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     Viral news Actively trending

    A collage of everything happening in the news right now. Click a story to surface key insights using our streamlined data-mining.

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    Our analytics dashboard shows you the multitude of dimensions lacing a news story (the nexus). Connect dots to produce an interconnected mental model of the world.

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Categories

These categories contain all the latest trending news going viral right now. They are the articles that have a very high number of likes, shares, and comments on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Some of the stories may be fake, but that's what makes the world interesting! Most of the news we see and hear doesn't really impact our daily lives, but it's definitely entertaining! Use our analytics insights to understand the real components that are interlaced into the viral narratives you see in these categories. Find gems in every analytics report!

Recurring News Themes

Theme 1: Biden's Build Back Better Act

The Build Back Better Act is a bill introduced in the 117th Congress to fulfill aspects of President Joe Biden's Build Back Better Plan. It was spun off from the American Jobs Plan, alongside the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, as a $3.5 trillion reconciliation package that included provisions related to climate change, family aid, and expansions to Medicare.[1][2] Following negotiations, the price was lowered to $1.75 trillion.[3] The framework for the bill proposes increased taxes for corporations and high-income households and individuals to partially pay for the bill.[4][5]

Before the act was spun off from the American Jobs Plan (AJP), on April 5, Senator Joe Manchin proposed raising the corporate tax rate from 21% to only 25%, instead of the 28% Biden originally called for.[6] On May 25, Republican senators Pat Toomey and Roger Wicker indicated a lack of support within their caucus to change aspects of the 2017 tax act, and suggested repurposing unspent COVID-19 relief funds.[7][8] On May 28, Biden released details of a $6 trillion budget proposal for the fiscal year of 2022, which would raise taxes on corporations and millionaires to pay for both the AJP and the American Families Plan over 15 years.[9][10] On June 3, White House press secretary Jen Psaki announced a tweaked AJP proposal that would not increase taxes on corporations, in exchange for closing loopholes and requiring them to pay at least 15%.[11] On June 5, finance ministers from Group of Seven announced that they would support a global 15% corporate tax minimum.[12]

Great Seal of the United States

Theme 2: Biden's Infrastructure Bill

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the U.S. Infrastructure Bill or Bipartisan Infrastructure Framework (BIF) or Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, and originally in the House as the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684), is a bill passed by the 117th Congress and signed into law by President Joe Biden. The bill was initially a $715 billion infrastructure package that included provisions related to federal-aid highway, transit, highway safety, motor carrier, research, hazardous materials, and rail programs of the Department of Transportation.[1][2] After congressional negotiations between moderate and progressive Democrats, the bill was amended and renamed to the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to include funding for broadband access, clean water, electric grid renewal in addition to the transportation and road proposals of the original House bill. This newer version included approximately $1.2 trillion in spending, with $550 billion being newly authorized spending on top of what Congress was planning to authorize regularly, while the rest was regularly authorized spending.[3][4]

The amended bill was passed 69–30 by the Senate on August 10, 2021. On November 5, it was passed 228–206 by the House. President Biden signed the bill into law on November 15.[5]

Great Seal of the United States

Theme 3: 2021 United States Capitol attack

On January 6, 2021, a mob of supporters of President Donald Trump attacked the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C.[28] They sought to overturn his defeat in the 2020 presidential election[29] by disrupting the joint session of Congress assembled to count electoral votes that would formalize President-elect Joe Biden's victory.[3][30] The Capitol Complex was locked down and lawmakers and staff were evacuated, while rioters assaulted law enforcement officers, vandalized property and occupied the building for several hours.[31] Five people died either shortly before, during, or following the event: one was shot by Capitol Police, another died of a drug overdose, and three succumbed to natural causes.[19][32] Many people were injured, including 138 police officers. Four officers who responded to the attack died by suicide within seven months.[33]

Page semi-protected2021 storming of the United States Capitol 09 (cropped).jpgimage iconFile:Seeking Information Pipe Bombs in Washington D.C. wfo-poi-010521.webmFile:BBN films unidentfied agitator for march on -USCapitol prior to Donald Trump speech -MarchForTrump.webmFile:Bodycam video taken at US Capitol, January 6, 2021.webmFile:US Senate goes into recess after protestors breach the Capitol.webmFile:Video shot by Congressman Dan Kildee D-Flint - via Michael Moore on Facebook Watch.webmFile:Trump remarks on Capitol storming, January 6 2021 0417PM EST.webm

