—–ON THE AGENDA—–
PRIVATE RUSSIAN SESSIONS ON THE HILL
USA Today reports, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions is set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Justice Department oversight Wednesday.” A number of topics are on the agenda, unclear if it will touch on the Russia investigations or the fake Russian puppet president but he has not been to Capitol Hill since June when he was awfully nervous.
From USA Today.
SEAN “HOLOCAUST CENTERS” SPICER INTERVIEWED BY MUELLER’S TEAM
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump’s former press secretary Sean Spicer met with special counsel Robert Mueller’s team on Monday for an interview that lasted much of the day”. POLITICO adds, “During his sitdown, Spicer was grilled about the firing of former FBI director James Comey and his statements regarding the firing, as well as about Trump’s meetings with Russians officials including one with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Oval Office” which was an act of high treason.
MUELLER INTERVIEWED CYBERSECURITY EXPERT RECRUITED TO COLLUDE
Business Insider reports, “A cybersecurity researcher who described being recruited to vet hacked Hillary Clinton emails last year by a GOP operative tied to President Donald Trump’s campaign team has been interviewed by the FBI’s special counsel, Robert Mueller”. According to Business Insider, “Mueller interviewed Matt Tait, a former information-security specialist at Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters who tweets as @pwnallthethings, several weeks ago, said a source familiar with the matter. The interview was part of a broader effort by Mueller to examine the relationship between the longtime GOP operative, Peter Smith, and the former national security adviser Michael Flynn and whether Flynn played any role in seeking out the stolen emails during the election.” Recall, “The House Intelligence Committee has also interviewed Tait in its investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election.”
From Business Insider.
KHODORKOVSKY SURE GORKOV NOT ACTING ALONE IN KUSHNER MEETING
NBC News reports, “A prominent exiled Russian oligarch,” Mikhail Khodorskovsky whose company Yukos was seized by the state before he was jailed, “said in an exclusive interview with NBC News that he is nearly certain Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to collaborate with the Trump campaign, and that he believes a top Russian banker,” Sergey Gorkov, “was not ‘acting on his own behalf’ when he held a controversial meeting with Jared Kushner last December.” No surprise there if you understand how the mafia works. NBC News notes, “His former head of human resources, Sergey Gorkov, now runs a Kremlin bank and met with Kushner in December last year. The U.S. has accused Gorkov’s bank of providing cover for Russian spies.” Khodorskovsky describes his former employee as competent but obsequious. NBC News reports, “Khodorkovsky says Gorkov was a ‘fine employee’ who ‘carries out orders,’ suggesting the banker would not have been acting alone in meeting with a senior figure of the incoming Trump administration.” Additionally, Khodorkovsky said, “I have no doubt that he wouldn’t do anything on his own behalf”. According to NBC News, “Khodorkovsky also said he believes Gorkov’s orders come from either Andrey Kostin or Herman Gref, who both run Kremlin-backed banks that were sanctioned by the Obama administration.” NBC News adds, “The two bankers Khodorkovsky cited — Kostin and Gref — have been publicly linked to Trump. In 2013, Gref co-organized a dinner in Moscow for Trump to meet Russian financiers. The other organizer of that dinner was Aras Agalarov, the businessman involved in offering dirt on Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump Jr., according to emails. Kostin was named by Trump associate Felix Sater, a former FBI informant, as a potential source of funding for a Trump Tower project in Moscow,” something Kostin denied Friday (covered in Monday’s TRUMPISTAN WATCH) and as such he denies the latest allegation.
From NBC News.
