Tag Archives: Relationship

The Overstock CEO Resigned Claiming 'Deep State' Conspiracy and a Relationship With a Russian Spy. Here's What to Know

The Overstock CEO Resigned Claiming 'Deep State' Conspiracy and a Relationship With a Russian Spy. Here's What to KnowPatrick Byrne issued a bizarre statement through Overstock criticizing the FBI, referring to a “deep state” conspiracy. Here's what to know about the incident.



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Overstock.com CEO Resigns after Disclosing Relationship with Russian Agent Maria Butina

Overstock.com CEO Resigns after Disclosing Relationship with Russian Agent Maria ButinaOverstock.com CEO Patrick Byrne stepped down Thursday amid the backlash to his disclosure of a romantic relationship with Russian agent Maria Butina.Byrne caused Overstock's shares to plummet last week after he admitted to carrying on a romantic relationship with Butina from 2015 to 2016. The fallout from his disclosure complicated “all manner of business relationships,” he said in a statement announcing his resignation.“Thus, while I believe that I did what was necessary for the good of the country, for the good of the firm,” he wrote, “I am in the sad position of having to sever ties with Overstock, both as C.E.O. and board member.”Byrne issued a statement on August 12th confirming a series of articles by Fox News contributor Sara Carter that exposed his relationship with Butina, a Russian national who pleaded guilty to acting as an unregistered foreign agent in the U.S. earlier this year.Carter's work detailed how Byrne became involved in the FBI's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election due to his relationship with Butina. Byrne said he felt compelled to go public with his role in the investigation after becoming concerned about the way in which the Department of Justice was handling the investigation into Butina's conduct.The Overstock executive met Butina at a libertarian conference in 2015 and subsequently contacted the FBI when she began to express interest in meeting with individuals associated with the Clinton and Trump presidential campaigns.In his statement, Byrne said that his interactions with the FBI were “less about law enforcement and more about political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.”Butina is serving an 18-month prison sentence for attempting to infiltrate conservative political organizations at the direction of Alexander Torshin, the former deputy governor of Russia's central bank. Torshin and Butina founded a gun-rights group in Russia and presented themselves as allies to conservative American groups such as the NRA.Butina is set to be released in October. Overstock's shares were up more than 10 percent on Thursday after Byrne's announcement.



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Overstock CEO resigns over relationship with Russian 'spy'

Overstock CEO resigns over relationship with Russian 'spy'The chief executive of the e-commerce firm Overstock.com stepped down Thursday over his relationship with an alleged Russian intelligence operative jailed for meddling in US politics. Patrick Byrne only recently admitted that he had a close relationship with Maria Butina for three years, during the period when she beguiled top Republican and National Rifle Association officials with talk of strengthening Moscow-Washington relations and her flair with guns.



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The Dire Necessity of Strategic Concessions and Relationship Building in U.S.-North Korea Relations

The Dire Necessity of Strategic Concessions and Relationship Building in U.S.-North Korea RelationsLooking back at U.S. responses to North Korea’s nuclear program, one would think that they are looking at a modified model of the five stages of grief. The United States has gone through everything: denial, anger (see: “fire and fury”), bargaining, depression, denial again. Yet, try as we might, we cannot hide from established fact—North Korea has developed the capabilities necessary to target U.S. bases and homeland territory with nuclear weapons, and it has been able to target U.S. critical allies in Asia for far longer. With Kim Jong-un showing no indication of a willingness to completely give up his nuclear arsenal in the near future and with little in the way of engagement since the second summit in Hanoi, where do we go from here?On the surface level, U.S. President Donald Trump’s current policy of maximum pressure appears to have worked. After all, Kim was brought to the bargaining table in a historic United States-North Korea summit in 2018. However, attributing the summit to a policy that was hawkish at best, and brought the United States and its allies to the brink of nuclear war with North Korea at worst, would be blatantly overlooking history. To praise “maximum pressure” would also be downplaying the decades of North Korean precedent to meet pressure with pressure and diminishing crucial peace-keeping role that South Korean President Moon Jae-in undertook to alleviate tension on the Korean peninsula.



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The Trump-Netanyahu relationship is sowing disaster for both countries