Theme 4: Critical Race Theory

Critical race theory (CRT) is a framework of analysis grounded in critical theory[1] and an academic movement of civil-rights scholars and activists who seek to examine the intersection of race and law in the United States and to challenge mainstream American liberal approaches to racial justice.[2][3][4][5] CRT examines social, cultural, and legal issues primarily as they relate to race and racism in the United States.[6][7] A tenet of CRT is that racism and disparate racial outcomes are the result of complex, changing, and often subtle social and institutional dynamics, rather than explicit and intentional prejudices of individuals.[8][9]

The theory originated in the mid-1970s in the writings of several American legal scholars, including Derrick Bell, Alan Freeman, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Richard Delgado, Cheryl Harris, Charles R. Lawrence III, Mari Matsuda, and Patricia J. Williams.[2] It emerged as a movement by the 1980s, reworking theories of critical legal studies (CLS) with more focus on race.[2][10] CRT draws from thinkers such as Antonio Gramsci, Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, and W. E. B. DuBois, as well as the Black Power, Chicano, and radical feminist movements from the 1960s and 1970s.[2]

Scholars of CRT view race as an intersectional social construct that is not "biologically grounded and natural",[11]: 166 [8] and that advances the interests of white people[11] at the expense of persons of other races.[12][13][14] In the field of legal studies, CRT emphasizes that formally colorblind laws can still have racially discriminatory outcomes.[15] A key CRT concept is intersectionality, which emphasizes that race can intersect with other identities (such as gender and class) to produce complex combinations of power and advantage.[16]

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Theme 5: COVID-19 Vaccinations

The COVID-19 vaccination campaign in the United States is an ongoing mass immunization campaign for the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first granted emergency use authorization to the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine on December 10, 2020;[5] mass vaccinations began on December 14, 2020. The Moderna vaccine was granted emergency use authorization on December 17, 2020,[6] and the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine was granted emergency use authorization on February 27, 2021.[7] By April 19, 2021, all U.S. states had opened vaccine eligibility to residents aged 16 and over.[8] On May 10, 2021, the FDA approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for adolescents aged 12 to 15.[9] On August 23, 2021, the FDA granted full approval to the Pfizer–BioNTech vaccine for individuals aged 16 and over.[10]

The U.S. government first initiated the campaign under the presidency of Donald Trump with Operation Warp Speed, a public–private partnership to expedite the development and manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines. Joe Biden became the new President of the United States on January 20, 2021. Biden began his term with an immediate goal of administering 100 million vaccine doses within his first hundred days in office, signing an executive order which included increasing supplies for vaccination.[11][12][13] This goal was met on March 19, 2021.[14] On March 25, 2021, he announced he would increase the goal to 200 million within his first 100 days in office.[15] This goal was eventually reached on April 21, 2021.[16]

By July 4, 2021, 67% of the United States' adult population had received at least one dose, just short of a goal of 70%. This goal was eventually met on August 2, 2021. While vaccines have helped significantly reduce the number of new COVID-19 infections nationwide, states with below-average vaccination rates began to see increasing numbers of cases credited to the highly infectious Delta variant by July 2021, which led to an increased push by organizations and companies to begin imposing de facto mandates for their employees be vaccinated for COVID-19.

USA. Percent of people receiving at least one COVID-19 dose reported to the CDC by state or territory for the total population.pngGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgGreen check.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgGreen check.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgDark Red x.svgTimeline of daily COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in the US.svgCovid-Vaccine-31 (50752381423).jpgCovid-Vaccine-13 (50752382488).jpgCOVID-19 vaccination (2020) B.jpgPublic DomainPublic DomainPublic DomainPublic DomainPublic DomainCategory

Theme 6: COVID-19

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a contagious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first known case was identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.[7] The disease has since spread worldwide, leading to an ongoing pandemic.[8]

