TRUMP TRANSITION TEAM DISCUSSED WAYS TO ENCRYPT FLYNN’S COMMS
Gizmodo reports, “Days before a series of phone calls in late-2016 between Michael Flynn and Russia’s then-ambassador to the United States, members of the presidential transition team began inquiring about ways to encrypt Flynn’s conversations, discussing with the director of national intelligence’s office by email a range of technologies that would enable secure communications.” Gizmodo adds, “Among the recommendations apparently approved of by the General Services Administration (GSA)—the agency charged with overseeing the orderly transfer of power after a new president is elected—was the use of Signal, a popular encrypted messaging app that allows users to exchange messages that can self-destruct.” If you don’t have Signal, you really should by now.
ROHRABACHER SAYS “I AM AN OPEN BOOK” (WITH KGB DEVICE INSIDE…)
Resting on a briefcase of cash… CNN reports, “Rep. Dana Rohrabacher said the Senate Intelligence Committee questioned him Tuesday about meetings and trips to Russia over the past several years as part of the panel’s investigation into Russian election meddling.” CNN adds Rohrabacher said, “that those meetings and trips were part of his role as chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Russia subcommittee dealing with the country. Leaving the Senate committee’s secure spaces after the closed-door interview, Rohrabacher said he’s ‘an open book’ when it comes to Russia.” CNN notes, “Rohrabacher has come under scrutiny for his meeting over the summer with WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. He said after meeting Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London that that a ‘rendezvous’ was being set up between him and Trump to relay the information he had received from Assange.” Not normal.
FBI DEPUTY DIRECTOR TESTIFIED FOR 8 HOURS, GOWDY THREATENS HIS JOB
Fox News reports, “FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe testified behind closed doors for nearly eight hours Tuesday on Capitol Hill, amid calls for his firing over allegations of conflicts of interest and anti-Trump political prejudice at the law enforcement bureau.” As this is Fox News and anything to discredit the investigations and protect the orange Russian bullshit fake president is fair game, “McCabe’s testimony before the House Intelligence Committee, which had been rescheduled from last week, was the latest development in a controversy swirling around text messages exchanged between FBI officials Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, who worked on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe.” While rumors swirl that Trump may try and fire Mueller, Florida Rep. Trey “Benghazi” Gowdy drops this: “I’ll be a little bit surprised if (McCabe is) still an employee of the FBI this time next week”. Why is Gowdy threatening a government employee’s job?
From Fox News.
CONGRESS WANTS FBI, DHS BRIEFING ON ELECTION SECURITY BEFORE 2018
The Hill reports, “A group of nearly two-dozen Democratic lawmakers wants the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FBI to brief the entire Congress on Russia’s efforts to target state voter systems ahead of the 2016 election,” which is very Freudian as they mean 2018 as the article was published yesterday. Every election from now on will be 2016! The Hill notes, “The Democratic lawmakers asked House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) to arrange such a briefing in a letter sent Tuesday, labeling Moscow’s efforts to target election-related systems an ‘attack.’” To Ryan, it is his victory.
From The Hill.
COAST GUARD WARNS OF RUSSIAN “MINI ARMS BUILDUP” IN ARCTIC
CBS News reports, “The U.S. Coast Guard cutter Polar Star keeps shipping lanes open in the North and South Poles. When it cuts through the ice, it can feel like an earthquake on board. But Coast Guard Vice Adm. Fred Midgette warns the U.S. is being outspent by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia has six new heavy icebreakers.” Midgette said, “If you look at what Russia is doing, there’s almost a mini arms buildup going on in the Arctic”.
From CBS News.
UKRAINE ENVOY VOLKER SAYS 2017 MOST VIOLENT IN UKRAINE CONFLICT
Unian Information Agency reports, “The year of 2017 saw the highest level of violence in eastern Ukraine since the conflict in Donbas erupted, U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker said Tuesday, speaking at the Atlantic Council conference titled ‘Making Peace in Donbas? The Role of a Peacekeeping Mission.’” Unian Information Agency notes, “He added that ‘last night was one of the most violent nights in eastern Ukraine’ this year starting February. ‘Russia is continuing to deny its own role in this. And this is why this has been so difficult to resolve from the beginning. Russia has insisted that it has nothing to do with the forces that it has created, that it commands, that it controls; with the separatist governments that it has set up, that it changes the leaders out of at will as they did in Luhansk just last month.’”
From Unian Information Agency.
UN CONDEMNS RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN OCCUPIED CRIMEA
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “The UN General Assembly has approved a resolution strongly condemning human rights violations in Russian-annexed Crimea and referring to Russia as an ‘occupying power’ there. The resolution put forward by Ukraine and 30 other countries, was approved by 70 states. Twenty-six, including Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and China, voted against. Seventy-six countries abstained from voting.”
