MUELLER + NY AG TEAM UP SO TRUMP CAN’T PARDON HIS WAY OUT OF THIS
POLITICO reports, “Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team is working with New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on its investigation into Paul Manafort and his financial transactions”. Note, “Trump does not have pardon power over state crimes.” Squeezing Paul Manafort.
MUELLER HAS EARLY DRAFT OF TRUMP’S LETTER FIRING COMEY
The New York Times reports, “The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has obtained a letter drafted by President Trump and a top political aide that offered an unvarnished view of Mr. Trump’s thinking in the days before the president fired the F.B.I. Director, James B. Comey.” The New York Times notes, “The circumstances and reasons for the firing are believed to be a significant element of Mr. Mueller’s investigation, which includes whether Mr. Trump obstructed justice by firing Mr. Comey.” According to The New York Times, “The letter, drafted in May, was met with opposition from Donald F. McGahn II, the White House counsel, who believed that its angry, meandering tone was problematic”. The New York Times adds, “Among Mr. McGahn’s concerns were references to private conversations the president had with Mr. Comey, including times when the F.B.I. director told Mr. Trump he was not under investigation in the F.B.I.’s continuing Russia inquiry.” McGahn successfully prevented Trump from using the letter, which The New York Times reports was drafted with assistance from Stephen Miller. However, “a copy was given to the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, who then drafted his own letter,” The New York Times reports.
From The New York Times.
STATE DEPT ORDERS RUSSIAN MISSIONS + ANNEXES IN SF, DC + NYC SHUT
Meduza reports, “American officials have ordered Moscow to close its consulate general in San Francisco, ‘in the spirit of parity involved by the Russians.’ According to a statement issued by the U.S. State Department, Moscow is also being forced to close a chancery annex in Washington, D.C., and a consular annex in New York City. Russia has until Saturday, September 2, to vacate these facilities. The new restrictions will leave Moscow with three consulates in the United States: in New York, Houston, and Seattle.” According to the AP, “Russia accused the United States on Friday of a ‘gross violation of international law’ after the Trump administration gave Moscow two days to shutter diplomatic outposts in San Francisco and other American cities.”
DOCUMENTS FIRES IN RUSSIAN SF CONSULATE + DC TRADE MISSION
The AP reports, “As Russian diplomats rushed to meet the Saturday deadline, black smoke was seen billowing out of the chimney at the San Francisco consulate, one of three Russian facilities being forcibly closed. Firefighters, who were turned away by Russian officials when they responded to the scene, said the Russians were burning something in their fireplace.”
From the AP.
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT SAYS OBAMA NEVER WIRETAPPED TRUMP TOWER
The Hill reports, “The Justice Department confirmed in a court filing late Friday that neither it nor the FBI has evidence that Trump Tower was the target of surveillance efforts by the Obama administration during the 2016 presidential election.” In effect, this means “that neither the FBI nor the Justice Department’s National Security Division have records documenting wiretaps as alleged by President Trump in a series of tweets earlier this year.” Surprise! Trump is full of shit and will throw up a smokescreen of bullshit accusations and paranoid delusions to distract from his Russia treason and corruption scandal.
From The Hill.
MANAFORT TRUMP TOWER MEETING NOTES REFER TO CONTRIBUTIONS?
NBC News reports, “Paul Manafort’s notes from a controversial Trump Tower meeting with Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign included a mention of political contributions near a reference to the Republican National Committee”. According to NBC News, “The contents of the note, which have not been previously disclosed, elevated the significance of the June 2016 meeting for congressional investigators, who are focused on determining whether it included any discussion of donations from Russian sources to either the Trump campaign or the Republican Party.” Recall, “It is illegal for foreigners to donate to American elections. The meeting happened just as Trump had secured the Republican nomination for president, and he was considered a longshot to win.” It is unclear in what form donations appeared next to or near RNC as the notes, taken on a smartphone, and the notes were described as “cryptic”.
From NBC News.
TILLERSON ACCEPTING ANTI RUSSIAN DISINFO FUNDS FOR STATE
POLITICO reports, “After coming under pressure from lawmakers, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has taken steps toward spending tens of millions of dollars to counter propaganda by Islamist extremists and governments such as Russia.” According to POLITICO, “A State Department official confirmed on Thursday that Tillerson last week approved the use of about $60 million by the Global Engagement Center toward the anti-propaganda efforts.” POLITICO adds, “Almost $20 million of the $60 million was already in the State Department’s coffers and will be released to the center’s officials to fight propaganda by terrorist groups such as the Islamic State. Tillerson also approved a request for a transfer of $40 million from the Pentagon to the center so it can fight state-sponsored propaganda.”
