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#deepweb | 22 of the best shows to watch this week

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Top Gear
Sunday, BBC2, 8pm
The intrepid trio of Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff, Chris Harris and Paddy McGuinness have got their feet behind the wheel of the long-running motoring show. After a couple of dodgy runs following the departure of Jeremy Clarkson, James May and Richard Hammond, Top Gear is no longer stuttering like a clapped-out old banger, but purring like a brand new sports car. The 28th series will once again feature a mix of test drives and out-of-this-world adventures, beginning with a road trip in a trio of affordable second-hand convertibles. Also: Harris’s views on the new Ariel Atom and the sight of daredevil Flintoff bungee-jumping off a dam in an old Rover.

Win the Wilderness: Alaska
Sunday, BBC2, 9pm
Six couples are challenged to prove their survival skills in Alaska’s harsh wilderness, with the most successful pair winning a remarkable home miles from the nearest road, which was built from scratch by its original owners. In the first episode, they receive a crash course in what to do when encountering a bear before being sent into the woods to gather material and build shelters. They must then fell trees, make a fire and brave the freezing waters of Lost Lake.

Keeler, Profumo, Ward and Me
Sunday, BBC2, 11pm

Mandy Rice-Davies in July 1963. Photograph: PA

If you watched BBC1’s The Trial of Christine Keeler, switch over immediately after the final episode ends for this documentary, which offers a personal insight into the 1963 scandal that brought down Harold Macmillan’s government. Journalist Tom Mangold reported on the story while working as a reporter on Fleet Street, and describes the atmosphere around the country at the time. There’s also a chance to hear secret audio recordings made by the producers of the 1989 film Scandal, in which both Keeler and Mandy Rice-Davies discuss their weekends at Cliveden and their claims that they were pressured into giving evidence against their friend, society osteopath Stephen Ward.

Stockholm Requiem
Sunday, Channel 4, 11pm

Liv Mjönes in Stockholm Syndrome
Liv Mjönes in Stockholm Syndrome

Channel 4 premieres the first episode of this Swedish psychological crime drama (original title: Sthlm Rekviem), based on Kristina Ohlsson’s bestselling novels, with the entire 10-part series available online on All 4. After a tragic accident, unconventional criminologist Fredrika Bergman (Liv Mjönes) joins a special investigations team in Stockholm and is assigned to work with the leader of the unit, Alex Recht. He is resistant to Bergman’s intellectual presence but they needs her help in tracing the main suspect in the case of an abduction of a little girl: her apparently abusive father.

The Windermere Children
Monday, BBC2, 9pm

Tara Cush and Romola Garai in The Windermere Children
Tara Cush and Romola Garai in The Windermere Children

As the literary and cinematic worlds grapple with a glut of Holocaust-based fiction, is there room for a drama, based on a true story, about a group of children who survived the concentration camps and are brought to England’s Lake District in 1945 to try to rebuild their shattered lives? They’re helped in this slow, painful process by child psychologist (Thomas Kretschmann) and a team of counsellors who include an art therapist (Romola Garai). We’re not expecting any Beatrix Potter-style happy endings by Lake Windermere, but we may just see some glimpses of lost innocence. Followed at 10.30pm on BBC4 by The Windermere Children: In Their Own Words.

Holocaust Memorial Day
Monday, BBC2, 7pm
Seventy-five years after the liberation of Auschwitz concentration camp, more than 150 survivors attend a commemoration to mark Holocaust Memorial Day. Through music, poetry and powerful personal testimony, all those who were persecuted by the Nazis, as well as those who were victims of later genocides are remembered. Among those taking part are cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason accompanied by his brother Braimah, actors Simon Russell Beale and Warwick Davis, and the Fourth Choir. Huw Edwards presents.

Bring Back the Bush: Where Did Our Pubic Hair Go?
Monday, Channel 4, 10pm
There have been a lot of new trends in personal grooming over the past few decades, but there’s one very big (and very personal) one that doesn’t get talked about much, at least not on TV. In this documentary, Chidera Eggerue finds out why so many women are removing their pubic hair. As she discovers, you only have to go back a few decades to find a time when this wasn’t seen as necessary, so what caused the change in our attitudes to our bikini lines – and is it time for the bush to make a comeback? To find out, Eggerue challenges herself and her peers to grow theirs back as part of an exhibition where they will reveal their bodies to the world in their natural, naked state.

