—–ON THE AGENDA—–
SAUDI KING ARRIVES IN MOSCOW ON HISTORIC FIRST VISIT
ABC News reports, “Saudi King Salman arrived in Moscow Wednesday on the first ever visit by a Saudi monarch to Russia.” King Salman is making the four-day trip, which kicks off with a meeting with Putin at the Kremlin today. ABC News adds, “The king has brought a massive delegation of Saudi businessmen with him, and the two parties are expected to negotiate new investment deals, including in the energy sector. The Saudis also have been eyeing Russian nuclear power technologies and appear ready to expand food imports from Russia”. ABC News notes, “Asked about ties with Riyadh during a panel discussion at an international energy conference Wednesday, Putin responded that Moscow doesn’t see close U.S.-Saudi relations as an obstacle for closer cooperation with the Saudis, and added that alliances tend to shift.” We are losing our alliances in the world America to a nasty, pernicious adversary and losing badly. WAKE UP WAKE UP WAKE UP!
From ABC News.
TWO FORMER CIA CHIEFS SAY RUSSIA NEEDED HELP TO TARGET VOTERS
Bloomberg reports, “Two former heads of the Central Intelligence Agency said Russia probably didn’t have the ability to microtarget U.S. voters and districts in the 2016 presidential campaign on its own, meaning some sort of assistance would have been necessary.” Former CIA Director Michael Hayden said in an interview yesterday, “It is not intuitively obvious that they could have done this themselves”. Bloomberg adds, “Michael Morell, who spent his career at the CIA including a stint as acting director of the agency, said in a separate interview that Russia either needed someone to help give it information on microtargeting or stole the necessary information, such as through hacking.” Morell said simply, “They do not have the analytic capability to do that themselves”. Remember: when they go low, it’s our job to remind them they are knocking from below.
NOTHING NEW FROM SENATE INTEL COMMITTEE PRESSER
ABC News reports, “The top two members of the Senate Intelligence Committee gave a detailed update on the panel’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election today, saying that the ‘issue of collusion’ with Russia remains open.” ABC News adds Senate intelligence committee chair Senator Richard “Burr said the ‘general consensus’ of those involved with the Russian investigation, they ‘trust the conclusions’ of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA).” Additionally, Burr “listed three areas where they have exhausted their investigations but did not make any conclusive statements about any of them. The topics included a campaign event at the Mayflower Hotel when some Trump campaign officials met with then-Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislak, the drafting of the Republican Party campaign platform as it related to relations with Russia, and the memos taken by former FBI director James Comey.” According to CNN, Burr said the Russian aim in their Facebook advertising “seems to have been to create chaos in every group that they could possibly identify in America.” In other words, what did we learn that is new other than their investigation is serious, broad and rather far reaching? Not much.
SENATOR CORKER: TILLERSON, MATTIS + KELLY SAVING US FROM CHAOS
The Hill reports on some remarkable words uttered yesterday by Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee. Senator Corker, who chairs the Senate foreign relations committee, said, “I think Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis and chief of staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos”. The Hill followed up to ask “whether the chaos he was referring to is Trump,” and “Corker said there are ‘people within the administration’ working against the interest of the country.” Corker’s comments came amid reports that Tillerson had called Trump a “moron,” that dominated yesterday’s news cycle in the U.S. after Tillerson called a news conference to call the report “petty,” but failed to deny outright that he had said the word moron. And so what if he did – was he wrong? Signs point to no.
From The Hill.
FACEBOOK TAKES OUT FULL PAGE NEWSPAPER ADS
Fortune reports, “Facebook took out full-page advertisements in Wednesday’s issues of the New York Times and Washington Post in an effort to defend itself as the company takes fire for its role in Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.” So, if you get your news on paper and live in the power corridor, odds are you saw one of these ads; if not, like everyone else under 50, you can see tweets of photographs of the full page ad in Fortune. It begins, “Protecting Our Community from Election Interference,” which is hilarious in the most bitter possible way because it is really and truly everything Facebook failed to do. And now we have the Russians in our lives. Horror.
MANAFORT SON-IN-LAW ACCUSES HIM OF MISLEADING BANKRUPTCY COURT
USA Today reports, “As federal authorities investigate former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s controversial ties to Russia, his estranged son-in-law is accusing him of conspiring to mislead a federal bankruptcy court about real estate investments. Jeffrey Yohai made the allegation on Sept. 28 in a case that centers on four troubled California real estate investments that collectively total millions of dollars. Manafort’s daughter, Jessica, filed for divorce from Yohai in March.” According to USA Today, “Yohai has worked in real estate in California and New York, business and court records show. Part of that work has focused on buying upscale homes in the Los Angeles area, renovating them and then marketing and reselling the properties to luxury buyers. Four of the properties he planned to redevelop now are in the bankruptcy proceedings. Manafort, his wife Kathleen and daughter Jessica, helped finance Yohai’s redevelopment efforts by putting up approximately $4.2 million, bankruptcy court records show.” And this is their thank you. USA Today notes, “Yohai’s filing alleged that Manafort and others had misled him and the court about the funding and ownership of the companies that have proposed to clear up the bankruptcy issues.”
