TRUMP CONFIRMS HE IS INDEED UNDER INVESTIGATION
Last Friday TRUMPISTAN WATCH carried an item about how Trump will pepper unrelated conversations with outbursts of, “I am not under investigation!” Well, guess what? He lied and revealed himself on Twitter. Luckily Washington’s various power centers have actively and consistently worked to undercut him as POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump acknowledged on Friday that he is under investigation for firing FBI Director James Comey, and appeared to attack his own deputy attorney general for launching a special counsel probe that has intensified in recent days.” All hail the leakers in the intelligence community and co-presidents James Mattis + to a far lesser extent, Rex Tillerson, who are clearly in charge now, as confirmed by a recent tweet from Eurasia Group’s Ian Bremmer, a notorious ass kisser once called “the young American” by Putin’s inner circle. As it turns out, if you tell people what they want to hear enough, you may hear some things yourself. Bremmer posted Thursday on Twitter, “Heard from Defense Min of a US ally: Mattis & Tillerson said they make relevant policy decisions & ignore Trump because he’s not in charge.” Surprise! TRUMPISTAN WATCH has been saying as much especially concerning Mattis for some time and we did not require an allied Defense Minister to say so, the obvious was apparent. Trump is not in charge because he is incapacitated by stupid and also is under quite serious investigation. The fake Russian puppet president is truly responsible only for putting on a reality show for the masses from the Oval Office (as the real show happens elsewhere in the geopolitical arena). So how did Trump unmask himself? He tweeted, “I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt”. Is anyone remotely surprised any more? Just please do not lose your capacity for shock on the important things! Masha Gessen’s rule number four of surviving autocracy: be outraged.
FBI WILL NOT RELEASE THE COMEY MEMOS TO MEDIA
BuzzFeed reports, “The FBI will not release memos written by former director James Comey on his interactions with President Trump because they’re part of a ‘pending or prospective law enforcement proceeding,’” despite the numerous Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests for them and the many media organizations that filed suit last week for them citing a lack of responsiveness to the initial FOIA requests.
MANAFORT’S DINNER WITH SUSPECT UKRAINIAN BUSINESSMAN
The Washington Post reports, “In August, as tension mounted over Russia’s role in the U.S. presidential race, Donald Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, sat down to dinner with a business associate from Ukraine who once served in the Russian army. Konstantin Kilimnik, who learned English at a military school that some experts consider a training ground for Russian spies, had helped run the Ukraine office for Manafort’s international political consulting practice for 10 years.” The two dined at the Grand Havana Room, a New York cigar bar, according to a statement Kilimnik gave to The Washington Post through Manafort’s lawyer. During the dinner, according to the statement, “the longtime acquaintances ‘talked about bills unpaid by our clients, about [the] overall situation in Ukraine . . . and about the current news,’ including the presidential campaign,” reports The Washington Post. The dinner was one of two Kilimnik and Manafort had while Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager, the other occurring in May 2016. The Washington Post notes, “Kilimnik is of interest to investigators on the Senate Intelligence Committee” as “Kilimnik’s name also appeared this spring in a previously undisclosed subpoena sought by federal prosecutors looking for information ‘concerning contracts for work . . . communication or other records of correspondence’ related to about two dozen people and businesses that appeared to be connected to Manafort or his wife, including some who worked with Manafort in Kiev.” In Ukraine accusations swirl as to whether Kilimnik worked for Russian intelligence as his political opponent allege but The Washington Post notes so far “U.S. officials have not made that charge.” As far as Kilimnik’s background, “ he was trained in English and Swedish and spent the early 1990s serving as a military translator, including in 1993 on a trade mission of a Russian arms company. He said the GRU, the military intelligence service that U.S. officials have linked to the 2016 cyberattacks, did not recruit from his language academy.” Experts in the U.S. and abroad say that is hogwash and that the Military Institute of the Ministry for Defense where Kilimnik was educated is a “breeding ground” for intelligence agents while another described it as the “favored recruiting grounds” of the GRU, Russia’s foreign military intelligence. As is now TRUMPISTAN WATCH tradition, every time The Washington Post has a scoop is a time to share a gem of Glenn Greenwald’s Russian propaganda efforts, “WashPost is Richly Rewarded for False News About Russia While Public Is Deceived,” to remind all that not only is Glenn Greenwald full of shit but that the Russians will play left and right to sow the seeds of chaos with the ultimate goal of dividing and conquering.
