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Allegra Kirkland

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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Carter Page acknowledged Friday that he was copied on an email chain in which fellow Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos suggested hooking the Trump team up with Russian government officials.

“I was one of many people on that email chain,” the perpetually chatty Page told CNN’s Jake Tapper in an on-air interview.

The March 24, 2016 email in question was highlighted in the plea agreement Papadopoulos entered into after lying to FBI agents about the extent of his contacts with individuals like Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor of diplomacy who allegedly spent months trying to connect Papadopoulos with Russian officials.

In it, Papadopoulos said he was taking steps “to arrange a meeting between us and the Russian leadership to discuss U.S.-Russia ties under President Trump,” according to court records. The email went to “several members of the Campaign’s foreign policy team,” prosecutors alleged. Among those receiving the email, it has since been reported, was Sam Clovis, who told Papadopoulos: “Great work.”

Page told CNN that he had never heard about Mifsud’s subsequent offer to provide Russian government “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, which was also detailed in court records

He told Tapper his interactions with Papadopoulos during the campaign were limited to a “couple of brief conversations” and a “few emails.”

Page also divulged that he had told “a few other people” on the campaign that he planned to travel to Moscow in July 2016 to deliver a speech in his capacity as a private citizen. News that he had mentioned the visit to Attorney General Jeff Sessions drew headlines, as it complicated Sessions’ claims that he did not know about the Trump campaign’s Russia contacts.

Asked who else was informed, Page played coy, saying, “It will come out.”

Politico previously reported that Page told then-campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, his fellow national security adviser J.D. Gordon, and spokeswoman Hope Hicks about the trip.

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Democrats on Capitol Hill want answers from Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

This week’s deluge of fresh information from congressional and federal investigators revealed two previously undisclosed instances in which Sessions was allegedly directly informed about contacts between Russia and Trump campaign staffers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos.

Though Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) cautioned that perjury allegations were based on a “very careful standard,” he and other top Democrats claim Sessions appears to have failed to disclose the extent of what he knew about these contacts in his testimony to Congress.

That testimony has varied in its specificity. In June, Sessions gave a flat “no” to the Senate Intelligence Committee when asked if he was “aware of any communications” between Trump campaign officials “about Russia or Russian interests in the United States” prior to Trump’s inauguration. He offered a narrower response before the Senate Judiciary Committee in October, saying only that he had seen nothing “that would indicate collusion with Russians to impact the campaign” when asked if he’d ever overheard conversations with campaign staffers “who talked about meeting with the Russians.”

However Sessions chooses to interpret lawmakers’ questions, we now know of at least three instances in which he was allegedly told about or personally participated in communications with Russian officials or institutions during the 2016 campaign.

Those Two Times Sessions Met With The Russian Ambassador

Sessions incidentally kicked off a chain of events that led to the appointment of a special counsel to oversee the Russia probe when he said during his confirmation hearing that he was “not aware” of any communications between the Trump campaign and Russian government, nor had he himself had any.

As it turned out, Sessions had twice met with Sergey Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States. Furor over this discrepancy ended up prompting his recusal from the Russia investigation, clearing the way for Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein eventually to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel in the Russia investigation

Sessions’ defense that he’d had those meetings in his capacity as a senator was belied by his role as a prominent surrogate of the Trump campaign and by intelligence intercepts that showed Kislyak boasting to his superiors in Moscow of speaking to the Alabama Republican about campaign-related matters.

When Papadopoulos Offered To Hook Trump Up With Putin

At a March 2016 meeting with the campaign’s hastily-assembled foreign policy team attended by Sessions, then-aide George Papadopoulos allegedly offered to use his “connections” to orchestrate a meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Trump insists his memory of this meeting, which came out in court documents unsealed Monday, is hazy. But a source told NBC News that Sessions immediately “shut down this idea of Papadopoulos engaging with Russia,” pivoting the conversation to other topics.

That same source later modified those remarks, saying it was unclear that Sessions remembered putting the kibosh on this Trump-Putin meeting, but that he definitely did so.