Symptoms of COVID-19 are variable, but often include fever,[9] cough, headache,[10] fatigue, breathing difficulties, and loss of smell and taste.[11][12][13] Symptoms may begin one to fourteen days after exposure to the virus. At least a third of people who are infected do not develop noticeable symptoms.[14] Of those people who develop symptoms noticeable enough to be classed as patients, most (81%) develop mild to moderate symptoms (up to mild pneumonia), while 14% develop severe symptoms (dyspnea, hypoxia, or more than 50% lung involvement on imaging), and 5% suffer critical symptoms (respiratory failure, shock, or multiorgan dysfunction).[15] Older people are at a higher risk of developing severe symptoms. Some people continue to experience a range of effects (long COVID) for months after recovery, and damage to organs has been observed.[16] Multi-year studies are underway to further investigate the long-term effects of the disease.[16]

COVID-19 transmits when people breathe in air contaminated by droplets and small airborne particles containing the virus. The risk of breathing these in is highest when people are in close proximity, but they can be inhaled over longer distances, particularly indoors. Transmission can also occur if splashed or sprayed with contaminated fluids in the eyes, nose or mouth, and, rarely, via contaminated surfaces. People remain contagious for up to 20 days, and can spread the virus even if they do not develop symptoms.[17][18]

Page extended-protectedFphar-11-00937-g001.jpgScientifically accurate atomic model of the external structure of SARS-CoV-2. Each "ball" is an atom.

Theme 7: Illegal Immigration

Illegal immigration to the United States is the process of migrating into the United States in violation of federal immigration laws. This can include foreign nationals (aliens) who have entered the United States unlawfully,[1][2] as well as those who lawfully entered but then remained after the expiration of their visas, parole, TPS, etc.[3] Illegal immigration has been a matter of intense debate in the United States since the 1980s.

Research shows that illegal immigrants increase the size of the U.S. economy, contribute to economic growth, enhance the welfare of natives, contribute more in tax revenue than they collect, reduce American firms' incentives to offshore jobs and import foreign-produced goods, and benefit consumers by reducing the prices of goods and services.[4][5][6][7] Economists estimate that legalization of the illegal immigrant population would increase the immigrants' earnings and consumption considerably, and increase U.S. gross domestic product.[8][9][10][11]

There is scholarly consensus that illegal immigrants commit less crime than natives.[12][13] Sanctuary cities—which adopt policies designed to avoid prosecuting people solely for being in the country illegally—have no statistically meaningful impact on crime, and may reduce the crime rate.[14][15] Research suggests that immigration enforcement has no impact on crime rates.[16][17][14] Stricter border controls have been linked to increased levels of undocumented immigrants in the United States, as temporary undocumented workers who used to enter the U.S. for seasonal work increasingly settled permanently in the U.S. when regular travels across the border became harder.[18]

Page semi-protectedFlag of the United States.svgFlag of the United States.svgFile:Border Patrol Historical Archival Footage Reel 1.webmAmbox current red Americas.svgflag

Theme 8: Mexico-United States Border

The Mexico–United States border (Spanish: frontera México–Estados Unidos) is an international border separating Mexico and the United States, extending from the Pacific Ocean in the west to the Gulf of Mexico in the east. The border traverses a variety of terrains, ranging from urban areas to deserts. The Mexico–United States border is the most frequently crossed border in the world,[1][2] with approximately 350 million documented crossings annually.[1][3] It is the tenth-longest border between two countries in the world.[4]

The total length of the continental border is 3,145 kilometers (1,954 mi). From the Gulf of Mexico, it follows the course of the Rio Grande (Río Bravo del Norte) to the border crossing at Ciudad Juárez, Chihuahua, and El Paso, Texas. Westward from El Paso–Juárez, it crosses vast tracts of the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts to the Colorado River Delta and San Diego–Tijuana, before reaching the Pacific Ocean.[5]

Question book-new.svgQuestion book-new.svgflagflagiconPublic DomainEdit this at Wikidata

