POLITICO reports, “The leaders of the United States, France, Germany and Britain say they are united in blaming Russia for a nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal. In a rare joint statement, President Donald Trump, President Emmanual Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Theresa May say ‘there is no plausible alternative explanation’ to Russian responsibility in the March 4 attack in England.” In response, Reuters reports, “Russia will soon expel British diplomats in retaliation for Britain’s decision to kick out 23 Russian envoys over a chemical attack on a former Russian double agent, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday.”

From POLITICO and Reuters.



The Washington Post reports, “President Trump has decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser and is actively discussing potential replacements”. According to The Washington Post, “Trump recently told Kelly that he wants McMaster out and asked for help weighing replacement options,” which is hilarious because retention and Mueller’s investigation has bred one hell of a recruitment problem where those willing to sign up now for the chance at public humiliation and disgrace are likely either totally compromised or completely deranged, not to mention stupid and seriously crazy. The Washington Post notes, “Several candidates have emerged as possible McMaster replacements, including John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, and Keith Kellogg, the chief of staff of the National Security Council.” Let’s be clear: we lose McMaster for either of these two and we are seriously fucked. If McMaster goes today it will come just one day after he criticized Russia in strong terms, much as former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had earlier in the week prior to his dismissal. POLITICO reports, “National security adviser H.R. McMaster on Thursday called for further U.S. action against Russia as punishment for crimes in Syria, in a fiery address at an event marking the seventh year of the Syrian Civil War.” POLITICO notes, “The speech was delivered at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum as part of a program on the Syria crisis”. POLITICO adds, “At the museum, he invoked the memory of the Holocaust as he called for greater international action in the region.”

From The Washington Post and POLITICO.



The New York Times reports, “The special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, has subpoenaed the Trump Organization in recent weeks to turn over documents, including some related to Russia”. The New York Times notes, “The order is the first known instance of the special counsel demanding records directly related to President Trump’s businesses, bringing the investigation closer to the president.” Bring. It. On. The New York Times adds, “Word of the subpoena came as Mr. Mueller appears to be broadening his inquiry to examine the role foreign money may have played in funding Mr. Trump’s political activities.” The New York Times notes, “The Trump Organization has typically complied with requests from congressional investigators for documents for their own inquiries into Russian election interference, and there was no indication the company planned to fight Mr. Mueller’s order.” The New York Times adds, “Mr. Mueller could run afoul of a line the president has warned him not to cross. Though it is not clear how much of the subpoena is related to Mr. Trump’s business outside ties to Russia, Mr. Trump said in an interview with The New York Times in July that the special counsel would be crossing a red line if he looked into his family’s finances beyond any relationship with Russia.” Let’s hope Trump’s red lines are just like Obama’s: utterly meaningless. Of note, “The Trump Organization is not publicly held, making it difficult to determine where it receives its money and invests it.” POLITICO adds, “President Donald Trump’s private company scrambled Thursday to show it has long been cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators in response to a media report that it had gotten a new subpoena for documents tied to the Russia probe.” A statement from Trump lawyer Alan Futerfas tried to downplay the subpoena as “old news,” POLITICO notes.

From The New York Times and POLITICO.



The Guardian reports, “Donald Trump’s private company was ‘actively negotiating’ a business deal in Moscow with a sanctioned Russian bank during the 2016 election campaign, according to a memo by Democratic lawmakers investigating possible collusion between the campaign and the Kremlin.” The Guardian notes, “The statement by Democrats on the House intelligence committee, who have had access to internal Trump Organization documents and interviewed key witnesses, raises new questions about the Trump Organization’s financial ties to Russia and its possible willingness to deal with a bank that had been placed under US sanctions.” Does money care who owns it?

From The Guardian.



