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Sergey Lavrov offers Russia’s point-for-point rebuttal of Donald Trump’s UN speech

Russia’s Foreign Minister has rejected almost every point made in Donald Trump’s speech before the UNGA.

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Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s long serving Foreign Minister has delivered his country’s address to the plenary session of the 72nd meeting of the UN General Assembly.

The speech which was delivered at a rapid pace, can be characterised as a point-for-point rebuttal of the majority of issues raised by Donald Trump during his deeply controversial speech delivered on the 19th of September.

Below are the main points covered by Lavrov

North Korea

Sergey Lavrov placed a heavy emphasis on the joint Chinese and Russian deep-freeze proposals which call for de-escalation on the Korean peninsula.

Lavrov stated that “military hysteria is not just an impasse but a disaster” in a clear reference to Donald Trump’s threat to “destroy” North Korea, during his address before the United Nations.

Russia’s Foreign Minister condemned “Pyongyang’s missile adventurism” but restated that diplomacy is the only means of solving the crisis.

Iran 

Sergey Lavrov stated Russia’s support for the 2013 JCPOA which is colloquially known as the Iran nuclear deal. By contrast, Donald Trump called the deal “an embarrassment”.

Lavrov then said that the JCPOA has been and continues to be effective and that threats against Iran are causing alarm in the wider world.

Venezuela 

Sergey Lavrov said that it is “unacceptable” for any external power to orchestrate riots let alone take military action against Venezuela. He also affirmed Russia’s opposition to sanctions against Venezuela. He explained that unilateral actions in such areas are ineffective and pointed to the failed US embargo of Cuba.

Lavrov condemned the use of ultimatums as a means of settling geo-political disputes and warned that such leads only lead to chaos, instability and refugee crises.

Syria

Sergey Lavrov spoke positively of the defeat of ISIS on the battle field but remarked with surprise verging on disgust that al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) is “being spared by members of the US led coalition”.

He further stated that more efforts are still needed to bring stability to Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.

Lavrov then said that any allegations relating to the use of chemical weapons in Syria or elsewhere should be investigated thoroughly and objectively. To this end, the work of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons should not be undermined.

Sergey Lavrov also praised the work of the Astana Group of Russia, Iran and Turkey to help bring stability to Syria.

Palestine 

The Russian Foreign Minister expressed regret that there has still been no just solution for the people of Palestine. He affirmed that Russia places a strong emphasis on bringing peace to Palestine at the soonest possible date. Specifically, he stated that Russia has always and will continue to attach a supreme importance on achieving Palestinian unity.

Lavrov said that Russia is willing to engage in fostering direct talks between Israeli and Palestinian leadership in pursuit of the two-state solution agreed to by the United Nations.

Ukrainian regime’s war on Donbass 

Lavrov stated that it is necessary to deploy UN peacekeepers to Donbass at the soonest possible moment while he deplored the fact that the lawless Kiev regime consistently fails to implement the agreements contained in the MINSK Protocols.

Lavrov devoted this portion of the speech to criticising how the current regime in Kiev came to power through a violent and lawless coup.

Lavrov reminded his audience that the United Nations was founded as a result of the Nuremberg Trials of fascist war criminals and that no one should hide behind the phenomenon of free speech in order to glorify fascism and contemporary expressions of Nazism.

NATO expansion into Europe and anti-Russian racism 

Sergey Lavrov lamented that after the Cold War, the western powers “grew heady” on the heels of history and broke multiple promises to refrain from expanding NATO into parts of Europe which had formerly been part of the Warsaw Pact which was led by the Soviet Union.

He said that “NATO is trying to restore the climate of the Cold War”, something which is unacceptable based on the modern standards of global multi-polarity.

The Russian Foreign Minister further stated that NATO’s expansion into Europe created anti-Russian sentiments throughout the continent and this has led to the nationalistic desecration of monuments to those who won the war against fascism. This is a clear reference to Poland beginning to tear down monuments to the heroes of the Great Patriotic War against fascism. Lavrov stated that the UN must raise these matters with urgency.

Lavrov further stated that the UN must do more to help the human rights disaster of stateless peoples of Europe, many of whom are also the victims of racist laws which prevent them from speaking their native languages. This is a clear reference to the discrimination against Russians in the Baltic states of the European Union.

