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Espionage and Trump part 8: Russia

Theories on what else could be there not just nukes.

The Actual Warrant in pictures:

Now theories on what else it could be:

So far, we know the documents are Mar-a-Lago included nuclear secrets and SIGINT — two of our most closely-guarded capabilities. What else did he take? Note: this is speculation, but I do have a theory.

Trump was always *really* interested in stealth technology—even if he didn’t understand it—so it wouldn’t surprise me if radar cross section (RCS) information was found, too. This is another one of our most closely-guarded secrets — and one our adversaries want badly.

Roger Stone and Macron connection?

I'm spitballing here but one must wonder if he had dirt on Macron.

Sollenberget connects some dots between Macron and Stone's clemency (and that J@ck P0sobiec character).

This looks like the information about French President Macron is a subset of Roger Stone's clemency. In 2017, Roger Stone acolyte Jack Posobiec shared hacked Macron emails. The White House gave him press credentials.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. far-right online activist credited with initially sharing on Twitter hacked emails from the French presidential campaign of centrist Emmanuel Macron is the latest conservative media figure to receive White House access from the Trump administration.

Jack Posobiec, a Washington-based writer at the Rebel Media, a Canadian online political and social news commentary platform, attended the daily press briefing on Tuesday and later broadcast video from the White House grounds with positive commentary on President Donald Trump’s abrupt firing of FBI Director James Comey.

Posobiec told Reuters he first obtained temporary White House credentials in early April, but he has submitted a request for a permanent pass. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Cyber security experts, minority party Democrats and some U.S. intelligence officials have grown more concerned since the leak of Macron’s emails about potential connections between Russian organizations, including its spy agencies, and far-right media figures in the United States who they suspect played a role in Russian efforts to influence elections.

Two U.S. intelligence officials told Reuters this week that they are increasingly confident that hackers with connections to the Russian government played a role in the French election.

Macron won in a landslide on Sunday against far-right candidate Marine Le Pen, who wanted to take France out of the European Union and supports Russian policy in Ukraine.

U.S. intelligence agencies have also concluded that hacking attacks on the Democratic Party and 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s campaign were part of a Russian-backed effort to help Republican Trump win the presidency.

Russia has denied hacking or meddling in the elections in the United States or in France.

Posobiec told Reuters he used his Twitter account to share information on the Macron leaks that he spotted on the social media site 4chan. In a private Twitter message, he rejected characterizations that he is part of the far-right media and said he had no connections to the Russian government.

Security researchers said Posobiec was the first on Twitter to use the hashtag #MacronLeaks, shortly after nearly 10 gigabytes of documents were posted on Pastebin, a site that allows anonymous document sharing.

Posobiec is also close on social media to William Craddick, founder and editor-in-chief of Disobedient Media. The two appeared to preview the Macron leaks, said Chris Doman, a British researcher with cyber security firm AlienVault.

On Friday, first Prosobiec and then Craddick began to dribble out hints on Twitter that a big stash of leaked Macron documents could be coming soon, Doman said. Disobedient Media tweeted 22 minutes before the upload to Pastebin instructing followers to “Fully Prepare for a major leak on Emmanuel Macron and his close associates. This is very big, folks.”

“Craddick says things about the documents before they appear anywhere else, whereas Jack posts about them right after they come out,” Doman said.

Craddick denied any advance knowledge of the leaks in an email to Reuters. “We were simply repeating chatter we had been noticing online and word from various sources saying that further content releases were coming,” Craddick said. “Disobedient Media did not set up the Pastebin file or organize the leak.”

Posobiec’s press access is the most recent granted to a figure prominent within the alt-right, a loosely organized group that embraces right-wing ideologies including white nationalism.

Mike Cernovich, who ran a website with pro-Trump and anti-Clinton content and had a large following online, has also been given credentials.

Roger Stone, a longtime Trump ally, has promoted Posobiec’s tweets since at least last September. Stone has also frequently promoted Cernovich.

