—–ON THE AGENDA—–
ARYAN PRINCESS + PRINCELING IN J’LEM TO POUR GASOLINE ON CONFLICT
The Jerusalem Post reports Aryan princess “Ivanka Trump, daughter of US President Donald Trump, announced on Friday that she will attend the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem. She said that she feels ‘honored’ to be able to represent the American people in an emotional post on her Instagram,” that is so beyond vomit Western Wall porn. Her ignorance and extremism are on full display when she mentions “the bright future ahead,” to say nothing of her remark that “we will pray for peace” when Daddy called neo-Nazis last summer “some very fine people”. The Jerusalem Post notes, “The opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on Monday is part of Trump’s new US policy recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” which will inflame extremists in the region and across the Muslim world needlessly, but hey, Daddy does not really care about Jewish people or peace does he? Afterall Daddy is a raging racist and anti-Semite who once said all he wants Jews to do is count his money. As of 3:05 p.m. local time, the AP reported, “Gaza’s Health Ministry says the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli army fire near the Gaza border has reached 25.” The number is sure to rise as 25 minutes earlier, at 2:40 p.m. local time, the AP reported 18 dead. In the last 15 minutes, The New York Times upped the death toll to 28. Go home little girl, leave policy matters and representing America to the grown ups and professional diplomats.
TRUMP PICKS BILLIONAIRE FOR INTEL ADVISORY BOARD
POLITICO reports, “Stephen Feinberg, a billionaire financier, will head President Donald Trump’s Intelligence Advisory Board, the White House announced on Friday. Feinberg is the co-founder, executive chairman and co-chief executive officer of Cerberus Capital Management, an investment firm that also owns defense contractor DynCorp International.” Corrupt death cult gonna death cult! POLITICO recalls, “Shortly after taking office in 2017, the president reportedly asked Feinberg — a Trump supporter and major Republican donor — to conduct a review of U.S. intelligence agencies. Feinberg, however, had not been cleared by the Office of Government Ethics at the time and his status was still unknown as of Friday evening.” Yes, you would be correct to read this as an escalation in Trump’s war on truth and America’s intelligence agencies, which he frequently refers to as “Deep State”.
SPECIAL COUNSEL PROBING FOREIGN DONORS TO TRUMP’S INAUGURATION
ABC News reports, “Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s team has questioned several witnesses about millions of dollars in donations to President Trump’s inauguration committee last year, including questions about donors with connections to Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar”. ABC News adds, “Those interviewed included longtime Trump friend and confidant Thomas Barrack, who oversaw the fundraising effort, as well as individuals familiar with the massive inaugural fund”. ABC News notes, “Special counsel investigators have also asked witnesses about specific inauguration donors, including American businessmen Leonard Blavatnik, and Andrew Intrater,” Viktor Vekselberg’s cousin. ABC News adds, “Blavatnik is a billionaire with dual U.S. and British citizenship who has extensive business ties in Russia. Blavatnik gave $1 million to the inaugural fund through his company, Access Industries, according to FEC records.”
From ABC News.
SPECIAL COUNSEL WANTS RECORDS FROM FORD, REBUFFED COHEN
The Wall Street Journal reports, “Michael Cohen, who has served as President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, made an overture to provide consulting services to Ford Motor Co. in January 2017 but was quickly rebuffed”. The Wall Street Journal adds, “Mr. Cohen, touting his proximity to the president, contacted Ford’s office in Washington, D.C.—an approach that Special Counsel Robert Muller learned about in the course of his investigation”.
From The Wall Street Journal.
UBER ALSO REBUFFED COHEN’S OVERTURES
The Wall Street Journal reports, “When Michael Cohen came knocking after the 2016 election, touting himself as the president’s lawyer, a man who could decipher the new administration, Ford Motor Co. said no. So did Uber Technologies Inc.”
From The Wall Street Journal.
GIULIANI SAYS TRUMP NOT COMMITTING TO MUELLER INTERVIEW
The AP reports, “President Donald Trump and his lawyers likely won’t decide whether he will answer questions from Russia probe investigators until after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un next month, according to the president’s legal team. Rudy Giuliani, the president’s new attorney, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday that any preparation with Trump for a possible interview with federal investigators would likely be delayed until after the June 12 summit in Singapore,” because he will never voluntarily sit for an interview and they think they can get away with it. Keep in mind, it is safe to believe the North Korea peace is fake as all else in Trumpistan is, and that the emergency state it brings on means Trump will cancel everything, including elections, rule of law, etc., and this Mueller interview is merely catnip for a pliant press.
From the AP.
PENCE GOES FULL NIXON
The Washington Post reports, “Vice President Pence on Thursday urged special counsel Robert S. Mueller III to bring his investigation into Russian election interference to a close, saying ‘it’s time to wrap it up.’ Pence’s remarks echoed calls by President Trump and his lawyers,” and also Richard Nixon. Almost quoting Nixon word for word, Pence said, “Our administration has provided more than a million documents. We’ve fully cooperated in it, and in the interest of the country, I think it’s time to wrap it up.” The Washington Post notes, “Pence added: ‘And I would very respectfully encourage the special counsel and his team to bring their work to completion.’” This does seem to be the only way their careers are all saved, but alas that is not how federal investigations work! “Morning Joe” lined up Pence’s words with Nixon’s so you can see for yourself the similarities. Salon adds, “The ‘Morning Joe’ host said Pence’s comments raised serious questions about his own potential legal jeopardy in the probe.” Salon continues, “Scarborough cast doubt on Pence’s continuous claims of ignorance to what appears to be wrongdoing by his running mate and his campaign associates.” Woke Joe Scarborough sucks less than Scarborough discussing nuclear war in his pajamas with co-host Mika Brzezinski and the two attending New Year’s Eve at Mar-a-Lago, much less.
FBI WARNED FOUR YEARS AGO ABOUT VIKTOR VEKSELBERG’S INTEL TIES
NPR reports, “The FBI warned four years ago that a foundation controlled by the Russian oligarch who allegedly reimbursed Donald Trump’s personal lawyer might have been acting on behalf of Russia’s intelligence services. FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Lucia Ziobro wrote an unusual column in the Boston Business Journal in April of 2014 to warn that a foundation controlled by Russian energy baron Viktor Vekselberg might be part of a Moscow spying campaign that sought to siphon up American science and technology.” Of course, “Vekselberg’s name has been in U.S. headlines because of allegations about his involvement with payments to Trump’s longtime lawyer, Michael Cohen.”
