Day: February 14, 2017

Trump Campaign Aides Had Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence

WASHINGTON — Phone records and intercepted calls show that members of Donald J. Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and other Trump associates had repeated contacts with senior Russian intelligence officials in the year before the election, according to four current and former American officials.

American law enforcement and intelligence agencies intercepted the communications around the same time they were discovering evidence that Russia was trying to disrupt the presidential election by hacking into the Democratic National Committee, three of the officials said. 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.

But the intercepts alarmed American intelligence and law enforcement agencies, in part because of the amount of contact that was occurring while Mr. Trump was speaking glowingly about the Russian president, Vladimir V. Putin. At one point last summer, Mr. Trump said at a campaign event that he hoped Russian intelligence services had stolen Hillary Clinton’s emails and would make them public.

The officials said the intercepted communications were not limited to Trump campaign officials, and included other associates of Mr. Trump. On the Russian side, the contacts also included members of the government outside of the intelligence services, they said. All of the current and former officials spoke on the condition of anonymity because the continuing investigation is classified.

The officials said that one of the advisers picked up on the calls was Paul Manafort, who was Mr. Trump’s campaign chairman for several months last year and had worked as a political consultant in Ukraine. The officials declined to identify the other Trump associates on the calls.

The call logs and intercepted communications are part of a larger trove of information that the F.B.I. is sifting through as it investigates the links between Mr. Trump’s associates and the Russian government, as well as the hacking of the D.N.C., according to federal law enforcement officials. As part of its inquiry, the F.B.I. has obtained banking and travel records and conducted interviews, the officials said.

Mr. Manafort, who has not been charged with any crimes, dismissed the officials’ accounts in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “This is absurd,” he said. “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.”

He 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 might have been about business.

The officials would not disclose many details, including what was discussed on the calls, the identity of the Russian intelligence officials who participated, and how many of Mr. Trump’s advisers were talking to the Russians. It is also unclear whether the conversations had anything to do with Mr. Trump himself.

A report from American intelligence agencies that was made public in January concluded that the Russian government had intervened in the election in part to help Mr. Trump, but did not address whether any members of the Trump campaign had participated in the effort.

The intercepted calls are different from the wiretapped conversations last year between Michael T. Flynn, Mr. Trump’s former national security adviser, and Sergey I. Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States. In those calls, which led to Mr. Flynn’s resignation on Monday night, the two men discussed sanctions that the Obama administration imposed on Russia in December.

But the cases are part of American intelligence and law enforcement agencies’ routine electronic surveillance of the communications of foreign officials.


Paul D. Manafort, Mr. Trump’s former campaign chairman, at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland in July. CreditSam Hodgson for The New York Times

The F.B.I. declined to comment. The White House also declined to comment Tuesday night, but earlier in the day, the press secretary, Sean Spicer, stood by Mr. Trump’s previous comments that nobody from his campaign had contact with Russian officials before the election.

“There’s nothing that would conclude me that anything different has changed with respect to that time period,” Mr. Spicer said in response to a question.

Two days after the election in November, Sergei A. Ryabkov, the deputy Russian foreign minister, said “there were contacts” during the campaign between Russian officials and Mr. Trump’s team.

“Obviously, we know most of the people from his entourage,” Mr. Ryabkov told Russia’s Interfax news agency.

The Trump transition team denied Mr. Ryabkov’s statement. “This is not accurate,” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, said at the time.

The National Security Agency, which monitors the communications of foreign intelligence services, initially captured the calls between Mr. Trump’s associates and the Russians as part of routine foreign surveillance. After that, the F.B.I. asked the N.S.A. to collect as much information as possible about the Russian operatives on the phone calls, and to search through troves of previous intercepted communications that had not been analyzed.

The F.B.I. has closely examined at least three other people close to Mr. Trump, although it is unclear if their calls were intercepted. They are Carter Page, a businessman and former foreign policy adviser to the campaign; Roger Stone, a longtime Republican operative; and Mr. Flynn.

All of the men have strongly denied that they had any improper contacts with Russian officials.

As part of the inquiry, the F.B.I. is also trying to assess the credibility of the information contained in a dossier that was given to the bureau last year by a former British intelligence operative. The dossier contained a raft of allegations of a broad conspiracy between Mr. Trump, his associates and the Russian government. It also included unsubstantiated claims that the Russians had embarrassing videos that could be used to blackmail Mr. Trump.

The F.B.I. has spent several months investigating the leads in the dossier, but has yet to confirm any of its most explosive claims.

Senior F.B.I. officials believe that the former British intelligence officer who compiled the dossier, Christopher Steele, has a credible track record, and he briefed investigators last year about how he obtained the information. One American law enforcement official said that F.B.I. agents had made contact with some of Mr. Steele’s sources.

The agency’s investigation of Mr. Manafort began last spring as an outgrowth of a criminal investigation into his work for a pro-Russian political party in Ukraine and for the country’s former president, Viktor F. Yanukovych. It has focused on why he was in such close contact with Russian and Ukrainian intelligence officials.

The bureau did not have enough evidence to obtain a warrant for a wiretap of Mr. Manafort’s communications, but it had the N.S.A. scrutinize the communications of Ukrainian officials he had met.

The F.B.I. investigation is proceeding at the same time that separate investigations into Russian interference in the election are gaining momentum on Capitol Hill. Those investigations, by the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, are examining not only the Russian hacking but also any contacts that Mr. Trump’s team had with Russian officials during the campaign.