Theme 9: Climate Change

Contemporary climate change includes both global warming caused by humans and its impacts on Earth's weather patterns. There have been previous periods of climate change, but the current changes are more rapid than any known events in Earth's history.[2] The main cause is the emission of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide (CO
2
) and methane. Burning fossil fuels for energy use creates most of these emissions. Agriculture, steel making, cement production, and forest loss are additional sources.[3] Temperature rise is also affected by climate feedbacks such as the loss of sunlight-reflecting snow cover, and the release of carbon dioxide from drought-stricken forests. Collectively, these amplify global warming.[4]

On land, temperatures have risen about twice as fast as the global average. Deserts are expanding, while heat waves and wildfires are becoming more common.[5] Increased warming in the Arctic has contributed to melting permafrost, glacial retreat and sea ice loss.[6] Higher temperatures are also causing more intense storms and other weather extremes.[7] In places such as coral reefs, mountains, and the Arctic, many species are forced to relocate or become extinct, as their environment changes.[8] Climate change threatens people with food and water scarcity, increased flooding, extreme heat, more disease, and economic loss. It can also drive human migration.[9] The World Health Organization calls climate change the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.[10] Even if efforts to minimise future warming are successful, some effects will continue for centuries. These include sea level rise, and warmer, more acidic oceans.[11]

Featured articlePage semi-protectedListen to this articleThe global map shows sea temperature rises of 0.5 to 1 degree Celsius; land temperature rises of 1 to 2 degree Celsius; and Arctic temperature rises of up to 4 degrees Celsius.The graph from 1880 to 2020 shows natural drivers exhibiting fluctuations of about 0.3 degrees Celsius. Human drivers steadily increase by 0.3 degrees over 100 years to 1980, then steeply by 0.8 degrees more over the past 40 years.Line graph with sea and land temperature rise. By 2020, the land has warmed around twice as much.Underwater photograph of branching coral that is bleached whitePhotograph of evening in a valley settlement. The skyline in the hills beyond is lit up red from the fires.The green landscape is interrupted by a huge muddy scar where the ground has subsided.An emaciated polar bear stands atop the remains of a melting ice floe.Photograph of a large area of forest. The green trees are interspersed with large patches of damaged or dead trees turning purple-brown and light red.iconiconicon

Theme 10: QAnon

QAnon[a] (/ˌkj.əˈnɒn/) is an American far-right political conspiracy theory and movement centered on false claims made by an anonymous individual or individuals, known by the name "Q", that a cabal of Satanic,[1][2][3] cannibalistic pedophiles operate a global child sex trafficking ring that conspired against the former U.S. President Donald Trump during his term in office.[2][3][4][5] QAnon has been described as a cult.[6]

One shared belief among QAnon members is that Trump was planning a massive sting operation on the cabal, with mass arrests of thousands of cabal members to take place on a day known as the "Storm".[7][8] QAnon supporters have baselessly accused many Hollywood actors, Democratic politicians, and high-ranking government officials of being members of the cabal.[9] QAnon has also claimed that Trump simulated the conspiracy of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election to enlist Robert Mueller to join him in exposing the sex trafficking ring, and preventing a coup d'état by Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros.[10][11] Some of QAnon's claims have been described as antisemitic or rooted in antisemitic tropes.[12][13] QAnon's conspiracy theories have been amplified by Russian state-backed troll accounts on social media,[20] as well as Russian state-backed traditional media[14][21] and networks associated with Falun Gong.[22]

Page semi-protected2021 storming of the United States Capitol 09 (cropped).jpgA block letter "Q" overlaid with an American flag patternA modified version of the American flag with ten white stars and three gold stars forming a letter Q in the cantonYellowbadge logo.svgCategoryTwo soldiers meeting Pence on a tarmacDetail of one soldier's uniform, showing a patch with a black "Q" on a red background, and a second patch with a black field bearing an axe and scythe crossed over one anothericonflag

Theme 11: Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is a decentralized political and social movement protesting against incidents of police brutality and all racially motivated violence against black people.[1][2][3][4][5] While there are specific organizations such as the Black Lives Matter Global Network that label themselves simply as "Black Lives Matter", the Black Lives Matter movement comprises a broad array of people and organizations. The slogan "Black Lives Matter" itself remains untrademarked by any group.[6] The broader movement and its related organizations typically advocate against police violence toward black people as well as for various other policy changes considered to be related to black liberation.[7]

