October 04, 2019

Ukraine, a DNC Server and a Tale of Sabotage That Seeped Into the Oval Office
In an April 2017 interview with The Associated Press, President Donald Trump suddenly began talking about the hack of the Democratic National Committee a year earlier, complaining that the FBI had not physically examined the compromised server."They brought in another company that I hear is Ukrainian-based," the president said."CrowdStrike?" the surprised reporter asked, referring to the California cybersecurity company that investigated how Russian government hackers had stolen and leaked Democratic emails, disrupting Hillary Clinton's campaign."That's what I heard," Trump resumed. "I heard it's owned by a very rich Ukrainian; that's what I heard."More than two years later, Trump was still holding on to this false conspiracy theory. In his July call with President Volodymyr Zelenskiy of Ukraine, he summed it up in a sort of shorthand -- at least according to the White House memorandum, labeled "not a verbatim transcript.""I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike … I guess you have one of your wealthy people …," the president said. It is unclear whether the ellipses indicate that words were omitted or that Trump's voice was trailing off.Then he added one novel detail: "The server, they say Ukraine has it."Now, Trump's call for Ukraine to look into his CrowdStrike story forms the background to the House impeachment inquiry, which is focused on the second request he made: that Zelenskiy investigate Trump's possible 2020 opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden. Trump has placed a concoction of disprovable claims, of the kind usually found on the fringes of the web, squarely in the middle of American politics and diplomacy.The tale of the supposedly hidden server may have appealed to Trump because it undercut a well-established fact that he has resented and resisted for three years: The Russian government interfered in the 2016 election to help him win, an effort thoroughly documented by American intelligence agencies and amply supported by public evidence.By contrast, there is no evidence to support the president's vague suggestion that Ukraine, not Russia, might be responsible for the hacking, or that CrowdStrike somehow connived in it. But his alternate history has provided a psychological shield for the president against facts that he believes tarnish his electoral victory.Trump has long called for better relations with Vladimir Putin's Russia and brushed aside complaints about its conduct. So there is a certain symmetry to his suggestion that Ukraine, Russia's opponent and the victim of its territorial grab, may somehow have framed Russia for the 2016 election activity."Ukraine is the perfect scapegoat for him, because it's the enemy of Russia," said Nina Jankowicz, a fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington who regularly visits Ukraine and is writing a book called "How to Lose the Information War."She noted that a number of Ukraine-linked stories, some of them distorted or exaggerated, have been pulled together by Trump's supporters into a single narrative.For example, there is the idea, promoted by the president's lawyer Rudy Giuliani, that Ukraine's government actively sabotaged Trump's 2016 campaign. A Ukrainian-American lawyer who consulted for the DNC looked into the finances of Paul Manafort and spoke with Ukrainian embassy officials. But there appears to have been no organized Ukrainian government effort to intervene -- certainly nothing comparable to the activities of Russian intelligence agencies ordered by Putin.It is true that a Ukrainian legislator helped publicize documents on Manafort's multimillion-dollar payments from a Ukrainian political party, leading to his resignation as Trump's campaign chairman. But the claim of Manafort's wrongdoing turned out to be justified. He is now serving seven and a half years in prison for financial fraud and other crimes.In May, Trump recalled the American ambassador to Kyiv, Marie Yovanovitch, appointed by President Barack Obama in 2016, telling others she was scheming against his administration. She has denied it.And Trump has repeatedly charged that Biden, who handled Ukrainian affairs as vice president, tried to get a prosecutor fired for investigating a Ukrainian energy company that paid his son, Hunter, handsomely as a board member despite a lack of experience in Ukraine. In fact, multiple countries were pressing for the firing of the prosecutor, who they thought was turning a blind eye to corruption."Now it seems like all of these conspiracy theories are merging into one," Jankowicz said. She studies disinformation, she said, but Trump produced one claim she'd never come across."I do this for a living, and I'd never heard anyone say the servers were in Ukraine," she said.In the 27 months between Trump's two citations of the CrowdStrike-Ukraine conspiracy theory, it has survived despite many denials from CrowdStrike, the FBI and people directly involved in the investigations. It has survived despite the fact that the