RUSSIAN AMBASSADOR ANTONOV ARRIVES IN WASHINGTON
Russia state-run TASS reports, “The new Russian Ambassador to the US,” Anatoly Antonov, “has arrived in Washington.”
From Russian state-run TASS.
PUTIN WILL AVOID UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY, VICTORY LAP TO TRUMPISTAN
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “The Kremlin says Russian President Vladimir Putin will not attend the United Nations General Assembly later this month.” Manhattan protests might upset his ruthless cosmopolitan image back home in the motherland where all of Rus is united in adoration of its mafia state leader. Citing a report in Russian state-run TASS, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, was quoted by state media on September 2 as saying that the Russian leader does not intend to travel to New York for the General Assembly, which is set to convene September 12.” In his place, “Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will lead Moscow’s delegation to the General Assembly, which he is set to address on September 21”.
U.S. WILL BLOCK ROSNEFT TAKEOVER OF CITGO THROUGH PDVSA
The Wall Street Journal reports, “The Trump administration is ready to block a Russian state-owned oil giant,” Rosneft, “from gaining control of critical energy assets in the U.S.,” Citgo, “owned by Venezuela, senior American officials say, a move that likely would feed tensions between Washington and Moscow.”
From The Wall Street Journal.
UKRAINE ENTERS EU ASSOCIATION AGREEMENT
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “The Association Agreement strengthening ties between Ukraine and the European Union entered into force on September 1, marking an end to four years of political drama surrounding the accord.” Recall, “The landmark accord was originally meant to be signed in November 2013 by Yanukovych.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, “However, in a dramatic turnaround, Yanukovych walked away from the accord under pressure from Moscow, prompting massive protests that pushed him from power — and into self-imposed exile in Russia — in February 2014.”
RUSSIA WANTS UN PEACEKEEPERS IN EASTERN UKRAINE
The AP reports, “President Vladimir Putin says Russia will ask the U.N. Security Council to send peacekeepers to patrol the front line in eastern Ukraine.” This would cement the status of the territory, as not totally under Ukraine’s sovereignty in a formalized, more permanent status of uncertainty, which would signal a major victory for Moscow. According to the AP, Putin will have “Russia’s foreign ministry will file a formal request with the U.N. Security Council”.
From the AP.
U.S. AIR FORCE TAKES OVER BALTIC AIR POLICING MISSION
CNN reports, “The US Air Force took over the NATO mission responsible for ensuring the security of Baltic airspace Wednesday, a move that comes amid increased Russian air activity in the region and just weeks before Moscow plans to launch a massive military exercise,” Zapad. CNN reports, “Seven US F-15C Eagle jet fighters and 140 airmen have arrived in NATO-member Lithuania where they formally took over the NATO Baltic Air Policing Mission from Poland. The US aircraft from the 48th Fighter Wing, based at RAF Lakenheath in the UK, will patrol the Baltic airspace alongside Belgian Air Force F-16s that are deployed to Estonia.”
NATO ENHANCED FORWARD PRESENCE BATTLEGROUPS UP AND RUNNING
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports, “NATO declared its enhanced Forward Presence (eFP) battlegroups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland fully operational on 28 August.”
U.S. ILL PREPARED TO TAKE ON RUSSIA IN EASTERN EUROPE
POLITICO reports, “The U.S. Army’s rapid reaction force in Europe is underequipped, undermanned and inadequately organized to confront military aggression from Russia or its high-tech proxies, according to an internal study that some who have read it view as a wake-up call as the Trump administration seeks to deter an emboldened Vladimir Putin.” POLITICO adds, “The Italy-based 173rd Airborne Brigade, a bulwark of the NATO alliance that has spent much of the past decade and a half rotating in and out of Iraq and Afghanistan, lacks ‘essential capabilities needed to accomplish its mission effectively and with decisive speed,’ according to the analysis by the brigade”. POLITICO continues, “Some of the shortfalls, like the brigade’s lack of air defense and electronic warfare units and over-reliance on satellite communications and GPS navigation systems, are the direct results of the Army’s years of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the enemy has no air power or other high-end equipment and technology.”
ZAPAD WATCH: NORTHERN FLEET SENDS WAR SHIPS INTO BARENTS SEA
The Independent Barents Observer reports, “Over 40 [Russian] vessels have left port for a series of tactical exercises in the Barents Sea.” The Independent Barents Observer reports, “Additional to the readiness check announced on Tuesday, four warships and three support vessels from the Northern Fleet are currently on exercise voyage along the Northern Sea Route”. The Independent Barents Observer adds, “the Navy said the combat readiness drill would include anti-submarine and anti-sabotage activities along with navigational, hydrographical, anti-mine and search and rescue operations.” The Independent Barents Observer notes, “On Wednesday Russia’s Baltic Fleet also announced a combat readiness check involving 70 combat ships and support vessels”.
