SALLY SLOW YOUR MUSTANG DOWN
The Washington Post writes of the revelations we were supposed to receive from the House intelligence committee meeting yesterday. “The Trump administration sought to block former acting attorney general Sally Yates from testifying in the House investigation of possible links between Russian officials and Donald Trump’s campaign, according to letters provided to The Washington Post.” Naturally the revelation “has further angered Democrats”. Now listen to how they tried to gag her, in essence by throwing down her law license and state secrets privilege: “Justice Department notified Yates earlier this month that the administration considers her possible testimony — including on the ouster of former national security adviser Michael Flynn for his contacts with the Russian ambassador — to be off-limits in a congressional hearing because the topics are covered by attorney-client privilege or the presidential communication privilege.” The next day the Department of Justice added, “Yates’s communications with the White House are probably covered by ‘presidential communications privilege,’ and referred him to the White House.” Obstruction of justice much? Naturally the cowards batting for Russia-linked Attorney General Jeff Sessions offered up no comment because they have absolutely no courage, moral or otherwise. We know how this ended, with the cancellation of the hearing.
From The Washington Post.
MANAFORT OFF THE SHORE: TREASURE ISLAND
NBC News has splendid news for all who are eager to see some sunshine on the shady finances of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. “A bank in Cyprus investigated accounts associated with” him “for possible money-laundering, two banking sources with direct knowledge of his businesses”. Quite the lede! Now wait for the nut graph! “Manafort — whose ties to a Russian oligarch close to President Vladimir Putin are under scrutiny — was associated with at least 15 bank accounts and 10 companies on Cyprus, dating back to 2007, the sources said. At least one of those companies was used to receive millions of dollars from a billionaire Putin ally, according to court documents.” Also a stunner! Or, if you are more banal about the growing scandal, a real crowd-pleaser. TRUMPISTAN WATCH urges the former course, as the latter course of no-suprises-left is everything the kleptocrats robbing us blind desire. What is really crazy is “some transactions on Manafort-associated accounts raised sufficient concern to trigger an internal investigation at a Cypriot bank into potential money laundering activities.” What do you have to do to trigger concern among officials in Cyprus? One of the Cyprus companies tied to Manafort, “PEM Advisors Limited, was involved in a multimillion-dollar deal with Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, according to court documents filed in the Cayman Islands.” It seems that deal was Black Sea Cable AP reported on recently. Deripaska “once was denied entry to the United States because of alleged organized crime ties, current and former officials have told NBC News.” Recall Black Sea was a deal where Deripaska sued Manafort for defrauding him of millions. “NBC News traced PEM and a number of other Manafort-linked companies to a law office in Nicosia, the largest city in Cyprus. Managing partner Kypros Chrysostomides, who is also Cyprus’ former minister of justice, declined to answer questions without what he called his clients’ ‘express consent.’” Their justice ministry sounds just as dubious as our Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions! More details on Manafort’s Cyprus accounts include the fact that “Banking sources said that in October 2009, one of the 15 Manafort-associated bank accounts in Cyprus received a payment of a million dollars and left the account on the same day.” And then this gem: “The bulk of the accounts associated with Manafort were held at the Cyprus Popular Bank. In 2012, under an anti-money-laundering procedure called Know Your Customer, the bank asked for more information on the accounts’ activities… Those sources said that Manafort chose to close the accounts instead.” As per standard operating procedure none of the banks knew anything and all are compliant with everything. And Deripaska uses official Kremlin channel Russian state-run RT to deny everything — but he has no ties to the Russian state!
From NBC News.
