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The British Media Is Far Behind The Curve On Trump’s Close Relationship With Russia & #Farage’s Part In It …

Posted by Greg Lance - Watkins (Greg_L-W) on 20/01/2018

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The British Media Is Far Behind The Curve On Trump’s Close Relationship With Russia & #Farage’s Part In It …


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Greg Lance – Watkins



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Trump-Russia inquiry is told Nigel Farage may have given Julian Assange data

Private investigator tells House panel Farage gave thumb drive to Assange, who officials view as a conduit for the Russian government

Nigel Farage at the European Parliament on Wednesday in Strasbourg, France.

Nigel Farage may have given Julian Assange a thumb drive of data and was possibly a more frequent visitor than was publicly known to the Ecuadorian embassy where the WikiLeaks founder lives, according to testimony given to US congressional inquiry into the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to the Kremlin.

“I’ve been told and have not confirmed that Nigel Farage had additional trips to the Ecuadoran [sic] Embassy than the one that’s been in the papers and that he provided data to Julian Assange,” Simpson told the committee, according to a transcript released on Thursday.

Asked what kind of data Farage was alleged to have passed to the WikiLeaks founder, Simpson replied: “A thumb drive.”

What you need to know about the Trump-Russia inquiry

How serious are the allegations?

The story of Donald Trump and Russia comes down to this: a sitting president or his campaign is suspected of having coordinated with a foreign country to manipulate a US election. The story could not be bigger, and the stakes for Trump – and the country – could not be higher.

What are the key questions?

Investigators are asking two basic questions: did Trump’s presidential campaign collude at any level with Russian operatives to sway the 2016 US presidential election? And did Trump or others break the law to throw investigators off the trail?

What does the country think?

While a majority of the American public now believes that Russia tried to disrupt the US election, opinions about Trump campaign involvement tend to split along partisan lines: 73% of Republicans, but only 13% of Democrats, believe Trump did “nothing wrong” in his dealings with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.

What are the implications for Trump?

The affair has the potential to eject Trump from office. Experienced legal observers believe that prosecutors are investigating whether Trump committed an obstruction of justice. Both Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton – the only presidents to face impeachment proceedings in the last century – were accused of obstruction of justice. But Trump’s fate is probably up to the voters. Even if strong evidence of wrongdoing by him or his cohort emerged, a Republican congressional majority would probably block any action to remove him from office. (Such an action would be a historical rarity.)

What has happened so far?

Former foreign policy adviser George Papadopolous pleaded guilty to perjury over his contacts with Russians linked to the Kremlin, and the president’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and another aide face charges of money laundering.

When will the inquiry come to an end?

The investigations have an open timeline.

Simpson told the committee – which is privy to classified US intelligence – that it would be possible to confirm how often Farage had visited Assange through a routine inquiry.

His remarks were made in a private interview by the committee, which peppered Simpson with questions about Russian money laundering and the possibility that Donald Trump could be compromised.

A spokesman for Farage told the Guardian last year that Farage had only met with Assange in March 2017 and not on any other occasion.

The Trump administration has vigorously denied all claims that it may have colluded with Russian agents.

Assange made no public comment, but the WikiLeaks Twitter account said: “The question was about what kind of data. Game of Thrones or emails? 2016 or 2017? Simpson answers with a diversion.”

Assange has denied working as an agent of Russia and Farage has ridiculed suggestions that the Kremlin influenced either the US election or Britain’s 2016 vote to exit the European Union.

Farage’s relationship with Assange is of key interest because US intelligence and law enforcement officials see the WikiLeaks founder as a conduit for the Russian government.

Assange’s move to publish emails that were hacked from the Democratic party in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election is seen as part of the Kremlin’s campaign to try to influence the outcome of the election in Trump’s favour. Multiple US inquiries are now examining whether the Trump campaign or other officials had a hand in the Kremlin’s alleged interference.

An ongoing criminal investigation into the matter has already resulted in four indictments, including of three former campaign officials.

It is known that Farage visited the WikiLeaks founder in March 2017 but Farage has previously insisted that he went to the Ecuadorian embassy for journalistic purposes.

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