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Company bidding to store US nuclear codes has links to sanctioned Russian oligarch

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A technology company linked to a sanctioned Russian oligarch is among the bidders for a Pentagon contract to store sensitive data — possibly even U.S. nuclear codes.

Viktor Vekselberg, who is close to the Kremlin and has ties to former Trump organization attorney Michael Cohen, also has links to one of the bidders for the cyber-cloud database called the JEDI project, reported the BBC.

The Russian oligarch has links to the cyber-investment firm C5 Group, which has worked closely with the leading bidder, Amazon Web Services.

Both C5 and AWS told the BBC that the Vekselber-linked investment firm was not involved in any way with the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure bid.

All bids for the cloud are sealed, and the Pentagon refused to comment on the report.

The U.S. Treasury Department has sanctioned Vekselberg under the Magnitsky Act for his links to the Kremlin, and he was questioned by agents working for special counsel Robert Mueller — who also seized his electronic devices.

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Vekselberg, a Putin friend who founded the Renova Group investment firm, was also a business partner of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross through the Bank of Cyprus.

The JEDI would hold military data — including classified details about weapons systems, military personnel, intelligence and operations — held in a storage cloud, rather than smaller servers across different departments at the Pentagon.

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‘This is ridiculous’: ex-prosecutor rips Democrats for not even swearing-in Hope Hicks before her testimony

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The House Judiciary Committee failed in how they went about interviewing Hope Hicks, the longtime Trump advisor who rose to White House communications director.

On Thursday, the committee released a 273-page transcript of Hicks testimony behind closed doors.

For analysis, MSNBC "Hardball" anchor Chris Matthews interviewed former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne.

Lawyers representing Hicks repeatedly objected to her answer questions.

"What is this thing, this word objection? This is loaded, all this wasted paper, a lot of this paper simply has the word objection on it," Matthews said, holding up a 271-page printout of Hicks' transcript.

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Hope Hicks told Congress that Trump has cut her out of his life — he virtually never calls her anymore

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Former White House Communications Director Hope Hicks was broadly considered to be one of President Donald Trump's favorite staffers.

But when she left the administration in 2018, the president virtually cut off ties to her, and has only spoken with her five times since then, according to the transcript of the closed-door hearing in the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday:

In her interview, Hope Hicks says she has only spoken to Trump between five and ten times since she left the White House in February 2018. (He used to call that much in a day.) They last spoke in April, when they had dinner. Our story from yesterday:https://t.co/3gzVY21c3z pic.twitter.com/VMZqhnbgib

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Elections regulator warns foreign intrusion into US campaigns is already happening

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In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Federal Elections Commission is warning that there is already foreign intrusion in the U.S. campaigns.

FEC chair Ellen L. Weintraub was forced to issue a statement after President Donald Trump said that he wasn't sure what he would do if a foreign government approached him with "dirt" on his political opponent. He said that he "might" tell the FBI but would likely hear what they had to say. He said that it wasn't illegal, but Weintraub issued a statement reiterating that it is illegal.

"I am particularly concerned about the risk of illicit funds and foreign support influencing our political system. Foreign dark money represents a significant vulnerability for American democracy. We do not know the extent to which our political campaigns receive foreign dark money, but we do know that the political money can be weaponized by well-funded hostile powers," the letter warned.

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