Stone has come under scrutiny for tweeting that WikiLeaks had damaging Clinton campaign emails before the anti-secrecy group released them. CNN on Tuesday reported that Stone influenced Trump’s decision to fire Comey. Trump tweeted the report was false.

Rebel Media, a subscription-based service, is the brainchild of Ezra Levant, a lawyer and media personality who founded the Canadian conservative site in February 2015.

Reporting by Dustin Volz, Joseph Menn, Eric Auchard, Alastair Sharp and Mark Hosenball; Editing by Jonathan Weber, Grant McCool and Michael Perry

Odd because the Russian disinformation op used against Macron in 2017 has been compared to the Hunter Biden disinformation op.

The Kremlin doubtless thought it had the French election all sewn up. Of the four leading candidates for president, three were openly pro-Moscow. Even the eventual winner Emmanuel Macron was hardly a hawk. As Quartz wrote at the time, Russian president Vladimir Putin really couldn’t lose.

And yet, buoyed by its alleged intervention on behalf of US president Donald Trump, the Kremlin couldn’t help itself. As Macron’s upstart candidacy gained traction in February, Russia unleashed an extraordinary propaganda and cyber campaign against the centrist insurgent. This ranged from the crude (publishing baseless claims that Macron is secretly gay), to the silly (state newspapers saying he is a “psychopath” with ”fishlike, slightly bulging eyes”), to the very smart (allegedly helping spread fake documents claiming that Macron has an offshore bank account).

Then, on the eve of the final round of voting, a “massive” hack of the Macron camp’s computers saw up to 9 gigabytes of data leaked online, mixing real emails with faked ones. Macron’s team quickly blamed Russian interests for the attack, and security experts say it is likely to be linked to the Russian military intelligence, the GRU.

Given that the emails have generally been characterized as “mundane,” the whole debacle feels strangely desperate. The last-minute leak was also ineffective: Macron won the election in a landslide. What the meddling has actually done, however, is turn a level-headed politician with a relatively conciliatory outlook into a new president with a grudge.

Indeed, when Macron visited Moscow as economy minister just over a year ago he said he wanted to work to lift EU sanctions on the country. ”He showed no anti-Russian inclinations whatsoever, in many ways he was very much in favor of developing ties,” says Pavel Baev, a research professor at the Peace Institute Oslo. ”In all his stances, there was nothing problematic for the Kremlin whatsoever—now they have managed to turn him into a real problem for themselves.”

Macron’s outlook on Russia is now likely to change from a purely economic one—in which relieving sanctions was viewed as a mutually beneficial move—to a geopolitical one, in which a Russia headed by Putin cannot be trusted, says Mark Galeotti, a Russia expert and senior researcher at the Institute of International Relations in Prague.

“The Russians have messed up badly—just as Putin did in ruining his relationship with Germany,” Galeotti says. “Now the two crucial European nations have been lost to Russia.”

So what does this mean in practice for European geopolitics? “I don’t think he’s going to advocate for an all-out assault against Putin, but hopes that France will be the weak link in the EU’s relationship with Russia are dashed,” Galeotti says.

Macron heads to Berlin soon for his first foreign trip to meet German chancellor Angela Merkel, a leader who has never been afraid to criticize Putin. “She will convince Macron that sanctions should continue and that we can’t lose the grip on Moscow,” says Marcel Van Herpen, a Paris-based Russian security expert and director of the Cicero Foundation. ”She will take the lead, I think, and he will follow.”

What’s more, the whole affair has damaged Moscow’s credibility as a serious geopolitical threat. After the US election, Russia’s mysterious psy-ops seemed formidable, but the French vote has made the Kremlin look crass rather than cunning. The world may be giving Russia far more credit than it deserves.

“If we look at recent history, Russia has been technically efficient but strategically inept in every operation,” according to Galeotti, who says Russian foreign ministry sources have talked to him ”with horror” about the US election result, insisting the real aim was to disrupt Hillary Clinton’s legitimacy—not help Trump win. ”Now they have an almost Putin-like figure to deal with,” he notes.