Sovereignty 

As a country which has always respected the sovereignty and dignity of all nations, Sergey Lavrov said that Russia welcomed Donald Trump’s remarks in favour of respecting all nations rights to sovereignty, but then decried the perpetual “if you’re not with us, you’re against us” attitude of the US led NATO west.

Nuclear weapons 

While Russia is committed to a world free of nuclear weapons, Sergey Lavrov stated that the best way to cut down on the proliferation of nuclear weapons was through realistic and objective dialogue. He stated that an unrealistic approach to nuclear weapons, only pushes the goal of a nuclear free world further away.

Lavrov’s concluding remarks 

Lavrov spoke positively of Russia’s engagement in multilateral organisations such as the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), the BRICS, and the  Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).

He stated that the multipolar or “polycentric” nature of the 21st century political map should be welcomed as a positive development.

Lavrov stated that the world must reject military alliances and instead work for collective security, which includes a rational approach to cyber-security.

Sergey Lavrov concluded by quoting the Roman philosopher Seneca who said “We were born to coexist together”. Lavrov stated that the UN founding fathers understood this better than anyone.

Conclusion 

As Donald Trump’s speech opened with warm words about an non-ideological/pragmatic new approach for American foreign policy, one which would respect the sovereignty of nations, Sergey Lavrov offered praise for words which are long overdue from the Russian perspective.

However, just as Trump devoted the remainder of his speech to the antithetical threats to make war and sow conflict among several nations, Lavrov rejected Trump’s account on all parts.

–Whereas Trump threatened war on North Korea, Lavrov said dialogue is the only answer.

–Whereas Trump threatened war and sanctions on Venezuela–Lavrov condemned both and warned against such moves.

–Whereas Trump threatened to axe the JCPOA, Lavrov spoke highly of it.

–Whereas Trump condemned the Syrian government, Lavrov praised measures to bring peace to Syria which respect Syrian sovereignty.

In this sense, Russia and the US have very different ideas of how the world ought to be run. Donald Trump has not changed this, but in many ways, has only served to magnify these differences.

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dave3200
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dave3200

Trump is getting some very bad guidance internally.

S.M. De Kuyper
Guest
S.M. De Kuyper

Terrible advice, and, he is taking it!

Avi Unobtaniumstein
Guest
Avi Unobtaniumstein

That is not advice he is getting, it is instructions.

dave3200
Guest
dave3200

You are absolutely right. I accept the correction. Thank you.

DrFreedom
Guest
DrFreedom

All part of the brilliant Donald Trump plan. Good cop–bad cop. Pretend you are the bad cop so the good cop can get credit for the reasonable approach. This defuses the anti-Russian sentiments that Hillary and the Deep State were trying to use to bring down the Trump administration through “Russiagate.” 🙂

S.M. De Kuyper
Guest
S.M. De Kuyper

Trump has no plan!

DrFreedom
Guest
DrFreedom

That’s what Hillary thought! Ha ha ha! 🙂

tiredofthemedialies
Guest
tiredofthemedialies

he can’t even keep up, let alone plan.

santiago
Guest
santiago

WTF are you talking about? You make no sense at all. Read your words you sound like you are infatuated with what you thought Trump represented. Smell the fucking coffee already!

Helen B
Guest
Helen B

Oh if only you were right, but sadly I don’t think you are.
Threatening to annihilate a nation is just plain unacceptable, and the UN was never meant to be a forum for threats. Bush, Colin Powell and the WMD were bad enough, but this is the nadir.
Watch the faces of the reps in the audience, who are alarmed, and then look at Bibi. There’s no doubt who this insanity benefits.

Bevin Chu
Guest

Not really sure if the “good cop” is supposed to talk about “totally destroying” North Korea.

S.M. De Kuyper
Guest
S.M. De Kuyper

Lavrov’s rebuttal of President Trump’s speech is brilliant, passionate, clear and calm.

tiredofthemedialies
Guest
tiredofthemedialies

but the ziocons don’t care, and talking logic to sociopaths is just wasted breath.

Helen B
Guest
Helen B

Don’t be deluded by Trump’s reference to “sovereign nations”. The US wants “full spectrum dominance”, nothing less.
I’m sure Lavrov is aware of this.
Trump’s speech was deplorable. Lavrov is ever the diplomat.

