TRUMP TAKES GOLF BREAK TO THANK PUTIN FOR EXPELLING US DIPLOMATS
Seriously. POLITICO reports, “On Day Four of his working vacation,” which POLITICO should have in quotes, “Trump summoned reporters to his Bedminster National Golf Club twice in one day, in order to unburden himself,” and say, “I want to thank him,” meaning Putin. Why, Great Lunatic, why? The Russian puppet president said, “We’re trying to cut down on payroll and as far as I’m concerned, I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll”. It also means Aryan princess Ivanka and princeling Jared may get more money to launder! Traitor trash says what? That. Exactly that. Get him out of here! If he loves Russia so much, he should just go live there. Meanwhile on planet not traitors but loyal Americans, one senior diplomat told POLITICO, “This is so incredibly demoralizing and disrespectful to people serving their country in harm’s way”. No kidding.
TRUMP REACTS TO FBI RAID ON MANAFORT’S HOME
CNN reports Trump said he was “surprised” by the FBI raid on former campaign manager Paul Manafort’s home on July 26. Trump said, “You know, they do that very seldom, so I was surprised to see it. I was very, very surprised to see it”. CNN reports, “Trump said he has not spoken to the Attorney General Jeff Sessions or the FBI regarding the raid.” According to CNN, the Great Lunatic Trump said, “I’ve always found Paul Manafort to be a very decent man. He’s like a lot of other people — probably makes consultant fees from all over the place. Who knows? I don’t know, but I thought it was pretty tough stuff to wake him up, perhaps his family was there.” Trump also claimed he had not spoken to Manafort “in a long time,” according to CNN. Like was the case with Felix Sater, to name just one other example.
INVESTIGATORS WANT TO TALK TO TRUMP’S LONG TIME SECRETARY
ABC News reports, “Congressional investigators want to question President Donald Trump’s longtime personal secretary,” Rhona Graff. According to ABC News, Graff is “a senior vice president at the Trump Organization who has worked at Trump Tower for nearly 30 years, has acted as a gatekeeper to Trump.” According to ABC News, “Graff’s position in Trump’s orbit recently gained attention after Donald Trump Jr. released a June 2016 email exchange with British publicist Rob Goldstone leading up to the meeting with Russian attorney Natalia Veselnitskaya at Trump Tower.” Emin Agalarov’s former manager Rob Goldstone wrote to Uday, “I can also send this info to your father via Rhona”.
From ABC News.
MANAFORT ALERTED AUTHORITIES TO TRUMP TOWER MEETING
Bloomberg reports, “Manafort had alerted authorities to a controversial meeting on June 9, 2016, involving Trump’s son Donald Jr., other campaign representatives and a Russian lawyer promising damaging information on Hillary Clinton”. Why would he do that? And how did they not know already? Wait so Obama did not have Trump Tower wiretapped like Twitler once claimed and then failed to substantiate? Shock! According to Bloomberg, “Manafort disclosed the meeting to lawmakers about three months ago in response to a congressional request for any information related to Russia during his time on the campaign. He also provided more than 300 relevant documents to Congress, though he no longer had access to emails from the campaign.”
SUBPOENAS SENT TO BANKS FOR MANAFORT’S BANKING RECORDS
Bloomberg reports, “Mueller’s team of investigators has sent subpoenas in recent weeks from a Washington grand jury to global banks for account information and records of transactions involving Manafort and some of his companies, as well as those of a long-time business partner, Rick Gates, according to people familiar with the matter.”
ALL IN THE FAMILY: MANAFORT EX SON-IN-LAW COOPERATING
CNN reports, “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, met with Department of Justice investigators in recent months”. According to CNN, “Yohai provided information and documents to federal investigators in New York more than two months ago”. CNN adds, “The information has been turned over to special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his probe. It’s unclear if any of the information Yohai provided has been useful for the investigation of Manafort.” CNN notes, “Manafort’s daughter, Jessica Manafort, filed for divorce from Yohai in March.” Bloomberg adds details insofar as, “Jeffrey Yohai, who is the estranged husband of Manafort’s daughter, is under investigation by FBI agents working with prosecutors in the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles”. Bloomberg adds, “With cash infusions from Manafort, Yohai formed real-estate partnerships that took in investor money in New York and Los Angeles. Some of the partnerships subsequently declared bankruptcy, court filings show. U.S. authorities are now looking into claims by an investor that Yohai operated a Ponzi scheme”. Additionally, Bloomberg adds, “Yohai is contesting a civil lawsuit over one of the soured deals, having won an initial round challenging the jurisdiction.” That does not mean he did nothing wrong, that just means his lawyers successfully argued the jurisdiction of the lawsuit is wrong.
