“The End Goal Is To Destroy The Constitution and Subvert The Country” – How Secretive Non-Profit Organizations Erode The United States

 George Soros Quote: I cannot and do not look at the social cosequences of what I do.

One of the biggest problems facing this nation is the amount of money that has been “sequestered,” to term it, for “Non-Profit Organizations,” or “NPO’s.”  Why?  They present a problem when they can be used by an unscrupulous individual or groups of unscrupulous individuals (for examples, a George Soros, or the Democratic Party respectively).  What is an NPO?  Let’s look at what they are and see if the definition is characterized by actual NPO actions.

Here is an excerpt from a book that describes NPO’s (what they should be):

“The main financial difference between a for-profit and a not-for-profit enterprise is what happens to the profit.  In a for-profit company like Ford or Microsoft or Disney or your favorite fast-food establishment, profits are paid to the owners, including shareholders.  But a nonprofit can’t do that.  Any profit remaining after the bills are paid has to be plowed back into the organization’s service program.  So profit can’t be distributed to individuals, such as the organization’s board of directors, who are volunteers in every sense of the word.”

Nonprofit Kit for Dummies,” ISBN: 0-7645-5347-X, pg. 8

Austere and stoic, these NPO’s, all!  Ahh, but what is conveniently left out is the salary portion…for the directors.  Those salaries are written off as an operating expense by the “Non-Profit,” but they’re hardly the funds gleaned by a “simple volunteer for the beneficent NPO.”  Another paragraph from the book shows this:

…for the most part, we’re talking about an organization that the Internal Revenue Service has classified as a 501(c)(3).  They receive exemption from federal income taxes and sometimes relief from property taxes at the local level.  Nonprofit organizations classified as 501(c)(3) receive extra privileges under the law.  They are, with minor exceptions, the only group of tax-exempt organizations that can receive tax-deductible contributions from individuals and organizations.

Being a nonprofit organization does not mean that an entity is exempt from paying all taxes.  Nonprofit organizations pay employment taxes just like for-profit businesses do.  In some states, but not all, nonprofits are exempt from paying sales tax…”

Read More: www.dcclothesline.com/2017/02/23/the-end-goal-is-to-destroy-the-constitution-and-subvert-the-country-how-secretive-non-profit-organizations-erode-the-united-states/

In A Battle Between Trump And The Federal Reserve, Who Really Wins?

Trump Vs. The FED: Death Match

by Brandon Smith

As a part of the increasingly obvious set-up of conservative movements by international banking interests and globalist think-tanks, I have noticed an expanding disinformation campaign which appears to be designed to wash the Federal Reserve of culpability for the crash of 2008 that has continued to fester to this day despite the many claims of economic “recovery.”  I believe this program is meant to set the stage for a coming conflict between the Trump Administration and the Fed, but what would be the ultimate consequences of such an event?

In my article ‘The False Economic Recovery Narrative Will Die In 2017’, I outlined the propaganda trap being established by globalist owned and operated media outlets like Bloomberg, in which they consistently claim that Donald Trump has “inherited” an economy in recovery and ascendancy from the Obama administration.  I thoroughly debunked their positions and “evidence” by showing how each of their fundamental indicators has actually been in steady decline since 2008, even in the face of massive monetary intervention and fiat printing by the Fed.

My greatest concern leading up to the 2016 election was that Trump would be allowed to win because he represents the perfect scapegoat for an economic crisis that central banks have been brewing for years.

MUST SEE! They Did It Again: CNN Shuts Down Interview When Guest Mentions “Fake News”

In the latest fake news CNN controversy we see the network, once again, terminate an interview after the “F word” was mentioned.

Lemon interrupted to shut down Dennard’s use of the term “fake news,” minutes before the show ended.

“Fake news is when you put out a story to intentionally deceive someone and you know that it is wrong,” he said.

“This story that we’re doing right now is not to intentionally deceive anyone. We are simply talking about the cost to keep a president safe,” he continued.

“Please stop it with that stupid talking point, that it is a fake news story. If you don’t want to participate in the news stories on this network, then don’t come on and participate. But don’t call them fake because you don’t agree with them. Go on.”