Bevin Chu
Guest

“I’m sure Lavrov is aware of this.”

Absolutely.

Some well-meaning but politically naive opponents of US hegemony have mistakenly assumed that Lavrov was “taken in” by Trump’s lip service to sovereignty.

They don’t understand “diplomatese”. Diplomats are masters of ironic understatement. Lavrov was holding Trump’s feet to the fire when he “praised” Trump’s phony advocacy of sovereignty.

Rex drabble
Guest
Rex drabble

I hoped Trump would be different but alas he is just more of the same.It is clear to me that his ego has gotten the better of him.He thinks this is some reality tv show where he will come out on top,he is sadly mistaken.
It has become obvious that in the international arena he is very ill prepared.
The only positive I can see is that he will bring the US down faster than we hoped could happen.

Anne Felippe
Guest
Anne Felippe

I had hopes in Trump which are slowly dimming. I think they are telling him that his polls are up with this pro-war aggressive speech, but it is completely insane……and completely nonsensical. How in the world does trump think the US could ‘destroy NK’ without destroying SK as well, and without China and Russia becoming involved in this, who is advising him to talk like this, obviously someone who doesn’t want him to win in 2020

Rex drabble
Guest
Rex drabble

He is a fool.He has lied to the world about adhering to international law.
America is going down big time,Enough is enough!

Maria M Cummings
Guest
Maria M Cummings

Sergey Lavrov is, without a question, the epitome of what a diplomat should be.
Americans take note. Frankly, I cannot think of anyone in the US that come close to Lavrov. Actually, simply put, there are no diplomats in the US.

Hal Freeman
Guest
Hal Freeman

Well said!

Anne Felippe
Guest
Anne Felippe

I agree, not like the crazy hotheaded niki haley…….

Bevin Chu
Guest

The US today has hatchetmen, not diplomats.

cap960
Guest
cap960

As usual Mr. Lavrov speaking words of wisdom.

Rex drabble
Guest
Rex drabble

Russia is the worlds friend and Mr Lavrov is the best bar none.

Putin's baby
Guest
Putin's baby

Lavrov is an adult, trump is a spoiled brat with a childs brain in a obese, disgusting body.

seby
Guest
seby

The reality is that a few days ago, the rest of the world and its statesmen had to suffer the embarrassment of listening to the boofhead leader of a military dictatorship.

Anthony Enos Wicher
Guest
Anthony Enos Wicher

This was not primarily a “rebuttal of Trump’s UN speech”. It was primarily a statement of agreement with the principles stated by Trump at the start of his speech about respect for national sovereignty and cooperation between sovereign nations and how this can be implemented at the United Nations. He does not agree with the “rogue nations” belligerent part of the speech, but it seems to me he is focusing more on the positive parts.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

Sergey Lavrov – the only adult in the UN room.

Gonzogal
Guest
Gonzogal

while I agree with you praise for Lavrov, I would include Iran’s and China’s speakers and representatives in that!

Anne Felippe
Guest
Anne Felippe

‘ al-Nusra (al-Qaeda in Syria) is “being spared by members of the US led coalition”.’ This is because the US wants to use al-Nusra in their next regime change………

m.Karim
Guest
m.Karim

Sensible pragmatic solution on global situation suggested!

Suzanne Giraud
Guest
Suzanne Giraud

“In this sense, Russia and the US have very different ideas of how the world ought to be run. Donald Trump has not changed this, but in many ways, has only served to magnify these differences.”

Super analysis there as this gives nations the pure and honest choices they KNOW they must take NOW: Unipolar (NWO/Zionist-Israel) versus Multi-Polar World (Russia/China) for the survival of sovereign Humanity. Trump is useful in this regard: ripping the curtains wide open to let in the light.

Jo Ann
Guest
Jo Ann

Very important speech…one of many that Lavrov has given in the past. Lavrov is a true diplomat. You do not see Russia and China invading other countries around the world and intervering and conducting covert operations for regime change. No, it is the United States (or rather those who control the United States). It is evident that the Deep State and the Shadow Government is still in control of the United States government, despite what Trump “says” he wants to do. Saying and “doing” are two different things. Trump is controlled by three generals. The Military Industrial Complex that Eisenhower… Read more »

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Curious Bedfellows: The Neocon And Progressive Alliance To Destroy Donald Trump

The neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home, where they are being welcomed for their hardline foreign policy viewpoint.

