LOCK HIM UP! TRUMP’S LAWYERS WANT TO CAST FLYNN AS A LIAR
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump’s legal team plans to cast former national security adviser Michael T. Flynn as a liar seeking to protect himself if he accuses the president or his senior aides of any wrongdoing”. This is rich considering whom Flynn would have been lying to protect. Basically how many mental gymnastics can you do away from the truth to bend over backwards so this all looks ok for the orange lunatic in the end? Of course, “The approach would mark a sharp break from Trump’s previously sympathetic posture toward Flynn, whom he called a ‘wonderful man’ when Flynn was ousted from the White House in February.” He was a “wonderful man” even though he betrayed his country, according to the traitor trash squatting in the Whites Only Haus. The Washington Post notes, “Attorneys for Trump and his top advisers have privately expressed confidence that Flynn does not have any evidence that could implicate the president or his White House team. But since Flynn’s cooperation agreement with prosecutors was made public earlier this month, the administration has been strategizing how to neutralize him”.
From The Washington Post.
FEDERAL PROSECUTORS IN NY DIG INTO PRINCELING JARED’S FAMILY BIZ
The Washington Post reports, “Federal prosecutors have requested records related to a $285 million loan that Deutsche Bank gave Jared Kushner’s family real estate company one month before Election Day, the company confirmed this week.” However, “The records were sought by prosecutors in Brooklyn and do not appear related to special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation into Russia’s interference in the 2016 election,” The Washington Post notes for unclear reasons. Recall, “Under the deal, Kushner Cos., which in 2015 had purchased four mostly empty retail floors of the former New York Times headquarters in Manhattan, entered into an October 2016 refinancing agreement with Deutsche Bank. The loan was part of a refinancing deal that gave Kushner’s firm $74 million more than it had paid for the property.” The Washington Post adds, “The refinancing was personally guaranteed under certain circumstances by Kushner and his brother, Joshua. The loan was not listed on Kushner’s financial disclosure report, because he did not have ‘a present obligation to repay the loan,’” his lawyer said.
From The Washington Post.
SPECIAL COUNSEL TURNS TO DATA OPERATIONS OF TRUMP + RNC
Yahoo! reports, “In just the last few weeks, his prosecutors have begun questioning Republican National Committee staffers about the party digital operation that worked with the Trump campaign to target voters in key swing states. They are seeking to determine if the joint effort was related to the activities of Russian trolls and bots aimed at influencing the American electorate”.
DARKNESS AT NUNES SUBPOENAS MCCAIN ASSOCIATE
The Washington Examiner reports, “House Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes has issued a subpoena to David Kramer, a former State Department official who, in late November 2016, traveled to London to receive a briefing and a copy of the Trump dossier from its author, former British spy Christopher Steele. Kramer then returned to the U.S. to give the document to Sen. John McCain. Kramer is a senior fellow at the McCain Institute for International Leadership at Arizona State University.” The Washington Examiner adds, “McCain later took a copy of the dossier to the FBI’s then-director, James Comey. But the FBI already had the document; Steele himself gave the dossier to the bureau in installments, reportedly beginning in early July 2016.”
From The Washington Examiner.
FAKEBOOK CONFIRMS IT BLOCKED CHECHEN LEADER RAMZAN KADYROV
The Moscow Times reports, “Facebook has confirmed that it blocked Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov’s social media accounts because of human rights sanctions the United States imposed on him last week.” The Moscow Times notes, “Facebook’s press service told the Vedomosti business daily on Wednesday that it had a ‘legal obligation to deactivate the individual’s accounts’ after confirming he was on the list of U.S. sanctions.”
From The Moscow Times.
T REX TO LAVROV: CAN YOU TURN DOWN THE VIOLENCE IN UKRAINE?
POLITICO reports, “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday asked his Russian counterpart to reduce the levels of violence in eastern Ukraine, where Russian troops have intervened on the side of separatist militias in their ongoing clash with the Ukrainian government.” Just a reminder: the “separatist militias” are Russian-backed entirely. Of course, “Officially, the Russian government has denied that its military is operating in eastern Ukraine, despite photographic and other evidence to the contrary.”
UKRAINE + RUSSIA BEGIN PRISONER SWAP
Deutsche Welle reports, “Ukraine and pro-Russian rebels began a landmark prisoner swap on Wednesday, following the recommitment to a ceasefire in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine last week.” Deutsche Welle notes, “Russian-backed eastern rebels released some 70 prisoners to Kyiv, while the Ukrainian side handed over about 250 rebels to the other side.” Deutsche Welle adds, “Following Russia’s decision on December 18 to withdraw from the Joint Centre for Control and Coordination, which monitors the ceasefire, German Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke with Putin via telephone. The Kremlin said the pair agreed to have aides draw up a list of conditions to allow the observers’ return, including a prisoner swap between the Ukrainian government and pro-Russia rebels.” The AP notes, “Many of the captives were not combatants. Some were activists and bloggers who were charged with spying or treason.” For instance, “Anatoly Slobodyanik, one of the prisoners traded by Ukraine, said he didn’t want to go to the rebel side and would return to his home town of Odessa,” the AP notes.