Dennard insisted that “this is a fake news story,” after which Lemon ended the segment altogether. (The Hill)

Read More: www.dcclothesline.com/2017/02/21/must-see-they-did-it-again-cnn-shuts-down-interview-when-guest-mentions-fake-news/

Sessions’ List of 20 ‘Vetted’ Refugees Turned to Terrorism…

In 2016, future Attorney General (then senator) Jeff sessions spoke out against the increase in immigration from troubled countries. He gave a list of 20 vetted refugees that ended up being radicalized.

This doesn’t necessarily justify Trump administration policies but it does add some nuance to the mainstream narrative that open immigration is natural and

– On May 25, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, Bilal Abood was sentenced to four years in prison for making a false statement to the FBI. Abood, an Iraqi translator for the U.S. military, was admitted to the United States through the Special Immigrant Visa program for Iraqi translators in 2009, and subsequently became a citizen. Abood enlisted in the Army and went through basic training at Fort Jackson in 2010, but left for unknown reasons. According to court documents, after being prevented from boarding an international flight, Abood told FBI agents that he intended to go to Iraq to visit family. Subsequently, Abood left the United States through Mexico and then traveled through various countries to get to Syria to join ISIS. A subsequent search of his computer revealed that he pledged an oath to the leader of ISIS, despite denying that he had ever made such a pledge.

– On January 7, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, Aws Mohammed Younis Al-Jayab was charged with providing materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations to the United States government. He was separately indicted on March 17, 2016 for attempting to provide material support to acts of violence overseas. Al-Jayab – a Palestinian born in Iraq – was admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2012. According to the criminal complaint, beginning in October of 2012 – the very same month he first arrived in the United States – Al-Jayab began communicating with numerous individuals about his intention to go to Syria and fight for terrorist organizations. In April 2013, Al-Jayab made multiple statements to another individual (later identified as Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan) regarding his experience handling weapons and killing individuals in Syria. In November 2013, just one year after being welcomed to the United States as a refugee, he traveled to Syria and posted on social media that he was fighting with various terrorist organizations, stating “America will not isolate me from my Islamic duty. Only death will do us part.”

– On January 7, 2016, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan was charged in an indictment with attempting to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization, making false statements, and attempting to procure citizenship or naturalization unlawfully. The indictment states that he attempted to provide training, expert advice and assistance, and personnel – specifically himself – to a terrorist organization. Al Hardan – a Palestinian born in Iraq – was admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2009, and obtained a green card in 2011. When applying to become a U.S. citizen, he knowingly responded, certified, and swore untruthfully that he was not associated with a terrorist organization when, in fact, he associated with members and sympathizers of ISIS throughout 2014. During an interview in October 2015, Al Hardan falsely represented that he had never received any type of weapons training, when in fact he had received automatic machine gun training. According to media accounts, Al Hardan told his wife “I will go to Syria. I want to blow myself up. . . . I am against America.”

– On August 12, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, Fazliddin Kurbanov was found guilty of conspiring and attempting to provide material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization and possessing an unregistered destructive device. Kurbanov is a native of Uzbekistan who came to the United States as a refugee in 2009. U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Carlin stated that he “conspired to provide material support to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan and procured bomb-making materials in the interest of perpetrating a terrorist attack on American soil.” According to press reports, Kurbanov began his life as a Muslim, but his family claimed that they faced persecution after they converted to Orthodox Christianity. After coming to the United States with his family as a refugee, Kurbanov is said to have converted back to Islam and radicalized.

– On April 20, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, Guled Ali Omar was charged with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to ISIS. Omar was born in a Kenyan refugee camp, and sources indicate he came to the United States as a refugee when he was a child, obtained a green card, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship. Omar is the younger brother of another indicted fugitive, Ahmed Ali Omar, who left the United States in 2007 to fight for Al-Shabaab. Another one of his brothers, Mohamed Ali Omar, was convicted in March of 2015 of threatening federal agents when they came to the family’s residence to interview Guled Omar. During a press conference, U.S. Attorney for the District of Minnesota, Andy Luger, said that Omar “never stopped plotting,” and had previously attempted to leave the United States.