On Tuesday, top Republican lawmakers said that Mr. Flynn should be one focus of the investigation, and that he should be called to testify before Congress. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, the top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said the news about Mr. Flynn underscored “how many questions still remain unanswered to the American people more than three months after Election Day, including who was aware of what, and when.”

Mr. Warner said Mr. Flynn’s resignation would not stop the committee “from continuing to investigate General Flynn, or any other campaign official who may have had inappropriate and improper contacts with Russian officials prior to the election.”


T-Mobile undercuts Verizon’s unlimited plan, throws in HD video for good measure

After what felt like years of being the butt of jokes made by T-Mobile and Sprint, Verizon finally reintroduced an unlimited data plan in time for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately for Big Red, T-Mobile tried to rain on its unlimited parade with changes to its One plan.

Starting this Friday, February 17, the One plan will include HD video streaming and 10GB of high-speed hot spot data. Previously, you needed to fork over either an extra $3 each day or $15 each month for streaming video higher than 480p resolution. T-Mobile told Ars Technica that HD video will need to be enabled once every 30 days, though the day passes will be phased out. As for the hot spot data, One capped customers at 512Kbps speeds and needed to either upgrade to the One Plus plan or pay $3 for 24-hour passes for higher speeds.

More: It’s finally back — Verizon again offers its unlimited plan to eager customers

What looks to win over some folks, however, is the $100 price tag for two lines under the One plan, which undercuts Verizon’s offering by $40. It is unknown whether the pricing change is permanent, though pricing is still the same $70 per month for one line. Previously, you needed to shell out $120 for two lines.

The changes will go into effect for new and existing customers, though the latter will need to activate these features either through the T-Mobile app or T-Mobile’s website.

Even though these changes are certainly welcome, since competition is what led to them, capping customers at 480p streaming video resolution and 512Kbps tethering speeds with the original One plan were seen as two controversial and asinine “features.” With the changes, T-Mobile positioned uncompressed video streaming as a promotional feature rather than something we should take for granted.

It will be interesting to see if Verizon responds, particularly since it has not even been two days since it announced its unlimited data plan.

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My Forefather’s Land


By Maid Marian

I walked through the land
Where my forefathers lived
And therein no face
No glance did I see
To remind me of them
To remind me of me

I walked as a ghost
In the streets of the past
And I searched for my kind
In the throng flowing through
To remind me of us
To remind me of you

I walked all alone
Though crowded the place
And straining to see them
With hopes growing dim
To remind me of her
To remind me of him

I walked, cast adrift
No comfort, no home
Once familiar landscape
Stripped of my kin
To remind me of evil
To remind me of sin

Red/Russian (aka Jewish) Mafiya


By Thomas Müller of The New Nationalist

The “Red/Russian Mafiya” is political correctness for what is more accurately the Jewish/Israeli Mafiya that came out of Russia after the fall of the Soviet Union. At least the Mafiya kingpins —Semion Mogilevich, Monya Elson, Marat Balagula, Vyacheslav Ivankov, Vladimir Ginsberg and Ludwig Fainberg—are Jewish.

Robert Friedman 1951-2002, RIP

The seminal book on this topic was part of my awakening and is called Red Mafiya, by Robert Friedman. The courageous author, who was Jewish, paid for his work with his life, RIP.

Starting in the 1970s and accelerating after the fall of the Soviet Union, thousands of these “Russian” thugs somehow were let into America with the greatest of ease.

“The understaffed and ill-equipped Immigration Service,” Robert Friedman reveals, “seemed helpless to stop them.”

Hundreds of former Soviet athletes and Special Forces veterans of the Afghanistan wars, including many retired KGB agents, swarmed into America. It is estimated that 500,000 to 750,000 Russian Jews came in. The FBI at the time called them far more lethal and dangerous than Italian Mafia ever were.

“The ‘Russians’ didn’t come here to enjoy the American dream,” New York state tax agent Roger Berger said glumly.” They came here to steal it.”

Many “Russian” criminals ended up at Brighton Beach, Brooklyn. They were at once put on retainers of $20,000 a month. No jobs as janitors or road sweepers for them! Like ducks to water, they took to sex trafficking, prostitution, pornography, drug running, loan sharking, stock market scams, arson, burglary, bank and jewelry frauds, counterfeiting, vote rigging, arms sales, extortion and murder.

At this stage, the Red Mafiya is second generation and, as such, are more Americanized. Many are dual Israeli citizens. It has morphed into what I call (at least in part) the Crime Syndicate. Red Mafiya was folded into this. They have formed powerful associations with other non-Jewish crime and intelligence connected families, such as the Bushes and Clintons. They can lurk under slimy rocks, because the ZOG media is either involved or looks the other way as well.

Besides the standard criminality, I believe they are now also involved in more legitimate military-industrial complex and surveillance “neocon” contracts. They play a key role in various hoaxes and fundraising scams off of these hoaxes.

Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans


This reading is an excerpt from Chapter I of Religious Attitudes of the Indo-Europeans by famous Third Reich scholar Hans F. K. Günther.

Freedom is where you can live, as pleases a brave heart; where you can live according to the customs and laws of your fathers; where you are made happy by that which made your most distant ancestors happy.” E. M. Arndt, Catechism for the Teutonic Soldier and Warrior, 1813.

