‘Shameful’ For UK Not To Publish Russia Meddling Probe – Clinton

PHOTO USED TO DEPICT THE STORY: Hillary Rodham Clinton (L) discusses The Book of Gutsy Women with British historian Mary Beard (R) at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall in London on November 10, 2019. PHOTO: Isabel Infantes / AFP

 

Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday that it was “shameful” that the British government had not published a delayed parliamentary report into possible Russian interference in British politics ahead of December elections.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has previously rejected claims it was suppressing the report to avoid a scandal ahead of next month’s snap poll.

“Every person who votes in this country deserves to see that report before your election happens,” the defeated US presidential candidate told BBC Radio 4 during a book tour.

Clinton said there was “no doubt” that Russia is “determined to try to shape the politics of western democracies”.

“Not to our benefit, but to theirs,” said the Democrat, who lost the 2016 US election to President Donald Trump in a race that US intelligence chiefs have said was marred by Russian interference.

“I find it inexplicable that your government will not release a government report about Russian influence. Inexplicable and shameful,” she told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Britain’s parliament was previously told a report by the Intelligence and Security Committee was sent to the prime minister for approval on October 17.

The probe into suspected Russian covert actions in Britain’s democratic process reportedly includes examining whether Moscow tried to interfere with the 2016 Brexit vote and the 2017 general election.

Moscow has been accused of spearheading sophisticated disinformation campaigns around the world to further its interests.

The Intelligence and Security Committee, which oversees the work of the country’s intelligence agencies, submits its reports to the government before publication to avoid the inadvertent release of sensitive information.

A former head of domestic spy agency MI5 and the committee’s chairman have suggested Johnson is stalling on the release of the 50-page report with the December 12 general election looming.

Jonathan Evans, head of MI5 from 2007 to 2013, called on the government to explain the delay.

Foreign Office minister Chris Pincher has previously said that the report is going through “an intensive security review”.

Pincher has also played down concerns, saying there is “no evidence” to suggest there has been any successful Russian involvement in the British electoral system.

AFP

Hillary Clinton Rules Out Another Presidential Run

n this file photo taken on June 01, 2017 former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks onstage with novelist Cheryl Strayed at “An Evening with Hillary Rodham Clinton” during the BookExpo in New York/ AFP

 

Hillary Clinton has for the first time ruled out running for president in 2020.

“I’m not running, but I’m going to keep on working and speaking and standing up for what I believe,” Clinton said Monday in an interview with News 12, a local TV channel in New York.

Clinton was the frontrunner in 2016 but ended up losing to Donald Trump.

“I want to be sure that people understand I’m going to keep speaking out,” Clinton said.

“I’m not going anywhere. What’s at stake in our country, the kinds of things that are happening right now, are deeply troubling to me.”

READ ALSO: US To Scrap Preferential Trade Status For India, Turkey

Clinton has held meetings with some of the Democrats who are now vying for the party nomination or considering a run. CNN has reported that they include former vice president Joe Biden, who has not yet said if he is running.

“I’ve told every one of them, don’t take anything for granted, even though we have a long list of real problems and broken promises from this administration that need to be highlighted,” Clinton said.

Asked if she would run again for some kind of public office, she seemed to avoid ruling that out.

“I don’t think so, but I love living in New York and I’m so grateful that I had the chance to be a senator for eight years and to work with people across our state,” said the former secretary of state and senator for New York state.

Beyonce, Hillary Clinton, Attend Wedding Of India Billionaire’s Daughter 

This handout photograph released on December 8, 2018 by Reliance Industries shows Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani (R) and his wife Nita receiving former US first lady Hillary Clinton (C), who arrived for the pre-wedding function of Mukesh’s daughter Isha Ambani with Anand Piramal, in Udaipur. PHOTO: Handout / Reliance Industries / AFP

 

Topping anything in the hit film “Crazy Rich Asians”, the only daughter of India’s richest man ties the knot on Wednesday after days of lavish celebrations that included a Beyonce concert in a lakeside palace.

