UDAY’S TREASON: WHO WAS AT THE TABLE
On Friday, every hour it seemed a new Russian emerged at a June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower attended by Donald “Uday” Trump Jr., princeling Jared Kushner and campaign manager Paul Manafort. At the start of the week we learned of the meeting with Kremlin-linked lawyer and anti-Magnitsky act crusader Natalia Veselnitskaya. Recall the meeting was ostensibly arranged for the Agalarovs, father Aras, an oligarch, and his pop star son Emin, by Emin’s publicist, Rob Goldstone. So, let’s look at who these new Russians are at the table of Uday’s treason:
– RINAT AKHMETSHIN: NBC News, which interviewed Veselnitskaya mid-week last week was first it seems to report she “was accompanied by a Russian-American lobbyist — a former Soviet counter intelligence officer who is suspected by some U.S. officials of having ongoing ties to Russian intelligence”. Putin has acknowledged there is no such thing as a former Russian intelligence officer, as Business Insider reminds us. According to NBC News, “The Russian-born American lobbyist served in the Soviet military and emigrated to the U.S., where he holds dual citizenship.” Business Insider cites in AP report confirming, “Rinat Akhmetshin, a Russian-born lobbyist who since at least last year has been working with the lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya, to overturn a US law sanctioning Russians, confirmed his participation”. According to CNN, “A staffer on the House Foreign Affairs Committee was concerned when Akhmetshin showed up at one of their hearings last year,” including the same one Veselnitskaya attended, that the staffer fired off an email that “described Akhmetshin as a former spy who ‘specializes in active measures campaigns.’” As such The Los Angeles Times reports Akhmetshin “had previously lobbied Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach) at least twice about U.S. relations with Russia.” Recall Rohrbacher is Putin’s favorite congressman. According to Bill Browder, who hired Sergey Magnitsky, the lawyer who turned up dead in a Russian jail after investigating a $230 million tax fraud and for whom the Magnitsky Act is named, said Akhmetshin’s presence is “highly significant,” Business Insider notes. Browder told Business Insider, “you had a member of Putin’s secret police directly meeting with the son of the future next president of the United States asking to change US sanctions policy crucial to Putin.” Citing an earlier Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty report, Business Insider notes Akhmetshin is listed “as the lead lobbyist for the foundation” that was established to work with Veselnitskaya to overturn the Magnitsky Act, a nonprofit company in Delaware called the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative Foundation, established by Denis Katsyv, “the owner of Prevezon and the son of a senior Russian government official, Pyotr Katsyv”.
– ANATOLI SAMOCHORNOV: The Daily Beast reports, “A translator named Anatoli Samochornov was in the meeting between Donald Trump’s campaign team and two Russian lobbyists last year. Samochornov was named on Friday by Rinat Akhmetshin,” as it is ever evident the Kremlin is having a massive temper tantrum about the lack of sanctions relief and increased bilateral tensions and is willing to throw absolutely everyone and everything under the bus. This is called kitchen sink crisis decision making in the vernacular and reflects the overall absence of a true grand strategy. So who is Samochornov? According to The Daily Beast, “Samochornov, an American citizen, has worked as a translator for Natalia Veselnitskaya,” who probably does not need one as she runs a Twitter in perfect English and you do not stick a spy with no language skills in a House foreign affairs committee hearing in the front row who cannot understand the proceedings. So who is Samochornov really? According to The Daily Beast, “Samochornov has a long track record of interpreting for governmental agencies and dignitaries, including Russia’s leading human rights activist and the U.S. State Department.” American writer Julia Ioffe tweeted he turned up to moderate a panel organized by the likely very infiltrated in the U.S. and Russia PEN foundation she sat on at the New York Public Library. So now for real who is Samochornov? With a profile like this, TRUMPISTAN WATCH smells a probable Russian intelligence agent.
From The Daily Beast.
FLORIDA TRUMP CAMPAIGN CHAIR LINKED TO VESELNITSKAYA HILL SEAT
ABC News reports, “The husband of the former Florida chair of the Trump campaign obtained a front-row seat to a June 2016 House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing for Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Russian attorney who had met with Donald Trump Jr. at Trump Tower eight days prior.” ABC News confirms, “Lanny Wiles, the husband of former Florida campaign chair Susie Wiles, saved the prominent seat for Veselnitskaya at the June 14 hearing on ‘U.S. Policy Toward Putin’s Russia’”. Of course like everything else related to Russia and its bullshit, the denials are fast coming as ABC News writes, “Lanny Wiles told ABC News he has ‘absolute, zero connection’ to any relations the Russian lawyer may have had to the Trump campaign,” and wife Susie Wiles “told ABC News she was not aware of who her husband reserved seats for in the Congressional hearing, and said she has no knowledge of Veselnitskaya’s contact with the Trump campaign.” Susie said, “It’s an unfortunate coincidence that I was helping and supporting Donald Trump’s candidacy while this meeting was going on.” The easiest way to avoid being caught cavorting with or facilitating fascists is not to be one in the first instance. Not only that but aren’t there so many coincidences already, aren’t you TRUMPISTAN WATCHians totally overwhelmed by how many coincidences there are?!
From ABC News.
