—–ON THE AGENDA—–
TWITTER EXECS BEFORE CONGRESS
CNN reports, “Officials from Twitter will trek to Capitol Hill on Thursday to talk to congressional Russia investigators about how Russian-linked accounts may have used the social media platform to try to sway the 2016 election.” The meeting is closed door. Twitter declined to comment to CNN on what it would say to Congress.
TWITLER ATTACKS FAKEBOOK, FAKEBOOK PUNCHES BACK
The New York Times reports, “President Trump took aim at Facebook on Wednesday, calling the social network ‘anti-Trump.’” Don’t you love his excessive usage of the third person? The New York Times adds, “the social network insists it is pro-democracy and pro-truth — and the German election shows it.” Isn’t that special? Mark Zuckerberg, the baby-faced CEO of Fakebook who addressed the nation last week in a t-shirt the color of bullshit, said, “Both sides are upset about ideas and content they don’t like,” which is so true it hurts. Suppose this is what they mean by combatting fake news with real information? The New York Times adds, “Zuckerberg expressed regret for initially appearing dismissive of his company’s potential effects on the 2016 election”. What a world a fake Russian puppet president installed by coup will do because “In 2011, Facebook lobbied the Federal Election Commission for an exception that would not require the social network to carry disclaimers on political ads on its platform,” The New York Times notes. Whiplash.
From The New York Times.
MANAFORT WILL BE SUBPOENAD BY SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE
The Washington Post reports, “The Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, “said Wednesday that staffers have agreed in principle to serve former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort with a subpoena to testify at a hearing in its investigation of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.” Recall on Tuesday, “Feinstein told reporters that she and the committee’s chairman, Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa), had struck a deal to subpoena records from Manafort.”
From The Washington Post.
ANTISOCIAL NETWORKS’ CEOS WILL BE CALLED BEFORE CONGRESS
Reuters reports, “Executives from Facebook (FB.O), Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google and Twitter (TWTR.N) have been asked to testify to the U.S. Congress in coming weeks as lawmakers probe Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 U.S. election”. Reuters adds, “A Senate aide said executives from the three firms had been asked by the Senate Intelligence Committee to appear at a public hearing on Nov. 1.”
CONGRESS WANTS ACCESS TO RUSSIAN PURCHASED ANTI-FRACKINGS ADS
Reuters reports in a near identical lede to the last item, “A U.S. House committee investigating whether Russia has tried to influence U.S. public opinion on fossil fuels asked Facebook (FB.O), Twitter (TWTR.N) and Alphabet (GOOGL.O) on Wednesday to turn over information about Russian entities that may have bought anti-fracking advertisements.” Reuters adds, “House Science and Technology Committee Chairman Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and climate change denier, asked the CEOs of the technology companies to turn over documents by Oct. 10 that detail the involvement of Russian-based or funded entities detected on their platforms, information on ads they purchased, and any communications concerning ads advocating for ‘so-called green initiatives.’” We all know Russia loves the earth, right? About as much as it loves the ambitions and aspirations of its people.
RUSSIA INVOLVED IN FANNING FLAMES IN FERGUSON, BALTIMORE
CNN reports, “At least one of the Facebook ads bought by Russians during the 2016 presidential campaign referenced Black Lives Matter and was specifically targeted to reach audiences in Ferguson, Missouri and Baltimore”. Recall, “Ferguson and Baltimore had gained widespread attention for the large and violent protests over police shootings of black men.” CNN notes, “The decision to target the ad in those two cities offers the first look at how accounts linked to the Russian government-affiliated troll farm known as the Internet Research Agency used geographically targeted advertising to sow political chaos in the United States”. Note, “New descriptions of the Russian-bought ads,” CNN reports, “suggest that the apparent goal of the Russian buyers was to amplify political discord and fuel an atmosphere of incivility and chaos, though not necessarily to promote one candidate or cause over another.” Divide and conquer.