POLITICO reports, “The Treasury Department on Thursday slapped new sanctions on 24 Russian entities and individuals for interfering in the 2016 election and conducting a series of damaging cyberattacks,” which POLITICO mistakenly dubs, “a major step toward punishing Russia for its increasingly bellicose behavior.” How do they figure? Of course, “The Trump administration has come under fire for what critics say is a slow response to Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 election, and Trump has faced blowback for not more forcefully condemning Russia in the aftermath of this month’s nerve agent attack on a former Russian spy in England. The sanctions announced Thursday appeared intended to counteract that narrative,” and POLITICO fell for it in their lede. Why is this not a big fucking deal and a total sham? As POLITICO notes, “Thursday’s sanctions go after the individuals that special counsel Robert Mueller indicted last month for participating in a sweeping plot to use online trolls to inflame social divides and undermine faith in U.S. institutions during the 2016 election”. In that indictment, only Evgeny Prigozhin is a classically important figure to the Kremlin as the funder of the Internet Research Agency, a troll farm, and the Wagner mercenary group active in Ukraine and Syria. POLITICO adds, “Thursday’s White House sanctions punish Russia’s two main intelligence organizations, including the country’s military intelligence organization, known as the GRU, for being ‘directly involved in interfering in the 2016 U.S. election through cyber-enabled activities.’” POLITICO adds, “Thursday’s move goes beyond just a broad condemnation of the GRU. It specifically sanctions six individuals the administration says have served as GRU officials,” but, “Four of those individuals were previously sanctioned in December 2016, as part of the Obama administration’s retaliation for Moscow’s election meddling”. Curiously, POLITICO notes, “The White House also penalized Russia’s other intelligence service, the FSB — the country’s successor to the KGB — with penalties. The announcement accuses the organization of going after a variety of U.S. government officials, including ‘White House personnel.’” The Washington Post notes, “In all, the new sanctions target 19 people and five organizations — though six of the people and four of the groups had been previously hit with sanctions, most under the Obama administration.” The Washington Post also lists, “The six GRU officials targeted for sanctions are Chief Igor Korobov, First Deputy Chief Igor Kostyukov, Deputy Chief Sergey Gizunov, First Deputy Chief Vladimir Alexseyev and senior officials Sergei Afanasyev and Grigoriy Molchanov.” None of this will harm the Russian economy one bit so what’s the point?

From POLITICO and The Washington Post.



POLITICO reports, “The sanctions issued Thursday were coupled with a separate, significant announcement by the administration blaming Russian government hackers for initiating an ongoing operation to penetrate vital U.S. industries, including the energy grid.” Trump’s friends! The Washington Post notes it is not just the energy sector that has been targeted for Russian cyber intrusions but “other critical industries, including water, aviation, critical manufacturing and energy.” The New York Times reports, “The Trump administration accused Russia on Thursday of engineering a series of cyberattacks that targeted American and European nuclear power plants and water and electric systems, and could have sabotaged or shut power plants off at will.” The New York Times adds, “They said the strikes accelerated in late 2015, at the same time the Russian interference in the American election was underway. The attackers had compromised some operators in North America and Europe by spring 2017, after President Trump was inaugurated.” Of note and great concern, “American officials and security firms, including Symantec and CrowdStrike, believe that Russian attacks on the Ukrainian power grid in 2015 and 2016 that left more than 200,000 citizens there in the dark are an ominous sign of what the Russian cyberstrikes may portend in the United States and Europe in the event of escalating hostilities,” The New York Times adds. Trump’s great friends are more destructive than he is.

From POLITICO, The Washington Post and The New York Times.



The Washington Post reports, “The FBI office that handles employee discipline has recommended firing the bureau’s former deputy director over allegations that he authorized the disclosure of sensitive information to a reporter and misled investigators when asked about it, leaving Attorney General Jeff Sessions to decide whether he should fire the veteran official just four days before his expected retirement date”. What are they thinking? Please the fake Russian bullshit president, perhaps? The Washington Post notes, “The recommendation from the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility is likely to add fuel to the political fire surrounding former deputy director Andrew McCabe, who abruptly stepped down from his post earlier this year but technically remained an FBI employee.” The Washington Post adds, “McCabe was hoping to retire Sunday, when he becomes eligible for his full benefits. If he is fired first, he could lose those. President Trump has long made McCabe a particular target of his ire”. The Washington Post notes, “The disciplinary process is still ongoing at the highest levels of the Justice Department, and no final decision has been made on the discipline McCabe will face. The call will ultimately be made by Sessions because of McCabe’s seniority”. The malicious precedent would be, to borrow a term, “unpresidented” and could be used to stifle others eventually too. Reuters reports, “Former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, who stepped down in January after criticism from President Donald Trump, met on Thursday with a U.S. Justice Department official in an effort to preserve his pension”.

