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Vladimir Putin meets his military chiefs as Russia prepares for war

President Putin convenes top level meetings of Russia’s military chiefs and defence industry as despite Donald Trump’s election victory Russia prepares for possible war with the US.

Alexander Mercouris




Whilst the attention remains focused on the US and the aftermath of Donald Trump’s election, President Putin of Russia has been having a round of meetings in the Russian resort town of Sochi with his military chiefs.

On 16th November 2016 President Putin met with the high command of the Russian Defence Ministry.  On 17th November he met with the heads of Russia’s defence industries – ie. the companies, research institutions and factories which make Russia’s weapons.  On 18th August 2016 he held a further meeting to discuss development of future weapons systems.

Sandwiched between these meetings President Putin also met with Russia’s Security Council – Russia’s highest executive body – where the main discussion seems to have been Russia’s ongoing military campaign in Syria

This is an intensive round of meetings by any measure.  A sign of their importance is the persons who attended them.  Defence Minister Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff General Gerasimov attended all the meetings – including the National Security Council meeting yesterday.  The meetings with the defence industry leaders additionally brought in Prime Minister Medvedev and Deputy Minister Rogozin – the latter is the minister in overall charge of Russia’s defence industry complex.

Since they must have been arranged weeks ago, it is not difficult to guess that they were originally setup to discuss concerns within the Russian leadership at the prospects of a Hillary Clinton administration.  The fact that the Russians went to the trouble of setting up these meetings shows how concerned they are about the international situation, and how alarmed they were at the hawkish noises coming out of the Clinton campaign.

What is striking is that despite Donald Trump’s election victory and talks of a rapprochement, the Russians have not called off these meetings. Clearly, they are not taking anything for granted, and are determined to press ahead with their military plans despite whatever favourable music is now coming out of Washington.

Their experience with Obama’s famous reset of relations with Russia, which was supposed to lead to an improvement in bilateral ties, but which instead resulted in the opposite, has taught the Russians to be cautious.

In some ways the most indicative meeting of all was the one which was held with the leaders of the country’s defence industries on 17th November 2016.  The purpose of the meeting as explained on the Kremlin’s website was ‘to examine defence industry enterprises’ readiness for mobilisation tasks, bolstering production capacity, and improving the national material reserves’ system’.

In other words it was to discuss plans to put Russia’s defence industries on a war footing in case of a conventional war, which by definition could only be with the US and the NATO powers.

This meeting was complimented with the meeting the following day, which was clearly concerned with enhancing the capability of Russia’s strategic nuclear forces.

In other words the Russians are not only talking about the risk of a general war with the US and NATO, they are actively preparing for it.

A few words of caution are in order.  The meeting discussions concerned medium to long-term plans.  In the short term, Russia’s defence budget is being cut next year as part of the process of fiscal consolidation upon which Russia is embarking as its economy comes out of recession.

A country that expects war next year or which harbours aggressive plans for military expansion would not be cutting defence spending at this time.  Rebalancing the economy and putting Russia’s fiscal house in order is still being given the priority.

This probably reflects Russian calculations – now reinforced by Trump’s victory – that even a Hillary Clinton led US was not in a position to start a war with Russia over the next two or three years.

However, it is clear that the Russians are concerned as they see NATO troops being positioned on their borders, and as they note that even a Trump led US appears to be pressing ahead with its plans to site anti ballistic missiles in eastern Europe., and that they are responding as they always said they would.

It is very unlikely that whatever proposals Donald Trump makes to Moscow will cause the Russians to give up on their plans.  Having been taken for a ride by Barack Obama – which is how the Russian leadership sees it – the Russians are not prepared to make the same mistake with Donald Trump.

Over the last year it has become increasingly clear that Obama, even more than most US Presidents, cares about his legacy.  His recent tour of Europe, which he is quite transparently using to lock Trump into his policies, is a sign of this.

In truth, Obama’s true legacy to the US people and to the world is that he brought both the Cold War and the nuclear arms race back.

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Putin, Trump meet in Helsinki for first bilateral summit

The Helsinki summit is the first ever full-fledged meeting between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump. Their previous encounters were brief talks on the sidelines of the G20 and APEC summits in 2017.

Vladimir Rodzianko



Russian President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump are meeting in the Finnish capital of Helsinki for their first bilateral one-on-one meeting.

Trump arrived in the Finland capital a day early, while the jet of Putin, who wrapped up his nation’s hosting of the World Cup Sunday, touched down around 1 p.m. local time and the Russian president’s motorcade whisked him straight to the palace where the two world leaders are meeting.

Trump signed an August 2017 law imposing additional sanctions on Russia. The law bars Trump from easing many sanctions without Congress’ approval, but he can offer some relief without a nod from Congress.

Almost 700 Russian people and companies are under U.S. sanctions. Individuals face limits on their travel and freezes on at least some of their assets, while some top Russian state banks and companies, including oil and gas giants, are effectively barred from getting financing through U.S. banks and markets.

The agenda of the summit hasn’t been officially announced yet, though, the presidents are expected to discuss global crises, such as the Syrian conflict and Ukraine, as well as bilateral relations.

Stay tuned for updates…

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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



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



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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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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