Baev says these blunders have also seriously hurt the Kremlin’s chances of influencing further elections. “Nearly every attempt to influence the outcome was traced back to Moscow,” says Baev. “They are now so carefully watched that any move from Moscow in favor of a particular candidate or to damage a candidate brings the exact opposite result. So I think Russia’s capacity to intervene or interfere is seriously diminished.”

In a congratulatory phone call with Macron, Putin called for unity, saying it is “important to overcome mutual mistrust and unite efforts to ensure international stability and security.” But few believe this is now possible. “It would have been entirely possible to preserve some sort of neutrality in the election and to lay foundations for constructive relations with Macron further on,” says Baev. “Now this foundation is damaged pretty much beyond repair.”

More on the Hunter Biden disinformation op:

More on that:

It's not a "laptop", it's a hard drive that's been copied about 16 times. Russians may have hacked Hunter's cloud and thrown those files into their manufactured narrative. That's their way, mix the fake with some real-they know you rubes will bite and do most of the work for them

Same scripts, botrunners, spamming social media, same instigator: Puty

Posbobiec celebrates his hit job:

It’s a reference to Macron’s wife, who was his high school teacher. Screenshot is from his Wikipedia page.

Reminder about Jack Posobiec and the rape Melania sign he had to discredit protestors:

Thread on Jack Posobiec, his connection to Flynn, and the Macron hack:

Ties in to not just Posobiec & Craddock, but Mike Cernovich, Rebel News (Ezra Levant) and Disobedient Media (Elizabeth Vos/Susie Dawson), Adam Carter/Guccifer2, VIPS, and the Wikileaks group Unity4J.

Posobiec now with Turning Point USA and Human Events

I’m for one surprised that they didn’t to the best of our knowledge find a stack of blank pardons or pardons for members of congress he was holding to use against them later on.

Has anyone considered that the boxes of photos may be things used to blackmail others? Thinking about Miss Lindsey G and Kevin Mc

Maybe photos of documents they couldn’t get a copy of?

Oh, I'm thinking about it. #TrashyElise was at some press conference this morning playing Trump's old hits (Hunter's laptop, HRC's Emails & Mueller hoax). She went from being moderate to super MAGA. How did that happen?

Wait a minute....we're talking about the RU hacks when they tried interfering in France's election back then? So maybe he got this from RU? To use as potential blackmail for business dealings? That would be huge if he's tucked away some GRU obtained dirt on Macron.

I think you have a very valid point. What is different about these particular files is that they are labeled "info about Macron". If it came from US intelligence it would have been labeled in one of the more obscure labels such as top secret, confidential..etc.

2 and 2A:

Looks like the most sensitive stuff, #TSSCI, was stored in a #LeatherBox . #EspionageAct

The TS/SCI documents are also a subset of the “leather bound box.” Do gotta say, if you were going to ambiguously describe the nuclear football, which happens to contain the highest clearance level of everything listed, it makes some sense.

Yeah unlikely, but it does sort of standout on the list. Like what is a “leatherbound box” Almost feels like calling it that instead of briefcase because briefcase might make even more people think it could be the nuclear football. That the subset is the SCI stuff is interesting

Back to Macron:

Probably. For a few reasons: They wanted that Authoritarian woman to win over Macron, and 2nd: Info re France and their military capabilities and how it could benefit you know who with the Ukraine war.

Could that explain Macron’s attempts to smooth things over with Pooty? I found it odd that he kept trying to make nice nice with him at the beginning of the war in Ukraine.

I believe he was feeding information on French President to Putin. He’s been strangely nice to Putin though this whole Ukraine invasion

Now back to Roger Stone and his Clemency letter:

This piece assumes the Presidential clemency for Stone was the 2020 one (or even the 2019 one) and also claims the reference to the French President was separate.

There's no evidence either claim is true.