From The Washington Post and Reuters.


reports, “Two months into the Trump administration, a distraught State Department Iran expert named Sahar Nowrouzzadeh asked her new boss for help. A conservative website had published an article depicting Nowrouzzadeh as a Barack Obama loyalist who had ‘burrowed into the government’ under Trump and even had ties to the hated Iranian regime itself. Focusing on her role in the negotiation of Obama’s 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran, the article was headlined, ‘Iran deal architect is running Tehran policy at the State Dept.’ Nowrouzzadeh emailed Brian Hook, the new chief of the State Department’sPolicy Planning Staff, where she worked on Middle East issues, to insist that the article was ‘filled with misinformation.’” POLITICO adds, “Hook was already well aware of the story. The article, which appeared in an obscure online publication called Conservative Review, had caused a stir among conservative activists and incoming Trump officials who were busy trying to establish who Nowrouzzadeh was — and whether she could be purged. According to emails obtained by POLITICO, the agitators included former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who sent the article to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s chief of staff, and a Trump official who told top Tillerson aides that Nowrouzzadeh ‘was born in Iran’ — she was not — and that she had wept after Trump’s election.” POLITICO notes, “The emails show that State Department and White House officials repeatedly shared such misleading information about Nowrouzzadeh, deriding her as an Obama cheerleader and strong advocate for the nuclear deal with Iran”. POLITICO adds, “Although career staffers generally observe an ethos of nonpartisanship, many Trump officials saw them as constituting a ‘deep state’ cabal determined to sabotage the new president’s agenda. The emails also suggest that Nowrouzzadeh may have been targeted in part because of her ethnicity, which would be a violation of federal employment law.” ABC News adds, “Top House Democrats are accusing the White House and State Department of forcing out administration officials not considered sufficiently loyal to President Donald Trump’s agenda. Citing emails provided by a whistleblower, Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Maryland, and Eliot Engel, D-New York, the ranking members of the House Oversight and Foreign Affairs Committees, wrote to White House chief of staff John Kelly and Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan raising questions about what they see as an apparent effort to target career civil servants at the State Department.”

From POLITICO and ABC News.


reports, “Two top aides to Rex Tillerson will also be leaving the State Department by the end of the month, officials confirmed on Wednesday”. Sad! Ok, not at all. Rumor was they kept T Rex, who was said to be rather paranoid, ensconced in a protective bubble from the rest of the department so highly improbable that the departure of “Margaret Peterlin, Tillerson’s chief-of-staff, and Christine Ciccone, his deputy chief-of-staff who was overseeing an initiative to ‘redesign’ the State Department,” will do much more than merely “please many U.S. diplomats. Many State staffers say the two were widely disliked for severely limiting access to the secretary, sidelining career diplomats and slowing down an already cumbersome decision-making process.” Sadly though for the State Department, “For now, however, another top Tillerson aide, Brian Hook, appears to be staying in place. Hook has also spurred resentment in Foggy Bottom for using the division under his control, the Policy Planning Staff, to effectively take over many decisions and tasks traditionally left to the department’s regional and functional bureaus.” According to POLITICO, “Peterlin and Ciccone offered their resignations to Tillerson on Tuesday, a State Department official said”.




The AP reports, “Nader was caught in Mueller’s web a few days before the anniversary of Trump’s inauguration. He was transiting through Dulles International Airport outside Washington, on his way to Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort, when his plans changed — abruptly and involuntarily. Mueller’s investigators stopped him,” and, “His electronics were seized and he was then allowed to go see his lawyer. Nader later agreed to cooperate with Mueller’s investigation”. Now in addition to attending the super top secret meeting that the whole world knows about now in the Seychelles that was an effort to set up a backchannel to Russia involving famous American mercenary Erik Prince and Russian state banker Kiril Dmitriev, we learn Nader has “a 15-year-old pedophilia conviction in Europe”. The AP adds, “Nader’s record of sexual abuse in Prague appears unrelated to his role in Mueller’s probe in the United States; it is unclear whether Mueller’s investigators knew about it.” The AP reports, “A George Nader was convicted by Prague’s Municipal Court of 10 cases of sexually abusing minors and sentenced to a one-year prison term in May 2003,” which was a sort of European hub for this sort of activity in pre-European Union days. The AP adds, “the crimes occurred between 1999 and 2002,” and, “Nader served time in a Prague prison, though it isn’t clear how much. He was then ordered expelled.” The AP notes, “In one case, Nader requested oral sex from a 14-year-old boy in a room at the Hilton Hotel in Prague,” but, “After the boy refused, Nader masturbated in front of him and paid him 2,000 koruna — worth about $100 today”. The AP adds, “The verdict cites other examples of Nader providing money, jewelry, cellphones, clothes and accommodation for sexual services. The AP was able to see a copy of the verdict, which gives Nader’s birthdate as May 15, 1959. Nader was separately accused in Washington, D.C., of child pornography infractions in 1985, but those charges were later dropped. A criminal docket sheet obtained by the AP shows the same birthdate for Nader.” How many pedophiles surround our fake Russian bullshit president who already serves one alleged pedophile Putin? Trump has also been accused of inappropriateness with a minor.