MANAFORT ON THE SHORE: CASH ONLY
NBC News reports former Trump campaign chief and ongoing advisor Paul Manafort, whose name keeps surfacing in shady financial deals from Ukraine to the Cayman Islands, paid cash for his New York real estate. NBC also reports, “Manafort took out more than $13 million in loans on several of those properties – including $6.5 million borrowed this year from a bank run by an economic advisor to the Trump campaign.” His dealings in New York City real estate “fit a pattern that experts say raises questions about how Manafort was moving money.” Manafort, “bought four properties in New York City between 2006 and 2013 using LLCs, real estate records show… In three of four cases, Manafort transferred the properties into his own name and borrowed about $12 million against them between 2012 and 2017.” To clarify, “Using LLCs is not unusual or illegal, but hefty loans on properties bought with cash can be a flag, experts say,” however “the U.S. Treasury Department said last year that ‘all-cash luxury purchases of residential property by a legal entity are highly vulnerable to abuse for money laundering.’”
From NBC News.
FOURTH TIME AROUND
Reuters reports, “ NATO envoys will hold a formal meeting with Russia on Thursday, their fourth since the 2014 crisis in Ukraine halted regular talks”. “The NATO-Russia Council, the forum bringing together NATO ambassadors and Russia’s top diplomat to the U.S.-led alliance,” is an effort to “ prevent tensions escalating by explaining each other’s positions”.
SENATE VOTES MONTENEGRO IN TO NATO
POLITICO reports the Senate voted overwhelmingly to admit the Western Balkan nation of Montenegro into NATO “in what is seen as a crucial step in pushing back against Russian meddling in Eastern Europe.” Now it’s on Trump as “The vote, 97-2, now sends the defense treaty to President Donald Trump, whose top aides have expressed strong support for the move over fierce objections from the Kremlin.” Who will he listen to? Americans or Putin? Two Republican Senators, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah delayed the ratification of the treaty, which was originally supposed to take place “during the final days of the Obama administration”. Paul and Lee were the only two Senators to vote against treaty, so if you are reading this from Russia or the Kremlin, these are either your guys or the guys you should be sweetening. The Russians are certainly awake and paying attention as the treaty, “If approved by the full alliance and Montenegro’s parliament, all of NATO’s current 28 members would be pledged to come to the country’s aid if it is invaded. Only Spain has yet to approve Montenegro’s membership.” So there is another point for the Russians to test. Considering Russia allegedly tried to assassinate the Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic (the only Milo TRUMPISTAN WATCH reports on!) recently, well, this won’t get better but it is necessary to avoid simply rolling out the doormat for the Russians any more than we already have.
KUSHNER AND THE KREMLIN’S BANKER
All week long we have learned more and more about official son-in-law Jared Kushner’s meeting with Sergey Gorkov, the head of the Russian bank Vnesheconombank (VEB). CNN helps fill in some gaps in the Gorkov’s biography and their encounter, arranged by none other than Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. In today’s part of the saga we learn, “VEB confirmed the meeting with Kushner in a statement to CNN, though described Kushner in his role as head of Kushner Companies, not as a representative of Trump.” Did the Russians sniff him out as a princeling before even the Chinese? The Kremlin also feigned ignorance of the meet and greet Tuesday, suggesting it was “absolutely the bank’s prerogative”. CNN reports, “The meeting between Kushner and Gorkov does not violate the US sanctions, and it is not unusual for businesses under sanctions to meet with US officials, experts said.”
