—–ON THE AGENDA—–
POMPEO CONFIRMATION HEARING FOR ROLE AS NEW SECRETARY OF STATE
The Washington Post reports, “Pompeo’s Thursday hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee comes faster than Democrats wanted. Most Democrats refused to meet him until this week, insisting he complete his paperwork first. But over the past three days, more than a dozen have sat down with him, realizing the confirmation train was leaving the station with or without them.” The Washington Post notes, “Democrats know his confirmation is their rare opportunity to press the White House for answers about President’s Trumps foreign-policy actions. They naturally want to maximize this rare moment of leverage.” The Washington Post adds, “During his meetings, Pompeo has been assuring senators he supports robust funding for diplomacy, intends to utilize State Department expertise, and has plans to quickly fill dozens of vacant diplomatic posts all over the world. At his hearing, Pompeo will publicly reaffirm that he wants to strengthen the State Department and advocate for its employees as well as its mission.” Whatever, we will all believe it when it is to be seen because the Trumpistani elites are a cabal of liars and Pompeo met with the chiefs of Russian intelligence in Washington as CIA director, so who knows who this guy works for. The Washington Post reports, “Pompeo will be pressed to disavow Act for America, an anti-Muslim group that claims to have his support. He prefers to fix the Iran nuclear deal, but if that fails, he is fine with nixing it. Regarding potential strikes in Syria, Pompeo believes congressional authorization would be helpful, but that Trump has the authority to strike without it.” Nothing like having your chief diplomat be a noted xenophobe, it’s really like we are in Russia. Muslims, they are a fuck ton better than this guy, but that’s like comparing people to dirt. Bloomberg reports, “President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, CIA director Mike Pompeo, will say at his confirmation hearing Thursday that a milder American policy toward Russia is ‘now over’ and promise that the State Department will find its ‘swagger once again,’ according to his prepared remarks.” Don’t believe him!
SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE TAKES UP BILL PROTECTING MUELLER
The Hill reports, “The Senate Judiciary Committee is moving forward with legislation to limit President Trump’s ability to fire special counsel Robert Mueller. Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) wants to add the bill to the panel’s business meeting agenda scheduled for Thursday”. The Hill adds, “The legislation, from Sens. Christopher Coons (D-Del.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) Lindsey Graham(R-S.C.), would let Mueller, or any other special counsel, receive an ‘expedited judicial review’ within 10 days of being fired to determine if it was for a ‘good cause.’ If it wasn’t, the special counsel would be reinstated. The measure would also codify existing regulations that only a senior Justice Department official can fire a special counsel and that they must provide the reason in writing.” The Washington Post adds, “The Senate Judiciary Committee is expected to vote April 26 on a bipartisan bill to prevent the undue firing of special counsels such as Robert S. Mueller III”.
TRUMP HAS NO CLUE WHAT IT MEANS TO BE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
The New York Times reports, “President Trump put Syria and Russia on notice Wednesday morning in a Twitter post, promising that missiles fired at Syria ‘will be coming, nice and new and ‘smart!’” and telling the Kremlin that it should not partner with a “Gas Killing Animal who kills his people and enjoys it!” After the threat, the president said in a separate tweet that relations between the United States and Russia are worse than ever,” and that makes him sad but it’s a good thing, really, in these circumstances. The New York Times adds, “Mr. Trump’s early morning comments were remarkable in that he is, in a way, telegraphing the United States’ response to a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, which is something he had previously criticized other leaders for doing. Mr. Trump has said publicly that sharing military plans could give enemies information they could use to their advantage.” The New York Times notes, “The president appeared to be reacting to reports on Tuesday that the Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, warned the United States and its allies that any missiles fired at Syria would be shot down. He made those comments in an interview with Al Manar Television,” which is run by Hezbollah. The New York Times adds, “Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Wednesday that the United States is still assessing the intelligence on the suspected chemical attack, but that military planning was proceeding.” Citing report in Russian state-run Interfax, The New York Times notes, “After Mr. Trump’s series of tweets Wednesday morning, Mr. Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said, ‘We don’t participate in Twitter diplomacy. We advocate serious approaches.’” Russia is such a serious place that’s why they are really into adolescent punk trolling via Twitter and elsewhere and act like such adolescent human garbage à la Deripaska and his young lady hooker friend half his age. The New York Times recalls, Trump, “as a presidential candidate, mocking former President Barack Obama for giving adversaries too much information by setting timelines for withdrawal from combat zones.” More seriously though than that, CNBC adds, “President Donald Trump’s tweet Wednesday morning threatening a potential U.S. strike against Syria broke with national security procedures.” CNBC notes, “The tweet broke with what U.S. national security policy refers to as Operations Security. The OPSEC objective is to not publicly announce information that can be used by an adversary to jeopardize a military mission. The Department of Defense lists ‘social network sites, tweets, text messages, blogs, videos, photos, GPS mapping, newsletters’ as a few of the ways in which OPSEC can be compromised.” Trump has no business even pretending to lead the military.