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Authored by Philip Giraldi via OffGuardian.com:


The Roman poet Ovid’s masterful epic The Metamorphoses includes the memorable opening line regarding the poem’s central theme of transformation. He wrote In nova fert animus mutatas dicere formas corpora, which has been translated as “Of shapes transformed to bodies strange, I purpose to entreat…”

Ovid framed his narrative around gods, heroes and quasi-historical events but if he were around today, he would no doubt be fascinated by the many transformations of the group that has defined itself as neoconservative.The movement began in a cafeteria in City College of New York in the 1930s, where a group of radical Jewish students would meet to discuss politics and developments in Europe. Many of the founders were from the far left, communists of the Trotskyite persuasion, which meant that they believed in permanent global revolution led by a vanguard party. The transformation into conservatives of a neo-persuasion took place when they were reportedly “mugged by reality” into accepting that the standard leftist formulae were not working to transform the world rapidly enough. As liberal hawks, they then hitched their wagon to the power of the United States to bring about transformation by force if necessary and began to infiltrate institutions like the Pentagon to give themselves the tools to achieve their objectives, which included promotion of regime change wars, full spectrum global dominance and unconditional support for Israel.

The neocons initially found a home with Democratic Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson, but they moved on in the 1970s and 1980s to prosper under Ronald Reagan as well as under Democrat Bill Clinton. Their ability to shape policy peaked under George W. Bush, when they virtually ran the Pentagon and were heavily represented in both the national security apparatus and in the White House. They became adept at selling their mantra of “strong national defense” to whomever was buying, including to President Obama, even while simultaneously complaining about his administration’s “weakness.”

The neoconservatives lined up behind Hillary Clinton in 2016, appalled by Donald Trump’s condemnation of their centerpiece war in Iraq and even more so by his pledge to end the wars in Asia and nation-building projects while also improving relations with the Russians. They worked actively against the Republican candidate both before he was nominated and elected and did everything they could to stop him, including libeling him as a Russian agent.

When Trump was elected, it, therefore, seemed that the reign of the neocons had ended, but chameleonlike, they have changed shape and are now ensconced both in some conservative as well as in an increasing number of progressive circles in Washington and in the media. Against all odds, they have even captured key posts in the White House itself with the naming of John Bolton as National Security Adviser and Mike Pompeo as Secretary of State. Bolton’s Chief of Staff is Fred Fleitz, a leading neocon and Islamophobe while last week Trump added Iran hawk Richard Goldberg to the National Security Council as director for countering Iranian weapons of mass destruction. Goldberg is an alumnus of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which is the leading neocon think tank calling incessantly for war with Iran.

Meanwhile, the neocon metamorphosis is nearly complete as many of the neocons, who started out as Democrats, have returned home, where they are being welcomed for their hardline foreign policy viewpoint. Glenn Greenwald reports that, based on polling of party supporters, the Democrats have gone full-Hillary and are now by far more hawkish than the Republicans, unwilling to leave either Syria or Afghanistan.

The neocon survival and rejuvenation is particularly astonishing in that they have been wrong about virtually everything, most notably the catastrophic Iraq War. They have never been held accountable for anything, though one should note that accountability is not a prominent American trait, at least since Vietnam. What is important is that neocon views have been perceived by the media and punditry as being part of the Establishment consensus, which provides them with access to programming all across the political spectrum. That is why neocon standard-bearers like Bill Kristol and Max Boot have been able to move effortlessly from Fox News to MSNBC where they are fêted by the likes of Rachel Maddow. They applauded the Iraq War when the Establishment was firmly behind it and are now trying to destroy Donald Trump’s presidency because America’s elite is behind that effort.

Indeed, the largely successful swing by the neocons from right to left has in some ways become more surreal, as an increasing number of progressive spokesmen and institutions have lined up behind their perpetual warfare banner. The ease with which the transformation took place reveals, interestingly, that the neocons have no real political constituency apart from voters who feel threatened and respond by supporting perpetual war, but they do share many common interests with the so-called liberal interventionists. Neocons see a global crisis for the United States defined in terms of power while the liberals see the struggle as a moral imperative, but the end result is the same: intervention by the United States. This fusion is clearly visible in Washington, where the Clintons’ Center for American Progress (CAP) is now working on position papers with the neoconservative American Enterprise Institute (AEI).