One POSSIBLE reading of it is that Trump gave Stone an unknown pardon relating to a French President that is interesting to the FBI bc of what appears (written in Trump's Sharpie?) about the French President.

I mean, we HAVE a record of Stone's 2020 Pardon. It doesn't mention Macron, or any other French President.

So ... it's likely to be something else.

I mean, there's a really potentially YUGELY scandalous explanation for Executive Clemency for Roger Stone if it involved an indictment that one of Trump's most partisan US Attorneys obtained 2 weeks short of the 2020 election.

But that'll have to wait.

I keep coming back to this. What if Roger Stone was involved in MacronLeaks?

I mean, Posobiec was. That's practically Stone.

Poso was working for Stone from mid-2016 to April 2017, then got a platform at Ezra Levant's hard-right Rebel Media for 2 months, just in time that he could put out the Macron Leaks as a 'journalist. Gone from Rebel Media again by late May 2017. Awfully convenient timing. 1/

Also Marine LePen visited trump in 2016 after the election and Trump Tower somebody suggested it was oppositional research against Macron for her

The Macron Leaks look very much like an effort to boost Marianne LePen in the French election. Poso is Stone's creation, both are clearly under Russian influence. The whole nest of influencers here in 2017 is the same who promoted J6 and most show signs of Russian influence.

That doesn't mean that Russia was behind J6, but these folks are a loose crew who have been working together for years.


Re-upping this story I wrote about “Roger Stone’s man” Jack Posobiec, Macron Leaks and Russian Intelligence for reasons

Posobiec, Roger Stone, Ali Alexander, and monkey trainer personality Cassandra Fairbanks all appeared at “Cinco de Milo” that weekend in May 2017.

Posobiec & significant other with Roger Stone at orgy thrown by Milo Yiannopoulos hours before Posobiec "leaks" Macron batch. I drop mic..

Plus he has a Belarusian/Russian wife.

Why does everything Trump somehow connect back to Russia? Even Ivana does.

We hate to say we told you so but we've told you that Trump was a tool of spies for so many years and from so many angles. Or just read:

No shit. "Ivana’s father, Miloš Zelníček, gave regular information to the StB about his daughter’s visits from the US and on his celebrity son-in-law’s career in New York. Zelníček was classified as a “conspiratorial” informer."

The communist intelligence service in Prague stepped up its spying campaign against Donald Trump in the late 1980s, targeting him to gain information about the “upper echelons of the US government”, archive files and testimony from former cold war spies reveal.

Czechoslovakia’s Státní bezpečnost (StB) carried out a long-term spying mission against Trump following his marriage in 1977 to his first wife, Ivana Zelníčková. The operation was run out of Zlín, the provincial town in south-west Czechoslovakia where Zelníčková was born and grew up.

Ivana’s father, Miloš Zelníček, gave regular information to the local StB office about his daughter’s visits from the US and on his celebrity son-in-law’s career in New York. Zelníček was classified as a “conspiratorial” informer. His relationship with the StB lasted until the end of the communist regime.

New archive records obtained by the Guardian and the Czech magazine Respekt show the StB’s growing interest in Trump after the 1988 US presidential election, won by George HW Bush. The StB’s first directorate responsible for foreign espionage sought to “deepen” its Trump-related activity.

A former StB official, Vlastimil Daněk – tracked down to the village of Zadní Arnoštov, where he lives in retirement – confirmed the Trump operation. Addressing the matter publicly for the first time, he said: “Trump was of course a very interesting person for us. He was a businessman, he had a lot of contacts, even in US politics.

“We were focusing on him, we knew he was influential. We had information that he wanted to be president in future.”

Daněk said his senior colleagues at the StB’s headquarters in Prague were focused on Trump too. “It wasn’t only us who paid attention to him. The first department of the StB were interested in him. I don’t know if the first directorate shared information on Trump with the KGB. I can’t verify or deny.”

He added: “I don’t want to tell you any more details. It’s a past I would like to forget. I don’t want to have any problems.”

