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  1. #1
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    The Russian spy thread. It seems the Russians are serious about this.

    The Russians are serious about destabilizing the U.S. and destroying the fabfic of U.S. society from the inside out. It's staggering that Trump isn't serious at all.

    How Maria Butina, accused Russian spy, worked her way into top US circlesCriminal charges open new front in bid to counter Russian disruption and suggest American associates of Butina, 29, may be under threat


    The Las Vegas hotel ballroom was crowded, but the Russian redhead caught Donald Trump’s eye. “Yes, ma’am,” he said, inviting a question.
    It was July 2015, and Maria Butina wanted to know what Trump, then a month into his unlikely campaign for the White House, planned to do about US relations with her country. Trump had good news.
    “I believe I would get along very nicely with Putin,” he said.
    Butina, then 27, was asked on the sidelines of the event why she had travelled all the way to Nevada for a gathering of libertarians and conservatives. “I would like to know more, and to bring this knowledge to Russia,” she said casually. “I hope it will be useful for my country.”


    According to US prosecutors, Butina’s patriotic curiosity had by then developed into the beginnings of a criminal conspiracy.
    Butina was arrested last weekend and appeared in court in Washington on Monday, charged with operating as a secret agent for the Kremlin. She is accused of working to infiltrate the National Rifle Association (NRA) in an attempt to influence the Republican party and, ultimately, the US government.
    An FBI agent who investigated Butina said in a court filing she tried to develop secret back channels with American politicians that could “penetrate the US national decision-making apparatus to advance the agenda of the Russian federation”.
    An FBI agent said Maria Butina, pictured above at a gun rights rally in Russia in 2013, tried to develop secret back channels with American politicians.
    Butina denies any wrongdoing. Her attorney, Robert Driscoll, said she was a legitimate college graduate and aspiring businesswoman who happened to be Russian. She “intends to defend her rights vigorously and looks forward to clearing her name”, he said.


    The charges open a new front in the justice department’s effort to counter Russian disruption of US politics, and signal that American associates of Butina may be seriously imperilled. They also threaten to conclude Butina’s short adventure in Washington with up to five years in a federal prison.
    As she worked her way into some of American conservatism’s most rarefied circles, Butina had a compelling and simple pitch: she was building Russia’s equivalent of the NRA.


    She spent years cultivating relationships with Republican operatives, gun rights activists and religious leaders. She took photographs with Republican presidential candidates and helped bring NRA officials to Moscow.
    In the grey-haired, male-dominated world of conservative conferences, Butina stood out. She was young, tall and flirtatious, according to two gun rights activists who knew her. In 2014, she was the subject of a flattering profile in Russian GQ, accompanied by a photoshoot of her posing with pistols in Dolce & Gabbana underwear.
    Butina has said she was raised in Siberia, where her father introduced her to guns and taught her to shoot. After college, she said, she founded a chain of furniture stores. Then she moved to Moscow, where she said she ran an advertising company. In a 2012 profile, she described founding a group called The Right to Bear Arms some time around 2011. She also took the American journalist profiling her to shoot guns “at a former KGB range”.


    Butina clearly knew how to handle firearms: she was comfortable and competent around guns. But other aspects of her résumé did not seem to add up, one activist said. When asked for basic official documents for her Russian gun rights group, the activist said, Butina could not produce any.
    She did not behave in what I considered an entirely professional manner. She had an extra button or three unbuttoned
    Julianne Versnel
    Alan Gottlieb and Julianne Versnel, husband-and-wife gun rights activists, said they had an intimate dinner with Butina and Alexander Torshin, her longtime mentor, during a Right to Bear Arms conference in Moscow in 2013. Torshin, a senior official at Russia’s central bank, is now accused by US prosecutors of directing Butina’s operations.


    Gottlieb, founder of the Washington-state based Second Amendment Foundation, said Butina always seemed laser-focused on gun policy. Still, she was an unusual character: assertive, even aggressive and determined to make herself the centre of attention.
    “She did not behave in what I considered an entirely professional manner,” Versnel said. “She had an extra button or three unbuttoned.”
    Her husband added: “She knew how to use her youth and beauty to make sure that she was engaged in conversation.”
    Butina began cultivating American contacts. In 2013, John Bolton, now Trump’s national security adviser, appeared in a Russian gun rights video that Right to Bear Arms used for pro-gun lobbying in Russia. Bolton was reportedly asked to appear in the video by David Keene, a recent president of the NRA, who had become acquainted with Torshin.
    In April 2014, Butina flew to Indianapolis for the NRA convention. She posted photographs to the Russian social network VK showing that she mixed with Wayne LaPierre, the NRA’s pugnacious vice-president, along with heavyweight Republicans including Bobby Jindal, then governor of Louisiana, and Rick Santorum, a former US senator and presidential candidate.
    Trump beholden to Putin? Summit does nothing to dispel impression
    Read more
    That September, Butina invited Paul Erickson, a conservative political operative and veteran NRA member based in South Dakota, to address her gun rights group in Moscow. Six months later, according to US officials, she emailed an American political operative who appears to be Erickson to set out what she called project “Diplomacy”. Erickson did not respond to messages this week.