RUSSIANS IMPERSONATED REAL AMERICAN MUSLIMS ONLINE TO SOW CHAOS
The Daily Beast reports, “The Facebook group United Muslims of America was neither united, Muslim, nor American.” The Daily Beast notes that instead, “it was an imposter account on the world’s largest social network that’s been traced back to the Russian government.” The Daily Beast reports that included in the groups vaunted tropes and memes were such priceless disinfo gems as “Hillary Clinton admitted the U.S. ‘created, funded and armed’ al-Qaeda and the so-called Islamic State; claimed that John McCain was ISIS’ true founder; whitewashed blood-drenched dictator Moammar Gadhafi and praised him for not having a ‘Rothschild-owned central bank’; and falsely alleged Osama bin Laden was a ‘CIA agent.’” Can’t we have new boogeymen this century? The Daily Beast adds, the Fakebook group United Muslims of America “promoted political rallies aimed at Muslim audiences. And it used the Twitter account ‘muslims_in_usa’ and the Instagram account ‘muslim_voice’ to pass along inflammatory memes under cover of the UMA. The Twitter account has been suspended, and the account on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, was shuttered at around the same time as the Facebook page.” Note, “The Kremlin-backed trolls did all this while simultaneously using other accounts to hawk virulently Islamophobic messages to right-wing audiences on Facebook, such as an August 2016 Twin Falls, Idaho,” because they play extremes on both sides of the spectrum to divide and conquer. Yet another example of this phenomenon! However, what makes this group’s name so unsettling is “the United Muslims of America Facebook group was impersonating an actual organization. The real UMA is a California-based nonprofit that promotes interfaith dialogue and political participation. Though it’s over 30 years old, it’s currently ‘not functional,’ according to its most recent president, and is in the midst of an organizational rebuild,” so the Russian did their homework nicely.
From The Daily Beast.
REDDIT COULD BE NEXT CONGRESSIONAL TARGET
The Guardian reports, “Reddit could join Facebook and Twitter as a target for federal investigators exploring Russian influence over the 2016 presidential election, according to a spokesperson for Senator Mark Warner”. Recall that, “Unlike Facebook, which more aggressively polices content it deems harmful, Reddit is known for much looser rules and restrictions, which is part of why the site has been identified at various times as a safe haven for internet trolls, cyberbullies, and Nazi and white supremacist groups.”
From The Guardian.
EU, NATO OFFICIALS PROPOSE “MILITARY SCHENGEN”
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports, “The notion of a so-called ‘military Schengen’, where troops and materiel could move more easily within Europe, is among the main ideas proposed for permanent structured co-operation (PESCO) in defence among EU countries”. The Commander of the U.S. Army in Europe Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges was quoted earlier this year calling for such a thing.
ZAPAD WATCH: NEW VIDEO OF HEAVY BOMBER SKIDDING OFF RUNWAY
Business Insider reports, “A new video has been published of the crash of a Russian Tupolev Tu-22M3 ‘Backfire’ on Sept. 15, 2017,” e.g. during the enormous Zapad military exercise conducted by Russia and Belarus that ended last week. Business Insider adds, “The heavy bomber, said to be near maximum take-off weight at the time of the accident according to Russian language reports, ran off the end of the runway at Shaikavka Airbase”. Business Insider notes, “The video was released today by the media outlet ‘Vzglyad’, a Russian-language online news source. The aircraft is attributed to the 52nd Guards Heavy Bomber Aviation Regiment.” Oops they did it again.
From Business Insider.
NAVALNY SAYS ST. PETERSBURG AUTHORITIES BLOCKING A RALLY THERE
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Russian opposition leader Aleksei Navalny said St. Petersburg authorities have repeatedly refused his request for a place to meet with supporters in the city center on October 7.”
