Tag Archives: election

Odd Man Out: How the Independent Justin Amash Could Shake Up the 2020 Presidential Election

Odd Man Out: How the Independent Justin Amash Could Shake Up the 2020 Presidential ElectionWashington circles are abuzz with the suggestion that Justin Amash, the ex-Republican congressman from Michigan, may mount a third-party presidential campaign in 2020. In the few days since leaving the GOP, he’s talked about “room for a third party” and refused to rule out running for president. But sources close to Amash and the Libertarian Party deny that a presidential run is in the works—although the door is still open. For the time being, the Libertarian-leaning representative is looking to build a fiscally conservative, pro-restraint coalition across party lines.Michigan representative Justin Amash has made waves in recent weeks with his challenges to the Republican establishment. He first suggested that President Donald Trump should be impeached, then he contested the president’s authority to attack Iran without congressional approval, and finally left the party.Amash seemed to send mixed signals about his next move, telling CNN that he’s planning to run for re-election to the House of Representatives, but confirming that he still “wouldn’t rule anything like [a Libertarian presidential run] out.”



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Russia’s Election Hackers Are Back—and Targeting George Soros

Russia’s Election Hackers Are Back—and Targeting George SorosSean Gallup/GettyThe Russian intelligence agency behind 2016’s election attacks is training its sights on billionaire financier George Soros, The Daily Beast has learned. The move comes hot on the heels of a surge in U.S.-focused hacking by Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate with similarities to 2016 in targeting and methodology. Laura Silber, chief communications officer for Soros’ Open Society Foundations, confirmed the hack attempt, but couldn’t provide additional details over the weekend. “We were aware of an attack,” Silber told the Daily Beast.Last month Microsoft quietly seized a new batch of 10 deceptive domain names the company says were set up by the hackers known as Fancy Bear,  the group intelligence officials and independent analysts have long attributed to Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate, the GRU. Those web addresses imitate genuine domains used for Microsoft services like Sharepoint, an unmistakable sign that they were intended for use in phishing attacks, in which a victim is tricked into typing their password into a fake login page. Mueller Finally Solves Mysteries About Russia’s ‘Fancy Bear’ HackersOne domain targets a Singapore-based investment firm, and another references the Berlin anti-corruption organization Transparency International, which Russia has targeted before. Others are generic or ambiguous in their targeting.  But one seized domain, soros-my-sharepoint[.]com, jumps out as a clear reference to Soros, a past GRU target from Russia’s 2016 election interference.  An additional four phishing domains registered in the same time frame appear to target Soros’ Open Society Foundations, said Kyle Ehmke, an intelligence researcher at the Arlington, Virginia-based cybersecurity firm ThreatConnect.  Those domains haven’t been seized and ThreatConnect hasn’t found enough evidence to definitively link them to the Russian hackers, said Ehmke. The Kremlin’s targeting of Soros and his organization carries echoes of 2016, when the GRU dumped 2,500 files stolen from the Open Society Foundations for the debut of “DC Leaks”, the fake leak site the spies created for their 2016 election interference campaign. “SOROS INTERNAL FILES – BIG DATA”, the site announced at the time.Some of the stolen files were reportedly altered to create the appearance that Soros was secretly financing Russian opposition candidates, making the leak politically useful to Vladmir Putin. More importantly, the Soros dump earned DC Leaks instant credibility in American right-wing circles, where the 88-year-old Hungarian-American philanthropist plays the role of villainous global puppet-master in countless conspiracy theories. Russia’s Internet Research Agency—the so-called “troll farm, later indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller—pushed the same trope on its Facebook and Instagram feeds in the run-up to election day. One meme featured a close-up of Soros against a backdrop of anti-Trump picketers. “No lives matter for those who sponsoring [sic] anti Trump protests,” the caption read. Another imagined Soros confronting the late Senator John McCain. “Hey Johnny, I’m paying you a fortune. I don’t care how much cancer you have, get back to DC and backstab Trump.”The Soros targeting comes in the wave of what one expert describes as a fresh wave of Fancy Bear attempts against political nonprofits in the U.S. that ran from last December to March or April of this year, using similar tactics to the mass phishing campaign that famously ensnared Hillary Clinton’s campaign chief in 2016. “It’s a similar type of activity to what hit Podesta,” said Robert Johnston, the former Marine Corp captain who investigated the 2016 DNC breach, and now heads the financial cybersecurity firm Adlumin. “These were against political organizations and NGOs. The FBI has reached out to of bunch of them.”Putin’s Hackers Now Under Attack—From MicrosoftIn 2016 Microsoft sued Fancy Bear in federal court in Virginia and won, unopposed, an injunction allowing the company to seize any web addresses registered by the GRU’s hackers that imitate a Microsoft product or service.  The company has seized over 100 domains so far.Experts caution that Russia’s hackers have always cast a wide net, and there’s no way to tell what their motives are in revisiting old haunts now. It may be pure intelligence gathering, or the opening salvo of a 2020 election interference campaign.“We don't know whether they are ultimately looking to compromise targets for influence operations, internal intelligence uses, or both,” said Ehmke.Either way, Russia likely views its 2016 efforts as a success, and is certain to try for an encore. “I think you should absolutely anticipate a very vocal Russian interference in the 2020 elections,” said Johnston.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Sanders backs AOC after Biden suggests her politics are too far left for the general election

