—–ON THE AGENDA—–
WHITE NATIONALIST BANNON BEFORE HOUSE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE?
POLITICO reports, “Steve Bannon’s return to the House Intelligence Committee under subpoena is expected on Tuesday”. POLITICO adds, “His previous visit to the committee lasted more than 10 hours, and senior lawmakers in both parties said afterward that Bannon, the former executive chairman of the far-right Breitbart News, declared he would not answer questions about his time in the White House — or serving on Trump’s presidential transition team.” However, The Guardian adds, “The former White House senior strategist Steve Bannon will not testify before the intelligence committee of the US House of Representatives on Tuesday, according to sources – defying a subpoena requiring him to appear.”
BRITISH JUDGE TO RULE ON JULIAN ASSWIPE’S FATE
The AP reports, “A British judge is scheduled to rule Tuesday on Julian Assange’s bid to force Britain to drop a warrant for his arrest, a development that would remove a substantial legal hurdle to his leaving the Ecuadorean Embassy in London that has been his refuge for more than five years.” The AP adds, “Assange’s legal team argued in Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Jan. 26 that a U.K. arrest warrant for Assange should be dropped. Lawyer Mark Summers said the warrant had ‘lost its purpose and its function’ since it’s related to a sex crimes investigation against Assange in Sweden that has ended without him being charged with wrongdoing. Swedish authorities are no longer pursuing Assange, but he still faces arrest in Britain for jumping bail in 2012.” However, “It’s not entirely clear what Assange will do if the judge rules in his favor.” Afterall, “he may choose to remain inside because of grave concern that he faces a secret U.S. indictment on charges related to WikiLeaks’ disclosure of leaked classified U.S. documents. It’s not publicly known if he faces a U.S. indictment because of the strict secrecy rules governing U.S. grand jury decisions.” Of course, ‘A courtroom defeat would keep the status quo in place.”
From the AP.
NO CONFIDENCE: STOCKS TUMBLE ON TRUMP’S ATTACKS ON LAW + ORDER
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump is learning a basic and painful lesson of Wall Street: Stocks also go down.” You would think if he was really worth what he said he is (no way is he) that he would know this by now, but the fake Russian president is getting a swift vote of no confidence from the markets following a week of intense attacks on law and order and the American state on behalf of himself and his imaginary besties in the Kremlin. Basic fact: people invest in America because our state is rock solid. No more. As POLITICO notes, “A global market sell-off accelerated Monday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunging nearly 1,600 points at one point in roller-coaster afternoon trading. After a volatile session, the Dow ended down 1,175 points, or 4.6%, at 24,346. It was the largest ever single-day point drop for the Dow and it rattled both Wall Street and Washington, abruptly ending a remarkable period of placid markets where it often seemed the only direction was up.” Just think, if we go full Trumpistan, someday the so-called “Trump bump” will be when the guy in the breadline behind you pushes you! Fun times ahead as POLITICO adds, “On top of concerns about rising inflation, the tax cuts are already increasing the federal government’s need to borrow and accelerating the date by which Congress must raise the federal debt limit. And as of Monday, there was still no plan in Washington to raise the limit and avoid a catastrophic default.” How lucky we are though that this happens before Leningrad! Thank the GOP death cult for everything!
TRUMP’S LAWYERS DON’T WANT HIM TO TALK (LIE) TO MUELLER
The New York Times reports, “Lawyers for President Trump have advised him against sitting down for a wide-ranging interview with the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III,” which raises, “the specter of a months long court battle over whether the president must answer questions under oath.” Is anyone surprised? Anyone at all? Trump has long protected himself from criminal liability with a goon squad of lawyers. The New York Times notes, “His lawyers are concerned that the president, who has a history of making false statements and contradicting himself, could be charged with lying to investigators”. That is because our fake Russian bullshit president is a serial liar. Of course, “Rejecting an interview with Mr. Mueller also carries political consequences. It would be certain to prompt accusations that the president is hiding something,” which he so is, but the fake Russian bullshit president seems to believe consequences don’t apply to him and his trash family. Bring. It. On.
From The New York Times.
TRAITOR TRUMP THINKS IT’S TREASON IF YOU DON’T CLAP FOR HIM
NPR reports, “President Trump slammed Democrats who didn’t stand and applaud during his State of the Union speech last week as ‘un-American’ and ‘treasonous.’” If only it were possible to dismiss this as more of his word salad but unfortunately, these words carry weight, especially when spoken from the ugly lips of a deranged Kremlin puppet. Our fake president, “Trump made the remarks during a speech in a Cincinnati suburb where he was promoting the tax bill he signed into law last December. The president began complaining that even as he was touting record low unemployment among African-Americans and Latinos, Democrats remained stoic, speculating that they might be reprimanded if they smiled or applauded.” Well they are being reprimanded: by the fake Russian president. NPR quotes Trump, “Even on positive news — really positive news, like that — they were like death and un-American. Un-American,” adding the Great Lunatic continued, “Somebody said treasonous. Yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.” For the reality check, NPR turns to “The U.S. Constitution, however, defines treason against the country as ‘only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.’” That’s our Putin-loving orange Russian bullshit boy!