HOUSE INTEL COMMITTEE RESCHEDULES MEETING INTENDED TO NUDGE DOJ
The Hill reports, “The House Intelligence Committee has postponed a quietly scheduled open hearing intended to nudge the Department of Justice into complying with a subpoena related to a controversial dossier,” the Steele dossier, “linking President Trump to Russia. Talks are ongoing between the Justice Department and the committee over what information the department will provide and how.” What this is actually about is anyone’s guess as DARKNESS AT NUNES strikes! The Hill reports, “Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.),” known to TRUMPISTAN WATCHians by his Koestler-inspired nickname DARKNESS AT NUNES, “is scheduled to meet with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein on Thursday as part of the negotiations.” Remember when DARKNESS AT NUNES said he would recuse himself from the investigation? That never ever happened, not for a moment.
From The Hill.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
SCAREDY CAT TRUMP TO AVOID FBI CEREMONY WITH MUELLER, COMEY
Newsweek reports, “President Donald Trump will not attend a ceremony for FBI Director Christopher Wray on Thursday,” and “In skipping the event, Trump will avoid possible run-ins with former FBI Director James Comey and Justice Department special counsel Robert Mueller.” Note: Trump is a massive coward who revels in violence so long as not a hair on his head is moved, unless it’s by Jimmy Fallon in an effort to normalize him.
RUSSIA + US TO COOPERATE ON FIRST LUNAR SPACE STATION
The Guardian reports, “Russia and the United States have agreed to cooperate on a Nasa-led programme to build the first lunar space station, part of a long-term project to send humans to Mars.” Maybe when it’s done we can exile Russia to bother extra terrestrial life forms for a time and in the hopes of leaving East Europeans, Americans, Syrians, Venezuelans and other front line states alone. The Guardian adds, “On Wednesday the Russian space agency Roscosmos announced that a cooperation agreement had been signed at an astronautical congress in Adelaide.”
From The Guardian.
FELIX SATER TAX FRAUD CASE DISMISSED IN MANHATTAN COURT
Business Insider reports, “A Manhattan court dismissed a $250 million civil tax fraud case against Russian-American businessman Felix Sater on Wednesday”. Business Insider adds, “The civil tax-fraud case against Sater, a former associate of President Donald Trump, and the real-estate company he cofounded, Bayrock, was being prosecuted as a qui tam case, which allows a whistleblower to file on the state’s behalf.” Business Insider notes, “The purported whistleblower in this case was a lawyer named Fred Oberlander, who at one point represented Sater’s former business partner Jody Kriss in a money-laundering suit against Bayrock.” According to Business Insider, “Oberlander acknowledged Wednesday that he had filed his qui tam complaint based on information that had been stricken by federal judges from Kriss’ original complaint”. Note, “Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office declined to intervene in the case last year. He sent a letter in February 2016 notifying the New York Supreme Court of a ‘misleading’ press release Oberlander had issued claiming that Schneiderman had green-lighted the case, ‘when in fact the State had expressly declined to intervene,’ Schneiderman wrote.” All very curious.
From Business Insider.
DOCUMENTARY ABOUT TRUMP ASSOCIATE AIRS DESPITE LEGAL CHALLENGE
The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) reports, “A documentary made in collaboration with OCCRP on the Central Asian money links of a former associate of US President Donald Trump aired on Wednesday after surviving a last-minute legal challenge. The documentary, on the Dutch public television program Zembla, uncovers fresh details on the relationship between the Russian-born Felix Sater, once a Trump business associate, and the exiled family of Viktor Khrapunov. The Kazakhstani businessman, a former mayor of Almaty, now lives in Switzerland, having been accused by the city of embezzling more than US$ 300 million.” The documentary is part three in a series called, “The Dubious Friends of Donald Trump”. According to OCCRP, “Viktor Khrapunov’s son, Ilyas, sought an injunction from a Netherlands court on Monday to block the airing of the documentary. On Wednesday morning, a judge in the city of Lelystad ruled against the request.” “OCCRP contributed research,” as did McClatchy to the program. McClatchy previously reported, “Sater helped the Khrapunovs invest more than $40 million in US real estate since 2012. Lawyers for the city of Almaty are currently claiming in two US civil suits that the money had been embezzled by the Khrapunovs from Kazakhstan.” OCCRP notes, “The US investments include the purchase for over $3.1 million of three apartments in the Trump SoHo tower in New York, which had been co-developed by Bayrock Group, a real estate development company where Sater was managing director.” OCCRP adds, “Bayrock – along with KazBay, its Dutch joint venture with the Khrapunovs – is accused of involvement in the family’s alleged money laundering.” While TRUMPISTAN WATCH has not seen the series, earlier parts come recommended highly from highly informed folk.