RUSSIAN BOT ASSAULT ON NATO TALK ON TWITTER IN EAST EUROPE
The Times of London reports, “Almost half the messages in English that mention Nato in the Baltic states and Poland are also likely to be automated, the Nato Strategic Communications Centre of Excellence said.”
From The Times of London.
ARMENIA DROPS OUT OF NATO EXERCISE AT THE LAST MINUTE
EurasiaNet reports, “At the last minute and with no explanation, Armenia has dropped out of NATO military exercises in Georgia, after taking part in several other drills with the Western alliance this summer.” EurasiaNet notes, “Armenia’s participation was to be only symbolic: three military medics. But it was symbolic of Yerevan’s desire to balance out its close ties with Russia.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
EVERYTHING IS SO MUCH WORSE THAN PREVIOUSLY ACKNOWLEDGED
The New York Times reports, “After a presidential campaign scarred by Russian meddling, local, state and federal agencies have conducted little of the type of digital forensic investigation required to assess the impact, if any, on voting in at least 21 states whose election systems were targeted by Russian hackers, according to interviews with nearly two dozen national security and state officials and election technology specialists.” Reassuring! The New York Times adds, “Intelligence officials in January reassured Americans that there was no indication that Russian hackers had altered the vote count on Election Day, the bottom-line outcome. But the assurances stopped there.” And there were lots of problems! And now we have a huge problem. Rolling full steam ahead to constitutional crisis, which will nicely layer over the pre-existing legitimacy crisis. The details of the Election Day hack keep getting worse as does the extent of our ongoing national emergency. Call it a two-fer!
From The New York Times.
GET TO KNOW TRUMP’S NON-AGALAROV WOULD BE MOSCOW PARTNER
Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports, “The sprawling development, called Novokosino-2,” on the outskirts of Moscow, “is the most significant project to date of a Russian property firm called IC Expert. The firm was to be the partner in a separate venture: Donald Trump’s failed bid during the 2016 presidential campaign to launch ‘Trump Tower Moscow,’ according to a statement given to congressional investigators this week”. Bloomberg BusinessWeek notes, “Trump’s plans were revealed this week in correspondence from Trump’s longtime business lawyer, Michael D. Cohen, in answering inquiries from investigators looking into Trump’s connections with Russia. As a candidate, Trump said he had ‘nothing to do with Russia.’” That was obviously bullshit. Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports, “IC Expert’s chairman is a Russian businessman named Andrei Rozov. In 2008, Rozov served on the executive board of a Moscow real estate company called Mirax Group alongside a Russian-born U.S. citizen named Felix Sater, according to multiple Russian press reports at the time about the board appointments. The reports cited a Mirax press release.” According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek, “Sater, who served as an FBI informant in the prosecution of reputed mobsters on Wall Street after pleading guilty to racketeering in 1998, is a longtime Trump business associate. He brokered the Trump Tower Moscow deal with IC Expert”. Bloomberg BusinessWeek reports, “Rozov himself signed a Oct. 28, 2015 letter of intent for IC Expert on the deal, according to the person familiar with it. Donald Trump’s was the signature for the other side, Cohen told investigators.” Bloomberg BusinessWeek adds, “Mirax, where Rozov and Sater served together on the executive board, was headed by a Russian billionaire and property developer named Sergei Polonsky. At the height of his wealth, Polonsky’s larger-than-life persona and braggadocio often drew comparisons to Trump in the media.” According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek the other partner on the failed project was Umar Dzhabrailov of Avanti, the firm with which Liza Peskova was a youth advisor on public relations for very briefly until quitting and returning to France (see DISINFO WARS). Bloomberg BusinessWeek recalls Dzabrailov “first drew notoriety in the West two decades ago following the murder of his American business partner in Moscow’s Radisson Hotel, an Oklahoman named Paul Tatum.”
From Bloomberg BusinessWeek.
THE GERASIMOV DOCTRINE AND YOU!
