—–ON THE AGENDA—–
HAPPY INDICTMENT DAY TO ALL! MANAFORT + GATES TO SURRENDER!
To each and everyone and especially if you are nonwhite, Mexican, Muslim, a DREAMer, or belonging to any other one of the groups of “very fine people” the Trump trash regime has zeroed in on for scapegoating, a very special indictment day to one and all! ABC News reports in a tweet, “BREAKING: Paul Manafort and Rick Gates to surrender to federal authorities today in Washington, D.C., sources w/ direct knowledge tell @ABC,” and The New York Times adds, “Paul Manafort surrendered to federal authorities Monday morning”. The New York Times reports, “Mr. Manafort walked into the F.B.I.’s field office in Washington about 8:15 a.m. with his lawyer.” CNN reported Friday after close of business, “A federal grand jury in Washington on Friday approved the first charges in the investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller, according to sources briefed on the matter. The charges are still sealed under orders from a federal judge. Plans were prepared Friday for anyone charged to be taken into custody as soon as Monday, the sources said. It is unclear what the charges are.” Uncork some champagne, put on the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and sing along to, “Glory, glory hallelujah,” and “The truth is marching on!”
SURPRISE! TRUMP FAMILY FRIENDLY RUSSIAN LAWYER IS FULL OF SHIT
The New York Times reports, “Natalia V. Veselnitskaya arrived at a meeting at Trump Tower in June 2016 hoping to interest top Trump campaign officials in the contents of a memo she believed contained information damaging to the Democratic Party and, by extension, Hillary Clinton. The material was the fruit of her research as a private lawyer, she has repeatedly said, and any suggestion that she was acting at the Kremlin’s behest that day is anti-Russia ‘hysteria.’” Well surprise! That is and was of course always complete horseshit, a Russian specialty they often wrap in accusations of Russophobia and deflections of hysteria. If you are a long time TRUMPISTAN WATCHian, you should know by now without being told. The New York Times needs to tell its readers that of course the talking points were shared with the Kremlin and Russia’s prosecutor general Yuri Chaika and mirrored a document given to Putin’s favorite Congressman, Dana Rohrabacher “two months earlier” in Moscow. As TRUMPISTAN WATCHians know, “a number of Russian analysts called it inconceivable Ms. Veselnitskaya would have bypassed her own government to deliver what are now unmistakably official allegations to an American presidential campaign.” Gleb Pavlovsky, a Kremlin insider turned critic, said of course “She had guidance.” Collusion confusion? Nyet.
From The New York Times.
FEDERAL PROSECTOR RESIGNS AFTER TRUMP REQUEST
NBC News reports, “Dana Boente, one of the nation’s most high-profile federal prosecutors, has submitted his resignation after he was asked to step down to make way for a successor to be named by President Donald Trump.” NBC News adds, “He is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, handling cases from the state capital in Richmond north to suburban Washington. Based in Alexandria, Virginia, the office is one of the nation’s largest, with prosecutors specializing in intelligence and terrorism cases. The district includes the Pentagon, the CIA and Naval Station Norfolk, the world’s biggest U.S. Navy base.” Recall, “he became acting attorney general in January after Trump fired Sally Yates, who refused to enforce the first executive order restricting travel.”
From NBC News.
TRUMP LAWYER MICHAEL COHEN GRILLED ON TRUMP TOWER MOSCOW
NBC News reports, “Congressional investigators this week grilled President Donald Trump’s personal attorney,” Michael Cohen, “over a scuttled plan to open a new tower in Moscow”. NBC News adds, “Sources familiar with Cohen’s interview Tuesday with the House panel said there was an extended focus on emails he received in 2015 from Felix Sater, a former Trump associate with a criminal past, about a potential deal to open a Trump Tower in the Russian capital. Cohen has downplayed those conversations, in which Sater bragged about his access to top Kremlin officials, saying it was about ‘a real estate deal and nothing more.’” NBC News notes, “Participants also described often contentious exchanges between interviewers and Cohen’s attorney, who sought to cut off questions he saw as outside the committee’s purview.”
From NBC News.
MANAFORT’S SUSPICIOUS WIRE TRANSFERS
BuzzFeed reports, “The FBI’s investigation of Donald Trump’s former campaign manager, Paul Manafort, includes a keen focus on a series of suspicious wire transfers in which offshore companies linked to Manafort moved more than $3 million all over the globe between 2012 and 2013,” adding, “Much of the money came into the United States.” According to BuzzFeed, the transfers “drew the attention of federal law enforcement officials as far back as 2012, when they began to examine wire transfers to determine if Manafort hid money from tax authorities or helped the Ukrainian regime close to Russian President Vladimir Putin launder some of the millions it plundered through corrupt dealings.” BuzzFeed adds, “The transfers were first flagged by US financial institutions, which are required by law to tell an office within the Treasury Department about any transactions they deem suspicious.” BuzzFeed reports, “Bank officers flagged unusual behavior among five offshore companies that authorities say are associated with Manafort: Global Endeavour Inc., Lucicle Consultants Ltd., and three others that appear to have no current contact information. Law enforcement sources say the companies sent funds in round-dollar amounts without explanation of what the money was to be used for. The countries where these transactions originated — notably Cyprus and the Caribbean nation of St. Vincent and the Grenadines — are notorious for money laundering.”
MANAFORT’S VIRGINIA REALTOR TESTIFIED TO GRAND JURY
POLITICO reports, “The Realtor who helped former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort buy the Virginia condo that was recently raided by the FBI testified last week before the federal grand jury hearing testimony in Robert Mueller’s Russia probe”. According to POLITICO, “The real estate agent, Wayne Holland of Alexandria, Virginia-based McEnearney Associates, appeared before the Washington-based grand jury after a federal judge rejected the firm’s lawyer’s bid to quash subpoenas for testimony and records about various real estate transactions.” While, “The public version of the opinion is simply captioned ‘In re Grand Jury Investigation’ and does not name Holland or Manafort. However, the real estate agent confirmed in a brief telephone interview Friday that the legal dispute concerned his testimony,” POLITICO adds.
CALIFORNIA SCREAMIN’: MANAFORT FAMILY $4 MILLION REAL ESTATE LOSS
Bloomberg reports Paul Manafort “and his family are on track to lose more than $4 million that they invested in properties in Los Angeles, his attorney said after a hearing [last] Monday in bankruptcy court.” Bloomberg notes, “Manafort, his wife and his daughter loaned the money starting in 2014 to limited liability companies run by his former son-in-law, Jeffrey Yohai, to rehabilitate Los Angeles homes and sell them, according to court and real estate records. Four Yohai entities have since filed for bankruptcy protection.” Bloomberg adds, “Starting in 2014, limited liability corporations controlled by Yohai bought four properties in Los Angeles, including a $7.5 million house on Blue Jay Way that Yohai planned to tear down and replace with a $30 million mansion, according to court records.” Additionally, “Manafort, his wife Kathleen and daughter Jessica provided loans to several of the projects from 2014 to 2016. The biggest was $2.7 million to a Yohai-controlled LLC that purchased a house in Bel-Air in early 2016 for $8.5 million,” Bloomberg adds. Furthermore, “In California, Yohai and Jessica Manafort were sued in April by Genesis Capital Master Fund II, which lent Yohai’s real estate ventures more than $15 million. Those entities defaulted on the loans, court records show. As the senior lender, Genesis Capital had first dibs on whatever money is recovered from the properties, Browndorf said. Manafort and other creditors are lined up for whatever is left over,” Bloomberg reports.
FORMER CIA DIRECTOR IN CONTACT WITH FBI OVER FLYNN
The Hill reports, “Former CIA Director James Woolsey has been in contact with FBI agents working under special counsel Robert Mueller regarding his knowledge of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, a spokesman for Woolsey said Friday.” The Hill notes, “Of reported interest to Mueller is a meeting in September 2016 in which Woolsey said he heard a discussion about sending a U.S.-based Turkish cleric, Fethullah Gülen, back to Turkey. Woolsey has said he attempted to notify the U.S. government about the conversation by informing then-Vice President Joe Biden about the matter through a mutual friend.”
From The Hill.
OH MERCER, MERCER ME! REBEKAH ASKED CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA TO HELP
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Trump donor Rebekah Mercer in August 2016 asked the chief executive of a data-analytics firm working for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign,” Cambridge Analytica, “whether the company could better organize the Hillary Clinton-related emails being released by WikiLeaks, according to a person familiar with their email exchange.” Oh, the bleeding irony that it was in an email! It’s like every day the rhetoric of Trump’s campaign gouges the eyes out of the truth just a little more.
From The Wall Street Journal.
TRUMP AIDE ROGER STONE SUSPENDED FROM TWITTER
Newsweek reports, “The Stone Zone has been taken off Twitter. Incendiary Republican adviser Roger Stone has been suspended from the social network — and might be gone for good — after unleashing foul-mouthed insults at two prominent reporters,” CNN anchor Don Lemon and New York Times’ columnist Charles Blow, both of whom coincidentally – just a coincidence – are Black. Twitler also went into meltdown mode after the indictments were announced Friday but for some reason they do not ban him even after he taunts the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and leads us to the brink of nuclear annihilation.
WASHINGTON FREE BEACON SAYS FIRST PAID FOR STEELE DOSSIER
The Washington Post reports the Washington Free Beacon “said Friday it paid a Washington research firm,” Fusion GPS, “to start probing Donald Trump’s background”. The Washington Post adds, “In a statement, the Washington Free Beacon said it retained Fusion GPS to provide research on multiple Republican candidates in the 2016 presidential election. Two people familiar with billionaire GOP donor Paul Singer said he provides financial support to the publication. A spokesman for Singer’s firm, Elliott Management, did not respond to requests seeking comment.” The statement, “from Free Beacon editor in chief Matthew Continetti and chairman Michael Goldfarb,” noted, “None of the work product that the Free Beacon received appears in the Steele dossier”.
From The Washington Post.
FUSION GPS AGREEMENT REACHED
Reuters reports, “The U.S. House Intelligence Committee on Saturday said it had reached an agreement related to its subpoena of a Washington research firm’s bank records that would secure access to records for the panel’s probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. The announcement came a day after a federal judge had given an unnamed bank more time to respond to the congressional panel’s subpoena to Fusion GPS,” which commissioned and compiled the Steele dossier.
FAKEBOOK ROLLS OUT NEW AD POLICY TO SAVE FACE BEFORE CONGRESS
POLITICO reports, “Facebook on Friday unveiled changes to its advertising platform designed to protect election integrity, as the nation’s top internet companies rush to show they’re taking congressional complaints seriously ahead of a slew of hearings on Russian interference.” According to POLITICO, “The company will put pop-up banners on political ads in its news feed that indicate who paid for them. It will also verify advertisers before they’re allowed to purchase such ads.” The company claims that “for all advertising — political and otherwise — Facebook will aggregate every spot purchased by an advertiser on a special page, making them visible to users even if they’re not part of the intended audience. That cache will include details on the demographics of those targeted by the ads and how many times they were viewed. Facebook will maintain a searchable archive of each advertiser’s political ads going back four years”. This latter part will remain to be seen as the company has made a practice of deleting data after researchers have uncovered on their own methods and means of uncovering similar such information.
SENATOR FEINSTEIN SENDS LETTERS TO FACEBOOK, TWITTER, WH
POLITICO reports, “The Senate Judiciary Committee’s top Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, on Friday launched several new investigative queries about Russian electoral meddling — without sign-on from the panel’s GOP chairman,” Senator Chuck Grassley. POLITICO adds, “Feinstein sent five letters to key players, including one asking Facebook and Twitter for copies of advertising that Russian buyers aimed at the U.S. Another expansive request from Feinstein asks the White House to produce documents regarding President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, Michael Flynn, and former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, as well as the firing of FBI Director James Comey. Feinstein’s other letters seek information from Trump lawyer Michael Cohen and Cambridge Analytica”.
STATE DEPARTMENT FINALLY ISSUES SANCTIONS GUIDANCE
CNN reports, “The State Department, facing bipartisan scrutiny from Congress, issued long overdue guidance on which Russian individuals and entities will be subject to sanctions under recently passed legislation — 25 days after it was due.” That 25 days gave potentially sanctioned individuals a chance to move money, so there is a cost for the delay.
ACTIVE MEASURES WATCH: STATE DEPARTMENT POLICY PLANNING PROCESS
POLITICO reports, “A leaked State Department document is alarming diplomats and others who say it shows the accumulation of power among a small and unaccountable group of senior aides to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.” Surprise! Word clouds are for dummies. According to POLITICO, “The chart, obtained by POLITICO, illustrates the growing influence of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, which traditionally has served as an in-house think tank but which Tillerson heavily relies upon for day-to-day decision making. Critics already complain that the office — led by Brian Hook, a powerful Tillerson aide not subject to Senate confirmation — accepts too little input from career diplomats, and the chart, which lays out a method to craft foreign policy, shows no explicit role for them.” What could go wrong? In a perfect military dictatorship with a foreign puppet president there is no room for institutional wisdom, sage and experienced diplomats, deep knowledge of the globe. According to “Several current and former U.S. officials warned that the new approach, called the Policy Planning Process, or ‘P3,’ increases the risk of poor, uninformed policy choices,” POLITICO notes. A Senior Democratic Congressional aide added, “The chart suggests ‘a power grab by a small cabal of Tillerson aides’”. This is not what George F. Kennan intended when he created the office in 1947, but no one in the administration appears to be listening to his sage wisdom on Russia much either these days.
LAVROV + AMBASSADOR HUNTSMAN MEET
Russian state-run TASS reports, “Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman discussed on Friday the current state and prospects for the development of bilateral relations”.
From Russian state-run TASS.
VOLKER MEETS WITH FREED CRIMEAN TATARS IN KIEV
Reuters reports, “Russia unexpectedly released a pair of Tatar activists on Wednesday thanks partly to an intervention by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. They have vowed to return to Crimea to campaign for the release of other prisoners.” U.S. Special Envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker met them and told Reuters while in Kiev, “The fact that they were released is a small positive sign”.
LESS THAN HALF OF RUSSIANS SUPPORT KREMLIN BULLSHIT IN UKRAINE
The Moscow Times reports, “Forty-one percent of surveyed Russians believe Moscow should support separatists in Ukraine’s Donbass region, according to a new poll published by the independent Levada Center.” However, “Only 6 percent said Moscow should support the Kiev government in the conflict with the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics,” The Moscow Times adds, suggesting few understand that these are not really people’s republics but Russia’s bullshit occupation. The Moscow Times notes, “Levada’s survey was carried out among 1,600 Russians on Sept. 15-19 in 137 towns and cities across 48 Russian regions. The margin of error did not exceed 3.4 percent.”
From The Moscow Times.
VENEZUELAN STATE OIL COMPANY BLINKS + MAKES DEBT PAYMENT
CNBC reports, “Venezuela’s state-owned oil giant announced on Friday it had made a critical debt payment, avoiding a catastrophic default that could have seen the company lose control of the U.S.-based refiner Citgo, one of its crown jewels.” CNBC notes, “PDVSA, as the company is known, said it was processing $841 million in principal due Friday on a bond that was backed by Citgo. For bondholders, the statement capped a tense week as the company remained radio silent about the payment.” Russian state oil giant Rosneft has poured money into PDVSA to keep it afloat and maintains a 49.9% stake in the company. Senators have previously expressed concerns about the Russian mafia state-owned enterprise Rosneft gaining control of Citgo.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
IRS APPEALS OFFICE TAKES ON MERCER HEDGE FUND TAX DISPUTE
Bloomberg reports, “A tax dispute involving Renaissance Technologies, the hedge fund firm whose co-chief executive officer is a prominent backer of President Donald Trump,” Robert Mercer, “is advancing to a new phase. Members of the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Appeals are scheduled to meet with lawyers for Renaissance in New York on Nov. 7”. According to Bloomberg, “The meeting kicks off a review by an independent branch of the tax agency and suggests a resolution may be years away.”
RUSSIAN TROLL: KREMLIN MADE BOGUS HILLARY SEX TAPE
Newsweek reports, “A Russian man who said he once worked as an internet troll claimed the nation’s propaganda factory produced a sex tape featuring a Hillary Clinton look-alike and an African-American man, among other accusations. During an interview with an independent Russian TV channel, the former troll, Alan Baskaev, said he worked at Russia’s now infamous Internet Research Agency (IRA)”. Newsweek adds Baskaev told TV Rain, “Another troll video showed an African-American solider shooting a copy of the Koran, Islam’s holiest book”. Remember this when the Hillary uranium whataboutism approved by numerous government agencies arises.
MAXINE WATERS ASKS TWITTER FOR INFO ON RUSSIAN TROLLS
The Los Angeles Times reports, “U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters wants Twitter to hand over information about any Russian-linked accounts that have attacked her or her Los Angeles congressional district.” The Los Angeles Times adds, “In a letter to Twitter Chief Executive Jack Dorsey on Thursday, the outspoken Democrat asked the company to disclose all of the accounts associated with Russian- or Kremlin-linked firms that have targeted her since the 2016 election. She also asked for details on how many times the tweets mentioning her were shared, including if they were shared by President Trump or conservative outlets.”
From The Los Angeles Times.
MATT TAIBBI: RUSSIAN COLLUSION DENIER + OTHER TERRIBLE THINGS
The Chicago Reader chronicles the swift public airing of grievances that occurred Friday over Matt Taibbi, a Rolling Stone reporter and long time denier of all things Russia and Trump. According to The Chicago Reader, “Matt Taibbi has a new book out now, I Can’t Breathe, about all the forces that conspired to kill Eric Garner,” and while “it’s an important story” for sure, “it’s also inadvertently become part of another conversation that has risen to a crescendo in the past few weeks: the Weinstein conversation.” Oh how sad this is not just being used to divide us along gender lines but now is taking down apparent Russian proxies in our society who were so keen on deluding the message that there is anything to fear in Russian efforts to capture our state! Sad! The Chicago Reader notes, “In 2000, Taibbi and Mark Ames published The Exile: Sex, Drugs, and Libel in the New Russia, a memoir of their first year of editing The Exile, an alt-weekly in Moscow that took on the corrupt culture of post-Communist Russia, mercilessly attacked the expats who moved there to get rich quick, and gleefully exposed the shoddy reporting in the mainstream media.” However, “Ames and Taibbi additionally write about how they also mercilessly sexual harassed and occasionally assaulted the women they encountered, both their colleagues in the Exile office and Russian women— some as young as 15 —they met socially. Many of these passages have previously been quoted in Internet forums such as Reddit, but they took on a new life this morning on Twitter,” The Chicago Reader reports, adding, “NPR’s Robin Young asked Taibbi about these passages at an event on October 25 at the Harvard Bookstore, and Taibbi took to Facebook to acknowledge them, while also claiming that a lot of material in the book The Exile was satire and exaggerated and meant to be funny.” You know that ol’ “we were just acting like rapey douches for lolz” defense that fails every time. None of this of course affected a Saturday appearance at the Chicago Humanities Festival, because of course our definition of humanity is including ever more forms of inhumanity each and every day. And when you are a white male you get all the second chances in the world in so-called “modern” America. So it goes.
From The Chicago Reader.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
RESISTANCE ADVICE: BE A SHERO
The Washington Post reports, “The departure of President Trump’s motorcade from his Sterling, Va., golf club on Saturday afternoon was chronicled as dutifully and minutely as the retreat of some great army. The president left Trump National Golf Club at 3:12 p.m. after spending the day there on the edge of the Potomac River. A thick column of black SUVs escorted Trump past two pedestrians, a Guardian reporter wrote in a pool report — ‘one of whom gave a thumbs down sign.’ ‘Then it overtook a female cyclist, wearing a white top and cycling helmet, who responded by giving the middle finger.’” If you should come into contact with the fake Russian president in your travels and wanderings, remember this incident and remember, everyone can be a hero or a shero. Do check out the photo.
From The Washington Post.
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