CONGRATS AMERICA YOU’VE BEEN HAD! YOUR PRESIDENT IS A RUSSIAN FAKE
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “The U.S. government on September 22 notified 21 states that their voting systems were targeted by hackers in last year’s presidential election, and several of the most closely contested states said the hackers were linked to the Russian government.” And wait for the real surprise. “The so-called battleground states of Wisconsin, Ohio, Colorado, and Minnesota, where Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton lost in some cases by only a few thousand votes to then-Republican candidate Donald Trump, were among those that blamed Russian hackers. AP reported that the battleground states of Florida, Pennsylvania, and Virginia also were targeted by hackers,” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes. Surprise! Well are you surprised? James Clapper, the former Director of National Intelligence, told Erin Burnett on CNN Friday, “Our intelligence community assessment [about Russia] did cast doubt on the legitimacy of the election.” WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!
WHITE HOUSE + DOJ STONEWALL CONGRESSIONAL RUSSIA INVESTIGATIONS
CNN reports, “Tension is rising between congressional investigators probing Russia meddling and the Trump administration, as the White House and Justice Department withhold a number of records sought by Capitol Hill at a critical time in the investigations.” According to CNN, “the three congressional committees probing Russia’s election meddling have asked for scores of documents related to everything from Jared Kushner’s security clearance to records surrounding President Donald Trump’s discussions with James Comey before he was fired as FBI director.” However, “While the Trump campaign has provided lawmakers with thousands of pages of documents thus far, there are numerous requests where the White House, FBI and Justice Department have missed the committees’ deadlines,” CNN notes.
BUT HIS EMAILS: KUSHNER USED PRIVATE EMAIL FOR OFFICIAL BUSINESS
POLITICO reports, “Presidential son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has corresponded with other administration officials about White House matters through a private email account set up during the transition last December, part of a larger pattern of Trump administration aides using personal email accounts for government business.” Say it: but his e-mails! POLITICO adds it has seen samples of the correspondence as “Kushner uses his private account alongside his official White House email account”. POLITICO reports, “Aides who have exchanged emails with Kushner on his private account since President Donald Trump took office in January include former chief of staff Reince Priebus, former chief strategist Steve Bannon, National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, and spokesman Josh Raffel”. Kushner’s lawyer Abbe Lowell claims it was “fewer than 100 emails from January through August”. That does not excuse it or make it ok, that is not how this works!
KREMLIN COLLEAGUE PAYS PART OF TRUMP’S LEGAL DEFENSE
The Wall Street Journal reports, “President Donald Trump’s attorneys in the probe of Russian election interference are being funded in part through a Republican Party account with a handful of wealthy donors—including a billionaire investor, a property developer seeking U.S. government visas and a Ukrainian-born American who has made billions of dollars doing business with Russian oligarchs.” Meet Leonard “Len” Blavatnik! This Odessa native “moved to the U.S. in his early 20s, amassed his fortune in Russia in the years following the Soviet collapse,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Guess what! Blavatnik “is a longtime business partner of Viktor Vekselberg, who is one of the richest men in Russia and,” wait for it, “has close ties with the Kremlin.” Shock, shock! Scandal! When our fake Russian puppet Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross left the board of the Bank of Cyprus, which helped launder oh so much dirty Russian money, guess who took his place? Vekselberg! Also, Vekselberg is “ex-KGB” because of course he is. Where does one imagine the mafia oligarch class traces its roots and origins? Oh and remember, Trump is supposed to be a billionaire! Are we having fun yet with the scandal that is all a hoax perpetuated by Deep State Maoists, George Soros, and Colin Kaepernick?
OBAMA TRIED TO GIVE ZUCKERBERG A WAKE UP CALL, ZUCK HIT SNOOZE
The Washington Post reports, “Nine days after Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg dismissed as ‘crazy’ the idea that fake news on his company’s social network played a key role in the U.S. election, President Barack Obama pulled the youthful tech billionaire aside and delivered what he hoped would be a wake-up call.” According to The Washington Post, “two months before Trump’s inauguration, Obama made a personal appeal to Zuckerberg to take the threat of fake news and political disinformation seriously. Unless Facebook and the government did more to address the threat, Obama warned, it would only get worse in the next presidential race.” That means Obama warned Zuckerberg after the election coup, which was already too late, sadly.
From The Washington Post.
THE MORE YOU KNOW: FACEBOOK FIRST DETECTED PROBLEM IN JUNE 2016
Additionally, The Washington Post notes, “Facebook detected elements of the Russian information operation in June 2016 and then notified the FBI. Yet in the months that followed, the government and the private sector struggled to work together to diagnose and fix the problem.” So it looks like everyone failed us!
