Category Archives: pulch

Exposed – The Secret Steele Dossier about Trump and Putin – Original Text




– Russian regime has been cultivating, supporting and assisting TRUMP for
at least 5 years. Aim, endorsed by PUTIN, has been to encourage splits and
divisions in western alliance

– So far TRUMP has declined various sweetener real estate business deals
offered him in Russia in order to further the Kremlin’s cultivation of him.
However he and his inner circle have accepted a regular flow of
intelligence from the Kremlin, including on his Democratic and other
political rivals

– Former top Russian intelligence officer claims FSB has compromised
TRUMP through his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to
blackmail him. According to several knowledgeable sources, his conduct
in Moscow has included perverted sexual acts which have been
arranged/monitored by the FSB

A dossier of compromising material on Hillary CLINTON has been collated
by the Russian Intelligence Services over many years and mainly
comprises bugged conversations she had on various visits to Russia and
intercepted phone calls rather than any embarrassing conduct. The
dossier is controlled by Kremlin spokesman, PESKOV, directly on PUTIN’S
orders. However it has not as yet been distributed abroad, including to
TRUMP. Russian intentions for its deployment still unclear


1. Speaking to a trusted compatriot in June 2016 sources A and B, a senior
Russian Foreign Ministry figure and a former top level Russian
intelligence officer still active inside the Kremlin respectively, the Russian
authorities had been cultivating and supporting US Republican
presidential candidate, Donald TRUMP for at least 5 years. Source B
asserted that the TRUMP operation was both supported and directed by
Russian President Vladimir PUTIN. Its aim was to sow discord and



Kr,t-h within the US itself, but more especially within the
d‘ SU n,ty both w hn ‘ which was viewed as inimical to Russia’s interests.

” B “s S ia„ financial -metal said th. TRUMP operation
Sould to seen in iernts of PUTIN’S desire to return to!Nineteenth
roni-nrv’Great Power politics anchored upon countries interests
rhan the ideals-based international order established after Worl a
Two. S/he had overheard PUTIN talRihg in this way in dose associates on

several occasions.

? in terms of specifics, Source A confided that the Kremlin had been feeding
TRUMP and his team valuable intelligence on his opponents, including
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON, for several years
^more below). This was confirmed by Source D, a close associate of
TRUMP who had organized and managed Ins recent trips to os ^° ^
who reported, also in June 2016, that this Russian >n»DM» be ™
“very helpful”. The Kremlin’s cultivation operation on 1 RUMP also
comprised offering him various lucrative real estate develop me _ ^

business deals in Russia, especially in relation to the ong g
Cup soccer tournament However, so far, for reasons unknown, T R

had not taken up any of these.

3 However, there were other aspects to TRUMP’s engagement with the
Russian authorities. One which had borne fruit for them was to exploit
TRUMP’S personal obsessions and sexual perversion in order to obta
suitable ‘kompromaf (compromising material) on him. According to
Source D, where s/he had been present, TRUMP’s (perverted) conduct in
Moscow included hiring the presidential suite of the Ritz Carlton Hotel,
where he knew President and Mrs OBAMA (whom he hated) had stayed
on one of their official trips to Russia, and defiling the bed where they had
slept by employing a number of prostitutes to perform a ’golden showers
(urination) show in front of him. The hotel was known to be under FSB
control with microphones and concealed cameras in all the main rooms
to record anything they wanted to.

4. The Moscow Ritz

who said that s/he and several of the staff were aware of it at the time
and subsequently. S/he believed it had happened in 2013. Soui ce E
provided an introduction for a company ethnic Russian operative to
Source F, a female staffer at the hotel when TRUMP had stayed there, who
also confirmed the story. Speaking separately in June 2016, Source B (the
former top level Russian intelligence officer) asserted that TRUMP’s
unorthodox behavior in Russia over the years had provided the
authorities there with enough embarrassing material on the now
Republican presidential candidate to be able to blackmail him if they so

5. Asked about the Kremlin’s reported intelligence feed to TRUMP over
recent years and rumours about a Russian dossier of ‘kompromat’ on



milarv CLINTON fbeing circulated). Source B confirmed the file’s
ex” ttnce S/™ confided in a trusted compatriot that it had been collated
by Department K of the FSB for many years, dating back to hcr husband
Bill’s presidency, and comprised mainly eavesdropped conversations o
various sorts rather than details/evidence of unorthodox or
embarrassing behavior. Some of the conversations were
comments CLINTON had made on her various trips to Russia an
on things she had said which contradicted her current position on vano
issues. Others were most probably from phone intercepts.

6. Continuing on this theme, Source G, a senior Kremlin o ffi ci al . confided
that the CLINTON dossier was controlled exclusively by chief Krem

spokesman, Dmitriy PESKOV, who was responsible for

compiling/handling it on the explicit instructions of PUTIN himself. T
dossier however had not as yet been made available abroad, “eluding
TRUMP or his campaign team. At present it was unclear what PU s
intentions were in this regard.

20 June 2016






Russia has extensive programme of state-sponsored offensive <3*
operations. External targets include foreign governments and mg
corporations, especially banks. FSB leads on cyber «« hin R ““ ,a ”
apparatus. Limited success in attacking top foreign targets like G7
governments, security services and IFIs but much more on.secondM
ones through IT back doors, using corporate and other visito

FSB often uses coercion and blackmail to recruit mostc a p a ble cyber ,
operatives in Russia into its state-sponsored programmes. Heavy
both wittingly and unwittingly, of CIS emigres working in western
corporations and ethnic Russians employed by neighbouring
governments e.g. Latvia

Example cited of successful Russian cyber operation targeting senior
Western business visitor. Provided back door into important es ern

Example given of US citizen of Russian origin approached by FSB and
offered incentive of “investment” in his business when visiting Moscow.

Problems however for Russian authorities themselves in countering local
hackers and cyber criminals, operating outside state control. Central Bank
claims there were over 20 serious attacks on correspondent accounts
held by CBR in 2015, comprising Roubles several billion in fraud

Some details given of leading non-state Russian cyber criminal groups


1. Speaking in June 2016, a number of Russian figures with a detailed

knowledge of national cyber crime, both state-sponsored and otherwise,
outlined the current situation in this area. A former senior intelligence
officer divided Russian state-sponsored offensive cyber operations into
four categories (in order of priority):- targeting foreign, especially



western governments; penetrating leading foreign business corporations,
especially banks; domestic monitoring of the elite; and attacking political
opponents both at home and abroad. The former intelligence officer
reported that the Federal Security Service (FSB) was the lead
organization within the Russian state apparatus for cyber operations.

2. In terms of the success of Russian offensive cyber operations to date, a
senior government figure reported that there had been only limited
success in penetrating the “first tier” foreign targets. These comprised
western (especially G7 and NATO) governments, security and intelligence
services and central banks, and the IFls. To compensate for this shortfall,
massive effort had been invested, with much greater success, in attacking
the “secondary targets”, particularly western private banks and the
governments of smaller states allied to the West. S/he mentioned atvia
in this regard. Hundreds of agents, either consciously cooperating with
the FSB or whose personal and professional IT systems had been
unwittingly compromised, were recruited. Many were people who had
ethnic and family ties to Russia and/or had been incentivized financially
to cooperate. Such people often would receive monetary inducements or
contractual favours from the Russian state or its agents in return. This
had created difficulties for parts of the Russian state apparatus in
obliging/indulging them e.g. the Central Bank of Russia knowingly having
to cover up for such agents’ money laundering operations through the
Russian financial system.

3. In terms of the FSB’s recruitment of capable cyber operatives to carry out
its, ideally deniable, offensive cyber operations, a Russian IT specialist
with direct knowledge reported in June 2016 that this was often done
using coercion and blackmail. In terms of‘foreign’ agents, the FSB was
approaching US citizens of Russian (Jewish) origin on business trips to
Russia. In one case a US citizen of Russian ethnicity had been visiting
Moscow to attract investors in his new information technology program.
The FSB clearly knew this and had offered to provide seed capital to this
person in return for them being able to access and modify his IP, with a
view to targeting priority foreign targets by planting a Trojan virus in the
software. The US visitor was told this was common practice. The FSB also
had implied significant operational success as a result of installing cheap
Russian IT games containing their own malware unwittingly by targets
on their PCs and other platforms.