TRUMP PERSONAL LAWYER ALSO REPPED VEKSELBERG’S US FIRM
Business Insider reports, “longtime Trump personal lawyer, Marc Kasowitz, also represented Columbus Nova,” the American subsidiary of Renova Group owned by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg, “in recent years in a commercial case. A spokesman for Kasowitz said the case settled in early 2017.” Business Insider notes, “As ProPublica reported last year, Cohen spent a short period in February 2017 working at the offices of Kasowitz Benson Torres in midtown Manhattan, alarming several lawyers at the firm who worried about the brash attorney’s reputation. That was at the beginning of the period, between January and August 2017, when Columbus Nova made its payments to Cohen. Cohen told ProPublica last year that he used Kasowitz’s offices ‘because we were working on several matters together after the inauguration.’ Both he and Kasowitz have declined to specify what they collaborated on.” However, our great Russian friends do not seem to share their reticence as, “A Columbus Nova spokesman said that the investment firm was not introduced to Cohen by Kasowitz.” Business Insider notes, “Kasowitz continues to represent Trump in other matters. That includes a suit by Summer Zervos, a former contestant on ‘The Apprentice’ who claims Trump defamed her by calling her a liar after she asserted that he had made unwanted sexual advances.” Business Insider adds, “Kasowitz’s work for Columbus Nova stretches back to at least 2010 in related cases filed in New York and Illinois. In Illinois, Fifth Third Bank sued Columbus Nova and several affiliated entities, alleging that they had caused the bank to lose tens of millions of dollars on loans to a life insurance financing program that was ‘permeated … by fraud and embezzlement,’” but then the Russians countersued for the same shit with Kasowitz help, which is really a classic of Russian bullshit tactics. Surprise, surprise! “The name of Andrew Intrater, the CEO of Columbus Nova and the cousin of Vekselberg, comes up repeatedly in the litigation,” Business Insider adds.
From Business Insider.
ATTORNEY SAYS HE TALKED TO COHEN ABOUT SCHNEIDERMANN VICTIMS
The New York Law Journal reports, “In a letter to Judge Kimba Wood, attorney Peter Gleason asked for an injunction to stop a memorialized communication between him and Cohen, which the government may have in its possession, from becoming public.” According to The New York Law Journal, Gleason “said he was contacted by two separate women over the course of a year about alleged assault at the hands of former Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has said in a court filing in the Southern District of New York that he had communications with Michael Cohen, after an intermediary reached out on his behalf to President Donald Trump.” As The New York Daily News notes, this “might help explain Trump’s 2013 tweet, sent as the AG was digging into his fraudulent ‘university’: ‘Weiner is gone, Spitzer is gone — next will be lightweight A.G. Eric Schneiderman. Is he a crook? Wait and see, worse than Spitzer or Weiner.’” The New York Daily News adds, “New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer tweeted Friday that ‘not one source for our story . . . has any tie to Trump or Michael Cohen’ and that the women in Gleason’s letter ‘aren’t our sources.’”
FORMER TRUMP CAMPAIGN AIDE WORKING TO LIFT RUSSIA SANCTIONS
CNN reports, “A former senior campaign and transition aide to President Donald Trump recently inked a deal to help a Russian oligarch’s conglomerate shed sanctions the Trump administration slapped on them last month. Bryan Lanza, who is in regular contact with White House officials, is lobbying on behalf of the chairman of EN+ Group, an energy and aluminum firm presently controlled by Oleg Deripaska”. CNN notes, “Lanza was a CNN political contributor but is no longer with the network,” because of course the network is complicit this cruel, sick farce of a regime since day one. CNN adds, “Lanza is representing the chairman of EN+ Group, but not Deripaska directly. The company is seeking to reduce Deripaska’s ownership in the company enough to be freed from US sanctions. Deripaska is expected to maintain a substantial stake in the company.” CNN notes, “The moves by Lanza and Mercury Public Affairs LLC, the firm where he works as a managing director in its Washington office, on behalf of their client don’t appear to be anything more than standard lobbying. But the deal is the latest brazen example of how Trump’s ‘drain the swamp’ campaign pledge has led to little change in a town where paying for access is a lucrative industry.” The swamp had to be drained to hasten the search for bottom feeders. Lanza is not alone as, “Corey Lewandowski, who served as Trump’s first campaign manager and touts his close ties to the President, started his own consulting business in Washington after the election. Brian Ballard, Trump’s longtime lobbyist in Florida and a GOP fundraiser, opened up a Washington office and brought on Susie Wiles, who led Trump’s campaign in Florida,” and whose husband provided Natalia Veselnitskaya with seats at a Congressional committee hearing featuring former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul. Then you have extra-marital affair during the Trump campaign baby daddy “Jason Miller, former communications director for the campaign and transition who is also a CNN contributor,” which tells you how complicit the media is in promoting men who are total dirt bags to women, who also “landed a plum gig as a managing director in global consulting firm Teneo’s strategy group.” And of course, there is Michael Cohen. CNN adds, “Mercury itself has undergone scrutiny over the past year for its role in the Ukrainian lobbying operation that ensnared Paul Manafort”.
FAKE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR WANTS TO ELIMINATE WH CYBER JOB
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump’s national security team is weighing the elimination of the top White House cybersecurity job,” because according to Bolton (and his mustache), active measures are not a problem, they are what buoyed him (and his mustache) into the role of fake Russian bullshit National Security Advisor to an equally — or exceedingly more fake — Russian bullshit president. Of course this would be “a move that would come as the nation faces growing digital threats from adversaries such as Russia and Iran.” Bolton does not give a shit. POLITICO adds, “John Bolton, Trump’s hawkish new national security adviser, is leading the push to abolish the role of special assistant to the president and cybersecurity coordinator, currently held by the departing Rob Joyce”. It is like he has conceived of ways to fuck the republic and wants to enact them! Oh wait, that is exactly what he is doing! POLITICO notes, “Cybersecurity experts and former National Security Council officials expressed alarm at the idea of eliminating the job, saying it would undo much of the progress the U.S. has made on cyber efforts and send the wrong message about U.S. priorities in the digital domain. The coordinator — a post created at the beginning of the Obama administration — leads a team of NSC staffers who manage federal cyber strategy on everything from election security to encryption policies to digital warfare.” Of course, “Bolton’s deputy, Mira Ricardel, supports the idea of eliminating the coordinator role,” because she seems like a piece of work, too, which is certainly too polite. Because remember the goal is to make us as unsafe as possible, Bolton “has also told staff that he intends to reorganize the entire NSC.” POLITICO adds, “Joyce, who took the cyber coordinator job shortly after Trump’s arrival at the White House, is a widely respected career cyber professional who spent nearly 30 years at the National Security Agency. He plans to return to the intelligence agency Friday.” POLITICO notes, “Joyce is leaving in part because of frustration with how Bolton’s team approaches cyber policy. When Bolton arrived, he forced out homeland security adviser Tom Bossert, a cyber expert who supervised Joyce’s team”. Bring in the Russians! Oh wait, they are here, here they are! This is them.
