—–ON THE AGENDA—–
DEPUTY AG TO BRIEF FULL SENATE ON TRUMP-RUSSIA INVESTIGATION
The Washington Post reports, “Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein will brief the full Senate Thursday on Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey — an event that triggered a wave of controversy for the White House starting last week.”
From The Washington Post.
DEPUTY AG NAMES EX-FBI DIRECTOR AS SPECIAL COUNSEL TO DOJ
In what can best be described as a total baller move, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein pushed back against the White House and “named former FBI Director Robert Mueller to serve as special counsel investigating Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election, including any possible involvement of President Donald Trump’s campaign in that effort,” POLITICO reports. Hallelujah! Call it Comey’s revenge, call it career prosecutors don’t like seeing their names dragged through the filth of Trumpworld’s bad press or call it as TRUMPISTAN WATCH does and call it baller, this is very good news. Rosenstein did this “despite recent White House statements that they viewed the appointment of a special counsel as unnecessary”. TRUMPISTAN WATCH is now grateful Rosenstein did not resign despite the call last week that he do so, as this is what redemption looks like. We await eagerly similar developments concerning National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, the only person in Trump’s orbit who seems truly capable of redeeming himself after a sad spectacle of a press conference Tuesday. Unlike in the Russian mafia state where people have no rights and no one cares what the Russian people think, Rosenstein said, “Our nation is grounded on the rule of law, and the Public must be assured that government officials administer the law fairly.” Love it. Of course the never learn a goddamn thing president “Trump said in a statement after the announcement that he expected the probe would find no collusion between his 2016 White House campaign and foreign countries.” Don’t bank on that. Rosenstein also got his revenge for the classless way in which Comey was fired as, “White House officials were blindsided by the move,” POLITICO reports. The Washington Post notes, “Congressional investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 election will continue despite the Justice Department’s decision to appoint a special counsel to oversee a separate probe, lawmakers said late Wednesday.”
TRUMPKINS KNEW OF FLYNN INVESTIGATION BEFORE INAUGURATION
The New York Times reports, “Michael T. Flynn told President Trump’s transition team weeks before the inauguration that he was under federal investigation for secretly working as a paid lobbyist for Turkey during the campaign,” citing two people familiar with Flynn’s case file. “Despite this warning, which came about a month after the Justice Department notified Mr. Flynn of the inquiry, Mr. Trump made Mr. Flynn his national security adviser,” because Trump rewards perceived loyalty above all. The New York Times notes, “The job gave Mr. Flynn access to the president and nearly every secret held by American intelligence agencies,” which is horrifying. TRUMPISTAN WATCH would like to take this moment to remind everyone that no matter what, the American people are still receiving the “lite” version of this horrifying presidency, even as we remain terrified by what we read. The New York Times reports Flynn told White House counsel Don McGahn on January 4. This is yet another strike against McGahn, who really has proved his incompetence and lack of worth more times than one can count on fingers and toes by now. Another conversation on January 6 between Flynn’s lawyers and Trump transition team lawyers “shows that the Trump team knew about the investigation of Mr. Flynn far earlier than has been previously reported.” Acting Attorney General Sally Yates warnings were therefore redundant. And yet Trump kept Flynn on because Trump cares more about loyalty to him personally than the security of the nation.
From The New York Times.
18 UNREPORTED CONTACTS BETWEEN TRUMPKINS + RUSSIA
Reuters is reporting in an exclusive this morning, “Michael Flynn and other advisers to Donald Trump’s campaign were in contact with Russian officials and others with Kremlin ties in at least 18 calls and emails during the last seven months of the 2016 presidential race,” citing current and former U.S. government officials. That is a lot of contact with an American adversary that Trump claims is fake news, e.g. news he does not like. This must be a narcissist’s nightmare for Trump, who now has the largest possible stage in the world from which to fall farther than anyone since Richard Nixon – and this is still so much worse that Nixonian is practically a compliment when applied to Trump. Reuters reports, “The previously undisclosed interactions form part of the record now being reviewed by FBI and congressional investigators”. According to the U.S. officials cited by Reuters, “Six of the previously undisclosed contacts described to Reuters were phone calls between Sergei Kislyak, Russia’s ambassador to the United States, and Trump advisers, including Flynn, Trump’s first national security adviser”. That little traitor trash again? Sigh. Four current U.S. officials said, “Conversations between Flynn and Kislyak accelerated after the Nov. 8 vote as the two discussed establishing a back channel for communication between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin that could bypass the U.S. national security bureaucracy, which both sides considered hostile to improved relations”. Why is a man who considers our national security architecture “hostile” serving for even a minute as the president’s National Security Advisor? This would be unbelievable if it concerned loyal Americans. Don’t forget, “In January, the Trump White House initially denied any contacts with Russian officials during the 2016 campaign.” Since then, “The White House and advisers to the campaign have since confirmed four meetings between Kislyak and Trump advisers”. Reuters reports, “The 18 calls and electronic messages took place between April and November 2016.” Beyond “the six phone calls involving Kislyak, the communications described to Reuters involved another 12 calls, emails or text messages between Russian officials or people considered to be close to Putin and Trump campaign advisers,” including a Ukrainian oligarch, Viktor Medvedchuk. Reuters notes, “Putin is godfather to Medvedchuk’s daughter.”