LOL WE HAVE EYES + EARS, FAKE POTUS
CNN reports, “President Donald Trump insisted Wednesday morning that the mood in the White House was ‘very calm’ despite an avalanche of reports that he’s reeling over developments related to special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.” CNN adds, “‘So much Fake News about what is going on in the White House,’ Trump first tweeted, adding that the state of the West Wing is ‘very calm and calculated.’” Yo fake Russian bullshit president, we have eyes and ears. Meanwhile, “sources inside the White House have told CNN they have never seen the President so furious”. CNN notes. And this morning, Twitler “said Thursday that if he wanted to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, he would have months ago.” Sure, pal.
DEPARTURES: HOUSE SPEAKER + EXEMPLARY FASCIST PAUL RYAN
POLITICO reports, “Speaker Paul Ryan announced Wednesday that he will not seek another term in Congress, ending what will be a three-year run as the Republican leader and creating a power vacuum in the GOP ranks heading into a punishing midterm election.” Ryan “said he intended to serve out his term as speaker but wanted more time with his family,” which is exactly what Zuckerberg said last December, and look at him now! Recall he has been keeping Russian involvement quiet and swearing other Republicans to secrecy since June 2016. May he face justice someday for his crimes against the republic! America deserved better even if it did not but it did not have better than Paul Ryan, an exemplary bottom feeder. As POLITICO notes, “HPSCI is effectively under Ryan’s thumb. So he owns [DARKNESS AT] Nunes’ shameful handling of the Russia probe, and his hijinks on behalf of the White House.” Of course he does. Ryan is beyond complicit and deserves serious punishment.
MUELLER WANTS 35 SUBPOENAS FOR MANAFORT TRIAL
Bloomberg reports, “U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller asked a judge in Alexandria, Virginia, to issue 35 sets of subpoenas to witnesses for a trial set to begin on July 10. That’s when President Donald Trump’s former campaign Chairman Paul Manafort is set to go on trial on tax and bank fraud charges.”
SOON EVERY DAY WILL BE COMEY DAY + THIS WILL SO HAUNT FAKE POTUS
Axios reports, “A source present at the taping says James Comey’s interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, airing Sunday at 10 p.m. as a ‘20/20’ special, is ‘going to shock the president and his team.’” Of note, “In an ABC promo, Stephanopoulos says Comey compared Trump to a mob boss.” Delicious! And true! But not a very good one.
WHAT ELSE WAS PULLED OUT OF MICHAEL COHEN’S LIFE BY THE FBI?
ABC News reports that in addition to payout Michael Cohen made to two women claiming sexual trysts with our fake Russian bullshit president, “Investigators also sought records related to Cohen’s interactions with Trump campaign officials during the 2016 election cycle”. Beautiful! ABC News notes, “Cohen never held an official role with the campaign, but he became deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee after the election.” Also, “investigators were also searching for records of any discussions Cohen held about the infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape released in October 2016 in which Trump can be heard bragging to host Billy Bush in 2005 that ‘when you’re a star’ women let men ‘do anything,’ including ‘grab them by the p—-.’” Ah yes, the words that live in infamy if you happen to have the incorrect parts in Trumpistan, namely lady parts.
From ABC News.
RETURN OF THE UNPERSON! BANNON IS BACK + WANTS HIS BABY BACK
The Washington Post reports, “Stephen K. Bannon, who was ousted as White House chief strategist last summer but has remained in touch with some members of President Trump’s circle, is pitching a plan to West Wing aides and congressional allies to cripple the federal probe into Russian interference in the 2016 election”. The Washington Post adds, “The first step, these people say, would be for Trump to fire Deputy Attorney General Rod J. Rosenstein, who oversees the work of special counsel Robert S. Mueller III and in recent days signed off on a search warrant of Trump’s longtime personal lawyer, Michael D. Cohen. Bannon is also recommending the White House cease its cooperation with Mueller”. Also part of the Bannon prescription for fantasyland, “the president should create a new legal battleground to protect himself from the investigation by asserting executive privilege — and arguing that Mueller’s interviews with White House officials over the past year should now be null and void.” The Washington Post notes, “‘If you say his name in front of the president, it’s not a pretty sight,’ said a senior administration official. ‘The president really goes off about him.’”
From The Washington Post.
