—–ON THE AGENDA—–
DAY TWO OF PRINCELING JARED ON THE HILL
TIME reports, “President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner will return to Capitol Hill Tuesday for a second day of private meetings with congressional investigators, this time for a closed-door conversation with lawmakers on the House Intelligence Committee.” Pity they have to hear his voice but shameful that the American people cannot hear the proceedings.
PRINCELING JARED SPEAKS, YES HE REALLY SPOKE AGAIN!
The New York Times reports, “President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, emerged Monday from a private, two-hour-long meeting with congressional investigators and said his meetings last year with Russians were not part of any attempt by Moscow to disrupt the presidential election.” If you don’t believe it — TRUMPISTAN WATCH here refers to him speaking, not what he says which you should not believe — there is video where you can hear his cringeworthy voice. Note: this is only the second time princeling Jared has spoken publicly, so thank goodness for his sake he did once before or else yesterday’s White House press conference would have been our introduction to him and his prepubescent voice. Just remember: while America did not choose him, Aryan princess Ivanka did. Among other things, princeling Jared said, “I did not collude with Russians, nor do I know of anyone in the campaign who did.” Except there is a lot to suggest he did, a meeting, a business associate — all things he denied because of course he did. Most confounding, princeling Jared “said President Trump won the election because he had a better message and ran a smarter campaign”. This kid has a demented conception of “smart,” that much is clear. And which part of the message did princeling Jared most connect with? Was it those anti-Semitic ads in Florida that so freaked out Holocaust survivors? There is also a photo of princeling Jared being escorted by Capitol police that gives you a nice preview of what a legit perp walk of Trumpistani elites might feel like, actually insatiable cravings for that day. POLITICO notes he said, “I am not a person who has sought the spotlight,” which is exceptionally funny given that he married Aryan princess Ivanka and works in the White House.
PRINCELING JARED’S STATEMENT: BASED ON A TRUE STORY
Yesterday’s TRUMPISTAN WATCH went to press as news of the Jared statement was breaking but without seeing the actual contents of the statement beyond The Washington Post’s filter. Today we have the full statement, which TRUMPISTAN WATCH presents here as a timeline provided by princeling Jared and the strong caveat that this prepubescent tool’s account is “based on a true story” that should be distinguished from actual truth. As you read this, recall he serves an administration that believes in “alternative facts,” and where you are constantly left with the sensation that everything is a lie, something that is in fact entirely Soviet. So without further ado, Princeling Jared’s statement: based on a true story.
– “Over the course of the primaries and general election campaign, my role continued to evolve. I ultimately worked with the finance, scheduling, communications, speechwriting, polling, data and digital teams, as well as becoming a point of contact for foreign government officials.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared is deeply mired in all aspects of the racist Trump trainwreck trash campaign rolling through communities across America and polluting the airwaves over the course of 2016.
– “these actions should be viewed through the lens of a fast-paced campaign with thousands of meetings and interactions, some of which were impactful and memorable and many of which were not.”
Conclusion: you should pretend that everything involving Russia was not “impactful and memorable,” DO NOT BELIEVE THIS.
– “Donald Trump had the right vision for America and delivered his message perfectly.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared believes his “father-in-law” Donald Trump is a God Emperor and Mexicans, Muslims, Blacks, Jews and women are all inferior to Donald Trump, God Emperor.
– “The results speak for themselves.”
Conclusion: deportations, hate crimes, a culture of toxicity and adolescent trash triumphs. The Trumpenproletariat rejoices; the Trumpistani elite empowers the ignorant, the inaccurate and the inadequate.
“Campaign Contacts with Foreign Persons”
– Jared opens this section referring twice to “my father-in-law” not “the President”.
Conclusion: full Trumpistan.
– “My father-in-law asked me to be a point of contact with these foreign countries.”
Conclusion: Eventually princeling Jared will throw his father-in-law under the bus if need be and he perceives it will save himself and/or possibly Aryan princess Ivanka, who will likely turn on everyone when she needs to if only to save herself.
– “These were not contacts that I initiated”.
Conclusion: again princeling Jared is prepared to deflect blame in every direction, just as his “father-in-law” taught him.
– “I called on a variety of people with deep experience, such as Dr. Henry Kissinger”.
Conclusion: princeling Jared has no experience.