From the AP.



POLITICO reports, “Four Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday sought the appointment of a second special counsel to aid the Department of Justice inspector general in probing the FBI’s use of the so-called Steele dossier in its surveillance of a former Trump campaign aide. The Judiciary panel’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), was joined by Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) in requesting that DOJ name a special prosecutor to zero in on possible mishandling of the FBI’s Russia investigation prior to the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller. Specifically, the quartet raised concerns about the FBI’s relationship with Christopher Steele”. Ladies and gentlemen, these are the men who wish to ruin your future and condemn you to a fate of Russian slavery. Should you by chance live in their district, do not hesitate to call their offices and make your feelings known to them. Also important to note Senator Lindsey Graham is included among the list. The inclusion of Senator Graham is noteworthy as he was initially among the most outspoken against Russian interference in our election and is a longtime friend of Senator John McCain. Makes you wonder why he might be doing this and what Russia may have on him. The rest are reliable GOP death cult stalwarts. POLITICO notes, “Grassley and Graham, who previously requested that the DOJ open a criminal probe of Steele’s conduct, on Feb. 28 asked DOJ inspector general Michael Horowitz to probe the department’s handling of investigations into Trump transition or campaign officials, as well as the Trump administration before Mueller’s appointment.”




The Daily Beast reports, “Private-prison companies that force undocumented immigrant detainees to work for little or no money have a powerful new group of advocates: Eighteen members of Congress. The members, all Republicans, sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and the Department of Labor, calling for them to help private-prison company GEO Group defend itself in lawsuits by former detainees.” The Daily Beast adds, “Over the last few years, immigrants’ rights activists have filed a number of lawsuits against private prison companies related to immigrant work programs. The lawsuits argue that these companies, including GEO Group and CoreCivic, break a law against human trafficking by having detainees work for a $1 per day or less.” The Daily Beast notes, “The letter was signed by Lamar Smith, Jody Hice, Matt Gaetz, Steve King, Mike Rogers, Paul Gosar, Andy Biggs, Louie Gohmert, Dana Rohrabacher, Paul Cook, Scott Taylor, Earl ‘Buddy’ Carter, John Ratcliffe, Duncan Hunter, Bob Gibbs, Barry Loudermilk, Brian Babin, and John Rutherford.” Among them you have Matt Gaetz who brought a Holocaust denier to the State of the Union, outspoken neo-Nazi sympathizer and far right Eastern European leaders fanboy Steve King, and Putin’s favorite Congressman Dana Rohrabacher. P.S. Hey assholes, immigrants are people and forced labor is slavery and not only is it something we banned but it’s morally wrong. But do they care? Not unless it’s their hide, which may it be someday!

From The Daily Beast.



The AP reports, “Russia-linked Twitter accounts sought to spur racial and political discord in Wisconsin after a police officer’s fatal shooting of a black man sparked riots”. The AP adds, “The accounts sent more than 30 tweets during the August 2016 unrest in the city’s Sherman Park neighborhood following the shooting, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.” The AP notes, “One of the accounts, @TEN_GOP, is named in a recent federal indictment from special counsel Robert Mueller.” The AP adds, “The tweets also sought to elevate the voice of former Milwaukee Sheriff David Clarke — a conservative firebrand who is one Trump’s biggest supporters — by quoting Clarke during the riots.”