Shortscreen: Heartbreak
Monday, RTÉ2, 11.35pm
Dave Tynan’s Ifta-winning short from 2017, only seven minutes long, is a spoken word film originally commissioned by theatre company ThisisPopBaby. Heartbreak is written and performed by Emmet Kirwan, who narrates the story of a schoolgirl, Youngone (Jordanne Jones), from teenage pregnancy to raising a son as a single mother.

Great Asian Railway Journeys
Monday, BBC2, 6.30pm
Michael Portillo sets off on the first leg of a new quest as he travels around southeast Asia, guided by his 1913 Bradshaw’s Handbook on a 2,500-mile railway adventure across six countries. Beginning in Hong Kong, the former Conservative politician investigates how Britain won the island and Kowloon from China after two 19th-century wars over the trade in opium, before boarding the island’s most famous funicular to the Peak, and straddling a bamboo pole to learn the traditional Cantonese art of noodle-making.

Ár gClub
Tuesday, TG4, 8pm

Ár gClub
Ár gClub

In the first programme of the series we join Naomh Anna ladies football manager Tony Lee as he prepares his newly promoted team for a season in the Galway Intermediate championship. In Rathnure, Wexford, all five O’Connor family sisters are involved with the club; but Claire has to decide if she will return to the playing fields after the birth of her second child. In Belfast, newly formed Laochra Loch Lao, which played their first game in the Antrim league in 2018, has big ambitions both on and off the field.

Winterwatch
Tuesday/Wednesday/Thurday/Friday, BBC2, 8pm
Time for a final walk in the winter wonderland that is the Dell of Abernathy in the Cairngorms; Springwatch will move to a new home later in the year. Chris Packham, Michaela Strachan and Gillian Burke pack their thermal underwear, down-filled coats and hardiest walking boots in preparation for sub-zero temperatures. Perhaps they’ll be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of Britain’s only herd of reindeer, which have been residents in the park since 1952. Other creatures popping up include badgers, squirrels and pine martins, whose habits will be viewed via secret cameras. There are also various challenges and pre-filmed reports, with extra content available via the Winterwatch website.

Belsen: Our Story
Tuesday, BBC2, 9pm
Documentary about the concentration camp in northern Germany, featuring personal accounts from the few remaining survivors and archive footage shot by the British forces that liberated them. Bergen-Belsen was used to hold prisoners evacuated from camps that had fallen to the Allied advance, leading its population to increase to nearly 60,000 by the winter of 1944. Thousands died at the camp from starvation and disease, their bodies left unburied. The British and Canadian forces who discovered the camp were left with no choice but to burn it to the ground.

Farage: The Man Who Made Brexit
Wednesday, Channel 4, 9pm

Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage addresses a rally in Durham during the European elections last May 11th. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage addresses a rally in Durham during the European elections last May 11th. Photograph: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

With Brexit looming, here is a profile of the man many people believe is responsible for the UK leaving the EU. Nigel Farage is one of Britain’s most divisive politicians, but this documentary, which was filmed over the course of five months, initially finds him riding high after his Brexit Party’s historic success in last May’s European elections. However, as Britain heads into December’s general election, the poll ratings start to plummet. The documentary asks whether the election is a sign that while the UK voted for Brexit, they don’t necessarily want Farage. Or with a new government that appears to support much of what he stands for, can he claim a bigger victory?

Tabú: Ailléirgí
Wednesday, TG4, 9.30pm
An in-depth look at the alarming increase in allergies in Ireland. This informative programme blends observational documentary with scientific factual content to give the audience a comprehensive view of the impact allergies are having on Irish society.

Laughter in the Eyre – Vodafone Comedy Carnival Galway
Thursday, RTE 2, 10.30pm

Jo Caulfield on Laughter in the Eyre
Jo Caulfield on Laughter in the Eyre

A sort of Other Voices of the comedy world, this one-off special is a showcase of the Vodafone Comedy Carnival, held every October in the City of Tribes. Last year the clever producers thought ahead and sent a camera crew into carnival to capture all the comedy action. Now the rest of the country gets to see what all the chuckling was about last autumn in the west of Ireland. An array of laugh-merchants will lay out their wares for the audience’s delight, and if the show’s punning title is anything to go by, there’s a serious danger we might die laughing on our couches. One of the comedians is Andrew Maxwell, but if you saw him looking glum on I’m a Celebrity . . . just before Christmas, don’t be put off. When he’s not being force-fed bugs and bullied by his campmates, he really can be quite funny. Other guffaw-inducing guests include Reginald D Hunter, Terry Alderton, Jo Caulfield and Seann Walsh.