– “it was typical for me to receive 200 or more emails a day during the campaign. I did not have the time to read every one, especially long emails from unknown senders or email chains to which I was added at some later point in the exchange.”
Conclusion: blame Donald “Uday” Trump Jr. for that meeting with Kremlin cronies that the crooner Emin Agalarov’s manager arranged. Princeling Jared is a dilettante.
Princeling Jared’s timeline of contacts with Russians:
– “The first that I can recall was at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. in April 2016. This was when then candidate Trump was delivering a major foreign policy speech… I stopped into the reception to thank the host of the event, Dimitri Simes, the publisher of the bi-monthly foreign policy magazine, The National Interest… Mr. Simes and his group had created the guest list and extended the invitations for the event. He introduced me to several guests, among them four ambassadors, including Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. With all the ambassadors, including Mr. Kislyak, we shook hands, exchanged brief pleasantries and I thanked them for attending the event and said I hoped they would like candidate Trump’s speech and his ideas for a fresh approach to America’s foreign policy… Each exchange lasted less than a minute; some gave me their business cards and invited me to lunch at their embassies. I never took them up on any of these invitations and that was the extent of the interactions.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared’s first interactions, he claims, with Kislyak go back to April 2016. Curiously, Simes published just yesterday in The National Interest, “Russia Is Not Happy with Trump’s ‘Reset,’” which lays out every Russian grievance with Trump and describes the author not as the publisher but as a “reporter-intern” at the bottom. Interesting timing.
– “Reuters news service has reported that I had two calls with Ambassador Kislyak at some time between April and November of 2016. While I participated in thousands of calls during this period, I do not recall any such calls with the Russian Ambassador. We have reviewed the phone records available to us and have not been able to identify any calls to any number we know to be associated with Ambassador Kislyak and I am highly skeptical these calls took place. A comprehensive review of my land line and cell phone records from the time does not reveal those calls. I had no ongoing relationship with the Ambassador before the election, and had limited knowledge about him then. In fact, on November 9, the day after the election, I could not even remember the name of the Russian Ambassador.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared or Kislyak could have been on someone else’s phone, taken the call at Trump Tower, and this garbage about not remembering Kislyak’s name might just be another reflection on his inexperience, if it is even true. Also do not believe princeling Jared does anything that is “comprehensive”.
– “When the campaign received an email purporting to be an official note of congratulations from President Putin, I was asked how we could verify it was real. To do so I thought the best way would be to ask the only contact I recalled meeting from the Russian government, which was the Ambassador I had met months earlier, so I sent an email asking Mr. Simes, ‘What is the name of the Russian ambassador?’”
Conclusion: this is not how foreign policy should be conducted. Does princeling Jared expect us to believe he does not know of Google?
– “I have asked Reuters to provide the dates on which the calls supposedly occurred or the phone number at which I supposedly reached, or was reached by, Ambassador Kislyak. The journalist refused to provide any corroborating evidence that they occurred.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared wants you to blame sloppy journalism, but truth be told there is no reason for a Reuters reporter to burn a source, likely in the intelligence community or provide princeling Jared with anything. Also do we know the reporter refused or rather did not respond? No, we don’t.
Of the now infamous June 9 meeting at Trump Tower with several Russians tied to that country’s intelligence services:
– “In June 2016, my brother-in-law, Donald Trump Jr. asked if I was free to stop by a meeting on June 9 at 3:00 p.m… Documents confirm my memory that this was calendared as ‘Meeting: Don Jr.| Jared Kushner.’ No one else was mentioned.”
Conclusion: no, the email chain princeling Jared’s brother-in-law Donald “Uday” Trump Jr. tweeted actually confirms quite the opposite.
– “When I got there, the person who has since been identified as a Russian attorney was talking about the issue of a ban on U.S. adoptions of Russian children. I had no idea why that topic was being raised and quickly determined that my time was not well-spent at this meeting.”
Conclusion: the think of the children lie again, only hilariously noting that princeling Jared is indeed not thinking of the children, actually he is totally indifferent to the children. Also of note, by princeling Jared’s account he knows nothing of foreign policy, the Magnitsky Act, or Russian policy.
– “I actually emailed an assistant from the meeting after I had been there for ten or so minutes and wrote ‘Can u pls call me on my cell? Need excuse to get out of meeting.’”
Conclusion: princeling Jared relies on everyone but himself.