WHITE HOUSE HIRES TAX PAYER FUNDED IN HOUSE RUSSIA COUNSEL
Surprise! The traitor trash Trumps shirk paying their share on the bills on anything and everything, so now it’s on the taxpayer to defend Trump and his idiot family from treason charges. CBS News reports, “President Trump has hired attorney Ty Cobb to be in-house ‘special counsel’ to handle Russia-related matters, the White House announced Saturday.” As CBS News notes, “Unlike other attorneys the president has hired, Cobb will work inside the White House — not outside — to help President Trump navigate the various Russia-related investigations. That means he is a taxpayer-funded hire.” Trump is not just wasting our time and our country; he is now wasting our money because he fathered a litter of fools. Remember, the buck never ever stops with Trump.
From CBS News.
TRUMP CAMPAIGN PAID UDAY’S LAWYER 2 WEEKS BEFORE TREASON STORY
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump’s campaign committee made a payment to the law firm of an attorney representing Donald Trump Jr. last month, nearly two weeks before it was announced that the same attorney would be representing the president’s son in Russia-related probes, according to a campaign finance report filed Saturday.” This suggests they may have been tipped off to what was coming, possibly by a threat from the Kremlin, which seems to be the source of the leak as Veselnitskaya was so quick to give her defense on American television. According to The Washington Post, “The committee reported in the filing to the Federal Election Commission that it paid $50,000 to the law firm of attorney Alan Futerfas on June 27. That payment was made 13 days before it was publicly revealed that Futerfas would represent Trump’s eldest son”. The Washington Post notes, “The filing also revealed that the campaign committee paid the Trump Corporation — a company being run by Trump Jr. and his brother Eric — more than $89,000 on June 30 for ‘legal consulting.’” “Trump supporters poured $13.4 million into three Trump committees between April 1 and June 30, including $5.9 million that went to his principal campaign committee. During the same period, that committee spent $4.37 million, including $677,000 on legal expenses,” The Washington Post reports.
From The Washington Post.
DID IVANKA MAKE SAME OMISSIONS ON SECURITY CLEARANCE AS JARED?
POLITICO reports, “Congressional Democrats raising questions about Jared Kushner’s campaign contacts with Russia are beginning to ask: What did Ivanka Trump know, and when?” POLITICO notes, “Ivanka Trump, like Kushner, applied for a security clearance this past spring — and as a result, she was required to disclose not only her own foreign contacts, but those of her spouse and siblings as well. Democrats want to know if she made some of the same omissions as her husband.” In addition to princeling Jared’s meetings and idiot brother Uday’s meetings, there is also Aryan princess Ivanka’s “well-documented” relationship with Roman Abramovich’s wife, Dasha Zhukova, a fixture on the fashion world circuit. And “She’s also made trips to Russia to scout out business deals for the Trump Organization, and she even met in 2014 with Emin Agalarov,” POLITICO notes. Feel the fire, Aryan princess Ivanka! As an American idiom puts it, if you can’t stand the heat, get the hell out of the kitchen.
THE AGALAROVS ARE VACATING NEW JERSEY + SELLING THEIR HOMES
The New York Post reports, “The Russian-Azeri billionaire whose son is tied to the escalating Donald Trump Jr. email scandal is in contract to sell his Alpine, NJ mansion,” as Emin’s New Jersey home has also been on the market for over a year. What might prompt the oligarch and his progeny to vacate New Jersey? Might they sense they might not be welcome on our shores again in the near future? The New York Post reports, “Aras Agalarov bought an $8 million mansion at 159 Anderson Avenue in 2007,” adding, “Emin also owns a New Jersey home, which he bought with his father for $3 million in 2008.” There are photo galleries of both homes. The New York Post notes that according to the local listings, “Aras Agalarov listed his $8 million home for the low price of $6.98 million last month — and included the furniture in the sale”. “A contract was signed on Tuesday, as Agalarov and his son’s relationship with the Trumps made headlines,” The New York Post reports. A source told The New York Post, “It could be a coincidence,” but that seems highly unlikely. Who is the buyer? As for the real estate porn of it, a 400 foot driveway leads to, “The seven bedroom, ten bathroom home at 159 Anderson Avenue in Alpine sits on 2.5 acres. Built in 2001, the home features a dramatic double bridal staircase and a great room with oversized windows overlooking a landscaped yard and fountain. It also boasts a large family room, a library, vaulted ceilings, fireplaces, a formal dining room, a chef’s kitchen with a butler’s pantry, and a wet bar with a built-in aquarium. There’s also a fully finished basement with a recreation room, a media room, a gym with a sauna, a wine cellar and an extra bedroom.” Son Emin’s pad at 98 Anderson Avenue is similarly tricked out, “six bedrooms and seven and a half bathrooms. Built in 2007, it sits on .77 acres. It features a two-story foyer with its own bridal staircase, a great room with floor to ceiling windows and French doors that lead to the patio and backyard. There’s also a chef’s kitchen and a finished basement with a recreation room, a ‘full bar,’ a home theater, wine cellar and gym.” It must be a difficult life being an Agalarov.
From The New York Post.
