—–ON THE AGENDA—–
TRUMP LAWYER MICHAEL COHEN AT SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE
CBS News reports, “President Trump’s personal lawyer Michael Cohen is scheduled to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday”. The Washington Post adds Cohen “served as an executive vice president of the Trump Organization from 2007 until earlier this year,” and “Former MI-6 agent Christopher Steele named Cohen in a series of reports, suggesting that Cohen had assisted the Russian effort by meeting with Kremlin representatives to discuss strategy and finances in Prague. Cohen has repeatedly and emphatically denied the allegations.”
MUELLER HAS THREATENED MANAFORT WITH INDICTMENT
The New York Times reports following a July search of Paul Manafort’s Virginia home, Special Counsel Robert Mueller “followed the house search with a warning: His prosecutors told Mr. Manafort they planned to indict him”.
From The New York Times.
U.S. WIRETAPPED MANAFORT
CNN reports, “US investigators wiretapped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort under secret court orders before and after the election”. According to CNN, “The government snooping continued into early this year, including a period when Manafort was known to talk to President Donald Trump.” CNN reports, “Some of the intelligence collected includes communications that sparked concerns among investigators that Manafort had encouraged the Russians to help with the campaign”. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has been provided with the intelligence that kicked off when “A secret order authorized by the court that handles the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) began after Manafort became the subject of an FBI investigation that began in 2014. It centered on work done by a group of Washington consulting firms for Ukraine’s former ruling party”.
DECONFLICTION JUNCTION: WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR FUNCTION?
CNN reports, “US troops were present when Russian warplanes bombed US backed anti-ISIS fighters in Syria on Saturday”. In other words, Russia bombed U.S. troops, but the details are always so important. CNN writes it shows “how close the two countries came to a major international incident,” adding, “A team of US Special Operations Forces were advising US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces at the location the Russians struck in Deir Ezzor in eastern Syria, one US official said.” CNN reports, “US personnel were ‘at most a couple of miles’ away from the where the bomb landed, the official added.” U.S. troops were within two miles of Russian bombs in Syria. How did Russia make this better? With cookies and a back rub?
ZAPAD WATCH: THE MOST IMPORTANT OBSERVER OF THEM ALL…
Reuters reports, “President Vladimir Putin observed Russia’s biggest war games in years on Monday, watching as his forces successfully repelled an imaginary enemy and launched a tank-led counter offensive, part of an exercise that has rattled the West.” According to Reuters, “Putin, commander-in-chief of Russia’s armed forces, sat in a command center flanked by his defense minister and the chief of his General Staff, and used binoculars to peer through a cold drizzle at the simulated conflict unfolding before his eyes.” Reuters notes, “Tracer bullets lit up the murky skyline, battle tanks churned across muddy terrain, shells exploded, helicopters fired missiles, planes roared overhead and hundreds of paratroopers and armored vehicles were dropped from the skies.” And…
ZAPAD WATCH: RUSSIA EMBARRASSES ITSELF, OF COURSE
Russian propaganda tries to convince you most of all that Russia is big and strong and powerful but of course like everything that comes from the Kremlin, this too is complete bullshit. So it comes as little surprise that during an event, Zapad, that is intended to impress Russia actually embarrassed itself. Haaretz reports, “President Vladimir Putin observed Russia’s biggest war games in years on Monday, watching as his forces successfully repelled an imaginary enemy and launched a tank-led counter offensive, part of an exercise that has rattled the West.” Gee did they lift that phrase directly from Reuters? It seems they did. Citing The Moscow Times, Haaretz notes, “Putin was apparently present at the Luzhsky range near St. Petersburg around the same time Russian forces accidently may have fired on bystanders watching the exercises.” So bad! “The incident was caught on video as two people were reported hospitalized with serious injuries,” Haaretz reports. Russian state-run Sputnik denied the reports because of course it did. Remember: never believe anything until the Kremlin denies it.
SENATE VOTES TO BAN KASPERSKY LAB SPYWARE
Reuters reports, “The U.S. Senate on Monday voted to ban Moscow-based cyber security firm Kaspersky Lab’s products from use by the federal government, citing concerns the company may be a pawn of the Kremlin and poses a national security risk.” Many years too late and still some how right on time!