TRAITOR TRUMP SPENT HIS “EXECUTIVE TIME” ATTACKING OPPOSITION
CNN reports our fake Russian bullshit president spent his “Executive Time” Monday tweeting about the dud of a DARKNESS AT NUNES memo and against his Democratic opposition. On Twitter, fake POTUS baby hands wrote, “Little Adam Schiff, who is desperate to run for higher office, is one of the biggest liars and leakers in Washington, right up there with Comey, Warner, Brennan and Clapper! Adam leaves closed committee hearings to illegally leak confidential information. Must be stopped!” Later, the fake Russian president added his praise for fellow Kremlin disinfo agent DARKNESS AT NUNES, “Representative Devin Nunes, a man of tremendous courage and grit, may someday be recognized as a Great American Hero for what he has exposed and what he has had to endure!” LOL, you fool. What a nut job! As CNN notes, “Schiff responded to Trump with a tweet of his own.” That tweet read, “Mr. President, I see you’ve had a busy morning of ‘Executive Time.’ Instead of tweeting false smears, the American people would appreciate it if you turned off the TV and helped solve the funding crisis, protected Dreamers or…really anything else”.
FBI EMAILS FROM WEEK OF COMEY FIRING SHOW SUPPORT FOR HIM
Lawfare has obtained emails from the FBI from the week of Comey’s firing and they show the bureau is – surprise – not what the lyin’ White House makes it out to be! Lawfare reports, “Knoxville field office, Special Agent in Charge Renae McDermott wrote to the staff she leads: ‘Unexpected news such as this is hard to understand but I know you all know our Director stood for what is right and what is true!!! . . . He truly made us better when we needed it the most.’” Then, “The following day, in an email with the subject line ‘Follow up with your squads,’ she followed up: ‘I need for all of you to make sure our/your folks are doing OK.’” All of which is good personnel management. However, “In a May 10 press conference, the same day McDermott was asking her staff to make sure one another were ‘doing OK,’ then-Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders claimed that the president had ‘lost confidence in Director Comey’ and that ‘the rank and file of the FBI had lost confidence in their director.’” Lawfare adds, “Over the next few days, a wealth of evidence emerged to suggest that Trump and Sanders were playing fast and loose with the truth. But we now have the documents to prove that decisively.” To be clear, what Lawfare obtained is “not a leak but an authorized action by the FBI, which released to us under the Freedom of Information Act more than 100 pages of leadership communications to staff dealing with the firing.” So, “What does it show?” Well, “the removal of a beloved figure to whom the workforce was deeply attached. It also shows that no aspect of the White House’s statements about the bureau were accurate—and, indeed, that the White House engendered at least some resentment among the rank and file for whom it purported to speak.” As Lawfare writes, “let’s pause a moment over the story they do not tell. They contain not a word that supports the notion that the FBI was in turmoil. They contain not a word that reflects gratitude to the president for removing a nut job. There is literally not a single sentence in any of these communications that reflects criticism of Comey’s leadership of the FBI.” Lawfare notes, “The words ‘unprecedented,’ ‘tumultuous,’ ‘shock’ and ‘surprise’ appear in a great many of the emails.”
HOUSE BACKS RELEASE OF DEMS’ COUNTER-DARKNESS AT NUNES MEMO
POLITICO reports, “The House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously Monday in favor of publicly releasing a classified memo that Democrats say undermines allegations by President Donald Trump and his allies that the FBI abused its spying powers while investigating his campaign. Trump has five days to review the request to release the memo, which was written by committee Democrats.” Guess what? He won’t release it or will redact parts of it in a highly politically charged fashion. Of course, “Democrats have clamored to release their memo since last week, when Republicans decided to make public their own classified document over the objections of the FBI.” Afterall, “Democrats say Trump’s allies are trying to discredit the FBI to harm special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and whether any of the president’s associates were involved,” and they are right about that, that is the clear intent, however poorly executed, of DARKNESS AT NUNES’ memo. POLITICO notes, “its lead author, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), has said it will provide a point-by-point rebuttal to the Republican version.” Unlike the death cult Republicans, “Schiff told reporters that Democrats had already provided copies of their memo to the FBI and Justice Department for review”. Finally, “Schiff also complained that Nunes declined, once again, to reveal whether the White House had any role in developing the GOP memo.” (Of course it did, see: next item.)