IS FAKE POTUS LISTENING TO ALAN DERSHOWITZ?
Law and Crime reports, “There was some buzz Tuesday evening when it was revealed that Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz would be meeting President Donald Trump for dinner at the White House, and, as Maggie Haberman of the New York Times tweeted, this was because Trump sought the legal pundit’s ‘input.’” Dershowitz claims it was just about the Middle East. Sure, buddy.
From Law and Crime.
LOOK WHO’S BACK: EZRA-COHEN WATNICK, EX-NSC OFFICIAL UP TO NO GOOD
The Washington Examiner reports, “A former National Security Council aide who was ousted last year during a period of turnover on President Trump’s NSC has joined the Justice Department as an adviser to Attorney General Jeff Sessions.” It’s like they are bringing back all the old characters for a season finale! Best of all, it shows how not only weak this operation is now but how it may be on its death throes if it is resurrecting has-beens as recyclable desirables. Recall how complicit Cohen-Watnick was in DARKNESS AT NUNES schemes to run interference on the investigations as, “Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a former liaison between the White House and the intelligence community, first entered the spotlight amid controversy in March 2017 over his reported contact with House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif. Cohen-Watnick was named as the staffer who passed information to Nunes about potential surveillance abuses that occurred during the Obama administration, and Nunes later passed that information onto Trump”. The Washington Examiner notes, “Cohen-Watnick’s departure last fall came as H.R. McMaster, then Trump’s national security adviser, attempted to fill his team with new staffers and rotate out the people former national security adviser Michael Flynn had hired.” The Washington Examiner adds, “Newly-appointed national security adviser John Bolton, who replaced McMaster this week, has already begun his own sweep of the NSC. Bolton reportedly played a role in pushing out Michael Anton, the council’s spokesman.” Business Insider adds Cohen-Watnick “will become a national security adviser” to Private Russian Sessions. Horror! But Bloomberg puts the cherry on this shit sundae: “President Donald Trump personally ordered the Department of Justice to hire a former White House official who departed after he was caught up in a controversy over the release of intelligence material to a member of Congress,” Ezra Cohen-Watnick, of course! Horror, horror!
THIRD NSC OFFICIAL RESIGNS BECAUSE JOHN BOLTON APOCALYPSE NOW
Haaretz reports, “U.S. President Donald Trump’s Deputy National Security Adviser Nadia Schadlow announced Wednesday she will be leaving the administration by the end of April, joining a wave of resignations from the administration. She will be the third senior official working on national security issues to resign since Sunday.” Haaretz notes, “Schadlow was considered close to Trump’s outgoing National Security Adviser, General H.R. McMaster, and played a key role in his effort to produce a national security strategy document for the administration. She served as McMaster’s deputy since early 2018, after replacing Dina Powell.” Now the last time and only other time in living memory three NSC officials departed simultaneously was last August when one could argue a soft coup or putsch to retake the state from evil Russian bastards took place.
ZUCK YOU AMERICA: APOLOGY TOUR 2018 DOES CAPITOL HILL DAY TWO
The Washington Post reports, “Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday faced a tougher, tenser grilling at his second congressional hearing, as lawmakers unleashed a litany of complaints about the company’s privacy practices, its failure to fight the opioid crisis and the lack of diversity within its executive ranks.” The Washington Post adds, “For five hours, Democrats and Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee took turns swiping at Zuckerberg, holding him to ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions and frequently cutting him off — a tactic that at times appeared to frustrate the Facebook co-founder.” Of note, “At one point in the hearing, Zuckerberg acknowledged that his own data had been accessed by Cambridge Analytica.” The Washington Post notes, “lawmakers repeatedly expressed doubt that the social giant could fix its troubles on its own – and threatened to regulate the company and its tech industry peers.” Rep. Ben Lujan, a Democrat from New Mexico, “pointed to researchers who had publicly expressed fears that Facebook data could be scraped by malicious actors, emphasizing that the tech giant should have terminated its phone and email lookup feature sooner than it did,” adding, “Facebook knew about this in 2013 and 2015, but you didn’t turn the feature off until Wednesday of last week,” a recurring theme if you know FARAbook. The Washington Post notes amazingly, “Total number of senators on the panel to question Zuckerberg on Tuesday afternoon: 44. They had to bring in seven folding tables to seat all the senators.” That’s also the number of the last American president who was real. The Washington Post adds, “Zuckerberg has come a long way from the dorm room, yet he still labored to play the grown-up at times Tuesday.” Wired Magazine notes, “The gaping hole at the center of both hearings was the virtual absence of questions on the tactics and purpose of Russian information operations conducted against Americans on Facebook during the 2016 elections.” So they provide a list of five things our lawmakers failed to ask Zuck:
- “What were the tools and tactics used by Russian entities to execute information operations against American citizens, and what were the narratives pursued?”
