Friday in Whitewater will be partly sunny with a high of sixty. Sunrise is 5:48 AM and sunset 7:55 PM, for 14h 06m 40s of daytime. The moon is a waning gibbous with 84.3% of its visible disk illuminated.
On this day in 1803, the United States purchases the Louisiana Territory from France for $15 million, more than doubling the size of our young nation.
Recommended for reading in full —
Ellen Nakashima, Shane Harris, and Tom Hamburger report FBI warned Giuliani, key Trump ally in Senate of Russian disinformation campaign targeting Biden:
The FBI warned Rudolph W. Giuliani in late 2019 that he was the target of a Russian influence operation aimed at circulating falsehoods intended to damage President Biden politically ahead of last year’s election, according to people familiar with the matter.
The warning was part of an extensive effort by the bureau to alert members of Congress and at least one conservative media outlet, One America News, that they faced a risk of being used to further Russia’s attempt to influence the election’s outcome, said several current and former U.S. officials. All spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter remains highly sensitive.
Giuliani received the FBI’s warning while deeply involved with former president Donald Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and related activities in Ukraine to surface unflattering or incriminating information about the Biden family. The revelation comes as the FBI this week seized Giuliani’s cellphone and other electronic devices as part of a long-running criminal investigation into whether the onetime New York mayor and personal attorney for Trump acted as an unregistered foreign agent.
The warning, made by counterintelligence agents, was separate from the Justice Department’s ongoing criminal probe, but it reflects a broader concern by U.S. intelligence and federal investigators that Giuliani — among other influential Americans and U.S. institutions — was being manipulated by the Russian government to promote its interests and that he appears to have brazenly disregarded such fears.
(A knowing, willing Russian asset. Worse than a fellow traveler – Giuliani was a true fifth columnist.)
Steven Pifer writes The first 100 days: Breaking with Trump on Russia:
President Joe Biden is the first president since the Cold War to begin his term not seeking closer relations with Russia; there will be no “reset.” He has indicated instead that he will push back against Russian misbehavior while seeking to cooperate where doing so advances U.S. interests. In his first 100 days Mr. Biden has sought to distinguish his policy from that of Donald Trump, who seemed incapable of criticizing Vladimir Putin or Russian transgressions.
The first full day of his administration illustrated Mr. Biden’s approach. The White House said he would extend the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START) for five years, essentially accepting an offer Mr. Putin had made more than a year earlier—but something that was very much in the interest of U.S. national security. White House officials also announced that Mr. Biden had asked for assessments of Russian actions such as interference in the 2020 presidential election and the Solar Winds cyber hack, promising that the administration would “hold Russia to account for its reckless and adversarial actions.”
Mr. Biden described his policy directly to Mr. Putin in a January 26 phone call. He discussed New START and strategic stability but also raised issues of concern, including Ukraine, election interference and Kremlin-opponent Alexey Navalny’s poisoning. The White House read-out of the call (there were several important Trump-Putin calls with no read-outs) noted that the president had also said that the United States would “act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia” that caused harm to America or its allies.