called “faithless electors” who defy the popular vote generally just face a fine.
History shows it is extremely unusual for an elector to defy the expressed will of his or her state’s voters.
It is highly unlikely the Electoral College will take the unprecedented step of changing the election’s outcome.
Only one Republican elector, Chris Suprun of Texas, has come forward to say he will not cast his electoral vote for Donald Trump. But 38 Republican electors would have to defect to deny Donald Trump.
Even that would probably only delay the inevitable.
If no candidate reaches 270 in the Electoral College, the House of Representatives must vote on the next president, and the Republican-controlled chamber would most likely choose Donald Trump anyway.
Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has claimed his campaign email account was hacked by Russians.
Sen. Lindsey Graham also told CNN that he believed “the Russians” hacked into the Democratic National Committee (DNC), and accused them of trying to “destabilize democracy all over the world”.
Russian officials have repeatedly denied hacking accusations.
Donald Trump rejected a CIA report that Russian hackers tried to sway the election in his favor.
Also this week, NBC News reported that US intelligence officials now believe with “a high level of confidence” that Russian President Vladimir Putin became personally involved in a covert Russian campaign to interfere in November’s presidential election.
The attack targeted emails of the Democratic Party and of Hillary Clinton’s aide, John Podesta. The contents, passed to WikiLeaks and posted online, were embarrassing to the Democrats and shook up the presidential campaign.
The NBC report, quoting two unnamed senior officials, says that new intelligence shows how the hacked material was leaked and used.
According to the NBC report, the operation began as a “vendetta” against Hillary Clinton before becoming “an effort to show corruption in American politics and split off key American allies”.
Lindsey Graham, a member of the powerful Senate Armed Services Committee, said on CNN that “we were told by the FBI in August that we were hacked in June”.
He said: “I do believe the Russians hacked into the [DNC]. I do believe they hacked into [John] Podesta’s email account. They hacked into my campaign account.”
Lindsey Graham also said that he believed that “all the information released publicly hurt Clinton and didn’t hurt Trump.”
However, he stressed that the outcome of the election was not in doubt.
“I think Hillary Clinton lost because she wasn’t an agent of change and she tried to disqualify Trump and she wasn’t able to do it.”
He added that this was not “a Republican or Democratic issue” and must be tackled on a bipartisan basis.
Lindsey Graham accused Russia of attempting to destabilize democracy: “We should tell the Russians that on no uncertain terms, you interfere in our elections, we don’t care why, we’re going to hit you and hit you hard, we’re going to introduce sanctions.”
A federal judge has blocked Jill Stein’s attempt to force a recount in Pennsylvania of votes cast in last month’s presidential election.
The Green Party’s candidate has sought a recount there, as well as in Michigan and Wisconsin. Donald Trump narrowly beat Hillary Clinton in all three states.
Last week a judge halted a recount in Michigan after three days.
Image source Flickr
Wisconsin’s is expected to finish on December 12. At issue are fears that voting machines are vulnerable to hacking.
In Pennsylvania, Donald Trump beat Hillary Clinton by about 44,000 votes out of 6 million cast – less than 1%.
Announcing his ruling on December 12, US District Judge Paul Diamond said: “There is no credible evidence that any <<hack>> occurred, and compelling evidence that Pennsylvania’s voting system was not in any way compromised.”
Correspondents say that none of the recounts were likely to change the final result.
Hillary Clinton has kept silent on the matter, but her campaign has said it will co-operate with Jill Stein’s recount efforts.
Unlike Wisconsin and Michigan, most of Pennsylvania’s voting machines leave no paper trail. This would have made a recount there a cumbersome process.
Requests would have had to be filed for each individual precinct.
According to new reports, US intelligence agencies believe Russia acted covertly to boost Donald Trump in the election race.
The New York Times and the Washington Post reports say the agencies had “high confidence” about Russian involvement in hacking.
However, Donald Trump’s team dismissed the CIA line, saying: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.”
Russian officials have repeatedly denied the hacking accusations.
On December 9, President Barack Obama ordered an investigation into a series of cyber-attacks, blamed on Russia, during the US election season.
Image source Flickr
The hacks targeted emails at the Democratic Party and John Podesta, a key aide to presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.
In October, US government officials pointed the finger at Russia, accusing it of meddling in the campaign.
Now, senior administration officials quoted by the New York Times say they are confident that Russian hackers also infiltrated the Republican National Committee’s computer systems as well as those of the Democratic Party, but did not release information gleaned from the Republican networks.
According to intelligence agencies, the Russians passed on the Democrats’ documents to WikiLeaks, the Times reported.
Democrats reacted furiously when email accounts of the DNC and Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, were hacked.
John Podesta’s emails were revealed by WikiLeaks and posted online.
Quoting an unnamed “senior US official”, the Washington Post said “intelligence agencies” had “identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman”.
At one point in the campaign, Donald Trump publicly encouraged Russia to “find” Hillary Clinton’s emails, although he later said he was being sarcastic.
Democrats claimed the hacks were a deliberate attempt to undermine Hillary Clinton’s campaign.
White House spokesman Eric Schultz said President Barack Obama wanted the investigation carried out on his watch “because he takes it very seriously”.