- “What personal data does Facebook make available to the Russian state media monitoring agency Roskomnadzoror other Russian agencies? Is this only from accounts located in or operated from Russia, or does this include Facebook’s global data?”
- “Did Facebook delete data related to Russian information operations conducted against American citizens? Will it agree to make this material available for researchers?”
- “What assistance do Facebook employees embedded with advertising clients provide? Did any Facebook employees provide support to the Internet Research Agency or any other business or agency in Russia targeting content to American citizens?”
- “Does Facebook have copies of data uploaded to ‘custom audiences’ by any Russian entity?”
CNN’s verdict? “Mark Zuckerberg emerged unscathed from Tuesday’s Senate committee hearing, and he did so in large part because most of the senators who asked him questions had no clue how Facebook worked, what the solutions to its problems are, or even what they were trying to achieve by calling its CEO to testify, other than getting some good soundbites in.” CNN adds, “There were exceptions to the rule: Most notably, California Sen. Kamala Harris, who pressed Zuckerberg on his failure to explain how extensively Facebook tracked user activity beyond Facebook-owned platforms and why the company did not inform users in 2015 that their data had been shared with Cambridge Analytica.” Wired wisely compiles a list of all the things Zuck promised to follow up on, but undoubtedly will not unless pressed.
TRUMP + HILLARY CAMPS PUSH BACK AGAINST ZUCK LIES TO CONGRESS
The New York Daily News reports, “Representatives of both the Trump and Clinton campaigns pushed back Wednesday on claims made by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that his company warned them about Russian hackers.” Yeah WTF kind of a bullshit lie is that Zuck? It’s not even plausibly true, not even a little. The New York Daily News adds, “Zuckerberg attempted to clarify his meaning as he told lawmakers during his heated testimony before the House that he meant the social media behemoth tipped off the RNC and the DNC, not the campaigns of the candidates,” so now we can await pushback from both the RNC and the DNC against #zucklies.
From The New York Daily News.
CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA ACTING CEO STEPS DOWN TO GO TO PREVIOUS ROLE
POLITICO reports, “Cambridge Analytica’s acting CEO is stepping down from the role, the company announced on Wednesday”. POLITICO adds, “The company announced in a statement that Alexander Tayler, who took over after CEO Alexander Nix’s suspension last month, stepped down from the position and would ‘resume his former position as chief data officer.’” POLITICO notes, “according to a Wall Street Journal report, Julian Wheatland, chairman of Cambridge Analytica’s British affiliate, will succeed Tayler as the company’s next chief executive officer. A person close to the company told the Journal that Nix has officially resigned from the role.”
AND THE AWARD FOR SYCOPHANT EXTRAORDINAIRE GOES TO…
Bloomberg reports, “The Trump administration is standing by its advice to Congress against sanctioning Russian debt, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Wednesday, as two members of the House are attempting to drum up support for legislation that would prohibit purchases of Russian sovereign debt.”
THE NRA GOT MORE RUSSIAN MONEY THAN THIS!
NPR reports, “The National Rifle Association has accepted contributions from about 23 Russians, or Americans living in Russia, since 2015, the gun rights group acknowledged to Congress.” Oh, hello! NPR adds, “in a letter to Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., unveiled on Wednesday, that the sum it received from those people was just over $2,500 and most of that was ‘routine payments’ for membership dues or magazine subscriptions.” Sort of like the Pentagon had a bizarre “routine synchronization” meeting that involved Mattis, Mike Pompeo, Senator Lindsey Graham and Private Russian Sessions recently? NPR notes, “One high-profile Russian NRA supporter, state bank official Alexander Torshin, has cultivated a years-long relationship with the organization — but he was placed under sanction by the United States with other Russians last week. The NRA acknowledged that Torshin, a Kremlin-linked politician, is a life member of the NRA, and has been since 2012.”
JILL STEIN’S CAMPAIGN TURNS OVER DOCS TO CONGRESS
BuzzFeed reports, “The campaign of Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has recently turned over documents to the Senate Intelligence Committee as part of its Russia investigation.” Senator Richard Burr confirmed to BuzzFeed “that the Stein campaign had provided documents, which the committee requested at the end of last year.” BuzzFeed adds, “In talking about their interest in investigating Stein’s campaign, both Burr and Warner have referenced her presence at a 2015 dinner in Moscow organized by Russian state-funded media company RT, where she sat at the same table as Russian President Vladimir Putin and future White House national security adviser Michael Flynn.” Must have been a hell of a party. Also at their table was the brilliant but mad director Emir Kusturica, the only one of them TRUMPISTAN WATCH cares for, and his work, not the man, not at all.