DOJ RELEASES PRIVATE RUSSIAN SESSIONS SECURITY CLEARANCE LIES
U.S. News and World Report writes, “The Justice Department released a heavily redacted portion of a security clearance form Thursday confirming that Attorney General Jeff Sessions did not disclose meetings with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S.” Private Russian “Sessions checked ‘No’ in response to the question, “Have you or any member of your immediate family in the past seven (7) years had any contact with a foreign government, its establishment (such as embassy, consulate, agency, military service, intelligence or security service, etc.) or its representatives, whether inside or outside the U.S.?” That is a lie because in fact “Sessions confirmed in March that he had, in fact, had two meetings with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak within the past year and that he had not noted them on the security form”. This is America’s highest law enforcement official, so the road to lawless Russian style bullshit is one we are on.
FIRED FBI DIRECTOR JAMES COMEY TO WRITE A BOOK
The New York Times reports, “Mr. Comey has been meeting with editors and publishers in New York in recent days”. According to The New York Times, “The book is expected to go to auction this coming week, and all the major publishing houses have expressed keen interest,” adding, “Almost immediately after his firing, agents and publishers pounced”. “Mr. Comey’s book will go through the standard legal and governmental vetting to ensure that nothing classified is disclosed. But it may still contain some previously unrevealed details about Mr. Comey’s dealings with Mr. Trump,” The New York Times notes. Should be fun.
From The New York Times.
TURKEY TURNS AWAY FROM NATO
Bloomberg reports, “Turkey has agreed to pay $2.5 billion to acquire Russia’s most advanced missile defense system, a senior Turkish official said, in a deal that signals a turn away from the NATO military alliance that has anchored Turkey to the West for more than six decades.” Oh are they going to live to regret this because at the end of the day, the U.S. and NATO are far more reliable allies than Russia, but live and learn. After all, the dictator always knows best until he is ousted from power in a savage fall from grace. According to Bloomberg, “The preliminary agreement sees Turkey receiving two S-400 missile batteries from Russia within the next year, and then producing another two inside Turkey, according to the Turkish official, who asked not to be named because of the sensitivity of the matter.” This could be considered a fairly major geopolitical victory for Russia, assuming it does not fall through, as it is likely bound to because Russians keeping their word is not a thing that happens very often or with any regularity, certainty or probability worth wagering on. More likely it’s a bid to scare the West into concessions or merely acknowledging the supremacy of the greatness of Erdogan. Bloomberg notes, “The S-400 is designed to detect, track and then destroy aircraft, drones or missiles.”
NATO JETS SCRAMBLED ONCE FROM LITHUANIA TO INTERCEPT RUSSIA
The Baltic Times reports, “Fighter aircraft deployed in Lithuania to conduct the NATO air-policing mission in the Baltic states were last week scrambled once to intercept military aircraft of the Russian Federation in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. According to the press release, NATO fighter-jets were scrambled to identify and escort one Tu-134 and one Su-27 military aircraft of the Russian Federation flying from Kaliningrad to mainland Russia in international airspace over the Baltic Sea. The Tu-134 had its onboard transponder on, a pre-filed flight plan, and kept radio contact with regional air traffic control center. The Su-27 complied with none of those requirements.”
From The Baltic Times.
RUSSIA’S FOREIGN MINISTRY LASHES OUT ABOUT BALTIC RESISTANCE FILM
The Moscow Times reports, “Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Maria Zakharova, has lashed out at a new film produced by NATO that documents anti-Soviet resistance in the Baltic States after World War II.” The NATO film called “Forest Brothers,” “describes the partisan units in the three Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania which fought for independence from the Soviet Union between 1945 and 1953,” according to The Moscow Times. Of course Russia hates brave patriots of nations it subjugated and terrorized through mass repression, torture, gulags, death en masse and total colonization of the local economy. Everyone Russia does not like is a Nazi because only Comrade Józef has the right to kill large numbers of innocent civilians. So Zakharova wrote on Facebook, “This movement was created on the basis of fascist remnants who collaborated with German occupational authorities,” because that is so damn original. Not only were the “Forest Brothers” Nazis, according to the occupiers Russia, they were supported by “Western intelligence agencies,” so the CIA, who coincidentally Trump also called Nazis — just a coincidence! A Facebook post about the film made by the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs was delightfully trolled with truth by Baltic states’ citizens so effectively that no one should forget denial is the final stage of genocide.
From The Moscow Times.
BRITON JAILED FOR JOINING RUSSIAN MILITIA IN UKRAINE
BBC News reports, “Benjamin Stimson, from Oldham, Greater Manchester, pleaded guilty to an offence under UK terrorism laws. The 41-year-old, who is the first Briton involved in the Ukrainian conflict to have faced charges, travelled out in 2015 to join pro-Russian rebels.” Stimson received a sentence of five years and four months after he “admitted intending to commit acts of terrorism and engaging in their preparation” in the Donbass region. Genius “Stimson posted a photograph of himself on Facebook holding an AK-47 and summed up Donbass as ‘vodka, women and guns,’” according to the BBC. The precedent is set. Memo to Stimson and other aspirants to this kind of stupid: all those things are available in the free world you need not to join some fascist rebel outfit to find them. As BBC’s home affairs correspondent notes, “Benjamin Stimson’s case is unusual – but it’s really important because his conviction and jailing illustrates that terrorism legislation is not focused on offenders from one community who turn to violent extremism for one cause.”