4. In a more advanced and successful FSB operation, an IT operator inside a
leading Russian SOE, who previously had been employed on conventional
(defensive) IT work there, had been under instruction for the last year to
conduct an offensive cyber operation against a foreign director of the
company. Although the latter was apparently an infrequent visitor to
Russia, the FSB now successfully had penetrated his personal IT and
through this had managed to access various important institutions in the
West through the back door.




5. In terms of other technical IT platforms, an FSB cyber operative flagged
up the ‘Telegram’ enciphered commercial system as having been of
especial concern and therefore heavily targeted by the FSB, not least
because it was used frequently by Russian internal political activists and
oppositionists. His/her understanding was that the FSB now successfully
had cracked this communications software and therefore it was no longer
secure to use.

6. The senior Russian government figure cited above also reported that
non-state sponsored cyber crime was becoming an increasing problem
inside Russia for the government and authorities there. The Central Bank
of Russia claimed that in 2015 alone there had been more than 20
attempts at serious cyber embezzlement of money from corresponding
accounts held there, comprising several billions Roubles. More generally,
s/he understood there were circa 15 major organised crime groups in the
country involved in cyber crime, all of which continued to operate largely
outside state and FSB control. These included the so-called ‘Anunak’,
‘Buktrap’ and ‘Metel’ organisations.

26 July 2015


4 –




Further evidence of extensive conspiracy between TRUMP’s campaign
team and Kremlin, sanctioned at highest levels and involving Russian
diplomatic staff based in the US

– TRUMP associate admits Kremlin behind recent appearance of DNC e-
mails on WikiLeaks, as means of maintaining plausible deniability

Agreed exchange of information established in both directions. TRUMP s
team using moles within DNC and hackers in the US as well as outside in
Russia. PUTIN motivated by fear and hatred of Hillary CLINTON. Russians
receiving intel from TRUMP’s team on Russian oligarchs and their families
in US

Mechanism for transmitting this intelligence involves “pension”
disbursements to Russian emigres living in US as cover, using consular
officials in New York, DC and Miami

Suggestion from source close to TRUMP and MANAFORT that Republican
campaign team happy to have Russia as media bogeyman to mask more
extensive corrupt business ties to China and other emerging countries


1. Speaking in confidence to a compatriot in late July 2016, Source E, an
ethnic Russian close associate of Republican US presidential candidate
Donald TRUMP, admitted that there was a well-developed conspiracy of
co-operation between them and the Russian leadership. This was
managed on the TRUMP side by the Republican candidate’s campaign
manager, Paul MANAFORT, who was using foreign policy advisor, Carter
PAGE, and others as intermediaries. The two sides had a mutual interest
in defeating Democratic presidential candidate Hillary CLINTON, whom
President PUTIN apparently both hated and feared.

2. Inter alia, Source E, acknowledged that the Russian regime had been
behind the recent leak of embarrassing e-mail messages, emanating from
the Democratic National Committee (DNC), to the WikiLeaks platform.



The reason for using WikiLeaks was “plausible deniability” and the
operation had been conducted with the full knowledge and support of
TRUMP and senior members of his campaign team. In return the TRUMP
team had agreed to sideline Russian intervention in Ukraine as a
campaign issue and to raise US/NATO defence commitments in the
Baltics and Eastern Europe to deflect attention away from Ukraine, a
priority for PUTIN who needed to cauterise the subject.

In the wider context of TRUMP campaign/Kremlin co-operation, Source E
claimed that the intelligence network being used against CLINTON
comprised three elements. Firstly there were agents/facilitators within
the Democratic Party structure itself; secondly Russian emigre and
associated offensive cyber operators based in the US; and thirdly, state-
sponsored cyber operatives working in Russia. All three elements had
played an important role to date. On the mechanism for rewarding
relevant assets based in the US, and effecting a two-way flow of
intelligence and other useful information, Source E claimed that Russian
diplomatic staff in key cities such as New York, Washington DC and
Miami were using the emigre ‘pension’ distribution system as cover. The
operation therefore depended on key people in the US Russian emigre
community for its success. Tens of thousands of dollars were involve .

In terms of the intelligence flow from the TRUMP team to Russia, Source
E reported that much of this concerned the activities of business
oligarchs and their families’ activities and assets in the US, with which
PUTIN and the Kremlin seemed preoccupied.

Commenting on the negative media publicity surrounding alleged
Russian interference in the US election campaign in support of TRUMP,
Source E said he understood that the Republican candidate and his team
were relatively relaxed about this because it deflected media and the
Democrats’ attention away from TRUMP’s business dealings in China and
other emerging markets. Unlike in Russia, these were substantial and
involved the payment of large bribes and kickbacks which, were they to
become public, would be potentially very damaging to their campaign.

Finally, regarding TRUMP’s claimed minimal investment profile in Russia,
a separate source with direct knowledge said this had not been for want
of trying. TRUMP’s previous efforts had included exploring the real estate
sector in St Petersburg as well as Moscow but in the end TRUMP had had
to settle for the use of extensive sexual services there from local
prostitutes rather than business success.





– TRUMP advisor Carter PAGE holds secret meetings in Moscow with
SECHIN and senior Kremlin Internal Affairs official, DIVYEKIN

– SECHIN raises issues of future bilateral US-Russia energy co-operation
and associated lifting of western sanctions against Russia over Ukraine.
PAGE non-committal in response

– DIVEYKIN discusses release of Russian dossier of ‘kompromat’ on
TRUMP’s opponent, Hillary CLINTON, but also hints at Kremlin
possession of such material on TRUMP


1. Speaking in July 2016, a Russian source close to Rosneft President, PUTIN
close associate and US-sanctioned individual, Igor SECHIN, confided the
details of a recent secret meeting between him and visiting Foreign
Affairs Advisor to Republican presidential candidate Donald TRUMP,

Carter PAGE.

2. According to SECHIN’s associate, the Rosneft President [CEO) had raised
with PAGE the issues of future bilateral energy cooperation and
prospects for an associated move to lift Ukraine-related western
sanctions against Russia. PAGE had reacted positively to this demarche
by SECHIN but had been generally non-committal in response.

3. Speaking separately, also in July 2016, an official close to Presidential
Administration Head, S. IVANOV, confided in a compatriot that a senior
colleague in the Internal Political Department of the PA, DIVYEKIN (nfd)
also had met secretly with PAGE on his recent visit. Their agenda had
included DIVEYKIN raising a dossier of’kompromat’ the Kremlin
possessed on TRUMP’s Democratic presidential rival, Hillary CLINTON,
and its possible release to the Republican’s campaign team.

4. However, the Kremlin official close to S. IVANOV added that s/he believed
DIVEYKIN also had hinted (or indicated more strongly) that the Russian
leadership also had ‘kompromat’ on TRUMP which the latter should bear
in mind in his dealings with them.

19 July 2016




Kremlin concerned that political fallout from DNC e-mail hacking operation is spiralling
out of control. Extreme nervousness among TRUMP’s associates as result of negative
media attention/accusations

Russians meanwhile keen to cool situation and maintain ‘plausible deniability’ of
existing /ongoing pro-TRUMP and anti-CLINTON operations. Therefore unlikely to be
any ratcheting up offensive plays in immediate future

Source close to TRUMP campaign however confirms regular exchange with Kremlin
has existed for at least 8 years, including intelligence fed back to Russia on oligarchs’
activities in US

Russians apparently have promised not to use ‘kompromat’ they hold on TRUMP as
leverage, given high levels of voluntary co-operation forthcoming from his team


1. Speaking in confidence to a trusted associate in late July 2016, a Russian emigre figure
close to the Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP’s campaign team
commented on the fallout from publicity surrounding the Democratic National
Committee (DNC) e-mail hacking scandal. The emigre said there was a high level of
anxiety within the TRUMP team as a result of various accusations levelled against
them and indications from the Kremlin that President PUTIN and others in the
leadership thought things had gone too far now and risked spiralling out of control.

2. Continuing on this theme, the emigre associate of TRUMP opined that the Kremlin
wanted the situation to calm but for ‘plausible deniability’ to be maintained
concerning its (extensive) pro-TRUMP and anti-CLINTON operations. S/he therefore
judged that it was unlikely these would be ratcheted up, at least for the time being.

3. However, in terms of established operational liaison between the TRUMP team and
the Kremlin, the emigre confirmed that an intelligence exchange had been running
between them for at least 8 years. Within this context PUTIN’S priority requirement
had been for intelligence on the activities, business and otherwise, in the US of leading
Russian oligarchs and their families. TRUMP and his associates duly had obtained and
supplied the Kremlin with this information.