FAKE NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR DESTROYS PANDEMIC RESPONSE TEAM
The Washington Post reports, “The top White House official responsible for leading the U.S. response in the event of a deadly pandemic has left the administration, and the global health security team he oversaw has been disbanded under a reorganization by national security adviser John Bolton.” The Washington Post adds, “The abrupt departure of Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer from the National Security Council means no senior administration official is now focused solely on global health security. Ziemer’s departure, along with the breakup of his team, comes at a time when many experts say the country is already underprepared for the increasing risks of a pandemic or bioterrorism attack.” Is there some aspect of our national security John Bolton wishes not to destroy? The Washington Post notes, “Ziemer’s last day was Tuesday, the same day a new Ebola outbreak was declared in Congo. He is not being replaced.” The death cult GOP gonna death cult.
From The Washington Post.
SIX STATES HIT HARDER BY RUSSIAN ELECTION ATTACK THAN KNOWN
NPR reports, “Two years after Russia’s wave of cyberattacks against American democracy, a Senate committee investigating election interference says those hackers hit harder than previously thought in several states. The committee also added that it still doesn’t know with complete certainty exactly how much of U.S. voting infrastructure was compromised.” NPR notes, “the report also says that in at least six of those states, the Russian-affiliated cyber operatives ‘went beyond scanning and conducted malicious attempts on voting-related websites’ — a detail that had not been previously reported.” When does KGB scum leave things to chance? Do you really think they just lined up their ducks in a row and failed to take a shot? That does not sound very much like KGB scum; that sounds much more like what Barack Obama says to cover for his administration’s negligence.
SAM NUNBERG SUMMONED TO SENATE INTEL OVER ROGER STONE CONTACTS
CNN reports, “Former Trump campaign aide Sam Nunberg has been requested to appear before the Senate Intelligence Committee for a closed-door interview and to produce his communications with Roger Stone that relate to Russia, WikiLeaks and Russian hacking.”
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ABUTS DARKNESS AT NUNES TREASON, AGAIN!
POLITICO reports, “A confrontation between House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes and top officials in the Justice Department over GOP demands for documents connected to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe appears to have been averted — for now.” POLITICO adds, “Nunes trekked to the Justice Department on Thursday for a briefing with top officials about their concerns with his demands, which they warned could endanger lives and a crucial intelligence source. Afterward, Nunes and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), who accompanied him, issued a statement describing the meeting as ‘productive.’” How bizarro world that Gowdy’s reassurances carry weight and meaning in Trumpistan as he has not gone full sycophant as he once did Benghazi (ignoring then that Republicans voted to cut funding for diplomatic security prior to the attack that killed Ambassador Christopher Stevens)! POLITICO notes, “It’s unclear whether the lawmakers received any commitment to access the documents they’re seeking. It’s also not clear what documents they want — the request itself is classified.” Hall of mirrors meets bonkers co-option.
PAUL RYAN REEKS OF BULLSHIT: DARKNESS AT NUNES EDITION
CNN reports, “House Speaker Paul Ryan is backing House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes in his latest feud with the Justice Department, brushing aside concerns that disclosing certain information could endanger national security and once again blessing his fellow Republican’s controversial tactics.” GOP death cult gonna death cult! CNN notes, “Ryan, who spoke with Nunes this week, argued that his demand for documents related to the Russia investigation is ‘wholly appropriate’ and should be complied with.” CNN adds, “For months, Nunes has been battling with the Justice Department for a range of documents in an attempt to sow doubt about the roots of the Russia investigation. The Justice Department has repeatedly appealed to Ryan to get Nunes to back off, warning his tactics could undercut ongoing investigations. But Ryan has repeatedly sided with his colleague from California, who has ultimately received most of what he’s sought.” Now Paul Ryan gets to wear the DARKNESS AT NUNES taint which is just fine for when the hour of de-Trumpification arrives but not before.
REP. MARK MEADOWS JOINS DARKNESS AT NUNES IN MORAL TURPITUDE
The Washington Post reports, “A prominent House Republican plans to ask a federal financial watchdog to audit the office of special counsel Robert Mueller III, opening a new front of GOP attack”. The Washington Post notes, “The pending request — from Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., an outspoken Trump defender who chairs the conservative House Freedom Caucus as well as a House oversight subcommittee — appears to be mainly calibrated to force the disclosure of a three-page Justice Department memo spelling out the authorized scope of Mueller’s investigation.” The Washington Post adds, “Meadows and fellow Freedom Caucus member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, have pushed for weeks to get unfettered access to the memo, but the Justice Department has so far refused them access. Only a heavily redacted version has been publicly shared as part of the prosecution of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort because, according to people familiar with the Justice Department’s thinking, prosecutors think its full disclosure could compromise Mueller’s probe.”
From The Washington Post.
