When the special counsel was appointed by Rod Rosenstein in May 2017, the special counsel took over an existing counterintelligence investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) into what proved to be Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and numerous secretive links between Trump associates and Russian officials. According to reports, Australian officials informed American officials that in May 2016, a Trump presidential campaign adviser, George Papadopoulos, told the Australian High Commissioner to Britain, Alexander Downer, that Russian officials were in possession of politically damaging information relating to Hillary Clinton, the rival presidential candidate to Trump from Democratic Party. Since the FBI, in response to this information, opened an investigation into the links between Trump associates and Russian officials on July 31, 2016, the meeting between Papadopoulos and Downer is considered to be the 'spark' that led to the Mueller investigation. In February 2018, the Nunes memo, written by staff for U.S. Representative Devin Nunes, stated that the information on Papadopoulos "triggered the opening of" the original FBI investigation, rather than the Trump-Russia dossier of Christopher Steele (see below) as asserted by, among others, Trump, Nunes, Fox News hosts Steve Doocy, Ed Henry, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and Fox News contributor Andrew McCarthy.
In an Op-Ed in The Washington Post Yousef Al Otaiba, the UAE ambassador to the United States, described that the intervention has reduced AQAP presence in Yemen to its weakest point since 2012 with many areas previously under their control liberated. The ambassador declared that more than 2,000 militants have been removed from the battlefield, with their controlled areas now having improved security and a better delivered humanitarian and development assistance such as to the port city of Mukalla and other liberated areas. An Associated Press investigation outlined that the military coalition in Yemen actively reduced AQAP in Yemen without military intervention, instead by offering them deals and even actively recruiting them in the coalition because "they are considered as exceptional fighters". UAE Brigadier General Musallam Al Rashidi responded to the accusations by stating that Al Qaeda cannot be reasoned with and cited that multiple of his soldiers have been killed by them. The UAE military stated that accusations of allowing AQAP to leave with cash contradicts their primary objective of depriving AQAP of its financial strength. The notion of the coalition recruiting or paying AQAP has been thoroughly denied by the United States Pentagon with Colonel Robert Manning, spokesperson of the Pentagon, calling the news source "patently false". The governor of Hadramut Faraj al-Bahsani, dismissed the accusations that Al Qaeda has joined with the coalition rank, explaining that if they did there would be sleeper cells and that he would be "the first one to be killed". According to The Independent, AQAP activity on social media as well as the number of terror attacks conducted by them has decreased since the Emirati intervention.More Info
In May 2017, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Mueller, a former FBI director, to take over the FBI's work. As Rosenstein later informed Congress, he elected to use a Special Counsel because of the ongoing concerns about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, and his own concerns about the capabilities of the acting Director of the FBI, Andrew McCabe, to carry out the investigation, but the lack of any Senate-confirmed U.S. Attorneys at that point meant that he would need to appoint someone else. Mueller was an appropriate choice in his view. According to its authorizing document, the investigation's scope included allegations of "links and/or coordination" between the Russian government and individuals associated with the Trump campaign. Mueller was also mandated to pursue "any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation." The probe included a criminal investigation which looked into potential obstruction of justice charges against President Trump and members of his campaign or his administration.More Info
On 4 April, the ICRC called for a 24-hour humanitarian ceasefire after the coalition blocked three aid shipments to Yemen. Russia also called for "humanitarian pauses" in the coalition bombing campaign, bringing the idea before the United Nations Security Council in a 4 April emergency meeting. Saudi Arabia's UN ambassador raised questions over whether humanitarian pauses are the best way of delivering humanitarian assistance. On 7 April, China renewed calls for an immediate ceasefire.More Info
At the start of February 2016, AQAP recaptured Azzan, an important commercial city in Shabwa province. A few weeks later, al-Qaeda fighters and Saudi-led coalition forces were seen fighting a common target; the Houthis.But the situation is different in Aden, the AQAP/ISIS and pro-Hadi that were fighting a common enemy in Taiz are enemies in Aden. On 29 February 2016, a suicide car killed 4 pro-Hadi troops in Shiek Othman district in Aden, the city that Hadi uses as a temporary capital.More Info
It includes events described in investigations into suspected inappropriate links between associates of Donald Trump and Russian officials until July 2016, with July 2016 through election day November 8, 2016, following. Events and investigations also occurred during the presidential transition from November 9, 2016, to January 20, 2017, and continued through the first and second halves of 2017; the first and second halves of 2018, 2019, and 2020, largely as parts of the Crossfire Hurricane FBI investigation, the Special Counsel investigation, multiple ongoing criminal investigations by several State Attorneys General, and the investigation resulting in the Inspector General report on FBI and DOJ actions in the 2016 election.More Info
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