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Weekend Series on Crime History: Nixon Calls LBJ About Death of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover

Donald Trump Acknowledges Mexico Won’t Pay for the Wall – At least Not for Now

Donald TrumpBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump pledged repeatedly during the presidential election that he was going to build a border wall and make Mexico pay for it.

Now the president-elect is backing away from that promise – at least for now – and wants Congress to pay for a wall that may cost more than $10 billion dollars.

After news broke Thursday evening of the plan to ask Congress for the money, Trump once again blamed the news media.

“The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later,” Trump tweeted this morning.

It’s unclear how it’s the media’s fault since Mexico President Enrique Pena Nieto, during Trump’s visit during the campaign, said his country had no intention of paying for the wall.

Trump, an Early Critic of Intelligence Agencies, Plans to Restructure the CIA

CIA headquarters

CIA headquarters

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President-elect Donald Trump, who has mocked U.S. intelligence agencies, plans to restructure the CIA and reduce staffing at its Virginia headquarters by moving more people into field posts worldwide. 

Sources familiar with the planning told the Wall Street Journal that Trump believes the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has become politicized and bloated. 

“The view from the Trump team is the intelligence world has become completely politicized,” said the individual, who is close to the Trump transition. “They all need to be slimmed down. The focus will be on restructuring the agencies and how they interact.”

Trump has criticized the CIA and other intelligence agencies for what he says are misrepresentations of Russia trying to influence the presidential election.

His criticism of those agencies has drawn fire from both sides of the aisle.

Democrats Declined Requests by FBI to Inspect Hacked Computer Servers

democratic national comitteeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The Democratic National Committee wouldn’t allow federal agents to inspect computer servers that had been infiltrated by hackers during the presidential campaign, forcing the FBI to rely on third-party cyber security data, Bloomberg reports. 

The news comes on the eve of President-elect Donald Trump meeting with U.S. intelligence chiefs to get briefed on Russia’s alleged involvement in the hack.

The intelligence agencies went on the defensive this week after Trump repeatedly expressed criticism that senior Russian officials were responsible for the hacking.

“The Democratic National Committee would not allow the FBI to study or see its computer info after it was supposedly hacked by Russia……” Trump said. “So how and why are they so sure about hacking if they never even requested an examination of the computer servers? What is going on?”

In a statement, the FBI confirmed Trumps claim.

“The FBI repeatedly stressed to DNC officials the necessity of obtaining direct access to servers and data, only to be rebuffed until well after the initial compromise had been mitigated,” the agency said. “This left the FBI no choice but to rely upon a third party for information. These actions caused significant delays and inhibited the FBI from addressing the intrusion earlier.”

Border Patrol Agents Rescue Mexican National Who Was Drowning

border patrolBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Border Patrol agents spotted a woman struggling to stay afloat in the All-American Canal in California on Wednesday evening after she climbed a fence and fell into the water.

Calexico Border Patrol agents rescued the woman, saving her from drowning, KYMA reports. 

The 29-year-old Mexican national was taken to a medical center in Yuma, Az., where she was treated for hypothermia and anxiety.

After she recovered, she was taken to the Calexico Border Patrol Station for processing and will be returned to Mexico.

The El Central Sector Border Patrol has been credited with rescuing six people since Oct. 1, 2016.

DEA to Open New Office in China to Combat Sale of Synthetic Drugs

Synthetic opioid tablets

Synthetic opioid tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Hoping to combat China’s role in the drug trade, the DEA is planning to open a new office in Southern China, and a top administrator is visiting the country next week.

The visit will be the first in more than a decade for the DEA, the Associated Press reports. 

DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg plans to visit Beijing, Guangzhou and Hong Kong next week.

China invited the DEA to help crack down on the increasing sale of synthetic drugs to the U.S.

If all goes as planned, two special agents will occupy a new office in the city of Guangzhou.

“Intelligence and investigative information have shown that Guangzhou has strong ties to international drug trafficking organizations operating in China and elsewhere,” Russell Baer, a DEA special agent in Washington, said in an email. “These criminal groups in Guangzhou utilize trade-based money laundering schemes to legitimize drug profits, use the port facilities as a transit point to ship illegal narcotics, and purchase synthetic drugs along with precursor chemicals.”

Other Stories of Interest

Justice Department Identifies FBI Agent Behind Leak about Insider Trading

fbigunbadgeBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI employee who admitted leaking information to reporters about an investigation into insider trading involving a Las Vegas sports gambler and golfer Phil Mickelson was a coordinating supervisory special agent, U.S. prosecutors said Wednesday.

Prosecutors named David Chaves as the agent who provided reporters with information about the investigation of gambler William “Billy” Walter, Huffington Post reports. 

Prosecutors said Chaves admitted he was a “significant source” of information to reporters at the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

The case has been compromised because of the leaks, and Walter’s attorney is asking for charges to be dropped.

Chaves oversaw the FBI team investigating the case. He has not yet been charged.

FBI Never Examined Servers of DNC, But Still Blamed Russia-Linked Hackers

hacking By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI blamed Russian-backed hackers for infiltrating servers of the Democratic National Committee without ever examining the servers.

BuzzFeed reports that no one from the U.S. government conducted an independent forensic analysis on the system. 

“The DNC had several meetings with representatives of the FBI’s Cyber Division and its Washington (DC) Field Office, the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices, and it responded to a variety of requests for cooperation, but the FBI never requested access to the DNC’s computer servers,” Eric Walker, the DNC’s deputy communications director, told BuzzFeed News in an email.

The FBI, however, hired a third-part tech security company, CrowdStrike, which concluded in May that the servers had been accessed by Russia-linked hackers.

“CrowdStrike is pretty good. There’s no reason to believe that anything that they have concluded is not accurate,” the intelligence official said, adding they were confident Russia was behind the widespread hacks.

The FBI declined to comment.

“Beginning at the time the intrusion was discovered by the DNC, the DNC cooperated fully with the FBI and its investigation, providing access to all of the information uncovered by CrowdStrike — without any limits,” said Walker, whose emails were stolen and subsequently distributed throughout the cyberattack.