PETERSBURG SUPERMARKET BOMBING
ABC News reports, “Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday an explosion at a supermarket in St. Petersburg yesterday was a ‘terrorist attack.’” According to Svetlana Petrenko of Russia’s Investigative Committee, “an improvised device containing the equivalent of 200 grams of TNT detonated in one of the port city’s supermarkets. The device included ‘lethal fragments’ to increase casualties”. ABC News adds, “Russian authorities on Wednesday had been hesitant to classify the blast, which injured 13 people, as terrorism. Eight people remain in the hospital, with five of them in ‘moderately grave condition.’”
From ABC News.
RUSSIAN-TURKISH MISSILE DEAL COMPLETE
Turkish state-run TRT reports, “Turkey’s Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli confirms that a deal to install Russian long-range anti-aircraft missile has been finalised.” Turkish state-run TRT adds, “Russia will sell Turkey four batteries of S-400 surface-to-air missiles for $2.5 billion under a deal that is almost complete, Sergei Chemezov, head of Russian state conglomerate Rostec, told the Kommersant daily on Wednesday.” According to Turkish state-run TRT, “Russian news agency TASS quoted Chemezov as saying that the finance ministries of Turkey and Russia had completed the negotiations and the first of the deliveries was scheduled for early 2020.” As Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, the deal has of course “raised eyebrows because Turkey is a NATO member.”
RUSSIA RETALIATES FOR OPEN SKIES RESTRICTIONS WITH TIT-FOR-TAT
Bloomberg reports, “Russia plans to limit the number of airbases the U.S. can use to launch reconnaissance flights under the Open Skies Treaty, in a fresh sign of its deteriorating relationship with Washington.” Citing a report in Russian state-run RIA Novosti, Bloomberg adds, “The restrictions will be introduced Jan. 1 in response to U.S. measures to limit Russian military flights in its airspace, said Georgiy Borisenko, head of the Foreign Ministry’s North American department”. Recall, “The move is a rollback of an agreement in place since 1992, one of a series of arms-control deals intended to foster trust and transparency as the relationship between the nuclear superpowers thawed at the end of the Cold War. In June, the U.S. accused Russia of violating the treaty by limiting flights over its Kaliningrad enclave in Europe and later took steps to limit flights over Alaska and Hawaii.”
NAVALNY CALLS FOR JANUARY 28 PROTESTS
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Russian opposition politician Aleksei Navalny, who has been barred from challenging President Vladimir Putin in a March election, is calling for a ‘voters’ strike’ and nationwide demonstrations on January 28 in support of a boycott of the ballot.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “Navalny’s December 27 call set up a potential showdown on the streets weeks before the March 18 election, which he dismissed as the ‘reappointment’ of Putin to a new six-year term.” He is not wrong. In a video on his website, Navalny told supporters, “It’s a simple thing: Either we fight for our country or we give it up to these talentless swindlers without a fight”. Hey sound familiar?
—–INDICTMENT ROCK CITY—–
The New York Daily News reports, “The brother of disgraced national security adviser Michael Flynn petitioned President Trump Tuesday on social media, calling on the commander-in-chief to pardon his sibling. Joseph Flynn peppered President Trump’s Twitter feed with pleas for a pardon.” On Tuesday, Flynn’s brother tweeted, “About time you pardoned General Flynn who has taken the biggest fall for all of you given the illegitimacy of this confessed crime in the wake of all this corruption”. However, “The post,” was “deleted about 15 minutes later”. It “was in response to a social media screed from Trump that ripped into the FBI, Hillary Clinton and a salacious, unverified dossier that alleges collusion between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin.” The New York Daily News notes, “It is widely believed that Michael Flynn cannot rely on a pardon because, as per his plea deal, he has agreed to work with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. The single charge of lying to federal agents also leaves open the possibility of state charges related to other possible crimes.”
From The New York Daily News.