THE RUBLE PLUMMETS, AGAIN!
CNBC reports, “The Russian ruble hit its lowest level against the dollar since November 2016, as tensions surrounding Syria intensify.” Sad! CNBC adds, “The currency briefly hit 65 versus one dollar after an early Wednesday tweet by President Donald Trump suggested that the U.S. was ready to launch missiles into Syria.” As if this news were not good enough, “The ruble has shed more than 11 percent in value against the dollar this week and the Financial Times has reported it is on track for its worst week since 1999.” Fuck yeah, America!
NEW YORK MERCANTILE EXCHANGE IMPOSES RESTRICTIONS ON RUSAL
Russian state-run Tass reports, “Comex (Commodity Exchange, Inc.), a division of the New York Mercantile Exchange (NYMEX), has canceled approval for the registration and supply of aluminum from Rusal, according to Comex.” Russian state-run Tass recalls, “On April 6, the United States announced imposing new sanctions against a number of Russian officials, businessmen and companies. The list includes Oleg Diripaska [sic], as well as Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, VTB CEO Andrey Kostin, owner of Renova Viktor Vekselberg, President of Surgutneftegaz Vladimir Bogdanov, Member of Sibur Board of Directors Kirill Shamalov, businessmen Igor Rotenberg and Suleiman Kerimov. At the same time, the list of companies includes several structures related to Oleg Diripaska – agroholding Kuban, Eurosibenergo, Rusal, Russian Machines and GAZ Group, investment company B-Finance, holdings Basic Element and En+.”
From Russian state-run Tass.
YULIA SKRIPAL TELLS RUSSIAN MAFIA STATE TO F-OFF
The Daily Mail reports, “Yulia Skripal has told British authorities she does not wish to speak to Russian officials as she continues to recover from a nerve agent attack.” Because they are such fucking bastards, “A diplomatic battle has been raging between the two nations over whether the Russian embassy should be allowed access to the 33-year-old daughter of ex-spy Sergei Skripal.” Can you imagine how evil they are to do this not to the traitor but to his daughter? Russia is out of its mind and just really sad, deranged, evil and needlessly so.
From The Daily Mail.
RUSAL LOSES BOARD MEMBERS
Russian state-run Tass reports, “Maksim Goldman and Daniel Lesin Wolfe have stepped down from the board of directors of Russia’s aluminum giant, Rusal, included in the US sanctions list, the company said in an announcement released via the Hong Kong stock exchange on Wednesday.” Russian state-run Tass adds, “Goldman and Wolfe served as non-executive directors of the company. Earlier, head of Swiss trader Glencore Ivan Glasenberg and former US ambassador to the UK Philip Lader also left the Rusal board of directors.”
From Russian state-run Tass.
SWISS BANKS STOP TRADING SHARES IN VEKSELBERG-TIED FIRM
Reuters reports, “Big banks UBS and Credit Suisse halted trading shares in Swiss pumpmaker Sulzer, traders in Zurich said on Wednesday, amid uncertainty over U.S. sanctions on its largest shareholder, Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg.” Reuters adds, “Chief Executive Greg Poux-Guillaume told Swiss newspaper Finanz und Wirtschaft he was working to free Sulzer from sanctions, actions that include a share buyback to reduce Vekselberg’s 63 percent stake via his investment vehicle Renova to less than 50 percent.”
NOW “PUTIN’S CHEF” LAWYERS UP
POLITICO reports, “A Russian company criminally charged with interfering in the 2016 U.S. presidential election formally notified a federal judge Wednesday that it has retained U.S. attorneys”. POLITICO notes, “Two Washington-area attorneys — Eric Dubelier and Kate Seikaly of law firm Reed Smith — filed official appearances on behalf of Concord Management and Consulting.” POLITICO recalls, “The firm is one of three companies and 13 individuals charged in a February grand jury indictment with using social media and various agents in the U.S. to foment political and social discord here before and after the 2016 election through a St. Petersburg-based enterprise known as the Internet Research Agency.” POLITICO adds, “The case is assigned to Judge Dabney Friedrich, a Trump appointee and the newest member of the U.S. District Court in Washington. A formal arraignment for Concord Management and the Internet Research Agency was scheduled last month before a magistrate judge but was postponed until May 9.”