IN this work I want to advance some reflections on the religiosity of the Indo-Europeans — that is to say, the Indo-European speaking peoples originating from a common Bronze Age nucleus — who have always exerted a significant influence on the government and spirit of predominantly Nordic races. Just as by comparing the structure of the Indian, Persian, Sacaean, Armenian, Slavic and Baltic languages, and of the Greek, Italian, Celtic and Teutonic dialects, we can reach a conclusion as to a common or primal Indo-European language, approximating to the latter part of the early Stone Age, in the same way, an examination of the laws and legal customs of the different peoples of Indo-European language reveals a primal Indo-European feeling for law. Similarly, from a comparison of the religious forms of these peoples we can identify a particular religious attitude emanating from the Indo-European nature — a distinctive behaviour of Indo-European men and people towards the divine powers.

So it is that certain common religious attitudes, which originally were peculiar to all peoples of Indo-European language, reveal the identity of an Indo-European religiosity. But since in fact all Indo-European nations represented different types moulded on the spiritual pattern of the Nordic race, the origin of these common religious attitudes may be identified in a religiosity which is characteristically Nordic, emanating from the spiritual nature of the Nordic race.

It is fortunate that for our knowledge of this Nordic religiosity, we do not have to rely solely upon Teutonic religious forms, for the information we possess about the Teutonic forms of belief is regrettably inadequate. It is all the more incomplete as it is derived from a late period in the development of these forms, which had already been influenced by religious ideas from Hither-Asia, from the Mediterranean basin and from the Celtic west of Europe, where the Druids had begun to distort the ancient Indo-European religiosity of the Celts so that they no longer bore a purely Nordic stamp. The Teutonic Gods, the Aesir (cf. Oslo, Osnabruck, in High German: Ansen, cf. Anshelm, Ansbach), had already absorbed the Vanir who had spread from south-east Europe (F. R. Schroder: Germanentum und Alteuropa, Germanisch-Romanische Monatsschrift, XXII, 1934, p. 187), without thoroughly re-interpreting them in a purely Teutonic spirit. Likewise, from south-east Europe and Hither-Asia, the God Dionysos had been accepted among the Olympian Gods without being fully re-interpreted, even being found in Homer, and only later becoming a native blond God instead of an alien, dark-haired one. The pre-Christian Teutons have with justice been compared with the Achaeans, who were their nearest relatives, and it can be shown that much that the Hellenes incorporated into their belief and religiosity in post-Homeric times was more or less alien to the Indo-European spirit, as for example the Orphic mysteries. Thus late on in their period of pagan development the Teutons had accepted much that was contradictory to the Indo-European nature. What non-Indo-European or non-Teutonic characteristics have been imparted to the Teutonic God Odin (Wodan, Wuotan)? Odin, with his strange blend of “loftiness and deception”, is undoubtedly no longer the ideal example of an Indo-European or Teutonic God, and his worship is no longer characteristic of the Indo-European or the original Teutonic religion. Already one perceives in him the voice of an alien, non-Nordic race.

One must ask how much of Odin’s character can be explained from Teutonic folk belief, how much is later poetical embellishment, and how much reaches back, as with Zeus or Jupiter, into antiquity and the Indo-European conception of the “Father of the Heavens”. We must not overlook the fact, stressed by Andreas Heusler in Germanentum (1934, pp. 95-106 and cf. also Erik Therman: Eddan och dess Odestragik, 1938, pp. 65, 105, 106) that “the Edda mythology is largely a Norwegian-Icelandic poetical creation of the Viking era”, elaborated by the poets who dwelt at the courts of local Norwegian princes during the late pagan and early Christian era, at a time when many Teutons were uprooted from their native soil and exposed to alien ideas. According to Heusler, Odin is a “new creation of Teutonic religious phantasy”, and above all, a God of war and of the Viking princes, warriors and skalds. However, as a war God, Odin is an incalculable force to reckon with, “capable of deceit”, as R. L. M. Derolez informs us (De Godsdienst der Germanen, 1959, p. 79).

The worship of Odin (Wotan or Wuotan in the High German form) spread from west Scandinavia during the warlike Folk Wandering and Viking era to the Vandals and Langobards, and to the Saxons in Lower Saxony and in England, but it always predominantly appealed to the local princes and their retinue and to the skalds of the princes’ courts, to whom the war God was also the God of poetry. Perhaps it is the name which is the unique feature of Odin that reaches back into Indo-European antiquity, for its root is derived from the Indo-European word vat meaning “to be spiritually excited”, and as such it is still preserved in Sanskrit, in old Iranian and in Latin, where it corresponds to the word vates, meaning a seer or a poet.

The concept of Odin-Wodan appears at its highest form in the grandiose Edda mythology of the twilight of the Gods, the end of the world, Ragnarok, but it is an expression more of poetry than belief. The yeoman freeholders on their hereditary farms, who formed the majority of the Teutonic peoples, were never at ease with the cult of Odin or Wodan (Karl Helm: Wodan; Ausbreitung und Wanderung seines Kults, Giessener Beitrage zur deutschen Philologie, Vol. LXXXV, 1946; R. L. M. Derolez: De Godsdienst der Germanen, 1959, pp. 79 et seq.). According to Erik Therman (op. cit., pp. 23, 77, 106), many sagas of the Gods of the Edda and also of Odin do not belong to the folk belief of the Teutons, but instead are an expression of the ideals and concepts of the Viking nobility and of the local North Teutonic princes.

One must above all bear in mind, when dealing with the figure of Odin, what Jan de Vries has written in The Present Position of Teutonic Religious Research (Germanische Monatsschrift, Vol. XXIII, 1951, pp. 1 et seq.):

Proceeding solely from the sources of Teutonic religious history, research will never arrive at conclusive results concerning the nature of Teutonic religion: for illumination of Teutonic belief and religious attitudes, it will be necessary to return again and again to Indo-European religion and mythology”.

