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Tag: media

Judge: Details on How FBI Hacked into IPhone Are Public Information

courtroomBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI does not have to publicly reveal how it hacked into an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino, Calif., terrorists in an attack that killed 14 people, a federal judge has ruled.

On Saturday, U.S. District Court Judge Tanya Chutkan ruled against three media outlets that sued the FBI to reveal the mystery behind the hacking, Politico reports. 

Chutkan also ruled that the FBI does not have to reveal the cost or the company it hired to breaking into the phone.

At a news conference last year, then-FBI Director James Comey suggested that the cost to hire the company would exceed his salary for the remainder of his term – about $1.4 million.

Manafort Calls on Justice Department to Investigate Leak of FBI Wiretaps

Donald Trump's former campaign manager Paul Manafort.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

President Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, is urging the Justice Department’s inspector general to investigate who leaked to the media information about the FBI conducting several wiretap probes of him, Bloomberg reports.  

Manafort also is asking the Justice Department to release “any intercepts involving him and any non-Americans so interested parties can come to the same conclusion as the DOJ — there is nothing there,” Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement Tuesday.

Using leaked information, CNN reported Monday that two FISA court orders were obtained by the FBI to authorize wiretapping of Manafort before and after the presidential election.

Of the fact that no charges ever emerged,” Manafort spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement on Tuesday. The Justice Department’s inspector general “should immediately conduct an investigation into these leaks and to examine the motivations behind a previous administration’s effort to surveil a political opponent.” 

FBI’s Probe of Sputnik Unlikely to Affect American Media Outlets, Despite Concerns

typewriter-muckBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Some American journalists are worried about the potential slippery slope of the FBI investigating a state-run news agencies Sputnik and RT.

Free press advocates believe the bureau’s probe could open the door to government intrusion in U.S. media outlets. They also worry the federal government could label some legitimate news companies as “propaganda.”

But according Columbia Journalism Review, “requiring Russian state-owned media to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, is not as ‘Big Brother’ as it sounds.

FARA, for one, isn’t planning on prohibiting any of Sputnik and RT’s activities.

“There is no concern about slippery slopes,” James Kirchick, a journalist and writer who has covered Russia and the former Soviet Union, tells CJR in an email. “Never mind their content (which is not news gathering in the traditional sense but disinformation aimed at influencing American politics), their opaque management structures starkly differentiate them from reputable outlets like the BBC, France 24, and Deutsche Welle, which operate independent of government control.”

FBI Investigating Russian-Funded News Agency’s Role in Presidential Election

sputnik_logo-svgBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI its investigating whether Sputnik, a Russian-government-funded news agency, is operating in the U.S. as an undeclared propaganda arm of the Kremlin in possible violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act.

Yahoo News reports that FBI agents have questioned a former White House correspondent for Sputnik. 

The FBI is reviewing thousands of internal Sputnik emails and documents to determine if the news agency played a role in the Russia’s campaign to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.

Andrew Feinberg, the news agency’s former White House correspondent, turned over the emails to the FBI and was questioned by agents for more than two hours.

Feinberg said the focus of the interview was of the agency’s “internal structure, editorial processes and funding.”

“They wanted to know where did my orders come from and if I ever got any direction from Moscow,” Feinberg told Yahoo News. “They were interested in examples of how I was steered towards covering certain issues.”

Other Stories of Interest

Fox News Corrects Story That Falsely Claim Comey Memos were ‘Highly Classified’

Former FBI Director James Comey.

Former FBI Director James Comey.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fox News corrected a story that suggested former FBI Director James Comey leaked classified material involving his conversations with President Trump.

Trump, who often accused the media of “fake news,” retweeted the original story after it aired Monday.

The news agency wrongly suggested the Comey memos written by contained “top secret” information. The material actually had a lower-level security classification.

Comey has repeatedly said he did not release classified information.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether any of the reporters have been disciplined.

Trump Suggests Fired FBI Director Broke the Law by Releasing Memos

Donald Trump

Donald Trump

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

As the pressure on Donald Trump intensifies over an evolving federal investigation of alleged collusion with Russia, the president is resorting to what he knows best: Attack his perceived enemy on an unrelated issue.

On Twitter Monday morning, Trump wrote, “James Comey leaked CLASSIFIED INFORMATION to the media. That is so illegal!”

The president also tweeted a video Monday morning from Fox & Friends in which former U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, suggested fired FBI Director James Comey broke the law by disseminating memos about his and Trump’s meetings.

“You can’t do that,” Chaffetz said. “It’s against the law.”

On Sunday evening, Chaffetz also tweeted, “Comey’s private memos on Trump conversations contained classified material. If true, this is bombshell news.”

FBI Refuses to Release Comey’s Trump Memos to Media Because of Ongoing Probe

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

Former FBI Director James Comey testifies about President Trump before the Senate Intelligence Committee in early June.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has declined Freedom of Information Act requests from several media outlets asking for copies of the memos that fired FBI Director James Comey wrote following President Trump’s one-on-one meetings with the bureau boss before he was terminated.

Comey revealed the existence of the memos when he testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee on June 8.

Those memos could be critical evidence to the special counsel team that is investigating whether Trump obstructed justice by firing Comey and allegedly directing him to drop an investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

In denying the FOIA request, the FBI responded that the records were exempt from disclosure because of “pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding relevant to those responsive records, and the release of the information in these responsive records could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings.”

Trump’s Attorney Contradicts Himself And President on Investigation

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump’s attorney repeatedly denied the president is under investigation before saying twice “he’s being investigated” and then denying he said it moments earlier during a contentious interview on “Fox News Sunday.” 

Confused?

So was host Chris Wallace, whose refusal to let the attorney, Jay Sekulow, get away with contradictory statements about the investigation led to a tense back-and-forth.

Sekulow, who set out Sunday to deny the president is under investigation, said Trump fired FBI Director James Comey last month “based on numerous events, including recommendations from his attorney general and the deputy attorney general’s office.”

“So, he’s being investigated for taking the action that the attorney general and deputy attorney general recommended him to take, by the agency who recommended the termination. So that’s the constitutional threshold question here,” Sekulow said.

When Wallace pointed out that Sekulow had just contradicted himself by acknowledging Trump was under investigation, the president’s attorney accused the host of “putting words in my mouth, when I’ve been crystal clear that the president is not and has not been undeyinvestigation.”

Wallace noted that the “tape will speak for itself.”

The contradictions really began Friday, when Trump tweeted, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt!”