The Trump-Netanyahu relationship is sowing disaster for both countriesBy catering to the right, the leaders are harming Palestinians, making Israel less safe and further damaging America’s reputation‘The Trump administration needs to realize that it is playing with fire in its approach to Israel.’ Photograph: Carlos Barría/ReutersIn the run-up to the Israeli elections, Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu took a series of irresponsible steps to help the Israeli prime minister’s electoral prospects: Trump announced support for Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, Netanyahu said he would annex parts of the West Bank and claimed he had US support, and Trump designated Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist organization, a move for which Netanyahu immediately took credit.Though Netanyahu may be the apparent winner of the Israeli election, Trump and Netanyahu should be careful what they wish for. While pleasing their rightwing supporters, the two leaders are doing severe damage to the interests of both countries.Trump and Netanyahu have forged an overtly political relationship. Even before the most recent election, Trump had taken unprecedented steps that support Netanyahu’s agenda, from moving the US embassy to Jerusalem to cutting all US funding for the United Nations agency that supports Palestinians to closing the Palestinian office in Washington DC.Netanyahu takes the blank check from Trump and cashes it in for more extreme policies. Marking a new level of recklessness in a pre-election gambit to get more rightwing votes, Netanyahu suggested that he would annex parts of the West Bank, an outrageous move that would destroy the progress Israelis and Palestinians have made over the decades, risk violence and garner widespread international condemnation.If in the past US policy has been criticized for being one-sided in favor of Israel, Trump has abandoned of any semblance of even-handedness. And if previous Israeli governments have preserved space to pursue peace with the Palestinians, Netanyahu is implementing policies that could make a two-state solution all but impossible.If these trends continue, everyone will suffer.The Palestinian people will bear the brunt of the pain. With the United States cutting off its funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) – which provides Palestinian refugees with healthcare, education, and food – countless Palestinians could be hurt.> The embrace between rightwing counterparts in the United States and Israel is driving the relationship into an unsustainable placeIsrael will be less safe. Pulling funding from the Palestinian Authority will disrupt counter-terrorism cooperation with Palestinian security services. That’s why many Israelis believe the move endangers Israeli security, as the retired Israel defense forces lieutenant colonel Peter Lerner made clear: “These abrupt steps will only empower the radicals … hardballing the Palestinian[s] is likely to blow up on Israel’s doorstep.”Israeli democracy will continue eroding. The Israeli government discriminates against Arab Israelis, evidenced by a new measure giving Jews special status under the law. Members of Netanyahu’s party took cameras into polling places in Arab neighborhoods to intimidate voters during this week’s elections. All of this is in addition to Israel’s repression of millions of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank. The undermining of Israel’s democratic norms will affect its moral stature and its relationships with countries that support the country not only as the homeland of the Jewish people and a strategic partner but also as a democracy.The US-Israel relationship will deteriorate. The embrace between rightwing counterparts in the United States and the rightwing Israeli government is driving the US-Israel relationship into an unsustainable place. The more the United States embraces extreme Israeli policies, the more Americans will refuse to back Israel as long as it denies rights to Palestinians, eschews diplomacy, and undermines the very nature of Israeli democracy.To the world, America will look more like a villain. Trump’s disregard for Palestinian interests is yet another reaffirmation for many that Trump’s America is racist; it will further alienate America from global partners and publics.Chances for a two-state solution will become even more remote. While the prospects for peace right now are very low – and the Palestinians’ lack of leadership and Hamas’s violence and repression in Gaza deserve significant blame – Trump and Netanyahu are creating more roadblocks to peace while ensuring the Palestinians stay away from the negotiating table. Jared Kushner might as well scrap whatever peace plan he’s working on.For America to play a constructive role in supporting peace, a reasonable discussion over US policy is necessary. But Trump is poisoning the debate in the United States by politicizing the relationship and stoking antisemitism. Out of one side of his mouth, Trump claims he is a champion of Israel – which he defines as supporting Netanyahu’s agenda and siding with Israel against its neighbors in disputes – while accusing Democrats of being “anti-Israel” and “anti-Jewish”. Out of the other side of his mouth, Trump gives license to white supremacists and fuels antisemitism.America’s debate over Israel needs a serious realignment. It is possible to be “pro-Israel” and not slavishly support everything Netanyahu wants. It is possible to be critical of Israeli policies without succumbing to demonization that spills over into outright antisemitism. And it is certainly possible to be both “pro-Israeli” and “pro-Palestinian”.Furthermore, US impartiality is not necessary for the US to support diplomacy. The special US relationship with Israel provides the United States with the unique ability to have difficult conversations about the need for Israel to compromise in pursuit of peace. Only this kind of friend can play a key brokering role in peace talks.Right now, Israel needs to hear sobering advice from its friends in America about the dangerous path the country is on. And the Trump administration needs to realize that it is playing with fire in its approach to Israel.



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Tensions flare in 'long and complicated' relationship between Pete Buttigieg and Mike Pence

Tensions flare in 'long and complicated' relationship between Pete Buttigieg and Mike PenceThe war of increasingly personal words between presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg and Vice President Mike Pence's defenders escalated Tuesday.



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Trump-Netanyahu: How two leaders reap political rewards from their cozy relationship

Trump-Netanyahu: How two leaders reap political rewards from their cozy relationshipThe bond between Trump and Netanyahu goes far beyond political flattery and good chemistry. It’s also great politics.



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Trump, Israeli leader have mutually beneficial relationship

Trump, Israeli leader have mutually beneficial relationshipJERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was glowing as he stepped up to a podium in the backyard of his Jerusalem home to welcome U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to a holiday dinner.



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North Korea documentary focuses on Kim-Trump relationship not summit breakdown

North Korea documentary focuses on Kim-Trump relationship not summit breakdownThe 78-minute documentary, which followed Kim’s 11-day train journey to Hanoi in Vietnam for the summit, was aired late Tuesday by North Korea’s state television. It showed the highlights of Kim’s nine-day stay in the Vietnamese capital, including his exchanges with Trump, a visit to the North Korean embassy and a tour of tourism and industrial sites by his top aides. Strictly controlled North Korean state media has made no mention of the summit breakdown or any disagreement, though Kim and Trump failed to narrow their gap over how far North Korea was willing to abandon its nuclear program and the degree of U.S. willingness to ease sanctions.



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Trump attacks Democrat Ilhan Omar over comments questioning US-Israel relationship

Trump attacks Democrat Ilhan Omar over comments questioning US-Israel relationshipDonald Trump has said Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar’s latest controversial comments about the US-Israel relationship represent a “dark day” for the Middle East country. Ms Omar, the first Somali-American elected to Congress, has been forced to defend herself in recent days following an event last week in which she claimed she was being pressured to pledge “allegiance” to Israel. “I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country,” she told an audience in Washington on Wednesday.



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