MILITARY ENGINEER SENTENCED FOR PASSING SECRETS TO FAKE RUSSIAN
TIME reports, “An engineer in Southern California was sentenced on Monday to five years in prison after he sold military secrets to an undercover FBI agent who he believed was a Russian spy.” The Department of Justice said, U.S. District Judge George H. Wu handed out the punishment Monday morning to Gregory Allen Justice, who worked as a satellite engineer for a defense contractor”. TIME notes, “While the company Justice worked for was not included in court filings,” Boeing had previously told CNBC that they had a contractor by that name. TIME reports, “The engineer pleaded guilty in May to two charges: economic espionage, and violating the Arms Export Control Act and the International Traffic in Arms Regulations.” He also will receive a Darwin Award for the fact that, “During a meeting with the undercover FBI agent, Justice discussed developing a relationship like the one portrayed on the TV show The Americans, according to the Department of Justice.” He might be a satellite engineer but that does not make him a genius.
NAVALNY VOLUNTEER SENTENCED FOR “INCITING HATRED”
The Moscow Times cites Russian news website Mediazona in reporting, “A volunteer working for opposition leader Alexei Navalny in the republic of Chuvashia has been sentenced to more than two years behind bars for ‘inciting hatred’ on social media”. According to The Moscow Times, “Mironov is said to have shared an image of a military draft card with the caption ‘God bless the USA, Keep calm and f-ck Russia’ with a comment saying, ‘I officially call for a violent regime change.’” The Moscow Times notes, “The municipal court also fined Mironov in August 2016 for sharing an image on social media comparing President Vladimir Putin to Hitler.”
From The Moscow Times.
PODESTA MET WITH SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE
POLITICO reports, “John Podesta, the former chairman of Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, met Monday afternoon with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators who are looking into Russia’s role in the 2016 election.” Recall, “Podesta was one of several Democratic operatives whose emails were obtained by suspected Kremlin-backed hackers and subsequently released by Wikileaks during the campaign. Thousands of emails from his private account leaked online in the fall of 2016.” Included among them was his risotto recipe.
FLYNN’S DEFENSE INVOLVES 7 LAWYERS, EXPECTED TO BE ABOVE $1 MILLION
The Daily Beast reports, “Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn plans to spend more than a million dollars on his legal defense”. The Daily Beast notes, “because of the structure of the fund he has set up to pay for it, the public won’t know who is footing the bills.” BuzzFeed reports, “Flynn’s ‘core team’ is seven attorneys from Covington — including partners, counsel, and associates — with ‘numerous’ others involved at certain points.” Treason: it will cost you a pretty penny.
SAD LOSER TRAITOR MICHAEL FLYNN NEEDS MONEY FOR LAWYERS
Law Newz reports, “Retired Lt. Gen. Michael T. Flynn wants other people to pay for his mounting legal fees.” He also wanted Russia to control America so how much of a stretch is this really? Law Newz notes, “Flynn’s Twitter feed went dark in December 2016. This morning it lit up with the following plea: ‘Lori and I are very grateful to my brother Joe and sister Barbara for creating a fund to help pay my legal defense costs…We deeply appreciate the support of family and friends across this nation who have touched our lives,’” and a second tweet with a link to the legal defense fund, www.mikeflynndefensefund.org. Have some fun trolling this morning because freedom is not free and evidently nor are Flynn’s legal fees.
From Law Newz.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
UDAY DOES NOT WANT SECRET SERVICE PROTECTION ANY MORE
He knows he is not worth the cost to taxpayers, human space, or even the air we breathe. CNN reports Uday so, “Donald Trump Jr. is seeking to scale back his Secret Service protection” but what they mean is forego it all together. CNN reports, “The President’s eldest son previously requested to travel without protection during a family trip to Nassau, Bahamas, in late June, a move reluctantly accepted by the Secret Service. Trump Jr. and his family traveled aboard a yacht for several days without his full detail”. CNN adds, “The Secret Service strongly pushed back on Trump Jr.’s request to waive protection for the Bahamas trip, according to two sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, but it was ‘demanded’ by Trump Jr. himself.” CNN adds, “Now, the President’s eldest son has asked that his full-time protection end, as well.” The Secret Service would not comment. It was not supposed to be like this. People were supposed to care about Uday and not complain. It did not work out like that.