Georges Dumezil has also expressed the same warning.

The figure of Odin-Wodan does not belong to Indo-European religious history. He is the special God of the loosely-rooted expanding Viking Folk, and his composite personality stems from the late period of Teutonic paganism, and as such does not help to throw light on Indo-European religious attitudes.

Again, in one’s search for material to clarify this religiosity, there is little of value to be found in the descriptions of the religions of the Celts and the Slavs. Throughout the broad areas under their rule — and the Galatians penetrated as far as Asia Minor — the Celts formed only a thin upper layer holding sway over pre-Indo-European peoples governed by matriarchal family systems, whose linguistic forms deeply influenced the Celtic dialects, and whose spiritual beliefs transformed the original religious attitudes of the Celts.

The religious customs and moral attitudes of matriarchal origin emanating from the lower, non-Celtic strata, which penetrated the religion of the Celts (Wolfgang Krause: Die Kelten, Religionsgeschichtliches Lesebuch, Vol. XXIII, 1929), have been compared by both Marie Sjostedt, in Dieux et Hews des Celtes (1940, p. 126) and by Jan de Vries, in Keltische Religion (1961, p. 224), with those of primitive non-European tribes, and from the Indo-European point of view, the latter must be described as repellent.

Finally, the hierarchy of the Celtic Druids, a power-seeking priestly order, was non-Indo-European in character, and resembled in structure the recent Brahmin system of caste-rule in India.

The records of the pre-Christian religions of Slavic tribes (A. Bruckner: The Slavs, in Religionsgeschichtliches Lesebuch, Vol. Ill, 1926, and Karl H. Meyer: Die Slavische Religion, in Carl Clemen’s Die Religionen der Erde, 1927 pp. 237 et seq.) handed down to us by the Christian historians of the sixth century, Procopius and Jordanes, have been distorted by mistaken interpretation, or by writers who were hostile to the pagan Slavs, and they have little material of any value to offer. Arabic and Teutonic records are equally deficient, but something may be deduced from the morals and customs, and the sagas and songs which have been preserved and re-interpreted by Christianity. From them we receive an impression that the early Indo-Europeans worshipped their ancestors and believed that the houses they inhabited and the lands and animals that belonged to them were possessed of guardian spirits, features that were characteristic of early Latin beliefs.

Purchase on Third Reich Books

Fortunately, however, the religious forms of the other Indo-European speaking peoples bear many details which guide us back to a more profound study of primary Indo-European religiosity, and in the beliefs of the early Indians, the early Persians 6 and the early Hellenes, one can, in my opinion, trace essentially Indo-European elements and the basic factors vital to grasping and understanding them. Only by comparing all these forms of belief — and those of the Italici must not be omitted — with the Teutons’ can we obtain a clearer picture of Nordic-Teutonic religiosity.

If I thus attempt to express here in words individual features of this picture, I do so in an endeavour to ascertain, subject to the limitations of my own knowledge (for I am not a scholar of religious science), not only what is primary in all the religious forms of Indo-European speaking peoples known to us, but also what is their purest and richest unfolding. My concern is not with any search for the so-called primitive in these religious forms, nor whether this or that higher idea is deduced from some lower stage of old Stone Age magical belief or middle Stone Age spirit belief (animism). I am solely interested in determining the pinnacles of Indo-European religion. My concern is to identify Indo-European religion at its most perfect and characteristic form, and in its richest and purest assertion — that completely spontaneous expression of the spirit in which primary Indo-European nature expresses itself with the greatest degree of purity.

But when I speak of the richest unfolding of religious forms, I do not mean those eras characterised by a confusing multitude of ideas, which sometimes intrude upon the Indo-European peoples, for at these periods the primal Nordic has become permeated with ideas alien to his nature. On the contrary, I believe that Indo-European religious life had already attained heights of great richness amongst the individual Indo-European tribes in the Bronze Age, so that the Bronze Age Nordic experienced much of the flowering of the religiosity of his race. Each time this religiosity unfolded it flourished for a succession of centuries, indeed often up to a millenia, until a spirit alien in nature — and usually corresponding to a general weakening of the Nordic racial strain — permeated the original religious ideas of the Indo-Europeans, and then expressed in their language religious ideas which were no longer purely or even predominantly European.

Trump Draft Executive Order on Welfare Has Liberals FURIOUS

Ever see a dead cat in a tree? Me neither. When the cat gets hungry enough, it comes down on its own and finds a meal. Unless it’s in a Democrat tree. Then the food is sent up at each mealtime, permanently, until the fat kitty forgets what living on the ground and catching its own mice is like.

This analogy to our current liberal cradle-to-grave welfare mentality has not escaped President Donald Trump’s attention. Strict welfare limits are moving up the president’s priority list and not surprisingly, welfare to immigrants is a critical item on the agenda, according to BizPac Review.

A copy of a draft order reported by The Washington Post earlier this month (subscription required) and being circulated among cabinet members seeks to address what the order describes as a massive burden on the American taxpayer.

The order calls for immigrants “likely to need certain types of public aid” to be identified prior to entry, and for immigrants already using those services to be deported.

The draft order also requires strict financial responsibility for relatives who promised to support immigrants who are instead now relying on social aid.

The potential savings estimated by the order are as high as “$100 billion,” although little data exists to support that figure.

We should be welcoming immigrants with open arms, not an open wallet. Liberals are losing their minds over the idea that we might inject some economic realism into our immigration policies.

“He [Trump] would literally be taking food out of the mouths of babes,” Kevin Appleby of the Center for Migration Studies told The Washington Post.