Deep Water
Thursday, RTÉ One, 11.50pm

Anna Friel and Rosalind Eleazar in Deep Water
Anna Friel and Rosalind Eleazar in Deep Water

This twisty six-part drama, which originally ran on UTV last August, is set against the backdrop of England’s Lake District and based on the novels by Paula Daly. Deep Water follows the sometimes messy lives of three women as they navigate the choppy waters of family, friendships and finance. Anna Friel plays Lisa, a disorganised mum whose efforts to juggle family life with running her own business often result in chaos. Roz (Sinead Keenan) is a physiotherapist trying to repay crippling debts. And wealthy Kate (Rosalind Eleazar) appears to have the perfect life, the perfect husband and the perfect kids – but is it all just for show? 

Save Money: Lose Weight
Thursday, UTV, 11.45pm
Sian Williams and Dr Ranj Singh takes two fresh diets (the Eat What You Like and Lose Weight for Life cookbook, and Noom, an app that is trending worldwide) and put them through their paces in a 28-day value-for-money road test. The programme also looks at the latest new diet products and finds out which are fleeting fancies and which are future foods worth splashing out on. Williams tests a new super grain, pea milk and a vegetable sheeter, while Singh investigates technology and gadgets designed to boost willpower when it comes to dieting. These include a state-of-the-art headset to fight food cravings and a low-tech fridge piggy gadget that actually oinks when you open the fridge.

The Late Tackle
Thursday, Virgin One, 10pm
Muireann O’Connell and last year’s Love Island winner, Greg O’Shea, host this new entertainment show focusing on the Guinness Six Nations Championship. Celebrity guests including past and present rugby players, while comedians and actors chat about rugby and life in front of a live audience.

Leaving the EU: BBC News Special
Friday, BBC1, 10pm
It’s a day some people were hoping would never come and others were getting impatient waiting for. But if all goes to plan, today Britain will leave the EU after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal was backed by MPs in the wake of the general election. However, not everything is cut and dried, as Britain is now due to enter an 11-month transition period. Huw Edwards hosts a special edition of BBC News covering this momentous day and asking what Britain’s new relationship with the EU will look like.

The Last Leg: Countdown to Brexit
Friday, Channel 4, 10pm
For a more comical — and opinionated — take on the big Brexit day, The Last Leg team of Adam Hills, Josh Widdicombe and Alex Brooker are conducting their own countdown. They’re joined by writer and director Armando Iannucci, who knows a thing or two about satire via his influential news spoof The Day Today and the savage sitcom The Thick of It. So, if Iannucci was devising a Brexit satire, what angle would he take?

Box Office
Friday, Virgin Two, 8.30pm
Lisa Cannon returns for another series of the movie-show. In advance of the Virgin Media Dublin International Film Festival, Cannon speaks to festival director Gráinne Humphreys about the very best of world cinema and film talent in Dublin.

All Walks of Life
Friday, RTÉ One, 8.30pm

Mary McAleese and Amy Huberman on All Walks of Life
Mary McAleese and Amy Huberman on All Walks of Life

As they wander part of St Kevin’s Way in the Wicklow Mountains, actor Amy Huberman talks to Mary McAleese about the importance of her mixed Catholic-Jewish roots and how she tries to balance her multiple careers with her more private roles as the wife of Irish sporting legend Brian O’Driscoll and the mother of two small children. Huberman is the proud daughter of a Jewish immigrant who came to Ireland in the 1960s to work as a designer. A few years ago, she and her father visited the Auschwitz concentration camp together. She reveals to McAleese what that experience meant to her and her thoughts on being Jewish.

Contributing: PA

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Snake alert! This ransomware is not a game… – Naked Security

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Here’s some goodish news: the Snake ransomware seems to have made the news last week on account of its name rather than its prevalence. Because, well, SNAKE! Like most ransomware, Snake doesn’t touch your operating system files and programs, so your computer will still boot up, […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#hacking | #SocialSec – hot takes on this week’s biggest cybersecurity news (Jan 10)

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

CES kicks off as Las Vegas tackles cyber-attack; British electronics retailer slapped with ICO fine; and nominations open for the top 10 web hacking techniques of 2019

CES 2020 opened its doors in Las Vegas this week, with tech enthusiasts from around the world getting a first look at hundreds of thousands of new gadgets and gizmos from more than 4,000 exhibiting companies.