    The subject line of Butina’s email, sent on 24 March 2015, appeared to liken her to a notorious KGB propagandist during the cold war. In the text, she declared that the Republican party, in the prosecutors’ words, “would likely obtain control over the US government after the 2016 elections”.
    The disclosure this week raised an obvious question: what, at a time when most national opinion polling indicated an advantage for Hillary Clinton over her potential Republican rivals, had convinced Butina that the GOP would be triumphant in an election still 20 months away?
    Butina’s lawyer said she intends to ‘defend her rights vigorously and looks forward to clearing her name’.
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    Butina’s lawyer said she intends to ‘defend her rights vigorously and looks forward to clearing her name’. Photograph: Handout/Reuters


    Saying that she wanted to build more constructive relations with the traditionally hawkish Republicans, Butina noted the NRA’s “central place and influence” in the party. She said she needed a $125,000 budget to fund her participation in GOP conferences. The American political operative provided her with a list of “important contacts” to meet.
    A few weeks later, Butina was back in the US for the NRA’s 2015 convention. Held in Nashville, Tennessee, it again gave her access to the most in-demand figures in the conservative movement. She and Torshin chatted with Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, who posed for a photograph with her and spoke a few phrases in Russian. In July, Butina attended the launch of Walker’s presidential campaign.
    The Kremlin seems to have been interested. Court filings said Butina wrote Torshin a memo about a political campaign event that detailed her “private meeting” with the same candidate at the NRA convention. Walker was not identified by name. Then came Butina’s encounter with Trump at the Freedom Fest event in Las Vegas.
    Late that year, Butina’s gun rights group paid to fly NRA allies to Moscow for a visit that included lavish dinners and a meeting with Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s deputy prime minister. Her guests included Erickson, Keene and David Clarke, the former sheriff of Milwaukee, who would go on to support Trump’s presidential campaign.


    Pete Brownell, a gun company chief executive who also took part in the 2015 Moscow trip, became NRA president in 2017. In May this year, his tenure ended abruptly and earlier than expected. Representatives did not respond to questions about whether his departure was connected to the Russia trip.
    The NRA and Clarke did not respond to requests for comment. A person who answered the phone at a number listed under Keene’s name said on Monday he was “out fishing” and was not expected back until the end of the month.
    As the 2016 campaign intensified, and the likelihood of Trump’s Republican primary victory became clear, Butina began honing her activities and trying to gain access to the candidate and his circle, according to US officials.
    During that election year, she obtained a student visa and enrolled in an international relations graduate program at American University in Washington. But her networking continued.
    Butina told a second American associate, also unidentified in the charging documents, that a Kremlin official had endorsed her efforts to establish a back channel to US politicians. She wrote: “All we needed is <<yes>> from Putin’s side. The rest is easier.”
    Court filings describe extensive efforts by Butina and Torshin over the following months to arrange a series of “friendship and dialogue dinners” in Washington and New York. They reportedly used American go-betweens to make an apparently unsuccessful approach to senior members of Trump’s campaign with a “backdoor overture” on behalf of Vladimir Putin’s government.
    They tried to get access to Trump himself in May 2016, but had to make do with his son. The Trump Organization confirmed that Donald Jr met Torshin during the NRA convention in Louisville, Kentucky, but tried to downplay the significance of their discussion.
    Alan Futerfas, an attorney for the Trump company, told CBS the two men were introduced and “made small talk for a few minutes” before dining separately. Futerfas has also said the discussion was “all gun-related”. The New York Times reported on Monday that Butina was present at this meeting and that congressional investigators have obtained a photograph of the three together.


    Republicans have decided to follow Trump off a cliff of treachery
    According to the FBI, when guns didn’t bring her to Trump, Butina tried again with God. An investigator described in court filings a series of contacts between Butina and an organiser for the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Butina and Torshin attended in February 2016.
    (Torshin and Butina came even closer to a meeting with the president at the following year’s Prayer Breakfast. Shortly before the scheduled encounter, a White House aide flagged Torshin’s “baggage” and cancelled the meet and greets, Yahoo News reported.)
    By 4 October 2016, with just a month to go before polling day, Butina’s first American associate – apparently Erickson – emailed a contact to say that he had “been involved in securing a VERY private line of communication between the Kremlin” and Republican leaders.
    The next day, Butina and Torshin exchanged a series of cryptic Twitter messages reflecting on their efforts, according to prosecutors. When Torshin asked about the status of the “Russia-USA friendship society”, Butina replied “we are currently ‘underground’ both here and there” and signalled a need to avoid publicity.
    “Time will tell,” Butina wrote. “We made our bet.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...russia-charges
    "In my professional assessment as an intelligence officer, Trump has a reflexive, defensive, monumentally narcissistic personality, for whom the facts and national interest are irrelevant, and the only thing that counts is whatever gives personal advantage and directs attention to himself."