HOUSE DEMOCRATS RELEASE RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION ADS
The Washington Post reports, “Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released about 3,500 Facebook ads purchased by Russian agents around the 2016 presidential election on issues from immigration to gun control, a reminder of the complexity of the manipulation that Facebook is trying to contain ahead of the midterm elections.” The Washington Post adds, “The ads, from mid-2015 to mid-2017, illustrate the extent to which Kremlin-aligned forces sought to stoke social, cultural and political unrest on one of the Web’s most powerful platforms. With the help of Facebook’s targeting tools, they delivered their disinformation to narrow categories of users – from black or gay users to fans of Fox News.” The Washington Post notes, “In doing so, Russia’s online army reached at least 146 million people on Facebook and Instagram, its photo-sharing service, with ads and other posts. Sometimes, Russian trolls also tried to fuel rallies and protests, endeavoring at one point in 2016 to pit Beyoncé fans and critics against each other in New York City.” Facebook made the mistake of putting out a statement that said, in part, “This will never be a solved problem because we’re up against determined, creative and well-funded adversaries,” because they will not be well-funded forever after they bring down the former USA’s empire and the global economy crashes, as it is bound to, as a result. Worth noting, as The Washington Post does, that, “They marketed a page called Born Liberal to likely supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), the data show, an ad that had more than 49,000 impressions into 2017.” The Wall Street Journal notes, “Russian propagandists on Facebook grew increasingly sophisticated and inflammatory in their tactics over two years”. Business Insider notes how the Russian effort promoted Sean Hannity, their boy at Fox News.
NET NEUTRALITY DIES JUNE 11 NOW
Reuters reports, “Landmark U.S. ‘net neutrality’ rules will expire on June 11, and new regulations handing providers broad new power over how consumers can access the internet will take effect, the Federal Communications Commission said on Thursday in setting the date.” So this is how they come for free speech, which already is not free because it costs you money and income to be outspoken as our system is built to normalize even a fake Russian bullshit president with fascist, racist non-values. Of course, “The prior rules were intended to ensure a free and open internet, give consumers equal access to web content and bar broadband service providers from favoring their own material or others,” but the new rules of the regime are to fuck over as many people as possible and bring civilization to its knees, crushing civil liberties and humanity all the while, which is how Russia expects to triumph, by the way. We will soon really be at the mercy of our corporate overlords as, “Comcast Corp, Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc have all pledged to not block or discriminate against legal content after the net neutrality rules expire.” One FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel said, “The FCC is on the wrong side of history, the wrong side of the law, and the wrong side of the American people.”
US INTERCEPTS RUSSIAN BOMBERS OFF THE COAST OF ALASKA
CBS News reports, “Two U.S. fighter jets intercepted two Russian bombers flying near the western coast of Alaska on Friday, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) said in a statement. The incident happened at 10 a.m. Friday as the Russian jets were flying in the Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) around Alaska’s western coast, north of the Aleutian Islands.”
From CBS News.
EUROPEAN SPY CHIEFS WARN OF HYBRID WAR THREAT
The AP reports, “European intelligence chiefs warned Monday that Russia is actively seeking to undermine their democracies by disinformation, cyberattacks and more traditional means of espionage. The heads of Britain and Germany’s domestic intelligence agencies, as well as the European Union and NATO’s top security officials, pinpointed Moscow as the prime source of hybrid threats to Europe, citing attempts to manipulate elections, steal sensitive data and spark a coup in Montenegro. They also cited the nerve agent attack against a former Russian spy in Britain this year that Britain has blamed on Russia.” The AP adds, “Germany’s domestic intelligence chief, Hans-Georg Maassen, said his agency, known as BfV, blames Russian authorities for orchestrating a persistent cyberattack aimed at stealing sensitive data so it can be used in future intelligence campaigns.” The AP notes, “Sir Julian King, the EU’s security commissioner, warned that social media had ‘turbocharged’ state actors’ ability to spread disinformation,” adding, “King warned of future threats posed by sophisticated fake videos that are undiscernible from real footage, calling it an example of a ‘deadly weapon of mass disinformation’ that societies need to find ways of becoming resilient to.”
From the AP.
US ENVOY TO UKRAINE WILL VISIT THIS WEEK
Interfax Ukraine reports, “U.S. Special Representative for Ukraine Kurt Volker will visit Ukraine on May 14, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has said.”
From Interfax Ukraine.
TRUMPISTAN EXITING THE IRAN DEAL BRINGS GERMANY + RUSSIA CLOSER
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “The Russian and German foreign ministers say they are working to salvage a landmark nuclear agreement with Iran after President Donald Trump announced that the United States would leave the deal and would reinstate sanctions on Tehran. Sergei Lavrov, speaking after meeting Heiko Maas on May 10 in Moscow, said it was important that any new U.S. sanctions did not ruin the 2015 accord between Tehran and six world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).” Horror of short-sighted horrors that lead our fake Russian bullshit president to quash U.S. participation, “Lavrov added that Russia, Germany, China, Britain, and France — the remaining participants in the agreement — must work to ‘enable the preservation of this important document for regional stability,’” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes. Oh fuck, now Russia gets to say it is pro-stability given our fake Russian bullshit president’s endless tantrums. As Deutsche Welle notes, “One unintended consequence of Donald Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Iran nuclear agreement has been to bring Germany and Russia together again.” Can we really pretend it is unintentional though? Maybe the Germans can with greater ease though, after all, it is Deutsche Bank that gave loans to Trump when no one else would and to whom princeling Jared is heavily in debt.
GERMANY SAYS EUROPE CAN NO LONGER COUNT ON US SECURITY BLANKET
Bloomberg reports, “German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Europe can no longer count on the U.S. military for protection and must ‘take its destiny into its own hands.’” In one lede that is everything Russia hoped to achieve by installing our fake Russian bullshit president.
GERMANY PROPOSES “SOME SORT OF CONSORTIUM”
Reuters reports, “Germany has proposed setting up some sort of consortium to ensure that Ukraine retains its role as a transit country for Russian gas once the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline is operational. German foreign minister Heiko Maas made the proposal, without giving details, during a meeting on Friday with his counterparts from Baltic countries, which oppose the pipeline.” That is because they have no plan and are not willing to face reality as Russia seduces them with a pipeline that will blow up European security. Of course, “Maas’s comments will do little to assuage public concerns in the three Baltic countries, once ruled by their giant eastern neighbor but now part of the European Union and NATO.” Adding insult to injury, “Maas ruled out any increase in his country’s military involvement in the Baltic region, where Germany leads a deployment of about 1,000 NATO troops, one of four such battle groups designed to deter Russia from meddling in the region.”
SANCTIONS, NO SANCTIONS, WHAT SANCTIONS?
The Moscow Times reports, “Russia’s largest oil producer Rosneft has signed a contract with a subsidiary of French oil major Total to export more oil to Europe despite Western sanctions.” The Moscow Times adds, “Rosneft announced Monday it would supply between 4.8 million and 10.8 million metric tons of crude oil to Germany under a two-year deal with Total’s Swiss-based subsidiary.”