Sanders backs AOC after Biden suggests her politics are too far left for the general electionThe former vice president praised the New York representative as "brilliant," but cast doubt on whether her politics could win a national election.



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Jimmy Carter: Investigation would show Trump lost 2016 election

Jimmy Carter: Investigation would show Trump lost 2016 electionFormer President Jimmy Carter said Friday morning that Donald Trump is an illegitimate president due to Russian interference in the 2016 election.



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2020 Election Meddling by China, Iran, N. Korea Likely, Administration Officials Warn

2020 Election Meddling by China, Iran, N. Korea Likely, Administration Officials WarnChina’s government finances English-language media outlets in the United States to influence U.S. perceptions on various issues, such as trade, the senior intelligence official told reporters during a briefing on election security. Russia isn’t the only threat to election security going into 2020, as Trump administration officials say they are preparing for meddling from Iran, China, and North Korea. The federal government anticipates that Russia will again meddle in the U.S. election in 2020 through “Russian-controlled or influenced English-language media, false-flag operations, or sympathetic spokespersons,” a senior intelligence official said. China’s government finances English-language media outlets in the United States to influence U.S. perceptions on various issues, such as trade, the senior intelligence official told reporters during a briefing on election security. “No surprise to you: Iran is increasing their use of social media to promote strategic goals and perspectives to the American public,” the official continued. “Its influence campaigns have included denigrating U.S. decisions to leave [the Iran nuclear deal], downplaying the effectiveness of sanctions, and promoting pro-Iranian interests.”Administration officials asked reporters that the conference participants’ names not be used.



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Erdogan's ruling party loses Istanbul election in major blow to Turkish president

Erdogan's ruling party loses Istanbul election in major blow to Turkish presidentThe winner of the re-rerun of Istanbul's mayoral elections declared a "new beginning for Turkey" on Sunday after the ruling party's candidate lost the city for the first time in 25 years, in a major blow to president Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "It was not a single group or party, but the whole of Istanbul and Turkey that won this election," said Ekrem Imamoglu, the candidate of the secularist Republican People's Party (CHP), who received 54 per cent of the vote.  President Erdogan had claimed that "whoever wins Istanbul wins Turkey" – and had taken a gamble by forcing a re-run that backfired after Mr Imamoglu not only won but increased his share of the vote by six per cent.  Binali Yildirim, the Erdogan loyalist standing for the ruling AKP gave a de facto concession speech shortly after the first results were announced. "I congratulate him and wish him all the luck. My wish is for Imamoglu to serve Istanbul well," he said.   Mr Imamoglu had won the original mayoral election on March 31 by a narrow margin that prompted the AKP to demand a re-run, citing alleged voting irregularities. The High Election Board's decision to grant that request drew criticism from Turkey's Western allies and from Mr Erdogan's opponents at home, stirring concerns about the rule of law and raising the stakes in a re-run that many Turks saw as a test of their country's democracy. Mr Erdogan was Istanbul's mayor in the 1990s before he embarked on a national political career, dominating Turkish politics first as prime minister, then as president. Supporters of Republican People's Party (CHP) candidate for mayor of Istanbul Ekrem Imamoglu celebrate after the Istanbul mayoral elections re-run, in Istanbul, Turkey,  He presided over years of strong economic growth but critics say he has become increasingly authoritarian and intolerant of dissent. If confirmed, this second defeat in Istanbul, Turkey's biggest city and commercial hub, will be a major embarrassment for the president and could also weaken what until recently seemed to be his iron grip on power. Analysts say the loss could set off a cabinet reshuffle in Ankara and adjustments to foreign policy. Turkey is balancing diplomatic relations with Russia and the United States, which has threatened sanctions against its NATO ally over its purchase of Russian missile defences. The setback for Erdogan, who campaigned hard in Istanbul, could also trigger a national election earlier than 2023 as scheduled. Turkey's economy is now in recession and the United States, its Nato ally, has threatened sanctions if Mr Erdogan goes ahead with plans to install Russian missile defences. The uncertainty over the fate of Istanbul, Turkey's business hub, and potential delays in broader economic reforms, have kept financial markets on edge. Turkey's lira currency tumbled after the decision to annul the March vote and is down nearly 10 per cent this year in part on election jitters. Polling stations across Istanbul opened at 8am, with 10.56 million people registered to vote in a city which makes up nearly a fifth of Turkey's 82 million population. One voter, Estate agent Bayram, 60, said he voted for Mr Yildirim, as he believed foreign powers the United States, Europe and Israel supported the opposition. "All of these will want a piece from Istanbul and then there will be chaos. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. All these foreign powers don't like Erdogan, so he is my friend," he said after voting in Kagithane district, an AKP stronghold.