Perhaps instead of reaching out to immigrants the moment they set foot on our soil to connect them with social service programs, we need to be connecting them with jobs the minute they arrive.

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Canada fixed this decades ago. You can’t easily emigrate there (even from the U.S.) if you don’t already have a job, a place to live, and a Canadian citizen to vouch for you.

Dear White People – The Truth About the Film


Mainstream media has become so anti-White that you now have non-Whites getting fired up about this insane agenda. Thanks jews.

Note: do not take this as endorsement of this youtube channel and their foul language.

Flynn’s Downfall Sprang From ‘Eroding Level of Trust’

WASHINGTON — Just days into his new position as President Trump’s national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn found himself in a meeting that any White House official would dread. Face to face with F.B.I. agents, he was grilled about a phone call he had had with Russia’s ambassador.

What exactly Mr. Flynn said has not been disclosed, but current and former government officials said on Tuesday that investigators had come away believing that he was not entirely forthcoming. Soon after, the acting attorney general decided to notify the White House, setting in motion a chain of events that cost Mr. Flynn his job and thrust Mr. Trump’s fledgling administration into a fresh crisis.

Mr. Flynn’s rise and fall followed familiar patterns in Washington, where ambitious figures secure positions of great authority only to lose them in a blizzard of contradictions, recriminations and scandal. But rarely has an official at such a high level risen and fallen in such a dizzyingly short time, in this case just 24 days after Mr. Flynn arrived in the West Wing to take his corner office.

Given his short stay at the top, Mr. Flynn’s case might be quickly forgotten as an isolated episode if it did not raise other questions, particularly about what the president knew and when. Even more broadly, it underscores lingering uncertainty about the relationship between the Trump administration and Vladimir V. Putin’s Russia, a subject of great interest given American intelligence reports of Moscow’s intervention in last year’s elections in the United States.

As leaders of both parties said on Tuesday that they expected the Senate to investigate and probably even summon Mr. Flynn to testify, more details emerged about a drama that played out largely in secret inside a White House riven by competing power centers. Sean Spicer, the White House press secretary, revealed that Mr. Trump had known about concerns that Mr. Flynn lied for more than two weeks before demanding his resignation on Monday night. But Vice President Mike Pence was kept in the dark and did not learn that Mr. Flynn had misled him about his Russia contacts until reading news accounts late last week.


Michael T. Flynn, right, stepped down as national security adviser on Monday night after President Trump demanded his resignation. He held the job for 24 days. CreditKevin Hagen for The New York Times

Mr. Spicer described a deliberative process in which a new president took his time deciding what to do with Mr. Flynn, a retired three-star general who played a major role in his campaign. The issue, Mr. Spicer said, was not about legality but credibility.

“The evolving and eroding level of trust as a result of this situation and a series of other questionable instances is what led the president to ask for General Flynn’s resignation,” he said.

But other aides privately said that Mr. Trump, while annoyed at Mr. Flynn, might not have pushed him out had the situation not attracted such attention from the news media. Instead, according to three people close to Mr. Trump, the president made the decision to cast aside Mr. Flynn in a flash, the catalyst being a news alert of a coming article about the matter.

“Yeah, it’s time,” Mr. Trump told one of his advisers.

Until around that point, Mr. Flynn seemed to think he was going to keep his job. He told The Daily Caller, a conservative news site, on Monday that he had not violated the law. “If I did, believe me, the F.B.I. would be down my throat, my clearances would be pulled,” he said. “There were no lines crossed.”

But by that evening, he was writing a resignation letter, admitting no deception, only that he had “inadvertently” passed along “incomplete information.”

The issue traced back to a call last December between Mr. Flynn, then on tap to become Mr. Trump’s national security adviser, and Sergey I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to the United States. President Barack Obama was imposing new sanctions on Russia and expelling 35 diplomats after the election meddling.

The day after the sanctions were announced, Mr. Putin said Russia would not retaliate in kind, as has been the custom in the long, tortured history of Russian-American relations, instead waiting for a new administration that he assumed would be friendlier.

Inside the Obama administration, officials were stunned. Mr. Trump publicly welcomed the decision. “Great move on delay (by V. Putin),” he wrote on Twitter. “I always knew he was very smart!”

Around the same time, Obama advisers heard separately from the F.B.I. about Mr. Flynn’s conversation with Mr. Kislyak, whose calls were routinely monitored by American intelligence agencies that track Russian diplomats. The Obama advisers grew suspicious that perhaps there had been a secret deal between the incoming team and Moscow, which could violate the rarely enforced, two-century-old Logan Act barring private citizens from negotiating with foreign powers in disputes with the United States.

The Obama officials asked the F.B.I. if a quid pro quo had been discussed on the call, and the answer came back no, according to one of the officials, who like others asked not to be named discussing delicate communications. The topic of sanctions came up, they were told, but there was no deal.

On Jan. 12, David Ignatius, a columnist for The Washington Post, reported that Mr. Flynn had called Mr. Kislyak, setting off news media interest in what was said. Mr. Spicer, then the spokesman for Mr. Trump’s transition team, went to Mr. Flynn, who he said told him that sanctions had not come up during the call. Briefing reporters the next day, Mr. Spicer repeated the misinformation, saying that the conversation had “never touched on the sanctions.”

Mr. Flynn told the same thing to Mr. Pence and Reince Priebus, the incoming White House chief of staff, who were scheduled to go on the Sunday talk shows and expected that they would be asked about the matter, according to the two men. On Jan. 15, Mr. Pence went on “Face the Nation” on CBS and on “Fox News Sunday” and repeated that sanctions had not been discussed, while Mr. Priebus said much the same on “Meet the Press” on NBC.