KASPERSKY LAB ASKS U.S. COURT TO OVERTURN BAN
Reuters reports, “Moscow-based security software maker Kaspersky Lab said on Monday it has asked a U.S. federal court to overturn a Trump administration ban on use of its products in government networks, saying the move deprived the company of due process.” And this is how they use our system and its openness against us. And maybe they can get a judge they want installed on the bench via our fake Russian bullshit president in the interim just to ensure we are Sovietizing before our very eyes.
—–INDICTMENT ROCK CITY—–
The Huffington Post provides an update on Rick Gates’ “sparsely attended fundraiser”. Recall, “Jack Burkman, an eccentric Republican lobbyist who claimed to have formed ‘an independent commission’ to investigate conspiracies surrounding the murder of former Democratic National Committee employee Seth Rich, hosted a fundraiser to help Rick Gates with his legal fees at a hotel in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday night.” The Huffington Post reports, “Speaking before roughly a dozen attendees ― including the reporters there to cover the spectacle ― Burkman said that Gates was ‘a victim of a very unfair prosecution’”. Sure, maybe in a planet of alternative facts where bullshit is what there is in lieu of truth. The Huffington Post adds, “In a news release before the event, Burkman claimed the event would raise ‘significant funds’ for the Defending American Rights Legal Fund that will benefit Gates. At the event, he said he expected checks would flow in over the coming days and weeks.” Can’t someone just pick up the phone to some Kremlin proxy or is this guy too small a fish and them too broke to care? There is also a photo of Gates addressing the fundraiser by video with a giant flag behind him because you should ornament yourself in patriotism while facing trial for money laundering, always.
From The Huffington Post.
GOP HOUSE MEMBERS WANT FBI INTERVIEWS OVER HILLARY PROBE
The Washington Post reports, “The Republican chairmen of the House Judiciary and Oversight committees are asking the Justice Department to let them conduct transcribed interviews with three top FBI officials as part of an ongoing joint probe into how officials handled the investigation of Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server. Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions late Tuesday asking to interview the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s deputy director Andrew McCabe, FBI chief of staff James Rybicki, and FBI counsel Lisa Page, beginning as soon as Thursday.” The Washington Post notes, “Goodlatte and Gowdy released the letter publicly shortly before the House Intelligence Committee finished grilling McCabe in an eight-hour, closed-door session on Tuesday. Gowdy is a member of the intelligence panel and participated in the interview.” Recall: Hillary Clinton is not our president.
From The Washington Post.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
The Journal of Democracy reports, “Putin’s use of asymmetric tools—low-cost, often deniable tools where Russia has an advantage that can counter U.S. conventional military superiority—to weaken democracy is in part a means for a declining Russia to level the playing field by weakening others and gaining relative power. The Kremlin understands that sowing chaos and exploiting divisions undermines democratic institutions in the United States and in Europe. Some Russian journalists,” namely Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan, “believe the Kremlin’s efforts to directly attack American democracy were further motivated by the release of the Panama Papers and revelations regarding Putin’s illicit wealth. Discrediting democracy abroad also allows Putin to make the case at home that democracy is a flawed and chaotic system, thus strengthening his grip on power.” As TRUMPISTAN WATCH has been screaming, “The ‘active measures’ that Moscow is deploying in the United States are not new. The Soviet Union used similar tactics against the United States and its European allies during the Cold War. Putin has recommissioned these tactics and, crucially, he has weaponized new technological tools—tools intended by their creators to serve as empowering forces—to supercharge the attack on democratic institutions.” As The Journal of Democracy notes, “Putin uses a comprehensive toolkit—combining information operations, cyberattacks, malign financial influence, strategic economic coercion, and support for extremist parties and groups that act in combination with one another. The success of Moscow’s tactics in many cases depends more on opportunism than on a grand strategic design. The Kremlin excels at taking advantage of pre-existing vulnerabilities”. But you all know this because you have been reading TRUMPISTAN WATCH for months.
From The Journal of Democracy.
GARRY KASPAROV: TRUMPISTAN IS EVER MORE LIKE SHITTY RUSSIA
The Huffington Post reports, “Russian chess champion and political activist Garry Kasparov has a chilling warning for Americans: While you’re distracted by the bully in the White House, democratic institutions are being ripped apart.” True fakt! The Huffington Post notes, “Kasparov said he sees some of the same tactics he witnessed in Russia being used in the U.S., like a leader ‘lying constantly while attacking targets for lying’ and the ‘escalation of rhetoric to dictatorial extremes.’” Indeed, white boots and the erosion of democracy is just the beginning!
From The Huffington Post.
DID THE RUSSIANS TURN A GOP DIGITAL GURU?