From BBC News.
RUSSIANS HOLD UKRAINIAN BLOGGER IN OCCUPIED DONETSK
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Amnesty International says it has information that a missing Ukrainian blogger is being held by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine’s eastern region of Donetsk.” In a statement released on July 12, “Amnesty said it had received information on July 8 from sources in the Donetsk region saying that Stanislav Aseyev is being held by the self-styled security organs of the Russia-backed separatists,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, noting, “Aseyev, who writes under the name Stanislav Vasin and who contributes to RFE/RL’s Ukrainian Service, disappeared in Donetsk on June 2.” Of course Russia and its proxies in Donetsk deny taking Aseyev because they always do. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, “Amnesty said it was a common practice for the separatists to keep in custody people they suspect of disloyalty to what they call the Donetsk People’s Republic or of ‘subversive’ activities incommunicado while denying knowledge of their whereabouts.” According to Amnesty, “Aseyev remained at risk of torture and other ill-treatment”. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty “Editor in Chief Nenad Pejic said earlier that Aseyev’s detention, if true, was ‘deeply alarming and lawless’.”
THE BEST DEFENSE IS THERE ARE NO RUSSIANS IN RUSSIA OR ANYWHERE
CBS News reports, “On Friday, former Trump campaign adviser Michael Caputo testified” before the House intelligence committee. Caputo said of the four hour meet and greet, “I had no contact with Russians and I never heard of anyone in the Trump campaign talking with Russians”. This is very funny because “Caputo, who was on the Trump campaign from November 2015 to June 2016, had lived in Russia in the 1990s while working for the U.S. government. He returned to the U.S. in 2000 and worked as a public relations adviser to a subsidiary of the state-owned Russian conglomerate, Gazprom,” CBS News reports. The Washington Examiner notes he married a Russian woman. Over the weekend, despite marrying a Russian, living in Russia, and working for Gazprom, Caputo told CNN, “No one ever breathed the word ‘Russia’ to me”. That’s remarkable – or at least it would be if it were in any way plausibly true. Of course the truth is more complex as CNN reports, “Caputo’s history in Russia dates to 1994, when he says the US government sent him there to help the country’s young government design election laws.” He “flippantly” told the network, “I was sent there by the Clinton administration to meddle in their elections,” so he resigned and opened a public relations firm in Moscow in 1995, likely sensing there was way more money to be made in the private than the public sector. CNN notes Caputo “helped create a program similar to America’s ‘Rock the Vote’ and advised then-President Boris Yeltsin on his re-election campaign. He moved back to the US in 2000 after the Russian economy collapsed and Vladimir Putin was elected president.” He became a protégé of Roger Stone. While he claims to CNN his work in the post-Soviet world stopped in 2000, there is the “work he did for Gazprom Media, a subsidiary of the Russian state-owned energy company that took over an independent TV station in 2001. When pro-democracy groups blasted Putin and his government for violating press freedoms, Caputo was brought in to help smooth things over,” which he denies having done now. Things soured though and “In 2004, however, he wrote a column in The Washington Post in which he referred to the oligarchs as “brutal billionaires.” Facing death threats, he bought a tugboat and a gun and lived at sea — with a white parrot — for most of five years, supposedly. Caputo took a break from the boat in 2007 to consult on a parliamentary campaign in Ukraine, where he met his second wife. He has been particularly critical of Putin for Russia’s invasion of Crimea in 2014,” CNN reports. Then “In 2015, he re-established an old partnership with Sergey ‘George’ Petrushin, founder of the Zeppelin nightclub in Moscow. Their PR agency has offices in New York, Miami and Moscow,” CNN notes.
TRUMP DIGITAL DIRECTOR BRAD PARSCALE ALSO DENIES RUSSIA ROLE
CBS News reports, “Also on Friday, Brad Parscale, the Trump campaign’s data and digital director, tweeted he’ll speak with House investigators. He said he’s “unaware of any Russian involvement” and will share with the committee “everything I know.” The Hill notes, “Committee members have said that they plan to look into the use of ‘fake news’ and whether the Trump campaign helped distribute such information,” or rather, disinformation. The Hill adds, “United States intelligence officials have determined that Russia attempted to meddle in the election through hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the spread of ‘fake news.’”