BUSINESS PARTNERS IN CRIME: MANAFORT’S BUDDIES ENSNARLED TOO
Bloomberg reports, “Rick Gates’s relationship with Manafort dates to at least 2006, when the younger man joined Davis Manafort, a consulting firm that re-packaged a pro-Russian Ukrainian politician as a leader friendly to the West. Eventually, Gates helped manage a Manafort-directed private equity fund called Pericles, which was supposed to invest in Ukraine.” Additionally, “Dmitry Firtash, a Ukrainian oligarch, invested $25 million in a real-estate venture started by Manafort a decade ago that subsequently attracted the attention of investigators. Now in Austria, Firtash has been charged in an unrelated case with paying bribes in India in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act,” and faces extradition to Chicago as a result as Boeing, which is headquartered there, is involved in that case. According to Bloomberg, “The inquiry by the U.S. Attorney in Manhattan initially focused on a Manafort-backed business called CMZ Ventures, which sought to develop a luxury skyscraper on Park Avenue in 2008. The partnership received $25 million from Firtash, according to court records filed in a New York federal lawsuit. But the money was never invested in a project, and the firm was shuttered in 2009.” Bloomberg reports, “The plaintiffs in that CMZ civil suit, including the former prime minister of Ukraine, Yulia Tymoshenko, alleged the real purpose of the firm was to launder money through the U.S. financial system that Firtash had obtained improperly by skimming sales of natural gas to Ukraine.” Recall, the same day Manafort’s home was raided, July 26, the Department of Justice came out and said Firtash is “an ‘upper echelon [associate] of Russian organized crime,’” and linked him to the godfather of godfathers, Semion Mogilevich, according to NBC News.
MANAFORT SWITCHES LEGAL TEAMS
POLITICO reports, “Former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort is changing his attorneys as a federal investigation heats up into his financial transactions, according to people familiar with the matter.” According to POLITICO, “Manafort’s case will now be handled by Miller and Chevalier, a boutique firm in Washington that specializes in complicated financial crimes among other issues”. Manafort’s spokesman Jason Maloni said in a statement, “As of today, WilmerHale no longer represents Mr. Manafort”. POLITICO notes, “Kevin Downing, a former senior Department of Justice official known for his work representing clients and firms facing complex financial investigations, will be working on the case”.
NO WONDER TRUMP WENT AFTER SENATOR RICHARD BLUMENTHAL
Recall, it was just a few days ago that Twitler directly attacked Senator Richard Blumenthal. Now The Hill reports, “Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said on Wednesday that the FBI’s raid on former President Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s home directly connects Manafort to evidence of criminal wrongdoing in the ongoing investigation of alleged collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 presidential campaign.” Seriously is this “Columbo”? This is just the Trump reality TV reboot version we are watching now. In a statement, Blumenthal said, “Apparently there is now no question of clear evidence connecting Paul Manafort to some criminal wrong doing”.
From The Hill.
TRUMPISTAN WATCH IS NO CULTURAL MARXIST ALIGNED WITH ISLAMISTS
Foreign Policy obtains in full “the Memo That Blew Up the NSC,” and oh boy is it a doozy. Like Russian miscalculations on backing Trump to get sanctions removed, most of all the insane memo by the “Fired White House Staffer,” Rich Higgins, who “argued ‘deep state’ attacked [the] Trump administration because the president represents a threat to cultural Marxist memes, globalists, an bankers,” is how it totally fails to get inside the head of the adversaries Trump faces. In a clean conspiracy theory world, efforts like TRUMPISTAN WATCH would be the work of cultural Marxists aligned with Islamists, but the truth is a bit more complicated. Let’s start with the truth and walk backwards into the abyss from there. Trump represents a fundamental threat to geopolitical security, our way of life, freedom and human interaction as previously understood between individuals and nations alike. TRUMPISTAN WATCH wants to live in freedom, not some dictatorship analogous to the third world. So now Foreign Policy has the full Higgins memo, entitled, “POTUS + Political Warfare”. According to Foreign Policy, “It provides a sweeping, if at times conspiratorial, view of what it describes as a multi-pronged attack on the Trump White House.” Of course, “Higgins, the author, is widely regarded as a Flynn loyalist who dislikes McMaster and his team,” Foreign Policy notes. Read the whole thing, but as someone actively engaged in influence operations, a few things stand out. The first is the accusation of the level of coordination that they claim exists at a grass roots level, when there is no such thing. Also if any globalists, bankers, the EU or the UN or deep state want to kick some money this way, the door is open, but TRUMPISTAN WATCH has not seen any of it, nor have any others involved in countering the Trump regime. The only thing it nails are the narratives about Trump pushed by the opposition, but you would be a bit of a fool to miss it, namely, Trump is a corrupt, illegitimate, dishonest, treasonous fool. If your foundation is those things are inaccurate, imagine the inaccuracies that flow forth from there. Read the whole thing, at least Higgins went big before he went home.