With four conference sessions being dedicated to security and privacy this year, it’s good to see that infosec was not completely overshadowed by the invisible keyboards, next-gen wheelchairs, and other products of the (not too distant) future.

However, dominating Twitter this week was the organizers’ decision to bring in Ivanka Trump as CES keynote speaker.

Trump took to the stage to discuss the importance of government and industry collaboration for jobs creation, along with employer-led strategies to reskill workers.

Many, however, questioned the organizers’ choice of keynote speaker.

“Ivanka is not a woman in tech,” tweeted Brianna Wu, a software engineer who is running for Congress in Massachusetts.

“She’s not a CEO. She has no background. It’s a lazy attempt to emulate diversity, but like all emulation it’s not quite the real thing.”

Outside of the exhibition hall, Las Vegas officials said the city narrowly avoided a security incident on January 7.

Municipal officials confirmed that systems were attacked early on Tuesday morning, forcing government IT staff to take down a number of online services, including its public website.

A full-blown crisis was apparently averted thanks to swift action from those tasked with protecting Sin City’s digital infrastructure.

Elsewhere, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a bulletin warning of a potential escalation of malicious cyber activity following the recent killing of Iranian military commander Qasem Soleimani.

Speaking to The Daily Swig this week, Suzanne Spaulding, advisor at Nozomi Networks and former DHS employee said the risk of retaliatory action by Iran is particularly high, given “that the ‘red lines’ are not clearly defined in cyberspace”.

Check out our coverage for more on the Iranian cyber threat.

Over in the UK, electronics retailer DSG Retail has been fined £500,000 ($655,000) after its point of sale system was compromised.

An investigation by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) found that an attacker installed malware on nearly 5,400 checkout tills in Currys PC World and Dixons Travel stores between July 2017 and April 2018.

As previously reported by The Daily Swig, the breach impacted at least 14 million people and resulted in the payment card details of 5.6 million consumers being compromised.

“DSG breached the Data Protection Act 1998 by having poor security arrangements and failing to take adequate steps to protect personal data,” the ICO said.

“This included vulnerabilities such as inadequate software patching, absence of a local firewall, and lack of network segregation and routine security testing.”

Although £500,000 would be enough to make even the world’s biggest organizations sit up and pay attention, some noted that if the breach had taken place just one month later, DSG could have faced a far heftier, GDPR-induced fine.

And finally, nominations are open for the top 10 web hacking techniques of 2019.

Hosted annually by PortSwigger, this community-led initiative aims to seek out and honor the best hacking techniques of the past 12 months.

Caching exploits topped the 2018 web security hit list, and while it remains to be seen who will lead the pack this year, nominations in 2019 include developments in server-side request forgery, request smuggling, mutation cross-site scripting, and many other areas of research.

Check out the PortSwigger blog for full details.

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#nationalcybersecuritymonth | This Is What Is Really Happening Right Now

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Getty A week on from the U.S. killing of Iran’s Qassem Suleimani on January 3, media warnings around the cyber threat now facing the U.S. and its allies show no signs of diminishing. On January 8, the New York Times warned that even as “Iran’s military […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Many ups and downs for Karnataka Police this year- The New Indian Express

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Express News Service The year 2019 saw many ups and downs for the State Police. Early into the year the police faced severe embarrassment when one senior officer complained against another for illegally tapping his phone calls and soon the issue snowballed into a major political […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#cybersecurity | #hackerspace | Staying Safe when Shopping this Holiday Season: Bricks and Clicks Edition

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans The shopping season is upon us, and like it or not there are lots of individuals who would love to replace your happiness with their sadness. Thus, at this festive time of the year, it is imperative to give some thought and prep time to you […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#cybersecurity | #infosec | Hackers attack OnePlus again – this time stealing customer details – HOTforSecurity

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Hackers have once again successfully compromised the website of Chinese phone manufacturer OnePlus.

Back in January 2018 it was revealed that the credit card details of some 40,000 people using the OnePlus website had been stolen by hackers. On that occasion the attackers managed to inject a malicious script into an payment webpage that skimmed card data as it was entered by customers.

At the time OnePlus said it was conducting an indepth security audit of its systems.

The latest security incident, detailed by OnePlus in an FAQ on its website, isn’t as serious as the payment card breach – but could still lead to customers being put at risk by fraudsters and online criminals.