DARKNESS AT NUNES: THE IMMORAL UNIVERSE
Bloomberg reports, “House Republicans plan to give federal prosecutors what they say is evidence that Obama administration officials illegally shared or leaked names of associates of President Donald Trump that were incidentally collected in U.S. government eavesdropping.” Recall again, this is not only an unfounded conspiracy originating on Trump’s Twitter, an allegation no one has substantiated. DARKNESS AT NUNES is running constant and continuous interference in an effort to obstruct an effort to get at the truth of Russia’s election hacking for Trump and his great friends, the Russians. DARKNESS AT NUNES promised to recuse but later, in an act of defiance, told reporters he could do what he wants because he is the chairman of the House intelligence committee. In other words, his word is as useless as he is. Bloomberg reports, DARKNESS AT “Nunes declined to identify the individuals he says acted improperly and would be identified in the ‘criminal referral’ Republicans plan to submit.” He cited classification as to why “He also declined to specify what evidence the committee uncovered about any illegal sharing or leaking by Obama administration officials of the identities of U.S. citizens caught in surveillance.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
DARK CONSERVATIVISM: MAGA’S AGAIN FROM “NEVER AGAIN”
The always and forever brilliant Timothy Snyder, the Yale University scholar of twentieth century tyranny, writes in The Guardian, “In his committed mendacity, his nostalgia for the 1930s, and his acceptance of support from a foreign enemy of the United States, a Republican president has closed the door on conservatism and opened the way to a darker form of politics: a new right to replace an old one,” this one far, far to the right. Snyder notes, “the nostalgic moment for this White House is not the 1950s, usually recalled warmly by American conservatives, but the dreadful 1930s, when fascists of the new right defeated conservatives of the old right in Europe.” Afterall, “Stephen Bannon, who promises us new policies ‘as exciting as the 1930s,’” and “imagines that history is a cycle in which national virtue must be defended from permanent enemies. He refers to fascist authors in defense of this understanding of the past.” While “Trump is not an articulate theorist,” the fact is “his utterances do give us a similar sense of when the ‘again’ in ‘Make America great again’ was: it seems to be the same ‘again’ that we usually find in ‘Never again.’” Most disturbingly, as if there is not enough there already to signal a new Dark Ages, “The far right of today sees Russia as its model.”
From The Guardian.
DONALD’S DICTATORSHIP PUBLISHES ENEMIES LIST
From the department of this is what dictators do, Slate reports, “People who spoke up about their concerns over privacy suddenly found key private details, including their email and sometimes even home addresses, released by none other than President Donald Trump’s administration.” Surprise! These letters are in conjunction with Trump’s bogus Election Integrity Commission, which curiously did not include a letter submitted by TRUMPISTAN WATCH fully anticipating such a move and therefore referencing Russia, Trump’s popular vote loss and the fact that regimes fail and fall inevitably. The Commission seeks to collect all voter data going back more than 10 years in one insecure place so the Russian, the Chinese and whoever else might be interested in hacking future elections does not have to try too hard. So far 45 states have refused outright to kowtow to the orange Russian bullshit emperor. Slate notes, “The presidential commission charged with investigating alleged fraud that has been plagued by controversy from the start published a 112-page document of unredacted emails of public comment on its work, which to no surprise are largely negative of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity.” In order to earn the trust of the American people, or rather to play into fears across the political spectrum, “the White House didn’t remove any of the personal information, meaning many of the comments are accompanied by personal details of the person who wrote it.” Indeed, “most of those who wrote in to the White House expressed concern about their personal information being made public,” Slate reports. Public lists of known enemies are more than just a little bit pulled from the dictator’s playbook. Putin must be so proud!
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump’s standing with the American people has deteriorated since the spring, buffeted by perceptions of a decline in U.S. leadership abroad, a stalled presidential agenda at home and an unpopular Republican health-care bill”. According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, “Trump’s overall approval rating has dropped to 36 percent from 42 percent in April. His disapproval rating has risen five points to 58 percent. Overall, 48 percent say they ‘disapprove strongly’ of Trump’s performance in office, a level never reached by former presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and reached only in the second term of George W. Bush in Post-ABC polling.” He is less popular than a sack of shit, which at least has utility as fertilizer from which things can grow in the future. The Washington Post notes, “Almost half of all Americans (48 percent) see the country’s leadership in the world as weaker since Trump was inaugurated, compared with 27 percent who say it is stronger,” because they are Trumpenproletariat fascists who likely never travel abroad except for maybe to Russia on junkets paid for by fascists. Indeed the fake deal maker must face the reality that “majorities also say they do not trust him in negotiations with foreign leaders and in particular Russian President Vladimir Putin.”
From The Washington Post.
PRVEZON, FUSION GPS + MAGNITSKY
ProPublica has an excellent breakdown of Natalia Veselnitskaya and Rinat Akhmetshin’s work regarding the Magnitsky Act and the clearest explanation to date as to how Prevezon and Fusion GPS, the firm responsible for the Steele dossier, are connected to the 2016 election, or coup, hell. For background, recall “In 2012, Russian President Vladimir Putin halted U.S. adoptions of Russian children in retaliation for passage of the Magnitsky Act, a U.S. law that froze the assets and restricted the travel of Russian officials accused of corruption and human rights abuses. The law was named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died mysteriously in a Moscow jail cell after investigating a $230 million tax fraud.” After, “U.S. prosecutors in the Southern District of New York subsequently charged that almost $2 million from the tax scheme was invested in New York real estate. The holding company that bought the property, Prevezon, was owned by Denis Katsyv, the son of a man who was Moscow’s regional transport minister and is now vice president of state-owned Russian Railways,” ProPublica notes. This was the case that was settled by Private Russian Sessions’ Department of Justice in May 2017 for $6 million while Katsyv admitted no wrongdoing, which Congress is now inquiring about. Veselnitskaya and Akhmetshin were both hired by Katsyv while the Prevezon case was ongoing. According to ProPublica, Veselnitskaya “identified herself as the younger Katsyv’s lawyer in an affidavit filed in the Prevezon case.” As for Fusion GPS, “Katsyv was represented in New York by Mark Cymrot of the law firm BakerHostetler. Cymrot hired a research firm called Fusion GPS, led by a former Wall Street Journal reporter named Glenn Simpson. Simpson and Akhmetshin were in contact and have known each other for a long time, people with direct knowledge,” told ProPublica. Bill Browder who hired Magnitsky to investigate the $230 million tax fraud has accused Simpson of failing to disclose his lobbying efforts, but “Fusion GPS said in a statement it didn’t lobby and didn’t do anything that required disclosure.” Both Browder and Simpson have been called to testify before the Senate, but only Browder will show this week. To conclude, ProPublica sums it up, “The role of Fusion GPS in the 2016 campaign appears complex, to say the least. In the same year, the company has acknowledged working on a project supported by the Kremlin (the repeal of the Magnitsky Act) and hostile to Russia’s interests (the Steele dossier).”