– On April 20, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota, Abdurahman Yasin Daud was charged (along with six others) with conspiracy and attempt to provide material support to ISIS. Daud, a Somalian refugee who came to the United States as a child, and subsequently obtained a green card. Daud and another individual drove from Minnesota to San Diego to attempt to get passports, cross the border into Mexico, and fly to Syria in to join ISIS.

– On February 18, 2015, Al-Hazmah Mohammed Jawad was arrested as he attempted to board a flight to Jordan to join and fight with ISIS in Iraq. Jawad was admitted to the United States in 2013 as an Iraqi refugee and he subsequently obtained a green card. Jawad was charged with making a false statement to U.S. government officials. He also stated that he “had been to the shooting range and had been running to get in shape and prepare for his upcoming travels,” and that a uniform was waiting for him in Iraq.

– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, Abdinassir Mohamud Ibrahim was sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for conspiring to provide material support to Al-Shabaab, a designated foreign terrorist organization, and for making a false statement in his immigration paperwork. Ibrahim is a native of Somalia who came to the United States as a refugee in 2007 at the age of 22 and subsequently obtained a green card. Ibrahim knowingly lied on his citizenship application and previously lied in his request for refugee status, by falsely claiming that he was of a member of the minority Awer clan in Somalia and subject to persecution by the majority Hawiye clan. Ibrahim was actually a member of the Hawiye clan and not subject to persecution. In fact, according to court documents, “Ibrahim’s family was famous . . . [and] [t]hrough his clan lineage, Ibrahim was related to known Somali terrorists[.]” Ibrahim also admitted he lied on his citizenship application by having previously lied on his refugee application by falsely claiming that he had not provided material support to a terrorist group, when he had in fact provided material support in the form of cash to an Al-Shabaab member.

– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Abdullah Ramo Pazara was named in an indictment against six individuals. Pazara, a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, later obtained a green card and became a citizen in 2013. Pazara was never charged in this case because he is believed to be dead. According to court documents, the others who were indicted provided material support to Pazara, who left the United States to go to Syria and fight with ISIS just 11 days after becoming a citizen. Among other things, Pazara allegedly told an individual about a mission where they “captured a large area, killed eleven individuals, captured one, and added that they intended to slaughter the prisoner the follow[ing] day.” According to press reports, at the time Pazara was purportedly killed in Syria, he was a deputy to one of the top ISIS commanders.

– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Ramiz Zijad Hodzic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, providing material support to terrorists, and conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country. Hodzic is a native of Bosnia, and a purported Bosnian war hero who came to the United States as a refugee. According to the indictment, among other things, Hodzic obtained money that he used to “purchase materials and supplies including: United States military uniforms, tactical combat boots, military surplus goods, tactical gear and clothing, firearms accessories, optical equipment and range finders, rifle scopes, equipment, and supplies . . .  intending that the materials and supplies would thereafter be transferred to, and used to support” Abdullah Ramo Pazara and ISIS.

– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Sedina Unkic Hodzic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. Sedina is the wife of Ramiz Zijad Hodzic and a native of Bosnia who came to the United States as a refugee. According to the indictment, Sedina, along with her husband, collected money from third parties and wired it to terrorists abroad. Also according to the indictment, Sedina shipped six boxes of U.S. military uniforms, combat boots, tactical clothing and gear, military surplus items, firearms accessories, rifle scopes, optical equipment, first aid supplies, and other equipment to terrorists abroad.

– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Armin Harcevic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and with providing material support to terrorists. Harcevic is a native of Bosnia who came to the United States as a refugee, and subsequently obtained a green card. According to the Indictment, Harcevic collected money from third parties and wired it and his own funds to terrorists abroad.

–  On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Nihad Rosic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, providing material support to terrorists, and conspiring to kill and maim persons in a foreign country. Rosic is a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, obtained a green card, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship. According to the indictment, Rosic sent funds to terrorists abroad, and attempted to travel to Syria to join terrorists in Syria and Iraq. According to press accounts, Rosic was a truck driver and former mixed martial arts fighter who had previously been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after punching a woman in the face while she held a child, and in a separate incident, was charged with assault after allegedly beating his girlfriend with a belt.

– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Mediha Medy Salkicevic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. Salkicevic is a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, obtained a green card, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship. According to press accounts, Salkicevic was formerly an employee with a cargo company that deals with items coming in and out of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport. According to the indictment, Salkicevic collected money from third parties and wired it and her own funds to terrorists abroad.

– On February 5, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, Jasminka Ramic was charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists, and providing material support to terrorists. Ramic is a native of Bosnia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, obtained a green card, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship. According to the indictment, Ramic collected money from third parties and wired it and her own funds to terrorists abroad.

– On January 29, 2015, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, a federal warrant was unsealed for the arrest of Liban Haji Mohamed for allegedly providing material support to Harakat Shabaab Al-Mujahidin, also known as Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda. Mohamed is a native of Somalia who sources indicate came to the United States as a refugee, obtained a green card, and subsequently applied for and received citizenship. He is believed to have left the United States on July 5, 2012, with the intent to join Al-Shabaab in East Africa. Mohamed previously lived in the Washington, D.C. area and worked as a cab driver, and is believed to have snuck across the border to Mexico after being placed on the no-fly list. Carl Ghattas, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office emphasized the importance of locating Mohamed, “because he has knowledge of the Washington, D.C. area’s infrastructure such as shopping areas, Metro, airports, and government buildings . . . [t]his makes him an asset to his terrorist associates who might plot attacks on U.S. soil.”

– On January 31, 2014, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud was sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. Mohamud was admitted to the United States as a refugee from Somalia. He worked as a cabdriver in Anaheim, California where he raised money for the terrorist organization Al-Shabaab. According to the Department of Justice, “[t]he United States presented evidence that Nasir . . . conspired to provide money to al Shabaab, a violent and brutal militia group that engages in suicide bombings, targets civilians for assassination, and uses improvised explosive devices.”

– On November 18, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Issa Doreh was sentenced to ten years in prison for “conspiracy to provide material support to terrorist, conspiracy to provide material support to foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and providing material support to foreign terrorist organization.” Doreh was admitted to the United States as a refugee from Somalia and subsequently obtained a green card and became a citizen. Doreh worked at a money transmitting business that was at the center of the conspiracy, which also involved Ahmed Nasir Taalil Mohamud.

– On January 29, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Waad Ramadan Alwan was sentenced to 40 years in federal prison, followed by a life term of supervised release for a number of offenses related to terrorism. Alwan is a native of Iraq who was admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2009. According to the Department of Justice’s press release, “Alwan, whose fingerprints were found on an unexploded IED found in Iraq, pleaded guilty earlier in the case on December 16, 2011, to all counts of a 23-count federal indictment. He pleaded guilty to conspiring to kill U.S. nationals abroad; conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction (explosives) against U.S. nationals abroad; distributing information on the manufacture and use of IEDs; attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to AQI; and conspiring to transfer, possess, and export Stinger missiles.” (emphasis added). During the investigation, while “unwittingly working with an FBI informant, Alwan drew diagrams of roadside bomb models and boasted about attacks on American troops in Iraq.” In a discussion with an FBI informant, Alwan allegedly said that he was skilled with a sniper rifle, and that his “lunch and dinner would be an American [soldier].”

– On January 29, 2013, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Kentucky, Mohanad Shareef Hammadi was sentenced to life in prison for a number of offenses related to terrorism. Hammadi is a native of Iraq who was admitted to the United States as a refugee in 2009. According to the Department of Justice’s press release, “Hammadi pleaded guilty on August 21, 2012, to a 12-count superseding indictment. Charges against him included attempting to provide material support to terrorists and to AQI; conspiring to transfer, possess, and export Stinger missiles; and making a false statement in an immigration application.”

Here’s Who Funded Shut Down Of Milo Yiannopoulos At Berkeley | The Daily Caller

George Soros quote: "Deliberately misleading propaganda techniques can destroy an open society."

Chuck Ross  02/03/2017

The Alliance for Global Justice, based in Tucson, is listed as an organizer and fiscal sponsor for Refuse Fascism, a communist group that encouraged left-wingers to shut down the Yiannopoulos event.