When Page Told Sessions He Was Traveling To Moscow

In testimony to the House Intelligence Committee and an interview with CNN this week, former campaign adviser Carter Page divulged for the first time that he allegedly told Sessions he planned to travel to Moscow in July 2016.

Page said he mentioned the trip, which he said was “completely unrelated” to his campaign role, “in passing” during a brief encounter with Sessions.

A source familiar with the conversation told CNN that the run-in happened at a June 2016 dinner at the Capitol Hill Club attended by members of Trump’s national security team, and that Sessions “didn’t respond” when Page informed him of his upcoming visit.

Page has previously said that he met no Russian government officials during that trip to deliver a speech at the New Economic School.

As these new alleged details about his attorney general trickle out, Trump has other matters on his mind. He sent off a flurry of tweets Friday urging the Justice Department to look into how the Democrats “rigged” the 2016 primary and told reporters he was “disappointed” in the department for failing to take those steps.

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The number of anti-Semitic incidents reported in the U.S. has increased by 67 percent from 2016 to 2017, according to an Anti-Defamation League (ADL) audit released Thursday.

Some 1,299 incidents of physical assaults, vandalism, and defacement of Jewish institutions occurred between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30 of this year, compared to 779 over the same period last year, with a notable spike after August’s violent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

The audit also found a notable increase in anti-Semitic bullying and vandalism in schools. Incidents in K-12 grade schools during the period covered by the review more than doubled from 130 to 269, while those on college campuses went from 74 to 118.

In Healdsburg, California, for example, a sixth-grade Jewish boy was taunted with swastikas and cigarette lighters and told by classmates that they would burn him “like they did in the Holocaust.”

Other examples cited by the ADL include a Fairfax, Virginia Jewish Community Center being defaced with the SS symbol and words “Hitler was right,” and an Orthodox Jewish woman in Brooklyn being called a “fucking Jew” by an assailant who pulled her wig off.

“We are astonished and horrified by the rise in anti-Semitic harassment, incidents and violence targeting our communities,” ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt said in a statement. “While the tragedy in Charlottesville highlighted this trend, it was not an aberration. Every single day, white supremacists target members of the Jewish community—holding rallies in public, recruiting on college campuses, attacking journalists on social media, and even targeting young children.”

The ADL’s data is drawn from victims, law enforcement, and community leaders, and includes both criminal and non-criminal acts.

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The Justice Department is considering charging six Russian government officials allegedly involved in hacking and obtaining sensitive information from the Democratic National Committee’s computers during the 2016 campaign, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

People familiar with the investigation told the newspaper that discussions about whether to bring a case are in early stages but that it could happen as soon as next year.

As the report points out, the U.S. would be more likely to publicly identify those individuals and impose significant restrictions on their travel than actually attempt to arrest and jail them.

The case could shed light on how exactly the DNC’s computers were infiltrated. The U.S. intelligence community’s January assessment that the Kremlin “ordered an influence campaign” aimed at disrupting the 2016 race offered little detail on how intelligence agencies reached that determination and did not identify any specific actors involved.

The DNC case is a joint investigation by federal prosecutors and FBI agents based in Washington, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Philadelphia, and is being conducted separately from special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe, according to the Journal.

The Russian government has denied interfering in the U.S. election, and President Donald Trump has cast doubt on the conclusion that the Kremlin was behind it, positing that other countries could also have conducted cyberattacks against Democratic operatives and organizations.

The Associated Press reported Thursday that Russian hackers’ 2016 targets extended far beyond the U.S. presidential race, targeting Russian opposition figures and U.S. defense contractors.

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Being under federal investigation hasn’t stopped former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos from trying to advance his career.

Four months ago, shortly before he was arrested for lying to FBI agents about his contacts with Russian nationals during the campaign, he asked his followers on LinkedIn for their “thoughts” on him pursuing a congressional run. In October, around the time he pleaded guilty to those allegations, he expressed interest “in meeting with prominent publisher” and queried his LinkedIn connections for recommendations. And just a week ago, before his case was unsealed, Papadopoulos put out a call for “speaker bureau recommendations.”

