TRUMP REGRETS MAKING PRIVATE RUSSIAN SESSIONS ATTORNEY GENERAL
Yahoo! News reports our fake Russian bullshit president “on Wednesday expressed fresh regret for appointing Jeff Sessions his attorney general.” Look he expresses regret for the first time ever when it comes back to bite him, no one else. Sad! Note to Trump and Russia: next time you need a guy to cover for a bunch of New York Jewish accomplices, do not pick a guy from Alabama! How could such a tribal individual and nation-state fail to grasp this most basic of things? It really sticks out if you know the first thing about America.
From Yahoo! News.
SUPER PAC TIED TO CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA SPENT BANK ON GIULIANI FIRMS
CNBC reports, “Two law firms linked to Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump’s lawyer and longtime confidant, worked for a super PAC that employed controversial data-gathering firm Cambridge Analytica during the 2016 presidential election. The firms in question, Bracewell & Giuliani LLP and Greenberg Traurig LLP, provided legal consultation to the pro-Trump Make America Number 1 PAC throughout the 2016 election cycle, Federal Election Commission records show.” CNBC adds, “Longtime Giuliani associate Laurence Levy… has ties to Rebekah Mercer, the eventual leader of Make America Number 1, an influential force behind the scenes of conservative politics and daughter of billionaire donor Robert Mercer. Four years ago, before the super PAC was formed, Levy gave Rebekah Mercer legal advice regarding Cambridge Analytica’s potential involvement in U.S. campaign-related activities.” CNBC notes Robert Mercer “played a critical part in the super PAC’s formation, contributing $15 million to fund the committee.” Meanwhile “Giuliani told CNBC that neither the PAC nor the Mercers were his clients.” CNBC adds, “While the super PAC paid Giuliani’s firm, it also started paying data-collecting company Cambridge Analytica hundreds of thousands of dollars for ‘media-prepaid’ services, according to Federal Election Commission records.” CNBC reports, “The Mercers’ link to Giuliani’s legal circle goes back to 2014, the year before the formation of Keep the Promise I. That year, Levy represented Rebekah Mercer; Steve Bannon, who would go on to lead Trump’s campaign and serve as senior White House strategist; and Alexander Nix, then-CEO of Cambridge Analytica. Levy was working as an attorney for Bracewell & Giuliani as the PAC sought “guidance regarding the participation of Cambridge Analytica, LLP, a foreign corporation, and of foreign nationals in connection with United States elections for federal, state and local government office,” according to a memo.” CNBC adds, “By the end of the 2016 election cycle, Bracewell & Giuliani were the PAC’s top vendors, receiving $336,495 over a span of eight payments, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.” CNBC notes, “In October 2016, Campaign Legal Center, the nonpartisan election law advocacy group, named the PAC in an FEC complaint. The watchdogs claimed that Make America Number 1 broke FEC regulations by directly coordinating with the Trump campaign.”
MICHAEL COHEN’S MIXED DAY IN COURT
The AP reports, “Lawyers for President Donald Trump’s personal attorney, Michael Cohen, failed to persuade a judge Wednesday for more time to analyze millions of files seized by the FBI, but they did get one thing they wanted: Their TV tormentor, Stormy Daniels’ attorney, withdrew a request to get a formal role in the case.” The AP adds, “The federal judge, refereeing an ongoing legal tussle about which documents should be withheld from investigators because of attorney-client privilege, gave lawyers for Trump and Cohen until June 15 to finish reviewing 3.7 million paper and electronic files seized in the April raids.” The AP notes, “Much of Wednesday’s hearing was consumed by spirited arguments about Avenatti’s numerous public attacks on Cohen, mostly through live cable TV appearances. Cohen’s lawyers have protested that the barrage was improper,” but have they heard of their client’s client, the fake Russian bullshit president? The AP adds, “Wood told Avenatti that while he is free to speak his mind now, he would have to end his ‘publicity tour’ and attacks on Cohen if he became part of the case. Lawyers practicing in the federal court in Manhattan must follow local rules barring statements that might taint prospective jurors.” Guess what Avenatti chose. So it goes, “Shortly after the court hearing, Avenatti withdrew his application, but not before appearing before TV cameras outside again and assailing Cohen and his legal team once more,” the AP reports. ABC News adds, “Federal prosecutors also revealed for the first time that among the items seized Cohen last months was a shredding machine, the contents of which are among the only items that the government has not yet turned over to the special master or Cohen’s legal team.” The making of an all American sideshow if ever there was one – and luckily this time it’s not the Cambodian people that carry the weight of the burden.