Document: Michael Flynn’s Resignation Letter

The topic came up again after Mr. Trump and his team moved into the White House. At his first full briefing on Jan. 23, Mr. Spicer said that Mr. Flynn’s conversation had touched on only four subjects, none of them sanctions. That caught the attention of the F.B.I. and the Justice Department.

Sally Q. Yates, an Obama appointee held over as acting attorney general until Mr. Trump’s choice was confirmed, concluded that the disparity between what was said on the call and what Mr. Flynn had evidently told the vice president and others about it might make the new national security adviser vulnerable to blackmail. When foreign governments hold information that could prove embarrassing, it is considered a potential leverage point.

Soon after the Jan. 23 briefing, James B. Comey, the F.B.I. director, sent agents to interview Mr. Flynn. If he told the agents what he said publicly for more than a week after that interview — that his conversations with the ambassador had been innocuous and did not involve sanctions — then he could face legal trouble. If the authorities concluded that he knowingly lied to the F.B.I., it could expose him to a felony charge.

It was not clear whether Mr. Flynn had a lawyer for his interview or whether anyone at the White House knew the interview was happening. But they knew afterward because Ms. Yates, with the support of Mr. Comey, reached out to Donald F. McGahn II, the new White House counsel, on Jan. 26 to give him what Mr. Spicer called a “heads up” about the discrepancy.

Mr. Trump was told “immediately,” Mr. Spicer said, and directed Mr. McGahn to look into the matter. After an “extensive review” that lasted several days, Mr. McGahn concluded that nothing in the conversation had violated federal law, Mr. Spicer said.

But the president then set out to determine whether he could still trust Mr. Flynn. Mr. Spicer said Mr. Flynn stuck to his original account, making matters worse.


Vice President Mike Pence, left, learned that Mr. Flynn had misled him about a call to the Russian ambassador after reading news media reports last week. CreditGabriella Demczuk for The New York Times

“We got to a point not based on a legal issue, but based on a trust issue, with the level of trust between the president and General Flynn had eroded to the point where he felt he had to make a change,” Mr. Spicer said. “The president was very concerned that General Flynn had misled the vice president and others.”

Asked if Mr. Trump had instructed Mr. Flynn to talk about sanctions with Mr. Kislyak, Mr. Spicer said, “No, absolutely not.” Asked if Mr. Trump knew that the issue had come up before the Justice Department told the White House, Mr. Spicer said, “No, he was not aware.”

Mr. Spicer emphasized that there was “nothing wrong” with Mr. Flynn’s talking with representatives of other countries to prepare for the new president taking office, and that, in fact, Mr. Trump wanted him to.

By that point, Mr. Trump’s relationship with Mr. Flynn had grown more awkward. One person close to the president, who asked to remain anonymous to describe private discussions, said Mr. Trump had been “uncomfortable” with Mr. Flynn for weeks. Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, had expressed concern about Mr. Flynn’s appointment even before the inauguration, according to another person briefed on the discussions.

Mr. Trump’s views were coming around to the same point. “What he knew was that Flynn was too much about Flynn, versus Mattis,” the person close to the president said. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was seen as deferential to the chain of command. “He loves Mattis because Mattis is respectful and self-confident.”

Another key figure with growing concerns about Mr. Flynn was Stephen K. Bannon, the president’s chief strategist whom Mr. Flynn perceived as a rival for control over national security. Mr. Trump began asking Mr. Mattis about two weeks ago for suggestions of possible replacements for Mr. Flynn. The defense secretary recommended retired Vice Adm. Robert S. Harward. Mr. Bannon reached out to Mr. Harward last week, two senior officials said.

The situation escalated late Thursday when word reached the White House that The Washington Post was reporting that the transcript of Mr. Flynn’s call showed that he had discussed sanctions, contrary to his assurances to Mr. Pence and others.

White House officials confronted Mr. Flynn, who only then said that it was possible they had come up, but that he did not remember. “His story remained the same until that night,” Mr. Spicer said. “That’s when his response changed.”

That was also when Mr. Pence first learned that the Justice Department had proof that Mr. Flynn had not told the truth and had warned the White House two weeks earlier, according to Marc Lotter, his spokesman. “He did an inquiry based on those media accounts,” Mr. Lotter added, without elaborating.

Another person who speaks frequently with him said Mr. Pence went “ballistic,” or at least what qualifies as ballistic for the coolheaded vice president.

Mr. Pence, Mr. Priebus and Mr. Bannon urged Mr. Trump to fire the national security adviser, according to officials, but the president could not bring himself to do it, in part for fear of losing face. When a reporter on Air Force One heading to Florida on Friday asked him about The Post’s report, Mr. Trump said he had not read it. “I don’t know about that,” he said. “I haven’t seen it.”

As late as Monday, he was sticking by Mr. Flynn. He sent his counselor, Kellyanne Conway, to tell a television interviewer that he had “full confidence” in Mr. Flynn. And Mr. Flynn phoned a reporter for The Daily Caller on Monday to say the president had “expressed confidence” in him and urged him to “go out and talk more.”

In that interview, posted on Tuesday, Mr. Flynn said he had discussed the Russian diplomats’ expulsion with Mr. Kislyak. “It wasn’t about sanctions,” he said. “It was about the 35 guys who were thrown out.” Mr. Flynn added: “It was basically, ‘Look, I know this happened. We’ll review everything.’ I never said anything such as, ‘We’re going to review sanctions,’ or anything like that.”