A LOOK BACK AT EMIN’S JERSEY BOY YOUTH
NorthJersey.com reports, “Russian pop star Emin Agalarov wore black leather, drove a souped-up moped and wanted to be the next Elvis Presley, having spent his teenage years living large and dreaming big on the streets of his adopted hometown, Tenafly.” Ironically of course, “Twenty years after graduating from Tenafly High School, the Russian crooner this week hit it really big,” just not quite in the way he would have wanted. Of course this is a reference to his manager Rob Goldstone’s email to Donald “Uday” Trump Jr. to arrange a meeting with various Russian agents on a doomed treasonous oppo mission. NorthJersey.com cheekily notes, “The burgeoning scandal has also put Agalarov in a spotlight he’s been chasing since high school.” A high school friend David Maresca of Hillside, New Jersey told NewJersey.com, “He kind of already had that, ‘I’m just waiting for the moment when my greatness is acknowledged’ attitude. That’s kind of how he carried himself.” Very accurate. NewJersey.com notes however that he wasn’t always so high-flying spending “his teenage years in a modest split-level home on East Clinton Avenue — nothing close to the luxurious mansion, valued at $3 million, that he owns on Anderson Avenue in Demarest”. In high school Emin “would be seen zooming by on his customized black Myrons moped.” These were “the bikers of Tenafly.” According to Maresca, “Agalarov was known as ‘the mad Russian‘” because of “his ability to fill a 16-ounce glass to the brim with vodka and drink it like it was water“. Of course “He was a ladies’ man,” and still is. Emin “dispensed love advice and wore black leather Frye biker boots and a flashy, higher-end leather jacket, even over sweats,” NewJersey.com reports, according to Maresca who said, “I always had a feeling he had some kind of life that the rest of us would never get access to”. While “Agalarov rarely flaunted his wealth,” he did have “the muffler on his [moped] adjusted so it roared louder than anyone else’s and a stereo system mounted in it so he could ride around listening to Elvis”. His catch phrase was, “Elvis is the king.” There are also his high school year book photos.
AS EUROPE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT AGALAROVS UNTIL IT CONCERNS THEM…
Bloomberg reports on “Donald Trump’s 2013 visit to Moscow,” an “two nights there on his jaunt to the Miss Universe pageant he co-owned,” which “reverberates almost four years later.” Since Europe does not care until it concerns them and their daily lives and livelihoods, let’s cut to the meat, or rather the fish, and give it to you raw. Bloomberg reports, at Nobu Moscow, owned by the elder Aras Agalarov, “Over plates of sushi, Trump and his Russian hosts discussed interest and currency rates and the prospect of a breakup of the European Union, which Trump dismissed as unlikely, Agalarov said.” Why might the elder Agalarov be interested in the break up of the EU? Bloomberg reports, “That same evening, Trump headed to Agalarov’s Crocus City complex, also the site of the next day’s pageant, to attend the developer’s 58th birthday party.” The contest’s 87 participants sang “Happy Birthday” to Agalarov, Bloomberg notes citing Russian society websites. Bloomberg adds, “Trump posed with locally famous singers and sat for some of the meal at a round table to the left of the reigning Miss Universe, American Olivia Culpo,” who also starred in an Emin Agalarov video, as Trump did a different one. The next day, Trump was at the Ritz, where so much of the Steele dossier unfolds, where he filmed the video for Emin. To feed Trump’s gargantuan ego, “Aras Agalarov said he showed Trump around Moscow during the trip, inspecting different sites with an eye toward building a Trump Tower together,” Bloomberg reports. “After Venezuela’s Gabriela Isler was crowned Miss Universe, Trump, the contestants and other guests retreated to a vodka-soaked after-party in a hangar-like convention space in the same exhibition center on the outskirts of Moscow where the contest had been held,” Bloomberg notes. How much pussy do you think Trump tried to grab? A sponsor, Russian Standard vodka, said in a press release “Guests included Aerosmith singer Steven Tyler and American figure skater Tara Lipinski”. Europe, it is more than a little possible you have been sold out while you were sleeping. Go on, hit that snooze button again, no one cares about Europe’s fate more than Europe.