DARKNESS AT NUNES: THE MYTH OF SISYPHUS
Rep. Devin Nunes is no stranger to the abyss, The Washington Post reports. “Sometimes you’re in a hole, and sometimes you’re in a hole and can’t stop digging.” It’s like Sisyphus but instead of climbing mountains, you fall into the abyss. The only lifeline may come from the Feds some day if he sings as he looks very compromised himself as “He’s gone out of his way to downplay questions about alleged wrongdoing by the Trump administration — even more so than many Republicans who aren’t tasked with running an impartial investigation.” The Post reminds us he did call ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn “the best intelligence officer in a generation,” which is a completely insane thing to say about someone so obviously compromised by Russia and now we know Turkey as well. Hours before Flynn resigned (or was ousted in a coordinated media-intel maneuver that any patriot truly loyal to this country over their political party would cheer), he said it was “a lot of nothing”. Oh, really? He has also said at various points that “President Trump could not have instructed Flynn to talk to Russia about sanctions because Trump was too busy (?)” and “he suggested Trump’s tweets about Obama wiretapping him could be forgiven because he did not have 27 lawyers reviewing them.” Monday he made a bunch of media appearances to distract from all of Trump’s Russia ties claiming, bizarrely, incoherently, and in a way obviously intended to distract that he met with some super secret source at the White House who supported Trump’s claims that Obama wiretapped him. Gee, could that super secret source be Trump himself? Or maybe it was a Russian agent. As a chorus of Democrats call for Nunes to recuse himself, Nunes told blowhard Bill O’Reilly on fake news Fox News that Democrats want him gone because he is “quite effective”. Don’t speak for the ruskis and if you do, say it in ruski! Pojalsta?!
From The Washington Post.
DARKNESS AT NUNES: KEEPING UP WITH THE KRAP
In case you are in want for the drivel of mass bullshit the Trump administration is trying to inflict on us, there is the Devin Nunes nonsense spectacle saga, a White House production likely with Russia executive producing. What is this shit, you ask? Well it’s basically the political version of the Kardashians with NO discussion of lady parts. So yawn, here we go with a recap of a recap courtesy of The Washington Post.:
– “November-December: Nunes serves as an adviser on the Trump transition team.”
– On January 25, FOUR DAYS into Trump’s administration the House intelligence committee announces its investigation.
– On March 4, “Trump tweets a shocking allegation.” Hint: it’s not shocking if you know what a febrile, thin-skinned lunatic he is. Yes, it’s the bogus wiretap allegation against Obama that there is to date not a scintilla of evidence to support. Earlier this month, Nunes came to Trump’s defense thereafter saying, “I don’t think we should attack the president for tweeting,” but everything else awful about the traitor in the White House is fair game?
– Then March 15, Nunes says, “I don’t think there was an actual tap of Trump Tower”. The Washington Post notes on this occasion, “Nunes does give the president this: ‘I think it’s very possible’ that Trump and his associates’ names were swept up in unrelated wiretapping. (In spy language: incidental collection.)” – Then there is the whole imbroglio with the Brits, GCHQ, German Chancellor Angela Merkel — all of who together made Trump look beyond ridiculous unless you are one of the red caps, like Orwell’s animals, drinking from the trough of Fox News, Info Wars and Breitbart. That was a fun weekend as it became fairly obvious to all who have unplugged the bananas from their ears, in the words of KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov, that Trump’s tweets about Germany owing NATO a bunch of money were Putin’s influence. So with this apparent reality as the stage, we plunge into the absurd abyss of Darkness at Nunes.
– A week ago last Monday, FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rodgers were on the Hill to answer a bunch of questions about Trump, Russia and extraneous bullshit the Trump administration threw in to distract from the bizarre Russia connections of most anyone important in his administration. Guess what? They agreed the wiretap claims against Obama were without merit. You think this ends here and now? Ha!
– The next day, March 21, “Nunes makes a secret visit to the White House. We now know that Nunes was on White House grounds (not in the White House proper) looking at classified information to, in his words, ‘confirm what I already knew’ about wiretapping.” You think they built a blanket fort in the Rose Garden and gave him a flashlight? Or do you think it was really the Russian Embassy, the other White House?
– Next day, Wednesday March 22, Nunes goes to the White House, ostensibly to brief the president with a whole bunch of cameras because chimera is waving and newsmen follow waving chimera wherever it goes – how do you think we got here? He says basically “Trump campaign officials were likely caught up in spying. He holds a hastily gathered news conference outside the West Wing of the White House, where he refuses to share his source or reveal the actual information he has.” Then Trump goes to town the rest of the week using the word “vindicated” which is a lie. FAKE NEWS!
