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Five Questions for Peter Lavelle: Media Wars, Brexit and Russia

Russia doesn’t need separate European countries using the anti-Russia card to negotiate a stronger position vis-à-vis Brussels.

Peter Lavelle

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Question: The British electorate has voted and decided in favor of Brexit. The issue of Russia was never far from the debate – even after the last vote was counted. Is Russia a net-beneficiary of this democratic process?

Answer: Russia never took an official position on the vote. This was wise. The Americans foolishly stuck their nose in and probably turned-off many British voters most interested in their country’s independence and sovereignty. Well, so much for American diplomacy! The Russians were much more circumspect and thoughtful. Moscow was acutely aware any word from the Kremlin would be spun and endlessly re-spun as something sinister. But even that strategy had a down side: the Kremlin’s silence was interpreted as a policy designed intervene and undermined UK domestic politics! From a public policy and diplomatic perspective I would say Russia is not a net-loser in all of this.

Q.: Does Russia benefit in any economic way with Brexit?

A.: At this point it seems to me there are no major upsides or downsides. UK-Russia trade is not significant for either country. There is no reason for British investment in Russia to change or the bilateral visa regime impacting the average citizen. This may not be true for the banking world. London is a favored banking center for a lot of Russian money. It will be up to a newly independent UK to change this situation if it so desires. But why would it? It is unclear at this point if Brussels will attempt to “punish” London in this respect.

When it comes to the rest of Europe this will be up to the EU. In trading terms Russia and Europe are vastly important to each other. Even the Washington-driven sanctions policy against Russia has not changed this – though the Europeans are the net-losers in Washington’s anti-Russia sentiments.

With or without Brexit, the anti-Russia sanctions will end. Maybe Brexit may speed up this progress. However, never underestimate Washington’s long reach and Europe fear of American anger when a country steps out of line.

Russia and the EU have an important energy relationship; Brexit should have little or no impact on this. Once Europe returns to its senses and treats Russia as a respected trading partner, Russia-Europe trade should increase. But Moscow is not waiting. Its own Asia “pivot” is already paying dividends. The longer the Europeans argue among themselves as Washington meddles in EU affairs, the greater ease Moscow looks elsewhere for economic and trade certainty.

Q.: Western media claim Russia is gleeful with the Brexit vote, happy to see the EU weaken. Please speak to this.

A.: Russia and the EU share the same neighborhood. It defies commonsense that Russia wants to see its most important neighbors facing long and sustained political, economic, financial and social uncertainty. When your neighbor’s house is on fire, then yours could be next. All in, Russia really doesn’t really need the EU to be at war with itself. Russia also doesn’t need separate European countries using the anti-Russia card to negotiate and stronger position vis-à-vis Brussels. It is not Russia that “divides and conquer,” it is the Baltic States and Poland that divide the EU when it comes to Brussels’ Russia policy.

Q.: Let’s speak about Brexit and NATO. The conventional wisdom says Russia see’s the UK’s exit from the EU as a security gain. Agree or disagree.

A.: Russia rightfully deems NATO as an existential security threat. NATO is a Washington-driven military alliance that has decided to justify its existence by declaring Russia as its enemy. And rhetoric is backed up by actions. Seventy-five years after Nazi Germany’s invasion of the Soviet Union western countries are amassing troops on Russia’s borders. Moscow takes this seriously and is responding with appropriate counter-measures. Then there is Brexit. Britain is the EU’s largest military spender and plays a prominent role in joint EU naval operations both in the Mediterranean and along the Horn of Africa. Britain is also Washington’s primary European cheerleader against Russia. Will this change with Brexit? Hard to say, but I would argue probably not. Why would it? NATO is a Washington project, not one based out of London. The only upside in the military-security sphere when it comes to Brexit is the hope Brussels will develop a coherent immigration/refugee policy working with Moscow and London. The first step Brussels should take is to refuse to involve itself in any more of Washington’s military adventures in the Middle East, particulary Syria.

Q.: Will Moscow see London and Brussels in a different light after Brexit?

A.: A better question is whether London and Brussels will see Russia in a different light. The western world is in a phase of extreme uncertainty. And it has itself to blame and not Russia. Russia doesn’t back wars of choice in the Middle East. Russia doesn’t back forced regime changes around the world. Russia is not at the root of global financial weakness. Russia isn’t behind the destruction of the west’s middle classes. Russia is not the cause of Europe’s immigration/refugee crisis. Russia shouldn’t be blamed for Washington’s machinations in Ukraine. It is time for the west to get its house in order and stop believing its own propaganda. Using Russia as a scarecrow to hide behind and disavowal responsibility is easy and cheap, but it solves nothing. Brexit will mean what the British people want, not phantom desires attributed to the Kremlin.