One of the most active groups attacking President Trump is “Republicans for the Rule of Law,” founded by Bill Kristol in January 2018, as a component of Defending Democracy Together(DDT), a 501(c)4 lobbying group that also incorporates projects called The Russia Tweets and Republicans Against Putin. Republicans Against Putin promotes the view that President Trump is not “stand[ing] up to [Vladimir] Putin” and calls for more aggressive investigation of the Russian role in the 2016 election.

DDT is a prime example of how the neoconservatives and traditional liberal interventionists have come together as it is in part funded by Pierre Omidyar, the billionaire co-founder of eBay who has provided DDT with $600,000 in two grants through his Democracy Fund Voice, also a 501(c)4. Omidyar is a political liberal who has given millions of dollars to progressive organizations and individuals since 1999. Indeed, he is regarded as a top funder of liberal causesin the United States and even globally together with Michael Bloomberg and George Soros. His Democracy Fund awarded $9 million in grants in 2015 alone.

Last week, the Omidyar-Kristol connection may have deepened with an announcement regarding the launch of the launch of a new webzine The Bulwark, which would clearly be at least somewhat intended to take the place of the recently deceased Weekly Standard. It is promoting itself as the center of the “Never Trump Resistance” and it is being assumed that at least some of the Omidyar money is behind it.

Iranian-born Omidyar’s relationship with Kristol is clearly based on the hatred that the two share regarding Donald Trump.

Omidyar has stated that Trump is a “dangerous authoritarian demagogue… endorsing Donald Trump immediately disqualifies you from any position of public trust.”

He has tweeted that Trump suffers from “failing mental capacity” and is both “corrupt and incapacitated.”

Omidyar is what he is – a hardcore social justice warrior who supports traditional big government and globalist liberal causes, most of which are antithetical to genuine conservatives. But what is interesting about the relationship with Kristol is that it also reveals what the neoconservatives are all about. Kristol and company have never been actual conservatives on social issues, a topic that they studiously avoid, and their foreign policy is based on two principles: creating a state of perpetual war based on fearmongering about foreign enemies while also providing unlimited support for Israel. Kristol hates Trump because he threatens the war agenda while Omidyar despises the president for traditional progressive reasons. That hatred is the tie that binds and it is why Bill Kristol, a man possessing no character and values whatsoever, is willing to take Pierre Omidyar’s money while Pierre is quite happy to provide it to destroy a common enemy, the President of the United States of America.

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Nancy Pelosi tries to deplatform U.S. President Trump over the wall (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 170.

Alex Christoforou

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In response to Pelosi’s disgusting act of censorship, Trump trolled the Speaker of the House in epic fashion by forcing the cancellation of a trip to Afghanistan, Brussels and Egypt by Nancy Pelosi and her massive entourage.

In a letter addressed to Pelosi, U.S. President Trump told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi…

“I am sorry to inform you that your trip to Brussels, Egypt, and Afghanistan has been postponed. We will reschedule this seven-day excursion when the Shutdown is over.”

“I am sure you would agree that postponing this public relations event is appropriate.”

According to a congressional aide, Pelosi and several other politicians were already on buses preparing to leave the U.S. Capitol when the U.S. President cancelled their trip.

Trump suggested that Pelosi fly commercial to Afghanistan and elsewhere should she wish.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how Nancy Pelosi is trying to censor Trump and prevent the U.S. President from delivering the State of the Union to the American people, in what is clearly another liberal left deplatforming ploy.

Instead of debating the issues about the wall and immigration with fact, logic, and policy positions, Pelosi (out of fear) is trying to silence Trump and squash debate and political discourse.

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Via The Gateway Pundit

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) sent a letter to President Donald Trump on Wednesday asking him to postpone the State of the Union Address to a Joint Session of Congress scheduled for January 29.

Pelosi cited security concerns over the partial government shutdown.

Pelosi said both the U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Homeland Security have not been funded for 26 days now – with critical departments hamstrung by furloughs. Therefore, they would not be ready for the speech.

Pelosi posted her letter to Trump on Twitter, saying, “Today, I wrote to  recommending that we delay the State of the Union until after government re-opens, as the , the lead federal agency for  security, faces its 26th day without funding.” (Text version of letter below tweet.)