From the AP.


reports, “Nearly invisible to the enemy as it stalks the oceans depths, the USS Hartford, a Los Angeles-class nuclear-powered submarine, provides the US Navy with a lethal combination of stealth and firepower. Thousands of miles from homeport, the Hartford cruises the Arctic Ocean — the site of a potential new flashpoint between Russia and the US,” and can “launch a two-ton 20-foot-long torpedo capable of destroying an enemy submarine in an instant.” CNN notes, “Along with the USS Connecticut fast-attack submarine and the UK Royal Navy’s HMS Trenchant, the 6,000-ton Hartford is currently participating in multinational exercises training for its primary mission: to hunt and kill enemy ships and submarines.” CNN adds, “The Arctic is the newest and most daunting front in the expanding global conflict between the US and Russia as both nations battle to control nearly 5.5 million square miles of frozen terrain.” CNN continues, “But while the US Navy regularly conducts submarine training drills — often with key allies — this five-week operation dubbed ‘ICEX’ is unique, as it takes place in one of the harshest environments in the world — under the Arctic ice.” CNN notes, “Russia has invested heavily in developing its own underwater stealth capabilities in recent years and their submarine technology is approaching the level of the US fleet”. CNN notes, “By most accounts, the US still maintains the most capable submarine fleet in the world — the Hartford is virtually invisible and silent to its enemies allowing it to strike without warning and hit targets both above and below the surface.”

From CNN.



Public Broadcasting of Latvia reports, “Latvia’s institutions are to examine the alleged holding of secret Latvian bank accounts by the daughters of Russian President Vladimir Putin, reported Latvian Television March 14. The Office for Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity says it will look into the case.”

From Public Broadcasting of Latvia.



Bloomberg reports, “Russia is snubbing international condemnation over the poisoning of a former spy on British soil and pushing ahead with a Eurobond sale even as a diplomatic spat escalates. The announcement of a benchmark dollar-bond placement comes less than 24 hours after U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May unveiled measures including the expulsion of 23 diplomats.” Bloomberg adds, “If demand for the sale is strong, it could give a lift to President Vladimir Putin before elections on Sunday and as the Kremlin prepares retaliatory measures against the U.K. It may also provide shelter for Russian money currently being stashed in the U.K. because the Finance Ministry has said it will give priority to local investors willing to repatriate funds.”

From Bloomberg.





Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Amnesty International has accused Russia of mounting a ‘fierce crackdown’ on political activists ahead of this week’s presidential election, systematically violating their rights through ‘arbitrary’ arrests and detentions. The London-based rights group said on March 15 that Russian authorities are using a draconian law on public assemblies to ‘deliberately’ target activists calling for an election boycott.”

From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.


Unian Information Agency
reports, “Facebook has recently started massively blocking accounts of Ukrainian opinion leaders, top bloggers, journalists, and volunteers – all of them telling the truth about Russian aggression in Ukraine. The bans come as a result of complaints by pro-Russian bots, the ‘Come Back Alive’ Charity Foundation reports.” Unian Information Agency adds, “The organization suggests that the attack on Ukrainian netizens is related to the upcoming presidential elections in Russia.” Thank Zuck and Fakebook everyone, another antidemocratic and pro-Russian success story they can add to all their myriad dubious achievement whilst awaiting FARA violation indictments.

From Unian Information Agency.



Interfax Ukraine reports, “The police have detained seven supporters of Alexei Navalny in Murmansk, the opposition activist’s local headquarters said on social media on March 15. According to the headquarters, Yury Fomin, the organizer of the unauthorized protest on January 28, and six opposition activists who took part in it were detained on March 14 evening.”

From Interfax Ukraine.


The Moscow Times
reports, “Opposition politician Ksenia Sobchak has announced the creation of a new political party on the eve of Russia’s presidential elections together with ex-Duma deputy Dmitri Gudkov.” The Moscow Times adds, “Sobchak announced that the goal of the new party would be to ‘return our freedom and your freedom,’ the RBC business portal reported on Thursday.” What freedom? This is Russia.

From The Moscow Times.





