OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE WATCH: ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?
The New York Times reports, “President Trump gave firm instructions in March to the White House’s top lawyer: stop the attorney general, Jeff Sessions, from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation into whether Mr. Trump’s associates had helped a Russian campaign to disrupt the 2016 election.” The New York Times adds, “the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, carried out the president’s orders and lobbied Mr. Sessions to remain in charge of the inquiry”. According to The New York Times, when, “McGahn was unsuccessful,” the result was, “the president erupted in anger in front of numerous White House officials, saying he needed his attorney general to protect him.” The New York Times adds, “Mr. Trump then asked, ‘Where’s my Roy Cohn?’” Of course this is “his former personal lawyer and fixer, who had been Senator Joseph R. McCarthy’s top aide during the investigations into communist activity in the 1950s and died in 1986.” The New York Times notes, “Mr. Trump described the Russia investigation as ‘fabricated and politically motivated’ in a letter that he intended to send to the F.B.I. director at the time, James B. Comey, but that White House aides stopped him from sending.” Once Private Russian Sessions received his marching orders, “Two days after Mr. Comey’s testimony, an aide to Mr. Sessions approached a Capitol Hill staff member asking whether the staffer had any derogatory information about the F.B.I. director. The attorney general wanted one negative article a day in the news media about Mr. Comey,” The New York Times adds. The Justice Department’s spokeswoman denies this ever occurred. Nonetheless, the weekend after Comey’s testimony, Trump holed up in Bedminster, New Jersey at his private club there, watched the testimony and consulted (more likely harangued) political neophytes princeling Jared and Stephen Miller about firing Comey. Trump fired Comey the following Tuesday and the day after that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak were in the Oval Office yucking it up like the three were old pals. He told them then and there that Comey was “a real nut job”.
From The New York Times.
“THE DAUGHTER WILL BRING DOWN THE FATHER”
More Michael Wolff “Fire and Fury” excerpts in the press in the last day, one in GQ about handling the press; another a first person account of reporting the story in The Hollywood Reporter. In the GQ excerpt, the reveal which is also known to most observers of this white trash carnival is the disturbing statement that, “[Former campaign spokeswoman turned White House Communications Director Hope] Hicks, sponsored by Ivanka and ever loyal to her, was in fact thought of as Trump’s real daughter, while Ivanka was thought of as his real wife.” Ew. Sister-wives or co-wives is one thing but daughter wife? Ew. In the follow up in The Hollywood Reporter, Bannon further ices Ivanka and her husband, princeling Jared. “By July, Jared and Ivanka, who had, in less than six months, traversed from socialite couple to royal family to the most powerful people in the world, were now engaged in a desperate dance to save themselves, which mostly involved blaming Trump himself,” The Hollywood reporter recalls, adding, “It was all his idea to fire Comey! ‘The daughter,’ Bannon declared, ‘will bring down the father.’” How terribly mafia or third world! Normally in pre-Trumpistan America, the children were not employed by the White House, but that was before we lost our sovereignty. According to Wolff, inside the White House, “no one expected him to survive Mueller. As Wolff wryly concludes, “Happy first anniversary of the Trump administration.” Indeed, as it crumbles now may it fall soon!
WELL WE ARE NOT MOSCOW YET!
The New York Times reports, “President Trump mounted a legal attack on Thursday on a new book portraying him as a volatile and ill-equipped chief executive, but the publisher rebuffed his demand to halt its release and defiantly moved up official publication to Friday because of soaring interest.” Very exciting that there is public interest in books in America again! Literally everyone is making buckets of money off of Trump in media but Trump himself beyond select properties in D.C., Mar-a-Lago and money laundering destinations worldwide like Panama City, Baku, Azerbaijan, etc! Sad! The New York Times continues, “In an 11-page letter, the president’s lawyer said the book, ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,’ by Michael Wolff, as excerpted in a magazine article, includes false statements about Mr. Trump that ‘give rise to claims for libel’ that could result in ‘substantial monetary damages and punitive damages.’” The New York Times adds that, “Undeterred, Henry Holt and Co., the publisher, announced that rather than desist, it would make the book available for sale starting at 9 a.m. Friday rather than wait for its original release date on Tuesday.” In light of Trump’s fiery rhetoric and storm of lawyers’ letter, the book has now been elevated to “an extraordinary contribution to our national discourse,” in the words of the publisher. Would you believe that? The New York Times notes, “Mr. Trump is furious about Mr. Wolff’s account and is unwilling to let it go, according to advisers.” Well, on the bright side we are not Moscow yet.
From The New York Times.