DNC put one of its hacked servers on display -- not in Ukraine but in its Washington offices beside the filing cabinet pried open in 1972 by the Watergate burglars (and a photo of the two artifacts ran on The Times's front page). It has survived despite the indictment prepared last year by Robert Mueller, the special counsel, laying out in extraordinary detail the actions of 12 named Russian military intelligence officers who hacked the DNC and other election targets.The speculation springs from what Trump has called a "big Dem scam" -- the false notion that the FBI never really investigated the DNC hack. In fact, according to people directly involved, CrowdStrike was in regular contact with the bureau in spring 2016 as it examined dozens of servers used by both the DNC and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.It is true, as Trump has often tweeted, that FBI agents never took physical possession of the Democrats' servers. But CrowdStrike supplied the FBI with digital copies of the servers so that the bureau could assess the Russian malware infecting them. The Mueller investigation later confirmed CrowdStrike's findings.Still, the president has clung to the theory linking CrowdStrike, Ukraine and the DNC servers despite the repeated efforts of his aides to dissuade him, Thomas Bossert, his former homeland security adviser, said on Sunday on ABC's "This Week." "The DNC server and that conspiracy theory has got to go," he said. "If he continues to focus on that white whale, it's going to bring him down."To go in search of the roots of Trump's CrowdStrike-Ukraine conspiracy theory is to travel the internet's most peculiar provinces and the darkest threads on Twitter and Facebook. On 4chan and pro-Trump spaces on Reddit, on websites like ZeroHedge.com and Washington's Blog, you can find plenty of speculation about evil manipulation by CrowdStrike and secret maneuvers by Ukrainians -- often inflamed by Trump's own statements.Until the president's statements, however, even internet speculation did not attribute CrowdStrike's ownership to a rich Ukrainian or suggest that the DNC servers were hidden in Ukraine.George Eliason, an American journalist who lives in eastern Ukraine where pro-Russian separatists fought Ukrainian forces, has written extensively about what he considers to be a "coup attempt" against Trump involving American and Ukrainian intelligence agencies and CrowdStrike. He said he did not know if his writings for obscure websites might have influenced the president."CrowdStrike and Ukrainian Intel are working hand in glove," he wrote in an email. "Is Ukrainian Intelligence trying to invent a reason for the U.S. to take a hard line stance against Russia? Are they using CrowdStrike to carry this out?"Eliason and other purveyors of Ukraine conspiracies often point to the Atlantic Council, a research group in Washington, as the locus of the schemes. The Ukrainian oligarch Viktor Pinchuk has made donations to the council and serves on its international advisory board; Dmitri Alperovitch, CrowdStrike's co-founder, who was born in Russia and came to the United States as a child, is an Atlantic Council senior fellow.That connection seems slender, but it may be the origin of Trump's association of a wealthy Ukrainian with CrowdStrike.Pro-Trump media leaped last week to defend the president's Ukraine theories. Rush Limbaugh said on his radio show that Trump's "reference to CrowdStrike, mark my words, is momentous," though he did not say why.And Russian state news outlets are always ready to cheer on Trump's efforts to point the blame for the 2016 hack away from Moscow. On Sept. 25, after the White House released its memo on the Zelenskiy call, Russia's Sputnik news website ran a story supporting Trump's remarks.The Sputnik article cited Eliason's writings and suggested that CrowdStrike might have framed Russia for the DNC hack -- if it occurred at all. It quoted a Twitter account called "The Last Refuge" declaring: "The DNC servers were never hacked."All this mythmaking about the 2016 hack frustrates Robert Johnston, who was the lead investigator for CrowdStrike on the DNC inquiry. Johnston, a former Marine and Cyber Command operator, said he could make no sense of Trump's assertions."It doesn't connect with anything in my experience," he said. "I'd be interested in the president of Ukraine's impression."Johnston, now chief executive of the cybersecurity company Adlumin, said he was weary of the conspiracies surrounding what he considered a straightforward conclusion. Having seen the digital fingerprints of Russian intelligence in earlier hacking cases, he felt there was little doubt about the identity of the perpetrators."I don't know how you get to this point," Johnston said of the fantasies Trump has promoted. "This is a story that just won't die."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2019 The New York Times Company
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Israel at War

Israel has entered its fourth week of war against Hamas after the group infiltrated the country on October 7.