The cellphone manufacturer has confirmed that customers’ names, contact numbers, email addresses and shipping details have been accessed by an unauthorised party via a vulnerability on its website.

Fortunately, payment information and passwords have not been compromised.

OnePlus has not revealed just how many customers have been impacted by the data breach, but says that all affected users have been sent an email notifying them of the security incident.

Of course, even if your passwords and payment details haven’t been exposed in this latest hack – that doesn’t mean that users have nothing to worry about.

Online criminals could abuse users’ names and contact details to launch phishing attacks, spread spam, or even attempt to commit fraud over the telephone.

Of course, the challenge for affected users is that – unlike passwords – details such as your name and contact details can not be easily changed.

Customers are being advised to contact OnePlus’s support team for assistance if they have any concerns.

According to the company it has since patched the vulnerable website, and checked it for similar security flaws:

“We’ve inspected our website thoroughly to ensure that there are no similar security flaws. We are continually upgrading our security program – we are partnering with a world-renowned security platform next month, and will launch an official bug bounty program by the end of December.”

No details have been shared of the nature of the website vulnerability which allowed the hackers to access customer data, but OnePlus must realise that the patience of customers is not limited – and for a second serious security breach to have occurred in a relatively short period of time will have done nothing to strengthen users’ trust in the brand.

More transparency about what has occurred and how, combined with strengthened security, would go a long way to reassure customers who must be feeling rattled by this latest incident.

OnePlus says it has informed the authorities about the data breach and is working with the police to further investigate who might be responsible for the attack.

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#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Business Mail Compromise: 5 ways to detect this scam and what can be done to prevent it

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans Advertisement Millions of dollars and lots of personal information are being stolen by a growing threat known as the Business Email Compromise (BEC). Business Mail Compromise: 5 ways to detect this scam and what can be done to prevent itMillions of dollars and lots of personal […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#cyberfraud | #cybercriminals | Charging phones this way can be risky

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans More than most professionals, real estate agents tend to find themselves on the go. And that often means finding new places to charge various electronic devices after, or during, a long day of phone calls and texts with clients. However, officials this week issued a stark […] View full post on AmIHackerProof.com

#hacking | Giuliani’s conspiracy theories cost this anti-corruption lawmaker in Ukraine his job

Source: National Cyber Security – Produced By Gregory Evans

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s team realized it had a potential problem in U.S. relations on May 10, when Rudolph W. Giuliani told Fox News that a Ukrainian advisor to the newly elected leader was a Trump enemy.

“I’m convinced that [Zelensky] is surrounded by people who are enemies of the president, and one person in particular, who is clearly corrupt and involved in this scheme,” Giuliani said.

The former New York mayor, now serving as Trump’s private attorney, was talking about Sergei Leshchenko, a young member of parliament and former investigative journalist who was in line for a top position in the Ukrainian president’s new administration.

The next day, Leshchenko was dismissed from consideration for Zelensky’s team.

Zelensky’s advisors understood that Giuliani was a mouthpiece for President Trump, and the last thing the new Ukrainian president wanted was a sour start with the White House.

“For the new president, it was impossible to have such a negative narrative with an American president at the very beginning,” Leshchenko said. “So, it of course had a bad impact on my political prospects with Zelensky’s team.”

From that moment, Leshchenko became the focal point in Giuliani’s campaign to push conspiracy theories involving Ukraine. But what was at the heart of Giuliani’s narrative was a mysterious accounting book that became known as “the black ledger.”

In 2016, Leshchenko was part of a group of young politicians pushing for democratic reforms in Ukraine. In his former life as a journalist, he had developed a reputation for hard-hitting reporting that exposed high-profile corruption cases.

Ukrainian lawmaker Sergei Leshchenko, standing in front of a screen showing an image of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, at a news conference in Kyiv on Aug. 19, 2016.

(Sergei Supinsky / AFP/Getty Images)

In August 2016, Leshchenko held a news conference in Kyiv to disclose the existence of a notebook found in a burned-out room in Ukraine’s former ruling political party’s headquarters. The book revealed a list of purported secret payments made by Ukraine’s former pro-Russia president, Viktor Yanukovych, to Trump’s onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.