FBI EX-DEPUTY DIRECTOR ANDREW MCCABE’S MEMO ABOUT COMEY FIRING
The New York Times reports, “The former acting F.B.I. director, Andrew G. McCabe, wrote a confidential memo last spring recounting a conversation that offered significant behind-the-scenes details on the firing of Mr. McCabe’s predecessor, James B. Comey,” addng, “McCabe has turned over his memo to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III.” The New York Times notes, “McCabe described a conversation at the Justice Department with the deputy attorney general, Rod J. Rosenstein, in the chaotic days last May after Mr. Comey’s abrupt firing. Mr. Rosenstein played a key role in the dismissal, writing a memo that rebuked Mr. Comey over his handling of an investigation into Hillary Clinton.” The memo notes Rosenstein “said the president had originally asked him to reference Russia in his memo, the people familiar with the conversation said. Mr. Rosenstein did not elaborate on what Mr. Trump had wanted him to say. To Mr. McCabe, that seemed like possible evidence that Mr. Comey’s firing was actually related to the F.B.I.’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, and that Mr. Rosenstein helped provide a cover story by writing about the Clinton investigation,” The New York Times adds, noting, “One person who was briefed on Mr. Rosenstein’s conversation with the president said Mr. Trump had simply wanted Mr. Rosenstein to mention that he was not personally under investigation in the Russia inquiry. Mr. Rosenstein said it was unnecessary and did not include such a reference. Mr. Trump ultimately said it himself when announcing the firing.”
From The New York Times.
BOLTON NAMES ISLAMOPHOBIC WINGNUT AS HIS CHIEF OF STAFF
New York Magazine reports John Bolton, “Trump’s latest national security adviser named former CIA analyst Fred Fleitz as his chief of staff.” New York Magazine provides some background on the Muslim hating lass, including such notable commendations for his conspiracies as when, “Fleitz served as Bolton’s chief of staff when the latter was undersecretary of State in George W. Bush’s administration. In that role, Fleitz fought viciously with analysts at the State Department and Central Intelligence Agency — because they refused to let Bolton publicly claim that Cuba was attempting to acquire biological weapons, on the basis of his idiosyncratic interpretation of intelligence reports. In declassified email exchanges, Fleitz derided the State Department’s assessment that there was insufficient evidence to claim Cuba was seeking illegal weapons as ‘wimpy.’ The State Department’s top expert on biological weapons, Christian P. Westermann, meanwhile, wrote a colleague that Bolton and Fleitz’s ‘personal attacks, harassment and impugning of my integrity’ were ‘now affecting my work, my health and dedication to public service.’” Additionally, “Fleitz is a senior vice-president at Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, an Islamophobic think tank that claims the Muslim Brotherhood has infiltrated the highest ranks of the American government — and called for a new House Un-American Activities Committee to investigate the Islamist ‘Fifth Columnists; that were wielding influence over the Obama administration.” New York Magazine adds, “In 2011, Fleitz insisted that the consensus conclusion among America’s 16 intelligence agencies about the state of Iran’s nuclear weapons program was wrong — and that Tehran was actually ‘on the brink of testing a nuclear weapon,’ a claim that has since been exposed as utterly false”. There is of course more, but these are the ones that fall squarely into the camp of foreign policy falsehoods.
From New York Magazine.
JUDGE DISMISSES KASPERSKY LAWSUIT
The Wall Street Journal reports, “A U.S. judge dismissed a pair of lawsuits filed by Russian cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab demanding the U.S. government rescind a ban on the use of its software in U.S. government computers, saying the action was justified to reduce cybersecurity risk.” Kaspersky should challenge this on the grounds the empire has no security anyways and with Trump in the White House, what difference does it make. But until then, don’t come around here no more.
From The Wall Street Journal.