From The Moscow Times.
RUSSIA COMPLETES MISSILE DEFENSE SALE TO CHINA
The Diplomat reports, “Russia has completed delivery of the first regimental set of S-400 Triumf advanced interceptor-based air defense systems (NATO reporting name: SA-21 Growler) to China under a 2014 government-to-government contract, an unnamed Russian official told TASS news agency on May 10.” The Diplomat adds, “the first two Russian cargo ships carrying the bulk of the equipment, including launchers and mobile radar systems, arrived in China in April. Russian personnel will begin handing over the equipment for induction into the People’s Liberation Army at the end of May. The whole process is expected to take about two months. Neither China nor Russia have publicly confirmed the delivery of the weapons systems. The exact number of S-400 air defense systems as well as the specific missile types sold to China remain unknown.”
From The Diplomat.
NEW ARMENIAN PM FAVORS CLOSER TIES TO RUSSIA
Reuters reports, “Armenia’s new Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, who came to power last week after a peaceful revolution, told President Vladimir Putin on Monday he favored closer political and military ties with Russia. The meeting, in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, was the first time the two men had met and followed Pashinyan’s election last week after weeks of street protests.” Why does this feel like Egypt insofar as the real story of this so-called revolution has yet to be written?
GLENCORE + RUSAL WANT LONDON METAL EXCHANGE TO LIFT SUSPENSION
Reuters reports, “Glencore and United Company Rusal have asked the London Metal Exchange to temporarily lift its suspension on Rusal’s aluminum after an extension of the deadline for companies to wind down contracts with the Russian firm under U.S. sanctions”. Reuters notes, “the problem for the LME and its members is making sure that any metal delivered to the exchange is not under sanction,” adding, “The LME suspended Rusal’s aluminum from April 17 after the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on the Hong Kong-listed company and other Russian firms and oligarchs. The Treasury has extended its deadline for U.S. consumers to wind down business with Rusal to Oct. 23 from June 5 previously and said it would consider lifting sanctions if Rusal’s major shareholder, Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska, ceded control of the company. The extension detailed in General Licence 14 (GL-14), issued late April, effectively means aluminum produced and sold by Rusal until Oct. 23 is free of U.S. sanctions, so long as the deal to buy was signed before they were imposed on April 6.”
NAVALNY APPEARS IN COURT AFTER “NOT OUR TSAR” PROTEST
Agence France Presse reports, “Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny on Friday appeared in court over nationwide demonstrations last week that saw hundreds arrested as they protested Vladimir Putin’s inauguration for a fourth term. Navalny faces charges of organising an illegal protest and of disobeying police orders, which could see him jailed for up to two months or forced to pay a fine.”
From Agence France Presse.
LATVIAN EMBASSY IN MOSCOW ATTACKED
Public broadcasting of Latvia reports, “Latvia’s embassy in Moscow, Russia, came under attack on the evening of May 9 – celebrated in the country as ‘Victory Day’ – according to Latvia’s Foreign Minister.” Public broadcasting of Latvia notes, “The press secretary of the Foreign Ministry, Gints Jegermanis, told Latvian Radio that nobody was injured in the incident, which took place at around 6 p.m. Moscow time. Between 4 and 5 people appeared at the embassy’s premises in Moscow and set off smoke bombs and flares. One person tried tried to write something to the embassy building, but the militia intervened at this point, Jegermanis said. Latvia will present a diplomatic note to the Russian foreign ministry over the incident”. Public broadcasting of Latvia notes, “Later in the day Thursday, the Foreign Ministry confirmed it had presented a note – a form of diplomatic protest – to the Russian authorities via the Russian ambassador in Latvia, Yevgeny Lukyanov.” (See more on active measures against Latvia in “KNOW YOUR ENEMY” today).
CONOCO AUTHORIZED TO SEIZE $636 BILLION IN PDVSA ASSETS
Reuters reports, “A Curacao court has authorized ConocoPhillips (COP.N) to seize about $636 million in assets belonging to Venezuela’s state oil company PDVSA due to the 2007 nationalization of the U.S. oil major’s projects in Venezuela.” Reuters adds, “U.S. oil major ConocoPhillips (COP.N) has seized products belonging to Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA [PDVSA.UL] from the Isla refinery it runs on Curacao, an island official told Reuters on Sunday.”
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
WHY DOES CNN, NYT CALL REGIME’S TAUNTS “JOKES” IF THEY’RE NOT FUNNY?
CNN reports the week “ended with the White House embroiled in a controversy over a staffer named Kelly Sadler who joked in a staff meeting that Sen. John McCain’s opposition to CIA nominee Gina Haspel was immaterial because ‘he’s dying anyway.’” Why is this being called a joke if it is not funny and they are not taking it back? Why is this being normalized? CNN notes, “The White House — via press secretary Sarah Sanders — refused to condemn (or even acknowledge) Sadler’s comments.” See it still is not funny! For its part, The New York Times joined CNN in normalizing the appalling when it wrote, “The White House declined on Friday to renounce or apologize for an aide whose joke at a meeting that Senator John McCain was irrelevant because he would soon die went viral, outraging relatives, friends and admirers of the ailing lawmaker.” At least the paper of record bothered to note, “The aide, Kelly Sadler, a special assistant to the president, made the comment on Thursday, just three days after Melania Trump unveiled what she called a ‘Be Best’ campaign to encourage children to put kindness first in their lives.” For her part, McCain’s daughter Meghan said on “The View,” which she co-hosts, “I don’t understand what kind of environment you’re working in where that would be acceptable and then you can come to work the next day and still have a job”. The correct is a death cult.