DARKNESS AT NUNES ASKS THAT YOU STOP BELIEVING YOUR EYES
The Hill reports, “House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) in a Monday morning interview said there is no evidence former Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos met with President Trump, despite a widely disseminated photo of the two sitting around the same table for a meeting,” which was disseminated by the Trump campaign! The GOP death cult, once a political party, asks that you stop believing your eyes and believe only what you are told in a certain moment and then that you promptly forget what you were told as it might be contradicted later. Naturally DARKNESS AT NUNES said, “As far as we can tell, Papadopoulos never even knew who — never even had met with the president,” on the equivalent of fake president Trump’s morning intelligence briefing, “Fox and Friends” during his “Executive Time” because you can’t trust the Deep State, can you? Unless you are told to trust Deep State, then you should, must even, as it is imperative of a demand as any other made by the Great Lunatic!
From The Hill.
NAMING + SHAMING: DARKNESS AT NUNES WHITE HAUS COLLABORATOR
Talking Points Memo reports, “at the end of the ‘Memo’ drama Rep. Mike Quigley (D-IL) asked Nunes whether he’d worked with the White House on producing the memo. Nunes evaded the question. He has not followed up with any denial. Yesterday Rep. Adam Schiff said he thinks ‘it’s very possible his staff worked with the White House and coordinated the whole effort with the White House.’” Talking Points Memo notes, “You don’t need to look long to find the probable point of contact between Nunes and the White House. Michael Ellis is Senior Associate White House Counsel, Special Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Council Legal Advisor. He’s an intelligence officer in the Naval Reserve. Before he went to work at the White House Counsel’s office he served as Nunes’ General Counsel on the House Intelligence Committee.” And now he can add undermining the rule of law and subverting the instruments of justice into instruments of Trump and his Russian pals to his CV! Remember the “unmasking” conspiracy theory DARKNESS AT NUNES tried to perpetuate last year? Recall since fired Ezra “Cohen-Watnick eventually took his findings to Don McGahn at the White House Counsel’s office. McGahn told him to stop immediately. Rather than doing so, he went around the Counsel’s office by having Nunes come to the White House in the middle of the night to share their findings. He and a colleague in the Counsel’s office called Nunes late one night and asked him to come to the White House immediately.” Talking Points Memo adds, “Who was that colleague in the Counsel’s Office he worked with on his ‘review’ and his work with Nunes? Michael Ellis. Nunes bizarrely referred to Cohen-Watnick and Ellis as “whistleblowers” and refused to divulge their identities. But they were finally identified in press reports. In other words, Ellis already did close to the exact same thing with his former boss Nunes.” More obstruction of justice before our very eyes.
From Talking Points Memo.
THE LIES THEREIN THE DARKNESS AT NUNES MEMO
POLITICO reports, “Republican leaders are acknowledging that the FBI disclosed the political origins of a private dossier the bureau cited in an application to surveil former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page, undermining a controversial GOP memo released Friday and fueling Democratic demands to declassify more information about the bureau’s actions.” POLITICO adds, “Democrats pounced on public comments over the past day by House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) and intelligence committee member Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), arguing that the GOP memo’s failure to mention a key footnote in the FBI application shows how the party has cherry-picked classified facts to protect President Donald Trump.”
WHERE IS MY PAGE? EXPOSING RUSSIAN SPIES IN WHAT WAS THEN AMERICA
Townhall reports, “Department of Justice court records from 2015 have provided details about how Carter Page cooperated with FBI agents in exposing Russian spies working inside the United States.” This might explain why the boy has not been charged with anything! Townhall adds, “The court records in question come from a sealed complaint deposed by Special Agent Gregory Monaghan. In the complaint, Monaghan attested to how Page was the target of efforts by Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) agents Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy to recruit sources in New York City.” Townhall notes, “Monaghan did not recommend that any charges be levied against Page. In fact, the section of the document discussing Page never characterizes him as a conscious spy or security risk, instead framing him as a victim of Sporyshev and Podobnyy”.
SENATORS GRASSLEY + GRAHAM WORKING OVERTIME TO ATTACK STEELE
POLITICO reports, “Two senior GOP senators,” Chuck Grassley and Lindsey Graham, “on Monday released a copy of their request for a criminal probe of Christopher Steele, the author of a controversial dossier on President Donald Trump’s ties to Russia”. They “released their referral for a Steele investigation, sent last month, after approval from the FBI.” Why did the FBI approve this? POLITICO adds, “Grassley and Graham on Monday also asked the Department of Justice and FBI to declassify more information related to their Steele referral, including an application to conduct surveillance of former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.” Let us wait and see what this is really about.
