China allegedly had unimpeded access to all of Hillary Clinton’s communications through her private server when she was the Secretary of State, after planting a malware that copied emails in real time, a new report claims. The report by the Daily Caller alleges that a Chinese-owned entity, controlled by Beijing, embedded malignant code into the private server former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential candidate Clinton used for handling her correspondence, both personal and work-related, including that which included confidential information with up to top secret classification.
Using this code, the Chinese firm, said to be operating in Washington’s northern Virginia suburbs, had a full access to emails Clinton sent through “courtesy copies” it received in real time, the report claims, citing “sources briefed on the matter.”
According to the Daily Caller, the Intelligence Community Inspector General (ICIG) became aware of the “anomaly” in early 2015 and promptly alerted the FBI. ICIG investigator Frank Rucker and attorney Janette McMillan then repeatedly met with FBI agents to brief them on the matter, including with the notorious Peter Strzok. Strzok is a disgraced former member of FBI Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team, which has been seeking evidence of US President Donald Trump’s collusion with the Russians to no avail so far. Strzok, known for injecting a personal anti-Trump vibe into his investigations, was once among those who led the agency’s “Midyear Exam” investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure at the US State Department.
At a July 18 hearing at the House Judiciary Committee, Strzok claimed he did meet Rucker on several occasions, but could not recall the subject matter of their conversations. At the time, Gohmet accused Strzok of failing to act on the intelligence he allegedly received from the ICIG investigator, that a certain “anomaly” was uncovered on Clinton’s server making “every single one except for four” out of some 30,000 emails on it being forwarded to an address that was not included on the distribution list. Gohmet stressed that the entity that received the emails was a foreign one but unrelated to Russia.
Although the name of the company that allegedly tapped into Clinton’s private server is not disclosed in the report, a former intelligence official told the Daily Caller that it was a public company, not a tech one, but widely known to be the Chinese government’s intelligence collection arm. The potentially explosive revelation has caught attention of US President Donald Trump, who took to Twitter to tease Russiagaters.
“Are they sure it wasn’t Russia (just kidding!)? What are the odds that the FBI and DOJ are right on top of this? Actually, a very big story. Much classified information!” Trump tweeted on Tuesday.
It remains to be seen if the hacking allegations against China will be given as much spotlight as those against Russia, however. Back in July, the Mueller team claimed in the indictment that alleged Russian hackers tried to hack into Clinton’s private server “for the first time” on July 27, 2016, after “invited” by Trump who jokingly said he hopes Russia will be able to “find the 30,000 emails that are missing” from Clinton’s private server.
Iran Blocks Nearly All Internet Access
Iran imposed an almost complete nationwide internet blackout on Sunday one of its most draconian attempts to cut off Iranians from each other and the rest of the world as widespread anti-government unrest roiled the streets of Tehran and other cities for a third day, The New York Times reported.
The death toll for the three days of protests rose to at least 12; hundreds were injured; and more than 1,000 people have been arrested, according to semiofficial news agencies like Fars News.
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has the last word on all state matters, called the demonstrators “thugs” and endorsed the government’s decision to raise prices it sets for rationed gasoline by 50 percent as of Friday and by 300 percent for gasoline that exceeds ration limits. Even after the price hike, gasoline in Iran is still cheaper than in most of the rest of the world – now the equivalent of about 50 cents a gallon.
In a speech on Sunday, Khamenei said he would support rationing and increasing gas prices because heads of three branches of government had made the decision.
Khamenei also acknowledged that Iranians had taken to the streets to protest and that some had died – however, he blamed the protests on monarchists and opposition groups trying to destabilize Iran, the Times added.
The widespread discontent on display across the country marked yet another crisis for the country. Iran has been struggling with an economic crisis after the United States exited a nuclear deal and reimposed harsh sanctions that ban Iran’s oil sales.
HASC Chairman Claims Legislation to Create a Space Force in 2020 ‘Still Possible’
House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith said last week that negotiations on the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act are “proceeding reasonably well” but he expressed doubt that the NDAA will include language to authorize a Space Force as a separate military branch, SpaceNews reported.
“It’s still possible but by no means guaranteed,” Smith told reporters on Capitol Hill last week. When asked for specifics, Smith said, “I don’t think it would be helpful for me to make predictions.”
The biggest sticking point in the NDAA negotiations is language in the House version of the bill that restricts the use of military funds to pay for the wall that President Trump wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border, SpaceNews adds.
There are other dealbreaker issues. The authorization of a Space Force as the sixth branch of the armed forces is one of them, Smith said. Other contentious matters include extending the “war powers” legislation that authorizes the president to use military force, and allowing transgender people to serve in the military.
Smith said the House and Senate NDAA conference in recent weeks worked on compromise language on hundreds of provisions and “reduced the stack significantly, and we’re down to a few really contentious issues.”
Smith characterized the Space Force as a “higher echelon” issue that is proving divisive. Both Republicans and Democrats in the House and Senate continue to have reservations about the administration’s Space Force proposal, said Smith. “There is bipartisan concern on the proposal and bicameral concern about the specifics of that proposal.”
The House version of the NDAA creates a Space Corps and is closer aligned with what the administration proposed. The Senate bill would rename the Air Force Space Command the U.S. Space Force and does not specifically authorize a sixth branch of the armed forces.
Smith noted that the House has been a proponent of a military space branch since 2017 while the Senate had adamantly opposed it. “In their bill they didn’t have the same language that we did. But the president has persuaded them to look at it differently.”
Gunman Kills Four at California Backyard Party
Police in the California city of Fresno were investigating a mass shooting at a football game party on Sunday in which at least 10 people were shot, killing four, with five others left in critical condition and another wounded, Reuters informs.
Three men died at the scene and another died at a hospital, Fresno Deputy Police Chief Michael Reed said in a late night news conference. Six more were hospitalized, he said.
“Our hearts go out to the families of the victims of this thing,” Reed said. “This was senseless violence. We’re going to do everything we can to find out who the perpetrators were and bring them to justice.”
A gunman walked into a backyard and started shooting at a south Fresno home, where a gathering of about 35 family and friends was watching a football game before 8 p.m., said Reed. Neighbors soon flooded 911 dispatchers with calls for help, Reuters adds.
The suspect fled the scene and police were combing the neighborhood for witnesses and possible security camera footage, police said. Police did not release further information about the shooting in the city about 200 miles (320 km) north of Los Angeles, except that the dead were men between the ages of 25 and 35.