RUSSIAN TROLL FARM PAID US ACTIVISTS TO FUND ELECTION PROTESTS
The Guardian reports, “Russian trolls posing as Americans made payments to genuine activists in the US to help fund protest movements on socially divisive issues, according to a new investigation by a respected Russian media outlet. On Tuesday, the newspaper RBC published a major investigation into the work of a so-called Russian ‘troll factory’ since 2015”. According to The Guardian, “RBC said it had identified 118 accounts or groups in Facebook, Instagram and Twitter that were linked to the troll factory, all of which had been blocked in August and September this year as part of the US investigation into Russian electoral meddling.” The Guardian notes, “RBC said its sources at the troll factory had provided screenshots of the internal group administration pages of some of the groups, as proof they were run from Russia,” adding, “the most alarming element of the article was the claim that employees of the troll factory had contacted about 100 real US-based activists to help with the organisation of protests and events.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH has named two suspected activists of involvement in the past, namely Cassandra Fairbanks on the far right (albeit once marketed as a Bernie Sanders supporter) and Bob Bland of the Women’s March on the far left, and has heard of word of others with less obvious affiliations. The Guardian adds, “About $80,000 was spent during a two-year period, according to the report,” which is a very small amount, as it amounts to $800 or so an activist, so likely more was spent and carved up in different funds or budgets. The Independent notes from RBC’s report, “In total, 250 people were employed, with 90 dedicated trolls working on the US election campaign at its peak.” Also note: this is the second behind the scenes how the Russian trolling sausage gets made story to appear in a second independent outlet in Russia this week, and it is very well-timed with where we are with the unraveling of the narrative in the West.
MEET SOME OF THE AMERICANS THE RUSSIAN TROLLS TARGETED!
BuzzFeed reports, “Four people contacted by what is believed to be the ‘American Department’ of the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency told BuzzFeed News that while they found their contacts strange, they never suspected that they were the target of foreign recruitment.” Speaking as an American, TRUMPISTAN WATCH wishes it had been called “Directorate USA”. So who are these gullible individuals? Well they had grievances, that is the unifier. Meet Micah White, “a co-founder of Occupy Wall Street. When he was contacted in May 2016 by a man named Yan Big Davis, who presented himself as a freelance reporter, he didn’t think anything of it since he often gave interviews about activism. According to emails seen by BuzzFeed News, Davis said he was writing for a site called BlackMattersUS, which had over 200,000 followers and focused ‘mostly on racism and police brutality themes.’” After the story appeared, it did not resonate with White and he forgot about it, “But Davis continued to email him for several months and asked him to promote some events. White said that since the interview had been so strange and the piece hadn’t particularly resonated with him: ‘I just kind of ignored them.’” Additionally, BuzzFeed reports, “BlackMattersUS also contacted other activists such as Conrad James, who runs a nonprofit based in Raleigh, North Carolina”. They asked him to speak at an event “in September 2016 after the death of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man who was shot by police in Charlotte.” Now wait for it: “James said that when he found out there was no organizer for the event, he offered to organize the rally himself and was told by the page’s manager to contact a woman named Stephanie Williamson, whom he described to BuzzFeed News as a spokeswoman. While James said he found this odd, the only other detail that struck him as strange was a white man who he said accompanied Williamson and never said a word or smiled.” Another group RBC reported on, Black Fist, is outed in the media for the first time as being linked to Russia’s notorious troll farm. BuzzFeed reports, “One of the trainers listed on the Black Fist website, Omowale Adewale says he was directly contacted by what he now knows to be the troll farm to hold courses in New York City.” The man who contacted him “Taylor,” had “an accent from the African continent,” which tells you Russia really imagines all black folks are the same which is beyond considering their role in so many postcolonial African conflicts. According to BuzzFeed, Adewale “never spoke with any of the other four trainers listed on the site, he says, but became suspicious again when the people paying him began having trouble with Google Wallet, insisting that he switch to using PayPal,” which when “combined with the fact that the group never discussed the politics that had drawn him in, caused Adewale to be leery.”
¡HASTA LA VICTORIA SIEMPRE! ¡FUERA NAZIS! ¡BIENVENIDO REFUGIADOS!
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump’s third attempt to implement a travel ban has, for now, met the same fate as the previous two: blocked by litigation in the the federal courts.” Oh what a goddamn pity the fake president does not get to scapegoat with travel and immigration, guess he will just have to find some other venue in which to be a small minded bigot. POLITICO reports, “Honolulu-based U.S. District Court Judge Derrick Watson,” also “blocked Trump’s second travel ban in March”. Judge Watson, an American hero, “granted a temporary restraining order against the third one on Tuesday.” In doing so, “Watson concluded that Trump’s latest effort, a proclamation issued last month restricting travel to the U.S. by citizens of eight countries, still appeared to run afoul of federal immigration law.” Following the ruling, “The State Department confirmed Tuesday afternoon that the decision effectively rescinded much of Trump’s policy, at least for the time being, prompting officials to ‘resume regular processing of visas’ for nationals of Chad, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen.”