CNN reports, “Paul Manafort has asked a federal judge in DC to dismiss the five criminal charges against him, arguing that special counsel Robert Mueller had no right to indict him for work done before he joined the Trump campaign as chairman in 2016.” CNN adds, “Though Manafort’s team acknowledged that the Justice Department had told Mueller to prosecute any criminal action he discovers while investigating possible Russian collusion, ‘It is a blank check the special counsel has cashed, repeatedly,’ Manafort’s filing said.” CNN notes, “Manafort then asked the court on Wednesday to throw out a conspiracy money laundering charge he faces, as well as the government’s request for him to forfeit assets and property. He argues that even if he failed to register to lobby in the US for foreign governments, he didn’t make his consulting income illegally.” CNN adds, “He also asked the court to dismiss one of two charges he faces alleging he made false statements in registering his foreign lobbying work, because they are duplicative, he said. He currently faces five criminal counts in the case.” CNN states the obvious: “Manafort’s filing on Wednesday, though a common procedural step in a case like this, indicates the former Trump campaign adviser plans to remain at odds with prosecutors.” His value is in stalling, should he wish to eventually talk, in order to get the best deal possible for himself with prosecutors. Additionally, “Also on Wednesday, Manafort added a third lawyer to his trial team in DC. Richard Westling, a health care industry and tax litigator, told the court he would join the defense team,” CNN adds.

From CNN.



CNN reports, “As for Gates, a federal judge told him he would have to continue wearing his GPS ankle monitor, a provision the court put in place after his October arrest to make sure he doesn’t flee.” CNN notes, “Gates requested in late February, a few days after he pleaded guilty, to lose the GPS monitor and for the judge to allow him to travel more freely between his Richmond, Virginia, home and Washington because cooperating with the special counsel requires him to travel ‘often on short notice.’ He does not have to tell the judge in advance if he wants to travel to DC, Jackson said. He does have to keep his pretrial monitoring officers abreast a day or two ahead of any travel plans he has to come to DC, either to meet with investigators or for other matters.”

From CNN.





CNN reports, “The lawyer representing the porn star Stormy Daniels says six additional women have come forward with similar experiences to that of his client as of Thursday evening — some who he says also claim to have nondisclosure agreements.” Clearly the fake Russian bullshit president likes to pay for sex. What does this say about our fake First Lady? Wink wink.

From CNN.



POLITICO reports, “BuzzFeed may have found a legal opening to allow the porn actress Stormy Daniels to discuss her alleged relationship with President Donald Trump and a $130,000 payment she received just before the 2016 election as part of a nondisclosure agreement she is now trying to void.” POLITICO adds, “The same Trump attorney who brokered the deal with Daniels, Michael Cohen, filed a libel suit in January against BuzzFeed and four of its staffers over publication of the so-called dossier compiling accurate, inaccurate and unproven allegations about Trump’s relationship with Russia. Now, BuzzFeed is using Cohen’s libel suit as a vehicle to demand that Daniels preserve all records relating to her relationship with Trump, as well as her dealings with Cohen and the payment he has acknowledged arranging in 2016.” Oh look it is karma! What goes around comes around.

From BuzzFeed.



CNBC reports, “President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer in the Russia probe, John Dowd, contributed more money last year to the president’s re-election campaign than is legally permissible, according to a recent letter from the Federal Election Commission to the Trump campaign. Dowd is Trump’s lead counsel, charged with crafting the president’s response to the special counsel’s investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election.” CNBC adds, “But March 8 letter from the FEC to Bradley Crate, the Trump campaign treasurer, put the campaign on notice that there were 108 donors who had made ‘excessive, prohibited and impermissible’ contributions to the Trump campaign in the last quarter of 2017. Dowd’s name appeared on this list, below. The X is for donations that require additional details.” CNBC notes, “Under federal law, the maximum amount an individual may contribute to a political campaign, per election, is $2,700. But Dowd has given a total of $3,000 to Trump’s 2020 general election campaign, according to the tally the FEC sent the Trump campaign. Crate told CNBC that the campaign sent Dowd a refund check for $300 on January 3, a few days too late to be reflected in their fourth quarter filing to the FEC. He said it will appear on its next quarterly report to the FEC, to be released in April. Dowd said he had received the check.”

From CNBC.