FAUX NEWS FOX: STEELE A NO SHOW FOR LONDON DEPOSITION
Fox News reports, “Steele was a no-show Monday for a long-requested deposition in London,” adding the most sinister touches to this. Because there are very senior officials in the Russian and the fake American government who would like to see him six feet under is not a consideration for the faux news Fox News crowd they turn instead to, “Evan Fray-Witzer, a Boston-based attorney representing Russian tech tycoon Aleksej Gubarev in multi-million dollar civil litigation,” who, “described Monday’s U.K. court actions to Fox News. ‘My understanding is that Mr. Steele’s lawyers spent a good deal of time arguing why they thought he (Steele) should not be required to sit for a deposition and that ultimately the court took the entire matter under advisement.’” Faux news Fox News recalls, ‘Gubarev is suing the British-based Steele’s company Orbis Business Intelligence because the dossier claimed Gubarev’s companies, including XBT Holdings and Webzilla, used ‘botnets and port traffic to transmit viruses, plant bugs and steal data.’” Consider the source here, however.
From Fox News.
NEW YORK TIMES SUES FOR RELEASE OF CARTER PAGE’S FISA WARRANT
The New York Times reports, “The New York Times is asking the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to unseal secret documents related to the wiretapping of Carter Page, the onetime Trump campaign adviser at the center of a disputed memo written by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee.” The New York Times notes, “The motion is unusual. No such wiretapping application materials apparently have become public since Congress first enacted the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978. That law regulates electronic spying on domestic soil — the interception of phone calls and emails — undertaken in the name of monitoring suspected spies and terrorists, as opposed to wiretapping for investigating ordinary criminal suspects.” However, “President Trump lowered the shield of secrecy surrounding such materials on Friday by declassifying the Republican memo about Mr. Page, after finding that the public interest in disclosing its contents outweighed any need to protect the information. Because Mr. Trump did so, The Times argues, there is no longer a justification ‘for the Page warrant orders and application materials to be withheld in their entirety,’ and ‘disclosure would serve the public interest.’” Consequences! They still behoove the fake Russian bullshit president. The New York Times notes, “The Times sent the motion and related documents to the Justice Department on Monday to commence the action. It also submitted a Freedom of Information Act request to the Justice Department on Friday asking the executive branch to disclose, following a declassification review, the same materials about the wiretapping of Mr. Page, who had left the Trump campaign a month before the government applied to wiretap him.”
From The New York Times.
T REX SAYS U.S. CONTEMPLATING SANCTIONS ON VENEZUELAN OIL
Reuters reports, “The United States is considering restricting imports of Venezuelan crude oil and exports of U.S. refined products to Venezuela, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday, to put pressure on socialist President Nicolas Maduro to ‘return to the constitution.’” Is there such a thing as post-ironic richness because this might be it? Not only does T Rex work for a regime that flaunts the U.S. Constitution and regularly tramples it (see Trump’s definition of treason not giving him a standing ovation), but does his State Department even sanction those it is mandated by Congress to sanction? Signs point to “no”. State-owned Venezuelan oil company PDVSA is heavily indebted to Russia’s Rosneft at the moment, which has provided billions in loans.
U.S. UKRAINE ENVOY VOLKER MEETS WITH YULIA TYMOSHENKO IN DC
Unian Information Agency reports, “U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker and leader of Ukraine’s Batkivshchyna Party, Yulia Tymoshenko, held a meeting in Washington Monday, Feb 5.” Volker wrote on Twitter, “Met with Yulia Tymoshenko today to discuss how UN peacekeepers could help facilitate restoration of territorial integrity and the important role of Ukraine’s parliament in Minsk implementation. Also discussed need to ensure full resolution and not allow a frozen conflict,” which is exactly what Russia so desires.
From Unian Information Agency.
RUSSIA STATIONING ISKANDER MISSILES IN KALININGRAD PERMANENTLY
Reuters reports, “Russia has deployed advanced nuclear-capable Iskander missiles to its Kaliningrad exclave on the Baltic Sea, the [Russian state-run] RIA news agency quoted a senior lawmaker as saying on Monday. Russia has said previous deployments of Iskander missiles to Kaliningrad, a slice of Russia wedged between Poland and Lithuania, were temporary and a response to the United States building up its forces in the Baltic region.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has said that Russia has the right to decide where it deploys its military resources on its own territory”. The comments came after, “Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite announced that Russian short-range ‘Iskander missiles are being stationed in Kaliningrad for permanent presence as we speak.’”
FINLAND SEEKS $730 MILLION IN AMERICAN NAVAL WEAPONS
Defense News reports, “The U.S. State Department has cleared a pair of first-time missile sales for Finland’s navy that could top $730 million in total. The announcement comes as Finland, concerned with actions from neighboring Russia, is looking to increase its defense spending. While not a NATO member, Finland has made moves to increase ties with its European allies following Russia’s 2014 invasion of Crimea – moves that have led Russia to pre-emptively threaten its neighbor if it takes more concrete steps to join the military alliance.”