BuzzFeed News reports, “Vincent Harris, whose namesake Austin, Texas–based firm has deep ties to US Republicans, has positioned himself as a digital guru for Le Pen and other far-right leaders overseas against a backdrop of spiking nationalism, ethnic division, and anti-globalism. It’s an odd trajectory for someone who once seemed on his way to being the GOP’s super-consultant of the future.” According to BuzzFeed News, “Harris taught Mike Huckabee how to talk to bloggers. Sharpened tea party–insurgent Ted Cruz into a national brand. Created memes for Mitch McConnell, the dullest of senators. Evangelized for the phone over television. Along the way he became, in the words of one publication, ‘The Man Who Invented the Republican Internet.’ And he did it all before his 27th birthday.” BuzzFeed adds, “But now, as he approaches 30, Harris has fallen into a bit of a slump at home. He bet on the wrong 2016 presidential candidate. Pissed off one of his top clients. Disappeared from Donald Trump’s campaign within days for reasons no one seems to understand. As 2017 ends, his highlights are accounts that make even some of his friends and admirers uncomfortable.” His clients? Le Pen, Alternative für Deutschland, UKIP and other far right Kremlin proxies in Europe (and possibly elsewhere)! BuzzFeed News notes, “How did Harris go from The Man Who Invented the Republican Internet to The Man Who Helped the Radical Fringe Find Its Voice Overseas? It’s a question that the man who once gladly submitted himself to such publicity seems uneager to answer.” Maybe it’s Russia because that would be what unites all these things besides racism, bigotry and anti-Semitism. As BuzzFeed reports, “Some point to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who disappeared from the domestic political scene for years while making millions working for authoritarian figures in Eastern Europe.”
From BuzzFeed News.
AS U.S. WITHDRAWS, RUSSIA FILLS THE VACUUM À LA CUBANA
The Independent reports, “Cuba has significantly increased its trade with Russia, as Donald Trump’s government tightened US restrictions on the neighbouring communist state. A number of Russian state companies are in the process of negotiating deals with the Caribbean island as it seeks to fill the void left by other trading allies.” The Independent notes, “Cuba’s main trading partner is still China, but it is once again strengthening economic links with Russia, which it formed an alliance with during the Cold War.” The Independent adds, “Foreign policy experts say Moscow is seizing on that rollback as a way to undermine American influence in its own backyard.”
From The Independent.
ACTIVE MEASURES WATCH: TRUMP’S TWITTER + INTERNATIONAL INCIDENTS
The Atlantic has an unnumbered listicle roundup of all the international incidents caused by Trump’s Twitter feed in 2017. It’s fucking depressing and represents the deep shaming of a once glorious nation. 2017: the year we lost bigly to Russia. Trump is a walking, tweeting active measure beyond anything the Russians could have dreamed of. And because we did not fight hard enough before November 9, 2016, we have ourselves to blame. Welcome to Trumpistan, how will we demoralize ourselves and watch but not stop the Great Lunatic from debasing the nation today? Sadly, The Atlantic feels compelled to include an “Upshot” to every shameful incident. Why? Don’t bother. Sometimes we need to feel the feels not numb ourselves to the pain we have caused ourselves and others.
From The Atlantic.
RUSSIAN TROLLS ON OFFENSIVE DURING KEY 2016 CAMPAIGN MOMENTS
NBC News reports, “Thousands of Russian trolls targeted national events during the 2016 U.S. presidential election to infiltrate the online conversations of millions of Americans,” according to a database of troll tweets the network has analyzed. As NBC News notes, “The records show how digital communications tools invented by U.S. companies, such as Twitter and Facebook, were instead exploited by the Kremlin-backed agents to promote autocracy and fear.” NBC News reports, “The first big spike for the trolls was March 22, 2016, when three suicide bombers killed 32 in Brussels.” NBC News adds, “Troll activity spiked again during the final presidential debate, rehashing conspiracy theories and retweeting divisive content. The trolls alternately said the debate was rigged, or a total win for Trump.” NBC News experts said, “The trolls were organized into three general ideological networks”: “Trolls on the ‘Right’ cluster promoted Trump and attacked left-leaning causes and politicians, mainly Clinton,” “Trolls in the ‘Left’ cluster generally attacked Trump and his followers, though they didn’t express support for Hillary Clinton,” and “‘Black Lives Matter’ were pro-black, but not pro-Democrat. Their message was to distrust all authority, especially the police.”
From NBC News.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
RESISTANCE ADVICE: #WEWILLNOTBEERASED
Robin Bell, the D.C. based artist who has been projecting his protest onto the Trump D.C. Hotel throughout the year struck again posting seven words the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is reportedly banned from using, according to The Washington Post.
*NEW* MERCH: TRUMPISTAN WATCH shop.
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