Russian interference probes - UPDATES

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Marie
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Russian interference probes - UPDATES

Postby Marie » Sat May 13, 2017 9:30 am

Treasury unit to share records with Senate for Trump-Russia probe, the Wall Street Journal reports
Reuters
5/13/2017

A UNIT OF the U.S. Treasury Department that fights money laundering will provide financial records to an investigation by the Senate into possible ties between Russia and President Donald Trump and his associates, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Senate Intelligence Committee asked for the records from the Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN, late last month, the Journal cited the people as saying.

One person said the records were needed to decide whether there was collusion between Trump associates and Russia during the 2016 campaign, the Journal said.

The Senate probe took on added significance after Trump dismissed FBI Director James Comey earlier this week amid an agency investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election and possible Moscow ties to the Trump presidential campaign. The House of Representatives intelligence panel is conducting a similar probe.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-t ... SKBN188314

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Russian interference probes - UPDATES

Postby Marie » Sat May 13, 2017 8:52 pm

They want an independent counsel to head up the Russia investigation.

Indivisible spells out ‘Resist!’ on Trump’s Rancho Palos Verdes Golf Course
losangeles.cbslocal.com
May 13, 2017

A GROUP OF approximately 200 people spelled out the word “Resist!” Saturday morning on the grounds of the Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes.

The group, which identified itself as Indivisible San Pedro, held the flash mob style protest between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

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Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies responded, but there were no reported arrests, according to organizers of the demonstration.

Peter Warren, a member of Indivisible San Pedro, told CBS2 that the group held the protest as a call for a special prosecutor to investigate whether there was Russian influence on the 2016 presidential election.

http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/05/ ... lf-course/

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Russian interference probes - UPDATES

Postby Marie » Sun May 14, 2017 2:22 am

RELATED to topic: Trump cautioning North Korea by suggesting Russia's displeasure to them. Translation: My BFF Volodya doesn't appreciate your testing guided missiles so close to his country. Before you get the chance to threaten us, he may come after you.

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Russian interference probes - UPDATES

Postby Marie » Sun May 14, 2017 2:28 am

Make of this what you will:

EXCLUSIVE: Sealed Indictment granted against Donald Trump
By Louise Mensch and Claude Taylor
patribotics.blog
5/14/2017

SEPARATE SOURCES with links to the intelligence and justice communities have stated that a sealed indictment has been granted against Donald Trump.

While it is understood that the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution means that until Mr. Trump is impeached, he cannot be prosecuted, sources say that the indictment is intended by the FBI and prosecutors in the Justice Department to form the basis of Mr. Trump’s impeachment.

The indictment is, perhaps uniquely, not intended or expected to be used for prosecution, sources say, because of the constitutional position of the President.

https://patribotics.blog/2017/05/14/exc ... ald-trump/

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Robert Mueller appointed Special Counsel on Russia probe

Postby Marie » Wed May 17, 2017 5:57 pm

Big news today: Robert Mueller III (AKA "Bobby Three Sticks") appointed Special Counsel over this whole matter.

I can't think of a better choice.

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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RELEASE THE GRACKEN!

Postby Marie » Wed May 17, 2017 9:06 pm

B/c God has a sense of humor (and doesn't like Flynn)...

Trump team knew Flynn was under investigation during the transition
By MATTHEW ROSENBERG and MARK MAZZETTI
The New York Times
MAY 17, 2017

MICHAEL T. FLYNN TOLD President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign, according to two people familiar with the case. Despite this warning, which came about a month after the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry, Mr. Trump made Mr. Flynn his national security adviser.

The job gave Mr. Flynn access to the president and nearly every secret held by American intelligence agencies.

Mr. Flynn’s disclosure, on Jan. 4, was first made to the transition team’s chief lawyer, Donald F. McGahn II, who is now the White House counsel. That conversation, and another one two days later between Mr. Flynn’s lawyer and transition lawyers, shows that the Trump team knew about the investigation of Mr. Flynn far earlier than has been previously reported. His legal issues have been a problem for the White House from the beginning and are at the center of a growing political crisis for Mr. Trump.

Mr. Flynn, who was fired after 24 days in the job, was initially kept on even after the acting attorney general, Sally Q. Yates, warned the White House that he might be subject to blackmail by the Russians for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about the nature of conversations he had with the Russian ambassador to Washington.

After Mr. Flynn’s dismissal, Mr. Trump tried to get James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, to drop the investigation, an act that some legal experts say is grounds for an investigation of Mr. Trump for possible obstruction of justice. Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey on May 9.