From Defense News.
PUTIN FORMALLY REGISTERS AS A “CANDIDATE” IN FAKE ELECTIONS
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Russian President Vladimir Putin has been formally registered as a candidate in Russia’s March 18 presidential election. The Central Election Commission registered Putin on February 6, exactly two months after he announced his intention to run for a fourth term.”
NAVALNY QUESTIONED ON WHY HE ATTACKED POLICE DURING ARREST!
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Investigators in Moscow have summoned opposition politician Aleksei Navalny for questioning over what they claim was an assault on the police officers who detained him at a rally late last month.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “He said he was accused of ‘hitting the police’ who detained him at the protests, one of dozens that Navalny organized nationwide on January 28 to rally in support of his call for a boycott of Russia’s upcoming presidential election.” However, “The video shows officers wrestling a struggling Navalny to the ground and bundling him into a police bus. It does not show him striking the police.”
—–INDICTMENT ROCK CITY—–
I DON’T WANNA FIGHT
The Courthouse News Service reports, “Suggesting a plea deal on the horizon for Rick Gates, a federal judge will hold a closed-door meeting Wednesday with the defense team for President Donald Trump’s indicted former campaign aide.” The Courthouse News Service adds, “After attorneys Shanlon Wu, Walter Mack and Annemarie McAvoy moved on Feb. 1 to withdraw as counsel for Gates, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson scheduled a Feb. 7 meeting on the matter in her chambers. Wu, Mack and McAvoy filed their reasons for withdrawing under seal, and former prosecutor Laurie Levenson called it possible in an interview Monday that Gates wants to cooperate with investigators for Special Counsel Robert Mueller.” The other possibilities include nonpayment and Gates being uncooperative with his attorneys, either lying to them or otherwise. The Courthouse News Service notes, “Gates has reportedly hired attorney Tom Green with Sidley Austin”.
From Courthouse News Service.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
KNOWN KNOWNS: HOW DEEP IN IS ROBERT MUELLER’S INVESTIGATION?
In addition to a great timeline of the investigation published by The Washington Post, Wired looks at the “known knowns” — in the words of the famous Rumsfeld quadrant — of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation. Wired notes, “As special counsel, Mueller has broad authority to investigate ‘any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump,’ as well as ‘any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation,’ a catch-all phrase that allows him to pursue other criminality he may stumble across in the course of the investigation. As the acting attorney general overseeing Mueller, Rod Rosenstein has the ability to grant Mueller the ability to expand his investigation as necessary and has been briefed regularly on how the work is unfolding.” So it appears there are five strands to his probe:
- “Preexisting Business Deals and Money Laundering.”
Wired notes, “Business dealings and money laundering related to Trump campaign staff, including former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former campaign aide Rick Gates, are a major target of the inquiry. While this phase of the investigation has already led to the indictment of Gates and Manafort, it almost certainly will continue to bear further fruit.” And there are reports, “about suspicious payments flagged by Citibank that passed through the accounts of the Russian embassy in the United States, including an abnormal attempted $150,000 cash withdrawal by the embassy just days after the election.”
- “Russian Information Operations.”
Wired reports, “One of these is the ‘information operations’ (bots and trolls) that swirled around the 2016 election, focused on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, possibly with the coordination or involvement of the Trump campaign’s data team, Cambridge Analytica.”
- “Active Cyber Intrusions.”
Wired notes, “Separate from the trolls and bots on social media were a series of active operations and cyber intrusions carried out by Russian intelligence officers at the GRU and the FSB against political targets like John Podesta and the DNC. We know that Russian intelligence also penetrated the Republican National Committee, but none of those emails or documents were made public.” It is likely these emails are being used to blackmail and coerce individuals associated with the party, GOP death cult members of Congress, etc. Wired adds, “This thread of the investigation may also involve unofficial or official campaign contacts with WikiLeaks or other campaign advisers, like Roger Stone, as well as the warning—via the Australian government—that former foreign policy adviser George Papadopoulos appeared to have foreknowledge of the hacking of Democratic emails. Western intelligence, specifically the Dutch intelligence service AVID, has evidently been monitoring for years the ‘Advanced Persistent Threats’.”
- “Russian Campaign Contacts.”