– “I had not met the attorney before the meeting nor spoken with her since.”
Conclusion: let’s wait and see what comes out. (See: Lev Leviev.)
Previously undisclosed e-mail with a likely Russian proxy agent:
– “On October 30, 2016, I received a random email from the screenname ‘Guccifer400.’ This email, which I interpreted as a hoax, was an extortion attempt and threatened to reveal candidate Trump’s tax returns and demanded that we send him 52 bitcoins in exchange for not publishing that information. I brought the email to the attention of a U.S. Secret Service agent on the plane we were all travelling on and asked what he thought. He advised me to ignore it and not to reply — which is what I did.”
Conclusion: the Russians are not your friends even when your boss is pretending they are because they gave him lots and lots of money to feed that delusion.
“Transition Contacts with Foreign Persons”
– “During this period, I recall having over fifty contacts with people from over fifteen countries. Two of those meetings were with Russians, neither of which I solicited.”
Conclusion: it is rather irrelevant who did and did not solicit the meetings if princeling Jared attended.
– “On November 16, 2016, my assistant received a request for a meeting from the Russian Ambassador. As I mentioned before, previous to receiving this request, I could not even recall the Russian Ambassador’s name”.
Conclusion: princeling Jared has no idea who is manipulating him or who he is really serving.
– Meeting with Ambassador Kislyak “on December 1. The meeting occurred in Trump Tower, where we had our transition office, and lasted twenty- thirty minutes. Lt. General Michael Flynn (Ret.)”.
Conclusion: princeling Jared keeps really great company, again!
– “I asked Ambassador Kislyak if he would identify the best person (whether the Ambassador or someone else) with whom to have direct discussions and who had contact with his President. The fact that I was asking about ways to start a dialogue after Election Day should of course be viewed as strong evidence that I was not aware of one that existed before Election Day.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared is really unaware of how he can be manipulated.
– “The Ambassador expressed similar sentiments about relations, and then said he especially wanted to address U.S. policy in Syria, and that he wanted to convey information from what he called his ‘generals.’ He said he wanted to provide information that would help inform the new administration. He said the generals could not easily come to the U.S. to convey this information and he asked if there was a secure line in the transition office to conduct a conversation. General Flynn or I explained that there were no such lines.”
Conclusion: the Russians wanted to set up the transition back channel, not princeling Jared, he claims. The first real concession, the cancellation of a secret in name only CIA program to provide weapons to “moderate” rebels in Syria, was the first one requested by the Russians. While Trump disputes the story, he seemed to confirm the program on Twitter last night. Not normal.
– “I did not suggest a ‘secret back channel.’ I did not suggest an on-going secret form of communication for then or for when the administration took office. I did not raise the possibility of using the embassy or any other Russian facility for any purpose other than this one possible conversation in the transition period.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared really wants you to believe everything reported about him is the fault of so-called “fake news” and CIA “Nazis”.
– “We did not discuss sanctions.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared’s lawyers know what to say to save his ass.
– “Approximately a week later, on December 6, the Embassy asked if I could meet with the Ambassador on December 7. I declined. They then asked if I could meet on December 6; I declined again. They then asked when the earliest was that I could meet. I declined these requests because I was working on many other responsibilities for the transition.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared was a man about Trump Tower too busy for Russians, or so he says.
December 13 meeting with Sergey Gorkov, CEO of Vnesheconombank:
– “He asked if he could meet my assistant instead and, to avoid offending the Ambassador, I agreed. He did so on December 12. My assistant reported that the Ambassador had requested that I meet with a person named Sergey Gorkov who he said was a banker and someone with a direct line to the Russian President who could give insight into how Putin was viewing the new administration and best ways to work together. I agreed to meet Mr. Gorkov because the Ambassador has been so insistent, said he had a direct relationship with the President, and because Mr. Gorkov was only in New York for a couple days. I made room on my schedule for the meeting that occurred the next day, on December 13.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared does not know who is manipulating him, he says, or whom he is beholden to, except he obeys the Russian Ambassador for some inexplicable reason.
– “The meeting with Mr. Gorkov lasted twenty to twenty-five minutes. He introduced himself and gave me two gifts — one was a piece of art from Nvgorod, the village where my grandparents were from in Belarus, and the other was a bag of dirt from that same village. (Any notion that I tried to conceal this meeting or that I took it thinking it was in my capacity as a businessman is false. In fact, I gave my assistant these gifts to formally register them with the transition office).”
