In his now-infamous July phone call with Ukraine's president, President Donald Trump referred briefly to a long-discredited conspiracy theory that tries to cast doubt on Russia's role in the 2016 hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
Some Trump backers who circulate unsubstantiated rumors have latched onto some version of the theory to support claims he's being persecuted by "the deep state," also known as the federal bureaucracy, as the House of Representatives begins an impeachment inquiry. The issue arose anew Thursday, when White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said he had "absolutely" heard Trump mention "the corruption that related to the DNC server."
In broad outline, the theory contends — without evidence, of course — that the DNC hack was a setup based on fabricated computer records and designed to cast blame on Russia. One key figure in this supposed conspiracy: CrowdStrike, a security firm hired by the DNC that detected, stopped and analyzed the hack five months before the 2016 election.
Here's how Trump's phone call brought this conspiracy back into currency.
During his July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump made a brief and cryptic reference to CrowdStrike. According to a reconstructed transcript of the call released by the White House, which is not a verbatim account, he said:
"I would like to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike . I guess you have one of your wealthy people . The server, they say Ukraine has it." Trump added that he'd like to have Attorney General William Barr call "you or your people and I would like you to get to the bottom of it."
CrowdStrike determined in June 2016 that Russian agents had broken into the committee's network and stolen emails that were subsequently published by WikiLeaks.
WASHINGTON — The White House acknowledged Thursday that President Donald Trump's decision to hold up military aid to Ukraine was linked to his demand that Kyiv investigate the Democratic National Committee and the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, a shifting new explanation about events at the heart of the impeachment inquiry.
The admission from acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney undercut the president's position that there was no quid pro quo during Trump's phone call with the Ukraine president that sparked the House investigation.
The sudden turn of events had immediate fallout. Trump's lawyer distanced the president from Mulvaney's account. The Justice Department said the explanation was news to them. And Democrats cast Mulvaney's remarks as further evidence wrongdoing as Trump sought a "favor" from Ukraine.
Trump, traveling in Texas, appeared to stand by his top aide, calling Mulvaney a "good man."
"I have a lot of confidence" in him, Trump said.
But Mulvaney's initial remarks, made during a rare appearance by an administration official in the White House briefing room, spun open a new phase of the impeachment inquiry.
He indicated that a quid pro quo was at play for the military aid — but a different one than Democrats initially highlighted as they probed Trump's efforts to have Ukraine investigate a company linked to the son of his Democratic rival Joe Biden.
Trump, as shown in a rough transcript of the July call with Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, sought help in investigating not only the firm tied to Biden, but also a security company hired by the DNC that discovered that Russian agents had broken into the committee's network. The stolen emails were subsequently published by WikiLeaks ahead of the 2016 election.
"The look back to what happened in 2016 certainly was part of the thing that he was worried about in corruption with that nation," Mulvaney told reporters, delivering the White House's most granular explanation yet of the decision to withhold military assistance.
Tim will have more on Project Veritas latest video where staffers of CNN are seen complaining about how the network has become and left-wing cesspool. Okay—maybe that’s a stretch, but they’re not happy with the liberal tilt the network has taken. It is one of the most prolific and visible anti-Trump networks out there. We all know this, but PV was able to get an insider to speak with CNN employees who confirmed our suspicions about the network. They’re liberal. They hate Trump. And President Jeff Zucker personally intervenes during interviews with members of the Trump administration in the hopes of catching them tripping up live on air. The Trump impeachment circus is front and center, and all of this just adds credence to the chant “CNN sucks.” And if that’s not indicative of how the liberal media has become in the Trump era, PV’s CNN insider, Cary Poarch, caught what they all probably feel about the president during his investigation. Gerald Sisnette, Field Production Supervisor at CNN, said he hoped Trump dies soon (via Project Veritas):
NEW FROM @Project_Veritas:
CNN Field Production Supervisor Gerald Sisnette on Trump: “The Only Way This Will Go Away is When He Dies. Hopefully Soon.”
Unreal.#ExposeCNNOctober 17, 2019
According to CNN insider Cary Poarch, “I want to chase the facts, like the motto that CNN put out earlier this year, ‘the facts first,’ that’s what I want the news to be. That’s what it should be. That’s what it used to be.” It appears a number of CNN staffers agree:
Patrick Davis, Manager of Field Operations at CNN: “…I hate seeing what we were and what we could be and what we’ve become.
On October 9, 2019, the Interfax-Ukraine conference center held a press conference for journalists. The Interfax-Ukraine News Agency is a Kiev-based Ukrainian news agency founded in 1992. The company belongs to the Russian news group Interfax Information Services. The press conference allowed for the release of supposed facts pertaining to the US embassy influence on the Ukrainian law enforcement agencies meddling in the US democratic elections process.
The leak of the information was provided by the Ukrainian Rada elected official Andriy Derkach, a politician, scientist, philanthropist, and Member of Ukrainian Parliament. Additionally, the document referenced National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine Leaks. NABU is a Ukrainian law enforcement, anti-corruption agency that prepares cases for prosecution. It has investigatory powers but cannot indict suspects.
Hammond's vow of continued silence comes after he was found in contempt last Wednesday, when first appearing before the grand jury.
As the I-Team initially reported, Hammond was suddenly moved in late August from a federal prison in Memphis, Tennessee where he had been serving his sentence. He was sent through a U.S. Bureau of Prisons processing center in Oklahoma City, a waypoint for federal inmates who are being transferred.
"I am outraged that the government is threatening additional jail time if I do not cooperate with their grand jury investigation" Hammond said in a statement after being found in contempt. "Their draconian intimidation tactics could never coerce me into betraying my comrades or my principles. In the spirit of resistance and with great contempt for their system, I am choosing silence over freedom," Hammond said.
Hammond, who attended Glenbard East High School and the University of Illinois - Chicago, was arrested in 2012 at his Chicago-Bridgeport apartment. The next year he was sentenced to 10 years in prison for carrying out cyber-attacks targeting Stratfor, a Texas-based geopolitical intel firm, the FBI's Virtual Academy, the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association, and the Jefferson County, Alabama, Sheriff's Office.
Updated October 14, 2019 17:52:07
The Australian Government has not done enough to protect Wikileaks founder Julian Assange from extradition to the United States, according to former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce.
Mr Joyce has called for the Federal Government to step in and try to stop Assange being extradited from the United Kingdom to the US on espionage charges.
Assange is currently behind bars in London after living in the Ecuadorian Embassy for seven years.
Mr Joyce said Assange was not on US soil when he began releasing classified information and he should be protected.
"Sovereignty is not just for people that you like or people that you have a philosophical relationship to, it might be for someone you detest, it might be for someone that you find completely obnoxious," Mr Joyce said.
"Nonetheless, if they're a citizen of this nation, they should be afforded the rights of a citizen."
A judge in London in April found the WikiLeaks founder guilty of breaching his bail.