Trump facing 'shark tank' feeding frenzy from 'military industrial media'

There are elements of the ‘Deep State’ here who are very opposed to the things Donald Trump said during the campaign. They don’t want to cooperate with Russia, Jim Jatras, former US diplomat, told RT. Political analyst John Bosnitch joins the discussion.

US President Trump said his White House meeting last week with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov ranged from airline safety to terrorism. A Washington Post story, however, has accused the American leader of revealing classified information to Russian officials.

RT:  What’s your take on it? Is the media on to something big here?

Jim Jatras: To start with, again, this is from the Washington Post and an unnamed source. So you do have to doubt the accuracy of the information knowing the vendetta the Washington Post and other mainstream media have against the Trump administration and against President Trump personally and how much they want to disrupt any kind of cooperation with Russia against the terrorist threat. I would say that was the first thing.

@RT_America 'I was in the room. It didn’t happen' - National Security Advisor H.R. http://on.rt.com/8br9

Second, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Deputy of National Security Adviser Dina Powell, who were both in the meeting, have stated since the Washington Post article appeared – there was nothing discussed with Mr. [Sergey] Lavrov and Mr. [Sergey] Kislyak that compromised what they call “sources and methods” that would lead to any kind of intelligence vulnerability on the part of the US. But rather this was all part of a discussion of common action against ISIS. Those are the first things to be noted…

Let’s remember that there are elements of what we call the ‘Deep State’ here who are very opposed to the things Donald Trump said during the campaign. They don’t want to cooperate with the Russians; they don’t want improved relations with Moscow. And let’s be honest, they have a very strong investment in the various jihadist groups that we have supported for the past six years trying to overthrow the legitimate government in Damascus. I am sure there are people – maybe in the National Security Council, maybe in the Staff, maybe in the State Department – who are finding some way to try and discredit the Trump administration. The question is where is the investigation into these leaks? Who is going to hold these people accountable?

RT:  The mainstream media is going on little more than 'anonymous sources.' Could it have a hidden agenda here?

JJ: Of course. In fact, I would even go further. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if President Trump timed his firing with the FBI Director James Comey – what some people even pointed out – he himself in one of his tweets says “drain the swamp.” One of the first elements was getting rid of the principals of the Deep State who have been trying to hijack his policy; that he did this precisely because he was meeting with Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Kislyak the next day. He’s shoving it in their face, saying: “I am moving forward with my program.” And I think that’s the reason we’re getting this hysteria building around the Russians, the Russians, the Russians when what we need is to move forward on an America First national security policy.

@RT_com ‘US policy today: Aircraft, where co-pilots try to override pilots’ (Op-Edge) https://on.rt.com/8bpm

RT:  Do you think mainstream media is a part of something big and controlled all over from the top?

JJ: Absolutely. There is a whole structure of what people call the 'Deep State' establishment, the oligarchy – whatever you want to call it. Of course, the mainstream media is part of this. It includes all the Democrats, who were very easy on the Soviet Union when it was Communist. But now that it is not Communist under Russia, they have a deep, very deep hatred of Russia, and they don’t want any kind of rapprochement with Russia. And unfortunately, there are Republicans who sympathize with this agenda, as well. I think we can say at this point that Mr. Trump is only partially in control of the apparatus of government. He does not yet have complete control and that there is a frantic effort by these elements to make sure he is not able to get … control of the American government and carry out the policies he talked about.

@RT_com says he had ‘absolute right’ to share data on flight safety & terrorism with Russia https://on.rt.com/8bsg

The 'military industrial media'

The mainstream media of the US is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military industrial complex. If you want to call it anything, you can call it the ‘military media,’ John Bosnitch, political analyst, told RT.

RT:  The media has run with this. Are they on to something big here?

John Bosnitch: I wouldn’t say so. I’ve worked in this field for three decades. I don’t see a scrap of evidence here. But I do see like a shark tank of media feeding – no evidence.

RT:  Trump attacked Hillary Clinton as being unreliable with state secrets. Can the same now be said of him?

JB: Trump is the chief executive officer of the United States of America. As the chief executive officer of the country, he has full legal and constitutional authority to use state secrets in the conduct of diplomacy. He’s also the chief diplomat of the country. So there is a big difference between the chief executive officer deciding what information he can share in conducting of state policy, and Hillary Clinton deciding as a cabinet minister which laws she chooses to obey, and which ones she doesn’t.

RT:  The mainstream media is going on little more than 'anonymous sources'... could it have a hidden agenda here?

