The Washington Post reports, “Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III is investigating the finances and business dealings of Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, as part of the investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election”. Also some times let us admit, it is nice to watch the noose tighten around the inner circle of a man who likes to dangle nooses, the irony is rich but not gold-plated or anything Trumpian gaudy. As TRUMPISTAN WATCH does every time The Washington Post has a scoop, sharing this gem from the canon of Greenwald-as-Kremlin-shill, “WashPost Is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia Threat While Public is Deceived”.

From The Washington Post.



The New Zealand Herald reports, “A Nato general visiting New Zealand, General Petr Pavel, confirmed that United States President Donald Trump pressed fellow leaders of the military alliance at a private dinner in Brussels about increasing their defence spending to 3 per cent of gdp. He also raised the possibility of a back payment for countries that hadn’t spent enough.” Pavel however added Trump “had been consistent in his messaging and he didn’t say anything surprising,” as allies were aware by the time of the NATO mini-summit that they were dealing with Kremlin trash. The New Zealand Herald reminds us, “General Pavel is chairman of the Nato military committee, an elected position for a three-year term, and is principal military adviser to Nato’s secretary-general. He was previously Chief of General Staff of the Czech Republic Armed Forces.”

From The New Zealand Herald.



The Guardian reports, “An American lobbyist for Russian interests who helped craft an important foreign policy speech for Donald Trump has confirmed that he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign”. This contradicts testimony the Attorney General gave just this week, the second time he has lied to Congress, the first of course occurring during his confirmation hearing regarding meetings with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. According to The Guardian, “Richard Burt, a former ambassador to Germany during the Reagan administration, who has represented Russian interests in Washington, told the Guardian that he could confirm previous media reports that stated he had contacts with Sessions at the time.” Is he working for Russia now in telling this to The Guardian because we all know Russia just wants is to undermine our system to sow chaos and confusion so as to divide and conquer? The Guardian reports, ““I did attend two dinners with groups of former Republican foreign policy officials and Senator Sessions,” Burt said.

From The Guardian.



The New York Times reports, “Vice President Mike Pence has hired a personal criminal defense lawyer to guide him through the various investigations encircling the White House,” given that he is part of a treasonous puppet regime. According to The New York Times, “Mr. Pence has retained Richard Cullen, a former United States attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, becoming one of the most prominent figures in the Trump administration to have taken on personal white-collar criminal defense counsel.”

From The New York Times.



CNN reports, “In federal court Thursday, CNN filed a lawsuit seeking to force the FBI to turn over former director James Comey’s memos documenting his conversations with President Donald Trump.” Let us hope they win so the will of the people can triumph! According to CNN, “Despite high public interest in the content of the memos, Comey’s testimony that the records are not classified and a ruling from the Justice Department that the FBI should expedite CNN’s FOIA request for the memos, the FBI has not provided either the documents or a reason to withhold them, according to the lawsuit filed in the US District Court for the District of Columbia. That constitutes a violation of the federal Freedom of Information Act, the lawsuit alleges. CNN asked the court to require the agency release the documents ‘unredacted, and without further delay.’”

From CNN.



BBC reports, “Russia’s president has joked he could offer asylum to former FBI chief James Comey if he runs into trouble for leaking recorded conversations with the US president to the press,” in what may be the overplaying of his hand manifold times. He compared Comey to Edward Snowden, which is total nonsense. Putin must think he is going to be able to conduct a great bloody purge on U.S. soil to talk like this. Meanwhile though Kislyak is demanding the compounds back and not getting them, so let us point to a few factors to show that little guy Putin and his cronies are in way over their heads. The rest of the show was pretty much dominated by excuses like Russophobia and conspiracy to explain Putin’s vast and numerous inadequacies as a mafia don dictator, and this is in its highly choreographed form, imagine the real rage.

From BBC.



