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  • 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.”

     

  • "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: 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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.


  •   With all three broadcast networks and cable news networks now tallied for the 10 p.m. hour, it appears just over 31.5 million viewers tuned into Trump's extended time on stage.

  • Many in the crowd shouted at Cruz throughout his denouement. When he finished, delegates argued in the aisles about what he'd done. Trump supporters charged his wife as she was led from the convention floor. Fat-cat fundraisers cursed at Cruz. Former supporters said they would never back him again. Elected officials denounced him for doing, in withholding an endorsement, what many Republican officeholders here have told me they wish that they could do.

      

  • Cruz's speech was a gamble based on a simple assumpti
  • OP officeholders will point back to the many times they expressed reservations about Trump with the hope that those moments will cancel out their support for him. In withholding his endorsement, Ted Cruz has done what scores of Republican elected officials will wish they would have done. (In private conversations here this week before Cruz's speech, many Republican officeholders have confessed to me that they wish they could have avoided endorsing Trump).

      

  • Putting aside that question, it isn't fair to say that Cruz caused the disunity that we witnessed on the convention floor on Wednesday night. All he did was expose the lie at the heart of this convention — the lie that this is a party that has any real sense of unity.

      

    This convention is a charade. Party leaders and those from the Trump campaign keep insisting that Republicans are coming together behind the nominee in a way that could make Baghdad Bob blush.

      

    The reality is quite different.

      

    Last week, the party had a bitter battle over rules with many delegates pushing to unbind them so they could vote against the party's nominee. On Monday, the convention convened with party leaders shutting down an anti-Trump drive for a roll call vote on the rules.

  • But he also will emerge with a faction of the party still smarting about the primary. Outside the arena, members of the Texas delegation gathered around high-top tables filled with drinks, furious with how Cruz had been treated and convinced that Trump’s campaign had whipped up the booing. 

     

    “Trump walking into the arena proved that he is a classless individual, okay?” said Jeremiah Hunter, a delegate from Longview, Texas. “Because he stole the thunder from Ted Cruz right when he was ending his speech. That’s classless. It was deliberate and anyone who thinks it’s not deliberate is delusional. And that’s what I have to say about that.”

  • Like so many other political miscalculations that Cruz has made over the years, this one grossly overestimates the number of hardcore conservative activists within the Republican Party. Throughout the campaign, despite his best efforts to peel away Trump’s supporters, Cruz was unable to put any real distance between himself and Florida senator Marco Rubio in the polling.

     

  • The RNC’s argument to the D.C. delegates boiled down to this: A vote for the rules reset would open the door to Ted Cruz becoming the GOP’s nominee four years from now.

  • In interviews, alarmed Republican speechwriters outlined the layers of formal scrutiny, apparently disregarded by the Trump campaign, traditionally applied to almost every draft of a major convention address. They described word-by-word fact-checking by a dedicated team of experts and computer software designed to catch plagiarism. Several online programs, like DupliChecker, are available at no cost.
  • It was Jared Kushner, Mr. Trump’s son-in-law and top adviser, who commissioned the speech from Mr. Scully and Mr. McConnell — and praised their draft. But Ms. Trump decided to revise it, and at one point she turned to a trusted hand: Meredith McIver, a New York City-based former ballet dancer and English major who has worked on some of Mr. Trump’s books, including “Think Like a Billionaire.” It was not clear how much of a hand Ms. McIver had in the final product, and she did not respond to an email on Tuesday.

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  • Just to provide some context, as we mentioned in a previous blog post, there is a one in one trillion chance that a sixteen-word phrase matches another phrase of the same length just by coincidence. As the number of words matching increase, the probability of a purely coincidental match goes down by orders of magnitude.  

  • Even Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, perhaps the Republican party's most successful and influential policy entrepreneur, had almost nothing specific to say, or even reference, about jobs and economic policy. He spent most of his speech asking—practically pleading—with the GOP to unite around Trump, because Hillary Clinton was unacceptable. The same goes for Chris Christie, the governor of New Jersey, who spent the entirety of his speech acting as prosecutor and laying out an extended case against Hillary Clinton. Granted, I suppose this could be his job in a hypothetical Donald Trump administration. 

     

  • One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who left the presidential race just a few weeks before. As a candidate, Kasich declared in March that Trump was “really not prepared to be president of the United States,” and the following month he took the highly unusual step of coordinating with his rival Senator Ted Cruz in an effort to deny Trump the nomination. But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

    When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

    Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

    “Making America great again” was the casual reply.

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