The Department of Homeland Security refuted the Speaker’s claims — The Secret Service is ready for the SOTU.

And on Thursday FOX News reported that Speaker Pelosi was using “all kinds of security” manpower for her pricey trip with Democrats to Belgium and Afghanistan.

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BuzzFeed pushes fake Michael Cohen news, as real news breaks on HUGE conspiracy against Trump at FBI and DOJ (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 169.

Alex Christoforou

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According to Zerohedge, in an almost unprecedented event – having rarely commented on stories related to the special counsel’s investigation – Robert S. Mueller III’s office put out a statement firmly disputing the reporting of the news site BuzzFeed reported that the president instructed his personal attorney to lie to Congress about his push for a Moscow real estate project

BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate,” the special counsel’s office said.

As The Hill reports, BuzzFeed had released a statement earlier Friday defending the reporters behind the story and saying that it “stands by this story 100%,” and for his part, Cohen adviser Lanny Davis refused to confirm or deny the report during an interview with MSNBC on Friday afternoon.

President Trump retweeted a few social media reactions…

And then made his own views clear:

Meanwhile the real election collusion bombshell had nothing to do with Russia, Moscow hotels, or Michael Cohen, and everything to do with bullet proof evidence that DOJ official, Bruce Ohr, warned all the higher-ups at the FBI and DOJ (Comey, Rosenstein, McCabe, etc…) that the Steele dossier was connected to Hillary Clinton, and was extremely biased against Donald Trump.

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss how BuzzFeed pushed out a clear, fake propaganda story on Trump, Cohen, and more stupidity about Moscow hotel deals, as real reporter, John Solomon broke a massive story, with solid evidence and facts, that show the FBI and DOJ knew that the Steele dossier was a complete work of fiction, and knowingly hide that fact from FISA courts.

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Authored by John Solomon, via The Hill

When the annals of mistakes and abuses in the FBI’s Russia investigation are finally written, Bruce Ohr almost certainly will be the No. 1 witness, according to my sources.

The then-senior Department of Justice (DOJ) official briefed both senior FBI and DOJ officials in summer 2016 about Christopher Steele’s Russia dossier, explicitly cautioning that the British intelligence operative’s work was opposition research connected to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and might be biased.

Ohr’s briefings, in July and August 2016, included the deputy director of the FBI, a top lawyer for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch and a Justice official who later would become the top deputy to special counsel Robert Mueller.

At the time, Ohr was the associate deputy attorney general. Yet his warnings about political bias were pointedly omitted weeks later from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant that the FBI obtainedfrom a federal court, granting it permission to spy on whether the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia to hijack the 2016 presidential election.

Ohr’s activities, chronicled in handwritten notes and congressional testimony I gleaned from sources, provide the most damning evidence to date that FBI and DOJ officials may have misled federal judges in October 2016 in their zeal to obtain the warrant targeting Trump adviser Carter Page just weeks before Election Day.

They also contradict a key argument that House Democrats have made in their formal intelligence conclusions about the Russia case.

Since it was disclosed last year that Steele’s dossier formed a central piece of evidence supporting the FISA warrant, Justice and FBI officials have been vague about exactly when they learned that Steele’s work was paid for by the law firm representing the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

A redacted version of the FISA application released last year shows the FBI did not mention any connection to the DNC or Clinton. Rather, it referred to Steele as a reliable source in past criminal investigations who was hired by a person working for a U.S. law firm to conduct research on Trump and Russia.

The FBI claimed it was “unaware of any derogatory information” about Steele, that Steele was “never advised … as to the motivation behind the research” but that the FBI  “speculates” that those who hired Steele were “likely looking for information to discredit” Trump’s campaign.

Yet, in testimony last summer to congressional investigators, Ohr revealed the FBI and Justice lawyers had no need to speculate: He explicitly warned them in a series of contacts, beginning July 31, 2016, that Steele expressed biased against Trump and was working on a project connected to the Clinton campaign.

Ohr had firsthand knowledge about the motive and the client: He had just met with Steele on July 30, 2016, and Ohr’s wife, Nellie, worked for Fusion GPS, the same firm employing Steele.

“I certainly told the FBI that Fusion GPS was working with, doing opposition research on Donald Trump,” Ohr told congressional investigators, adding that he warned the FBI that Steele expressed bias during their conversations.