Isha Ambani, whose father is tycoon Mukesh Ambani, was set to wed Anand Piramal, son of Indian billionaire industrialist Ajay Piramal, in the Ambanis’ 27-storey home in Mumbai.

Days of pre-wedding festivities at a sprawling palace in Udaipur in the desert state of Rajasthan included a concert by Beyonce, purportedly the bride’s favourite singer.

Attendees included Hillary Clinton, former US Secretary of State John Kerry and dozens of Bollywood stars including Salman Khan and Aamir Khan as well as cricket superstar Sachin Tendulkar.

Joining them was a who’s-who of India’s super-rich elite, arriving on dozens of specially chartered flights into Udaipur’s normally sleepy airport and whisked away in expensive cars.

Indian businessman Amil Ambani (C) arrives with the marriage procession of Indian businessman Mukesh Ambani’s daughter Isha Ambani outside their house in Mumbai on December 12, 2018. 
PHOTO: AFP

 

Actress Priyanka Chopra and American singer Nick Jonas, who themselves became husband and wife earlier this month, were also guests at Udaipur’s City Palace on the banks of Lake Pichola.

Wednesday evening’s actual wedding was set to be a more private affair with around 600 close friends and family, and some politicians, expected to be on the guest list.

There was a high police presence in the south Mumbai area around the Ambanis’ home, which is called Antilia and reportedly cost over $1 billion when it was completed in 2010.

Indian newspapers have been abuzz with speculation about the total cost of the wedding. Conservative estimates have put it around $15 million while others insist $100 million is closer to the truth.

Ambani, 27 and Piramal, 33 got engaged at Lake Como in Italy in September and the high-profile wedding brings together two of India’s biggest industrialist families.

Mukesh Ambani is the chairman of oil-to-telecoms conglomerate Reliance Industries. He is worth more than $47 billion and recently overtook China’s Jack Ma as Asia’s wealthiest man.

The respective families will hold several other receptions across India’s financial capital in the coming days.

The wedding caps a big month for what social media users have been calling “big fat Indian weddings”. The Chopra-Jonas nuptials came shortly after Bollywood stars Deepika Padukone and Ranveer Singh wed.

Not everyone is happy though.

“Isha Ambani’s wedding is a perfect example of the wealth inequality in India,” wrote one Twitter user.

“Here you have one of the richest families in the nation spending so much while millions still can’t even afford food or shelter,” she added.

“The new standard for lavish Indian wedding is Beyonce. Imagine,” tweeted another.

AFP

Explosive Device Found Near Bill, Hillary Clintons Home In New York

 

The US Secret Service said Wednesday it had intercepted suspect packages, identified as potential explosive devices, sent to the homes of former President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

The Secret Service said it recovered a single package addressed to Clinton in Westchester, a suburb north of Manhattan on Tuesday, and a second package addressed to the Obama residence in Washington on Wednesday.

“The packages were immediately identified during routine mail screening procedures as potential explosive devices and were appropriately handled as such,” the Secret Service said in a statement.

“The protectees did not receive the packages nor were they at risk of receiving them.”

Lewinsky Affair Not An Abuse Of Power, Says Hillary Clinton

File Photo of Monica Lewinsky

Hillary Clinton has said her husband Bill’s affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky was not an abuse of power and he was right to not resign from the US presidency in the wake of the scandal.

The two-decades-old episode has come under renewed scrutiny in the #MeToo era, with critics questioning whether the power imbalance between a sitting president and an intern made it impossible for the relationship to be considered consensual.

Some, like New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, have said that Clinton should have stepped down after he was impeached by a Republican-controlled House in late 1998 for lying about the affair.

But speaking on CBS News on Sunday, former presidential candidate and secretary of state Hillary Clinton said she disagreed.

“Absolutely not,” she replied when asked whether her husband should have resigned.