POLAND’S DEPUTY DEFENSE MINISTER ACCUSED OF KREMLIN LINKS
TRUMPISTAN WATCH in the past has brought forth items, when available, documenting the strong likelihood that Poland’s Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz is working for Moscow. Now The Guardian reports, “A serving Polish deputy defence minister has been accused of having links with pro-Kremlin far-right groups, after a German newspaper reported that he travelled to Moscow with a far-right delegation. Bartosz Kownacki, a key lieutenant of defence minister Antoni Macierewicz, was a member of a group of Polish international observers during Russia’s 2012 election.” Since Russia does not really have elections and observers at them would be a likely farce and highly suspect, even the pretext of his travel is confounding. The Guardian adds, “He was accompanied by Mateusz Piskorski, the founder of a Polish thinktank, the European Centre for Geopolitical Analysis (ECGA) who is now in detention in Poland, facing charges of spying for Moscow.” The Guardian reports, “A leading member of Piskorski’s pro-Russia Zmiana (Change) party confirmed to Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) that Piskorski had made arrangements ‘on the Polish side’ for Kownacki’s participation as an election observer.” Curiously, “Two years later, Piskorski was a member of a delegation to observe Crimea’s referendum to secede Ukraine – a vote which was described by the OSCE as illegal,” The Guardian adds. The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung “report says that Kownacki also was involved alongside Piskorski in the far-right Alliance of European National Movements (AENM), a pan-European political group co-founded by far-right parties including Hungary’s Jobbik party and France’s Front National,” all beloved my Moscow for their utility in dividing Europe. Kownacki denies the allegation that Piskorski was involved in arranging his travel to Moscow and deflects by saying that German defense companies are upset because he signed the agreement to bring American Patriot missiles to Poland. He is not a very convincing liar though as “In his statement, Kownacki also says that he went to Moscow as a replacement for a senator from Poland’s ruling Law and Justice party (PiS). However the senator in question departed the senate in 2011, the year before the Russian presidential election.” The Guardian notes, as TRUMPISTAN WATCH has for months, “The revelations have exacerbated concerns that Macierewicz, the defence minister, whose political roots can be traced to the radical nationalist right, is compromising his country’s security by bringing associates with hardline nationalist and pro-Russian views into the heart of Poland’s security establishment.” Curious how this was the government that gave Trump such a platform earlier this month, isn’t it?
From The Guardian.
CONSPIRACY THEORY OF THE WEEK: VESELNTISKAYA WORKED FOR OBAMA
BuzzFeed reports, “Right-wing outlets, pro-Trump media personalities, and conspiracy theorists are falsely claiming that the attorney who met with Donald Trump Jr. during the 2016 campaign was a left-wing operative trying to torpedo a future Trump administration. The claim, which was first published Tuesday evening on a website that often circulates inaccurate information, gained significant traction and pickup the following day from more mainstream right-wing outlets.” Naturally even though Trump’s very “high quality” walking lobotomy of a son Uday tweeted out his treason last week, the conspiracy theory loving freak show in chief, “parroted parts of the conspiracy theory at a news conference in Paris.” Seth Rich was not involved, however, but that is where the sanity ceases. According to BuzzFeed, “Outlets and personalities pushing the conspiracy theory have tried to link Veselnitskaya to Hillary Clinton, Republican Sen. John McCain, and the Obama administration as some sort of nefarious plot to plant listening devices in Trump Tower.” Of course “Conservative personalities like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity also jumped into the fray, with Limbaugh proclaiming that ‘the whole thing’s a setup,’” because the whole so-called conservative movement basically feeds at the trough of bullshit these days. What set the conspiracy theory cabal in motion was reporter Michael Weiss’s very good research in uncovering a photograph of Veselnitskaya sitting behind Obama’s Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul at a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on June 14, 2016, a few days after she was at Trump Tower facilitating Uday’s treason. Because it was Obama’s Ambassador, the loony right found ammo and ran with it. As BuzzFeed notes, “Soon the photo was picked up by Gateway Pundit, a website that often publishes inaccurate information.” After that, “the Drudge Report picked up the Gateway Pundit story, and it was off to the races.” “Then WikiLeaks,” BuzzFeed reports, and soon, “Right-wing personalities began quickly picking up on the image, suggesting Veselnitskaya was ‘pictured with’ or ‘hanging out’ with Obama administration officials just days after the meeting” at Trump Tower. After this bullshit started circulating in force, Ambassador McFaul tweeted, “I never met her. Had no idea who she was until yesterday.”
STRAND TWO OF THE SAME CONSPIRACY THEORY OF THE WEEK: FUSION GPS
In case hypothesis one of the conspiracy theory of the week strains credulity for you and is just a bridge too far, good news, there is a second front in this bogus bullshit opened by Mark Corallo, a spokesman for Donald Trump’s outside legal counsel. All the president’s conspiracy theorists! According to BuzzFeed, Corallo “said the Russian attorney was linked to Fusion GPS,” the DC-based opposition research firm that commissioned the Steele dossier. Man it seems like Russia Party Republicans are mistaking bullshit for chocolate these days, doesn’t it? Of course “the people and sites peddling the conspiracy don’t provide any actual evidence linking Veselnitskaya to Fusion GPS. And in a statement to BuzzFeed News, “Fusion GPS denied having any involvement in setting up the meeting between Veselnitskaya and Trump’s inner circle.” In the statement Fusion GPS released, the firm wrote, “Fusion GPS learned about this meeting from news reports and had no prior knowledge of it,” adding, “Any claim that Fusion GPS arranged or facilitated this meeting in any way is absolutely false.”
