CBS News reports the FBI and CIA are searching for a mole in their midst who “exposed thousands of top-secret documents that described CIA tools used to penetrate smartphones, smart televisions and computer systems” by passing this information to WikiLeaks and/or Russian intelligence, which cleansed it by passing it through WikiLeaks. CBS News reports, “Much of the material was classified and stored in a highly secure section of the intelligence agency, but sources say hundreds of people would have had access to the material. Investigators are going through those names.”
From CBS News.
EXXON PURSUES TREASURY WAVER TO DRILL WITH ROSNEFT
The Wall Street Journal first reported Wednesday that ExxonMobil is seeking a waiver from the Treasury Department sanctions on Russia to drill with Rosneft in the Black Sea. The application was made while Obama was still in office, anonymous U.S. officials said, but it has not been dropped. Senator John McCain’s response via Twitter, “Are they crazy?” The waiver application is likely to be closely scrutinized by Congress as well as the State Department. Reuters reports ExxonMobil refused to comment.
UKRAINE APPEALS TO TRUMP TO KEEP SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA
Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko appealed to the Trump administration to keep sanctions against Russia in place noting it is the only way to keep Russia at the negotiating table and tanks out of Central Europe. Poroshenko said, “Russia was not only rejecting the world order but ‘trying to build an alternative reality based on alternative values’”. Russian Order of Friendship medal recipient and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who may represent these alternative values was recently quoted at the G7 meeting “asking why US taxpayers should back sanctions against Russia,” because he thinks he speaks for the American people when he only speaks for himself and his wallet and the puppet president, who may be powerful now but “the first one now will later be last,” in the words of Bob Dylan.
From The Guardian.
CONCERN OVER CITGO’S INAUGURATION GIFT
In December, Rosneft effectively bailed out the failing government of Venezuela as the country continues in a spiral of collapse through the state oil company PDVSA in exchange for 49.9% of its Citgo shares as collateral. In a letter sent to U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin on April 10 requesting the Treasury Department monitor “a series of international transactions that could have significant national security implications for critical energy infrastructure in the United States,” several U.S. Senators wrote, “It is our understanding that Rosneft acquired other PDVSA bonds on the open market that could bring their ownership potential to more than 50 percent”. Analysts believe PDVSA “could default on its debt in the very near future.” Now Bloomberg reports that a half a million dollar donation Citgo made to Trump’s Inaugural fund is raising concerns as it surfaced “just nine days after” the Senators’ letter to Mnuchin. Bloomberg reports, “The White House referred questions to the inaugural committee, which didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.” The contribution to Trump’s inaugural fund “appears to be unusual for Citgo, which didn’t contribute to inaugurations in 2005, 2009 or 2013.”
RESISTANCE CAN CLAIM TWO SCALPS IN ONE DAY, HURRAH!
On Wednesday two prominent conservative voices, Rep. Jason Chaffetz and Bill O’Reilly, fell to the political resistance winds thanks to massive popular agitation affecting personal and management decisions. The “powerful” chairman of the House oversight committee, Rep. Jason Chaffetz told reporters he would not seek reelection next year in 2018. “I may run again for public office,” Chaffetz said according to The New York Times, “but not in 2018.” As The Washington Post notes in a headline, “Jason Chaffetz and Devin Nunes were both faced with investigating Trump. Now both are stepping aside.” Separately Wednesday, Fox News prime time bigot Bill O’Reilly faced advertisers fleeing after the latest round of sexual harassment allegations against him. While he was sued again, it is the same old offenses of being a lewd, disgusting pig who acts like a misogynist freak when he is rejected because, come on, who would, with him? This was not even his most piggish act or his most absurd (falafel) but the mood against Trump and the Russia Party in the country was great enough after “the [New York] Times investigation that found O’Reilly and Fox News had paid out a combined $13 million to women who claimed O’Reilly had harassed them” to pressure management through financial levers of shaming advertisers through boycotts like #GrabYourWallet and others. Advertisers HATE when you grab their wallets it turns out! And when you generate a MASSIVE tidal wave of negative publicity. Remember, where you spend your money counts and there is a Boycott Trump app to help guide your purchasing decisions!