DEATH CULT GONNA DEATH CULT: RETIRED AF LT. GEN. ON “SONGBIRD JOHN”
The Washington Examiner reports, “Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney on Thursday referred to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., as ‘Songbird John’ and said torture worked on the former POW.” Of course the death cult is pro-torture, fake Russian bullshit president Trump made no bones about that on the trail – just so long as they are not his bones. The Washington Examiner notes, “McInerney, during an interview on Fox Business Network, was slamming McCain’s refusal to support CIA director nominee Gina Haspel over her past work at the agency involving enhanced interrogation techniques that are considered torture. ‘The fact is, is John McCain — it worked on John. That’s why they call him “Songbird John,”’ McInerney said.” Human garbage says what now? Oh right, all this. As a reminder that our system bred these pieces of shit, Russia just picked them up and rubbed the bullshit pie everywhere, “McInerney was assistant vice chief of staff at U.S. Air Force headquarters in Washington, where he was charged with the organization and administration of the branch’s personnel.” The Washington Examiner notes, “Fox Business host Charles Payne, who invited McInerney on the air, apologized Thursday for his ‘very false’ and ‘derogatory’ comments,” but too late and a dollar short, asshole, the comments went on air and viral – the intended goal of all things media this side of Surkovian hell.
From The Washington Examiner.
JOHN KELLY IS A RAGING, IGNORANT XENOPHOBE
NPR interviewed Chief of Staff John Kelly, one of the old angry white racists in the White House, and his comments on immigration – due to their extraordinary ignorance and xenophobia – lit up Twitter for days. Of the scandal concerning the fake Russian bullshit president’s treasonous campaign, Kelly told NPR, “It may not be a cloud but certainly the President is, you know, somewhat embarrassed, frankly,” as he should be because his existence is a stain on our nation. But here is the full breathtakingly stupid bullshit Kelly had to say about immigrants to this, our nation of immigrants: “Let me step back and tell you that the vast majority of the people that move illegally into United States are not bad people. They’re not criminals. They’re not MS13. … But they’re also not people that would easily assimilate into the United States into our modern society. They’re overwhelmingly rural people. In the countries they come from, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-grade educations are kind of the norm. They don’t speak English; obviously that’s a big thing. … They don’t integrate well; they don’t have skills. They’re not bad people. They’re coming here for a reason. And I sympathize with the reason. But the laws are the laws. … The big point is they elected to come illegally into the United States, and this is a technique that no one hopes will be used extensively or for very long.” TRUMPISTAN WATCH wishes to call your attention to “our modern society” and “overwhelmingly rural people” and the claim “They don’t integrate well,” and consider this as a totally viable description of many Trump supporters who seem to think they will do better if others suffer more. Also John Kelly, never underestimate the extraordinary patriotism of immigrants, they carry the weight of this nation on their shoulders and are grateful to it every day for their existence and livelihood. And P.S. never eat in another restaurant again or stay in another hotel because who the hell do you imagine cooks the food, washes the dishes and cleans the room? And he might as well give up food too, because where the hell does John Kelly think that comes from? Trump, too. Make your little boys-cott total, please. Let’s starve the enemy out of their white man caves.
EVERYTHING TRUMP TOUCHES TURNS TO SHIT: GIULIANI’S CAREER EDITION
The New York Times reports, “President Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudolph W. Giuliani, abruptly resigned from his law firm, which then promptly undercut his recent statements defending the president.” Fine and so be it because Giuliani and his fake Russian bullshit president client have no legal legs to stand on. The New York Times adds, “Mr. Giuliani had taken a leave of absence last month from the firm, Greenberg Traurig, to represent Mr. Trump. But the firm, one of the nation’s largest, said in a statement on Thursday that he no longer worked there.” He resigned Wednesday. The New York Times notes, “Firm partners had chafed over Mr. Giuliani’s public comments about payments that another of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Michael D. Cohen, made to secure the silence of a pornographic film actress,” adding, “Mr. Giuliani suggested that such payments were common at his firm, even without the knowledge of the clients.”
From The New York Times.
EZRA COHEN-WATNICK STILL NOT EMPLOYED BY THE JUSTICE DEPARTMENT
The Hill reports, “Ezra Cohen-Watnick, a former national security aide to President Trump, has not yet joined the Department of Justice (DOJ) despite reports that he was moving there last month to become a senior adviser to Attorney General Jeff Sessions. A flurry of news reports said Cohen-Watnick ‘will’ be joining the agency on April 16 as a national security adviser to Sessions. Yet a month later, he is still not employed at the DOJ”. The Hill notes, “Mark Zaid, Cohen-Watnick’s attorney, said the delay is a result of ‘routine employment processing’ and that they still believe he will be joining the DOJ.” The Hill recalls, “Cohen-Watnick, a former Defense Intelligence Agency official, went on to work at Oracle after leaving the administration,” and he was the White House ally of DARKNESS AT NUNES which led to the Russia and Trump shill to abort an Uber in the middle of the night, go to the White House and emerge the next day screaming about an “unmasking” scandal that was complete poppycock for weeks and months on end. Meanwhile, The Daily Beast reports three National Security Council officials told the outlet, “A former National Security Council official now working for Attorney General Jeff Sessions explored ways to surreptitiously monitor the communications of White House staff for leaks or perceived political disloyalty to Donald Trump”. Of course that official is Cohen-Watnick. The Daily Beast notes, “It is unknown whether Cohen-Watnick’s efforts actually resulted in any monitoring program.”
NURSE CHARGED IN DEATH OF H.R. MCMASTER’S FATHER
The AP reports, “A nurse was charged Thursday in the death of the father of President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser after authorities said she failed to give him a series of neurological exams following his fall at a Philadelphia senior care facility.” The AP adds, “Christann Shyvin Gainey, 30, was charged with involuntary manslaughter, neglect and records tampering in the death of H.R. McMaster Sr.” One has to assume she also believed she would not be caught. The AP notes, “A medical examiner ruled McMaster died of ‘blunt impact head trauma.’” The AP adds, “Cathedral Village said in a statement after the arrest that it removed Gainey, who was not a Cathedral Village employee, immediately following McMaster’s death.” Maybe she was compromised in some way?
From the AP.
FORMER AIDE TO GRAHAM, MCCAIN NOW WORKS FOR PRO-RUSSIA PARTY
BuzzFeed News reports, “A former top aide to Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain is now working to help a leading Russia-friendly political party in upcoming parliamentary elections in Latvia”. BuzzFeed adds, “Christian Ferry, who worked as a campaign manager for Graham and a deputy campaign manager for McCain, has been hired by Nils Ušakovs, the mayor of the Latvian capital, Riga, to provide him and his Harmony party with ‘strategic political advice, messaging, and polling concerning the October elections,’ Ferry told BuzzFeed News and Latvian investigative outlet Re:Baltica in an email.” BuzzFeed notes, “Ušakovs has been a vocal critic of EU sanctions against Russia, put in place following the country’s annexation of Crimea and meddling in eastern Ukraine. He also would not criticize the annexation altogether and his party, Harmony, voted against a parliamentary motion that officially condemned Russia’s actions against Ukraine. A few months after that, Ušakovs flew to Moscow and posted photos of himself on Twitter alongside Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, and the mayor of Moscow.”