Peter Lavelle is host of RT’s political debate program CrossTalk. His views my or may not reflect those of his employer.

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“Foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails (Video)

Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx): Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails was hacked by foreign actor, and it was not Russia.

Alex Christoforou

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A stunning revelation that hardly anyone in the mainstream media is covering.

Fox News gave Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) the opportunity to explain what was going on during his questioning of Peter Strzok, when the the Texas Congressman stated that a “foreign entity, NOT RUSSIA” hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Aside from this segment on Fox News, this story is not getting any coverage, and we know why. It destroys the entire ‘Russia hacked Hillary’ narrative.

Gohmert states that this evidence is irrefutable and shows that a foreign actor, not connected to Russia in any way, intercepted and distributed Hillary Clinton’s cache of 30,000 emails.

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Via Zerohedge

As we sift through the ashes of Thursday’s dumpster-fire Congressional hearing with still employed FBI agent Peter Strzok, Luke Rosiak of the Daily Caller plucked out a key exchange between Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Tx) and Strzok which revealed a yet-unknown bombshell about the Clinton email case.

Nearly all of Hillary Clinton’s emails on her homebrew server went to a foreign entity that isn’t Russia. When this was discovered by the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG), IG Chuck McCullough sent his investigator Frank Ruckner and an attorney to notify Strzok along with three other people about the “anomaly.”

Four separate attempts were also made to notify DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz to brief him on the massive security breach, however Horowitz “never returned the call.” Recall that Horowitz concluded last month that despite Strzok’s extreme bias towards Hillary Clinton and against Donald Trump – none of it translated to Strzok’s work at the FBI.

In other words; Strzok, while investigating Clinton’s email server, completely ignored the fact that most of Clinton’s emails were sent to a foreign entity – while IG Horowitz simply didn’t want to know about it.

Daily Caller reports…

The Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) found an “anomaly on Hillary Clinton’s emails going through their private server, and when they had done the forensic analysis, they found that her emails, every single one except four, over 30,000, were going to an address that was not on the distribution list,” Republican Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said during a hearing with FBI official Peter Strzok.

Gohmert continued..

“It was going to an unauthorized source that was a foreign entity unrelated to Russia.”

Strzok admitted to meeting with Ruckner but said he couldn’t remember the “specific” content of their discussion.

“The forensic examination was done by the ICIG and they can document that,” Gohmert said, “but you were given that information and you did nothing with it.”

According to Zerohedge “Mr. Horowitz got a call four times from someone wanting to brief him about this, and he never returned the call,” Gohmert said – and Horowitz wouldn’t return the call.

And while Peter Strzok couldn’t remember the specifics of his meeting with the IG about the giant “foreign entity” bombshell, he texted this to his mistress Lisa Page when the IG discovered the “(C)” classification on several of Clinton’s emails – something the FBI overlooked:

“Holy cow … if the FBI missed this, what else was missed? … Remind me to tell you to flag for Andy [redacted] emails we (actually ICIG) found that have portion marks (C) on a couple of paras. DoJ was Very Concerned about this.”

Via Zerohedge

In November of 2017, IG McCullough – an Obama appointee – revealed to Fox News that he received pushback when he tried to tell former DNI James Clapper about the foreign entity which had Clinton’s emails and other anomalies.

Instead of being embraced for trying to expose an illegal act, seven senators including Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca) wrote a letter accusing him of politicizing the issue.

“It’s absolutely irrelevant whether something is marked classified, it is the character of the information,” he said. Fox News reports…

McCullough said that from that point forward, he received only criticism and an “adversarial posture” from Congress when he tried to rectify the situation.

“I expected to be embraced and protected,” he said, adding that a Hill staffer “chided” him for failing to consider the “political consequences” of the information he was blowing the whistle on.

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Donald Trump plays good cop and bad cop with a weak Theresa May (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 55.

Alex Christoforou

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US President Donald Trump’s state visit to the UK was momentous, not for its substance, but rather for its sheer entertainment value.

Trump started his trip to the United Kingdom blasting Theresa May for her inability to negotiate a proper Brexit deal with the EU.  Trump ended his visit holding hands with the UK Prime Minister during a press conference where the most ‘special relationship’ between the two allies was once again reaffirmed.

