C4K6RRTWMAAvy5Z

–ON THE AGENDA—–

 

U.S. UKRAINE ENVOY KURT VOLKER ARRIVES IN KYIV

The Kyiv Post reports, “U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker has arrived in Ukraine for a visit, the U.S. embassy in Kyiv told the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency.” He is scheduled to continue onto Dubai tomorrow for talks with Kremlin aide Vladislav Surkov concerning Russia’s ongoing occupation of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

From The Kyiv Post.

 

—–BREAKING—–

 

MUELLER WILL HOLD TRUMP TO ACCOUNT

ABC News reports, “Special Counsel Robert Mueller has indicated to lawyers for President Donald Trump that his office will seek answers directly from the president on the circumstances around the firings of former national security adviser Michael Flynn and former FBI Director James Comey”. Bring. It. On.

From ABC News.

 

TRUMP ASKS MAN IN DEEP THROAT’S OLD JOB WHO HE VOTED FOR

Who is afraid of the man currently occupying the position that Watergate’s Deep Throat once occupied? The Washington Post reports, “Shortly after President Trump fired his FBI director in May, he summoned to the Oval Office the bureau’s acting director for a get-to-know-you meeting.” For Trump, this can mean being as wildly inappropriate as asking what color his wife’s panties are because Trump is trashy like that. The Washington Post continues, “The two men exchanged pleasantries, but before long, Trump, according to several current and former U.S. officials, asked Andrew McCabe a pointed question: Whom did he vote for in the 2016 election?” Not appropriate! McCabe handled it well and “said he didn’t vote.” Good answer! Even if it is total horseshit, he handled the situation well. But to play extra nice, our toothless pussy grabbing fake president, “also vented his anger at McCabe over the several hundred thousand dollars in donations that his wife, a Democrat, received for her failed 2015 Virginia state Senate bid from a political action committee controlled by a close friend of Hillary Clinton.” How to lose friends and influence no one? The Washington Post notes, “McCabe, 49, who had been FBI deputy director for a little more than a year when James B. Comey was fired, is at the center of much of the political jockeying surrounding the investigation into potential coordination between Trump associates and the Kremlin. He has for months been the subject of Trump’s ire”. Must be fun holding Watergate’s Deep Throat’s position in this political climate, about as fun as a root canal and then some. Naturally because our fake Russian bullshit president has zero impulse control, “McCabe, who has spent more than two decades at the bureau, found the conversation with Trump ‘disturbing,’ said one former U.S. official. Inside the FBI, officials familiar with the exchange expressed frustration that a civil servant — even a very senior agent in the No. 2 position — would be asked how he voted and criticized for his wife’s political leanings by the president.”

From The Washington Post.

 

PRIVATE RUSSIAN SESSIONS, COMEY ANSWER SPECIAL COUNSEL’S QUESTIONS

The New York Times reports, “Attorney General Jeff Sessions was questioned for several hours last week as part of the special counsel investigation, and the former F.B.I. director, James B. Comey, was interviewed by the office last year”. The New York Times notes, “The interview with Mr. Sessions marked the first time that investigators for the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, are known to have questioned a member of President Trump’s cabinet.” The New York Times adds, “The interview with Mr. Comey focused on a series of memos he wrote about his interactions with Mr. Trump that unnerved Mr. Comey. In one memo, Mr. Comey said that Mr. Trump had asked him to end the F.B.I.’s investigation into the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn.” The Washington Post notes, “Sessions was one of a small number of administration officials involved in discussions with the president that led to the firing of FBI Director James B. Comey in May”.

From The New York Times and The Washington Post.

 

FBI DIRECTOR HAS MOVES TO MAKE

Business Insider reports, “FBI chief of staff Jim Rybicki, who served under former FBI director James Comey and current director Christopher Wray, has resigned”. Business Insider adds, “In a Tuesday statement, Wray said that Rybicki, who has served in several senior Justice Department roles since 2001, is leaving the bureau voluntarily to take a job in the private sector and was not fired from his FBI role.” Business Insider notes, “Rybicki became a target of Republican criticism for his role in helping craft a memo that exonerated Hillary Clinton in the investigation into her use of a private email server as secretary of state. He answered questions from members of the House Oversight and Judiciary Committees last week concerning his work on the Clinton investigation and on Comey’s claims that President Donald Trump asked him to pledge his loyalty before firing him last year. Rybicki will be replaced by Zachary Harmon, a white-collar lawyer who worked closely with Wray at the law firm King & Spalding.” POLITICO adds, “In addition, an official said Wray has selected Dana Boente, an Obama-appointed U.S. attorney who served for a time as Trump’s acting attorney general last year, to serve as the FBI’s new general counsel.

