Russia

Trump on the EU and NATO

Featured image The Washington Post reports that European leaders are “shocked” by statements Donald Trump has made about the EU and NATO. According to the Post, these leaders fear a “transatlantic split.” What should we make of this story from an American perspective? I think we need to analyze the EU and NATO separately. Regarding the EU, Post reporter Michael Birnbaum points to a statement by Trump that he expects the EU »

Trump’s news conference

Featured image Scott has already flagged the golden highlight of president-elect Trump’s new conference this morning. I want to note what, for me, were some other highlights. Trump thanked the New York Times and other mainstream outlets for not running with the story about his alleged interaction with Russia during the election campaign. He singled out the New York Times for praise. It is deserved. Trump pushed back hard against the BuzzFeed »

Rex Tillerson comes under fire from Sen. Rubio [UPDATED] [more from Rubio]

Featured image I watched the first hour and a half of Rex Tillerson’s confirmation hearing before switching to Donald Trump’s news conference. Tillerson is an impressive witness and, I think it’s reasonable to assume, an extremely impressive man. His answers and manner of speaking stand in wonderful contrast to the man he will succeed (if confirmed) — John “Foghorn” Kerry. Tillerson is plainspoken, gives short answers when feasible, and likes to use »

Allegation: Russia has compromising information on Trump [UPDATED]

Featured image The Washington Post and various other outlets are reporting that a classified document delivered to President Obama and President-elect Donald Trump last week included a section summarizing allegations that Russian intelligence services have compromising material and information on Trump’s personal life and finances. According to the Post, U.S. intelligence agencies have not corroborated these allegations, which apparently are based on research done by an outside entity engaged in political consulting »

Has Trump made Republicans pro-Putin? [with correction]

Featured image The Washington Post has published a piece by James Kirchick called “How Trump got his party to love Vladmir Putin.” The title is ridiculous. Republicans don’t love Putin, and Kirchick’s article provides no evidence that they do. In fact, although Trump takes too soft a line on the Russian leader, there is no basis for saying that he loves, or even likes, Putin. The article itself is also over-the-top in »

The Case For Russian Hacking

Featured image I wrote here, here and here about the Obama administration’s two reports that purport to show that the DNC’s email system was penetrated by Russian intelligence. (For reasons about which we can only speculate, they don’t talk about the intrusion into the email account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager, John Podesta.) I concluded that those reports completely failed to make the case that the Russians were behind the DNC hack. »

Nunes’s notes & queries

Featured image Devin Nunes is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. Appearing on FOX News Sunday this morning, he had a few heterodox observations about the news surrounding the story of Russian interference in our election (video below, about 10 minutes). The interview captures a few of the dissonant notes that have generally been ignored in the hysterical din to which we are now subject. Rep. Nunes knows what he is »

Those Inscrutable Russians

Featured image As previously observed here and elsewhere, it makes no sense to think that Vladimir Putin actually favored Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton on the merits of policy. More likely Putin’s goons were merely celebrating—even as most Never Trumpers did—the schadenfreudtastic spectacle of Hillary losing, and the chaotic potential it might augur. Perhaps Putin thinks that an inexperienced American president is preferable to Clinton, but that seems a risk. On the »

To the FBI, CIA and NSA: Where Were You When We Needed You? [Updated]

Featured image While failing utterly to provide evidence (let alone persuasive evidence) that Russia intruded into the DNC’s email system, today’s intelligence report is not without interest. The most notable sections of the report are those that tie Russia’s government to a series of left-wing propaganda campaigns in the U.S. No member of the Occupy movement, for instance, can read the report without squirming. If true, it vindicates what we conservatives have »

Today’s Intelligence Report Proves Nothing [Updated]

Featured image Today the U.S. intelligence community–i.e., the CIA, the FBI and the NSA–released a report titled “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections.” This is the declassified version of a longer report that was delivered to President Obama, President-Elect Trump, and indirectly to the Washington Post and other news organs friendly to the Democratic Party. The report constitutes, allegedly, the long-awaited proof that Russia (specifically, Vladimir Putin) meddled in »

GOP Senators bring clarity to the Russia election hacking debate

Featured image Yesterday, the Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing on Russian hacking especially as it pertained to last year’s presidential election. Paul Kane, a liberal at the Washington Post, gives this account: Senate Republicans walked a tightrope Thursday trying to show their toughness against Vladi­mir Putin’s Russia without undermining the legitimacy of President-elect Donald Trump’s victory in November. Again and again during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Russian »

Report: Senior Russian officials “celebrated” Trump’s victory

Featured image The Washington Post reports that American intelligence agencies intercepted communications showing that senior officials in the Russian government “celebrated Donald Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton as a geopolitical win for Moscow.” The Post says the communications also show that “Russian officials congratulated themselves on the outcome.” Celebrating would mean that the officials in question wanted Trump to win. Congratulations would suggest that Russia tried to help him win. Without seeing »

Trump Is Right: Intelligence Agencies Leak Like a Sieve

Featured image Someone in the U.S. intelligence community–if it has been reported exactly who, I haven’t seen it–has prepared a 50-page report on, among other things, alleged Russian efforts to “meddle” with the 2016 presidential election. That report was delivered to President Obama today, and will go to Donald Trump tomorrow. Naturally, it took only a matter of hours for the Washington Post to be briefed on the report’s contents. One point, »

Ishmael Jones: From Russia with doubt

Featured image The pseudonymous Ishmael Jones is a former CIA case officer and author of The Human Factor: Inside the CIA’s Dysfunctional Intelligence Culture. He writes with a timely comment on the current intelligence controversy that is reaching a fever pitch. Mr. Jones advises that his commentary has been reviewed and approved by the CIA’s publications review board. He writes: CIA intelligence reporting stating that the Russian government hacked the presidential election »

Evidence for Russian Involvement In DNC Hack Is Nonexistent

Featured image The Obama administration insists that Russia’s government was behind the penetration of the Democratic National Committee’s email system (even though it admits that the intrusion was not carried out by the government itself). The administration released a report that purportedly provided evidence in support of this claim, but even an amateur like me could see that the report was surprisingly weak. Then the experts started to weigh in. Their verdict »

Is “Grizzly Steppe” Really a Russian Operation?

Featured image I wrote here about the Obama administration’s underwhelming report, purporting to show that the malware that infected the Democratic National Committee’s email system was planted by Russia. The report is unimpressive in part because it consists mostly of pedestrian advice to IT professionals about computer security. This is the report’s description of the “Grizzly Steppe” malware: Indicators of Compromise (IOCs) IOCs associated with RIS cyber actors are provided within the »

Washington Post Blows Story on Vermont Utility, Russia

Featured image The Washington Post trumpeted a story that initially was headlined “Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont.” The story was obviously intended to contribute to the “election hacking” hysteria that the Democrats have ginned up, arising from the intrusion by persons unknown into Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s email account. But the Post blew the story: it turned out that malware was found on a laptop owned by Burlington »