PUTIN’S FAV CONGRESSMAN + HOLOCAUST DENIER WALK INTO A MEETING…
The Forward reports, “The Anti-Defamation League has called out Rep. Dana Rohrabacher for bringing an ‘alt-right’ journalist who has questioned the magnitude and methods of the Holocaust to a Capitol Hill meeting.” The Forward adds, “Rohrabacher brought journalist and activist Charles C. Johnson to a meeting with Sen. Rand Paul regarding information about Russian involvement in the 2016 elections that Rohrabacher had allegedly obtained from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange.” Johnson is not so much a journalist, as a raconteur and a purveyor of stinking rumor, conspiracy, and innuendo with one real scoop to his name way back when. Of course, “Johnson maintains he is not a Holocaust denier,” but come on, get real. All Russian puppets, all of them.
From The Forward.
FLORIDA DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY OVER NAZI’S PLANNED SPEECH
The Washington Post reports, “Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday in anticipation of a speech by white nationalist Richard Spencer at the University of Florida.” According to The Washington Post, “The order was intended to help with law enforcement agencies’ response to rallies planned for Thursday, the governor said in a news release. University of Florida officials said Monday afternoon that the order was not made in response to any specific heightened threat.” Recall, “Spencer led hundreds of torch-bearing white supremacists, white nationalists and others on a march chanting, ‘You will not replace us’ and ‘Jews will not replace us’ at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville in August.” The Washington Post notes, “University officials have done extensive planning for the event and said they intend to spend $500,000 on security,” which means that the Nazis are draining the public budget and stealing money that could be spent on education for their own self-serving publicity stunts – and getting away with it. Additionally, “Scott is also activating the Florida National Guard to help if needed,” The Washington Post reports.
From The Washington Post.
TRY SIX MILLION, ASSHOLES
The Washington Post reports, “Anthony Scaramucci is now a media entrepreneur,” and because he served less than two weeks in the White House as Trump’s communications director earlier this year and has now crossed over into purveyor of fine racist hate speech, TRUMPISTAN WATCH has the distinct displeasure of bothering with such a cretin. The Washington Post reports, “his Scaramucci Post on Tuesday asked the Twitterverse to weigh in on the following question: How many Jews were killed in the Holocaust?” Another case of encouraging Americans to tend to their precious opinions, but with an anti-Semitic hue because seriously this is not a discussion or one where anyone’s opinion matters a damn in the face of historical fact. Furthermore, it is obviously a means to undermine the totality of mass murder as the options include, “Less than one million, “Between 1-2 million,” “Between 2-3 million,” and “More than five million”. It was removed after 90 minutes but damage done, press coverage attained. Also, TRY SIX MILLION, ASSHOLES.
From The Washington Post.
EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS RULES IN NAVALNYS’ FAVOR
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny and his brother Oleg were unfairly convicted of financial crimes at trial in the so-called Yves Rocher case in 2014.” The “court ordered Russia to pay a combined total of nearly 76,000 euros ($89,000) and 460,000 rubles ($8,000) to the brothers.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, “The Yves Rocher case is one of two major financial-crimes prosecutions of Navalny, a vocal opponent of President Vladimir Putin who has rattled the Kremlin with reports alleging high-level corruption.” This is very typical Russian, to turn those who investigate corruption into potentially corrupt in the eyes of the public, or muddy the waters of truth enough that people do not know what to believe or stop caring.
- RUSSIAN POLICE OFFICER WANTS TO GO AFTER PROTESTERS’ PARENTS
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Russia’s top antiextremism police officer says the parents of minors who attend rallies held without government permission — and possibly their teachers, too — should be liable for punishment under the law. Timur Valiulin, head of the Interior Ministry’s antiextremism department, made the remarks at a meeting of President Vladimir Putin’s human rights and civil society council in Moscow on October 17.” Note: that council has nothing to do with human rights or civil society.
SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE WILL LIKELY SUBPOENA FLYNN JR.
ABC News reports, “The Senate Intelligence Committee will likely subpoena Michael Flynn Jr. , the son of former White House national security adviser Michael Flynn, after he declined to be interviewed by the committee as part of its Russia probe, according to a committee source.” Will he flip like Daddy or take the Fifth? Seriously who is willing to go to jail for Donald J. Trump? The correct answer is: far fewer than Trump believes are at any given moment.