The New York Post’s Page Six reports, “Vanessa Trump filed for divorce against her husband Donald Trump Jr. late Thursday in Manhattan Supreme Court.” The New York Post adds, “The president’s daughter-in-law filed for an uncontested proceeding, meaning she’s not likely to fight her ex for custody of the couple’s five children or over their assets. Legal experts say the former couple likely has a prenuptial agreement.”

From The New York Post.



The Jamestown Foundation reports, “The Vladimir Putin regime, which is generally given credit for coming up with the concept of ‘hybrid war’ (‘New Type Warfare’) and deploying it against other countries, is now struggling with another task: figuring out how to defend the Russian Federation from ‘hybrid war’ attacks.” Ironic! As The Jamestown Foundation notes, “it is the recognition by the Kremlin that its approach may come back to haunt it”. We can hope! The Jamestown Foundation adds, “Discussions about both, the offensive and defensive aspects of hybrid war, have been a feature of Russian military thought since at least 2014. But if earlier Russian military theorists focused on the ways in which such tactics could be used offensively, they are increasingly devoting their attention to the defensive side of the equation.” Significantly, “the most important consequence of the rise of hybrid wars around the world may very well be the militarization of security thinking in the Russian Federation and perhaps other countries as well—something that would change the nature not only of their foreign policies, but also their domestic ones, while the distinction between the two would become almost meaningless,” The Jamestown Foundation notes.

From The Jamestown Foundation.



Bloomberg reports, “A group of Russia’s wealthiest people added $29.5 billion to their collective net worth during President Vladimir Putin’s latest presidential term, recouping steep losses following his annexation of Crimea. Of the 12 Russians listed on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index in 2012, when Putin took office,” for the second time, “nine have expanded their fortunes, led by metals tycoon Vladimir Potanin, who added $6.4 billion. Mikhail Prokhorov his former partner in MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC and a Putin rival during that year’s elections, lost $1.6 billion.”

From Bloomberg.



BuzzFeed reports, “A US company owned by President Donald Trump’s Russian business partner was under criminal investigation in the early 2000s”. Records indicate, “Aras Agalarov, the Russian developer who paid Trump $20 million to stage the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow, was the largest owner of a small Connecticut company that the IRS criminally investigated in 2000 and 2001”. BuzzFeed adds, “The investigation began around the same time that IRS auditors found that the company, Comtek Expositions Inc., had paid $44,000 in income taxes over two years when it should have paid $9.3 million, according to records. No criminal charges were filed, but a US Tax Court judge ruled in 2003 that Comtek had vastly understated its income and owed the IRS taxes, interest, and penalties. An appeals court panel upheld the ruling in 2004. It’s unclear if the tax was paid. The IRS declined to comment, as did lawyers for Comtek and Agalarov.” BuzzFeed notes, “The IRS criminal investigation focused on the owners of Comtek, a company that Agalarov and three others created in 1990 to recruit exhibitors for trade shows in Russia focused on computers and electronics, court records show. Agalarov owned one-third of Comtek, company records show. His three business partners — all Russian immigrants living in the New York City area — owned the remainder. The scope of the criminal investigation is unclear. But tax court records suggest IRS criminal investigators were probing the relationship between Comtek stockholders and an Irish company with Russian connections that helped Comtek stage trade shows in Moscow’s Expo Center and elsewhere.” Lawyers BuzzFeed spoke to suggested the criminal investigation was likely tied to tax evasion.

From BuzzFeed.





CNN reports, “Just after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s sudden firing Tuesday morning, American diplomats at posts spanning the globe were then increasingly surprised — and in some cases disturbed — to receive guidance from Washington telling them not to post or retweet the statement from Undersecretary of State Steve Goldstein on how Tillerson was fired by President Donald Trump.” The fact that this leaked is pretty great. What should you do when told not to talk about something under our fake Russian bullshit president? Well, this, exactly this. CNN notes, “Multiple diplomats tell CNN it was highly unusual to receive guidance from home to avoid retweeting or repeating the official words of their own undersecretary. The State Department declined to comment on the record, but a senior State official who shared the guidance email with CNN said it instructed them to ‘freeze further amplification of content that features (Secretary Tillerson)’ until Tillerson himself delivered remarks later in the day.” We love you Deep State Department! This is not only a fun leak, it’s a bizarre and beautiful one. Thank you.

From CNN.


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