HOUSE MAJORITY LEADER ON TAPE PUTIN PAYS TRUMP; OMERTÀ NO MORE
The Washington Post reports, “A month before Donald Trump clinched the Republican nomination, one of his closest allies in Congress — House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy — made a politically explosive assertion in a private conversation on Capitol Hill with his fellow GOP leaders: that Trump could be the beneficiary of payments from Russian President Vladimir Putin.” And it is on tape! “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump,” McCarthy said on June 15, 2016, in an exchange “which was listened to and verified by The Washington Post.” Recall Rohrbacher is known as “Putin’s favorite congressman” for his ridiculously lavish praise of the Russian leader and state. House Speaker Paul Ryan interjected to stop the exchange from going further and deferred to the increasingly worthless omertà among the Russia Party in Congress. The Washington Post notes, “Before the conversation, McCarthy and Ryan had emerged from separate talks at the Capitol with Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman, who had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions.” While some Russia Party lawmakers laughed at McCarthy’s comment, McCarthy said, “Swear to God.” The disclosure of the record and comments, which remained secret for nearly a year, comes as the Republican Party continues to place party before country. “House Republican leaders have so far resisted calls for the appointment of an independent commission or a special prosecutor to investigate Russian interference, though pressure has been mounting on them to do so after Trump’s firing of FBI Director James B. Comey,” The Washington Post reports. Spokesmen for both Ryan and McCarthy both denied the comments to The Washington Post then shifted to suggesting it was “clearly an attempt at humor.” Sadly the jokes on them as the only thing funny is the Russia Party’s so-called allegiance to uphold the values of the United States constitution and protect our country from enemies foreign and domestic. Ha ha.
From The Washington Post.
PUTIN TROLLS TRUMP, AGAIN
The Washington Post reports, “Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday he would be willing to provide the U.S. Congress a record of President Trump’s meeting with top Russian envoys,” suggesting the Kremlin has a recording of the meeting, but later clarification was issued suggesting only transcripts would be made available. How do you get transcripts without audio recordings? This is an obvious trolling of our Congress after national security experts raised concerns that members of the Russian delegation visiting the Oval Office last week planted bugs and may have secretly recorded the encounter. But not content to troll Congress alone, “The provocative offer for the Kremlin to share evidence with U.S. oversight committees about the Oval Office meeting came with the caveat that the request for the transcript would have to come from the Trump administration,” The Washington Post reports. The Kremlin has denied Trump shared classified information.
From The Washington Post.
VNESHECONOMBANK HELPED FINANCE TRUMP TOWER TORONTO
The Wall Street Journal reports, “VEB [short for Vnesheconombank], a Russian state-run bank under scrutiny by U.S. investigators, financed a deal involving Donald Trump’s onetime partner in a Toronto hotel tower at a key moment for the project, according to people familiar with the transaction.” Trump’s partner was a Russian-Canadian Alexander Shnaider, who hit trouble with the project and looked for a capital injection, turning to Vnesheconombank. Business Insider notes, “The project was initially a joint venture between Trump and Schnaider,” but later turned into a name licensing deal. The New York Times previously reported that princeling Jared had met with Vnesheconombank’s CEO Sergey Gorkov about lifting U.S. sanctions against the bank which has close ties to the Russian mafia state, so much so that we might even label it an instrument of said mafia state. Like so many others in the Trumpworld orbit, Gorkov is ex-FSB, which is a misnomer because with extremely limited exception, one does not exactly exit that world in the way one leaves employment in the West.
SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE DEMANDS COMEY’S MEMOS
POLITICO reports, “The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee on Wednesday asked the FBI to turn over memos prepared by former Director James Comey detailing conversations he had with the White House and Justice Department about the FBI’s Russia investigations.” The Senate judiciary committee is also seeking access to the memos. Hello firestorm! And when do we, the American people get to read them? Senate judiciary committee chairman Chuck Grassley is not content alone with just the memos and said in an interview, “We’re going to try to get… all memos, all communications between everybody — Comey, and other people in the hierarchy — and throughout the organization, wherever we have to, and over a long period of time.” The Senate judiciary committee set a deadline of May 24 and has also asked Comey to appear before them. Senator Richard Burr and Mark Warner, chair and co-chair of the Senate intelligence committee “also sent a letter Wednesday to Comey asking that he testify before their panel in open and closed sessions. The senators had previously asked Comey to testify in closed session this Tuesday, but he declined,” POLITICO reports. Additionally, Senator Lindsey Graham has also asked Comey to testify before his select committee. Comey in his post-government life is now the most desirable witness one could get on the Hill. Did the Trumpkins really expect no blowback? They really do not get how this works, do they?