Wired calls this “the most mysterious aspect of Mueller’s probe”. Of course, “Numerous campaign (and now administration) officials have lied about or failed to disclose contacts with both Russian nationals and Russian government officials, from meetings with Ambassador Sergey Kislyak to government banker Sergey Gorkov to the infamous Trump Tower meeting arranged by Donald Trump Jr. with Kremlin-connected Russian lawyer Natalia V. Veselnitskaya. At least two members of the campaign—Papadopoulos and former national security adviser Michael Flynn—have already pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about these contacts.” However, Wired adds, “many other Trump aides face scrutiny, including Attorney General Jeff Sessions, White House adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner, and Donald Trump Jr. Some of these contacts may go back years; Page himself originally surfaced in January 2015 as ‘Male #1’ in the indictment of three Russian SVR agents”.
- “Obstruction of Justice.”
Wired notes, “the question of whether President Trump obstructed justice by pressuring FBI director James Comey to ‘look past’ the FBI’s investigation of Michael Flynn and whether his firing in May was in any way tied to Comey’s refusal to stop the investigation.” Seems pretty clear as we watch obstruction of justice unfold on our fake presidency reality teevee screens and the interwebs on a near nightly basis.
IN TAKING ON THE FBI, TRUMP RISKS HIS FAKE PRESIDENCY
POLITICO reports, “The aggressive Republican attacks on the FBI are the latest sign — if one were needed — that President Donald Trump has upended the longstanding norms of Washington, as he and his allies in Congress seek to undermine the one institution of government that conservatives have typically seen as a bastion of integrity and law-and-order.” POLITICO notes that, “Not even at the height of the Watergate scandal, when the bureau’s investigation was imperiling Richard Nixon’s presidency, did Republican loyalists mount any serious effort to sow doubt about its work. No more.” However, POLITICO adds, “Unlike some other quarters of the government, intelligence and law enforcement agencies have power to strike back. After all, they know the secrets, and have been known to use them. At this moment, no one knows more about what really did or didn’t happen between the Russians and the Trump campaign than the FBI agents working on Robert Mueller’s investigation. That may make the bureau a tempting target for this White House, but it makes it a formidable adversary as well.”
TRUMP SPENT “EXECUTIVE TIME” ATTACKING OUR GREATEST ALLY, AGAIN!
The Washington Post reports, “President Trump took a swing at Britain’s beloved National Health Service on Monday, tweeting that Britons were marching in the streets because their universal health-care system was financially strapped and dysfunctional, and got a swift rebuke from the British prime minister.” The fake bullshit president used his baby hands to Tweet out, “The Democrats are pushing for Universal HealthCare while thousands of people are marching in the UK because their U system is going broke and not working. Dems want to greatly raise taxes for really bad and non-personal medical care. No thanks!” One problem: “the thousands of Britons who took to the streets over the weekend were marching in support of the NHS and calling for greater government funding.” The Russian puppet president spends a lot of his “Executive Time” attacking our greatest ally and fawning over our greatest adversary. But everyone blame Deep State! Deep State is to blame for why your neighbor has a better, more elite tinfoil hat than you!
From The Washington Post.
EPA’S PRUITT: TRUMP AN “EMPTY VESSEL” ON CONSTITUTION, RULE OF LAW
CNN reports, “Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt called Donald Trump an ‘empty vessel’ on the Constitution and rule of law in a February 2016 interview with a local Oklahoma radio show. The previously unreported remarks are the second known instance that Pruitt harshly criticized Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.” You know who hates anything less than unquestioned fealty? Besides, Vladimir Putin… Pruitt added, “I’m very concerned that perhaps if he’s in the White House, that there may be a very blunt instrument as the voice of the Constitution.” But now he is the head of the Environmental Protection Agency and engaged in actively destroying every aspect of it: the environment, protections, the agency itself! How times change! But Trump as a threat to our nation stays the same! CNN notes, “Earlier last week, Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse asked Pruitt about comments he made on a different local Oklahoma radio show on February 4, 2016, where he said then-candidate Trump would be more abusive to the Constitution than Obama. Pruitt said he didn’t recall those remarks nor did they reflect his current views on the President.”
ON CHRISTOPHER STEELE, DARKNESS AT NUNES IS B-A-N-A-N-A-S
Former CIA Agent once stationed in Moscow John Sipher writes in POLITICO Magazine, “the Nunes memo claims that Steele was ‘a longtime FBI source.’ Based on my experience, that’s unlikely. The word ‘source’ has a very specific meaning in the intelligence community. In general, an intelligence source is someone under some level of U.S. government control, who is met and managed in a secret or clandestine manner according to rules set by the director of national intelligence. Steele does not fit the criteria. More importantly, the U.S. does not run British citizens as sources.” So it is Sipher writes, “I suspect (hope), however, that Nunes knows that Steele was not an intelligence source. If he thought otherwise, it is despicable that the chairman of the bureau’s oversight committee would so cavalierly divulge a source.” So it is, “Steele was a former intelligence partner, who willingly shared information he believed was of interest to the U.S. If the FBI wished for him to continue his efforts, he would likely serve as a de facto paid contractor”. However as someone versed in Russian disinformation warfare, Sipher adds, “Nunes was probably trying to confuse the issue and label Steele as a confidential source so that he can imply Steele broke some kind of law by misleading the FBI. Unfortunately for Nunes, there are no such laws.” Sipher adds, “Nunes failed to read Steele’s reports or worse, misunderstands the nature of intelligence collection. Steele’s ‘dossier’ was not a summary or analytical product but was a series of raw intelligence reports. An intelligence officer does not report personal opinions or produce finished analysis but is seeking to accurately record what his sources and sub-sources report.” That is a damning statement concerning someone who ostensibly has the title of Chairman of the House intelligence committee. Sipher teases DARKNESS AT NUNES, “If I collected information from trusted and knowledgeable sources that Trump was potentially involved in a criminal conspiracy with Vladimir Putin, I’d be ‘biased’ too.”