Political consultant Molly McKew writes in POLITICO Magazine, “In February 2013, General Valery Gerasimov—Russia’s chief of the General Staff, comparable to the U.S. chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff—published a 2,000-word article, ‘The Value of Science Is in the Foresight,’ in the weekly Russian trade paper Military-Industrial Kurier. Gerasimov took tactics developed by the Soviets, blended them with strategic military thinking about total war, and laid out a new theory of modern warfare—one that looks more like hacking an enemy’s society than attacking it head-on.” POLITICO Magazine notes, “The article is considered by many to be the most useful articulation of Russia’s modern strategy, a vision of total warfare that places politics and war within the same spectrum of activities—philosophically, but also logistically. The approach is guerrilla, and waged on all fronts with a range of actors and tools—for example, hackers, media, businessmen, leaks and, yes, fake news, as well as conventional and asymmetric military means.” POLITICO reports, “The United States is the latest target. The Russian security state defines America as the primary adversary. The Russians know they can’t compete head-to-head with us—economically, militarily, technologically—so they create new battlefields.” The goal? “They are not aiming to become stronger than us, but to weaken us until we are equivalent,” POLITICO Magazine correctly has it. When everyone is as poor and shitty as Russia, we will have peace on earth.
From POLITICO Magazine.
RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTRY SPOKESWOMAN SAYS TRUMP MIGHT NOT LAST
The Moscow Times reports on Russian state-run TV on Sunday night Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said, “U.S. President Donald Trump may not serve out his four-year term”.
From The Moscow Times.
“HIT DONALD TRUMP WITH OUR KOMPRAMAT”
The Independent reports, “A Russian politician has threatened to ‘hit Donald Trump with our Kompromat’ on state TV.” According to The Independent, “Nikita Isaev, leader of the far-right New Russia Movement, said the compromising material should be released in retaliation over the closure of several Russian diplomatic compounds across the US. When asked whether Russia has such material, Mr Isaev, who is also director of the Russian Institute of Contemporary Economics, replied: ‘Of course we have it!’”
From The Independent.
KEEPING UP WITH LIZA PESKOVA: LIZA QUITS HER DAY JOB
Meduza reports, “On July 2, 2017, Elizaveta Peskova [aka Liza Peskova], the daughter of Vladimir Putin’s long-time press secretary, became an advisor to Rakhman Yansukov, the president of ‘Avanti,’ an organization created by Chechen entrepreneur and former Russian senator Umar Dzhabrailov. While on the job, Peskova traveled to Chechnya and to a shipyard in Sevastopol, Crimea. She also wrote a blog post that caused a stir in Tatarstan’s government. Then, in late August, Peskova suddenly quit the job and returned to France, where she’s been studying for the past several years.” According to Meduza, “On August 30, journalists learned that Elizaveta Peskova no longer works at ‘Avanti.’ Peskova’s spokesperson says she has returned to Paris to continue her education. Peskova has since deleted from her Instagram account all posts related to her work with Avanti, though the organization maintains that she is still an employee.” Meduza reports Kremlin spokesman and father of Elizaveta, “Dmitry Peskov told reporters that his daughter ‘had no employers’ and was merely ‘contributing’ to Avanti’s work.” Peskov added, “I’m wary of [my daughter’s public life], but I don’t want to discuss it with anyone.” Meduza notes, “Elizaveta Peskova’s return to Paris coincided with police detaining Umar Dzhabrailov at a Moscow hotel for firing a gun into the ceiling, but these two events were not connected.”
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
WOMAN WANTED AS DUMMY OPPOSITION FOR PUTIN
Looks like someone was taking notes on the 2016 election cycle and saw how useful a female decoy can be for lifting the scared, nationalist male into line with fascism. The Moscow Times reports, “The Kremlin is considering pitting a female candidate against President Vladimir Putin in next year’s elections,” according to an article in Vedomosti. Sources close to the Kremlin told Vedomosti, “Five to seven candidates have reportedly been found suitable for the job, including three members of the State Duma’s fourth-largest party, A Just Russia”. However, “Another source close to the presidential administration names journalist and socialite Ksenia Sobchak as an ‘ideal’ entrant to run against Putin in the spring of 2018. The source explains that Sobchak exemplifies a ‘smart, young, interesting modern’ Russian woman, but questions whether she will ultimately decide to run.” She is also a TV presenter, socialite and fashion plate who happens to be the daughter of Anatoly Sobchak, mentor to Putin and Medvedev and former St. Petersburg mayor. The Moscow Times notes “Sobchak, however, was not enthusiastic,” writing on Instagram, “I have just one diagnosis: Your politics today, gentlemen, are a dismal pile of crap.”
From The Moscow Times.
RESISTANCE ADVICE: JOHN MCCAIN, “WE ARE NOT HIS SUBORDINATES”
The Washington Post reports Senator John McCain said, “We must respect his authority and constitutional responsibilities. We must, where we can, cooperate with him. But we are not his subordinates. We don’t answer to him. We answer to the American people.” The Washington Post notes, “with that, mark Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) down as the second Republican senator to call on his colleagues to be a bulwark against President Trump.” He did so in an op-ed in The Washington Post.
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