Finally the emigre said s/he understood the Kremlin had more intelligence on
CLINTON and her campaign but he did not know the details or when or »it wouW be
released As far as ‘kompromat’ (compromising information) on TRUM
concerned, although there was plenty of this, he understood the Kremlin had gi^^
word that it would not be deployed against the Republican president^ ^

given how helpful and co-operative his team had been over sever y ,
particularly of late.

30 July 2016




Head of PA IVANOV laments Russian intervention in US presidential
election and black PR against CLINTON and the DNC. Vows not to supply
intelligence to Kremlin PR operatives again. Advocates now sitting tight
and denying everything

Presidential spokesman PESKOV the main protagonist in Kremlin
campaign to aid TRUMP and damage CLINTON. He is now scared and
fears being made scapegoat by leadership for backlash in US. Problem
compounded by his botched intervention in recent Turkish crisis

Premier MEDVEDEV’S office furious over DNC hacking and associated
anti-Russian publicity. Want good relations with US and ability to travel
there. Refusing to support or help cover up after PESKOV

Talk now in Kremlin of TRUMP withdrawing from presidential race
altogether, but this still largely wishful thinking by more liberal elements
in Moscow


1. Speaking in early August 2016, two well-placed and established Kremlin
sources outlined the divisions and backlash in Moscow arising from the
leaking of Democratic National Committee (DNC) e-mails and the wider
pro-TRUMP operation being conducted in the US. Head of Presidential
Administration, Sergei IVANOV, was angry at the recent turn of events.

He believed the Kremlin “team” involved, led by presidential spokesman
Dmitriy PESKOV, had gone too far in interfering in foreign affairs with
their “elephant in a china shop black PR”. IVANOV claimed always to have
opposed the handling and exploitation of intelligence by this PR “team”.
Following the backlash against such foreign interference in US politics,
IVANOV was advocating that the only sensible course of action now for
the Russian leadership was to “sit tight and deny everything”.

2. Continuing on this theme the source close to IVANOV reported that
PESKOV now was “scared shitless” that he would be scapegoated by
PUTIN and the Kremlin and held responsible for the backlash against
Russian political interference in the US election. IVANOV was determined


to stop PESKOV playing an independent role in relation to the US going
forward and the source fully expected the presidential spokesman now to
lay low. PESKOV s position was not helped by a botched attempt by him
also to interfere in the recent failed coup in Turkey from a government
relations (GR) perspective (no further details].

3. The extent of disquiet and division within Moscow caused by the

backlash against Russian interference in the US election was underlined
by a second source, close to premier Dmitriy MEDVEDEV (DAM]. S/he
said the Russian prime minister and his colleagues wanted to have good
relations with the US, regardless of who was in power there, and not least
so as to be able to travel there in future, either officially or privately. They
were openly refusing to cover up for PESKOV and others involved in the
DNC/TRUMP operations or to support his counter-attack of allegations
against the USG for its alleged hacking of the Russian government and
state agencies.

4. According to the first source, close to IVANOV, there had been talk in the
Kremlin of TRUMP being forced to withdraw from the presidential race
altogether as a result of recent events, ostensibly on grounds of his
psychological state and unsuitability for high office. This might not be so
bad for Russia in the circumstances but in the view of the source, it
remained largely wishful thinking on the part of those in the regime
opposed to PESKOV and his “botched” operations, at least for the time

5 August 2016




Head of PA, IVANOV assesses Kremlin intervention in US presidential election and outlines leadership
thinkingon operational wayforward

No new leaks envisaged, as too politically risky, but rather further exploitation of (WikiLeaks) material
already disseminated to exacerbate divisions

Educated US youth to be targeted as protest(againstCLINTON) and swing vote in attempt to turn them
over to TRUMP

Russian leadership, including PUTIN, celebrating perceived success to date in splitting US hawks and

Kremlin engaging with several high profile US players, including STEIN, PAGE and (former DlA Director
Michael Flynn), and funding their recent visits to Moscow


1. Speaking in confidence to a close colleague in early August 2016, Head of the Russian Presidential
Administration (PA), Sergei IVANOV, assessed the impact and results of Kremlin intervention in the US
presidential election to date. Although most commentators believed that the Kremlin was behind the
leaked DNC/CLINTON e-mails, this remained technically deniable. Therefore the Russians would not
risk their position for the time being with new leaked material, even to a third party like WikiLeaks.
Rather the tactics would be to spread rumours and misinformation about the content of what already
had been leaked and make up new content.

2. Continuing on this theme, IVANOV said that the audience to be targeted by such operations was the
educated youth in America as the PA assessed thatthere was still a chancethey could be persuaded to
vote for Republican candidate Donald TRUMP as a protest against the Washington establishment (in
the form of Democratic candidate Hillary CLINTON). The hope was that even if she won, as a resultof
this CLINTON in power would be bogged down in working for internal reconciliation in the US, rather
than being ableto focus on foreign policy which would damage Russia’s interests.This also should give
PresidentPUTIN more room for manoeuvre inthe run-upto Russia’s own presidential election in 2018.

3. IVANOV reported that although the Kremlin had underestimated the strength of US media and liberal
reaction to the DNC hackand TRUMP’s links to Russia, PUTIN was generally satisfied with the progress
of the anti-CLINTON operation to date. He recently had had a drink with PUTIN to markthis. In IVANOV’s
view,the US hadtriedto dividethe Russian elite with sanctions butfailed, whilstthey, by contrast, had
succeeded in splittingthe US hawks inimical to Russiaand the Washington elite more generally, half of
whom had refused to endorse any presidential candidateas a resultof Russian intervention.


Speaking separately, also in early August 2016, a Kremlin official involved in US relations commented
on aspects ofthe Russian operation todate. Its goals had been threefold- askingsympathetic USactors
how Moscow could help them; gathering relevant intelligence; and creating and disseminating

compromising information(‘kompromat’). This had involved the Kremlin supporting various US political

figures including funding indirectly their recent visits to Moscow. S/he named a delegation from
Lyndon UROUCHE; presidential candidateJill STEIN ofthe Green Party; TRUMP foreign policy adviser


Carter PAGE; and former DIA Director Michael Flynn, in this regard and as successful in terms of
perceived outcomes.

10 August 2016




TRUMP campaign insider reports recent DNC e-mail leaks were aimed at switching SANDERS (protest)
voters away from CLINTON and over to TRUMP

Admits Republican campaign underestimated resulting negative reaction from US liberals, elite and
media and forced to change course as result

Need now to turn tables on CLINTON’S use of PUTIN as bogeyman in election, although some
resentment at Russian president’s perceived attempt to undermine USG and system over and above
swinging presidents I election


1. Speaking in confidence on 9 August 2016, an ethnic Russian associate of Republican US presidential
candidate Donald TRUMP discussed the reaction inside his camp, and revised tactics therein resulting
from recent negative publicity concerning Moscow’s clandestine involvement in the campaign.
TRUMP’s a ssociate reported that the a i m of I ea ki ng the DNC e-ma i I s to Wi ki Lea ks during the Democratic
Convention had been to swi ng supporters of Bernie SANDERS awayfrom Hillary CLINTON and across to
TRUMP. Thesevoters were perceived as activistand anti -status quoand anti-establishment and inthat
regard sharing many features with the TRUMP campaign, including a visceral dislike of Hillary CLINTON.
This objective had been conceived and promoted, inter alia, by TRUMP’s foreign policy adviser Carter
PAGE who had discussed itdirectly with the ethnic Russian associate.

2. Continuing on thistheme, the ethnic Russian associateof TRUMP assessed that the problem wasthat
the TRUMP campaign had underestimated the strength of the negative reaction from liberals and
especially the conservative elite to Russian interference. This was forcing a rethink and a likely change
of tactics. The main objective in the shortterm was to check Democratic candidate Hillary CLINTON’S
successful exploitation of the PUTIN as bogeyman/Russian interference story to tarnish TRUMP and
bolster her own (patriotic) credentials.The TRUMP campaign was focusingon tapping into supportin
the American television media to achievethis, as they reckoned this resource had been underused by
them to date.

3. However, TRUMP’s associate also admitted that there was a fair amount of anger and resentment
within the Republican candidate’s team at what was perceived by PUTIN as going beyond the objective
of weakening CLINTON and bolstering TRUMP, by attempting to exploitthe situation to undermine the
US government and democratic system more generally. It was unclear at present how this aspect of
the situation would play out in the weeks to come.