From POLITICO Magazine.
GOP DEATH CULT MAINSTREAMING HOLOCAUST DENIAL
The Chicago Sun-Times reports, “Arthur Jones — an outspoken Holocaust denier, activist anti-Semite and white supremacist — is poised to become the Republican nominee for an Illinois congressional seat representing parts of Chicago and nearby suburbs.” Jones told The Chicago Sun-Times, “To me the Holocaust is what I said it is: It’s an international extortion racket”. The Chicago Sun-Times notes, “Jones’ website for his latest congressional run includes a section titled ‘The “Holocaust Racket”’ where he calls the genocide carried out by the German Nazi regime and collaborators in other nations ‘the biggest blackest lie in history.’” While, “Jones, 70, a retired insurance agent who lives in suburban Lyons, has unsuccessfully run for elected offices in the Chicago area and Milwaukee since the 1970s,” it was only last week that Rep. Matt Gaetz of Florida took another Holocaust denier, Charles “Chuck” Johnson, to the State of the Union, which tells you something not only about the state of the death cult GOP but about their values, namely that dismissing the deaths of millions of innocents as fake is somehow alright. What kind of shit education do you have to have to think that that is all right? As The Chicago-Sun Times notes, “The outcome will be different for Jones in the Illinois primary on March 20, 2018. To Jones’ own amazement, he is the only one on the Republican ballot.” The Chicago Sun-Times notes, “Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, said in a statement to the Sun-Times, ‘The Illinois Republican Party and our country have no place for Nazis like Arthur Jones. We strongly oppose his racist views and his candidacy for any public office, including the 3rd Congressional District.’” Yet, look who is in the White House and look at Rep. Matt Gaetz in Florida. This is not an aberration.
From The Chicago Sun-Times.
WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE POLONIUM TEA AT LONDON’S MAYFAIR HOTEL?
POLITICO reports, “The National Republican Congressional Committee is offering donors the chance for an ‘all expenses paid trip’ over Mother’s Day weekend to a Virginia winery owned by President Donald Trump’s business.” Polonium tea at the Mayfair Hotel in London sounds better than giving money to the GOP death cult and time to anything Trump owned. POLITICO notes, “According to an NRCC fundraising page, supporters can enter a raffle to win an all-inclusive trip to the Trump Winery in Charlottesville from May 11-13 by donating to the committee’s efforts to bolster the Republican majority in Congress,” and “in emails publicizing the opportunity, the NRCC urged supporters to donate as little as $10 to enter the contest.” For participating in yet another Trump trash scam, you have the chance to lose (they call it winning), “four round-trip coach-class plane tickets with an estimated value of $1,300; accommodations for four over two nights at Albemarle Estate, an on-site lodging property of Trump Winery, valued at $1,200; four tickets to a Mother’s Day brunch event at the winery estimated at $300; and an additional $50 for ground transportation.” You know what TRUMPISTAN WATCH’s mother would do if taken to a Trump property for Mother’s Day? TRUMPISTAN WATCH does not and will not find out.
RUSSIANS ARE PARANOID ABOUT SANCTIONS, STILL NOT GOOD ENOUGH
Russian state-run TASS reports, “The so-called ‘Kremlin List’ prepared by the US Department of the Treasury, is an ‘overture’ to new sanctions, Chief Executive Officer of VTB Bank Andrei Kostin said on Monday in the ‘60 Minutes’ program on the air with the Rossiya 1 TV Channel. Kostin is also present in the list.” Kostin said, “”It seems to me this list is a kind of overture to new sanctions, which are prepared, according to the statement of the US Secretary to the Treasury,” meaning he knows there is a real list out there somewhere, not the fake bullshit one our fake Russian president and the fake Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin substituted in at the eleventh hour. The maneuver, clearly pre-planned by Trump and his Kremlin allies, was such that neither kicked up much dirt when sanctions were first announced, baffling many before it became known three Russian intelligence bosses made their way to Washington prior to the announced non-sanctions. Russian state-run TASS adds, “The seriousness of potential sanctions will depend on the balance of power between the Administration of US President Donald Trump and his opponents”. And every true patriot is rooting for us against them. The VTB CEO Kostin said, “We will probably see some developments in near future and the seriousness of these steps. Some steps should probably be expected”. An unexpected concession of defeat in advance? Not quite but nonetheless, U-S-A! U-S-A! Also if you have the real sanctions list and wish to drop it, TRUMPISTAN WATCH is here for you!