Conclusion: they were eager to kiss princeling Jared’s ass and gave him dirt that they pretended was from some place meaningful to him. Princeling Jared missed the obvious symbolism of being given dirt by the Russians, again!
– “After that, he told me a little about his bank and made some statements about the Russian economy. He said that he was friendly with President Putin, expressed disappointment with U.S.-Russia relations under President Obama and hopes for a better relationship in the future. As I did at the meeting with Ambassador Kislyak, I expressed the same sentiments I had with other foreign officials I met. There were no specific policies discussed. We had no discussion about the sanctions imposed by the Obama Administration. At no time was there any discussion about my companies, business transactions, real estate projects, loans, banking arrangements or any private business of any kind. At the end of the short meeting, we thanked each other and I went on to other meetings. I did not know or have any contact with Mr. Gorkov before that meeting, and I have had no reason to connect with him since.”
Conclusion: again princeling Jared is innocent of everything but ignorance in his view, overall a great person therefore to put in charge of Middle East policy and overhauling the federal government.
“Disclosure of Contacts on My Security Clearance Form”
– “my SF-86 application was prematurely submitted due to a miscommunication and initially did not list any contacts (not just with Russians) with foreign government officials… They sent an email to my assistant in Washington, communicating that the changes to one particular section were complete; my assistant interpreted that message as meaning that the entire form was completed… Because of this miscommunication, my assistant submitted the draft on January 18, 2017.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared is trying to blame his assistant for the inaccuracies of his initial SF-86 security clearance form. However, TRUMPISTAN WATCH has filled this form out before in the past and received a secret security clearance while living abroad with foreign nationals and the form CLEARLY states that you fill this form out yourself and all contacts with foreign nationals must be listed. Again, princeling Jared is suggesting incompetence – and not his own this time – is his best defense, despite the fact that in this instance he is in violation in terms of the form himself.
– “The very next day, January 19, 2017, we submitted supplemental information to the transition, which confirmed receipt and said they would immediately transmit it to the FBI. The supplement disclosed that I had ‘numerous contacts with foreign officials’ and that we were going through my records to provide an accurate and complete list.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared does not understand where his priorities should be and wants you to believe he does not understand how to fill out forms with glaringly clear instructions.
– “It has been reported that my submission omitted only contacts with Russians. That is not the case. In the accidental early submission of the form, all foreign contacts were omitted.”
Conclusion: princeling Jared is breathtakingly incompetent, by his own omission(s).
– “Over the last six months, I have made every effort to provide the FBI with whatever information is needed to investigate my background.”
Conclusion: even princeling Jared’s best efforts will invariably come up short because he lacks moral and intellectual fortitude.
– Princeling Jared concludes, “I have nothing to hide,” despite having hidden so much already. When he writes, “I am very grateful for the opportunity to set the record straight,” princeling Jared would rather be doing almost anything else and would prefer an authoritarian state with pliant media that does not force him to answer questions. Princeling Jared asserts again, “I am proud of the candidate that we supported, of the campaign that we ran, and the victory that we achieved,” because princeling Jared only values money and power, not people and certainly not even minorities of his own faith community. Princeling Jared will do what is best for princeling Jared first, no matter how ill conceived or misguided his determinations to that end are. Lastly, “I had no improper contacts,” is princeling Jared’s equivalent of “I did not have sexual relations with that woman,” granted with added gravitas because treason, not extramarital affairs are concerned.
Ultimate conclusion: Princeling Jared, these are the days of your life. We TRUMPISTAN WATCHians await the day that he testifies against his “father-in-law”. And we await a real perp walk, not a rehearsal.