10 August 2016




– Kremlin insider reports TRUMP lawyer COHEN’s secret meeting/s with Kremlin officials in
August 2016 was/were held in Prague

– Russian parastatal organisation Rossotrudnichestvo used as cover for this liaison and premises
in Czech capital may have been used for the meeting/s

– Pro-PUTIN leading Duma figure, KOSACHEV, reportedly involved as “plausibly deniable”
facilitator and may have participated in the August meeting/s with COHEN


1. Speaking to a compatriot and friend on 19 October 2016, a Kremlin insider provided further
details of reported clandestine meeting/s between Republican presidential candidate, Donald
TRUMP’S lawyer Michael COHEN and Kremlin representatives in August 2016. Although the
communication between them had to be cryptic for security reasons, the Kremlin insider
clearly indicated to his/her friend that the reported contact/s took place in Prague, Czech

2. Continuing on this theme, the Kremlin insider highlighted the importance of the Russian
parastatal organisation, Rossotrudnichestvo, in this contact between TRUMP campaign
representative/s and Kremlin officials. Rossotrudnichestvo was being used as cover for this
relationship and its office in Prague may well have been used to host the COHEN / Russian
Presidential Administration (PA) meeting/s. It was considered a “plausibly deniable” vehicle
for this, whilst remaining entirely under Kremlin control.

3. The Kremlin insider went on to identify leading pro-PUTIN Duma figure, Konstantin
KOSACHEV (Head of the Foreign Relations Committee) as an important figure in the TRUMP
campaign-Kremlin liaison operation. KOSACHEV, also “plausibly deniable” being part of the
Russian legislature rather than executive, had facilitated the contact in Prague and by
implication, may have attended the meeting/s with COHEN there in August.

Company Comment

We reported previously, in our Company Intelligence Report 2016/135 of 19 October 2016 from the
same source, that COHEN met officials from the PA Legal Department clandestinely in an EU
country in August 2016. This was in order to clean up the mess left behind by western media
revelations of TRUMP ex-campaign manager MANAFORT’s corrupt relationship with the former
pro-Russian YANUKOVYCH regime in Ukraine and TRUMP foreign policy advisor, Carter
PAGE’S secret meetings in Moscow with senior regime figures in July 2016. According to the
Kremlin advisor, these meeting/s were originally scheduled for COHEN in Moscow but shifted to

what was considered an operationally “soft” EU country when it was judged too compromising
for him to travel to the Russian capital.

20 October 2016




– Ex-Ukrainian President YANUKOVYCH confides directly to PUTIN that he
authorised kick-back payments to MANAFORT, as alleged in western
media. Assures Russian President however there is no documentary

PUTIN and Russian leadership remain worried however and sceptical that
YANUKOVYCH has fully covered the traces of these payments to TRUMP’s
former campaign manager

– Close associate of TRUMP explains reasoning behind MANAFORT’s recent
resignation. Ukraine revelations played part but others wanted
MANAFORT out for various reasons, especially LEWANDOWSK1 who
remains influential


1. Speaking in late August 2016, in the immediate aftermath of Paul
MANAFORT’s resignation as campaign manager for US Republican
presidential candidate Donald TRUMP, a well-placed Russian figure
reported on a recent meeting between President PUTIN and ex-President
YANUKOVYCH of Ukraine. This had been held in secret on 15 August near
Volgograd, Russia and the western media revelations about MANAFORT
and Ukraine had featured prominently on the agenda. YANUKOVYCH had
confided in PUTIN that he did authorise and order substantial kick-back
payments to MANAFORT as alleged but sought to reassure him that there
was no documentary trail left behind which could provide clear evidence
of this.

2. Given YANUKOVYCH’S (unimpressive) record in covering up his own
corrupt tracks in the past, PUTIN and others in the Russian leadership
were sceptical about the ex-Ukrainian president’s reassurances on this as
relating to MANAFORT. They therefore still feared the scandal had legs,
especially as MANAFORT had been commercially active in Ukraine right
up to the time (in March 2016) when he joined TRUMP’s campaign team.
For them it therefore remained a point of potential political vulnerability
and embarrassment.

3. Speaking separately, also in late August 2016, an American political
figure associated with Donald TRUMP and his campaign outlined the
reasons behind MANAFORT’s recent demise. S/he said it was true that
the Ukraine corruption revelations had played a part in this but also,
several senior players close to TRUMP had wanted MANAFORT out,
primarily to loosen his control on strategy and policy formulation. Of
particular importance in this regard was MANAFORT’s predecessor as
campaign manager, Corey LEWANDOWSKI, who hated MANAFORT
personally and remained close to TRUMP with whom he discussed the
presidential campaign on a regular basis.

22 August 2016




Kremlin orders senior staff to remain silent in media and private on
allegations of Russian interference in US presidential campaign

Senior figure however confirms gist of allegations and repo^ IVANOV
sacked as Head of Administration on account of giving PUTIN poor advice
on issue. VAINO selected as his replacement partly because he was no
involved in pro-TRUMP, anti-CLINTON operation/s

Russians do have further ‘kompromat’ on CLINTON (e-mails) and
considering disseminating it after Duma (legislative elections) in a e
September. Presidential spokesman PESKOV continues to lead on this

However, equally important is Kremlin objective to shift policy consensus
favourably to Russia in US post-OBAMA whoever wins. Both presidential
candidates’ opposition to TPP and TTIP viewed as a result in this respect

– Senior Russian diplomat withdrawn from Washington embassy on
account of potential exposure in US presidential election operation/s


1. Speaking in confidence to a trusted compatriot in mid-September 2016, a
senior member of the Russian Presidential Administration (PA)
commented on the political fallout from recent western media
revelations about Moscow’s intervention, in favour of Donald TRUMP and
against Hillary CLINTON, in the US presidential election. The PA official
reported that the issue had become incredibly sensitive and that
President PUTIN had issued direct orders that Kremlin and government
insiders should not discuss it in public or even in private.

2. Despite this, the PA official confirmed, from direct knowledge, that the
gist of the allegations was true. PUTIN had been receiving conflicting
advice on interfering from three separate and expert groups. On one side
had been the Russian ambassador to the US, Sergei K1SLYAK, and the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, together with an independent and informal
network run by presidential foreign policy advisor, Yuri USHAKOV

(KISLYAK’s predecessor in Washington) who had urged caution and the
potential negative impact on Russia from the operation/s. On the other
side was former PA Head, Sergei IVANOV, backed by Russian Foreign
Intelligence (SVR), who had advised PUTIN that the pro-TRUMP, anti-
CLINTON operation/s would be both effective and plausibly deniable
with little blowback. The first group/s had been proven right and this had
been the catalyst in PUTIN’S decision to sack IVANOV (unexpectedly) as
PA Head in August. His successor, Anton VAINO, had been selected for the
job partly because he had not been involved in the US presidential
election operation/s.

3. Continuing on this theme, the senior PA official said the situation now
was that the Kremlin had further ‘kompromat’ on candidate CLINTON
and had been considering releasing this via “plausibly deniable” channels
after the Duma (legislative) elections were out of the way in mid-
September. There was however a growing train of thought and associated
lobby, arguing that the Russians could still make candidate CLINTON look
“weak and stupid” by provoking her into railing against PUTIN and
Russia without the need to release more of her e-mails. Presidential
Spokesman, Dmitriy PESKOV remained a key figure in the operation,
although any final decision on dissemination of further material would be
taken by PUTIN himself.


The senior PA official also reported that a growing element in Moscow s
intervention in the US presidential election campaign was the objective of
shifting the US political consensus in Russia’s perceived interests
regardless of who won. It basically comprised of pushing candidate
CLINTON away from President OBAMA’s policies. The best example of
this was that both candidates now openly opposed the draft trade
agreements, TPP and TTIP, which were assessed by Moscow as
detrimental to Russian interests. Other issues where the Kremlin was
looking to shift the US policy consensus were Ukraine and Syria. Overall
however, the presidential election was considered still to be too close to

5. Finally, speaking separately to the same compatriot, a senior Russian
MFA official reported that as a prophylactic measure, a leading Russian
diplomat, Mikhail KULAGIN, had been withdrawn from Washington at
short notice because Moscow feared his heavy involvement in the US
presidential election operation, including the so-called veterans’ pensions
ruse (reported previously), would be exposed in the media there. His
replacement, Andrei BONDAREV however was clean in this regard.

Company Comment

The substance of what was reported by the senior Russian PA official in paras 1
and 2 above, including the reasons for Sergei IVANOV’s dismissal, was
corroborated independently by a former top level Russian intelligence officer
and Kremlin insider, also in mid-September.