From Russian state-run TASS.
NO ONE WITH MONEY, POSSIBILITY WANTS TO LIVE IN PUTIN’S SHITHOLE
Bloomberg reports, “The Kremlin’s expanding its campaign to woo Russian businessmen and their money back home to include those fleeing prosecution. Skeptical exiles aren’t planning to pack their bags any time soon.” Bloomberg adds, “In a letter accompanied by 81 pages of appeals from businessmen, Boris Titov, the Kremlin’s commissioner for entrepreneurs’ rights, asked President Vladimir Putin to order a review of cases against people who’d been ‘forced’ to flee abroad because of allegations ‘they consider illegal and unfounded.’ He asked Putin to ensure ‘appropriate personal legal guarantees’ to allow those who’d been wrongly accused to go back to Russia.” Doesn’t that sound like a reassuring homecoming? Obviously anyone with money and possibilities would never return to Putin’s shithole Russia because now they know what it means to actually live their lives. Bloomberg notes, “Only about a dozen people have expressed a desire to return so far, said Valery Solovei, a political scientist at Moscow State Institute for International Relations, who advises Titov and was at the London meeting. ‘It’s understandable — serious fears persist,’ he said.” As does the lawless Russian mafia state ruled by an ex-KGB man. What a shithole!
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE NOT STUPID, STOP TREATING US LIKE WE ARE
The Washington Post reports, “Sebastian Gorka, a former deputy assistant to President Trump, either quit the administration in indignation or was forced out by those who thought his take-no-prisoners brand of nationalist politics was a bad influence on Trump”. In any case, because the American media gets its bread off of providing a megaphone to racists, lunatics and neo-Nazis in a self-perpetuating motion machine of outrage cycles, “Gorka appears without much drama on a talking-head show, where he reliably praises the president.” So it was, “Gorka was on C-SPAN in the morning, discussing a memo released last week by Republicans on the House Intelligence Committee — over the furious objections of national security officials — alleging that political bias has tainted a federal investigation into Trump’s links to Russia.” Then “‘Henry’ from Michigan was on the line.” Henry from a state the media loves to push its personal responsibility for the rise of Trump onto told the most undistinguished panel, “I’d like to say the elections in 2018 are perhaps the most consequential in our history because we have to stop an impending dictatorship by this white-supremacist, right-wing traitor. And Donald Trump, make no mistake, is a traitor. Along with everybody in his orbit.” And then Henry set the record straight: “Donald Trump is owned by the Russian oligarchs because they are the ones that funded him when U.S. banks wouldn’t. They have compromising information on him.” Why is this hard for people with a megaphone on television every day when it is not hard for Henry, the Michigan voter who is supposedly to blame – just ask the media – for our nation’s darkest hour? The American people are not stupid. By all counts, we deserve better – from our politicians, from our media and from our society.
From The Washington Post.
YOUTUBE TO LABEL RUSSIAN STATE PROPAGANDA, MAKES RUSSIA SAD
Russian state-run Sputnik reports, “Margarita Simonyan, the editor-in-chief of RT broadcaster and Sputnik news agency, on Monday mocked the move of the US video-sharing website YouTube to label RT content with a caption reading that the broadcaster is funded by the Russian government.” Simonyan said with utter condescension and contempt for actual truth, “YouTube has labeled RT content with a ‘Made in Russia’ caption. It is surprising that the box does not depict a bear wearing an ushanka hat [a fur hat commonly worn by Russians], which is undermining democracy in Limpopo”. Russian state-run Sputnik notes, “YouTube has recently introduced a new feature which allows labeling certain news channels which had received state funding. The platform’s US users have already noted a caption reading ‘RT is funded in whole or in part by the Russian government’ appearing along with the RT materials.” In whole, YouTube, in whole. Aren’t they lovely, our new Russian “friends”? Don’t you prefer them to the FBI yet?
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
ARYAN PRINCESS IVANKA TO PLAY ACT AS STATESWOMAN AGAIN
CNN reports, “Ivanka Trump will lead the Presidential delegation to South Korea for the closing ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympic winter games”. Pity as first daughter she has no right to act as stateswoman!
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