ABC NEWS HAS SOME RACIST FAKEBOOK RUSSIAN ADS
And you can check them out! TRUMPISTAN WATCH believes every American who does not live like the Unabomber once did was exposed in some form or another to Russian propaganda since 2014, and many fell victim to it unwittingly. As you look at these with a right-wing slant, imagine what their left-leaning counterparts might look like, as we know Russia plays both sides. Remember, we can all be deceived but acknowledging that much is the first step to overcoming it and preventing it from happening in the future.
From ABC News.
REPUBLICAN SENATOR SAYS RUSSIA MAKING USE OF NFL DEBATE
The AP reports, “Russian internet trolls are exploiting the controversy over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to stir up divisions in the United States, a Republican,” Senator James Lankford of Oklahoma, who sits “on the Senate intelligence committee said Wednesday.”
From the AP.
PATHETIC: KREMLIN CELEBRITY WAR CHEST CROWN JEWEL STEVEN SEAGAL
The Moscow Times reports, “American movie star and recent Russian citizen Steven Seagal told British television he’s personally acquainted with President Vladimir Putin and talks to him on a wide range of subjects, but not politics.” The Moscow Times notes, “Seagal, who was awarded Russian citizenship by Putin last November, is one of several late-career celebrities to become naturalized after American boxer Roy Jones Jr. and French actor Gerard Depardieu.” Of course, “Asked about allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, the aging actor dismissed the notion as ‘stupid,’” on a British morning show, “Good Morning Britain”. You know what else is stupid? Taking Russian citizenship, jackass.
From The Moscow Times.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
RUSSIA APPROVES EX-CHANCELLOR SCHROEDER TO HEAD ROSNEFT BOARD
Russian state-run TASS reports, “The Russian government approved German ex-chancellor Gerhard Schroeder as a candidate to head Rosneft’s Board of directors”. Russian state-run TASS adds, “Currently, the position of Chairman of the company’s Board of directors is taken by presidential aide Andrey Belousov.” Evidently there will be an “Extraordinary meeting of Rosneft shareholders will be held on September 29 in St. Petersburg,” Russian state-run TASS reports.
From Russian state-run TASS.
CHECHEN TERROR LEADER DOKU UMAROV’S REMAINS FOUND
Russian state-run TASS reports, “The Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) has confirmed recovery of the remains of North Caucasian terrorist leader Doku Umarov in Ingushetia, who was killed in a special operation at the end of 2013,” citing the FSB’s information center. Russian state-run TASS quotes the FSB’s information center, “As a result of purposive, longstanding sweep operations in the mountain-woody area of the Ingushetia Region, the Russian Federal Security Service has recovered the burial of North Caucasian crime leader Doku Umarov and four members of his gang killed in a special operation organized by law enforcement agencies in September 2013”. Recall, “Umarov headed the Caucasus Emirate terrorist organization”. Russian state-run TASS reports, “Evidence of Umarov’s death emerged in January 2014 after talks between gang leaders in the Kabardino-Balkaria and Dagestan Regions had been intercepted: They discussed election of a new ‘emir’ due to Umarov’s death,” and “In April 2014, FSB Director Alexander Bortnikov confirmed that Doku Umarov was dead.” Umarov “claimed responsibility for the 2009 Nevsky Express bombing which killed 28 people and terror attacks in the Moscow metro that took the lives of 40 people,” and “a terror attack in Moscow’s Domodedovo International Airport on January 24, 2011, which killed 35 people, was carried out on his order,” Russian state-run TASS notes.
From Russian state-run TASS.
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