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FBI, Spy Agencies Investigating Links Between Russia And Trump Advisers

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI and U.S. intelligence agencies have launched multiple investigation into President Trump’s relationship with Russia during and after the 2016 election, four national security officials told Bloomberg

The focus is on Trump’s advisers and associates who are suspected of talking with Russian officials.

Federal authorities also are investigating Russia’s efforts to disrupt the presidential election.

Bloomberg wrote:

Trump associates whose activities the agencies are examining include his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, energy consultant Carter Page, longtime Republican operative Roger Stone and Flynn, two of the officials said. Manafort, in a statement to Bloomberg, said he “never had any connection to Putin or the Russian government — either directly or indirectly — before during or after the campaign.”

The FBI has two parallel ongoing investigations, one official said. A counterintelligence investigation is looking at Russian espionage activities and to what extent, if any, they involve communications with or collusion by U.S. officials. The second, a cybersecurity investigation, is probing the hacking of U.S. political groups and operatives.

TSA Discovers Hidden Sword Inside a Cane Used by 80-Year-Old Woman

TSA sword found at an airport, via Myrtle Beach International Airport.

TSA sword found at an airport, via Myrtle Beach International Airport.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

An 80-year-old woman was surprised when she learned that her walking cane contained a hidden sword that was discovered by security at a South Carolina airport, the TSA said.

The woman relinquished her cane after security found a hidden blade nearly the length of the cane at the Myrtle Beach International Airport., the Sun News reports. 

“She had no clue it was in there,” TSA spokesman Mark Howell said.

The woman said she received the cane from her son.

The TSA said it’s not uncommon for people to buy items at thrift stores without knowing that a weapon is stored inside.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Investigated Flynn’s Conversations with Russian Ambassador

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

Former National Security Adviser Michael T. Flynn

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Shortly after President took office, the FBI began questioning ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador, the New York Times reports. 

While it’s not yet clear what Flynn said during the interviews, he faces potential felony charges of lying to FBI investigators.

Flynn resigned Monday after it was discovered that he discussed sanctions against Russia with the country’s ambassador.

On Jan. 26, the Justice Department altered the White House that Flynn could be subjected to blackmail by the Russian because of what he said n the phone calls.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that Trump knew Flynn wasn’t truthful with administration officials about the conversations.

“We’ve been reviewing and evaluating this issue with respect to General Flynn on a daily basis for a few weeks, trying to ascertain the truth,” Spicer said.

Detroit Free Press: What Did President Trump Know about Flynn’s Talks with Russia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Editorial Board
Detroit Free Press

What did the president know and when did he know it?

That’s the question reasonable people in the Justice Department, the national security bureaucracy, and the Congress are asking themselves in the wake of Michael Flynn’s abrupt ouster as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser.

Flynn may have set a new indoor record for cabinet-level malfeasance when he was forced to resign scarcely three weeks into his tenure. His departure came after the U.S. Justice Department warned the White House that U.S. intelligence agencies had intercepted a Dec. 29 phone conversation in which Flynn hinted to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak that Trump would revisit the punitive sanctions then-President Barack Obama had imposed on Kislyak’s government earlier that day.

Trump has criticized the sanctions, which the Obama administration ordered in retaliation for Russian interference in the U.S. election, and praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for his restrained reaction to them.

It is illegal for civilians to negotiate foreign policy on behalf of the U.S. government, and Flynn, a former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, vehemently denied discussing sanctions with Kislyak during the transition. Among the administration officials who rose to his defense was Vice President Mike Pence, who reiterated the national security adviser’s denials in a televised interview.

But Flynn began revising his account last weekend after reports surfaced that the Justice Department had reported the incriminating intercepts to the White House, and in his resignation letter he apologized for providing Pence with what he described as an “incomplete” summary of his telephone conversation with Kislyak.

To read more click here. 

FBI Doubles Reward in Case of Chicago Journalist Killed in Belize

Anne Swaney, 39

Anne Swaney, 39

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has doubled its reward for information in helping solve the 2016 murder of a Chicago journalist in Belize.

The FBI upped its reward to $20,000 in hopes of tracking down the killer of Anne Swaney, a 39-year-old Chicago resident who was murdered in western Belize on Jan. 14.

Swaney, executive producer of online operations for ABC7, was staying at a remote resort when she was strangled and sustained blunt force trauma to the neck and head.

Swan’s body was found in a river.

Border Patrol Agents Discover Catapult Used to Smuggle Drugs

A catapult found at the Mexico-Arizona border, via CBP.

A catapult found at the Mexico-Arizona border, via CBP.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents found a catapult that smugglers were using to throw bundles of marijuana over the Mexican border in Arizona.

Agents on patrol near the Douglas Port Entry discovered the device on Feb. 10, The Arizona Republic reports. 

Several people who were seen near the catapult fled upon seeing the agents.

Agents found two bundles of marijuana that weighed nearly 50 pounds.

Mexican authorities seized the catapult.

Secret Service Director Clancy Is Stepping Down After 2 Years on the Job

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy

Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Two years after taking the job, Secret Service Director Joseph Clancy plans to step down.

Clancy was appointed after fallout from security lapses by agents.

“Congratulations Dir Clancy on your retirement! The men & women of the @SecretService are grateful for your 29 years of service & leadership,” the Secret Service said on Twitter.

Clancy plans to step down on March 4.

President Trump is now charged with appointing Clancy’s replacement.

Clancy was appointed by President Obama.

Other Stories of Interest

Republican Leadership Calls for FBI Assessment of Trump Media Leaks

whitehouseBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee are calling for the FBI to investigate recent media leaks involving sensitive discussions in the Trump administration.

“We are going to be outlining all of our concerns over the last 60 days that appear to all be related, maybe even coordinated in some ways,” committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., told Fox News. “I am going to be asking the FBI to do an assessment of this to tell us what’s going on here because we cannot continue to have these leaks as a government.”

Among the leaks are conversations between the now-former National Security Adviser Mike Flynn and Russia; phone calls between President Trump and the leaders of Australia and Mexico; and the investigation into Russia’s role in the U.S. election.

“If [the conversation] was picked up inadvertently, then that would have had to been approved by someone in the last administration to actually unmask his name so that the FBI or intelligence officials knew who it was on the other end of the phone talking to the Russian ambassador,” Nunes explained. “If in fact the press reports are right, someone made the decision to deliberately listen to General Flynn’s phone calls and that is, I think, unprecedented, unwarranted, and flat-out wrong.”