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    well the US is always interfering with Russia, see the Ukraine disaster

    so why shouldn't try to fuck up a bit the US election ? even though I doubt it was possible or had any meaningful results apart from giving hopes to anti-Trump snowflakes of a new Russian conspiracy

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    well the US is always interfering with Russia, see the Ukraine disaster

    so why shouldn't try to fuck up a bit the US election ? even though I doubt it was possible or had any meaningful results apart from giving hopes to anti-Trump snowflakes of a new Russian conspiracy
    See that little thing way over there?? It's the point. You missed it.

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    your article is too long and too boring to read, why dont you try yourself to put your own words into it

    also, be kind enough to point out which part I missed, if there was indeed a point to miss

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    I thought it had been accepted that the woman was not a spy?

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    Click on the link it has lots of pretty pictures and video and stuff.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    Click on the link it has lots of pretty pictures and video and stuff.
    Thanks I read similar earlier. But she hasn't bin charged with espionage has she? The OP says she's a spy. But that's not true.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pragmatic View Post
    I thought it had been accepted that the woman was not a spy?
    By who? Where did you get that idea? Read the article.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    your article is too long and too boring to read, why dont you try yourself to put your own words into it
    That is because you are a trumpanzee who is too stupid to read and got your ass kicked by Loy Toy.

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    I read somewhere Russia funneled 21 million dollars to Trump's campaign through the NRA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    I read somewhere Russia funneled 21 million dollars to Trump's campaign through the NRA.
    The NRA connection is real and a new revelation so more to come on that.

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    News just in: Russians seem to be serious about spying.


    Koojo...always there with the breaking stories.


    'The Russian Spy Thread'


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    Thanks Cujo now we will have like ten more klondykes and tuskeebens.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cujo View Post
    By who? Where did you get that idea? Read the article.
    On another forum.

    Butina has not been charged with espionage or with being a member of a Russian intelligence service.
    Reuters.



    There is, of course, also a legal statute underpinning the nature of espionage. Since spies work under the guise of diplomats for their home country, they are granted diplomatic immunity, and a degree of protection, under the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
    "Intelligence workers must first break a law in order to suffer the consequences," Christopher Nehring, Head of Research at the German Spy Museum in Berlin, told DW. "If the host country merely identifies someone as an employee of a secret service, then that isn't a criminal offense in itself — only spy-related activities, such as recruiting sources, installing of espionage technology, or similar would be considered illegal."
    https://www.dw.com/en/why-are-russia...her/a-43170428
    Last edited by Pragmatic; 18-07-2018 at 07:39 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    That is because you are a trumpanzee who is too stupid to read and got your ass kicked by Loy Toy.
    oh look LoyToy 1.0 trying to be as good as LoyToy 2.0

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    Why Russians Keep Visiting Mariia Butina in Prison

    Take it from this former spook: It ain’t because they’re concerned about her well-being.



    Since her arrest in Washington, D.C., in July, Mariia Butina, the gun-slinging Russian student accused by the U.S. government of being a spy for her Motherland, has been languishing in a jail cell. Earlier this month, in documents arguing Butina should be held in detention because she is a flight risk, prosecutors revealed that Butina has gotten quite a bit of attention from top Russian officials.


    According to the prosecution’s filing, the Russian government has conducted six consular visits to Butina and passed four diplomatic notes to the U.S. Department of State about her case. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has spoken twice to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to complain about Butina’s incarceration and prosecution. As prosecutors noted, in the days following Butina’s arrest, the official Kremlin Twitter account changed its avatar to a picture of her and launched #FreeMariaButina. RT—a Russian news outlet funded by the Russian government—has written a number of articles about her, decrying her prosecution and detention. According to prosecutors, “Russia has issued more diplomatic notes on the defendant’s behalf in the past month than for any other Russian citizen imprisoned in the United States in the past year. Put simply, the Russian government has given this case much more attention than other cases.”

    As a former intelligence officer, I found these details intriguing. It seems likely that Russian officials visiting Butina in prison are looking to protect more than just the rights of a Russian citizen. They are looking to protect their ongoing intelligence operations. To that larger end, they likely have several goals in mind:




    MORE. https://www.politico.com/magazine/st...-prison-220061

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    Wow, that's interesting. How did I miss this update.
    Puts paid to ohhos theory.

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    Conjecture and fantasy so far....

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    Quote Originally Posted by foobar View Post
    Conjecture and fantasy so far....
    "Alex Finley is the pen name of a former CIA officer"

    author of misskit's link

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKkin View Post
    "Alex Finley is the pen name of a former CIA officer"

    author of misskit's link
    So what are we to conclude from this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyrille View Post
    News just in: Russians seem to be serious about spying.


    Koojo...always there with the breaking stories.


    'The Russian Spy Thread'

    I've always wanted to use this emoti...



    what a fucking div

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    Quote Originally Posted by foobar View Post
    So what are we to conclude from this?
    It's conjecture and fantasy...aka...BS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SKkin View Post
    It's conjecture and fantasy...aka...BS.
    Yes, the lack of concrete facts around the allegations are striking.

    I'm guessing the FBI have just popped her in jail to a) keep up the fear and loathing against Russia b) The extreme longshot she will confess all off the back of no solid evidence against her.

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