HOUSE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE WANTS COMEY TO TESTIFY NEXT WEEK
The ever popular former FBI Director James Comey has been invited to testify before the House oversight committee by the committee’s chairman Jason Chaffetz next Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. POLITICO notes while unconfirmed, Chaffetz is trying to connect with Comey to get him to appear “the day the FBI is due to send documents to the oversight panel.” What fun! According to a source close to Comey, Comey “wants to testify publicly as soon as he can,” according to POLITICO.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
RUSSIA BUYING UP U.S. DEBT
CNN Money reports in March Russia “bought $13.5 billion of US government bonds — better known as ‘Treasury securities.’ Russia’s total holdings of US debt have now increased to nearly $100 billion, according to recently released Treasury Department data. It’s the third straight month of buying from Russia”. CNN Money notes that a “key reason” is to stock up its foreign reserves “which declined dramatically when oil prices crashed last year”. Now isn’t his ironic? It also means if the U.S. economy tanks or the U.S. defaults, Russia is even more screwed. The two nations are bound together for now, but once we shake their mafia state from our political life, their economic survival and hopes for a revival will in part rest on the U.S.’s economic stability and success. CNN Money reports, “The ruble’s crash could have been worse had the Russian government not spent lots of its US dollar holdings to keep the currency afloat.”
From CNN Money.
POLISH F-16S INTERCEPT RUSSIAN SPY PLANE OVER THE BALTICS
Radio Poland reports, “Two Polish F-16 jets were scrambled from NATO bases in the Baltics on Monday to identify a Russian Il-20 reconnaissance plane.” According to a statement from NATO’s Allied Air Command (AIRCOM), “The sorties took place under the Allies’ 24/7 routine peacetime mission safeguarding the airspace of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania,” which also noted, “this was the first alert scramble out of the Polish and Spanish bases in the Baltics during this mission.”
From Radio Poland.
WIKILEAKS LAWYERS CRY FOUL OVER ASSANGE BIOPIC
Like all Russian outfits, WikiLeaks cries foul while it plays by its own foul rules. Poor little Julian, emasculated by his own brand of toxic masculinity! Just kidding, TRUMPISTAN WATCH feels as sorry for him as it does for his soul mate and fellow Russian puppet in the White House. Newsweek has a most vicious and equally ludicrous article by WikiLeaks lawyers savaging director Laura Poitras for her Assange biopic “Risk”. WikiLeaks of course wants for others what it does not want for itself, namely transparency. So it is with a fair degree of hilarity you can read WikiLeaks lawyers whine all about how betrayed they feel by Poitras and how “Prior to its initial U.S. release, seven of the participants submitted non-consent forms to the producers advising Poitras and her team that they did not want to appear in the film.” Oh. My. God. Tell that to all the U.S. diplomats and diplomatic sources harmed by the needless disclosure of thousands of U.S. diplomatic cables –bet they did not want to appear in such disclosures either! If there are any tears being shed for raging narcissist and known loon Assange, they are tears of laughter. Even better, WikiLeaks lawyers have the temerity to insist, “To be clear: our objections are not about censorship.” Yeah fucking right. Even better? “This is about safety” and “about protecting journalistic sources.” Um, dudes, do you have any capacity for self-reflection or is all that usurped by the unintentional irony factor? This is a must read because it’s so damn ridiculous as to be positively absurd. You will laugh, you will cry from your laughter (if you are as savage as TRUMPISTAN WATCH) and you will see what a ridiculous human being Julian Assange is, as is known.
FAUX NEWS FOX IN MELTDOWN
Salon reports on the meltdown underway at faux news Fox over the slow demise of their great leader, the tangerine tyrant, because this is the mantle on which they have opted to rest their precarious and wholly toxic masculinity. Pro-Russian right wing hack Sean Hannity “tweeted early Wednesday morning that there are 5 groups, ‘trying to destroy the president’: the media, Democrats, Deep State, ‘weak establishment Republicans,’ and ‘Never Trumpers.’” Hiiiiii deep state readers, by which TRUMPISTAN WATCH means patriotic civil servants, because this is not Turkey, Egypt or Pakistan quite yet and the chaos of the last 117 days should make it obvious there is no “Network” style board room or true deep state in the classical sense. To pretend otherwise is to live in the realm of far-right or far-left delusion (funny how these two constituencies intersect at the corner of extremism and conspiracy). While all networks were covering the continuing fall out from the firing of former FBI Director James Comey, Fox News focus was primed to a familiar target: the Clinton Foundation. Yesterday it was Seth Rich and Vince Foster. Very sad for them, the only thing that has not and is not going away is the scandal over Trump’s impetuous firing of James Comey. If they follow the Russian methodology of disinformation, on the third wave, they will concede it is bad but really not so bad and is in fact much smaller than it is made out to be and someone else’s fault, usually America is the boogeyman, but when it is an American station allegedly, who then? It cannot possibly be Russia or Trump’s fault so get ready for some real propaganda contortionism. Makes one nostalgic for the good ol’ days of the John Birth Society, doesn’t it?
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