The White House declined to comment on whether officials there had known about Mr. Flynn’s legal troubles before the inauguration. Mr. Flynn, a retired general, is one of a handful of Trump associates under scrutiny in intertwined federal investigations into their financial links to foreign governments and whether any of them helped Russia interfere in the presidential election. In congressional testimony, the acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, has confirmed the existence of a “highly significant” investigation into possible collusion between Mr. Trump’s associates and Russian operatives to sway the presidential election.

The pace of the investigations has intensified in recent weeks, with a veteran espionage prosecutor, Brandon Van Grack, now leading a grand jury inquiry in Northern Virginia that is scrutinizing Mr. Flynn’s foreign lobbying and has begun issuing subpoenas to businesses that worked with Mr. Flynn and his associates.

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Brandon L. Van Grack
Current: U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Virginia; Previous: National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice, Counterintelligence & Export Control Section, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice, United States District Court for the District of Columbia; Education: Harvard Law School


The New York Times has reviewed one of the subpoenas. It demands all “records, research, contracts, bank records, communications” and other documents related to work with Mr. Flynn and the Flynn Intel Group, the business he set up after he was forced out as chief of the Defense Intelligence Agency in 2014. The subpoena also asks for similar records about Ekim Alptekin, a Turkish businessman who is close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey and is chairman of the Turkish-American Business Council. There is no indication that Mr. Alptekin is under investigation.

Signed by Dana J. Boente, the United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, the subpoena instructs the recipient to direct any questions about its contents to Mr. Van Grack.

MORE: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/17/us/p ... .html?_r=0

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Before Wikileaks, House offl shared belief that Russia paid Trump

Postby Marie » Thu May 18, 2017 3:00 am

In 2016, prior to Wikileaks, Hse Maj Ldr suggested to colleagues: 'There’s two people Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.'
House Speaker Ryan quickly admonished, “No leaks. . . What’s said in the family stays in the family.”
By Adam Entous
washingtonpost.com
5/17/2017

A MONTH BEFORE Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy (R-Calif.) said, according to a recording of the June 15, 2016, exchange, which was listened to and verified by the Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a California Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.

Some of the lawmakers laughed at McCarthy’s comment. Then McCarthy quickly added: “Swear to God.”

House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) immediately stopped the conversation from further exploring McCarthy’s assertion and instructed his Republican lieutenants to keep the conversation private, saying, “No leaks. . . . This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

The remarks remained secret for nearly a year.

Before the conversation, McCarthy and Ryan had emerged from separate talks at the Capitol with Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladi­mir Groysman, who had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions. News had just broken the day before in the Washington Post that Russian government hackers had penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee, prompting McCarthy to shift the conversation from Russian meddling in Europe to events closer to home.

The conversation provides a glimpse at the internal views of GOP leaders who now find themselves under mounting pressure over the conduct of President Trump. The exchange shows that the Republican leadership in the House privately discussed Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and Trump’s relationship to Putin, but wanted to keep their concerns secret. It is difficult to tell from the recording the extent to which the remarks were meant to be taken literally.

The House leadership has so far stood by the White House as it has lurched from one crisis to another, much of the turmoil fueled by contacts between Trump or his associates with Russia. House Republican leaders have so far resisted calls for the appointment of an independent commission or a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference, though pressure has been mounting on them to do so after Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey and the disclosure that the president shared intelligence with Russian diplomats.

Late Wednesday, Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein announced he had appointed Robert S. Mueller III, a former prosecutor who served as the FBI director from 2001 to 2013, as special counsel to oversee the Russia probe.

Evan McMullin, who in his role as policy director to the House Republican Conference participated in the June 15 conversation, said, “It’s true that Majority Leader McCarthy said that he thought candidate Trump was on the Kremlin’s payroll. Speaker Ryan was concerned about that leaking.” McMullin ran for president last year as an independent and has been a vocal critic of Trump.

When initially asked to comment on the exchange, Brendan Buck, a spokesman for Ryan, said, “That never happened”; and Matt Sparks, a spokesman for McCarthy, said, “The idea that McCarthy would assert this is absurd and false.” However, after being told that the Post would cite a recording of the exchange, Buck, speaking for the GOP House leadership, said, “This entire year-old exchange was clearly an attempt at humor. No one believed the majority leader was seriously asserting that Donald Trump or any of our members were being paid by the Russians. What’s more, the speaker and leadership team have repeatedly spoken out against Russia’s interference in our election, and the House continues to investigate that activity. . . This was a failed attempt at humor.”

Ken Grubbs, a spokesman for Rohrabacher, said the congressman has been a consistent advocate of “working closer with the Russians to combat radical Islamism. The congressman doesn’t need to be paid to come to such a necessary conclusion.”

