News & Politics

The Morning Briefing: Security Clearances, RUSSIAN Cyberattacks and Much, Much More

Microsoft offices in Dublin. Niall Carson/PA Wire URN:35089980

Good Tuesday morning.

Here is what’s on the President’s agenda today:

  • The President receives his intelligence briefing
  • President Trump meets with the Secretary of State
  • The President has lunch with the Secretary of State and the United States Ambassador to the United Nations
  •  President Trump meets with labor union leaders
  • The President participates in a roundtable with supporters in Charleston, West Virginia
  • President Trump hosts the Make America Great Again Rally in Charleston, West Virginia

Day 3 Manafort trial: No verdict yet. Manafort team reportedly “very happy” the jury is taking so long.

Trump continues to threaten security clearances

Following an appearance on CNN, some guy no one has heard of caught the attention of Trump and we got this tweet:

Why is the President watching CNN? No one else does. Trump target Phill Mudd worked at the FBI under Robert Mueller and also worked for the CIA. He appeared on the tabloid news channel with Paris Dennard, a CNN analyst who agreed with the President’s decision to revoke Brennan’s clearance. I’ve lost count at how many “former intelligence community officials” have come out against Trump yanking Brennan’s clearance but most of these people have their livelihood on the line. Many of them are employed based on their security clearances so if Trump decides to just wipe out their access they will be in a world of hurt.  Mudd denies his security clearance gets him private sector work but if so, that’s even more reason he doesn’t need a clearance.  Just wipe them all out already, this news narrative is getting tired.

Like a breath of fresh air, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) spoke to FNC’s Neil Cavuto yesterday and said:

“I think John Brennan’s actually a national security risk to the country and we are safer because his security clearance’s gone,” Paul said. “The reason I say that is in 2012 he actually released information to other CIA agents who went on TV and said, ‘oh, we have a double agent in Yemen.’”

“Their life was put at risk because of John Brennan’s releasing information that he shouldn’t have,” Paul explained.

“He shouldn’t be within a mile of classified information because he’s a national security risk — he doesn’t know how to keep his mouth shut,” Paul concluded.

Also countering Brennan’s pity tour yesterday was presidential lawyer, Rudy Giuliani:

Why would Brennan sue, doesn’t that open up discovery? Does he really think that is a smart move? He’s all hype.

President Trump also jumped on Brennan:

I sure hope the president just yanks them all and is done with it.

Related:

Trump: I’m ‘totally allowed’ to get involved in Mueller probe — but won’t

McGahn’s lawyers assure his lengthy interviews with Mueller’s team ‘did not incriminate’ Trump: report

Man Accused Of Threatening To Assassinate President Trump Currently On The Loose, FBI Is Actively Searching For Him

Congressmen Seek to Link John Bolton to Alleged Russian Spy’s NRA Infiltration

Media Outlets Choose Not To Cover Dem. Congressman Joking About The President Drowning

Microsoft sez: RUSSIANS tried to hack conservative groups, Senate

Microsoft said it successfully thwarted an operation tied to RUSSIAN military intelligence that targeted conservative think tanks and the U.S. Senate.

The company said it executed a court order giving it control of six websites created by a group known as Fancy Bear. The group was behind the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee and directed by the GRU, the Russian military intelligence unit, according to cybersecurity firms.

The websites could have been used to launch cyberattacks on candidates and other political groups ahead of November’s elections, the company said.

The RUSSIAN targets included the Hudson Institute and the International Republican Institute.

Microsoft said the domains were “associated with the Russian government and known as Strontium, or alternatively Fancy Bear or APT28.” The company said it has no evidence that the domains were used in successful attacks but that it was working with the potential target organizations.

Hackers could have used the domains to send emails to Senate staffers or people working for the Hudson Institute or the International Republican Institute in an attempt to trick them into handing over information, like their passwords.

Microsoft is launching a new service called Account Guard to protect campaigns and political groups. Stay vigilant, people!

There was an awards show last night

I don’t care, but if you do, here are the winners.

Related:

VMAs: Kevin Hart faces boycott threats from Trump supporters after ‘kneeling’ jab

VMAs: Madonna bashed over Aretha Franklin ‘tribute’

Historical picture of the day:

American television chef Julia Child shows a salade nicoise she prepared in the kitchen of her vacation home in Grasse, southern France, on August 21, 1978. Julia Child, who brought the intricacies of French cuisine to Americans through her television series and books, died on Aug. 13, 2004. She was 91. (AP Photo)

Other morsels:

U.S. deports its last known Nazi collaborator

Gertz: China’s ‘Influence Operations Have Been Extremely Effective’ on U.S. Policy

Protesters topple Confederate soldier statue in North Carolina

He’s precious. David Hogg wants to run for Congress: ‘Older Democrats just won’t move the f*** off the plate’

Harvey Weinstein Responds To Asia Argento Report: ‘This Development Reveals A Stunning Level Of Hypocrisy’

GOP Sen. Grassley presses DHS, State Dept for info on ‘disturbing’ arrest of suspected ISIS killer in Sacramento

Venezuela issues new currency, amid hyperinflation and social turmoil

Clinton to headline trio of DNC fundraisers: report

Adelsons shell out $25 million to keep Senate in GOP hands

Priest abuse hotline inundated with over 400 calls after report

Trump Supreme Court nominee and top Senate Democrat to meet Tuesday

And that’s all I’ve got, now go beat back the angry mob!