From Business Insider and POLITICO.

 

“LEADER” MCCONNELL REFUSED TO SIGN OFF ON BIPARTISAN STATEMENT

POLITICO reports, “Joe Biden said Tuesday that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell stopped the Obama administration from speaking out about Russian interference in the 2016 campaign by refusing to sign on to a bipartisan statement of condemnation.” Hate to break it to anyone, but Russia will not stand down because of a “bipartisan statement of condemnation,” that is just not how they roll. POLITICO adds, Biden “expressed regret, in hindsight, given the intelligence he says came in after Election Day,” at the Council on Foreign Relations, adding, “‘Had we known what we knew three weeks later, we may have done something more’”. TRUMPISTAN WATCH has trouble believing that especially given what is being offered up is about bureaucratics, not confrontation. Could have, should have, would have, the fact is immediately after the election/coup, the direct harassment of regular citizens such as TRUMPISTAN WATCH kicked off and the gloating we witnessed, if we saw the signals was unreal, and should have been stopped well before it ever got to the civil society level. POLITICO notes, “Biden said he and former President Barack Obama worried that without a united front of bipartisanship, speaking out before the election would undermine the legitimacy of the election and American institutions in a way that would play into the Russians’ larger ambitions.” In hindsight, those concerns were laid to waste by Russian interference anyways, which did more than anything Trump ever could to render the elections illegitimate-seeming, eventually in the eyes of a much broader public once the constant media noise started, which was already too late in December 2016.

From POLITICO.

 

T REX SAYS RUSSIA RESPONSIBLE FOR SYRIAN CHEMICAL ATTACKS

ABC News reports, “In the aftermath of another ‘apparent chlorine gas attack’ by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson blasted the Assad regime for its ‘crimes against humanity’ but also laid some of the blame on Russia.” ABC News adds, “‘Whoever conducted the attacks, Russia ultimately bears responsibility for the victims in east Ghouta and countless other Syrians targeted with chemical weapons since Russia became involved in Syria,’ Tillerson said in Paris at the launch of a new international group to pressure Assad and Russia.” ABC News notes, “Tillerson highlighted the latest reported chemical weapons attack that affected more than 20 civilians — most of them children” in east Ghouta.

From ABC News.

 

BRITISH ARMY CHIEF WARNS THIS COULD BE A SHOOTING WAR SOON

Yahoo! reports, “The head of the British Army has warned that Britain and the West faces a growing threat from Russia, who could attack ‘sooner than expected’. General Sir Nick Carter highlighted how the Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin, in building an increasingly aggressive and expeditionary force, already boasts capabilities the UK would struggle to match.” Carter added, “Britain now needs to prepare to ‘fight the war we might have to fight’”. Yahoo! notes, “To a packed room at the Royal United Services Institute in London, Gen Carter showed a Russian military propaganda video that detailed their vast equipment and ammunition.” Carter said, “They represent a clear and present danger – they are not thousands of miles away they are now on Europe’s doorstep and the character of warfare is making it much harder for us to recognise true intentions and thus distinguish between what is peace and what is war.” Hey that’s literally cribbed from the Gerasimov doctrine as that is literally Russia’s goal: war and peace are a continuum, to them and their people who largely live in squalor while the elite loots the state, there is no difference.

From Yahoo!.

 

“EX” PUTIN YOUTH GROUP MEMBER LAUNCHES VENTURE CAPITAL FIRM

Because money does not care who owns it, Venture Beat reports, “Masha Drokova has had a busy year, tapping into her PR network and sourcing limited partners (LPs) to back her first venture capital firm. Today, the 28-year-old angel investor announced the launch of Day One Ventures, an early-stage VC [venture capital] firm that funds startups and spearheads their PR and marketing campaigns.” Where did the ex-pro-Putin youth group member get the money? Who knows and who cares among the Silicon whores because money does not care who owns it! Disrupt because, in the immortal words of perhaps the best thing The New Yorker has published in years, “me being awful is what’s hot right now”. Venture Beat adds, “The San Francisco-based firm will focus on eight areas: AI, AR/VR, quantum, financial tech (including blockchain), education tech, health care, marketplaces, and self-driving cars. It plans on investing between $100,000 and $1 million in each startup.” Venture Beat notes she will throw in the trolls and Russian mafia state thugs as, “Drokova claims she is providing more than a simple check, explaining that the added value for her portfolio companies is to have all-hands PR support at their disposal, for no extra equity.” Joy! At least Venture Beat is sure to note, “The young Russian transplant has come a long way since her days as a member of Nashi, which means ‘ours’ in Russian. In 2005, Drokova joined the movement at age 15, believing it was a means to rebuild post-Soviet Russia. But others viewed it as a devoted group of Putin proxies who were there to counter the leader’s opposition. Drokova met with Putin several times and was featured in a documentary called Putin’s Kiss.” Of course Venture Beat is sure to add, “Drokova now lives full-time in the U.S. and focuses her energy on her new firm. She is currently in Davos, Switzerland, where she is participating in a panel on investing at the World Economic Forum’s annual conference.” You know just a day in the life of an average Russian 28 year old and “ex” Putin acolyte — for sure!

From Venture Beat.

 

NAVALNY V. PUTIN AT THE EUROPEAN COURT OF HUMAN RIGHTS

The AP reports, “Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny is at the European Court of Human Rights for a hearing into whether Russian authorities violated his rights through numerous arrests. The court ruled last year that seven of those arrests were unlawful and ordered Russia to pay 63,000 euros (about $67,000) in compensation, but the case was appealed.” The AP adds, “Navalny appeared in the European court Wednesday in the French city of Strasbourg for the appeals hearing. A final ruling is expected at a later date.”

From the AP.

 

NAVALNY LEAFLETS CONFISCATED IN KAZAN

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Officials with the regional Center For The Fight Against Extremism (Center E) in the capital of Russia’s Republic of Tatarstan, Kazan, have confiscated hundreds of leaflets in which opposition politician and anticorruption crusader Aleksei Navalny is calling for a boycott of the March 18 presidential election, Navalny’s office in the region says. Elvira Dmitriyeva, the head of Navalny’s office in Kazan, told RFE/RL that the officials confiscated 537 leaflets on January 23.” If Putin is so big and strong, why won’t he face real competition? Is the little guy in the Kremlin scared?

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

 

CATALONIA, CARLES + THE KREMLIN

Voice of America reports, “Russian hacking operations to support Catalonian independence are continuing and could intensify, according to a report published this week by the Center for Strategic and Defense Studies, CESEDEN, a Spanish Defense Ministry think tank. The report claims Russia is destabilizing Spain as tensions escalate in the rebellious northeastern region.” Voice of America notes, “While Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy hoped the elections he called in the region last month would defuse tensions, they instead returned the pro-independence majority to the regional parliament. This week, the pro-independence majority continued to defy Madrid by nominating exiled leader Carles Puigdemont as president.” Voice of America adds, “Suspicions of Russian meddling in Catalonia have been voiced by Spanish defense minister Maria Dolores Cospedal, as well as EU and NATO analysts,” as well as anyone watching America’s far right troll networking and Julian Assange snap into action to shill the Kremlin’s line on Catalonia. And following Russian disinformation operational protocol elsewhere, Voice of America reports, “Anti-independence journalists in Catalonia say their websites and email accounts have been systematically hacked from electronic dominions in Russia. Eric Encinas, publisher of a digital magazine, showed VOA a Post Office Protocol (POP3) Google notification received last week of ‘unusual detected activity’ in his hotmail account that was traced to a location in Russia. There was a similar attempt to hack his gmail account last month from Ekaterimburg, where the IR troll farm is located.”

From Voice of America.

 

—–INDICTMENT ROCK CITY—–

 

WIND OF CHANGE

CNN reports, “Former Trump campaign aide Rick Gates has quietly added a prominent white-collar attorney, Tom Green, to his defense team, signaling that Gates’ approach to his not-guilty plea could be changing behind the scenes. Green, a well-known Washington defense lawyer, was seen at special counsel Robert Mueller’s office twice last week.” CNN notes, “Green’s involvement suggests that there is an ongoing negotiation between the defendant’s team and the prosecutors. At this stage, with Gates’ charges filed and bail set, talks could concern the charges and Gates’ plea.” CNN adds, “Should a deal be worked out, it would mean Mueller has the cooperation of another Trump campaign insider.” CNN notes Green previously negotiated a plea deal for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert, he of the moral majority who crusaded against Bill Clinton in the Lewinsky blowjob era and was revealed to be a hush payment-paying pederast in recent years (that plea deal is related to the payments, not the pederasty).

From CNN.

 

—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–

 

FOLLOW THE DIRTY RUSSIAN MONEY + IT IS SPRINTING

Bloomberg reports, “Oleg Deripaska, Mikhail Fridman, Suleiman Kerimov and Andrey Guryev — worth a combined $33 billion according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index — have sold or are marketing international bonds this month via the companies they or their families control. With one eye on the Treasury report due this month that could imperil future deals, the businessmen are seizing on the cheapest developing-nation borrowing costs versus Treasuries in more than three years,” according to analysts   Bloomberg is sure to note that “While the Treasury list doesn’t entail sanctions on those included, it raises concerns that they could be targeted in the future”. However, Bloomberg adds, “Polyus PJSC, Russia’s biggest gold-miner, has mandated banks to market eurobonds and sold $250 million of convertible bonds at a 1 percent rate. The company is issuing debt for the first time since Kerimov was charged with money laundering in Nice in November. Deripaska’s United Co. Rusal and Fridman’s Alfa Bank are also due to market Eurobonds this week as they seek to refinance debt and increase capital, respectively.”

From Bloomberg.

 

—–DISINFO WARS—–

 

MICHIGAN NUTTER THREATENS A CHARLIE HEBDO ON CNN

The Washington Post reports, “On Jan. 9, an operator in Atlanta manning the public contact number for CNN received a phone call. According to a federal arrest affidavit unsealed Monday, the male caller launched into a threat. ‘Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down. F‑‑‑ you, f‑‑‑ing n‑‑‑‑‑s.’” He sounds so nice! What is the problem? Well, “Three minutes later, the same caller, dialing from the same number, again rang the CNN line. ‘I am on my way right now to gun the f‑‑‑in’ CNN cast down. F‑‑‑ you,’ the caller said. The operator asked the caller his name. ‘F‑‑‑ you,’ he responded. ‘I am coming to kill you.’” But he did not stop there, like a more profane version of the Russian bullshit president (turns out, that is possible)! The Washington Post adds, “Thirty minutes later, the caller again reached the CNN public switchboard. He whispered his threats. ‘I’m coming for you CNN. I’m smarter than you. More powerful than you. I have more guns than you. More manpower. Your cast is about to get gunned down in a matter of hours.’” Totally healthy power ideation! The Washington Post reports, “According to federal law enforcement, the man on the other end was Brandon Griesemer of Novi, Mich. In an arrest affidavit released Monday, FBI agent Sean Callaghan wrote that Griesemer ‘made approximately 22 total calls to CNN’ between Jan. 9 and Jan. 10. Four of the calls resulted in threats. In the last message, the caller made disparaging remarks about Jewish individuals”. The Washington Post notes, “Court records indicate Griesemer was arrested on a charge of interstate communications with intent to extort, threaten or injure. He made an initial appearance in court on Jan. 19.” And for all of you who work in journalism out there who want to sleep at night, “Griesemer is currently free on a $10,000 unsecured bond.” And before you can scream “fake news” or chant “build the wall,” The Washington Post notes, “The arrest affidavit notes that on Sept. 19, an employee of the Islamic Center of Ann Arbor received a phone call. The male caller ‘made derogatory comments relating to the mosque and Muslims.’” When America has its Charlie Hebdo, and it will, that will be on the orange Lubyanka shitstain who screamed, “fake news” one too many times.

From The Washington Post.

 

NUTS + BOLTS OF THE RUSSIAN DISINFO CHANNELS

The Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Resarch (DFR) Lab reports, “The Russian government’s propaganda and influence operations use a full spectrum model which spans social and traditional media. Some of the channels it uses are overt and official; others are covert and claim to be independent. They all work together”. Rather than allow civil society to actually flourish because that process is chaotic and might unseat the thieves in the Kremlin by leading to real, thought-provoking questions, Russia creates a smokescreen of civil society chaos that hues the message to its own warped sense of unreality. DFR Lab traces the anti-Morgan Freeman troll-backed campaign which promoted the hashtag #StopMorganLie (very idiomatic English there) after the actor released a video which literally told the still apoplectic American people, “We are at war” (it was a rather strange video). DFR Lab reports, “Freeman’s high-profile intervention quickly produced a response in Russia. On September 20, 2017, an online group called ‘AgitPolk’ launched a hashtag called #StopMorganLie, accusing Freeman of ‘manipulating the facts of modern Russian history and openly slandering our country.’” However we all know no one could do greater damage to the Russian state’s brand than the Russian mafia state. DFR Lab adds, a site called Agitpolk, which “focuses its operations on Twitter, calling it ‘one of the quickest ways of connecting with public actors, politicians and media,’” kicked off the campaign and “used two main accounts, the corporate @agitpolk and the personal @ComradZampolit.” From there, they spread their covfefe across the interwebs as “The #StopMorganLie Twitter campaign gathered under 10,000 tweets, including retweets.” DFR Lab notes, “The first amplifiers on Twitter were apparent bots, posting the hashtag repeatedly without additional comment. Trolls, bots and semi-automated ‘cyborg’ accounts typically work together like shepherds, sheepdogs and electric sheep”. Then, “The hashtag was then amplified by a number of official and verified Russian government accounts, which used their own memes to attack Freeman as a hysterical and ill-informed drug user ”. However, “Despite these high-profile supporters, the Twitter campaign was not particularly effective, especially in English.” But “Nevertheless, the next step in the propaganda chain was for Russian state ‘information weapon’ RT to run a lengthy article (eight paragraphs and 27 embedded tweets) claiming that ‘Twitterati’ were ‘disappointed’ with Freeman’s comments, headlining the hashtag.” This is also how Twitter “reporting” works, so pathetic is it.

From The Atlantic Council’s DFR Lab.

 

—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–

 

RUSSIA TRIES TO RETALLIATE AGAINST DOPING WHISTLE BLOWER

The Atlantic reports, “On December 11, 2017, Russian authorities filed drug-trafficking charges against Grigory Rodchenkov, the whistleblower who exposed Russia’s state-sponsored doping program. It was his testimony, and the series of investigations it launched, that ultimately got the Russian national team banned from next month’s Olympic Games in South Korea.” The Atlantic adds, “A lawyer for Rodchenkov believes Russian authorities are retaliating for his client’s disclosures by making it more difficult for him to remain in the United States, where he fled in 2015 on a tourist visa. The day Rodchenkov was charged in Russia also happened to be the day he met with U.S. immigration officials in hopes of securing a more permanent basis for remaining in the United States.” As his lawyer Jim Walden correctly states, “It’s Russia,” adding, “They can make up whatever they want to make up.” Unfortunately, “The charges could significantly undercut Rodchenkov’s immigration case, and if the immigration bid fails, it could put his life in danger.” Additionally, “Rodchenkov’s wife and children, who still live in Russia, have had their assets frozen, property seized, and their passports temporarily seized.” The Atlantic reports, “Walden said he has been told to assume that there are Russian agents hunting for Rodchenkov on American soil.” We have become the sort of country, as a Russian state mafia colony, where that could happen with impunity and no official reaction because who owns the Lubyanka shitstain in the White House?

From The Atlantic.

 

RUSSIA BANS “DEATH OF STALIN” MAKING THE FILM ALL THE MORE A MUST

The AP reports, “Russia’s Culture Ministry banned a satirical film about Soviet leader Josef Stalin‘s death from movie theaters Tuesday following criticism from communists and others that the British-French production made a mockery of Russia’s history.  The Culture Ministry declared it was rescinding the permit that would have allowed Scottish writer-director Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Death of Stalin’ to be shown in Russian theaters.” Surprise! The humorless bastards in the Kremlin are deeply threatened by a film that mocks their genocidal paranoiac who slaughtered millions as if they were sheep and is now the subject of heavy official revisionism. The AP notes, “The film premiered in Britain in October and was scheduled to open in Russia Thursday.” It has yet to come out in Trumpistan, but we wait for it with such great anticipation! The AP adds, “The ministry’s move reflects an admiration many in Russia still have for Stalin despite the dictator’s brutal purges that killed millions, as well as the government’s nervousness about the country’s history.” One lawmaker called it a “provocation,” another “disgusting”. Hilariously and without one iota of irony a letter allegedly signed by cultural figures released to the press by the Cultural Ministry said in part, “This is a vicious and absolutely inappropriate ‘comedy’ that smears the memory of our people who defeated Nazism”. Doesn’t Russia realize no one could smear Russian history quite like Russia’s own history of occupation, brutality and mass murder? They did not defeat Nazism; they just recreated it under a red flag. No one did that to Russia, Russia did that to itself. What a shithole!

From CBS News.

 

TRASHY, SPONSORED PAMELA ANDERSON SHILLS KREMLIN LINE SOME MORE

The Daily Mail reports, “Hollywood actress Pamela Anderson has described WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as a ‘genius’ and called a rape allegation against him a ‘setup’ in an explosive BBC interview.” She called the twat a “genius,” because she has a career of competently assessing intellect based on what exactly? Ridiculously she said, “What he is doing is very, very important and we need to know, we need to have true information.” So that is not what you get when you source Russia, lady. She also appeared at a Frontline Club event this week to “moderate,” to the eternal shame of the journalists’ clubhouse in London.

From The Daily Mail.

 

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