From Foreign Policy.
MILITARY CHIEFS DUNFORD + GERASIMOV MAY HAVE TALKED ON TUESDAY
Russian state-run TASS reports, “Situation in Syria and Iraq, as well as issues of countering international terrorism were in focus of a telephone conversation between Chief of Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov and Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Joseph Dunford,” citing the Russian Defense Ministry press office. There was nothing of it in U.S. defense media and the item that claims to be dated August 8 but did not cross TRUMPISTAN WATCH’s radar until today, despite being set up to receive alerts from all media on both Gerasimov and Dunford. Therefore, this report in Russian state-run TASS should be treated with some skepticism. It is also entirely possible the U.S. did not choose to publicize the call. The two previously met in Baku, Azerbaijan earlier this year, an event that was publicized by the U.S. Department of Defense, as it came just before this year’s Munich Security Conference.
From Russian state-run TASS.
ZAPAD WATCH: PREVIEWING THE WAR GAMES
The Economist reports, “SEPTEMBER will be an edgy time for NATO’s front-line member states. For a week in the middle of the month, Russia will be running what is being described as the biggest military exercise in Europe since the end of the cold war,” adding, “The build-up is already under way.” As noted elsewhere, The Economist reports, “Zapad 2017 is expected to involve at least 100,000 Russian troops. It will extend across the country’s Western Military District and Belarus, which has a border with three NATO members. By next week, most of the advance elements of the forces taking part in the exercise will have arrived. The rest, expected a fortnight later, will include the First Guards Tank Army, a famous unit from the second world war that was reformed in 2015.” The Economist recalls, “General Ben Hodges, the commander of American forces in Europe, frets that Russia may be planning to use Zapad 2017 to bring soldiers and kit into Belarus and leave them there.” The Economist reports, “NATO is worried about the movement of longer-range missiles, surveillance drones and special forces into threatening positions under the pretext of the exercise.” According to The Economist, “Estonia’s defence minister, Margus Tsahkna, recently revealed that Russia has requisitioned 4,000 railway carriages to take troops and equipment to Belarus.”
From The Economist.
VOLKER + SURKOV TO MEET IN MOSCOW IN LATE AUGUST
Russian state-run TASS reports, “The meeting between Russian presidential aide Vladislav Surkov and US State Department Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker will be held in Moscow in the last two weeks of August,” citing diplomatic sources quoted in the Russian state-run Izvestia. There are also efforts under way to discredit Volker as “a person who is not sufficiently informed on the events in Ukraine,” because he does not accept the Russian occupation of eastern territories of Ukraine because of course, this is Russia. In Russia the truth does not prevail, so the lies and bullshit must take their place. There is again nothing in U.S. defense meeting TRUMPISTAN WATCH has seen.
From Russian state-run TASS.
NEW NAVALNY VIDEO ATTACKS PUTIN ALLIES
The AP reports, “Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny has launched a new YouTube attack against President Vladimir Putin’s close associates,” in a “video describing assets of billionaire brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg and their sons”. The AP notes, “The Rotenberg brothers’ ties to Putin date to the 1960s when they practiced judo at the same sports club. Arkady Rotenberg and his younger brother Boris shot to prominence after Putin’s election, becoming some of the country’s most influential businessmen. Both have been placed under Western sanctions since 2014”. Citing Forbes, AP adds, “Arkady Rotenberg is worth $2.5 billion, and his brother’s wealth is estimated at just over $1 billion”. According to the AP, “Navalny’s video charged that the Rotenbergs won lucrative government orders unfairly, including a new Siberian gas pipeline contract and another deal to build a bridge to Crimea. It also mentioned the Platon electronic highway toll collection system, operated by a company controlled by Arkady Rotenberg’s son. The toll, established in 2015 to offset damage to highways caused by heavy trucks, has triggered protests by truck drivers across Russia.” Navalny’s “video included aerial footage of the Rotenbergs’ palatial mansions outside Moscow and in Italy, and featured angry truckers expressing outrage over the show of wealth,” the AP reports. In the first day, the video received over 900,000 views.