From The Washington Post.
RUSSIA FILES PAPERWORK TO BLOCK EXTRADITION OF HACKER TO US
The Washington Times reports, “The Russian government filed paperwork Friday formally challenging the Trump administration’s attempt to extradite a suspected computer hacker arrested earlier this year in Barcelona amid repeated efforts by Moscow to block similar U.S. prosecutions.” Recall “Pyotr Levashov was arrested April 7 while vacationing with his family in Spain and subsequently indicted by the U.S. Justice Department in connection with allegedly operating the Kelihos botnet — a massive, internationally dispersed network of infected computers that cybercriminals used to distribute bulk spam emails and install ransomware prior to being dismantled earlier this year.” Russia is also trying to actively block the extradition of Evgeny Nikulin, “arrested in Prague last year in connection with allegedly hacking LinkedIn, and Xanthippe Moyssidou,” who was “arrested in Greece two months for supposedly operating an online currency exchange accused of money laundering,” The Washington Times notes.
From The Washington Times.
VESELNITSKAYA LINK TO RUSSIA-LINKED MURDER IN THE UK
The Times of London reports, “Alexander Perepilichnyy was a key witness for Swiss prosecutors investigating an alleged tax fraud involving Russian officials when he died while jogging near his Weybridge mansion in 2012. Two months before he collapsed, vomiting ‘greeny-yellow’ liquid, information from him allowed the Swiss attorney-general to freeze the assets of Denis Katsyv, son of a former Moscow official.” That’s who Natalia Veselnitskaya, the Kremlin-linked lawyer at the June 9, 2016 Trump Tower meeting with Manafort, princeling Jared and Uday, represented in the Prevezon case! Recall, Prevezon was the moneylaundering front by which Bill Browder’s former riches were laundered into Manhattan real estate by Kremlin insiders. The same day Veselnitskaya met with Manafort, Uday and princeling Jared she was in Manhattan for a Prevezon related trial matter.
From The Times of London.
AMBASSADOR SOVIET DINOSAUR IMPLEMENTING INSTRUCTIONS TO SUE
Russian state-run TASS reports, “Moscow is preparing a lawsuit against the US on the situation around Russian diplomatic property, Russia’s Ambassador to the US Anatoly Antonov told reporters on Friday.” And wait for it, the quote he gave is a really rather vintage Soviet-style one! “We are working on this issue. The matter is rather complex, it must be studied,” Antonov said, adding, “We have a direct instruction from Russian President Vladimir Putin, we work on implementation of this instruction”. Don’t you want to have a beer with this guy? He seems so chill and congenial.
From Russian state-run TASS.
SHIT DMITRY PESKOV SAYS: WE COULDN’T HAVE DONE THIS ALONE
Newsweek reports, “The Kremlin has denied placing ads on social media in order to sway the result of the 2016 U.S. presidential election—in fact, Russia does not even know how to advertise on Facebook,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday. That does not mean there were no Americans around to assist in the effort, however. Peskov told Russian state-run Itar-Tass, “We do not know what Russiagate is,” which is such obvious horseshit. Remember: never believe anything until the Kremlin denies it.
RUSSIAN MEDIA GLOATS AFTER US CONGRESS IDIOTS VISIT KARABAKH
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty cites Russian state-run Interfax in reporting, “The Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry on September 22 called a recent visit to its breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh by three U.S. lawmakers a ‘provocation’ and said it had blacklisted them”. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, “Azerbaijan’s state-run APA news agency earlier in the week said the ministry had threatened to blacklist the three members of the U.S. House of Representatives. Frank Pallone, David Valadao, and Tulsi Gabbard visited Armenia and made a side trip to Artsakh in Nagorno-Karabakh on September 20.” Of course, “Azerbaijan and Armenia have been locked in a conflict over Azerbaijan’s breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh,” since 1994 and tensions have flared a lot in recent months along the line of contact. Armenia is effectively Russia’s Israel. Why would they do this as it benefits Russia, which desires to fan the conflict? Recall that in the past, Gabbard has visited another great friend of Russia’s, Syria’s Bashar Al Assad, a.k.a. the butcher of his nation.
MUSLIM BAN 2.0 INTRODUCED, INCLUDES VENEZUELA, NORTH KOREA, CHAD?