Pressed on whether the relationship was an abuse of power, Clinton said: “No, no” and noted that Lewinsky, who was 22-years-old at the time, “was an adult.”

“There was an investigation and it, as I believe, came out in the right place,” she added.

In 1999, the Senate held a month-long trial of President Clinton that ultimately fell well short of the two-thirds majority required to convict and remove him from office.

Lewinsky, for her part, long maintained the affair was consensual, but in an essay published in Vanity Fair earlier this year wrote she had begun to re-evaluate that view.

Bill Clinton has also been accused by several other women of sexual misconduct in cases going back to the 1970s, prompting a reckoning of his place in history by Democrats in light of the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements.

AFP

 

Hillary Clinton, Albright To Guest Star In ‘Madam Secretary’

 

Three former U.S. secretaries of state – Hillary Clinton, Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright – will make guest appearances in October on the political television drama “Madam Secretary,” broadcaster CBS said on Tuesday.

The three have already filmed their episode, which involves fictional Secretary of State Elizabeth McCord, played by Tea Leoni, turning to her more experienced peers for advice when the series returns for a fifth season on Oct. 7.

“It was a privilege to experience their perspectives and discourse both in and behind the scenes,” Barbara Hall, creator and executive producer of “Madam Secretary,” said in a statement.

“Madam Secretary” portrays McCord’s efforts to balance delicate diplomatic issues as well as personal stories and her family life.

The show launched in 2014, a year after Clinton stepped down from her post at the State Department after four years. In 2015, the Democrat declared she would run for president in 2016 but was defeated by Republican Donald Trump.

Clinton has appeared briefly on entertainment shows as herself, including a cameo on comedy “Broad City” in 2016 and with “Saturday Night Live” doppelganger Kate McKinnon in 2015.

Madeleine Albright, the first female secretary of state, served under Democratic President Bill Clinton. Colin Powell, secretary of state under Republican President George W. Bush, was the first black man to hold the post.

Clinton Warns Australia On Chinese ‘Influence Peddling’

Former US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton                                                            Geoff CADDICK / AFP

 

Hillary Clinton warned Australia and other democracies Monday to be on guard against growing interference in their domestic politics by China and Russia.

The former US secretary of state, beaten by Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election marred by allegations of meddling by Moscow, said it was a concern for all political parties.

“I think Australians need to be for Australians, Americans need to be for Americans,” she told broadcaster ABC while on a speaking tour of the country.

“And whether it’s Russia in a secret way interfering with our election and producing more than 3,500 ads to try to confuse our electorate, to try to damage me, or the Chinese looking to try to influence policy, we should say no.

Clinton added: “I don’t care what side of the political aisle you might be on, in either Australia or the United States.

“We have an interest in making sure that decisions that are made by our governments are not the result of some kind of influence peddling by a foreign power.”

Australia has seen tensions with China rise recently over allegations of Beijing interference in domestic politics and using donations to gain access.

The claims infuriated China, which has attacked local media stories about infiltration as hysteria and paranoia.

Canberra and other regional capitals have also become increasingly alarmed at China’s push into the Pacific, which could upset the strategic balance in the region.

Clinton said despite deepening trade relations with China, democracies could not ignore foreign interference.

“Australia has a lot of interests with China, certainly your economy is intertwined with China,” she said.

“But I do think that Australia, along with other liberal democracies around the world, have got to take the threat of foreign interference seriously.”

Australia is undergoing wide-ranging reforms to espionage and foreign interference legislation, having singled out China as a focus of concern.

The decision followed an inquiry ordered by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year after reports that Australia’s spy agency had warned politicians about taking donations from two billionaires with links to China.

An Australian senator quit parliament in December over his relationship with a wealthy political donor associated with the Chinese Communist Party.

AFP

Hillary Clinton Slips, Fractures Hand In India Hotel 

This photo taken on March 15, 2018 shows former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton, with her right hand covered under a shawl, at the airport as she leaves Jodhpur in the western Indian state of Rajasthan. PHOTO: AFP

 

Hillary Clinton has fractured her hand during a tour of India, reportedly slipping in a bathtub at a luxury hotel in a former palace.