From the AP.
TRUMP’S NEW FAVORITE POLL WAS A PIZZAGATE TRUTHER ACCOUNT
The Daily Beast reports, “Donald Trump retweeted the results of an unscientific Twitter poll on Thursday that suggested 61 percent of voters believe Trump is a better president than Barack Obama.” One problem, “The Twitter account, now called @ProgressPolls, had an entirely different identity just two months ago. The account called was [sic] @Truth_Bombers until July 26th, when its new owners deleted almost 4,000 old tweets, some of which promoted the Pizzagate conspiracy theory that falsely claimed Hillary Clinton’s campaign ran a secret child sex ring, and also tweeted claims that Obama is Muslim.” So there is that. Sixty one percent of Russian trolls and loony toon domestic nutbars love our traitor trash fake puppet president! Shock! The Daily Beast reports, “the proprietors of @ProgressPolls admitted that the account had recently changed management, but denied the account had been purchased. According to Twitter, the @Truth_Bombers account was originally created in March 2016.” However, The Daily Beast notes they did a clumsy job as while “thousands of old tweets,” were deleted, “it did not delete” earlier “‘likes.’ Some of the account’s ‘liked’ tweets before July 26 include posts by InfoWars correspondent Paul Joseph Watson, Vice cofounder Gavin McGinnes who now appears on Rebel Media, a far-right media organization headquartered in Canada, and an account for Proud Boys, McGinnes’ far-right offshoot.” Yes Nazis and trolls and conspiracy loons prefer Trump by a wide margin and he likes that they like him. Continuous feedback loop, outrage cycles, where is the transition to video? This is what twenty-first century media is all about.
From The Daily Beast.
BREITBART ATTACKS ON MCMASTER BACKFIRING ON BANNON
POLITICO reports, “The conservative news site Breitbart has waged a nonstop campaign against national security adviser H.R. McMaster, but so far it seems to have done the most damage to someone else: Steve Bannon.” Good and well deserved. POLITICO notes, “A Wall Street Journal editorial earlier this week accused Bannon of using the right-wing media to go after his ideological foes, questioning his loyalty to the president and placing blame for White House dysfunction squarely on his shoulders.” Citing 10 sources, POLITICO adds, “The attacks on McMaster have put Bannon in an especially awkward position with his new boss, retired Marine general John Kelly, who has been increasingly defensive of McMaster, a longtime friend and fellow general”. Oops. POLITICO adds, “McMaster, who pushed Bannon off the National Security Council principals’ committee, hasn’t spoken to Bannon in weeks”. POLITICO reports, “When he joined the administration, Bannon filed an ethics waiver so that he could continue to communicate with Breitbart. But it’s not just Breitbart stories that Bannon gets blamed for.” Nor should he, the guy is a white nationalist Julius Streicher of our time beloved by enemies of democracy, decency and diversity. Get him out of here!
INTEL OFFICIALS INTERFERENCE RUNNING ON INTERFERENCE NARRATIVE
Bloomberg has a crap-tastic article on “Why Some Ex-Spies Don’t Buy the Russia Story,” by ex-Vedomosti and Slon.ru founding editor Leonid Bershidsky. According to Bershidsky who Bloomberg for some reason allows to publish under their imprimateur, “The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) have been investigating the now conventional wisdom that last year’s leaks of Democratic National Committee files were the result of Russian hacks,” rather, “they found instead is evidence to the contrary.” Um, ok. According to Bershidsky, “their findings and doubts are only being aired by non-mainstream publications that are easy to accuse of being channels for Russian disinformation,” because they have served as such, including, “The Nation, Consortium News, ZeroHedge and other outlets,” which have been known to feature plenty of Russian disinformation in recent months. The Nation is the best known, see: Stephen Cohen. These easily duped or disinformation agents like Bershidsky and the ex-intel officials of very little prominence in serious circles. Bershidsky notes, “The VIPS theory,” which, “relies on forensic findings by independent researchers who go by the pseudonyms ‘Forensicator’ and ‘Adam Carter.’” Um, ok. Most glaringly to TRUMPISTAN WATCH’s eyes is William Binney included among the VIPS disinformation interference running agents on the interference narrative. Laura Poitras featured him in a New York Times op-doc that allegedly turned Snowden onto her work and led to “Citizenfour”. Now isn’t that more curious than what a bunch of nut bars who came to distrust the government and have no role in this investigation believe? If we take just the Binney case, he has been out of the game for 16 years and is outspokenly anti-government. Is he a useful idiot or willing or even paid shill at this point?
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