PRINCELING JARED’S BUSINESS ASSOCIATE WAS PREVEZON PARTNER
The Guardian reports that princeling Jared “secured a multimillion-dollar Manhattan real estate deal with a Soviet-born oligarch,” the Israeli Lev Leviev, “whose company was cited in a major New York money laundering case,” Prevezon, “now being investigated by members of Congress.” Oops, so there is another connection between Trump aides and the Russians in attendance at the now infamous June 9, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that runs right through princeling Jared’s business pseudo-empire. Here it is: “A Guardian investigation has established a series of overlapping ties and relationships involving alleged Russian money laundering, New York real estate deals and members of Trump’s inner circle.” Among them, “a 2015 sale of part of the old New York Times building in Manhattan involving Kushner and a billionaire real estate tycoon and diamond mogul, Lev Leviev.” The Guardian reports, “Leviev, a global tycoon known as the ‘king of diamonds’, was a business partner of the Russian-owned company Prevezon Holdings that was at the center of a multimillion-dollar lawsuit launched in New York.” Recall, Prevezon, “The scam had been uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, an accountant who died in 2009 in a Moscow jail in suspicious circumstances,” which led attorney and formerly Russia’s largest foreign investor Bill Browder to lobby Congress for the implementation of the Magnitsky Act, which sanctioned numerous Russian officials. Recall as well that of the four Russians said to have attended the June 9, 2016 meeting, Natalia Veselnitskaya, “acted as legal counsel for Prevezon in the money laundering case”. The Guardian reports, “In Manhattan, Leviev’s firm also sold condominiums to Prevezon Holdings from one of its landmark developments at 20 Pine Street, just a few blocks from Wall Street.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH previously cited an earlier Guardian report about princeling Jared, Leviev and The New York Times sale on June 30.
From The Guardian.
TRUMP AGAIN GOES AFTER PRIVATE RUSSIAN SESSIONS
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump has labeled his own attorney general as ‘beleaguered.’” He could fire him but that would create a firestorm for him in two places: Washington and among the good ol’ boy collective of racists, white supremacists and general white nationalists in the South who love the Attorney General private Russian Sessions, even if he does walk around without a hooded robe. On Monday morning, Trump tweeted, “So why aren’t the Committees and investigators, and of course our beleaguered A.G., looking into Crooked Hillarys crimes & Russia relations?” If Trump had any real power at all in Washington, this would surely have happened as it was undoubtedly a very high priority, as it is for many authoritarians in the post-Soviet space. Is anyone surprised? Maintain your capacity for shock because none of this is normal. Recall, “Over the past week, Trump has been attacking Attorney General Jeff Sessions for his decision months ago to recuse himself from the investigations into possible connections between Trump’s campaign and Russia,” The Washington Post notes. Trump is sad he lost his roof. Only if he succeeds in turning the U.S. into a mafia state or a full slaughter, will he find a new roof in goons and thugs. The Russians cannot protect him from himself, only violent mobs can.
From The Washington Post.
TRUMP’S DOJ CRIMINAL DIVISION NOMINEE’S RUSSIA TIES
The New York Times reports, “President Trump’s nominee to lead the Justice Department’s criminal division, Brian A. Benczkowski, has disclosed to Congress that he previously represented Alfa Bank, one of Russia’s largest financial institutions”. The New York Times notes, “Mr. Trump nominated Mr. Benczkowski, a partner at the Kirkland & Ellis law firm and a former Bush administration Justice Department official, in June,” and his confirmation hearing is scheduled for today. Note: “Alfa Bank was at the center of scrutiny last year over potential ties between the Trump campaign and Russia after computer experts discovered data suggesting a stream of communications between a server linked to the Trump Organization and a server linked to the bank,” The New York Times reports. “The F.B.I. investigated the matter, however, and concluded that the servers’ interactions were not surreptitious exchanges between the campaign and Russia,” while “Experts have argued that the server linked to the Trump Organization appeared to be controlled by a marketing firm, Cendyn, that was sending emails promoting Trump hotel properties,” The New York Times reports. “Ahead of the Judiciary Committee hearing, Mr. Benczkowski told the panel that he had previously been forbidden by his firm’s confidentiality agreement from disclosing his work for Alfa Bank, but had obtained a waiver,” The New York Times adds. Let’s ask a very simple question: of all the lawyers in America, how did Trump choose this one to lead the Department of Justice’s Criminal Division? Is there no one who has not represented high profile Russian interests available?
(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this item on Brian Benczkowski, Trump’s nominee for the Department of Justice Criminal Division who also represented Alfa Bank, inaccurately stated in the post’s headline and second reference that he was nominated to head the FBI’s Criminal Division. The sub-heading and first two references, however, were to the Department of Justice. TRUMPISTAN WATCH regrets the confusion.)
From The New York Times.