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump’s controversial travel ban will morph into a new set of restrictions on travelers from an expanded set of countries,” Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. North Korea and Venezuela are new, Pakistan is still not there for some mysterious reason (Saudi would never be), Sudan and Iraq have been dropped and Chad? Perhaps Trump had a caddy once of that name who pissed him off? According to POLITICO, “Existing visa-holders are exempt, and waivers will remain available for travelers with U.S. ties, although those exemptions appear to be narrowed in the new directive.” POLITICO adds, “The new restrictions on Venezuela apply only to government officials, not to the broader population, and could have been imposed without including them in the new travel ban proclamation.” Also is a proclamation an Executive Order light? Did they take away his dessert privileges? Who gave the president a cookie?
U.S.-UKRAINE DRILLS WRAP UP
Stars and Stripes reports, “U.S. soldiers concluded training Friday with Ukrainian forces on tactics”. Additionally, “Some 1,600 troops from 14 nations took part in the U.S. Army Europe-led Rapid Trident exercise, which served as a testing ground for a Ukrainian military going through a modernization overhaul,” Stars and Stripes reports, which notes, “The drills took place in western Ukraine’s International Peacekeeping Security Centre near Yavoriv, far from the fighting in the east.”
From Stars and Stripes.
COUNCIL OF EUROPE URGES RUSSIA TO LET NAVALNY RUN
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “The Council of Europe’s decision-making body, the Committee of Ministers, says Russian authorities continue to violate the rights of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny, and has urged Russia allow Navalny to ‘stand for election’ for the Russian presidency.”
ROGER STONE + BORIS EPSHTEYN TO HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE
ABC News reports, “The House intelligence panel will interview two of President Donald Trump’s associates,” Roger Stone and Boris Epshteyn, “behind closed doors this week.” According to ABC News, “Stone confirmed his interview, which will be held Tuesday. Epshteyn will also speak to the committee this week.”
From ABC News.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
MOLE HUNT + A HACKER INDICTMENT: HOW DEEP IS CIA IN RUSSIAN CYBER?
Mother Jones reports, “The low-profile prosecution of a 22-year-old Canadian hacker may offer clues regarding how US intelligence officials learned about Russia’s efforts to disrupt last year’s election—and it could offer a lot more clues if the case goes to trial.” Recall that “Last month in US District Court in San Francisco, Karim Baratov, a Canadian citizen born in Kazakhstan, pleaded not guilty to multiple felonies related to his bit part in the cyberattack that compromised 500 million Yahoo accounts starting in 2014—and that nearly derailed Yahoo’s acquisition by Verizon.” There were four men indicted but only Baratov is in custody. Mother Jones notes, “The others include an internationally wanted Latvian hacker and two members of a cyber unit within Russia’s Federal Security Service (FSB for short). They are the first FSB operatives American authorities have charged in any hacking case. One of the FSB guys, Dmitry Dokuchaev, is part of a group of Russian intelligence officials reportedly jailed in Russia last December for treason.” Now here is where it gets very interesting. Mother Jones reports, “According to Russian media reports, Dokuchaev and an FSB superior, Sergei Mikhailov, stand accused of passing information about Russia’s election hacking to US intelligence agencies,” including Russian state-run Interfax which “reported the two men were ‘accused of breaking their oath and working with the CIA.’” Mother Jones adds Novaya Gazeta reported, “Russian authorities believe Mikhailov alerted American officials to the role of a server-rental firm called ‘King Servers,’ which US cybersecurity sleuths say was used by the Russian hackers suspected of penetrating election systems in Arizona and Illinois in 2016 and voting systems in Germany, Turkey and Ukraine.” Isn’t that fun?! As a teaser, Mother Jones adds, “If Dokuchaev was a double agent, he may have supplied the CIA with far more information about Russian hacking than has come to light in the Yahoo case.” Stay tuned! Remember always these are the days of our lives.
From Mother Jones.
IN-CAMP FIGHT OVER WHO + HOW RNC UKRAINE PLATFORM ALTERED
Business Insider reports, “The Trump campaign’s national-security policy representative for the Republican National Convention said Friday that he gave campaign colleagues the chance to ‘intervene’ when an amendment to the GOP’s draft policy on Ukraine was introduced in Cleveland last July.” Recall, “The original amendment, which proposed that the GOP commit to sending ‘lethal weapons’ to the Ukrainian army to fend off Russian aggression, was ultimately altered to say ‘provide appropriate assistance’ before it was included”. Business Insider adds, “GOP delegate Diana Denman, the author of the original amendment, told Business Insider earlier this year that national-security policy representative J.D. Gordon and another Trump campaign representative ‘jumped up and tore over to get behind the three co-chairmen’ of the GOP’s national-security subcommittee when the amendment was read out loud. Gordon has disputed Denman’s version of events, even as Denman has stood by her initial comments.” However, “On Friday, Gordon told Business Insider that he asked the co-chair ‘to consider tabling’ the amendment ‘until the end,’ so that he would have time to alert his campaign colleagues about it.” Gordon said it was his decision and added “he then called Rick Dearborn and John Mashburn, two top policy advisers at the time, to alert them to the amendment. He said they were ‘aware’ of the process but not ‘involved’ and did not speak to the co-chair or make any decisions about the amendment.”