Protests saw giant Trump “baby balloons” fly over London’s city center, as Trump played was his own good cop and bad cop to the UK PM, outside London at the Chequers…often times leaving May’s head spinning.

Even as Trump has left London, he remains front and center in the mind of Theresa May, who has now stated that Trump advised her to “sue” the European Union to resolve the tense negotiations over Brexit.

Trump had mentioned to reporters on Friday at a joint press conference with Theresa May that he had given the British leader a suggestion that she found too “brutal.”

Asked Sunday on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show what that suggestion was, May: “He told me I should sue the EU. Not go into negotiation, sue them.” May added…

“What the president also said at that press conference was `Don’t walk away. Don’t walk away from the negotiations. Then you’re stuck.”‘

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris summarize what was a state visit like no other, as Trump trolled the UK PM from beginning to end, and left London knowing that he got the better of a weakened British Prime Minister, who may not survive in office past next week.

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Via CNBC

It wasn’t exactly clear what Trump meant. The revelation came after explosive and undiplomatic remarks Trump made this week about May’s leadership — especially her handling of the Brexit negotiations — as he made his first official visit to Britain.

In an interview with The Sun newspaper published Thursday — just as May was hosting Trump at a lavish black-tie dinner — Trump said the British leader’s approach likely “killed” chances of a free-trade deal with the United States. He said he had told May how to conduct Brexit negotiations, “but she didn’t listen to me.”

He also praised May’s rival, Boris Johnson, who quit last week as foreign secretary to protest May’s Brexit plans. Trump claimed Johnson would make a “great prime minister.”

The comments shocked many in Britain — even May’s opponents — and threatened to undermine May’s already fragile hold on power. Her Conservative government is deeply split between supporters of a clean break with the EU and those who want to keep close ties with the bloc, Britain’s biggest trading partner.

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Deep State poster boy Peter Strzok gives bizarre testimony that goes viral (Video)

The face of the Deep State.

Alex Christoforou

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If you were not convinced that the Deep State exists, then look no further than Peter Strzok’s bizarre, yet revealing, congressional testimony, showcasing the arrogance and smugness of a powerful FBI agent who worked diligently to push a fake Trump-Russia narrative onto the American public.

Via Zerohedge

While Peter Strzok’s marathon Congressional testimony was full of bickering, chaos and drama – mostly between members of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees – a clip of the disgraced FBI agent’s seemingly giddy reaction after answering a question is creeping people out.

Some have suggested that Strzok’s reaction was “Duper’s delight” – a hidden smirk that slips out at an inappropriate moment when a liar celebrates a successful manipulation.

Watching Peter Strzok, its hard, if not impossible to believe that this man is not a psychopath, who hated Trump so much that he was willing to forward a collusion story that has cost American taxpayers millions, and torn American society apart.

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The video clip even had Donald Trump Jr retweeting it, as he labeled Strzok “the creepiest person in America.”

Via RT

One particular moment from Peter Strzok’s raucous congressional hearing left Twitter users confounded and disturbed, even prompting Donald Trump Jr to label the FBI agent “the creepiest person in America.”

Strzok faced the House Judiciary and Oversight Committees on Thursday to answer questions about his conduct during the 2016 investigations into Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

The lengthy hearing quickly descended into a partisan shouting match, as Republicans and Democrats interrupted each other’s questions, heckling or applauding Strzok.

Strzok’s peculiar reaction to one question caught the eye of viewers and many took to Twitter to confirm that their eyes weren’t deceiving them.

Strzok’s facial expressions were also noticed by the congressmen in the room and prompted one of the most dramatic moments of the hearing when Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) accused Strzok of outright lying.

“I can’t help but wonder when I see you looking there with a little smirk; how many times did you look so innocent into your wife’s eyes and lie to her about Lisa Page,” Gohmert told Strzok, referring to the agent’s extramarital affair with his former colleague Lisa Page, with whom he exchanged anti-Trump text messages. Gohmert’s comment sparked vociferous objections from Democrats.

The hearing evoked a significant reaction, with many describing it as a farce. Former New York mayor and current attorney to US President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, labelled it a “disgrace” and said it “taints the entire Mueller witch hunt.”

“President Trump is being investigated by people who possess pathological hatred for him. All the results of the investigation are ‘fruit of the poison tree’ and should be dismissed,” he added.

Democrats seemed to agree with that sentiment, as California Congressman Ted Lieu said it was “a stupid and ridiculous hearing.”

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