A doctor at the private Goyal Hospital told AFP Friday that Clinton had undergone screening after suffering pain in her right hand following a fall.

The 70-year-old former presidential candidate was staying at Umaid Bhawan, the palace of the former royal family of Jodhpur in western Rajasthan state, now a spectacular heritage hotel.

“We did a CT scan and X-ray and found a hairline fracture around the wrist area. She was advised to take rest for few days and use a crepe bandage for support,” said the doctor on condition of anonymity.

Local and international media quoted unnamed sources as saying Clinton had slipped in the bath in an accident that comes just five months after she broke her toe in London.

She is in India to promote her book, “What Happened”, which tells the story of her losing the 2016 presidential elections to Donald Trump.

A few days earlier, video footage emerged showing Clinton stumbling on the uneven stairway of a 13th-century Indian monument while holding the arm of an aide for support.

AFP

Clinton ‘Regrets’ Not Firing Aide Accused Of Sexual Harassment

Hillary Clinton says she should have sacked a male staffer accused of sexual misconduct while working on her 2008 presidential campaign.

Clinton made the remarks in a lengthy Facebook post on Tuesday night just minutes before President Donald Trump began his State of the Union address.

“I very much understand the question I’m being asked as to why I let an employee on my 2008 campaign keep his job despite his inappropriate workplace behaviour,” Clinton wrote. “The short answer is this: If I had it to do again, I wouldn’t.”

The aide, Burns Strider, was accused by a younger female subordinate of repeated sexual harassment in late 2007.

Two advisers looked into the complaints and recommended that Strider be fired, according to the New York Times, which first broke the story. Clinton overruled them, although she did punish Strider.

Clinton said she demoted him, docked his pay, separated him from the woman, assigned her to work under another campaign official and required Strider to seek counselling. He was also warned that any further harassment toward anyone would lead to his dismissal.

“I did this because I didn’t think firing him was the best solution to the problem,” Clinton wrote.

“He needed to be punished, change his behaviour and understand why his actions were wrong. The young woman needed to be able to thrive and feel safe. I thought both could happen without him losing his job. I believed the punishment was severe and the message to him unambiguous.”

About five years later, Strider was fired from a Democratic political action committee after he was accused by another young woman of sexual harassment.

“That reoccurrence troubles me greatly, and it alone makes clear that the lesson I hoped he had learned while working for me went unheeded.

“Would he have done better –- been better –- if I had fired him? Would he have gotten that next job? There is no way I can go back 10 years and know the answers. But you can bet I’m asking myself these questions right now,” Clinton wrote.

AFP

Hillary Clinton Reads Excerpt Of ‘Fire And Fury’ At The Grammys

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton made a surpirse apparnce at the Grammy’s by reading from Michael Wolff’s controversial book “Fire and Fury.”

A pre-taped parody sketch saw Grammy Awards host James Corden audition celebrities, including John Legend, Cher, Cardi B and Snoop Dogg. They read excerpts from the deeply critical book about President Donald Trump’s first year in office, ostensibly as contenders for a spoken word Grammy prize.

Clinton, who lost the 2016 election to Trump, read an excerpt from the book about Trump’s eating habits. “One reason why he liked to eat at McDonald‘s: Nobody knew he was coming and the food was safely pre-made,” Clinton read.

Corden then praised her, saying “The Grammy is in the bag.”

The president’s family and members of his administration immediately criticized the segment.

His son Donald Trump Jr. tweeted: “Getting to read a #fakenews book excerpt at the Grammys seems like a great consolation prize for losing the presidency.”

In a follow-up tweet, he added: “The more Hillary goes on television the more the American people realize how awesome it is to have @realDonaldTrump in office.”

Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations who is known to post on social media about her love of pop music, tweeted that Clinton’s appearance “ruined the Grammys. Such a shame.”