The movement began in July 2013, with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of African-American teen Trayvon Martin 17 months earlier in February 2012. The movement became nationally recognized for street demonstrations following the 2014 deaths of two African Americans, that of Michael Brown—resulting in protests and unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, a city near St. Louis—and Eric Garner in New York City.[8][9] Since the Ferguson protests, participants in the movement have demonstrated against the deaths of numerous other African Americans by police actions or while in police custody. In the summer of 2015, Black Lives Matter activists became involved in the 2016 United States presidential election.[10] The originators of the hashtag and call to action, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi, expanded their project into a national network of over 30 local chapters between 2014 and 2016.[11] The overall Black Lives Matter movement is a decentralized network of activists with no formal hierarchy.[12]

This is a good article. Click here for more information.Page semi-protectedAmbox current red Asia Australia.svgBlack Lives Matter logo.svgProtesters lying down over rail tracks with a "Black Lives Matter" bannerFile:Anti-Trump protest in NYC, beginning of day, March 19, 2016, part 3 of 3.webmimage icon

Theme 12: NFTs, Bitcoin, Blockchain

A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unique unit of data, a bit sequence, that is tracked using a digital ledger (which is called a blockchain). In general, a ledger is a book that is used to record all financial transactions for a business. In this case, a distributed, digital ledger is a set of replicated and synchronized databases around the world that store who transfers what digital data to who. The transaction data across all the databases in the blockchain is exactly the same.

The digital units of data, or bit sequences, tracked by the blockchain can be unique but interchangeable (like bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies) or can be unique and non-interchangeable (like a unique tokens or NFTs).

The term coin is used for unique, but interchangeable digital data that is used as currency. I don’t have first hand experience working with crypto under the hood, but I’m assuming that there are two parts to every bitcoin file. The bitcoin binary, which I’m assuming is either a common sequence of 1’s and 0’s that has been defined as the standard unit of data, or a unique binary UUID that uniquely identifies the coin. The second part or the data is the digital signature that is stored with the binary that shows proof of ownership.

This digital signature is the same type of digital signature used by websites for securing communication over HTTPS. Digital signatures are created using cryptography, hence the term, cryptocurrencies. Cryptography is a computer science term that refers to the methods used to secure information and communication.

To understand the difference between digital coins and tokens better, let’s look at real world examples. Say you have a penny and I have a penny. Both pennies are unique. Say yours says 1945 and mine says 1985. They are unique, but we can exchange them and still have a pennies in our pockets. On the other hand, the term token is used for unique and non-interchangeable digital data. For example, let’s say you get a token from arcade 1 in California that you use to play games in that arcade. Then you fly out to New York and get a token from arcade 2 to play games there. Unless the two arcades across the country are from the same franchise, which most likely they are not, you won’t be able to use the tokens from arcade 1 in California at arcade 2 in New York. The tokens are unique and not interchangeable.

Bitcoin and NFTs are both just bit sequences that contain a digital signature of ownership, and whose transfer of ownership is traced using the blockchain. Every transfer of a bitcoin or NFTs is recorded and synchronized across all the databases in the entire blockchain. Bitcoin is being used as currency (it is interchangeable). In contrast, NFTs are being used for saving unique works of art in digital form, like images, videos, music, etc. (They are not interchangable. One piece of art is not the same as another piece of art).

The different blockchains track their own economy of digital coins and tokens. Each type of cryptocurrency is managed by its own blockchain ecosystem of databases and endpoints (like digital wallets and crypto ATMs).

When you buy something with bitcoin, you transfer the coin data to the seller’s digital wallet. In this transaction, your signature is removed from the sequence, their signature is added to the sequence, and the transaction is recorded and mirrored across the entire blockchain.

