Odds and Ends 

Ukraine Cronies Planned InfomercialsStarring Rudy

As Rudy Giuliani upended U.S.-Ukraine relations with a campaign of shadow diplomacy that landed his client, President Donald Trump, on the verge of impeachment, he was also exploring a gig as a television pitchman for an anti-fraud company run by two of the men he enlisted to dig up dirt on Trumps political foes in Ukraine. The company was called Fraud Guarantee, and it was run by Lev Parnas and David Correia, who were both arrested last month and charged with criminal violations of campaign-finance lawcharges to which both have…

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Rudy Giuliani says Trump will stay loyal to him but jokes that he has ‘insurance’

Presidents lawyer, a key figure in the impeachment inquiry, speaks to Guardian amid speculation Republicans will seek to paint him as a rogue actor Rudy Giuliani, Donald Trumps personal lawyer, has said he is confident the president will remain loyal to him as an impeachment inquiry unfolds in which the former New York mayor has become a central figure. But Giuliani joked that he had good insurance in case Trump did turn on him, amid speculation Republicans will seek to frame him as a rogue actor. In a telephone interview…

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Seth Meyers Mocks Trumps Freak-Out Over Fox News Poll

Seth Meyers began his latest that shows a majority of voters not only want the president impeached but removed from office. Damn, and thats a Fox News poll, the Late Night host added, so you know they only called landlines, CB radios, and VFW halls. Naturally, Trump did not take the news well, tweeting, From the day I announced I was running for President, I have NEVER had a good @FoxNews Poll. Whoever their Pollster is, they suck. And yet despite Trumps insistence that his phone call with the Ukrainian…

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Trump Allies Pressed Ukraine Over State Gas Firm Before Phone Call: AP

A group of people closely allied with President Trump and his personal attorney Rudy Giuliani were working to push American business interests in Ukraine before the White House made contact with the new Ukrainian president, the Associated Press reports. According to four people with direct knowledge of the efforts, Trump allies were working to influence Naftogaz, Ukraines multibillion-dollar national oil and gas company. The goal was reportedly to alter the companys senior management to include Americans, so that business dealings in the Ukraine would become friendlier towards Western countries. The…

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Ukraine to review legal cases amid Trump claims over Bidens

Ruslan Ryaboshapka distances audit from US presidents call for investigation into Biden ties Ukraines highest prosecutor has said he is holding a broad review of investigations closed under his predecessors, including more than a dozen linked to the Ukrainian energy company where Joe Bidens son served on the board of directors. The general prosecutor, Ruslan Ryaboshapka, said the review was part of Ukraines reform process as investigative powers are handed over to another government agency by the middle of next month. Q&A What is the Trump-Ukraine whistleblower scandal? Show Hide…

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Giuliani This Morning: Ukraine Transcript Was Read to Me, Maybe President of Ukraine Brought Up Biden First

President Donald Trumps personal attorney Rudy Giuliani continued on his non-stop television tour Wednesday to stick up for his client-in-chief on the growing Ukraine scandal. After telling Fox News host Laura Ingraham on Thursday night that no, he didnt have his own shadow Ukraine agenda, and in fact that

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Trump’s whistleblower response is ‘witness retaliation’, says ex-spy chief

Pressure on Trump mounts as 300 national security officials say presidents actions constitute unconscionable abuse of power James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, has said Donald Trumps implication that officials involved in the whistleblower complaint should be treated as spies is witness retaliation, as more than 300 national security officials signed a letter saying the accusations against Trump amount to an unconscionable abuse of power. As pressure continued to mount on Trump, former secretary of defense and CIA director Leon Panetta also suggested the White Houses attempts to…

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White House tried to cover up Trump’s Ukraine conversation, whistleblower alleges

Pelosi slams White House for trying to keep details from public, while Trump says this is the greatest scam in American history Donald Trumps actions on Ukraine pose risks to US national security, according to a whistleblowers complaint released on Thursday which also appeared to reveal an attempt by the White House to cover up conversations with a foreign leader. The whistleblower alleges in the explosive complaint that Trump used a phone call with Volodymyr Zelenskiy, to solicit interference in the 2020 election, and that the White House then intervened…

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Gates Says He Committed Crimes With Manafort: Trial Update

The trial of Paul Manafort resumed Monday afternoon with Rick Gates, Manafort’s former right-hand man, taking the witness stand to testify against his former boss. Gates is the prosecution’s star witness in the tax- and bank-fraud trial of Manafort in Alexandria, Virginia. Gates Says He Stole From Manafort (5:34 p.m.) Gates told jurors that when he worked for Manafort he submitted fake expense reports, which brought him hundreds of thousands of dollars that he didn’t deserve. Manafort’s lawyers claim Gates embezzled millions. The testimony elicited by prosecutors is intended to…

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Mueller’s Latest Charges Bring Together Trump Campaign, Russia

U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s latest indictment is significant beyond the new charges, in that it links senior officials on President Donald Trump’s presidential campaign to Russian intelligence in a criminal matter. Mueller’s indictment released Friday against Trump’s former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, adds witness-tampering charges to allegations that Manafort did illegal lobbying work for Ukraine and laundered millions of dollars in proceeds. It also included an allegation that a fixer described by the FBI as a former Russian spy, Konstantin Kilimnik, helped Manafort obstruct justice. "This is the first…

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Mueller Releases Secret Memo Underpinning Manafort Probe

Rosenstein gave Mueller authority to look at Ukrainian work Manafort claims that Mueller overstepped his appointment Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort by releasing a secret government memorandum granting him authority to investigate crimes related to Manafort’s political consulting work for former President Viktor Yanukovych of Ukraine. Mueller is using the memo to refute Manafort’s claims that prosecutors went too far by investigating crimes beyond Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Prosecutors released the memo just before midnight on Monday, arguing that Manafort can’t legally challenge his indictment for financial…

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Gates Guilty Plea Strengthens Muellers Hand Against Manafort

As the newest cooperator for Special Counsel Robert Mueller, Rick Gates gives prosecutors a powerful weapon in pursuing former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and possible election collusion with Russia. Gates, who pleaded guilty Friday in Washington, was Manafort’s right-hand man and worked with him for a decade in his political consulting firm lobbying on behalf of Ukraine before joining him on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign in 2016. Gates also remained on the Trump campaign after Manafort resigned in August 2016, and he helped plan Trump’s inauguration. In a victory…

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Crimea the big budget Russian blockbuster the world will never see

Film depicting Vladimir Putins 2014 annexing of Crimea from Ukraine will only be shown in Russia and Belarus This is the kind of decision that is only taken once a century, says a voice on the trailer for Crimea, a high-budget Russian film that dramatises the 2014 Russian takeover of the peninsula. The film, which will premiere across Russia next month, features Russian soldiers, tanks, planes and a love story the director describes as a Romeo and Juliet tale. The Maidan uprising, and a man from Sevastopol who joins the…

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More than half of major malware attacks victims are industrial targets

A new report from cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Labs examining the targets and intended effects of this weeks massive malware attack comes up with some significant insights. The attack, initially believed to be a variation of commercial malware software known as Petya, appeared to be a vast ransomware scheme. As the story developed, it became clear that the attack was more destructive than it was lucrative, as ransom payments failed to result in a return of decryption keys that would unlock affected systems. Furthermore, at the time of writing, the attack…

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