TRUMPENFUHRERJUGEND WAS A LOGICAL NEXT STEP
The Washington Post reports, “Ahead of President Trump’s appearance Monday at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia, the troops were offered some advice on the gathering’s official blog: Fully hydrate. Be ‘courteous’ and ‘kind.’ And avoid the kind of divisive chants heard during the 2016 campaign such as ‘build the wall’ and ‘lock her up.’” However, “from the moment he took the stage, Trump,” of course “started leading them down a very different path.” The Washington Post reports, “Over the next 35 minutes, the president threatened to fire one of his Cabinet members, attacked former president Barack Obama, dissed his former rival Hillary Clinton, marveled at the size of the crowd, warned the boys about the ‘fake media,’ mocked pollsters and pundits, and said more people would say ‘Merry Christmas’ under his presidency.” The Washington Post notes, “The speech was, in fact, very much like the rally speeches that Trump gave across the country last year”. Of course there were “chants of ‘USA! USA!’” Alarmingly, “As Trump told the Scouts that they should spend their adult years doing something that they love to do, someone in the crowd shouted that he loved the president,” The Washington Post reports. The Washington Post reports after a jokey exchange, the boy scouts began to “chant something that sounded like: ‘We love Trump! We love Trump!’” Pity this and the future generations of American women, as this is what we have to contend with in life and in general. Pity the American boys and men of the Trumpenproletariat too, for they know not what masculinity is, only some grotesque caricature of it. And they learn it at an early age, too.
From The Washington Post.
BROWDER FILES COMPLAINT AGAINST ROHRABACHER + AIDE
Business Insider reports, Magnitsky Act crusader, lawyer Bill Browder filed a complaint “with the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control alleges that California Rep. Dana Rohrabacher and his staff director, Paul Behrends, violated the Magnitsky Act when they tried to get Russia’s deputy general prosecutor, Victor Grin, removed from the US sanctions list last year”. According to Business Insider, “Browder’s complaint rests largely on a Daily Beast report published last week alleging that Rohrabacher, a staunch defender of Russia and Putin, met with officials from the prosecutor general’s office in Moscow in April 2016.” Business Insider reports, “The complaint Browder filed on July 21 alleges that Rohrabacher “made personal introductions for lobbyists advocating the Russian government’s and Grin’s position against the Magnitsky Act.” Those people, according to the complaint, include Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya and Russian-American lobbyist Rinat Akhmetshin,” who attended the now infamous Trump Tower meeting with Uday, princeling Jared, and Paul Manafort on June 9, 2016. Rohrabacher’s office did not respond to a request for comment.
From Business Insider.
KREMLIN REACTS TO NEWS OF NEW RUSSIA SANCTIONS
Reuters reports, “The Kremlin said on Monday it was worried that proposed new U.S. sanctions against Moscow could hurt major investment projects with European partners, but said it was premature to say if and how it would retaliate.” Reuters notes, “Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call Moscow was worried that U.S. sanctions could hit third countries, as well as Russia, hard.” Translation: sanctions will hurt Russia, let’s not pretend they are even remotely selfless enough or have genuine partners in Europe beyond the confines of corrupt officials and journalists and the energy sector. Sad! Ok, not really, it’s called retaliation for a coup that installed a mentally unstable lunatic in the executive of the U.S. and it should hurt. The Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project to Germany appears to be the sorest spot of all. Peskov signaled they were working channels to prevent the harshest of the sanctions, “We will wait patiently … until this position has been formulated unambiguously.”
RUSSIAN ARMY SENDS THREE UNITS TO UKRAINIAN BORDER
Newsweek reports Russia has sent “three motorized rifle divisions, two of which are usually headquartered at the borders of Ukraine’s war-torn Donbass region and one that is usually deployed further north, near Smolensk.” “Observers regularly record peaks in cease-fire violations during August,” Newsweek notes.
NATO WARSHIPS DOCKED IN ODESSA
Newsweek reports, “Two NATO warships have docked at the Ukrainian port of Odessa and will open its doors to local visitors as part of the alliance’s bid to show support for Ukraine’s ambitions to one day join the Western-led bloc.” Newsweek notes, Ukraine, once under Soviet occupation for nearly half a century, “has veered toward NATO membership since its relationship with neighboring Russia collapsed”. According to Newsweek, “A poll last month found that nearly 56 percent of Ukrainians supported joining the alliance.” NATO announced via Facebook, “The U.K. Royal Navy’s HMS Duncan and Turkey’s frigate Yildirim arrived at the Black Sea port on Monday for a three-day stay”. Newsweek notes, “The vessels are in Ukrainian waters following a U.S.-led drill, called Sea Breeze, in which Ukraine took part.”