Extended-protected articlePrevailing bitcoin logoimage iconimage iconvideo iconvideo iconBitcoin electricity consumptionBitcoin-core-v0.10.0.png

Theme 13: Republican efforts to restrict voting following the 2020 presidential election

Following the 2020 United States presidential election and attempts by Donald Trump and Republican officials to overturn it, Republican lawmakers initiated a sweeping effort to make voting laws more restrictive.[2][3] According to the Brennan Center for Justice, as of March 24, 2021, more than 361 bills that would restrict voting access have been introduced in 47 states,[4] with most aimed at limiting mail-in voting, strengthening voter ID laws, shortening early voting, eliminating automatic and same-day voter registration, curbing the use of ballot drop boxes, and allowing for increased purging of voter rolls.[5][6]

Supporters of the bills argue they would improve election security and reverse temporary changes enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic; they point to substantial public distrust of the integrity of the 2020 election,[a] as well as false claims of significant election fraud, as reasons to tighten election laws.[9][10][11] Opponents argue that the efforts amount to voter suppression,[12] are intended to advantage Republicans by reducing the number of people who vote,[b][17] and would disproportionately affect minority voters;[18] they point to reports that the 2020 election was one of the most secure in American history[c] to counter claims that election laws need to be tightened and argue that public distrust in the 2020 election arises from falsehoods pushed by Republicans, especially former president Donald Trump.[26][27][28]

Republicans in at least eight states have also introduced bills that would give lawmakers greater power over election administration after they were unsuccessful in their attempts to overturn election results in swing states won by Democratic candidate Joe Biden in the 2020 election.[29][30][31][32]

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Closed Theme 1: Russia Collusion in the 2016 Presidential Election

How did Russia meddle in the 2016 election?

The Russian interference included:

  • The creation of thousands of fake social media accounts that pretended to be Americans supporting Trump and planing events in support of Trump against Clinton. They reached millions of social media users between 2013 and 2016
  • They hacked the emails of the DNC and Clinton campaign officials, most notably John Podesta, and publicly released stolen files and emails through WikiLeaks and other sites during the election campaign.
  • Supposedly several individuals connected to Russia contacted various Trump campaign associates offering business opportunities to the Trump Organization and offering damaging information on Clinton during the campaign. Trump has denied any such communication took place.

Who is Christopher Steele? (Source of the Trump-Russia conspiracy theory)

Christopher Steele is a British former intelligence officer with the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6) from 1987 until his retirement in 2009. He ran the Russia desk at MI6 headquarters in London between 2006 and 2009. In 2009, he co-founded Orbis Business Intelligence, a London-based private intelligence firm.

Steele became the center of controversy after he authored a dossier, thereafter called the "Steele Dossier", which was a political opposition research report for the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign, using anonymous sources, that claimed that Trump conspired with Russia to interfere with the 2016 election. The dossier, leaked by BuzzFeed News in January 2017, without its author's permission, was an unfinished 35-page compilation of raw intelligence, written for the private investigative firm Fusion GPS, paid for by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

The release of the dossier triggered a series of events which led to the launch of the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, led by Robert Mueller.

Who is Carter Page? (Trump appointee)

Carter Page MSNBC June 2017 YouTube.png

Carter Page held two roles during the Trump 2016 presidential election campaign:

  • He was an petroleum industry consultant specializing in the Russian and Central Asian oil and gas business, and also
  • A foreign-policy adviser to Trump

In 2017, Page was a focus of the Special Counsel investigation into links between Trump associates and Russian officials, on behalf of Trump, for interference with the 2016 election.

In April 2019, the Mueller Report concluded that the investigation did not establish that Page coordinated in Russia’s interference efforts.

In December 2019, the Inspector General for the Justice Department, Michael Horowitz, issued a report on his inquiry into the FBI’s investigation of the 2016 Trump campaign and its ties to Russia. (The Justice Department is responsible for overseeing the intelligence agencies, including the FBI) Horowitz found fault with the FBI’s conduct, including false statements made to the FISA court when applying for a warrant to conduct surveillance on Page.

Notes:

  • The FISA court, or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, is the court that entertains applications submitted by the US government for approval of electronic surveillance for foreign intelligence purposes.
  • The DOJ Inspector General reports to the Attorney General and Congress and investigates alleged violations of criminal and civil laws by DOJ employees and agencies it oversees, like the FBI in this case.

Who is Michael Horowitz? (Objective investigator)

Michael E. Horowitz official photo.jpg

Michael Horowitz is the Inspector General of the United States Department of Justice. He was appointed to that office during the Obama presidency.

As stated above, the DOJ Inspector General investigates alleged violations of criminal and civil laws by DOJ employees and agencies it oversees.