14 September 2016




– Top level Russian official confirms current closeness of Alpha Group-
PUT1N relationship. Significant favours continue to be done in both
directions and FRIDMAN and AVEN still giving informal advice to PUTIN,
especially on the US

Key intermediary in PUTIN-Alpha relationship identified as Oleg
GOVORUN, currently Head of a Presidential Administration department
but throughout the 1990s, the Alpha executive who delivered illicit cash
directly to PUTIN

PUTIN personally unbothered about Alpha’s current lack of investment in
Russia but under pressure from colleagues over this and able to exploit it
as lever over Alpha interlocutors


1. Speaking to a trusted compatriot in mid-September 2016, a top level
Russian government official commented on the history and current state
of relations between President PUTIN and the Alpha Group of businesses
led by oligarchs Mikhail FRIDMAN, Petr AVEN and German KHAN. The
Russian government figure reported that although they had had their ups
and downs, the leading figures in Alpha currently were on very good
terms with PUTIN. Significant favours continued to be done in both
directions, primarily political ones for PUTIN and business/legal ones for
Alpha. Also, FRIDMAN and AVEN continued to give informal advice to
PUTIN on foreign policy, and especially about the US where he distrusted
advice being given to him by officials.

2. Although FRIDMAN recently had met directly with PUTIN in Russia, much
of the dialogue and business between them was mediated through a
senior Presidential Administration official, Oleg GOVORUN, who currently
headed the department therein responsible for Social Co-operation With
the CIS. GOVORUN was trusted by PUTIN and recently had accompanied
him to Uzbekistan to pay respects at the tomb of former president
KARIMOV. However according to the top level Russian government
official, during the 1990s GOVORUN had been Head of Government
Relations at Alpha Group and in reality, the “driver” and “bag carrier”

used by FRIDMAN and AVEN to deliver large amounts of illicit cash to the
Russian president, at that time deputy Mayor of St Petersburg. Given that
and the continuing sensitivity of the PUTIN-Alpha relationship, and need
for plausible deniability, much of the contact between them was now
indirect and entrusted to the relatively low profile GOVORUN.

3. The top level Russian government official described the PUTIN-Alpha
relationship as both carrot and stick. Alpha held ‘kompromat’ on PUTIN
and his corrupt business activities from the 1990s whilst although not
personally overly bothered by Alpha’s failure to reinvest the proceeds of
its TNK oil company sale into the Russian economy since, the Russian
president was able to use pressure on this count from senior Kremlin
colleagues as a lever on FRIDMAN and AVEN to make them do his
political bidding.

14 September 2016




Two knowledgeable St Petersburg sources claim Republican candidate
TRUMP has paid bribes and engaged in sexual activities there but key
witnesses silenced and evidence hard to obtain

– Both believe Azeri business associate of TRUMP, Araz AGALAROV will
know the details


1. Speaking to a trusted compatriot in September 2016, two well-placed
sources based in St Petersburg, one in the political/business elite and the
other involved in the local services and tourist industry, commented on
Republican US presidential candidate Donald TRUMP’s prior activities in
the city.

2. Both knew TRUMP had visited St Petersburg on several occasions in the
past and had been interested in doing business deals there involving real
estate. The local business/political elite figure reported that TRUMP had
paid bribes there to further his interests but very discreetly and only
through affiliated companies, making it very hard to prove. The local
services industry source reported that TRUMP had participated in sex
parties in the city too, but that all direct witnesses to this recently had
been “silenced” i.e. bribed or coerced to disappear.

3. The two St Petersburg figures cited believed an Azeri business figure,
Araz AGALAROV (with offices in Baku and London) had been closely
involved with TRUMP in Russia and would know most of the details of
what the Republican presidential candidate had got up to there.

14 September 2016




Buyer’s remorse sets In with Kremlin over TRUMP support operation In US presidential
election. Russian leadership disappointed that leaked e-mails on CLINTON have not had
greater impact in campaign

Russians have Injected further antt-CLINTON material into Ihe ‘plausibly deniable’ leaks
pipeline which will continue to surface, hut best material already In public domain

PUTIN angry with senior officials who “overpromised 1 ‘ on TRUMP and lurther heads likely to
roll as result. Foreign Minister LAVROV may be next

TRUMP supported by Kremlm because seen as divisive, anti-establishment candidate who
would shake up current International status quo In Russia’s favor. Lead on TRUMP operation
moved from Foreign Ministry to FSB and then to presidential administration where it now sits


1. Speaking separately in confidence to a trusted compatriot in early October 2016, a senior
Russian leadership figure and a Foreign Ministry official reported on recent developments
concernmg the Kremlin’s operation to support Republican candidate Donatd TRUMP in the
US presidential election. The senior leadership figure said that a degree of buyer’s remorse
was setting in among Russian leaders concerning TRUMP. PUTIN and his colleagues were
surprised and disappointed that leaks of Democratic candidate, Hillary CLINTON’S hacked
e-mails had not had greater impact on the campaign.

2. Continuing on this theme, the senior leadership figure commented that a stream of further
hacked CLINTON material already had been injected by the Kremlin Into compliant western
media outlets like Wiki leaks, which remained at least “plausibly deniable 4 , so the stream of
these would continue through October and up to the etection. However s/he understood that
the best material the Russians had already was out and there were no real game-changers
to come.

3. The Russian Foreign Ministry official, who had direct access to the TRUMP support
operation, reported that PUTIN was angry at his subordinate’s “over-promising’’ on the
Republican presidential candidate, both in terms of hts chances and reliability and being
able to cover anchor contain the US backlash over Kremlin interference. More heads
therefore were likely to roll, with the MFA the easiest target. Ironically, despite his consistent
urging of caution on the Issue, Foreign Minister LAVROV could be the next one to go.

4. Asked to explain why PUTIN and the Kremlin had launched such an aggressive TRUMP
support operation In the first place, the MFA official said that Russia needed to upset the
liberal International status quo, including on Ukraine-related sanctions, which was seriously

2 *

disadvantaging the country. TRUMP was viewed as divisive in disrupting the whole US
political system; anti-Establishment; and a pragmatist with whom they could do business. As
the TRUMP support operation had gained momentum, control of it had passed from the mha
to the FSB and then into the presidential administration where It remained, a reflection of its
growing significance over time. There was still a view In the Kremlin that TRUMP would
continue as a (divisive) political force even If he lost the presidency and may run for and be
elected to another public ollice.

12 October 2016




■ Close associate of SECHIN confirms his secret meeting in Moscow with Carter FACE in July

– Substance included offer of large stake in Rosneft in return for lifting sanctions on Russia. PACE
confirms this is TRUMP’s intention

– SECHIN continued to think. TRUMP could win presidency up to 17 October. Now looking to

reorientate his engagement with the US

■ Kremlin insider highlights importance of TRUMP’s lawyer, Michael COHEN in covert

relationship with Russia. COHEN’s wife is of Russian descent and her father a leading property
developer in Moscow


T Speaking to a trusted compatriot in mid October 2016, a dose associate of Rosneft President
and PUTIN ally Igor” SECHIN elaborated on the reported secret meeting between the tatter
and Carter PAGE, of L T S Republican presidential candidate’s foreign policy team, in Moscow in
July 2016, The secret meeting had been confirmed to him/her by a senior member of SECHIN’s
staff, in addition to by the Rosneft President himself. It took place on either 7 or 8 July, the same
day or the one after Carter PAGE made a public speech to the Higher Economic School in

2. In terms of the substance of their discussion/ SECHIN’s assoriate said that the Rosneft
President was so keen to lift personal and corporate western sanctions imposed on the
company, that he offered PAGE/TRUMPs associates the brokerage of up to a 19 per cent
(privatised) stake in Rosneft in return, PAGE had expressed interest and confirmed that were
TRUMP elected US president, then sanctions on Russia would be lifted,

3. According to SECHIN’s dose associate, the Rosneft President had continued to believe that
TRUMP could win the US presidency right up to 17 October/ when he assessed this was no
longer possible, SECHIN was keen to re-adapt accordingly and put feelers out to other
business and political contacts in the US instead,

4. Speaking separately to the same compatriot in mid-October 2016, a Kremlin insider with direct
access to the leadership confirmed that a key role in the secret TRUMP campaign / Kremlin
relations hip was being played by the Republican candidat e’s personal lawyer Michael

Source Comment

5, SECHIN’s associate opined that although PAGE had not stated it explicitly to SECHIN, he had
dearly implied that in terms of his comment on TRUMP’s intention to lift Russian sanctions if
elected president, he was speaking with the Republican candidate’s authority.