When McCarthy voiced his assessment of whom Putin supports, suspicions were only beginning to swirl around Trump’s alleged Russia ties. At the time, U.S. intelligence agencies knew that the Russians had hacked the DNC and other institutions, but Moscow had yet to start publicly releasing damaging emails through WikiLeaks to undermine Trump’s Democratic challenger, Hillary Clinton. An FBI counterintelligence investigation into Russian efforts to influence the presidential election would open the following month, in late July, Comey had said in testimony to Congress.

Trump has sought to play down contacts between his campaign and the Russians, dismissing as a “witch hunt” the FBI and congressional investigations into Russian efforts to aid Trump and any possible coordination between the Kremlin and his associates. Trump denies any coordination with Moscow took place. Presidential candidate Trump’s embrace of Putin and calls for closer cooperation with Moscow put him at odds with the House Republican caucus, whose members have long advocated a harder line on Russia, with the exception of Rohrabacher and a few others.

Among GOP leaders in the House, McCarthy stood out as a Putin critic who in 2015 called for the imposition of “more severe” sanctions for its actions in eastern Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea; yet In May 2016, McCarthy signed up to serve as a Trump delegate at the Republican National Convention, breaking ranks with Ryan, who said he still was not ready to endorse the candidate.

McCarthy’s relationship with Trump became so close that the president would sometimes refer to him as “my Kevin.” Trump was by then the lone Republican remaining in the contest for the nomination. Though Ryan continued to hold out, Trump picked up endorsements from the remaining GOP leaders in the House, including Rep. Steve Scalise, the majority whip from Louisiana, and Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.), both of whom took part in the June 15 conversation.

Ryan announced on June 2 that he would vote for Trump to help “unite the party so we can win in the fall” but continued to clash with the candidate, including over Putin.

While Trump sought to cast Putin as a better leader than then-President Obama, Ryan dubbed him an “aggressor” who didn’t share U.S. interests. On the same day as Ryan’s endorsement, Clinton stepped up her attacks on Trump over his public statements praising Putin. “If Donald gets his way, they’ll be celebrating in the Kremlin,” she said. Ukrainian officials were unnerved by Trump’s statements in support of Putin. Republicans, they had believed, were supposed to be tougher on Russia.

When Trump named Paul Manafort as his campaign manager in April 2016, alarm bells in Kiev started ringing even louder. Manafort was already well known in Ukraine because of his influential role as a political consultant to Viktor Yanukovych, the country’s former Kremlin-friendly ruler until a popular uprising forced him to flee to Russia. Manafort had also consulted for a powerful Russian businessman with close ties to the Kremlin.

“Ukraine was, in a sense, a testing ground for Manafort,” said Ukrainian political scientist Taras Berezovets, who became a grudging admirer of Manafort’s skills in the “dark arts” of political stagecraft while Berezovets was working for one of Yanukovych’s political rivals. At the urging of Manafort, Yanukovych campaigned with populist slogans labeling NATO a “menace” and casting “elites” in the Ukrainian capital as out of touch, Berezovets said. Trump struck similar themes during the 2016 campaign.

The FBI is now investigating whether Manafort, who stepped down as Trump’s campaign manager in August, received off-the-books payments from Yanukovych’s party, U.S. officials said. As part of that investigation, FBI agents recently took possession of a newly discovered document that allegedly details payments totaling $750,000. Ukrainian lawmaker Sergii Leshchenko, who first disclosed the new document, declined to comment on his contacts with the FBI.

A spokesman for Manafort has said that Trump’s former campaign manager has not been contacted by the FBI. Manafort has also disputed the authenticity of the newly discovered document.

Groysman, on an official visit to Washington, met separately with Ryan and McCarthy on June 15 at the Capitol. He told them how the Russians meddled in European politics, and called for “unity” in addressing the threat, according to U.S. and Ukrainian officials. Ryan issued a statement after the meeting, saying, “The United States stands with Ukraine as it works to rebuild its economy and confront Russian aggression.”

Later, Ryan spoke privately with McCarthy, Rodgers, Scalise and Rep. Patrick T. McHenry (R-N.C.), the deputy whip, among others. Ryan mentioned his meeting with Groysman, prompting Rodgers to ask: “How are things going in Ukraine?” according to the recording. The situation was difficult, Ryan said. Groysman, he said, had told him that Russian-backed forces were firing 30 to 40 artillery shells into Ukrainian territory every day. And the prime minister described Russian tactics that included “financing our populists, financing people in our governments to undo our governments.”

