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  • David Duke’s Remarks on Senate Backing Put Donald Trump’s Camp on the Defensive - The New York Times about 21 hours ago
    • She went on: “If you want to continue to waste our time with these questions, we will happily address them and allocate our resources for real stories pertaining to Mr. Trump’s candidacy for president of the United States and his message to the American people elsewhere.”

  • RNC: We'd Rather Lose Senate and Supreme Court Than Back David Duke | The Weekly Standard about 21 hours ago
    • "What was the Supreme Court ruling on limiting free speech, that you know it when you see it? I mean, at some point, when you're a white supremacist, that's a black-and-white [issue]. There's no gray," said Spicer.


  • Q&A: How Much Do U.S. Military Bases in Japan and Korea Cost? - WSJ about 24 hours ago
    • Q: How much does South Korea pay for the bases and why are they there?

      A: South Korea paid around $866.6 million in 2014 for the U.S. military presence in the country, according to the South Korean government, around 40% of total cost. The U.S. maintains its presence there to counter North Korea, which has been boosting its strategic military capabilities against the U.S. and its Asia allies by conducting atomic-bomb tests and missile launches.

  • As Democrats Gather, a Russian Subplot Raises Intrigue - The New York Times on Jul 25, 16
    • Proving the source of a cyberattack is notoriously difficult. But researchers have concluded that the national committee was breached by two Russian intelligence agencies, which were the same attackers behind previous Russian cyberoperations at the White House, the State Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff last year. And metadata from the released emails suggests that the documents passed through Russian computers. Though a hacker claimed responsibility for giving the emails to WikiLeaks, the same agencies are the prime suspects. Whether the thefts were ordered by Mr. Putin, or just carried out by apparatchiks who thought they might please him, is anyone’s guess.
  • All Signs Point to Russia Being Behind the DNC Hack | Motherboard on Jul 25, 16
    • The DNC knew that this wild claim would have to be backed up by solid evidence. A Post story wouldn’t provide enough detail, so CrowdStrike had prepared a technical report to go online later that morning. The security firm carefully outlined some of the allegedly “superb” tradecraft of both intrusions: the Russian software implants were stealthy, they could sense locally-installed virus scanners and other defenses, the tools were customizable through encrypted configuration files, they were persistent, and the intruders used an elaborate command-and-control infrastructure. So the security firm claimed to have outed two intelligence operations. 

    • The forensic evidence linking the DNC breach to known Russian operations is very strong. On June 20, two competing cybersecurity companies, Mandiant (part of FireEye) and Fidelis, confirmed CrowdStrike’s initial findings that Russian intelligence indeed hacked Clinton’s campaign. The forensic evidence that links network breaches to known groups is solid: used and reused tools, methods, infrastructure, even unique encryption keys. For example: in late March the attackers registered a domain with a typo—misdepatrment[.]com—to look suspiciously like the company hired by the DNC to manage its network, MIS Department. They then linked this deceptive domain to a long-known APT 28 so-called X-Tunnel command-and-control IP address, 45.32.129[.]185.
    • One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address—176.31.112[.]10—that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC’s servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate. 

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  • Exclusive: Russians suspected in hack of personal email of DNC oppo researcher on Jul 25, 16
    • Chalupa — who had been drafting memos and writing emails about Manafort’s connection to pro-Russian political leaders in Ukraine — quickly alerted top DNC officials. “Since I started digging into Manafort, these messages have been a daily oc­­­­currence on my Yahoo account despite changing my p­­a­ssword often,” she wrote in a May 3 email to Luis Miranda, the DNC’s communications director, which included an attached screengrab of the image of the Yahoo security warning.

  • FBI Suspects Russia Hacked DNC; U.S. Officials Say It Was to Elect Donald Trump - The Daily Beast on Jul 25, 16
    • The FBI suspects that Russian government hackers breached the networks of the Democratic National Committee and stole emails that were posted to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks on Friday. It’s an operation that several U.S. officials now suspect was a deliberate attempt to influence the presidential election in favor of Donald Trump, according to five individuals familiar with the investigation of the breach.
    • That doesn’t mean the FBI has to remain silent if it finds evidence of Russia's meddling. Should the bureau release a statement after an investigation tying the Russians to the hack and subsequent release to Wikileaks, that would essentially be a public indictment, the officials said.

      It also may be possible for the FBI to investigate the question of intent, including whether the email leak is an instance of an unregistered foreign agent illegally trying to influence the U.S. political system, another U.S. official said. But it’s easier for the FBI to investigate the breach and theft of information itself, which are clearly prohibited under U.S. law, the official added.

    • "If the hack is linked to Russian actors, it would not be the first time cyber intrusions linked to the Kremlin and its supporters have sought to influence the political process in other countries,” Rep. Adam Schiff said in a statement. “Given Donald Trump's well known admiration for Putin and his belittling of NATO, the Russians have both the means and the motive to engage in a hack of the DNC and the dump of its emails prior to the Democratic convention. That foreign actors may be trying to influence our election—let alone a powerful adversary like Russia—should concern all Americans of any party."

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  • Trump bounces into the lead - on Jul 25, 16
    • The Trump campaign has claimed the visceral negative reaction to Cruz reflected the unity the party feels behind Trump himself. But the poll suggests a large share of Republican voters still need to be won over. The share of Republicans who say their party is "united now" climbed from 16% pre-convention to 24% post-convention, but about half (49%) say it's not united now, but will be by November, and there are still about a quarter who say the party won't unite at all. Further, 45% continue to say they'd prefer someone other than Trump as the nominee.
  • At Fox News, Kisses, Innuendo, Propositions and Fears of Reprisal - The New York Times on Jul 23, 16
    • The investigation by Fox News’s parent company, 21st Century Fox, focused narrowly on Mr. Ailes. But in interviews with The New York Times, current and former employees described instances of harassment and intimidation that went beyond Mr. Ailes and suggested a broader problem in the workplace.

    • The Times spoke with about a dozen women who said they had experienced some form of sexual harassment or intimidation at Fox News or the Fox Business Network, and half a dozen more who said they had witnessed it. Two of them cited Mr. Ailes and the rest cited other supervisors. With the exception of Ms. Bakhtiar, they all spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing embarrassment and fear of retribution. Most continue to work in television and worry that speaking out could damage their careers.

    • They told of strikingly similar experiences at Fox News. Several said that inappropriate comments about a woman’s appearance and sex life were frequent. Managers tried to set up their employees on dates with superiors.

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  • Trump Would Fund Super-PACs Aimed at Taking Down Cruz, Kasich - Bloomberg Politics on Jul 22, 16
    • Donald Trump plans to create and fund super-PACs specifically aimed at ending the political careers of Ted Cruz and John Kasich should either run for office again, after both snubbed the Republican nominee during his party's convention this week, a source familiar with Trump’s thinking told Bloomberg Politics on Friday. 

      The plan would involve Trump investing millions of his own money --perhaps $20 million or more -- in one or two outside groups about six months before their respective election days if Texas Senator Cruz or Ohio Governor Kasich stand for office again. The source said Trump is willing to set up two separate super-PACs – one for Cruz and one for Kasich – and put millions into each.  

    • The source said that Trump would be willing to invest tens of millions more if necessary to ensure his former competitors didn't win another race. Of course, the ire that Trump has exhibited in the aftermath of the bitter nomination contest could fade over time, leading the sometimes mercurial billionaire to drop the plans.  

    • The source close to Trump’s thinking indicated that Trump would consider forming the super-PAC whether or not he wins the presidential election in November.

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