NEW CHARGES IN THAILAND FOR ESCORT TIED TO OLEG DERIPASKA
The AP reports, “Police in Thailand have filed new charges against a self-described Russian sex guru and a woman who claims to have evidence of Russian ties to President Donald Trump’s election campaign. The woman, Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, has attracted widespread attention for claiming to have recordings of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a crony of President Vladimir Putin, discussing interference in the U.S. election. She is being held in an immigration detention center and has said she fears for her life and pleaded not to be expelled to Russia.” The AP adds, “additional arrest warrants had been issued for soliciting, with a maximum prison term of 10 years, and conspiracy, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years.” The AP notes, “The original charge on which all 10 were held was working without a permit, punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment. Three of the 10 have already received a suspended jail sentence of six months and been ordered to leave the country. The others will have to appear in court on April 17 to hear the new charges.” Vashukevich “carries a passport from Belarus”.
From The Washington Post.
NO CAPTURE + RELEASE FOR THIS KGB SCUM. GET EM OUT OF HERE!
BuzzFeed reports, “Four Russian spies, including an intelligence agent who had sought political asylum and a man accused of trying to hack into government networks, have been captured in Estonia”. BuzzFeed adds, “The arrests and convictions, announced in an annual report released Thursday by Estonia’s Internal Security Service (known as KAPO), means 10 Russian spies have been caught and convicted in the EU and NATO member over the last two and a half years. None of their convictions have previously been fully disclosed.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
ARYAN PRINCESS HEADS TO PERU TO CHAMPION WHO DADDY HURTS
POLITICO reports Aryan princess Ivanka and her idiot tool of a husband, princeling Jared “are heading to Lima, Peru this week for the Summit of the Americas: a two-day gathering for heads of state from the Western hemisphere that occurs every three years, Ivanka Trump told reporters Wednesday. She said she plans to unveil a new economic empowerment program for women of that region, though she would not give any specifics about the program or its funding.” Oh, this simultaneously combines Hispanics and women – two groups Daddy is keen on fucking over. In her customary fit of delusions of grandeur, the Aryan princess proclaimed to the press, “I’m extremely excited for my visit and look forward to highlighting the important work that the U.S. government and this administration are doing to empower women economically in the region and elsewhere around the globe”. Because these two breathe such rarified air and do not have real jobs in this fake administration, “A Republican close to the White House acknowledged that the married couple prefers to lay low during hectic moments because they don’t want to be associated with stories about chaos in the White House. They also do not wish to become any further enmeshed in the Russia probe, particularly if the president fires special counsel Robert Mueller.” You know, just like real government employees!? Human garbage does what now?
TRUMP LAWYER MICHAEL COHEN WAS USED FOR LAW FIRM’S CLOUT
The New York Law Journal reports, “For many at Squire Patton Boggs, the nature of Michael Cohen’s presence in the firm’s New York office was a mystery.” Really, he was head of the Republican National Committee’s finances and close to the fake president as his personal attorney and such? He need not be good, only connected to open doors. The New York Law Journal confirms this, adding, “Cohen, who was given an office on the firm’s 23rd floor at Rockefeller Center as part of a ‘strategic alliance’ with his practice, kept a lock on his door. He didn’t appear to work on client matters with firm attorneys in New York, and whatever benefit he provided to the firm wasn’t apparent to his office colleagues.” The New York Law Journal notes, “Some inside the firm also had concerns about the alliance, even before Cohen’s legal troubles devolved to the point of FBI agents raiding his office.”
From The New York Law Journal.
TRUMP LAWYER MICHAEL COHEN ALSO OWNS TAXIS IN CHICAGO
The Chicago Sun-Times reports, “President Donald Trump’s personal attorney Michael D. Cohen, whose law offices the FBI raided Monday after he acknowledged paying porn star Stormy Daniels to keep quiet about her alleged relationship with Trump, owns five companies that operate 22 taxicabs in Chicago.” The Chicago Sun-Times notes, “A dozen of the cabs owned by Cohen have been cited for undisclosed violations of city ordinances, according to records maintained online by the city of Chicago’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, which regulates taxis.” Now for the oh shit moment: “Cohen is a former business partner of Symon Garber, a Russian immigrant who became Chicago’s largest taxicab operator after befriending Mayor Richard M. Daley’s son Patrick Daley more than 15 years ago.” For those of you unawares of what this means for the Democratic Party, go look up the Daleys, aka the longest serving, longest influencing monarchy in modern Democratic politics. Go look up father, son, and grandpa.
From The Chicago Sun-Times.
EVEN THE BIT PLAYERS OF 10 MONTHS AGO ARE BACK!