The files do not say if the Soviet Union ordered or shaped the decade-long StB Trump operation. But Czechoslovakian spies routinely shared secrets with KGB colleagues and the Moscow security agency had a large liaison office in Prague. Many StB officers also worked directly for the KGB, known as “the friends”.

In summer 1987, Donald and Ivana Trump visited Moscow and Leningrad, following a personal invitation from the Soviet ambassador in Washington, Yuri Dubinin. The trip was arranged by Intourist, a travel agency that was also an undercover KGB outfit. Soon after returning from Moscow, Trump announced he was thinking of running for president. That presidential bid failed to materialise.

In October 1988, on the eve of the US election, Ivana Trump visited her parents in Zlín, known at the time as Gottwaldov. According to the files she “confidently” predicted Bush’s victory to her father, who in turn passed the tip to local StB officers.

“The outcome of the election confirmed the veracity of this information,” StB field agent Lt Peter Surý wrote, in a document dated 23 January 1989 and marked “secret”.

The prediction came “from the highest echelons of power in the US”. Ivana was “not only a well-heeled US citizen” but moved in “very top political circles”, Surý stated.

Surý listed a number of “action points” that might be taken. They included remaining in “conspiratorial contact” with Zelníček. The StB goal was to gain more information about US foreign policy, politics and economy, plus “the activities of America’s intelligence agencies”.

Surý, who was deputy head of the local StB, still lives in Zlín. “Yes, I wrote that file,” he said, speaking about it publicly for the first time. “Trump was a rich businessman and interesting for us. I didn’t work on him, though. My colleagues did. The first department focused on him. I don’t know details.”

The comments by former StB officers suggest Moscow and Prague were intensely interested in Trump in the late cold war era. Spy agencies in both socialist capitals noted Trump’s growing political ambitions and sought to exploit his in-laws and family ties, using them as a dynamic intelligence channel.

The scale of Soviet Moscow’s spying operation on Trump is unknown. No documents are public. It is unclear when the KGB began a file on the future president. In Prague about 60,000 StB documents were declassified in the mid-1990s, after the collapse of communism. The StB destroyed most records.

However, secret memos written by the KGB chief, Vladimir Kryuchkov, in the mid-1980s reveal that he berated his officers for their failure to cultivate top-level Americans. Kryuchkov circulated a confidential personality questionnaire to KGB heads of station abroad, setting out the qualities wanted from a potential asset.

According to instructions leaked to British intelligence by the KGB defector Oleg Gordievsky, they included corruption, vanity, narcissism, marital infidelity and poor analytical skills. The KGB should focus on personalities who were upwardly mobile in business and politics, especially Americans, the document said.

Frank, what's your take on the bombshell Guardian investigation last year? It bizarrely never appeared in US media, afaik. A credibility issue? Or eclipsed by our Afghanistan exit? (It's new info, not Steele dossier). Seems hugely relevant now.

Vladimir Putin personally authorised a secret spy agency operation to support a “mentally unstable” Donald Trump in the 2016 US presidential election during a closed session of Russia’s national security council, according to what are assessed to be leaked Kremlin documents.

The key meeting took place on 22 January 2016, the papers suggest, with the Russian president, his spy chiefs and senior ministers all present.

They agreed a Trump White House would help secure Moscow’s strategic objectives, among them “social turmoil” in the US and a weakening of the American president’s negotiating position.

Russia’s three spy agencies were ordered to find practical ways to support Trump, in a decree appearing to bear Putin’s signature.

By this point Trump was the frontrunner in the Republican party’s nomination race. A report prepared by Putin’s expert department recommended Moscow use “all possible force” to ensure a Trump victory.

Western intelligence agencies are understood to have been aware of the documents for some months and to have carefully examined them. The papers, seen by the Guardian, seem to represent a serious and highly unusual leak from within the Kremlin.

The Guardian has shown the documents to independent experts who say they appear to be genuine. Incidental details come across as accurate. The overall tone and thrust is said to be consistent with Kremlin security thinking.