MERCY MERCY ME
Bloomberg reports, “Rick Gates, the former Trump aide indicted with ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort for crimes including money laundering, told a judge his appearance in a fundraising video didn’t violate her order not to try his case in the press.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
RUSSIA AND THE NORTH KOREANS
The Washington Post reports, “A few months after the collapse of the Soviet Union, a group of American investors and Russian scientists struck a deal to begin marketing one of the crown jewels of Moscow’s strategic arsenal: an entire family of missiles designed for launch from submarines.” However, “The Americans quickly ran aground on a series of legal and bureaucratic barriers, but the Russians forged ahead with a new partner willing to pay cash for Soviet military technology: North Korea.” The Washington Post reports, “More than two decades later, some of the Soviet designs are reappearing, one after another, in surprisingly sophisticated missiles that have turned up on North Korean launchpads over the past two years. Now, newly uncovered documents offer fresh clues about the possible origins of those technical advances, some of which seemed to outside observers to have come from nowhere.” The Washington Post reports, “In summer 1993, with the U.S.-Russian project flagging, more than 60 Russian missile scientists and family members from the Makeyev facility were arrested at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport as they prepared to travel to Pyongyang to work as consultants. U.S., Russian and South Korean intelligence officials later concluded that some of the scientists eventually succeeded in traveling to North Korea to offer blueprints and technical advice for the country’s missiles program.” The Washington Post adds, “U.S. analysts see more persuasive evidence in the actual missiles that North Korea has put on display over the past two years.” The lure: “The salary offer, $1,200 a month, was 200 times as much as some of the scientists were earning at home.” To say nothing of all the terror and excitement Pyongyang can offer! The Washington Post reports, “U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials have confirmed that Makeyev scientists eventually did land jobs as consultants for the North Koreans, and technical drawings were passed to Pyongyang, either directly or through intermediaries.”
From The Washington Post.
THE OBAMAS, HILLARY STILL MORE ADMIRED THAN TRUMP TRASH
NBC News reports, “More Americans are likely to name former President Barack Obama as the man they admire most, although the gap between the former president and the current has narrowed over the last year,” according to a new Gallup poll. NBC News notes, “Seventeen percent of those polled said Obama was the man they admired most, compared to 14 percent who picked President Donald Trump”. Additionally, “Hillary Clinton continued to top the most admired woman question, according to the poll, with 9 percent of those surveyed picking her in 2017. That number fell from 15 percent in 2013 and 12 percent in 2016.” NBC News adds, “Former first lady Michelle Obama came in second in 2017 with 7 percent of those surveyed choosing her as the woman they admire most” with “First lady Melania Trump was also in the top 10 with 1 percent.”
From NBC News.
THE ENEMY IS A SHARP TONGUED COWARD WHO WON’T STAND BY WORDS
CNN reports, “Florida GOP Rep. Francis Rooney walked back the tenor of his call earlier in the week for a ‘purge’ at the FBI, but maintained Wednesday that the bureau should oust individuals he views as politically compromised.” “It might be a pretty strong word. I’m not maybe the most nuanced political person in the world,” Rooney told CNN, proving to you he knows nothing about what he says, the weight of those words and lacks the fortitude – but not the turpitude – to stand by what he says. Now however, “Rooney said he was ‘pretty frustrated’ with FBI officials whom he believes displayed bias and further called for the House Oversight Committee to significantly expand an internal probe that turned up messages critical of President Donald Trump in an exchange between two FBI officials during the campaign.” Did someone tell him to use the word purge along with these other instructions and he did not know what it meant or its history? Can we declare him an enemy of the people so as to save ourselves by preemptively denouncing him?
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
RUSSIA’S WORLD CUP CHIEF STEPS DOWN IN WAKE OF DOPING SCANDAL
The Washington Post reports, “Vitaly Mutko, a deputy prime minister in Russia and a close ally of President Vladimir Putin, announced Wednesday that he is stepping down as head of the 2018 World Cup organizing committee. Mutko has been accused of operating a state-run doping operation in Russia, which led the International Olympic Committee to strip numerous athletes of their Olympic medals. Plus, the Russian Federation has been banned from next year’s PyeongChang Winter Olympics”. The Washington Post notes, “Earlier this month, Mutko received a lifetime Olympic ban from the IOC over the doping scheme, a sanction he intends to appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sport.”
From The Washington Post.
RUSSIA LOSES SATELLITE AFTER LAUNCH FROM WRONG SPACEPORT
The Guardian reports, “Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Wednesday the loss of a 2.6bn-rouble ($45m) satellite launched last month was due to an embarrassing programming error. Russian space agency Roscosmos said last month it had lost contact with the newly launched weather satellite – the Meteor-M – after it blasted off from Russia’s new Vostochny cosmodrome in the country’s far east.” However, “The rocket carrying the satellites had been programmed with the wrong coordinates,” The Guardian notes, adding, “it had been given bearings for take-off from a different cosmodrome – Baikonur – which Moscow leases from Kazakhstan.” According to The Guardian, “The rocket was carrying 18 smaller satellites belonging to scientific, research and commercial companies from Russia, Norway, Sweden, the US, Japan, Canada and Germany.”
From The Guardian.
*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.