From The Washington Post.
INVESTIGATORS WANT TO TALK TO TRUMP DIGITAL DIRECTOR
CNN reports, “House Russia investigators are planning to call on Brad Parscale, the digital director of President Donald Trump’s campaign”. According to CNN, “The House Russia investigation is planning to send an invite to Parscale soon”. On Friday, Parscale told CNN “that he had not been contacted by any investigators — either federal or Congressional.” Like his boss, the mafia don pretending to run the country who answers to a bigger godfather in the Kremlin, Parscale was dismissive of Russian influence in the election results.
NAVALNY’S JAIL TIME REDUCED BY FIVE DAYS
The AP reports, “A Moscow court has reduced jail time for Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny by five days.” Recall, “Navalny was sentenced to 30 days in jail on Monday for staging an unsanctioned rally after he was detained outside his home before he could even make way to the protest in Moscow.”
From the AP.
NAVALNY COLLEAGUES FLEE TO UKRAINE
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Two activists from Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny’s Anticorruption Foundation (FBK) have fled to Ukraine after state media regulator Roskomnadzor launched investigations against them,” naming them as “Vladislav Zdolnikov, an FBK IT consultant, and activist Aleksandr Brusentsev”. The two crossed into Ukraine on June 15 and requested political asylum according to Ukraine’s Border Guard Service but “the activists told the BBC that they had not asked for asylum and were not planning to do so.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “The activists told the BBC that Roskomnadzor suspected them of illegally blocking access to some websites by using a vulnerability of the government’s system for blocking banned websites.” Accordingly, “They said they planned to stay in Ukraine temporarily until the situation around Roskomnadzor’s allegations was cleared up.”
NATO SECRETARY GENERAL ARRIVES IN LATVIA
The Latvian Information Agency Leta reports, “NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg will arrive in Latvia next Monday, June 19, to attend the welcoming ceremony for the NATO multinational battalion-size battlegroup,” citing a NATO press release. Also, “Stoltenberg is scheduled to meet with President Raimonds Vejonis in Riga Castle. The meeting is expected to focus on the security situation in the region, NATO’s Enhance Forward Presence in the Baltics and Poland, as well as joint action aimed at reducing hybrid threats.”
From the Latvian Information Agency Leta.
NATO TRAINS TO DEFEND SUWALKI GAP
Reuters reports, “U.S. and British troops have carried out the first large-scale NATO defensive drill on the border between Poland and Lithuania, rehearsing for a possible scenario in which Russia might try to sever the Baltic states from the rest of the Western alliance.” Recall the Suwalki Gap is 65 miles (104 kilometers) of “farmland, woods and low hills” that “If seized by Russia, it would cut off Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania.” Reuters reports, “Over two days, U.S. helicopters and British aircraft took part in exercises that also involved troops from Poland, Lithuania and Croatia in a simulated defense of the potential flashpoint.”
600 U.S. TROOPS TO BE STATIONED IN THE BALTIC STATES DURING ZAPAD
Estonian Public Broadcasting reports, “Commander of the U.S. Army in Europe, Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges, said that the U.S. would station three units of altogether up to 600 troops across the Baltic countries for the duration of the large-scale Russian military exercise Zapad taking place this fall,” citing a Reuters report on Friday. Hodges noted concern “about a possible Russian aggression during the Zapad exercise in September.” “When (Russia) went into Crimea, that was against the backdrop of an exercise. When they went into Georgia, that was an exercise,” Hodges told Reuters. Recall, Zapad is the massive biannual Russian military exercise set to occur in September. Note, “NATO officials believe Zapad could involve more than 100,000 troops this year, which would make it the biggest since 2013.”
UKRAINE PREPARES FOR NATO TRAINING CENTER
The Kyiv Post reports, “Ukraine’s state-run Ukroboronprom is preparing to create a training center for security and defense experts with the help of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.” According to The Kyiv Post, ‘“The initiative will ensure preparation of qualified specialists, who can conduct reforms of Ukraine’s military industrial complex, introduce NATO standards, improve quality and more closely integrate with NATO, as well as much, much more,” Ukroboronprom deputy head said. The story has no official comment from NATO.
From The Kyiv Post.