LORDY THERE ARE TAPES
Axios reports, “Michael Wolff has tapes to back up quotes in his incendiary book — dozens of hours of them.” Axios adds, “Among the sources he taped, I’m told, are Steve Bannon and former White House deputy chief of staff Katie Walsh.” Of note, if this is what the people around Trump (“the best people”) are willing to say to a gossip columnist recording them, imagine what the Russians might have picked up over the years. The. Best. People.
STEVE BANNON REACTS + SHOWS OFF HIS LACK OF A BACKBONE
The Washington Post reports, “Stephen K. Bannon called President Trump ‘a great man’ late Wednesday night and said he supported him ‘day in and day out,’ on his Sirius XM radio show, “Breitbart News Tonight”. The Washington Post adds, “Bannon issued no denials pertaining to the quotes during the radio broadcast. Nor did he say anything about the cease-and-desist letter.” There is a five letter word to describe this and Trump likes to grab them.
From The Washington Post.
“NO, YOU WILL HAVE TO TAKE IT UP WITH THE PRESIDENT”
The Washington Examiner reports, “Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis averted commenting on President Trump’s recent tweet informing North Korea he too has a ‘nuclear button’ that’s ‘bigger’ and ‘more powerful,’ and instead told the press they could take the issue up with Trump himself.” At first, he stated the obvious, “My job as the secretary of defense is to make certain that we have forces ready to defend this country”. When pressed, he added, “No, you’ll have to take it up with the president”. If you read between the lines he knows exactly who and what Trump is and has a job to do. Roughly described his mission is to save America from itself.
From The Washington Examiner.
TRUMP ORGANIZATION PROVIDING DOCUMENTS TO SPECIAL COUNSEL
CNN reports, “The Trump Organization has provided documents on a range of events, conversations and meetings from President Donald Trump’s real estate business to investigators probing Russian election meddling”. CNN notes, “The bulk of the information is focused on the period between June 2015, when Trump announced his candidacy, and his January 2017 inauguration.” According to CNN, “The Trump Organization produced records that include information related to the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting, the billionaire Agalarov family of Russia, head of the US-based Russian American Chamber of Commerce Sergei Millian, a paid speech Donald Trump Jr. gave in October 2016 to a Russia-friendly policy think tank in Paris, Trump’s foreign policy address in April 2016 at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel and communications regarding WikiLeaks”. What collusion? Of note, “CNN has previously reported that the FBI probe — now managed by Mueller — had widened to include possible financial crimes unrelated to the 2016 election.”
JUDGE RULES AGAINST FUSION GPS; MUST PROVIDE BANK RECORDS
POLITICO reports, “A federal judge has denied a bid by the private investigation firm Fusion GPS to prevent the House Intelligence Committee from obtaining the firm’s bank records, as part of a congressional probe into the funding and creation of a so-called dossier”. POLITICO adds, “U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon ruled Thursday that the House panel’s work appeared to be legitimate. He also rejected Fusion GPS’ claims that confidential information about its clients and sources would be in jeopardy of being leaked if the committee obtained the banking records it is seeking.” But it’s not over yet as, “A lawyer for Fusion GPS, Theodore Boutrous Jr., said the firm will appeal,” POLITICO reports.
NET NEUTRALITY BEING DISMANTLED BEFORE OUR VERY EYES
TechCrunch reports, “The FCC has released the final text of the order it voted on last month that is set to undo the net neutrality rules established in 2015. This is the text that will enter the federal register and the official final wording of the new rules and justification thereof.” Where are the great techno-libertarians of our time Snowden and Assange to cry foul over this great effort to impede our rights to free expression? Oh right, in Russia’s pocket where there is no such thing. TechCrunch adds, “In addition to the full, final text of the rule, also released today is Commissioner Mignon Clyburn’s full dissenting statement, which lays out in greater detail her reasons for opposing ‘Restoring Internet Freedom.’ Other Commissioners may add their own more detailed support documents as well.” They do pick out the most Orwellian things to call what they are actually doing. What happens now? Well The Daily Beast notes, “Blue States Can Save It,” in a headline offering up that, “On Wednesday, a California lawmaker introduced a bill that would reinstate net neutrality protections on a local level.” Additionally, “Immediately after the FCC’s December vote, Washington lawmakers unveiled a bipartisan-backed bill that would ban ISPs from creating internet ‘fast lanes’”. The Daily Beast adds, “New York lawmakers rolled out their own net neutrality bill days later.” But for the rest of the country that does not live in a blue state, this is a disaster and the first real effort being made by this administration to roll back freedom of expression on a near universal level.