From ABC News.
WHERE IS MY PAGE? RECEIVING A SUBPOENA FROM THE SENATE
NBC News reports, “The Senate Intelligence Committee has subpoenaed documents and testimony from Carter Page as part of its investigation of Russia’s alleged intervention in the 2016 election”. They do this despite the fact “The committee expects Page will invoke his Fifth Amendment rights and refuse to answer questions,” but nonetheless! NBC News notes, “It’s a dramatic switch for Page, who earlier this year seemed eager to participate in the Senate probe,” and agreed to be interviewed by just about every TV station this side of the Volga. The cat must have his tongue, or the bear his balls.
From NBC News.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
KNOW YOUR TROLLS: MEET “PUTIN’S CHEF” WHO COOKS UP TROLLS NOW
CNN reports as an “exclusive,” but whatever it has been known for years that it was Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin’s “company that financed a Russian ‘troll factory’ that used social media to spread fake news during the 2016 US presidential campaign”. According to documents obtained by CNN, “One part of the factory had a particularly intriguing name and mission: a ‘Department of Provocations’ dedicated to sowing fake news and social divisions in the West”. That name is so Russian. The concept does not even exist barely in the Western imagination. In fact, the closest thing we have is incitement but in the Russian and post-Soviet imagination a “provocation” can be almost any act that shows independence of thought or activity, so think normal civil society and protest actions, primarily as a means of dismissing them as “incitement”. Recall, “Prigozhin was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in December of 2016 for providing financial support for Russia’s military occupation of Ukraine. Two of his companies, including his catering business, were also sanctioned by Treasury this year.” As for Putin’s chef, CNN adds, “Prigozhin has a colorful past. He spent nine years in prison in the 1980s for fraud and robbery,” making him perfectly qualified to join the present Russian mafia state at the highest levels. CNN adds, “After his release, he went into the catering business — renovating a boat and opening New Island, one of a half-dozen upscale restaurants he owns in St. Petersburg,” which tells you he was rather connected. CNN continues, “Putin turned to him to cater his birthday parties as well as dinners with visiting leaders, including President Bush and Jacques Chirac of France.” Worth reading the whole story to learn about how the atmosphere at the Internet Research Agency was like “some anti-utopian Gulag,” according to one former employee CNN spoke with.
GMAIL BEEFS UP SECURITY FOR HIGH RISK USERS
Reuters reports, “Alphabet’s Google Inc said on Tuesday it would roll out an ‘advanced protection program’ to provide stronger email security for some users such as government officials, political activists and journalists who are at a higher risk of being targeted by sophisticated hackers.” Reuters adds, “The advanced protection features include an option to require a physical USB security key to connect to a desktop computer before each log-in as a way to verify a user’s identity. Mobile log-ins will require a Bluetooth wireless device.”
SUIT AGAINST AP BY OLIGARCH TIED TO MANAFORT THROWN OUT OF COURT
Russian state-run TASS reports, “A court in Washington on Tuesday upheld a motion by US news agency Associated Press to dismiss a libel lawsuit filed by Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska in mid-May.” Beautiful when our institutions stop allowing for the abuse of our institutions by an enemy. Russian state-run TASS adds, “The Russian billionaire’s lawyers filed a legal action for libel against the Associated Press on May 15 over a story about his alleged connections to a former Trump campaign chairman, Paul Manafort.” Judge Ellen Seagal Huvelle wrote, “Deripaska has cherry-picked sentences and strung them together to give the AP’s article an effect it does not have when read in full”. Sounds like Kremlin-linked lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya’s hatchet spin memo on Magnitsky as well! Get him out of here!
From Russian state-run TASS.
BUZZFEED INVOKES REPORTER’S PRIVILEGE IN STEELE DOSSER LAWSUIT
The Hollywood Reporter writes, “Aleksej Gubarev wants to know the identity of the source after learning BuzzFeed didn’t get the spy report from Fusion GPS. On Monday, BuzzFeed told a Florida judge that it should not have to disclose the identity of the confidential source who gave the publication the infamous Trump Dossier,” because of reporter’s shield laws. It also seems whoever that source is quickly ends up at the top of a Russian mafia state hit list if exposed.
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