The Independent reports Putin “has referred to ‘the territories which now belong to Ukraine’ in ominous comments during his annual phone-in.” According to The Independent, “The Russian President made several remarks about Ukraine,” including, “I hope at some time this period in the life and history of Ukraine and the Ukrainian people will come to an end,” as if it is not he who started a war he cannot end without the Ukrainians acting like the docile serfs they have not shown themselves to be. He of course accused Ukrainian nationalists of being crazy Nazis and blamed the entire conflict on Russophobia, a form of hysteria seen among Kremlin officials who blame all their inadequacies on others fear of them, when nobody is reacting to them with fear but rather condescension, derision and mockery.

From The Independent.



The Financial Times reports, “Germany and Austria have castigated new American sanctions on Russia that target Moscow’s controversial Nordstream 2 gas pipeline to Europe, describing them as an illegal threat to EU energy security.” Ok, let us allow for this outburst given all that orange bullshit has done lately and hope our civil servants in Commerce and Energy can dutifully and quietly get them on board without orange bullshit vomiting word diarrhea all over the Twitter. According to The Financial Times, “In a joint statement on Thursday, Berlin and Vienna said the amendment heralded a ‘new and very negative quality in European-American relations.’” Hello Europe, WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP! Do you have any clue what we are dealing with in the United States or what Ukraine has been left to clean up since 2014? When it is your turn you will want the noose tied so tight but continue apace like this and it will not be long. The Financial Times notes, “The Senate move threatens to break a delicate transatlantic consensus on Russia sanctions orchestrated by Chancellor Angela Merkel, which has until now excluded Russia’s export pipelines partly because they involve key German interests.” Oh boy, really count this one as a victory for Russia as the transatlantic partnerships frays further.

From The Financial Times.



Reuters reports, “new plans to nearly double defense spending and add a further 100,000 personnel to its armed forces”. According to Reuters, “Partly a response to Moscow’s actions in Poland’s eastern neighbor Ukraine, the ‘Concept of Defense of the Republic of Poland’ aims to enable Warsaw to resist any possible Russian aggression without having to rely so much on help from the thousands of U.S. and other NATO troops already based in Poland.” However, Reuters notes, “the plan risks alienating Poland’s allies, could allow Russia to exploit new weaknesses and may prove financially ruinous for Warsaw, NATO diplomats, security analysts and some in the Polish military and government say.” Trouble is the signal that Poland’s problematic Defense Minister Antoni Macieriewicz supports it. Reuters reports he said, “In no more than 12 years Poland will be able to defend itself with its own armed forces”. Reuters notes, “About a quarter of the Polish top brass has quit since PiS [Prawo I Sprawiedliwosc, Law and Justice, the Kacyznski-Szydlo government] swept to power in late 2015, citing disagreements with Macierewicz over personnel and other decisions.” According to Reuters one senior government official scoffed, “Self-sufficiency? How? This is absolutely unrealistic,” adding, “Do we really want to send a message to our NATO allies that we don’t care about them?” In Brussels, one official privately told Reuters, “No one can stop any member country from shooting itself in the foot. The consequences of that will be apparent when something really collapses.”

From Reuters.





POLITICO reports the traitor trash fake puppet president cannot shut up and stop obsessing about all the investigations into his ties to Russia swirling around him. Oh, good, that must be “the deep state”! According to POLITICO, “Trump, for months, has bristled almost daily about the ongoing probes. He has sometimes, without prompting, injected. ‘I’m not under investigation’ into conversations with associates and allies. He has watched hours of TV coverage every day — sometimes even storing morning news shows on his TiVo to watch in the evening — and complained nonstop.” Why would Melania have possibly wanted to stay in New York with the boy Barron? POLITICO reports, “Trump has told friends and associates that the investigation is a ‘witch hunt’ and that others are out to get him. ‘It’s basically all he talks about on the phone,’ said one adviser who has spoken with Trump and his top aides.” Wouldn’t you be the slightest bit paranoid if you had been making deals with the Russian mob for years? Good because Trump’s tendency to keep talking and tweeting keeps getting him in trouble.