– Thursday March 23, Democrats say Nunes apologizes for behaving like a reality TV show freak.
– Monday of this week: reports emerge of his rose garden blanket fort – or something like it — classified intel viewing at the White House the previous week.
– Monday and Tuesday of this week, chorus of non-traitors in House and Senate pounce including Senator John McCain, Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff smell blood, ruski blood, and pounce.
– RESULT: House intelligence committee meetings cancelled for the week!
Spring break, no homework! And fewer Russia-related headlines! Let’s hit the slopes in Aspen! Wait Trumpkins already did that! There, don’t you feel dumber? This is your brain sucking on the drainpipe of American mass political culture that is supposed to substitute for an adult conversation about Russia. Imagine living this way in this country about all issues at all times. It’s hell if you have a brain. Wouldn’t you rather have opioids to relate to the masses with?
From The Washington Post.
SOME RUSSIAN DRESSING TO DISTRACT YOU?
Because everyone and their mother probably had this shouted at them from a TV screen or ticker tape if you live stateside yesterday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer had a testy exchange with White House correspondent April Ryan. He advised her, a grown woman, to stop shaking her head, because that’s how you condescend to women in Trump’s America. He also provided the money sound bite, “If the president put Russian salad dressing on his salad tonight, somehow that’s a Russian connection.” Clever!
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
EUROPEAN JUSTICE FOR UKRAINE
The European Court of Justice ruled Tuesday to maintain sanctions against Rosneft for “Moscow’s seizure of Crimea and involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. The sanctions against the Russian oil giant were imposed in July 2014. Putin confidant and ally Igor Sechin is the head of Rosneft.
SERBIA RUSSIAN FOR MILITARY PLANES, TANKS AND AUTOMOBILES
News emerged Tuesday that Serbia will receive “six MiG-29 fighter jets, 30 T-72 tanks and 30 BRDM-2 armored vehicles” from Russia, Defense Minister Zoran Djordjevic said after a meeting between Putin and Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic on Monday in Moscow, The Washington Post reports. Unlike say normal procurement procedure that is not just an enormous weapons dump intended to stir something up, all this hardware “will be delivered soon.” However, keep in mind this involves a presidential decree from Putin and Russians keeping their promises, so Vucic naturally says, “We are waiting for the process to be finalized in Russia and see how (the equipment) will be delivered to Serbia.” There is a technical difficulty of delivery in that “The jets would have to fly over NATO-member countries before reaching Serbia. Or, they would have to be taken apart and flown in transport planes, if the neighboring countries approve.” The Post notes, “Serbia formally has been on the path to join the European Union, but under political and propaganda pressure from Moscow has steadily slid toward the Kremlin”.
From The Washington Post.
HOUSE VOTES TO REVOKE BROADBAND PRIVACY
Remember all those times Edward Snowden made a boogeyman out of U.S. intelligence service for allegedly spying on us? Well, tap into those fears and then read this, because unlike that Russian propaganda this is very, very real. POLITICO reports, “House Republicans voted nearly unanimously Tuesday to revoke the FCC’s broadband privacy rules, sending legislation to the White House that would undo the federal government’s strongest-ever online privacy regulations.” Fun! Supposedly your data will be used for commercial purposes – for now – that is, if you trust the Trump administration and House Republicans. Accordingly, “the rules would block internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon from using data on customers’ web browsing and app habits for advertising without their consent.” They can also do a lot more with that like give it to the government who can hurt you, or so the theory of the fears Snowden wanted to spark goes. The irony gets greater when House Republicans like Rep. Marsha Blackburn use traditional big government is the devil arguments to tear down the protections against this little bit of government overreach. “These rules are unnecessary and just another example of big government overreach,” Blackburn said. So Orwellian! If you are awake to what is going on or are familiar with events in Turkey and elsewhere, this is very, very bad. Get a VPN as soon as possible!
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