Ryan said Russia’s goal was to “turn Ukraine against itself.” Groysman underlined Russia’s intentions, saying, “They’re just going to roll right through us and go to the Baltics and everyone else,” according to Ryan’s summary of the prime minister’s remarks in the recording. “Yes,” Rodgers said in agreement, noting that the Russians were funding nongovernmental organizations across Europe as part of a wider “propaganda war.”

“Maniacal,” Ryan said. “And guess, guess who’s the only one taking a strong stand up against it? We are.” Rodgers disagreed: “We’re not . . . we’re not . . . but, we’re not,” she said.

That’s when McCarthy brought the conversation about Russian meddling around to the DNC hack, Trump and Rohrabacher. “I’ll guarantee you that’s what it is. . . . The Russians hacked the DNC and got the opp [opposition] research that they had on Trump,” McCarthy said with a laugh.

Ryan asked who the Russians “delivered” the opposition research to. “There’s . . . there’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy said, drawing some laughter. “Swear to God,” McCarthy added.

“This is an off the record,” Ryan said. Some lawmakers laughed at that. “No leaks, all right?,” Ryan said, adding, “This is how we know we’re a real family here.”

“That’s how you know that we’re tight,” Scalise said.

“What’s said in the family stays in the family,” Ryan added.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/na ... story.html

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Russian interference probes - UPDATES

Postby Marie » Thu May 18, 2017 3:13 am

Can't tell the players w/out a program --

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: Russian interference probes - UPDATES

Postby Marie » Thu May 18, 2017 9:10 am

From Twitter, a suggestion for Trump's next book title:

Art of the Squeal.

(That's the sound of Trump underlings cutting plea deals and turning state's evidence.)

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Comey agrees to open testimony 'sometime after Mem. Day'

Postby Marie » Fri May 19, 2017 7:59 pm

Don't be surprised if everybody calls in sick, LOL.

From the Washington Post:
Former FBI director Comey to testify publicly
By Karoun Demirjian
5/19/2017

FORMER FBI DIRECTOR James B. Comey will testify publicly before the Senate Intelligence Committee at a date to be set after Memorial Day, committee leaders announced Friday night.

The public commitment to testify comes after a tumultuous week and a half following President Trump's dismissal of Comey, a move that perplexed committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Vice Chairman Mark R. Warner (D-Va.), who nonetheless vowed to bring Comey before the committee to testify as part of their probe into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, including potential ties between the Trump campaign and Kremlin officials.

Earlier this week, Burr and Warner made that invitation formal, inviting Comey to appear before the committee in both an open and closed session, despite Comey’s indications that he wanted to appear only in an open setting. In their announcement Friday, Burr and Warner announced that Comey would testify in open session, and that they would schedule that session after the Memorial Day break.

“I am hopeful that he will clarify for the American people recent events that have been broadly reported in the media,” Burr said in a joint statement announcing Comey had agreed to testify.

MORE: https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpos ... 53681d29fa

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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FBI focuses on Trump son-in-law

Postby Marie » Fri May 26, 2017 6:39 am

The investigation has pierced the oval office:

Jared Kushner now a focus in Russia investigation

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/na ... 3e21ae11b6

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: FBI focuses on Trump son-in-law

Postby Marie » Fri May 26, 2017 10:21 pm

Things just got exponentially worse for Kushner.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/26/us/p ... .html?_r=0

Now I know why this is Jared's default facial expression --

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Re: FBI focuses on Trump son-in-law

Postby Marie » Sat May 27, 2017 5:25 am

Incidentally, look at this. Here's where personal experience counts.

Keith tweets:
A reminder that the impeccable @juliettekayyem flagged this nearly 10 days ago:
https://twitter.com/KeithOlbermann/stat ... 9628178433

This is what he's talking about:
Image
https://twitter.com/juliettekayyem/stat ... 0771072000

Seasoned journalists know which reporters outside their own organizations have credibility, and they listen to them.

Here we have Keith -- formerly of NBC -- listening to Juliette Kayyem of CNN, who knows she can trust what Norah O'Donnell -- now with CBS -- is reporting! To establish this level of mutual trust takes reporters years of striving to get the story right.

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Comey to testify 6/8/2017 before Sen Intel Cmte

Postby Marie » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:58 am

10am Eastern, in OPEN SESSION.

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-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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Marie
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Re: Russian interference probes - UPDATES

Postby Marie » Sat Jun 03, 2017 4:35 pm

Image

-Marie-
You find out what someone is really like in "battle," and Olbermann is who you want to be in a foxhole with, Patrick said. "On the air, we had each others' backs," said Olbermann.
-David Goetzl: "Keith Olbermann, Dan Patrick still brothers long after ESPN's 'Big Show'"; MediaPost blog, 4-6-2012


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