Donald Trump and those closest to him seem to believe that the poor reporting of a few CNN staffers has exonerated Trump from his alleged collusion with the Russian government. On Tuesday Trump tweeted:
Wow, CNN had to retract big story on "Russia," with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2017
Always ready to co-sign for his father, no matter how asinine Trump Sr.’s remarks, Donald Trump, Jr. according to BR, also posted a message that shows that he too doesn’t get that one retracted story doesn’t erase months of confirmed connections between the Trump camp and various entities of the Russian government. Trump Jr. tweeted:
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 27, 2017
Clearly in needed of a wake-up call, the Trumps likely got just that with reports that the F.B.I. formally questioned employees of a Russian-based cyber-security lab. In 2015 Kaspersky Lab paid Michael Flynn $11,250 for “consulting,” but on Tuesday, the company’s operations as they relate to U.S. counter-intelligence, not Flynn, was the reason F.B.I. agents paid Kaspersky employees visits at home.
Though federal officials visited lab staff located on both the east and west coasts, there is no information as to whether their inquiry is part of Robert Mueller’s probe into Trump’s alleged collusion with the Russia as part of their interference in Election 2016. If today’s home visits by federal agents weren’t connected Mueller’s inquiry, one can be sure that any information obtained that is relevant to the Special Counsel’s investigation, will be passed on.
Ironically, Kaspersky has been under the eye of federal authorities for quite some time, but their cyber-security software is still readily used across America. The company is owned by billionaire Eugene Kaspersky, who is said to be very well connected with Russian intelligence personnel. Further making him a person of interest, Kaspersky graduated from Soviet KGB-backed Institute of Cryptography, Telecommunications, and Computer Science.
In response to today’s visits by federal agents, Kaspersky Lab released a statement that read in part:
‘[Kaspersky] has no ties to any government, and the company has never helped, nor will help, any government in the world with its cyberespionage efforts. The company has a 20-year history in the IT security industry of always abiding by the highest ethical business practices, and Kaspersky Lab believes it is completely unacceptable that the company is being unjustly accused without any hard evidence to back up these false allegations. Kaspersky Lab is available to assist all concerned government organizations with any ongoing investigations, and the company ardently believes a deeper examination of Kaspersky Lab will confirm that these allegations are unfounded.’
Despite their claims of innocence and willingness to support federal officials, at least one former U.S. intelligence official states he/she wouldn’t use Kaspersky software for any amount of money in the world. He/she told NBC news:
‘I wouldn’t put their stuff on my computer if you paid me.’
Although the investigation into Kaspersky seems preliminary at the present time, the mere fact that there is a fiscal connection between Flynn and the company is reason for alarm. It’s yet another way the embattled former National Security Director has ties to the same government that coincidentally interfered with a presidential election. The Trump administration’s lack of knowledge and/or concern for this information is extremely concerning.