The Kremlin responded dismissively. Putin’s spokesman Dmitri Peskov said the idea that Russian leaders had met and agreed to support Trump in at the meeting in early 2016 was “a great pulp fiction” when contacted by the Guardian on Thursday morning.

The report – “No 32-04 \ vd” – is classified as secret. It says Trump is the “most promising candidate” from the Kremlin’s point of view. The word in Russian is perspektivny.

There is a brief psychological assessment of Trump, who is described as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex”.

There is also apparent confirmation that the Kremlin possesses kompromat, or potentially compromising material, on the future president, collected – the document says – from Trump’s earlier “non-official visits to Russian Federation territory”.

The paper refers to “certain events” that happened during Trump’s trips to Moscow. Security council members are invited to find details in appendix five, at paragraph five, the document states. It is unclear what the appendix contains.

“It is acutely necessary to use all possible force to facilitate his [Trump’s] election to the post of US president,” the paper says.

This would help bring about Russia’s favoured “theoretical political scenario”. A Trump win “will definitely lead to the destabilisation of the US’s sociopolitical system” and see hidden discontent burst into the open, it predicts.

The Kremlin summit

There is no doubt that the meeting in January 2016 took place – and that it was convened inside the Kremlin.

An official photo of the occasion shows Putin at the head of the table, seated beneath a Russian Federation flag and a two-headed golden eagle. Russia’s then prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, attended, together with the veteran foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov.

Also present were Sergei Shoigu, the defence minister in charge of the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency; Mikhail Fradkov, the then chief of Russia’s SVR foreign intelligence service; and Alexander Bortnikov, the boss of the FSB spy agency.Nikolai Patrushev, the FSB’s former director, attended too as security council secretary.

According to a press release, the discussion covered the economy and Moldova.

The document seen by the Guardian suggests the security council’s real, covert purpose was to discuss the confidential proposals drawn up by the president’s analytical service in response to US sanctions against Moscow.

The author appears to be Vladimir Symonenko, the senior official in charge of the Kremlin’s expert department – which provides Putin with analytical material and reports, some of them based on foreign intelligence.

The papers indicate that on 14 January 2016 Symonenko circulated a three-page executive summary of his team’s conclusions and recommendations.

In a signed order two days later, Putin instructed the then chief of his foreign policy directorate, Alexander Manzhosin, to convene a closed briefing of the national security council.

Its purpose was to further study the document, the order says. Manzhosin was given a deadline of five days to make arrangements.

What was said inside the second-floor Kremlin senate building room is unknown. But the president and his intelligence officials appear to have signed off on a multi-agency plan to interfere in US democracy, framed in terms of justified self-defence.

Various measures are cited that the Kremlin might adopt in response to what it sees as hostile acts from Washington. The paper lays out several American weaknesses. These include a “deepening political gulf between left and right”, the US’s “media-information” space, and an anti-establishment mood under President Barack Obama.

The paper does not name Hillary Clinton, Trump’s 2016 rival. It does suggest employing media resources to undermine leading US political figures.

There are paragraphs on how Russia might insert “media viruses” into American public life, which could become self-sustaining and self-replicating. These would alter mass consciousness, especially in certain groups, it says.

After the meeting, according to a separate leaked document, Putin issued a decree setting up a new and secret interdepartmental commission. Its urgent task was to realise the goals set out in the “special part” of document No 32-04 \ vd.

Members of the new working body were stated to include Shoigu, Fradkov and Bortnikov. Shoigu was named commission chair. The decree – ukaz in Russian – said the group should take practical steps against the US as soon as possible. These were justified on national security grounds and in accordance with a 2010 federal law, 390-FZ, which allows the council to formulate state policy on security matters.

According to the document, each spy agency was given a role. The defence minister was instructed to coordinate the work of subdivisions and services. Shoigu was also responsible for collecting and systematising necessary information and for “preparing measures to act on the information environment of the object” – a command, it seems, to hack sensitive American cyber-targets identified by the SVR.