Mother Jones reports, “The Senate is currently considering the nomination of Brian Benczkowski to run the criminal division, which has jurisdiction over criminal laws like those explored in the special counsel probe and a say in US attorney actions like the search warrant for Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen. Benczkowski, a former congressional aide to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, would come to the job with an unusual résumé. Unlike all his recent predecessors, he has never been a prosecutor and has virtually no experience in criminal law. Moreover, he was recently a lawyer for Alfa Bank, run by oligarchs with connections to Putin. This background, along with his close ties to Sessions and the Trump team, has Democrats worried that Benczkowski’s appointment could interfere with special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.” Mother Jones notes, “Benczkowski’s nomination has stalled since January, when Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) placed a hold on all Justice Department nominees. (Gardner made the move in a rare show of Republican defiance against Sessions for rescinding an Obama-era policy that allowed his state and others to effectively legalize marijuana.)” Unconfirmed Benczkowski returns because, “if Rosenstein is fired, there are other ways Trump could fill the leadership void,” such as by using, “The Federal Vacancies Reform Act,” which, “allows the president to temporarily appoint any Senate-confirmed official to another administration job. If Trump deems Benczkowski sufficiently loyal to the administration, he could potentially see the criminal division chief as the safest bet.” Strange when a liberal publication brainstorms a solution for an emerging authoritarian mafia state, isn’t it? But clicks, likes, easier than real reporting!
From Mother Jones.
SANCTIONS FOR WESTERN SURVIVAL
The Financial Times reports, “Investors have long tended to hold their noses, cross their fingers and ignore the risks of owning Russian assets.” The Financial Times adds, “But last Friday’s fresh US sanctions were a pivotal moment. After the ensuing plunge in Russian securities, some Moscow investment houses urged investors to ‘buy the dip’. They said the Russian market was undervalued across the board, and there were pockets of real opportunity. That would be rash. Risk — largely geopolitical risk — now trumps the fundamentals.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH has always urged others not to bet against themselves and look, here is Russia doing exactly that! What a garbage nation! The Financial Times notes, “The latest round of sanctions throws up huge questions for portfolio and strategic investors in Russia. First, in terms of targeting individuals, they go beyond the ‘inner circle’ of Russian president Vladimir Putin and strategic, state-dominated companies and sectors, and reach deep into the realms of private business,” meaning, “the almost random-seeming selection of names — with surprising inclusions and omissions — introduces enormous unpredictability into future measures.” Lastly, “The third significant development is that the sanctions for the first time directly target existing securities.” Let it begin, let it bleed.
From The Financial Times.
TWITLER PROMOTES HANNITY’S DEEP STATE RAMBLINGS, AGAIN!
The Daily Beast reports, “Minutes before Sean Hannity went live Wednesday evening on Fox News, President Trump tweeted that there would be a ‘big show tonight,’ imploring followers to tune in. As it turns out, that show featured Hannity outlining—with the help of a conspiratorial board—the ‘criminal’ connections of Bill and Hillary Clinton, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, and former FBI director James Comey.” Want a taste? Too damn bad, if TRUMPISTAN WATCH has to wrestle with the stupid in the wee hours, why shouldn’t you? Ready, set… “Throughout the lengthy, rambling monologue, Hannity accused Mueller, currently Trump’s main foe, of prosecutorial impropriety—from ‘looking the other way,’ as a federal prosecutor in Boston, at serial killer and gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger’s crimes to prosecuting the wrong man for a post-9/11 anthrax attack. Along the way, he made mention of Democratic donors, connections to the Clinton family, and FBI agents who texted anti-Trump messages after the election. Ultimately, Hannity concluded, there are three connected ‘Deep State crime families” actively ‘trying to take down the president.’” Do you believe in magic or need someone to translate from MAGA into normal for you?
From The Daily Beast.
RUSSIAN STATE TV TELLS CITIZENS TO STOCKPILE FOR ARMAGGEDON
Vice News reports, “Russian state TV told citizens Tuesday to stockpile food and water as the threat of nuclear war with the U.S. intensified over Syria.” Meanwhile a friend in Haifa texted that none of the usual civilian preparations are under way there and the Penatgon parking lot was mighty empty last night. As is known, no strikes occurred by the end of Trump’s self-imposed 48 hour deadline.
From Vice News.
RUSSIAN TV REPORTER SNEAKS INTO HOSPITAL WHERE SKIRAL IS
The Daily Mail reports, “Health bosses have slammed an ‘appalling’ Russian television reporter for ‘trespassing’ at the Salisbury hospital where former double agent Sergei Skripal is recovering from exposure to Novichok and ‘harassing staff’. The reporter, working for Ren TV, appears to have ‘sneaked inside’ the building and roamed the corridors for 15 minutes before being stopped by security.” The Daily Mail adds, “In the footage he is seen questioning medics and nurses about Mr Skripal and his daughter Yulia, since released to a secure location. He even makes it to the department where Mr Skripal is being treated only to fail to get through the ‘securely closed’ door.” The Daily Mail notes, “Ren TV is owned by National Media Group, which is chaired by former Russian gymnast Alina Kabaeva,” who is the unofficial girlfriend of the little guy in the Kremlin.