Either way, it was too late. When the matter came to overshadow the president’s glitch-free meeting with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau of Canada and word arrived of another Post article on Ms. Yates’s warning to the White House, Mr. Trump ordered an end to the situation. “He made a determination late in the day,” Mr. Spicer said, “and he executed on it.”

Pedro Hernandez Found Guilty of Kidnapping and Killing Etan Patz in 1979

Pedro Hernandez, a former bodega stock clerk who confessed to luring 6-year-old Etan Patz into a basement and attacking him, was found guilty on Tuesday of murder and kidnapping, a long-awaited step toward closure in a case that bedeviled investigators for decades and changed forever the way parents watched over their children.

A Manhattan jury convicted Mr. Hernandez on the ninth day of deliberations after the second of two lengthy trials that brought renewed attention to Etan’s disappearance on May 25, 1979, as he walked to his school bus stop alone in SoHo for the first time.

The mystery of what happened to Etan shook New York and the nation, with photographs of the smiling, sandy-haired boy ubiquitous on milk cartons, “missing” posters, newspaper front pages and television newscasts. The alarm caused by the abduction reverberated across America, evoking the worst fears of parents and helping to change the way the authorities tracked missing children.

The vote to convict came after jurors returned to court Tuesday following a three-day weekend and watched — “for the 100th time,” one juror said — Mr. Hernandez’s recorded confessions. Around noon, the panel sent a note to the judge saying it had reached a verdict. Though jurors declined to discuss how their views had evolved while deliberating, they acknowledged overcoming significant divisions.

“Deliberations were difficult,” said Tommy Hoscheid, the jury foreman, “but I think we had constructive conversations based in logic that were analytical and creative and adaptive and compassionate, and ultimately, kind of heartbreaking.”

Years of fruitless searches and examinations of suspects had failed to yield answers for Etan’s parents, Stanley and Julie Patz, who still live in the Prince Street loft that was their home when their son vanished from what was then a semi-industrial area.


“Deliberations were difficult,” said Tommy Hoscheid, the foreman of the jury. CreditLouis Lanzano for The New York Times

The authorities turned their attention to Mr. Hernandez, who lived in a small New Jersey town near Philadelphia, after his brother-in-law called detectives in 2012 to share his suspicion that he could be responsible.

For Stanley Patz, the verdict meant a vigil of almost 38 years was close to an end.

“The Patz family has waited a long time, but we finally found some measure of justice for our wonderful little boy Etan,” said Mr. Patz, who sat through every day of the trial, carrying his own cushion to use on the courtroom’s hard wooden benches. He said that he had called his wife, who was not at the courthouse, and that she had cried at the news.

“I’m really grateful — I’m really grateful — this jury finally came back with what I’ve known for a long time,” he added, “that this man, Pedro Hernandez, is guilty of doing something really terrible so many years ago.”

The outcome was a victory for the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., who chose to prosecute Mr. Hernandez a second time after the earlier mistrial. That proceeding ended in 2015 after 18 days of deliberations when a lone juror declined to convict. He said he had been persuaded by defense arguments that Mr. Hernandez had mental health problems that called his admissions into question and that another suspect could have been the killer.

“I’m relieved, and I’m relieved because I think it’s the right result,” Mr. Vance said in an interview. “I think it can bring all of us together in a moment of closure and healing,” he added, describing Etan’s disappearance as “something that has stayed with us as a city and as a community of New Yorkers.”

Mr. Hernandez, 56, is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb. 28. He faces up to 25 years to life in prison on both the kidnapping and murder charges, prosecutors said.


Etan’s parents, Stanley and Julie Patz, in 1980. CreditJohn Sotomayor/The New York Times

Etan’s remains were never found, and prosecutors had no scientific evidence from crime scenes to corroborate their arguments. But the prosecution team, led by two veteran assistant district attorneys, Joan Illuzzi and Joel J. Seidemann, relied on Mr. Hernandez’s own words to build their case, pulling from the detailed confessions he gave to the authorities around the time of his arrest and to mental health experts who evaluated him later.

In interviews recorded on video, which prosecutors played repeatedly for jurors during the five-month trial, Mr. Hernandez described encountering a boy on a sidewalk outside the bodega and asking him if he wanted a soda.

Mr. Hernandez told investigators he had led the boy to the basement and started to choke him. He said he had put the boy into a plastic bag and put the bag into a box that he left with garbage nearby. He said he believed the child was still alive when he left him.

As part of his confession, he also signed a “missing” poster showing Etan, confirming to investigators that he was the boy he had attacked.

“I just couldn’t let go,” Mr. Hernandez said in one of the interviews. “I felt like something just took over me.”

He did not offer a motive and said that he had not sexually abused Etan or any other child. But in her closing arguments, Ms. Illuzzi argued otherwise, saying that sexual abuse was the probable reason for the attack.


Stanley Patz, Etan’s father, spoke in the courtroom after Pedro Hernandez was found guilty of murder and kidnapping on Tuesday. CreditLouis Lanzano for The New York Times

Mr. Hernandez’s lawyers tried to undermine the credibility of his confessions, saying he was the only witness against himself and an unreliable one at that.

They described Mr. Hernandez as having a low I.Q. and a personality disorder that made it difficult for him to distinguish between reality and fantasy. The defense contended that Mr. Hernandez’s admissions reflected a fiction he had concocted. They also argued that he was susceptible to pressure by detectives during an interrogation that lasted several hours.

Mr. Hernandez, who stared forward blankly through much of the trial, showed little emotion as the verdict was announced.