JB: I don’t see any other possibility, whatsoever. Let’s not play the game of dividing the so-called mainstream media from its owners. The mainstream media of the US is owned lock, stock, and barrel by the military industrial complex. If you want to call it anything, you can call it the ‘military media.’ The military makes money by making war; they buy the media to promote war. They use the media to promote propaganda in favor of war. And that is where we get into the mess we’re in today. Because we have a president who is a businessman and would prefer to make money, and would prefer to put people to work in any industry other than war. The military industrial media in the United States is depending on being able to speak to a captive audience of uninformed viewers… The military controls the media because they own them.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Group Thought to Be Behind NSA Tool Leaks Threatens New Round of Spy Tools

The NSA used the Microsoft flaw to build a hacking tool that ended up in the hands of a mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers.

A group that has taken credit for leaking NSA cyber spying tools — including those used in the recent WannaCrypt global ransomware attack — has threatened in a blog it is believed to have authored to release more recent code to enable hackers to break into the world's most widely used computers, software and phones.

Using trademark garbled English, the apparent ShadowBrokers communique promised that, starting next month, it will begin releasing tools on a monthly basis to anyone willing to pay for access to some of the tech world's biggest commercial secrets.

It also threatened to dump data from banks using the SWIFT international money transfer network and from Russian, Chinese, Iranian or North Korean nuclear and missile programs, without providing further details. "More details in June," it promised.

"ShadowBrokers are back" tweeted Matthieu Suiche, a French hacker and security researcher who has tracked the group. Among the notable claims, he said, was that it had newer exploits for Microsoft's Window 10 operating system dating from after 2013.

The NSA used the Microsoft flaw to build a hacking tool codenamed EternalBlue that ended up in the hands of a mysterious group called the Shadow Brokers, which then published that and other such tools online. 

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‘Comey better hope there are no tapes of our conversations’ before leaking to press – Trump

US President Donald Trump has tweeted that recently fired FBI Director James Comey had better hope there are no tapes of their conversations “before he starts leaking to the press.”

@realDonaldTrump James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

Comey, who had been leading an investigation into alleged collusion between Trump's advisers and Russian officials, was fired by the president on Tuesday.

READ MORE: Trump fires FBI Director James Comey

In a separate tweet, Trump questioned when the “witch hunt” would end, noting that former National Intelligence Director James Clapper and “virtually everyone else” with knowledge of the situation says there has been no collusion with Russia.

@realDonaldTrump When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?

Trump admitted during a Thursday interview with NBC's Lester Holt that "this Russia thing" was on his mind when he made the decision to sack Comey, who he referred to as a "showboat."

However, he said the main reason for firing him was because the FBI has been "in turmoil."

"You take a look at the FBI a year ago, it was in virtual turmoil, less than a year ago. It hasn't recovered from that," Trump said.

READ MORE: Trump thought about ‘this Russia thing’ when deciding to fire ‘showboat’ Comey

Trump has repeatedly denied that he or anyone on his staff has ties to Russia, tweeting earlier on Friday that the story was "fabricated by Democrats as an excuse for losing the election."

Trump has vowed that Comey will be replaced by "someone who will do a far better job," noting that he had "lost the confidence of almost everyone in Washington."

@realDonaldTrump James Comey will be replaced by someone who will do a far better job, bringing back the spirit and prestige of the FBI.

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Putin says WW2 started due to disunity of world’s leading countries, calls on world to unite

The Nazis were able to start World War II because of the disunity of the world’s leading countries, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated during a Victory Day parade at Moscow’s Red Square, adding that the lessons of the past should not be ignored.

 
© Grigory Sisoev

“This horrific tragedy could not be prevented, first and foremost, because of the connivance of the criminal ideology of racial superiority, because of the disunity of the world’s leading countries. This allowed the Nazis to appropriate themselves the right to decide the fate of other peoples, to unleash the most brutal, bloody war, to enslave almost all European countries, putting them at the service of their deadly targets,” the Russian leader said, speaking during the military parade in Moscow marking the 72nd anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany in 1945.

According to Putin, the greatness of Victory Day is “defined by the people, by their unprecedented heroic act of saving the Fatherland, and a decisive contribution to the defeat of Nazism.”

The triumphant victory over this terrible totalitarian force will remain in human history forever as the highest point of the triumph of life and mind over death and barbarity,” he stressed.

“We must remember that the victory was won at the cost of huge, irreplaceable fatalities, that the war took millions of lives,” Putin concluded.

In order to effectively combat terrorism, extremism, and neo-Nazism today, the entire world community should unite, the Russian president noted.