Wolff’s book ”Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” became an instant bestseller on Jan. 5 when its release was pulled forward after published excerpts set off a political firestorm, threats by Trump lawyers of legal action and an effort to halt publication.

The book, dismissed by Trump as full of lies, depicts a chaotic White House, a president who was ill-prepared to win the office in 2016 and aides who scorned his abilities. It is based on extensive interviews with Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon and other aides.

US Attorney General Vows Quick Decision On Clinton Prosecutor

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Photo: Geoff CADDICK / AFP

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions vowed Tuesday to decide quickly whether to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s alleged mishandling of classified materials when she was secretary of state.

Asked in a House Judiciary Committee hearing whether he would review requests for a prosecutor “fairly and expeditiously,” Sessions confirmed he would.

“You can be sure that they will be done without political influence and they will be done correctly and properly,” Sessions said.

On Monday the Justice Department informed the committee it was weighing proposals to name an special independent counsel to investigate the FBI’s handling of a probe last year into the Democrat Clinton’s use of a personal server for official and in some cases classified emails, in breach of government rules.

The department also confirmed that it was considering a special counsel to investigate the foundation of former president Bill Clinton, and its ties to companies involved in a deal that sold US uranium rights to a Russian state company.

AFP

Clinton Accuses WikiLeaks Of Blunting Impact Of Crude Trump Tape

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Geoff CADDICK / AFP

Hillary Clinton on Monday accused WikiLeaks of working with Russia to deflect attention from an infamous tape of Donald Trump bragging about groping women in the run-up to last year’s US presidential election.

The former secretary of state’s loss to Trump remains raw and she again lashed out at WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and his alleged role in damaging her candidacy.

“Assange has become a kind of nihilistic opportunist who does the bidding of a dictator,” she said in an interview with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully-owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence.”

The US intelligence community concluded Putin ordered an influence campaign to discredit Clinton and had a “clear preference” for Trump in the election.

Clinton used the bombshell Trump tape as an example of how WikiLeaks allegedly tried to deflect attention from a bad news story, resurrecting the incident in the wake of Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein’s fall from grace over his treatment of women.

In the 2005 videotape, which surfaced in October last year, Trump bragged about being able to get away with groping women.

“When you’re a star, they let you do it,” he said. “Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything,” Trump added.

Trump said the comments were “locker-room banter”. Several women subsequently accused him of sexual misconduct, which he denounced as lies.

Within hours of the tape emerging, WikiLeaks published more than 2,000 hacked emails from the personal account of Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta, which she said blunted its impact.

“WikiLeaks, which in the world in which we find ourselves promised hidden information, promised some kind of secret that might be of influence, was a very clever, diabolical response to the Hollywood Access tape,” she said, referring to the Trump recording.

“And I’ve no doubt in my mind that there was some communication if not coordination to drop those the first time in response to the Hollywood Access tape.”

Reacting on Twitter, Assange attacked Clinton as “creepy”.

“There’s something wrong with Hillary Clinton. It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement,” the Australian tweeted with a link to the ABC interview.

“Watch closely. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen.”

Clinton claimed WikiLeaks’ actions were motivated by Assange’s personal dislike of her.

“I had a lot of history with him because I was secretary of state when WikiLeaks published a lot of very sensitive information from our State Department and our Defence Department,” she said.

“If he’s such a martyr of free speech, why doesn’t WikiLeaks ever publish anything coming out of Russia? You don’t see damaging, negative information coming out about the Kremlin on WikiLeaks,” Clinton added.

Assange has spent five years inside the Ecuador embassy in London amid fears that he will be arrested if he leaves, extradited to the United States and put on trial for WikiLeaks publishing leaked secret US military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010.

Swedish prosecutors initially wanted Assange extradited to face allegations of sexual assault, but they dropped their investigation into him in May 2017. However, he still faces arrest by British police for violating the terms of his 2012 probation.

Assange has denied Russia was the source behind the leaked documents.

AFP