“We are obviously terribly disappointed,” Harvey Fishbein, the lead defense lawyer, said outside court. He said he planned to appeal, saying the grounds to do so were “too lengthy to start to list right here.”

“We’re confident we’ll be back here some day,” Mr. Fishbein said. “Unfortunately, in the end, we don’t believe this will resolve the story of what happened to Etan back in 1979.”

Prosecutors sought to portray Mr. Hernandez as mercurial and controlling yet deeply religious and desperate to unburden himself of the guilt he felt for attacking Etan. To support that argument, the prosecution called witnesses who testified about admissions Mr. Hernandez made over the years, with varying details, about killing a child in New York City.

What Happened to Etan Patz?

A look back at investigations surrounding the 1979 disappearance of a 6-year-old boy in New York City, and the trials of a man who, decades later, has been convicted in his killing.


A member of a church group testified that Mr. Hernandez fell to his knees in tears, saying he had attacked a child. Mr. Hernandez’s former wife, with whom he has had an acrimonious relationship, recalled how he had pulled her aside before they married and told her he had killed a “muchacho,” which she inferred to be a teenage boy. She also testified that, after they were married, she found an image of Etan, taken from one of the missing posters, in a box of his in a closet.

The first prosecution witness to testify when the trial began in October was Julie Patz. She recounted a hectic morning and what turned out to be her final moments with her son.

It was the Friday before the Memorial Day weekend; she was busy tending to her other children, and Etan jolted out of bed. He had been pushing to be more independent, she said, and he pleaded with her to let him walk about two blocks to the bus stop on his own.

She said that she had reluctantly agreed and had walked him outside. He set off wearing an Eastern Airlines cap and carrying a $1 bill given to him by a neighborhood handyman on a visit to his workshop. He planned to stop in the bodega for a soda along the way.

That afternoon, when Etan did not return, Ms. Patz testified, she called around and learned that he had never made it to school or boarded his bus.

At the time, Mr. Hernandez was an 18-year-old high school dropout who had recently come to New York from Camden, N.J. Prosecutors said that soon after Etan disappeared, possibly within days, Mr. Hernandez returned to New Jersey, at some point taking a job at a dress factory.


Cyrus R. Vance Jr., the Manhattan district attorney, leaving court in December.CreditAnthony Lanzilote for The New York Times

His lawyers depicted Mr. Hernandez as struggling with a mental illness that loosened his grip on reality. They said he had schizotypal personality disorder, a condition marked by symptoms that included severe paranoia, social anxiety and unusual beliefs. His youngest daughter, Becky, testified that he had discussed having hallucinations of demons and an angelic woman in white.

The defense also suggested that another man could have been the culprit. The man, Jose Ramos, a convicted pedophile, had a relationship with a woman who had been hired to walk Etan home from school. He was considered a suspect for years.

Prosecutors, citing a lack of evidence, dismissed the suggestion that Mr. Ramos was involved. They also said Mr. Hernandez was feigning symptoms of his mental illness.

At the start of deliberations, the jury was “majorly divided,” one juror, Cateryn Kiernan, said. The confessions and the testimony about Mr. Ramos were among the major points of discussion.

“We all had different hangups,” Ms. Kiernan told reporters. “It’s not a black-and-white case. There’s a lot of gray.”

Ultimately, the jurors agreed with the prosecution’s arguments discrediting Mr. Ramos as a potential suspect, and found that the defense had not raised enough doubt. Another juror, Mike Castellon, called the defense strategy “spaghetti on the wall” — tossing out numerous theories, none of which stuck for him.

Mr. Castellon said he found Mr. Hernandez’s confessions credible, and although he believed Mr. Hernandez might have a personality disorder, none of the experts who testified convinced him that it could make him confess to something he had invented.

“That didn’t make him delusional,” Mr. Castellon said of the disorder. “We think he could tell right from wrong,” he said. “He could tell fantasy from reality.”

Adolf Hitler: In the Thicket of the Forest at Artois, 1916 (poem)

In the Thicket of the Forest at Artois
(Direct English Translation)

It was in the thicket of the Artois Wood.
Deep in the trees, on blood-soaked ground,
Lay stretched a wounded German warrior,
And his cries rang out in the night.
In vain … no echo answered his plea …
Will he bleed to death like a beast,
That shot in the gut dies alone?

Then suddenly …
Heavy steps approach from the right
He hears how they stamp on the forest floor …
And new hope springs from his soul.
And now from the left …
And now from both sides …

Two men approach his miserable bed
A German it is, and a Frenchman.
And each watches the other with distrustful glance,
And threatening they aim their weapons.
The German warrior asks:
“What do you do here?”
“I was touched by the needy one’s call for help.”

“It’s your enemy!”
“It is a man who suffers.”
And both, wordless, lowered their weapons.
Then entwined their hands
And, with muscles tensed, carefully lifted
The wounded warrior, as if on a stretcher,
And carried him through the woods.

‘Til they came to the German outposts.
“Now it is over. He will get good care.”
And the Frenchman turns back toward the woods.
But the German grasps for his hand,
Looks, moved, into sorrow-dimmed eyes
And says to him with earnest foreboding:

“I know not what fate holds for us,
Which inscrutably rules in the stars.
Perhaps I shall fall, a victim of your bullet.
Maybe mine will fell you on the sand
For indifferent is the chance of battles.

Yet, however it may be and whatever may come:
We lived these sacred hours,
Where man found himself in man …
And now, farewell! And God be with you!

Adolf Hitler, 1916