This might seem like a remarkable degree of hubris for someone facing felony charges. But it represents a pattern for the 30-year-old Chicago native, who leveraged an inflated resume and the chaos of the crowded 2016 Republican primary into advisory roles on two major presidential campaigns.

On LinkedIn, a platform designed for self-promotion, Papadopoulos’ penchant for self-inflation stands out, dating back to his years at DePaul University, where he graduated in 2009 with a degree in political science.

Dick Farkas, Papadopoulos’ former professor and a Russia expert at the university, remembered him as a “nondescript” and not “particularly noteworthy” student who displayed no “particular interest” in Russian affairs.

Noting that Papadopoulos describes himself as concentrating on “international political economy,” Farkas told TPM that the school offers political science students no option for a concentration or specific regional focus and called it a “classic case of George embellishing his credentials.”

The listed phone number was disconnected at the Lincoln Square residence where the Chicago Tribune reported Papadopoulos currently lives with his mother and brother. A message left for his father, Antonios Papadopoulos, at his nephrology office in the suburb of Addison was not returned.

After receiving a masters degree from the University College London in 2010, Papadopoulos settled in Washington, D.C., where he claims on his LinkedIn to have spent some four and a half years as a “research associate” at the Hudson Institute, a conservative think tank. The institute told the Washington Post he was actually an unpaid intern who served as a contracted researcher to several fellows working on a book.

With just this thin resume and a few appearances at energy conferences abroad under his belt, Papadopoulos reached out to to Ben Carson’s campaign manager, Barry Bennett, through a LinkedIn message asking for a job, as Bennett recalled to the Post. Eager to beef up the campaign’s foreign policy team, Bennett told the Post he simply asked a friend at the Hudson Institute if Papadopoulos was an “okay guy” and brought him on board.

After a six-week stint with the Carson campaign, Papadopoulos was cut loose in January 2016 as part of what Bennett told the Post was an effort to reduce staffing costs.

How exactly Papadopoulos landed on Trump’s foreign policy team a few months later remains unclear. What’s known is that Sam Clovis, then the campaign co-chairman, was tasked with quickly pulling together a foreign policy advisory team, and that Papadopoulos’ name ended up on a list of five individuals that Trump announced were advising him on national security issues at a March 21 meeting with the Washington Post’s editorial board.

Court documents say that Clovis told Papadopoulos on March 6, shortly before he officially joined the campaign, that improved U.S.-Russia relations were a “principal foreign policy focus.” The young volunteer adviser seemed to take this advice and run with it, leveraging his new campaign title to communications with individuals he “understood to have substantial connections to Russian government officials,” according to his statement of offense.

One was Joseph Mifsud, a London-based professor of diplomacy, who Papadopoulos told senior Trump officials could connect the campaign with high-ranking officials in Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Papadopoulos told the Trump team that another one of his connections was Vladimir Putin’s niece, though the FBI said the “Female Russian national” he met with actually had no relation to the Russian president.

Farkas, Papadopoulos’ former professor, told TPM he was skeptical his one-time student was actually making these kinds of high-level connections.

“I’ve traveled enough and I’ve studied enough about things Russian to know that he did not have the access he was claiming to,” he said.

In an interview this year, Papadopoulos told the Wall Street Journal he stayed on the campaign through the transition. His first interview with the FBI came on Jan. 27, just seven days after Trump was sworn in.

Though his recent LinkedIn queries suggest he’s continued to pursue a range of professional options while assisting the Mueller investigation, he currently appears to have no formal affiliation and is listed only as an independent “oil, gas and policy consultant.” In October, he tweeted a photograph of himself holding a briefcase on a London street with the hashtag #business.

The only current affiliation listed on his page is membership in the Cyprus-based International Presidential Business Advisory Council.

Contacted about this listing in August, the head of the organization, John Georgoulas, told TPM that “Papadopoulos is NOT a member of IPBAC, never was and we have never worked together.”