Israel conducted its most intense ground operation in Gaza overnight, attacking about 150 underground targets, according to IDF.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Media
Star Wars Director Says It's About Time A Woman Makes A Star Wars Movie
Jan 02, 2024
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeed Obaid-Chinoy is directing an upcoming Star Wars movie that brings back Daisy Ridley in the role of Rey. Obaid-Chinoy will become the first woman to direct a Star Wars film, dating back to the franchise's origins in the 1970s. Speaking about this, Obaid-Chinoy told CNN that she is "very thrilled" to make the movie and create something that is "very special.""We're in 2024 now, and I think it's about time we had a woman come forward to shape the story in a galaxy far, far away," she said.Obaid-Chinoy won Best Documentary, Short Subjects Academy Awards for Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).In 2020, Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy told the BBC that a woman would eventually direct a Star Wars movie, saying that would "absolutely" happen, "without question." Victoria Mahoney was a second unit director on The Rise of Skywalker, but a woman has never claimed a top directing credit on a Star Wars movie.On the TV side of things, The Mandalorian has featured a number of female directors, including Deborah Chow and Bryce Dallas Howard. Chow went on to direct the Obi-Wan TV series, too.Another high-profile franchise that has never had a female director is James Bond. Producer Barbara Broccoli and Skyfall director Sam Mendes have both said they want to see a woman direct a future 007 film.As for Obaid-Chinoy's Star Wars movie, little is known about it apart from the fact that Ridley will come back to play Rey. It is expected that this film will be the first of the three new Star Wars films to come to theaters, possibly releasing in December 2025.According to a report, Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight is writing the Rey movie, taking over for Damon Lindelof and Justin Britt-Gibson.
READ MORE
Watch It
Timothée Chalamet Addresses Date Night With Kylie Jenner at Beyoncé’s Concert | E! News
December 20, 2023
B3z63vdSZ6Q
How Cher REALLY Feels About Kelly Clarkson’s Cover of Her Song | E! News
December 20, 2023
kf7fwJHnaxU
Ryan Gosling Drops NEW Holiday Version of ‘I’m Just Ken' | E! News
December 20, 2023
FsBATnrFv6w
The Top 10 TV Shows of All Time | Variety
December 20, 2023
mwZnVmsQNAs
Ava DuVernay & Michael Mann l Directors on Directors
December 19, 2023
qBRTngfdqZ8
Ari Aster & Yorgos Lanthimos l Directors on Directors
December 18, 2023
BXYD3UISwCs
2023's Top TMZ Sports Interviews: Shaq, Gronk, Tyson, Derulo & More! | TMZ Sports Full Ep - 12/25/23
December 20, 2023
LuSEtAJ1Dms
Aaron Rodgers' Season Over and Lakers' Unique Banner Celebration! | TMZ Sports Full Ep - 12/19/23
December 20, 2023
_SZM5laBY1I
#SelenaGomez is standing by her man, #BennyBlanco, amid backlash from fans over their relationship
December 20, 2023
3OAOi6VvLnQ
Inside Brad Pitt’s whirlwind 60th birthday weekend with Ines de Ramon: Romantic Paris to festive LA
December 20, 2023
o9clvkwWVPI
Inside Brad Pitt’s whirlwind 60th birthday weekend with Ines de Ramon: Romantic Paris to festive LA
December 20, 2023
inNYH5LILUM
When Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce would likely get engaged, according to NFL WAG Hannah Ann Sluss
December 20, 2023
kFWOyZlTJFc
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
NBA Names Clare Akamanzi CEO Of NBA Africa
Jan 02, 2024 15:29
The NBA named Clare Akamanzi – an accomplished business executive and international trade and investment lawyer – as CEO of NBA Africa. Akamanzi will start her position on Jan. 23, 2024, and report to NBA Deputy Commissioner and Chief Operating Officer Mark Tatum. In this role, Akamanzi will oversee the NBA’s business and basketball development efforts in Africa and will be responsible for continuing to grow the popularity of basketball, the NBA and the Basketball Africa League (BAL) across the continent, including through grassroots basketball development, media distribution, corporate partnerships, and social responsibility initiatives that improve the livelihoods of African youth and families. For the last six and a half years, Akamanzi was CEO of Rwanda Development Board (RDB), where she spearheaded Rwanda’s economic development by enabling private sector growth. Under Akamanzi’s leadership, RDB implemented several business policy reforms and initiatives that led to significant investment and development for the country, including through partnerships with the BAL, Arsenal FC, Paris Saint-Germain FC, FC Bayern Munich and TIME Magazine, among others. “Clare’s business acumen, international experience and familiarity with basketball and the NBA make her the ideal executive to lead our business in Africa,” says Tatum. “NBA Africa and the Basketball Africa League are well-positioned for