KREMLIN LINKED THINK TANK WARGAMED U.S. ELECTION INTERFERENCE
Reuters breaks the story of how a Russian government think tank, the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies, war-gamed U.S. election interference and reports U.S. intelligence agencies acquired the reports generated by these efforts after the election. Reuters reports, “The first Russian institute document was a strategy paper written last June that circulated at the highest levels of the Russian government but was not addressed to any specific individuals.” In this report was the recommendation that “the Kremlin launch a propaganda campaign on social media and Russian state-backed global news outlets to encourage U.S. voters to elect a president who would take a softer line toward Russia than the administration of then-President Barack Obama,” seven current and former U.S. officials told Reuters. “A second institute document, drafted in October and distributed in the same way, warned that Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was likely to win the election,” concluding, “it was better for Russia to end its pro-Trump propaganda and instead intensify its messaging about voter fraud to undermine the U.S. electoral system’s legitimacy and damage Clinton’s reputation in an effort to undermine her presidency”. Gosh who else pushed the line about voter fraud and rigged elections? Reuters reports, “Four of the officials said the approach outlined in the June strategy paper was a broadening of an effort the Putin administration launched in March 2016. That month the Kremlin instructed state-backed media outlets, including international platforms Russia Today and Sputnik news agency, to start producing positive reports on Trump’s quest for the U.S. presidency”.
RUSSIA IS GETTING A SECOND AIRCRAFT CARRIER
Russia Beyond the Headlines reports on the announcement of Russia’s new aircraft carrier, the “Shtorm,” aka “Project 23E000E — will be included in Russia’s next armament program for the 2019 to 2025 period.” The Russian Navy hopes to put it to service by 2030 “and experts say that its potential base will be Severomorsk (1,880 km north of Moscow).” As many Western military observers have noted, “During the campaign in Syria Moscow has realized the necessity of such a ship. Moscow sent the Admiral Kuznetsov aircraft carrier group to Syria’s shores, however, the ship has already done three decades of service and is on its last legs.” The Kuznetsov can carry about 30 aircraft whereas the Americans up to three times as many. “The Russian ship’s parameters will be similar to the U.S. Gerald R. Ford supercarrier,” Professor Vadim Kozyulin from the Academy of Military Sciences told Russia Beyond the Headlines. The price tag? Nothing Russia can afford at “350 billion to one trillion rubles ($6.15 to $17.5 billion), depending on the ship’s components.” Russian people, join us on the streets! Take back your future!
ANOTHER DEAD JOURNALIST IN PUTIN’S MAFIA STATE
Less anyone doubt for a moment the inhumanity of Putin’s regime, there is another deceased journalist. This time the victim is a 73 year-old man, Nikolai Andrushchenko, the co-founder of the weekly newspaper Novy Petersburg who was beaten by unknown assailants on March 9. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “A prominent Russian journalist known for articles criticizing Russia’s government and President Vladimir Putin has died at a hospital in St. Petersburg after being severely beaten”. Very sad that Russia is such a place that not even the elderly who have already endured so much in Russia cannot have peace and a modicum of freedom without fear of consequence. The beating was evidently so bad “his lawyer say he underwent brain surgery after the attack and initially had been connected to a ventilator, but later was able to breathe on his own.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty also reports, “Novy Petersburg editor Denis Usov linked the attack against Andrushchenko to articles that the newspaper has written about corruption in the city. Those articles reported extensively on connections between St. Petersburg city officials and organized criminal syndicates.” What kind of a regime beats the elderly to death? A sick one.
WHERE IS MY PAGE? LEAVING A TRAIL FOR THE FBI THROUGH MOSCOW
The New York Times reports that it was Carter Page’s trip to Moscow’s New Economic School, where Obama spoke in 2009, and a Russia friendly speech he gave there that caught the attention of the FBI. Ergo, the FBI woke up to ask, “who the hell is Carter Page?” at the same time as the nation. The trail of Page leads to Sam Clovis, an economics professor and Tea Party activist in Iowa, who produced a list of potential foreign policy advisors for the Trump campaign that included Page on it.