 

“The lessons of the past war urge us to be vigilant, and the Russian Armed Forces are capable of repelling any potential aggression,” the Russian president said, stressing that “nowadays, life itself requires raising our defense potential.”

“But to effectively combat terrorism, extremism, neo-Nazism, and other threats, consolidation of the entire international community is necessary,” Putin said.

“We are open for such cooperation, and Russia will always be on the side of forces for peace, with those who choose the path of equal partnership, who deny wars as contrary to the very essence of life and human nature.”

The Victory Day parade has concluded on Moscow’s Red Square, where some 10,000 people took part and 114 military vehicles were on display. After attending the festive event, Putin laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier beside the Kremlin walls to honor the fallen soldiers of World War II. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, and other top Russian officials attended the ceremony.

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US-led coalition warplanes banned from Syria safe zones – Russian envoy

The four safe zones to be established in Syria will be closed for flights by US-led coalition warplanes, said the Russian envoy to the Astana peace talks, where the zones were agreed upon.

“As for [the coalition] actions in the de-escalation zones, starting from now those zones are closed for their flights,” Aleksandr Levrentyev told journalists in the Kazakh capital.

He added that the flight ban was not part of the memorandum establishing the safe zones, but assured the coalition would not fly over them.

“As guarantors we will be tracking all actions in that direction,” he remarked. “Absolutely no flights, especially by the international coalition, are allowed. With or without prior notification. The issue is closed.”

He added that the US-led coalition would continue airstrikes near Raqqa, the Syrian stronghold of Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), near some towns near the Euphrates River and close to the city of Deir ez-Zor.

The Russian Foreign Ministry was less definitive on the alleged ban of US warplanes, stating that “these issues are being discussed at the military level.”

On Thursday, a memorandum was signed in Astana establishing four “safe zones” in Syria, where so-called “moderate opposition” fighters are expected to stay safe from airstrikes and keep jihadist groups out. The zones are set in provinces of Idlib, Latakia and Homs, as well as parts of Aleppo.

Russia, Iran and Turkey serve as guarantors of the arrangement, which carries hopes of deescalating violence in the war-torn country.

READ MORE: UN chief welcomes Syria de-escalation zones brokered by Russia, Turkey & Iran

The move was cheered by the United Nations and welcomed with reservations by Washington.

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Putin: I discussed de-escalation zones in Syria with Trump, Erdogan

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he has discussed introducing de-escalation zones in Syria with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during talks in Sochi on Wednesday and with US President Donald Trump in a phone call the previous day.

Consultations with Tehran and Damascus have also been held on the issue, Putin said.

"For the development of the political process [in Syria], a ceasefire must be provided... Russia, Turkey and Iran have all the time been thinking of how to secure this practice of a ceasefire. One of the methods is creating safe zones, or de-escalation zones," Putin said on Wednesday during a joint press conference with Turkish President Erdogan in Sochi.

Moscow has already conducted "preliminary consultations" with Damascus and Tehran on the matter, Putin said, adding that the issue has also been discussed with US President Trump, who appears to support the idea of safe zones.

"We all reason from [a position] that mechanisms to guarantee the end of bloodshed and provision for the beginning of a political dialogue must be created," the Russian president said, adding that Turkey also fully supports this position.

However, the different sides in the Syrian conflict should themselves make "the final decision," Putin added.

"In the end, only they are in charge of their country's fate. On our side, we – Russia, Turkey and Iran – as guarantors of a ceasefire, will make everything for such mechanisms to improve and be efficient," he told the media.

READ MORE: Putin, Trump speak by phone, discuss Syria, N. Korea – Kremlin

Moscow and Ankara both agree that "the creation of safe zones must lead to further conciliation and strengthening of the ceasefire regime" in war-torn Syria, Putin said.

The Russian president pointed out that regardless of safe zones, the fight will continue against terrorist organizations in Syria such as Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL), Al-Nusra Front and other groups seen as terrorist by the United Nations.

The question of ceasefire monitoring in possible de-escalation zones is "an issue for separate talks," Putin added, saying that international military officials are in contact on the subject.

"In terms of air force flights, aviation will also not be deployed in de-escalation zones, on condition of no military activity there," the Russian president told journalists in Sochi.

The Turkish leader said that while he and the Russian president had discussed the issue of safe zones in Syria during their Sochi negotiations, it is the Astana peace talks participants who will work on the question. "I hope that a de-escalation zone will be implemented," Erdogan said.

The topic of de-escalation zones is especially related to the province of Idlib, where "many people from Aleppo have found refuge," the Turkish president pointed out.