POLITICO reports, “The Senate Judiciary Committee is launching a wide-ranging probe into the circumstances behind James Comey’s firing as FBI director, as well as any attempts to influence FBI investigations under the Obama administration.” Investigate the investigations until the orange bullshit can no longer swim! This is not like Benghazi or Monica where he will still be sitting in office when it is all over. According to POLITICO, “The committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), laid out his plan in a letter made public Wednesday in response to requests from Democrats to investigate potential obstruction of justice surrounding Comey’s dismissal by President Donald Trump last month.”




POLITICO reports, “Aides and volunteers on Donald Trump’s presidential transition were instructed Thursday to save any records related to ‘several pending investigations into potential attempts by Russia interests to influence the 2016 election,’” citing a memo obtained by the outlet. According to POLITICO, “In the memo from a transition lawyer,” named as Kory Langhofer “of an Arizona lawfirm called Statecraft,” “campaign officials were told to preserve all documents related to the Russian Federation, Ukraine and a number of campaign advisers and officials, including former campaign manager Paul Manafort, advisers Carter Page, Rick Gates and Roger Stone, and former national security adviser Gen. Michael Flynn.” Langhofer previously worked on Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential campaign and Carly Fiorina’s 2016 bid. It is like they know who might form the anatomy of the investigation even then, when everyone from Glenn Greenwald to Donald Trump was telling us it was all fake news.




POLITICO reports Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who appointed former FBI Director Robert Mueller as special counsel following Trump’s decision to fire FBI Director James Comey, “issued an unusual, vague statement Thursday night, casting doubt on a series of recent media reports detailing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s growing probe into the Trump campaign for potential collusion with Russia in the 2016 campaign.” According to POLITICO, Rosenstein “appeared to be taking issue with recent Washington Post and New York Times stories that President Donald Trump himself is now the subject of an obstruction of justice probe, as well as a separate new report from the Post that Mueller is looking into White House senior adviser and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner’s finances.” While the statement mentioned no names or articles, Rosenstein “criticized articles that were attributed to unnamed officials.” Many officials are on record suggesting Trump pressured them to impede the investigation, deny or discredit the leaks; there is little reason to doubt Rosenstein may be facing such pressure from orange Russian bullshit. The statement itself was brief: “Americans should exercise caution before accepting as true any stories attributed to anonymous ‘officials,’ particularly when they do not identify the country — let alone the branch or agency of government — with which the alleged sources supposedly are affiliated. Americans should be skeptical about anonymous allegations. The Department of Justice has a long-established policy to neither confirm nor deny such allegations.” POLITICO notes, “Rosenstein’s statement caught many in Washington off guard.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH surmises this is the minimum required to save his hide under tremendous pressure from the president that likely well exceeds this demand.






Defense One has a long piece from BaltOps from aboard a Norwegian frigate. According to Defense One, “The BALTOPS exercise has been around for decades, but a sleepiness had descended upon it after the end of the Cold War. The focus of the exercise evolved towards softer maritime security tasks, such as counter-terrorism, maritime escort, and interdicting illicit shipments.” Of course everything “changed in 2014, when Russia annexed Crimea and touched off conflict in eastern Ukraine. The Baltic Sea region became a primary friction zone between NATO and Russia, which has since poured billions into military modernization, held a string of snap exercises close to the Western alliance’s most exposed members, and stepped up naval and air activities in the region,” notes Defense One. The changing geopolitical picture “has brought the BALTOPS exercise back to preparing Alliance navies for high-end maritime warfighting.” Defense One reports, “The exercise is led by Vice Adm. Christopher Grady, commander of the U.S. Navy’s Sixth Fleet in Europe, who in interviews repeatedly returns to how ‘brutal the fight at sea would be in the Baltic.’” As the Defense One reporter talks “to the officers and crews of Estonian, German, Danish, Norwegian, Dutch, and American ships, one thing becomes clear: until just a few years ago, their collective minds were focused elsewhere, such as the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, or the Horn of Africa, where the bad guys were more likely armed with AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades, rather than supersonic anti-ship missiles and submarines that nearly rival those of the West.” In conclusion, “NATO is preparing for a brutal fight at sea.” Note who the bad guys are now; in Washington, “bad guys” is most definitely a technical term.