HE’S ALIVE! RUSSIAN JOURNALIST REPORTED DEAD TURNS UP AT PRESSER
ABC News reports, “In a stunning twist, a well-known Russian journalist who Ukrainian authorities said was shot and killed in the capital of Kiev on Tuesday, showed up alive Wednesday, with Ukrainian security services saying they faked his death as part of an operation to thwart a real plot by Russian intelligence to murder him.” Movie of the week stuff full on. ABC News adds, “Arkady Babchenko, a celebrated war reporter who fled his home country last year amid a campaign of intimidation, was said to have been killed at his apartment building in Kiev on Tuesday night. But on Wednesday Babchenko appeared alive and well at a press conference, where it was announced it had all been a ruse carried out by Ukraine’s domestic intelligence service, the SBU.” ABC News notes, “At the surreal event, the head of the SBU, Vasyl Hrytsak, said authorities had pretended Babchenko was dead in order to outwit a Russian plot to kill him.” ABC News adds, “The revelation that Babchenko was still alive then prompted a vast wave of relief and also consternation. His colleagues at the ATR television station where he worked leapt out of their seats, applauding and crying when he appeared at the press conference that they had been watching live. Later, a video showed them speaking by phone with Babchenko, teasing him about all the condolences flowers they had collected for him. One of the journalists said he had visited the morgue to identify Babchenko and asked if it had been him that he saw there? Babchenko replied, yes, he had been there all night.” ABC News notes, “Andrei Soldatov, a well-known journalist who often writes critically of the Russian security services, wrote on Twitter: ‘Sorry, guys, to me, it’s crossing a line big time. Babchenko is a journalist not a policeman, for Christ sake, and part of our job is trust. I’m glad he is alive, but he undermined even further the credibility of journalists and the media.’” Agence France Presse reminds us there is Cold War precedent for such deception as it was “in 1982 that the secret services of then communist-run Romania planned to assassinate Virgil Tanase, a France-based dissident writer,” so the French authorities stages a kidnapping. And Meduza has Babchenko’s statement in full from the press conference.
UKRAINE’S NAFTOGAZ TRYING TO RECOVER BILLIONS FROM GAZPROM
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, “Ukraine’s Naftogaz company has begun the process of trying to recover the billions of dollars it is owed by Russia’s giant state-controlled gas monopoly, Gazprom, due to an arbitration-court verdict.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty adds, “Naftogaz said on May 30 that it was seeking to legally acquire Gazprom shares of stock and other assets in European countries to gain some of the $2.6 billion from Gazprom that Naftogaz was awarded in March by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce. Naftogaz said it was working in Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Britain to gain Gazprom assets in those countries.” Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty notes, “The Swedish arbitration court’s decision awarded Naftogaz $2.56 billion, but nearly $50 million more has been added to the award in interest because of Gazprom’s failure to pay the award.”
From Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
$3 BILLION IN RUSSIAN DEBT OFFLOADED SINCE SANCTIONS
Bloomberg reports, “Foreign investors offloaded about 200 billion rubles ($3 billion) worth of Russian local-currency bonds since fresh U.S. sanctions last month created uncertainty about how vulnerable the market is to more penalties.”
LAWYER SHOT DEAD IN LATVIA, ORGANIZED CRIME SUSPECTED
Reuters reports, “A corporate lawyer who worked on managing the winding-down of insolvent companies was shot dead in the Latvian capital early on Wednesday in what police said appeared to be a killing linked to organized crime. Police said Martins Bunkus was shot by two men as he drove through the surburbs of Riga in early morning. His attackers escaped in a van which was later found abandoned and burnt out.” Reuters notes, “Bunkus had reported death threats to police in 2016”. Reuters adds, “Bunkus worked on the winding down of Trasta Komercbanka, a bank that lost its license in 2016 after it broke anti-money laundering and terror-financing rules,” but as of now, “There is no suggestion his involvement with this process was connected with his murder.”
SWEDEN SET TO CLOSE $1 BILLION PATRIOT MISSILE DEAL
Reuters reports, “Sweden will close a deal in the next few weeks with U.S. arms maker Raytheon Co (RTN.N) to buy the Patriot air defense missile system as it modernizes its armed forces amid heightened tensions with Russia. Moscow’s brief war with Georgia in 2008 and its annexation of the Crimea Peninsula six years later has pushed Sweden, not a NATO member but with close ties to the alliance, to rebuild its armed forces after decades of neglect.” Reuters notes, “The deal is initially worth around 10 billion crowns ($1.13 billion) and is the biggest military purchase since 2013 when Sweden started to upgrade 60 Saab SAAB.ST Gripen fighters, a deal worth around 47 billion crowns. Sweden’s current air defense system, which is over a decade old, cannot shoot down enemy ballistic robots.” Reuters adds, “Delivery is expected to start in 2021,” noting, “The Swedish government has until August 10th to make a final decision on the deal.”
MO MONEY MO PROBLEMS
The National Law Journal reports, “Friends of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort have set up a legal defense fund to meet ‘the tremendous legal costs’ stemming from proceedings in the special counsel’s Russia probe.” Russia, if you’re listening…
From The National Law Journal.
SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE WANTS ROGER STONE INTERVIEW
The Daily Beast reports, “The Senate intelligence committee has asked to interview Roger Stone, Donald Trump’s longtime political adviser. Stone’s lawyer, Grant Smith, told The Daily Beast that the committee last week sent them an email with a list of search terms for communications to use to determine which electronic communications to turn over to the Senate Intelligence Committee. At the same time, according to Smith, the committee said its members would like to question Stone after receiving the documents. Smith said the process has been amicable and that the interview date has not yet been set.”