Company Comment

18 October 2016




– Kremlin insider outlines important role played by TRUMP’s lawyer
COHEN in secret liaison with Russian leadership

– COHEN engaged with Russians in trying to cover up scandal of
MANAFORT and exposure of PAGE and meets Kremlin officials secretly in
the EU in August in pursuit of this goal

These secret contacts continue but are now farmed out to trusted agents
in Kremlin-linked institutes so as to remain “plausibly deniable for
Russian regime

Further confirmation that sacking of IVANOV and appointments of VA1N0
and KIR1YENKO linked to need to cover up Kremlin’s TRUMP support


1. Speaking in confidence to a longstanding compatriot friend in mid-
October 2016, a Kremlin insider highlighted the importance of
Republican presidential candidate Donald TRUMP’s lawyer, Michael
COHEN, in the ongoing secret liaison relationship between the New York
tycoon’s campaign and the Russian leadership. COHEN’s role had grown
following the departure of Paul MANNAFORT as TRUMP’s campaign
manager in August 2016. Prior to that MANNAFORT had led for the
TRUMP side.

2. According to the Kremlin insider, COHEN now was heavily engaged in a
cover up and damage limitation operation in the attempt to prevent the
full details of TRUMP’s relationship with Russia being exposed. In
pursuit of this aim, COHEN had met secretly with several Russian
Presidential Administration (PA) Legal Department officials in an EU
country in August 2016. The immediate issues had been to contain
further scandals involving MANNAFORT’s commercial and political role
in Russia/Ukraine and to limit the damage arising from exposure of
former TRUMP foreign policy advisor, Carter PAGE’S secret meetings
with Russian leadership figures in Moscow the previous month. The

overall objective had been to “to sweep it all under the carpet and make
sure no connections could be fully established or proven”

3. Things had become even “hotter” since August on the TRUMP-Russia
track. According to the Kremlin insider, this had meant that direct contact
between the TRUMP team and Russia had been farmed out by the
Kremlin to trusted agents of influence working in pro-government policy
institutes like that of Law and Comparative Jurisprudence. COHEN
however continued to lead for the TRUMP team.

4. Referring back to the (surprise) sacking of Sergei IVANOV as Head of PA
in August 2016, his replacement by Anton VAINO and the appointment o
former Russian premier Sergei KIRIYENKO to another senior position in
the PA, the Kremlin insider repeated that this had been directly
connected to the TRUMP support operation and the need to cover up now
that it was being exposed by the USG and in the western media.

Company Comment

The Kremlin insider was unsure of the identities of the PA officials with whom
COHEN met secretly in August, or the exact date/s and locations of the
meeting/s. There were significant internal security barriers being erected in the
PA as the TRUMP issue became more controversial and damaging. However s/he
continued to try to obtain these.

19 October 2016




– TRUMP’s representative COHEN accompanied to Prague in

August/September 2016 by 3 colleagues for secret discussions with
Kremlin representatives and associated operators/hackers

Agenda included how to process deniable cash payments to operatives;
contingency plans for covering up operations; and action in event of a
CLINTON election victory

Some further details of Russian representatives/operatives involved;
Romanian hackers employed; and use of Bulgaria as bolthole to “lie low”

– Anti-CLINTON hackers and other operatives paid by both TRUMP team
and Kremlin, but with ultimate loyalty to Head of PA, IVANOV and his


1. We reported previously (2016/135 and /136) on secret meeting/s held
in Prague, Czech Republic in August 2016 between then Republican
presidential candidate Donald TRUMP’s representative, Michael COHEN
and his interlocutors from the Kremlin working under cover of Russian
‘NGO’ Rossotrudnichestvo.

CL/NTON/Democratic Party operations. COHEN had been accompanied
to Prague by 3 colleagues and the timing of the visit was either in the last
week of August or the first week of September. One of their main Russian
interlocutors was Oleg SOLODUKHIN operating under
Rossotrudnichestvo cover. According the agenda

comprised questions on how deniable cash payments were to be made to
hackers who had worked in Europe under Kremlin direction against the
CLINTON campaign and various contingencies for covering up these
operations and Moscow’s secret liaison with the TRUMP team more

provided further details of these meeting/s and associated anti-

3. aver rhe period MarcIvSepfember 2016

^cmpan^alled^^^^^^Mand its affiliates had been using botnets
and porn traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs, steal data and conduct
“altering operatjons*^gamsUhe Democratic Party leadership. Entities
Linked to involved and hean^mother

hackjn^xpert, both recruited under duress by the FSB,^^H
■■■■Mwere significant players in this operation, In Prague,
COHEN agreed contingency plans for various scenarios to protect the
operation, but in particular what was to be done in the event that Hillary
CLINTON won the presidency. It was important in this event that ad cash
payments owed were made quickly and discreetly and that cyher and
other operators were stood down/a hie to go effectively to ground to
cover their traces. (We reported earlier that the involvement of political
Operatives Paul MAN A FORT and Carter PAGE in the secret TRUMP-
Kremlin liaison had been exposed in the media in the run-up to Prague
and that damage limitation of these also was discussed by COHEN with
the Kremlin representatives).

4. In terms of practical measures to be taken. It was agreed by the two sides
in Prague to stand down various “Romanian hackers” (presumably based
in their homeland or neighbouring eastern Europe) and that other
operatives should head fur a bolt-hole in Plovdiv, Bulgaria where they
should “lay low”. On payments, IVANOV’S associate said that the
operatives involved had been paid by both TRUMP’S team and the
Kremlin, though their orders and ultimate loyalty lay with IVANOV, as
Head of the PA and thus ultimately responsible for the operation, and his
designated successor/s after he was dismissed by president PUTIN in
connection with iheanti-CLINTON operation in mid August,

13 December 2016


Unknown Cyber Criminals attack US State and Government Sites

Unidentified Cyber Actor Attacks State and Local Government Networks with GrandCrab Ransomware

Page Count: 3 pages
Date: June 4, 2018
Restriction: For Official Use Only
Originating Organization: Department of Homeland Security, Office of Intelligence and Analysis
File Type: pdf
File Size: 272,001 bytes
File Hash (SHA-256):33D7903C899000F32FEF462130E8D9081F204EE41EB620B813A2E654F54415E5

Download File

(U//FOUO) An unidentified cyber actor in mid-March 2018 used GrandCrab Version 2 ransomware to attack a State of Connecticut municipality network and a state judicial branch network, according to DHS reporting derived from a state law enforcement official with direct and indirect access. The municipality did not pay the ransom, resulting in the encryption of multiple servers that affected some data backups and the loss of tax payment information and assessor data. The attack against the state judicial branch resulted in the infection of numerous computers, but minimal content encryption, according to the same DHS report.

(U//FOUO) The unidentified cyber actor introduced the ransomware used against the judicial branch network through a vendor server/host; the ransomware then harvested cached credentials of high-level privileged accounts, according to the same DHS report. The actor then used the credentials to access two servers on the network and propagate the malware via server message block (SMB). Connecticut state cybersecurity officials were able to block the ransomware’s communication with external infrastructure, which prevented the encryption of additional hosts and data loss, according to the same DHS report.

(U) GandCrab Malware

(U) Released in late January 2018, GandCrab, also called “GrandCrab,” is a ransomware variant distributed by exploit kits that requires communication with the ransomware’s command-and-control (C2) server to encrypt files of an infected computer, according to an online technical support site. The developers of GandCrab recently upgraded the original version after Romanian police and BitDefender mitigated infections by recovering its decryption keys, according to a separate article from the same online technical support site. As of 6 March 2018, no free decryption key is available to victims of GandCrab version 2. GandCrab uses NameCoin’s .BIT as its top-level domain (TLD); therefore, variants of the ransomware using the .BIT TLD must also use a domain name server that supports .BIT, according to the same online technical support site. Upon infection, GandCrab will attempt to query the ransomware’s C2 servers on the .BIT domain to establish communication. GandCrab will not encrypt a host’s content with the .CRAB extension if communication is not established with the C2 server, according to the same online technical support site.