From The New York Times.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
HIGH UNFAVORABILITY RATINGS FOR TRUMP TRASH
Quinnipac University has a poll reflecting that Americans think our first family is trash, which is good, because they are right! While people think far less of puppet president Donald Trump than they do of his family, Aryan princess daughter and princeling son-in-law, 53% of Americans say it is inappropriate for nepotism Barbie to have a role in the administration. The same percentage disapprove of Jared’s Office of American Innovation. By contrast, 56% of Americans have an unfavorable view of the fake president. While Americans might not see a role for Ivanka and Jared in the White House, only 31% have an unfavorable view of Ivanka and 32% Jared, but among nearly a third of the country it is fairly safe to say they are reviled. Melania, by hiding out in a gold tower in New York, escapes relatively unscathed with just a 24% of the public viewing her unfavorably. Interestingly, most of her support is from the 65 and over demographic whereas younger people who seem to have their common sense more intact in the face of the least qualified woman ever for public service to this country as “she performed the worst among the youngest group”. Ivanka is viewed unfavorably by 36% of millennials. Unsurprising: Melania is also more popular with men who seem to crave this sort of empty vessel woman in the Trump era. TRUMPISTAN WATCH can attest every aspect of woman is degraded in a climate where a sex predator is president.
RUSSIA ONLY RESPECTS LAWS WHEN IT CONCERNS THEM + UNFAIRNESS
The Kremlin has no respect for international law except when it can be manipulated to whine about how unfair the world is to Russia, which is so powerful it can be brought down by a corruption blogger YouTubing. Now The AP reports Russia is whining about a NATO meeting scheduled next month in Norway’s Svalbard Islands. Why? “Under a 1920 international treaty, the archipelago is under Norwegian rule. But all treaty signatories have the right to reside there and the islands are not to be used ‘for warlike purposes.’” It’s not as if Russia has violated anyone’s sovereignty since 1920 for like half a century or more or even in just the last few years in Ukraine. Russia is not exactly on good footing to make such complaints.
From The AP.
O’REILLY DOWN, EPSHTEYN ON THE ASCENT
The Forward reports Boris Epshteyn, the former “special assistant to the president in the White House press office, has taken a job as chief political analyst for the Sinclair Broadcast Group.” Sinclair is among the largest operators of television stations in the U.S. He came into Trumpworld via Eric “Qusay” Trump as the two went to Georgetown together. Epshteyn immigrated from Moscow age 11 in 1993.
From The Forward.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
WHY ARE RUSSIANS SUCH DRINKERS?
Russia Beyond the Headlines looks at a question no one ever before bothered to interrogate because most accepted it as fact, namely Russians are big, big drinkers. Accordingly, “The Russian love of alcohol has been discussed since before the country of Russia even existed. According to the 12th-century chronicle ‘The Tale of Bygone Years,’ when Prince Vladimir, the ruler of Ancient Rus, was choosing a faith for the pagan Slavs he discovered that Muslims were forbidden from drinking alcohol and immediately gave up any thought of converting his people to Islam. ‘Drinking is the joy of all Rus. We cannot exist without it,’ the prince said”. Now who is really surprised by that? The land of Ancient Rus was a time before vodka, which is surprising because you have to ask, which came first Russia or vodka? Vodka appeared in the 16th century “and quickly became one of the country’s symbols, along with bears and matryoshkas.” Soviet writer Venedikt Yerofeyev said the difference between Europe and Russia was that, “On one side of the border people speak Russian and drink more, while on the other side, they drink less and speak a language that is not Russian.” This is not the definition of modern Russia or else Belgravia and Knightsbridge would be part of Russia. The answer to this level of alcoholism may rest with genetics. “Europeans, slowly metabolize alcohol into the toxic chemical acetaldehyde, which causes hangovers and other unpleasant effects. In Asians, however, this process happens much more quickly and is one reason why these populations tend to have a lower tolerance for alcohol. ‘You could say that genes do not make Russians drink, but they allow them to do so’”. Despite the heavy consumption of Russians, they are not even number one in this category but trail Belarus, Moldova and Lithuania for fourth place. Russia, disgracing itself even among the world’s alcoholics!
SUBSCRIBE: e-mail TrumpistanWatch@gmail.com with “TRUMPISTAN WATCH” in the subject line to receive the weekday e-mail newsletter.