Horowitz did an internal probe of the FBI's investigation of Russia collusion with the Trump campaign. He found that there was mishandling on the part of the FBI when they conducted their investigation.

Who is Rod Rosenstein? (Trump appointee)

Rod Rosenstein official portrait 2.jpg

President Donald Trump appointed Rod Rosenstein to serve as Deputy Attorney General in February 2017. In May 2017, Rosenstein authored a memo that President Trump cited as the basis for his decision to dismiss FBI director James Comey.

Who is James Comey? (Fired by Trump)

Comey-FBI-Portrait.jpg

James Comey was the FBI Director appointed by Obama. Comey leaked information to the Washington Post about Michael Flynn that resulted in Flynn's departure from the White House. This was the foundation of Rod Rosenstein's memo that caused Trump to fire Comey in May 2017 for his mishandling of the FBI's investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Who is Michael Flynn? (Trump appointee)

Michael T Flynn.jpg

Michael Flynn is a retired US Army lieutenant general who was the US National Security Advisor for the first 22 days of the Trump administration. He resigned in light of reports by James Comey that he had lied regarding conversations with Sergy Kislak.

Who is Sergey Kislyak? (Russian diplomat)

Sergey Ivanovich Kislyak 2016.jpg

Sergey Kislyak served as the Ambassador of Russia to the United States from 2008 to 2017. He became a key figure in the investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, receiving significant media coverage while denying that Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC.

Who is John Podesta? (Hillary campaign)

John Podesta official WH portrait (cropped).jpg

John Podesta is a political consultant and was the Chairman of the Hillary Clinton 2016 presidential campaign. Prior to that he served as the White House Chief of Staff to Presdient Bill Clinton and was Counseler to President Barack Obama.

Who is John Durham? (Objective investigator)

In April 2019, US Attorney General William Barr assigned John Durham, the U.S. attorney in the District of Connecticut, to oversee a DOJ probe into the origins of the FBI investigation into Russian interference. This probe was in parallel to IG Horowitz's investigation into the same. Durham had already been conducting an investigation in the Department of Justice into leaks, possibly by FBI Director James Comey, to the Washington Post about Michael Flynn that resulted in Flynn's departure from the White House.

The Durham inquiry has been described as a criminal "inquiry into its own Russia investigation", "investigating the investigators" of the Russian meddling in the 2016 elections, and a cover-up to protect Trump.

Durham brought criminal charges against Kevin Clinesmith, a former FBI laywer, who admitted altering an email about Carter Page, a Trump campaign aide, who'd been under FBI surveillence. Clinesmith pleaded guilty to a felony violation of altering an email used to maintain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrants. In Janurary 2021, Clinesmith was sentenced to 12 months federal probation and 400 hours of community service after pleading guilty in court.

The Durham investigation is still on-going and he is considering additional criminal charges. Durham is expected to complete a report at some point.

Who is Peter Strzok? (Against Trump)

Stzok is a former FBI agent. He led the FBI’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a personal email server. More importantly, he led the FBI’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US elections. It was under his leadership that the FBI mislead the FISA court to get approval to spy on Carter Page.

The IG's (Inspector General Horowitz's) investigation examined hundreds of text messages exchanged using FBI-issued cell phones between Strzok and Lisa Page, with whom he was having an affair. Some of the texts disparaged then-presidential candidate Donald Trump. Strzok called Trump an "idiot" in August 2015 and texted "God Hillary should win 100,000,000 - 0" after a Republican debate in March 2016.

These text messages showed a political bias against Trump, even though Strzok's collegues denied that he ever had a political bias.

Who is Robert Mueller? (Objective investigator)

Director Robert S. Mueller- III.jpg

Robert Mueller is an American lawyer and was the director of the FBI from 2001 to 2013. Mueller led the Special Counsel's investigation into Russian collusion with the Trump presidential campaign in 2016.

The conclusion of the Special Counsel investigation

At the end of his investigation in March 2019, Mueller released his "Mueller Report", a 448-page document split into two volumes, which concluded that the investigation did not find sufficient evidence that Trump's campaign "coordinated or conspired with the Russian government in its election-interference activities".

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