The SVR was told to gather additional information to support the commission’s activities. The FSB was assigned counter-intelligence. Putin approved the apparent document, dated 22 January 2016, which his chancellery stamped.

The measures were effective immediately on Putin’s signature, the decree says. The spy chiefs were given just over a week to come back with concrete ideas, to be submitted by 1 February.

Written in bureaucratic language, the papers appear to offer an unprecedented glimpse into the usually hidden world of Russian government decision-making.

Putin has repeatedly denied accusations of interfering in western democracy. The documents seem to contradict this claim. They suggest the president, his spy officers and senior ministers were all intimately involved in one of the most important and audacious espionage operations of the 21st century: a plot to help put the “mentally unstable” Trump in the White House.

The papers appear to set out a route map for what actually happened in 2016.

A matter of weeks after the security council meeting, GRU hackers raided the servers of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and subsequently released thousands of private emails in an attempt to hurt Clinton’s election campaign.

The report seen by the Guardian features details redolent of Russian intelligence work, diplomatic sources say. The thumbnail sketch of Trump’s personality is characteristic of Kremlin spy agency analysis, which places great emphasis on building up a profile of individuals using both real and cod psychology.

Moscow would gain most from a Republican victory, the paper states. This could lead to a “social explosion” that would in turn weaken the US president, it says. There were international benefits from a Trump win, it stresses. Putin would be able in clandestine fashion to dominate any US-Russia bilateral talks, to deconstruct the White House’s negotiating position, and to pursue bold foreign policy initiatives on Russia’s behalf, it says.

Other parts of the multi-page report deal with non-Trump themes. It says sanctions imposed by the US after Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea have contributed to domestic tensions. The Kremlin should seek alternative ways of attracting liquidity into the Russian economy, it concludes.

The document recommends the reorientation of trade and hydrocarbon exports towards China. Moscow’s focus should be to influence the US and its satellite countries, it says, so they drop sanctions altogether or soften them.

‘Spell-binding’ documents Andrei Soldatov, an expert on Russia’s spy agencies and author of The Red Web, said the leaked material “reflects reality”. “It’s consistent with the procedures of the security services and the security council,” he said. “Decisions are always made like that, with advisers providing information to the president and a chain of command.”

He added: “The Kremlin micromanages most of these operations. Putin has made it clear to his spies since at least 2015 that nothing can be done independently from him. There is no room for independent action.” Putin decided to release stolen DNC emails following a security council meeting in April 2016, Soldatov said, citing his own sources.

Sir Andrew Wood, the UK’s former ambassador in Moscow and an associate fellow at the Chatham House thinktank, described the documents as “spell-binding”. “They reflect the sort of discussion and recommendations you would expect. There is a complete misunderstanding of the US and China. They are written for a person [Putin] who can’t believe he got anything wrong.”

Wood added: “There is no sense Russia might have made a mistake by invading Ukraine. The report is fully in line with the sort of thing I would expect in 2016, and even more so now. There is a good deal of paranoia. They believe the US is responsible for everything. This view is deeply dug into the soul of Russia’s leaders.” Trump did not initially respond to a request for comment.

Later, Liz Harrington, his spokesperson, issued a statement on his behalf.

“This is disgusting. It’s fake news, just like RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA was fake news. It’s just the Radical Left crazies doing whatever they can to demean everybody on the right.

“It’s fiction, and nobody was tougher on Russia than me, including on the pipeline, and sanctions. At the same time we got along with Russia. Russia respected us, China respected us, Iran respected us, North Korea respected us.

“And the world was a much safer place than it is now with mentally unstable leadership.”

Meanwhile in Russia: Putin's mouthpieces on state TV are taunting America about "Top Secret" documents sought during the raid of Trump's estate, which they claim had to do with the newest nuclear weapons developed by the US and gleefully imply that Moscow already got to see them.


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