WATCH LIVE: Trump’s Nominee for CIA Director Gina Haspel Faces Senate Hearing

After much anticipation, President Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the CIA is set to field questions from senators on Wednesday in a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. Gina Haspel, a 61-year-old now serving as acting CIA director after Mike Pompeo was tapped for Secretary of State, will face tough questions over her lifelong career as an agent. Of particular focus: Haspel’s job overseeing a “black site” in Thailand after the 9/11 attacks where terror suspects were tortured in accordance with the enhanced interrogation program. A Senate Intelligence Committee report concluded that the CIA’s methods included waterboarding, beating, forced confinement for extended periods of time, forced standing and nudity. A number of lawmakers have expressed concerns over Haspel’s role in the US interrogation program — which was deemed torture by the committee report and ended by President Obama in 2009 — including Democrats and a few Republicans. PBS breaks down Haspel’s Continue reading "WATCH LIVE: Trump’s Nominee for CIA Director Gina Haspel Faces Senate Hearing"

Don Jr. Accidentally Undermines House Intel Probe: ‘Literally About Looking for a Sound Bite’

Donald Trump Jr. might have slipped up on Tuesday when he suggested that House Intelligence Committee lacks credibility despite their recent announcement to his father’s advantage. The president’s son joined the hosts of Fox & Friends in order to talk about the news that the Intel Committee’s GOP members decided to prematurely end their investigation and declare there was no collusion with Russia during the 2016 election. As the Trump scion reacted to Democrats objecting to last night’s announcement, he was asked whether he had a more favorable opinion of the ongoing probe from the Senate Intelligence Committee. “At Senate Intel, I was impressed,” Trump Jr. said. “Those guys actually seemed like they were trying to get the facts. When I look at House Intel and other groups, it was literally about looking for a sound bite.” Of course, Trump Jr. didn’t stop there, taking time to bash CNN Continue reading "Don Jr. Accidentally Undermines House Intel Probe: ‘Literally About Looking for a Sound Bite’"

DNI Chief Warns: Russia Will Target 2018 Midterms With ‘Propaganda, Social Media, False Flag Personas’

Dan Coats warned the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday that Russia believes it successfully meddled with American political processes in the past, and they are bound to try it again in the future. The Director of National Intelligence was among the witnesses who appeared for today’s hearing on the worldwide threats that require America’s immediate attention. Coats testified that Vladimir Putin is very likely to use authoritarian practices to expand Russia’s global influence, and that includes more cyber activities to undermine and stir up chaos in the United States. “We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false flag personas, sympathetic Continue reading "DNI Chief Warns: Russia Will Target 2018 Midterms With ‘Propaganda, Social Media, False Flag Personas’"

WATCH LIVE: FBI Director Wray Testifies Before Senate Intel Committee on ‘Worldwide Threats’

The Senate Intelligence Committee will hold a hearing today on the most pressing international threats to America. In light of recent events, there is bound to be a great deal of interest when FBI Director Christopher Wray appears to deliver his testimony. There is a strong probability that Wray will face a broad range of questions regarding the Russia investigations and Christopher Steele‘s dossier on President Trump. Other witnesses for today’s hearing will include Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, CIA Director Michael Pompeo, and NSA Director Admiral Michael Rogers. Watch above, via Washington Post. [Image via screengrab] — —
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Facebook, Google, and Twitter faced Congress this week to talk Russian meddling. Here’s what we learned (and didn’t)

The big tech companies are finally opening up — albeit reluctantly — about just how extensively Russia used their tools to influence voters during last year’s presidential election. And, well, yikes. Plenty had trickled out prior to the hearings already — for instance, that in addition to Russian-bought ads, Russia-linked Facebook accounts had helped organize “at least 60 rallies, protests and marches” across the U.S. “publicized or financed by eight Russia-backed Facebook accounts,” the Wall Street Journal reported. Is government regulation imminent? Is Facebook a publisher? How many bots are on Twitter exactly? What about all the mis- and disinformation on these platforms that aren’t paid ads, but can still sow discord? “If anyone tells you they’ve got this all figured out, they’re kidding themselves — and we can’t afford to kid ourselves about what happened last year and continues to happen today,” Senator Richard Burr (Republican, North Carolina) Continue reading "Facebook, Google, and Twitter faced Congress this week to talk Russian meddling. Here’s what we learned (and didn’t)"

Russian Flag Hurled at Jared Kushner After Senate Meeting

A protestor reportedly threw a Russian flag at Jared Kushner and asked him to sign it as he left Capitol Hill Monday following his closed-door testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee. In the video above, you can hear a protestor identified by multiple outlets as Ryan Clayton, shout at Kushner as he departed his session with the Committee. “Will you sign my Russian flag?” Clayton said. “Sign my Russian flag.” Kushner did not turn around or acknowledge Clayton in any way. He continued walking, accompanied by his attorneys and a pair of Capitol Police agents. They left the building, and Kushner is said to be en route to the White House, where he is scheduled to give a statement following his testimony. CNN’s Manu Raju reports that Continue reading "Russian Flag Hurled at Jared Kushner After Senate Meeting"

Donald Trump Jr. Says He’s ‘Happy to Work With’ Senate Intel Committee

Republican Senator Susan Collins reacted to the reports that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer by saying that he should talk to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Well, now Trump Jr. has responded: His statement yesterday said that he met with someone claiming to have information about Hillary Clinton, but that “it quickly became clear that she had no meaningful information.” This was different from his statement a day prior, but he tweeted out this morning there was “no inconsistency” in the statements. [image via screengrab] — — Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac