—–ON THE AGENDA—–
UDAY BEFORE SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE
POLITICO reports, “Donald Trump Jr. will meet behind closed doors with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators on Wednesday morning as part of their investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election”. Give us a good perp walk this time, Uday! Separately, New York Magazine reports Uday was so sad there were leaks after his last appearance so, “Donald Trump Jr.’s attorney has sent a letter to the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence requesting an inquiry into leaks he says took place during and after Trump Jr.’s interview with the committee on December 6. The letter was sent to Representative Mike Conaway of Texas”. Basically it’s spillover from his weekend whining about CNN. Can’t the Trumps just shut up and be grateful for once someone else besides them fucked up or are they bitter it is not as epic as a Trump family fuck up? Perp walk, perp walk!
DEPUTY AG RESPONSIBLE FOR MUELLER APPOINTMENT ON THE HILL TOO
The Hill reports, “Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein will be on the hot seat Wednesday over alleged political bias in the Justice Department — and in a twist, he’ll be hearing it from both sides of the aisle. The Hill adds, “Rosenstein is slated to testify before the House Judiciary Committee’s oversight panel at a time when both Republicans and Democrats are insisting that the personal leanings of FBI personnel have unfairly tilted the investigations,” into both parties’ candidates in 2016. CNN adds, “Rosenstein — who retains oversight of Mueller’s investigation since Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from all 2016 campaign-related probes — has managed to keep a low profile since his front and center role in the firing of FBI Director James Comey back in May.”
TRUMP SIGNS NDAA BUT DOESN’T WANT TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT RUSSIA
The Daily Beast reports, “President Donald Trump Tuesday night signaled his reluctance to enforce congressionally-passed restrictions on Russia. In signing the massive annual military spending bill, known formally as the National Defense Authorization Act, Trump objected to several measures Congress passed to toughen U.S. policy toward Russia”. The Daily Beast notes, “Several provisions of the bill, Trump wrote in his signing statement — effectively a presidential caveat to new laws – could ‘potentially dictate the position of the United States in external military and foreign affairs and, in certain instances, direct the conduct of international diplomacy.’” The Daily Beast adds, “Among those provisions Trump cited as potentially violative of his authority is section 1239, which directs Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the military to ‘develop and implement a comprehensive strategy to counter threats by the Russian Federation.’” The Daily Beast reports, “The test will come in mid-April 2018, when the just-signed NDAA requires Mattis and Tillerson, or whomever is then the secretary of state, to submit the strategy document to Congress. Or, perhaps now, they won’t.” The Daily Beast adds, “Those weren’t the only Russia-related measures in the NDAA Trump called out as faulty,” noting, “Section 1231 extends a recent restriction, first enacted after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, against military-to-military cooperation with Russian forces.” Another provision prohibits anything that recognizes Crimea as Russian territory.
From The Daily Beast.
AUTHORITARIANS TRY TO SILENCE WOMEN
The Washington Post reports on another great day for women in Trumpistan under the fake Russian bullshit, pussy-grabbing president! “President Trump attacked Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) in a sexually suggestive tweet Tuesday morning that implied Gillibrand would do just about anything for money, prompting a swift and immediate backlash,” The Washington Post reports. Merely for asserting women should not be fondled like little sex dolls at the wanton will of their male colleagues or sex predators like Trump, this asshole thought it was ok to tweet, “Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office ‘begging’ for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!” Yeah buddy, on what planet? Oh right, on Planet Trumpistan because 60 million voters and more than half of white women in the electorate have said this behavior is just fine. Of course against the backdrop of American mass culture at the moment, Trump’s move can present itself as an act of defiance as “The tweet came as Trump is already facing negative publicity from renewed allegations from three women who had previously accused him of sexual harassment, which are coming amid the #MeToo movement that is roiling the nation and forcing powerful men accused of sexual misbehavior from their posts.” Senator Gillibrand of course was not having it and she responded, “You cannot silence me or the millions of women who have gotten off the sidelines to speak out about the unfitness and shame you have brought to the Oval Office”. A USA Today editorial said it best, “A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush.” Preach!
TEXTS OF FBI AGENTS REMOVED FROM RUSSIA INVESTIGATION REVEALED
POLITICO reports, “Two FBI agents assigned to the investigation into alleged collusion between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russia exchanged text messages referring to the future president as an ‘idiot,’ according to copies of messages turned over to Congress Tuesday night by the Justice Department.” POLITICO adds, “Special Counsel Robert Mueller removed one of the agents, Peter Strzok, from the Russia probe ‘immediately’ after learning of the texts in late July, the department said in a letter to lawmakers. The other agent, Lisa Page, had already ended her assignment to Mueller’s office.” Of course, “The messages, which were turned up during a Justice Department inspector general investigation into potential political influence on investigative decisions during the campaign, are fueling Republican calls for a second special counsel to investigate Mueller’s operation,” POLITICO adds.
PRINCELING JARED SOON TO BE IN TROUBLE BIGGER THAN THRONE IN LIFE
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Robert Mueller’s investigators are asking questions about Jared Kushner’s interactions with foreign leaders during the presidential transition, including his involvement in a dispute at the United Nations in December, in a sign of the expansive nature of the special counsel’s probe of Russia’s alleged meddling in the election”. Recall the dispute at the UN involved Israel and settlements, something princeling Jared is invested in. Remember how he and Ivanka are supposed to be a sort of hope for Jews who were not extremist zealots in America, some sort of Nazi neutralizer inside the Whites Only Haus? Remember that the next time anyone ever says anything delusional, naïve and optimistic and look at how this is turning out.
From The Wall Street Journal.
COUNT THE PUPPETS OF PUTIN IN THIS ITEM
The New Yorker reports, “Despite the deaths of as many as half a million people, dozens by chemical weapons, in the Syrian civil war, the Trump Administration is now prepared to accept President Bashar al-Assad’s continued rule until Syria’s next scheduled Presidential election, in 2021, according to U.S. and European officials. The decision reverses repeated U.S. statements that Assad must step down as part of a peace process.” For all citizens of Trumpistan, the fake Russian bullshit president’s laissez faire attitude towards chemical weapons should be of some concern, really. As The New Yorker notes, “As recently as October, after a swing through the Middle East, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said, ‘The United States wants a whole and unified Syria with no role for Bashar al-Assad in the government.’ He told reporters travelling with him, ‘The reign of the Assad family is coming to an end. The only issue is how that should that be brought about.’” While The New Yorker notes back “in April, in one of his first military decisions, the President ordered a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian base that was used to launch chemical weapons on Khan Sheikhoun, a town under rebel control. More than eighty people were killed. ‘Using a deadly nerve agent, Assad choked out the lives of helpless men, women, and children. It was a slow and brutal death for so many,’ Trump said. ‘Even beautiful babies were cruelly murdered in this very barbaric attack. No child of God should ever suffer such horror.’” However, “given the political and military realities, U.S. officials have now concluded that any transition of power would depend on a credible election conducted by the United Nations. And the physical realities in Syria today are just as tough. Vast swaths of cities—homes, businesses, schools, health-care facilities, and infrastructure such as electricity grids and roads—have been destroyed. More than five million of Syria’s roughly twenty-two million people have fled the country, with twice as many more forced from their homes inside Syria. The prospect of holding a free and fair election in Syria—one that also includes the millions of refugees scattered in dozens of countries—will be an unprecedented challenge, diplomats told me. It will also take time for a new and more credible Syrian opposition to emerge,” The New Yorker adds.
From The New Yorker.
T REX THEN SAYS THE OPPOSITE OF EVERYTHING THE WHITE HOUSE SAYS
Reuters reports, “U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in remarks later on Tuesday, plans to say that he is optimistic about North Korea denuclearization talks and that there is no role for President Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s future.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH’s neck. Whiplash. Of course this is the opposite of everything the White House says. Are you confused yet? Do you give up on truth and just keep your head down and do nothing like a goddamn Russian or do you fight this bullshit and look for truth like an American?
ACTIVE MEASURES WATCH: DIPLOMATS AREN’T BUYING T REX’S SHIT
The Daily Beast reports, “Beleaguered Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged in a closed-door meeting with U.S. diplomats on Tuesday that Russia ‘interfered in democratic processes here,’ something President Trump still describes as ‘fake news’ intended to delegitimize his presidency.” Further complicating the backdrop of his speech is the fact that “diplomats have come to see his purpose as hollowing out U.S. diplomacy,” because that is what is going on and people are not stupid. A State Department official at the speech told The Daily Beast, “referred to Tillerson as ‘an idiot’ for suggesting a retrenchment of diplomatic efforts in Europe at a time when Russia and the far-right forces it sponsors are aggressively competing for influence.” The Daily Beast notes, “The purpose of the closed-door town hall was not immediately clear to the official, who read it out to The Daily Beast in real time. Some State Department reporters were able to watch it on closed-circuit TV and tweeted highlights. At times it strayed into the bizarre, with Tillerson praising the culture of the American West, where ‘your word is your bond.’” There was also a lot of what one official described very officially as “Trump ass-kissing.” A more thorough summary however from an official went something like: “He is essentially talking about policy accomplishments and positing that State has been very successful over the last 11 months he has been at State. He seems totally unaware that much of the strategy remained on autopilot when this administration took office”. On planet reality, “Inside the hallways of Foggy Bottom, Tillerson is on a death watch,” The Daily Beast notes. Then came the more profane quotes meant for these times: “He is fucking tone deaf and has zero awareness of how miserable many people are,” and then, “He is so fucking patronizing. He’s talking about making sure everyone can achieve their potential. … he is saying he enjoys the people, getting to know the people, which is a total bag of shit.” He sounds like a bold and courageous leader, as all kommissars in Trumpistan are! (Plug: shop the TRUMPISTAN WATCH merch shop for the very best in anti-T Rex resistance gear from the Save the State Department collection!)
From The Daily Beast.
AMBASSADOR HUNTSMAN MEETS GORBACHEV
Russian state-run TASS reports, “Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev advised US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman not to repeat mistakes of the past in relations between Moscow and Washington, which brought the world to the brink of a nuclear war.” Russian state-run TASS adds, “The diplomat visited the Gorbachev Foundation on Tuesday, where the book penned by Suzanne Massie titled ‘Trust but Verify: Reagan, Russia and Me’ was presented.” According to Russian state-run TASS, “The ambassador hoped that he could muster up the wisdom to accomplish this.”
From Russian state-run TASS.
RUSSIA’S INTERNET CENSOR STARTS BLOCKING “UNDESIRABLE” WEBSITE
Snowden must be so happy about the ruling power in his new home! This must be everything Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, the self-professed transparency crusading organization, fought for! Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Russia’s Roskomnadzor media regulatory agency has begun blocking access to websites of organizations deemed ‘undesirable’ by the Justice Ministry under a 2015 law aimed at restricting the activity of organizations the Kremlin accuses of fomenting political dissent.” What’s little Vova afraid of? For freedom of information and transparency of course! Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “The regulator’s website on December 12 posted a notice that it had received a demand from the Prosecutor-General’s Office to restrict access to Internet sites that ‘distribute information from organizations deemed undesirable in Russia.’” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “On December 11, the authorities blocked access to several websites of Open Russia, a democracy and civil-society NGO founded by former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Open Russia reported that its main website, OpenRussia.org, and five others had been blacklisted by Roskomnadnzor for ‘calling for disorder.’”
FEINSTEIN DROPS MORE LETTERS IN THE MAIL FOR SENATE JUDICIARY
The Washington Examiner reports, “Senate Judiciary Committee ranking member Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., sent more letters Tuesday as part of the committee’s ongoing Russia investigation.” The Washington Examiner adds, “The four letters come less than three weeks after she sent other letters to former Trump campaign aides”. As was the case before, the Republican Committee Chair Chuck Grassley did not sign them because he is a petit version of the disaster that is DARKNESS AT NUNES, suggesting he is not fully owned, rather only partially. Of note, “In a letter to K.T. McFarland — who served on President Trump’s transition team before becoming the White House deputy national security adviser — Feinstein says she believes she has key information, and the congresswoman would like to interview her in January 2018,” The Washington Examiner reports.
From The Washington Examiner.
SAM CLOVIS BEFORE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE
The Hill reports, “Sam Clovis, a former Trump campaign official, appeared before the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday for a closed-door meeting,” adding his interview “lasted more than four hours”. Recall, “Clovis, who had served as the Trump campaign’s chief policy adviser, came under scrutiny in recent months after reports revealed that he had encouraged another campaign aide to set up a meeting with Russian officials during the 2016 presidential campaign,” and “In November, Clovis withdrew his name from consideration for a top role at the U.S. Department of Agriculture after his name became tied to George Papadopoulos,” who was the first to be arrested and agree to cooperate.
From The Hill.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
IDIOT, LIAR + INCOMPETENT
The Hill reports, “Given an open-ended choice to name the first word that comes to mind when they think of President Trump, more respondents say ‘idiot’ than any other descriptors, according a survey released Tuesday.” The Hill adds, “The Quinnipiac University poll finds 53 voters polled think first of the word ‘idiot’ when describing Trump, with another 44 voters saying ‘liar’ and 36 voters responding ‘incompetent.’”
From The Hill.
RUSSIA’S USE OF ENERGY + NORDSTREAM 2 AS A WEAPON
Foreign Policy reports, “Top administration officials, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, are sounding the alarm about the threat posed by Russia’s use of the energy weapon, especially a controversial $11 billion gas pipeline project led by largely state-owned Gazprom that they fear will tear Europe apart and leave Ukraine in the cold.” Foreign Policy adds, “On Tuesday, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hear testimony from a pair of senior State Department officials on ‘coercive Russian diplomacy’ and the threat it poses to the United States.” This is due to Nordstream 2, which Russia is wielding as “a geopolitical wedge meant to sow divisions between Western and Eastern Europe, part of broader Russian efforts to undermine European unity.” The biggest obstacle right now is “Denmark could upset the pipeline’s construction by forcing it to take a new route across the Baltic, adding time and expense,” Foreign Policy notes.
From Foreign Policy.
DO NOT FEED THE VAST RIGHT WING CONSPIRACY MEDIA MACHINE!
POLITICO reports, “The Justice Department is refusing to reveal details of the process that led up to former FBI Director Robert Mueller being granted an ethics waiver to serve as special counsel investigating the Trump campaign’s alleged collusion with Russia during the 2016 presidential election. In response to a POLITICO Freedom of Information Act request, the agency released a one-sentence memo Friday confirming that Mueller was granted a conflict-of-interest waiver in order to assume the politically-sensitive post.” Now before you can get your gums together to spew out “Hillary for prison,” POLITICO notes, “The waiver is believed to relate to Mueller’s work in recent years as a partner at the WilmerHale law firm, which also represented former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, as well as White House adviser Jared Kushner, who is also President Donald Trump’s son-in-law.” Nonetheless, such threads are the yarn of good conspiracy, so look for it to be woven into the well oiled machinery of conspiracy covfefe in the coming days, weeks and years, if you had not already noted its occasional appearance to date.
*NEW* MERCH: TRUMPISTAN WATCH shop.
SUBSCRIBE: e-mail TrumpistanWatch@gmail.com with “TRUMPISTAN WATCH” in the subject line to receive the weekday e-mail newsletter.