From The Daily Beast.
—–KNOW YOUR ENEMY—–
NO WHAT IF, OBAMA: “WHAT IF WE WERE WRONG?”
The New York Times reports, “Riding in a motorcade in Lima, Peru, shortly after the 2016 election, President Barack Obama was struggling to understand Donald J. Trump’s victory. ‘What if we were wrong?’ he asked aides riding with him”. Let’s observe the consequences and throw out the “what if”. The New York Times adds, “‘Maybe we pushed too far,’ Mr. Obama said. ‘Maybe people just want to fall back into their tribe.’ His aides reassured him that he still would have won had he been able to run for another term and that the next generation had more in common with him than with Mr. Trump. Mr. Obama, the first black man elected president, did not seem convinced. ‘Sometimes I wonder whether I was 10 or 20 years too early,’ he said.” Oh wait, he’s not talking about Russia, but rather himself! The New York Times notes, “In the weeks after Mr. Trump’s election, Mr. Obama went through multiple emotional stages, according to a new book by his longtime adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes,” who never should have been anywhere near the White House or issues of national security, what with a previous resume consisting of three published short stories. According to Rhodes, “He called Mr. Trump a ‘cartoon’ figure who cared more about his crowd sizes than any particular policy. And he expressed rare self-doubt, wondering whether he had misjudged his own influence on American history.” In the days that followed the coup, Obama told aides, “Maybe this is what people want. I’ve got the economy set up well for him. No facts. No consequences. They can just have a cartoon.” And he added, “we’re about to find out just how resilient our institutions are, at home and around the world.”
From The New York Times.
MELANIA, MISSING FROM PUBLIC VIEW FOR 3 WEEKS, SPAWNS CONSPIRACIES
The Daily Mail reports, “Melania Trump acknowledged the conspiracy theories around her disappearance in a tweet on Wednesday but offered no photographic evidence of her presence, meaning the speculation about her absence will likely continue.” The Daily Mail notes, “She said she is at the White House, ‘feeling great, & working hard on behalf of children & the American people!’” In language that is not at all Trumpian and totally organically her own words. The Daily Mail adds, “The first lady was spotted in the West Wing of the White House on Wednesday afternoon.” That great bastion of journalism that is never click bait or chatty gossip, “Politico reported Wednesday there are a variety of conspiracy theories being banded about given her absence: She’s moved back to New York City, she’s cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller, she’s living with the Obamas, working on a tell-all book or she had a secret nip and tuck that she’s healing from.” Shockingly absent is the Deep State kidnapped her. Reagan knew! Yahoo! News notes this all comes against a backdrop of “outlets such as CNN, ABC News, and Vogue running stories about her 20-day absence.” This is the real news as in this is what people actually care about also known as how we got here and why we are here.
“SPYGATE” COMES TO AN ABRUPT END IN CASCADE OF TRUTH + REALITY
POLITICO reports, “President Donald Trump’s claim that the FBI embedded a spy in his campaign for political purposes began to crumble Wednesday after a prominent Republican, as well as defenders of the president, said he might have the story wrong. In less than 24 hours, Trump’s allegations were publicly refuted by House Oversight Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), one of just nine lawmakers briefed on highly classified details of the FBI’s operation; Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano, a Trump favorite; and prominent legal scholar Alan Dershowitz, a vocal Trump ally who has advised the president on legal strategy.” POLITICO notes, “Legal experts and Trump critics say the defections have exposed cracks in the president’s narrative and undermine his attempts to discredit the FBI investigation into Russian contacts with his campaign as a partisan, ‘deep state’ attack on his presidential bid.” POLITICO observes, “notably, a slew of Trump’s congressional allies who have been active purveyors of what the president dubbed ‘spygate’ — including Reps. Jim Jordan, Matt Gaetz and Lee Zeldin — were silent Wednesday.” But not fake NGO Judicial Watch’s Tom Fitton, he just keeps on keeping on. Reagan knew! POLITICO adds, “Only Rep. Mark Meadows had weighed in by late afternoon, suggesting the Justice Department couldn’t be trusted to explain away the controversy.” Meanwhile over at regime centcom, “The White House declined to directly rebut Gowdy on Wednesday, but made clear the president hasn’t backed off his concern.”
