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Vladimir Putin meets in the Kremlin with Marine Le Pen

Using high risk meeting with Russian President Putin in Moscow Marine Le Pen emphasises her desire for good relations between France and Russia.

Alexander Mercouris




Russia’s President Putin has met with French National Front leader Marine Le Pen in the Kremlin in Moscow, in what I believe is the first ever meeting between Le Pen and Putin (Le Pen has previously met with other Russian officials including Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin).

The meeting comes in the middle of an increasingly fraught French Presidential election campaign and shortly after the candidates held their first television debate.

At this point I will record my own view about this debate, which is that Marine Le Pen dominated it, that Francois Fillon came over as the seasoned professional that he is, and that Emmanuel Macron looked out of his depth.

I appreciate that this is not the typical media view, which is that Macron ‘won’ the debate.  I put that down to the extraordinary favouritism the establishment media is showing Macron.  As to the question of my own bias, I would merely say that one important establishment media voice – Martin Sandbu for the Financial Times, who is scarcely likely to be unsympathetic to Macron – formed the same view of the debate that I did.

As it was, it was not Mr Macron’s day. His two main ways to distinguish himself — his embrace of Europe and his non-party candidacy — both fell flat. TF1, the channel that moderated the debate, unfortunately relegated the Europe question to the hurried end of a three-hour session. And, unlike Ms Le Pen, who presents the image of the anti-elitist outsider to perfection, Mr Macron could not make his independence work for him. This was, in part, because he is fully of the establishment, even if his political career has been short, but mostly it was because his inexperience showed. Testy and defensive, he too easily let himself be goaded and provoked. And he let others steal his thunder: Ms Le Pen put herself across as the defender of entrepreneurs, and Mr Fillon took the mantle of the responsible adult by lashing out at the Front National leader’s proposal to leave the euro.

Marine Le Pen was in Moscow at the invitation of the State Duma.  Her decision to travel to Moscow during the election and to meet with Putin there is however an extraordinarily brave one, since it is bound to open her up to more charges that she is Putin’s stooge.  As it is Le Pen – like Donald Trump during the US election, but far more trenchantly and far more consistently – has repeatedly made known her support for good relations between France and Russia, has repeatedly spoken of Crimea as part of Russia, and has made crystal clear her opposition to the sanctions the EU has imposed on Russia.

Marine Le Pen’s statements are undoubtedly based on conviction, but there is likely also to be an element of political calculation.  One of the reasons Fillon won the poll against Alain Juppé to be the candidate for the Presidency of the centre right is that he too supports good relations with Russia and the cancellation of the EU sanctions.  This is a popular policy with French rural voters, who have been badly affected by the Russian counter-sanctions against food imports from the EU, and whose heavy backing for Fillon enabled him to win the centre-right’s nomination against Juppé in the primary

With Fillon now trailing in third place behind Le Pen and Macron following the charges which have been brought against him, Marine Le Pen by emphasising her willingness to forge good relations with Moscow may be hoping to attract Fillon’s supporters in the second round.  If so then it is a high risk strategy, but with Marine Le Pen battling against heavy electoral odds, it is clearly one she is prepared to risk.

As for Putin, the Kremlin’s summary of his conversation with Le Pen shows that he pointedly made the following comment

I am, of course, aware of the ongoing election campaign in France. In no case do we want to influence the events as they unfold, but we reserve the right to communicate with all representatives of all political forces in France, just like our partners in Europe and the United States are doing.

(bold italics added)

It is impossible to read this comment as anything other than a pointed reference to the ‘Russiagate’ scandal in the US, where members of the Trump campaign are being hauled over the coals and investigated for having entirely appropriate contacts with the Russians during and immediately after the election, as has been the case with General Flynn and Attorney General Sessions because of their entirely innocent conversations with the Russian ambassador.

Putin is using Le Pen’s visit to make the point that such contacts during an election are proper and normal, that Russia has a right to undertake them, and that other Western countries including the US do them as well.

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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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