From Business Insider.
WHO IS OLEG DERIPASKA? MANAFORT’S PRIVATE BRIEFINGS WERE FOR HIM
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports on the life and times of Oleg Deripaska, the aluminum oligarch close to the Kremlin who Manafort offered “private briefings” to when he was manager of Trump’s campaign. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes that like all proper oligarchs, “he built largely in the 1990s,” and is estimated to be worth $5.3 billion according to Forbes magazine. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty continues, “he founded a metals-trading operation, and in 1994 took control of a Siberian aluminum smelter. That was the seed for a company that became Basic Element, Deripaska’s main investment vehicle. In 2000, he became director general of Russian Aluminum, which later became United Company Rusal, one of the world’s largest aluminum manufacturers. United Company Rusal and Basic Element oversee businesses ranging from aviation to agriculture, as well as metals smelters.” So of course there are problems! Business in Russia is a giant headache. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, “Deripaska has been dogged for years by reports of connections to suspected organized crime groups, including Semyon Mogilevich, a Russian businessman formerly on the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List. Mogilevich was among those named in a lawsuit filed by former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko in which Manafort and Deripaska’s possible business venture was detailed.” Then “beginning in 2006, the State Department denied Deripaska a visa to enter the United States. The visa difficulties reportedly led him to enlist the lobbying influence of former Republican presidential candidate and Senate leader Bob Dole and, later, the work of one of Washington’s well-known lobbying firms, BGR, run by a former chairman of the Republican Party.” However, “Deripaska reportedly traveled to the United States in 2009 under what The Wall Street Journal said was a secret arrangement with the FBI.” Deripaska traveled to the U.S. “more than a half dozen times between 2011 and 2014 using a Russian government-issued diplomatic passport, underscoring Deripaska’s political connections.” An AP report published in March, “Manafort proposed a plan in June 2005 to Deripaska that was aimed at influencing politics, business dealings, and news coverage across the United States, Europe, and the former Soviet Union in ways that would favor Putin.” According to that report, “Manafort eventually signed a contract worth $10 million with Deripaska. He had a business relationship with him until at least 2009.” There is of course more: a hotel in New York, Cayman Islands shell companies, and a Ukrainian internet cable provider, lawsuits.
HEAR FROM FIRED NSC NUT FIGHTING THE COUNTER-INSURRECTION
The Daily Caller had Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, interview Rich Higgins, the fired National Security Council staffer. According to The Daily Caller, Higgins “claims that no mainstream reporter will contact him, further confirming the total corruption of the fourth estate that is deceiving the American people.” If that is true, that is pathetic indeed, especially as the ouster of three national security officials over the summer was a largely overlooked and truly significant story. The Daily Caller writes, “Higgins explains that what America is experiencing is far beyond any normal politics,” adding, “the venom, vitriol and barrage of narratives directed by the media and cultural elites at a duly-elected president can be seen in an ideological light.” Seen through an extraordinary reactionary lens, the sort of lens that caused people to vote for Trump, this much at least is not wholly without reason. However that brief glimpse of the threads of sanity is quickly eclipsed by the fact that people of color and women ruin everything. Of course, Higgins “says he was fired for remaining based in reality and not succumbing to the politically correct, multicultural self-delusion popular in the governing elite,” The Daily Caller reports. Long battle ahead, folks.
From The Daily Caller.