THE SORT OF CLEAVAGE TRUMP DOES NOT LIKE + CANNOT HANDLE
POLITICO features a story, “Escalating investigation puts Trump and his staff at legal odds,” which explains, “The legal interests of President Donald Trump and his aides are dramatically diverging as special counsel Robert Mueller expands his probe into possible obstruction of justice – and as the president ratchets up his attacks on the investigators.” An autocrat who demands sycophancy from his staff and followers will have so many problems with this type of cleavage! Hilariously, “Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, recently told White House staffers they can rely on him, rather than hire their own lawyers, some of the people closest to Trump aren’t taking that advice.” Of course Pence lawyered up in hiring his own counsel last week and so did Trump’s longtime personal attorney Michael Cohen. Despite the unfavorable headlines about both moves, good lawyers usually have their own lawyers in the first instance (and malpractice insurance), so Cohen hiring a lawyer suggests he might not have been much of one in the first instance. Ditto for Kasowitz since “the president’s personal attorney has a clear conflict of interest and can’t legally represent White House aides, so any staff who follow his suggestion are vulnerable if they get swept up in the rapidly expanding special counsel and congressional investigations.” Ooops. Now let’s hear from William Jeffress, “a white-collar attorney who represented Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby, in the CIA leak investigation”! “I just worry staffers in the White House will feel that it’s a test of their loyalty to Trump whether they’re willing to follow Kasowitz’s wishes. That could be very dangerous to them,” Jeffress told POLITICO adding, “I kind of feel sorry for them in a way.” No one should feel sorry for the Trumpkins and not just because they are terrible people but because they know what they signed up for and that was a racist, sexist, treasonous regime. Now let us allow Clinton White House Advisor Lanny Davis to take a swing! “If you’re not a lawyer and you don’t know lawyers you’re going to think Kasowitz is giving you good advice,” adding, “There’s not a single lawyer who’d not be worried about having a lawyer say you don’t need a lawyer.” What’s more POLITICO adds, “Staffers without legal counsel also could put themselves at risk by speaking with the president’s lawyer and exposing themselves to charges of improper witness collusion — even if that’s not what they’re doing.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
FLYNN’S RUSSIAN BUSINESS TIES
The New York Times features a story on the Flynn Intel Group, the firm of ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn where Flynn’s Russian business ties are discussed. The New York Times reports, “In 2015, Mr. Flynn accepted a payment from Kaspersky Lab, a Russian research firm that works to uncover Western government spyware and whose founder has long been suspected of having ties to Russian intelligence services.” And thus a partnership to destroy American sovereignty began! According to The New York Times, “In 2015, the firm’s American subsidiary, Kaspersky Government Security Solutions Inc., paid him $11,250. The same year, Mr. Flynn received the same amount from Volga-Dnepr Airlines, a Russian carrier that has been examined by the United Nations for bribery.” You know how cheap our officials must look to kleptocrats the world over? Ours is the cheapest government to buy in the history of the world; recall it used to involve marriage of an heir or in modern times, carving up the state’s assets. But $11,250?! And the Russians complain the Soviet Union was sold for scrap?! For Flynn’s nation betraying appearance at the now infamous Russian state-run RT gala, he was paid a measly $45,000 — measly in the context of what it costs to bribe Russian officials. In America, $45,000 will get the ousted former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency a place of prominence at a table beside your nation’s dictator, never mind if the dictator comes from a nation that is an outstanding U.S. adversary since forever or happens to be a murderous kleptocrat and accused pedophile. None of this new information, though, but it bears repeating.
From The New York Times.
WASHINGTON POST NOW RECAPPING PRESIDENCY LIKE A REALITY SHOW
It was only a matter of time. The Washington Post is now writing recaps for what it calls “The Trump Show,” as if it were the Kardashians or some “Apprentice” reboot or any other addictive reality show the masses are hooked on. For instance, in their recap, The Washington Post notes, “The Ivanka storyline this week seemed intended to position her as struggling with her father’s decision-making, though the story didn’t live up to the ‘Why I Disagree With My Dad’ headline.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH does not really know much about the teevees and the genre of reading about television seems beyond counter-intuitive; doesn’t television exist so people don’t read? Yet, here we are, with a major American newspaper writing about our country’s highest political office in a way that fits it within the genre of the lowest form, reality TV, of an already lowly form, namely television. If the medium is the message then Neil Postman is right, we are amusing ourselves to death. Surprise!