His claim to membership, Georgoulas added, was “weird and not true!”

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Muslims. Undocumented immigrants. Black Lives Matter activists.

These were among the groups targeted in the Facebook ads purchased by Russia-linked accounts during the 2016 election and released Wednesday by the House Intelligence Committee. Though the small number of ads made public make it difficult to confirm that the ads are a “representative sampling,” as Democrats on the committee claim, those released shore up reporting about Russia’s efforts to stoke American voters’ fears of their Muslim, black and Latino neighbors.

Four of the ads, from the page Stop All Invaders, disparaged Islam with messages about the need to “kick Sharia out of America” and the “security risk” posed by burqa-wearing women who could be terrorists in disguise.

Another pair of ads focused on undocumented Latino immigration.

“Border Patrol agents in South Texas arrested an illegal alien from Honduras that had previously been deported and convicted of Rape Second Degree,” read one ad from Heart of Texas written in garbled English.

“Thanks to Obama’s and Hillary’s policy, illegals come here because they wait for amnesty promised,” the ad, which appears to have been shared over 1,000 times, continued. Another sponsored image from what is billed as a “news & media website” called Secured Borders entices people to join their group with an image of a yellow road sign that reads, “No invaders allowed.”

There is also an anti-Black Lives Matter advertisement from a group called “Being Patriotic” which blames a “BLM movement activist” for “another gruesome attack on police.” While the text itself says that an East Boston man “critically injured” two officers, the image in the body reads “our hearts are with those 11 heroes,” suggesting the one ad may be splicing together information from separate incidents.

As TPM has previously reported, Black Lives Matter was a particular target in ads run by Russian troll farms during the election.

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Former Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis was questioned last week by special counsel Robert Mueller and testified before the investigating grand jury in the inquiries into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election, NBC News reported Tuesday.

Clovis served as the supervisor to George Papadopoulos, a foreign policy adviser to the campaign who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his efforts to broker a meeting between the Trump team and Russian government, and who is now cooperating with federal investigators.

A person with first-hand knowledge of the matter told NBC that Clovis’ interviews occurred. Clovis’ lawyer, Victoria Toensing, told the network she would not “get into that,” but confirmed that Clovis was the unnamed “campaign supervisor” referenced in court documents about Papadopoulos’ plea.

In those documents, Clovis told Papadopoulos he’d done “great work” with his initial outreach to Russians who wanted to set up a meeting with the campaign. In Aug. 2016, Clovis also said he “would encourage” Papadopoulos to set up an “off the record” meeting with Russian officials in Europe “if it is feasible.”

Toensing told NBC that the campaign strictly prohibited staffers from making trips abroad on behalf of the campaign, but that Papadopoulos would have been allowed to do so in his capacity as a private citizen.

The FBI has said that no such trip ever occurred.

Hints that the FBI had interviewed other Trump advisers cropped up in the U.S. government’s motion to seal Papadopoulos plea agreement, which was among the documents about his case made public Monday. Federal prosecutors requested that details about the case remain quiet to allow campaign officials to be questioned before they learned that Papadopoulos was cooperating.

“The government will very shortly seek, among other investigate steps, to interview certain individuals who may have knowledge of contacts between Russian nationals (or Russia-connected foreign nationals) and the campaign, including the contacts between the defendant and foreign nationals set forth in the Statement of Offense,” the document reads.

The FBI agent whose affidavit was attached to the motion made almost exactly the same point.

Clovis is currently awaiting Senate confirmation before the Agriculture Committee to serve as the U.S. Agriculture Department’s chief scientist, though he is not a scientist.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday that she was “not aware that any change” in Clovis’ nomination would be “necessary at this time.”

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Former Trump adviser George Papadopolous’ newly-released plea agreement is littered with the redacted names of other campaign officials he allegedly informed about his efforts to hook them up with Russian nationals, making prosecutors’ claims rather hard to follow.

TPM’s design team has gone through the document and plugged in the missing names of those senior campaign staffers, as identified by the Washington Post, to make it easier to parse.

