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Reports late last week revealed that the June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr. and Natalia Veselnitskaya also included a Russian-American lobbyist named Rinat Akhmetshin, a former member of the Soviet military who may have ties to Russian counterintelligence. The Cipher Brief asked Steve Hall, a former member of the CIA’s Senior Intelligence Service, to help put the methods used to arrange this meeting in the larger context of Russian intelligence tradecraft and influence operations against the United States. In his view, Russian intentions and goals remain the same as they ever were – “the question now is simply: how are [they] going to do it?”

The Cipher Brief: Is this meeting, in your opinion, an example of intelligence collection tradecraft?

The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

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