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Trump says he ‘may’ bring up election interference with Putin

Trump says he ‘may’ bring up election interference with Putin“I may if you'd like me to do it, I'll do that,” he told Chuck Todd.



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Turkey: Key facts in Istanbul's rerun election

Turkey: Key facts in Istanbul's rerun electionTurkey’s top election authority voided the first vote, which an opposition candidate narrowly won. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s party challenged the March 31 vote, alleging irregularities. The election is taking place again because Turkey’s electoral board ordered a rerun after ruling in favor of the governing party, on the grounds that some officials overseeing the vote were not civil servants as required by law.



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Trump on impeachment: 'I win the election easier'

Trump on impeachment: 'I win the election easier'At least 78 House lawmakers have called either for impeachment or for impeachment proceedings to begin.



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Trump news: President mocks 'Sleepy Joe' Biden over 2020 election bid and rages at media over Mueller report

Trump news: President mocks 'Sleepy Joe' Biden over 2020 election bid and rages at media over Mueller reportDonald Trump has hit out at Joe Biden after the Democratic veteran announced his intention to run against him in 2020, questioning his intelligence and branding him “Sleepy Joe” while lashing out over the Mueller report and attempting to fend off further congressional investigations into his affairs.Barack Obama‘s former vice-president, a man with almost half a century of experience in US politics, is widely tipped to be Mr Trump’s most serious challenger at the polls, joining a crowded field of 20 Democratic candidates already confirmed for the race.Privately, Trump allies have warned that Mr Biden might be the biggest re-election threat given the former vice president’s potential appeal among the white working class in the Midwest, the region that gave Mr Trump a path to the presidency.The former vice president is paying special attention to his native Pennsylvania, a state that swung to Mr Trump in 2016 after voting for Democratic presidential candidates for decades.While Mr Biden represented Delaware in the Senate for 36 years, he was often referred to as Pennsylvania’s third senator.Despite digging in his heels in Washington, the president meanwhile faces a new threat in his old stomping ground of New York City, where Deutsche Bank is beginning the process of handing over records of its dealings with Mr Trump to the state attorney-general, who is investigating allegations made by his ex-lawyer, Michael Cohen, that he inflated his assets to secure loans in order to bankroll his hotel business.Two House committees have also subpoenaed Deutsche Bank and several other financial institutions earlier this month as part of investigations into the president's finances.It was unclear exactly what the committees asked for. The investigations are among several House Democrats are conducting into aspects of the president’s personal and political life, and top Democrat Adam Schiff has said he is investigating whether foreign actors, including Russia, have sought to hold leverage over Mr Trump or his family and associates.Deutsche Bank is a German asset management firm that has lent Mr Trump’s real estate organization millions of dollars over time. The two committees have been working with the bank for several weeks, and both chairs have said officials have been cooperative. Mr Schiff said in his statement that the subpoena to Deutsche Bank is a “friendly” subpoena, meaning he expects them to continue working with the committees.The request comes as a third committee, the House Ways and Means Committee, is sparring with the White House over Mr Trump’s tax returns.Additional reporting by AP. Please allow a moment for our liveblog to load



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