From USA Today.
THREE RUSSIANS SUE FUSION GPS OVER THE STEELE DOSSIER
POLITICO reports, “Three Russian investors are suing private investigation firm Fusion GPS and its founder Glenn Simpson for libel over the handling of an intelligence dossier,” the Steele dossier, “containing salacious allegations against President Donald Trump. Mikhail Fridman, Petr Aven and German Khan filed suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, claiming that their reputations were unfairly tattered by the so-called dossier”. What reputations are those, dears? TRUMPISTAN WATCH is sure their reputations were just sterling prior to this airing of dirty laundry. As POLITICO notes, “The plaintiffs are among the backers of Alfa Bank, a financial institution that the dossier accuses of involvement in Russian efforts to influence the 2016 U.S. presidential election. In May, the same three Russian oligarchs filed a separate libel suit in a New York state court against BuzzFeed over its publication of the dossier.” People who have money and power in Russia are always so squeaky clean! Afterall as POLITICO notes, “In 2000, Fridman and Aven sued the DC-based Center for Public Integrity over a report that suggested they were involved in drug-running and organized crime.” A federal judge threw out that suit.
VENEZUELA’S PDVSA DISCUSSES CITGO COLLATERAL SWAP WITH ROSNEFT
Reuters reports, “Venezuela’s oil minister confirmed on Wednesday that state oil company PDVSA is negotiating to swap Russian oil producer Rosneft’s collateral in Venezuelan-owned, U.S.-based refiner Citgo, adding that results are expected ‘very soon.’” Recall, “State-owned Rosneft holds a 49.9 percent collateral in Citgo for a loan last year of about $1.5 billion to the OPEC nation, which is reeling from low oil prices and a severe recession.” Reuters notes, “it remains to be seen if Venezuela can offer attractive enough assets or supply deals to rival the value of the Citgo collateral,” despite the fact that the current arrangement has drawn the ire of U.S. Senators for fairly obvious reasons of national sovereignty. Then there are the sanctions the U.S. has in place against both countries.
UKRAINE NEGOTIATORS VOLKER + SURKOV TO MEET IN BELGRADE
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Kurt Volker, the U.S. special envoy for efforts to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine, says he will meet with Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov on October 7 in Serbia’s capital, Belgrade.” According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “Belgrade is a neutral venue. Volker has thus far refused to meet with Surkov in Russia, and Surkov is barred from the European Union under sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s aggression against Ukraine.”
UKRAINE EXPELS ANOTHER RUSSIAN PROPAGANDIST
Reuters reports, “Ukraine has expelled a Russian journalist working for the television channel NTV as punishment for spreading anti-Ukrainian propaganda and justifying the actions of separatists, the state security service (SBU) said on Thursday.” According to Reuters, “Vyacheslav Nemyshev was expelled in the early hours of Thursday for preparing ‘a series of false anti-Ukrainian materials,’ the SBU state security service said. ‘The propagandist is forbidden from entering Ukraine for three years.’” Sending anyone back to Russia is very grave punishment indeed!
GREECE BACKS EXTRADITION OF RUSSIAN HACKER TO THE U.S.
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “A Greek tribunal has approved a U.S. request for the extradition of a Russian cybercrime suspect, the second such order made against a Russian citizen by a European court this week. Both Moscow and Washington had been fighting over the extradition of Aleksandr Vinnik”. According to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, “A three-judge court in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki ruled on October 4 that Vinnik, 37, should be sent to the United States, where authorities accuse him of running a multibillion-dollar digital money-laundering network.” Vinnik was arrested while on vacation in Greece in July.
CANADA PASSES ITS OWN VERSION OF THE MAGNITSKY ACT
The Globe and Mail reports, “The House of Commons passed a Canada-style Magnitsky bill Wednesday that will soon give Ottawa the power to sanction human-rights abusers around the world, prompting the Russian government to threaten tit-for-tat measures on Canadian officials when the legislation becomes law. The House unanimously voted in favour of the bill Wednesday night, sending it to the Senate for final approval over the coming weeks.”
From The Globe and Mail.
PUTIN WHINES ABOUT AMERICA + PRETENDS TO HAVE FRIENDS
The New York Times reports, “President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia said on Wednesday that relations with America had ‘become hostage to the internal political situation in the U.S.,’ but that his country had ‘many friends’ in the United States who can help improve relations between the two nations when the political tensions in America settle down.” Let’s not even get into the Russia as eternal victim of the West garbage or the fact that Putin has no real friends, unless you count dark forces and chaos as friends.
From The New York Times.