From The Daily Mail.
“TRASHY, EVIL + CORRUPT”: A SO-CALLED RUSSIAN EXPAT’S OP-ED
The Independent runs an op-ed by a so-called Russian expat: “My name is Valerie Stark. But that’s not my real name. In fact, I don’t use the last name that I was given at birth for two reasons. First, it’s hard to spell and pronounce for non-Russian speakers. Second, after a few years of living in UK, I got tired of getting frowned upon or getting that commiserative look.” Hey let’s compound the moral injury and throw in maybe she is a spy, we don’t know. Do we care? Even less. Ms. “Stark” continues, “I quickly realised that acknowledging that you’re Russian in the UK is like admitting that you have a deadly disease and you have only few weeks to live. And it’s contagious. ‘Oh…’ as a response to me talking about my national identity became the norm. I started to use my last name less and less. And eventually I completely dropped it.” She adds (assuming it’s not some male counselor at the Russian Embassy in London): “Losing my last name didn’t mean the end of the troubles, but at least I managed to avoid that look when my name was called for a reservation in the restaurant or when visiting a beauty salon. I stopped being a hooker or a criminal coming to laser off her nasty Russian pelage.” Hey so maybe if Russian people don’t want to be seen as a reflection of their state, which is “trashy, evil and corrupt,” as the headline has it, they could use what leverage they do have to pressure the regime to act less trashy, evil and corrupt? TRUMPISTAN WATCH knows it is not America but also knows what it is like to be seen as a reflection the state: unfun, especially during those early Bush and Iraq War years.
From The Independent.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
The CBC reports, “The last time Alex Vavilov was in North America, swarms of FBI agents burst into his family home and arrested his parents for being deep-cover Russian spies, leading to the largest spy swap since the Cold War and sending him to Russia, a land he’d never known. ‘It was traumatizing,’ Vavilov explained in an exclusive interview with CBC News. ‘I had no idea what was happening.’” The CBC adds, “Now, after a six-year legal battle, the 23-year-old is back in Toronto with a Canadian passport and dreams of breaking into Toronto’s investment banking sector. Since his return, he has visited the hospital where he was born and the Toronto house he was a toddler in and has sent photos back to Russia for his parents to see.” The CBC notes, “The Canadian government doesn’t see it that way. It has argued in court that Vavilov was never a Canadian citizen to begin with — because his parents were employees of a foreign government stationed in Canada. But that provision applies to the Canadian-born children of diplomats. The Supreme Court is now reviewing the case but, until it decides what to do, a lower court ordered Ottawa to issue a passport to Vavilov. He received it in March.” CBC adds by way of background, “Vavilov’s parents were among the rarest and most secretive of intelligence agents. They slipped into Canada in the 1980s and assumed the names of two babies who’d died: Donald Heathfield and Tracey Foley. Their mission: deeply immerse themselves in Western society, establish connections to powerful circles and ‘sleep’ until activated by their intelligence masters, according to the FBI. In the 1990s, their sons were born in Toronto —Timothy first, and Alex four years later. Heathfield was even featured in a newspaper article that celebrated the diaper delivery service he started.” CBC continues, “When Vavilov was two, the family moved to France. And then they moved back across the Atlantic, establishing themselves near Boston. Little did they know, American authorities would quickly be on their case — tracking them, and others like them. Alex said he had no idea. He said it was when the FBI came crashing in one day in 2010, a few days after he had returned from a study abroad in Singapore, that he first learned of his parents’ double life.” CBC notes, “The family’s story was so extraordinary, it inspired the FX Network’s hit show The Americans.”
From the CBC.
OF RUSSIAN SAFETY + WHY RUSSIAN AVIATION IS A TIN CAN OF DEATH
The Washington Post reports, “An Algerian military transport plane crashed Wednesday shortly after taking off from an air base south of the capital, Algiers, killing at least 257 people, according to the Algerian Defense Ministry.” Guess who made the fucking death plane? Russia! The Washington Post adds, “The Russian-built Ilyushin Il-76 was headed to the southwestern city of Bechar carrying Algerian military personnel and passengers, including a group linked to the separatist Polisario Front that is seeking independence from Morocco for the Western Sahara region”. The Washington Post notes, “The dead included soldiers and family members, officials said, in one of the deadliest aviation incidents in recent years.”
From The Washington Post.
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