From The Washington Post.
MEGYN KELLY LEAKS, PART I: IS BEING DICTATOR FOR LIFE HARD ON PUTIN?
The Huffington Post reports, “unedited footage from her [Megyn Kelly’s] recent interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin shows a nervous Kelly who asked the authoritarian leader softball questions and failed to hold him accountable on key topics. Most troubling, Kelly devoted precious time in her short interview to a question that led one former CIA Russia analyst to say that it sounded as if Putin had written the question himself.” You see, foreign and domestic TRUMPISTAN WATCHians, Kelly has what we call “American generic hot” looks, so has only developed only one game because at faux news Fox News there were very few rules but the ones most strictly enforced concerned the American generic hotness of its female correspondents and of course ratings, and she excelled at both, truth and humanity be damned. According to Huffington Post, “In the full, unedited discussion… Kelly repeatedly fails to interrupt the Russian president while he rambles in his responses. She also asks Putin questions he can easily dispute.” Oh my god, you mean she kind of sucks at her job when it does not involve demonizing Muslims and immigrants? Huffington Post notes, “The last question Kelly asked Putin, which was not aired, was startling in its pandering.” Ready for it? “You’ve been in the leadership of this country for 17 years now. Has it taken any sort of personal toll on you?” Does the murderous dictator cry? If you prick the murderous dictator does he bleed? Could she pet Putin’s ego any more? The Huffington Post also notes, “Kelly had just 20 minutes with the de-facto dictator… Kelly needed to hit key questions quickly. She didn’t.” During a plenary session at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum hosted by Kelly with Putin and Indian leader Modi, Kelly even asked a stinking obvious stupid question about whether sanctions “hurt more than helped,” because it’s kind of clear she really either does not know much about foreign affairs having never reported on them or her years at faux news Fox News taught her to be an expert at one thing beyond being blond: pandering to extremists. She probably did not understand either how she was supposed to be menaced by Putin’s reference to her kids.
From Huffington Post.
MEGYN KELLY LEAKS, PART II: TROLLED BY TROLL
Live by sleaze, die by sleaze. BuzzFeed reports, “After a week of roiling controversy surrounding the conspiracy theorist’s upcoming interview with Megyn Kelly, Jones announced a plan to take the interview into his own hands and scoop NBC. He’d been secretly recording Kelly’s day-long interview and was going to release the tapes in full on his own website three days before the primetime airing.” So much for an exclusive with Trump’s favorite conspiracy loon who thinks 9/11 was an inside job and the Sandy Hook slaughter of first graders was a hoax. In the audio he released, the former faux news Fox News lady says, “It’s not going to be some gotcha hit piece, I promise you that.” According to BuzzFeed, “The trailer ricocheted around the internet. There were questions of the legality of Jones’ maneuver and endless tweets that NBC was getting what it deserved for inviting Jones on its program.” Well, yes. BuzzFeed accurately assesses, “For Kelly and NBC it was yet another crisis in what has been an extraordinarily long week. And for Jones’ fans and the pro-Trump media — who reveled in the moment on Twitter — it was a dream scenario: a well-executed, embarrassing troll.” Kelly accordingly told Jones that she wanted viewers to walk away saying, “You know, I see the dad in him. I see the guy who loves those kids and is more complex than I’ve been led to believe.” Oh, my. Why? What else? Kelly told Jones, “This is not going to be a contentious gotcha exchange. I want to do in-depth profiles on people. I could ask you [about Sandy Hook] and say, ‘This is what the critics say’ — but this isn’t gonna be an ‘a-ha! Let’s play a clip.’” Well, why not? Kelly said, “It doesn’t do me any good if I do that to you and you go out there and say, ‘She did a hit piece on me’…and next time I try to get somebody they’ll say, ‘Look what you did to Alex Jones, screw you.’” Um, who are you aiming to interview Megyn? Anyone who actually deserves a fair hearing, because you know, as Kelly tweeted, “our job is 2 shine a light”? BuzzFeed notes, “After a week in which Kelly and her producers have repeatedly assured viewers and the press that the interview will hold Jones to account, the leaked audio — from weeks before the interview — suggests a soft-focus piece designed to humanize Jones.” Why, yes.