NAVALNY URGES RUSSIANS TO CELEBRATE PUTIN’S BDAY IN THE STREET
Bloomberg reports, “Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny urged his supporters to turn out for nationwide protests on President Vladimir Putin’s birthday Saturday after he was jailed for 20 days for organizing illegal demonstrations.” Surely Putin will appreciate the present of seeing so many Russians in the street on his birthday!
NAVALNY’S ST. PETERSBURG CAMPAIGN COORDINATOR DETAINED
The Moscow Times reports, “Police searched the St. Petersburg headquarters of opposition leader Alexei Navalny Tuesday evening and detained his campaign’s coordinator,” citing a report published in a local St. Petersburg outlet, Fontanka. According to The Moscow Times, “Andrei Pivovarov, an activist at the Open Russia movement founded by exiled tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, said the police were looking for leaflets advertising an unauthorized rally on Oct. 7, President Vladimir Putin’s birthday. Polina Kostylyova, the coordinator of Navalny’s campaign headquarters in St. Petersburg, was detained by police during the search, a lawyer who works with Navalny’s Anti-Corruption Fund said on Twitter.” The St. Petersburg campaign office tweeted, “Kostylyova is charged with refusing to obey authorities and violating procedures for demonstrations,” which are very serious crimes in Russia, perhaps the most serious as thieves and murderers operate with impunity and stack the ranks of the Russian mafia state.
From The Moscow Times.
RUSSIA RAIDS HOMES OF OPEN RUSSIA EMPLOYEES
The Moscow Times reports, “Russian authorities on Thursday morning raided the homes of opposition activists working for exiled oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s Open Russia”. Recall, “Khodorkovsky, the former CEO of oil giant Yukos, spent more than a decade behind bars after being stripped of his assets in what was widely seen as a politically motivated case. He was pardoned by President Vladimir Putin in December 2013,” on the eve of the Sochi Olympics, “and is a vocal critic of the Kremlin.” According to The Moscow Times, “Law enforcement searched the homes of the parents of Open Russia chairman Alexander Solovyov, the daughter of the editor of Open Russia’s investigative center and its chief editor and system administrator. State-owned Ren TV broadcaster published footage of one of the home searches, showing Open Russia’s Open Elections project head Timur Valeyev pinned to the ground.”
From The Moscow Times.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
MILITARY LEADERS SPEAKING OUT MORE AND MORE AGAINST TRUMP
CNN reports, “It’s not organized military opposition to President Donald Trump. But day by day, generals and admirals are publicly stepping up and directly giving the American public their views in ways that don’t always match the Twitter rhetoric of their commander in chief.” The most recent example is that of Air Force Academy superintendent Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria who told cadets “after racist slurs were posted on message boards of five black cadet candidates at the Air Force Academy Preparatory School: ‘If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you can’t treat someone from another gender, whether that’s a man or a woman, with dignity and respect, then you need to get out. If you demean someone in any way, then you need to get out. And if you can’t treat someone from another race or a different color skin with dignity and respect, then you need to get out’.” This is of course in stark contrast to Trump’s divisive language, misogyny and support for racist hate groups. CNN notes, “In Puerto Rico it’s much the same, while Trump calls for local Puerto Ricans to do more, the three-star Army general in charge of military relief operations has another view.” According to CNN, “Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, within hours of arriving, said more help and more troops were needed: ‘It’s not enough and we’re bringing more in’.” As usual another disgraceful Trump tweet, “The Fake News Networks are working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R’s. Shame,” upset the military. CNN reports, “This is the President of the United States openly suggesting the spirit of the American soldier, sailor, airman or Marine could be broken. No military officials I have spoken to in recent days can readily recall an instance of another president saying anything like this.” That’s because we never had a douche Russian-backed loser asshole creep squatting illegitimately in the White House before.
ZAPAD WATCH: RUSSIANS TESTED CYBER WARFARE ON LATVIA
Reuters reports, “Moscow was probably behind interruptions in Latvia’s mobile communications network before Russia’s war games last month, in an apparent test of its cyber attack tools, Baltic and NATO officials said, based on early intelligence of the drills.” According to Reuters, “Russia is suspected of interrupting the mobile network along Latvia’s western coast for seven hours on Aug. 30, NATO diplomats and Latvian security officials said. A communications jammer aimed towards Sweden from Russia’s Baltic outpost Kaliningrad may have been used.”
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
MOSCOW ADDING FACIAL RECOGNITION TECHNOLOGY TO CITY’S CCTV
Bloomberg reports, “Moscow is adding facial-recognition technology to its network of 170,000 surveillance cameras across the city”. Bloomberg notes, “Moscow says the city’s centralized surveillance network is the world’s largest of its kind.” According to Bloomberg, “Moscow’s facial-recognition technology was designed by Russian startup N-Tech.Lab Ltd. The system cross-references a digital fingerprint of images from the Interior Ministry’s database against a those captured by cameras at entrances to apartment buildings”.
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