“I provided information to the FBI when I thought Christopher Steele was, as I said, desperate that Trump not be elected,” he added. “So, yes, of course I provided that to the FBI.”

When pressed why he would offer that information to the FBI, Ohr answered: “In case there might be any kind of bias or anything like that.” He added later, “So when I provided it to the FBI, I tried to be clear that this is source information, I don’t know how reliable it is. You’re going to have to check it out and be aware.”

Ohr went further, saying he disclosed to FBI agents that his wife and Steele were working for the same firm and that it was conducting the Trump-Russia research project at the behest of Trump’s Democratic rival, the Clinton campaign.

“These guys were hired by somebody relating to, who’s related to the Clinton campaign and be aware,” Ohr told Congress, explaining what he warned the bureau.

Perkins Coie, the law firm that represented both the DNC and the Clinton campaign during the 2016 election, belatedly admitted it paid Fusion GPS for Steele’s work on behalf of the candidate and party and disguised the payments as legal bills when, in fact, it was opposition research.

When asked if he knew of any connection between the Steele dossier and the DNC, Ohr responded that he believed the project was really connected to the Clinton campaign.

“I didn’t know they were employed by the DNC but I certainly said yes that they were working for, you know, they were somehow working, associated with the Clinton campaign,” he answered.

“I also told the FBI that my wife worked for Fusion GPS or was a contractor for GPS, Fusion GPS.”

Ohr divulged his first contact with the FBI was on July 31, 2016, when he reached out to then-Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and FBI attorney Lisa Page. He then was referred to the agents working Russia counterintelligence, including Peter Strzok, the now-fired agent who played a central role in starting the Trump collusion probe.

But Ohr’s contacts about the Steele dossier weren’t limited to the FBI. He said in August 2016 — nearly two months before the FISA warrant was issued — that he was asked to conduct a briefing for senior Justice officials.

Those he briefed included Andrew Weissmann, then the head of DOJ’s fraud section; Bruce Swartz, longtime head of DOJ’s international operations, and Zainab Ahmad, an accomplished terrorism prosecutor who, at the time, was assigned to work with Lynch as a senior counselor.

Ahmad and Weissmann would go on to work for Mueller, the special prosecutor overseeing the Russia probe.

Ohr’s extensive testimony also undercuts one argument that House Democrats sought to make last year.

When Republicans, in early 2018, first questioned Ohr’s connections to Steele, Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee sought to minimize the connection, insisting he only worked as an informer for the FBI after Steele was fired by the FBI in November 2016.

The memo from Rep. Adam Schiff’s (D-Calif.) team claimed that Ohr’s contacts with the FBI only began “weeks after the election and more than a month after the Court approved the initial FISA application.”

But Ohr’s testimony now debunks that claim, making clear he started talking to FBI and DOJ officials well before the FISA warrant or election had occurred.

And his detailed answers provide a damning rebuttal to the FBI’s portrayal of the Steele material.

In fact, the FBI did have derogatory information on Steele: Ohr explicitly told the FBI that Steele was desperate to defeat the man he was investigating and was biased.

And the FBI knew the motive of the client and did not have to speculate: Ohr told agents the Democratic nominee’s campaign was connected to the research designed to harm Trump’s election chances.

Such omissions are, by definition, an abuse of the FISA system.

Don’t take my word for it. Fired FBI Director James Comey acknowledged it himself when he testified last month that the FISA court relies on an honor system, in which the FBI is expected to divulge exculpatory evidence to the judges.

“We certainly consider it our obligation, because of our trust relationship with federal judges, to present evidence that would paint a materially different picture of what we’re presenting,” Comey testified on Dec. 7, 2018. “You want to present to the judge reviewing your application a complete picture of the evidence, both its flaws and its strengths.”

Comey claims he didn’t know about Ohr’s contacts with Steele, even though his top deputy, McCabe, got the first contact.

But none of that absolves his FBI, or the DOJ for that matter, from failing to divulge essential and exculpatory information from Ohr to the FISA court.

John Solomon is an award-winning investigative journalist whose work over the years has exposed U.S. and FBI intelligence failures before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal scientists’ misuse of foster children and veterans in drug experiments, and numerous cases of political corruption. He is The Hill’s executive vice president for video.

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