continued growth, and under Clare’s leadership we believe these initiatives will transform economies, communities and lives across the continent.” “I’ve seen firsthand how sports can positively impact businesses, families and communities in Africa, and the NBA and the BAL are a perfect example of that,” says Akamanzi. “The NBA has done an incredible job growing basketball and the economy around it across the continent, and I’m excited about the enormous opportunities ahead to build on that momentum.” Previously, Akamanzi was Chief Operating Officer of RDB and Head of Strategy and Policy Unit, Office of the President of the Republic of Rwanda. She has extensive international trade, business and diplomatic experience, having previously worked for the Rwandan Government at the World Trade Organization in Geneva, Switzerland and at the Rwandan Embassy in London, England. Akamanzi has worked or studied in seven different countries and holds an honorary LLD from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, in recognition of her work in Rwanda. She earned a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she was the recipient of three prestigious awards for academic excellence and distinguished contribution to the community: the Lucius N. Littauer Fellows Award, the Raymond & Josephine Vernon Award and the Robert Kennedy Public Service Award. In addition, Akamanzi holds a Master of Laws degree in international trade and investments from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Akamanzi has served on several company boards, including the World Health Organization (WHO) Foundation, ECOBANK and Aviation, Travel and Logistics (ATL) company. She was recognized by Forbes as one of Africa’s Top 50 Powerful Women in 2020.
Latest Events
02
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Alaves
02
Jan
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Rayo Vallecano
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Newcastle United
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Rotherham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
QPR - Cardiff City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Middlesbrough - Coventry
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - West Bromwich Albion
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Ipswich Town
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Sheffield Wednesday - Hull City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Southampton
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Leicester City - Huddersfield
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Bristol City - Millwall
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Plymouth - Watford
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Leeds - Birmingham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Sunderland - Preston NE
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Bournemouth
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Arsenal
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Roma
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Nottingham Forest - Manchester United
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Luton - Chelsea
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Sheffield United
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Sassuolo
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Crystal Palace - Brentford
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Everton
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Verona - Salernitana
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Burnley
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Lecce
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Bologna
30
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Cagliari - Empoli
29
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Genoa - Inter Milan
29
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Monza
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Tottenham Hotspur
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Crystal Palace
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Manchester City
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Aston Villa
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Burnley - Liverpool
24
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Chelsea
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Arsenal
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Napoli
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Everton
23
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Manchester United
23
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Sevilla
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Inter Milan - Lecce
23
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Frosinone - Juventus
22
Dec
ITALY: Serie A
Salernitana - AC Milan
21
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Alaves - Real Madrid
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.