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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.

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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.

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.

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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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GOP lawmakers melt down after Maryland AP history class teacher uses illustration to compare Trump to Nazis

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According to a report from the Washington Times, Maryland Republicans are up in arms after an AP history teacher at a local high school used a slide to illustrate similarities between Donald Trump's policies and those of the Nazis.

The report states, "A slide used in an Advanced Placement history class at Loch Raven High School in Towson shows a picture of Trump above pictures of a Nazi swastika and a flag of the Soviet Union. Two captions read 'wants to round up a group of people and build a giant wall' and 'oh, THAT is why it sounds so familiar!'"

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Stop praising anti-Trump evangelicals: Their embrace of authoritarianism is a big part of the problem

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At this critical moment for American democracy our media landscape is doing a poor job in its coverage of conservative white evangelicals. Coverage of this relatively large segment of the population is characterized by, on the one hand, effusive praise for the slightest milquetoast criticism of Donald Trump, and on the other, by a periodic parade of nearly interchangeable unfounded predictions about how evangelical youth are going to change America’s most radically right-wing demographic for the better—any day now. In the words of the great sage Bullwinkle J. Moose, “This time for sure!”

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2020 Election

Intel official who briefed lawmakers on latest Russian meddling targeted for ouster by Trump White House: CNN

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During a discussion on the war on the intelligence community being waged by the Donald Trump's White House, CNN host Victor Blackwell stated that sources speaking with the network stated that the intel official who briefed lawmakers for both parties on new efforts by Russia to meddle in U.S. elections could be on the way out.

Speaking with contributor Lynn Sweet, Blackwell asked about the so-called "purge" being conducted by the White House.

"It sends the signal once again that President Trump is not a respecter of the United States intelligence services with the bigger issue that a permanent director has not been in that office since last summer when Dan Coates was forced out," Sweet explained. "This is a key position, subject to Senate confirmation and Trump hasn't seen fit to have a permanent director for months now."

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