While it is unclear whether those who carried out the violence were paid to do so, the benefactors of the Alliance for Global Justice — and Refuse Fascism — are listed online.

According to its most recent 990 tax form, Alliance for Global Justice (AfGJ) received $2.2 million in funding for the fiscal year ending in March 2016.

One of the group’s biggest donors is the Tides Foundation, a non-profit funded by billionaire progressive philanthropist George Soros. Tides gave AfGJ $50,000.

The United Steel Workers labor union also contributed $5,000. The city of Tucson is also listed in AfGJ’s 990 as a donor, but a city official says that the city acted merely as a pass-through for a Native American tribe that provided a grant to the activist group. The city official said that no city money went to AfGJ.

Charities associated with several major corporations also donated. Patagonia.org, the outdoor apparel and equipment company, gave $40,000. The Ben & Jerry Foundation, the charity associated with the ice cream maker, gave $20,000. And Lush Cosmetic gave $43,950.

Another bit of irony is seen in the $5,000 contribution from the Peace Development Fund, a group that claims to support organizations that fight for human rights and social justice.

Another major donation came from a group that was chaired by Hillary Clinton during the 1980s. The New World Foundation gave $52,000 to AfGJ.

Read More: dailycaller.com/2017/02/03/look-who-funds-the-group-behind-the-call-to-arms-at-milos-berkeley-event/

 

George Soros funds Ferguson protests, hopes to spur civil action – Washington Times

George Soros Quote: I cannot and do not look at the social cosequences of what I do.

There’s a solitary man at the financial center of the Ferguson protest movement. No, it’s not victim Michael Brown or Officer Darren Wilson. It’s not even the Rev. Al Sharpton, despite his ubiquitous campaign on TV and the streets.

Rather, it’s liberal billionaire George Soros, who has built a business empire that dominates across the ocean in Europe while forging a political machine powered by nonprofit foundations that impacts American politics and policy, not unlike what he did with MoveOn.org.

Mr. Soros spurred the Ferguson protest movement through years of funding and mobilizing groups across the U.S., according to interviews with key players and financial records reviewed by The Washington Times.

In all, Mr. Soros gave at least $33 million in one year to support already-established groups that emboldened the grass-roots, on-the-ground activists in Ferguson, according to the most recent tax filings of his nonprofit Open Society Foundations.

Read More: www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/14/george-soros-funds-ferguson-protests-hopes-to-spur/

A very good crisis

philanthropist, oligarch, oligarchy, NGOs,

George Soros on the 2008 election and financial crisis. “It is, in a way, the culminating point of my life’s work...the American election, the financial crisis... it is actually a very stimulating period."

George Soros is having a very good crisis. Other investors are wilting, political power structures are being upended and market economists are scrambling to fashion new theories, but the world’s most famous speculator is having a belated heyday.

“It is, in a way, the culminating point of my life’s work,” the 78-year-old says in his heavy Hungarian accent during an interview at his London mansion.

If Soros had retired from the money markets at 48 to become a philosopher – which was his life plan when he set up his own Wall Street hedge fund at the age of 43 – the world is unlikely to have heard of him, as either an ideas man or a money man. Even if he had ended his career 20 years later, he would have been remembered as little more than the big-stakes gambler who “broke the Bank of England” with his 1992 bet against the pound that earned him $US1.1 billion.

At 68 Soros had just predicted a global financial collapse which did not happen, just as he had done a decade earlier; his pet theory of market behaviour, which he calls “reflexivity”, had been largely ignored; and his political donations had bought him little sway in Washington. Yet today, he says, all those strands seem to have come together – “the American election, the financial crisis, the theory of reflexivity, so it is actually a very stimulating period”.

Read More: www.news.com.au/news/a-very-good-crisis/news-story/c106017ba109bc5688f219dd87ff845a

MSM says: Russia Russia Russia!


Jan Brady says Russia Russia Russia
What Michael Flynn and the Russian Ambassador REALLY Discussed

February 15, 2017 by Washington’sBlog

National Security Advisor Michael Flynn was fired by Trump.  Flynn was caught discussing sanctions with the Russian ambassador even before Trump took office.

Sounds bad, right?