From BuzzFeed News.
TRUMP DARK MONEY GROUP AIDE ON VIDEO PRAISING NAZIS
Mediaite reports, “Last December, in a Florida hotel room just three miles from President Donald Trump’s ‘Winter White House,’ a policy advisor for the Trump-tied nonprofit America First Policies praised Nazis and expressed disappointment that they didn’t ‘keep fucking going.’” Surprise! They Nazis love their ancestral forebears in slaughter, racism, ethnic hatred, and kink. Death cult gonna death cult! Mediaite notes, “Juan Pablo Andrade voiced his love for the Third Reich — in a video obtained by Mediaite — while attending a Turning Point USA conference, which is a youth conservative organization, endorsed by everyone from Trump to Senator Marco Rubio, known as much for racism as it is for diaper-wearing. The organization — founded by Charlie Kirk and in the news recently because one of its members received Twitter shoutouts from Kanye West and Trump – held its 2017 annual activism summit in West Palm Beach, Florida, a stone’s throw from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort. It was attended by more than a thousand young conservatives, and featured speeches from first-son Donald Trump Jr., Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Fox News personality Tomi Lahren, right-wing pundit Ben Shapiro, ex-White House official Seb Gorka, and a slew of other personalities inhabiting the MAGA-sphere.” Mediaite notes this little neo-Nazi “Andrade, aside from his work for the pro-Trump America First group, has quite the resume. Per his LinkedIn account, he worked on Trump’s National Hispanic Advisory Council, Trump’s National Diversity Coalition and the Trump campaign as a surrogate. He writes for The Hill as an opinion contributor and has shared his political opinions on NewsmaxTV, CNN Latino, and Univision. Additionally, he worked for TPUSA as the group’s Florida field director in 2015 and led the group’s informal Latino caucus in 2016”. This is so deep in the death cult GOP, Mediaite notes, “He was even featured on the 2017 30 under 30s of Newsmax and Red Alert Politics, which are power lists compiling prominent young conservatives in America. Andrade made RAP‘s list in November 2017 — one month before he was recorded praising Nazis.” Mediaite notes, “Also in the hotel room was a close friend of Andrade’s, Cesar Subervi, an alt-right activist who participated in the Charlottesville white supremacist march and has been filmed with Richard Spencer.” Mediaite adds, “Another disturbing video posted to his Snapchat during TPUSA’s summit shows Subervi, who was also a student activist at Coastal Carolina University, saying it was ‘awesome’ that someone who he thought was protesting the conference got run over by a car.” Mediaite notes, “Oddly enough, Subervi — who sources said is tied to the ‘western chauvinist’ Proud Boys group — is ethnically Dominican, but holds the same views as the white supremacist alt-right movement. Additionally, America First Policies’ Andrade is Venezuelan,” but some feel a need to over-compensate. What else might these self-hating Hispanics be hiding? Called something in the closet, maybe?
WHO IS VIKTOR VEKSELBERG + HOW DID HE DECEIVE SO MANY?
NBC News reports, “Among U.S. officials who study Russia’s power elite, Viktor Vekselberg has a reputation as the ‘nice’ oligarch, relatively free from the taint of thuggery,” LOL, no such thing! And, “The 61-year-old is a world-renowned art collector, and isn’t ethnically Russian — he’s a Jewish Ukrainian.” NBC News adds, “Vekselberg has also criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin to U.S. officials and pushed a ‘reset’ of U.S.-Russian relations. He even attended President Donald Trump’s inauguration last year.” NBC News recalls, “agents working for special counsel Robert Mueller detained and interviewed him when he got off a plane at a U.S. airport. He has also been sanctioned both personally and corporately by the U.S. Treasury Department.” NBC News adds Stormy Daniels’ lawyer Michael “Avenatti said his investigation uncovered eight payments totaling half a million dollars from Columbus Nova, a U.S. company run by Vekselberg’s cousin Andrew Intrater, to Essential Consultants, a company registered by Cohen. Essential Consultants is the same company Cohen used to wire Daniels $130,000. NBC News has reviewed financial documents that appear to support Avenatti’s claim.” NBC News notes, “Vekselberg, like many of his fellow oligarchs, got his start in Russia’s rapid and flawed move from communism to capitalism in the 1990s. After serving as an engineer in a state-owned pump manufacturer, he made the leap into private enterprise. Through a set of influential contacts he was able to buy state assets on the cheap and wound up a billionaire with a big chunk of the world’s largest aluminum company and one of the world’s largest oil and gas firms.” NBC News adds, “Vekselberg is now one of the world’s 100 richest men, with a current net worth of $15.5 billion”. NBC News notes, “He has won plaudits for his art collection, which includes Faberge eggs, designed for the czars as Easter gifts. As a patriotic gesture, he bought them and repatriated them to Russia. The Imperial Easter eggs were purchased at a reported cost of $100 million.” Like any Russian who wishes to keep his wealth, largely stolen from the former Soviet state, “Vekselberg has still supported Putin in very public ways. At a now infamous December 2015 dinner in Moscow honoring the 10th anniversary of RT, the Kremlin’s English language TV channel, he sat at the table next to Putin’s”.
From NBC News.
POOR LITTLE OLEG DERIPASKA HAS TO GIVE UP SOME PRIVATE JETS
Reuters reports, “Russian tycoon Oleg Deripaska has handed back three private jets he was leasing because U.S. sanctions imposed on him last month make it impossible to keep using the planes, the firm retained by the owners to sell the aircraft said on Thursday. The aircraft are Gulfstream executive jets, favored by jet-setting business people for their long range and plush interiors. They are now on sale, with the asking price for two of them set at $29.95 million each.” Nobody buy them so Deripaska has to shoulder his own burdens alone! Also, they are probably bugged to shit by Russia’s security forces because you think they treat their friends any different than their enemies once you get passed the cash infusions? Does the mafia have any real friends who aren’t murderers and thieves? Reuters notes, “Alireza Ittihadieh, director of Freestream, an aviation sales company that listed the three jets for sale, said the jets were owned by lenders Credit Suisse and Raiffeisen, and were then leased via a management company to Deripaska-controlled firms.” Of course, “Non-U.S. companies can also be punished by Washington if it deems they have engaged in significant transactions with a sanctioned entity,” Reuters notes so will be a hard sell or a soft one involving rogues and criminals.
