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Wed, 23 May 2018
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Obama DoD paid FBI informant Halper over $250k just before 2016 election

Stefan Halper
Public records show Stefan Halper, the foreign policy expert "outed" as an FBI informant that spied on Donald Trump's presidential campaign, was paid a large sum in 2016 for work he did for the Obama administration.

The Department of Defense paid Halper $282,295 on September 27, 2016 - just months before the 2016 presidential election - for work titled, "INDIA AND CHINA ECON STUDY," says USASPENDING.gov, a website that tracks spending data for the U.S. government. This sum was one of two payments made to Halper for the job; the second, worth $129,280, was made on July 26, 2017. The record lists Halper's "Period of Performance" as September 26, 2016 to March 29, 2018.

USASPENDING.gov shows the Department of Defense paid Halper a total of $1,058,161 for work between 2012-2018. The work designated for "India-China" study comprised nearly 40 percent of that compensation.

The contents of the work listed above are presently unknown.

Recent reports detailed Halper's interactions with three members of the Trump campaign - Carter Page, Sam Clovis, and George Papadopoulos.

Comment: Halper is a spy. Whatever the content of this "India and China" study, what are the chances it was above-board? Especially given everything we've been learning about the guy:


Rocket

Russian air defense downs drone approaching base in Syria

Pantsir-S1
© Dmitri Vinogradov / Sputnik
Pantsir-S1 air defense system seen at Khmeimim airbase.
An unmanned aircraft of unknown origin has been shot down near the Russian Khmeimim airbase in Syria. No one was injured in the incident and the base did not sustain any damage, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The flying object came close to the military facility late on Monday and was destroyed by the base air defenses. Khmeimim airfield continued to operate normally following the incident.

Several videos, purportedly showing the moment the drone was shot down, have since emerged on social media. RT has not been able to independently verify their authenticity.


Whistle

Dissident Saudi prince calls for coup, urges uncles to seize power

Mohammed bin Salman
© Amir Levy / Reuters
A dissident Saudi prince has called on his uncles to depose King Salman and take over the country.

Prince Khaled bin Farhan made the appeal to Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz and Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz, saying that the damage being done to the Saudi royal family and the kingdom by Salman's "irrational, erratic and stupid" rule had gone beyond the point of no-return.

In an interview with Middle East Eye, Prince Khaled, who was given political asylum in Germany in 2013, said that if Ahmed and Muqrin were to unite ranks then "99 percent of the members of the royal family, the security services and the army would stand behind them".

Prince Khaled is a distant member of the Saudi royal family. But Riyadh is sensitive to any member breaking ranks, however distant he may be to the line of succession, and has tried to lure him back.

The prince said that recent statements by Mamduh bin Abdulaziz, one of the eldest surviving brothers of King Salman, indicated wider resentment within the family as a whole.

"There is so much anger within the royal family," Prince Khaled said, "I took this information and appeal to my uncles Ahmed and Muqrin, who are the sons of Abdulaziz and are highly educated, well versed and able to change things for the better. I can say that we are all behind them and support them."

No Entry

UK suspends Russian billionaire, Chelsea boss Roman Abramovich

Roman Abramovich
© REUTERS
Chelsea's Russian owner Roman Abramovich has gone home after his UK visa ran out, it has emerged.

The London-based billionaire did not attend Saturday's FA Cup final at Wembley, when his team beat Manchester United 1-0.

Reports suggest the 51-year-old oil and gas tycoon returned to his native country last month when his visa expired.

Without updated paperwork he would be unable to come back to Britain, where he has a massive home and business interests.

Last night there was speculation the visa renewal was being dragged out amid pressure on the Government to take a tougher approach to rich foreign oligarchs.

The riddle follows growing UK-Moscow diplomatic tensions over the poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury.

Comment: Abramovich will apparently have to explain to the UK government how he made his fortune in order to have his visa renewed.
An application for renewal has been lodged with the Home Office but sources close to Abramovich have said that the process is taking longer than usual. Number 10 said it would not comment on individual cases, but it was the "logical conclusion" that some rich individuals who had applied under the previous investment visa rules would no longer be eligible.

Abramovich - who is reportedly worth £9.3billion - would need to show that he has at least £2 million ($2.7mn) to invest in the UK from legal sources - a sum which shouldn't be an issue for the oligarch, who is listed by the 2017 Sunday Times Rich List as Britain's 13th-richest man. There has been no suggestion from the UK government that Abramovich earned his money unlawfully.

The Chelsea owner, an orphan and university drop out, made his wealth in the early 1990s in a series of oil export deals. He bought the Sibneft oil operation in 1995 with his business partner Boris Berezovsky. He also took over oil giant Sibneft at a fraction of its market value. In 2005, he sold his stake in Russian Aluminum to another Russian billionaire and a 73% stake in Sibneft to gas company Gazprom for $13 billion.

On Monday Russian officials complained that the UK was wielding the rejection of visas as a weapon in the political war between London and Moscow following recent tensions, which recently reached fever pitch over the Sergei Skripal poisoning and the UK's involvement in airstrikes against the Syria government.



