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‘Moscow was happy, I’m sure’: FBI agents rush to defense of investigator booted off Trump inquiry

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Former and current FBI agents who worked with an investigator assigned to look into Russian collusion with Trump campaign staffers have come to his defense after it was revealed he was shunted aside for exchanging anti-Trump texts with another official.

According to Business Insider, veteran counterintelligence agent Peter Strzok has seen his name drug through the mud after he was exposed as the agent who was reassigned by the Washington Post, with conservatives calling special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation “tainted” because of him.

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The attacks on the longtime FBI agent have rankled many who have worked with him, with one saying his banishment from the Trump investigation should make Moscow “happy.”

According to Frank Montoya, Jr., a former FBI special agent who served as the Director of the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive, the assault on Strzok fall in line with the Trump administration’s continuing war on U.S. intelligence agencies that date back to right after the 2016 election.

While some agents have dismissed Trump’s complaints about the FBI as “nonsense,” Montoya was much more blunt.

“There is a lot of anger in the FBI (the entire intelligence community, for that matter) over how this president will say nary a negative word about the Russians, but will insult us every chance he gets,” Montoya said in an interview.”There’s a lot of partisan political white noise out there about Pete’s supposed ‘bias.’ It’s all nonsense. I’ve known Pete for a long time. I didn’t know what his political opinions were. Never asked. Never cared. That’s the way it was for the vast majority of us.”

Calling a Strzok a ” great loss to the investigation,” Montoya noted the timing and added, “Moscow was happy, I’m sure, when that happened.”

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Another agent — who spoke on background — described Strzok’s history with the bureau, saying the counterintelligence expert  “rose to the level of Deputy Assistant Director in the usual way: by being a reliable, consistent, and capable member of the executive team.”

Montoya also stepped up to defended Strzok from accusations that he manipulated the investigation into former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“There’s been a lot of accusation lately in the public arena about how Pete’s supposed biases may have affected outcome of the email investigation and predication for Russia investigation — more nonsense,” he explained. “Pete wasn’t the only guy working on those cases. His was one voice, albeit an important one, but there were other important voices in the mix, too.”

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Former FBI unit chief Mark Rossini also defend the agent, saying that like any normal human being, they may have opinions that interfere with their jobs.

“FBI agents, like anyone else, are human beings. We are allowed to have our political beliefs. If anything, the overwhelming majority of agents are conservative Republicans,” Rossini remarked. “It would be literally impossible for one human being to have the power to change or manipulate evidence or intelligence according to their own political preferences.”

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You can read the whole report here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Melania Trump statue torched near her Slovenian hometown: report

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On Wednesday, The Daily Beast reported that a wooden statue of First Lady Melania Trump carved from a tree outside her hometown in Slovenia last year has been burned to the ground.

"The artist who had commissioned the sculpture, Brad Downey, had the statue removed on July 5," reported Madeline Charbonneau. "Downey, who is American but works out of Berlin, had hoped his statue of the first lady would create dialogue about American politics, given that Melania Trump is an immigrant married to a president who seeks to stem immigration. Though the investigation is still pending, Downey said he hopes to interview the perpetrators for an upcoming exhibition."

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FBI investigating Chinese businessman who bankrolled media company linked to Steve Bannon

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A Wall Street Journal expose revealed that a Chinese businessman is under investigation by the FBI after he used funds to bankroll a media company with ties to a former aide to President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon.

"Federal Bureau of Investigation national security agents in recent months have asked people who know both men for information on Mr. Guo’s activities, including the source of funds of a media company linked to him that hired Mr. Bannon in 2018 as a consultant, the people said," according to the Journal. "As recently as last week, the FBI met with one person familiar with the companies tied to Mr. Guo, the people said. The probe has been underway for more than six months, and prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s offices in Manhattan and Brooklyn have been involved.

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Lady Antebellum changed their name for racial sensitivity — now they’re suing the Black singer who already used the name

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In June, as the national conversation about racial justice in the wake of the George Floyd killing pushed many groups and organizations to examine the racial connotations of their brands, the country music group Lady Antebellum announced they were changing their name to "Lady A" to remove reference to the slavery period of Southern history.

There was just one problem: an African-American blues singer in Seattle, Anita White, already went by that name. Now, according to Pitchfork, the band is going to court for the right to use the trademark.

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