THE THIRD FRONT: ATTACK THE FLANK, SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN
So strands one and two don’t do it for you, let’s watch our great friends, the Russians get in on the act of disseminating disinfo! And let’s start at the top with Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya! According to BuzzFeed, “On Wednesday morning, a picture that Veselnitskaya posted to her Facebook page years ago purportedly linking her to Sen. John McCain – a major Trump critic – began circulating online.” This time, “The rumor prompted McCain to respond to the allegation, pointing out that *his own office* posted the original picture.” According to BuzzFeed, “In a statement posted on Facebook, the Arizona senator said the photo was of himself and Mark Feygin, a Russian lawyer who has taken on cases of people opposed to Putin.” In a statement released by his office, Senator McCain’s office wrote, “Natalia Veselnitskaya did not attend that meeting, but apparently posted the photo of Mark and me to her Facebook page in December 2015 – months after Mark and I met”. BuzzFeed notes, “Veselnitskaya’s own Facebook post clearly states she took the photo from Feygin’s Facebook page.” As if from an outdated KGB playbook on disinfo operations, “Veselnitskaya is critical of Feygin, alleges he approached her with an unethical proposal to drop a case in the US, and says he has ‘known Russophobia and the desire to participate in any action against Russia.’” Only an independent agent acting on behalf of the nation, not the Kremlin, launches accusations of Russophobia against any and all opposition! The Russia Party Republicans are getting as desperate as they are in Moscow these days.
FOURTH LINE OF ATTACK: WHAT ABOUT VESELNITSKAYA’S VISA?
BuzzFeed reports, “On Wednesday morning, Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley asked on the Fox News morning show ‘Fox and Friends,’” beloved by President Trump for its fawning coverage of him, “how Veselnitskaya entered the country to meet with Trump Jr., noting that she had been previously denied a visa.” On faux news Fox, “Grassley said Veselnitskaya had been allowed entry to the US in 2015, but her ‘parole’ entry would have expired in January 2016, months before the meeting in Trump Tower.” Then The Hill “published a story suggesting it was ‘the Obama Justice Department’ that allowed Veselnitskaya into the country before meeting with Trump Jr.” Within hours, the Trump supporters “falsely” asserted that Veselnitskaya’s permission to enter the country was granted by Loretta Lynch, Obama’s Attorney General in 2016. As a black woman, she is a pretty constant boogeyman in Russia Party Republican conspiracies because obviously you can only trust the white man. By the next morning, “the conspiracy theory was being embraced by major right-wing news outlets.” That’s when the conspiracy theory “made its way to President Trump’s mouth – first at a formal press conference in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron, and later in a conversation with reporters that was published Thursday evening.” Of course Lynch had to deny these heaping piles of bullshit and for a man who pretends to run the country, Trump sure as hell does not have a goddamn clue how the government actually works as “The State Department issues visas, and the Department of Homeland Security oversees entry to the United States at airports.” So this falls on “the State Department who had issued a visa to Veselnitskaya in June 2016, before she met with Trump Jr.” Hope you enjoyed four different variations on the same bullshit that tries to decontextualize Uday and princeling Jared and Paul Manafort’s treason with heaps of lies and errant conspiracy theories.
FAUX NEWS FOX TEARS INTO UDAY’S TREASON
The Daily Mail reports, “Fox News Channel anchor Shepard Smith on Friday assailed the ‘mind-boggling deception’ by the Trump administration in explaining its role in the ongoing Russia investigation. In a segment with his network colleague Chris Wallace, Smith was offering commentary about the latest revelations in the unfolding scandal.” Faux news Fox is customarily so pro-Trump in its sycophancy of whatever the Russia Party Republicans decide are the talking points of the day, so you might be reaching for your neck due to whiplash. Smith told Wallace, “The deception, Chris, is mind-boggling,” adding, “And there are still people who are out there who believe we’re making it up. And one day they’re gonna realize we’re not and look around and go, Where are we, and why are we getting told all these lies?”
From The Daily Mail.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
KREMLIN’S MAN IN CHECHNYA DENIES GAYS EXIST THERE
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “The Kremlin-backed strongman leader of Chechnya has lashed out at accusations that the Russian republic has tortured and killed gay men, and denied even the existence of homosexual men in his region.” According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, in an interview with a U.S. television channel HBO, said those who have accused Chechen authorities of torturing gay men are ‘devils’ who should be damned.” Then what are agents of the Kremlin then? In a line that could be lifted from an ancient script of former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, another great friend of Russia’s, Kadyrov said, “We don’t have those kinds of people here. We don’t have any gays”. According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “The interview was conducted by HBO Real Sports reporter David Scott, who went to Grozny to film a feature on Kadyrov’s mixed martial arts progam. The full program will be aired on July 18.” We can safely bet this was not what whoever sponsored this bit of propaganda had in mind when they did so, which is just fine; subvert the message and expose the messenger.
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