Per the Post’s reporting, the “high-ranking campaign official” was former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski; “another high-ranking campaign official” was campaign chairman Paul Manafort; “another campaign official” was chairman Manafort’s deputy Rick Gates. The “campaign supervisor” was campaign co-chair and policy adviser Sam Clovis, as his attorney confirmed to the newspaper. And one “senior policy advisor” referenced in the document has yet to be identified.

Check out TPM’s annotated document below:

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Given the lack of savviness with which George Papadopoulos tried to disappear a months-long effort to get Trump campaign officials in a room with Russian government officials who had “dirt” on Hillary Clinton, he may as well have been just a campaign “coffee boy.”

According to Papadopoulos’ guilty plea unsealed Monday, the former Trump campaign advisor attempted to conceal that work from the FBI, destroying records and lying to agents. So instead of landing what he billed to other campaign staff as a “history making” meeting between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Papadopoulos’ back-channel dealings landed him federal charges.

His first missteps came during his initial interview with FBI agents in Chicago on Jan. 27. Papadopoulos’ statement of offense makes no mention of any counsel accompanying him to that sit-down, where agents informed him that the interview was “completely voluntary,” that lying to the FBI was a “federal offense” and that he could get “in trouble” for doing so.

Papadopoulos proceeded to tell all manner of falsehoods about the “extent, timing, and nature of his communications” with multiple individuals with close ties to the Russian government, according to the statement. One was that a professor with links to Russian officials who supposedly had “dirt” on Clinton approached him about said dirt before he joined the campaign, when in fact he did so over a month after Papadopoulos joined the Trump campaign.

Nick Oberheiden, a federal criminal defense attorney, told TPM that Papadopoulos’ false statements likely served as the “little mosaic pieces” that provided the FBI with the “slam dunk required to make it over the probable cause hurdle” to obtain a search warrant to dig through his online communications.

Once the FBI did, they found copious emails detailing Papadopoulos’ efforts to coordinate an in-person meeting between senior Russian officials and high-level Trump campaign staffers that directly contradicted what he’d told them.

As those communications made clear, growing scrutiny of Trump’s fondness for Putin, which escalated after the GOP candidate urged the Russian government to hack Clinton’s emails in a July 2016 press conference, didn’t dissuade Papadopoulos from continuing to try to organize such a meeting.

Papadopoulos went on to express eagerness to cooperate in a second interview with the FBI on Feb. 16, this time with his counsel present. According to the statement of offense detailing the case, the very next day Papadopoulos deactivated a Facebook account he’d maintained since 2005 that contained records of his communications regarding Russia; several days later, on Feb. 23, he stopped using his cell phone and acquired a new number.

Papadopoulos’ attorneys did not respond to TPM’s request for comment on whether he notified them that he would be taking those steps, which were later cited as evidence he was trying to “impede the FBI’s ongoing investigation.”

As Oberheiden, the criminal defense attorney noted, “I would not advise a client to delete Facebook or anything that may contain information regarding this investigation because then you really get into the obstruction of justice area and that’s a tricky offense.”

Trump and his allies have dismissed the notion that Papadopoulos could possess any information damaging to the campaign, arguing that the 30-year-old, who until recently listed Model U.N. as experience on his LinkedIn profile, was a “volunteer” and “coffee boy” with no real influence. But he was one of just five people Trump named as members of his foreign policy advisory team in March 2016, and emails show he was in frequent touch with senior campaign staffers, forwarding them lengthy chains detailing his efforts to set up a meeting with Russian officials.

And Oberheiden and other attorneys point out that the special counsel likely targeted Papadopoulos precisely because he was a low-level aide who would be easy to “flip,” convincing him to provide any information he may possess about other campaign staffers in exchange for a reduced sentence. The statement of offense notes that in the three months since Papadopoulos was arrested at Dulles International Airport, he has “met with the Government on numerous occasions to provide information and answer questions.”

Until the content of those conversations comes out, Trump’s team is reduced to arguing that the people the campaign named to advisory roles had no idea what they were doing.

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