UDAY’S WIFE + KELLYANNE CONWAY ENDING PROTECTION TOO
Fox News reports, “Donald Trump Jr., his wife Vanessa Trump, and Kellyanne Conway are dropping Secret Service protection”. Could it be the charade is soon up?
From Fox News.
COMMITTEE TO INVESTIGATE RUSSIA LAUNCHES
The Hill reports, “A new non-partisan group launched on Tuesday aims to inform Americans about the ‘grave’ national security threat posed by Russia’s ongoing interference in U.S. affairs.” The Hill adds, “The Committee to Investigate Russia aims to ‘help Americans recognize and understand the gravity of Russia’s continuing attacks on our democracy’ by providing ‘comprehensive and easy-to-understand website, extensive social media campaign, daily newsletter, expert analysis, and breaking news updates,’ according to a press release.” According to The Hill, “The committee will also release a video in which Academy Award winning-actor Morgan Freeman talks about ‘Russia’s continuing attacks on our democracy.’” The Hill reports, “The Committee’s Advisory Board, which will oversee the progress of the non-profit organization, includes top influencers from both sides of the aisle including Atlantic Senior Editor David Frum, former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Council on Foreign Relations Senior Fellow Max Boot, American Enterprise Institute Resident Scholar Norman Ornstein, and others,” such as Rob Reiner. Not. A. Single. Woman. Yet. In a tweet this morning, they replied, “Yes. We are just getting started.” Here to hold them to that! Their website: www.investigaterussia.org.
From The Hill.
CLINTON NOTES CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA IN ANNULLED KENYAN ELECTION
Quartz reports, “Former US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said Kenya’s annulled election was ‘a project’ of Cambridge Analytica, a data company at the center of a growing controversy over the use of personal data to influence both the Brexit vote in the UK and the Donald Trump election in the US.”
LAMENT FOR THE DEATH OF LIZA PESKOVA’S INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT
Meduza’s Monday newsletter included an obituaries section devoted entirely to the death of the Instagram account of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov’s Paris-based daughter, Liza Peskova. She had recently toured Chechnya and Crimea, hung with dictators and despots and even tried her hand at public relations professionally. According to Meduza’s Monday newsletter, “This weekend, Elizaveta Peskova, the daughter of Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, deleted her Instagram account, where for years she has shared an insider’s look at the luxurious life of one of Russia’s most elite families. This came a few days after Forbes Russia published an article by Peskova about education that included large uncited excerpts lifted from existing published texts. Forbes Russiainitially deleted the article from its website, before restoring it with hyperlinks to the source materials. According to Peskova’s spokesperson, she’s currently on a ‘work retreat’ and is very busy with school work.” Um, sure. There was a time, before the Kremlin killed him too, that Paul Klebnikov was in charge of Forbes Russia and never would have stood for such bullshit in the first instance.
From Meduza (in Russian).
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
THEY HAVE SO MUCH MONEY YET THE KITSCH STYLE BARELY EVOLVES
The Sun reports, “LIKE A FAIRY TALE: Billionaire mate of Putin ties the knot with his VERY glamorous bride in a blingtastic ceremony in Moscow”. When “blingtastic” is an understatement is what The Sun means. Keep in mind this is the London tabloid press, keep in mind that despite all the money they have, the kitsch style barely evolves. According to The Sun, “Karen Karapetyan wed his bride Lilit in a cathedral decked with thousands of flowers and then treated VIP guests to a lavish reception with a 15ft wedding cake”. Sounds so expensive! Isn’t money just the most romantic thing ever, especially when it is spent on copious amounts of kitsch and bling, the two quintessentials for any new Russian wedding? Citing Forbes, The Sun notes, “Karen is the son of Samvel Karapetyan, 52, Armenia’s richest man who is worth £3.4billion”. So, imagine if you will, this is basically Kardashian on steroids.
From The Sun.
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