AT&T DOCS SHOW COHEN WANTED FOR TIME WARNER MERGER WORK
The Washington Post reports, “AT&T’s chief executive said Friday that his company made a ‘serious misjudgment’ to seek advice from President Trump’s personal attorney Michael Cohen and announced that its top lobbying executive in Washington would be leaving the firm.” The Washington Post reports, “Three days after President Trump was sworn into office, the telecom giant AT&T turned to his personal attorney, Michael Cohen, for help on a wide portfolio of issues pending before the federal government — including the company’s proposed merger with Time Warner”. The Washington Post adds, “The documents detail the full scope of Cohen’s $600,000 deal with AT&T and how his contract specified that he would provide advice on the $85 billion merger, which required the approval of federal antitrust regulators.” The Washington Post notes, “Trump had voiced opposition to the merger during the presidential campaign, and his administration ultimately opposed the AT&T effort,” perhaps because they did not pay a big enough bribe? The Washington Post notes, “It is unclear what insight Cohen — a longtime real estate attorney and former taxicab operator — could have provided AT&T on complex telecom matters.” The Washington Post adds, “The $600,000 that flowed to Cohen from AT&T was about 3.5 percent of the $16.8 million the company spent on lobbying in 2017”.
#BEBEST TROLLING OF TRUMP REGIME IS BEST FROM THE BEDROOM
Mediaite reports, “George Conway, the conservative lawyer married to Kellyanne Conway of the White House, has posted yet another critical tweet about President Trump. This time, Conway posted some unflattering statistics about how many GOPers think someone in the Republican Party should challenge Trump for the presidency in 2020.”
FARABOOK SUSPENDS 200 APPS
Fortune reports, “Facebook says it has suspended around 200 apps for potentially misusing people’s data, following an audit that was prompted by the Cambridge Analytica scandal.”
RUSSIA DENIES WORLD CUP VISA TO GERMAN INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Russia has denied a visa request to report on next month’s soccer World Cup events from a German investigative journalist who broke the Russian doping scandal story. Hajo Seppelt’s employer, German public broadcaster ARD, said on May 11 that he was put on a list of ‘undesirable persons’ who are not allowed to enter Russia. ARD called it an ‘attack’ on journalism.” Reporters and news organizations of Trumpistan take note: this is what cojones look like. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “ARD said that giving open access to media representatives was a precondition for Russia to win the competition for hosting the World Cup,” but it is Russia so of course they do not keep their word, nor did they ever have any intention of keeping their word.
—–TOWARDS A PEACEFUL NUCLEAR EXCHANGE—–
SINGAPORE SUMMIT SET FOR PROBABLE FAKE KOREA PEACE
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump revealed on Thursday that his historic planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would take place on June 12 in Singapore — a location that has virtues for both sides.” Like someone who has no idea how to make a deal or has never played poker before — which is beyond bizarre considering — “The president had previously floated the idea of holding his face-to-face with Kim in Singapore, remarking last week that the southeast Asian city-state was under consideration, as was the demilitarized zone along the border between North and South Korea. Trump expressed a preference for the latter at a press conference last week, telling reporters that he liked the idea of meeting Kim at the DMZ because ‘if things work out, there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country.’” Does he even know North Korea is an enormous concentration camp? And if things do not work out, we will be driven to the brink as our fake Russian bullshit president wants us to believe our lives are putty in his hands for him to play with. Oh please fake Russian bullshit president, do not kill us if one of the dictator pals he admires or, more likely, a democrat he despises does something to derail fake peace! As everything else is fake, when it comes to the fake Russian bullshit president, why is everyone treating this as if it is real? Also thanks for killing Otto Warmbier over some bullshit banner are words fake POTUS has no uttered.
—–RADIO MOSCOW: STORIES FROM THEIR PRESS AND OURS—–
“SLEEPERS” IS RUSSIA’S ANSWER TO “THE AMERICANS”
The Atlantic reports, “the Russian television series Sleepers,” first appeared “on Russian network television, in October, it seemed like just another rip-off of a foreign show—in this case, the FX spy drama The Americans, now concluding its final season. But amid real-world election-interference campaigns and extraterritorial assassination attempts, Sleepers has become something more interesting: a justification for the Kremlin’s aggressive spy games overseas.” The Atlantic notes, “The series revolves around the CIA’s activation of an American sleeper cell in Moscow and, more broadly, the agency’s plot to destabilize Russian society. In the first episode, Russia’s embassy in Libya is sacked and its staff killed, and a young pigtailed Russian girl is blown up by militants—all courtesy of the CIA.” The Atlantic adds, “There are unflattering analogues to the opposition leader Alexey Navalny, the slain journalist Anna Politkovskaya, former U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul, and various saboteurs and reprobates. Each character is seemingly driven by some combination of cowardice, greed, and the occasional symbolic cheeseburger.” Since it is Russia, everything is invariably more propagandistic. The Atlantic notes, “The director, Yuri Bykov—previously championed by liberals for his anti-corruption films—had, one journalist suggested, reduced himself to ‘a court cinematographer,’” and “the pro–Vladimir Putin lead writer of Sleepers, Sergei Minaev,” guarantees as much. The Atlantic adds, “Many liberals seemed particularly offended by one of the series’ villains, a journalist who lives in a palatial postmodernist mansion; he is part of a fifth column comprising liberals, bloggers, and CIA-sponsored troll factories. Four days after the series premiered, Bykov took to social media to disavow it, writing that his work on the show ‘betrays Russia’s entire progressive generation.’” The Atlantic notes, “Michael Idov, an American writer born in Latvia who has written several Russian movies and TV series, was the creative director of the production company behind Sleepers, but refused to work on the show,” and he said, “Almost no Russian TV series comes into being without a clear American or British inspiration,” adding, “Russians are ‘so insecure about their pop culture that basically they don’t trust their instincts.’”
From The Atlantic.
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