The Senate Select Comitee on Intelligence about Russian Spies in the US Eelection – Original Document

Senate Select Committee onIntelligence
July 3, 2018
The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) is conducting a bipartisan
investigation into a wide range of Russian activities relating to the 2016 U.S.
presidential election. While elements of the investigation are ongoing, the
Committee is releasing initial, unclassified findings on a rolling basis as distinct
pieces of the investigation conclude.
The Committee has concluded an in-depth review of the Intelligence Community
Assessment (ICA) produced by CIA, NSA, and FBI in January of 2017 on
Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election (Assessing Russian
Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections; declassified version released
January 6, 2017) and have initial findings to share with the American people.
• The ICA was a seminal intelligence product with significant policy
implications. In line with its historical role, the Committee had a
responsibility to conduct an in-depth review of the document.
• In conducting its examination, theCommittee reviewed thousands of pages
ofsource documents and conducted interviews with all the relevant partiesincluding
agency heads, managers, and line analysts – who were involved in
developing the analysis and drafting the assessment.
• The Committee is preparing a comprehensive, classified report detailing our
conclusions regarding the ICA on Russian activities. That report, when
complete, will be submitted for a classification review, and the unclassified
version will be released to the public.
The Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russian Activities and
Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections
Summary of Initial Findings
The Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) released in January 2017 assessed
that Russian activities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election represented a
significant escalation in a long history of Russian attempts to interfere in U.S.
domestic politics. This escalation was made possible by cyber-espionage and
cyber-driven covert influence operations, conducted as part of a broader “active
measures” campaign that included overt messaging through Russian-controlled
propaganda platforms. The ICA revealed key elements of a comprehensive and
multifaceted Russian campaign against the United States as it was understood by
the U.S. Intelligence Community at the end of 2016.
President Obama in early December 2016 tasked the Intelligence Community with
writing an assessment that would capture the existing intelligence on Russian
interference in U.S. elections. By early January, the CIA, NSA, and FBI produced
a joint assessment under the auspices of the ODNI, titled Assessing Russian
Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, which included both classified
and unclassified versions. Only three agencies were represented in the drafting
process because of the extreme sensitivity of the sources and methods involved.
The Committee finds that the Intelligence Community met President Obama’s
tasking and that the ICA is a sound intelligence product. While the Committee had
to rely on agencies that the sensitive information and accesses had been accurately
reported, as part of our inquiry the Committee reviewed analytic procedures,
interviewed senior intelligence officers well-versed with the information, and
based our findings on the entire body of intelligence reporting included in the ICA.
The Committee finds the difference in confidence levels between the NSA and the
CIA and FBI on the assessment that “Putin and the Russian Government aspired to
help President-elect Trump’s election chances” appropriately represents analytic
differences and was reached in a professional and transparent manner.
In all the interviews of those who drafted and prepared the ICA, the Committee
heard consistently that analysts were under no politically motivated pressure to
reach any conclusions. All analysts expressed that they were free to debate, object
to content, and assess confidence levels, as is normal and proper for the analytic
As the inquiry has progressed since January 2017, the Committee has seen
additional examples of Russia’s attempts to sow discord, undermine democratic
institutions, and interfere in U.S. elections and those of our allies.
Russian Efforts to Influence the 2016 Election
The ICA states that:
Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election represent the most
recent expression of Moscow’s longstanding desire to undermine the U.S.-led
liberal democratic order, but these activities demonstrated a significant escalation
in directness, level of activity, and scope of effort compared to previous
• The Committee found that this judgment was supported by the evidence
presented in the ICA. Since its publication, further details have come to light
that bolster the assessment.
• The ICA pointed to initial evidence of Russian activities against multiple
U.S. state or local electoral boards. Since the ICA was published, the
Committee has learned more about Russian attempts to infiltrate state
election infrastructure, as outlined in the findings and recommendations the
Committee issued in March 2018.
• While the ICA briefly discussed the activities of the Internet Research
Agency, the Committee’s investigation has exposed a far more extensive
Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, 6 January 2017. P.ii. (NOTE:
all page numbers referenced are from the Unclassified I CA)

Russian effort to manipulate social media outlets to sow discord and to
interfere in the 2016 election and American society.
Russian Leadership Intentions
The ICA states that:
We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in
2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine
public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm
her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian
Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump2
• The Committee found that the ICA provided a range of all-source reporting
to support these assessments.
• The Committee concurs with intelligence and open-source assessments that
this influence campaign was approved by President Putin.
• Further, a body of reporting, to include different intelligence disciplines,
open source reporting on Russian leadership policy preferences, and Russian
media content, showed that Moscow sought to denigrate Secretary Clinton.
• The ICA relies on public Russian leadership commentary, Russian state
media reports, public examples of where Russian interests would have
aligned with candidates’ policy statements, and a body of intelligence
reporting to support the assessment that Putin and the Russian Government
developed a clear preference for Trump.
The ICA also statesthat:
We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect
Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and
publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him3
Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions inRecent U.S. Elections, 6 January
2017. P.ii.
Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, 6 January
• The Committee found that the ICA provided intelligence and open source
reporting to support this assessment, and information obtained subsequent to
publication of the ICA provides further support.
• This isthe only assessment in the ICA that had different confidence levels
between the participating agencies -the CIA and FBI assessed with “high
confidence”and the NSA assessed with “moderate confidence”-so the
Committee gave thissection additional attention.
The Committee found that the analytical disagreement was reasonable, transparent,
and openly debated among the agencies and analysts, with analysts, managers, and
agency heads on both sides of the confidence level articulately justifying their
Russian Cyber Operations
The ICA states that:
Russia’s intelligence services conducted cyber operations against targets
associated with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, including targets
associated with both major U.S. political parties. We assess Russian
intelligence services collected against the U.S . primary campaigns, think
tanks, and lobbying groups they viewed as likely to shape future U.S. policies.
In July 2015, Russian intelligence gained access to Democratic National
Committee (DNC) networks and maintained that access until at least June
• The Committee found this judgment supported by intelligence and further
supported by our own investigation. Separate from the ICA, the Committee
has conducted interviews of key individuals who have provided additional
insights into these incidents.
Russian Propaganda
The ICA states that:
Russia’s state-run propaganda machine-comprised of its domestic media
apparatus, outlets targeting global audiences such as RT and Sputnik, and a
IntelligenceCommunityAssessment:AssessingRussianActivitiesand IntentionsinRecentU.S.Elections,6January 2017. P.2.
network of quasi-governmental trolls-contributed to the influence campaign by
serving as a platform for Kremlin messaging to Russian and international
• The ICA provides a summary of Russian state media operations in 2012 and
notes that RT (formerly Russia Today) and Sputnik are coordinated Russianstate
platforms. The ICA fails to provide an updated assessment of this
capability in 2016, which the Committee finds to be a shortcoming in the
ICA, as this information was available in open source.
• The Committee notes that the ICA does not comment on the potential
effectiveness of this propaganda campaign, because the U.S. Intelligence
Community makes no assessments on U.S. domestic political processes.
Historical Context
The ICA states that:
During the Cold War, the Soviet Union used intelligence officers, influence agents,
forgeries, and press placements to disparage candidates perceived as hostile to the
Kremlin, according to a former KGB archivist…For decades, Russian and Soviet
intelligence services have sought to collect insider information from U.S. political
parties that could help Russian leaders understand a new U.S. administration’s
plans and priorities6
• The Committee found the ICA’s treatment of the historical context of
Russian interference in U.S. domestic politics perfunctory.
• The unclassified ICA cites efforts to collect on the 2008 election and the
Soviet recruitment of an activist who reported on Jimmy Carter’s campaign
in the 1970s, demonstrating two examples of Russian interest in U.S.
elections. The ICA failed entirely to summarize historic collection by U.S.
agencies as well as extensive open-source reporting -significant elements of
which are derived from Russian intelligence archives – to present a more
relevant historical context.
Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russia n Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, 6 January
2017. P.3.
Intelligence Community Assessment: Assessing Russia n Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections, 6 January
2017. P.S.
Counterintelligence Investigations
The ICA did not attempt to address potential counterintelligence investigationsfor
example, whether Russian intelligence services attempted to recruit sources
with access to any campaign. The FBI had a collection of reports a former foreign
intelligence officer was hired to compile as opposition research for the U.S.
election, referred to asthe “dossier,” when the ICA was drafted. However, those
reports remained separate from the conclusions of the ICA. All individuals the
Committee interviewed verified that the dossier did not in any way inform the
analysis in the ICA – including the key findings – because it was unverified
information and had not been disseminated asserialized intelligence reporting.
• The Committee will address the contents of the reports and their handling by
the United States Government in a separate part of its report.
Finally, the Committee notes that, as is the case with all intelligence questions,
information continues to be gathered and analyzed. The Committee believes the
conclusions of the ICA are sound, and notes that collection and analysis
subsequent to the ICA’s publication continue to reinforce its assessments. The
Committee will remain vigilant in its oversight of the ongoing challenges presented
by foreign nations attempting to secretly influence U.S. affairs.