UDAY HAS YET ANOTHER LAWYER ON CALL
Vanity Fair reports, “Trump Jr. is also reportedly receiving advice from veteran Washington lawyer Fred Fielding, who served under Nixon, Reagan, and George W. Bush.” This is in addition to a team that already includes mafia lawyer Alan Futerfas and new hire Karina Lynch, who has Congressional experience.
From Vanity Fair.
DARKNESS AT NUNES: PRINCELING JARED’S CONGRESSIONAL BRIDEGROOM
POLITICO reports, “House intelligence committee chairman Devin Nunes — who stepped aside from the House’s Russia probe amid partisan infighting — is expected to attend Tuesday’s highly anticipated closed door interview of Jared Kushner”. Recall DARKNESS AT “Nunes handed off leadership of the probe in April after the House Ethics Committee announced an inquiry into Nunes’ handling of classified information, allegations Nunes said were a meritless ploy driven by liberal activists”. Last week, Senator Richard Burr said DARKNESS AT NUNES concocted an “unmasking” scandal. Because DARKNESS AT NUNES is trying to run interference on the productivity of the investigation, “Nunes announced his decision to hand off the probe to Conaway,” but “he never formally recused himself from the investigation”. Of course, his attendance at the hearing “doesn’t signal a decision to resume leadership of the probe, but it is sure to renew uncertainty among Democrats”. Horrible. This is why he is DARKNESS AT NUNES.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
HOW TO WIN THE PRESIDENCY + LOSE THE PARTY
The Washington Post reports, “Six months after seizing complete control of the federal government, the Republican Party stands divided as ever — plunged into a messy war among its factions that has escalated in recent weeks to crisis levels.” While some on the left might cheer and hope this sets up the Democrats for a sweep of the House in 2018. Recall that as long as the Russians are not pushed back and out of our state we will never have normal elections again. The Russians only respect strength; weaknesses are vulnerabilities to be exploited. Meanwhile, The Washington Post paints a great picture of the internal turmoil as, “Frustrated lawmakers are increasingly sounding off at a White House awash in turmoil and struggling to accomplish its legislative goals. President Trump is scolding Republican senators over health care and even threatening electoral retribution. Congressional leaders are losing the confidence of their rank and file. And some major GOP donors are considering using their wealth to try to force out recalcitrant incumbents.” According to The Washington Post, “Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill have described the dynamic between the White House and GOP lawmakers as a ‘disconnect’ between Republicans who are still finding it difficult to accept that he is the leader of the party that they have long controlled.” You might call this a tussle between far right fascists and more principled conservatives. However, Senator David Perdue of Georgia instead said, “The disconnect is between a president who was elected from outside the Washington bubble and people in Congress who are of the Washington bubble”. All this is noteworthy given that it is occurring “even though Republicans have a sizeable majority in the chamber.” Rick Wilson, “a vocal anti-Trump consultant and GOP operative” is more cogent and aware, “The Russia stories never stop coming,” adding, “For Republicans, the stories never get better, either. There is no moment of clarity or admission.” Wilson said, “After a while, nothing really works and it becomes a train wreck.” A Trump trainwreck. Ever been on a Soviet train?
From The Washington Post.
EZRA COHEN-WATNICK: THE YOUNG FLYNNSTONE STILL ON THE NSC
The Atlantic reports on “The Man McMaster Couldn’t Fire,” Ezra Cohen-Watnick, the 31 year-old protégé of ousted National Security Advisor Michael Flynn who is the senior director of intelligence programs on the National Security Council. Recall, “McMaster tried to remove him in March, but President Trump, at the urging of Bannon and Jared Kushner, told McMaster that Cohen-Watnick was staying,” as The Atlantic does citing an earlier POLITICO report. The Atlantic notes as well that “The CIA has traditionally had control over who fills this position, and normally the job is staffed by a more experienced official.” Also recall, “Washington got its first real look at Cohen-Watnick when he was identified as one of two White House sources who provided House Intelligence chairman Devin Nunes with evidence that former national security adviser Susan Rice requested the ‘unmasking’ of the names of Trump associates in intelligence documents,” which Senator Richard Burr said late last week was an invention of Nunes; perhaps instead it was Cohen-Watnick? Cohen-Watnick “is viewed as an Iran hawk,” The Atlantic reports. Critically, “he’s become a flashpoint in the long-running tension between Trump and the intelligence community,” The Atlantic reports. Professionally, “Cohen-Watnick had joined the DIA [Defense Intelligence Agency] in 2010, and left it in January of 2017,” the agency Michael Flynn headed before being fired by Obama in 2014. Reports cited by The Atlantic indicate he served in Haiti and then Afghanistan while with the DIA. However, most critically, The Atlantic reports, “It was Cohen-Watnick’s connection with Michael Flynn that would catapult him into the top ranks of America’s intelligence officials. But even the seemingly straightforward question of how and when they met yields contradictory and conflicting accounts.” Be alarmed “several White House staffers used the same word to describe Cohen-Watnick: loyal,” The Atlantic reports.