Maybe …

But Bloomberg columnist Eli Lake – the former senior national security correspondent for the Daily Beast, who covered national security and intelligence for the Washington Times, the New York Sun and UPI notes:

One White House official with knowledge of the conversations told me that the Russian ambassador raised the sanctions to Flynn and that Flynn responded that the Trump team would be taking office in a few weeks and would review Russia policy and sanctions. That’s neither illegal nor improper.

If true, then all that happened is that the Russian ambassador asked about sanctions, and Flynn responded that he couldn’t say anything until he got marching orders from the Trump administration after it took the helm.

In other words, just more anti-Russia hysteria.

Once Again, Reading Beyond the Headlines Reveals Another Smear Attempt

The bottom line here is that the only incremental news is that Manafort knowingly or unknowingly came into contact with Russian intelligence officials during his business dealings but no election-collusion was discovered.

Once again, reading beyond the headline reveals this is just another bold-faced attempt by the former establishment to undermine and discredit the Trump administration.

The establishment takes advantage of the fact that most people only read headlines and listen to sound bites but anyone reading deeper into this will see that they’ve made no solid accusations and have little proof, if any, of actual lawbreaking or collusion.

Once again, just like with the previous attempts, you’ll see that they don’t go to a full investigation because that would reveal the accusation are baseless.

Fake-News
NYTimes Reports Trump Aides’ “Repeated Contact” With Russian Intel Officials, Admits No Collusion Discovered | Zero Hedge
The New York Times appears to be resurrecting an old story with a new angle to keep the ‘blame the Russians’ narrative alive. Following FISA court approval (to spy on Trump’s campaign), intercepted calls reportedly show “repeated contact” between Trump advisor Paul Manafort and senior Russian intelligence officials… but reveal no collusion.

Intercepted phone calls and phone records show that several aides and allies to President Trump’s campaign were in repeated contact with senior Russian intelligence officials, according to the New York Times. As The Hill explains,

Current and former officials that spoke with the Times would not give many details, and it’s not clear exactly who, both from the U.S. and Russia, were part of the conversations or what they talked about, including if discussions centered on Trump himself.

Officials told the publication that they have seen no evidence of collusion in regards to hacking or the election.

Three of the four current and former officials who spoke with the Times said the contacts were discovered during the same time that U.S. intelligence agencies were investigating Russia’s extensive hacking campaign, later determined to be aimed at helping Trump win the White House.

The Times’ sources said Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman, was picked up on the calls. Manafort left the campaign after several months as reports swirled about his business ties in Russia and the Ukraine.

The officials would not name any other Trump aides or supporters captured in the conversations.

As a reminder, it was not just Paul Manafort that was involved in FBI probes, but Tony Podesta – the brother of Hillary Clinton’s campaign director John Podesta – who had set up secret meetings with Ukraine officials.

Manafort, who has not been charged with any crimes, exclaims To Britain’s Telegraph that “this is absurb,”

 “I have no idea what this is referring to. I have never knowingly spoken to Russian intelligence officers, and I have never been involved with anything to do with the Russian government or the Putin administration or any other issues under investigation today.”

Mr. Manafort added, “It’s not like these people wear badges that say, ‘I’m a Russian intelligence officer.’”

Several of Mr. Trump’s associates, like Mr. Manafort, have done business in Russia, and it is not unusual for American businessmen to come in contact with foreign intelligence officials, sometimes unwittingly, in countries like Russia and Ukraine, where the spy services are deeply embedded in society. Law enforcement officials did not say to what extent the contacts may have been about business.

Finally, buried deep in The New York Times’ story – which is sure to run the narrative during tomorrow’s media cycle (and already is a hot topic of conjecture on CNN) – the author admits, rather sheepishly that…

 The intelligence agencies then sought to learn whether the Trump campaign was colluding with the Russians on the hacking or other efforts to influence the election.

The officials interviewed in recent weeks said that, so far, they had seen no evidence of such cooperation.

Which confirms what The FBI said back in November.
*  *  *
The bottom line here is that the only incremental news is that Manafort knowingly or unknowingly came into contact with Russian intelligence officials during his business dealings but no election-collusion was discovered. We leave it to Ari Fleischer to sum it all up perfectly…