ASSANGE + WIKILEAKS WANT POITRAS DISTRIBUTORS TO CEASE + DESIST
Newsweek features an opinion article from the producers of “Risk,” including director Laura Poitras, who is also responsible for “Citizenfour,” about Edward Snowden, on WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange efforts to shut down his own biopic from distribution that went from flattering to critical portrayal of the organization’s culture of misogyny without touching at all on his ties to Russia. Most hilariously, the so-called transparency zealot (as long as said transparency is limited to everyone else), “Julian Assange and WikiLeaks sent cease and desist letters to our distributors demanding they stop the release of Risk”. LOL! Is he for real? Once upon a time, when Assange misread Poitras as a left-wing dupe who would make a fawning hagiography, “Assange and WikiLeaks freely consented to participating in the film, knowing we were making an independent documentary”. According to Poitras and her co-producers, “WikiLeaks’ comments have consistently been about image management, including: demands to remove scenes from the film where Assange discusses sexual assault allegations against him; requests to remove images of alcohol bottles in the embassy because Ecuador is a Catholic country and it looks bad; requests to include mentions of WikiLeaks in the 2016 U.S. presidential debates; and, requests to add more scenes with attorney Amal Clooney because she makes WikiLeaks look good.” Poitras herself sees the irony in “Their attempts to censor the content of the film are an effort to prevent reporting on Assange’s own words. They also constitute a saddening break with WikiLeaks’ own ideals.” (Hey not the first time, not a break.) Poitras notes, “All the participants in Risk agreed for years to be in the film” but now with their cease and desist nonsense and retroactive demands for permission to release the film another further hypocrisy emerges as “Assange himself has criticized the media for seeking permission from public figures before releasing stories.”
RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA TAKES AIM AT CANADIAN TROOPS IN LATVIA
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reports, “Russian-language propagandists are taking aim at Canada’s military mission to Latvia by linking the troops to the Armed Forces’ most-disgraced commander. A website with the same name as a prominent Russian news program has republished infamous photos of convicted killer Russell Williams, a former commander in Canada’s air force, posing in women’s underwear, suggesting the Canadian military is full of homosexuals and shouldn’t be counted on by Latvians.” According to the CBC, “The article appeared on a Russian-language news site called Vesti.lv, which is also the name of a TV news show in Russia. The story mocks Canada’s military mission in Latvia with the headline, ‘The Gay Battlegroup: NATO has dug into Latvia.’” Isn’t that clever? News flash to Russia and its propagandists: there is nothing wrong with being gay, there is however something deeply wrong with the Russian mafia state that has as its godfather an accused pedophile. Also former Secretary of the U.S. Army Eric Fanning was gay. So hey Russia, in the civilized world we long ago stopped acting like gay means you are a limp wristed Dorothy who walks around with a feather bow and speaks with a lisp. The CBC notes, “A Latvian expert in Russian propaganda against NATO, Col. Ilmars A. Lejins, says every country in the alliance with troops in the region has been targeted, and Canada should expect the internet assault to continue.” Other articles have suggested “NATO troops could be walking around Riga with loaded guns, posing a public safety threat.”
From the CBC.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
RUSSIA GRANTED SIX TRUMP TRADEMARKS IN 2016
And four were granted on Election Day, November 8, 2016! According to The Daily Mail, “Rospatent granted the Trump Organization six extensions on previously acquired trademarks in 2016” including trademarks on Trump Tower, Trump Home and Trump vodka, each of which is undoubtedly horrible in its own way. According to The Daily Mail, “The first was secured in 1996 and was for a Trump Tower in Moscow that was never built.” So much for the lying puppets claims to never had anything to do with Russia but we already knew Trump is a liar who cannot be trusted to tell any truths that may be inconvenient to him at any given moment.
From The Daily Mail.
PAMELA’S RUSSIAN HANDLERS MAY BE HAVING TOO MUCH FUN
The Sun reports on the latest so-called love letter signed, “I love you, Pamela” to WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange. If you believe Anderson paid enough attention to French politics and support Julian, you will probably eat up her latest Theresa May trashing “love letter” which was shared on both her personal website and by WikiLeaks on Twitter. Looking forward to the day of some clunky transliteration from Russian to English busts this little operational subplot wide open because TRUMPISTAN WATCH is getting bored by this D-list celebrity love story that is beyond plausible and undeniably inauthentic as it goes on and Anderson delves into her alleged political views which before Assange went as deep as don’t hurt the cute fury animals.
From The Sun.
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