From The Atlantic.
TRUMP ECHOES RUSSIAN PROPAGANDA DIRECT FROM PUTIN
Business Insider astutely observes how Trump is now a mouthpiece for Russian propaganda. “Russian President Vladimir Putin told President Donald Trump during their meeting at the G-20 summit earlier this month that it couldn’t have been Russia that hacked into the Democratic National Committee last year because Russian hackers were too good to get caught,” Business Insider notes. Now watch what happens. The New York Times reported at the time, “Trump emerged from the meeting telling his aides that Putin had offered ‘a compelling rejoinder: Moscow’s cyberoperators are so good at covert computer-network operations that if they had dipped into the Democratic National Committee’s systems, they would not have been caught,’” Business Insider notes. Similarly in an interview with Reuters, “Trump alluded to Putin’s comments: ‘Somebody did say’ that if Putin did order the hacking, ‘you wouldn’t have found out about it,’ Trump said. Trump declined to say who that ‘somebody’ was but called the idea ‘a very interesting point.’” Gee, was it Putin? Of course, Business Insider notes, “The notion that Moscow would have tried to conceal its efforts, however, differs from what experts and intelligence officials have concluded”. Former FBI Director James Comey even said on the Hill when he was still on the job before Trump fired him, “The Russians ‘were unusually loud in their intervention,’” because indeed they were. The American president, Kremlin mouthpiece.
From Business Insider.
LESSONS FROM LATVIA: MEDIA AS “STRATEGIC ASSET”
The New Yorker reports from Latvia on the war against Russian disinformation, a great place to go to study the phenomenon given the high number of local Russians who are loyal to Putin. The Latvian security police chief Normunds Mezviets said, “The media are a strategic asset, just like oil and gas,” which is why it has been so alarming to watch as American media has turned to hagiographies of neo-Nazis and white nationalists in the last two years with the rise of Trump. While the author of The New Yorker piece, Pulitzer-prize winning Dana Priest, acknowledges, “Viewing the professional media as a strategic asset, the pipeline through which credible information travels, had never occurred to me in my thirty-five years as a reporter,” it’s high time we start to. Priest is right that “it is certainly the view of authoritarian governments and those transitioning to authoritarianism”. While this transition could be softer as Latvia is trying to hold onto a democracy and independence, not transition to authoritarianism. “In most of Europe, where hoax news stories and Web sites with bogus articles are muddying the digital pipeline of reliable information, political leaders have publicly reaffirmed their faith in the mainstream media and urged them to do a better job exposing imposters,” The New Yorker notes and, “the European Union’s East Stratcom Task Force has published thousands of examples of false or twisted stories in its weekly Disinformation Review,” which is “available in eighteen languages.” As Russian disinfo has become ever more pervasive, “Reporters and researchers in Britain, France, Germany, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, Latvia, and Slovakia maintain lists of phony sites, and have helped readers follow the trail of conspiracies as they work their way through Twitter and Facebook.” The New Yorker notes, “The U.S. military certainly views the media as a strategic asset,” and has implemented censorship in the past, most notably during the Second World War. Critically, Trump “embraces the fabrications of InfoWars and other dystopic entertainment.” He is no better for democracy and free information than Russia. Well worth reading.
From The New Yorker.
SUBSCRIBE: e-mail TrumpistanWatch@gmail.com with “TRUMPISTAN WATCH” in the subject line to receive the weekday e-mail newsletter.