ZAPAD WATCH: MORE ON THE LIVE FIRE INCIDENT CAUSING INJURIES
The Jamestown Foundation reports in their roundup of news around Zapad, “A nasty episode of friendly fire occurred during Zapad 2017 at the Luzsky firing range, in Leningrad oblast, on September 16, when a Kamov Ka-52 Alligator attack helicopter fired an S-8 missile at a group of parked vehicles. Shrapnel from the explosion reportedly injured three people on the ground and hit an army Kamaz truck and a Niva SUV. The latter vehicle apparently had special-issue license plates belonging to the Federal Protective Service (FSO)—the Russian equivalent of the United States Secret Service,” citing MilitaryNews.ru. The Jamestown Foundation continues, “On September 18, the same Luzsky firing range was visited by President Vladimir Putin, together with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, top Russian military brass, multiple foreign journalists, and military attachés accredited in Moscow as observers. They arrived to witness Russian tanks, heavy guns, missiles, heavy flamethrowers, jet bombers and attack helicopters (including Ka-52s) firing live ammunition as part of the Zapad exercise. The visit by Putin and the other VIPs was officially declared a total success despite heavy rain and low cloud cover in Leningrad oblast. The one-day presence of 95 foreign military attachés at the live-fire show at the Luzsky range was affirmed as an act of openness”. Of course, “The friendly-fire story became public only on September 19, when an Internet site published video evidence of the attack, apparently filmed by chance by an anonymous bystander” who may or may not work for the CIA.
From The Jamestown Foundation.
ZAPAD WATCH: BELARUSIAN PRESIDENT LUKASHENKO DID NOT ATTEND
The Jamestown Foundation also notes in its roundup of Zapad news, most curiously that “Belarus’s President Alyaksandr Lukashenka apparently refused to travel ‘to the north’ to join Putin at the Luzsky firing range”. Seemingly referencing the live fire incident, The Jamestown Foundation notes, “The Belarusian leader told reporters, ‘What if a projectile hits us both [Putin and Lukashenka]?’” Are Russian notions and guarantees of safety insufficient? Citing reports in Kommersant, The Jamestown Foundation notes, “On the last day of Zapad 2017, Lukashenka visited the troops together with reporters and foreign observers. Putin was absent; Shoigu had been expected but did not come, reportedly because of complications in Syria”. Snubs abound!
From The Jamestown Foundation.
THIRD WORLD HIRING PRACTICES COME TO USDA
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump’s appointees to jobs at Agriculture Department headquarters include a long-haul truck driver, a country club cabana attendant and the owner of a scented-candle company.” Why is that so controversial? Hello food safety and management is concerned, you kind of want to get logistics right on a nation of more than 300 million people or risk ending up as shitty as Russia and its famed hoarding and panic-buy inducing history, punctuated by the ubiquitous lines of the late Soviet period. POLITICO notes their “review of dozens of résumés from political appointees to USDA shows the agency has been stocked with Trump campaign staff and volunteers who in many cases demonstrated little to no experience with federal policy, let alone deep roots in agriculture.” The one thing you don’t want to fuck up is the food supply, unless you do in which case you are Russia, the benefactors of our fake puppet president. So what brings these disparate individuals with no ag experience together?! Why “of the 42 résumés POLITICO reviewed, 22 cited Trump campaign experience.” Surprise! When food scandals of the scale and size China has experienced in recent years arrive here, you can say, thank god I kept my head down and followed orders! Amirite?
44%: MELANIA IS THE MOST POPULAR TRUMP
At 44%! Citing a new CNN poll, the cable network reports, “Forty four percent of respondents say they had a favorable opinion of Melania, while 35% had an unfavorable view.” She is also the only Trump to receive an apology for being called a former hooker, which is what makes her so impressive.
NEW SETH RICH AD IN DC ASKING FOR INFO TO INCLUDE RUSSIAN SUBTITLES
Newsweek reports, “A television spot asking viewers for information about the 2016 death of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich will launch soon in Washington, D.C. As theories circulate around the unsolved death, the spot will include Russian subtitles.” Newsweek writes, “‘There’s reason to believe that there could be a Russian connection, so what we did was we wanted to tap into everything,’ says a spokesman for Jack Burkman, a Republican lobbyist who funded the ad.” Recall, “Rich, 27, was fatally shot in July 2016 while walking home late at night in Washington. Police have said they believe the incident was a botched robbery. But because Rich worked for the Democratic National Committee, and because WikiLeaks published thousands of emails from the committee less two weeks after his death,” conspiracies have flown all over the place, many of which have been promoted via Russian propaganda channels on social media. Burkman has produced an 83-page report in the past speculating on the involvement of a hitman, which the family has refuted outright. A spokesman for the family said, “The family won’t comment at this time about an ad they had not been made aware of and have not have an opportunity to view.” But Burkman says he just wants to bring them “closure”?
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
RESISTANCE ADVICE: PICK YOUR MONDAY MORNING FOOTBALL METAPHOR!
The Washington Week is beginning and since time immemorial there are the ubiquitous references to catching the game and football metaphors sprinkled throughout the day. Today should be extra special in this regard! So while contemplating whether to take the knee or to heil, you can read all about the protests on the field yesterday in The New York Times, which has a nice round up of them all and what they mean.
From The New York Times.
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