NORWEGIAN EDITOR LOSES RUSSIAN COURT BATTLE FOR ENTRY TO RUSSIA
The Bellona Foundation reports, “A Norwegian newspaper editor has lost a Kafkaesque case before Russia’s Supreme Court where he sought to challenge a travel ban imposed on him by Russia’s security services, which have said he cannot enter the country for the next five years. The editor, Thomas Nilsen, was in refused entry to Russia in March of 2017 after being designated a ‘security risk’ by the shadowy Federal Security Service, or FSB, for reasons the service refused to divulge for reasons of secrecy.” The Bellona Foundation notes, “Nilsen, a past member of Bellona’s Russia group, now edits the bilingual online Independent Barents Observer news portal published in Kirkenes, Norway, and says his case is an effort by the Russian government to suppress free speech.” The paper is quality and has been cited many times by TRUMPISTAN WATCH. The Bellona Foundation adds, “The portal routinely writes on pollution emanating from Russian industry on the Kola Peninsula, Arctic oil exploration, Moscow’s pursuit of so-called ‘foreign agent’ civil society groups, as well as the ongoing saga of nuclear waste produced by the Russian Navy’s Northern Fleet.”
From The Bellona Foundation.
—–TOWARDS A PEACEFUL NUCLEAR EXCHANGE—–
POMPEO’S SMILES ARE FOR OTTO WARMBIER + THOUSANDS IN THE CAMPS
CBS News reports, “A senior North Korean official and the top U.S. diplomat had dinner in New York as President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un try to salvage prospects for a high-stakes nuclear summit. It’s the highest-level official North Korean visit to the United States in 18 years. Kim Yong Chol, the former military intelligence chief and one of the North Korean leader’s closest aides, landed midafternoon Wednesday on an Air China flight from Beijing. Associated Press journalists saw the plane taxi down the tarmac before the North’s delegation disembarked at JFK International Airport.” CBS News adds, “During his unusual visit, Kim Yong Chol had dinner for about an hour-and-a-half with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who traveled from Washington to see him. The two planned a ‘day full of meetings’ Thursday, the White House said. Their talks will be aimed at determining whether a meeting between Trump and Kim Jong Un, originally scheduled for June 12 but later canceled by Mr. Trump, can be restored, U.S. officials have said.” Like the clueless, guileless, smiling buffoon that he is, Pompeo “tweeted photos of the two meeting, saying he had a ‘good working dinner with Kim Yong Chol.’” Unironically because Pompeo seems genuinely incapable, he tweeted, “Steak, corn and cheese on the menu.” Ah yes, so much cheese! These images will be a fantastic visual accompaniment for that day when North Korea’s concentration camps are liberated and the true horror of the Kim regime is revealed to the world. Then and only then will Pompeo get the full treatment from North Korea he truly deserves.
From CBS News.
CIA SAYS NK WON’T DENUCLEARIZE BUT THEY MAY “GET A BURGER JOINT”
NBC News reports, “A new U.S. intelligence assessment has concluded that North Korea does not intend to give up its nuclear weapons any time soon,” which of course conflicts with the lies and bullshit peddled in “recent statements by President Donald Trump that Pyongyang intends to do so in the future.” NBC News adds, “Trump is continuing to pursue a nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un even though the CIA analysis, which is consistent with other expert opinion, casts doubt on the viability of Trump’s stated goal for the negotiations, the elimination of North Korea’s nuclear weapons stockpile.” This is probably so Trump can sell his base of idiots and bigots on something when there is nothing, but to hell with consequences, reality or truth. As a tease to our fake Russian bullshit president known for his fast food diet more than his rugged good looks and masculine charm, “CIA analysis included the possibility that Kim Jong Un may consider offering to open a Western hamburger franchise in Pyongyang as a show of goodwill,” NBC News adds, noting, “The U.S. also has decided to drop any human rights demands as part of the talks, according to a current and a former official — a deeply significant move when dealing with a country that the U.S. believes holds between 80,000 and 120,000 prisoners in squalid camps.”
From NBC News.
THE BEST PART OF THE FARCE THOUGH WAS HAPPENING IN NORTH KOREA
The AP reports, “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met Thursday with Russia’s foreign minister, who was in Pyongyang on a visit that Moscow hopes will reassert its role as a force to be reckoned with ahead of Kim’s expected summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Singapore next month,” adding quite the spin. Moscow “will reassert its role as a force” only if it can successfully hoodwink the U.S. into abandoning the region as a massive solid to China. The AP notes, “Video of the beginning of their meeting showed Lavrov inviting Kim to Moscow and complimenting the North Korean leader on the many new projects that have brightened up the capital.” He also found the soap made from scraps of human flesh in the hotel to be so soft, so delectable.
From the AP.
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