Syria’s clandestine chemical weapons programme

Page Count: 7 pages
Date: April 14, 2018
Restriction: None
Originating Organization: France
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Following the Syrian regime’s resumption of its military offensive, as well as high levels of air force activity over the town of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, two new cases of toxic agents employment were spontaneously reported by civil society and local and international media from the late afternoon of 7 April. Non-governmental medical organizations active in Ghouta (the Syrian American Medical Society and the Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations), whose information is generally reliable, publicly stated that strikes had targeted in particular local medical infrastructure on 6 and 7 April.

A massive influx of patients in health centres in Eastern Ghouta (at the very least 100 people) presenting symptoms consistent with exposure to a chemical agent was observed and documented during the early evening. In total, several dozens of people, more than forty according to several sources, are thought to have died from exposure to a chemical substance.

The information collected by France forms a body of evidence that is sufficient to attribute responsibility for the chemical attacks of 7 April to the Syrian regime.

1. — Several chemical attacks took place at Douma on 7 April 2018.

The French services analysed the testimonies, photos and videos that spontaneously appeared on specialized websites, in the press and on social media in the hours and days following the attack. Testimonies obtained by the French services were also analysed. After examining the videos and images of victims published online, they were able to conclude with a high degree of confidence that the vast majority are recent and not fabricated. The spontaneous circulation of these images across all social networks confirms that they were not video montages or recycled images. Lastly, some of the entities that published this information are generally considered reliable.

French experts analysed the symptoms identifiable in the images and videos that were made public. These images and videos were taken either in enclosed areas in a building where around 15 people died, or in local hospitals that received contaminated patients. These symptoms can be described as follows (cf. annexed images):

Suffocation, asphyxia or breathing difficulties,
Mentions of a strong chlorine odour and presence of green smoke in affected areas,
Hypersalivation and hypersecretions (particularly oral and nasal),
Skin burns and corneal burns.

No deaths from mechanical injuries were visible. All of these symptoms are characteristic of a chemical weapons attack, particularly choking agents and organophosphorus agents or hydrocyanic acid. Furthermore, the apparent use of bronchodilators by the medical services observed in videos reinforces the hypothesis of intoxication by choking agents.

On the basis of this overall assessment and on the intelligence collected by our services, and in the absence to date of chemical samples analysed by our own laboratories, France therefore considers (i) that, beyond possible doubt, a chemical attack was carried out against civilians at Douma on 7 April 2018; and (ii) that there is no plausible scenario other than that of an attack by Syrian armed forces as part of a wider offensive in the Eastern Ghouta enclave. The Syrian armed and security forces are also considered to be responsible for other actions in the region as part of this same offensive in 2017 and 2018. Russia has undeniably provided active military support to the operations to seize back Ghouta. It has, moreover, provided constant political cover to the Syrian regime over the employment of chemical weapons, both at the UN Security Council and at the OPCW, despite conclusions to the contrary by the JIM.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity Strategy

Page Count: 35 pages
Date: May 15, 2018
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Originating Organization: Department of Homeland Security
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The American people are increasingly dependent upon the Internet for daily conveniences, critical services, and economic prosperity. Substantial growth in Internet access and networked devices has facilitated widespread opportunities and innovation. This extraordinary level of connectivity, however, has also introduced progressively greater cyber risks for the United States. Long-standing threats are evolving as nation-states, terrorists, individual criminals, transnational criminal organizations, and other malicious actors move their activities into the digital world. Enabling the delivery of essential services—such as electricity, finance, transportation, water, and health care—through cyberspace also introduces new vulnerabilities and opens the door to potentially catastrophic consequences from cyber incidents. The growing number of Internet-connected devices and reliance on global supply chains further complicates the national and international risk picture. More than ever, cybersecurity is a matter of homeland security and one of the core missions of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

At DHS, we believe that cyberspace can be secure and resilient. We work every day across the Department and with key partners and stakeholders to identify and manage national cybersecurity risks. We do this by adopting a holistic risk management approach. Like every organization, no matter how big or small, we must minimize our organizational vulnerability to malicious cyber activity by protecting our own networks. DHS also has broader responsibilities to protect the larger federal enterprise and improve the security and resilience of other critical systems. At the same time, we seek to reduce cyber threats by preventing and disrupting cyber crimes, and to lessen the consequences of cyber incidents by ensuring an effective federal response when appropriate. Finally, we work to create conditions for more effective cyber risk management through efforts to make the cyber ecosystem more fundamentally secure and resilient. This strategy sets forth our goals, objectives, and priorities to successfully execute the full range of the Secretary of Homeland Security’s cybersecurity responsibilities.

During the last several decades, advances in technology have fundamentally changed the world. Substantial growth in Internet access, use of Internet-enabled devices, and the availability of high speed information technology systems and large datasets have facilitated productivity, efficiencies, and capabilities across all major industries. The proliferation of technology also presents new cybersecurity challenges and leads to significant national risks. More than 20 billion devices are expected to be connected to the Internet by 2020. The risks introduced by the growing number and variety of such devices are substantial.

The United States faces threats from a growing set of sophisticated malicious actors who seek to exploit cyberspace. Motivations include espionage, political and ideological interests, and financial gain. Nation-states continue to present a considerable cyber threat. But non-state actors are emerging with capabilities that match those of sophisticated nation-states. Criminal actors are increasingly empowered by modern information and communications technologies that enable them to grow in sophistication and transnational reach. Transnational criminal organizations also increasingly collaborate through cyberspace. Complicating the threat picture, nation-states are increasingly using proxies and other techniques that blur the distinction between state and non-state cyber activities. In a number of cases, malicious actors engaged in significant criminal cyber activity appear to have both criminal and nation-state affiliations.

These diverse threats can impact federal and nonfederal information systems. Attempted incursions into government networks occur on a daily basis; the number of cyber incidents on federal systems reported to DHS increased more than ten-fold between 2006 and 2015. In 2015, a high-profile intrusion into a single federal agency resulted in the compromise of personnel records of over 4 million federal employees and ultimately affected nearly 22 million people. The growing interconnection of cyber and physical systems within critical infrastructure also creates the potential risk for malicious cyber activity to result in direct physical consequences; for example, the December 2015 overriding of controls in the Ukrainian electric grid resulted in widespread loss of power. Ransomware incidents such as WannaCry and NotPetya demonstrate how the rapid growth of the internet-of-things further complicates the threat as everyday devices can be targeted by malicious cyber actors with potentially far-reaching consequences.

Guiding Principles

DHS advances our mission and will accomplish our cybersecurity goals by aligning departmental activities according to the following guiding principles:

1. Risk prioritization. The foremost responsibility of DHS is to safeguard the American people and we must prioritize our efforts to focus on systemic risks and the greatest cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities faced by the American people and our homeland.

2. Cost-effectiveness. Cyberspace is highly complex and DHS efforts to increase cybersecurity must be continuously evaluated and reprioritized to ensure the best results for investments made.

3. Innovation and agility. Cyberspace is an evolving domain with emergent risks. Although the proliferation of technology leads to new risks, it also provides an opportunity for innovation. DHS must lead by example in researching, developing, adapting, and employing cutting-edge cybersecurity capabilities and remain agile in its efforts to keep up with evolving threats and technologies.

4. Collaboration. The growth and development of the Internet has been primarily driven by the private sector and the security of cyberspace is an inherently cross-cutting challenge. To accomplish our cybersecurity goals, we must work in a collaborative manner across our Components and with other federal and nonfederal partners.

5. Global approach. Robust international engagement and collaboration is required to accomplish our national cybersecurity goals. DHS must engage internationally to manage global cyber risks, respond to worldwide incidents, and disrupt growing transnational cyber threats as well as encourage other nations and foreign entities to adopt the policies necessary to create an open, interoperable, secure, and reliable Internet.

6. Balanced equities. Cyberspace empowers people and enables prosperity worldwide. Cybersecurity is not an end unto itself, and efforts to mitigate cybersecurity risks must also support international commerce, strengthen international security, and foster free expression and innovation.

7. National values. DHS must uphold privacy, civil rights, and civil liberties in accordance with applicable law and policy. The Department empowers our cybersecurity programs to succeed by integrating privacy protections from the outset and employing a layered approach to privacy and civil liberties oversight.