READ MORE: Some trade restrictions between Russia and Turkey to remain for now – Putin

Having reiterated calls to stop the bloodshed of innocent people in Syria, the Turkish president said that both Moscow and Ankara back punishment for those behind an alleged chemical attack in the town of Khan Shaykhun in Syria's Idlib province.

"Such a barbaric attack must not be left unpunished," Erdogan said.

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Russia to Establish Working Code against Information War

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated today Russia''s initiative to establish a kind of working code at the UN level to prevent information wars such as those launched against this country.

In addition, Lavrov resumed another Moscow proposal to establish a United Nations-backed embargo on territories controlled by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist movement and the Al Nusra Front in Iraq and Syria. The proposal on the abovementioned rules of conduct by the press would be conditioned, among other things, by the need to avoid interference in the internal affairs of states, the minister explained.

The Russian foreign minister also called for an international convention on security in cyber-space.

Lavrov called attention to the need for a real fight against terrorism and to avoid actions that increase tension and threaten international law, he said.

Some states prefer to ensure their security at the expense of other nations while doing their utmost to stop the process of forming a multipolar world, Lavrov said at the plenary session of the 6th Moscow International Security Conference.

'A recent meeting of the seven most industrialized countries (G-7) at the level of foreign ministers acknowledged the importance of the terrorist threat and placed it as a priority to be resolved,' he said.

'However, beyond the declarations, nothing was implemented in practice and on the need for global cooperation against international terrorism we only observe the ambitions of some states and double standards to address that scourge,' he said.

On the other hand, the Russian head of State spoke on the basis of an impartial and transparent investigation of what happened on May 4 in the Syrian town of Jan-Sheijon. 'Those who block that initiative have something to hide or some responsibility,' he suggested.

At the same time, he believed that tense situations such as the one on the Korean peninsula should be avoided and considered that US military activity and its installation in the region of anti-missile systems contribute to destabilizing the situation there.

The Russian foreign minister also indicated that the deployment of North Atlantic Treaty Organization forces near the borders of this country is a matter that prevents the consolidation of regional stability.

'The presence of elements of the US anti-missile defense system in Europe can create illusions of unprovoked protection and lead to the temptation of warlike actions that will not contribute to regional security,' he said.

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CNN uses anonymous source to push Syria/Russia 'chemical attack' conspiracy

An anonymous senior US official told CNN that, while the US allegedly has proof that Damascus is responsible for the chemical incident in Idlib, Syria, it has uncovered no such evidence implicating Moscow, because Russia is wilier in scrambling its communications.

The anonymous official reportedly told the American news channel that the US intelligence community had intercepted communications “featuring Syrian military and chemical experts talking about preparations for the sarin attack in Idlib last week.” While the source failed to provide any concrete details about the alleged communication – such when it was intercepted or what names or other information it contained – they did note that the US “did not know prior to the attack it was going to happen.”

 
Idlib, Syria April 4, 2017. © Ammar Abdullah

CNN speculated that the communication had been sent prior to the incident, but was not processed until the US began investigating it.

The source added that “there are no intelligence intercepts that have been found directly confirming that Russian military or intelligence officials communicated about the attack,” but noted “the likelihood is the Russians are more careful in their communications to avoid being intercepted.”

The most specific proof the source could come up with was his observation that Russia has a surveillance drone, which he claimed “flew over the hospital that was treating people injured in the attack.”

CNN suggested that even if the US had evidence of Russia’s involvement, it might not go public with it, as “the US feels right now that it has made the case that Russian support for [Syrian President Bashar] Assad must end.”

The report is the latest in a long series based on anonymous sources – with undisclosed agendas citing vague evidence which is never submitted to public scrutiny – that the mainstream media has deployed to level accusations against Russia. The story that Russia allegedly meddled in the US election has become a dominant narrative for opponents of Donald Trump, who are still trying to explain his surprise victory.

The major media outlets’ eagerness to blame Russia for everything occasionally leads to embarrassment, however. A fairly spectacular example came in January, when the Washington Post was forced to backtrack on a story that falsely claimed Russia had hacked into Vermont’s power grid. The newspaper also sparked outrage in December by touting a list of “Russian propaganda” websites, which turned out to include many respected independent media sources.

The alarming trend is not limited to the US media, however. Last year, the Guardian failed to accurately report on an Italian newspaper’s interview with Julian Assange. The British newspaper falsely painted WikiLeaks’ founder as a Trump supporter who would not criticize Moscow because he was presumably in league with the Russian government.

Some examples go back years. In 2014, the New York Times published photos of armed men, claiming that they were Russian troops on a clandestine mission in Ukraine. The newspaper had taken the images from the US State Department, and both had failed to properly verify them.

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