Leshchenko certainly had reason to dislike Manafort. Before joining Trump’s election campaign in 2016, Manafort had worked as Yanukovych’s consultant. Leshchenko and other anti-corruption, pro-reform leaders in Ukraine blamed Manafort for helping Yanukovych get elected in 2010. The president then used his position to get rich by stealing from Ukrainian government coffers.

In 2014, government corruption had helped ignite the Maidan street revolution in Kyiv. Yanukovych fled to Russia, which occupied and annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula a month later. Moscow continues to support a separatist insurgency fighting Ukrainian government forces in the east.

A U.S. federal court in March sentenced Manafort to 7½ years for fraud and money laundering, some of which stemmed from unreported payments from Ukraine.

Manafort’s imprisonment came out of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. Trump has called the investigation a “witch hunt.”

Trump blamed Ukraine for Manafort’s troubles, saying the incident proved that Ukraine “tried to take me down.” He started pressing for an investigation into alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 election. U.S. intelligence agencies had established that Russia, not Ukraine, had meddled in the election.

By May, Leshchenko was in Giuliani’s sights.

In a series of interviews on Fox News and CNN, Giuliani accused Leshchenko of colluding with Democrats to interfere in the election. By Giuliani’s accounts, Ukrainians — namely Leshchenko — conspired with Democrats to focus attention on Manafort’s business in Ukraine in an attempt to cripple the Trump campaign.

Giuliani called the black ledger a “complete fake.”

UKRAINE-US-VOTE-CORRUPTION

Ukrainian lawmaker Sergei Leshchenko holds pages purportedly from a ledger showing payments to Paul Manafort by the party of former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych during a news conference in Kyiv in 2016.

(Sergei Supinsky / AFP/Getty Images)

Leshchenko denies Giuliani’s accusations. He said he was shocked when he realized Trump’s personal lawyer was dragging Ukraine into the fray of Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign and trying to bring Leshchenko’s reputation down with it.

“This story intoxicated the whole U.S.-Ukraine narrative,” said Leshchenko, a tall, thin 39-year-old with the look of a college professor.

Zelensky, a former comedian with no previous political experience, was elected in April with more than 73% of the vote.

“I support him, and I like his way to destroy this establishment of cronyism and corruption, which was very destructive for Ukraine for the past 25 years,” Leshchenko said.

Understanding that if the Trump White House viewed Leshchenko as part of Zelensky’s team it would be damaging for the new Ukrainian president, Leshchenko said he agreed to drop out of the running to join the new administration.

“I told [Zelensky] I cannot keep you as a hostage of my problems with Giuliani,” he said.

Zelensky should keep his distance, Leshchenko added: “Ukraine needs bipartisan support in America. We don’t need to be in the middle of a U.S. political scandal.”

Trump has hinted that he believes Ukraine is harboring a computer server containing emails sent by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the president’s Democratic opponent in the 2016 election.

So far, no evidence has emerged to support any of these accusations or theories.

On Thursday, White House acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney seemed to confirm that Trump’s administration was still firmly holding on to many of the false narratives about Ukraine spun by Giuliani and other Trump allies.

Sergei Leshchenko

Sergei Leshchenko is interviewed on Ukrainian radio about becoming a target of Rudolph W. Giuliani’s accusations on Oct. 10, 2019.

(Sabra Ayres / Los Angeles Times)

At a news conference in Washington, Mulvaney said Trump had frozen about $400 million in security aid to Ukraine as a way of pressuring Kyiv to investigate allegations that Ukraine was responsible for hacking Democratic Party emails in 2016.

“We all know that place is corrupt,” Mulvaney said about Ukraine. He defended Trump’s suspension of the security aid, which Ukraine needs in its fight against Russian-backed separatists militias on its eastern flank, saying it was related to U.S. concerns about Ukrainian corruption.

And in particular, Trump wanted Kyiv to investigate his widely debunked theory that the DNC server was still in Ukraine.

“That’s why we held up the money,” he told reporters. He later walked back his claim, saying there was no quid pro quo.

Leshchenko, who is no longer in parliament, has tried to dispute Giuliani’s smear campaign against him on social media and even asked some mediators to try to set up a meeting. It wouldn’t be the first time the two have met. In June 2017, a Ukrainian oligarch, Viktor Pinchuk, invited Leshchenko and several other young reform-minded Ukrainian lawmakers to meet Giuliani during a visit to Kyiv.

“He was known then as the former New York mayor, so we all agreed to meet him and didn’t think much of it,” he said, showing a photo on his phone of Giuliani and him.

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