From Defense One.



IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports, “NATO has achieved a joint air/maritime operational picture over the Baltic Sea for the first time.” Did you hear that bad guys? Bad guys better not mess.

From IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly.



Defense One reports on how government agencies are still buying and using Kaspersky Lab anti-virus software. Defense One reports, “The competing priorities of security, intelligence, diplomacy and budget constraints play a role in the melee. So, too, do the rival power centers of a government that’s struggled for years, often unsuccessfully, to manage cybersecurity and technology buying in a unified way.” According to Defense One, “This is the basic paradox: On one hand, top intelligence officials at the FBI, CIA and the National Security Agency tell members of Congress that Kaspersky Lab can’t be trusted, that they wouldn’t put its products on their personal computers, let alone the nation’s. On the other hand, federal agencies still use the Moscow-headquartered anti-virus software. During the past decade, it’s plugged into systems at the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Treasury Department, the National Institutes of Health and U.S. embassies, among other locations, contracting data shows.” Jesus Christ. Why don’t we just tell the Kremlin everything in a single facsimile? Defense One notes, “There’s no public evidence of collusion between Kaspersky and the Russian government, and U.S. officials have never publicly alleged such interference, though it’s common for intelligence agencies to keep such evidence under wraps to avoid revealing intelligence sources and methods.” Kaspersky himself has intelligence ties in his past, but as Defense One rightfully points out so do our top U.S. cyber security firms, it is the nature of the business. In a statement in May, the company flat out denied collusion but given everything we know now about the Russian mafia state and its misuses of technology such a company with such clients would not be overlooked. Had it, the consequences to its bottom line would be devastating, but who said Kaspersky and his company cannot tell a lie? Defense One notes, “There is ample circumstantial evidence Kaspersky may be closely tied to President Vladimir Putin’s government, but it is far from dispositive.”

From Defense One.





Russian state-run TASS reports, “A way towards a new model of the world order based on principles of multipolarity and respect for state sovereignty will be lengthy and will face serious resistance, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a conference of the Russian Committee for Solidarity and Cooperation with the Peoples of Asia and Africa on Thursday.” Be still, our beating Western hearts because that is really what it will take. Also respect for sovereignty is an exquisite troll but TRUMPISTAN WATCH is calling bullshit after last year’s election hacking.

From Russian state-run TASS.





We can all add a dash of Qaddafi’s Libya to the recipe of American authoritarianism now that The Washington Post reports, “Dennis Rodman, the former basketball star who’s now on his fifth visit to Pyongyang, just presented a copy of ‘The Art of the Deal’ to the North Korean leader.” Recall, Kim is one of the many dictators Trump has heaped praise on (while chastising our democratic allies), calling him a “pretty smart cookie”. The Washington Post reminds us, “Trump and Rodman know each other — the former NBA player was on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ — and Kim hosted Rodman in North Korea several times in 2013 and 2014. Rodman has called Kim a ‘friend for life’ and tweeted that Trump ‘has been a great friend for many years.’” So Rodman has “this thing and it’s fucking golden.”

From The Washington Post.



Last week Pamela Anderson was spotted out in Hollywood drunk as a skunk and dangling off the arm “mystery man”. This week, The Daily Mail dutifully informs, “Pamela Anderson, 49, looked excited about her meeting with rumoured boyfriend Julian Assange, 45, as she arrived at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London’s Knightsbridge on Wednesday.”

From The Daily Mail.


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