Eye 1

Trump admin slaps even more sanctions on Venezuela after Maduro's re-election

Maduro election
© Carlos Garcia Rawlins / Reuters
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro speaks in front of supporters after the results of the election were released, in Caracas, Venezuela, May 20, 2018
The Trump administration has stepped up economic pressure on Venezuela, announcing new financial sanctions which prohibit US citizens from purchasing any Venezuelan debt.

The move comes in response to the reelection of President Nicolas Maduro on Sunday, which official Washington has dismissed as a "sham" and refused to recognize.

"We call for the Maduro regime to restore democracy, hold free and fair elections, release all political prisoners immediately and unconditionally, and end the repression and economic deprivation of the Venezuelan people," Trump said in a statement.

Comment: Further reading: Venezuela's CIA-inspired regime change problem and how much of the independent media is missing the bigger picture


Chess

Iran promises EU it will adhere to nuke deal 'on one condition'

Tehran
© Sputnik / Vladimir Fedorenko
Faced with the prospect of renewed US sanctions, Iran is looking for efforts by Washington's European allies to keep the 2015 nuclear accord alive.

Iran has promised the EU to adhere to the terms of the 2015 nuclear agreement provided that EU countries make up for the damage Tehran may suffer from US sanctions, Iran's nuclear chief, Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters.

Over the weekend Salehi met with the European commissioner for energy and climate, Miguel Arias Canete, who had been dispatched to Tehran with a plan to stop Iran's financial isolation and ensure its continued implementation of the terms of the nuclear accord.

Cowboy Hat

Trump using NATO to get 'disloyal' Europeans into line

Trump NATO
© Mandel Ngan / AFP
The growing rift in the transatlantic alliance is set to blow wide open after US President Trump used a top-level meeting with NATO this week to blast Germany and other European members for being "disloyal".

Sounding like a Mafia don, Trump warned that such NATO members "will be dealt with".

Speaking in the Oval Office, along with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Trump resorted to his usual gripe about "unfair burden sharing" of military spending in the alliance. The US president has long rebuked other NATO members for not meeting the alliance's spending target of 2 per cent of GDP.

Turning to former Norwegian Prime Minister Stoltenberg, Trump said with menacing tone: "I think you will be able to handle the ones that aren't [spending enough], right?"

Comment: Whether Trump's intentions are simply to 'make America great again' - or not, it's becoming clear how his recent moves seem to have more than a little bit in common with the imperial agenda:

STRATFOR Chief outlines psychopathic Zio-Anglo-American plans for world domination in speech to Chicago Council on Global Affairs


Eagle

FBI and CIA re-booted the Cold War in order to cover their own election meddling

fbi cia
On December 29, 2016, the Obama Administration - with three weeks remaining in its term - issued harsh sanctions against Russia over supposed election interference. Two compounds in the United States were closed and 35 Russian diplomats were ordered to leave the country.

Russia responded by calling the actions "Cold War déjà vu."

In the two years that have elapsed since, it has been learned that the "intelligence" that formed the basis for the sanctions was beyond dubious.

A single unverified "dossier" compiled by an ex-British spy with no discernable connections to Russia was shopped to FISA judges and the media as something real.

The dossier was opposition research by the Hillary Clinton campaign, a fact that was not disclosed and actively hidden by off-the-book transactions through the law firm Perkins Coie.

Comment: What's remarkable at this point is how easily the 'Russian collusion' narrative is not only crumbling around their feet, but upon further investigation and rigorous questioning, reveals just how criminally elements of the US intelligence community have behaved; not Trump.

Watch Deep State mouthpiece and hack author of Russian Roullete Michael Isikoff try to talk his way out of the damning facts he unwittingly presents in his own book about ex-CIA chief John Brennan!




Laptop

FBI's "outside contractors", the DNC servers and Crowdstrike

crowdstrike
© Crowdstrike
The DNC lawsuit against Russia and the Trump Campaign provides for a new timeline of events. And raises new questions.

Recall, the DNC famously refused to allow the FBI to examine their servers - which has always seemed more than a bit odd.

If the DNC had definitive proof of Russian hacking, one would expect a standing invitation to examine the evidence. Instead, they have protected those servers from any outside examination.

This may be tied to NSA Director Rogers' discovery of Outside Contractors.

The generalized story is that the DNC was hacked in April 2016. This is not accurate. Nor is the DNC's timeline of events complete.

Laptop

New WikiLeaks emails show Podesta lied about his work for Podesta Group, ties to Russian businesses

clinton podesta
It has been quite some time since I have reported on John and Tony Podesta. Tony Podesta has literally disappeared from public view. As far as John Podesta, he does tweet now and again.

Judicial Watch has received access to new emails coming from John Podesta. The emails prove John Podesta lied when he said he was not affiliated with the Podesta Group.

There are documents from the U.S. Department of State showing the Podesta Group working on behalf of the pro-Russia Ukrainian political group "Party of Regions."

The documents also reveal then Obama White House Counsel John Podesta lobbying on behalf of his brother's firm. Plus, he was, in fact, embroiled with a pro-Russia Ukrainian political group called the "Party of Regions."

Was this not grounds for an investigation on John Podesta? I would say so!

The emails can be read at judicialwatch.org.

Comment: In other words, everyone in Washington does it. It's called the swamp for a reason.