GILLIBRAND EXPRESSES CONCERN OVER NEW MANHATTAN US ATTORNEY
Reuters reports, “Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said on Thursday she opposed the possible nomination of Manhattan’s interim top federal prosecutor, Geoffrey Berman, to permanently fill the post, citing concerns over his independence from President Donald Trump.” Recall that in puppet regimes around the world, owning the judiciary and the prosecutors, or at the very least having them in your control is one way for a criminal kleptocracy to conceal its crimes; it is certainly true in Russia. Reuters adds, “Gillibrand, the junior U.S. senator from New York, said in an emailed statement to Reuters that she found ‘deeply disturbing’ reports the president personally interviewed Berman for the post of Manhattan U.S. attorney, whose jurisdiction includes Trump’s home, offices and real estate holdings in New York.”
RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER SHOIGU DETAILS ARCTIC EXPANSION
IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports, “In a year-end message widely reported in state-controlled media, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu set out Russia’s upcoming military expansion in the Arctic.” Of note, “The new Tor-M2DT Arctic version of the short-range Tor-M2 self-propelled surface-to-air missile system, presented in recent national parades, will arrive at Arctic bases before the end of the year to replace the Soviet-era ZSU-23-4 Shilka self-propelled anti-aircraft gun (SPAAG) system. Current projects under the Northern Fleet Action Plan 2016-20 will be delivered before the end of 2020,” IHS Jane’s Defence Weekly reports. Additionally, “During 2018 a new airfield will be completed at Nagurskoye in the Franz Josef Land archipelago between the Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea.” The new airfield will facilitate year-round operations.
—–INDICTMENT ROCK CITY—–
MONEY MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND…
POLITICO reports, “Rick Gates, the former deputy for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, moved closer Thursday to his permanent release from house arrest and the constant demand to secure individual passes for every weekend and holiday getaway. U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, in a one-paragraph order Thursday, told Gates — who faces criminal charges including money laundering and tax evasion as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation — that he had permission to attend sporting events this weekend for his children.” And in a present of sorts, “Jackson added that Gates would also no longer need to file individual requests each time he wanted to leave his home in Richmond, Virginia. But the judge did include a catch: Gates must first submit documentation showing he had the collateral to guarantee a $5 million bail package previously reached with Mueller’s office.” Judge Jackson wrote, “defendants now hold the keys to their own release”.
SENATOR WARNER WANTS BANNON TO TESTIFY
Vox reports, “Sen. Mark Warner (VA), the ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, wants former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon to speak with federal investigators about Bannon’s recent claim that the president and some of his close advisers may have laundered money.” Vox adds Senator Warner “would like Bannon to explain to him what exactly he knows about this money laundering business.” Vox notes, “even more importantly, Warner also wants Bannon to talk to federal prosecutors working with Mueller.”
DARKNESS AT NUNES ENABLED BY PAUL RYAN GETS WHAT HE WANTS
The Hill reports, “House Intelligence Committee Chair Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said Thursday that he has reached a deal with Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein for documents and interviews relating to FBI agents who were removed from special counsel Robert Mueller’s team over anti-Trump text messages.” According to The Hill, “on Thursday night, the California Republican announced that the House Intelligence Committee will gain access to documents and text messages relating to agent Peter Strzok and his FBI colleague Lisa Page, as well as access to a number of FBI witnesses themselves later in January.” Of note, “The deal also grants the committee access to around 9,500 text messages sent between Strzok and Page, some of which were leaked to the press last year and revealed a perceived anti-Trump bias among the agents,” The Hill adds. Seems like a bizarre betrayal of two officials by their own organization and for what?
From The Hill.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
PRIVATE RUSSIAN SESSIONS REVISITS HILLARY’S PRIVATE EMAIL SERVER
The Daily Beast reports, “Justice Department officials are taking a fresh look at Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state”. The Daily Beast notes, “A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment for this story.” Suffice to say we have seen countless iterations of this before, the only difference is now the directive to do so appears to be coming from the Whites Only Haus and the fake president, which politicizes the Department of Justice.
From The Daily Beast.
WON’T STOP FREEDOM CAUCUS FOR CALLING FOR HIS REMOVAL
POLITICO reports, Freedom Caucus members, “Republican Reps. Mark Meadows and Jim Jordan said Thursday that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should step aside ‘now’.” POLITICO adds, “In a joint opinion piece published in the Washington Examiner, Meadows (R-N.C.) and Jordan (R-Ohio), the chairman and former chairman, respectively, of the influential conservative House Freedom Caucus, decried the ‘manufactured hysteria’ over the probe into Russian election interference, faulting Sessions”. Not Trump? That would make much more sense in the non-bizarro world where Trump is capable of wrongdoing.
PUTINCON COMING SOON
GQ reports, “Organizers of the first ever ‘PutinCon’ are assembling the Russian president’s fiercest critics”. The event, “to be held on March 16 in New York, is designed by its organizers at the Human Rights Foundation to educate and organize the autocrat’s foes by bringing them together.” Chess Grandmaster and pro-democracy activist Garry Kasparov is the chair of the Human Rights Foundation. GQ notes, “The day of lectures and networking sessions will take place 48 hours before Russia’s March 18 presidential election”. According to GQ, “Among the scheduled speakers is former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara, who will be leading a session titled, ‘The Richest Man in History and His Accomplices,’ about Putin’s net worth and the looting of Russia.” Also speaking: Bill Browder, Masha Gessen, Luke Harding, Vladimir Kara-Murza and others. GQ notes, “Amateur and professional Kremlinologists alike can request an invitation at PutinCon.com, though organizers say they will be vetting prospective attendees to weed out spies and saboteurs.” While “organizers have announced the event will take place somewhere in Manhattan’s Hell’s Kitchen, the exact venue remains a secret.”
ZUCKERBERG’S NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION IS TO FIX FAKEBOOK
Business Insider reports, “Mark Zuckerberg’s personal challenge for 2018 is to fix issues like abuse, hacking from other countries, and other nefarious practices on Facebook.” Good luck, kid. That’s like fixing humanity itself because the platform’s myriad uses and abuses are purely a reflection on the depravity of humanity.
From Business Insider.
ELLEN CONFESSES: SHE IS ILLUMINATI BUT NOT DEEP STATE, SORRY
Just as TRUMPISTAN WATCH previously suggested given there was no evidence Ellen DeGeneres attended gatherings aboard the Jewish mothership and appeared to have no affiliations with Masonic lodges. TIME reports on her show, “after the President’s son Eric took to Twitter to call the platform’s suggestion that he follow her, along with Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, ‘shocking’ in his caption that included the hashtag #DeepState,” Ellen said, “Apparently I’m part of some secret government conspiracy called the deep state”. She added, “Which is ridiculous because no one has undermined Donald Trump more than Donald Trump”. TIME notes, “DeGeneres then continued to have fun with the moment,” adding, “I’m sorry to disappoint you. I am not part of the deep state. I’m honored that you think I’m powerful enough to be part of a government conspiracy”. Then the confession: “I’ve got my gay agenda meetings on Monday, and on Wednesday, Beyoncé and I host an illuminati brunch.” Aha! You heard it here first folks. Powers of perception!
—–TOWARDS A PEACEFUL NUCLEAR EXCHANGE—–
LAWMAKERS WANT SAY OVER NUCLEAR FIRST STRIKE
Defense News reports, “U.S. lawmakers are offering legislation to limit President Donald Trump’s ability to launch a nuclear first strike after he heckled North Korea’s leader about the comparative size of his ‘nuclear button.’” Defense News adds, “Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, of Massachusetts, and Rep. Ted Lieu, of California, have sponsored legislation that would require the president to receive congressional approval before initiating a first-use nuclear strike from the United States.” As Defense News notes, “despite ratcheting up the tension, Trump doesn’t really have a nuclear button.” As a metaphor for something else, that works nicely too.
From Defense News.
JOE BIDEN CONCURS: WE ARE CLOSER TO NUCLEAR WAR THAN EVER
PBS NewsHour reports, “Former Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday he agreed with a former top military official’s view that the United States and North Korea are closer than ever to nuclear war. Biden said in an interview with PBS NewsHour’s Judy Woodruff that he agreed with former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen’s comment Sunday on ABC’s ‘This Week’ that the U.S. is ‘closer… to a nuclear war with North Korea” than at any previous point in history.’”
From PBS NewsHour.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
FIRST U.S. COMBAT DEATH IN NEW YEAR OF A LATVIAN IMMIGRANT
Public Broadcasting of Latvia reports, “A highly experienced Latvia-born soldier serving with U.S. special forces has been killed in combat in Afghanistan,” citing a report in The Washington Post. According to Public Broadcasting of Latvia, “The US embassy in Riga posted a link to the story and expressed its condolences to the family of the deceased over the fatality of Army Sergeant 1st Class Mihail Golin, 34, who had served in the U.S. military since 2005.” The Washington Post adds Golin, “who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday came under small-arms fire while on a foot patrol,” according to the U.S. military. The Washington Post notes, “Golin initially served as an infantryman, deploying once to Iraq and twice to Afghanistan. He joined Special Forces in 2014, and deployed to Afghanistan in September.”
CORRECTIONS: An observant reader wrote in regarding the second item in yesterday’s TRUMPISTAN WATCH, “It’s Der Untergang (masculine) or Die Untergänge (plural) but it can’t be Die Untergang”. Mother’s was the generation where the German was lost in the new world!
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